This is really good. Unfortunately, it's sort of an inside joke.
Just ask any barbershopper.
Commentary & Analysis
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."
-- Tom Clancy
Meanwhile, an Albuquerque eighth-grader identifies himself as "gender fluid" which he defines as "sometimes as a boy, sometimes as a girl."
He decided he wanted to wear a dress to the school's end of the year dance. He says the principal told him he'd be sent home if he showed up dressed that way. He says "The girls are allowed to cross-dress, so why can't I?"
The school says the boy's story isn't so. It says he will be able to attend the dance in a dress if that's what he chooses so maybe the whole story is made up, a publicity stunt. As of now, we don't know. But he got himself on the TV news.
This would be really funny if there weren't a bunch of folks taking stuff like this so seriously.
Yemen has descended into chaos since Houthi rebels backed by Iran fought and then overthrew the Yemeni government. As a result, a number of countries have been removing their citizens from the country. Among those countries are India, France, Russia, Canada, and China.
And the U.S.? This headline says it all: "U.S. Gov’t to Americans Trapped in Yemen: Call India". That is, in part, because India has gone above and beyond the call of duty, evacuating citizens of at least 26 countries (in addition to their own) from Yemen. The other part is because the U.S. government has been unwilling to evacuate the U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen. The Obama Administration has tried to explain its decision this way:
Marie Harf, a spokesperson for the State Department, said last week, “Doing something like sending in military assets, even for an evacuation, could put U.S. citizen lives at greater risk.” The State Department’s website currently states that, “There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time.”
Further down, the same article states
The U.S. Embassy in Yemen was evacuated in February, with American personnel flying out of the country on private jets provided by the nation of Oman. Marines guarding the embassy personnel were not permitted to bring their sidearms on board these aircraft, and were ordered to disable and abandon their weapons before leaving the country. A U.S. special operations training mission assisting the Yemeni government in its fight against al Qaeda withdrew from the country last month. [emphasis added]In other words, the U.S. wasn't willing to use U.S. assets to evacuate even those citizens the U.S. government was willing to assist.
One of the sites that reported this news summarized it this way:
We only rescue deserters who commit treason. Everyone else can just lump it. India is doing a bang up job of evacuating and rescuing people. Other countries, when they pulled out, evacuated their people with them. Us? Not so much.As the Washington Free Beacon article says in its sub-headline
President Barack Obama has gone to the Summit of the Americas, being held now in Panama City, Panama. There he has had conversations with the leaders of various Western Hemisphere nations, including (reportedly) a private meeting with Cuban dictator Raul Castro. Some of that meeting looks like this.
There's another story coming out of this summit, though. The headline isThe Hill. Both stories quote Obama as saying
I’m not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.This fits in with his statement last year calling his own actions "American leadership at its best."
It's because of self-revelatory statements like this that another writer called Obama
A rarely seen merging of supreme arrogance and ignorance (see shovel-ready-jobs, Obamacare, US economic malaise, massive US debt, illegals rushing across our borders and sinking our economy and government infrastructure, etc).That ignorance apparently includes the events in Cuba leading up to the Castro dictatorship. (It's amazing to realize that Cuba under Fulgencio Batista was significantly freer than under the Castro Brothers!)
My own thought is that Obama's statements and behavior demonstrate a supreme self-centeredness. That also goes with him having an exceptionally thin skin for any criticism in fact, for any statements that are not laudatory. An overall assessment?
Obama has delusions of adequacy, an adequacy he sees as supreme excellence.
New Mexico is a land of traditions. One of them is the pilgrimage on Good Friday.
There are actually several. The pilgrimage to Chimayo is perhaps the most famous, with people walking long distances to the small church in that small village. But there is also one closer to home, winding down Highway 47 near Los Lunas and up the hill called Tomé.
They start arriving in the early morning and keep coming through much of the day. They climb the hill to arrive at the three crosses on its crest. Some come with family members or close friends. Some come in groups from various churches. Some come to fulfill personal vows. In all cases, however, the pilgrims' actions commemorate events on another hill, half a world away and almost two thousand years ago.
Those events were on the original Good Friday, and were the precursors to the first Easter. Today we commemorate that first Easter and all it represents. And we remember that Easter would not have been possible without Good Friday.
These two images make some very sharp points. Further commentary is almost superfluous. So, with (almost) no additional commentary, here are the images.
I think they speak for themselves without further commentary.
Is President Barack Obama obsessed with getting a nuclear agreement with Iran, no matter what the cost? Or is he an Iranian agent? Is he chasing what he thinks will be his legacy, or is he working to help Iran get nuclear weapons? Look at the way the P5+1 talks with Iran have gone; it pretty much has to be one or the other. It's just like the Ramirez cartoon.
Look at what's happened just this week. The news headline screamed "U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands as Nuke Deal Comes Together". With this, Iran wouldn't even have to disclose the nuclear research it's already been doing. And it would be able to continue its nuclear weapons research. It looks like the situation is, at best, just like the cartoon. Intransigence pays. Otherwise, either the "negotiations" are a sham a Kabuki theater or Obama simply doesn't care if Iran gets nuclear weapons. But he probably realizes he needs to seem to care.
But then it gets worse: An Iranian reporter, Amir Hossein Motaghi, a close media aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, resigned and defected while reporting on the nuclear talks. In a televised interview, he said he no longer saw any sense in being a "reporter" any longer as he could only write what he was told. He also said “The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.” Is that because Obama wants an agreement, no matter what? Or is it as Motaghi makes it sound, that Obama and those acting for him are agents of Iran?
And so we see France taking the toughest line at the Iran nuclear talks. French diplomats are emphasizing the need for reliable verification before sanctions are lifted, and the need to insure Iran's nuclear research work is actually constrained by the agreement to avoid a quick "breakout" in Iran's nuclear weapons development. They are concerned, too, over Iran's failure to be forthcoming with verification data required under existing nuclear agreements with the United Nations.
It appears France isn't the only participant in the talks objection go Obama's decision. I guess that's why it was reported that the Obama Administration was threatening US allies for disagreeing with Obama's position in the Iran nuclear talks. The Administration doesn't care what anyone else thinks. It is desperate for a deal.
It may all be for nought. Iran has come up with a new demand. Saudi Arabia must stop bombing Iran's proxies in Yemen, they say, or no deal. But US and Saudi interests are aligned with each other in Yemen, so acceding to Iran's new demand requires abandoning both an ally and our own interests. Or "the U.S. could simply make more concessions to the mullahs as compensation for the dastardly action taken by the Saudis to support an American-backed government in a terrorist-infected state." Either way, it's not a pretty picture.
Perhaps President Obama shouldn't be so single-mindedly focused so obsessed with getting this agreement.
New Mexico does not have a full-time legislature. Legislative sessions are 60 days long beginning in January following an election and 30 days long in the alternate years.
The House of Representatives has been doing its job this year, passing a significant number of bills. As of Wednesday 56 days into the 60 day session the Senate had passed (I think) just two: the "feed bill" providing their own pay for the session (always the first bill passed) and a bill to keep New Mexico permanently on Daylight Savings Time. (!) They seem to be sitting on (killing, tabling, etc.) everything else. They can't even pass a budget!
The cartoonist at the Albuquerque Journal describes this perfectly.
(The Roundhouse sitting on top of the basket is our beloved New Mexico capital building.)
Let's be fair. I don't think President Obama is a simple coward. I think we're just seeing the effects of his huge blind spot. He just can't see the connection between Islam any flavor of Islam and terrorism, and he won't be able to see it no matter how loudly and firmly that connection is confirmed and demonstrated by ISIS and the other jihadists. After all, Obama knows more about what is and isn't Islam than do the people who follow that religion.
That is almost certainly why his State Department is so strongly pushing the idea that Muslim men become jihadists because they don't have what we would consider normal job opportunities. This is nuts, especially since all the top jihadists are college educated men from well-to-do families. Just in case there is some small grain of truth in the Obama Administration argument, however, here are some suggestions for jobs such people might hold.
Of course, Washington DC doesn't have a monopoly on insanity. We have a big chunk of it right here in Albuquerque, county seat of Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Some of that insanity has just been demonstrated anew.
UPDATE: Here's a good part of the reason county residents are so upset.
"What happened to Islam?" Azeem Ibrahim uses this question to open his essay for the Chicago Tribune, which has been published online by the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald with the headline Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism.
Ibrahim argues that
Wahhabism isn’t Islam — it is a cult movement that uses Islamic terminology and has hijacked the religion using petrodollars. In the process, its adherents are killing and maiming more Muslims than people of other faiths . . .Wahhabism came out of what is now Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, and became the state-supported religion of that country when the current royal family took over.
Ibrahim notes that Wahhabism spawned the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turned spawned both al Qaeda and the Taliban, and states "The global propagation of a doctrine that has been a parent to jihadism impedes counterterrorism efforts."
He has some observations about other religions, as compared with Islam:
All religions have their extremists. Self-described pastor Terry Jones caused an international furor when he threatened to burn the Quran. The Ku Klux Klan has been parading nominally Christian symbols like Bibles and crosses for centuries. But these movements are seen for what they are: cults that appropriate the symbolism and style of a religion for their own amoral ends. Yet when voices like Anwar al-Awlaki, or before him, Osama bin Laden, preach that Islam requires murder — a straight reversal of the truth — their message finds fertile ground.He wonders why that is, and he asks "How did Islam come to this point?" What may be an answer to Ibrahim's question is here.
An article in The Telegraph today noted the removal of an artwork from a Paris art exhibition.
The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.Thus, the Islamic group admits that its co-religionists are completely, irredeemably uncivilized.
Look at a small portion of the evidence:
It's either that or it's all just excuses for uncivilized behavior.
Please feel free to pass on other elements demonstrating uncivilized behavior in the comments.
Since the sea-change election in early November, I've been hearing the Progressives and Leftists proclaiming that the Senate had just exchanged one petty tyrant for another. They insisted that Senator Mitch McConnell would behave just like Senator Harry Reid had blocking any amendments of bills by the minority and nearly all amendments by members of his own party, almost never allowing actual floor votes, and never allowing the minority party members any voice on anything. They were adamant that Reid's illegalities, obstructionism, arrogance, and hyper-partisan behavior were now the "new normal" for the Senate.
Mitch McConnell has now shown how delusional (or dishonest) the Progressives and Leftists are and have been.
Senators from both Republican and Democrat parties have been offering amendments to bills, which have all been put through the normal process or at least what was the normal process before Harry Reid's usurpations. And the Senate has actually been taking votes. In fact, the Senate took more votes in its first three weeks under Republican control than it did in all of 2014 under Harry Reid. Ten more votes have been taken in the two days since, making 25 votes so far (11 more than the 14 votes allowed in all of 2014 under Reid).
I agree with Warner Todd Huston's comment: "With McConnell allowing our proper system to reassert itself over the partisan, unfair, corrupt, un-American way Obama/Reid/Democrats ran things last year, it is a good thing. It is also proof that Republicans are far more American than Democrats."
There's been a lot of talk lately about radical Islamists like those who murdered so many people in Paris. It seems they attacked because their religious feelings were hurt. Apparently they were brought up to believe they have an absolute right to never be insulted, or hurt, or offended.
Or maybe they did do what the videos and witnesses say they did. But some commentators say we shouldn't blame them. After all, they say, the extremists in other religions are just as bad. I'm not sure I can buy that. Here's one piece of why.
And for those who believe the second way, I agree with this guy.
The latest terrorist outrage is the murders in Paris at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the other related attacks in the Paris area. Like the riots in 2006, this attack was blamed on the publication of "offensive" cartoons. Here are at least some of those cartoons (from here, other Gateway Pundit posts, and elsewhere).
This one is the most provocative of all the Charlie Hebdo cartoons I've seen. The words say "The Koran is shit. It doesn't stop bullets."
This one looks pretty provocative to me, as well, but I don't know what the words say.
All in all, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons seem pretty inoffensive especially in comparison with some of the cartoons it has printed satirizing other religions, politicians, & etc. They are, however, clearly more offensive than the drawings printed by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark in 2005. Just to jog everyone's memories, here they are again.
The 2005 cartoons were really inoffensive and yet (many of) Europe's Muslim leaders used them to foment riots in many parts of the world, five months after their publication. As I said in 2006, however, "It seems to me that someone was looking for an excuse that could be used to stir up trouble." In part, that was because even the rioters in 2006 agreed that the cartoons were not, themselves, offensive. Even so, they were used to create a lot of problems.
There seem to be a couple of root causes for these kinds of behaviors. (There are probably more, but this is the simplified version.) One is Islam's near-absolute lack of any sense of humor, especially about Islam itself. Like a five year old child, Islam takes itself far too seriously.
The other of these "couple of root causes" is that fundamentalist Muslims the Islamists have notoriously thin skins. They are always outraged about something. Perhaps the best comment in this arena, and its dynamics, is still from Daryl Cagle (before the start of his current website).
Probably no one thought the 2005 Danish drawings were of Muhammad until they were told so by their religious leaders. When they were told this, despite the evidence of their own eyes, they rioted. It is the same now as it was then. And isn’t that truly a fitting conclusion for this discussion of the ongoing “cartoon wars”?