Monday, February 11, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 12, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 12, 2013
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.

Charities I support

Worth Reading: Bill Stevens Takes the Floor - For Us All. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: The unassuming Mr. Stevens, who looks more like a high school math teacher than a warrior, did not waste a single word. But he left no doubt he has courage and the heart of a lion. His message, on behalf of us all, was civil but pointed and based on history and law. Mr. Stevens was crystal clear. Adamant, he ended with an exclamation point - clenched fist striking the tabletop. And then, in disgust, he stood and walked away.

Marco Rubio emerges as GOP’s star. But is he the answer for Republicans?
Excerpt: “He carries our party’s banner of freedom, opportunity and prosperity in a way few others can,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in announcing Rubio’s selection to deliver the rebuttal. Republican uber-strategist Karl Rove has called Rubio “the best communicator since Ronald Reagan.” (He was my VP choice for 2012. No, he’s not perfect on every issue. Those conservatives waiting for perfect better resign themselves to the left running the country for decades. ~Bob.)

Five reasons Marco Rubio might not enter the race for president in 2016. By Cameron Joseph
Excerpt: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been everywhere the last few weeks, leads in early polls of the 2016 GOP field, and conventional wisdom is that he's a lock to run for president. But here are five reasons why he might not enter the race.

Excerpt: Remember when you were a kid and someone asked you if you wanted to play “fifty-two pick up” with your new deck of cards? He would throw them all into the air and you would pick them up. Fun! The health care industry today resembles this game. All of the cards have been thrown into the air and we are gradually picking them up. But the order has changed completely. Things are no longer assembled in tidy boxes by suit and number but completely re-ordered into new relationships. I am not speaking here about “health reforms” as envisioned by Washington, but about what is happening in the market. The “reforms” just add to the complexity of the environment for the real players in health care. If anything, Washington will serve to retard the transforming re-arrangements.

Pope Benedict XVI resigns. This is unbelievable news, but evidence of his deep humility. By Damian Thompson
Excerpt: John Paul II rather than Benedict XVI can be accused of turning a blind eye to certain abominations, not least to those of the Mexican child abuser the late Fr Marcel Maciel, whom Benedict sent into disgraced exile as soon as he became Pope. One reason Maciel was not dealt with in time was that John Paul II was too ill and, let us be honest, mentally enfeebled to confront Maciel's crimes. Ratzinger has been determined from the beginning not to allow the same situation to overtake him.

U.S. said to be target of massive cyber-espionage campaign
Excerpt: A new intelligence assessment has concluded that the United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country’s economic competitiveness, according to individuals familiar with the report.

Sen. King ‘skeptical’ of assault-weapons ban
Excerpt: Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said Sunday he was "skeptical" of an assault weapons ban, believing the restrictions on certain semi-automatic guns focused too intently on the cosmetic qualities of the firearms.

Assets Available to Prevent Federal Default
Excerpt: As the national debt rapidly rises toward its current limit of $16.4 trillion, another debt ceiling debate looms in the future. The United States can neither default on its debt obligations nor raise the debt ceiling without implementing spending reforms, say Jason Fichtner and Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellows at the Mercatus Center. It is irresponsible to signal to the international community that the United States would default on its debt obligations while it struggles through another debt ceiling debate. Because the credit rating agencies have suggested that another debt ceiling debacle would force them to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, Fichtner and de Rugy echo credit rating agencies who desire credible medium-term deficit reduction plans to accompany any increase in the debt limit.

Defensive Medicine May Be Costlier Than It Seems
Excerpt: There are reasons to believe this consensus understates the amount of defensive medicine. The relatively minor reductions in health-care spending that have been observed in comparative studies might result from the fact that, even in reform states, doctors continue to practice defensive medicine. The changes in the malpractice system may have done little to change physicians' perceptions of the risk of being sued, and thus of the way they care for their patients.

Excerpt: The other day, I learned that President Obama has canceled our Mars Rover explorations, along with all other planetary missions. NASA's science mission chief just quit in disgust, and who can blame him? Apparently, even robots' lives are too precious for us to risk these days, so America is giving up the thrill of discovering space. While I was stewing over the news that the Russians will now take over our Mars missions (the Red Planet is turning that kind of Red), I decided to relax by watching the Super Bowl -- just in time to see the lights blow out.

With New Control, General to Focus on Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Excerpt: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took command of both the American and the international military missions in Afghanistan in a traditional handoff ceremony on Sunday, becoming the 15th general to lead the international command here — and he is expected to be its last. (Not the first Marine given a lousy mission. ~Bob.)

Those Misleading World Health Rankings. By Sally C. Pipes
Excerpt: The elevated U.S. rate is a function of both the technological advancement of American hospitals and discrepancies in how different countries define a live birth. Doctors in the U.S. are much more aggressive than foreign counterparts about trying to save premature babies. Thousands of babies that would have been declared stillborn in other countries and never given a chance at life are saved in the U.S.
Excerpt: Lawmakers are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses.

Excerpt: The president of the American Federation of Government Employees says a one-percent increase is "absolutely unconscionable." The head of the largest federal employee union said Saturday that President Obama's proposal to increase pay for federal employees by 1 percent was "absolutely unconscionable" and "simply not enough." "It is not enough to allow federal employees to make up lost ground from two-plus years of frozen pay. (The problem with buying votes is that the bought get surly when you run out of money. ~Bob)

Excerpt: "You could lose civilization in one generation if that expertise and methodology is not handed down..."

Osama bin Laden: 'I could see his brains spilling out'...Navy Seal.
Excerpt: The Navy SEAL who claims he shot and killed Osama bin Laden in the famous raid which captured America's most wanted terrorist has spoken for the first time about the moment he shot the al Qaeda three times in the head and watched him take his last breath.

Worth Reading: Dr. Benjamin Carson – National Prayer Breakfast
Excerpt: And we’ve reached reach the point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended. … If you really want to be impressed, take a look at the chapter on education in my latest book, America the Beautiful, which I wrote with my wife – it came out last year, and in that education chapter you will see questions extracted from a sixth grade exit exam from the 1800′s – a test you had to pass to get your sixth grade certificate. I doubt most college graduates today could pass that test.

Two Cheers for Rebranding. By Jonah Goldberg 
Excerpt: As liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne observes, Cantor's rebranding maneuvers the GOP into a contest on Democratic turf: who cares more about workers, the poor, immigrants, etc. As Dionne notes, that's why Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer immediately praised Cantor's remarks. The reason that game is so perilous for conservatives is not that liberals necessarily care more than conservatives but that they are always willing and eager to prove their concern by cutting a check, even when all we have in the checking account is IOUs and cash on loan from China

Some Really Inconvenient Truths. By Burt Prelutsky
Excerpt: Barack Obama would like you to believe that it's white guys with assault weapons and NRA memberships that commit most of the murders in this country. But the truth, and he knows it, is that although whites comprise 67% of the population, Hispanics 16% and blacks, just 13%, blacks are responsible for roughly half the murders in America. The murder rate among blacks is eight times as high as among whites. 

Why you need guns
A Hmong man told me how, when he was 14, the CIA came to his village and taught him to use and maintain an M-16. He says he wished he still had it, given the neighborhood he lived in. We had a mutual Hmong friend, just a super guy, who was beaten to death by black thugs just for fun. -Tom H.)

Roger Ailes: Obama Too Busy Trying To Get People To Hate Each Other. By Meenal Vamburkar
Excerpt: “I think the word ‘illegal immigration’ is a false name,” he continues. “You are talking about two separate issues. One is sovereignty. . . . The media trying to make America feel guilty because we want borders—that, to me, is complete bullshit.

Organized labor pushes for policies to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants
Excerpt: Organized labor has become a leading proponent of President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda, a departure from more than a century of hostility to foreign-born workers.

Defending Our Country. By David Horowitz 
Excerpt: Republicans have been a minority party for all but twelve of the years since the Second World War, as voters have preferred Democratic promoters of the welfare state over Republican proponents of fiscal restraint. But the same electorate has reversed itself when it came to protecting the American homeland. They have regularly crossed party lines to support Republicans in every presidential election where national security was an issue.

Chris Dorner: A Mass Shooter Leftists Can Love. By Tom Blumer
Excerpt: In the past several days, we’ve learned about how you too can gain a degree of public sympathy if you plan to embark on a killing spree and then go into hiding as you bide your time waiting to kill again: Write a “manifesto” dominated by anti-police rants, a “progressive” outlook towards Second Amendment freedoms and support for leftist politicians.

To Protect and Provide: What I learned as a gun-owner --- and what society should. By Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt 
Excerpt: I recently purchased a Glock 19. It is my first Glock but second firearm. My first is a slim, black pocket pistol, a Ruger LC9, which we keep in our safe. I practice shooting from time to time and trained for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), as well. Sidearms are new to me.

Attackers Kill 3 North Korean Doctors in Nigeria
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Assailants in northeastern Nigeria killed three North Korean doctors, beheading one of the physicians, in the latest attack on health workers in a nation under assault by a radical Islamic sect, officials said Sunday.

Dearborn Muslim Calls for Killing Anti-Islam Protesters
Excerpt: A recent Dearborn Patch article addressed concerns about the location of the annual Dearborn Arab Festival. For several years, the festival has been held on Warren Avenue. However, because the sidewalks adjacent to the festival remain public property during the event, criticism and protest are protected by the First Amendment. In 2012, a group of anti-Islam protesters showed up with signs condemning Muhammad (not to mention a pig's head on pole), and some young Muslims responded violently. Mayor John O'Reilly, a notorious defender of the city's campaign against free speech, hopes that organizers will consider moving the festival to a closed location, where the city will not be responsible for handling protesters.

Reducing Violent Crime In U.S. From The Inside Out
Excerpt: In the first two columns, I highlighted ways we can absolutely reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I’ve saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out…. The second thing our founders did was embed that value and care of humanity via the freedom yet accountability of moral absolutes – codes of ethics or right and wrong, namely through religion. They believed in the absolute and imperative role of religion in society, and that without it, civility and decency would utterly vanish. (Links to Part 1, 2, 3 are included. –Barb.)

Barack Obama is pushing gun control at home, but he's a killer abroad
Excerpt: ….Over the last few weeks there has been a distinct incongruity – to say the least – between the agenda Obama is promoting at home and the one he defends abroad. His justification for targeted killings and drone strikes in foreign parts, prompted by his nomination of a CIA director, has coincided with his advocacy for stiffer gun control and appeals to respect human life following mass shootings. …In short, the credibility of a president in challenging lawless social violence in US cities is fundamentally undermined when he has his own personal kill list in violation of international law to terminate enemies elsewhere. (Gee, he didn’t even include O’s abortion policy versus “saving a single life.” –Barb.)

Excerpt: A cybersecurity bill that received pushback from privacy advocates and the White House last year will be re-introduced on Wednesday, setting up a potential battle between Congress and the administration over cybersecurity legislation. House Intelligence Committee leaders Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) will re-introduce their Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and hold a public hearing analyzing the current state of cyber threat information sharing between the U.S. government and industry next week. 

Excerpt: "It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address," she told Fox News's Chris Wallace on Sunday…."It isn't as much a spending problem as much as it is priorities," she said, arguing that tax subsidies were a better target than additional cuts that could hit programs such as education. (Is the glass half full or half empty? No $$ because spending too much or don’t have enough blood from the turnip? Dialectical materialism/ doublespeak. Just consider “education” as really “propaganda.” They don’t want to cut that budget. There is “education” on the TV and radio day and night with ads from your friendly National Ad Council, telling your children how to tell you to save energy, feed them in a healthier way, and even how to buckle them into child safety seats, because you don’t really know how to. Oh, and sanctioned internet programming for schools. –Barb)

Report: Cheney slams Obama nominees as ‘second-rate people’ Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday night blasted President Obama’s national security nominees as “second-rate people.” “The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal,” said Cheney in an address to members of the Wyoming Republican Party, according to a report from CBS. "Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people," Cheney added. (I condemn the former VP’s outrageous insult to Second-Rate People everywhere. ~Bob.)

The Texas Growth Machine The data show that the Lone Star State’s prosperity is no mirage. By Wendell Cox
Excerpt: The American economy has had little to cheer about since the 2008 financial meltdown and the resulting recession. Recovery has been feeble, and many states continue to struggle. One bright spot in the general gloom, however, is Texas, which began shining long before 2008.

A week ago, something went seriously wrong in the underground tunnels beneath the Iranian nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. I don’t know if it was an explosion, on-site sabotage, an accident, or a cyber attack, but eight people were killed, and several others are being treated for irradiation. …. And another disaster, several days earlier, took place at the heavy-water facility at Arak, whose existence has been public knowledge since the mid-nineties.

Allah, Odin, and Thor: Mythical Gods of War, Not of Love: Brian James' novel Ragnarok brings the brutality of the Viking Apocalypse to the modern world.
Excerpt: Americans have a na├»ve view of religion. The religious freedom that is so ingrained in our tradition — and our Constitution — has morphed beyond tolerance to a sort of anthropomorphic acceptance of pretty much anything. In other words, in order to prove how tolerant we are, we take our basically Judeo-Christian view of what religion and God should be, and assume all other religions share the same goals, have the same values, and are just differing manifestation of the same loving and just God. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The New 'Silk Route;' Weapons to Gaza and Beyond. By Paul Alster
Excerpt: For years, Palestinian rocket fire was isolated to smaller cities in southern Israel. Israeli military officials say weapons smuggled into Gaza via the new "Silk Route," a pipeline created and protected by governments including Iran, Sudan and others, made that dramatic new range possible.

Paying People to Hate You. By Douglas Murray 
I was asked to Brussels to address the matter of what the European Union to tackle anti-Semitism. The answer is easy: "Stop funding anti-Semites."
And so it was that I found myself once again in a meeting in the twilight world of Brussels -- an ugly city filled with ugly buildings, ugly overpriced food and overpaid officials. The objective of any visit must always be a hit-an-run: to get in and get out as swiftly as possible, The only reason to go is to try and inject some sense into a city so starved of it. When, therefore, asked to address the matter of what the European Union might do to tackle anti-Semitism, the answer is easy: "Stop funding anti-Semites." What is hard is that this is Brussels, where words are meaningless and nothing makes any sense. Here is just one example: (The analogy: If you don't like being sodomized politically, don't support the Democrat party. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Obama's weak policies increase rather than lessen risk of war. By Michael Barone
Excerpt: One was that there was no communication between them and Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the seven hours of Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were attacked and murdered in Benghazi. This is a vivid contrast with those photos we've seen of the president and his leading advisers watching the video of the attack on Osama bin Laden.

Six Obama pivots to jobs and the economy. By Bryon York
Excerpt: The talk in Washington is that President Obama, after highlighting immigration, gay marriage, gun control, global warming, and other issues in the first weeks of his second term, will “pivot” to an emphasis on jobs and the economy in his State of the Union address. That’s nothing new for Obama. 

Obama assails special-interest tax breaks, offers special-interest tax breaks. By Timothy P. Carney
Excerpt: President Obama spoke three days ago about ending “loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.” The Obama administration yesterday, however, “announced the availability of $150 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the United States.”

The roots of Netanyahu’s presidential feuds? By Mitch Ginsburg
Articles on Zionist leadership by the prime minister’s father offer a highly instructive glimpse into the ongoing discord between Israel’s leader and the soon-to-visit US president (Even if you don't like Netanyahu, you might want to look at this for the roots of his thinking. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed
Excerpt: I would come to know about the Shooter's hundreds of combat missions, his twelve long-term SEAL-team deployments, his thirty-plus kills of enemy combatants, often eyeball to eyeball. And we would talk for hours about the mission to get bin Laden and about how, over the celebrated corpse in front of them on a tarp in a hangar in Jalalabad, he had given the magazine from his rifle with all but three lethally spent bullets left in it to the female CIA analyst whose dogged intel work and intuition led the fighters into that night. (Wow. This is a hell of a 7-page story. I suppose it could be all BS, but it sounds real to me. Ron P.)

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