“Ripperology” is a popular pastime among amateur sleuths and armchair Sherlock Holmeses the world over. Now along comes actor, writer and director Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields, Withnail and I) with an entirely new suspect:
For much of the past 15 years he has been absorbed in an extraordinary – and, frankly, improbable – quest. The identity of the man who was responsible for the horrific murders of five women in the East End of London over a nine-week period in 1888 remains one of the great mysteries in British criminal history. Robinson would dispute the use of the word ‘mystery’ – the word he prefers is ‘scandal’. But he is convinced he has solved it.
Next week sees the publication of They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper. More than 800 pages in length, it is the fruit of intense, one might say obsessive, dedication. ‘I thought it would take me two years – a year to research and a year to write,’ Robinson sighs. ‘Had I known – truly known – then what I know now, I would never have started.’
On the night of September 30, 1888, two women, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, were murdered within hours of each other on the streets of Whitechapel. They were the third and fourth women to have been murdered, and horribly mutilated, in the course of four weeks. The case of Jack the Ripper was already a cause of public alarm. But Charles Warren had not yet bestirred himself to visit the scene of the crimes. On that night, however, he rushed to the East End in the early hours of the morning – his priority, it seems, not to examine the bodies, but to inspect some graffiti scrawled on a wall in Goulston Street, close to where a bloodied apron belonging to Catherine Eddowes had been found. The graffiti read: ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.’
Warren immediately ordered the words be washed off the wall. ‘It was a light-bulb moment,’ Robinson remembers. ‘We’ve got this rampaging maniac in the East End, but it suddenly occurred to me – what if they didn’t want to catch him? Is there any mileage there? Let’s go down that street.
‘Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened. They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening. And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.’
I don’t want to give the solution or the name of the alleged culprit away, so please do read the whole thing, It’s ingenious and, given the prevalence of Masons among the British ruling class, far from implausible.
That was the year the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed, under the primary sponsorship of young Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy. Few laws have ever had such an effect on the nation:
In the subsequent half century, the pattern of U.S. immigration changed dramatically. The share of the U.S. population born outside the country tripled and became far more diverse. Seven out of every eight immigrants in 1960 were from Europe; by 2010, nine out of ten were coming from other parts of the world. The 1965 Immigration Act was largely responsible for that shift. No law passed in the 20th century altered the country’s demographic character quite so thoroughly. But its effects were largely inadvertent. The law’s biggest impact on immigration patterns resulted from provisions meant to thwart its ability to change much at all.
A part of the ongoing civil-rights movement, the Act — signed by president Johnson fifty years ago this weekend — essentially reversed the tide of European immigration in favor of underrepresented cultures. When some objected to changing the essential nature of the country by inviting the Third World to come in en masse, Teddy said:
Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area… In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think…. The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.
Like so much of what the Democrat Party has done since then, the joke’s on us.
In the wake of the latest instance of an evil man opening fire upon helpless, unarmed people — in which Christians were singled out for instant death — the lieutenant governor of Tennessee has an idea:
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said in a Facebook posting Friday that “fellow Christians” should consider getting a handgun carry permit after the mass shooting in Oregon. Survivors told authorities the gunman demanded at least some of the victims state their religion before shooting them at a community college.
In his posting, Ramsey, also the Tennessee state Senate speaker, called recent U.S. mass shootings “truly troubling.” “I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit,” Ramsey wrote. “I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.”
As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves.
Can you imagine this happening even ten years ago? This is the pace of “social change” in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Hussein:
A highly adored and highly controversial fast food chain satisfied cravings and ruffled a few feathers Saturday with the grand opening of its first official Manhattan outpost. Chick-Fil-A, the massively popular Southern staple owned by a conservative Christian family known for their anti-gay marriage views, hatched a 5,000-square-foot store in Herald Square to mixed reviews from fervent devotees and activists.
“This is the best chicken in the world, in my opinion.” said Dana Kelly, 25, after devouring an original chicken sandwich with waffle fries. “It was completely worth it. It’s like nothing else.” Thousands of hungry, and soggy, fast food fanatics braved the bad weather to get a taste of the chain’s signature sandwiches. A few hundred even camped out overnight. Hours after the doors opened, a 20-minute-long line still stretched down W. 37th St. from the front doors on Sixth Ave.
But not everyone outside the new sandwich shop Saturday was there for a taste of chicken. “I was very shocked by the amount of people lining up to support this company,” said Lila Trenkova, a founder of Collectively Free, an animal and gay rights activist group. “I think that it’s ignorance rather than people actually not caring.” Trenkova and about two dozen others staged a demonstration outside the three-story behemoth to protest Chick-Fil-A’s history as a conservative-owned chicken palace.
Ha ha ha. But please note how the dying New York Daily News characterized the chain: “known for their anti-gay marriage views.” In fact, the views of the religiously conservative owners are “pro-traditional marriage.” But these days, to be on the same side of the issue that President Obama was until about five minutes ago is construed as “hate.”
It’s bad enough that President Obama, now in his seventh year as a ferocious war-maker, was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Now we get this news:
Growing speculation that John Kerry will receive a Nobel Peace Prize for finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal is generating renewed criticism of his close relationship with the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, a key public face for the theocratic regime who is rumored to be a probable co-recipient with Kerry.
Rumors have been circulating for months that Kerry and Zarif will be co-selected for the prize. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a leading Swedish think-tank, recommended in July that the two be selected for the Nobel in 2016. Lawmakers and Washington insiders who have worked for years on the Iran portfolio have reacted with shock to the rumors, telling the Washington Free Beacon in multiple interviews that both Kerry and Zarif are unfit to receive the prize.
he Nobel Prize speculation comes after months of reports describing warmth and comfort between the American and Iranian teams that sealed the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The growing rumors have reignited criticism among insiders of Kerry’s coziness with top Iranian officials and of the deal more specifically.
A Peace Prize for the Winter Soldier would be a final slap in the face to what remains of the old, honorable America. I warned anyone who would listen that the second term would turn out to be hell on earth, and there’s still more than a year to go. God Save the United States of America.
Seriously, they think voter unhappiness in Vienna and elsewhere calls for “structural economic reform.”
Tensions within Austria’s government, stoked by the refugee crisis, burst into the open on Thursday as the head of the conservative People’s Party threatened to scupper the ruling coalition after less than two years in office. [Deputy Chancellor Reinhold] Mitterlehner’s People’s Party (ÖVP) is junior partner to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ) of Chancellor Werner Faymann in an unloved “grand coalition” which is due to remain in office until 2018.
Last weekend however, both parties suffered disastrous losses in local elections in Upper Austria where the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) finished second after its share of the vote soared 15 percentage points. On October 11, elections are scheduled to take place in the city state of Vienna that could produce a political earthquake. Polls put the FPÖ only a few points shy of the SPÖ, which has governed the Austrian capital uninterrupted since 1945.
Speaking to the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten daily, Mitterlehner said the government’s answer to the crisis should be to finally get to grips with deep structural reforms to boost the economy.
Cue the elephant in the room:
Last month, almost 170,000 people entered Austria, most of whom travelled onwards to Germany and beyond, but the Alpine country still expects a record 80,000 asylum requests this year.
But Mitterlehner also said Austria had to “sharpen” its immigration policy: “Refugees who need protection should get it. But the state’s sovereignty to decide who immigrates should remain in place.”
Austria is on the front lines now because Hungary (where I am at the moment) has decided simply to load the “migrants” onto trains and buses and ship them directly to Austria. Look for the Austrians to increasingly do the same to the Germans who, after all and as usual, started this whole mess.
A scoop from Politico and the estimable Edward-Isaac Dovere:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on two different occasions this year went to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough seeking a public commitment from President Barack Obama that he would veto any U.N. resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state. Both times, Obama did nothing.
The requests from Reid came as he was trying to line up Democratic support for the Iran nuclear agreement. If Obama explicitly sided with Israel against the possible U.N. resolution, Reid’s thinking went, it would give nervous Democrats cover to back the Iran deal, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vocally protested.
The repeated requests by Reid and Obama’s unwillingness to make a statement on the issue — confirmed by White House officials and Senate aides — highlights how wide the gulf between the Obama administration and Israeli government has become. It unfolded in the context of a personal relationship between Obama and Netanyahu that’s become highly toxic, poisoning U.S.-Israeli relations more widely.
The issue gained new significance Wednesday as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared that his government was no longer bound by any agreements with Israel, including the Oslo peace accords and other settlements related to a possible two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Read the whole thing. If they had any conscience, the Democrats would rue the day they signed on blindly to Barack Hussein Obama and his radical agenda. But,of course, they don’t.
Minnesota leads the nation in the number of people who have left or sought to leave the country to fight with terrorists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria, according to a scathing congressional report that says the U.S. and western countries have failed to disrupt the flow of combatants to the Middle East.
Released Tuesday by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, the report specifically cites two Somali-American Minnesotans who joined or tried to join ISIL, highlighting its online recruiting success through peer-to-peer recruiting that relies on social media and sophisticated online messaging techniques.
Young fighters from at least 19 states have tried to join terrorists in Syria since the start of that country’s civil war in 2011. Minnesota recruits made up 26 percent of the sample of 58 cases reviewed by the committee’s bipartisan task force. California and New York had the second most recruits, with each state making up 12 percent, according to findings.
Luckily, responsible Somali-Americans are appalled by this, right? Right?
“This report is alarming and it’s really very worrisome,” said Sadik Warfa, deputy director of the Global Somali Diaspora based in Minneapolis. “I worry about the stigma and the prospect of our community being marginalized.”
“But in the end, it’s up to us as Somali-Americans to really change our image. And as Minnesotans, we need to be asking what can we do to put these kinds of people into our mainstream here instead of over there.”
Okay, then. Meanwhile:
More than 250 Americans have attempted or succeeded in reaching Syria and Iraq to fight with terrorist groups, intelligence officials estimate. “We have largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists,” the task force declared. “A handful of suspects were stopped in other countries, but it appears the majority — 85 percent — still managed to evade American law enforcement on its way to the conflict zone.”
The task force said it could identify only 28 cases in which federal authorities stopped suspects before they left for the Middle East. Eight of those involved Minnesotans who conspired since March 2014 to leave the U.S. for Syria but who were stopped by FBI agents. Those men, all Somali-Americans, are in custody. Three have pleaded guilty in recent weeks to conspiring to join ISIL
So what could possibly go wrong with Obama’s plans to import 10,000 or more Syrian “refugees” next year?
In case you don’t have enough to worry about at the moment:
Isis planning ‘nuclear holocaust’ to wipe hundreds of millions from face of the earth’, claims reporter who embedded with the extremists
Islamic terrorists Isis want to wipe the west off the face of the earth with a nuclear holocaust according to a journalist who spent ten days with the group while researching a book. The terror group allowed Jürgen Todenhöfer to embed with the group because he has been a high-profile critic of US policy in the Middle East. The German journalist claimed the terror group wants to launch a ‘nuclear tsunami’ against the west and anyone else that opposes their plans for an Islamic caliphate. The 75-year-old former German MP wrote up his findings in a new book ‘Inside IS – Ten Days In The Islamic State’.
Much of this is the usual bluster from savages who have yet to build a functioning flush toilet. But, hey, there’s always the black market…
He said the West has ‘no concept of the threat it faces’ from the Islamic State and has underestimated the risk posed by ISIS ‘dramatically’. The German reporter spent most of his time in Mosul in northern Iraq, but he also traveled to the ISIS-controlled territories of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in Syria. He added: ‘They are extremely brutal. Not just head-cutting. I’m talking about the strategy of religious cleansing. That’s their official philosophy. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die.’
That number sounds about right…
Mr Todenhöfer went on to say that ISIS have plans for mass genocide, with the aim or eradicating all atheists and religions that are not ‘people of the book’ or who do not subscribe to their particular brand of Islam. ’The IS want to kill… all non-believers and apostates and enslave their women and children. All Shiites, Yazidi, Hindus, atheists and polytheists should be killed,’ he wrote. ’Hundreds of millions of people are to be eliminated in the course of this religious ‘cleansing. All moderate Muslims who promote democracy, should be killed. Because, from the IS perspective, they promote human laws over the laws of God. This also applies to – after a successful conquest – the democratically-minded Muslims in the Western world.’
He told German television that ISIS wants to ‘conquer the world’.
Well, I guess we’ll have to see about that, just as soon as we get a government that’s willing to fight. And then, flush toilets will be the least of their problems.
The “climate change” scam — which is nothing more than an attempt by a coterie of political hacks to separate foolish nations and their money — has just run into a reality-based obstacle:
Climate pledges falling dangerously short, say experts
An analysis presented Monday by ClimateInteractive, a Washington-based climateresearch group, found the emissions targets presented by China, the U.S., the European Union, Brazil and other governments before the December conference in Paris leave the world on a path toward 3.5 degrees C (6.3 F) of warming compared with pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already warmed nearly 0.9 degrees C (1.6 F) from pre-industrial times to now, primarily because ofemissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, scientists say.
That means warming would be 1 C (1.8 F) lower than what would happen if governments did nothing, said Andrew Jones, co-founder of Climate Interactive, but well above the international goal of keeping warming below 2 degrees C (3.6 ), which is 1.1 degrees C (2 degrees F) from now.
Given the glacial pace of the U.N. climatetalks in the past, the fact that just about allcountries, rich and poor, are finally committing to do something aboutclimate change is encouraging in itself, analysts say. A diplomatic solution seemed far away after a hyped 2009 summit in Copenhagen ended with a weak, voluntary agreement that pushed a more ambitious deal down the road. In Paris, the prospects of that deal coming together appear much greater, with all major emitters putting down emissions targets in advance. India is expected to do so this week, as the last of the top 10 greenhouse gas emitters. Still, it’s unclear whether the deal will include the tools to bend the emissions curves in the future enough to avoid dangerous levels of warming.
It remains unclear, though, whether governments will ramp up their emissionscuts before the carbon budget runs out. While emissions have started to fall in developed countries, they are still rising fast in China and other fast-growing developing nations.
Last week, Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told The Associated Press that any international deal must allow India’semissions to grow as it expands its economy and fights poverty. He said that means richercountries that have polluted the atmosphere for much longer should make bigger cuts to their own emissions.
“We are asking the developed world to vacate the carbon space to accommodate us,” Javadekar said. “It is our right as a nation. It’s our right as people of India, and we want that carbon space.”
“Carbon space” — the coming battleground between rich and poor nations.
It’s only taken — what — five or six years for the Secret Service to go from one of America’s most trusted and respected security institution to a collection of politicized bureaucratic hacks. Nice work, Obama administration:
An assistant director of the Secret Service urged that unflattering information the agency had in its files about a congressman critical of the service should be made public, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday. “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote in an e-mail to a fellow director on March 31, commenting on an internal file that was being widely circulated inside the service. “Just to be fair.”
Two days later, a news Web site reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had applied to be a Secret Service agent in 2003 and been rejected. That information was part of a Chaffetz personnel file stored in a restricted Secret Service database and required by law to be kept private.
The Chaffetz file, contained in the restricted database, had been peeked at by about 45 Secret Service agents, some of whom shared it with their colleagues in March and April, the report found. This prying began after a contentious March 24 House hearing at which Chaffetz scolded the director and the agency for its series of security gaffes and misconduct. The hearing sparked anger inside the agency. The inspector general’s inquiry found that the Chaffetz information was spread to nearly every layer of the service.
This is the true face of the modern Left: corrupt, authoritarian and brutal. It doesn’t care what the law says, doesn’t give a fig for basic human decency. Satanically, it only cares about one thing: revenge on its political and cultural enemies, and it doesn’t much care how it does it. So who among us really believes this:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who had apologized to Chaffetz when the report initially surfaced, personally apologized again to the congressman Wednesday, Chaffetz told The Associated Press in an interview on Capitol Hill. Johnson did not disclose whether any employees had been punished.
He said in a statement Wednesday that “those responsible should be held accountable” but did not provide further details. ”Activities like those described in the report must not, and will not, be tolerated,” Johnson said.
Yeah, right. If past is any prologue, no one will be held accountable, no one will be fired and behavior like this will continue to be tolerated as long as it helps the administration.
All utterly predictable, of course. Item No. 1, from Germany:
A food queue fight in an overcrowded German refugee centre this week escalated into a mass brawl pitting 70 Pakistanis against 300 Albanians, fighting with fists, sticks and pepper spray. By the time it ended, 14 people were injured, including three of the 50 police called in to contain the riot in a former airport building housing 1,500 asylum-seekers from 20 nations near the central city of Kassel.
Such disturbances have been rare, considering that Germany has taken in around half a million asylum-seekers this year and put them up in flats, army barracks, sports halls and tent cities. Nonetheless, the mayhem Sunday served as a warning of how tensions can escalate between often traumatised people from different cultures sharing densely packed spaces as they battle tedium and uncertainty.
There has been trouble before. Six weeks ago a 25-year-old refugee started a riot when he ripped pages from a Koran and threw them into a toilet in a centre in Suhl, central Germany, according to police. The ensuing violence left six police and 11 refugees injured. Police this week, after viewing video footage of the altercation, arrested 15 suspects on charges including attempted manslaughter.
Germany’s police union Tuesday called for refugees to be separated by religion — especially between Christians and Muslims — and by country of origin, to minimise the potential for conflict. Groups banding together by ethnicity, creed or clan were “attacking each other with knives and homemade weapons,” said union chief Rainer Wendt, calling for special protection for Christians, women and minors.
Item No. 2, also from Germany:
A woman in Germany is being evicted from her home of 23 years to make way for asylum-seekers, in the second such case to emerge. Gabrielle Keller has been given until the end of the year to leave her flat in the small southern town of Eschbach, near the border with France. The flat belongs to the local municipality, which says it is needed to house refugees. “I think it’s a scandal to throw tenants out of their apartments,” the 56-year-old Ms Keller told SWR television. “I can’t see the sense of it.”
Towns and cities across Germany are struggling to find accommodation for the tens of thousands of refugees streaming into the country.
Ms Keller’s case follows that of Bettina Halbey, a nurse who is being evicted from her home of 16 years in the town of Nieheim, hundreds of miles to the north. Mario Schlafke, the mayor of Eschbach, says the town had no choice but to ask Ms Keller to leave. “The council hasn’t taken a frivolous decision,” he told Welt newspaper. “The alternative would have been to set up beds in the gym.”
Item No. 3, from Finland:
More than 350 Iraqi asylum seekers lodging at former army barracks in Hennala, Lahti say they plan to go on a hunger strike to protest Finland’s intention to take a harder line on refugees coming from Iraq and Somalia. They are calling on Iraqis in other reception centres to join their protest. The Iraqi asylum seekers say they are embarking on the protest action following immigration authorities’ declared intention to introduce stricter criteria for processing asylum applications from Iraq and Somalia. Altogether some 359 Iraqi refugees, who are being accommodated at a former army barracks in Lahti’s Hennala district, say they want Iraqis in other reception centres to follow suit. The Hennala centre also houses some 20 Somali asylum seekers.
Immigration officials say they’re concerned that Finland’s policies are more lenient than those of other EU countries–including neighbouring Sweden. At present many asylum seekers from Baghdad and the central regions of Iraq are granted protection in Finland, in contrast to some EU countries, which return some refugees to regions deemed to be safe. Finland is looking to bring its practices in line with the rest of Europe, meaning a tougher approach for refugees who’ve arrived this year.
Item No. 4, from far-away Japan:
Japan must improve the living standards of its own people before it can consider accepting Syrian refugees, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe said, as he announced $1.6bn in new assistance for Syrians and Iraqis caught up in conflicts in the Middle East. Abe’s consistent refusal to consider allowing even a modest number of refugees to relocate to Japan has prompted criticism of the country’s strict policy on asylum: last year, it received a record 5,000 applications but accepted just 11 people.
Speaking at the UN general assembly in New York, Abe insisted Japan must first tackle crises posed by its falling birth rate and an ageing population, and continue its push to boost the number of women in the labour market.
“It is an issue of demography,” Abe told reporters after his speech to the UN general assembly. “I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees, we need to have more activities by women, elderly people and we must raise our birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants.”
This won’t end well.
Hillary! is apparently attempting to become the first president of the United States to be cordially loathed by a plurality of voters even before she takes office:
In a new Wall Street Journal poll released Monday evening, the number of Americans who say they have a very positive opinion of Hillary Clinton hit its lowest point in the years since she was first lady. Meanwhile, the number of Americans who say they have a very negative opinion of her hit its highest point. Just 14 percent of those surveyed told Journal pollsters they had a very positive opinion of Clinton — a dramatic drop from the 34 percent who felt that way in January 2013, as she was finishing her service as secretary of state. On the other side, 34 percent of those in the new survey said they have a very negative opinion of Clinton — a dramatic increase from the nine percent who felt that way in May 2011.
Honestly, any Democrat who still thinks this woman is electable needs her head examined. What you see with the Clintons is always what you get: endless scandals, drama, denials, charges, plea bargains. It’s almost like the Democrats were a criminal organization masquerading as a political party or something. As Big Jule says in Guys and Dolls: “Well, I used to be bad when I was a kid, but ever since then I’ve gone straight, as has been proved by my record: Thirty-three arrests and no convictions!” Meanwhile:
In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, the new Journal poll shows Clinton losing (by a single point) to both Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, Republican candidates whose chances, not too long ago, would never have been mentioned in the same breath as Clinton’s.
The numbers are another indication of the dramatic change in Americans’ thinking about Clinton, as she moved from the relatively non-partisan position of secretary of state to the hyper-partisan role of presidential candidate. And as the public’s opinion of her goes down, her lead in the Democratic primary race shrinks.
The more you see of her, the worse she looks.
“I had five years of civil war in Syria, but the journey here was more dangerous,” said Hadiya Suleiman, a 45-year-old mother of five from Deir ez-Zur in eastern Syria, where ISIS killed her 18-year-old son. “Here, I feel for the first time like a human being. We thank our mother, ‘Mama Merkel.’”
But many Jews are watching the wave of migrants flocking to Germany with some measure of alarm, concerned with what a massive influx of Arabs could mean for Germany’s Jews and the country’s relationship with Israel. “This is not yet France, this is not yet London,” said one Israeli who has lived in Berlin for about 10 years and asked not to be identified. “Yet,” he added pointedly. “There are so many people here and the state is not able to help them,” Monika Chmielewska-Pape told JTA last week. “The situation is very hard for refugees here. If we don’t help them, the people stay on the street.”
But Chmielewska-Pape said she is not typical of Germany’s Jews. Most, she said, are anxious about the migrants, fearful of the consequences of a massive influx of Arabs into Germany. Chmielewska-Pape said her own decision to help the migrants did not come easily, and she keeps her Jewish identity to herself — including from the left-wing Germans who volunteer alongside her and whom Chmielewska-Pape said are not sympathetic toward Israel or the Jews. The irony of refugees fleeing through Europe to the relative safe haven of Germany is not lost on anyone here. Seventy-five years ago Jews were the refugees, trying to flee a genocidal German chancellor whose name became synonymous with evil. Few countries were willing to accept Jewish refugees; most were turned back and perished at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis.
If you can’t tell the difference between the plight of the Jews under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party,and the invasion of Christendom by “migrants” from the Islamic ummah, you have a major cognitive dysfunction.
But many Jews here believe that Germany’s atonement for its past is coming at Jewish expense. They’re worried that the influx of hundreds of thousands of Muslims will turn Germany into a place hostile to Jewish concerns and to Israel – and that along with the migrants there are terrorist infiltrators who will try to realize their dreams of jihad on German soil.
Meanwhile, the main reason the childless Ossi, Merkel, is importing Arabs is the elephant in the room: German women simply refuse to have children:
History isn’t the only reason Merkel is welcoming the migrants. With negative population growth, Germany needs more people to help sustain its economy, the strongest in Europe. At its current birth rate of 1.38 children per woman, the lowest in the world, Germany’s population will shrink by some 20 percent over the next 45 years. An influx of immigrants could offset the shrinking workforce.
This won’t end well.
The great Thomas Sowell explains the facts of economic life to the “environmentalist” left in California:
Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of “affordable housing,” as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters. A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500. Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment. It is not just in San Francisco that putting a roof over your head can take a big chunk out of your pay check. The whole Bay Area is like that. Thirty miles away, Palo Alto home prices are similarly unbelievable.
Another city in the Bay Area with astronomical housing prices, San Mateo, recently held a public meeting and appointed a task force to look into the issue of “affordable housing.” Public meetings, task forces, and political hand-wringing about a need for “affordable housing” occur all up and down the San Francisco peninsula, because this is supposed to be such a “complex” issue.
Someone once told President Ronald Reagan that a solution to some controversial issue was “complex.” President Reagan replied that the issue was in fact simple, “but it is not easy.”
As Dr. Sowell points out, the problem is simple supply and demand; as California fell into the hands of the Crazy Left in the 1970s, it began restricting land use ever more draconianly, in order to placate the Mother Gaia crew who simply cannot ever correlate their “well-meaning” policies and the inevitable results.
One of the first things taught in an introductory economics course is supply and demand. When a growing population creates a growing demand for housing, and the government blocks housing from being built, the price of existing housing goes up… However simple the answer, it will not be easy to go against the organized, self-righteous activists for whom “open space” is a sacred cause, automatically overriding the interests of everybody else.
Of course, for some, that’s a feature, not a bug. We’ve given these people half a century and more to wreck the fundamentals of our nation and our culture. It’s really time to stop.
The Saudi Arabian prince arrested last week for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at the Beverly Hills mansion he was renting is just the latest rich and well-connected Kingdom VIP accused of running amok in America – and around the world.
Majed Abdulaziz al-Saud was arrested Sept. 23 and charged with sodomy, battery and false imprisonment before being freed on $300,000 bail. The alleged attack, revealed after a passerby saw the bleeding victim scaling a wall to escape the $37 million mansion, is one of several similar cases involving suspects with ties to the Saudi royal family. Detectives also are looking into reports of al-Saud attacking four other people on the rented property, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department told FoxNews.com, but she would not confirm other media reports he similarly attacked all five victims on the same day.
Recent cases of well-connected Saudis behaving badly in the U.S. include a 27-year-old who claimed close ties to the House of Saud arrested earlier this year for the alleged rape of a woman in his Utah apartment; a Saudi princess accused in 2013 of human trafficking; and a ring of some 30 Saudi students charged with forging grades at a Montana college in 2012. In addition, a prince from nearby Qatar was accused earlier this month of racing through the streets of Beverly Hills in a Ferrari at speeds topping 100 mph.
Just another reason why falling oil prices worldwide are a very good thing.
Jeb Bush is entering a critical phase of his Republican presidential campaign, with top donors warning that the former Florida governor needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters. The warnings, expressed by numerous senior GOP fundraisers in recent days, come as Bush and an allied super PAC are in the early stages of an aggressive television ad campaign they say will help erase doubts about his viability.
But Bush continues to battle against a steady decline in the polls, sinking to fifth place at just 7 percent in a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday and similarly languishing in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. The warnings from top donors come as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s exit from the race refocused the battle within the GOP’s establishment wing as one between Bush and his former protege, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Right now, the momentum appears to be behind Rubio, who has jumped ahead of Bush in most polls. At least a third of the bundlers who signed up to raise money for Walker have switched their allegiance to Rubio, while a smaller number have gone with Bush, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Another Bush? GOP voters say it asparagus and they say the hell with it.
During the dry summer of 2011, wind gusts sent a 75-foot aspen tumbling into a power line, sparking a fire on federal land that burned for five weeks over an area the size of Manhattan. All that was left in the hottest burn zones was a silent swath of blackened trees and ash-covered ground. Federal foresters decided the towering ponderosa pines would never return and declared the area dead, the first step in a process to allow timber companies to harvest trees on public land that would otherwise be off-limits.
But a growing body of fire research indicates that the federal salvage strategy creates more problems than it solves by stunting tree regrowth, denying habitat to a variety of species and increasing the risk of erosion.
Salvage logging destroys the forest’s initial regrowth efforts in nutrient-rich soil and needlessly removes shrubs that are probably beneficial to sapling trees, short-circuiting the natural life cycle of the forest, according to research. ”It’s kicking the forest when it’s down,” said Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project, an environmental nonprofit that opposes salvage logging.
The Forest Service and timber companies say that the dead wood must be removed before the forest can grow and that shrubs have to be killed off with herbicides so the conifers have sun to grow again. Though part of the Las Conchas fire site was salvage-logged, another section outside New Mexico’s remote Jemez Springs was not. Four years after the blaze, the Jemez Springs area today is alive with Gambel oak and three-toed woodpeckers, along with occasional conifer saplings growing amid the brush.
How about that! Really, the sheer dumb audacity of puny little mankind presuming to be able to influence the natural order is just another reason why the Unholy Left needs to go back to church and shul instead of trying to invent a new religion.
One of the least attractive and least pleasant of the current GOP crop of presidential candidates is Ohio Governor John Kasich, who for some unknown reason has tossed his hat into the ring. The very image of a modern RINO squish, Kasich is incensed that his fellow Buckeye, the soon-to-be former speaker of the House, just got taken down by conservative rabble:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is telling anti-establishment Republicans in the House to “look in the mirror” before attacking outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “The people who keep saying that they want things to happen, what have they accomplished? What have they gotten done?” Kasich asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “A lot of the people who are doing the complaining and saying, ‘Why isn’t anything getting done?’ – maybe they ought to look in the mirror,” he added.
Kasich, who served with Boehner in the House for 10 years, said his fellow Ohio Republican is a real reformer who got things done during his congressional tenure. “I was there in the 90s when we actually got things done,” Kasich said. “We changed the welfare system which had been in place for about 40 years, we balanced the budget of which I was the chief architect, and we cut taxes, the economy was growing, and we were doing great. When I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus, and Boehner sat at the leadership table right next to me,” he said.
The GOP presidential hopeful said it takes experience in government to get things done.
Which is precisely why Kasich’s candidacy will go nowhere. The restive conservatives have had a belly full of Republicans “getting things done.” Right now, they’re looking for heads on pikes.
When I was a kid growing up in southern California, there was probably no more revered figure than that of Father Junipero Serra, the founder of the famous mission trail and the priest who brought Christianity to the West Coast. Today, of course, he’s a figure of hate:
Days after Pope Francis elevated Father Junipero Serra to sainthood, vandals struck the Carmel Mission where the remains of the controversial missionary are buried, toppling statues and damaging gravesites. The vandals, who police say acted sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, splashed paint throughout the cemetery and basilica and scrawled “Saint of Genocide” on a headstone.
Carmel police Sgt. Luke Powell said the incident was being investigated as a hate crime because the vandals targeted “specifically the headstones of people of European descent, and not Native American descent.”
Yeah, well, good to know, sergeant. But calling this a “hate crime” misses the enormity of what’s happening in California and elsewhere, where a sickness — no, an evil — is stalking our country. It’s Critical Theory in action, the now-literal tearing-down of our country’s history.
Serra, an 18th century friar who brought Catholicism to California, has been criticized by many for his harsh treatment of Native Americans. Despite protests, Pope Francis canonized Serra on Wednesday in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., saying the friar “sought to defend the dignity of the native community,” and suggesting his legacy has been misinterpreted.
The Carmel Mission had planned an event Sunday celebrating Serra’s sainthood. Instead, staff and volunteers spent the morning picking up statues and scrubbing off graffiti. “Pray that the people [who] did this take responsibility for their actions on this sacred property and that they seek reconciliation,” a mission representative wrote on Facebook.
Don’t worry — they won’t.
Amy Walter has a perceptive essay about the now-suspended candidacy of governor Scott Walker:
Candidates matter: I was one of the many out there that called the Wisconsin Governor an early frontrunner. So, what did I get wrong? On paper, he looked really good. I thought that his success in defeating public employee unions in his state would appeal to the restive Tea Party faction of the party, while his success at winning re-election (twice) in a blue state would get him plaudits (and cash) from the donor/establishment class. That was a great theory. It just never panned out. Some blame the rise of Donald Trump for Walker’s woes. And, while Trump definitely hogged the spotlight this summer, he wasn’t ultimately responsible for Walker’s sinking poll numbers. Walker’s problems were self-inflicted. He was terrible on his feet (witness the Canadian border fence and birthright citizenship imbroglios). And for a guy who boasted of being a “bold” conservative, he sure seemed willing to alter his views whenever he was seriously challenged (see: immigration, gay marriage). This left him as a man without a country. He couldn’t out-Trump Trump with the Tea Party/conservative crowd. His poor debate performances and issue pandering made him less appealing to the establishment donor crowd.
Like Ms. Walter, I felt Walker would be among the strongest GOP candidates, based on his track record of pounding the bejesus out of the violent Left and the public-employee unions in Wisconsin. Oops.
She also has some thoughts on the current state of the race. Here’s one:
Carly Fiorina is on fire, but it’s amazing how quickly – and intensely – the blowback on her record at HP has been. It’s a liability to be sure. And, for someone who likes to attack Hillary Clinton for a lack of accomplishments, Fiorina’s depiction of her resume has some serious holes as well. Even so, is her tenure at HP more of a liability than, say, the statements made by Trump, Huckabee, Cruz and Carson on immigration, gay marriage or Islam? That’s for GOP voters to decide. But, for a party still suffering a case of Romney-induced political PTSD, a CEO who laid off thousands and took a multi-million dollar golden parachute she may just be the right candidate with the wrong resume.
The Democrats see Fiorina as Mitt Romney in a dress, and can’t wait to tear her apart. After all, by their lights, she’s not a “real” woman, is she?
Hundreds of predominantly Iraqi migrants who have travelled through Europe to reach Finland are turning back, saying they don’t want to stay in the sparsely-populated country on Europe’s northern frontier because it’s too cold and boring. Migrants have in recent weeks been crossing back into Sweden at the Haparanda-Tornio border just an hour’s drive south of the Arctic Circle, and Finnish authorities have seen a rise in the number of cancelled asylum applications.
“You can tell the world I hate Finland. It’s too cold, there’s no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars,” 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day.
Another group of around 15 Iraqi refugees waiting at the bus station that Tornio shares with its Swedish twin town Haparanda also said they wanted to go back to southern Sweden. ”Finland is no good,” the men echoed each other.
Sweden may be just as cold as Finland, but Sweden has bigger immigrant communities because of a longer history of integration. On September 19, several busloads of migrants made U-turns on the Swedish side when they saw hundreds of Finns form a “human barrier” on the Finnish side to protest against the sudden influx of migrants. Anti-immigrant sentiment may be prompting some migrants to leave Finland, where the populist Finns Party is the second-biggest political party.
If the governments won’t stop an invasion, the people will.
It’s only been a few weeks, and already Angela Merkel’s foolish “compassion” is testing the nerves of Germans, who are just now realizing the enormity of what’s happening to their country. They’ve been had:
On the busy shopping street in Giessen, a German university town twinned with Winchester, migrant Atif Zahoor tucks into a chicken dish with his brother and cousin at the curry restaurant Chillie To Go. They have left good jobs back in Karachi, Pakistan, and now want to be Europeans.
In late July the three slipped into Germany with their wives and children, using illegal documents. They live together in a five-bedroom house, rented for them by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, a 40-minute drive away from Giessen, which is home to the biggest migrants’ camp in the country. ‘We paid a trafficking agent for false visas to fly here to Germany,’ says 34-year-old Atif. ‘We claimed asylum and came to Giessen camp with other migrants. Three weeks ago, because we had families, they gave us a proper home.’
Atif is well-dressed and speaks perfect English. He used to be a transport manager at Karachi airport and is from a well-to-do family. Between mouthfuls of curry, he adds: ‘But there is violence between political gangs in Karachi. Lots of people are leaving for Europe. The trafficker decided that Germany was the place for us because it is welcoming refugees.’ Yet the raw truth is that Atif is not fleeing war or persecution. He is one of thousands of economic migrants getting into Germany as the EU’s immigration crisis grows bigger each day.
Well, surprise, surprise. Just as Castro did with the “Marielitos,” the pashas and potentates of the failed states of the Islamic ummah have unleashed trouble against their Western enemies. A horde of able-bodied layabouts to Cloward-Piven the European welfare states, overwhelm them with “need” and undermine their basic societal values by using their own soft-headedness against them.
Mrs Merkel’s offer last month to accept all refugees from war-ravaged Syria opened the floodgates. More than a million migrants are expected this year alone, the bulk of them far from genuine asylum seekers. There is now deepening disquiet in this Christian country, dotted with churches, that it is being overwhelmed by people of a different religion and culture. Yesterday, the Mail reported how social workers and women’s groups in Giessen wrote a letter to the local state parliament claiming that rape and child abuse were rife in the refugee camp. The allegations were corroborated by Atif over his curry. ‘The camp is dangerous,’ he agreed. ‘Men of different nationalities fight and women are attacked.’
The letter says the camp, far from being a peaceful haven for those fleeing war, is a dangerous melting-pot, where there have been ‘numerous rapes and sexual assaults, and forced prostitution’. There are even reports of children being raped and subjected to sexual assault, it adds. ‘Many women have felt the need to sleep in their clothes… they won’t go to the toilet at night because rapes and assaults have taken place on their way to, or from, there. Even in daylight, a walk through the camp is fraught with fear.’
Controversially, the letter suggests that in the migrants’ culture, women are viewed differently: ‘It is a fact that women and children are unprotected. This situation is opportune for those men who already regard women as their inferiors and treat unaccompanied women as “fair game”.’ Many migrant women have fled here to escape forced marriages or female genital mutilation, which are rife in some African and Middle Eastern countries. ‘They believe they have found safety in Germany,’ says the letter, ‘and realise it’s not the case.’
Locals in Giessen are appalled by the rape allegations. But many are also increasingly worried about the effect of the migrants — some 6,000 Syrians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Kurds, Eritreans and others are housed in the camp, which was expanded last year — on their everyday lives. Some complain that the migrants have taken over the town, which is famous for its botanical gardens and dotted with pretty boutiques and flower shops. You cannot miss the new arrivals, wandering the streets in large groups.
At the Lidl supermarket a few hundred yards from the camp, a well-dressed German woman packing her shopping into a Mercedes saloon rolls her eyes at me as a group of Middle Eastern youths walk by. ‘What do we do?’ she asks. ‘It has happened now and it will never be the same again.’
This will not end well. (Be sure to read the story see linked below).
My old journalistic frenemy, Frank Rich (we both worked for the same editor at Time magazine, the late Martha Duffy), hates Republicans, hates conservatives and is just about as reliable a liberal as they come. He’s also generally wrong about everything, from the worth of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals to contemporary politics. But, man, does he nail the appeal of The Donald and the seething hot mess that is the GOP establishment and the entire political establishment in general. It’s a long piece in New York magazine but well worth your time, if only for grafs like these:
What’s exhilarating, even joyous, about Trump has nothing to do with his alternately rancid and nonsensical positions on policy. It’s that he’s exposing the phoniness of our politicians and the corruption of our political process by defying the protocols of the whole game. He skips small-scale meet-and-greets in primary-state living rooms and diners. He turned down an invitation to appear at the influential freshman senator Joni Ernst’s hog roast in Iowa. He routinely denigrates sacred GOP cows like Karl Rove and the Club for Growth. He has blown off the most powerful newspapers in the crucial early states of Iowa (the Des Moines Register) and New Hampshire (the Union-Leader) and paid no political price for it. Yet he is overall far more accessible to the press than most candidates — most conspicuously Clinton — which in turn saves him from having to buy television ad time.
It’s as if Trump were performing a running burlesque of the absurd but intractable conventions of presidential campaigns in real time. His impact on our politics post-2016 could be as serious as he is not. Unsurprisingly, the shrewdest description of the Trump show’s appeal has come from an actor, Owen Wilson. “You can’t help but get a kick out of him,” he told the Daily Beast, “and I think part of it is we’re so used to politicians on both sides sounding like actors at press junkets — it’s sort of by rote, and they say all the right things. So here’s somebody who’s not following that script. It’s like when Charlie Sheen was doing that stuff.” As Wilson says, for all the efforts to dismiss Trump as an entertainer, in truth it’s his opponents who are more likely to be playacting, reciting their politically correct and cautious lines by rote. The political market for improvisational candor is as large as it was after Vietnam and Watergate, and right now Trump pretty much has a monopoly on it.
He also makes a sport of humiliating high-end campaign gurus. When Sam Clovis, a powerful Evangelical conservative activist in Iowa, jumped from the cratering Perry to Trump in August, it seemed weird. Despite saying things like “I’m strongly into the Bible,” Trump barely pretends to practice any religion. The Des Moines Register soon published excerpts from emails written just five weeks earlier (supplied by Perry allies) in which Clovis had questioned Trump’s “moral center” and lack of “foundation in Christ” and praised Perry for calling Trump “a cancer on conservatism.” But, like Guy Grand in The Magic Christian, Trump figured correctly that money spoke louder than Christ to Clovis. He was no less shrewd in bringing the focus-group entrepreneur Frank Luntz to heel. After Luntz convened a negative post-debate panel on Fox News that, in Luntz’s view, signaled “the destruction” of Trump’s campaign, Trump showered him with ridicule. Luntz soon did a Priebus-style about-face and convened a new panel that amounted to a Trump lovefest. One participant praised Trump for not mouthing “that crap” that’s been “pushed to us for the past 40 years.” It’s unclear if Luntz was aware of the irony of his having been a major (and highly compensated) pusher of “that crap,” starting with his role in contriving the poll-shaped pablum of Newt Gingrich’s bogus “Contract With America.”
Over at Foreign Policy, Julia Ioffe has the scoop, and it ain’t pretty. Russia’s gobble of the Crimea and bits of Ukraine caught the Pentagon flat-footed, naturally, and now the Obama brass are scrambling to update their war faces:
After Russia’s 2008 war with neighboring Georgia, NATO slightly modified its plans vis-à-vis Russia, according to Smith, but the Pentagon did not. In preparing the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon’s office for force planning — that is, long-term resource allocation based on the United States’ defense priorities — proposed to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to include a scenario that would counter an aggressive Russia. Gates ruled it out. “Everyone’s judgment at the time was that Russia is pursuing objectives aligned with ours,” says David Ochmanek, who, as deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development, ran that office at the time. “Russia’s future looked to be increasingly integrated with the West.” Smith, who worked on European and NATO policy at the Pentagon at the time, told me, “If you asked the military five years ago, ‘Give us a flavor of what you’re thinking about,’ they would’ve said, ‘Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism — and China.’”
The thinking around Washington was that Mikheil Saakashvili, then Georgia’s president, had provoked the Russians and that Moscow’s response was a one-off. “The sense was that while there were complications and Russia went into Georgia,” Smith says, “I don’t think anyone anticipated that anything like this would happen again.” Says one senior State Department official: “The assumption was that there was no threat in Europe.” Russia was rarely brought up to the secretary of defense, says the senior defense official.
Then came the Obama administration’s reset of relations with Russia, and with it increased cooperation with Moscow on everything from space flights to nuclear disarmament. There were hiccups (like Russia’s trying to elbow the United States out of the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan) and less-than-full cooperation on pressing conflicts in the Middle East (the best the United States got from Russia on Libya was an abstention at the U.N. Security Council). But, on the whole, Russia was neither a danger nor a priority. It was, says one senior foreign-policy Senate staffer, “occasionally a pain in the ass, but not a threat.”
How about that? Meanwhile, the problem is that the Pentagon doesn’t really have much of a war face anymore.
In June 2014, a month after he had left his force-planning job at the Pentagon, the Air Force asked Ochmanek for advice on Russia’s neighborhood ahead of Obama’s September visit to Tallinn, Estonia. At the same time, the Army had approached another of Ochmanek’s colleagues at Rand, and the two teamed up to run a thought exercise called a “table top,” a sort of war game between two teams: the red team (Russia) and the blue team (NATO). The scenario was similar to the one that played out in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: increasing Russian political pressure on Estonia and Latvia (two NATO countries that share borders with Russia and have sizable Russian-speaking minorities), followed by the appearance of provocateurs, demonstrations, and the seizure of government buildings. “Our question was: Would NATO be able to defend those countries?” Ochmanek recalls.
The results were dispiriting. Given the recent reductions in the defense budgets of NATO member countries and American pullback from the region, Ochmanek says the blue team was outnumbered 2-to-1 in terms of manpower, even if all the U.S. and NATO troops stationed in Europe were dispatched to the Baltics — including the 82nd Airborne, which is supposed to be ready to go on 24 hours’ notice and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“We just don’t have those forces in Europe,” Ochmanek explains. Then there’s the fact that the Russians have the world’s best surface-to-air missiles and are not afraid to use heavy artillery. After eight hours of gaming out various scenarios, the blue team went home depressed. “The conclusion,” Ochmanek says, “was that we are unable to defend the Baltics.”
So there you go. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed shortly thereafter. NATO expanded and for a time it seemed the Bear had been tamed. Then along came 9/11 and fourteen strategically fruitless years of the “War on Terror.” Amazing what a little “reset” button can do in the hands of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The ongoing “migrant” or “refugee” crisis — a slow-motion, unarmed invasion of Christendom by the Islamic warriors of the ummah — has laid bare the split between the decadent social democracies of western Europe, whose political concerns largely revolve around health care and benefits, and the former “captive nations” of eastern Europe, who have no desire to trade in one set of chains for another. Leading the latter is Hungary’s Viktor Orban:
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday rejected what he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “moral imperialism” in Europe’s migrant crisis. When asked what he expected from Merkel while Europe grapples with an influx of asylum-seekers, the hardline leader grinned: “I have a long list.”
Orban accused Merkel of trying to impose her vision of an open EU on the rest of the bloc. ”The most important thing is that there should be no moral imperialism,” he said during a visit to the southern German state of Bavaria. Orban, speaking ahead of an EU summit in Brussels later Wednesday, said his country had a “democratic right” to a different approach.
“I don’t doubt Germany’s right to define its moral obligations for itself. They can decide if they accept every refugee or not… (but) that should only be compulsory for them,” Orban said. ”We are Hungarians however, we cannot think with German minds. Hungary should have the right to control the impact of a mass migration,” he said. ”The Hungarian people don’t want this, we ask that the wishes of Hungarians be respected.”
Left unsaid for the moment is that Hungary, a shadow of its former self, still has vivid cultural memories of its long enslavement under the Turks. The Hungarians have come in for a good deal of bien-pensant criticism over the fence they’ve erected on the porous Serbian border, but there’s a big difference between a wall that keeps people in and a wall that keeps invaders out.
U.S. Marines preparing to go overseas are given a detailed training session about the Marine Corps’ own rules against sexual assault. But they are offered practically no guidance on what to do if they witness rape and other sexual abuses by “local nationals” in other countries, including Afghanistan, where child rape is common.
A 45-minute scripted presentation given to Marines as part of their pre-deployment process doesn’t say that they shouldn’t report sexual assaults in the countries where they’re serving. But it explains that laws and norms about sexual relations vary from country to country, and that in Afghanistan in particular, sexual assault is a “cultural” issue, and not a purely legal one.
The Daily Beast obtained a copy of the script for the training session, which includes a set of PowerPoint slides and instructions about what those leading the session are supposed to say on sexual abuse in other countries. The training guide supports allegations by Marines and Army soldiers in recent days that they’ve been told not to intervene to prevent sexual assault in Afghanistan, including the rape and sexual enslavement of children on U.S. bases. Senior military officials, including the general in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, have been forced to respond to what critics say is a policy of remaining silent in the face of crimes committed by Afghan officials trained and supported by the U.S., crimes that would send American service members to prison.
This is sickening on many levels (although, given the bent of the Obama administration, hardly surprising), but let’s content ourselves with just one for now. You cannot win a war if your culture’s moral values are not deemed superior to those of your enemies. We did not order the armed forces to consider the Nazis’ animosity toward European Jewry or the Japanese’s loathing of the Chinese as inferiors to color our strategy and tactics against them. Instead, we just killed them, as many as we could, until they finally stopped fighting.
One reason for the foolish wars in the dark and savage lands of the Middle East and in Afghanistan is that we refuse to assert Western cultural superiority. So why should they change? And if they don’t change, how can we win? Which leads to a more important question: do we even want to?
One of the longest and stupidest wars in American history — a legacy of both presidents named Bush — just keeps on keepin’ on, whether fought in “no-fly” zones, on the ground (twice) or by and between various Islamic proxies. And to what end? Certainly not anything that looks like victory.
As the war in Iraq deteriorated, a senior American intelligence analyst went public in 2005 and criticized President George W. Bush’s administration for pushing “amateurish and unrealistic” plans for the invasion two years before. Now that same man, Gregory Hooker, is at the center of an insurrection of United States Central Command intelligence analysts over America’s latest war in Iraq, and whether Congress, policy makers and the public are being given too rosy a picture of the situation.
As the senior Iraq analyst at Central Command, the military headquarters in Tampa that oversees American military operations across the Middle East and Central Asia, Mr. Hooker is the leader of a group of analysts that is accusing senior commanders of changing intelligence reports to paint an overly optimistic portrait of the American bombing campaign against the Islamic State. The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating.
“Investigating.” Well, that’s certainly encouraging, although pretty much par for the course for a Democratic administration.
Although the investigation became public weeks ago, the source of the allegations and Mr. Hooker’s role have not been previously known. Interviews with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials place the dispute directly at the heart of Central Command, with Mr. Hooker and his team in a fight over what Americans should believe about the war…
The investigation has repercussions beyond the question of whether the American-led bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria is succeeding. The allegations call into question how much the president — this one or the next — can rely on Centcom for honest assessments of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and other crisis spots.
Several current and former officials said that it was the two most senior intelligence officers at Centcom — Maj. Gen. Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman — who drew analysts’ ire with changes in draft intelligence assessments. But why the assessments were changed remains an open question. Some analysts suggested that leaders in Tampa feared that reporting bad news might anger the White House. Others described an institutional bias that makes it hard for the military to criticize its own operations.
Centcom’s leader, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, was chosen for the job in part because the White House regarded him as a steady, cautious loyalist who would execute military operations in the Middle East with little drama — an especially important consideration after the contentious relationship between the White House and Gen. James Mattis, the previous Centcom commander. General Austin gave testimony last week to the Senate Armed Services Committee that was roundly criticized by some lawmakers as being an overly positive assessment of the war’s progress.
The corruption of the armed services will be one of the darkest legacies of the Obama administration, which has been redoubling its efforts to punish Americans ever since the election of 2012. Things will get worse before they get even worse, and 2016 ought to be a doozy.
How’s this for a winning combo: our handsy, borderline lunatic vice president, Joe Biden, and the failed former governor of Massachusetts, “Cadillac” Deval Patrick, whose tenure in the overwhelmingly Democrat Bay State was so successful that he was replaced by a Republican.
Former Gov. Deval Patrick — long touted as a potential 2020 White House contender — is now being floated as a possible running mate for Joe Biden if the vice president enters the Democratic primary. Former New York Times Magazine editor Ed Klein reported on his website this week on a scenario that purportedly could pave the way for Patrick to actually become president by 2020.
Under Klein’s scenario, which cites “the talk in Democratic circles” and other unnamed sources, President Obama would endorse Biden’s White House bid — but only if the vice president lets Obama have “a final say” on Biden’s running mate.In return for the president’s endorsement, the Klein scenario goes, Biden would pick an African-American running mate — specifically Patrick. In the arrangement, Biden, who would be 78 years old at the end of his first term, also would agree not to run for re-election in 2020 but instead back Patrick as his successor, according to Klein.
That would make Patrick the Democratic presidential nominee in a matter of just five years.
This is what you get when you hire one of the krack kadres of kampaign konsultants:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pulled the plug on a bloated campaign that was headed into debt and was being undermined by furious donors, a warring staff and — at the root of it all — a candidate who was badly out of his league.
Prior to the governor’s abrupt exit from the Republican race, his campaign had a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency plan at the ready: Campaign manager Rick Wiley, in a half-hour phone interview with POLITICO on Tuesday night, said he had an “all-in Iowa” plan that would have moved the headquarters from Madison, Wisconsin, to Des Moines and cut the staff from about 85 to 20 as of Thursday. But Walker, floundering in debates and on the stump, was facing such a sudden drought in donations that even those drastic moves wouldn’t have guaranteed solvency.
“We built the machine that we needed to get a governor in just phenomenal shape to take a stage in a presidential debate,” Wiley said. “I think sometimes it’s lost on people the largeness of the job. I think people just look at it and say, ‘Wow! Yeah, you know, it’s like he’s a governor and he was in a recall’ and blah, blah, blah — he’s ready. It’s just not like that. It is really, really difficult. … I’m just saying, you know, like it’s a f—ing bitch, man. It really is.”
The racket known as “kampaign konsulting” is one of the great disgraces of the American political system. It’s something that needs to be exposed by every political journalist — except that they, too, are part of the racket. Like a bookie, a kampaign konsultant is a no-lose business; you get a hefty slice of the pie, and if the kampaign goes south, you can always blame the candidate instead of looking in the mirror.
Wiley blamed the size of the campaign partly on Walker’s newness to the national spotlight. “It takes a lot to build a campaign to run for president, especially around someone who is introduced to a new set of issues,” Wiley said. “Foreign policy — brand new. And just the dynamics of the federal issues are different, obviously. I mean, my God, this guy is a machine — I mean he really, truly is. But that takes staff, it takes time to do that. And we built the campaign that we needed to get him ready.”
“Everything was rolling, and then we just a hit a wall,” Wiley continued. “So, you know, I’m not sure there’s anything we could have done differently. I can go back and say, ‘OK, you know, could I have done without like three of the research kids who are continuing to fill in the Walker record?’ Maybe. Sure. But then maybe Walker research suffers.”
Wiley said he feels “really proud of taking Gov. Walker from one level to the other, to getting him ready to jump on that debate stage. … He did a great job.”
Easy for Wiley to say. If the Left, which hates Walker with a mad passion for besting them three times in four years in Wisconsin, had planted someone to destroy the Walker candidacy, they couldn’t have done a better job.
None of the companies that have collected royalties on the “Happy Birthday” song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.
In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the “Happy Birthday To You” song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright. Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song.
“‘Happy Birthday’ is finally free after 80 years,” said Randall Newman, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit, which included a group of filmmakers who are producing a documentary about the song. “Finally, the charade is over. It’s unbelievable.” A spokesman for Warner/Chappell, the publishing arm of Warner Music, said, “We are looking at the court’s lengthy opinion and considering our options.”
Copyright is a tricky business. As a creative artist myself, with all my books under copyright, I rely on copyright law to protect my intellectual property. But how long should copyright last? Under pressure from large corporations like Disney and Warner, valuable copyrights have been extended and extended, long past the life of the artist and even his direct heirs.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys had characterized the years-long legal fight as a David vs. Goliath battle that pitted independent filmmakers against a large corporation collecting profits on a song whose authors had long since died. Until now, Warner has asked for royalties from anyone who wanted to sing or play “Happy Birthday to You” — with the lyrics — as part of a profit-making enterprise. Royalties were most often collected from stage productions, television shows, movies or greeting cards. But even those who wanted to sing the song publicly as part of a business, say a restaurant owner giving out free birthday cake to patrons, technically had to pay to use the song, prompting creative renditions at chain eateries trying to avoid paying royalties.
Song and lyrics clearances can cost — I once had to pay Paul McCartney a couple of hundred bucks to quote a single line from “Let It Be” in my biography of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. And costs can run much, much higher:
The fact that the birthday tune can’t be played or sung without permission from Warner has been little more than a surprising piece of trivia for most, but for Warner Music Group, it has meant big business. Two of the filmmaker plaintiffs paid $1,500 and $3,000 for the rights to use the song, their attorneys said. Filmmaker Steve James paid Warner $5,000 to use the song in his 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams.”
Free at last!
Before there was Donald Trump or Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina, there was Scott Walker — a defiant outsider who portrayed himself as the regular-guy champion of the GOP’s burn-the-Beltway base. After a promising start last winter, the two-term Wisconsin governor turned out to be a tentative and mistake-prone candidate who badly fumbled core Republican issues — especially birthright citizenship — that Trump and other top GOP candidates handled with relative ease.
Several senior Republicans with knowledge of his campaign said the 47-year-old Walker — who won two elections and survived a recall effort without the help of national consultants — was simply too confident in his own abilities and often acted, ineptly, as his own campaign manager. “The impression I had,” said one veteran GOP operative, “was that Scott was making it up as he went along.”
The anonymice speak. And of course they’re saying exactly what you’d expect a fraternity of hacks to say. But the fact remains that Walker defeated the full might of the DNC and the “public employee” trade unions without the help of the Krack Kadres and yet felt the need to hire one of their number for his now-abortive presidential run.
Liz Mair, a former Walker aide who was fired earlier this year, took to Twitter on Monday to enumerate the mistakes her one-time boss had made — and said he often seemed overmatched by the velocity and information overload inherent in a modern presidential campaign. At the top of her list: “Not educating himself fast enough on issues outside governor’s remit” and “Not training himself out of tics incl[uding] instinctively answering ‘yes’ and ‘absolutely’ to things, comparing lots of things to union fight.”
Yeah, that Liz Mair. The fact is, Walker, hired terrible people who atomized his political strengths while trying to turn him into an acceptable candidate for the GOPe. (Hey — that’s Marco Rubio’s job!) Apparently, they all read from the same missal, sing the same hymn songs and preach to the same choir, which is why we have had a succession of Republican candidates like Bob Dole, Bush II. McCain, Romney and, soon enough, Jeb! or Rubio. Because, the first rule of GOPe Club is don’t offend anybody.
Walker’s campaign had been imploding for weeks, but his public low point — and one that made him vulnerable to charges of weakness — was his stumbling response to the birthright citizenship proposal, a quixotic bid to challenge the 14th Amendment guarantee that all people born in the U.S. be given citizenship rights. Over the course of seven days in August, Walker rattled out no fewer than three positions — a call to challenge the amendment, a solid “no” when asked if he planned to challenge existing laws, and a call for the status quo.
How’d that work out of ya, Scott?
The two Republican debates — which might have served as a safety net for his free-falling candidacy — were unmemorable, and his bland passivity at last Wednesday’s otherwise raucous showdown proved fatal. On a night when Carly Fiorina rose, instantly, from the ranks of also-rans to second or third place, Walker found himself shut out of the back-and-forth — logging a mere eight minutes of talk time, compared with Trump’s 20 despite his best efforts to interrupt.
“He was a terrible candidate, but he also got Trump-ed,” said one Walker ally.
With friends like the Krack Kadres of Kampaign Konsultants, people like Walker don’t need enemies.
Isn’t everybody heartily sick of the Clintons by now? And if not, why not?
Months into her email scandal, Hillary Clinton is still trying to get away with lines like, “There’s no evidence of that.” Oh, and answering questions with laughter. No wonder she keeps falling in the polls — behind a 74-year-old Brooklyn-born socialist in the first two primary states, where more folks are paying attention.
On CNN’s “The Situation Room” last week, she faced questions about the claim by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that she should face criminal charges for using a private email account and server to conduct official State Department business, including emails with highly classified information. Clinton burst into laughter.
She kept up the giggling when asked about the chance that hackers from Russia or China broke into her server to glean national-security secrets. And then gave the lawyerly answer, “There’s no evidence of that.” Well, not yet — the FBI’s only started looking for it, years after the breach might’ve occurred.
The Clintons not only lowered the tone of presidential discourse, but — lawyers both — they reduced morality to a question of legality, with the high standard of proof found in a court of law. But neither morality nor the court of public opinion needs conform to the standard of a federal court (where Bill ended up and where Hillary, if there is a God, will face justice some day), and the power grifters’ long strut upon the media stage is now coming to an end. Like the conclusion of all gangland sagas, they’re going to have to be dragged off, feet first.
The media wants you to believe that there’s a “refugee” crisis going on in central Europe, and constantly invokes the memory of the displaced persons at the end of World War II to make an appealing comparison. But the truth is far different: this is an invasion of Europe by non-Europeans, swarming over the productive nations of the First World:
Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria. The EU logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war. Campaigners and left-wing MPs have suggested the vast majority of migrants are from the war-torn state, accusing the Government of doing too little to help them.
Um… why should England help Syrians by letting them resettle in the dar-al-Harb? Especially when they’re not all Syrians.
‘This exposes the lie peddled in some quarters that vast numbers of those reaching Europe are from Syria,’ said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth. ‘Most people who are escaping the war will go to camps in Lebanon or Jordan. ’Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons.’
But economic reasons are not good enough to justify what in effect is an Islamic attempt to seize or recapture territory in what used to be called Christendom, the dar-al-Kufr, or lands of the unbelievers.
Half a million migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, with 156,000 coming in August alone. Rather than claiming asylum in the first safe EU country they reach, most head on toward wealthy northern states. The human cost of the crisis has been paid by the estimated 3,000 migrants who have drowned after putting their lives in the hands of people smugglers for the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean… More than 250,000 migrants have reached Greece and Italy, where the authorities are close to breaking point… German Chancellor Angela Merkel fuelled the chaos last month by declaring that any Syrian who reached the country could claim asylum.
Classic stupidity — did Merkel really think that people from lands that prize mendacity and dishonesty would follow her German sense of Ordnung? Further, the notion that these people are somehow going to find skilled employment in First World countries and then happily support an aging population is a complete fantasy; many, if not most, are not looking for work, but to take advantage of the very welfare state soft-headed European leaders are hoping they’ll prop up.
This won’t end well.