Away

Sorry, guys, meant to say that Aggie’s away for a few days, and so am I. Look for her to return maybe Tuesday, and me to return on Thursday.

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Killing More GIs Than ISIS

To be fair, ISIS doesn’t run hospitals:

WASHINGTON — In a contentious hearing before Congress, a senior official from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ watchdog agency acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that delays in care had contributed to the deaths of patients at the department’s medical center in Phoenix.

The disclosure by an official from the department’s inspector general’s office, coming after more than two hours of tough, sometimes confrontational exchanges with members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, was a significant development in what has become a heated dispute over the quality of care at the Phoenix hospital, where revelations of secret waiting lists and other schemes to disguise long delays in care turned into a national scandal.

[U]nder questioning by Representative David Jolly, Republican of Florida, Dr. John D. Daigh, the assistant inspector general for health care inspections, conceded that medical-care delays in Phoenix had contributed to some patient deaths.

“Would you be willing to say that wait lists contributed to deaths of veterans?” Mr. Jolly asked.

“No problem with that,” Dr. Daigh replied. “The issue is cause.”

Dr. Daigh did not say how many times he believed medical-care delays had contributed to deaths in Phoenix. In addition to the six veterans who died after experiencing clinically significant delays, the inspector general’s office revealed Wednesday that 293 veterans had died out of 3,409 cases it reviewed in Phoenix.

“We can play with semantics all we want,” Mr. Jolly said, “but right here at the table it was acknowledged by the I.G.’s office that the wait lists contributed to the deaths of veterans.”

Ain’t no ISIS terrorist ever killed an American veteran.

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Happy

I’ll show you happy:

An Iranian court has sentenced six young Iranians to prison plus 91 lashes for producing a viral video of Pharrell William’s hit single “Happy”.

The video drew ire from the country’s Islamic authorities for portraying women and men dancing together to western music. The women also appeared without their hijabs (Muslim headscarves), which are mandatory in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The court found them guilty of “participation in the making of a vulgar clip” and “illegitimate relations between members of the group,” according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

But the mullahs are not without mercy:

Five of the accused were given six-month prison sentences on top of the lashes, while the video’s producer – Sassan Soleimani – was apparently given a year.

The sentences will however be suspended for three years, meaning that they will not be carried out if those convicted refrain from similar “offenses” during that period. After three years the sentences will then be voided.

And they’ll have an A-bomb within the year. That make you happy?

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Enemies Foreign and Domestic

To bully the family of one hostage may be regarded as a misfortune; to bully another family looks like…bullying:

Barak Barfi the Sotloff spokesman said that they were “bullied and hectored” by a member of the White House Security Council.

Last week, members of the Foley and Sotloff families went to the media to complain about the shabby way they say they were treated by the Obama administration while their loved ones were being held by ISIS.

The State Department and the White House have flatly denied accusations that the families were threatened with prosecution if they paid the ransom ISIS requested, saying only that they were made aware of the law in regards to paying ransoms.

Barfi doubled down, Wednesday, saying that the family was threatened by a member of the White House National Security Council staff.

“I’m hearing Denis McDonough saying they weren’t threatened. He wasn’t in the meeting,” he said. “John Kerry wasn’t in the meetings. The family was in the meetings, and then I was in a subsequent meeting. And I know what I heard.”

In an appearance on CNN, last week, slain journalist James Foley’s mother, Diane Foley also mentioned an unnamed military member of the White House’s NSC staff who threatened the family with prosecution, and told them not to speak to the media.

Obama said no combat boots on the ground in Iraq. Instead they’re being deployed against grieving families.

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Read His Lips

Let him be clear:

Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, after visiting U.S. Central Command, Obama told troops: “I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

-ish:

But shortly afterward, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest clarified that Dempsey was talking about the possible need to put U.S. troops already in Iraq into “forward-deployed positions with Iraqi troops.”

Earnest said that step has not yet been necessary, but if Dempsey asks to “forward deploy” American advisers, “the president said he would consider it on a case-by-case basis.”

He said, in that scenario, U.S. troops “would be providing tactical advice to Iraqi security forces” or be in position to call in airstrikes.

“They would not have a combat role. They would not be personally or directly engaging the enemy,” Earnest stressed.

Uh-huh. And if the enemy engages them? What then?

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing Sept. 16 about the U.S. policy to combat the Islamic State featuring testimony from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey. Here is Dempsey’s statement.

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President.”

Barack Obama thinks he’s a better general than his generals.

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The Casual Antisemitism Of The Vice President Of The United States

Shylocks, anyone?

Vice President Joe Biden “should have been more careful” in a speech when he used a term that some consider anti-Semitic, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday.
At a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, Biden recalled anecdotes from his son’s experience serving in Iraq and meeting members of the military who were in need of legal help because of problems back at home.

“That’s one of the things that he finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year,” Biden said, “that people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being...I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas.”

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman issued a mild reprimand later Tuesday.
“When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term ‘Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society,” Foxman said in a statement, first reported by Yahoo News.

Who is Shylock?:

The name “Shylock” derives from the name of the antagonist in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” Shylock, a Jew, was a ruthless moneylender in the play, and he’s remembered for demanding a “pound of flesh” from the merchant Antonio if he failed to repay a loan.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day,” Foxman said. “The vice president should have been more careful.”

Let me give you a quick timeline of Shylock. In 1290, all of the Jews of England were expelled. Why? Due to Medieval Christian laws, they were not permitted to own property or to farm; instead they were required to loan money with interest, so that the King could take whatever he wanted (or felt he needed) from the interest charged. Christians were not allowed to loan money, only Jews. So, prior to the expulsion, the Jews were necessary to running the economy, but eventually the Kind needed everything that they had, and so they were expelled. (This dynamic occurred in the Hitler era. See Gotz Aly’s great study: Hitler’s Beneficiaries.) For a good overview of the economy surrounding the expulsion, check out the wiki link.

In 1657, 350 years later, Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to England.

Think about the years the Jews were absent from England – 1290 to 1657. And when, Gentle Readers, was the Merchant of Venice written? Scholars date it to 1596-1598. This means, of course, that neither Shakespeare nor anyone living during his time had ever met a Jew. They just hated because that’s what Christians did, that’s what Brits did, think about it as you will.

And today we read about our deeply ignorant and cynical Vice President blaming the housing crisis on Jews.

– Aggie

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Jewish Kids Banned From Sports Direct Store In London

I waited to post this until I saw the name of the store, but here it is. I couldn’t believe it at first:

A Sports Direct security guard has been sacked and is now the subject of a police investigation after he allegedly barred a group of Jewish schoolboys from entering the store and told them: “No Jews, no Jews.”

The two 11-year-olds were in their first full week of school at Yavneh College in Borehamwood, but the boys’ families say their “lasting memory” will be of the alleged antisemitic incident at the sports retailer’s Hertfordshire branch.

According to Professor David Rosen, a solicitor and the father of one of the boys, they were singled out and refused entry while wearing their school uniforms. Other pupils, with their uniforms covered, were allowed in.

Writing on Facebook, Professor Rosen said he would have been sure his son had “misheard” the guard’s alleged use of the phrase “No Jews, no Jews,” had it not been heard and reported by other boys to their parents as well.

“The matter has been taken extremely seriously by Sports Direct at the highest managerial level,” Professor Rosen said.

“The Area Manager, in the first instance, acted swiftly to remove the security guard for the offensive remarks, who in turn, no longer works for the security company.”

I betcha this is the tip of the iceberg. Europe is becoming more and more comfortable with their roots.

– Aggie

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Taking a Beating II

Yesterday (three posts down), we began a Conversation on Race™ by noting that not only were Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, the two most notorious abusers in the NFL today (against stiff competition), African American—so were their defenders. We learned, and shared, that “whooping” a four year old child with a “switch” (the leaves from which were stuffed in the child’s mouth) was commonplace in the black community (at least in the South). Like “baking a pie”.

So, apparently is domestic violence:

Ray McDonald and Chris Cook of the San Francsico 49ers, Tony McDaniel and Kevin Williams of the Seattle Seahawks, Brandon Marshall and Santonio Holmes of the Chicago Bears, Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers, Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, Erik Walden of the Indianapolis Colts, Donte Whitner of the Cleveland Browns, Randy Starks of the Miami Dolphins and Frostee Rucker of the Arizona Cardinals have all been arrested for domestic violence or related charges since 2005, according to a USA Today database that tracks players’ arrests since 2000.

I wasn’t sure, so I checked: all 12 are black men. In a league that is roughly 60% black, how can 100% of the domestic abusers be black? As a New England Patriots fan, I remember Christian Peter, a serial abuser who was white—and of course Aaron Hernandez, a Hispanic gang-banger who played professional football on the side. Where are the four or five white guys in this list? These are just numbers. They don’t tell a story.

These tell a story:

[T]here are a large number of people who don’t think Adrian Peterson did anything wrong at all, including fellow NFL players (both retired and active):

Keith Bulluck: Adrian Peterson might go to jail for whoop’n his son? Oh ok…

Darnell Dockett: I got a ass whippn at 5 with a switch that’s lasted about 40mins and couldn’t sit for 2days. It’s was all love though. Times have changed!

Mark Ingram: When I was kid I got so many whoopins I can’t even count! I love both my parents, they just wanted me to be the best human possible!

I have no comment on their upbringing. But did they see the pictures of Adrian Peterson’s son? Have they read the reports? That wasn’t discipline; it was fetishistic abuse. And why are all three black men?

As is this guy:

NBC NFL analyst Tony Dungy joined the show to talk about Week 2 in the NFL and to share is opinion on charges against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Dungy said that he believes it remains to be seen whether what Peterson did was abuse and Dungy noted that he grew up with that kind of discipline in his home.

I admit I’m jumping back and forth between domestic abuse and child abuse, but can you blame me? That’s the news. What I’m trying to get at in this Conversation on Race™ is what I’m often trying to get at: the violence committed against black people by black people—from inner-city crime to abortion—is appalling. If it is to end, and it must end, we first need to talk about it. Thanks for listening.

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When the Going Gets Tough

The tough make hospital corners:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called the efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa “the largest international response in the history of the CDC.”

Speaking from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Obama added that “faced with this outbreak, the world is looking to” the United States to lead international efforts to combat the virus. He said the United States is ready to take on that leadership role.

Washington has committed more than $100 million to combat Ebola, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Obama plans to call on Congress to approve an additional $88 million as part of a bill to fund the federal government.

Last week, USAID said it would spend $75 million to build treatment facilities and supply them with medical equipment. The Pentagon says it’s working to shift $500 million of not yet obligated funds toward the Ebola effort.

Working through the Defense Department, the United States will plan and construct treatment centers that could house up to 1,700 additional beds. With a U.S. general leading the effort from Monrovia, American military personnel in the region could increase by 3,000, administration officials say, under the name Operation United Assistance.

The expected announcement will also include a plan to send more medical professionals to West Africa. U.S. medics will train up to 500 health care workers per week to identify and care for people with Ebola.

From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We will mop up toxic fluids,
Be they blood, or poop, or pee…

Hey, why not? If we can spend half a billion dollars to stop the Ebola outbreak, shouldn’t we? It’s a cheap (!) fix. Of course, Ebola is a minor cold compared to the major killers in Africa, AIDS and malaria. (Nothing that condoms and DDT couldn’t fix.)

I just wish Obama showed half the resolve against ISIS that he has against Ebola.

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We Get Results

Just the other day I asked where was Medea Benjamin and Code Pink now that we’re going to wa—, no, wait a minute…time-limited, scope-limited…no, that’s not it.

“A very significant counterterrorism operation”:

Before Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could finish the first sentence of his opening statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee, protesters from anti-war NGO Code Pink infiltrated the room and shouted down the Defense Secretary and committee chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.).

“No more war!” the protester shouted. “The American public does not want war! We do not want war! No military solution to this! No more war! No more war! No military solution!”

“You’re acting very warlike yourself,” Levin said.

After Hagel’s opening statement, two more protesters from Code Pink stood up in an attempt to interrupt the hearing and were promptly removed from the chamber, but not before shouting, “No more war! No military solution!” several more times.

That’s not all that happened:

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[T]hings took a turn for the creepy when another protester, another young woman took the floor, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) quipped, “I always enjoy attention from this group,” prompting another senator to shoot back, “I don’t think she’s old enough for you.”

What good is being an old man if you can’t be a dirty old man? Good for Code Pink—I’d rather see this hottie than Medea Benjamin or Cindy Sheehan, God forbid.

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Taking a Beating

Before I go on, you should know this is about Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. Before you click away, however, it’s not my opinion I want to share with you (I’m against beating intimate partners and children, if you’re curious).

It’s the opinions of others:

According to ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, the demise of behavior in America is directly attributed to “the lack of whippings with switches.”

These comments come days after Minnesota Vikings running back and NFL star Adrian Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges after whipping his four-year-old son with a switch, leaving him bloodied.

“I think the decline in the behavior of America is directly traceable to the lack of whippings with switches,” Wilbon said. “Your grandparents or your parents would send you out to…pick your own switch. You go out, you snatch it off the tree, you cut it down, do whatever you do depending on where you are.”

“It’s such a common thing. It’s like baking a pie,” said the former Washington Post sports writer.

The African American former Washington Post sports writer I think it important to note.

Why do I think it important to note?

This is why:

Jim Rome: “Can you hit a child?”

Charles Barkley on NFL Today: “I’m from the south. I understand Boomer’s (Esiason) rage and anger. He’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the South. Whipping – we do that all the time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those circumstances. We have to be careful letting people dictate how -”

Jim Rome: “It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong.”

Charles Barkley: “I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the south. I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard – Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”

News to me, but then so much is. I’m just glad we’re having this conversation on race. I have so much to learn.

Speaking of NFL violence, did you know this?

African Americans, especially African American Women, suffer deadly violence from family members at rates decidedly higher than for other racial groups in the United States. However, it is observed that research concerning family violence among African Americans is inadequate.

Overall, African Americans were victimized by intimate partners a significantly higher rates than persons of any other race between 1993 and 1998. Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Black males experienced intimate partner violence at a rate about 62% higher than that of white males and about 22 times the rate of men of other races.

African-American women experience significantly more domestic violence than White women in the age group of 20-24. Generally, Black women experience similar levels of intimate partner victimization in all other age categories as compared to White women, but experience slightly more domestic violence. (Estimates are provided from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which defines an intimate partner as a current or former spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend. Violent acts include murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.)

Approximately 40% of Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18.

The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

In a study of African-American sexual assault survivors, only 17% reported the assault to police.

Hard to highlight only one thing when it all needs to be highlighted.

What I’ve learned from the cases of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice (and a few other similar cases) is that the epidemic of domestic violence against black women and black children is not just in the NFL. It’s in the black community.

But if it’s like “baking a pie”, something you do “all the time”, don’t let this white guy from the North tell you how to treat your women and children.

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The “Good” News on ObamaCare

Never let it be said we don’t present both sides:

The ranks of the uninsured plummeted in early 2014, as millions gained health insurance coverage through Obamacare, new government data released Tuesday found.

There were 41 million Americans lacking coverage in early 2014, down from 44.8 million last year, according to the National Health Interview Survey, the first official government look at the uninsured after Obamacare policies kicked in on January 1. The uninsured rate fell to 13.1%, from 14.4%.

Wow…a whole 1.3%. I haven’t seen such a “plummet” since riding the Cyclone at Coney Island.

Take a look:

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Caught your breath yet?

Just a couple of questions. If ObamaCare was the savior of the uninsured, how come the rate of decline in the uninsured predates the (lewd) act by a year? And if Obama thinks he can legalize five million illegal aliens with the stroke of a pen, why, pray tell, did we have to go through the legislative and bureaucratic train wreck of ObamaCare just to extend insurance coverage to 3.7 million? Throwing millions more off their plans in the process?

President Obama had a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. He could have expanded Medicaid in his first budget. His “soaring” rhetoric and adoring acolytes could have made anything happen. Heck, they passed ObamaCare.

Which tells you all you need to know. This wasn’t about the uninsured. It was about power. In that, the law (the Constitutional law, b*tches) is a success.

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