Neil deGrasse Tyson gets caught lying by The Federalist; disciples at Wikipedia go full-Orwell 26

Neil Degrasse Tyson FederalistIf you have not checked out The Federalist, then you should do so. It produces some great content. In fact, a clear sign that The Federalist is a force to be reckoned with is the fact that Wikipedia has been throwing Orwellian temper tantrums over the website’s recent reporting. The reason: Congregants in the Church of Neil deGrasse Tyson are unhappy to find out that their god has a habit of pulling facts out of deGrassian black holes that no one else can verify.

Just one example (there are quite a few) includes the scientist’s repeated claim that George W. Bush said “Our God is the God who named the stars” after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to find a way of intellectually divorcing Christianity from Islam.

Mr. Tyson has said the following in multiple speeches:

TYSON: Here’s what happens. George Bush, within a week of [the 9/11 terrorist attacks] gave us a speech attempting to distinguish we from they. And who are they? These were sort of the Muslim fundamentalists. And he wants to distinguish we from they. And how does he do it?

He says, “Our God” — of course it’s actually the same God, but that’s a detail, let’s hold that minor fact aside for the moment. Allah of the Muslims is the same God as the God of the Old Testament. So, but let’s hold that aside. He says, “Our God is the God” — he’s loosely quoting Genesis, biblical Genesis — “Our God is the God who named the stars.”

Unfortunately, that turns out not to be true. At all. The Federalist did some digging, and it did find that former President Bush said the following after the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003:

George W. Bush: In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see, there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power, and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

One would think that if Mr. Tyson was going to charge people to see his presentations, then he would get his facts straight — or not, if the point was smear others while making himself look like a witty guy. The Federalist then smacks Tyson down for his blatant fabrication.

Tyson butchered the quote. He butchered the date. He butchered the context. He butchered the implication. And he butchered the biblical allusion, which was to the prophet Isaiah, not the book of Genesis (you can tell Bush was alluding to Isaiah because he explicitly said he was referencing Isaiah).

Bush’s statement about the Creator had nothing to do with making “us” look better than “them”: it was an attempt to comfort the families who lost loved ones in the crash. They weren’t nameless creatures who passed anonymously; their ultimate Creator, the one who knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, mourned them by name.

In response to Sean Davis’ reporting, Mr. Tyson’s Wikipedia page has repeatedly been scrubbed of his lies and outright distortions — again, there are enough to be rather troubling for a man whose profession relies on accuracy — and now there are even attempts to throw The Federalist’s Wikipedia page down the Memory Hole.

The Federalist Wiki OrwellThe Washington Examiner reported Sept. 26:

Three weeks after the oft-cited TheFederalist.com accused a popular scientist of making up quotes and numbers in a speech, Wikipedia has moved to eliminate the conservative news site.

In a surprise move, the hugely-trafficked Wikipedia posted a notice that the Federalist was “being considered for deletion” after an unknown critic said it “does not pass the threshold for notability.” Wikipedia asked users to comment on the decision, though it in the end it will not be made on a “majority vote.”

The claim shocked the new site’s staff, especially since the Federalist has been featured in mainstream media such as MSNBC and CNN.

As I have said before, when people deny God they always find a way to replace Him with someone or something else. That idol then must be protected at all costs, which is one of the reasons why Communism’s body count is roughly 100 million…but I digress.

The ease with which those who edit Wikipedia pages entertain their inner police state censorship czar is incredibly frightening, and should be exposed. However, it is also important to note that Mr. Tyson has gone out of his way to avoid telling the truth.

Here is what he said on Facebook regarding his imaginary Bush quote:

I have explicit memory of those words being spoken by the President. I reacted on the spot, making note for possible later reference in my public discourse. Odd that nobody seems to be able to find the quote anywhere — surely every word publicly uttered by a President gets logged. …

FYI: There are two kinds of failures of memory. One is remembering that which has never happened and the other is forgetting that which did. In my case, from life experience, I’m vastly more likely to forget an incident than to remember an incident that never happened. So I assure you, the quote is there somewhere. When you find it, tell me. Then I can offer it to others who have taken as much time as you to explore these things.

Translation: How dare you question the all-powerful Neil deGrasse Tyson! Be gone with you, mere mortal! Be gone!

How bizarre is it that a scientist would sneer at a reporter over the time he or she spends verifying…facts.

Mr. Tyson’s behavior is so weird that even Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed was forced to call him out, saying “Just admit you either misremembered or made up a Bush quote @neiltyson. This denial [flies] in face of scientific method.”

Andrew Kaczynski DeGrasseThe next time you hear a Neil deGrasse Tyson tale that sounds too good to be true, just remember: it probably is. Why? Because it’s apparently okay to lie as long as more people subscribe to his worldview in the end. As the scientist said after getting caught red handed: “If this article contains the entire critique of my presentation to Tableau Software — the contents of 2 out of 60 slides — then I consider the talk to be a success, even to eavesdroppers.”

Why does it matter if a scientist makes up quotes about someone if the end result is more people who believe in Global Warming, right Mr. Tyson? Actually, it matters a lot. Intellectually honest people understand that. Most disciples in the Church of Neil DeGrasse Tyson apparently do not.

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Bret Easton Ellis delivers near-flawless analysis of ‘Generation Wuss’ in Vanity Fair piece 8

A few years ago I helped oversee a rather large intern program for a think tank in Washington, D.C. In addition to the Millennials I was fortunate enough to meet, I also had the luxury of flying all over the country to talk to them on college campuses. Before that, I worked as a substitute teacher in a high school for two years while saving money for graduate school. While many of the kids I met were incredibly nice, it was obvious that the generation they belonged to was setting itself up for failure. Writer Bret Easton Ellis’ new piece for Vanity Fair, “Generation Wuss,” sums up Millenials perfectly.

The entire piece is worth reading, but here is an excerpt:

My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. …

When Millennials are criticized [...] they seem to collapse into a shame spiral and the person criticizing them is automatically labeled a hater, a contrarian, a troll. And then you have to look at the generation that raised them, that coddled them in praise—gold medals for everyone, four stars for just showing up—and tried to shield them from the dark side of life, and in turn created a generation that appears to be super confident and positive about things but when the least bit of darkness enters into their realm they become paralyzed and unable to process it. …

I’m sympathetic to Generation Wuss and their neurosis, their narcissism and their foolishness—add the fact that they were raised in the aftermath of 9/11, two wars, a brutal recession and it’s not hard to be sympathetic. [...] In-fact in order to be an artist, to raise yourself above the din in an over-reactionary fear-based culture that considers criticism elitist, you need to be [caustic and sympathetic]. But this is a hard thing to do because Millennials can’t deal with that kind of cold-eye reality. This is why Generation Wuss only asks right now : please, please, please, only give positive feedback please.

I often wondered if I was going too hard on the Millennials I dealt with while living in the nation’s capital. My military background caused me question whether or not I had unrealistic expectations of how they should react to criticism. Now, I realize that any occasional friction between us had more to do with their own cloistered upbringing than a lack of empathy on my part.

Given what we know about Generation Wuss, it isn’t a shocker that they flocked to the “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” messaging of then-Senator Obama in 2008, and it is no surprise that they again returned to vote for him in droves in 2012 — despite “overwhelming proof” that they had made a grievous mistake.

What will be interesting to see is whether NSA spying scandals, the rise of Islamic State, the collapse of Libya into a terrorist jungle gym, the annexation of Crimea and whatever other calamities that befall the nation over the next two years will change the collective Millennial mindset. Is facing reality an option, or will they fail realize that it is a bad idea to adopt public policy created by men who presume they are infallible geniuses? There is a good chance Millennials will retreat into Reddit and Buzzfeed and Facebook streams with friends who are always ready to spoon them fuel for the ego, but perhaps not.

If Millennials are half as smart as they seem to think they are, then they will listen to what Mr. Ellis is accurately saying about their shortcomings. If they do not heed his advice, then they can expect many painful years ahead.

Keith Olbermann, aging smear merchant, attacks class act Yankee because he’s the anti-Jeter 10

Keith Olbermann JeterOn Thursday night future Hall of Fame Yankee Derek Jeter played his last game in Yankee Stadium, and he delivered the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. He went out a hero, and then handled himself with class — something he has always done — which is why aging smear merchant Keith Olbermann recently directed a seven-minute ESPN-flavored version of his “Worst Person in the World” routine at the shortstop.

Here is an excerpt:

“For all we know, Jeter will sprout wings and be taken up to Mount Olympus to play shortstop  in the Big League in the sky. [...]  How many times did Derek Jeter lead the American league in any offensive production category? The answer is three. Twice in hits, once in runs scored. No batting championships. No stolen base titles. No leading the league in doubles. Well, how many times did Jeter lead the Yankees in any offensive production categories? We’ll give you the big eight: doubles, homers, RBIs, stolen bases, batting average, on base, slugging, OPS — 17 times.

Over 19 season, 152 guys led the Yankees … it was Jeter only 17 times. [...] How many MVP awards did he win? None.

Congratulations to Keith Olbermann — he was able to go through a guy’s 19-year career on one of the most successful franchises in baseball history and find a slew of statistics to slime him with as he exits the league. In telling fashion, Mr. Olbermann went out of his way to ignore Jeter’s character, his leadership on and off the field, and his statistics as seen through the prism of an era forever tarnished with steroid use.

Sports Illustrated clears a few things up for Mr. Olbermann:

From 1996 to 2009, Jeter hit .318 with a .388 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage and averaged 152 games a year at shortstop, one of the most physically demanding positions on the field. Other players could play at that level for a month or two, or even a year or two. Very few could do it for that long.

And if you view Jeter in the context of his era, you can appreciate that he was a special player. For a long stretch of his career, baseball did not test for performance-enhancing drugs. It’s pretty obvious that some of the players who out-performed Jeter were juicing. We don’t know for sure that Jeter refrained from using steroids, but there has never been a hint that he used them. It’s fair to imagine that, if baseball had tested for PEDs for Jeter’s entire career, his numbers would look even better than they do, relative to his peers. …

Ripken is the best comparison for Jeter — not just because they played the same position (though Ripken moved to third base late in his career), but also because they are admired for reasons that go beyond their stats. Ripken’s numbers (.276/.340/.447) were not the best of his generation. You could reasonably argue they are not as impressive as Jeter’s (.310/.377/.440). But Ripken was a Baltimore icon, had his amazing Iron Man streak and won a championship with the Orioles. If he were asked to throw out a first pitch in Baltimore in the upcoming playoffs, you would expect a thunderous standing ovation. Baltimoreans are willing to overlook his flaws and his down years, because he is theirs.

Jeter was a consistently terrific player, he was extremely durable, he almost always represented his franchise well and he played for five championship teams. He also apparently didn’t use PEDs at a time when so many players did. That helps explain why he is beloved, and why so many people have found ways to make money off his retirement tour. But don’t let the business distract you from the game. Derek Jeter was a great player.

That is what one calls fair journalism — something Mr. Olbermann has never taken much stock in.

The truth of the matter is that once again a man who spent years perfecting the craft of personal destruction is only running from himself. Keith Olbermann attacks Derek Jeter’s sterling professional career with one team by using Photoshopped angel wings and insults for a very specific reason: everywhere he goes there are burned bridges smoldering in the distance years after his departure. There will be no extended celebrations of Keith Olbermann’s career because, quite frankly, so many people do not like him. He is weirdly-obsessed with statistics because his character and integrity are lacking. Derek Jeter’s leadership skills are ignored because Keith Olbermann is not a leader. Only a man with deep-seated psychological issues would allocate that much air time to bashing Derek Jeter as he closes a marvelous chapter of his life.

Keith Olbermann is the anti-Jeter, and deep down he knows it.

Janet Yellen: We sprayed your house in gasoline. When is a good time to light the match? 2

AP YELLEN A F USA DC

This blog spends a lot of time covering foreign policy, terrorist organizations, and the threat they pose to national security, but one can certainly make the argument that the Federal Reserve is much more of a danger to the long-term health of the nation. These days I typically leave it to others to talk about the implications of printing dollars as if they were Monopoly money, addictions to artificially-low interest rates, and the use of inflation-as-stealth-taxation. However, Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen spoke earlier in the week, and it deserves mention.

The Associated Press reported Sept. 18:

Record-low interest rates will be around for at least a few more months, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday. Enjoy the easy money while it lasts.

By mid-2015, economists expect the Fed to abandon a nearly 6-year-old policy of keeping short-term rates at record lows. Those rates have helped support the economy, cheered the stock market and shrunk mortgage rates. A Fed rate increase could potentially reverse those trends. …

“Borrowers should see the writing on the wall,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. …

Investors, in particular, might recall that mere speculation about the end of the Fed’s stimulus shook global financial markets in May 2013. In coming months, as the prospect of higher rates nears, traders might once again dump stocks and bonds and send prices tumbling.

The Jenga Economy will eventually tumble and fall on the heads of retired people, young people, and a whole host of Americans whose lives will be turned upside down when the “easy money” ends.

Former Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman sat down with Yahoo Finance Sept. 17 and said the following about the Federal Reserve:

David Stockman: I’m worried that we’ve got the greatest bubble created by a central bank in human history. We have been shoving zero-cost money into the financial markets for six years running. This is the 68th month of zero-money market rates. We’ll that’s the kerosene that drives speculative trading. The carry trades. That’s what the gamblers use to fund their position as they move from one momentum play and trade to another. So we have basically created — the fed has created — the bubble, which is unsustainable. Everything is massively overvalued and it’s predicated on zero-cost overnight money that continues these carry trades. You can’t continue. And so, when the trades begin to unwind because the carry-cost has to normalize, you’re going to have a dramatic repricing and dislocations in these financial markets, but especially in tech.

Host: So let me ask you why investors should care now, because looking back — you know, I went back and looked at one of the last times we spoke — when you were promoting your book and you had just written a New York Times op-ed on March 30th of last year. The stock market was hitting all-time highs, and you said “Instead of cheering, we should be very afraid. If this sounds like advice to get out of the markets and hide in cash, it is.” Well, the market is up 28 percent since then, David. If people took your advice, then they missed out on gains.

David Stockman: Well look it, it’s not over until it’s over. And if people think they’re smart enough to play it by the day and trade it by the hour and compete with all of these robotic trading systems that are driving the market, then more power to them. But no one can predict when the break is going to come, when black swan is going to arrive, but when it does there will be a sharp, violent and rapid repricing. Adjustment. And so the 28 percent can disappear as fast as it appeared. [...] I think what the fed is doing is so unprecedented. What is happening in the markets is so unnatural. There has been so much liquidity — and you can give all the figures — almost $4 trillion dollars has been pumped into the market in less than 70 months by this central bank and has matched by central banks all over the world — this is dangerous, combustible stuff. And I don’t know when the explosion occurs. When the collapse suddenly is upon us, but when it happens, people will be happy that they got out of the way if they did.”

Most Americans don’t speak the language of Yahoo Finance hosts, Janet Yellen or David Stockman, so I asked a well-adjusted friend of mine to explain things in a way that normal Americans can understand.

Here was his reply:

I think the govt has used every trick in the book to keep wages high and the market high. The reason we have a 30 year trade imbalance is because wages didn’t come down to meet world demand, plus unemployment, it’s a real mess. The trade imbalance occurs because all his money is pumped into the economy, income is high though we produce little; and we buy extra stuff from outside sources. Now we are trillions in debt and the economy won’t grow out of it like years past (anytime soon).

Unfortunately we have to bite it at some point and either let the dollar devalue or interest rates rise, getting our short term supply an demand curves back from artificial highs. It won’t be pretty. China keeps their currency purposefully low, that’s why people keep manufacturing there…. Hmmm, I remember Romney mentioning that and being blown off. I’d imagine they are creating some sort of bubble too.

The “normal” growth rate for our economy is roughly 3 percent, when recession hits it obviously must grow more than 3 percent to get us back to the “normal” trajectory. That hasn’t happened this time around. We stopped recessing, but we aren’t back to the desired trajectory, hence unemployment still high. So pray for a natural resource boon or some dramatic new technology to save us.

Oddly, only one president in our lifetime saw and did something about the writing on the wall, that being the first George Bush. He went against his promise and raised taxes to get the debt to a manageable percentage to GDP and to alleviate the artificial highs I spoke of. Of course that led to a split in the party, and he was vilified. Obama really was stuck in a bad boat in 2008, and in his defense it was typical government response to a threatening depression. However, due to 30+ years of a “free ride” we can’t recover fast enough to lower the debt percentage. We really have ourselves to blame from both parties.

Now you have the baby boomers wanting to retire further stressing things… Get ready for a bumpy ride!

Get ready for a bumpy ride, indeed. While it’s important to pay attention to radical Islamic terror groups, it’s also important to remember that there are many ways a nation can lose its head.

Gen. Mattis on Iraq: I’m not sure why Obama is publicly taking options off the table 1

James Mattis, Ryan Crocker, Dafna RandThe House Intelligence Committee takes its job very seriously, which is why Ret. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was called in on Thursday to discuss the U.S. strategy for destroying the Islamic State group. With over four decades of military service under his belt, the general knows a thing or two about combat. Unfortunately, his assessment of how the commander in chief is handling the Middle East conundrum before him is not kind.

The Washington Post reported Thursday:

“You just don’t take anything off the table up front, which it appears the administration has tried to do,” said Mattis, who served as the top U.S. general overseeing operations in the Middle East before leaving military service last year. …

Broadcasting up front an unwillingness to use ground troops in Iraq, despite an expanded mission there, creates problems, both Mattis and [former U.S. diplomat Ryan] Crocker said.

“Specifically, if this threat to our nation is determined to be as significant as I believe it is, we may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American ‘boots on the ground,’ ” Mattis said. “If a brigade of a our paratroopers or a battalion landing team of our Marines would strengthen our allies at a key juncture and create havoc/humiliation for our adversaries, then we should do what is necessary with our forces that exist for that very purpose.”

While it is quite obvious that there are in fact “boots on the ground” in Iraq (i.e., Special Forces), it makes no sense whatsoever to show up at MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., as Mr. Obama did, and assure troops that under no circumstances will they be deployed. It sends the wrong message to allies, it emboldens enemies, and it makes the job of those tasked with securing victory exponentially harder to complete.

If the president was being honest with the American people, then he would sound much more like U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno than a run-of-the-mill politician.

The New York Times reported Wednesday:

Airstrikes have halted the advance of the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, General Odierno, now the Army chief of staff, told journalists from four news organizations, including The New York Times, in what aides said were his first public comments on the current situation in Iraq. Ultimately, though, “you’ve got to have ground forces that are capable of going in and rooting them out,” he said, referring to the Islamic extremists.

The airstrikes “will not be the end all and be all solution in Iraq,” he said. Similarly, he added, the jihadis cannot be allowed to have a safe haven across the border in Syria.

The general was careful not to say that ground troops had to be American, but the fact remains: ground troops will be necessary. If Joe Scarborough was on to something, and his theory that Mr. Obama is actively engaged in next-level “Art of War” strategic planning happened to be correct, Americans could breath a sigh of relief — but he’s not. The cable news host is wrong, and the public comments that multiple generals are making, while tactful, are their way of begging someone — anyone — to get Mr. Obama to listen to reason.

If you are still unconvinced that the president is in over his head, then notice that the White House has not been cornered into answering the following question: Who will govern cities and towns all across Syria when Islamic State is defeated? It is almost as if reporters know that nobody knows the answers to the “Then what?” questions and they don’t want the American people to see just how lost and confused U.S. foreign policy is as the country begins to train and arm “moderate” Syrian rebels (“No, seriously, these are the good guys, we swear!”).

As the situation in Iraq and Syria continues to unfold, look for whatever comments you can from men like Gen. Mattis and Gen. Odierno. Take note of what they’ve been saying, because those who refuse to take their sound advice on how to deal with Islamic State should be taken to task upon the unraveling.

Feminists attack Spider-Woman covers and gamers while Lopez, Beyonce, and Minaj objectify themselves 30

Say that you’re a raging feminist and you’re upset about “rape culture, male patriarchy, male privilege,” and a whole host of other issues that your Gender Studies professor talks about on a regular basis. You want to change the cultural landscape, but you have limited resources. Do you go after the male gamers who just want to play Watch Dogs in peace? Do you go after aging male comic book artists who create variant covers that might sell a couple thousand copies? Or do you go after multi-platinum millionaire female entertainers who grace the covers of countless magazines, get significant radio play, and air time on national television shows?

The answer, of course, is to ignore very real singers and entertainers objectifying themselves under the banner of feminism while going after men whose hobbies deal almost exclusively in fantasy. Why? Because they’re easy targets. If you were a feminist, would you rather go after comic book writer Dan Slott, or Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj? The answer is simple.

Take a look at the variant comic book cover for Spider-Woman that ignited a solar burst of feminist anger in August.

Spider Woman variant

Now look at Jennifer Lopez from her new video “Booty,” featuring Iggy Azalea:

Jennifer Lopz Booty video

Now look at Nicki Minaj in her new video “Anaconda”:

Nicki Minaj Anaconda

Now look at Beyonce in her recent video “Partition”:

Beyonce-partition

Now consider the fact that with the ongoing “GamerGate” controversy, feminists have called gamers “terrorists” on par with “Holocaust deniers.” Who is really degrading the culture?

If one were to use the explosive rhetoric of terror, who is more of a cultural terrorist — the video game maker who gets guys excited about playing Final Fantasy XV, or the woman who objectifies herself to get men of all ages to lust over her? Who is more guilty of perpetuating “rape culture” — the guy who just wants to play the latest installment of Metal Gear, or the woman who strips down to almost nothing, bends over, sticks her butt in the air as high as possible, and then invites you to watch her do it again and again and again on her record label’s YouTube channel?

Final Fantasy XV

Here is a screen shot from Final Fantasy XV. Jennifer Lopez wanted to have a marketing tie-in to the game with her “Booty” video, but the male developers didn’t have any images of female characters shaking their butts around seductively.

Modern feminists have almost zero credibility. They almost exclusively go after the easiest possible targets, often times men in industries who just want to commiserate with other men and be left to their own devices. The next time a feminist tries to give you a hard time about the comic books you read or the video games you play, shove Jennifer Lopez’s butt in her face and move on.

When the NFL became a religion, America created sportscaster priests like Cris Carter, Bob Costas 8

Cris Carter cryingThe National Football league brings in roughly $10 billion in revenue per year. By 2027, it expects to up that to $25 billion. As USA today reported in February, that would put the NFL on track to haul in more money per year than the domestic gross product of “dozens of small countries.” At some point in time professional football became a weird religion for millions of Americans, and now the rest of us are forced to endure lectures by the High Priests of Sportscasting whenever the athlete-gods expose themselves as mere mortals.

If Americans didn’t idolize the men they watch each Sunday, then the world would not be forced to endure former Vikings receiver Cris Carter throwing his own mother under the bus on national television. In response to Adrian Peterson’s indictment on child abuse charges, Mr. Carter melted down on ESPN.

ABC News reported September 14 (while taking out the exclamation marks):

“My mom did the best job she could do raising seven kids by herself, but there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong,” he said. “It’s the 21st century — my mom was wrong. She did the best she could but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me and I promised my kids I won’t teach that mess to them.”

A healthy culture enjoys the on-field exploits of their favorite player and gleans important lessons from what they bring to the game. A healthy culture admires the drive and dedication it takes to become one of only a handful of individuals in the world who can perform a particular sport at an elite level. An unhealthy culture creates shrines to its teams, hangs on star players’ every word via countless social media accounts, and dedicates more time to fantasy football each fall than actually playing catch with children.

Having to watch Cris Carter cry on national television while Mike Ditka uncomfortably fidgets in his chair is a sign that American culture has derailed. When Keyshawn Johnson looks like Mike Meyers after Kanye West said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a live broadcast, then it is time for football fans to reevaluate the the importance leather balls and the men who carry them hold in their lives.

Hannah Storm emotionalESPN anchor Hannah Storm also gave a Cris Carter-esque sermon to viewers September 14, taking the NFL to task for the way it reacted to Ray Rice cold-cocking his wife in a hotel lobby. It was nice, and perhaps even appropriate, but a society with a working moral compass does not need to witness emotional testimonials from shaken sportscasters.

If things were as they should be, then individuals would realize that the NFL has a lower rate of domestic violence than the general population, silently reaffirm that they will always be their own harshest critic, and then vow not to put up with halftime lectures by guys like Bob Costas on the so-called need for strict gun-control legislation.

Bob Costas GunsWhen I tune in to watch sports, I do not want to hear wide receivers lump in people who occasionally spank their kids with those who leave children black and blue and bloody with a switch. When I want to see how my local team did over the weekend, I do not want to hear announcers go into extended diatribes — no matter how heartfelt they may be — about domestic violence. When I’m watching Monday Night Football, I do not want to listen to a sports pundit imply that millions of Americans are rotten people because they advocate on behalf of rights codified into law by the U.S. Constitution.

If the American people want to do the NFL a long-term favor, then they should turn off the television more often on a Sunday, buy less merchandise, and take their favorite players off the moral pedestals.

Gen. Dempsey to Obama: You might need to use ground troops if this coalition stinks 32

Chuck Hagel, Martin DempseyArmy Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committees on Tuesday, telling officials that if coalition partners don’t deal with the Islamic State group’s operations in Iraq, then he would not hesitate to say what President Obama doesn’t want to hear: “Send in the ground troops.”

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president,” the general told the committees, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. He added that his recommendation, “may include the use of ground forces.”

One only needs to look Syria to realize that reliable ground troops — by someone — will be necessary to deal with Islamic State.

Reuters reported Tuesday:

Islamic State has gone underground in its Syrian stronghold since President Barack Obama authorized U.S. air strikes on the group in Syria, disappearing from the streets, redeploying weapons and fighters, and cutting down its media exposure.

In the city of Raqqa, 450 km (280 miles) northeast of Damascus, residents say Islamic State has been moving equipment every day since Obama signaled on Sept. 11 that air attacks on its forces could be expanded from Iraq to Syria. …

Facing U.S. air strikes in Iraq, Islamic State fighters abandoned heavy weaponry that made them easy targets and tried to blend into civilian areas. In anticipation of similar raids in Syria, the group may already be doing the same.

In Raqqa, the group has evacuated buildings it was using as offices, redeployed its heavy weaponry, and moved fighters’ families out of the city.

“They are trying to keep on the move,” said one Raqqa resident, communicating via the Internet and speaking on condition of anonymity because of safety fears. “They have sleeper cells everywhere,” he added.

Anyone who peddles the idea that days of precision airstrikes on Islamic State convoys, parades and gathering places will “destroy” the terrorist group is a fool. For over three years the president did everything he could to ignore its rise by “leading from behind.” He tried to wash away his own “red line” in Syria and then allow others in the region to handle the civil war their own way. He opted to play a passive role when the world needed leadership, and contrary to the logic regularly espoused by Code Pink, the threat metastasized.

The men at the top of the Islamic State food chain are smart. Given that they have assets in Syria in Iraq — and Obama has ruled out using ground troops — the logical course of action for them is to go underground. Yes, it will slow their advance, but who cares? They already have access to millions of dollars in oil money a day, control main roadways and financial centers, and have suicide bombers at their disposal. Iraq does not have the political or military leadership at this time to go on the offensive without serious logistical support from western nations, and the U.S. has no one it can trust in Syria. If the U.S. was really serious about destroying Islamic State anytime soon, then Gen. Dempsey would publicly recommend ground troops immediately. He won’t do that because it is clear that the president is more concerned with finding a way to pass the buck onto a future U.S. president than he is with handing the threat now.

How can anyone know this? Easy. Simply read The New York Times, which reported Sept. 13 on the a meeting the president had with select journalists:

Mr. Obama had what guests on Wednesday afternoon described as a bereft look as he discussed the murders of Mr. Foley and Mr. Sotloff, particularly because two other Americans are still being held. Days later, ISIS would report beheading a British hostage with another video posted online Saturday.

But the president said he had already been headed toward a military response before the men’s deaths. He added that ISIS had made a major strategic error by killing them because the anger it generated resulted in the American public’s quickly backing military action.

If he had been “an adviser to ISIS,” Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, “Stay out of here; this is none of your business.” Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention.

What kind of president gives an Islamic terrorist group ideas on ways to undercut U.S. public support for military operations that simultaneously allow the caliphate’s continuous rise? Mr. Obama’s Times interview translates: “You know, if you play your cards right, you can turn the public against me and still achieve your objectives, right? Think it about, guys. Seriously.”

Mr. Obama’s unsolicited advice to Islamic State only further highlights his deep desire for all radical Islamic terrorism to be a  problem that is largely confined to the Middle East, with occasional “law enforcement matters” (e.g., car bombs) that affect western interests around the globe. His infamous “jayvee team” interview with The New Yorker once again comes back to haunt him:

“I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

Mr. Obama’s interview with the Times essentially gives the terrorist group the “off ramp” elitist Beltway pundits always speak of any time an international thug starts invading countries or slaughtering his own people. The president is saying, “Guys, there’s still time. You can still make this ‘none of our business.'” What he doesn’t understand is that the end game for any group that seeks to create an Islamic caliphate requires the subjugation of free people.

Before Mr. Obama was elected president in 2008, people joked about the number of times he voted “present” in the Illinois State Senate. It wasn’t a joke, because he adopted a “vote present” foreign policy upon assuming the role of commander in chief. In the vacuum created by a sudden absence of American leadership, it was never going to be picked up by the cultural cadaver that is Europe. Instead, it was filled by the world’s worst actors, acting like prisoners who just had their jail cells thrown open by the head warden.

“Peace at any cost” doesn’t bring peace — it brings war. Sadly, it appears as though the message hasn’t penetrated the minds of Code Pink’s most ardent supporters, the president or members of his inner circle.

Dan Slott’s emasculated Spider-Man: Peter Parker is an embarrassment in his own book 71

Silk saves Spider ManMarvel Comics allowed writer Dan Slott to essentially kill off Peter Parker for over a year. While everyone’s favorite wall crawler was in limbo, a megalomaniac prone to “Nazi-like torture” experiments on his victims was in control of Peter’s body. Fans knew that one day the real hero would return, and some of them actually thought that his time away would give Dan Slott an opportunity to conceive of fresh new ideas for the title. They were wrong.

Six issues into The Amazing Spider-Man, it may as well be called The Emasculated Spider-Man or The Superficial Spider-Man. It is painful to see Spider-Man become a supporting  character in his own book, and that pain is exacerbated by Peter’s lack of character development.

Silk slaps Spider ManTake the new character Silk, for example. She shows up and it is immediately established that she is faster than Peter, she has webbing skills he doesn’t possess, her spider-sense is more acute and her command and control in the heat of battle matches or surpasses his — despite being locked up in a cell for 13 years. (Credibility points if you’re also annoyed at a character without a resume who lands an internship at a major cable news network.)

Is Silk a supporting character, or is Dan Slott using The Amazing Spider-Man as a vehicle to propel his creations onto bigger and better things? Why should fans who plunk down $4.00 to enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man be made to feel as if they’re reading The Sensational Silk? They shouldn’t.

Black Cat Spider ManPerhaps the most bizarre aspect of Dan Slott’s work is his penchant for making characters behave in incongruous ways with their established personality when the means serve his ends. While I am no Black Cat historian, I can’t help but think that her transformation into a bloodless killer has been handled with the finesse one would see if the Rhino waltzed down a supermodel runway. It’s jarring, it makes readers scratch their head when they’re supposed to be immersed in the book, and it reeks of a writer who is either a.) sloppy, b.) taking creative shortcuts because he thinks he can get away with it, c.) indifferent to what fans of that mistreated character think, or d.) all of the above.

Silk saves Spider Man ElectroReaders might be able to deal with Spider-Man repeatedly getting saved by a brand new hero in his own book if, as Peter Parker, there were sufficient character development. One would think that the six months after Peter Parker essentially returned from the dead would warrant considerable time for soul-searching introspection between action sequences. Instead, Peter Parker goes about his life as if nothing of much significance has happened; he has an “I sorta-kinda died — moving on,” mentality. Meanwhile, Silk comes to his aid, Black Cat embarrasses him, and Anna Maria Marconi runs his company. The Emasculated Spider-Man bumbles around on the battlefield and in his personal life, and at the end of the day fans are left hoping the upcoming Spider-Verse — where the original Spider-Man will likely take a bigger back seat in his own book — offers something more.

If you thought The Amazing Spider-Man would improve with its relaunch, then you were wrong. At this rate, the next time six months of strong Spider-Man stories take place will be when Dan Slott finally passes the torch to a new creative team.

Update: Alpha Game was kind enough to read and share my post. Head on over there if you get a chance and return the kindness.

"Goo-goo. Gaa-gaa. I'm Dan Slott's Peter Parker and I need the women in my life to save me and heal my wounds ... and run my company while I'm making a fool out of myself in battle."

“Goo-goo. Gaa-gaa. I’m Dan Slott’s Peter Parker and I need the women in my life to save me and heal my wounds after I make a fool of myself in battle. And then I need them to run my company because I’m an incompetent hero in my own book.”

Obama’s Orwellian doublethink comes back to haunt him on Islamic State: A timeline 22

Republican v Democrat terrorism poll

Gallup released a poll on Sept. 11 that showed the Republican Party now has a commanding lead over Democrats when it comes to who the voters trust to protect them from terrorist groups and threats abroad.

The results spoke volumes about Americans’ opinion of the president’s “lead from behind” foreign policy, and his inability to comprehend the threat posed to the nation by radical Islam:

The Republican Party has expanded its historical edge over the Democratic Party in Americans’ minds as being better able to protect the U.S. from international terrorism and military threats. At this point, 55% of Americans choose the GOP on this dimension, while 32% choose the Democratic Party. This is the widest Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of asking this question since 2002.

The results were so bad that Meet the Press host Chuck Todd said the President Obama was on the verge of doing “Jimmy Carter-like damage” to the Democratic Party on matters of national security.

Where did it all go wrong? While an argument can been made that the predicament the U.S. (and the world) now finds itself in can be traced back to the president’s failure to secure a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Iraq in December, 2011, that still doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

Mr. Obama’s problem is that he fundamentally does not understand who and what he is up against. The following timeline, while incomplete, does a decent job highlighting the president’s ideological blinders.

June 10, 2014, Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, falls to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

June 13, 2014, President Obama says during an interview with Amy Davidson of The New Yorker that the group that just took over Falluja — Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — is the equivalent of a junior varsity basketball team: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

June 30, 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant becomes “Islamic State” and declares its territory covering Iraq and Syria to be origin of a new caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

August 7, 2014, President Obama announces that the U.S. will begin conducting airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic State.

August 19, 2014, American journalist James Foley is executed by Islamic State. Video of the his gruesome death is posted online.

August 21, 2014, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says Islamic State is “beyond a terrorist group.”

August 23, 2014, Over in Libya, Islamic fighters seize control of Tripoli’s airport. News outlets report that the intelligence community believes multiple jets previously housed at the airport are now missing.

September 3, 2014, President Obama simultaneously says the U.S. will “destroy” Islamic State and reduce it to a “manageable problem.”

September 3, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. will follow Islamic State to “the gates of hell.”

September 4, 2014, President Obama says he “doesn’t have a strategy yet” when asked how he plans to deal with Islamic State’s increasing power and influence in Syria.

September 9, 2014, Multiple news outlets wonder if Libya, now at the mercy of various warring Islamic groups, can officially be called a failed state.

September 10, 2014, President Obama says the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is not Islamic in an address to the nation: “ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.” No one asks the president if he believes the Ottoman Empire was Islamic.

September 11, 2014, — 13 years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — John Kerry tells CNN the U.S. is not at war with Islamic State, adding “What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counterterrorism operation. It’s going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”

September 11, 2014, —  13 years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf says U.S. military operations against Islamic State are not a continuation of the war on terrorism, telling a reporter, “When we talk about how you degrade and defeat terrorist organizations, it’s not exactly I think how you’re probably using the term. And it’s not one that I’m using.”

September 11, 2014,  —  13 years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest flippantly responds to a reporter’s question about how the Obama administration defines “destroy” when it comes to Islamic State by saying, “I didn’t bring my Webster’s dictionary.”

September 12, 2014, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest decides the U.S. is at war with Islamic State, saying “The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

September 12, 2014, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby says the U.S. is “at war” with Islamic State, but then goes on to downplay the military’s role in winning that war by stating “It’s about defeating [Islamic State's] ideology.”

September 14, 2014, John Kerry reverses himself from his CNN interview just three days earlier and tells CBS host Bob Schieffer, “Yeah, we’re at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

The history shown above points to a man who stubbornly clings to his September 10, 2001 worldview.

Only a man who is in willful denial can say on national television that the group called Islamic State is not Islamic. Only a man who is in too deep can give the State Department orders to say the U.S. is not at war on a Thursday but that the U.S. is at war on a Friday, when absolutely nothing has changed. Only a man who has been swallowed whole by his own hubris can believe that his Orwellian doublethink wouldn’t come back to haunt him.

Western Civilization is in a culture clash, and yet the president will twist himself into as many intellectual pretzels as necessary to convince himself that he’s strictly dealing with a law enforcement issue. In order to prove how liberal he is, Mr. Obama destroys his credibility by shielding a largely illiberal culture from criticism.

The American people are once again giving the conservative worldview its due. When evil men are chopping off heads, conducting crucifixions, and slaughtering women and children, the guy who “doesn’t have a strategy yet” because he’s been busy “leading from behind” will collapse in the polls. Likewise, so will his political party.

All Americans should root for the president on matters of national security, no matter what letter is next to his name. Unfortunately, that is incredibly hard to do when the commander in chief tries to convince the American people that a giant army called Islamic State does not include practitioners of Islam.