Monday, June 30, 2014

Another Firearm Related Death, This Time a Twelve Yeaer Old Scout...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Another day. Another life cut short when a firearm discharges. A twelve year old boy dies at a Boy Scout Camp.

With whom should the responsibility for this needless tragedy rest upon? Should criminal charges be filed against the irresponsible actions of whomever was responsible for this child? Must we accept there is nothing we can do as a society because of the 2'nd Amendment right to bear arms? Are there any responsible adults governing this nation?

Yes, I know guns don't kill people, people kill people. But it takes the action of a person to discharge a firearm and when irresponsible adults set the stage for a child to have access to a loaded weapon unsupervised by a responsible adult please tell me just who is negligent and why the shouldn't be charged with negligent homicide?

Click on this highlighted link for the full report.

Via: Memeorandum

Confidence in America's Leaders Continue to Fall...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

As the nation continues to flounder Gallop's recent poll highlights just how out of touch our government officials are with the people they were elected to represent and govern. It doesn't take a genius to figure out Americans want solutions and they want their leaders to act in their and the nation's best interests as a whole.

Americans' confidence in all three branches of the U.S. government has fallen, reaching record lows for the Supreme Court (30%) and Congress (7%), and a six-year low for the presidency (29%). The presidency had the largest drop of the three branches this year, down seven percentage points from its previous rating of 36%.

We know there is a problem, the question is will we do something about it?

Study the complete poll BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 27, 2014

Legendary Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven - Live...


There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misleading
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
and it makes me wonder
really makes me wonder

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter


If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean from the May Queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can't you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she's buying the stairway to heaven

The Moody Blues...

One of the first official videos from "Nights In White Satin" in 1967.

Ian Anderson {Jethro Tull}, Best Flute Man Evah!!!...

And from the original 1971 recording... A legendary progressive English rock band.

Thomas Paine, On the Absurdity of War and Taxes...

“...taxes are not raised to carry on wars, but that wars are raised to carry on taxes”

“That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord and cultivate predjudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.

“If men will permit themselves to think, as rational beings ought to think, nothing can appear more ridiculous and absurd, exclusive of all moral reflections, than to be at the expence of building navies, filling them with men, and then hauling them into the ocean, to try which can sink each other fastester. Peace, which costs nothing, is attended with infintely more advantage than any victory with all its expence. But this, though it best answers the purpose of Nations, does not that of Court Governments, whose habited policy is pretence for taxation, places, and offices.”

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Who Are the Proud Americans?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Are liberals, those consistently leaning leftward proud the be an American? Lets see what the Washington Post and the polls say.

Michelle Obama took some heat in 2008 for saying that, "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country..."

As it turns out, that sentiment isn't all that unusual on the far left of American politics. According to a new Pew Research Center study, only 40 percent of consistently liberal Americans say they often feel proud to be Americans.

So, 60% of the political left are not proud to be an American. Hm, so, why don't they relocate to say France, Greece, Portugal, even China or Russia you might ask.

On the other hand...

... it appears that just over 7 in 10 steadfast conservatives and 8 in 10 business conservatives are generally proud tom be an American.

I suppose none of these "findings" come as a real surprise. As least they don't to me. I'm curious as to where the moderates and centrists come done on this issue.

Perhaps below?

You can find the complete article BELOW THE FOLD.

So conservative and liberal visitors to to this site... what say you?

Via: Memeorandum

Iraq, a Regional Problem That Will Require Unconventional Thinking...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The following excerpt from a New York Times article is thought provoking and highlights the current realities present in the political and religious divisions in Iraq as well as the entire region. Difficulties in finding a solution to the unfolding and growing crisis are all too evident.

If there is one thing perfectly clear it is that conventional wisdom and traditional western responses will be inadequate and very likely prove to be counter productive if undertaken. With this in mind the last groups we ought to listen to are the Neocons and the virulent knee jerk anti-Muslin crowd.

The Obama administration has urged Iraqi politicians of different sects to come together, repeating admonitions that were so often heard in the years after the 2003 invasion. But the Pentagon — reluctant to commit more manpower to a complex and profoundly uncertain conflict — has quietly hinted it could live with Iraq’s current division, despite the dangers posed by a potential new terrorist sanctuary in the deserts linking Syria and Iraq.

The context this time is different from a decade ago: Sectarian hatred has begun to alter the region’s political DNA in ways that make the old borders more vulnerable. Many ordinary Sunnis describe the seizing of Mosul and other cities as a popular revolution against a Shiite-led government, not a terrorist onslaught. With Iran, their historic enemy, now lining up drones and other military supplies to help the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki retake the north — and protect the south — many Sunnis may become further alienated from the state.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which supplied the shock troops of the assault on Mosul, has made vigorous efforts to inculcate a new identity for those living within its growing transnational sphere, setting up Shariah courts and publicizing videos in which its fighters burn their passports. Last week, the group issued an eight-page report denouncing the Middle Eastern border system as a colonialist imposition, and included photographs of its fighters destroying what it called “crusader partitions” between Iraq and Syria.

At the same time, the ISIS onslaught has made the formal secession of Iraqi Kurdistan far more plausible. The crisis led Iraqi soldiers to flee from Kirkuk, the contested oil-rich northern city that was among the last major obstacles to Kurdish independence. Across the border in Syria, a Kurdish region in the country’s north is also effectively independent of Damascus, with its own military and provisional government. And Turkey, which in the past strongly opposed an independent Kurdish state on its border, now sees the Kurds as a stable buffer between itself and the extremists of ISIS.

While this site leans heavily towards the establishment of three independent regions in present day Iraq it recognizes the difficulties and pitfalls even this sensible solution presents.

The long shadow of GBW's military excursion into Iraq is likely to haunt the United States of America and indeed the rest of the globe for a very long time.


Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Republicans Proving Once Again How To Grasp At Straws and Demonstrate Ineptitude...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Republican Speaker of the House Boehner proving to be the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's best resource for raising money. Pointing out yet again the abject level of incompetency and political tone deafness the party is sorely afflicted with of late. Don't hold your breath republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party folks for much better any time soon.

POLITICO  - Speaker John Boehner’s announcement that House Republicans would sue President Barack Obama for misusing executive authority turned into a big payday for congressional Democrats.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted its best fundraising day of the year on Wednesday, bringing in $584,000, according to figures shared with POLITICO.

“The only jobs that John Boehner and House Republicans have created are for partisan lawyers to sue the president and our grassroots supporters are already holding them accountable,” said Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). “The hypocrisy here is stunning: President Bush issued many more executive orders than President Obama and Boehner didn’t make a peep. This is just another stunt from the most unpopular Republican Congress in history.”

That figure is $100,000 more than the DCCC’s previous record one-day haul for the year, which occurred back in February when it was announced House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would release a 2015 budget plan. The DCCC raised slightly more than $460,000 then.

The donations on Wednesday stemmed from roughly 27,000 online donations. The vast majority came in the form of small donations under $200. A DCCC aide said that 7,885 of the donations were from first-time donors.
The DCCC has consistently bested its GOP-counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, in monthly fundraising totals. In May, the DCCC brought in $7.3 million to the NRCC’s $6 million.

Boehner’s office has yet to outline what specific executive orders or actions the House will pursue in its lawsuit against Obama but pledged a floor vote in July after the Rules Committee tackles the legislation.

House Republicans have argued that Obama is misusing his executive powers by side-stepping Congress on immigration and other policies, including a decision to extend family leave to same-sex couples. A memo sent to the GOP conference by Boehner on Wednesday mentioned executive actions on health care, energy, foreign policy and education, but did not delve into specific orders.

Most assuredly a ase of grasping at straws.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Charlie Chaplin... Freedom - Equality

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

We are individuals with all the natural and human rights our very existence bestows on each of us. Yet we live in a world of many cultures with many languages, religions, and traditions. And we all, regardless of culture, language, tradition, and religion, have the same basic needs and share a desire to be free from fear and want.

Charlie Chaplin's final speech in the film the great dictator, with a splash of modern imagery. Song: Window by The Album Leaf

What say You?

Sarah Palin, Comedic Relief...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

POLITICO - Sarah Palin slammed Sen. Thad Cochran, who won his Mississippi primary last night, for possible “shenanigans” such as courting Democrat votes and his moderate policies.

“Well, you know, as for the primary, and perhaps if it’s true, some shenanigans going on there, nothing should surprise you, but that’s old-school politics where it’s a bit of the status quo and that’s got to go,” Palin said Tuesday of Cochran’s Democrat outreach on Fox News’ “Hannity,” ahead of the Republican senator being declared the primary winner over Chris McDaniel.

Well Sarah, looks like you're a bit miffed because you backed the candidate that didn't win the "R"primary. Really gal, what does it matter? McDaniel would have lost the general anyway. Who knows, just maybe Cochran can keep the seat in republican hands just a bit longer.

Palin, who had endorsed McDaniel, further ripped Cochran as someone “promising bigger government.”

“It’s very rare in a Republican primary that the candidate who promises to bring home the bacon, promising bigger government, which is requiring higher taxes and more burdensome government actually pulls it off in the primary? That’s a rare thing,” Palin said. “So it’s — it will be surprising, and yet perhaps not, to find out what that cross-over of Democrat voters, how that does impact the general.”

Whoa there gal. When was the last time a republican reduced the size of government, balanced the budget, reduced the national debt, and actually acted like a conservative party of restraint in anything?

I'll acknowledge they have been good at keeping marginal tax rates low as deficits increase and the debt grows. So, what really sets republicans apparent from democrats with respect to fiscal sanity and or responsibility I ask you?

Palin said the GOP needs candidates “who are courageous enough to buck the status quo” and was asked about her comments that she might consider going third party.

“Well, if Republicans are going to act like Democrats, then what’s the use in getting all gung ho about getting Republicans in there?” Palin said. “So yeah, if Republicans aren’t going to stand strong on the planks in our platform, then it does no good to get all enthused about them anymore.”

Stand strong on the planks in the platform? Perhaps you might enlighten us on exactly when it was the last time that happened. I'm sure most of us following republican politics the past 40 years will need a bit of a reminder.

All I can say is when Dumb and Dumber get together on Dumb's program it is sure to be entertaining if nothing else.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Big Money Liberal Mega-Donors and Their Dilemma...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

I find the following article fascinating. However given the tendency to class warfare not at all surprising. From POLITICO it is a must read. Some good stuff and more not so good stuff. Our informed and educated voting public should take these things seriously and act to force real change. Given the state of present day America it is questionable if much, or even anything, will change. Too many people are just going along for the ride , too busy or ambivalent to care.

David Brock has a message for liberal millionaires: Don’t sweat being called hypocrites.

Brock, a former “right-wing hit-man”-turned-top-big-money-Democratic-operative, is part of a behind-the-scenes campaign to convince donors it’s OK to attack the Koch brothers for spending millions of dollars while doing the exact same thing for the left.

“You’re not in this room today trying to figure out how to rig the game so you can be free to make money poisoning little kids, and neither am I,” Brock told donors this month at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to someone who attended the conference, but who declined to be identified because it was closed to the press.

“Subscribing to a false moral equivalence is giving the Kochs exactly what they want: keeping us quiet about what they’re doing to destroy the very fabric of our nation,” added Brock, whose deep-pocketed nonprofit groups are leading the charge to make the conservative megadonors Charles and David Koch an issue in the 2014 midterms.

Conservatives reject the notion that rich liberals donate more out of their concern for society than do their conservative counterparts like the Kochs. But Brock’s pitch also isn’t sitting well with some major liberal donors and operatives, who worry the anti-Koch strategy could backfire big time. It has not yet been proven effective at motivating key Democratic voting blocs like unmarried women and minorities, and liberal critics also worry it risks undercutting more important issues, smacks of class warfare and opens themselves up to hypocrisy charges.

“The Democrats’ problem is off-year turnout, and I’m not clear how emphasizing the Koch brothers gets more black and brown folks to the polls,” said Steve Phillips, a member of the secretive Democracy Alliance club of major liberal donors. “My sense for voters of color is that the issues of income inequality, housing, education, immigration reform, health care and criminal justice reform would resonate more.

So while big-money liberals scramble to match the unprecedented money plans being methodically prosecuted by Koch brothers’ political operation, they’re also grappling with more fundamental strategic questions — are we really that different from the Kochs and do voters really care?

Interesting stuff, and if voters really did care they would educate themselves, become involved in the political process at the local, state, and the national level. Voter turnout would likely increase to perhaps 75 - 85 percent, and the politicians might actually begin to put We the People and our interests ahead of their own and their mega-buck donors. We might just see some REAL campaign finance reform as well.

Read the rest BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, June 21, 2014

470 Senior V.A. Executives Were Rated ‘Fully Successful’ or Better Over the Last 4 Years...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Spent over thirty six years of my adult life in either supervision or management in the private sector. While I am not so naive as to make the statement that favoritism or weak management does not exist in the private sector, I find it astounding that over four years four hundred and seventy Senior government executives were rated fully satisfactory or higher. Amazingly not a single executive received a marginally satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating.

It has been said that five percent of employees cause ninety-five percent of the problems in businesses and I must say that over my thirty six years this proved to be fairly accurate. It is quite probable the same holds true in the public sector.

So, doesn't it seems reasonable that of the four hundred and seventy executives at least twenty four would be unsatisfactory and dismissal from their position was in order? Perhaps the number is in actuality ever higher. Is it possible the inept executives were responsible for the current Veteran Administration scandal? And if so who is responsible for this?

Just askin...

Excerpt below from The New York Times

All of the 470 senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs received annual ratings over the last four years indicating that they were “fully successful” in their jobs or even better, according to data released at a congressional hearing on Friday, despite delays in processing disability compensation claims and problems with veterans’ access to the department’s sprawling health care system.

None of the department’s senior executives received either of the two lowest of five possible job ratings, “minimally satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory,” in any of the past four fiscal years.

The data also showed that in 2013, nearly 80 percent of the senior executives were rated either “outstanding” or as having exceeded “fully successful” in their job performance, and that at least 65 percent of the executives received performance awards, which averaged around $9,000. Only about 20 percent received the middle of the five ratings.

Read the full text of the article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Presbyterian Church Breathes an Enlightened Breath of Fresh Air...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

As the Presbyterian Church voted to allow same sex marriages another large step has been taken in the long march to marriage equality. Perhaps sooner rather than later the day will finally arrive when all people realize that someone else's same sex marriage does not change or affect their traditional heterosexual marriage.

From The New York Times.

DETROIT — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted at its General Assembly on Thursday to change its constitution’s definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people,” and to allow its ministers to perform same-sex marriages where it is legal.

Both measures, passed by large majorities, are a reversal for a church that in 1991 and in 2008 barred its pastors from performing same-sex marriages, and that has held ecclesiastical trials for ministers who violated the ban and blessed gay couples.

The Presbyterian Church, a historic mainline Protestant denomination that spans a broad spectrum from liberal to conservative evangelicals, has been mired in the debate over homosexuality for about three decades. The General Assembly’s decision in 2010 to ordain openly gay ministers caused many congregations, including some of the largest, to depart.

The convention hall fell silent as the vote counts were announced, in deference to a plea by the church’s moderator, leading the session, to be respectful of the divide.

“There were some of us with tears of joy, and some of us with tears of grief,” said the Rev. Susan De George, stated clerk of the Hudson River Presbytery, in New York, a lesbian minister who years ago was among those brought up on charges for blessing same-sex unions. “After the vote, the first thing I did was to text a friend on the other side of the issue.”

The Presbyterians follow other religious groups that have taken similar steps, including the United Church of Christ, which affirmed “equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender” in 2005; Quakers; the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; and the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism.

The vote giving discretion to ministers to marry gay couples takes effect on Sunday, at the close of the General Assembly.

But changing the definition of marriage in the church’s Book of Order would still require ratification by a majority of the church’s 172 regions, or presbyteries — a yearlong process. At the assembly in Detroit, the measure passed overwhelmingly — 71 percent to 29 percent — but only after an amendment that altered the language of the change from “two people” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman,” a nod to conservatives who would otherwise have voted against it.

Old bigotry always dies a slow death. Especially man made institutionalized religious bigotry. But eventually bigotry does die.

Read the rest of the story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

There Will Be Better Days Ahead Mr.President...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Today's round up of articles that spell out less than desirable sentiments for the President's handling of national business.

1) White House Learned of Lerner's Crashed Hard Drive 6 Weeks Before Congress

2)Obama Has Two Options on Iraq. Both Are Terrible

3) Welcome to the White House's Nightmare

4) Approval of Obama's Handling of Immigration Falls to 31%

With just shy of 3 years and 5 months left to serve in office it seems the President can't catch a break. Global and national problems, as well as a gaggle of alleged scandals just keep dogging our first bi-racial President. I hope the man hits a lucky streak. It will be good for all of us.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Of All Places...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

No siree, you just can't make this stuff up. A man in Georgia managed to shoot himself in the private parts. I'm thinking this could be an event that could get men serious about firearm safety and such. I mean there ain't nothing more sacred to a man than his male member, especially those NRA and home grown militia types. If the mass shootings at schools won't get the menfolk up in arms maybe this will.

Bibb Crime Files: Man accidentally shoots himself in penis

A Macon man was treated at Coliseum Northside hospital Thursday after he accidentally shot himself in the penis.

The man was parked at the gas station at about 9:30 p.m. when he attempted to holster his .45. Immediately after the gun went off, he drove to a friend's house in Lake Wildwood. When he got to the friends house, he took off his pants and saw that he had "shot himself in the penis and that the bullet exited out of his buttocks." The spent round fell onto the floor.

The man's friend drove him to Coliseum Northside hospital and he was then transferred to the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clinton's Estate Taxes...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It is one thing to advocate for an estate tax to keep the nation from eventually (possibly) being heavily influenced by inherited wealth as the Clinton's have done. Apparently it is quite another to actually pay them, at least for Bill and Hillary. They are taking full advantage of financial strategies that benefit the top 1 percent of the nation. You know, those individuals that liberals love to hate. Well, when it seems politically expedient to do so.

Don't get me wrong, personally the death tax rubs me the wrong. But really, wouldn't it make sense for those advocating hefty estate taxes to at least opt out of the very benefits you have politically and publicly been against? I mean if you're wanting to be a leader shouldn't you set an example? Somehow do as I say, not as I do just doesn't cut it. Or at least it shouldn't.

Bloomberg - Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

The Clintons’ finances are receiving attention as Hillary Clinton tours the country promoting her book, “Hard Choices.” She said in an interview on ABC television that the couple was “dead broke” and in debt when they left the White House in early 2001. After being criticized for her comments, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she understood the financial struggles of Americans.

I won't judge their integrity on this but...

Read the full story BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum

Benghazi Suspect Captured...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

In a huge boost for President Obama one of the alleged mastermind behind the terrorist attack on the Consulate in Benghazi has been captured in Libya by United States Special Operation Forces. Of course regardless the positive news there are some who are already attempting to paint the capture as an Obama political stunt and diversionary tactic.

We also have that paragon of "Fair and Balanced" reporting and suggesting that the timing of the capture was to boost Hillary Clinton's anticipated 2016 presidential run. You just can't make this sh*t up.

Reporting below from the Washington Post.

U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assaults has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.

The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.

Abu Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice.

Speaking at TechShop in Pittsburgh, Pa., President Obama praised U.S. Special Operations forces for “showing incredible courage and precision” in capturing Abu Khattala, who Obama said “is alleged to have been one of the masterminds” of the Benghazi attacks.

“He is now being transported back to the United States,” Obama said.

“We continue to think about and pray for the families of those who were killed during that terrible attack,” the president added. “But more importantly, it’s important for us to send a message to the world that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible, and we will bring them to justice. And that’s a message I sent the day after it happened, and regardless of how long it takes, we will find you.”

A three-count criminal complaint filed by the FBI last July and unsealed in federal court in the District charges Abu Khattala with “killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility involving use of a firearm” on Sept. 11-12, 2012, providing and conspiring to “provide material support to terrorists resulting in a death” and possessing and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

Conviction on the felony counts could make Abu Khattala eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment. In a statement, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department could bring more charges against Abu Khattala.


Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, June 14, 2014


by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

This is chilling. Another wake up call that the NRA (National Reactionary Arsenal)will ignore and claim this is why teachers, administrators, and all citizens walking the streets need to be armed with weapons.

Funny, when I was 15 years old (that would be 47 years ago) we didn't seem to have this problem. But then again the nation didn't have an NRA that was in bed with firearm manufacturers and saw their mission and primary purpose as the marketing arm for firearm manufactures firearm proliferation.

While I was at one time a hunter and a firearm enthusiast, as in target practice and sporting, I now fully agree with the argument that the present NRA and it's leadership is in reality criminal in it's reaction to the growing menace of firearms proliferation. The organizations resistance to any meaningful reform of our patchwork of firearm regulation and it's apparent support for open carry tells us ALL we need to know.

Read the full story BELOW THE FOLD.  Question... When will enough be enough? Perhaps never for those attempting to live in 1776.

 Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 13, 2014

One of my favorite classical Overtures. Enjoy, and for all you DADS out there Happy Father's Day Sunday!

Iraq, Is It Time To Break the War Machne Mentality and Move to a New Reality?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Below is another sobering and accurate assessment of the present situation and how we helped Iraq get to this point.

At noon today, President Obama issued his first statement on the deteriorating situation on Iraq. “This is not solely or even primarily a military challenge,” he said. “The United States will do our part, but understand that ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems.”

Obama left the door open to unspecified “actions,” but repeated that the Iraqis themselves had to seize the opportunity that the years of American effort gave them.

This will no doubt be greeted by the President’s opponents with something akin to apoplexy. They will be arguing that in fact the problem does have a military solution, that the U.S. can solve it, and that whatever is happening, everything would be better if we applied more force.

We have now reached the rather ironic situation in Iraq where we find ourselves allied with Iran in an effort to save the corrupt and thuggish government of Nouri al-Maliki, while the army we spent eight years training falls apart. I’m not going to pretend to have unique insight into Iraqi politics (I’d suggest reading Marc Lynch, for starters, as a way of getting up to speed on what has led to this point).

It has been said, accurately I might add, that the mark of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

It is time to ignore the advice of those in American politics and government that led us to this point. Time to smash the old paradigm to pieces.


Via: Memeorandum

The Losing of Iraq...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

When the administration of George W. Bush made it's decision to invade Iraq (using questionable justification it helped set up the scenario we see unfolding today. Ultimately the decision destabilized the region further, created more anti American sentiment in the region, and set up Iraq for civil strife and internal political instability. All for a cost of billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars, loss of American life, and loss of Iraqi life.

I could go on for a very long time but Fareed Zakarian does a better job of presenting the evidence if you will than I might.

The Washington Post - It is becoming increasingly likely that Iraq has reached a turning point. The forces hostile to the government have grown stronger, better equipped and more organized. And having now secured arms, ammunition and hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from their takeover of Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city — they will build on these strengths. Inevitably, in Washington, the question has surfaced: Who lost Iraq?

Whenever the United States has asked this question — as it did with China in the 1950s or Vietnam in the 1970s — the most important point to remember is: The local rulers did. The Chinese nationalists and the South Vietnamese government were corrupt, inefficient and weak, unable to be inclusive and unwilling to fight with the dedication of their opponents. The same story is true of Iraq, only much more so. The first answer to the question is: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lost Iraq.

The prime minister and his ruling party have behaved like thugs, excluding the Sunnis from power, using the army, police forces and militias to terrorize their opponents. The insurgency the Maliki government faces today was utterly predictable because, in fact, it happened before. From 2003 onward, Iraq faced a Sunni insurgency that was finally tamped down by Gen. David Petraeus, who said explicitly at the time that the core element of his strategy was political, bringing Sunni tribes and militias into the fold. The surge’s success, he often noted, bought time for a real power-sharing deal in Iraq that would bring the Sunnis into the structure of the government.

A senior official closely involved with Iraq in the Bush administration told me, “Not only did Maliki not try to do broad power-sharing, he reneged on all the deals that had been made, stopped paying the Sunni tribes and militias, and started persecuting key Sunni officials.” Among those targeted were the vice president of Iraq and its finance minister.

But how did Maliki come to be prime minister of Iraq? He was the product of a series of momentous decisions made by the Bush administration. Having invaded Iraq with a small force — what the expert Tom Ricks called “the worst war plan in American history” — the administration needed to find local allies. It quickly decided to destroy Iraq’s Sunni ruling establishment and empower the hard-line Shiite religious parties that had opposed Saddam Hussein. This meant that a structure of Sunni power that had been in the area for centuries collapsed. These moves — to disband the army, dismantle the bureaucracy and purge Sunnis in general — might have been more consequential than the invasion itself. {CONTINUE READING BELOW THE FOLD}

I note that Zakaria attaches some blame to the Obama administration as well with this; If the Bush administration deserves a fair share of blame for “losing Iraq,” what about the Obama administration and its decision to withdraw American forces from the country by the end of 2011? I would have preferred to see a small American force in Iraq to try to prevent the country’s collapse. But let’s remember why this force is not there. Maliki refused to provide the guarantees that every other country in the world that hosts U.S. forces offers. ...

There is blame to go around, the lion's share of which rests with President GWB and Iraqi Prime Minister Malaki.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Representative Gohmert Debating Fate of Non Christians in Hearing...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Apparently today was meant for religious discussion. Brought to us by Looney in Washington DC and Loonier in Oklahoma.

TPM - Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday repeatedly confronted a faith leader -- who also happens to be a noted church-state separatist -- about his Christian beliefs during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on religious freedom.

“Do you believe in sharing the good news that will keep people from going to hell, consistent with the Christian beliefs?” Gohmert asked Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

Lynn responded that he wouldn't agree with Gohmert's "construction of what hell is like or why one gets there." When Gohmert pressed him to say whether he believed people "would go to hell if they do not believe Jesus is the way," Lynn again answered that he thinks failing to ascribe to a certain set of Christian beliefs doesn't necessarily doom a person to hell.

"No, not a set of ideas," Gohmert insisted. "Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth, or life, or you don’t."

“Congressman, what I believe is not necessarily what I think ought to justify the creation of public policy for everybody,” Lynn countered. “For the 2,000 different religions that exist in this country, the 25 million non-believers. I’ve never been offended. I’ve never been ashamed to share my belief."

Lynn then recounted how he spoke recently at an American Athiests conference, where he said he made it clear that he was a Christian minister even though he was in attendance to talk about the Constitution. Gohmert apparently took that response as support for Christianity a la carte.

“So, the Christian belief as you see it is whatever you choose to think about Christ, whether or not you believe those words he said that nobody basically ‘goes to heaven except through me,’” he concluded.

Via: Memeorandum


by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Oklahoma republican Scott Esk believes in biblical law handed down from God. Including death for homosexuals, he'd be fine if by stoning. You just can't make this stuff up.

Read the full story HERE, complete with Esk's Facebook postings.

Where do the miscreants come from?

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 6, 2014

David Brooks, Gets It Right...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

... The president and vice president, the only government officials elected directly by the entire nation, have a special responsibility to nurture this national solidarity. So, of course, President Obama had to take all measures necessary to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Of course, he had to do all he could do to not forsake an American citizen.

It doesn’t matter if Bergdahl had deserted his post or not. It doesn’t matter if he is a confused young man who said insulting and shameful things about his country and his Army. The debt we owe to fellow Americans is not based on individual merit. It is based on citizenship, and loyalty to the national community we all share.

Soldiers don’t risk their lives only for those Americans who deserve it; they do it for the nation as a whole.

It is not dispositive either that the deal to release Bergdahl may put others at risk. The five prisoners released from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a swap for Bergdahl seem like terrible men who could do harm. But their release may have been imminent anyway. And the loss of national fraternity that would result if we start abandoning Americans in the field would be a greater and more long lasting harm. ...

David Brooks, a moderate conservative gets it absolutely right in his New York Times opinion column in support of President Obama's decison to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home. We don't leave American soldiers behind irrespective of circumstances and the President understands that. Brooks effectively lays out the reasons why.

SOOOOO, to all you that have chosen to criticize the President for doing the right thing, something America has done since the days of the Revolutionary War, may I suggest you read, and re-read slowly until it sinks in and you understand.


Via: Memeorandum

70th D-Day Remembrance, President Obama...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

As we remember Europe's Liberation from Nazi tyranny and honor all the heroes that made it happen.

"Here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are; we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is; we come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril," Obama said.

Their story should remain "seared into the memory of a future world," he said, describing Normandy as "democracy's beachhead."

He said, "It was here, on these shores, that the tide was turned in that common struggle for freedom.

"What more powerful manifestation of America's commitment to human freedom than the sight of wave after wave of young men boarding those boats to liberate people they'd never met?"

Complete CNN article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Because It Is The Right Thing To Do...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Charles Krauthammer, a conservative and FOX News regular contributor getting it right with respect to the Bergdahl prisoner swap. Kudoa Mr. Krauthammer. Now if you can just get the multitude of conservatives that are on the wrong side on board.

POLITICO - Charles Krauthammer says he supports President Barack Obama’s deal to bring Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home. “Had the choice been mine I would have made the same choice,” Krauthammer told Fox News’ “Special Report” on Wednesday. “It’s a difficult decision, and I would not attack those who have done otherwise.” Krauthammer said those in the West “put a value on the individual human life the way that the ones at the other end of the table don’t,” specifically citing an example in which Israelis had to release 1,000 terrorists in exchange for one sergeant who had been taken captive. “These are dangerous militants, but we have long engaged in and all other countries in the West have engaged in hostage swaps where the West always comes out on the short end,” Krauthammer said. The conservative commentator also argued that claims about whether Bergdahl had deserted are making people more critical of Obama’s decision to release the five Guantánamo detainees and Krauthammer told Fox host Bret Baier to “assume that this had been somebody who had served honorably.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Course of Reason...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation
Purveyor of Truth

Reserving judgement until all the facts are known is always the most prudent and therefore rational course of action. Retired General McCrystal agrees.

TPM - Retired Gen. Stanley McCrystal on Wednesday said it was too soon to "judge" Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Obama administration's decision to negotiate for his release from the Taliban.

"I think we're going to have to wait and talk to Sgt. Bergdahl now and get his side of the story," McCrystal told Yahoo News about the soldier, who has been characterized as a deserter by some of his platoon members. “One of the great things about America is we should not judge until we know the facts. And after we know the facts, then we should make a mature judgment on how we should handle it.”

The retired general defended efforts to return Bergdahl after he left his post in Afghanistan.

“We did a huge number of operations to try to stop the Taliban from being able to move him across the border into Pakistan,” McChrystal said. “And we made a great effort, and put a lot of people at risk in doing that, but that’s what you should do. That’s what soldiers do for each other.”

“We don’t leave Americans behind. That’s unequivocal," he said when asked if he would have authorized the prisoner swap. “There will be a lot of discussion on whether the mechanism for getting Sgt. Bergdahl back was right – and I’ll leave it to people to argue that."

Video of interview at Yahoo News.

Via: Memeorandum

Impeachment Rhetoric...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It certainly didn't take long.

Here's what Paragraph 1 of Article II Section 2 of The Constitution of the United States says... The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require (emphasis mine) the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

Senator Graham is referring to the National Defense Authorization Act in which Congress built into the NDAA provisions requiring the President to give Congress a 30 day notice prior to moves such as the Bergdahl Gitmo 5 prisoner swap. Considering the wording of the above article and section a strong argument can be made that this particular requirement of the NDAA is in itself unconstitutional. In fact the President made this point in his signing statement.
Excerpt from THE HILL... Sen. Carl Levin (Mich.), the Democratic chairman of the Armed Services panel, said Obama had a plausible legal argument for ignoring the law. “The White House did not comply with the requirement of the 30-day provision. However, the White House said it had power under Article II of the Constitution to do what it did,” Levin said. “I’m not a court that’s going to decide whether or not under Article II the commander in chief has the power to move this quickly even though Congress said you’ve got to give 30 days notice.” Levin said Congress was notified that Obama might not follow the NDAA’s requirement in a signing statement attached to the law. “The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers,” Obama asserted in his Dec. 26 statement. ...
As the republicans continue their search for a scandal that will grow wings and fly things will likely get more interesting.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, June 2, 2014

NRA Fears Public Backlash, Makes Somewhat Uncharacteristic Statement

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Is the NRA softening its hard line stand on the heels of recent events in Texas eateries? Could reason, reasonableness, and responsibility suddenly have taken hold in the rifled halls of the organization's executive offices? Has what has essentially becolobbying arm of firearm manufactures anode gun dealers across the country finally showing signs of a conscience?

Following in part is the statement from the NRA-ILA issued May 30, 2014. Their mild "condemnation," while an apparent attempt to get the more vocal and militant in their ranks to tone it down, was couched in the usual rhetoric we've grown accustomed to hearing.

Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today. Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn't ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.

Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places.

Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.

Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here). In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that's counterproductive for the gun owning community.

More to the point, it's just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way.

In summary, NRA certainly does not support bans on personalized guns or on carrying firearms in public, including in restaurants. We think people are intelligent enough to resolve these issues in a reasonable way for themselves. But when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights. Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don't need to be victims of friendly fire.

Read the full release BELOW THE FOLD and weigh in on the NRA's statement.

More on the story HERE and HERE.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bob Marley Night at RN USA...

Music is by far more enjoyably than politics!