by baldilocks

The little guys have to follow the rules; the Big Guys and Girls, not so much.

The Army is booting out a 13-year public affairs sergeant for including in an unclassified government email the same information about a special operations unit and Osama bin Laden found on Army.mil web pages.

The irony in the narrative of Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch is that his motive was to keep classified material away from public view.

His disclosure in a private Army email is also the same information as told by his commander in chief, Barack Obama, in May 2011 when the president visited Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to personally thank the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), or “Night Stalkers,” for its critical role in killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

And, the transgression of Sgt. Branch, 34, is, on its face, far less serious than that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who faced no punishment for keeping classified data on her personal unsecured server.

(Emphasis mine; commas added.)

Free Beacon:

The sergeant needs a jar of this.

The incident occurred in February 2014, when Branch, then a public affairs officer for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), reviewed a proposed article by Boeing for the company’s internal news service[.]

The article discussed SOAR personnel visiting a Boeing unit in Mesa, Arizona, and revealed the regiment’s role in transporting Navy SEAL Team 6 to Pakistan for the 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Branch reportedly recognized that the Pentagon had never officially acknowledged SOAR’s role in the bin Laden operation and emailed his superior saying Boeing should delete the sentence.

Branch also wrote the sentence in an official .mil email.

Because Branch forwarded the sentence, which contained sensitive information, in an unclassified email, an investigation was launched and he was ordered home.

A superior officer had seen the email and notified Army intelligence. About two months later, Branch agreed to a nonjudicial punishment known as an Article 15 hearing, during which he received an oral reprimand and thought the matter was done.

The Army transferred Branch to South Korea. But then the service in 2015, pressured by budget cuts, sought to reduce personnel and identified blemished soldiers through the Quantitative Management Program. Branch was identified as a blemished soldier because his Article 15 resulted in a one-time poor performance evaluation, and the investigation was relaunched.

Branch received high marks on all prior and subsequent performance reviews, according to the [Washington]Times.

This sort of travesty furthers my suspicions that a vast Coconut Treatment—a hollowing out of all seemingly reliable institutions—is nearing its conclusion. By the way, if the Army forces Sgt. Branch out, he will probably receive a discharge that is other than honorable. This will make it very difficult for him to find employment and he won’t be able to receive any VA benefits which would have, otherwise, been his due.

I’m hoping that there’s something more to this story, but I’ll bet that there isn’t. And if I were this guy, I’d do what he’s doing—making it public—and then get out anyway.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

If you asked Republicans the most important reason they voted for Donald Trump, a significant number would answer the U.S. Supreme Court.

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch is more important that Obamacare, the wall or anything else. It is conceivable that Trump may appoint at least two other justices during his tenure as Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy are both in their 80s.

The Democrats have demonstrated their intolerance for an excellent candidate for the court by a threat to filibuster the nomination after making some of the most inane statements against Gorsuch’s record.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the ideologue who took over from California ideologue Barbara Boxer, tweeted, “Judge Gorsuch has consistently valued legalisms over real lives. I won’t support his nomination.” That’s right! “Legalisms”–otherwise known as the law–should be set aside to “real lives.”

Arguably the dumbest question ever asked during a Supreme Court nomination hearing came from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota as she “probed” Gorsuch’s attitude toward originalism.

The question: “So when the Constitution refers, like, 30-some times to ‘his’ or ‘he’ when describing the president of the United States, you would see that as, well back then, they thought a woman actually could be president of the United States even though women couldn’t vote?”

The answer: “I’m not looking to take us back to quill pens and horses … Of course, women can be president of the United States. I’m the father of two daughters. And I hope one of them turns out to be president.”

But the other senator from up north, former comedian Al Franken, who has become a favorite of the Washington elite, got cited for two of the top five dumb questions at the same hearing. See http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/five-dumbest-questions-to-gorsuch.php

In the tortured logic of the left, Gorsuch, who most say is imminently qualified to serve on the court, must not be confirmed because the Republicans did not consider President Obama’s late-term nominee. As Newsweek puts it: “Gorsuch, unfortunately, must be sacrificed on the altar of obscene partisanship erected by the Republicans in recent years.”

As a result of this logic, Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuckie” Schumer has threatened a filibuster.

Bring it on! That would force Republicans to disown the niceties of the Senate and would make it easier for future Trump nominees to the court get confirmed. It’s time for the GOP to recognize that it can be its own worst enemy. Republicans would control every branch of the federal government, making it possible to return the country to some sense of sanity.

The Wall Street Journal has provided an excellent analysis on how good Gorsuch would be and how pathetic his critics are: https://www.wsj.com/articles/neil-gorsuch-how-would-you-vote-1490052137

Let’s not muck this one up!


Christopher Harper teaches media law.

Are Russian hackers an actual threat to democracy? Or are US intelligence agencies with “deep state” factions opposed to the government the bigger threat? And what do the Vault 7 revelations along with others coming out since the change of administration tell us about the Democrats’ constant finger pointing and fear mongering?

When the Intelligence Community is Weaponized by the Political Powers that Be

Is it unreasonable to think that intelligence agencies that were capturing all metadata on emails and phone calls wouldn’t spy on a political rival they thought was a threat to their legacy?

It is alleged that the Obama administration used spy agencies to monitor and occasionally go after reporters, in addition to using the Espionage Act more than any prior administration. The Obama Administration hacked reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer because she was investigating Benghazi. In 2013, the Obama Administration spied on the Associated Press. The FBI labeled one journalist, James Rosen, an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for reporting on matters and, according to a 2016 New York Times article, issued subpoenas to force reporters to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.

And they didn’t just use intelligence agencies to monitor the press. They were also used to spy on Angela Merkel, the head of Germany, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and several dozen other heads of nations. Nor did Obama limit his spying to our allies. The NSA spied on Congress during the negotiations on the Iran Nuclear Deal.

The Political Left’s Own Laxness with National Security

The Office of Personnel Management was copied in its entirety (and all subsequent updates) and sent via an “internet superhighway” to China because they didn’t bother to vet IT security contractors for foreign intelligence connections. This provided the Chinese with detailed personnel files of everyone with a security clearance from military contractors to government officials.

In February 2017, three Pakistani brothers were discovered to have compromised the computers of several House committee members. They were working as IT employees of the DNC and gained access to the computers of members of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. They funneled the data to external servers while taking money from nations like sources in Iraq.

And that’s aside from Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State having an unmonitored, unprotected email server in her home in violation of all IT security and classified data handling regulations, which was likely hacked by half a dozen nations. For example, such servers are supposed to be in a classified space, supported by people with appropriate clearance, and have documented backups to protect the information from loss in case of a hard drive failure.

Conclusion

The transformation of U.S. intelligence agencies into a surveillance state is concerning. While Russian hackers are an actual threat, the democrat party’s constant breach of privacy over the last few years was also a threat to democracy. And a sizable shadow government, a literal fifth column, sitting in the intelligence agencies already used to violating the law and using the information they have to attack critics actively working to undermine the sitting President is the greatest threat to our democracy we have faced in generations.

Col Klink:   No it’s not possible, General Mulendorf
Gestapo Captain Borman: With his arm around your shoulders.  
Col Klink: Yes we were friends
Gestapo Captain Borman: Close Friends, and very possibly associated in za plot to assassinate the Führer
Col Klink: I hardly knew the man, went to school together ten years, saw each other every day but what’s that?
Gestapo Captain Borman: You were also best man at his wedding
Col Klink:  Oh, Well I had nothing else to do that afternoon.

Hogan’s Heroes: The Big Picture 1970

In yesterday’s post on the Montreal Anti-Semitic Imam story I pointed out that the press in their writing seemed to miss that the outrage of the Muslim Community to invited guest Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr didn’t materialize until after the rest of the world saw the translation of his words in English months after he was invited, spoke and the words put online in arabic. Today’s piece touches on a more subtle but even more telling bit from the story is this quote from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, presumably someone who knows a thing or two about his religion on the verse sited by the Jordanian Sheikh as reported by the CBC.

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

Now if your goal is to minimize the role of Islam as understood by Muslims you would do what the CBC did and move directly on, but if you were a reporter interesting is finding the truth, then Imam’s Asali’s quote leads to a rather obvious question:

Is the Hadith and the quote within it considered “Authentic” by Muslims?

Well to answer the question one would need to know what a Hadith is, which one this is and where it came from.

The encyclopedia Britannica defines a Hadith as:

Hadith, Arabic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), also spelled Hadīt , record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam. It might be defined as the biography of Muhammad perpetuated by the long memory of his community for their exemplification and obedience. The development of Hadith is a vital element during the first three centuries of Islamic history, and its study provides a broad index to the mind and ethos of Islam.

 

Hmmmm it would seem to me then that being a “major source of religious law and moral guidance” and “second only to the authority of the Qurʾān,” a Hadith is not something to be taken lightly and dismissed in the cavalier fashion. One would think Imam Asali would know this.

But even if this is true about Hadith’s in general, the question still remains, is this Hadith a valid one?

The Hadith in question is titled: The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values which in addition to the offending quote has gems such as:

وعنه رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏يتبع الدجال من يهود أصبهان سبعون ألفا عليهم الطيالسة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

or in English

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Dajjal (the Antichrist) will be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan and will be dressed in robes of green coloured satin.”

So the question now on the floor would be: Is The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values an authentic book from a credible source?

Well a quick net search answers that question. It comes from a fellow by the name of Imam Al Nawawi. Here is some background:

Al-Imām Muhy al-Dīn Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī, born in the village of Nawa on the Horan Plain of southern Syria in 631 H. He was the imām of the later Shāfiʿī School, the scholar of his time in knowledge, piety, and abstinence, a hadīth master (hāfiẓ), biographer, lexicologist, and Sufi.

So this is a guy who was an early Islamic scholar but we need more than that.  What kind of guy is he, is he a well known scholar credible scholar of Islam?:

His Character

The scholars, elite of his society, and the public greatly respected Imam Nawawi on account of his piety, learning, and excellent character. He dressed and ate simply and humbly. Devout scholars do not care about attaining worldly possessions, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the dissemination and propagation of faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious life styles. He was God-fearing who had high ambitions and aims in the dissemination and propagation of faith.

His Works and Death

Imam Nawawi had a very short life (44 years) but even during this short period, he wrote a large number of books on various subjects. Nearly every work is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from these works.

Some of the prestigious works of Imam Nawawi, apart from the compilation of the “40 Hadith” (al-Arbaʿīn) include:

Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (Al-Minhāj fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)
Sharḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd
Mukhtaṣar Al-Tirmidhī
Kitāb al-Rawḍah
Kitāb al-Adhkār
Al-Taqrīb fī ʿIlm al-Ḥadīth wa al-Irshād fīhi
Al-Tibyān
Bustān al-ʿĀrifīn
After spending 28 years in scholarly pursuits away from home, Imam Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival in Nawā, he fell ill and died. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah bless him.

Emphasis mine.  That seems like a guy whose work is credible, but are they still sought after today?  Here is Kitaabun.com a site that sells Islamic books and items offering his works

The famous 5th Century Hijri, Ahadith compilation by Imam Al-Nawawi, The ahadith are predominantly from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (Other ahadith are from the reliable Books such as Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Muwatta Imam Malik),
Considered by Many as the Most Important Book after the Qur’an Simply because it is a Summary of authentic Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).

1900 Ahadith compiled over 372 Chapters and 19 Sections which can be generalised as follows:
The Book of Good Manners – The Book about the Etiquette of Eating – The Book of Dress -The Book of the Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying and Sitting, etc.- The book of Greetings – The Book of Visiting the Sick – The Book of Etiquette of Traveling – The Book of Virtues – The Book of I’tikaf – The Book of Hajj – The Book of Jihad – The Book of Knowledge – The Book of Praise and Gratitude to Allah – The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger (phuh) – The Book of the Remembrance of Allah – The Book of Du’a (Supplications) – The Book of the Prohibited Actions – The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values – The Book of Forgiveness

About Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277)

Imam Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi was Born in the village of Nawa in Southern Syria, Imam Nawawi spent most of his life in Damascus where he lived in a simple manner, devoted to Allah, engaging single-mindedly in worship, study, writing and teaching various Islamic sciences. .
Although best known for his works in hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence, and widely acknowledged as the intellectual heir to Imam Shafi’i. He was a renowned scholar and jurist who dedicated his life to the pursuit of Islamic learning.

emphasis mine. You can see a screen shot here it case it mysteriously disappears tomorrow, but if so you can always go to Amazon.com and find not only his books

but scholarly commentaries on them

Now I don’t claim to be an Islamic scholar, but all this tells me that Imam Al Nawawi is a significant scholar in the History of Islam and that his Hadiths are considered authentic.

So lets get back to his original statement about the Hadith in question from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

The statement is factually true, this is one of more that 100,000 Hadith, there are many books of them and some of those books are considered authentic and some are not.

However the Books of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values isn’t just one of many books. It’s a historically significant book written by reputable and respected early scholar of Islam that is without a doubt considered authentic by Muslims to this day.

Now it’s of course theoretically  possible that all of these facts that I was able to discover in an hour or two on the net about Imam Al Nawawi and his place in Islamic Scholarship, and the Hadith The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant Values are completely unknown to Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, but I suspect not. I suspect instead that he rightly assumed that the CBC had no interest in clarifying this question, and he was right.

Alas for Iman Asali, I don’t work for the CBC.


If you think this and all we do is worthwhile and would like to help us pay our writers and make our annual goal Consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Hello, slippery slope.  It didn’t take long for you to appear.

I’ve always noted that once the green light was given by the 5th Circuit to remove the New Orleans monuments that the slippery slope of further changes would break open. And so it has.

Read the list of names that activist group Take ‘Em Down NOLA wants changed because they celebrate white supremacy.

One is Touro Hospital.

Touro Hospital is named for Judah Touro, who was the son of Jewish immigrants and was born in Rhode Island. Touro fought in the Battle of 1812 and later worked in shipping, trade, and real estate. He lived a simple life and donated a lot of money across the country. In New Orleans one of his charitable works was to establish what would become Touro Hospital – the largest charity hospital in Louisiana.

But that’s racist, so it must go.

Tulane University must apparently change its name as well.

Why?  Because founder Paul Tulane donated large sums of money to the Confederate States of America.

Never mind that he gave large charitable donations to charities throughout New Orleans and that he worked to raise the quality of higher education in the city.

Most of the things on this list are absurd and I’d venture to say that 99.9% of the people in New Orleans don’t have one idea who Judah Touro was or who Lane Street is named for.  In fact, maybe we should quit calling the place in the road where one drives a “lane” – perhaps that too is racist.

There is still hope that some of this madness will end.  Two upcoming bills in the Louisiana Legislature may still protect these monuments and legacy names; similar bills have been successful in nearby states.

Even more bizarre is the fact that Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is the brainchild of this removal project, has no idea what will replace the monuments that come down nor how any new monument or art would be paid for:

This is perplexing because in every other instance when anyone wants to tear down a historic site or building, the proposed destroyer must have a plan in place for what will be replacing the historic site and why it is justifiable. A year a and a half later, the City Council has not called a meeting to discuss future artwork options.  None of the organizations—Historic District Landmarks Commission and Human Relations Commission—that rubber stamped Landrieu’s cause have called such a meeting. Nothing is planned.  No public discussions held.  No artists commissioned.  No money for new monuments mentioned.  Mitch is the man without a plan.

I’m sure Take’Em Down NOLA has some ideas but, well, there’s that slippery slope again.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

To those who like to argue that Islam is a religion of piece and those who wish to support terror and or kill Jews simply because they are Jews, this story out of Canada reported by CBC news:

Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint

Larger Muslim community wants apology from mosque and wonders why controversial imam was invited to preach

and at the Daily Mail

Outrage as Jordanian imam ‘recites anti-Semitic religious verse calling for Jewish people to be killed’ during sermon at Montreal mosque

  • A Jewish advocacy group filed a complaint Monday in Montreal, Canada
  • Spoke out against a sermon given by Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr
  • Jordanian cleric is believed to have been invited as a guest to the mosque
  • Quoted a verse that says: ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’
  • The larger Muslim community has condemned the use of the verse and urged the mosque to apologize 

But in the rush to congratulate the larger Canadian Muslim community on demonstrating their outrage and tolerance themselves on showing how tolerant the media reporting this story are missing two important points. Today let’s deal with the first one:

Where was the outrage of Muslims WHEN IT HAPPENED?

The CBC story states

The sermon took place at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city’s Saint-Michel neighbourhood on Dec. 23, 2016.

That means this imam spoke three months ago to a crowd of listeners at a Mosque in Canada. If you look at the listeners in the video, did you see people objecting? Did you see people complaining, did you see anyone raising a hand in dissent or even looking uncomfortable? Did any of them run to the Newspapers or even send them a letter saying how outraged they were over the event?

Nope.

Furthermore note what follows

The video was posted to the mosque’s YouTube channel three days later.

So since December 26th this video has been out there in plain sight (at least until this report, I wasn’t able to find it myself) and for some reason neither the folks at the Mosque nor any other Canadian Muslim who happened to watch the video during that time was all that outraged, Nor did any of the Muslims who viewed it, even if they might have agreed with it, think to say to the folks at the Mosque in question: “You know you might want to take that down as it doesn’t reflect well on us.”

Why, I submit and suggest because Canada’s Muslim community didn’t have a problem with it until it became known to non-Muslims and was plastered all over the web so every non-Muslim out there could see Islam preached as it is, by an Imam who knows his faith to an audience of believers completely unfazed by what they are hearing.

That’s when suddenly Muslims in Canada not only made it a point to condemn it to the press, but according to the Daily Mail calling themselves victims:

Another imam, Ziad Asali, firmly condemned the use of the verse.
‘I do not understand how this person was invited to come and give a sermon and spread this hatred in Montreal against any community,’ he told CBC.
‘To use the themes of the Prophet to spread hatred is actually something that is disrespectful towards the Prophet himself.’
Asali also spoke out against any mosque spreading extremist messages.
‘These people, not only do they show hatred towards non-Muslims, they even show hatred to us Muslims,’ he added

Yup, nothing shows hatred to Muslims like the quoting a Hadith of Islam by an Imam of Islam to a group of Muslims.

That the CBC didn’t find this nasty bit of weaseling, worth questioning says something, both about Muslims in Canada and the press that enables them, but there is something worse, but that comes tomorrow.

Closing thought: Canada has no first amendment and considers such speech unlawful so while I consider such laws unjust they had better damn well apply them equally to those who profess Islam as to those who profess Christianity in its many forms.

But if it was up to me as a big first amendment guy if this Imam wants to quote stuff like this and people want to hear him I say it let him because of the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion demand it. And By the same token people like me must be free to not only expose him these words, but be free to publicly critique and rebuke him, all those who follow him for expressing such things free to condemn his religion as false and wrong. He has the right to offend, we have the right to express our offense and offend him right back.

The easiest way to find who you are enslaved to is to discover who you are not allowed to offend by penalty of law.
******************

If you like the idea of the new media asking the questions people like the CBC won’t and would like to help us pay our writers and make our annual goal Consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

One of the strategies Speaker Paul Ryan used in attempting to sell the American Health Care Act was to include defunding Planned Parenthood as part of the deal. It was a good attempt to sugarcoat “Obamacarelite” with some conservative honey for positive press and leverage against right-wing opposition to the bill, but it obviously didn’t work. While the dust is settling from their repeal and replace debacle, now is the time to introduce a new standalone bill to get rid of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding once and for all.

It makes strategic sense for both Congress and the White House to make this happen quickly. Fingers are already pointing in every direction. They need a high-profile win and this is just the thing to do it. Defunding Planned Parenthood will reassure conservatives that the Trump and/or Ryan agenda was not derailed by their AHCA loss.

The next big battle they plan on tackling is likely tax reform. That’s going to take time. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not. Drafting it and pushing it through committees would take no time at all. They could have it on President Trump’s desk in April. They can initiate their next moves on tax reform once Planned Parenthood is defunded.

I’m not going to go into a long diatribe of why Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded from a pro-life perspective. Either you’re in favor of it or not and nothing I can say can sway you. However, if you’re in favor of defunding, then you should be in favor of doing it quickly. At over half a billion dollars a year, it’s not a drop in the proverbial bucket. The longer we wait, the more money gets used to kill unborn Americans. This should have been done already, but I can understand the perceived need to attach it to the AHCA for sales and promotional purposes even if I absolutely disagree with the action itself. Ryan’s strategy allowed more babies to be killed. This should have been a Day 1 issue.

As a Federalist, I’m not giving them this advice for political reasons. The AHCA debacles has helped interest in the new party to spike, so I’m not trying to help the GOP clean up their political mess. However, we’re talking about human lives. I’ll happily push politics aside if it means one more child being saved.

Instead of using defunding Planned Parenthood as a negotiating chip, Congress needs to bite the bullet and make it happen right now. It’s quick, easy, and would draw the attention of mainstream media. Considering the obliteration the GOP is currently receiving this news cycle, it behooves them to turn the narrative towards saving the unborn rather than internal bickering.


By John Ruberry

Most of the main characters in Hell on Wheels, my last Netflix binge-watching adventure, were shaped, and scarred, by the American Civil War.

In this BBC 2 television show, Peaky Blinders, set in Birmingham, England beginning in 1919, World War I casts its shadow over the lead characters.

Three seasons have been released so far. The action–and the violence–is centered upon the Anglo-Gypsy Shelby family, led by Thomas “Tommy” Shelby (Cillian Murphy), a decorated Great War tunneller who returns home a new man–and a better suited one to run the family business, Shelby Brothers, Ltd, a bookmaking operation set in the grimy and noisy Small Heath section of Birmingham. But the gang is generally called the Peaky Blinders by members and their enemies. His oldest brother, Arthur (Paul Anderson) is clearly more psychologically damaged from the war than Tommy, but he’s better suited to serve as the enforcer for the family. “I think, Arthur. That’s what I do,” Tommy explains to him. “I think. So that you don’t have to.” Third son John (Joe Cole), another World War I veteran, is also employed in the muscle side of the operation, while Finn, the youngest Shelby, is only 11-years-old when the series begins.

Tommy has a sister, Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle), who is married to communist agitator. But she’s still loyal to the family.

While the Shelby men were fighting in France–the family business was run by Elizabeth “Aunt Polly” Gray (Helen McCrory), a kind of a Rosie the Riveter of the underworld. Tommy quickly takes over from Polly, who serves as his senior advisor. Like Edward G. Robinson’s legendary Rico character in Little Caesar, Tommy becomes a small-time-hood-makes-good-by-being-bad by playing one gang faction against the other, first in Birmingham then in London, while largely ignoring Aunt Polly’s warnings.

When the Peaky Blinders stumble upon a large machine gun shipment in an otherwise routine heist, that gets the attention of Secretary of State for War Winston Churchill (Andy Nyman in the first season, Richard McCabe in the second), who dispatches Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill) from Belfast to find the machine guns. Those guns give Tommy power and respect–and enemies. Not only do Churchill and Campbell want those weapons, but so does the Irish Republican Army.

Campbell sends in an Irish domestic spy, Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis), to work at the neighborhood pub owned by Arthur, appropriately named The Garrison. She quickly becomes its de facto manager.

In season three, which is set in 1924, Tommy, at Churchill’s request, gets involved in another armaments caper, this time with members of the Whites faction who haven’t ascertained that the Communists have won the Russian Civil War. Arthur warns Tommy to stay out of “this Russian business.” It’s too bad the script writers didn’t take their own creation’s advice. As was the case with season four of Sherlock, what follows is a collection of tangled and confusing plot lines. Possibly realizing their mistake, the writers include quite a bit of gratuitous nudity to accompany the Russian adventure, including a bizarre orgy scene which does nothing to advance the storyline.

On the other hand, the Russian diversion is loosely based on a 1924 scandal that brought down Great Britain’s first socialist-led government.

At least two more seasons are coming.

The cinematography of Peaky Blinders is masterful. Imagine Tim Burton creating a remake of The Untouchables television show and setting it in 1920s Birmingham. And this is an ugly Birmingham. J.R.R Tolkien lived in the city before the Great War and his reaction against it was his creation of Mordor for The Lord of the Rings. Just as the Eye of Sauron looked upon that evil realm–the sparks and the ashes of the foundries oversee the Midlands metropolis here. And the industrial roar is always there too.

Blogger in his flat cap

Without getting into spoilers it’s a challenge to bring a description of Jewish gangster Alfie Solomons into this review, but his portrayal by Tom Hardy is too good to overlook.

Oh, the name. Peaky Blinders? There was a Birmingham gang by the same name who gained that moniker because its members supposedly sewed razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps. And in fights the hoodlums went for the eyes.

And finally, the music deserves special mention too. Anachronistic goth rock dominates, the unofficial theme song is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Red Right Hand.” You’ll find selections from PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, and the White Stripes too.

And Johnny Cash sings “Danny Boy.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

If the party wants me and people like me they’ll have to earn me. When the GOP can convince me that they are serious about growing the party, when they convince me they are serious about treating the tea party et/al as valued members as opposed to a source of temp labor and occasional funds. I’ll be happy to return to the Republican Party in as public a fashion as I’ve just left it.

DaTechGuy Feb 2 2013

Four years ago I quit the GOP because I was offended by what I saw covering the vote for state party chair. Friday’s Obamacare debacle confirmed that my decision was the right one.

 

Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember;

The Screwtape Letters Number 23

The GOP House leadership are a bunch of cowards.

When Obamacare passed they railed against it.  When the 2010 elections came by they campaigned against it and were rewarded with control of the house and the repeal bill began to pass.  When the GOP took over the Senate in 2014 the repeal bills continued.  Over and over first under Boehner and then under Ryan the House leadership bravely passed repeal bills that they knew would never become law.

And then Donald Trump was elected.  And suddenly the repeal bills that were good enough to pass, were suddenly not.

They remind me of the professional protestors of the left or the illegal alien advocates.  As long as they were confronting police in cities that wouldn’t harm them or prosecute them they were lions, but once they found themselves in a situation where they would be prosecuted like Trump inaugural, or arrested by ICE they cried for mother.

Rep Joe Barton explained it perfectly

Prior to the vote being canceled, Rep. Joe Barton, a member of the Freedom Caucus who would have supported the legislation, said its failure would be a “huge black eye” for Republicans. Afterward, he attempted to explain the outcome. 

“Sometimes you’re playing fantasy football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” Barton said. He elaborated that House Republicans knew, with each past repeal vote, that Obama would have vetoed it. “This time, we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”

And so when it came time to govern and lead, the House leadership ran away like the cowards they were.  They deserve to face primaries and be replaced.

if he [General Bragg] could not win in just the way he wanted, he did not care about winning at all, or anyhow he wanted no personal share in such a victory

Shelby Foote The Civil War A Narrative Fredericksburg to Meridian p 744

And while were at it, lets primary the fools of the Freedom Caucus.

The freedom caucus had a chance to defund Obama, albeit in an imperfect vehicle, and not only that, they had a bill that addressed other key conservative priorities.  It provided room for tax cuts that could stimulate the economy, and even more importantly would have defunded planned parenthood meaning that Democrats wanting to re-fund them would have needed to repass such legislation.  Furthermore they knew their fellow house GOP members for the cowards they were, they knew they didn’t have the guts to bring up the old bill, yet knowing this they were too proud and too stupid to take the run scoring single to begin the drive and instead swung for the fences and struck out.

But that’s not the only thing they knew, they also knew that Donald Trump is  a  late convert to conservatism just as Saul of Tarsus was a late convert to Christianity,  And just as that selfsame saint didn’t waste his time with people who won’t listen.

On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles

Acts 13:44-46

The GOP caucus supposedly filled with Christians who know their scripture should have recognized that this president, if he can’t make a deal with his own caucus would, like Paul, be happy to make one with someone else.

“As you know, I’ve been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a deal with the Democrats and have one unified deal. And they will come to us, we won’t have to come to them.”

If the Freedom caucus didn’t like this version of Obamacare repeal how much less will they love a deal made with Democrats that will almost certainly continue funding for planned parenthood.

Now if these guys had been serious and smart there was a simple way this could be handed to satisfy everyone.  Last year’s Restoring Americans’  Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act should have been reintroduced, and voted on in the house and if it failed and we have every reason to believe it would fail because if the establishment cowards of the house didn’t reject it, the squishes in the senate like Collins, Murkowski et/all would have killed it there presuming of course that the parliamentarian of the Senate didn’t save them the trouble by allowing Senate Democrats to filibuster.  Once that failed then Ryan could have offered his half a loaf as the best shot to get things done.

But because the House GOP (and likely the senate) were too cowardly to support the old repeal bill, and the Freedom caucus was too stupid to accept half a loaf the American People in general and GOP votes in particular are stuck with Obamacare for at least another year, but we’re also stuck with Planned Parenthood funding continued and believe me rabid pro-lifers like myself will not forget that the GOP left that prize slip through our fingers.  To paraphrase Charlton Heston from the classic movie El Cid

Sire, you risk having no GOP majority at all

I say primary the lot of them, I’m sure we can find 218 other republicans who aren’t cowards or fools willing to govern.  I’ll give the last word to Charlton Heston from El Cid:


If you think this and all we do is worthwhile and would like to help us pay our writers and make our annual goal Consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to

by baldilocks

An old, clueless congresswoman speaks for the millennials now? Very appropriate.

Various publications have been revving up coverage of Waters as a millennial icon after the congresswoman abruptly left a confidential meeting with FBI Director James Comey, claiming he did not have any credibility.

In late January, Elle magazine published an article titled, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters Will Read You Now.” The article talks about Waters’ impressive “shade”–meaning the ability to underhandedly insult people–calling her “this week’s Shade Bae.”

“I’m tempted to elect Congresswoman Waters as this week’s Shade Bae, but shade is subtle. Waters doesn’t have time for subtlety. Waters knows that desperate times call for shadier measures. She is reading this town for filth,” Elle says.

Waters has said she identifies with millennials, even saying that she was once a millennial, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“I was a millennial once. No longer of course, but I love what you’re doing,” she said, before telling millennials to “stay woke.”

“I was a millennial once.”  How many non sequiturs can one person fit into such a short sentence? And no one over 18 should use the term “woke” unless ridicule is involved.

Every time I’ve read a comment section after a conservative site features Waters’ words, a singular question recurs:

“How does she keep getting elected?”

To be blunt, that question is almost as stupid as Waters’ assertion. Anyone who asks it presumes that Waters’ constituents want the same things from her that other constituents want from their congresscritters. False.

Representing means something different to Ms. Waters’ constituents than it does to you.

For many years, I lived in Ms. Waters’ district. The 2014 Election was the last one that occurred during the time when I lived there and there was no Republican on the ballot. Additionally, Ms. Waters’ husband walks the neighborhoods and makes sure that Democrats Get Out The Vote.

So, even though she blabs the Democrats secrets and secret wishes, like “socializing” the oil companies, Obama’s “powerful” database on everyone, and the weeks-ago outing of the Obama Administration’s surveillance on the pre-inauguration Trump team, and even though she, apparently, has no concept of generational labelling, she’ll keep getting elected. But, guess what! This is a good thing for conservatives.

Since she seems incapable of discretion, I think we should pay a great deal of attention to everything she says. It’s a good way of finding out what her party is planning.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!