Omar Gonzalez

The, “we gotta kill ’em over there, before they kill us over here” crowd should be crowing their mantra again as this Iraq War vet was allowed to re-enter the United States and penetrate security with a legal knife at the White House.

Gonzalez has a mangled foot and psychological problems stemming from his “service.” There is no news yet whether he was off his meds at the time of the attack. But how ironic. All the Obama haters should be cheering for the guy and they blame lack of security on the incompetent government while defending it the rest of the time in wanting to reform, rather than eliminate stupid programs, calling Snowden a traitor, and confusing loyalty to government with loyalty to the Constitution.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/09/30/and-yet-another-trusted-government-institution-bites-the-dust/

We will be free when every single one of them “bites the dust.”

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Brett’s Alternative to The Alternative

My friend Brett Pharo wrote this regarding ISIS. Brett is a sheep farmer in Michigan and regularly sends his very insightful “Random Thoughts from the Corner Chair.” I was planning to write about the same subject and can’t improve on what Brett says here so I’m passing it on in place of The Alternative.

What I’d really like to see come of this is some discussion of what Brett and I think regarding our government’s ongoing involvement in the Middle East. Please feel free to write to this paper or me and I will pass it on to Brett.

Random Thoughts from the Corner Chair

Ok, so our leader has finally gotten his wish to bomb targets in Syria.  Of course we’re bombing the opposite side he wanted to bomb a few months ago, but let’s not quibble about details when we have the opportunity to take out a few “targets.”  Notice how “taking out targets” sounds so much kinder and gentler, to borrow a phrase from the previous Chief Executive, than does “kill, maim, destroy, raze, and mangle.”  Don’t get me wrong, these ISIS, ISIL, IS, or whatever folks seem to be some bad dudes and dudettes, but why does this somehow justify the President to bomb targets in a foreign country?  And to do so without a declaration of war, or even a credible threat to our country?  I understand that a lot of Americans, both in and out of DC, think that the entire world is our country, but maybe for less money we could buy everyone a map of the world so they would understand where our boundaries lie.  Yes, I know these IS folks have decapitated some of our citizens who were in that area of the world for whatever reason.  Let’s look at a plausible analogy of a Chinese visitor, reporter, businessman, or what have you being killed by low-life gang thugs in Chicago.  Would we (you) be OK with China sending in war planes to take out “targets” important to the operation of these gangs?  I wouldn’t.

Isn’t it about time we admit that our strategies and policies in that part of the world are a miserable failure?  From most points of view, that is, but I’ll get back to the exception.  For some reason we Americans are just sure that everyone everywhere wants to be like us – our governmental system, our morals, our consumerism, etc.  That’s every bit as ego-centric as them believing we would want to be like them.  We have, or I should say had, an exceptional constitutional system for our people.  That doesn’t make it right for everyone else, and as it’s become corrupted it may be questionable whether what we have now is best for us.  Another topic for another time.

Let’s look at how far we’ve come with mid-east strategies.  Turn the clock back a few years.  The countries in the entire area were relatively stable.  The exception, of course, was that most of the countries wanted to eliminate Israel from the map, which has not really changed.  That stability was rather remarkable when you realize that many, if not most, of the boundaries were put into place by the British and French rather than by the natural inclinations of the inhabitants themselves.  America, though not on the best of terms with all the nations, had functional relations with them.  Yes, our guy the Shah of Iran was booted out and replaced by a theocracy, we gained influence relative to the Soviets in Egypt, and the Soviets were bogged down in the quagmire that Afghanistan always is.

We felt compelled to assist the resistance in Afghanistan, so we equipped and trained them.  They would become the Taliban and Al Queda.  They were for us, until they weren’t.  We didn’t want any one country to become too powerful in the area, so we equipped Iraq against Iran in one of the bloodiest wars of that century.  Saddam Hussein was our man, until he wasn’t.  We built huge military bases on the Arabian peninsula anchored around Saudi Arabia, because the Saudi Arabians were our friends, until they weren’t.  One of our Hollywood actresses was Queen of Jordan, so they were okay, except when they weren’t.  

Fast forward to fairly recently.  The countries on the peninsula were all stable kingdoms.  Of course we don’t normally like kingdoms, but these guys gave us oil and places to put our military toys.  Iran was still a little iffy, but they are an ancient people and not likely to court their own doom by making us want to attack them.  Afghanistan was controlled by the folks we armed and trained.  Ditto for Iraq, where Saddam ruled with an iron hand, but would not tolerate Islamic fundamentalism and saw to it that Christians could worship in peace.  Syria ruled by a dictator, but again one that resisted Islamic militants.  Egypt was to a degree a democracy that resisted Islamic militants.  Libya, led by Qaddafi, was under an egotistical tyrant, but he resisted Islamic militants strongly.  And we had our military and diplomats all over the place showing them American consumerism and, to their point of view, lack of morals.  What could go wrong?

In Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, we were courted by the rulers, but resented by the people to a great degree because of what they perceived as our having a degrading effect on their societal morals.  Whether you or I think their moral codes are superior is immaterial.  They did/do.  A group of Islamic militants, trained by us, and primarily from our close ally Saudi Arabia, became quite active in their desire to rid their region of direct American influence.  They made some minor attacks, and then made the major attack on September 11, 2001.  They were Al Queda.  They were being given a base of operations by our former friends in Afghanistan, the Taliban.  We were attacked by Al Queda with the support of the Taliban.  In my opinion, we had every right and obligation to retaliate into Afghanistan.  We did, and we should have left it at that and been out of there in a matter of months.  Liberators who overstay their welcome are soon viewed as occupiers.

Not content, for some reason, we decided to attack Iraq.  We had no justification for doing so at this time.  Yes, we did when they invaded Kuwait several years before, but that was done and over with and handled appropriately.  But in 2002, we had no reason to attack a sovereign Iraq.  We displaced a stable secular dictatorship and in its place we now have massive religious violence with no tolerance for other beliefs, and in the process we destroyed a once prosperous country.

In Libya, we displaced a stable secular dictatorship and replaced it with Islamic militants and religious violence.

In Egypt, we approved the removal of their secular government and in its place is more chaos and violence.

In Syria, many desired to intervene to remove a secular dictatorship and replace it with Islamic fundamentalists, some of whom have now begun decapitating our people in the area.  So now we are sorta on the side of the dictator, though we want to arm a third group to fight both the dictator and the IS.  Hmm.  What could go wrong?

Can we never learn?  Why are we so bent on war and destruction?  War is not some nice diplomatic tit for tat.  War, as Sherman put it, is hell.  War is death and destruction.  War is pain and suffering.  War is destruction of decades worth of infrastructure and sometimes centuries of historical artifacts.  War is orphans and widows.  War is maimed men, women and children.  War is the opposite of all that is good.  War is profitable.  Wait, what? What happens in war?  Things are destroyed.  That means new things have to be bought, be it bombs, planes, cars, trains, schools, oil, or pogo sticks.  GDP soars, jobs are created, fortunes are made.  War is profitable, and an enemy is a powerful distraction from problems at home.

There may be causes for which war is a viable option, but they are few.  War is failure – failure of diplomacy, failure of reason, failure of compassion, failure of empathy, failure of communication – failure of mankind.  Sure someone can always be blamed (the other guy), but ultimately war is the failure of mankind.

Missed one

Group touts 4,000 abortions in 1 year with Clinton’s support

washingtonexaminer.com Published: September 26, 2014

The Washington Examiner reports Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s international foundation, in the spotlight this month for hosting the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York, back two groups that operate a massive international abortion business, including one that heralded its 4,000 abortions in a 2013 annual report.

Clinton Foundation documents show that it supports two groups that provide abortion services and supplies in Africa, India and Asia — Pathfinder Internationaland Population Services International.
The foundation, which publicly focuses on help for AIDS in Africa, climate change and support for girls, is being scrutinized as Hillary Clinton readies a likely 2016 presidential bid. Its support of abortion providers is one of the areas the former secretary of State’s critics is looking into.

H/T: Drudge Report
See this story on washingtonexaminer.com

Letter to Wallaces Farmer Magazine

Dear Editor,

The conservation section of the September issue of Wallaces Farmer has an article out of place. Rod Swoboda’s “Residue to play a big energy role” should be in the “Mining the soil” section, if there was one. There is just one sentence about conservation in the article: “They leave enough residue on the field to protect the soil from erosion.” Nobody who has farmed Iowa soil could honestly say that.

Farming has become more about forcing a market to exist than providing raw materials for essential uses. This has led to such things as cellulosic ethanol produced from crop residues that, if left in place, enable valuable soil life to survive through the winter and rivers to run clear.

This September issue features a family that actually leaves a clover stand for an entire season to heal the land injured from farming practices in the same vein as practices needed for cellulosic ethanol from corn fodder. Can you imagine not getting a crop for a year and even bearing the expense of seeding a cover crop because of past negligent farming practices. It’s shameful.

Further on in the same issue is an article on Secretary Tom Visack’s “New era for soil conservation.” This article outlines $1.2 billion of taxpayer money to be spent to ameliorate damage done by farmers who farm the cellulosic ethanol way.

The soil, that is the lifeblood of the Iowa economy, would benefit best through elimination of all federal involvement. What started out as well-intentioned protections and incentives has become a crony-capitalist boondoggle that destroys the soil and tries to protect it at the same time. Farmers who know the value of soil will farm it in such a way that they can turn a profit with healthy soil for the long haul.

Sorry to say, Iowa farmers have a long way to go to live up to the praises of the media and politicians who call us stewards of the land.

Love, Fritz

Shopco and Target bomb Walmart!

Mason City, Iowa-

A coalition of good retailers teamed up to destroy millions of dollars worth of merchandise at, bad retailer, Walmart. Workers were warned to leave their employer before the attack. Oh wait! That was Saudi Arabia, the good beheader, bombing ISIS, the bad beheader. If you can’t make a better product at a lower price, eliminate the competition.

http://www.voanews.com/content/us-airstrikes-syria-kill-islamic-state-militants/2461756.html

Sorry for the confusion.

A little more baseball

This guy, Clayton Kershaw, plays real baseball, National League baseball. All the players play the game. All the players bat. Don Drysdale was a good hitting pitcher too. Check out these two plays (sent by my precious little boy). And of course, Vin Scully adds some old man rap.

Apparently the Dodgers link changes the video. Here is a You Tube link to a fair video of the catch I’m talking about:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfv7rkXtDBg

http://m.mlb.com/lad/video/topic/47077676/v36581361/must-c-clinch-dodgers-crowned-2014-nl-west-champs/?c_id=la

Rockefellers will give someone else a chance at a good investment

Updated: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:01:22 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rockefellers to sell oil assets as part of $50B global warming fight



U.S. oil magnate and philantropist John D. Rockefeller gives a dime to a child in this undated picture. He set up the Rockefeller Foundation charitable organization just over 100 years ago, in 1913. Associated Press

U.S. oil magnate and philantropist John D. Rockefeller gives a dime to a child in this undated picture. He set up the Rockefeller Foundation charitable organization just over 100 years ago, in 1913. Associated Press

The Rockefellers, who made their vast fortune on oil, will on Monday join and other philanthropies and high-wealth individuals in a pledge to sell and get out of a total of $50 billion US worth of fossil fuel assets.

The Global Divest-Invest coalition will announce Monday that the Rockefeller family and others have joined the global movement to divest fossil fuel investments, a day before 120 heads of state address the United Nations to discuss what efforts their countries are making to address a marked long-term increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Since the movement began in 2011, some 650 individuals and 180 institutions which together own $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels over five years using a variety of approaches.

One of the signatories is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, an heir of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, said the move to divest away from fossil fuels would be in line with his wishes.

“We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy,” Heintz said in a statement.

At the end of July, the fund had $860 million in assets, although it is not known how much of that is specifically invested in fossil fuels.

The fund has committed to invest 10 per cent of its assets in what it deems sustainable development since 2010. Monday’s announcement takes that commitment one step further.

Since January 2014, commitments by campuses, churches, cities, states, hospitals, pension funds, and others in the United States and abroad doubled, from 74 to 180, according to philanthropic giving consultancy Arabella Advisors.

One of the higher profile education institution divestments came in May, when Stanford University said it will no longer use any of its $18.7 billion endowment to invest in coal mining companies.

While some smaller liberal colleges have made divestment announcements, some larger institutions have been reluctant.

The University of California voted last week to maintain its investments in fossil fuels, frustrating a student-led effort to divest its portfolio in oil, natural gas and coal.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-Apartheid figure who has been a strong voice on the need for economic divestments, will add to Monday’s announcements in a recorded video announcement in which he will call for a freeze on all new fossil fuel exploration.

“We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, for there will be no tomorrow,” he said.