by baldilocks

The Obamas seem to like all the trappings of wealth and power: the SUV limos, the ability to clog city traffic for miles; the private jets, the ability to travel at will and at where; the designers hankering to be employed , the magazine covers.obama-and-wife

I’ve known people like this all my life.  Such persons will bash those richer than they. However, if these same persons ever become rich, they will not be shy about displaying evidence of their wealth, meant for the consumption of your eyeballs—nor will they be shy about looking down on you for having less money.  It’s a mini-drama played out in traffic all the time here in Southern California and, undoubtedly, all over.  My great-aunt called it ‘floor-showing.’

And, that’s what I think the Obamas have been doing since the inauguration, but there’s more to the charade than that: it’s a sort of “in your face” attitude to struggling America. From the Obamas, with spite.

They are saying this to us:

“We’ll take your country down; we’ll hollow out every institution you hold dear; we’ll shame you before other nations;

“We’ll spend every last cent in your treasury, and then some; we’ll make worthless that which is left;

“We’ll spy on you—on the street, on the phone, on the Internet, even in your bedroom;

“We’ll pay all your local and state law enforcement agencies to militarize themselves and to strike fear in you; you’ll never know what they are going to do, nor when;

“We’ll do all of those things and more.

“And while we’re doing it, we’re going to have a great time spending your money—eating, drinking, golfing, taking selfies, and being merry, for…

“Tomorrow, you die. And you deserve to die.”

It isn’t as if they’ve been keeping it a secret.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

An update on Venezuela by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz:

The country, well into Communism by now, continues its descent into chaos.

Nine senior government officials, including military officers, one diplomat and pro-government politicians, are in the most recent U.S. government’s list of active drug kingpins and terrorists, the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN).

Price controls wreck the economy. CNN reports how fist fights have broken out outside bakeries, and price controls lead to smuggling goods to be sold in Colombia, where the goods can be sold at (higher) market price.

The government’s talks with the opposition are falling apart. Caracas Gringo looks at the official opposition party, the MUD, and finds,

First, the handful MUD “representatives” participating in the farcical dialogue brokered by the foreign ministers of Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil were exposed last week in Washington, DC as regime bootlickers who don’t represent anyone.

Second, if these MUD characters engaged in the “dialogue” ever had any claim to being the official “representatives” of the “organized opposition,” it’s now clear that there isn’t any “organized opposition” and the MUD’s dirt bags only represent themselves.

The MUD has now announced they will no longer participate in the “talks”.

The government, however, is cracking down on protesters. Last week hundreds of students were arrested; of those, 155 were released. Eleven are being held on

charges including weapons offenses, criminal association and incitement to violate laws, as well as drug violations.

Reuters estimates that 160 people remain in jail from round-ups since February. They may remain there indefinitely held up on procedural delays, as Leopoldo López, leader of the Voluntad Popular (People’s Will) has been since turning himself in on February 28.

There’s more oppression to come: Yesterday National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello singled out 14 Venezuelans as conspirators. Cabello has been banned from entry into the U.S. from his participation in the 1992 coup.

Human Rights Watch’s report on the state of repression in Venezuela proves that

the government of Nicolás Maduro, which has been battling anti-government protests since February, routinely uses unlawful force against unarmed protesters, and even against bystanders or people just passing by demonstrations. Common practices include severe beatings, the indiscriminate use of bullets, rubber pellets, and teargas against civilians, and the shooting at close range with rubber bullets of people in custody. It also proves the continued and systematic mistreatment of detainees; in some cases, these abuses clearly qualify as torture.

American lefties would have you believe that the continuing struggle is a matter of pro-U.S. versus anti-U.S., left versus right, rich versus poor, socialism versus capitalism; Moisés Naím asserts the truth:

It is between those who defend a government that violates human rights as a state-sanctioned policy and those who are willing to sacrifice themselves to stop it.

What is at stake? Assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado spells it out:

it is not a matter of asking the regime to change its policies; it will not. Our struggle is for regime change by constitutional means, as soon as possible; and it is therefore essential to maintain peacefully public pressure in the streets.

A fellow Barquisimetan impeccably expressed it these days “it is not about improving the conditions of captivity , it is about living in freedom.”

Not only for Venezuela, but for the region.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

rand_paul-618x400by baldilocks

Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been intimating that the GOP should drop the topic of voter ID legislation. This position seems to have been influenced by his speech at Howard University—a historically black university—and by his meeting with a group of black pastors. In short, in these two meetings, it seems that some sets of self-appointed black “leaders” and spokesbodies have informed him and his party should lay off the advocacy so as not to appear racist, especially racist against blacks.

And, today, Senator Paul seems to be saying “let’s not drop it, but let’s keep it on the down-low.”

It’s really tough to listen to politicians “debate” issues like voter ID as if a solid foundation for debate actually exists. It’s equally tough to watch as reasonably sane politicians like Senator Paul kowtow to the bought and paid-for Leftist shills as they tell him what the Organized Left—their masters–want.

The Organized Left wants anyone and everyone—citizen or not—to be able to vote and to do so as many times as desired. That ability makes voter fraud easier and voter ID laws prevent these frauds. And, since there is no above-board reason to oppose voter ID, one has to be fabricated. Racism charges always work.

The idea that there are large groups of black Americans running around with no form of identification is so incredibly ridiculous—not to mention insulting—that it seems equally ridiculous even to explain it.

However, the beauty of this particular fraud is two-fold. Common sense will tell most observers that this notion is the most blatant of lies, and, therefore, many proponents of voter ID see no need to spell out why it’s a lie. Secondly, we Americans have been inundated for so long with the idea that black Americans are helpless babies that some of us who don’t know that many poor black persons may begin to believe the lie.

Why won’t some prominent politician have the stones to call the foundation undergirding opposition to voter ID what it actually is? It’s Bravo Sierra.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Any discussion of the following subject reminds me that, in order to have even a chance of being in the ballpark of a correct conclusion, it’s necessary to be able to analyze information properly, rather than simply to gather it.  The will and ability to do this has become essential—not just to “win” an argument, but for personal and national survival.

After I posted Discover the Networks’The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Goal for North America” on my Facebook page, one of my friends pointed out that Christianity has a violent history as well. My response:

In order for an individual to examine the tenets of any faith, that person must look at the foundational work establishing that faith. Before the Bible was made available to the everyday Christian, the Church leadership–meaning the Roman Catholic Church clergy–dispensed doctrine and interpreted in whatever manner they saw fit.

After Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, the Bible was mass-produced, making it available to all who could read it–and, most importantly, translated from Latin in other European languages.  It is no accident that Christianity was radically transformed and Reformed after that.

A similar reform—or reversion– is happening to Islam with respect to its doctrines and, subsequently, its adherents.

One of the Founders of these two religions commanded his followers to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind and to love one’s neighbor as self; the other commanded his followers to convert non-believers at the point of the sword or make them pay the unbelievers’ tax.

As each set of followers have become more and more familiar with the foundational doctrines of their respective religious beliefs, each has begun to behave more in accordance with those doctrines: one set has become less totalitarian almost to the point of zero and the other, more aggressive and violent.

The Bible and the Koran are objective documents with historical contexts readily available in this information age.  It is up to the individual to make himself/herself familiar enough with both–if desired–in order to come to a cogent conclusions about each.

Naturally, my friend mentioned the genocides committed in the name of Jesus. Of course, the crimes of the prior millennium’s Church are well-known and acknowledged:

Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands–not by the act of  leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Christ, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose of the foregoing.  The European missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own ethnicity.

Christians have used Christ to justify all kinds of sin—much easier to do when it was illegal for non-clergy to read the Bible. However, these crimes do not take anything away from the quality of the Gospel; they only speak to the quality the imperfect human beings proclaiming it.  Again, were such missionaries following the Bible or ignoring the inconvenient parts when they trampled non-Christian cultures? And was the Islamic group Boko Haram following the Koran or ignoring it when the group abducted hundreds of non-Muslim girls from a Nigerian school?

A little thinking-through of things won’t hurt. On the contrary, it might save our lives.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

OK, I admit it: I have used Twitter hashtags on my posts on Venezuela as a means to both promoting my blog posts and keeping track of Venezuelan news, but now the “#hashtag” thing has me puzzled.

Last month we had hashtag diplomacy: State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued this,

To this day I do not know exactly what “the promise of hashtag” means, represents, or refers to, but I’m quite certain that Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB, is not quaking in his boots. But, hey, Psaki stands for “the social media approach to foreign policy”, and she’s sticking to it . . .

. . . much to the amusement of the Twitchiers.

Fast-forward to this week’s news of the horrific crimes committed by Islamist terrorists Boko Haram in Nigeria, which have kidnapped 250 girls. This is front-page news, but Boko Haram has a horrifying history.

Pete wrote about Boko Haram this morning. If you read the Ayaan Hirsi Ali article he linked to, she points out,

The group was founded in 2002 by a young Islamist called Mohammed Yusuf, who started out preaching in a Muslim community in the Borno state of northern Nigeria. He set up an educational complex, including a mosque and an Islamic school. For seven years, mostly poor families flocked to hear his message. But in 2009, the Nigerian government investigated Boko Haram and ultimately arrested several members, including Yusuf himself. The crackdown sparked violence that left about 700 dead. Yusuf soon died in prison—the government said he was killed while trying to escape—but the seeds had been planted. Under one of Yusuf’s lieutenants, Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram turned to jihad.

In 2011, Boko Haram launched its first terror attack in Borno. Four people were killed, and from then on violence became an integral part, if not the central part, of its mission. The recent kidnappings—11 more girls were abducted by Boko Haram on Sunday—join a litany of outrages, including multiple car bombings and the murder of 59 schoolboys in February. On Monday, as if to demonstrate its growing power, Boko Haram launched a 12-hour attack in the city of Gamboru Ngala, firing into market crowds, setting houses aflame and shooting down residents who ran from the burning buildings. Hundreds were killed.

So excuse me if I am perplexed by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. A bevy of celebrities are on it, including Michelle Obama,

and the always-relevant and chic Bianca Jagger,

By the way, under Hillary Clinton, the State Department repeatedly declined to fully go after Boko Haram. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing a photo of Hillary holding up a #BringBackOurGirls sign any time soon.(SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE 2)

To me, it all amounts to Operation Pouty Face. Larry Correia, who’s been a guest in Da Tech Guy on the Radio, doesn’t mince words,

One thing I’m fairly sure of about the kind of people who do that sort of thing for a living, is that they really don’t give a [expletive deleted] about a bunch of American movie stars taking pouty selfies of themselves holding up signs with hash tag give our girls back. The disapproval of fat, soft, Americans on Facebook really doesn’t move them. They care about getting paid or getting killed, that’s about it. The self-righteous pouting is useless.

Larry’s post must be read in full, and he drives home the point that,

The real solution? Nigeria is one of dozens of screwed up countries. If Nigeria wants to be truly safe from slavers and madmen, it is going to require the Nigerians defend themselves from
[expletive deleted], and if the Nigerian government won’t do it, then the Nigerian government needs to be replaced by Nigerians who want something better. For the thousands of other evil events that don’t trend on Twitter, replace Nigeria with whatever lawless [expletive deleted]hole country is in question and you get the same answer. People get freedom when they demand it for themselves.

faustaHashtagging to Putin, to Boko Haram, to the evil in this world? I mean, this is pathetic, the message this sends to people around the world.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz is old enough to remember the Nixon era, and believes the term expletive deleted should be timely for the upcoming Benghazi hearings. She writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Update DTG: Gotta add this quote from Iowahawk:

UPDATE 2 FRW:
I was 1/2 wrong: Hillary did use the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, but didn’t post her photo holding up the sign,

by baldilocks

Ten years ago, after Monica Lewinsky responded publicly to former President William Clinton’s characterization of their affair, I wrote her an open letter. Excerpt:

1)      Go to graduate school. Become a nurse, or a scientist, or an architect. Do NOT become a lawyer, a journalist or a politician. Do NOT go into show business, unless you’re going to be a producer or part of the crew.

2)      Immerse yourself in your Jewish heritage/religion. Or some other religion.

3)      Get involved in some little-publicized charity work.

4)      Stay out of the public eye as much as possible. Change your name, if you see fit. But whatever happens, refuse to give any interviews on anything regarding former President Clinton and the scandal created by the two of you.

Why should you do these things? By immersing yourself in, taking care of, building or studying something for you, you can carve out a new reputation for yourself, instead of being constantly saddled with the old one. Accomplish something. Make a difference, a positive one.

I don’t know whether she knows that this letter exists, but it seems that she took much of my advice. Turning down multi-million dollar offers–presumably, to tell her story–she moved to London and earned a Master’s degree in psychology at the London School of Economics. And, she kept silent about her part in the indiscretion—until now.Lewinsky

Unfortunately and predictably, many employers were unable to see past her infamous past. But Lewinsky takes responsibility for her choices and seems much more mindful of the consequences of her actions in her mature years—as all thinking persons become.. Additionally, she is conscious of the fact that she may further suffer for her new openness about the topic.

I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)

As opposed to the last time Lewinsky spoke out, her timing is right. I hope she expounds on the professional and personal costs that she has paid for a singular reason: other young women need to read these things. To stand voluntarily as a warning to others is an admirable thing to do. And, as was so the last time she spoke out, I wish Ms. Lewinsky all the best.

(Thanks to Legal Insurrection)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in baldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Remember when conspiracy theories and theorists were ridiculed? Those were the good old days. More and more, however, Ibaldilocks find myself considering the possibilities of things I had previously thought to be ridiculous. Watching a concerted effort to take down a nation will do that.

In addition, I also find myself reading the opinions of persons who have been saying for decades, that there are groups long in existence, which have had the USA, as it was founded, in their sites. The idea seemed so secretive and shadowy before.

But, here is a man who points out that everything that’s happening to us has happened out in the open. We just didn’t want to see it. (Be advised: the commentator is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.)

This ever-growing network has been constructed right out in the open with a long lead-up after World War Two, and then an exponential ramp-up following the attacks of 9/11/01 and the paranoia entailed by it. It is surely a remarkable thing that there have been no terror acts on the grand scale in America since 9/11. The 2013 Boston marathon “pressure cooker” bombs that killed 3 people and maimed over 250 others was a way smaller op than 9/11 and relatively amateurish, and the Deep State did not prevent the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers from pulling it off despite the fact that the elder brother, Tamerlan, had been on an FBI watch list for two years prior to the bombing. The Fort Hood massacre of 2009 (13 fatalities [sic—14, including the unborn child of one soldier]) was perpetrated by, of all things, an army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan. You’d think the army would have been onto this fellow… he being right under its nose… but what better illustration of basic institutional failure?

This national blindness is more than just a gigantic educational deficit. The blindness is spiritual and it is the reason I often post about things Christian. Many of us—including our earthly leaders–are unable to see what’s coming because of that blindness, one caused by things not flesh and blood.

I pray that God decides to open more eyes. Discernment is your friend.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

 

Pastor Kellyby Pastor George Kelly

Our nation’s recent “Civil Rights” history (1954 to the present) is one in which Americans are both rightly and justly proud of.

The America of the pre Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 was one in which America was greatly divided by Race, Gender, and Regional sensibilities.

The late great historian John Hope Franklin wrote that with regards to importance in the field of Civil Rights initiatives that three President’s come to mind:  1.) President Harry S. Truman; 2.) President John F. Kennedy; and 3.) Lyndon B. Johnson.

Dr. Franklin stated that these three Presidents are important because Truman broke through the field of American indifference; Kennedy saw the need for [Federal] action; and Johnson applied that action.  Mr. Franklin felt that if he had to rank these three Presidents’ with regards to importance that he would rank President Kennedy in third place.

All three of the aforementioned Presidents were members of the Democratic Party.

This is extremely impressive when one remembers that the Democratic Party was composed of the Solid South which strongly supported “segregation” and “second-class” citizenship for her people of color.  The Democratic Party came a long way from their “racist” and “segregationist” past.

While John Hope Franklin was known during his lifetime as an expert in the areas of both American history and American Studies, one might be tempted to add one more President to his list and that would be thee name of former President Dwight David Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower was referred to affectionately by the name of “Ike” during his lifetime.

President Eisenhower was a decorated 5-Star General, a former college president (Columbia University), a gentleman farmer (he owned a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) – and the 34th President of the United States of America.

President Eisenhower lived from 1890 to 1969 and he was a man of “The Greatest Generation” and he was a man of his time.

When Eisenhower was born, America was less than one generation removed from the Civil War.  Furthermore, the world in which Eisenhower inhabited as a young boy/man was one in which Negroes and Whites lived in worlds that with regards to economic attainment and educational pursuits was mostly “segregated and unequal.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower grew to manhood during the timeframe between both World War I and World War II.  As a young man Eisenhower shared many of the prejudices of his day; historians such as the late Stephen Ambrose wrote that one might have stated that “Ike” did not care much for Negroes.  However, to his credit, Ike’s viewpoints on race changed during his lifetime.

Towards the end of the Second World War, Ike was short on manpower and he saw that there were many Negroes soldiers who were not deployed as combatants in the European theater.  General Eisenhower asked these men if they would like to suit up for combat duty; to the General’s delight these men eagerly desired to fight for their nation.

It was events like this one in Europe that began a slow and deliberate process of changing Eisenhower’s view towards Negroes from one of seeing them as second-class citizens to embracing Negroes [Black or African-Americans today] as full and equal citizens.

Once Eisenhower became President, he involved himself in a series of quiet and behind the scenes moves that greatly enhanced the fight for Negro rights and enabled the nascent Civil Rights Movement to pick up speed and momentum.

President Eisenhower appointed former California Governor Earl Warren (R) to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice.  Secondly, President Eisenhower appointed many Southern judges (members of the Republican Party) to both the district and appellate courts.     Much has been written about these judges who were dubbed the title of “Unlikely Heroes”; these judges applied the logic of the Brown decision to the school and domestic jurisdictions within their legal purview.

Eisenhower forced the state of Arkansas to comply with desegregation by sending Troops to force the Democratic Governor Oval Faubus and recalcitrant southern political establishment to admit Negro students to Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

An interesting note is that President Eisenhower asked Vice-President Richard Nixon to place a call to the Evangelist Billy Graham to ask the Reverend Billy Graham for his thoughts on this situation.  Dr. Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and as a native of the South he had unique insights into the Southern mindset.

Without blinking an eye, Mr. Graham told the Vice-President that the South MUST NOT be allowed to flaunt the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision which he saw as being both proper and morally just.  Dr. Graham suggested that force be used if necessary.  President Eisenhower surprised with this answer called Graham himself to confirm and he received the same answer from Mr. Graham as was given to Vice-President Nixon.

Finally, Eisenhower continued the process of desegregating our nation’s capital that began with the Truman Administration and which was not fully completed until President Lyndon Johnson handed the keys of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the newly inaugurated President Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

One might suggest to the late historian John Hope Franklin if he were alive that President Eisenhower deserves a place in the Honor Roll of Presidents that have made significant contributions in the field of Civil Rights.

President Eisenhower, we should all thank you for your capacity for growth, integrity, and for your positive contributions toward American equality.

By Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Before you read this post, keep in mind that an attack on an American embassy or consulate is an attack on American soil. The attack occurred on the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack.

The Twitchy guys had a field day with The Breakfast Club-like response from former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor:

Bret Baier: According to the emails and the timeline, the CIA circulates new talking points after they remove the mention of al-Qaeda, and then, at 6:21, the White House, you,
Tommy Vietor: Me.
BB: add a line about the administration warning of September 10th, of social media reports calling for demonstrations. True?
TV: I . . . believe so.
BB: Did you also change attacks to demonstrations in the talking points?
TV: Maybe. I don’t really remember.
BB: You don’t remember?
TV: Dude, this was like two years ago.

Let’s interrupt this for a second to raise the issue of the video:
Andrew McCarthy, who convicted the Blind Sheik over the first World Trade Center attack, points out (emphasis added),

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, these jihadists plotted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threatened a 1979 Iran-style raid on the embassy: Americans would be taken hostage to ransom for the Blind Sheikh’s release from American prison (he is serving a life sentence). Other jihadists threatened to burn the embassy to the ground — a threat that was reported in the Egyptian press the day before the September 11 “protests.”

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Department also knew about the obscure anti-Muslim video. Few Egyptians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on September 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Joscelyn has elaborated, the Cairo rioting was driven by the jihadists who were agitating for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threatening for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the American flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

But back to the Baier-Vietor interview:

10 seconds into the video:
TV: A couple of things: One, I was in the situation room that night, ok?, and we didn’t know where the ambassador was definitively,
BB: Was the President in the situation room?
TV: No, and the fact that your network at one time reported that he watched video feed of the attack as it was ongoing is part of what I think is being innacurate
BB: Let me get to the bottom of that. Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.
1 minute into the video:
BB: Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.

Watch the whole interview:

Only after a series of edits — with various State, White House, and CIA officials massaging the talking points — do the talking points themselves “spontaneously evolve” to include a direct claim that there were demonstrations in Benghazi. Vietor will have you believe “that’s what bureaucrats do all day long.”

The fact remains that

The most serious attack on a US mission since the storming of the country’s embassy in Tehran in 1979 has occurred in a nation that Washington claims to have liberated from tyranny.

A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general who was on duty at U.S. African Command headquarters in Germany during the Benghazi attacks said today said commanders quickly concluded that the event did not evolve from a protest, but that it was “a hostile military action.” This took place in the height of the 2012 presidential campaign, with the talking points of “Obama killed Bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s on the run.”

Where was Obama? Where was Hillary?

So where were they on the fateful night of September 11? Tommy Vietor–formerly Obama’s van driver, now, apparently, a foreign policy spokesman–says that Obama wasn’t in the situation room. Where was he? Resting up for his big fundraising trip to Las Vegas the next day? And how about Hillary? As Paul wrote earlier this evening, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell testified today that the military should have tried to rescue the besieged Americans in Benghazi. Why didn’t they? They were waiting, he testified, for a request from the State Department that never came.

Now there’s another Benghazi email,

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.

BUT!
Jay Carney’s now saying those emails aren’t about Benghazi.

More questions: Why was Chris Stevens in Benghazi? Why were requests from an ambassador for additional security denied?

One more question: How did the attackers know the ambassador would be at the consulate in Benghazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli?

But, hey, nothing to see here. “It’s all a partisan issue,” a phony scandal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

The World Cup is scheduled to open in Sao Paolo on Thursday June 12th, with performers Claudia Leitte, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, but 223 miles away the Rio favelas are in the middle of a worsening crime wave:
Rio chaos in countdown to kick-off
Gunfights and killings in shanty towns have escalated just weeks before the World Cup begins in Brazil
(emphasis added)

“There are two drug gangs and one militia. So it won’t be in two days, it won’t be in a year, that we bring peace quickly,” said Luiz Pezão, the new governor of Rio, after meeting with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

Characterised by its chaotically-built red-brick shanty homes and illicit energy connections, Maré has been a strategic stronghold for Rio’s drug gangs for years, given its location near the airport and one of the main thoroughfares through the city.
. . .

The authorities believe that criminals in Maré have been coordinating attacks in other favelas on the police who have been stationed there as part of the ongoing pacification programme. Since the start of the year, at least 16 officers have been killed.

Street protests continue to rock the country just 45 days away from the opening, so Luiz Felipe Scolari, the coach of Brazil’s national soccer team, is worried as he

told Brazilian television Sunday that protests calling for social change and criticism of the amount of money spent on the tournament “could big-time” be a negative influence on his team.

And call the Bar Rescue guy, folks, since instead of the World’s Most Interesting Man, Usama bin Laden bars are taking over Brazil

Though it may be in poor taste, Fernandes’ hot spot was only the first of bin Laden themed hangouts in Brazil. Mac Margolis of Vocativ found “nearly a dozen Brazilian establishments” named after the former Al-Qaida leader- including a sport where thirsty fans in Rio can shoot a game of pool at Caverna do Bin Laden.

What could possibly go wrong?
faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.