Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EPA Stonewalls. Muslim Prayer Room In Texas. Trump May Be Exonerated.

The camel's nose is getting under the                      Our fat cheeked first great granddaughter,
tent in Texas. (See 1 below.)                                                              Olivia.
Cliff May issues a warning that Trump must prioritize N Korea.. (See 2 below.)
Welcome to The EPA. This Agency marches to its own drumbeat because far too many of the 'uncivil' servants who work there have their own agenda which does not accord with that of the Trump Administration.

It sickens me to have repeated what I already knew. As a taxpaying citizen my government, which I pay for, does not serve me or my interests unless they accord with those in the faceless bureaucracy.

This is why I oppose limited terms.  We already have limited terms in the guise of voting. To limit the terms of  those in Congress simply strengthens the power of civil servants which already know they can pretty much drag their feet and engage in obfuscation at will.

Why worry about N Korea, we get 'nuked' every day by the bureaucracy employed in the government agencies? (See 3 below.)

Meanwhile, according to ChairmanDevin Nunes,it seems Obama did in fact 'surveil' Trump and his transition people during the campaign. We should learn more if Comey tells the truth.  On Monday it seems Comey did not do so because when asked specifically whether there was evidence of any tapping he denied there had been?

Perhaps Trump did not characterize the matter accurately but he may well be vindicated for having been surveiled.  Stay tuned.

Texas high school opens Muslim prayer room

For decades the ACLU and allied groups fought to get Christian prayer out of American public schools. They were successful. But now prayer is coming back into the schools, and as long as it’s Islamic prayer, it seems to be fine with everyone. This does, however, reinforce the principle of Sharia that Muslims have rights and privileges to which non-Muslims are not entitled.
“Prayer Room At Public High School Raises Legal Concerns,” by Mary Lou Lang-Byrd, Daily Caller, March 17, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
A prayer room at a Texas high school is raising legal concerns and the state’s attorney general’s office in a letter on Friday to school district’s superintendent indicated the school’s policy should be neutral toward religion.
Liberty High School’s prayer room, which is reportedly dedicated to students who practice Islam, allows the students to pray at the school on Fridays instead of leaving to say their required prayers. The letter cites the school’s own news site, which focused on the prayer room.
In a letter Friday to the Frisco Independent School District, the Texas attorney general’s office outlined the legal concerns over the prayer room, indicating it may violate the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty.
“Liberty High School’s policy should be neutral toward religion,” the letter from Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie to Superintendent Jeremy Lyons said. “However, it appears that students are being treated different based on their religious beliefs. Such a practice, of course, is irreconcilable with our nation’s enduring commitment to religious liberty.”…
“Reports from Liberty’s news site indicate that the prayer room is not available to students of all faiths. Instead, it appears that the prayer room is ‘dedicated to the religious needs of some students,’ namely those who practice Islam,” the letter reads….
“This is my seventh year at Liberty, my first year it kind of started when a core group of students were leaving campus every Friday for Friday prayer,” said Principal Scott Warstler.
“Their parents would come pick them up, so they may miss an hour and a half to two hours to two and a half hours of school every Friday, so I met with those students and a couple of their parents and suggested if they would be okay if the students were able to lead the prayer at school as a group, and we gave them a space to do that so they didn’t have to be in a car traveling thirty minutes each way on a Friday missing an hour, hour and a half, of class,” said Warstler….
2)Trump’s pivot to North Korea
It’s high time the United States deals with the most imminent nuclear threat

America can do anything but America can’t do everything, at least not within a four-year time frame. That suggests that the American president – any American president – needs to prioritize.

In 2011, President Obama decided that the Muslim world should no longer be a top American priority. Against the advice of key members of his national security team, he decided to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq and do nothing about the growing turmoil in Syria.  He expressed confidence that coalition forces would soon “begin to draw down” in Afghanistan. As for al Qaeda, it was “on the path to defeat.”

“So make no mistake,” he announced, the tide of war is receding.” With those words, he began what was called his “pivot to Asia.”

The long-term challenge in that part of the world, then as now, came from China. But the most imminent threat, then as now, came from North Korea, a nation firmly under the jackboot of a brutal dynasty friendly toward regimes that despise America (e.g. Syria and Iran).

In a major address in November 2011, Mr. Obama promised to “act firmly against any proliferation activities by North Korea.” Curiously, he said not a word about Pyongyang’s own nuclear weapons and missile programs and the peril they posed to South Korea, Japan and the United States itself.

Those programs were to have been stopped through diplomacy, starting with the Agreed Framework President Clinton concluded in 1994. But time after time Pyongyang pocketed generous American financial inducements, then promptly violated the obligations it had undertaken.

President George W. Bush cited North Korea as a component of the “axis of evil” but failed to mitigate either its intentions or capabilities. President Obama’s policy toward North Korea was known as “strategic patience” which sounds better than “kicking the can down the road.” Step by malevolent step, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has grown and its ballistic-missile program has advanced.

In recent years, “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un has doubled the size of his facility for enriching uranium. Last year, he conducted two nuclear tests (earlier tests were in 2006, 2009 and 2013) and tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile as well. Last month, he launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that may be able to carry a nuclear warhead. This month he launched four ballistic missiles, simulating an attack on a U.S. base in Japan. And over the weekend he claimed to have test-fired a new type of high-thrust rocket engine. 

The fear and expectation is that he will next test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the continental United States. Within three years Mr. Kim could be in possession of miniaturized nuclear weapons that can be fitted atop such missiles. I’d argue that makes a persuasive case that President Trump is correct to now view North Korea as a high priority.

“Let me be very clear,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in South Korea last week, “the Policy of Strategic Patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures. All options are on the table.”

What I hope that means: All instruments of American power will now come into play to prevent the North Korean threat from maturing. That will include much tougher sanctions on the regime and perhaps on China, too, if its rulers continue to refuse to rein in their rogue client; tacitly encouraging the prospect of South Korea and Japan acquiring their own nuclear weapons – an eventuality China adamantly opposes; ratcheting up cyber strikes against North Korea’s missile program; and, not least, credibly threatening to use force to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons facilities if all else fails.

Also: The U.S. has begun deploying in South Korea a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) capable of destroying North Korean missiles.  Ship-borne Aegis Combat Systems that can do the same are being positioned in the region as well.

These are steps in the right direction. The pity is that had the Obama administration prioritized North Korea years ago, the U.S. could have been in a much stronger position today.
Not long after Mr. Obama took office in 2009, Pyongyang provocatively launched a multi-stage rocket and conducted its second nuclear test. In June of that year, in what was almost certainly a fraudulent election, the bellicose Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected president of Iran, answerable only to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei whose animus toward America has never wavered.
These and other developments made America’s allies nervous. In August, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to reassure them. The U.S., she pledged, would provide “a defense umbrella.” 

That prompted an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal coauthored by Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and me. We applauded Mrs. Clinton but pointed out that to actually put an effective shield in place would require a substantial investment in missile defense. 

Mr. Obama had other priorities. But the goal we proposed then still makes sense now: “a comprehensive architecture that would include antimissile systems on land, on the seas, and in space.

Much of the necessary technology has already been developed. Other useful technologies (e.g. boost-phase interceptors or BPI, and lasers capable of shooting down long-range missiles) could be brought online over the next few years. Would this be challenging? Yes. Like putting a man on the moon? Not nearly.

As we said back in 2009, once deployed, such a layered system, would “make Iranian, North Korean and other foreign missiles useless.” The U.S. would have the means to prevent them from reaching their intended victims.

An America that is becoming great again should prioritize such a goal – and then achieve it.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.


BREAKING: Top Trump Administration Official Resigns Unexpectedly 

A senior member of the Trump administration’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency unexpectedly resigned last Wednesday, citing concerns of the “integrity” of long time workers at the agency.

David Schnare, an outspoken climate change skeptic, was a member of the so-called EPA “landing team” tasked with creating an “action plan” to reform the agency.

Schnare’s abrupt resignation came as a surprise. He was expected to accept a leading position at the EPA.
“I wasn’t forced out, and it wasn’t in a tiff,” he told The Hill. “I just wasn’t in a position to achieve much anymore.”
InsideEPA added that Schnare had become “increasingly frustrated with what he described as endless infighting at the agency.”
Schnare heaped praise on the vast majority of the employees at the EPA for being dedicated servants, but emphasized that there are a few “who were definitely were antagonistic” to the president and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“They’re here for some other reason. They’re here for a cause,” he added.
Previous reports back up Schnare’s claim that some EPA employees have opted to work against the new administration.
An unnamed EPA staffer told Politico that employees will “fight actions they deem ill-advised or illegal by quietly providing information of what is happening inside their agencies to advocacy groups and the media.”
Politico also reported that a small number of EPA employees began utilizing encrypted communication “using the app Signal shortly after Trump’s inauguration,” to bypass White House oversight, possibly in violation of federal records law.
Tensions between career EPA staffers and the Trump administration have undoubtedly made Schnare’s time more difficult at the agency, but he told the Daily Caller that his resignation was a “much deeper story” than that.

No comments: