Sunday, June 26, 2011

Political Digest for June 27, 2011

Collapse book interview on the Rob Schilling Show
I'm scheduled to be interviewed about my book on Tuesday, 28th June from 1:15 pm EDT until 2:00 pm EDT (That's 12:15 pm CDT to 1:00 pm CDT). Also on the show will be Chet Nagle, author of The Iran Covenant and a former Naval Aviator and former CIA Agent. The show originates from Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia and streams live on the internet. You can get it on the "Listen Live" link at They welcome callers at (434) 977-1070 on their 'comment line.' Mark your calendars. Please call in.

Black-on-white mayhem, black flash mobs throughout the U.S., while our "leaders" remain silent
Things continue to go downhill. ~Bob.

Nice lapel pin on this blog
I just ordered one. ~Bob.

Book Recommendation: A World Lit Only by Fire by William Manchester
We listen to books on tape (or CD now) in the car, to increase our reading time. My wife and I both just finished this on a trip. It's a terrific, well-written overview of that age, with lots of detail about the intramural warfare and murders of Christian by Christian over blasphemy and apostasy and doctrine, much like some other religion we can't mention does today. Great coverage on Magellan's voyage and how it changed the world. We both recommend it. I've loved everything I've read by Manchester, including his WWII Marine memoir, Goodbye Darkness. (Note: Any book I recommend I have read, but I don't recommend even half the books I read. Sometimes I note new books of interest, that I have yet to read, without a recommendation.) ~Bob

The High Ground
We were at the quarterly luncheon of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Third Marine Division Association Saturday, in Neillsville, WI. There we visited The High Ground Veterans Memorial Park. Lovely spot on a hill top with long views and several very impressive memorials, including one to native Americans who died in Vietnam. Privately funded by donations and vets, no tax dollars. Very impressive and worth a visit. ~Bob.

Understand Islamic Theology
Like most kuffers, I have a lot of trouble understand the requirements of Shari'a. Last week, on the way to work, we passed a veiled woman, whom I presume was Muslim, though we didn't stop to inquire. She was wearing a full hood, with a face veil covering everything but her eyes. She also had on a tight tank top which emphasized her full bust, and very short denim shorts, exposing her full thighs and long legs. She was wearing high-heeled sandals. I would have liked to drop her in an Islamic capital under Shari'a law to get a reading from the religious police on how this conformed to Mohammad's dictates. ~Bob.

What Would Nixon Do?
PRESIDENT OBAMA has made good on his pledge to begin drawing down American forces in Afghanistan, but his stated strategy is unlikely to lead to a successful withdrawal. Mr. Obama announced last week that 10,000 troops would come home by December and another 23,000 by next summer. By 2014, he confidently proclaimed, “the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.” Administration hawks, largely in the military, are uneasy; they had wanted to go slower, so as to safeguard recent gains made against the Taliban. Administration doves, largely in the White House, are disappointed; they had wanted to pull back faster, seeing the killing of Osama bin Laden as an ideal opportunity to get out. The president split the difference, suggesting that he was charting a “centered course.” But he has actually once again evaded the fundamental choice between accepting the costs of staying and the risks of leaving. What he needs is a strategy for getting out without turning a retreat into a rout — and he would be wise to borrow one from the last American administration to extricate itself from a thankless, seemingly endless counterinsurgency in a remote and strategically marginal region. Mr. Obama should ask himself, in short: What would Nixon do? Richard M. Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, tried to manage the risks of exiting the Vietnam War by masking their withdrawal with deliberate deception and aggressive covering fire. They almost succeeded — and if tried again in today’s more favorable environment, their strategy would most likely work. The Nixonian approach has its costs: it would generate charges of lying, escalation and betrayal. And embracing it would require the president to display a deftness and a tough-mindedness he has rarely shown. But it could also provide the ticket home. Indeed, Mr. Obama’s best option is to repeat Mr. Nixon’s Vietnam endgame and hope for a different outcome — to get 1973, one might say, without having it followed by 1975. It may seem crazy to regard the American withdrawal from Vietnam as anything but disastrous. Our local ally collapsed two years after signing a peace deal, our enemies triumphantly conquered the country we had fought for more than a decade to defend, and the image of panicked friends reaching in vain for the last helicopter out of Saigon remains seared into our national consciousness. But Mr. Nixon actually did a lot right in Vietnam, and his approach there was not the primary cause of the war’s ignominious end. (The "ignominious end" was due to Nixon's Watergate stupidity, which put a defeatist, leftist Democrat majority in the Congress, which voided our treaty guarantees to South Vietnam. Without financial support, spare parts, ammo and supplies, they had no chance against the Russian and Chinese armed armies from the North. ~Bob.)

Marines Aim to Avoid Postwar Identity Crisis
Excerpt: The U.S. Marine Corps, one of the most storied military forces, is searching for a mission after the war in Afghanistan ends. Marines consider themselves a quick-reaction force, traveling light and giving their all whether waging war or responding to humanitarian disasters. But for the past decade, the Corps has been fighting long conflicts in the deserts of Iraq and valleys of Afghanistan, requiring it to behave more as a dug-in land army. Marines in Garmser, Afghanistan in February. With President Barack Obama's announcement this past week that he would begin drawing down troops in Afghanistan, the Corps sees the need to find a new calling. Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, the service's top officer, sees renewal in the region where Marines experienced their most devastating losses and most heroic victories: "We're going to reorient in the Pacific," he said during a recent swing through bases in Japan and South Korea.

Egyptian Muslims Torch 8 Christian Homes on Rumor of Church Construction
Didn't get the memo: Excerpt: A mob of nearly 200 Muslims torched eight Christian homes on Saturday morning in the Upper Egyptian village of Awlad Khalaf. The attack was initiated by a rumor that a house which is being built by Wahib Halim Attia will be turned into a church. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured, no fatalities were reported.

But they really, really want peace: Muslims desecrate Jewish graves at Mount of Olives
Excerpt: Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. A story like this could create an international incident. Instead, only a few Jewish and Israeli news organizations have picked up this report thus far.

Lebanon Sunni clergy reject domestic abuse law
All liberals should hold their breaths until American feminists condemn this! Notice he says that wife beating and marital rape are permitted by Shari'a Law, which some courts here see as compatible with our law! ~Bob. Excerpt: Lebanon's highest Sunni Muslim authority on Friday rejected a bill aimed at protecting women against domestic violence and marital rape, saying it would lead to the demise "of the family as in the West." "Islam is very aware of and concerned with... resolving problems of poor treatment... but this should not happen by cloning Western laws that encourage the breakdown of the family and do not suit our society," said the influential Dar al-Fatwa in a statement on its website. Dar al-Fatwa also slammed as "heresy" a clause in the bill that criminalises marital rape, accusing those behind the draft law of "inventing new types of crimes." "This will have a negative impact on Muslim children... who will see their mother threatening their father with prison, in defiance of patriarchal authority, which will in turn undermine the moral authority" of fathers, it said. "We must continue to follow sharia (Islamic law) as concerns the Muslim family," it added.

Muslims Surround Church in Upper Egypt, Threaten to Kill Priest
If you oppose priest-killing, you must be an Islamophobic wingnut. ~Bob. Excerpt: Hundreds of Muslims surrounded the church of St George today in the village of Beni Ahmed West, 7 KM south of Minya, vowing to kill its priest Father George Thabet, who was serving the morning mass and was locked in the church with a number of parishioners. Security forces arrived five hours later and escorted Father George in a police car to the Coptic Diocese in Minya. "Father George looked as if he was the criminal, leaving his church in a police car." said one of the eye-witnesses. The Coptic youth who were attending mass remained inside church to defend it from Muslim attacks. Eyewitnesses reported the Muslim mob, in their white dresses and long beards, chanted "We will kill the priest, we will kill him and no one will prevent us." One of their leaders said that they will "…cut him to pieces." It was reported that no police or security of any kind was present during the events.

Why It Will Be President Perry in 2013
Excerpt: Current Texas Governor Rick Perry will, in all likelihood, be President of the United States in January of 2013. Having already said that on Fox News and the nationally syndicated Mancow Radio Experience, I guess it's time for me to now put into print what I see forming in front of me. So I did. I did this in December 2006 too. I was the first pundit to predict that Barack Obama would be President, and I said that would be especially true if John McCain were his opponent. The story of how my prediction turned into our nation's current nightmare is documented in my new best selling book, "No He Can't: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change." For me the field of 2012 felt odd and disjointed as Governors Huckabee and Palin were long in making their minds up. Even now we still don't know the mind of the former Alaskan governor. But polling data was clear from February 2010 to April 2011 that if President Obama had been forced to face Gov. Huckabee he would lose.

Saving the Republic from Saving Itself
Excerpt: The further we get away from those fateful election of 2008, the more revisionist history takes hold. Most recently, I keep hearing how the choice for the next election is between the guy who saved us from the Great Depression Part II and everyone else who wants to take us back to the policies that created those problems. I’m told by people of all political persuasions that if the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, and the President hadn’t acted, I’d probably be in a bread line right now. Fortunately, my memory is not as clouded as many others. 

The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct. --Marcus T. Cicero

Reports of Troubles in China

Experts Say That New Radical Reforms In Russia Are Inevitable
Excerpt: Experts of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences presented a report "20 years of reforms through the eyes of the Russians". The conclusion drawn in the report is that new radical reforms in Russia are inevitable regardless of the outcome of the elections in 2011 and 2012.

Sen. Webb has “serious problems” with Obama’s handling of Libyan conflict
Excerpt: Sen. Jim Webb (Va.), a leading Democratic authority on national security policy, on Sunday said he has “serious problems” with President Obama’s decision to support NATO operations in Libya. Webb has criticized Obama’s decision to send U.S. forces to intervene in the Libyan civil war but he ratcheted up his criticism this weekend. Webb, former Secretary of the Navy and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the action set a worrisome precedent. “The reason that he used for going in defy historical precedent. We weren't under attack. We weren't under an imminent attack. We weren't honoring treaty commitments. We weren't rescuing Americans,” he said of Obama in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We need to be clear that once Gadhafi is gone, we won't have Americans in there as a peacekeeping force. We've got to stop this addiction. We've got to focus on our true strategic interests,” he added.

Gunrunner​’ Whistleblower Vince Cefalu Speaks
Earlier this week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Deputy Director William J. Hoover, insisting on assurances there would be no reprisals against the ATF agents who have chosen to testify about the failed Operation Fast and Furious — the operation Issa has called “felony stupid.” Just a day later, ATF Special Agent Vince Cefalu received notice ATF wants to terminate his employment after more than 30 years with the agency. Cefalu is one of the founders of, a message board dedicated to addressing abuses within the ATF. He is one of the most vocal critics of the heads of the organization. He said the main reason given in the four-page document for his termination is “lack of candor.” Four years ago, what originally landed Cefalu in trouble was a case called “Road Dog“. In that case, local law enforcement was allegedly using an illegal wiretap — something Cefalu resisted:

US judge blocks state's new immigration law
Excerpt: A federal judge blocked parts of the state of Indiana's new immigration law Friday, saying the law was the latest failed effort of states to deal with a primarily federal issue. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted a request for an injunction blocking two provisions of the law, which was approved this year by Republicans who control the Statehouse. Barker wrote in the ruling that Indiana's law — as well as laws enacted in several other states — is an attempt to deal with what is seen as a failure of the federal government to deal with illegal immigration. She said the two provisions of Indiana's effort to deal with immigration "have proven to be seriously flawed and generally unsuccessful."

In Gold Cup final, it's red, white and boo again: Mexico rallies for a 4-2 win over U.S. behind overwhelming support at Rose Bowl. In what other country would the visitors have home-field advantage?
Excerpt: It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American. On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium … and was smothered in boos. Its goalkeeper was bathed in a chanted obscenity. Even its national anthem was filled with the blowing of air horns and bouncing of beach balls. Most of these hostile visitors didn't live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere.

Why Do We Pretend To Understand Climate Change?
Excerpt: For years the global warming lobby has acted as if there was only one thing which drives climate change: man-made carbon emissions. This is the basis of all the mathematical models that have tried to predict the climate 100 years and more into the future. The IPCC report treats Earth’s climate as if it can be controlled like a thermostat: if we cut carbon emissions by such a percentage we will limit the rise in global temperatures to 2C and so on. It ought to be obvious that this is nonsense: Earth has undergone huge changes in climate, many of which such as the onset of ice ages have occurred incredibly rapidly – and all before mankind started burning fossil fuels. We don’t understand why these ice ages occurred, nor why Earth seems to have warmed up for a few centuries during the Middle Ages so why does anyone preclude the possibility that the recent global warming has a natural cause? We should be sceptical too of the theory that the sunspot cycle drives Earth’s climate. Accurate temperature records only go back a century or so. Neither do we have a great deal of data on sunspots before 1611. While climate scientists naturally know more about the climate than the rest of us do the truth is that they too know next to nothing. (The author never quite answers his headline question. So, here are both answers: money for the academics and activists who support it and power for the politicians and regulators who support it. That’s a tough combination to overcome, but ever so slowly, we are, we are. Ron P.)

Liberals Exit Stage Left
Excerpt: I am sure that liberals were delighted to read all the criticism conservatives directed at George W. Bush, but they seemed unaware that Bush43 was more frequently than not on their team. As the debate over modifying Medicare rages on, they forget that he expanded the program by adding prescription benefits to it. W never saw a spending bill he would not sign. Now, however, liberals have their man in the Oval Office and have had two and a half years to assess his performance. They are increasingly unhappy.

A special investigation into the EU-funded culture of greed, tax evasion and scandalous waste
When they go, will the pull the rest of the EU into the abyss after them, followed by us? ~Bob. Excerpt: Even on a stiflingly hot summer's day, the Athens underground is a pleasure. It is air-conditioned, with plasma screens to entertain passengers relaxing in cool, cavernous departure halls - and the trains even run on time. There is another bonus for users of this state-of-the-art rapid transport system: it is, in effect, free for the five million people of the Greek capital. With no barriers to prevent free entry or exit to this impressive tube network, the good citizens of Athens are instead asked to 'validate' their tickets at honesty machines before boarding. Few bother.

Wisconsin set to legalize concealed carry; Illinois stands alone
Wisconsin is about to become the 49th state in the nation to legalize concealed carry, leaving Illinois as the only state left without such a provision. The Wisconsin House and Senate both passed the bill, which will allow citizens to carry concealed handguns, with bipartisan support. The measure now goes to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for his signature. The legislation requires residents to obtain a permit, unlike states like Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, and New Hampshire where citizens can carry open and concealed handguns without a permit. (Illinois has also abolished the death penalty, and the Democrat AG is trying to force the State Police to make public the lists of people with Firearm ID Cards, so they thugs will know where they can steal guns. Since Chicago is a sanctuary city (for illegal immigrants as well as corrupt politicians), this place should be a prime destination for members of the Mexican drug cartels. ~Bob.)

Why Palin Can Win
Excerpt: One of the most talked about subjects in politics is whether or not Sarah Palin will run for the presidency. It's frankly anyone's guess which direction she will go with her decision and when she will make the decision. However, if Palin doesn't run it will be a disaster for the Republican Party and quite possibly the country. Aside from the fact that there isn't another libertarian-conservative in the race, at least not another one who isn't an international isolationist, if Palin doesn't run, it will represent an enormous victory for the Republican beltway establishment and the big players in the left-wing-dominated media. Furthermore, the leftist media will learn a fool-proof means to destroy any political opponent in a manner that will likely result in another four years of Obama. In watching the coverage of the announced candidates, the alarm bells should be clanging violently. The fact that the leftist media hasn't really gone after the other Republican politicians in the race should be a violent warning to all conservatives and libertarians out there. It's totally out of character for the leftist media to not bring up Newt Gingrich's infidelity every ten minutes, or to have squads of reporters interviewing every foster child of Michele Bachmann that can be found to try to dig up some dirt. The rigorous inspection that has been visited upon Sarah Palin hasn't even started on the remainder of the Republican field. However, that doesn't mean the media has tacked suddenly to the center; far from it.

U.S. no longer mandating 100 percent screening of cargo containers
Excerpt: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the United States is no longer going to screen every cargo container before it enters the United States; she said, "We believe the so-called 100 percent requirement is probably not the best way to go"; in 2007 Congress mandated that all containers entering the United States must be scanned at their ports of exit by 2012; the 2007 bill empowers DHS to extend the 2012 deadline if the agency believed that the goal was not achievable and in the past Napolitano has expressed doubts about the feasibility of screening 100 percent of the cargo entering the United States. DHS fails to reach Congressional screening mandate. (This will be read with interest in Iran. ~Bob.)

Wafa Sultan - Le Problème c'est l'islam

The Week That Was: 2011-06-25 (June 25, 2011)
Excerpt: Restoring the Scientific Method is the theme of the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6), Sponsored by the Heartland Institute. It will take place in Washington, DC from breakfast Thursday, June 30, to noon Friday, July 1, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Why the End is Always Near, but Never Arrives
Excerpt: Why is it that every one of these apocalyptic groups always predict something “could be”, “might be”, “is expected to”, and a whole raft of wishy-washy terms that add up to “We don’t know, but we want to scare the crap out of you just the same”? Implicit in this latest prediction is that human actions are responsible for whatever they claim is happening to the oceans. (…) Have we not lived with this tiresome nonsense since the early days of the environmental movement and, in particular, the creation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? A recent editorial in The Washington Times exposed the way the latest IPCC pronouncement that “the entire world will soon depend on renewable energy” was lifted from a paper whose primary authors were from Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council! (My grandfather was a volunteer fireman at the same time my father was a volunteer EMS driver. They helped at all the local fires. When I was around 11 or 12, my parents bought a "fire alarm system" for our house. If it detected either smoke or high temperature, it sounded a siren that could've woken a month-old corpse and could be heard several houses away. Fear sells. This is known to every salesman of personal protection products, services, and insurance. It's even useful and valuable. I have several kinds of insurance on things our family values; you probably do, too. The consumer's job (NOT the salesman's) in this transaction is to buy what makes sense for his budget, not what will beggar him (and enrich the salesman) before the insured-against event has time to take place. Close friends just purchased life insurance in such a large amount, it almost guarantees they'll have to hit the lottery to get ahead, and when/if one of them dies, the other can expect some very sharp questions from the local investigative authorities. The insurance against AGW is just too expensive. Therefore, we shouldn't buy it. Ron P.)

B.C. university student beaten, blinded by husband
Excerpt: Syeed Hasan allegedly gouged her eyes out with his fingers and chewed part of her nose off in front of their young daughter, during a bitter argument over her education.
Manzur was slated to return to UBC in August to complete a thesis on climate change.
 ... Islam said her husband, who is unemployed, attacked and blinded her to prevent her from continuing her education.

Federal ATF chief said to resist pressure to step down
Scapegoat balking? ~Bob. Excerpt: Kenneth Melson of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms faces controversy over the agency's surveillance program that allowed U.S. guns into Mexico. He is said to be eager to testify to Congress.

American Crossroads Ad: "Shovel Ready"

Texas governor hits back at TSA, lightbulb bans, nanny-state laws
Excerpt: Rick Perry is having a good month. With all eyes on his possible bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the Texas governor is showing that his anti-Washington rhetoric is more than just talk. By vetoing feel-good, nanny-state regulations and thwarting of federal intervention in his state, he's demonstrating the kind of leadership America needs.

The Facts About Fracking
Excerpt: The U.S. is in the midst of an energy revolution, and we don't mean solar panels or wind turbines. A new gusher of natural gas from shale has the potential to transform U.S. energy production—that is, unless politicians, greens and the industry mess it up.
Only a decade ago Texas oil engineers hit upon the idea of combining two established technologies to release natural gas trapped in shale formations. Horizontal drilling—in which wells turn sideways after a certain depth—opens up big new production areas. Producers then use a 60-year-old technique called hydraulic fracturing—in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure—to loosen the shale and release gas (and increasingly, oil).

Calif. Economy 47th Worst of States
Excerpt: California’s stagnating economy suffered more bad news by ranking 47th of the 50 states for economic outlook. The ranking comes from the new, fourth edition of “Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” It combines 15 economic rankings, such as top marginal personal income tax rate and average workers’ compensation costs. I received an advanced copy of the rankings, and will discuss them here. It will be released tomorrow, June 22, by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan group of state legislators. I’ll put up a link to it then. In addition to ranking 47th in economic outlook, California ranked an almost-as-dismal 46th in economic performance for the previous decade, 2000-2009. It really was a “lost decade” for the state’s economy under the fumbling governorships of the recalled Gray Davis and his satyric replacement, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The only states ranking worse on the economic outlook were New York, rock-bottom 50th, followed by Vermont and Maine. Along with California, all are high-tax, high-regulation, jobs-killing states. The three other states have bad weather.

Man Police Shot During Traffic Stop Was Armed With Armor-Piercing Bullets
Excerpt: A man who was fatally shot by Tacoma police during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning pointed a gun loaded with armor-piercing bullets at the officer who stopped him and was carrying a large amount of ammunition in his truck, the Tacoma Police Department said. Wednesday afternoon, the Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as Brooks Papineau of Gig Harbor. He died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. "The driver exited his vehicle armed with a gun, and the officer opened fire, striking the subject," said Mark Fulghum of the Tacoma Police Department. When police searched Papineau's truck, they found a large amount of ammunition and additional ammunition magazines. They also said they found a Koran and several books on converting to Islam. (But no "Islam is a Religion of Peace" memo? ~Bob.)

New Jersey Quits RGGI, Bans Coal Plants
Excerpt: New Jersey governor Chris Christie has pulled the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the only mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S., while promising to ban new coal-fired plants in the state. Branding the RGGI a failure, Christie told a press conference yesterday that the state will withdraw from the program “in an orderly fashion” by the end of the year, coinciding with the end of RGGI’s first compliance period.

The Supremes recommend the supreme skeptic
Excerpt: The justices of the United States Supreme Court this week became the world’s most august global warming sceptics. Not by virtue of their legal reasoning – the global warming case they decided turned on a technical legal issue — but in their surprising commentary. Global warming is by no means a settled issue, they made clear, suggesting it would be foolhardy to assume it was. “The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The article contains a link to a PDF of the Court’s ruling, but it will be of interest primarily to lawyers. I’m not sure I’d have figured out what they were saying, had I not read the WUWT article first. Nobel Laureate (Physics) Freeman Dyson, mentioned in the article, was Robert Heinlein’s “favorite genius” back in the 60s. WUWT provides links to some of Dyson's work. We at TOJ have carried some of his thoughts on global warming/climate change/climate chaos in the past, as we have done with other prominent skeptics. Ron P.)

Vindication? John Bolton Returns to Capitol Hill to Discuss Syrian WMDs
Excerpt: Six years after his nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations ran into strong opposition in Senate, partly over claims that he had exaggerated assessments of Syria’s attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, John Bolton was back on Capitol Hill Thursday, testifying on Syria’s WMD efforts.

Kurdish Politician Banned for Terrorist Ties in Turkey
Excerpt: The Turkish High Election Board (YSK) has banned Kurdish parliamentary-elect Hatip Dicle from entering office on account of his past terrorist activities, according to AFP. Under Turkish law, individuals who have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes are barred from becoming members of parliament. The YSK ruling was based on a speech that Dicle gave in support of a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). For the speech—deemed by authorities to be "propaganda for an armed terrorist organization"—Dicle was sentenced to prison. The PKK has been in conflict with Turkish security forces for some time and is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States. Around 45,000 people have been killed as a result of PKK terrorist activities in the last two decades.

Grand Central Station for Human Smuggling
Excerpt: For the residents of Arizona’s Vekol Valley—80 miles north of the border with Mexico—Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano’s claim that security at the border “is better now than it ever has been” must seem like a joke. The area is a veritable highway for illegal immigrants traveling to the United States, and it’s marked by evidence of their passage. If the bullet-ridden signs warning, “Danger: ‘Active drug and human smuggling area. Visitors may encounter armed criminals’” aren’t enough of a dead giveaway, the evidence strewn across the valley ought to be proof enough.

House Deals Obama Symbolic Blow With Libya Votes
Excerpt: The House of Representatives dealt a symbolic blow to President Obama on Friday by resoundingly failing to approve a bill authorizing the contentious military operations in Libya. But the House stopped short of a total desertion of a war-time president by also rejecting a measure to limit financing to support the military operations there. The resolution to support the mission, which was based on a Senate measure introduced Tuesday by Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, failed 295 to 123, with 70 Democrats joining Republicans on an issue that has divided Democrats and became a major Constitutional flash point between Congress and The White House.

Liberals Are Smarter Than Conservatives, Just Ask Them
Excerpt: If you are a conservative, Jon Stewart wants you to know you are a moron. Last weekend on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked the comedian-cum-political commentator who the most consistently misinformed media viewers are. "The most consistently misinformed?” Mr. Stewart said, “Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll." This is a prevalent opinion on the left; they tend to think that those who don’t agree with them must not be bright enough to understand the complexities of the world, or willfully believe in things that are demonstrably untrue. But when the fact-checking website PolitiFact scored Mr. Stewart’s comments it turned out that he was the one who was misinformed. Their review “found three Pew studies that ranked Fox viewers low on the well-informed list, but other general-interest media outlets -- such as network news shows, network morning shows and even the other cable news networks -- often scored similarly low.

Army worries about ‘toxic leaders’ in ranks
Not just in the military, alas. ~Bob. Excerpt: A major U.S. Army survey of leadership and morale found that more than 80 percent of Army officers and sergeants had directly observed a “toxic” leader in the last year and that about 20 percent of the respondents said that they had worked directly for one.

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