Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shorter post, but interesting news today


Wednesday I had PT Rehab in the morning, a reception for the retiring VA director in the evening, and a condo association board meeting in the evening. Thus I didn't get near to finishing my incoming email. Posting what I have. Sorry. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph. By Richard Botkin
This is a terrific history of the latter part of the Vietnam War, focusing mostly on the NVA's Easter Offensive of 1972, and the actions of the elite Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps and their heroic US Marine advisors. It includes a great account of "Ripley at the Bridge," when Capt. John Ripley planted explosives on the Dong Ha bridge under fire (Navy Cross) and dropped it, preventing the NVA from getting their tanks and troops across at that point, and contributing greatly to the defeat of that invasion. The NVA were in violation of the treaty they signed in Paris, but later we violated our pledge to the Republic of Vietnam to aid them f the North violated the truce. Thanks to our reneging on our commitment, today they live in a one-party state, without freedom of the press, freedom of speech or freedom of religion. This book will be of great interest to Marines, Vietnam Vets and Military History buffs. I recommend it, and hope the movie comes to our area. If not, I'll get the DVD. ~Bob

Book Recommendations by Robert A. Hall--Latest Update

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: Progressive Mass Hysteria. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: One can argue that the slave-owner Robert E. Lee fought to perpetuate human bondage, but Lee never took delight in personally executing without trial his ideological enemies, in the manner of the psychopathic, pistol-toting Che Guevara, whose hip portraiture adorns all too many campus dorm rooms. Present politics mostly define the degree of past sin and the appropriate punishments, as the revolutionary mob decides in an instant which particular historical figure deserves the most immediate ostracism and should be Trotskyized from our collective memory. Should we now remove the racist Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill? Even in my small town in central California there are schools named Jackson and Wilson. Apparently our Depression-era educators thought that the one Democratic president was a populist reformer, the other an idealistic internationalist. Yet both were abject racists, at least as we understand the charge today.

Worth Reading: California Is A Microcosm Of American Mediocrity. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: California keeps reminding us what has gone astray with America in recent years. The state is in the midst of a crippling four-year-old drought. Yet it has built almost no major northern or central mountain reservoirs since the New Melones Dam of 1979. That added nearly 3 million acre-feet to the state's storage reserves — a critical project that was almost canceled by endless environmental lawsuits and protests. Although California has almost doubled in population since the dam's construction, its politicians apparently decided that completing more northern and Sierra Nevada water projects was passe. So the parched state now prays for rain and snow rather than building reservoirs to ensure that the next drought won't shut down the state. ... California equated a Silicon Valley smartphone in the hand with knowledge in the head — and the nation at large soon produced the most electronically wired and least knowledgeable generation in memory. We are all Californians now.

Terrific: Attorney In Charge of Releasing Lois Lerner "Lost" Emails Now In Charge of Hillary Clinton's Emails. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Attorney Catherine Duval is in charge of handling inquiries from Congress about emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the conservative targeting scandal. Just last week we learned during Congressional testimony from internal government watchdogs that Lerner's hard drive containing emails sent and received when the agency was targeting conservative groups between 2010 and 2012 likely crashed due to "an impact of some sort." We also learned that her hard drive allegedly crashed on a Saturday and that the IRS didn't bother looking for backup tapes. ... Now, we're learning that Duval is also in charge of handling the release of emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who of course conducted years of government business on a private server hosted in her house.

Uh Oh: Survey Shows Hillary Will Have a Tough Time Turning Out Democratic Voters. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Liberals are pros when it comes to getting people out to vote, but a new survey shows Hillary Clinton will have major trouble turning out Democrats in 2016. From Real Clear Politics ... Meanwhile, while Democratic voters aren't necessarily interested or confident in Hillary Clinton, progressive candidate Bernie Sanders is catching up and leftist darling Elizabeth Warren could end up on the campaign trail to back him.

Hillary Mocked Anti-Castro Cubans. By Patrick Howley
Excerpt: “Does this mean you have to go to Cuba and arrest Castro or just shovel more $ into Little Havana?” Clinton asked Verma, referring to the politically powerful Cuban- American neighborhood in Miami.

David Axelrod On Hillary Email Dump: ‘I Knew She Had That Account’ [VIDEO]. By Al Weaver
Excerpt: One day after the State Department released more emails from Hillary Clinton’s private account, former White House adviser David Axelrod addressed his involvement, saying that while he knew she had the account, he didn’t know she had a private server.

Strike and Case the Damn Rainbow Flag. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Our Stars and Stripes welcome; permit; and tolerate. To the world our Colors broadcast power and freedom and opportunity, and so people they pull. And they are the only such colors, ever, in the history of mankind.

Meet Lt. Gen. Robert Neller, nominee to be the next Marine Corps commandant. By Dan Lamothe
Excerpt: Lt. Gen. Robert B. Neller, a veteran infantry officer who commanded troops in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, has been selected to serve as the Marine Corps’ new top officer, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday. The general’s nomination was announced in a news conference at the Pentagon. Carter called Neller a warrior, leader and statesman, and said they first got to know each other when Neller was the director of operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. They collaborated on providing urgent needs to combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and traveled to the war zone together.

There can be no Truce With the Left. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: There comes a time when every conservative thinker tries to find some common ground with the left in some area. Today it’s criminal rights and the headlines have Rand Paul denouncing the racist justice system while Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers join with the left to back their reforms. As usually happens, the conservatives or libertarians turn out to be the useful idiots of the left. Liberals have a long history of being the left’s useful idiots. It’s only fair that libertarians get a turn.

Greece and Puerto Rico: Lessons for Americans. By Newt Girgrich
Excerpt: Greece will hold a referendum on Sunday to decide whether it will stay in the Eurozone or leave it. Staying in the Eurozone will require Greeks to accept very harsh austerity cutbacks and reforms. Dropping out of the Eurozone would lead to a radically devalued Greek drachma.
Other countries that have accepted devaluation have seen their currency decline in value by as much as 84 percent. That means everything they import costs dramatically more and everything they export brings in less. For American and European customers, it would be a huge benefit, since staying in Greek hotels, eating in Greek restaurants, and buying Greek goods would be drastically cheaper.

Rising Dragon News

What Fiction Can Tell You About a Future War With China. By Patrick Tucker
Excerpt: No one wants to think about what a war between the United States and China might look like — unless somebody can make it fun. A new novel born from real trends in military innovation attempts to capture and imagine exactly that. Every technology in the book, from rail guns to brain-based memory manipulation, is at least at the prototype stage of development in real life. “Ghost Fleet: A Novel Of the Next World War,” meticulously researched by its authors: Peter W. Singer, strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation; and August Cole, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, features some 20 manifestations of drone technology alone, as well as nearly 400 endnotes.

Gun News

3 Arrested, 1 Hurt in Home Invasion Robbery Shooting
Excerpt: The three men had gone to the home to collect a debt from the homeowner, then forced their way into a garage and confronted the homeowner, Chantler said.
The homeowner fired at least one shotgun round, striking a man in a leg, Chantler said.

Home invasion shooting leaves 1 dead; 2nd suspect in hospital
Excerpt: A family of five in the Northeast valley woke up to a couple of home invaders busting through their door. One of the homeowners surprised the suspected robbers with gunfire. Metro detectives say one of those intruders died from a bullet wound.

Orlando teen shoots intruder in grandparents' home, police say
Excerpt: Linda’s disabled husband, Robert Shuster, said he gave his grandson clear instructions on what to do when Quade allegedly charged at the teen. "I said, ‘Neal, shoot him. Don't let him hurt you,’” Robert Shuster said. “He’s grabbing me, and my grandpa is yelling, ‘Shoot him.' So I shot him,” Neal Shuster said. The teen shot an unarmed Quade in the stomach and then called 911, police said. Quade, who is expected to survive, was taken to a hospital and placed into a medically induced coma. He is charged with burglary.

Resident shoots, kills man he said tried to rob him early Monday, Sheriff’s Office says
Excerpt: According to the news release, Frazier approached the resident, who was outside the home, and asked for a lighter. When the resident reached in his pocket, Frazier pointed a gun at him demanding his belongings. The resident then pulled a firearm from his pocket and shot Frazier.

Race Card News

Excerpt: Assistant professor of sociology Zandria Robinson — whose Twitter account is promoted on the school’s official website — posted a tweet following the Charleston shooting suggesting that the killer’s actions were a result of his whiteness: *waits for thinkpieces about how more mental health services could prevent white people from acting how they’re conditioned to act* (Given that blacks make up 13% of the population, committee 50% of the murders, and kill twice as many whites as whites kill blacks, and whites are still over 60% of the population, it's a good thing for her this is racist BS she's spouting. ~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Doctor Accused of Medicare Fraud Donated $450K to Democrats. Dr. Asad Qamar received more than $18.2 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012. By Joe Schoffstall
Excerpt: A cardiologist in Florida who has donated more than $450,000 to Democrats has been suspended from receiving Medicare reimbursement payments over “credible allegations of fraud” after reimbursements as far back as 2012 came under scrutiny. Dr. Asad Qamar, a cardiologist based out of Ocala, Fla., was officially suspended from participating in the program in March, though the suspension was only recently made public. In January, the government intervened in a lawsuit against Qamar filed by whistleblowers who alleged the doctor had defrauded the government.

ObamaCare Law Is Bad, But Its Economics Is Worse. By Lawrence Kudlow
Excerpt: The judicial decision to uphold all of the president's health care subsidies may be very disappointing, but the economics of ObamaCare are far worse than whatever constitutional mistakes the Supreme Court may have committed. The economics of ObamaCare are very bad. The law is inflicting broad damage on job creation and new business formation. It ruins job incentives by making it pay more not to work, thereby intensifying a labor shortage that is holding back growth and in turn lowering incomes and spending. And across-the-board ObamaCare tax increases are inflicting heavy punishment on investment — right when the U.S. economy desperately needs more capital as a way of solving a steep productivity decline. (The Supremes have now twice played games with words, the first time was saying that a penalty is a tax, even though the people who wrote the Act referred to it as a penalty both before and after the Court's ruling, and the second time when they said that "by the states" meant by the government (more or less). As Scalia wrote, the judgment and the nice legal rationalizations about it were simply about protecting the ACA no matter what. OK, so now we're stuck with it, at least until the full impact becomes so obvious that the clamor to repeal/revise it becomes irresistible in Congress. Below are some very solid facts about parts of it that most people have never heard of or thought about. Which will have and are having effects that can only increase with time. I figure by 2018 at latest there will be articles detailing what has gone on and why so many people are unhappy and why it's costing far, far more than anyone ever wanted to admit it might. Then we'll have an actual, rational examination of what can be done to it to salvage the mess. Personally I'd be in favor of total repeal and start over, but maybe some kind of really heavy overhaul will be possible. Time will tell, and like the car that went off the cliff and is now in free fall, so far we're surviving. But that impact with reality is coming up fast, like the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. Del)

Undocumented Democrat News

‘This Is An Insult': Ann Coulter & Geraldo Rivera Clash Over Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: Geraldo Rivera and Ann Coulter squared off tonight on Megyn Kelly‘s show over immigration, and Rivera confronted her over her new book, which he deemed an insulting “screed” against Latinos. 

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: Today marks another deadline for President Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. The truth is these talks were doomed from the start by the administration’s pattern of retreat. As the Iranians hang tough, insisting on their core demands, the president has steadily abandoned commitments he made to the American people and our allies. In the most recent example, Secretary of State John Kerry backed off from the longstanding demand of the United States and its partners that Iran come clean about the possible military dimensions of its program before any deal is signed. 

Obama Concessions to Iran Worse than Previously Known
Excerpt: But this story actually gets worse. In a June 29 Wall Street Journal article, columnist Jay Solomon wrote that the Obama administration has been secretly making concessions to Iran since 2009 to convince it to begin multilateral talks on its nuclear program.

74 children executed by ISIS for 'crimes' that include refusal to fast, report says. By Malia Zimmerman
Excerpt: A total of 3,027 people have been executed by ISIS since it declared itself a state under strict Islamic law in Syria and Iraq last June, according to a new report by the UK-based group, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "Many of the charges against those executed are recorded as blasphemy and spying, but others include sorcery, sodomy, practicing as a Shia Muslim," the report states.

Syrian rebels filmed shooting Islamic State militants
Excerpt: A hardline Islamist rebel group in Syria has released a video showing its fighters shooting dead a group of alleged Islamic State (IS) militants. Reversing the imagery of beheadings by the jihadist group, Jaysh al-Islam members wearing orange outfits are seen killing 18 men dressed in black. The video says they are being shot in revenge for the recent beheading of three Jaysh al-Islam fighters.

Iranian-backed Hizballah and Hamas Bolster Worldwide Terrorist Presence
Excerpt: While the West extends nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to enhance its international terrorism infrastructure through its proxies. Hizballah has 950 active operatives in the Western European state while Hamas maintains 300 operatives, according to a German intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post. The number of Islamists in Germany rose from 43,190 in 2013 to 43,890 in 2014, the report said. Radical Islamists are "the greatest danger to Germany...Germany is on the spectrum of goals for Islamic terrorists," said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of German's domestic intelligence agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).

The Ideological Gutting of American Foreign Policy. Government policy under Obama was to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and support its ascendancy in the Mideast. The outcome is chaos. By Matthew Hausman, INN
Excerpt: It was clear on the morning of September 11, 2001, that the United States was at war with Islamic radicals, and while there may have been differences of opinion regarding strategy, there was no denying the need to defeat doctrinal terrorism. But as the U.S. became mired in foreign wars, critics questioned whether its actions were achieving the goal, and ultimately whether the goal was even justified. Voices on the left falsely claimed that Arab-Muslim extremism was an understandable response to western chauvinism, and instead of condemning terrorists for their actions, they started blaming the victims for allegedly insulting Islam.

Worth Reading: The Islamic State Caliphate Turns One. By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Excerpt: As we pass the one-year anniversary since the announcement of ISIS's so-called "caliphate" demanding the allegiance of the world's Muslims and ultimately sovereignty over the entire world, much of the commentary has been far too ephemeral. The media has had a tendency to take whatever comes out immediately in the news -- such as the attack today in Sinai claimed by ISIS and its threat to Hamas in Gaza -- as indicative of long-term trends. This is true both on the ISIS home fronts in Iraq and Syria and on the international stage as a number of official "province" (wilaya) affiliates have been announced in Sinai, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan/Pakistan and, most recently it seems, the Caucasus area. In addition, the international export of the ISIS brand has recently seen a wave of ISIS-claimed (but not confirmed) massacres in Sinai, Kuwait and Tunisia.

Egypt army says it killed 100 militants, lost 17 personnel in fight against IS Wednesday,-lost--person.aspx
Excerpt: The General Command of the Armed Forces has issued its first official statement on Wednesday’s battles against Islamist militants who attacked army posts earlier in the day. The statement said that the army killed more than 100 militants during its counter-attacks in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah cities.

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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