Secretary of State Tillerson continues to beat up NATO nations for not paying their fair share.  Normally we hear these complaints by people leaving, so it’s refreshing to hear them early, which means we might actually get some reform.

Liberals seem loathe to support Trump on this point, and I’m not sure why.  NATO’s own data shows the gap is real.

But this is percentages, which mean nothing.  With Microsoft Excel as my friend, I calculated what this actually means in terms of billions of dollars, using the data from NATO’s website.

That’s 121 billion dollars, with a ‘B.’  But still again, this is just a number, impersonal and meaningless.  It means more when you dig into budgets and find out what nations are spending the money on instead:

Secretary Mattis was right to tell NATO nations to pay more.  NATO nations are taking care of their own while allowing America to bear the cost of fighting terrorism and keeping the world safe for trade.  The 121 billion would make a dent in student debt, to the tune of giving every student almost 6,000 dollars.  It could pay for better health care coverage or help us improve our own infrastructure.  In short, you’ve been paying for child care and a host of other services for non-Americans.

But wait, there’s more.  Not only do these nations pay less, but when we go into combat, they do less.  In Afghanistan, lot’s of people “contributed,” but placed restrictions on their troops.  German soldiers couldn’t operate at night (no night light perhaps?), wouldn’t transport Afghans, and only operated in the quietest regions of the country.  Out of 26 nations, 20 placed restrictions on troop usage.  A common saying was that NATO would fight for Afghanistan until the last dead American.

I still believe in NATO (I used to work with them).  I still think NATO has a place in this world.  I don’t think freedom is going to defend itself, and NATO provides a good way to keep democratic governments free.  But Denmark shouldn’t pay for it’s health care on the backs of American Sailors, and Canada shouldn’t provide child care while American Soldiers struggle to keep their own child care open.  NATO paying their fair share is something all people, liberal and conservative, can get behind.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  Then again, Secretary Mattis did tell NATO to pay up, so maybe my views reflect some of his own.

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I had just moved to the Norfolk area in 2008, and managed to get my TV antenna working on inauguration day.  I sat down with my wife and we watched President Obama mess up the oath, but otherwise get sworn in as President of the United States.  I hadn’t voted for him, but it didn’t matter: he was now my President, and I figured the least I could do is watch history be made.

While he was President, I didn’t personally approve of many of the foreign policy and military decisions he made.  I carried them out just the same, and I certainly tried my hardest to make them work.  I had my chance to express displeasure at the voting box.  Dissent ended there.

Flash forward to 2017, and we had boycotting and violent protests at the inauguration.

To which I say, grow the hell up.

Don’t tell me your  boycott is a private choice, because if you simply didn’t want to watch, you wouldn’t broadcast it on social media.  I certainly don’t remember people openly boycotting Obama’s inauguration, and had they done so, I’m sure they would have been labeled as racists.

Saying President Trump is “not your President” just makes you look like a whiny little kid.  In fact, it turns off those who were on the fence in the first place and it confirms every bad thought they had about liberals.  Want to impress people?  Get off your soap box and prove your ideas work.  I and others are more convinced by missionary stories than when a 20-something whines to me about poverty.

Get up, stop rioting, and get out in your local community and make it better.  Do enough of that, and you might have enough influence to change elections in the future.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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illinois signBy John Ruberry

You can once and for all drop any lingering belief you may possess that Barack Obama is a bi-partisan unifier. A Chicago Democrat in the Illinois House who believed in compromising is now a lame duck because of our leftist president.

Illinois has been locked in a budget battle for nine months. The primary combatants are Republican political newcomer Bruce Rauner, the first Land of Lincoln governor to win a majority of voters since 2002, and House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has led the lower chamber in Springfield for 30 of the last 32 years. He’s also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. His daughter, Lisa, has been the state’s attorney general since 2003.

If there is a poster child for the problems of America’s fifth-largest state–a declining population, deficit spending, woefully underfunded public pensions–it’s Michael Madigan, who has been a member of the Illinois House since 1971.

Last month President Barack Obama, whose first public office was as an Illinois state senator, spoke to the General Assembly where he hailed the graces of compromise and working across the aisle with the opposition.

“Where I’ve got an opportunity to find some common ground, that doesn’t make me a sellout to my own party,” Obama said that day, after which Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) stood and cheered.

“We’ll talk later, Dunkin,” Obama quickly replied and then continued his speech.

And so Obama talked.

Dunkin is the type of politician Obama who was able to “find some common ground” with Governor Rauner. Madigan’s gerrymandering talents created super-majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly–with not a vote to spare. But Dunkin defied Boss Madigan several times by preventing several overrides of several Rauner vetoes.

Madigan responded predictably by directing funding to the campaign of his primary opponent, Juliana Stratton. She also received Obama’s endorsement and the president–and here’s  the”We’ll talk later” part–appeared in a Stratton radio spot and narrated a TV ad for her.

Shouldn’t Obama be focused on defeating ISIS, tackling the federal deficit, and creating jobs? No, he has better things to do, it seems, such as sticking his nose in a state legislature race that means nothing to a family of four in, let’s say Ohio, that is struggling to get by.

Television advertisements in the expensive Chicago TV market are unheard of in state representative races.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Republican interests contributed heavily to Dunkin’s campaign.

Last Tuesday was primary day in Illinois–and Stratton easily bested Dunkin. The Democratic Machine defeated the compromiser.

Obama is a fraud. He should be ashamed of himself but of course he isn’t.

John Ruberry regularly blogs and Marathon Pundit. He’s a life long resident of ILL-inois.

IndianaBy John Ruberry

When Indiana governor Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday, the Hoosier State became the 20th state to enact such a law.

More from the Weekly Standard:

The first RFRA was a 1993 federal law that was signed into law by Democratic president Bill Clinton. It unanimously passed the House of Representatives, where it was sponsored by then-congressman Chuck Schumer, and sailed through the Senate on a 97-3 vote.

The law reestablished a balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases (a standard had been used by the Supreme Court for decades). RFRA allows a person’s free exercise of religion to be “substantially burdened” by a law only if the law furthers a “compelling governmental interest” in the “least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

So the law doesn’t say that a person making a religious claim will always win. In the years since RFRA has been on the books, sometimes the courts have ruled in favor of religious exemptions, but many other times they haven’t.

This law protects a bakery owned by devout Christians from, let’s say, not baking a wedding cake for a gay union because it violates their religious belief that marriage should be reserved only for one man and one woman, but this law does not permit to exclude gays as customers in all cases. What that business receives is protection from a discrimination lawsuit.

White River, Indianapolis
White River, Indianapolis

As for that gay couple, they can always find another bakery–that won’t be very hard to do–and the newlyweds can write a nasty Yelp review about the first one while on their honeymoon. Interestingly Yelp is one of those businesses considering a boycott of Indiana because of the its new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  But just three weeks ago with great fanfare, Yelp opened an office in Chicago. Illinois, yep, you guessed right, has an RFRA law on the books.

In a statement released on Friday, Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppleman said:

[It] is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.

I guess Stoppelman needs to write a snarky review about himself.

As for Gov. Pence, he’s not helping his case. This morning on ABC’s This Week, Pence was asked six times if the new law will allow businesses to completely refuse services to gays. He couldn’t answer.

No matter: This Hoosier hysteria is misplaced.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

My latest for Watchdog.org notes one thing in the Ferguson report that is actually worth complaining about:

 

The City’s emphasis on revenue generation has a profound effect on FPD’s approach to law enforcement.  Patrol assignment an schedules are geared toward aggressive enforcement of Ferguson’s municipal code, with insufficient thought given to whether enforcement strategies promote public safety or unnecessarily undermine community trust and cooperation.

This practice sets up a perverse reward system if you are a cop, the report explained:

Officer evaluations and promotions depend to an inordinate degree on “productivity” meaning the number of citations issued.

Of course the left’s outrage here would be more believable if not for …

Alas, while this unity in protecting citizens from abuse sounds hopeful in theory, the reality is the outrage over this practice, at least for some, is selective.

What is selective about it?  You’ll have to go to Watchdog.org to find out

The bottom lin

Albert: Do you remember my briefing, Shona?
Shona: Yeah. Well, no. I remember some of it.
Albert: Some of it?
Bellows: How much?
Shona: Till he put his hand on my knee. And then I was just grossing.
Albert: It was intended as a comfort.
Bellows: For whom?

Doctor Who Last Christmas 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent.  A time of reflection and repentance when we examine ourselves and our faults to prepare for the coming of Christ at Easter.

In Catholic parishes you will find extra devotions, regular stations of the cross, extra masses and many chances to receive the sacrament of confession for our sins.

Of course as I explained a few days ago if you have the right political views or are in the right political party you not only don’t need confession you can’t even “sin”

And that brings us to Joe Biden:

The victim this time is Stephanie Carter, wife of incoming defense secretary Ashton Carter, seen here holding forth on ISIS while his better half suffers the ritual indignity of the vice presidential droit de seigneur at swearings-in. Silver lining: Unlike most of the females whom Biden creeped on at last month’s oath-taking for the new Congress, Mrs. Carter is of age.

Byron York tweets we should have a national conversation on this subject and writes :

Biden’s behavior at the Carter ceremony follows his hands-on performance at the swearing-in of new senators in January. The vice president’s performance on that day brought comment from around the world, ranging from “Biden being Biden” to “handsy Joe” to “creepy.”

And asks the obvious question

Do the incidents add up to anything? Assume that all of Biden’s gestures were entirely innocent, just Joe being Joe. Still, in today’s society, sexual harassment complaints have been lodged for less. Biden’s behavior gives critics plenty of ammunition and puts supporters in a difficult position. Why is that kind of stuff OK when the vice president does it and cringe-making when it’s the overly-friendly guy in the office?

Now in fairness to Joe he comes from a time that was much more touchy and depending on his intent it doesn’t even rise to the level of sin.

But consider the kind of nonsense the left is calling sin & the standards by which is it measured when we have been seeing things like this:

I recently assisted a young man who was subjected by administrators at his small liberal arts university in Oregon to a month-long investigation into all his campus relationships, seeking information about his possible sexual misconduct in them (an immense invasion of his and his friends’ privacy), and who was ordered to stay away from a fellow student (cutting him off from his housing, his campus job, and educational opportunity) — all because he reminded her of the man who had raped her months before and thousands of miles away. He was found to be completely innocent of any sexual misconduct and was informed of the basis of the complaint against him only by accident and off-hand. But the stay-away order remained in place, and was so broadly drawn up that he was at constant risk of violating it and coming under discipline for that.

via hotair and you have to ask:  “If  the standards are holding the Vice president to are lower than the standards we hold college undergraduates to perhaps there is something wrong with these standards?”

I think Lent might be a great time for everybody to think about this very carefully.

By John Ruberry

This summer a wonderful story emerged from the South Side of Chicago, a part of the city which has gained international infamy for violence. The story was almost perfect. The Little League team from Jackie Robinson West Park, consisting entirely of African-Americans, became the Little League champions of the United States. They were runner-ups in the Little League World Series, falling to a South Korean team.

Baseball’s popularity among young blacks has been slipping since the 1970s. After a peak of 19 percent in 1986, the percentage of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball has dropped to 8 percent. The decline of organized inner-city youth baseball is certainly a factor in this athletic demographic shift.

Oh, one of the players for JRW, 12 year-old Jaheim Benton, was homeless. But after the Little League World Series, a donor gave his family a rent-free home for a year. The city held a victory parade for the team followed by a rally where Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn lauded their triumph. Jackie Robinson West met with President Obama at the White House. Chicago Magazine named JRW its Chicagoans of the Year.

On the their way to the Series, Jackie Robinson West crushed the local opposition, including a 43-2 stomping of the team from Evergreen Park, a predominantly white suburb near the territory of JRW.

But last week DNAinfo Chicago, in a detailed article, reported on the allegations from, Chris Janes, an official of the Evergreen Park team, that some of the JRW players didn’t live within the designated boundaries of its Little League territory. Bill Haley, the president of Jackie Robinson West, denies the allegations.

The evidence that Janes right is quite strong. US Rep. Robin Kelly Tweeted that three members of JRW lived in the suburban part of her Chicago area district. In its “Faces in the Crowd” feature, Sports Illustrated reported on another player who resided in the suburb of Homewood. Two other suburbs boasted of their own athlete on Jackie Robinson West, while other players lived outside of the JRW territory–but in the city, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

Little League International dismissed Janes’ charges that JRW was effectively a regional all-star team. Their response is that Jackie Robinson West provided the necessary documentation to prove residency for its players. However, for reasons that no one can explain, LLI doesn’t disclose the boundaries for each individual league. And some JRW parents counter their boys are from split families, with one parent residing within the league’s zone. But claiming residency in an area for the sole reason of being able to join a team is against LLI’s rules.

Local media has dutifully reported on Janes’ allegations, and JRW’s denial, but they haven’t delved into the the details of DNA Info Chicago’s story.

Perhaps they don’t want to dismantle that almost perfect story of black kids from a bad neighborhood becoming champions. Or maybe Chicago reporters are afraid of being labelled racist.

Ruberry brothers, author center, in their Little League days

But if Jackie Robinson West did cheat, team officials should be held accountable and the JRW national championship should be revoked.

Little League is a big business, LLI has a $60 million TV contract with ESPN that runs through 2022.

Call me old-fashioned, but youth sports are supposed to build character and more. My oldest brother was a Little League coach in New England. While his team was being clobbered during a game, opposing players taunted his youngsters with derogatory chants. My brother objected to the other team’s coach, telling him, “Hey, isn’t this game supposed to be educational?” Well if it was that day, some boys were clearly learning the wrong lesson.

Putting ringers on a team is the wrong lesson too.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The left was already up in arms over the Hobby Lobby ruling and now the potential of Christians being able to follow their religion has proved a surprising reaction from the LGBT community:

Several major gay rights groups withdrew support Tuesday for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would bolster gay and transgender rights in the workplace, saying they fear that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill might compel private companies to begin citing objections similar to those that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case last week.

They have been vocal about denouncing religious objections to co-operation with Gay Marriage. Strangely enough, Pam Geller notes that this vocal outrage doesn’t extend to other actions done in the name of religion:

Ali Muhammad Brown was charged with executing two gay men in Seattle. Brown was previously prosecuted federally following an FBI probe into an Islamic group suspected of supporting jihadists overseas.

Mind you there have been some news coverage for this Seattle PI

Police contend Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young met Brown outside a Capitol Hill club after Said contacted Brown through an online search for sex partners. Brown is alleged to have left with both men and killed them minutes later using his girlfriend’s handgun.

the Seattle times:

Police say Brown, Said and Anderson-Young drove to Anderson-Young’s house, where Brown pulled a gun and killed the two men then drove off in Said’s car. It was later found abandoned in South Seattle.

Newsday:

Police said they linked Brown to the slayings after finding his fingerprints and three spent 9mm shell casings inside Said’s car. The mother of Brown’s children told police that her 9mm semiautomatic handgun was missing; she said Brown had access to the gun, charges said.

Oddly none of those stories talk about why were these men targeted:

sources tell Q13 FOX News that Brown underwent jihadist training in California in April and they believe the two men were attacked simply because their sexual orientation offended what police say are Brown’s radical Muslim beliefs.

If you are hearing about this for the first time it’s likely because national gay groups don’t seem to think that radical Muslim beliefs that provoke murder are as dangerous as Christian belief that forbids us to bake a cake for a gay marriage.

Pam Geller notes this isn’t the first time that anti-gay murder has come up there:

Seattle has a problem. They won’t run our ads highlighting Muslim oppression of gays, despite this savage reality. If you recall, a devout Muslim set fire to a packed Seattle gay bar during a New Year’s celebration shortly after midnight on January 1. Seattle’s largest and longest-running gay nightclub was doused in gasoline and set aflame by Musab Masmari. He was arrested on his way to the airport.

You might recall we wrote about that nightclub fire that the MSM completely ignored.  At the time Stacy McCain asked the obvious question

Does #LGBT Care About a Religious Extremist Burning a Gay Bar?

Apparently not, if the religious extremist is named Musab Musmari, who police say “poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway and set it ablaze” inside Seattle’s “popular gay nightclub” Neighbours on New Year’s Eve, when 750 people were inside the club.

And now Pam does the same

Where are the left-wing, the gay and LGBT organizations denouncing the Islamic texts that inspire such mayhem and murder of gays? Where is that fierce gay leadership condemning Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia? The silence is deafening.

They were loud and proud against our ads. They were holding press conferences condemning me. Gay organizations in America say nothing, but loudly condemned my ad campaign highlighting Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia. Why haven’t we heard from this City Council, or this Human Rights CommissionSFHRC head Theresa Sparks, but most especially the enemedia that scrubs their coverage of motive? They called our ads hate and issued a resolution condemning our AFDI ad campaign (the first of its kind) against our organization for merely quoting Muslim political leaders, spiritual leaders and cultural voices in the Muslim community who call for the torture and death of gay people.

The answer is simple, the incentive system isn’t there.  Black Masses at harvard produce Eucharistic Processions, Obamacare mandates against religious groups produce lawsuits, bans against Pam’s ads produce TV clips and lawsuits.

However speaking against Islam produces murder and threats of murder.

If you don’t believe me ask Seattle based cartoonist Molly Norris, or rather you could ask Molly Norris if she hasn’t spent the last four years in hiding due to a fatwa on her life.

I’ll give Glenn Reynolds the last word with the warning he has given often:

May our political class take joy in the incentive system they are creating.

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

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Been on the road today and when I came home I found that an idiot had acted like an idiot and had received an idiots reward.

Here’s the despicable racist tweet that got University of North Alabama player, Bradley Patterson, kicked off his team:

The tweet was brought to the University’s attention after it was highlighted by Deadspin.

Within the past several hours, Patterson deleted his Twitter account.

Goodbye and good riddance:

Forgetting the stupidity, (assuming you have cable one could change the channel to CNBC) this type of public racism deserves condemnation and received it not just from Twitchy but from sites like Crooks and Liars:

However, there was a segment of the population less taken with Obama’s speeech, especially since it pre-empted NBC’s coverage of the 49ers/Patriots game. A few of them took to Twitter to voice their complaints more…er…shall we say, colorfully.

I would offer a couple of screen grabs of these tweets, but they violate our editorial standards for hate language. Let us just say that there is something so enraging about missing football that brings out the racists.

and Eclectablog

University of North Alabama kicks racist football player/tweeter off the team

There is no question that this crossed a line and he deserves all he gets, but just a week earlier there was a different involving the same word said in public by an angry largely white crowd involving destroyed property belonging to a fellow named Clint Taver. I looked at Crooks and Liars to see how they reacted, after all an angry white crowd destroying the property of a small black business man combined with racist statements spoken in person is much more serious than a single tweet:

or not.

While Crooks and Liars finds Clint Taver not newsworthy in the least, Eclectablog did a bit better but their post was…interesting here is the title

A bit of truth-telling about the Lansing “Hot Dog Guy” whose “cart was destroyed by union thugs”

As you might guess it goes down hill from there:

Nonetheless, much like, Kenneth Gladney, the St. Louis guy who faked getting injured at the hands of union members then solicited funds for his hospital bills even though he had health insurance, a collection has been taken up on Tarver’s behalf. According the article, they have raised over $10,000 for him (UPDATE: MIRS News reports that it’s now over $16,000.) The total value of what he lost in the scuffle?

$500.

I wonder what they’ll do with the thousands of extra dollars not needed to buy more buns, hot dogs, ketchup, mustard and a couple of folding tables and coolers?

Apparently there is a deductible that must be applied when white liberal Union members cost a black man money. It’s also a poor reflection on Mr Taver that strangers gave money in excess of his base expenses. Somehow that somehow makes it illegitimate.

After 12 paragraphs along these lines from the author we finally see this:

Certainly Clint Tarver didn’t deserve to be treated as shabbily as he was by the union folks there. His wife claims he was called a “nigger” and jeered for working for the enemy. If true, that’s reprehensible and inexcusable. But the off-the-charts poutrage from the right on this is an absolute joke. Some of the same people decrying the verbal taunts that Tarver experiencde are here on this very website calling union members all sorts of hideous names. So let’s keep it real, shall we?

By this standard the football player on Twitter shouldn’t have been kicked off the team because so many people on the left have hit Michelle Malkin with racist & sexist slurs.

But maybe because what happened to Clint Taver is all about an evil conservative plan to distract the public:

Let’s not kid ourselves about what “Tentgate” and “Hot Doggate” are all about: distracting the country from noticing that corporatist ideologues have turned the birthplace of American organized labor into a Right to Work for Less state.

I submit and suggest that if Mr Taver had been a democrat and the people involved Tea Party members this would not consider it a “distraction”.

But then again, I suspect the standards being used are based upon the Obama/Liberal version of the Bill of rights so I don’t expect better.

And for the record I’m sure conservatives would LOVE people to see what Michigan had done, because as time passes the benefits for people in Michigan will be apparent for all to see.

Carolyn Euell, 38, mother of two of the defendants, Erika Stroud, 21, of Dorchester and Felicia Stroud, 18, West Roxbury, told reporters the alleged attack “can’t be hateful” because both her daughters are lesbians.

This refers to a case in Boston where the two lesbian girls assaulted a gay man.

the victim, who suffered a broken nose, told cops he believed the attack was “motivated as a crime because of his sexual orientation” since the three women “called him insulting homophobic slurs.”

Now as I’ve said before the whole idea of “hate crimes” is to me an absurdity. Hate is a thought and/or emotion and to charge a person based on it is the ultimate in playing “thought police”. If these ladies assaulted this man, the law should punish them based on the assault, not based on if they hated him for any reason whatsoever, even if it was something as egregious as being a Yankees fan.

But given the existence of hate crimes laws the idea that due to their lesbianism the attack “can’t be hateful” doesn’t just create an incredible double standard but flys in the face of reality.

My friend Cynthia has talked in the past about the horrible vitriol that was directed against her and her partner when she veered from or critiqued actions of “official lesbianism” for example she got grief for being part of a group called the “lesbian ladies society” for lesbians who are feminine and like to be.

in the late 1980’s, when I ran a group for feminine lesbians — who are NOT the same as femmes! — in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is a suburb of Washington, D.C., a pre-op male-to-female trannie attended one of my meetings and infuriated pretty much every woman there so much that I had to tell him/her not to come back or I would not have had a group. After that, I caught hell for stipulating that to be allowed to attend the meetings, you had to be born female as well as wear a skirt or dress (the latter requirement was the cheapest form of dyke repellent I could think of).

Now we don’t know all the fact of this case, but the moment you have felony laws on the books that sone people can’t even be charged with, yet alone violate because of the particular race or sexual orientation you’re talking nonsense.

Update: I had trouble finding the above link and ended up calling Cynthia for help in discovering them, it turns out he disagrees on this case suggesting, (like the woman above) that this can’t be a hate crime against gays due to the lesbianism of the women, although we do agree on the absurdity of hate crimes laws themselves.

She argued that phrases these women might have used would not be hate crimes if used by them, but would be if I used them as I am opposed to gay marriage (or as she puts it “gay equality”) but noted that if such an equivalence was made the proliferation of hate crime charges from “black on black” crime would be so prevalent that it would be worth enforcing them to illustrate the absurdity of hate crime laws in general.