Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Iraq's Modern Day Mahdi: Bald Faced Terror On the Move In the Middle East

As the American media drones on about the primary defeat of a Virginia congressman, the lights may be going out around the Middle East.

A wound that started erupting in Syria has now brought infection to neighboring Iraq. The Islamic State of the Levant and Iraq (ISIS) has expanded its reach into many of Iraq's western provinces and the second city of Mosul.  Its forces now have started moving towards the central government in Baghdad.

Some see this as a historical correction.  From the Roman Empire through the Ottoman period to the League of Nations mandates, boundaries in the Middle East reflected the priorities of other states.  Turkey and Israel alone relate to ethnic and historical boundaries.

ISIS militants, however, have imposed the most severe forms of Islamic law with the most violent measures. Hundreds have been brutally killed, including many beheadings.  Hundreds of thousands have fled rule by terror.

At stake is the government of Iraq.  The Iraq War left the nation in a fragile infancy as a democracy.  Millions defied terrorists to dip their fingers in purple ink and vote.  American forces remained available as part of a status of forces agreement that would allow the US military to help defend the democratic government when necessary.

Unfortunately, Obama has neglected the victory that American troops (agree or disagree) fought to achieve. He failed to reach a status of forces agreement with Iraq and painted it as his own success.

Well over a century ago, British controlled Egypt governed the Sudan.  Egypt employed General Charles George Gordon to help defend their position in Sudan.

Britain had offended Sudanese Muslims, not with imperialistic greed, but their demand that the slave trade end.  A charismatic leader, Muhammad Ahmad, emerged to give a religious cloak to discontent over the end of the slave trade, among other things.

Ahmad took on the name "Mahdi" which is something like a messiah.  The Mahdi does not restore earthly or heavenly kingdoms, but sweeps through the land killing anything in his path.

The Mahdi annihilated those who would not join.  He slaughtered almost all of the city of Khartoum, not just General Gordon and his Egyptian soldiers.  Eventually he died at the hands of a British force under Lord Kitchener, sent too late to save Gordon and Egyptian allied troops.

The Mahdi of the 1880s and ISIS of today do not bring historical corrections.  They bring only death and suffering.  They do not debate the morality of saving other nations from dictators.  They torture and destroy.

What has happened while Obama plays golf games and promotes Democratic candidates to high school students is the worst case scenario.  A terrifying warlord has gained influence and momentum and could upset the entire political structure of the Middle East.  We can turn on all the coal mines and oil and gas taps possible and do very comfortably without the resources of that part of the world.  But millions could die and an entire region could lapse into anarchy, a dangerous proposition in the nuclear age.

One could not imagine a worse scenario in which to have a presidential disaster.

Inspector General Report Makes Mockery of Jon Stewart, Salon's Mockery of Fox News

Fox News is often a left wing whipping boy.  Last spring, the network reported stories of "widespread" fraud and abuse involving the food stamp program.  Turns out, according to a recent Inspector General's report, Fox had the issue right.

Jon Stewart used the report to bash Fox News, saying for example "We read the chain emails you grandma gets in her inbox out loud like they were true."

Salon piled on. They described Stewart's act as "castigating the right wing propaganda shop" for repeating stories "you hear" about fraud and abuse.

The Department of Justice successfully prosecuted a Camden, New Jersey man for stealing over $2.5 million from the SNAP program. From recipients, he purchased benefits from customers for .50 cents on the dollar, then deposited the benefits as full purchases.

This case has been ongoing since May 2013, well before the Jon Stewart rant and Salon echo.

On the heels of this announcement came reports of the largest food stamp bust in history.  Five Georgians, according to the US Attorney's office, "canvassed low income neighborhoods and solicited WIC (a program to help parents buy nutritious food for expecting mothers and small children) and food stamp participants to illegally exchange their benefits not for food, but for cash."

The conspirators allegedly netted $18 million in the scheme.

Despite left wing pontificating, food stamp abuse is alive and well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hard Times For the Clintons

Give the Clintons credit.  They have at least enough self-awareness to understand when they have not been self-aware.

Hillary Clinton let slip a moderately damaging assessment of her family's post presidency finances.  "We were dead broke," she said.

Should she run for president, she will find those four words as ubiquitous as Mitt Romney's offhand 47 percent comment.  She will have to explain ad nauseum what she meant and that she does really understand what truly broke really means.

This will likely grow tiresome.  Neither Clinton entered the world with guaranteed millions and both, especially Bill, understand what poverty feels like. Saying "dead broke" instead of struggling to meet responsibilities was a huge error in judgment.

The Clintons, however, did the right thing.  When confronted with their own version of tough times, like good free market entrepreneurs, they cashed in.  People wrongly envy Bill Clinton's huge speaking fees.  There is nothing wrong with making top dollar.  The onus lies on those who pay the fees, especially if they pay from the public purse.  Bill Clinton or the town dog catcher can ask a million dollars to speak.  No one has to pay.

Problem is that being Democrats comes with connection to the party's ideology. One cannot just comfortably defend a million (or tens of millions) dollars honestly made. Nationally, the Democratic Party has moved well to the Left of the centrist comfort zone Bill Clinton always claimed.  If Hillary runs in 2016, Leftist candidates such as Martin O'Malley (does anyone doubt that this failure is running for president?) will hurl this statement back at her over and over.  Clinton will face class warfare, this time against her and the profits reaped by her family after the presidency.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bad People Do Bad Things

During the Miss USA pageant last weekend, the contestant from Nevada landed herself in the crosshairs of left wing hate.

After being asked about the prevalence of campus rape, Nia Sanchez blasted colleges for sweeping the issue of sexual assault under the rug.  The fourth degree black belt holder then advised women to grow more confident and to learn self defense. "I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and learn to defend yourself." she noted.

And somehow, her advice to learn how to beat an attacker into unconsciousness or at least submission is seen as an endorsement of "rape culture."  One Twitter respondent claimed that women should not have to learn to defend themselves against rape since rape is wrong.

Marshall University's Women's Center defines rape culture in a number of different ways.  One aspect is "teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape."


Leftists believe that somewhere lies a magic button.  If society just looked hard enough, or if the Koch Brothers and the Republican Party would stop hiding it, rape would end.

Certainly there is nothing wrong with reminding everyone that rape is wrong, no means no, etc.  But the left has posited the issue of rape and self-defense as an inane zero sum game.  What is wrong with both reinforcing the moral value that rape is an offense against humanity and encouraging individuals to empower themselves.  Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

The problem is that bad people exist.  No amount of social engineering or wishing upon a star will erase the fact that evil men and women walk the earth. They do not care about morality or justice. They do not care about you or me.  All that keeps them from hurting others is the fear of something unpleasant being visited upon them.

Most men do not want to harm women or anyone else.  But a few do not care and will act with impunity.

Solution? Encourage women to learn to protect themselves. Learn self-defense.  Carry a handy weapon. Interestingly, feminists used to advocate self empowerment as liberating oneself from the oppression of men.

Ask most Republicans and they would agree that a woman has every right to pull a gun and shoot her would be rapist. If the attacker died, no conservative would shed a tear.

Teaching that rape has consequences is the best way to reduce its instance even further. Every time that a woman shoots or beats an attacker into a hospital bed a lesson has been presented.  The media should make sure that it gets learned and learned well.