New York Times to Walgreen: You’re unpatriotic if you don’t love high tax rates 13

A recent New York Times article by Andrew Sorkin is unintentionally hilarious from start to finish. He’s upset that a number of companies, such as Walgreen, AbbiVie, Medtronic and many others are all well on their way to moving overseas. I’d look for the Andrew Sorkin piece calling billionaire John Kerry “unpatriotic” for docking his luxury yacht out of state to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes, but I doubt it exists.

Mr. Sorkin wrote for the Times June 30.

Alarmingly, dozens of large United States companies are contemplating the increasingly popular tax-skirting tactic known as an inversion. Under the strategy, companies merge with foreign rivals in countries with lower tax rates and then reincorporate there while still enjoying the benefits of doing a large part of their business in the United States.

In Walgreen’s case, an inversion would be an affront to United States taxpayers. The company, which also owns the Duane Reade chain in New York, reaps almost a quarter of its $72 billion in revenue directly from the government; it received $16.7 billion from Medicare and Medicaid last year.

“It is unconscionable that Walgreen is considering this tax dodge — especially in light of the billions of dollars it receives from U.S. taxpayers every year,” Nell Geiser, associate director of Change to Win Retail Initiatives, a union-financed consumer advocacy group, said in a statement.

Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, called it “unfair and deeply unpatriotic if the company moves offshore while continuing to make its money here, leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab for its tax avoidance.

The last time I checked, Walgreen provides goods and services worth at least $16.7 billion to individuals who utilize Medicare and Medicaid — it isn’t simply holding out its hands and asking for taxpayer cash. It would be an “affront” to American taxpayers if Gregory D. Wasson, the chief executive of Walgreen, refused to pay his water bills for a decade and then demanded someone else pay them when he was drowning in debt (i.e., the citizens of Detroit).

In terms of patriotism, Mr. Sorkin and Mr. Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness have it backwards — the patriotic thing to do is for Americans to protest high taxation. I applaud Walgreen and any number of pharmaceutical companies for packing up and moving overseas. You can only demonize the men and women running businesses for so long before they get fed up and leave. Instead of asking, “How do we make America more attractive to companies on the other side of the globe?” the New York Times throws socialist temper tantrums.

Mr. Sorkin continues:

The current law allows a company to reincorporate abroad if it acquires a foreign company in a transaction that transfers more than 20 percent of the shares to foreign owners. President Obama has sought to raise the threshold to 50 percent. While many Democrats appear to support a short-term solution, some Republicans, arguing that a Band-Aid approach could have unintended consequences, instead want to address inversions only in the context of an overall corporate tax overhaul bill.

Whereas Republicans realize that perhaps the corporate tax code is a nightmare, President Obama just wants to force companies to withstand significantly more pain before they make the decision to move. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

And finally, we have Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois:

Senator Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat from Walgreen’s home state, Illinois, told The Chicago Tribune last week: “I am troubled by American corporations that are willing to give up on this country and move their headquarters for a tax break. It really speaks to your commitment.”

Poor Dick doesn’t realize that American corporations aren’t giving up on America — they’re giving up on guys like him.

If America is no longer capable of being one of the world’s few outposts of economic and political freedom, then corporations have a responsibility to search out countries that are willing to take on the role. If U.S. citizens are unhappy with the business landscape that takes shape in the years ahead, then the blame will rest squarely on the shoulders of men like President Obama and Senator Dick Durbin.

Related: Dick Durbin: If you have a tumor, letting it grow is always an option

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Falcon can soar as Captain America, but Tom Brevoort crashes and burns as a Marvel representative 22

Sam Wilson Captain America

Marvel has taken a lot of heat in recent days for its shameless She-Thor publicity stunt, but the announcement that Sam Wilson will be the new Captain America does not deserve similar scorn. While its press release on the decision to give Falcon a chance to shine in a new role successfully articulates Rick Remender’s thought processes, it also includes further evidence of Tom Brevoort’s rhetorical buffoonery.

Superhero Hype reported July 16:

This fall, Sam Wilson flies where eagles dare, as the intrepid Falcon assumes his new role as Captain America. A new chapter begins in ‘All-New Captain America” #1 by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen.

“This is it,” says Remender of the culmination of two years of storytelling in ‘Captain America’ and the dawning of “All-New Captain America”. “This is the fireworks factory we’re arriving at, and now everything’s going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at. It leads into an evolution of Steve Rogers’ character that I had very early when I was given the job. I think that it’s important with these stories to do things that are natural and make sense and have an inherent logic to the universe, but are also constantly shifting and exciting, keeping the drama high. In order to do that it really comes down to creating new dynamics.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It’s a completely different attitude. The fact that he’s not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam’s not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that.”

This is logical. Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers have a long history together. Iron Man fans know that Tony Stark and Rhodey have a similar dynamic. Fair-minded fans — even if they dislike the move — will admit that on many levels it makes sense for Falcon to become Captain America in the event of Steve Rogers’ death or prolonged absence. In fact, one could make a convincing argument that Anthony Mackie deserves a chance to play Captain America in the event that Chris Evans walks away from big screen Captain America role a few years down the line. Agree or disagree, there is sound logic behind what Marvel is doing.

Enter Tom Brevoort, whose track record of embarrassing behavior can fill many, many blog posts.

“While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background,” adds editor Tom Brevoort, “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.

The idea that Steve Rogers —  Captain America — would have less empathy for his fellow Americans than anyone who might temporarily fill his shoes is cringeworthy. To understand what Mr. Brevoort means by the “common man,” one must first view his comment within the context of his own openly-leftist politics.

Ronald Reagan may have put it best during a 1978 radio address to the American people in regards to elitists’ references to the “common man.”:

“I wonder, though, about the people in those cars, who they are, what they do, what they’re thinking about as they head for the warmth of home and family. Come to think of it I’ve met them oh, maybe not those particular individuals but still I feel I know them. Some social planners refer to them as the masses which only proves they don’t know them. I’ve been privileged to meet people all over this land in the special kind of way you meet them when you’re campaigning.They are not the masses or as the elitists would have it the common man. They’re very uncommon. Individuals each with his or her own hopes and dreams, plans and problems and the kind of quiet courage that makes this whole country run better than just about any other place on earth.”

A character like Steve Rogers, who would have experienced the horrors of Nazi Germany up close and personal — who would have lived in a time when black men had significantly less rights than they do in 2014 — would certainly empathize with any grouping that racial bean counters or “social justice warriors” could come up with. A man like Steve Rogers, who we’re told has gone to all corners of the earth to fight tyranny and injustice and pure evil — heck, all corners of the universe — would most-certainly have empathy for all Americans that is equal to or greater than the man who borrows his shield.

Steve Rogers, however, has one thing that he can’t overcome in the mind of Tom Brevoort: he is a blonde-haired blue-eyed white man. It doesn’t matter if he’s fought for freedom and liberty all around the globe, or traveled the stars to save the entire planet — his empathy for the “common man” is always up for debate. In Mr. Brevoort’s world, a social worker in 2014 probably has more empathy for how “social structure” affects a community than the soldier who saw the death and destruction caused by the “social structure” that created Nazi Germany.

Marvel fans can be proud of the fact that Sam Wilson will officially be Captain America for an extended period of time, but they should shake their heads in disappointment that a guy like Tom Brevoort represents the company.

 

Marvel turns Thor into She-Thor, fails at Jedi mind trick to convince fans otherwise 151

Thor Marvel She-Thor

The brilliant minds at Marvel Comics — the guys who thought it was a stroke of genius to turn Doctor “I just tried to kill six billion people” Octopus into Spider-Man for over a year — are back again, and this time they’re turning Thor into a woman. Only they’re insisting that they’re not creating a “She-Thor.”

The politically correct company once known for great comic books writes:

Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

These are not the Thors you’re looking Thor.

Sad. Pathetic. The most hilarious part are the fans saying, “But you haven’t read it yet!” — as if Marvel’s attempt to shoehorn politically correct mush down readers’ throats isn’t enough to warrant any kind of negative feedback.

Just as many fans would not have minded having Doctor Octopus swinging around New York City with spider-powers — provided Peter Parker wasn’t killed to make it happen — many fans are not opposed to a Norse goddess flying around earth — provided that the Thor they’ve always known and loved isn’t unnecessarily tinkered with to make that happen.

What’s next on Marvel’s list? Perhaps Bruce Banner has always been transgender. Maybe Reed Richards has always felt like a woman and he should start using his powers to mold his body in ways that better represent his (her?) true self. Where does it end? For the sake of “diversity” Marvel can come up with any hair-brained idea and then demonize its own fans who say, “Wow, that’s really dumb.”

If Marvel wants more strong female characters, then it should hire writers who can invent them. No one cares about that. Fans do care, however, when writers take a character who is a man and arbitrarily fill his role with a woman.

The problem Marvel has is that it wants diversity for the sake of diversity, but it’s not willing to do the hard work it takes to bring memorable characters into existence. It takes some serious brain power to come up with a break-out superhero that will capture the hearts and minds of generations of readers. There must be many misses with new characters before there is a hit. Marvel’s solution in this case: just make Thor a woman. Either it’s a temporary stunt or it is a real attempt at injecting a new strong female character into the Marvel Universe by using a cheap short cut. And if it is a stunt, why should Marvel get to hoist itself upon the moral pedestal of Gender Righteousness to begin with?

The odds of this idea working out as the new status quo are probably not very good, since Marvel is trying to head off the “She-Thor” label before it begins. Unfortunately, “She-Thor” is already here.

I’m looking forward to Marvel’s next attempt at creating a more gender-diverse field of superheros — Tony Stark will become “Toni” Stark because there aren’t enough female CEOs in the Marvel Universe.

 

 

The VA is failing Joe Geoghagan — and so are we. No veteran should ever feel trapped in a ‘pit’ 10

Joe Geoghagan

Navy Veteran Joe Geoghagan needed help, and the Alabama VA failed him. For reasons I won’t detail here, I will now admit that I failed him as well — and I feel horrible. Hopefully, by telling his story it will slightly ease the pain of a man who has already suffered far too much, and perhaps shed some light on just how woefully deficient we as a nation are in taking care of the men and women who risk it all so that we might live in a safer world.

Joe enlisted in the Navy in 2003 and was honorably discharged almost five years later. During that time he deployed two times to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. When he returned home he started suffering symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression, which was followed years later by perpetual nausea.

The Alabama VA couldn’t figure out what was going on with Joe, so it came up with a solution: Cut hole in his stomach, stick a tube in him, give him some Boost shakes five times a day and hope for the best. Then, not long afterward, he got a letter in the mail saying his mysterious stomach illness was not the result of his military service and that he would be having a portion of his benefits cut.

Why does it not surprise me that the same U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that denied 80 percent of disability claims filed by Gulf War veterans (citing “inadequate and insufficient evidence” to indicate that the cancers, chronic fatigue and migraines they suffer from are service-related) would pull that same sort of stunt with Mr. Geoghagan?

Luckily, local media outlets and Sen. Jeff Sessions put pressure on the Birmingham VA Medical Center and Joe was admitted back into the hospital for further testing on Monday, July 14. Joe had to endure seven long months of constant vomiting, a drop in weight from 267 pounds to 130 pounds, and unspeakable mental and physical distress — but at least he’s one step closer to finding out what’s wrong with him. The funny thing is, after Sen. Sessions’ office began looking into the matter, the VA temporarily granted Joe total disability. He will now receive $2,859 a month to cover his medical needs instead of $577. Amazing how that works, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for the VA’s side of the story, here’s what Birmingham VA Chief of Staff Dr. Bill Harper told a local station: “We have a cadre of people that are very happy, and we have a cadre of people who aren’t so happy.” He added that because the Medicare website on hospital comparison put The Birmingham VA “equal to and/or above average in three areas — treatment of heart attacks, pneumonia and surgical care,” it’s a clear indicator that the quality of care veterans are receiving is sufficient. “I would put [Alabama's VA care] up against anyone else in the country and the proof is in the pudding,” he added. Perhaps Dr. Harper should have said “the proof is in the Boost shake.” Or maybe not, since that would remind people of how Joe has been treated.

Question: Is the Alabama VA a model of for veterans health care everywhere, or are they just like the VA personnel operating out of Philadelphia — cooking the books, retaliating against whistleblowers and attempting to bug congressional investigators?

ABC reported Tuesday:

The committee investigators were directed to a workspace at the regional office which was outfitted with cameras and microphones. Upon discovering they were being monitored, the aides requested to be moved.

“Am I surprised? No, I’m shocked,” [House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)] said. “The VA may ignore everybody, but I stress you will not ignore this committee anymore.”

The Under Secretary for Benefits apologized to the committee, clearly embarrassed.

Despicable. How many “Joes” in Pennsylvania are there that we never hear about?

Here is what Joe told the Daily Mountain Eagle July 4:

Feeling despondent and being heavily medicated for depression, he attempted suicide last year.

“Though I’m not suicidal now, I can safely tell you that the disparity and hopelessness I feel on the inside has not changed,” Geoghagan said.

Although he is still determined to fight, he has made peace with the fact that he may not win this battle.

“I feel like I’m in a pit, looking up at this little speck of light where I fell in,” Geoghagan explained. “It’s so defeating to look at because you know you cannot reach it, no matter what you do. That light is my health and future.”

No veteran should ever have to feel like he is hopelessly stranded in a a pit. No veteran should ever be placed in a situation where suicide seems like the only option capable of easing his pain. It is culturally criminal for the individuals who send men and women off to war to allow a system to exist that would foster this level of despair upon their return home.

Right now I feel as though I could have made that speck of light just a bit bigger for Joe, but like I said — I failed him. Hopefully this blog post will telegraph just how much complete strangers care for his physical and mental well being. Hopefully, it will lift his spirits to know that others will read this and possibly share it with their friends, family and loved ones.

If you’re able to help Joe out, there is a Go Fund Me account seeking to raise $10,000 for his medical expenses. And if you meet a veteran, make it a point to be a speck of light in their life because you may just be the only one they see.

 

Feminist ‘clump of cells’ who works at Burger King forgets that we’re ‘all the same inside’ 44

Created Equal abortion debate

Burger King recently started a limited-market promotion of the Proud Whopper, which included the underlying message “We’re all the same inside.” It was supposed to be a show of support for San Francisco’s gay community, but it could also serve as Burger King’s stealth pro-life campaign. Since Burger King employee Victoria Duran of Columbus, Ohio seems to think that the unborn are just a “clump of cells,” the Proud Burger message can teach her that we’re all just bigger “clumps of cells.”

Ms. Duran is composed of many more cells than an unborn child, but no one is advocating that we kill her. It seems odd that she would a.) discriminate against someone with less cells than she, and b.) resort to assault and battery on the streets of Columbus because other clumps of cells are exercising their First Amendment rights.

Abortion debate created equal

 

Created Equal films captured it all on tape.

As Hotair’s Ed Morrisey observes, “It’s amusing in one respect to see someone so passionately engaged in exposing her ignorance of human biology while attempting to lecture someone else about it, as well as her ignorance on basic American civics.”

As humorous as it is, it’s also rather frightening. While Ms. Duran ultimately has little power to strip social conservatives of their rights, there are plenty of “Durans” out there who would love to see that happen. Sometimes they expose themselves (literally) in places like Argentina when they assault Catholic men, or sometimes such bigotry rears its head when guys like Marvel Comics writer Dan Slott tells Hobby Lobby and its Christian supporters they should go to “Christ-land.”

Let us revisit Ms. Duran’s actual speech. While it is hardly eloquent, the intellectual DNA is similar among “clumps of cells” who categorize themselves as liberal.

“This is absolute lying there, fucking dipship. That is not what a fetus looks like, okay? It’s a clump of cells at twelve weeks. It does not look like that. It’s a clump of mother fucking cells. No hands are shown at that time. You so white privilege racist fucking male that doesn’t stand for women’s rights. Get the fuck out of her, fucking dipshit. And get that camera out of my face, either. Fuckwit! … Fuck you. Fuckwit. You are fucking white male privilege assholes. What you are is a racist motherfucker as well. How dare you fucking do this kind of shit, asshole. … You fucking sexist misogynist motherfuckers. That is all you are! You don’t give a shit about women! You don’t give a shit about life! All you are is a bunch of assholes. All you are a bunch … No uterus, no right to talk about it! Understand me, motherfucker? … Your signs deserve to get fucked up!

The thought police are out in full force. Race? Class? Gender? It’s all there. “Privileged…white…males” only have free speech until that speech upsets women like Ms. Duran. Then it’s gone. Regardless, it seems odd that Ms. Duran would accuse a young man from Created Equal of being racist, when it is women like Ms. Duran that have arguably cheered on black genocide via abortion for decades.

What if science told us that certain DNA sequences are likely to result in a gay or lesbian child? Would Ms. Duran support abortion then? Does she support forced abortions in China? Burger King’s motto used to be “Your way, right away,” but in Ms. Duran’s world it’s “My way, right away. Understand me, punk?”

We used to live by the old saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today, a bunch of totalitarian thug wannabes don’t even give the phrase lip service — they just get in your face, destroy your property and threaten you with violence.

At the end of the day, it is not the Victoria Durans of the world who are the most dangerous to society as a whole. Instead, we must primarily concern ourselves with influential individuals sowing seeds of hate into the fertile minds of the young. Her consciousness is filled with weeds, but it is the farmer who planted them there that we should be concerned about.

And with that, I will leave you with this: Even The Burger King Kids Club was once just a “clump of cartoon cells.”

P680/0112

Update:

Just in case there are any Ms. Durans who want to take part in the comments section, I have some hard science for you.

Five weeks after conception, the embryo first begins to assume features of human appearance. The face is recognizable, with the formation of discernible eyes, nose, and ears. Limbs emerge from protruding buds; digits, cartilage, and muscles develop. The cerebral hemispheres begin to fill the brain area, and the optic stalk becomes apparent. Nerve connections are established between the retina and the brain. The digestive tract rotates from its prior tubular structure, and the liver starts to produce blood cells and bile. Two tubes emerge from the pharynx to become bronchi, and the lungs have lobes and bronchioles. The heart is beating at 5 weeks and is almost completely developed by 8 weeks after conception. The diaphragm begins to divide the heart and lungs from the abdominal cavity. The kidneys approach their final form at this time. The urogenital and rectal passages separate, and germ cells migrate toward the genital ridges for future transformation into ovaries or testes. Differentiation of internal ducts begins, with persistence of either müllerian or wolffian ducts. Virilization of external genitalia occurs in male embryos. The embryo increases from about 6 to 33 mm in length and increases 50 times in weight.

Structurally, the fetus has become straighter, and the tubular neural canal along which the spinal cord develops becomes filled with nerve cells. Ears remain low on the sides of the head. Teeth are forming, and the two bony plates of the palate fuse in the midline. Disruptions during the latter part of the embryonic period lead to various forms of cleft lip and palate. By 10 weeks after the last menstrual period, all major organ systems have become established and integrated,” (Gabbe Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th Ed. Copyright 2012 Saunders/Elsevier. Chapter 8: Drugs and Environmental Agents in Pregnancy and Lactation: Embryology, Tetratology, Epidemiology).

Update II:

It looks like I wasn’t too far off with my observation about the intellectual DNA of Ms. Durnan. From the Tumblr account “Pro-choice or No Voice” comes this gem: “I always look at these ‘pro-choicer assaults pro-lifer’ videos hoping to see some smug little shit get socked in the face…”

You have it first hand from the source, folks. That’s the “tolerance” of Ms. Duran’s worldview.

Pro Choice Tumblr

Iraq to United Nations: We had chemical weapons and now Islamic State has them — sorry! 51

Last month it was reported that Iraqi chemical weapons had fallen in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) hands. Now, a letter by Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirms the seriousness of the situation.

Reuters reported Wednesday:

Iraq’s government has lost control of a former chemical weapons facility to “armed terrorist groups” and is unable to fulfill its international obligations to destroy toxins kept there, the country’s U.N. envoy told the United Nations.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, made public on Tuesday, Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said the Muthanna facility north of Baghdad was seized on June 11. He said remnants of a former chemical weapons program are kept in two bunkers there.

“The project management spotted at dawn on Thursday, 12 June 2014, through the camera surveillance system, the looting of some of the project equipment and appliances, before the terrorists disabled the surveillance system,” Alhakim wrote in the letter dated June 30. …

“The Government of Iraq requests the States Members of the United Nations to understand the current inability of Iraq, owing to the deterioration of the security situation, to fulfill its obligations to destroy chemical weapons,” he said.

Translation: “Oops-e-doodle!”

In June, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that it was “not likely” that the weapons would be used on anyone. How reassuring.

Given this latest news, it might be a good time for a flashback to January, 2014. You might remember a the moment in time where President Obama referred to ISIL as a “J.V. team” who were wannabe Kobe Bryants. (Note: flippantly referring to Islamic jihadists with sports analogies apparently proves to reporters and young voters that you are cool.)

The New Yorker’s David Remnick reported in January:

I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.

“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,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “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.

“Let’s just keep in mind, Falluja is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”

It turns out the “J.V.” team now controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq. Would the president still say his analogy was “accurate”? It also turns out that the “horrible actions” taking place in Syria and Iraq are exactly what the president didn’t want us to think — the work of an Islamic ideology that is a direct threat to the United States.

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi

Fact: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi told American troops in 2009 “I’ll see you in New York.”

Fact: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is now the “caliph” of Islamic State, a terrorist Army with weapons, funding, new recruits flocking to the region, and a scary-saavy understanding of social media platforms.

Add to this that Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri — the terrorist engineer behind the underwear bomb that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab used to try and bring down a Detroit airliner on Christmas, 2009 — and you’ve got a serious national security situation.

So George W. Bush is an idiot because there were no chemical weapons in Iraq — except that there is, by the admission of the Iraqi government to the United Nations. We now have a groveling letter to the international community asking countries to “understand” that Iraqi officials didn’t want to let those toxins get into the hands of terrorists, but that the “J.V.” team Obama laughed at wasn’t really a J.V. team. They were really hard-core Islamic radicals intent on creating a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

Here’s something else to chew on: the CDC freaked out on Tuesday because of six forgotten vials of smallpox at a Maryland lab, but yet terrorists steal two bunkers filled with chemical weapons in Iraq and George W. Bush is still a liar. (How does one forget that he has vials of smallpox in his possession?)

Reuters reported on the vials of smallpox on Tuesday:

Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm said the discovery of abandoned vials of smallpox is a reminder to labs globally to take stock of what is in their freezers.

Although there have been concerns smallpox could be used in bioterrorism, the CDC says the chances of that occurring are very low. Currently, the government has a stockpile containing enough vaccine for every U.S. citizen.

The bigger threat, Osterholm said, is that these vials could have fallen into the hands of someone who would convert them into an aerosolized form and use them as a bioterror weapon.

“That could be a disaster,” he said.

Apparently the standard for finding chemical weapons in Iraq isn’t a handful of vials or even bunkers filled with chemical weapons, but a large castle with a neon glowing sign that says in Arabic and English “Chemical Weapons Found Here!” where Iraqi soldiers in Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP gear) roll around in chemical weapons like Scrooge McDuck rolls around in money.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing reporters grill the president on his “accurate” assessment that ISIL is just a “local” group of Sunni malcontents with no long term plans to attack Americans or American interests around the globe. Or not, because Mr. Obama was sold as the world’s most intelligent man and now media personalities are invested in saving their last remaining bits of credibility.

 

An added bonus to D’Souza’s ‘America’: Biased movie critics exposed again 15

America Rotten TomatoesDinesh D’Souza of ’2016: Obama’s America’ fame is back with his second attempt at Hollywood film making with ‘America: Imagine a World Without Her.’ The reaction by critics proves once again why more conservatives should be writing books, making films and generally getting involved in as many creative endeavors as possible. ‘America’ is a mixed bag — I have plenty of gripes about it — but no fair-minded critic can look at the 13 percent “rotten” splat on Rotten Tomatoes and say that it’s an accurate reflection of the movie’s quality. When one compares the critical reaction to a Michael Moore film with the feedback D’Souza’s efforts have received, the bias becomes even more hilarious.

Fahrenheit 911 Rotten TomatoesA quick perusal of the reviews yields a predictable pattern of sentiments:

  • Stanley Kauffmann reviews Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 for The New Republic in 2004: “Sometimes slipshod in its making and juvenile in its travesty, and of course it has no interest in overall fairness to Bush. But it vents an anger about this presidency that, as the film’s ardent reception shows, seethes in very many of us.” Conclusion: Fresh.
  • David Ehrlich reviews D’Souza’s ‘America’ for AV Club in 2014: “Graced with a hilariously definitive title, America is astonishingly facile, a film comprised entirely of straw man arguments.” Conclusion: Rotten.
  • Kevin Carr reviews D’Souza’s ‘Obama’s America: 2016′ for 7M Pictures in 2012: “D’Souza never actually shows [the president's anti-colonial views] with Obama’s own words or deeds. Instead, he engages in guilt by association.” Conclusion: Rotten.
  • Andrew Sarris reviews Moore’s ‘Sicko’ for the New York Observer in 2012: “One may quibble with Mr. Moore’s anecdotal oversimplifications and his xenophilic fantasies, but he has struck a socio-psychic nerve in the body politic, generating a feeling of outrage that seems to be reverberating in every theater.” Conclusion: Fresh.

Obama America 2016 DSouzaIn the case of Mr. Carr, readers are treated to an outright lie. The truth is that Mr. D’Souza quoted President Obama on numerous occasions throughout the movie. If I’m not mistaken (it’s been awhile), he even used the audio from “Dreams From My Father” to give certain scenes more weight. With most other critics, you simply have hypocrisy; Moore’s simplifications are excused because he’s tapping into feelings of national “outrage”; Moore’s “juvenile” tactics are forgiven because he’s in tune with “anger” that “seethes” in “very many of us” over the president’s actions.

Mr. Ehrlich’s “straw man” assertion is perhaps the most humorous of the bunch, given that D’Souza lets liberal academics make their own arguments against America’s greatness for the first 30 minutes of the movie. Only after they state their case does he respond. Unlike Michael Moore, Mr. D’Souza actually took the time to set up interviews with men like Noam Chomsky, Michael Eric Dyson, Ward Churchill and others. There were no ambushes. Mr. D’Souza asked questions, and guys like Churchill went on to call America the new “evil empire” that may, under the right circumstances, need to have an atomic bomb dropped on its population. That isn’t D’Souza making a “straw-man” argumentit is a hard-core liberal saying what he actually believes.

Does the movie version of D’Souza’s ‘America’ have problems? Yes. One particular fault is a cartoonish portrayal of Hillary Clinton towards the end that, quite frankly, cheapens the movie. The scene comes off as weird and conspiratorial.

Should viewers know about Mrs. Clinton’s college thesis on Saul Alinsky, “There is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model”? Sure. But it seems shoe-horned into the movie and its execution (i.e., a recreation of Mrs. Clinton’s first meeting with the “Rules for Radicals” author in her Methodist church in Chicago) is bizarre.

Fair critics can see where ‘America’ hits (e.g., D’Souza smartly gives America’s most ardent critics plenty of screen time in his movie) and where it misses (e.g., briefly alluding to his own legal issues with the Department of Justice, which will leave less politically aware moviegoers incredibly confused). The problem is that there aren’t many fair critics out there.

In the end I’m happy that ‘America’ exists, because many more people will see the movie than read the book. Most of the movie is extremely positive and includes bits of history that your Ward Churchillian college professor never told you about. However, the book (as is usually the case) is much better than the movie. While the movie has its flaws, I still hope that enough people see it to warrant future installments by Mr. D’Souza and other conservative filmmakers.

Related: D’Souza’s ‘America’ reminds us: As free men ‘we must live through all time, or die by suicide’

Related: 2016: Obama’s America: D’Souza strikes a nerve

Marvel’s Dan Slott stretches his bigotry muscles, tells Christians to build companies in ‘Christ-land’ 193

Members of the comic industry recently got a little testy when Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche went to the Wall Street Journal about a bias against conservative creators in the industry. Marvel’s Tom Brevoort quickly assured everyone that no “blacklist” exists at Marvel (Can you name one openly conservative writer who is employed there?), and then surmised that it wasn’t conservatives that editors have a problem with, but certain kinds of “behavior” **cough** that might translate into not getting employment.

Sure, no “blacklist” exists, as long as you don’t consider Amazing Spider-Man writer telling Christians to move to “Christ-land” as evidence that maybe — just maybe — Marvel isn’t too friendly towards guys like Messrs. Dixon and and Rivoche.

Here is Dan Slott’s response to the SCOTUS ruling on the Hobby Lobby case.

 

Dan Slott Christians

Imagine if I found out that my local pool was going to have very specific “women-only” hours for Muslim women, who don’t want to be seen by men outside their immediate family. We’ll use Seattle as an example:

Seema is from Pakistan. Sahra is from Somalia. Both are Muslim. They say having a women-only swim program allows them to get some exercise while observing their religious customs. Seema says their religion requires them to cover in front of men. “We don’t cover our heads in front of our husbands, our dads, brothers,” she says. “But when we go outside we’re supposed to cover for woman’s modesty.”

What if I pulled a Dan Slott-like move, stretched my bigotry muscles, and told Muslim women: “This is America. Go find pools in ‘Muslim Land.’” I’m pretty sure my employer would fire me.

And then there’s this gem:

Dan Slott Hobby LobbyThe thing with Hobby Lobby and other small religious businesses is that they took their grievance to court — and won. They followed the rule of law and the highest court in the land agreed with them. That is not an “asshole” move, but yet Dan Slott likens Christians to “conquistadors” and “assholes.” It’s incredibly mean, but also cartoonish; it’s reminiscent of the 1992′s Office Space, where the character Peter Gibbons says “You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear.”

Speaking of the Jewish faith, it’s now well-known that Dan Slott is very protective of his ancestry (just don’t mention that his own characters get taken to task by Bleeding Cool for engaging in “Nazi-like experimentation”). How would the Marvel scribe react if someone went full-Dan Slott on Jewish people like he does on Christians and Americans who are strong advocates of the Second Amendment?

Here we see another example of Dan Slott’s intolerance:

 

Dan Slott guns

Hube over at Colossus of Rhodey made a good point shortly after the tweet went live: How would Dan Slott react to someone who tweeted him in a New York Jewish accent about money?

 

Dan Slott Amazing Spider Man

The tweet was deleted — down the Memory Hole — Dan Slott’s go-to move when he gets caught saying things that reflect poorly on his employer. It’s a good thing the Internet is forever.

If you are a fan of Marvel comics who just so happens to be a Christian, a Second Amendment advocate or simply someone who just doesn’t like seeing bigotry broadcasted via social media, you should probably think twice about buying products put out by Dan Slott. You might want to also consider contacting Marvel. It doesn’t have many standards these days, but there are a few that are hanging by a thread.

Dan Slott MarvelSlow clap for Dan Slott. He’s the guy you want to find when you want tweets infused with anti-Christian bigotry, or Marvel comics that are consistently trying to see how low the bar can go.

Update: Dan Slott continues to read this little old blog and attack it from afar because, as we all know, it’s much safer to allow Twitter groupies to massage your ego than to actually defend the indefensible.

Question for Dan Slott: If I just had a beef with a few Jews over a religious issue with political implications, and I told them to go to “Jew-land,” how would you respond? How would my employer respond? That’s right — you’d go ballistic. And then my employer would fire me. But you get to tell a bunch of Christians to go to “Christ-land” without consequences. Hypocrite.

Dan Slott Hobby Lobby tweetUpdate II: Marvel’s Tom Brevoort has weighed in. No response to the question “If Chuck Dixon told Dan Slott to go to ‘Jew-land’ over a religious gripe, would he still get work?” Telling.

Tom Brevoort MarvelMarvel Hobby LobbySomeone else brought up similar sentiments about Marvel’s creators over at the New Brevoort Formspring. It turns out that Mr. Brevoort really does embrace the the strange business model “needlessly alienate potential customers” to grow the company.

New Brevoort Formspring

 

Poland’s Sikorski takes heat for calling the U.S. a ‘worthless’ ally in 2014 (i.e., basically telling the truth) 12

Poland Kerry AP

A liberal friend recently asked me about Iraq’s implosion, as well as comments by Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about America: 2014′s “worthless” ally.

My response via gmail June 24:

Poland knows that it does not have a reliable ally in the United States these days. It is under no illusion. They’re still smarting from president Obama’s NEW Start Treaty. He threw them under the bus pretty darn quick, so it’s no surprise they’re annoyed. Then our Polish friends had to watch as Crimea was gobbled up by Putin…and now eastern Ukraine while the U.S. just sort of mumbles “diplomacy…durrrm…durrrm..Putin…consequences…durrrm.” If I were Polish I’d be pretty livid with America right about now. They’ve been great friends to us and they’ve been dumped on quite handily since 2008.

While it is sad that Iraq didn’t have a George Washington to step up to the plate when the nation needed it, and much of the blame for losing the gains made during the surge does fall on them, the president also bears a huge chunk of responsibility. My most recent blog entries cover the reasons why and I’d be happy to talk about them at length in the comments section. We left troops in Germany, Japan, South Korea … but then yanked the rug out from Iraq. We gave them a bunch of weapons (that ISIL is now running around with) and said, “Good luck!” Probably not the best move.

Here is the key takeaway from his response June 26:

Your tantric screed is nothing less than misbegotten hindsight and nothing more than some failed pundit’s speculation. How disappointing. I cite here one of Santayana’s lesser remembered utterances: “Only the dead have seen the end of the war.”

As I’ve said before, the liberal obsession with playing Professor X with me never ends. Deep down I feel “powerless,” so I write an incendiary blog geared towards “career advancement,” which is really just a Hail Mary pass to make up for being a “failed pundit.” Genius!

As chance would have it, a new piece by Foreign Policy magazine showed up in my Facebook feed today.

Kori Schake (no doubt another “failed pundit”) writes:

The Obama administration has achieved a landmark heretofore considered impossible: they are making America’s allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush. This week, news broke that Poland’s foreign minister was caught on tape earlier this year disparaging the United States. Radek Sikorski bitterly said Warsaw’s ties to Washington were “worthless,” …  The indiscretion will probably cost Sikorski his prospects for the job of EU foreign policy chief. But he’s not wrong about America. The United States has become an exasperating ally, and even countries that are inclined to support us are hedging against because of the Obama administration’s conduct. Neither our threats nor our assurances are believed. …

The president’s supreme indifference is among the foremost complaints of our friends; they no longer believe we care enough to help solve their problems. That was the heart of Sikorski’s complaint: that the United States was doing nothing about Russia’s growing threat, was in thrall to the idea of a pivot to Asia at the expense of long-time allies in Europe, and was leaving those countries that support American policies the most exposed. …

President Obama fundamentally misunderstands the nature of alliance relationships. He believes that weak, poor, war-torn societies emerging from repressive governments should be judged by the same standard as we are — that they should make brave choices and expansive political compromises. But that is not the nature of frightened people in dire circumstances: they go small, not big. Their societies are characterized by a lack of social trust and institutional constraint. If we want outcomes of brave choices and expansive political compromises, we need to stand by and steady the people making these decisions. We need to strengthen them with our involvement and help build a leadership capable of making tough choices. The administration instead threatens allies with abandonment: choose fast, because we are leaving. And the Obama White House completely misses the irony of this brittle president who can’t broker congressional deals but proselytizes about inclusive government.

Boom. Read the entire piece if you get a chance. It’s excellent.

The Obama administration has had no coherent foreign policy, unless by “foreign policy” you mean telling West Pointers they’ll be officers in the fight against Global Warming.

The U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt — except when it doesn’t. The U.S. will bomb Libya under Muammar Gaddafi for “humanitarian” reasons (a few thousand people died), but generally sit on its hands as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad oversees the death of over 150,000 individuals (just kill them with bullets, bombs and chlorine gas and no one will mind, Bashar).

I’ll let Ms. Schake take it away on Afghanistan:

So when the president says “Afghanistan is a sovereign country that is going to have to deal with its own security,” countries around the world hear the limits of our interest. All the more so when the White House hinted that another mangled election in Afghanistan would be cause for America to pull its troops from the country; then, when the election was held with a minimum of violence and fraud, he used it as the reason we could draw troops down further and faster than military commanders recommended. Countries reliant on U.S. power understand that they’re being played. It is a luxury of the strong to be ignorant — but weak states can’t afford to trust us when we’re this unreliable.

President Obama isn’t a statesmen — he’s a run-of-the-mill politician who was great at selling himself as the guy who would reverse the rise of the oceans. “Leading from behind” was supposed to garner us respect and yield diplomatic dividends. The verdict: Our allies call us “worthless,” and the the world has Islamic radicals calling a giant region of the Middle East under its control a new caliphate.

It never ends: Thought police say Apache, Chinook helicopters just as bad as NFL’s Redskins 14

apache-boeing

You can not be surprised when sharks come after dropping chum in the water and you can not be surprised when the world’s perpetually-offended pundit class screeches louder after each time society acquiesces to its demands. Now that they know the federal government will use its limited time, money, and resources to go after NFL football teams (yes, that’s right, a sports organization), professional whiners see an opportunity to get rid of another great “injustice” — the Apache helicopter and every other military vehicle with a Native American name.

Simon Waxman writes in his Washington Post op-ed:

Even if the NFL and Redskins brass come to their senses and rename the team, a greater symbolic injustice would continue to afflict Indians — an injustice perpetuated not by a football club but by our federal government. …

In the United States today, the names Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa apply not only to Indian tribes but also to military helicopters. …

Why do we name our battles and weapons after people we have vanquished? For the same reason the Washington team is the Redskins and my hometown Red Sox go to Cleveland to play the Indians and to Atlanta to play the Braves: because the myth of the worthy native adversary is more palatable than the reality — the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned. …

If the native tribes did not stand a chance, this does not imply lack of resistance or of courage; regardless, it doesn’t much matter in this context. Whatever courage they had, the U.S. military is not heir to it. If honor matters to the members of our armed forces, they will agree.

It’s hard to know where to begin with such a convoluted mess. Were the Hopi and Pueblo Indians “victims” who were “cheated” and possibly “out-gunned” by the Apache and the Comanche? Were the Sioux the “victims” of the Cheyenne? What about the Indian tribes that fell victim to the Aztecs and the Incas? Say what you want about those European “cheaters,” but they didn’t offer their victims up for human sacrifice and eat them with a chimichurri sauce like the Aztecs. Or was it a molé sauce because they were in Mexico?

Why was it perfectly okay for the Indians to slaughter each other and take away land by force, but when Europeans came along and did the same thing it was somehow deemed “cheating”? Instead of looking at history as it really is — bloody — Mr. Waxman pretends that all Native Americans did was gather nuts and berries and live happily ever after until those evil Europeans came along and wrecked the good thing they had going. That story is so much more comforting than the tale of the temple priest who passes out from exhaustion after stabbing his human victims for hours on end, so Waxman goes with what makes him feel good at night.

What truly makes the piece classic is Mr. Waxman’s emotional appeal — if honor matters to the members of our armed forces they’ll agree with him. Obviously they don’t, so we must conclude that Mr. Waxman does not believe members of our armed forces have any honor. What can be more hilarious than a Noam Chomsky-loving academic telling soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that they don’t have honor? Not much.

TWT Apache

My piece for The Washington Times.

With that said, we must pause to note what he’s doing because it speaks to a telling difference between a conservative and a liberal. A conservative thinks Mr. Waxman is just incredibly naive while the liberal thinks that if you disagree with him you have no honor. You are a bad person. You are History’s giver of great symbolic injustices and must be personally and professionally destroyed.

I covered this in my post “How to deal with liberal trolls who hate our military and use gay slurs as personal attacks,” but I’ll say it again: the far left does not like U.S. military personnel. Whenever I say that critics complain, “You’re generalizing!”, to which I say, “That’s because it’s generally true.”

Whether it’s the liberal troll who calls himself “Doug’s Dick Vacuum” (whatever the heck that means) while sharing articles titled “Thanks, I won’t support the troops,” or guys like Mr. Waxman, the truth is self-evident — generally, leftists do not like our military men and women but they were forced to put on a charade after the whole “let’s spit on veterans” thing blew up in their faces after Vietnam. Mr. Waxman can’t spit on veterans these days without getting his teeth knocked out, but he can write Washington Post op-eds that charge the vast majority of the military with having no honor.

As the Redskins name controversy takes twists and turns in the months and years ahead, just remember that it will not end with the Washington Redskins. For the thought police, there is an infinite amount of ideas to control.

Drudge hit for my piece for The Washington Times.

Drudge hits are always nice. Here’s my piece for The Washington Times.