Cause and Effect

Some could label this post as, “An example of unintended consequences.” I chose the one above because it’s shorter and I really don’t believe the ‘Effect’ is unintended. What am I talking about? Baltimore…and by extension, all the large, liberal controlled cities.

There is a story out today about Baltimore. One headline laments the rising murder rate in Baltimore after the riots. The other headline for the same story reports the reluctness of the police to enter the riot areas.

Alarming Surge In Murders And Shootings In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City crime spike. A dramatic increase in violence in Baltimore. Dozens of shooting and murders in the last few weeks following the riots last month.

Christie Ileto reports some are concerned police are hesitant to crack down after six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

“People have said its because morale is down, or it’s because the officers were charged. We don’t know that,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

While city leaders are working to curb the rash of bloodshed.

A Baltimore police officer who chose to remain anonymous says the Freddie Gray case impacted policing.

“If you want them to be proactive in patrolling and trying to catch people, I could see them not being interested in doing that,” the officer said.

William Scipio heads Sandtown’s Resident Action Committee–an area once at the heart of April’s unrest.

Ileto: “When was the last time you’ve personally seen an officer in Sandtown?”

Scipio: “Since the riots.”

Is anyone really surprised? Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has tied the hands of the police. The residents know they can prevent arrest and charges by filing a complaint. Why should the street cops risk jobs and their lives when they know the city administration will not back them and will, instead, file criminal charges against them doing their jobs?

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake should not be surprised. Cause. Effect.

***

Have you heard the term, “Wookie suiter.” The term started as a joke a number of years ago. It was intended to ridicule some self-serving, fringe “patriots” who saw conspiracies at every term.

It was a joke a decade ago. It isn’t today. Now, there are so-called conservative websites whose sole purpose is to promote conspiracy theories—and a growing number of people are buying their claims hook-line-and-sinker.

The current conspiracy du jour is the Army’s Jade Helm training exercise. Every year the Army conducts training in various states among the citizenry. The Army has done so for decades, at least since the 1970s.

On occasion, the Army has asked veterans and military retirees to help with the training; in some cases acting as the OpFor, or the Opposing Force. I remember one occasion when I was a member of Air Force MARS, some MARS members were asked to use their amateur radio HF mobile stations to simulate insurgent radio stations.

Idiots, like Alex Jones and his InfoWars website, has been stoking the coals since the Army announced Jade Helm. I see photos claiming to find Army vehicles hidden in the woods along with train-loads of trucks, MRAPs and Humvees on railroad sidings. Strangely, most of these photos are a decade or more old, some since the build-up for the first Gulf War. But, the conspiracy websites aren’t interested in the truth. It’s all about web hits and revenue from advertisers created by those web hits.

The conspiracy theorists overlook one thing. Jade Helm doesn’t start until August 15. the Army doesn’t have the resources to hide all those vehicles now. Their budget has been cut. Leaving the vehicles exposed for a couple of months is a guarantee they won’t start come August.

Another item these conspiracy theorists overlook is their belief the Army would obey orders to start rounding up American citizens without cause. Even today, with the politicized Army command structure, few officers would obey such orders.

Obama, Distrust, and the Armed Forces

By Russ Vaughn, May 19, 2015

I recently wrote a piece here about the Jade Helm military operations scheduled to be conducted across large areas of the U.S. this summer. A few irresponsible conservative web sites are using these routine military training activities to frighten citizens in the selected areas into believing the federal government is planning an armed takeover of their locales. I warned in that previous article that neither the training operations nor the alarmed citizenry are anything new; the U.S. Army has conducted such training for decades and there has always been some civil protest. I made jumps into civilian areas and ran ops back in the 1960’s. But this time, through the wide reach of the Internet, the fear factor among the citizenry has been driven through the roof.

I’m a conservative, registered Republican who has been a contributor of conservative themed articles here at American Thinker for a decade. I’m also a ground combat veteran of Vietnam who spent much of his post-college career marketing to the military, a job that took me to Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations all across the country and overseas. I have shared many meals and happy hours with enlisted personnel and officers, during which many frank, forthright discussions were held regarding politics and the political leadership of the times.

Not once in almost five decades of my association with the military have I heard any serving member or veteran agree that he would take up arms against fellow Americans to impose the political will of a sitting president. Conversely, I’ve heard many times that an order to do so would be considered unlawful and refusable. When the Jade Helm article was cross-posted at my favorite soldiers’ blog, This Ain’t Hell, I was gratified to see that the majority of comments there, almost all from still-serving service members or veterans, validated that belief.

That was in stark contrast to the reaction here at American Thinker. Comments here were almost universally negative with my denial that the operation was a federal takeover of Texas and Utah by Obama being heavily ridiculed. Even readers who normally post supportive comments on my writings, sometimes even thanking me for stating their views, called me a naïve fool and a dupe of the Obama administration. It was a bit of a downer until those military comments began coming in later at the soldier’s blog, reaffirming my faith in my fellow warriors. Clearly, distrust of Obama is very strong on both sites; the difference being the troops trust our troops. 

One of the evidentiary cudgels that was used on me here at AT was the militarization of local and state level police departments in recent years and how those forces, using military weapons would join with the military forces of Jade Helm to suppress, oppress, even imprison dissenters in Texas and Utah. I found that ironic in that I have written articles here in the past critical of this heavy arming of civilian law enforcement. On that topic, the primarily civilian readership here at AT and the military followers of TAH were in agreement that this practice needs to be curtailed. It was only some law enforcement officers at both sites who accused me of ignorance or treachery and even among that cohort, some LEO’s agreed with my premise.

Today the Obama administration, in a move no doubt attributable to the increasing level of conflict between law enforcement and the black community, announced it will cease supplying certain surplus military weaponry, such as tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and grenade launchers among numerous other items including, for suspect reasons, bayonets. Some surplus weaponry already distributed may be recalled and future use of military weaponry may be restricted by federal guidelines. Of course, the administration is hiding behind the skirts of a federal commission that recommended these changes in federal policy after a lengthy study that was initiated after the Ferguson incident.

The column continues on the American Thinker website. It thoroughly debunks the conspiracy theorists. But there will always be that segment who would rather believe in myths than realities. I call them the Tin-Foil Hat Brigade.

The silence of the keys

Or, I’ve not found any topics worth blogging about today. Oh, there are topics. Most have an element of stupidity involved, pseudo-science in other words. The trouble is that such pseudo-science is being taught as fact in schools; crammed down the throats of the students—and the parents are too ignorant to object. I don’t think real science has been taught since the ’60s.

The most egregious damage to education has been the rise of teacher unions. Unions whose sole interest is more money for the unions, less responsibility for teachers, and no requirement for education to actually occur.

That’s my rant for today.

Gang Aft Agley, Redux

I wrote about Bobby Burns poem, To a Mouse, in a previous post. I’m not discussing poetry today, just the foibles of life and planning and how often plans change for one reason or another. Today is such a day.

Today was supposed to be a, “No post today,” day. I had planned to work on my ham radio station, plant a new ground system for the station and antennas, and play in the dirt planting some posts that will hold up a wire antenna.

Alas, life has intervened. Perhaps, tomorrow. If the rain stays away. Digging some post holes could…be a bit muddy.

***

George Stephanopolos admitting he paid $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

George Stephanopolos has been proven, again, to be a slime ball. He’s been tightly connected to democrat politics and the Clinton Crime Family since he was Bubba’s press secretary in the 1990s.

It all began with a book. A book, Clinton Cash, by Peter Schweizer about the finances of the Clinton Family Foundation and their ‘Global Initiative’ project. The project was, it appears, to be an avenue for the Clintons to receive bribes in exchange for favors.

Stephanopolos was the chosen hitman to attack the book. Of course, he didn’t reveal his current connections to the Clinton Crime Family foundation, nor, until it came out, his contributions, over $75,000, to that foundation.

CNN, who is one of Stephanopolos’ employers, claimed to have no knowledge of the financial connection…until, under pressure, Stephanopolos admitted that he was a contributor to the Clintons. It makes you wonder what Georgie received in return?

By the way, GOPers and candidates are uniting against Stephanopolos. Many will no longer appear on some of the news programs if attended by Stephanopolos. I have heard that CNN will not be hosting the Presidential Debates next year. Perhaps, it will be FOX News instead. Perhaps Megan Kelly will be the Moderator? Works for me!

In case you haven’t heard, Peter Schweizer’s next book is about Jeb Bush. Did you know Bush was a member of a state department sponsored group to help rebuild Haiti after their last massive earthquake? Needless to say, there was massive fraud and embezzlement involved by some of the ‘approved’ contractors, friends of Bill, friends of Hillary, contributors to the Clinton ‘crime’ Family Foundation. Perhaps we shall see what was Jeb’s involvement was to that group?

Premature

I was premature yesterday when I said I’d return today. We had a weather front come through last night. After taking some Ibuprofen and Aleve, I finally got to sleep only to awake after a half hour, aching. Another benefits of getting older.

This morning, I’m drooping. Check back tomorrow.

No post today

Had a doc’s appointment this morning then errands to run. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Grrr!

Some statements just make me want to reach for tar, feathers and a splinter-covered rail. The statement below by a so-called ‘Pub who wants to run for Governor would be a fine subject of scorn, tar and feathers.

RTW DAY? — ‘Mike Parson supports right-to-work, but questions Senate’s approach,’ PoliticMo: “State Sen. Mike Parson, a Republican who wants to be Missouri’s next governor, said Monday he thinks “right to work” is worth giving a shot. But, in an interview Monday, Parson did question why Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was pushing the issue so hard ahead of a likely veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

‘If you can’t get it across the finish line, you have to weigh out why you’re doing it…Can we get this done and get an override over the governor after he vetoes, and can you not? I think that as to be part of the equation. I hope people have thought that through. …  Parson, who chaired the committee that passed a House “right-to-work” bill on Monday, said he will vote for the bill, but would not say whether he would support a rarely used motion to cut off debate and force an end to an imminent Democratic filibuster. At Monday’s hearing, Parson said he was “surprised there weren’t more to testify in favor of it,” but still feels the policy is good for the state. — PoliticMO, May 12, 2015.

What Parson really said, “since Nixon will veto RTW, why bother.” If that is Parson’s attitude, he has no business holding an elective office. If RTW is passed quickly, and Nixon vetoes it as expected, we could have time to override Nixon’s veto this session instead of trooping back to do it in September.

The Legislature has already over-turned one of Nixon’s vetoes this year. Taken in context, it’s easy to interpret what Parson wants. He wants RTW to fail to satisfy his union buddies; he just doesn’t want to be blamed for its failure to pass.

Senator Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) is using his daughter as an excuse for not voting for RTW. Like Parson, Dempsey doesn’t want RTW to pass, either; he’s in bed with the St. Louis unions.

By the way, is Dempsey term limited yet? I surely hope so.

‘Daughter’s graduation means a top Missouri Republican will miss end of session,’ Post-Dispatch: “Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, tweeted Monday that he will miss the last two days of session to attend his daughter, Meaghan’s, graduation from Tulane University in New Orleans. The session ends May 15. … In the past, Dempsey has said he won’t actively push the bill but also won’t stand in the way of it coming up on the floor.“ — St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As PoliticMO suggests, perhaps an alternate headline for that piece in the Post-Dispatch should be, “Area man who opposes right to work relieved!”

***

I suppose this section could be labeled, “What’s good for the Goose, is good for the Gander.” We have all heard about the Clinton Family Foundation, or, the Clinton Crime Family Foundation as some call it. It is a supposed non-profit organization that is really a money laundering scheme of the Clinton’s. It is an avenue for bribes to Hillary when she was SecState.

Now it appears that Jeb Bush may be following in Hillary’s footsteps. He, too, has created a non-profit foundation. We don’t yet know if it will be an avenue for illegal money laundering like the Clinton’s. On the other hand, Jeb does seem to be following closely in hHillary’s footsteps.

A nonprofit group allied with former Florida governor Jeb Bush is playing a more expansive role in his current political operation than previously known, housing several top policy advisers who are expected to join his eventual campaign, according to people familiar with the structure.

At least four people with expertise on energy issues, foreign affairs and communications are working with Right to Rise Policy Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group that can accept secret, unlimited donations from individuals and corporations.

Bush’s reliance on the non­profit as he prepares for a likely presidential bid puts him on untested legal ground, cloaking who is paying the salaries of his expected advisers. But a polarized Federal Election Commission is unlikely to scrutinize the maneuver, campaign finance experts said.

The latest hire was announced Monday: Michael Steel, a top spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said that he was moving to Florida to take a role with the nonprofit group. If Bush officially launches a presidential campaign, Steel would join it, according to people familiar with the plans who were not authorized to speak publicly. — The Washington Post.

Jeb got himself in trouble during an interview on FOX with Megan Kelly. She asked him if he, Jeb, would support the 2003 invasion of Iraq if he knew what would follow. Jeb said, “I would.” Shortly thereafter, Jeb’s handlers were scurrying about trying to walk back Jeb’s statement. They attempted to clarify Jeb’s statement saying, “the former Florida governor misunderstood the framing of the question – ‘knowing what we know now’ – and instead focused on the less controversial issue of whether he believed his brother acted rightly given the available information at the time.” Source: FOX News. The whole episode reminds me of the old comedy routine, reminiscent of Saigon’s “5 O’Clock Follies,” called, “What the General means…

Dig, deeper, Jeb. Dig deeper and reveal more of your liberal core values.

Pluses and Minuses

A plus for Carly Fiorina. She opposed the GOP’s trade deal. What is it? It would allow Obama to ‘fast-track’ trade treaties with nations along the Pacific Rim, i.e., the PRC. That is the People’s Republic of China for those of you who are acronym deficient.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday came out in opposition to giving President Obama the authority to fast track a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim countries, breaking with the GOP’s free-trade agenda.

Mrs. Fiorina, a former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, insisted that she supports free trade but said she doesn’t trust Mr. Obama to make a good deal for American workers and businesses.

“The devil is usually in the details, and that is particularly true with this president. The truth is we don’t know what’s in this deal,” she said on NBC”s “Meet the Press.”

“This administration unfortunately has a track record of burying things in fine print … that turn out to be very different from their selling points,” said Mrs. Fiorina, who announced her White House bid last week.

The Senate this week is scheduled to take the first votes on fast-track authority, or trade promotion authority, which would make it much easier for the president to pass the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. — The Washington Times.

The GOP is about to sell out US businesses in exchange for what? Campaign funds? Oh, that’s illegal although it didn’t stop Bill Clinton from receiving laundered ChiCom money. Remember all those Buddhist monks giving thousands upon thousands of dollars to Bill’s campaign? I do.

As Fiorina claims, the devil is in the details and in this treaty, no one really knows what is in it. Again! Issues like this make you wonder how much McConnell’s and Boehner’s cuts will be from the kick-backs.

***

Have you heard about the gender trail that going on in the Army? By trial, I mean…a test. A test to see if women can successfully pass the Ranger course.

Ranger School is the toughest course in the US Army. It is physical and mental torture. It is the closest to actual combat the Army can create in a training scenario. The washout rate among men, enlisted and commissioned, is high.

One of the goals of the course is to teach leaders, Officers and NCO, just how hard they can push their troops and the physical and mental impacts that combat inflicts on the troops. The Ranger graduates know. They’ve been there and know how to care for their troops to get the most and best out of them.

In the ‘new’ gender-neutral military, the liberals want women in combat. The Army was willing to see if women can endure the same conditions as men. Not so much as line troops, but as leaders—platoon and company commanders leading troops in the field, in combat. It’s important. You can not have a fighting unit whose lowest denominator is the physical and mental condition of its commander.

Passing Ranger school is also a career builder…or destroyer. If a candidate gives up, he/she is classified as “lacking motivation.” and “leadership skills.” No claims the women applicants, volunteers, all, lack motivation. Some have displayed enormous stubbornness to succeed. Unfortunately, none, to date, has passed the first stage of Ranger training.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/dd830f725178e1798000a372cbccc2a4e851f31a/c=318-0-5298-3744&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/04/23/GGM/MilitaryTimes/635654094046570203-ARM-women-ranger-school-day-two-2.JPG

Male and female trainees in the US Army’s Ranger School.

The eight women who remained in the first gender-integrated class of Army Ranger training will not move onto the next round of training, Fort Benning announced on Friday.

That means all 19 women who began the training in April have washed out in the first phase.

The eight women, together with 101 men who washed out of the Darby phase, will retry the first part of the Army’s most elite training course beginning May 14, the release said.

“I had the opportunity to visit the Ranger students yesterday and was impressed that whether going forward to the mountains or recycling the Darby phase they were motivated to continue training and focused on successfully completing the Ranger Course,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. “They’re a strong group of soldiers, who are working their way through the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course.”

Thirty-five male soldiers failed to meet the standards of Ranger school and will not attempt the course again, the release said.

About 15 percent of soldiers repeat the first phase, called Darby phase, however, about 75 percent of those who make it through the first week of the program will eventually pass the Darby phase and move onto the mountains, according to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade’s website.

About 37 percent of all students recycle at least one phase of Ranger training, the site said. — The Washington Times.

The Army appears, at least, to be enforcing a single standard for both male and female trainees. There are male and female observers present to insure the rules are enforced equally. There is no favoritism of male over female, nor of female over male. As least as far as we know. There was one instance where the male trainees were ‘smoked’, i.e, went through a series of strenuous exercises before commencing one of the Darby-phase full-pack hikes. The women were not. The men started the hike exhausted. The women were fresh.

But that was a minor detail and not uncommon throughout the school. Each trainee is evaluated how they perform under pressure and stress. I would hope the Army does not relent to political correctness and change the standards for women to be less than those for the men. To do so would only lead to unnecessary causalities in wartime. Combat is no place for political correctness.