Sunday, March 17, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 18, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 18, 2013
Click on the link to see the full SitRep
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.

I hope you had a grand Saint Patrick's Day. My wife and granddaughter went to the Chicago parade, but left early, as it was freezing. I didn't go. All this Global Warming produces coughing fits from my sick lungs and drops my O2 sats. I'm now looking at a week which includes a number of 6:00 am and evening meetings, so SitReps may be spotty as I deal with work and life. Sorry. ~Bob.

C.Y.A. Protecting Yourself in the Modern Jungle
If you order directly from CreateSpace, the PFF receives a larger royalty:
First published in 2010, this book has been reissued through CreateSpace/Amazon at a lower price, with all royalties going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. A humor/self-help book, this is advice with an attitude.

CYA posted on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website

Eurozone Country: Surprise! We’re Putting At Least A 6.75% Tax On Your Bank Deposits
Excerpt: People with bank accounts in Cyprus were shocked Saturday to learn that as part of an agreement reached with international creditors, the government has imposed a tax on all deposits to help bail out the nation and its banks.

Excerpt: Today, lots of people woke up in shock and horror to what happened in Cyprus: a forced capital reallocation mandated by political elites under the guise of an "equity investment" in insolvent banks, which is really code for a "coercive, mandatory wealth tax." If less concerned about political correctness, one could say that what just happened was daylight robbery from savers to banks and the status quo. These same people may be even more shocked to learn that today's Cypriot "resolution" is merely the first of many such coercive interventions into personal wealth, first in Europe, and then everywhere else.

Regulators and Politicians Work Hard … to Protect Corporate Wrongdoing and Smear Whistleblowers
Excerpt: When one of the most respected radiologists in America – the former head of the radiology department at Yale University – attempted to blow the whistle on the fact that the FDA had approved a medical device manufactured by General Electric because it put out massive amounts of radiation, the FDA installed spyware to record his private emails and surfing activities (including installing cameras to snap pictures of his screen), and then used the information to smear him and other whistleblowers:

Government Protects Criminals by Attacking Whistleblowers
Excerpt: For example, after the head of the NSA’s spying program – William Binney – disclosed the fact that the U.S. was spying on everyone in the U.S. and storing the data forever, and that the U.S. was quickly becoming a totalitarian state, the Feds tried to scare him into shutting up: [Numerous] FBI officers held a gun to Binney’s head as he stepped naked from the shower. He watched with his wife and youngest son as the FBI ransacked their home. …During the raid, Binney attempted to report to FBI officials the crimes he had witnessed at NSA, in particular the NSA’s violation of the constitutional rights of all Americans. However, the FBI wasn’t interested in these disclosures. 

Being Made an ‘Obsolete Man’ by the Modern State
Excerpt: Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, saw our future. If you are not familiar with the series that was popular in the 1960s (156 episodes in the original series) then you are missing a great deal. A good many display an understanding of unbridled State power and the loss of liberty. “In 2013 TV Guide ranked [The Twilight Zone] #4 in its list of ‘The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.’"

Pope Pledges Good Relations With Jews
Excerpt: Pope Francis reached out on Thursday to Rome’s Jewish community, saying he hoped he would be able to contribute to furthering good relations between Catholics and Jews.

Americans Are The Most Spied On People In World History

Excerpt: In a radio interview, Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin (who’s been one of the best at covering the surveillance state in the US) made a simple observation that puts much of this into context: the US surveillance regime has more data on the average American than the Stasi ever did on East Germans. Indeed, the American government has more information on the average American than Stalin had on Russians, Hitler had on German citizens, or any other government has ever had on its people.

Top Banking Analyst: Subsidies to Giant Banks Exceed $780 Billion Dollars Per YEAR
Excerpt: Preface: Bloomberg’s recent estimate that the big banks are subsidized to the tune of $83 billion dollars per year created tremendous controversy. But – as shown below – the real number is many times larger. ….Whalen notes today that the big American banks get a subsidy in excess of $780 billion dollars per year.

Military Doesn't Need To Worry About Climate Change
Excerpt: The commander of America's Pacific forces says he knows what the top security risk is in that region. No, it's not China. Nor is it North Korea. It's climate change. Yes, this is embarrassing. It's also an outrage. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III's job is to assess the military threats in the Pacific and to defend his country from them. Not to appraise the climate. Not to protect the environment. Not to join the ranks of the superficial who desperately want to demonstrate their depth and earnestness by taking up trendy and politically correct causes. (PC pressures to be "hip" and "relevant" have gotten to the point where we actually have the guy in charge of security in the Pacific making inane statements about Climate Change. This is depressing to the point of being sickening. --Del)

Even Democratic Party Loyalists Starting to Wake Up to the Fact that Obama Is As Bad As Bush … Or Worse
Excerpt: Glenn Greenwald notes that even Democratic party loyalists are getting fed up with Obama’s Bush-like actions: Even the most loyal establishment Democrats are now harshly denouncing the president for his war on transparency …. This secrecy has become so oppressive and extreme that even the most faithful Democratic operatives are now angrily exploding with public denunciations.

Obama's secrecy fixation causing Sunshine Week implosion: Even the most loyal establishment Democrats are now harshly denouncing the president for his war on transparency
Excerpt: Along with others, I've spent the last four years documenting the extreme, often unprecedented, commitment to secrecy that this president has exhibited, including his vindictive war on whistleblowers, his refusal to disclose even the legal principles underpinning his claimed war powers of assassination, and his unrelenting, Bush-copying invocation of secrecy privileges to prevent courts even from deciding the legality of his conduct (as a 2009 headline on the Obama-friendly TPM site put it: "Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush On State Secrets").

Dr. Ben Carson at CPAC 2013
I've just added Carson's book America the Beautiful to my reading pile. ~Bob

R. Ben Carson: Obama Trying To 'Destroy This Country'-- 'Create division, ridicule morality - those are the very things happening'
Excerpt: "Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation,” Carson postulated in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.” 

Sheriff Joe Raids Restaurant Chain, Arrests 11 Illegals Using Stolen IDs
Excerpt: Recent Border Patrol data suggest that the traffic flow of illegal alien across our Southern border may be starting to shift away from Arizona and towards Texas. Maricopa County’s Sheriff may be a big reason illegal aliens are increasingly avoiding the Grand Canyon State. (Check out the appeal at the bottom for support for Joe, who is being attacked on all sides for doing a great job of enforcing the laws, all the laws. --Del)

Inequality Is Holding Back the Recovery

Excerpt: The most immediate is that our middle class is too weak to support the consumer spending that has historically driven our economic growth. While the top 1 percent of income earners took home 93 percent of the growth in incomes in 2010, the households in the middle — who are most likely to spend their incomes rather than save them and who are, in a sense, the true job creators — have lower household incomes, adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1996. The growth in the decade before the crisis was unsustainable — it was reliant on the bottom 80 percent consuming about 110 percent of their income. (So the favored 1% increased wealth 93% under current Regime, while only 65% under Bush. Robbing from the poor to give to the richer? And they voted for this after getting a freakin’ cell phone “free,” which can be used to mobilize them into mobs and track them. --Barb. Contrary to the NYT, saving and investing by the top earners is also vital to the economy. If they don't save and invest, there is no money for home loans, car loans, business bonds for expansion, etc. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, in an extensive interview with Fox News, alleged that the injured survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been "told to be quiet" and feel they can't come forward to tell their stories -- as he urged the House to subpoena the administration for details if necessary. The South Carolina senator said he’s “had contact” with some of the survivors, calling their story “chilling.” He told Fox News that "the bottom line is they feel that they can't come forth, they've been told to be quiet."

Cruise line: 22 passengers robbed in Mexican seaside resort
Excerpt: Twenty-two Carnival Cruise Lines passengers were robbed of valuables and their passports during a shore excursion in the Mexico seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta, cruise officials said late Saturday. The passengers were robbed Thursday during a guided trail excursion, according to a statement released by the cruise line.
Woman killed, child raped in NY mall carjacking
Excerpt: An upstate New York man previously charged with having child pornography cut an electronic monitoring device off his ankle before carjacking a woman, fatally stabbing her and raping her 10-year-old daughter, authorities said. (Good thing the mother didn't have a gun--this could have been a tragedy! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Dear Virginia, Thank you for your letter which asked me if your friends are correct, if indeed there is no Santa Claus. Dear girl, here's what I have to offer you. Virginia, your friends are wrong. Most probably they are Republicans. They have been affected by the skepticism about our ability to continue giving out welfare checks and unemployment checks and Food Stamps and even free cell phones because of our $17 trillion dollar national debt. My dear Virginia, your friends are blinded by math. They try to insist that 2 + 2 must always equal 4. They are wrong sweetie. We can make 2 + 2 equal anything we wish to make it equal. As just an example dear, I won 107% of the vote in some black neighborhoods in Philadelphia when no one said that's possible. I did the same thing in Cleveland and Chicago and Baltimore and Detroit! All we needed to do was to toss 200 voting auditors from the polling places, and "voila", victory was mine!

Obama Meets Arab-American Leaders Ahead of Israel Trip
Excerpt: U.S. President Barack Obama met members of the Arab-American community at the White House on Monday, ahead of his trip to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, a U.S. spokesman said….According to the AFP report, the four groups who met Obama, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said in a statement that the United States could broker "a peaceful, lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - a resolution that is essential to long term security in the Middle East." Monday's White House meeting, which was not included on Obama's official diary, comes four days after the U.S. leader held similar talks with representatives of the American Jewish community.

Paid to play: Anti-gun group teams with UN to prep African countries for arms trade treaty talks
Excerpt: The co-host of the gathering in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa was a multinational “civil society” network known as IANSA, which calls itself the “global movement against gun violence,” and aims to build a coordinated network of organizations “to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons,” and “make people safer by reducing demand for such weapons, improving firearm regulation and strengthening controls on arms transfers.” U.S. members of the international network include Amnesty International, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Law Center for Smart Gun Laws, which on its website decries a 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding the right of individual Americans to keep a gun in their home for self-defense as “radical.” (Nostradamus described the third Antichrist as wearing a blue beret. Back in the 60s, I though the UN was a good thing and could not understand how that might be. Now I do. --Barb)

Now, credited for his cooperation against associates, Rashed will be released from federal prison within days after more than two decades in custody in Greece and the United States. The release does more than spring loose a convicted terrorist. It also could deprive the government of a star witness in the event that Ibrahim, a Palestinian master bomb-maker who authorities say orchestrated the Pan Am attack and similar strikes around the world, is ever captured. (Per article, “’Their ability to make bombs go off is quite extraordinary’ said Bob Baer, a former top CIA officer who worked clandestinely in the Middle East.” --Barb.)

House panel tells judge: Justice's offer in Fast & Furious settlement a 'grave disappointment
Excerpt: President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege and Attorney General Eric Holder has been found in contempt of the House for refusing to turn over records that might explain what led the Justice Department to reverse course, after initially denying to Congress that federal agents had used a controversial tactic called gun-walking in the failed law enforcement operation.

Britons afraid to challenge radical Islam, says former Obama adviser
Excerpt: British people are too afraid to offend a "vocal and aggressive" section of the Muslim community who demand that their cultural values are accepted by wider society, according to a former adviser to Barack Obama.

The rich pay majority of U.S. income taxes
CNN is stunned to find this out. ~Bob. Excerpt: Many people think that the rich are able to weasel their way out of taxes, but they actually pay an overwhelming majority of the taxes in the United States. What's more, their share of the tax burden is increasing. The top 10 percent of taxpayers paid over 70% of the total amount collected in federal income taxes in 2010...

Excerpt: The Al Fajr Media Center, which according to the SITE Intelligence Group is "the exclusive distributor of al Qaeda's propaganda online," has confirmed that Khalid bin Abdul Rahman al Husainan has indeed been killed. Husainan, who was also known as Abu Zeid al Kuwaiti, was a top member of al Qaeda's religious committee. 

Denying Islam's Role in Terror: Explaining the Denial, By Daniel Pipes
Excerpt: Over three years after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's massacre at Ft. Hood, Texas, in November 2009, the classification of his crime remains in dispute. In its wisdom, the Department of Defense, supported by law enforcement, politicians, journalists, and academics, deems the killing of thirteen and wounding of forty-three to be "workplace violence." For example, the 86-page study on preventing a repeat episode, Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood, mentions "workplace violence" sixteen times.[1] (The tragic tendency of PC thinking forcing people to not see the Jihadist elephant in the room is a terrible problem in the West. Here is a thoroughgoing exploration of why this happens. Not understanding that fanatic Islamists are to Islam what Nazis were to Germany seems to be very common. Yes, the great majority of Muslims are not Islamists, and in fact they suffer at the hands of Islamists more than any of us in the West do. Referring to the Nazis as just "terrorists" would have been inaccurate and very silly. We need to be as open to Muslims now as we were to Italian- and German-Americans during WW2, and certainly not treat them as we did the Japanese-Americans. But as we did in those days look at the Italian and German communities for those who did identify with Hitler and Mussolini, we must look in the Muslim community for those who identify with Al Queda and a deep hatred of the West. To ignore the reality of some fanatics here or elsewhere in the world would be truly counterproductive. That's what all the officers who commanded Nidal Hasan did, and the results were massively tragic. --Del)

Look to Detroit & You’ll See Where Obama’s Policies Will Take Us
Excerpt: If you’d like to get a glimpse of what America would look like if President Barack Obama got his way on everything, take a good look at Detroit.

LaPierre : “Let the Elitists Who Scorn You Be Damned”
Excerpt: “In their distorted view of the world, they are smarter than we are. They are special and more worthy than we are. They know better than we do,” the NRA chief said, referring to political elites and liberal media. Although freedom-loving Americans are the ones being labeled as “crazy” in the gun control debate, LaPierre argued that insanity has consumed the media and political class in Washington.

Obama goes hungry at GOP lunch, royal food taster a no-show
Excerpt: Apparently, President Obama wouldn’t – couldn’t – eat the delicious lunch U.S. Sen. Susan Collins served Thursday, not because she’s a Republican, but because he didn’t have a food “taster” with him. (It's not easy being king... I wouldn't believe this, but Collins is hardly an extremist, if the quote from her is true. ~Bob.)

US to reinforce missile defences to counter North Korea 'provocations'
Excerpt: The US is to strengthen its missile defence shield on the Pacific coast in response to North Korea's strides in developing nuclear weapons and threats of war, defence secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday. Hagel said the US will deploy 14 additional missile interceptors in Alaska to "make clear to the world that the United States stands firm against aggression". The additional interceptors will bring to 44 the total deployed in Alaska and California, although the numbers will not increase for four years and the defensive missiles have proved unreliable in tests.

Telecoms firm hails 'significant victory' as judge blocks FBI's data demands

Excerpt: The Californian telecoms company behind a stunning legal victory that has blown a hole in the FBI's highly secretive system for collecting US citizens' private data has come out of the shadows for the first time and revealed its identity. Credo, based in San Francisco, said it was speaking out for the first time after a federal judge ordered the US government to stop issuing what are called "national security letters" – demands for data that contain in-built gagging clauses that prevent the recipients disclosing even the existence of the orders or their own identity.

What if Catholic bishops aren’t bluffing? By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: Earlier this week, Francis Cardinal George of the archdiocese of Chicago sent a message to parishioners in Barack Obama’s home town that imposition of the HHS mandate to fund and facilitate contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization would force the Catholic Church to close its hospitals, clinics, schools, and all other organizations that would otherwise have to comply. “Two Lents from now,” Cardinal George warned, “unless something changes, the page [listing Catholic organizations] will be blank.”

A hidden world, growing beyond control
Excerpt: The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work. 

Excerpt: Now, we learn in the inspector general report that the infamous Julie Fernandes, with the help of Deputy Becky Wertz, were up to the same shenanigans — except this time with the purpose of recruiting liberal attorneys because of their ideology. The pair created an ideologically pure list of left-wing lawyers to recruit to the DOJ Voting Section, where they had previously worked. The list excluded conservative attorneys who had left the Voting Section in the same timeframe who also had extensive experience litigating election cases, but left in part because of the harassment by liberal DOJ employees.

Excerpt: What did the president know, and when did he know it? That’s a question made classic by the Watergate scandal. Now, it is possible to trace precisely what Obama knew and when he knew it. And it proves that the installment of power of the Muslim Brotherhood was a conscious and deliberate strategy of the Obama administration, developed before the “Arab Spring” began.

It’s time to really limit federal spending
Excerpt: The president has acknowledged there is a problem and paid lip service to a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, but he has shown virtually no willingness to cut spending. On the contrary, in his recent State of the Union address, he proposed at least $83.4 billion in new expenditures (according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation), and he continues to undermine the sequester. The repeated failures of Congress and the president to address our debt problem border=0 v:shapes="_x0000_i1027">  prove that a mere federal statutory law isn’t going to cut it — we need a constitutional amendment that will provide permanent boundaries for lawmakers who have proven incapable of containing spending over the long term. We need a balanced budget amendment, or BBA.

During the Senate Budget Committee’s Thursday markup of the Senate budget resolution, Democrats prevented an effort to block funds for the Agriculture Department’s “partnership” with the Mexican government, which is aimed at promoting nutrition assistance programs among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America. In a party-line 12 to 10 vote, the Democrats on the committee rejected a proposal to prevent funding for such endeavors from ranking member Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has spoken out against the program in recent months.(Trolling for free range Democrats. ~Bob.)

Islamic Regime Says 'Thugs' Started U.S
Excerpt: A mouthpiece for the rogue nation of Iran said today that the United States was founded by a “bunch of hooligans and thugs” and that international sanctions over Iran’s illicit nuclear program have actually benefited the Islamic regime.

Obama names black education czar to reduce ‘resegregation’
Excerpt: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of David J. Johns as executive director of the House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Mr. Johns’ duties will focus on improving the academic performance of black students, promoting understanding and tolerance among all Americans, as well as reducing “racial isolation and resegregation of elementary and secondary schools.” (I have no problem with the President setting up some special program to help Black kids do better in school, get into colleges, and achieve higher levels of education. When the guy appointed starts talking about reversing "resegregation" I wonder about what kind of ideas he has about what goes on at present. Does he really think that there's some conspiracy to keep Black kids out of school going on? --Del)

The Traumatic Shame Disorder?
Excerpt: Going beyond the psychiatric aspects of post traumatic stress disorder, Dr. Turner explains how the social, political, and cultural conditions during the 1960s essentially poured "salt into the wounds" of combat trauma experienced by Vietnam Veterans. More than any other Veteran cohort, Vietnam Veterans suffered both direct and subtle forms of social degradation, marginalization, and betrayal, producing a psychological state of "irrational shame." (Certainly an interesting approach to helping Viet Nam vets, but I personally, and I think many others as well, have never felt a second of shame for serving in Viet Nam. The only shame I've felt is in regard to our politicians giving in to the antiwar movement and cutting off the aid to South Viet Nam, which was a horrible betrayal that led to terrible results for the people there. Mostly my emotional response is anger about that, and about the deliberate, widespread misinformation about the war that the media and academia spread then and ever since. We've just seen a brand new example of it in the new book about the "real American war" in Viet Nam, which could have been dictated by John Kerry, casting us all again as the Mongol horde raping, torturing, and murdering our way across the whole of the South and some other areas to boot. Just when you think the "baby killer" yells are finally dying out, some idiot leftist revives the whole nasty scenario. But we know the truth, and some of us keep doing our best to get it documented and published, for the benefit of the country's true learning, as well as to clear the names of our comrades on The Wall. --Del. When a 14-year-old campaign volunteer found out I was a Vietnam vet, she asked me quite seriously why I wasn't on drugs or in prison. ~Bob.)

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