Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 27, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 27, 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.

Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone
https://www.createspace.com/3792897All royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (which gets a larger royalty if you order directly through Create Space.).

Worth Watching: Teaching a kid about gun safety
This girl is good! ~Bob

Worth Reading: Shepherds and Sheep. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Professor Sunstein is undoubtedly correct that "people make a lot of mistakes." Most of us can look back over our own lives and see many mistakes, including some that were very damaging. What Cass Sunstein does not tell us is what sort of creatures, other than people, are going to override our mistaken decisions for us. That is the key flaw in the theory and agenda of the left.

Worth Reading: Explaining the Inexplicable. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Almost daily we witness things that make no sense. A few examples, from the profound to the trivial.

Excerpt: A salty Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday told members of the Senate to “get off their ass” and pass a bill to replace the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that will kick in on March 1. “We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” Boehner told reporters in a press conference, repeating a message he had just delivered in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference.

"The Marine Corps is clearly punching above its weight," says one expert. By Jim Michaels
Excerpt: When U.S. and NATO top brass gathered in Kabul to mark a change in the top leadership this month, all three American generals lined up on stage were Marines.
Afghanistan is a landlocked country, but for the second consecutive time President Obama nominated a Marine to lead the war there.

Former San Diego mayor admits misusing charity to fund $1 billion gambling habit
Excerpt: The first woman mayor of San Diego has acknowledged in court she misappropriated more than $2 million from her late husband's foundation to fund a casino gambling habit with which she allegedly won and lost $1 billion over nine years. (She's a Democrat. I figured that, because none of the MSM stories mentioned her party. ~Bob.) 

The Week That Was: 2013-02-23 (February 23, 2013)
Excerpt: Now the green future has arrived and German voters are in revolt over rising power prices. "Fuel poverty" has become a buzz term as thousands have been shut off for nonpayment of bills. Politicians have begun trying to claw back subsidies from companies that say the subsidies are the only reason they're in business. (As always, there are many good articles cited. Especially read the three numbered articles at the end and the “executive summary” at the beginning by Ken Haapala. The excerpt is taken from Article #3, A Spectator's Stake in the Tesla Test-Drive Spat, appearing at the end of TWTW. Ron P.)

Hollywood's Pious Hypocrisy. By Ed Lasky
Excerpt: Hypocrisy is endemic in Hollywood. That is one reason Barack Obama and other Democrats feel so welcome there. Hypocrisy is a wide spectrum disorder in Hollywood. Similar to a virus, it has many types and mutates as time goes by. There are the obvious displays. However, one form of hypocrisy mostly escapes notice, and it cuts to the heart of the Democrats' phony posturing. President Obama slammed Mitt Romney for the same thing during the campaign but, of course, is silent when it comes to celebrities. Its practice may also be responsible for the sheer mediocrity of movies.

Sans majorité au Sénat, l'Italie risque d'être ingouvernable
Excerpt: L'Italie semblait se diriger, à l'issue de ses élections législatives lundi soir, vers une impasse, avec une Chambre des députés à gauche et un Sénat sans majorité claire. Ces incertitudes alimentent les craintes d'une impossibilité de gouverner la troisième économie de la zone euro. "Vote choc qui nous donne un Parlement bloqué", titrait sur son site le Corriere della Sera. (Thought I’d practice my French…Actually, you can figure it out. Without a majority in the Senate, Italy risks becoming ungovernable … issues of these legislative elections Thursday evening are near an impasse with one Chamber of the deputies to the Left and a Senate without a clear majority. Blocked legislature? Left and right at an impasse? Is it the position of the stars or does this sound vaguely familiar in the US as well? --Barb)

Uncertainty for Italy as election exit polls show split vote
Excerpt: The centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi is leading in the race for the Italian upper house, while Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left group is ahead in the lower house. The main Democratic Party led by Mr Bersani and its smaller leftist allies were ahead with between 34.5 and 37 per cent, beating the 29 to 31 per cent for a coalition led by the scandal-tainted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Complicating efforts however were the results in the upper house Senate, showing the centre-Right bloc in the lead with 31.7 per cent, ahead of the centre left on 29 per cent. (My translation on the French wasn’t half bad….Barb)

Teenage highway deaths jumped in 2012
Excerpt: Teenagers are dying in car crashes at a much higher rate, particularly 16- and 17-year-olds. Their death rate jumped 19 percent nationwide, with 240 killed in the first six months of last year, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. (Texting and alcohol, I’d guess. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In a little-noticed trial in a small courtroom here, Cyprus, on Wednesday a 24-year-old man provided a rare look inside a covert global war between Israel and Iran, admitting that he is an operative of the militant group Hezbollah, for which he acted as a courier in Europe and staked out locations in this port city that Israelis were known to frequent.

Using the Free Market to Expand Access to Electricity
Excerpt: For the world's 1.4 billion people without access to electricity, the traditional solution to the problem seeks to improve and expand service from an established monopolistic electricity supplier. However, free market solutions to electricity development could be more effective at expanding access to electricity, says Paul Ballonoff, a specialist manager in the emerging markets practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP. In many emerging markets, private free market suppliers of electricity are illegal and the established monopolies are often government owned and operated and frequently unreliable. These monopolies are legal monopolies, not natural monopolies, and as such do not compel consumers to voluntarily purchase the regulated monopoly provider's electricity. Instead, consumers opt to pay higher prices for free market insurgent provider s' electricity or consumer-reliable alternatives like kerosene, which have no natural monopoly attached to them. Worldwide electricity demand is projected to grow by 2.2 annually, driven by developing countries and electric car expansion.

Sec of State John Kerry announces Iran must negotiate in good faith re their nuke program. Dammit, why didn't we think of that before?

The Politics of Rape
Excerpt: Worst of all, Feminists use rape to promote a political agenda. Probably the worst example of this is Leslie Marshall, a liberal pundit, who wrote an entire column in U.S. News bashing Todd Akin, claiming that she was raped when she was 19. She writes, “And I should know. I was the victim of rape at 19.” Yet here, on the Sean Hannity Show where she now wants to argue gun control and defend Salazar’s remarks, she claims she wasn’t a victim of rape, as she did her article, but that at 19 she fought off her would be rapist, and didn’t need a gun to do it. 

John Kerry invents country of Kyrzakhstan
Excerpt: In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure "democratic institutions" in the Central Asian country, which does not exist. (He was probable sent to 'Kyrzakhstan' by “President” Nixon on New Years of 1968. ~Bob.)

Old but funny: Sheila Jackson Lee says there are two Vietnams: North and South
Excerpt: "I stand here asking us to do what we did not do in Vietnam, (which) was to recognize the valiant and outstanding service of our men and women, and to understand victory had been achieved," she said during the special order speech, which House members can give on any topic at the end of a day's legislative work. "Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working," she said. "We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side." (This is from 2010. I missed this piece then, but apparently she missed the fact that her party pulled support from South Vietnam in 1974-75, condemning them to conquest and perpetual slavery from the Communist North ever since. ~Bob. But Yes, this is the same woman who in 1997 asked a NASA scientist if the Mars Pathfinder had photographed the flag that Neil Armstrong had planted . . . You know, the one on the moon. –Jim Geraghty)

WaPo/Pew sequestration poll question oddly missing an option. By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: Let’s see if you can figure out what Pew and the Washington Post left out of this poll question about blame for the sequester.

Obama To Change Course On Syria? Officials concerned about number of jihadists joining rebels. By Aaron Klein
Excerpt: The Obama administration is leaning toward scaling back its demand for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and instead may encourage reconciliation talks between Assad and the opposition, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials. The security officials said Russia has been instrumental in convincing the U.S. to change its position, largely due to growing concern about the massive number of jihadists participating in the insurgency targeting Assad’s regime. (What? You mean Barack Hussain has stopped supporting terrorists? This must come as a blow to his pals in Al Qaeda. Our thanks to Julio Severo for this. It looks like Russia may be talking sense into Barry. --Don Hank. Maybe the reason Obama seems partial to Muslims is that when they pray to Mecca five times a day, he thinks they are bowing to him? ~Bob.)

Saudis Step Up Help for Rebels in Syria With Croatian Arms
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to antigovernment fighters in Syria in a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases. (I’d guess pretty high odds that some of these weapons will one day kill Americans and other infidels. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Il Foglio‘s excellent reporter on the scene, Daniele Raineri, makes another important point: by arming the FSA with weapons that can’t be obtained in the neighborhood, whoever is organizing the support gains a great deal of control, since the “whoever” also controls the flow of ammunition. And he notes that these new weapons are coming in to Syria from the south–with a major Jordanian role–rather than from the north, via Iraq and Turkey, which was the traditional route. (I think the Israelis and Jordanians more likely to be involved than the US, and if I was the Israelis or Jordanians doing it, I wouldn’t be telling.  I do wonder if Ledeen is being more optimistic than is justified; time will tell.  Ron P.

Ashley Judd’s biggest problem: Her history of bizarre comments. By Alex Pappas
Excerpt: She has spoken out against having kids, saying it is “unconscionable to breed” while there are so many starving children in the world. She has criticized the tradition of fathers “giving away” their daughters at weddings, calling that practice “a common vestige of male dominion over a woman’s reproductive status.” She has even compared mountaintop removal mining to the Rwandan genocide, and has criticized Christianity as a religion that “legitimizes and seals male power.”

Krauthammer: ‘The cynicism of the campaign of this administration is astonishing’ [VIDEO]

Infantile Conservatism [Washington Post's 'conservative' blogger Jennifer Rubin says Iran is America's 'greatest national security threat']. By Pat Buchanan
Excerpt: Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection. And if this Iran is the "greatest national security threat" faced by the world's last superpower, why do Iran's nearest neighbors -- Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan -- seem so unafraid of her? (I disagree with Buchanan, not for the first time. An Iranian nuke given to terrorists, put in a cargo container, could take out new York City. That’s a real threat to me. ~Bob.)

A Sea Change in the Muslim World [Fertility Rates Plunging]. By David Ignatius
Excerpt: Eberstadt's first paper was expressively titled "Fertility Decline in the Muslim World: A Veritable Sea-Change, Still Curiously Unnoticed." Using data for 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories, he found that fertility rates declined an average of 41 percent between 1975-80 and 2005-10, compared with a 33 percent decline for the world as a whole. Twenty-two Muslim countries and territories had fertility declines of 50 percent or more.

America's Red State Growth Corridors: Low-tax, energy-rich regions in the heartland charge ahead as economies on both coasts sing the blues. By Joel Kotkin
Excerpt: In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the "red" or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring. These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.

Excerpt: If you had to cut your family’s budget, where would you cut? Would you immediately start starving your children and stop wearing shoes? Of course not. You would look at the extras in your life—whether they were coffee shop lattes, movie tickets, or restaurant meals. It’s a good thing the President wouldn’t be handling your budget. 

Radiation Leaking from Iran's Nuke Plant. By Reza Kahlili
Excerpt: Radiation is leaking from Iran's nuclear facility at Fordow, which suffered devastating explosions on Jan. 21, WND has learned, and the regime has ordered millions of antidote iodine pills from Russia and Ukraine amid fears the radioactivity will spread. (Rate unverified without confirmation. ~Bob.)

There Once Was A Place Called America. By Susan Stamper Brown 
Excerpt: "There once was a place called America," our children's children will one day write, "a bright and shining city on a hill, divinely placed by God to serve as a beacon of hope to the entire world. A land filled with generous-hearted souls who showered the needy the world over with their abundant blessings."

Paper Tiger Chinese instability looms despite economic gains. By Ryan Willard
Exzcerpt: China’s growing nationalism has left it unstable despite becoming the second largest economy in the world, a strategic analyst said during a book event Monday.
Edward Luttwak, a senior associate at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), discussed the rise of Chinese influence while talking about his new book, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy.

Europe: A Continent in Flight. By Bruce Bawer 
Excerpt: When you’re discussing such large-scale phenomena such as this one – hundreds of thousands of Muslims occupying this or that part of this or that city, hundreds of thousands of native Londoners relocating hither and thither in consequence it can be hard to grasp it all, to reduce the big picture to a comprehensible, human scale. 

Muslims Behead Another Christian Pastor. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: A Christian pastor was recently slaughtered in the Muslim-majority African nation of Tanzania. While butchering Christian minorities is becoming increasingly common in that part of the Muslim world, the context for this latest slaughter is somewhat different than the usual forms of Christian persecution under Islam—such as allegations of “blaspheming” the name of Muslim prophet Muhammad. And yet, as in most forms of modern-day Muslim attacks on Christians, it too fits patterns and precedents.

Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: In one the worst incidents since Thursday, February 21, suspected Muslim attackers used machetes and guns to murder 10 members of the same Christian family in Plateau state, with half the victims under the age of six, the military and government confirmed.

Secretary Kerry's Maiden Speech. By Shoshana Bryen
Excerpt: Stipulating that foreign aid can be an important part of American foreign policy, and further that trade is an important component of U.S. foreign policy; Secretary of State John Kerry made two really important mistakes in his maiden speech, delivered to a fawning audience of American university students. (He’s been wrong about everything in his career since he launched it falsely slandering his fellow vets. Why expect different now? ~Bob.)

Access to White House, President Obama for sale
Excerpt: Fast-forward to this past Saturday, when the New York Times reported that the re-elected President Obama's top political advisers are all fanning out across the country with a simple message for those same lobbyists and special interests: Obama is for sale. (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: America’s Exceptionalism: We cannot be reminded of it enough. By Ben Stein 
Excerpt: I had always planned to be a historian and I still spend much of my time reading history. When I do, I am struck by a few dramatic truths. The first is that life in America, at least right now, at least for most of us, is simply great. 

It's Hard to Gross Out a Libertarian: Jonathan Haidt on Sex, Politics, and Disgust
Jonathan Haidt is a leftie, but I highly recommend his book, The Righteous Mind. ~Bob.

New York: Penalty for 11 rounds in a magazine more severe than being repeat child molester 

My response to "Shotgun" Joe Biden
I listened to Joe Biden claim all we needed for self defense was a double-barrel shotgun with two shells. He said nobody needed an AR-15 with a thirty round clip (I believe he meant magazine, but I'll give him a pass). He told his wife to just step out onto the balcony and fire both barrels. Okay, that might work for the Biden's since, in addition to that shotgun, they are also protected around the clock by well armed Secret Service agents. For the rest of us though, an AR-15 might be just the ticket. I learned a long time ago, in a far away place with a strange sounding name, that you can never have too much ammunition. You can, however, have too little ammunition. --LLW

Jimmy Carter Unloads On Obama
Excerpt: Carter also faulted Obama for being too tough on American enemies that are pursuing nuclear capabilities. Carter thinks the U.S would have more influence if it promised to drop sanctions against Iran and North Korea. (Racist peanut farmer. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The University of Wisconsin Duluth-Superior is standing by a controversial campaign launched in 2012 to increase public awareness about racial favoritism by writing “unfair” on students’ faces along with a variety of grievances supposedly shared by minorities against Caucasians. The university released a statement last week defending the project and saying that the campaign is prepare to enter its second phase.(S. Garofolo would say, "racism, straight up." –Jer)

Chicago Kids Say They're Assigned To Gangs
Excerpt: Last school year, 29 current and recent students at Harper High School in Chicago were shot. Eight of them died. (A culture that glorifies drugs and violence, and that makes it easy to raise fatherless children. The fruits of big government, the nanny state and multiculturalism that says inner city culture is equally valid. No amount of gun control will fix this. ~Bob.)

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