Resign, or Resigned?

The parents of a SEAL lost in Afghanistan, on seeing the butchery of ISIS and President Barack Obama’s decision not to respond, have written an open letter to him, via World Tribune. Here is their letter.

Billy and Karen Vaughn

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

The Problem with a Law

In 2012, the Labor Department threatened to seize the blueberry crops of a couple of Oregon farmers until they settled a Labor complaint and signed away their right to appeal the settlement. With crops at risk of rotting away, the farmers settled, agreeing to pay Labor more than $240,000. The alleged “crimes” were Labor’s claims the farmers had violated minimum wage requirements under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. Labor used the threat of seizure of these perishable crops to extort the settlement.

After signing and getting their crops back, the two farmers sued.

The courts were unimpressed with Labor’s behavior.

What Does Europe Owe Ukraine?

The crisis in Eastern Europe…is now entering its 10th month. What began with the collapse of an association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine can now be called a war.

Emphasis added.

All Ukraine wanted was to be free. Free from Russia; free to chart its own course; free to begin to escape its own history of governmental corruption; free to align itself with, learn from the association, and perhaps to prosper in its freedom. The EU implied, with that agreed association, that it would help Ukraine work toward those goals, using that association and EU’s vasty trade market.

Democracy People’s Republic of China Style

And democracy Hong Kong style.

The PRC’s view of elections in its satrapy is that only candidates acceptable to the Communist Party of China can stand for office in Hong Kong. Indeed, the Deputy Secretary General of the National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee, Li Fei, has said out loud that openly nominating candidates would create a “chaotic society.” He went further:

[R]ights come from laws, they don’t come from the sky. Many Hong Kong people have wasted a lot of time discussing things that are not appropriate and aren’t discussing things that are appropriate.

Qatar’s Role

There seems to be quite a bit of…dissembling?…here, and it’s not all Qatar’s.

On the matter of whether Qatar supports terrorism while hosting our military base, there’s this from Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen:

Press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also supporting extremist groups operating in Syria. To say the least, this threatens to aggravate….

Wait. What? The US’ State Department gets its intel from the press? Well, that would be consistent with President Barack Obama only knowing what’s going on in the world from newspaper articles.

There’s more.

Civics in Education

A great part of what ails our country is ignorance of our history and so of who we are—how the US came to be, how we got where we are today, the nature of our culture and ethnicity. This hasn’t been taught with any seriousness since the middle of the last century, beyond a couple of semesters of civics-like courses in high school and a once-over lightly few units of American and European history in grade school and junior high. Throughout the current century, civics, American history, the form and style of American governance, and the like almost are not taught at all. Symptomatic of this is the growing emphasis on identity politics and the differences among those who live in the US, rather than our share culture. Too often, we African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Chinese- or Japanese-Americans, etc. There’s too little thought given to the concept that we’re all Americans, full stop. American, albeit some of us might have African heritage, some of us might have Hispanic heritage, some of us might have Chinese or Japanese heritage, etc.

The Administration’s Considerations Regarding Resurgent Terrorism

Here we are, with the terrorist gang, ISIS, butchering American journalists, doing their best to exterminate Yezidis, Christians, fellow Muslims who don’t think like these thugs do, et al. Here we are with ISIS continuing to make significant military gains after their blitz through Iraq to the outskirts of Baghdad. Here we are with ISIS having successfully seized a military airfield in Syria.

Paying Ransom

Although I’m writing this article in the context of terrorist kidnappings, it should be noted that the principles discussed apply to any form of kidnapping.

The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime US and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf’s increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens.

The case:

The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings.

Here’s the misunderstanding:

The Democrat’s View of “Justice”

[State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, MO)] predicted Friday that if prosecutors don’t win a conviction against the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, it could trigger a new wave of unrest in Ferguson.

“There’s several people out there including the protesters that I’ve been with this morning who seem to feel as though there won’t be a conviction,” she told Fox News.

“If that happens, we’re going to have exactly what you saw two weeks ago, with a lot of tear gas going all over the place.”

The Terrorist Threat

UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron had some thoughts.

Stability. Security. The peace of mind that comes from being able to get a decent job and provide for your family, in a country that you feel has a good future ahead of it and that treats people fairly. In a nutshell, that is what people in Britain want


I agree that we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy. But we need to recognise that the brighter future we long for requires a long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy. True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources—aid, diplomacy, our military prowess—to help bring about a more stable world.