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The most important story of the week!

Kentucky delivers a masterpiece in 110-75 rout of Auburn
By Jerry Tipton | jtipton@herald-leader.com | February 21, 2015 Updated 2152

Kentucky’s Marcus Lee (00) scored in the first half of the Auburn at Kentucky men’s basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 21, 2015. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

The last time a John Calipari team won its first 26 games of a season, Bruce Pearl played spoiler. His Tennessee team beat Calipari’s unbeaten Memphis team 66-62 in mid-February of the 2007-08 season.

When reminded last week of the coincidental timing of his Auburn team playing undefeated Kentucky in this season’s 27th game, Pearl shuddered.

“Payback is a b—-,” he said before editing himself. “Payback is a you-know-what.”

Payback was Kentucky’s 110-75 victory over Auburn on Saturday night. Same difference.

Pearl became the 10th coach this season to suffer the most lopsided loss of his time at the school against Kentucky. Make that a double. It was Pearl’s worst loss in his time as coach at Auburn and previously at Tennessee.

Playing with a palpable malevolence, Kentucky wasted no time extending its winning streak against Auburn to 17 straight (the longest active drought of any Southeastern Conference team).

Kentucky dominated around the basket, no surprise given that Auburn started no player taller than 6-foot-8. UK amassed a foot-of-snow-like margin on the boards and re-established its no-fly-zone rule in the paint. The result was UK’s first 100-point total of the season, and first against an SEC team since Jan. 23, 2010 (101-70 against Arkansas).

Auburn had hoped its quickness could, if not beat, then compete with UK’s size.

“We are smaller than them,” Pearl said Friday. “But are we quicker than they are? Can we do some things on the perimeter?” He told his team, “In here (paint), we are in serious trouble. But this is only a small part of the court. Everywhere else on the court, their size isn’t as much of a disadvantage as it is here.”

Auburn, which fell to 1-10 all time against No. 1-ranked teams, failed totally.

Read more here.

And now, on to the blogroll!

Rule 5 Blogging: Pakistan

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.

Today, we look at the women of Pakistan, the ones who will suffer the most if the Taliban Islamists win. Their uniforms will be replaced by burkas, and they will lose all of their freedoms.

Cadets of Pakistan Military Academy during battle inoculation exercise in Tilla Ranges

Cadets of Pakistan Military Academy during battle inoculation exercise in Tilla Ranges

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Pakistan’ »

You cannot fight an enemy you don’t even recognize

I had heard about his story yesterday, but didn’t take the time to research it. However, The Pirate’s Cove did it for me:

Obama Cites A Strategic Logic For Avoidance In Using Islamic Labels Or Something
By William Teach | February 19, 2015 – 7:21 am

It’s probably more like “strategic patience”, which is a phrase for a policy position more akin to “meh”. Like when you know you should really, really get your oil changed, but lying on the couch watching a TV show marathon is oh so comfy

(NY Times) President Obama chooses his words with particular care when he addresses the volatile connections between religion and terrorism. He and his aides have avoided labeling acts of brutal violence by Al Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State and their allies as “Muslim” terrorism or describing their ideology as “Islamic” or “jihadist.”

With remarkable consistency — including at a high-profile White House meeting this week, “Countering Violent Extremism” — they have favored bland, generic terms over anything that explicitly connects attacks or plots to Islam.

Obama aides say there is a strategic logic to his vocabulary: Labeling noxious beliefs and mass murder as “Islamic” would play right into the hands of terrorists who claim that the United States is at war with Islam itself. The last thing the president should do, they say, is imply that the United States lumps the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims with vicious terrorist groups.

Interesting. Obama and his team have absolutely no problem labeling Republicans, Tea Party members, Conservatives, Christians. Of course, we aren’t at war with the United States. As for Islamic extremists, they aren’t at war with the U.S. They’re at war with the world, at least the world that isn’t already Islamist.

Mr Teach has a lot more on his original.

Our President doesn’t want to somehow give “Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it . . . legitimacy” by labeling them as Islamic. Sorry, but ha is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in along time. Da’ish are not looking for “legitimacy” or some sort of recognition from the West; they are out for conquest! President Obama and his advisers are still trapped in the Western mindset of scholarly diplomacy, still thinking that his can somehow all be talked out, still thinking of our enemies in our terms instead of their own.

How not to fight back against conquerors.

You cannot ever hope to defeat your enemies if you do not understand them, and you cannot understand them if you restrict your thinking to your own intellectual paradigm. And Da’ish are not at all hard to understand: they want power, ruling power, and are not at all afraid to use military force to get it. They are conquerors, just like thousands of conquerors before them. They cannot be defeated by anyone who is unwilling to fight them, militarily, on the battlefield, anyone unwilling to use armed might to shoot them stone-cold graveyard dead.

Military force is the ultimate form of political power; as long as one side is willing to use it in a dispute, that side will win, unless its opponents are also willing to use just as deadly a force against them. A clever conqueror will seize opportunities to take what he wishes with as little force as possible — see the picture to the above left — but, other than that, diplomacy is pretty much meaningless to the conqueror.

Da’ish have adopted a new tactic, the deliberate and public and brutal execution of prisoners, extending terrorism by the media to those who are in no way directly threatened by Da’ish, a tactic which has both energized and almost immobilized the leadership of the West; they have gone so far beyond the Pale as to put Western leaders back on their heels, unable to figure out what to do about Da’ish because they do not, they cannot, and they refuse to try to understand the enemy. But, in the end, Da’ish are still simple conquerors, savage in away that would have made Genghis Khan proud, but just conquerors nevertheless.

And the only way to deal with conquerors is to fight back, or surrender.

Economics 101: Profits = Revenue – Expenses, and taxes are an expense

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA)

Not always sunny: Wolf slams visit by Florida governor
by Amy Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau | Last updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 1:08 AM | Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 6:58 PM

HARRISBURG – Florida Gov. Rick Scott is headed to Philadelphia on Monday – but he’s not coming north on a trade mission.

Depending on whom you talk to, the Republican governor is either coming to woo companies to the sunnier, more tax-friendly South, or “poaching” Pennsylvania jobs.

Either way, the Keystone State’s new Democratic governor is not amused.

“It’s a political stunt,” said Jeff Sheridan, spokesman for Gov. Wolf. “The stagnant economy we inherited is not our doing, yet he didn’t come under our predecessor.”

“Our predecessor?” So now Governor Wolf is employing the royal plural? We are somewhat amused. :) You can read the rest of the article here.

Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) is not being shy about it. He said:

Governor Rick Scott (R-FL)

Our goal is to make Florida the number-one destination in the world for jobs. I am leading a delegation to Philadelphia to send a message to all Pennsylvania job creators and families that we want you to keep more of the money you make because we understand it’s your money. . . . Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax increases and mandates on businesses,” Scott said, “will no doubt be heavy blows to Pennsylvania families.

And Space Coast Daily noted:

While Florida has no individual income tax, Pennsylvania’s income tax is 3.07 percent, and Governor Tom Wolf wants to raise it even higher.

Additionally, Pennsylvania’s corporate income tax is nearly double Florida’s. Pennsylvania also has taxes on inheritance and capital stock, neither of which exists in Florida.

No wonder Governor Wolf is upset: he realizes that his government proposals — which, I would add, the Republican-controlled state legislature will probably reject1 — would be harmful to Pennsylvania businesses. Raising the individual income tax rate on Pennsylvania’s top producers is a great way to make them decide that they can increase their net pay by 3.07%, or more, if Governor Wolf gets his way, by relocating to the Sunshine State. Our higher corporate income tax means that profit margins will be lower, if sales and production numbers can be maintained following a relocation.2 Not every business which might calculate greater profits by moving to Florida would actually go; businesses are, in the end, run by people, and business owners may well have family and emotional ties to an area which outweigh strict business considerations.

But some businesses might choose to move, especially as the Keystone State is shoveling out from a rough winter. The First Street Journal has noted previously that states which seek to increase taxes, like California and Illinois, wind up losing corporations and people and jobs.

Economics really isn’t rocket science.  Profits = Revenue – Expenses, with taxes being an expense.  If taxes can be reduced by a relocation that does not negatively affect revenues and other expenses, profits increase, and profit is the primary goal of every business.  Governor Wolf knows that; he was a businessman himself. And Pennsylvania is no stranger to this; Mack Trucks moved its headquarters to Greensboro,North Carolina, several years ago, with part of the incentive being an $8.5 million Job Development Investment Grant from the Tarheel State.

But the real problem isn’t whether Governor Scott can poach any Pennsylvania businesses; the problem is that Governor Wolf is creating a more business unfriendly environment, which will make it harder for new businesses to be created here, and get existing businesses to expand in Pennsylvania.

Tom Wolf knows this!  If he didn’t know this, if he didn’t understand this, he wouldn’t be worried about Rick Scott’s trip.  Mr Wolf understands, perfectly well, that Florida and Texas are growing business locations because they are business friendly.  The question is: if Mr Wolf actually cares about helping the state he was just elected to run, why wouldn’t he push the Texas and Florida model here?

__________________________________

 

  1. This article will be forwarded to my state legislator, Representative Doyle Heffley, R-122nd District, who does know me (at least slightly).
  2. That’s always a big concern; even a location-independent business can find itself less productive or less profitable following a change of location.

In praise of #MarieHarf

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf has been taking a lot of criticism from conservatives from comments she made suggesting that Da’ish and similar Islamist extremists have become radicalized because of a lack of economic opportunity and jobs:

State Dept Spokeswoman Marie Harf: We Can’t Beat ISIS Just by Killing Them
by Andrew Kirell | 12:04 pm, February 17th, 2015

There’s the old adage that “you can’t kill an idea,” and that concept seems to have influenced the thinking behind the administration’s approach to fighting ISIS forces in the Middle East.

During a Monday evening interview with MSNBC, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told Chris Matthews that the United States cannot defeat ISIS simply by killing them.

Instead, she said, we must use a combination of military force and an exploration of the reasons why so many young people keep joining up with the Islamic State to fight against the West.

“We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians — they’re in this fight with us,” Harf said. “But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs.”

“We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or 50 lifetimes,” Matthews interrupted. “There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?”

In return, Harf suggested a soft power-like approach: “We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance,” she said. “We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.” She conceded, however, that there is “no easy solution.”

Miss Harf has since gone on Wolf Blitzer’s show on CNN to defend her comments:

“I’m not the first person to say something like this,” Harf said. “Military commanders that we’ve had throughout many years here fighting this war on terrorism have said the exact same thing, that in the short term when there’s a threat like ISIL. We’ll take direct military action against these terrorists. We have done that. We are doing that in Iraq and Syria. But longer term, we have to look at how we combat the conditions that can lead people to turn to extremism.”

“So you suggested that maybe if you find these young men jobs, they might not become terrorists?” Blitzer asked, echoing her critics, prompting Harf to call his statement a “gross oversimplification.”

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try,” Harf said later. “How do you get at the root causes of this? It might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the last 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

Or, as Scott Johnson entitled his article on Powerline, Marie Harf: I’m “too nuanced” for you.

Great Society liberalism couldn’t even cut it in the United States with more limited (if still ambitious) goals. Touting the rollout of Great Society liberalism worldwide as the answer to religious fanaticism betrays a mind-boggling stupidity.

Jobs programs don’t quite cut it when you’re in the 72 virgins business. This is where the administration’s comprehensive denial of the motive forces driving the terrorists is key. They aren’t looking for work. They aren’t looking to get rich. They aren’t looking for early childhood education. They aren’t looking for daycare programs. They’ve got something else on their mind, something else that is taboo to speak of in the higher reaches of the Obama administration.

I’d point out here that you actually can kill your way to victory in war; the Allies won World War II by killing 5½ million German soldiers, and an additional 1.1 to 3.3 million German civilians. It was ugly and it was gruesome, but it was what it took, to beat down Germany, to ravage that country with so much death and destruction that the Germans couldn’t fight on, and had no fight left in the next generation of Germans growing up. We won against the Empire of Japan by killing 2.1 million soldiers and around a million Japanese civilians, blasting apart their industry, burning down their cities and finally subjecting Hiroshima and Nagasaki to atomic hellfire. The Japanese surrendered because they were beaten down to the point where they couldn’t fight any longer, and the next generation growing up had all of the fight burned out of them. Miss Harf’s statement that you can’t kill your way to victory in war tells us that a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Indiana University, and a Master of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, don’t appear to require taking any basic history courses.

However, as silly as I believe Miss Harf’s comments to have been, I heartily applaud her making them, because she did something really radical like tell us the truth. Oh, not the truth in the real world, because they are utterly mindless, but the truth within the State Department and the truth within the Obama Administration; what she said is what they widely believe!

The evidence is clear: the President himself cannot bring himself to say that Da’ish is Islamic, is motivated by Islam and Islamism,1 and the Administration’s policies broadly reflect that. What Miss Harf said is completely consistent with the President’s policies.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demonstrated the same mindset with her statement that we must “empathize with (our enemies’) perspective and point of view,” comments defended by the current Secretary, John Kerry.2

And that is the part that Mr Johnson missed in the second paragraph of his quoted above: it isn’t that Da’ish’s motives are “taboo to speak of in the higher reaches of the Obama administration,” but that no one of any importance in the Administration can grasp Da’ish’s motivations. They are so firmly locked into their own American liberal perspective that they cannot grasp anything outside of it.

In his book War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk described the will not to believe, the limitation of consciousness which simply blocked from the minds of seemingly intelligent people a possibility so outside of what they saw as normal from being considered or understood, despite evidence to the contrary. For Miss Harf, for President Obama, for American liberals as a whole, it seems as though they are completely unable to grasp the possibility that Da’ish do not think the way we do, that Da’ish mean what they say.

The Islamists aren’t interested in jobs programs, and they aren’t interested in tolerance for others and they aren’t interested in becoming wealthy Westernized societies. The Islamists who launched the attacks in France and in Denmark were already living in wealthy Westernized societies, and the Danish jihadi was born and reared in Denmark; that society was his entire life’s experience. Iran, under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was prosperous, oil-wealthy, Westernizing and modernizing, if nevertheless authoritarian, but the people rebelled, and overthrew the Shah for a clerical regime which told them, in advance, that Westernization would be rejected and a society under strict Islamic law would be created. Westerners tend to think of the clerical government as having imposed this on the Iranian people, but the reality is that they asked for it and embraced it.3

And that is a reality that the American left simply cannot grasp.
___________________________________

  1. By this I mean both the religion of Islam and the political vision of an Islamic government; the American paradigm is that religion and politics are, and are supposed to be, separate, but that is not how the Islamists see it at all. To Da’ish, politics and religion are the same thing.
  2. Critics would complain here that I used conservatively biased sources, but, as Thomas Lifson noted, there has been a mainstream media scrubbing of the story on search engines.
  3. There were dissenters who were in no way encouraging the clerical government, even if they didn’t care for the Shah, but they were very much in the minority.

Henry & Williams, P.C.

Give Yourself the Advantage

There are about six million road accidents and vehicle collisions every year in the United States. If you are the victim of a driver’s negligent or careless driving, you have the right to claim monetary compensation. It’s to your advantage to find a reputable personal injury attorney to act on your behalf. The negligent party’s insurance company will do its best to give you the least amount it can legally give. Your attorney will know how to fight huge insurance companies who have many lawyers on their side.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

There are many aspects of a personal injury claim including medical bills, loss of income and emotional distress. An attorney will be able to determine how much your claim is worth. Even though there are settlement calculators that will give you an idea of what your claim is worth, they don’t include the subtleties of your unique case. Your lawyer will be able to analyze your injuries and put a value to your emotional pain. In most cases, your lawyer will get no fee unless they succeed with your claim, so there is every advantage in getting the help of a personal injury attorney.

What Is the Legal Process?

An attorney will be able to determine if you should accept a settlement or go to court. They know the legal procedures involved with mediating or litigating your claim. This kind of help is invaluable, because the other insurance company will have lawyers trying to convince you to lower your expectations. They may also beat you on a legal technicality, which wouldn’t happen if you had your own legal representation.

Attorney Motivation

Since an attorney only gets paid if your settlement is successful, they are incredibly motivated to do their best for you. They have the knowledge and expertise to go against the biggest insurance companies and cannot be blinded by their tactics. This is why a reputable attorneys usually only take cases that are strong and have a good possibility of succeeding.

Litigation

If you need to go to trial to get what you deserve, having a personal injury attorney is a no-brainer. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, but, if you have an attorney, it shows the insurance company that you are ready to go to court if they don’t give you a fair settlement.

If you are the victim of negligence or carelessness in a car accident, on someone’s property or through medical malpractice, your best chance of getting a fair settlement is by being represented by an attorney.

Some good news on the Obamacare front!

We told you that nothing was free!

I have to pay back my Obamacare subsidy

Janice Riddle has to pay back her entire Obamacare subsidy.

Janice Riddle got a nasty surprise when she filled out her tax return this year.The Los Angeles resident had applied for Obamacare in late 2013, when she was unemployed. She qualified for a hefty subsidy of $470 a month, leaving her with a monthly premium of $1 for the cheapest plan available.

Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn’t offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn’t update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.

Now, she has to pay back the entire subsidy, which is forcing her to dip into her savings.

There’s a lot more at the original. But your Editor is very, very pleased that Miss Riddle will have to repay her entire subsidy, or $5640, if the numbers given in the CNNMoney article are accurate.

The article continued to note that tax preparer Jackson-Hewitt has reported that 53% of its clients receiving subsidies are having to repay part or all of the subsidies they received. Here’s more:

Erica Cherington, 32, was “very happy” to enroll in Obamacare last year so she could address some health issues. She only had to pay $89 a month for a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, thanks to a $284 monthly subsidy. She let herself be automatically re-enrolled for 2015.

During 2014, however, the Newark, N.J., resident landed a new job with a higher salary. Now, she has to pay back $600 of her subsidy.

To avoid this happening again, Cherington called the federal exchange to update her income, which she hadn’t done when she changed jobs. Her revised monthly premium: $156 a month.

A case manager who handles disability payments, Cherington is now considering dropping her coverage and paying the penalty instead.

“It’s not really affordable,” she said of her new premium. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it.”

Good, good! I’d much rather see her pay extra taxes, in the form of the penalty, and not suck up my tax dollars in welfare, in the Obysmalcare subsidies. Maybe if she pays the penalty, it will make up for some of the subsidies she has already received.

And there’s even more good news on the Obaminablecare front:

You’ll pay a lot more to see the doctor with Obamacare
Obamacare enrollees have to shell out a lot more to see the doctor or get medications than their peers with job-based health insurance.

Click to enlarge

Deductibles, co-payments, and drug payments are higher under the average Obamacare silver-level plans — the most popular — than employer policies, according to a CNNMoney comparison of reports by Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Education Trust. The reports looked at policies offered on the exchanges for 2015 and those enrolled in employer plans in 2014.

To be sure, having Obamacare coverage is often better than being uninsured, especially if you rack up big bills through a major illness or accident.

Well, that depends on who you are. If you are a welfare recipient, getting health care coverage under the ACA, then yeah, it’s better than being uninsured. But if you are a taxpayer, rather than a tax consumer, who has to work harder or longer to pay the subsidy for someone else, then no, having people on Obamacare isn’t better, isn’t better at all.

Obamacare also offers cost-sharing subsidies for low-income Americans, which reduces their deductibles and co-pays. Health reform also mandated that insurers fully cover a range of preventative services, such as an annual wellness exam and various screenings, for free.

And there is wide variety in out-of-pocket costs in both Obamacare and job-based plans. For many in the individual market, Obamacare eliminated sky-high deductibles of $10,000 or more that were common before health reform.

“The cost sharing is higher on the exchange than in the employer market, but it’s lower than it was before,” said Gary Claxton, director of the Health Care Marketplace Project, at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Those who need regular medical care can often opt for policies with smaller out-of-pocket costs, but they usually come with higher monthly premiums. For instance, gold-level Obamacare plans have lower deductibles and co-pays but cost more per month. Employers offer plans with more generous benefits, but they too come at a price.

The higher deductibles on the “Affordable Care Act” means that fewer people on those policies will actually use them. That won’t lower the subsidies, but it may persuade some of the people on the plans to drop out of them completely, and stop stealing taxpayer dollars.

All in all, even for the beneficiaries, the Affordable Care Act isn’t quite as wonderful as they thought it would be; it’s good to see that at least some of them are having to pay more for their coverage, and receive less welfare, than they expected.

We told you so!

We have noted previously that the oil producers have been getting around the Obama Administration’s holding up of approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, by increasing shipments of oil by rail, and that that increased the dangers of oil spills and personal injury. It looks like we were right:

West Virginia Train Derailment Explosion on Monday, February 16, 2015.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Emergency crews and environmental officials are responding to a train derailment in West Virginia that sent at least one tanker containing crude oil into a river and also caused a nearby house to catch fire.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The CSX train derailed Monday afternoon in Fayette County.

West Virginia Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said the tanker is leaking crude oil into the Kanawha River.

Messina said at least one and possibly more tanker cars went into the river. He also said the derailment caused a house to catch fire.

The U.S. Transportation Department is weighing tougher safety regulations for rail shipments of crude, which can ignite and result in huge fireballs.

This accident was not along the route that the Keystone XL pipeline would have traveled, so we cannot state that the lack of the pipeline led directly to this accident. But it is plenty of proof that oil shipments by rail are not 100% safe.

Of course, nothing is 100% safe, and pipelines can break or leak. But pipelines, especially a new one, would be significantly safer than rail transportation, and so the environmentalists ought to welcome that. They don’t, and won’t, because their goal isn’t the cleanest and safest way to use the Canadian tar sands oil, but to keep it from being used at all. Those tar sands are being used less today, not because of the environmentalists, but because the recent drop in the price of crude oil has dropped it below the profitability range of the tar sands oil, but once demand once again puts pressure on supply, they’ll start geting used again.

They will never learn

The Obama Administration has weighed in on the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians by Da’ish1:

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Murder of Egyptian Citizens
For Immediate Release | February 15, 2015

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens. ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.

This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL. We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat. We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.

That’s it, that’s the entire press release.

Now, let’s be clear about this: when Press Secretary Josh Earnest says, “ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity,” he is lying to you! Da’ish’s killings are guided by faith, sect and ethnicity; these 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were killed specifically because they were Christians, but our President and his minions are completely unwilling to actually say that. Instead, they were “Egyptian citizens” and “innocents,” but calling them Christians, by a President who has claimed that he is a Christian, is apparently prohibited by the President.

This is not the first time that this has happened; Red State reported on the President’s reference to the victims in the Charlie Hebdo attacks as the victims of random violence, and noted that it went beyond the White House to the State Department. The lovely Jen Psaki, department spokesman, said, after the President’s initial statements were challenged:

They were not all victims of one background or one nationality.

Both Miss Psaki and Mr Earnest wound up backtracking, after the backlash:

I noted, with some amusement, that the two tweets were sent a whopping 41 minutes apart. Is that a decent enough interval to claim that they weren’t specifically ordered by the President’s chief political officer?

Yet, our esteemed President was quick to state that the three victims of a killing in North Carolina were target because of their religion:

No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.

Current reports are that the alleged murderer, Craig Hicks, was angry over parking issues at their apartment complex, and that everyone there was concerned about him, not just the three victims. Naturally, the federal government is going to investigate whether this was a “hate crime,” but Mr Hicks is charged with three counts of first degree murder, the penalty for which is either life in prison without parole, or death; there’s nothing more that the federal government can do to punish Mr Hicks if he is convicted on the state counts.

Mr Obama and his Administration appear to be perfectly willing to state that the killing of people who happen to be Muslims as being directed at them because they were Muslims, even when the evidence is unclear, but they are very, very hesitant to acknowledge that Jewish victims were killed because they were Jews, even when the killer says so himself, or note that the victims of Da’ish massacres were Christians, even when the group specifically states that they were killed because they were Christians.

I will be very blunt here: our Commander-in-Chief can never defeat Da’ish or any other forms of Islamist terrorism because he isn’t even willing to acknowledge who the enemy are.

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. The Kindle edition is just 99¢.

Sun Tzu wrote, in The Art of War:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

President Obama may know himself, but he certainly doesn’t know our country, and he has absolutely no flaming idea who our enemies are. It does not matter whether our Commander-in-Chief wants to be enemies with Da’ish; they want to be enemies with us.

The President’s policies are absolute madness. He has authorized air strikes against Da’ish, so it’s not like he can somehow have them think he’s a nice guy who likes them, but he can’t even bring himself to identify what they are fighting for or what they want to do.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who would like to be our next President,2 said that the United States now uses “smart power” in diplomacy. As nearly as I can see, the United States under President Obama is using dumb power.
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  1. It is the stated policy of The First Street Journal to refer to ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, commonly abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL, as Da’ish, the Arabic acronym, because Da’ish hate it.
  2. Actually, she thought that she should be our current President.

Rule 5 Blogging: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê

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.

Kurdish guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party, Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê, or PKK, are fighting alongside Kurdish “government” troops, against Da’ish. The PKK are no longer Marxist-Leninist, but are still far-left in their political orientaion, but, like the Red Army troops who fought against the Wehrmacht, they are fighting bravely and deserve our respect.

Female members of the PKK prepare for battle in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk (File/AFP)

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