Small Word, Big Implication

Anytime a Progressive asks a GOP presidential candidate the question, “If you knew then what we know now, would you have authorized going into Iraq?” that candidate should pose an “If you knew then…” question of their own.  Here’s a dozen suggestions:

  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that ISIL would invade Iraq, would they withdraw all U.S. troops, then ignored the country, like they did?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that Russia would invade Ukraine, would they dismiss Mitt Romney’s suggestion that Russia is a threat?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that the Arab Spring would lead to the death of over a quarter of a million people, would they cheer it on?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that Obamacare would only cover 15 percent of those promised, would they read it first?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that Dodd-Frank didn’t reform banking, but created more homelessness, would they want it?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that the Stimulus package wasn’t really “shovel-ready,” would they pass it?”
  • If Democrats knew then what we know now, that Obama’s election would lead to worsening race-relations in the U.S., would they choose him?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, that he deported nearly two million people — more than any president in history – would they vote for him?”
  • If Democrats knew then what we know now, that Obama wouldn’t shut down Guantanamo as promised, would they pick him?”
  • f Democrats knew then what we know now, that the promise of ‘transparency,’ would lead to ramped-up NSA data collection, would they vote for him?”
  • “If Democrats knew then what we know now, would they support an ‘anti-war candidate,’ who has U.S. combat forces fighting in 70-percent of the world?”
  • If Democrats knew then what we know now, that the WH phone really wouldn’t be answered at 3 a.m. during a terror attack, would they vote for Obama again?”

Sadly, no one has the courage to ask such questions. And sadder still, is that ‘yes,’ would be the answer from a majority of Democrats (and some Republicans,) to the proposed questions.

Nevada’s Progressive Death Dealer

Recently, Nevada’s Congresswoman Dina Titus refused to answer the question, posed by Brittany M. Hughes of, whether a human being conceived in rape has a right to life.

“Does a human being conceived in rape have a right to life?” Hughes asked.

“That’s not a quick question,” Titus answered.

“Is it a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?” returned Hughes.

“Well, it’s not a yes-or-no question, so,” said Titus.

Not one to give up, Hughes followed-up, “Can you expand on that, why it’s not a yes or a no?”

“No, I’m not going…I don’t want to…I — I’m thinking about something else, so you can come back to me, or talk to Caitlin (Titus’ communications director Caitlin Teare) in my office, and see if we’ll have an answer for you,” Titus said.

When Hughes reached out to Titus’ office, she got no response. Yet, in a May 13 tweet, Titus wrote, “GOP bill #HR36 is a dangerous & extreme restriction on women’s reproductive rights…”

Opponents of the bill claimed it was direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortions legal before viability, which is generally considered around 24 weeks of pregnancy. They also argued that the bill imposed new limits on the rape exemption by requiring that any woman seeking an abortion after 20 weeks prove that she either reported the rape to the authorities or sought counseling services. That same day at Titus’ tweet, the House voted 242 to 184 to approve the ‘Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,’ putting a national ban on most abortions after 20 weeks gestation except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. And of course, Titus voted against the bill.

Meanwhile, Titus continues to toy with the idea of running for U.S. Senate, replacing the retiring Harry Reid.

“Nevadans deserve a strong voice and committed fighter to represent our state’s interests in the U.S. Senate,” she wrote following Reid’s announcement. “I am humbled by the calls I’ve received from supporters across the state encouraging me to run for Senate. This is a decision I will make carefully after talking with family and close friends to ensure it is in the best interest of District One and the people of Nevada.”

The U.S. needs Dina Titus like it needs another rip in the U.S. Constitution — which Progressives insist on shredding at every opportunity.

Growing the Caliphate

“Ramadi has fallen,” reported Muhannad Haimour, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Anbar.

ISIL overran the Iraqi army to take Ramadi, killing about 500 soldiers and civilians, sending thousands of people fleeing and capturing U.S.-issued arms left behind. The takeover followed a three-day siege that began with a wave of car bombs.

It’s not clear how many people remain in Ramadi, once a city of 850,000. But it’s believed that some 8,000 people fled the city in the past week.

ISIL militants stormed the homes of policemen and pro-government Al Bu Alwan tribesmen, detaining about 30. The militants went door-to-door with lists of so-called collaborators as homes and stores owned by pro-government Sunni Sahawa militia were looted or torched.

In a statement, the group said it had killed “dozens of apostates.”  Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to express concerns over the threats posed by ISIL to the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria’s western province of Homs.

Anyway, Ramadi’s fall comes on the heels of a U.S. operation that killed ISIL commander Abu Sayyaf in eastern Syria, while his wife was caught and is being held in Iraq. Happily, all the U.S. Special Force troops involved returned home safely.

In March, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the U.S. was on its way to success in its effort to destroy ISIL.

“We’re growing in the capacity on the ground,” Kerry said. He also acknowledged that while progress in Iraq is being made, Syria is proving more challenging.

“Each time the Iraqis have now gone forward in an offensive effort, together with allies, the coalition, we have routed ISIL,” Kerry added. “In Iraq, they have gained back a significant percentage of the area that ISIL is controlling.”

His statements came weeks after the White House sent a war authorization to Congress that includes a three-year Authorization for the Use of Military Force. It’s been criticized by those who say President Obama’s request doesn’t go far enough to destroy ISIL, since it limits the use of forces on the ground.

Iranian-backed Shi’ite forces are mobilizing outside of the city, waiting to launch a counterattack. The counterattack, if successful, could be a step towards an Iranian takeover of Iraq.

Such a takeover will create a larger Iranian Shi’ite Caliphate instead of ISIL’s ‘little old J-V team’ Caliphate.

In a Hand Basket

Pope Francis plans to recognize the non-existent “state of Palestine,” lending weight to a Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty and bypassing stalled negotiations with Israel. The announcement coincides with the church’s canonization of two Palestinian nuns, the first Arabic-speaking saints, in a Mass Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is to attend.

Palestinian leaders celebrated the endorsement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that it was “disappointed” by the Pope’s decision and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.”

God promises blessings on those who bless Israel and curses on those who curse her in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Recognizing a ‘state of Palestine,’ is definitely not blessing Israel.

And as jihad’s waged around the world, a ‘holy war,’ is being carried out in the U.S. in the form of sharia law. George Washington University Law School Professor John Banzhaf filed a sixty-page complaint alleging Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., creates an “offensive” environment for Muslims because of school’s statuary, crosses and other religious forms of artwork.

He claims the university “does not provide space — as other universities do — for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion.”

Banzhaf’s suit appears hypocritical after he came to the defense of a GWU student in April 2014, who posted a Sanskrit symbol on a public bulletin board that looks like the Nazi swastika. The GWU reported the incident to the D.C. police as a “hate crime.”

“While Christian, Jewish, and other students are free to openly display their religious symbols, Hindus, Buddhists, and other students can do the same only at the risk of being banned and ultimately expelled,” Banzhaf said in a written statement.

The student was eventually expelled.

Finally, at Georgetown University while discussing poverty at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit, President Obama said, “It’s important for us to guard against cynicism and not buy the idea that the poor will always be with us.”

He couldn’t be more wrong as noted in Matthew 26:11 where Jesus instructed his disciples: “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.”

It’s All ‘W’s’ Fault — Not

As unannounced GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush ended his visit to Reno, Nevada, Ivy Ziedrich called out, “Governor Bush, would you take a student question?”

The 19-year-old Democrat and political science major at the University of Nevada, Reno, had to preface her question first.

“Your brother created ISIS,” Ziedrich said, speaking of George W. Bush.

Then Ziedrich asked: “Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”

Bush pointedly responded: “When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.”

“And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress,” he added. “The result was the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.”

He concluded: “Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because America pulled back.”

As John Adams stated, “Facts are stubborn things…”

While is true that ‘W’ signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the U.S. in 2008, establishing that U.S. combat forces would withdraw by June 30, 2009, with all U.S. combat forces completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

Negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq for a new SOFA began in fall 2010, as the legal authority — United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790 — expired December 31, 2008. The draft bill was approved by the Council of Ministers of Iraq on November 16.

In August 2011, the U.S. and Iran settled on between 3,000 to 5,000 troops to remain behind after the Obama Administration concluded Iraq was not at risk of slipping into chaos in the absence of U.S. forces. And on October 15, 2011, the Obama Administration proceeded with the plan to withdraw American forces from Iraq.

If we follow Miss Ziedrich down the same rabbit-hole — with George Bush out of office and a new SOFA on the table, any vacuum created in Iraq is Barack Obama’s failure, and thus the creation of ISIS/ISIL is his fault as he was at the time, and still is Commander-in-Chief of U.S. combat forces.

Dick DeWitt, 1933-2015

“It hasn’t been a good few months in the Reno media world, as we’ve lost several good people,” writes my dear friend, Elizabeth Rose on Facebook.

She couldn’t be more right as longtime Reno TV and radio newsman Richard DeWitt Oakerson, better known as ‘Dick DeWitt,’ passed away May 14, 2015, following a battle with cancer.  He was 81-years-old.

Born in Maryville, Missouri, July 16, 1933, he graduated from Maryville High School and Maryville College, then serving in the United States Marine Reserve, before joining the Air Force and being assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Network in Taiwan. After leaving the Air Force, he found work as the editor of the Del Rio, Texas, News Herald, before moving back to Kansas City to start his radio/television news reporting career at KCKN, working there 1960 to 1963.

In fact, in the October 10, 1960 edition of “Billboard,” reported: “Dick DeWitt, KCKN, Kansas City, Kan., says his three-month-old daughter, Laura Diane, is already following the deejay path with loud testing of her vocal chords.”

He later moved to Eureka, California to do the news on two of the three area TV stations. As a kid, I remember when he headed up the 6:30 newscast on Channel 3 KIEM-TV and did the news for Channel 6 KVIQ-TV.

He moved his family to Reno in the late 1960’s to be the news director for Channel 4 KRNV where he worked for over 20 years.  The Nevada Broadcast Association’s Hall of Fame inducted him in 1998.

In 2011, during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Eureka and Arcata, and years after he had left Northern California, his memory was still being invoked, “Dick DeWitt was a good reporter…,” and “…I still miss Dick DeWitt’s newscasts…”

Any broadcaster who came from that area in the year’s since, including me, should be so fortunate to be remembered in such good light over four decade’s later. He was news director for radio stations, KROW and KNEV in the late 80s and early 90s, where I had the opportunity to work for him in the news department.

Dick remained on the air for another decade after KROW changed its call-letters to KKOH and its long-established country-music format to news-talk. In 2005,  AllAccess online reported that he was recovering in Washington state following cancer surgery.

He’ll be missed.

Hoo-kt on Fon-iks

Mary and I were trying to figure out how to say “Caribbean.” We each have a slightly different pronunciation for the same place.

She breaks the word down phonetically like this: ‘Car-uh-bee-uh-n.’ I say it, ‘Care-ah-bee-ann,’

Turns out Mary’s right and I’m pronouncing it in what one might call a more colloquial manner. Of course, “Caribbean” isn’t the only word I say different from most folks.

The name of the show-me-state, “Missouri” seems pretty straight forward. However, for years I had heard only my dad and other family members say it one way.

Anyway, I had no idea that I might be mispronouncing ‘Missouri,’ until fourth grade. Mr. Kirby was teaching state history when he asked where the California Trail began.

My hand shot up first and after being called on, I answered, “St. Joseph, Miz-zoo-rah.”

“Where?!” Mr. Kirby blasted back.

Much to my general discomfort I repeated my answer, whereupon he scolded me, pointing out the ‘I’ on the end of Missouri. For as long as I was in his class, I answered it the exact way he wanted it saying, ‘Miz-oo-ree.’

It’s not like blowing the word ‘Gila,’ by pronouncing it with a hard ‘G,’ when it’s actually said, ‘Hee-la.’ Believe me when I tell you it’s unpleasant to make that mistake while on the radio, because the phones will light up.

And then there’s no sense arguing with folks in Massachusetts about how to pronounce ‘Nevada,’ as they’ll butcher it anyway, saying ‘Ne-vah-duh.’ I returned the favor by calling it, ‘Massive-two-shits.’

And there was nothing colloquial about that.