Monday, October 26, 2015

Public vs Private

I'm not aware of a more blatant example of a high government official outright lying to the American people than Hillary Clinton's lies about Benghazi. Here's an analysis:

No wonder Hillary Clinton feels aggrieved by her congressional grilling on Benghazi. She had the hard luck to be secretary of state in the Internet era, when digital secrets escape despite the best efforts to keep them hidden. Unintended transparency is better than none.
In an earlier era, the American public would never have learned Mrs. Clinton knew during the attack that it was a planned operation by terrorists and not a spontaneous protest as the administration insisted.
Mrs. Clinton kept her more than 60,000 emails off the State Department’s server. They came to light only because the House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered her secret email system. Those emails—not Mrs. Clinton—were the star witness at last week’s hearing, disclosing with precision who knew what when.
Publicly, Mrs. Clinton issued a statement at 10:32 p.m. Sept. 11, 2012, the evening of the attack, blaming the YouTube video. But the committee disclosed that at 11:12 p.m., she told her daughter, Chelsea, by email: “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Qaeda-like group.” At 11:49 p.m., according to a State Department email, she told the president of Libya: “There is a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar [al] Sharia”—the local al Qaeda affiliate—“is claiming responsibility for.”
The day after the attack, Mrs. Clinton gave two public comments again blaming the video. The White House press secretary declared: “We have no information to suggest that it was a planned attack.”
But the same day, Mrs. Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister by phone: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.” In other words, we’re not so na├»ve as to believe what we’re telling American voters to further the re-election claim that we’ve put “al Qaeda on the run.”
Two weeks later, the administration was still blaming the video. “There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” President Obama told the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 25. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” On Sept. 27 federal agents arrested the Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who made the video, supposedly for violating his parole. (Earlier this year, Islamic State terrorists beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach.)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) summed up his view of the administration’s and Mrs. Clinton’s motives: “You can live with a protest about a video. That won’t hurt you. But a terrorist attack will. So you can’t be square with the American people. You tell your family it’s a terrorist attack, but not the American people. You can tell the president of Libya it’s a terrorist attack, but not the American people. And you can tell the Egyptian prime minister it’s a terrorist attack, but you can’t tell your own people the truth.”
The email saga is not over. The facts are coming out only now because it took almost a year for Mrs. Clinton to produce a fraction of the emails from her homebrew server. The FBI is reportedly investigating whether the setup constituted criminal “gross negligence” in handling classified information. Cybersecurity experts say her unprotected emails were almost certainly hacked by the Chinese and Russians. If so, foreign intelligence agencies possess emails the State Department has withheld from Congress, as well as those Mrs. Clinton withheld from the State Department.
This kind of unplanned disclosure through technology rarely happened in the pre-digital era. One exception was the incriminating 18½-minute gap in Richard Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. In recent years, WikiLeaks and routine email hacks by foreign intelligence agents have taught government officials that their communications aren’t secure.
Mrs. Clinton no doubt genuinely regrets her decision to use a private server. Her assumption that her emails were confidential gave her the confidence to be honest in her private communications—and to assume that conflicts between her public and private comments would never be exposed. Government officials are usually more cautious, aware that their communications on required government servers are subject to the public-disclosure laws Mrs. Clinton almost evaded.
As technology allows more information to be recorded, it raises expectations for greater transparency and more disclosure. The Obama administration came to office promising to be the “most transparent” ever, but instead ignores information requests and stonewalls journalists. Thanks to her private emails, Mrs. Clinton managed to shed some light on the truth, though that was the opposite of what she intended.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Clock Ticks On

This piece by Mark Steyn describes how much of the world has embraced Orwellian rhetoric. I've added some links at the bottom.

The world divides into those who sincerely believe in that "Coexist" sticker and those who think it's a delusional evasion. After all, if it weren't for that big Muslim crescent "C" at the front, you wouldn't need a bumper sticker at all:
That peace-symbol "O"? It's Muslims, alas, who kill secular hippie pacifist backpackers in Bali nightclubs.
That equal-rights "E"? It's Muslims who take girls as their sex slaves in Nigeria and kill their own daughters and sisters in Germany because rape has rendered them "unclean".
The star-of-David "X"? It's Muslims who are currently stabbing and running over Jews in Jerusalem and then celebrating by passing out free candy.
In India, it's Muslims vs Hindus. In southern Thailand, Muslims vs Buddhists. The world is a messy, violent, complicated place, but as a rule of thumb, as I said all those years ago in America Alone, in most corners of the planet it boils down to: Muslims vs [Your Team Here].
Millions of complacent westerners genuinely regard Islam as merely another exotic patch in the diversity quilt, but I find it hard to believe that the leaders of liberal progressive political parties can be quite that deluded. Nevertheless, there was Justin Trudeau at his victory rally at the Queen Elizabeth in Montreal last night:
There are a thousand stories I could share with you about this remarkable campaign, but I want you to think of one in particular. Last week I was in St. Catharines, and I met a young Muslim mum wearing a hijab. She handed me her infant daughter and said something I will never forget. She said she's voting for us because she wants to make sure her little girl can make her own choices in life and that the government will protect those rights.
To her, I say this: You and your fellow citizens have chosen a new government that believes deeply in the diversity of our country. We know in our bones that Canada was built from people from all corners of the world, belonging to every faith, every culture, speaking every language. We believe in our hearts that this country's unique diversity is a blessing bestowed upon us by previous generations of Canadians who stared down prejudice and fought discrimination in all forms.
In other words: Canadians voted to say no to hate! On CTV early in the evening, Jason Kenney popped up and pushed back against Lisa LaFlamme's suggestion that the niqab controversy had cost the Tories the election. He pointed out that polls showed some 80 per cent of Canadians opposed to new citizens being masked when taking their oath of allegiance to Queen and country: It had the unusual distinction of being a Harper policy with near universal appeal.
But so what? M Trudeau's narrative is the one that will prevail - that questioning Islamic self-segregation is at odds with "Canadian values". And so no politician with an eye to electoral viability will ever raise the subject again.
Most people want to think of themselves as "nice", and so it's easier to welcome the increasing presence of shrouded women on the streets of Canada as a deepening of our heartwarming embrace of self-affirmation-by-multiculturalism, rather than something that mocks any conventional notions of women's rights. Yet, whatever disquiet might be felt, they will take their signal from their politicians, and fall silent on the matter.
~South of the border, Ahmed the Clock Boy made his long-awaited visit to Washington to meet President Obama, following his pilgrimage to President Bashir of Sudan, the butcher of Darfur, a couple of days earlier. When Ahmed first got into trouble for bringing his "clock" to school, Obama Tweeted his approval ("Cool clock, Ahmed") and invited him to bring it to the White House. Since then, the official line - precocious all-American teen's enthusiasm and ingenuity stymied by ingrained Islamophobia - has taken a bit of a hit. Ahmed can't make a clock. All he can do is rip the guts out of some crappy Radio Shack thing from the Seventies, and tape it into a simulacrum of a suitcase bomb, which is not a skill to be disdained, at least in some parts of the world.
However, it's not really the talent all the hipster execs had in mind when, in the wake of the presidential Tweet, they invited Ahmed to visit the headquarters of Google, Facebook et al. The private sector apparently still has enough sense of self-preservation that the glamorous job offers and grants quietly faded away. And even the Oval Office had supposedly downgraded Ahmed's audience with Obama to part of the crowd scene on White House "Astronomy Night". But no: young Ahmed worked his way to the front of the line and was rewarded with a hug from the President.
The greatest clockmaker of our time explained that he'd been unable to bring his clock to Obama because he's been "too busy traveling", and it's kinda bulky, being the size not of a clock but a bomb, and evidently President Bashir's security in Khartoum being pickier about large ticking devices than the White House. But he's certainly "busy traveling": The quintessential Texas teenager and his family have accepted an offer to move to Qatar.
Nonetheless, like Niqab Girl, Clock Boy has taught us all a valuable lesson with his droll and spectacularly successful provocation. The US Department of Homeland Security's slogan is "If You See Something, Say Something" - unless it's something that might get you accused of Islamophobia, in which case keep it to yourself.
Which is where we came in, on the morning of Tuesday September 11th 2001 at the US Airways First Class check-in desk:
I got an instant chill when I looked at [Mohammed Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a politically correct slap...I thought, 'My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.'
Clockmed has raised the bar on that one. My God, this is just a young Muslim male. So what if he's ticking? Do I really want to be tied up in sensitivity-training hell for the next six months?
~Meanwhile, in Birmingham, England, where the clock is at the eleventh hour, a new government program designed to identify elementary-school children at risk of "self-detonation" - whoops, I mean "self-radicalization" - is already going gangbusters:
A primary school has reported a 10-year-old Muslim boy to police on suspicion of terrorism, after he complained about not having a prayer room on a field trip.
The boy, a pupil at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, was on the trip when his 'changed' behaviour drew the teachers' attention.
He also told female Muslim pupils they needed to cover their faces with a head scarf, and expressed an 'alternative' view about the Charlie Hebdo attack...
The school referred the boy to police under the government's Prevent Duty initiative which provides guidance to teachers on spotting signs of extremism.
Over the last 12 months the school, which caters for more than 740 pupils between the ages of five and 11, has reported three pupils to the Counter Terrorism Unit.
All three children were referred after staff were concerned they were displaying signs of developing extremism.
But why is demanding a prayer room a sign of "developing extremism"? All kinds of Muslims demand prayer rooms hither and yon, and they're not all terrorists, are they? Besides, what's wrong with wanting a prayer room? Come to that, what's wrong with expressing an "alternative" view on Charlie Hebdo? After all, an audience of pampered middle-class liberal progressives at Trinity College, Dublin loves "alternative" views on Charlie Hebdo. Why shouldn't a ten-year-old at Parkfield Community School?
Oh, well. The great thing about a bureaucratic program that requires police investigation of grade-schoolers at risk of "developing extremism" is that it's the Big Government trifecta: expensive, time-consuming, and assuredly entirely ineffectual. Whereas, say, a policy of reducing Muslim immigration to the United Kingdom is just cloud-cuckoo land. Can't be done. Pie in the sky. Devoting police resources to investigating every ten-year-old schoolboy who says something "alternative": that we can do.
~Down Under, following the murder of a police accountant by a 15-year-old "violent extremist", authorities are now moving on to the jihad's junior varsity team:
Security agencies are monitoring a 12-year-old boy in relation to suspected terrorist activity, the Australian federal police commissioner, Andrew Colvin, has said, in the leadup to a security summit in Canberra on Thursday...
[Justice minister Michael] Keenan declined to say how many children under the age of 14 were on watchlists. "I do not think it is appropriate for me to go into that," he said.
Indeed. Being on a "watchlist" doesn't affect their performance in the school play or on the track team, solighten up:
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said Australia's terrorist threat had evolved and become younger over the past year.
"We're shocked that a 12-year-old is on police radar for these types of matters," Colvin told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.
ABC reported on Wednesday that the 12-year-old boy was the youngest of 18 suspected extremists named in a court document in March. The boy's name has not been published.
In case someone invites him to the White House?
And of course:
[Mr Keenan] said it was important to "reach out a hand of friendship" to the Muslim community and "provide reassurance" that security measures were not targeted at one ethnic group or religion.
Best thing to do is target all Aussie 12-year-olds, just to be on the safe side.
~If you're thinking this all seems an awful lot of trouble and expense for a demographic that seems unusually hard to assimilate, and indeed boasts of its disinclination to do so, well, don't worry; it'll get a lot more troublesome and expensive:
Sweden is fast approaching a complete collapse. More and more municipalities are raising the alarm that if the migrants keep coming at this pace, the government can no longer guarantee normal service to its citizens.
Who are these Continentals to demand priority over "migrants" when it comes to government "service"? Keep those migrants coming! Austria:
By September they were arriving at the southeastern border at the rate of 10,000 or 12,000 a day. These migrants are associated in the public mind with the war in Syria but, in fact, come from throughout the Muslim world—Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh. Most of them are on their way to Germany. The great majority are young men. By the end of this year, Austrian authorities estimate, 375,000 will have passed through the country, and a quarter of them will have stayed to apply for asylum. Austria will have added 1 percent to its population in just about three months, with virtually all the newcomers Muslims...
Citizens of all the tiny countries that lie between the Middle East and Germany were witnessing a migration far too big for Germany to handle. They knew Germany would eventually realize this, too. Once Germany lost its nerve, the huge human chain of testosterone and poverty would be stuck where it was. And if your country was smaller than Germany—Austria, for instance, is a tenth Germany's size—you could wind up in a situation where the majority of fighting-age men in your country were foreigners with a grievance.
Whoa. Don't go there, girlfriend. It's like The New York Times says:
VIENNA — As befits the city of Sigmund Freud, Vienna has two faces — one sweet, one sinister.
Behind the schnitzel and strudel, Mozart and the opera, lurks the legacy of the Nazis who forced Jews to clean sidewalks with toothbrushes... Now, to the astonishment of many and the alarm of some, the burning question in Vienna's elegant cafes is, Which face will prevail in the city's bellwether elections on Oct. 11?
So, if you're not passing out the strudel to every strapping young Muslim lad coming down the Karntnerstrasse, you're a Nazi.
Speaking of cleaning the sidewalks with toothbrushes, I don't think that'll cut it in the small border town of Nickelsdorf, now "an orgy of garbage and feces of unparalleled dimensions". In the most well-ordered and maintained country on the Continent, the sh*t is hitting the fans of open borders. We're gonna need a lot more strudel.
~So don't mention the veil, don't mention the ticking, don't get too specific about the precise nature of the "alternative views" of Charlie Hebdo, "provide reassurance" that it's nothing to do with Islam ...and tell your crime reporters to fill the space with strudel recipes:
Her father and brothers stabbed her to death on her mother's orders, after she was gang-raped by three men. The rape left her "unclean" and the mother allegedly demanded the killing to restore the family's honor. German police are seeking the father and brothers. That by itself is not newsworthy; what is newsworthy is the news itself, which appeared in not one of Germany's major daily newspapers or websites.
Which brings us back to Justin Trudeau, and the niqab "controversy". You're not a Nazi, are you? Best to self-veil, metaphorically (for the moment): That way there's nothing to see.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6697/sweden-collapse

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5195/sweden-rape

http://atimes.com/2015/10/more-horrible-than-rape/

Thursday, October 15, 2015

An exceptional nation

From this blog comes another perspective on the idea that the U.S. is an exceptional nation.

America #1? 36 Facts That Prove That The United States Is An ‘Exceptional’ Nation

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American Flag - Proud To Be An American - Public DomainIs the United States an “exceptional” nation?  Well, the facts show that we are, but not for the reasons that you may think.  Now that it is election season, we have all sorts of politicians running around proclaiming that America is the greatest nation on the entire planet.  And just this week, Warren Buffett stated that “America’s great now — it’s never been greater“.  But is it actually true?  Is the United States still a great nation?  I would submit that the numbers suggest otherwise.  I love America, and in my opinion there is not much hope for us until we are willing to admit to ourselves just how far we have fallen.  The following are 36 facts that prove that the United States is an “exceptional” nation…
#1 According to a brand new report that was just released by theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has the fattest population in the entire industrialized world by a wide margin.
#2 That same report from the OECD also found that we are number one in child obesity.  In fact, at 38 percent our rate of childhood obesity is even higher than our overall rate of obesity.
#3 According to USA Today, the obesity rate in the United States has more than doubled over the past 25 years.
#4 The Washington Post has reported that Americans spend an average of 293 minutes a day watching television, which is the most in the world by a wide margin.   And as I have discussed previously, more than 90 percent of the “programming” that we absorb is created by just 6 enormously powerful media corporations.
#5 One study found that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day using some sort of electronic device.
#6 By the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television.
#7 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.
#8 Out of 22 countries studied by the Educational Testing Service, Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency.
#9 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.
#10 The percentage of wealth owned by middle class adults is lower in North America than it is anywhere else in the world.
#11 Almost half of all Americans (47 percent) do not put a single penny out of their paychecks into savings.
#12 It turns out that Americans are very good at locking people away in prison.  At 716 per 100,000 members of the population, the United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire planet by a very wide margin.
#13 Approximately one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States.
#14 In 2014, police in the United States killed 1,100 people.  During that same year, police in Canada killed 14 people, police in China killed 12 peopleand police in Germany didn’t kill anyone at all.
#15 One recently published study found that one out of every six young Americans has stolen something during the past year.
#16 There are more car thefts in the United States than anywhere else in the world by far.
#17 According to Fox News, approximately 70 percent of married men in the United States admit to having cheated on their wives.
#18 Americans spend far more on health care than anyone else in the world, and yet we only rank 26th in life expectancy and our entire health care system has been transformed into a giant money making scam.
#19 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and an astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.
#20 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 31 percent of all food in the United States gets wasted.  In case you were wondering, that amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food a year.
#21 In 2013, women earned 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees that were awarded that year in the United States.
#22 A survey conducted by the Barna Group discovered that 77 percent of Christian men in America in the 18 to 30-year-old age bracket view pornography at least monthly.
#23 There are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.
#24 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.
#25 When LBJ’s “War on Poverty” began, less than 10 percent of all U.S. children were growing up in single parent households.  Today, that number has skyrocketed to 33 percent.
#26 In 1950, less than 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.  Today, that number is over 40 percent.
#27 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 20 million new cases of sexually-transmitted disease in the United States each year.
#28 Today, the United States has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.
#29 According to a survey that was just released within the last 30 days, only29 percent of Americans want to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood even after all of the shocking undercover videos that were released this year.
#30 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.
#31 Doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptionsfor antidepressants each year.
#32 One survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12 percent of them said that they were “very happy”.
#33 Every single year, the United States has the largest trade deficit in the entire world by a very wide margin.  But most Americans still don’t seem concerned that thousands of businesses and millions of good jobs have been leaving our country.
#34 As you read this article, there are 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job.
#35 We are supposed to have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are in total.
#36 On average, we have been stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day since Barack Obama entered the White House.