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Rare Photo of Pundit Planet Co-Founder

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Our co-found and Editor-At-Large. Though this snapshot looks vintage, it was actually taken fairly recently, around 2007, back when he had a bit less gray hair, and long before he had a 3-D printer. But his hobbies are essentially the same. He’s currently heading up our Hong Kong Bureau, where his time and space doesn’t allow for recreational rocket building, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy this archival snapshot as a winsome reminder of a cherished pastime.

 

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Recollections of a Failed Criminal Assailant

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[PHOTO] Contrast: Cops in North America

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CHART: Violent crime is lowest in 44 years and half the rate in 1991, so why have we become United States of SWAT?


[VIDEO] The Universal Hot-Crazy Matrix: A Man’s Guide to Women

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry meets Popular Mechanics. Potentially offensive to unprepared viewers, but good-natured, sharp, silly, revealing, brilliant, based on solid science and in-depth research. Bonus: watch it all the way through. Also includes a brief Women’s Guid to Men, but it’s very brief, ’cause the research is less developed. Hysterically funny. Drop whatever you’re doing, and watch this.

Thanks to our Hong Kong Bureau Chief for the link.

 


People from Other Countries List What Surprised Them About Coming to the U.S.A.

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With Helpful Commentary From An American, Yours Truly

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That’s quite a list!

First, lets touch on the ones that I, a native of the U.S.A., agree with, or can relate to. Then we’ll get to some corrections and minor disagreements. Lets begin!

Slang

Is slang unique to the U.S.A? That’s news to me! But, I can’t disagree. A product of diversity, poor public education & rich teachers unions, multi-linguistic confusion, terminal hipness, and bad manners.

Jogging

True! Not only does everyone in Boston jog — all 636,479 of them — everyone in America jogs. Every day. Even babies jog. Don’t you? We started in the 1970s, and the fad just never ended! We love it.

Huge serving portions, ice water, baby seats, baby strollers, giant cars, obesity, general safety, wastefulness, etc. 

Check, check, check, agreed, those are things many of us observe, too.

Sensitiveness towards race and religion

Those are two unrelated things, but linked by a common desire to not offend.

Sensitiveness towards Race 

Yes, it’s a touchy issue here. Well-intended people don’t want to offend, so extraordinary caution is the default position. The stakes are high. One could lose their livelihood, social status, apartment, friends, savings account, and library card, if they accidentally say the wrong thing. Especially when a recording device is on.

Additionally, the guilt narrative has been successfully transferred from one generation of innocent people to subsequent generations of innocent people, the actual guilty oppressors being inconveniently long-dead.

To complicate things, not-so-well-intended people sometimes like to indulge in fake outrage, pretending to be offended. Sometimes for self-amusement, other times to practice their grievance theater performance skills, other times to lay the foundation for serious litigation.

But the good news is, these rules only apply to native-born Americans. If you’re a first-generation U.S. citizen, resident alien, or visitor to the U.S., you’re granted honorary immunity. You can say goofy things that would otherwise be heard as loaded with offensive racial meaning, and it’s not taken personally. It’s a free pass. Enjoy it! Just don’t overuse it. They’ll eventually catch on, and make you feel guilty.

Sensitiveness towards Religion

Not so much! We’re quite free to mock religion! So long as it’s Christianity, Christianity, or Christianity. If it’s not one of those three, then we have to check with our cultural advisors first.

Okay, that concludes the agreeable things. Now, let’s get to work. These are things visitors should know!

Tipping

Even if it’s unfamiliar, or peculiar, by your standards, most of us are obligated to know some basic customs of places we visit. And enjoy learning that, as part of the travel experience. It’s elementary travel advice, and basic good manners.

Of course, you can do like many foreign visitors do, and pretend to be ignorant, as a perfect excuse to not tip. It’s worked for millions of our guests. Feel free to use this excuse.  Or, failing that, complain that ‘the math is too hard”, so you can tip less. Also, if you’re tipping the person who cut your hair, you’re getting your haircut at the wrong place.  Read the rest of this entry »


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D.O.D. Official: ‘The Facts Are In, And Obama’s Policy Is A Direct Danger To The United States’

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“What is the flexible response doctrine, and why is it so important?”

– Joseph Miller

Joseph Miller is the pen name for a ranking Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has worked in strategic planning.

[Note: This is not a parody, satire, or reporting commented on by punditfromanotherplanet for humor purposes (yes we do that sometimes) this is from The Daily Caller, via Yahoo News, read the full report here.]

US President Barack Obama attends a military briefing with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The report is in, and the review of the president’s foreign policy is clear: If there is not an immediate course-reversal, the United States is in serious danger.

In 2013, the United States Institute for Peace, “a congressionally-created, independent, nonpartisan institution whose mission is to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflicts around the world,” was asked to assist the National Defense Panel with reviewing the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The National Defense Panel is a congressional-mandated bipartisan commission that’s co-chairs were appointed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“Given the current state of affairs and the threats posed to our nation, the panel felt that the two-war doctrine was still required to meet our nation’s national security challenges.”

On July 31, the National Defense Panel released its long-awaited report on the effects of the QDR and delivered its findings to Congress. The panel pulled no punches — its findings were a scathing indictment of Obama’s foreign policy, national security policy, and defense policy. The panel found that president Barack Obama’s QDR, military force reductions, and trillion-dollar defense budget cuts are dangerous — and will leave the country in a position where it is unable to respond to threats to our nation’s security. This, the panel concluded, must be reversed as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Footage of Hamas Raid Shows Why Israel Is So Freaked Out About Gaza Tunnels

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For Foreign Policy, Elias Groll reports: Three weeks into deadly fighting in Gaza and along its border, Israeli forces have been surprised to encounter an extensive, sophisticated tunnel system that has been used by Hamas to infiltrate Israeli territory and carry out raids. The destruction of that tunnel system has become a focal point of Israeli military operations, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized that any cease-fire must allow his forces to continue identifying and sealing those tunnels.

To understand why these tunnels have become such a hot-button issue, one need look no further than a video released by Hamas by Tuesday, July 29. That video shows a group of fighters exiting such a tunnel and attacking an Israeli military installation. Read the rest of this entry »


Netanyahu’s Popularity Soars to 82%

For Breitbart.com, John Nolte reports: There has not been a majority party in Israel for decades. Israelis are as politically divided as Americans in many ways. There is no national consensus on anything. But the Israeli people have unified behind Prime Minister Netanyahu. A recent pollBibi-Obama-AFP-Jim-Watson shows he is twice as popular in Israel as Barack Obama is in America.

The Jerusalem Post‘s Herb Keinon reports that a whopping 82% of Israelis “are satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance during [the Gaza] crisis.” According to the latest Gallup poll, Obama’s current American job approval rating, in the midst of numerous crises, is 40%, with 54% disapproving.

Israel firmly behind Netanyahu. Channel 2 poll: 82% are satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance during crisis, 10% not. (Last week 57%-35%)

— Herb Keinon (@HerbKeinon) July 24, 2014

Also of interest is where Israelis stand on the military action currently taking place in Gaza. Israelis might be split on when the action should end, but the split is way outside of the universe where Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are operating. Read the rest of this entry »


The One Thing Everyone in Israel Seems to Agree On: John Kerry Blew It


[VIDEO] Bloomberg’s Blooper Reel: Everytown’s Accidental Pro-Gun Rights Ad

…The intended message, presumably, is: “We need to keep guns out of the hands of violent men with restraining orders.”

Does this ad succeed in conveying that message? Charles C. W. Cooke doesn’t think so.

“What the video ends up doing instead is demonstrating a) that people who are willing to abduct children and shoot women in the face are not likely to follow the laws (the victim already has a restraining order out against her assailant, which frankly doesn’t seem to be doing much); b) that the victim would have been better off with a gun in her hand than with a phone connected to the police department; and c) that, firearms being a great equalizer between men and women, any rules that make it difficult for potential victims to get hold of guns (and make no mistake: Everytown supports them all) put vulnerable people in danger…”

Late-night news watchers take note: Charles C. W. Cooke is tonight’s special guest on Red Eye. Make coffee, stay up late. Call in sick tomorrow. Don’t blame us, blame Gutfeld.

National Review Online


Armed Psychiatrist Shoots, Stops Gunman in PA Hospital

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For Breitbart.comWRHawkins reports: On July 24 a doctor wounded in an armed attack by a psychiatric outpatient was able to pull his own gun, shooting and stopping the gunman.

According to USA Today, outpatient Richard Potts allegedly shot and killed a caseworker before an unnamed 52-year-old psychiatrist used “his personal firearm” to shoot Potts “three times.”

Fox News reports that the caseworker was a 53-year-old female who accompanied Potts to the doctor’s office. And witnesses say they “heard yelling before the gunshots.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘New York Times Attacks Israel: Also Not Surprising': NYC Poster by Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting

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Footage Shows Launcher with Two Missing Rockets Being Smuggled Back into Russia


Jon Stewart Wrong on Israel-Gaza ‘I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.’

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It’s an asymmetrical war, all right. But America’s satirical news host has got it the wrong way around

dhorovitz2b-mediumFor The Times of IsraelDavid Horovitz writes: That Jon Stewart, he’s sooooo funny. Just watch his amusing take on the current Israel-Gaza conflict. Really, it’s a nonstop laugh fest.

Yeah, it misrepresents what’s going on here. But hey, it is funny, and all those millions of Americans who watched it on Monday know that it’s just satire, don’t they?

Except I fear that they do not. I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.

Why? Let’s take it joke by joke.

Our super-smart, engagingly frustrated host starts up despairing over a news report of the intensifying conflict which says Israeli troops are poised to invade Gaza, and which ends with the words “as the aerial bombardment from both sides continues.”

Stewart: “Tastes great. More killing.”

See, right off the bat, I’m unhappy. Because, first up, he’s begun with talk of Israel being set to invade Gaza, but without any cited reason — such as, say, Hamas being a terrorist organization with a notorious track record of suicide bombings, individual killings, kidnappings, and incessant rocket fire. And, second, because the implication here is that the combatants — Israel and Hamas — are both happy to be back killing again, and that’s just plain false. Hamas is avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel and holds to a perverted interpretation of Islam that claims killing Jews, Christians and non-believing Muslims is your guaranteed path to paradise if you also die in the process. Israelis, by contrast, would much rather live and let live. (We left Gaza unilaterally in 2005, under international pressure, hoping that the security risk would be worth it, and that we’d be rewarded with tranquility rather than rocket fire, but I wouldn’t expect Stewart to go back that far.)

Stewart “Both sides are engaging in aerial bombardment, but one side appears to be bomb-better-at it. (Studio laughter at the wordplay.) Most Hamas rockets are neutralized by Israel’s Iron Dome technology, and Israeli citizens can even now download a warning app. (Cut to clip of Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer explaining how Israelis can know where and when they’re being attacked.) So Israelis seem to have a high-tech, smart-phone alert system.”

Let me see if I understand the point he’s making here: Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is, Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us. Read the rest of this entry »


Israel Starts Gaza Land, Sea & Air Offensive

Netanyahu’s office says purpose of mission is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.

ShowImage.ashxAfter days of waiting and deliberation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night directed the IDF to send ground troops into Gaza to strike the terror tunnels into Israel.

A statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Netanyahu directed the IDF to prepare to expand the ground operation.

The statement said that the security cabinet approved the operation after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Tuesday, which Hamas rejected. In addition, the statement said, Hamas even fired rockets during the Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.

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“In light of Hamas’ continuous criminal aggression, and the dangerous infiltration into Israeli territory, Israel is obligated to act in defense of its citizens,” the statement said.

The statement said that Operation Protective Edge, now in its 10th day, will continue until its goals are reached: restoring quiet for an extended period of time,and delivering a significant blow to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »


Natalie Portman on Israel’s Survival

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