Sunday, November 29, 2015

Scared of Widows & Orphans (2)

I'd like to amend the program I proposed below for President Barack Obama's Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program. The new version still proposes to "admit the number of Middle East refugees (all claimed to be Syrian, of course) that Obama wants, but let's limit the admitted refugees to the following two groups", and I would say in the following order:
      1. Translators who have worked for and with U.S. and allied forces,
          and their families,
      2. Refugees from groups subjected to genocide in their home
          countries. The groups in this category would be
            a. Surviving Yazidis and
            b. Surviving Christians and
            c. Surviving Jews, and
      3. Widows, with their young children, and young orphan children.
Additional genocide victim groups can be added as appropriate. The likelihood of there being jihadists among these groups — particularly the first two — is small.

No matter what Obama says, category 2 is not "putting a religious test on our compassion." It is giving a preference to genocide's victims over its perpetrators.

I made a recommendation before, and I now make it again: Put this structure in a bill and pass it through Congress. Dare Obama to veto it. After all, this gives Obama what he claims to want. If he vetoes this bill, he proves his claims are lies and what he really wants is something other than what he says. If he signs it — and follows its requirements — he gets his refugees without endangering our security. That would be a win-win.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Implausible Hillary

A letter to the editor was published in the Albuquerque Journal last Tuesday, November 24th, relating to Hillary Clinton's oft-repeated claim to have been improperly rejected by Marine Corps recruiters. It was printed under the title

Clinton's Marine Corps claims implausible


Hillary Rodham Clinton claims she tried to join the Marine Corps, as reported in the Albuquerque Journal on Nov. 14 ("Clinton's Marine Corps story begs for explanation").

As a woman who served in the Marines more than 10 years, I find her story to be far-fetched. Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post reporter who fact-checked Clinton's claim, found a number of problems. But there are more.

The main problem is that Clinton claims she was turned away by a recruiter. Recruiters have quotas to meet. They are hungry for bodies to send in to the pipeline. A person needs to be highly unqualified to be rejected by a recruiter.

Clinton says the recruiter said, "That is kind of old for us," referring to her age of 26 at the time. If she graduated from high school at 18, then spent four years in college and three in law school, she would have been only a year out of school. Her age would have been appropriate for [her] to join the Judge Advocate General's Corps as a lawyer for the Marines.

Clinton also said the recruiter told her, "You can't see." My distance vision is approximately 20/1000 and I enlisted with no problem. I doubt Clinton's vision is worse than mine. Unless her vision was so impaired that she was walking into the furniture, the recruiter would not have been the one to reject her on medical grounds. Only a doctor would have that qualification.

Further, joining the military is often part of a larger pattern of a person's life. A few years before I went off to boot camp, before I could even drive, I sent in one of the cards often found in magazines to let the military know I was interested. So I had a Marines T-shirt, whereas Clinton organized events against the Vietnam War.

Marines are known by our motto, "Semper Fidelis." With this implausible story, Clinton shows her infidelity to the truth. Clinton shows she doesn't have the moral courage to stand among the few and the proud.


It sounds to me like Hillary Clinton is one of those whose only connection to the U.S. military is in her imagination, and whose imagination is significantly divorced from reality. I know more than a few like that, like the friend who believes our soldiers are taught in boot camp how to commit war crimes. And I'm sure they will all vote for Hillary.

UPDATE: There's also an item headlined I Was A Woman In The Marine Corps In the Mid-70s. Hillary Clinton’s Story Doesn’t Add Up. She doesn't believe Hillary, either.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Followers of Islam v. 2.0

For Islamists, thoughtcrimes are justifications for murder.

Many wonder why they do things like that, how they can possibly do that. I think this makes it clear — this is the jihadist reality:

Only a slightly separate topic: "Why do I say 'Islam version 2'?" Because the original Islam, which was preached in Mecca, was peaceful. Islam only became violent and jihadist when Mohammed changed it and his preaching (to version 2) after realizing he could get a lot more power and riches as a warlord than as a prophet.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

One of Our 50 Is Missing

And that's why New Mexicans are all going to have to get passports — thanks to the intransigence of Senate Democrats, and Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez in particular.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Scared of Widows & Orphans

The headline reads Even Democrats Worry About Obama's Weirdly Detached Views On ISIS. The story particularly cites a statement by California Senator Diane Feinstein: “I’ve never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding.” New York Senator Chuck Schumer, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan agree with Feinstein at least in part. All are Democrats.

What triggered these responses, at least in part, was President Barack Obama's bellicose and hostile statement in Manila about Republicans: “Apparently, they're scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America.”

Once again, Obama has made up a straw man using a tiny piece of reality and a huge amount of imagination, all for the political purpose of advancing himself and his agenda. According to Obama, they all oppose letting poor downtrodden Syrian refugees into the US. But he doesn't say the same about those in his own party who are concerned over how detached he has become from reality, while staying close (of course) to his ideology.

This particular straw man is especially dishonest. Widows and orphans aren't the problem, as President Obama well knows. The issue is the jihadists who are coming out of the Middle East mixed in with the real refugees — a number, according to statements by involved individuals and organizations, inserted among the refugees by ISIS. The issue of jihadists among the refugees was brought to the fore by the jihadists' terror attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13th.

So here's a thought: Let's admit the number of Middle East refugees (all claimed to be Syrian, of course) that Obama wants, but let's limit the admitted refugees to the following two groups:
      1. Widows, with their young children, and young orphan children,
      2. Refugees from groups subjected to genocide in their home
          countries. The groups in this category would be
            a. Surviving Yazidis and
            b. Surviving Christians and
            c. Surviving Jews.
Additional genocide victim groups can be added as appropriate. The likelihood of there being jihadists among these groups is small.

No matter what Obama says, this is not "putting a religious test on our compassion." It is giving a preference to genocide's victims over its perpetrators.

Put this structure in a bill and pass it through Congress. Dare Obama to veto it. After all, this gives Obama what he claims to want. If he vetoes this bill, he proves his claims are lies and what he really wants is something other than what he says. If he signs it — and follows its requirements — he gets his refugees without endangering our security. That would be a win-win.

UPDATE: Mrs Critter has another suggestion that may improve our national security: House all "Syrian" "refugees" admitted to the U.S. under this program at the White House.

UPDATE: From the Washington Examiner e-mail today (Thursday):

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Saturday Night Upsets

Sports fans in Albuquerque have been exceptionally happy this Sunday. And they should be — they were the beneficiaries of two huge upsets on Saturday night.

The Albuquerque Journal began its story on the University of New Mexico Lobo football game at Boise State saying "Maybe it was only the second-biggest upset Saturday involving an Albuquerque sports entity, but the New Mexico Lobos will take it." The Broncos were favored by 30½ points. But they didn't cover the spread. Indeed, they didn't score 30 points! Instead, they lost to the Lobos by a score of 31-24.

No one expected much of the Lobos at the start of the season. Or later, either. Last week they were 20-point underdogs when they beat Utah State 14-13. That performance didn't get them much respect this week. Will what they did last night make a difference?

Whether it does or not, the UNM Lobos are now bowl-eligible. And that's shocking everyone!

But as big a shock as that was, it was nothing to the shock arriving home from the other side of the world. That was described as a world-shattering upset, the world turned upside-down Down Under, the biggest upset in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) history. A shocked crowd of more than 60,000 and a huge pay-per-view crowd saw it happen live. The Albuquerque Journal headlined their story this way:

Much of the sports world had expected a short fight. After all, (now former) UFC Champion Ronda Rousey had dispatched her last three opponents in a combined total of one minute and four seconds, and had only been pushed into a second round once before in her UFC career.

No one gave the former world boxing champion from Albuquerque much of a chance. The odds against Holly Holm were steep — a $100 winning bet on her would return $1,200! Even Holm's partisans were saying just going the distance with Rousey would be a victory for Holly.

Holly didn't go the distance, but she did finish the fight. She put Ronda on the canvas, on her back, unconscious at just under a minute into the second round. Her knockout left kick produced a stunning upset victory. It was a sight to be seen! The Preacher's Daughter now returns to Albuquerque as the new UFC World Champion.

And Albuquerque basks in the glow of these two HUGE upsets.

Meanwhile, In Paris

A group of completely uncivilized barbarians went on a senseless rampage, murdering well over 100 people in Paris on Friday night for no other reason than that they wanted to. Several groups of pond snakes (far lower than apes and pigs) staged at least six separate coordinated attacks on restaurants, a shopping area, a rock concert, and a soccer game. Their only purpose was to terrorize the population, as they hope to do around the world in the future. ISIS has claimed the blame for this series of attacks.

Unlike previous jihadist attacks, this one did not produce Muslim community cheers for the attackers. (Muslims around the world condemn terrorism after the Paris attacks — headline) Indonesia (the world's most populous Muslim country) condemned the attacks. Iran called them a "crime against humanity." Arab state leaders called the attacks immoral, “criminal acts of terrorism which run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values.” More locally, Albuquerque's imam, Shafi Abdul Aziz, told Channel 7 News it is time for everyone to come together to destroy ISIS. I'd say that's not quite good enough.

Previous Islamic cults, the Hashshashin and the Thugee, exist now only as words in the dictionary — assassin and thug. That is too good for these groups. ISIS and al Qaeda should be exterminated thoroughly, removed even from the memory of humanity except as footnotes in an obscure historical treatise.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Safe Spaces

Just a few days ago, two rather different things were in the news (sort of). Students (at least, some of them were) at Missouri University were demanding "campus safe spaces". That same day (November 10th) was the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). My response is like that of Steven Hayward at the Power Line Blog. He noted there had been a previous demand by youth for safe spaces, in Campus "Safe Space," 1930s Edition:

In that same post, he also appropriately noted the Marine Corps' birthday:

Hayward said it. There's nothing left to add.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Is Islam Beginning to Soften?

I heard on the news that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a new statement. Talking about the "Death to America" refrain that is repeated ad nauseum there, he said “It goes without saying that the slogan does not mean death to the American nation; this slogan means death to the US’s policies, death to arrogance.”

A good friend of mine thinks this statement, and the Iranian nuclear deal, mark a turning point. He thinks Islam is beginning to soften, moving into some form of Reformation, and may cease to be the warlike and frequently genocidal belief structure we've all come to know from the news ever since Mohammed became a warlord. He forsees Islam moving out of the 6th century Real Soon Now, coming at least a little closer to modernity.

Maybe my friend is right. Just a few days later I ran across the story of a major Jordanian sheikh, Sheikh Ali Halabi. Halabi is one of the most well-known Salafi sheikhs in Jordan and he is the head of the Imam al-Albani religious studies center in Jordan. He issued a fatwa against killing Jews, a fatwa delivered in a video that was widely distributed through social media. He said Jews may be killed only during a war and that killing them at any other time is a betrayal of Islam.

But there are some contrary indications, things suggesting Islam isn't changing at all.

The 76-year-old ayatollah also said “The slogan ‘death to America’ is backed by reason and wisdom.” He made it clear that the refrain "Death to America" will not leave the Islamic republic’s political lexicon any time soon. He also notes the irrelevance of this year's nuclear deal, saying that relations between Tehran and Washington will not be normalised.

And the sheikh got in trouble, too. His video went viral on social media and, as might be expected, caused a stir in the Muslim world, with activists attacking the sheikh. As a result, he has backtracked on his fatwa. He may be the highest-ranking cleric to try making such a statement, but he's just as likely to be killed for making it as the lesser clerics who have tried. Apparently being one of the top authorities of the religion isn't enough protection from the religion's adherents. Apparently those adherents aren't actually required to follow the fatwas issued by the authorities, in spite of everything we've been told for years / decades / centuries. Perhaps this was just another instance of Islamic taqiyya — another Islamic lie.

The bottom line: Islam isn't changing. It will continue to be characterized by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian theocracy, and the Islamic State.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

An Unexpected Rocket Plume

A lot of folks got startled — freaked out — on last Saturday night (November 7th). People from Los Angeles to Seattle and for quite some distance inland saw a strange light in the sky.

It turned out to be a test flight of a submarine launched missile (SLBM), apparently traveling roughly northwest from a launch point some distance west of Los Angeles.

In fact, it turned out not to be one test launch but two. The second test, on Monday afternoon, wasn't anywhere nearly as noticeable. (It was in daylight.)

Guess this is why the airspace over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles was closed to air traffic for a week.

A number of pictures of the test flight have showed up in newspapers and on the internet. Most of them look like one of the two pictures shown here.

But this is the best picture I've seen of the event.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Mexican Passports

Every year the New Mexico tourism department gets a lot of letters from potential visitors asking about passport and visa requirements for visiting New Mexico from the United States. These would-be tourists seem not to understand that New Mexico is one of the 50 states of the United States (as it was one of the 48 states — now referred to as the "lower 48" — before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted in 1959).

I have always felt the response sent to these potential visitors should be that New Mexico does not issue visas to U.S. citizens.
New Mexicans have long joked about how much of the rest of our country doesn't believe we're a state. We have become accustomed to others asking what our currency is or being surprised at how well we speak English. We have joked that we need to carry passports to visit other parts of our own country.

But now there's a new wrinkle — It appears most New Mexicans will require passports to fly to El Paso or Phoenix or even Los Alamos, or to go onto Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque or onto Cannon Air Force Base or the White Sands Missile Range or into any federal courthouse or federal building.

It's all because of the Real ID Act, which requires (among other things) that state IDs and drivers' licenses be used to identify U.S. citizens and legal residents. But New Mexico, and particularly New Mexico drivers' licenses, are noncompliant because a 2005 New Mexico law mandates issuance of New Mexico drivers' licenses to illegal aliens (or, more specifically, to people who cannot demonstrate they are in the U.S. legally).

Up until now, New Mexico and a number of other states have been given deadline extensions allowing them to avoid compliance with the Act's requirements. But now the Homeland Security Department has denied New Mexico an additional extension for deadline compliance. That, of course, has re-energized the debate over attempts to repeal the 2005 law and the role of the Democrat leadership of the New Mexico Senate in blocking those repeal efforts.

In the meantime, New Mexico residents had better obtain or renew their passports. They'll need those passports to travel into the (rest of the) United States — or anywhere else.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chili Is Not Chile

There is a spicy vegetable grown in a number of places, most prominently in the state of New Mexico. It is commonly green when it is picked, but may be dried to a bright red. It is called chile. It is served in many restaurants as both red chile and green chile. That's the source of the official question of the State of New Mexico: "Red or Green?" (The appropriate answers are red, green, and Christmas [both].)

Chile is quite a different thing from chili (more properly identified as Texas chili), though some form of chile is used in preparation of that dish.

Most outside the Southwest are pretty ignorant about chile. I was once in a diner in Arlington VA where I saw a menu item that said Chili Omelet. I thought "This is great!" 'Cause I hadn't expected Arlington would know anything about chile. I asked the waitress "What kind of chile is that?" When she got a terribly puzzled look on her face, I tried to help: "Red or Green?" She thought for a second and said of their chili that "It's kinda brown. From a can." I'd been right in the first place: They had no idea about chile. No concept.

The Associated Press is in the same condition. Their style guide apparently specifies that the proper spelling is "chili" with two exceptions — when specifically referring to Hatch Chile (chile grown near the town of Hatch in southern New Mexico) or when referring to the South American country of Chile.

A New Mexico newspaper writer objected, and tried to get the Associated Press to correct their style book. But she kept getting rebuffed. Finally she went to New York to speak directly with the executives in charge of the style book. She made her case to them. They responded in a rather patronizing manner. They explained that, if the style book called for spelling chile correctly, people would confuse the vegetable with the South American country.

The New Mexico writer was exasperated by this answer. She responded to them with words like "Well. that hasn't been a problem with Turkey!"

Does this mean the Associated Press thinks its public is stupid? I'd say it does!

How Stupid Does the Pentagon Have To Be?

Doesn't the Pentagon check out companies before issuing contracts to them? Doesn't it include restrictive language in its contracts? In past years it did both.

But now the Pentagon has discovered (actually one of its contractors discovered and informed the Pentagon) that "Russian computer programmers were helping to write computer software for sensitive U.S. military communications systems". Software those programmers wrote "made it possible for the Pentagon’s communications systems to be infected with viruses."

No wonder Vladimir Putin has been so consistently eating Barack Obama's lunch! Once again it appears the Pentagon has had its manhood removed.

Only Some Black Lives Matter

When the Black Lives Matter people say "Black Lives Matter", they don't mean it. They just want to use it as a cudgel. They want to use it to berate those who say "All Lives Matter". "Black Lives Matter" to them just means "Only Black Lives Matter" — and as I said, it doesn't really mean even that.

How can we be sure? Because the Black Lives Matter people don't want black policemen to be included among those whose murder would be a hate crime under a proposed federal law.

To be fair, the Black Lives Matter people don't want the murder of any policeman to be considered a hate crime. And they are fairly up-front about their bigotry, saying "it’s not the color of their skin, but the color of their uniform". Clearly, only some black lives matter to Black Lives Matter.

Or, as I previously noted, Black Lives Matter, But To Whom?