Monthly Archives: July 2014

One good news story – Mariam is free and the Pope did it!!

The Sudanese-American citizen, Mariam Ibrahim and her family have finally left Sudan. This is very good news.  After the ineffectual efforts of the U.S. officials in the effort to free Mariam, it was Italian or Vatican diplomacy that finally worked and the family was finally allowed to leave. They have reached Italy and had a 30 minute audience with Pope Francis.

Mariam’s story is worth telling.  Her father is a Muslim, but her mother is a Christian Orthodox and Mariam was raised as a Christian Orthodox, not as a Muslim. The father deserted the family when Mariam was 2  years old.  For whatever reason, probably something to do with property rights, Mariam’s father and half-brother denounced her to Islamic authorities and she was charged with apostasy. The claim is that she was a Muslim but this is not accurate.

Mariam was sentenced to death as an apostate, but for once the world intervened and eventually a higher court set Mariam free. However, as the family attempted to leave Khartoum, her step-brother convinced authorities to arrest her again (this time she was arrested at the airport). The trumped up charge related to her passport with the claim that she had lied (that she was a Christian and not a Muslim). The South Sudanese government officials had issued her with the passport and they said it was a legitimate passport but to no avail. Mariam and her family were then taken to the U.S. consulate where they stayed until they were finally freed.

Any efforts of the U.S. were entirely ineffective. It took intervention from the Vatican to get Mariam freed once and for all. It is extremely good news that Mariam has made it to Vatican City, on her way home to the U.S.A.

A shocking incident with 298 lives lost

A Dutch passenger on the doomed flight MH17 took a photograph of his plane and posted it on Facebook. His comment read “this is what the plane looks like if it goes missing”.  These words of doom are all that is left of the thoughts of the passengers on board. Of these passengers, at least 147 passengers were of Dutch origin, and some of these had dual Dutch/US citizenship. Only one man with dual citizenship has been named so far.  Of the balance, several were Malaysian citizens including the 15 crew, at least 28 were Australians, at least 6 were British, and there was a smattering of other nationalities, including 1 Canadian. One group of passengers was heading to Australia for an AIDS conference. This is a very big loss for those who have been working on a cure and containment of that disease.

Now for the possible facts surrounding this horrendous “accident”. It is my belief that this was neither a tragic incident or an “accident”. The aircraft was hit by a SAM, a Russian made BUK missile.  The missile was fired from a region close to the border between Russia and Ukraine and the commander of the group in charge of the missile is a Russian with military experience working for the secret service.  The claim is that they were firing at an Ukrainian plane, but that is simply not true. I will have more to say in regard to Russia’s role in the conflict within the borders of Ukraine.

Breitbart has an excellent summary of Russian involvement in the Ukraine. You need to take the time to read this summary because it is definitely the most comprehensive in regard to what Russia has been doing in that region, especially in regard to the methods used to stir up trouble.

One more thing needs to be addressed and that is why was Malaysian Airlines using that flight path? Well, the fact is the flight path is an official one that had been approved for use by the Civil Aviation Authority. There had not been any warnings or intelligence that any passenger aircraft would be in danger from using that flight path. Other airlines have also used the flight path. However, that has now changed and a new flight path will be used in the future. I assume that it was used in the first place because it was a cheaper faster route than any of the other flight paths.  Either way, at 30,000 feet the aircraft should not have been in danger of attack.

It is my belief that Vladmir Putin should be severely censured over what has taken place. On top of that I believe that Russia should be told to pay compensation to Malaysia and to all of the grieving families who have lost their loved ones.

On closing, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the men,  women and children who lost their lives as a result of boarding the doomed flight to Malaysia. It is also with the family of the nun who was also on board. I do not know here nationality, she could have been one of the 28 Australians that have been identified.

Update on Libya – new crisis looms

One might ask, why is security in Libya important? This is a very serious question because the Libyan government itself is trying to do its best to become stable, yet there are interests attempting to keep that country unstable. The latest news out of Libya is not the death of a punk by the name of Chabali, but the bombarding of the Tripoli airport and the withdrawal of the U.N. staff from Tripoli.

The elected Libyan government had remained weak. The militia had maintained control and they continued to oust the leaders, especially any leaders who had ties to Gadhaffi.  When weapons were given to the militias for the purpose of defeating Gadhaffi, no one gave a thought to what would happen after he was ousted. Since then we have discovered a very weak Libya that has not been able to fully control the Islamists. One renegade general is attempting to take on the Islamists. Did he kill Chabali? Actually, I do not think so, and it would seem that Chabali most likely fell foul of other Islamists who then captured, probably tortured and then murdered him.

However, there is a much deeper story to consider than worrying about some punk who has been killed. Who is behind the militias who have been turning on the Libyan government and for what purpose? Who is providing them with weapons.

It looks like Libya is now asking for on the ground support to shore up the weak government and to stabilize the country. This request makes a lot of sense, especially if one studies the location of Libya and how it is vital for Islamists to retain some kind of control over that country.

Libya borders Chad, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Under Gadhaffi Libya was sponsoring the terrorists who were trying to take over the government of Mali. Those terrorists were expelled into the desert.  Other Islamic groups also need somewhere that they can hide and train as they prepare to wreak havoc on the world. The Libyan government is not a part of that scene, and the Libyan people as a whole are not a part of that scene, since the majority are Islamic Sufi or Sanusi, rather than being Sunni or Shia. This of course does not mean that the Muslim Brotherhood had not attempted to gain a foothold in Libya, they just went under the name “Justice Party”.

What the Libyans did, when they turfed out Gadhaffi was to bring their country out of Marxism and back to their modern Islamic roots.  A substantial number of Libyans, especially from Benghazi are in fact West friendly.

Where I am uncertain is the nature of the relationship between the current Egyptian government and Libya. It could be that al-Sissi is a “friendly” where Libya is concerned. On the other hand the relationship with Qatar is one that is marred by Qatar’s sponsorship of the Islamist factions during the civil war. Could it be that Qatar is sponsoring the weapons purchases of the militia? Nothing is very clear as far as these relationships are concerned.

It is far better to have Libya neutralized than to have that country supporting Islamists elsewhere. One cannot stop those Islamists who are determined to spread the Ummah, so let them go and get themselves killed in Iraq or Syria. For that reason, it is not such a bad idea to give Libya sufficient support on the ground so that the new government can get on with the job of establishing itself.

I will be watching this situation for futher developments.

If you having nothing to hide…… ?

Well it seems that someone needs a distraction from the illegal immigrants that have been crossing into the USA. (Australia has a different problem because the illegals have to come by boat, yet both countries have something in common – the Marxists want the illegals to flood our respective countries). So what happens? The Lois Lerner emails are in the news again.

The latest email is from 2013, roughly a month before the whole scandal broke. In this email, Lerner was asking about the use of an internal messaging system for the purpose of hiding written communication from the Congress. This is not just my interpretation of the email. The thing itself is self-explanatory because it is prefaced with the statement “I was warning about ….” followed by a query as to whether or not OCS messages are saved and with the response “perfect”.

Putting this in perspective, what would such a communication suggest to those who are somewhat savvy when it comes to IT systems?  I would suggest that the email shows that Lois Lerner had something to hide and that she did not want Congress knowing exactly who she was in contact with, plus I would suggest that Lois Lerner was involved in some sort of a conspiracy with people higher up in the chain to cause people with conservative views, and who disagree with Barry Soetoro to be punished.

The other part of this Lerner saga is that her lawyer has been “talking” or at least making suggestions that imply that Lerner did not initiate the whole scheme. I would suggest that Taylor is supplying a number of false flags based upon the idea that the buck can be passed to another organization (to the DoJ).

In other words there is one very big cover-up going on here, and it is most likely that the buck stops in the Oval Office. This kind of vengeance is right up the alley of Valerie Jarrett.

It is not hard to imagine that the impetus for the whole scandal of targetting conservative groups (some of them are conservative Democrats and others are either Independents or conservative Republicans) was the result of the Citizens United v FEC case. In that decision, the restrictions that were placed upon donations by corporations were struck down – one section of the McCain-Feingold legislation. One group that was hit hard by the targeting was True the Vote and they are not taking it!!  The whole effort of targetting these groups has had the effect of chilling the freedom of speech of individuals who have formed themselves into a group for “charitable” or political purposes, especially those on the conservative side of politics. No such targetting occurred for individuals involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement or even the “Coffee Party” (which fell apart almost immediately because it was so ridiculous).

A reading of the Citizens’ United case is very instructive, especially the judgement of Clarence Thomas who did in fact mention the chilling of free speech as a result of the restrictions imposed by McCain – Feingold. Please note that the restrictions upon foreign donations remained in force yet Barry Soetoro’s campaign accepted donations from the Gaza strip and from other foreign entities.  The IRS, by holding up those applications, seeking out donor information, and then leaking that information to others had in fact chilled the freedom of speech for a number of individuals.

This case and scandal is more about the right to freedom of speech than it is about political donations or anything else. The impact of the IRS actions has been to harm the individual organizations that were harmed. This includes the attempt by the DoJ to get hold of documents to use against such organizations and charge them with providing false information.

Perhaps there is something that we have all been missing because we have forgotten about their very existence. What organization was active for Barry Soetoro during the 2008 Presidential election cycle? What organization would have had the same status as True the Vote but it was working to elect Barry Soetoro? What organization had its funding cut off because a very enterprising individual uncovered a very huge scandal of cheating and giving bad advice etc. etc.?  The answer is ACORN. That organization was forced to go into demise once its corruption was discovered. Imagine how p’d off Barry must have been over what had happened.

It is not all that hard to see how the IRS scandal reaches into the White House. It is also not hard to imagine that Lois Lerner was savvy enough to realize that Congress would want to know more about communication aspects. The alleged computer crash occurred in 2011. I do not believe that all those hard drives crashed at the same time. This is a lie, and the emails do in fact exist somewhere. Lerner was hoping that people would believe the lie because there is evidence of a computer crash, but the fact is it still should not be too hard for this lie to be unravelled. Then we can watch Lois Lerner squirm.

Defining Pregnancy – Anecdotal

The Hobby Lobby decision has the Leftists up in arms, but it is doing more than that because the decision is actually showing up the ignorance of the Leftists or at least of their memes.  The Hobby Lobby decision is very narrow. I do believe that the Wheaton College case will have wider ramifications… but would a woman know?

One issue that has arisen, because the contraceptives objected to are abortifacients, is the issue related to defining pregnancy. In my view the definition of when a pregnancy begins is a majory reason for people not understanding how their body actually works. The Left continues to lie about the moment of conception.

Since I belong to a class of people who experienced early symptoms of pregnancy, I will offer up my own experience as anecdotal evidence about how wrong most of them are when it comes to defining that moment of conception.

I know the exact date as to when I became pregnant for the first time. It was May 31 1977. You might wonder about how I could be so bold as to make that statement. What is more, I knew because that was the date I fell pregnant that there was a very good chance that I was expecting a son  and I was correct. Geoffrey was born 22 February 1978.  My certainty was based upon the clues that my body gave me the moment that I became pregnant. The date stands out because we moved from a unit to a house provided by the Defence force – a move from Richmond to South Windsor. It was a cold night!!

The next day I went back to the unit to clean the place so that we could hand back the keys. I worked hard, cleaning the oven, washing the walls, vacuuming the carpet and ensuring that the place was clean. What I was not expecting was the nausea that overcame me as I worked on washing the walls. That was in fact sign no 1 that I was pregnant.

The next few signs were : a change in my breasts that made them feel sore, and nausea when I attempted to start an exercise routine. Running on the spot caused me to head for the bathroom!! Only then did I have the most obvious sign at the 2 week mark.

Instant nausea like mine is rare. Neither of my sisters responded this way so early in their pregnancies. What is more I had nausea throughout my pregnancy and was dry-retching the day before I had my first son (in the shower on the labour ward of the hospital where I gave birth. It was a long labour which is why it was the day before).

The changes in a woman’s body begin immediately from the time of conception. My anecdotal evidence goes to the heart of the hormonal changes that occur within a woman’s body.

The abortifacient, such as the morning after pill acts to prevent the embryo from being implanted in the womb. The important word here is embryo. An embryo is the beginnings of a new life. Therefore when an abortifacient is being used the embryo is being destroyed, and it kills that new human life, thus people who are morally religious object to the use of this form of “contraceptive”. Likewise I object to the use of RU486 and yes I am against abortion on demand, but that does not include a situation where there is an ectopic pregnancy.

I am a mother of 3 sons. There were similarities in all of my pregnancies, but the first one stands out because I could be so certain of the date. The other two were not so clear cut as that first time… and no 3 was a bit of a surprise when it happened. The similarities happened to be the nausea that occurred throughout the pregnancy, and especially with motion. I would go for a walk and end up dry-retching.

The Left continues to lie to the world and especially on this issue of when conception occurs, and when a pregnancy should be acknowledged.

And the winner for worst U.S. President is……

I am going to sound like a fan of President Richard Nixon with my comments on this subject. If I do, then it is probably true……

The latest polling on who is the worst President since the second world war has Barry Soetoro as the clear winner. One pundit has framed this as Barry being worse than Richard Nixon.  I was a teenager when Nixon was President and hence I am old enough to remember the scandal surrounding his Presidency.

The fact is, even if Nixon was a crook, what he did pales into insignificance after considering the corruption of Barry Soetoro.

On top of that in regard to foreign policy, Richard Nixon actually did a credible job, and he deserves to be recognized for the good that he did around the world. Oh yes I remember the headlines “Mad Bomber Nixon”, but the truth is Richard Nixon did not start the war in Vietnam, a war like that actually went against the grain of his Quaker religon, and he had to find a way to get out of the situation.  He could not win, no matter what he did, Nixon could not win.

One of the highlights of the Nixon presidency happens to be the way in which he negotiated with Mao Tse Tung. Mao was willing to talk to Richard Nixon. In reality what this meant was the opening up of China to the rest of the world. Some of us might think that this was not a good idea, yet in the long run, we have begun to see the Chinese in a different light (still do not trust them, but the Chinese are entrepreneurs and there are plenty of them who do not want to be under Communism).  This was a major achievement of the Nixon era… and Barry Soetoro cannot ever match such an achievement.

The parallels that are being drawn up between Barry Soetoro and Richard Nixon in regard to other matters also do not hold water. The comparison is the fact that Nixon’s secretary wiped some stuff on a tape. How does this compare to the missing Lois Lerner emails? I actually think that the missing Lerner emails are a bigger deal because they more than likely lead directly to the White House in regard to the targeting of what are deemed to be enemies of Barry Soetoro for auditing and other issues. This is an ongoing saga, but I do believe that ultimately this IRS scandal will be the undoing of Barry Soetoro. It all started with the decision in the case of Citizens United vs. FEC.  The difference is that the IRS refused to carry out the audits for Richard Nixon. The IRS has allowed itself to be used in a partisan way by Barry Soetoro.

Clearly, there are other distinctions, but to me the biggest distinction and the reason that you can put me in a pro-Nixon camp is Foreign Policy. Richard Nixon had foreign policy triumphs but Barry Soetoro has proved himself to have been totally clueless, and I might add extremely dangerous.

I had thought that Jimmy Carter was a dangerous fool and extremely naive where foreign policy is concerned. In particular Carter made disastrous decisions regarding Iran, but Barry Soetoro has topped Carter’s ineptness. His actions have led the world to the brink of one massive civil war, thanks to Barry deliberately funding ISIS and ISIL through a relationship with Qatar. To this I will also point to his fecklessness over the three missing Jewish boys, one of them a U.S. citizen, and the pronouncements over the death of a Palestinian in East Jerusalem who was most likely murdered by his own family members. There should have been outrage over the death of the three teenagers. There is no proof that there was a revenge killing… no proof at all. Barry’s ineptness in trying to force the hand of Israel has led the Middle East into a very unpalatable position.

BTW whilst I do not completely hold Saudi Arabia in high regard, I dare my critics to show the evidence that the Sauds are sponsoring the ISIS terror. There is no way that they would be sponsoring such terror. ISIL has been threatening the Saudis, as does Al Qaeda. The Sauds have everything to gain by seein an end to both of these extremists.  It is Qatar who is the funder of the terrorism, not Saudi Arabia, not UAE, and not Jordan.

The Hobby Lobby decision

The first thing to say about this decision is that it is one for the Constitution and it is common sense.  Now I am not a student of your Constitution, but I think I know enough to venture an opinion in relation to what is an horrendous piece of legislation, especially in regard to the overreach of Government. As an outsider I have to speak to what I know best, and that is the Australian system of medical insurance.

Medicare is the current name for universal health coverage here in Australia. What is covered by Medicare is in fact very limited because it does not include such things as dental, physiotherapy or podiatry except in limited circumstances. It also does not cover seeing a dietician or an exercise physiologist. On the other hand it covers doctor visits and some hospital expenses. It also covers most but not all blood tests, and it covers some of the cost of getting an x-ray (with qualifications and lots of them).  The cost of medications is not covered by Medicare.

I can only speak to my own experiences and I can give lots of examples about how the patient ends up with lots of out of pocket expenses. Take for example the fact that when I was examined for a skin cancer check, the doctor diagnosed that I had a BCC on my nose (thank goodness it was a BCC and not an SCC). I was sent to a specialist and fortunately this particular one charged a reasonable amount for the consultation at $80. He agreed that I had a BCC. The choice was to have it removed under full anaesthetic at a private hospital (day surgery) or have removed under local anaesthetic. We had just changed the medical insurance company so there was a question about right to benefits. The cost difference was $800 vs $300,  and other differences was feeling sick afterwards, and no ill effects until the anaesthetic wore off.  Either way, it was a big bandage on the nose!!  The cost of pathology was fully covered by Medicare, but the $300 was not refundable. The whole of the out of pocket for the procedure was $300.  This is but one example, and I can give others where the out of pocket expenses have been adding up quite significantly, because a procedure is not covered by Medicare.

Prescriptions is covered under a different scheme. Medicines are placed on what is called the “free” list but they are not free. There is a co-payment and there are expensive medicines that are made affordable by the scheme.  Someone not on a healthcare care is now paying close to $40 per prescription for some medication. If the item costs less than the current level that has to be paid then you only pay that amount hence some cost as low as $11 or even less than that. However if you have a healthcare card then the co-payment is roughly $7 (and still they complain when they pay such a small amount).

Hospitalisation and emergency services is also a different matter. A person can front to the emergency department of a hospital and is not charged anything with the government being charged via Medicare (this is one area where there needs to be reform). One can go to hospital as a Public patient but there is a waiting list. The alternative is to have private health insurance. All Australians have a choice about what fund they will use to cover everything that is not covered by Medicare, as well as cover for private hospital care.  Using the private hospital system is often the difference between waiting a very long time for a procedure and getting relief as soon as possible. (I hope this makes sense).

From this description, one thing should be clear, and that is women who want to use contraceptives pay for their contraceptives. It is not provided for free!!  Australian women continue to thrive without getting all uptight because of “access”. You want the prescription, then you pay for it.

Hobby Lobby took on the HHS because it was compelled to agree to use an insurance contract that included contraceptives that are abortifacients. They were not objecting to the regular type pill.  The issue seems to have been very narrow in the Hobby Lobby case because the owners of the company had an objection to having to pay for anyone choosing to use an abortifacient via their health insurance. The way I see this, it is government overreach to demand that employers have to cover such items in the first place, especially over the religious objections of individuals.

It should be noted here that there are other cases that have been making their way through the court system. The Supreme Court has sent some of the cases back to the lower courts and told them to reconsider, based on the Hobby Lobby decision. Already in one case, that of EWTN an injunction has been granted so that the station does not face a fine until the case is decided. What is involved here is the compulsion by government to force a religious organisation (EWTN was founded by Mother Angelica) that is against the use of contraceptive devices to provide cover for these contraceptives. This compulsion strikes at the very heart of the Establishment clause.  The EWTN case has wider ramifications than that of Hobby Lobby.

The whinging whining progressives are all up in arms because the majority of the USSC has gone against the HHS in its decision. The minority opinion in my view is an absolute disgrace and I should add the opinions of both Kagan and Sotomeyer in this case leaves a lot to be desired. In fact both of these justices should have recused themselves from making a decision in the Hobby Lobby case – but that is another issue.