Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Political Digest for July 5, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Worth Reading: Political games undermine America's military strength
Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret.), is a recipient of America's highest military commendation, the Medal of Honor. Excerpt: Since the conclusion of World War II -- a war led by generals, not politicians -- the political dimension of America's foreign-policy process has grown to such a level that many seasoned war fighters now regard it as the paramount challenge to not only America's tactical defense capabilities, but also our nation's long term strategic interests. For those who require examples of the events which have fueled this trend the following case studies come to mind: Korea, Vietnam, and Somalia. In all of these instances, we see that Beltway elites, many with little or no combat experience, and no time spent in theater, shaped the decisions made by presidents and members of Congress while largely ignoring the advice and perspectives provided by America's military commanders. Now, it would seem Afghanistan may be added to this mix in the not too distant future, and Libya could land on it even sooner. I became all too familiar with this dynamic when, after Sen. J. William Fulbright devised the political policy to cut off supplies to the warriors fighting the violent spread of Communism in Southeast Asia, I was tasked with devising and implementing the strategy for extracting America's soldiers from Vietnam. It is difficult to explain what it was like to kick Vietnamese civilians off of American helicopters that were headed for safety knowing, as we did, that many of these people would be slaughtered by the Viet Cong. It was especially difficult because I knew that, had the political will not wavered in Washington, we could have written a different future for the thousands of Vietnamese who were murdered upon our exit. Not to mention a substantially different historical narrative for the Cold War.

Worth Reading: Why Do We Still Celebrate the 4th of July?
Excerpt: What do we celebrate when we celebrate the Fourth of July? Is it the independence from being ruled by an out-of-touch government thousands of miles away, taxed at their pleasure, and told to be grateful for it? Is it home rule under our own elected officials who can’t be trumped by the decision of some political appointees whom we never voted for? A victory won by militias that don’t exist anymore, on behalf of freedoms that are constantly under assault from the nation’s own capital? Is it at the very least—national freedom, to be part of an independent nation that does not have to follow the laws of other countries or be part of a larger union of nations? ... We don’t have those things anymore. We’re barely holding on to the rest by the skin of our teeth. Every generation the fireworks get bigger and we lose more freedoms. Bread and Circuses? We get welfare and fireworks. Social workers and outdoor BBQ’s. Government subsidized jobs and a day at the beach.

Letter to the Editor
Feel free to use.

Random Thoughts
If you missed Sunday's post. ~Bob

Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job: The stimulus is now causing the economy to shed jobs.
Excerpt: When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt. The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job. In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead. (Don't worry, the media will be all over this. Chortle, snort. ~Bob.)

UK terrorists told: Pretend to be gay so you don't get caught
Excerpt: al-Qaeda fanatics in Britain are being taught to avoid detection – by pretending to be gay. A new terror training manual tells Islamic extremists to lie about their sexuality if a woman approaches them in case she is a “honeytrap” spy sent by security services. The handbook, which was uncovered by a Sunday Mirror ­investigation, says: “Many hotels – especially in busy UK cities – have women hanging around the lobby areas in order to attract men. (Tip: Don't try this dodge in Iran or you'll be the one hanging around. ~Bob.)

Another "You Lied" moment
Oil reserves statements. ~Bob.

Animated American History
Click on the link below. When it opens, do not click on Go at the bottom, click on Play at the top.

From human rights to the EU, the tide's turning against the liberal thought police
Excerpt: Might the tectonic plates of British politics be beginning to shift just a fraction towards a state approximating to reality? The Home Office is shortly to publish a discussion paper about rethinking one section of human rights legislation. This is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the ‘right to family life’. Increasingly, it is being used by foreign criminals and illegal immigrants to dodge deportation by claiming they have the right to family life in the UK. But other parts of human rights legislation cause just as much trouble — such as Article 3, which bans inhuman treatment, and which has been similarly used to paralyse deportations of undesirables.

Obama And “Family”
Excerpt: However, as I wrote I was haunted by a number of intriguing questions, all of which deserve further investigation. First, I could not come to grips with the notion of how a young college student, newly arrived from Saudi Arabia and with no apparent political connections, could in a very short time find her way into an internship at the Clinton White House. As one who has been through the White House personnel wringer on three occasions, I’m sure I will be excused for wondering how she could have managed such a feat… or who arranged it for her. To review, Huma Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1976 but was raised in Saudi Arabia from age two until she returned to attend George Washington University in about 1993 or 1994. Her deceased father was an Islamic scholar and her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, PhD, a native of Pakistan and a prominent member of the female wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, currently serves as an associate professor of sociology and a vice dean at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Upon arriving at the White House, Ms. Abedin was assigned to the Office of the First Lady and has been a trusted aide to Hillary Clinton ever since.

TSA: A Portrait in Islamization
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, American Thinker.com
Excerpt: On June 18th in an airport in Florida, Transportation Security Administration agents required a 95-year-old woman with leukemia to remove her adult diaper if she wanted to pass their inspection and travel. The TSA says they would have been satisfied with merely feeling around the garment, but it was wet. Whatever version, this constitutes yet another debasing treatment of an absolutely non-threatening American citizen for the purpose of protecting Muslim honor. So as to be sensitive and not profile young Islamic men -- the demographic group most likely to be terrorists -- our policy is ending up dishonoring and humiliating American citizens, be they grammas or little girls, who in no way pose a threat. This is not simply foolish, but evidence that our governmental agencies are already engaged in Islamization, for Islamization has taken root when a society abandons its decades of prevailing standards of dignity and common sense so as to accommodate Islam. In this case, American policy has set aside our historic respect for individual personhood as well as law enforcement's tried and tested method of profiling the most likely to commit a particular crime. Groping little girls, afflicting old women, and invasively searching middle-aged people with no indication of being a threat is not the American way and would not, in other circumstances, be tolerated by any civil rights organization except here due to our preoccupation of not offending Muslims.

Obama was Dead Wrong, Illegals Cost California Solvency
Excerpt: A recently revealed lowball study of the state’s budget problems shows that withdrawing services from California’s 2.5 million illegal aliens in the state would save the state roughly $4.5 Billion annually. The breakdown of the savings was: $2.5 Billion from the cost of education; $1 Billion from prison budgets; almost $780 Million from medical expenses; and other cost savings amounting to roughly $300 Million yearly. In short, paying for the illegal aliens who have been welcomed into California (the state has more “Sanctuary Cities” than the rest of the country combined) over a typical period of five years would account for the total California shortfall at its 2009 cited $21 Billion maximum.

Obama's Misleading Vocabulary
Excerpt: As you celebrate the 4th, it might be appropriate to contrast the straightforward language of our founders and other great American leaders with the weasel words now emerging from Washington, and all too frequently, from President Obama, who prefers euphemism-laden, convoluted, pixilated flummery. A quick review of Obama's speeches reveals his most common euphemisms seem to show a pattern of deception, obfuscation and misdirection. In President Obama's lexicon, words have different meanings; to decipher the message and understand what the President is saying requires a special Washington Dictionary. Here are some samples from President Obama’s special dictionary:

Flash Mob at Cape Cod Stop and Shop
Instant patriotism. ~Bob.

Carmakers and White House Haggling Over Mileage Rules
Excerpt: The administration is proposing regulations that will require new American cars and trucks to attain an average of as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level. That would require increases in fuel efficiency of nearly 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2025.  (…) The automakers say the standard is technically achievable. But they warn that it will cost billions of dollars to develop the vehicles, and they express doubt that consumers will accept the smaller, lighter — and in some cases, more expensive — cars that result. (A few days ago, I read an article on our homepage news that said some new cars are now being sold without a spare tire—to save the weight—and thereby raise the gas mileage. Instead, these cars will have an “on-board repair kit”—anyone’s guess what it will contain. Think about how much a donut spare tire weighs. 10 pounds? 15 pounds? How much gas mileage improvement can they be hoping for? Gasoline weighs around 8.5 pounds per gallon. Are they also going to reduce the size of gas tanks? It isn’t all that unusual to take a 200 mile drive in the USA. Personally, I like the idea of being able to make the round trip on a single tank of gas. With a 5-gallon gas tank, that would be risky or impossible. Maybe we should just leave our passengers home; that would reduce the weight enough to add at least a few mpg. If cars with wonderful gas mileage are being sold in other countries—and are as safe as we require them to be—I have no doubt they’ll show up here as soon as someone thinks there’s a profitable market for them. Ron P. )

Man sues over jail's porn ban
Excerpt: Kyle Richards, 21, of Fraser, who has been in the Macomb County Jail since his bank robbery arrest in January and pleaded guilty to the crime Thursday, filed a five-page handwritten lawsuit June 10 in U.S. District Court in Detroit asking a judge to rule for jail inmates to be allowed to possess pornography as well as TVs, radios and video games, The Detroit News reported Monday. (From the “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding” department. Ron P.)

California Company Receiving Jihadist Threats
Maybe it's the electric cars they are upset with, given how Saudi oil funds Jihad. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Southern California company that makes spy drones for the military is seeing increased security because of threats posted on an online jihadist forum, officials said Friday. Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Monrovia were working with federal authorities and the company, AeroVironment Inc., to step up security at the sprawling corporate headquarters, City Manager Scott Ochoa said. AeroVironment makes unmanned surveillance aircraft that have been used in Afghanistan and in the war on terror. The company also makes charging stations for electric cars.

2011 Dearborn Arab Festival: Muslims chanting "Allahu akbar" harass, bully, threaten Christian preacher
Freedom of Religion in today's America. ~Bob.

Ethiopia jails hundreds in Muslim attacks on Christians over Koran rumour
Rumor's about the Qur'an? Riot! Destroying churches? Nothing wrong with that. ~Bob. Excerpt: An Ethiopian court has sentenced 558 people to jail terms ranging from six months to 25 years for attacks on Christians that displaced thousands and led 69 churches to be burned to the ground. More than 4,000 members of local Protestant denominations were forced to flee near the town of Asendabo, some 300 kilometres (186 miles) west of the capital, in March during a rare bout of religious violence. Mobs of Muslim youths carried out week-long attacks on Protestants after rumours that desecrated pages from the Koran had been found at a church construction site. Authorities reported a single death from the attacks.

Tunisia: Pact That Bans Normalisation With Israel Adopted
Please share with all stupid enough to think the "Arab Spring" was going to lead to peace and freedom. ~Bob. Excerpt: Today Tunisia's commission of political reform announced that it adopted (by majority) a ''republican pact'' that will be the basis of the future new Constitution, and in particular it states the rejection of any normalisation with Israel. While announcing the pact the president of the commission, Yadh Ben Achour, did not offer any details, but the Arab speaking Tunisian press published its content, which defines Tunisia as a free and democratic country, whose official language is Arab and whose religion is Islam.

Global Warming Standstill Confirmed - But How Long Will It Last?
Excerpt: It is good news that the authors of the PNAS paper Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998 – 2008 (Kaufmann et al. 2011) recognise that there has been no global temperature increase since 1998. Even after the standstill appears time and again in peer-reviewed scientific studies, many commentators still deny its reality. We live in the warmest decade since thermometer records began about 150 years ago, but it hasn’t gotten any warmer for at least a decade. The researchers tweak an out-of-date climate computer model and cherry-pick the outcome to get their desired result. They do not use the latest data on the sun’s influence on the Earth, rendering their results of academic interest only. They blame China’s increasing coal consumption that they say is adding particles into the atmosphere that reflect sunlight and therefore cool the planet. The effect of aerosols and their interplay with other agents of combustion is a major uncertainty in climate models. Moreover, despite China’s coal burning, data indicate that in the past decade the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere has not increased. The researchers seek to explain the temperature standstill between 1998 and 2008. They say that the global temperature has increased since then. This is misleading. There was an El Nino in 2010 (natural cyclic warming) but even that did not raise temperatures above 1998. In fact the standstill has continued to 2010 and 2011 appears to be on course to be a cooler year than any of the preceding ten years. (At last! Here’s a peer-reviewed paper confirming NO warming from 1998 to 2008. Note to close readers: the Dr. Michael Mann who is co-author of this article is not the same Dr. Michael Mann of hockey-stick fame. Ron P. And still the media reports on the bad effects of warming recently. ~Bob.)

Why Obama is Opposed to Israel
Excerpt: Like Barack Hussein Obama II, I am a graduate of Harvard Law School. I too have Muslims in my family. I am black, and I was once a leftist Democrat. Since our backgrounds are somewhat similar, I perceive something in Obama's policy toward Israel which people without that background may not see. All my life I have witnessed a strain of anti-Semitism in the black community. It has been fueled by the rise of the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan, but it predates that organization. We heard it in Jesse Jackson's “HYMIE town” remark years ago during his presidential campaign. We heard it most recently in Jeremiah Wright's remark about “them Jews” not allowing Obama to speak with him. I hear it from my own Muslim family members who see the problem in the Middle East as a “Jew” problem. Growing up in a small, predominantly black urban community in Pennsylvania , I heard the comments about Jewish shop owners. They were “greedy cheaters” who could not be trusted, according to my family and others in the neighborhood. I was too young to understand what it means to be Jewish, or know that I was hearing anti-Semitism. These people seemed nice enough to me, but others said they were “evil”. Sadly, this bigotry has yet to be eradicated from the black community.

At NEA convention, mixed feelings among teachers for Obama ahead of 2012 vote
Excerpt: On Monday, the nation’s largest teachers union will vote at its annual convention here in Obama’s home town on a proposal to endorse his reelection. Stern came to Chicago to vote no. Her frustrations echo those of many in the National Education Association, who chafe at the president’s support of public charter schools, which compete with traditional public schools, and policies that link teacher tenure and pay in part to growth in student test scores.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for bringing such a wide variety of stuff together...I really appreciated the post, "Why Do We Still Celebrate the 4th of July?"

    And it goes without saying---(no it doesn't) Thank you for serving Our country in the USMC.