Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Political Digest for May 11, 2011

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.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to wounded veterans. Please forward and post.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Good blog by a Marine Gunny

Worth reading: The ‘Education’ Mantra: Our educated unemployed are most susceptible to demagoguery. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.
One of those words that many people seldom look behind is “education.” But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

Muslim Group: Community College speaker spreads hate
Excerpt: A controversial speaker at Everett Community College [in Washington State] has sparked outrage among a Muslim civil rights organization who says the speaker spreads hate. The Council on American Islamic Relations asked the college not to allow Raymond Ibrahim to speak. But the college didn't budge. Everett Community College invited Ibrahim, an author and blogger, to share his viewpoint on Islam even though some local Muslim leaders say he's filled with hate.

Roadblocks to the US Passport
Excerpt: According to a 60-day notice in the Federal Register, the State Department is seeking approval for a proposed new passport application form, Form DS-5513.
The new Biographical Questionnaire for U.S. Passport allegedly would require 45 minutes to complete, according to the notice. That estimate includes “the time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary data, providing the information and/or documents required, and reviewing the final collection.” If approved it will be a mandatory form. Failure to provide the information requested “may result in the denial of a United States passport, related documents, or service to the individual seeking such passport, documents or service.”

The Protocol of the Elders of Vienna
Excerpt: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff adds this introduction: This is a short update concerning my trial: You may remember that I was found guilty of “denigrating the religious teachings of a legally recognized religion” by alluding that Mohammed was a pedophile because he married six-year-old Aisha and consummated the marriage when she was nine. The judge — seemingly forced by the powers that be to find me guilty of something, anything — decided on a guilty verdict, because although Mohammed did indeed marry and deflower Aisha, he stayed with her until he died, i.e. past her 18th birthday, and thus his behavior could not be seen as pedophilia. I am still disgusted by this verdict, as it constitutes another vile attack on girls and women, by the government of a democratic, secular country no less! Below you will be able to read more about my last day in court. Read it and weep. The verdict was already written before my lawyer and I had even uttered our first words. We could have called Mohammed and Aisha as expert witnesses and it would not have changed the verdict. A sad day for women and girls as well as for free speech.

Beretta Thanks SEAL Team Six

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer taking state's appeal on implementation of immigration law to US Supreme Court
Excerpt: Brewer’s lawyers argued the federal government hasn’t effectively enforced immigration law at the border and in Arizona’s interior and that the state’s intent in passing the law was to assist federal authorities as Congress has encouraged.
GOP senator expected to release budget leaving Medicare alone
Why change Medicare when it’s only ten years at most from collapsing in fiscal ruin? ~Bob. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is expected to unveil a budget blueprint Tuesday that leaves Medicare alone, the strongest signal yet that Senate Republicans have no intention of duplicating an ambitious — and controversial — overhaul put forward by the House GOP. However, the plan being offered the Senate Budget Committee member does retain the House's proposal to transform Medicaid into a block-grant program, according to a summary obtained by The Hill.

Paul Ryan's PAC slams AARP as 'left-leaning pressure group'
Why I resigned from AARP. ~Bob. Excerpt: Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) political group went on the attack Monday against AARP, calling one of the most powerful lobbies a "left-leaning pressure group." Ryan's Prosperity PAC sought to push back on attacks by AARP against the House Budget Committee chairman's 2012 budget, specifically its proposed changes to Medicare. "Last week, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a left-leaning pressure group with significant business interests in the insurance industry, launched a national ad campaign that intentionally misleads seniors about the Medicare debate," wrote Pat Shortridge, a senior adviser to Ryan's PAC, in an email to supporters.

Media Scrambles as Bin Laden Story Crumbles
Excerpt: While the establishment media was busy parroting President Obama’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s supposed assassination, reporting the unsubstantiated claims as if they were unquestionable facts, much of the so-called “alternative” press was far more cautious — and accurate, it turns out. But more importantly, with the new official storyline indicating that bin Laden was in fact unarmed, bigger and much more important questions are beginning to emerge. In terms of coverage, it turns out that the skeptical approach proved far superior in terms of getting it right. Countless mainstream sources were so confident in Obama’s word that they reported many of the claims as fact without even attributing them to the President. But the official White House narrative has been changed so many times in recent days that now it’s almost unrecognizable. There wasn‘t even a fire fight; yet this was one of the crucial elements of the original story that justified the assassination of a person the government painted as the most valuable source of information on the planet — the leader of al-Qaeda. And in reporting the statements as fact, the establishment press has officially been left with egg all over its face again.

Pakistan PM Warns of 'Full Force' Response to Future U.S. Raids
We might remind them that sheltering murderers who have attacked the United States is an Act of War, justifying massive retaliation against their country. If we had the stones. ~Bob. Excerpt: Pakistan's prime minister warned the United States Monday that his country could respond to any future U.S. raids on its soil with "full force," in the latest escalation of rhetoric in the wake of Usama bin Laden's death. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, like other officials in Islamabad, said the killing of bin Laden in northern Pakistan was a positive step. But, reflecting concerns that the unilateral strike violated his country's sovereignty, Gilani sent a clear message to the United States. He warned any "overt or covert" attack would be met with a "matching response" in the future. 

Pakistanis disclose name of CIA operative
Excerpt: The public outing of the CIA station chief here threatened on Monday to deepen the rift between the United States and Pakistan, with U.S. officials saying they believed the disclosure had been made deliberately by Pakistan’s main spy agency. If true, the leak would be a sign that Pakistan’s powerful security establishment, far from feeling chastened by the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison city last week, is seeking to demonstrate its leverage over Washington and retaliate for the unilateral U.S. operation. Less than six months ago, the identity of the previous CIA station chief in Islamabad was also disclosed in an act that U.S. officials blamed on their counterparts in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI.

Update on Federal Medicaid Funding
It’s a government program. Money goes where the votes are, not the need. Duh. ~Bob. Excerpt: The federal Medicaid funding formula is called the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP). In theory, it is designed to narrow the disparities in the ability of states to fund Medicaid by giving poorer states a higher match for every dollar they spend. However, there is no cap on the amount the federal government matches. Therefore, the more a state spends, the more it receives. In practice, states with above-average per capita incomes are likely to have more expanded Medicaid programs and spend more per recipient, say Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow, and Michael Barba, a graduate student fellow, at the National Center for Policy Analysis. For example: The average total expenditure per Medicaid enrollee in 2007 was $5,163. New York, a higher income state, spent $8,450 per Medicaid enrollee in 2007. By contrast, Alabama, a lower income state, spent $3,945. Higher-income states may have a lower per-dollar federal matching rate, but they receive more federal funds because they tend to spend more on Medicaid: On one end of the spectrum, high-spending New York state receives 87 percent more federal funding than it would based on its poverty population. On the low end, Nevada receives only half the distribution of federal funds it would if the distribution were based on need. This formula will take on more significance beginning in 2014, when the Affordable Care Act will expand the mandatory Medicaid population to include all individuals, married or single, under the age of 65 with incomes at or below 133 percent of poverty. Although the federal government will provide funds for states to cover this newly eligible population, it will increase the fiscal burden on many states, particularly those that do not already cover expanded optional populations. States should have the flexibility to use their federal funds as they choose, and federal funds should be capped at a certain dollar amount, say Villarreal and Barba.

Dodging the High-Speed Bullet Train
Excerpt: President Obama’s dream of connecting 80 percent of Americans to a high-speed rail line appears to be dead. Congress appropriated $8 billion for high-speed rail in the 2009 stimulus bill and $2 billion more in the 2010 appropriations bill. But, after newly elected governors of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin rejected high-speed rail projects in those states, Congress declined to include any more funds in 2011 and it is unlikely to spend any more on this boondoggle as long as Republicans have a hold on the House. What will Americans get for the $10 billion or so already committed? California appears ready to spend $5.5 billion building a 220-mph rail line from Corcoran–a town south of Fresno mainly known for the prison housing Charles Manson–to Borden–a ghost town north of Fresno. Considering that trains were not scheduled to stop in either Corcoran or Borden, this will truly be a train to nowhere. Illinois is spending more than $3 billion adding three trains per day (to the current five) between Chicago and St. Louis and increasing average train speeds from 51.6 to 56.8 mph, saving train travelers a half hour on the current 5.5-hour trip. Illinois hopes to eventually boost average speeds to 72.6 mph, but that will require more money.

To cut costs, health care needs far more info
Excerpt: There's growing bipartisan agreement that curbing America's runaway debt will require reducing spending for government health care programs like Medicare. To that end, President Obama is trying to convince voters that we can cut "unnecessary spending" that won't have any effect on seniors' access to care. Indeed, the president's hallmark domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, allocates billions of dollars over the next decade to a new organization called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which will fund studies of which treatments work best for individual patients and large population groups -- a field of study called "comparative effectiveness research," or CER. Patients and physicians would certainly benefit from the ability to compare the benefits and risks of, say, surgery versus physical therapy for severe back pain. But Obama is focusing far too much on top-down studies from federal agencies, and all but ignoring how other powerful incentives -- from Medicare to the tax code -- encourage doctors and patients to spend more on health care. The challenges and possibilities of CER are thoughtfully laid out in a recent paper from Scott Harrington, an expert on health care insurance and financing who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Greenpeace too political to register as charity: NZ court
Excerpt: Environmental lobbyist Greenpeace of New Zealand Inc. is too involved in political causes to register as a charity, the High Court has ruled. Justice Paul Heath turned down an appeal last Friday that Greenpeace could register with the Charities Commission after the body rejected its 2010 application. Justice Heath said Greenpeace’s political activities can’t be regarded as “merely ancillary” to its charitable purposes and that the commission was correct in disqualifying it for registration over the potentially illegal activities. Though the pursuit of peace could be “worthy,” that didn’t necessarily make it charitable, he said. (After watching the tactics Greenpeace uses to further its objectives (as glowingly portrayed in various specials and series shows on National Geographic, Animal Planet and other such TV channels) that include trespassing, purposely endangering themselves and others (especially Japanese whalers), and other illegal, immoral, and unethical actions, I hope US courts will take a similar position. Soon. --Ron P.)

Excerpt: Almurisi went toward the cockpit door 30 minutes before the flight from Chicago was supposed to land on Sunday night, San Francisco airport police Sgt. Michael Rodriguez said. Almurisi was yelling unintelligibly as he brushed past a flight attendant.

Careerism and Psychopathy in the U.S. Military
Excerpt: This essay attempts to make it easier for you to identify the quality and character of military officers and civilian bureaucrats, to increase your awareness and recognition of careerism and its consequences. As Americans, we all must exercise more care and caution in our appraisal of our senior military officers and the Washington suits that exert dominating influence on the cost of defense and the conduct of American national security policy. The Department of Defense (DOD) that I have observed all too closely for over three decades is an overgrown bureaucracy committed to standing still for, if not actively promoting, poorly conceived policy agendas and hardware programs funded and supported by Congress. Coupled to that is the task of attracting the blind loyalty of senior military and civilian actors on the Washington, D.C. stage. For the careerists in Americas national security apparatus, it is all about awarding contracts and personal advancement, not winning wars.

Federal appeals courts set to hear ‘Obamacare’ cases
Excerpt: Two lower-court judges in Virginia last year ruled in opposite ways: One judge upheld the law, turning back a challenge by Liberty University, while another judge struck down key parts of the law, upholding state Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II’s lawsuit. The losing parties in both cases are now going to the appeals court in Richmond, where a three-judge panel will hear the cases. They center on whether the government can require every American to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty — the so-called “individual mandate.”

The Canadian Election: A Chance for Real Hope and Change
Excerpt: On May 2 of this year, Canadians went to the polls and generated a set of electoral results that defied the collective wisdom of the nation’s pollsters, editors, political pundits and think tankers. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper was given the majority government that had eluded him over the previous two election cycles—and a substantial majority it was. The best he could have hoped for, according to the commentariat, was yet another minority government presiding over a fractious, multi-Party House of Commons, with little chance of passing a Conservative budget and implementing Conservative legislation. He was regularly lampooned in Canada’s mainstream left-wing media as cold, unlikeable, domineering and “scary,” apparently harboring a “secret agenda” to turn the country into a far right, semi-police state. Fortunately, ordinary Canadians thought otherwise.

Questions Surround Killing of Osama Bin Laden
Good review. ~Bob. Excerpt: The killing of Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1, 2011… or Sunday, April 24, whichever White House version of the event you choose to believe… has confronted us with a number of quandaries and anomalies. For example, exactly how should we feel about American special operations forces charging into the bedroom of an unarmed foreign leader in the middle of the night and shooting him to death in front of his wives and children? Like the British, should we consider that to be “not quite cricket?” Or should we stop to remind ourselves of just who and what bin Laden is… er, was… and what he has done to merit our profound hatred?

ManCans' Hart Main: A 13-Year-Old Entrepreneur Invents Candles for Men
Excerpt: Some of the best business ideas take an existing product or service and find a new use for it. (Think of what Netflix has done for movie rentals, or what Groupon has done for coupons.) Hart Main may just wind up doing the same thing for candles. His product? ManCans, candles with scents made specifically for men who don't really want to smell like freshly laundered towels or a dewy forest. A typical ManCans scent is more likely to smell like a fresh new baseball glove. For a startup, ManCans is doing well, averaging 300 orders a week. And if it takes a while for the Marysville, Ohio-based business to grow to the point where it's selling 3,000 or 30,000 candles a week, Main has time. After all, he's only 13. (Horatio Alger still lives, and he’s not alone. In the late 90s, I worked briefly for a young fellow named Rick. He then owned and operated a business acting as an agent for Xerox, selling copiers. He was then in his early 30s, and it was the third business he’d started. In the middle 70s, he made and sold fake video surveillance cameras to local retailers who couldn’t afford a real system (how many shoplifters can tell the fake camera from the real one?) as a deterrent. He was forced to give this business to a relative by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue because he was too young to be held responsible for paying all the taxes and fees. In the early 80s, he started a computer sales and repair business, run by relatives and 8 or 9 employees while he was away at college, and then operated himself for about 10 years after graduating. Eventually, he sold a majority share of its stock and used some of the money to open the agency I worked for. Considering his first business was started when he was 13 or 14, and his original start-up costs were paid for out of his allowance, I suppose you could call it luck. For myself, I don’t think luck had much to do with it. You could’ve done that. So could I. If we’d thought of it. Ron P.)

Bushehr goes critical
Excerpt: According to ASE, Bushehr achieved criticality at 11.12am on 8 May 2011 and is now functioning at the minimum controlled power level. Final commissioning tests will now be carried out prior to ramp-up to 100% power and the start of commercial operation. According to Iranian news agency Fars, the plant is expected to be connected to the national grid within the next two months.
Minimum Wage's Discriminatory Effects
Excerpt: Last week, two labor economists, Professors William Even (Miami University of Ohio) and David Macpherson (Trinity University), released a study for the Washington, D.C.-based Employment Policies Institute titled "Unequal Harm: Racial Disparities in the Employment Consequences of Minimum Wage Increases." During the peak of what has been dubbed the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for young adults (16 to 24 years of age) as a whole rose to above 27 percent. The unemployment rate for black young adults was almost 50 percent, but for young black males, it was 55 percent. Even and Macpherson say that it would be easy to explain this tragedy as an unfortunate byproduct of the recession, but if you said so, you'd be wrong. Their study demonstrates that increases in the minimum wage at both the state and federal level are partially to blame for the crisis in employment for minority young adults. (Still another study proving—again—what was already known and ignored. When facts and political positions clash, the facts almost always lose. Ron P. Simple, really. Blacks don’t know it hurts them, vote Democrat anyway. Unions like it because it forces up their wages and do pay attention. Who cares about black teens if the other side gets you votes? ~Bob.)

59% Favor Cutoff of Federal Funds to Sanctuary Cities
They are solidly Democrat, so this has zero chance right now. ~Bob. Excerpt: New legislation being considered by the House would stop all federal funding for cities that give sanctuary to illegal immigrants, and most voters like the idea. But very few believe Congress is likely to pass such a measure. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a cutoff of federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities. Just 28% are opposed and 13% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) However, only 29% of voters think Congress is even somewhat likely to agree to cut off funds to cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twice as many, 55% say Congress is unlikely to take such an action. Those figures include 9% who say Congress is Very Likely to act and 11% who say action is Not At All Likely. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

A Surprising Cause of IQ Gaps: This factor has more impact than others, new research finds.
Excerpt: A controversial 2002 book titled "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" gathered existing data on IQs to map them by country. North American and Europe looked good. Sub-Saharan Africa did not. Asia shined. Critics cried racism; there's a long history of intelligence research that blurs the divide between bigotry and investigation. In 2007, research by James Flynn published in "What is Intelligence" proved race-based arguments lacking. IQs the world over have been climbing for half a century, and they tend to jump quickly in poor countries that experience a spasm of economic growth--a phenomenon now called the Flynn Effect. Whatever the fix is for regional IQ deficits, it must be economic. Researchers have looked at nutrition, income, school enrollment, farm employment, low birth weight and more, and found all of them to be correlated with IQ, although in some cases, it's not clear which is the cause and which is the effect. (Not surprising if you read Thomas Sowell. ~Bob.)

The Dark Night of Islam: The revolutionary events shaking the Islamic world will not change an intolerant and obscurantist culture
Excerpt: Yet however tumultuous the events may be, Islam seems unlikely to undergo the reformation its most generous hearts and intelligent minds desire. The revolutions in the Arab states more nearly resemble the abortive ones of 1848 than the successful ones of 1989: Only the identity of the ruling cabals is likely to change. Osama is dead, but his cult and myth live on. He has already been enrolled by many Muslims in the register of their martyrs, while others piously approach his house in Abbottabad as they would a reliquary shrine.

They will be driven out or killed. In living memory, Lebanon was a Christian-majority country. ~Bob. The Arab Spring has not been kind to Egypt’s Christian minority. Over the weekend, Muslims apparently incited by Islamist hardliners again terrorized Coptic Christians, in what is now a pattern of attacks against them and their churches. Possibly the Islamists are jockeying for political power in this transitional period, or even trying to immediately effect a religious cleansing similar to the one that has happened in Iraq. Copts, numbering about 10 million, constitute the largest Christian group and the largest religious minority in the Middle East. Their size will likely prevent an escalating persecution of them from going unnoticed for long in the West.

First look in unit 3's pond
Excerpt: The installation of air filters has allowed workers to re-enter unit 1 with initial goals to install a new water level gauge for the reactor system as well as a longer-term cooling circuit. Tepco hopes to achieve the status of 'cold shutdown', where the reactor is at less than 100ºC, although this technical status is less meaningful than at an undamaged reactor. Filters reduced radioactivity in the air from 4.8 to less than 0.02 becquerels per cubic centimetre between April 26 and 7 May. Seven Tepco workers, plus two from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and 21 contractors passed through the reactor building airlock to survey radiological conditions ahead of further construction work. (It’s been a while since we last had a status update on the Fukushima reactors. There is a lot of debris in the spent fuel pond of reactor 3. Human presence has returned to reactors 1, 4, 5, & 6, with 2 and 3 soon to follow. Much work remains, but it is being accomplished. The world didn’t come to an end, and no one has been killed—or even medically harmed—by the evil radiation. Keep this in mind the next time the MSM goes bonkers. Ron P.)

Obama’s ‘Happy Talk’ on Energy
Excerpt: Unfortunately, when it comes to energy, Barack Obama is incapable of anything other than happy talk. For proof of that, read the transcript of the president’s weekly address, which he delivered on Saturday while visiting an Allison Transmissions plant in Indianapolis. Once again Obama trotted out the familiar tropes about how “clean energy” will “add jobs” and create the “jobs of the future.” In an address that contained just 642 words, Obama used the phrase “clean energy,” or a variant of it, seven times. He also repeated his desire to waste yet more money on the chimera of “advanced biofuels.”

Excerpt: I’ve never bought into the silly stereotype that conservatives are stupid, at least not until watching the GOP’s recent handling of it’s own presidential field. Granted, the first debate featured some minor players with no serious chance of victory, and some of the more prominent candidates are laboring under serious political handicaps. But Tim Pawlenty is a great candidate. It’s just plain nuts not to see this, emphasize it, and take advantage of it. Instead of pining away for Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, or Scott Walker to enter the race, why not wake up and recognize that Tim Pawlenty has already got everything the GOP is looking for — with two successful gubernatorial terms worth of experience to boot. What’s not to like? Tim Pawlenty has already beaten the Democrats in a government shut-down battle. He’s defeated public-employee unions in a high-stakes strike. He was regularly rated as one of the most fiscally conservative governors in the nation. And he managed to do it all in a blue state. Pawlenty is Scott Walker with experience. It’s just that nobody knows it because Pawlenty’s clashes with his state’s public unions and big Democratic spenders happened some time ago. If anything, Pawlenty ought to be getting extra credit for having faced down public-employee unions and profligate Democratic legislators before it was cool.

Allen West, uncut: A candid conversation with South Florida's rising Tea Party star.
Excerpt: The light is dim and smoky inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8182 in Pompano Beach. Red, white, and blue slogans brighten the low walls and ceilings, urging patrons to "Thank a Vet" and to remember "Freedom Is Not Free."

Great column, sadly true: 10 Leftists Who Need Condolences on the Death of Their Hero Osama bin Laden
Excerpt: Inevitably, following the general pleasure at the news the Osama bin Laden is finally residing in Hell, it will come to light that certain members of the Left are quietly miserable over his passing. They are the ones for whom evil is not really definable, terror is in the eye of the beholder and America is always wrong. In other words, most of the hard Left and virtually the entire media elite. That’s a pretty big list, so I thought I should narrow it down to the ones who will be the most despondent over this delightful news for America. In accordance with the new tone of civility, NRB suggests you send a personal sympathy card to each grieving individual on the list.

The Iranian Death Spiral Resumes
Excerpt: So now the Ahmadinejad people and the Khamenei people are fighting it out in the streets of Tehran, as Reza tells us. Those who have followed this blog for some time will recognize it as the latest phase in what I call “The War of the Persian Succession,” a nasty fight over who will be the next Supreme Leader of Iran, after the passing of Khamenei. (This is a very uncomfortable look at what's going on in the Middle East. Ron P.)

Osama bin Laden mission agreed in secret 10 years ago by US and Pakistan
Excerpt: The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week's raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, the Guardian has learned. The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials. Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.

Us vs. Them: The Idle Rich vs. the Working Rich
Excerpt: When you look at other countries and the history of the world in general, we are all just amazingly, unbelievably wealthy in this country. We have technology and opportunities that are insane; we can’t even comprehend how well off we are compared to people who used to have to live in huts and fight for every meal. When you look at it objectively, every one of us in this country is a billionaire. And what did we do to earn all this incredible wealth? For most of us, the answer is: absolutely nothing. We were just born with it. So we take it for granted. And we demand even more. There is another type of rich person, though — the working rich. The people who create. These are the people who made all the benefits we enjoy in society today. Thanks to their creativity and initiative, we have all the technological marvels we enjoy today. Because of their hard work, we have all these companies that give us cushy 9-to-5 jobs where we earn sums of money most of the world couldn’t even imagine possessing. And are we thankful? Do we say, “Thank you, rich people, for making all these things so we can benefit from them. I can’t even believe how simple and easy my life is because of you”? No, we demand more from them, because we’re the idle rich, and we think the working rich owe us everything.

13 killed in clash on Mexico-U.S. border lake
Excerpt: Twelve suspected members of the Zetas drug gang and a member of Mexico's Navy were killed in a shootout on an island in a lake that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Monday. The Mexican Navy said the shootout occurred Sunday on Falcon Lake, located between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, after troops patrolling the area spotted a camping area on an island. The suspected drug traffickers used the island for storing marijuana to be transported by boat to the United States, the Navy said in a statement. After the shootout, the Navy said it seized guns, ammunition and bullet-proof vests from the island. (Why is there no comment from OUR Navy or Coast Guard? Because they aren’t there. It just isn’t important enough, I guess. Ron P.)

U.S. Was Braced for Fight With Pakistanis in Bin Laden Raid
Excerpt: One senior Obama administration official, pressed on the rules of engagement for one of the riskiest clandestine operations attempted by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command in many years, said: “Their instructions were to avoid any confrontation if at all possible. But if they had to return fire to get out, they were authorized to do it.” The planning also illustrates how little the administration trusted the Pakistanis as they set up their operation. (…) “Some people may have assumed we could talk our way out of a jam, but given our difficult relationship with Pakistan right now, the president did not want to leave anything to chance,” said one senior administration official, who like others would not be quoted by name describing details of the secret mission. “He wanted extra forces if they were necessary.”

Believe in Yourself, and Don't Give Up: Dying mother prepares heart-breaking guide for life for daughter, 3
Excerpt: A young mother suffering terminal cancer has prepared a legacy of advice as a parting gift to help guide her three-year-old daughter through the challenges and milestones of life. Katrina Hobbs, 25, is one of just four people in Britain currently known to be suffering from Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma and has more than 12 tumours in her lungs. Nurses originally told her to stop being a 'drama queen' when she found a lump in her left buttock - but by the time she was eventually tested the cancer was terminal. [The nurses were wrong about this woman, but the fact is, the 'free' National Health Service in Britain is a magnet for every idle attention-seeker in the country. Appointments are between 7 and 10 minutes long because medical staff are so over-worked. The staff don't waste an ounce of their energy on anything that isn't essential. The doctors used to compliment me when I turned up for my appointment with a list of the questions I wanted to ask them, because everything is about trying to cut down on wasted time and be efficient. Then they've got all these people on the dole turning up for a chat because these people 'have nothing else to do'. - Kate]

Geert Wilders in America: Will Obama Stand with Geert Wilders?
Excerpt: So what if America loses Europe to Islam in, say, the next four to eight years? What if Wilders is correct to say that it is five minutes to twelve? What is President Obama going to do about it if anything at all? I did not have the opportunity to ask Wilders to ask a question during the Q & A session. However, I did get to meet him briefly behind the synagogue where he was enjoying a cigarette with his security entourage. After praising him as a role model and a paragon of virtue I put forth my query. I asked him if he thought he was going to get President Obama’s help given his commitment to make nice with Iran. Wilders declined to answer the question as he preferred not to get involved in our politics stating that was up to us. Fair enough. Wilders needs all the friends he can get. The fact Wilders was on American soil already puts Obama several pegs above British Prime Minister Gordon [who refused Wilders entry into Britain and] whom Wilders referred [to] derisively as “the biggest coward in Europe.” Obama hasn’t said anything against Wilders much less has the U.S. government tried to restrict his activities. So Wilders has no beef with Obama. Well, that is for now.

VIDEO: Wafa Sultan speaks in Copenhagan May 8th 2011
Excerpt: Here is a fantastic speech by Syria’s own brave daughter, Dr. Wafa Sultan. This likely will not show up on Firefox and you will need to click over to to see it. With any other browser, it should play fine.

VIDEO: The Voice of Australia's Islamic Future
Excerpt: Is it just me, or is this guy wearing eye shadow or mascara or something?

SC senate passes 'The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act,'
Excerpt: Are you stocking up on incandescent bulbs? I value my eyesight and don't plan to read by a light that gives off the equivalent wattage of what my great grandfather had to put up with - whale oil. That said, South Carolina is trying to do something about it.

U.S.-Pakistani Relations Beyond bin Laden
Excerpt: The past week has been filled with announcements and speculations on how Osama bin Laden was killed and on Washington’s source of intelligence. After any operation of this sort, the world is filled with speculation on sources and methods by people who don’t know, and silence or dissembling by those who do. Obfuscating on how intelligence was developed and on the specifics of how an operation was carried out is an essential part of covert operations. The precise process must be distorted to confuse opponents regarding how things actually played out; otherwise, the enemy learns lessons and adjusts. Ideally, the enemy learns the wrong lessons, and its adjustments wind up further weakening it. Operational disinformation is the final, critical phase of covert operations. So as interesting as it is to speculate on just how the United States located bin Laden and on exactly how the attack took place, it is ultimately not a fruitful discussion. Moreover, it does not focus on the truly important question, namely, the future of U.S.-Pakistani relations.

Turkey: Thousands attend bin Laden 'funeral'
Our moderate, NATO ally. ~Bob. Excerpt: Thousands participated in a funeral ceremony for assassinated al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Istanbul on Friday, following Muslim burial rites but not including an actual burial. Bin Laden was taken out by Navy SEAL troops last week and was subsequently buried at sea. "The US, UK and Israel are the murderers of the martyr," the participants chanted. "The US is the terrorist, bin Laden is the warrior."

CAIR's Great FBI Scare Lecture
Excerpt: A recent "Know Your Rights" presentation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) New York chapter set a new standard of fomenting fear and distrust among Muslim Americans toward law enforcement. Not only is the FBI out to get Muslims - and its agents are willing to lie and break the law to do it - an attorney and CAIR-New York board member told the audience, but so is the Israeli Mossad.
"It was discovered or published that a lot of the interviews that Muslims believed they were going into with the FBI, it turns out it wasn't with the FBI at all," Lamis Deek said in her presentation. "Guess who it was? Mossad, Israeli intelligence in New York and New Jersey."

Media Fail To Point Out Cockpit Stormer Yelled "Allahu Akbar"
Bet if he yelled, "TEA PARTY" it would be reported. ~Bob. Excerpt: American media report that Rageit Almurisi's "motives are unclear," but they also mention that he does carry a Yemeni passport and yelled "something" while storming the cockpit. Indeed MSM. Thank you for your blistering report. Dontcha just love the sterile version of the woman at the opening of this clip: "I'm a native speaker of Arabic and what he just said translates into some kind of mantra of "God is great." Classic. When you want only the facts and not a watered-down version of some lame PC news story, get your news from a fellow American. After the "Allahu Akbar" information in this clip, you will see and hear 11 samples from television news outlets around the country omitting the reference to Almurisi's Islamic faith. These 11 sources are just scraping the surface of our American news reporting, no doubt.

Obama Heckled in El Paso as he tried to win Hispanic voters by hailing importance of immigrants to U.S.
Illegal immigrants now have an entitlement mentality, which can never be satisfied. When they find that Obama can't provide them a lifestyle equal to Bill Gates or George Soros, they will turn on him. ~Bob. Excerpt: The President was broadly cheered by supporters as he told how immigrants were an essential part of the economic recovery and said he wanted to offer a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. But he was then booed as he made reference to the 'fence' between the U.S. and Mexico, with shouts of 'tear it down' from the crowd. Supporters attempted to drown out jeers from opponents of immigration by chanting, 'Yes we can'. The speech came as immigration is widely expected to become a key issue in the 2010 presidential election as both Democrats and Republicans seek to use it to their own advantage. A number of states, including Arizona, have been moving in the opposite direction of the President by making it easier to deport people in the U.S. illegally.

Bristol police charge Saudi student in bomb threat at RWU
See, it's "Islamophobic" not to meet his every demand. Also to arrest him for making a threat. ~Bob. Excerpt: The suspicious person arrested at Roger Williams University on Thursday was a Saudi Arabia man studying English, police said Monday. They had been called to investigate a possible bomb threat. Lt. Steven Contente said Abdulrahman Khalid Althuwayb, 25, asked for food service at the dining center before it opened Thursday morning. A dining supervisor said that Althuwayb was served, and he was asked to come during business hours next time. Two university employees told police they heard Althuwayb say, "OK, don't worry, today is the last day, and tomorrow I blow the walls out."

Most 'oil subsidies' are not really oil subsidies
Excerpt: I bet most people who follow politics believe big oil gets huge subsidies -- in part, because that's what Barack Obama says. Sure enough, oil is subsidized, and all oil subsidies should be ended, totally and immediately. But unlike, say, ethanol, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, electric cars, or any other form of "renewable" energy, oil doesn't get direct gifts or even targeted tax breaks from the federal government. Former Sen. John Sununu has a good op-ed today in the Boston Globe about oil subsidies. He points out that the biggest "oil subsidy" Obama talks about is really a "domestic production" tax credit, benefitting domestic oil drilling, coal mining, and chopping down trees as well as manufacturing. Congress created this subsidy after the WTO made us repeal an export subsidy in the tax code. The entire domestic production tax credit should be repealed, and replaced with across the board cuts in corporate income tax. But Obama just wants to knock the oil companies off this little subsidy wagon, letting the foresters and coal miners stay on.

The failure of RomneyCare, doctor shortage edition
Excerpt: Among the many problems that a Mitt Romney nomination would pose for conservatives, it would eliminate one of the strongest arguments for repealing ObamaCare -- the mounting failures of the Massachusetts health care law Romney crafted and signed into law. A new study finds massive doctor shortages in the Bay State, leading to longer wait times for patients if they're lucky enough to get a doctor at all. According to a story by the Associated Press and Boston's WBUR: BOSTON — If you thought the wait time to see a doctor was getting longer, you’re right. The latest survey from the Massachusetts Medical Society shows that finding an appointment in six of seven specialties is either harder this year or no better than last. If you’re a new patient and want to see a family physician, about half of all practices aren’t taking anyone new. If you have a public insurance plan, such as Medicare and Medicaid, then you may have some additional trouble receiving care.

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