Sunday, March 7, 2010

Political Digest March 7, 2010

I post articles because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

Alice in Medical Care: Part IV by Thomas Sowell
Must Read. Excerpt: Some years ago, one of my favorite doctors retired. On my last visit to his office, he took some time to explain to me why he was retiring early and in good health. Being a doctor was becoming more of a hassle as the years went by, he said, and also less fulfilling. It was becoming more of a hassle because of the increasing paperwork, and it was less fulfilling because of the way patients came to him. He was currently being asked to Xerox lots of records from his files, in order to be reimbursed for another patient he was treating. He said it just wasn't worth it. Whoever was paying-- it might have been an insurance company or the government-- would either pay him or not, he said, but he wasn't going to jump through all those hoops. My doctor said that doctor-patient relationships were not the same as they had been when he entered the profession. Back then, people came to him because someone had recommended him to them, but now increasing numbers of people were sent to him because they had some group insurance plan that included his group….The loss of one doctor-- even a very good doctor-- may not seem very important in the grand scheme of heady medical care "reform" and glittering phrases about "universal health care." But making the medical profession more of a hassle for doctors risks losing more doctors, while increasing the demand for treatment. A study published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Law & Economics showed that a rise in the cost of medical liability insurance led to more reductions of hours of medical service supplied by older doctors than among younger doctors….Some of these young people might prefer becoming a doctor, other things being equal. But the heady schemes of government-controlled medicine, and the ever more bloated bureaucracies that these heady schemes will require, can make it very unlikely that other things will be equal in the medical profession. Paying doctors less and hassling them more may be some people's idea of "lowering the cost of medical care," but it is instead refusing to pay the costs-- and taking the consequences.

If Britain's Not an Ally, Then U.S. Has None
Excerpt: Almost 30 years after losing a war over the Falkland Islands, Argentina is once again warning Britain that it still wants back what it calls the Malvinas. Argentina is now angry over a British company's oil exploration off the windswept islands in what it considers its own South Atlantic backyard. Although nominally democratic, the unpopular Kirchner government in Buenos Aires has claimed that the sparsely settled islands are a symbolic matter of Spanish-speaking pride throughout Latin America — and is theirs because the islands once belonged to Spain in the 19th century. In response to all this, the Obama administration announced that it would remain neutral. Aside from the fact that the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British, and our prior support for the Thatcher British government during the 1982 war, there are lots of reasons why our neutrality here is a bad idea. Britain is a longstanding NATO member. It has bled side by side with America in two World Wars, Korea and two conflicts in Iraq, as well as presently in Afghanistan. And the United Kingdom still shares close linguistic, cultural and historical affinities with the United States. We do not support all the British do; nor do they always support us. But our centuries-old friendship should earn Britain special support in its disputes, even in the relatively unimportant Falklands mess. If Britain is not considered an ally, then America no longer has real allies.

The ‘global warming’ story you haven’t heard: part two
Excerpt: I counted the references cited in the final, published version of Chapter 11 and got a tally of 330. Of those, fully 139 – or 42 percent – were non-peer-reviewed grey literature.…At this juncture it’s worth remembering that the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, has repeatedly claimed that the IPCC relies solely on peer-reviewed material to make its case. By now we know this isn’t remotely true.

Climategate in Review
Excerpt: Those of us keeping abreast of the climate literature have known for quite some time that the explanation for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) relating to climate change, was far from the entire story, with almost all dissenting opinion having been actively suppressed. But the full extent of the problem was not made clear until November 19, 2009, when approximately 160 megabytes of data files and email correspondence was leaked from Britain's government-funded University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU).

Swedes call out Jones on data availability
Excerpt: Climate scientist delivers false statement in parliament enquiry. It has come to our attention, that last Monday (March 1), Dr. Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU), in a hearing with the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee made a statement in regards to the alleged non-availability for disclosure of Swedish climate data. Dr. Jones asserted that the weather services of several countries, including Sweden, Canada and Poland, had refused to allow their data to be released, to explain his reluctance to comply with Freedom of Information requests. This statement is false and misleading in regards to the Swedish data.

Communists hide behind Radical Environmentalism and the Greens
Excerpt: The environmentalists (with their various pet names) pretend to have the last supply of empathy, caring and best intentions. The ever evolving Green and environmental ‘shape shifter’ rushes in to save the planet from ruin. We can’t forget the endless and desperate speeches by Al Gore about the horror of Global warming and its destruction of the planet. We even saw how he was honored with the Nobel peace prize…..right along with other notable brilliant ones, Yasser Arafat, the thief and anti Semitic terror in Chief of Palestine and Barack Obama, the messiah of hope and change. We have all seen this last year the unraveling of data and real science regarding global warming. The real scientific community and now media world has hailed it a complete failure and fraud. I would even ad ‘criminal’ since the self appointed and honored messiahs of global warming and environmentalism were most happy to ignore the truth, real science and reality, taxing us and the world (stealing) to solve this mythological problem. They were all most happy to control our money, what we eat, buy, grow, develop and herd just to solve the mythological crises. Gee, it kind of makes you wonder if just controlling our lives, money and choices was what they wanted all along. The Green movement, a close relative of control and horror boldly asserts to save the planet they must have ‘sustainability’ (get used to less water, less food, less everything, defined as the Greens define it…) They hide behind the usual, invented enemies such as urbanization, industrialization and our development because, evil achievers that we are ruin our air, contaminate our water and food. We just hate people and have no regard for anyone.

Lost Jewish tribe 'found in Zimbabwe'
Many Lemba are practising Jews - although others are Muslim and Christian
How long before Mugabe blames the Jews for the economic disaster his collectivist government has brought on? The Lemba people are easy to distinguish from most other Zimbabweans - they wear skull caps, pray in a language which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic, and put the Star of David on their gravestones. Their oral traditions claim that their ancestors were Jews who fled the Holy Land about 2,500 years ago. It may sound like another myth of a lost tribe of Israel, but British scientists have carried out DNA tests which confirm their Semitic origin. These tests back up the group's belief that a group of perhaps seven men married African women and settled on the continent. The Lemba pray in a language which mixes Arabic and Hebrew And they also have a prized religious artefact that they say connects them to their Jewish ancestry - a replica of the Biblical Ark of the Covenant known as the ngoma lungundu, meaning "the drum that thunders".

Democrats mired in swamp they vowed to drain
Excerpt: A rash of ethics lapses has given Democrats an election-year headache: how to convince skeptical voters that they're any cleaner than Republicans they accused of fostering a "culture of corruption" in 2006. From the conduct of governors in Illinois and New York to back-room deals over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Democrats are drawing their own criticism when it comes to the ethics of public officials. The party that pledged to "drain the swamp" if given control of Congress finds itself sinking in the muck nine months from Election Day, when every member of the House and 36 Senate seats will be chosen. The sword of sanctimony cuts both ways, warns a Republican felled by his own scandal in the weeks before the 2006 elections, as then-Rep. Nancy Pelosi led the campaign cry to end "the culture of corruption that has thrived under this Republican Congress."

Jeffersonville middle school student suspended for touching pill
Excerpt: Rachael Greer said it happened on Feb. 23 during fifth period gym class at River Valley Middle School when a girl walked into the locker room with a bag of pills. "She was talking to another girl and me about them and she put one in my hand and I was like, ‘I don't want this,' so I put it back in the bag and I went to gym class," said Rachael. The pills were the prescription ADHD drug, Adderall. Patty Greer, Rachael's mother, said she and her husband are proud of their daughter for turning down drugs, just like she's been taught for years by DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructors at school. "I'm proud her conscience kicked in and she said, ‘No, I'm not taking this. Here you can have it back,'" Patty Greer said. But just saying no didn't end the trouble for Rachael. During the next period, an assistant principal came and took Rachael out of class. It turned out the girl who originally had the pills and a few other students got caught. That's when the assistant principal gave Rachael a decision. "We're suspending you for five days because it was in your hand," said Rachael. (Simple solution. You walk into the school with a cop. You say hi to the principle, then drop a pill into his pocket. The cop then arrests him and he’s fired for drug possession, on the same zero-tolerance principle. You start doing this with the School Board, Mayor and local legislators and watch the law change.)

NRA News: South Africa Gun Control And Crime Rates
1,300 cops killed in the line of duty since 1994. It is little wonder that educated people, black and white, are fleeing South Africa, if they have the skills and finances to survive elsewhere.

Massa resigns under ethics cloud
Draining the Democrat Swamp. Excerpt: New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa, facing a harassment complaint by a male staffer, said Friday that he is stepping down from his seat with "a profound sense of failure." "I am guilty," Massa said in an interview with a Corning, N.Y., newspaper columnist. Later in the day, Massa released a statement saying that after discovering he had a recurrence of cancer, he learned he was the subject of an ethics complaint by a male staffer who felt "uncomfortable" during an exchange with Massa. The exchange reportedly had sexual overtones. "I will resign my position," Massa said in the statement. "There is no doubt in my mind that I did in fact, use language in the privacy of my own home and in my inner office that, after 24 years in the Navy, might make a chief petty officer feel uncomfortable," Massa added. "In fact, there is no doubt that this ethics issue is my fault and mine alone." Earlier Friday, a visibly upset Massa said he didn't want to put his family through an ethics committee investigation. "It would tear us apart," Massa said, according to Joe Dunning, a columnist for The Leader newspaper. "It's not that I can fight or beat these allegations, I'm guilty." The resignation takes effect Monday. The allegations pushed a relatively unknown freshman into the national spotlight in a way no lawmaker would wish. A resident of Corning, N.Y., Massa, 50, is a 24-year retired Navy commander who served during Operation Desert Storm and later was special assistant to Gen. Wesley Clark during the conflict in Bosnia. A terminal cancer diagnosis in 1996 forced Massa and his family back to the U.S. for treatment. He spent his last year in the Navy as a cancer outreach advocate and later took a professional staff job with the House Armed Services Committee. Massa defeated Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl in 2008 in a district that voted for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The largely agricultural district has been dominated by Republicans since the party's founding in 1854. Massa serves on the House agriculture, armed services and homeland security committees. His departure is good news for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's effort to advance a troubled health care overhaul. Massa had voted against it. His departure reduces the majority she needs for passage to 216. Massa's acknowledgment of inappropriate behavior comes as the House's majority Democrats struggle with ethics matters among their own ranks despite promising to clean up Congress when they came to power.

Reid: 'Only 36,000 people lost their jobs'
Great news! Excerpt: "Today us a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good," Reid said on the Senate floor Friday morning. Reid's comments were in reference to Friday's jobs report that the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent in February. The 36,000 total cited by the Majority Leader was 14,000 fewer jobs lost than many analysts had predicted. The GOP conference sent out a blast e-mail with the quote to their media list Monday morning with the subject line, "Senator Reid's 'Big Day,' Unless You're One of Those 36,000."

CBO: Huge deficits to average $1 trillion per year over the next decade
Then, like Greece, we can start selling off the country. Excerpt: President Barack Obama's budget will lead to deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, the CBO estimated Friday. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said President Barack Obama's budget would lead to annual deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion for the next decade. The estimates are for larger deficits than the budget shortfalls expected by the White House. Annual deficits under Obama’s budget plan would be about $976 billion from 2011 through 2020, according to a CBO analysis of Obama's plan released Friday.

Ready, aim, hold your fire
Excerpt: The recent battle in Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province was a key test case for new rules of engagement that emphasized protecting civilians rather than killing insurgents. The town was taken, but whether that was because of the new rules or despite them remains to be seen. The rules of engagement are probably the most restrictive ever seen for a war of this nature. NATO forces cannot fire on suspected Taliban fighters unless they are clearly visible, armed and posing a direct threat. Buildings suspected of containing insurgents cannot be targeted unless it is certain that civilians are not also present. Air strikes and night raids are limited, and prisoners have to be released or transferred within four days, making for a 96-hour catch-and-release program. In Marjah, the enemy quickly adapted to the rules, which led to bizarre circumstances such as Taliban fighters throwing down their weapons when they were out of ammunition and taunting coalition troops with impunity or walking in plain view with women behind them carrying their weapons like caddies. If World War II had been fought with similar rules, the battles would still be raging. Paradoxically, America's most successful post-conflict reconstructions were in Germany and Japan, where enemy-occupied towns like Marjah were flattened without a second thought. U.S. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the NATO commander, said, "The Afghan people are at the center of our mission. In reality, they are our mission." Yet protecting civilians is difficult in an unconventional conflict in which the battlefield has no front lines. As an anonymous Pentagon planner told Time magazine, "It's harder to separate the enemy from the people when they are the people." Helmand province is part of the Taliban's core area; they see the fight as homeland defense. The fact that the Taliban routinely torture and kill noncombatants as a matter of policy is not only lost in this debate, it is deemed irrelevant. The Taliban's excesses are discounted because the Taliban are the bad guys. Coalition troops are the good guys and are held to a higher standard.

White House reconsiders holding terror trials in civilian court,0,7217183.story
Great idea, Mr. President—wonder why no one thought of it before? Excerpt: Suspected Sept. 11 plotters may be tried before military tribunals after all, administration officials say. Holding the trials in civilian court is deemed 'politically untenable.'

Open your wallets: Obama calls "entrepreneurship summit" with Muslims
Excerpt: Which means that the U.S. gives Muslim countries more money, which they fritter away on dawah or jihad or perks for the high command, and everything continues as before.

"Tell those clerics, Pakistanis and jihadis that you do not fear bomb blasts and acts of terrorism"
Excerpt: The girl is right: do not fear. Fight back against the jihad. Fear hands the jihadis a weapon.

Wolf Blitzer apologizes for "Department of Jihad" text on CNN
Just when I thought about watching the Clinton News Network again. Excerpt: CNN ran a story about the Department of Justice officials who had previously defended jihad terror suspects. A graphic referred to the story as "Department of Jihad?" But now Blitzer says: "CNN had no intention of suggesting that the Justice Department supports terrorism. Lawyers at the Justice Department are patriotic Americans and we certainly regret any confusion that may have been caused by our graphic." Of course, the possibility that anyone employed by the Justice Department might not be patriotic is never considered; it wasn't intended by the graphic, and Blitzer apologizes because it is an article of faith, an unquestionable dogma, that everyone in the government is patriotic, especially Leftists, for whom it is "right-wing" to question their patriotism.

Judge rules that Islam not a factor in Buffalo wife beheading case
Excerpt: Of course not. What are you, some kind of Islamophobe? Why, Christians behead their wives by the dozen every year! Why would the fact that the book Muzzammil Hassan regards as sacred mentions beheading twice (Qur'an 8:12; 47:4) have to do with this? Everybody knows that Islam is a Religion of Peace™!

Wilders at House of Lords, March 5: "Freedom must prevail, and freedom will prevail"
Excerpt: Ladies and gentlemen, not far from here stands a statue of the greatest Prime Minister your country ever had. And I would like to quote him here today: "Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. No stronger retrograde force exists in the World. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step (...) the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome." These words are from none other than Winston Churchill wrote this in his book 'The River War' from 1899. Churchill was right. Ladies and gentlemen, I don't have a problem and my party does not have a problem with Muslims as such. There are many moderate Muslims. The majority of Muslims are law-abiding citizens and want to live a peaceful life as you and I do. I know that. That is why I always make a clear distinction between the people, the Muslims, and the ideology, between Islam and Muslims. There are many moderate Muslims, but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam. Islam strives for world domination. The Quran commands Muslims to exercise jihad. The Quran commands Muslims to establish shariah law. The Quran commands Muslims to impose Islam on the entire world. As former Turkish Prime Minister Erbakan said: "The whole of Europe will become Islamic. We will conquer Rome". End of quote. Libyan dictator Gaddafi said: "There are tens of millions of Muslims in the European continent today and their number is on the increase. This is the clear indication that the European continent will be converted into Islam. Europe will one day soon be a Muslim continent". End of quote. Indeed, for once in his life, Gaddafi was telling the truth. Because, remember: mass immigration and demographics is destiny!

Engagement pays off in Philippines terror war
Excerpt: On Feb. 21, under cover of darkness, a 30-man Philippines marine special operations platoon crawled into a jungle encampment of Abu Sayyaf terrorists. After an ensuing hourlong firefight, six Abu Sayyaf gunmen, including the group's brashest young leader Albader Parad lay dead. One marine was killed and three others wounded. During the following two weeks, on the orders of Philippine Western Mindanao commander Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, the pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf Group has intensified. This has led to the capture or killing of other terrorists and the release of civilian hostages in remote hideouts. The recent captures and killings of feared Abu Sayyaf Group leaders in the southernmost Philippine islands, such as Sulu and Basilan, are part of the military's success at using community engagement by local military units. Local intelligence tip-offs by community residents and the rejection of the ASG's terror tactics by the vast majority of Muslim Filipinos have been the key to success.

New Iran rocket launch site shows N. Korea links: Jane’s
Excerpt: Iran is building a new rocket launch site a short distance from an existing complex and seems to be working with North Korea, information group IHS Jane’s said Friday. Construction visible from satellite imagery of the new site, near the city of Semnan east of Tehran, suggests that Iran has been collaborating with Pyongyang, said the London-based defence intelligence group. Iran unveiled the Simorgh (Phoenix) space-launch vehicle (SLV) on February 3 but has not publicly revealed the location of the rocket’s launch complex, it reported. But Jane’s said it had observed a new launch pad four kilometres (6.5 miles) northeast of the existing Semnan site on a satellite image dated February 6.

New state bills introduced to combat phony veterans,0,7909328.story
Slime balls. In college, I figured I could make money by running an ad saying, “Help a vet finish college—send contributions to box XX.” Didn’t do it, as it seemed dishonest—but I was a real vet, at least.

If you missed Jay Leno
Obama had his physical last week. While the colonoscopy didn’t reveal any polyps or other irregularities in the lower digestive tract, they did find 3 MSNBC reporters & a NY Times columnist.

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