Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Some pretty interesting news and opinion today


The Old Jarhead Blog--thanks for following!
I try to make this blog your one-stop-shop for political news and conservative opinion. Founded in October, 2008, it gets 5k to 7k page views a week, most from the US, but hundreds from many countries worldwide. Feel free to post or forward to friends who need to be better informed. The news posts are created from several news feeds, from US and international websites, from twitter when I have spare time to follow it, and by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have often have missed or skipped. We owe them thanks and appreciation. I try to include foreign sources and info you won’t get in the MSM, but I often use links to pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Reuters and other left-of-center sources. No one is required to read the blog, or any of the links. Trust me, no one reads everything posted, but scanning the headlines will keep you informed, and you can click on stories you want to know more about. 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, too far a stretch, or viciously inflammatory, regardless of the view point. I also try to avoid items that will turn off thoughtful centrists and leftists or low-information independents, including “red meat” pieces with intemperate language or wild speculation, conspiracy theories with no supporting facts and silly distractions like the so-called “birther” issue (which I correctly predicted years ago was going nowhere, and wasted time and energy), but I don’t always succeed. I use maybe 50% of the conservative pieces sent me, probably less than 5% of the liberal opinion sent, usually to illustrate their views. Readers who don’t like that are welcome to start their own blogs. Readers who send formatted pieces (title, link, and a fair-use excerpt of no more than three sentences unless the piece is very short, than fewer) to tartanmarine(at) have a higher chance of my using them than people who just send a link. A piece without a link has a much lower chance of being used—it depends on how interesting it is and how much time I have right then to search for it, and my time is limited right now due to managing the lung transplant I received on December 23, 2013, which has developed complications. I understand if you don’t have the time to format or even to find a link—please understand I don't either. I often include thoughtful comments from contributors. (Tell me if you want your full name used.) There are no ads on my blog, no fees and I receive no income from it. Now that I've retired, that might need to change, though I hate the ads on most blogs. For now, that’s how it is. I do promote my books, with the royalties going to charity. As always on the Net, as in the legacy media, you must read these posts critically and with skepticism.

General News and Comment

Election day is one week away. Wisconsin voters have an important decision to make. Do we want more of the same or do we want to return order to the Supreme Court? On April 7th, I encourage you to not only support my effort to uphold the rule of law but also support the constitutional amendment to allow the chief justice of the Supreme Court to be elected. Together we can send common sense back to the Supreme Court. To find out why I feel I am the right choice for Wisconsin listen to my latest radio ad:

The right picks for judge races
Excerpt: The highest-profile race is the challenge to incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley by Rock County Judge James Daley. It’s almost impossible to do worse than Bradley. She is not only an unapologetic liberal who hasn’t met a conviction she didn’t want to overturn, Bradley is also an abuser of the state Constitution who makes mockery of that document when she votes to overturn legislation passed by Governor Walker and the Legislature. If Bradley had three other justices as addled as her, Walker would essentially be powerless because the court would merely nullify every bill he signs. ... Daley towers over Bradley. He’d be a far better justice and he is a better human being.

Crossed Obama: New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez indicted on corruption charges
Excerpt: Sen. Bob Menendez has been charged with using his office to improperly benefit a Florida eye doctor and political donor.

Timeline Puts Lie To Obama's Story About Bergdahl
Excerpt: The Obama regime still insists that releasing the top command of our enemy was all about saving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. But several reports from 2012 reveal that it was secretly negotiating the Taliban Five's release without Bergdahl. Now that the Army has filed desertion charges against Bergdahl, the administration is under increasing pressure to justify the bad deal. Astoundingly, it's sticking to its story that President Obama only freed the high-risk Gitmo detainees to free a "POW." "This was about bringing home an individual that had served his country," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week about the 2014 swap. But IBD has uncovered a series of credible reports from 2012 — as well as a transcript of a candid press conference by then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai — that show the White House originally wanted to give up the Taliban commanders under just one condition: that the Taliban open a political office in Qatar "to conduct peace negotiations." It was Qatar that ended up taking the prisoners. (Wow, isn't this interesting. So all along it was a program to spring the Big Five as part of the strategy to empty out Gitmo. And there were options to rescue Bergdahl that weren't exercised, so that he could be the excuse to let these truly dangerous men go loose? Hard to believe? With this Administration, not so much. --Del)

U.S. Navy alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of sand’ in South China Sea. By Simon Denyer 
Excerpt: China is building a “Great Wall of sand” through an unparalleled program of land reclamation in the South China Sea, raising concerns about the possibility of military confrontation in the disputed waters, according to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
In one of the strongest and highest-level criticisms of the reclamation project to date, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. told a naval conference in Australia late Tuesday that competing territorial claims by several nations in the South China Sea continue to stoke “regional tensions and the potential for miscalculation.”

Worth Reading: America can't fight China's Great Wall of Sand. A U.S. wargame demonstrated that U.S. air assets are no match for the number of Chinese aircraft in the event of a war. By Martin Barillas
Excerpt: In a wargame entitled “Pacific Vision,” experts from the RAND Corporation joined U.S. military leaders in 2008 to identify Air Force capabilities to defend U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region. In an op-ed in The National Interest, Paul Scharre – of the Center for a New American Security – analyzed the results of the wargame. According to Scharre, “[The RAND study] analyzed a U.S.-China air war over Taiwan made the bold assumption that every air-to-air missile fired from a U.S. F-22 hit a Chinese fighter (100 percent kill rate) and that every Chinese missile missed the U.S. F-22s (0 percent kill rate). In their simulation, the United States still lost the fight.”

Religious freedom laws helped Muslims, Indians, Sikhs. By Valerie Richardson 
Excerpt: So far the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never worked as a defense for Christian bakers embroiled in lawsuits over gay weddings, but for a handful of Apache, Muslim and Sikh plaintiffs, it's been a godsend. Critics of Indiana's newly signed RFRA - joined Tuesday by the Arkansas legislature's passage of a similar bill - have warned that the law provides a "license to discriminate" against gay and transgender people, although that hasn't been the case in the 22 years since President Bill Clinton signed the federal RFRA in 1993 or in 19 states that passed similar laws before Indiana.

Gun News

President Of Group Founded By MLK Calls On Blacks To ‘Advocate Their Second Amendment Rights’ [VIDEO]
Excerpt: The president of the Georgia chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Tuesday nonviolence is not working and African-Americans should ”avail themselves” to their Second Amendment rights.... “We’re going to have to do something in our community to let the rest of America know that we are not going to be victimized by just anybody whether it be police or folks that decide that black people are thugs and we need to control that black community.” When asked to explain what appeared to be a call to arms, Mosteller backed off, saying that he was not advocating for members of the black community to start carrying guns en masse. (Article notes this person is an assistant pastor at a church in AtlantaGA, Good Shepherd Community Church. --Barb)

Suspect Shot, Killed During Robbery Attempt
Excerpt: Sellars was wearing a black hoodie and jeans. He started out by asking a question before lunging at him with the box cutter.... The owner sustained a cut on his neck. Despite the injury, the store owner reached for his gun and shot the Sellars one time. Sellars was able to leave the store, but did not get far.

St. Paul: Handgun owner's shooting in attempted robbery 'very complex,' police say
Excerpt: A St. Paul man had been walking outside when two men approached and tried to rob him, police have said. The man, who had a permit to carry, pulled his gun and exchanged gunfire with the suspects, according to police. ... Police have said the 24-year-old man got into his own car and pursued the suspects. A second gunfight followed in the 900 block of Thomas Avenue. (Chasing after them puts the victim in legal jeopardy, as his life was no longer in danger. ~Bob)

Race Card News

Self-Enforcing Discrimination. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: Black politicians, civil rights organizations and others who say they are concerned with the welfare of poor black people often support harmful measures. One of the most effective tools for disadvantaged people is to be able to charge a lower price for what they sell and pay a higher price for what they buy. Let’s look at this principle first using a couple of nonracial examples.

Public School Principal says that "Being Colorblind" is Just Another Way of Saying "Being Racist." By Onan Coca
Excerpt: To many, Harvey’s defense of North High would appear well-aligned with the traditional liberal principles of treating all races equally. But to Harvey’s own boss, principal Lisa Dyer, it actually reveals insidious racism. On Sunday night, several days after Harvey’s column was published, Dyer sent an email to the entire staff of the school blasting her employee for calling her school colorblind, saying it ignored the right of students to honor their particular “complexions.”

Group calls for disarming NYPD, removing officers from neighborhoods
Excerpt: A group calling itself “Disarm NYPD” wants the nation’s largest city to create cop-free zones and eventually prohibit New York City Police Department officers from carrying firearms.
According to the website “Waging Nonviolence,” the activists plan to team up with local activists and police watchdogs to pressure the NYPD to pull officers “from over-policed neighborhoods and then maintain these cop-free zones with alternative, community-based forms of conflict resolution.” (Try it. But pull the cops from the neighborhoods where these activists live. Make them beg to get the cops back--the survivors that is. ~Bob)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Study: Fracking Doesn’t Mess With Your Drinking Water. By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: The new study of 11,309 drinking water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania concludes that background levels of methane in the water are unrelated to the location of hundreds of oil and gas wells that tap hydraulically fractured, or fracked, rock formations. The finding suggests that fracking operations are not significantly contributing to the leakage of methane from deep rock formations, where oil and gas are extracted, up to the shallower aquifers where well water is drawn. The result also calls into question prominent studies in 2011 and 2013 that did find a correlation in a nearby part of Pennsylvania. There, wells closer to fracking sites had higher levels of methane. Those studies, however, were based on just 60 and 141 domestic well samples, respectively.

John Kerry has a long history of phony "seared memories." From Christmas 1968 in Cambodia to the "very first climate hearings in the Senate," Kerry just makes stuff up. The Washington Post "fact checker" took on the claim about the Senate climate hearings only to discover that "Kerry was not even a participant in the most important hearing of that time; he simply spoke at a hearing that took place the following year. And yet, like Brian Williams claiming to have come under fire in Iraq, Kerry has repeatedly placed himself at the center of the action -- and the narrative." Not only that, a follow-up article reveals that the hearing was not, as Kerry at another time asserted, deliberately scheduled on the summer's hottest day, nor was it "sweltering" in the hearing room. Leftists regularly assert that weather isn't proof of climate -- unless they need it to be. The fact checker concluded, "Frankly, this now puts Kerry's statements in an even a worse light. Not only did he place himself at a hearing he did not organize and attend, but he described witnessing events that did not happen." That's par for the course with Kerry.

Scientists Say New Study Is A ‘Death Blow’ To Global Warming Hysteria. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: A new study out of Germany casts further doubt on the so-called global warming “consensus” by suggesting the atmosphere may be less sensitive to increases in carbon dioxide emissions than most scientists think. A study by scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology found that man-made aerosols had a much smaller cooling effect on the atmosphere during the 20th Century than was previously thought. Why is this big news? It means increases in carbon dioxide emissions likely cause less warming than most climate models suggest.

Religion of Peace News

Howard Dean: Yeah, It's Time to Walk Away From the Iran Negotiations. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: According to some White House defenders' simplistic and demagogic formulation, skeptics of the Iran deal are beating the drums of war. This ignores a range of alternative options, including the imposition of crippling sanctions, but that's not the point. The point is to pretend that Obama's permissive deal is the only thing standing between the US and a ground war in Iran. Via NRO, say hello to Howard Dean, warmonger: Dean dutifully gets in his shots at Republicans and the "discredited" Israeli Prime Minister (whose people just handed a smashing victory), but he ultimately confesses that he's "worried about the way these negotiations have gone." He counsels the American delegation to pack up and leave, and perhaps return to the table at a later date when additional pressure has been ratcheted up against the regime.

14 Reasons Iran Can Never Be Trusted on a Nuclear Deal. By Jim Meyers
Excerpt: Iran and six world powers announced a further extension of talks on the country's nuclear program on Tuesday, with hopes of reaching a final agreement by the end of June. But regardless of whether a deal is ultimately reached, and despite the Obama administration's insistence on striking an accord with Iran, there are significant reasons why the Islamic Republic cannot be trusted. (The ayatollahs can be trusted just as far as Herr Hitler, Comrade Stalin, and Prince Osama Bin Laden. Anyone who doesn't see that is either not paying attention to the history of the past 30 years, or is indulging in fantasy. --Del)

Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable.’ Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatens Saudis, saying their fate will be like that of Saddam Hussein
Excerpt: he commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday. Militia chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatened Saudi Arabia, saying that the offensive it is leading in Yemen “will have a fate like the fate of Saddam Hussein.”

Worth Reading: Editorial: President Obama Must Not Complete a Disastrous Deal With Iran. Forget Churchill—Obama Isn't Measuring up to Neville Chamberlain
Excerpt: With the US on the brink of signing an agreement that will lift the crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for alleged guarantees that Iran will limit its nuclear ambitions to peaceful means, the Observer urges President Obama not to place his personal hunger for a legacy issue ahead of his most solemn duty – protecting America’s national security.
Barack Obama has been compared to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain , who concluded the ill-fated Munich Pact with Hitler in 1938. But Chamberlain acted out of a sincere belief that he was avoiding a greater evil. Chamberlain was not thinking of his place in history. He was thinking only of the Britain that he loved, a Britain that was all but disarmed, exhausted, and vulnerable. He was dealing with a nation that had been decimated by the Great War, a nation whose “best and brightest” five years earlier had declared in the infamous Oxford Oath that they would not fight for king or country, and a nation that was as materially unprepared for war as Germany was prepared to fight.

Sisi Wins! Obama Removes Weapons Freeze Against Egypt
Excerpt: Seeking to repair relations with a longtime ally at a time of spreading war in the Middle East, President Obama on Tuesday lifted an arms freeze against Egypt that he had first imposed after the military overthrow of the country’s democratically elected government nearly two years ago. Mr. Obama cleared the way for the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 Abrams tanks, weapons prized by Egyptian leaders, who have smoldered at the suspension. In a telephone call, Mr. Obama assured President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt that he would support the full $1.3 billion in annual military assistance the Cairo government traditionally receives, even as others seek to cut it, the White House said.

Excerpt: Iraqi troops and Iranian-backed Shiite militias entered central Tikrit alongside Iraqi troops today after days of US airstrikes weakened Islamic State forces holed up in the city. The militias entered Tikrit despite US military officials’ claims that the groups had disengaged from the fight. The militias and Iraqi troops took control of the governor’s compound and the hospital in the city center, Reuters reported.

ISIS Conquers Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus
Excerpt: Islamic State terrorists conquered large areas of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital Wednesday and are battling Palestinian faction Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis for control, media reports indicate. "Fighters from ISIS launched an assault this morning on Yarmouk and they took over the majority of the camp," said Anwar Abdel Hadi, Damascus-based director of political affairs for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Islamic State Ebooks Advise Jihadis on Evading Detection. By John Rossomando
Excerpt: Islamic State supporters published two English-language ebooks online last weekend, advising potential recruits how to evade detection. One, How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid Guide (2015), advises potential jihadis in Europe how to form sleeper cells. Hijrah to the Islamic State: What to Pickup, Who to Contact, Where to Go, Stories and More! targets potential recruits seeking to join them in Syria.

The Obama Administration’s Slavery Disgrace. By Stephen Brown
Excerpt: As uplifting as these words may sound, President Obama’s “motivation” and vigilance “in defense of human rights around the world,” at least in regard to the enslavement of black Africans, apparently ends with the now defunct Trans-Atlantic slave trade. For once again, the Obama administration has shamefully failed to raise a loud voice against the persecution and imprisonment of anti-slavery activists in the world’s worst slave state, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The United Nations (UN) human rights office earlier this month called for a review of the conviction of a remarkable and fearless Mauritanian anti-slavery activist, Biram Ould Dah Abeid, who, like Obama’s Kenyan relatives, is black African. Biram and two others were sentenced to two years in prison last January, according to Amnesty International (AI), for having staged a demonstration last November “to raise the awareness about land rights for people of slave descent (land slavery).”

Dozens of churches burned in Niger by Muslim group
Excerpt: At least 68 churches, two of which were Baptist, have been burned in the West African country of Niger. Panlieba Tchalieni, president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Niger, reported that the church burnings, carried out by Muslim extremist group Boko Haram, occurred in the Zinder region and Niamey.

British Muslim women abused under Sharia courts – report
Excerpt: A Peer is calling for a judge-led inquiry into Sharia courts, in a revealing new report on discrimination against Muslim women across Britain. In the report, Baroness Cox also outlines the provisions of her Private Members’ Bill, which would curb the growth of quasi-legal systems such as Sharia courts, in England and Wales. She is seeking to re-introduce the Bill in the next session of Parliament.

Worth Hearing: Admiral (Ret) James Lyons on Islam as a threat doctrine

Excerpt: We are often told that Islam is “peaceful,” but few know about the long practice of slavery within Islam, which continues to this day. “Slavery is a part of Islam… Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam… [Those who argue that slavery has been abolished are] ignorant, not scholars. They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel.” --Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, member of Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body (2003)

U.S. Drone Airstrike Against ISIS Accidentally Kills Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders In Iraq
Excerpt: Tehran says a U.S. drone strike killed two Iranian advisers in Iraq last week, but the United States says it has only struck Islamic State (IS) militants in its campaign.

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. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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