Monday, January 14, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 15, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 15, 2012
Robert A. Hall

The Philosophy of the Old Jarhead Blog
The Old Jarhead SitRep is a blog of political news and conservative opinion, that has had about 700,000 page views since founded in 2008, is read in many counties (Iran? Indonesia? Russia? Go figure.) and was up to 30,000 page views a week recently. Plus I throw in some humor and human interest pieces that catch my attention for seasoning. I try to include foreign sources and info you won’t get in the MSM, but I often use links to pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Reuters and other liberal leaning sources No one is required to read it, or any of the links. A majority of the pieces are sent to me by readers, for which I’m grateful, others come from newsfeeds I subscribe to. I get some from Twitter, but often don’t have time to look at my feeds there. I stop sending the link to people who become nasty or too angry. I used to forward political items, but was sending too many e-mails to my list, so a few years ago, I started collecting them on the blog to access in one place. I use maybe 50% of the conservative pieces sent me, probably less than 5% of the liberal opinion sent, usually to illustrate their views. Readers who don’t like that are welcome to start their own blogs. Blogs are free and so is speech in America right now, despite leftist efforts to outlaw “hate speech” they disagree with and Islamist efforts to outlaw criticism of Islam, while retaining the right to describe other religions in vile terms. I try to avoid items that will turn off thoughtful centrists and leftists or low-information independents, including “red meat” pieces with intemperate language or wild speculation, conspiracy theories with no supporting facts and silly distractions like the so-called “birther” issue (but I don’t always succeed). I predicted correctly four years ago the “birther” thing was going nowhere, was a huge waste of time and resources, and played into the hands of the left, much as the impeachment of Bill Clinton did in the 1990s. (I said so at the time.) I do sometimes include things I don’t agree with that I think readers might find of interest. Readers are requested to read all items critically and with skepticism—just like a newspaper! Readers who send formatted pieces (title, link, and a fair use excerpt of three sentences unless the piece is very short. than fewer) to tartanmarine(at) have a higher chance of my using them than people who just send a link. I often include thoughtful comments from contributors. (Tell me if you want you full name used.) A piece without a link has a much lower chance of being used—it depends on how interesting it is and how much time I have right then to search for it. I understand if you don’t have the time to format or even to find a link—please understand my time is pretty limited too. There are no ads on my blog, no fees and I receive no income from it. When I retire, that might need to change, but for now, that’s how it is. I do promote my books, with the royalties going to charity. Thanks for reading and contributing. ~Bob.

Advantages of Low Capital Gains Tax Rates
Excerpt: The capital gains tax is set to increase again, putting it much higher than the average Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rate. Many economists have long argued that the capital gains tax is an impediment to entrepreneurial activity and overall economic growth, says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute. The U.S. capital gains tax rate was 15 percent in 2012 for top-bracket taxpayers. However, under the recently passed Fiscal Cliff bill, the rate will increase to 20 percent in 2013 for top-bracket taxpayers. In contrast, the average capital gains tax rate of OECD countries is only 16.4 percent. Surprisingly, 11 of the OECD countries don't impose a capital gains tax.

Air pollution in Beijing goes off the index
Excerpt: People refused to venture outdoors and buildings disappeared into Beijing's murky skyline on Sunday as the air quality in China's notoriously polluted capital went off the index. (Yep, they sure worry a lot in the Chinese politburo about the environment and the health of their citizens. --Del)

Study: Some Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs May Put Health At Risk
Excerpt: Money saving, compact fluorescent light bulbs emit high levels of ultra violet radiation, according to a new study. Research at Long Island’s Stony Brook found that the bulbs emit rays so strong that they can actually burn skin and skin cells. (If Progressives get to feel all green and fuzzy, like bad meat, over saving the environment, your health is a small price for them to pay. ~Bob.)

Important: How corporate tax credits got in the 'cliff' deal
Obama’s “Crony Capitalism” at work in your wallet. ~Bob. Excerpt: The "fiscal cliff" legislation passed this week included $76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren't the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff's edge -- they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week.

How to Reduce the Debt Burden for Future Generations. By Steve Conover
Excerpt: he federal debt is increasing at an alarming rate, and its burden to future generations is a legitimate, growing concern. The rhetoric of both parties acknowledges the supposed virtue of “paying down the debt”— but, curiously, neither side has acknowledged an equally valid alternative. In truth, reducing the federal debt is merely one of two financially legitimate alternatives; not only that, it is the impractical, inferior alternative.

Worth Reading: Public Choice. By John Goodman
Excerpt: Let me take up the second issue first. The single most important idea in all of Public Choice is the idea of political equilibrium. It is analogous to an equilibrium price or an equilibrium quantity in economics. In the political sphere, the idea is that there is a single platform that can defeat all other platforms in a majority vote. If there is such a platform, then a politician must endorse it or risk losing an election to an opponent. That being the case, there will be a natural tendency for both candidates in two-party elections to gravitate to the same set of policies. Failure to do so will invite defeat. The idea of an equilibrium platform to which all candidates are inevitably pushed is absolutely devastating to the liberal conception of government.

Like Obama, Emanuel pivots on guns. By Daniel Strauss
Excerpt: Rahm Emanuel, who put the brakes on gun control in the Obama White House, is now pushing for broad changes to firearm policies in Chicago. Like President Obama, the Chicago mayor has long embraced gun-control policies, but at times has worked behind the scenes to thwart the movement.

Snares strewn on Obama’s path as he pushes second-term agenda. By Amie Parnes
Excerpt: President Obama has been on the offensive since his reelection but landmines lie in his path that could detonate in the short and medium term, depleting his political capital and perhaps even undermining his legacy.

‘Fracking’ sparks talk of oil shale boom. By Zack Colman
Excerpt: An oil boom launched by “fracking” has led energy leaders to take a second look at harnessing the potential of oil shale, a fossil fuel that energy firms largely abandoned the hope of harnessing in the 1980s. No commercially viable method of producing oil shale exists, but American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard turned heads earlier this month when he predicted a game-changing technological breakthrough could allow the use of oil shale. (If they get a break through, the left will declare it an environmental hazard, because it would help the economy and poor/working people. ~Bob.)

“Assault Rifle” Saves Teenagers From Home Invasion Burglars. By: John Hayward
Excerpt: No sooner do I finish explaining to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo why people might need 10 bullets for something other than blowing away deer, than the headlines burst with an example, courtesy of The Right Scoop and Poor Richard’s News. Not only was a “high capacity magazine” involved, but the story involves a teenage boy in Texas defending his even younger sister from a couple of thugs with one of those dreaded AR-15 “assault rifles”: (Progressives all feel bad that the kid had a rifle, that the critter didn’t get to rape the girl. ~Bob.)

Obama Opposed Gun Ban Exception to Defend One’s Home. By Keith Koffler 
Excerpt: As a state senator in Illinois, President Obama opposed legislation providing an exception to handgun restrictions if the weapon was used in the defense of one’s home. Obama’s vote would have maintained the status quo, which made it a violation of municipal gun ban law to use a firearm to save your own life in your own home. But the bill was passed anyway without his support.

Crony Gun Control: Obama Leveraging Wal-Mart To End Private Gun Sales. By AWR Hawkins
Excerpt: Just as Obama used crony capitalism to leverage pharmaceutical companies into advertising for Obamacare, so too is he trying to fashion gun control legislation in way that will make Wal-Mart one of the legislation's most prominent supporters.
The irony: As of right now, Wal-Mart is one of the leading sellers of firearms and ammunition, if not the leading seller, in the country.

Can You Imagine King George III Telling Our Nation’s Founders They Couldn’t Have Muskets? By Doug Giles 
Excerpt: Oh, one last thing: Here’s a little history lesson regarding gun-grabbing and the carnage that ensued: In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Boundaries of the Permissible. By George Will
Excerpt: "You," said Jack Nicholson's Jessep to Tom Cruise's Kaffee, "have the luxury of not knowing what I know." Viewers of the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" will, according to some informed persons, lose the luxury of not knowing about hard but morally defensible things done on their behalf. Other informed persons, however, say viewers will be misled because the movie intimates (actually it is ambiguous about this) a crucial role of "enhanced interrogation" in extracting information useful to tracking Osama bin Laden.

Obama Is at Fault. By John C. Goodman 
Excerpt: Do you remember what the mainstream media mainly talked about as the country careened toward the fiscal cliff? Did they talk about the harmful economic effects of impending tax increases? Did they talk about which tax increases would be worse than others? Did they talk about the need to get rid of waste in government without causing economic harm? No. None of that. 

DOJ To Release Secret EPA E-Mails. By Christopher C. Horner 
Excerpt: Today, the Department of Justice is to produce the first of four monthly batches totaling 12,000 emails to and from the “secondary” email account of President Obama’s EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson. Rolling Stone hailed Jackson as “the most progressive” EPA chief ever. Today we begin to know her better as “Richard Windsor”, which is the false identity Jackson assumed for federal recordkeeping purposes. Here is why that matters.

Chicago: 22 Murders in 11 Days
Tough gun laws here mean the law abiding folks are defenseless to the thugs. ~Bob

East Ridge home intruder stopped by armed residents
Excerpt: An East Ridge family catches an intruder in the act and held him for police. They tell Channel 3 why their guns may have saved their lives.

Shawnee Woman Thwarts Home Invasion
Excerpt: Armed with a gun and ready to shoot, a Shawnee woman defended her home as man broke down her door. It happened in broad daylight and she didn't back down.

Worth Reading: 2013: The Year To Strike a Blow Against Climate Alarmism. By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris
Excerpt: For too long, scientists who promote the hypothesis that man’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are causing dangerous global warming have been given a free ride by politicians and the press. With the upcoming release of the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, 2013 can be the year governments and media grow up on climate change. … Dr. Tim Ball is a Victoria, British Columbia-based environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. Tom Harris is the Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition. Both are advisors to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

Notes from Atlantis. By Ed Driscoll
Excerpt: It’s fascinating, in 2013, witnessing the ongoing collapse of our own culture -- and in particular, the complete collapse, decades ago, of what was once called “middlebrow culture” -- to watch a show titled “Civilisation” commissioned by the BBC -- that itself is from a civilization that effectively no longer exists. At the very least, the network that created the series no longer exists in the same form.

Excerpt: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its latest findings of a long study that followed Head Start kids all the way to third grade. The findings: "by third grade, the $8 billion Head Start program had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants. On a few measures, access to Head Start had harmful effects on children." (What happens? They throw more money at it, hire more politically-connected pals to run it at ever higher salaries. ~Bob.)

U.N. Human Rights Chief Seeks Investigation of North Korea
Excerpt: In a bid to rebalance the international debate that has largely focused on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and security, Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights chief, called on Monday for an international inquiry into human rights offenses committed by the North Korean government over many decades. (Kim Jong-un must be terrified! Ha. ~Bob.)

Bomb Kills 14 Pakistani Soldiers as Attacks Shake Up Provincial Government
Muslims killing Muslim for Allah. Ho hum. ~Bob. Excerpt: A powerful roadside bomb in the militant hub of North Waziristan killed at least 14 Pakistani soldiers and wounded at least 25 on Sunday, a senior military official and local tribesmen said.

U.S. Warplanes Enter Somalia Airspace
Excerpt: American warplanes entered Somali airspace on Friday in support of an attempt by French commandos to rescue a French agent held hostage by Al Shabab militants in Somalia, President Obama told Congress in a letter on Sunday.

Excerpt: Joe Biden is so dumb that schools have renamed dunce caps in his honor, and Feinstein is such a political hack that even after swearing to get to the bottom of the national security leaks to the NY Times, once she realized the footprints led back to the Oval Office, she never again mentioned it.

Tweet from S.M‏@redsteeze
Hey remember when racist President George W. Bush appointed Colin Powell Sec. State and the racist GOP confirmed him.. Those racists. (And Condi Rice, Tim Scott, Allen West, Mia Love, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Clarence Thomas, Marco Rubio… ~Bob.)

Washington’s Economic Boom, Financed by You
Excerpt: "As the size of the federal budget has ballooned over the past decade, more and more of that money has remained in the District. "We get about 15 cents of every procurement dollar spent by the federal government," says Stephen Fuller, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an expert on the region. 

'Leading From Behind,' Part II: France Strikes in Mali After U.S. Strategy Collapses. By Joel B Pollak
Excerpt: France has expanded its assault on Islamists in northern Mali, pounding rebel positions with four days of air strikes and bringing additional troops into the country through the capital, Mali. France did not wait for UN approval, and it tired of what even the New York Times acknowledges was the reluctance of the United States and the international community to do anything about the seizure of half a country by Al Qaeda-linked forces.

Mali Islamists much stronger than expected: France
Excerpt: French forces in Mali have been taken by surprise by the fighting strength of the Islamist radicals they are attempting to drive out of the centre of the country, it emerged on Sunday. (Where are they getting this modern equipment and training? At least some of the equipment comes from Libya, courtesy jihadists who got them from the U.S. and its allies. –Robert Spencer.)

Univ. of California spends $4.3 million on online courses; one person took a class
Don’t bother me with this stuff, I’m trying to figure out why California is broke. ~Bob.

Norway’s Happy Lies on Muslim Immigration. By Bruce Bawer 
Excerpt: One imagines that Østby’s assertion came as something of a surprise to more than a few ethnic Norwegians who in recent years, thanks to Muslim perpetrators, have ended up in Statistics Norway’s database of rapes, gay-bashings, and other such offenses whose numbers in certain parts of the country have climbed steadily along with the Muslim populations of those areas. Ditto the many people who have felt compelled to move their families out of various Oslo neighborhoods in order to protect their kids from increasing gang violence and to be able to send them to schools that aren’t hotbeds of bullying, harassment, and worse. 

BBC bunker: News studios built in bomb proof room to protect it from suicide attacks
Excerpt: The BBC's new multi-million pound television news studio has been built to be bomb proof to protect journalists from suicide attacks. The news room sits in a bunker under the main reception at the £1billion New Broadcasting House.

The Truth About Law Enforcement & Gun Violence Prevention. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: In Washington D.C., the office of the Honorable Joseph Biden was busy phoning up everyone from Mothers Against Pointy Things to the Gay Communist Gun Club of America to Wal-Mart to invite them down for a serious no-holds-barred discussion about doing to the Bill of Rights what his boss had done to the economy. Meanwhile over in Chicago, the latest corpse was being scraped off the sidewalk. 

Obamacare Guarantees Higher Health Insurance Premiums -- $3,000+ Higher. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: During his first campaign for the presidency in 2008, the president promised that his health reform plan would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family” by the end of his first term. Well, that first term is just about up. And health insurance isn’t any cheaper. In fact, it’s more expensive. 

Excerpt: Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill in an effort to reduce gun-related deaths and injury. Jindal announced today that he will seek legislation to improve gun safety in Louisiana by enabling the state to report to the federally administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database an individual’s eligibility to purchase firearms based on mental health records.

Excerpt: The White House has informed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that it will miss the legal deadline for sending a budget to Congress. (When the media love everything you do, it doesn’t matter what you do. ~Bob.)

Over 1,000 Educators Apply for Armed Teacher Training. By Jason Hart
Excerpt: The Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) announced in a January 9 release that over 1,000 educators have applied for its partner foundation’s Armed Teacher Training Program first publicized December 20, 2012. Applications are still being accepted via online survey.

Egypt's Coptic Christians fleeing country after Islamist takeover
Excerpt: Tens of thousands of Egyptian Christians are leaving the country in the wake of the Egyptian revolution and subsequent Islamist takeover of politics, priests and community leaders say.

Democracy, Elections are Forbidden in Islam: Salafist Leader. By Alaa Elayyan
Excerpt: The Jordanian leader of the hardliner Salafi Jihadi current said that democracy in its concept as "ruling of the people by the people" is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of God's law.

Chuck Hagel’s Roadmap to Normalize Relations with Iran Think tank Hagel chairs issued report saying Iran and U.S. are ‘natural partners’
Excerpt: Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s Atlantic Council predicted that Iran will one day be a natural partner for the United States and has prepared a roadmap to achieve that partnership. Hagel was named chairman of the nonprofit Atlantic Council just one month after he left the Senate.

Dems believe in cradle to grave assistance. It’s just making it to the cradle that’s tricky. –Dennis Miller

Top Dems urging Obama to raise debt ceiling all voted against increase in ’06
Hypocrites. But you knew that. ~Bob. Excerpt: When it comes to deficits, this president owns all the records,” said Reid. “The three largest deficits in our nation’s history have all occurred under this administration’s watch.” Declaring themselves outraged by such spending, Reid, Durbin, Schumer, and Murray all voted against raising the debt limit. So did every other Democrat — including Sen. Barack Obama.

A Final Wish
Excerpt: Dennis had always wanted to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., but he and his family all assumed they’d have more time. Then the 63-year-old was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that gave him less than a year to live. (Every time I go to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or to visit one of the moving walls, I am unashamedly moved to tears. Dennis passed away last night. --MasterGuns)

The Week That Was: 2013-01-12 (January 12, 2013)
Excerpt: Quote of the Week: We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert—J. Robert Oppenheimer. (The first three paragraphs of the summary are important. Also worth reading is Article #3, The EPA Is Politicized—So Make It Official. J. Robert Oppenheimer was a famous—and brilliant—physicist widely regarded as the father of the atom bomb. Ron P.)

Americans buy enough guns in the last two months to outfit the entire Chinese and Indian army. By Jim Hoft
Excerpt: In November a record 2 million guns were sold in America. This was followed up by another record in December. 2.7 million guns were sold in America in the last month of 2012. (Gun dealers must LOVE Barack Obama. ~Bob.)

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