No Laughing Matter

A constant truism exhibited over the years by the left is their inability or unwillingness to deal with criticism. Probably from lack of practice, but when your megaphone, the bought and paid for MSM, suddenly forgets their lines and challenges previously held protocols for decorum, the flummoxed are at a loss, not knowing whether to scratch their watch or wind their ass. Ditto with that ever elusive concept known as free speech. “Free” seems to be a conditional term, like free for me but not for thee,”We will stand up and protect your right to express yourself, as long as we agree with that expression”. From calls to fire Rush to Obama’s war with Foxnews, the thin skinned absolutely refuse to tolerate that with they deem intolerant. Enter Miss Pantsuit;

In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

No one should dismiss the reach and power of the Clintons (Vince Foster) or poo poo this guy’s concerns about his own personal safety.

We have seen Obama’s short fuse when it comes to the press not towing the party line. When Hollywood wanders off the reservation, even minutely, it can throw them for a loop. The left gets special reverence right up there with Muslims. Rip a Christian or a Jew, they can handle it, no worries on your end, but say something unflattering about a Muslim and those damn blasphemy laws kick in, and you better go into witness protection.

That was by design, you idiots.

So, Bloomberg has an article titled “Obamacare Insurers Are Suffering. That Won’t End Well.” which basically points out that the dire predictions by everyone that was not a collectivist Obama cock-sucking bitch are not only panning out, but panning out much faster than expected, and wondering how this could have happened. After all, with a name like “Affordable Healthcare Act”, how can this boondogle be sucking up money down a black hole while delivering no measurable improvements of any kind other than the usual debunked donkey talking points?

It now looks pretty clear that insurers are having a very bad experience in these markets. The sizeable premium increases would have been even higher if insurers had not stepped up the deductibles and clamped down on provider networks. The future of Obamacare now looks like more money for less generous coverage than its architects had hoped in the first few years.

But of course, that doesn’t mean insurers need to leave the market. Insurance is priced based on expectations; if you expect to pay out more, you just raise the price. After all, people are required to buy the stuff, on pain of a hefty penalty. How hard can it be to make money in this market?

Let me answer that: Impossible. And that’s by design. This thing, from the very start, was design and put together by people that had to pass it in secrecy, so they could have avoided any scrutiny that would have shed light that what they had obviously was intended to destroy the existing US health insurance market. And as the title of my post points out, they did it by design, because the end goal for these crooks has always been a government controlled single-payer system that would allow government to control the lives of its citizens with even more impunity.

They will keep coming after the serfs, and they will get us to bow down to their will. We peasants should be glad our masters are throwing us these table scraps.

No, There is No Blood On Snowden Hands

The director of the CIA is claiming that the attacks in Paris are at least partially the fault of Edward Snowden:

In a pair of public appearances this week, CIA Director John O. Brennan made clear that he blames leaks by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden for enabling terrorists to evade detection.

“Because of a number of unauthorized disclosures, and a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists,” Brennan said, the CIA and others agencies have lost use of critical tools needed “to find these terrorists.”

Brennan’s assertion has become a refrain in the two years since Snowden exposed details about a range of U.S. surveillance programs. And former CIA director R. James Woolsey went further, saying on Sunday, “I think Snowden has blood on his hands from these killings in France.”

I guess this was to be expected. Ever since Snowden revealed the scale of the NSA’s domestic spying program, our government has been trying to blame him for … well, everything. But even the WaPo’s coverage is deeply skeptical:

The revelations that were the source of greatest controversy involved programs that would likely have been of little value in disrupting the Paris plot, experts said. The National Security Agency’s collection of data about the times and durations of billions of domestic phones calls was not designed to pick up calls entirely outside the United States.

A second program that relied heavily on cooperation from companies including AOL, Microsoft and Google was aimed at intercepting e-mail and phone calls between foreign operatives and individuals in the United States. Nothing has changed since that revelation to restrict the NSA’s ability to sweep up communications exclusively among foreigners, as was apparently the case for the plot in France.

“Aspiring terrorists already knew the U.S. government was doing everything it could to track and monitor their communications,” said Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “What Snowden disclosed was the astonishing extent to which the government’s surveillance power had been turned on ordinary citizens. The CIA director knows this. He’d just rather we talk about Snowden’s disclosures than about the intelligence community’s failures.”

Glenn Greenwald, Snowden’s amanuensis, makes similar points in his detailed response, pointing out that the FBI itself was warning about terrorists avoiding e-mail and electronic communications as early as 1997. Osama bin Laden did not use electronic communications but used couriers precisely because he was concerned that US electronic intelligence was too good.

Moreover … and this is important to repeat … Snowden’s revelations were not about our ability to spy on terrorists. What he revealed was mass domestic surveillance of Americans, almost all of which has been used to help the DEA and the IRS pursue criminal charges without all that pesky fourth amendment stuff.

So why would the CIA director be spewing this line of bullshit? Why would he be spewing it before the bodies are even cold? Two reasons. One, to cover up his own incompetence. Greenwald again:

For most major terror attacks, the perpetrators were either known to Western security agencies or they had ample reason to watch them. All three perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo massacre “were known to French authorities,” as was the thwarted train attacker in July and at least one of the Paris attackers. These agencies receive billions and billions of dollars every year and radical powers, all in the name of surveilling Bad People and stopping attacks.

So when they fail in their ostensible duty, and people die because of that failure, it’s a natural instinct to blame others: Don’t look to us; it’s Snowden’s fault, or the fault of Apple, or the fault of journalists, or the fault of encryption designers, or anyone’s fault other than ours. If you’re a security agency after a successful Terror attack, you want everyone looking elsewhere, finding all sorts of culprits other than those responsible for stopping such attacks.

This need to deflect blame is especially acute when it comes to ISIS, which arose from the disbanded Iraqi armed forces, took advantage of the vacuum created by Bush’s invasion and Obama’s retreat, has been empowered by our stupid decision to throw in against Assad because we hoped that “moderates” would appear, and drawn support both from our “allies” in the region and our own lack of concern of where weapons provided to anti-Assad forces ended up.

There’s another another reason. NYT:

American and French officials say there is still no definitive evidence to back up their presumption that the terrorists who massacred 129 people in Paris used new, difficult-to-crack encryption technologies to organize the plot.

But in interviews, Obama administration officials say the Islamic State has used a range of encryption technologies over the past year and a half, many of which defy cracking by the National Security Agency. Other encryption technologies, the officials hint, are less secure than terrorist and criminal groups may believe, and clearly they want to keep those adversaries guessing which ones the N.S.A. has pierced.

Some of the most powerful technologies are free, easily available encryption apps with names like Signal, Wickr and Telegram, which encode mobile messages from cellphones. Islamic State militants used Telegram two weeks ago to claim responsibility for the crash of the Russian jet in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people, and used it again last week, in Arabic, English and French, to broadcast responsibility for the Paris carnage. It is not yet clear whether they also used Telegram’s secret-messaging service to encrypt their private conversations.

(Actually, it appears that the terrorists used unencrypted SMS.)

There has been an enormous push from “security experts” to pre-emptively cripple digital encryption methods by demanding “back doors” for the government that would essentially render encryption useless. For the past few years, companies that support and provide digital encryption have been outright accused of aiding and abetting terrorism. And now the security state supporters have found an actual terrorist attack to pin on the door of companies that provide encryption, regardless of whether encryption was involved or not.

But encryption does not destroy the government’s ability to stop terrorists. They can still use human intelligence assets. They can still track metadata, they can still … maybe … answer the phone when the relative of a guy with a bomb in his underwear tries to warn them. They can still use Patriot Act powers. What they can not do is snoop through everyone’s e-mail in the hopes that they’ll catch a tax dodger, a drug dealer or, once in a blue moon, maybe a terrorist.

The encryption debate is currently at high heat. Obama has, to his credit, resisted efforts to demand back doors to encryption and Congress has been reluctant. What Brennan is doing is trying to exploit a tragedy to bypass this debate and expand his power.

We’ve been here before. In the 1990’s, our law enforcement agencies sought the power to have warrantless wiretaps, roving wiretaps, sneak-and-peak raids and other surveillance methods to use in pursuit of the War on Drugs. The Republican Congress refused to give them those powers because they believed they violated the Fourth Amendment. After 9/11, before the bodies were even cold, the CIA and FBI insisted that this was a the reason 9/11 happened; that had Congress given them those powers, they would have prevented it.

It was bullshit, of course. As we later found out, both agencies ignored critical pieces of evidence. They’d also taken an overzealous view of “the wall” between the agencies and refused to share information with each other. But the CIA and FBI were not actually that interested in how 9/11 happened. What they were interested in was getting the surveillance powers they had craved for so long. Americans were scared and the agencies cravenly exploited that fear to get the Patriot Act (Bob Barr, a sponsor of the Patriot Act and now opponent, has a good segment on this in an episode of Penn and Teller: Bullshit!). They then went on to use those powers to … pursue the War on Drugs.

Now we’ve had another awful terrorist attack. And the same leaches who exploited 9/11 to weaken our civil liberties now want to exploit Paris to weaken them again. To hell with them. To hell with them and their security state. To hell with them dancing in the blood of 130 dead Parisians. They were granted the powers they demanded after 9/11 and abused them. They shouldn’t get another bite at the apple of our liberty.

And here’s my challenge to supporters of the security state, Republican or Democrat. If you really think that our civil liberties are outdated or dangerous … if you really think that we shouldn’t mind these intrustions if we have nothing to hide … then you first.

Seriously. Put every e-mail you send on a public server so we can all look at them. Every single one. Broadcast your meta-data on a website so we can see exactly what you’re up to at all hours. Record your phone conversations … every one … and put them on YouTube. Show us every text message, tell us about everyone you meet, report every conversation. Because if you’re going to smear the blood of Paris on your face and demand that rest of us surrender our privacy, I want to see you leading by example. Show us that you have nothing to hide. Then … maybe … we’ll consider letting you snoop around our affairs.

You got the title wrong..

Over at the Washington Free Beacon they have an article titled “Wealth of Congressional Democrats Spikes Despite Income Inequality Agenda” that gave me a good laugh. They got the title wrong. The democrats in congress have not been able to increase their wealth despite their inequality agenda, but have done so percisely because of that agenda. Collectivism, especially this new soft facism – a marriage between the state and certain large entities in the corporate world that pay it homage and good money – that the left lives by, exists to enrich the political class that banks on the envy and greed of those amongst the masses that feel it is unfair others make or have more than they do just because these others worked hard or inherited money from others that worked hard.

Talk Like a Pundit!

Because we need some comic relief, here’s PJ with a guide to Punditspeak, translating terms you’ll hear in the punditsphere into English. Viz:

highly placed source—anyone dumb enough to answer my emails or phone calls.

highly placed source speaking on condition of anonymity because—because they’re dumb but not suicidal.

on background—the highly placed source is pulling this out of his ass.

on deep background—the highly placed source is pulling this out of somebody else’s ass.

studies show—I’m pulling this out of my own ass.

The whole thing is pretty funny.

Add some flavor to your holidays

Hey all. So, I haven’t asked for money for the server in forever, but I could definitely use a little financial help these days. Not with a donation or anything. I’m perfectly willing to sell you something in exchange for your money. :)

My new business venture is Doctor Stark’s Elixirs. I make small batch, and as much as the word gets mocked, it applies, “artisanal” cocktail syrups in flavors that you won’t find elsewhere. You can check them out at my site: or the Etsy shop or at Square Market.

No bullshit, I’m like some sort of savant with this stuff. These things are incredible, and if you like to mix cocktails, you need them. If you want to serve the best frigging holiday cocktail ever, you definitely need the Apple Cider Pie. If you like sweet & spicy and you dig mezcal, you need Diablo. Hot Ginger is good with literally every kind of primary spirit I’ve tried. Marrakesh is amazing with gin, and also on waffles or ice cream.

Every bottle has a signature recipe on the side, and I make tons of variations. Hit me up if you need ideas. And buy a bottle or 5. They would also make pretty unique gifts for the holidays!

APPLE PIE PRODUCT SHOT Nov2015 2000 DIABLO-new-product-shot-August-2015-001 HOTGING new product shot aug 2015 2000 MARRA new product shot aug 2015 square 2000

On Islam, ISIS and War

In the aftermath of the attacks on Paris, we are getting the usual chorus of think pieces about how ISIS is not Islamic and does not represent Islam. We are getting ridiculously pedantic parsings of words to argue that we are not in a clash of civilizations. While I think there are points to be made here, I think the writers of these pieces are missing the forest for the trees.

First, it goes without saying that most Muslims are not Islamists and radicals. It goes without saying that you can read through the Koran (which I have) and find many passages that support peace and coexistence. But that’s kind of beside the point.

Here we land at the centre of the problem — a centre we have spent the last decade and a half trying to avoid: Islam is not a peaceful religion. No religion is, but Islam is especially not. Nor is it, as some ill-informed people say, solely a religion of war. There are many peaceful verses in the Quran which — luckily for us — the majority of Muslims live by. But it is, by no means, only a religion of peace.

I say this not because I hate Islam, nor do I have any special animus against Muslims, but simply because this is the verifiable truth based on the texts. Until we accept that we will never defeat the violence, we risk encouraging whole populations to take against all of Islam and abandon all those Muslims who are trying desperately to modernise, reform and de-literalise their faith. And — most importantly — we will give up our own traditions of free speech and historical inquiry and allow one religion to have an unbelievable advantage in the free marketplace of ideas.

Islam, like every other religion on that planet, has many strains. You will find many people — some 80-90% Muslims — who take the tolerant passages of the Koran and build their lives around that. But you will find others, basically everyone we are fighting right now, who take the more war-like passages of the Koran and build their lives around that. To pretend that they “aren’t practicing Islam” is a pedantic word game at best. At worst, it is not only inaccurate but censorious, trying to elide periods of history and Islamic writings that are inconvenient.

I’ve linked this before in my previous discussion of the nature of ISIS. It’s worth reiterating:

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.


When the President says that violent extremists like ISIL are not the real face of Islam, he is both right and wrong. The face of Islam can be one of tolerance and peace. But it can also be one of intolerance and violence. Islam has gone through periods of enlightenment and gone through periods of horrific fundamentalism. At this point in history, it hangs in the balance caught between hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims and violent sects that, while a minority, wields enormous power and influence. We’ve seen in pre-war Afghanistan and in the ISIL-controlled territory what these people want: beheadings, slavery, crucifixion, stoning. Their ideology recognizes no authority other than “pure” radical Islam. Whether they represent a minority or not is beside the point. The Nazis were never a majority in Germany. The Communists were never a majority in the countries they ruled with an iron fist. But they were able to control massive parts of the world and enormous armies through violence, intimidation and bloodshed.

The “most Muslims are good” argument, while based in truth, has no practical meaning. Most Germans are good people. We still had to defeat them in two wars. Most Russians are good people. We still had to fight a dangerous and tense Cold War against the Soviet Union. Most Japanese are good people. We still had to drop two atom bombs on them. It doesn’t really matter what the vast majority want when the monsters have the floor. The problem is that while most people are good, they are also easily persuaded or coerced to do bad things or stand aside while bad things are done. This is true of everyone in the world. There is not a religion or country that isn’t capable of doing horrible things. The question is: who is in charge? We’ve seen what happens when people like ISIL are in charge: entire regions of the world become unspeakably violent.

And now they are exporting that violence. And, to head off another talking point, they aren’t exporting their violence because of our “aggression”. France and Russia were not leading the campaign against ISIS. And ISIS did not target politicians or military personnel or defense contractors. They targeted civilians specifically because of Western values. They targeted them, according to their own words, because Paris is “the capital of prostitution and obscenity” (by which they mean consensual sex and any entertainment other than stoning women to death).

This is their stated goal. No one out having a good time … anywhere in the world. No one out at soccer stadiums except to watch executions. No one out drinking, obviously. No one at theaters. Women completely covered and regarded as little more than sex objects for the powerful. And they won’t stop if we leave them alone and stop bombing them. They will simply ramp up their attacks.

Call me crazy but when someone says, “this is why we are attacking you”, I think it behooves us to consider the possibility that this is why they are attacking us.

It seems we are destined to be caught between two groups of idiots. The first insists that all Muslims are this way. This ignores, of course, the hundreds who have tipped off authorities to radicals, the thousands fighting an actual bloody ground war against ISIS and the millions who condemned the Paris attacks and prayed for the dead. But there’s a second group who try to insist this violence has nothing to do with Islam, as though ISIS were just a street gang.

Again: we don’t have to guess at ISIS’s motives. They’ve stated them. They want to establish a caliphate, bring about the apocalypse and establish a worldwide Islamic state built on the most radical principles taken directly from the most extreme passages of Koran and the Hadith. That the vast majority of Muslims disagree with them does not change the nature of their ideology. It does not bring back the dead in Paris and more than “that’s not real Christianity” brings back the dead of the Crusades or “that’s not real Judaism” brings back the victims of the Caves of the Patriarchs massacre.

If a Jewish terrorist murdered a bunch of Arab men, women and children and took their daughters as sex slaves, citing the Midian War as his justification, we wouldn’t pretend it had nothing to do with religion. If a Christian terrorist burned down a bank and cited, as justification, Christ turning out the money-changers, we wouldn’t pretend it had nothing to with religion. Hell, when a radical Christian calls for executing gays or murders an abortion doctor — things completely antithetical to the teachings of Christ — we don’t pretend it has nothing to do with religion. But when Islamists murder people in the street and cite centuries-old writings as their justification, we suddenly pretend religion’s got nothing to do with it?

ISIS is a tough problem to deal with and it’s not exactly clear where we go from here. Can we destroy them sans a massive decades-long occupation of the region? I don’t know. I know we can probably decapitate their leadership and cripple them militarily. But, ultimately, this will come down to that majority of Muslims who oppose ISIS and their evil ideology (and are fighting them right now). They are the ones who must stop this horror. We can support and help. But we don’t support and help by covering our eyes and pretending that at least part of this conflict isn’t a war for the heart and soul of the world’s second largest religion.

Vive La France

Word tonight is that terrorists have struck France in a series of attacks, including a bomb at a football match, multiple shootings and a hostage situation. As of this moment, the French are fighting back. Preliminary news is that this is tied to ISIS.

This is why you stand with Charlie Hebdo. This is why you stand against ISIS. Because these monsters know no mercy and no decency. They will attack and they will kill. Right now, their violence is focused on the Middle East. But as the bombing of the Russian airliner and these attacks show, they will expand the fight until we are all in the crosshairs.

The ONLY Reason I Would Want Trump In The WH

Another GOP debate in the books, did we learn anything new, not really. We already knew that; leftest leaning networks should not moderate GOP debates, that both Kasich and Paul are dead men walking (but still don’t know it), and that Trump is still full of shit (and still too lazy to bone up on areas that he is weak) when it comes to things outside his business wheel house. His China tirade when asked about the TPP agreement, and Paul’s smack down about what is actually in the TPP was priceless. Equally priceless is Trump’s feud with the WSJ. They dared to critique his foreign policy acumen revealed so far, it was not flattering. So Trump, being Trump, goes all half cocked and petty, demanding apologies and resignations, from the most respected conservative periodical in the world. I mentioned this before, do we really want another petulant thin skinned crybaby in the WH? Not me.

But there is one crisis (yes, crisis) that has swallowed up Europe (they are lost, give them up for dead and be done with it), and threatens our shores. Obama would cut his own throat (OK, our throats) if given the chance, Trump would not. Reason enough to rally behind the issue challenged egomaniac? Probably.

This is a must watch video, weep for Europe but don’t emulate Europe;

I kinda get Germany rolling over in submission, but where the sentiment is laudatory, the execution is disastrous. The progressive politicians just gave their countries away, and put the lives of every ethnic European as risk, not to mention the women, who should all be packing some type of firearm.

You can bet the the only reason Obama has not done what Merkel did is that physical barriers commonly known as the oceans. But he is not going to let a little thing like geography hamper his desire to weaken this nation. Some form of refugee relocation is coming down the pike, NIMN.

Immigration/border enforcement was third on my list of urgent issues needing timely remedy, close behind fiscal resuscitation of the economy and reducing the size (and cost) of government. Given what I am seeing across the pond, it is now tops on my list.

Jihad is coming, ranging from violent attacks to even a more milder form, from population control, which would bring us Sharia and ultimately, the Caliphate. We must not follow them off the cliff.

Veterans Day

“From the darkness on all sides came the groans and wails of wounded men; faint, long, sobbing moans of agony and despairing shrieks. It was too horribly obvious that dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell-holes and now the water was rising about them and powerless to move they were slowly drowning.

Captain Edwin Vaughan, describing the Third Ypres.

Such was the horror that was ended on November 11, 1918, a day which became Armistice Day, which became Veterans Day to honor all those over the last two centuries who have been willing to face the horrors Vaughan described.