Friday, September 9, 2011

Political Digest for September 9, 2011

Fly your flag for 9/11!

Old Jarhead Blog Removed?
For the third Saturday in a row, when readers logged on to my blog at, they got a "blog removed" message with no explanation. Each time 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. I have filed an appeal—didn’t realize it was necessary, as it had come back. We shall see.
Add a reader review if you’ve read it: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans.

Tweet from the Iowa Hawk
The president's new plan will create as many jobs as his last plan - at only half the price!

I’m putting this digest together ahead of the President’s latest jobs speech—which I’ll skip—but I doubt he’ll tout Solyndra in it. ~Bob
FBI searches shuttered Solyndra offices, plant in California
Excerpt: Federal agents executed a surprise search warrant early Thursday morning at the California offices of Solyndra, a solar energy company that shuttered its offices last week and filed for bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $535 million government-backed loan. An FBI spokesman said Thursday that the early morning search was part of a sealed investigation by the FBI and the Department of Energy’s inspector general into the company. The company had once been touted by President Obama as a model for his administration’s effort to invest taxpayer funds in innovative companies and grow a clean technology industry on American soil.

Do Dems Still Trust Alarmist Climate Predictions?
Excerpt: I also share the skepticism voiced by a number of scientists -- yes, scientists -- who reject global warming orthodoxy in defiance of a political/academic machine that enforces submission to one view. Those who do not agree with alarmist predictions on climate change do so at their careers' peril. As then-Delaware state climatologist David Legates told me in 2007, he would tell students who were not true believers of global warming, "If you don't have tenure at a major research university, keep your mouth shut."

Civility for Me, But Not for Thee
Excerpt: President Obama delivered his loviest speech as president in Tucson, Ariz., after the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. It was moving, pitch perfect and -- in its key passages calling for civility in our political discourse -- brazenly insincere. Obama said we should be sure that “we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.” He framed his call as a way to honor the victims of the Tucson tragedy: “Only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.” Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa must have been too busy watching old episodes of “The Sopranos” that night. In a warm-up act for the president’s rally the other day in Detroit, Hoffa unloosed a witless, stereotypically crude tirade standing at a podium about to be affixed with a presidential seal and graced by the presence of the Master of Civility himself. … The most elemental act of civility is assuming the sincerity and patriotism of your opposition. President Obama’s latest theme is that Republicans are putting party before country in opposing his program, an argument that implicitly rules out the possibility that they genuinely think his policies are foolhardy and worthy of opposition. It’s a kidney punch masked as high-mindedness.

NY Times: Postal Service May Have to Shut Down This Winter
Employees too many union members to fail. Yet. ~Bob. Excerpt: The U.S. Postal Service may have to shut down this winter unless Congress steps in with emergency action to shore up its finances, according to The New York Times. “Our situation is extremely serious,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told the Times in an interview. “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.” The agency is so cash-starved that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month, according to the Times.

The Golden State Is Crumbling
Excerpt: The recent announcement that California's unemployment again nudged up to 12 percent—second worst in the nation behind its evil twin, Nevada—should have come as a surprise but frankly did not. From the beginning of the recession, the Golden State has been stuck bringing up a humbled nation's rear and seems mired in that less-than-illustrious position. … There is little chance that the jobs lost in these fields will ever be recovered under the current regime. As decent blue-collar and midlevel jobs disappear, California has gone from a rate of inequality about the national average in 1970, to among the most unequal in terms of income. The supposed solution to this—Gov. Jerry Brown's promise of 500,000 "green jobs"—is being shown for what it really is, the kind of fantasy you tell young children so they will go to sleep. Many Californians who aren't slumbering are moving out of the state—and not only the pathetic remains of the old Reaganite majority. According to the most recent census, those leaving the state include old boomers, middle-aged families, and increasingly, many Latinos as well. Outmigration rates from places like Los Angeles and the Bay Area now rival those of such cities as Detroit.

Obama jobs plan could cost $300 billion, include tax cuts, new spending
Excerpt: President Obama is preparing to roll out a jobs program Thursday that could cost as much as $300 billion in infrastructure investments and tax cuts, but which aides said will include ways to pay for the programs that the White House hopes will win bipartisan support from skeptical Republicans. Obama, whose approval ratings are at record lows, will present his proposals before a joint session of Congress at 7 p.m. ET Thursday in an address that could mark a critical moment in his presidency. Obama aims to restore public confidence in his administration’s ability to boost the economy and prevent another recession, even as Republican rivals point to a Labor Department report that showed no new jobs created last month as evidence that his policies aren’t working.

Excerpt: I see that the president, in a spirit of bipartisan compromise, is proposing this time round to toss a mere third of a trillion dollars into the Potomac and watch it float out to sea, all in the interests of what the Associated Press calls “jump-starting” jobs. David Espo and Jim Kuhnhenn are using “jump-start” metaphorically. In fact, I would be interested to know whether Barack Obama has ever in his life jump-started anything in a non-metaphorical sense. Or whether Messrs Espo and Kuhnhenn have. In my (ahem) new book, I have a little section on how so much of our language has decayed from the practical to the metaphorical — a somewhat predictable by-product of an age which values six-and-a-half years of a leisurely Bachelor’s in Whatever Studies over the ability actually to do anything.

No such thing as shovel ready: the supply side of the recovery act
Excerpt: As is often the case when economic models are transferred from the blackboard to actual public policy, there was a gap between theory and practice: looking back, it appears that shovel-ready projects were few and far between.4 As President Obama conceded in an October 2010 New York Times interview, ―There’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects. Our interviews provide a thorough, reality-based vindication of the president’s statement. Based on the information acquired in the interviews, the most vociferous boosters of fiscal stimulus should discount their benefits calculations by a significant factor. Keynesian economists claim that government spending in a recession can have a large multiplier effect, where a dollar of government spending quickly increases the size of the overall economy by a dollar or more: the government hires unemployed workers, who then ―multiply the effect when they shop for consumer goods. In the alternative neoclassical model of the economy, when the government hires workers, it hires them away from other private-sector firms, so government spending creates zero additional employment. Of course, both of these views are caricatures, simplifications; the question for policy makers is which simplification best matches the facts. And based on our interviews, the neoclassical simplification fits the facts better than the Keynesian one. This is not to say that ARRA-funded projects created no value nor that ARRA projects failed to create any temporary jobs. We do not conclude whether the stimulus ―worked or ―failed. Over the next few months, we will analyze all 50 hours of interviews and present a longer, more detailed study. But at this point, we can just make a preliminary conclusion: ramping up is hard to do.

Why the Stimulus Failed ---New research on what actually happened to a trillion dollars.
Excerpt: Even zero jobs growth in August doesn't seem to have disrupted President Obama's faith in the economic policies of his first three years, so one theme we'll be listening for in tonight's speech is how he explains the current moment. Why did his first jobs plan—the $825 billion stimulus—so quickly result in the need for another jobs plan? For readers who want to know, an important account is offered in a pair of new Mercatus Center working papers by the George Mason economists Garett Jones and Daniel Rothschild, who did field research on what they call the supply side of the stimulus. The Keynesian theory was that a burst of new government spending would take up some of the slack in aggregate consumer demand. This was justified in 2008, again in 2009, and is still defended now based not on real-world observation but on abstract macroeconomic models that depend on the assumptions of the authors. The Congressional Budget Office's quarterly studies—often cited to claim the stimulus created tens of thousands of new jobs—are based on such a model. By informative contrast, Messrs. Jones and Rothschild interviewed actual people who received stimulus dollars and asked how they spent the money.

The Dirty Secret behind Clean Jobs
Excerpt: Politicians have shifted their focus from the threats posed by global warming to creating green jobs. Under the guise of creating a "clean energy" market, political leaders can claim they are "investing" in the economy, creating new jobs and saving the planet, say Nick Sibilla, a research assistant, and Todd Wynn, vice president, at the Cascade Policy Institute. This rebranded version of the climate change strategy into a jobs creation approach is flawed for several reasons. The term "green jobs" is a vague and vacuous concept. Indeed, in some states, employers define what jobs are "green" in self-reporting surveys without any independent verification. The push to subsidize green jobs is based on faulty economics. The green economy is much more capital intensive than other sectors of the economy; the same amount of capital that creates one job in the clean sector would create more jobs in the industry or the economy in general. Additionally, more workers employed means higher labor costs, which translates to higher prices for energy consumers, higher prices for products made from energy, and taxpayer dollars being siphoned out from potentially more efficient private sector production into inefficient green industries. Meanwhile, efficiency delivers lower costs, which in turn advances Americans' standard of living. Assumptions for job growth are inaccurate or downright false. Some of this growth in green job creation might not even be new jobs. For example, some of the green jobs recently created in Oregon are simply jobs shifted from other sectors, or current employees with new green responsibilities. In the end, environmentalists should not base their calls to action on specious claims of job creation. Additionally, too many clean jobs depend on government largess for their existence, with the largest sectors of the clean economy being either state employees or recipients of corporate welfare. This folly of investing in clean jobs to induce growth is best symbolized by the case of a city on the verge of bankruptcy, say Sibilla and Wynn.

Daniel Rubin: After 9/11, feeling a stranger back in States
Excerpt: What I remember most is running. It was just after 3 p.m., German time, and I was tearing through the exhibition hall at the Frankfurt auto show, unable to find a TV. The initial report was sketchy. A reporter friend from USA Today had texted me about a small plane crashing into the World Trade Center. When his next message mentioned a second plane, I took off. In the media room, writers were still fashioning articles about the new Fords. I raced back to the hotel. There, my USA Today friend said presciently, "Somehow, everything we do for the next couple of years will have to do with today." He spent most of the next few years in Afghanistan. And I was sent all over Europe and North Africa, chasing shadows. Two days after the 9/11 attacks, the news broke that the lead suicide pilot, Mohamed Atta, had been living two hours away, in Hamburg. Suddenly I was on the biggest police story of my life. On the train, a woman watched me as I read the International Herald Tribune. American? she asked. When I nodded, she grabbed my hand. "We have to be strong," she said, repeating her words in beautiful, heavily accented English. She looked to be in her 70s. She laid out a multifront strategy for fighting extremism, urging vigilance, patience, and sensitivity, and I felt I was being welcomed into the world's arms.

Excerpt: Parents sending children off to college for the first time, beware: Their “freshman orientation” is all too likely to include being herded through a “tunnel of oppression” to learn about the evils of “white privilege,” being lectured about how they’re part of a “rape culture” or being forced to discuss their sexual identities with complete strangers -- before they even meet their first professor. That’s right: For all we hear about faculty ideological or political bias, campus administrators are often worse when it comes to brainwashing students. What many university administrators would like to do: The “ideal” freshman orientation might resemble this experiment from the film “Final Destination 5.” Consider the shocking account from a student trained to be a dorm supervisor -- a resident adviser, or RA -- at DePauw University in Indiana. One of her first duties last fall was to lead her new students through a house decorated as a “Tunnel of Oppression,” where supposedly “realistic” demonstrations in each room taught lessons such as how religious parents hate their gay children, Muslims would find no friends on a predominantly non-Muslim campus and overweight women suffer from eating disorders. Indeed, in her training to become an RA, “We were told that ‘human’ was not a suitable identity, but that instead we were first ‘black,’ ‘white,’ or ‘Asian’; ‘male’ or ‘female’; ... ‘heterosexual’ or ‘queer.’ We were forced to act like bigots and spout off stereotypes while being told that that was what we were really thinking deep down.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must be spinning in his grave.

Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
Excerpt: The man might not know how to stimulate an economy — or buy real estate without asking Tony Rezko — but he sure can read a teleprompter. Even Obama's Republican enemies know there's no one as smooth as he. So what will be in his political speech? I figure the president from Chicago — with all those City Hall types crouching around him — will revert to a tried-but-true, big-city Democratic machine political solution: Print oodles of federal money and throw it at powerful interest groups. And which groups? The bridge contractors and asphalt kings and the road builders, the heavy equipment renters of bulldozers and the no-necks who buy and sell concrete for America's highways. My crystal ball tells me he'll unveil the Obama Jobs Program, rather than a whoozda-guy-who-getzda-subcontracts program, but here's hoping that investigative reporters start knocking on the door of Illinois Republican and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to see a list of the colorful subcontractors.

Last Chance to Repair the Breach
Excerpt: This is Obama’s last chance to alter the economic debate with congressional Republicans. This is his State of the Union speech, given five months ahead of schedule by a White House justifiably panicked by polling data that indicates Obama’s credibility on job creation has cratered—and with it his attachment to key reelection constituencies. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 73 percent of respondents believe the country is on the “wrong track,” the highest number in Obama’s presidency. That number is within striking distance of the 78 percent registered in mid-October 2008, when the country was reeling from the financial meltdown and Obama was on the cusp of winning the presidency. The poll’s wrong-track number has jumped 23 points since May, a sign of a potentially irreversible mood shift. What’s more, the poll shows Obama has hit new lows on the economy. Thirty-seven percent approve of his performance, while 59 percent disapprove. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found similar sentiments. But answers to one question buried in that poll might be the most telling: 47 percent said Obama’s new economic program would have “no effect.” If that wasn’t bad enough, twice as many believe his plan would make matters worse than believe it will make them better—34 percent to 17 percent. (Two important points: first, Major Garrett is no one’s idea of a conservative; second, if the MSM turns against him, Obama is toast regardless of who the Republican nominee is. Ron P.)

I wonder if…….a utopian questionnaire!
Excerpt: recently saw the movie “Seven Days in Utopia” and the word utopia has clung to my psyche ever since. I thought of the decline of America today as we expeditiously rumble toward total socialism and then communism and I just began making these notes below! I am gracing the notes with some pictures of beautiful Montana in case you get mad at me for asking the questions. I wonder if there was no more welfare in the United States, that those who have never worked or taken care of themselves without some form of government aid, had to do so now, what would happen. I wonder if only those people that paid into Social Security were allowed to enjoy its benefits, and all other were stricken from the rolls, what would happen. I wonder if schools in America hadn’t dumbed down education, reducing standards, in order that those who failed to apply themselves could graduate on to the next level, what would have happened. I wonder what would happen to the victimization and grievance industry in America if we stopped accepting excuses for failures to work hard like successful people, and stopped people from blaming their own shortcomings on others.

Solving Problems
Excerpt: No one can deny that we have a large number of problems facing this country. The difficulty arises in how to solve these problems. The left believes that more government action with regulations and spending are the answer. The right believes that a smaller government and reduced regulations are the answer. What is missing in all of this is “what are the root causes of the problems?” The typical response to a problem is to look at what particular regulation was not followed or what event occurred and there was no regulation or rule to cover it. Stupidity and incompetence are not brought into the mix. Look at the law suit that cost McDonalds a huge amount of money. A stupid person placed a hot cup of coffee between her legs and it spilled. She sued and won. Now all cups have a warning about coffee being hot. DUH! Take a little bit of time and look at the warnings on normal regularly used items. They are humorous, but they are also causing all of us money because of the cost to the businesses. In order to solve a problem one must go to the root cause of that problem and then implement a solution and develop a procedure to insure that the problem remains fixed. I live in Florida and many people have pools. Let’s assume that your pool needs refilling every week. A solution is to refill it each week and not to be concerned with the additional cost of water. A better solution is to discover why the pool is losing water and fix that. It is much easier for the first solution and that is why many employ that solution. Placing a quick fix is the solution that the government uses in most cases. Knowing that it is temporary and will ultimately cost more does not make an impact because it is not their money.

Military Instructed to Cheer Obama at Navy Yard Speech

The Ripples of 9/11: A decade of surprises in the war on terror
Excerpt: It has been a decade since 3,000 Americans were murdered on September 11, 2001. Much of what followed in the subsequent ten years was unexpected, while what was expected did not happen. On October 7, just 26 days after the attacks, the United States went after both al-Qaida and its Taliban sponsors when it invaded Afghanistan, removing the Islamists from that nation’s major cities in little more than two months. By early 2002, the “graveyard of empires” had a UN-approved constitutional government—despite earlier warnings of Western failure and a Soviet- or British-like disaster. We forget now the national euphoria over Donald Rumsfeld’s “light footprint” and a new way of war characterized by a few Special Forces troops with laptops who guided volleys of GPS munitions from jets circling above. The subsequent decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 ended entirely the fragile national consensus about retaliation that had followed 9/11. When the Bush administration hyped WMD as the real casus belli—and subsequently found none in Iraq—most forgot that Congress had, in bipartisan fashion, voted for war on over 20 other counts as well, all legitimate and unquestioned. But the postwar insurgency took over 4,000 American lives and tore Iraq apart, and the war would be written off as misguided, unnecessary, and “lost.” Suddenly too few troops was the charge. Traditional army divisions once again replaced Special Forces as the conventional wisdom.

Those Post-9/11 -isms and -ologies: A Look Back at a Decade
Hanson at his best! Ron P. Excerpt: The word “appeasement” has had a volatile history. In the 1930s it meant purported sobriety and circumspection in preferring reasonable concessions to an aggressor in lieu of risking destructive war. Appeasement grew in response to the horrors of World War I and the theory that relatively minor differences had eventually led to nightmares like the Somme and Verdun. But by the end of World War II, appeasement for the first time evolved into a term of scorn, a near-criminal naiveté that had gotten 50 million killed by failing to confront an ascendant Japan and Germany when they were comparatively still weak. Although during the Cold War “appeasement” mostly remained a pejorative term, it also reflected poorly, in purportedly McCarthyite fashion, on any who leveled the charge — as if granting a few concessions was the smarter and more reasonable alternative to mindless preparedness and brinkmanship in the nuclear age. So when the cloud rose over Manhattan, we were in a strange never-never land of having long appeased radical Islam while fearful of confessing just that, as if it were worse to admit to, than to have embraced, appeasement.

Five Ways to Create New Jobs in America
Excerpt: Two years ago, President Barack Obama was bold in his optimism for job growth in America, promising that his stimulus spending plans would create 3 million jobs by the end of 2010. It didn't work, the Obama jobs deficit now stands at 6.7 million jobs, and tonight the President will present a jobs plan chock full of new promises. Unfortunately, that plan appears to be a retread of the same policies that have blocked job growth in America. The good news is that there is another way, and there are things the President can do to pave the way for businesses to create new jobs.

Military retirement: 83-percent never make it
Excerpt: This column explains why the current military retirement system is an incredibly good deal for the U.S. taxpayer and why the Obama Administration’s proposal to change it would defeat the currently successful reenlistment and retention rates for our volunteer armed forces. (Fair disclosure: the author served 20 years on active duty and is retired at half pay.) Shortly after entering active duty, yours truly asked a seasoned personnel officer: “Why is my base pay only $222.22 per month when so many of my college classmates who went into civilian life are making twice or three times that?” What follows is a reconstruction of that conversation: “Lieutenant, your low pay is because the military system is ‘deferred compensation,’ meaning you do not have to pay anything upfront toward retirement which will be ‘vested’ if you complete 20 years of active-duty service. So, we are ‘deferring’ your pay for you to draw later as retirement. If you make it through 20 years, you get half-pay for life and almost-free medical care. But if you do not complete 20 years of service, you don’t get any retirement. Nada, zip, zero.” “Well, what could I expect to happen during the next 20 years?” “Lieutenant, as an infantry officer, you can expect to live abroad for about ten years, much of it in disease-ridden, third-world countries you would never ever want to visit on vacation. You will be moved 15 to 20 times. You can expect your household goods to be lost at least once. Off and on, you can expect to be separated from wife and family for about six years. You can expect to be wounded at least once. Or, killed. But that only happens once. “After you reach about 10 years of service and you are at a point when you are most valuable to the military, you can expect the civilian bean-counters in the Pentagon to try to find ways of getting rid of you short of the 20 years you need to draw retirement. Do not give them any reasons to do that. If you get hurt, shake it off. Don’t report it. The bean counters don’t want retirees with medical problems. Also, the military has an “up or out” policy. Go to graduate school at night and on weekends to stay competitive with your peers. Do whatever it takes to get promoted. Do not give them an excuse to throw you out short of 20 years.” (Leftists bashing “I’m tired” often refer to the “fact” that I draw a nice pension from the Marines and from the Massachusetts Senate. I offer to trade them all the pension I get or will get from both for a bottle of Scotch. ~Bob.)

The Obama Presidency by the Numbers
Excerpt: The president constantly reminds us that he was dealt a difficult hand. But the evidence is overwhelming that he played it poorly. When it comes to the economy, presidents, like quarterbacks, often get more credit or blame than they deserve. They inherit problems and policies that affect the economy well into their presidencies and beyond. Reagan inherited Carter's stagflation, George H.W. Bush twin financial crises (savings & loan and Third World debt), and their fixes certainly benefitted the Clinton economy. President Obama inherited a deep recession and financial crisis resulting from problems that had been building for years. Those responsible include borrowers and lenders on Wall Street and
Main Street
, the Federal Reserve, regulatory agencies, ratings agencies, presidents and Congress. Mr. Obama's successor will inherit his deficits and debt (i.e., pressure for higher taxes), inflation and dollar decline. But fairly or not, historians document what occurred on your watch and how you dealt with your in-box. Nearly three years since his election and more than two years since the economic recovery began, Mr. Obama has enacted myriad policies at great expense to American taxpayers and amid political rancor. An interim evaluation is in order.

Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
Excerpt: "What went wrong?" That was the title of Bernard Lewis' landmark book on Islam's thousand years of global dominance followed by the decline of the caliphate between the 17th century, when Muslim armies were halted at the Gates of Vienna, and the early 20th century when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. This fall from grace left deep scars -- grievances expressed most lethally on Sept. 11, 2001, soon after Professor Lewis' book was completed. Ten years later, the question we might be asking: What has gone wrong with us? The atrocities of 9/11 were said to be a new Pearl Harbor that would once again "awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." Instead, many if not most of our political leaders fight fitfully and without conviction, uncertain about both the nature and the gravity of the threat. One example: Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, Britain's storied intelligence service, last week called the 9/11 attacks "a crime, not an act of war." She did not explain why she thought using hijacked planes as missiles to destroy the political, military and financial centers of the Free World was akin to a bank robbery. She did not cite other instances in which common criminals seek no monetary benefit, kill themselves during the commission of their crimes and call that "martyrdom." She did not say whether she thought Osama bin Laden, as a criminal suspect, should have been entitled to a presumption of innocence rather than bullets through the chest and head.

New Pew Poll Undercuts Left’s “Islamophobia” Card
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its groupies on the Left, such as the Center for American Progress (CAP), the ACLU, and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender, have spun out a series of patently absurd conspiracy theories employing the “Islamophobia” canard, which are designed to intimidate critics of Islamic extremism into silence. The latest example of this vitriolic attack campaign is a CAP report titled “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.” However, the more these groups pursue this misguided agenda, the more they expose their ignorance with respect to both reality and the actual interests of the Muslim community. This is illustrated by the results of Pew Research Center’s latest public opinion survey of Muslim Americans, released on August 30, 2011. These results confirm that Islamic extremism in the U.S. is a real problem – not something made up by so-called “Islamophobes” — and that many in the Muslim American community fault their leaders for failing to address it properly.

The Arab Spring and Christian Persecution
Excerpt: While the Western media and governments have been preoccupied with the so called “Arab Spring,” little if any attention has been paid to the increased persecution of Christians in the Muslim Middle East. Throughout the region, Christians have been targeted by Muslim mobs killing innocent bystanders, burning churches, and destroying Christian properties. Interviewed by The National on June 19, 2011, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared that the Arab Spring is posing a threat to Christian minorities throughout the Middle East. He added that “extremists were filling vacuums left by ousting of autocratic regimes,” and “leading to Copts being targeted in Egypt.” In Syria, Archbishop Williams warned, “tensions between Christian communities and Muslim majorities were reaching breaking point.” And, he added that Christians in northern Iraq had been subjected to a form of “ethnic cleansing.” The archbishop made his comments in an interview with BBC radio on August 30, during which he said that even in Bethlehem, Christ’s birthplace, the once-majority Christian population had now become a “marginalized minority.”

Lessons That Last a Lifetime
Excerpt: Those concerned with peace, beyond lip-service, would have somehow learned about the recent report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center that details how Palestinian children spent this summer, as summers past. Tens of thousands of young Palestinian children attended Hamas run “summer camps” where the lessons of martyrdom – like those in their school textbooks and the messages heard everywhere in their towns and on television – were reaffirmed. Likewise, the precepts of the PLO Covenant and the Hamas Charter were reiterated. The camps, for all intents and purposes, are incubators for future generations of Jihadis. And so the question that begs to be asked is how can these children – heirs to any peace agreement that may be signed – who have been raised to hate and are dedicated to killing themselves and others, implement any peace agreement when they have been prepared for anything but peace.

The Democrats’ Voting Agenda Revealed
Excerpt: In essence, the left likes voter fraud, and they have ever since JFK was elected by a bunch of dead folks from Chicago. They claim it’s not a significant problem – in the words of Steven Colbert, “Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere” – but it absolutely is. According to John Fund, “In 2001, the voter rolls in many American cities included more names than the US Census listed as the total number of residents over age eighteen. CBS’ 60 Minutes created a stir in 1999 when it found people in California using mail-in forms to register fictitious people or actual pets and then obtaining absentee ballots in their names.” In Palm Beach County during the 2000 election, 60 people voted both in Florida and in New York. (Too be fair, many of the dead folks who elected JFK were in Texas, too. He needed both. That fraud shaped Richard Nixon. ~Bob.)

Jihad on the Children
Excerpt: Kauda is a town in central Sudan’s Nuba Mountains roughly 50 miles northeast of the state capital, Kadugli. Along with the rest of the Nuba Mountains/Southern Kordofan region, Kauda is under attack by the National Congress Party (NCP) Islamist government of Sudan that seeks to eradicate the black, African Nuba ethnic groups. Every day Kauda’s rich hills and fertile valleys suffer new scars as bombs drop from the sky, terrorizing and killing men, women, and children. Khartoum’s extermination campaign began June 5, 2011, after its candidate for Nuba Mountains governor, ICC-indicted war criminal Ahmed Haroun, stole the election from the popular Commander Abdelaziz Adam Alhilu. Haroun is the architect of the genocide in Darfur. Alhilu is a hero of Sudan’s civil war and current head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-North), the force defending the Nuba from Khartoum’s troops. When the people protested the rigging of the election, Sudan President Omar al Bashir warned that if the Nuba did not accept Haroun, his soldiers would “chase them up into the mountains” where they would starve. He also told Sudan’s armed forces and Islamic militias to “just sweep away the rubbish” in the Nuba Mountains.

The Mullahs’ Apocalypse Now
Excerpt: A report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has cited “increasing concerns” that Iran is edging ever closer toward the development of nuclear weapons. Adding fuel to those concerns is that the release of the UN report came only days before the Islamist state’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr finally came online for the first time. Specifically, the nine-page IAEA report cited “extensive” evidence that Iran, in defiance of UN- imposed sanctions, has not suspended its “enrichment-related activities.” Instead, Iran has boosted the production of enriched uranium and upgraded it closer to the level of nuclear weapons-grade. Furthermore, the IAEA found the Iranians continuing to work on heavy water-related projects, including the construction of a heavy water research reactor. The IAEA report also cited concern over Iran moving its nuclear fuel production program to a well-protected underground bunker outside the Iranian holy city of Qum, a move made earlier in 2011 by the Iranians in an attempt to better protect the program from an air or cyber attack.

Jane Fonda’s ‘Biggest Regret’
Excerpt: A new biography of Jane Fonda by Patricia Bosworth reveals a lifelong lament by the famous actress: “My biggest regret” Fonda is quoted as saying during a “feminist consciousness-raising session,” according to the book’s account, “is I never got to f*** Che Guevara.” In case you read Frontpage, Ms. Fonda, here’s some consolation: “I used to call him El Gallo (the rooster),” recalled Carlos Figueroa, who was Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s adolescent friend in Alta Gracia, Argentina. “I’d be visiting him and eating in his family’s dining room and whenever the poor servant girl would enter Ernesto would promptly grab her and force her to lay on the dining room table where he’d have rapid intercourse with her. Immediately afterwards he’d throw her out and continue eating as if nothing had happened.” (Many of Ms. Fonda’s feminist “consciousness-raising” fans likely consider much less to be rape.) (Che quote: “If the missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America including New York. We must never establish peaceful coexistence. In this struggle to the death between two systems we must gain the ultimate victory. We must walk the path of liberation even if it costs millions of atomic victims.”)

Muslim parents of 'honour killing victim' schoolgirl, 17, charged with her murder EIGHT years after she vanished
Excerpt: The parents of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed have been charged with their daughter’s murder – eight years after she disappeared. Shafilea, 17, went missing from her home in September 2003 after complaining that her parents were trying to force her into an arranged marriage. A massive hunt was launched for the bright A-level student who had dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Her decomposed body was found in February 2004, hidden near a river in the Lake District. A coroner ruled that the Muslim teenager had been the victim of a ‘vile murder’. (From Bob: Multiculturalists say we should incorporate Shari’a religious law into our law. Here’s Jihad Watch on the subject of honor killings: It is no accident or coincidence that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.)

Dr Asri: Restriction of Islam could provoke apostasy
Excerpt: Influential Muslim scholar Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin today accused religious authorities of using a colonial system to restrict Islam, saying this could further provoke apostasy. … “I gave a sermon saying Islamic justice is not just for Muslims but also for Jews or even those at odds with Islam itself. I was relating it to how we should hear both sides in the case of Jais’s investigations into the church,” he said, referring to the religious authorities probe into alleged proselytisation last month. (So anyone, even non-Muslims, should be tried under Islamic religious law for crimes like insulting Islam. ~Bob.)

Mann hires attorneys to halt FOIA document production
Excerpt: From the there’s “nothing to see here and my lawyer says so too” department, we have news that Dr. Michael Mann really doesn’t want those UVA emails to get sunlight. (…) Specifically over the weekend ATI’s Environmental Law Center received service from two Pennsylvania attorneys who seek the court’s permission to argue for Dr. Mann to intervene in ATI’s case. The attorneys also filed a motion to stay production of documents still withheld by UVA, which are to be provided to ATI’s lawyers in roughly two weeks under a protective order that UVA voluntarily agreed to in May. Dr. Mann’s lawyers also desire a hearing in mid-September, in an effort to further delay UVA’s scheduled production of records under the order. Dr. Mann’s argument, distilled, is that the court must bend the rules to allow him to block implementation of a transparency law, so as to shield his sensibilities from offense once the taxpayer – on whose dime he subsists – sees the methods he employed to advance the global warming theory and related policies. ATI’s Environmental Law Center is not sympathetic. (If you haven’t been following this case closely, now might be a good time to start. Mann’s employment contract, as well as clearly stated UVA policy, specify he had no expectation of privacy when using taxpayer funded email accounts. Will the University now argue against its own current policy? Stay tuned. Ron P. The damn things must be very damaging to him and/or global warming to fight this hard to hide them. ~Bob.)

Uranium munching microbes
Excerpt: Details of the process, which can be improved and patented, are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The implications could eventually benefit sites forever changed by nuclear contamination, said Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist. “Geobacter bacteria are tiny micro-organisms that can play a major role in cleaning up polluted sites around the world,” said Reguera, who is an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. “Uranium contamination can be produced at any step in the production of nuclear fuel, and this process safely prevents its mobility and the hazard for exposure.” The ability of Geobacter to immobilize uranium has been well documented. However, identifying the Geobacters’ conductive pili or nanowires as doing the yeoman’s share of the work is a new revelation. Nanowires, hair-like appendages found on the outside of Geobacters, are the managers of electrical activity during a cleanup. (…) Their effectiveness was proven during a cleanup in a uranium mill tailings site in Rifle, Colo. Researchers injected acetate into contaminated groundwater. Since this is Geobacters’ preferred food, it stimulated the growth of the Geobacter community already in the soil, which in turn, worked to remove the uranium, Reguera said. (Amazing! Nuclear electricity may have just gotten even safer. Miraculously, they did it without using computer models and actually tested the theory in the real world before announcing it. Too bad they aren't doing climate research. Ron P. Maybe we’ll be able to use them to clear the area where DC or NYC stood after Iran gets the bomb. ~Bob.)

Woman wants county to cover $1K hospital bill for cavity search
Excerpt: A Las Cruces woman has been charged $1,122 by a local hospital for a forcible body cavity search ordered by the Metro Narcotics Agency that did not turn up any illegal substances. She is now asking the county to pay her hospital bill. The woman, who is not being named because she was not arrested or criminally charged, was searched at Memorial Medical Center on July 1, according to a tort claim notice Las Cruces attorney Michael Lilley served to the county this week. (UPDATE: MSNBC is now reporting the Metro Narcotics Agency has agreed to pay the bill. I have to admit I’d want something more just for simple revenge if I was her. Ron P.)

Excerpt: Magellan Surveys has just released a poll in the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district which shows Republican Bob Turner leading Democrat David Weprin 45%-40%. The last polling I saw showed this an even race. This is the district represented since 1998 by Democrat Anthony Weiner, and it is a descendant—though significantly redistricted—of the districts that sent Democrat Charles Schumer to the House from 1980 until his election as U.S. senator in 1998. It has convoluted boundaries and consists of mostly white portions of Brooklyn and Queens. Historically Democratic, it registered the biggest shift toward George W. Bush between 2000 and 2004 of any congressional district in the nation, going from 67%-30% for Al Gore in 2000 to 56%-44% for John Kerry in 2004.

Excerpt: Obama in new polls by the Washington Post-ABC News and the Wall Street Journal-NBC News. The number of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track has risen to its highest level since just before Obama took office -- into what one commentator calls the "incumbent death zone." His job approval rating is down. The number of people who disapprove of his handling of the economy is rocketing upward. And then there is this question, asked by the Post-ABC: Do you think Obama's economic program is making the economy better, making it worse, or having no real effect? Just 17 percent say the president's program is making the economy better, while 34 percent say Obama's program is making the economy worse and 47 percent say it is having no real effect. Combine those last two numbers, and 81 percent say the Obama economic program is not working -- a devastating number in a country in which economic concerns top all other issues in voters' minds.

18 Killed in Communal Violence in Nigeria
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Eighteen people were killed in communal violence in flash point Central Nigerian city of Jos after a mob attacked a village, an incident which lead to widespread riots and violence. The people were killed in Christian villages by assailants suspected to be Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Jos. According to a witness, the attackers came about 9 PM into, Kuru and Mararaban-Jama'a villages situated at the entrance of Jos city in Opel Vectra saloon cars and used an hour to attack the villagers with guns and machetes. In another village, Zakaleo, four persons were killed by setting their rooms on fire and the villagers on discovering the incident, wailed profusely as they prepared to give the victims mass burial. (The World Elites (UN, EU, NATO, US government, etc) literally encourage the slaughter of Christians with their policies. They --almost never intervene on behalf of Christians in trouble, --routinely intervene on behalf of violence-prone Muslims --never issue a warning to violent Muslims --provide aid unconditionally to Muslim governments that are slaughtering Christians (and other non-Muslims). I warned of this many times (see below): And you know one of the main contributing factors to this injustice? American "Christians" who keep telling other Christians to just sit on their butts and wait for the Second Coming because it's all "supposed to happen" and "there's nothing we can do about it." Yet these same "Christians" wouldn't think of putting their own children in harm's way. As long as it's someone else and someone else's children far away, well, they can ignore the suffering. It's all about lazy, ignorant people taking the easy way out. It's all about an ethnocentric notion that America is God's country and if people are abused in other countries it's because God's blessings are reserved for "Christian" America. For shame! --Don Hank)

A White House 'Gunrunner'?
Excerpt: Operation Gunwalker, the rogue ATF operation to arm Mexico's cartels, extends now to three White House officials. A bell goes off with the one named Dan Restrepo. Late last Friday, CBS News and the Los Angeles Times almost buried the news that Restrepo, the National Security Council's top man for Latin America, and two other officials, were in on ATF memos from the Gunwalker operation called "Fast and Furious." That blows apart White House claims that it had no idea the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was encouraging frontmen for Mexico's cartels to buy weapons from U.S. gun dealers — to "trace" them afterward. Some 2,000 U.S. guns were sold in Gunwalker but simply disappeared — until they turned up at massacres in Mexico and at the murder scenes of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata. But outgoing ATF acting director Ken Melson and others who've been the fall guys in this scandal darkly hint that their orders came from the White House, and domestic critics think Gunwalker can only be explained as a White House bid to boost support for gun control. Restrepo's involvement distinctly raises both possibilities.

Obama Health Care Challenges Dismissed By Federal Court
How dare the subjects question a decree of Barack I.? ~Bob. Excerpt: A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited technicalities in both decisions and did not rule on the constitutional issues raised by the lawsuits. Two of the judges on the Virginia panel were appointed by Obama, the other by Bill Clinton. The Richmond-based appeals court is the third appellate court to rule in lawsuits challenging the health care reform law, which requires individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the law, while an appeals court in Atlanta struck down the insurance mandate. More than 30 lawsuits have been filed across the country. The judges ruled 3-0 that Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli did not have legal standing to file his lawsuit. Cuccinelli had argued that the federal law conflicts with a state law that says no Virginian can be forced to buy insurance. (Obamacare continues its path to the Supreme Court.  Something I keep seeing in the MSM reports on court decisions—that disturbs me—that I never noticed until the past ten or fifteen years is they keep on telling us who appointed the justices/judges involved. Aren’t those judges/justices supposed to be non-political, reading and interpreting the law fairly for ALL comers, not just the ones whose politics they agree with? If we’ve become that thoroughly politicized, maybe it’s time for a few dozen impeachments of judges/justices. Ron P.)

Fattest Woman on Earth: I Blame It On My Genes
Excerpt: After reaching 700 pounds, Pauline Potter has officially entered the record books as the world's heaviest woman. But the 47-year-old from Sacramento, California, now says she wants to lose weight so she can enjoy every day life again. Mrs Potter had boasted that men think she is a 'sex goddess' and she has 'fantastic sex every day', but she now struggles with daily life and cannot turn over in bed or fit in her car. (I don't have to WISH they were all California girls. They ARE all California girls. - Kate in LA.)

Rapper's Song Offensive to Troops
the troops are in good company—rappers often degrade women and cops. Soulja Boy couldn’t make it in the Libyan Rebel Army. ~Bob. Excerpt: The rapper's name -- Soulja Boy -- was one thing. But a song that flat out dissed the troops? Not being taken to kindly by real Soldiers. In an anti-war song called "Let's be Real" that went viral this weekend, Soulja Boy had this to say: "And f--k all the Army troops. Fighting for what? Bitch be your own man.” Offended Soldiers have had plenty to say back in rap songs of their own, and Soulja Boy sent out a mea culpa to the troops.

More Tales from the Collegiate Loony-Bin
Excerpt: I’ve recently started recovering from forty years among pseudo-academic weirdos in the collegiate loony bin. One persistent aspect of modern college life is its obvious loathing for anything that smacks of Christianity. This includes whiting out Christian symbols and references to Christian holidays from the academic landscape. In the fall of 2006, a bronze cross was carted out of Wren Chapel at William and Mary lest it cause offense to unidentified spectators. Faculty members I’ve had the misfortune of knowing usually vibrate with excitement at such displays of sensitivity, and whenever the possibility exists for replacing “Christmas greetings” with “Have a blessed Kwanzaa,” “Peace to you on Ramadan,” or an inspirational listing of white racist sins, academics will run to make this happen. Staff members once changed a “Yule Bowl Party” to a “Season’s Greeting Festival,” arguing that “Yule” references were an affront to non-Westerners. Perhaps an itinerant Hindu would wander into the gathering and go bonkers at the mention of something once associated with Christianity. (Sounds just like Los Angeles City College. - Kate in LA.)

The Slandering of the American Conservative Movement Has Begun
Begun? It’s been the standard tactic since the “daisy Girl” ad. ~Bob. Excerpt: Krugman’s article is a good example of what’s wrong with this hogwash reporting. It is true that Rick Perry called evolution “just a theory”, but who cares? He’s running to be President of the United States, not an eighth grade biology teacher. He will have no influence over what textbooks schools buy or what is taught in classrooms. His views on evolution are as relevant to the presidential race as the price of petrol in Timbuktu. The fact that they are shared by millions of Americans has done nothing to dent the country’s advances in science and technology. Nor are they any more irrational than the belief that Jesus walked on water or turned water into wine. Gospel stories are not only believed by many religious liberals, they are frequently quoted by Democratic presidential candidates. By the way, evolution is a theory. It is a theory constructed from individual scraps of evidence – a way of amalgamating observations into a grand design. Ergo: whenever the US deficit goes up, Paul Krugman calls for more spending – therefore we might theorise that he’s a drooling idiot. Remember: that’s just a theory, not a fact.

Taki Theodoracopulos:
No Way
Excerpt: The first volume of Spengler’s The Decline of the West appeared in 1918, just as Big Bertha was raining shells on Paris and while German armies were poised for success. Soon after everything collapsed for Germany. Cultural pessimism reigned supreme, with figures such as Spengler leading it. Thomas Mann called The Decline the era’s most important book. He compared its emotional effect on him to that of reading Schopenhauer, the pessimist par excellence. Ludwig Wittgenstein was thunderstruck, as were most serious thinkers of the time except for Max Weber—who, according to Taki, is a clown for having invented sociology. Not everyone accepted gloom and doom as a way of thinking, and Spengler himself defended his work as one of German nationalist resurgence—and with it the extermination of the corrupt West and the Weimar Republic itself. We all know how that one ended. The old conservatism of Bismarck and Wilhelmine Germany did not return; rather, a new radical right galvanized by the disasters of 1918-1919 and inspired by Nietzsche and Spengler’s cultural pessimism came slowly into fashion. This fashion became unfashionable during the first week of May 1945.

With weasel words and squirming, Bojangles Holder does the non-denial denial tap-dance.
Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday sought to distance himself and other senior Justice Department officials from a botched operation to track guns smuggled to Mexican drug cartels, saying they were not involved. The Obama administration has been under scrutiny after revelations that as many as 2,000 guns were sold to suspected gun traffickers, not properly tracked and ended up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico. The operation, dubbed "Fast and Furious", was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona. Congressional Republicans have questioned who approved it and whether senior Justice Department officials were involved. "The notion that somehow or other that this thing reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that, at this point, I don't think is supported by the facts," Holder told reporters.

Myth and Reality After 9/11
Excerpt: Why did radical Islamic terrorists kill almost 3,000 Americans a decade ago?
Few still believe the old myth that prior U.S. foreign policy or support for Israel logically earned us Osama bin Laden's wrath. After all, the U.S. throughout the 1990s had saved Islamic peoples from Bosnia and Kosovo to Somalia and Kuwait. Russia and China, in contrast, had oppressed or killed tens of thousands of their own Muslims without much fear of provoking al Qaeda. Moreover, thousands of Arabs have been killed recently, but by their own Libyan and Syrian governments, not Israeli Defense Forces. Al Qaeda still issues death threats to Americans even though its original pretexts for going to war -- such as U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia -- were long ago irrelevant. Instead, on this 10-year anniversary of 9/11, no one has yet refuted the general truth that bin Laden tried to hijack popular Arab discontent over endemic poverty and self-induced misery. In cynical Hitlerian fashion, al Qaeda's propagandists sought to blame the mess of the Arab Middle East on Jews and foreigners, rather than seeking to address homegrown corrupt kleptocracies, inefficient statism, indigenous tribalism, gender apartheid, and religious fundamentalism and intolerance.

The Five Biggest Reasons Republicans Keep Losing the Propaganda War
There are some great points in this piece. Ron P. Excerpt: It never ceases to confound me, dear readers, how on earth Republicans keep losing America’s propaganda war. How do we know they’re losing in the public’s perception? Easy. Ask yourself: when was the last time you freely discussed any conservative or even moderate political view with friends at work, or on campus, or in public, or at a large social gathering — without hedging your every word? When? Can you identify a single recent instance when you felt your conservative or even moderate views would be tolerated without provoking name-calling or public shaming into the nearest corner of societal oblivion? Everywhere one goes, save conservative websites, Republicans are widely connoted with tinges of racism, hate, selfishness, greed, war-mongering, and conspiratorial theocratic designs against democracy.

Ten Years Later
Excerpt: September 11, September 11, for me it’s all about friend and family. Above all the others, the friend is — was — Barbara Olson, who was murdered by al-Qaeda on the airplane that crashed into the Pentagon. A really great woman, the life force in flesh and blood, how I miss her. The family was totally transformed by September 11. Not that the terror attack opened anybody’s eyes; those eyes were already wide open. We had had plenty of death threats, and had taken them seriously. But September 11 convinced our children, all three, that their generation would be judged on how it reacted, and they all resolved to go to war. They could not look in the mirror unless they saw a warrior. And so Simone, without ever asking what we thought, signed up for (civilian) service in Iraq for the Department of Defense, and Gabe informed us that he would try to become a Marine officer, and hoped we approved. A few years later, Daniel also became a Marine officer. And so, just like that, we had become a military family.

Anarchy in Washington State
Union thugs commit wanton destruction of vehicles used in interstate commerce, kidnap and hold security personnel hostage. Where is the FBO and US dept of Justice? --TC. Excerpt: Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha. Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.

The Coming Chaos
Excerpt: America is about to be destroyed by debt. And we're acting like it's business as usual. In the push to resolve America's impending debt crisis, much has been done to ensure politically favorable positions for those engaged in the debt talks, and the possibility of a default has been addressed in largely academic terms, with complete disregard for the gruesome realities a default implies. Our leaders are living in a fantasy world, indulging in partisan gamesmanship, concerned only about their reelections. The time has come for our leaders to be Americans first, and do what needs to be done to save us from collapse. (He must have read my book! ~Bob.)

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