Thursday, January 31, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 1, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 1, 2013
Robert A. Hall
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.

Worth Reading: Dial 911 and Die. By Michael Geer
Excerpt: The FBI Stats, please:

Worth Reading: War is like rust. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Yet the reasons for our new isolationism, analogous to early 1914 or 1939, do not matter, only the reality that lots of bad actors now believe that the United States cannot or will not impede their agendas -- and that no one else will in our absence. 

Book Recommendation: The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate. By Robert D. Kaplan
This is a wonderfully-written book that will make you look at a lot of issues in a new light. It is about the intersection of geography with history, geopolitics, national interests and power. Though I have a master’s degree in history and am well read in the field, I also learned a great deal about non-European history. Particularly China, India and the Middle East, though of course in one book it could only take a broad brush approach to these things. Unfortunately, Kaplan gave me several new worries about the future, and I was already pretty pessimistic. This is a high level review of geo-strategy, and should be read by policy makers at all levels. It requires some focus; certainly not light entertainment. The most interesting section was the last. Kaplan argues that Mexico, with a long border with the US, is far more important to us than Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. Given that Mexico and Central America have a rapidly developing population—now at 50% of the United States—and a native US birthrate below the replacement level, he argues that we cannot afford to have Mexico become a failed narco-state on our border. Everyone involved in the current immigration debate would do well to read this and look at the big picture view he presents.

South Korea Rocket Launch: Satellite Reaches Space Weeks After North Korea Test
Excerpt: South Korea launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time Wednesday amid increased tensions after archrival North Korea accomplished a similar feat and was condemned by the United Nations. The South Korean rocket blasted off from a launch pad in the southwestern coastal village of Goheung. Science officials told cheering spectators minutes later that the rocket delivered an observational satellite into orbit. (Suddenly, space is getting crowded. And few of the newcomers speak English, even as a second language. Ron P.)

Reagan’s Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama’s Library
Excerpt: The University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Ronald Reagan’s childhood home in Chicago into a parking lot for President Barack Obama’s library. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks previously denied the Gipper’s home landmark status in 2012, according to The Washington Times, and the university subsequently scheduled demolition to begin in January. (I don’t know if this is true, but we'll see if the country is in as good a shape after Obama's eight years as it was after Reagan's. ~Bob.)

Commandant: Some Marine jobs may stay closed to women
Excerpt: Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said Wednesday that some positions in the Marines may remain closed to women if only a small percentage can meet the physical standards.

Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed
Excerpt: Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration's health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour. Union leaders say many of the law's requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive.

How Entrepreneurs Could Solve Medicare's Problems
Excerpt: Medicare faces growing problems of cost, access and quality. These problems exist because Medicare is structured in a way that eliminates or suppresses features of a normal market system. In order to truly reform Medicare, entrepreneurs must be free to innovate. True reform falls into four basic categories: freeing the patient, freeing the doctor, freeing the market and freeing the insurer, say John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Greg Scandlen, founder of Consumers for Health Care Choice, and Devon Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

California's Push for Renewable Energy Will Raise Prices
Excerpt: A new report released by the Pacific Research Institute finds that California's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) will trigger a substantial rise in energy costs for the state by 2020. The report, written by Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow Benjamin Zycher, estimates that the mandate will cost California approximately $5 billion in 2020. Set to take effect in 2020, the RPS mandate requires California electric utilities to obtain 33 percent of their power supplies from renewable wind, solar and geothermal sources. Of the estimated $5 billion cost of the mandate, $1 billion will be incurred during transmission, $500 million will be incurred as backup and $3.5 billion will be incurred when generating the power through nonhydroelectric renewable resources. Zycher predicts that the overall cost of the mandate will increase with consumption and that it equates to an implicit tax of 27 percent.

Exaggerated Global Warming Claims May Lead to Poor Policy
Excerpt: Consider this: The number of global wildfires has decreased by 15 percent since peaking in 1950. A Nature in November study states that the incidence of drought has not changed substantially in the past six decades. The U.N. Climate Panel in 2012 notes that while droughts are more intense and frequent in some places, they are weaker and less frequent in other places. Despite the massive damage inflicted, the United States is actually at the lowest point of hurricane activity, measured by total energy, since the 1970s. The Nature in November study estimates that global damage cost as a percentage of gross domestic product will drop by 0.02 percent by 2100, despite global warming.

Bob Menendez’s foreign underage prostitution story stubbornly not going away. By Moe Lane
Excerpt: just before the election a story broke alleging that Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey had taken advantage of the hospitality of one of his campaign contributors to go down to the Dominican Republic (via the aforementioned contributor’s private plane) and use the services of at least two prostitutes (one of whom may or may not have been underage). Worse, he allegedly refused to pay said foreign partially-underaged hookers the full amount that Menendez allegedly promised to pay – and, let me note again this in passing: to patronize a prostitute is hardly a moral act. But if you must do this, pay what you said that you were going to pay. There is a difference between being uncouth, and being a cad.

Excerpt: “That senator also likes the youngest and newest girls,” the woman wrote on April 21, 2002, according to an English translation provided to The Daily Caller by a native Spanish speaker.

Hillary Clinton warns GOP lawmakers not to act like North Africa terrorists
excerpt: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while lamenting the partisanship of congressional Republicans who grilled her about the Benghazi attack, encouraged Republicans not to imitate the unwillingness to compromise evinced by terrorists in North Africa.

Displaced Sandy victims: Temp housing unlivable
While some Sandy victims have been put up in hotels, more than two dozen Rockaways residents are living in a pair of rundown rooming houses in the Longwood section of the Bronx. Those two buildings, CBS Station WCBS reports, have received dozens of housing code violations and have numerous fire safety problems. Residents have complained of a lack of heat, and problems with infestations by roaches and mice. (Bet those on government dole got the hotels; those with insurance probably got the rats. It’s redistribution or payback a la O. –Barb.)

Boeing Battery Fires Highlight Folly of Obama's Electric Car Push
Excerpt: After lithium-ion batteries caught fire on Boeing's new Dreamliner, stories popped up about how dangerous they are. Turns out they're the same kind of batteries President Obama is forcing into U.S. cars.

Obama DHS To Buy 7,000 “Assault Weapons” “Personal Defense Weapons”

Excerpt: OH the blatant hypocrisy of the politicians and those in government in Washington. When they want you to be afraid of civilians with semi-automatic rifles they refer to them as “assault weapons,” but when they want to purchase similar weapons for their people, they refer to them as “personal defense weapons.” (What is with Homeland Security buying more and more weapons along with millions of rounds of ammunition? These guys are not kicking in doors in Mexico, or taking on the various gangs destroying the peace in some of our big cities. I don't want to sound paranoid, but this just starts to bother me, since I really can't understand why DHS needs to buy enough long guns to equip a Marine Division. Who are they planning to fight, and with those 30 round magazines? –Del)

Hizbullah: Israeli Attack Aimed at Syria
Excerpt: Both Hizbullah and Russia condemned Israel a day after the attack on a convoy carrying Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles from Syria to Hizbullah terrorist bases along the border with Lebanon. …The real target of the attack, Hizbullah said, was “eliminating Syria's pivotal resistance and rejectionist role to pave the way for unfolding the chapters of a major conspiracy against [Syria] and against our Arab and Muslim peoples.” On Saturday, Iran said that any attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran.

Older, but interesting picture of her speaking to the KKK, if real. One can’t trust pictures since the invention of Photoshop. ~Bob.

The Obama administration's modus operandi for defusing scandals: Stonewalling Benghazi into Irrelevancy
Excerpt: Last week, the dwindling number of Americans who believe this administration owes them an honest explanation regarding the murders of ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi were likely expecting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might be forced to shed some light on the issue. What they got instead was a well-rehearsed theatrical presentation, complete with tears, anger and self-righteous indignation…As CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has so masterfully revealed, the real “job” of this administration is to stonewall this scandal into irrelevancy.

Brokeback America; Fundamental Transformation of America Equals turning legal civil society into illegal one
Excerpt: In the ongoing forced Battle Royale between a president and what he sees as his all but captured USA civil society, there’s no longer any mystique behind the “Fundamental Transformation of America”. It’s becoming more clear by day that the ‘Fundamental Transformation of America’ is a long-planned formula that is forcing legal civil society into a complete illegal society…. Decency, law-abiding, individual, God and liberty loving are being strategically culled from humanity’s herd.

Excerpt: The French military's current campaign to dislodge jihadist militants from northern Mali and the recent high-profile attack against a natural gas facility in Algeria are both directly linked to the foreign intervention in Libya that overthrew the Gadhafi regime. There is also a strong connection between these events and foreign powers' decision not to intervene in Mali when the military conducted a coup in March 2012. 

Surge of Black Violence Called 'Urban Terrorism'
Excerpt: Today, Nordstrom is gone. As are many of the restaurants and shops. The rest of the mall and the surrounding area is increasingly hazardous – and empty – following a series of black mob riots featuring hundreds of people. (And the jobs at those places, even when held by decent black folks, are gone too. ~Bob.)

Students at Colorado high school recite Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic
Excerpt: “When they pledge allegiance to United States, that’s exactly what they’re saying,” he added. “They’re just using another language as their vehicle.” Community response to the recitation of the Pledge in Arabic and the other two foreign tongues has been generally positive, Lopez told the station. Not everyone is supportive, though. (Wonder how they translated “One Nation, Under GOD”…. If they substituted “Allah,” there IS cause for great concern. –Barb)

Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months
Wait, aren’t they fellow Progressives? ~Bob.

Stonewalled CBS reporter fights back, embarrasses Obama administration on Twitter
Excerpt: CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has had enough of the uber-secretive Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which led to the murder of four Americans, including that of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Excerpt: “The list is meaningless tripe. It is camouflage for the real purpose of the bill. When the president said he is not going to take away your guns, well, Feinstein’s bill puts the lie to that. Magazine size does not matter. Brand name does not matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s black. If you can grip it, it’s banned under this bill.”

Legal Immigrant’s Must-Watch Testimony Against Gun Control: ‘Few Saw The Third Reich Coming Until It Was Too Late’
Excerpt: During a public hearing on gun violence in Hartford, Conn. on Monday, a legal immigrant by the name of Henson Ong issued a passionate defense of the Second Amendment and argued that gun control simply “does not work.” The video of Ong’s testimony has already surpassed 130,000 views on YouTube.

Private Security Guards Shoot Somali Pirates
And a fun time was had by all. Well, all the good guys. Older video, but enjoyable. ~Bob.

Revealed: How immigrants in America are sending 120 BILLION back home
Excerpt: In the United States last year, more than $120 billion was sent by workers to families abroad - making it the largest sender of remittances in the world. More than $23 billion went to Mexico, $13.45 billion to China, $10.84 billion to India and $10 billion to the Philippines, among other recipients.

Excerpt: Congress gave final approval Thursday to a plan to temporarily suspend the legal cap on the $16.4 trillion national debt, lifting the threat of a government default until early August. The measure, approved by the Senate 64-34 Thursday, now goes to President Obama for his signature. Without congressional action, the administration had predicted that the Treasury would run out money to pay the nation’s bills by early March.

Pro-Choice and Pro-Life: What a middle ground on abortion could look like. By Avik Roy
Excerpt: One of the many injuries that Roe has imposed upon the country is that it has made it hard for this middle 58 percent of voters, who think abortion should be legal in some cases but not all, to find a home. Most Americans reject the radical feminist argument that abortion is the ethical equivalent of clipping one’s fingernails. But they’re also uncomfortable with the notion that every blastocyst is sacred.

Reaching the Valleys: We need to make the case to Americans that conservatism advances their interests. By Artur Davis
Excerpt: But this is the movement and the cause that rescued this country 30 years ago, when serious people thought we were too complex to be governed anymore. This is the movement and the cause that refused to believe freedom was exhausted, only that it was tired of not being defended. 
'El Culto.' By Silvio Canto, Jr.
Excerpt: We Cuban Americans have first hand experience with personality cults. In fact, Latin Americans know a thing or two about cults, from Evita Peron in Argentina to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. All of these cults have something in common: They make people feel good but nothing good happens in the long run.

Record number of recent college grads defaulting on student loans.
Excerpt: A new report by FICO Labs, a unit of Fair Isaac Corp., found that the student loan delinquency rate has risen to 15 percent over the past three years - a 22 percent increase from its previous high in 2005-2007. Fair Issac Corp. publishes consumer credit scores and helps banks decide if an individual is qualified for a loan and what level interest rate they may be qualified for.

On the topic of Guns, Accoutrements, and the idiots who "Represent" us. By John Bernard
Excerpt: I am sick to the point of retching of listening to the absolute nonsensical sputtering about firearms by those who can't differentiate between a butt stock and a flash suppressor so here is a short lesson in nomenclature to make you sound less stupid:

The Path to Saving the Republic: Just Say 'No.' By Michael Finch
Excerpt: What is happening in Topeka, Austin, Ogden, Billings, Richmond and many other locales is just the beginning of a movement that will sweep this nation in the next four years. The people, in the form of their respective States and their State legislatures, are learning and relearning the lessons that Jefferson and Madison taught us over 200 years ago. The lesson resides in one word: Just say "No."


  1. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  2. Mr. Hall,
    Thank you for your military and civic service. I recently read your "I'm Tired" article and unfortunately I agree. BTW I am Catholic and it has been a long time since Protestans wanted to kill us; although they routinely try to save us. I sincerely hope that we are both wrong on the direction our country is headed but my military mind says otherwise. My wife and I served in Desert Storm, my brother Vietnam, my dad in Korea and WWII, granddaddy in WWI, all the way back to Abraham Sellers who fought in the Revolutionary War but I will not allow either of my teenaged sons or little girl to continue that long tradition of service because of what our country has become. Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I am beginning to understand what he meant.