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What DID You Accomplish, As Secretary-Of-State, Ms. Clinton?

When she was asked about her accomplishments as Secretary of State, she responded:

“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know… the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.”   -   Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

Can anyone figure out what in the hell she just said? And she may be running for President?

Reminds me of a TV commercial of some years back, wherein the politician on-screen says, “And furthermore, in conclusion…” as if he is being paid by the word!   I’m thinking she needs a teleprompter, not unlike another politician who dare not open his mouth without nearby speechwriters.

As another blogger stated, I’ve no problem with a woman as Chief Executive, but, JUST NOT THIS ONE!  And I’m not even mentioning Benghazi or Watergate! – Guffaw
h/t Boyd & Donna

We Need To Take Action! “Let’s Roll!”

(It’s that horrible anniversary, again.  I’d no idea what to write – thank goodness others did! – Guffaw)

By Alan Caruba

As we close in on the 13th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the media is full of predictions about attacks that will occur.

A September 2nd Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported “Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—ISIS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen—have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Debka File’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.”

This report and other factors incline me to believe there will not be a major attack somewhere in the U.S. on what is now officially called “Patriot Day.”   There could be a lone wolf attack along the lines of Major Hassan’s 2009 “workplace violence” at Fort Hood or the Boston Marathon bombing, but the threats being made by the Islamic State and other elements of al Qaeda, while intended to raise fears in America, are likely to be manifested in the Middle East. American outlets there will be on full alert for sure.

The Islamic State, while now wealthy, well equipped militarily, and attracting every lunatic Islamist and wannabe terrorist, is facing an increasingly united group of Middle East nations that have put old enemies like Iran and Saudi Arabia on the same page together. Iran has dispatched troops to Iraq to support the Kurds. When other Middle Eastern nations finally screw up enough courage to actually do something they will wage a war on ISIS in the interest of self-defense, a powerful motive.

As for al Qaeda’s war on America, it was declared in 1996 by the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and, other than 9/11, it has done little to follow up on that dramatic sneak attack except for a few failed efforts. The U.S. responded by bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and our troops there have been attacking the Taliban ever since. Obama says he will pull them out in 2015. Given events in Iraq, that is a very bad idea.

The Department of Homeland Security has been on alert ever since it was created shortly after 9/11. This is not to say that the U.S. doesn’t need more on-the-ground intelligence penetration of al Qaeda and its affiliates. Indeed, DHS and other government agencies don’t know the whereabouts of several thousand foreign students who are supposed to be at our colleges and universities. They likely do not know who else among those with easy access to the nation is a potential terrorist.

So, yes, that could mean I am very wrong and that 9/11 would be a day for a whole series of attacks for much the same reason our consulate in Libya was attacked that day in 2012. The Benghazi cover-up has been falling apart ever since. The lie that it was caused by a video grows more absurd and obscene very day.

The Israelis have made a far greater and more successful effort than us to infiltrate their enemy’s organizations. Hamas was so rattled by the effectiveness of the Israeli bombing of sites where its rockets were stored and fired from, as well as the killing of a number of its leaders, that they made a public display of executing a number of people they accused of being Israeli spies, whether they were or not. The likelihood was that they were Gazans who had spoken out against Hamas.

After breaking a number of ceasefires, Hamas, running out of any support, accepted the most recent one and Israel thereafter announced the annexation of more West Bank territory for its settlements and, no doubt, for militarization to protect against further attacks. The Israelis know how to deal with their enemies, to prepare, and to take action rather than issue empty threats.

There have even been a number of small events by American Muslims speaking out against barbarity of the Islamic State and the threats leveled at the U.S. That is a hopeful sign, but it needs to increase in numbers and volume. The vast silence of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is an offense to humanity.

The Arabs of the Middle East are forever making dramatic threats, but they have a record of doing little. When Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, he waged a war against Iran that ended inconclusively and then invaded Kuwait and was defeated by a U.S. coalition. When he continued to make threats the U.S. invaded again and deposed him.

What followed was an effort in several Middle Eastern nations to rid themselves of their despots. This occurred in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Only Egypt, after a brief encounter with a Muslim Brotherhood government, rallied again with a military coup that led to the election of a new military leader. The Brotherhood has been banned! Libya is a failed state that has been taken over by Islamic militants. Tunisia has a new constitution as of January and numerous political parties. Its government is battling local militias.

Iraq is in near failure as it tries to unite its Shiite and Sunni factions in a functioning government. Much of the nation has been taken over by the Islamic State in the same fashion as northern Syria whose civil war has killed 190,000 and driven over a million out as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else they could flee. Who has put troops into Iraq to resist the Islamic State? The Iranians!

One threat the President of the United States does not appear to have taken seriously is an Iran with a nuclear weapon and the intercontinental missiles to deliver it. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more aware of the danger this poses and in all likelihood Israel will conclude it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and military installations.

The United States has lost virtually all the influence it once had in the Middle East, even if it came from the barrel of a gun. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is held in low regard by both the Israelis and Arabs. The President, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton keep insisting that “climate change” is the greatest threat to mankind.

If President Obama does not engage in the destruction—not “containment”—of the Islamic State, its oil wealth will enable it to become a major threat in the Middle East and beyond, including us. They have demonstrated no restraint on their use of violence and pose a threat comparable or even greater than the Nazi regime of the last century.

Will there be attack or attacks in the U.S. on 9/11? We all wish we know the answer, but we don’t.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

My only responds to Alan is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff?  The normal from the radical Islamic folks?

Those held hostage by radical elements of their own religion?

Regardless  – please take a moment to remember the innocents lost thirteen years ago.

As they said on Flight 93 – “Let’s roll!”

h/t Theo Spark

Barkley, R.I.P.

If you’ve read my blog at all, your probably know about my blogmothers.  One of them is the lovely and brilliant Brigid, who has shared on her blog many times her adventures with her black Labrador, Barkley.

Barkley stareSadly, he passed earlier Tuesday.

If you’ve not done so already, please visit Home On The Range and post your condolences.  Losing a pet is so very sad.

I think it was George Carlin who said something to the effect that getting a pet is sad, because we know the inevitable outcome.

What he didn’t say was, it’s always worth it.

Even those of us who never got to scratch you in person will miss you, my friend

In Memoriam

19 firefighters killed in Arizona wildfire were part of elite Hotshot crew (link)

There’s not much more to say.

Oft times in this venue, I write about my frustration with law enforcement, straddling the line between freedom and tyranny –  and seemingly inching toward the latter.

But firefighters, be they in the city saving people, homes and property, or in the country, doing the same + our majestic forests, lands and wildlife, need to be honored.  They are not as in the Ray Bradbury story – they are not starting fires.  They are not inching toward the latter.

They need to be honored, not just when they fall, but rather, when they do not.

Please take a moment today to do that.

Another Hero Gone…

(stolen borrowed from Old NFO – because our history IS important!Guffaw)

Another Veteran is gone…
Major Thomas Griffin, a navigator on the Doolittle Raid was called home Tuesday. He passed in a VA home in northern Kentucky at age 96. At the next reunion of the surviving Doolittle Raiders in Fort Walton Beach, where they trained for the mission, they will turn Maj. Griffin’s goblet upside down, and there will be only four left upright.
Maj. Griffin parachuted to safety over China and eluded capture, eventually making it back stateside. He later flew bombing missions over North Africa until he was shot down in 1943, spending the remainder of the war in a German POW camp.
Years ago the President of Hennessy Company presented a bottle of 1896 vintage “Very Special Hennessy” cognac to General Jimmy Doolittle, in honor of his birth year and it was decided that the last two survivors would toast the fallen with it. Due to their advanced age it was decided that they would make the toast this year, before there were none left.
The private ceremony will be attended only by the surviving Raiders, the Raiders’ historian, Tom Casey, manager of the Doolittle Raiders Association, and two Air Force cadets. They will conduct a roll call of the names of all the Raiders, and when Griffin’s name is called, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, at age 97 the oldest survivor, will give a report on Griffin, announcing that he has left us.
At the end of the reading of names, the white-gloved cadets will pour the cognac into the goblets of the survivors, and they will drink their special toast: “To those who have gone.”
The final four survivors are Lt. Col. Cole of Comfort, Texas; Lt. Col. Robert Hite of Nashville, Tennessee; Lt. Col. Edward Saylor of Puyallup, Washington, and Master Sgt. David Thatcher of Missoula, Montana.
RIP Major, know that you were an example to an entire country and gave America hope!
To the Major and his memory!
hennessy
h/t JP

Neutering the BHP, Slowly…

Browning P 35I truly miss my Browning High Power.  She was one of the guns I lusted after for years, and finally obtained in 1995.  Traditionally, they were always cost a little more than a 1911, but, I made out.  I purchased her from a private party who was selling her for a neighbor’s widow.  With six factory magazines.  At one of the few times in my life I actually had spare cash.

But, she was one of the collection in the gun vault when it was stolen.  Many firearms are gone, but just a few are truly missed.

So, here it is years later, and I visit Mike’s Spot, trying to live vicariously, as he tells the tale of acquiring a Mark II Belgian HP.  Mine was older and a little fancier, but, he has his.  Okay, I was little jealous.

Until I read this part:

The gun shipped with 1 formally legal NYS standard capacity magazine. I now have a 10 round, neutered mag in the gun, that has been re-neutered (neutered harder) to 7 rounds to comply with current NY SAFE 13 legislation.

Not only is the whole point of John Browning’s design to have an ergonomic machine, but it’s designed to hold 13 in the magazine, +1 in the chamber!  And one may find aftermarket mags which hold more.

This New York law is an anathema to all of our rights, and also our esthetics.  I truly hope Mike resettles in a region of the country which still follows the Constitution.  All of us deserve better than such a law.  Or its federal counterpart.

Molly is 30, Today.

Today, my daughter is 30.  The same age I was when she was born.

By age 30, I was married, beginning my own PI business, and scared to death about the prospect of fatherhood.  Then she arrived and made it easy

Here it is 30 years hence, and by all-that-is-holy she should have been married, and had children.  She aspired to be a veterinarian.  I never had the privilege of walking her down the aisle or holding a grandbaby.  Or proudly watching her get her degree.  Or even her diploma.

She was taken from us in 1985.  In a stupid car accident.

So she’ll always be age 12 in my heart.  Or just born.

Molly & Dad

Molly & Dad

Happy Birthday, Molly!  I Love You.

Land mines in the psyche

First of all, my apologies in advance of you reading this post.  I’ve a tendency to get a little maudlin this time of year.  Missing friends; family…

My roommate (and place-to-live benefactor) and I are very close.  We’re good friends – truth be told, we used to date.  So we know much about each other including backstory, family history, skeletons.  Stuff from our past(s).

And we were fortunate enough to visit the last gun show together.  A couple of blog friends were kind enough to give me the financial means. (Thanks, again, we couldn’t have done it without you!)

But there are land mines in the psyche.  Stuff I’ve forgotten about and don’t expect.  Buried deep.  You see, I used to take my daughter to the gun shows.  We used to visit antique malls, as well, and sometimes little antique-y things are displayed at gun shows.  There were a few at this one.

When my daughter was small, and she’d see a cameo, she’d remark, “There’s that lady, again.”  Hearing that always brought a smile to my face.

And, of course, I shared her expression long ago with my roommate.  Part of the tales from the past people getting to know one-another pass along.  And I always hear Molly’s voice in my head when I see that kind of jewelry.

So, here we are at the gun show, taking it all in, and up comes an antique jewelry display.  Not exactly why I visit guns shows.  So, I’m getting ready to gloss over it, when my roommate says softly, reverently,

There’s that lady, again.

And I cried.cameo

How Sad

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about blogging is finding out persons from all over The United States, in fact, The World have clicked on a posting or a Google/Bing response and found their way here.  I’ve stated many times before that I’m continually amazed anyone stops by – so anyone doing so makes me happy.  Or used to.

I monitor the (meaningless) statistics about the blog – Where are readers located?  How many?  Total views for a 24 hour period.  Then I compare that to what posts I did that given day in an effort to find more titles/subjects appealing to more readers.  It really doesn’t affect my titles or content.  I’m compulsive.  It’s not as if I make any money doing this!

But, the other day, I quickly inserted a blog post blurb regarding the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, as the reports were coming in.  Just the name of the town, Newtown Connecticut was the title.

And I was deeply saddened to see 333 search views in 24 hours!  My average is 163 over the previous 28 days!

Are people so ghoulish that this is what drives them?  Even worse is so-called ‘news’ organizations are so thirsty to ‘get the story first’ they report anything without verifying facts or sources!

It used to be there was a twenty-four hour news cycle, many times longer.  Now it’s minutes; seconds.  No time to verify anything, just get ‘it’ out there!  If it’s wrong, we’ll submit a correction – or not.

And the people who just can’t wait to hear about the latest exploits of Lindsay Lohan or Honey Boo-Boo are waiting like vultures to lap it up.  Or search for it on the Internet.

How sad.

Democracies don’t always win. Tyrannies don’t always lose.

My friend Rev. Paul of Way Up North posted a remarkable post entitled Hatred, Intolerance and Obsession.

You should stop reading whatever it is you’re reading, including this blog, go to the link above, and read the post.

Please.

NOW.

I’m not even posting snippets of it to ward you off and keep you here.  Except this:

“HE’S COMING.”

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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