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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Listen up Republicans - you have a problem!

“We’re headed to the point where a political candidate who is perceived as anti-gay at the presidential level will never connect with people under 30 years old,” Ayers said, citing the rapidly changing views on same-sex marriage in America.
Republicans don't need to obsess about how to supress the vote or gerrymander elections. Instead, they're apparently turning voters away, without closing polling stations.

It's hard to believe the Grand Old Party (GOP) that swept the US Congress during the 2014 elections (because Democrats didn't vote!!) are now screwing up their opportunity to lead. 

Instead of moving America forward, by creating jobs, rebuilding deteriorating roads and bridges, and supporting middle class prosperity, they are focused on religous liberty. Hello? What's the point of our US Constitution? Americans already have religious liberty. What our nation really needs is political leadership!

Republicans have a problem. It's called "leadership". For the past several decades, Republicans have managed to get away with leading by creating fear among the electorate. The fears they've created are windmill issues like "welfare" or "Medicaid fraud". 

As a matter of fact, if Professor Howard Hill were a politician, instead of a slick illusionist salesman in "The Music Man", he'd rile up the entire nation, to march all "non-religious people", into the Gulf of Mexico. "Right here in America, I say 'trouble.., right here", said Hill. "Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here!

Just like in "The Music Man", the electorate believed the Republicans about their ridiculous war on Medicaid, food stamps fraud and other small budget items, like welfare or income assistance.

Except, now the poor people are even "poorer", due to massive cuts to anti poverty programs, so the Republicans quickly needed to trump up new "trouble", by creating the myth of religious liberty. 

In fact, the religious liberty the Republicans created are euphemisms, intended to discriminate against anybody who's "not us", whoever we think we are, or are not.

This time, however, many Americans aren't being quickly tricked into believing the homosexual community and LGBT people are a threat to well being as we knew it, before the GOP "religious liberty" was enforced.

Francine Kiefer a Christian Science Monitor Staff writer reports:

WASHINGTON — At a Monitor breakfast Tuesday, GOP pollster Whit Ayers praised Indiana’s political system for adapting “remarkably quickly” to the “value conflict” that has erupted over its new religious freedom law, which opponents say discriminates against the gay community. The state’s top legislators say they will adjust the law so that discrimination is no longer an issue.

Indiana’s Republican Gov. Mike Pence has come under scathing criticism for his defense of the law. 

Several potential GOP presidential candidates have expressed their support for Governor Pence, including Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whom Mr. Ayers is advising. (This will be interesting in 2016)

While a majority of Americans support gay marriage, nearly three-quarters of Republicans do not, according to Gallup. That’s not true for young Republicans, however. More than 60 percent of Republican voters under 30 do support gay marriage, said Ayers, the founder and president of North Star Opinion Research. 

Gay rights is at the bottom of the list of issues for Republican voters, competing with climate change, he pointed out.

When asked what he might advise a candidate, who said he believes in equal rights but thinks marriage ought to be between a man and a woman, Ayers said he would never advise a candidate to alter his or her fundamental beliefs.

But, he said that he would work with the candidate to lay out his or moral beliefs in a way that has “a tolerant and accepting tone.” People will accept candidates with whom they disagree, he said, as long as a candidate doesn’t seem judgmental.

In his view, the Republican Party, “more than anything else,” needs to adopt “a tone and an attitude of inclusion and acceptance” if it wants to take the White House.

Particularly, he’s talking about the demographic necessity of appealing to Hispanic voters in a presidential election, a point he makes in a new book entitled “2016 and Beyond: How Republicans can Elect a President in the New America.”

White voters are shrinking as part of the electorate, he said, and Republicans must make inroads with non-whites. Mitt Romney won only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012. To win in 2016, a Republican will have to perform in the 40s with Hispanics, Ayers said.

It’s doable with a “transformational” candidate – similar to the way Bill Clinton reversed the Democratic presidential losing streak by going more centrist and having his “Sister Souljah” moment, when he repudiated the hip hop artist. Ayers described his client, Senator Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, as “the most transformational” of all the GOP hopefuls.

To win the presidency, a Republican will have to send a signal to voters who have not recently backed the GOP that “we want them as part of a center-right coalition because it’s better for them and their families and their children,” Ayers asserted.

On immigration, that means “some sort of accommodation” to a broken system.

“It’s safe to say that if your position is that you want to deport 11 million Hispanics, you’re going to find it very difficult to persuade Hispanic voters that we want you in the Republican coalition,” he said.

(Julie's not - remember, Hispanic voters are having children while many traditional Republican voters have stopped reproducing. Consequently, this Republican problem will be multi generational, carried by word of mouth, through close knit families.)

Republicans, you have a problem and it seems like you're quickly being outnumbered, besides.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Governor Mike Pence is driving business out of Indiana

"...'never seen anything like it in Indiana. It’s been just awesome' Katie Blair, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, told The Huffington Post on Monday." 

Americans simply can't ignore, not even for a minute, the dangers of right wing extremism, as though it might somehow go away or not be relevant to "all politics being local".  

In other words, it's dangerous to assume that right wingers won't infect politics near you.

There's no end to the harm these right wing people do to other people. Now, as a result of extremism, the recently signed Indiana law signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence reveals the GOP's challenge. In other words, can Republicans explain what they stand for?  More importantly, what the GOP stands against obviously blocks progressive ideas....assuming they even have any to offer.

Incredulously, it takes an extraordinary act to finally get people to pay attention to the dangers of extremists who run amok. Perhaps, the Indiana discriminatory "religious liberty" law, signed by Governor Pence, is the final straw for the public. It seems like the backlash to this law is vitriolic.  When religious liberty is really a euphemism for "hate the people you want to", it's no different than branding Stars of David on Jews, like the Nazi's did, or the ISIS branding of Christians with certain Arabic symbols.  

Republican followers of Indiana's Governor Pence obsess about right wing issues, to the exclusion of basic human rights.

Huffington Post blogger Lila Shapiro reports:

Good Things Are Happening In The Wake Of Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called it "dangerous." 

Ashton Kutcher has tweeted his outrage. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce deemed it "entirely unnecessary." Even as gay rights supporters reel from the passage of an Indiana law that critics argue will allow businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the resulting outrage offers what might be considered a silver lining.

“I’ve honestly never seen anything like it in Indiana. It’s been just awesome,” Katie Blair, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, told The Huffington Post on Monday. “To see folks actively speaking out and taking a stand, people you never thought would say something about it, it says a lot.”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last week. Supporters claim that it is designed to protect business owners from being forced to act against their strongly held religious beliefs. 

Yet, many business leaders, inside the state and out, have rushed to declare their opposition to the law -- and their embrace of diversity -- in a seemingly unprecedented show of almost immediate public support for the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite) communities.

Cook, an especially high-profile corporate executive, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.”

Some corporate leaders have threatened to pull business out of Indiana. Last week, the CEO of actually canceled the company’s upcoming events in the state, following employee and customer “outrage.” On Saturday, the CEO of Angie’s List, which is headquartered in the state, announced that it was putting on hold a planned $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters.

"Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents," chief executive Bill Oesterle said, according to Reuters.

“I have been impressed with the way the business community has stepped up to expose discrimination,” said Camilla Taylor, a lawyer with the LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal.

Taylor said she sees the business community’s swift and forceful response as a sign of the changing times. “It used to be we needed to educate everyone about the fact that lesbian and gay people were their friends and neighbors, their colleagues or their employees at work," she said. But now, she said, the American public knows that “gay people exist and that they share the same dreams for their families as the rest of us do and deserve to be treated fairly.”

The opposition has not been limited to the business community. Celebrities like Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and James Van Der Beek, and athletes from Charles Barkley to Reggie Miller -- even the NCAA itself -- have all spoken unequivocally against the law. And the backlash among the political class is growing.

On Monday, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) issued an executive order barring state-funded travel to Indiana, because of the new law. Two major cities, San Francisco and Seattle, have imposed similar bans.

Closer to home, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) on Monday announced his opposition to the legislation and called on the Indiana General Assembly to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under state law. "Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity,” he said, according to the Indianapolis Star. This law “threatens what thousands have spent decades building.”

Freedom Indiana, Blair’s group, is now pushing for additional legislation to add LGBT protections to the state's anti-discrimination laws and to clarify that the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not shield discrimination that is otherwise prohibited under state or local laws. She hopes that the current uproar will help push the proposed Fairness for All Hoosiers Act through the legislature.

“We don’t want to look like a state that's unwelcoming,” Blair said. “It’s called Hoosier hospitality and that's what we pride ourselves on. We don’t have mountains or oceans, but we have our good hospitality that we go off of, and this doesn’t speak well for that.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Pence said that he was taken aback by the negative reactions, according to The New York Times, and that he would consider legislation to clarify the intent of the law.

Lambda Legal's Taylor scoffed at the idea that the governor would be surprised by the public response. After all, a similar proposed law in Arizona collapsed last year after public outcry. “We’ve seen this movie before,” she said.

Julie's note:  Governor Mike Pence is a coward because he obviously didn't stand up to right wing extremists.  In fact, Pence should never have signed this bill. Obviously, he never read the bill before he signed it.  

It's time for Americans to understand, once and for all, that Republicans have lost their political way. They've become more about extremism, to the exclusion of the human condition. 

In other words, in Indiana, it's their way or the highway. What people say you are, brands what you are. So, the highway into Indiana is about to become the escape route. Governor Pence has now branded Indiana as an unfriendly place to do business. Hit Republicans where they hurt. Forget about morals.....ethics....the human condition. It's the economy, stupid. Whatever works. It's time for Republican supporters of Governor Pence to be branded for what they are - bigoted homophobic zealots.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thank you Pope Francis - looking for encyclical on climate change and progress

Pope Francis might pluck the feathers out of right wingers when he issues a Papal encyclical about climate change.  

Tom Krattenmaker reports in USA Today:

It comes as bad news to many that Pope Francis' tenure at the Vatican might be short. 

Nevertheless, there are probably some Catholics in this country who gave a silent cheer when Francis intimated recently that "the Lord has placed me here for a short time" — especially the surprisingly numerous Catholics who are leaders in the Republican Party.  (including several US Supreme Court justices). (Julie's note: l'chaim, to Pope Francis!)

Francis had already antagonized monied interests in the GOP with his populist admonitions against economic inequality and the excesses of capitalism. Now, in the run-up to this summer's greatly anticipated encyclical on climate change, the pontiff is making things even more awkward for Catholic Republicans.

If you're a progressive and you like a little with your politics, you're probably enjoying the obvious squirming that many high-profile Republicans are doing when the climate issue comes up. Outright denial seems to have been replaced by the currently favored "I'm not a scientist" talking point, which seems at best a stalling tactic

Francis is not a scientist either, but that has not stopped him from leaning on something very close to scientific consensus and speaking confidently about global warming as a reality with dire moral implications — especially for the poor and vulnerable who are at the heart of Catholic social teaching.

Pulls no punches:  "A Christian who does not protect creation," Francis says, "is a Christian who does not care about the work of God."

The relationship between the GOP and Vatican looked a lot different when it was mainly Protestants playing lead roles in the Republican Party, and when popes were placing more emphasis on things, such as the dangers of secularization and sex or, back in the Ronald Reagan years, the evils of communism.

But a funny thing happened on the way to 2015. Francis became pope. And Catholics came to greater prominence in the Republican Party. There are the presidential prospects — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum. In Congress, there's House Speaker John Boehner and other influential Catholic Republicans such as Rep. Paul Ryan.

Doesn't Francis, with his wild popularity and liberal-sounding rhetoric, have these Catholic conservatives in a bind?

Yes. And optimists can savor the possibility of something better than that — a breakthrough on this crucial issue.  (Imagine, a Pope is educating politicians about science? OMG. Galileo is redeemed!)

Reports are circulating that some Republicans in Congress are looking for a lifeline on the issue. Who better than the widely respected pope to provide one?

There are reasons for skepticism, too. As Catholic Democratic leaders have shown for decades, U.S. politicians can always find a way to tune out their least favorite papal exhortations and church teachings. Consider the liberal Catholic giants of recent decades, such as Sen. Edward Kennedy and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, and high-ranking Democrats of today, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — all committed to the legal availability of abortion despite the church's hard line against it.

Boehner's take on pope:  Boehner, for one, seems to be following a similar tack when it comes to Francis and the climate. Sure, the House speaker has waxed positive and enthusiastic about the pontiff. Boehner has even invited Francis to address Congress. But he has yet to signal any change of heart or strategy on climate.

In January, several weeks after the news that Francis would issue his environment encyclical, Boehner pulled out the standard "job killer" line in response to the latest White House action against carbon emissions. As to the reality of human-caused climate change, Boehner said he would leave that to the scientists to debate and resolve, as if they hadn't already.

Also sobering, polling data show the climate issue occupies relatively low status on Americans' lists of concerns, even though a majority accept that something is happening with the climate.

That's where the pontiff's exhortation can make the biggest difference. If the upcoming encyclical is transformative the way many hope, public opinion will swing, perhaps dramatically. Perhaps so much so that the House speaker and his GOP colleagues will realize that addressing climate is an imperative they can neither tune out nor wait out, regardless of how long Francis remains in the Vatican.

Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors and communications director at Yale Divinity School.  His latest book is The Evangelicals You Don't Know.

In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tragic Germanwings air disaster families suffer the preventable losses

Although Europeans were spared the horror of finding the Germanwings flight diaster was not the result of terrorism or an airplane malfunction, the mass murder-suicide by co-pilot Andreas Lutitz was, nevertheless a wake up call about the future potential for such an event.

Exacerbating the devastating Germanwings disaster in the French alps, are the enormities  of the sufferings experienced by the victims' families. Survivors of the 149 victims of the Lubitz suicide how realize how the airline tragedy was preventable. It turned out, Lubitz was unfit to fly. Nevertheless, he was obviously too delusional to accept his fate. Instead of facing the reality of the depressive disorder he suffered from, Lubitz decided to avenge his fate and take innocent lives along with him, as he took the Germanwings airplane into a delusional plunge into the alps.

Of course, Europeans and people around the world held our collective breaths about the Germanwings disaster, thinking it had the look and feel of a terrorism plot.  Realistically, why else would a sane pilot take an airplane into a deliberate decline, heading into a mountain, on a clear night during an otherwise uneventful flight? Well, of course, Lubitz was not sane. Rather, he was experiencing a psychotic episode most likely accompanied by delusions. We'll never know for sure what Lubitz was thinking, but I'm confident he had a history of paranoid delusional behavior.  Left untreated, the victims of this mental disease are difficult to treat because they refuse to believe anything is wrong. They deny treatment and eventually wind up doing some kind of a delusional deed. Tragically, Lubitz wasn't caught in time to save the lives of those who were killed in his delusional psychosis.

There's no solace for families and friends of the Germanwings victims in knowing their loved ones were killed by one psychotic airline pilot. It's hard to accept the fact that the deaths were preventable.

Yet, the Germanwings disaster brought grieving European leaders together in realizing how the crash may, indeed, have dodged a terrorism bullet. Hopefully, it was a major wake up call for the Europeans, alerting them to be hyper aware about the risk of terrorists who, very likely, would be in a mind set to "copy cat" the Lubitz delusional plan.  

Those suffering Germanwings disaster surviving family members, colleagues and friends will never overcome the emotional trauma caused by one delusional airline pilot. Yet, those killed may have raised European awareness to prevent the potential for something worse, in the future.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Indiana governor Pence proves there's no limit to right wing exceptional extremism

Governor Pence of Indiana was considered a potential presidential candidate. Sure doesn't seem likely now. He's summarily  excluded about five percent of his state's population from feeling like they have any civil liberties.  Although this doesn't amount to a huge number of people, the numbers equate to a considerable margin in any election, because the homosexual community votes.

In spite of the governor's right wing extremism, his support for draconian treatment of homosexuals demonstrates how the right wing extremists are dangerous. Leaders are supposed to stand up for all of their constituents, regardless of their sexuality.  Governor Pence has said his political leadership represents almost everybody.

Indiana law that allows biz to reject gays

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision to sign into law a measure that could allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom", has left the NCAA fretting ahead of next week's men's basketball Final Four (college basketball teams) in Indianapolis.

"We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

He said the NCAA will "work diligently" to ensure competitors and visitors at next week's Final Four are not "negatively impacted by this bill." Emmert also said the organization, which is based in Indianapolis, will "closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."

Indiana is the first state this year to enact a measure that's being pushed in a dozen others, and Emmert's comments were just the latest in a series of stinging criticisms issued after Pence signed the bill in a private ceremony with Republican state legislators and socially conservative lobbyists Thursday morning.

Already, the gamer convention Gen Con and the Disciples of Christ church group had threatened to pull their conventions out of Indianapolis. Tech giant Salesforce said it would halt its plans to expand in the state, too.

The NCAA had hinted for days that the bill -- which has the effect of allowing businesses to challenge local laws that forbid discriminating against customers based on sexual orientation in court -- could damage the city's reputation as a host of major sporting events.

Jason Collins, who last year became the first openly gay active NBA player, asked Pence in a tweet whether it is "going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come" to the Final Four.

Still, Pence signed the bill in his office Thursday. In a statement explaining his decision, he pointed to President Barack Obama's health care law -- which triggered a lawsuit by Hobby Lobby to ensure the company wasn't required to cover birth control through its employees' health insurance plans.

Julie's note - Republicans are anti-science, anti-meteorology, anti-women's physiology and anti-evolution, seems they're also anti mathematics.  Surely, Republican who believe these draconian laws about homosexuality won't show up in their elections?  Calling all 5 percent of homosexuals to your voting registration district.  Let's show Republicans how to count!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Supreme Court stands up to Gerrymandering but Black Justice Clarence Thomas and right wing Antonin Scalia go apoplectic

Supreme Court nixes redistricting or gerrmandering that packed in black voters. A divided court revives challenge over Alabama redistricting.  Sadly, it's a shame Justice Clarence Thomas couldn't, just once, stand for principle on this ruling. Instead, in my opinion, Thomas wrote a dissent that micro-managed the districting process, claiming the plan was a racial quota.  Hello?  Dear Justice Thomas, have you considered how the Republican re-districting plan was a racial quota in reverse? Republican districts are gerrymandered quotas whereby Democrats are deliberately marginalized.

Obviously, I'm not an expert on voting rights laws or "districting". Nevertheless, I observe how Republicans are obsessed about creating voting districts that minimize minority groups into sort of "voting ghettos". 

My impression is that Republicans draw district boundaries whereby the voters will elect and re-elect Republican candidates, regardless of who the Democratic opponents are, because the majority of voters are Republicans.  

Supposedly, the assumption is that Republicans will never live in communities where minority groups reside so the district lines are drawn to protect the white voting districts.

Challengers who accused Alabama officials of unlawfully using race to craft political boundaries will get another chance to argue against the new districts. 

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sent the case back for further review, finding lower court judges made a series of legal errors. But Black justice Clarence Thomas and right wing Antonin Scalia are reported to be "apoplectic" over the divided 5 to 4 ruling.

Those errors included considering the state as a whole instead of conducting a district-by-district analysis to determine whether district lines were impermissibly drawn based on race, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the 5-4 decision. The district court also incorrectly balanced racial-versus-nonracial factors in deciding whether race was the “predominant motivating factor” during the redistricting process, the majority held.

“For example, once the legislature’s ‘equal population’ objectives are put to the side—i.e., seen as a background principle—then there is strong, perhaps overwhelming, evidence that race did predominate as a factor when the legislature drew the boundaries of Senate District 26, the one district that the parties have discussed here in depth,” Breyer wrote.

Breyer was joined by justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented, writing that the majority disregarded the district court’s findings that the challengers never pleaded, let alone proved, district-specific claims of racial gerrymandering with respect to majority-minority districts. The majority’s opinion allowed the challengers “to take a mulligan,” Scalia wrote, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr.

“Today, the court issues a sweeping holding that will have profound implications for the constitutional ideal of one person, one vote, for the future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and for the primacy of the state in managing its own elections,” Scalia wrote. “If the court’s destination seems fantastical, just wait until you see the journey.”

Thomas also wrote a dissenting opinion.

“I do not pretend that Alabama is blameless when it comes to its sordid history of racial politics,” Thomas said. “But, today the state is not the one that is culpable. Its redistricting effort was indeed tainted, but it was tainted by our voting rights jurisprudence and the uses to which the Voting Rights Act has been put.”

In Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama and Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, the challengers had argued that the Republican-led Legislature packed black voters into districts in which minority voters already comprised a majority to make other districts more white and Republican following the last census.
Read more:

USA Today Reports how the Court nixed the redistricting that packed in black voters in Alabama by Richard Wolf

WASHINGTON - A deeply divided Supreme Court dealt a blow to a Republican redistricting plan in Alabama on Wednesday, that packed black voters into urban districts to dilute their impact elsewhere.  By a 5-4 vote and over the vigorous objection of its lone black member (Justice Thomas) the court upheld the objections raised by Democratic and black lawmakers and sent the case back for further review by a lower court.

The decision represents a legal reversal from earlier decades, when the federal government forced mostly Southern states to create "majority-minority" districts more likely to elect black lawmakers. Now, the justices are saying it may be illegal to have too many blacks clustered in one district at the expense of others. 

Although I'm not an expert on voting rights or gerrymandering, my opinion of Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia aren't helped by their "apoplectic" response to the 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling. It seems to me, both  of these justices have out served their ability to be objective.  In modern Supreme Court deliberations these two justices have become caricatures of right wing conservatism. They've lost their credibility. Nonetheless, these justices are two votes Americans must contend with until another president has the opportunity to appoint more reasonable replacements.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yemen’s Former Ambassador Charles Dunbar spoke to Topsham group

Yemen’s Former Ambassador Charles Dunbar spoke to Topsham group

A timely presentation by Ambassador Charles Dunbar (link above).  
Following the presentation came more disturbing news out of Yemen.  Files about U.S. intelligence operations taken by Yemen rebels: LA Times

(Reuters) - Yemeni intelligence files containing information about U.S.-supported counter terrorism operations and the names of informants have been looted by Iranian-allied Houthi rebels, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing U.S. officials, said the information was taken when the Houthi fighters seized the office of Yemen's National Security Bureau, which had worked with the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

It added that intelligence officials believed additional files were given to Iranian advisers by Yemeni officials supporting the rebels.

The paper said there was no sign, however, that the Houthi militias had gained direct control of U.S. intelligence files.

But it said the loss of the intelligence played a role in the Obama administration's move to evacuate its remaining personnel from Yemen last weekend, including about 100 special operations forces. The report did not say when the files were seized.

The end of a U.S. security presence inside the country has dealt a blow to Washington's ability to monitor and fight al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate.

Yemen has been hurtling toward civil war since last year when Houthi militia seized the capital, Sanaa, effectively removing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a U.S. ally who had supported Washington’s campaign of deadly drone strikes on the al Qaeda branch based in Yemen.

The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies declined comment on the Los Angeles Times report.

Clearly, the world is at war with radical Islamic extremists. There's a preponderance of evidence to support the increasing violence against western interests is growing, by Islamic fringe groups.  

Now, with intelligence information compromised in Yemen (and the country's president having escaped!), it's just a matter of time before an event of ominous consequences brings the world leaders around to admit the obvious.

Enormity and gravity of Germanwings air disaster in French alps

A New York Times scoop on information from the Germanwings voice recorder recovered from the airplane's bombastic crash site leaps through several theories about what happened to bring the flight to a disasterous collision with a mountain. An unbelievable debris field is now littering a mountain in the French alps.

It's difficult for anyone to say the obvious, but if the end of the Germanwings flight was caused by nefarious criminal actions, the enormity and gravity of the information will lead to a "Lusitania" type crossroads.

RMS Lusitania sunk by a German U boat in 1915, when 1,198 people died including 128 Americans

In 1915, the sinking of the British RMS Lusitania by a German U Boat, was a definitive incident that led to the exacerbation of World War I.  Germans fired on a non-military ship without warning. As a result, the sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States, as 128 Americans were among the dead. The ship's deliberate sinking helped shift public opinion in the United States against Germany and influenced America's eventual declaration of war in 1917, when the US entered to support the allies.  

Intelligence about the Germanwings crash reveals some evidence to support an unusual event in the airplane's cockpit. It's sobering to ponder what will happen if all reasons for the airplane's descent into a mountain in the alps are ruled out and criminal intent is determined to be the cause of the crash. Nevertheless, the crash of the Germanwings aircraft has opened a Lusitania type situation for the European nations. It was only a matter of time before a disaster would follow the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. Now, the Europeans including the English, the French, the Spanish and the Germans must respond. A delayed response is not acceptable. If criminal intent is the cause of the air crash where 150 people were murdered, the root cause of the nefarious act must be determined so a rapid response can be launched.  

Sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the Germanwings air disaster.  

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