Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 11, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 11, 2012
Robert A. Hall
I created the last SitRep on Bonnie’s wounded computer with Britnye’s 5-pound Teddy bear pup sleeping on my lap. This one should go faster. This is your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

Only ten shopping days until the Mayan-apocalypse-end-of-the-world doesn’t happen. ~Bob

Information on my books

Excerpt: Have you ever noticed that people who worry about inequality seem to be focused only on certain kinds of inequality? When they obsess about the income and wealth of the top 1%, they seem to be bothered by only some of those at the top, and not others. For example, have you ever seen Robert Reich or Paul Krugman or any like-minded complainer bemoan the huge salaries of professional athletes? What about the stratospheric incomes of rock stars? Or movie idols? Or super models? Even more puzzling, when is the last time you saw any of them assailing worthless heirs? I would guess that a large share of mega gifts to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign came from “trust fund babies.” These are people who are living (and living well) off the assets created by some deceased capitalist. All too many of the heirs spend a good part of their lives giving personal and foundation money to…well…to promote socialism.

Worth Reading: US, Islamists and Arab Gulf states: To give Islamists a free ride and consider them the final choice of the people is not a very imaginative thought. By Abdulkhaleq Abdulla
Excerpt: The Obama administration sees political Islam as a moderate force capable of taming the angry Arab, bring back political stability and preserve the status quo. Washington seems to think that the region stretching from Afghanistan to Morocco is essentially an Islamic region and should be ruled by Islamists. … The message from the Gulf is clear. It is very difficult to trust America that does not stand by its friends in times of need. (Dr Abdulkhaleq Abdulla is a professor of political science.)

Bunny snuff: Syrian rebels have chemical weapons too
Excerpt: According to a video reportedly posted by the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian rebels have their own chemical weapons to match Bashar Al-Assad’s – and you get to watch two rabbits die to prove it. (I keep saying there are no good guys in this conflict. But no one in DC is listening. ~Bob.)

Study: Healthcare law's insurance tax will raise premium costs Insurance premiums could increase by thousands of dollars because of a new tax in President Obama's healthcare law, according to a study commissioned by the insurance industry. The healthcare law imposes several new taxes, including a tax on the insurance industry. The amount the government will collect will rise each year, and is expected to raise $100 billion over 10 years. (When you tax a business, the money comes either from the customers or the shareholders, including stocks help in IRAs by the elderly on fixed incomes and in pension funds. ~Bob.)

US citizen rescued in Afghanistan
 Excerpt: Military officials said a U.S. citizen was rescued from the Taliban during an operation in eastern Afghanistan. Insurgents abducted Dilip Joseph earlier this week in Kabul Province, according to a brief statement from coalition forces.

Excerpt: When the Edward Gibbon of the 22nd century comes to write his History of the Decline and Fall of the West, who will feature in his monumental study of the collapse of the most successful economic experiment in human history? In this saga of the mass suicide of the richest nations on earth, there may be particular reference to those national leaders who chose to deny the reality that was, from the vantage point of our future chronicler, so obviously looming. Or maybe the leadership of our day in WashingtonLondon and Brussels will appear to have been swept helplessly along by irresistible forces that originated before their time.

Excerpt: Democrats in Congress are changing their tune on means testing in Medicare, an idea the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) resisted for decades. Leading Democratic lawmakers have suggested that raising premiums for wealthy Medicare beneficiaries could be a matter of common ground with Republicans in the ongoing deficit-reduction talks.

Op-Ed: Who Heads UNESCO - is it Joseph Goebbels?
Excerpt: Slapping history squarely in the face, UNESCO has accepted Arab propaganda and expropriated Jewish sites….In May 2011 the village of Battir in Judea, called “occupied Palestinian territory”, won the “Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes” award from the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO. UNESCO’s next steps are to take place under Israel’s nose: very soon the Temple Mount, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Joseph’s Tomb and the Shalom al Israel synagogue will be designated as “mosques” by the UN’s agency. 

Brother beheads younger sister over affair in India
Excerpt: Alam went to the rickshaw-puller's house, dragged out his sister and beheaded her with the sword in full public view on Friday, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Port division) Mehboob Rehman.

Your tax dollars at work: Feds brace for zombie attack
Excerpt: When zombies attack, the Department of Homeland Security will be prepared. That was one of the few pieces of good news in Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn's new report "Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities." ... The showpiece event of the summit made was a live war game of a zombie apocalypse, complete with 40 actors in full zombie makeup as well as "state-of-the-art structure, pyrotechnic battlefield effects, medical special effects, vehicles and blank-firing weapons" according to a promotional video by HALO President Brad Barker. (This kind of thing would upset me if there was a deficit or they were talking about raising taxes. ~Bob.)

Jamie Foxx Jokes: ‘Great’ to ‘Kill all the White People’ in New Film
Excerpt: On Saturday Night Live, guest host Jamie Foxx told the amped-up crowd now in his new movie, Django Unchained, he gets to “kill all the white people … How GREAT is that?” The live audience erupted in cheers and laughter. Foxx, who recently described President Obama as “our lord and savior,” then launched into a jaw-dropping monologue about the glories of President Obama and his newly-minted second term.

Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood operates a carefully controlled network of torture chambers designed to violently dehumanize opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, according to a journalist who exclusively toured the facilities this week. (The favorite Islamic “moderates” of Obama and the NYT. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Two days ago, the 18th United Nations conference on climate change wrapped up. As they did at the previous 17 conferences, developing nations demanded that the United States and other developed countries pay them for the climate’s effects. In short, the joke’s on us. And these U.N. conferences are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Italian uncertainty hits euro vs. yen; Wall Street firms
Excerpt: The euro fell against the yen while Italian stocks and bond prices sank on Monday after Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would resign, raising concern about who will lead the euro zone's third biggest economy out of the debt crisis.

U.S. Drone Strike Kills a Commander for Al Qaeda in Pakistan. By Ismail Khan
Excerpt: A senior commander for Al Qaeda has been killed in an American drone strike in North Waziristan, the restive tribal area along the border with Afghanistan, Pakistani security officials said Sunday. (Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar, “If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.” –Kipling, The Ballad of East and West.)

Worth Reading: November Jobs Report: Another nasty, ‘new normal’ month for US workers. By James Pethokoukis 
Excerpt: The two-tenths drop in the unemployment rate was because people gave up looking for work. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.6% from 63.8% in October. If it had just held steady since then, the unemployment rate would be back over 8%. Indeed, if the LFP rate was just where it was in November 2011, the unemployment rate would be 8.3%. Some 542,000 Americans left the labor force just last month.

A Case for Targeted Killings. By George Will 
Excerpt: FDR had encouraged this "targeted killing" -- destroying a particular person of military importance -- a phrase that has become familiar since Israel began doing this in 2000 in combating the second Palestinian intifada. But was the downing of Yamamoto's plane an "assassination"? If British commandos had succeeded in the plan to kill German Gen. Erwin Rommel in Libya in 1941, would that have been an assassination?

U.S. Government Lends $105M to Brazil—to Build Aquarium. By Terence P. Jeffrey
Excerpt: The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an agency of the federal government, is lending $105 million to the Brazilian state of Ceara to help build an aquarium in its capital city of Fortaleza. (We must have money to burn. ~Bob.)

NYT: Conservatives May Have A Point About Welfare Dependency
Excerpt: In an eyebrow raising article, liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof offered a startling concession: “This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.” (Misleading head—not the NYT, but Kristof saying this in the Times. ~Bob.)

Funny Tweets from Morning Jolt by Jim Geraghty
@Mr_Matthews: "I love my family, wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."
@Biased Girl: "Wait, we can trade them?!?"

Murder, the Chicago Way. By John Ransom 
Excerpt: According to witnesses R. J. Vanecko, a current Daley nephew and a former college lineman who weighed in a 230 pounds and stands 6-feet-3, either punched or shoved Koschman, who was 5-feet-5, 125 pounds, outside a bar after both had been drinking. Koschman never regained consciousness. He died from injuries 11 days later after his mother removed him from life support. For eight years the Chicago police couldn’t find enough evidence, the Cook County State’s Attorney couldn’t find enough evidence, and the Illinois State Police couldn’t find enough evidence to indict Vanecko with a crime.

Belgium. By Roger L Simon
Excerpt: In college I read a novel called The Last of the Just by André Schwarz-Bart inspired by a legend/theory from the Talmud — that there are thirty-six righteous souls (the Lamed Vav) in every generation whose existence justifies “the purpose of mankind” to God. … If you ever wondered how Hitler happened, you have part of your answer on this video.

Java, radical Islam in favor of female genital mutilation. By Mathias Hariyadi
Excerpt: In rural areas and more remote areas of Indonesia, particularly the island of Java, female circumcision is still a widespread traditional practice. Although it is not a rule set in a rigid manner by the precepts of Islam, it resists in the most populous Muslim country in the world thanks to the favorable opinion of a large part of society, due to the more extreme and integral fringe. (We're constantly admonished that female genital mutilation is a "cultural" practice that has nothing to do with Islam. It's just another lie. Even the story below, while telling us that the practice is widespread, tells us that it "is not a rule set in a rigid manner by the precepts of Islam," and that it is only widespread because of the actions of "the more extreme and integral fringe." The fringe made it widespread? This is just more whitewashing of Islam's human rights abuses. –Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs.)

A Christmas Wish For A Dying Boy says this one is true: Six-year-old Nathan Norman has terminal cancer and is reaching out to policemen, firemen and all emergency service workers to fulfill his final Christmas wish. The only thing on Dawn Norman's wish list this holiday season is that her 6-year old son Nathan lives to see another Christmas, and that his wish of receiving cards, letters and patches from as many policemen, firemen and EMT's is fulfilled. Why? Because policemen, firemen and EMT's happen to be Nathan's heroes. Three years ago, Nathan, who lives with his family in Rustburg, Virginia, was diagnosed with brain cancer. All cards, letters and patches can be sent to Nathan at: Nathan Norman, 81 Dunivan Drive, Rustburg, Virginia 24588

The Namby-Pamby State
Excerpt: We live in a time in which the marginal is conceived as central, and in which responsibility cannot be ascribed to the individual for his position in the world. Such attitudes form the collagen that binds the institutional practices of the nanny state, perhaps better dubbed the namby-pamby state, into a coherent if irrational whole. It assumes that lack is nearly always the fault of some other element or influence, almost never of the self, and that giving offense or wounding the sensibility of a member of a designated victim group verges on the criminal. (This is an extremely uncomfortable read. Unfortunately, I think the author is exactly correct. --Ron P.)

William & Kate have nothing on Obama
Excerpt: Say what you like about a high-living, big-spending, bloated, decadent parasitical, wastrel monarchy, but, compared to the citizen-executive of a republic of limited government, it's a bargain. (I was aware that it takes a lot of money to run the White House, and that the President has certain perks, but the sheer dollar volume of these costs has gotten to be really inappropriate for this nation at this time. And I would say exactly that if Mitt Romney were in the White House and running up costs like this. If the Prez is really OK with "just asking the rich to give a little more", then maybe he could be OK with "just asking the Prez and family to spend just a little less." Isn't it always a great thing for leaders to set a good example? –Del. If Romney had been elected, media would suddenly be all over the story of WH expenses. ~Bob.)

Money spent on welfare recipients exceeds average U.S. income
Excerpt: The 2011 median household income was $50,054, or $137.13 per each day of the year. Assuming the breadwinner of this average household is an hourly employee working 40 hours a week and 50 weeks a year, that would put his pay scale at a shade over $25 an hour. Subtract withholding taxes and that wage-earner takes home about $22 for each hour worked.

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