Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for November 29, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for November 29, 2012
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

For Holiday Giving: Charities I support

The racism of a level playing field…
Too true to be funny. ~Bob

Thanks for your help: Murder Suspect - Arrested & Charged. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Ten days ago I posted comment about the murder of my wife's stepmother, Virginia "Suzy" Sommer - a petite 73-year old, literally defenseless, stabbed while in her home - on Thursday, 15 November 2012. At my request, the police welcomed me to post comment and ask for public help. I did. And many readers relayed to their contacts by way of email, Facebook, and Twitter, and whatnot and those contacts did likewise. The communication far and wide - marvelous. This I know from private messages back via email, Facebook, Twitter and posts to the commentary by many a stranger. (The Colonel kindly quoted my e-mails to him on justice for the perp. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Quit Pussyfooting Around, Put Women in Direct Ground Combat. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: During the past year the Marine Corps has been conducting carefully structured field tests, a lab environment - if you will, to determine whether or not women Marines can handle the rigors of service in ground combat units. In other words, can they do, literally, the heavy lifting. The data I did not see but did hear the results (from credible sources) were far from compelling, and that not surprising.

An Overdue Book. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore's new book, "Who's The Fairest of Them All?", Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide. The point here is not to say, "Where was Stephen Moore when we needed him?" A more apt question might be, "Where was the whole economics profession when we needed them?" Where were the media? For that matter, where were the Republicans? (That presumes that enough people could read something other than a sports headline, could understand it, and would care about something more than their short term benefits. ~Bob.)

Parting Company. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution. Similarly, our constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.

Lessons of the Dome
Excerpt: ...Iran also had military reasons for goading Hamas into a short-term war with Israel, reasons that go well beyond killing innocent civilians and inflicting maximum property damage. In fact, it might be argued that Iran was interested in an operational test of the Iron Dome, to determine the system's operational capabilities against larger volleys of Palestinian rockets. When it became clear that the defense system was up to the task, Iran had no problem with Hamas running to Egypt (in the best tradition of Arab war-fighting) and asking them to arrange a cease-fire. (While it is uncertain exactly who the writer/editor of the “In From The Cold” blog is—he calls himself George Smiley, the unlikely hero of many of John leCarre’s espionage novels—we can be sure the conclusions drawn will usually make sense. Even when that sense is uncomfortable for us. Also worth reading is his post from 19 Nov 2012, The Gathering Storm (Israeli Edition), titled in a literary reference to the first book of Winston Churchill’s series on the history of WWII. --Ron P.)

Excerpt: International treaties sound like a good idea, especially when they claim to protect vulnerable people. The problem is, America already does more than any other country to ensure equal rights for its people—and the United Nations just wants the power to interfere in American law. The Senate is now considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Worth Reading: Moral values and the fiscal cliff. By Jonathan Haidt and Hal Movius
Excerpt: Part of our evolved mental toolkit for teamwork is our ability to make something sacred—a rock, a tree, a flag, a person or a principle—and then circle around it, literally or figuratively. It’s not just religions that do this. Sports teams, fraternities, political parties and nations at war all enhance their cohesiveness by generating heroes, taboos and pledges to uphold certain ideals or commitments. But the psychology of sacredness makes it harder for negotiators to execute tradeoffs in a utilitarian way. (Excellent article. Compromise isn’t always moral. A 50-50 compromise in with Germany in 1943 would have ended the war—by letting Hitler rule half of Europe and kill half the Jews. Though we have radically different world views, I have been recommending Dr. Haidt’s book, “The Righteous Mind” far and wide.)

Excerpt: Now that the election is over, the prospect of “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare is virtually nil. But that was never the greatest threat to the law anyway. The real threat lies in implementation. I said well before the law was enacted that is was so poorly conceived and so poorly written that it could never be implemented. That is even more evident today. Sure, a few things were easy, like the slacker mandate, the elimination of benefit maximums, and the requirement to pay 100% for preventive services. But those were just a matter of telling the insurance companies what to do, and they did it. But everything the government itself was supposed to do has failed. Everything.

Myths and Realities of Social Security Replacement Rates
Excerpt: The adequacy of Social Security benefits are often measured by the "replacement rate," a ratio of one's retirement benefit to preretirement income. While this is intended to provide equity in benefits over time, there are some misunderstood features that have some unintended consequences for the overall evaluation of the program, says Charles Blahous, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security. First, younger workers' preretirement standards of living decline relative to their postretirement living standards because the cost of benefits increases over time. Second, the actual replacement rates are high because they are not reported as they would be calculated by financial planners. Third, the benefit formula causes replacement rates to rise over time for a given level of real wages.

The Medical Device Excise Tax: Another Barrier to Innovation. By Thomas A. Hemphill
Excerpt: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, generally known as “Obamacare”, imposes a new 2.3 percent federal excise tax on medical device manufacturers set for implementation in January 2013. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) anticipates that this medical device excise tax will generate $20 billion dollars. According to the CBO, this is but one of Obamacare’s 18 separate tax increases totaling approximately $800 billion over 10 years. This excise tax, applied to annual revenue rather than to net profits, will be assessed on all medical devices sold in the U.S. – including those that are imported – but does not apply to those medical devices manufactured and sold overseas by U.S. companies.

Germany Promotes Competition with Shift to Territorial Taxation System
Excerpt: The Tax Foundation looks at the example of Germany and its shift to the territorial tax system in its continuing effort to show the benefits the United States can derive from shifting to such a system. In 2001, Germany fully terminated international expense allocation requirements and allowed deductions for all expenses related to exempt foreign income. The government reduced the exemption for foreign income to 95 percent.

Painting Depicts Obama as Crucified Christ
Excerpt: A painting that features President Obama posed as Jesus Christ crucified on is on display at a community college art gallery in Boston. The painting by Michael D’Antuono is part of a larger exhibit called “Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012.” It’s on display at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery until Dec. 15th. (Be better if the artist would do one of Obama as Mohammad and exhibit it in, say Cairo. ~Bob.)

Students Told to Disavow ‘American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality’
Excerpt: In an interview with The College Fix, Jay Howard, dean of Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, denied this practice essentially presumes every student who walks through the door is a racist or misogynist. (No, it just presumes that every WHITE MALE student who walks through the door is a racist or misogynist. --MasterGuns)

Revenge of the Reality-Based Community: My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong. By Bruce Bartlett 
Excerpt: I know that it’s unattractive and bad form to say “I told you so” when one’s advice was ignored yet ultimately proved correct. But in the wake of the Republican election debacle, it’s essential that conservatives undertake a clear-eyed assessment of who on their side was right and who was wrong. Those who were wrong should be purged and ignored; those who were right, especially those who inflicted maximum discomfort on movement conservatives in being right, ought to get credit for it and become regular reading for them once again. (Purged is too strong. We spend to much time trying to make ourselves a permanent minority by purging anyone—RINOs, right-wingers, etc. who disagree with us. I see no purges on the Democrat side—every scoundrel and tax cheat is welcome if it helps them win. ~Bob.)

Substitute “Washington” for “Rome and nothing’s changed
All things may be bought in Rome with money.Juvenal, (Decimus Junius Juvenalis)

Students Pull Off Thanksgiving Event, Despite Being Stood up by Protesting Teachers. By Kyle Olson
Excerpt: Students and teachers from Old Rochester Regional Junior High School have teamed up for many years to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to senior citizens in the school cafeteria. But this year the teachers thought it would be an opportune time to bring their complaints about a lack of a collective bargaining agreement to the community. How? By refusing to participate in the traditional Thanksgiving event.

Officials: “Event” has occurred at giant sinkhole — Surface appears covered in thick black oil (VIDEO)
 (News on this topic is almost solely limited to blog reports. I almost had thought the whole thing was a hoax until I went to the LA DEQ site and sure enough it is a real event as reported. Yet reports are somehow not appearing in the MSM. This has all the earmarks of a cover-up. But why? Could it be that the powers that be don't want Americans to know about this oil reserve because the left doesn't want us to be oil independent? Just wondering. –Don Hank)

Rep. Paul: Gaza Violence Fueled by US Favoritism Toward Israel. By Rachel Hirshfeld
Excerpt: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Monday alleged that the recent escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel can be blamed on U.S. foreign policy, which, he maintains, favors Israel. "U.S. foreign policy being so one-sided actually results in more loss of life and of security on both sides," Paul said, according to The Hill.

Excerpt: A new study on economic freedom in North America has concluded that some American states are less free than the provinces of our northern neighbor Canada. “Canadian provinces now lead US states in average economic freedom, with the provincial average at 6.8 compared to 6.7 out of 10 for US states,” claims the new study by the Fraser Institute. (Going to get worse. Fast. ~Bob.)

Review: Kabul Bank sent millions of dollars abroad
Excerpt: Hundreds of millions of dollars from Kabul Bank were spirited out of Afghanistan — some smuggled in airline food trays — to bank accounts in more than two dozen countries, according to an independent review released on Wednesday about massive fraud that led to the collapse of the nation's largest financial institution. (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

Saudi diplomat shot dead in Yemen, al Qaeda blamed. By Mohammed Ghobari
Excerpt: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Wednesday in an attack a local security source said appeared to be the work of al Qaeda. The killing was the latest attack on security officials and politicians in the U.S.-allied state, where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other militant groups have grown in strength since an uprising which began last year and toppled President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (As always, the majority of the victims of Allahmurder are Muslims. ~Bob.)

Tibetan Protesters Injured in Crackdown; Self-Immolations Continue. By Edward Wong
Excerpt: At least five Tibetans have set fire to themselves in recent days to protest Chinese rule in Tibetan regions, while at least five Tibetan students were in critical condition and 15 others were being treated for injuries after security forces cracked down on a large protest in western China on Monday, according to reports by Radio Free Asia and Free Tibet, an advocacy group. (We can’t say anything, or the Red Chinese tyrants might cut off our credit card. ~Bob.)

Norwegian youth leader seen encouraging anti-Semitic speech
Excerpt: Aspiring Norwegian politician Khalid Haji Ahmed said he was only joking when he wished “best of luck eight times over” to activists who wrote on Facebook that they wished Adolf Hitler could kill more Jews. Screen shots made by Hamar Arbeiderblad, a local newspaper, show Ahmed responding on Facebook to a post that read “Damn Jew whores, wish Hitler could come back and shower you some more.”

Claims Muslim Brotherhood are rounding up activists
Excerpt: The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) has claimed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are rounding up people and handing them over to the security forces. It is alleged that they are targeting people they believe to have been involved in attacking Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) headquarters.

With Democracy For All and Freedom for None. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: It would be tempting to attribute the disaster spreading across the Middle East to a brief flirtation with democracy snake oil, but for the better part of the last century the political class of the United States could talk of nothing else. Nearly every war was fought to spread democracy, protect democracy or worship at the altar of democracy.

Only the Media Baffled that More Guns Lead to Less Crime. By Daniel J. Mitchell 
Excerpt: The latest example comes from the Associated Press, which is mystified that crime is falling “despite” record firearm sales.

Gay Vote Proved a Boon for Obama
Excerpt: While President Obama’s lopsided support among Latino and other minority voters has been a focus of postelection analysis, the overwhelming support he received from another growing demographic group — Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual — has received much less attention. (Yes, that evil Romney held the position that Obama held three months before the election. But I agree that fiscal and defense issues are far more important to our survival than social issues. ~Bob.)

Quote from The Patriot Post
"[I]f the Democrats are really serious about soaking the rich, why don't they come out in favor of replacing the income tax -- which is basically a mechanism to prevent the upper-middle class from becoming wealthy -- with a wealth tax? Holders of great family fortunes can easily live off their inheritances, with no taxable 'income' whatsoever, but imagine if the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, and those who grabbed the swag by marrying the widow of a rich Republican senator, were forced to cough up a sizable percentage of their estates to the feds each year. Then you'd see real tax reform, and in a hurry." --columnist Michael Walsh

Excerpt: When this comes to a head we’ll be lucky if we end up like Greece. (So 1.65 workers are supporting each welfare person, plus the government workers. No wonder they want more of our "fair share."

Price: Proposed Tax Hikes Cover Eight Days of Spending

Telford child-sex salesman driver jailed
Excerpt: Tanveer Ahmed needed the cash he was paid - around £40 - to replace the float on his round because he had lost the money gambling. Ahmed, 40, was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court. He admitted a charge of controlling a child prostitute in 2009. (Well, the Holy Qur’an makes it lawful to have sex with slave girls, “That which your right hand possess,” so he was just following his religion. ~Bob.)

Still Dodging Reality on Taxes
Excerpt: Congressional Republicans seem to think they are being flexible on taxes simply because a few of them have grudgingly admitted that some new revenues can be part of the current fiscal negotiations. We’re unimpressed. No credit is due to a party that has suddenly accepted the obvious when it has no choice, particularly after two years of irresponsibly reducing the deficit only from the spending side. (Made the mistake of reading this while eating lunch; George)

Excerpt: If you ever wondered what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope, go to Germany. There, you will find Europe’s modern moral and cultural bankruptcy on open display. There, you can visit one of many “erotic zoos” and partake in sex with animals for a price. In a German “erotic zoo,” customers pay to have sex with farm animals. (Where is PETA? ~Bob.)

No Person Got Shot, Stabbed, Slashed, or Murdered in NYC Monday
Excerpt: It may be a small — or, rather, nonexistent — number, but it's a heartening statistic: there were no shootings, stabbings, slashings, or murders in New York City between around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night and 11:20 a.m. Tuesday morning, the NYPD said, according to NY1. Police can't remember the last time that happened. (Maybe they were all shopping on line for drugs or guns on Cyber Monday. Who says gun control doesn’t work…~Bob.)

The house is lost (commentary by Russian author). By Victor Topaller
Excerpt: An America that hasn’t smelled the vile stench of socialism just doesn’t understand what it means to “take than share”. They really cannot understand the pit they have dug themselves into with their own hands.”

Neti pot safety: Use distilled water, clean each time
I use a Neti Pot twice a day, have had only one small chest cold in 6-7 years. They start but go away. I recommend. ~Bob.

A Failed Experiment
Excerpt: n upper-middle-class suburbs on the East Coast, the newest must-have isn’t a $7,500 Sub-Zero refrigerator. It’s a standby generator that automatically flips on backup power to an entire house when the electrical grid goes out.

Vote Fraud news
Lots of links. ~Bob

Iran May Be Close to a Plutonium Bomb, German Defense Experts Warn
Excerpt: Iran might be “on the verge of producing weapon-quality plutonium,” Germany’s daily Die Welt reported on Nov. 26. Hans Rühle, a former top official in the German defense ministry, and foreign editor Clemens Wergin cite clues pointing to an Iranian crash program to build a plutonium bomb in the just-released International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear activity. Rühle headed German defense policy planning during the 1980s; Wergin is one of the most capable young journalists writing in any language. (Surprise! Who could possibly have foreseen this? And, just when our Middle East policies are working so well, too. We’d better get SecState Clinton over there at once to bow a few more times and make everything better. I know I remember this issue being brought up during the election campaign, don’t you? --Ron P.)

Protesters storm Alexandria Brotherhood office, set Mansoura FJP office on fire
Excerpt: Protesters rejecting President Mohamed Morsy’s new constitutional declaration stormed the Muslim Brotherhood’s office in Alexandria on Tuesday night. Eyewitnesses said that the protesters threw furniture and equipment from the office in Smouha into the street, chanting, “Leave, leave” and, “The people want to topple the regime.” They added that there was no security presence in the area.

What Real Political Racism Looks Like. By Carol Platt Liebau 
Excerpt: Here is a cartoon of Condoleezza Rice, from the most widely syndicated cartoonist in the world: (Note the offensive racial caricature):

Mursi crisis leaves Egypt’s economic plan, IMF deal hanging in the balance
Excerpt: When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board meets in a few weeks to consider a nearly $5 billion financing agreement for Egypt, its members will need to ensure that the economic outlook for the country has not changed and, perhaps more pertinently, that the government is capable of successfully implementing its economic reform program. (The IMF is spending your tax dollars. Or, actually, your grandkids’ tax dollars, borrowed today from China. ~Bob.)

Tweet from JWF ‏@JammieWF
Chicagoland: Ex-Con Mel Reynolds to Run for Future-Con Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Seat

CBO Releases a Report on Unemployment Insurance
Excerpt: Unemployment insurance benefits topped $150 billion during 2010—when the annual unemployment rate peaked at 9.6 percent—up from $33 billion in fiscal year 2007.

Senate passes amendment allowing more Marines at US consulates, embassies
Excerpt: The Senate passed an amendment to the defense bill by voice vote Wednesday that would place more Marines at U.S. consulates and embassies around the world. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the amendment, saying it was important to prevent more deaths overseas, referring to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. (Shutting the barn door after the Ambassador died. Let’s see, we’ll cut the size of the Corps to save money, but assign them more duties. ~Bob.)

Tiny dragon discovered in Indonesia
Excerpt: Draco volans, or the Flying Dragon, is a member of the genus of gliding lizards Draco. It can spread out folds of skin attached to its movable ribs to form "wings" that it uses to glide from tree to tree over distances upwards of 8 metres (25 feet); however, like all modern reptiles, it lacks the ability to sustain powered flight, and is capable only of gliding. (Great. Flying Dragons. I blame global warming. ~Bob.)

Michael Moore all wee-wee’d up about Glenn Beck’s ‘Obama in Pee Pee’ art
Excerpt: So, according to filmmaker Michael Moore, his joke that Jesus was gay was a hilarious knee-slapper, but Glenn Beck producing “Piss Christ“-inspired art with an Obama bobblehead and a jar of urine-colored beer is outrageous?(And a crucifix in real urine and an image of the Virgin Mary smeared with elephant dung is just a fine example of the exercise of the first amendment. More liberal unabashed hypocrisy. –Jer. Tasteless, and I wouldn’t have done it. We gain nothing being as crass as liberals. But when we can exhibit “Piss Mohammad” without fear, we will truly have artistic freedom. ~Bob.)

Tweet from @CuffyMeh
One day, we'll all look back at the fiscal cliff and laugh and laugh and laugh and then boil another shoe.

Tweet from Brian ‏@heyBJK
Guns are like baked potatoes. They're only good if they're loaded.

Deans, Deans Everywhere…and No Professors to Teach. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: There is perhaps no better indication of the pickle higher ed finds itself in than this: Even as the online education freight train bears down on universities’ business models, they are still spending millions bloating their administrative staff to previously unheard-of levels:

Politician Michael Caldwell Returns All of His Leftover Campaign Cash, Down to the Last Penny
Excerpt: The Georgia General Assembly has a fresh new face coming to the Gold Dome January 2013Michael Caldwell, Georgia House District 20's newest Representative-elect, is the youngest representative to ever be elected in the state of Georgia, clocking in at just 23 years of age. … Even more remarkably, Caldwell has made himself more accessible than any other candidate in the state. On his website, Caldwell lists his personal cell phone number, e-mail address, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. 

Tom Ricks to MSNBC: You’re just like Fox, only not as good at it
Excerpt: Because as it turns out, Ricks doesn’t want to play on either the red or the blue team, and has no loftier view of Obama-cheering MSNBC than of Obama-jeering Fox. When I talked to him Tuesday, he said yeah, actually, he had had some other TV invites, but we shouldn’t waste too much time clicking around looking for his next appearance: “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it.’ They wrote back and said, ‘Thank you for your candor.’”

US Opposes UN Anti-Nazi Resolution Proposed by Russia
Excerpt: The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that condemns presenting German Nazis and their collaborators during WWII as heroes. … Representatives of the US explain their choice to vote against the resolution by similar considerations. They say that it would be wrong and useless to fight against manifestation of nationalism by prohibitive measures. 

Woman forced to remarry the husband who threw acid in her face after she divorced him for being unfaithful
The real war on women is in Shari’a Law countries. ~Bob. Excerpt: This woman's horrific scars serve as a cruel and permanent reminder of the moment her husband of 18 years flung acid into her face.

Excerpt: Two men have been given life sentences for the "brutal and merciless" murder of a man outside his home. Asif Rehman, 20, and Adel Ishaq, 20, knocked William McKeeney unconscious and repeatedly stamped on his head and body in the street in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow on January 15. (They should join a “Religion of Peace.” ~Bob.)

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