Saturday, January 02, 2016

Smart Diplomacy: For 1st Time, Putin Officially Names the U.S. as a Threat

A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time
writes Vladimir Soldatkin at Thomson Reuters,
a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years
in addition to being a piece of news which must surely be an homage to the apologizer-in-chief's brilliant forward-looking policy of smart diplomacy (Update: spasiba to Instapundit).
The document, "About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation", was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO.

 … Relations between Russia and the West reached a low after Russian forces annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014, after protests in Ukraine forced its pro-Moscow president to flee to Russia.
Reminder: Back during the 2008 election campaign, Sarah Palin was vilified for saying another incredibly dimwitted thing, that the election of a pacifist like Barack Obama to the White House
would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.
(Gratefully, intelligent people like those writing for Foreign Policy were around to remind everybody that in fact, such an invasion was, and is, "an extremely far-fetched scenario.")

A "sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years" is the Thomson Reuters journalist's wording of choice.

"In recent years," Vladimir Soldatkin?! "Recent"?!

You might read some blogs once in a while, Vlad. Over there, in your MSM office. And their posts.

Such as:
Four years of NP posts on Obama caving in to the Kremlin (2011)
• Moscow's tone is "reminiscent of Soviet days";
If anyone is stuck in the Cold War mentality, it is the Russians (2012)
• Smart Diplomacy: "Surging anti-American sentiment" in Moscow
and its legislators' "unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy”
• Smart Diplomacy: what is happening in Eastern Europe
now is as much Obama’s fault as it is Putin’s
• Have U.S. Relations with Russia Reverted to The Same Type as Those
During the Cold War That Obama Once Mocked Romney For
? (2015)
• The Fruits of Smart Diplomacy: For the First Time Since the
Cold War, the U.S. Stations Heavy Weapons in Eastern Europe
• Advice to the Republican Hopefuls and to Other Leaders and Members of the GOP (2015)

Friday, January 01, 2016

Lib-Dems don’t appeal to nostalgia and they usually chalk it up to racism when Republicans do; now that Team Clinton realizes that Bill is a lot more popular than Hillary is, nostalgia’s okay

Hillary Clinton says that her “not-so-secret weapon” is her husband Bill
reports Benny Huang,
and has asked the former president to campaign for her in New Hampshire after the New Year.

Bringing in Bill to rescue a flailing Hillary actually sounds like a pretty decent strategy. It appears that she’s trying to cash in on the curious but nonetheless real phenomenon of Clinton nostalgia—Bill Clinton nostalgia, that is. People genuinely like the former president even if they can’t name a single thing he accomplished while in office.

Even so, Bill’s rescue operation reflects poorly on Hillary. It’s as if she’s saying “Yes, I know I’m a dud as a candidate—but my husband’s pretty cool, isn’t he?” Oh, yeah. He practically invented cool. William Jefferson Clinton may not be a particularly good leader but he’s certainly a masterful politician. He’s got that cool vibe that Hillary doesn’t. The Clintons have long recognized this problem and have even reached out to their friend Steven Spielberg for help, asking him to refer Hillary to an acting coach so she could learn what Bill instinctively knows. Hillary grew weary of the lessons quickly.

Lib-Dems don’t appeal to nostalgia and they usually chalk it up to racism when Republicans do; now that Hillary Clinton realizes that Bill is a lot more popular than she is, nostalgia’s okay

While Hillary’s invocation of Clinton Nostalgia is understandable it is also out of character for a progressive Democrat. Lib-Dems don’t often appeal to nostalgia and they usually chalk it up to racism when Republicans do. The good old days never were, they say. Or at least they used to say that until Hillary Clinton realized that her husband is a lot more popular than she is. Now nostalgia’s okay.

It is worth noting however that Team Clinton relied on almost exactly the opposite strategy for winning hearts and minds the last time they occupied the White House. When Bill accepted his party’s nomination at the 1996 Democratic National Convention he spoke boldly of the future, leaning heavily on his campaign’s official slogan “Building a Bridge to the 21st Century.” In that speech, he used the word “future” ten times, the words “21st Century” twenty-two times, and the word “children” a whopping thirty-six times! As any do-gooder will tell you, the children are the future—making the two words practically interchangeable. The speech was classic dumb-downed politics, the use of repetition and glittering generalities to hammer home one simple, emotionally-charged message: Democrats are the future, Republicans are the past.

Speaking as one of those children Bill Clinton mentioned thirty-six times—I was fifteen years old at the time of the convention—I will say that we’ve arrived at the future he spoke of…and it sucks. It’s no wonder Hillary is placing her bets on nostalgia.

Remember back before everything sucked? Yeah, my husband was president then.

So just what went wrong in the meantime? A lot of things, I suppose, though if I had to choose just two I would name 9/11 and the 2008 fiscal crisis as the most substantial. Bill Clinton bears a large portion of the responsibility for both of those events which makes me wonder why so many people seem to eagerly await his comeback tour. He’s not solely responsible for either event, of course, but he does deserve the lion’s share of blame.

 … As economist Stan Liebowitz wrote: “From the current handwringing, you’d think that the banks came up with the idea of looser underwriting standards on their own, with regulators just asleep on the job. In fact, it was the regulators who relaxed these standards–at the behest of community groups and ‘progressive’ political forces.”

Things got worse when wealthier borrowers began to demand the same terms for their loans as poor people got. It was rather difficult to tell a person with good credit that he couldn’t have the same terms as someone with bad credit. Fueled by easy money from the banks, often loaned at favorable interest rates and sometimes with no down payment necessary, builders got to work adorning the American landscape with new homes.
Read the whole thing

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A year of absurdity and overreach: The common thread for the year 2015 in review is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government

Goodbye to 2015, a year of absurdity and overreach
writes George Will.
We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars.

 … The Internal Revenue Service persecutes conservative advocacy groups but does not prosecute IRS employees who are tax cheats: An audit revealed that over the past decade, the IRS fired only 400 of the 1,580 employees who deliberately violated tax laws, rather than the 100 percent required by law.
There's more — much more — at the link
This list of 2015 ludicrousness could be lengthened indefinitely, but enough already. The common thread is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government. Happier New Year.

New Year's Resolutions

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Big Star Wars Spoiler Ahead

I went to see the new Star Wars film
and I was (very) happy I did

People have allegedly found all sorts of plot holes,
but the only one which really bothered me
I have not seen talked about anywhere

Once a central figure is gone, a new crew forms for the Millennium Falcon:
Rey and Chewbacca; fair enough — but why — why on Hoth?! — does
Chewie remain co-pilot while the young novice takes over the pilot's seat?

Doesn't the older and more experienced Wookie, the one who has so
many years of flight behind him, deserve to advance to full pilot on the ship
he has served on for so many years, with the novice starting out
(à la Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Padawans) in the novice position?!

In Obama's Simplified World, Countries Like France Are Always Places to Contrast America with, to Praise, and to Emulate

President Obama held up France as the gold standard the U.S. workplace should emulate
writes The Washington Examiner's Susan Crabtree.
Extolling the business virtues of helping workers balance family and employment demands, including providing paid time off for the birth of a child, Obama said that if France can provide the benefits, so can the United States.

“Other countries know how to do this,” Obama said. “If France can figure this out, we can figure it out.”

France provides some of the most far-reaching worker rights in the developed world, including limiting a standard work week at 35 hours and providing 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.

France also has an unemployment rate that has hovered above 10 percent for more than two years, well above the rate of unemployed in the United Kingdom and the United States, which are both in the 6 percent range.

Obama made the comment at the first White House summit for working families, which sought to amplify issues like paid maternity leave and the ability to take paid leave to take care of elderly loved ones.

“Many women can't even get a paid day off to give birth,” Obama said. “There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us. And that is not a list you want to be on, by your lonesome.”

The White House hosted the summit jointly with the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and it served in part as a campaign pep rally focused on turning women voters out in November.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Doctors live in fear that their careers will be ended if they advise against anal sodomy—which turns out to be pretty good medical advice

Just in case there was any lingering doubt that Planned Parenthood doesn’t give a hoot about “women’s health”—or anyone’s health, for that matter—the abortion giant is now on record favoring the “right” of HIV-positive people not to disclose their status to sex partners.
Thus writes Benny Huang.
From their pamphlet, the ironically titled “Happy, Healthy, and Hot”: “Your decision about whether to disclose may change with different people and situations. You have the right to decide if, when, and how to disclose your HIV status.”

Surely the pamphlet only means friends and co-workers though, right? Actually, no. The pamphlet continues: “Some countries have laws that say people living with HIV must tell their sexual partner(s) about their status before having sex, even if they use condoms or only engage in sexual activity with a low risk of giving HIV to someone else. These laws violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges.” The pamphlet then encourages the reader to get involved to change such laws “that violate your rights.”

So basically Planned Parenthood is encouraging people to pull a Charlie Sheen; or at least condoning it. The renowned actor revealed in November that he had known for about four years that he is HIV positive, though he claimed that he always informed his sex partners of his status, with “no exceptions.” This came as something of a surprise to Bree Olson, Sheen’s former live-in girlfriend, who thankfully tested negative. … “He doesn’t even value my life,” said Olson about Sheen’s revelation. No kidding, cupcake.

Her only purpose was to serve his pleasure. If she had to die so that he could get his rocks off, that was, in Sheen’s calculation, a price worth paying. …

It’s hard to believe that such selfish people as Charlie Sheen really exist but they do and they’re actually a lot more common than you might imagine. The fact that Planned Parenthood, which masquerades as a reputable medical organization, endorses the “right” not to inform sex partners of HIV status tells us that the camel has already gotten its nose under the tent. Though the attitude may not yet be mainstream, that doesn’t mean it could never be.

The author and journalist Randy Shilts, who died of AIDS in 1994, shed light on the homosexual community’s culture of denial in his 1987 book “And the Band Played On”. Among Shilts’s premises is that homosexual political leaders talked a great game when it came to combatting AIDS but their action was lacking. They refused to consider any countermeasure to the AIDS “epidemic” that might hamper their sex lives. The most they would do is promote the use of condoms. They refused to speak out against the hookup culture that pervaded and continues to pervade the male homosexual community or, heaven forbid, to tell male homosexuals to keep their butt cheeks together. …

One can almost understand the rationale behind this kind of reckless denialism. The disease was discovered in 1981, just a few short years after male homosexuals had established sexually “liberated” enclaves in places like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. …

In the mid-1980s, the author David Horowitz, who was then on a journey from the Marxist Left to conservative Right, sat down with Randy Shilts to discuss AIDS, the burgeoning menace then stalking San Francisco. What Shilts told him was shocking. As Horowitz wrote in his biography, “Radical Son”: “According to Shilts, it was the gay leaders themselves who suppressed the research findings, along with the fact—now generally accepted by medical officials—that AIDS was a sexually transmitted disease. This was difficult to believe, but when I checked Shilts’s story, it turned out to be true. The Stonewall Gay Democratic Club, one of the political powers in the community, had summarized the politically correct view prevailing among activists in a slogan: ‘Sex doesn’t cause AIDS—a virus does.’ The activists were afraid that identifying the disease with promiscuous sex and also with gay sex—95 percent of the cases in San Francisco were among homosexual males—would stigmatize the ‘gay life-style’ and create a political backlash.”

Yeah, and we wouldn’t want to stigmatize the “gay” lifestyle, would we? I don’t know what’s wrong with stigmatizing a filthy sexual practice rife with adverse health consequences, including AIDS of course, but also gonorrhea, anal cancer, and intestinal parasites. We stigmatize smoking, why wouldn’t we stigmatize anal sex? Put me down as pro-stigma.

Unfortunately, male homosexuals whine that their rights are being violated whenever anyone looks askance at butt sex, the activity that apparently defines them. They demand not only the right to engage in dangerous, unhealthy sexual behavior, but the right to positive affirmation as well.
Sadly, the medical community seems to be fulfilling their wish. Doctors these days live in fear that their careers will be summarily ended if they advise against anal sodomy—which is pretty good medical advice, no matter how you slice it. To cite just one example, consider Dr. Paul Church, a well-respected urologist who was recently fired from his position at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston for opposing the homosexual lifestyle on moral and medical grounds. His story began in 2009 when BIDMC sent out an email inviting staff members to ride on the hospital-sponsored float in an upcoming “pride” parade. Dr. Church responded with a mass email of his own, asking why a hospital would endorse a behavior with undeniable health consequences that include death. “If a medical scientist cannot raise research that the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control clearly shows homosexual conduct as harmful,” he concluded, “then that means that your health, my health, medical science — all of that is being called into question simply because of a political agenda.”

He was right, of course, though it’s dangerous to be right when your employer is wrong. The torrent of homosexual outrage came down on Dr. Church hard. After a lengthy fight with BIDMC, he lost his job. He may lose his positions at other Boston-area medical centers, including Harvard Medical School, where he also practices medicine.

Church was essentially fired for being a good doctor, for staying true to the Hippocratic Oath he took to “do no harm” at a time when all the other doctors around him had abandoned theirs. “Truly caring for the well-being of individuals requires telling them the truth about their choices,” said Church. “The hospital does this on less controversial issues such as smoking and diet.” Yes, that’s true, but smokers and fat people don’t have well-financed and well-organized political apparatuses and they don’t crush people who get in their way. That’s the difference.

The homofascists had to make an example out of somebody and they chose Dr. Church. The chilling effect will be felt far and wide—no one will dare point out that homosexuals are perverting medicine’s core mission, though they plainly are.

We’re living in an era of hedonism, in which a substantial portion of the population careens from disco to disco and from orgasm to orgasm. Not all such hedonists are homosexuals, of course—there is always the occasional Charlie Sheen—but a significant number of them are. There is nothing they won’t do just to keep the good times rolling. They don’t care about other people’s health or safety, nor do they care about facts or truth. They care only about their own pleasure and they will stop at nothing to secure it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

French Foreign Minister Joins International Organizations, the FBI, and EU and U.S. Companies as Targets for German Spy Agency

In more Fabius family news, Morandini reveals that France's foreign minister was spied upon while visiting Germany.

Laurent Fabius thus joins the list of targets spied upon by the Bundesnachrichtendienst's (BND's) eyes and ears, including the International Court of Justice, WHO, the FBI, and Voice of America, as well as numerous companies, European as well as American, not least of which was Lockheed.

But, hey…

…if America ain't involved, it don't make da news…

(Or, certainly, it does not turn into a major scandal.)
Les services secrets allemands ont espionné le ministre français des Affaires étrangères Laurent Fabius, affirme mercredi la radio publique allemande Berlin-Brandebourg (rbb), qui apporte de nouveaux détails dans l’affaire d’espionnage qui embarrasse depuis plusieurs mois la chancellerie allemande.

«Laurent Fabius a été mis sur écoute par le BND», les services de renseignement extérieurs allemands, souligne la radio sans préciser ses sources. Elle cite également parmi les cibles des écoutes allemandes la Cour internationale de justice de la Haye, l’Unicef, l’organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), le FBI, la radio financée par les Etats-Unis Voice of America ou encore «de nombreuses d’entreprises européennes et américaines, dont l’entreprise d’armement Lockheed aux Etats-Unis».
Related: Son of Frenchman Who Presided COP21 in Police Custody for Fraud and Forgery

Sunday, December 27, 2015

In France, Typos Make for Interesting History Lessons

Where was this photo taken?
asks the monthly magazine Geo in its regular multiple choice question game (you have to click on each photo to see the three options to choose among).

With Ryann972's "statue men" photo, you must choose among the following three options:

• On Chile's Easter Island (they would be the earliest Moai statues)
• Near China's Xian city (they would count among the Middle Kingdom's terra cotta soldiers)
• On France's Martinique (this would be the exotic island's Slavery Memorial)

Before scrolling down this post and reading on, see if you can guess the answer (FYI, I nailed it, as did 80% of Geo readers).

We discover that the correct answer is the third and last one (the first two did sound far-fetched), to which we are treated with further information informing us that slavery was not abolished in France in 1794, as we had previously thought, but only in 1974!