Monday Catch-Up: Merry Christmas?

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I’ve had some tabs open for nearly a week, now, so chances are – you’ve seen some of these stories, but some of these are too important to discard.

To those of us who pay close attention to current events – how festive are we feeling three days before Christmas in Obama’s America? Does it feel like Christmas is almost upon us? Or do we have a sick feeling in the pits of our stomachs that as bad as things are now  – with a newly “liberated” POTUS feeling frisky after the midterms,  things are about to get much worse?

As he frolics in the sun in balmy Hawaii, witness the hell he’s unleashed all across the country and world.

Mississippi Burning: 

While the local po-po seem to have no interest in solving the Jessica Chambers case, internet sleuths like the Conservative Treehouse, and  appear to have it all but solved. The FBI shouldn’t be too far behind. It’s an ugly, shocking story that should break any day now.

Doug Giles of Townhall wrapped it all up and tied it with a bow: JESSICA CHAMBERS: Teen Murdered Immediately After Local Blacks Called For Rape & Burning Of White Women:

In philosophy and problem solving, there’s the principle of reasoning known as Occam’s (or Okham’s) Razor, which goes like this: Among multiple alternative explanations, all of which require various assumptions in order to arrive at possible solutions, often the simplest and plainest answer — involving the least number of assumptions — turns out to be the right one.

So, we have local black gang associates posting terror threats on social media — threats of murder, by burning, directed at the women and children family members of white police employees — immediately before the murder, by burning, of the white teenage daughter of a local police department employee. Plus, the killing took place only minutes after the victim was seen on video at the same location as the husband or boyfriend of the person who posted the threats, as he was filling a handheld can with gasoline.

The entire case could simply be one more incident in the modern, one-sided race war of black on white; a war which is never talked about in the mainstream media. Or, it could be more complicated than just black and white.

The evidence so far suggests that, despite the murkiness of elements and complicated roster of suspicious players, the truth in Courtland, Mississppi might come with the simplest and most obvious explanation.

AoSHQ: Life During Wartime: NYPD Announces “Wartime” Rules for Patrol and Response:

Any 911 call will be responded to with a team of two patrol cars, not just one, which effectively halves the number of emergencies the police will respond to.

This will result in dead civilians.

What do we want? Dead civilians!
When do we want it? As soon as we murder some cops.

I’m hopeful that Obama will interrupt his Hawaiian vacation to tell the cops they’ve acted stupidly, but I trust he’ll just keep golfing.

The first assassination of an NYPD officer since the 1988 ambush of Edward Byrne has rattled the rank-and-file –and prompted cops to adopt drastic “wartime” policing tactics not seen since the 1970s.”At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the opinion of the patrol supervisor happens to be,” an e-mail widely circulated among cops advised Saturday night.

Roger Kimball, PJ Media: A Turning Point?

Still, it would be good to know how far the American people are willing to let Obama go.  We know that establishment time-servers like John (you-can-do-any-thing-you-like-Obama-and-I’ll-only-pretend-to-object) Boehner are too deeply implicated in the status quo to offer any serious push back. What about the rest of our elected officials? The longer they’ve been in Congress, the more securely are their lips sewn to the teat of public largess and bureaucratic privilege. It was just this eventuality that folks like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton sought to prevent, but we’ve had more than two hundred years of lawyerly hermeneutical ingenuity chip, chip, chipping away at Constitutional safeguards to rely on those fusty old ideas of checks and balances and those “auxiliary precautions” that Madison spoke of in Federalist 51. (“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men,” Madison wrote, “the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  How are we doing on that score?)

It’s not every day that you get to have a ringside seat at the birth of despotism.  The entertainment value is likely to be quite high, though I predict the story will not have a happy ending.

Shoebat: The ISIS MANIFESTO: What Every American Needs To Know About ISIS Plan To Kill ‘Ten Million Americans’:

From Sept. 2014, but I somehow missed this unsettling report.

An Isis spokesman has posted a call to arms for Muslims around the world to kill American, Canadian and European citizens for their governments’ role in a coalition against ISIS. But what the average American is unaware of are the ISIS more shocking Islamic injunctions that permit Muslims everywhere to carry out killings by ordering them to cause as much as ten million American casualties which we included training videos that circulates the social media for use by the Muslim community under the nose of the FBI which they refuse to do anything about.

And while the average American got used to learning what Jihad meant, there is more shocking Islamic jurisprudence needed in order to understand what is at hand which circulates the social media to prepare Muslims to do indiscriminate killing of Americans. For the first time, perhaps Americans can see such rules of engagement regarding Jihad Al-Radi’ (Repulse Jihad) and Jihad Tabyeet (Jihad by perfecting the killing methods). Here, enter the world of American slumber, whether by naïveté or by design, you decide.

Christians are being “butchered” in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State and we knew this was coming starting last year, but President Barack Obama called ISIS “junior league or something JV,” said Rev. Franklin Graham, adding that the president “absolutely” must be more vocal and speak out in defense of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East.In an interview on The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly noted to Rev. Graham that “we’re now engaged in a war over there” against ISIS and “the president is taking some action.”

Reverend Graham, who heads the international relief group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “He is. But the Christians are being slaughtered. Listen, this storm was coming last year as ISIS was building. And everyone knew it.”

FrontPage Mag: Sydney Hostage Taker Told Obama to Stop Hiding his Religion:

When I first saw this headline, I thought it was satire. It isn’t.

Sheikh Haron, the Sydney hostage taker, had an extensive website which is currently down where he posted open letters to assorted politicians. These included a letter to Obama written during his original campaign.

12 June 2008

Senator Barack Obama
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 USA

Dear Brother Barack Obama

I got your message. Hiding the religion for political purposes is not permitted. When a Muslim is asked about her/his religion, she/he must tell the truth. You think it is permissible by Shariah law to hide your religion to achieve some positions to be able to help Islam and to give a better service to Muslims. You are wrong, Shariah law doesn’t allow you to do so, your reason for hiding your religion Islamically is not a legitimate reason. You must rely on Allah (SWT) and avoid the satanic style of politics. If Allah wants you to be the President of the United States of America, you will definitely be the president, no matter you hide your religion or not, no matter you lie to American people or you tell the truth, so it is not worth to commit a big sin just for political purposes. You will be apostate by denying your religion, I advise you to avoid such a big sin. You must have trust in Allah, you must always remember that  Allah has the absolute power to help you to become the President even if you tell the truth that you are a Muslim. Our rely must be only on Allah. You will be the President but it doesn’t worth to be a President by selling out your religion, it is not worth to lose hereafter which is permanent life for this short term life. You will be the President but this is a test from  Allah to show to people that Senator Barack Obama chooses the right path or the satanic tactic. I advise you to be careful to pass this test of  Allah successfully. May  Allah guide all of us. Ameen.

Kind regards,

Sheikh Haron

Cc:

–          Obama for America (Campaign), P.O.Box 8102 Chicago, IL 60680 USA

Jonathan Adler, Washington Post: District court declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional (Updated)

According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab, the president’s policy goes “beyond prosecutorial discretion” in that it provides a relatively rigid framework for considering applications for deferred action, thus obviating any meaningful case-by-case determination as prosecutorial discretion requires, and provides substantive rights to applicable individuals.  As a consequence,  Schwab concluded, the action exceeds the scope of executive authority.

This is the first judicial opinion to address Obama’s decision to expand deferred action for some individuals unlawfully present in the United States. [I’ve now posted the opinion here.]

The procedural background of the case is somewhat unusual.  The case involves an individual who was deported and then reentered the country unlawfully. In considering how to sentence the defendant, the court sought supplemental briefing on the applicability of the new policies to the defendant, and whether these policies would provide the defendant with additional avenues for seeking the deferral of his deportation.  In this case, however, it’s not entirely clear it was necessary to reach the constitutional question to resolve the issues before the court with regard to the defendant’s sentence.

***

UPDATE: Here are some additional thoughts on the ruling.

It is quite unusual for a district court to reach this sort of constitutional issue in this sort of case.  Indeed, Judge Schwab appears to have reached out quite aggressively to engage the lawfulness of the President’s actions.  Based upon the procedural history recounted in the opinion, it appears the court requested briefing on the applicability of the new immigration policies on its own order.  That is, the issue was not initially raised by the defendant in his own defense.  As a result of the court’s decision, however, the defendant now has the option of withdrawing his guilty plea and potentially seeking deferral of his deportation under the new policy.

The Washington Times: Obamacare’s Christmas surprise:
It seems CMS is taking a page from Jonathan Gruber’s book; rather than allowing the “stupid” masses to make a decision on their own health plan, CMS has proposed a new rule that includes an overly reaching provision allowing CMS to re-enroll anyone who has not made the annual trek back to healthcare.gov in a cheaper plan of CMS’ choosing.// <![CDATA[

That’s right, the government will choose your plan, perhaps limit access to your doctor, and ultimately make the decision on what is “best” for you.

Not to worry, just like Lady Justice, who wears a blindfold when determining guilt or innocence, CMS will use a blindfold to pick your plan. The agency will select your plan without knowing your medical history. They will do so without knowing if you are currently undergoing treatment or working with a specific doctor. They will do so without knowing your financial status. Despite the fact that the millions of people who already enrolled chose the plan that they believed was best for them.

CMS has laid the perfect trap: Sign up at healthcare.gov one time in your life and we will never let you go. If you don’t continually re-enroll each and every year, CMS will keep you on the plan that it chooses because, after all, CMS knows what’s best and they always make the best decision. Oh, and if you don’t believe that, please go to the 600 million dollar website that will give you all kinds of testimonials handcrafted by MIT professors.


Faith Driven Consumer: Unbroken Review: 

Based on Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, UNBROKEN tells the true story of Olympic athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, an American hero who endured and overcame horrific circumstances leading up to—and during—his two years as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II.

Produced and directed by Angelina Jolie (LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, MALEFICENT) and starring Jack O’Connell (300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE) as Zamperini, Finn Wittrock (“All My Children,” NOAH) as “Mac” McNamara, Domhnall Gleeson (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS I & II) as “Phil” Phillips, and Takamasa Ishihara as Matsushiro (“The Bird”) Watanabe, UNBROKEN is a powerful, raw and emotionally riveting film that will leave Faith Driven Consumers at once inspired, humbled and proud to be American.

&

Forum:What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama’s Normalizing Relations With Cuba?

 

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama’s Normalizing Relations With Cuba?

The Razor : I support it. The Castros have been using the embargo to justify the failures of their rule, and normalization would strip that away. You have the same Cuban families on both sides of the Florida straits, and the prosperity on one side is hard to hide. My only issue with it is that it’s happening under the Obama administration, so I’m sure it will be a disaster just as everything else has been in the foreign policy realm.

Simply Jews :This question is probably is a subject for a longer and better argumented post, but to be brief I shall try to digest my roaming thoughts all the same:

Since the demise of the Soviet Union and cessation of Soviet support so vital for Cuban economy, the US policy on Cuba remained unrevised and caused unnecessary 20+ years of hostility. And, of course, unnecessary suffering to Cubans.

The end to embargo (not there yet) and opening the borders to economic and cultural ties would have effectively finished off the oppressive dictatorial regime many years ago without any need to resort to exploding cigars and other outlandish and stupid ideas.

The Cubans today are kept as serfs to a rotting and crumbling regime that relies on the relatively privileged army and secret police as the last bastions that keep it intact and will crumble in the same way the Soviet regime crumbled all these years ago, if only the economic, cultural and, especially, information gateways were opened for all – to see how the life could be.

The right wing political camp in US was (still is) in thrall of the influential Cuban immigrants’ lobby that ties its hands in all matters concerning Cuba. And let’s not forget that at least some of the more influential and rich Cuban emigres are still pining for the corrupt and dictatorial Batista’s regime… ’nuff said.

Of course, what Obama so far achieved is too little, but I hope it’s not too late and the continuation will come. The more tourists from US, the more goods and information from the free world come to Cuba, the quicker the demise of the regime there will be.

The sooner the better.

JoshuaPundit : What do I think about President Obama Normalizing Relations With Cuba? I think it means he’s quit cigarettes and is now smoking cigars.

About all I can do is joke about this, because it’s a disaster in the making.

The regime itself was on the verge of collapse, because the Maduro regime in Venezuela could no longer afford to give the Castros subsidized oil. So instead of allowing it to fall or even encouraging its demise, this president has now thrown this brutal regime a lifeline that will keep it in power.

Cuba is only ninety miles from the U.S. Think about that for a moment. It is a regime aligned with our enemies, and as Raúl Castro informed President Obama in a 30 minute lecture, nothing’s changing.

The embargoes kept a lot of bad actors away from Cuba. Not only are they now free to come in, by the entire use of embargoes as a means to counteract bad behavior short of war has been undermined.

But wait,there’s more. Let’s revisit history.

Once President Kennedy allowed the Monroe Doctrine to be breached by backing out of the Bay of Pigs invasion after it had already started, the Soviets realized that Castro could be their entry into the western hemisphere and just a year later they had their missile bases installed on the island.The confrontation that followed once our intelligence found out about it almost started a nuclear war.

Imagine what would happen if history repeated itself? The Russians are already sniffing around. What if Iran makes a clandestine deal with Castro and we wake up one day with Iranian ballistic missiles aimed at our shores? What if China decides that Havana would be a superb spot for a naval base to extend their reach into American territorial waters? What if the Cuban regime itself receives nuclear weapons from, say, North Korea? Especially at a time when America’s missile defense and nuclear weapons, just like our conventional military are already at historic lows?

And remember, the Cubans are going to get an embassy on our shores out of the deal which will be nothing but a den of spies and a security risk.

I’m afraid I have little patience with people that argue that after 50 years, we need to change policy, that trade and tourism will benefit the Cuban people and eventually lead to more freedom. These are the same arguments a number of people made when talking about the Soviet Union between WWII and the 1970’s and they helped it keep going for years.

Profits from trade and tourism aren’t going to trickle down to ordinary Cubans.They will go to the regime’s elites, with a select few being allowed access to the goodies as the carrot for loyalty and good behavior, with the stick very much in evidence for anyone who displeases the regime in any fashion. And rest assured, the Cubans not are going to be allowed free access to the internet, to publications, to radio, to films or to anything that displeases the regime, contradicts its propaganda or undermines its iron grip on their throats.

As sickening as it is that we would betray the many Cubans whom seek freedom, it’s even worse that would would betray our own interests and our national security. That’s exactly what this amounts to…a major foreign policy debacle.

The Independent Sentinel : All I have to do is repost the first paragraph from the NY Times article December 20th: “President Raúl Castro declared victory for the Cuban Revolution on Saturday in a wide-ranging speech, thanking President Obama for “a new chapter” while also reaffirming that restored relations with the United States did not mean the end of Communist rule in Cuba.”

Obama just propped up another Communist dictatorship.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : President Obama makes another sweeping statement, this time decreeing he intends to normalize relations with Cuba. We have not seen any announcement or agreement on the part of the Castro regime to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Cuba in return for re-establishing diplomatic and trade ties with America. Several members of Congress have said they had no idea these negotiations were even occurring although apparently they have been going on for over a year. This appears to be another ill-conceived unilateral executive action. So why is President Obama doing this?

Whether you believe we should lift the decades old embargo or not, we do need to consider the parties who will benefit the most from this action. Very likely billions of our tax dollars will be given in aid to the Cuban government in an ongoing effort of the president to redistribute our wealth, most of which will end up in the pockets of those in positions of power in the Castro regime.

Of course, American corporations will benefit by opening factories in Cuba and hiring cheap labor. The lives of Cubans might improve a little, but they will remain isolated from the rest of the world as they have been since Castro came to power. Cuba has had diplomatic and trade relations with many countries around the world, and the Cuban people continue to live in poverty and fear. Why would anyone believe if America opens diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba the lives of the people of Cuba will improve?

This is all about wealth re-distribution and cheap labor for American corporations.

The Right Planet:I shouldn’ t say I was shocked by Obama’s unilateral action to normalize relations with Cuba. But it is shocking to watch a U.S. president simply ignore the past and make nice with a despotic regime. My South American friends see this as throwing a lifeline to the Castro regime, since Cuba’s close ally, Venezuela, is quickly going belly up, due to plummeting oil prices. But along comes Obama to pluck them from disaster.

What did the U.S. get in return? The release of a USAID worker and an intel agent, Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, held in Cuba for the past two decades. But Cuba got everything they wanted. I suspect, too, that this unilateral decision by Obama has something to do with closing Guantanamo Bay. And why didn’t the U.S. demand the return of cop killer Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 during a gunbattle after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike?

Obama stated in his address to the nation that his decision to normalize relations with Cuba “will end an outdated approach that has failed to advance America’s interests.” What does that mean? Obama never explained what he meant by “America’s interests.” I suspect it’s code for “failed to advance Obama’s interests.” It just looks to me like Obama is propping up a failed socialist regime, since Obama has never met a communist despot he didn’t like, to my knowledge.

The Glittering Eye : The embargo on Cuba was imposed specifically for the purpose of producing regime change. A half century later it still hasn’t done that and at this point I think it’s reasonable to think it never will. Both sides in the argument about the president’s recent announcement have good points. Those who oppose them object to subsidizing the Castro regime and think that we haven’t struck much of a deal in the negotiations. Those who support the president’s move point out that we haven’t gotten anywhere with the embargo, abandoning it would be of economic benefit to the U. S., and it’s time for a change. I think the economic argument is much exaggerated. LIberalization will be much better for Cuba than it will for us.

IMO liberalization of travel will be a stronger weapon against the Castro regime than the embargo. It will be interesting to see how Cubans react to visits from their relatives in the States and to the consumer goods and information they bring with them.

The whole matter strikes me as another example of something that has become a very bad habit for the president, not enlisting the support of Congress, even Democrats in Congress, before announcing a change in policy. There isn’t a lot the president can do in the absence of cooperation from the Congress and an announcement out of the blue does little to foster that cooperation.

In the final analysis whether the policy change is just a photo op or whether there is actually material change will depend on what the president and Congress agree on. We’ll just need to wait and see.

Well, there you have it!

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