Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 20, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 20, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Time for a short post today befor I start on meetings. ~Bob

Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

Information on my books

New comment on "I'm Tired."
I am a 30-year-old gay man. I want to thank you for this post. While there is plenty there with which I disagree, I am certainly on your side on the vast majority of your post. Thank you! I am unable to start my own business. The taxes and regulations are too invasive. I can't find a full time job, there simply are none. I can't afford to go back to school, because my educational debt is already so high. You can see where this is going, and it all goes back to liberal policies. Signed, A tired 30-Year-Old.

Worth Reading: Iraq, Ten Years Later. By Alan W. Dowd 
Excerpt: The war liberated 24 million Iraqis. Iraq is anything but perfect today, but its people are free—free from tyranny, free from being required to pledge their “souls and blood…for Saddam,” free from the vast torture chamber Saddam turned Iraq into, free from his omnipresent terrors. As Odierno recently reflected, “It’s hard to describe to somebody what an awful dictator Saddam Hussein was unless you were there in Iraq.” Iraqis held their first post-Saddam election in 2005, when 75 percent of eligible voters walked, marched, limped and ran to the polls to prove they belong in the democratic family.

Worth Reading: South Africa’s Hell on Earth. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: When a 23-year-old woman was raped and tortured to death in Delhi, the case captured the attention of the world. Two months later, a 17-year-old girl was raped and tortured to death near Cape Town in an eerily similar case, but hardly anyone noticed. In both cases, the women were gang raped, mutilated and cut open. But the rape and murder of women has become horrifyingly common in South Africa.

Dominican police: 3 women paid to make false claims about Menendez
Excerpt: Three Dominican women were paid to lie about having sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and a close friend, Dominican police said Monday, citing statements from the women and other evidence.

Bombs kill 50 on Iraq invasion anniversary
Excerpt: Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda have vowed to step up attacks on Shi'ite targets since the start of the year in an attempt to provoke sectarian confrontation and undermine Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government. (Members of "The Religion of Peace" slaughtering each other for Allah. Nothing new here. ~Bob.)

Cyprus aims to let small savers out of deposit tax; veto still likely
Excerpt: Cyprus's government proposed on Tuesday to spare small savers from a divisive levy on bank deposits but said it expects parliament to reject the measure, needed to secure an international bailout and avoid default and a banking collapse. Unless parliament accepts the levy on deposits, EU countries say they will withhold a bailout, plunging one of the smallest European states closer to financial oblivion with potentially severe consequences for the rest of the troubled euro zone. (I suspect there will be a run on Cypriot banks as soon as they reopen now, regardless. And it wouldn't surprise me if there were not a run on banks in other troubled Eurozone economies, as folks figure that, yes, it could happen here. And, yes, it could happen in the US. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Cypriot lawmakers have rejected a critical draft bill that would have seized part of people's bank deposits in order to qualify for a vital international bailout. (Do you get the idea that Obama is looking at this and saying, "why didn't I think of that?" Or maybe he has... ~Bob.)

The Cyprus Cash Grab - Coming to America? By Neal Boortz 
Excerpt: You were shocked - SHOCKED, you say - at the very idea that the government of Cyprus would order banks to seize 10% of every bank account and hand the money over the government? Well … excuse me for being rude, but maybe if you had been spending a better part of the last 20 years paying attention to the atrocities that happen with nauseating regularity in Washington, instead of going into an annual swoon over March Madness and/or the Oscars, or blindly tuning in to Entertainment Tonight every evening rather than an actual newscast, you might have seen this money grab coming.

Asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton is said to have replied, “because that’s where the money is.” Obviously, Willie Sutton did not live in contemporary Cyprus, whose banking system, as Walter Russell Mead observes, is “easily the shadiest” in the eurozone. “Russian oligarchs use the island’s banks as a combination piggy bank and money laundry,” he notes — it’s a good rule of thumb that Russians + money = corruption — and then there is the problem of stupendous mismanagement: “Largely because the Cypriot bankers invested lots of their clients’ cash in Greek bonds, the financial system is underwater.” 

Big Brother Looking At Your Bank Account: Intel agencies being given access to vast database of financial transactions
Excerpt: More and more federal agencies are being given a look into your private financial affairs, according to economy, economist, columnist, radio host and international conference speaker Jerry Robinson on his “Follow the Money Weekly” program. He explains that Big Brother in Washington is planning new moves to intrude on financial privacy, with database details of financial transactions being provided to additional federal intelligence agencies…. And while the federal government continues to push its doctored financial statistics claiming that the “official” CPI rate is 1.6 percent, more honest analysis shows that the U.S. inflation rate is much higher in reality. (Which coincides with rising prices of gas, food. Per article, actual rate of inflation around 9%. Cyprus here next? --Barb)

Excerpt: “Isn’t it a strange thing that in every period of social unrest men have the notion that they can pass a law and suspend the operation of economic law?” — Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in Amity Shlaes’ new biography. If you ever wanted to destroy America from within, Dr. Ben Carson has assembled a handy four-point plan...

Comment: Infowars is not far from the truth. I opened the link at Handelsblatt and read the German-language article. At variance with the Infowars report title, Jörg Krämer, Chief Economist of Commerzbank (not a government official) says a one-time 15% tax on rich Italians would bring the Italian debt, now at 173% of GDP, down to below 100% of GDP. At variance with the Infowars report, He did NOT call for raiding the accounts of the rich à la Cypress. However, if the Germans had their way, that would probably happen. Anyway, this is close enough. Cypress, under pressure from Germany, has opened the flood gates to wealth redistribution in all of Europe. Did you notice the pattern of retribution against enemies? In Cyprus, some commentators suggest the Russian accounts (20% of the deposits) were the target. Russia has long been at loggerheads with the EU over issues such as Middle East intervention, gay marriage, etc. A recent (still unconfirmed) report has it that Medvedev compared the EU with the Soviet Union (my UK friends often refer to it as the EUSSR). As for Italy, Merkel (like most of the German political class) is vehemently opposed to billionaire Berlusconi, part of the new Berlusconi-Grillo blocking majority in the Senate, and she would love to see his billions taxed to help pay down the debt Italy owes to the EU and hence, mostly to Germany. Meanwhile, an unintended consequence of the German-led Cyprus bank account raid is that it may also have inadvertently caused a hew and cry for a euro exit, and maybe eventually (please God, let it be!) an exit from the EU. --Don Hank

Hacker Begins Distributing Confidential Memos Sent To Hillary Clinton On Libya, Benghazi Attack
Excerpt: Armed with confidential memos to Hillary Clinton that were stolen from the e-mail account of a former White House aide, a hacker has distributed some of the documents to a wide array of congressional aides, political figures, and journalists worldwide. In a series of weekend e-mail blasts, the hacker known as “Guccifer” disseminated four recent memos to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of the former Secretary of State.

Tweets from Kevin Eder @keder
"At the risk of repeating myself, I know of not one person who didn't vote GOP in 2012 because they were insufficiently conservative . . . But if you DO know someone who stayed home in 2012 because they thought the GOP is insufficiently conservative, tell them I hope they like the results."

Ban Gun Free Zones
Excerpt: What is one thing mass shootings have in common? They happen in gun free zones. One of the most well-known gun free zones are post offices, and because violence there is so common, we even have the term “going postal” for outbreaks of violence. However, many would-be mass killers have been stopped because there was an armed citizen. Examples include the ’97 Pearl High School shooting (assistant principle had a .45, no shot necessary), the ’07 New Life Church shooting (Security Guard, shot gunman, saved many lives), and the recent Portland Mall shooting (Armed Citizen, no shot necessary).

Escape From Spending Hell. By Daniel Henninger
Excerpt: So it looks like we've all been sentenced to spending at least two more years in budget hell with Barack Obama. Under the rules of budget hell set the past four years by the prince of Pennsylvania Avenue, you're not allowed to do anything real about federal spending. You can only fight over federal spending. Forever.

How the Taxman Cleared the Dance Floor. By Eric Felten
Excerpt: Thanks to a 'cabaret tax,' millions of Americans said goodbye to Swing Music. A lot fewer said hello to bebop. These are strange days, when we are told both that tax incentives can transform technologies yet higher taxes will not drag down the economy. So which is it? Do taxes change behavior or not? Of course they do, but often in ways that policy hands never anticipate, let alone intend. Consider, for example, how federal taxes hobbled Swing music and gave birth to bebop.

Excerpt: At least a dozen states have voted to give illegal immigrants reduced rate, in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens who reside in their respective states. However, out of state American kids, American citizens, continue to be charged double the rate if they choose to come to these states to attend college. Obama praised this policy, citing the need to bring illegal invaders "out of the darkness", and welcoming them by offering a vast array of generous tax-payer funded benefits. To the American kids Obama says "go to hell"; you can afford to pay $20,000 more per year than the illegal kid.

Excerpt: Today, President Obama issues a challenge to Republican Senators: in nominating Tom Perez as Labor secretary, he implies that Senate Republicans don’t have either the guts or organizational skill to stop what would become perhaps the most radical left-wing cabinet member in history. Whether the president is right about GOP senators remains to be seen.

Al-Jazeera Plans British, French News Channels: The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network announced Monday that it is preparing to launch a news channel in Britain.
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network announced Monday that it is preparing to launch a news channel in Britain. "We are currently working to launch a news channel from the United Kingdom," said the network's Director General Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani in Doha, adding it will be called Al-Jazeera UK. Al-Thani also said that studies were at an "advanced stage" to launch a French-language channel aimed at "building bridges with other cultures and peoples,” according to AFP. (Globalization continues. They already have US sewn up, thanks to Gore. --Barb.)

US Justice Department Investigating Wall Street Journal
Excerpt: The United States Justice Department broadened an investigation into allegations that employees at The Wall Street Journal's China news bureau bribed Chinese officials with gifts in return for information, the newspaper reported Sunday. The Justice Department reportedly approached News Corp.'s outside counsel in early 2012 and said it had received information from a person it described as a whistleblower, who claimed one or more Journal employees had provided gifts to Chinese government officials in exchange for information. However, News Corp. has told the Justice Department that company officials suspected the informant was an agent of the Chinese government, seeking to disrupt the paper's work and possibly retaliate against the Journal for its reporting on China's leadership, the report said. (Shades of the USSR propaganda days. Of course, with DOI, they swallowed it. I would suspect latter, true, rather than former. --Barb. This will teach the WSJ not to criticize The One. ~Bob.)

Bethlehem Arabs 'Shoe' Obama Posters, American Officials
Excerpt: Arabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who on Monday came to prepare for President Barack H. Obama's visit to the city Friday, by throwing shoes and garbage at the vehicles in an entourage from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. …Sources in the city told Israel Radio that Arab protesters tore down posters with Obama's image, throwing them to the ground and spitting and stepping on them. The protesters threw shoes at other posters that were hung too high for them to easily tear down.

Did Senator Drop Benghazi Bombshell? Could explain why murdered ambassador was in attacked facility
Excerpt: Graham replied, “Because that’s where the action was regarding the rising Islamic extremists who were trying to get their hands on weapons that are flowing freely in Libya.” The senator stated, “We were desperately trying to control the anti-aircraft missiles, the man pads that were all over Libya, that are now all over the Mideast.” WND has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security officials who described the mission in Benghazi as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, including the transfer of weapons to rebels.

Excerpt: After an effort to defund the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food stamp outreach partnership with the Mexican government went down in committee Thursday, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions continued to press the agency for more information about non-citizen participation in the food stamp program. In a Friday letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack obtained by The Daily Caller, Sessions — who has been exchanging letters with Vilsack about USDA’s partnership with Mexico since last summer — requested additional information about the people the USDA has been enrolling in nutrition assistance programs and the agency’s program goals.

Lax Security and a Laptop of Secrets: Chinese Contractor for NASA Nabbed: Only thanks to a whistleblower to Rep. Frank Wolf, "This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese People's Liberation Army."
Excerpt: A Chinese national affiliated with an “entity of concern” and tied to potential security leaks at NASA was seized by the FBI while trying to leave the country, said a Virginia congressman who has been pressing the space agency about breaches at several NASA centers. In the process, the troubling case has highlighted just how sensitive information may be compromised by government agencies hiring or contracting with some highly skilled foreign nationals.

Excerpt: U.S. military bases are traditionally outfitted with some of the comforts of home — including comfort food. The naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for example, has McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Subway, an Irish pub with notorious fried pickles, and multiple bars. Now, the food police are closing in at the Department of Defense, with similar language that preceded school menu crackdowns.

The constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people. --William O. Douglas

60 killed in Kano bus park bombing. By Abdul Salam Muhammad
Excerpt: Didn't get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: About 60 people were feared dead, yesterday evening, in Kano when a suicide bomber attacked a bus park located at Sabon Gari, a predominantly Christian quarters.

Female genital mutilation on the rise in the United States-report
Excerpt: The ancient, brutal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), once considered primarily a problem of the developing world, is a growing threat to girls and women in the United States, according to a new report. The United States has longstanding laws against the practice of FGM on U.S. soil and in January, passed a federal law against sending young women outside the country for so-called "vacation cutting". However, girls living in America increasingly are at risk of the procedure both at home and abroad, according to research by Sanctuary for Families. (That this coincides with an increase in the US Muslim population and pressure to recognize Shari'a Law is, of course, one of those inexplicable coincidences. ~bob.)

Iraq: Islamophobes hide bomb in Qur'an -- no, wait...
Excerpt: Actually the perpetrators were Islamic jihadists who not only misunderstood the peaceful teachings of the Book of Peace, but actually cut them out to make room for their bomb. Yet somehow I doubt that there will be even a single riot over this horrific desecration of the holiest of books.

Israel Closely Monitoring Jihadis Moving into the Golan. By Paul Alster
Excerpt: If jihadi groups fighting to topple Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad succeed, "[i]t's us afterwards," warned Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. General Benny Gantz during a conference last week. "We could be the next challenge for the same organizations." The Golan Heights, the border between Syria and Israel, has become increasingly unstable as the Assad regime loses its grip on power and radical Islamist and al-Qaida-inspired elements of the Free Syrian Army – reportedly backed directly or indirectly by the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia – move into the void.

Letter to the Editor published in Savanna: Major media too cozy with nation’s powerful
These are quotes from President Obama: “I promise 100 percent transparency in my administration.” “I will allow five days of public comment before I sign any bills.” “I will remove earmarks for pork projects before I sign any bill.” “I will end income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.” “I’ll put the health care negotiations on C-SPAN so everyone can see who is at the table!” “I’ll have no lobbyists in my administration.” Some would say the president is a liar because he has failed to live up to these claims, but that is not my reason for presenting them here. My concern is with the failure of the mainstream media to hold him accountable in any way. Those who are given access to the White House and other political arenas because they are representing us should be asking the questions we want answers to, but instead are simply refusing to do their jobs. They revel in their protected and favored status under the First Amendment, yet apparently are comfortable being exploited for political gain at the expense of truth and openness in government. An impartial observer must conclude that many members of the media are so fearful of losing their favored status with government officials that they will not demand straight answers to important questions. We who do not have access are being poorly served by those who have the opportunity and the charge to confront dishonest and deceptive politicians. It’s no wonder that a growing percentage of our young people get their “news” from comedians. --Con Massey

Russia Sending Permanent Warship Fleet To Mediterranean: Is A Russian Naval Base In Cyprus Coming Next? by Tyler Durden 
Excerpt: Which is why with the legacy conflicts in the region dormant, and the only news of any relevance being the European intervention in Cyprus against Russian oligarch interests, it is surprising we learn today that the Russian Navy will dispatch a permanent fleet of five or six combat ships to the Mediterranean Sea, with frigates and cruisers making up the core of the fleet. (Note that Durden does not supply a link to the part of the story regarding Cyprus. However, we know that Russia has these ships in the Mediterranean. --Don Hank)

Well, maybe I won't have to file the bayonet lug off my M1. Made it look dangerous, you know. ~Bob.

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