Friday, March 2, 2012

Political Digest for March 2, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

Information on my six books

Victory in Iraq: How America Won
my book review from the March, 2012 issue of Leatherneck. ~Bob

Andrew Breitbart dead in Los Angeles at 43
A huge loss to the cause of freedom, integrity in government and limited government. I appreciate his service. ~Bob. Excerpt: Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart passed away unexpectedly from natural causes early Thursday, his website reported. Breitbart, 43, a star of the tea party movement, died shortly after midnight in Los Angeles, his website said.

Quotes from the left who, not surprisingly, thought Obama’s lecture on “civility in public discourse” didn’t apply to them. ~Bob.

Liberals Rejoice Over Death of Andrew Breitbart -
Excerpt: Both The Washington Examiner (h/t Weasel Zippers) and The have compiled representative lists of the hideous hate-filled tweets that have spewed from the left today regarding the shocking and sudden death of Andrew Breitbart. The comments are too noxious to bear repeating, but those who enjoy stopping to ogle highway accidents are free to link through and have at it. (The anonymous nature of the web exposes the vileness of some people. Which is why I sign my name to my posts on websites. ~Bob.)

Holder and Obama

Nato soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan amid Koran anger
Excerpt: Nato says two of its troops have been shot dead on a base in Afghanistan, the latest of several attacks after the burning of the Koran by US soldiers. Nato said a man in Afghan army uniform and another in civilian clothes opened fire in southern Kandahar province. The dead are believed to be US soldiers. … More than 70 Nato troops have been killed by Afghan colleagues in recent years.

Worth Reading: Blasphemy and Free Speech by Paul Marshall
Excerpt: A growing threat to our freedom of speech is the attempt to stifle religious discussion in the name of preventing “defamation of” or “insults to” religion, especially Islam. Resulting restrictions represent, in effect, a revival of blasphemy laws. … More recently, we have seen eruptions of violence in reaction to Theo van Gogh’s and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s film Submission, Danish and Swedish cartoons depicting Mohammed, the speech at Regensburg by Pope Benedict XVI on the topic of faith, reason, and religious violence, Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, and a false Newsweek report that the U.S. military had desecrated Korans at Guantanamo.

Worth Reading: History Never Quite Ends by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The European Union and the United Nations, as well as globalization and advanced technology, were all supposed to trump age-old cultural, geographical and national differences and bring people together. But for all the high-tech veneer of the 21st century, the world still looks a lot like it did during the last hundred years and well before that. (For a Hanson article, this is relatively short, though he manages to say quite a bit in it. Ron P.)

The Not-So-Great Eight By Ben Crystal
Excerpt: While the Republican Presidential candidates vie for top billing in Tampa, Fla., the Democrats have evidently convinced themselves that President Barack Obama is a shoo-in for another four-year occupation of the White House. Let me rephrase that: The Democrats are trying desperately to convince themselves that President Barack Obama is a shoo-in for another four-year occupation of the White House. ... From our home office in Cullman, Ala., it’s the top eight reasons not to vote for Barack Obama this fall.

Diagnosis: Disaster - The $44 billion price tag of state retiree health insurance
Excerpt: Illinoisans are beginning to see the dangers of another unfunded liability: free or subsidized health care for retired state workers. The state has promised, in today’s dollars, nearly $44 billion in retiree health benefits to government employees over the next thirty years. Unfortunately, it has not set aside any funds for those future payments. These unfunded liabilities are growing 2½ times faster than state revenues and, if left unreformed, will work in tandem with rising pension costs to dramatically cut government services. Many state retirees contribute little or nothing to their health insurance premiums. In fact, for the state’s largest retiree health program, retirees only contribute 9 percent toward their premiums.

The Circle faces backlash after mocking hero
Excerpt: Network Ten's The Circle is facing a furious backlash from viewers after the hosts mocked war hero Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, suggesting he was dim-witted and "not up to it in the sack". The panel was discussing the Victoria Cross recipient after he appeared in a candid Sunday Night profile and aired a shot of him shirtless in a pool. After one of the hosts commented on Corporal Roberts-Smith's physique, Yumi Stynes said: "He's going to dive down to the bottom of the pool and see if his brain is there". (Of course the obligatory excuses were given after the backlash, and to his credit Cpl Roberts-Smith has accepted. But you still got to wonder if what she said was really a "joke". I think probably not, that she was expressing her personal opinion of Roberts-Smith and the Australian military. --MasterGuns. As Kipling wrote, “Making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep, is cheaper than them uniforms—and they’re starvation cheap.” ~Bob.)

Two NATO soldiers "killed by Afghan soldier, civilian"
Excerpt: Two NATO soldiers were shot dead on Thursday by two Afghans, including a man believed to be a soldier, NATO said, an attack that is likely to raise further questions about the future of the country's struggling security forces. (The President told Bob Woodruff yesterday that his apology to Karzai had "calmed things down a bit". How's that working out for our troops and the NATO coalition Mr. President? MasterGuns)

Stockton could become biggest city to go bankrupt
Excerpt: STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) -- City leaders seeking a way to dig out from under massive debts have taken a step toward making Stockton the nation's largest city to file for bankruptcy. However, thanks to a new California law, the City Council's move also could be the first step toward avoiding such a dramatic move. (And the Fiscal Collapse gathers steam. ~Bob.)

Defense Sec. Panetta unaware of $750,000 Gitmo soccer field
Probably Bush’s fault. Or global warming. ~Bob. Excerpt: IN the wake of the revelation that the Department of Defense has spend $750,000 on a soccer field for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp pressed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on his knowledge of the expenditure at a Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday. Panetta denied knowledge of the project.

Could Vladimir Putin be in power until 2024? 10 key questions about Russia's elections
Excerpt: Most polls indicate it will be an outright victory for Vladimir Putin, the current prime minister and former president who has made a deal with his ally Dmitry Medvedev, the former prime minister and current president. Despite initial public outrage over their job swap, Putin is consistently polling at around 50 per cent – well ahead of the fragmented opposition.

New WikiLeaks Stash: A Frightening View of Government Intelligence
Excerpt: Apparently the entities charged with keeping us safe now require full-blown lessons from the private sector in how to do their jobs. According to leaked email written by Stratfor's CEO, George Friedman: "We have also been asked to help the United States Marine Corps and other government intelligence organizations to teach them how Stratfor does what it does, and train them in becoming government Stratfors. We are beginning this project by preparing a three-year forecast for the Commandant of the Corps. This is a double honor for us." (Perhaps the author is confusing “strategic intelligence” (gathered by people like CIA) with “military or battlefield intelligence” (usually gathered from POWs, markings on captured equipment and captured documents). The sources and purposes are very different. Military intelligence seeks to find and defeat the enemy in the field today and tomorrow, or perhaps a few weeks from now. Strategic intelligence focuses on defeating enemies and POTENTIAL enemies months or years from now. While much battlefield intel comes from interrogations of prisoners, or translating papers, most strategic intel comes from open sources like newspapers, street conversations, personal observation of the general attitudes of the populace, et cetera. When actual “spook work” (clandestine spying) is required, it’s seldom given to the military to carry out. Not only do soldiers usually lack expertise in whatever specialized field the intel concerns, they look like soldiers. Far better to use a retired person already trained in that field—so they know what to look for—who has or can make connections in the location of the data desired. Or, perhaps she is confusing the gathering of data with “paramilitary operations.” A paramilitary operation is when violence is expected to occur as an integral part of the mission, say taking out a drug lord or atomic scientist or blowing up a bridge. Soldiers might be the best choice for that kind of op, but usually part of the object is to leave little or no idea who has done this violence—which can be chancy. In “spying,” the best job is done when no one even knows it happened—which again calls for that inconspicuous nerd, hippie, or retired person, not a soldier. Battlefield intelligence is done pretty well by all branches, but of course, the USMC—like the Army, Navy, and Air Force—has no particular expertise in the strategic intelligence area. Yet. Ron P.)

International law bars returning refugees to places where their lives are endangered.
Excerpt: Nevertheless, China's repatriation policy is a blatant violation of the International Convention on Refugees, to which it is a signatory. The Convention bars "refoulement," the diplomatic term for returning refugees to places where their lives would be endangered. (An important piece of North Korea's system of control over its own people is finally being exposed: China's complicity. On Monday, Seoul raised the issue of Beijing's policy of repatriating North Korean refugees in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Every year the Chinese authorities arrest an unknown number of North Koreans who have fled to China. Some of the refugees are trying to escape North Korean tyranny permanently by making their way through China to third countries, from which they can travel to the South. Beijing forcibly repatriates these unfortunates without giving them a chance to apply for asylum. North Koreans who are suspected of having met Christians, South Koreans or Americans while in China are executed or shipped off to the gulag. The rest of the returnees are sent to other prisons, where conditions are little better. Pregnant women are forced to undergo abortions, even in their third trimester, for the crime of carrying "Chinese seed." Until now, the South Korean government has not spoken out publicly about this ongoing atrocity, in part because it doesn't want to incur the wrath of its largest trading partner and in part because it realizes that Beijing could make life much harder for those North Korean refugees whose presence it chooses to overlook. Seoul's silence was China's price for allowing some North Koreans to escape. Last year, 2,727 North Koreans reached safety in South Korea, according to the Unification Ministry in Seoul. Most fled through China, traveling on an underground railroad that Beijing could shut down in an instant. –DH)

The not-so-great super PAC menace by George Will
Excerpt: When Communists and sympathizers made excuses for Stalin’s terror, they said, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” To which George Orwell responded, “Where’s the omelet?” The Washington Post, dismayed about super PACs, reports “a rarefied group of millionaires and billionaires acting as kingmakers in the GOP contest, often helping to decide, with a simple transfer of money, which candidate might survive another day.” Kingmakers? Where’s the king?

Senate defeats bill to reverse birth control rule
Excerpt: The Senate has defeated a Republican effort to roll back President Barack Obama’s policy on contraception insurance coverage. The measure sponsored by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, was defeated 51-48.

National GOP: Romney 40%, Santorum 24%, Gingrich 16%, Paul 12%
Excerpt: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, coming off his primary wins in Arizona and Michigan, has jumped to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters shows Romney with 40% support to 24% for the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. This is Romney's biggest lead to date and the highest level of support any GOP candidate has earned in regular surveying of the race. Two weeks ago, it was Santorum 39%, Romney 27%.

Excerpt: Lying is not going to rebut Newt Gingrich's compelling understanding of America's energy policy and huge energy reserves. (All Republican candidates should jump on this strategy. –GBH)

US pays $5 million to buy freedom for rights workers on trial in Egypt
Excerpt: Seven American rights workers are on a plane out of Egypt after the U.S. paid nearly $5 million in bail costs to secure their freedom. Egyptian officials said the U.S. paid $300,000 each for 16 Americans, nine of whom were already out of the country. The State Department said the money was paid by the nongovernmental organizations where the democracy and rights workers work. (And how many billions of dollars will the US Taxpayers now pay in “foreign aid” to these (expletive deleted) people? It’s not just the money. It’s that they are laughing at us for being so gullible and stupid. ~Bob.)

US Pays $5 Million in Jizya to Buy Freedom for Americans Held in Europe - Jihad Watch
Excerpt: Will the freeing of the blind Sheikh (a story I broke here) follow this capitulation to terrorism and banditry? "US pays $5 million to buy freedom for rights workers on trial in Egypt," from Fox News, March 1 (thanks to Robert):

Solar Flare Big Enough To Cause Catastrophe On Earth Called Surprisingly Likely
Excerpt: An aurora borealis may be beautiful, but can there be too much of a good thing? A new study published in the journal Space Weather analyzed the frequency of the solar storms that cause auroras and found that there's a one in eight chance that by 2020 the Earth will be affected by a major solar flare. The risk is far greater than previously thought. "Even if it’s off by a factor of two, that’s a much larger number than I thought,” study author Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science, a space "weather" research firm in San Diego, told Wired. (This is just now hitting the MSM. TOJ has covered this issue twice, first on 22 Feb 2011 and two weeks ago on 16 Feb 2012. A reprise of my comment from two weeks ago is this: We have good news, bad news, and worse news. The good news is that any step we take to mitigate a solar geomagnetic (Carrington) event will also act as protection from the far weaker manmade EMP of nuclear weapons. The bad news is there isn’t much public information available on “hardening” your personal items or home (and no information at all on how to harden yourself if you, like me, have an implanted medical device like a pacemaker or defibrillator—perhaps we’ll just explode and not have to worry about it?). Few companies, even in the financial field where a few electrons are the difference between poverty and mega-wealth, have taken any steps to protect either their data or their physical assets; few are even aware of the problem. The worse news is that over the past two years, there have been at least three solar CME events—Coronal Mass Ejection events—that caused significant auroras over both hemispheres of the globe. A CME is just a slightly smaller version of a Carrington Event. And, you thought we already had plenty to worry about. Ha! Ron P. Well, George Bush did NOTHING about the sun for eight years. Obama inherited the worst sun in the history of suns, so naturally there are problems. ~Bob.)

Why Doctors Die Differently
Excerpt: Doctors don't want to die any more than anyone else does. But they usually have talked about the limits of modern medicine with their families. They want to make sure that, when the time comes, no heroic measures are taken. During their last moments, they know, for instance, that they don't want someone breaking their ribs by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (which is what happens when CPR is done right).

Islam & the NYPD: Why we should cheer cops’ work By Qanta A. Ahmed
Excerpt: The relentless campaign to paint the NYPD as Islamophobic is itself an offense to Islam. In fact, our faith compels American Muslims to stand with the NYPD — both to protect the faith, and by its direct dictates. Let me be clear: By investigating Islamist sympathizers who seek to curtail the freedoms of all Americans, the NYPD is aggressively protecting the freedoms and privileges that Muslims enjoy in America (freedoms that aren’t available even in the birthplace of Islam). … Dr. Qanta Ahmed practices medicine in New York. She is the author of “In the Land of Invisible Women.” (This is a woman of great courage, who needs our support. Rational Muslim voices are often suppressed from fear. ~Bob.)

"Honest" Public Broadcasting Service documentary lies about the economy - by Larry Elder,
Excerpt: The whopper we get hit with right away and again and again is this: Clinton inherited a recession -- not an economy that long ago came out of a recession. Never mind that 1993 -- 19 years ago -- is within the living memory of many Americans. Yet we are repeatedly told that Clinton entered office under a full-on economic meltdown.

"Super Tuesday" - by Thomas Sowell,
Excerpt: If a clear winner with a commanding lead emerges, the question then becomes whether that candidate is someone who is likely to defeat Barack Obama. If not, then the fate of America -- and of Western nations, including Israel -- will be left in the hands of a man with a lifelong hostility to Western values and Western interests. President Obama is such a genial man that many people, across the ideological space, cannot see him as a danger. For every hundred people who can see his geniality, probably only a handful see the grave danger his warped policies and ruthless tactics pose to a whole way of life that has given generation after generation of Americans unprecedented freedom and prosperity.

Why Liberals Like Taxing the Rich - by Michael Barone,
Excerpt: Plus, as liberal economist Lane Kenworthy points out, you don't get much income redistribution from higher tax rates. You get more from transfer payments. But, as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has documented, federal transfers are getting less progressive. Social Security and Medicare increasingly transfer money from young low earners to old people with relatively high incomes and considerable accumulated wealth.

Detection Points in the Terrorist Attack Cycle By Scott Stewart
Excerpt: Last week's Security Weekly discussed the fact that terrorism is a tactic used by many different classes of actors and that, while the perpetrators and tactics of terrorism may change in response to shifts in larger geopolitical cycles, these changes will never result in the end of terrorism. Since that analysis was written, there have been jihadist-related attacks in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Yemen and Pakistan, an assassination attempt against the president of Abkhazia, and a failed timed-incendiary attack against the Athens subway. (The latter incident, which militant anarchists claimed, reinforces that jihadists are not the only ones who practice terrorism.)

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. ~ John Stewart Mill

Earlier: Officers hurt in Occupy clash in Calif. Capitol
Excerpt: At least two law enforcement officers were injured Monday during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to protest a rally by a pro-white group. … Earlier, a teenage girl was detained outside the Capitol after police separated Occupy protesters from the group opposing black-on-white violence in South Africa. (Damn racists, opposing black violence. Black violence, like Muslim violence, is PC. It’s the potential violence from the Tea Party and veterans that has everyone worried, not the actually violence going on in the world. ~Bob.)

Tweet on GOP primary votes
Vote totals across the 11 states that have held contests: Romney: 1,749,677 Gingrich: 978,229 Santo: 932,508 Paul: 463,176. That's +770k.

Video Shows Why Requiring Voter IDs Makes Sense

A Future for Britain Free of Islamization: An Interview with British Freedom Party Chairman Paul Weston - by Jerry Gordon, New English Review
Excerpt: Gordon: What are the origins of the British Freedom Party? Weston: It was set up in 2010 as an offshoot from the British National Party. It was an offshoot because the four founders were expelled from the party because they rejected the whites’ only policy of the British National Party. They believed that culture, not color, was the important thing in Britain especially multi-cultural Britain. We can have one culture and it's not important about what color or race you come from. So they set this up having been expelled and we have rolled on from there.

Number of Mosques in US Nearly Doubles Since 9/11 - Jihad Watch
Excerpt: In recent years we have seen mosques used to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the U.S.) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; to train jihadists; and so we know they're places of peace, and anyone who suggests otherwise is a greasy Islamophobe. (Why they celebrate 9/11 as a great Islamic victory. ~Bob.)

Ten Indications that Obama is Scared - Kevin Jackson, American Thinker
Excerpt: Obama is not the cool, calm, and collected guy that he portrays publicly; he's far from it. Obama is described privately as a thin-skinned hot-head when it comes to questioning his policies, or anything else, for that matter. Though there has been a slight shift upward in Obama's poll numbers, Obama knows the real temperature of the American people.

Obama and the End of American Exceptionalism - by Steve McCann, American Thinker
Excerpt: Barack Obama began his presidency by donning the hair shirt and groveling before the nations of world, begging forgiveness for what he perceived to be the sins of America's past. He did not care to understand that while allies may have mildly complained about past U.S. policy, it was out of a combination of envy and grudging respect. Yet it is America's enemies and their loud and false protestations that frame the basis of Obama's outreach and appeasement mindset.

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