I’m sorry, I’m a little angry today. That’s because of this statement:
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
That’s a statement by VA Secretary Robert McDonald addressing a question about excessive wait times at VA facilities. All I can figure is he must have been a rather mediocre product of public education because this screams “STUPID!”.
When waiting in line for “Space Mountain”, Mr. Secretary, do people die? No? Then, you idiot, it’s not a valid comparison.
And secondly, what sort of “satisfaction with the experience” can someone who died waiting have, dumbbell? I’ll tell you now, since it is obvious you can’t figure it out – a very UNSATISFACTORY experience.
But of course, the dead can’t speak, can they you moron?!
Tell you what, why don’t you quit trying to find ways to explain the excessive wait times that are killing veterans and fix the effing problem? Ever think of that?
What a freaking imbecile.
If Obama was where someone was pouring leadership into a glass for others to partake, he would have his glass turned over. He is the antithesis of a leader. He is, without a doubt, one of the worst leaders this country has ever suffered. And that’s not just my opinion.
James P. Cain, a former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. He lost his son-in-law in the recent Brussels bombing. In a eulogy for his son-in-law he makes it clear what he thinks of the current US “leadership” in the face of a deadly and intractable enemy that much of the West and specifically the US, refuses to either recognize or confront.
Let’s be clear. This fight is not only against America and Europe, and it is not against Christianity. It is a fight against individualism, reason and independence of thought that began during the Enlightenment over 350 years ago in France, and found its greatest expression in the grand experiment launched by our Founding Fathers in Philadelphia.
This freedom is now under attack by the henchmen of the Dark Ages wherever they detect it—from Paris to Pakistan, San Bernardino to Istanbul, Nairobi to Brussels. Those who embrace this freedom, in what was once permissible to call the civilized world, are awakening to the battle lines that are forming. And like the battles that liberated Europe 70 years ago, the civilized world now demands coordination, willpower and leadership.
More important, where is American leadership?
Even before the horrifying attacks in Brussels, I was hearing grave concern from many friends in Europe about America’s withdrawal from the global stage: Our leaving Iraq without putting adequate security measures in place; our rebuffing of traditional allies in the region; our passivity as hundreds of thousands of Syrians were slaughtered; our paralysis as Islamic State made a grotesque spectacle of beheading “infidels,” including Americans. Since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the worried chorus from Europe has grown louder.
Of course the chorus has grown louder. Europe has invested little in its own defense. The US has always been there for them … until now.
It’s one thing to make the case that it is the job of Europe to begin to shoulder more of the burden of its own defense and then begin a well-thought out plan to which they’ve agreed to shift some of that burden. That’s leadership. Abandoning them is not leadership. And Obama has, essentially, abandoned them by not leading. He’s helped create the crisis, by lack of leadership, and he’s now exacerbating the problem by continuing his lack of leadership.
He simply isn’t nor has he ever been a leader.
And the world has suffered because of that.
While you may believe that the US needs to back down from the role of world policeman, that’s something a leader would do with a plan and gradually.
You don’t just quit doing it.
That is, unless you’re unqualified for the job you hold, have never held a leadership position previously and are not a particularly deep thinker when it comes to figuring out the consequences of your actions or lack thereof.
But then, I just described Barack Obama.
Our Idiot-in-Chief recently opined that we shouldn’t take the JV team very seriously because they’re just not an existential threat. Of course when I heard that I had to ruefully shake my head and remind myself that January of next year will be here soon. To paraphrase another yahoo that once occupied the Oval office, it depends on what the meaning of “existential” is.
If we’re doing a hand wave and pretending they’re a conventional force, then yes, they are not an “existential” threat. They have no airforce capable of penetrating American airspace. Certainly they have no navy. And they haven’t any airlift capability or conventional weaponry that poses any threat to the American mainland.
But that’s not the war they’re waging is it?
Of course it isn’t. They are, instead, waging what used to be termed “unconventional warfare”. They’re using guerrilla tactics. They’re targeting soft targets in far away lands. And, according to a new study, they’ve upped the ante by plenty:
The deadly toll of terrorism around the globe has jumped nearly 800 percent in the past five years, according to an exhaustive new report that blames the alarming expansion of Islamist groups across the Middle East and Africa.
The nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism found that an average of nearly 30,000 people per year have been killed by terrorists since 2010, when terrorism’s death toll was 3,284. The authors of the study, which tabulated the numbers through the end of 2015, say that the exponential increase shows two troubling trends: More attacks are happening, and they tend to be deadlier than ever.
“Everyone has known that terrorist attacks have generally been increasing yearly since 9/11,” Steven Emerson, executive director of IPT, tells FoxNews.com. “But the magnitude of the increase of the attacks surprised us, especially in the past five years. Even if you look back at the annual reports issued by the most senior analysts in the top five intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, there is not one report that predicted or forecasted that we would likely see such a massive escalation of attacks.”
The study notes that most of the attacks have been centered in the Middle East and Africa.
In addition to ISIS, groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia have been on the rise in the last few years. The Taliban has been resurgent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it took responsibility for Sunday’s Easter attack on Christians in Lahore; Kurdish-affiliated groups have been blamed for bombings in Turkey; Palestinian terrorists have waged at least two uprisings in Israel and Al Qaeda has continued to be active in Syria and Yemen, among other locations.
The terror groups, particularly those in the Middle East, have new access to deadlier weapons, which they have used to destabilize governments and terrorize citizens, said Emerson.
There is a method to their madness in the regions mentioned. Many of the countries in which they’ve waged their terror campaigns have become failed states. So using their tactics of choice, they’ve certainly shown themselves to be a proven existential threat to weaker nations.
But we’re apparently not in that category according to our Prez. And that’s because we’re big, we’re powerful and we are arrogant. We also apparently don’t think outside the conventional box.
Meanwhile, as we watch and assess conventionally, the enemy moves and executes unconventionally to the point that the kill rate now is 10 times what it was a mere few years ago.
Oh, and it’s moving from the Middle East and Africa … to Europe and Asia:
They also predict that Asia will see more terror attacks as countries like Thailand, The Philippines and India are perceived as soft targets, and that due to the migrant crisis, violence in Europe will increase over the next two years as extremists continue to exploit the immigration system throughout the EU.
Meanwhile, where we are having “conventional” success against them, they are shifting away from there to more amenable soft targets:
“With ISIS losing large swaths of territory as well as key commanders, its center of operational gravity definitely appears to be shifting to Europe, where it can recruit among the more than 30 million Muslims who live in Europe,” Emerson said.
“Add to this mix the fact that thousands of mosques in Europe are controlled by Salfists, Wahabists and the Muslim Brotherhood – which indoctrinate their followers,” he said, “and you have a future recipe for a massive increase in Islamist terrorist violence.”
But remember, we don’t say “Islamic extremists”. And what we won’t say and won’t acknowledge, we can’t defeat. And what we won’t address and thus can’t defeat remains a very real existential threat, simply because we won’t confront them in the reality in which they operate. When a mall or an airport or mass transit station go up in flames here, perhaps Mr. No Existential Threat will finally acknowledge the truth.
Secretary of State Kerry worked for three months to get the warring parties to a negotiating table under the auspices of the United Nations — moderate rebels, representatives of the regime, Iranians, Saudi Arabians and Russians. But Moscow then turned around and launched its offensive right as the talks began. Within 48 hours, the Russian air force carried out 320 airstrikes in northern Syria alone. It was no coincidence that the storm on Aleppo began at that exact moment. The aim was that of destroying any possibility that the opposition would have a say in Syria’s future.
Yes, that’s right, the Russians had no intention of working within the process and were simply setting up an opportunity to embarrass the United States.
I know, you’re shocked, aren’t you?
Secretary of State John Kerry conceded that his much-touted ceasefire in Syria, set to take effect Saturday, “may be” little more than what a Democratic senator called a “rope-a-dope deal.”
With Washington as the dope.
“I’m not going to vouch for this,” said Kerry. With good reason: It doesn’t cover ISIS, the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other terrorist groups — nor anyone who cares to fire at them. For months, Russia’s been bombing anyone it wants to while claiming to be targeting ISIS.
In a move likely to further increase already volatile tensions in the region, China has deployed fighter jets to a contested island in the South China Sea, the same island where China deployed surface-to-air missiles last week, two U.S. officials tell Fox News.
The dramatic escalation came as Secretary of State John Kerry hosted his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at the State Department.
It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so dangerous. The disrespect toward Kerry is much deserved, but it is primarily being shown to Obama. Kerry is just the proxy. These two states, among many others, simply have no respect or fear of Obama. None. And while they’ll play the diplomatic game, they’re two realpolitik states. When the former leader of the West shows weakness, they exploit it. Kerry just is the guy they choose to embarrass directly.
Oh, and speaking of ISIS, have you been monitoring its growth in Libya? You know Libya, the other foreign policy triumph of the Obama administration. Different Secretary of State, same disastrous result. And what is Obama doing? Well he’s considering a solution much like his Syrian solution. No boots on the ground and train some “good guys” to oppose ISIS.
So what does that tell adversaries? A) He hasn’t a clue. He’s in the middle of doubling down on failure. B) He will not commit to the effective use of American force. Yeah he may throw a few cruise missiles and air strikes at the place, but he really doesn’t plan to do much. And C) he’s the lamest of lame ducks and will likely do what he’s done for 7 years if either China or Russia act aggressively – talk big and carry no stick.
The Russians made clear that they were also coming in to help deal with the threat of the so-called Islamic State in Syria. It soon became apparent, however, that the Russian targeting strategy was less concerned with ISIS than tilting the balance of the civil war in favor of Assad and that Russian forces are now using tanks to target rebel strongholds in and around Aleppo.
Saudi Arabia has now moved fighter jets to Turkey with the aim of carrying out strikes inside Syria and has agreed to deploy special forces coming into Syria via Turkey.
Turkey is making it clearer by the day that it may feel it necessary to move from shelling mainly Kurdish positions inside Syria to moving troops and tanks into Syria. Meanwhile, concerns are being raised about Turkey invoking Article 5 of the NATO treaty, if Turkish forces were to be attacked by Russia or Syria.
NATO has every right to advise caution on Turkey, its fellow NATO member. But in these circumstances, following the Russian intervention — now that its full nature is revealed — it is very hard to argue that that it is not unreasonable for both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to contemplate such action.
NATO needs to establish two clear positions:
That it will not become embroiled as an alliance in fighting on the ground in Syria.
It will, however, respond to any attack that threatens the territorial integrity of Turkey.
Most people who know anything know that as the US goes, so goes NATO.
Anyone – do you really believe the so-called “commander-in-chief” would heed Turkey’s invocation of Article 5 and confront the Russians?
Two days before Christmas, as American policymakers were settling into the holidays, Russia quietly signed a sweeping air defense agreement with Armenia, accelerating a growing Russian military buildup that has unfolded largely under the radar. It was the most tangible sign yet that Putin is creating a new satellite state on NATO’s border and threatening an indispensable U.S. ally.
The buildup in Armenia has been glossed over in Washington, despite being a key piece of Vladimir Putin’s plan to dominate the region — along with its proxy Syria and growing military ties with Iran. Most importantly, Armenia shares an approximately 165 mile border with Turkey, a NATO member and the alliance’s southern flank.
And now Russia has 8,500 military personnel, 600 artillery pieces, 200 warplanes and 50 warships in the area.
Does that smell like “fear” to anyone?
If so, it’s probably emanating from DC.
Actually, we have a few QOTD and most come from Dr. John Cristy who recently gave testimony in a Congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers. You can read his full testimony here.
The quote I’m referring too, however, goes to the heart of this matter like no other. It gets to the reason so many who are skeptical continue to doubt the validity of the alarmist’s theory.
“It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations,” Christy wrote. “Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.”
Even more to the point was this:
“Following the scientific method of testing claims against data, we would conclude that the models do not accurately represent at least some of the important processes that impact the climate because they were unable to “predict” what has already occurred. In other words, these models failed at the simple test of telling us “what” has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to “what” may happen in the future and “why.” As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”
“Highly questionable value” is an understatement.
The predictions, as they’ve proven themselves, are useless for determining policy. They. Are. Wrong! Christy has a number of other charts available at the “full testimony” link, which point out how wildly wrong the climate models are. They’re not even close. Meanwhile, the scientists who have based their science in data vs. obviously incorrect models are the one’s that are the one’s under fire, with alarmists going so far as to call for their jailing for disagreeing with them.
Bottom line, it all comes down to the Richard P. Feynman quote that’s been flying around the net lately – “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” And, as we’ve pointed out, the observable data simply doesn’t support the theory.
Not that it will stop particular ideologically driven politicians from doing what they want to do in this regard:
A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states — not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, “It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States.”
Or, put another way, one of the largest power grabs in US history and certainly nothing beyond the man in the White House.
But, you know, damn the facts, full ideological speed ahead for him. It’s never been about science with him, it’s always been about ideology and power.
Another SOTU, another trip to Fantasy Land. I saw it all summed up in one wag’s sentence: “Obama has put Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer.”
There were some blatant lies and some pure nonsense in the mix last night. One that stood out to me was this:
I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.
No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead — they call us.
Surveys? Really? That’s his “source” of information.
I wonder if the surveys answered this question posed by David French.
Yet if America is the world’s most powerful nation, why are so many of our worst enemies far stronger and more dangerous than when Obama took office?
Probably not. In fact, much like Hitler’s “paper divisions” weren’t worth the paper they appeared on, I’d guess these surveys are about as worthless.
Claudia Rosett does a yoeman’s job of setting the record straight:
Here’s the real State of the Union, which is inextricably linked to the increasingly alarming state of the world: It is open season on America.
Not that America is by any stretch a lone target. Terrorist slaughter has become a staple of the world news. On the same Tuesday that just saw American sailors seized by Iran, the news was filled earlier in the day with accounts of a terrorist bombing in the historic center of Istanbul (which the State Department at least labeled “terrorist,” as opposed to “workplace violence”). ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban and a host of their kindred organizations are bedeviling the civilized world.
And then there are the sovereign-state behemoths: an expansionist China and an aggressive Russia, pushing the boundaries and arming for war — as the U.S. guts its military and turns over its resources to a domestic bureaucracy that is busy regulating America’s old free markets and resulting economic muscle into fading memory.
Obama’s presidency began in 2009 with apologies for America, a “reset” with Russia, a bow in Cairo and an outstretched hand to Iran — promising that this would boost America’s standing and security, and pave the way to more peaceful world. After seven years of American retreat, appeasement, vanishing red lines, diplomatic farce and an implausible nuclear deal with Iran, the clear message to every opportunist on the planet is: grab what you can.
But, as this graphic illustrates, Mr. Obama resides down another road the rest of us can’t afford to live on.
It is, as usual, all about the narrative and before he ever stepped to the podium, we knew that. We knew we’d hear the narrative even when it is so obviously fantasy. Reality is and has been banished from this administration as being unfriendly if not down right hostile to the narrative.
Are we the most powerful nation on earth? Yes, I think so … but that was so before Mr. Obama. I see it as much less of a fact now. The most powerful military in the world? Yes, but again, in decline. And I’m sorry, but there is no nation that I know of that is calling the US for help and certainly not to “lead”. Not with this yahoo in the Oval Office. In fact, as Rosett points out, two very powerful nations are pushing the envelope even as we speak and our answer, thus far has been the chirping of crickets. China has decided to take over the South China sea and has established its first military base in Africa. What have we done or said about that? Nothing.
It’s nice to be considered the most powerful nation on earth with the most powerful military. But it means nothing if that power isn’t used to advance the interests of your nation and its citizens or those of your allies. That doesn’t mean war, it usually means deterrence – maintaining the peace or the status quo in some instances. And it requires leadership, something we’ve been without for the last 7 plus years. Its about drawing limits and enforcing them. We have refused to do either these past 7 years.
The world knows that. That’s why little pop-gun states like Iran feel they can pretty much do what they want without fear of all that power we have. And that means we really don’t have any power at all. That’s been proven any number of times over the years with red lines crossed and the obvious refusal to recognize or meaningfully engage ISIS. At home the refusal to even say “radical Islam” has diminished the stature of this administration domestically as well.
We’re leaderless in a perilous world. Yes, we’re powerful – potentially. But without resolution and the threat of meaningful action that potential means absolutely nothing … except in the narrative.
Another thing I decided during my holiday hiatus was to make “Stray Voltage” a regular Friday feature. Why? Well, it covers a number of subjects/issues and gives everybody a lot to talk about over the weekend.
Question: Why is it the SJWs insist there is a “rape culture” on campus, but are mostly silent about the real rape culture that is rearing its ugly head in Europe among Muslim “refugees”?
Mr. Obama at his recent townhall meeting:
Obama didn’t hold back when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the notion that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the NRA and like-minded groups that convince its members that “somebody’s going to come grab your guns.”
I have only one thing to say to that Mr. Obama: “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.”
Well here’s a surprise. Another late night release, and more evidence that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted:
The latest batch of emails released from Hillary Clinton’s personal account from her tenure as secretary of state includes 66 messages deemed classified at some level, the State Department said early Friday.
In one email, Clinton even seemed to coach a top adviser on how to send secure information outside secure channels.
All but one of the 66 messages have been labeled “confidential”, the lowest level of classification. The remaining email has been labeled as “secret.” The total number of classified emails found on Clinton’s personal server has risen to 1,340 with the latest release. Seven of those emails have been labeled “secret.”
Does the name Petraeus mean anything to you? And in comparison his security breaches were minor. Which makes you wonder what it is going to take to finally see Clinton prosecuted. I also wonder if the Obama administration may be interested in keeping his executive actions in place after he leaves … enough so they’re willing to make a deal with the Democratic front runner? I’m sure everyone would be shocked, shocked I tell you, if that was the case.
And while the president is crying and wailing about you folks owning too many guns, the beat goes on:
Two Palestinian men who were born in Iraq and came to the United States as refugees have been arrested in connection with terrorism investigations, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Imagine that. Both men of fighting age, both refugees, both engaged in terroristic activities, but I’m the xenophobe (or racist or, well, pick your favorite pejorative) if I say don’t import trouble in the form of refugee men from Islamic countries that support and foment terrorism?
Finally, Mr. Obama seems to think that if he repeats the same nonsense over and over again, it somehow becomes true. To wit:
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” –President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true.
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
But hey, this is for the low information citizen who only reads headlines and listens to sound bites (read the whole thing). What’s that old saying? A lie can travel around the world before the truth gets its shoes on? Something like that. That is why propaganda is so powerful. And this, my friends, is nothing but propaganda … dutifully retransmitted by an willfully incurious media.
Have a great weekend.
Those words were uttered by President Obama prior to the Paris massacre by ISIS. Politico argues that the words were in response to a specific question about territory ISIS controlled. And, frankly, if that’s the argument I think it has some credibility. However, in the same interview, Obama said:
Until Assad is no longer a lightning rod for Sunnis in Syria and the entire region is no longer a proxy war for Shia-Sunni conflict, we’re gunna continue to have problems. … with making sure that ISIL continues to shrink in its scope of operations until it no longer poses the kind of threat that it does, not just primarily to us, but to neighbors in the region[.]”
Just as clearly, that’s a claim that the administration and it’s allies in the region will keep up their operations to ensure that “ISIL continues to shrink its scope of operations” until it is no longer a threat. While it may not specifically state that “ISIL is contained”, it certainly implies success in “continuing” to “shrink” ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”. To me, its pretty much the same claim as “ISIS is contained”.
However, as usual, reality trumps fantasy:
Since October 10, ISIS and its sympathizers around the world have killed at least 525 people in six attacks in six countries outside its so-called caliphate.
American counterterrorism officials say that of the six attacks, three were directed by ISIS from its territory in Syria and Iraq and another two were so-called “announcement” attacks — local ISIS elements revealing their existence in dramatic fashion.
Yes, that’s right, friends and neighbors, since October 10th, 525 people around the world have died as a result of this “shrinking” of ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”. 525 in 6 separate attacks. And the fact is, our “leader” was trying to peddle the notion that ISIL/ISIS was being controlled.
Does it sound like success in “shrinking” the “scope of operations” of this terrorist group? Does it look like ISIL/ISIS is being controlled?
Most people would read it as a very large expansion of operations by a group largely out of anyone’s control on the opposition side.
But then, most people aren’t in “denial” (and if you’re wondering, remember the correct answer is “gun control”).
I’ve seen many critiques of it, but for me it was, well, boring. Why? Because it was so predictable. Other than some grudging acceptance of the terrorism that has spawned in the US, it was the usual nonsense of lecturing the citizens of the US like they were children. Jim Geraghty picked up on that too:
At this point in his presidency, Obama speaks with only one tone, the slightly exasperated and sometimes not-merely-slightly exasperated “adult in the room” who constantly has to correct his fellow Americans, who are always flying off the handle, calling for options that “aren’t who we are,” betraying our values, and so on. He’s always so disappointed in us.
At certain points, Obama sounded as if he was speaking to children. “The threat is real, but we will overcome it.” “We will not defeat it with tough talk, abandoning our values, or giving in to fear.” “We will prevail by being strong and smart.”
And yet, we’ve heard nothing “strong or smart” from the man giving the lecture. Nothing. For instance:
He made yet another pitch for barring anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list from purchasing firearms. He simply ignored any of the objections, whether it’s the lack of due process or judicial review, the arbitrary, foggy nature of how someone gets on the list, or the fact that 280,000 people with no recognized terrorist group affiliation are on the list.
Sounds good to those who don’t really think about it, but is it? Not really. Why? Well, that’s fairly simple:
You know who wasn’t on the no-fly list? The San Bernardino shooters. Nor was the Fort Hood shooter. Nor the Boston bombers. Nor the Chattanooga shooter. In other words, no perpetrator of any major attack on American soil was on the no-fly list.
So again, the “smartest guy in the room” acts exasperated with the “children” but offers up a whole lot of nothing – except the usual dump truck load of words – that addresses the problem.
As someone tweeted when they found out that Obama, Biden and Rice among others were meeting to address San Bernardino, “Our JV team”.