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Gender: Male
Hometown: Nokomis, FL
Home country: US
Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:58 AM
Number of posts: 27,704

About Me

Retired 3x, living comfortably on the Gulf Coast, biking, beachwalking, lifting free weights, eating mostly properly, keeping my mind active, in my seventh decade, intending to give Methuselah a run for the record...

Journal Archives

CNN won't pit Dems against each other in Tuesday's debate

CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate the first Democratic presidential debate this week, and unlike the previous Republican debate hosted by CNN, Cooper said he won't be encouraging confrontations between the candidates.

"I'm always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off," Cooper said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "Look, these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that."

Cooper's suggested style is a departure from the GOP debate hosted by CNN and moderated by Jake Tapper in September.

Before that debate, Tapper had said he was "trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other."

His excuse for the soft pedal in the Dem debate? Republicans were mean to each other, Democrats weren't...

Speaking of the Crusades...

Facebook is again filled with defenders of Islamist “feelings” in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Eventually but invariably they invoke that favorite liberal trump card, the Crusades.

But I have to marvel at the tendency of these people to focus so heavily on a handful of European invasions of a tiny part of the western Levant (primarily modern Israel, which is the size of a postage stamp), all of which happened 800 to 900 years ago anyway, without a thought to:

The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of that same area just a few centuries earlier.
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Egypt
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Libya
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Tunisia and Algeria (as they are called today)
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Morocco (as it is called today)
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Spain and Portugal, resulting in a 700 year war of liberation which was only won by the conquered native inhabitants a month before Columbus sailed to the New World.
The attempted Muslim conquest of France
The Muslim conquest (later reversed) of Sardinia and of Sicily
9. The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Christian Asia Minor (now Turkey)
10. The Muslim conquest of “the city of the world’s desire,” Constantinople (now Istanbul), the seat of the Patriarch (rough equivalent of the Pope for the Eastern church; and thus the city’s fall was roughly the same as if an American army were to conquer and then forcibly convert Mecca), barely a generation before Columbus
The Muslim conquest of all of the Christian Balkans, literally to the gates of Vienna as late as September 11, 1683, just 100 years before American independence and half a millennium after the Crusades.
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of Zoroastrian Persia
The Muslim conquest and forced conversion of all of what we now call Central Asia
The Muslim conquest of and genocide in Hindu India, which took place after Columbus and at a time when that area had three times the population of all of Western Europe.

Sadly, I’m not even addressing the Muslim conquests and forced conversions of large parts of the rest of Africa or Southeast Asia. And you may draw whatever conclusions you will (if any) about the nature of Islam.

My point is simply that in even so much as mentioning the Crusades, you might as well just say that Hitler was right when he blamed Poland for World War II. The concept is utterly ignorant of history at best, pure propaganda at worst. Indeed, you might as well blame a massacre on the publication of a cartoon.

Iranian-American journalist convicted, Iran news agency says

A court in Iran has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Iran's ISNA news agency said on Sunday, but the U.S. newspaper said Tehran was working a political angle by not disclosing details. ISNA quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei as saying the California-born Rezaian, the paper's Tehran bureau chief, had 20 days to appeal the verdict. Rezaian was arrested in July 2014. He was accused of espionage.

"He has been convicted. ... But I don't have the details of his verdict," the news agency quoted Ejei as saying. The case has been a sensitive issue for Washington and Iran, and Sunday's announcement did little to resolve it.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was monitoring the case closely. "We continue to call for all charges against Jason to be dropped and for him to be immediately released," Kirby said earlier.


Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said that that statement from Tehran was "vague and puzzling," and Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the vague nature of that announcement showed Rezaian's case was not just about espionage but that the reporter was a bargaining chip in a "larger game." "It's increasingly clear that the final decision about how Jason's case will be handled will be made by political authorities, not by judicial ones," Jehl told Reuters.

Iran is turning up the pressure, knowing they have only one more year of prone-in-the-dirt Obama to occupy the White House and to give Iran virtually anything it asks for. The next step would be for another secret meeting where Iran and Obama decide on the wording of a plan where Iran demands total surrender of all US assets to Iran, Obama firmly denies the demand, Iran then "softens" it's demand to what it really wants and Obama gratefully submits to THAT and claims how TOUGH he is!...

Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi struck in air raid

Baghdad (AFP) - Iraq claimed Sunday to have struck a convoy carrying Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air raid near the Syrian border but said his fate was unknown. Meanwhile, regime troops backed by Russian air strikes made progress on two fronts but were battling other rebel groups. And Syria's opposition National Coalition said it will boycott UN-proposed peace talks, citing the Russian air strikes among a list of grievances.

Iraqi aircraft hit Baghdadi's convoy as it was "moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of the Daesh (IS) terrorist leaders," an Iraqi security statement said. Karabla is on the Euphrates barely five kilometres (three miles) from the Syrian border in western Anbar, a vast Iraqi province which has long been a Sunni insurgent stronghold.

The statement issued by Iraq's "war media cell" said Baghdadi was "transported in a vehicle" after the strike but added that "his health status was unknown". The meeting place was also struck in the operation and several IS leaders already gathered there were killed or wounded, it said. Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan told AFP that "the strike was yesterday (Saturday) at noon".

In Washington, a US military official said: "We've seen the Iraqi statement about al-Baghdadi but have no info that confirms it." Baghdadi's death would give the war against the most violent jihadist organisation in modern history a much-needed boost, but such claims have been made in the past.

Clemson University apologizes for serving Mexican food

Clemson University issued an apology to students on Thursday after what appears to be a small group of students were offended by an annual Mexican cuisine event put on by university dining services.

Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, Clemson University’s Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs apologized for the event’s “flattened cultural view of Mexican culture.”

“It is the mission of University Housing & Dining to create supportive and challenging environments that enrich and nourish lives. We failed to live out our mission yesterday, and we sincerely apologize,” Hallenbeck said.

Some Hillary Clinton Donors Defect to Movement to Draft Joe Biden

Some Hillary Clinton donors are defecting to Joe Biden, resisting entreaties from the Democratic front-runner’s campaign to stand by her despite slipping poll numbers.

A few of the fundraisers have gone public with their presidential preference. Others have quietly decamped and signaled their intentions to the Draft Biden 2016 super PAC that is working to prod the vice president into the race for the White House.

“Instead of being ready for Hillary, we’re waiting for Joe,” said Bill Bartmann, the founder and chief executive of CFS2 Inc., and onetime donor to Mrs. Clinton’s friendly super PAC. Mr. Bartmann’s switch in allegiance prompted one Clinton campaign official to contact him and ask: “Why are you doing this?” he said.

Clinton fundraisers say they don’t expect many supporters to switch teams, should Mr. Biden enter the presidential primary race. Her campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Shooter identified as Chris Harper Mercer...

E-mail: Hillary Clinton Lashed Out at Staff over Gay-Friendly Passports

In September 2015, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton styles herself as a staunch defender of gay rights — particularly gay parental rights. “I’m proud of you!” she told a gay man last April, after he explained how he and his partner had adopted a little girl together.

Four years ago, Clinton was singing a very different tune. An e-mail included in the latest tranche of Clinton documents released by the State Department on Wednesday shows the then-secretary of state exploding at her staff over plans to replace “Mother” and “Father” with “Parent One” and “Parent Two” on passport application forms, complaining about the decision and refusing to defend it in the face of partisan opposition.

Clinton learned about the change through a January 7, 2011 article in The Washington Post. But the policy shift was first announced in a December 2010 press release from the State Department. “These improvements are being made to provide a gender-neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families,” the statement read.

The next day, Clinton sent an early-morning e-mail excoriating top aides Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan for the secretive policy shift. “I’m not defending that decision, which I disagree w and knew nothing about, in front of this Congress,” she wrote. “I could live w letting people in nontraditional families choose another descriptor so long as we retained the presumption of mother and father. We need to address this today or we will be facing a huge Fox-generated media storm led by Palin et al.”

Secret service workers spied on lawmaker investigating them – report

Scores of US secret service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, chairman of the House oversight committee.


One week later, assistant director Ed Lowery suggested leaking embarrassing information about Chaffetz in retaliation for aggressive investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into a series of agency missteps and scandals, the report said. Days later, on 2 April, the information about Chaffetz unsuccessfully applying for a job at the secret service was published by the Daily Beast.

“Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair,” Lowery wrote 31 March in an email to fellow assistant director Faron Paramore.

Lowery, who is in charge of training, told the inspector general he did not direct anyone to release information about Chaffetz and “believed it would have been inappropriate to do so”, the report said. He told Roth the email was “reflecting his stress and his anger”.

Another source reported that Lowery has been appointed to the post of Assistant Director for training because of a series of high-profile security lapses!...


The Teamsters union is withholding an endorsement for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, further eroding Clinton’s support from Big Labor.

The Teamsters union’s general executive board voted unanimously Tuesday, 26-0, to hold off on endorsing Clinton at its meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Fox News reports that the vote was meant as “an intentional snub” of Clinton for backing away from her previous support for the job-creating Keystone pipeline.

The union is holding off until union-friendly Vice President Joe Biden makes a decision about whether or not to run for president.

The union also seeks a “sit down” meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose recent tax reform proposal drastically lowers the corporate and individual tax rates for the middle class in an effort to spur job growth, savings, and investment.
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