Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Political Digest for December 22, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Excerpt: He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.” General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.” About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day. General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.” (Here endeth your leadership lesson for the day. ~Bob.)

Must read: Liberal myths vs. reality
Excerpt: According to Barack Obama, "The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact." But according to Margaret Thatcher, "The facts of life are conservative." Who’s right?

Worth seeing: The Joy Of Stats
A quick visual review of changes in life expectancy and personal income in 200 countries over 200 years. This is thanks to western civilization leading the way—and Western Civilization is disparaged at home and assaulted abroad by those who have benefited. If the looming fiscal disaster, illegal immigration, the imposition of Shari’a law and the rise of China brings down the west, it won’t just be western countries and people who will subside towards the “poor and sick” corner of this chart, but humanity. Excerpt: Hans Rosling’s famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport’s commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before – using augmented reality animation. In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

Bomb Discovered In Rome Subway
Excerpt: Tuesday morning, around 10, reports the ATAC, an operator found at the “track sever (the area where the operations are carried trains) to the underground station line B Rebibbia, a suspicious object inside a wagon. Were immediately alerted the Police and Fire Department, which intervened on the spot, have taken measures to isolate the area then proceed to the determination of the explosive potential of the bomb.

Fjordman: Why Islam Must Be Expelled From The West
Excerpt: We’ve been told for years that suicide bombers who blow themselves up in civilian areas in Israel are “freedom fighters struggling against Israeli occupation.” Does that mean that this Muslim blew himself up to protest against the Swedish occupation of Stockholm? Sweden has no colonial history, at least not outside of northern Europe. It is a self-appointed champion of Third World countries and has virtually surrendered its third-largest city to immigrant mobs and substantial chunks of other cities, too. Swedish authorities are using the most extreme methods imaginable to suppress any dissent among the native people, who are being ethnically cleansed from their own land. The authorities always side with immigrants against the natives in the case of conflict. Muslims in Sweden can harass the natives as much as they want to and have access to all kinds of welfare goodies and a much higher standard of living than they would have in their own countries. In short, they have no imaginable, rational reason to complain, yet they still blow themselves up......[H]ow can we coexist peacefully with Muslims in our countries? The short answer is that we cannot. No matter how much you appease them, it will never be enough. As a matter of fact, since they come from a culture which respects only brute force they will despise you as weak and become more aggressive if you try to reason with them. Their religion also states that Muslims are the “best of peoples” – the true master race – and that they are destined by Allah to rule all mankind. They are filled with illusions of grandeur and superiority, yet the harsh reality is that their societies are lagging behind those of others. This constitutes an inversion of the natural order which can only have been caused by demonic actions and must be reversed at all costs. As long as they remain in our countries, they will work to subvert and destroy us. It is quite literally a religious duty for them to do so.

Chris Christie: The Day of Reckoning Has Arrived
Excerpt: Then there's New Jersey. It has the highest taxes in the country, a $10 billion deficit and a depressed economy when first-year Governor Chris Christie took office. But after looking at the books, he decided to walk away from a long-planned and much-needed project with New York and the federal government to build a rail tunnel into Manhattan.

Mugs in the News
Scroll through here and remind yourself that honest citizens are not allowed to carry guns in Illinois to protect themselves. ~Bob.

Video: Muezzin Call to Prayer Broadcast Over Loudspeakers in Brooklyn
Excerpt: Try ringing church bells in Saudi Arabia and see how that works out for you…

Census data likely to bring more bad news for Democrats on Tuesday
Excerpt: Democrats are expected to get more bad news when the census data is released Tuesday. Republicans netted 63 House seats in the 2010 election, and now several heavily Democratic states are projected to lose congressional seats under reapportionment data from the 2010 census….. The final numbers also stand to shift the balance in the Electoral College, potentially delivering a blow to President Obama's reelection prospects. Since electoral votes are awarded based on the size of a state's congressional delegation, heavily Republican Texas stands to gain as many as four electoral votes ahead of 2012. In a tight presidential contest, a small handful of electoral votes could make all the difference. Of the states projected to lose seats, Obama won seven in 2008.

Poll: Most voters think repeal is likely
Repeal won’t save us from the coming fiscal collapse, but could stave it off until after I’m safely dead. ~Bob. Excerpt: For the first time since healthcare reform was enacted in March, most U.S. voters believe Republicans will make good on their efforts to repeal the new law, according to a Rasmussen survey released Monday morning. A telephone survey found that 52 percent of likely voters think it is “at least somewhat likely” the reform law will be repealed, while 33 percent believe it is unlikely. The results include 16 percent who believe repeal is “very likely” and 5 percent who think it is “not at all likely.”

Public servants feel sting of budget rancor
Q: How many public employees work for the Federal government? A: Maybe half of them. ~Bob. Excerpt: More and more, when politicians talk about government employees - whether they are federal, state or local - it is with the kind of umbrage ordinarily aimed at Wall Street financiers and convenience store bandits. "We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and the taxpayers who foot the bill are the have-nots," Wisconsin's incoming Republican Gov. Scott Walker declared this month, as he raised the idea of stripping state workers there of collective bargaining rights. Outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is mulling a GOP presidential bid, also sounded a class-war note last week on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal: "Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt."

Excerpt: Imagine we dug a 15-foot hole in the ground and got in it. Our only means of escape is a rope ladder, hanging from above. But then a federal judge rules that the rope ladder is constitutionally impermissible. So I say, “This ruling is terrible. We are all doomed!” How would you respond? If you are normal and rational, you would say: “Hold on, Goodman. Did anybody make you dig that hole? Did anyone force you to get into it? Your problems are not caused by a judge. They’re all your own making.” Easy. Right? I know I’ve said many times that people’s IQs drop about 15 points when they start thinking about health care. The supporting evidence for that position has become so overwhelming I’m thinking about elevating it to the status of a social science law. Anyway, that’s why it’s good to give non-health examples, just to get the first principles down. Let’s try something else that’s really close, but still not health care. Imagine that Congress required insurers to sell life insurance for the same premium, regardless of health status. So a terminally ill person only a few days away from death could pay the same premium as someone who is healthy and fit. Then, with insurance companies only a few months away from complete bankruptcy, imagine that Congress steps in to save the day by mandating that everyone buy life insurance. Pretty stupid, right? Okay, now we’re ready for health care.

Middle America's Economic Woes
Excerpt: The unemployment rate for people with a college degree or higher is 5 percent. If that were the rate for everyone, it'd be the 1990s again. But college graduates are only 30 percent of the country. For the rest of the population, the jobs picture is grimmer. For people without a high-school degree, the unemployment rate is more than 15 percent. If that were the rate for everyone, it'd be the 1930s again. The unemployment rates are part of a growing divergence between the fortunes of the college educated and the rest of the country, including proverbial Middle America. In his new study, "When Marriage Disappears," University of Virginia scholar Brad Wilcox details how the college-educated have embraced traditional mores and habits - especially the formation of stable families - while they erode among everyone else. Our elites, broadly defined as the top third of our society, aren't nearly as decadent as advertised. According to Wilcox's data, the highly educated (with a college diploma or higher) are less likely to divorce, less likely to have children out of wedlock, and less likely to commit adultery than the moderately educated (high-school degree or some college) and the least-educated (no high-school diploma)…. The number for out-of-wedlock births is starker. From 1982 until today, the percentage of non-marital births among the moderately educated exploded from 13 percent to 44 percent. That figure is close to the least-educated (54 percent) and a vast distance from the highly educated (only 6 percent). Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation compares the dynamic to a carpet unraveling from the bottom, as illegitimacy first took hold among the poor and now works up the income scale.

Teen birth rate hits record low
That teen births are down is good, but that we are below replacement rate in over all births signals we are joining Europe as a collapsing society. I remember when all my professors gave me “The Population Bomb” with threats of starvation in the US by the 1990s as received wisdom. It was the “Global warming” of the 1970s, and one of the main reasons I have no biological children—and why I don’t believe the current scares on global warming. Now western civilization—with the barbarians at the gates—or, really, often inside—faces extinction. ~Bob. Excerpt: The birth rate among U.S. girls aged 15 to 19 fell to 39.1 births per 1,000 teens in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That's a 6 percent drop from 2008 and the lowest rate ever recorded in the nearly 70 years that the federal government has been collecting reliable data, according to a preliminary analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics….The general fertility rate fell from 68.6 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 44 to 66.7 in 2009, and the total number of births fell from 4,247,694 to 4,131,019, That trend appears to be continuing into 2010, according to early statistics collected between January and June of this year. The overall drop pushed the fertility rate to about 2.01, a 4 percent drop from 2008. That is the largest decline since 1973 and put the total fertility rate below the level needed to sustain the size of the population for the second year after being above the replacement rate in 2006 and 2007 for the first time in 35 years.

Christmas Huzzah! & Mrs. Washington’s Holiday Cake
Excerpt: Americans of the 18th Century also had a tremendous sweet tooth, and there were some very special desserts prepared for the holidays. Perhaps the most special of these was Mrs. Washington’s ‘Christmas cake,’ which was comprised of and by the following: "Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks & beat them to a froth then work 4 pounds of butter to a cream & put the whites of eggs to it a Spoon full at a time till it is well work'd then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powderd [sic] to it in the same manner then put in the Youlks [sic] of eggs & 5 pounds of flower [sic] & 5 pounds of fruit. 2 hours will bake it add to it half an ounce of mace & nutmeg half a pint of wine & some fresh brandy." These wonderful feasts were accompanied, as was the habit in 18th Century America, by copious wines, brandies and other spirits. Eggnog was also served; in fact, at the home of George Washington, and it was from the special recipe of the General himself; he was known to actually make it himself. His recipe for eggnog was a bit heavy on the spirits: ‘one quart of cream, one quart of milk, a dozen eggs, one pint of brandy, a half pint of rye, a quarter pint of rum and a quarter pint of sherry.’

The Ultimate Troll: Democrat Media Management
Excerpt: The latest effort to monitor and influence the flow of information involves the concept of “net neutrality,” which amounts to the administrative regulation of Internet usage. According to this new version of the Fairness Doctrine, the FCC would exercise custody over bandwidth capacity, thus theoretically limiting access to specific sites which the surveilling agency deems problematic or in violation of “hate speech” laws. As journalist Patrick Richardson points out, a project of this nature would turn the Internet into a utility commanded both by government legislation and punitive fee structures. The result would clearly be a public relations plus for the Democrats — and a means to neutralize the impact of the conservative message in the infosphere. The connection between the Fairness Doctrine, an MSM bailout, and “net neutrality” is by no means coincidental. The problem for the Democrats is the uncontested power of the alternative media — webzines, webinars, blogs, and news aggregators — that were instrumental, to take a famous instance, in bringing about the defeat of the disingenuous John Kerry in the 2004 elections. Without the intervention of the electronic vox populi, the Swift Boat phenomenon would have been a decidedly slow boat. Coupled with the ubiquitous dissemination of talk radio, the Net has become a distinctive threat to the hegemony of the MSM, and thus a growing menace to a doctrinaire president, the Democratic Party, and the socialist agenda they have embraced. Obama’s America seems indebted to China in more ways than one.

Merry Christmas from TIGER Valley
Great Short Commercial—enjoy.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Commutes Brian Aitken's Sentence
A pardon would have been better. ~Bob. Excerpt: New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie commuted the sentence of Brian Aitken’s Monday, reducing his sentence from seven years in prison to time already served. According to Christie’s order, he will be released as soon as it’s “administratively possible.” As The Daily Caller previously reported, Aitken, 27, was arrested in New Jersey in 2009 after police found unloaded guns in the trunk of his car that had been purchased legally in Colorado. New Jersey law requires residents who want to transport firearms legally to request a permit from a local law enforcement office and produce a letter stating why it is necessary for them to carry a gun. Aitken’s attorney argued that his client was innocent of any offense because the firearms were legally purchased (at a Bass Pro Shop), properly stored, and unloaded. And though New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Aitken’s attorney said his client did not violate any law because he was in the middle of moving residences between two states.

CNN credits Obama for the Bush tax cuts
Most Americans like the new tax cut law that President Barack Obama signed into law on Friday, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that while the tax cut compromise the president struck with congressional Republicans didn’t spark Obama’s overall approval rating, it may have given him a boost as “Triangulator in Chief.” Forty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say they approve of the job Obama’s doing in the White House, with an equal amount saying they disapprove of how he’s handling his duties. “The president’s approval rating is exactly where it was in mid-November before he brokered the tax cut compromise that angered some liberals and conservatives alike,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But while he has lost some ground with liberals, he has gained support among moderates. That’s important if Obama plans to borrow a page from former President Bill Clinton’s playbook and try to win re-election by ‘triangulating’ between the leaders of both parties on the Hill.”

Reflections on the Passing Scene by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: One of the biggest obstacles to economic recovery is that politicians and the media are both focused on how government can MAKE the economy recover, rather than on how it can LET the economy recover. One of the biggest deterrents to investments, and the jobs they could create, is uncertainty as to what new bright idea will come out of Washington to change the rules in midstream. … Among the things that have come out in the WikiLeaks documents is that the king of Saudi Arabia has a more realistic understanding of the enormous dangers of an Iranian nuclear bomb than does the President of the United States…. University students rioting against tuition increases on both sides of the Atlantic are painful signs of the degeneracy of our times. The idea that taxpayers owe it to you to pay for what you want suggests that much of today's education fails to instill reality, and instead panders to a self-centered sense of entitlement to what other people have earned.

32% British Students Support Killing for Islam
That “tiny minority of extremists” who have “hijacked the Religion of Peace” has hit 32%. Amazing. ~Bob. Excerpt: 32% of British Muslim students support killing for Islam; 40% want Sharia Law. If the way young Muslims in Britain are feeling is any indication for America’s own Muslim community, then America better beware. According to a new survey done at 30 universities in Britain, the young Muslim student body in that country is extremely radicalized. The poll asked 600 Muslim students and 800 of their non-Muslim peers about politically touchy subjects like killing in the name of Islam and Sharia Law—and the results were like night and day between the two demographics. While hardly anyone in the non-Muslim sample accepted killing in the name of religion, basically one-third of all Muslim students in Britain supported this.

Prominent Jews Leave Amsterdam over Anti-Semitism
No big deal. Only those “Joos” being forced out. Now if this were Muslims offended by a cartoon, panic and immediate action would be needed. ~Bob. Excerpt: A son of a prominent rabbi in the Netherlands has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism. Benzion Evers, son of well-known Dutch rabbi Raphael Evers, told De Telegraaf that he feels “suffocated and caged” in his home country due to anti-Jewish sentiment. “I'm fed up with the verbal abuse and the streetfighting,” he told Het Parool, another Dutch paper. “It's not that you can't leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful,” he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants. While anti-Semitism is not uncommon among Muslim immigrants, particularly those from Morocco and Turkey, there is a second kind of anti-Semitism that is common in the Netherlands as well, Evers said, an educated anti-Semitism that is disguised as anti-Zionism.

Human Rights Day: Deputy Foreign Minister Blasts 'Lawfare'
Excerpt: Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon held a press conference Thursday with Prof. Gerald Steinberg and Anne Herzberg of NGO Monitor on the exploitation and abuse of human rights, particularly with regard to NGOs and the use of 'lawfare' against Israel. The conference was timed to mark International Human Rights Day. At the event, NGO Monitor, an independent Jerusalem-based research institution, presented its updated monograph “NGO Lawfare – Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” to the Deputy Foreign Minister. Lawfare has been described as a strategy of using or misusing law as a substitute for traditional means to achieve military or political objectives.

Worth Reading: My Discovery of America (Progressive America, That Is)
Excerpt: It took me a long time to realize that his reaction was rather typical. If you want to socialize with progressive and sophisticated Americans, you have to abide by certain rules. You may hold unconventional views on many issues, but certain ones are taboo. Criticizing socialism is one of them, and a negative attitude toward it will earn you the label of "right-winger." A more advanced version of this notion is an admission that indeed, the Soviet implementation of socialism was not a success, but that fact does not repudiate the whole idea of socialism. Never mind that every implementation of that idea has been disastrous: in China, Poland, Hungary, Cuba, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere. Some implementations -- in North Korea and Venezuela -- are unraveling right before our eyes. Yet the progressives wish to repeat the same failed experiment again and again, claiming that the next one will succeed. When they learn that I am a fan of the American version of capitalism, they either stare in disbelief or smile condescendingly. Most of them are unable to find Romania on a map, they may not know the difference between Lennon and Lenin, and they may suppose that a Molotov cocktail is an alcoholic drink, yet they enjoy wallowing in their sense of intellectual superiority over my naïveté. If you want to fit in with the progressives, first, you should educate yourself on what is cool and what is uncool to them. Here is a partial list.

Europe: The New Plan
Excerpt: Europe is on the cusp of change. An EU heads-of-state summit Dec. 16 launched a process aimed to save the common European currency. If successful, this process would be the most significant step toward creating a singular European power since the creation of the European Union itself in 1992 — that is, if it doesn’t destroy the euro first. Envisioned by the EU Treaty on Monetary Union, the common currency, the euro, has suffered from two core problems during its decade-long existence: the lack of a parallel political union and the issue of debt. Many in the financial world believe that what is required for a viable currency is a fiscal union that has taxation power — and that is indeed needed. But that misses the larger point of who would be in charge of the fiscal union. Taxation and appropriation — who pays how much to whom — are essentially political acts. One cannot have a centralized fiscal authority without first having a centralized political/military authority capable of imposing and enforcing its will. Greeks are not going to implement a German-designed tax and appropriations system simply because Berlin thinks it’s a good idea. As much as financiers might like to believe, the checkbook is not the ultimate power in the galaxy. The ultimate power comes from the law backed by a gun.

Letter From A Flemish Mother To A Moroccan Mother
Excerpt: Dear Madam, I saw your vehement protests in front of the TV cameras against the transfer of your son from a prison in Aarlen to a prison in Leuven. I heard your complaints about the distance that separates you from your son and the difficulties you have in visiting him. I also noticed the media attention from journalists and reporters about other mothers in similar situations: they are defended by several organization for human rights and such. I am also a mother, and I completely understand your protests and discontents. I want to join you in your battle because, as you will see, there is also a large distance between me and my son. I work hard, earn less, and have the same financial difficulties in visiting my son. With a lot of effort I can reach him on Sundays, because I work all the other days, even Saturdays, and besides that I have my family duties towards my other children. In case you didn’t understand it yet: I am the mother of the boy that was brutally slaughtered by your son, in the gas station he used to work for at night to pay for his studies and support his family. I will visit him again next Sunday. While you hold your son in your arms and cuddle him, I shall only lay some flowers on his modest grave at the city cemetery. Oh, and I almost forgot: you don’t have to worry, the state keeps a part of my lousy wage to pay for a new bed for your son, because he burned the two previous ones in his cell where he is doing time for the brutal crime he committed.

Dutch May Introduce Burqa Ban As Early As 2011
Excerpt: The Netherlands could ban full face veils worn by some Muslim women, as soon as next year, Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. Wilders’ populist Freedom Party is the third largest in parliament and provides crucial support to the minority ruling coalition in exchange for the government taking a tougher line on Islam and immigration from non-Western countries. His party has grown in popularity largely because of his outspoken criticism of Islam, which he describes as “a violent ideology.” He has been charged with inciting hatred against Muslims for comparing Islam to Nazism. The case is due to start over again following a request for new judges. “We are not a single issue party but the fight against a fascist ideology Islam is for us of the utmost importance,” said Wilders, who argues his comments about Islam are protected by freedom of speech. Wilders said immigration from Muslim countries “is very dangerous to the Netherlands. We believe our country is based on Christianity, on Judaism, on humanism, and we believe the more Islam we get, the more it will not only threaten our culture and our own identity but also our values and our freedom.” The burqa ban, which his party agreed as part of a pact with the minority coalition, is due to come into force within four years and possibly as soon as next year or 2012, he said.

Hey big spenders, step aside: Ladies love Austrian Economics
Excerpt: Economists, libertarians, fiscal conservatives alike: Get ready for your new anthem. Listen to the vid below for singer-songwriter Dorian Electra crooning for F.A. Hayek. Business Insider calls her "libertarian econo-nerds' new dreamgirl"! Regardless of your fiscal leanings, if you're into economics (or music) at all, this is really quite good!

An Interview With Rep. Sue Myrick (R), North Carolina
Excerpt: Long before the Tea Parties ignited a challenge to the Obama administration and liberal legislators, Sue Myrick, now in her eighth term, was a forceful conservative voice in energy, immigration and national security issues. She was among the first legislators to alert Americans to the threats of radical Islam and Jihad. Rep. Myrick serves on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, the oldest legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, with broad legislative responsibility in public health, energy, telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, air quality, environmental health and interstate and foreign commerce. In addition their jurisdiction extends over five Cabinet level departments and other independent agencies. In the 112th Congress, she will serve as Vice Chair of the Committee. In 2009, Sue Myrick was selected by House Leadership to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Intelligence Committee has jurisdiction over the Intelligence community, including intelligence-related activities of the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency, and other agencies of the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Departments of State, Justice, and Treasury. Most recently, she alerted Homeland Security, Congress and the media to the presence of Hezbollah on our Southern border and called for a taskforce to investigate the issue.

So Long to Ya, 2010
JibJab’s latest.
$2tn debt crisis threatens to bring down 100 US cities
Excerpt: More than 100 American cities could go bust next year as the debt crisis that has taken down banks and countries threatens next to spark a municipal meltdown, a leading analyst has warned. Meredith Whitney, the US research analyst who correctly predicted the global credit crunch, described local and state debt as the biggest problem facing the US economy, and one that could derail its recovery. "Next to housing this is the single most important issue in the US and certainly the biggest threat to the US economy," Whitney told the CBS 60 Minutes programme on Sunday night. "There's not a doubt on my mind that you will see a spate of municipal bond defaults. You can see fifty to a hundred sizeable defaults – more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of defaults."

9 Most Infamous Information Leaks of All Time
Excerpt: Julian Assange is having quite the year. WikiLeaks had already garnered more public notoriety than ever thanks to its April 2010 release of a video showing U.S. forces in Iraq firing on civilians and reporters, but its leak of diplomatic cables in November really took things to a new level. He’s being called a hero by some groups even as others denounce his tactics and raise questions about his sex life. Yet his actions are only the latest in a series of global events designed to shake the foundations of our perception and call governments to action. Information leaks, intentional or not, have been at the root of some of the most contentious moments in history, from papers that reveal the truth about war to information breaches that have jeopardized our online identities. Whether nobly intentioned or maliciously plotted, these leaks have changed the course of history.

It's not Fox News' fault that Obamacare is bad law
Excerpt: If you look at a year-long graph of public attitudes toward the national health care law, you'll see that the last time a majority of Americans supported the Democratic plan was July 2009 -- before there actually was a Democratic plan. Once voters found out what was in Obamacare, they opposed it. Opposition peaked in December 2009, when Democrats used their filibuster-proof majority to push the bill through the Senate on a straight party-line vote. Opposition remained high through March 2010, when House and Senate Democrats pulled out all the procedural stops to pass the final parts of the bill. After that, public opinion has remained remarkably steady: by a margin of 10 to 15 percentage points, Americans don't approve of Obamacare. Why? One obvious answer is that it's a bad law. But that, of course, is unacceptable to Democrats who staked their careers on it. So they've come up with other explanations.

Afghan sex practices concern U.S., British forces
Excerpt: A document released by WikiLeaks described efforts by high-ranking Afghan officials to quash reports of police officers and other Afghans arrested for "purchasing a service from a child." The leaked diplomatic cable quoted former Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar's concern that publicity about the arrests, which involved the hiring of "dancing boys," would "endanger lives." The author of the diplomatic cable fretted that the case would be "blown out of proportion, an outcome that would not be good for either the U.S. or Afghanistan." The vast gulf between U.S. and Afghan attitudes about homosexuality and pedophilia has generated concern among U.S. advisers in Afghanistan since the American presence there began to expand. In late 2009, U.S. and British forces ordered a study of Pashtun male sexuality. They were worried that homosexuality and pedophilia among Afghan security forces and tribes could create cultural misunderstanding with allied troops, according to a copy of the report obtained by The Washington Examiner.

Coburn report details most outrageous ways government wasted tax dollars in 2010
Excerpt: Ever wonder what would be the 13 worst examples of how government officials wasted tax dollars in the past year? Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, took a detailed look back at the past 12 months and found many more than a baker's dozen illustrations. But here's the 13 Coburn emphasized in a statement releasing his full report, entitled "Wastebook 2010." Just remember as you read the following that the people responsible for them are from the government and they are here to help us: The city of Las Vegas has received a $5.2 million federal grant to build the Neon Boneyard Park and Museum, including $1.8 million in 2010. For over the last decade, Museum supporters have gathered and displayed over 150 old Las Vegas neon signs, such as the Golden Nugget and Silver Slipper casinos. The National Science Foundation provided more than to $200,000 to study of why political candidates make vague statements.

The War For Our Southern Border.
I haven’t seen any verification in the media, or denials from the government, that the agent was armed with non-lethal rounds when killed. Would like to see one or the other. ~Bob. Excerpt: At first, I thought the story had to be wrong when I heard that our Border Patrol agents had to use non-lethal ‘beanbags’ for dealing with illegals, and that in a deadly-force situation they had to wait to fire until fired upon. These ‘rules of engagement’ seldom accomplish anything other than getting good men killed or wounded. That’s exactly what happened when Agent Brian A. Terry was killed in the remote Peck Canyon area, north of Nogales, Arizona. Ironically, agent Terry was killed pursuing bandits who infest the borders preying on illegals coming across the border from Mexico. It’s no secret that the smuggling gangs have permanent observation posts set up on mountains in the region. It’s also apparent that Mexico is no longer a sovereign country, but has taken on all the appearances of a narco-state. With a four-year total of thirty thousand dead, men, women and children, and with twelve thousand four hundred and fifty six fatalities this year alone, Mexico is a country which has clearly lost its way.


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