Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Political Digest December 9, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Vietnam Myths
I was at a Marine vets’ lunch this past weekend, where a fellow raising money for a new group to help vets claimed that 186,000 Vietnam Vets had committed suicide since the war. Since some 58,000 died in the war, that means that every living vet should know three guys who killed himself for every one who died in the war. Clearly bogus. A lot of this comes from either the left, eager to make Vietnam Vets another Victim Class in order to trash America, or from groups with a financial interest in raising money/getting government grants to help vets (and pay their own salaries). As long as people can get funded and/or score points against America, we’ll see this garbage slandering Vietnam vets as a bunch of crazies perpetrated.

Here’s a good website with documented facts about Vietnam and Vietnam vets:
It says this about suicide among Vietnam vets: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population. Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group." Testimony by Dr. Houk, Oversight on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 14 July 1988 page 17, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate one hundredth Congress second session. Also "Estimating the Number of Suicides Among Vietnam Veterans" (Am J Psychiatry 147, 6 June 1990 pages 772-776)

For those interested in the Agent Orange controversy, here’s a link to the well-thought-of Air Force study of the health of airmen who actually delivered Agent Orange and came back day after day soaked in it:
I also have a paper on Agent Orange written by a Marine Vietnam vet who has a degree in chemistry and a background in statistics, which I can share with anyone interested. Unfortunately, like Breast Cancer and AIDS, Agent Orange claims and PTSD are now “political diseases” and decisions are made on the basis of politics and funding, not science. Soon coming to all of healthcare.

Vietnam Charity
Looking to do some good at the end of the year? Here’s a small charity run by a Marine Vietnam vet, helping wounded vets of the South Vietnam Army, the allies we deserted in 1974. They get no help from the Communist Government. Here’s what Del, the vet, says about it:
Well, as everybody knows, I am still working for the charity to help crippled ARVN vets living (and suffering) in Viet Nam. It's end of the year, and as usual, my fantasy is that people I know can use a nice tax deduction, and will perhaps make a contribution to VHF before year's end. We are struggling (I guess most charities are, at least from the deluge of mail requests we get every week) to keep things going, to help the 80+ men that we have committed to support.

We have to turn down new requests for help, or just give them a one-time gift, because fundraising is so difficult. Every contribution, down to $10, is a help, so if you can see your way clear to send us a check or use the website and PayPal to donate, I can guarantee it will do some desperate soul some good. Our overhead is about 4%, since we are all volunteers, the only costs we have are actual distribution in Viet Nam, which has to be done very carefully by helpful individuals there, since the government has continued to harass anyone known to assist us. (They just don't want those old ARVN vets to get help from anybody, vindictiveness carried out beyond all belief.)

My long illnesses have kept me from scheduling a trip this year, but I hope to make it back there sometime in the coming year, God willing. This time it'll be another under-the-radar trip, moving day by day to stay ahead of the police watchers so I can get to the vets myself without getting them or our helpers in trouble. (I'm getting too old for this stuff!) Best wishes to everyone, and thanks. –Del

Camp Pendleton generals to lead Afghan fight in 2010
Excerpt: Two Camp Pendleton generals well versed in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq have been tapped to lead the Marine Corps' role in the troop escalation in Afghanistan, Defense Department officials said Monday. Maj. Gen. Richard Mills will command Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward in Afghanistan and have responsibility for all Marine forces there. One of Mills' deputies, Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, will serve as his battleground chief.

Gates, Karzai offer differing timeframes for withdrawal
Excerpt: "Our government will not again turn our back on this country or the region," Gates said. "We will fight by your side until the Afghan forces are large enough and strong enough to secure the nation on their own." (Apparently he even used the “W” word!)

Afghan war commander calls new strategy achievable
Excerpt: The general in charge of the war in Afghanistan is telling Congress that President Barack Obama's new war strategy is achievable and that combat force levels can be reduced starting in the summer of 2011. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he supports Obama's new war strategy - as did Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who had voiced misgivings previously. The new battle plan includes an 18-month timeline until the first U.S troops come home.

Ahmadinejad Reportedly Claims U.S. Is Blocking Return Of Mankind's Savior,2933,579640,00.html?test=latestnews
Thought the savior was already here, in the White House? This would be amusing except the guy is hanging Gay people, stoning women and developing an atomic bomb.

Barack and Hassan concur, the US is waning
Excerpt: It’s not often that Barack Obama and Hassan Nasrallah agree, but both made important speeches this week, and both appeared to concur that American power was on the decline. Of course Obama didn’t quite put it that way. Instead, he merely implied the growing sense of American difficulty, the fact that the United States was “passing through a time of great trial,” which he made more palatable by sandwiching it between words of encouragement and resolve. His speech to West Point cadets on Tuesday was an effort to explain to his countrymen why it was important to send an additional 30,000 or so troops to Afghanistan. But what remained, despite the soaring rhetoric toward the end of the president’s speech, was the terrible burden all this placed on an America much gloomier than it was decades ago.

75% support for the ban on minarets in London Daily News poll
Excerpt: Londoners support the Swiss government’s decision to ban minarets and mosques according to a new poll in The London Daily News, further highlighting the "sensitivities" and concerns in the capital at the growing influence of Islam. Callers to London's leading early morning radio show, the Nick Ferrari programme on LBC, also expressed their concerns with one caller citing how "out of character" a minaret would be if built in London. London is the home to one of the largest number of mosques in the western world,apart from Turkey, with estimates putting the number at over one hundred. The "minaret" issue has become ever more controversial with the growth of Islamic extremism in the capital, and calls by a minority for Sharia law to be observed by all.

WRAL: White Rapists and Lombard
Excerpt: A few days ago, WRAL, a Raleigh-based news station, released an update on the case. That update is worth re-printing here, along with my commentary, both for what the update says and what it does not say: “A former Duke University employee has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, authorities said Tuesday.” Here, the “sexual exploitation of a minor” is not described in any great detail. That is good because the sexual exploitation Lombard inflicted upon his own child is simply too graphic to reprint fully. I have read all of the documentation in this case. It contains descriptions of conduct, which can only be described as sub-human.

Primrose path
Excerpt: Already, within a fraction of President Barack Obama’s administration, it’s obvious that he is moving our country rapidly along an ideological path — one that has left nothing but skulls and bones scattered in its wake. This time around, however, it’s being disguised before the public — working its way through society wildly with the methodology of a gang of big-city thugs intimidating anyone who doesn’t conform to their radical ideology. Whether it is flexing their muscles by forcing loans on major corporations in an attempt to manhandle management to succumb to their overbearing request or if it comes in the form of a massive blind support of unions, the American people need to wake up! Socialist policy is alive and well on our soil. We don’t need to look to the failures of Euro and other countries. Look at how socialist policies are bankrupting our own economy.

GOP hits Reid on slavery comments
Wasn’t it Democrats who fought to keep slavery, Republicans who fought to abolish it? It used to be called slavery when a person was forced to labor for the benefit of someone else. Now the “peculiar institution” is called “The Welfare State” or, soon, “Healthcare Reform.” People will be further forced against their wishes to labor for the benefit of others.

California Should Copy Texas
Excerpt: While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worries about rising seas, his state sinks below the waves. Don't mess with Texas, they say. But California and the nation could follow its lead. Last Wednesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger released a new report based on research compiled by the California Energy Commission claiming that by 2100 San Francisco Bay would be more bay than San Francisco, with Fisherman's Wharf and Treasure Island under the rising waters of climate change. His show-and-tell, which included a new Google Earth application the commission spent $150,000 to help develop, goes a long way toward explaining the once-Golden State's slide into an economic and budgetary abyss.

Cap-And-Trade Loss A Stunner In Aussie Vote
Commonsense, down under. Excerpt: Cap-and-trade in Australia — which just a week ago was declared a certainty — is officially dead. This is the first major climate change turnaround anywhere in the Western world, with significant implications for our domestic debate. Combined with the Climate-gate e-mails revealing the data suppression and deceit underpinning "scientific consensus," the whole climate change alarmism house of cards is coming crashing down. Early last week, the leader of Australia's conservative opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that he had reached agreement with the government to implement cap-and-trade, thus binding his party to support it in parliament en bloc. The agreement was signed, sealed and delivered — cap-and-trade would become law with bipartisan support. Its passage was a certainty. The elite rejoiced. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the Senate: The Australian public woke up.

Cap-and-Tax Bad for Farmers, Rural America
Excerpt: We like to say that we have the safest, most abundant, most affordable food and fiber supply in the world. But this isn’t just a boastful expression, it is a reality. Our farmers and ranchers are responsible for feeding folks living in our country and throughout the world. But, cap and tax legislation threatens that safe, abundant and affordable food and fiber supply. The agriculture industry, as we know it, will not survive under the heavy burdens of a cap and tax policy.

Four Colossal Holes in the Theory of Man-Made Global Warming
Excerpt: When was the last time you heard a scientist get hysterical when you asked him to explain Einstein's theory of relativity? If you ask a scientist why nothing can move faster than the speed of light, he doesn't tell you a terrible story about how koala bears will die if you don't believe the theory is right, does he? Scientists who are confident and in command of the facts don't need to distort data and duck basic questions about the assumptions that are behind scientific theories. So, why is it that the people who insist that man-made global warming is occurring right now can't come up with coherent answers to many of the most basic problems with the ideas that undergird their theory?

Snow or Snow Jobs by Thomas Sowell, PhD
Excerpt: President Obama keeps talking about the jobs his administration is "creating" but there are more people unemployed now than before he took office. How can there be more unemployment after so many jobs have been "created"? Let's go back to square one. What does it take to create a job? It takes wealth to pay someone who is hired, not to mention additional wealth to buy the material that person will use. But government creates no wealth. Ignoring that plain and simple fact enables politicians to claim to be able to do all sorts of miraculous things that they cannot do in fact. Without creating wealth, how can they create jobs? By taking wealth from others, whether by taxation, selling bonds or imposing mandates. However it is done, transferring wealth is not creating wealth. When government uses transferred wealth to hire people, it is essentially transferring jobs from the private sector, not adding to the net number of jobs in the economy.

Convicted Felon Robert Creamer Invited to State Dinner
The Leftstream Media complains about Beck. Maybe they should just out-report him on this stuff?

Another Petition
Against the Healthcare Takeover. Not sure these do any good, but….

Barack Obama Ecstasy Pills Hit Streets
Thought this was satire, but may be true. Who can tell anymore? Excerpt: President Barack Obama's approval rating may be hovering in the 50 percent range, but that doesn't mean America's Commander-in-Chief isn’t catching on with new constituents. There is now a line of Ecstasy pills made in the image of the 44th president of the United States, according to Texas police who have snatched a batch off the streets. Ecstasy is known for a sense of elation, diminished feelings of fear and anxiety, and ability to induce a sense of intimacy with others.

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