Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Political Digest for November 1, 2011

I will be away Wednesday – Sunday on business, with little time. If the blog gets pulled during that time by Google, may be a while before I can get a restore/appeal request to them. If you don’t see my blog, please check back next week if not before. Sorry. Thanks. ~Bob.

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. Every week since August, Google’s Spam Filter has pulled my blog, first on Saturdays, then Wednesdays, lately on Thursdays. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 7k to10k a week and over 1,160 followers here.

Free PDF Copy of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

Wonder why OWS folks can’t find work
I assume the sign is a joke? ~Bob

World population not only grows, but grows old
Excerpt: On this crowded, hot, trampled planet, one of the most vexing trends is something countless numbers of us see when we look in the mirror: We’re going gray. The United Nations has declared that the human population will hit 7 billion Monday, and an expanding percentage of those people are in the market for reading glasses. The aging of the human race has been faster than anyone could have imagined a few decades ago. Fertility rates have plunged globally; simultaneously, life spans have increased. The result is a re-contoured age graph: The pyramid, once with a tiny number of old folks at the peak and a broad foundation of children, is inverting. In wealthy countries, the graph already has a pronounced middle-age spread. (Great ironies at work. Expanded abortion has wiped out half a billion girls in India alone. And abortion and birth control means that many people now escape the responsibility of child rearing. But it also means that the modern socialist welfare state is going to collapse. Ten young workers cannot support 20 retired ones, so they may escape having kids only to face destitute old age. ~Bob.)

In 2005 Dems Blocked GOP Proposals to Fix Social Security… Today Social Security Is Officially In the Red
Excerpt: In 2005 Congressional Democrats blocked Republican proposals to save Social Security. Then they wildly cheered their own obstructionism during the State of the Union Address the following year.

Most people in health policy are collectivists. This is a predilection they share with many on the political left. They value collective action over individual action. They trust collective action more than they trust individual action. And they hold collective action to a lower standard of ethics. If a public official and a private citizen commit the exact same wrongful act, the private citizen will be judged much more harshly. Consider this revelation in the news the other day: Arizona…plans to limit adult Medicaid recipients to 25 days of hospital coverage a year, starting as soon as the end of October. Hawaii plans to cut Medicaid coverage to 10 days a year in April. Other states have already limited hospital stays under Medicaid: the limit is 45 days in Florida, 30 in Mississippi, 24 in Arkansas and 16 in Alabama. What if you are in Hawaii and you need 15 days of hospital care instead of 10? Apparently you must pay out of your own pocket or forgo needed care. What was the reaction to this news in the left wing press? Virtual silence. It was ignored by the editorial page of The New York Times, which ordinarily has an opinion on almost everything. Ditto for the Washington Post and the New Republic. Can you imagine the outrage that would have ensued if BlueCross had done the same thing? Two provisions in the health reform act (ObamaCare) reflect the same double standard. First, private insurers will not be allowed to have any annual or lifetime caps whatsoever on the amount they will spend on an enrollee under the new law. At the same time, half of the newly insured under the act will be enrolled in Medicaid — where the limits will apparently border on the unconscionable!

Is Medicare a Ponzi Scheme?
Excerpt: Most Medicare recipients receive far more in benefits than they “pre-pay” through payroll taxes. Far too few Americans understand this simple truth, with the result that too many Americans think politicians have no business cutting “my Medicare.” Even though much vitriol of late has been directed at Social Security, Medicare is arguably far more of a Ponzi scheme than Social Security ever was. The payroll taxes used to finance Part A Medicare benefits (hospital, nursing home, home health, and hospice care) don’t finance the rest of Medicare (physician and other outpatient services, pharmaceuticals, durable medical equipment, and preventive services). So over a lifetime, Medicare beneficiaries typically receive two to six dollars in benefits for every dollar they paid in Medicare payroll taxes (figure 5.6a). (And every year, the ratio of young workers to old retirees gets worse. ~Bob.)

Home Prices Heading for Triple-Dip
Excerpt: The besieged housing market has even further to fall before home prices really hit rock bottom. According to Fiserv (FISV - News), a financial analytics company, home values are expected to fall another 3.6% by next June, pushing them to a new low of 35% below the peak reached in early 2006 and marking a triple dip in prices. Several factors will be working against the housing market in the upcoming months, including an increase in foreclosure activity and sustained high unemployment, explained David Stiff, Fiserv's chief economist.

Uncle Sam Is No Venture Capitalist
Excerpt: It's yet another inauspicious announcement the Obama Administration didn't want you to hear. Late on Friday, the White House announced that it ordered an independent review of loans made by the Department of Energy to energy companies after months of weathering criticism for its $528 million loan to the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar panel company. The White House's independent investigation, though, isn't the only one in town. The FBI raided Solyndra after it declared bankruptcy, and Congress is diving in with an investigation of its own. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who has been a strong advocate of this federal loan program, is set to testify before a congressional committee in mid-November on his involvement in the scandal. And Heritage's Lachlan Markay reports that the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Friday that it will vote to subpoena a host of White House documents related to Solyndra, including messages from the President's Blackberry. The White House, though, would not comment on whether it will comply with the subpoena. Even the mainstream media is picking up on the story. On yesterday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked White House senior adviser David Plouffe whether, in times of dire economic straits, the government should be playing venture capitalist and trying to prop up green energy industries.

Financial Word of the Day LIQUIDITY
Liquidity is when you look at your retirement funds and wet your pants. (Good joke going around the Internet.)

Sidewalks to Nowhere: Detroit's Brand New Ramps in Abandoned Neighborhoods 
Your federal tax dollars at work, courtesy of Barack Obama. ~Bob. Excerpt: Why is the city of Detroit putting in new sidewalks and wheelchair ramps in neighborhoods where no one lives? You'll see empty lots next to abandoned house after abandoned house. Yet, on the corner, brand new cement with state of the art ramps. And if you think only city residents are paying for this, think again. FOX 2's Simon Shaykhet found out why we're all footing the bill.

What if we paid off the debt?
Excerpt: If Treasury bonds disappeared, would the world unravel? Would it adjust somehow? "I probably thought about this piece easily 16 hours a day, and it took me a long time to even start writing it," says Jason Seligman, the economist who wrote most of the report. Comment - Perhaps the stupidest piece ever published by NPR, fretting over what might have happened had the US managed to pay off all its debt in the 1990s. How could the world survive without US Treasury bonds? Easily - the Treasury would have been able to issue more bonds, at astonishingly favorable rates.... Not to mention the investors who would have flocked to a solvent, rock-solid US of A. Leads one to think it is a bit of agitprop intended to make us embrace the "benefits" of debt and more debt.

Jihadists Lie in Wait for Iraq Pullout
Excerpt: Iran and al-Qaida appear poised to fill the power vacuum created by the U.S. decision to withdraw remaining U.S. troops from Iraq by Dec. 31. President Obama announced that the soldiers will depart by then, leaving behind a small contingent to guard the U.S. Embassy. The American departure sets the stage for renewed efforts by Tehran and jihadist groups to expand their power inside Iraq, potentially reversing many of the security gains made by U.S. and Iraqi forces during the past four years. A few days after the withdrawal announcement, the Justice Department provided a new reminder of the destructive role that Iran has been playing in Iraq. DOJ announced the indictment of five people and four of their companies for smuggling U.S.-made electronic components into Iran. Some of the parts have been used in the remote controls of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seized by U.S. forces from Iraqi terrorists. From 2001-07, DOJ said, 60 percent of all American casualties in Iraq have been caused by the bombs, and the most deadly, sophisticated ones are produced in Iran. The Obama administration had sought to keep several thousand troops in Iraq in non-combat and advisory roles. But after Washington and Baghdad reached an impasse over legal protections for the remaining troops, the president decided to withdraw all forces by the end of the year.

Camping Out in La-La Land By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: The trouble with the OWS movement is that it's centered around two concepts, both of which are abject lies. First and foremost, it doesn't represent ninety-nine percent of anything, no mater how many time the protesters themselves, their enablers, or a corrupt mainstream media repeats the slogan. Second, there is nothing inherently virtuous about being poor or middle class, any more than there is anything inherently evil about being wealthy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a fool. Percentage-wise, there are just as many low-lifes on Main Street as there are on Wall Street, and if people don't like the direction in which this country is moving, they might want to consider the fact that the "everything is a shade of gray" moral relativism that afflicts this nation is the ultimate scourge. And make no mistake: it is a virus that infects every ethnic group, both genders and, as you may have guessed, every income class. Until some kind of national integrity is restored, everything else comes down to dealing with the symptoms of the problem instead of the problem itself. How do you restore integrity? One self-aware person at a time coming to the realization that without it, you're nothing but the member of a mob, whether that mob resides in Zuccotti Park, a bank boardroom, or the Beltway in Washington, D.C. You want to camp out all winter and rail against the inequities of the world? Knock yourself out.

If I Were a Liberal...by Ann Coulter
Excerpt: What is liberals' evidence that there will be more rapes and murders if Obama's jobs bill doesn't pass? Biden claims that, without it, there won't be enough cops to interrupt a woman being raped in her own home -- which would be an amazing bit of police work/psychic talent, if it had ever happened. (That's why Americans like guns, liberals.) Obama's jobs bill tackles the problem of rape and murder by giving the states $30 billion ... for public school teachers. Only $5 billion is even allotted to the police, but all we keep hearing about are the rapes and murders that Democrats are suddenly against (as long as being "against" rape and murder means funding public school teachers and not imprisoning or executing rapists and murderers). Finally, did Flint use any money from Obama's last trillion-dollar stimulus bill to hire more police in order to prevent rape and murder? No, Flint spent its $2.2 million from the first stimulus bill on buying two electric buses. Even if what Flint really needed was buses and not cops, for $2.2 million, the city could have bought seven brand-new diesel buses and had $100,000 left over for streetlights. Rather than reducing the rate of rape and murder, blowing money on "green" buses is likely to increase crime, since people will be forced to spend a lot more time waiting at bus stops for those two buses. It's going to be a long wait: The "green" buses were never delivered because the company went out of business -- despite a $1.6 million loan from the American taxpayer.

Donations To Occupy Wall Street Are Now ‘Tax Deductible’
Excerpt: Perhaps the “leadership” at OWS realized their finances were a liability and they have formed an alliance of sorts with a Social Justice non-profit group that will collect the money for them. Enter, the Alliance For Global Justice (AfGJ).

In Foreign Affairs, Obama Needs Respect, Not Love
Excerpt: Remember that we were told that the election of Obama would make America more popular in the world and that his readiness to negotiate without preconditions with the leaders of countries like Iran and North Korea would make their leaders more willing to see things our way. "He was naive how much his star power," Friedman admits, "or that of his secretary of state, would get others to swoon in behind us." "Naive" is a kind way to put it. Obama seemed to think that the replacement of an uncouth Texan by a nuanced African-American would convert determined enemies of the United States -- a supposition that is one of those irritable mental gestures that pass for thought in the faculty lounge. (If they would read it, I would be happy to buy Obama, Clinton and all the GOP contenders a copy of Dr. Angelo Codevilla’s excellent book on respect in foreign policy, Advice to War Presidents. I highly recommend it. ~Bob.)

The Pretzel Candidate
Excerpt: Life poses difficult choices, but not about ethanol. Government subsidizes ethanol production, imposes tariffs to protect manufacturers of it, mandates the use of it -- and it injures the nation's and the world's economic, environmental and social (it raises food prices) well-being. In May, in corn-growing Iowa, Romney said, "I support" -- present tense -- "the subsidy of ethanol." And: "I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country." But in October he told Iowans he is "a business guy," so as president he would review this bipartisan -- the last Republican president was an ethanol enthusiast -- folly. Romney said he once favored (past tense) subsidies to get the ethanol industry "on its feet." (In the 19th century, Republican "business guys" justified high tariffs for protecting "infant industries"). But Romney added, "I've indicated I didn't think the subsidy had to go on forever." Ethanol subsidies expire in December but "I might have looked at more of a decline over time" because of "the importance of ethanol as a domestic fuel." Besides, "ethanol is part of national security." However, "I don't want to say" I will propose new subsidies. Still, ethanol has "become an important source of amplifying our energy capacity." Anyway, ethanol should "continue to have prospects of growing its share of" transportation fuels. Got it? Every day, 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, from which they will receive, on average, $1 million of benefits ($550,000 from the former, $450,000 from the latter). Who expects difficult reforms from Romney, whose twists on ethanol make a policy pretzel? (Romney is about my last choice, maybe excepting Trump. But the other candidates have come into what is the biggest under-taking of their lives almost unprepared, maybe excepting Newt, who lost his staff by not taking the race seriously. As a Vietnam vet, Romney pretty much lost me with his 2008 BS about wishing he’s served in Nam, after telling the Massachusetts press in the 1990s he had no desire to serve. If I was going to run for President, I’d spend a month before I announced in tough sessions with experts on foreign policy, economics, the debt and budget, and in mock interviews and debates with people throwing both substantive issue questions and hot-button non-substantive ones at me. When I announced I'd be ready to roll. But that's just me. In 1972, I defeated an incumbent state senator by nine votes because I blew him away in a debate. He ended up screaming at me. Debates matter; why have Perry and Cain been so poorly prepared? This is the big time. ~Bob.)

Libyan 'Crossfire' by Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: You've got your Mexican standoff, your Russian roulette, your Chinese water torture. And now, your Libyan crossfire. That's when a pistol is applied to the head and a bullet crosses from one temple to the other. That's apparently what happened to Moammar Gaddafi after he was captured by Libyan rebels -- died in a "crossfire," explains Libya's new government. This has greatly agitated ACLU types, morally unemployed ever since a Democratic administration declared Guantanamo humane. The indignation has spread to human rights groups and Western governments, deeply concerned about the manner of Gaddafi's demise. Let's begin at the beginning. Early in the revolution, Gaddafi could have had due process. Indeed, he could have had something better: asylum (in Nicaragua, for example) with a free pass for his crimes. If he stepped down, thereby avoiding the subsequent civil war that killed thousands of his countrymen, he could have enjoyed a nice fat retirement, like that of Idi Amin in Saudi Arabia.

Who Can Beat Obama?
Excerpt: According to the latest Rasmussen poll only 16 percent of likely voters think the country is heading in the right direction. A staggering 77 percent think we’re heading the wrong way. This, of course, is very bad news for president Obama. But he can still win re-election. Not because of anything he’s accomplished. If he wins, he’ll have the Republicans to thank.

No Laughing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

72% Think Middle-Class Tax Hike Likely In Any Budget-Cutting Deal
Excerpt: Voters have very little confidence that the bipartisan congressional super committee will find a way to significantly cut the federal deficit and believe overwhelmingly that taxes will be raised on the middle class in whatever budget-cutting deal Congress and the president reach. As a result of last summer’s debt-ceiling deal, the 12-member super committee was created to find a way by Thanksgiving to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, but just 19% of Likely U.S. Voters think the group is even somewhat likely to agree on a deficit-cutting plan by then.

The Oppo Dump on Herman Cain Begins in Earnest
Even if not true, it will stick in some minds. ~Bob. Excerpt: Hours after the Politico’s Roger Simon accused the GOP of being racist, the Politico begins a sincere effort to destroy the black guy running to be the GOP’s Presidential nominee. The opposition dump on Herman Cain has begun in earnest. Before getting into the details, let’s pay attention to what this means. It means for certain that Herman Cain’s lead in the polling is real — very, very real. People are taking him seriously. Mr. Cain is about to spend a week in Washington answering questions and giving speeches. Someone wanted to make sure he has a miserable week. The allegations are pretty straight forward. At least two women complained of sexual harassment by Herman Cain when he ran the National Restaurant Association. How did this play out? Well, the Politico says it learned about the allegations and then began putting together a roster of board members, etc. Someone tipped them off obviously. The Politico also says it was not widely known, even on the board. It also says “The first woman was identified to POLITICO by a former association board member and her identity was confirmed by two additional sources.” The board member learned about it all in 1999 during an event in Chicago. The hunt will now be on for who that board member is, among others. Even now I’m sure there are people cross referencing National Restaurant Association board members from 1999 with other campaigns. But who ratted out the information is far less consequential than if it was true. We’re going to see a few things happen I suspect.

Excerpt: A powerful United Food & Commercial Workers local union (348s) in New York was closed for business on Thursday as police arrested three family members who run the union local.

The UN’s Indifference to Dead Jews
Excerpt: The “international community” is always quick to blame Israel for any reprisals it takes against Palestinian terrorists. Accusations of “collective punishment,” “disproportionate force,” and “extrajudicial targeted assassinations” are regularly hurled at Israel from the chambers of the dysfunctional Human Rights Council and other United Nations bodies, including the UN Security Council. Yet when Israel seeks even the mildest of rebukes from the Security Council for continued rocket attacks launched against Israeli civilians from Hamas-controlled Gaza, it is met with stone-faced silence.

Obama Warned Now Heads World’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel
Excerpt: A scathing report authored by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the United States President’s role in protecting the Afghanistan drug trade essentially labels Barack Obama as the most powerful drug cartel leader our world has ever known. Speaking at a conference this week on communicable diseases Lavrov lashed out over Obama’s refusal to eradicate Afghanistan’s poppy crop and stated, “It is hard for us to understand why our American partners don’t want the International Security Assistance Force to do this. This issue is crucial to the fight against the drug threat and, consequently, the spread of HIV/AIDS.” Enraging Russian authorities the most was Obama’s 2009 decision to stop the eradication of Afghanistan’s poppy crop and, instead, order American military forces to actually begin protecting not only the fields where these dangerous drug plants are grown, but also protecting the transporters and manufacturers who turn it into heroin.

Coptic Christian Student Murdered By Classmates for Wearing a Cross
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Today the parents of the 17-year-old Christian student Ayman Nabil Labib, broke their silence, confirming that their son was murdered on October 16, in "cold blood because he refused to take off his crucifix as ordered by his Muslim teacher." Nabil Labib, the father, said in a taped video interview with Copts United NGO, that his son had a cross tattooed on his wrist as per Coptic tradition, as well as another cross which he wore under his clothes.

America should listen to Paul Ryan
Excerpt: Ryan contrasts this individual-centered, bottom-up, principles driven vision, with the take on things of our current administration. They believe everything starts in Washington, and that they can design, create, and finance with taxpayers’ money, a prosperous, just America. But our president has had three years to work his liberal experiment, with economic recovery barely discernible today, and recent Gallup polling showing only 13 percent of Americans satisfied with how things are going.

Attention, Protestors: You're Probably Part of the 1%
Excerpt: About a year ago, The Wall Street Journal ran an article describing the plight of Americans struggling to rebuild after bankruptcy. The article highlighted Linda Frakes, who filed for bankruptcy after accumulating over $300,000 in credit card debt. "Ms. Frakes is now unemployed, living on $330 a week of unemployment benefits and odd jobs," the Journal wrote. Frakes "struggled to rent a home and buy a car after bankruptcy. A used-car dealer ultimately gave her financing on a Jaguar." No one's hardship should be belittled. Becoming unemployed or losing a home aren't just financial problems. They're social and emotional problems that strike at people's sense of being. But things always need to be kept in perspective. Only in America, I thought to myself after reading the article, can someone be driving a Jaguar and portrayed as living in an impoverished underclass. Context is crucial with these issues. The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have aimed their message at the income disparity between the 1% richest Americans and the rest of the country. But what happens when you expand that and look at the 1% richest of the entire world? Some really interesting numbers emerge. If there were a global
Occupy Wall Street
protest, people as well off as Linda Frakes might actually be the target. In America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year. We are, however, among the richest nations on Earth. How much do you need to earn to be among the top 1% of the world? $34,000. (I’ve never been $150k in debt, including mortgage on the houses we’ve lived in, never mind $300k. And I make a pretty good salary. Hard for me to think I should pay taxes to bail out folks who earned less than I do, but lived a higher level lifestyle. ~Bob.)

Only we the people can reverse American decline by: Bill O'Reilly
Excerpt: According to a new poll by the Hill newspaper, 69 percent of Americans now believe the USA is in "decline." In addition, a whopping 83 percent indicate they are worried about America's future. Very sobering. So what's going on? If you study history, you know that America was built on self-reliance and personal achievement. In the early years of the republic, the federal and state governments pretty much stayed out of the way as folks built businesses and communities. There were absolutely no public safety nets. If you failed, it was up to you to survive. Because of that circumstance, the citizens of America became strong. The motto "Don't Tread On Me" was absolutely appropriate. Hardship was accepted as a part of life. Self-sacrifice for the good of others was the order of the day. Cowardice and narcissism were condemned everywhere. (Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are not interest in sacrifice, except for making someone else sacrifice so they can go on uninterrupted. Fixing what is wrong is going to be very painful for everyone, and politicians of both parties are not interested in inflicting pain, because that leads to defeat. Every group is in Washington—including groups all of us belong to saying, “Borrow what you must, tax who you can, but don’t cut me.” They neither see nor care how what they want will damage the economy and country long term, or how their children and grandchildren will suffer to meet their desires today. We are close to fiscal collapse followed by social and political collapse. ~Bob.)

This is What the 53 Percent Looks Like

Excerpt: The Occupy Wall Street movement has received so much media coverage in recent weeks that it’s nearly impossible to keep abreast of all the developments. So many endorsements and criticisms coming from all directions enter the news cycle in such rapid succession that even the most dedicated news junkies may have missed out on many of the pronouncements. Supporters and detractors of OWS both might find it useful to have a handy all-inclusive list of who has endorsed or embraced the protest.
To satisfy that demand, we hereby present a list of groups, organizations, individuals and entities that have expressed their support for, sponsorship of, or sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Note: All entries on this list are real and verified. Below each entry you will find a series of source links documenting the support for OWS. We have striven in almost all cases to reference either first-hand statements by the groups or individuals themselves, hosted on their own Web sites; or videos of the people in question voicing their support for OWS at various Occupations; or news reports from reliable mainstream networks; or articles by publications or organizations sympathetic to the Occupy movement; or indisputable evidence, whatever the source. As a result, it cannot be claimed that these statements of support were made up or distorted by detractors of the Occupy movement.

All statements involving Barack Obama
Long list of, to be kind, “misstatements.” ~Bob.

American Carries Out Suicide Attack in Somalia, Urges Jihad in US
Excerpt: Well, there's one less American born jihadist we have to worry about: A suicide bomber who carried out an attack in Somalia this weekend was an American citizen of Somali descent, a website associated with the Al-Shabaab Islamist movement claimed Sunday. The website named the bombers as Aden al-Ansari and Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir, and posted what it said was an audio interview with al-Muhajir speaking American-accented English. The speaker urges his "brothers and sisters" to "do jihad" in America, Canada, England, "anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia, anywhere you find kuffar," a derogatory term for non-Muslims.

5 Most Likely Ways the U.S. and China Could Spark Accidental Nuclear War
Excerpt: After 10 years of close but unproductive talks, the U.S. and China still fail to understand one another's nuclear weapons policies, according to a disturbing report by Global Security Newswire and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. In other words, neither the U.S. nor China knows when the other will or will not use a nuclear weapon against the other. That's not due to hostility, secrecy, or deliberate foreign policy -- it's a combination of mistrust between individual negotiators and poor communication; at times, something as simple as a shoddy translation has prevented the two major powers from coming together. Though nuclear war between the U.S. and China is still extremely unlikely, because the two countries do not fully understand when the other will and will not deploy nuclear weapons, the odds of starting an accidental nuclear conflict are much higher. Neither the U.S. nor China has any interest in any kind of war with one other, nuclear or non-nuclear. The greater risk is an accident. Here's how it would happen. First, an unforeseen event that sparks a small conflict or threat of conflict. Second, a rapid escalation that moves too fast for either side to defuse. And, third, a mutual misunderstanding of one another's intentions.

Armed guards with ‘shoot to kill’ orders to sail on British ships in war against Somali pirates!
About time someone got serious. ~Bob. Excerpt: Armed guards with permission to kill pirates will be deployed on British merchant ships, David Cameron announced yesterday. The Prime Minister pledged to relax a ban on security guards carrying weapons to tackle what he described as the ‘complete stain’ of bandits seizing ships, taking hostages and demanding ransoms.

Taliban Suicide Team Led By Former Gitmo Detainee Attacks UN Headquarters, Five Killed…
Excerpt: Nothing is more infuriating than reading stories about Gitmo detainees we’ve released returning to the battlefield. (LWJ) — A Taliban suicide assault team killed five people in an attack on a United Nations headquarters in the capital of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The attack is the second of its kind in Kandahar city in five days. A four-man suicide assault team armed with assault rifles and a truck packed with explosives attacked the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Kandahar city earlier today. A suicide bomber rammed the truck into an outer wall of the UNHCR compound and detonated the explosives. The blast tore a hole in the outer wall, allowing the three remaining attackers to enter the compound and seize control of a building.

US cuts UNESCO funding over Palestinian vote
Excerpt: The Obama administration on Monday cut off funding for the U.N. cultural agency, after its member countries defied an American warning and approved a Palestinian bid for full membership in the body. The lopsided vote to admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO, which only the United States and 13 other countries opposed, triggered a long-standing congressional ban on U.S. funding to U.N. bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. The State Department said a $60 million payment to UNESCO scheduled for November would not be made as a result, and U.S. officials warned of a "cascade" effect at other U.N. bodies that might follow UNESCO's lead. (Are Democrats good at PR, or what? The administration takes credit for a law they’ve decided to obey—for a change—and lobbied against, and the MSM supports their effort. At least this is a step toward de-funding the UN. Emphasis added by me. Ron P.)

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