Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Putin Gets Slapped Badly - By Iran!!

Russia's Vladimir Putin just suffered a major setback in the Middle East...delivered by no less than Iran's Supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei.

A few days ago, there was a news story out that sent a shock through the foreign policy establishment here in the U.S. and elsewhere, that Russia would now base a squadron of its Tupolev 22M3 heavy bombers and support aircraft in Iran's Nojef airbase. This was, of course, a huge game changer and Russia's Foreign ministry proudly trumpeted the news in world media as a major sign of Russian dominance in the region.

Except it wasn't. The whole thing blew up in the Russian's faces, and in a particularly humiliating way.

The deal was arranged by Iran's President Rouhani, who made the mistake of forgetting his place. He summoned the national supreme military council and, without consulting with Khamenei, simply informed them of his decision to make the Nojeh air base available to the Russian air force.

Aside from being angered that Rouhani made this decision without getting an OK from him, Khamenei was reportedly upset that the Russians showed every intent of making the base their permanent turf complete with sophisticate S-300 and S-400 defense systems to protect it. The last thing Khamenei and the ayatollahs want is a base deep in Iran controlled by a foreign country.

Khamenei orchestrated major disapproval from the Majlis, Iran's version of a parliament that actually does the bidding of the Ayatollah Khamenei and his Council of Guardians. It was more than enough to kill the deal and force the Russians out bag and baggage after just three sorties into Syria.

So the Iranian defense ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi announced in a press conference August 22nd that the Russian mission is over for now, that it was always only a temporary use base on a Russian request.

And if that wasn't enough of a slap, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan insulted the Russians openly for “showing off” over the air base in an “ungentlemanly manner” and a "betrayal of trust."

"We have not given any military base to the Russians and they are not here to stay."

But wait, there's more.

The Russians make a fair amount of badly needed cash selling weaponry to other countries,including Iran. The Ayatollah Khamenei wasn't finished with them yet. He forced President Rouhani to make amends and show who really runs Iran by forcing Rouhani to be photographed posing with an Iranian-made Bavar-373 missile defense system and to tell the press that with this new, home manufactured system, Iran won't need to purchase any more expensive Russian S-300s, "because the Bavar-373 is just as good."

The Ayatollah was not just telling the Russians that Iran wouldn't be buying any more of what they had to sell, but that Iran was going to be further hitting them in the wallet by putting out a competing, less expensive alternative to potential customers.

While I felt I understood why he was doing it, I've written before that Vladimir Putin was making a huge mistake making common cause with Iran. It's the same mistake Stalin made with Hitler,supplying him with oil and other raw materials literally until the day Hitler's armies attacked him.

What Khamenei was reminding Putin that 'You're a useful infidel at present, but you're still an infidel.'

It's as simple as that.

Anouncing WoW! Magazine,The New Watcher's Council Evolution !!!

The Watcher's Council has decided to change its long established set up and make a major change. Instead of our traditional weekly contest, we've totally revamped our website and pooled our collective talents along with those of some very talented outside contributors to create WOW! Magazine, a great new online mag with new, exciting content you won't find anywhere else, each and every day.

It's the same high quality stories you've come to expect from us...just a lot more of it, with new articles coming in all the time.

I'll look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: Don Surber Hits It Out Of The Park With "Trump The Press"

When I first received my review copy of Don Surber's "Trump The Press" I was expecting something good, having read his stuff before. But this one, quite simply is off the charts.

"Trump The Press" is Surber's scintillating chronicle of the Trump phenomenon, and especially of the mainstream press and the elite punditocracy's frantic attempts to torpedo it. And in addition to that, he explains their abject failure to come close to doing so, as well as the reasons why they failed and why Trump won out against all the odds. "Trump The Press" is superb political commentary at its best.

Surber lays this out with the experienced eye of a journalist with thirty years experience, as well as a writer with a wonderful feeling for the absurd. Even I had forgotten some of this stuff and I couldn't help but laugh out loud in quite a few places.

Another thing "Trump The Press" reveals, almost by accident is why the mainstream press and the professional punditocracy have lost all credibility. As Michael Goodwin wrote yesterday in the New York Post, what we're experiencing here is American journalism collapsing before our eyes.

That is a dangerous place for the press of a free republic to be, and it usually signals a loss of that freedom when it happens.

And unfortunately, that isn't going to end with the campaign no matter who wins. Mrs. Clinton's serial dishonesty,incompetence and greed will be concealed to the degree it is possible if she becomes president. And a President Trump? well, he'll have to contend with something Haim Shine writes about in Israel Hayom about that country's Leftist press and their attempted demonization of Likud Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu...a journalist's revenge (emphasis mine):

Those who were convinced beyond reasonable doubt that they had control over public opinion and the popular agenda discovered they are simply part of a marginal movement that has been serving an outdated elite with no choice but to clear the way for the new forces rising and flourishing in Israeli society. These new forces, infused with the breath of youth, are pushing aside the entitled individuals who have grown tired prematurely.

There is no revenge like that of a reporter who made a mistake. It is a boundless vengeance that lacks even basic integrity -- it is pure fire. It is a bonfire of hatred, burning Netanyahu, his family, his party and his government; and everyone is welcome to add fuel to this leftist fire.

Aside from being a thoroughly entertaining read (I couldn't put it down and finished it in one sitting) Don Surber's must read book raises a question he may or may not have can you have a free country without a free, objective press? And what can be done about it?

Five stars plus. Available though Create Space or here on Amazon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

State Department Warns, Iran Now Looking To Capture American$

Well,this is what happens when you pay ransom and otherwise appease fascists encourage them,because you've shown them it pays.

Today, the U.S. Department of State issued a warning advising U.S. citizens not to travel to Iran. According to the announcement, the advisory is intended to “highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans.”

It says that Iranian authorities continue to "detain and imprison U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security."

"Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons," the warning continues. "U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel."
"But, ummm...I thought if we, y'know, paid the ransom they'd be nice to us from now on."

"The Infidel made a funny!!"

If I was Rouhani, I'd be laughing too, because there's probably another big payday coming. Iran's fascist regime has confirmed that Iranian-American Robin Shahini has been imprisoned. He was arrested for no one knows what charges on July 11 and that he has not been heard from since. He was there to visit his family.

I seem to remember President Obama making a huge deal out of the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned a Qu'ran. A pity he had no clue about how Jefferson actually felt about Islam or how he handled the Muslims known as the Barbary Pirates when they started to make a business out of taking Americans as hostages.

But then, Thomas Jefferson was a very different kind of man from the one we have in the White House today.

A Wedding In Turkey Bombed, 50 Dead - Whodunnit?

There was a particularly horrendous event in Gazientep, Turkey last night when a suicide bomb took th elives of 50 people at a wedding party and injured over 100 more. The suicide bomber involved was a young boy aged between 12-14 and the bomb was detonated electronically, probably by a throw away cell phone.

The screen shot above was from a video posted by one of the guests, who happened to have their phone out and pointed in the direction of the explosion at the exact moment of the blast. The video's available on Live Leak, but I see no reason to post it here.

The Turkish government was quick to blame ISIS. According to Turkey's leader Tayyip Erdoğan. "all the evidence points to ISIS."

What that evidence consists of hasn't been shared, nor, if things go as usual in today's Turkey, will it ever be.

But was it ISIS who pulled this off?

Certainly they're more than capable of it. But were they the ones who did this bombing? Let's look at a few interesting facts.

Since the attempted coup in Turkey, Erdoğan has responded brutally, using it as an excuse to remove or imprison as 'traitors' anyone questioning his virtually dictatorial rule. Think of this as Erdoğan's 'Night of the Long Knives.'  Judges, opposition political activists, businessmen and  journalists as well as military and police have been arrested, harshly interrogated and held for weeks without trial. Anyone whom has criticized or questioned the practices of   Erdoğan and his loyal AKP stooges in any degree  is being put out of the way on charges of 'treason.'

A major target has been anyone associated with Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.  Gulen is a former ally of Erdoğan and the AKP who broke with him over corruption charges and Erdoğan's increasingly undemocratic practices. Erdoğan has been quite vocal about calling Gulen and his followers 'terrorists' and is blaming them for the attempted coup, something Gulen denies being any part of. Erdoğan has been hammering the Obama Administration to extradite Gulen, saying there is 'no difference between Gulen and ISIS.' 

A visit by Obama's Secretary of State to Turkey reportedly had Erdoğan's demand for Gulen's extradition as a major topic of discussion.

Another interesting thing to look at is how Erdoğan linked Gulen not just to ISIS but to the Kurdish PKK (The Kurdistan Worker's Party ) and PYD (The Democratic Union Party), claiming all of them are allied in a conspiracy to invade Turkey.

It's fairly obvious that, in my opinion, theories that Erdoğan pulled off the coup himself are (so far at least) without substance. But it is obvious that at the very least, he was fully aware of it in advance and allowed it to occur as an excuse to consolidate power and take out his political opposition. After all, Erdoğan himself has referred to the attempted coup as 'a gift from Allah'

So where does all this fit together? It begins to make sense when you find out that this was the wedding of a Kurdish member of The Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), who is in political opposition to Erdoğan and his AKP. According to the UK's Daily Mail, the wedding party was for one of its members, and the groom was injured.

Oddly enough, a lot of the terrorist attacks in Turkey seem to exclusively target Kurds. The deadliest was last October, when suicide bombers killed more than 100 people at a rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists (read, Erdoğan's political opponents) in Ankara.

Another little detail to include in the mix. Turkey has not been fighting ISIS at all with its own military. They've merely been allowing U.S. airstrikes originating from the base America leases at Incirlik for a hefty baksheesh. Actually, Turkey's relationship with the Caliphate has been relatively benign. Among other things, Erdoğan has allowed the purchase of ISIS oil by various Turkish middlemen, helping the terrorist army fund its operations. And our 'NATO ally' Turkey has played a major role in allowing foreign fighters, weapons and oil to flow across the border, with Erdoğan only making a show of stopping the flow when it suits his interests.

While fighting ISIS may not be on Turkey's agenda, the Turkish military activity in Syria has actually been helping ISIS. It has exclusively focused on targeting the Kurdish militias, so far the most effective force on the ground battling ISIS. Erdoğan has always had designs on grabbing a slice of northern Syria for Turkey since the civil war started, but even more than that he wants to prevent an independent Kurdish enclave in Syria. Or anywhere else, for that matter. So in spite of the narrative about 'ISIS trying to increase ethnic tensions' the compliant Turkish press and Erdoğan's political stooges keep pushing,the truth is that both Turkey and ISIS are not only making a lot of money together, but essentially cooperating in fighting a mutual enemy, the Kurds.

Let's recap, shall we?

We have a horrendous bombing at the wedding celebration of some Erdoğan's political enemies at a time when he's cracking down brutally on any and all opposition. And at a time when he's pressuring the Obama Administration to extradite Fethullah Gulen to Turkey, a political rival he's branded as a terrorist and an ally of ISIS, there a convenient bombing that has the double benefit of terrorizing killing off some of his political opponents and providing added 'evidence' that Gulen is a terrorist that should be extradited back to the tender mercies of Erdoğan and what passes for Turkish justice.

For ISIS, the benefits of taking out some Kurds in Turkish territory pales when you factor in the risk factor of angering Erdoğan into a crackdown and losing a valuable market for their oil..unless they knew Erdoğan was in on it and signed off on the attack.

Again, ISIS is fully capable of this atrocity, but the facts on the ground point to Erdoğan being involved. Either he was fully aware ISIS was going to pull this off or the MİT (Turkish Secret Police) did this one on Erdogan's orders.

Forum: Would You Change NATO Or Leave It As Is?

Every week on Monday morning, the folks at WoW! Magazine and our invited guests weigh in at Our weekly Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Would You Change NATO Or Leave It As Is?

Stately McDaniel Manor: In this, at least, Donald Trump is right. As a military alliance, NATO retains potential utility, but it has fallen into disrepair and disrepute. A large part of the latter is the fault of Barack Obama, but every president since the fall of the Soviet Union bears responsibility for the former.

Any military threat is viable only if that force has sufficient numbers, capability, and demonstrated skill. What’s left of NATO is lacking in every category, and this is largely due to our ally’s failure to live up to their financial obligations. This is what Trump was talking about. Virtually all of our allies have failed to maintain their militaries at a level necessary to maintain a credible deterrent.

This is particularly ironic for nations of the European Union. If the EU is truly an economic powerhouse and a political wonder, why should any member nation have the slightest difficulty maintaining its NATO obligations? The nations of the EU should be equipped with the most up-to-date equipment, ready to field forces of sufficient numbers on a moment’s notice, and should be fully integrated with the rest of the NATO force. As Sarah Palin would say: “How’s that workin’ out for yah?”

A third issue is a failure of imagination. Too many assumed that once the Soviet Union was gone, there was essentially no existential threat. I suspect Georgia and Ukraine would have differing opinions. And, of course, North Korea remains a festering boil on the posterior of the world. NATO must be revamped, not only to once again face down the Russian/Neo-Soviet threat, but the threat of Islam, led by Iran.

The worst problem, however, is NATO has virtually no credibility left. When Barack Obama, early in his administration, pulled promised defensive missiles out of Eastern Europe, when he betrayed the Poles, he sent the very clear message that NATO existed in name only, and Vladimir Putin played him and Hillary Clinton--reset!--like the fools they are. He gambled, wisely, that NATO--which is mostly the United States--would do nothing to stop him, and he was right.

As inelegant as Donald Trump usually is, he’s on the right path. Either revitalize NATO, require--if we have to force them, NATO is a sham--every member to live up to their financial obligations, and readily admit new, viable members, regardless of what Vladimir Putin has to say about it--this will mean an immediate willingness to go to war with Putin and every other dictatorial madman--or finish the job Barack Obama has already nearly completed and let NATO die of neglect.

NATO is a military, mutual defense alliance. Unless it has the hardware, personnel, training, logistical capabilities and the political will to fight whenever the agreed triggers are pulled, it’s just another Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama State Department: full of lofty rhetoric and lies, but utterly feckless. For us, that’s a very expensive paper tiger.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : As the world grows more unstable we will need the alliance of NATO nations to fight the threat of expanding enemy forces. Although formed initially to fight the threat of the Soviet Union and the spread of communism during the Cold War we are facing a greater threat today from radical Islamists in their attempt to create a global caliphate.

In addition we are on the precipice of a Third World War as we see the saber rattling from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. A cohesive alliance of western nations is needed to quell attempts from an aggressive enemy nation or nations to expand their control into NATO allied countries. NATO needs a defined mission with defined actions should any aggressions occur. There should be no question as to what our response will be in the event of an attack on one or more of our NATO nations. We also need to build and preserve superior military power and presence in our allied nations.

JoshuaPundit: Ah, ha ha! King Solomon, author of Koheles (Ecclesiastes) gets proven right again...there's nothing new under the sun. That's because human nature never changes, just the players.

Ultimately, any alliance or foreign policy gizmo falls apart as soon as it outlives its usefulness to one of the major players. The Congress of Vienna, created to keep the peace in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars is a classic example. It lasted all of 65 years until the Prussians decided they were strong enough to knock off the French in 1870.

So, let's look what NATO was, shall we? While one could say it succeeded in its initial mission, to fend off the USSR, in a very real sense it amounted to U.S. power providing a shield for Europe at our expense. The only original members whom even had anything resembling armed forces were America, the UK, Canada and France, sort of. And throughout the next half a century or so, the EU's NATO herd dismantled most of their military and spent their money on building a Socialist welfare state rather than on national defense. Hey, let Uncle Sam do it!

Now, let's look at what NATO is today. Russia, the original rationale for NATO isn't a major threat for the most part just now. The collapse of energy prices as well as Russia's severe demographic problems and difficulties with its domestic Muslims make war an option Putin can't afford. The Russians do make a few choice items of military gear, but the stuff they don't sell for badly needed export dollars is concentrated in a few elite units. The rank and file make do with what they can get, and the dirty secret about the Russian Army are the tensions and even actual firefights between Muslim and native Russian troops. The only reason Putin has been able to play a larger game is because like certain Russian leaders in the past, he's discovered the dysfunctional and easily bluffed nature of his counterparts in the U.S.

As for NATO, it's become divided into military haves and have nots. Most of Western Europe are have nots when it comes to significant military. France still maintains a semblance of what it once had, but the UK, including its once magnificent navy is barely capable of defending its own territory if that. Norway has a small but efficient and well equipped navy suited for its needs, and so do the Danes. No one else, although Germany's Bundewehr is beginning to rearm. But here's an additional problem...politics.

The real threat to Europe isn't Russia, but jihad. And few if any of the Western European NATO nations are likely to participate in a war against it, either for reasons of domestic politics or simply because their entire resources are tied up in managing their domestic home grown jihad unrest. France will sit it out unless someone like Marine Le Pen is president, and most of the rest almost certainly will.

On the other hand, the Eastern European EU members have been investing a fair amount of funds into national defense. As a reaction to President Obama's policies, a military alliance outside of NATO known as the Visegrád Group has formed, consisting of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, who also have strategic cooperation with the Baltic States. Collectively, they represent a significant force, and even better, they have all avoided being bullied into taking large numbers of Muslim 'refugees' into their countries. That's important, since their likely enemy is Islamic forces rather than the Russians.

And that brings us to the real catch 22 of NATO, Turkey. Originally, Turkey came into NATO in 1952, and because of JFK's acquiescence to Khrushchev's bluffing and demands during the Cuban Missile Crisis, our strategic missiles were removed from Turkey and they had to build their own army up, partly as a deterrent to their historic adversary, Russia and partly because of the army's role in Turkish politics.

At this point,Turkey is no longer an ally and they haven't been one since Erdoğan and the Islamists took over the country. And not only do they have access to all of NATO's intel and contingency strategies, but they now have the largest conventional army in Europe, along with a clear path through the old, historic jihad route through the Balkans to the West, not to mention a Muslim enclave as a base in Kosovo. Does anyone think it's beyond the realm of possibility that Erdoğan, faced with a moribund economy might decide to revert to Islam's historic remedy for such things, rape and plunder of the Infidel? I'd start easing them out of NATO tomorrow,but there's a problem there.

Erdoğan has already blackmailed the EU to the tune of $2 billion in exchange for making some effort to keep Muslim 'refugees' from crossing his border into EU territory. The Western European EU members of NATO would never go along with ousting Turkey out of fear he'd dump even more 'refugees' in Europe, let alone that he'd unleash his military on them.

One thing that's stopping Erdoğan from pursuing something like that now is Putin,who the Obama regime has made a point of insulting and alienating. And as you might have noticed, Erdoğan is doing his best to cosy up to Putin in recent days.

A little history, to once again prove King Solomon's point. In 1937-1938, Winston Churchill and those of like mind were screaming at the top of their lungs for Britain to take Stalin up on his offer of a conference to discuss some kind of mutual tripartite security agreement with Britain and France. Churchill saw clearly that Hitler would never dare start what would have amounted to a two front war, but Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister refused to even consider the idea seriously. He delayed doing anything for months and then actually insulted Stalin, first by sending a low ranking general to Moscow with no authority to conclude anything and second by selling out the Czechs without even consulting the USSR.

Hitler took advantage of the West's stupidity and told his foreign minister Joachim Ribbentrop to meet with his Soviet counterpart Molotov and give Stalin virtually whatever he asked for. And the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was signed on August 21st, 1939, 77 years ago today. Stalin ended up with lucrative trade deals for his raw materials, a non-aggression pact, a nice slice of Poland and a free hand to invade the Baltic states. Hitler got a quiet eastern front, war materials he badly needed and the ability to concentrate his forces on Poland and then the West.

Like it or not Putin is one of the few world leaders actually fighting jihad right now. We are going to need to work with him to defeat it and he will eventually need to work with us no matter what kind of deals he thinks he's making now. As for the Western nations of NATO, I could be wrong, but I think that given the choice of spending more of their own money on rebuilding their military or dropping out of NATO, many of them would opt to drop out. In a war, you need allies whom are actually willing to fight. That's where we should concentrate our aid and assistance. I'm not sure NATO as a whole qualifies anymore, something I hope changes for the better.

GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD :Since their primary mission of being a force in opposition to the Warsaw Pact in Europe ended on December 24, 1991 when the Hammer and Sickle flag of the Soviet Union was replaced by the Tricolor flag of the Russian Federation on the Kremlin's flag post in Moscow, NATO could have cased their colors the next day and locked the doors of their headquarters in Mons, Belgium. They had accomplished their mission.

Since that fateful day in 1991, they have proven themselves to be a fairly inept military force. In the Kosovo campaign, ninety percent of the air combat sorties were carried out by aircraft from the three English-speaking member states: Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

None of the other member states, with the exception of the Netherlands, is very keen on increasing their troop commitments in Afghanistan, despite it flowing out from the only instance in which the alliance invoked Article 5 and declared that the attack on America of September 11, 2001 was an attack on all.

Joint Task Force 151, which is a NATO Naval force, is one military venture in the organization which is working with some degree of success and participation by the European member states.
Eastern European nations within an overnight tank ride from Commonwealth Russia are another.

Critics of NATO in regards to 'bear poking' or trying to start a war with Russia are off target

Simply put, absent the U.S., the rest of the alliance's military does not have the heavy lift capability to move troops and equipment in an expeditious manner. They don't have the needed air assets to carry out any sort of air interdiction campaign. Many of their Social Democratic governments are still, inexplicably, politically averse to placing any of their citizens in danger via any sort of heavy military action.

The Change

Since NATO members have been attacked by ISIL or ISIS sympathizers, it seems only fair that NATO should formally Declare War on the Islamic State.

That in itself would be a major shift for NATO as we know it. 1st off, Turkey - who has either covertly or overtly aided the Caliphate since day one with illicit oil purchases, easy access to and from the Caliphate as well as maintaining supply routes will finally have to decide which side of the fence she's on.

Turkey would have to be in it to win it and that simply means the absolute destruction of the Islamic State. If not - the burden to destroy the IS would be heavier for NATO, yet not impossible.

The incredibly fake believe concept of no boots on the ground will have to be put out of it's misery. While NATO nations that have far too long enjoyed a free ride with their conscript militaries, may have a significant number of their countrymen opposed to any intervention and ground force, this is where their individual leaders must develop and use their political leadership to convince their respective nation states.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW1 Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Louisiana - Trump Helps Flood Victims, Obama Plays Golf

When you go to Louisiana, one thing that strikes you immediately is how the entire state is affected by water and by rivers. The Ouchita cuts through the state from the north, the Red River transects the entire state from the Shreveport in the northwest as it runs into the Mississippi and the two rivers meet a few miles above Baton Rouge, flowing into the Mississippi as it surges towards New Orleans and the Gulf.

The water has meant commerce,fishing, farmlands and wealth for Louisiana. And it has also meant death, destruction and heartbreak when the rains come, the levees overflow and the rivers unleash their destructiveness.

This is such a time for people in the north central part of the state where the rivers meet. Almost 80,000 people have lost their homes, disaster is widespread and many people have seen most of what theyown washed away.

At a time like this , what people most need next to promises of food,shelter and medical relief that might be a while in showing up (particularly in a state like Louisiana where corruption is not unknown) is a sense that they're not alone, that someone ha seen and understood what they're going through and has made a personal commitment to help.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence landed in flood stricken Baton Rouge today on Trump's private plane. They actually brought truckloads of badly needed supplies with them and helped in the unloading themselves.

And to say that people were cheered and gratified to see them is an understatement

To those who might think this was nothing but a political stunt,you might remember that Louisiana is a red state certain to vote for Trump/Pence anyway, and that both men completely changed their schedules, cancelling a major event in New York to be here.

This reminds me of how Eleanor Roosevelt behaved during the Depression. As a former Hull House volunteer, she understood human suffering. She didn't go on luxurious taxpayer funded vacations, host lavish parties in the White House or strut around in designer gowns. Instead, she went to Appalachia, to the worst slums in America, to the hard hit Dustbowl regions and to anywhere she felt the American people needed to realize first hand and in person that someone in Washington understood what they were going through, that someone cared and was trying to help. Whatever you might think of her politics, her heart was never in doubt in the least, and a shining beacon to the American people during dark times.

What Trump was doing was acting like a president, and anyone aware of the huge amounts he raises and gives to charity isn't going to be surprised that his natural innate compassion made this instinctive for him.

That's something that's been missing in DC for some time.

And the man who actually has the job of president? Well, he has important business to attend to in Martha's Vineyard:

DHS Head Jeh Johnson did finally make it down there for a press conference...and not in the flood area, either. when reporters started shouting questions at him about why the president wasn't coming, his response was classic. He explained to them that he would be briefing the president and said several times, "The president can't be everywhere."

Indeed. And I just just imagine the briefing:

Johnson: "There's sure is a lot of water in Louisiana."

Obama: "Ssssh! Quiet! Watch me sink this putt..."

This is by no means unusual for this president. He's made a practice his entire administration of ignoring disasters, unless there was some political payoff ala' Sandy Hook. Residents of Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nashville, and North Texas among others can testify to that.

And remember  the Gulf Oil Spill, and the almost farcical delay of the Obama Administration to do anything about it for weeks? When even a Democrat-for-life like James Carville starts screeching at you on national TV to get off your behind and do something, you know there's a problem.

 Actually, to be fair, the president did do something. After delaying any response at all for weeks, he finally ordered the shut down of dredging protective sand berms designed to keep the oil off the coasts after Governor Jindall got tired of waiting for authorization and went ahead and authorized dredging the sand berms on his own to try and protect Louisiana's coastline and fishing industry. And there was a lot of behind the scenes action. I'm still wondering what ultimately happened to that $20 billion dollar escrow account 'controlled by a third party' that the president extorted out of British Petroleum.

The bottom line is that Obama doesn't care unless there's a political fodder in it for him. Simple as that. Ironic that someone who keeps mouthing pretend teleprompter scripts about his compassion for his fellow Americans has so little of it in reality.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Latest Lie...'We Got The Hostages Before We Gave Iran The Money'

Just when you think the Obama Administration has reached rock bottom when it comes to rank dishonesty, they dig deeper.

Many Americans were upset and disgusted by the spectacle of America appeasing Iran once again by handing over $400 million as ransom to release four American the Iranians were holding as hostages.

As I pointed out here, President Obama blatantly lied at a press conference he gave when he said that That it was U.S. policy never to pay ransom for hostages, ever and that the money arriving at the same time was just a coincidence and was a payment on an old claim by Iran on a missing arms deal to the Shah that we never delivered.

He also lied egregiously when he said that the Israelis were now in love with the Iran deal, but let's look at the latest horse manure Obama is having his minions push.

As the Wall Street Journal among other reported, the Regime was disturbed that the President's spiel not only didn't poll well, but that congress was taking notice. So they did what they always do - they doubled down and let their allies in the media push the narrative and then cover it up thoroughly. get a whiff of this load:

New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.

The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the U.S. owed the money to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.

But the handling of the payment and its connection to the Americans’ release have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.

The use of an Iranian cargo plane to move pallets filled with $400 million brings clarity to one of the mysteries surrounding the cash delivery to Iran first reported by The Wall Street Journal this month. Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the transfer took place.

I'll just bet they're refusing to publicly disclose it!

The first lie is that this was a 'failed arms deal,' the same stuff the president tried to feed us. Arms deals between governments are done using Letters of Credit, where the buyer (in this case, Iran) places funds with their bank as a guarantee of payment to complete the transaction with instruction to release it to the seller (In this case,the U.S.) upon delivery. The buyer's bank issues the Letter of Credit and sends it to the seller. The seller delivers the goods and the buyer's bank releases the funds. No delivery, no funds released. And anyway, who pays for a legal claims settlement with a planeload of cash in foreign, untraceable currency?

The president also lied about the need for an Iranian cargo plane to ferry $400 million in cash to Iran because 'we don't have a banking relationship with Iran'. If the U.S. was going to pay ransom, they could very easily have deposited $400 million in a Swiss bank that does have that relationship, had them issue a letter of credit to the Ayatollahs and instructed the bank to release the ransom money to Iran when the hostages were freed. Converting American cash dollars the way the Obama regime did for this sort of purpose has a name. It's called money laundering and it's a major felony.

The reason the president and his minions did it was precisely because it was a ransom, and the Iranians, like all kidnappers set the terms...because they wanted to be able to humiliate the Great Satan another time and publicize and display how America bent over to their demands. Which is exactly what they have done. They're not at all embarrassed about calling it a ransom.

The president also lied when he said his administration doesn't pay ransom for hostages. I was able to think of several instances just off the top of my head where they've done exactly that.

Finally, just today, the Obama regime finally admitted the president flat out lied when he told the American people this wasn't a ransom. Just like the rest of his little performance. And now, the next question is what the remainder of the $1.7 billion Iran received was for. Terrorist kidnappers don't ordinarily take ransom in installments. What else did this president buy besides the release of 4 hostages?

And let's not leave out the latest nonsense, that the money wasn't released until the hostages were freed The hostages themselves have debunked that one, with one of them in particular being quite vocal about how the Iranians told them explicitly that they wouldn't be allowed to board the waiting plane to leave until the ransom was paid. There were other installments, fo ra total of $17 billion. By all accounts, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Rest assured they'll put it to uses that violate U.S. statutes on material aid to terrorism.

The contempt this president's policy of ransoming hostages shows for America is bad enough, and rest assured we'll see more attempts at kidnapping American before Barack Hussein Obama leaves office. It pays.

But what's even more evident is how much this disgusting episode shows blatantly how much contempt this president and his regime have for American people. They're not even bothering to try to sprinkle a little perfume around to disguise the stench of horse manure like this any more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Can the 2016 election be rigged? Here's How

Now, former Trump campaign staffer and political veteran Roger Stone is something of a a controversial figure, but he's been around and he's no fool.

Today in The Hill, he put forward exactly how easily the 2016 election can be rigged:

The issue here is both voter fraud, which is limited but does happen, and election theft through the manipulation of the computerized voting machines, particularly the DIEBOLD/PES voting machines in wide usage in most states.

POLITICO profiled a Princeton professor — who has demonstrated how the electronic voting machines that are most widely used can be hacked in five minutes or less! Robert Fitrakis Professor of Political Science in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Columbus State Community College has written a must-read book on the strip and flip technique used to rig these machines. Professor Fitrakis is a Green Party activist. {...}

To be very clear both parties have engaged in this skullduggery and it is the party in power in each state that has custody of the machines and control of their programing. This year, the results of machines in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, where Governor John Kasich controls the machines, must be matched with exit polls, for example.

Illinois is another obvious state where Trump has been running surprisingly strong, in what has become a Blue state. Does anyone trust Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a longtime Clinton hatchet man. not to monkey with the machines? I don’t. He was using City funded Community groups to recruit anti-Trump “protestors” who posed such a threat to public safety the Trump Chicago event was canceled when the Secret Service couldn’t guarantee his safety.

How do the pols of both parties do it? As easy as determining, on the basis of honest polling, who is going to win. Then, if it isn’t your candidate, simply have the votes for the other guy be given to your guy and vice versa. You keep the total vote the same. This is where the “strip and flip” technique described by Professor Fitrakis comes in.

Maybe you don’t need all the votes the other guy was going to get. If you have a plan in mind involving votes and their redistribution, you can find a programmer who can design the machine instructions to produce that outcome.  Or you can hack the machine you are voting in with that $15 device that you can get at BEST BUY.

A computer hacker showed CBS how to vote multiple times using a simple $15.00 electronic device.

(1) Publish a poll contrived to suggest the result you are going to bring about.

(2) Manipulate the machines to bring about precisely your desired outcome.

As someone with great sentimental attachment to the Republican Party, as I joined as the party of Goldwater, both parties have engaged in voting machine manipulation. Nowhere in the country has this been more true than Wisconsin, where there are strong indications that Scott Walker and the Reince Priebus machine rigged as many as five elections including the defeat of a Walker recall election.

Mathematician and voting statistic expert Richard Charnin has produced a compelling study by comparing polling to actual results and exit polls to make a compelling case for voting machine manipulation in the Badger state.

When the Trump vs. Cruz primary took place, the same pattern emerged again of a Marquette University poll showing a 20 point shift from Trump ahead by 10% to Trump behind by 10%, which was simply absurd. Shifts like that don’t happen over brief intervals of time, absent a nuclear explosion. It didn’t make any sense — unless you knew what was going on was an “instant replay” of Walker’s victories. The machine Priebus built was delivering for Cruz big time.

Today, the polling industry has been reported to be “in a state of crisis” because they are altering their samples to favor Hillary. The Reuters poll actually got busted for oversampling Democrats in order to inflate Hillary’s lead. We even had the absurdity of a Gallup poll proclaiming that 51% of those who had heard Trump’s speech were less likely to vote for him, which was endlessly repeated by the shills at MSNBC.

I predicted that Trump would lead in the polls after his highly successful convention (despite the media frenzy over the non-issue of a Melania Trump staffer plagiarizing a handful of words). In fact, post convention polling for the Trump effort by pollster Tony Fabrizio in key swing states was encouraging. Perhaps this is why the establishment elites have gone into over-drive to attack Trump.

Hillary hasn’t exactly had smooth sailing. Julian Assange of Wikileaks said he had inconvertible proof that as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton armed Isis LINK. The IRS has opened an investigation to the Clinton Foundation and it’s many offshoots, and Hillary got caught lying about what FBI Director Comey did say about her.

But you will see less of Hillary’s problems in the mainstream media, which has gone completely overboard in its relentless, even hysterical, efforts to lambaste Trump and promote her. Every remotely objective commentator has been stunned. Trump will, however, have an opportunity to drive these points home in the debates.

We are now living in a fake reality of constructed data and phony polls. The computerized voting machines can be hacked and rigged and after the experience of Bernie Sanders there is no reason to believe they won’t be. Don’t be taken in

Admittedly, I'm not sure I go along totally with some of Roger Stone's allegations about prior hacking. And the idea of exit polls has already proven to be rotten with fraud, since the predominantly Left/Democrat media conducts them, and a lot of people, including yours truly simply walk right on by them.

Even many of the publicly revealed 'polls' are subject to being cooked and manipulated, as I've proven more than once by examining their mechanics.

But voter fraud and easily hackable electronic machines are a very different matter. And Stone is 150% right to say that the current crop of Pols can't be trusted.

For some time, I've said that we need to go back to paper ballots counted under very careful supervision.

No one yet has been able to hack a piece of paper combined with pen and ink.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Forum: Does America Still Have A Free, Independent Media?

Every Monday, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Does America Still Have A Free, Independent Media?

Stately McDaniel Manor: Our society has, without a doubt, a free, independent press. What it lacks is a responsible, ethical, professional press. The role of the press is no less potentially important than it was in the time of the Founders, but much has changed.

Some suggest that the digital age has fundamentally transformed the role of the media. Internet news sources, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, all mold opinion. The Legacy Media no longer have a monopoly on the news, or on opinion writing, for that matter. This has wrought changes, perhaps even opportunities: Donald Trump rode Twitter to the Republican nomination.

One thing, however, remains unchanged: we get precisely the press we deserve, just as we get the politicians we deserve. Think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are a coincidence? A completely unexpected bolt from the blue? They are the logical, foreseeable consequence of a people who, for the most part, no longer understand or embrace the Constitution, the very principles and the rule of law that make America, America.

The Legacy Media have always had a leftist slant, but in the past, they angrily denied it, and if one of their own stepped too far over the line, they were roughly brought back into the fold, and in rare instances, fired. But the temptation to advocate rather than report--after all, the Legacy Media are elite, educated, smarter and more in the know than those they supposedly inform--became ever stronger, and before long--mere decades--the line became all but invisible, the consequences for crossing it, weaker and weaker until they have all but vanished.

Much of the Lamestream Media abandoned all pretense at objectivity with the first election of Barack Obama. They were no longer content with reporting history, they wanted to make it, and nearly everyone in their ranks became--if they were not already--a Democrat operative with a byline. Oh, they still argued their objectivity upon occasion, but ever more weakly.

Circa 2016, there is virtually no protestation of even-handedness. An Associated Press reporter, one Lisa Lerer, was present for an incident where Hillary Clinton potentially had a seizure of some kind. There have been numerous concerns about Clinton’s health, and several public instances of seizure-like behavior, but the media has responded primarily by declining to cover them. That has all changed, and surely represents the Media’s realization that Clinton does have serious health problems and needs their help to cover them. Ms. Lerer to the rescue!

Lerer, obviously with the blessing of the Associated Press, wrote a full-throated defense of Clinton, including a medical diagnosis of her unique fitness to be President that would have done a hired Clinton press flack proud.

Who needs people like neurologists or other medical professionals to testify to Clinton’s physical fitness to rule when we have the Associated Press!

Keep in mind that the AP is a wire service. Their content is sold to new organizations around the world, so if the AP is in the tank for Clinton, every newspaper, blog, or other media source that uses their material is also in the tank for Clinton, whether they realize it or not.

Surveys routinely reveal that 90% and more of reporters self-identify as Progressives/Democrats. They are independent and free to make that choice. What they are not is honest, objective, and trustworthy. We are, in part, responsible for that.

Laura Rambeau Lee,Right Reason : While we still have a free independent media, what we are lacking is integrity in our journalists. Actually, it’s worse than that because they don’t even realize how biased they are.

The major media outlets employ journalists and reporters who graduate from progressive universities and colleges where they have been indoctrinated with a bias against traditional American values. Being immersed in the hatred and animosity against America and its perceived evils it becomes impossible for them to report on stories objectively. Returning to college to finish my bachelor’s degree I sought a notoriously liberal school and took an American Studies major with a focus on communication and media. I tell people I received a bachelor’s degree in Bitterness Studies. The focus in nearly every class was anti-American and pro-globalism and multiculturalism. Marxism is alive and well and producing good little communists on our college campuses. It is no wonder we have a generation of young adults who seem unable to cope with even the basic challenges of adulthood. The guilt and hopelessness of this generation is striking and I find it difficult to imagine them becoming well adjusted, happy, and competent contributors to our society.

Progressives need people who are dependent on government. Our progressive education system has destroyed their sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Today’s journalists regurgitate the party line because this is where they are made to feel safe and protected. To step outside this circle would mean suffering public humiliation, a useful tool of the left to keep people in line.

On a positive note, with the advent of the internet and the rise of independent news reporters and bloggers we are able to counter some of the leftist media. We do this because we are the truth tellers in a world we find full of corruption and media bias. We are not beholden to politicians and the progressive agenda which pervades the major media outlets. We are the pre-Revolutionary War pamphleteers of the twenty-first century. There are a lot of people who are still able to think critically and see what is happening in our country and as things become progressively more intolerable there will be more searching for the truth. We have taken on this task willingly and out of love for our country and our way of life. We are truly happy warriors.

We do have a free independent media for now, but I fear very soon we will not as the internet is being turned over to a global governing oversight entity. It may become very difficult to write as we do today in the near future. I hope I am wrong about this, but I don’t think I am.

Bookworm Room : If we define "freedom" to mean that the government cannot use coercion to force people into speech against their will, America still has a free media. America's tragedy is that our media didn't need force and coercion to abandon its commitment to truth. It did so voluntarily. So free? Yes. Honest? No.

JoshuaPundit: I've been a news junkie for a longtime...even dating back to the old pre-internet short wave days. It was an is fascinating to me to see how different news agencies in different countries would handle the same stories, and weight them in importance. Even in those days, there were news agencies that were obviously biased, and others whom prided themselves on their objectivity like the BBC. That, of course,is no longer true of the Beeb and a number of other institutions.

The change could be traced back as far as the 1940's, when groups like the New York Teacher's Union were heavily infiltrated by the communist party. It revved up during the '60's, when a number of red diaper babies and similar radicals infiltrated the university systems and many college administrators caved in to their demands to try and preserve civil order.But to me, the real tipping point was in 1972, when President Nixon ended the draft. The supposedly moral anti-war movement melted away, but the leaders and cadres went back to the university systems and became tenured radical professors.

There's a reason people like Bill Ayers got so involved in education.

Because that's the key to what's going on with news media now. The Left controls education and has for some time.

American media has always had its partisan elements. In most sizeable towns, there was always a democrat and Republican paper. But the bias was up front and honest, and the competition was on a relatively level playing field. That's not the case today.

Back when the nation's press was a monopoly of three alphabet networks and a handful of influential big city newspapers, the bias towards the Left and the Democrats was there and always increasing, but the Old Guard who still maintained a modicum of journalistic standards kept it somewhat in check. As they retired and the new breed took over, the change became more and more apparent.

The introduction of talk radio and later, the internet exploded this monopoly for a time.

But thanks to social media. It's reasserting itself again since these sites are pretty much controlled by the Left and they now control how news is weighted and what gets highlighted. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are actually suppressing conservative media and doing what the Leftist media has always done...not covering or hiding news stories and information that goes against their progressive agenda. Conservative activists have found themselves banned by Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or even worse, 'shadow banned' where the poster believes his or her content is being posted because he or she can see it on his page. They're unaware no one else can.

Google is even more insidious. If you have an exact URL, you'll get what you were looking for but they have altered the search algorithms so that if you merely do a general search on a topic that debunks the Leftist mythology what you'll frequently see instead is a lot of articles taking the other side, with what you're looking for frequently being buries several pages away if you're lucky. You have to be extremely specific to find what you want, and many times that doesn't even matter. This also applies to google images.

Want to fix the media and preserve the First Amendment? Fix education. It would take some intestinal fortitude, but it is by no means impossible.

If Mrs. Clinton is elected, look for a pervasive effort to neuter talk radio via the FCC and the internet using use taxes, 'hate speech' codes and high fees for the privilege of blogging. I hope I'm wrong about that.

   Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And stay tuned for news on an  exciting new development from the Watcher's Council!

Trust me,  you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y'know?

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one." - Rush Limbaugh

"“Guns are our friends because in a country without guns, I'm what's known as "prey." All females are.” " - Ann Coulter

“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” - James Madison

Stately McDaniel Manor

This weeks' winning essay, Stately McDaniel Manor's I Carry A Handgun, Because.. is a real treat, a beautifully written essay that explains exactly why the author chooses being armed as opposed to the alternative! Here's a slice to whet your appetite for the entire feast:

I do not advertise the fact that I carry a concealed handgun, or that I am an instructor. However, on the occasions when this comes up, people are often amazed. Not because I am a diminutive wisp of a fellow–I’m anything but, and if I do say so myself, and I do, I’m roguishly masculine–but because I am an English teacher and singer, and my default facial expression is a smile. The resulting conversation usually goes like this:

Friend:  “Really? You carry a gun?”

Me:  “Yup.”

Friend: “Where?”

Me:  “Everywhere.”

Friend: “Everywhere?!”

Me: “I carry a spear gun in the shower.”

Friend:  “No!” The horror and surprise in their eyes is delightful to see.

Me:  “No; but everywhere else.”

Friend:  “Why?”

I usually hit on a few of the high points, issues of logic, common sense, gentle persuasion enabling those that already know me to accept a side of me previously unimagined.. Employing my most frequently used weapon–the keyboard–I’ll endeavor to explain.

 Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 5.02.26 PM

* Evil exists and may confront anyone at any time and any place.
* I believe God exists and expects me to protect those that can’t protect themselves.
* Self-defense is a God-given, natural, unalienable right.

* There is no gift so precious as God’s gift of life.

* To fail to protect God’s greatest gift is inexcusable.

* My life is worth far more to me, those that love me, and to a just society than the lives of vicious criminals and terrorists.

* The lives of the innocent—friend or stranger—are worth far more to me and to a just society than the lives of vicious criminals and terrorists.

* Three times in my life I have raised my right hand and sworn a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.  I have never betrayed those oaths and never will.

* By carrying my handgun, I honor the foresight and wisdom of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment.

* The Constitution is only paper and ink, a statement of principals and intentions. When the will wavers and when some wish to change, ignore or destroy those principals and intentions for light and transient reasons, only the threat and, if necessary, the application of the force of arms, will suffice to preserve liberty.

* A handgun is the most convenient, usual and effective means of self-defense.

* Going armed reinforces and upholds the Social Contract.

* An armed society is a polite society.


Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was noted Middle East commentatorRaymond Ibrahim with Is Islam Violent? Forget the Koran, Let's Talk About Islam's PROVEN Historical Record submitted by Joshuapundit. While he left out part of the story (the Indian Genocide during the Muslim conquest alone is estimated at between 1 and 20 million people), the basic point is fairly obvious.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y'know?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Our Watcher's Council Nominations - 'Finish The Job' Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

So, let's see what we have for you this week....

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!And don't forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Hostages, Ransoms, Iran, and Israel - Obama Lies Again

It's been revealed that American hostages held unjustly by Iran were released this January, but only after a sum of $400 million in cash sent by the U.S. was received by the Islamic Republic. This transaction was meant to be hidden, but now it's come out, it has immediately raised questions. Was this a ransom? Why was this hidden from the American public?

US President Barack Obama speaks to the media in Arlington, Virginia, on August 4, 2016. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

The totally misnamed Josh Earnest, Obama's spokeshole was quick to say that no ransom was paid, and Hillary Clinton said - it seems to be her trademark -that this was old news and 'no one cares about it anymore.' Well, it worked for Benghazi and her illegal private e-mails and server, so why not?

But it was left for Barack Obama to pull off the biggest, most shameless lies of the bunch. He gave a press conference and asserted the following:

  • That it was U.S. policy never to pay ransom for hostages, ever.

  • That the money arriving at the same time was just a coincidence and was a payment on an old claim by Iran on a missing arms deal to the Shah that we never delivered. And that America's own lawyers advised paying this settlement because Iran had pursued litigation in court and by settling, 'we saved America billions of dollars.'

  • That this was old news, that the Iran deal was working and that even Israel admitted it. Obama also said those who had been most critical of the deal should admit they were wrong:

    “What I’m interested in is if there’s some news to be made, why not have some of these folks who were predicting disaster come out and say, ‘This thing actually worked.’ Now that would be a shock,” he said.“That would be impressive. If some of these folks who said the sky is falling suddenly said, ‘You know what? We were wrong and we are glad that Iran no longer has the capacity to break out in short term and develop a nuclear weapon.’ But that wasn’t going to happen.”

    “The Israeli military and security community … acknowledges this has been a game changer,” he said. “The country that was most opposed to the deal.”

Well, let's examine these claims. First of all have we paid ransom before for hostages during Obama's term in office?

Remember these?

In 2011, the Obama Administration paid $1 million dollars to Iran
as 'bail money' to get them to release two hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer who accidentally wandered over the Iranian border two years before and were being held in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. An additional $500,000 in 'bail' was paid earlier for the release of Sarah Shourd, Bauer's girl friend when she became seriously ill in Evin. So, a total of $1.5 million in ransom money.

In 2012, the Obama Administration used USAid as a conduit to pay $4.6 million to the Egyptian Government for the release of 43 NGO operatives...including Sam LaHood, the son of the then Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Then there was deserter Bowie Bergdahl. Remember him? Not only were 5 extremely skilled and dangerous Taliban commanders sent back to Afghanistan, but there a great deal of evidence that the Obama Administration also paid a ransom of something like $5 million to the Taliban for his release.

Even if Bergdahl's ransom consisted of just the five Taliban commanders alone, those of you with loved ones serving in AfPak can thank the Obama Administration and Mrs. Clinton, then Secretary of State for making things far more dangerous and life threatening for them.

These are just a few instances that come readily to mind, and I'm certain there are other instances. So contrary to what the president said, yes, his administration does pay ransoms for hostages. And if I remember, he mentioned that countries that do that see the price go up. That's certainly been the case for the United States!

Let's look at the president's next claim, that the cash payment of $400 million wasn't a ransom, it was a claims settlement for an arms deal that the Iranians were already pursuing via litigation. And the money just arrived there at the exact same time as the hostages were being released just by coincidence.

Now anyone who's ever paid a court judgment knows this is sheer fantasy. Settlements of this kind involve legal documents including one called a satisfaction of judgement filed by the litigant at the same time payment is made. And the president's nonsense - that's the most benign word I can use here - about the fact that it needed to be all cash 'because we don't have a banking arrangement with Iran' is a blatant falsehood. There absolutely no reason the U.S. couldn't have deposited the funds in a Swiss bank by check for the Iranians to have wired to wherever they wanted in any currency they desired.

There's a name for what the Obama Administration chose to do instead. It's called money laundering and it's a felony offense. No wonder even some of the officials in Obama's serially lawless Justice Department were concerned about this one.

The Iranians wanted cash for a simple reason - to humiliate the Great Satan and show the money off to prove it actually was a ransom. Which is exactly what they've done.

One of the the hostages has recounted that even though the plane to take them home was ready for takeoff, the Iranians told them that they were waiting for the plane with the money and they weren't going to be released until it arrived.

Another falsehood the president told us is that this was supposedly an arms contract that was never fulfilled. I know a little bit about arms dealing and how it's legitimately conducted. The normal procedure is that the contracts are signed and the consignee (the purchasing country) goes to a large bank and obtains a Letter of Credit in the amount required. A Letter of Credit is a guarantee from a bank on behalf of one of its customers (in this case, Iran) to the seller's bank that the seller (in this case, the U.S.) will be paid in full to the amount of the Letter of Credit as long as the contracted goods and services are delivered.

To restate this more simply, the buyer's bank guarantees payment (normally they have the funds on hold) to the seller's bank when the buyer receive what they ordered.

Since, as President Obama told us, the arms were never shipped to the Ayatollahs the money was never released to America either.

So yes, that $400,000,000, was ransom money. And our president lied once again, without being challenged by a servile press.

Finally, let's look at his claim that the Israelis are on board and just love the Iran deal.

Now, there are a few Israeli members of the military and security establishment that agree with the president, but what's notable is that they're all ex-members and almost all associated with the left wing Zionist Union (AKA Labor) party that the president tried and failed to put into power with substantial injections of cash and paid activists when he interfered with Israel's elections. They're the people whose mindset and opinions the Israeli electorate overwhelmingly rejected.

And the people who they elected and who have actual responsibility for Israel's security?

Avigdor Liberman, Israel's defense minister compared the Iran deal to Munich in 1938.

"The Munich Agreement didn’t prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust precisely because its basis, according to which Nazi Germany could be a partner for some sort of agreement, was flawed, and because the leaders of the world then ignored the explicit statements of [Adolf] Hitler and the rest of Nazi Germany’s leaders,” the ministry said.

“These things are also true about Iran, which also clearly states openly that its aim is to destroy the state of Israel,” it said, pointing to a recent State Department report that determined that Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism worldwide.

Yitzhak "Tzachi" Hanegbi, currently Minister in the Prime Minister's Office in charge of National Security and Foreign Affairs has a long history as part of Israel's security and defense establishment and who until recently chaired the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He said, “I don’t know to which Israelis he (Obama) spoke recently. But I can promise you that the position of the prime minister, the defense minister and of most senior officials in the defense establishment has not changed.”

“The opposite is the case. The time that has elapsed since the deal was signed proved all our worries that, regrettably, we were justified before the deal was made.”

And Prime Minister Netanyahu? Netanyahu merely issued a statement that Israel “has no greater ally than the United States” but made plain nonetheless that Israel’s position on the Iran nuclear deal “remains unchanged.”

While he felt the need to be somewhat more diplomatic than Liberman (who later yielded and walked his initial statement back a bit), it's worth noting that Netanyahu used the example of Munich himself previously. And it's a correct one, with both involving a weak leader seeking to appease a vicious, aggressive enemy and buy 'peace' at an ally's expense. Czechoslovakia had a strong, well equipped military, strong, built up defenses on the German border and a world class armaments manufacturer in the Skoda Munitions Works. If Chamberlain had not sold out his ally, Hitler might never have felt secure enough on his Eastern front to start WWII and engage Germany in a two front war for some time. Certainly, it would have given the West a lot more time to arm and prepare if nothing else.

There should be no question in anyone's mind that President Barack Hussein Obama sees Israel as eminently disposable, just like Chamberlain saw the Czechs.

At any rate, another outright lie from this president.

And there was not a single question or followup at his press conference challenging any of these gross fabrications.

No one even challenged him by asking for his reaction to Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei essentially dumping the Iran deal and any future negotiations in a very public manner. (Hat tip to Moon of Alabama via The Glittering Eye)

Which is exactly why he keeps doing it. Because what used to be a free, independent press is now largely his enabler, a group of courtiers and political activists that covers for him. For them, that is more important than truth, the nation's well being or even a semblance of ethics. And thus, they reinforce President Obama's gigantic ego in believing that he can lie with impunity and that he really is smarter than everyone else.

Forum: Where Would You Go On A Weeks' All Expenses Paid Vacation?

Every week on Monday, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question
: Where Would You Go On A Weeks' All Expenses Paid Vacation?

 Stately McDaniel Manor: If given an all-expenses paid vacation, I would hasten to a little-known redoubt of Paradise: Thermopolis, Wyoming.

In Thermopolis there is substantial geothermal activity and several facilities for enjoying the kind of naturally heated mineral waters people pay thousands to simulate in hot tubs. I enjoy Thermopolis, particularly in the winter, when one can lounge in enormous outdoor pools, warm and comfortable in a bathing suit in the perfectly heated water, as snow falls all around. It’s particularly beautiful and peaceful in the night.

There are, of course, multiple motels and hotels and restaurants. It is a quiet, unhurried place were one can retreat to rejuvenate body and soul without the blather and overwhelming noise and humanity of far too many tourist attractions.

During my Wyoming days, I often did just that. When I retire, I’ll reacquaint myself with those simple but profound pleasures. There is, at least for me, no need to travel far and spend vast sums of money to vacation.

Bookworm Room : My dream vacation has always been for everyone else to go away and for me to stay home, without any demands being made upon me. If that dream vacation came with all expenses paid, I'd have take-out every night from my favorite restaurants.

If I actually had to go somewhere on this dream vacation, I'd like to take a cruise around America's northeast region in the Fall. Holland America, which is the cruise line I've traveled on several times before has some lovely cruises that allow you to visit places important to America's Revolutionary War heritage and give you a chance to see the beautiful nature all along the coast up into Canada.

The great thing about cruises is that they're relaxing for me: My hotel room travels with me, so I don't end up packing, unpacking, and repacking every single day, and I sleep through the more boring parts of getting from Point A to Point B. The stewards take beautiful care of the rooms. Delicious food is available all the time. If I pay a little extra, they'll do my laundry for me.

Lastly, I'd love to repeat my Civil War/Revolutionary War trail trip from last year, only I'd do it in either the Spring or the Fall, not the summer, and I'd want my companion (if any) to enjoy American history as much as I do. Seeing it with two disgruntled teens in tow was painful.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : I’ve always had a wanderlust and have visited many places and checked them off my bucket list. I’ve been to Stonehenge and visited the Tower of London and many other sites around London. I went to Munich in 2000 for Oktoberfest. I’ve been to Mexico and many islands in the Caribbean. All were wonderful trips and I loved meeting the people and seeing the sights.

But with the world as it is today my wanderlust is being tamped down with a concern for safety. And it seems not as important anymore where I go as who I am with. The place we keep returning to is the Blue Ridge Mountain area of North Georgia. I am drawn to the mountains, woods, creeks and waterfalls. It is where I am always able to find peace and contentment.

Walking along the creeks or just sitting by the creek watching the water flow rejuvenates my soul and reminds me how connected we are with nature and the natural order of things. A perfect all expenses paid vacation would have to be a family vacation; bringing all of our siblings and their families up to the mountains to reconnect. We are all in various parts of the country and rarely get to see each other anymore with our various work and school schedules. A week in a private resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains reconnecting with family would be my dream vacation.

 JoshuaPundit: I'd have several choices to pick from. It would probably end up being Israel, and I'd take the free week and pay for an extra one because there's so much to see and do.The combination of sheer fun, natural beauty, spiritual input and the fascinating history of the place are irresistible. Plus, it would be great to visit some old friends.

Another place I wouldn't mind seeing again is Alaska. I'd go in late May or early June before the tourist mobs on the cruise ships arrive and  avoid more than a brief look at the Inner Passage where they mostly hang out.

Alaska is what I call one of the 'strong places' on earth and it is like nowhere else. The impression a lot of people have of it being a barren ice cube is completely mistaken.

Australia would be a consideration, simply because I've always read and heard about how unique it is and because  every time I meet an Ozzie (with one exception) I seem to get on famously with them. I have no idea why, but it would be interesting to check out their home turf and find out! My wife lived there for a number of years, so at least we'd have people to visit.

 The Razor : A week limits me to somewhere in Europe or possibly Israel but that’s cutting it pretty short for anything beyond Jerusalem.

I spent 8 days in Rome last year and am going back again soon. There are some cities in the world that you could spend a month in and still not scratch the surface. London. Tokyo. New York (of course). Rome – definitely. And Jerusalem.

But due to expense, even guaranteeing constant jet lag, I’d go for New Delhi. I’ve been wanting to visit India for a while now and only the distance and cost has stymied me. But the week would allow me to eat my way through the heart of one of the world’s great cuisines. Although some may consider Indian food an acquired taste, once I acquired it I was hooked. So far I’d rank the top 3 world cuisines in no specific order Italian, Indian and Chinese. The airfare, accommodation and food bill covered by someone else makes India my top choice.

Well, there you have it.

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