Archive | February, 2013
26 Feb

Good article, countering much of the current liberal gun ban emotionalism in a clear and logical manner.

Pesky Truth

“When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.”

We’ve all heard that maxim. It’s attributed to Clint Smith, President and Director of Thunder Ranch® (for those of you unfamiliar with Thunder Ranch, they provide personalized training for civilian, corporate, law enforcement and military clients in defensive firearms and tactical skills).

Clint is a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Vietnam. His experience includes seven years as a police officer, head of the Firearms Training Division as well as being a S.W.A.T. member and precision rifleman.

The man is obviously qualified to speak to the issue of the defensive use of firearms and his statement is the candid, forthright truth: When seconds count, the cops are minutes awaysometimes many minutes away. Too often they will get to the crime scene in time to hang crime scene tape and draw chalk outlines – in other words, much…

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Another Issue of Salient Snippets — Part III

25 Feb

I publish Salient Snippets on my blog every once in a while when I have some things which don’t warrant a whole article by themselves but which might nonetheless be of interest. These are in no particular order or ranking:

Gun Bans
Given the current, and sometimes raging and misleading, gun ban efforts by liberals in and out of government and in and out of the lapdog media, I think I speak for many gun owners like me when I say Spartan King Leonidas said it most succinctly and best in 480 BC, when at the last stand Battle of Thermopylae and facing the massive Persian army, he was told to surrender his forces’ weapons. He said simply, “Molon labe,” which translates “come and take them.”

Reverse Racism
I really think we need a White Caucus in Congress, a White Entertainment Network, an Alabaster Magazine, a National Association for the Advancement of White People, and an annual White Entertainers awards show. Oh, and White Appreciation Month, too. But that would all be racist, wouldn’t it?

Hillary’s Real Legacy
A New York Times article recently praised the legacy of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, counting how many miles she had traveled and how many countries she had visited, among other things. (No record, at least in the article, of the other things for which the liberal media often give her credit — how many beers she consumed or dances she danced.)

I beg to differ. To me, Clinton’s real “legacy” is the same as Obama’s: (a) 9 countries in which al-Qaeda operated when she became Secretary of State and over 30 now, (b) no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to help secure what we accomplished in Iraq, (c) no support for the 2009 Iran uprising for freedom but support for a Honduran president who sought to become a dictator, (d) 8 unanswered terrorist attacks on our facilities overseas on her watch, including Benghazi, in which we were successfully attacked on our own soil for the first time in 11 years and our first ambassador in 33 years was killed, (e) “reset” relations with the Russians which have benefitted the Russians more than us, (f) North Korea becoming bolder than ever, (g) so-called “soft power” and American appeasement and apology doing little to rein in Iran, and (h) the so-called Arab Spring resulting in a significant loss of US influence in the Middle East, both with our allies and our enemies. Yeah, some legacy all right. Drink it up and dance it up, Hillary.

Obama’s Inaugural Address
In his recent inaugural speech, Obama warned that Americans shouldn’t “…mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” I totally agree, Mr. President, so why don’t you stop being a leftist, liberal ideologue and stop the fear mongering, the class warfare, interjecting race into local events you admit you know little or nothing about, and the multiple and seemingly never-ending staged photo ops to support whatever the latest thing is you’re campaigning about?

Gun Violence Around the World
From the World Health Organization, the latest Murder Statistics for the world per 100,000 citizens:

Honduras 91.6
El Salvador 69.2
Cote d’lvoire 56.9
Jamaica 52.2
Venezuela 45.1
Belize 41.4
US Virgin Islands 39.2
Guatemala 38.5
Saint Kits and Nevis 38.2
Zambia 38.0
Uganda 36.3
Malawi 36.0
Lesotho 35.2
Trinidad and Tobago 35.2
Colombia 33.4
South Africa 31.8
Congo 30.8
Central African Republic 29.3
Bahamas 27.4
Puerto Rico 26.2
Saint Lucia 25.2
Dominican Republic 25.0
Tanzania 24.5
Sudan 24.2
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 22.9
Ethiopia 22.5
Guinea 22.5
Dominica 22.1
Burundi 21.7
Democratic Republic of the Congo 21.7
Panama 21.6
Brazil 21.0
Equatorial Guinea 20.7
Guinea-Bissau 20.2
Kenya 20.1
Kyrgyzstan 20.1
Cameroon 19.7
Montserrat 19.7
Greenland 19.2
Angola 19.0
Guyana 18.6
Burkina Faso 18.0
Eritrea 17.8
Namibia 17.2
Rwanda 17.1
Mexico 16.9
Chad 15.8
Ghana 15.7
Ecuador 15.2
North Korea 15.2
Benin 15.1
Sierra Leone 14.9
Mauritania 14.7
Botswana 14.5
Zimbabwe 14.3
Gabon 13.8
Nicaragua 13.6
French Guiana 13.3
Papua New Guinea 13.0
Swaziland 12.9
Bermuda 12.3
Comoros 12.2
Nigeria 12.2
Cape Verde 11.6
Grenada 11.5
Paraguay 11.5
Barbados 11.3
Togo 10.9
Gambia 10.8
Peru 10.8
Myanmar 10.2
Russia 10.2
Liberia 10.1
Costa Rica 10.0
Nauru 9.8
Bolivia 8.9
Mozambique 8.8
Kazakhstan 8.8 Senegal 8.7
Turks and Caicos Islands 8.7
Mongolia 8.7
British Virgin Islands 8.6
Cayman Islands 8.4
Seychelles 8.3
Madagascar 8.1
Indonesia 8.1
Mali 8.0
Pakistan 7.8
Moldova 7.5
Kiribati 7.3
Guadeloupe 7.0
Haiti 6.9
Timor-Leste 6.9
Anguilla 6.8
Antigua and Barbuda 6.8
Lithuania 6.6
Uruguay 5.9
Philippines 5.4
Ukraine 5.2
Estonia 5.2
Cuba 5.0
Belarus 4.9
Thailand 4.8
Suriname 4.6
Laos 4.6
Georgia 4.3
Martinique 4.2
United States 4.2

Note: ALL the countries listed above the US have 100% gun bans, so what does that tell you about absolute gun bans stopping gun violence?

Sequestration’s Bottom Line
Aside from the sequester being Obama’s idea to start with, so he could use it to make Republicans cave on the debt ceiling (which worked) but which he now finds so inconvenient all of a sudden, the bottom line is that the $85B in across-the-board cuts amounts to about only 2% of the overall federal budget, an amount which Obama has ample latitude to shift money around to cover with no impact which everyday citizens would even notice. Instead, Obama, who previously said there would be no off-ramps or compromises on sequestration and that if Republicans asked for any, his answer would be no, is now playing Chicken Little, acting like the sky is falling, staging a recent White House photo op with first responders (who are paid locally anyway and not by the federal government), claiming that the mail won’t be delivered and Social Security checks might be at risk, as well as having his cabinet henchmen and handmaidens join in, notably recently DOT’s Ray LaHood claiming that FAA air traffic controllers will have to be laid off, thereby making our skies and the flying public more unsafe, and DHS’ Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano (I say Incompentano for obvious reasons) saying our borders will be less secure and we will be more subject to terrorist attacks, and on, and on — and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! I say, although sequestration is using a meat cleaver to make cuts in spending, rather than a scalpel, if you have a president who won’t propose or make any real spending cuts on his own, Republicans might just have to let sequestration happen, just to get any cuts at all in exchange for the $800B in increased revenues (taxes) which Obama campaigned for and which they in good faith gave him right after his reelection — that is, until he moved the goal posts again and said he wanted $1.2T more in taxes instead.

Dr. Conservative
And now, with acknowledgement, as well as apologies, to Dr. Seuss, I will end this series of Salient Snippets with a bit of whimsy:

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his healthcare scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
Or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like ex-Speaker Nan,
I do not like this “Yes, we can.”

I do not like this spending spree,
I’m smart, I know that nothing’s free.
I do not like their smug replies,
When I complain about their lies.

I do not like this kind of Hope.
I do not like it, nope, nope, nope!

So, Hillary finally, finally “testified”

1 Feb

This one may be a long one, folks, ’cause I’ve got lots of points to make and lots of venting to do.

Over four months after the horrendous attack on our facilities at Benghazi and after multiple, conflicting stories by various members of Team Obama, Hillary Clinton, our illustrious Secretary of State, who probably wants to run for president (again) in 2016, finally “testified” (quotation marks explained later) before Senate and House congressional committees, respectively in the morning and afternoon of the same day last week — how “exhausting” that must have been (almost like drinking beer and dancing the night away in Belize, or wherever the latest place she visited was) — and what a letdown it all was, too.

I could only watch part of the proceedings in the morning and then in the afternoon, not because I was too busy with other things but because, like with Obama, I have a gag reflex which sets in after just so much bald-faced disingenuousness, or what we Southerners call flat out lyin’. For more on Hillary’s abilities and record in shading the truth, see a good article, “Hillary Clinton — Habitual Liar,” by Dan Calabrese at: http://www.caintv.com/watergate-era-judiciary-chief. Dan reveals that she’s been at the lying game for a l-o-o-o-n-g time.

For my part, I’ll just remind those of you who are either too young or may have forgotten about them over the years of the following stories in which Hillary was deeply involved and, which, over time, as she and others hope is the case with Benghazi, were “forgotten” and/or never really pursued by — guess who? — the liberal, lapdog, lamestream media: (a) Vince Foster’s sudden “suicide” death, (b) Sandy Berger’s theft of classified documents, (c) her “lost” law firm records, which later “turned up” on a table in the presidential quarters, (d) the Whitewater land deal scandal, (e) Bill’s serial infidelities with one abused/assaulted woman after the other, and many other occasions on which “The Hill” has exhibited her adroitness and adeptness at fabrication, evasion and full-on, feigned sincerity.

And, that’s why I said Hillary “testified,” because, although she was under oath (for whatever that means to a career politician), she actually just danced faster than the committee members could manage to whistle. She was much more prepared to parry than they were to probe. Her “testimony” was specious and committee members’ interrogations were spotty. Many of the questioning congressmen may have also been lawyers, but they definitely did not evidence much skill at eliciting short responses with pointed questions to conserve time or at cross-examination and followup questions. Disappointing all around — she wasn’t forthcoming enough and they weren’t confrontational enough. Besides, Hillary wore her “I’m a really serious person” glasses, which were later revealed to be special glasses to correct her concussion-induced double vision. Too bad they couldn’t also correct her double-talking.

By the way, speaking earlier of feigned sincerity, do you know of anyone who “does” faked self-righteous indignation any better than Hillary? Well, besides Obama, I mean. They both seem to have faked sincerity and false indignation down pretty pat.

Jake Tapper, who I actually like despite his working for CNN, has it almost right about the stress over Benghazi wearing on Hillary, but it’s more probably the stress of lying about Benghazi for so long, starting with “it was all the video’s fault” and including up to now, which has actually taxed our facile-tongued (or is that forked-tongued?) Secretary of State.

[Editorial note: Just giving credit where it’s due, some information hereafter is based on a CNS News article by Terence P. Jeffrey, dated January 23, 2013.]

So, Hillary also doesn’t know why her own ambassador was meeting with a Turkish rep in Benghazi just hours before the terrorist attack, either? Maybe to facilitate some weapons out of Libya, through Turkey, and into Syria? So, who was Ambassador Stevens working for, the State Department, or the CIA, or both?

And, nobody asked what I call the “origin question” — where, from whom, did the “it was all the fault of an Internet video” meme originate in the first place? Whose idea was that? We may never know, but it gave Team Obama cover until after the election was over, so I guess that was the most important thing, despite that the only person currently (still) actually in jail over the whole Benghazi brouhaha is the guy from California who exercised his First Amendment rights and made the much-talked-about but little-seen video and who was perp-walked on national TV over a parole violation. When’s the last time you saw anyone perp-walked over a parole violation? Probably all part of the Team Obama kabuki to show, “See, we don’t like this guy who offended all of you Muslims, either.”

And, yes, the “talking points” which our UN Ambassador Susan Rice used were originally composed by the CIA, but changed by someone in the White House and used by Rice without her, supposedly such a smart and accomplished woman, doing any checking of her own of their accuracy, although she had access to classified intel which she could have used to do so.

Please, stop trying to make excuses for something that smells fishier than a 3-day-old fish left out on the kitchen counter on a hot, summer afternoon. If it smells that fishy, it is that fishy.

Benghazi-gate was a mistake which shouldn’t have been allowed to happen in the first place, which exposed as false the Obama reelection narrative of al-Qaeda being decimated, and which has been covered up and lied about by multiple members of Team Obama ever since. There are at least five, on-the-record and different versions of what happened at the State Department, at the White House, and within the National Security Council on the day of the attack and since. All of them can’t be true, which raises the legitimate question if any of them are.

Under questioning from Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Secretary Clinton revealed that she has spoken to only one of the American survivors who was evacuated from Libya after the Benghazi attack. Presumably, this was one of the five Diplomatic Security officers who fought off the terrorists at the State Department’s Benghazi Special Mission Compound and who lived to be able to report as eyewitnesses about what had happened there that day.

Yet, the Obama Administration has not yet publicly named a single one of these five surviving State Department heroes.

In fact, the only American witnesses to the Benghazi attack who have been named by the Obama Administration are Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were working for the CIA, not for Clinton’s State Department, and they are all — tragically for them and their families but I suspect conveniently for the Obama Administration — dead and can’t testify.

There were over 20 survivors of the Banghazi attack. More important than the fact that Hillary only talked to one of them is that the Senate and House congressional committees should be interviewing all of them, not just an experienced liar like Hillary. Or do we have to wait for all of them to be on an outdated helicopter which mysteriously crashes and kills everybody, as were inexplicably many members of SEAL Team 6 who actually got bin Laden?

The committees should also be getting testimony from the Army general and Navy admiral who were suddenly and mysteriously relieved within hours of the Benghazi debacle. That might reveal why no military assistance was sent in time to save at least the two former Navy SEALS who were killed in the last hour or so of the 7-hour, 2-wave, heavy weapons, terrorist attack.

Clinton also claimed in her exchange with Senator Johnson that it would have been inappropriate for her to talk to the surviving State Department officials — who worked for her, and who had been deployed to Benghazi under her authority — until they had been interrogated by the FBI. I am getting so tired of Team Obama using an “ongoing” FBI investigation as an excuse not to answer the few, probing question from the press which they do get.

Because Clinton testified that she has only talked to one of the survivors, she could not possibly have even personally thanked, let alone heard the eyewitness accounts of, four of the five Diplomatic Security officers who put their lives on the line to protect Ambassador Stevens and the US facility in Benghazi.

She did not reach out to them in the hours or days after the attack to get their personal accounts of what had happened — information that clearly would have been valuable to her and her subordinates as they explained to the nation what actually happened that day. (Oh, but wait, what if she and her subordinates never really intended to explain to the nation what actually happened that day? Then, there would be no need to “reach out,” would there?)

As it was, rather than getting the eyewitness accounts of the State Department’s own people there — accounts that would attest to the fact that the terrorist attack was a sudden assault on the State Department compound and was not in any way preceded by a protest — Clinton and her department for days put out the false story that the attack had arisen from a protest against an anti-Muslim video which almost no one saw.

Clinton told Senator Johnson that there were approximately 25-30 survivors evacuated from Libya after the attack, but does not know precisely how many “because of our other friends,” a reference to the CIA. Well, Hillary, Obama said, in his first press conference in eight months, during which he took only ten questions, at least two of which were real softballs, but in which he staunchly defended our UN Ambassador Susan Rice, that he would do whatever he could to provide answers to the American people about Benghazi, so don’t you think, if he really meant that, that he, as president, could call everybody together and find out how many were yours and how many were “other friends,” as well as settle once and for all who started the “it’s the video’s fault” lie in the first place? Of course he could.

Most of the US personnel in Benghazi that day apparently worked for the CIA. Other than the five State Department Diplomatic Security agents who were at the State Department’s Special Mission Compound at the time of the attack and survived, the only other State Department personnel in the city were Ambassador Stevens and Information Management Officer Smith, who were both killed.

“Did you personally speak to those folks?” Senator Johnson asked Clinton of the American survivors of the attack.

“I have spoken to one of them,” said Clinton, “but I waited until the Accountability Review Board (ARB) had done its investigation because I did not want there to be anybody raising an issue that I had spoken to anyone before the ARB had conducted its investigation.”

The ARB report had been published more than a month prior, on December 18, so I guess if you don’t get enough delay, or political distance, by waiting on the FBI, wait on the ARB for over a month after they publish their report.

Later, when Senator Johnson pressed Clinton on why our UN Ambassador Susan Rice had said on national television five days after the attack that the attack had arisen from a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video, Clinton said that “we” did not believe it was appropriate to talk to the survivors of Benghazi until after the FBI had.

“As I said, I still have a DS agent at Walter Reed seriously injured,” said Clinton. “Getting them into Frankfurt Ramstein to get taken care of, the FBI going over to immediately start talking to them — We did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews.”

The ARB later reported that one of the State Department security officers at the Benghazi mission, watching a video monitor, saw the attack begin at about 3:42 p.m. Washington, D.C., time on September 11, when dozens of armed terrorists swarmed through the main gain of the compound. He immediately sounded an alarm in the compound. He then used a cell phone to notify the CIA Annex down the road and the US Embassy in Tripoli. The US Embassy in Tripoli then immediately notified State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m.,” Secretary Clinton said.

Later that night, before 11:00 p.m. Washington time on September 11, Clinton issued a statement linking the still-ongoing Benghazi attack to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

The Associated Press published a report quoting Clinton’s statement even before former Navy SEALS Woods and Doherty were killed by a terrorist mortar strike on the CIA Annex in Benghazi. Earlier that evening, CIA security personnel from that Annex had gone to the rescue of the State Department personnel at the Special Mission Compound, and helped get the five surviving State Department security officers out.

Clinton’s testimony indicated that she has never talked to at least four of the five State Department security people who bravely defended the department’s mission in Benghazi and survived the attack — and that she claims she did not speak to them earlier in deference to an FBI investigation.

She did not explain why she believed her contact with her own State Department employees could in anyway taint or disrupt an FBI investigation that is reportedly aimed at discovering the identity of the terrorists who attacked the US facilities in Benghazi, not in finding fault with anyone who worked for State.

Would Clinton have talked to Ambassador Stevens or Sean Smith had they survived the attack? Or would she have waited to speak to them, too, until after the FBI had interviewed them? No one asked Secretary Clinton those questions in the congressional hearings. As I said, she was more prepared to obfuscate than committee members were prepared to make her elucidate.

Republicans argue the August 16 cable from Ambassador Stevens to the State Department was rather high priority. As Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, put it, “Libya has to have been one of the hottest of hot spots around the world.” He claimed that not knowing about their security requests “…really, I think, cost these people their lives.”

Paul added, “Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”

There are some things which Senator Paul says with which I disagree, but on this subject, I not only whole-heartedly agree but will go even further.

Despite what she disclaimed during her congressional appearances:

ONE, Hillary joined in with the rest of Team Obama on the “it’s the video” meme from the git-go, because that was used to distract from the facts and maintain the Obama reelection narrative that al-Qaeda was decimated, when it clearly was not. In fact, al-Qaeda and its affiliates were known to be in nine countries when Obama took office and are in over thirty now.

TWO, Hillary, as Team Obama has in the past, used the “ongoing” FBI investigation as cover for not herself investigating what happened to her own State Department people and for her spokespeople to also use in saying they couldn’t comment on what few, probing, press questions were asked because of the “ongoing” investigation.

Aside from the question of why it wasn’t a joint DOD/CIA task force investigating the Benghazi debacle in the first place, this is the same FBI which couldn’t put its agents into Benghazi for almost three weeks because of “personnel security issues,” when a CNN reporter was there retrieving Ambassador Stevens’ journal within four days of the attack and a FOX News correspondent spotted one of the alleged terrorist leaders having a smoothie at a sidewalk cafe in Benghazi within several more days after that.

The same FBI which has yet to interview another of the alleged terrorist leaders, who was only made available for press interview by Turkish authorities because a US senator, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, requested it, not Hillary’s State Department, and who has now been released from custody but is still being “monitored,” whatever that means, but is still “uninterviewed” by our hard-charging and interminably investigating FBI. Next thing we’ll hear is that Turkish authorities have no idea where he is. Or worse, “Prisoner Who?”

More and more delay, and getting closer and closer to the reelection, and now afterward, when Team Obama thought and thinks the American public — some of which do seem to have the attention span of a cocker spaniel puppy — will “forget” all about Benghazi. Well, I’ve got news — some of us will never forget, not until we get a lot more, and a lot more honest, answers.

THREE, although the ARB was headed by two distinguished and supposedly independent individuals, chaired by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and vice-chaired by Admiral Michael Mullen, the board itself was in fact handpicked by Hillary, was in fact a part of the State Department investigating another part of the State Department, and, conveniently (and incestuously) enough, found that any and everything which had gone wrong occurred at the Deputy Secretary of State level and below, to include laying some of the blame on our dead ambassador, Chris Stevens, for even being in Benghazi when he should have known better. Always convenient to blame the dead guy, because, you know, he can’t talk back. Again, I refer to Hillary’s history re Vince Foster’s mysterious “suicide.”

FOUR, so Hillary also used the ARB “findings” to deflect any real responsibility from herself, although she had previously fallen on Obama’s sword for him (because he can never admit any wrong) in announcing that she accepted “full responsibility” but didn’t even offer to resign over Benghazi, which amounts to a statement of accountability without any consequence of accountability, which is akin to a politician’s “apology” for you not understanding what he/she clearly said, which is the same as nothing at all — a non-apology is no apology and accepting responsibility without being responsible is just, uh, irresponsible.

FIVE, Hillary’s sympathetic appeal during questioning from Senator Johnson when she talked about dead State Department personnel, got that well-practiced little tremor in her voice and that tear drop which no one actually saw (Obama’s a master at this also) and then her faked outrage at “What difference does it now, after the fact, make?,” and we should focus on how to prevent this from happening again, and blah, blah, blah. Senator Johnson, instead of being put off by her bluster, should have interrupted her tirade and simply said, “Yes, Madame Secretary, we all want to do what’s necessary to keep something like this from ever happening again, but the purpose of these hearings right now is to ascertain why you let it happen in the first place and why the Obama Administration has told so many different stories about it ever since.”

And, SIX, in her last days at State, the eighth terrorist attack on a US foreign mission, embassy, consulate, etc., on her watch just took place in Turkey, a NATO ally, with the bombing of our embassy there. Of course, it’s suspected that this was not the work of an al-Qaeda affiliate, for a change, just some in-counrty, radical Marxist group who also hates, disrespects and does not fear the US, as our enemies used to do.

Good job with all that “soft power” diplomacy, “reset” (regret) relations, and American apologist appeasement, Hillary. Now, almost nobody fears us enough to even respect us a little. You know, those of us who are and have been in the military have another name for “leading from behind.” We call it “following,” and, unfortunately, I don’t see your successor John “anti-war protestor” Kerry doing much better than you have.

Yet, Hillary is who the Democrats might run for president in 2016. Really? Well, they already got another serial liar, Obama, elected — twice — so why not give it a shot? Evidently, the American people will believe almost anything — at least once every four years. Evidently, the rest of the time, the sheeple, at least politically,  just sleepily go about their personal business with that cocker spaniel puppy attention span.

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