Isn’t the Commander-in-Chief supposed to protect the troops under his command?

From Marc Thiessen in The Washington Post, via Donald Douglas:

Here’s what happens when Taliban leaders are released
By Marc A. Thiessen, Published: June 2

If anyone doubts that the five senior Taliban leaders President Obama released this weekend will return to the fight and kill more Americans, they need only look at what happened when the George W. Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir (a.k.a. Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul) in 2007.

Unlike the terrorists Obama just set free, Zakir was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Zakir pretended to be a low-ranking conscript and told officials he simply wanted to “go back home and join my family” and promised “I [have] never been America’s enemy and I never intend to be.”

Uhhh, he was only a “medium risk” of returning to shoot at American soldiers? What the heck were we doing releasing someone who was any risk at all of fighting against our soldiers and Marines?

But when he returned to Afghanistan, he quickly became one of America’s fiercest enemies, directly responsible for the deaths of U.S., coalition and Afghan forces. In 2009, Zakir was appointed as the Taliban’s “surge commander” in charge of countering Obama’s new strategy to deny the Taliban safe haven in southern Afghanistan. According to the Times of London, Zakir instituted a campaign of “increasingly sophisticated [roadside] explosives attacks” that killed British and U.S. forces as well as many Afghan civilians. He waged relentless war on the United States and presided over unspeakable atrocities before stepping down from military command in April. To this day, he remains a top member of the Taliban leadership council.

The five Taliban leaders Obama released will now take up where Zakir left off. According to our own military, they are all “high risk” to return to the fight. How dangerous are these men? Here is what the U.S. military says about them, according to their leaked assessments from Guantanamo Bay.

More at the link.  But it ought to be obvious: you don’t release dangerous men to come back and shoot at our soldiers and Marines, period.  Any of our soldiers killed, even if it is only one, by any of these five Taliban leaders, can be laid right at the feet of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, President Barack Hussein Obama, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.  The Bush Administration made a huge mistake by releasing “medium risk” Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, and the present President has made an even bigger one now.

Of course, the Administration line is that there are no problems here. From Mediaite:

During a White House press briefing on Monday, Press Sec. Jay Carney was asked if he could assure the American people that the Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would not pose a threat to Americans. While Carney insisted that the released prisoners did not pose a threat to Americans, he refused to insist that the Taliban fighters would not return to Afghanistan to join their former colleagues.

When asked how the U.S. could guarantee that these five former detainees would not return to “Taliban activities” in two or three years, Carney said that the Defense Dept. concluded that their threat “mitigation” efforts were sufficient to ensure Americans are not at risk because these prisoners have been released.

“These five detainees do not and will not pose a significant threat to the United States,” Carney said.

Uh huh, right. Well, perhaps if something top secret has been done, such as somehow implanting GPS chips in these five thugs which can guide drone or Tomahawk cruise missile strikes onto their heads whenever we decide to do so, then perhaps the outgoing Minister of Information Press Secretary is right, and we’ll (probably) never find out about that.

Your Editor will not criticize the attempts to free SGT Bergdahl, regardless of whether he might have been a deserter; we’ve all seen the stories that he left his post without authorization, which even The New York Times is reporting, and The Washington Times is reporting that commanders knew where SGT Bergdahl was being held, but decided not to risk special forces soldiers lives in order to recover someone they saw as a deserter, but I’ve seen others which claimed he might have grumbled a bit, but was still a loyal soldier. Quite frankly, it seems likely to me that we will never have complete certainty on that part of the story. The Soldier’s Creed includes the promise, “I will never leave a fallen comrade,” and the rescue attempts concerning SGT Bergdahl fall along those lines as far as I am concerned.

But the nobility of attempting to secure the release of SGT Bergdahl cannot include releasing five of the captured terrorists that even the Obama Administration once deemed too dangerous to ever release. Securing the release of a captured American soldier at that price is a price I regard as just too high: SGT Bergdahl’s release will wind up costing many, many more lives, some of which could be American lives.  Further, releasing top Taliban personnel will only help the Taliban, harming our entire effort in Afghanistan; this could be the tipping point at which every American soldier and Marine who died there died for naught.

We have reached the point at which we might as well not wait for President Obama’s planned cut-and-run date from Afghanistan, but just plain leave now.  The Commander-in-Chief is showing no inclination whatsoever to actually win in Afghanistan, and no strategy for doing whatever undefined thing he wants to do there.  We’ve got our last POW out, and might as well leave, now, before anyone else gets captured and before too many more Americans are killed there.  If we have no real goal there, why ought we to stay?

Your tax dollars at work

From The Washington Post:

Female-named hurricanes kill more than male hurricanes because people don’t respect them, study finds
By Jason Samenow | June 2 at 3:05 pm

People don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly, finds a new groundbreaking study.

Female-named storms have historically killed more because people neither consider them as risky nor take the same precautions, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University examined six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, spanning  1950 and 2012.  Of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, the female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms, or almost double the number of fatalities.  (The study excluded Katrina and Audrey, outlier storms that would skew the model).

The difference in death rates between genders was even more pronounced when comparing strongly masculine names versus strongly feminine ones.

“[Our] model suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley … to Eloise … could nearly triple its death toll,” the study says.

Sharon Shavitt, study co-author and professor of marketing at the University of Illinois, says the results imply an “implicit sexism”; that is, we make decisions about storms based on the gender of their name without even knowing it.

More at the link.

I was slightly amused by this story when I saw it, and then it occurred to me: in a time when we are borrowing half a trillion dollars to fund the government, we spent some of that money for a kook study like this.

No surprise at all

From The New York Times:

After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High
By Jack Healyway, May 31, 2014

DENVER — Five months after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, the battle over legalization is still raging.

Law enforcement officers in Colorado and neighboring states, emergency room doctors and legalization opponents increasingly are highlighting a series of recent problems as cautionary lessons for other states flirting with loosening marijuana laws.

There is the Denver man who, hours after buying a package of marijuana-infused Karma Kandy from one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana shops, began raving about the end of the world and then pulled a handgun from the family safe and killed his wife, the authorities say. Some hospital officials say they are treating growing numbers of children and adults sickened by potent doses of edible marijuana. Sheriffs in neighboring states complain about stoned drivers streaming out of Colorado and through their towns.

“I think, by any measure, the experience of Colorado has not been a good one unless you’re in the marijuana business,” said Kevin A. Sabet, executive director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes legalization. “We’ve seen lives damaged. We’ve seen deaths directly attributed to marijuana legalization. We’ve seen marijuana slipping through Colorado’s borders. We’ve seen marijuana getting into the hands of kids.”

More at the original.

The story continues to note that hard data are hard to come by, and that research into the effects of legalizing marijuana usage will take years to complete and be published. What is known is a series of anecdotes, all of which are bad.

Marijuana, the advocates tell us, isn’t as bad for you as alcohol, and it’s possible that they are right on that: alcohol abuse is very hard on your body. But the effects of long-term marijuana use are not fully known, and your Editor seriously doubts that anything which is introduced into the body via the inhalation of its smoke through burning can be anything but harmful. Marijuana may turn out to be less unhealthy than alcohol, but that doesn’t make it good for the individual or society.

Does This Hostage Trade Smells Like Rotten Fish?

Something smells really, really rotten in this Hostage Swap. Two things are wrong: 1. will this lead to the Taliban and Al-Q to create more hostages; 2. it smells like it was Jihad for Jihad.

Did the U.S. Just Release 5 Jihadists and Get a Jihad Convert in Trade?

Posted by Rodney Lee Conover on Jun 1, 2014 in Foreign Affairs

President Obama ordered the release of five Gitmo detainees in trade for the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors in Afghanistan. But on second look – did we get one jihad convert for the release of five jihadists?

Here’s a mighty strange tweet from the father of Bowe Bergdahl. It has since been deleted – but wow – can your dad get Stockholm Syndrome when it’s you being held captive?
(See Tweet Below from Bergdahl’s Father)
Trader Tweet

Wow – that’s just weird. I guess he didn’t know his son was coming back and this might be a little bit of a PR problem for the President? Like Obama doesn’t have enough going on without dad making it look like he traded Five Aces for a sympathizer? Congress isn’t that happy either.

Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out. Not that Republicans ever do anything about Obama breaking the law, but they’re just sayin’ – you know?

Read more below and how Bergdahl just walked away AWOL from Camp

From Around the Blogroll

First up is Mike’s America, writing on Political Realities, noting that the Democrats have attacked Dr. Monica Wehby, who won the Oregon GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. Democrats leaked smear stories that Wehby was an unstable stalker who terrorized her former male romantic partners, but, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out, the men “involved” all deny anything of any consequence happened, and all support her candidacy. Can you imagine, Mike asked, the hell that would break out if a Republican said this about a female Democrat?

Hube spotted a Miami New Times article which says that global warming climate change is responsible for an increase in marital infidelity. I guess that, since George Bush is responsible for global warming climate change, couples cheating can be blamed on him, too!

On Truth Before Dishonor, DNW writes about emotions as knowledge. And John Hitchcock gives us a quote from Will Rodgers Rogers.

Jennifer Davis of the Victory Girls tells us that it’s not just about white privilege, but lesbian privilege as well!

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, wrote about the release of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held prisoner by the Taliban for five years. SGT Bergdahl was released after the United States negotiated, indirectly, with the Taliban, and agreed to release five Taliban prisoners:

His release was secured after the Obama administration, working through Qatari government intermediaries, agreed to free five high-profile Afghan inmates held by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The influential commanders, including the former head of the Taliban’s army, were loaded onto a U.S. military aircraft bound for Qatar after U.S. officials got confirmation that Bergdahl had been freed.

Your Editor hopes that we were smart enough to have inserted GPS tracking chips, explosive GPS tracking chips, if such exist, into the released terrorists first, but doubts that the Commander-in-Chief would have been smart enough to do something like that.

Donald Douglas also writes about the subject, here and here; some of it is pretty unflattering concerning SGT Bergdahl and his father.

Sister Toldjah tells us about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is combitching1 that evil Republicans are politicizing the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi, under her watch, though if Mrs Clinton runs for President, as is widely expected,2 her tenure as Secretary of State will be part of the résumé she will tout, and her successes — there were none — and her failures — only a couple, but pretty blatant — are fair game.

On The Other McCain, Wombat-socho wrote about the resignation of Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, mockingly claiming in the title that this changes everything, while knowing that it really changes nothing. The problem isn’t corrupt VA administrators fudging numbers in order to qualify for bonuses3 — though that is part of it — but that, as a single-payer system, the VA was simply doing what every other single-payer system in developed countries does, to cut costs.

On Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldstein points out the actions the Obama Administration is taking to try to manage where people live. You could see it coming in Michelle Obama’s complaint about the resegregation of public schools, caused not by segregation laws or districts manipulated to keep blacks out of “white” schools, but because of significantly segregated living patterns: for some strange reason, people just aren’t choosing to live next to the people the government believes they should. Thus far, even President Obama hasn’t thought that he could simply assign people’s living quarters, but if he could, I’m sure he would.

Alinsky argued that in order to destroy the middle class, you must first set yourself up as its champions. This has been the playbook of the Democrats for years. But the thing is, yesterday’s Democrats are today’s New Leftists. They care not a whit about the little people except inasmuch as they can get them reliant on government and so wrangle them in as a permanent voting bloc.

It won’t be long now before the real social inequality becomes evident: rich government cronies in private industry and the ruling class politicians will be the haves; the rest of us will be the have nots, or at least the should nots. Determining where we live, the size of our houses, the number of cars we have and the gas mileage they must attain, the nature of our healthcare (and its offshoots, the nature of our dietary and leisure habits) — all of this is part and parcel of the progressive social engineering program to realign society back to its “rightful” organizing principles, namely, not some phony appeal to natural rights, but man ruling over man.

More at Mr Goldstein’s original.

From The Pirate’s Cove:

Bummer: Fast Food Place Robbed Same Day It Went Sorta Gun Free
By William Teach >May 31, 2014 – 8:39 am

Serendipity* is a stone cold mother, isn’t it?

(Daily Caller) On the same day that Sonic, an Oklahoma City-based fast food chain, issued a statement against customers carrying guns at their restaurants, an employee at the company’s Topeka, Kan. store was robbed.

According to Topeka police, two males robbed a carhop on Friday afternoon, reports the Topeka Capitol-Journal. Sonic is unique among major fast food eateries in that it provides customers the option of having carhops bring orders to their vehicle.

While police said no guns were displayed by the robbers, the crime follows a new policy that the Oklahoma City-based company issued Friday.

“We’ve considered the views and desires of our customers and employees that staff the drive-ins across the country,” the company said, according to USA Today. “Accordingly, we’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas. With respect to the storage of guns in vehicles, we ask that our customers continue to honor local laws.”

You know why places like doughnut shops are rarely robbed? Lots of armed law enforcement. Gun shops are almost never robbed during open operating hours. Why are shootings, including mass shootings, more likely likely in gun free zones?

More at the original.

It is, of course, a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy to think that it was Sonic’s policy which led to that particular robbery, and Mr Teach makes no such assertion. But Mr Teach does engage in some schadenfreude with this one . . . and so do I.

Mr Teach also noted that the “warmists” are considering a change of vocabulary, away from “climate change,” and back to “global warming,” because people apparently see the older term as more threatening.

On Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion, William Jacobson asks if “half-white” privilege is like being “half-pregnant.”

That’s it for this week!

  1. The word ‘combitching’ is a standard Picoism, which will doubtlessly be attacked as being highly, highly! sexist if ever used to refer to a woman (I use it regardless of the person’s sex) complaining about something, so I’ll save the left the trouble, and denounce myself in advance for them.
  2. Your Editor has said previously that he does not expect Mrs Clinton to be a candidate, a minority position, because, even though I believe she would like to run, her age and health will be problems which will stop her.
  3. An obvious question is: why would any federal government employees ever qualify for bonuses? Federal government employees are already better compensated than most Americans, with far better fringe benefits, and if they don’t think that they are paid enough with their salaries, they have the option of looking for work in the private sector.

Rule 5 Blogging: Civilians!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Megan Fox in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

OK, today’s is a bit different, featuring not women in the military, but civilian women, exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

I don’t know if the Facebook page claim is true, but it’s at least close, and it is an awesome picture!

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Civilians!’ »

A TWO for ONE Day – 1st Shinseki – 2nd Carney RESIGN

Here’s a gooooooood Two for One Day – Shinseki Quits and then Benghazi Jay RESIGNS. Next we need Holder and the entire EPA to Follow. BO jumping in would work too.

Jay Carney resigns as White House press secretary
By Dave Boyer
The Washington Times

Updated: 2:18 p.m. on Friday, May 30, 2014

White House press secretary Jay Carney is resigning, to be replaced by deputy press secretary Joshua Earnest, President Obama announced Friday.
“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary,” Mr. Obama said in a surprise announcement during Mr. Carney’s regular briefing at the White House. “I’m going to miss him a lot.”

The president said Mr. Carney, who took over the job in 2011, will spend most of the summer with his children before deciding what job he will take next.

He said Mr. Carney had asked to leave in April. He will leave in mid-June.

“Jay’s had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Carney said he hasn’t “made any decisions yet” what he’ll do next.

“It’s been an amazing experience, so fulfilling,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Earnest will accompany Mr. Obama on his trip to Europe next week.

Mr. Carney’s departure had been rumored for months. The former Time magazine reporter is the father of two young children and is married to ABC News reporter Claire Shipman. Prior to replacing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Mr. Carney served as the spokesman for Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

Read more:

If A Company Did This, The CEO Would be JAILED

Inspector General: EPA Potentially Basing Costly Regulations On Fraudulent Data

May 30, 2014 by Sam Rolley

President Barack Obama has made no secret his willingness to use the Environmental Protection Agency to unilaterally impose business-killing regulations aimed at securing his legacy as the Nation’s first green President. But as the agency prepares a round of harsh carbon emissions rules affecting coal-fired plants in the U.S., the agency’s inspector general warns that the EPA may be drawing conclusions about pollution in the Nation based on fraudulent data.

A report released Thursday by the EPA inspector general contends that officials in the agency have failed to put protections in place to prevent fraudulent data from being used to influence EPA regulations.

Fraudulent data, according to the EPA’s definition, can result from outright fabrication by researchers, calibrating equipment incorrectly, modifying samples and manipulating analytical results, among other things.

From the report:

The agency has three policies and procedures that address how to respond to instances of fraudulent data, but they are all out of date or unimplemented. Our survey of EPA regional offices disclosed that a majority of respondents were unaware there was a policy, and approximately 50 percent expressed the need for such policies and procedures.

Moron Moronic Delusional Findings:

Flash mob

Clearly a set-up, but still cool:

Nothing to see here, folks. Economy contracts by 1% in first quarter.

From The Wall Street Journal:

GDP Contracted at 1% Pace in First Quarter
First-Quarter Downturn Reflects Pattern Seen Repeatedly Over Past Five Years
By Ben Leubsdorf and Sarah Portlock | Updated May 29, 2014 9:35 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter of 2014, the latest stumble for a recovery that has struggled to find its footing since the recession ended almost five years ago.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.0% in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the first time economic output contracted since the first quarter of 2011, when it declined at a 1.3% pace.

Government economists had previously estimated GDP slowed to a 0.1% growth rate in the first quarter as harsh winter weather disrupted work sites, curtailed foot traffic at retail stores and snarled transportation networks across much of the U.S. The newly revised estimate incorporates additional economic data released in recent weeks. Higher-than-expected imports and slower-than-expected inventory growth dragged the economy into negative territory.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted Thursday’s report would revise GDP growth down to a 0.6% decline.

More at the link. But, as we have noted previously, relying on the projections of economists for what proposed policies will do is a pretty chancy thing, when you have professional economists, surveyed by as august a publication as the Journal, who are that much off not on projections for the future but measurements concerning what has already happened.

We’re being told, of course, that the blame for the contraction can be put on the shoulders of Mother Nature, and the abnormally high snowfalls and unusually low temperatures. If growth is low or slow in the second quarter, it’ll go back to being George Bush’s fault.

However, it would seem to your Editor that if the economy isn’t growing at a decent rate,1 this would be exactly the wrong time for the Obama Administration to increase costs on the economy which do not provide any economic return. With wages and job growth stagnant — there were fewer jobs at the end of April of this year than at the end of April in 2008 — and consumer spending such an important part of the economy, the last thing that the government should do is to add a net cost to consumers for no tangible economic benefit to them.

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