Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 11, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 11, 2013
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion--who needs newspapers or TV? 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.

Information on my books

Important: The Debt Bomb That Taxpayers Won't See Coming. State and local governments owe $7.3 trillion in promises they've made that were never approved by taxpayers. By Steven Malanga
If you hit a pay wall, do a Google search for the title. ~Bob. Excerpt: Illinois taxpayers, as well as the holders of its debt, will ultimately bear the burden of the officials' misdeeds. But there is nothing unique about the Prairie State. For years, elected officials in states and municipalities across the country have been imprudently piling up obligations that are imposing serious strains on budgets, prompting higher taxes and cutbacks in services.

Worth Reading: Regulation. By John Goodman
Excerpt: Let’s begin with: Goodman’s Law of Regulatory Impact: most economic regulation, most of the time, imposes social costs on people without changing any fundamental behavior. Take something really far out. Suppose we repealed the law against murder. Would the murder rate go up or down? For the vast, vast majority of us, the prohibition is not binding. We wouldn’t kill anyone, even if it weren’t illegal. For the small number of people who would be tempted, there would be nothing to fear from the government. They would have to fear retaliation by family and friends, however. (Think The Godfather.) Since I suspect that family retaliation is more fearsome than government retaliation, the overall murder rate would probably go down. Here’s the bottom line. The criminal justice system is very expensive. When you add the cost of the police, the courts, the prison system, etc., it’s adding a lot to our tax bill. Yet it is changing the behavior of only a tiny number of people. And even for that tiny number, it’s not clear what the net change actually is. Most economic regulation is also that way.

Excerpt: If the labor participation rate had remained where it was in 2008, points out Investors Business Daily, unemployment would have recently risen to 11.1 percent.

Excerpt: The jobs recovery is a complete and total myth. The percentage of the working age population in the United States that had a job in March 2013 was exactly the same as it was all the way back in March 2010. In addition, as you will see below, there are now more than 101 million working age Americans that do not have a job. 

Marine Corps commandant challenges journalist to attempt Infantry Officer Course
Excerpt: “Of necessity, the IOC curriculum is extremely arduous and challenging. I have no plans of changing it,” he continued. “More than 30 percent who attempt the IOC curriculum don't complete it. Lieutenants who don't pass IOC go on to serve our Corps honorably in other meaningful and rewarding ways.”

Ancient History of Capital Controls. By Steve H. Hanke
Excerpt: Open exchange and capital markets protect people from exactions because governments must reckon with the possibility of capital flight if they behave stupidly or greedily.

Excerpt: Amid demand in China for more transparency about the avian flu outbreak that has already killed seven people, a People's Liberation Army colonel has claimed that the virus is an American conspiracy. (I blame George Bush. ~Bob.)

Blue States Spend More on Health Care While Reds Save. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: People are already flocking to red states. This data points to health care costs as one more reason to join them.

Mali to give France new camel after first one is eaten
Excerpt: Malian authorities will give French President Francois Hollande another camel after the one they gave him in thanks for helping repel Islamist rebels was killed and eaten by the family he left it with in Timbuktu, an official in Mali said.

Excerpt: A group of bipartisan senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales -- whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks. The new agreement would be more stringent than current law, which requires checks only when purchases are made through a licensed dealer, but less than originally sought by President Obama and congressional Democrats, who were pushing to expand background checks to nearly every kind of sale. (Democrat senators think they have an agreement on unconstitutional background checks (we'll see), the first step in the liberals' long time goal of firearms confiscation. Background checks, registration, confiscation, police state? – LLW)

Hydraulic Fracturing Could Jumpstart Economy
Not if Obama has anything to say about it. ~Bob. Excerpt: During the last few years, hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking," has received attention more for its potential environmental impacts than its benefits. Public attention has incorrectly focused on the dangers instead of the economic benefits, say Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute. … Increased oil and gas production also lowers the trade imbalance by reducing imports. By 2020, the United States is projected to become a net exporter of natural gas as huge reserves are finally tapped. Fracking, and the resulting affordable natural gas, led to the transition of many coal-fired power plants into clean burning natural gas plants, which create half the carbon dioxide of coal-fired production. The reduction in natural gas prices has also led to decreasing electricity prices and surging land prices, which serves to increase consumption.

Redundant federal programs waste billions
Excerpt: Redundant federal programs are leading to billions in waste, congressional auditors say, and the government is slow to adopt reforms to fix the problem. The White House says President Obama recognizes the problem and will propose eliminating redundant programs in the budget plan he releases Wednesday. (Too bad nothing was done about it for the last fur years. Might have been able to keep the White House open. For tours for the average folks in addition to lavish parties with celebs, I mean. ~Bob.)

Postal Service withdraws plan to end Saturday mail delivery
Why we’ll never balance the budget. Even small, sensible measures, like this, a dollar coin or doing away with the penny, get screams from some, and they give into the screams. And the spending goes on. Every dollar spent goes to someone, who will scream if it is cut. ~Bob.

Excerpt: President Obama unveiled a 10-year budget blueprint Wednesday that calls for nearly $250 billion in new spending on jobs, public works and expanded pre-school education and nearly $800 billion in new taxes, including an extra 94 cents a pack on cigarettes. But the president’s spending plan would also cut more than $1 trillion from programs across the federal government — for the first time targeting Social Security benefits — in an effort to persuade congressional Republicans to join him in finishing the job of debt reduction they started two years ago.

Hypocrisy: Mother Jones Writer Behind McConnell Bugging Railed Against Bush Wiretapping
Excerpt: The writer who penned the paragraph below took a bold stand against the conversations of American Citizens being "listened in on," without their knowledge or consent--even if it is being done because of national security. … Today, that same man, David Corn of Mother Jones published a secretly (and possibly illegally) taped conversation between a US Senator and his campaign operatives.

Ashley Judd’s Batty Beliefs Are Fair Game. By Kevin D. Williamson
Excerpt: One sympathizes with people who suffer from mental illness. If you have ever been around somebody with psychological problems of the sort that necessitate hospitalization, you appreciate what a grim business that is. And if you breathe oxygen and possess a dozen or more functioning neurons, you also know that if Sarah Palin had spent a month and a half in a mental hospital, Mother Jones — which took a notably indulgent attitude toward Trig trutherism — would have led the chorus of jeers rather than write oh-so-sensitive headlines about the awfulness of using somebody’s mental health as “political ammo.” And as for the legitimacy of using somebody’s religious beliefs as a campaign issue, maybe we should ask Rick Santorum about that.
Worth Reading: Tests and Tiger Moms. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Recent statistics on the students who passed the examination to get into Stuyvesant High School raise troubling questions that are unlikely to receive the kind of serious answers they deserve. These successful applicants included 9 black students, 24 Latino students, 177 white students and 620 Asian Americans. Since this is definitely not the ethnic makeup of the general population of New York City, we can expect to hear the usual sort of comments from those who are in the business of being indignant and offended. (Does anyone think that discipline, diligence, and plain old hard work may have something to do with the success of Asian students. The dumbing down of America continues unabated. Striving for excellence is now criticized because it is more important that children feel good about themselves rather being able to read. Everyone gets a prize lest someone has their feeling hurt. We did this to ourselves. –TC)

Iran's 'axis of resistance' loses its Palestinian arm to Syrian war. By Nicholas Blanford
Excerpt: But given the shifting dynamics of the region and the sharpening of the Sunni-Shiite divide, Hamas still appears to be keeping its options open with its former patron Iran and fellow anti-Israel resistance group, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.

Iraqi al-Qaida and Syria militants announce merger
Excerpt: Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq said it has merged with Syria’s extremist Jabhat al-Nusra, a move that shows the rising confidence of radicals within the Syrian rebel movement and is likely to trigger renewed fears among its international backers. (Makes it easier for Obama to send them aid. ~Bob.)

Man kills 13 people in Serbian shooting spree
Excerpt: He went from house to house in the village at dawn, cold-bloodedly gunning down his mother, his son, a 2-year-old cousin and 10 other neighbors. Terrified residents said if a police patrol car hadn't shown up, they all would have been dead. … Media reports said the suspect had a license for the handgun and police said he had lost his job last year at a wood-processing factory.

Worth Reading: Confessions of a Counter-Revolutionary. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: “Counter-revolutionary” is an apt term for these days: President Obama has promised to make a fundamental transformation, a veritable revolution in American society and culture. Those who oppose such an ongoing agenda are suspected of all sorts of racism, nativism, misogyny, homophobia, and general counter-revolutionary activity. So — here are some thoughtcrimes: … The latest news on “climate change” was not good for global-warming, cap-and-trade zealots. 

The Worsening State of Libya’s Christians. Unexpectedly: Aftermath of Arab Spring proves worse for Christians than Qaddafi regime. By Phillip Smyth
Excerpt: What began as a Western-backed chance to assist Libyans in gaining freedom from an oppressive dictator has resulted, according to some reports, in nearly the entire population of 100,000 Libyan Christians leaving the country. The rising power of numerous radical Islamist militias, which have recently launched a low-scale terror war against Christians, is increasingly being felt throughout the country. This anti-Christian effort by Islamist militias has been also been aided by a Libyan government incapable or even unwilling to protect Libya’s Christians. (Well, you can’t blame Congress. Unlike bush in Iraq, Obama never asked Congress for authority to wage war in Libya. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito has drawn a challenge from the right in the West Virginia Senate race from Pat McGeehan, who says Capito is not conservative enough to represent the state. (This will probably keep that seat in Democrat hands, and perhaps thus the Senate in Harry Reid’s hands. Good news for liberals. Nothing helps them like a good RINO hunt. ~Bob.)

We must ban assault women. ~Bob.

Anger at cover up of migrant surge revealed by MigrationWatch By Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP
Excerpt: A MIGRATION secrecy row broke out last night after ministers were accused of keeping the British people in the dark about how many Bulgarians and Romanians might come to Britain next year.

The Left on the death of Lady Thatcher - poisonous and parasitic
Excerpt: In Brixton, south London, a gang of vandals climbed up on a cinema billboard and changed it to read: “Margaret Thatcher’s dead. Lol”. A middle-aged couple in Glasgow held aloft a banner saying “Gotcha! Now get the rest”. In Bristol seven police officers were injured as a drunken mob tried to celebrate in the streets. Elsewhere mobs reacted with cries of “Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Dead! Dead! Dead!”.

£1,200 compensation payout to migrant rapist under Human Rights Act Gerard Batten, UKIP MEP
Excerpt: HUMAN rights judges sparked outrage yesterday when they ordered Britain to hand a dangerous immigrant rapist £1,200 compensation. He won the payout because of a red tape error over keeping him behind bars as the Home Office tries to kick him out. Mustafa Abdi, 38, has already cost the country nearly £700,000 in prison costs and legal aid.

State Game Wardens Seize Nearly $4 Million Worth of Marijuana on Lower Border
Excerpt: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens have seized more than two tons of marijuana worth nearly $4 million. “This is one of if not the largest drug seizure by Texas game wardens in the history of our agency,” said TPWD Law Enforcement Director Craig Hunter. “Obviously, we are very proud of the wardens involved in this case. Beyond that, we are tremendously pleased to have played a part in preventing such a large cache of marijuana from reaching our streets,”… (Just hard working people who come here looking for a good life, doing jobs Americans won’t do, you know. ~Bob.)

Gestapo 2013? Colorado State Police and Homeland Security Target Christians
Excerpt: I recently received a letter from one of law enforcement’s finest. He had attended a seminar in which he was told to be on the lookout for Christians. The letter was written by an attendee, Ron Trowbridge, Undersheriff in Prowers County, Colorado

Insight From Margaret Thatcher from The Patriot Post
"You don't win by just being against things, you only win by being for things and making your message perfectly clear."

"There is no week, nor day, nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves, and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. Tyranny may always enter -- there is no charm or bar against it."

"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing."

"That nations that have gone for equality, like Communism, have neither freedom nor justice nor equality, they've the greatest inequalities of all, the privileges of the politicians are far greater compared with the ordinary folk than in any other country. The nations that have gone for freedom, justice and independence of people have still freedom and justice, and they have far more equality between their people, far more respect for each individual than the other nations. Go my way. You will get freedom and justice and much less difference between people than you do in the Soviet Union."

Excerpt: If the U.S. isn’t yet a third world nation, it’s not because we’re not trying. As if the Congressional Black Caucus isn’t bad enough, there is an even larger group calling itself the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It has even more members, including the entire Black Caucus. Its co-chairmen are Keith Ellison, who chose to be sworn into office with his hand on the Koran, and Raul Grijalva, whose resume includes having been a leader of both the racist Raza Unida Party and the Chicano Liberation Committee.

Worth Reading: Black Unemployment. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: From 1900 to 1954, blacks were more active than whites in the labor market. Until about 1960, black male labor force participation in every age group was equal to or greater than that of whites. During that period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer. … Then there are super-minimum wage laws, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, which were written for the express purposes of excluding blacks from government-financed or -assisted construction projects. Labor unions have a long history of discrimination against blacks. (Truth, not pandering, from a black economist. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Most of us read the heart touching story about the homeless man in Manhattan, sitting on the sidewalk, without shoes. A New York City cop approached him, talk to him, saw a need, then walked into a nearby shoe store and bought the homeless man a pair of hundred dollar boots. We all read the story misty-eyed, championed the heart of a tough NYC cop, and rendered sympathy for a fellow living in the streets. Then, as with so many things these days, a hard reality crowded out the humanistic; we learned that the so called homeless man is not homeless or shoeless. Seems the guy has been gaming American "good hearts" for years. He has a house in the Bronx, owns thirty pairs of shoes and, according to his pastor/mentor has gamed the system for as much as $1,000 dollars a day.

Worth Reading: Toxic Government by Democrats: Chicago. By John Perazzo
Excerpt: The city of Chicago, Illinois has been led exclusively by Democratic mayors since 1931. Under the “progressive” policies of such notables as Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, Jane Byrne, and Harold Washington, the city’s economic and social fabric decayed markedly during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. These trends were accompanied by a steep decline in Chicago’s population, which fell from 3.62 million in 1950 to 2.78 million by 1990.

US teargas arrives in Egypt for Muslim Brotherhood use
Excerpt: shipment of teargas canisters from the United States arrived at the Egyptian Abadeya Port in Suez on Sunday, according to official documents obtained by the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. Five containers carrying around 140,000 teargas canisters were apparently shipped to the Egyptian Interior Ministry by the Aramex International courier service. (This should keep those pesky Christians and democracy protesters in line. Thanks, Barack. ~Bob.)

Fiery clashes in Cairo
Excerpt: After clashes between Muslims and members of Egypt’s Christian Copt minority left at least seven dead last week, these two young Copts were targeted Sunday outside St. Mark’s cathedral in Cairo’s Abbassiya district by unknown assailants wielding Molotov cocktails. (For shame. Don’t they know that burning Christians with Carbon-based fuel contributes to global Warming? ~Bob.)

Toronto dad upset he's not allowed to watch daughter's swim class
Excerpt: “I spoke to a staff member and she told me that it’s because of Muslim women, that we’re not allowed to look at them or whatever,” Chris, 38, told the Toronto Sun Friday. “I don’t think religion has a role to play in a public pool.”

Excerpt: A top general issues a dire warning about the impact of the budget cuts on active-duty combat planes. (And on it goes. By the time Obama leaves office, if he does, the military will be so weakened that even a third-rate power like Mexico could invade us and ...wait a minute. They are already doing that. Never mind. – LLW)

U.S. Navy cancels Blue Angels flying season due to spending cuts
Those mythical spending cuts don't seem to have effected Air Force One, strangely enough. But, of course, hard times never seem to fall on the Obamas. Or the Bidens. Or congress. Only on the ordinary people and the things they enjoy. – LLW

Outraged Liberals Say Obama Is About To Screw Over The Very People Who Got Him Elected
Excerpt: Liberals descended on Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday to protest President Barack Obama's decision to include entitlement cuts in his upcoming budget, delivering 2 million petitions demanding the White House back off its support for the chained CPI.

Colorado to Feds: Please Dominate Us
Excerpt: GOP-leaning political pundit, Mary Matalin, once remarked that my hometown seems to be on The Quest for the Unpronounceable Name. I live in Tucumcari, New Mexico. It started off in the wild west days as Ragtown, and then decided on Six Shooter Siding. Now it’s Tucumcari.

Lest We Forget! April 10, 1917
The Eddystone Pennsylvania Ammunition Plant Explosion: On April 6, 1917 President Wilson asked Congress to declare war and Congress officially declared it. About this time at the plant rumors were floating that the Russian, Leon Trotsky, had put out an order to sabotage the plant in order to prevent the shells from reaching the new Russian government run by Kerensky, which was democratic. On April 10, 1917 at 9:55 A. M. “F” Building at the Eddystone Ammunition Plant, where 380 girls and women worked loading shells with black powder, exploded . One hundred and thirty-three persons, lost their lives in the explosion. Fifty-five of the dead would never be identified. –The Delmar Historical Society. (Thanks to Robert Greer for this. My Grandfather Hall was a chemist with DuPont at an ammo plant in NJ when the Gillespie plant blew in 1918. Lucky for me, that wasn’t his plant, as my dad wasn’t born until 1925. My grandmother, great grandmother and he evacuated from South Amboy to a town about 15 miles away, if memory serves. Three days later, their little dog Rags, who was left behind, showed up at the home where they were staying, all bedraggled. He had only been there once before, and it was a company house, in an area where every street and every house looked the same. Mt Grandmother talked of Rags often when I was a boy. There was the base and part of the upper section of a very large shell that had landed in their backyard in their living room when I was a kid. Wish I had it.
T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant explosion

Mama Grizzly boom: Sarah Palin slams MSNBC’s ‘you didn’t birth that’ spot with awesome photo

Show me your shocked face. I know—stimulating the economy. Spreading the wealth. ~Bob.

Hyundai unveils the future of personal mobility, because walking doesn’t cut it

Anthony Weiner is weighing a run for NYC mayor
Well, why not? It's tough making a living out in the real world, so it's time to get on the city government's tit. And since liberals love perverts, he may win in a walk. - LLW

New York City To Pay Occupy Wall Street Over $300K
Excerpt: “The settlement includes $47,000 in damages for Occupy Wall Street’s 5,500 book library, most of which was destroyed or damaged during a … raid,” writes Gawker’s Taylor Berman. The raid, according to the settlement, either destroyed or irreparably damaged hundreds of books. “The city also agreed to pay $186,350 in legal costs to Occupy Wall Street’s lawyers,” Berman adds. (Tell me we aren’t doomed. In related news, US to pay Germany for the costs of tanks and planes destroyed when we evicted them from France, Italy, and North Africa. ~Bob.)

Survey: Ronald Reagan would beat Obama in modern election
Excerpt: If an election between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama were held today, 58% would vote for Reagan over Obama, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older conducted by Kelton Research for the National Geographic Channel. Though when the field is narrowed to people ages 18-34 -- those either too young to have known Reagan as president or too young to remember much -- the gap shrinks to 51% in favor of Reagan.

Senate aims for bipartisan gun grab
Excerpt: "A bipartisan group of senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks. The law would not cover private transactions between individuals, unless there was advertising or an online service involved." (CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY opposing this legislation! –MM)

Ex-US soldier who 'fought in Syria' could face execution
Excerpt: A former US soldier who allegedly fought Syrian government forces with a group linked to al-Qaeda could face the death penalty, prosecutors have said. (how about the President who sent them aid? ~Bob.)

Health Costs Will Never Be Contained: When antidiscrimination law meets infertility treatment mandates. By Wesley J. Smith
Excerpt: Should health insurers be legally required to offer infertility treatment for gay couples? Yes, according to a bill (AB 460) filed in the California legislature by assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco). In fact, refusing to do so should be a crime.

Gosnell employee: baby ‘jumped’ when I snipped its neck during an ‘abortion’
Excerpt: Williams told the court that the practice of snipping the spinal cords of newborns through the back of the neck was “routine” at Gosnell’s clinic as a means of ensuring “fetal demise.”

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