Friday, March 27, 2015

What Is Going On With Our President??

I was stunned to read that our president had not even responded to a request from Jens Stoltenberg, the new secretary general of NATO, to meet with him.  He didn't reject the request.  He didn't even answer.  Nearly all of the leaders of the 28 NATO countries have met with Stoltenberg.  But our president either didn't have time or didn't have the inclination.  Does he think he's too important to talk to our allies? Is he so anti-military that he refuses to treat our allies with even the basics of common courtesy? Is he suffering from a mental illness? That last suggestion is not tongue-in-cheek.  I find his behavior so inexplicable that all possibilities need consideration.

From an article entitled NATO Chief Added to Obama's 'Diss List' by Hana Levi Julian in the Jewish Press.com...
But there’s just no getting around the fact that Obama’s behavior is an outright insult. Where was he and what was so incredibly important that he could not make time for the head of NATO –an alliance in which the U.S. is a pivotal member?
The only event on Obama’s schedule for Wednesday, media moguls said, was a short speech to launch the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday he is also pretty free: he heads to Alabama to deliver a speech. Wow. Stressful.
Read the rest of the article HERE.

And from an article entitled Obama Snubs NATO Chief as Crisis Rages by Josh Rogin in Bloomberg View:
America's commitment to defend its NATO allies is its biggest treaty obligation, said Volker, adding that European security is at its most perilous moment since the Cold War. Russia has moved troops and weapons into eastern Ukraine, annexed Crimea, placed nuclear-capable missiles in striking distance of NATO allies, flown strategic-bomber mock runs in the North Atlantic, practiced attack approacheson the U.K. and Sweden, and this week threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark’s warships.
“It is hard for me to believe that the president of the United States has not found the time to meet with the current secretary general of NATO given the magnitude of what this implies, and the responsibilities of his office,” Volker said.
Read the rest of the article HERE.

Rick Moran in a piece called Obama disrespects NATO chief, raising questions about his commitment to the alliance at the American Thinker had this to say:

"Putin is no doubt delighted at the snub.  Russia has been trying to drive a wedge between Europe and the U.S. since NATO was established.  Now, Obama has done that for them."

Read Moran's entire article HERE.

It seems to me that it is more than high time to hold our president accountable for this and many other mind-boggling decisions he has made in the area of foreign policy.  What is with him??

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On the few warm days we have had this month I have gone out on my bike a few times to my favorite  destination-- Gallup Park.


It's more lovely in the other seasons, but even winter has its own charm..





The blue sky melting the lingering ice and snow is magnificent.



When it's in the forties, I am on my bike. :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Living In The Day You Have



It’s so easy to forget that God is loving us in the Now.  He is with us at this very moment.  Our relationship with him is not about yesterday and not about tomorrow.  It is about the moment we are in, on this day. 

What does he want right now?  He wants our love.  He wants us to turn our faces to him, to ask for his help, to praise him, to thank him.  We only have to ask.  God never imposes himself.

How is he blessing us at this very moment.  For me, I can feel the sunshine on my face as I sit in a teahouse with my daughter.  She is studying.  I am writing.  What a blessing to have her company.  The sunshine coming through the window is warm despite the bitterly cold temperature outside.  It’s so comforting.  The light sparks my spirit as does the crystals on the piled snow on the side of the road in front of us.

The tea is delicious as are the macaroons my daughter just brought back to the table.

Now is the time to embrace the joy that the Lord is offering.

No one has a perfect life.  But the present moment can be nearly perfect if we stay there.

Stay in the Now, the day or the hour that you have.  The Lord is offering his love.  We have only to receive it and offer it back to Him who is waiting for our response.

Live in the Day you have.  It is the only one that exists at the moment.  Live it in love.  Live it in gratitude.  Live it in and with the Lord.

This article was first published in Catholic365.com at THIS SITE.

Well Said (In My Opinion) Wednesday

From the Wall Street Journal Opinion page, "Review and Outlook," written before it was widely recognized that Netanyahu had won......

Two paragraphs from the Journal's editorial "Israel's Election Cliffhanger."
.......
One thing for sure is that whoever prevails, the winner won't be President Obama's nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  Almost everyone across the Israeli political spectrum opposes the emerging deal with Tehran.
........
A Netanyahu victory would be bitter news for Mr. Obama, who worked hard to defeat the Israeli leader, including an attempt to stop and then belittle his speech to Congress this month. It isn't Mr. Obama's habit to admit error, or to be gracious to his opponents, but it would serve the interests of both nations if he were.  Israel's raucous democracy is imperfect, like our own, but it is the only reliable one in the bloody cauldron of the Middle East.
Yes.  Would that our president could be a little more gracious.

And from the essay "Congress Deserves a Vote on Iran," by Joseph Lieberman, former four term US senator from Connecticut.
.....The Constitution and history, not to mention common sense, argue that it is entirely proper for America's elected representatives in Congress to review a far-reaching agreement with a foreign government of such national-security significance. The president as commander-in-chief deserves deference in devising national-security strategy, but Congress has clear constitutional standing and an institutional prerogative not to be cut out of the process.
....Congress should also review an Iran agreement because of the unusually extensive and direct role it has already played in formulating exactly those policies that a nuclear deal would alter and undo.
....The sanctions under negotiation, however, are overwhelmingly the creation of Congress--put in law through bills passed by large bipartisan majorities.  Given that Congress built the sanctions against Iran, it is unreasonable to bar it from any review or oversight in how that architecture is disassembled.
I THINK you can read all of Senator Lieberman's article HERE.

Indeed.  In fact, if Congress imposed the sanctions one might question whether or not the president even has the authority to lift them without an act of Congress.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Should We Trust Iran?

Should we trust Iran to honor a deal that allows them to develop nuclear energy but forbids them to develop nuclear weapons?

It almost seems that Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama believe that placing trust in Iran will somehow make them trustworthy.

If they have never been trustworthy, why would we expect that they will become so now?
From www.usnews.com:
....at the end of the current negotiations, Iran will be left as a threshold nuclear power with very grave consequences – and it won’t stop there. It will continue to develop nuclear military capacity.
How do we know this? Because deceit is where Iran really excels. What it is doing today is just another version of what it has done in the past, a portent of the future. It hid a nuclear program in the side of a mountain for four years before we found out about it. Iran is, as we write, developing inter-continental missiles whose only purpose would be to threaten the U.S. The notion that Iran will give up its missile program is simply naive to the point of idiocy. Yes, it has reduced its production of fissile material, but this sounds better than it really is as it delays by only 24 days Iran’s ability to produce enough for nuclear weapons. It has not stopped its research and development on centrifuges, which puts it even closer to a nuclear breakout when the constraint period is over.

Read the whole article HERE.

From Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech:
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught -- caught twice, not once, twice -- operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn't even know existed. 
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. 
Read the entire text of the speech HERE.

Yes, it was extraordinary for Congress to have invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress, without having consulted the White House.  It was also extraordinary for senators to write a letter directly to Iran suggesting that whatever deal Obama makes could be overturned in two years.  

Were the senators trying to undermine the talks that our government is engaged in with Iran?  Yes, I believe they were.

I believe the senators who signed the letter want to undermine our country's negotiations with Iran because the administration is about to enter into an agreement that is decidedly not in the best interests of the Unites States and not in the best interests of Israel, our most important ally in the region.

Suddenly the administration is concerned about separation of powers.  Interesting.  I am pleased that we have a Congress that is looking out for the people of the United States.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Well Said" Wednesday

Sometimes when I am reading a good article I will come across a passage and think to myself, "That is well said."  Today, I am going to share one of those. (And perhaps even make it a regular Wednesday post. )

Anthony Esolen, professor of English at Providence College, has written an excellent feature in Touchstone magazine (Jan/Feb) entitled "Mission Nary Impossible: The Unevangelized May Be Better & Worse than Savages."He speaks at length of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet who was a missionary to native Americans of the Northwest. He states that Father De Smet did not consider the Indians to be savages.  Esolen adds that they also were not insane,
"They could reason and act from principles.  You can argue with a sane man, advising him that his principles are wrong.  You can evangelize a sane society, directing minds and hearts to the Lord, who is alone the Way.  But what the evangelist meets today is insanity or perhaps subsanity.  It will not suffice to correct a mistaken principle when the people can no longer reason from principles.  You cannot redirect a lost people when they have no direction and no experience of following one..."
And here is the golden nugget.
"We are now among people who are better and worse than most savages.  They are, in most places, and for the time being, less likely to break crockery, as Chesterton put it, than were the savages of old.  They will cut babies to pieces in the womb, more than a million a year, but they will be roused to the height of righteous wrath should they see someone leave a dog in a hot car in the summer."
Indeed.  There are only a few things that merit widespread condemnation any more.  The very mention of a sexual morality will make people apoplectic.   Parents can let their children defy authority, even their own, mouth off and be generally and specifically disrespectful and that, it seems, is exhibiting patience. But when a child is given even the mildest of corporal punishment that is child abuse.  One cannot even hint that homosexual behavior might be immoral and an offense against human dignity because such a view would be declared intolerant.  But the most ignorant and mean spirited criticism of all things Christian evokes only nods of agreement and ridicule.

How on Earth did we get to this place of insanity.  Anthony Esolen has made an excellent point.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Whatever Happened to the Intelligence Gathered at the bin Laden Raid??

Friday's (3/6) Wall Street Journal included a very interesting Opinion piece by Stephen Hayes (senior writer for the Weekly Standard) and Thomas Joscelyn (senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies).  The piece was entitled "How America Was Misled on al Qaeda's Demise."

Hayes and Joscelyn explain that the CIA was given a tremendous amount of terrorist materials from the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.  They write:
According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the team produced more than 400 separate reports based on information in the documents.
     But it is what happened next that is truly stunning:  nothing.  The analysis of the materials-- the "document exploitation" in the parlance of intelligence officials-- came to an abrupt stop.  According to five senior intelligence professionals, the documents sat largely untouched for months-- perhaps as long as a year.
What??!!??  Why isn't the White House being hammered about this?  Who ordered that they not be touched?

Hayes and Joscelyn go on:
After a pitched bureaucratic battle a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited read-only access to the documents.  The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.
     At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden's own words that the opposite was true.....
     This wasn't what the Obama White House wanted to hear.  So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.
By limiting access to these documents wasn't the White House aiding and abetting the enemy?  Were they not also lying to the American people?

If a republican president had done this the media would have been screaming for impeachment.  It appears that the Obama administration can pretty much do whatever it wants.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hilary Clinton and Those Emails....

Kimberly A Strassel wrote a great Opinion piece in Friday's (3/6) Wall Street Journal entitled "Hilary's Email Escapade."  Strassel writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal, Potomac Watch.

She writes:
First, historical context.  There are few politicians alive today who have a better understanding than the Clintons of the perils of paper trails-- and the benefits of not having them.  It really wasn't all that long ago that Mrs. Clinton was failing to answer questions about how her Rose Law firm billing records vanished.  Or using executive privilege to sit on documents that showed her involvement in the Travel Office firings.  Or grappling with testimony from a Secret Service agent who said Mrs. Clinton's top aide had removed files from Vince Foster's office.  Or explaining her connection to Sandy Berger who was prosecuted for stealing Clinton-related National Archives records.
Hilary knew full well that the Obama administration "had issued guidance requiring employees to use official email accounts."

So why did she use a private email account?  Why is the press not hammering her with this question?  Why?

Kimberly Strassel offers an explanation.  "Mrs. Clinton is the sole arbiter here of what is 'preserved,' made public, or available to freedom of information requests or to congressional oversees.  Don't think any of this was by accident."

Clearly she wanted to maintain control of the emails.  Is she just a control freak or did she want to make sure she could keep hidden whatever she wanted hidden?

If we had a media that was doing its job they would not let this go until the questions are answered.