Whenever an islamic terrorist attack kills and maims innocent people, and it manages to make it into the news, as sure as the sun rises each morning, our world’s “leaders” are quick to get in front of the cameras to soothe us with platitudes about how diversity is our strength, islam is a religion of peace, and that this latest act of islamic violence and horror committed by muslims for islam not only has nothing to do with islam but also that it will in no way undermine our commitment to tolerance. This is all told to us, ad infinitum, usually before the blood of the murdered dead has even dried from where it has been spilled by some muslim fanatic who killed innocent people for islam.

Let’s talk about diversity and religious tolerance in the context of history, so as to maybe learn something useful for present times that might give those who respect pluralism some kind of a future, shall we?

Did you know that there once existed a city in the world that was a genuine model for tolerance and diversity, where people from far flung regions of the earth and of all different kinds of belief systems could gather, worship and perform religious ceremonies for their various faiths in peace and harmony?

True story:

Mecca was once a true multi-cultural city where people of many different religious faiths existed in harmony and with mutual respect for one another, before a hyper-violent hallucination plagued pervert and his deluded followers laid bloody siege to the city, killing, enslaving or forcibly converting all inhabitants to the militant political cult known as islam 1400 years ago. Mecca has since become one of the world’s most bigoted and intolerant cities, where no non-muslim is even permitted to step foot within its bounds. Via The Religion of Peace:

Mecca, prior to Muhammad, was one of six cities in Arabia with a Kaaba, the cube-like building that housed hundreds of idols and religious artifacts.  The Meccans were mostly polytheists, who worshipped their preferred gods yet respected everyone else’s.

Mecca was also the site of an annual religious pilgrimage, in which people from across the region would visit the city over a four month period. The commerce and income generated from this annual event was extremely important to the local economy. People from foreign lands were allowed to store their idols at the Kaaba, including Hindus. There was even room made for the faith of Jews and Christians, who worshipped there alongside the others. Meccans allowed conversions between faiths and there was no record of persecution against those who practiced their religion without insulting others.

Even Muhammad’s own experience is proof of the Meccan desire to live in peace and harmony. According to Muslim historical sources, the people of Mecca did not mind Muhammad preaching a new religion, as he began to do in 610 at the age of 40. They simply asked that he be as tolerant of them as they were of him.

Instead of obliging, however, the self-proclaimed prophet broke with tradition and openly insulted the local religions as well as the ancestors of the people who practiced it. (See Myth: Muhammad was Persecuted by the Meccans for Preaching Islam for references). This not only caused great offense, but it directly threatened the primary source of livelihood for many residents.

Even so, the people allowed Muhammad to preach in contradiction to local customs for 13 years, which is proof positive of their tolerance. In fact, it was the Muslims who were the first to draw blood, as they became increasingly violent toward the skeptical mainstream of society.

To be fair, there were some Meccans who responded in kind after the Muslims became violent, but only one death was recorded in the Sira (that of an elderly slave from stress) and none in the Hadith.  Muhammad’s presence was still tolerated up to the point that he finally joined with a foreign tribe in an alliance of war against the very city in which he lived. At that point he was evicted from Mecca.  The year was 622.

Although his adversaries were content leaving him alone in Medina, where he fled with his cult, Muhammad would not let go of the bitterness of his rejection. He constantly harassed the Meccans by raiding their caravans andgoading them into open conflict.  Eventually, he tricked them into signing a 10-year treaty which left them defenseless before his army when he suddenly decided to take the city by surprise less than two years later in 630.

The violent history of early Islam leaves little for Muslim apologists to make the case that Islam is a peaceful, tolerant religion. The occupation of Mecca in the aftermath of Muhammad’s victory is usually their primary example, however, since it was was not followed by widespread massacre of the residents (other than the annihilation of anyone who tried to defend his home from foreign occupation, as a handful did).

Yet, it is fascinating to see just how low Islam’s own defenders must set the bar for their religion. It is clear from the accounts of Ibn Ishaq/Hisham and other early historians that the residents of Mecca did not want war, did not prepare for war, and were obviously not expecting it when Muhammad marched through the gates of their city with an army of 10,000 soldiers. There is simply no reason to expect that these innocent people would be slaughtered in the first place (other than the fact that the prophet of Islam had ordered such massacres in the past).

As it was, there were some residents who were sentenced to death by Muhammad himself (“a small number who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Ka’ba” Ishaq/Hisham 818, see also Abu Dawud 2677). These included his old enemies who had personally mocked and rejected him, including two slave girls who had made up songs about him:

“He had two singing girls, Fartana and her friend, who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 819)

Their master, Ibn Khatal, an apostate from Islam, was also slain on Muhammad’s order even as he tried to take refuge in what was considered the holiest of places:

Allah’s Apostle entered Mecca in the year of its Conquest wearing an Arabian helmet on his head and when the Prophet took it off, a person came and said, “Ibn Khatal is holding the covering of the Ka’ba (taking refuge in the Ka’ba).” The Prophet said, “Kill him.” (Bukhari 29:72, Muslim 7:3145)

A former scribe of Muhammad’s named Abdullah also made the hit list for leaving Islam after realizing that the transmissions from Allah were arbitrary by successfully suggesting changes to Muhammad about the wording of certain supposedly immutable “revelations.”

As with some of the others, Abdullah managed to save his neck by “converting” to Islam just before the moment of execution. Rather than mock the people who mocked him, or turn the other cheek (as a different “prophet” named Jesus once preached), Muhammad killed those who would not repent for rejecting him (see the Answering Islam article Muhammad and the Ten Meccans for a full list of those were sentenced and/or executed).

It was at this point that Mecca, one of the most religiously diverse cities on earth, became one of the most oppressive and intolerant. Muhammad’s first order of business was to destroy the idols of the very people who allowed him to preach his religion in their city for thirteen years:

“The Prophet entered Mecca and (at that time) there were three hundred and sixty idols around the Ka’ba. He started stabbing the idols with a stick he had in his hand and reciting: “Truth (Islam) has come and Falsehood (disbelief) has vanished.” (Bukhari 43:658)

The prophet of Islam then sent his men out to destroy the temples of other tribes, both around Mecca (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 840) and as far away as Yemen (Bukhari 59:643).

With their own religion violently destroyed, most Meccans had no choice but to outwardly “embrace” the very religion they had adamantly rejected for the twenty-one years prior to having a sword at their throat.  To say that this was heartfelt (as some Muslims today actually do) stretches the limits of credulity.

Before evicting those who would not convert, Muhammad first used the allied strength of the local Meccans to conquer a neighboring city, al-Taif, as payback for their earlier rejection of him (and, ironically enough, their own unwillingness to make an alliance with him against the Meccans).

After a few months, Muhammad was in a position to break what was left of his treaty and forcibly evict the remaining non-Muslims from their own city:

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” (Quran 9:5)

According to Islam’s holiest text, the only way for polytheists to avoid death was to convert to Islam or flee the city. Needless to say, anyone who did not profess their faith in Muhammad after a four month grace period was not allowed back even to perform the pilgrimage, which had been a centuries-old tradition. According to the Qur’an, this was not because they posed any sort of physical threat, but rather because they were “unclean” (Quran 9:28)

The story of Muhammad’s violent expulsion of non-Muslims from their own city can be found in Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 920-923. Muslim apologists often claim that Muhammad only commanded the killing of those pagans who had “broken the treaty,” yet the historical context states that the command to fight applies to “the polytheists who had broken the agreement as well as those who had a general agreement after the four months which had been given them as a fixed time” (Ishaq/Hisham 922). In other words, unbelievers were given four months to vacate their homes, whether they had done anything wrong or not.

Jews and Christians received an even worse fate as they were eventually chased out of the entire Arabian peninsula based on Muhammad’s final injunction from his deathbed:

I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim. (Sahih Muslim 4366)

Not content with merely evicting non-Muslims from Mecca, Muhammad also banned them from approaching the Kaaba altogether. This was an extraordinary example of hypocrisy given that, according to the Qur’an’s second chapter, preventing people from from worshipping at the Kaaba is akin to “persecution,” and so important that “slaughter” is mandated by Allah in this case.

Islam thus became a system of double standards in which “might makes right” and the morality of an action is judged only by whether or not it advances Islam or benefits Muslims. To this day, Muslims demand the freedom to preach their faith in non-Muslim countries, yet actively deny the same right to other religions where and when they have the power. They also insist that others have the right to convert to Islam, while no Muslim has the right to leave on penalty of death.

The effects of supplanting the traditional pagan system with Muhammad’s legacy of intolerance were undeniable. Fifty years after Muhammad’s death, the Kaaba, which had stood for centuries under the banner of religious tolerance and respect, lay in ruins from one of the many internal Muslim wars that sprang up immediately following Muhammad’s death.

To this day, Muslims are still at each others throats and there is no Islamic country in the world that truly allows other religions to preach openly and recruit converts as Muhammad was allowed to do in Mecca. In stark contrast to its pre-Islamic history, this city now holds the honor as being the most religiously intolerant city on earth, as non-Muslims are not even allowed to visit… and there is not a single Muslim voice of protest.

Here is the sign posted on the road to the modern day city of Mecca:

Why do we tolerate this, where is the diversity in that?

*******

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. 

If you are a person who is invested in the memes of the left Wednesday was a very bad day.

Disaster 1 took place in London when an islamic terrorist managed to kill five in London

Police have named the officer who was killed by a knifeman terrorist in London today and revealed the death toll in the attack has risen to five.
Keith Palmer, 48, was stabbed to death outside Parliament by the attacker who brought carnage to London, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three and injuring around 40 more.
A 4×4 drove along the pavement on the crowded bridge, knocking down and seriously injuring pedestrians before crashing into a fence below Big Ben.

As normal our friends in the media

and elsewhere

went into damage control

The first argument drew interesting reactions asking not only who “they” were but the belittling of the murder of folks as for the second comparison:

But the real problem is every time such an attack takes place, it demonstrates the difference between those on the left committed to defend the communities that produce the terrorists, vs folks like Trump who are committed to defending their targets.

This would be bad enough but things got a lot worse when the chairman of the House intelligence committee said this

The story

The FBI is not cooperating with the House of Representatives’ investigation into the NSA’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), said today.

During an explosive press conference outside the White House, Nunes told reporters that communications from the Trump team were picked up and disseminated within the government during the 2016 campaign. Nunes said sources within the intelligence community presented him with the information. He spoke to the press after briefing the administration.
“We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn,” Nunes said of how communications from Gen. Flynn’s calls were leaked to the press. “We just know that his name leaked out but we don’t know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done.”
“And I’ll tell you, NSA is being cooperative,” Nunes continued, “but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.”
Nunes also reported that as of now, he “cannot rule out” President Obama ordering the surveillance.

The President is of course claiming vindication, the left’s reaction, grave concern

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that he has “grave concerns” over Chairman Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) handling of the Trump Tower wiretapping investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Nunes for his surprise announcement earlier in the day that he had seen intelligence intercepts that showed authorities had incidentally gathered information on members of the Trump transition team during investigations that the chairman said were not related to Russia.

The reaction from Trump’s enemies on the right? Concern:

Hey if I had spent weeks saying there was no evidence that Trump had been wiretapped and this broke I’d be concerned too. Charlie Martin has nailed it:

So, this is getting even more interesting now. It appears now that a number of Trump insiders were intercepted, and no, I’m not buying the argument that Trump saying “wiretapped” was wrong, especially since that’s exactly what was reported. And it appears now that people trying to maintain that Trump was “lying” about being wiretapped are being driven to the interesting defense that it was a lie because the U.S. wasn’t actually wiretapping Trump people when the U.S. was wiretapping Trump people.

Which is, at least, good for a laugh.

Both of these stories have one thing in common.

The left, in both cases are trying to make a complicated case 1st that an islamic terror attack isn’t really an islamic terror attack and that to suggest otherwise is unfair, 2nd that the wiretapping of Trump’s people doesn’t really count as wiretapping.

Meanwhile the administration is making an easy case saying directly that a terror attack is terror and wiretapping counts as wiretapping.

Guess which one will play with most voters busy living their lives?

a week ago we talked about how lucky Canada was because thanks to all those illegal immigrants they would be simply overwhelmed with prosperity.

Imagine my surprise to discover that Canadians don’t like prosperity:

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

I guess prosperity isn’t for everyone

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – It’s been about seven months since the devastating floods in south Louisiana caused damage to over 60,000 homes and caused billions of dollars in damage. The recovery is ongoing and fraught with frustration. Not one dime of federal money has been allocated to Louisiana flood victims.

Many residents have been living in campers on their own property next to ruined homes while awaiting FEMA dollars to help rebuild. Some are living in shelters. Some live in their garage. Some move around between friends and family. Some are even living in tents on their own property, unable to move back into their homes which are covered in black mold and unable to do repairs until the money starts to flow.

In September, the federal government allocated $1.6 billion in federal aid for Louisiana but not one dime has been released to those in need.

Congressman Garret Graves represents much of the flooded area and he wanted the federal money sent directly to the local level where it could be put in the hands of those who need it most but the state refused, opting instead to hire a contractor to manage the flood recovery program; that bidding process is a mess. Graves released this statement last week when the contract worth $250 million fell through:

Tent living post flood.

This is very disappointing news. This will further delay the allocation of badly-needed flood relief funds that we appropriated in September. It is impossible to explain to flood victims why $1.6 billion in recovery dollars are stuck in the bureaucracy while homes remain gutted, moldy and un-insulated.

This also further challenges our efforts in Congress to provide additional flood relief dollars when not a penny of September funding has been allocated to flood victims. On August 19th, I urged that a contractor be hired to administer this program.

Taking away $250 million or more from flood victims and giving it contractors to administer this program and to take seven months or more to get the money out the door further victimizes our flood survivors.

This has nothing to do with politics; it is just frustrating and sloppy.  Finally, anyone that attempts to blame these delays on the federal systems lacks a fundamental understanding of the process and opportunities to expedite flood relief.

As it is right now, nobody is in charge of flood relief in Louisiana. 

It appears that the politicians are afraid to touch the issue and with the exception of Congressman Graves, you’d be hard pressed to find one politician who has been through those flood ravaged neighborhoods or met with those desperate people since August 2016.

Entire neighborhoods remain empty in Baton Rouge.

Immediately after the flooding, and in fact while the flooding was still ongoing, a group of citizen soldiers, later dubbed the Cajun Navy and which I wrote about here, jumped into action.  These people were citizens with boats and/or a willingness to help. They worked alongside the authorities and saved countless lives and have continued to provide aid and resources to those still frustrated by government red tape and bureaucracy.

And now, a 501c3 non-profit, Cajun Relief Foundation, is partnering with a few local organizations to get help to the citizens that most need it. They are working non-stop to help people get household items that they need like beds, tables, appliances, silverware. Many of these victims were folks that were already “at risk,” and had health issues, transportation issues, employment issues, etc.

Most of these victims are self-reliant people who don’t want to ask for help even though they badly need it.

Imagine navigating the task of demolition, clean-up, rebuilding, negotiating with insurance agencies, mortgage companies, FEMA, the federal government, the state, and crooked opportunists who only want to rip you off when sometimes the best you can do is comfort your children when it starts to rain and they are terrified.

One of those citizen soldiers is Shannon Easley who oversees a distribution center of materials and supplies in her church. Shannon goes out into the communities and talks to the people; she makes live Facebook videos of their plight to bring awareness of the need. Last week she talked to a man who is blind in one eye and on dialysis three times a week; Shannon kept asking him what he needed but he just kept telling her how much he had already done. He was so proud of his work! But, it’s clear there are needs there.

Cajun Relief Foundation posted this on their Facebook page last week and this post speaks to this issue much better than I can:

Everyone expected massive needs after the flood, everyone knew it would be hard, everyone assumes there’s someone there to help. But, what if there’s not, think about it. All it takes is one person who can’t figure out what to do next, who to call, where to go, who to turn to. And they are out there, the floods forgotten.

The needs, you know they’re real. And not because of the size of the flood because that was months ago. You know it’s real because you hear about it from passers by, you see in online articles, you glance at it on the local news, you see it on the cover of the local newspapers, you pass something out of place on the street and frankly if you’re really in tune with your fellow human beings and the universe, you just frankly just sense it in the air. Let me ask you, do you walk past it, do you close your wallet? What are you doing right now to help?

I promise you when you get in your car, drive to a barren house with the elderly resident whose beloved veteran husband was all they had in world, except for their home and memories and who has no one helping her and you see it and smell it and you roll your sleeves up, get down into the nitty-gritty and actually really SEE it for yourself, a feeling of helplessness that is hard to describe will take over… you try and hide it because of the people you’re there to be strong for… but when this plays out over and over and over and over… again.. it’s hard.

Then you step out on her grimy front porch and notice an elderly neighbor standing in their door peering over and watching you and you wonder, are they being helped? You walk over and talk to them… find they are yet another lost soul, no one helping and you smell the mold coming from inside of their home.. and their living conditions have them hopeless… and you feel hopeless because you’ve tapped out your own savings… and you wonder…. how many more little houses with perfect picket fences that line the street… have studs for walls and have completely broken, forgotten flood victims living in them?

The team of people that I’m honored to see working every day on behalf of flood victims see it, hear it and patiently go about fixing it every single day. One person, one family, one pet, one home, one meal, one set of clothes, one puzzle, one toy, one smile… at a time. Yet, still we know this is simply BIGGER than anyone can wrap their head around. You alone cannot save the world, but, you that doesn’t mean you don’t still carry the weight of it. Because you are human and you try and be tune and connect with your fellow beings… and God.

You would assume that the churches in the area would help, and some are, but so many are only helping those in their congregation. What do you do if you aren’t in the congregation?

The need is great.

And none of the politicians see it first-hand. Worse, in many ways the politicians are standing in the way.

While the government fiddles, Cajun Relief is doing what needs to be done. My question is why do we need to pay $250 million to a firm to manage flood recovery when the non-profits are already doing it? The politicians need to see what the non-profits are doing and go from there. The winning bidder is going to have to come in and learn what is already being done. It doesn’t make sense.

Cajun Relief is not in Baton Rouge because they want publicity or recognition: they are in it purely to help the people. They meet the people, talk to them, assess their needs, assign case workers to help follow up, and organize crowd funding to buy the essentials for these people. These flood victims have spend their life savings (if they had any) doing repairs on their own. They don’t have money left over for a new stove.

If you want to help, go to The Cajun Relief Foundation and donate. You can be sure that your donation will get help to those flood victims who are still waiting for the politicians to figure out who gets what size slice of the federal government pie; Cajun Relief doesn’t want any of that pie. They just want to help their neighbors.

Today, March 17, is, of course, Saint Patrick’s Day, and while it is widely celebrated in the USA with green beer, parades, and corned beef and cabbage, we would do well to remember that it is a day to remember a Catholic Saint, and to pray. Saint Patrick is not just the patron saint of Ireland and for Engineers, he is also the patron saint of Nigeria, and Nigeria’s Christians certainly need your prayers.

Here is the Prayer for the Faithful, by Saint Patrick:

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!

May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

Here is a prayer to Saint Patrick:

Dear St. Patrick,
in your humility you called yourself a sinner,
but you became a most successful missionary
and prompted countless pagans
to follow the Saviour.
Many of their descendents in turn
spread the Good News in numerous foreign lands.
Through your powerful intercession with God,
obtain the missionaries we need
to continue the work you began.
Amen.

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, also known as the Lorica of Saint Patrick and the Faeth Fiada, is powerful and popular:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.
I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

A safe, blessed and happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you all!

*******

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. 

On Monday, March 6th a thud so loud it registered on the Richter Scale was heard all across the United States.  That thud was the sound of Speaker Paul Ryan’s ObamaCare replacement plan being released.  Very quickly his replacement plan was greeted by a chorus of angry criticism from the Freedom Caucus, Freedom Works, the Tea Party Patriots, and so many other conservative/libertarian organizations.  All of those organizations saw Speaker Ryan’s proposal as a betrayal of their principles.  Labels such as ObamaCare 2.0, ObamaCare Lite, RyanCare, and RinoCare were immediately thrown at the proposal .

Here is an excerpt from a Senator Rand Paul interview, which was published in this Breitbart Article, where he criticizes Speaker Ryan’s legislation.

I think the reason why the House leadership bill is Obamacare Lite is because it retains subsidies. Obamacare had subsidies for people to buy insurance. In the Paul Ryan bill, they keep the subsidies—they just call them refundable tax credits. Some people are predicting that it’s actually going to be more expensive than the subsidies we have under Obamacare. This isn’t you getting your own money back, this is you getting somebody else’s money

The second thing that Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite bill does is they keep the Obamacare taxes—all of them—for a year. And then after a year, they keep the Cadillac Tax forever. That’s the tax on if you have really good insurance, Obamacare taxes that. So will Paul Ryan’s plan.

The third thing they do that is Obamacare-like is they keep the individual mandate. It seems like every Republican says they were against the individual mandate. That’s if you didn’t buy insurance you had to pay a penalty to the government, a tax. Obamacare Lite, Paul Ryan’s plan, just changes it so you have to pay a penalty to the insurance companies.

Then the fourth thing they do is they actually subsidize the insurance companies. Right now, insurance companies are losing money and Obamacare has this rescue thing called ‘risk corridors’ to bail out the insurance companies. Paul Ryan has got the same thing, he just calls it reinsurance and it’s $100 million worth. I predict that might not even be enough.

Speaker Ryan claims that his proposal is the best that can be done, because the repeal and replace needs to be done under Budget Reconciliation, to avoid a Democrat filibuster in the Senate.  According to Speaker Ryan his legislative proposal is just step one in a 3 step process.  Here is how he describes this process on his official website

As Speaker Ryan explained at his press conference, this approach has three overarching phases:

The American Health Care Act, which takes full advantage of the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster;

Administration actions, notably by HHS Secretary Price, to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs; and

Additional legislative policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, that by Senate rules cannot be included in a reconciliation bill.

Unfortunately, Speaker Ryan’s original proposal is such a miserable starting point for this Herculean effort it makes achieving anything worthwhile nearly impossible.

Many Republicans have stated that Speaker Ryan’s proposal is open to amendments.  This is what Representative Mark Sanford had to say about amendments in this Breitbart Article:

With regard to a healthcare bill moving forward, I see leadership’s healthcare plan as an opening proposal,

The debate that is forming will allow conservatives to enhance and improve what has been proposed, and I think this could represent a win for patients, healthcare providers, and the taxpayer alike.

Hopefully major amendments to Speaker Ryan’s proposal will be allowed,  but I’m not at all optimistic about that.

Why is Speaker Ryan’s proposal such a miserable first attempt?  Conservative Review has a very insightful theory  which they shared in this Article

In order to benefit individuals, a plan would have to focus on choice, competition, flexibility – the things that allow people to purchase what best suits their needs. Enter the next act in the health care reform drama – Paul Ryan’s “American Health Care Act” (AHCA for short). Republicans believe in free markets, right? So clearly the fundamental underpinnings of a Republican-designed health care plan will focus on freedom and individual choice, right? Uh … right?

A close look at the AHCA reveals a different operating philosophy, one more tied to preserving the status quo and appeasing industry interests than to improving cost of care, and choice for individuals. Put more simply, Paul Ryan’s Obamacare substitute is fundamentally geared toward keeping a stable customer base for insurers and encouraging universal insurance coverage rather than toward enabling a free market for health care.

According to this article, The Federalist has a theory about why Speaker Ryan’s proposal fails to repeal ObamaCare:

If you want to know why Republicans have bogged down, notice one peculiar thing about the Obamacare debate so far. It’s not really a debate over Obamacare, it’s a debate over Medicaid. That’s because Obamacare mostly turned out to be a big expansion of Medicaid. The health insurance exchanges that were supposed to provide affordable private health insurance (under a government aegis) never really delivered.

Ever since the passage of ObamaCare, Republican were united under the banner of full repeal and then replace.  Unfortunately, Speaker Ryan’s proposal is only a partial repeal. After the release of RyanCare, the Republicans are now seriously, if not hopelessly,  divided.  I believe only a return to full repeal will unite the Republican Party.  After the full repeal then the Republicans can pass a free market, patient centered replacement such as the one Senator Rand Paul authored.  Here is a link to his plan: Rand Paul Plan.

Look what’s happening in Sweden. Look what’s happening anywhere in Germany, anywhere there are large influxes of a Muslim population. Things don’t end well for women and gays. The left has got to make a decision. Either they want female emancipation and it wants gay rights or it wants Islam. It’s got to pick.”

Milo Yiannopoulos

I know that the left is one again on one of it’s uproars over Rep Steve King latest tweet so in the interest of education let me explain the basic facts of life in a way liberals can understand.

Kellyanne Conway

The woman to the left Is Kellyanne Conway. She was the campaign manager of the victorious Donald Trump campaign. She is a very public pro-life christian. She and her husband have four young children currently in school. She is a pro-life Christian and fifty years old. She is hated and despised by the left and regularly derided by the MSM

The woman to the right is Amanda Marcotte. She is a radical liberal feminist who writes for various liberal publications and often appears on MSNBC. She is a very public pro-abortion woman who has declared that she doesn’t want any children and she and her “partner” do not have any. She is 39 years old. She is celebrated by the left and is respected by the MSM

This is Rachel Maddow. She is a radical liberal lesbian who has her own TV show on MSNBC that is very popular with the left and highly respected by the mainstream media of which she is a part of. She is a very public pro-abortion lesbian married to another woman. She is 44 years old.

Andrew Breitbart “sits” for an interview at CPAC 2011

The fellow on the table in the photo to the right is Andrew Breitbart. He was a conservative icon, founder of the various Breitbart news sites and very pubic opponent of the left. He was strongly pro life. He and his wife had four children before his death five years ago this month at the age of 43.

In the 2016 election Ms. Marcotte and Ms Maddow and their respective partner’s and spouses had 4 potential votes votes. Because of Andrew’s death his wife and Kellyanne Conway’s spouse only had three.

In in the 2020 election barring accident or injury the families of Ms Marcotte and Ms Maddow will still have 4 potential votes to cast. However the families of Mrs. Conway and Mr. Breitbart will have five as Andrew’s two oldest children will both be of voting age.

In election 2024 Ms. Marcotte and Maddow will be holding steady at 4 votes, while the Conway and Breitbart clans will double them up as Kellyanne’s twins will reach voting age as will Andrew’s third child bringing the total to eight.

By election day 2028 while the Maddow and Marcottes continue to hold steady at 4 potential votes the Breitbart and Conway families will not only be up to 11 votes as the youngest of their children reach voting age nearly tripling Marcotte and Maddow total but it is very likely that there will be several grandchildren born by this time.

That means by election day 2048 those grandchildren will be of voting age and by election day 2068 even if the Marcottes and Maddows hand on into their 90’s the Conway and Breitbart families will continue to outvote them even if Andrew’s wife, Kellyanne and her husband aren’t there to see it.

The left may not like Steve King’s words, but his grasp of Math and Biology is flawless and no amount of outrage will change it. The future belongs to those who show up which is one of the reasons that the Pro-life side has been making steady gains for twenty years.

This is the reality of biology and demographics that Rep Steve King was trying to explain and no amount of outrage is going to change these facts. As I said a few months ago:

In 20 years the children of Muslims now being raised on the tenets of Sharia law in America will be old enough to vote and Democrats going to make sure they get those votes when the time come, not now but 10-20 years from now.

And if that means more LGBT Americans have to live in fear during those two decades, well it’s small price to pay for power.

Perhaps that’s why King is concerned where the left is not, after all you don’t have to worry about the country you leave your children when you don’t have any.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – This is the saddest thing I’ve read this week: it’s the removal instructions for bidders competing for the job of removing three Confederate statues in New Orleans.

In a disappointing decision last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go ahead for the removal of the monuments:

In the ruling, the three-judge panel with the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the groups trying to block the removal of the monuments, Monumental Task Committee and the Louisiana Landmarks Society, failed to present a case that contained a legal argument that showed the monuments should stay up. The court wrote that the groups relied on two legal claims, “both of which wholly lack legal viability or support.”

Immediately following the decision, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s team opened up the bidding process, this time with the promise of confidentiality for the bidders. The last time bids were solicited, things turned ugly when bidders were threatened and in once case a Lamborghini was torched.

In an interview with NPR on Saturday, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said that it’s important to take the statues down for the reason that post-Katrina he and his staff decided to rebuild the city as “it always should have been and not the way that it’s been developed over time” – as if he is the only person that gets to decide that. Landrieu says the Robert E. Lee statue is there for the sole reason that Lee led an army against the United States of America for the purposes of telling African Americans that they were less than human.”  I contend that Mayor Landrieu needs a few history classes.

In an opinion piece at The Hayride, Mike Bayham points out that public opinion is “tepid” on removal:

Why the city of New Orleans seems to be in such a rush to knock [the monuments] off their respective pedestals is curious as 1) two polls conducted in the city showed only tepid support for removing the monuments (34% and 50%) and 2) the city has yet to figure out what to do with the statues.

It is unclear at this point what the next step will be. There is growing sentiment now that at least with regard to the Lee monument, which stands 16.5 feet tall atop a 68-foot tall pedestal, the city should be required to remove the entire pedestal, which it is reluctant to do.  Supporters do not want Landrieu to be able to plop a monument to a character of his own choosing atop the Lee pedestal.

Certainly once we begin to sanitize and remove history we are on a slippery slope. There is no end to it. Regardless of how one feels on the issue of the Confederacy, once we begin removing works of public art because of dissenting opinions we are no better than censors and become one with the propagandists who would have you stick your head in the sand, ready to rewrite history.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

 

by baldilocks

Re-edited.

By now, most regular readers know of my background in the USAF as a German/Russian linguist, replete with attendant clearance, a couple of stints stationed in Old West Berlin—pre- and post-Fall of the Wall. (Aside: despite the existence of a large group of people who did not know this and who assume that I’m an idiot, I’m very well-versed in World War I, World War II and Cold War history. They can be viewed as different aspects of the same war.)

Some of these readers think–for whatever reason–that I’m not qualified to delve into certain areas of commentary and I figured that I’d help them out.

Onward to “this morning’s” news, that Former President Obama’s DOJ allegedly approved a pre-election FISA warrant which allowed the wiretapping of Trump Towers. Be advised, FISA warrants aren’t issued for suspected mundane criminal misconduct, but for suspected collusion with foreign powers against the USA. The F in FISA is there for a reason. These warrants don’t go through the FBI [Ed. though they can be requested by the FBI] and are issued by a secret FISA courts at the behest of the DOJ [and/or the FBI]. (By the way, I’m old enough to remember when Democrats opined that the FISA process was the next step toward tyranny and tried to destroy it. If what’s being said in 2017 is true, the FISA court has, however, become more useful to them.) How was this (re-)discovered? President Trump Twitter-ranted about it this morning.

Former President Obama says that he didn’t order the Code Red surveillance on Trump Towers. From Kevin Lewis, the former president’s spokesman:

How buck-passing and non-denial of him. And, one wonders what Fox News’ James Rosen, his parents, and the Associated Press would have to say about the matter at hand.

Allegedly, the Obama DOJ requested a warrant in June of last year, but the FISA court said that the request was too broad. So, the administration narrowed its focus, tried again in October, and was successful. This would explain a lot about the pummeling of General Flynn, the attempted takedown of Jeffrey Sessions, and the Democrats’ newly found faux-animosity toward all things Russian.

Prediction: no one will confirm or deny the existence of a FISA warrant for Trump Towers. The court is, by law, a secret one and, rightly or wrongly, its three members will stay behind that veil. My opinion: it would be the right decision, though, with the rampant lawlessness in high places, that opinion could change.

And, as Dan Riehl said a few hours ago, this gives a whole new view to the June 2016 “chance” meeting between Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Former President William J. Clinton.

Did he (BHO), or didn’t he? And even if he didn’t, the remedies to such a far-reaching problem for the aftereffects of what the 44th president actually did do may prove more painful than the disease. This is why we told you not to elect him.

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!

baldilocks

Update (dtg) Instalanche Thanks Glenn and well done Juliette. May I take the liberty of plugging our extensive CPAC reporting that at four interviews a day will require at least another full month to post completely.


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). Be aware that due to the sheer volume of videos to upload if I interviewed you it might be days before you see it here

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar

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