Friday, June 6, 2014

Lung Update & Koch Brothers Sponsored News

Lung Health Update: Home from the hospital Thursday, fairly weak and exhausted. of course. Lots of Chaos here after losing two weeks. Better Friday, went to rehab. The terrific Physical Therapist who works with me, Jim Carlson, said, "Why are you here? You just got out of the hospital." "I'm here because I'm out of the hospital." "Don't you take a day off?" "Well, the Marines taught me that the mission comes before taking time off." Since my mission is getting well enough to survive the next few months....

Did 12 minutes at 1.5 MPH on the treadmill, 5 sets each on the chest press and leg press machines. Wouldn't impress my DIs, but try it panting for air. Sats stayed in 95-97% range on 5 lpm of O2. FEV numbers are still in the 25% to 30% of normal range.

Still waiting to hear from Scotland's Allies in the Auld Alliance about the timing of the stent. 

Brought a BiPAP home. Britnye's little dog Caramel nuzzled into the bag through a 5 inch unzipped place and chewed one of the straps in half. Stapled it together to get through the night and replaced it today after rehab, as hey want me to use it all night and as much as possible during the day to hold the airway open in hopes it will strengthen.

While I was on the ventilator, Bonnie bought three dresses (depressed, I guess) on line. I told her not to spend the insurance money until she had it. She laughed.

And to all those who responded with prayers when Bonnie reported my condition was Deteriorating--they worked! I'm still here.

Trying to drag up a few items to post on the blog, to keep my stipend from the Koch Brothers coming in, but not time for all e-mail and news feeds yet. Sorry. ~Bob

"Freeing the Next Five bin Ladens" News

Mister President, Just Two Questions. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: 1. Mr. President, I'll be brief and to the point. Defending your controversial decision to swap five high-level Taliban terrorists imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay - considered amongst the most dangerous men in the world committed to killing Americans - for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, over the past several days you've said America does not leave her uniformed personnel behind. That is indeed the American way. Now, with that sacred warrior ethos in mind, please explain why you abandoned Americans in "uniform" - serving our country in Benghazi - fighting for their lives?

Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by the Bergdahl Backlash: The president and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. By Ralph Peters
Excerpt: Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcerer’s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, you’ve turned a deserter already despised by soldiers in the know into quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military. I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops. Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (we’re making a lot of history here), the national-security adviser, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” (Col Peters does a very nice job on this. --Del. I dunno--I hate Bradley/Chelsea Manning a lot too. ~Bob)

America's Last Prisoner of War. By Michael Hastings. (Rolling Stone, 6/7/2012)
Excerpt: "The future is too good to waste on lies," Bowe wrote. "And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be american. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting." ... Bowe concluded his e-mail with what, in another context, might read as a suicide note. "I am sorry for everything," he wrote. "The horror that is america is disgusting." ... Unofficially, however, his status within the military is sharply contested. According to officials familiar with the internal debate, there are those in both Congress and the Pentagon who view Bowe as a deserter, and perhaps even a traitor. (Maybe Obama needs to get a subscription to Rolling Stone? If he'd read this story from two years ago, he'd at least know that Bergdahl's case was like Norwegian weather in September: a lot of gray. In fairness, I don't want the president of the United States wasting his time reading that rag. But in the old days,someone in the White House would have read up on the guy. A pro would have said, "Hey, let's type Bowe Bergdahl into the Google machine and hit the 'I'm feeling lucky' button!" If they'd done that, they would have at least known not to say Bergdahl was captured on the "battlefield" and that he had served "with honor and distinction." --Jonah Goldberg)

Tweet from David Burge @IowaHawk
"What kind of scum would slander this fine brave patriotic US soldier!" "His platoon mates." "And you actually believe those baby killers?"

‘I’m Just a Soul Whose Intentions Are Good’: Obama, Bergdahl and Moral Narcissism. By Roger L Simon
Excerpt: In 1979, Christopher Lasch published The Culture of Narcissism warning of the normalizing of pathological narcissism in our society. Considering events since then, he was evidently on to something. Now, some 35 years later in the Obama era, with the Bergdahl incident only the latest in a parade of endless scandals, we have arrived at a full blown era of what has lately been called Moral Narcissism. Moral Narcissism is an evocative term for the almost schizophrenic divide between intentions and results now common in our culture. It doesn’t matter how anything turns out as long as your intentions are good. And, just as importantly, the only determinant of those intentions, the only one who defines them, is you. (I think that Roger Simon has really hit this one on the head. It all makes such perfect sense now. -Del)

Obama: 'No Apologies.' From The Patriot Post
Forcefully defending his five-Taliban-for-one-deserter swap, Barack Obama insisted it was ... for the children. "As commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces, I am responsible for those kids," he said condescendingly of our trained warriors. He downplayed the outrage -- primarily among U.S. military personnel -- as a controversy "whipped up in Washington." Furthermore, he said, "I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents, and that the American people understand that this is somebody's child. We don't condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back." What about the six (or more) "children" who were killed looking for this pathetic deserter? And what about a commander in chief who doesn't infantilize our soldiers? 9well, let his "kids" serrve with troops like Bergdahl. Or serve at all. ~Bob

Threat to Bergdahl led to US action, officials (NOW) say
Excerpt: The Obama administration told senators it didn't notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because of intelligence the Taliban might kill him if the deal was made public. That fear — not just the stated concerns that Bergdahl's health might be failing — drove the administration to quickly make the deal to rescue him, bypassing the law that lawmakers be notified when detainees are released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, congressional and administration officials said Thursday. (Many folks closely following this story immediately dismissed that explanation as bullcrap. Why would the Taliban kill their best bargaining chip? Why would they want absolute silence about a deal that they were going to use for propaganda purposes? -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Excerpt: I think I’ve finally figured out how the Obama administration operates. They wait to see what Susan Rice says on Sunday shows, and then try to fashion reality around her claims. This past Sunday Rice said that Bowe Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction.”
Former Veterans Affairs official Brandon Friedman, now with HUD’s public affairs office — make it so:

Afghans say Taliban prisoners freed by U.S. will rejoin battle
Excerpt: The men had been held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002 and were classed by the Pentagon as "high-risk" and "likely to pose a threat". Two are also implicated in the murder of thousands of minority Shi'ite Muslims in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. military. (Can't be true--Obama PROMISED... ~Bob)

EXCLUSIVE: Bergdahl declared jihad in captivity, secret documents show. By James Rosen
Excerpt: U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a "mujahid," or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News. (I'd rate this, "Unverified--but needing investigation. ~Bob)

Family of Soldier Slain in Bowe Bergdahl Search Blasts Prisoner Swap
Excerpt: The deal that got Bowe Bergdahl released in exchange for five high-rankingTaliban detainees doesn't sit right with the family of an Army lieutenant killed in an ambush while searching for the missing sergeant. "He was killed while looking for this deserter," said Andy Andrews, father of 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, who died in eastern Afghanistan in September 2009. "If this guy [Bergdahl] had not gone off post, our son would not have been killed."

Taliban Rising. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: Taliban leaders are expressing jubilation over the trade, hailing it as a major recognition of their status and boon to their cause. The Taliban is seeking to solidify legitimacy as a political force in Afghanistan in the face of the imminent U.S. drawdown, after which less than 10,000 soldiers will remain in the country. With the Bergdahl exchange, the Taliban has achieved a major propaganda victory that will further aid its ascendancy in the country — on top of the benefit the return of several of its top operatives will offer as a consequence of the deal.

Excerpt: But there he is back in June of 2013, insisting that no decision or negotiation to release terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl’s release would occur without having the express consent of the United States Congress. “We would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law,” asserted Jay almost exactly one year ago.

The Bergdahl Mess Keeps Growing. By Del.
At this point, with multiple inputs from the men who served alongside him, there's no doubt that Bowe Bergdahl had grown utterly disgusted with being in the Army in Afghanistan, no longer had any kind of classic patriotism, had planned to walk out during that night, and did so, fully conscious of what he was doing. The legal definition of desertion requires some technicalities which have not been met, but in terms of how I and most veterans think of it, that was desertion, a desertion made doubly bad by not just walking out, but leaving an assigned guard post in the night. Which meant putting everyone else in the base in real danger. What else was on his mind, did he mean to live among the Afghans, not get taken prisoner by the Taliban somehow? We have no way of knowing right now, but to think he could walk out there into the villages and not get picked up by the Taliban would be way, way beyond silly. And it doesn't matter if 2 Americans died because of him, or 2 dozen, there is no question a lot of effort was put into looking for him, and men died during some of those exercises. That is on him, no matter what he thought he was doing by leaving. Now the White House claims other vets are "swiftboating" him? Actually, since all the Swifties ever did back in 2004 was tell the truth about what they personally knew and experienced, you could say yes, these vets today are doing the same thing. Just telling the truth of what they saw, knew, and felt. This is just panicky defensive reaction to finding themselves in a totally unexpected situation where what they have done is not seen by so many as an occasion for rejoicing as if a hero had been rescued from durance vile. Even in a discussion among comparatively liberal people on NPR this morning the final consensus about this mess was that some people in the Obama Administration had not "really checked into all the important details of the situation". For Susan Rice to come out and say that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" is utter defensive hogwash, there was no honor in his service and no distinction that anyone has been able to describe. For his father to recite the opening verses of the chapters of the Quran in the Rose Garden is the act of at least a deep sympathizer with the Taliban, and not something that shows any respect for the American people. But Mr. Obama got a great photo op with his arms around both the parents. The Administration is now really in the grip of a dilemma. Either they let the military justice system go ahead and court martial the guy for what he did, and at least bounce him out with a BCD, or they don't allow the system to proceed as normal and somehow send the guy home as a hero with back pay and an Honorable Discharge. Neither one of these makes them look too good, in fact, they are bound to come off as having been really stupid in this whole thing. Plus they gave away five of the baddest of the bad for the guy, and they can rationalize all they want that they didn't negotiate with terrorists, but in reality, we all know they really did. And so does everyone else in the world, including all those other terrorists. Which puts every US soldier and citizen in more danger. Great, just great. And this has just started. Stand by for more developments day by day. And let's not let this have anyone forget about the VA and Benghazi. --Del

Fellow Soldiers Continue to Detail Bergdahl's Betrayal and Desertion. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: As the Obama administration continues to staunchly defend the decision to bring Bowe Bergdahl home as a hero, many of his fellow soldiers and parents of soldiers who were killed looking for him are continuing to speak out about how he deserted them on the battlefield, a move they consider a major betrayal. Watch some of their statements below.

Prisoner swap blows up on White House
Excerpt: The Obama administration has apologized for bypassing Congress before it released senior Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay as part of a controversial prisoner exchange.
The expression of regret was a major shift for the White House, which had previously offered a defiant defense on why it could not adhere to the notification provisions of a 2013 law. (old news--I think they have flipped back to "he's a hero" mode. ~Bob

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's father tweeted pro-Taliban comments directed at terrorist website while son was a prisoner in Afghanistan
Excerpt: One of the tweets has been removed from the Twitter account that appeared to belong to Bob Bergdahl, whose son vanished in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan. Soldiers from his platoon called him a deserter who recklessly endangered Americans and disrupted counter-insurgency operations. At least six soldiers were reportedly killed in the aftermath of his disappearance.

A Five-Sided Kennel of Cowardice. By Russ Vaughn
Excerpt: If our Pentagon weren’t currently occupied by the perfumed princes of political correctness, we might be seeing some courageous generals and admirals falling on their swords and exposing this failure of leadership instead of enabling it. Those ambitious cowards should ponder the reality that neither “I was only doing my duty” nor “I was only following orders” is a viable defense. It is this failure of courage by our military leaders that has allowed this dilettante president and his inexpert staff to make one unwise military decision after another, with a compounding effect of weakening and endangering America’s forces around the world. (Here is a little different slant on the Bergdahl affair. This piece from the American Thinker is not only informative, it is also entertaining. Russ Vaughn, who is a retired army guy (paratrooper, I think,) spreads the blame to the top military leadership. I have long believed that the military has become far too politicized, and our top ranks are filled with PC toad careerists, willingly doing the bidding of corrupt, incompetent politicians. Vaughn makes the case eloquently. I think this piece adds an important component to the Bergdahl dialog and is worth sharing. --Bill)

Religion of Peace News

Muslim murdered ‘westernised’ ex-wife in Stirling (Scotland)
Excerpt: A MAN has been found guilty of burning his “westernised” ex-wife to death, after setting fire to her following a bitter divorce. Ahdeih Khayatzadeh, 46, suffered 95 per cent burns in the attack by Ahmad Yazdanparast at the Venus Hair & Beauty salon in the centre of Stirling last October. The two-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that 61-year-old Yazdanparast used petrol to set fire to the mother-of-three. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Jihadist Groups' Threat To U.S. Grows, Report Says
Excerpt: The threat to the U.S. from global jihadist groups has escalated in the past three years, with the number of groups increasing by more than 50% and the estimated number of militants doubling, according to a report to be released on Thursday. (Hard to know if we should blame Bush, the Koch Brothers or Global Warming. Certainly not Obama--he just learned about it in the newspapers. ~Bob)

Other Political News and Comment

Over 1,000 Days in Iranian Prison for U.S. Marine. By Majid Rafizadeh
Excerpt: A US citizen’s first ever visit to see his aging grandparents and relatives quickly turned into his arrest and death sentence by the Islamic court of Iran. 31-year-old Amir Mirzae Hekmati, who was 28 at the time of the trip, had traveled to Iran to celebrate with his extended family in Tehran.

A Jailed Marine and a Silent Radical-in-Chief — on The Glazov Gang
Excerpt: The Gang gathered to discuss “A Jailed Marine and a Silent Commander-in-Chief,” analyzing why Obama hasn’t made a statement that Andrew Tahmooressi could be his son.

Using Consumption to Measure Inequality
Excerpt: While standard inequality measurements look at income and earnings, consumption is critical to getting an accurate picture of inequality, explains Bruce Meyer, professor at the University of Chicago. Comparing groups' incomes is not the best way to measure inequality: Income tends to fluctuate over time. Moreover, income does not necessarily provide an accurate picture of a person's financial well-being, as it does not include all resources and wealth. For example, Meyer notes that a substantial number of Americans over 65 (more than 80 percent) own a home and make very small, or no, payments on it, yet that asset is not reflected in their "income." Income does not reflect changes in the price of assets, such as houses or stocks, and it provides no indication of a person's access to credit. Income does not take into account the value of government transfer payments or the impact of taxes. Consumption, on the other hand, does not have all of these problems. While it is not a perfect measurement, surveys will more accurately capture a person's consumption than they will income, especially for those at the bottom of the income distribution. Moreover, consumption tends to reflect a person's typical income and is more permanent that measured income, which changes year to year.

The Smoking Gun in the VA Scandal? "Gaming the System" 2010 VA Memo EXPOSED
Excerpt: According to a Department of Veterans Affairs "Memorandum" dated April 26, 2010. The Department of Veterans Affairs was very aware of the "cooking of the books" dating back to 2008. This memo was sent to "Network Director (10N1-23) from "Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management (10N). Signed by, William Schoenhard FACHE. Karen Morris, MSW Associate Director, as well as Michael Davies, MD, Director VHA Systems Redesign are also listed in this memo as contacts for any questions regarding this memo. (I deal with the VA here 3-5 times a week, even when I'm not in. I hate to see the hard-working and caring providers tarred with the same brush as the administrators who lied to get bonuses. ~Bob)

“Ooh-rah!” U. S. Marine Veteran With Carry Permit Drops Armed Robber
Excerpt: The Marine was eating at a restaurant next door when he saw two men pull up to the Game Stop wearing hoodies and bandanas. He yelled for someone to dial 911, and then he grabbed his concealed weapon out of his truck. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, that’s when one of the suspects pointed a gun at him. One of the suspects was fatally shot. 

Excerpt: There are still huge technical problems yet to be resolved with Obamacare.
For example, the vast majority of people who gained private coverage through Obamacare are being subsidized through the law's system of health insurance tax credits. But about a million of those subsidies are wrong, either too high or too low—it's unclear how many fall on which side—according to The Washington Post. 

Petty Annoyances. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Most who read my columns think that I'm only annoyed by politicians, growing government and Americans who have little respect or love for liberty and our Constitution. There are other things that annoy me.

What Makes a Country Successful? Small Government, Economic Freedom
Excerpt: A look at per-capita incomes, economic growth, job creation and life expectancy indicates that small, not big, government works best, contends Richard W. Rahn, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth. The four richest and diverse economies in the world are Singapore, Switzerland, the United States and Hong Kong. This was not the case 50 years ago, when Singapore and Hong Kong were poor and had few natural resources. Today, however, their citizens have high standards of living and life expectancy (Singapore is ranked third, while Hong Kong ranks fourth for longevity). How did they become so successful? Of 159 ranked countries, Hong Kong ranked first and Singapore took the number two spot for economic freedom. Their government spending as a percent of GDP is also low -- less than 20 percent.

The 97 Percent Myth
Excerpt: Global warming advocates routinely toss out the statistic that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made. Where did that figure come from? Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, and Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, explain the history behind the misleading number. In short, there is no basis for the claim that 97 percent of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem. In 2004, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard science historian, examined 928 abstracts of scientific journal articles, finding that three-quarters of them believed that humans were responsible for most of the observed warming of the last half-century. However, Oreskes did not analyze articles by prominent scientists -- such as Richard Lindzen and John Christy -- who question the "consensus" view. Additionally, a recent study in Nature magazine confirms that academic abstracts often contain claims that are not proven in the studies themselves. A 2009 article by University of Illinois student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman and her master's thesis adviser Peter Doran also made the 97 percent claim. The authors made this conclusion after conducting a two-question online survey of 3,146 scientists, only 79 of which were experts in climate science and had published half of their recent peer-reviewed papers on climate change. It did not include the scientists most likely to understand the natural causes of climate change: solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers.

The Myth of the Climate Change '97%': What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming? By Joseph Bast And Roy Spencer
Excerpt: Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous." Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities."
Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research. (What is going on is NOT science, it's now a political/emotional cause that ignores real science and is trying to roll over everyone by the classic method of shouting the lie loud enough and long enough and it becomes the truth. --Del)

The Ambassador and the Post Office. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Toward the end of the 20th century, India began to loosen up some of its jungle of rules and regulations that were strangling India's businesses. Though India is still a long way from a free market, just the relaxing of some of its economic restrictions was enough to promote a higher rate of growth and a substantial reduction in poverty. They even allowed a Japanese car maker to build cars in India. This resulted in a car called the Maruti, which quickly shot to the top as the most popular car in India. Even more remarkable, it led to some improvements in the Ambassador. A British newspaper said that the Ambassador now had "perceptible acceleration."

Nailing Slime: New Smyrna Beach HS teacher resigns after theft arrest
Excerpt: To locate a suspect, the deputies began Operation: Sticky Fingers. Deputies then had students put a wallet with $141 (two $50 bills, two $20 bills and one $1 bill). Each bill was photocopied and then coated with the UV powder and then placed in the wallet.... The lights were turned off in the hallway leading from the locker room and students -- two at a time -- had their hands checked. None of the students had the UV powder on their hands. Once all the students were cleared, deputies then shined the light on the hands of Barnes. The fluorescent yellow-green powder was visible on both hands, according to the report. Barnes admitted to deputies and school officials that he took one of the $50 bills from the wallet and put it in one of the filing cabinets in the coaches' office. Barnes also admitted to several other thefts

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