Monday, October 30, 2017

Mueller's Lame Indictments Show He's Desperately Trying To Protect The Real Culprits

Hillary Putin Trump Derangement Syndrome

Well, Robert Mueller finally dropped his explosive indictments. And his lame indictments not only have all the power of a wet firecracker, but they tell us something we already know...that the real collusion with Russia during the campaign came from the Democrats. And that today's travesty was designed to obscure it, provide a distraction,get the real story out of the headlines and protect the guilty parties involved.

The charges focus on three men. Two of them, Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates are charged not with anything to do with the Trump campaign. Instead they're being charged with money laundering and tax evasion that occurred years before Paul Manafort had anything to do with President Trump or his campaign...or as the president himself tweeted:

President Trump pounced on Monday, denying Manafort's alleged crimes predated his campaign and insisting that he never colluded with Russia to affect the 2016 election

Well, we all know the answer to the first question. The focus isn't on the completely corrupt Clinton and the Democrats because their trained seals in the media are doing their very best to get the real collusion by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC out of the headlines and because of Robert Mueller's own probable collusion in the Uranium One deal 

And remember, Mueller was supposed to be investigating collusion in the 2016 campaign with Russia.  The indictments of Manafort and Gates have nothing to do with that.  Odd he hasn't indicted any Democrats yet for collusion, isn't it?

Manafort and Gates have both pled not guilty to the charges. Manafort is free on $10 million bond, and Gates agreed to $5 million. Both are on 'home confinement' as a condition of their pretrial release and have surrendered their passports.

The charges against Manafort involve his lobbying work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of the Ukraine and one of Manafort’s former clients. The feds alleged he illegally funneled millions of dollars of payments into offshore bank accounts in order to avoid detection by U.S. authorities. Manafort is also accused of failing to have registered as a lobbyist for Yanukovych in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). In view of what the Podestas and Mrs. Clinton appear to have done in the Uranium One scandal, let alone the Fusion GPS scandal, this is hilarious.

Another fact that might even prove more humorous is that a lot of the evidence against Manafort could be thrown out of court because it was obtained illegally.

The Feds did a surprise raid on Manafort's home Alexandria, Virginia on July 26th. The warrant they had explicitly allowed them to search for documents and other materials related to the FBI probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. It didn't cover anything else.Not only that, but in order for the feds to obtain a warrant for that search in the first place, a federal judge would need to determine that probable cause existed that a crime was committed. And as part of the warrant,the FBI would have been required to attach an affidavit which contained a list of items that FBI agents hoped to collect. So evidence was collected that was probably not covered by the warrant.

But wait, there's more. During the raid, Mueller’s FBI agents took documents covered by attorney-client privilege. And this is fairly egregious, because Manafort's attorneys explicitly warned Mueller’s office before the raid that their search warrant didn’t allow access to documents covered by that attorney-client privilege. The feds took these materials anyway and shared it with Mueller's prosecutors, after which they returned it.

There are numerous precedents where this kind of tainted evidence has been thrown out of court, because it is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and constitutes unreasonable search and seizure. The fact that the agents at the  Famous But Incompetent returned them after Mueller's prosecutors (who should have known better) had a thorough chance to peruse them  doesn't change that one bit.

So the entire case against Manafort might result in a mistrial.

There is one more thread we should explore here. One other former  peripheral member of the Trump campaign, a foreign policy advisor named  George Papadopoulos has already pled guilty to making false statements during a January 27, 2017 interview with the FBI. Those false statements concern meetings Papadopolos had with a professor who had ties to the Russian government and who discussed “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton, as if that was hard to find. Papadopoulos has agreed to cooperate with Mueller's team in exchange for immunity. He has admitted that his contacts with the professor and other Russian nationals came after he started advising the campaign and that he apparently made numerous attempts  to convince then candidate Trump to travel to Russia in order to have an “off the record” meeting with Russian officials.Which of course never happened.

Moreover, the Mueller team says that a “Campaign Supervisor” told Papadopoulos, 'I would encourage you’ and another foreign policy advisor to the Campaign to ‘make the trip, if it is feasible.'

So let's recap what this is all about. The Famous But Incompetent set a trap for someone who was a foreign policy adviser and a peripheral figure in the Trump campaign who had unauthorized contact with a professor and perhaps some other people connected to the Russian government, and who may have tried to set up a meeting, which never happened. Moreover, someone connected with the Trump campaign told Papadodoulos that he could make the trip if he wanted to.

Guess what? None of this is illegal, although the way the Dems and their media allies are carrying on about this, you'd think they caught Papadodoulos green lighting Russian control over a big part of America's uranium production or divulging our secret missile defense technology to them.

The stuff about Papdodoulos being encouraged by a 'Campaign Supervisor' is simple hearsay. And we know what that's worth in court. Even if it occurred, again, there's nothing illegal about someone telling someone else, 'yeah sure, make a trip toRussia if you want.'

The sole crime here is that Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about meeting with this professor. The rest smacks of the sort of thing Mueller's partisan team would cook up by putting words in the mouth of someone they already had by the testicles:

" If we're going to give you immunity, we need more. Someone from the Trump campaign authorized you to make the trip and contact the Russians, right?"

"Oh, yes! Well, really, they didn't exactly authorize it, but someone encouraged me to do it."

"Well, not exactly what we were looking for, but I guess that's enough."

 The idea here is pretty clear. Nothing Papadopoulos says will likely be actionable in court, but it will provide a distraction to the real scandals involving collusion with Russia by the Democrats. And of course, material for the Left's fever swamp mentality...let's call it the legend of a unicorn rather than a real one that actually exists.

 Image result for Robert Mueller

This nonsense is what Mueller and his pals have spent a year and millions of taxpayer dollars putting together. This isn't a Hallow'een thing unless you count the masks and costuming going on. More like April Fool's although I doubt it's fooling anyone who isn't vested in pushing this stuff at all costs and has a fighting chance of a two digit IQ.

It's high time this travesty was ended, and that Jeff Sessions appointed a special prosecutor to go after the people really involved with collusion with Russia. And that likely includes Robert Mueller, who has a few questions about the Uranium One scandal he needs to answer under oath.

WoW! Forum::Should Robert Mueller Fired?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Should Robert Mueller Be Fired? 

 Don Surber: Robert Mueller poses no threat to anyone but himself. His arrogance -- hubris -- will do him in because he does not know whom he is dealing with. Mueller is a perfect media darling because he reflects so many of the swelled heads in the newsrooms.

Donald Trump is no ordinary billionaire, if such a beast exists. He knows the law well, the politicians better, and the press best of all.

Trump hires best lawyers. Roy Cohn was his first attorney. Ruthless. Prosecuted the Rosenbergs and got them executed. When the feds charged Trump with housing discrimination, Cohn countersued for defamation and demanded that the feds file an actual lawsuit, not just an administrative action.

Two years later they settled with Trump paying no fine and making no admission of any guilt.

Trump is not a man to be trifled with.

Trump has been involved in 3,500 lawsuits. He knows the courts better than any president not named Lincoln. Some cases he won. Some he lost.

Mueller should know this. He does not seem to know. He has been a federal prosecutor too long. They have nearly unlimited power.

But I think he has met his match.

Name someone who began a feud with him who prevailed. You cannot. Rosie O'Donnell went from the queen of nice on daytime TV to whatever she is today.

Megyn Kelly got a nice deal with NBC -- and is watched by fewer people now than she was at Fox News.

And so on.

The Russian dossier is fiction by a retired British intelligence officer. In nine months since it was made public, no one has independently verified any of the 35 allegations.
Trump lawyered up anyway, and it will pay off.

The leak of grand juries on Friday night was a breach of ethics. Mueller has nothing on Trump, and Manafort is nothing to him.

Mueller tried to get Trump through his kids. That was a low blow.

Firing Mueller now makes this swine a martyr.

Keep him.

He has nothing. He will whither on the vine.

 Rob Miller: Mueller shouldn't be fired, at least not right now. But he needs to be neutralized by destroying his credibility in public.

The twin scandals of Fusion GPS, the spying and illegal wiretapping by the Obama Administration on a political campaign by the opposing party during an election year, and Uranium One, which Mueller appears to be directly complicit in have already been revealed.The Democrat's servile media minions are doing the best they can to twist things around and muddy up the details to confuse the American people, but I unraveled the facts last week in an easy to follow article, and when they're presented in a straightfoward manner it's obvious that the very people ranting about Donald Trump and 'Russia collusion' were the ones colluding with the Russians themselves.

 Robert Mueller is clearly implicated in the Uranium One Scandal, which happened during Mrs. Clinton's term as Secretary of State in 2010 Certain Canadian investors working on behalf of the Russian government wanted to acquire ownership of certain assets amounting to one fifth of U.S. uranium production. They were represented by the Podesta Group ( yes, that would be John Podesta and his brother Tom), who lobbied Washington for them.

Since this involved strategic materials, it needed oversight and a green light from Hillary Clinton’s State Department. That green light was obtained after these same investors ‘donated’ $148 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation and arranged for Bill Clinton to receive $500,000 for a speech in Russia, more than double his usual fee. There are also some indications a donation to the Clinton Library was involved as well.

As the Hill revealed recently, the FBI had uncovered a bribery plot involving the Russians and uranium transactions in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They had substantial evidence, including eyewitnesses. The investigation also revealed that the deal involving the Clintons was part of the illegal bribery scam. Yet someone ordered the FBI not to reveal the details of their investigation or even to disclose it to Congress. Essentially, things were stonewalled for four more years,until 2015, after Obama’s re-election.  So the deal went through, even though the Obama Administration was fully aware of what the FBI had uncovered.

The head of the FBI when this was going on was Robert Mueller. Either he personally quashed the bribery investigation or he was told by his boss Eric Holder to do it and complied. There's no way he couldn't have known the national security implications of the Uranium One deal, yet he stonewalled the investigation until after Barack Obama was re-elected.

Meuller was always going to come up with something, and I imagine it will be trumped up charges involving  Paul Manafort or perhaps against Donald Jr. for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer withsome connections to the Russian government  about - wait for it - adoptions!

It's also pretty obvious that Mueller whipped this stuff up in a hurry to try and spin the news cycle and bury the facts about who really colluded with Russia.

That's why the President needs to immediately name a special prosecutor to investigate these scandals, and especially, to investigate Robert Mueller among other things. He obviously knew about the bribery. Why did Mueller stonewall the investigation?  Did he receive orders to do it, and if so, from whom? Is there any evidence in his bank records that he received a sum of money or profited via an investment? And as head of the FBI, what made him be so negligent as to turn his back on something so vital to national security, keep his mouth shut and attempt to bury it?

The Democrat's Trump Russia lie is already on life support. A solid special prosecutor  ought to be able to finish the job and turn the spotlight on some of the most corrupt people ever to hold public office and betray the public trust.

Patrick O'Hannigan: I agree with Don that Robert Mueller will likely "wither on the vine," but I still think that President Trump should fire him rather than waiting for that to happen. There would be political repercussions to firing Mueller, because the anti-Trumpers and the Left would indeed treat him (undeservedly) as a martyr, and would have another fig leaf with which to try to cover bad behavior by the Obama administration and its notoriously tone-deaf Secretary of State. On the other hand, there is, I think, a significant up-side to demonstrating (by letting Mueller go) that the rule of law actually requires prudent exercise of responsibility in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government.

Robert Mueller, when he was running the FBI, had to have known more than a little of what the rest of us are now learning about the extortion and backroom-dealing behind Uranium One. He would also have realized that the Clinton Foundation was little more than a global money laundering operation. He probably figured that going after the Clintons or the Russians was a waste or resources. You can argue the merits of that inactivity, but it's ridiculous to make him the point man for an investigation into "collusion with Russia" now when he did nothing about it then.

I was once sympathetic to the argument that Mueller ought not be criticized for staffing his current investigation with donors to the Democrat party, because every big law firm donates to the party in power, so the pool of investigative talent was always going to be in the shadow of the DNC. That argument no longer persuades me, because Mueller himself has been so obviously partisan. He was touted as having earned "bipartisan respect," but what that means today is that other agents of the "administrative state" recognize him as one of their own. And let's not forget the President Trump was elected in large part on his promise to Make America Great Again. He was going to do that not just in positive ways (such as tax reform and repeal of "Obamacare"), but also in negative ways, by "draining the swamp" that Washington, D.C. has become. Mueller is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Firing him would be akin to saying (correctly) that when President Obama created the DACA program and the immigration machinery around it, he did that in an unconstitutional manner, by executive order.

Let's not forget that Robert Mueller and James Comey are friends, either. I don't know either man and can't fairly judge their characters, but Comey's record has been less than stellar, and friends ought not be put in charge of "investigating" each other. Mueller and his acolytes continue looking at President Trump while the media breathlessly reports even uncorroborated "findings," but Mueller's activity looks more and more like willful misdirection every day. By looking at Republicans (or even alleged Republicans), Mueller helps his Democrat friends avoid the spotlight that should be on them. For example, people are talking about Uranium One because Hillary Clinton is still a high-profile name, but how about Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and her unusual IT staffing arrangements? Those had national security implications, too.

Laura Rambeau Lee : Robert Mueller should have recused himself at the outset of this investigation. The fact that he did not in spite of his obvious and many conflicts of interest leads me to believe his job as special counsel is to make sure the truth of what really transpired between the DNC, the Clinton campaign and the Russians never comes to light. It appears the establishment Democrats AND Republicans seem bent on taking down a duly elected President Trump. A Friday leak revealed the Mueller team has filed the first charge or charges in the case with a federal grand jury, although the charges have been sealed by a federal judge. We may find out who has been charged and what the charges are as early as Monday. Will it be someone connected to the Trump campaign? All of this high drama is a smoke screen to keep us from finding out the real truth. Congress should end this investigation now.

Well, there it is!

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

Catalonia Independence...Barcelona Takes The Plunge

 Image result for catalonia votes for independence

Catalonia declared its independence today. Secession was approved by only 70 of the 135 legislators, with the pro-Spanish parties walking out of the chamber after arguing passionately against the move.Lawmakers from three national parties - the People’s Party, the Socialists and Ciudadanos - walked out before the vote. Members of the pro-independence parties and the far-left Podemos then voted 70-10 in favor...and used a secret ballot aimed at impeding any attempt by Madrid to file criminal charges on them.

I've reported previously what the press isn't...that there's a lot more to this than meets the eye, and Muslim migration into Catalonia is a factor.

At any event, the deed is done, and Spanish PM Rajoy is going to have to take control of the situation. The Spanish parliament is almost certain to approve of using Article 55 of the Spanish Constitution to restore central control over Catalonia. Rajoy has already dismissed the members of Catalonia's regional government, including Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont, who could face years of prison for what he just did.

Catalonian separatists are already enforcing a kind of civil rebellion, demanding that civil servants in Catalonia refuse to cooperate with their counterparts in Spain. And even though many Catalonians want to remain part of Spain, there are enough hotheads to spark real violence as Spain attempts to restore order.

Rajoy really has two choices. He can send in the paramilitary state police, the Guardia into Catalonia to take control and simply take the fallout as he did when they went sent in to stop the illegal referendum. Or he can try and find some reasonable actors to deal with and perhaps discuss new elections and changes that could be made.

I personally doubt the second choice is a viable option, but we'll see.

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California’s Sanctuary Policy Helped Set The State on Fire

Fats Domino Makes The Passage

Antoine 'Fats' Domino passed away last night in New Orleans, of natural causes. He was 89.

Back in the 1950's and early 1960's he fused N'awlins R&B with white pop and early rock n' roll memes to create a unique style that opened the door for a whole lot of acts from New Orleans. You can hear it in huge hits like 'Blueberry Hill,' 'Ain't That A Shame,' "Blue Monday' and one of my faves, 'Walking To New Orleans.'

At one time, he was a huge star, but he apparently succumbed to something that seems to hit a lot of musicians from New Orleans...a feeling that he was more comfortable just being a big name at home, in New Orleans, and was happy with that. Oh, there were bookings in places like Vegas now and then, but basically Fats stayed home with his family.

I met him briefly once when I got backstage at the Jazz and Heritage Festival back in the early 80's after his set, which the audience responded to the way you greet a beloved friend you haven't seen in awhile. And offstage, he was pretty much like his public image...friendly,courteous and relaxed. I remember thinking that he was one of the happiest people in the business I had ever seen, just totally comfortable with it all.

There was another time I was supposed to see him play, at Tipitina's, but he never showed...pity, because it was an amazing night with Professor Longhair and some of the Meters falling by. He would have fit right in beautifully. He always did.

 Image result for What years did Fats domino play at the Jazz and heritage festival

In 2005, after Katrina hit, he came back out of retirement at 77, for one final album, “Alive and Kicking,” to benefit New Orleans musicians who were affected by the hurricane. His voice wasn't what it once was, but he could still play great, and it's well worth a listen if you can find it.

Rest in peace, Fat Man...and thanks for the music.

California Sets Itself On Fire

The area north of the San Francisco Bay area is a special place. While part of the area has become condo wonderland and ridiculously overdeveloped, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Rosa counties still retain a certain amount of bucolic charm that brings visitors in from all over the world. The area is especially famed for a number of world class vineyards and wineries.

The entire area was victimized recently by a horrendous fire that still isn't totally contained. It took 23 lives at last count, and the death toll will likely rise higher once the fire is out and a thorough search for victims can be launched. Santa Rosa County alone lost at least 2,907 homes in the fires, 5% of its housing stock. Numerous commercial buildings and yes, vineyards were also victims of the fire. The insurance claims alone will come to millions of dollars, not to mention the millions that have been spent fighting the blaze.

And then, there was this item, the arrest of one Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, who was arrested in Sonoma County on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property.

Gonzalez is no stranger to jail, or indeed to the Sonoma County authorities. He has been arrested 4 times over the past year for various felonies and misdemeanors. Right now he's being held on a paltry $100,000 bail for the arson charge and under $100,000 bail for a drug related warrant from Ventura County. No trial date has been set yet, because the Sonoma County Superior Court is still closed because of the fires. The idea that bail would even be offered this man given his record and the likelihood he would simply flee justice is a travesty in and of itself.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan also confirmed in a statement that Jesus Fabian Gonzalez is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been twice returned to his home country, Mexico.

By the way, according to U.S. law, returning again illegally after being deported constitutes another felony.

Homan also affirmed  that ICE has issued detainer requests for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez five times now in the past year alone, including the one issued on October 16 in relation to his most recent arrest on suspicion of arson. All of the arrests were made “by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges,” according to Homan. The local police, according to their own statements recognized him the last time they arrested him and knew exactly who he was.

Sonoma County, of course is a sanctuary area for illegal migrants that does not cooperate with ICE under most circumstances. While this policy has been in force in a number of locations in California for some time, it is now official statewide policy, thanks to a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Here is acting Director Homan's entire statement, verbatim:

“Once again, a non-cooperative jurisdiction has left their community vulnerable to dangerous individuals and preventable crimes. ICE lodged a detainer against Jesus Gonzalez with Sonoma County jail officials on October 16, following his arrest on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property. This is especially troubling in light of the massive wildfires already devastating the region. Over the past year, ICE has lodged detainers against Mr. Gonzalez after four separate arrests by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges. ICE was never notified of Mr. Gonzalez’ various releases. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales has been returned to his home country of Mexico on two separate occasions. The residents of Sonoma County, and the state of California, deserve better than policies that expose them to avoidable dangers. Non-cooperation policies – now enshrined in California state law – ensure only one thing: criminals who would otherwise be deported will be released and left free to reoffend as they please.”

In response, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said that administrative detainers are considered unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Apparently the Bill of Rights now applies to illegal migrants as well as U.S. citizens, at least in California!

Well,County Sherrif's an elective office and Giordano wants to get re-elected, so this is to be expected.

The new California Sanctuary State policy was made law via SB54, by Senate President Kevin de León, (D-Los Angeles), a man who openly stated that "half my family is here illegally" and that of course they broke the law by using fake documents and IDs. And we're not talking at all about people simply seeking work.

From January 2014 to September 2015,(the latest figures I could find) California released illegal migrants considered deportable under federal law in more than 11,000 instances, rather than keeping them in custody for federal agents, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.

One of these 'immigrants' they refused to hold for ICE was the career criminal murdered Kate Steinle in San Francisco. And that's after he was deported five times. and she's by no means the only victim of this policy.

Here's what ICE had to say about the effects of this new law on October 10th:

Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign SB54 and make California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens — including those who have committed crimes — will undermine public safety and hinder ICE from performing its federally mandated mission. The governor is simply wrong when he claims otherwise.

SB54 will negatively impact ICE operations in California by nearly eliminating all cooperation and communication with our law enforcement partners in the state, voiding the delegated authority that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has under the 287g program, and prohibiting local law enforcement from contracting with the federal government to house detainees.

ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community. ICE will also likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California.

Ultimately, SB54 helps shield removable aliens from immigration enforcement and creates another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.
emphasis mine)

Despite the severe challenges that this law creates for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all sheriffs and local elected officials. This misguided legislation will severely undermine those efforts.

Just to put this in perspective, did Jesus Gonzalez cause this horrendous fire all by himself? Obviously not. But he contributed to it and committed the felony of 'maliciously setting fire to a property.' We also know that he's committed a number of crimes, that he has no right to be in the United States, and that each one the crimes he's committed cost the tax payers of California money for his arrests, prosecutions, imprisonment and in damages to the property and person of others. Multiply Jesus Gonzalez by the large number of illegal aliens who commit similar and even more serious crimes and you're talking serious money and a major assault on public safety.

In California, the estimated 2,365,000 illegal aliens (and it's likely quite higher) in California represent 7.1 percent of the state's overall population. But the estimated criminal alien population is estimated at 12.7 percent of the total incarcerated population using the latest data available from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). Even if the overall illegal migrant population is being underestimated as I strongly suspect, that's still a disproportionate percentage....and a large amount of money that gets spent and a lot of pain and suffering incurred because of the sanctuary policies of the State of California and its various jurisdictions that have bought into this. And remember, this just takes into account the migrants guilty of crimes who get caught. There are many who don't.

What it comes down to is that California's political class - and we're talking about Democrats here, since they effectively run the state- care more about the constituency of illegal migrants who have committed crimes and those who support and advocate for them than they do for public safety, fiscal responsibility or their oaths of office.

And if you want to dispute that illegal migrants constitute a constituency and a voting bloc, just revisit State Senator De Leon's remarks above. And ask yourself why these politicians would champion illegal migrants in this way if there wasn't something in it for them.

For my part, I'll just tell you that voter fraud in California is exceptionally easy, that there's substantial evidence it has occurred, and that California's Democrats have a vested interest in keeping it that way and could care less about the human or financial cost to their fellow Californians.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

WoW! Forum: Who Are Your Favorite Film Makers? Why?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Who Are Your Favorite Film Makers? Why?

Fausta Rodriquez Wertz: Joel & Ethan Coen.

My first Cohen Bros. movie was Fargo, followed by The Big Lebowski, and I've been a big fan since.

I haven't watched all their films, but I greatly enjoyed, in addition to the above,
- their musical version of The Odyssey (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
- Miller's Crossing's gloominess
- No Country For Old Men, with Bardem as the scariest villain this side of the Rio Grande
- Burn After Reading, which made me laugh out loud
- Bridge of Spies on the Cold War
- and Hail Caesar! on the Hollywood communists.

Bookworm Room : I don't have a favorite director, but I do have a favorite producer: I love musicals made under Arthur Freed's aegis. Here are just a few of the dazzling movies he produced during Hollywood's golden years:

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Strike Up the Band (1940)
Cabin in the Sky (1943)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Yolanda and the Thief (1945)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
Good News (1947)
The Pirate (1948)
Easter Parade (1948)
Words and Music (1948)
On the Town (1949)
Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Royal Wedding (1951)
Show Boat (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
The Band Wagon (1953)
Silk Stockings (1957)
Gigi (1958)
Bells Are Ringing (1960)

While I don't have a favorite director, I definitely have a least favorite director. I hate Steven Spielberg movies, which I find clunky, predictable, and subordinate to special effects and fancy camera work. I also invariably dislike his characters and their thought processes. I've been watching at HBO production about Spielberg and it's given me an insight into why I dislike his characters: I don't like him.

The one good thing about Spielberg is that his Holocaust work has been exemplary. I don't like how he directed Schindler's List, but it educated a generation about the Holocaust. His Shoah project is also something very important and I admire his complete commitment to that work.

But . . . and this is a big but, Spielberg directed Munich, which aims for moral relativism between Israel and the PLO. The difference between a properly created democracy in a land that has been home to Jews for thousands of years and a terrorist group that openly espouses murdering all Jews precludes any moral relativism . . . but Spielberg still tried.

Spielberg has also supported Obama wholeheartedly. Those who love Israel know that Obama has been hostile to Israel from his first to his last days in office. Support for Obama meant that a person was willing to see Israel badly damaged.

Yeah, so I'm really not a Spielberg fan.

JoshuaPundit: My  top favorites are Kurosawa, Fellini,Kubrick and a gentleman named Charles Chaplin. I still think City Lights is one of the best films every made. The great thing about Chaplin is his universal appeal. You can play his movies in front of people anywhere in the world and they'll still enjoy them a century after they were made. My kids used to love to watch films featuring what my daughter called 'the funny little man.'

I got into Kurosawa at a long gone theater named the Toho La Brea in Los Angles's Wilshire District. They played first run movies as well as older ones there put out by the Toho company in Japan, and there was a wonderful Japanese bar where you could get sake and delicious soba noodles just next door to the theater both before or after the movie. The first Kurosawa movie I saw there was Yojimbo, something so akin to an American western that Clint Eastwood later remade it with himself in the Toshiro Mifune part.

I've seen most of his films since. Rashomon and The Seven Samurai are the ones everyone knows, and they're masterpieces but a lot of his films in contemporary settings like Stray Dog, One Wonderful Sunday and The Bad Sleep Well are still compelling watching.

What I like about Fellini s his ability to get inside his characters, and his sense of both story and camera angles. Favorites? La Strada (featuring Tony Quinn in a great performance) Satyricon, which actually gives us a sense of what a different place ancient Rome was and La Dolce Vita, which is hilariously funny.

I also like Stanley Kubrick, Australian Peter Weir (Gallipoli,The Last Wave, The Year Of Living Dangerously) and John Ford among others. And I have to give a shout out to Peter Jackson. I never thought anyone could successfully bring Lord of the Rings to the screen and keep the essence of the story and its message as well as he did. Which of course is why audiences loved it and Hollywood hated it.

The Glittering Eye :It's easier to name my favorite film makers than it is to explain why they're my favorites and it's even harder to explain why they're my favorites without writing at book length. I'll give it a try. My favorites are Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, and Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger.

There's something they all have in common. When you see a Hitchcock picture, a Ford picture, or a Powell/Pressburger picture, you''ll be seeing the finished work of a team of creative professionals including director, editor, set decorator, actors, and musicians who've worked together through a number of pictures, producing synergy.

With Hitchcock that included his wife, Alma Reville, one of the best film editors of all time, actor, writer, and director Hume Cronyn, composer and director Bernard Hermann, and onscreen performers who appear repeatedly in his movies—Edmund Gwenn, Hume Cronyn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly just to name a few. With John Ford it included Merian Cooper, John Wayne, Ward Bond, Robert Montgomery, Victor McLaughlin and his son, Andrew. Powell/Pressburger had their own teams.

Hitchcock's movies are works of extraordinary beauty and perfection. Each frame is lovingly composed and edited. Ford's pictures aren't nearly as beautifully made as Hitchcock's but they deal with enduring, significant themes: family, heroism, love of country. Powell/Pressburger's pictures have a unique sometimes surreal vividness to them.

If you're unfamiliar with the works of any of these seminal filmmakers, you have a treat in store. Here are some of my favorites by each of them to get you started.


The 39 Steps (my favorite movie)
Shadow of a Doubt
Rear Window


Stagecoach (the move that made John Wayne a star)
They Were Expendable (one of WWII's best movies)
The Searchers (probably the best Western ever made)


49th Parallel (contrasting Nazi supermen with the heroism of ordinary Canadians)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Red Shoes

Laura Rambeau Lee : My favorite movie director would have to be Ridley Scott. His first movie to achieve international success was the 1979 science fiction/horror thriller Alien, which starred Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, one of the first female action heroes in the history of film. Scott followed up the success of Alien with his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, released as Blade Runner in 1982. Both are recognized as perhaps the best films ever produced in the science fiction/horror genre. Although the original release of Blade Runner was not widely recognized, it achieved cult status following a director’s cut release in 1991and is now considered one of the most important science fiction films of the twentieth century, and possibly my all time favorite.

Following Blade Runner, Scott directed several successful films, including Thelma and Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001) Black Hawk Down (2001) and American Gangster (2007).

Perhaps one of my attractions to his films are his strong female lead characters, such as Ellen Ripley in the Alien series or the fated titled women in Thelma and Louise.

A Ridley Scott film can best be described as a cinematic experience for all of the senses. His meticulous attention to detail is always evident in every aspect of his filmmaking. He uses light, sound, and visual effects superbly to convey and move the story along. His characters are fully developed and human relationships are explored in minute, often excruciating, detail. A Ridley Scott film always delivers a memorable experience.

Well, there it is!

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

The Latest On The Catalonia Separatist Movement

Image result for spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

The Spanish government and the Catalonia separatist movement have escalated the their conflict.
Let's briefly recap.

As I previously reported, the Catalonia separatist movement is something rather different than is being reported in most of the press, even fooling some ordinarily astute observers.

Catalonia has always trended to the Left of the rest of Spain. Aside from the leaders of the Catalonia separatist movement like Jordi Pujol and his cronies engaging in massive corruption and money laundering, they also encouraged massive Islamic migration as a solution for Catalonia's low birthrate, and especially, as a tool in their desire for Catalonian independence.

Essentially, they made Mutti Merkel's mistake. They thought that the Muslims would help support Catalonia's welfare state with taxes, and that speaking Catalan and Arabic rather than Spanish, what else would they become but loyal Catalonians?

Of course they forget that the vast majority of Muslima consider themselves members of the Muslim umma first above all, and they failed to look at the rest of Europe to see how resistant many of the new migrants were to any significant assimilation with the host culture. Nor did the Separatists particularly care. As one of their leaders said 'We'd rather be Muslims than Spaniards.'

So this process has continued to the point where the Catalonia separatist movement has made Catalonia the Islamist center of Spain. As you can imagine, the Spanish government is not happy in the least at the idea of having an Islamist friendly state next door. They haven't forgotten the Madrid bombings or any of the other jihad attacks that have occurred in Spain.

Another hidden aspect of this behind the scenes is a covert agreement the Separatist leadership has with the EU to accept an independent Catalonia as a member in exchange for Catalonia accepting a number of Muslim migrants France's Macron and Germany's Merkel want to get rid of from their own countries...migrants Poland, Hungary and other Eastern European members have refused to take under any circumstances. While publicly the EU has voiced sentiments that appear cool to the idea of Catalonian independence for obvious reasons (the last thing they want to encourage is an independent Bavaria, Lombardy, Normandy or Brittany), behind the scenes they support it.

The referendum the Catalonian leaders held on independence attracted at most 40% of the vote if that, chiefly because the Spanish government were quite open to letting the Catalonian government know it was illegal under the Spanish Constitution, warned the Catalonian leadership not to hold it and and sent the paramilitary Guardia to Catalonia to enforce it on Referendum day.

As you can see above the Guardia were quite forceful - well, that's one word for it - in their approach to shutting down the referendum, which gave the Catalonian Separatist movement some talking points in the media. The Catalonian separatists (who counted what votes there were) claim they won the referendum. The Spanish government says an illegal referendum on secession is meaningless.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, head of Spain's ruling coalition gave the Catalonian government 8 days to either rescind any move towards secession an dbegin talks on settling any differences or to declare independence. He also let them know that if they chose the latter course, he would exercise Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would enable him to dissolve Catalonia’s government and give Spain control of its affairs.

The Catalonian government refused to go one way or the other during that period, in part because it became apparent that that a number of their constituents want to remain part of Spain.

 Image result for Pro Spain demonstartions in Catalonia

In response PM Rajoy announced yesterday, October 21, that he would invoke Article 155, remove Catalonia's government and its leader Carles Puigdemont and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid. Rajoy said that his goal was to arrange new Catalan parliamentary elections within six month and lift the measures taken under Article 155 as soon as possible. Underline that 'as soon as possible' because new elections might not be ready to take place in that time period.

Rajoy took these steps with majority support from Spain’s main political opposition as well as his own ruling party. He'll almost certainly get required approval next week from the Spanish Senate, where his own conservative party holds a majority.

This puts the Catalonia Separatists in a dilemma. If they declare independence at this point, the Spanish government will almost certainly declare martial law and send the Guardia and its military in to enforce it. It also puts Catalonia's police force in the position of either fighting a shooting war against Spain's military or submitting to the Spanish government's control. Since the population of Catalonia itself is obviously divided, that would likely result in a division of the police force, and bloodshed if the pro-separatist police tried to resist the Spanish government forces.

On the other hand, if they simply submit, the Catalonian Separatist movement and its current leadership will lose all credibility among the pro-Separatist constituency in Catalonia.


My personal prediction? Since the Catalonian Separatist leaders will choose none of the above, Spain will send in its military, there will be a few instances of skirmishes and violence and that will be the end of it.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Lion Among Jackals - Gen. Kelly Rips Dems,Press Over Lies About Trump's Condolence Call

What we have here is a man who has lived his life in service to his country explaining what that means... to jackals who serve nothing but themselves and their agenda to tear down what most Americans still hold sacred.

White House chief of staff John Kelly lashed out at Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) today (and by extension her fellow Democrats who piled on) saying he was "stunned" by her negative description of President Trump's call to the wife of a U.S. soldier who was killed in combat inNiger.

I went over this yesterday and explained the real reason the press jumped on this, as a tool to keep other news off the headlines.

So General Kelly, who recently lost his own son in combat patiently explained exactly what happens when a service person is killed. And  that the wife or parents of the deceased service person must agree beforehand to take the call, and exactly why President Trump's call was completely appropriate...and not at all a common gesture by presidents in wartime. President Trump personally called all 4 families.

To me, the most telling moment when when General Kelly agreed to take a few questions "but only on this subject" and asked if any of the reporters were Gold Star parents, or even knew any Gold Star parents and the room went silent. Finally he found a couple of reporters who claimed they knew Gold Star families, and of course their questions were not about the topic of the condolence call at all but about the raid itself in Niger, which Kelly addressed but refused to answer for reasons that are apparent if you watch the video. And this time the usual spectacle of the press yelling out over each other was absent.

Can it be that the lion shamed the jackals this time? Can it be that the blatant contrast between themselves and those who serve being made so nakedly obvious made them, for the first time perhaps, see themselves for who they really are?

A must watch video.

Trump Politicizing Our Military? The Real Story

President Trump politicizing our military? Here's the real story.

President Trump is currently being demonized for 'politicizing our military' and for his supposedly uncaring attitude when making a condolence call to the widow of a Green Beret Army sergeant, one of four American servicemen killed in an ambush by Islamic militants in Niger.

The fire is being stoked by a notoriously racist and partisan black Democrat congresswoman, 75-year-old Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

Image result for Rep Frederica Wilson

She's claiming that the president was "heartless" and that "This is a sick man who feels no pity or sympathy for anyone."

Far Left Democrat Senators Bernie Sanders and Tammy Duckworth chimed in as well of course with similar language, and I'm sure there will be more of them. After all, it takes this particular story out if the headlines . That story is an account of the FBI's findings in their investigation of the massive Russian bribery given to the Clintons before our then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.And how the Obama Department of Justice, run by Loretta Lynch, stonewalled the initial investigation.

This, by the way, comes after the FBI mysteriously 'found' over thirty pages of notes about Lynch's secret meeting on the airport tarmac with former President Bill Clinton after saying in court that no notes existed. It seems they discussed a lot more than grandchildren.

You'd think these stories would be screaming headlines if there was any journalistic integrity among the usual suspects. But no...some rabidly partisan nonsense about a condolence call is what they deem the peasants need to be informed of, right?

Oh, the insensitive remarks? Here's what they consist of...that President Trump referred to the soldier as 'Your guy' during the phone call instead of calling him by name, and that the president said, "He (the sergeant) knew what he signed up for, but it's tough just the same."

Let's remember that personal condolence calls from the president of the United States are not mandatory, and some presidents have preferred to simply have a letter mass printed and auto signed.The fact that President Trump took some time from his busy schedule to make a personal condolence call to a Gold Star widow is both honorable and admirable.

And if this was actually what was said, does it sound remotely cold or disrespectful? It's obvious that the president is making reference to the bravery of a widow's husband,who knew full well what he was facing but chose to serve, and an expression of empathy over her loss.

But it does serve to help bury the stories exposing the corrupt Clintons and the collusion of the Obama Administration, doesn't it? Oh look, a squirrel!

Related image

And if we're talking about politicizing military casualties, let's look at a president who actually did it, Barack Hussein Obama. Now, all of the Democrat congress members mentioned in this article were rabid Obama partisans. Let's examine their disgusting hypocrisy, shall we?
  • It was President Barack Hussein Obama who used the coffins of returning dead servicemen as a photo op at Dover Airport, something that was against the wishes of the family members and against DOD procedure and policy. He did it anyway.
  • It was President Barack Hussein Obama who decided that a priority during the government shutdown in 2013 was to cut the funds congress had already allocated as death benefits for families of military killed in action, and to use them for things more dear to his heart. And he made sure that the families, already worried about paying the mortgage and how the kids were going to afford college received a blatantly political letter informing them that it was all the republican's fault. As everyone knows, it was the president and his team who made the decisions on what was funded and what wasn't, and he made sure to make the maximum in political capital out of it..even when it involved military families wondering how they were going to be able to live.
  • It was President Barack Hussein Obama and his administration that turned the VA into a dysfunctional nightmare for our wounded warriors, after he failed to take away their VA benefits entirely.
  • And finally, it was commander-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama who concocted the ridiculous rules of engagement in AfPack and Iraq that led to a much greater tally of American fighting men and women not coming home alive. Ask anyone who was there during those years. And it was President Obama who ransomed deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five top level Taliban commanders we had in Gitmo...who went right back to killing Americans
These items show you exactly how distorted and twisted the morality and judgement of these congress members actually is. I defy anyone to show me a single word any of them had to say about these episodes of actually politicizing our military and using them as pawns when they occurred, and all of them were in a position to do so.

Yet they have the audacity, the nerve to whine that Trump's politicizing our military?

Beside that kind of callousness and hypocrisy, anything President Trump may have done or not done in this instance fades into insignificance.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Welcome To Venezuela North AKA Illinois

Venezuela north, AKA Illinois is now at the next stage all bankrupt entities go through...simply ignoring bills and failing to pay them.

The AP and several other outlets reported that as of the end of June, 2017, over $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills — over half the total due — hadn't been sent to the official who writes the checks. That would be the woman pictured above, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

While a number of the bills have been finally paid, they've been replaced by a new flood of $16 billion in past due bills over the last three months that haven't even been sent to the Comptroller's office yet. And that doesn't include $9 billion worth of checks that are at the office but are not being sent out for a very good reason. The state of Illinois simply hasn't got the money to pay them!

You may recall my previous look at this ongoing farce. While it was exacerbated by a deadlock between Republican Governor Bruce Bauer and the Democrats who control the General Assembly it certainly didn't start there.

For years the state government has been controlled by the Democrats, who engaged in the typical Blue State economics we now see coming to their inevitable conclusion in various Democrat run cities and states; spend like crazy to bribe the public employee unions for their support and promote various dubious programs and 'benefits'. Spend money on projects that benefit the cronies and political supporters of those in power. And of course, raise taxes and increase the cost of basic services and permits whenever you need a chunk of other people's money.

Republican Governor Bruce Bauer won election in a Democrat dominated state by promising fiscal responsibility and convincing people he wasn't going to end up in jail like some of his predecessors. Unfortunately, the Illinois General assembly is controlled by Democrats led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, who made it their business to torpedo any attempt at fiscal sanity. So Illinois hasn't had a budget in 3 years while the unpaid bills piled up.

 Bauer finally called an emergency meeting of the Assembly and demanded they submit a budget. So they did. And it called for a huge $5 billion tax increase,and a lot more spending. Especially for public employee union benefits, public schools, universities, and other projects aimed to reward a lot of Democrat financial backers and select special interest groups. When Governor Bauer vetoed it, the Assembly simply overrode him and passed it anyway.

The results won't surprise anyone who's ever had to deal with debts well beyond their means to repay.

First off, people become very reluctant about loaning you any money at all. And those that will want repayment  at exorbitant terms.

Moody’s recently downgraded the state's credit rating to its lowest investment grade rating, the lowest of any state.Standard and Poor's rates Illinois bonds - just barely  - at BBB- it's lowest investment grade and just above 'junk.' That means that those investors who aren't scared away will demand premium interest rates to buy the state's debt if they buy at all.

When you don't pay your bills on time, another thing happens. Vendors, contractors and people you do business with start questioning whether it's worth it to continue doing business and providing services to you if they have to end up carrying you for 90, 120, even 180 days. Certainly, their vendors, suppliers and employees on the payroll aren't going to wait that long to get paid!  What happens is exactly what you'd expect. Either they cut off supplies and services if they're able to contractually until they get paid their past due balance, or they only supply these things when payment is rendered in full at the time they perform the service or upon delivery. No more credit or net 30 billing.

Another problem you run into is that a lot of these bills sitting in limbo have late fees and penalty charges. According to the terms the state negotiated, a lot of the unpaid bills that are 90 days or older incur a 1 percent-per-month late-payment fee. That's about $5.5 billion of the current $15.9 billion backlog. Doesn't seem like much? Well not if it's other people's money. Comptroller Mendoza estimates the taxpayers of Illinois will ultimately get stuck for $900 million - almost a billion dollars- in late-payment fees on just the existing pile of unpaid bills.

And we haven't even mentioned an additional whammy; $251 billion in unfunded pension obligations.

For instance, if the Illinois Teachers Retirement Service (TRS) had to pay out all of its pensions today, it could only afford to give its members 40 cents on the dollar.

Yet  the number of six-figure pensions TRS has been doling out has increased 24 percent this year compared to last, with about 6,000 retired educators collecting more than $100,000 annually. And I'm sure it isn't just the TRS. The other public employee unions can't be far behind.

What happens when the money runs out? Once the payments end to the public employee unions, aside from violent demonstrations, strikes and unrest, the unions will sue and win, especially in a place like Chicago. It doesn't matter that the state of Illinois can't cover the payments because it simply does not have the money. The judge will rule that Illinois MUST pay.

Which of course is when things will get interesting.

Property taxes, state income taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes and fees for things like building permits and vehicle registration are already sky high. And Illinois is surrounded by fiscally healthy states like Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin, all of them with far lower taxes, a much healthier business climate, lots of jobs and far more reasonable housing costs and cost of living. Of course, a lot of the Other People as well as a lot of businesses in Illinois whose money has been financing this orgy of greed and malfeasance have already made that decision and left in record numbers. They're essentially voting with their feet

Somewhere, the ghost of Margaret Thatcher is laughing out loud.

Related image

So that's the state of affairs in Venezuela North AKA Illinois. While municipalities can go bankrupt, states can't, at least not yet. There are some close competitors to see who's first to try it...New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland and of course California among others.

But I'd put my money on our own Venezuela North, AKA Illinois to win and come in first. They're practically there already.

Must See Video: Roger Stone Gives An Amazing Speech On Tour With Milo


I've heard Roger Stone a few times on talk radio and never quite made up my mind what I think of him. Is he simply a bomb thrower, or is he just way ahead of the crowd? And then for the first time, I heard him speak. Here he is on tour with Milo Yiannopoulos, giving an amazing speech that is fascinating in its clarity and insight into the state of our beloved republic, and I agree with 90% of it.

Like Steve Bannon, a man I have infinite respect for, Roger Stone sees this as a war, even perhaps a generational struggle to preserve our freedom and our country. It's a view I've expressed myself may times on these pages. It is what it is, after all.

Warning: Some of Roger Stone's language is a bit salty and NSFW, but shouldn't really offend any adult who's not looking for something to be offended about.

Roger Stone unleashed and on of the best twenty-five minutes you'll spend this week, I assure you.

Catalonia: What The Media's Not Telling You

The world, and especially the EU was shocked at the brutality the Spanish government used in an attempt to suppress a referendum on Catalonian independence. The paramilitary Guardia Civil was particularly brutal as they invaded polling places. Over 800 people were reported injured as well as a dozen of so Guardia:

Catalonia is the extreme northeast of Spain. It consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona.

Catalonia was originally an independent principality with its own language and culture. That ended after the War of Spanish Secession in 1714, when Catalonia picked the wrong horse, Spain was essentially united by the Bourbon Philip V of Spain and Catalan was replaced on all legal documents with Castilian Spanish.

But Catalonia has remained something of a separate part of Spain, with a unique culture. During the Spanish Civil War, Catalonia, which had socialist movements as an important part of its politics dating back to the mid 19th century sided with the Republic against Franco, which again led to a certain amount of repression when Franco won, including abolishing Catalan institutions and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. Things eased up in the latter part of Franco's rule, and considerably more after Franco died in 1975.

The current independence movement started in 2014, and the current referendum proceeded as planned by Catalonia's regional government even after Spain's courts declared that the referendum was illegal. Proponents of Catalonia's independence say they won, while Spain says otherwise since in their point of view the entire referendum was illegal.

While many people now want to see Catalonia gain its independence (and the Catalonian independence movement wants to join the EU as a separate, independent country) there's an interesting detail that no one's mentioning, and it definitely figures in.

Catalonia has always trended a lot more to the Left than the rest of Spain. And it is slowly but surely in the process of Islamization, aided and abetted by its regional government.   For more than a decade the Muslim population of Catalonia has been rapidly growing, because Catalonia's politicians have made it a prime destination for Muslim migrants and 'refugees.' A large part of the population, now well over 7% of Catalonia, has become radicalized (or already were) and are calling for the establishment of a Muslim state in what they still refer to by the name of their former conquest, as 'al-Andaluz.'

The Islamization was deliberately started and encouraged by the Catalonian separatist movement.

The central person of the Catalan independence movement is Jordi Pujol, who was  from 1980 to 2003 the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, literally the governor of Catalonia. Aside from being indicted along with members of his family for massive corruption and money laundering, Pujol and his cronies decided that Islamic migration was the solution to Catalonia's low birth rate and their plans for an independent Catalonia.

The separatists hoped to get lots of of cheap labor forces  which they could win over as Catalonian nationalists for the separatist movement. And they also figured that these new migrants would be taught to be Catalan speakers. After all, a worker, who could only speak Catalan and Arabic and was dependent on social benefits would hardly be able to leave Catalonia.

So the Muslim population grew to more than 500,000 and even more, when you  take the amount of illegal migration into consideration. In 2012, the second most common name in the province of Girona was Mohammed. In the region of Segarra (Lérida), 55% of the children born in 2014 had foreign mothers. Salt (Girona) has become a major center of Salafis and Islamists:


Besides Salt, other towns too became centers of Salafist Islam in Spain. The movement has its seat in Tarragona, but has important branches in Badalona, Calafell, Cunit, El Vendrel, Gerona, Lleida, Mataró, Reus, Roda de Bara, Rubí, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Boi, Torredembarra, Valls, Vic and Vilanova. Barcelona alone has 5 Salafist mosques. Just like elsewhere, the Salafists in Catalonia preach that the Sharia law is above Spanish law, they push the development of Muslim parallel societies, and have established sharia courts and morality police  that enforce the adherence to Islamic rules.

Catalonia's seperatists made the same mistake Angela Merkel made. They never figured on Islam taking them over instead of integrating peacefully. Catalonia  is now one of  the most important Mediterranean centers of radical Islamists.And potentially a base in Europe for the takeover and expaniasion of Islamism into places like Spain, southern France and Italy.

The EU is likely to even encourage this scenario by extending EU membership and financial incentives to  a newly independent Catalonia in exchange for using it  as a dumping ground for the Muslim migrants and refugees countries like  Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland are refusing to take. And for the surplus Muslim migrants Germany and France want to rid themselves of.

Of course the catch for that brilliant plan is that these Muslims are unlikely to be content with retaking Catalonia, or even all of Spain. They will expand north, just as they did in the 14th century.

When you take these facts into consideration and consider Spain's own history with Islam, the idea of an independent Catalonia takes on a very different aroma.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Forum: War With North Korea? What Would You Do?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: War With North Korea? What Would You Do?

Snoopy The Goon: If I may be allowed to speak up on the subject: I've always admired the famous "Speak softly, and carry a big stick" as a golden standard in the foreign policy.

Behavior of the current POTUS is so far from that standard, I dare say, that it opens a totally new vistas in the said policy.

The military option is sometimes inevitable, but I am hopeful that careful handling of that case, with a modicum of synchronization between US, China and Russia, could do the job without military option being inevitable.

 Rob Miller: I tend to agree with President Trump on this one. He's entirely correct that this has been bungled for the past 25 years by 3 awful presidents at a huge financial cost to the American people as well as a major national security risk. Few people talking about this realize how serious this situation is. And it simply can't be kicked down the road any longer.

In the case of both Iran and North Korea, we're talking about rogue regimes who brutalize their own people and are simply not rational actors, but instead are driven by their own ideology and ambitions. And that ideology and ambition, in both cases, does not include peace.

So what's at stake? Aside from having nukes in the hands of unpredictable  rogue regimes with no qualms about using them, there's also the danger the problem metastasizing. North Korea has already sold nuclear technology to the Assad regime in Syria and to Iran. Does anyone remotely doubt they would sell it to ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusrah or other groups of that ilk for the right amount of cash?  If you think we have a problem now, just wait until the Norks start peddling their nuclear wares in the market place. And the ransom demanded for not blowing up Chicago is a cool $20 billion, small bills only ala' Barack Obama's payoff to Iran.

Just for giggles, let's recap the 'solutions' that have been tried:

Bribery and 'diplomacy' with the Kims hasn't worked. It didn't work with the ayatollahs either. Since such negotiations between vicious totalitarian governments and democracies hardly ever do, what a surprise eh? The result is almost always that the totalitarian government figures that the democracy lacks the spine and/or the power to do anything about the situation at hand, and keeps right on doing what its been doing. In fact, the usual reaction is to increase the aggression. You simply can't make deals with unreasonable people who hold you in contempt.

Image result for Chamberlain and Hitler shaking hands

 Image result for Kerry and Rouhani shaking hands

Depending on someone else to handle the problem hasn't worked. And it won't.

Russia and China have been  asked to deal with this situation. They can't or won't, take your pick. In Russia's case, they have relatively few dealings with the Kims but a lot of dealings with Iran, and frankly, the Russiams need the money. Russia's economy is in bad shape, and their top products for sale break down into three in the form of oil or gas, various kinds of computer and nuclear technology  and military weaponry.

China has a lot of dealings with the Norks. Some of that trade going toChina is in disgraceful items like human organs, narcotics, gold mined from the Kim's gulags by slave labor and sex slaves for forced prostitution in China. More to the point, both the Chinese and the Russians like the idea of a nuclear armed pit bull on their borders who creates a distraction from their own nefarious doings.

The UN? Don't make me laugh.

So the next step is probably a preemptive military operation, since I don't see any of the above changing, and this can't be left to fester..

 Image result for falling bomb gif

So let's examine this from a risk versus cost/benefit position:

"Russia and China will declare war! They said so!"

Ummm,no. For one thing, neither of them can afford it. Gazprom and the rest of Russia's energy sector no longer have their monopoly over the pipelines to Europe. Aside from shipments of LPNG from other sources (including the U.S.) the price is way down, and another set of U.S. sanctions in the event of a war could shut them down completely. And there are also a lot of foreign suppliers for military hardware at competitive prices. Also, a war would involve Article 5 of NATO. Some of us may remember the times that various Soviet leaders threatened war over various causes. But being rational actors, they backed off whenever it really came down to it. Theywon't go to war for the Kims.

China, for all the flashy military hardware they have is still very much a developing nation outside their more developed East Coast and adjacent regions. China has a huge economic bubble, the Renminbe is literally backed up by very little, and America remains their biggest customer and trade partner. Going to war would be economic suicide for China, and being rational actors, they realize that.

America could conceivably get along without Chinese imports. The Chinese economy would shrivel and collapse without access to American markets and other foreign markets affected by  the accompanying sanctions war would bring.

The only thing that might drive China to hostilities would be a U.S. occupation of North Korea which shouldn't be necessary. China has always been very sensitive about its 'near abroad' and most of its wars have been on its borders, especially in modern times, with Tibet being an exception.

"Oh. the humanity! think of all the casualties!"

Given a  tough choice, I vastly prefer dead Norks to dead Americans. Had this been handled properly by the Clintons, George W. Bush or Obama, none of this would be necessary. As far as I'm concerned, any blood spilled is on their hands, particularly Bill Clinton's. In terms of South Korean casualties, an EMP attack prior to bombing and taking out North Korea's military and nuke facilities as well as any place we thought Kim was hiding would probably do a lot to lessen danger to people living in Seoul.

Benefits? Here's one. Aside from freeing the North Korean people from a despicable despot, this would send a very beneficial message to bad actors like Iran that they're not dealing with Obama and John Kerry anymore, And that there are consequences for bad behavior.

Dave Schuler: I'll divide my response into three sections: what we should (or shouldn't) do, what our objectives should be, and how we should proceed in the event of war.

We should not engage in preventive war against North Korea. If we were to do that, it would precipitate World War III and tens or hundreds of millions of Americans would be killed. The Chinese have said that if we attacked North Korea, they would enter into the war on NK's side and I believe them.

However, they have also said that if North Korea attacks us, they're on their own. I believe that, too. If North Korea attacks the U. S. or our interests or allies, we should respond with devastating force.

The objectives of our response should be:

  1. Eliminate North Korea's ability to attack us or produce nuclear weapons.
  2. Prevent North Korea from attacking either South Korea or Japan.
  3. Discourage other countries from producing their own nuclear weapons by debunking the belief that nuclear weapons provide them with enhanced security.
  4. North Korean casualties should play no role in our calculus.

The way we should proceed is as follows. We should launch as stiff a cyberattack against North Korea as we can muster and, as closely to concurrently as we can manage, attack North Korea using an EMP attack. The tactical objectives of these moves would be to reduce the North's ability respond.

As quickly thereafter as possible we should attack and destroy as many of North Korea's nuclear development and testing sites and command and control facilities as we are able.

Under no account should we use any ground forces although they might follow after a safe interval had passed to assess the damage. The entire matter could be over in hours. The tally would be estimated at 25 million North Korean dead.

We should not wish for or seek such an action but we should be preparing ourselves mentally for it.

Well, there it is!

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

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Sukkot - A Stop Along The Way

I'll be taking a hiatus for a few days or so to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert. Sukkot is also a harvest festival and the direct ancestor of the American Thanksgiving...William Bradford and the Pilgrims were very familiar with the Bible (Bradford, like many other educated people of his time spoke and wrote Hebrew) and likewise wanted to give thanks for their deliverance from the wilderness.

In honor of the sojourn of  the children of Israel in the wilderness, people live in or spend time in temporary shelters. These contraptions are called sukkahs. The sukkah has at least three sides and a partially open roof covered with palm fronds, reeds, or whatever. Ideally the roof must be partially open so that the sky and the stars can be observed.

It's also a tradition to invite a Jew who is a stranger to you into your Sukkah if you happen to run into one. This commemorates one of the virtues of Avroham, chesed (kindness).

 It's a tradition to eat in the sukkah and to have people over Essentially, it's a party, coming as a counterpoint to Yom Kippur and the Days of Awe. The holiday lasts seven days, several of which you are allowed to pursue your normal activities and ends with the holidays of Shemini Atzerat and Simchat Torah, which commemorates the Jews receiving the Torah and is quite a party!

The sukkahs can get extraordinarily inventive, and kids absolutely love to help put them up and decorate them:

Plain or fancy, elaborate or made from scratch and thrown together, the sukkahs reflect the long journey of the Children of Israel from there to here and remind them of their roots.

Another observance during Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species or the lulav and etrog. The lulav consists of a palm branch, a myrtle branch, and a willow branch bound together. They all have symbolic meanings relating to the land of Israel.The etrog is a citrus fruit native to Israel (and now, California) and is held separately. With these four species in hand, one recites a blessing and waives the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up and down).

I'll let my pal Ya'akov have the last word....Chag Sukkot Sameach!

Monday, October 02, 2017

Forum: What's Dumber? The NFL Knee Or Refusing Free Books From The First Lady?

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community 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,courtesy of Don Surber: What's Dumber? The NFL Knee Or Refusing Free Books From The First Lady?

 Rob Miller:You can't make this stuff up.

The NFL commissioner and the team owner's refusal to rein in their pampered millionaires from disrespecting flag and country and obey NFL rules has already affected TV ratings, game attendance, and sales of NFL merchandise. It's even costing NFL games TV and radio sponsors as what amounts to an NFL boycott by their fan base spreads.

Don Surber's Question calls for a this.

First Lady Melania Trump loved reading Dr. Seuss books to her son Baron when he was small, and the books themselves have long been associated with helping children learn to read and improving children's literacy.Even the National Education Association’s annual “Read Across America” day — when cities and towns across the country host events to celebrate reading — is on March 2, Seuss’s birthday. So the First Lady decided to purchase a complete set of the beloved books and sent the set as a gift to the librarian of the Cambridgeport School in Massachusetts, one Liz Phipps Soeiro.

Soeiro not only refused the gift, but wrote a rude screed to the First Lady,criticizing Trump administration education policies and calling the pictures in the books “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

I suppose that means President and Michele Obama are racists too, what with all the times they read Dr. Seuss to school kids.

She also accused the First Lady of using the 'racist' gift to brainwash children. Which makes this nasty little attention whore a major hypocrite:

CPORT | Specialists @Cport_Special
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! K and 1 celebrated with a green egg breakfast! @Cport_School @cambridge_cpsd

My goodness, here's Ms. Phipps Soeiro- or someone who looks exactly like her, works at the same school library and has the same Twitter account - promoting ra-aaa-aa-cism and brainwashing small children by dressing up as The Cat In The Hat and pushing the racist Dr. Seuss's book!

And speaking of brainwashing, just look at how this  radical mind raper has the school library set up:

Was Ms. Phipps Soiero disciplined at all? Did the school even apologize to The First Lady? Of course not, this is Massachusetts! All the Cambridge school system did was to release a statement saying the librarian “was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district."

They also claim they counseled the librarian 'on all relevant policies.' Which means they went to the teacher's lounge, had some coffee,  a good laugh and an 'attagirl' moment and just told her to be a little less obvious in the future.

So what's dumber? I'd say the knee was, since it is actually going to cost the perpetrators themselves $$$$ in the long run. Whereas this Massachusetts librarian was merely depriving and damaging others, not herself. But in terms of real damage, it's the librarian hands down.

When I was younger, a public library was a wonderland to me. I had to walk about a mile and a half to get to the two closest ones, but there were always amazing things to inspire me and learn from.

Libraries and librarians have changed quite a bit. When you look at what they're stocking nowadays unless you special order, it's a clear example of how the Left has destroyed education since they took it over.

Don Surber: Answering my own question, both stories are symptoms of how the cultural war has expanded beyond Hollywood. We blew off the HUAC hearings on godless communism's influence on movies following World War II. Oh, a few guys lost their jobs, but the leftward march of Hollywood is clear. After turning Joe McCarthy (whose hearings were on government infiltration) into a pariah, the word communist was effectively banned.

The left has attacked football for decades because it helps boys. Helping girls is fine, but boys are a threat to the left because they tend to grow up to be men. Sexist? Look at how Boy Scouts are treated, and how Girl Scouts are. Anyone encouraging boys specifically on STEM?

Calling Dr. Seuss racist because he drew cannibals in an ad for an anti-mosquito spray in the 1930s is absurd. He stood up for civil rights in editorial cartoons. But he served his purpose to the left. The racist libel is well established in academia as a fact, just like global cooling, global warming, and all their other quackery.

Which is worse? One takes football from boys, the other takes reading. That is what they attack. They couch it in attacking racism. I would say attacking football is worse because we need men in a nation that is emasculating itself.

And foolishly so.

Laura Rambeau Lee : These acts are not dumb; they are dangerously contributing to the destruction of our country. They are the result of the Marxist indoctrination going on for years in America, in our schools and disseminated via the media. It cannot be stressed enough that the election of President Trump was a terrible shock to the left, who were certain their agenda would be continued with a Clinton presidency. They were so close to the fundamental transformation of America and they are not about to give up. This is an all out war and hopefully Americans are waking up in time to put an end to this evil for good.

Well, there it is!

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