Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More worth reading political news and opinion

General News and Comment

Must Read--Very Scary: Gotland – the Danzig of our time. By Thomas C. Theiner
Excerpt: Last week Russia’s air force progressed from testing military preparedness to dry runs for a major air assault. A combination of transport planes and fighter jets flew from Russia over the entire Baltic Sea to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. While Sweden didn’t even manage to get a plane in the air, Italian air force jets flying out from Šiauliai air base in Lithuania intercepted and identified the Russian jets. The Italian fighters were outnumbered 4 to 1. The obvious targets of Russian aggression along the Baltic Sea, namely Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, all share a land border with Russia, so there is no need to mount a large scale air assault to overrun these tiny states. But to keep these three nations occupied and oppressed, Putin must keep the US air force and the US Navy out of the Baltic Sea. This is why Russia is preparing to assault, occupy and fortify Sweden’s Gotland Island. (Keep in mind that a military friend of mine once speculated, “The moment Russia hits a NATO target in Europe, we can sink every ship they have in the Pacific at a moment’s notice. Hope that bit of territory they grab is worth half their fleet.” But that, of course, presumes the United States Navy receives such an order from a commander-in-chief willing to make such a daring and punishing counter-punch. (In Theiner’s chilling scenario, NATO action is held up by Germany, which keeps insisting on the necessity to “not provoke Russia,” the need to give Putin an “off ramp,” and so on. Are we so certain that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry wouldn’t be the ones insisting that the Russian aggression must be resolved at the negotiating table?) Even if the details are wrong, isn’t this a broad-brush-stroke vision of what Vladimir Putin would like to see? A crippled, divided NATO, an acquiescent Germany, an Eastern Europe reduced to servitude to a Russian superpower, and a thoroughly humiliated United States of America? -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt http://www.nationalreview.com/newsletters. May also explain submarine sightings in the Archipelago. --Andy Weddington)

Worth Reading: The Putin Way. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Putin is following a blueprint that dates back to Philip of Macedon. Nothing that Vladimir Putin has done in gobbling up territories of the former Soviet Union is new. In fact, he simply apes every tyrant’s time-honored four-step plan of aggression. ... From Philip of Macedon to Napoleon, aggressors did not necessarily have a grand timetable for creating an empire. Instead, they went at it ad hoc. They took as much as they could at any given time; then backed away for a bit, if they sensed strong opposition was building — only to go back on the offensive when vigilance waned.

Worth Reading: Utopia’s Jailers. From public schools to health care, the intent is to constrain people and prevent them from opting out. By Kevin D. Williamson
Excerpt: Necessity drives invention. In the field of military innovation, all sorts of inventions — the Maginot line, the flame fougasse, trench warfare, the Vickers machine gun — were rooted in the same urgent necessity: keeping Germans out. War is evil and ugly, but Europe experienced a worse horror when that necessity was inverted, and the totalitarian movement that controlled half of the continent decided it needed a way to keep Germans in. And so utopia’s jailers built the Berlin Wall and any number of similar fortifications. The ideologue may say that a wall is a wall is a wall, but in the case of a wall, intent matters: A society with barriers to keep out invaders is protected; a society with barriers to prevent exit is imprisoned.

True, this: After eight years of Obama, why would the GOP nominate a first-term senator?
Excerpt: But on the stuff that matters most to conservatives, Obama did “know what he was doing.” He got the stimulus passed and then, with a major, major assist from old pro Nancy Pelosi, he got ObamaCare passed. The parts of Hopenchange that most aggrieve the right were the parts where Obama was effective; the “ineffectiveness” argument is more natural to the left, which whines endlessly about all the goodies they wanted from Hopenchange — cap and trade! amnesty! a public option! — that haven’t been delivered. “If only he’d spent more time on the Hill building relationships,” they say, “maybe he’d have been able to forge grand bargains.” Could be, but that’s certainly not a lament you will, or should, hear on the right. Also, his lack of executive experience hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the most aggressive presidents in modern American history when it comes to executive action. If he had spent four years as a governor, would he have stopped short of rewriting America’s immigration laws last November? I don’t see why. Would he have taken a tougher line with Iran or a less tough line with Qaddafi? Again, I don’t see why. From a conservative perspective, the awfulness of Obama’s presidency arguably shows that you don’t need experience to reorient the country towards your vision of government.

Barack Obama Is A Very Successful President
Excerpt: We called president Obama’s inexperience the most dangerous thing about his nomination. We were wrong. The most dangerous thing was his ability to do what he set out to do.

Character Defines Character. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Yesterday a Marine friend (pardon the redundancy) forwarded a news story link about Paula Broadwell - the "mistress" of General David Petraeus - that recently appeared in the Charlotte Observer. 

What's Gone Wrong With Democracy? By Walter Williams
Excerpt: "Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and most often are opposites. In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison explained, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” Democracy and majority rule confer an aura of legitimacy and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical."

Voters Feel No Rush to Make Lynch Next Attorney General
Excerpt: Just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the Senate should confirm the federal prosecutor from Brooklyn, N.Y., to be the nation’s highest law enforcement officer. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 27% oppose Lynch’s confirmation as attorney general, but 40% remain undecided.

Illinois State Employees Sue Over Mandatory Union Dues. By Connor D. Wolf
Excerpt: In a lawsuit filed Monday, three state employees in Illinois challenged a law which forces them to pay union dues even when they aren’t in a union. “Illinois law forces most employees of state government to pay money to a union as a condition of keeping their job,” Diana Rickert, the director of media relations for the Illinois Policy Institute, noted in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

500,000-Year-Old 'Swiss Army Knife' Sheds New Light On Ancient Animal Butchering
Excerpt: A set of half-a-million-year-old stone tools -- including what's being called a prehistoric "Swiss army knife" -- have scientists going gaga. The tools were found alongside the remains of butchered animals, such as an elephant rib bone bearing cut marks (see photo above), at a dig site in Revadimin, Israel in 2004. Now, researchers who recently analyzed the finds have discovered the tools are covered in animal fat, and are calling them the first direct evidence of the use of stone tools by ancient human ancestors for animal butchery. (Around age 15, in 1962 if anyone cares, I read a science fiction story based on the "preposterous" idea that humans had a history--unwritten, of course--that went back more than 200,000 years. We know for certain that some written Chinese documents date to nearly 5000 BC. When Caesar burned the Library of Alexandria, Egyptians claimed there were records there going back 12,000 years (even if they were counting a year as "new Moon to new Moon," that's STILL nearly a thousand years). Hundreds of stories and novels have been set in prehistoric times well before 10,000 years BC. Historians used to laugh at them; archeologists, being more polite, just smiled smugly. I, for one, have always thought there might be something to the idea. Since there wasn't any real way to find, out, I never expected to hear of evidence either way. Then, about a decade ago, I came across an article that mentioned in passing that humans "may have existed" as much as 150,000 years ago, some 100K years earlier than previously believed. Now this article today. Note that the article is sourced from PLOS via Live Science. --Ron P.)

Police Reduce Rolling Stone's Rape Story to Rubble
Excerpt: Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Police Chief Timothy Longo told reporters the Charlottesville Police Department was “not able to conclude, to any substantive degree, that an incident which is consistent with the facts contained [in] that article occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house, or any other house for that matter.” Chief Longo noted that a time-stamped photo of the frat house where the alleged assault occurred revealed the house was practically empty at the time Jackie said the rape occurred. There was no party that night.

Nine-year-old girl in record release of South Sudan child soldiers
Excerpt: On Saturday, 654 children were registered with the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), bringing the total number of children freed by the militia group since January to 1,314.

Connecticut lawmakers split on bill banning felons from public office
Excerpt: Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch promotes the ban. He says sex offenders shouldn’t work in day care centers and corrupt politicians shouldn’t be in government.

A Simple Question. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O'Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment. For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years -- no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.

Camille Paglia's Epic Anti-Hillary Rant

Democrats for a Dictatorial Presidency

Excerpt: Obama has seized power in ways that Michael Barone has aptly characterized as “Gangsta Government.” Barone was inspired to write his first column on that topic by Obama’s unilateral denying of creditor rights in the Chrysler bankruptcy. But it became a series for Barone, and Obama’s future actions provided the gist for David Freddoso’s superb book, Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy.

Tech at Night: Tennessee leads the fight against socialized Internet
While the Net Neutrality power grab got all of the attention, just as important was the FCC strike against federalism the same week, that unilaterally attempts to override all state laws against socialized Internet in this country. Imagine the audacity, to do that without a an act of Congress or anything. Fortunately at least Tennessee is standing up to Barack Obama and his lap dog, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, on this. If they could do this, what’s to stop, say, EPA from wiping out state laws that prevent cities from banning fracking?

CIA aided domestic phone spying
Excerpt: A Justice Department program used to gather data from U.S. cellphones apparently has a secret partner: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA played a role in helping the U.S. Marshals Service develop technology that imitates cellphone towers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The system, used on airplanes, allows federal agents to scoop up identifying and location information for thousands of cellphones in every sweep. (Called the "dirtbox" program, per article. Holder and Jeh Johnson have not replied. DOJ doing ILLEGAL things? From "A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt: William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law! Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that! Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" And regarding stonewalling by Obama officials: Sir Thomas More: ... The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied. --Barb)

Senators raise new concerns about CIA-aided cellphone tracking
Excerpt: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chick Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder noting that they have “additional concerns” about the tools, which were reportedly developed by the CIA. The tools, known as “StingRays” or “IMSI-catchers,” imitate cell towers in order to track people’s location and identifying information through their phone. ... The spy agency’s role in the program is unusual, given that it is largely banned from domestic spying. (Prior articles note that you can suspect a "fake tower" if your bars fall as you pass it or you lose your signal. You've been pinged. --Barb)

Ride the Thunder: One Marine Seeks to Restore Rightful Honor of America’s Vietnam Veterans in New Film
Excerpt: Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph by Richard Botkin was published in July 2009. The book "recounts the exploits of the U.S. Marines and their Vietnamese allies largely responsible for thwarting the Communist invasion of South Vietnam-known as the Easter Offensive of 1972." Now, several years later, Botkin is ready to share that story he told in the book on the big screen with America. Semper Fi – always faithful – is the Marine's way of life and Botkin wants to help restore the honor due to our veterans who maligned and scorned and spit upon as they returned to the United States. According to the movie's website, "Rich Botkin's dream, to take back the much-maligned history of the Vietnam War, and to restore the rightful honor due those Americans and South Vietnamese who served there, has been years in the making." (This film is a fantastic work, one so long, long overdue, and needs to be talked about far & wide. And it needs to be seen by vets, their families, their friends, and all the people who don't really know anything about the true history of the war. Please send this out to others. --Del)

Gun News

Excerpt: For those of us who do not live in the memory hole that shields this administration from any accountability, here are some relevant facts about Acting Director Brandon and his involvement in the Fast and Furious cover-up. According to outgoing Director Jones's sworn testimony of April 2, 2014 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mr. Brandon was the person who determined disciplinary punishments for all of the ATF personnel involved in Fast and Furious. Brandon was "the ultimate decision maker." Director Jones confirmed that Thomas Brandon did not fire a single person for participation in Fast and Furious.

Race Card News

Miss Universe: Half-Black Miss Japan Criticized for Not Being 'Japanese Enough.' By Kelli Serio
Excerpt: Ariana Miyamoto, the first ever biracial woman to be crowned Miss Japan, is fighting off critics who say she “isn’t Japanese enough” to represent her country in the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant, because her father is black. The 20-year-old speaks fluent Japanese and was born and raised in Sasebo, Nagasaki, but moved to the United States to complete high school before returning to Japan to pursue a career in modeling and pageantry. (Send in Holder and Sharpton. ~Bob)

Blacks Are in Denial About Obama. By Raynard Jackson
Excerpt: The state of Black America in 2015 is not in crisis; but rather the state of the “media appointed Black leadership” is in crisis. This includes organizations and people like the National Urban League (headed by Marc Morial), National Action Network (headed by Al Sharpton), the NAACP (headed by Cornell Brooks), and the Congressional Black Caucus (headed by Democratic Congressman G.K Butterfield of North Carolina). All of the above groups and their “media appointed leaders” have one thing in common: they all are vestiges of the Democratic Party. They are all card-carrying members of the Democratic Party and all of their proposed solutions to what ails the Black community come straight out of Democratic talking points. The interesting thing is that these groups and their leadership are totally out of step with the grassroots within the Black community. (Mr. Jackson is a very sharp thinker, a careful Conservative, often very critical of the GOP, but always with a clear vision of what goes on. I really like the guy and wish he were in politics. --Del)

Obama Nominates Retired Coast Guard Admiral for NOAA Satellite Policy Role
Excerpt: U.S. President Barack Obama on July 30 (2014) nominated retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown to take over as NOAA’s assistant secretary for environmental observation and prediction. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Brown would be responsible for providing policy direction for NOAA’s satellite, space weather, water, and ocean observations and forecast programs. Brown retired from the Coast Guard in May as the highest-ranking black officer in the service’s history. (I assume he's competent and not more of Obama's Black Privilege campaign. ~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Medicare Is Doomed -- Save the Patients

Excerpt: The president promises that he will save “Medicare as we know it.” He plans to cut $716 billion in Medicare reimbursements to doctors and to reduce spending through the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Sarah Palin’s infamous “Death Panel” component of ObamaCare. The former will drastically reduce the services available and the latter is strict medical rationing. What will be “saved” is not the Medicare we want, have expected ever since 1965, and deserve.

'Failing Hospitals, Rising Costs, Unsustainable Business Model' Doctor warns Obamacare 'can't work, because it wasn't designed to work'
Excerpt: According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, health care costs will consume 31 percent of per capita income by 2022, a dramatic increase from 7 percent in 1960. Insurance premiums are also skyrocketing, she said. ... “Five years after Obamacare, as I predicted in ‘Surviving the Medical Meltdown,’ we can see that Obamacare is nothing less than a planned demolition of our healthcare industry.”

Undocumented Democrat News

Undocumented Immigrants Failing To Appear At Hearings Increasing
Excerpt: According to the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the number of people who did not show after being released on bond or on their own recognizance grew by 153 percent in the last four years. (Before you let them go, get the number of their Obama-Phones so you can call the no shows. Or pick them up at the food stamp office. ~Bob)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

You will be made to care: FEMA To Deny Funding To States Without Global Warming Plans
Excerpt: Next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start denying disaster funding to states that don’t incorporate global warming into their emergency preparedness plans. Governors looking for disaster preparedness funding will have to start reporting on how man-made global warming will impact their states such as “more intense storms, frequent heavy precipitation, heat waves, drought, extreme flooding, and higher sea levels," according.

No, Being a Climate Change Skeptic Isn’t Like Fearing Vaccines. By Stephen Moore  
Excerpt: National Geographic’s latest cover story generated lots of attention for comparing climate change skeptics to those who fear vaccinations, disbelieve NASA’s moon landing, and oppose water fluoridation. The author bemoans the fact that only 40 percent of Americans (according to Pew Research Center) “accept that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming,” asking how so many “reasonable people doubt science.” Dubbing climate change one of the “precepts of science,” the author opines that climate change skepticism is “dispiriting” for anyone considered a “rationalist.” How could so many dismiss “settled science”? Actually, there’s a healthy reason that the public has come to distrust government warnings and the scientific experts: they are often wrong. (When I read a copy of National Geographic recently at a doctor's office, I was shocked and depressed to see how completely the staff and editors have bought into the Climate Change campaign, and now to the point where they are echoing the kind of PC oppression of any countering thought. This is truly both ridiculous and horrifying, that classic institutions will join in like the people who jumped on the Nazi bandwagon back when and applauded the book burnings. And the fact that we have 17 years of essentially unchanging global temperature as measured the best way we have, by satellites, just gets the more-silent-than-the-grave treatment. Nobody in the main media will even whisper about that most solid of all the climate facts. This is mind-blowing to me, suppressing countering thought is supposed to be anathema to Liberals. --Del. Statists from Herod to Stalin to Hitler to Mao to Obama have ALWAYS sought to suppress countering thought and speech. ~Bob))

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: he socialist government in France usually doesn’t have much in common with congressional Republicans, for whom both France and socialism tend to be anathema. But the French, according to a Wall Street Journal report, are taking the toughest line among the powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program and are alarmed by the Obama administration’s accommodating approach. “Some U.S. officials,” the Journal writes, “privately believe France is seeking in part to maintain strong ties to Israel and to Arab countries deeply skeptical of Washington’s outreach to Tehran.”

Iran Nuke Deal Harder and Harder for Josh Earnest to Justify. From The Patriot Post
Josh Earnest ran damage control after Iran Ayatollah Ali Khomeini responded to hecklers by saying, "Of course, death to America," during a public speech over the weekend. This prompted the Leftmedia to start asking hard questions about Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta asked Obama's spokesman, "Do those comments give this White House any pause about moving forward with a nuclear deal with that country?" Earnest replied, "Those kinds of comments only underscore why it is so critically important that the United States and the international community succeed in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." He continued, saying the only way to prevent an Iranian bomb is through negotiation. But Earnest fumbled when he said the Ayatollah's comment was only "intended for a domestic political audience." (What are some things Obama said only for the ears of people back home?) While the Obama administration flirts with a U.S. enemy, Israel's intelligence has been spying on the proceedings and leaking information to Congress. It's an act of self-preservation, which also gives to Congress information that Obama should have been providing all along.

Barack Obama And Iran – A Love Story: How Far Will One Man Go To Validate His Nobel Peace Prize? And What Price Will The World Pay?
Excerpt: Thirty two years ago Ronald Reagan introduced his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to the world with this quote: “We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” Derided by the left as being scientifically impossible and having the potential of reigniting the arms race with the Soviets, “Star Wars” as they called it, became a sufficient worry for the Soviets that it actually hastened their demise. ... Given the history of failed treaties from Munich to Moscow, the professor asked a simple question: “If it’s someone’s goal to kill you, to destroy you, is it unreasonable to expect them to lie about it in the first place?” (Obama quoted as saying the US "could survive another 9/11." Guess he looks forward to it, eh? --Barb. But a nuclear 9/11? ~Bob)

Run Away, Run Away! Earnest: Yemen Serves As Template Of Strategy We Employed To Mitigate Threat From Extremists
Excerpt: Following a week in which al-Qaeda killed hundreds of Shi'ite worshipers backed by Iran in twin Mosque bombings in the capital Sana'a, British and U.S. military advisers fled the country, and ISIS announced it was entering what is now being called the Yemeni civil war, White House spokesman Josh Earnest responds to questions about whether Yemen is still a good "template" for success in the middle east. (If Yemen is a success, what would a failure look like? Oh, yea, Iraq, Libya, Syria...~Bob)

Excerpt: Only by pretending that Obama’s pending nuclear surrender is an “executive agreement” rather than a treaty can slick media liars evade the clear language of the US Constitution. And if the administration has been lying to the mullahs about the Constitution, their “executive agreement” has been negotiated under false pretenses. In that case Obama owes us a sincere apology, and the pending executive agreement has no force of law.

Graham: Obama official used 'terrorist' language in speech about Israel
Excerpt: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday slammed a speech by Denis McDonough on Israel, saying the White House chief of staff used the same language as terrorists.
"The language used by the chief of staff of the president of the United States is exactly what Hamas uses," Graham said Monday from the Senate floor. "Today the chief of staff of the president of the United States used language that has been reserved for terrorist organizations." (Well, duh, remember, the "sweetest sound" is the Muslim call to prayer, according to POTUS. The politicians and folks keep trying to see the "transformation of America" as something worthwhile, versus a coup from inside infiltration. He has outed himself in many ways.....and the folks still look like deer in the headlights, thinking they can cast off this plague in 2016. Not. --Barb)

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Collapse-American-Republic-prevent/dp/1461122538/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304815980&sr=1-5 For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com. Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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