Friday, August 26, 2011

Political Digest for August 26, 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.

Best older posts for new blog readers

Book Recommendation: The Woolsorter’s Plague by Chet Nagle
I was hooked up with Chet Nagle by a Marine buddy, via e-mail. Though we’ve ever met in person. I’ve enjoyed our electronic friendship. Nagle is the real deal, a former Naval Aviator and intel operative for the CIA, who knows his stuff. I greatly enjoyed his first thriller, The Iran Covenant, so I was looking forward to the release of his new book about a terrorist attack on Washington, DC. It more than lived up to my expectations—The Woolsorter’s Plague is an order of magnitude better. Nagle has a fine ear for dialog, which is a key to great novels. He has the connections to get the fine details right. I couldn’t turn out the lights when I got into the last few chapters of heart-pounding action. What made it so frightening was it’s plausibility. Nagle isn’t only entertaining readers—he is warning all of us. I think you’ll be glad you read this one.

Dennis Miller Interview
I’m scheduled to be interviewed about The Coming Collapse of the American Republic on Dennis Miller’s radio program at 11:34 am, EDT on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. You can listen live for free at

An open letter from my old mate David Cameron to the people of Britain
Excerpt: In the latest Spectator I have written an open letter to my old university mate David Cameron. Here is a companion piece: the letter I’d like to see him write to the nation, having at last recognised the gravity of the crisis we’re in. He won’t write it, of course. Dear Britain, If you realised just how totally stuffed we are you wouldn’t waste time getting to the end of this letter. You’d already be outside Number 10 with pitchforks demanding my head on a spike – and you’d be quite right to do so, for I have failed you. My cabinet has failed you. My Coalition government has failed you. And it’s no good our trying to blame the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown administrations for having failed you even more. We are where we are – and where we are is about as dire a place as Britain has ever found itself in in its entire existence. That includes, let me assure you, even the darkest days of the Second World War. Back then, however bad things might get, we were cushioned by an empire, by America, by a sense of unity and purpose, by a national character defined by resilience, self-reliance, patriotism, decency and an absolute determination – even unto death – never to surrender to tyranny in any form. Today, none of this applies.

When Scientists Confuse Cause and Effect
Excerpt: Even climate science has encountered cause-effect confusion. When in 1999 Antarctic ice cores revealed carbon-dioxide concentrations and temperature marching in lockstep over 400,000 years, many—including me— found this a convincing argument for attributing past climate change to carbon dioxide. (About 95% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is natural, coming from the exhalations of living things. In the past, carbon-dioxide levels rose as the earth warmed at the end of ice ages and fell as it cooled at the end of interglacial periods.) Then four years later came clear evidence from finer-grained analysis of ice cores that temperature changes preceded carbon-dioxide changes by at least 800 years. Effects cannot precede their causes by eight centuries, so temperatures must drive carbon dioxide, chiefly by warming the sea and causing carbon dioxide dissolved in water to "out-gas" into the air. Climate scientists fell back on a "feedback" hypothesis, arguing that an initial change, probably caused by variations in the earth's orbit that affect the warmth of the sun, was then amplified by changes in carbon-dioxide levels. But this made the attribution argument circular and left the reversal of the trend after a period of warming (when amplification should be at its strongest) still harder to explain. If carbon dioxide is still driving the temperature upward but it falls instead, then other factors must be stronger than expected. Some climate scientists see cause-effect confusion at the heart of climate modeling. Roy Spencer of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration argues from satellite data that the conventional view has one thing backward. Changes in cloud cover are often seen as consequences of changes in temperature. But what if the amount of cloud cover changes spontaneously, for reasons still unclear, and then alters the temperature of the world by reflecting or absorbing sunlight? That is to say, the clouds would be more cause than consequence. Not many agree with Mr. Spencer, but it is an intriguing idea.

Confronting The Face Of Evil In Mexico
Excerpt: Under a hot sun, a lifeless, naked body is carried from a vehicle. Having been tortured, killed and transported to the barren and remote countryside, the victim is placed, face down, on the ground by his killers. A noose is placed around his neck—the other end of the rope tied to a stake in the ground to hold the body steady during the awaiting assault. With a knife, one killer slices into the corpse’s backside, making several parallel cuts as blood oozes from the freshly killed victim. Walking away, they leave the body to be found—but not by humans. Within minutes, the attention to the remains the killers sought to attract is achieved as dozens of large vultures sweep in for a feast. Watching from several hundred feet away, the killers patiently wait as these “flying sharks” indulge in a feeding frenzy, stripping the corpse of all flesh and internal organs—save one. Their stomachs filled, the vultures take to flight, leaving only the victim’s skeleton behind. A killer approaches and picks up the skull. Placing it on a rock, he smashes it with a hammer, dumping its contents onto the ground to provide one last morsel for any still hungry bird. Extracted teeth and bones are then scattered in an effort to make any efforts to identify the body difficult—if any parts ever were to be found. The photographs of the above are not fiction. They represent life and death in the ongoing drug war in Mexico. Perhaps concerned about messier body disposal techniques used in the past—such as dissolving remains in acid—drug gangs appear to be going “green,” using more natural means. 

Chevy Volt: The Car from Atlas Shrugged Motors
Excerpt: The Chevrolet Volt is beginning to look like it was manufactured by Atlas Shrugged Motors, where the government mandates everything politically correct, rewards its cronies and produces junk steel. This is the car that subsidies built. General Motors lobbied for a $7,500 tax refund for all buyers, under the shaky (if not false) promise that it was producing the first all-electric mass-production vehicle. At least that's what we were once told. Sitting in a Volt that would not start at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, a GM engineer swore to me that the internal combustion engine in the machine only served as a generator, kicking in when the overnight-charged lithium-ion batteries began to run down. GM has continually revised downward its estimates of how far the machine would go before the gas engine fired, and now says 25 to 50 miles. It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels — when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds. So the Volt really isn't a pure electric car after all. I'm sure that the people who designed the car knew how it ran, and so did their managers.

77% of Dems Voted Against Amendment Requiring Rules Of Engagement That Gives U.S. Troops Authority To “Proactively” Protect Themselves From Enemy Fire…
Excerpt: Almost all of us have been furious (to put it mildly) with the crazy ROE our troops are being held to in Afghanistan. It’s unfathomable a member of Congress sitting in comfy Washington DC would have the balls to tell our troops in a life or death situation they can’t fire back when the Taliban are trying to kill them. (So it has always been. Soldiers die because of politicians. ~Bob.)

The Friend of My Enemy is Ron Paul
Excerpt: As America approaches the tenth anniversary of the worst terror attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor, Congressman Ron Paul is hard at work campaigning for the presidency of Iran. Ron Paul spent last week fiercely defending Iran as the victim of United States and Israeli aggression. During last week’s Republican Presidential debate in Iowa and his appearances at the Iowa State Fair, Paul asserted that Iran lacks the resources it needs to defend itself against America, Israel, and other nuclear nations. These claims were made despite evidence that Iran already purchases arms from China and nuclear fuel from Russia for the purpose of nuclear capability, which Iran states it intends to use against the world. Regardless, Paul claims  “The Iranians are a third world nation. They don’t even have an army or a navy of any sorts, they don’t even have intercontinental ballistic missiles…this is all war propaganda.” Paul further asserted that sanctions placed on Iran go against the Founders belief in trade with other nations, therefore, this besieged Iranian victim should be allowed to build nuclear defenses and America must not provoke an Iranian backlash against our presence in the Middle East, ...

Hamas in Political, Financial Squeeze
Excerpt: Hamas' rule in Gaza may face new difficulties, with reports emerging about the group's potentially dire financial situation and domestic pressure on its sponsors, Iran and Syria. "In a sign of a cash crunch, the Hamas government in Gaza has failed to pay the July salaries of its 40,000 employees in the civil service and security forces," Reuters reporter Nidal al-Mughrabi wrote in a recent story on the group's financial woes. "Hamas leaders promised full payments in August, but not all employees received their wages as scheduled on Sunday." The financial crisis was sparked by Iran's reduction - and then suspension - of aid, primarily because the group has not sponsored rallies in favor of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

Rising Star Rubio Impresses at Reagan Library

Marine Loses Leg, Returns to Combat
Excerpt: During the recovery process Smith decided staying in the Marine Corps would be best for his family. He finished his first enlistment working at The Basic School in Quantico, Va., as a machine gun instructor. Smith, unable to stay in the infantry because of his injury, yet still wanting to rejoin his brothers, chose to become an armorer in order to re-enlist. He received orders to work in the armory at the School of Infantry East at Camp Geiger, N.C. A permanent duty station wasn’t enough for him though. He wanted to get back to a deployable unit. Smith was shaken by his original injury, but his desire to be back in the fight overcame any concerns of another injury. He talked with his chain of command and requested orders to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, shortly before they deployed to Afghanistan. “Once I decided to stay in, I just wanted to do my job,” said Smith. “It’s all about what you make out of it. Some people accept the fact they are crippled for life, but I’m back in a combat zone.” (What have you done lately to deserve to be protected by such men? ~Bob.)

Mitt Romney now trailing Rick Perry for GOP presidential nomination, poll shows
Excerpt: All year, he was the nominal front-runner, the weak front-runner, the putative front-runner. On Wednesday, Mitt Romney stopped being the front-runner at all. “I’m just one of the guys running,” the former Massachusetts governor told reporters here Wednesday. As Romney returned to the campaign trail this week, he faced a new reality: He is no longer ahead of the pack in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. A Gallup poll released Wednesday showed Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a sizable lead over Romney among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents nationally, 29 percent to 17 percent. The survey showed Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) at 13 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) slipping to 10 percent. No other candidate registered in the double digits. Romney acknowledged that “Rick is a very effective candidate” but insisted that Perry’s presence in the race will not change the way he pursues the nomination.

Sen. Manchin accuses Rep. Conyers of degrading West Virginia in speech
Excerpt: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday accused Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) of degrading West Virginia by criticizing the state’s coal industry. “As a U.S. Senator, I would never degrade another state or the people of that state because it takes 50 great states to make this great county,” Manchin wrote in a letter to Conyers on Wednesday. “I am very troubled to hear about your recent negative comments about our beautiful state of West Virginia, and the important role coal plays not only in our state, but in our country.” Conyers gave the keynote address Wednesday at the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Environmental Justice Conference in Detroit. The Michigan congressman declared, “there is no such thing as clean coal,” according to E&E. Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, suggested that West Virginians have few employment options because the coal industry is such a dominant force in the state. “There’s a big campaign going on about how you clean coal, and we want to examine that as critically and fairly as we can, but here’s the problem: I’ve been to West Virginia, and that’s about all they’ve got there,” he said, according to E&E.

Dulles Metrorail Silver Line Vs Bus Rapid Transit
Excerpt: Long overdue rapid transit service from Washington DC to Dulles airport is now under construction. The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, known as the Silver Line, may seem like it was an obvious choice as a way to improve the region's public transportation. Construction began in March 2009, and service is expected to begin by 2013. As those who have used bus service from the DC area to the airport can attest, the current system — a regular city bus equipped with luggage racks — is inadequate. The buses are low capacity, and are not designed for highway driving. While rail might seem like the most obvious solution, it is also by far the most expensive and slowest option. The price tag is staggering, and the rail extension will take years to construct. The better option would have been to make use of the existing roadways, and implement an expansive bus rapid transit system (BRT). The 23 mile extension of the Washington Metro rapid transit system is forecast to cost $6.8 billion dollars; roughly $296 million per mile. The constant scramble to finance the over-budget project has resulted in more than one construction setback. (But statist liberals worship light rail, because it is so costly and inefficient. ~Bob.)

Engineering Food for All
The left only believes in science when it can be used to stop progress. ~Bob. Excerpt: FOOD prices are at record highs and the ranks of the hungry are swelling once again. A warming climate is beginning to nibble at crop yields worldwide. The United Nations predicts that there will be one to three billion more people to feed by midcentury. Yet even as the Obama administration says it wants to stimulate innovation by eliminating unnecessary regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to require even more data on genetically modified crops, which have been improved using technology with great promise and a track record of safety. The process for approving these crops has become so costly and burdensome that it is choking off innovation. Civilization depends on our expanding ability to produce food efficiently, which has markedly accelerated thanks to science and technology.

Unfounded fears threaten energy success story
The Greenies killed tens of millions in the third world by banning DDT, but that was only a start. Think of the billions they can freeze or starve if they destroy all energy sources, as they are bent on. The dream lives! ~Bob. Excerpt: Researchers at MIT recently forecast that natural gas production from five American shale reserves would double in five years and triple in 20. These U.S. sources of gas can transform America's energy outlook, provided lawmakers don't interfere with the process. … That's something environmentalists should cheer, because natural gas has lower carbon content than many other energy sources. Instead, environmentalists are using scare tactics to end hydraulic fracturing in America. At the heart of the controversy is the concern that hydrofracking will contaminate the nation's drinking water. Environmentalists worry about unintentional leaks and improper disposal that might cause chemicals to seep into underground drinking water supplies. They also worry about failures in well casings. So congressional Democrats are promoting the FRAC Act, which would severely hamper the use of this technique. The procedures for protecting water supplies are well established and effective. Casing, in the form of steel pipe, is put into place at the top of a well in order to protect groundwater. If a well needs to be drilled deeper, more casing is mounted so that groundwater continues to be shielded. The mixture used to fracture shale is a benign blend of 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand, and 0.5 percent chemicals, mostly common ones such as sodium chloride (table salt) and citric acid (think orange juice).

More Bad News for the Obama Economy
Excerpt: Americans' confidence in the economy is sitting at its lowest point since March 2009, and in every state in the country, a vast majority of Americans see the economy as getting worse. Meanwhile, the number of people claiming new jobless benefits rose again last week. Under those circumstances, it's no wonder the White House is doing everything it can to make even the most dismal economic news seem like a silver lining on a very dark cloud. That shred of news came yesterday in the form of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) mid-year assessment of the budget and economic situation. In the report, the CBO lowered its projected 2011 economic growth rate from 3.1 percent in its January report to only 2.3 percent--well below the growth rate needed to reduce the unemployment rate. The CBO also projects a deficit for 2011 of $1.284 trillion--slightly lower than the January deficit projection of $1.480 trillion. As for unemployment, the CBO didn't have much good to say. In its estimation, the jobless rate will fall only to 8.9 percent by the end of this year but remain above 8 percent until 2014.

On the Brink of Inflationary Disaster
Excerpt: Ever since Ben Bernanke began his massive infusions of money into the financial system, many analysts (including me) have been worried about the severe weakening of the dollar if and when the fractional-reserve-banking system magnified the initial injections severalfold. Although the trend could reverse, data from the past two months suggest that the inflationary big one may be upon us. (The Fed's creation of money with QE 1 and 2 was predicted to result in inflation. Indeed there has been galloping inflation. However, since the Fed was keeping that new money in reserve, the inflation was probably not linked directly to that money printing binge, because this new money was not lent out by commercial banks. It just stayed put. However, author Robert Murphy is saying that this newly printed money will be lent by the banks, and at that point, there is a real risk of inflation -- for the same reason as there was inflation in the Weimar Republic, when people took their salaries to the bank in wheelbarrows. That untenable situation led to the Third Reich. Some fear is not unwarranted. --Don Hank)

CBO Report’s Good News Built on Shifting Economic Sands
Excerpt: Traditionally, CBO releases its mid-year assessment after the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) releases its statutorily required Mid-Session Review (MSR). The law requires the MSR to be produced by July 15 of each year. For example, last year the Administration almost hit the target, releasing the MSR on July 23. However, the Administration has not yet complied with the law for this year, and with August waning the CBO apparently concluded it could wait no longer to perform its duty. Being late to publication, however, is the least of the Administration’s problems—or the nation’s—according to the CBO report. For example, CBO has lowered its projected 2011 inflation-adjusted economic growth rate from 3.1 percent in CBO’s January report to only 2.3 percent. (The projection is for growth in real gross domestic product from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011.) This is well below the growth rate needed to reduce the unemployment rate. Yet even this forecast for 2011 seems extremely optimistic given that the current official estimates for annualized growth in the first and second quarters of this year were a negligible 0.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively. To achieve the projected level of growth for the year, either the Bureau of Economic Analysis will need to revise these slow earlier growth rates upwards significantly or the economy will need to grow at an annualized rate of nearly 3.8 percent in the latter half of the year.

Majority of NJ voters say Obama doesn't deserve reelection
Excerpt: The majority of voters in New Jersey say President Obama does not deserve a second term, according to a new Rutgers poll. Only 43 percent of New Jersey voters in the poll said Obama deserves to be reelected, while 47 percent said he deserves to be voted out of office. Those findings are a troubling sign for Obama, since New Jersey has traditionally been a stronghold for Democrats. In an earlier Rutgers poll taken in February, only 39 percent of New Jersey voters said he did not deserve reelection.

Britain's "Islamic Emirates Project"
Shari’a Law includes forced child marriages, protection of wife-beating and marital rape, death to anyone who leaves Islam, and second class status for women in many ways, including polygamy. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Muslim group in the United Kingdom has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence. The Islamic Emirates Project, launched by the Muslims Against the Crusades group, names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule. The project, which uses the motto "The end of man-made law, and the start of Sharia law," was launched exactly six years after Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured 800 others in London. A July 7, 2011 announcement posted on the Muslims Against the Crusades website, states: "In the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has transformed beyond recognition. What was once a predominantly Christian country has now been overwhelmed by a rising Muslim population, which seeks to preserve its Islamic identity, and protect itself from the satanic values of the tyrannical British government. "There are now over 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom – which is a staggering 5% of the population – but in truth, it is more than just numbers, indeed the entire infrastructure of Britain is changing; Mosques, Islamic Schools, Shari'ah Courts and Muslim owned businesses, have now become an integral part of the British landscape.

European 'No-Go' Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating: "Occupation Without Tanks or Soldiers"
Coming soon to a multicultural berg near you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims. Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services. The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.

House Amdt #318, Passes! Congress says it is "OK" to defend yourself…In Combat?!
Excerpt: My family and I attended the annual "Run For The Fallen" event in Ogunquit Maine this past weekend. This is the fourth year for the event which honors those who fell combating the more evil elements of Islam in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The event organizer is a combat veteran from the Vietnam war and a good friend, John Mixon. John and I have visited with three of the four members of Maine's Congressional delegation to Washington over the past several months and have plans to continue the effort with representatives from other States. Of course our focus of effort has been and continues to be the proper support of troops exposed on the field of combat.

While they pander, more Americans die.
Excerpt: Illegal aliens continue to kill more Americans than Al Qaeda does in Afghanistan. This week two families are mourning the killing of their children by illegal aliens. First, a family in Massachusetts is mourning the death of their son, a recent college graduate, at the hands of an illegal alien.

The Old Not Enough Excuse By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: To newly inaugurated Barack Obama and his prime-the-pump technocrats, the logic seemed so simple. America's problem was a struggling economy. The solution was to spread around even more borrowed government money. The result would be a return to prosperity. But after nearly three years and almost $5 trillion in more borrowed "stimulus," things have gotten only worse. Unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. Consumer confidence is approaching a record low. The stock market is tanking. National debt increases at the rate of $4 billion a day. Economic growth has almost vanished. Credit worthiness is downgraded. The housing market is still depressed. Food and fuel prices skyrocket. In response, only 26 percent of the public expresses confidence in the president's handling of the economy. Apparently government cannot so easily, as even the president himself recently confessed, manufacture "shovel-ready" jobs. But it did far better in scaring cash-hoarding businesses into a historic hiring paralysis with nonstop talk of higher taxes, more national debt, more regulations, them/us class warfare rhetoric, threatened government shutdowns of private plants, and higher-priced energy. Obama is still promising to borrow more for "infrastructure" and "jobs." Despite $16 trillion in federal debt, the administration apparently wants to defy the rules of logic and do more of what made things worse in the first place, under the euphemism of "investments."

Death of the 'Yellow Dog' Democrat
Excerpt: The Yellow Dog, a voter who would sooner cast a ballot for a scruffy canine than a Republican, once roamed the American South, virtually shutting Republicans out of elected office in the century after the Civil War. But that run of electoral victories has come firmly to a close. Voters across the country are beginning to associate their local candidates with their respective national parties, making barren the hunting grounds Yellow Dogs once found fertile. It wasn't always this way. Democrats had an unprecedented run of success in the South; between 1880 and 1948, Republicans won a grand total of five southern states -- Tennessee voted for Warren G. Harding in 1920, and Herbert Hoover won four Southern states in 1928. Later in the 20th century, a seemingly permanent alliance between traditional white Democrats and African-American Democrats held the line. (…) [T] he advent of more readily-available media has changed the relationships between Southern white voters and their elected officials. The faster the news cycle and the more national the focus, the more voters compare their own officials to national party leadership. When an election becomes a referendum on a party rather than an individual candidate, it turns out poorly for party members whose careers depend on standing against their own side on key votes. (This is an interesting electoral history lesson. As a boy, I lived in rural Florida for a time. There was no office in the state higher than town/city councilor held by a Republican at the time (1962). Unmentioned, this also applies to liberal Republicans in the areas dominated by leftists. We Americans seem to be sorting ourselves into camps—just like we did before the Civil War. Ron P.)

Libya After Gadhafi: Transitioning from Rebellion to Rule
Excerpt: With the end of the Gadhafi regime seemingly in sight, it is an opportune time to step back and revisit one of the themes we discussed at the beginning of the crisis: What comes after the Gadhafi regime? As the experiences of recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan have vividly illustrated, it is far easier to depose a regime than it is to govern a country. It has also proved to be very difficult to build a stable government from the remnants of a long-established dictatorial regime. History is replete with examples of coalition fronts that united to overthrow an oppressive regime but then splintered and fell into internal fighting once the regime they fought against was toppled. In some cases, the power struggle resulted in a civil war more brutal than the one that brought down the regime. In other cases, this factional strife resulted in anarchy that lasted for years as the iron fist that kept ethnic and sectarian tensions in check was suddenly removed, allowing those issues to re-emerge.

Worth Reading: Arab Spring for Dummies
Excerpt: Last year, Israel had three stable borders and one unstable border. Now that the Arab Spring has turned into Terror Summer, those numbers have flipped around. Israel’s border with Egypt has become as troubled as the Lebanese border. And the Syrian border is following close behind. Obama had thought to use the Arab Spring as the linchpin of his reelection campaign, tying the unrest that brought down Mubarak to his Cairo speech. But the ugly turn of events in the region has him distancing himself from events instead. The Arab Spring did not become the Soft Power alternative to the Bush Doctrine that his advisers expected it to be. Instead the economic protests exploited by State Department backed activists are sliding formerly pro-American countries into the Islamist camp. The regional instability is most visible as its fracture points on the Israeli border. The Arab Spring succeeded in dismantling the region’s only enduring Arab-Israeli peace accord. The Camp David Accords signed by Sadat and Begin had been used as a model for regional peace for decades. But with the Obama backed overthrow of Sadat’s successor, it has become worthless.

'N. Korea supplied Iran with nuclear computer software'
Excerpt: North Korea has supplied Iran with a computer program as part of intensified cooperation that could help Tehran build nuclear weapons, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing Western intelligence sources. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said North Korea had in the spring delivered software, originally developed in the United States, that could simulate neutron flows. (So after we lose NYC & DC to Iran-supplied terrorist nukes, do we bomb N./ Korea as well as Iran? ~Bob.)

Maritime Jihad
We have to stop paying ransoms. Tough on the hostages w3hen we stop, but it would save lives in the long run. Unfortunately, Western leaders lack the courage to do so. ~Bob. Excerpt: In February, four Americans were held for ransom by Somali pirates and executed. The pirates have the viciousness, skills and assets to bring havoc to the seas for a price, and Islamist terrorists are willing to pay. The U.S. commander for Africa predicts that Al-Qaeda will team up with the pirate gangs, as terrorist groups see maritime targets as a weak point for their enemies. The U.S. commander overseeing Africa, General Carter Ham, confirms that the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, al-Shabaab, is making money from piracy off the coast of East Africa. He predicts that Al-Qaeda will directly become involved with the Somali pirates if the problem is not tackled. Pirate activity sharply increased in 2008, coinciding with advances by al-Shabaab. The partnership between the pirates and terrorists is usually not one of ideological affinity, but of business and sometimes, coercion. For example, in February, al-Shabaab members forced a group of pirates to give them 20 percent of what they earn from ransoms. "They demanded we allow six of their fighters to board each of our hijacked ships. We have not left our houses…Worse, we are constantly receiving threatening text messages," one pirate said. In April 2008, a group of Somali pirates got paid a $1.2 million ransom to let a Spanish fishing vessel and 26 hostages go free. Al-Shabaab received five percent of the payment.

Nuclear experts warn of Libya "dirty bomb" material
Excerpt: A research center near Tripoli has stocks of nuclear material that could be used to make a "dirty bomb," a former senior U.N. inspector said on Wednesday, warning of possible looting during turmoil in Libya. Seeking to mend ties with the West, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons -- a move that brought him in from the cold and helped end decades of Libyan isolation. A six-month popular insurgency has now forced Gaddafi to abandon his stronghold in the Libyan capital but continued gunfire suggests the rebels have not completely triumphed yet.

‘Zionist Envoy, Leave Egypt or Die,” Demonstrators Demand: The Muslim Brotherhood threatens to kill Israel's ambassador to Cairo if he does not leave the country. “All of Egypt is Hamas.”
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood has threatened to kill Israel's ambassador to Cairo if he does not leave the country. The radical Muslim group has been leading daily protests at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, demanding the expulsion of the envoy and a break in relations between Egypt and Israel. Hundreds of demonstrators surrounded the embassy Monday as armored military and police officers prevented them from repeating Saturday night’s incident when rioters broke down the gate. One firebomb smashed through a front window of the embassy’s office.

For Marines in Afghanistan: be careful where you fart
Excerpt: So here’s the news: audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange because it offends the Afghans. I know there are many things in the Afghan culture that don’t seem normal to Americans and it’s hard to spend seven months working in someone else’s back yard. Still, the Marines I saw downrange are doing a pretty good job at trying to do the right thing around the Afghans. They’re not supposed to cuss because it could be misunderstood (that one goes out the window a lot). And they stay away from talking about politics, religion or girls because those topics could escalate into major disagreements (they can’t communicate anyway because of the language barrier). But farting? That’s practically a sport. Ok, it’s not soccer, but a good contest could open the door for cross-cultural exchanges, jokes and other gallows humor.

Since 1948, almost 10 million Muslims have died at the hands of fellow Muslims
Just as the main victims of black thugs in our cities are decent black folks, to little concern from black race-baiting leaders, so the main victims of Allahmurder are Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: Where is the outrage over that? Double standards abound. As the Israeli envoy Dan Gillerman said in 2008: "When Christians kill Muslims, it's the Crusades. When Jews kill Muslims it's murder, and when Muslims kill Muslims, it's like talking about the weather. Nobody really cares about it." And as the late Samuel P. Huntington observed: "Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors. The question naturally rises as to whether this pattern of the late 20th century conflict between Muslim and non-Muslim groups is equally true of relations between groups from other civilizations. In fact, it is not. Muslims make up 1/5 of the world's population but in the 1990s they have been far more involved in intergroup violence than the people of any other civilization....Islam's borders are bloody, and so are its innards."

No Exposed Breasts, No Peace!
Excerpt: Editor’s Note: Work readers beware! Several links in this piece take one to sites with naked breasts. These have been labeled Not Safe For Work! Feminists, bitterly clinging to their bitterness, are now trying to suck the life out of yet another thing: boobs. Not content to just let us suffer with the painful mental image of the bra burning days of yore, they are now going full-on topless in the name of “gender equality” and “normalizing” of women’s breasts — as if anyone finds them an oddity. It seems to me that people like breasts. Also, equality doesn’t mean what they think it means. Neither does “gender” either for that matter. (I can’t win. To show my support of women’s rights, I told my wife I was in favor of naked boobs, especially by the cute girl down the street. My wife called me a pig and slapped my arm. Ron P.)

The Middle East Mess
Excerpt: Each country in the Middle East poses unique challenges. That said, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, tribalism, dictatorship, statism, and lack of transparency and free expression are widely shared in the region, and mean that any particular policy will almost immediately collide with some two millennia of habit and custom antithetical and often hostile to the values of the West. That the West is presently broke, multicultural, full of guilt and incapable of defending its values and history only confuses the issue even more. (…) But right now the message, fairly or not, is that to the degree a thug likes America, gives up or does not try to acquire nuclear weapons, or wants to triangulate with us, we want him gone; to the degree he is an anti-American thug, a front-line enemy of Israel, and builds reactors, we deem him more authentic and legitimate and therefore adopt a policy of non-interference—unless of course, the million in the street, without our encouragement, are a day or so away from toppling the regime. (The first half of this column is devoted to the Middle East, and I’m in agreement with almost every word. The second half is a rebuttal to an editorial that appeared without a signature and attacked Hanson with the kind of ad hominem attacks Bob Hall gets for “I’m Tired”—when it isn’t being attributed to some unfortunate actor. Both halves are worth reading. Ron P.)

Fuku Restaurant In West Palm Beach Turns Heads With Almost-Vulgar Name
Excerpt: Most under-construction restaurants would kill to be featured on the local news months before opening. But "Modern Asian" Fuku restaurant on West Palm Beach, Florida's Clematis Avenue may be getting attention for the wrong reasons. In the video below, reporters from West Palm's CBS 12 speak to several locals who are upset by the proximity of name "fuku" to certain insults involving four-letter words and beloved by Sandra Lee. Fuku means "food fortune or luck" in Japanese. (I didn’t think anyone’s day would be complete without this story. Good luck, just like they had in Fukushima? Ron P.)

Excerpt: Do you have friends, neighbors and relatives that can’t find work? Well, unfortunately the current U.S. jobs famine is about to get a whole lot worse. Right now there are approximately 13.9 million unemployed Americans. That does not count those that “are not looking for work”. That does not count those that are working part-time jobs but that are desperate for full-time work. The truth is that we need tens of millions more full-time jobs in order to give one to everyone that wants one. Sadly, the long-term trends that have caused this mess continue to get worse. Unless truly dramatic changes are made, the U.S. economy is going to continue to bleed jobs and that is going to suck the hope right out of this country. It is time to wake up America! It is not a big mystery why we don’t have enough jobs. But sadly, very few of our leaders are talking about the real issues.

Russian 'Progress' Ship Launch Fails En Route To Space Station
Excerpt: A Russian space station supply ship crashed with a thunderous boom into Siberia minutes after launch Wednesday, rattling NASA and others in this new era without any shuttles to bail out the orbiting outpost. The rocket failed barely a month after NASA's final space shuttle flight. While the International Space Station has more than enough supplies, the accident threatens to delay the launch of the next crew, just one month away. That's because the upper stage of the unmanned Soyuz rocket that failed is similar to the ones used to launch astronauts to the station. (Another good argument for a US manned space program. Ron P.)

Rime of the Ancient Democrat
Excerpt: I think sentient Democrats are watching their party's chances in 2012 slip away, and had they not made such a big deal of claiming all opposition to Obama was racist in motivation and effect (see, e.g., this) , they would now be urging him to quit and seeking a new contender for his office. Like Coleridge's ancient Mariner, however, they can only stand on deck with that albatross around their neck watching both the White House and the Senate slip from their grasp just as did so many state governorships and the House of Representatives. In the meantime the Ship of State runs aground on the shoals of incompetence, corruption and laughable idiocy.

To the Shores of Tripoli
Excerpt: Name a single Arab or Islamic state, which, after a revolution that has overthrown a dictator, came to embrace political pluralism, religious tolerance and equal rights for women. You can't, can you? The U.S. State Department publishes an annual report on human rights practices in Arab states. It consistently finds all are ruled by variations of dictatorial regimes that oppress their people, deny basic freedoms of press, speech, due process and are intolerant of any faith other than Islam, punishing converts to other faiths (a capital offense in some Islamic nations) and anyone who shares other faiths with their people. The Arab Human Development Report, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program and written by Arab scholars, examined the world's seven regions. It ranks Arab countries lowest according to their "freedom score." What is the popular definition of insanity? Isn't it repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results?

7 arrested at downtown L.A. pro-immigration protest
Excerpt: Police made at least seven arrests Wednesday during a protest outside the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, authorities said. The arrests stemmed from a pro-immigration protest involving more than 50 demonstrators. Acts of civil disobedience included blocking the driveway to the federal building to prevent buses that were deporting illegal immigrants from leaving the facility, said Sgt. Mitzi Fierro, an LAPD spokeswoman. Three people were arrested during the demonstration for refusing to disperse after the LAPD declared an unlawful assembly. Four others were booked on unspecified federal charges.

Mother Jones Report Scrubs Facts of Terrorists' Predisposition
Excerpt: Statistics from a joint study by Mother Jones and the University of California-Berkeley claim that 10 percent of defendants in federal terrorism cases since 9/11 were involved in a plot led by an "agent provocateur." But a closer examination of those cases exposes several as weak examples of terrorism "instigated" by the FBI. The FBI has nearly tripled its use of informants since 9/11, the report says. That surge in the number of FBI informants, according to Mother Jones' Trevor Aaronson, is worrisome. "The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack," a teaser atop Aaronson's article "Informants," which includes those statistics, reads. "But are they busting terrorist plots-or leading them?"

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