Bengahzi! Well, that is all just a Political Farce

On Truthdig,  Juan Cole gets a good scoop on Bengahzi.

Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, declared on Thursday that the US military did all it could during the chaotic two days of September 11-12, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya and that his own investigation of the US response to the violence of that day is over.

There are several other GOP investigations of Benghazi on-going, as the party attempts vainly to keep the issue alive so as to use it against the Democrats.

What I can’t understand is if the GOP is so concerned about Benghazi and Libya as a security threat to the US, why aren’t they voting more aid for Libya and more help to establish a new Libyan army loyal to the elected government? If they believe Benghazi is al-Qaeda territory, why aren’t they eager to cooperate with the GNC to push it back? They are only interested in 12 hours of postrevolutionary Libya, the hours where they think they can make political hay in the US.


Demonstrations in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the Muslim world were provoked by a fake “film” made by the Muslim-hating network in the US, with which some Egyptian Coptic Christians are allied. The Copts involved tried repeatedly to get the “film” shown on Egyptian t.v. (it was made with a different dialogue with actors who had no idea what they were in, then dubbed with shocking hate speech against Islam and its holy figures). The Muslim-haters succeeding in having clips aired by fundamentalist Muslim channels, which provoked anti-US demonstrations and attacks at US embassies, in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. In Libya, the demonstrations were used as a cover by a terrorist cell, which fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the temporary US consulate, catching it on fire and causing Ambassador Chris Stevens to die of smoke inhalation.


So in reality, it was not a terror attack, but a massive overreaction to a person who wanted defame Islam.  This is a normal behavior in certain Islamic country where the groups overreacts to perceived threats to its religion. In reality, I believe these “terror attacks” are really used to control local populace in subjugation to the local religious authorities.  The religious authorities use these incidents are methods to stir up the local population to blame an external threat to the faith than rather focus on internal matters which would force the religious leaders to take an inventory of their own oppressive behaviors.


April 13, 2014 at 5:52 am Leave a comment

Mike Huccabee Needs An Head Examination

More proof that the conservative movement especially Mike Huckabee is moving towards the fringes.

Fox News personality and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who appeared at a New Hampshire event(#NHFreedomSummit), is quoted as saying: “I am beginning to think there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,” citing TSA patdowns. Um, really?

Since he knows so much about North Korea, he should move there. The fact is, Mike Huckabee owes every American an apology for such inflammatory rhetoric.

Huckabee: “I’m beginning to think theres more freedom in North korea sometimes than there is in the United States.” Cites TSA patdowns.

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 12, 2014

Mike Huckabee has steadily been escalating into more extreme rhetoric over the years, used to have opposite reputation

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 12, 2014

Twitter exploded over Mike Huckabee’s North Korea comment:

Moron. MT @kronayne: Huckabee: “My gosh I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the US.”

— AG (@AG_Conservative) April 12, 2014

Dear Mike Huckabee: no, there’s not more freedom in North Korea than America

— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) April 12, 2014

Mike Huckabee should visit North Korea. He apparently has no clue how horribly bad it is compared to this country.

— Ken Gardner (@kesgardner) April 12, 2014

Huckabee: “I’m beginning to think theres more freedom in North korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”

— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) April 12, 2014

The guy leading many 2016 primary polls — Mike Huckabee — just compared airport security to North Korea. #nhpolitics #fitn

— Ian Sams (@IanSams) April 12, 2014

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

April 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

When the French clock off at 6pm, they really mean it

People in the US wish that they could do this. From the Guardian

“Just in case you weren’t jealous enough of the French already, what with their effortless style, lovely accents and collective will to calorie control, they have now just made it illegal to work after 6pm.

Well, sort of. Après noticing that the ability of bosses to invade their employees’ home lives via smartphone at any heure of the day or night was enabling real work hours to extend further and further beyond the 35-hour week the country famously introduced in 1999, workers’ unions have been fighting back. Now employers’ federations and unions have signed a new, legally binding labour agreement that will require staff to switch off their phones after 6pm.

Under the deal, which affects a million employees in the technology and consultancy sectors (including the French arms of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC), employees will also have to resist the temptation to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones – or any other kind of malevolent intrusion into the time they have been nationally mandated to spend on whatever the French call la dolce vita. And companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure to do so. Thus the spirit of the law – and of France – as well as the letter shall be observed.

That’s right. While we poor, pallid, cowering Brits scurry about, increasingly cowed by the threat of recession-based redundancy and government measures that privilege bosses’ and shareholder comfort over workers’ rights, the continentals are clocking off. While we’re staring down the barrel of another late one/extra shift/all-nighter, across the Channel they’re sipping sancerre and contemplating at least the second half of a cinq à sept before going home to enjoy the rest of that lovely “work/133-hours-per-week-of-life” balance.


Do we envy them for the ability to turn off e-mail after 6:00 PM? Or is the US is too much of a competitive society where people refuse turn off their e-mail just because the fear of losing money or getting behind on a project.  I believe the US will never adopt the way of the French because it is just not who were are.


April 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

Despite What You’ve Been Told, It’s Okay To Discuss Salary In A Job

Found this piece of advice in my e-mail box.

“For years we’ve been told not to discuss salary in job interviews. But career expert Mary Ellen Slayter says you can — as long as you do it very carefully and “not before you’re confident that they’re strongly interested in hiring you.”

In fact, she says it’s smart to bring up salary earlier on in the process because it can save you the hassle of going on additional interviews and falling in love with a company that has no chance of being able to afford you.

“The early stages of the interviewing process are really about getting to know each other, trying to see if the role is a good fit,” she says. “Money is part of that fit, of course, and no one wants to waste time going on job interviews with companies that can’t meet their salary expectations.”

But you don’t want to give the employer the wrong idea, either. Never imply that money is your biggest concern, or that salary is what’s motivating you to pursue the job opportunity.

Also, know that if you broach the issue too soon in the “courtship phase” of the job search, you could wind up leaving money on the table, she adds. Wait until the second or third interview to discuss pay — and only do if you’re fairly certain they’re going to offer you the job. 

“When you do bring it up, don’t pin down specifics,” Slayter says. “You want to leave wiggle room for negotiation.” For example, you can ask the interviewer: “Did you have a salary range in mind for this position?”

If you decide to bring up the topic of pay in your next interview, be sure to do your research on websites like Glassdoor and Payscale to figure out what your skills are worth, she concludes.”


April 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm 1 comment

Yes, Rush Limbaugh Is Right, On E-CIGS at Least

So Rush Limbaugh might be right on one topic

RUSH: How many of you people are partaking of these electronic cigarettes? How many of you are using e-cigarettes? It’s an increasing number of people. But, man, the New York Times is just hell-bent on wiping them out — and not just the New York Times. Democrats everywhere are hell-bent on wiping out this product. You would think that they would try to come up with a way to tax it.

They haven’t banned cigarettes. I mean, how many years have they been talking about cigarettes as killer and ruination for our children? But they never ban the product. They still sell it. They’re using tax revenues, sale tax revenue from the sale of tobacco products to fund children’s health care programs. They can’t ban tobacco, but they are hell-bent on getting rid of electronic cigarettes. They’re lying about things in the process of doing it.

There was a story in the Times on March 24th, so three days ago. “Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes — A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.

“These ‘e-liquids,’ the key ingredients in e-cigarettes, are powerful neurotoxins. Tiny amounts, whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures and even be lethal.” For those of you in Rio Linda, that means they can kill you! “A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.” There’s only one problem. There is not one recorded instance of it, because people do not drink it.


Nobody has been caught being killed drinking the stuff. What happens is, you put it in the electronic cigarette. It’s got electronics in there ’cause it’s an electronic cigarette. There’s a battery in it. When you puff on it, or when you draw on it, it heats up the liquid. In the tip of the e-cigarette, there’s a little LED that turns orange

While I squirm when I hear the great El Rushbo on the air, I really get angry when the politicians are trying to ban e-cigs.  Perhaps, we should ban e-cigs from being smoke in certain public place, but they should be allowed to be smoked at bars or other public place.  It is not like e-cigs are going to cause problems with second-hand smoke

The reality is that only person who suffers from the vapes, if any, is the user themselves.  I have not seen any conclusive study that states that second-hand vaping is going to cause any major health risk. I totally understand that vapes do not decrease the chances of quitting cigarettes or it neither decrease the rate of people smoking.

Maybe, it is because I am in recovery where I have developed a strong opinion on smoker’s rights.  Maybe, it is because I want to defend all of the rights of those people who vape at local meetings.

I have no desire to vape, but vaping is a different level of health threat than smoking cigarettes is.  Therefore, our lawmakers should treat it as lower threat than it is actually is.


April 1, 2014 at 1:13 am Leave a comment

One Year

One Year Today! I am really stoked to have one year sober. It takes a lit of work to get one year clean. Hearing all of the beautiful music of the Effect makes this moment even sweeter. While I do not really believe in God, I believe that there is an active higher power that is active in my recovery. I just do grateful to have this moment in my life despite all of the crap in my life

March 26, 2014 at 2:41 am Leave a comment

509 Sentenced to Death. It Is Time to Cut Off Aid To Egypt

The New Egyptian government certainly is a law and order government.  They have zero tolerance for Morsi supporters as demonstrated by the following as reported by the Daily Telegraph

Egypt’s judges have risked new international outrage after handing down the death penalty to 529 people accused of rioting in a mass two-day trial condemned as violating legal norms.
The judge, in the central Egyptian city of Minya, brought the case to a close after just two sessions. Lawyers said he refused to allow the defence to complete their cases.
The sentence, if it were carried out, would be the biggest mass execution from a single case in the recent history of Egypt, or anywhere else in the world.
Legal experts say it is likely to be overturned on appeal, rejected by the Grand Mufti, to whom all death penalties are referred, or commuted by the president – not least because of the international consequences of such an event.
Egypt currently has qualified backing for its so-called “road-map to democracy” from the United States and Britain, despite last year’s overthrow of the country’s elected president, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

That is purely crazy for one government to sentence 529 people to death for participation in demonstration.  Even the Russians do not give massive sentences for participation in a political protest, they just give you a couple years in jail.

Essentially this government wants to wipe out the Muslim Brotherhood and all relics of Islamic rule.  My concern is that this violates the rule of law and is completely against international norms.  Not even China or in some ways, Iran does not do this.

If this was Saudi Arabia, they would have just throw the Muslim Brotherhood in jail for a few years unless they are engaged in direct armed insurgence against the government that resulted in a death of law enforcement official.  Even in my home state (California), an act that resulted in direct armed insurgence against the government that resulted in a death of law enforcement official would resulted in the death penalty.

The United States should rethink twice about providing military assistance to a country that sentences 529 people who did not engage in an armed insurgence that resulted in a death of law enforcement officer. It is time to cut of the aid to Egypt until Egypt does a major restructuring of its legal system.

March 25, 2014 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

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