Monday, June 22, 2015

Clive Cussler’s “Arctic Drift” Keeps You Trapped

I dislike escapist fiction that doesn’t let you escape because it’s built on shaky ground and you become entirely too aware of what's simply wrong. Wrong as in untrue.  I’m referring right now to Clive Cussler’s book “Arctic Drift.”  The prologue was exciting and seaworthy, as the members of an expedition looking for a Northwest Passage get trapped in the ice of the arctic region. Ghost ships, dead men, their teeth rotting with scurvy—the time period is the mid 19th century.

But then we’re back to the present day—or at least we think so. It’s not the present day where the U.S. and the rest of the world is drowning in a sea of shale oil and natural gas.  It’s not that because that’s the real world. Instead you have to escape to a world where, as Cussler’s fiction says, Iran has cut off the sale of oil to the rest of the world.  In the real world, of course, Iran is desperate to sell oil and being creamed by low oil prices stemming from record U.S. production that has even the Saudis screaming.


“Arctic Drift” then goes on to detail how the U.S. president is worried about an economic crisis  caused by this scarcity of petroleum.  This occurs at the same time Cussler launches into the literary equivalent of a hissy fit over “global warming,” which, as you may know, is a contagious disease he may have picked up from standing near Al Gore.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

U.S. Cut and Run Strategy in Iraq Invited ISIS Control of Ramadi, Fallujah



From the Miami Herald today: "The Islamic State on Friday took control of the provincial government center of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, in a major defeat for the Iraqi government. Islamic State forces launched a fierce assault of car bombs on Iraqi government security facilities overnight, and by late afternoon, their black flag was flying over the governor’s office. Security forces appeared to be in full flight as militants consolidated control over the area and prevented anyone from leaving the area. 

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article21077055.html#storylink=cpy



The way CNN's playing it, (and also Rand "Barack" Paul, Ted Cruz, and Chris Crispie) you'd think that Jeb Bush's faux pas in anwering a reporter's questions about what he'd have done in Iraq was as important as the Amtrak disaster in Philadelphia, the earthquake in Nepal, or the collapse of the Iraqi government in Anbar province. Remember Ramadi and Fallujah?  Those are the places U.S. Marines, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and allied soldiers fought for, won, and reclaimed in the Big Surge, President George Bush's big gamble that prevented  Iraq's largest and most important province from being taken over by the insurgency.

But who, except the clueless Obama, could not have predicted what would happen if the U.S. pulled all troops out of there, without leaving even a small contingent of say 10,000 there?  Obama was so desperate for a Nobel Peace Prize and to appease the political apparatchiks of the Old and New Left that he was willing to do almost anything to appear as the President of Peace no matter that a river of blood now flows through Iraq like you've never seen before.

Yes, folks, ISIS (or DAASH) has taken over the government center, the culmination of a highly visible siege that has been going on since January.  The overrunning of the government center is a major victory for ISIS commanders. As you may know, ISIS is no ragtag ill-equipped army. It's a regular force, and a strong one, well equipped with heavy weapons, which used bulldozers to push away blast walls, allowing suicide mission vehicle bombs to destroy the Iraqi government defenses.

Yet, the President of Peace and his acolytes like Republican Rand Paul preen and believe themselves occupiers of some fantasy moral high ground. This while women and children are being subjected to horrific degradation, and moderate Iraqi's are being butchered by the hundreds, and a war that was won was handed over to the modern day Attilas of ISIS or their AQ butt-buddies. The time to be worried about the moral high ground was before Obama adopted his Cut and Run Strategy.

I could ask the question "Why isn't anyone talking about this?" but that would be extraneous. I know the answer.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weinstein Ransom Offer Paves Way for More Kidnapping

 It really burns me to hear the cheap and irresponsible sniping about the Obama administration’s targeting of Al Qaeda with drones. I’ve never been a fan of the Obama administration and have consistently pointed to its widespread foreign policy failures. But blaming the Obama administration and its military leaders and advisors for the unfortunate deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Italian aid worker LoPorto exhibits such facile and fake indignation.

Talk about cheap shots. And the really tragic aspect of this backbiting is that the cheap shots are coming from both the right and the left. Both “sides” are falling over themselves to outdo each other in the sententious overweening sweepstakes of bogus public compassion. 

What does all this public breast beating do for the kidnapping business? It’s almost as if the supposed prosecutors are lawyers for the defendants -- the defendants being kidnappers, murderers of innocent people, and haters.   

And why should anyone who opposes paying ransom to terrorists have to “prove” their concern for people who voluntarily go to dangerous places and expect to be rescued by the U.S. cavalry when things go wrong. It’s not as if terrorist kidnappings and the horrors concomitant with them are new. You’d have to live under a rock not to be aware of the possibility of being an American kidnap victim in that part of the world. 
  
Of course, we feel bad for the Weinstein and LaPorto families! But I feel even more sorry for the American troops who would be in the position of risking their lives to rescue them. There are many who die who do not get to choose their fate. Weinstein and LoPorto did.  There’s no reason to think Dr. Weinstein and Mr. LaPorto were anything but well intentioned humanists trying to alleviate the suffering in war-torn regions of the world. But it’s also possible that they, like Bowie Bergdahl, were hostile to U.S. policy in the region. That is no reason to die, certainly, even if it were true. 

But their deaths were accidental, as were the deaths of American heroes killed by friendly fire, helicopter accidents, or even illness while on duty. Hardly a tear of sympathy for those many forgotten heroes of other wars.

Yet, Weinstein spokespersons like former FBI agent and hostage negotiator Chris Voss can go on Fox TV with Republican pundit Pete Hegseth to blame various government agencies for failing to negotiate. Negotiate what? The terrorists walked off with $250,000 dollars of Weinstein money paid in ransom, and then told the family to bug off.  Treated them like chumps. And who did their bidding? What happened?  Please tell so that the next unfortunate family of a kidnap victim isn't similarly chumped. 

On Fox News, Voss seemed to imply that a better negotiation, or interaction between government agencies would have freed Weinstein.  Voss, you see, heads a private company that, among its other activities, consults (think aids and abets the business of kidnapping) with companies, governments, and private individuals to pay ransom to kidnappers.  For a steep price, you can bet. So the guy was a salesman. 

As for Hegseth, he simply looked intimidated and was weak in expressing what has long been U.S. policy. Don’t feed the animals – especially when it's only the wealthy elite which can afford to do so.






Monday, April 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Exciting Iowa Adventure (The Movie)

Disclaimer: This script refers not to real people but to fake personas which bear no resemblance to the real people whose names we borrowed. Any resemblence to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.




FADE IN:  A dark van speeding down a country road toward Iowa and the Des Moines Airport. Inside the van are a bunch of CNN reporters playing video games on their laptops.  These are the CNN Hillary Corps.

ABOVE THE CLOUDS: A Lear Jet begins its descent to the Des Moines Airport. Inside the comfortable luxury jet, HILLARY CLINTON lies on an alpaca skin couch. She is getting a back rub from two other CNN reporters, RACHEL MADDOW and CHRIS CUOMO, brother of New York Governor, ANDREW CUOMO.

CHRIS CUOMO: Are you awake, Hillary? We’re about to touch down.
HILLARY CLINTON:  Ooooooh, Chris! That feels so goooood! I never want to land. I can’t stand the thought of getting into that damned tin box on wheels. Who came up with that whackjob idea anyway?

RACHEL MADDOW:  I did, Hillary. It is important for the peons to see you as a champion of the people.
         (then she notices something that alarms her)
Chris Cuomo!  What do you think you’re doing?  I am the only one allowed to massage Hillary’s buttocks.  Keep your hands above Hillary’s  waist – back, neck, and shoulders only.

CHRIS CUOMO:  Sorry, Rachel. Whenever I see a future president, my hands just seem to develop a mind of their own.

RACHEL MADDOW:  Ooooh, Chris. I know exactly what you mean. I feel you.

HILLARY CLINTON: (irritably) Why don’t you two stop bickering?  There’s enough of me for everyone.

CHRIS CUOMO: There will never be enough of you, Hillary.  But I’m afraid you have to put on some clothes. That tank top just won’t do.

RACHEL MADDOW:  And you’ll have to lose the Yoga Pants, Hillary.

HILLARY CLINTON:  Alright – get me one of my Susanna Beverly Hills pants suits. Or should I wear Anna Wintour? Maybe Oscar de la Renta. It doesn’t matter, so long as I’m wearing the pants in the family. At least the Huffington Post will gush and write adoring articles about me.

RACHEL MADDOW: I’ll get it for you, Hillary. Could I? Please?

CHRIS CUOMO: (pushes her back) No! It’s my turn to help you dress.

Rachel Maddow and Chris Cuomo are battling it out in the aisles of the luxury Lear Jet. Hillary is watching gleefully as Chris Cuomo pulls a tuft of Rachel Maddow;s hair out.

HILLARY CLINTON:  Hey, stop fighting. We’re about to land. And I’ve got to sneak into that damn hoopty van without any reporters seeing me. Remember, you two are sworn to secrecy. No sleazy tattle-tale memoirs about my campaign. You know my motto: “If you can’t bake it, you can always fake it.”


(To be continued) 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

French Rule: The Germanwings 9525 Investigation



Okay, so props to the French prosecutor who didn’t spoon-feed information to us for weeks as is generally done in investigations following mysterious plane crashes affecting U.S. carriers. Felt sorry for the man – it’s a dismal, sad, sorry business.  He acquitted himself with a nobility, a toughness,  and an admirable truthfulness through these difficult moments in a difficult time.

Among many striking moments during the now famous press conference was when the chief prosecutor, Monsieur Brice Robin, said that the victims of the terror, including the families, deserve to know the truth as soon as possible. This is very true. This is also very different from what we Americans have become accustomed to. The thinking in Washington these days is that we must be guided like children toward what can at best be described as well-meaning fantasies. If Germanwings 9525 had been downed in the Rockies, I am quite sure Americans would not yet know the plane was intentionally downed. The possibilities and various scenarios would be endlessly investigated with never a conclusion, nor an honest public statements.

There is a great tendency of the current administration in Washington to deny what is self-evident. It is a kind of phony, deceitful posturing that vaunts its supposed “concern” for victims of terrorism. The popular meme that the Obama administration cannot utter the words “Islamic terrorism” is only one thing. The same thinking “protects” us from seeing photos of the dead Osama bin Laden.
Certainly, there will be those who do not wish to see such photos but there are plenty like myself who would find it somehow healing, particularly those who most directly suffered the consequences of the 9-11 attacks.  The same sort of thinking applies to other recent aspects of government. Think of the health care law, passed by an unusual procedure without a public referendum. Think of the current nuke talks with the Iranians, about which nothing is known except that it is an obviously bad deal which will precipitate and arms race in the Middle East. This cavalier government-knows-all attitude is contagious, afflicting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Assembly who passed the inaptly named “Safe Act” in the dead of night and without public debate.  The list is long of incidents where government potentates diminished or crushed the right of the people to know what is necessary to know if the republic is to function effectively.


So much for philosophical meanderings. The world right now is all the wiser for the honest candor of the French prosecutor who made no attempt to hide the bad news.  The hunt now settles on the background of 28 year old Andreas Lubitz, who defeated the German system and managed to get himself hired as a pilot for Germanwings  so that he could murder 150 people.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Germanwings 9525 Crash : What's That Smell?




UPDATE:  Awaiting a news conference regarding Germanwings 9525 and my prediction will be NO NEWS. Or at least NO NEW NEWS. We will be given the same reassurances to the effect that "no connection to terrorism is known at this point."  The qualifying "at this point" statement is future cover, of course. But such statements were made even hours after the crash and before the one black box was recovered. Yes, governments have taken to reassuring us instead of telling the truth. Even though we have seen beheadings, people jumping out of skyscrapers instead of being incinerated, tortures, hangings, stonings, and other barbarism, the U.S. government still spoon-feeds us a steady diet of carefully structured gibberish. 

It may very well be that 9525 wasn't taken down by terrorists, but it may very well be that it wasn't down due to pilot error, mechanical failure, or any of the other rationalizations that are freely dispersed while the possibility of terrorism is routinely dismissed. The message is: "Just relax. Everything in fine. Let your government do your worrying for you."


Among the many jagged events surrounding the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, the worst is how the media has picked  up on a statement by a White House NSA spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan that “There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time."

Of course, CNN and Fox News made the statement part of their lengthy broadcasts on the crash, usually tacking it onto the tail end or front end—with one egregious mistake. Neither media outlet mentioned the “at this time” phrase.  Leaving me to wonder how the White House could have ruled out terrorism in what seemed a blanket statement.

But now you can envision Bernadette responding to a news reporter question: “Do you think the crash could have been the result of terrorism?”  So of course, you respond with the truth—that there are no indications of terrorism AT THIS TIME.
         
        
Governments lie, sometimes with good intentions, but always with terrible outcomes.  At this juncture in the national psyche, the U.S. government in particular wants to project an attitude of calm, especially in the wake of the magically disappeared MH370 of  Malaysia. People should pound on the involved governments for answers. There are numerous unexplained or unsatisfactorily explained air crashes over the years. This latest crash smells of terror.        

·       There are conflicting versions as to whether the old plane (activated in 1990) had mechanical problems in the week and hours before it took off from Barcelona.
·       Whatever happened to the plane occurred in the safest part of the flight, i.e., at the cruising speed of 38,000 feet.  Most air disasters occur at takeoff or landing.
·       Were the pilots trained to hand fly the plane should its computers be knocked out by…say…some electronic interruption? Reports say they weren’t.
·       Indications are that the plane began a  level descent from 38,000 to the crash in eight minutes. There was no mayday or communication with air traffic controllers. The plane didn’t go into a flat spin or any other erratic pattern, say reports.
·        There are plenty of reasons and actual terror attacks indicating that terrorists are looking for soft targets now.
·       One of the black boxes has already been recovered. You can be sure someone has already listened to it and already has a great deal of information which leaves all news reports, including this one, high and dry.

        


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton Email Malfunction



Everyone’s busy. Hillary Clinton and Democrats all over the country are counting on it. They’re hoping that the controversy that brews strong today will evaporate as the campaign season develops. But right now, Hillary is facing increasing pressure from people in her own party to face the music…err, face the kilobytes of her email messages.  Hillary Clinton didn’t have it on her schedule for today but has since adjusted her schedule mainly due to the demands of Senator Dianne Feinstein who publicly assailed her for disregarding Obama administration rules and regulations regarding ‘open government.’ Here are some questions to ask when Hillary makes her excuses today:

Was there only one email server?  Where was it placed? In Hillary’s private house or in an office?  If it was in an office, who provided security for it?  Or wasn’t security provided at all? 

What company hosted the email server?  Were its employees properly vetted?  Was there an Edward Snowden among them?  Are there other Snowdens out there who hacked into the server?  Were you aware that they could have done so?

What levels of security were on the server(s)?  Could the emails be archived right now on ISIS computers? Did you not know, Hillary, that you were in violation of Obama administration directives?  Did you not know that an American Ambassador, an employee of your state department, had been fired for doing the same thing you were doing during your tenure as Secretary of State?

Did you know there was no specific legal penalty for violating FOIA rules and calculated that you could brazen it out with any stickiness which resulted from keeping your emails located on a private server located place unknown?

Did you ever receive warning from anyone in the administration chain that you were violating federal laws (though without legal penalty)?

Will you turn over your server(s) to the FBI and to Congressional investigators? 

Where are the emails regarding Benghazi?  Are there any emails about Benghazi that cannot be released?  How many? 


 Actually, the number of questions that Hillary’s disregard of a citizen’s right to know is endless. Someone with such a reckless disregard for American democracy should not follow upon a presidency which allowed it.   

47 American Patriots in Congress Send a Message to Iran

Iran wants to reestablish the Persian Empire and has already expanded its influence into four countries, including Iraq, where the U.S. expended its best human resources. The best way for it to magnify its power is to become a nuclear power. In the past, Iran has lied, cheated, threatened neighbors in the region, and ordered its troops into positions where they killed American troops.

 The Obama administration, with its feckless foreign policy failures, is anxious to put points on the board with a nuclear agreement that benefits Iran and contains nothing in the way of security for the west nor for its Arab neighbors. Essentially, the Obama ‘negotiations’ are an advertising campaign with a product that has a ‘sell-by-date’ of ten years. 

         The ten year period mentioned in regard to the talks fits well with the Koranic dictum that agreements with ‘infidels’ that treaties must be no longer than ten years.  The Koran says such agreements can be abrogated after ten years. The Obama administration will be long gone by then.  Iran will be a nuclear power. There will be an arms race with its Arab neighbors. If there’s anyone left in the region to sweep up the pieces of a nuclear disaster, they will look back on this bad deal negotiated by John Kerry and Barack Obama and wonder how an American president could have betrayed the responsibilities of his office. 

Forty seven Senate Republicans sent a letter to the ayatollahs with the purpose of derailing a bad deal which will hand Iran a major victory with a stroke of Obama’s fountain pen. This is a patriotic effort which must be applauded. The American people are tired of finding out what’s in an agreement only after it’s passed, especially when the agreement is a ten-year nuclear time bomb with a sell-by date. President Obama has consistently shown himself willing to accommodate America’s enemies against our better interests and security.  The president wants to count Congress out of the picture, and has mounted a blistering attack on the senators who are unwilling to gamble on our lives and our freedoms. If only President Obama could apply such zeal to his dealings with Iran!


The mullahs do not represent the Iranian people. They took power in a 1979 Islamic revolution, killed, kidnapped, or imprisoned anyone who stood in its way. They suppressed the Iranian people during the 2009 Green Revolution for democracy while President Obama, who had just taken office, found this entirely acceptable.  That’s who and what we’re dealing with. At least there are 47 courageous senators who know that and will not forget it. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez Targeted by Obama Justice Department

In January 2013, I wrote a blog article about New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez answering charges of a woman who claimed to have had sex with him while she was a minor. The report was carried in several newspapers, including the Newark Star Ledger where the original reports may be found in the archives.

The allegations against Menendez at that time also referred to the senator's association with Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who the senator has called a friend and political supporter.  At the time, Menendez said the accusations of corruption were raised by the "right wing political machine."  He may want to re-think that one in light of the fact that Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder authorized critical prosecution stemming from those old allegations.

All of whatever happened with Senator Menendez was okay with the Obama administration for nearly three years.  What changed is that Senator Menendez took political positions that ran counter to Obama administration's foreign policies.

He spoke out vehemently in opposition to President Obama's recent reestablishment of relations with the Castro brothers corrupt totalitarian regime in Cuba.

He spoke out strongly in favor of Israel and opposed the dangerous nuclear deal John Kerry and the Obama administration are trying to foist on the American people.

I give Menendez credit. He showed considerable courage in taking those positions.  This comes  at a time when Obama is misusing all the tools and tricks of government bureaucracies to bypass legislators, and apparently, to punish anyone opposed to its policies.

Make no mistake about it, Menendez committed no crimes until he dared disagree with President Obama and the appeasment policies of key figures in the administration.  Now the full force of the Obama administration is crashing down on him with both feet for what have always been fuzzy allegations. 

 It's all done with a wink and a nod, folks. Another dog and pony show. Would it were that the Justice Department would be worthy of its name by investigating Hillary Clinton's Benghazi failings, and for illegally keeping all her email correspondence on a server at her private home. 

Consider too that, with Hillary Clinton ready to announce her candidacy for president, her husband was also mentioned as one of the frequent guests of the billionaire Melgen.  Oh, it's a dark and murky world the Democrats have created.  What tangled webs we weave...and so forth.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Peggy Noonan Trashes Jeb Bush – in favor of what?

Peggy Noonan has a way with words. In a Wall Street Journal editorial Sunday, Feb. 28, she used her way with words to short-circuit the presidential campaign of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  Noonan earned her reputation working as a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Reagan is regarded by many as the patron saint of conservatives though he was a practical man who likely would be considered an “establishment moderate” in today’s terms.

People who style themselves ‘conservatives’ these days are practicing a kind of ideological holier-than-thou religion. Holding themselves out as representatives of the “true cross” and getting everyone to buy into it is a primary objective. Losing presidential elections is the secondary one.  It’s like a game of pin the donkey, everyone going around blindfolded, trying to find the real conservative.

Along with this ultra obsession comes an inability to distinguish real conservativism from the faux celebrity chic kind espoused by celebrity chic copycat conservatives like Laura Ingraham and other blind followers of brand.
Noonan’s column ignores the sage advice of long-time authentic conservatives in the tradition of William Buckley – I’m referring to George Will  and Charles Krauthammer, both of whom are weary of ‘conservative’ stunt *ucking in Congress. Both of these on Fox News panel were disgusted with the 52 Republicans who voted with 172 Democrats to kill the extension of funding for Homeland Security after it had passed the Senate. This is not the way to stop King Obama’s regal edict on immigration. Nor does this kind of stunt show a commitment to principles. What it does show is an attachment to show trials, failed governance, and losing. The presumption is that the American people are too stupid to think for themselves, the same thing liberal and left-wing bureaucrats of the Obama administration think about us.


Okay, so much for polemics. But consider that Rand Paul ‘won’ CPAC three times in a row, in spite of a foreign policy copied verbatim from the Obama-Hillary Clinton anschlutz of the American republic. This is what Obama-nauts and Hillary-ites will hold up as representative of the GOP in 2016. It ain’t me, babe.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obama Wants You To Believe: Prosecutorial Discretion


Wait! Isn’t this the guy the New York Times and its associated sycophants were touting to us as a “constitutional scholar?”  Then why is President Obama lying to you?

If we agree that Obama did really study the constitution, he would have to know that “prosecutorial discretion” is not a synonym for usurping the powers of the legislative branch and making new laws. A federal judge two days ago clued the Messiah in that he was coloring outside the lines in his numerous TV appearances claiming “prosecutorial discretion” in making new immigration laws for four million people who came through our borders without applying for citizenship. 

Prosecutorial discretion, you probably know, refers to the wiggle room a prosecutor has in deciding how assiduously to pursue charges. A prosecutor may decide not to press charges or pursue any other legal penalties.  What this means in terms of immigration is that Obama/Holder could use discretion in not taking action against the 4 million illegal aliens covered by the Messiah’s illegal immigration decree. But he can’t bypass Congress by making his own laws for political purposes, something he seems to do quite naturally. Oh, well, perhaps those critics who feel his ideological orientation lies in some other country (that does not have representative government) do have a point.

The federal judge didn’t rule that administration’s intent was patently unconstitutional. That is a matter which has not been either addressed nor decided by the courts. He just made clear what is obvious even to my fifth graders, that separation of powers requires lawmaking to reside in the halls of congress, not at the Messiah’s oval office desk. 

There is good reason for separation of powers, but then Mr. Obama has shown little respect for the founding fathers and the fine constitution they wrote to protect states like Texas from the damages which might be caused by a Messiah from Chicago, or Hawaii, or even Kenya.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Obama’s Legacy: Beheading on the Shores of Tripoli

The Swiss Cheese Obama “strategy” (and I use the term loosely) in the Middle East and now North Africa has produced atrocities of a kind last seen in the Dark Ages.  A more recent reference might be to the activities of the Nazis under Hitler leading up to WWII.  ISIS has not yet reached that latter point in terms of numbers but one may argue that it is a least matched in terms of barbarism, perversity, and in the creation of a death cult culture.

It’s not Obama’s fault that America voted a buffoon into office. The president (or Preezy as he is called on late night TV) is a self-absorbed narcissist who struggles to find relevance by a variety of pop-culture antics, the most recent of which is public clowning on TV with a selfie stick. This image, this projection of a weak American president, is supposed to distract the country from the spectacle of a choreographed and carefully stage-managed torture and mass beheading of some twenty plus Coptic Christians in Libya.

In order to head off the public relations disaster of Obama’s whimsical and flippant stance in the Middle East, Africa, and now North Africa, Obama has ordered pinprick strikes on a variety of targets. This certainly helped the Yazidis who survived the month’s previous slaughters, but it came too late.

Lateness is rather the mark of the Obama administration, as is “kinetic action” or “leading from behind” or “resets” of U.S. policy which have invariably backfired.  This will not change. The issue is how much more damage, how many more innocent deaths, this administration will cause by its willful blindness, ineptitude, and actions which, during the time of George Washington, would be clearly identified as treason.

Nero fiddle while Rome burned, it is said. That may be a myth.  What is not a myth is that President Obama trifles –playing golf, pretending to be cool while trolling youth groups, cavorting with bizarre YouTube ‘celebrities” like the bathtub colored cheerios woman,  while Islamo-nazis took over large parts of Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  The march of ISIS and its affiliated butchers will not stop until a better president steps up to restore a measure of sanity and leadership ability in the country.

America and the rest of the civilized world is under attack from the death cultist Islamo-nazis.  This will not change with editorials and passionate public opinions and alarms expressed on social media sites.  President Obama can be expected to deliver another of his peripatetic (and pathetic) speeches on TV immediately after the next expected attack on U.S. soil.  Even while the Muslim president of Egypt and the King of Jordan speak in plain terms about the rise of Islamo-Nazism, President Obama will prefer the dodges of euphemism and pacifism rather than the hard course of action it will take to stop ISIS.

Many Americans, including Republicans, were fooled into helping Obama win the presidency. If he is incompetent, it is rather their fault for being fools, not his fault for being incompetent. I’m very sad for this presidency, but I am sadder for America, and the degeneration of spirit that eight years of Obama has brought us.

I’m sorry too that the first black man to become president in our nation’s history has been such a disaster. When Democrats might perhaps have rallied around a proven African-American military hero like Colin Powell, they went instead for a fugazi.


God bless America. Thanks, Obama. We’re in for it now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Buy a Dinosaur Pickup Truck - Your Other Car Can Be Hacked

I've dreamed about this. I'm driving along in my late model sedan when suddenly the steering wheel is wrenched from my hands and evil minds point the car at a telephone poll, a tree, or the guardrails. Or I've put my laptop in the backseat, locked the doors, all that just long enough to pop into the local Panera for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. When I come out, the doors are unlocked, my laptop is gone, and my own car is trying to run me over.

"You've been hacked!" screams my feverish brain. Science fiction? Hallucinogens?  Bath salts, perhaps.  But it's not far-fetched according to lots of people including Jalopnik, which HERE details how DARPA hacks cars equipped with computer technologies that many have grown to expect as basic minimum in driver accommodation.

I'm fighting back, and you should too. Buy an old car or truck as I did. My 2004 Ford F-150 4WD has old crank windows, rubber floor mats (no carpeting), and stick shift.  To adjust the outside mirrors (even in ten below weather), I have to open the window, lean out and set it to my eyeball height or to grant the widest visibility possible.  But I can't be hacked. 

So, be like me and buy an old manually operated everything pickup truck. People will be frightened when they see you coming at them with such a primitive instrument. When the cyber-war comes, dude, we'll be leaving my wife's sedan home. Rock on!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chris Kyle: The "American Sniper" Portrait (Update)






UPDATE:  I don't think Chris Kyle will ever be 'old news' and it's sad that neither he, nor his friend Chad Littlefield, are around to see how the nation has embraced them.  Not to mention that a trial is set to begin this week in Stephenson Texas not far from where Kyle and Littlefield were gunned down by
Eddie Ray Routh, 27, whom both men were trying to help adjust to life after wartime. Routh is expected to plead and NGRI defense. In a rambling post-arrest interview with police, Routh admitted to murdering both men in a rambling and sometimes incoherent confession. 

I previously posted a blog entry a few weeks ago (below) regarding the film (and the book) which was number one at the box office. It broke all profit records for this type of film, even as it was released in the post holiday calendar atmosphere often regarded as a movie burial ground.  "American Sniper" has now dropped from the number one slot to the number two slot, which is remarkable for a film that's been out for so long. 

Again, I urge people to read the book.  I'm not finished with it yet, but pushed through a good deal of it today while waiting for my truck to be repaired.  Really, it's a book inside a book and one of those 'books' reveals the toll the military life takes on family. You have to think Kyle's wife was a hero, too, for having to bear the worry, the heartache, the pain of living under circumstances which would have crushed others with less fortitude. There should be a special place in heaven for military wives and children.

Previously, I wrote:

I was reading the book "American Sniper" without having seen the film. Last night, I did see the film, and it's become clearer why the weakest among us (think Michael Moore) are compelled to attack it.

Much has been said already about the American Sniper movie and less about the book but there is one thing that must be understood. It may be described as a "war movie" but it's really a character study of a particular individual, a rare but fortunately not extinct type in American culture.

Chris Kyle was "that guy," the one who understood the basic foundational good heart of America and didn't waiver in his devotion and loyalty to its principles. He never doubted that America was better, even while acknowledging its flaws. Guys like Chris Kyle are an in-your-face reminder that America is better than its alternatives. He didn't make a lot of noise about it. He just was. What flies most in the face of  his detractors, and what antagonizes the compromisers, and the breast beating apologists, the mealy-mouthed politicians and other critics, is that he never apologized for himself, nor for killing America's enemies.

I think that the huge crowds watching the movie have found something lacking, something dishonest in the way President Obama and his left-leaning progressive political whores are trying to turn the country away from who we are. We're a free and independent people, and that's how we want to remain.  To remain free, you have to tell yourselves the truth. Except at the Obama White House, it's obvious that America is being threatened by Islamic extremists who want to murder, torture, rape, behead, burn, terrorize anyone who believes in basic American freedoms.  Most of what comes out of the Obama White House these days is designed around Hermann Goebbels' big lie theorem.  Mass deception can be achieved by the unrelenting repetition of lies and the bigger the lie, the more will be deceived. (think here of the 'offensive video' scenario barrage of brainwashing to which we were subjected for months).


For better or for worse , film has a higher profile than books do.  Movies reach a wider audience because, of course, you don't have to be able to read to watch and understand a film.  Even if you didn't speak the language, there are subtitles and dubbing.  So the "American Sniper" audience has risen to stunning proportions even going into the third week of its release. It fulfills the American need for honesty from its government, for democracy's requirement of honesty. That so many people would come to love and appreciate a hero who kills the enemy to save the rest of us is a phenomenon akin to the Knights of the Round Table legend.

American Sniper has broken all records for a film of this type, even though it was released in the dead money after Christmas holiday environment where films normally go to die.  I could tell it was film garbage season by the avalanche of bad Hollywood junked-up garbage movie trailers I was whipped with before watching American Sniper.

The Regal Cinema theatres where I saw the film was so packed that I thought there was a Harry Potter movie playing.  I was shocked when about 80 percent of that crowd marched into "American Sniper."  I had to sit in the third row front with my head craned upward like President Obama when he strikes one of his frequent phony camera-ready "gravitas" poses. I had waited to see the movie precisely because I wanted to avoid the discomfort of a crowded theatre. For this to have happened, three weeks into the release, could only mean that "American Sniper" struck a deep chord in the American psyche.

$200 million dollars for an R-rated movie never before happened in ten days of release.  Something is happening in America, and more and more people are realizing finally what it is.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

American Sniper: It's a Book Also



Update:  The "American Sniper" film has created a resurgence of interest in Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper," written in conjunction with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen.  The book is back on the NYT best seller lists. It's published by Morrow (I'm interested in such things). It's an exciting read, contains lots of information about modern military weapons systems and equipment. (also interest in such things as these).  Reminds me of the exciting "Black Hawk Down" though about a different military scenario. 


I’m planning to be in a movie theatre this afternoon to watch Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper.” The movie is a blockbuster, which was released at a time when blockbusters aren’t supposed to happen. I could write a bunch on why “American Sniper” has caused a great deal of Hollywood penis envy, but today I want to remind people that the movie came off of the “American Sniper” book written by the late Chris Kyle.

It’s not James Joyce but that is a good thing (no disrespect to James Joyce, a great writer) “American Sniper” is both readable and informative and “fun” for people who like to read Soldier of Fortune magazine. That would include types like me. I’m one of those screwed up neo-intellectuals who have morphed from blue-collar to whatever I am now. Here’s a clue: I’m always checking the air on my Ford F-150 pickup truck tires in case I have to move into battle position while taking Geritol or another old-age supplement. I go to the range as often as I can.  I do fitness drills, gym workouts, boxing exercises almost daily. I don’t know what I’m fighting for or fighting against, but it’s all because I’m American and appreciate that America let my grandparents, and my mom and dad into this country. We’re not great heroes like Chris Kyle but my clan has surely met its obligations to military service—from WWII until now--

Anyway, the book. “American Sniper starts out with training descriptions exercise—considerable discussion of weapons systems, and transport systems like DPV (desert patrol vehicles) and limitations thereof.
There was a horribly naïve “movie critic” Jan 23 who was trying to put down the film version by saying there were parts of it that weren’t realistic—b/c it showed the Kyle character, in the midst of a shooting war, talking to his wife on the telephone.  “Now  that wouldn’t happen,” she said cluelessly.” It was shocking to see such techno-dumbness from a supposedly young hipster movie type. But this is what passes for “film critic these days.  Give me gay Rex Reed any day.

There is much of Kyle’s wife Taya in the book, including letters she sent, worrying about her husband’s safety and her own sanity.  The letters show how families at home are sacrificing.  The war fighters and their families have to risk everything and suffer so that I can sit on my ass in the EZ chair without bullets and shrapnel flying or anyone trying to cut off my head.


Well, I should admit I did my bit in military service, ultimately ending up in an MP battalion.  It was a trifling bit dangerous once in a while, but nothing like the dangers experienced by real war fighters like Chris Kyle. Still, it gave me some insight, updated and modernized, into weapons and tactics used today.  It was heartening to read, for example, that one of my favorite weapons, the M-60 machine gun, is still in use today (albeit with some updates and improvements and a name change).  It was called a “pig” when I was in uniform and it’s still called a “pig” today.  I guess that’s because of the fast fire and way it eats up ammo. I was put on a range detail once to set up four M-60s on a range at Fort Benning Georgia.  We had to set the guns up, set boxes of ammunition near, and test fire them. With no one shooting back, it was thrilling fun. The M-60 is almost as fast as my chain saw for cutting down timber.  I never killed one bad guy but I chopped up lots of Georgia pine.  But that’s not in the book. I mention it only because there are millions of former soldiers out there who might enjoy the weapons, tactics, and equipment discussions in the early parts of “American Sniper.”  Stay tuned, however—I’m on page 70, where Iraqi Freedom and the shooting starts.  Great book, so far, and a good companion read to the film. More on both will be forthcoming. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things to Know about Terror in #Belgium


An anti-terrorist operation in Belgium may have been given added impetus from the mass murder in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices, but Belgium has long been a hotbed of Islamic terror cells.  The French are often criticized for having a lackadaisical attitude toward radical Islamists who immigrate but do not integrate, and turn toward AQ and ISIS or other terrorist groups.  But take note:


  • Belgium has been the destination of choice for over a decade as moving into France, and dealing with its more restrictive immigration policies and anti-terror laws, has made many radical Islamists turn to Belgium.
  • Belgian based terrorists have been behind 2004  terror bombings in Casablanca and in Madrid and have recruited fighters for the insurgency in Iraq to fight against and kill American troops.
  • Belgian based terrorists gave logistical support to  terrorists who posed as journalists to kill American ally and anti-Taliban leader Shah Masood in Afghanistan. 
These are just a small part of the story. The list of Belgium-based terror groups and activities is long and goes back to the time of the World Trade Center attacks.  Due to Belgium's lax criminal and anti-terror laws, it has had difficulty even in prosecuting known terrorists like Nizar Trabelsi, who in 2003 was convicted in a plot ot drive a car bomb into an American air base located in Belgium. 

Previously:  Breaking news now reported by several sources describes a police raid in Verviers, a town in eastern Belgium.  Early reports say that three suspected terrorists have been killed in a shootout, and that at least one has been taken into custody. 

The raid follows upon the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. Police have not confirmed that the police raid stemmed from the search for other suspect(s) who may have been involved in the Charlie Hebdo attacks.





B

Counter-Terrorism Ops in Belgium Kills Three Terrorists

Breaking news now reported by several sources describes a police raid in Verviers, a town in eastern Belgium.  Early reports say that three suspected terrorists have been killed in a shootout, and that at least one has been taken into custody.

The raid follows upon the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. Police have not confirmed that the police raid stemmed from the search for other suspect(s) who may have been involved in the Charlie Hebdo attacks.


Dershowitz, Clinton, Prince Andrew and the Kitchen Sink Civil Lawsuit


Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein go for a stroll together through New York's Central Park.Credit: News of the World.Online rights must be cleared by NI Syndication.royal family, friends, group, fl, Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew

Why would I, humble citizen of Hoi Polloi Nation, feel obliged to defend noted Harvard Law Professor, writer, and criminal attorney Allan Dershowitz, who  specializes in difficult higher court appeals?  He’s a millionaire and has access and knowledge of the judicial system way beyond a lay person’s comprehension.  I am Citizen Schmuck, probably like you, dear reader (if indeed anyone reads this) struggling to pay my mortgage, health insurance bills, and other expenses.

The reason is that Dershowitz and I have something in common.  We like to defend ourselves from slander and damage to our reputations.  Yes, my reputation is as important to me as his is to the world that knows him. The world that knows him will also know that his name has been associated with that of notorious billionaire playboy and convicted pedophile sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

You can read about Epstein’s sexual predations on a number of web sites from the Huffington Post to the Daily Caller.  If you do, you will also note that Epstein liked to entertain celebs on his private island in the Caribbean.  Epstein has hosted high profile people like Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and it is alleged also that Dershowitz was present at some of these sexual soirees and participating in the corruption of minors.

               What this is about, though, is that Dershowitz has been deprived of the right to a defense. Imagine that a high profile lawyer like Dershowitz, with all the resources of law, has been muffled and  menaced by a court system which cares less about facts than about the tangle of bureaucratic laws that enables someone to criminally accuse you while you have no right to defend yourself against the accusations—in this case of pedophilia.

Dershowitz is not taking it lying down as you might expect. Today’s Wall Street Journal contains his essay explaining his side of the story. You need to read Kafka, as Dershowitz suggests, to understand why he cannot sue the lawyers who brought the hearsay to a criminal court while they have sued him for defending himself.  Dershowitz has challenged the lawyers to show any evidence they have, other than the self-serving statements of certain women who were ostensibly engaged in sexual practices on Epstein’s private island and elsewhere. Dershowitz has courageously risked everything in signed statements waiving statute of limitations if any of the allegations against him can be proved.

         Of course, the sleazeball attorneys bringing the civil case (named in Dershowitz’ WSJ article) are not interested in proving anything except how much money they can get from the U.S. government. Yes, the primary target of this smear is the U.S. government prosecutors who made a deal with Epstein, accepting his guilty plea on lesser charges in exchange for a lighter prison sentence.  The lawsuit, however, names Dershowitz and Prince Andrew and just about anyone who flew over the island as victimizers of the poor young women who were paid to perform sex acts with high profile Epstein guests.

        To be clear, there are several women who allegedly worked in the sex trade, who filed suit against the U.S. government for making a deal with Epstein and his lawyers—without their participation. To give additional heft to the suit, and to apply and accuse publicly, the lawyers and the ‘plaintiffs’ have used high profile names as a sort of public reputation blackmail.

  If underage women were raped or preyed upon, then those cases should be tried in the customary criminal courts and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  The problem here is that that the attorneys who brought the suit are taking advantage of a special interest quirk in the law that essentially puts Dershowitz under a gag order.  They are not interested in filing criminal rape cases against Dershowitz or Prince Andrew or Bill Clinton, because they know that, in doing so, they risk being disbarred and jailed for false accusations. 


Dershowitz  is right to disobey the law and bring the case to the court of public opinion—though he risks a great deal in doing so. Congress needs to change that special-interest protection that the lawyers in this case have so that the truth can come out. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hayat Boumeddiene Married or Not?

 Hayat Boumeddiene -- lover of messed-up killer Islamist Ahmed Coulibady is variously said to be married to him or his girlfriend.  The facts, I believe, were revealed in a Wall Street Journal article today.  Apparently, a religious service was conducted at Coulibady's home with the purpose of uniting the couple in matrimony.  There was one big problem, however--Hayat Boumeddiene did not attend. We don't know where she was but she wasn't there for the service.  Only two sets of parents were there, giving approval and blessings for this "marriage" made in hell, but Hayat wasn't.

That means the "marriage" isn't recognized by the French government, nor by most other governments.  I don't know where such marriages are recognized, since such an arrangement would be convenient for all of us wishing to marry up.  
I might wish (with the approval of my parents) to be married to Pippa Middleton, for example.  But duh!  If no one tells her of this marriage, and if no one knows whether she consented or not, the marriage is a mirage.

A mirage! As was much of the news coverage of this horrific event.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Kouachi Brothers Killed in Dammartin-en-Goele Police Assault

Update:  Five hostages held by Hayat Boumedienne and Amedy Coulybady are alive, and the two terrorists are dead. Total of 4 terrorists dead.

The French police assault on the factory where the Kouachi brothers were holed up looked like a TV film production.  Explosions, gunfire, and smoke accompanied the police assault. The Kouachi brothers were holding a female hostage in the print factory, while their counterparts in the Paris supermarket threatened to kill their estimated five or six hostages if the Kouachis should be killed by police.  In the latest report, French police forces killed both Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said.


A key tactical move by police, considering the dual hostage situation, was to control or limit communication between the two terrorist locations.  The supermarket hostage takers, Amedy Coulbaly and Hayat, have not been apprehended as of this moment.  At least one of the hostages has been rescued as a result of the attack.

French-Algerian Man and Woman Linked to Charlie Hebdo Massacr


A 33 year old man and a woman are being sought in connection with the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It is likely this man, Amedi Coulibaly, who has entered the Parisian kosher supermarket, taking hostages, and perhaps killing some of them. 

 It is reported that both individuals were part of a Islamist terrorist recruitment cell based in Paris and operating against the U.S. presence in Iraq. French police believe that one or both of these two were involved in the shooting Thursday of a police woman and an accident investigator in the Montrouge neighborhood in southern Paris. 

Further SPECULATION is that the Kouachi brothers have remained in contact with these two, and perhaps others, and that the male, named Amedi Coulibaly or his 26 year old female partner/GF named Hayat Boumedienne (take your pick) shot the two officers yesterday to create a DIVERSION or at least another crime scene – enabling the brothers to escape.  That didn’t work, obviously. This raises the question as to whether it was one of these two that Kouachi brother was signaling to as he left the Charlie Hebdo slaughter. 

Note: The brothers Kouachi:  Cherif and Said Kouachi were the first terrorists identified by French police.  Cherif Kouachi had been previously convicted of aiding Islamist extremists in Iraq.  He was taken into custody by American troops, turned over to the French judicial system.  Cherif Kouachi was convicted of recruiting for terrorists in Iraq.  He was sentenced to three years, but served only half of the sentence.

Explosions, Gunfire erupt at Factory where Kouachi Bros. Hold Hostage

UPDATE:  The Gammartin-en-Goele factory where the Kouachi brothers are making their last stand erupted in gunfire, smoke, and explosions at 11:00 a.m. EST. This was the moment the French police tactical squad felt they had to move.  There has so far been no police announcements regarding the outcome of the attempt to resolve the standoff.


France Wakes Up to Two Hostage Situations:


THE WAKEUP:  France wakes up this morning to a better understanding of the shooters who massacred twelve in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices.  Whereas the information reported yesterday was soft in spots, several things have now become clear.

HOSTAGE STANDOFF:  At this moment, there are two active French Police vs. Terrorist standoffs.   One is occurring in an eastern suburb of Paris called Port Vincennes.  The terrorist in this case has taken over a Kosher supermarket and is said to be holding an unknown number of hostages, as few as one or as many as five.  Police have surrounded and blocked off the area. The number of hostages in the supermarket is not clear. The terrorist in this case is quite possibly to be the third member of a 3-man assault team which conducted the original attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices. 

STANDOFF WITH KOUACHI BROTHERS is close is near to Paris and near to one of the Paris airports—in the industrial town of  Dammartin-en-Goele. The Kouachi brothers are reported to be holding one hostage.

HOSTAGE NEGOTIATIONS are going on in both cases. It is being reported that TWO ARE DEAD at the KOSHER GROCERY MARKET.

Writer’s Note: As I am an amateur blogger, compiling the news from mainstream media sources, I’m wondering about my theory that the Kouachi brothers were heading toward the French border with Belgium.  It’s quite possible that this speculation was completely wrong, but it’s also possible that the brothers were blocked en route (they were heading northeast. In fact, all key locations are in the direction of northeast—the direction of Belgium).


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Killers Reported Holed Up In Woods

Update: Latest information is that the two brother/murderers were spotted running into a wooded area northeast of Paris and closer to the French border with Belgium.  Given that their identities were known, one would think their first concern would be getting out of France. Apparently, there was a sighting of two individuals fleeing in the forest after abandoning their highjacked vehicle. French helicopters are circling above and, like the police scouring the area below, are equipped with night vision and infrared equipment which should be able to spot movement and/or heat signatures--if there is movement and movement is above ground.  It is believed there are caves in the area, but if this is so, it would be difficult such people as these two terrorists to stay underground for long.  The temperature in the woods hovers around 40-45 degrees--not frigid, but certainly uncomfortable and likely extremely difficult for comfort loving urban or suburban types.  They are not like our American survivalists like the Pennsylvania cop-killer Eric Frein, or Richard Rudolf, both of whom lived in the woods for considerable lengths of time before being apprehended. So if it was indeed these two who were seen running into the woods, it is a matter of being thorough, patient, relentless, alert and cautious about having more cops killed.Were I a less humane individual, and were I certain there were no innocents in the area, including furry animals (who matter much more than these two subhumans), I would be thinking napalm.  


Were the Killers running to French Border with Belgium?

The following speculations have been based on a variety of media and social network sources. This does not presume to be a factual and accurate account as I do not have access to information held by law enforcement. Everyone’s invited to point out where I am in error. In fact, I would appreciate it. This is a crowdsourced report.
                
I’m puzzled by the French police response to the attack and the time it took to execute people in the Charlie Hebdo offices. Several news stations/papers report that the attack/slaughter took thirty five minutes. Other news reports have it that the killers got their way into the “secure” building by forcing a woman to use her passcard/keycard to open the electronic door. One report has it that the terrorists weren’t sure where the Hebdo offices were and got an answer from someone at the building. They then proceeded up the stairs to the magazine offices.  A report says they killed the receptionist.  They knew that the editorial board meeting was on that day and that most of the principals of the satirical publication would assemble. They separated men from the women and asked for Charlie Hebdo who was the first to be killed.  Other cartoonists and writers were identified and shot. 

During the shooting, several people called police and, of course, there is that excellent amateur video that will provide a minutes to second timeline.  Is it true that the first cops to respond were bicycle policemen who were unarmed and fled when they heard gunfire.  I don’t know how long it was before a police car came with two cops. There is plenty of news coverage showing that bullet-riddled  police vehicle, and I believe both of those cops were  killed. The most horrendous scene of all involves a wounded police lying on the sidewalk. One of the terrorists approaches him calmly and, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal says something like:

“You tried to kill us.”
Wherein the cop, with his hands up says something like:
“No problem here, you’re the boss,” before getting shot point blank and coldly by the terrorist.

They then get into the Citroen and drive away.  News reports differ in telling why one killer stoops underneath to retrieve something under the car.  One says it was a shoe. Another reports it was an ammo magazine.


Were there three people involved in the attack itself—that is, present at the drive- in or the killing?  Most reports say that there were two assailants and a third man, a driver, who began the attack. Two assailants, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, are identified as the gunmen.  As of this writing, none of these three principals have been apprehended or killed.  The two brothers were identified by a passport left by one of the brothers in the Citroen used first to attack the magazine offices and then later to escape.  The Citroen was abandoned later when another vehicle was carjacked.  One news story has it that the driver of the carjacked vehicle was allowed to take his dog before the two carjackers escaped in his vehicle.

  What is the connection between the 18 year old who turned himself in to police and the two/three men who committed the slaughter? Many news sources are reporting that this person was in school at the time of the shooting, and that he turned himself in when his name was associated with the massacre on social media. Police have not released anything more than his name--Hamyd Mourad and the town where he surrendered himself: Charleville-Mézières.


 Since the town is close to the border with Belgium, I speculate that they want to enter Belgium as part of their escape plan.  This comports with other news reports of a convenience store gas station robbery, and the murder of a policewoman in a Paris suburb, also to the northeast.  The direction of travel is clearly toward the northeast and Belgium.  As a consequence of these events, French gendarmes have concentrated on investigations in that area.

I expect that when the two brothers are captured/killed, the followup investigations will yield astounding results which will be surprising to the general public but not to anti-terror investigators. Hopefully, this latest attack will be enough to convince people to give up being polite or PC in the way information about terror is disseminated. People are not stupid. Everyone knows that every Muslim is not a terrorist. There’s no need to apologize or genuflect to the Muslims of the world every time it is necessary to take action against Islamist Nazi killers. We know that description does not apply to every lovely Muslim lady who works at the supermarket or at the school. But this current level of mealy mouthed discussion of terror will only lead to more innocent victims being slaughtered. Liberal courts freed  Cherif Kouachi after he served 18 months of a 3 year sentence for sending recruits to fight Americans in Iraq under the command of the notorious butcher Zarquawi.  Zarqawi got his from a Bush ordered missile strike and I hope the brothers Kouachi, and anyone else associated with this slaughter will get theirs, too.  Coming soon.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pawel Pawlikowski"s Beautiful Film Ida Does More with Less

 My last two posts were about film.  That's sort of scary. Scarier still is that this one is about film, too.  I try to stay away from movies because, with so many being produced and flung at you these days, I can't separate the wheat from the chaff.

Last night I watched "IDA" on the home video and it actually kept me from watching a football playoff game, a boxing match, and a sex tape. I'm only kidding about the sex tape, but "IDA" is a seriously good movie that the 'Big Players' will try to diminish. It breaks all of today's film conventions and, like a cat, lands on its feet.

You don't make black and white films any more without being ridiculed by the big studio production heads.  "We're not there any more," they gurgle like depleted oil wells.  We may not be there any more but we're not anywhere else unless you like a steady diet of Hollywood fantasy films with money-making plot templates.

See, the problem with Pawl Pawlikowski's work is immense.  He's (or was) a film nobody, a documentarist, a European, an Oxford graduate with a down-to-earth view of things. That's outre in Hollywood, you know. He's lacking in decadence.  The other problem is that Pawel Pawlikowski's "Ida" is tight in all the right places.  It doesn't have any screwy baloney plot twists. Noone gets head blown off, no cops rush into the screen saying "go, go go!" and no car chases.

Well, it does have a "car chase" of a sort.  A main character, an elite judge in Polish society of the 60s, drives a young novice (before you become a nun, you're a novitiate) in search of her parents, victims of the Nazi occupation.  It looks like a cool 50s Studebaker, even though the setting is the 60s.  A ten year old car marked you as one of the elite in the Soviet dominated era. The two women are related; "Red Wanda" is Ida's aunt and, too, suffers from the horrendous brutality attendant of the era.  Actually, "Red Wanda" suffers from lots of things, her demons are plentiful, as she was an integral part of the Marxist-Socialist purging of Nazi sympathizers at the end of WWII. "I've put lots of people to death" she says with a tormented look in her eyes--implying they were not all guilty....

Stay tuned. Life has intervened but later I would bring you another episode in this exciting tale of a movie which is truly great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hacked Sony Film “The Interview” Becomes a Real-Life Comedy

Seth Rogen James Franco Cancel Media
Update:  As a consequence of the hacked Sony data, the Sony Corporation has announced that it is cancelling the showing of "The Interview" in all theatres in its distribution network. The decision was criticized by former Obama press spokesmany Jay Carney on CNN Tonight.  Another criticism was levied by noted Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein who agreed with Carney that Sony should not have "caved" but questioned whether such an idiotic movie should have been created in the first place. 

Reading George Saunders “Tenth of December” as I write so don’t complain if I slip into streams of consciousness (or unconsciousness). 

Thank you, James Joyce, if not for inventing it, for taking it to the next level (cliché). “Next level”… overused expression taken from hip-hop. . . like “back in the day”. . . also worn out now that it has crept into the white middle class, as things do when Hollywood gets hold of things, amplifies them, and pretends to be hip. 

Not so hip were the hacked Sony emails showing how Hollywood filmmaker types made little racial innuendoes about Barack Obama.  You’d heard, haven’t you?  The Sony execs wondering aloud (in email print) what racially charged films Obama would like the most… complete with tittering and with a heavy dose of white liberal preening…  Isn’t that what they do? All of it in bad taste, of course, offending even the more conservative Japanese exec-in-charge who made the filmmakers cut parts of “The Interview” that depicted North Korean dictator with his face melting and his head on fire. 

Did you die laughing yet?  Or don’t you know that “The Interview” is supposed to be a comedy?  Yeah, really. The plot is about a duo of journalists who are going to interview Kim. Of course, the CIA, that diabolical scapegoat of pointy headed libertarians with propeller caps, radical lefties wearing Che Guevara tee-shirts sipping lattes in Starbucks, and left-fielding Democratic Party bigwigs  like Senator Dianne Feinstein, always hires journalists to assassinate foreign leaders. 
When talent and creativity is lacking, go with the most ridiculous, abominable script you can find. 

Hollywood scriptwriters and producers think you’re dumb enough to watch it, and maybe they’re right.  We’re all getting dumber, and the dumber we get, the more Hollywood will dump this artless crap on us. If audiences reject bad taste, then go for the Big One—free speech. Yes, make bad taste and moral decay a liberal cause—you’ve got to massage those low and base instincts of human nature. I’ll believe that free speech rationalization when Hollywood makes an honest comedy about the Taliban – or Bin Laden-- or what about Mullah Omar?
   
I’ve got no sympathies for the asshats who hacked Sony, but I doubt it was the North Koreans. It was certainly someone who profits from chaos, from creating conflict between nuclear powers, who would enjoy the destruction that could derive from this dangerous stupidity.  Maybe it was the Iranians. A better guess might be Islamist terrorists, ISIS wannabes perhaps, or even Anonymous anarchists.
Anyway, the fallout continues, to the degree that Seth Rogen and James Franco are now declining to give INTERVIEWS about “The Interview.”  The film industry newspaper of record, Variety, reports that the  two starts cancelled all press appearances previously scheduled. Another newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal,  in a report today said the star duo felt that, in the current atmosphere of hacks and intimidation, they wouldn’t be able to discuss the film. 

I guess we’re supposed to believe there’s a deeper meaning in this idiotic “comedy”  theme.  I feel sorry for all the people who needed the work, but America will be better off if this movie flops.  It might nudge American businesses to put more effort in preventing computer attacks which, in fact, could turn off your heat and electricity.  Another benefit would be that Hollywood scriptwriters and producers might gravitate to stories that don't play to the worst in us.