Thursday, January 17, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 18, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 18, 2013
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.

Information on my books

More on guns

Must Read: The War Against Black MenChicago’s murder statistics tell a story of young black males without fathers and at risk. By Lee Habeeb
Excerpt: The date was January 12, 2013. You probably didn’t hear about this tragedy involving guns and two teenage boys. But this was the headline in the Chicago Tribune: “Boys, 14 and 15, killed in separate shootings Friday.” You didn’t hear about it because such events aren’t news in Chicago. They’re ordinary daily occurrences. ((Wow... a factual, serious examination of what really goes on in this country in terms of who gets murdered most often, and by whom. And what that majority of murder victims have in common, which is what tells us where the real problem is in our society. And which, by the way, tells us why all the already tight gun laws in cities have made no difference, nor will the extreme gun law package just adopted by New York state make any real difference to the murder and crime rate there. (But it made the governor and the legislators and a lot of others feel really good and righteous about what they had done.) This article deserves to be read by a whole lot of people. –Del)

Worth Reading: Iran has plans for us. By Chet Nagle
Excerpt: So ignore political grandstanding and, if you live in a state that issues concealed carry licenses, get one. Carry your gun. Report suspicious activity, but be prepared to defend yourself, your family and your community. Terrorists live among us today, and they won’t get background checks or turn in their assault rifles. And they don’t give a damn about any stinkin’ gun-free zones. Chet Nagle is a former CIA agent and the author of “Iran Covenant.”

2nd Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Any New Gun Laws
Excerpt: President Obama will reveal his gun control plans this morning, and one Kentucky sheriff will no doubt be listening closely. Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller has become the country's second man in such a position to declare that he does not plan to enforce any laws he sees as unconstitutional. A Kentucky sheriff made the same announcement yesterday, though Mueller may have one-upped him: He sent a letter saying as much to Joe Biden. (Without the cooperation of local sheriffs, any federal laws on firearms will remain letters on paper. This is really good news, and we have to hope it's the beginning of an avalanche of sheriffs following the famous advice once given to kids about drinking and drugs- "Just Say No" It is the people, after all, whose will is supposed to be the final arbiter, within the confines of the Constitution. And good sheriffs are servants of the people. --De. Can a sheriff just refuse to enforce certain laws? Well, that what the sanctuary cities do, and California does and even the Obama Administration does with immigration law. If they can pick and choose... ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The War Between the Amendments. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The horrific Newtown, Conn., mass shooting has unleashed a frenzy to pass new gun-control legislation. But the war over restricting firearms is not just between liberals and conservatives; it also pits the first two amendments to the U.S. Constitution against each other. Apparently, in the sequential thinking of James Madison and the Founding Fathers, the right to free expression and the guarantee to own arms were the two most important personal liberties.

Why Obama Gives Video Game Violence a Pass. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: Obama and the Left have fixated on the type of guns used in recent mass shootings, but there has been almost a complete indifference to the shooters’ universal obsession with video games, including Cho Seung-Hui, Jared Loughner, James Holmes and now Adam Lanza. One may be forgiven for wondering where the current focus would be if Hollywood and video game execs were bedrock conservatives.

Gun advocates shrug at Obama’s executive actions
Excerpt: For days leading up to the announcement, conservative websites and media outlets stoked fears of what Obama was planning to do unilaterally. But when he unveiled his proposal Wednesday — even though the list of executive actions had grown from 19 to 23 — he’d stayed so modest that they didn’t do much but shrug.

The problem with ‘assault weapons.’ By Jordy Yager
Excerpt: What, exactly, is an assault weapon? The answer is that it depends on whom you ask. To some, an assault weapon is a semi-automatic rifle with a pistol grip and a folding stock. To others, it is a firearm with a detachable ammunition clip that doesn’t require a tool to remove. Some focus on the size of the clip itself, arguing it defines the level of damage that a weapon can do. 

Excerpt: Mass killers still have access to plenty of firepower under New York’s new assault-weapon ban. These two Benelli MR1 rifles have equal killing power — yet the one at the top is illegal to buy because of its “military” grip while the other is perfectly fine under the gun law signed by Gov. Cuomo last night.

Worth Reading: Weapon Makers See Danger in Cooperating Over Safety
Excerpt: One of the biggest challenges facing the Obama administration as it seeks to overhaul gun laws will be winning the cooperation of the firearms industry. Gun makers see a danger in working with the government that can be summed up in one name: Smith & Wesson.

How President Obama’s executive orders on guns might doom a big bill. By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake
Excerpt: If he does make good on all 19 executive orders (or, really, anything in double digits) Republicans will immediately cry foul, insisting that Obama is trying to run our democracy like a dictatorship. Democrats may roll their eyes at this tactic but remember that there is a major strain of thinking in the country — among Republicans and even some independents — that the ultimate goal for President Obama is to take away everyone’s guns.

Flashback: Barack Obama And Guns: How A Vocal Advocate Went Quiet
Excerpt: Among the prescriptions Obama put forward that day, according to a Dec. 13, 1999 Chicago Defender article, were increasing penalties for the interstate transportation of firearms, increasing the federal tax on the sale of firearms, requiring federally licensed gun dealers to sell firearms in their storefront, restricting gun purchases to one a month, increasing school funding for anger management programs, banning the sale of firearms at gun shows except for "antiques," and increasing licensing fees.

Excerpt: In 1999, State Senator Barack Obama voted “present” on a bill that would require adult prosecution for discharging a gun in or near a school. That legislation came as a response to the tragic Columbine High School shooting that year.

A Lesson to be Learned on the Anniversary of Wounded Knee
Excerpt: These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms "for their own safety and protection". The slaughter began AFTER the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms.

Obama Stands On Graves Of Children Of Sandy Hook To Push Gun Control
A new craze has swept the left in America: standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook to push gun control. …But this is Obama’s fearmongering: never let a good crisis go to waste. Utilizing our fears to achieve step-by-step deprivation of American rights – deprivations that make us no safer – is Obama’s plan.

Mark Levin on Obama gun proposals: ‘This is 1930s stuff’ [VIDEO]
Excerpt: Half of Obama’s proposals are “absolute crap,” Levin concluded, adding that the executive action guiding the Centers for Disease Control “to research the causes and prevention of gun violence” is illegal. “I think there are a couple things in it that are poison pills — the attempt to nationalize the medical profession and to have doctors reporting their clients to the federal government, this is 1930s stuff…. Why do you need a national database of Americans that own guns? 

Two First-Graders Suspended For Playing Cops & Robbers
Excerpt: “There’s controversy at a Talbot County school after two 6-year-old boys were suspended while playing cops and robbers during recess and using their fingers to make an imaginary gun.”

From Morning Jolt By Jim Geraghty
I will be surprised if the "tighten our mental-health records" talk doesn't lead to a much lower threshold to be declared "mentally ill" and unfit to own a firearm. And whatever that new, lower, more vague and arbitrary threshold is, I'll bet it makes troubled individuals — or even not-so-troubled individuals — even more reticent to see a therapist, psychologist, or other mental-health professional.

Guns Don’t Kill People, the Mentally Ill Do. By Ann Coulter 
Excerpt: Innumerable studies have found a correlation between severe mental illness and violent behavior. Thirty-one to 61 percent of all homicides committed by disturbed individuals occur during their first psychotic episode — which is why mass murderers often have no criminal record. There’s no time to wait with the mentally ill.

'Gun Culture' -- What About the 'Fatherless Culture'? By Larry Elder 
Excerpt: The face of gun violence is not Sandy Hook. It is Chicago.
In 2012, President Barack Obama's adopted hometown had 506 murders, including more than 60 children. Philadelphia, a city that local television newscasters frequently call 'Killadelphia," saw 331 killed last year. In Detroit, 386 people were murdered.

Is Obama really so ignorant of our current laws? Straw purchases are already a felony, punishable by $250K fine and 10 years in prison. (Democrats are in favor of passing new laws, but not so much for enforcing existing laws. Might be racist; send minorities to prison, you know. ~Bob.)

Win a Walther PPK

Top 5 Movies: 65 Violent Scenes, 185 Victims
Excerpt: There was another theater massacre last weekend. Casualties ran to nearly 200. Victims were incinerated, bludgeoned, beaten, stabbed, pulled apart by cars (really) and, oh yes, gunned down by the dozen. It all happened on the screen, to fictional characters. But when Hollywood stars begin demanding gun control for the rest of us, as many have in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, it’s worth taking a hard look at the violence they portray and often glamorize. (Hollywood contributes to Democrats. Don’t expect a peep from them. ~Bob.)

The True Story of Gun Control. Innocents Betrayed

How dare they mention the President's kids! It's not like George Bush's daughters or Sarah Palin's kids were bothered by anybody...

Excerpt: After a mass shooting, gun controllers push the policies they've always supported as if they were a logical response to that particular example of senseless violence. When skeptics say it is hard to see how the proposed measures could have prevented that attack, gun controllers (if they are honest) say that's beside the point, because the real goal is not preventing the rare mass shootings that get all the attention but curtailing more common forms of gun violence. 

The Truth about "Assault Weapons"
By a cop. Worth sharing with those who don’t understand weapons. ~Bob

I find it funny that, at 36, I can't own a semi-auto version of a weapon the government trusted me with when I was 19.

Excerpt: The dubious statistic of guns that avoided background checks — which is actually 36 percent — comes from a small 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, very early in the Clinton administration. Most of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks in early 1994.

Worth Reading from 1997: No Smoking Guns: Answering Objections to Right-to-Carry Laws
Excerpt: Opponents of right-to-carry laws predicted a sharp decline in public safety because minor incidents would escalate into killings and more children would be victimized by more guns in irresponsible hands. Further, critics claimed that criminals would be undeterred by any increase in armed citizens. Indeed, they claimed that right-to-carry laws would increase crime rather than deter it. Experience has proven them wrong.

Again: More Guns Stolen From Another Home Listed on Journal-News' Map
Excerpt: Two handguns and two pistol permits were stolen from the New City home of a man whose name and address are listed on the website of a local newspaper as possessing gun permits, police said. (Surprise! Hope he sues the paper. ~Bob.)

And there was other news besides the debate over guns….

Algerian forces attack militants holding hostages at remote gas complex
Excerpt: A spokesman for the Islamist militants holding the hostages claimed Thursday that Algerian aircraft attacked the site, killing some of the hostages and captors alike, according to a Mauritanian news agency that says it has been in contact with the militants.

Hostages and some Americans escape from terrorists in Algeria, while Algerian military attacks gas complex, sources say
Excerpt: At least 20 foreign hostages and some Americans escaped Thursday from an Al Qaeda-linked group who had taken over an Algerian natural gas complex in the Sahara desert, according to Algerian and US officials. But the militant group said 35 hostages and 15 of their members have been killed after Algerian helicopters attacked the facility in a strafing run, the Associated Press reports.

American kidnappings in Algeria a 'terrorist attack,' says Panetta
Excerpt: The kidnapping of several U.S. citizens in Algeria on Wednesday was clearly a "terrorist attack" by al-Qaeda affiliated extremist groups in the region, in possible retaliation for the ongoing French counterterrorism offensive in West Africa, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. (See, there was this darn Islamophobic movie trailer on YouTube… ~Bob.)

On Eve Of Obama’s Second Inauguration, Al Qaeda Opens New Front
Excerpt: Yet as the nation's capital prepares for President Barack Obama's second inauguration, Al Qaeda is opening new fronts, including ground assaults on French forces in Mali and, today, the kidnapping of foreign workers at a natural gas facility in Algeria, which borders Mali to the north. French troops are preparing to fight Islamist guerillas in northern Mali, which has been turned into a virtual Al Qaeda state following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. In what has been described as a failure of U.S. strategy and intelligence, former Libyan soldiers united with terror groups and American-trained defectors from the Malian army to stage a coup and to begin imposing sharia law on the residents of the area. 

French, Malian troops battle militants in desert village
Excerpt: French and Malian troops battled militants in the desert village of Diabaly in central Mali on Wednesday, and were preparing for more ground operations Thursday morning, said senior Malian military officials. The confrontations marked the first direct engagement since France launched a military assault last week to oust radical Islamists who have advanced to within 250 miles of the capital.

UK Textbook Wipes Israel Off the Map
Excerpt: Ahmadinejad promised it. Now British textbooks are doing it. Israel has been wiped off the map by Garnet Education, an English-language teaching company in Britain, whose educational textbook 'Skills in English Writing Level 1', aimed at foreign students and immigrants to the UK, contains a map with "Occupied Palestine" in place of the Jewish State. (Check this out. A supposedly well respected and well received textbook printed in the UK has an interesting tidbit in it. Israel doesn't exist! I have never said the Israelis are perfect, but given that those who oppose them do so with the stated intent of wiping them out, and have kept up assorted kinds of attacks and atrocities against them for decade after decade. That makes it simple to see which side of the conflict is the one we have to be on. Israel is a democracy, very forward thinking, succeeds by dint of a hell of a lot of hard work, and is an island of Western culture in the sea of Arab cultures of aggression and suppression of human rights. That the people in the UK who are in charge of reviewing textbooks would let this go by is really amazing and upsetting. I would never have believed it. Del. just anticipating by a few years. ~Bob.)

Democrat Leaders: We Aren’t Done Taxing Americans
Excerpt: After the fiscal cliff deal was done, imposing higher taxes this year on all those making $40,000 per year or more, three different Democrats took to three different Sunday shows to push for more taxation on the American people. (News Flash--they will always want more. ~Bob.)

Amazing! ~Bob

Green Kills: Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness. By Jonathan Klick and Joshua D. Wright
Excerpt: Recently, many jurisdictions have implemented bans or imposed taxes upon plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.

Excerpt: People who have blind faith in science would do well to recall that during the Middle Ages, a time not all that different from our own, especially in the Middle East, not to mention Chicago, Detroit and Hollywood, there were those who regarded alchemy to be a science. They were convinced that base metals such as lead could be magically turned into precious metals such as gold.

War on Women Update: Higher taxes penalize working wives. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: When the new tax bill is signed by President Obama, Americans at both ends of the income scale will find it more advantageous to stay single than to marry.
And women will face greater incentives to leave the workforce.

The Powell Tragedy. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Like many, I was confused not by General Colin Powell’s endorsements of Barack Obama, but rather his recent remarks alleging Republican extremism and racism. His barrage was internally inconsistent and ultimately made little sense at all. Such unfounded charges are out of character with his distinguished record and career.

Worth Reading: It’s Not The GOP’s Fault It Is Useless But It Is Useless
Excerpt: How many people who voted for Mitt Romney or actual conservatives for Senate and the House want their Social Security and Medicare left untouched? How many of them give lip service to a flat tax proposal but would freak if their various tax credits and deductions were eliminated? How many of them talk a good game about getting rid of the Department of Education but would freak if aid to their kid’s district were cut?

Kenya police: Suspected militants kill 5 people
Excerpt: An official says gunmen suspected to belong to Somalia's al-Qaida-linked rebels have shot dead five people and seriously wounded three others at a restaurant in eastern Kenya. (How many do you have to kill to move out of the “suspected” category? ~Bob.)

Bombs in Iraq kill 22, mostly Shiite pilgrims
Another day, another pile of Muslim corpses murdered for Allah by other Muslims. ~Bob.

Excerpt: As a recent Gallup poll showed, Americans are more concerned about the economy than they are about anything else. But why are Americans so stressed out about our economic situation if things are supposedly getting better? Well, the truth is that unemployment is not actually going down, and the real unemployment numbers are actually much worse than what is officially being reported by the government. But unemployment is only part of the story.

The Center for American Progress and Islamist Influences over the White House. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The Obama Administration’s foreign policy has been one disaster after another and it has been quick to blame intelligence failures for its own mistakes. When accounting for its lies about a YouTube trailer leading to the attack on the Benghazi mission, Obama blamed the intelligence. But it turned out that the intelligence had been edited and censored for political reasons.

The Veil Descends. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: In the summer of 2010, mourners lined the streets of Wales's capital city to pay tribute to a seven-year-old boy killed in a house fire. In fact, Yaseen Ali Ege was brutally beaten to death, and then set alight with barbecue fuel. By his mother. For failing to learn the Koran. (Steyn is bringing into focus a lot of very unpleasant news, which adds up to say that in too many European nations there are enough fanatically fundamentalist Muslims to cause various kinds of really nasty situations. And the fraction of Muslims in the population keeps growing, so there's a real question of how things will change in the future. What is clear is that the tolerance of "cultural diversity" has not worked out at all, and if Western civilization cannot bring itself to defend itself and its values, the future will become steadily bleaker. --Del)

Turkey's Ugly Trap for Assyrians
Excerpt: Turkey's permission to allow the Syrian Orthodox community to build a church in Istanbul after 90 years of the republican period did make a great splash in the Turkish press recently. At first glance, this decision is seen as a positive signal by everyone. But upon closer inspection the matter looks quite ugly and filled with mischief.

Excerpt: "The moment he stepped out of the car to check out this road between Fallujah and Amriyah, at this moment, there was a man," said Sohaib Haqi, the politician's office chief. "He came to him, hugged him, said 'Allahu Akbar' (God is greatest), and blew himself up."

Sally Quinn Waxes Philosophical About Our Need for Inaugural Ceremony; In 2005, She Bashed Bush for Extravagance at His
Media hypocrites—but I’m redundant. ~Bob. Excerpt: Fast forward eight years to Obama's second inaugural, you know, the one where the president is breaking his pledge to forbid corporate donations to inaugural festivities. Quinn, however, seems to have no problem with all the expense now, nor with the fact that the pricey shindigs are going to be enjoyable only to partisan Democrats.

Excerpt: George P. Burdell was a man born of a simple mistake. In 1927, someone in the admissions office at Georgia Tech accidentally sent student Ed Smith two registration forms instead of one. Sensing an opportunity for mischief, Smith filled out one form for himself and the other for George P. Burdell—a student he completely made up. When Smith arrived at school, he kept the ruse going by enrolling Burdell in all of his classes and even turning in assignments under his name. In fact, Smith did so much work on behalf of his imaginary friend that Burdell eventually graduated.
The Truth About Obama's Drone Campaign: It's About Attrition, Not Decapitation. By Alexander B. Downes
Excerpt: A key question facing President Obama as he begins his second term is whether to continue the U.S. drone campaign against Islamic militants. Since 2004 the United States has launched more than 400 covert drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Almost 90 percent of these strikes have occurred under President Obama. (This is one upside to a President Obama. The media would have slaughtered Bush as a murdering monster for half as many strikes. ~Bob.)

Children Against Deficit Spending. By Bruce Johnson
Excerpt: Boehner then states the case that today's deficits are ruining the financial future of these children and the children know it.

Excerpt: One thing we can say for sure about the coming debate over the debt ceiling is that at the end of it the debt ceiling will be raised. Deficit spending, let alone our massive accumulated debt, is not going away anytime soon, and that means continued borrowing. The question at the heart of that debate is not whether the ceiling will be raised but whether, in the process, the trajectory of our debt will be lowered so that we at least limit the degree to which we’re falling further into debt all the time.

Professor who murdered wife set for parole after 5 years in prison
Excerpt: A professor who beat his wife to death as she wrapped Christmas gifts is set to be paroled after five years in prison. (If he’d used an “assault rifle,” he’d never get out. ~Bob.)

MSNBC Chuck Todd: ‘Plenty of Data To Support Idea That The Country is Not Better Off Than it Was 4 Years Ago’

No comment. ~Bob.

Obama Second Term Preview: We Are All Chicagoans Now
Excerpt: In March 2003, amidst simmering legislative controversy over the future of Chicago’s lakefront airport, Meigs Field, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley sent bulldozers in the dead of night to carve the letter “X” several times into the runway, rendering the airport useless and ending the debate. That stunt is a model for President Barack Obama’s second term, in which he is determined to exceed the boundaries of his power.

Dispatches from the (Nonexistent?) Global War on Terror. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: Here once again we have an incident in the global war on terror, the war we’re supposedly not fighting anymore.

If I had a son, he’d look exactly like his imaginary mother.

How many more Algerias & Malis do we need before the West wakes up and recognizes that 12 years of accommodating Islamism isn't working.

50 Arabs Attack Rachel's Tomb
About 50 Arabs mounted an assault on Rachel's Tomb, just outside Bethlehem, Wednesday evening. They threw pipe bombs, fire bombs and rocks at the security forces guarding the compound, injuring one soldier lightly.

‘Inspiring’ Hitler Apps Featured on Android Google Play
Excerpt: Google’s app store for Android cell phone products is offering at least half a dozen free and paid apps featuring information for those who seek the “inspiration” of former Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. One app at the Google Play Store, “Adolf Hitler” by N-Frames Tech, tells readers, “All about Adolf Hitler. ….. Not only can you get them in one place, you can share all your favorites with your friends in a click.” (Be interesting to know who buys it. ~Bob.)

Liberal Civility Alert: NYT Columnist Retweets Message Comparing AIPAC to Pigs
A New York Times columnist has come under fire after retweeting a controversial message that referred to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) as “the 2 most pig like lobbies” in America. 

New Math: President Obama Exaggerates Deficit Savings
Excerpt: Obama's Bowles-Simpson debt commission, for example, said in its final report — issued in late 2010 — that a credible $4 trillion deficit reduction plan would produce red ink of just $279 billion in 2020. But the current budget trajectory puts that year's deficit at close to $600 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office data. Meanwhile, the commission plan called for national debt to be 65% of GDP by 2020, but the current CBO forecast has it at about 75%.

Federal Welfare Spending to Skyrocket 80 Percent in Next Decade
Excerpt: Welfare spending has increased on a year-over-year basis regardless of whether the economy has improved or unemployment has declined, and is projected to continue this dramatic rise indefinitely. Spending on these poverty programs will rise approximately 80% from FY2013-FY2022, representing a total cost of $11 trillion – roughly one quarter of cumulative federal spending. 

Excerpt: The lives of our children are at stake. Except, of course, if those children are unborn. …Which is a shame, because the arguments that some liberals are making about guns are sound, and apply just as well to protecting the lives of the unborn.

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