Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Political Digest for August 31, 2011

Old Jarhead Blog Removed?
Twice in the last two weeks, both times on Saturdays, when readers logged on to my blog at, they got a "blog removed" message with no explanation. Both times I logged on to Blogspot and posted a query and the blog returned in a few hours. They say they have a system for auto removing Spam blogs, but mine has zero advertising, except my books, I kill Spam posts, and it has been up since 2008. I don't know if it is a blogspot glitch, like the way they sometimes change scheduled posts to drafts, or an attack. It is costing me readers--weekly page views dropped in that time from over 4k to about 3k. If you get that message, please try again later.

And summer dwindles down. Sigh.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Best older posts for new blog readers

Response on Dennis Miller Interview
Good morning, Bob. I was able to listen to your interview with Dennis Miller and called the show right after you were on. I let him know I was gracious enough to let you stay in my bunker at Khe Sanh. I was hoping he would allow calls while you were on, but... anyway, I enjoyed the interview. –Larry.

Want a copy of the Dennis Miller interview?
They sent me an MP3 recording of the show. If you want it, post a comment with your e-address. ~Bob.

If readers have local talk shows that might interview me by phone about Collapse, please give them my contact info. Thanks ~Bob.

An Unusual Economy? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong. The American economy usually rebounds a lot faster than it is doing today. After a recession passes, consumers usually increase their spending. And when businesses see demand picking up, they usually start hiring workers to produce the additional output required to meet that demand. Some very sharp downturns in the American economy, such as in the early 1920s, were followed quickly by bouncing back to normal levels or beyond. The government did nothing -- and it worked. In that sense, this is an unusual recovery in how long it is taking and in how slowly the economy is growing -- while the government is doing virtually everything imaginable. Government intervention may look good to the media but its actual track record -- both today and in the 1930s -- is far worse than the track record of letting the economy recover on its own.

A number of states have recently passed voter-ID legislation — among them, Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island. Two others, Georgia and Indiana, implemented such laws years ago. This trend has the Left hyperventilating. From former president Bill Clinton to NAACP head Benjamin Jealous, irresponsible cries of “Jim Crow” have been uttered in a losing attempt to sell Americans a great lie: that requiring someone to authenticate his or her identity at the polling place by showing a government-issued photo identification is anything like the despicable discrimination that once existed in the South. (Liberals think conservatives want to keep minorities from voting. Conservatives think liberals want minorities to vote many times in the same election. Neither fear is irrational, given our history. My suggestion: make is as easy as possible to get a government ID, but cross reference to be sure there is only one ID per person, and require an ID to vote. Enforce draconian penalties for fraud such as voting more than once, or voting in the wrong district, especially against the leaders of groups like ACORN caught promoting fraudulent voting. ~Bob.)

California City Councilman Killed After Finding Marijuana Field
Excerpt: A well-respected California community leader who was gunned down after finding a remote illegal marijuana operation was a two-term mayor whose fundraising and goodwill helped build firehouses and a first-class high school football stadium. The city of Fort Bragg was reeling Monday after the death of longtime Councilman Jere Melo, a forest land manager who was fatally shot Saturday while he and a co-worker were walking through a rugged area of timber land just outside town.

Will Congressman Eliot Ness Please Stand Up?
Excerpt: Of all the things this administration has done, the best option for having Obama removed through impeachment and conviction is Operation Fast and Furious. It is a scandal that has been percolating just beneath the surface for months now and it involves the ATF allowing weapons to ‘walk’ into Mexico; it reaches to the highest levels of the Justice Department at minimum. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican civilians are all alleged to have been murdered as a direct result of those who authorized it. (This is a waste of resources. There is no chance that even with a wave election in 2012 there would be the two-thirds vote needed to convict Obama in the US Senate. You could have video of Obama selling guns to cartel leaders personally, and a majority of black voters would believe he was as innocent as OJ, and thus no Democrat would have to courage to vote to impeach or convict and alienate this voting bloc, crucial to their power. If the first black president was removed from office, the riots, death and destruction in our cities would make the MLK riots looks like a day at the beach. We need to concentrate all efforts of defeating Obama in 2012. Every day we drift closer to the abyss. ~Bob.)

LAPD chief: Wilmington attack on officer is part of growing trend
Excerpt: The Thursday night attack on a police officer in the Wilmington area is part of a rising trend of violent crimes against LAPD officers, police chief Charlie Beck said Friday. Beck told KPCC's Patt Morrison that as of last week violent attacks on police officers in L.A. are up 29 percent - with 125 violent assaults in 2011 alone. Three more assaults have already occurred since those numbers were released last week.

June Decision Turns Skid Row Sidewalks Into a Health Hazard
Excerpt: On June 23, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez issued a ruling in a case involving a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of homeless individuals. Two months later, the impact of his decision is clear: Skid Row sidewalks have been legally converted into scenes we'd imagine in some third world country, not blocks from our own City Hall. LAPD and Department of Public Works crews are now prohibited from removing abandoned items from Skid Row sidewalks. Attorneys for eight plaintiffs successfully argued that items such as medicines, clothing and personal papers were confiscated and destroyed after the individuals left them unattended for mere minutes while showering at a mission or using a public bathroom. It's difficult to imagine police actually having so little to do as to lie in wait to take items left for a few moments on a sidewalk, but the ruling has been made. It's the consequence of that ruling that neither the attorneys nor Gutierrez have to live with. We do. Right now, portions of sidewalks along
Sixth Street
San Julian Street
and elsewhere in Skid Row are impassable due to filthy mattresses, moldy food and items covered in urine, feces, flies and even maggots. The vulnerable physically and mentally ill, many of whom are unable to care for themselves, much less the possessions they hoard as means of protection or trade, have interpreted the ruling to mean the use of the public sidewalks for the personal storage of these items is now lawful. (Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere, The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst, Are full of passionate intensity. … And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? –W. B. Yates)

It's widely asserted that Los Angeles illegally shields undocumented immigrants from federal authorities. That is utterly false.
Excerpt: In the ever-divisive debate over the proper role of local police in enforcing federal immigration law, there is a recurrent theme, especially as it involves Los Angeles: Critics complain that this and other municipalities have become "sanctuary cities," in which those in the country illegally are shielded from immigration authorities. That complaint is widespread — it's a regular feature of letters to the editor of this newspaper, and it crops up in politics at all levels. Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman argued it during her failed effort against Jerry Brown. Even Wikipedia lists Los Angeles as a sanctuary city. That's widely believed. It's also utterly false. In a sanctuary city, the city government either actively protects undocumented immigrants from arrest or declines to cooperate with those who oversee deportations, sometimes by limiting the use of city funds. Los Angeles does none of that. The police regularly cooperate with immigration officials; recent joint efforts include gang and drug cases and investigations of organized crime. Every suspect booked by the LAPD or Sheriff's Department is fingerprinted, and those prints are shared with immigration authorities. Every day, men and women who are here illegally — either because they sneaked across the border or overstayed their visas — are removed from Los Angeles and sent home.

Obama Sending Hundreds of Millions To Rebuild Foreign Mosques!!

Iran 'discreetly aided Libyan rebels'
Excerpt: Iran "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli, Jam-e-Jam newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday as saying. "We were in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Kadhafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi," Salehi told the daily. "The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sent a letter of thanks to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having been on their side and helping," he added. Since the Libyan uprising erupted in mid-February, Iran has adopted a dual approach -- criticising the Kadhafi regime for its violent assaults on the rebels while at the same time condemning NATO's military intervention. On Tuesday, Iran "congratulated the Muslim people of Libya" after rebels overran the capital Tripoli, but it has so far distanced itself from officially recognising the NTC.

Rep. Elton Gallegly’s letter to Obama
On illegal immigration.

Doctor shortage threatens U.S. and Ohio: The Changing Face of Medicine
Excerpt: Dr. Atul Grover, chief advocacy officer of the medical colleges association, pointed to several reasons for the current and anticipated problem: There has been a cap on slots in medical schools and residency training programs for the last 34 years as the U.S. population grew by 31 percent. Federal money now helping to pay for graduate medical education could be slashed by Congress. The elderly population nationwide is expected to double in the next decade. Adults in this age group use health services more than twice as much as younger folks. One-third of physicians now in practice nationwide are expected to retire in the next 10 years. About 21 percent of Ohio's doctors are now 60 years or older. As many as 30 million people currently without insurance are expected to be pulled into the system as federal health care reform rolls out in 2014. (add to this ObamaCare, the Federal Medicare crisis, and the trial lawyers/tort system/liability crisis driving doctors out or discouraging them from entering, and your grandkids—those who survive the coming bad years—will look on our times as the golden age of American medicine, B.O. –Before Obama. ~Bob.)

Labor Dept. Signs 'Partnerships' with Foreign Gov’s to Protect Illegals in U.S.
Excerpt: U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis today signed "partnership" agreements with ambassadors from a group of Latin American nations aiming to protect what she described as the labor rights of both legal and illegal migrants working in the United States. During the signing ceremony hosted at Labor Department headquarters in Washington D.C., Solis said the agreements are aimed at educating migrant workers, regardless of how they got here, about their rights under U.S. law and to help prevent them from being abused in the workplace, either through wages, loss of job, or deportation.

Disaster aid account faces shortfall as costs of hurricane devastation rise
This is Bush’s fault for allow Katrina to hit New Orleans. Seriously, we still have money to fund the UN attacks on us, aid our enemies in Pakistan, aid Hamas to rocket Israel and rebuild mosques overseas. But expect increasing problems like this as the growing fiscal disaster limits responses to other disasters and challenges. ~Bob. Excerpt: The government’s main disaster aid account is running woefully short of money as the Obama administration confronts damages from Hurricane Irene that could run into billions of dollars. With less than $800 million in its disaster aid coffers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been forced to freeze rebuilding projects from disasters dating to Hurricane Katrina to conserve money for emergency needs in the wake of Irene. Lawmakers from states ravaged by tornadoes this spring, like Missouri and Alabama, are especially furious. The shortfalls in FEMA’s disaster aid account have been obvious to lawmakers on Capitol Hill for months — and privately acknowledged to them by FEMA — but the White House has opted against asking for more money, riling many lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the troops in Afghanistan lack good trou….

From Morning Jolt by Jim Garaghty
Worth subscribing to this free e-newsletter. ~Bob. Excerpt: But if Barack Obama had the wind in his face for the first 20 or so years of his life, he had the wind at his back the moment he entered politics. He and his guys ensured he would win his first state-senate race by challenging signatures and getting all his rivals tossed off the ballot. His quixotic, failed bid to unseat a longtime U.S. House member did no serious damage to his career, and he faced no serious primary challenge afterward, despite a state-senate record that was nothing all that special. He represented a part of the state where the Republican party existed only in theory. When he decided to run for Senate, the Chicago Tribune dug into the divorce records of his top Democratic rival and then his top Republican rival -- a sudden burst of groundbreaking investigative journalism that never extended to, say, Obama's college transcripts. Jack Ryan's implosion was so spectacular that Obama roared to victory against tomato can Alan Keyes, meaning he entered the U.S. Senate without so much as a genuine attack ad run against him. Then he faced the challenge of appealing to Democratic hopes and dreams more than Hillary Clinton did -- and then running against John McCain as the economy imploded. Moreover, despite his meteoric rise, Obama seemed to be awfully lacking in the categories of hard-won legislative accomplishments, ingenious compromises, crafty deal-making, anything resembling executive leadership, or suffering the consequences of telling his allies things they didn't want to hear.

Is Rick Perry dumb?
He must be a solid candidate—the liberal smears machine is in full cry. I’m not sold on Perry; I have problems with some of his positions. But until Barack Obama can fly a C-130, create jobs at the rate Texas has or is willing to put his college grades up against Perry’s, I have to believe Perry is smarter. They said Reagan was dumb, too, and don’t many folks wish he was back? ~Bob.

Worth Reading: Why Doesn’t Politico (Or Any Other MSM Organ) Ask If Barack Obama is Dumb?
Excerpt: But on the individual cases, Perry vs. Obama, there is a better case to be made that Obama has benefited from luck, from others’ guilt, from social promotion, and from his instinct to conceal what he really thinks, than Rick Perry has. Perry learned to fly military aircraft, has built an impressive undefeated election record in bona fide contests, and led Texas as that state leads the nation in just about every economic category. In a political blind taste test — cover their names and political affiliations — Perry is by far the more impressive of the two. The fact is, east coast elitists are prone to treating anyone not from the east coast or Chicago, or who speaks with a flyover country twang, as their inferiors. And a corollary fact is, east coast elites tend to treat anyone with Harvard on their resume as automatically brilliant no matter how they actually got into Harvard (unless they’re a Republican, in which case the insults fly). Bush was dumb though he attended both Harvard and Yale and was a successful pro baseball team owner and governor; Obama is smart despite his record of failure in the presidency and his lack of real achievement prior to. Reagan was dumb because he went to Eureka College. Perry is dumb because he majored in animal science at Texas A&M. Meanwhile, we still know next to nothing about Barack Obama’s academic record, and his political record suggests that he is much more of an ideologue than an intellect. Is Barack Obama dumb? I would like to see Politico examine that question. But they won’t. They might end up learning too much.

Who’s the Dummy?
Excerpt: Joe Biden may look like Jeff Dunham’s ventriloquist dummy, Walter, but I think even Walter makes a lot more sense. Honest to God, I have no idea how Joe Biden got to be Vice President. I remember when he ran for President in 1988 but backed out soon after a report surfaced that he, uh, how should I say, borrowed some words from others without giving them credit. It was a different world back then. Fast forward twenty years and it’s still a mystery how Barack Obama selected him as his running mate when, early on in the 2008 Presidential race, Biden said about Obama, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Mugshot: Obama's Uncle Omar in jail

Court upholds 'citizen's right' to film cops
Arresting someone for filming the police is a constitutional violation, the Massachusetts district court announced Friday. The case began when Simon Glik was taken into police custody for recording an arrest with his cell phone camera, according to Tech Dirt. Glik told police he saw an officer punch the suspect and believed their use of force was excessive, sources say. Officers reportedly asked him to stop recording because audio recording — a capability of Glik’s phone — violated Massachusetts wiretap laws. Glik was charged with disturbing the peace and aiding in the escape of a prisoner — charges that were later dropped — but he sued the officers who arrested him and the City of Boston for failing to investigate the case further. His First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated, he said. (Every report on this issue that I’ve seen shows an appalling lack of context. The Illinois eavesdropping law (which probably resembles the law in this case) prohibits recording a person’s voice except when the person has consented or that speech is clearly in a public forum. For instance, a politician can’t prosecute someone for recording a speech that was delivered at an event that was clearly public. Most of us would be appalled if every word that we uttered while at work could be recorded for later playback to the general public. Bringing this back to the incident in question: The issue is whether on-duty police officers have the same right as everyone else not to have their routine business conversations recorded without their consent. It is a completely reasonable question to examine, but I don’t think that the answer is obvious. The question is whether the remarks made by on duty police officers more closely resemble the public speeches of politicians and the deliberation of elected officials, or the interaction between a customer and clerk at the marriage license bureau. If the latter, police should be protected under the same laws that protect everyone else. --Geoff)

Libya: A Premature Victory Celebration
Excerpt: The war in Libya is over. More precisely, governments and media have decided that the war is over, despite the fact that fighting continues. The unfulfilled expectation of this war has consistently been that Moammar Gadhafi would capitulate when faced with the forces arrayed against him, and that his own forces would abandon him as soon as they saw that the war was lost. What was being celebrated last week, with presidents, prime ministers and the media proclaiming the defeat of Gadhafi, will likely be true in due course. The fact that it is not yet true does not detract from the self-congratulations. For example, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reported that only 5 percent of Libya is still under Gadhafi’s control. That seems like a trivial amount, save for this news from Italian newspaper La Stampa, which reported that “Tripoli is being cleaned up” neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street and home by home. Meanwhile, bombs from above are pounding Sirte, where, according to the French, Gadhafi has managed to arrive, although it is not known how. The strategically important town of Bali Walid — another possible hiding place and one of only two remaining exit routes to another Gadhafi stronghold in Sabha — is being encircled.

‘I’ve Got…Islamophobia!’
Excerpt: I stared stoically forward. “I hear air raid sirens, and I think…they’re shooting at me. Rockets.” I added, “I hear…booms.” Finally he spoke, slow, patient, and kind: “Who is shooting at you?” I sunk my face in my hands again; raked it with my fingers. “Who? Well…Muslims.” Again his slow, gentle voice: “From where are they shooting?” I removed my hands from my face, gazed forward like a grade-school kid who’s been asked a tough question in front of the whole class. “From Gaza.”

Krugman Fails Climate Science 101
Excerpt: Krugman’s central thesis is that theory that mankind is causing catastrophic climate change has to be true, because “97 to 98 per cent of scientists” agree that it’s true. You’ll see the “97 to 98 per cent” number appearing quite often now. It’s become a key talking point of the alarmist crowd, as they struggle to regain relevance in a world that has a harder and harder time taking them seriously. But where does that amazing number come from? It arises from a 2009 survey that two University of Illinois researchers conducted. 10,257 Earth scientists responded and, much to the U of I professors’ chagrin, the results were far from satisfying to the alarmist crowd. Many of the respondents indicated that they believe that natural forces are much more important than mankind’s paltry contributions to climate trends. Some questioned the validity of the models that have been used to predict massive forcing attributable to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. All in all, it wasn’t the kind of response that the researchers were looking for when they were trying to prove consensus. So, the professors decided that 10,180 of the scientists who responded weren’t qualified to comment on the issue because they were merely solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists, astronomers and the like. Of the remaining 77 scientists whose votes were counted, 75 agreed with the proposition that mankind was causing catastrophic changes in the climate. And, since 75 is 97.4% of 77, “overwhelming consensus” was demonstrated once again.

What Drives Gas Prices: Cartels, Speculators, or Supply and Demand?
Excerpt: Once again, high gasoline prices are in the news. As of this writing, the national average gasoline price per gallon is hovering around $3.50.[1] The public is unhappy with these high gas prices, and politicians are scrambling to find ways to reduce the pain--or, failing that, to publicly shoot the messenger by investigating, penalizing, or punitively taxing oil companies. This Outlook explores the true causes of oil price fluctuation and explains how policymakers can help lower gasoline prices. Key points in this Outlook: High gas prices are inducing consumers to tighten their belts and politicians to call for taxes on oil companies. About 85 percent of oil price hikes are due to supply and demand, and the remaining 15 percent is likely attributable to environment-conscious regulations. To help lower gas prices and promote domestic employment and trade benefits in the future, policymakers should facilitate drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and lift boutique-fuel requirements.

Low Standards for Education Majors
Excerpt: American schools of education have often been spotlighted as the weak link between K-12 schooling and college preparedness. In his recent paper, "Grade Inflation for Education Majors and Low Standards for Teachers: When Everyone Makes the Grade," University of Missouri economics professor Cory Koedel shows that education school courses typically have very low grading standards. In many courses, A grades are heavily predominant; in some, every student gets an A, says George Leef, director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Why do the education schools operate this way? One reason, Koedel observes, is that in the field of education, which is "notoriously ineffective at identifying high- and low-quality workers," there is no penalty for easy grading. Another reason, one Koedel doesn't mention, is that easy grading is a case of practicing what you preach -- one of the reigning ideas among education theorists is that students must have high self-esteem so they will want to keep learning. As a partial solution, Koedel suggests that college administrators step in and impose stringent grading standards on education departments. But it's pointless to insist on rigorous grading of courses that revolve around the inculcation of sociopolitical belief systems. Giving every student an A is not the problem. The course itself is the problem, says Leef. It doesn't have to be that way. Japan, a country that regularly outpaces the United States in international comparisons of student knowledge, doesn't have education schools at all. There, students must first earn an undergraduate degree in an academic field and then those who wish to enter teaching apply to become apprentices -- only a small fraction are accepted. The apprentice works with a master teacher for several years. America's system for training teachers needs dramatic change, far deeper than making A grades less plentiful, says Leef. (I transferred to U-Mass, majored in Government, but took a minor in Education so I could teach if I couldn’t get elected. The School of Ed required all courses to be pass-fail, which prevented me from graduating with honors, though my average was high enough, because the university required you to have more graded credits than I could get, with my required pass-fail courses. Thankfully I got elected to the senate and my career hasn’t involved teaching, though I also have a masters in education with a history focus. ~Bob.)

Housing Market Outrage
We bought our condo in 2009 for $160k. They were selling for $250k in 2007. Now selling for $130k. We have to pay extra to stay above water. When government interferes in the market, this is the result. ~Bob. Excerpt: There is little question that the root of our current economic problems is the housing market crash. The severity of the problem is daunting: at the end of 2010, 23.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were “underwater,” meaning that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth. That “negative equity” totals $750 billion. Moreover, the housing market is largely frozen, due in large part to the fact that banks attempting to foreclose on delinquent homeowners cannot produce titles for said properties. They were “bundled” to sell on Wall Street, and the “paper trail” determining who actually owns the deed to a given property has been obliterated. This reality produces an extremely troubling question: how much moral hazard are Americans willing to accept to get the housing market functioning again? With to respect that market, moral hazard has been an all-encompassing affliction. Lending institutions were more than happy to grant mortgages to borrowers manifestly ill-equipped to pay them back. Borrowers were more than happy to sign on the dotted line and take the money, even as they ignored the implicit contractual obligations. Government was happy to pressure lending institutions to make sub-prime loans to unqualified applicants, often with ridiculous terms attached, such as no money down.

Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are They Worth?
Another part of the looming fiscal collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: We calculate the present value of state employee pension liabilities using discount rates that reflect the risk of the payments from a taxpayer perspective. If benefits have the same default and recovery characteristics as state general obligation debt, the national total of promised liabilities based on current salary and service is $3.20 trillion. If pensions have higher priority than state debt, the value of liabilities is much larger. Using zero-coupon Treasury yields, which are default-free but contain other priced risks, promised liabilities are $4.43 trillion. Liabilities are even larger under broader concepts that account for salary growth and future service.

Excerpt: But there is a very simple reason that this is viewed as more of a campaign effort. Boasting bulletproof windows, five inch thick doors, and its own oxygen supply, the President has made the rounds for these speeches in a multi-million dollar bus, dubbed “The Beast” by its critics. There’s been no shortage of opinions from people and pundits on this bus and how having the President tour around the midwest in a caravan of cars and seated on a tour bus sends the message that he is on the campaign trail and using taxpayer dollars to do it. It appears however, that this might not be the case. According to some sources he hasn’t really been riding these buses much at all. They say, he’s been flying them. Apparently President Obama only rode the buses for a couple of miles at a time, spending the rest of the time flying from community to community in Air Force One. What’s more, the buses were flown from stop to stop as well. It’s normal practice for the President’s entire motorcade to be loaded up on cargo planes and flown from destination to destination. The buses were just a new part of that motorcade. But why wouldn’t the presidential limousine have sufficed? Or one of the other armored vehicles that routinely travel with the President? Apparently because the President wanted the imagery of a bus. And buses are what he got

Tolerance is un-Islamic? Are these people Islamophobic? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Islamic Defender Front (FPI), an extremist Muslim organisation, is promoting a protest campaign against SCTV, a Jakarta-based private TV station, for scheduling “?”, a movie deemed offensive to Muslims that was directed by a young talented filmmaker, Hanung Bramantyo. Even though, the movie tells a story about tolerance and respect between Indonesia’s various religious groups, the FPI and other Islamist groups say it “pollutes the morality” of Indonesian Muslims. Jakarta FPI leader Habib Salim Alatas warned the SCTV management that thousands of Muslims would join to demonstrate in front of the TV station should it broadcast the movie Monday night.

Senior Official in Egyptian Islamic Jihad: If We Come to Power, We will Launch a Campaign of Islamic Conquests to Instate Shari'a Worldwide: 'The Christian is Free to Worship His God in His Church, but if the Christians Make Problems for the Muslims, I Will Exterminate Them'
Excerpt: On August 13, 2011, the Egyptian daily Roz Al-Yousef published an interview[1] with Sheikh 'Adel Shehato, a senior official in Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), who, on March 23, 2011, was freed from prison in the wake of the Egyptian revolution. He was imprisoned in 1991 upon returning from a three-year sojourn in Afghanistan. In the interview, Shehato expressed complete opposition to democracy "because it is not the faith of the Muslims, but the faith of the Jews and Christians." He said that although the youth of the Arab revolutions have not declared the implementation of shari'a as one of their goals, the mujahideen nonetheless identify with their aspiration to overthrow the Arab rulers, whom they had always considered "infidels who must be killed because they do not rule according to the shari'a." He added, however, that "once Allah's law is applied, the role of the people will end and Allah will reign supreme." He went on to say that although he supports Al-Qaeda's ideology, shari'a law would not be enforced by violence but by da'wa (preaching), whereas violence would be used only against the infidel Arab rulers.

Gaza-Based Salafi Group Launched Rockets at Israel
Excerpt: A radical Salafi Islamist group affiliated with the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization has taken responsibility for launching Sunday morning's Grad rocket attack at southern Israel. The Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad (JTJ) jihadist organization (Group of Monotheism and Jihad) allegedly issued a statement claiming “credit” for the attack on Be'er Sheva, the largest city in Israel's southern region. The missile was intercepted and neutralized by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system at about 7:15 a.m. local time. Residents were warned by the Color Red air raid alert siren before the missile arrived in Be'er Sheva's air space. Salafi groups have slowly grown to be a major power in Gaza in the past several years, with thousands of Hamas members switching sides to join the more radical Islamic factions, all of which are linked to Al Qaeda and many of which operate in Judea and Samaria as well.

International Space Station May Be Evacuated By Late November, NASA Says
Excerpt: Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station this fall if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying, a NASA official said Monday. If Russia's essential Soyuz rockets remain grounded beyond mid-November, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents are supposed to leave, said NASA's space station program manager, Mike Suffredini. A space station supply ship was destroyed last week following liftoff from Kazakhstan. The failed upper stage of the Soyuz rocket is similar to what's used to launch astronauts. The launch of the very next crew already has been delayed. It had been scheduled for Sept. 22. (Even if NASA took one of the shuttles back from the museums they’ve been donated to, NASA has no boosters or external “re-usable rockets” to launch it with. No wonder we’re failing in space, we’re trying to conquer space with a committee in charge. Ron P.)

Interesting: China's 'Ripples of Capability': An Interview with Andrew Erickson
Excerpt: For any Westerner observer struggling to understand Chinese military developments -- and let's be serious, that's most of us -- Andrew Erickson is an indispensable resource. A professor at the Naval War College, Erickson has edited an influential series of books about the People's Liberation Army, each volume based on close scrutiny of Chinese-language journals and new sources. Erickson's latest volume, Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles, takes a hard, sober look at Beijing's growing air and missile forces and their effect on the Pacific balance of power.

National Park Service to Marines: Don't Shine That Brass
Excerpt: The National Park Service has renewed its war against active duty troops who have the brass to polish the brass plate at the base of the flagpole at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I first reported on the anti-brass shining stance of the National Park Service after Memorial Day 2009. I followed up with another post two days later, which said the Vietnam Memorial Fund planned to refinish the base, which sports the emblems of all four services plus the Coast Guard, with a coating approved by the Park Service. The new finish was installed in 2009, but the Park Service still has a dim view of any shine-on efforts, based on the experience of Marine Sgt. Andrew Piskator this past weekend. Piskator, who has served one tour in Iraq and is now stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia, was applying Brasso polish to the base of the flagpole with an old T-shirt, when he was interrupted by a Park Service volunteer in uniform. Teresa Piskator, his wife, told me in an email, that at first the volunteer politely told Andrew he could not polish the brass, but did not provide any explanation. Then it got ugly.

Why Mitt Romney needs Sarah Palin
Excerpt: While much of the political world is past the “will she or won’t she” debate about Palin and the 2012 race, there’s one candidate who should be rooting hard for the 2008 vice presidential nominee to run. And his name is Mitt Romney. Up until the last few weeks, the former Massachusetts governor had been coasting in the contest — watching as his opponents squabbled amongst themselves while polling suggested he remained atop the field. Then, Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided to run. In the two weeks since Perry has been in the race, he has soared to the top of two national polls leading Romney by 12 in each one. And, if you dig into the guts of each of those polls — and Fix loves poll guts — it becomes clear that Perry’s strength is in his ability to appeal to the tea party and establishment wings of the party.

George Will: Obama Blames Everyone But James Madison for Economic Problems
So-called black “leaders” have handicapped blacks by teaching them that anything bad in their lives is someone else’s fault. ~Bob.

'Exterminate Christians, close pyramids, Sphinx': Rising leader in Egypt has astonishing
Excerpt: A rising leader in the radical Islamic movement in Egypt that has become a major political player since the demise of Hosni Mubarak's regime says Christian churches may need to be blown up and Christians exterminated to allow the advance of Islamic law, or Shariah. The comments come from Sheik 'Adel Shehato, a senior leader with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The sheik was jailed in 1991 because of his positions but was released earlier this year in the revolution that removed Mubarak from power. (Don’t know how serious a “rising leader” this guy is, but the Arab Spring may not work out as the Pollyanna types in the media think. ~Bob.)

ATF head removed by DoJ after 'fast and furious' controversy
Tallyho! The scapegoat has been spotted. Release the hounds. ~Bob. Excerpt: The head of the ATF has been removed after months of speculation about his role in a botched gun tracking operation that may have contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Monday that acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Kenneth Melson was being replaced. Melson is being transferred to the Office of Legal Policy, where he will be a senior advisor. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Todd Jones will take over as acting ATF director, according to the Department of Justice.

Fast and Furious
Gets more curious. ~Bob. Excerpt: In Phoenix, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, was reassigned from the criminal to civil division. Also in Phoenix, three out of the four whistleblowers involved in the case have been reassigned to new positions outside Arizona. Two are headed to Florida, one to South Carolina. Hurley's reassignment came after three ATF supervisors responsible for the operation were promoted. William G. McMahon, a former deputy director of operations, took over the Office of Professional Responsibility. Field supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth also moved up despite heavy criticism. The moves follow a series of reports by Fox News detailing the face-off between Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, whose investigators have recently broadened their probe. It now reportedly shows a deeper involvement of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

NEJM Study Reconfirms Need for Medical Liability Reform
Excerpt: A study in this month’s New England Journal of Medicine provides the most comprehensive analysis of the risk of liability claims by medical specialty in more than two decades, and reinforces the need to put an immediate end to medical lawsuit abuse. The study reports that in any given year, an average of 7.4 percent of doctors are faced with medical liability lawsuits, but nearly 80 percent of those claims result in no payment at all by the defendant. The likelihood of being faced with a medical liability lawsuit did not necessarily correlate to payment by a physician – further proof that the system is broken and does not serve the needs of patients. Neurosurgeons were the most likely to be targeted by personal injury lawyers, with over 19 percent of all neurosurgeons facing a medical liability lawsuit each year. However, they were less likely to be found negligent, and ranked 4th behind other surgical specialties in payments made to claimants.

Doctor Gone Missing? Check Texas.
Second story down. ~Bob. Excerpt: If you live in New York and suddenly your doctor is nowhere to be found, you may want to send a search party down to Texas. Since September of 2003, when Texas passed comprehensive medical liability reform, 1,271 physicians from New York have fled south to greener pastures, and friendlier liability climates.

A Plea to Generation Vexed: Overcome the Desperation of Non-Deprivation
Excerpt: The Los Angeles Times has coined a new term for the generation presently aged 18 to 29: “Generation Vexed.” The term captures all the economic anxiety, the future-related frustrations, the delicate disgust with disappointed expectations of those who grew up accustomed to comfort, but came of age in the midst of a financial crisis. The label soberly cloaks what was formerly the “Self-Esteem Generation,” that group of supremely self-satisfied youngsters who were taught to regard themselves highly, regardless of whether they had done anything to deserve high regard; who classified themselves always and irrelevantly as “winners”; who assumed any completed assignment at all was worthy of an “A.”

US White House’s 9/11 Anniversary Guidelines Ask Officials to ‘Minimize References to Al Qaeda’
Excerpt: The leftist/Islamic machine is in full throttle now with the White House is strong arming officials to omit who and why we were attacked. The White House has issued guidelines detailing what the White House has deemed the important themes that must be discussed, as well as the tone the 9/11 observances should take. …the document states that officials should “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” Within the text, Osama bin Laden’s death is the reason given for this request. In what could be interpreted as somewhat of a political call to arms, the guidelines tell officials to place emphasis on the fact that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.” If this is not surrender, what is?

Greek Bailout Talks Face Hurdles
You may not live in Europe, but when the EU spins apart, your IRA is likely to suffer collateral damage. ~Bob. Excerpt: Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter said Tuesday a dispute over Finland's demand for collateral to participate in Greece's €109 billion ($158.17 billion) bailout won't be resolved before a finance ministers' meeting next month. Meanwhile, Germany delayed by a week a crucial parliamentary vote on changes to the euro zone's rescue fund. The developments are the latest signs that progress in resolving challenges to the latest Greek aid package will be slow.

Excerpt: Why should Finland provide any more money to Greece at all? Greece has proved that it will lie, cheat and steal to get what it wants from the rest of the Euro zone, and it's not alone. The Euro Zone treaty obligations to keep deficits to no more than 3% of GDP are not suggestions. Of course they're treated as such, for one simple reason: Nations have gotten away with this sort of crap for years, and banks have gotten away with helping nations to lie. Nobody has faced sanction, say much less indictment, for what amounts to deception upon the public and the other nations in Europe (and elsewhere.) Yet this sort of deception is well-recognized in the corporate space as actionable conduct - so why isn't it at this level? Ultimately the problem is that currency unions don't work well without some sort of enforcement mechanism, and that enforcement mechanism is problematic when you have nations with disparate economic fortunes. The premise that opening the door to trade benefits everyone and thus currency union is a good thing because it obviates exchange-rate differences and potential tariff problems is a chimera - some nations will inevitably be bled of capital if there are differences in productivity, social spending and economic health between the members. Bereft of the adjustment that normally takes places when one has floating currencies in the presence of these capital flows the incentive to cheat becomes strong, as the alternative is an admission that what you did originally wasn't workable.

Old Blighted
Excerpt: I quote a little bit of Anthony Burgess in my book. Burgess isn’t as famous a name in the futuristic-dystopia biz as Orwell or Huxley, but he was remarkably prophetic and in a rather lightly worn way. His most famous novel is A Clockwork Orange, thanks to the Stanley Kubrick movie. At one point in the book, the precocious psychopathic teen narrator offers his dad some (stolen) money so his parents can enjoy a drink down the pub. “Thanks, son,” says his father. “But we don’t go out much now. We daren’t go out much now, the streets being what they are. Young hooligans and so on. Still, thanks.” Burgess published his book in 1962, an era when working-class Britons lived in cramped row houses on dingy streets that were nevertheless some of the most tranquil on the planet. Their residents kept pigeons and tended vegetable allotments. The idea that the old and not so old would not go out, “the streets being what they are,” “young hooligans and so on,” was not just the stuff of fiction but of utterly transformative fantastic fiction. But it happened in little more than a generation. The men on our TV screens rampaging through the streets were born three decades after Burgess’s novel, yet he had their measure. There is no great “cause,” despite the best efforts of leftie commentators to kit them out with one. They are the children of dependency, the product of what Sir William Beveridge, the father of the British welfare state, called a world without want. And certainly these ski-masked bandits do not want. … My book’s thesis is stated upfront: It starts with the money, but it never stops there—in part because it’s never really about the money. What’s worse than debauching your finances? Debauching your human capital. As London reminds us, much of the Western world is too far down that grim path.

WikiLeaks Leaves Names of Diplomatic Sources in Cables
Excerpt: In a shift of tactics that has alarmed American officials, the antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks has published on the Web nearly 134,000 leaked diplomatic cables in recent days, more than six times the total disclosed publicly since the posting of the leaked State Department documents began last November. A sampling of the documents showed that the newly published cables included the names of some people who had spoken confidentially to American diplomats and whose identities were marked in the cables with the warning “strictly protect.” State Department officials and human rights activists have been concerned that such diplomatic sources, including activists, journalists and academics in authoritarian countries, could face reprisals, including dismissal from their jobs, prosecution or violence. (And, NYT thinks “not printing the names” after telling where on the web to find them leaves NYT with clean hands. I think if a few dozen revealees got together, they could hire lawyers as a class and end up owning NYT. Assuming they don’t just burn it down first. WikiLeaks needs to be dealt with harshly by some alphabet agency. Ron P.)

America’s Secret Libya War
Excerpt: Officially, President Obama handed the lead role of ousting Muammar Gaddafi to the European members of NATO. For this he was criticized by Washington war hawks who suggested that Europeans working with a ragtag team of Libyan rebels was a recipe for stalemate, not victory. But behind the scenes, the U.S. military played an indispensable role in the Libya campaign, deploying far more forces than the administration chose to advertise. And at NATO headquarters outside Brussels, the U.S. was intimately involved in all decisions about how the Libyan rebels should be supported as they rolled up control of cities and oil refineries and marched toward the capital, Tripoli. The Libya campaign was a unique international effort: 15 European nations working with the U.S. and three Arab nations. The air offensive was launched from 29 airbases in six European countries. But only six European nations joined with the U.S. and Canada to fly strikes against Gaddafi’s forces. The scale of the unpublicized U.S. role affirms hawks’ arguments: a divided NATO simply couldn’t have waged the war it did without extensive American help. What the hawks underestimated was the U.S. ability to operate without publicity—in military lingo, beneath the radar. (I guess this means the War Powers Act can be ignored for all time. We don’t need no stinkin’ Congress. Ron P.)

Four Lions Trailer-UK Television to Screen Controversial “Comedy” on Suicide Bombers for Anniversary of 9-11
Excerpt: A controversial film about Muslim suicide bombers is to be screened as part of a season of programmes to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11 on Channel 4. It will show Four Lions by comedian Chris Morris days before memorials take place for the terrorist outrages in New York. Insiders at the broadcaster say Morris wanted to air the 2010 film on the anniversary itself, but bosses refused. In the comedy, a group of British terrorists bungle a plan to kill thousands of people at the London Marathon in a terror attack. Channel 4 will premiere it alongside documentaries about heroes from the emergency services and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The Underreporting of Crime is Epidemic
The underreporting of crime in our country has become an epidemic that threatens our Republic with increased violence and urban anarchy. The lack of accurate data about crime in our communities results in more risk to citizens and law enforcement personnel. If towns and cities don’t report crime data accurately, state and federal statistics won’t be accurate and planning and resource allocation cannot be effectively deployed to combat the criminals in our society. It is a bottom-up process. The F.B.I. Uniform Crime Reports are only as accurate as the information they receive, or don’t receive, from local jurisdictions. Underreporting of crime has always existed. Typically 25-30 percent of crimes are not reported to police at all. (I don't know if this has crept into the Calif. Highway Patrol repertoire, but cities and counties were participating in this since the early 90's. CHP officers referred to this as "Kissing it off", i.e., not taking the time, expending the effort65 to write a report, and convincing the crime victim that a report would not solve anything. I knew of an officer who was FIRED for not taking a Hit & Run report, even though there was not enough to locate the offender or prosecute. –DH)

A Vineyard Too Far: People who rail against “fat cats” shouldn’t vacation with them.
Excerpt: The president’s latest Martha’s Vineyard vacation was a public-relations disaster, wholly unnecessary, and in part responsible for Obama’s most recent slide in the polls. Part of the problem was purely coincidental and no one’s fault: Who could have expected that while the president of the United States was resting on an exclusive private beach on a tony island on a calm August day, millions of Eastern Seaboarders around him would be engaged in a media-driven frenzy of emergency preparation and evacuation? Yet most of the negative perception was the president’s own doing. For nearly three years, there has been something strange about the First Family’s ritzy getaway tastes. The annual Martha’s Vineyard rentals were bookended by First Family junkets to Vail, Costa del Sol, and Hawaii. The choice of venues spawned at least three problems for the president that have nothing to do with the First Family’s right, and indeed duty, to enjoy a little well-earned vacation time — or with the fact that other presidents have vacationed in nice places. First, Obama’s fiery rhetoric (“fat-cat bankers,” “corporate jets,” “millionaires and billionaires,” “redistributive change,” “at a certain point you’ve made enough money,” etc.) has demonized the better off. … Again, in our upside-down world of race, a Clarence Thomas or a Condoleezza Rice, who grew up amid the authentic African-American struggle against Jim Crow, could never quite be as legitimately “black” as was Barack Obama (preppie, half-white/half-Kenyan), simply because liberal identity politics offers instant superficial authentication in a way real life cannot.

Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing' after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops
Cutting your child’s throat isn’t just a good idea—it’s the Shari’a Law! Who is the bigger monster here, the rapist or the father? ~Bob. Excerpt: A Libyan father killed his three daughters after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops to lift the shame on his family, a human rights group said today. The girls, aged 15, 17 and 18 were allegedly assaulted by soldiers at a school in the town of Tomina, near the war-shattered city of Misrata, during a two-month siege. When they returned home, their father slit their throats in a so-called honour killing, according to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Political Digest for August 30, 2011

Old Jarhead Blog Removed?
Twice in the last two weeks, both times on Saturdays, when readers logged on to my blog at, they got a "blog removed" message with no explanation. Both times I logged on to Blogspot and posted a query and the blog returned in a few hours. They say they have a system for auto removing Spam blogs, but mine has zero advertising, except my books, I kill Spam posts, and it has been up since 2008. I don't know if it is a blogspot glitch, like the way they sometimes change scheduled posts to drafts, or an attack. It is costing me readers--weekly page views dropped in that time from over 4k to about 3k. If you get that message, please try again later.

Dennis Miller Interview
I’m scheduled to be interviewed about The Coming Collapse of the American Republic on Dennis Miller’s radio program at 11:34 am, EDT on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. You can listen live for free at

Scientists declare Hurricane Irene a Republican
Dr. Harvey Moosefinger with the Imperial Weather Service reported that Irene had been labeled a “Republican” storm. “The science is settled,” Moosefinger said. “Had Irene been a Democrat. It would have hit Washington as a temporary program, stayed put and in five years would have had a budget of $50 billion, 15,000 federal employees and numerous lobbying support groups nationwide.”

I finally signed up for Twitter, as it is useful to pick up stuff for the Political Digest. I don’t expect to Tweet much, but the tag is @tartanmarine.

Worth Reading: Mark Steyn: It's the Stupidity, Economists
Excerpt: Walter Bagehot, the great English constitutionalist, used to distinguish between the “dignified” and “efficient” parts of the Westminster system — i.e., the monarchy and the executive. The United States combines them in one person. Judging from the 40-car conga line to stage a pseudo-browse at a mom-’n'-pop bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama and the court eunuchs of the media seem to prefer the ceremonial side (“dignified” hardly seems the word for these leaden rituals).

Personally, I’m looking forward to turning a fire hose on Al. Does this mean that when you disagree with Obama on say, if ObamaCare will reduce health care costs as he promised, MSNBC will label you a “global warming denier” instead of a racist? If we start calling the warmists “this generation’s Nazis,” what would the media say? If you can’t win the debate on facts, pound the table and call the opposition names. ~Bob. Excerpt: One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, or so says former Vice President Al Gore. In an interview with former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky broadcast on UStream on Friday, Gore explained that in order for climate change alarmists to succeed, they must “win the conversation” against those who deny there is a crisis. “I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me,” Gore said. “My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, ‘Whoa! How gross and evil is that?’ My generation asked old people, ‘Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?’ And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.” The former vice president recalled how society succeeded in marginalizing racists and said climate change skeptics must be defeated in the same manner.

Learn the complete truth about the climate crisis. Spread the word.

Worth reading: Climate change offers us an opportunity
Excerpt: Our current blazingly hot summer is spurring another go-round of exhausted arguments about climate change, whether it is "real" and "is it man-made?" Ideally, the national discussion would move past those questions. Whether the phenomenon is exaggerated or whatever the cause, the uncomfortable fact is that very few climate scientists believe that the process is significantly reversible, and certainly not by unilateral U.S. action. As the Heartland Institute's James Taylor noted in Forbes, data released by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year indicate that even if the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere immediately and completely eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions, the growth in Chinese emissions alone would likely render this action moot within a decade. … Back in 2008, Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, briefed the House Select Committee on Intelligence about the national security implications of climate change and noted, "net cereal crop yields likely will increase by 5 to 20 percent, for example, and most studies suggest the United States as a whole will enjoy modest economic benefits over the next few decades largely due to the increased crop yields." He added, "The growing season has lengthened an average of two days per decade since 1950 in Canada and the contiguous United States."

Gibson Guitar CEO: We're Under Attack By Obama Administration
If reports are true that Martin Guitars uses the same wood, but that the CEO contributed to Obama so no penalty, someone should go to jail. And not Gibson’s CEO. ~Bob. Excerpt: Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson Guitars, Inc. was on The Dana Loesch Show on Friday. Gibson is under attack by the Obama Justice Department for accusations that the company broke Indian laws. Juszkiewiz said the government suggested that the company's use of unfinished wood from India is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because of the Justice Department's interpretation of a law in India. The Holder Justice Department raided at least two Gibson manufacturing plants this week forcing hundreds of workers off their jobs. Juszkiewiz says the company lost a million dollars this week. Finally, Henry Juszkiewicz told Dana, "The Obama Justice Department wants us to just shut our doors and go away." He says he will continue to fight for the Gibson company and its workers.

MRC: President's 'green jobs' assertion not based in reality
Excerpt: An organization keeping tabs on the mainstream media says the non-cable networks are ignoring the failure of President Barack Obama's "green jobs" plan. During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama promised to create five-million green jobs in the next ten years. Julia Seymour of Media Research Center says even by the administration's own estimates, the Obama White House is nowhere near that goal. "PolitiFact said 250,000 green jobs had been saved or created," she says. Seymour says the phrase "saved or created" has no real meaning, and one should not assume that 250,000 jobs that fit into this category have actually been created. She says it is a story not likely to be seen on ABC, CBS or NBC. "I looked at stories going back to January 17, 2009, just as President Obama was coming into office. I found that only four stories out of 52, so eight percent of stories included any criticism at all,” comments Seymour. “That means 92 percent of stories mentioning green jobs in two and a half years had no criticism at all."

MLK’s Daughter: ‘Lincoln Remembered for Signing Declaration of Independence

It Continues To Be Tough To Remain Optimistic
If you are an optimist, you aren’t paying attention. ~Bob. Excerpt: The latest financial outlook for the country is rather negative. Unemployment will remain around 8% into 2014, food stamp recipients are at an all time high, home sales are at an all time low, gas prices remain high, food prices continue to rise, and home equity has plummeted. It is difficult to remain optimistic with all the bad news that continues to filter into the daily news. We can now add an unusual earthquake on the east coast and a hurricane that headed up the east coast to New York.

Syrian unrest raises fears about chemical arsenal
Excerpt: In 2008, a secret State Department cable warned of a growing chemical weapons threat from a Middle Eastern country whose autocratic leader had a long history of stirring up trouble in the region. The leader, noted for his “support for terrorist organizations,” was attempting to buy technology from other countries to upgrade an already fearsome stockpile of deadly poisons, the department warned. The Middle Eastern state with the dangerous chemicals was not Libya, whose modest stockpile was thrust into the spotlight last week because of fighting there. It was Syria, another violence-torn Arab state whose advanced weapons are drawing new concern as the country drifts toward an uncertain future. A sudden collapse of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could mean a breakdown in controls over the country’s weapons, U.S. officials and weapons experts said in interviews. But while Libya’s chemical arsenal consists of unwieldy canisters filled mostly with mustard gas, the World War I-era blistering agent, Syria possesses some of the deadliest chemicals ever to be weaponized, dispersed in thousands of artillery shells and warheads that are easy to transport.

For President Obama, more storms await on the horizon
Excerpt: President Obama arrived back in Washington after his August vacation to deal with a hurricane, but Irene was only the first of many tests awaiting the embattled commander-in-chief. With his approval ratings at the lowest point in his presidency, Obama returns to face a restless Congress, a hurricane that tore up the East Coast, continued unrest and uncertainty in the Middle East and an ailing economy that is not expected to improve much before the 2012 elections. "If the election were next Tuesday he'd lose. That's how bad it is," says a Democratic strategist.

'Green Scissors' Proposes Hundreds of Billions in Cuts to Federal Giveaways
Excerpt: Eliminating $380 billion in subsidies to industries that damage the environment could go a long way toward resolving U.S. budget challenges, a coalition of groups from across the political spectrum said today in a new report. The report, "Green Scissors 2011," identifies cuts to "wasteful spending that harms the environment," that would save $380 billion over five years, the groups said in a statement. That amounts to about a quarter of the savings the new congressional Super Committee has been charged with achieving, in half the time, the groups point out. "The place to start trimming government spending is where Congress is putting money into the pockets of polluters," they say. The groups propose cutting many fossil fuel, nuclear and alternative energy subsidies. Other targets include giveaways of publicly-owned timber, precious metals, oil and natural gas; "poorly conceived" road projects; and a host of "questionable" water projects planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "These common sense cuts represent the lowest of the low hanging budgetary fruit," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, one of the four groups that wrote the report.

The Fiscal Health of U.S. States
Maybe the EU will bail them out to prevent a collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: This paper examines the fiscal health of the 50 U.S. states and reaches five conclusions. First, state government finances are not on a stable path; if spending patterns continue to follow those of recent decades, the ratio of state debt to output will increase without bound. Second, the key driver of increasing state and local expenditures is health-care costs, especially Medicaid and subsidies for health-insurance exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. Third, states have large implicit debts for unfunded pension liabilities, making their net debt positions substantially worse than official debt statistics indicate. Fourth, if spending trends continue and tax revenues remain near their historical levels relative to output, most states will reach dangerous ratios of debt to GDP within 20 to 30 years. Fifth, states differ in their degrees of fiscal imbalance, but the overriding fact is that all states face fiscal meltdown in the foreseeable future.

Excerpt: Powell stated that there are plenty of interesting Republican candidates and that he will take a look; however, did not commit nor state who he thought was the front runner. The question that should have been asked of Powell and for obvious reasons was not by CBS was … in the past Mr. Powell you praised Barack Obama’s leadership style in 2008 in endorsing him and stated that before the election that Obama “has a definite way of doing business that will serve us well.” Do you still stand by those comments? Where is that MSM asking those tough questions, holding Obama and those who endorsed for his feet to the fire? Seriously Secretary Powell, “Where’s your Moses now”? You said he had a way of doing business that would serve us well. What part about his community organizer style has served America well? Would it be the 9.1% unemployment, the continuous rise in first time unemployment benefits weekly, the pathetic GDP 1% growth, the fact that Obama has resided over the most rapid debt increase under any American President, or would it be Obama has showed no sign of leadership.

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
Approve: 38%. Disapprove: 55%.

Warren Buffett, hypocrite
Excerpt: This one’s truly, uh ... rich: Billionaire Warren Buffett says folks like him should have to pay more taxes -- but it turns out his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn’t paid what it’s already owed for years. That’s right: As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson notes, the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002. “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years ... within the next 12 months,” the firm’s annual report says. It also cites outstanding tax issues for 2005 through 2009. Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates? Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama -- who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song -- than about kicking in more himself.

Facts pols won’t face
Excerpt: Some of society’s most intractable problems come not from its failures but from its successes. Often you can’t get a good thing without paying a bad price. A prime example is Social Security, which has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have to eat cat food to survive. But we pay some prices for this. One is a lower savings rate. China has a humungous savings rate in part because it has no reliable old-age pension system. People have to save if they don’t want to starve. In the United States, we got out of the habit of saving. In the decade up to the financial crash of 2008, the US savings rate fell below zero. We felt comfortable borrowing on the supposedly ever-increasing values of our houses to support current and sometimes lavish consumption. Now we’re paying the price. The longer-term price any society pays for a public old-age pension system is lower birth rates. Farmers had large families to provide added labor for their working years and sources of income for their dotage. So did factory workers a century ago. In Western Europe, birth rates have fallen below the rate needed to replace population -- in some countries, far below. The US birth rate has remained, barely, above replacement rate largely because of immigration (Anchor Babies). But immigration has slumped during the recession and may never return to the 1990-2008 level. Unfortunately, under Social Security, like most public pension systems, current pensions are paid for by current workers. As lifespans increase and birth rates fall, the ratio of pensioners to active workers falls toward one-to-one. That’s not enough to support the elderly in anything like the style to which they have been accustomed, unless tax rates are sharply increased. And sharply higher tax rates, as Western Europe has shown over the last three decades, reduce long-term economic growth. That’s the problem, often abbreviated as “entitlements,” facing our political system.

The hidden costs of defense cuts
Excerpt: The Defense Department recently confirmed that it’s blocking the sale of 66 F-16 C/D fighters that Taiwan had wanted to buy to update its air force. The repercussions may surprise you. The move was no great surprise: Red China has been making a rumpus about the promised sale for months, even threatening in a People’s Daily editorial to use “the financial weapon” in retaliation if the sale went through -- and what America’s biggest debt holder wants, it’s bound to get. Besides, the F-16s were going to be built in Texas, not exactly this administration’s favorite state. The Pentagon is trying to soften the blow by offering an upgrade package for the F-16s Taiwan already has. But everyone knows this is a major setback for relations between us and one of our traditional allies in Asia. “We’re so disappointed in the United States,” one Taiwan official said. But blocking the sale doesn’t just hurt a friend in need. It also limits our own power projection in the Pacific region -- precisely why Beijing has been so adamant about stopping the sale. And it’s going to cost American jobs, and deal a sharp blow to one of our biggest and most beleaguered defense contractors.

Castro vs. the Ladies in White
Well, Michael Moore thinks they should be grateful for the great healthcare they’ll get in Cuba. ~Bob. Excerpt: Rocks and iron bars were the weapons of choice in a government assault on a handful of unarmed women on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba on the afternoon of Aug. 7. According to a report issued by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the beatings were savage and "caused them injuries, some considerable." It was not an isolated incident. In the past two months attacks on peaceful women dissidents, organized by the state security apparatus, have escalated. Most notable is the intensity with which the regime is moving to try to crush the core group known as the Ladies in White. This is not without risk to the regime, should the international community decide to pay attention and apply pressure on the white-elite regime the way it did in opposition to apartheid in South Africa. But the decision to take that risk suggests that the 52-year-old dictatorship in Havana is feeling increasingly insecure. The legendary bearded macho men of the "revolution," informed by the trial of a caged Hosni Mubarak in an Egyptian courtroom, apparently are terrified by the quiet, prayerful, nonviolent courage of little more than 100 women. No totalitarian regime can shrug off the fearless audacity these ladies display, or the signs that their boldness is spreading.

An EPA Moratorium-- Obama has the power to delay new rules that will shut down 8% of all U.S. power generation.
If he delays the rules, his greenie pals will be pissed. If he allows the regs to go forward, energy costs and unemployment will be higher on the first Tuesday in November in 2012. A classic statist Catch-22. ~Bob. Excerpt: Since everyone has a suggestion or three about what President Obama can do to get the economy cooking again, here's one of ours: Immediately suspend the Environmental Protection Agency's bid to reorganize the U.S. electricity industry, and impose a moratorium on EPA rules at least until hiring and investment rebound for an extended period. The EPA is currently pushing an unprecedented rewrite of air-pollution rules in an attempt to shut down a large portion of the coal-fired power fleet. Though these regulations are among the most expensive in the agency's history, none were demanded by the late Pelosi Congress. They're all the result of purely bureaucratic discretion under the Clean Air Act, last revised in 1990. As it happens, those 1990 amendments contain an overlooked proviso that would let Mr. Obama overrule EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's agenda. With an executive order, he could exempt all power plants "from compliance with any standard or limitation" for two years, or even longer using rolling two-year periods. All he has to declare is "that the technology to implement such standard is not available and that it is in the national security interests of the United States to do so."

Obamanonics vs. Reaganomics
Excerpt: If you really want to light the fuse of a liberal Democrat, compare Barack Obama's economic performance after 30 months in office with that of Ronald Reagan. It's not at all flattering for Mr. Obama. The two presidents have a lot in common. Both inherited an American economy in collapse. And both applied daring, expensive remedies. Mr. Reagan passed the biggest tax cut ever, combined with an agenda of deregulation, monetary restraint and spending controls. Mr. Obama, of course, has given us a $1 trillion spending stimulus. By the end of the summer of Reagan's third year in office, the economy was soaring. The GDP growth rate was 5% and racing toward 7%, even 8% growth. In 1983 and '84 output was growing so fast the biggest worry was that the economy would "overheat." In the summer of 2011 we have an economy limping along at barely 1% growth and by some indications headed toward a "double-dip" recession. By the end of Reagan's first term, it was Morning in America. Today there is gloomy talk of America in its twilight. My purpose here is not more Reagan idolatry, but to point out an incontrovertible truth: One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn't.

Quote from the Patriot Post
"When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident." --Ronald Reagan

Remind Me Again, We’re at War in Afghanistan Because…
Excerpt: The Obama State Department has just released its annual terrorism report. It was due to Congress on April 30; the administration that talks incessantly about “the rule of law” — but has little interest in enforcing or complying with the law — held off until the end of August, when Washington is a ghost town. But that, as President Obama must say a lot, is par for the course. The immediately notable thing about the report is what is not in it. Once again, the Taliban is not included in State’s listing of Foreign Terrorist Organizations — not the Taliban whose terrorism and safe haven for al Qaeda are the justification for continuing to have our troops fight and die in Afghanistan

Why Obama Can't Lead
Excerpt: President Obama's inability to be decisive and inept leadership stem not from his lack of executive experience, but from his grounding in a specific political culture, the one he sought out in Chicago. His entry and indoctrination into the political culture of black leadership there have not prepared him for a positive role as chief executive officer. … In this political culture, the black political leader does not encourage his people to move forward, but rather convinces them that they cannot move forward. Whatever choices they make, their future is determined not by personal choice, but by the restrictive confines of white society. This is why actor-comedian Bill Cosby is viciously attacked when he suggests that African-Americans take responsibility for their own choices. His comments are perceived as an existential threat to the politics of black liberation and the entire political belief system that keeps the black political elites in power. President Obama is constrained by the political paradigm of black leadership, since for him to be in control of the government would mean to betray his people. He would become the establishment "outsider" and he cannot do that. It would require the abandonment of his core beliefs. This is why he constantly blames former President Bush for the constraints that he still feels are holding him back. He is not in control; society and the world at large are. 

Islamic militants among prisoners freed from Libyan jail
Thank you, President Obama. It would be funny if Obama’s war in Libya killed your family, wouldn’t it? ~Bob. Excerpt: Hundreds of Islamist militants were among the prisoners freed from a notorious Tripoli prison this week, according to a former Libyan jihadist. The freed militants had been imprisoned in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison by Moammar Gadhafi's regime during the height of the insurgency in Iraq, according to Noman Benotman, once a senior figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Benotman said he believes as many as 600 militants may have been among the prison population at Abu Salim.

Introducing the new Libyan Management Team
Excerpt: It is time meet the new Libyan Management Team brought to you by an illegal war and $1B+ of taxpayer dollars. Let’s examine the background on who this group is and where they came from before we dive in to who the individual Leaders are. Most of the prominent Leaders of the Transitional Council got their training from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). So who is that group? (A number of serious writers and activists have stepped forward to expose the insanity that is Western involvement in the unholy wars in the Middle East. Here is another. I --and a handful of others -- had warned of this early, starting last spring when it all first started: Now here is a question for you: What if a "conservative" president -- say, a President Bachmann or a President Perry, had committed US troops and materiel to this war, saying "we must defend innocent civilians"? Would conservative commentators dare to stand up against them and remind people that the rebel leaders are essentially terrorists hostile to our way of life and supportive of barbaric sharia law? I am sure some would. But they would be marginalized. Humans have a fatal flaw: herd instinct. They choose an alpha male and follow him blindly. It's in the genes. But there are a few who think for themselves. Be careful out there. The herd may trample you. --Don Hank)

We're cheering on a football crowd with AK-47s, who could be worse than Gaddafi
Excerpt: The moment has come to admit that I loathe the Arab Spring and almost everything about it. It looks to me pretty much like a football crowd armed with AK-47s and bazookas, with the added ingredient of Islamic militancy. Why am I expected to like it? For we are all supposed to approve of it. Every media outlet, every politician, every church pulpit, treats it as an unmixed Good Thing.

Gaddafi’s Weapons for Sale
Excerpt: With Gaddafi’s regime near total collapse, fears have arisen over the fate of Gaddafi’s remaining stockpile of deadly weapons. Unfortunately, given the large amount of weapons already run out of the country by Libyan rebels, the answer is both clear and unsettling. While Libyan rebels control most of Tripoli, Gaddafi’s regime still clings to life. American and allied officials are still uncertain as to who is currently in control of an arsenal that contains a deadly mix of conventional and chemical weapons, as well as raw nuclear material. Moreover, while the Libyan Transnational National Council (TNC) is the officially recognized governing authority, enormous doubts exist as to its ability or even willingness to help secure those weapons.

Wind Power Is Dying
Excerpt: While the U.S. is dumping billions of dollars into wind farms and onshore and offshore wind turbines, this energy source is being cast aside as a failure elsewhere in the world. Some 410 federations and associations from 21 European countries, for example, have united against deployment of wind farms charging it is “degrading the quality of life.” The European Platform Against Wind farms (EPAW) is demanding “a moratorium suspending all wind farm projects and a “complete assessment of the economic, social, and environmental impacts of wind farms in Europe.” The EPAW said it objects to industrial wind farms which “are spreading in a disorderly manner across Europe” under pressure from “financial and ideological lobby groups,” that are “degrading the quality of life living in their vicinity, affecting the health of many, devaluing people’s property and severely harming wildlife.” A petition for a moratorium has been sent to the European Commission and Parliament, said EPAW chairman J.L Butre.

House GOP announces jobs plan focused on cutting regs, taxes
Excerpt: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday laid out an ambitious anti-tax and regulations agenda for the fall. In a memo to rank-and-file Republicans, Cantor said the House will target 10 major regulations for elimination, and will also seek to enact one major tax cut for businesses. Republicans are offering the agenda as a contrast to President Obama’s jobs plan which is to be formally announced next week and is expected to include stimulus spending.

Cantor calls for repeal of Obama Administration's 'job-destroying- regulations'
Excerpt: House Republicans are poised to take on the Obama administration’s “job-destroying regulations” when Congress reconvenes shortly after Labor Day. In a memo to GOP members on Monday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor outlined what he and other Republican leaders consider the “top 10 most harmful” Obama administration regulations. Citing recommendations from committee chairmen, Cantor called for the repeal of those regulations and offered a “selective calendar” timeframe for doing so. These regulations are reflective of the types of costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business people who want to create jobs,” Cantor wrote to his caucus.

Israel: Palestinian rams police checkpoint with taxi, stabs passers-by while shouting "Allahu akbar"
Excerpt: "Allah is greatest," he shouted. Sure, nothing shows the world your utter moral superiority like ramming people with your cab and then stabbing them. "Israeli police: 7 wounded in Palestinian attack," from the Associated Press, August 28: JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian attacker wounded seven Israelis near a Tel Aviv nightclub early Monday, hitting a police checkpoint with a stolen taxi and then stabbing others, police said.

Libyan rebels won't deport Lockerbie bomber
Sure grateful for your military support, infidel dogs. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Libyan rebels' interim government says it will not deport the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, who is reportedly near death. The rebel Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told journalists in Tripoli Sunday that no Libyan citizen would be deported, even Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted in a Scottish court and imprisoned for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people. The Scottish government released al-Megrahi in 2009, believing he would soon die of cancer. He was greeted as a hero in his native Libya and met with then-leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Health Care Law
Excerpt: The number of voters who Strongly Favor repeal of the national health care law ties the highest level reached in several months, as most continue to believe the law will push up health care costs and the federal deficit. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 57% at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 46% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-seven percent (37%) at least somewhat oppose repeal, with 25% who are Strongly Opposed.

Excerpt: If you're looking for proof that Too Big to Fail is still alive, and that Washington won't leave large financial institutions to the mercies of capitalism, consider billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett's $3 billion bet on struggling Bank of America. Buffett, who recently won plaudits for advocating higher taxes, has spent four years betting on bailouts and big government -- and tilting the playing field in that direction by putting his money and prestige at the service of Barack Obama. Buffett gave the maximum donation to Obama in 2007 -- $4,600 to his campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee -- and also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Omaha. By mid-2008, Obama had tapped Buffett as an official economic adviser to the campaign. When Wall Street nearly collapsed in September 2008, Buffett rallied behind the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and bet big on its passage. He put $5 billion into failing investment bank Goldman Sachs. "If I didn't think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week," Buffett said on CNBC at the time.

Mohammedan Attacks Austrian Parliament
Excerpt: Yesterday a Mohammedan - a 36-year-old Iranian asylum seeker - attacked the Austrian parliament, brandishing a knife, throwing stones and taking a woman hostage. After entering the parliament through the visitor centre, he tried to gain access to the inner parts of building. When confronted, he took a woman hostage with a knife, barricaded himself inside the rooms belonging to the security staff and demanded to see the Austrian President, Heinz Fischer. After about 20 minutes, a special security force known as WEGA used stun grenades to subdue the man, who was then disarmed and arrested. There seems to have been virtually no international coverage of this incident. (To be fair, violence from Islamists is so common as to hardly qualify as “news.” Now if there is violence and they have a nominally-Christian perp, that’s front page stuff. ~Bob.)

Bank Secrecy Feels the Squeeze
Excerpt: "Switzerland forced to hand over names to the IRS,” trumpets Le Temps, reporting that Washington has “gathered sensitive information that has led it to accuse Swiss banks of helping U.S. clients avoid declaring assets parked in Switzerland”. Two years after the UBS affair, which forced the Swiss to pass 5,000 customer names on to the IRS, “Washington is back and demanding more names: to set an example, to deter fraudsters, and to show that Switzerland is no longer a safe tax haven.

911 Whitewashing the War: "Never Forget" Morphs into "Forget it"
Excerpt: The enormous effort to whitewash 911 is deeply disturbing and more than a little offensive. The message is not "forget it." The message is, "never forget."

Gaddafi Used Refugees as 'Human Bombs'
Excerpt: "[Gaddafi] said he wanted to turn Lampedusa black," said Gaddur, referring to the fact that many of the exiles were migrants to Libya from Sub-Saharan Africa. Gaddafi said he wanted to use them as "human bombs," Gaddur added. Gaddur said he suspected that one thousand people died in their attempts to reach Italian shores. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that further evidence of Gaddafi's orders would soon be made public.

Avatar's Zoe Saldana: It's Trendy to Hate Americans
Excerpt: Deep down, some people are enjoying the fact that the most powerful nation on Earth is struggling a little – and then they deny that’s racist! And that frightens me. I’ve witnessed racism all my life. And of course there’s racism and discrimination in Hollywood. You go for a part and they say, ‘Oh, we really liked her, she’s amazing, but we wanted to go with something more traditional.’ As if I’m not a traditional American! I feel sorry for people like that. They need to educate themselves. Mostly you move on and say, ‘Well, I wasn’t meant to work with you or be around someone like you…’ Other times you might say, ‘You’re ignorant, you’re a racist. That’s it. I’m out of here!’ (Struggling a little bit? Sure, and the Titanic had an ice cube problem. ~Bob.)

Intelligence vs. Evidence Gathering: Knowing the Difference
Excerpt: There is a new brouhaha stirring among civil libertarians and Islamic organizations in light of the recent Associated Press story regarding the working relationship between the NYPD and the CIA. The article focused on the Intelligence Division of the NYPD and the deputy commissioner who runs it. David Cohen is a former career employee of the Central Intelligence Agency who was appointed by Commissioner Ray Kelly in 2002. Terms like "rakers" and "mosque crawlers" were bantered about painting a picture of unrestrained spying on the citizenry by the government. The authors, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, described a purported super-secret section of the Intelligence Division called the "Demographics Unit" whose responsibility was to send undercover officers into predominantly Muslim neighborhoods and gather information by observing the neighborhood. Immediately following story's release, several spokespersons for the Council on American Islamic Affairs (CAIR), and the Islamic Leadership Council voiced their outrage at what they termed "profiling." CAIR staff attorney Gadeir Abbas went so far as to call on the Justice Department and the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the NYPD. It was not too long ago that these same organizations were accusing the police of entrapment and the use of informants in several thwarted terrorist plots, such as "the Bronx Four" and the "Christmas Tree Bomber" in Portland.

How Much Do You Trust Your Employer?
Excerpt: Here is how most people approach the labor market: You search for a job you like, with health insurance tacked on as a fringe benefit. But here is how other people approach the labor market: They search for the health insurance they need and agree to work in order to get it. I first became aware of this second type of person in conversations with a major retailer which discovered it had a person way over-qualified for the job working in the company mail room. The reason: the employee’s daughter required $500,000 a year of medical care — all paid for by the company’s generous health plan. (See a similar problem at Starbucks.)

State Paid Sex Offenders to Baby-Sit
Excerpt: Osborne, of Chicago, wasn't the only sex offender paid by taxpayers to baby-sit, according to a [Chicago] Tribune investigation that found cases of convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons given access to children over the past decade. The money comes from a $750 million-a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished Illinois families. (We need to look at the whole “sex offender” thing. I have a buddy who has an employee who is permanently on the sex offender list as a pedophile, because he was caught at 19 touching—not having sex with—his 15-year-old girlfriend. I’m told it was consensual. Not like he married a 6-year-old and had sex with her when she was 9. ~Bob.)