For the next three days I’m going to be flat out.  Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for life who you’ve seen hosting EWTN’s series Defending life, will be doing several events in several cities for WQPH 89.3 and I’ll be covering him and those who attend the various, events, masses and dinners over Divine Mercy Sunday.  You can get tickets for the various dinners and lunches here and the events are open to the public so I hope to see you in Boston, Malden, Medford and Fitchburg particularly at the Eucharistic Procession on Saturday in Fitchburg.

If you are only interested in mass there will be four two of which he will be the celebrant.

Sat 8 AM  St. Joseph’s Church Medford  Fr. Imbarrato celebrant

Sat Noon St. Bernards Church at St. Camillus Parish Fitchburg

Sat 5 PM Madonna of the Holy Rosary 118 Theresa st. Fitchburg 

Sunday 4:30 PM  Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine Boston Fr. Imbarrato celebrant

(the Final Mass will be preceded at 2:30 by confession and a Holy Hour)

Full details are here.


Speaking of life the most pro-life president of my lifetime has once again taken concrete action defending it.

America’s largest provider of terminations, Planned Parenthood, described the new measure, which has delighted pro-life conservatives, as “designed to undermine women’s health”.

The new law nullifies a rule finalised in the last days of the Barack Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services, regardless of whether groups offering these services also performed abortions.

The new measure cleared Congress last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

The Yahoo article describing this drips with contempt but this was also a win for States as Hotair noted:

When the vote was cast, Senator Joni Ernst praised the bill. “It should be the right of our states to allocate sub-grants under the Title X program in the way that best fits the needs of the people living there,” Ernst said according to a report in the NY Times. She added, “Unfortunately, like many other rules issued during the Obama administration, this rule attempted to empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.”

I think it’s really something that the items this president has managed to advance have been pro-life.  I’m ecstatic.


Also at Hotair it seems like the most prolife president in my lifetime will be meeting with Pope Francis after all:

Just to John Gizzi’s point, I just want to make sure I note that we will be reaching out to the Vatican to see if a meeting, an audience with the Pope can be accommodated.  We’ll have further details on that.  Obviously, we’d be honored to have an audience with His Holiness.

Gronk scores? (Well, we’re used to that.) What’s odd about this is that several questions had come between Gizzi’s exchange and this later answer. The question on the table when Gronkowski interrupted was about NAFTA. No one had followed up on Gizzi’s question, but Spicer returned to it anyway. Hmmm.

At least as late as last night, the Vatican still hadn’t heard from the White House, either. America Magazine’s Gerard O’Connell reports that the Holy See’s diplomatic office is happy to arrange the meeting if they get the request:

While Francis has been a mixed bag great on confession and the danger of the devil and weak on Dogma (we still haven’t seen an answer to the four Cardinals dubia on the Amoris Laetitia footnote concerning marriage and communion)  on the issue of abortion he has been very clear in both speeches and encyclicals condemning it, although if you listen to democrats and the media it’s as if he never has.

Meanwhile Trump has so far been falling on the Paul of Tarsus vs the Simon the Magician side of the conversion scale.

They should have a lot to talk about.


Speaking of life guess what’s alive again? An Obamacare repeal compromise:

You can understand why the compromise might appeal to both the conservative and moderate wings inside the GOP. For the Freedom Caucus, it means red states will be able to shed onerous federal regs and offer a greater variety of health-care plans, replete with lower premiums for consumers. For the Tuesday Group, the fact that waivers are available but not mandatory means that blue states will be able to keep the more robust ObamaCare rules intact if they like. In that sense, the plan bears a slight resemblance to Bill Cassidy’s and Susan Collins’s proposal, which would have repealed ObamaCare and then let each state choose whether to “reimplement” it or to build their own tailor-made system. The new GOP deal doesn’t go that far but it’s a step in that direction vis-a-vis EHBs and community rating. If you believe a Freedom Caucus source who spoke to CNBC, there are 25 to 30 FC members ready to flip to yes to vote for this deal — a bit surprising given libertarian suspicions that waivers will be harder for states to obtain than everyone thinks.

And of course if it defends Planned Parenthood as well that’s going to be a biggie too.

There is a lot of talk about the first 100 days but I think that’s arbitrary, I’d just worry about getting it done period because it it gets done then we can always do more later.


You know what might also be alive again?  Ann Coulter’s speech not just At Berkeley but invited BY Berkeley which claims they have…

identified an appropriate, protectable venue that is available on the afternoon of May 2. While it is not one we have used for these sorts of events in the past, it can both accommodate a substantial audience and meet the security criteria established by our police department. Earlier today, we informed both the Berkeley College Republicans and the Coulter organization of this development, and we look forward to working with them. We will disclose the exact location of the venue once we have finalized details with both organizations.

Hotair explains the volte face:

She was going to show up anyway and create a security clusterfark for them when the usual suspects inevitably started smashing windows. That was the nuclear option. Berkeley doesn’t care about bad press from the right; the fascist left wears that as a badge of honor. They don’t care about First Amendment lawsuits either. But if the town is going to burn on the 27th and they’re going to get sued by the victims for not having done more to provide security, then sure, they’ll spring into action and find a “protectable venue.” If this standoff is destined to happen, better from the school’s perspective that it happen in an environment they can sort of control than one they can’t. Coulter forced them to choose. Any other conservative speaker with the guts and the dough to provide their own security, just in case, can probably get other public universities to back down with the same threat.

Coulter has told them they can go pound sand she’s coming the 27th anyway:

Hours later, Coulter shot down the invitation in a series of tweets and said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday as planned not only because she “can’t do May 2,” but “THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2!!!”

That week is “Dead Week,” a time when classes are suspended so students can study for exams.

“It’s at an awful time,” said Naweed Tahmas, 20, of the Berkeley College Republicans student group that invited Coulter. Also, the last day of instruction is three days later.

“Do not fall for b.s. Berkeley press release claiming they ‘rescinded’ cancelation,” Coulter tweeted. “GOOD NEWS FOR CA TAXPAYER! You won’t be required to pay $$$$ to compensate me & my crew for rebooked airfare & hotels. I’m speaking on 4/27.”

Your move Berkeley.


There was an interesting piece on Jake Tapper in the Washington Free Beacon worth quoting:

In a candid interview with GQ published Tuesday, Tapper acknowledged that after his tough interviews of administration figures like Kellyanne Conway, he picked up a following from many critics of President Donald Trump.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but I also know that a lot of the people who are happy with me now are not going to be happy with me in four to eight years,” he predicted.

Tapper said that he was just as tough on Obama, and earned his share of grief for it at the time.

“A lot of people sending me nice tweets today were cursing me when I was asking questions about Benghazi in 2012,” he said.

“President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama,” Tapper told GQ. “I mean, President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”

This is what I’ve been saying for years, that once a Republican was elected, conservatives would think Tapper had turned on them, but he’s never been with us, he’s just been a reporter who actually reports.  Yeah he’s gotten a thing wrong or two on Trump (who he clearly doesn’t like) but I’m not going to throw Jake out of the bus for being what he’s always been, a journalist who asks a lot of tough questions that make people in power uncomfortable, whoever they are.


Some culture?  Olivia De Havilland (who I think my wife resembles) is the last great star of Hollywood’s golden age still alive, from Captain Blood (1933) to Gone with the Wind (1939) she’s done it all and this week demonstrated the class of that bygone generation in reply to questions concerning a new mini series Feud about Hollywood circa 1963.

De Havilland is played on the series by fellow Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones as a regal friend and supporter of Davis, but she was not consulted by the show’s creators — Murphy recently told THR that he “didn’t want to intrude on Ms. de Havilland” — so THR emailed her (yes, she uses email) to ask for her thoughts about the show and the women at the center of it.

“I have received your email with its two questions,” De Havilland replied. “I would like to reply first to the second of these, which inquires of me the accuracy of a current television series entitled Feud, which concerns Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their supposed animosity toward each other. Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it. However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves.”

Added De Havilland, “As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy.”

I’m with Vulture.com here

Now, time to find a throw pillow large enough to embroider with every word of this email.


Susan Sarandon is one of the Stars of that series playing Joan Crawford.  She is an ultra leftist but as this story shows, she is an honest one:

“It doesn’t matter if you’re outspoken about Trump, because Hollywood hates Trump,” she says. “But it was brave of Richard to say what he said. He was drawing attention to the things that everyone has agreed not to pay attention to. That’s the sin.”

She’s talking about Richard Gere who has been blacklisted in Hollywood for the crime of Supporting Tibet and criticizing China and even indy films are iffy now:

Gere is now appearing in “Norman,” the story of a Jewish “fixer” who gets involved with an Israeli politician. He’ll soon star in “The Dinner,” a modest story about two couples arguing over their adult children’s troubles.

Pure indie filmmaking. Yet even some indie films are off limits to him now.

“There was something I was going to do with a Chinese director, and two weeks before we were going to shoot, he called saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t do it,’” confides Gere. “We had a secret phone call on a protected line. If I had worked with this director, he, his family would never have been allowed to leave the country ever again, and he would never work.”

It’s a reminder that China is the same dictatorship it always was, but just imagine if they told Hollywood to lay off of Trump or no $.  It would be fun to see which Hollywood types would bite their tongues off.  Sarandon wouldn’t, that’s why I respect her.


An earlier item mentioned Gronk that is Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski who was part of the Pat’s continent that visited the White House and caused the Patriots to call out the New York Times for Fake News:

and they posted a tweet comparing two compatible super bowl win visits

If you want to know why so many non-New England fans hate the patriots it’s because most can only dream about tweets that say “The last time the [insert their home team here] won two Super Bowls in three years”

and while the NYT has offered a mea culpa (via hotair)

You’ll notice that the 800+ retweets that got is a lot less that the Times original 50,000+


Finally while the Boston Bruins (down 3-1) and the top seeded Boston Celtics (down 2-0) are nearing first round playoff elimination and the Boston Red Sox season just starting (10-6) 3rd place in the East have are all newsworthy I think the big story is the real likelihood that Superbowl Hero Malcolm Butler might be done in New England:

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has signed his restricted free-agent tender, which opens the possibility that the team could trade him.

Because a player can’t be traded unless he is under contract, Butler’s status was in limbo until he signed the $3.91 million tender.

Here’s why it makes it likely that he’s done here

The thinking would be similar to what the club did in 2016 when it shipped defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a late second-round pick. The Patriots knew they were unlikely to sign Jones to a big-money extension after the season when he became an unrestricted free agent, so they decided that getting something valuable for him one year earlier was a worthwhile investment. They ultimately turned the pick they received for Jones into two players — starting guard Joe Thuney and promising receiver Malcolm Mitchell — en route to a Super Bowl championship.

Butler might even bring the Patriots a greater return in a year in which the club’s earliest selection in the draft is currently early in the third round, No. 72 overall. If the Saints were willing to return the first-round pick they received from the Patriots (No. 32 overall) in the Brandin Cooks trade, that might be enticing for Bill Belichick. Or a combination of high second- and third-round picks might even be viewed as more valuable to Belichick for a player who is unlikely to return to the team in 2018 after New England invested five years and $65 million in free-agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Of course they might just decide they want to extraordinary CB’s this year to make the defense even more airtight.

He’s one of the few people to whom a Superbowl victory can be directly traced and is rightly considered by the NFL as the top Interception of all time:

I’d be sorry to see him go but if he ends up with a big contract elsewhere I’m happy to see him cash in, he earned it.


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Some kind of mask at the Chicago Moons the Trump Tower rally two months ago

By John Ruberry

On Saturday, three days before the deadline to file 2016 federal income tax returns, there were a couple of dozen rallies across the nation that called for President Donald J. Trump to release his returns to the public.

The republic somehow managed to survive nearly 200 years before Richard M. Nixon, under pressure by the way, became the first president to release his federal tax returns.

Yesterday I worked. I was building my income for next year’s tax deadline date, so I cannot pass on my eyewitness observations on any of yesterday’s anti-Trump rallies. But as with another tax-related anti-Trump gathering, one that I did see in person, Chicago Moons the Trump Tower, according to media reports, there were many colorful costumes, including masks, as well as meticulously designed signs. Leftist rallies are part protest and part Mardi Gras. For the progs these festivals are nothing more than a way to blow off steam, and a less expensive method than a session at a shrink’s office, unless, of course, you spent a lot of money on your Trump mask with devil horns, bright orange hair, and a Hitler mustache.

The mainstream media, that is the anti-Trump media, fawned over this springtime Festivus, unlike the dismissive tone they took with the 2010 Tax Day Tea Party rallies, which were arguably the halcyon moment of the Tea Party movement, that is, until Trump’s election last year.

Blogger running the Boston Marathon in 2004

“Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over,” Trump tweeted this morning. And yes the election is indeed over. Despite last year’s haranguing by the Democrats and their media allies, Trump still won the presidency even though he didn’t make his returns public. That bus left the station. Very few Americans passionately care about Trump’s tax returns, unlike such concerns as keeping more of their income.

But there is an upside to Saturday’s frivolities. At least those leftists who designed those striking Trump masks already have their Halloween costume in hand. Make Halloween Great Again.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

 

By John Ruberry

Barack Obama’s Model United Nations style foreign policy of be-nice-to-rogue-nations-and-they’ll-be-nice-to-you is a failure.

Five years ago Syria’s thug president, Bashar al-Assad, crossed Barack Obama’s red line by using chemical weapons against his own people.

Obama did not retaliate.

Last Tuesday the brute crossed that red line–and on Thursday President Donald J. Trump fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian base from where those chemical weapons were launched. This happened the day after an emergency session of the UN Security Council called in response to this cruel attack predictably achieved nothing.

The spoiled fat boy who savagely rules the starving nation of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, keeps firing missiles in tests, those weapons violate numerous United Nations resolutions. For years the rogue state has been building a nuclear weapons program, one that can possibly be used to attack the United States.

Trump is responding to the aggressiveness of the Norks by dispatching an aircraft carrier to Korean waters. He’s reportedly considering deploying nuclear missiles in South Korea.

Obama did nothing of consequence in regards to the North Korean threat.

Trump understands the lessons of the playground that Obama and his fellow leftists never learned. Bullies only back down when confronted with force, or a credible threat of force. For bullies weakness is an opportunity to be exploited. The historical examples of strongmen attacking their own people and more powerful nations plundering weaker ones are so plentiful that I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by listing them. And if you need examples, then you are too far gone, my friend.

There is some good news–America’s eight-year long vacation from reality is over.

Oh, is there any hope for the UN? No. Add me to the list of people who believe that the United States and other freedom-loving nations, such as Great Britain, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and lets say Chile, need to band together and form a League of Democracies.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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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This week I attended the funeral mass of a friend of my father’s who served in the French Air Force during WW 2. and that got me thinking about Syria and the missile strikes now taking place.

One of the things about being the son of a World War 2 Vet (Navy, Pacific 1942-45) is I tend to be much more willing to see US intervention than people in my generation who are the grandchildren of that dying next generation That generation was willing to unite pay the price to stop the Axis power, albeit it took the Nazi’s attacking the USSR to get the leftists on board and Pearl Harbor to bring the isolationists on board.

Of course being a largely Christian society and a type of Christianity that actually believed in heaven and hell (what would be called conservative today) such risks and sacrifices were not only considered virtuous but involved one’s eternal reward. Such a culture is capable of going to war in a just cause and was willing to pay the cost in blood and treasure to win it.

Today with a largely secular society and a generation that needs safe spaces for “microagressions” like saying “he” that’s a different story.

Furthermore we have the contrast of a society being willing bear the costs in lives and treasure to keep a large military force in perpetuity in the countries we conquered to change their societies (our military is STILL in Germany , Italy and Japan 72 years later) vs cutting and running like Barack Obama in Iraq for short term political advantage and allowing our enemies to gain power (which is what caused the rise of ISIS in the first place).

So while the gas attacks in Syria are horrific before we consider going to war in Syria we as a country need to answer these questions.

  1. Are we willing to go to war and pay the price in blood and treasure to topple Assad risking American lives in Syria?
  2. Are we willing to fight that war until it’s actually won rather than fight a limited war for the sake of saving face?
  3. Are we willing once Assad is toppled to stay in Syria for the 30 to fifty years to make sure Syria doesn’t become Iraq or Libya and leave it for Islamist to take over?
  4. Are we willing to take responsibility for not only the military but the civilian casualties that will inevitably take place in Syria in such a war?
  5. Are we willing to risk a military confrontation(s) with Russia and Iran in order to do this?

If we as a society are willing to do this, then it’s absolutely a good idea for the US to declare war (yes we should actually declare war) in Syria and support whatever sacrifices it takes to win. I’d like to think that we are a society and a culture strong enough to do what needs to be done to free Syria and stop not only Assad but his Iranian backers.

If the answer to any of those questions are “no” If we balk at the costs, if we are only willing to fight a limited war to save face and or cut and run in the face of Russia and Iran and leave the situation as it is, if we allow the left outrage over every civilian casualty that war brings (and believe me the anti-Trump left will do so) to cause us to blink, if we leave the Syria to become the next failed state dominated by Islamists to breed terror then we are better off not going. We should do it right or not at all.

Frankly given the reality of our self-centered, soft and narcissistic society I think this is the more likely outcome as I can’t see a nation where the very thought of being nice to Trump supporters sends the left into a public frenzy and where police stand by while rioters attack those who support the president capable of uniting under this president to achieve a great cause like this but I’d be delighted to be proved wrong.

Closing thought: Can someone explain to me why the slaughter of the opponents of Assad with chemical weapons is so heinous that it’s considered a causes belli that must be acted upon but if Assad slaughters those same people with bombs, shelling and small arms it’s not?

Closing thought 2: Does anyone seriously believe that the left with the full backing of the media won’t go the full vietnam/Iraq mode with the hope of producing American defeat if Trump does decides to go to war?


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Olimometer 2.52

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

President Trump’s State Department has told the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to get along without U.S. financial support. There are people who think this is a bad idea. I’m not one of them. Neither is Reggie Littlejohn.

I met Reggie very briefly a couple of years ago, when we were speakers at a pro-life convention in New Hampshire. My job was to talk about effective use of social media. Reggie’s job was to talk about China’s coercive abortion policy. She got better billing – and deserved it. Her stories were compelling and persuasive.

She became interested in Chinese policy when as an attorney she represented a Chinese woman seeking political asylum in the United States. It was Reggie’s first exposure to the wretched effects of the One-Child Policy: forced abortion, forced sterilization, and gender imbalance as boys are more valued culturally than girls. The revelations changed her life. She later established Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition dedicated to fighting forced abortion in China.

Wherever she speaks, she points out the support China’s policies have received from UNFPA. She has called repeatedly for U.S. de-funding of the organization. She released a statement the other day when de-funding was finally announced.

“We are thrilled that the U.S. is no longer funding forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.  The blood of Chinese women and babies will no longer be on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled ‘You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.‘ I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years…

“The UNFPA clearly supports China’s population control program, which they know is coercive. Under China’s One (now Two) Child Policy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the women themselves have died, along with their full term babies. There have been brutal forced sterilizations as well, butchering women and leaving them disabled. Where was the outcry from the UNFPA? In my opinion, silence in the face of such atrocities is complicity.   Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ The UNFPA’s silence in the face of decades of forced abortion has been a sword in the wombs of millions of women and babies of China. I rejoice with them that the foot of the UNFPA is finally off of their necks.”

Well done, Mr. President.

I remember listening to Reggie speak around the time China shifted to a Two-Child Policy. She was unimpressed by the change. “What matters is they’re telling people how many kids to have and they’re enforcing it with forced abortions.” She elaborated on that in a 2015 press statement about the policy shift.

“Characterizing this latest modification as ‘abandoning’ the One-Child Policy is misleading. A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls….Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights. The Chinese Communist Party has not suddenly developed a conscience or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception.

“…In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s one-child policy off of their list of things to worry about. But we cannot do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion, and the baby girls of China, who continue to face sex-selective abortion and abandonment. The one-child policy does not need to be modified. It needs to be abolished.”

Let’s hear UNFPA speak up for Chinese women that way. Until then, the agency can get along without U.S. taxpayer support.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

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The failure of the American Health Care Act was a major setback for Paul Ryan’s agenda. It may or may not have been a setback for President Trump’s agenda. That remains to be seen. What it does do is give the President the ammunition he needs to attack the conservative wing of the Republican Party and he’s taking full advantage of it.

His Tweet this morning:

I know that there are plenty of Republicans and conservatives out there who are supportive of the President’s attacks on the Freedom Caucus and conservatives in the Senate. They feel betrayed, as his narrative has pushed, by their willingness to derail the Obamacare repeal and replacement efforts. I’m not going to try to convince you to feel otherwise. I only want to point out that at this stage in the administration’s term, it sets a poor precedent to be pushing his agenda so far to the left.

He wants to work with Democrats. That’s great! Reagan worked with Democrats. The difference is that Reagan convinced Democrats that the conservative agenda brought value to them. What Trump is doing by vilifying conservatives and lumping them in with “Dems” as the people to attack in 2018 is dividing the party into “them” versus “us.” As a conservative, it appalls me to see this happening after years of Tea Party efforts to make conservatives the portion of the party that has more control. As a Federalist, it’s actually been a great thing. We’ve had a massive spike in interest since Trump started his leftward lurch.

As someone who will always put country before party, the dismay I feel for what Trump’s shift will do to America supersedes the excitement I feel over getting more attention for the Federalists. We need the President to work hand-in-hand with conservatives, not isolate them as his enemy. They want to move on to tax reform. The notion of a tax plan pushed out through bipartisanship is terrifying because it will certainly be a big-government tax plan wrapped in a handful of cuts to disguise the overreaching nature of it all. It’s the conservative voice in DC that truly wants to release the burden that government puts on its citizens. Without that voice, the results will not be what we want.

We need the President to abandon his push towards bipartisan growth of government and work WITH conservatives to put reverse government expansion. If he’s unwilling to change his current course, I’d expect to see more members of the Freedom Caucus and conservatives across America reaching out to us to give federalism the primacy this nation needs right now.

Well there is only an hour before the vote on what’s been dubbed “Obamacare lite” and I’m going to shock a few people here by saying this.

The House should pass this bill.

Why because this is the same situation as Toomey Manchin only in reverse.

Even if we take all the complaints about the bill as given killing it springs four traps on the GOP.

1.  More More More:

In the midnight hour she cried more more more

Billy Idol “Rebel Yell” 1983

The old Ted Kennedy plan which always worked was to take an existing piece of what you wanted and over time get the rest of it done as the opportunity came.  It’s how he got liberalism to win.  The opposition to this bill is the exact opposite, by deciding we couldn’t get all that we wanted we guarantee we’ll get none.  While that might be good for fundraising it’s not good for stopping Obamacare

Or to put it another way, if we thought that way during the election we’d have president Hillary now.

UPDATE:  One more thing I didn’t think of.  Every piece of Obama we kill by law, including the funding of Obamacare by law is a piece that the Democrats can’t get back unless they get it passed again by law.  That’s huge.

2.  Blaidd Drwg squared

9th Doctor:  This station is designed to explode the minute it reaches capacity

Doctor Who:  Boom Town 2005

In all the debate that the MSM is giving to this nobody seems to be asking the question that really matters.

“How would keeping Obamacare intact help the American people or the GOP?”

The MSM ask this question because the left knows the answer is “It Wouldn’t!” By leaving Obamacare as is we end up keeping all its economy killing components in place as opposed to some of them.  Maybe it’s just me but if the best I can do if heading for a cliff is decelerate to 30 mph instead of stopping I’ll do it, because that at least gives me time that I didn’t have before.  That’s one of the reasons why smart people on the right will vote for it.  Oddly that’s also the reason why the left will do all they can from preventing smart people from doing so.  Why, because of #3…

3.  I WAS HOPING YOU’D THINK THAT DUMMY: 

Spock: Mister Oxmyx, I understood we had an arrangement, a truce.

Oxmyx: I was hoping you’d think that, dummy.

Star Trek:  A Piece of the action 1968

We keep hearing from some that unless we get full repeal now it’s a failure this implies that doing nothing will give us a reward from the votes and the  mainstream media for the GOP;s inaction.

That just stupid.

Not only will the GOP get all the blame for not repealing Obama but because they allowed it to stay in place the MSM will now be able to successfully shift the blame for all the bad effect of Obamacare to the GOP, and they’ll be able to do this because my conservative friends saved it.

That’s why Trump is smart enough to shift the blame here, he knows the media, he knows the meme and the costs of this failure and if the house wants to pay those costs he’ll let them

That house conservatives don’t get this is pretty sad.

Finally there is one aspect of this that everyone is missing

4.  This isn’t the beginning of the end it’s the end of the beginning .

4th Doctor:  First things first but not necessarily in that order

Doctor Who  Meglos 1980

In all the chest thumping going on everyone is forgetting that if the house bill passes as is the Senate gets a go at it.  This not only means that senators like Cruz and Paul will get a shot and modifying it but even after passage there will be a conference committee to iron out the details.

All of this will not only provide time to make improvements but will also give time to play the either the parliamentary option (allowing extra stuff as part of a 50 vote option) or even the thermonuclear option (losing the filibuster for everything).  Passing this bill allows us to being this process, Waiting till the fall give the left time to stall to kill it, the same tactics the south used to kill civil rights legislation for decades.

This bill as passed isn’t the final bill and congress should know it, so they should stop pretending it is and get the ball rolling.

Bottom line, rejecting this bill is a trap and It pains me to see so many conservatives ready to jump into it, particularly since the MSM and Democrats are practically advertising that it is.  I’ve hit the GOP establishment for getting spooked by the MSM’s stick.  Will my fellow conservatives who didn’t get spooked by the MSM stick be enticed by their carrot?

I sure hope not

Update 2:  (update 1 is up top)  I know many of my writers here disagree with me on this, that’s fine, I respect their opinion and have no problem giving them a platform to disagree with me on this, but I think they’re wrong and I wanted to get that on the record before things happen, not after.

It’s also possible that if this fails there might be time to get a new version passed, but I suspect the closer such a bill gets to primary season the harder it will be to get done and that will enable Democrats in the house to no end.

Update 3:   I’m not sure if pulling the bill was worse than letting it fail, but the absolute unadulterated glee of the mainstream media all over cable and the net right now should tell you how badly we conservatives have just let ourselves be played.

.

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven.

By John Ruberry

Last week President Trump released his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. Not included in it was funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The left, which dominates the arts, responded predictably, acting as if art itself was being attacked.

Sit down and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Now relax. If the NEA and the NEH disappear–there will still be art. Even after eight years of economic dormancy under Barack Obama, the United States is still a fabulously wealthy nation with plenty of disposable income, some of which will of course be spent on the arts.

Do you feel better now? Good. I knew you would.

Art is everywhere. In fact it’s right in front of you now–my post at Da Tech Guy and all of the others here are artistic endeavors, albeit not funded by the federal government.

Yes, the NEA and the NEH, as far as I know, no longer funds exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs showing genitalia of pre-pubescent girls or a display of Piss Christ, but this Great Society mutation of royal patronage of the arts–didn’t we fight a revolution against a king?–makes little cultural or economic sense, as George Will explains.

David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground.”

“Many theater companies, even the country’s most ‘successful,’ get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants. This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees.”

The arts community is incestuous, especially within its foundations and boardrooms. You scratch my Cubist back and I’ll massage your western yodeling feet. You’ve heard of crony capitalism. There is also crony arts.

As usual, I don’t have to look beyond my own grossly mismanaged state of Illinois–when we had budgets they made about as much sense as a Jackson Pollock painting–to find an example of cronyism in practice. The Illinois Arts Council Agency, which as you can tell by its name, is a state agency and it is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts cash. It was founded in 1965, which not coincidentally, was when the NEA began. The chair of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is Shirley Madigan, the wife of state House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan. Their daughter is Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency boasts that nearly 100 percent of the state’s legislative districts receives some IACA funding. It’s all about spreading the wealth around. As for those legislative districts, the geographic contortion created by Michael Madigan’s gerrymandering just might be worthy enough to be put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago adjacent to those Pollock-esque state budgets, but that’s another matter.

The NEA and the NEH also operates under the same spread-the-favors-around–I mean wealth, mindset–which is why defenders of these groups cite federal funding for events such as the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada and the Hip Hop Initiative in North Carolina as justification for these agencies.

Blogger on a self-funded trip to the Vicksburg battlefield

The NEH provided funding for Ken Burns’ acclaimed 1990 Civil War documentary that was broadcast on PBS, which is another success boasted by supporters of the NEH. Oh, Trump’s budget wants to eliminate for that network as well as NPR. Have you seen Burns’ Civil War? It’s fabulous. But what of the money for sales of Ken Burns’ Civil War book, or the Civil War DVDs and CDs? Or Civil War digital downloads? How much does the federal government get from those sales?

How much does Ken Burns collect?

Sure, NEA and NEH funding is a very small piece of federal spending–$148 million is the expenditure for this year. But proper budgeting means saying “No” a lot. America is wealthy–but not infinitely so.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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