Missy: …Now, if the Doctor assumes he’s going to die, what happens then?
Clara:   We do.
Missy: He’s trapped at the heart of the Dalek empire. He’s a prisoner of the creatures who hate him most in the universe. Between us and him is everything the deadliest race in all of history can throw at us. We, on the other hand, have a pointy stick. How do we start?
Clara: We assume we’re going to win.

Doctor Who  The Witch’s familiar 2015

[said to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev] This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Barack Obama March 27th 2012

Nature abhors a vacuum and with the US withdrawing from the world other are starting to assert themselves.  We saw an example of it over the last 30 days.

Back at the beginning of Sept the Russians started deploying forces to Syria

Russia has begun to deploy an air force contingent to Syria in order to undertake air attacks against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other Islamic groups battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Israeli news site, Ynet.

Citing western diplomatic sources, Ynet reported Tuesday that an advance Russian party has already arrived in Syria and will be followed in the coming weeks by thousands of military personnel, including members of an “aerial protection division.” This presumably is a force to protect the air contingent, which is to include fighter jets and attack helicopters, from ground attack. The Russians will reportedly be making use of an existing Syrian air force base in the Damascus area.

A week ago CNN was talking about it:

Russia may be preparing to station troops at two new sites in Syria as it continues its rapid military buildup in the conflict-ravaged nation, a research firm says.

IHS Jane’s said Tuesday that it had spotted two previously unreported sites in satellite imagery of western Syria where steps appear to be being taken to receive Russian forces.

And lo and behold just hours after Barack Obama met Putin and later said this:

defeating ISIL requires — I believe — a new leader and an inclusive government that unites the Syrian people in the fight against terrorist groups.  This is going to be a complex process.  And as I’ve said before, we are prepared to work with all countries, including Russia and Iran, to find a political mechanism in which it is possible to begin a transition process.

Russia said this

Russia has demanded that American warplanes exit Syrian airspace immediately, a US official told Fox News on Wednesday.  

The official said that Russian diplomats sent an official message to the US ordering American planes out of Syria, adding that Russian fighter jets were now flying over Syrian territory, according to the report. 

US military sources told the news outlet that US planes would not comply with the Russian demand.

And did this:

While Moscow’s stated purpose in Syria is to fight Islamic State militants, Russian warplanes and helicopter gunships dropped bombs north of the central city of Homs, in an area held by rebel groups opposed to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, a Russian ally. The attacks were unleashed hours after Mr. Putin pushed a measure through the upper house of Russia’s rubber stamp Parliament authorizing the use of force abroad.

John Kerry said this:

If Russia’s recent actions represent a genuine commitment to defeating Isil then we welcome those, and will find a way to multiply it.

But we must not and will not confuse in our fight against Isil with support for Assad.

He then says it depends where Russia has hit – and that if they have hit anti-Assad positions, it would send a bad sign.

Strikes of that kind would question Russia’s real intentions: fighing [sic] Isil, or supporting the Assad regime.

But the funniest thing I read was this line from an excellent piece at the telegraph

All of the targets were non-Isil rebel groups, including those supported by the Western powers. The SU-24s were in action not in Isil’s stronghold in eastern Syria or against Raqqa – the movement’s de facto capital – but in areas where Assad’s forces have been under severe pressure from the insurgents.

The suspicion immediately arose that saving Assad – not destroying Isil – was Russia’s main objective.

Furthermore on The Lead one of the worries was that by giving only one hour notice the Russians were acting “unprofessional”.

Really!

I think the Russians are acting very professional, they have a professional army and they are using it to support their allies.

Now I know that to this White House a country using their military might to actually support their interests and their allies is a concept completely foreign but in the real non obama world that’s how things work.

The reality is a person with a pointy stick with the will to use it is more powerful than a person with an army without the will to use it.

Unexpectedly!

 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 2014 Annual Report to Congress reveals that the Obama administration has granted asylum or residency to 1,519 foreigners with terrorist ties. Out of the 1,519, 825 were regarded as follows:

 627 provided material support, while under duress, to Tier III terrorist organizations,

 189 provided material support, while under duress, to Tier I and Tier II organizations,

 9 were processed for an applicant’s receipt of military-type training, while under duress, from Tier I, Tier II and Tier III organizations.

Paul Mirengoff asks,

Why did the administration allow 1,519 people tied to terrorism to remain in the U.S. with all the rights and benefits enjoyed by legal residents? It did so because Obama’s DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, determined that the individuals in question participated in pro-terrorist activities “while under duress.”But how can Johnson be sure of this?

Johnson can’t.

Additionally, Chuck Ross explains,

Designated terrorist groups are the most dangerous. They are classified as Tier I and Tier II organizations and include groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Judicial Watch, who obtained the report, points out that effective February 2014 the Obama administration granted discretionary power to the Dept. of Homeland Security (emphasis added),

This effort was officially launched last year when the administration quietly changed the Immigration and Nationality Act (INS), implemented decades ago to govern immigration and citizenship in the United States. The law includes a ban on admitting refugees and asylum seekers who may have provided terrorists with any sort of material support, even the kind that may be considered trivial by some. In other words, the federal law rightfully had a zero tolerance for any kind of involvement with terrorist elements. But a joint effort by DHS and the State Department created an “Exercise of Authority” that allows “an alien who provided limited material support” to a terrorist organization to stay in the U.S. if the powers that be in our government believe they pose no threat.

What could possibly go wrong?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin American news, politics and culture at Fausta’a blog.

Look I am not saying anything at all negative about Ted Williams.  The further we go into the analysis of the batting statistics, the closer we come to being forced to accept the conclusion that Williams, not Babe Ruth, was the greatest hitter who ever lived.  I think he was the second greatest left fielder who ever lived.  That’s not criticism.

Bill James:  The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 1985

Twenty Nine years ago I started dating my wife.

I had known her back in high school and college but never made a move.  She considered me a geek & a dork (in fairness that was an accurate assessment) but a series of circumstances connected to the illness that would eventually kill my father led us together.

By the time Christmas rolled around it was obvious to both me and my friends that I intended to propose and one day a pair of my friends got into a conversation with me about the subject.  I said it was too early in the relationship to go there figuring I’d wait till my Birthday in May.

Oddly enough rather than argue with me, they, Jamie & Dave ended up arguing on the subject with each other and the argument turned into a bet over if I would propose by my birthday.  Jamie saying no I’d hold off and Dave saying there wasn’t a prayer I would.

At the time Jamie was 16 but I had known my friend Dave since we were 10 years old. There was always one thing about Dave that always drove me nuts.  He always just a little bit better at me in everything from his grades to sports to gaming etc.  Furthermore he had a reputation for reading people and being right in a way that was slightly irritating.

I knew that Dave was right, I wanted to propose, I wanted to do so bad, but when I heard him I also said to myself: “Cripes Dave’s always right about everything I’m damned if I was going to let him be right about this.

So I held off determined to hold off proposing till after my birthday until a slip of the tongue three-months early at a business with her: “Is this your wife?”  “Not yet” caused me to explain the bet to the lady and “hypothetically” ask what her reaction would be to a proposal thus keeping my resolution.

In a way my thinking on Election 2016 has been similar.

At one point there were 17 GOP candidates running for president and of those 17 candidates there were four candidates  whose nomination would have really excited me.  If any one of the four came out of the primaries, I’d be on cloud nine.

Of those four there is a particular candidate that in my opinion would be the best choice for the GOP.  I have been absolutely delighted with from day one.  This candidate that I’ve been so happy with that I’ve had the urge to just spontaneously endorse several times over the last several months

But I decided I just couldn’t do it yet. I wanted to wait until at least the first debate, I wanted to give the other three candidates that I really like a chance to impress me as much as this person has.

Furthermore several other candidates were running while not one of those four, are impressive or have impressed me either by their records, by advancing particular issues that I think are vital, or by their personal character.  I felt I should wait and see, will any of these candidates impress me enough to change my mind?

So I waited.  I watched the  debate (Which I think Donald Trump won with Fiorina winning the Undercard) and I watched the 2nd debate (Which I think Rand Paul won, with Graham taking the undercard) I watched the various campaigns, I saw how they dealt with media, with each other and with adversity.   I saw Rick Perry, a very competent GOP governor leave the race and I saw Scott Walker, another competent governor and one of the four candidates I was excited about follow him out, narrowing my favorite list to three.

Then I was thinking I’d better hold off, there are several key republicans coming to New Hampshire and if I endorse one candidate it might complicate things when I interview others.  I told myself, as I did all those years ago I was going to hold off.

Well, the situation has changed.

It’s a few weeks to the next GOP debate and CNBC, the host is apparently making two key decisions: #1  There will be no undercard debate and #2  There will not be 10 candidates in the debate meaning that they will exclude candidates based on a criteria that is currently unknown.

Now I disagree with this, after all the only reason why Carly Fiorina is a top tier candidate is because #1  There was an undercard debate & #2  she was promoted to the stage & given a chance to speak, but this is CNBC’s debate so they get to set the rules.

It’s true that past performance is no guarantee of future results, NBC being NBC I presume that the cut off criteria will be based upon what helps the GOP establishment and by extension the democrat party the most

Given this fact,  it is no longer feasible to wait before picking a candidate out of the field.  It is time to choose.

My choice is Ted Cruz.

Senator Cruz has been fighting the good fight from the very day that he got into the senate.  He has held up a light to an institution that thrives on show votes and phony considerations.  He has done all he can Even as the He has, in my opinion made the right strategic decisions doing his best either win key battles or force democrats to go on the record to support theirs.  He has completely justified the initial endorsement years ago from Sarah Palin that put him on the map and enabled his victory over the establishment GOP choice in Texas.

He has fought against Obamacare

He has fought against the Iran Deal

He has fought against the Planned Parenthood

He has fought against Gay Marriage

He has fought against Amnesty

and he has done so even in the teeth of opposition of his own party and has even called them out when doing so.

He has done so despite being excoriated by the media.  It’s no coincidence that the media rarely, if ever, notes the historic nature or the possibility of him being the first hispanic president.

Now in one respect this endorsement is very hard, I REALLY like Rick Santorum.  Over the years he fought for many of these principles and has stood up valiantly to defend these principles, I would be ecstatic if he was the nominee.  I also like Bobby Jindal, he has been loud and strong for religious liberty, if he were to get the nomination I would be energized and ready for the battle.

Furthermore there are Candidates like Ben Carson who while not part of my “I’m so excited” tier I would have absolutely no problem going all in for.

Like Bill James picking Stan Musial over Ted Williams as the greatest left fielder of all time, my choice is not a critique of either Gov Jindal or Senator Santorum.  If for any reason Senator Cruz leaves the race before either of them I will be honored to give public support to either one of them (and will continue to say good things about them on this site and on twitter).  But the time has come to make a choice

28 years ago with (unknown to me) only a few weeks to live my father hearing of my reason for holding off, told me in no uncertain terms how foolish it was to put off a critical decision for a triviality.  I took his advice and because I did he lived to see me officially engaged when otherwise he would not have.

It’s unlikely that my endorsement will be as critical to Senator Cruz’s campaign as that excellent decision I made three decades earlier was to me, but like that decision it’s a commitment that shouldn’t be delayed any further.

The GOP has 15 remaining candidates, all are better than Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders et/al, among the are some good choices and even some great choices.

In my opinion, the best choice, MY choice for President is Senator Ted Cruz from the state of Texas, and I’d urge you to give him your vote in the GOP primary in your state.

Closing thought:  I’d like to include this speech from Ted Cruz from the floor of the Senate yesterday that was linked by Hotair.com.  this speech is 59 minutes long and yet in 24 hours it has been viewed just under 63,000 times.

Yesterday I wrote about how many people pay no attention to the news, It says something when a Senate Floor Speech of 55:10, a speech that is not being promoted by the media or by the party, draws that many views in 24 hours.

But even more importantly listen to it, because while the number of views tells something about the speech, the content tells everything about the man giving it.

 

****************************************************************************

The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000.

Given that fact and the discovery that the repairs needed for my car that failed inspection will run between $500-$1000 I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.




Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.


Choose a Subscription level



Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

When I saw this story

RUNNING OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Illinois Lottery Can’t Pay Off Big Winners But It Is Still Selling Tickets.

There was an obvious question that immediately hit me, one that I didn’t see address

Why on earth are people still buying tickets?

Seriously why on earth would you be buying lottery tickets if you can’t be guaranteed that the prize will be paid?

Granted this is all a budget issue and presumably once an actual budget is passed the bills will be paid:

Under Illinois law, the state comptroller has to sign checks of more than $25,000. Without a budget, the comptroller has no authority to sign those checks, so the Illinois Lottery doesn’t have the ability to pay off winners.

The lottery is a state agency like many others, and we’re obviously affected by the budget situation,” Illinois Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi told the Chicago Tribune. “Since the legal authority is not there for the comptroller to disburse payments, those payments are delayed.”

People waiting for their checks are not satisfied with that answer.

“You know what’s funny? If we owed the state money, they’d come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head,” Danny Chasten’s girlfriend, Susan Rick, told reporters at a press conference to announce the lawsuit. “Our budget wouldn’t be a factor. You can’t say (to the state), ‘Can you wait until I get my budget under control?’”

But what if this goes on 3 months? Six months? a Year? And if there are a bunch of other bills that also have to get paid who is to say that they will make the lottery winners a priority?

Now I’m sure that there are a few loan companies that might buy those tickets for 80 cents on the dollar (cue the J G Wentworth ads) but is that what you’re really looking for when you are buying lottery tickets?

The clash between political foes is not a surprise, a state spending money it doesn’t have is par for the course, but I think the fact people still buying lottery tickets without a guarantee that they will be paid, that’s news.

The final irony? If you go to the Illinois Lottery web page right now this is what you will see:

lot1

Check out their catch phrase highlighted at the same time that the lottery can’t pay the prizes they are highlighting online:

lot2

Anything’s possible! Even convincing the rubes to buy your tickets even when you can’t pay off the prizes that you are advertising on your site.

There seems to be story after breathless story exposing our favorite Muslim “clockboy” stunt as less than a story about a poor young lad being oppressed than a family of activists trying to create a false meme.

The idea of course that the White House jumped the gun because the story served their meme and that the media was doing the same is not new and we are right to expose this BS for what it is, however we should not be surprised when the President fails to pay any price for it.

You see the reality is that the vast majority of the population still gets their info from “mainstream” sources that are unlikely to bother to give any follow up a prominent position assuming they cover it at all that is, but more importantly an even larger number simply don’t care & get all info 2nd hand.

Until the right figures out that they have to play in the culture the best we can do is spread the word ourselves but we shouldn’t be surprised if the effect on the general public is not what we’d like it to be.

Update: This also illustrates the reason why the MSM has gone all in to defend Planned Parenthood, because they skipped the story Carly Fiorina was able to get it out first, but unlike us who only have social media to change perception the media has the full force of government and media to attempt to do so.

These headlines are a lot of fun (all emphasis mine)

Newsweek: Pope Francis Appears to Defend Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

NBC News: Pope Appears to Back Kim Davis in Gay-Marriage Battle (note they eventually changed the headline, must have been too much for them.

Christian Science Monitor: Did Pope Francis just endorse Kim Davis?

Why the weasel words? Because each of these MSM outlet are loath to think that the man they spent the last week lionizing might actually believe in the faith of his church and even worse might actually disagree with them.

I’ll say this for the Huff post at least they use the Reuters headline which says it bluntly:

The Pope Just Handed Kim Davis A Huge Win

Here is an excerpt from the Newsweek piece:

The pontiff was unequivocal when asked by Terry Moran of ABC News if government officials should be exempt from abiding by laws they find objectionable for religious reasons. “It is a human right, and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right,” the pope said.

While this is not a surprise to me at all, I honestly don’t know who is in more distress over this. The Kim Davis hating media that spent the last week fawning over the Pope or some of the Conservatives who absolutely positively insist the Pope isn’t a real Catholic and has a secret plan to redefine sin completely and hand it over to the devil.

Either way I’m enjoying it, and as I’ve already said, conservatives need to learn the words: The Same Position as Pope Francis and be prepared to repeat them, and do your best not to smile and laugh at the look on their faces while you say it.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Another week, another poll.

In the latest NBC News/WSJ poll, the leaders are Donald Trump followed closely by Ben Carson.  Carly Fiorina has risen significantly since her steely debate performance, and Marco Rubio is holding steady.

At the bottom of the list are Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Jim Gilmore, with Bobby Jindal barely showing a pulse.  As of this writing, none of them have dropped out yet but it’s probably coming.

Rumor has it that Jindal is close to dropping out which would surprise almost nobody.  Rand Paul is likely to join him.

Ted Cruz won the Value Voter Summit this weekend, but as NPR, who has written him off, notes – that endorsement has never landed a GOP candidate a nomination the next year.

Even with Trump still ahead in every poll that I’ve seen, I stand by my assessment last week that he’s faltering.  I simply do not see him staying the course until the end.  Feel free to lob this back at me later if he does.  I simply can’t conceive of a President Trump. Now, that doesn’t mean much; I said the same thing about Obama’s first election, so my record at prediction isn’t all that good.

I am a little surprised at how poorly Ted Cruz is showing; he is truly the most conservative candidate in the race and one who can truly stand on his record.  He has no Gang of Eight baggage to atone for.  In fact, he may even get a boost this week given Boehner’s potshots at him.  Boehner’s RINO record speaks for itself and for him to refer to Ted Cruz as a “jackass” and implying that he is a “false prophet” can only help Cruz.  Boehner is following in the Republican establishment model of eating their young.  It’s no wonder the party is in such a mess.

The next debate is not until October 28 and while the candidates are all in a frenzy over how many will be allowed on stage, it may be a moot point at the rate they are dropping out, or at least predicted to drop.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

With the resignation of John Boehner a lot of pundits are talking about the GOP “crazies” who forced him out and even some members of congress are talking along those lines.

While all that spleen venting must feel good for them it’s a spectacular lesson on the difference between groups who vote for the GOP and groups who vote for Democrats this week.

With the resignation of Boehner the GOP is on notice that there are consequences for attacking the voters and the base. It demonstrates that if one decides to abandon the principles that the voters who elected you hold, there is a cost.

Meanwhile contrast this lesson with the following news out of the Southwest:

The president of the Navajo Nation slammed President Obama and Democrats for deserting the tribe’s 300,000 people after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally polluted a river the tribe depends on, leaving one-third of the reserve’s drinking water unsafe.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye again called on Obama and administration officials to declare the San Juan River a disaster zone.

In August, an EPA accident resulted in 3 million gallons of contaminated water flowing into the Animas River, which runs into the San Juan River. One-third of the Navajo Nation’s people rely on the Animus for water.

Mind you this isn’t a question of some abstract principle or deeply held belief, this is the drinking water of a population, a basic necessity for survival.

“We are asking the Democratic Party to have President Obama declare the river a disaster area — and we haven’t gotten anything. Nothing,” he said. “The Democrats? I don’t know what happened. We basically are Democrats. We always vote Democrat. But it seems like they’ve just walked away. And we’re not hearing anything that’s of value to us from the Democrats.

emphasis mine, you mean to say that you always vote Democrat and the people who you vote for without questioning take you for granted? Who woulda thunk it!

“With Obama, we’ve been asking for him to at least give us a call and tell us you are there to help us and walk with us. But we have heard not a word. It seems like they’ve just closed the doors and walked away,” Begaye said. “We were the swing vote for them for years and they haven’t done a thing.”

Let me offer a suggestion. At the Senate hearings Mr. Begaye said:

We don’t know whom to trust anymore.

Forgetting for a moment that these hearing were launched by a Republican Senate let me simply remind you that since the 60’s the Black community has completely embraced the Democrat party to the point where democrats have no fear of the black vote going GOP.

Ask how well that’s worked out for them.

Update: At the atlantic, via Instapundit my point about the black America & Democrats is made:

For the black voters who saved Barack Obama in 2012, the Great Recession and the slow recovery have been one long continuing catastrophe. Between 2007 and 2009, black homeowners were 70 percent more likely to suffer foreclosure than whites. Higher-earning black families were 80 percent more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts.


and for the kids it was worse

Despite three years of supposed economic recovery, black children were as likely to be poor in 2013 as in 2010—and more likely than at any time since the early 1990s. Almost four out of 10 black children are now growing up in poverty, as against one in nine white children. More than 25 percent of the black poor now live in areas of concentrated poverty, triple the rate for poor white people.

Update 2: Missed a link fixed

****************************************************************************

The only pay I get for this work comes from you. If you think this is of value I ask you to kick in and help me reach my monthly goal $1834 a month or Twenty Two grand a year.

I’d appreciate it if you would hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.


Choose a Subscription level



Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

The taste of your sweet breath
The salt of morning tears
Again I say good-bye to you
Hold on tight
So good to hurt so bad
So sad to ride away renewed
Go on laugh
Go on cry
It’s alright

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something lost about me with you
There’s something blind about the chosen few
There’s something wonderful about love

It’s been an odd week in social media, one in which the conservative side of the aisle poured out its love and money to The Popular Girl™ as compensation for the horror of being widowed at a young age. Next to losing a child, as brutal as it gets. This duly noted, giving a very well-paid political talking head over $400,000 for the college education of a two year old and child not due to be born for another two months gives pause for thought as to whether people engage their brain before thinking with their wallet.

Was I meant to be yours
The will of Christ above
Do you believe true love is blind
‘Cause I don’t know
When I get home come spring
Won’t you be glad to be mine
Just don’t laugh
Please don’t cry
Just say so

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something dark about destiny
There’s something blue about you with me
There’s something wonderful about love

Strange sights abounded this past week. A full-blown liberal in every sense of the world, a staff member of the despised on all fronts both collectively and individually Obama administration, was hailed as walking atop the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each day on his way to work. Said individual, regardless of his personal strengths, would have at best received an “unfortunate” cluck over upon his death were he not married to the aforementioned Popular Girl™. No GoFundMe page, no tribute torrent, no maudlin memorials. None. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to tear each other to shreds over Donald Trump and Pope Francis, who according to some will shortly have an armwrestling contest to see which is indeed the Antichrist.

Sorry to call so late
The planet turned four times
You’re on my mind but you’re nowhere
In my world
Please kiss the little bird
God bless the cozy cage we share
You kill me
You thrill me
You threaten my dreams, girl

Life is unpredictable, simultaneously cool and cruel. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the quality of sympathy is not strained when it comes to Mary Katharine Ham. But neither should it be misplaced, defined as cash donations for one who like so many in conservative new media has become what they profess to oppose, namely a cyberspace recluse living behind corporate media’s castle walls albeit ones with conservative runes carved above the impenetrable self-satiated door.

Do not let the present sorrow obscure reality. The conservative blogosphere was founded on the principal of citizen journalists directly addressing not only fellow citizens with the truth, but also a corrupt mainstream media ensconced in its ivory tower, never so much as acknowledging let alone addressing the public.

That changed when the first third-party paycheck arrived.

It used to be that monetizing blogging consisted of placing a Google Ads link on your site. Now, we have Salem Media owning HotAir and RedState and Townhall and Twitchy, the leading example of a third-party entity taking over what once were blogs and transforming them into corporate media mouthpieces albeit ones with a usually conservative bent.

There are very, very few blogs and bloggers left; genuinely independent voices offering news and analysis. (As a side note, I am honored to write for one on this site.) Instead, we have countless casual format columnists drawing their material from the same mainstream media sources they insist are cesspools of liberal bias, adding nothing except “me too” or “f u.” They excel at making themselves the focus of attention, especially when some real or imaginary slight comes their way. Their call to battle is cry outrage! and let slip the tweets of butthurt. Promoting the conservative agenda is a side issue. The primary focus is self-promotion, moving ever further up the ladder in pursuit of exposure on the selfsame mainstream media they insist they exist as its opposition.

Everyone enjoys an attaboy from others; a retweet or a blog post link. But how many conservative new media high rollers return the favor save for other at or above their exposure level? They excel at asking us to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. But return the favor? Not so much. Say something about this, and you are immediately set upon by a wolfpack of sycophants and wannabes hoping that by doing so they will curry favor with the elite. Excuses made for the select abound: they’re too busy, blah blah blah, how dare you speak to them in that manner. Let them be and quit making a fuss knocking on their ivory tower’s door!

Again, conservative new media has become what it once professed to oppose.

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something liberating death alone brings
There’s something funny about a lot of sad things
There’s something wonderful about love

Love remains; mercy triumphs in the seeming failure of the cross. The bloodstained wood is followed by the empty tomb. Throughout our temporal sorrows and joys, forgiveness and understanding through our shared humanity, led by the Man of Sorrows, should guide our way. But do not be fooled; do not substitute a pity party for sympathy. The poor and the orphan need our help. Others need love, not fulfillment for love of money.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=6aJqf1_kAa4?rel=0&w=450&h=253
Riga's Old City
Riga’s Old City

By John Ruberry

Although there is no love lost between the two groups, contemporary Latvia is result of ethnic Latvians and ethnic Russians living together in the middle Baltic State.

When independence was achieved from the Soviet Union in 1991, only a slight majority of the nation was comprised of ethnic Latvians. Now they make up over a little more than sixty percent of the nation. Russians make up slightly more than one-quarter of the population.

Ethnic Latvians listen consume their media, Russian consume their media. Many young Russians attend Russian language schools. Older Russians for the most part aren’t citizens of Latvia–after independence, most of them did not qualify for citizenship and now they are unable or unwilling to learn Latvian–a requirement to become a citizen of the Republic of Latvia.

Politico reported last week that the two ethnic groups have found something they agree on–they don’t want any Middle Eastern refugees among their birch trees. Last week a rally was held in Riga, the capital, in which protesters who were largely ethnic Latvians proclaimed their opposition to accepting any Middle Eastern refugees.

Russians go home
Graffiti in Riga

Latvia is a member of the European Union and has agreed to accept 531 refugees. Right, that’s not very many. The mayor of Riga, an ethnic Russian who is a member of a party that is widely seen as the voice of other Russians, opposes accepting any asylum seekers from the Middle East. Yes, his party agrees with him.

Opinion polls show that two-thirds of Latvians oppose participating in the EU refugee resettlement plan.

But Latvia’s two largest ethnic blocs finally agree on something.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He has visited Latvia twice. John’s wife was born in Latvia.