One of the things about the MSM is they have professional editors with years of experience in the News Business.  Because of this we are often told that this gives them the edge in promoting newsworthy stories that the public needs to know.

Now I’ll concede that I’m just a poor blogger with a few brilliant writes posting at our site and that our annual tip jar hits don’t’ compare with the expense account of a MSM reporter that sets the news agenda, but it seems to me this story just might be a tad more newsworthy than the attention it is being given:

ISIS Fighters, Having Pledged to Fight or Die, Surrender en Masse

That’s the headline at the NY Times (this and Weinstein this week?  Amazing!) and the body of the story is even more encouraging:

More than a thousand Islamic State fighters passed through that room this past week after they fled their crumbling Iraqi stronghold of Hawija. Instead of the martyrdom they had boasted was their only acceptable fate, they had voluntarily ended up here in the interrogation center of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq.

For an extremist group that has made its reputation on its ferociousness, with fighters who would always choose suicide over surrender, the fall of Hawija has been a notable turning point. The group has suffered a string of humiliating defeats in Iraq and Syria, but the number of its shock troops who turned themselves in to Kurdish officials at the center in Dibis was unusually large, more than 1,000 since last Sunday.

Given the threat of ISIS and the spectacular attacks they had achieved in the past you would think this story would be leading everywhere, particularly since the source is the New York Times from which all other media tends to take a lead.

Let’s take a peek and see.

Here are the top stories at CNN.com as of 12:02 PM sunday when I am writing this

Trump trashes outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker
Sen. Murphy: ‘Willing to move forward’ with GOP on bump stock ban
Tapper to GOP senator: Will you vote against NRA?
Zelizer: Tillerson should quit now
Russian police arrest hundreds in protests on Putin’s birthday
Charlottesville mayor slams white supremacists after another torch rally is held
Senator: Renegotiatiing Iran nuclear deal is a ‘fantasy’
Analysis: Supreme Court rookie takes on the chief
Spain’s PM considers dramatic measure for Catalonia
Marijuana is going mainstream

In fact there is no mention of ISIS at all on cnn’s home page

Hmm you would have thought CNN would have covered this.  How about NBC Here is the latest news there:

GOP Sen. Calls White House ‘an Adult Day Care Center’ After Trump Attack
Dove on Clean-Up Duty After Racially Insensitive Ad
Why Geography Stops Gun Control
White Nationalist Richard Spencer Leads Torch-Carrying Crowd in Charlottesville
Sanctuary Cities: Three States, Three Very Different Approaches
Jason Aldean Pays Tribute to Las Vegas Victims, Sings Tom Petty Song on ‘SNL’ TV
Deadly Ambush in Niger Highlights America’s Growing Mission in Africa

No sign of ISIS in the top story list but there is one two day old ISIS story one the page: Three Men Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack in New York but if you search for ISIS on the page every other result is the word “crISIS” (as in Puerto Rico Crisis).  M

How about ABC? What makes their newsworthy list? at 12:15 PM on Sunday(which gives you an idea of how long this post takes)

Resignations, fallout grow for embattled producer Weinstein
4th US soldier killed in Niger ambush identified
London crash that injured 11 was accident: Police
Hundreds of thousands rally against Catalonia secession
Kim’s murder trial to resume with lab visit
Rapper Nelly arrested for alleged rape
3 arrested during protest at Virginia University
Attack on Saudi palace in Jiddah kills 2 guards
Trump administration rolls back birth control mandate
Thousands demand Spanish-Catalan negotiations

Is there a mention of the story anywhere, let’s look at the search:

One story and that’s about migrant in Libya.  Nothing about ISIS fighters surrendering there.

Well how about CBS surely they will find the NYT Isis story worth covering

NRA leader weighs in on bump stocks, tells ATF to “do its job”
More than 100,000 are without power as storm surge pushes over beachfront highway and floods streets
Details revealed about Las Vegas shooter’s note
“First Ex” Ivana Trump on parenting and the president’s tweets
How Facebook ads helped elect Trump
Trump says Bob Corker “begged” for endorsement — and senator fires back

Or not.  And once again a search for “isis” brings 4 “crisis” results and a link to this video from their newscast: justice dept unseals details of 2016 isis plot in New York City.

Finally let’s try NPR.  They’re publicly funded so naturally they’re going to be right on top of news that matters there aren’t they?there:

Biloxi Faces Flooding As Nate Makes Second Landfall On Gulf Coast
Pence In Las Vegas: ‘We Are United In Our Resolve To End Such Evil’
Lawyer Lisa Bloom Resigns as Harvey Weinstein Adviser
Russia Investigations In Congressional Cliffhanger, Trump Jr. May Revisit The Hill

Come on!  Isn’t there even a mention of the ISIS on the page?

Apparently not.

So the question remains, Why isn’t the “Isis fighters surrender en masse” story the lead everywhere, or at least listed in the top stories anywhere in the MSM? The best answer comes from a fellow named Dodd

The MSM narrative is Trump is bad, Trump is childish and Trump is an incompetent failure and ISIS cutting and running 9 months after he vowed to destroy them just doesn’t serve advancing that message. I’l leave you with one last image Memeorandum at 12:45 PM Sunday Oct 8th the moment I finished this post.


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by baldilocks

Gaddafi and Hussein are dead.

It’s said that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un doesn’t want to give up his nukes because of what happened to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

After the US invaded Iraq, which resulted in the deposition and execution of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi gave up his country’s nukes, only to be abandoned by the succeeding US administration – which resulted in Qaddafi’s deposition and execution. If the reports about Kim’s reasoning are true, it’s cogent piece of reasoning.

I’m Old Enough To Remember WhenTM Gaddafi publicly gave up his clandestine nuclear program and Syria’s Bashar Assad promised to pull his troops out of Lebanon, both saying, in effect: “I am not Saddam Hussein.”

As we know, the premise for the invasion of Iraq was that Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), refused to give them up, and refused to allow UN inspection of those weapons. Following the invasion, however, no WMD materials were found in Iraq and the “Bush Lied” meme was born.

(Aside: for years that was the cudgel that Democrats – some of whom had access to the same domestic and foreign intelligence reports that George W. Bush’s intel advisers did and many of whom voted for intervention in Iraq — used to criticize Bush. These Democrat critics included former Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, along with current Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, all of whom voted “yea” for the Iraq Resolution.)

Bashar Assad

In the intervening years, various sources in-the-know have reported that Hussein sent his WMD materials to Syria. If this is true, then it was little skin off Assad’s nose to promise to pull back his troops; he had other many other plans brewing, thanks to Hussein, and at least one other source.

Then, in 2007, the Israelis bombed Syria, targeting what they said was a nuclear reactor under construction.

A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced the Israeli government and the Bush administration that North Korea was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, according to senior U.S. officials who said it would be shared with lawmakers today.

The officials said the video of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, shows North Koreans inside. It played a pivotal role in Israel’s decision to bomb the facility late at night last Sept. 6, a move that was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core’s design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows “remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon,” a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video “very, very damning.”

Emphasis mine.

The Syrian government expressed outrage about getting bombed by the “Zionist Entity,” of course, and even used the “Bush Lied” rhetoric, but did little else about it. In 2011, the IAEA concurred with Israel’s claim about the facility.

It turns out that the nuclear connections between Syria and North Korea go back to about 1997. If you’re going read at least one of the links, read this one.

So maybe it’s true that Kim doesn’t want to end up like Gaddafi or Hussein — or even Assad — and is using the only leverage he has to stay in power.

This business will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it.

There is also an Iran connection – naturally – and the Syrian Civil war, and the Russian involvement … but this post is long enough. I just wanted to point to the items, incidents, and connections that nearly every public commentator seems to have forgotten and/or discounted.

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 one day soon! 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!

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by baldilocks

As a few people may have noticed, I’ve been going back over posts from my old blog, which I started in 2003. One of the things which has hindered me in deciding what to write about is that, often, I feel like I’m repeating myself. But a long-time fan turned that notion around for me by reminding me that repetition is the vehicle of learning.

The following, from 2004,  is apropos of nothing popular in Social Media right now. Who knows when that will change? It could be seconds after you read it.


A guest asked the following questions about Islam, and the Koran.

juliette i’m not that familiar with the qu’ran. could you give me a citation for your reference?

could you also tell me if this type of activity is a constant over the history of the region? if we go back to 1905 for example, would we see someone lynched then?

finally, could you tell me how lynching and mass terrorism against african americans was able to continue for a full 100 years, without reference to the judeo-christian ethic?

Are Muslims following the tenets of their religion or ignoring same?

Let’s turn it around. During the heyday of white American terrorism of black Americans in the South, were white American Christians following the tenets of Jesus the Christ or ignoring them? If the latter was true, it isn’t too hard to figure it out how it could be so: the same way that present-day Christians ignore the tenets of their religion. You may be familiar with some of the “lesser” ways: lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, dishonoring one’s parents, etc. Or even worse, twisting the tenets of their religion to suit their own purposes.

This last sort of behavior shouldn’t have to be explained to anyone who steps out of his/her door in the morning. And failure to live up to one’s professed standards or twisting those standards to self-serving purposes isn’t a failing unique to those who are religious.

It took men of the Christian and Jewish faiths — black men, white men and others — to shame the bulk of white Americans into living up to the spiritual and secular ideals they professed to revere and cherish, whether it was “love thy neighbor as thyself” or the idea spawned from that, “all Men are created equal.”

Back to your first question: does it matter whether jihad started 35 years ago or three years ago? Here’s my point: there is nothing in Islamic doctrine that can be used to shame the Islamists to stop using terror in the attempt to achieve their aims. No Dr. Malik Shakir will come out of the Mosque holding up Muhammad as the “Prince of Peace” who commanded believers to turn the other cheek or take the two-by-four out of his own eye first. Why not? This is why:

“Slay the infidels wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Koran 9:5)

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam], until they are subdued. (Surat At-Taubah 9:29)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. (Koran 2: 98)

Again, Muslims who terrorize, lynch, burn, and enslave are merely living up to their credo, not ignoring or going against it. That’s why (besides fear of other Muslims) you haven’t seen any Muslims in large numbers publicly repudiating terror. (There are one billion Muslims, right?)

As a wise person said, when someone tells you that they want to kill you, believe them.

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 one day soon! 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!

We keep hearing about how the MSM is so upset when President Trump tweets about them and would much rather he deal with issues.

If this is the case than why does this tweet on job numbers

and this tweet on Saudi Arabia and middle east peace

and tweet on North Korea

and this tweet on little Charlie Card

all of them concerning relevant current issues economic, military, and cultural have not received 1/10 of the coverage and as a result less that 1/10 the number of retweets as this tweet tweaking the MSM with an old wrestling video?

Could it be that the MSM promoted the final tweet on the air relentlessly because they know that it generates more eyeballs and policy while allowing them to discuss something that doesn’t require facts, figures or expertise?

Remember the MSM isn’t about informing you, it’s about selling ad space and if they can promote their agenda a bit while they’re at it, that’s good too.

Now we live in a capitalist system so if the MSM makes decisions based on making profit, that’s fine, but don’t pretend to be holier than thou. That’s one of the great things about Trump, he has shown the media for what they are.

I’ll give the last word to Stephen Green:

Update: I’d say this was amazing, but THIS is CNN today

Well, CNN was apparently unhappy with the meme. They tracked down the guy who made it. Then they determined he’d made other tasteless memes. Then they got an abject apology from him.

Then they published it, saying: “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.” (That’s an archive link, by the way, as I expect the story may change or disappear shortly after CNN Legal’s offices open in the morning.)

And end result, one of the top trends on Twitter #cnnblackmail Seriously have the people at CNN ever heard the words “Streisand Effect?

on the plus side it got Glenn Reynolds Tweeting again:


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“Crime by Migrants in Germany Increase.” The headline on the story, buried deep within the Wall Street Journal, was so innocuous it might as well have said, “Nothing to See Here, Folks — Please Move Along.”

Despite the mild headline, however, the article by Ruth Brenner was filled with statistics that spun a tale of terror.

From 2015 to 2016, crimes committed by refugees and other migrants to Germany soared by 52.7%, a figure sure to attract attention. Except it didn’t. I saw a few references to the stats on conservative websites, but not even the crickets chirped in the mainstream media.

The pure numbers are just as startling: Migrants were charged with 114,238 crimes in 2015 and 174,438 last year. Meanwhile, crimes committed by German citizens plummeted by 3.4% in the same period. Despite the drop in misconduct by natives, the country’s overall crime rate was up by 0.7 percent.

To put it into perspective, Germany’s tiny immigrant population was responsible for more than 12% of the country’s crimes. Germany has long welcomed refugees, but the inflow turned into a flood when more than a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa arrived in 2015-16.

The article didn’t break out the severity of the crimes committed in the two years, but it noted that violent crimes by citizens rose by 1% and those by migrants nearly doubled.

The story said Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist and former justice minister, blamed the increase in migrants’ offenses on “the high number of young males traveling alone, a group that generally is responsible for the majority of crimes regardless of nationality.”

Missing from this account was a key word: Muslim, even though the overwhelming majority of migrants were followers of Islam. I’m sure Germany’s crime stats would’ve gotten a lot more publicity if the misbehaving migrants had been Pentecostals, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists or Zoroastrians.

For years, the primary commandment of the MSM has been “Thou shalt not speak ill of Islam,” which is in keeping with its unending claims that Islam is the religion of peace. While most Muslims are good and peaceful people, Islam itself was born in war. Of all the world’s faiths, only the “religion of peace” established itself through military conquests in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Germany’s miscreant Muslims may not derail Angela Merkel’s bid for another term as chancellor, but they should be a concern for every other Western government that’s supposed to protect its citizens and culture.

It’s no wonder the media ignored the German crime report and accounts of similar lawbreaking and militant activity elsewhere. The story would not only break the MSM’s primary commandment but also — more urgently — undermine efforts to thwart President Trump’s limited ban on Muslim immigrants.

Terrorism is a justifiable reason to scrutinize potential newcomers to America, but let’s not forget outright thuggery is a threat, too.

UPDATE: Merlin — the Maine coon cat who was the bliss and the bane of me and Mrs. Mick for the past 14 years — passed away peacefully on Friday, four weeks to the day after he was diagnosed with lymphoma. We met his every wish in his final weeks, and he never showed any sign of discomfort, let alone pain. He will be missed.

Ok I admit I didn’t see this coming:

Russia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a surprise announcement on Thursday.

The announcement comes as US President Donald Trump’s administration is agonizing over whether to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would constitute recognizing west Jerusalem as the country’s capital. No other country in the world recognizes any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Even more importantly…

the Jerusalem Post has learned that Moscow intends for this recognition to go into effect immediately.

Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein intends to meet with Foreign Ministry officials in the coming days to discuss Moscow’s decision and its ramifications. There is currently no intention, however, of moving Russia’s embassy to Jerusalem.

The significance of this can’t be overstated, by doing what they’ve done Russia not only embarasses Donald Trump by getting to Jerusalem before he does so to speak, but it also throws a gauntlet down to every islamic power, every arab oil exporter and to ISIS itself, literally daring them to do something.

By an odd coincidence right after a terror attack in St. Petersberg that has gotten almost no attention internationally Israel did something others did not:

RT noted no landmark was lit in Russia’s national colors although Tel Aviv City Hall did light itself in the colors of Russia’s flag.

It pays to show sympathy doesn’t it?

by baldilocks

Donald Herbert Walker Trump–Zman on the American missile strike in Syria:

Trump won the nomination and the presidency on one core issue. He would be the President of the United States, not the President of the world. That was his line. He repeated it often. It allegedly captured his one core belief. What is good for America is what is good for Americans and the government should always be working to further the interest of Americans, over the interests of foreigners.

The fact that something so obvious and sane has to be explained speaks to the degeneracy of our age. But, we live in a time when we have to debate physical reality with people who insist things like biology and math are a plot by a mystery cult of white men to keep down women and non-whites. Still, Trump running on a platform of rationality, and winning on the platform, gave a lot of people, including me, a spark of hope. Maybe what comes next does not have to be what always comes next.

Yesterday, the alt-right and even many seasoned geezers like me took a body blow when Trump abandoned everything he said over the last two years and embraced the idiocy of yet another war in the Middle East. Not only is he embracing the lunacy of the traitorous neocons, he is risking war with Russia. His “reason” for condemning himself to ruin is that his daughter got the sads over seeing pictures of dead kids in Syria. She takes to twitter over this latest agit-prop and in a day daddy is launching missiles at Assad.

Many who were gung-ho for the Trump candidacy and presidency are ticked off about this or at least questioning it. Thus, they are catching a lot of flak from the true believers, the Trump-worshipers.

Michael Savage is one of President Trump’s solid supporters and he believes that the basis for the missile strike is phony. A microbiologist by training, he says that sarin—a nerve agent–wasn’t even used and, while I’m no microbiologist by any stretch of the imagination, I received NBC training courtesy of the USAF—something which all troops stationed in Cold War Era Europe received–and Mr. Savage’s logic is sound. He posits that some other chemical agent was used. (By the way, in 2014, the Obama Administration asserted that Syria had no chemical agents.)

As a Trump-skeptic who voted for him in the general election—like Zman–I’m not upset that he broke a promise. After all, it isn’t the first one he broke. And, for certain, President Trump is, by far, not the first president to break a promise.

However, I am upset that he chose to break this particular one. What this strike looks like to me: another step in the “Arab” “Spring.” And I’ve always suspected that the purposeful destabilization of countries with large Muslim populations has one goal: clearing the deck for the New Caliphate.

I hope I’m wrong and that Peter is right.

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!

Citizen at New Orleans Party: But perhaps the general would at least tell us what his plans are?
General Andrew Jackson: Sir if the hair on my head knew my plans I would cut it off!

The Buccaneer 1958

Ian Howe: You know the key to running a convincing bluff? Every once in a while you got to be holding all the cards.

National Treasure 2004

One of the oddest things to me about the entire Syria Strike story is how so many people are so shocked that Donald Trump did what he did.

Anti-interventionists  were caught off guard and upset.  They see it as a neocon plot, leftists (who were blaming him for the gas attack the day before) consider it a distraction from the nefarious plot to steal the election from Hillary by the Russians, and papers like the NYT who were at the start of the week screaming Russian collusion are now worried about how this will affect our relationship with Putin.

Even Don Surber who has been right about Trump more than almost everyone else was caught off guard.

But when it comes down to it, Trump’s hit on Syria makes a lot of sense because it is so him.

First:  in terms of a deal, if Trump wants to make a deal to stop the war on Syria, to stop North Korea or to take the pressure off the Baltic states afraid of a future Russian invasion he needed to demonstrate a willingness to actually strike, not only did he do so, but he did so While the head of China was his guest, meaning he was willing to demonstrate that diplomatic niceties and timing mean nothing to him when he wants to act. That’s very Trump.

Second:  He was willing to do this without any public warning (yes he gave a private warning to the Russians so as not to back them into a corner since a US strike killing Russian soldiers would force Putin’s hand). There was no months of speeches, or weeks of muscle flexing, there was just action, and Trump is a person who believes in action.  It was right out of this scene of the movie the Buccaneer where Trump’s favorite president Andrew Jackson (back in his general days) dealt with all those who were in panic about the British and New Orleans

If you’re a potential enemy of America, from this point on you can’t be sure if crossing us will bring a shower of missiles down on you or not. That’s very Trump too.

Thirdly:   It was consistent with Trump’s sense of discipline, not in the sense that the media sees him, as an undisciplined speaker who acts rashly, but as in:  This is the way things are and you’d better get used to the idea

It was a moment right out of Captain’s Courageous:

Captain Troop, with the good of the ship and the livelihood of the entire crew to worry about, notes he can’t risk months of fishing on a boy’s yarn. When Harvey still rants Troop finally concludes: “I guess there’s nothing left for it.” He rears back and gives Harvey a slap that knocks him flat. Harvey for perhaps for the first time in his life doesn’t know what to say:
You HIT me!
“Now you just sit there and think about it.”

It is here, with the establishment of discipline, that the movie begins to shift.

This was the re-establishment of discipline on an international level, the United States back in the game and everybody at the table had better get used to the idea again. That’s Trump all over.

Fourth: It gave Donald Trump, who doesn’t like or trust, the UN a chance to not only demonstrate US power to it, but to show them the old games they like to play are now over, to wit:

The UN business of being on one side of the fence in public and the other in private isn’t going to be played against the US anymore, and every nation that counts on America to foot the bill allowing their diplomats and NGO’s to live high off the hog there are seeing it. It’s the art of the deal, so Trump.

(on a side note if Nikki Haley decides to run for president, this will play very well).

Fifth: By hitting now when the strike can be small it likely prevents him from having to hit harder later. Trump by his nature is, like many of his isolationist supporters who are now pissed off, a non-interventionist by nature. The problem with such a position is it tells the world that you can push me and push me and I won’t touch you.  Now if your goal is a weak US in retreat, as was the Obama administration’s ,that’s fine, but if your goal is a strong US that doesn’t have to fight everywhere, it’s not.

By making his point early on in his presidency, and on a small scal,e he is likely preventing a larger US involvement, not enabling it.  Think of John Wayne in this exchange in Big Jake as his party rides into town with a red box containing a million dollar ransom in front of everybody.

James McCandles: Isn’t this a bit showy Pa? That big red box and all the guns out?
Jacob McCandles: I hate secrets, never knew one to be kept. They’ve all heard what’s in that chest, they all want it, what we’re doing by this ostentatious display is telling them they can’t have it. Hell, we may be saving some poor miscreant’s own life by doing this, maybe even our own.

Big Jake 1971

Perhaps by this display he will restrain a few bad actors from making moves to provoke the US into a war we don’t want, which incidentally is exactly what his base that wants to stay out of things wants. It’s the Fram oil filter ad all over again, you can pay me now our pay me later. Trump’s a businessman, it’s good business.

Sixth and last: A person who is a pol looks at kids getting gassed as part of the great game of diplomacy and considers every possible angle and tries to minimize any event that brings risk.  A normal person looks at kids getting gassed to death and reacts saying: This will not stand. Why anyone would think that Trump would stand by and let this happen, when he has the power to stop it, or at least make these guys think about it long and hard about doing it again?  It’s completely beyond me that anyone would think a man like Trump who is a man of emotion and reaction would sit still.  Doing something that needs to be done, this is so very Trump.

This strike is completely in keeping Trump’s philosophy of doing things. What I don’t understand is why people don’t see it?


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The 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, also known as the Forty Martyrs of Armenia and also as The Holy Forty, were a group of Roman Soldiers who were cruelly tortured and killed for their refusal to renounce their Christian faith during the reign of Emperor Licinius in 320 AD. Their Feast Day is March 10 for Roman Catholics, and March 9 for those who belong to Eastern Orthodox Churches. Via EWTN‘s online library, excerpted below is their story, as it was told in a homily by St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, on the Holy 40’s Feast Day:

These holy martyrs suffered at Sebaste, in the Lesser Armenia, under the Emperor Licinius, in 320. They were of different countries, but enrolled in the same troop; all in the flower of their age, comely, brave, and robust, and were become considerable for their services. St. Gregory of Nyssa and Procopius say they were of the Thundering Legion, so famous under Marcus Aurelius for the miraculous rain and victory obtained by their prayers. This was the twelfth legion, and then quartered in Armenia. Lysias was duke or general of the forces, and Agricola the governor of the province. The latter having signified to the army the orders of the emperor Licinius for all to sacrifice, these forty went boldly up to him, and said they were Christians, and that no torments should make them ever abandon their holy religion. The judge first endeavoured to gain them by mild usage; as by representing to them the dishonour that would attend their refusal to do what was required, and by making them large promises of preferment and high favour with the emperor in case of compliance. Finding these methods of gentleness ineffectual, he had recourse to threats, and these the most terrifying, if they continued disobedient to the emperor’s order, but all in vain. To his promises they answered that he could give them nothing equal to what he would deprive them of; and to his threats, that his power only extended over their bodies which they had learned to despise when their souls were at stake. The governor, finding them all resolute, caused them to be torn with whips, and their sides to be rent with iron hooks; after which they were loaded with chains, and committed to jail.

Days had passed, and the men still would not abandon their Faith, which of course did not go over well with their tormentors:

The governor, highly offended at their courage, and that liberty of speech with which they accosted him, devised an extraordinary kind of death, which, being slow and severe, he hoped would shake their constancy. The cold in Armenia is very sharp, especially in March, and towards the end of winter, when the wind is north, as it then was, it being also at that time a severe frost. Under the walls of the town stood a pond, which was frozen so hard that it would bear walking upon with safety. The judge ordered the saints to be exposed quite naked on the ice;[1] and in order to tempt them the more powerfully to renounce their faith, a warm bath was prepared at a small distance from the frozen pond, for any of this company to go to who were disposed to purchase their temporal ease and safety on that condition. The martyrs, on hearing their sentence, ran joyfully to the place, and without waiting to be stripped, undressed themselves, encouraging one another in the same manner as is usual among soldiers in military expeditions attended with hardships and dangers, saying that one bad night would purchase them a happy eternity.[2] They also made this their joint prayer: “Lord, we are forty who arc engaged in this combat; grant that we may be forty crowned, and that not one be wanting to this sacred number.” The guards in the mean time ceased not to persuade them to sacrifice, that by so doing they might be allowed to pass to the warm bath. But though it is not easy to form a just idea of the bitter pain they must have undergone, of the whole number only one had the misfortune to be overcome; who, losing courage, went off from the pond to seek the relief in readiness for such as were disposed to renounce their faith; but as the devil usually deceives his adorers, the apostate no sooner entered the warm water but he expired. This misfortune afflicted the martyrs; but they were quickly comforted by seeing his place and their number miraculously filled up. A sentinel was warming himself near the bath, having been posted there to observe if any of the martyrs were inclined to submit. While he was attending, he had a vision of blessed spirits descending from heaven on the martyrs, and distributing, as from their king, rich presents and precious garments; St. Ephrem adds crowns to all these generous soldiers, one only excepted, who was their faint-hearted companion already mentioned. The guard, being struck with the celestial vision and the apostate’s desertion, was converted upon it; and by a particular motion of the Holy Ghost, threw off his clothes, and placed himself in his stead amongst the thirty-nine martyrs. Thus God heard their request, though in another manner than they imagined: “Which ought to make us adore the impenetrable secrets of his mercy and justice,” says St. Ephrem, “in this instance, no less than in the reprobation of Judas and the election of St. Matthias.”

And so there were still forty of them, naked and freezing, on the iced over lake, all night long. In the morning, it was ordered that, whether already dead or still yet showing signs of life, the loyal Christian men’s bodies would be loaded onto carts and then burned until nothing was left of them. Even the mother of the youngest man remained unshaken in her loyalty to God when she found her son, who was still alive at the time:

When the rest were thrown into a waggon to be carried to the pile, the youngest of them (whom the acts call Melito) was found alive; and the executioners, hoping he would change his resolution when he came to himself, left him behind. His mother, a woman of mean condition, and a widow, but rich in faith and worthy to have a son a martyr, observing this false compassion, reproached the executioners; and when she came up to her son, whom she found quite frozen, not able to stir, and scarce breathing, he looked on her with languishing eyes, and made a little sign with his weak hand to comfort her. She exhorted him to persevere to the end, and, fortified by the Holy Ghost, took him up, and put him with her own hands into the waggon with the rest of the martyrs, not only without shedding a tear, but with a countenance full of joy, saying courageously: “Go, go, son, proceed to the end of this happy journey with thy companions, that thou mayest not be the last of them that shall present themselves before God.”

After they were burned, the ashes of the Martyrs were thrown away in a river, but other Christians had managed to collect some ashes and they carried them away as religious relics.

As we remember the brave and loyal men who died nearly 2000 years ago for their faith in what is now Syria, let us also please remember and pray for Christians around the world who are still routinely persecuted, tortured, and murdered for their faith to this very day.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. 

See also by Zilla at DaTechGuyBlog:

Remembering Saint Scholastica

#NYCatholic: St. Peter’s Church

World Trade Center Bombing 24th Anniversary

Remembering Saint Katharine Drexel

Mr. Morgan: Are you sure this work will be in competent hands?

Curly: Soitenly, we’re all incompetent!

The Three Stooges: Slippery Silks 1936

All the talk Thursday night was about the unanimous ruling of the 9th circuit concerning President Trump’s Temporary Travel ban from seven countries named by the Obama administration as potential Terror problems.

President Trump came in with a tough playing field in hand and took quick action and when the 9th circuit made its ruling the president tweeted this out:

As the media, Democrats, liberals in Hollywood  amazon and others are busy high fiving themselves they don’t seem to have realized the impossible position they’ve put themselves in and the frankly no lose position they’ve put the Trump Administration in concerning the war on  terror, at least politically.

If the administration is able to keep the country safe and prevent attacks, they will naturally get the credit for it and Trump’s tough talks only reinforces that he is taking steps, even against opposition, to do so. There is likely little the left could do about that.

However if the administration foils any Terror plot and even a single one of those plotters is a muslim immigrant who was either

Previously vetted by the previous admin
From one of the named countries in the current POTUS’ executive order
Was in contact with terrorists from one of the named countries

The administration can trot this out not only as proof the ban but can even suggest that said plot only reached whatever stage it was at BECAUSE of the lack of a ban and can point an accusing finger at the left if they do so.

That’s bad enough but if there is a successful attack of any type involving any persons with any or all of the attributes I’ve already listed the problem for the left is even worse, particularly given this news:

A staggering 77 percent of the 1,100 refugees let in since Judge James L. Robart’s Feb. 3 order have been from the seven suspect countries. Nearly a third are from Syria alone

If the travel ban had been in place or if it had run its course the left could have proclaimed it ineffective, now thanks to the court and their own high level efforts that situation is completely reversed.

This president will IMMEDIATELY point at the Democrats and the left opposition to his travel ban and extreme vetting as the cause for said successful attack (and don’t think for a moment he won’t do this, we aren’t talking George Bush, this is Donald Trump).

He will fix not only fix the blame firmly there but will be able to point to his tweet of Friday to showcase the fact that he feared this might happen. And he will invariably get that tweeted out before anyone of the left is able to mount any defense.

Furthermore given that the media’s trust ratings are further below sea level than the dead sea, attempts to counter such a move are likely to fail with all but your most partisan allies.

Congratulations Democrats, liberals, media, you have by your political efforts and your court filings successfully not only reinforced in the public’s mind Trump anti-terror efforts, guaranteeing him credit for any successful defense but you managed to at the same time transfer the political responsibility for any successful terror attack in the foreseeable future from this administration to yourselves. In fact you didn’t just transfer it, you went out and seized it.

I often say the right thing is usually the smart thing, often the wrong thing is often the dumb thing. The left’s move was not only wrong as it makes America less safe, it was VERY stupid setting yourself up as targets both actual and political.

It was something I didn’t think you would be stupid enough to do…but you were!

Closing thought. If Amazon is taking a victory lap how long do you think it will take any terror victims to use that fact to sue them for a small fortune for enabling such an attack?

Update: The Conservative Treehouse gets it:

If President Trump does nothing, the underlying challenges to the Executive Order continue forward in the courts, while he gets his SCOTUS pick -Gorsuch- on the bench. If he so chooses, the DOJ can eventually bring the case to the Supreme Court, where almost everyone admits the Ninth Circuit and Judge Robarts decision will be overturned and all of the protestation from the left will have been for naught.

In the interim of the slow case proceeding, ANY instance of violence and terrorism provides President Trump the opportunity to use his bully pulpit -and Twitter- to hang the occurrence, foreign or domestic, like a millstone around the neck of Democrats up for elected office in 2018.

There is no downside on the domestic security agenda for President Trump; however, the Democrats are fraught with fear that something might just happen. Ultimately, THIS, the politics behind the entire construct, is the reason for the ninth circuit tonight asking for an en banc hearing of their own judicial ruling.

What you haven’t heard that the 9th circuit has apparently decided to appeal the ruling of it’s own 3 judge panel to itself?

Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never heard of a judicial circuit appealing it’s own ruling to itself


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