Sunday, August 21, 2011

Political Digest for August 22, 2011

Still traveling, still borrowing a bit of (slow) computer time. Can’t read all the e-mail, sorry. ~Bob.

The Old Jarhead blog said “Blog Removed” briefly Saturday. No reason given for that or for it coming back….

“I’m Tired” is STILL going around!
New comment: Hello, Mr. Hall. I'm from Israel and you wouldn't believe how many supporters you text have here. I have received part of this text translated into Hebrew and has translated it into Russian and put it in my blog. Thank you for speaking up for the normal middle-class people that work hard for their money and wouldn't like to see their efforts going down the drain due to some pseudo-liberal mumble-bumble from people that think, that someone owes them their living. Thank you again, I wish there were more like you all over the world, especially in places where they could make the difference.

ATF Tee Shirt
Met a Marine vet this past weekend, wearing as tree shirt that said, “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency.”

Libyan Rebels Reportedly Within 2 Miles of Tripoli's Center
Excerpt: Libyan rebels have reportedly entered Tripoli and are within two miles of the city's center, as a report from Sky News says one of Muammar al-Qaddafi's sons have been captured by rebel fighters. Reports from the country indicate rebels have met little resistance Sunday as they overran a major military base that defends the capital. Associated Press reporters with the rebels said they reached the Tripoli suburb of Janzour around nightfall Sunday. They were greeted by civilians lining the streets and waving rebel flags. Sky News reported that Qaddafi's son, Saif al Islam Ghadafi, was captured by rebel forces, but Fox News has not verified the report. 

Poll on immigration issue

Worth Reading: Next President Must Live Like Coolidge, Not Obama--By MARK STEYN
Excerpt: Rick Perry, governor of Texas, has been in the presidential race for only 20 minutes, but he's already delivered one of the best lines in the campaign: "I'll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can." This will be grand news to Schylar Capo of Virginia. The 11-year-old made the mistake of rescuing a woodpecker from the jaws of a cat and nursing him back to health for a couple of days and, for her pains, was visited by a federal Fish and Wildlife gauleiter (with accompanying state troopers) who charged her with illegal transportation of a protected species and issued her a $535 fine. If the federal child abuser has that much time on his hands, he should have charged the cat, who was illegally transporting the protected species from his gullet to his intestine. So Schylar and other middle schoolers targeted by the microregulatory superstate might well appreciate Gov. Perry's pledge. But you never know, it might just catch on with the broader population, too.

Nuclear risk insurance
This is an interesting look at how (and why) nuclear insurance actually works in the USA. It is also interesting to note the only insurance payoffs ever made have been to lawyers DEFENDING against claims of nuclear damage; not one case has ever been lost by the industry. Ron P. Excerpt: It is often said by the anti-nuclearists that the commercial nuclear energy industry “can’t get insurance” against the risks of nuclear or radiological accidents, or that it is “uninsurable”. This is simply garbage, a myth, a load of baloney that gets exclaimed backwards and forwards between the anti-nuclearists, without any of them ever bothering to actually check the facts or do the research. It’s simply a meme, one of many nonsense pseudo-fact memes that persist in the community of people who are really just devout believers that nuclear energy is bad. The Price-Anderson Act in the United States is often bought up by anti-nuclear activists as some sort of damning evidence of preferential government treatment for nuclear energy, but it’s actually quite the opposite – it’s legislation which imposes exceptional demands on nuclear energy above and beyond any other industry; demands which are completely out of proportion to the reality of the demonstrably low risk of nuclear energy, especially relative to other energy sources. This should be compared with the risks associated with other important energy generation systems, where the industry is not insured in any such way against significant impacts on society and the environment. (...) When there’s a catastrophic disaster on an oil rig or a coal ash dam or a natural gas pipeline or a coal mine in the United States and people lose their lives and/or there is severe environmental damage, where are the Price-Anderson style requirements for insurance and industry liability coverage for those industries? They do not exist. In these kinds of incidents, the government is likely to spend a fortune managing and cleaning up the effects.

It’s all breaking bad for Obama
Excerpt: Barack Obama should try to enjoy his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard for as long as possible. A swaggering governor from Texas (yes, another one) is about to eat his lunch.
Until this week, next year’s election was still his to lose. The Republicans couldn’t field a decent candidate. Michele Bachmann is too crazy. Sarah Palin has peaked. Mitt Romney, the only one who seems even slightly qualified, is as electrifying as a slab of tofu. Everyone agrees that Mr. Obama is a major disappointment. But at least he’s trying hard, and he’s likeable.

Par for the Coarse

Excerpt: In London and other English cities, young black savages have been wreaking such havoc that even Prime Minister David Cameron, who is generally as genteel as Queen Victoria, has referred to them as “scum.” It figured that once England’s riffraff showed the world what they were made of, America’s own would step up to the challenge. The fact is, if there were an Olympics where young louts could compete for medals in such events as car-burning, looting and beating up innocent people, our own black thugs would consistently bring home the gold. Their defenders on the loony Left would insist that society is to blame. If only, the defense goes, Martin Luther King hadn’t been shot, if only Rodney King hadn’t been beaten up, if only the L.A. Lakers hadn’t won or lost a championship game, we wouldn’t have rioting in our streets. Or, more recently, if only Wisconsin hadn’t had a state fair, and if only Philadelphia didn’t have department stores! The one thing that the enablers in and out of the media won’t suggest is that it’s an entitlement culture that leads these swine to assume it’s their birthright to have what other people only manage to achieve through getting an education, working hard and saving their money. Here and on the other side of the Atlantic, we have raised millions of young people who are so full of themselves that they see no more reason than Prince Charles why they should go out and earn a living.

Lawyer for American hikers says he will 'use entire legal capacity' to fight eight-year jail sentence
Excerpt: The Iranian lawyer for two American men sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison said Sunday that he will appeal the verdict. (They’ll get out near the end of President Bachmann’s second term. ~Bob.)

Why Not a Real Party Platform?
Excerpt: Democrats, who babble on for hours saying virtually nothing, have no problems with this sort of meaningless document. Their 2008 convention resembled Riefenstahl's film on the 1934 Nuremburg Party rally, Triumph of the Will. This leftist elevation of image over substance is the antithesis of conservatives, which is civil, serious and honorable.  We respect documents like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights which say in a few simple paragraphs what must be done to preserve ordered liberty. We also see the futility of trying to cram every problem of human life into a rambling agenda for federal action. The 1994 Contract With America was brief and direct and persuasive. Why not make the Republican Party Platform of 2012 similar to the Contract With America? We can state on a single page of text much of what needs to be done to save our nation. This statement should be specific, not squishy and vague. We ought to base the whole 2012 election, congressional as well as presidential races, on that platform. We ought to mail that easy to read and easy to grasp document to every American household and we ought to publish that platform in every public place and recite it in every Republican political commercial. Conservatives ought to let every voter know just what we will do with power, if they give us power.

Illegal Aliens and Crime: Statistics not on Obama's side

Excerpt: Statistical studies regarding illegal aliens and criminal activity are few and far between. But in a 2007 Government Accountability Office study of a sample population of 55,322 illegal aliens, analysts discovered that: They were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than one arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990. They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests.

The People vs the Banks
Fractional lending has brought the world economy to its knees, and yet no one has thought to stop it. If you understand it, you will want it banned. Now you can understand it. (The article below will help you understand this: --Don Hank

The Persistence of Fiscal Fantasy
Excerpt: If the national fiscal crisis has accomplished nothing else, it has finally restored the good name of Ebenezer Scrooge. Frugal government, traditionally a contradiction in terms, has become a national ideal -- as well as a national necessity. At last, Americans and their leaders recognize the need to justify every dollar spent. Congress and the president recently agreed on a debt ceiling deal that consists entirely of cuts in outlays, not tax increases. A supercommittee of Congress will try to come up with additional ways to reduce the deficit, and failure will trigger large, automatic budget cuts amounting to $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Even President Obama, who has labored heroically to acquaint the public with the meaning of the word "trillion," has changed course. His budget director is asking all federal agencies to submit plans to cut their projected spending by a full 10 percent in 2013. The good news is that the idea of serious spending restraint has more support than ever before. The bad news is that getting people to support the concept is easy. The hard part is getting beyond the concept, and there is no sign so far of doing that.

Hope and Change" by the Numbers
Excerpt: Gee, I can't wait for the President's next speech on job creation...    

Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes Electric Vehicle Chargers
Excerpt: Costco, the membership warehouse-club chain, was an early leader in offering electric-vehicle charging to its customers, setting an example followed by other retailers, including Best Buy and Walgreen. By 2006, Costco had installed 90 chargers at 64 stores, mostly in California but also some in Arizona, New York and Georgia. Even after General Motors crushed its EV1 battery cars, the Costco chargers stayed in place. Yet just as plug-in cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt enter the market, Costco is reversing course and pulling its chargers out of the ground, explaining that customers do not use them.

The Truth About Being a Hero

Excerpt: In 1968, at age 23, Karl Marlantes shipped off to Vietnam as a second lieutenant in charge of 40 Marines—an experience he later drew on for his novel "Matterhorn." In this excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, "What It Is Like to Go to War," he reflects on the motives and transcendent moments of heroism.

Obama's EPA is Killing More Jobs than Economy Can Create
Excerpt: …[N]ew EPA regulations will significantly reduce the amount of electricity generated from coal-fired energy flowing from our power grid. The EPA told the public that the agency was working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to determine the impact of its regulations on the reliability of the nation's electricity capacity. This was to include a joint modeling effort. However, responses from FERC Commissioners to an inquiry from Congress regarding the degree of agency coordination on the impact of the agency's new rules clearly shows the EPA statements were not truthful. Correspondence from the FERC chairman and commissioners revealed the commission is not working on a formal assessment of the impact of the EPA regulations on the ability of our power grid to reliably deliver electricity to the nation's homes and businesses. "The EPA's deception of the public is outrageous and it exposes the agency's underlying zeal to regulate without regard to the consequences of its actions. EPA's actions may very well put the reliability of our electricity supply in jeopardy," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project. These job killing EPA regulations are part of a wider program to "curb man made climate change" or global warming. But the science behind this believed threat to the planet's existence keeps melting away under scrutiny.

Obama: Whites need not apply ----Liberals don’t want our government to mirror our society
Excerpt: The White House issued an executive order on Thursday titled “Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce.” The purpose of the order is “to promote the federal workplace as a model of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.” In other words, it would be better for the government if public-spirited white workers sought employment elsewhere. Lost amid all the politically correct box-checking is the principle that the most qualified person should be hired for a job. (Racist Democrats think blacks can’t compete with whites. ~Bob.)

The Special Litigation Section Strikes Out
Excerpt: Last week Pajamas Media reported on the liberal ideologues hired in the Special Litigation Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This week provided a good example of how they can force local and state authorities to waste lots of taxpayer dollars and land the Department in a lot of trouble. The example features Alyssa Lareau, one of the lawyers highlighted in the Pajamas article. She came to Justice from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She had also volunteered for the ABA’s Detention Standards Implementation Initiative, which attacked the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security for not providing sufficiently luxurious detention facilities for illegal aliens. Flash forward to today. Lareau is one of the Division attorneys who filed a complaint against Erie County, New York, making numerous claims that prisoners in the local county jail were being deprived of constitutional rights. Erie County decided to fight DOJ rather than just roll over, which is what too many local jurisdictions do even when they have not done anything wrong.

In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
Excerpt: In tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz. Or so the reviewers say. As online retailers increasingly depend on reviews as a sales tool, an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance.  “For $5, I will submit two great reviews for your business,” offered one entrepreneur on the help-for-hire site Fiverr, one of a multitude of similar pitches. On another forum, Digital Point, a poster wrote, “I will pay for positive feedback on TripAdvisor.” A Craigslist post proposed this: “If you have an active Yelp account and would like to make very easy money please respond.”  The boundless demand for positive reviews has made the review system an arms race of sorts. As more five-star reviews are handed out, even more five-star reviews are needed. Few want to risk being left behind. (When ads that were mostly personal endorsements were confined to the back pages of less-reputable magazines, we all knew they were BS. This is simply a more high-tech way to do it. A parent or teacher probably told you not to believe everything you read. It’s still true. Ron P.)

Interview with MOH recipient

The Crisis
Excerpt: It is now the historic task of the Republican party not merely to defeat President Obama, but to produce a nominee and an agenda that respond to the magnitude of the crisis we face. Here’s [Thomas] Paine again, referring to the separation from Britain in 1776, in words almost equally applicable to separating ourselves from big government liberalism in 2012: Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, ‘If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace’; and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.

The Dollar Store Economy
Excerpt: We are awakening to a dollar-store economy. For years the dollar store has not only made a market out of the detritus of a hyperproductive global manufacturing system, but it has also made it appealing — by making it amazingly cheap. Before the market meltdown of 2008 and the stagnant, jobless recovery that followed, the conventional wisdom about dollar stores — whether one of the three big corporate chains (Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree) or any of the smaller chains (like “99 Cents Only Stores”) or the world of independents — was that they appeal to only poor people. And while it’s true that low-wage earners still make up the core of dollar-store customers (42 percent earn $30,000 or less), what has turned this sector into a nearly recession-proof corner of the economy is a new customer base. “What’s driving the growth,” says James Russo, a vice president with the Nielsen Company, a consumer survey firm, “is affluent households.” The affluent are not just quirky D.I.Y. types. These new customers are people who, though they have money, feel as if they don’t, or soon won’t. (We go to the 99 Cent Store all the time in LA. Now Rite - Aid Drugstores have got their own Dollar Dept. – Kate. I go to $ stores when I want an upscale change from yard sales and Goodwill. ~Bob.)

Notting Hill Carnival: This Isn't A Carnival. It's A Police State.
Excerpt: Next weekend, I shall be living in a police state. There will be policemen at either end of my little street, policemen on duty outside my local pub, policemen guarding the entrance to the supermarket. If I go to the shops and plan to return to my flat by anything other than the circuitous “official” route, I’ll have to show my local residents’ ID to one of the 5,000 police officers patrolling the neighbourhood. You see, I live in Notting Hill and it’s Carnival time again. And what a special Carnival it promises to be, coming less than a month after street gangs attacked shops and restaurants bang in the middle of the parade route. Members of those gangs will be back for “Europe’s largest fun-filled event”, as the BBC wants us to think of it. That’s why this year the cost of policing it will approach £10 million for the first time. (Before I came to fabulous Hollywood five years ago, this is exactly where I lived in Notting Hill, on Hereford Road near Westbourne Grove & just one street away from Chepstow Road. A beautiful place to be for the rest of the year, but everyone dreads the 4th weekend in August and the smell of urine everywhere in its aftermath. Every year, I could look down from my balcony and see the seriously-depressed-looking river of revellers flowing past beneath me in our closed-to-traffic street. One year, about 80 of these good-timers were sitting in our street outside the pub - I think it is called The Slug and Lettuce maybe. Not one of them was smiling. - Kate in LA)

The Bailout Isn't Working-- Bank of America is the canary in the coal mine.
Excerpt: Let's revisit the theory of the bailout. The government holds a safety net under the financial system, preventing a worse panic, with consumers and business cutting back spending more radically, with more people losing jobs, with more houses going into foreclosure. It made sense on paper and underlies claims today that the government has been a net profiter from its bailout activities. But it becomes apparent that the 2008 crisis isn't over. And our bailout strategy? In one presumed lesson of the Great Depression, a splurge of deficit-financed spending is supposed to support the economy while consumers and businesses get over their shellshock. But as George Soros noted to Der Spiegel, the U.S. government in the 1930s wasn't saddled with huge debt. Unless today's deficit spending is visibly directed at projects with a positive return, he says, it just frightens the public that the government itself is going bankrupt.

Woman disables anti-Islam websites

Bragging about crimes against free speech. ~Bob. Excerpt: An Alkhobar woman studying in the United States is taking credit for destroying 23 Danish websites that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Thursday. Nouf Rashid told the Arabic newspaper she was hacking into Danish websites having references to cartoons of the Prophet along with other sites that had questionable content in her view. She said she had also destroyed a number of pornographic sites and hacked into the computer systems of young men who had tried to blackmail girls by threatening to publish their private photos. She gained expertise in the field out of a desire to learn new things in the IT field.

Be a “concerned scientist” – valid credit card required
Excerpt: Since becoming a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists when I found out all you needed was a valid credit card, my curiosity about who and what they really are has spiked. Chief Executive Kevin Knobloch makes $229,000/yr, and isn’t even a scientist. He has a masters in public administration. UCS has a staff of 121 with an AVERAGE salary of $92,000/yr. 15% of their income goes to fundraising and administration. $5.4Mil, or roughly 1/3 of their program budget is spent on climate, and $460,000 is spent on “legislative”. (Lobbying?) I’m now receiving emails from them soliciting donations, in the same format as the save-the-whales/puppies/children/ pleas. (A few days ago, Del—another of us old jarheads—mentioned in an email that there were no particular requirements to join the Union of Concerned Scientists. Today, I noticed this article at WUWT. It seems there is one requirement. You must have a valid credit card. Sounds like solid science to me. Some of the reader comments at WUWT are priceless. Ron P.)

New GWPF Briefing Paper
Excerpt: The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes an outstanding briefing paper by the distinguished physicist Professor William Happer of Princeton University (USA). In his paper The Truth About Greenhouse Gases, Professor Happer criticises the misguided scare-mongering about CO2 emissions as well as the habitual exaggeration of the likely impact and risks posed by global warming. He particularly laments the co-option of climate science by governments.

Novel idea – arrange solar panels like Nature designed it
Excerpt: An anonymous reader tips news of 7th grader Aidan Dwyer, who used phyllotaxis — the way leaves are arranged on plant stems in nature — as inspiration to arrange an array of solar panels in a way that generates 20-50% more energy than a uniform, flat panel array. (But, they told us the science was settled…. There is no substitute for actually trying an idea in the real, physical world and observing the result; computer simulations/models just don’t give valid results in a chaotic system like weather/climate, or even sunlight, it seems. This isn’t likely to revolutionize the solar power industry, though (see many of the comments at WUWT). Ron P.)

Putting America Back to Work -- the Republican Way

Excerpt: Hey Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, here's your chance! President Obama, in his usual graduate seminar fashion, has promised to come back after Labor Day with his plan to "create jobs." We all know where this is going -- spend more government money, strengthen union regulations, raise the minimum wage, dig the deficit hole a little deeper.
So here's your opportunity. Put forth a Republican job program before Labor Day just to show who's really on the job. Make it look like you're the President while the commander in chief is scouting the dunes on Martha's Vineyard. Everything you need is already out there on the Republican agenda. Just tie them up in a big package to show people what they can vote for in 2012.

England Riots: Foreign Rioters Will Be Deported
Excerpt: More than 150 people born abroad have been arrested over the looting and arson attacks which brought misery to English cities. Damian Green, the immigration minister, said: "We strongly believe that foreign national lawbreakers should be removed from the UK at the earliest opportunity. "We also have the power to cancel visas of foreign nationals found guilty of criminal activity, and this is something we will be looking to do when these cases arise. (YES! - Kate in LA)

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