Priorities With A Capital P

Breaking news

Caught this coming over the wire from CNN:

TOM BRADY’S MISSING SUPER BOWL 51 JERSEY LOCATED BY FBI, NFL SECURITY

The mystery of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s missing Super Bowl 51 jersey has been solved, the NFL announced on Monday morning.

My heart raced upon learning of this latest break in the weeks-old saga. I owe it up to you, readers, to fill you in on the very latest concerning this national crisis.

Wait! What am I thinking? From The New York Times:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea conducted a ground jet test of a newly developed high-thrust missile engine, the country’s state-run news media said on Sunday, even as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is in the region discussing tougher strategies to help end the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

The Korean Central News Agency said the test took place at the same northwest facility where the country has been launching rockets to put satellites into orbit, which Western officials have said were efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

From CNN:

Russian fighter jets ‘buzz’ US warship in Black Sea, photos show

From ABC News:

FBI head has ‘no information’ backing wiretap claims, confirms probe of possible links between Russia and Trump associates

By MIKE LEVINE

Uncle Bye-Bye

Yes, it is a continuing series.

KimTheLovely

We haven’t seen one of these in over a year. What’s going on? Maybe we should ask Kim Jong Un’s brother:

KUALA LUMPUR — In the latest twist in the suspected assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Malaysian police say they are now hunting for four North Korean suspects.

Kim Jong Nam died on Monday after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he was catching a flight to Macau. South Korean and U.S. officials have said he was assassinated by North Korean agents.

All right, he was only Kim’s half brother, but in any event it’s too late to ask him. You will pardon me for a moment while I pause to check with Ancestry.com to see if I might possibly be related to Uncle Bye-Bye.

Keep reading. And watch your back, especially if your name starts with “Kim.”

Snowflake In Chief

New game in town

Something is terribly wrong in Washington. The new Snowflake-in-Chief is not getting a fair shake from the people he calls the biggest liars of all time:

Trump spokesman says negative coverage is ‘demoralizing’ to Trump

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, holding his first formal briefing with reporters, promised Monday not to lie to the press but complained about “demoralizing” news coverage. Spicer also said President Trump would soon unveil a Supreme Court nominee and a new plan for battling ISIS, but hedged on a controversial pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Then, Donald Trump’s press secretary lied to reporters, telling them, “Our intention is never to lie to you,” Sean Spicer then went on to complain, “The default [media] narrative is always negative, and it’s demoralizing.” Demoralizing? Yes. Negative, duh.

The world’s news outlets are left to ponder just how are they to treat an administration whose chief made a career of lying and followed that up with a lie-soaked campaign that shoveled in a running stream of personal insults to all who caught his disfavor, including the major news outlets, whom, in complete disregard for irony, he labeled liars:

Trump met today with CNN’s Jeff Zucker and Wolf Blitzer, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and David Muir, NBC’s Chuck Todd, CBS’ Charlie Rose, Fox News’ Bill Shine, and a few others for a conversation a few hours ago.

How did it go? Well, here’s how once source summed it up to The New York Post:

“It was like a f—ing firing squad,” said one source.

“Trump started with Jeff Zucker and said I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed….

Come a few days past the snowflake inauguration, and whose feelings are hurting now? It must be frightfully frosty in D.C. these days. Otherwise this Yuge snowflake would have wilted five seconds in.

Keep reading. We are not finished with the fun.

The Ever-Diminishing List of Those Who Cannot Obtain Life Insurance at any Price

One of a continuing series

War-StrikeDaeshEscapingFallujah

Let’s have another look at that list. Who’s left? Just Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, and a bunch of others. Wait, that’s the list from yesterday:

(CNN) — Two ISIS senior military commanders died last week in a U.S. airstrike, killing a man that the United States says oversaw the terror group’s 2014 offensive to capture the all-important Iraqi city of Mosul, the Pentagon said Friday.

The June 25 airstrike near Mosul killed ISIS’ deputy minister of war, Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a military commander in the area, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Two years ago President Obama characterized ISIS, more properly known as “Daesh,” as “junior varsity.” He always seemed overly generous to me.

Replacements for Mr. al-Bajari and Mr. al-Hamduni have yet to be named. To replace Deputy Minister of War al-Bajari, Daesh will require a candidate with five or more weeks of demonstrated experience commanding collected bands of college dropouts, psychopathic killers, and others known for making unfortunate life choices. The candidate will also be required to demonstrate the ability to draw up battle plans having a duration of two hours or more, plus the highly valued skill of giving commands while keeping a straight face. A paid-up life insurance policy is a must.

The candidate to replace Mr. al-Hamduni as military commander will need to possess an immense level of credulity, a demonstrated history of not asking too many embarrassing questions, and also the ability to look 25 minutes into the future. Paid up life insurance is a plus.

The Ever-Diminishing List of Those Who Cannot Obtain Life Insurance at any Price

One of a continuing series

War-AbuWahibKilled

Is the list really getting shorter? Only God knows:

Washington (CNN) – The Pentagon said Monday that the “military emir of Anbar” Abu Wahib was targeted in what the Pentagon believes was a “successful” coalition airstrike.

The attack took place on May 6 near Rutbah in Western Iraq.
Abu Wahib, a key ISIS figure, was traveling with three others in a vehicle at the time of the strike, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
“ISIL leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts and this is another example of that,” Cook said, using another term for ISIS. “It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days and for good reason.”

Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr cautioned viewers that in the past reports of Mr. Wahib’s death have been premature. Only his insurance agent knows for sure:

On 6 May 2016, the Pentagon said Abu Waheeb was killed along with three others in a vehicle by a US airstrike that targeted an ISIS gathering in the center of Rutba, which is the eighth time there has been an announcement of his death.

Supposedly Wahib had been a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) from the get go, but there is no mention of him in Michael Weiss’s analytical book on ISIS and its formation. Mr. Wahib’s insurance agent could not be reached for comment.

Uncle Bye-Bye

Yes, it is a continuing series.

General Ri Yong-gil, chief of the North Korean Army's general staff, was executed.

General Ri Yong-gil, chief of the North Korean Army’s general staff, was executed.

The truth is, it’s getting hard for me to keep on top of these. Here’s the latest:

Seoul (CNN)A senior North Korean military leader has been executed for “factionalism, misuse of authority and corruption,” a South Korean government official with knowledge of North Korean affairs told CNN Thursday.

The official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, declined to give further details on how or when General Ri Yong-gil, chief of the North Korean Army’s general staff, was executed.

Ri was appointed to the position in 2013, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

One source told Yonhap that Ri was executed last week.

Yes, “factionalism, misuse of authority and corruption,” those are the things that could get even a sitting United States Senator executed. The difference between the United States and North Korea (DPRK) is that they are much more efficient. Furthermore, the DPRK is not so daft enough as to indulge blood lines as a barrier:

Uncertainty after North Korea announces execution of leader’s uncle
By Jethro Mullen and Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 10:58 AM EST, Fri December 13, 2013

(CNN) — As the shock sinks in of North Korea’s extraordinary announcement of the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle and former protector, government officials and analysts are trying to decipher what the brutal move means.

The ruthless disposal of Jang Song Thaek — Kim’s uncle by marriage who had, until recently, been regarded as the second-most powerful figure in the secretive, nuclear-armed nation — has serious implications for North Korea, its neighbors and the United States, observers said.

But exactly what is going on inside the notoriously opaque North Korea regime remains as murky as ever.

As Forrest Gump would have said, if anybody had asked him, “Murky is as murky does.” Some things are not exactly clear:

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Yes, children, in the DPRK it pays to keep your head down.

There’s something happening here

One of a continuing series

Old-man-bird-watcher-Sized

Yes, this topic shows some staying power. Let’s hope this keeps up for a while. Here is another item to come out of the running comedy of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff in Oregon. I promise, I did verify this is not from The Onion before linking to it:

BURNS, OREGON — Grandfather of four Robert Saunders says he was just out to check on some young burrowing owls at the crack of dawn this morning when he was confronted by a “red-faced pudgy man with a big gun”.

And things got physical when Saunders refused the barked orders to halt and identify himself.

But it wasn’t the retired teacher who ended up on the ground.

Man, that has really got to hurt. Apparently bird watcher Saunders encountered one of the armed protectors of the United States Constitution on public property, which happens to be a bird sanctuary, and there was physical contact. I’m sure the encounter would not have turned out this way if the POTC had been able to get to his gun in time.

The Lapine  is a satirical newspaper out of Canada. Look for a Canadian rag to poke fun at American foolishness. According to this source from north of the border, an FBI spokesman appealed for restraint:

“We’re hoping this is an isolated incident and we’re asking the elderly not to knock any more militants on their ass,” said the grinning FBI agent.

Mr. Saunders is 79 years old and has had some time to reflect since the incident:

“I hope I didn’t hurt the man…well, his pride maybe,” said Saunders from his small bungalow in the nearby town of Burns, population 2,700.

Something more than pride may be at stake. It’s reported that a local judge is going to assess Ammon Bundy, leader of the armed group, $70,000 a day to cover expenses incurred by local law enforcement. By the time Bundy pays this off it’s likely there won’t be much left over for snacks.

Uncle Bye-Bye

May be one of a continuing series

Hyon Yong-chol

Hyon Yong-chol

There’s a song from decades back:

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Of course, nobody takes this stuff seriously. Really?

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Kim Yang Gon, a high-ranking North Korean official tasked with handling the fractious relationship with South Korea, has died in an automobile accident, state media reported.

He’s the latest in a series of top aides to young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who are reported to have died in recent years.

Politics have been dicey in the DPRK ever since Kim Jong-un inherited the position of Most Reverend Supreme Exalted Leader for Life (and all eternity thereafter) from his father, the late Kim Jong-il, nearly four years ago. Jong extends a dynasty that stretches back over 60 years ago to Kim Il-sung, the founder of the DPRK. If Jong continues the legacy of his forbears, he also expands its gift for scandal.

The image above shows North Korea’s Defence Minister Hyon Yong-chol, since deceased. The minister got the chop for showing disloyalty and also for failing to carry out orders. Add to that he fell asleep at an event attended by Kim Jong-un. Lacking the equipment for a proper execution, the DPRK used an anti-aircraft gun.

Meanwhile, the speculation continues:

The late Kim has long led the communist state’s external policy affairs including cross-border issues and those related to China – a reason why observers say his death would influence Pyongyang’s foreign policy to a certain extent.

Officially, Kim’s death is being treated as an accident, but a history of mysterious vehicle accidents taking the lives of former senior officials – including a predecessor to Kim Yang-gon in 2003 and top official Ri Je-gang in 2010 – can only fuel speculation there is more to this incident that meets the eye.

But then, who takes this stuff seriously?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

Bonnie And Syed

2 December 2015

2 December 2015

Perhaps not known about me, but I am the true news junky, especially since I’ve been retired (three years). Fact is, the daily feed is where I get a lot of the stuff for this cyber rag sheet. So it was on Wednesday we prepared for lunch and switched on CNN. WTF! See the above.

“No way! That’s last week’s news.”

“No, that was Colorado. This is California.”

“Colorado, California, what’s the difference?’

“One’s by the ocean. This is a different shooting.”

Who would have believed it? Two mass shootings in this country inside a week? Then go ahead and believe it. As of Wednesday there have been 354 mass shootings in 2015, this being number 354. Here is number one:

Number 1: 1/1/2015, Robert Sanders and Ladarius Berry, 5 injured, Memphis, TN

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/27743361/5-injured-in-new-years-day-party-bus-shooting

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/5-injured-in-new-years-day-party-bus-shooting/

http://wkrn.com/2015/07/01/2-men-indicted-in-new-years-party-bus-shooting/

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/jan/15/second-man-charged-shooting-memphis-party-bus/

Another mass shooting on Wednesday. There were two that day. This one got the headlines. Fourteen people killed, 21 wounded and still alive. Here’s how it broke throughout the day:

Multiple shooters. They made their getaway in a black SUV.

ShootingSanBernardino-01

It was as bad as it gets. This was the worst since Columbine.

ShootingSanBernardino-03

Witnesses reported “as many as three suspects.” They were on the loose in a major California city.

ShootingSanBernardino-02

Later in the day, turning back to the screen, police cars are racing down city streets, charging through traffic lights.

ShootingSanBernardino-07

And here’s where they were heading.

ShootingSanBernardino-08

It was a Bonnie and Clyde repeat, only this time it was Bonnie and Syed. Police trapped two shooters on the street in the sought-after SUV and let loose with hundreds of rounds.

ShootingSanBernardino-09

It was looking like 1934 all over again.

bonnie-clyde-ambush

Only this time the desperado pair had a heads-up, and shots were exchanged. Police officers were wounded.

ShootingSanBernardino-08

The carnage was no less terrific. There were bodies and weapons all over. The shooters had some amazing firepower.

ShootingSanBernardino-06

The killers turned out to be a married couple. The man was Syed Rizwan Farook, and his wife was Tashfeen Malik. Farook was an American from Illinois, raised in Southern California. Malik was originally from Pakistan but obtained a visa and a green card to live in the U.S. after marrying Syed. Both were Muslims, a fact that points to a possible factor in the massacre.

ShootingSanBernardino-05

Syed worked at the place where the killings took place, and on Wednesday morning he attended a Christmas party with his co-workers, before departing abruptly after some sort of dispute. He returned minutes later with his wife, both now dressed in all black and sporting body armor and carrying weapons. Police arrived four minutes after the first 911 call was received, but the pair had already departed.

Before setting out on their deadly adventure, the couple left their six-month-old baby with its grandmother, who was living with them.

Large parts of this story are at odds with the typical terrorist attack. Neither Daesh nor any other terrorist group is claiming credit, although in previous such events somebody has always been quick to get their name out front. Despite leaving over 1000 rounds of ammunition plus bomb-making materials in their rented town home, the couple failed to raise the suspicions of neighbors and relatives. Neither Syed nor Tashfeen had caught the attention of federal intelligence, although there had been some notice of Syed’s interest in terrorist propaganda. Nobody has yet put out comments from the grandmother.

And something remarkable has happened. As I write this it’s Friday morning, and there have been no additional mass shootings in this country. We celebrate small blessings.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Politicians Say The Darndest Things

One of a continuing series

ObamaSyrianRefugeesTerrorists

Who is the most recent politician saying the darndest things? How about Congressman Steve King representing the Iowa 4th District? Here is what he had to say recently:

While chatting today with Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, Rep. Steve King took issue with the claim that the mounting hostility to refugees is undermining American values. The Iowa Republican said that “the argument that ‘that’s not who we are’ is just one of the mantras that they put out, it’s not supported by logic or rationale.”

“Who we are? We should not be a suicidal nation,” King said. “My wife said this morning, ‘If you had 100 grapes and you knew that two of them were fatally poisonous, would you sit there and eat the grapes until one of them killed you? Or would you decide, I’m not going to take that bunch of grapes at all?’ That’s what we’re dealing with here with the Syrian refugees.”

This is, of course, interesting logic. Pause for a moment to review a bit of irony:

WASHINGTON, March 14 [1989]
Food stores around the country pulled tons of grapes and other fresh fruit from their shelves today as the Food and Drug Administration broadened its investigation of a possible attempt to poison Chilean produce with cyanide.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it had joined the inquiry, which has so far turned up traces of the poison in a small batch of grapes shipped last month from Chile to Philadelphia.

There have been no reports of death or illness from Chilean fruit.

To be sure, Congressman King did not have this particular incident in mind when he made his remarks. It is possible he had in mind the image at the top of this post. That image is from the Facebook site titled Political Correctness Gone Wild.

PoliticalCorrectnessGoneWild

Supposedly all of this is about political correctness, popularized as “PC.” PC is supposed to be a poke at overly ingratiating politeness—specifically, politeness where politeness is not due. What often happens is that opponents of something wholly pragmatic stick on the PC label to knock off some of the shine. It’s apparent in this instance that is what is happening.

A cold look at the matter of the Syrian refugees reveals some inconvenient facts. See additional details from The Christian Post:

  • The vetting process for refugees, including those from Syria, appears to be comprehensive and as exhaustive as can be made.
  • “The United States has resettled 784,000 refugees since September 11, 2001.” “[T]hree resettled refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist activities — and it is worth noting two were not planning an attack in the United States and the plans of the third were barely credible.”
  • “About 70 percent of refugees who participate in employment-training no longer need public assistance six months after resettling.

But, back to the poisoned grapes. Can I promise Congressman King that no Syrian refugee accepted under the current plan will commit crimes in this country or even plot terrorism. I cannot, and I do not need to. Further, I will guarantee that based on reliable population statistics, some will eventually run afoul of the law, and some will even be convicted of homicide while living in this country.

Does Congressman King want to keep people out of this country on the off chance, credible or not, they will pose a threat? He needs to think again. Such a restriction would have trapped any number of conservative Americans:

TIMEcoverTimothyMcVeigh

This undated photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office shows Eddie Ray Routh, who was charged with killing former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Erath County Sheriff's Office, File)

This undated photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff’s Office shows Eddie Ray Routh, who was charged with killing former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Erath County Sheriff’s Office, File)

Knock Knock. These were your neighbors.

We are not finished with politicians saying the darndest things. Keep reading.