Three teenage girls fly from London to Turkey to become “jihadist brides”

Wow, what a surprise. The girls were described as “straight A students.” This one fact explains their so-called puzzling behavior.

What is a straight A student? Such a student is intelligent, of course, but plenty of intelligent students don’t get straight A’s. Straight A students are mostly defined by servitude and submission to authority. What better organisation than ISIS to provide focus for a straight A student? I would imagine schools in London have abandoned principles of discipline the same way as schools here in order to make everyone feel good about themselves. Enforcement of principles and rules is routinely dropped in a vain attempt to earn respect from students. These girls, who were at a stage of their lives where direction for the future was an inherent goal, couldn’t find it in a school where political correctness ruled over strict principles of self respect and productivity. ISIS furnished the authority figure the wimpy school administration lacked.

This story has broader meaning than just Islamic jihadists versus western culture. Students everywhere are attracted to movements such as the greens, neo-nazis and military to furnish meaning to an otherwise directionless life. A society where private property and personal responsibility are emphasized instead of an amorphous “common good” would provide selfishness (human nature driven) as a basis for positive direction in our youth.

Here is the story of the girls and their baffled PM:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31564014

Letter to our Statehouse representative, Linda Upmeyer

Linda,

As you might have read from me before, a fuel tax is the best way to fund roads. But the DOT has proven itself to be too wasteful to manage their job.

There’s probably a pretty fine line between meddling politicians and strict oversight on behalf of taxpayers interests. If DOT officials don’t squeal a little bit, that shows our representatives need to step it up. Everybody seems to be more interested in building a legacy than leaving us some spending money after infrastructure is provided.

I’m sure those ridiculous rest areas are not that much compared to miles and miles of roads. But who says the state should provide a potty stop? I’m old enough to remember gas stations and how we picked the cleanest one for such a thing and bought stuff there. I realize we are past that now with no turning back (Like most other government programs. I even think education should be parents’ responsibility and the root of all education failure is in the fact it is mandated and funded by government. I don’t sound very optimistic, huh?).

I’m not in your shoes but what I’d do regarding the fuel tax is insist diesel be taxed at the same rate (even adjust it to compensate for overtaxation on the federal level). and base my vote on a requirement for a public event where the officials responsible for the extravagant rest areas are fired with no severance pay.

Thanks for trying, Fritz

Update:

Republican leadership ousted two members of the Ways and means committee in order to get the bill to a vote. Such is politics in Iowa. No shift in spending oversight proposed as far as I know. We can’t grow bananas here but that doesn’t mean we can’t emulate a banana republic. Des Moines is full of crooks like any other capital city.

Public radio called the tax regressive, as in opposite of progressive. Democrats mostly opposed the bill. Here is some weird bipartisanship, Tea party democrats. What rich person cares about a $60 increase in annual fuel costs? But it’s gonna cut into the pop and chips budget for the less well off.

Weaning Day


This is a Pink Fairy Armadillo. Did it attract your attention to this post?

Last year Darla Krukow said we should wean calves when the moon is bright. But I looked it up in the Farmers Almanac. She was wrong and we weaned on the right day. The calves hardly bawled at all. The cows went about their business, occasionally visiting the fenceline to see their babies and reassure them they will live just fine without milk.

A couple days later we came home from town at about ten at night and saw headlights in the yard. The neighbors had been rounding up our calves for the last two hours and getting them back in the yard. They were back with their moms so we had to rewean. Shoot. Willy thought they might have been spooked by a coon fight (really a great sound if you want to curdle some blood). They were so terrified they bent a Sioux gate and went right over a pretty good fence.

They bawled for almost a week after being weaned a second time outside the Almanac’s guidelines.

Today should have been a perfect day for it. We penned all the cows and calves and let any cow out that wanted out. Calves are usually more cautious so this is a good way to do it. One calf got through but, miraculously, it was easy to get back in with his comrades.

It was getting late in the day and Dawnie was a big help in fetching tractors and shedding them when I had another tractor to move or bed the bulls. We use a pitchfork to peel layers off a big round bale of course hay and carry it into the shed to the bulls’ bed. We can leave the gate open and they don’t bother trying to get out… until today. Oh man, did that guy have fun romping and snorting, pawing the ground and calling out like Tarzan on meth. Pretty scary really. No horns but big and powerful. He charged the half of the big bale and unrolled it for about 100 feet. It was a pretty tight bale and hard to peel off the layers; not any more.

We hope the coons stay quiet.

Letter to War Street Journal about GMO apple article

Dear Editor,

Does our government actually have the legal authority to approve and label food? (Gene-Altered Apple Approved, Feb 14-15 Journal)

If Lisa Archer, director of Friends of the Earth, actually believes, “Farmers don’t want to grow it, food companies don’t want to sell it and consumers don’t want to buy it,” one has to wonder what we are discussing when there is no reason for GMOs to exist.

Dealers in non-GMOS can label their products as such and capture a premium with no expense to taxpayers. Producers and consumers know best. The Agriculture Department is just along for the ride at our expense.

The more important issue is the assumption of the overly broad powers of government. Details always seem to obscure that issue to the detriment of us all.

Love, Fritz

Oh those Saudis.

Saudis kill 3000 people at the World trade center in 2001 so we attack Iraq. Yeah I know. Sometimes life can seem like a conspiratorial practical joke intended to make us chronically confused; much like the first part of this sentence. And I don’t mean something like jail time, although you might be hallucinating bread and water right now. It’s your subconscious mind attempting to simplify by saying, “the pot calling the kettle black.”

Our excuse, all those brown people look alike. A tantrum.

Saudi Arabia condemns “terrorist” killing of US Muslims
February 15, 2015 13:53 GMT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has condemned the killing in North Carolina of three American Muslim college students as a “heinous terrorist” act, and called for respecting religious beliefs and halting incitement against Muslims.
The statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency Sunday also condemned as a “terrorist” act the attacks that killed two people in Denmark, one at a panel discussion that included an artist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and the other outside a synagogue.
In neighboring Qatar, several thousand people held a march Sunday in the capital Doha in solidarity with the families of the North Carolina victims.
The victims’ relatives are pressing for hate-crime charges against avowed atheist Craig Hicks, and the FBI is also investigating possible motives. Local police say a parking dispute sparked the murders.

Message to conservatives

I was reading an article in Car and Driver comparing minivans.

One of the vans tested was a Kia Sedona. Here is a quote from the article:
“…the Sedona has speed, geo-fencing, and curfew alerts that immediately send mom or dad a text if the teen driving their Sedona goes too fast, goes to the wrong places, or goes anywhere at all after hours.”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey has issued a report that states 100% of new cars are vulnerable to hacking. His concern is the automobile companies getting too much data on us. Although the two can no longer be called separate entities, I see a larger threat from government than from a business that depends on a voluntary relationship.

In related old news, related because of the reference to hacking cars, there’s the death of Michael Hastings. I’ve mentioned Hastings before on these pages. If you go to this link, http://nymag.com/news/features/michael-hastings-2013-11/, you will begin to understand why the title of this post.

Hey conservatives. While you were seeking protection from better workers from across the border competing for your jobs, or getting all upset about the government being lackadaisical on regulating marriage, a real friend of limited government died mysteriously (shall I say). Much is said about a liberal press, but what about an inquisitive press that doesn’t back down from protecting us from tyranny. We’ve got the flyovers at football games, We’ve got uniform worship run amuck. And then we’ve got real heroes like Michael Hastings. But not a peep.

The Boy With the Green Hair

Sometimes we wonder what makes us what we are. One of those things is comments by my dad as I was growing up. I can’t remember but one; don’t lie, because no one is smart enough to keep lying and cover all those lies with more lies. So, I can be brutally honest, hurt feelings, lose friends. But generally it works for the long term.

I’ve thought about the Boy With the Green Hair on and off all my life. Just a fascination with a movie I saw as a kid. I didn’t really remember much about it. Netflix doesn’t have it. I looked on YouTube and found some clips. Voila! Nature Boy was the theme payed at the start of the movie. This is a great song I remember most from Kurt Elling and George Benson.

Then I saw this clip and I found a major source of where I come from. The first comment could have been written by me. 64 years old. Saw it in 1955 at 5 years old.

Here is Ella Fitzgerald with Joe Pass on Guitar. I saw heard Joe Pass do a seminar at Laney College in Oakland, where I taught organic gardening for $3 per hour. Those kids got a bargain. But the big bucks flowed in from selling Mrs. Natural’s Homemade chocolate chip cookies at lunch time, made by my landlady. Ella and Joe don’t show off here. Which is one of the great things about this clip.

Good time for clear heads to prevail

There hasn’t been a shooting at a school for quite awhile, as far as we know. Being civilized means learning from others so let’s learn from the Pakistanis.

Back in December Pakistani Taliban militants attacked a government school killing 150 people, mostly students. Now teachers across Pakistan and Afghanistan are being trained to use guns. They’ve figured out that having police show up to fill out reports doesn’t bring back the dead.

Every school district in the USA should have voluntary firearms training for school employees. They should then be allowed to carry a gun if they want to. Carrying concealed would probably be best because, as an administrator in Harrold, Texas (where there is a program such as that) said, “uncertainty is our friend.”

Nobody would figure that armed teachers or custodians would eliminate violence at school. And many shooters have intended to kill themselves anyway. The object would be to limit losses as best as possible instead of putting students and teachers in a “gun free zone” like fish in a barrel.

A lot of bad decisions are made in the emotional aftermath of tragedy, that’s why I think a publicized armed school employee program should be considered now.

Here is the story that prompted this post:


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WILLIAM’s Journal

Schools Step Up Security in Wake of Pakistan Attack
Teachers Get Weapons Training; In Afghanistan, an International School Closes Indefinitely
A Pakistani teacher handles a rifle in January during a weapons-training session at a police center in Peshawar.
A Pakistani teacher handles a rifle in January during a weapons-training session at a police center in Peshawar. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
By QASIM NAUMAN in Islamabad, SAFDAR DAWAR in Peshawar, Pakistan, and MARGHERITA STANCATI in Kabul
Feb. 11, 2015 7:54 p.m. ET
0 COMMENTS
Rozia Altaf, a police officer in northwestern Pakistan, recalled the first time she took a group of schoolteachers to a shooting range for rifle and pistol instruction.

“They were so shy and scared of the weapons at first,” Ms. Altaf said. “But once they got over it, they did really well.”

For schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the lesson plan for the year focuses on the letter G: gates, guards and guns.

Since December, when Pakistani Taliban militants attacked an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, claiming the lives of 150 people, most of them children, schools around Pakistan have strengthened their security efforts. In neighboring Afghanistan, where schools have been attacked previously, a prominent U.S.-sponsored international school closed its doors.

The stepped-up safety measures underscore how much more vulnerable students, parents and teachers in the region feel after the gruesome attack in Peshawar.

Teachers attend a workshop on arms training in Peshawar. ENLARGE
Teachers attend a workshop on arms training in Peshawar. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Paramilitary vehicles with machine guns patrol the main roads of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, around its major schools and colleges.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Peshawar is located, police have been conducting two-day weapons-training sessions for teachers from schools and universities since late January. The program focuses on basic weapons handling and tactics to survive the first crucial minutes in case of an attack, police officials said.

“The strength [of the police force] available is like a drop in the ocean,” said Ms. Altaf, who heads a women’s police station in Peshawar. “We don’t have the strength needed to protect all the schools.”

Pakistani officials meanwhile have scrambled to restore the confidence of students and parents by mandating new security measures: raising school boundary walls by several feet, adding concertina wire and closed-circuit cameras and stationing guards.

Even so, local officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have taken protective measures to the next level, allowing teachers to carry weapons on campus.

At least two large schools in the vicinity of the Army Public School now store weapons and ammunition on campus. School staff, trained and certified by police, will have access to the weapons in case of an attack.

Teachers of Frontier College for Women hold handguns during firearms training. ENLARGE
Teachers of Frontier College for Women hold handguns during firearms training. PHOTO: PPI/ZUMA PRESS
“We have talked to our students about this, about how some teachers can protect them if there is an attack,” said a principal of one of the Peshawar schools storing weapons on campus. “I think it helps them to know that they are not defenseless.”

Since 2007, hundreds of schools have been damaged or destroyed by Pakistani militant groups. Unlike the Army Public School, which was targeted because it enrolled the children of the country’s soldiers, most have been targeted by militants opposed to the education of girls and to what they call “Western” or nonreligious education, and most incidents have involved a small explosive device detonated at night, when there were no students present.

Afghanistan has experienced a similar problem. In just the past two days, three schools have been torched by insurgents in Nangarhar, Kunar and Farah provinces, according to Kabir Haqmal, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Education. Further details weren’t immediately available.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks on schools in Afghanistan, though the Afghan Taliban, who share a similar ideology with the Pakistani Taliban but operate independently of it, have carried out similar attacks before. In response, police in parts of eastern Afghanistan are now on higher alert, according to Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for the ministry of interior.

Government officials in both countries say schools are a particularly soft target for militant groups, as they have lower levels of security compared with government and military installations.

Amid such heightened security concerns, the International School of Kabul said last month it would close until further notice.

“The recent attack on a school in a neighboring country has us particularly concerned,” the school said in a letter to parents dated January 22. “We feel it necessary to advise you to seek other options for your children’s education.”

Some 200 Afghan and expatriate families had children enrolled at the English-language school, which opened a decade ago with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development at a time of growing international presence in the country.

Several parents said that after the attack in Peshawar, the school was open on and off until it closed for its winter break. It hasn’t re-opened since, and now parents are searching for alternatives.

A Pakistani army soldier stands guard outside the Army Public School, which was attacked by militants in Peshawar in December. ENLARGE
A Pakistani army soldier stands guard outside the Army Public School, which was attacked by militants in Peshawar in December. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
The school’s closure “is a setback for the country and for families who wanted a better education for their children,” said a man whose daughter was at the school.

He said he was saddened, but not surprised, with the decision. “Security in the region has changed,” he said. “If a school in Afghanistan gets attacked, there can be excuses. For instance: The school is linked to foreigners.”

In Peshawar, police have registered complaints against some school principals for allegedly failing to comply fully with the country’s new security requirements, a senior Pakistani police official said Tuesday.

“Our aim is not to embarrass them or arrest them, but to put pressure on them to improve security at their schools,” said Mian Saeed, the Peshawar police head of operations. Mr. Saeed said almost all of the 48 schools involved are privately owned. He didn’t identify any of the schools or principals.

At the Peshawar Public School and College, administrators who have made physical security enhancements are also seeking to add a layer of protection from another source: prayer.

“Allah is the ultimate protector,” said Mohammad Tayyab, the school’s principal. “We have identified certain verses of the Quran that we will ask the students to memorize. They will also be on laminated prayer cards that the students can keep in their pocket.”

Write to Margherita Stancati at margherita.stancati@wsj.com