Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 28, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 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.

Response to The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
(I have edited out information which might ID the writer, without changing the substance. ~Bob.) Dear Mr. Hall, I'm just about finished reading your book about the coming collapse, and I'm wondering about what would be my best option for the future. I wonder if you could share some advice. I'm currently living in Northern Virginia, and fear that this is not the safest place to be down the road. I am a single physician (in 50s) in private practice, and would prefer not to retire, but I suppose I could if necessary. My only child is a … student in … NJ. I don't want to be in DC when Iran or N Korea decide to attack us. And I don’t want her to be in NJ at that point either. The internal attacks on the US are bad enough. I want to be somewhere where there are reasonable people who know how to farm and enough fresh water to support life when and if US/world chaos ensues. I've considered Canada, though practicing medicine there is an economic nightmare and they are a bit liberal for my tastes. Then I thought about perhaps Fort Worth Texas or somewhere in Wyoming, or perhaps New Zealand. Would you be willing to give me your thoughts? Thanks for your time and wisdom and for writing such a thoughtful and enlightening book. And thank you for caring. (Shy though I am about sharing opinions, I responded. ~Bob.)

New Comment on "I'm Tired" from NZ
I really wish that what you expressed was only in the USA, but alas, even in our small country of NZ we are plagued with the same degradation. Moral values and stable family structures are quickly disappearing and being replaced with selfish intent and no regard for social responsibility. It was good to read your post in its fullness without bits taken out and attributed to another person. There are plenty of us in the world who are tired. (Still drawing input over four years after I first posted it. Guy wrote the other day nailing me as a “Bible Basher,” though there is little about religion in the piece! ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Are We Equal? By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: A more emotionally charged question is whether we have equal intelligence. Take Jews, for example. They are only 3 percent of the U.S. population. Half-baked theories of racial proportionality would predict that 3 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates are Jews, but that's way off the mark. Jews constitute a whopping 39 percent of American Nobel Prize winners. At the international level, the disparity is worse. Jews are not even 1 percent of the world's population, but they constitute 20 percent of the world's Nobel Prize winners.

Excerpt: Over the next 10 years health reform will impose upon us about $1 trillion in new taxes and it will take another $716 billion out of Medicare, imperiling access to care for the elderly and the disabled according to Medicare’s Office of the Actuaries. It will impose a mandate to buy health insurance on most people and fine us if we don’t comply. It will compel all but the smallest employers to provide insurance to their employees and fine them if they don’t. Since economic theory teaches that workers pay for health benefits with lower wages and fewer non-health benefits, the extra burden will fall hard on middle-income families. The federal government will regulate the kind of insurance we must have, tell us where we must get it and regulate how much we pay for it as well.

Funny Stuff: Quips from the TV comics
Jay Leno: The U.S. Senate is now fighting to keep open the Senate barber shop. It loses $350,000 a year. Do you know what that makes it? The most successful government program ever. It’s losing only $350,000 a year.

The 50 percent solution. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: The proposition that entitlement curbs are the key to maintaining national solvency is widely accepted, though not by many congressional Democrats. President Obama, however, has endorsed it on various occasions. And he could make it happen. If he wants. I remain skeptical that he does.

The Unaffordable Care Act
Excerpt: The third birthday of the monstrosity known as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has come and gone. It’s been about three years since Nancy Pelosi uttered those immortal words: “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it….” Three years and we’re still finding out what’s in it.

FAA Predicts 10,000 Drones in Five Years
Excerpt: The FAA predicts there could be 10,000 drones in the air over the United States within the next five years and is working closely with commercial stakeholders to define operational and certification requirements. “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and serve many purposes,” states a Federal Aviation Administration report assessing prospects for the industry. “Some have wingspans as large as a Boeing 737 and some are smaller than a radio-controlled model airplane.” (Oh, gee, those are just Big Bro’s. Does not include foreign ones that might fly by….Barb)

Lawmakers want vote on bill easing firings of State Dept. workers
Excerpt: Two freshman representatives are pressing for a House vote on their bill making it easier to fire State Department employees. House Foreign Affairs Committee members Scott Perry (R-Penn.) and Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) introduced their legislation to make it easier to dismiss employees after no State Department workers were fired after the Benghazi terrorist attack that left four Americans dead. Eighteen lawmakers have sponsored the bill.

US military veterans face inadequate care after returning from war – report
Excerpt: Almost half of the 2.2 million troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan report difficulties on their return home, but many receive inadequate care from the US Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, according to a new study published on Tuesday. The Institute of Medicine report, requested by Congress and funded by the Pentagon, expressed "serious misgivings" about methods used to treat the "significant numbers" of returning veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance use disorder. It cited tools and treatments used by the DOD which had "no clear scientific evidence base" and said more needed to be done to evaluate their effectiveness.

North Korea rockets and artillery 'target' US bases
Excerpt: North Korea said it had ordered its rocket and long-range artillery units to be combat-ready, targeting military bases in the US and American bases in the region. Pyongyang has issued stern admonitions and threats on an almost daily basis since the UN security council tightened sanctions over its latest nuclear test and the US and South Korea began joint military drills. 

Dr. Ben Carson Fires Back At Critics Who Claim Conservatives Are Only Embracing Him So They Can Say They Aren’t Racist
Excerpt: Responding very calmly — as he is known to do — on Fox News Tuesday, Carson lectured his critics, saying “if you don’t have anything useful to say, you attack people. If you feel that your house of cards has been discovered and is starting to come unraveled, you become very desperate.”… He also said the left, and some factions of the right, “try to make life so unpleasant for anybody who disagrees with them that people will keep silent.”

Why Did We Invade Iraq? The subsequent acrimony derives from the general amnesia over why we invaded. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: On the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the back-and-forth recriminations continue, but in all the “not me” defenses, we have forgotten, over the ensuing decade, the climate of 2003 and why we invaded in the first place. The war was predicated on six suppositions.

Some healthcare costs may rise when "Obamacare" implemented: official
Excerpt: President Barack Obama's top healthcare adviser acknowledged on Tuesday that costs could rise in the individual health insurance market, particularly for men and younger people, because of the landmark 2010 healthcare restructuring due to take effect next year. (Well, 95% is “some.” Let’s see the logic. Can’t afford health insurance? No problem, we’ll increase the cost of insurance, then fine [tax] you for not having it. ~Bob.)

Are Benghazi Survivors Hiding In A WashingtonD.C. Hospital?
Excerpt: For more than six months since the September 11, 2012 attacks on America’s diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, the Obama administration has been unwilling to turn over the names or whereabouts of any survivors. They may be hiding plain sight. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has learned that “as many as seven Americans have been or are currently being treated,” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—less than 11 miles from the U.S. Capitol.

Air Apparent: The unfair advantage of the president’s plane
Excerpt: The rules were changed two years ago to change the formula to that of the cost of chartering a 737. More than a first-class seat, yes, but still less than what it really costs to fly a 747 like Air Force One — where the operating expense, according to the Pentagon, is $179,750 an hour. So a 10-hour roundtrip flight to Los Angeles from Washington, DC, costs taxpayers about $1.8 million — and the Obama campaign pays back . . . Well, that’s unclear. (We are not amused by the sequester. ~Bob.)

Mapping the Internet: A Hacker's Secret Internet Census
Excerpt: Somewhere on this planet there is a hacker whose emotions are likely shifting between pride and fear. Pride, because he managed to do what no one else has managed. And fear, because it was illegal in almost every country in the world.

Shatner ‘appalled’ by IRS ‘Trek’ spoof
Excerpt: William Shatner said he is “appalled” by the Internal Revenue Services’s spoof of “Star Trek” — the television show that made him famous for his portrayal of Captain James Kirk. Last week, the IRS apologized for spending $60,000 on the parody, which was intended to be used as a training video. Lawmakers — and now the show’s star actor — have blasted it as a senseless use of taxpayer money. (Bit of trivia for Trek fans out there—met most of the original cast on the set—03/26 is Leonard Nimoy’s (Spock’s) birthday. Shatner tweeted this on 03/26/13. –Barb. IRS’s new motto: Live long and pay taxes like you prospered. ~Bob.)

Obama Lifestyle Criticized as 'Royal': Author Documents Presidential Vacations, Staffing as Costing $1.4 Billion Annually
President Barack Obama and his family have taken a $4 million vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, each Christmas, since 2008, courtesy of the nation’s taxpayers. According to a new book - “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” –by Author Robert Keith Gray, Hawaii Reporter’s investigation into the vacation expenses on the island of Oahu merely scratches the surface of the $1.4 billion the taxpayers spend in just one year for transportation, housing, staffing, security and entertainment for President Obama and first family. Gray, who worked within the White House under three presidents and had close ties with two more, notes that while other presidents have taken advantage of perks, the amount of money spent on the first family has risen substantially under the Obama administration, and must be brought under control.

Syria No Longer Exists': Source: Iran, Hezbollah have taken over control of nation's military, government
Excerpt: Iran and Hezbollah have effectively taken over Syria, guiding the nation’s military operations and functions of government, as the Lebanese resistance group’s fighters have begun to flood into the Damascus area, reveals a well-placed source in the Syrian capital. To make a “long version really short, Syria no longer exists,” the source told WND…. “Lebanon also is no more,” the source added. (I link them sometimes, but read anything from World Net Daily with caution. Their hair is always on fire and they seem to use every rumor, unnamed source and conspiracy theory that comes along, thus discrediting conservatives. Doesn’t mean they are always wrong…~Bob.)

Islamist vs. Secularists: The Post-Revolution Struggle for the Arab Soul
Excerpt: The rise of political Islam following the Arab Spring has many worried that the democratic achievements of the revolution could be lost. In Egypt and Tunisia alike, citizens are once again taking to the streets. But this time they are opposing Islamism. Does secularism still stand a chance?

Halal: Market needs checking
Excerpt: The Danish Halal Federation is calling for more stringent controls of meat following the Food Standards Agency’s discovery of traces of pork in a consignment of shawarma meat. The federation of 52 Muslim association’s reaction comes following the discovery in a random sample of meat from Denmark’s largest shawarma producer and distributor Anadolu Kød.

U.S. Muslim calls for restrictions on free speech at event hosted by Obama appointee
Excerpt: Qasim Rashid, an extraordinarily arrogant man who is deeply contemptuous of any opponent of the Islamic supremacist agenda, joins his fellow Ahmadi Harris Zafar in calling for restrictions on the freedom of speech. That is a recipe for tyranny, and it bodes ill that an Obama appointee was involved. 

Apartheid Palestine? By Ann Bayefsky
Excerpt: It is impossible to read this latest UN report, or to listen to its authors and its state sponsors, without knowing that the campaign to rid the world of Israeli settlements is a campaign to rid the world of Israel. … There were once an estimated 900,000 Jews across the Arab world, but today there are less than a few thousand. They were given a choice: die, convert or flee.

Jim Carrey: Gun Owners Don’t Deserve to Live. By Ben Shapiro 
Language Alert. Typical of leftist tolerance and compassion. ~Bob. Excerpt: But on guns, the left’s moral compass spins most wildly. Carrey, who hasn’t had to live in fear because he has the cash to pay for security, wouldn’t know the first thing about defending himself. That doesn’t stop him from deriding those who do worry about self-defense as losers suffering from sexual inferiority (even though it is Carrey, not his opponents, who is obsessing on penis size.) 

Islam’s Outrageous Obscenities. By Raymond Ibrahim (Warning: vulgar language ahead.)
Excerpt: Islamic TV personality, Abu Islam—the man who made international headlines when he insulted Christianity and tore a Bible on camera to screams of “Allahu Akbar!” and later incited Muslims to rape female protesters—unwittingly insulted Islam’s prophet Muhammad in a way that would have caused much of the Islamic world to riot and call for his death (if he was a non-Muslim).

'Me Too' Republicans. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: The report to the Republican National Committee is on firmer ground when it says that national Republican candidates have not articulated their case very well -- that "we too often sound like bookkeepers." Republican candidates "need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms." Absolutely. It doesn't matter how good your case is, if you don't bother to articulate it so that voters understand you.

Worth Reading: How Mexico Treats "Undesirable" Foreigners. By Michelle Malkin 
Excerpt: Article 33 of Mexico's constitution establishes the right of the president to detain and deport "any foreigner" and prohibits foreigners from participating "in any way" in the political affairs of the country. While you read this passage, dwell on the demagogic rhetoric of meddling Mexican consular officials and lobbyists who assail America for its (poorly enforced) detention and deportation policies: (To be strictly non-racist, we should have the same immigration laws as Mexico, right? ~Bob.)

Facebook fraud and the war hero
Excerpt: America needs more patriots like my cousin, U.S. Army staff sergeant, combat veteran and Bronze Star recipient Erik Wolf. Unfortunately, that’s not what an impostor had in mind when he created dozens of fraudulent versions of the war hero on Facebook in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting Americans eager to serve the troops who serve us. …If impersonating soldiers to defraud civilians doesn’t violate Facebook’s standards, then what would? (Check out the item on Facebook ID theft. Involves military being used as “sympathy” to get $$ sent to accounts in Africa (i.e., you have won an international raffle. Send money. I need $$ desperately. Can you help me? Those used to be the phishing crap we’d get…) . Now more sophisticated, stealing actual pix of soldiers, wives and making up lies to get “donations.” Problem apparently is, Facebook, is not shutting them down…..despite the actual folks complaining about it. Why I don’t do that stuff. –Barb. Probably something racist like opposing Obamacare or being against voter fraud would get them banned. ~Bob.)

Sen. Johnson unveils ‘Victims of Government’ project
Excerpt: Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson on Tuesday unveiled the first installment of a new project aimed at demonstrating how big government hurts average Americans. “The root cause of our economic and fiscal problems is the size, the scope, and the cost of government – all the rules, all the regulations, and all the government intrusion into our lives,” Johnson said in a statement. (No Obama Phone for him! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In November I was mugged. … Suddenly my phone was wrenched from my hand, and then I was curled up on the pavement, screaming and incoherently begging the people who had knocked me down and were kicking me, ripping my computer bag and my gym bag off my shoulder: “please, please, please.” Please don’t hurt me. Please don’t kill me. Please just take all of my stuff and leave me alone. (A reporter learns that self defense is a right. And a necessity in our society. ~Bob.)

Troubling Times for Once Mighty Hizballah. By Paul Alster
Excerpt: Hizballah's continuing alliance with embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has the notorious Shia political and military movement navigating choppier waters than at any other time in recent memory.

Hard questions for South Africa over CAR battle
Excerpt: The South African government faced tough questions Wednesday about its military mission in the Central African Republic after 13 of its soldiers were killed by rebels there last week.

Displaced Somalis abused and raped - Human Rights Watch
Excerpt: The abuse takes place at the hands of armed groups, including government forces, it says. In the report, women who fled famine and conflict describe being gang-raped in camps in the capital, Mogadishu.

China and Brazil sign $30bn currency swap agreement
Excerpt: China and Brazil have signed a currency swap deal, designed to safeguard against future global financial crises.

Good Quotes from The Patriot Post
“Think about what happened out in -- where Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally [sic] wounded. Think about when that young man had to try to change the clip. Had he only had a 10-round clip when he changed the clip and fumbled and had it knocked out of his hands, how many more people would have been alive? And tell me, tell me how it violates anyone's constitutional right to be limited to a clip that holds 10 rounds instead of 30, or in Aurora, 100." --Joe Biden. (The average is five shots fired in homicides. ~Bob.)

"Did you realize that over 90% of the guns in this country are owned by white people in the suburbs and in rural areas? Ninety-percent of our guns are not owned by African-Americans, hispanics, minority groups, they're owned by white people. Now what are these white people so afraid of out in the suburbs?" --filmmaker Michael Moore (Maybe they are worried because according to the FBI, 53% of the murders are committed by the 13% of the population that is black? ~Bob.)

"A 28-year-old woman from Serbia has a rare brain condition where she sees everything upside down. The good news? She's now been given a job at the White House as President Obama's economic adviser." --comedian Jay Leno

Can the Marines Survive? If America's amphibious force doesn't adapt, it'll be dead in the water. By Lt. Col. Lloyd Freeman
Excerpt: The Marines are a door-kicking service, designed to breach enemy territory and establish an entry point for the Army's strategic land capability. But the U.S. military's development of unmanned aircraft, combined with stealth technology and unmatched ISR capability, makes it almost impossible for an enemy today to significantly impede the landing of U.S. forces on a beach or at a port. Forcible entry no longer requires landing forces -- it takes precision strikes, coordinated by special operations forces as needed. (If they don’t survive, the country will regret it. Badly. ~Bob. The perspective is superficial. It overlooks the Marine psyche to fight and win - arena moot - period. –Andy.)

How a 14 year old girl from Concord, NH views the 2nd Amendment
Excerpt: My Civics teacher taught us that the reason our Founding Fathers gave us the right to bear arms is to protect ourselves from the government of man because when man is given absolute power, he becomes absolutely corrupt. In 1776, guns freed us from the abuses of King George. Today, guns keep us free from tyranny by government.

45% Say Sequester Didn’t Cut Government Spending Enough
Excerpt: Just over three weeks after the sequester cuts in the growth of federal spending kicked in, voters feel a bit more strongly that they didn’t cut deep enough. (Maybe they get it. And maybe they want more cuts that don’t hurt them. To fix this problem, there must be pain for everyone. But every time we kick the can, it increases the future pain. ~Bob.)

Judicial Watch Investigating Cost of Sasha, Malia Bahamas Trip
Excerpt: “The Obamas’ unnecessary personal luxury travel is an abuse of office in this age of sequester, unemployment, and out-of-control government debt,” Fitton said, giving his reason for the investigation. “Taxpayers are right to wonder why the Obamas repeatedly take personal trips with seemingly little regard for the resulting drain on precious tax dollars. (Because they can. What are you going to do about it, suckers? Vote him out? ~Bob.)

CBO: America Will Never See Full Employment Under Obama
Excerpt: That would make Obama the only American president during the post-World War II era who never presided over a year in which the U.S. economy offered full employment to the American people.

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