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Updated: 2017-11-24T08:15:30.857-08:00


Thanksgiving And The Giving Of Thanks


Thanksgiving’s upon us, our unique North American Holiday (yes, our Canadian friends celebrate it too, but on a different day a month earlier).Oh, I almost forgot. It’s also celebrated ( and properly so) as a national holiday in the Caribbean Republic of Grenada, every year on October 25. That’s the day American Marines liberated them from Communist jefecito Maurice Bishop and his Cuban allies back in 1983.Its direct ancestor was the Hebrew festival of Sukkot, as William Bradford and the Pilgrims were very familiar with the Hebrew Bible, and reading both Greek and Hebrew was not uncommon among educated people who wanted to read the Bible and the New testament in their original languages. The Pilgrims regarded themselves as akin to the Jews of Exodus dwelling in the Wilderness, and William Bradford actually wrote the draft of part of the Mayflower Compact in his own Hebrew. Below, a real classic; Rush Limbaugh tells the true story of Thanksgiving, one we don't often hear. On the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims celebrated and thanked G-d for their survival and reportedly gave a feast, inviting the local Indian tribes as guests. The holiday has endured ever since and was made an official holiday by our first President, George Washington. Here's his original Thanksgiving proclamation, from 1789:   Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty G-d, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"   Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.  And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.;  Read those words again, slowly. Savor them. One can only imagine President Washington' feelings as [...]

Forum:The #MeToo Accusations; a Positive or Negative Development?


Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: The #MeToo Accusations; a Positive or Negative Development?  Don Surber: In the 1980s, there were a rash of stories, and a witch hunt over child molestation at day care centers. The McMartin family was absolutely innocent, and absolutely ruined by Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner.But there also was the Tailhook Association's convention in Las Vegas in 1991. It was a gathering of Navy pilots past and present, as tailhook refers to the device that grabs the wire on an aircraft carrier. About 1,500 attended -- and they drank and chased women. In the end, 83 women and 7 men were sexually assaulted. 300 men ruined their careers (including admirals) by acting like animals.About that time, Clarence Thomas stood accused of putting a pubic hair on a can of Coca Cola -- and others strange things -- by Anita Hill. Her false charges of sexual harassment almost cost him a seat on the Supreme Court.False stories of gang rape surface from time to time: Tawana Brawley, the Duke lacrosse team, and that frat at the University of Virginia.The latter triggered a witch hunt over campus rape, pushed by Obama.Now we are in a witch hunt over sexual abuse by men in power. What should guide us is past experience. 1. Hear the women out (Tailhook). 2. Hear the men out (Duke lacrosse). 3, Assume nothing. Allegations and accusations are gossip, not facts.We do know that Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Al Franken abused people sexually. They admitted it.George Takei and Roy Moore vehemently deny such allegations. I give them the benefit of the doubt.Those who advise Alabamans to not vote for Moore are opportunists. If he's guilty, he can be removed from office. But if he is innocent and his opponent wins, guess what? His opponent cannot be removed from office.Many conservatives made a big deal about Bob Menendez who is on trial for bribery. I did not. Federal prosecutors are ruthless. Look how they railroaded Ted Stevens and withheld exculpatory evidence to convict him -- a conviction overturned because of their behavior. It was too late. Stevens had lost that election.What can we as conservatives do? Adhere to principles. Paramount is the presumption of innocence. Rob Miller : Ah,yes, the #Me Too accusations. Definitely a two-edged sword that cuts both ways.Let's examine the positive and negative aspects.It's notable that the accusations are almost entirely coming from two areas, show biz and politics.The so-called casting couch has been an entertainment  business reality almost since the industry got started. The idea was always very simple...a man or a woman seeking to advance their career would be told to submit to the sexual desires  of someone in power in the industry in exchange for a contract, a part, or other help in their career. Some refused. Others succumbed. Many times they got what they were seeking, other times they were simply cynically used, discarded and nothing came of it.It was hardly a secret that this was going on. No one seeking a career in 'the Business' could hardly claim to be unaware that they might be approached that way.The problem with the latest flood of accusations is that in most cases, they occurred a long time ago and the women (and men) involved made a choice to keep their mouths shut, whether they gave in to the sexual demands or not. One of the things that struck me about the Cosby case is how many of the women who were drugged and raped realized what had happened, yet they came back to Bill Cosby and let it happen again, because they wanted to take advantage of his  promise of help with their careers.The problem here is twofold. First, by keeping their mouths shut the women enabled a sexual predator, often because they felt it would help their careers. And second, by keeping silent, they allowed other women to be victimized.  There's no do[...]

The Persecution Of Judge Roy Moore Shows Why The GOPe Must Be Defeated


Former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell has referred to Republicans and Democrats as, respectively, 'the stupid party' and the 'corrupt party.' That labeling gets more appropriate every day, as evidenced by the way the dysfunctional GOP establishment is helping along the persecution of Judge Roy Moore, its Alabama Senate candidate..As you'll remember, Judge Moore ran in the Alabama Primary against one of Mitch McConnell's swamp creatures, Luther Strange. McConnell and his fellow New Tories spent $30 million dollars on the campaign (an absurdly large amount in Alabama) to get him in, but the people of Alabama knew exactly who Judge Roy Moore was, and weren't impressed. And he won by a substantial percentage.Moore, a Trump ally, was leading substantially in the polls going up to the election against Leftist Democrat Doug Jones. So the Washington(Com)Post drummed up allegations from forty years ago that Judge Moore, single at the time, had 'initiated an encounter of a sexual nature' with a minor of 14... just after the Post endorsed Doug Jones, of course. Their chief source admitted openly that she had something of a troubled history and credibility issues, with, as she put it, 'three messy divorces, a drug problem and a lot of financial problems.'Now that she's been so helpful and all, The (Com)Post has likely seen to it that at least the financial problems are alleviated. They also managed to find a couple of other girls (one of them a Democrat operative) who weren't minors at the time but claimed that Judge Roy Moore flirted with them or had a meal with them or something.BTW, the age of consent in the Magnolia State is sixteen, (believe me, as a single gentleman I had the age of consent in every state of the Union memorized at one time) and even the minor herself admitted that while there was some kissing and fondling, no actual coitus or statutory rape occurred. So even if this actually happened and there's no proof at all it did, we have only this person's word for what occurred. And there's good reason to believe it never did.Judge Roy Moore has run for five offices successfully over the years in hotly contested campaigns and this never came up in oppo research until now, a couple of weeks away from the election when it's convenient. What are the odds of that, especially in the last primary where all that money was tossed around, and so many attack ads filled with lies were aired?And there's no prior history or rumors of this sort of thing concerning Judge Roy Moore. Normally, people involved in this kind of behavior leave a trail of incidents behind Bill Clinton, for instance.Judge Moore has totally denied the encounter with the 14-year-old ever happened. I suggest you listen to what Judge Moore had to say about it to Sean Hannity. allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="540">Another interesting item has surfaced recently. This still counts as a developing story, as Matt Drudge would say, but the OAS Network reportedly just aired a segment that there are recordings that show WAPO reporter Beth Reinhard bribing women with offers of $1,000 to smear Judge Roy Moore. And that the recordings have now been turned over to the Etowah County Sheriff's Department. As I said, this is still not confirmed. But if it's true, The (Com)Post and Ms. Reinhard are in a world of hurt.All that aside, what's interesting to me most is the GOPe's reaction to all this. Democrats can be guilty of lying, massive corruption and graft, rigging primaries, open bribery and even national security offenses and the reaction of Democrats is always to circle the wagons around them, not matter what. Just ask the Clintons, Rep. Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters or Al Sharpton.The New Tories in the Republican Party? They actually try to outdo the Democrats and collaborate with them enthusiastically in killing their own.Mitch McConnell practically tripped over his own feet in his haste to say [...]

Debunking Mahmoud Abbas's Lies On Israel And The Balfour Declaration


As a 'recognition' of the centennial of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration (November 2nd, 1917) the notoriously anti-Israel UK Guardian decided to give Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas an op-ed entitled "Britain must atone for the Balfour declaration – and 100 years of suffering" (no link,but you can find it if you like). It contains a number of outright lies. And while Abbas, a Soviet trained apparatchnik and agent is pretty good at manufacturing this propaganda, someone from the Guardian obviously helped him concoct this, based on the language, much of it drawn verbatim drawn from past anti-Israel screeds from, of course, The Guardian.As ludicrous as the thing is, Mahmoud Abbas's lies rates a serious debunking.Walk with me awhile in the Valley of Truth...For starters, the op-ed refers to Abbas as the 'President of Palestine'. That's a hilarious title, considering that he's an unelected dictator now serving in year 12 of what was supposed to be a 4 year term! But let's continue... Lord Balfour as having 'signed a letter promising the land of Palestine to the Zionist Federation, a recently established political movement whose goal was the creation of a Jewish state. He promised a land that was not his to promise, disregarding the political rights of those who already lived there.' What the Balfour declaration actually said was that Britain was in favor of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. And contrary to Abbas's nonsense, it specifically mentioned safeguarding the civil and religious rights of non-Jews living there, and of Jews living in other countries. Not only that, but the Balfour declaration meant nothing by itself. It was the League of Nations that created a Palestine Mandate under British control that was designated specifically to create a state that gave  rights of  sovereign specifically to Jews. And as we'll see, Britain bent over backwards when it came to Arab political rights.It's also worth mentioning that Lord Balfour didn't create this on his own. It was the British cabinet that signed off on this. And they did it to reward the Jews for their help in WWI. Without Chaim Weismann, a skilled chemist discovering a process to enable fixing nitrogen out of the air, British troops would almost certainly have run out of ammo and artillery shells on the Western Front because of the success of German U-Boat attacks. Jews living in Palestine aided General Allenby's conquest of the Levant considerably with espionage and sabotage against the Ottomans at considerable personal risk, and an entire unit of British Jews fought alongside the Anzacs at the debacle in Gallipolli, something Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull pointed out in his visit to Jerusalem last week. While most of the Arabs fought for their Ottoman masters, the few who didn't as part of the desultory Arab Revolt by the Sharif of Mecca received almost the entire Arabian Peninsula and ultimately 78% of the Palestine Mandate as their reward for taking a weak garrison in Aqaba well behind the fighting lines and sabotaging Turkish railways. Certainly the League of Nations rewarding the Jews with rights of sovereignty in their ancient homeland where a number of them already lived should have been no problem, since the land in the Palestine Mandate didn't belong to the Arabs either. It belonged to the Ottomans, who ceded it to the Allies under the Treaty of Sevres. So 'Palestine' like the rest of the ceded Ottoman lands belonged to the victorious allies, to do whatever they wished with it.   'British policy, to support Jewish immigration into Palestine while negating the Arab-Palestinian rights created severe tensions between European Jewish immigrants and the native Palestinian population.' Oh boy.Chaim Weismann, representing the Zionist movement and Emir Faisal, the third son of the Sharif of Mecca met and made an agreement to accede to a Jewish State in part of the Palestine Mandate. Faisel and Hussein were more tha[...]

WoW! Forum: Is America In A Civil War?


Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Is America In A Civil War?Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason :America is not in a civil war. It goes much deeper than that. One the one side we have those who understand the exceptional circumstances surrounding the founding of America. We believe that Providence, our Creator, brought the greatest minds of the time together to put words on paper and affirm to the world what we believe are the fundamental truths of human existence; that the essence of humankind is freedom and liberty. We believe this truth predates any laws or civilizations. We are inherently free and our freedom and basic rights cannot be limited by another person or government. But the Founding Fathers also understood the necessity of government to protect these basic rights and created a government template which limited the power of government over our lives and our freedoms. A government’s primary obligation is to protect its citizens so they are able to live their lives without fear while they pursue whatever they choose to do that makes them happy. We proudly believe in a country where the rule of law applies equally to everyone; rich or poor, black, brown, or white. However, today we are a country in chaos. We can no longer say we are a country where the rule of law applies equally to everyone. We have seen our elected “trusted servants” work not for their constituents but for themselves. Our representative government no longer represents us. They create separate laws for us and exempt themselves from them. They have tasted power and will do anything to stay in power. This applies to both parties as very few of our representatives are truly working for the people. Over the past century an evil has pervaded America through government, media, entertainment, and education. The war we are in is between good and evil. This evil has many names; communism, Marxism, socialism, globalism, progressivism. Those who espouse and advance this evil know very well how to destroy our country. It has been done before throughout history. The only thing standing between America and this evil are we Conservatives who understand at the elemental level what is at stake. We know what they are doing by creating divisions within our population. They use diversity and moral relativism as weapons. Social justice warriors carry the flag of the cause du jour while screaming about the intolerance of the right. Our youth and young adults are being flooded with incredible disinformation and extremely violent movies and video games desensitizing them against any real injustices in the world. The uncertainty they are being exposed to is dangerous and abusive. It is psychological warfare being practiced on them at their most vulnerable ages. Certainty is healthy, uncertainty is debilitating and destructive. In order to win this battle we have to restore certainty and morality into our American culture. There are basic truths we can and must hold on to and only those who share these beliefs should be allowed to immigrate to this country. This is the real war in and against America and I fear we are losing it as our voices are being shouted down or ridiculed in the media as intolerant or racist. We must not let them silence us. There is too much at stake.Rob Miller : Those of you kind enough to read me regularly know that I've always thought of it more as a second American revolution rather than a civil war. That belief of mine goes back to the 2016 campaign.Contrary to what many people believe, America's Revolution was not exactly universally popular or supported. There were lots of people who supported the status quo, felt that the rebels were traitors to the King of England and acted on those beliefs. Many of them even fought[...]

Mueller's Lame Indictments Show He's Desperately Trying To Protect The Real Culprits


Well, Robert Mueller finally dropped his explosive indictments. And his lame indictments not only have all the power of a wet firecracker, but they tell us something we already know...that the real collusion with Russia during the campaign came from the Democrats. And that today's travesty was designed to obscure it, provide a distraction,get the real story out of the headlines and protect the guilty parties involved. The charges focus on three men. Two of them, Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates are charged not with anything to do with the Trump campaign. Instead they're being charged with money laundering and tax evasion that occurred years before Paul Manafort had anything to do with President Trump or his campaign...or as the president himself tweeted:Well, we all know the answer to the first question. The focus isn't on the completely corrupt Clinton and the Democrats because their trained seals in the media are doing their very best to get the real collusion by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC out of the headlines and because of Robert Mueller's own probable collusion in the Uranium One deal And remember, Mueller was supposed to be investigating collusion in the 2016 campaign with Russia.  The indictments of Manafort and Gates have nothing to do with that.  Odd he hasn't indicted any Democrats yet for collusion, isn't it?Manafort and Gates have both pled not guilty to the charges. Manafort is free on $10 million bond, and Gates agreed to $5 million. Both are on 'home confinement' as a condition of their pretrial release and have surrendered their passports.The charges against Manafort involve his lobbying work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of the Ukraine and one of Manafort’s former clients. The feds alleged he illegally funneled millions of dollars of payments into offshore bank accounts in order to avoid detection by U.S. authorities. Manafort is also accused of failing to have registered as a lobbyist for Yanukovych in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). In view of what the Podestas and Mrs. Clinton appear to have done in the Uranium One scandal, let alone the Fusion GPS scandal, this is hilarious.Another fact that might even prove more humorous is that a lot of the evidence against Manafort could be thrown out of court because it was obtained illegally. The Feds did a surprise raid on Manafort's home Alexandria, Virginia on July 26th. The warrant they had explicitly allowed them to search for documents and other materials related to the FBI probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. It didn't cover anything else.Not only that, but in order for the feds to obtain a warrant for that search in the first place, a federal judge would need to determine that probable cause existed that a crime was committed. And as part of the warrant,the FBI would have been required to attach an affidavit which contained a list of items that FBI agents hoped to collect. So evidence was collected that was probably not covered by the warrant.But wait, there's more. During the raid, Mueller’s FBI agents took documents covered by attorney-client privilege. And this is fairly egregious, because Manafort's attorneys explicitly warned Mueller’s office before the raid that their search warrant didn’t allow access to documents covered by that attorney-client privilege. The feds took these materials anyway and shared it with Mueller's prosecutors, after which they returned it. There are numerous precedents where this kind of tainted evidence has been thrown out of court, because it is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and constitutes unreasonable search and seizure. The fact that the agents at the  Famous But Incompetent returned them after Mueller's prosecutors (who should have known better) had a thorough chance to peruse them  d[...]

WoW! Forum::Should Robert Mueller Fired?


Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Should Robert Mueller Be Fired?  Don Surber: Robert Mueller poses no threat to anyone but himself. His arrogance -- hubris -- will do him in because he does not know whom he is dealing with. Mueller is a perfect media darling because he reflects so many of the swelled heads in the newsrooms.Donald Trump is no ordinary billionaire, if such a beast exists. He knows the law well, the politicians better, and the press best of all. Trump hires best lawyers. Roy Cohn was his first attorney. Ruthless. Prosecuted the Rosenbergs and got them executed. When the feds charged Trump with housing discrimination, Cohn countersued for defamation and demanded that the feds file an actual lawsuit, not just an administrative action.Two years later they settled with Trump paying no fine and making no admission of any guilt.Trump is not a man to be trifled with. Trump has been involved in 3,500 lawsuits. He knows the courts better than any president not named Lincoln. Some cases he won. Some he lost. Mueller should know this. He does not seem to know. He has been a federal prosecutor too long. They have nearly unlimited power. But I think he has met his match.Name someone who began a feud with him who prevailed. You cannot. Rosie O'Donnell went from the queen of nice on daytime TV to whatever she is today.Megyn Kelly got a nice deal with NBC -- and is watched by fewer people now than she was at Fox News.And so on.The Russian dossier is fiction by a retired British intelligence officer. In nine months since it was made public, no one has independently verified any of the 35 allegations. Trump lawyered up anyway, and it will pay off.The leak of grand juries on Friday night was a breach of ethics. Mueller has nothing on Trump, and Manafort is nothing to him. Mueller tried to get Trump through his kids. That was a low blow.Firing Mueller now makes this swine a martyr.Keep him.He has nothing. He will whither on the vine. Rob Miller: Mueller shouldn't be fired, at least not right now. But he needs to be neutralized by destroying his credibility in public.The twin scandals of Fusion GPS, the spying and illegal wiretapping by the Obama Administration on a political campaign by the opposing party during an election year, and Uranium One, which Mueller appears to be directly complicit in have already been revealed.The Democrat's servile media minions are doing the best they can to twist things around and muddy up the details to confuse the American people, but I unraveled the facts last week in an easy to follow article, and when they're presented in a straightfoward manner it's obvious that the very people ranting about Donald Trump and 'Russia collusion' were the ones colluding with the Russians themselves. Robert Mueller is clearly implicated in the Uranium One Scandal, which happened during Mrs. Clinton's term as Secretary of State in 2010 Certain Canadian investors working on behalf of the Russian government wanted to acquire ownership of certain assets amounting to one fifth of U.S. uranium production. They were represented by the Podesta Group ( yes, that would be John Podesta and his brother Tom), who lobbied Washington for them.Since this involved strategic materials, it needed oversight and a green light from Hillary Clinton’s State Department. That green light was obtained after these same investors ‘donated’ $148 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation and arranged for Bill Clinton to receive $500,000 for a speech in Russia, more than double his usual fee. There are also some indications a donation to the Clinton Library was involved as well.As the Hill revealed recently, the FBI had uncovered a bribery p[...]

The Democrat's Russia Lie Implodes - And Yes, It's Worse Than Watergate


 The latest revelations about both the fake Trump dossier was the basis for a huge lie, repeated endlessly by the trained seals in the Democrat media. The Democrat's Russia lie has now imploded, and the fallout has revealed other aspects of actual collusion with the Russians, including a $148 million dollar kickback to the Clintons in exchange for in exchange for then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton green lighting a deal that gave Vladimir Putin and Russia control over 20% of the United State's uranium production. Not only that, but the new evidence has revealed facts that seem to point to collusion and the use of America's intelligence apparatus for partisan political purposes.Like most things concerning the Clintons, this is a very twisted web, and deliberately so in my opinion. I'll do my best to try and unravel it so it's easier to understand.The Democrat's Russia lie really went public when it was concocted by Mrs. Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta on election night once she stopped screaming, pounding the walls and throwing things But as we now know, the groundwork was laid far earlier. The infamous fake “Russia dossier” created by a company called Fusion GPS was partly funded (if not entirely) by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. And the sources of the 'intelligence' in that “Russia-Trump dossier” were senior Russian officials.  Let's take a breath here to realize what we're talking about. Here is a political candidate and her party colluding with Russia to attempt to influence our election. As an aside, let's recall that John Podesta is no stranger to Putin and the Russians, to the tune of, oh, a mere $35 million investment they gave a company once Podesta was named to the board. And a $170,000 lobbying contract with the Podesta Group, run by by John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta.Fusion GPS claimed to reporters (though they refused to provide any evidence) that a Republican funded separate opposition research on Trump. But as the Washington Post,hardly a fan of President Trump itself reported, the dossier did not exist until after the Democrats hired Fusion GPS.And as was later revealed, Christopher Steele, the former spy, got this 'information' by paying his sources, who happily supplied him with the most outlandish nonsense they could think of as long as they got paid. The dossier was completely bogus. It got basic facts about Russia wrong, and made numerous claims that were completely false, like the claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen met with Federation Council foreign affairs head Konstantin Kosachev in Prague. Cohen, as you'll recall, proved he'd never been there at all.But the worst it yet to come. It appears that the fake dossier was used by the Obama Administration to justify wiretaps and use America's intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance on American citizens...because they were involved with the Trump Campaign in an election year. And - just a coincidence, of course - just before he left office, President Obama changed to rules for disseminating intelligence by executive order so that the identities of the people who were under surveillance and their personal information was unmasked and spread throughout numerous agencies. After which, of course, they were leaked to the media. This included wiretaps on Trump Towers and what appears to be a deliberate attempt to pervert the FISA court system. And as former Obama DNI James Clapper let slip yesterday on CNN the wiretapping, in his words "began before the dossier." Whoopsie.Let's again look at exactly what this means. A sitting president used the U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on a presidential candidate from the opposition party in an election year. And later on, Clinton campaign opposition research using disinformation from top[...]

Catalonia Independence...Barcelona Takes The Plunge



Catalonia declared its independence today. Secession was approved by only 70 of the 135 legislators, with the pro-Spanish parties walking out of the chamber after arguing passionately against the move.Lawmakers from three national parties - the People’s Party, the Socialists and Ciudadanos - walked out before the vote. Members of the pro-independence parties and the far-left Podemos then voted 70-10 in favor...and used a secret ballot aimed at impeding any attempt by Madrid to file criminal charges on them.

I've reported previously what the press isn't...that there's a lot more to this than meets the eye, and Muslim migration into Catalonia is a factor.

At any event, the deed is done, and Spanish PM Rajoy is going to have to take control of the situation. The Spanish parliament is almost certain to approve of using Article 55 of the Spanish Constitution to restore central control over Catalonia. Rajoy has already dismissed the members of Catalonia's regional government, including Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont, who could face years of prison for what he just did.

Catalonian separatists are already enforcing a kind of civil rebellion, demanding that civil servants in Catalonia refuse to cooperate with their counterparts in Spain. And even though many Catalonians want to remain part of Spain, there are enough hotheads to spark real violence as Spain attempts to restore order.

Rajoy really has two choices. He can send in the paramilitary state police, the Guardia into Catalonia to take control and simply take the fallout as he did when they went sent in to stop the illegal referendum. Or he can try and find some reasonable actors to deal with and perhaps discuss new elections and changes that could be made.

I personally doubt the second choice is a viable option, but we'll see.

Fats Domino Makes The Passage



Antoine 'Fats' Domino passed away last night in New Orleans, of natural causes. He was 89.

Back in the 1950's and early 1960's he fused N'awlins R&B with white pop and early rock n' roll memes to create a unique style that opened the door for a whole lot of acts from New Orleans. You can hear it in huge hits like 'Blueberry Hill,' 'Ain't That A Shame,' "Blue Monday' and one of my faves, 'Walking To New Orleans.'

At one time, he was a huge star, but he apparently succumbed to something that seems to hit a lot of musicians from New Orleans...a feeling that he was more comfortable just being a big name at home, in New Orleans, and was happy with that. Oh, there were bookings in places like Vegas now and then, but basically Fats stayed home with his family.

I met him briefly once when I got backstage at the Jazz and Heritage Festival back in the early 80's after his set, which the audience responded to the way you greet a beloved friend you haven't seen in awhile. And offstage, he was pretty much like his public image...friendly,courteous and relaxed. I remember thinking that he was one of the happiest people in the business I had ever seen, just totally comfortable with it all.

There was another time I was supposed to see him play, at Tipitina's, but he never showed...pity, because it was an amazing night with Professor Longhair and some of the Meters falling by. He would have fit right in beautifully. He always did.


In 2005, after Katrina hit, he came back out of retirement at 77, for one final album, “Alive and Kicking,” to benefit New Orleans musicians who were affected by the hurricane. His voice wasn't what it once was, but he could still play great, and it's well worth a listen if you can find it.

Rest in peace, Fat Man...and thanks for the music.

California Sets Itself On Fire


The area north of the San Francisco Bay area is a special place. While part of the area has become condo wonderland and ridiculously overdeveloped, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Rosa counties still retain a certain amount of bucolic charm that brings visitors in from all over the world. The area is especially famed for a number of world class vineyards and wineries. The entire area was victimized recently by a horrendous fire that still isn't totally contained. It took 23 lives at last count, and the death toll will likely rise higher once the fire is out and a thorough search for victims can be launched. Santa Rosa County alone lost at least 2,907 homes in the fires, 5% of its housing stock. Numerous commercial buildings and yes, vineyards were also victims of the fire. The insurance claims alone will come to millions of dollars, not to mention the millions that have been spent fighting the blaze.And then, there was this item, the arrest of one Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, who was arrested in Sonoma County on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property. Gonzalez is no stranger to jail, or indeed to the Sonoma County authorities. He has been arrested 4 times over the past year for various felonies and misdemeanors. Right now he's being held on a paltry $100,000 bail for the arson charge and under $100,000 bail for a drug related warrant from Ventura County. No trial date has been set yet, because the Sonoma County Superior Court is still closed because of the fires. The idea that bail would even be offered this man given his record and the likelihood he would simply flee justice is a travesty in and of itself.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan also confirmed in a statement that Jesus Fabian Gonzalez is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been twice returned to his home country, Mexico.By the way, according to U.S. law, returning again illegally after being deported constitutes another felony.Homan also affirmed  that ICE has issued detainer requests for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez five times now in the past year alone, including the one issued on October 16 in relation to his most recent arrest on suspicion of arson. All of the arrests were made “by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges,” according to Homan. The local police, according to their own statements recognized him the last time they arrested him and knew exactly who he was.Sonoma County, of course is a sanctuary area for illegal migrants that does not cooperate with ICE under most circumstances. While this policy has been in force in a number of locations in California for some time, it is now official statewide policy, thanks to a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown.Here is acting Director Homan's entire statement, verbatim:“Once again, a non-cooperative jurisdiction has left their community vulnerable to dangerous individuals and preventable crimes. ICE lodged a detainer against Jesus Gonzalez with Sonoma County jail officials on October 16, following his arrest on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property. This is especially troubling in light of the massive wildfires already devastating the region. Over the past year, ICE has lodged detainers against Mr. Gonzalez after four separate arrests by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges. ICE was never notified of Mr. Gonzalez’ various releases. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales has been returned to his home country of Mexico on two separate occasions. The residents of Sonoma County, and the state of California, deserve better than policies that expose them to avoidable dangers. Non-cooperation policies – now enshrined in California state law – ensure only[...]

WoW! Forum: Who Are Your Favorite Film Makers? Why?


Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Who Are Your Favorite Film Makers? Why?Fausta Rodriquez Wertz: Joel & Ethan Coen.My first Cohen Bros. movie was Fargo, followed by The Big Lebowski, and I've been a big fan since.I haven't watched all their films, but I greatly enjoyed, in addition to the above,- their musical version of The Odyssey (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) - Miller's Crossing's gloominess- No Country For Old Men, with Bardem as the scariest villain this side of the Rio Grande- Burn After Reading, which made me laugh out loud- Bridge of Spies on the Cold War- and Hail Caesar! on the Hollywood communists. Bookworm Room : I don't have a favorite director, but I do have a favorite producer: I love musicals made under Arthur Freed's aegis. Here are just a few of the dazzling movies he produced during Hollywood's golden years:The Wizard of Oz (1939)Strike Up the Band (1940)Cabin in the Sky (1943)Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)Yolanda and the Thief (1945)Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)Good News (1947)The Pirate (1948)Easter Parade (1948)Words and Music (1948)On the Town (1949)Annie Get Your Gun (1950)Royal Wedding (1951)Show Boat (1951)An American in Paris (1951)Singin' in the Rain (1952)The Band Wagon (1953)Silk Stockings (1957)Gigi (1958)Bells Are Ringing (1960)While I don't have a favorite director, I definitely have a least favorite director. I hate Steven Spielberg movies, which I find clunky, predictable, and subordinate to special effects and fancy camera work. I also invariably dislike his characters and their thought processes. I've been watching at HBO production about Spielberg and it's given me an insight into why I dislike his characters: I don't like him. The one good thing about Spielberg is that his Holocaust work has been exemplary. I don't like how he directed Schindler's List, but it educated a generation about the Holocaust. His Shoah project is also something very important and I admire his complete commitment to that work. But . . . and this is a big but, Spielberg directed Munich, which aims for moral relativism between Israel and the PLO. The difference between a properly created democracy in a land that has been home to Jews for thousands of years and a terrorist group that openly espouses murdering all Jews precludes any moral relativism . . . but Spielberg still tried. Spielberg has also supported Obama wholeheartedly. Those who love Israel know that Obama has been hostile to Israel from his first to his last days in office. Support for Obama meant that a person was willing to see Israel badly damaged. Yeah, so I'm really not a Spielberg fan.JoshuaPundit: My  top favorites are Kurosawa, Fellini,Kubrick and a gentleman named Charles Chaplin. I still think City Lights is one of the best films every made. The great thing about Chaplin is his universal appeal. You can play his movies in front of people anywhere in the world and they'll still enjoy them a century after they were made. My kids used to love to watch films featuring what my daughter called 'the funny little man.'I got into Kurosawa at a long gone theater named the Toho La Brea in Los Angles's Wilshire District. They played first run movies as well as older ones there put out by the Toho company in Japan, and there was a wonderful Japanese bar where you could get sake and delicious soba noodles just next door to the theater both before or after the movie. The first Kurosawa movie I saw there was Yojimbo, something so akin to an American western that Clint Eastwood later remade it with himself in the Toshiro Mif[...]

The Latest On The Catalonia Separatist Movement


The Spanish government and the Catalonia separatist movement have escalated the their conflict.Let's briefly recap.As I previously reported, the Catalonia separatist movement is something rather different than is being reported in most of the press, even fooling some ordinarily astute observers. Catalonia has always trended to the Left of the rest of Spain. Aside from the leaders of the Catalonia separatist movement like Jordi Pujol and his cronies engaging in massive corruption and money laundering, they also encouraged massive Islamic migration as a solution for Catalonia's low birthrate, and especially, as a tool in their desire for Catalonian independence.Essentially, they made Mutti Merkel's mistake. They thought that the Muslims would help support Catalonia's welfare state with taxes, and that speaking Catalan and Arabic rather than Spanish, what else would they become but loyal Catalonians?Of course they forget that the vast majority of Muslima consider themselves members of the Muslim umma first above all, and they failed to look at the rest of Europe to see how resistant many of the new migrants were to any significant assimilation with the host culture. Nor did the Separatists particularly care. As one of their leaders said 'We'd rather be Muslims than Spaniards.'So this process has continued to the point where the Catalonia separatist movement has made Catalonia the Islamist center of Spain. As you can imagine, the Spanish government is not happy in the least at the idea of having an Islamist friendly state next door. They haven't forgotten the Madrid bombings or any of the other jihad attacks that have occurred in Spain.Another hidden aspect of this behind the scenes is a covert agreement the Separatist leadership has with the EU to accept an independent Catalonia as a member in exchange for Catalonia accepting a number of Muslim migrants France's Macron and Germany's Merkel want to get rid of from their own countries...migrants Poland, Hungary and other Eastern European members have refused to take under any circumstances. While publicly the EU has voiced sentiments that appear cool to the idea of Catalonian independence for obvious reasons (the last thing they want to encourage is an independent Bavaria, Lombardy, Normandy or Brittany), behind the scenes they support it.The referendum the Catalonian leaders held on independence attracted at most 40% of the vote if that, chiefly because the Spanish government were quite open to letting the Catalonian government know it was illegal under the Spanish Constitution, warned the Catalonian leadership not to hold it and and sent the paramilitary Guardia to Catalonia to enforce it on Referendum day. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="350" src="" width="540">As you can see above the Guardia were quite forceful - well, that's one word for it - in their approach to shutting down the referendum, which gave the Catalonian Separatist movement some talking points in the media. The Catalonian separatists (who counted what votes there were) claim they won the referendum. The Spanish government says an illegal referendum on secession is meaningless.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, head of Spain's ruling coalition gave the Catalonian government 8 days to either rescind any move towards secession an dbegin talks on settling any differences or to declare independence. He also let them know that if they chose the latter course, he would exercise Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would enable him to dissolve Catalonia’s government and give Spain control of its affairs. The Catalonian government refused to g[...]

A Lion Among Jackals - Gen. Kelly Rips Dems,Press Over Lies About Trump's Condolence Call


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What we have here is a man who has lived his life in service to his country explaining what that means... to jackals who serve nothing but themselves and their agenda to tear down what most Americans still hold sacred.

White House chief of staff John Kelly lashed out at Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) today (and by extension her fellow Democrats who piled on) saying he was "stunned" by her negative description of President Trump's call to the wife of a U.S. soldier who was killed in combat inNiger.

I went over this yesterday and explained the real reason the press jumped on this, as a tool to keep other news off the headlines.

So General Kelly, who recently lost his own son in combat patiently explained exactly what happens when a service person is killed. And  that the wife or parents of the deceased service person must agree beforehand to take the call, and exactly why President Trump's call was completely appropriate...and not at all a common gesture by presidents in wartime. President Trump personally called all 4 families.

To me, the most telling moment when when General Kelly agreed to take a few questions "but only on this subject" and asked if any of the reporters were Gold Star parents, or even knew any Gold Star parents and the room went silent. Finally he found a couple of reporters who claimed they knew Gold Star families, and of course their questions were not about the topic of the condolence call at all but about the raid itself in Niger, which Kelly addressed but refused to answer for reasons that are apparent if you watch the video. And this time the usual spectacle of the press yelling out over each other was absent.

Can it be that the lion shamed the jackals this time? Can it be that the blatant contrast between themselves and those who serve being made so nakedly obvious made them, for the first time perhaps, see themselves for who they really are?

A must watch video.

Trump Politicizing Our Military? The Real Story


President Trump politicizing our military? Here's the real story.President Trump is currently being demonized for 'politicizing our military' and for his supposedly uncaring attitude when making a condolence call to the widow of a Green Beret Army sergeant, one of four American servicemen killed in an ambush by Islamic militants in Niger.The fire is being stoked by a notoriously racist and partisan black Democrat congresswoman, 75-year-old Frederica Wilson (D-FL).She's claiming that the president was "heartless" and that "This is a sick man who feels no pity or sympathy for anyone."Far Left Democrat Senators Bernie Sanders and Tammy Duckworth chimed in as well of course with similar language, and I'm sure there will be more of them. After all, it takes this particular story out if the headlines . That story is an account of the FBI's findings in their investigation of the massive Russian bribery given to the Clintons before our then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.And how the Obama Department of Justice, run by Loretta Lynch, stonewalled the initial investigation.This, by the way, comes after the FBI mysteriously 'found' over thirty pages of notes about Lynch's secret meeting on the airport tarmac with former President Bill Clinton after saying in court that no notes existed. It seems they discussed a lot more than grandchildren.You'd think these stories would be screaming headlines if there was any journalistic integrity among the usual suspects. But no...some rabidly partisan nonsense about a condolence call is what they deem the peasants need to be informed of, right?Oh, the insensitive remarks? Here's what they consist of...that President Trump referred to the soldier as 'Your guy' during the phone call instead of calling him by name, and that the president said, "He (the sergeant) knew what he signed up for, but it's tough just the same."Let's remember that personal condolence calls from the president of the United States are not mandatory, and some presidents have preferred to simply have a letter mass printed and auto signed.The fact that President Trump took some time from his busy schedule to make a personal condolence call to a Gold Star widow is both honorable and admirable.And if this was actually what was said, does it sound remotely cold or disrespectful? It's obvious that the president is making reference to the bravery of a widow's husband,who knew full well what he was facing but chose to serve, and an expression of empathy over her loss.But it does serve to help bury the stories exposing the corrupt Clintons and the collusion of the Obama Administration, doesn't it? Oh look, a squirrel!And if we're talking about politicizing military casualties, let's look at a president who actually did it, Barack Hussein Obama. Now, all of the Democrat congress members mentioned in this article were rabid Obama partisans. Let's examine their disgusting hypocrisy, shall we?It was President Barack Hussein Obama who used the coffins of returning dead servicemen as a photo op at Dover Airport, something that was against the wishes of the family members and against DOD procedure and policy. He did it anyway.It was President Barack Hussein Obama who decided that a priority during the government shutdown in 2013 was to cut the funds congress had already allocated as death benefits for families of military killed in action, and to use them for things more dear to his heart. And he made sure that the families, already worried about paying the mortgage a[...]

Welcome To Venezuela North AKA Illinois


Venezuela north, AKA Illinois is now at the next stage all bankrupt entities go through...simply ignoring bills and failing to pay them.The AP and several other outlets reported that as of the end of June, 2017, over $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills — over half the total due — hadn't been sent to the official who writes the checks. That would be the woman pictured above, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.While a number of the bills have been finally paid, they've been replaced by a new flood of $16 billion in past due bills over the last three months that haven't even been sent to the Comptroller's office yet. And that doesn't include $9 billion worth of checks that are at the office but are not being sent out for a very good reason. The state of Illinois simply hasn't got the money to pay them!You may recall my previous look at this ongoing farce. While it was exacerbated by a deadlock between Republican Governor Bruce Bauer and the Democrats who control the General Assembly it certainly didn't start there.For years the state government has been controlled by the Democrats, who engaged in the typical Blue State economics we now see coming to their inevitable conclusion in various Democrat run cities and states; spend like crazy to bribe the public employee unions for their support and promote various dubious programs and 'benefits'. Spend money on projects that benefit the cronies and political supporters of those in power. And of course, raise taxes and increase the cost of basic services and permits whenever you need a chunk of other people's money. Republican Governor Bruce Bauer won election in a Democrat dominated state by promising fiscal responsibility and convincing people he wasn't going to end up in jail like some of his predecessors. Unfortunately, the Illinois General assembly is controlled by Democrats led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, who made it their business to torpedo any attempt at fiscal sanity. So Illinois hasn't had a budget in 3 years while the unpaid bills piled up. Bauer finally called an emergency meeting of the Assembly and demanded they submit a budget. So they did. And it called for a huge $5 billion tax increase,and a lot more spending. Especially for public employee union benefits, public schools, universities, and other projects aimed to reward a lot of Democrat financial backers and select special interest groups. When Governor Bauer vetoed it, the Assembly simply overrode him and passed it anyway.The results won't surprise anyone who's ever had to deal with debts well beyond their means to repay.First off, people become very reluctant about loaning you any money at all. And those that will want repayment  at exorbitant terms.Moody’s recently downgraded the state's credit rating to its lowest investment grade rating, the lowest of any state.Standard and Poor's rates Illinois bonds - just barely  - at BBB- it's lowest investment grade and just above 'junk.' That means that those investors who aren't scared away will demand premium interest rates to buy the state's debt if they buy at all.When you don't pay your bills on time, another thing happens. Vendors, contractors and people you do business with start questioning whether it's worth it to continue doing business and providing services to you if they have to end up carrying you for 90, 120, even 180 days. Certainly, their vendors, suppliers and employees on the payroll aren't going to wait that long to get paid!  What happens is exactly what you'd expect. Either they cut off supplies and s[...]

Must See Video: Roger Stone Gives An Amazing Speech On Tour With Milo



I've heard Roger Stone a few times on talk radio and never quite made up my mind what I think of him. Is he simply a bomb thrower, or is he just way ahead of the crowd? And then for the first time, I heard him speak. Here he is on tour with Milo Yiannopoulos, giving an amazing speech that is fascinating in its clarity and insight into the state of our beloved republic, and I agree with 90% of it.

Like Steve Bannon, a man I have infinite respect for, Roger Stone sees this as a war, even perhaps a generational struggle to preserve our freedom and our country. It's a view I've expressed myself may times on these pages. It is what it is, after all.

Warning: Some of Roger Stone's language is a bit salty and NSFW, but shouldn't really offend any adult who's not looking for something to be offended about.

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Roger Stone unleashed and on of the best twenty-five minutes you'll spend this week, I assure you.

Catalonia: What The Media's Not Telling You


The world, and especially the EU was shocked at the brutality the Spanish government used in an attempt to suppress a referendum on Catalonian independence. The paramilitary Guardia Civil was particularly brutal as they invaded polling places. Over 800 people were reported injured as well as a dozen of so Guardia: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="350" src="" width="540">Catalonia is the extreme northeast of Spain. It consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona.Catalonia was originally an independent principality with its own language and culture. That ended after the War of Spanish Secession in 1714, when Catalonia picked the wrong horse, Spain was essentially united by the Bourbon Philip V of Spain and Catalan was replaced on all legal documents with Castilian Spanish. But Catalonia has remained something of a separate part of Spain, with a unique culture. During the Spanish Civil War, Catalonia, which had socialist movements as an important part of its politics dating back to the mid 19th century sided with the Republic against Franco, which again led to a certain amount of repression when Franco won, including abolishing Catalan institutions and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. Things eased up in the latter part of Franco's rule, and considerably more after Franco died in 1975.The current independence movement started in 2014, and the current referendum proceeded as planned by Catalonia's regional government even after Spain's courts declared that the referendum was illegal. Proponents of Catalonia's independence say they won, while Spain says otherwise since in their point of view the entire referendum was illegal.While many people now want to see Catalonia gain its independence (and the Catalonian independence movement wants to join the EU as a separate, independent country) there's an interesting detail that no one's mentioning, and it definitely figures in.Catalonia has always trended a lot more to the Left than the rest of Spain. And it is slowly but surely in the process of Islamization, aided and abetted by its regional government.   For more than a decade the Muslim population of Catalonia has been rapidly growing, because Catalonia's politicians have made it a prime destination for Muslim migrants and 'refugees.' A large part of the population, now well over 7% of Catalonia, has become radicalized (or already were) and are calling for the establishment of a Muslim state in what they still refer to by the name of their former conquest, as 'al-Andaluz.'The Islamization was deliberately started and encouraged by the Catalonian separatist movement.The central person of the Catalan independence movement is Jordi Pujol, who was  from 1980 to 2003 the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, literally the governor of Catalonia. Aside from being indicted along with members of his family for massive corruption and money laundering, Pujol and his cronies decided that Islamic migration was the solution to Catalonia's low birth rate and their plans for an independent Catalonia.The separatists hoped to get lots of of cheap labor forces  which they could win over as Catalonian nationalists for the separatist movement. And they also figured that these new migrants would be taught to be Catalan speakers. After all, a worker, who could only speak Catalan and Arabic and was dependent on social benefits [...]

Forum: War With North Korea? What Would You Do?


Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: War With North Korea? What Would You Do?Snoopy The Goon: If I may be allowed to speak up on the subject: I've always admired the famous "Speak softly, and carry a big stick" as a golden standard in the foreign policy.Behavior of the current POTUS is so far from that standard, I dare say, that it opens a totally new vistas in the said policy.The military option is sometimes inevitable, but I am hopeful that careful handling of that case, with a modicum of synchronization between US, China and Russia, could do the job without military option being inevitable. Rob Miller: I tend to agree with President Trump on this one. He's entirely correct that this has been bungled for the past 25 years by 3 awful presidents at a huge financial cost to the American people as well as a major national security risk. Few people talking about this realize how serious this situation is. And it simply can't be kicked down the road any longer.In the case of both Iran and North Korea, we're talking about rogue regimes who brutalize their own people and are simply not rational actors, but instead are driven by their own ideology and ambitions. And that ideology and ambition, in both cases, does not include peace.So what's at stake? Aside from having nukes in the hands of unpredictable  rogue regimes with no qualms about using them, there's also the danger the problem metastasizing. North Korea has already sold nuclear technology to the Assad regime in Syria and to Iran. Does anyone remotely doubt they would sell it to ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusrah or other groups of that ilk for the right amount of cash?  If you think we have a problem now, just wait until the Norks start peddling their nuclear wares in the market place. And the ransom demanded for not blowing up Chicago is a cool $20 billion, small bills only ala' Barack Obama's payoff to Iran. Just for giggles, let's recap the 'solutions' that have been tried: Bribery and 'diplomacy' with the Kims hasn't worked. It didn't work with the ayatollahs either. Since such negotiations between vicious totalitarian governments and democracies hardly ever do, what a surprise eh? The result is almost always that the totalitarian government figures that the democracy lacks the spine and/or the power to do anything about the situation at hand, and keeps right on doing what its been doing. In fact, the usual reaction is to increase the aggression. You simply can't make deals with unreasonable people who hold you in contempt.  Depending on someone else to handle the problem hasn't worked. And it won't.Russia and China have been  asked to deal with this situation. They can't or won't, take your pick. In Russia's case, they have relatively few dealings with the Kims but a lot of dealings with Iran, and frankly, the Russiams need the money. Russia's economy is in bad shape, and their top products for sale break down into three in the form of oil or gas, various kinds of computer and nuclear technology  and military weaponry.China has a lot of dealings with the Norks. Some of that trade going toChina is in disgraceful items like human organs, narcotics, gold mined from the Kim's gulags by slave labor and sex slaves for forced prostitution in China. More to the point, both the Chinese and the Rus[...]

Sukkot - A Stop Along The Way


I'll be taking a hiatus for a few days or so to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert. Sukkot is also a harvest festival and the direct ancestor of the American Thanksgiving...William Bradford and the Pilgrims were very familiar with the Bible (Bradford, like many other educated people of his time spoke and wrote Hebrew) and likewise wanted to give thanks for their deliverance from the wilderness.In honor of the sojourn of  the children of Israel in the wilderness, people live in or spend time in temporary shelters. These contraptions are called sukkahs. The sukkah has at least three sides and a partially open roof covered with palm fronds, reeds, or whatever. Ideally the roof must be partially open so that the sky and the stars can be observed. It's also a tradition to invite a Jew who is a stranger to you into your Sukkah if you happen to run into one. This commemorates one of the virtues of Avroham, chesed (kindness). It's a tradition to eat in the sukkah and to have people over Essentially, it's a party, coming as a counterpoint to Yom Kippur and the Days of Awe. The holiday lasts seven days, several of which you are allowed to pursue your normal activities and ends with the holidays of Shemini Atzerat and Simchat Torah, which commemorates the Jews receiving the Torah and is quite a party!The sukkahs can get extraordinarily inventive, and kids absolutely love to help put them up and decorate them: Plain or fancy, elaborate or made from scratch and thrown together, the sukkahs reflect the long journey of the Children of Israel from there to here and remind them of their roots.Another observance during Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species or the lulav and etrog. The lulav consists of a palm branch, a myrtle branch, and a willow branch bound together. They all have symbolic meanings relating to the land of Israel.The etrog is a citrus fruit native to Israel (and now, California) and is held separately. With these four species in hand, one recites a blessing and waives the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up and down).I'll let my pal Ya'akov have the last word....Chag Sukkot Sameach![...]