Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 28, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 28, 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.

While I appreciate all the kind folks endorsing me on Linked In, sending links to Google apps or sending Facebook links, I don’t use these programs. No time. Zero. I link to or friend those who ask, used Facebook to promote my books and Google for the blog and e-mail. Period. Thanks, but sorry. Maybe in my next life. ~Bob

Charities I support

Excerpt: As I began to reflect on that fact, it occurred to me that this phenomenon goes way beyond health care. Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom is a classic example of using economic analysis to make the case for a free economy. In it, Friedman argues for school vouchers, a flat tax, an end to occupational licensing, private savings rather than Social Security, a monetary rule, etc. Is there any comparable book on the left, using economics to defend liberal institutions against these reforms? I believe the answer is “no.” Let’s put this a different way. Given that liberalism is the dominant political ideology and given that it largely replaced 19th century classical liberalism, is there a place I can go to find why the proponents think it’s so much better than the ideology it replaced? If the answer is “no,” why is that? The answer, I believe, is that liberalism is not an ideology at all; it is a sociology.

Is President Obama telling the truth about sequestration? By: David Nather
Excerpt: Read President Barack Obama’s state-by-state breakdown of the sequester and you get a dire message: The sky is going to fall on March 1. But a closer read of the detailed reports shows that some of the scariest stuff is going to happen in slow motion — if it happens at all. (I suppose he could be telling the truth—there’s a first time for everything. ~Bob.)

Only in America can a President propose a law, get it passed, and then actively campaign against implementing it #Sequester

Excerpt: Most of us now know that when Obama's lips are moving, he's lying. But perhaps the biggest hoax he ever visited on the American people was his 2008 pledge to be a different type of politician. He said it was time for the lobbyists and power brokers to flee Washington. He promised he would never host lobbyists at the White House. Not only did he break that promise but hired a great many of them for his staff. Then last week our liberal friends, the New York Times reported Obama's spanking new Organizing for Action (OFA), has set up a little "payola" operation whereby anyone who's willing to donate $500,000 dollars to OFA will get access to the White House with warm personal meetings from The Anointed One. You can then "state your case" for a smart, well spoken Chicago lawyer to be your mouthpiece in support of a little "federal green" flowing your way.

Worth Reading: President Barack Obama, electoral munchkin. By Moe Lane
Excerpt: And it turns out that the American Democratic primary system was full of such loopholes, which is why Barack Obama won the nomination in 2008 despite losing almost all the big Democratic primary states (and arguably the popular vote, depending on how you score Michigan). … Barack Obama knows how to do one thing: elect Barack Obama to public office. And that’s not ‘elect Democrats.’ Or ‘elect liberals.’ Or even ‘elect people that Barack Obama likes.’ 

Elaborate surveillance operation raises concerns about broader Hezbollah attacks
Excerpt: Now, seven months after that attack, new details emerging in Yaakoub’s case are providing chilling insights into what investigators describe as a far broader effort by the Lebanon-based militant group to lay the groundwork for killing Israeli citizens and perhaps others in multiple countries. (Once they destroy Israel and slaughter all the Jews to the youngest child, they will not go away. They will come for you. ~Bob.)

Gun control supporter wins Dem primary for Jackson Jr. House seat
Excerpt: Gun control supporter Robin Kelly (D) cruised to victory over former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), who favors gun rights, on Tuesday in the Democratic primary to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), giving supporters of new gun-control laws a big win in Illinois at a key moment in their battle. (Yup, it was gun control, nothing to do with it being an overwhelmingly black district and Halverson being white. High murder rate, but since they already have strict gun laws, have to blame someone—couldn’t be the black thugs murdering black kids daily. Must be lax gun laws in places with low murder rates. Hold on to your wallets—we are sending you another Chicago way Politician. ~Bob.)

Congressional Primary for Anti-Gun Radical. By Joel B. Pollak
Excerpt: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $2.3 million in campaign spending helped anti-gun radical Robin Kelly win the Democratic primary to replace convicted former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) yesterday. Bloomberg joined Obama political adviser David Axelrod, radical Jeremiah Wright ally Father Michael Pfelger, and left-wing Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in helping Kelly defeat former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who was once the darling of the party's election machine but became a useful target due to her "A" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

ABC News Admits Editing Out FLOTUS Gun Gaffe
Excerpt: Are we really supposed to believe that ABC News chose to give up what would be an attention-getting story in the interest of "time?" The First Lady of the United States claiming automatic weapons were used in the murder of Hadiya Pendleton is news.
It's just a fact that no one knows what kind of weapon was used. Furthermore, no one really believes the weapon was an automatic.

Senate votes to confirm Hagel
Excerpt: The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief in a 58-41 vote, ending one of the most contentious confirmation fights for a Defense secretary in U.S. history. Only four Republicans backed Hagel, a former GOP senator from Nebraska whose controversial statements on Israel, Iran and other issues made him a lighting rod on the right and led to the first-ever filibuster of a nominee to lead the Pentagon. (But which Hagel did they confirm? The Anti-Semitic one who railed against Israel and the Jewish Lobby that controlled things, or the newly-contrite one who repudiated everything he ever said? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Then he made a historical analogy to the world wars that devastated Europe in the last century, and brought on Hitler’s genocide committed against the Jewish people. But in Sen. Hagel’s worldview, the problem was not Hitler. The problem was the United States and bullying world powers.

I am a gun

Republicans & Immigration: Please — just a little truth about illegal immigration. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Did the issue lose them the Latino vote? Maybe — but why did they also forfeit the Asian vote, and by nearly the same margin? Why did the caricature of Republicans as old white nativists resonate with Asians as well? If support for closing the border and refusing amnesty lost Republicans the election, why do a majority of Americans continue to poll in opposition to any sort of collective amnesty?

Father wants school dress code changed after son asked to remove Marines T-shirt
Excerpt: “My son is very proud of the Marines, and, in fact, of all the services,” McIntyre said. “So he wears it with pride. There are two rifles crossed underneath the word ‘Marines’ on the shirt, but to me that should be overlooked. It’s more about the Marines instead of the rifles.” (Another knee-jerk reaction to a problem that didn't exist. --MasterGuns. The most interesting part of this article is all the people at the school who said the T-shirt is NOT in violation of the dress code. It seems like this one 8th grade teacher decided all on her own to come down on the kid for a shirt he's worn to school many times in the past. She told him the crossed rifles that were part of the artwork were a problem, but it turns out that is not what the dress code says. So I'm waiting to hear the school principal called the teacher in for a little chat about making a problem where there wasn't one. --Del. This doesn't seem like a policy problem, it seems like that particular teacher is the problem. After all, she is most likely a liberal. The principal of the school needed to, and probably did, straighten her out. The dress code seems reasonable, and the administration seems to be supportive of the military. It looks like the father tried to make a big deal out of nothing. A phone call to the principal would have cleared the matter up. As a matter of fact, he probably made things worse for his son's relationship with that teacher. He probably just wanted to get his "outraged" face on Fox news. --LLW)

Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals. –G. M. Trevelyan.

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves. –Eric Hoffer

Carson: No sneak peek for Obama
Excerpt: The White House repeatedly asked Ben Carson for his speech before the rising Republican star criticized President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Carson, a prominent neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, declined to do so, noting that he doesn’t put his speeches down on paper beforehand. 

In Praise of Income Inequality. By Richard A. Epstein
Excerpt: One approach is to stress the increase in wealth inequality, deploring the gains of the top 1 percent while lamenting the decline in the income of the remainder of the population. But this approach is only half right. We should be uneasy about any and all income declines, period. But, by the same token, we should collectively be pleased by increases in income at the top, so long as they were not caused by taking, whether through taxation or regulation, from individuals at the bottom.

Stimulus Spending Fails to Improve Economy
Excerpt: If studies on the short-run benefits of stimulus spending and the historical reality of public spending are examined, Keynesian macroeconomic policies that support stimulus spending make little sense, says Andrew Young, an associate professor of economics at West Virginia University.

Treachery at the top in Afghanistan. By Ralph Peters
Excerpt: In his latest act of ingrate treachery, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered US Special Forces out of Wardak Province, the back door to Kabul. His demand came two weeks after he halted US close air support for the Afghan National Army, crippling his own military’s capabilities.

Palestinians Exporting Terrorists to Syria. Where Next?
Excerpt: The Palestinians who are heading to Syria have been told their next station will be Jordan, then Israel, where, with their friends in Jabhat al-Nusra, they hope to create an pan-Islamic state ruled by Sharia laws.

Muslim Brotherhood makes move to restrict human rights groups and their funding. By Kristen Chick
Excerpt: A government minister and member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has proposed a highly restrictive law that rights activists say would cripple civil society groups in Egypt and mark an alarming shift by the Brotherhood toward the methods of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

Death for Preaching Christ in ‘Liberated’ Libya. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: Four foreign Christians—including one who holds American-Swedish citizenship—were arrested days ago in Libya. According to the Guardian, their crime is arousing “suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.”

Police: Slain Bedouin teen likely victim of 'honor killing'
Excerpt: Bedouin man arrested for allegedly throwing 16-year-old daughter down well over 'undesirable romantic involvement.

The Perverse World of Abu Islam
Excerpt: Egyptian Sheikh Abu Islam — of Bible-destroying, rape-approving fame — is again causing drama. In regards to his second claim-to-fame — inciting Muslims to, because they must all be Christian “crusaders” anyway — a lawyer has recently submitted complaints that help provide context for Abu Islam’s “worldview” concerning women: among other things, he is accused of raping a Syrian minor girl, as well as sexually assaulting his own daughter-in-law.

Dominik Neubauer Video: Austrian Hostage In Yemen Appeals For Ransom Money With AK-47 Pointed At His Head
Excerpt: An Austrian man taken hostage in Yemen in December has appeared in a video posted on YouTube, saying he would be killed if ransom money was not paid to a Yemeni tribe within a week.

Iran's 'Plan B' for a nuclear bomb
Excerpt: The Telegraph can disclose details of activity at a heavily-guarded Iranian facility from which international inspectors have been barred for 18 months. The images, taken earlier this month, show that Iran has activated the Arak heavy-water production plant. Heavy water is needed to operate a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, which could then be used to make a bomb. (At some point, either we [acting alone or in concert with others] or the Israelis will have no choices left except to either destroy Iran’s ability to produce fissionable materials or reconcile ourselves to losing cities. Seven to ten years ago, this could’ve been done with relatively little risk to us; now, it carries large consequences, and will soon be impossible short of all-out war. Anyone thinking the Iranians would be alone “against the world” needs to realize they are almost certainly allied with the North Koreans, Cubans, Venezuelans, and elements in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and are supported—or at least winked at—by both the Chinese and Russians. Why am I reminded of Sarajevo in 1914—with us playing the part of the Ottoman Empire? --Ron P.)

Vietnam to Participate in UN Peacekeeping Missions
Excerpt: Vietnam says it will begin participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations early next year, a further sign that it wants to assume a bigger role in international affairs. (Interesting to see this. I wonder how serious they are about sending troops abroad on UN missions. If it would make money for the ruling class I've no doubt they'd cheerfully rent out the army. --Del)

Excerpt: Friedman is saying that you cannot trust the Brotherhood, as it seeks total power and is anti-democratic. Hmm: what’s Friedman been saying the last two years? Well, he has been an apologist for the Brotherhood, a cheerleader for the course taken by the “Arab Spring,” and has constantly insisted that the “democratic” revolution is going well. Indeed, in January 2012 I wrote an analysis of Friedman’s coverage titled: “Friedman Cheers as Egyptians are Enslaved.” Now, when it’s too late? Friedman is supposedly outraged to see what’s going on there. Now, he concludes that the Egyptian regime is not democratic at all.

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"Al-Qa'ida has issued a list of 22 ways that al-Qa'ida members can avoid being killed by U.S. drones. Here's a good one: Don't join al-Qa'ida." --comedian Jay Leno

"Joe Biden spoke against assault weapons and advised women to go outside and fire two shots from a double barreled shotgun to scare off intruders. He's so wise. Once an intruder knows your gun is empty he'll gladly go home and leave you alone, ladies." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"Here are some things that will result from the sequestration cuts: All prisons will be shut down and prisoners released. Even the most violent of criminals. ... Medicare will be replaced with a hammer given to old people to kill themselves with. ... Our military will be armed with nothing but bayonets. All traffic lights will be turned off. No more money for cowboy poetry festivals, the only thing keeping cowboys from violence and thus the only thing keeping the wild west from breaking out again. ... No more postage for strongly-worded letters sent to Iran and North Korea telling them to stop having nuclear weapons. Obama will only get five golf outings a month." --humorist Frank J. Fleming

"Sometimes the only thing that keeps me from being pessimistic is knowing that the when the country collapses, the people most responsible will die out in the first winter." --Frank Fleming

Survivors Of Rape Speak Out Against Gun Control: ‘I Was Denied The One Equalizing Factor That I Had.’ By Tiffany Gabbay
Excerpt: What’s more, these guests maintain that their attack might have been prevented if they had been equipped with a means of self-defense. Many of the attacks occurred in gun-free zones, underscoring the reality that people of goodwill were left defenseless, while those with an intent to do harm still found a way to wreak their havoc.

Excerpt: States like California, Illinois and New York already “have more-or-less become European,” argues Samuel Gregg, author of the new book, ”Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future.” “At its core, to ‘become like Europe’ is to prioritize the realization of economic security through government intervention over virtually all other considerations,” Gregg, who is director of research at the Acton Institute for the study of religion and liberty, told The Daily Caller in an email. ”That includes competing economic concerns such as fiscal solvency, but also particular values such as human freedom and human flourishing.” (Now I know why I feel link I’m from an alien culture, living in Crook County, IL for my job. ~Bob.)

New Report on Syrian Missiles Shows Extent of Death and Damage
Excerpt: The Syrian government fired at least four ballistic missiles last week that hit civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, killing more than 141 people, including 71 children, according to a Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday. (I’m sorry for the kids, but from doing this blog have become numb to the daily toll of Muslims slaughtering fellow Muslims. Sad. ~Bob.)

20 Afghan Police Officers Killed in Two Attacks
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: In Ghazni Province, a group of 17 Afghan policemen who had just been trained by Americans were drugged into comatose stupors by comrades, described after the episode as Taliban infiltrators, while on duty. They were then shot to death in what appeared to be the single worst episode in a string of similar attacks, according to Afghan officials and an insurgent spokesman.

Afghan Sign of Progress Turns Out to Be Error
Excerpt: American officials, when looking to quickly illustrate progress in Afghanistan, have in the past few months highlighted a 7 percent drop last year in what they call “enemy-initiated attacks.” Fewer attacks, the reasoning went, meant Afghans were safer and the Taliban were weaker. The problem: There was no decline. The numbers were wrong.

What American accent do you have?
This is interesting. What part of and where in our country is your accent from?

Regulations limit amount that health insurance companies can spend on fraud prevention, testimony reveals. By Andrew Evans
Excerpt: The Department of Health and Human Services is limiting the amount that private insurance companies can invest in fraud prevention, according to testimony at a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. … Obamacare “contains perverse incentives for private insurance companies to ignore waste and fraud, which drives up premiums and copayments for consumers,” Pitts said in his opening statement.

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