Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jobs Lost due to Obama's Climate Regulations

EPA cap and trade regulation

AWOL Soldier Traded for Qtmo Detainees

The policy of the United States government has always been we do not negotiate with terrorists.

So why did the Obama administration release five of the worst GITMO jihadists – Taliban leasership – in exchange for an AWOL soldier – a traitor – who willingly walked away from his unit, raising the question of whether he could be charged with being absent without leave or desertion.

USA Today: Many called Bergdahl a traitor or a deserter. Stephen Kirouac, calling Bergdahl a “dirtbag” and “sympathizer,” was among many who seized on that speculation to criticize the rescued soldier. “He is a dirtbag that now should spend the next 20yrs+ in Leavenworth … his fellow soldiers were affected by his actions, he is a sympathizer and deserves to be tried for desertion,” said Kirouac, whose Facebook profile identifies him as a company commander at Fort Bragg, N.C.

And it’s not just that, the soldier, who has converted to Islam, is alleged to have been teaching its fighters bomb-making skills. A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, told the newspaper that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb. Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier. ‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’ Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The AWOL soldier’s father spoke in Arabic to his son: Obama did not detail exactly what security guarantees had been put in place by Qatar. Bergdahl said that his son was having trouble speaking English after spending so much time in Taliban captivity. Addressing his son, Bergdahl said a common Arabic phrase uttered by Muslims before giving a speech, and a few words that appeared to be in Pashto. “In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful,” Bob Bergdahl said in Arabic. “I’m your father, Bowe,” he added in English after speaking the same words in Pashto from the president’s podium in the Rose Garden of the White House

See more at:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your Faith is Now Intrinsically Offensive. Are You Ready for the Fallout?

by Jim Tonkowich

“The world of 1906,” wrote Violet Bonham Carter in her biography of Winston Churchill, “was a stable and a civilized world in which the greatness and authority of Britain and her Empire seemed unassailable and invulnerably secure…. Powerful, prosperous, peace-loving, with the seas all round us and the Royal Navy on the seas, the social, economic, international order seemed to our unseeing eyes as firmly fixed on earth as the signs of the Zodiac in the sky.”

Think of it: living before the devastation and slaughter of World War I, before the rise of Communism and the upheaval of the Russian Revolution, in an age far more innocent than our own. The prosperity and stability of the British Empire in the Victorian Era would, people thought, only grow stronger with a new king, in a new century, enlightened by the bright beams of progress.

Of course, not everyone was fooled.

In 1907, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, reading the signs most people didn’t noticed, published his dystopian End Times novel, Lord of the World. Set in the early twenty-first century, Benson foresaw a time when busy workers “had learned at least the primary lessons of the gospel that there was no God but man, no priest but the politician, no prophet but the schoolmaster.” He envisioned a world in which Christianity had all but vanished with little hope of resurgence, a world where the marginalization of Christians morphed into persecution and finally genocide.

In the novel, an elderly statesman explains the situation to an young priest: “First, you see, there was Materialism, pure and simple that failed more or less—it was too crude—until psychology came to the rescue. Now psychology claims all the rest of the ground; and the supernatural sense seems accounted for. That’s the claim. No, father, we are losing; and we shall go on losing, and I think we must ever be ready for a catastrophe at any moment.”

Lord of the World came to mind (mine and others) last Tuesday after hearing Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Dr. Robert George at the tenth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC.

“My message for you today is a somber one,” he began. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. It’s no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, a faithful witness to the truths of the Gospel.”

Comparing our era to the events of Jesus’ Passion, he noted, “Things were easy in those Palm Sunday days, standing with Jesus and his truths was the in thing to do, to be part of the crowd, waving the palm branches, shouting ‘Hosanna!’” But Palm Sunday has passed; Good Friday looms with the crowds beginning to cry for crucifixion.

On Good Friday, he said, most of the disciples fled in fear and shame. Only the beloved apostle, John, and Mary, his mother, stayed with Jesus as he hung on the cross. George challenged each of us to decide whether or not to stay with them. “The question each of us must face is this: am I ashamed of the Gospel? And that question opens to others: am I willing to pay the price that will be demanded if I refuse to be ashamed? Am I willing to give public witness to the massively politically incorrect truths of the gospel?”

Standing for biblical teaching—specifically teaching about sexuality, marriage, and life—is no longer acceptable as Brendan Eich who lost his job as president of Mozilla, David and Jason Bentham who lost their show on HGTV, and others have discovered.

“They threaten us with consequences if we refuse to call what is good, evil, and what is evil, good,” said George, “They demand [we] conform our thinking to their orthodoxy, or else say nothing at all.” Break their rules and, like the beleaguered Christians in Benson’s novel, we could pay a steep price in our careers, our social standing, our friendships, our fortunes, and our futures.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 (c)

The pictures blow are difficult to view and I agonize over posting them. But they are the real reason for Memorial Day. They are the real sacrifice for freedom. They are the real heroes of our age.

May God bless these families. May our people forever honor these heroic Marines and their fallen comrades.

El Cid

The widow of Marine Second Lieutenant John T. Wroblewski, Joanna Wroblewski, left, weeps as Captain Martin Lewis, right, hands the American flag that draped her husband's coffin during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, April 23, 2004

Shawn and John Wroblewski mourn the loss of their oldest son, Marine Ltieuenant John Thomas 'J.T.,' as they remember him on the deck behind their Jefferson home on Thursday. Dawn Benko / Daily Record

Erica Rios, the widow of United States Marine Sgt. Duane Rios grasps the flag which was draped on his coffin at his funeral Saturday, April 19, 2003 in Griffith, Ind. Rios, 25, was killed April 5 in a battle on the outskirts of Baghdad. His remains were to be cremated after the ceremony. (AP Photo/Michael Gard)

The family of Marine PFC Francisco Martinez Flores embrace as they greave for the 21-year-old during his funeral Mass Saturday, April, 12, 2003 in Monrovia, Calif. His mother, Martha Martinez Flores embraces her husband Samuel, left and her youngest son, Sammy. The Marine was killed when his tank tumbled from a collapsing bridge in Iraq was remembered Saturday as a man who loved two countries the United States and Mexico and died to liberate a third. Hundreds of mourners packed Immaculate Conception Church and others overflowed outside during the funeral Mass for Martinez Flores, 21, who died just two weeks before he was to become a U.S. citizen.(AP Photo/Virgina Lee Hunter)

Sonia Roads, mother of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler Roads, is overcome Saturday as folded flags are handed to her and to Roads’ wife, Megan Stone-Roads.

Jennifer Germosen, widow of Marine Staff Sergeant Scott N. Germosen, 37, and the couple's daughter, Alyssa, receive a U.S. flag from Marine Lieutenant Colonel Carl Parker during a memorial service Thursday, January 17, 2002, at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California. Germosen was among the seven Marines killed in the January 9, 2002, crash of their KC-130 refueling plane in Pakistan. Parker is the commanding officer of the crew's squadron.

Katie Stack, sitting center, is supported by Marine wives as Marines fold the flag from her husband Lance Cpl. James Stack's casket during a graveside service at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Arlington Heights on Saturday, November 20th. Dawn Hedrick, Katie's mother, is holding the Stack's daughter, 1-year-old daughter, Mikayla, at left. Stack was killed November 10th while serving with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment for one month in Sangin, Afghanistan.

After Ryley Gallinger-Long's casket is buried into the Willamette National Cemetery, his widow, Hope, grieves at the graveside. Ryley's identical twin brother, Wyatt, is comforting her. At right is another brother, Zack.

"About to hit the fan..." Intellectual Froglegs 2014-09

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Russia and China Make Dollar-Free Deal most important and far reaching story out there today is naturally the one you're not hearing about. And it has the potential to affect you personally a great deal more than 90% of what's in the headlines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has scored a major win.He has finally succeeded in making a large deal with China to supply the Chinese with natural gas and oil - in a non-dollar contract.

As part of the agreement, the Bank of China (BOC) just signed a non-dollar agreement with VTB, one of Russia’s largest commercial bank to allow VTB and BOC to pay each in their domestic currency, removing the need for energy trading to be conducted in US dollars and a big step towards undermining the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, something that's been true since the post WWII Bretton-Woods Agreement.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Struggle of Lefties


Missouri Lawmakers Pass Bill to Arm Teachers, Lowers Carry Age from 21 to 19

On the last day of Missouri's legislative session, lawmakers passed SB656, which allows teachers to carry guns on campus.

The bill also lowers the age to legally concealed carry from 21 to 19 and allows for "limited open carry" in the state as well.

How VA hospitals are a government-run disaster

The news is shocking: Patients dying on the waiting list for government-provided healthcare. But this is not a report from Canada or the British National Health Service. It’s right here in America, in the health system administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The problems first surfaced in Phoenix, where the wait to receive care at VA facilities had grown so long s columnist Paul Krugman has long touted the VA system as the epitome of government-run healthcare. “Exhibit A for the advantages of government provision [of healthcare] is the veterans administration, which runs its own hospitals and clinics, and provides some of the best-quality healthcare in America at far lower cost than the private sector,” Krugman claims.

And he is right . . . at least about the VA being exhibit A for government healthcare.

Like all single-payer health systems around the world, the VA controls costs by imposing a “global budget” — a limit to how much it can spend on care. Thus year-to-year funding varies according to the whims of Congress, not according to what consumers want or are willing to spend.

that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor. As many as 40 veterans reportedly died because they couldn’t get the care they needed. VA administrators tried to cover up the problems by establishing secret waiting lists and falsifying reports.

The scandal has now spread to other veteran facilities. VA employees at an outpatient clinic in Fort Collins, Colo., falsified appointment records to hide the fact that as many as 6,300 veterans treated at the outpatient clinic waited months to be seen for treatment. In Wyoming, whistleblowers have accused officials of manipulating records to hide wait times.

VA officers in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, have been accused of similar efforts to hide long waits. And in Pittsburgh, VA officials are accused of covering up the death of several patients after the water in a VA hospital became infected with bacteria. The officials reportedly tried to hide the information not only from patients and superiors, but even from hospital staff.

Earlier this month, the American Legion called for Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to resign. No doubt Gen. Shinseki was asleep at the switch. But the problem goes well beyond an incompetent cabinet secretary or a few corrupt local bureaucrats.
Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has long touted the VA system as the epitome of government-run healthcare. “Exhibit A for the advantages of government provision [of healthcare] is the veterans administration, which runs its own hospitals and clinics, and provides some of the best-quality healthcare in America at far lower cost than the private sector,” Krugman claims.

And he is right . . . at least about the VA being exhibit A for government healthcare.

Like all single-payer health systems around the world, the VA controls costs by imposing a “global budget” — a limit to how much it can spend on care. Thus year-to-year funding varies according to the whims of Congress, not according to what consumers want or are willing to spend.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Athiest Military Chaplain Prayer

The Ins and Outs of Being a Wedding Usher

Before the Big Day

It’s an Honor to Be Asked, So Take It Seriously

Ushering may not seem like the most glamorous role to play in a friend’s or relative’s wedding. But you can be sure it’s one of the most important and most practical. While the groomsmen often just stand up front and look pretty, the ushers are seating guests, manning doors, and generally making sure that things are running smoothly while the bride is doing her last minute preparations to walk down the aisle.
Planning a wedding is stressful business for the bride and groom; part of that stress is figuring out who among friends and family will play which role. It’s an honor to be asked to be part of a wedding, so take your role seriously.

Ask the Couple About Your Responsibilities

While we go into ushering basics below, the responsibilities of the usher(s) will be different for each wedding. In some cases, the usher plays a big part; in others, it’s more of a ceremonial title because the couple wanted to “officially” include you in the festivities. Before anything else, ask the bride and groom what your responsibilities will be come the big day. Also be sure to ask about the rehearsal, groom’s dinner, and any other activities you’re expected to be a part of. As an usher, your schedule obligations are a little grayer than if you’re a groomsman.

Pay Special Attention During the Rehearsal

While you may not be a part of every wedding festivity, it’s likely that as an usher you’ll be asked to be at the wedding rehearsal. This generally happens the night before, and it’s just what it sounds like. Everybody who has a role in the wedding — bride/groom, bridesmaids/groomsmen, officiant, parents, etc — meets at the wedding site to go over what the ceremony will look like. Pay special attention, because you’ll generally have specific instructions for seating guests, as well as dismissing guests once the ceremony is completed. If needed, write down your instructions in the pocket notebook you keep with you at all times.

During the Big Day

Be Prepared

This should go without saying, but I feel the need to say it. Show up when you’re told to show up — probably an hour or so before the ceremony begins. Be dressed according to what you were told. Have your clothing pressed and neat — no muffin-top tucking. Make sure to have eaten a snack, as wedding festivities may leave you without food for many hours, and you need energy to stay sharp and focused. Again, all common sense, but things that could be forgotten on the morning of as you’re getting ready.

Your Manner Affects the Wedding

On the day of the wedding, you will likely be the first wedding “representative” that guests see. Your manner has an effect on the tone of the wedding. Is your attire neatly pressed? Is your posture upright? Do you have a smile on your face? If you’re sloppy with your attire and deportment, the guests will see that and unconsciously form an opinion of the wedding, and even mirror that sloppiness in their own manners. If you greet them warmly and escort them properly with all the regality you can muster, the tone of the entire ceremony will follow.

Act As a Host Before the Ceremony

In the closing hour before the ceremony, the bride and groom will likely be running around with last-minute preparations. Ask how you can help — and promptly do whatever the bride or groom asks of you. As guests start arriving, you will probably be asked to “work the room,” taking people’s coats, directing them to restrooms, letting them know where gifts/cards are to be placed, making sure they sign the guestbook, etc. At this point, you’ll sort of be acting like the host of the pre-ceremony reception. Don’t go off socializing with your friends and family; there’s plenty of time for that later. You’re there to assist with wedding operations.

Seating the Wedding Guests

This is often the largest and most important responsibility of ushering a wedding. As guests arrive for the ceremony, you’ll have the pleasure of offering them a program and escorting them to their seats. Where guests are seated is a decision of the bride and groom, so before anything else, ask them. Oftentimes, it’s friends/relatives of the bride on one side (usually the left, as you’re looking at the altar/stage) and friends/relatives of the groom on the other (usually the right).
You’ll most likely be waiting for guests just outside of where they’ll be seated. When they approach you, you can ask if they’re a guest of the bride or groom, and escort them to the first open row at the front of where the ceremony is taking place. If the guest is a friend of both the bride and the groom, give them the best seat available on either side. (Keep in mind that the first 2-3 rows are often reserved specifically for immediate family.) If one side fills up faster, it’s okay to begin to seat folks on the other side.
When escorting a single gal or couple, you’ll offer your right arm to the woman, and let the gentleman follow behind. When escorting a group of women, offer your right arm to the oldest member of the group (if they’re all roughly the same age, feel free to offer your arm to the lady closest to you). When escorting a single man or a group of men, do not give your arm — simply ask them to follow you to their seats. Generally, you’ll escort guests down the center aisle, but once the ceremony has begun, instruct late guests to use the side aisles.
When offering your arm, it is to be at a 90 degree angle (see image above). No straight-arm escorting allowed, period. It just looks awful.
Neither meander nor speed walk and bustle down the aisle. Rather, move at a natural, dignified, but efficient clip.
As you escort guests, offer some light pleasantries, such as, “What a beautiful day for a wedding,” or, “Too bad it’s raining, but at least it’s good luck!” Keep your voice low, but there’s no need for grave solemnity or whispering.
Depending on the wedding, after all the guests are seated and before the bride walks down the aisle, you may be asked to usher the grandparents or other immediate family members to their place at the front. Traditionally, the seating of these family members was done by ushers, but in modern weddings, it’s more often than not done by a sibling (most often a brother) of the bride or groom.
A few items to be aware of for each wedding (in other words – ask the bride/groom):
  • Are there handicapped/elderly folks that will need extra assistance?
  • Are there pregnant or new mothers? If so, it’s best to reserve an aisle seat for them, as they may need to quickly get up from the ceremony.
  • Are there awkward family issues? If parents are divorced, they may not be seated together. Be aware of any unique family situations and honor the bride and groom’s plan for dealing with them.

During the Ceremony

In some cases, as an usher, you’ll be part of the processional and either be seated at the front of the ceremony (in which case you’d take your seat after all guests and family have been seated), or standing up front with the other groomsmen. Most likely, though, you’ll be tasked with a couple remaining duties, and sit near the back. In that case, after the bride has walked down the aisle, you’ll often be asked to close the doors (if the venue has doors to be closed). From there, you’ll take a seat yourself, direct any late guests to find a seat (using the side aisles), and make sure the door closes quietly after they’ve entered. Once the ceremony has concluded, you’ll open the doors back up, and again, depending on the wishes of the bride and groom, you may be asked to dismiss rows of guests, starting from the front. If the bride and groom wish to dismiss guests themselves (a modern trend), you can stand near the doors to be sure exiting happens smoothly, and to direct guests if they have questions about what follows the ceremony.

After the Ceremony

As with everything above (hopefully this cements the idea into your head), what your role is after the ceremony depends on the specifics of the wedding you’re a part of. So just ask, ask, ask. Don’t just assume you can leave, and don’t just assume that you’re required to stick around for pictures or for the party bus to the reception. You will often be asked to be a part of pictures, but not necessarily as extensively as the formal wedding party. Just do what you’re told and smile.
Once you get to the reception, your duties are largely over. You may or may not sit at the head table (I never have as an usher), you won’t be giving a speech, and you no longer are playing the part of “host” — at this point that becomes the bride and groom’s role. So take off your jacket, loosen your tie, and cut a rug on the dance floor — it’s time to celebrate!

Fencing Foiled by Zero Tolerance Insanity

The newly formed fencing club at North Dakota State University (NDSU) cannot practice on campus thanks to the university’s weapons policy.

“The current interpretation of the non-weapon policy in NDSU…understands our fencing equipment as weapons,” Enrique Alvarez, the club’s coach, told Valley News Live.

The swords the club uses have no sharp points or blades. The tips are flat and spring-loaded. Still, the university deems them weapons; as such, possession or use of the swords is prohibited on university owned or controlled property.

I actually met these very nice people - too bad.  Hard to believe that this would happen in the Great State of ND at the Great NDSU.  No rousing Go Bison cheer from me today. - El Cid

Memphis Belle Day

The B-17 MEMPHIS BELLE is the most famous US heavy bomber because she was the first in the European war theatre to complete 25 combat missions and keep her entire crew alive. She flew for 10 months from November 7, 1942 to May 17, 1943.

Collin Raye: Is country music dead?

As a platinum-selling country music artist and, more importantly, a lifelong fan of the genre, I’d like to send out this heartfelt plea to the gatekeepers of the industry:

Enough already.

I’d like to think that I am expressing what nearly every artist, musician and songwriter (with perhaps a few exceptions) is thinking when I contend that the Bro’ Country phenomenon must cease.

It has had its run for better or worse and it’s time for Nashville to get back to producing, and more importantly promoting, good singers singing real songs. It’s time for country music to find its identity again before it is lost forever.

I know, I run the risk of being labeled as a “has-been, carrying sour grapes” by speaking out. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had my run from 1991 until 2002 and I’m quite thankful for that.

I have more hits than I can possibly play in a single concert. I had my day and I do not begrudge anyone having theirs.

But as someone who grew up loving and being forever affected by the true greats of country music, I simply have to offer up this plea to the Nashville country music industry to reclaim the identity and poetic greatness that once was our format. The well-written poetic word of the country song has disappeared.

There appears to be not even the slightest attempt to “say” anything other than to repeat the tired, overused mantra of redneck party boy in his truck, partying in said truck, hoping to get lucky in the cab of said truck, and his greatest possible achievement in life is to continue to be physically and emotionally attached to the aforementioned truck as all things in life should and must take place in his, you guessed it...truck.

I didn’t mind the first two or three hundred versions of these gems but I think we can all agree by now that everything’s been said about a redneck and his truck, that can possibly be said. It is time to move on to the next subject. Any subject, anything at all.

Willie Nelson once wrote in his early song, "Shotgun Willie," that “you can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say.” Apparently, that’s not the case anymore.

Disposable, forgettable music has been the order of the day for quite a while now and it’s time for that to stop.

Our beautiful, time-honored genre, has devolved from lines like, “I’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday ... holding Bobby’s body next to mine,” and “a canvas covered cabin, in a crowded labor camp stand out in this memory I revive. Cause my Daddy raised a family there with two hard working hands….and tried to feed my Momma’s hungry eyes,” down to “Can I get a Yee Haw?”

And the aforementioned Truck! “Come on slide them jeans on up in my truck! Let’s get down and dirty in muh truck, doggone it I just get off riding in muh truck, I love ya honey, but not as much as muh truck!” Oh and we can’t leave out the beautiful prose about partying in a field or pasture.

Now I’m not saying all songs should be somber ballads or about heavy, profound emotional subject matter. On the contrary, great fun, rockin’, party songs, describing the lifestyle of blue collar country folk have always been a staple of the genre. But compare for a minute the poetic, “middle American Shakespeare” infused lyrical prose of classics like Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” or Hank Jr’s “All My Rowdy friends are coming over tonight” or Garth Brooks’ “I’ve got friends in Low Places” or his “Ain’t going down till the sun comes up” to the likes of contemporary offerings like “That’s My Kinda Night,” or any of the other 300 plus songs from recent years that say the exact same thing in pretty much the exact same way. It’s like comparing a Rolls Royce to a ten speed.

VA Fast-Tracks Sex Change for Manning While Vets Die on Waiting Lists


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has formally approved the request of Pvt. Bradley Manning, convicted for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, to be temporarily transferred out of military custody in order to undergo expensive hormone therapy and surgery to become a woman.

Manning, whose taxpayer-funded request to change his name from Bradley to Chelsea was approved last month by a Kansas court, has been able to obtain repeated diagnoses from military doctors that he suffers from “gender dysphobia”; a condition of someone ‘discontented’ with the sex they were ‘assigned with’ at birth. It was first listed as a medical condition in 2007 by the authoritative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Two Pentagon officials quoted by WUSA-TV, the CBS News affiliate in Washington, D.C., claim the transfer orders were submitted because neither the Defense nor Veterans Department authorize such medical services, while the US Bureau of Prisons does. Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby denies the claim, saying no decision has been made to transfer Manning to a civilian facility.

As the medical needs of Manning, convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison for stealing 750,000 classified defense department documents in order to disseminate them to Wikileaks, were being assiduously attended to by America’s defense establishment, untold hundreds of American servicemen and women suffering from genuine life-threatening and acute medical conditions have allegedly been left to die on at least seven waiting lists managed by the US Veterans Administration.

At least 19 veterans “served” by VA facilities in South Carolina and Georgia died apparently avoidable deaths from colon and bowel cancers after they were put on phony waiting lists designed to prevent from obtaining the necessary diagnostic tests.

Sriracha CEO Compares California to Communist Vietnam

Sriracha hot sauce manufacturer Huy Fong Foods has spent the past few months in an intense legal battle with the city of Irwindale California over their plant’s caustic smell. The lawsuit has already caused a partial shutdown of Sriracha’s Irwindale factory, after a restraining order to shut down the plant entirely was denied by a California Judge.

According to Huy Fong Foods CEO, David Tran, the city’s over zealous persecution of the 30 year old California plant reminds him of growing up in Communist Vietnam.

“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in (the) USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference," he said.

At a local city council meeting, the New York Times reported that Tran asked, “Why do you want to shut me down...I’m not sure why the U.S.A. lets local government do stupid things like this.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

California Democrats Kill Bill to Outlaw Sex-Selection Abortions

On Tuesday, thirteen Democrats on the California State Assembly Health Committee voted down a bill that would have outlawed the practice of sex selection through abortion.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (AB 2336) ran into opposition by all of the Democrats on the committee, who saw the bill as a prelude to broader abortion restrictions, according to a report from Instead, Democrats introduced a resolution to condemn sex-selection abortion--but not to outlaw it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Robert Spencer in PJ Media: 5 Things the Media and Government Won’t Tell You About Boko Haram

5. The abduction of the schoolgirls is only the latest in a huge string of atrocities.

 The world has only begun to notice them because of the abduction of the schoolgirls, but the Nigerian jihad terror group Boko Haram has been around for years. Without attracting the international outrage they have drawn upon themselves now, they have committed innumerable acts of unimaginable savagery, murdering over 2,500 people in the first three months of 2014 alone and torching numerous churches and Christian homes.

At my website Jihad Watch a Google search turns up about 115,000 results for “Boko Haram,” indicating that anyone who has been tracking jihad activity over the last few years has had plenty to track in Boko Haram, and that the outrage over the abducted schoolgirls, as welcome as it is if it results in genuine action to stop this brutal and bloody group, is quite late and arbitrary.

Of course, in the Obama administration it hasn’t been fashionable to talk about jihad activity other than within the context of al Qaeda, and Boko Haram is not al Qaeda. Therefore it essentially did not exist (either for the administration or for the mainstream media that it carries around in its pocket like so many nickels), or if it did, it wasn’t a terrorist group: Hillary Clinton’s State Department was notoriously slow to designate it as such, even as the dead bodies piled up.

4. Their real name is Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad.

Boko Haram means “Western education is sin,” or more literally, “Books bad.” The mainstream media has reported this as if the group were a bunch of Luddites with AK-47s – people who for some unexplained reason object to modern technology except for the weaponry. But actually the moniker “Boko Haram” is a specifically Islamic name, referring to the sinfulness of any system of education that is not based and centered upon the Qur’an and Islam.

And the actual name of the group is not Boko Haram at all; it is the Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad. Sunnah is accepted Islamic practice as derived from the Qur’an and Hadith; dawah is Islamic proselytizing; and jihad, of course, is (according to mainstream Islamic tradition) primarily warfare against unbelievers in order to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. Clearly, then, the group’s focus and motivation is entirely Islamic – which is probably why the media never calls the group by its actual name: too much focus on Islam in connection with terrorism is, for the media, as verboten for today’s media as it would have been for Der Stürmer to run a piece favorable to Jews.

3. Muslim clerics recruit for them in mosques.

 The British tabloid The Sun reported in late April that “Nigerian Muslim clerics living in the border towns of Cameroon and Nigeria are recruiting Boko Haram members in their mosques, the government of Cameroon has alleged.” It quoted StrategyPage, an American military news site:

Cameroon is also concerned about pro-Boko Haram clerics from Nigeria quietly preaching and recruiting for Boko Haram in Cameroon mosques. Islamic conservative clergy are not unusual on either side of the border, but those who do not denounce Boko Haram are suspected of quietly recruiting young men to join the “jihad” (struggle) and fight (and often die) in Nigeria.

Why would Muslim clerics, no matter how “conservative,” recruit in mosques for a group that – it is universally assumed – twists and hijacks the true, peaceful religion of Islam? Haven’t these clerics been trained in the Qur’an and aren’t they utterly familiar with its contents? Did they overlook the peaceful verses that Boko Haram is ostensibly ignoring?

This recruitment gives the lie yet again to the mainstream media and government dogma that Islamic jihad groups actually pervert the teachings of Islam. If they did, Muslim clerics, above all, would know that and oppose them. Yet Muslim clerics, all too often, are enthusiastic in their support of such groups, and sometimes even participate in them. But that fact is not one that our law enforcement or military establishment is willing, at this point, to ponder.

2. The taking of infidel women as sex slaves is justified in Islamic law.

Muslim leaders worldwide have recently rained down condemnations on Boko Haram and declared their abduction of the schoolgirls un-Islamic. This was necessary because Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, has said: “I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah….There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell.”

There is, unfortunately, a case for the idea that Allah did indeed say that. The Qur’an does allow for the owning of sex slaves:

If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. (Qur’an 4:3)


And also prohibited to you are all married women except those your right hands possess. (Qur’an 4:24)

The mainstream Muslim commentary Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains that 4:3 tells Muslims to “marry only one, or, restrict yourself to what your right hands own, of slavegirls, since these do not have the same rights as wives.” The twentieth-century Qur’an commentator Maulana Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:

None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari’ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war)….Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave.

This is by no means an eccentric or unorthodox view in Islam. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that as they waged jihad warfare against infidels, Muslims would take slaves. He clarified what he meant in a subsequent interview:

When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Qur’an 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point–there is no disagreement from any of them. [...] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.

Around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti activist and politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality.

…A merchant told me that he would like to have a sex slave. He said he would not be negligent with her, and that Islam permitted this sort of thing. He was speaking the truth. I brought up (this man’s) situation to the muftis in Mecca. I told them that I had a question, since they were men who specialized in what was halal, and what was good, and who loved women. I said, “What is the law of sex slaves?”

The mufti said, “With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war.”

“Is this forbidden by Islam?,” I asked.

“Absolutely not. Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam. On the contrary, sex slaves are under a different law than the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. She differs a lot from the free woman. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not–she only needs to be purchased by her husband, and that’s it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.”

While the savage exploitation of girls and young women is an unfortunately cross-cultural phenomenon, only in Islamic law does it carry anything approaching divine sanction. Here is yet another human rights scandal occasioned by Islamic law that the international human rights community and the mainstream media cravenly ignore. The abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls could have been an opportunity to call upon Muslim leaders to work for genuine reform, so that the justifications for this savagery are definitively removed.

Instead, Western leaders and the mainstream media are doing what they always do: pretend that this is an isolated incident and there is no problem. Arsalan Iftikhar, “an international human rights lawyer, founder of and adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago,” on Tuesday published a piece in CNN titled, “Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls.” It was a reassuring piece claiming that Boko Haram was misunderstanding Islam and misinterpreting the Qur’an, which, he said, categorically rejects “kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.” He offered two verses to support this idea: one that says that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and another declaring that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).

Neither of these, unfortunately, were precisely on point. “Oppression” is in the eye of the beholder; Abubakar Shekau thinks he is following the Qur’an’s dictates, and that that couldn’t possibly constitute oppression, no matter what. And these girls aren’t being forced into prostitution; they’re being sold off, as Iftikhar himself said in his piece, into forced marriages with Boko Haram members.

Iftikhar didn’t even mention the verses above (4:3, 4:24) and others that Muslims like Shekau point to in order to justify kidnapping young girls and selling them into sexual slavery – leaving the impression that his piece was intended to keep infidels complacent rather than to work toward genuine Islamic reform.

1. Their leader has said: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels.”

On Wednesday, John Kerry blamed the phenomenon of Boko Haram on poverty:

Much of this challenge comes out of this poverty where young people are grabbed at an early stage, proffered a little bit of money. Their minds are bended, and then the money doesn’t matter anymore. They’ve got the minds, and they begin to direct them into these very extreme endeavors.

Among those who would disagree that throwing money at Boko Haram will make their jihad go away would be none other than Abubakar Shekau, who has said:

The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels, you follow Democracy.…Whoever follows Democracy is an infidel. This is Shekau, this is why I’m in enmity with you….You are all infidels. What makes you infidels is Democracy and constitution and western education…I therefore call on brethren in Kano to rise up and replicate the Baga attack. All these infidels we are the ones killing them. We enjoy shedding their blood. The Qur’an must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.

What could be clearer? Only the determination of the Obama administration and the mainstream media to ignore the implications of such words.

Monday, May 12, 2014

'Siouxper Drunk' T-shirts spark controversy at UND

GRAND FORKS – Students at the University of North Dakota’s American Indian Student Services Center said Monday they were angry and frustrated when the university failed to discipline groups of people who wore racially offensive shirts at the annual Springfest celebration Saturday.

Students posted pictures to social media sites of one shirt that depicted an Indian drinking from a beer bong with the words “Siouxper drunk” and another depicting an Indian with the word “sobriety” above it, which started an online dispute over whether the shirts were appropriate and what the consequences should be for the people who wore them.

NDSU! Go Bison!

Colonists and Rifle Registration

Saturday, May 10, 2014

'Divergent' Actress Shailene Woodley Makes Hollywood Freak Out by Disowning Feminism

Shailene Woodley, who starred in the recent film "Divergent," managed to take over from Kirsten Dunst as the Hollywood feminism freak-out target of the hour, after Time magazine asked her if she considered herself to be a feminist:

No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 percent feminine and 50 percent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note. And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.

My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy. And “This girl did this to me and that girl did that to me.” And it’s just so silly and heartbreaking in a way.

Woodley's equation of feminism with man-hating, and her thoughts about the "balance of power" between the sexes, inspired such hysterical rants as Ms. Magazine portraying her as the poster child for ignorance, and calling for more aggressive feminist indoctrination of captive public-school children.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Her face tells the whole story, a very different story

If you're one tuned in to the Catholic and Christian 'sphere, then by now you're aware of the young woman who filmed her own abortion as a means to convince others that it's not that big a deal.  She is an abortion counselor at a clinic in New Jersey and is convinced, or so she says, that what she did was good and decent and something that others should do as well without any guilt, without any remorse.
She's deceived of course and Elizabeth Scalia, with the kind of compassion we should all attempt to muster, believes the proof has everything to do with how her face belies her words:
If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story. A month after the abortion — with the dramatic change in hairstyle that so many women effect when emotions are high and they need to feel in control of something — watch Emily, then. The light is gone from her eyes. The seeming disconnect between pc-fed head and instinctive heart is laid out in breathtaking and stark incongruity, Emily-Lettseven down to the shadows, the blue note, the lack of energy. Devastating. Cognizant of it or not, she is a mother in grief.
Kathy [Schiffer] notes that this video was the first place winner “in the Abortion Care Network’s macabre ‘Stigma Busting Video Competition’”. Frankly, if I were a young woman watching this and pondering abortion, one glance at those haunted eyes, that beautiful, woebegone countenance and benumbed, vacant tone, and I would be running to my nearest Birthright, or to the Good Counsel network, or to the Sisters of Life, whose founder, the mighty John Cardinal O’ Connor of the Archdiocese of New York, once pledged to help any needy pregnant woman seeking assistance instead of abortion, and whose successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has maintained that position.
My heart breaks for this young woman and her baby who are so clearly victims of a pervasive rhetoric full of untruths and the banality of real evil. She needs our prayers and our whole-hearted spiritual assistance. Evidenced before us is a mind seduced and under the power of nefarious propaganda that has told her to serve her own desires unto death — one that has encouraged her to soul-shredding idolatry while its promulgators serve only death and political campaign coffers. It is a mind owned by insipid platitudes, now at war with a heart that says, “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, my baby, my heart, myself.”
What this young woman now knows — what resonates so clearly in her assertion that if her house were afire, she would grab the sonogram of her extinguished baby, and run — is that when she consented to kill her baby, she killed a very real piece of herself.

Christian Hosts Lose HGTV Show For Opposing Homosexuality, Abortion

Deadline reports that HGTV has pulled a home-flipping reality series after receiving pressure from the leftist Right Wing Watch. The Benham brothers were set to star in "Flip It Forward" until Right Wing Watch reported Tuesday that the Christian brothers opposed homosexuality and abortion.

Lewinsky: My Life Sucks


Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says

Christians are under siege in the Middle East, and the Obama administration is not doing enough to stop religious persecution by its allies, according to a new report from a bipartisan federal commission.

The report, from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, faulted usual suspects Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as North Korea. The number of Christians in the Middle East has plunged to just 10 percent of the overall population from more than 25 percent in 2011.

"While the Obama administration should continue to shine a spotlight on abuses through public statements, it also should impose targeted sanctions to demonstrate that there are consequences, too," Dwight Bashir, the commission's deputy director of policy and research, told "By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people. The United States should not be confronting such a scenario in the first place."