Saturday mid-day round-up and Open Thread

broken-washing-machineI’m just thankful that the washer wasn’t doing a bleach load when it decided to break. And I’m thankful that the clothes were mostly rinsed of detergent (indeed, there was so little detergent in them that they weren’t actually cleaned). And I’m thankful that I was able to wring the clothes out and that my dryer still works. All in all, a lot to be thankful for.

As for the being thankful about the news in Obama’s America . . . well, not so much:

***

I cannot tell you how much I dread the thought of a possible Elizabeth Warren presidency. I’ve disliked and disrespected that woman for almost thirty years now. Nothing I’ve learned about her in the intervening years has changed my opinion. If you think Obama is bad, Warren will be just as bad in her own way.

***

Of course, I dread a Clinton presidency too. In that regard, I’m grateful for a new book that is again raising the charge that Hillary Clinton was fired for “writing fraudulent legal briefs, lying to investigators and confiscating public documents.” The book is written by Jerry Zeifman, a serious Nixon partisan, but he was her boss at the time, so it will be interesting to see his support for this charge and Hillary’s opposition, if any.

***

This Commentary Magazine article about the Leftist fight against moderate Muslims may be behind a pay wall for you, but if you can do so, please read it. This might whet your appetite:

After years of effort to promote the myth of a post 9/11 backlash against American Muslims, the left is breaking some new ground in the debate about terror. Instead of merely trying to make Americans feel guilty about defending themselves against radical Islamists, they have a new goal: banning the use of the term “moderate Muslim.”

That’s the conceit of a piece in The New Republic by Georgetown University’s Nathan Lean in which he argues that to attempt to differentiate between Islamists who seek to pursue a war on the West and those Muslims who wish to live in peace with non-Muslims is itself an act of prejudice. For Lean, any effort to ascertain whether Muslims are supportive of the radical ideologues that have supported not only al-Qaeda but also other Islamist terror movements is wrong because it feeds the “Islamophobia” which he believes is at the core of all Western attitudes towards Muslims. In doing so, he is attempting not only to discourage efforts to combat the radicals but to delegitimize those Muslims who choose to speak up against the Islamists.

I’m familiar with that New Republic article because one of my “real me” Facebook friends posted it. I went ballistic and left a long comment noting that there’s a huge difference between truly moderate Muslims, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, (a) the radicals and (b) the silent majority behind the radicals. If we don’t make that distinction, we run the risk of two things: (a) having the bad guys metastasize even more because we’re afraid to label them or (b) having things come to such a head that, when all distinctions are gone and the bad guys are ascendant, we turn on the good guys too. I completely shut down the burgeoning comment thread. No one had a word left to say after my rant.

If you can, please read Jonathan Tobin’s analysis of the terrible harm this new Leftist tactic will cause in the West’s existential war against radical Islam, a war the West barely won the first time, in the centuries spanning the 7th centuries when Islam burst out of the Arabian peninsula through the medieval Crusades that finally pushed Islam back a little bit, and that it barely won again the second time, in the 17th century when the Ottoman Turks made their way to the outskirts of Vienna. If we can’t even name our enemy this time around, Islam will succeed.

***

The New York Times has examined its conscience and decided that it is pure; it did indeed report with sufficient weight and depth on the IRS scandal. Scott Johnson, at Power Line, begs to differ and has the facts to undermine the New York Times’ self-serving, highly inaccurate exculpation.

***

Roger Simon thinks the liberal media is silent about things such as the IRS scandal because individual members of the media cannot bear to admit that everything they believed was wrong. I think Neo-Neocon is closer to the mark when she says that the media is silent about Obama’s cascading failures and scandals because they still agree with his agenda wholeheartedly, and don’t want anything to derail it. Or as she says, “I’m afraid what the Times is doing is ass-covering. They can’t think of a way to spin Obama’s abysmal failures any more (they do have certain standards, although those standards are pretty low), so they are silent.” Yup.

***

Greg, at Rhymes with Right, explains how far Obama has deviated from the Constitution when it comes to the way in which he exercises his “executive” powers. Greg politely ascribes this to Obama’s failure to understand the Constitution. I wouldn’t be so nice. Obama fully understands the Constitution. He just doesn’t agree with it. Democrats like what he’s doing and are willing to destroy constitutional checks and balances to support his agenda, and Republicans understand precisely what Obama understands: As the nation’s first sort-of black president, he can’t be stopped.

***

Some political ads are better than others. This one, by Darius Foster, a black conservative, is one of the best. (Hat tip: Hot Air)

***

Andrew McCarthy excoriates John Boehner for going the weakling’s route in his challenge to Obama’s lawlessness, rather than using the full complement of weapons available to the House under the Constitution.

***

What I continue to find fascinating about the plan to put a suicide barrier under the Golden Gate Bridge, something that will cost almost $80 million dollars is that it’s being advanced by the same crew of people who agree with Nancy Pelosi that abortion is “sacred ground.” For example, one of the barrier’s proponents is Tom Ammiano, a hard Left, political gay (as opposed to someone whose life is not defined by his sexual predilections) who makes Pelosi look moderate.

Ammiano supports all forms of abortion, including sex selection abortions. He also strongly believes that the public should pay for abortions: “In my 21 years in public office, I have been one of the strongest advocates for public funding of abortion services.”

I don’t get the logic of a man who says that the public must pay $79 million to prevent a statistically small number of suicides by people who desperately want to die, even as he even more zealous demands that the public pay even more money in order to enable the millions of abortions that kill infants who most certainly do not want to die.

***

Your health care provider is watching you. If you put a bottle of soda, a bag of sugar, a stick of butter or, Heaven forbid, a cigarette pack on your credit card or your grocery store club card, don’t be surprised if you get a warning from your doctor, followed by the denial of care for which you previously paid by buying insurance.

***

One wishes that the same-sex marriage crowd, which insists that all couples who love each other should get the state’s and the church’s imprimatur of marriage, would get as excited about events in Pakistan.  There a couple who married for love were beheaded by the bride’s outraged family. The fact that you can’t get the state’s stamp of approval for same-sex love in America seems to pale a bit in importance when compared to love and death in the stone age world of Islamic/tribal countries across the Islamic swath of the Middle East.

***

It’s Ramadan, so the United States Navy is warning troops in Bahrain to hide their day-time eating habits and, men and women both, to cover up when in public. I’m of two minds about this. Normally I would say that there’s nothing wrong with the military behaving politely during a host country’s religious festival. However, when the host country is Muslim, I never get the feeling that these actions are taken because of politeness and mutual respect. I always feel that they have more to do with dhimmitude and fear.

***

Check out Sultan Knish’s “Friday afternoon roundup” to see a great anti-Hillary video. Also, you simply have to read an entire post that contains gems such as these:

The ongoing problem on the right is that it talks ‘extremist’ and legislates ‘moderate’ while the left talks ‘moderate’ and legislates ‘extremist’.

That’s a big part of why Obama is in the White House and conservatives are still struggling to make headway.

Obama isn’t in the White House because Americans woke up Communist one morning. I know that “Free Stuff” is a popular theory, but people always liked free stuff. The larger welfare population helped shift the balance, but if Obama had been a non-viable candidate, there would have been no balance to shift and it would have done him as much good as it did Jesse Jackson or Dukakis.

Obama is in office because much of the country believes that he is a moderate and a centrist.

The left can get away with it because it talks centrist and lives radical. If the right is ever going to do better than another liberal Republican, its candidates are going to have to talk like liberal Republicans while legislating well to the right.

It is doable. Rand Paul has been doing the talking part well enough. Unfortunately he talks the talk so well because he actually is well to the left.

***

Do you believe IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s claim that ordinary taxpayers can pull a Lois Lerner and claim that their dog at their hard drive, with all their tax relevant documents on it? No, I don’t either.

You know who Koskinen reminds me of? Lillian Hellman in the context of Mary McCarthy’s famous Hellman put-down: “I once said in an interview that every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

***

Everyone is a’Twitter and a’Facebook about a Verizon ad claiming that it’s parents who are at fault for the fact that there aren’t more girls who are engineers. You see, they yell at their prepubescent daughters for committing acts of science instead of just being pretty. HuffPo did an entire post supporting the ad. The horror statistic is that, while 66% of 4th grade girls say that they like math and science, only 18% go on to become engineering majors.

I think that’s a bunch of garbage. Through the process of raising a boy and a girl, not to mention being surrounded by boys and girls, and having once been a girl myself, I know what happens between 4th grade and high school/college. Science and math transform from simplistic, teacher directed classroom exercises to becoming hardcore, data-rich, formula-driven, highly analytic problems.

During 4th grade, when girls are infinitely better than boys at sitting down and following directions, they shine with simplistic problems. However, as boys finally mature, their brains click into gear and enjoy the higher level work while the majority (not all, but the majority) of girls dislike the mental effort and rote memorization of the STEM subjects and prefer softer subjects that engage the verbal, artistic, and emotional parts of their brain.

Is the above a gross generalization? Yes, up to a point. There’s always a bell curve, with outliers, but the fact is that maturing girls draw away from STEM just as maturing boys are drawn to it — and this isn’t because 21st century girls are told to shut up and be pretty, but because that’s where their developing brains take them. And no, that’s not science talking. That’s living in the real world talking.

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Use an obvious, albeit bloodthirsty metaphor opposing the party in power and end up in the mental hospital. Soviet Union? No. Obama’s America.

***

And some pictures:

Obama endowed by his creator

Obama's priorities

Obama's priorities 2

(Thanks to Earl and Sadie for their help assembling this round-up.)

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Comments

  1. says

    “No one had a word left to say after my rant.”

    Obviously you’ve come under some Bad Influence, Book, to do such things.

    Serial killers usually have a clean conscience. Same with The Times.

    “I don’t get the logic of a man who says that the public must pay $79 million to prevent a statistically small number of suicides by people who desperately want to die, even as he even more zealous demands that the public pay even more money in order to enable the millions of abortions that kill infants who most certainly do not want to die.”

    That’s cause you don’t believe what I know, which is that abortion is for profit and this construction deal is also kickback profit for the elites. Profit=profit. They’re not talking about saving lives. They want the profit, to fund their war on humanity. Which will end up killing millions anyway, so what do they care about lives?

    People operate under the wrong OS and then complain their software ain’t working. Well, obviously.

    If the NSA and President can do it, why not the Regime’s healthcare companies?

    “There’s always a bell curve, with outliers, ”

    Interrogation training, psychological resistance training, and various other things require verbal, artistic, and emotional talents of the brain. So that’s one example. Art of War, another “art”. Martial arts, another “art”.

    “Use an obvious, albeit bloodthirsty metaphor opposing the party in power and end up in the mental hospital. Soviet Union?”

    And people thought I was paranoid before 2008. I wasn’t being paranoid, just realistic, since my crystal ball here, you see, told me things. Crazy, yes. Paranoid, not quite what people think it means.

    They’re Always Watching you, Book. Remember that, and plan accordingly. The Regime deserves Nothing. No obedience. No peace. No tolerance. Nothing.

    Compromise? Deals? Forgiveness? Nothing, they will get nothing from me. Only weaklings lack the psychological, mental, and hate-emotional armor needed to resist the Left’s power. The weaklings obey Evil, because they do as they are told. Only independent and strong individuals have free will. Human rights are for Humans, not zombies.

  2. says

    I wrote as early as 2008, that the national government could merely nationalize Facebook and they would obtain intel profiles on all the “domestic terrorists” they need to crack down on (Tea Party ites). Nobody wanted to pay attention to me then. Little did we know that the NSA already had mirror files of every FB server’s data via PRISM and other Snowden leaked info.

    You think I would go on FB and post stuff, “anything” relating to letting a drone strike target me? How dumb do people think I am. Every time some clueless internet faceless head started talking about twitter, FB, and all this social media that, social media this in 2008, you know what my reaction was? And people wonder why I wasn’t all sunshines and pleasant in 2010-2012. Oh, no, everything’s going to be all right, look at all those Amazon kindle readers going on social media cause it is the Bomb, dontcha know, it is the New Thing. It’s the new shackle for slaves, yes.

    But for all those “Americans” that disbelieved, allow the Leftist alliance to convince you otherwise, for I no longer need to convince them. Wait until they put a Boot up your head, then you’ll be ready to listen.

    Some military guys obviously didn’t get the Paranoia Memo, so to speak, from us.

  3. Charles Martel says

    Ammiano’s primary allegiance has always been to pleasuring and servicing his body’s primary sphincter and not to anybody’s quality of life other than his own. The Golden Gate Bridge barrier, which has been argued over for years, is a sop to all the Bay Area hand wringers who can’t stand the idea of the occasional suicide, but, as Book points out, gladly support abortion. I hate suicide as much as the hand wringers, but I do see that there is an element of choice in the decision to do it. There’s no element of choice for the kid who’s being eviscerated in the womb, thanks to “caring” Brights like Ammiano.

  4. says

    Re women & engineering, here’s a thought experiment: Sandra and James are absolutely equal in their mental abilities on all matters concerning math, science, and engineering. However, Sandra’s verbal skills are a little better than those of James, and her emotional intelligence is significantly higher. (Note that the assertion that women are generally better than men in terms of verbal skills and emotional intelligence is often made, even by those who otherwise absolutely deny the possibility of mental differences between the sexes.)

    The question for the class is this: Are the optimum career paths for Sandra and for James the same, or are they different? Why, or why not?

    • says

      They’re trying to promote their mythological and religious dogma of equality, but the reality is that equality is a bad thing or merely doesn’t exist. So conflict results, nemesis is here, and thesis meets antithesis with no synthesis.

  5. Robert Arvanitis says

    On Hillary fired for taking documents.– Let’s not forget the Clinton enabler Samuel”Sandy-pants”) Berger who stole from the National Archive to protect Bill http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/08/berger.sentenced/

    On Liz (“Fauxcahontas”) Warren — The issue is not her, but a Republican nominee with the spine to take her to pieces. Both she and Hillary fail against a brave and methodical opponent.

  6. Ron19 says

    “rather than using the full complement of weapons available to the House under the Constitution.”

    For instance, the Congressional Swat teams, and the ability to stop the Treasury Dept. from collecting taxes and writing checks, especially when the budget process is stalled.

  7. SADIE says

    A simple question: *Are we or have we reached critical mass?

    Two months ago, I felt so beleaguered by the news, I indulged myself – a week of Friendly’s Spumoni ice cream, forty plus ounces and several pounds of mass later, I felt miserable trying to zip up my jeans. This, of course, meant – no bread, no potatoes, no starches for a month. I felt relieved when I got on the scale and felt as though it was a fresh start having shed the Spumoni binge and punishment exercise.

    And then came the IRS scandal, the VA scandal along with the news that the heathens in and out of Israel are still heathens ….

    Today I baked a ricotta cheesecake. – *What’s your answer?

  8. Libby says

    Whoa there, Book! Larry Summers was run out of Harvard for saying less about girls and science. Someone is likely to faint.

    Your Obama vacation photo reminds me of Koskinen’s testimony earlier this week. When he inevitably said he needed more money for IT, a Congressman (I think it was Chaffetz) asked, “How much do you need?”
    Koskinen replied, “$10-20 million.”
    The Congressman then reminded him that the IRS spent $80 million on bonuses last year. Zing!
    This should happen every time a federal agency or Democrat whines that they need more money.

    Jeff Goldstein has posted an exhaustive IRS scandal timeline created by a regular commenter. It’s a lot,/em> to take in, but a great rebuttal to those who say it is a phony scandal or that it didn’t involve the White House.

    http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=54201

  9. JKB says

    It’s not so much rote memorization that cuts against women. Women do very well in the rote memorization fields of science, such as biology. Where they tend to shy away is from the analytical reasoning and logic, in fields such as Physics and for the most part, engineering. It is a new and very structured way of thinking.

    I remember in my intro engineering course which was really just basic static/dynamics while the math caught up. But I realized the main goal was to teach problem solving. The learn how to break the word problem down into diagram that could be solved.

    In one class, a girl asked why the tests were not like the homework. The professor replied, “Because I want you to learn to think.” And I’ve used those problem solving skills ever since, even though I shifted my degree to Physics and didn’t formally do science in my work. I enjoyed the power the problem solving skill gave me, but I’ve never been one to memorize things well. I’d be horrible in biology or other big memorization field.

    It seems to me that most people ignore what education really is. While there are facts and such that are good to know, the real purpose of instruction is to teach the student how to order their thoughts, In STEM, you tend to be very structured. The way to think could be taught with a different body of knowledge. It is this way of ordering thoughts that allows the educated person who adapt as the important body of facts changes with the times.

  10. says

    The late Michael Hammer, a management consultant, argued that the best undergraduate preparation for a business career would be a double major: a STEM subject, AND a very tough humanities major….with the specific choices not mattering as long as both were rigorous programs. Possible combinations he mentioned were:

    –electrical engineering and philosophy
    –mechanical engineering and medieval history
    –aeronautics and theology

    Dr Hammer was opposed to the undergraduate business major, which he thought was useless.

    I excerpted his thoughts here:

    http://photoncourier.blogspot.com/2004_11_01_photoncourier_archive.html#10998777148685581

    • says

      This is the old Renaissance man or Age of Enlightenment, Plato/Aristotle/Socrates plan for virtue and classical balance.

      A martial artist in 500 BC China was expected to know more than lethal force body guard techniques. They had to learn writing, reading, the literature, government politics, etc.

      In Japan, after 1600, samurai were expected to be able to do calligraphy and tea ceremonies, not just cut peasants with swords.

      The fact that Americans are over specialized couch potatoes or chair ridden corporate performers, is an engineered collapse more than a coincidental mark of incompetence.

  11. lee says

    So, it’s not enough that almost two thirds of college students are female. And it’s not enough that females DOMINATE the majors in health professions(85%) — nursing assistant, veterinary assistant, dental assistant, etc.; Public Administration (82%) — social work, public policy, etc.; Education (79%) — pre-K, K-12, higher education, etc.; and Psychology (77%) — cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, etc…

    That they HAVE to have STEM, too?

    http://www.randalolson.com/2014/06/15/the-double-edged-sword-of-gender-equality/

    • JKB says

      Not STEM in general, as you point out they dominate the more ‘body of knowledge fields’. It is that women are not flooding the hard sciences. The ones intense in logic vice memorization of a body of facts.

      Now if you have STEM logic, this leads to two somewhat terrible solutions. Either the women need to be forced into the hard sciences and have the skills beaten into them. Or the fields must be degraded to the point that the difficult logic emphasis is no longer a barrier.

      The current trend where those with the proclivities are able to choose for themselves to pursue the fields that appeal to them is no longer acceptable if women are not drawn to the field. Of course, the fallacy that the skills can be given to anyone, except for discrimination, is one socialism fell afoul of quite often. You can teach someone electronics, software design, etc. but you cannot beat an iPod out of them. Perhaps they do not recognize the problem/solutions they encounter. Perhaps they simply ignore them since the reward is not there.

    • says

      The more women in STEM, the faster they can hijack and corrupt it, to produce Warming scientific consensus. The more women in US military combat branches and operations, the higher they will be promoted. Once they are at the highest US military rank, the US military can be corrupted and hijacked to do the bidding of whatever the Regime wants them to do. Enforce homosexual marriage by raiding churches? Could be. Enforce the border patrol by disarming Texas citizens? Could be. Can STEM professors and military members disobey when 89% of their leaders are beholden to the Left for their bread and butter, promotions and retirement? Probably not.

      As they do this, they can bring more rapes to the STEM institutions, thus using sexual freedom to coerce people into doing things the Obamacan and Leftist way. The more women are raped, the more traumatized single, Yuri like lesbians, that will vote Democrat all life long.

  12. says

    http://www.targetfocustraining.com/katie-couric-show-how-to-survive-the-unthinkable

    TFT has somehow slipped through the Leftist dogma and anti heresy propaganda.

    If you ever wondered why your family refuses to learn about guns or independence from the Left… wonder no longer. It’s a religion, and to beat a religion, you need to condition people out of the cult first.

    So if Couric likes it, obviously a Leftist or Democrat must agree… right? So get them in on it, and then when they are “de-programmed”, you can chuckle in glee like the Witch of the West up there.

  13. Mike Devx says

    Book,
    Your post today was an extremely depressing one! It was very long; everything in it was very relevant; and all of it was chock full of leftist insanity. Sigh. I think we are like the frog in the pot of water, slowly slowly raised to boiling. So many things are so wrong… what is the temperature of our pot of water, here in America? To paraphrase John Lennon: “I am the frog, you are the frog, he is the frog, and we are all together.” How does your (boiling) pot of water feel to you?

    The worst in all of this was the fact that our health care overlords will soon be monitoring our purchases. Or perhaps they already are. Or perhaps they are busily assembling the system even now as you read this words. Oh those busy busy beavers! They will say it is for your own good, but make no mistake, it will be to exert total control over you and your choices in life. Tney will force you to pay ever higher insurance and STILL deny you coverage for, essentially, just living your life. Did you enjoy that hamburger? With cheese? And fries? It’s going to cost you hundreds of dollars in denied insurance coverage… How do you feel, little frog? Little slave?

    My favorite part in all of this is the idea that they will even monitor your purchase of BUTTER… and send you harsh letters for buying such an evil product. Even though enlightened people have known for a couple of years now, that butter and most fats, and eggs and egg yolk, have gotten an unfair rap, by our so-called “scientific establishment”. If it were only a question of health, I would tell you, EAT YOUR EGGS! HAVE YOUR BUTTER AND YOUR FATS! But the Communist Nomenklatura – oops, I mean, your masters and overloards – oops, I mean, the enlightened American elite establishment – still decrees that eggs and egg yolk and butter and other fats are as bad for you as global warming. So, stick it, suck it up, and BE SILENT, and accept their decrees.

    On a completely unrelated note – unrelated? – I note that the powers that control Venezuela have allowed it go to dark. And the powers that control North Korea continue to allow most of their people to starve. And the powers that control the United States Of America are…

  14. SADIE says

    Mike Devx
    comment:

    Agreed. Depressing and the very reason I asked (tongue in cheek) question re: critical mass. Prescription meds are already tracked, noted, stored in computers that never “crash”. A friend wanted to switch her Medicare plan to a less expensive one. Her application was rejected. Her meds are age-related. High BP, cholesterol and depression related to caring for her husband, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons ten years ago.

  15. says

    “Your health care provider is watching you. If you put a bottle of soda, a bag of sugar, a stick of butter or, Heaven forbid, a cigarette pack on your credit card or your grocery store club card, don’t be surprised if you get a warning from your doctor, followed by the denial of care for which you previously paid by buying insurance.”

    Perhaps THIS will convince most Americans that Dave Ramsey (http://www.daveramsey.com/home/) is correct – CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARDS!!

    If we buy our butter, eggs, and other health foods with cash, we elude the scrutiny of the enlightened, and simultaneously avoid adding to our debt.

    Sadly, I think that long habit will overcome wisdom for most Americans, and they’ll simply bow before their “masters” in this matter……the water is getting warmer!!

    (sigh)

  16. says

    I don’t understand why people are depressed. I can grok the emotion, since I felt it in 2009, watching people talk about going on Facebook, oolala, and social media, kindles, and all that other American Golden Age stuff.

    But now? Shouldn’t people have exercised their imaginations and gotten over their grief, despair, anger in the last few years? Or do stuff like this continue to surprise them? Are their imaginations broken?

    If you can’t imagine what the Left is doing now, a few years ago and deal with your emotions then… then what hope does anyone else have in the LIV, to imagine the consequences of evil in America? They don’t know. They don’t want to know.

    Work on the imagination. Otherwise all anyone will ever be is a plaything of the Left, constantly “reacting” to the Left’s black operations emotionally, never thinking strategically or ahead, always constantly, the beaten wife making excuses and defenses.

  17. Charles Martel says

    jj, I dress like that on Saturdays when I do the laundry. I allow myself one “Gender-Shift Day” per week when I shed the gender assigned to me at birth and let my female self have her way with me. Yes, I know it’s stereotypical to dress up in heels to do the wash, but the Patriarchy has established a very limited range of (permissible) dress and behaviors that can instantly tell onlookers what gender of person they’re dealing with. In the interest of clear communication about my female self, I choose the stereotype.

  18. says

    Libby, no hadn’t read that link yet. Read a little bit now.

    I think they like to fantasize about things, but they need ground troops and local unions to project power. We have aircraft carriers to project power in South China Sea and the Mid East. The Left has feminist women and anti Republican blacks to do the same thing. It’s an army. Look at the border. Another army. Look at ISIL, which Hussein armed, another army. The Left has armies.

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