Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TPP: Hammer time!

Here we go on the free trade merry-go-round again. Please grab your hammer and join me for the ride, won't you?
Let me explain:
Last Friday, the Trade Adjustment Assistance portion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill received a 302-126 thrashing in the House. Although Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed 219-210, action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill cannot go ahead. The TAA is connected to the TPA which is connected to the TPP. If one falls, it all crashes down.
What sense it made to approve TPA while rejecting TAA is beyond me, but my guess is that the TAA concerned welfare to labor in the event that they will—not might, will—lose their jobs and was a sticking point for Big Labor. TPA is about giving the President authority to negotiate and proceed with trade agreements, something the House is almost evenly divided on. That passed by only eight votes.
The options now available for TPP are for a House and Senate conference to strike the TAA from the bill or for John Boehner to allow a reconsideration vote on the TAA. This last option was supposed to have taken place last night, but in a fashion all-too-typical of the political elite, the House instead voted to delay the second TAA vote for a while, possibly for as long as six weeks.
You guessed it. Their refusal to let this beast die gives Obama and his donor sycophants and cronies many chances to try to flip the tens of dozens of votes needed to pass the stinker and shoe-horn it in before the August recess. Isn't this fun?
It's apparent to everyone by now that John Boehner Bonehead and Mitch Squish McConnell are the respective kings of the RINOs in their chambers. They are the President's puppy dogs. They care about nothing more than being regarded by the Prez in the same way that the Prez regards Bo. A scritch here, a scritch there. Doesn't help that Bonehead is so plastered on a routine basis that he'd roll over for anyone as long as they didn't have principles.
What is super amazing to me is that the TAA got shot down by the wrong people: Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, et al. The hard-Left progressives. More Republicans voted against TAA than did Democrats (158-144), but more Republicans also voted for TAA than did Democrats (86-40). We had Paul Ryan, usually a stand-up guy, arguing passionately in favor of passing TAA, thus the entire trade bill. Bad enough he was one of the most useless veep candidates in modern American history, a puppet who just stood there going "ah der der der" in response to attacks by Obama and the Democrats. He now wants to save Barry Hussein's skin. What have the Dems got on this man?
Then there's Ted Cruz, who has set himself up as a warrior for free trade. During an interview with Jeff Kuhner on WRKO in Boston, Cruz spoke in defense of the TAA/TPA/TPP.
"I fully understand because we do not trust this President and because, idiotically, the text is secret," Cruz said. "People are naturally believing it does all of these terrible things."
Terrible things. Y'know, like giving up American sovereignty and allowing for foreign committees to make binding law in the U.S., impacting our labor, immigration and environmental policies.
I feel bad for Cruz, because I do believe he's an honest guy, and I would like to take him at face value on this subject. He means well, and he tried so hard to convince us that we can trust him on the trade bill, citing the following:
When I was the Solicitor-General of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state of Texas, I stood up and fought the World Court and the United Nations which had issued an order to the United States to re-open the convictions of fifty-one murderers, and I went before the U.S. Supreme Court. On the other side was the World Court, was the United Nations, were 90 foreign nations and was the President of the United States who, I would note, unfortunately, was a Republican—George W. Bush—and I stood up to my own party and to the World Court and the U.N., defending U.S. sovereignty and we won 6-3. And the Supreme Court rightly concluded that World Court and the United Nations have no authority to bind the United States, and the President of the United States has no authority to give up our sovereignty. So when it comes to defending sovereignty, there is no-one who has fought the fight longer or harder than I have, or more successfully.
Cruz also said, "[W]orking men and women have been hammered across this country." What the ...?  He isn't referring to a countrywide trend that the current Speaker of the House inspired. Does this remind anyone of another politician? Say, Fauxcahontas, who once said that the middle class in this country was getting hammered? "Hammered" had to be one of the most overused words of 2012. Every Democrat used the word as if it was a vital part of some sonnet they were composing in that foul election year. Why was the senator from Texas channelling his inner Elizabeth Warren?
But here's the thing: If Elizabeth Warren was to walk by me on the street today, I'd give her a high-five. Actually, I'd ask her what she was doing in London first. Then, I'd high-five her. Cruz, though I give him props for finally clarifying his position with Kuhner during the hours before the vote, would get a dressing down from me.
Cruz gets it partly right when he says that free trade is not the central issue as to why job opportunities have not materialized nationwide. "You want to know why we've got job losses?" Cruz asked Kuhner. "We've got job losses because of Obamacare. We've got job losses because of crippling regulations. We've got job losses because of zealots in the Obama EPA that are destroying small businesses, that are hammering jobs."
If I had a hammer ... I'd use it to knock out every single member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the people who have bought off our lawmakers and own them, lock, stock and barrel. 

The real hammering involved when it comes to the TPP *
The (Un-)Affordable Health Care Act and powerful anti-business regulations have crippled job creation in the U.S., no doubt about it. But I don't buy for one moment all the job creation that the White House claims will flourish in the wake of the passage of TPP. I cringe to hear Cruz parroting the same line.
We've had free trade agreements up the ying-yang for twenty-five years now. NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA. TAFTA, a free trade treaty with the EU, and TPP are currently being discussed. Every time you turn around, there's yet another alphabet soup-like acronym for a free trade agreement in the news and it's always the same story: We've gotta pass this for jobs and for prosperity and for our standard of living.
And what have we got to show for it, even long before Obamacare went into effect? A decline in jobs, a decline in prosperity, a decline in our standard of living. All we have is an outsourcing of jobs and labor. You have to consider yourself lucky if your salary stagnates or even decreases given the alternative. These are the robust trappings of free trade that our political class expects us to support prostrate ourselves for?
Free trade used to be simple. I have something I want to sell you. You have something you want to sell me. We agree to lower import and export fees to deliver our stuff to each other. If you renege on your agreement to lower tarriffs, then we bring this before an impartial trade commission, an authority to declare decisions on trade policy and trade policy only. We settle our dispute without trumping other laws or meddling too much in the affairs of either of our people.
Let's dial up the spirit of Adam Smith and see if he agrees with the highfalutin, overreaching, bureaucratic, New World Order-style garbage that makes up the text of so much of our current FTAs (free trade agreements). Something tells me he would not only disapprove but blow a gasket.
Oh yeah, the text: I beseech thee to not forget that it was a complete secret, as Cruz said. Locked away in a room in the basement of Capitol Hill. Lawmakers who wanted to read it had to sign in, sign out and promise not to leak to the press or anyone else what they read. Jeff Sessions read all 800 pages. So did Rand Paul. Cruz read a bit. Now, who do you trust? Sessions and Paul who say this bill is dangerous or Cruz who glosses over the devil in the details and declares free trade über alles?
Sorry, Senator Cruz, but it is not Mr. Sessions who is misrepresenting the TPP.
This is an issue on which I'll happily side with the far-Left. They want it defeated for labor and environmental reasons. So do I. I also want it defeated for nationalist reasons. I'm sick of the sovereignty that our elites constantly chip away at and of jobs disappearing and being replaced by welfare dependency and bureaucracy. That is all that free trade has given us.
Show me a genuine free trade agreement. Not a treaty. An agreement, containing no by-laws or stipulations or anything else pertaining to other areas of American law or policy, and then we'll talk.
Until then, SCREW "free trade" and screw anyone who defends this monster. That includes you, Ted Cruz. You have the right to your opinion.  Just don't expect me to fall in line with it like a good li'l citizen peon.  I assure you, I will not.
Take your hammer and nail that one to the wall.

* Illustration from The Wall (1982). Animation by Gerald Scarfe.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Queen's new subjects

After we said good-bye to her natural sister Twix in April, Crunchie spent nearly another two months with us before herself succumbing to a pituitary tumor.

"I love Papa's scritches."

In those two months, Crunchie and Gwen had grown close:

Crunchie: "What will you do later today?"
Gwen: "Same as always. Collect my magazine pages and arrange them behind the sofa."

Now we had just "the Queen" on her own:

"Hey, wait a minute, I have no subjects left!"

Although we know the risks inherent in introducing new rats to an incumbent who only knew the rats she grew up with, we decided to get two new girls.


"Hewwo. I'm Elsa."

and Marshmallow:

"I'm Marshmallow, wheee!"

The introductions have gone better than we anticipated. Gwen has surprised us by being quite tolerant of the new girls. If anything, rather than being aggressive, Gwen—who we've regarded as rather high-strung—appears to accept that Elsa is younger, therefore more powerful.
It is apparent that Elsa is the dominant rat in this colony. Gwen has already become best buds with Marshmallow, as she is often at the mercy of Elsa's shenanigans as well.

Marshie: "What are we going to do about Elsa?"
Gwen: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking."

But at the end of the day, it's nothing that food can't fix:

Elsa: "Nom, nom, nom ..."
Marshie: "Nom, nom, nom ..."
Gwen: "OK, time to split!"

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rand Paul's true act of freedom

If Rand Paul hasn't earned his meal-ticket to the Oval Office for 2016, then it can only mean that the American public really is as fat, happy and ignorant beyond belief as I have for a long time now believed them to be.
Earlier this week, the senator from Kentucky blocked a vote in the Senate on authorizing the extension of the Patriot Act, the "watered down" version favored by some Republicans and the White House, known as the USA Freedom Act. Nothing had been passed by the time the midnight deadline came and went.
Rand's attempt at lifting the surveillance yoke off the backs of Americans was short-lived as the USA Freedom Act eventually passed its second time around in the Senate and Obama signed the bill, allowing the National Security Administration to get back to work fighting terror—or so that's what we're expected to believe.
At least the bulk storing of phone call data has been halted. Authorities now have to obtain information with a warrant from a counterterror court in which a specific person or group has been identified.
The FBI has admitted that the bulk data collection which occurred under section 215 of the Patriot Act has not, in the space of fourteen years, led to one arrest. It did not prevent Ford Hood, it did not prevent the Boston Marathon bombings, it did not prevent the beheading in Moore, Oklahoma. No terror plots uncovered or halted for the fourteen years and billions of dollars worth of metadata storage. Isn't that groovy?
Neither, incidentally, has the TSA prevented any terror either. Agents from this offshoot of the completely corrupt Department of Homeland Security—the boobs who tell us that Tea Party members and returning veterans represent the terrorist threat to America—failed to detect bombs and other weapons on inspectors a whopping ninety-five percent of the time. This is your (big) government "protecting" you. Liberals may think a score of 5 percent is an acceptable passing grade, but I, and people who are actually normal, do not.
Do you want to know how section 215 of the Patriot Act worked? Say you have a street of eight houses. It is apparent to everyone, including local law enforcement, that house number eight is occupied by radical terrorists. But local authorities can't do anything because the law of the land, the Patriot Act, spies on houses one through seven, collects data from their phone calls, leaves house number eight alone and declares that there's not a problem on this street. In other words, it operates just like "security" at the airport: Your 80-year-old grandmother gets pulled aside, patted down, her luggage rummaged through and then she is eventually taken to a screening room to perform a geriatric strip act while Ali Baba, possessing a keffiyeh, luxurious dark beard and two gym bags, strolls through unaccosted and without a second glance from the high school dropouts in charge of deciding whether or not the rest of we poor working citizens make our flights or not.
I supported the Patriot Act. In the wake of September 11, 2001, it seemed like the right response. But the same folks who complained about the surveillance conducted under Bush and cried that it was unconstitutional (which it was) said nothing under Obama's continuance of such. It was only when Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the program and review panels found it completely ineffective at preventing terror that the President began to pivot on the issue. An overturning of the data collection clause, however, he preferred to leave in the hands of lawmakers. No executive order issued to prevent bulk phone call data collection from a man who releases EOs like Saddam Hussein launched SCUDs.
This recent history has changed my mind. The Patriot Act was something all good neocons could rally behind, but it stood in direct conflict with the Constitution's 4th Amendment. I can only shake my head in despair at people who continue to think that a nationwide police state is the answer to combating terrorism. I can hear them now: "What, it's safe! It's keeping us safe! Ah der der der ... Do you want da terrorists ta win?!"
Well, numbnuts, how about just some good old-fashioned detective work to capture miscreants as with the dispatching of Usamma Rahim in Boston? What's wrong with that? Maybe if we didn't saddle the FBI, Homeland Security and other authorities with political correctness, we'd have no need for agencies that watch you and me and pass that off as "fighting terror".
Benjamin Franklin said that those who are willing to give up liberty in the name of security deserve neither.  I concur. 
Rand Paul knew that a genuine freedom act would be one that completely overturns the Patriot Act, not just removes section 215, and single-handedly stood up to it by using his Senate perogative by blocking the vote and ensuring no action would be taken by the midnight deadline. A temporary victory it may have been, but it has solidified his Constitutionalist libertarian credentials beyond reasonable doubt.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

News catch-up, part deux: The 'control freakery' of assisted dying, Caitlyn Jenner and the killer DJ

Commentator Charles Moore has written about the decision ("Arranging an assisted suicide is the ultimate in control freakery") by 54-year-old businessman Jeffrey Spector to end his life at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. Spector was in a state of paralysis due to an inoperable tumor.
Shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer has vowed to introduce a bill that would allow for assisted dying, or "dying with dignity" as it is sometimes called. He has pledged to work around the Suicide Act of 1961 which makes the assistance in or encouragement of a suicide illegal.
Moore, however, whose piece is subtitled "The rising calls for 'Dignitas dying' are symptoms of a very modern disease," sees it as a duty to keep those alive who have no zest for life anymore and do not wish to prolong the pain or the indignity of seeing themselves in a vegatative state. Spector feared living as a quadriplegic. But Moore views this assault on Spector's future dignity as a "rhetorical trick which sympathy for Mr Spector should not force us to accept." Moore appears to step off the deep end when he writes:
In the modern world—especially the rich Western world—people—especially successful people—want control. We are used to owning things and making consumer choices and switching careers and partners and taking out life insurance policies and investment plans and issuing orders instantaneously and remotely via the internet. We feel our peers judge us by how much we control things and people. We judge ourselves in this way. So what we most dislike is whatever escapes our control. Small examples of this are road rage or people who have a tantrum when their flight is delayed. Big examples are people who cannot accept the mental illness of those close to them, or people who try to prevent themselves ageing. Not for nothing has the phrase "control freak" been invented in our time: it is the disease of power which destroys many a marriage, blights many children's lives and turns office life into a misery.
Dude, seriously? I don't wish to take you out of context, but you're starting your argument off by comparing one's desire for relief to the careers or commercialism of high-flying occidentals? Wishing for a dignified death is akin to the "control freak" tantrums of a road rager or power-hungry narcissist whose marriage breaks down? Did you rip off some nerd's book report on Bonfire of the Vanities or what? Moore goes on to assert that the control freakery rampant in society allows people the fantasy that they can book their deaths as they can a holiday or a restaurant table. Ker-plunk!
After lecturing us on the benefits of being old and happy—hey, screw you, Charles Moore, I was planning on being curmudgeonly in my twilight years, goddamnit!—he opines:
The rising calls for assisted dying, however powerful some of the hard cases seem, are symptoms of a pointless defiance of the nature of human life. They attempt to master what cannot be mastered.
Yep, there's that awful control thing again, rearing its ugly head.
They are very bad for our peace of mind.
Ummm, whose peace of mind, Chas? Ours, did you say? You must be mistaken, old boy. Surely you meant "your". It's bad for your peace of mind that the possibility of liberating one's self from the prison of their unrepairable body exists. This is hardly the same as the "self-slaughter" category of suicide to which Moore refers.
I know that the duty of care inherent in the health care system stipulates that the life of a patient requires preserving and that our lives are not ours to take when there is no compelling medical reason to justify it. Terminal illness is, however, a game-changer. I don't believe choice is a bad thing. It's usually what human beings thrive on.
As a "control freak" Westerner (according to Moore), I'm allowed a free market for most things as a living, breathing consumer. Why not at my most desperate hour? 
How can we have regulations as thick as an encyclopedia for most government bodies, but somehow it's impossible to stick in there a rule which states that assisted death is permissable if requested by the patient. Coersion by doctors, nurses or health professionals would be illegal. The patient must, in some concrete manner, and with a solicitor present, communicate his wish to die and grant permission for it.
Is this honestly so hard to work into existing health care legislation? No-one wants death panels. Nobody is saying that you should be coerced into ending your life. The Dignitas clinic exists because the people who seek its services, if I may be allowed to call it that, know what they are requesting and they have given their assent for it.
Moore concludes with:
People speak of "the right to die". It is a strange idea to try to turn a certainty into a right. This is not an area of mere personal choice: it is a predicament, the predicament of every human being. We are all in this together.
No, we are assuredly not "all in this together", Mr. Moore. You want to deny what I do consider a right to end my life on my terms, to withhold from me and others what should be an ability to declare "enough is enough" and end the pain for good. I assure you, I will fight you and all those who think like you tooth and bloody nail on this. If we are not to accept death on anyone else's terms, then that can only mean that we decide that for ourselves. To compare those terms to a "modern disease" is not only callous but reduces the pain of the terminally ill to a red herring. 
Speak for yourself in wanting to exist in a vegetative state for years, Mr. Moore. If I end up that way, I grant permission for anyone to drag me into the woods and shoot me. But I'd prefer the environment of the hospital or clinic, thank you very much, and a needle in my arm to settle it forever.

She's always a woman to herself

Bruce Jenner is now known to the world as Caitlyn. She has come out as her new self on the cover of Vanity Fair in a shot taken by Annie Leibovitz.

Jenner has said that while Bruce always had secrets, Caitlyn has none. Jenner tweeted: "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world, Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me."
Jenner is now even more popular than she was in 1976, when the whole world, golly gee, thought she was a man and she won a Gold medal in the Montreal Olympics.
I think we encourage the alternatives to the heterosexual, solidly male or solidly female world a little too much in today's society. We have glamorized deviancy and it is getting to the stage where if I said I was perfectly happy as a natural-born male, I'd be considered the weird one. I mean, if I haven't figured out that I'm actually a woman by now, or that at the very least my gender was fluid, then I must be insane. Either that, or I'm a threat to the psychological and emotional well-being of others struggling with their sexuality or gender identity by flaunting my comfortability with my gender or willingness to accept gender roles inherent in the term "man".
We have all heard that many transsexuals have known from a very young age that they did not feel right in the bodies they were born with. That could very well be, but why the urgent need to put transgender awareness in schools? Can we not leave these individuals to sort this business out for themselves? Do we have to shine the spotlight on them or put them up on a pedestal with the greats of the civil rights movement? Isn't this a deeply personal avenue to travel down? Why should it involve the entire country?
We act as if one's gender identity or sexual preference is the end game to an über national consciousness, as if once Americans have been brainwashed and/or browbeaten into accepting every difference imaginable then we will have ushered in a utopia. My definition of such would be defeating our enemies and having a robust, job-creating economy. But that's just me.
I don't know anything about the stability of the input connection to Jenner's brain, so I'll just congratulate her on her transformation and leave well enough alone. Bruce Jenner was a running hero to me and still is. That won't change—regardless of how much she has.

File under "duh" for DJ

Last week, a deejay in Denmark caused a storm of outrage after killing a nine-week-old rabbit named Allan while on the air. Asger Juhl from Radio24syv was, according to reports, trying to provoke a debate on the "vast hypocrisy" concerning human relationships with animals. Juhl beat the young rabbit to death with a bicycle pump and later took the body home to skin and cook.
Actor Ricky Gervais responded by writing on Twitter: "I just battered a Danish DJ to death with a bicycle pump to show how terrible murder is." Juhl responded to the comedian's jibe by saying the rabbit "didn't suffer." How exactly would he know?

Allan the rabbit: "Were you aware that I don't feel pain? It must be true because a radio big-mouth said so."
You see, this is exactly the problem dictating human relationships with animals. Far too many people believe that animals do not feel pain. Did Saint Francis of Assisi visit these people in the middle of the night and assure them that animals lack pain receptors or what?
If you pull a cat's tail, it'll likely yowl at you in response. Why? Because you caused it pain, dumbkopf.
For instance, if I was to envy my neighbor his BMW convertible, do I smash it up to show the evil of coveting his goods? Who'd defend me on those grounds? 
You just can't defend stupidity.
Juhl's cruel roundabout way of trying to make a point is as sensible as an "artist" soliciting the shooting of a pet rat to protest the use of military drones. Yet, that's exactly what Florian Mehnert of Germany attempted with his ridiculous "11 Days" experiment. Mehnert was later arrested.
Mr. Juhl, for your next stunt, I suggest you bring in Mike Tyson as a guest and call him the n-word, y'know, to demonstrate the awfulness of racism.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

News catch-up: Declaring jihad against jihad, prosecuting FIFA, defending Tom Brady, and sex pervert "justice"

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I am tough on the Muslim community—and for perfectly justifiable reasons. So much of the time, I, as do we all, have reason to ask, "Why, on a routine basis, is there silence from the communities where Islam is practiced in response to jihadic terror? Where's the peace in this so-called religion of peace?"
Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of the international Minhaj-ul-Quran organization, hopes to change that. He and his group are the refreshing change to the status quo in Islam that the world has long been waiting for, the first Muslim voices significantly raised against the horror of ISIS and the inspiration it inspires in ever-increasing numbers of radicalized people.
The Supreme Jihad, published by Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, to slim it down to its essence, advocates a jihad against jihad. In other words, jihad, the way Mohammed saw it, refers to the duty of Muslims to reject base desires and to fight elements that go against human rights and fairness and justice in society.

In this book, Tahir-ul-Qadri argues that the religious edification of young Muslims today should motivate them to promote the well-being of the Islamic community in a positive way and one that thoroughly rejects the savagery of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and other radical terrorist groups. Muslim citizens should be travelling to Syria and Iraq, if at all, to fight ISIS, not aid them, and that they should be filled with a desire to elevate Islam to the higher plateau where human dignity and tolerance of other faiths are preserved, as advocated by Mohammed in the Koran, and today by the likes of General el-Sisi of Egypt, King Hussein II of Jordan, by a large extent, the populations of Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey, and even a good portion of the Iranian public who take their religion in stride and don't side with their theologically tyrannical government.
The work has been described as "training material for youth to conduct 'online Jihad' against extremism and radicalist recruitment and is part of a series of books to be published in the next few weeks. Minhaj-ul-Quran will also provide training to its youth to tackle ISIS recruitment and conduct 'online Jihad' against radicalization and extremism."
Minhaj-ul-Quran has also published a book entitled Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings, which is self-explanatory.
Muslims are not evil, it's that evil permeates their belief systems all too easily.
The Supreme Jihad has been written with a desire to see Islam cleansed of such evil among those who practice it. Mihaj-ul-Quran has offices in London and is planning an anti-extremism rally soon in the city. More power to it. The NGO has been around since 1981, but this is a time when we need it the most, to shout the loudest and the hardest and to take the fight to the extremist mosques and imams peddling their poison to easily corrupted minds.

Prosecuting FIFA officials won't make the world safer

Columnist Janice Turner wrote in The Times about her glee regarding the seven FIFA officials arrested by Swiss authorities acting on behalf of the FBI and how she could watch a "full 90 minutes of that and stick around for extra time".
She writes that the FIFA seven represent the "jowly, hair-dyed, corpulent, self-regarding, bespoke-suited, pinky-ringed — and an expression of outraged entitlement we see beyond football. They remind us of pictures we've seen of minor dictators, arraigned fraudsters or busted politicians. Hungry men who hustled their way up, stretched rules, bought off rivals and built around them a lead-lined wall of money. Men of impunity who laugh at the law." And she notes how the spotlight has finally been shone on how the Swiss have made into a business the shielding of the most corrupt of businesses and the shady deals they engage in. She opined that the arrests are "some compensation for other injustices in our unaccountable world".
I agree with her. I, too, had a hearty laugh at those thugs at the head of world soccer being led out of their five-star hotel with luxury Egyptian cotton sheets shielding them from the cameras. One hopes—well, I do anyway—that their lives will be a complete misery from now until the day the sun sets on their lives. I also hope that Switzerland will clamp down on the banking system in its country that allows for the shielding of shysters and that the landlocked European country will no longer serve as a place for unscruplous businessmen to turn to.
Sepp Blatter, the (wouldn't you just know it) Swiss president of FIFA, recently won re-election. I firmly believe that this was due to his opponent being Ali bin Hussein, the third son of the former King Hussein (bin Talal) of Jordan. It is understandable, I suppose, in light of the fact that Hussein, as the vice president of FIFA in Asia, won a fight against FIFA's ban of the hijab in women's soccer. That fact probably worked against him.
But let's not forget that this is an easy target for the new U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to sink her teeth into. This is the Obama administration's way of conducting justice against men of "outraged entitlement" that looks heroic. It is sports news when you come right down to it. 
No-one likes high-flyers who achieved what they did through cheating, lying, manipulation and bad deals. Nonetheless, no-one's going to tell me that the same president who supported bailing out the banks in 2008, gave Iran a nuclear deal and who returned five top al-Qaeda generals to the field of battle in exchange for the traitorous piece of human flotsam known as Bowe Bergdahl (among so many other crimes against the country too numerous to mention here) is heroic for sending the American Gestapo after the corrupt officials of FIFA.
If only the FBI would be used with the same zeal against the Islamist radicals nationwide. If only it would be used against illegal aliens who have commited crimes including murder. But no, we'll arrest members of the top brass of FIFA, let Lynch hang them out to dry and get back a little of that mojo from the dispatching of Osama bin Laden four years ago.
Yes, I do understand the relationship between corporate sponsorship and sports and how the Department of Justice's case against FIFA officials will affect that. If we hadn't got the specter of Islamic fundamentalism or the illegal alien takeover of America occuring, then this could seem pretty life-changing. As I've said, it's exactly what these men deserve.
I sincerely hope that Loretta Lynch's DoJ gives them a pasting so thorough that it will wipe their souls clean before they head to maximum-security prisons for the rest of their existence. As Turner wrote, it is satisfying to the nth degree to witness.
Let us not pretend, however, that the world is any safer because of it. It most assuredly is not.

Rallying in support of Brady won't make world any safer, either

To say I am a New England Patriots fan would be to state the glaringly obvious. I am from the Boston area.  I am proud of the success we've enjoyed courtesy of all four Boston teams over the past decade.
Boston went from Loserville, where it had been for decades, in 2001 to Best Place to be in All of Sports in 2011, especially after the Bruins' win over the vile Canucks. The Red Sox's World Series win in 2013 and the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win have preserved that momentum.
But lately, sports fans, in particular those of the Patriots, have made the Boston area an embarrassing place to be from. That is, if you care the slightest bit about how you're seen by the rest of the nation, the rest of the world.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, about 700 Patriots fans gathered at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for a rally in favor of star quarterback Tom Brady. "We love Brady, we love Brady" the crowd chanted in unison.
Now then, Gillette Stadium wasn't the place to hold this rally. In terms of real impact, it amounted to zero. A pro-Brady rally at the NFL headquarters in Manhattan would have made a bit more impact, but apparently the rally's participants couldn't be bothered to make the short trip to New York City. They'd rather proclaim their love for Tom Brady during the day and be grilling animal flesh on the barbeque by evening.


'We ain't got nothing better to do with our Memorial Day weekend but stick up for a multi-millionaire quarterback who got suspended for a few games.'

Really, fellas? You chose to protest the suspension of Brady for four games when that long weekend is about honoring the real heroes in our society, the ones who fought for freedom and peace, to secure your right to sit on your couch with your beer(s) evening after evening watching NESN or ESPN?
Do you not realize that Brady is 38 years old? Do you not think that it would be good to test Jimmy Garoppolo's skills for the early part of the season anyway, and bring a refreshed Brady in for the latter half of the season? Brady is not going to be wearing no. 12 with a ball cocked in his hand forever, you know. We have to accept the fact that lesser mortals will be in charge of throwing for yardage for this team in the coming years.
It doesn't matter that Robert Kraft, the ultimate hero in the success of the Patriots, the man who stuck his neck out in turning this team around from the joke it used to be, decided to accept the findings of the Wells report. Brady challenged it, and it's Brady that we need to follow.
No-one knows more than me how ecstatic it was to see Brady, a lanky, sixth-round draft pick that no-one wanted to give a chance, step into the brink of the 2001 Patriots post-season and win the whole shebang for us. We've watched this man grow in skills and ability under the tutelage of head coach Bill Belichick for fifteen years to become, arguably, the best quarterback in the history of the NFL.
But he cheated. He had backroom staff deflate footballs for him during the ten-minute lockdown before games in exchange for signed balls that he would give to them. Then he lied about it at a pre-Super Bowl press conference, denying all knowlege of the men involved, Jim McNally and John Jastremski. Brady is still the best quarterback the game has ever seen. His play with regulation balls in clutch games/situations has proven it. However, it does not change the fact that he cheated when he did not have to.
As for you man-boys who protested Brady's suspension over Memorial Day weekend? Grow up. Acknowledge that there's a world beyond sports out there and that perhaps you should start paying attention to it. I'd be shocked if the majority of you had girlfriends, never mind jobs. Stop making those Patriots fans like me who respect the rules look bad.

This is what we get for being enlightened

I'll leave you with this story that would be an understatement to call disturbing:
William Stewart, 70, lurked in the bushes as youngsters were coming home from school and then exposed himself to a 14-year-old boy before groping him in Heaton Park [in Manchester, U.K.]. He then limped after the terrified youngster while he was on the phone to police—and even waited outside a shop for him when he went inside to escape him.  
Now Stewart, of Parksway, Blackley , has been jailed for two years by a court which heard the offence, at 3.30pm on March 13, was the latest in a series of sex crimes he has committed against boys and young men since 1969.  
Shortly after the boy spotted Stewart performing a sex act in bushes, the pensioner demanded sex, gripped hold of him, shoved him against a tree, and fondled him. The boy, who had been on his way to a friend's house, escaped Stewart’s clutches and rang police. But Stewart, who has mobility problems and walks with a limp, trailed him through the streets for the length of the 16-minute call. Even when the boy was advised to go into a shop by the 999 operator Stewart waited outside, staring at the boy for seven minutes.  
Stewart has now been jailed for two years after admitting sexual assault. The boy, who sustained cuts and bruises to his back during his ordeal, now suffers nightmares and panic attacks. Stewart has six previous convictions for sex offences against boys and men, and has previously served a ten year sentence for buggery.
So, this low-life, perverted creep has been abusing boys for as long as I've been alive—I'm 45—and has thus far only served a ten-year sentence? And he's going away for only a further two?
This man should be castrated and sent away for 30 years, which would pretty much amount to a life sentence as his age.
Anybody else desire "enlightened" European-style justice?