Sorry I haven’t had time to log on over the holiday. Given that I have over 600 e-mails, I suppose this will be long. I hope you had a Merry Christmas—even those who don’t celebrate it! Well, better get to it. ~Bob
Free PDF Copy of The Coming Collapse of the
. American Republic
Footage of the 50th reunion at
Worth seeing if you haven’t seen this. My great, great grandfather, Sgt. Oliver Vernal, was there, with my maternal grandfather, C. Vernal Becker. Vernal fought through the war with the 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, wounded twice, but survived to father children (thankfully) ~Bob.
: Day Three by Jeffery D. Wert Gettysburg
I read this fine account cover to cover on Christmas day, and will look for more of Wert’s histories. It’s clear, informative and well-written, using contemporary sources. Though I hold a Masters in history and have read countless Civil War books, I learned a lot. I highly recommend this to the Civil War buff. ~Bob
Tax Game Cartoon
Security website Stratfor hacked by Anonymous
Excerpt: The loose-knit hacking movement "Anonymous" claimed Sunday to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor. One hacker said the goal was to pilfer funds from individuals' accounts to give away as Christmas donations, and some victims confirmed unauthorized transactions linked to their credit cards. Anonymous boasted of stealing Stratfor's confidential client list, which includes entities ranging from Apple Inc. to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department, and mining it for more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses.
Dozen states prove pivotal to White House race By Dave Boyer
Excerpt: The 2012 presidential race will be decided in a dozen swing states, and President Obama faces a hard road to victory in many of them. “It appears this election will be much more like Bush-Gore” in 2000, said Democratic strategist Steve McMahon, co-founder of Alexandria-based Purple Strategies. “The president ain’t gonna win by 95 electoral votes.”
for keeping him off ballot Virginia
Excerpt: Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s campaign attacked Virginia’s GOP primary election system on Saturday for keeping him off the state’s March 6 Super Tuesday ballot, a significant setback for a candidate who has surged in popularity but has struggled to organize his campaign. The state party said that Gingrich had failed to submit the required 10,000 signatures to appear on the ballot. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also failed to qualify, the Virginia GOP said. (You would have to work long and hard to devise a worse nominating system than the one we have evolved. ~Bob.)
Anti-Abortion Group Sues for Documents on
U.S. Funding of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire
Right to Life is suing the Obama administration for access to records about a decision to fund Planned Parenthood in violation of state rules, a move that comes amid efforts by some state officials to get rid of virtually all federal funding to The Granite State. New Hampshire
White House Gives Nod to Schumer's Brother-in-Law to Be Federal Judge
What? It’s the
way! We don’t want nobody what nobody sent. ~Bob. Excerpt: Sen. Charles Schumer's brother-in-law was quietly nominated this month to a federal judgeship in Chicago New Jersey -- a move that has some in the crying political foul, The New York Post has learned. Garden State
Excerpt: When convoys of soldiers or federal police move through the scrubland of northern
, the Zetas drug cartel knows they are coming. The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a "halcon," or hawk. Mexico
Apple plots smartphones powered by hydrogen
Excerpt: The two patents, “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” and “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device” not the first signs that Apple is working to replace battery technology. In October a further pair of patent applications detailed ways of squeezing more power from lighter hydrogen fuel cells.( Cell phone designers have already worked miracles of miniaturization. The first hand-held cell phone I ever saw (in the late ‘80s) was the size of the box for a pair of men’s boots and had to be worn on a neck strap to handle the weight. When I got my first cell phone in 1997, its size was already reduced to the size of a child’s shoe and weighed about a pound; I carried it in a belt holster. It needed daily charging for several hours. The marvels that we all use now fit comfortably in a shirt pocket or purse, do about a thousand times as many things, and often have a battery life measured in days. Fuel cells have been around for a while. The Space Shuttle—1960s and 1970s technology—used them for motive power and control in space. A lot of people have wanted to use them for powering automobiles over the past 40 years, but couldn’t find economical ways to build or refuel them. If Apple gets a patent(s), the potential “other uses” are huge. Patents are supposed to be granted only for actual, working devices and procedures, not for “mere” ideas. So, they probably have a working model already, though it may not yet be ready for commercial production. Ron P. huh. The black kind with a rotary dial attached to the wall worked just fine. Despite the party line. Hurrump. ~Bob.)
Excerpt: "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time," Thomas Jefferson once wrote. "The hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." Among the American Founders, there was a profound sense that faith and freedom were deeply intertwined. Nowadays, we are often told that religion is divisive and ought to kept away from politics for the sake of liberty. Religion somehow is opposed to liberty, and so liberty requires a diminution of religion in the public square.
Why Unemployment Is Worse Than You Think
Excerpt: The current unemployment rate of 8.6 percent hides the extent of the economic crisis. The widely quoted rate misses not only the underemployed and discouraged workers, but also major demographic factors. The large demographic shift that has taken place over the last few decades -- driven by the maturing of the baby boom generation -- now places considerable downward pressure on the unemployment rate, which makes the current malaise look a bit better than it really is, say Ike Brannon, director of economic studies, and Matt Thoman, coordinator of economic studies, at the American Action Forum. The unemployment rate, firstly, fails to account for the older generation of workers in the United States (predominantly baby boomers), who have an increased tendency to accept early retirement or buyout packages when faced with possible layoffs. It also fails to incorporate the large swathes of potential young workers who choose not to enter the labor force due to poor prospects and elect instead to stay in school. When these two factors are integrated into a more comprehensive measure of unemployment such as the Demographically-Adjusted Unemployment Rate (DOUR), it is found that real unemployment is probably closer to 10 percent than 8.6.
663 MUSLIMS with ties to Islamic terrorist countries arrested along southwest border during 2010
Excerpt: “These included individuals from special-interest countries like Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen and countries designated by the U.S. Department of State as state-sponsors of terror – Iran, Syria, and Sudan,” said John Cornyn (R-Texas).
The Federal Government's Deeply Flawed System For Controlling Medicare Costs
Excerpt: Medicare’s hospital trust fund is set to be exhausted by 2024, according to the latest report from the program’s trustees. Federal officials are understandably looking for easy ways to cut spending in the entitlement program in hopes of shoring up its finances. They believe they’ve hit on one with a two-year-old effort to introduce “competitive bidding” into the process for buying medical equipment. Unfortunately, the scheme contrived by the feds is deeply flawed. Not only are Medicare’s auctions resulting in the delivery of low-quality or ineffective medical gear — they’re also dampening investment into the research that can yield the next generation of innovative treatments.
Journalists complain the White House press office has become overly combative
Excerpt: The White House’s relationship with the reporters who cover it has blown hot and cold throughout history. And this year, some reporters say, things have taken a decidedly frosty turn. When a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the response is often swift and sometimes at top volume, reporters say.
Hectoring the heroes
Excerpt: Some three dozen members of Congress — Brooklyn Democrat Yvette Clark among them — have jumped on the anti-NYPD bandwagon. They’re demanding that the Justice Department and the House Judiciary Committee probe the department’s spectacularly successful anti-terrorism unit. That the NYPD, under Commissioner Ray Kelly, has managed to foil no fewer than 14 terrorist plots against the city since 9/11 doesn’t seem to matter.
Obama’s Top Boners of 2011 by John Ransom
Excerpt: Sure, limiting the list to the nine worst mistakes of the Obama administration in a year that saw so many of them was a tough proposition. But in the spirit of Christmas, I decided to be merciful and not pile on. Plus, you know, I have company coming over.
A reunion of Marine brothers.... Sgt. Collin Raaz wears tall prosthetic legs to the ball
Excerpt: Sgt. Collin Raaz stops in the lobby of Caesars Palace hotel, leaning on two canes. The 25-year-old Marine is dressed casually in shorts that reveal his new prosthetic legs. He spray-painted them in red, white and blue stripes to match the motorcycle he used to ride before he was wounded. The sight of him makes Cpl. John Smeeton, a machine gunner who served with Raaz in Afghanistan, unleash a stream of affectionate profanities. “Mother-lover!” the tall Marine with bulging, tattooed arms exclaims. Or words to that effect. “You’re looking exceptionally awesome. I can’t believe you’re walking. It’s amazing!”
Worth Reading: Muslim Terror for Christmas
Excerpt: While that attack never came to pass, on Christmas Day that same year thirty-eight bombs exploded in churches across towns and cities in Indonesia wounding over a hundred people and killing nineteen. Cathedrals, convents and schools were all targeted. Jemaah Islamiyah, the Congregation of Islam, was responsible for the attacks on Indonesia’s Christian congregations.
Iranian woman convicted of adultery to be executed by stoning or hanging, official says
Can’t be that bad, since the NYT endorses Shari’a Law. Multiculturalism is beautiful, unless, of course, it’s you with your hands tied, buried up to your waist and facing a crowd of savages with rocks in their hands. ~Bob. Excerpt: Authorities in Iran said Sunday they are again moving ahead with plans to execute a woman sentenced to death by stoning on an adultery conviction in a case that sparked an international outcry, but are considering whether to carry out the punishment by hanging instead.
Islamists kill dozens in Nigeria Christmas bombs
Merry Christmas from the Religion of Peace. ~Bob.
Media Forgets To Mention Judge Who Blocked S. C. Immigration Law Is Obama Appointee
Excerpt: One of the Old Media’s favorite ways of attempting to hide the ideological track of a story is to somehow forget to mention which party someone in the news hails or to whom they owe their fealty. In this case, it is what they don’t report that misleads.
Worth Reading: Payroll-tax cut is, well, immoral
Excerpt: House Republicans in Washington, D.C., were bashed remorselessly last week as Scrooges for interfering with our nation's most beloved holiday. What? They were messing with Christmas, the cads? No, no, no. Smothering Christmas in the crib is the Democrats' job. House Speaker John Boehner and his GOP friends interfered with an agreement between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans to enact our other most precious holiday. That would be the holiday from paying for the financial bennies we lavish on ourselves at the expense of taxpayers to come.
Tent Collapsing on Climate Change Circus
Excerpt: President Obama has not given up on his plans to “curb global warming.” Instead of cap and trade, we have the EPA directed by President Obama’s appointee, Administrator Lisa Jackson—who, by her own admission, aims to level the playing field. The EPA is doing everything it can to raise the cost of energy, which, if left unabated, will continue the demise of American industry and the growth of the government sector—resulting in exploding trade deficits. (Sound familiar?)
2011 by the numbers
Harvard Fires Critic of Jihad by Pamela Geller
Excerpt: In a crushing blow to academic freedom, Harvard University has censored and fired a prominent professor because university administrators didn't like what he said about Islam. The tenured professors at Harvard, who cannot be fired in order to protect their freedom to express themselves, have failed to rally to the cause of the fired professor -- and worse, the expulsion was occasioned in part by a faculty vote:
South Carolina Voter ID Law: Justice Department Blocks Controversial Legislation
Excerpt: Department of Motor Vehicles executive director Kevin Shwedo said the state Election Commission knew it was using inaccurate data when it released reports showing nearly 240,000 active and inactive voters lacked driver's licenses or ID cards. Shwedo sent the state's attorney general an analysis showing that 207,000 of those voters live in other states, allowed their ID cards to expire, probably have licenses with names that didn't match voter records or were dead. (...) Earlier in the week, commission officials said the agency will eliminate nearly 60,000 deceased people and individuals whose names didn't match DMV records. Reply Forward (South Carolina has a voting age population of about 3,500,000, of whom 2,700,000 took the trouble to register to vote. Even in “high turnout” elections, most states only reach about the 50% mark; in lower turnout elections, as few as 20% may determine the outcome. In that hypothetical low turnout election determined by only 500,000 voters, 60,000—the ones ALREADY known to be ineligible to vote, but still registered anyway—are 12% of those voting, almost one vote in every eight votes cast. Please notice that the state will provide photo IDs to voters who need them for free. Getting a free ID is too much of a burden? Or is losing the ability to control a tight election is too great a risk? Which motive do you think applies to a political decision made by the DOJ? Ron P. If it’s racist to require an ID to vote, it’s racist to require one to buy a gun or buy booze. ~Bob.)
Cupcake Deemed 'Security Threat' Confiscated by TSA at Las Vegas Airport
Excerpt: A Massachusetts woman says a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent confiscated her cupcake because its "gel-like" frosting could have been an explosive. (She shouldn’t have been carrying it in her skivvies. ~Bob. If TSA employees ever want to know why most Americans consider them a joke, here’s a wonderful example. I happen to know this woman as she often sings with my wife (and the video makes her look much older and far less attractive than she actually is). TSA will make no friends with this; not only is Rebecca Hains, PhD a professor at Salem State, she’s currently President of the New England Gilbert & Sullivan Society. I also suppose it will teach her to eat both cupcakes at once next time. Ron P.)
The Affirmative-Action Myth
Excerpt: WHEN THE SUPREME COURT, in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, narrowly upheld the use of racial preferences at the University of Michigan Law School, it emphasized that such preferences were barely tolerable under the Constitution. They could be used only as a last resort, the court ruled, they must not unduly harm non-minorities, and public universities had to start finding ways to phase them out.
Poking at Hornets’ Nests by Paul R. Hollrah
Excerpt: Rev. Wayne Perryman, of Seattle, a recovering Democrat, has pursued lawsuits against the Democratic Party on three occasions, seeking to win an apology for centuries of oppression, murder, mayhem, and bigotry directed against blacks. And although he and most of his fellow plaintiffs, and those who filed amicus briefs, are black, the courts have consistently ruled that blacks of today were not harmed by Democratic racism and lack “standing.”
Occupy DC flies al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizballah flags
Excerpt: The major emerging problem for the leftists camped out in tents at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza is rats. The rodents appear to be moving into the area by the hundreds, and their numbers are increasing daily... Among the flags being flown by some protesters are those from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
UK police seize computers of skeptic blogger in England
Excerpt: Dec 14th -The first blogger to break the Climategate2 story has had a visit from the police and has had his computers seized. Tallbloke’s Talkshop first reported on CG2 due to the timing of the release being overnight in the USA. Today he was raided by six UK police (Norfolk Constabulary and Metropolitan police) and several of his computers were seized as evidence. (23 updates and counting! When this story first broke I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. I guessed wrong. At least two, probably three, and possibly four different lawsuits are now threatening. The Norfolk Constabulary suddenly decided it wasn’t the correct police organization to deal with this, and Lord Monckton is asking for fraud charges to be brought against all the scientists mentioned in the Climategate-2 emails. Somebody run to the packy and get some beer, somebody else put on the popcorn, the game is ON! Ron P.)
Spaceballs – the debris
Excerpt: A large metallic ball fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency. (…) With a diameter of 35 centimetres (14 inches), the ball has a rough surface and appears to consist of "two halves welded together". It was made of a "metal alloy known to man" and weighed six kilogrammes (13 pounds), said Ludik. It was found 18 metres from its landing spot, a hole 33 centimetres deep and 3.8 meters wide. (Sorry, no space aliens today. I thought I remembered hearing about one of these a couple of years ago, but I can’t find the reference. It seems they’ve been falling from the sky over Australia, Africa, and South America for the last 20 or so years. Consensus opinion seems to be that it is (or, they are) multi-use storage tanks used on various Soviet and Russian space capsules (yes, there are pictures/illustrations to look at). As usual, WUWT has the best links to back-up articles and expert opinions, so that’s where we’re linked through. Ron P.)
Beware 'Story Lock'
Excerpt: It has become nearly a universal talking point by many of us in the pundit business to say that Newt Gingrich is finished in his race for the Republican nomination. We all say he has taken tons of hits (both incoming and self-inflicted), has dropped dramatically in the polls, and has fallen to the wayside just like the other Republicans who rose quickly against Mitt Romney and then dropped off. But let’s look at the facts. Although Gingrich’s support has fallen off a bit nationally from his high, three recent polls have come out showing the race dead even.
Christmas with Occupy Madison
3 people enter guilty plea in Troy voter fraud case
Another example of the thing that never happens, being done by the party that claims it never happens. –Joe
Holder's Voter ID Fraud: The AG invents fears of ballot suppression
Excerpt: The Obama Administration's re-election mobilization continues: Witness Eric Holder's attempt to play the race card and perhaps twist the law in a campaign against voter identification laws.
Saudi textbooks instruct children in how to carry out amputations for Sharia punishments
Let’s tell the NYT, since they like Shari’a Law so much, we are going to introduce this in NYC. ~Bob
State Department 'Panders' to Islamists on Free Speech
Excerpt: The Obama administration is drawing fire for yielding what critics see as a huge propaganda victory to Islamist regimes seeking to curb American speech deemed "offensive" to Muslims. The State Department hosted a three-day, closed-door meeting last week with representatives of the Saudi Arabia-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on measures to fight religious "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization." In her closing remarks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton portrayed the conference as a sign that Washington and the OIC are working together to protect religious freedom around the world.