Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 3, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 3, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Information on my books

Google G-Mail Update
Wow... Google has gone the way of GM and MS by telling people what
they want instead of listening. There is a slight "workaround" for the new (shitty) compose feature: At the "second line to the bottom" of your gmail page there is an option to "Gmail view: standard | basic HTML". When you select "Basic Html" the page looks like 2008 gmail (Not as nice as last month, but not as hostile as current). Have a good week. –Chris.

I completely agree, gmail sucks. You can use a free email client, one of these:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2027870/four-desktop-email-clients-that-can-improve-your-gmail-experience.html Or if you want to stay browser based, you can use outlook.com (live.com/hotmail.com are the same too) and add your gmail account to it. I like the Outlook.com interface, it is nice and simple. This article explains how:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/outlook/other-email-accounts. If you need assistance with any of this please let me know if I can help. I love your blog and would love to help if needed. Thanks, Gene

Must Read: America in the Age of Myth. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: There is a liberal coastal aristocrat, but he is really not very liberal, at least in the sense of his regressive life not matching his progressive rhetoric. His views are mostly conditioned on his education, salary, and material circumstances. Put the coastal aristocrat in charge of a 7-Eleven in Stockton, and his therapeutic view would turn tragic quite quickly. And that fear is why he rarely goes to either a 7-Eleven or Stockton.

Worth Reading: Islamic Slavery and Racism. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: When Tuaregs and Islamists swarmed in to seize Northern Mali, one of the old grievances animating their campaign was slavery. The Tuaregs were not former slaves, they were, and in some cases still are, slaveholders. The French invasion of Northern Mali, liberating towns and villages under Islamist rule, was a historical echo of the original French emancipation of Tuareg slaves back in the colonial period. Despite French efforts, the Tuareg did their best to hang on to their slaves and Muslim Tuareg still continue to hold thousands of slaves in Northern Mali.

Worth Reading: News We Never Hear: Guns Save Lives: The zealotry of gun-control advocates isn’t deterred by facts. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The defensive use of guns is usually either not discussed at all in the media or else is depicted as if it means bullets flying in all directions, like the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. But most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.
If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head.

The Great Deformation
David Stockman isn't one of my favorite people--he betrayed Ronald Reagan and was wrong at the time about the effects of Reagan's tax cuts and Volker's strong monetary medicine. However, this new jeremiad from him sounds as if it might be a good read. He makes, IMHO, an important point about easy money causing distortion in price signals, resulting is disastrous resource allocation. --CJ. Unfortunately, the average voter has no idea of the importance of price signals to their economic well being. As a retired teacher and Obama supporter told me, "I don't do economics--it makes my eyes glaze over." Indeed. ~Bob.
Excerpt: Most 742-page jeremiads aren’t much fun to read. But The Great Deformation, David Stockman’s revisionist history of the past 100 years of capitalism American-style, is a spirited, occasionally gleeful skewering of many of our most widely held assumptions and most lionized figures. A former divinity student, Stockman chronicles what he views as the moral rot in the American financial system—one fueled by easy money, profligate debt, and needless government intervention. To a degree, this book is autobiographical.

State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America. By David A. Stockman
Excerpt: Over the last 13 years, the stock market has twice crashed and touched off a recession: American households lost $5 trillion in the 2000 dot-com bust and more than $7 trillion in the 2007 housing crash. Sooner or later — within a few years, I predict — this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too. (This is a must read article as I believe it accurately defines our socio-economic decline and the state of our economy. As the article points out, the solution to the problem demands over-hauling our political system and as we know, that is nearly impossible. That leaves us with only a true national crisis as the catalyst that might shock us into change, but even that may not work. --GBH)

Nearly Every Mass Shooting In The Last 20 Years Shares One Thing In Common, & It’s NOT Weapons
Interesting if true. (I know: "They can't put it on the Internet if it isn't true.") ~Bob. Excerpt: Nearly every mass shooting incident in the last twenty years, and multiple other instances of suicide and isolated shootings all share one thing in common, and its not the weapons used. The overwhelming evidence points to the signal largest common factor in all of these incidents is the fact that all of the perpetrators were either actively taking powerful psychotropic drugs or had been at some point in the immediate past before they committed their crimes.

Worth Reading: Apocalypse fatigue. By George Will
A tad old, but good and I missed it at the time. I think. ~Bob. Excerpt: Remember when “a major cooling of the climate” was “widely considered inevitable” (New York Times, May 21, 1975) with “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation” (Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976) which must “stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery” (International Wildlife, July 1975)? Remember reports that “the world’s climatologists are agreed” that we must “prepare for the next ice age” (Science Digest, February 1973)? Armadillos were leaving Nebraska, heading south, and heat-loving snails were scampering southward from European forests (Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 27, 1974). Newsweek (April 28, 1975) said meteorologists were “almost unanimous” that cooling would “reduce agricultural productivity.”

Hillary Clinton Snagged In Benghazi Cover-Up
Excerpt: As media reports present evidence the U.S. has played a central role in arming Syrian rebels, new questions now emerge about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the controversial scheme.

U.S. to boost rather than cut payments to health insurers
Excerpt: The Obama administration reversed itself Monday, scrapping plans to cut by 2.2 percent the rates paid to health insurers that take part in the Medicare Advantage program. The insurance industry and more than 100 members of Congress had objected to the cut in the per capita growth rate, which was proposed in February.

Sequester axe falls in Washington — but not on lawmaker salaries
Excerpt: One small group is curiously immune from the sequester and the related furloughs that are about to become a fact of life in Washington: Congress.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will take a pay cut because of this year's $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, including about 750,000 at the Pentagon alone.

Obama image machine whirs as press access narrows. By Nancy Benac
Associated Press
Excerpt: At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn't have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. It's raising new questions about what's lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency. (AP? ~Bob.)

Why Health Care Spending Will Explode Under ObamaCare: Evidence From Medicare
Excerpt: But since our health insurance system usually pays the providers themselves, there is not much reason to be a value-conscious shopper. Indeed, it’s almost impossible to be, because patients can’t easily access prices or make comparisons as we can in every other sector of the economy. The result is we over utilize care and higher total spending than is necessary to treat the conditions.

Obamacare credits could trigger surprise tax bills
Excerpt: Millions of people who take advantage of government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills if they don't accurately project their income.

More Docs Plan to Retire Early. By David Pittman
Excerpt: Most physicians have a pessimistic outlook on the future of medicine, citing eroding autonomy and falling income, a survey of more than 600 doctors found.
Six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years…

The extreme dangers of a deposit tax. By John H. Makin
Excerpt: The €10 billion rescue package includes the condition that Cyprus come up with a portion of the rescue funds through a tax—now called a "restructuring"—on deposits over €100,000 in the nation’s banks. Such a tax cripples Cyprus's banks and frightens depositors in other debt-laden weak economies like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Once again the Troika has doubled down on a losing bet to rescue the eurozone from a breakup. They fail to acknowledge that Cyprus and Greece cannot be in a currency zone with Germany, Holland, and Finland, and the Troika tax only underlines this fact.

Seven Reasons Loan Guarantees Are Bad Policy. By Jack Spencer
Excerpt: Advocates of loan guarantees claim that this subsidy is a success when the recipient company remains in business. This is a superficial and misleading way to view loan guarantees. Indeed, loan guarantees are among the most pernicious ways that governments distort markets and harm American families and businesses alike. Here are seven reasons why.

Important: Judge rules Stockton, Calif., to enter bankruptcy: Court ruling makes Stockton, Calif., the most populous city in nation to enter bankruptcy
Excerpt: The people of Stockton will feel financial fallout for years after a federal judge ruled Monday to let the city become the most populous in the nation to enter bankruptcy. But the case is also being watched closely because it could answer the significant question of who gets paid first by financially strapped cities — retirement funds or creditors. (Hm... let me see... who runs Stockton? Oh, yeah. Democrats. Keep moving, folks, nothing out of the ordinary here. Move along. – LLW. Democrats will fight to get the city union employees, part of their base, paid first. But if they win, investors will start avoiding city bonds due to much higher risk, or demanding higher interest rates, thus making the fiscal disaster of big cities worse. ~Bob.)

This Blood Libel Brought to You by the West: Western-backed Palestinian nonprofit apologizes for anti-Semitic blood libel. By Adam Kredo
Excerpt: Following a rash of criticism from U.S. Jewish groups, a Palestinian nonprofit funded by Western governments has apologized for accusing Jewish people of using “Christian blood” during the Passover holiday. (Sorry we got caught. Please don’t stop sending money. ~Bob.)

Police: Son Fatally Shoots Dad During Easter Service, Yells Killing Was ‘Will Of Allah’
Excerpt: Police say Reshad Riddle walked into the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula and killed his father, 52-year-old Richard Riddle, with a single shot from a handgun Sunday afternoon. (Didn’t get the memo. Muslim kills father with one shot from handgun. Democrats renew call to ban rifles and 15-round magazines. ~Bob.)

“Islam’s flag will be raised above the White House”
Excerpts: A video recording from a recent Friday sermon in Egypt, where the imam swears to Allah several times that the flag of Islam will be raised above the White House of America, recently appeared on the Arabic Internet. (Please send us more fighter jets to hasten the day we destroy American freedoms. ~Bob.)

Muslims declare victory in fight over "anti-Islamic," "racist" Lego set
Excerpt: Racism? What race are Muslims again? I keep forgetting. And as for the Hagia Sophia, in complaining about this Lego set the Turks in Austria for some reason neglected to mention exactly how the building became a mosque in the first place. On May 29, 1453, Islamic jihadists broke the siege of Constantinople and entered the city. Historian Steven Runciman notes that the Muslim soldiers "slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. 

Afghan teen murders U.S. soldier who was playing with local children; Pentagon lies about cause of death
Excerpt: This epitomizes the abject failure of the "hearts and minds" strategy that keeps on being pursued by the military, despite its massive, obvious and complete failure. Sgt. Cable was showing these Afghan children that Americans weren't as bad as they had probably been taught to believe, and instead of being impressed and overflowing with gratitude, this Afghan teenager seized the opportunity to murder his Infidel. That no doubt won him immense bona fides and respects when he "joined the Islamic militant movement since fleeing the scene."

Study shows Shakespeare as ruthless businessman
Excerpt: Hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger — it's not how we usually think of William Shakespeare. But we should, according to a group of academics who say the Bard was a ruthless businessman who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine. (The start of Hollywood Hypocrisy. ~Bob.)

Ga. city council votes to require gun ownership
Excerpt: Backers of a newly adopted ordinance requiring gun ownership in a small north Georgia town acknowledge they were largely seeking to make a point about gun rights.
The ordinance in the city of Nelson — population 1,300 — was approved Monday night and goes into effect in 10 days. However, it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and those with certain mental and physical disabilities.

IMF Proposes $1.40 A Gallon Gas Tax On US Drivers
Obama would love it, because the money would go to his green crony contributors. ~Bob.

51% Think Background Checks for Gun Buyers Will Not Reduce Violent Crime
Excerpt: Support for requiring a strict background check to buy a gun remains high, but most voters believe these checks will not reduce the level of violent crime in America. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. voters believe a strict background check should be required for anyone to buy a gun in the United States.

The Week That Was: 2013-03-30 (March 30, 2013)
Excerpt: Vincent Gray, a five time expert reviewer of the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has reassessed his earlier review of the origins “greenhouse effect.” Also, he addresses many errors that arise in the models. They are too highly simplified versions of the climate system and fail to incorporate important components of the earth’s heat transfer system. (The excerpt is from Ken Haapala’s summary of the week’s climate and energy news of the world and is his description of Gray and his paper. There are many good articles as always, but the one by Vincent Gray stands out. Gray will be fortunate not to be burned at the stake for heresy; this is like finding a postscript by Saint Matthew to his Gospel that says: “Just kidding.” I am including a separate link to a PDF of Gray’s paper for the convenience of interested readers. I especially direct attention to the section beginning at the bottom of page 7 and Gray's conclusions on pages 18 & 19 [with references, the paper totals 22 pages]. http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/greenhouse%20revisited2.pdf –Ron P.)

Muslim Writer Praises New Emerson Documentary
Excerpt: American journalists have been "subdued" when it comes to reporting on Islamic radicalization, "largely by intimidation and the fear of accusations of Islamophobia –[which] is the Islamists' greatest coup," Muslim physician and writer Qanta Ahmed argues in a new column. She points to Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson's new documentary, "Jihad in America: The Grand Deception," for examples about radical connections and ideals espoused by national Islamist groups that are ignored by the media.

Excerpt: The Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins University has denied official recognition to a group of pro-life students, and one SGA leader privately equated them with white supremacists.

Hamas Adds Restrictions on Schools and Israelis
Excerpt: Hamas, the Islamic group that rules this Palestinian territory, has issued a new education law enforcing a more rigid separation of sexes in schools and prohibiting any relations with Israelis, in line with its strictly religious and nationalist ideology, officials said Monday. (Naturally, all right-thinking Progressives, who consider not forcing people to pay for yuppie college students birth control to be outrageous sexism, support Hamas. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Amnesty: An Attack on the Poor. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: Politically speaking, it has. For low-skill, low-wage Americans, however, it is an economic disaster-in-the-making. And though Democrats are once again casting themselves as the champions of beleaguered minority groups for pursuing this legislation, it is American blacks and Hispanics — the communities that suffer from some of the nation’s highest unemployment rates — who will pay the price for the Left’s amnesty folly. (So the poor can’t get jobs. That’s what welfare, food stamps and disability are for. ~Bob.)

American preacher charged with hate speech, fined 1000 lb in Scotland
Our thanks to G of Scotland for this. Absolutely appalling! --Don Hank. I note that an appalling act of jurisprudential spite that occurred five miles from where I live is omitted, when a US pastor was arrested, jailed overnight and fined £1,000.
Note the stupid remark from the Catholic spokesman when what the seed they helped nurture eventually bore toxic fruit: A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church told the Scotsman: "We supported [hate crime] legislation but it is very difficult to see how this man can be charged for expressing a religious conviction." Also omitted are these outrages in England:
Note that the bail conditions prevent him from preaching gospel. How badly we need a First Amendment in Britain! –G.

Obama's $1 Million Trip to Colorado to Talk about Gun Control. By Jim Geraghty in Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Today President Obama travels to Colorado to "meet with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss the gun control package signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper." That's a three-hour flight, right? At $179,750 per hour, that comes out to $1,078,500 in costs for Air Force One for the trip. That's just about the cost of public tours of the White House for one year. Eh, you knew I was kidding . . . Obama's not just flying across the country to give a predictable speech on gun control; he's also traveling out to San Francisco for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser, and he'll stay overnight. (Yes, our president is already preparing fundraising for November 2014 midterm elections.) So the cost of the flights for today and tomorrow is really more like $1.4 million. (Morning Jolt is free and well worth subscribing to: http://www.nationalreview.com/newsletters ~Bob.)

Obamacare forcing business loss to downtown Pottstown
Excerpt: A poorly thought-out section of the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is causing a loss in downtown Pottstown. Royal Medical Supply, a medical equipment supply business that has been quietly thriving at 34 E. High St., is set to move the bulk of its operation to Oaks this spring, taking as many as 75 jobs with it. (This implies there are well thought out sections of Obamacare. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Iran's nuclear program dominated last week's meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A key challenge for both leaders: how to stop Iran's rapid advance toward "critical capability." Critical capability means the point at which Iran could dash to produce enough weapons-grade uranium or separated plutonium for one bomb so quickly that the International Atomic Energy Agency or a Western intelligence service would be unable to detect the dash until it is over.

Excerpt: In mid-March, a 19-year-old Tunisian activist named Amina Tyler posted several topless photographs of herself on Facebook. In one pose, the dark-haired Amina is set against a black background, wearing lipstick and eye shadow. She cradles a cigarette in her left hand and stares off camera, with the words "My body is my own and not the source of anyone's honor" written in Arabic across her naked chest. In another iconic photo, Amina stands before a white tile background. (Brave girl. American leftists will hate her for being Islamophobic. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: 9 facts Paul Krugman left out of his California Comeback column. By Conn Carroll
Excerpt: Politically, California is everything liberals want America to become. Democrats control every statewide elected office, they have two-thirds majorities in both legislative chambers, and the state Republican party is virtually non-existent. Problem is, the policy results liberal Democratic governance has produced aren’t pretty. But don’t worry, says Paul Krugman, all that is changing.

Camden's lesson in failure. By Gregory Kane
Excerpt: This is almost shooting-fish-in-a-barrel easy. Writing something about Camden, N.J., public schools being so dismal that the state had to take them over? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, announced early last week the reasons for the takeover, and it's hard to argue with the stats, provided by assorted news media. (Camden is next to Collingswood, my home town, which continues somehow to hold its own. I used to go to a doctor in Camden, my Grandfather and Great Grandmother are buried there, I went to Saturday afternoon football games [being careful to stay with a group and avoid trouble] and took the bus there to join the Marines in 1964. But even back in the 1960s, one didn’t go there at night. ~Bob.)

Strange bedfellows come together on electronic privacy
Excerpt: The effort to modernize the nation’s electronic privacy laws has brought together a coalition of strange bedfellows from the right and the left. Reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) has been an objective of civil liberties advocates for over a decade, but the fast-changing nature of technology is increasing pressure to update the law.

The BRIC Currency Swap Proposal Is A Global Game Changerhttp://www.businessinsider.com/a-big-move-for-brics-2012-6
Excerpt: BRICS countries make up a massive trade bloc. Current intra-BRICS trade stands at $307 billion; it is set to reach $500 billion by 2015. Within BRICS, China is the dominant country, exporting $135 billion in goods and services a year to its partners. India imports $50 billion annually from China and Chinese goods account for 11.8% of India’s total imports, increasing their share of the Indian market by 2% in just four years.

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