I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.
Liberty and Civilization: The Western Heritage. This short collection—I read it in under two days—has several excellent essays each worth the price of the book. ~Bob
Aid and Comfort- How leading Democrats enabled Fallujah insurgency
Excerpt: New information is emerging about efforts by major Democratic Party figures to undercut American war efforts in Iraq by providing aid to the insurgents. Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson's article “Treason in America” details how a coalition of radical organizations, including US-based Code Pink, delivered some $600,000 in cash and supplies to insurgents and their families in Fallujah, just days after 51 American troops were killed there in some of the bloodiest action of the Iraq war. An approving article published in Islam Online tipped off the connection between the anti-American Global Exchange coalition and the Democrats who made their venture possible: They secured diplomatic courtesy letters from US Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Congressmen Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Henry Waxman of California. (This really comes under the heading of un*******believable. American radicals delivering serious chunks of cash and supplies, with the active support of our own elected officials, to the assorted people (Iraqis of various groups plus all those nice volunteers from Al Queda) we were embroiled in deadly combat with on a daily basis. One wonders how many US soldiers and Marines were killed or wounded by ammunition or explosives paid for through these generous donations. I am now going to wait with total fascination to hear whatever explanation any of these politicians come up with as to why they would help deliver money and supplies to people who were every day doing their best to maim and kill Americans. –Del. Should run an ad in Grijalva’s district listing all the Hispanic-American troops killed there. ~Bob.)
Marty Lamb's Lucky Break
Excerpt: Tina Hood of Worcester said "it blew my mind" when she heard her congressman say, "I think the Constitution is wrong." Rep. Jim McGovern later called his statement a "slip of the tongue," but to Ms. Hood -- a citizen who questioned the Democrat during a debate Wednesday night at Shrewsbury High School -- it seemed more like a contradiction of his oath of office. McGovern's words were one of those campaign moments that no one could predict, and which might conceivably change the outcome in Massachusetts' 3rd District. The seven-term incumbent was expressing his disagreement with Supreme Court decisions that have voided key elements of federal campaign-finance laws when he uttered the blunt six-word sentence. This seemed to fit Michael Kinsley's definition of a "gaffe" as what happens when a politician accidently speaks the truth. McGovern's notions of unbounded federal authority -- not merely in campaign finance regulation, but in nearly everything -- cause conservatives to doubt the Democrat's fealty to the Constitution. (Ah, reminds of when my Democrat opponent Sen. Joe Ward blew his stack in 1972 and called me a “snide, slimy young man” with the cameras rolling at the end of our only debate. He may have been aggravated when I closed my debate with the statement, “I promise you one thing. When you bring your problems to Senator Hall, you won’t have to bring your checkbook.” In January, they started bringing problems to Senator Hall. ~Bob.)
Democratic Congressman: ‘I Think the Constitution is Wrong”
Excerpt: Democratic Rep. James McGovern (MA-3) made this statement during a debate in Shrewsbury, MA on October 13. The audience seemed to be aware of the gravity of the statement Rep. McGovern had just made as you can barely make out the sound of one hand clapping at the end. (A not-uncommon Democrat view, but usually left unsaid. Used to be an adjunct constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago who said the constitution was deficient in that is says what the government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the government is required to do for you. Wonder whatever happened to him. Name of Obama or Osama or something like that. ~Bob.)
More Americans among shooting victims in Mexico
Every slime-ball using cocaine, crack, heroin or other illegal drugs is an accessory to murder. Probably includes pot as well, as that trade is not violence free. Not just in Mexico. 303 shot, 33 killed in Chicago in July. That’s most related to the drug trade or crime to pay for drugs. ~Bob. Excerpt: As many as six more Americans killed in Juarez. Two men from El Paso were among the victims of a multiple shooting inside a Juarez bar. Mexican newspapers reported that the shooting and murders were apparently retaliation to the on going war among Mexican Drug Cartels. At least 21 persons were murdered within 24 hours in Ciudad Juarez. Eight of those victims (two Americans) were shot at the Seven Seven bar in Juarez. The other thirteen all died late Sunday within a five hour period. Last year, Juarez won the title of the most violent city in Mexico, with more than 1,600 out of the nearly 6,000 that took place in the entire country. More than a dozen Americans have been killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year. According to a main Mexico City newspaper, this year’s total killed in Mexico, both Americans and Mexicans has reached 4,353 so far and is in line to surpass the 2008 record. More Americans have been kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico than ever before in recent memory. A Chihuahua state police spokesman has identified Benito Felix Holguin, 38, and Jose Antonio Flores Jr., 33, as U.S. citizens born in El Paso who were among the victims.
DHS Memo: Drug Cartels Plot to Send Assassins to Arizona
Not that I care if they kill each other, but often get the innocent, including kids, in the cross fire. And druggies don’t care. ~Bob. Excerpt: Mexican drug cartels have plotted to send assassins into Arizona to murder bandits who are stealing drugs from the cartels, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by CBS 5 News. A CBS 5 News law enforcement source said the memo was sent to several law enforcement agencies in May. The memo said, "We just received information from a proven credible confidential source who reported that a meeting was held in Puerto Penasco in which every smuggling organization who utilizes the Vekol Valley was told to attend. This included rival groups within the Guzman cartel." The Guzman cartel is one of the most powerful and dangerous cartels in Mexico.
What Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera Can Teach Barack Obama
Excerpt: Let’s compare President Pinera to President Obama. President Obama refused help from anyone who offered after the Gulf oil spill. He took too many days to address the nation, and even longer to make a visit to the Gulf families who were suffering from the spill. He knowingly withheld information to the public on the seriousness of the spill, and his administration routinely under-reported how many gallons of oil was spilling daily. He instituted a drilling ban which further damaged the livelihoods of the Gulf’s citizens. He seemed out of touch, detached, and uncaring towards the families who lost their businesses and their way of life. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even know how bad the situation was, and didn’t care about the suffering of the families. President and Mrs. Obama took vacations, went golfing, and attended state dinners. I never saw them hug the families or offer comfort, or show genuine emotion. The Obamas may not be capable of showing emotion, or have any ability to relate to their fellow Americans, but I often wonder why they go so far out of their way to denigrate them.
Anatomy of Petulance
Excerpt: I was fascinated watching the recent Obama campaign stops, particularly the contrast with 2008. Gone are the faux columns and classical backdrops. There are no more vero possumus seals (now they fall off the podium). All pretense of “no more red states, no more blue states” nonpartisanship has long ago been dropped. Even the shrill, boilerplate evocation of “Bush-Cheney did it” sounds strained. The blatant divisive appeal to unions, young people, and “black folks” is now unapologetic. Them versus Us is the new theme. Gone is the pretense of inclusivity. Even the fainting now seems rigged rather than spontaneous, the faux cadences forced and more Rev. Wrightish rather than inspired. The eyes of the crowd roll, and have lost their glazed zombie look of 2008. It all reminds me of the failed comeback tour of the proverbial fading rock star, the desperate promos for the sinking supposed blockbuster Hollywood movie, or perhaps something akin to Jerry Ford’s WIN buttons or the Carter desk thump.
U.S. Will Enforce Marijuana Laws, State Vote Aside
The announcement by Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, was the latest reminder of how much of the establishment has lined up against the popular initiative: Dozens of editorial boards, candidates for office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other public officials. Still, despite this opposition — or perhaps, to some extent, because of it — the measure, Proposition 19, appears to have at least a decent chance of winning, so far drawing considerable support in polls from a coalition of Democrats, independents, younger voters and men as Election Day nears. Should that happen, it could cement a cultural shift in California, where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 and where the drug has been celebrated in popular culture at least since the 1960s. But it could also plunge the nation’s most populous state into a murky and unsettling conflict with the federal government that opponents of the proposition said should make California voters wary of supporting it.
Obama's half brother in Kenya says he married teen
Hope BO sent a nice gift. Viagra, maybe. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Barack Obama's polygamist half brother in Kenya has married a 19-year-old woman more than 30 years his junior. Malik Obama, 52, told a Kenya news station that the teen quit school and wanted to get married. He appeared on video taken by a hidden camera, although he knew he was talking to journalists. "She decided she doesn't want to go back to school. She wants to get married now. She came here, and what am I supposed to do? So we are married," Malik Obama said on the video broadcast by NTV.
Christianity Prioritized in Swedish Schools
Excerpt: Last Thursday, the government approved a new curriculum which will come into effect for the autumn term of 2011. And in the new curriculum, the government simply rolled over the education agency’s proposals and ordered that Christianity should maintain its special status in classes on religion. “It’s not that the Christian religion is better than any other, rather it has to do with the enormous influence Christianity has had in our country, and still does have in our part of the world,” Björklund told SvD.
Arizona Democrats in Danger
Excerpt: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D.) serves a district, the Arizona 7th, that is almost 55 percent Hispanic. He probably wasn’t surprised to hear the crowd cheering in Spanish at Wednesday night’s congressional debate. But he almost certainly wasn’t expecting those cheers to be directed at his opponent. “¡Viva Ruth! ¡Viva Ruth! ¡Viva Ruth!” supporters of Republican nominee Ruth McClung chanted as the candidates took the stage in Tucson. “¡Ruth sí se puede!” they added: Yes, Ruth can! If she does, it will be one of the biggest upsets of this election cycle.
Obama: Biden is 'the single best decision that I have made'
Probably second best, behind picking Bo the dog. But certainly better than all the rest of his decisions. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama didn't specifically announce that Joe Biden would run with him again in 2012, but he sure did praise the vice president during today's fundraiser in Biden's home state of Delaware. "The single best decision that I have made was selecting Joe Biden as my running mate," Obama told cheering contributors today in Wilmington, Del.
Soldier testifies that (non-com) officer ordered him to delete videos shot during Fort Hood rampage
If you are murdered with “Allah Akbar” ringing in your ears, try to understand it has nothing to do with those who worship Allah. ~Bob. Excerpt: A soldier who recorded the terror of last year's deadly shooting rampage in Fort Hood using his cellphone was ordered by an officer to delete both videos, a military court heard Friday. Under cross examination, Pfc. Lance Aviles told an Article 32 hearing that his noncommissioned officer ordered him to destroy the two videos on Nov. 5, the same day a gunman unleashed a volley of bullets inside a processing centre at the Texas Army post. The footage could have been used as evidence at the military hearing to decide if Maj. Nidal Hasan should stand trial in the shootings. There was no explanation of why the noncommissioned officer ordered the videos destroyed. The 40-year-old American-born Muslim has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Sterling hits new high against struggling U.S. dollar as experts warn of global currency war
Soon we’ll be using Zimbabwe dollars. ~Bob. Excerpt: The pound hit its highest value against the dollar since January today after the chairman of the US Federal Reserve signalled that further efforts to boost recovery were on the cards. Delivering a speech on monetary policy in Boston, Ben Bernanke said the central bank was prepared to pump more money into the world's biggest economy to jump-start growth and fend off deflation fears. A further programme of quantitative easing (QE) in the US would mean putting more dollars into circulation and that has depressed the greenback, leaving it at a 15-year-low against the Japanese yen. Following Mr Bernanke's remarks, the dollar fell further against its rivals, as the pound lifted to 1.61 dollars and the euro also hit its highest level since January at 1.41 dollars.
Bogus global warming data hurts real scientific efforts http://www.detnews.com/article/20101015/OPINION03/10150338/1008/Bogus-global-warming-data-hurts-real-scientific-efforts
Excerpt: The revelations of bogus evidence in the manmade climate change hoax have become so routine as to go almost unnoticed, but continued revelations now pose a danger to the reputation of the real scientific community — that made up of dedicated researchers — which must be addressed before all lines of intellectual inquiry become tainted
Obama! A Modern U.S. President (musical spoof)
Too Dangerous to Print: Liberal University Bias
"Thomas Paine once said, "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." How true these words are. One of the most fundamental reflections of liberty is the freedom to question, challenge and debate the world around us. This freedom does not exist everywhere in the United States and certainly not at the university level."
Study Says, Hispanics Live Longer than Caucasians and African Americans in the US
Excerpt: According to a new Government report, Hispanic people outlive Caucasians and African Americans living in the United States. As per the data from the Centers for Disease Control, the life expectancy of Hispanics who were born in the year 2006 is 80 years and seven months, whereas for whites it is around 78 years and only 73 for Blacks. The irony is that privileged circumstances and education plays no role in longevity. In the US, Hispanic population either live longer or die early, both trends are prevalent. Dr. Jane Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health said that the reason behind Hispanic population’s longevity is that they indulge in less smoking, they lead a healthy lifestyle, and go for a regular walk. Hispanic immigrants follow a healthy diet and eat frits, vegetable, rice, and beans instead of junk food and processed products.
Thirty Reasons You Should Support Illegal Immigration and Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
If you enjoy sarcasm. ~Bob.
Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth's Temperature
Excerpt: Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet's temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide. The study, conducted by Andrew Lacis and colleagues at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, examined the nature of Earth's greenhouse effect and clarified the role that greenhouse gases and clouds play in absorbing outgoing infrared radiation. Notably, the team identified non-condensing greenhouse gases -- such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons -- as providing the core support for the terrestrial greenhouse effect. Without non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. The study's results will be published Friday, Oct. 15 in Science. A companion study led by GISS co-author Gavin Schmidt that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that carbon dioxide accounts for about 20 percent of the greenhouse effect, water vapor and clouds together account for 75 percent, and minor gases and aerosols make up the remaining five percent. However, it is the 25 percent non-condensing greenhouse gas component, which includes carbon dioxide, that is the key factor in sustaining Earth’s greenhouse effect. By this accounting, carbon dioxide is responsible for 80 percent of the radiative forcing that sustains the Earth’s greenhouse effect. (Pappy always told us to look for weasel words that sound like one thing but can mean another. In this case, the weasel words are "by this accounting." In The Mikado, Gilbert has Nanky-Poo tell his bride-to-be that as he (Nanky-Poo) was to be beheaded in a month, he and his bride should count each minute as an hour and each day a year and thus have 30 years of married bliss before them instead of a mere 30 days (she doesn't buy it). In this classic example of Orwellian double-think, the first sentence states the commonly known fact that the most important and influential green-house gas is water-vapor (clouds). They then change the terms and announce another well-known fact, that CO2 and other non-condensing gasses add "feedback" that allow the total system to stablize, but under some conditions will allow or cause temperatures to rise. None of which was in dispute by anyone. The whole argument about global warming boils down to these 5 questions: Are the temperatures world-wide being measured accurately? (No) If so, are they climbing out of their historical range? (No.) Would a change of a few degrees make a difference? (No one knows for sure) Would that difference be positive or negative? (All historic evidence says positive, not negative) Until these four questions are all answered with resounding yeses, all that follows is speculation, and you can speculate as well as I can. If, and ONLY if we have accurate data that the temperatures are rising out of historic bounds (which they are not), AND that temperature change is overwhelmingly negative (currently no evidence), do we then need to ask the final question: what, if anything, can we do about it for a price we are willing to pay? In the event AGW proves real, the best answer may be to do nothing and simply adapt ourselves and our lives to the "new normal," just as we have to every prior climate change. Just on a purely economic cost basis, to rebuild all industry world-wide would be many trillions (10 to the 12th power) dollars in the first few years alone. The sheer economic cost alone would mean starvation for millions to billions of people world-wide. This is NOT a step to be taken lightly, or quickly. Ron P.)
World’s three richest women are Chinese
Communism ain’t what it used to be. I was sure Mama-san from the Red Shoes Bar and Hotel in Kin Village would be up there by now. ~Bob. Excerpt: More than half the world’s richest self-made women are Chinese, thanks in large part to Mao and cheap childcare, according to the Hurun Report, which compiles information on the wealthiest Chinese. The world’s three richest women are Chinese — as are 11 of the top 20 — according to the Hurun List of Self-Made Women Billionaires, published on Tuesday. Zhang Yin, 53, the Chinese head of a recycled paper company, Nine Dragons Paper, ranks as the wealthiest self-made woman on earth with an estimated personal fortune of $5.6bn. Wu Yajun, 46, of Longfor Property, comes in second with $4.1bn and Chen Lihua, 69, of Fuhua International, a Hong Kong conglomerate, ranks third with $4bn.
New push to ban Hill insider trading
Excerpt: Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) is making a renewed push to apply insider trading laws to Congress after a newspaper report showed that at least 72 congressional aides traded shares of the companies that their bosses helped oversee. But Baird says his congressional colleagues have flatly indicated that they would block his legislation, which is aimed at preventing members of Congress and staff from trading stocks in companies where there’s a potential conflict of interest. “There are some members who seem to think the rules just shouldn’t apply to us,” said Baird in an interview with POLITICO. “There’s money to be made, lots of it, and in ways that aren’t clearly illegal.” Baird’s comments were spurred by a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal, which analyzed trading activity by Capitol Hill staffers between 2008 and 2009 and found market bets were made by high-level aides whose bosses helped influence related policy. Among those implicated in the story were a top policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who traded environmental company stock and a Republican aide who traded Bank of America Corp. stock while working for a Senate Banking Committee member. The Journal report did not reveal huge profits – in some cases it was a few thousand dollars – but Baird believes the story did show a hole in congressional ethics. Currently, insider trading laws that apply to the corporate world do not apply to Congress, allowing members and their aides to exchange information and buy stock based on inside information coming from Capitol Hill. The corporate world, however, is held under severe penalties for insider trading, often resulting in extraordinary fines. Baird and House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter introduced the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act” last year to prevent lawmakers and staff from using insider trading techniques to financially benefit, but the legislation has not budged from committee since January 2009 and remains sitting with several committees, including House Financial Services and the House Judiciary Committee.
First the stimulus, now the hangover
Excerpt: Last week's dismal jobs figures tell us exactly what the President Obama's stimulus did: It temporarily saved jobs in state and local government -- thereby slowing our recovery. Friday's job scorecard for September -- the last before Election Day -- didn't carry even a hint of an imminent boom. Unemployment stayed at 9.6 percent, with private companies adding 64,000 jobs. And 64,000 jobs is nothing. The economy must create nearly five times that to keep up with population growth and replace 7.6 million jobs lost since 2007. Worse, the new hires were down a third from August -- and the positions were low-paying, in bars, restaurants and retail. The report also told us that people who have jobs aren't working much overtime. That means companies aren't overwhelmed by unexpected business -- and won't need to do a lot of extra hiring for the holidays. The big headlines went to the drop in government jobs. Local and state government lost 83,000 jobs -- the biggest hit in modern history. Teachers lost the most, with school districts cutting nearly 58,000 after summer break. That's terrible for laid-off workers. Life would be better if nobody had to lose a job. And, of course, Washington should provide unemployment benefits, as it does. But government still has to adjust to a new reality, just like every other part of the economy. This adjustment has just begun. Even with the latest losses, state governments around the nation still employ 8 percent more people than they did a decade ago (at the peak of the last financial bubble). At the local level, the figure is 9 percent. That's nearly 1.6 million people added to public payrolls in the last decade.
Whenever good and evil compromise, evil always wins. --Ayn Rand
Democrats Retrench as GOP Pulls Away
Excerpt: Democratic strategists acknowledged they are abandoning a dozen House seats the party now holds, as they try to salvage their majority in the chamber by shoring up candidates with better chances. With Republicans expanding their advertising to broaden the field of competitive races, Democrats are shifting resources to help such senior lawmakers as House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D., S.C.), and to head off Republicans in usually safe Massachusetts, where a southeast district that includes Cape Cod is competitive for the first time in decades. The emerging battlefield, two weeks before Election Day, is almost entirely in districts now held by Democrats. It includes about 40 districts where both the Republican and Democratic House campaign arms are running television ads or have reserved TV time. Beyond those, Republicans are on the air in a dozen additional districts, while Democrats are running ads in two. Republicans need a net gain of 39 seats to win a majority in the House. "The field is essentially expanding by the day," said Ken Spain, spokesman for the GOP's House campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee. A survey of voters in competitive House districts released Friday reinforced the point that Democrats face a tough road. The poll, for National Public Radio, found that in 58 Democratic-held battleground districts, 47% of likely voters preferred the Republican for Congress in their district, while 44% preferred the Democrat, a three percentage-point gap. The Republican lead was larger among voters with high levels of interest in the election. (Barney Frank may be in real trouble. Hard to believe, but possibly true. This could carry over to the 3rd. Is there a way to piggy-back on the up-coming TV ads? Emphasis added. Ron P.)
Opinion: Global warming not worth the fight
Excerpt: Global warming is real. It is predominantly anthropogenic. Left unchecked, it will likely warm the earth by 3-7 C by the end of the century. What should the United States do about it? Very little, if anything at all. As economists, we are inclined to take the vantage point of the benevolent dictator, that omnific individual with his hands upon all of the policy levers available to the state. When placed in such a position, the question of how to respond to global warming is answered by performing a simple comparison: does x, the cost of optimally mitigating carbon emissions, exceed y, the benefit of that carbon mitigation? Where the answer is yes, the global carbon mitigation effort remains rightfully nascent, where the answer is no, it springs up and becomes law with a just and sudden force. H.L. Mencken once wrote, “Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” Such is the economist’s explanation of climate change. Global warming is a tragedy of the commons, carbon emissions are a negative externality, and reducing CO2 in the atmosphere is a global public good. These types of problems have been well-studied by economists, and solutions to them are known. Unfortunately, these solutions require a sovereign power to enact them, and in this world there is no global power to enforce economically optimal solutions, no benevolent dictator, no organ of international government capable of superceding national sovereignty and its attendant self-interest. The international system is not cooperative — it is best defined as anarchic and follows the Thucydidean maxim: the strong do as they can... the weak suffer as they must. (...) More to the point, unilateral action will not mitigate climate change. The U.S. is only a small fraction of total emissions. Even if all of the Annex I countries of the Kyoto Protocol agreed to binding constraints, they would account for less than half of the world’s total emissions, and a far smaller fraction of the expected growth in emissions between now and 2100. To act unilaterally, or even in conjunction with the rest of the developed world, would mean paying the full measure of mitigating climate change while receiving only a fraction of its benefit. It is tempting to play the crusader, to make some moral, if futile stand in defense of our current thermostat setting. But we must be realistic. There is little hope of creating an enforceable global carbon constraint, and without the existence of such a regime, there is little point in surrendering our national economy to green adventures. (Earlier, I put the 5 basic questions of global warming. In that brief discussion, I said the best response may be to do nothing. This opinion article--whose author is clearly an unabashed warmist--from the on-line version of MIT's school paper reaches the same conclusion from entirely different reasoning. Ron P.)
BREAKING: Prosecutors of Dutch MP Geert Wilders Ask Court To Acquit on All Charges
Perhaps a victory for free speech. ~Bob. Excerpt: In a surprising twist, the prosecution in the trial of Dutch MP Geert Wilders asked for complete acquittal today. With this, it strongly condemned the decision of a higher court to prosecute Wilders. In a two-day long precise analysis of the remarks of Wilders, who had to stand trial for discrimination against Muslims and incitement to hatred, the prosecuting officers explained to the court that Wilders may have been insulting and provocative, but his words were within the limitations of Dutch law. This doesn’t mean that the trial has stopped — next week the defense will continue. The Dutch law system demands a full cycle of prosecution and defense, and will end with an extensive verdict. Though — in theory — the court could still convict Wilders, it now seems almost impossible.
Congress Catches On to DOJ’s Keystone Kops Show
There’s no mystery here. Democrats believe, probably correctly, that members of the military are more likely to vote Republican. That’s been true since the soldier vote re-elected Lincoln and, at the cost of many of their lives, finished the war that ended slavery. Democrats believe that anything that helps them win is justified, from vote fraud to preventing opponents from voting. Thus the Democrat controlled DOJ blocking our troops from voting, while pretending otherwise. ~Bob. Excerpt: Friday was a very bad day for the people responsible for the Keystone Kops operation protecting military voting rights inside the Justice Department. The three ranking members of the House of Representatives with oversight over military voting issues and the Justice Department sent a devastating letter to Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez. The curtain has been pulled back, and the DOJ spin that they are doing everything they can to protect military voters has become a laugh line. Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith, Armed Service Committee Ranking Member Buck McKeon, and Elections Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin McCarthy all joined forces to describe the clownish DOJ enforcement tactics in the letter. The problem for Eric Holder is that in just a few weeks, these three will probably shed the title “ranking member” and replace it with “chairman.” Military ballots were required to be sent by September 18 under federal law. Some states, such as New York, received an extension to October 1. Despite these hard deadlines, nearly a third of states have failed to comply with the law. Military ballots have not been sent and in some cases this means our soldiers overseas are going to lose their right to vote. The public is beginning to see why.
Japan Scrambles for Rare Earth
Excerpt: Alarmed by China's move to cut shipments of critical metals used by high-tech companies and auto makers, Japan is scrambling to find alternative supplies, particularly by developing new mines abroad. Japanese companies have faced sharp cuts in imports of what are known as rare-earth metals from China since July, a situation that has deteriorated sharply since the two nations became embroiled in a thorny bilateral spat following a ship collision in disputed waters in the East China Sea last month. This has fueled anxieties in Japan, by far the world's largest rare-earth importer, as China has come to dominate the metals' world production with a 97% share, having priced out producers in other nations like the U.S. and Australia in the past two decades. Because of the strategic nature of rare-earth trade, this has renewed the sense among Japanese policy makers that the government must play a bigger role in ensuring supplies of natural resources at a time when rapid developments in emerging economies intensify competition for industrial materials. Tokyo plans to allocate 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) to improve rare-earth supplies in an extra budget for the current fiscal year through March this fiscal year, roughly half of which is earmarked for overseas mining projects. Research and development of alternative materials, as well as facilities to recycle metals from discarded computers and cellphones, will also receive funding.
Penguins Killed by Foxes at London Zoo
COMMENT FROM "dizzy": "I do look forward to the day when the growing fox problem in London and other metropoli leads to urban gangs discovering a new pursuit, namely fox hunting. I can just see the more street-wise denizens of Hackney, Willesden and Peckham 'riding to hounds' on an assortment of mopeds, scooters, trail bikes and skate-boards, as they chase their elusive prey through the urban jungle. What sport! And how their champions on the Left will howl with anguish as their class-war against the 'Tory toffs' in the country boomerangs back to them by causing a fox problem and a solution in the city. Foxes will be foxes, whatever the good intentions of the 'Hug-a-fox' brigade."
David Cameron steps in to quell military revolt over cuts to defence budget
Well, after 235 years, we can bet the Recoats aren’t coming! Even without the cuts, not enough of them left. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Prime Minister made his move after being told by the new head of the Army that proposed reductions in the Forces threatened Britain’s mission in Afghanistan. General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, made clear to Number 10 that he could not accept cuts in Army numbers and training which would hamper the Afghan operation. In the wake of Sir Peter’s warning, Downing Street sources last night said Mr Cameron had blocked a Treasury demand for a 10 per cent cut in the defence budget. “He has intervened against the Treasury. The Army will be protected,” said a source. Mr Cameron told the Treasury that he would not accept substantial reductions in Army numbers. Downing Street sources added that Mr Cameron was insistent that more savings be made from Trident. Final details of the budget deal were still being hammered out last night in Whitehall, and military sources refused to declare victory in the power struggle. Mr Cameron’s intervention followed a day of threats from senior defence figures. The angry response from the top brass came after the Treasury attempted to force the Ministry of Defence to make cuts deeper than those which had been agreed previously. Military chiefs had described the move as a “betrayal”.
Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Money-Saver
Excerpt: This Saturday, one of Greece’s most respected newspapers, To Vima, reported that the nation’s largest government health insurance provider would no longer pay for special footwear for diabetes patients. Amputation is cheaper, says the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider. The new policy was announced in a letter to the Pan-Hellenic Federation of People with Diabetes. The Federation disputes the science behind the decision of the Benefits Division. In a statement, the group argues that the decision is contrary to evidence as presented in the international scientific literature. Greece’s National Healthcare System was created in the early 1980s, during the tenure of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. Papandreou, an academic, won election under the slogan, Αλλαγή, which is the Greek word for Change.
Jonas, 32, sewed up his own leg after ER wait
Excerpt: The man incurred the deep cut when he sliced his leg on the sharp edge of a kitchen stove while he was renovating at home. "I first went to the health clinic, but it was closed. So I rang the medical help line and they told me that it shouldn't be closed, so I went to emergency and sat there," the man named only as Jonas told the newspaper. After an hour-long wait in a treatment room, he lost patience and proceeded to sew up his own wound. "They had set out a needle and thread and so I decided to take the matter into my hands," he said. But hospital staff were not as impressed by his initiative and have reported the man on suspicion of criminal dispossession (egenmäktigt förfarande) for having used hospital equipment without authorization. (Quite right, too. We can’t have people taking their health care into their own hands. ~Bob.)
So, Barack, What Happened?
What happened? The public hired a guy with just over two years experience at the national level, eight as a state senator—less than I have—no experience in or with the military, no experience with foreign policy, who’s claim to fame was writing two autobiographies. With that resume, he shouldn’t have been hired as assistant manager at a 7-11, never mind to be “leader of the free world.” What happened is about what I expected to happen back in the fall of 08. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two years ago, Barack Obama was the political equivalent of Elvis Presley -- rolling into towns across America, performing before adoring crowds. Like the King, then-Sen Obama relished the adoration and gave the crowd a great show. I saw it myself in New Hampshire. But now everything has changed. President Obama is not welcome in many parts of the country. Even some members of his own party don't want to be seen with him. It's so bad that Joe Manchin, the Democratic governor of West Virginia who is now running for the U.S. Senate, actually put out a TV commercial where he takes a rifle and shoots a hole into paper explaining "cap and trade" legislation. Obama, a deeply sensitive individual, must be asking himself what the deuce is going on. How could things change so quickly in 24 months? Of course, the bad economy is the major reason for his fall, but that doesn't fully explain the extent of the president's problems. The New York Times, a flea market of liberal activism, is chalking up Obama's decline to the stupidity of the American people. A recent Times editorial put forth: "Insurgent Republicans don't need details when they can play on the furious emotions of voters who have been misled into believing that positive changes like the health care law are catastrophic failures." Yeah, that's it. The majority of Americans are being "misled" by some mysterious force that comes in the night, planting anti-health care thoughts in their brains. In case the Times hasn't noticed, the American media remain solidly liberal and continue to give Obama the benefit of many, many doubts. If you don't believe me, just compare the coverage of Hurricane Katrina to that of the BP oil spill. Both were handled poorly by the feds. But the media hysteria over Katrina dwarfed any coverage of the greatest environmental disaster America has ever experienced. President Bush was vilified beyond belief for Katrina. Obama was mildly criticized for BP.
Somalia: 4 Die, 12 Injured In Militant Attack
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Four people have killed and more than 12 others injured as Hizbul Islam militants opened fire in the Haradhere district in Somalia's Mudug region on Thursday. The death and injuries occurred when a group of people congregated and protested at a public square where the militants were beating the village’s teenagers. Pregnant woman and children are among those killed, a witness told a local radio station. The witness indicated that Hizbul Islam fighters accused the teenagers of watching pornographic videos on their mobile phones. The beating infuriated local people, who were invited to watch the incident, residents said. Hizbul Islam declined to comment on the event.