Saturday, June 29, 2013

New book Coming Soon!

Click on picture--may enlarge

Friday, June 28, 2013

Worth Reading

Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?
Excerpt: Climate experts have long predicted that temperatures would rise in parallel with greenhouse gas emissions. But, for 15 years, they haven't. In a SPIEGEL interview, meteorologist Hans von Storch discusses how this "puzzle" might force scientists to alter what could be "fundamentally wrong" models.

Bike Lanes to Nowhere. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The biking adult cares, which is the chief hobby of the leisure class. The more someone cares, the less he works. Caring is a full time job for people who don't have full time jobs.

Nigel Farage and the Lunatic Mainstream. Mark Steyn
Excerpt: [The United Kingdom Independence Party's] leader, the boundlessly affable Nigel Farage, went to P. G. Wodehouse's old high school, Dulwich College, and to a sneering metropolitan press, Farage's party is a déclassé Wodehousean touring company mired in an elysian England that never was, populated only by golf-club duffers, halfwit toffs, rustic simpletons, and hail-fellow-well-met bores from the snug of the village pub. When I shared a platform with him in Toronto a few months back, Mr. Farage explained his party's rise by citing not Wodehouse but another Dulwich old boy, the late British comic Bob Monkhouse: "They all laughed when I said I'd become a comedian. Well, they're not laughing now."

Regulation Slows Economic Growth
Excerpt: The growth of federal regulations over the past six decades has cut U.S. economic growth by an average of 2 percentage points per year, according to a new study in the Journal of Economic Growth. As a result, the average American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have gotten in the absence of six decades of accumulated regulations -- a median household income of $330,000 instead of the $53,000 we get now, says Ronald Bailey, a science correspondent for Reason Magazine.

The Coal Train Chugs Along
Excerpt: Even without more regulations from the White House or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States continues to lead the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, according to BP's latest Statistical Review of World Energy. And while the United States may be cutting its coal use (and, therefore, its carbon dioxide emissions), the rest of the world continues to binge on coal, says Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Last year, the United States reduced its emissions by 3.9 percent. That reduction was larger than that of any other major industrialized country. In contrast, China's carbon dioxide output soared by 6 percent and India's by 6.9 percent, while Brazil's rose by 2.5 percent and Mexico's by 4.3 percent. (Obama can’t stop carbon. He can make Americans poor trying though. ~Bob.)

Tweet from S.E. Cupp
Huma Abedin is hosting a "Women for Weiner" fund-raiser tonight. #NoPunchlineRequired

Excerpt: If you don't want to open the above link let me just recount the story.  A Black thug breaks into a house occupied by a stay at home white mom and her three year old daughter.  Without any provocation at all the Black begins beating the woman maliciously, with a violence that is incomprehensible. You won't have seen this story because it did not run a thousand times over the airwaves because the mainstream media do not want to portray the national Black plague of violence that exists throughout America these days. It is ironic that the only time Paula Deen used the word "nigger" was after being robbed by a Black thug while working at a bank.  Even more ironic, the White housewife beaten nearly to death in the above video would most likely receive massive condemnation should she, in a fit of anger after the beating, utter the word "nigger" in describing her attacker.  These two events occurred in the same week, yet Paula Deen is crucified in the press while the Black Thug doesn't even make the headlines.

John Kerry's ObamaCare Boondoggle: A backroom deal he cut for Massachusetts hospitals has caused a bipartisan uproar in Congress.
Excerpt: Enter Mr. Kerry, who slipped an opaque provision into the Obama health law to require that Medicare wage reimbursements now come from a national pool of money, rather than state allocations. The Kerry kickback didn't get much notice, since it was cloaked in technicality and never specifically mentioned Massachusetts. But the senator knew exactly what he was doing. You see, "rural" hospitals in Massachusetts are a class all their own. The Bay State has only one, a tiny facility on the tony playground of the superrich—Nantucket. Nantucket Cottage Hospital's relatively high wages set the floor for what all 81 of the state's urban hospitals must also be paid. And since these dramatically inflated Massachusetts wages are now getting sucked out of a national pool, there's little left for the rest of America. Clever Mr. Kerry. (And the beauty of it is that it's so slimy that not even other Democrats can defend it, in fact, a whole bunch of them are roaring mad about it. But don't worry, in the end they'll fix this problem.  And after that there won't be anything at all left to go wrong with the implementation of Obamacare. Sure.......Del

CDC Releases Study on Gun Violence: Defensive gun use common, mass shootings not
Excerpt: The Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently published a study of findings related to violence and guns. Some of the results may come as a shock – to those on both sides of the gun control argument.

Ace in the war on Affordable Energy

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Still finding a few items of interest

The George Zimmerman Trial So Far: A Fiasco For The Prosecution?
Excerpt: If you are interested in the George Zimmerman trial, in which testimony is now under way, the place to go is Legal Insurrection, where Andrew Branca, a Massachusetts lawyer who authored The Law of Self Defense, is posting a thorough, witness-by-witness commentary on the evidence, with videos of the actual courtroom scene.

10 Reasons Food Stamps Need To Be Reformed. By Andrew Montgomery 
Excerpt: Roughly 80 percent  of the nearly $1 trillion dollar Farm Bill currently under debate in Congress deals with food and nutrition assistance programs such as food stamps, the largest of which is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In recent years, food stamps have grown into a major financial obligation. Enrollment in SNAP has increased dramatically, rising from 26 million in 2007 (one in twelve Americans) to nearly 47 million 2012 (one in seven Americans). Costs have increased dramatically as well, rising from $35 billion in 2007 to $80 billion in 2012 , making it the second most expensive means-tested federal welfare program, behind only Medicaid. As such, it is vital to understand the serious flaws in current food stamp programs. 

Veteran congresswoman hammers IRS contractor’s questionable veterans disability claim
Excerpt: At a House oversight hearing Wednesday on “questionable contracting practices at IRS,” Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth hammered an IRS contractor for claiming a suspect veterans disability to get a competitive advantage for his business. Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee eviscerated Braulio Castillo, the CEO of Strong Castle, Inc., who used an injury he sustained at a military prep school to qualify for a veterans disability, 27 years after the fact.

The Secret War. By James Bamford
Excerpt: This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.

Hamas Leader Describes Meeting with U.S. Officials
Excerpt: A Hamas leader claims the terrorist group has had "direct meetings" with U.S. officials close to the White House despite a longstanding American policy to have no contact with Hamas. The claim from Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad was reported in a Palestinian news outlet. Top American representatives were in meetings Hamas had with European ambassadors and officials about two weeks ago, he said.

“There Is No Right Way To Do A Wrong Thing”

How Will America Hold Together? By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: As in Rome, there is a vast disconnect between elites and the people. Almost half of America receives some sort of public assistance, and another half pays no federal income tax. About one-seventh of Americans are on food stamps. Yet housing prices in elite enclaves -- Manhattan, Cambridge, Santa Monica, Palo Alto -- are soaring. The wealthy like to cocoon themselves in Roman-like villas, safe from the real-life ramifications of their own utopian ideology. (Frankly, I don’t think the country can hold together. For a free PDF of my 80-page book, “The Coming Collapse of the American Republic,” write tartanmarine(at)
All royalties go to help wounded veterans. ~Bob.)

United Kingdom wields the welfare axe just weeks before the next general election. By Robert Winnett
Excerpt: Foreigners claiming benefits will be forced to attend English classes or they will lose the right to state support. The unemployed will have to start looking for work, and wait at least a week, before being able to receive handouts. Mothers with young children will also have to begin preparing to return to work earlier under the plans, which will cut payouts by almost £2billion by 2018. (About Bloody Time –Kate)

Trayvon’s Foul Mouth Friend’s Twitter Account Gets Scrubbed In Zimmerman Case

This bird rare enough for you, greenies? James Delingpole
Excerpt: When I researched this piece on the [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds's] shameless financial relationship with the wind industry I spoke to several bird watchers who were absolutely devastated by the damage they'd witnessed being wrought on often rare birds by wind turbines.

United Kingdom: Birdwatchers flocking to see rare bird saw it killed by wind turbine. Melanie Hall, and agencies
Excerpt: Scores of twitchers flocked to the Outer Hebrides to see a bird that has been recorded just eight times previously in the UK in nearly 170 years - only to see it slain by a wind turbine.

Guest post: “There Is No Right Way To Do A Wrong Thing”

“There Is No Right Way To Do A Wrong Thing”
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)

The above quote is from Norman Vincent Peale and it is right on. It was the lead heading for chapter 5 in my book Leadership Defined where I talk about standards. That is a topic that should be stressed by most of our government agencies because it is obvious that it is lacking in a positive manner.

Leading any organization requires the leader to constantly be aware of who he is and what he trying to accomplish. When the span of control is small, it is relatively easy, but as the span of control grows and the number of personnel increases it becomes more difficult and complicated. I agree with Tom Peters' style of leading depicted by "Management by Walking Around (MBWA)." I practiced that long before he came out with his books and I called it "Drifting."

It is amazing what one can learn by getting out of the office. There are some bosses who never leave the office except to go to meetings or the bathroom. They are shocked when they learn about some fiasco that happened and no one told them before it became a major problem. When the boss constantly drifts and talks and listens to employees, it does not take long before trust develops and the employees share their thoughts about the business and how to improve the products. It is fascinating how often that manufacturing challenges can be corrected by employees if only they are asked for their input.

We have seen first hand what happens when that does not occur. Our president says that he did not know anything about the scandals that are brewing in the government, yet key personnel in his administration did know and supposedly did not inform him. Could it be that he killed messengers? In olden times, when a messenger brought bad news to the king, the king had him killed. Thus came the term "Killing Messengers." We no longer do that, but in far too many instances, leaders do kill messengers by giving them bad fitness reports, transferring them, or in effect ruining them. Any time a leader has that type of reputation, he no longer will be given bad news and the news usually becomes worse with time. Think about a major problem that you had in the past that could have been solved easily if only it had been identified earlier.

As a leader drifts, he learns about irritants that were unknown to the leadership but really rile the employees. They are so obvious to the employees that they believe everyone knows about them and just does not care. I can't tell you how many of these things that I learned while drifting and with almost no effort or expense were corrected. That caused more credits to be placed into the trust bank account to be drawn on later when and if needed. 

I have spent many years in all types of leadership positions in the military, business, and education. I have learned that with few exceptions high standards are met when they are spelled out. Trust is earned on a daily basis. Troops or employees will do their utmost when they know that you will be with them no matter what. These are fundamental, but far too many ignore them for whatever reason. The leader is really the servant of the people and far too often that is forgotten because of power, influence, and control.


Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A few items that crossed my desk

The Economics of Planned Global Failure. Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The cloistered nature of central institutions makes them all the more vulnerable to ideological mapping. Ideologies thrive in hothouse atmospheres alienated from the real world where the ideal is easily mistaken for the real and passion for castles in the sky construction outweighs the mud and dirt challenges of building actual structures. The further an institution is detached from the consequences of its policies, the less capable it is of experiencing negative feedback and the less reliable the reports that reach it are.

A distinction without a difference. Mark Steyn.
Excerpt: Europeans like to distinguish between being anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist. Neturei Karta is an anti-Zionist branch of Judaism so opposed to the state of Israel that they’ve met with President Ahmadinejad, presumably to hear his exciting plans for wiping it off the map. Unfortunately, back in the Netherlands, this Neturei Karta rabbi’s assailant didn’t get the memo:

Independent Payment Advisory Board: The Death Panel
Excerpt: Signs of ObamaCare's failings mount daily, including soaring insurance costs, looming provider shortages and inadequate insurance exchanges. Yet the law's most disturbing feature may be the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB, sometimes called a "death panel," threatens both the Medicare program and the Constitution's separation of powers, say David Rivkin, who served in the Justice Department under Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and Elizabeth Foley, a professor of constitutional law at Florida International University.
Deputy of banned suicide-bomb-endorsing cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi had White House meeting with National Security Council staff
Excerpt: The White House's National Security Council has confirmed that staffers held a June 13 meeting with Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, an Islamist cleric who shares leadership of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, where he is vice-president and the terror supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi is president. The meeting occurred on the same day the Obama administration announced plans to arm Syria's rebel factions, in the wake of a determination that President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people.

Calls Grow in China to Press Claim for Okinawa
Excerpt: Instead, the group that gathered at Renmin University was focused on a more enticing prize — Japan’s southernmost island chain, which includes the strategic linchpin of Okinawa, home to 1.3 million Japanese citizens, not to mention 27,000 American troops.

The Bleak Prospects for Europe’s Jews
Excerpt: A new report by Dr. Dov Maimon of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute paints a bleak picture for European Jewry. As Maimon puts it delicately, “European Jewish life has quite possibly reached a negative inflexion point.”

"The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful." --President Calvin Coolidge (1873-1933)

Students 'planned terror attack using remote control planes'  By Jeevan Vasagar
Excerpt: Police have carried out raids in Germany and Belgium targeting a suspected Islamist plot by aeronautics students at the University of Stuttgart to use remotely controlled planes for a terrorist attack. The raids involving about 90 police officers were carried out by the German equivalent of SWAT teams, as police feared the suspects might be armed 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Some items worth reading

Political SitRep suspended
My declining health due to pulmonary fibrosis, thus declining energy and more time issues, has forced me to suspend publishing the Daily Political SitRep. I’m sorry, but life marches on. This getting old isn’t all the fun they said it would be. I will still post a few issues, as below. Thanks for reading. ~Bob

Medicare by the Scary Numbers
Excerpt: When the latest Medicare trustees report came out at the end of May, the White House spin masters told us Medicare's finances have improved and one of the reasons is ObamaCare, say John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis and an economist at Boston University. Here's the real story: In their report, the trustees acknowledge that current law envisages dramatic reductions in future Medicare outlays which may be "difficult to sustain." The unfunded liability in Medicare, the trustees tell us, is $34 trillion over the next 75 years. Looking indefinitely into the future, the unfunded liability is $43 trillion -- almost three times the size of today's economy. Based on more plausible assumptions, such as those reflected in the "alternative" scenario for Medicare produced by the Congressional Budget Office in June 2012, the long-term shortfall is more than $100 trillion.

Women, and the Unequal Pay Myth. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: The 77 percent figure is bogus because it averages all full-time women, no matter what education and profession, with all full-time men. Even with such averaging, the latest Labor Department figures show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men's wages. For men and women who work 40 hours weekly, the ratio is 88 percent. Unmarried childless women's salaries, however, often exceed men's. In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man's dollar.

Relieved of Duties. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: It is what our red, white, and blue - stitched together in a striking, unmistakable banner - represents that is so moving. The sacrifices necessary to establish and ever protect our Republic, America, and the bold courage and casks of blood spilled to preserve freedom, spurn thought - deep thought. And respect. And reverence.

Random Thoughts. By Thomas Sowell
Always good. ~Bob

The End of the World. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Now media outlets from The New York Times to The New Republic to The Economist are wrestling with the question of why their own ideology’s doomsday predictions are not coming to pass. “If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?,” the New Republic asks. It means that the world isn’t going to end. Even as Obama exploits Global Warming to launch a War on Affordable Energy, the doomsday environmentalists look as foolish as any other group that set a date for the end of the world, only for the world to stubbornly go on existing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Some items of interest

Worth Reading: Lessons of Youth

Excerpt: On Oct. 1, millions of Americans are supposed to be able to go online and acquire health insurance on electronic exchanges in the states where they live. But a new GAO report is raising an issue I raised in the Wall Street Journal last month: What happens if the exchanges aren’t ready? The report itself was full of bureaucratic gobbledygook, but AP reporter Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar translated it nicely: [M]ost of the specs have been written, but the all wiring hasn’t been laid, and what will happen when they flip the switch nobody really knows. And remember, Oct. 1 is less than four months away.

Militants kill nine foreign tourists, 1 Pakistani. Zarar Khan and Sebastian Abbot
Excerpt: At least a dozen Islamic militants wearing police uniforms shot to death nine foreign tourists and one Pakistani before dawn Sunday as they were visiting one of the world's highest mountains in a remote area ofnorthern Pakistan that has been largely peaceful, officials said.

The President's Ghastly Gun Gaffe. By Ken Blackwell 
Excerpt: President Obama's gun gaffe was nearly lost in the pre-Christmas flood of TV and internet chatter. But Breitbart's Joel Pollak was right to highlight Mr. Obama's bizarre post-election statement. One of the reasons he ran for re-election, Mr. Obama told Barbara Walters, was so he could have "men with guns around" as his daughters entered their teen years. What a gaffe!

Satire: Obama Astounded to Discover That He's Married
Excerpt: "The first I heard of it was when I saw a CNN report on my wife ... uh ... 'Michelle,' apparently ... delivering an address to the National Coalition of Lobster Producers," said the President. "This was as much a surprise to me as discovering that there were rogue agents in the IRS, of which I also learned from watching CNN." Presidential spokesperson Jay Carney was quick to point out that there are several layers of bureaucracy in any marriage, and that nobody on the White House Staff was aware of the marriage until CNN broke the story on March 22, 2013.

British Health System’s Horrifying Present is Obamacare’s Terrifying Future
Excerpt: Tellingly, the NHS was the model for many Obamacarians–particularly the centralized control part. This despite the fact that NHS quality of care is in free fall. And now, there are apparently bureaucratic coverups–coupled with suppression of a whistleblower–under way to protect the dysfunctional system.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Guest post: Lessons of Youth the Character of Man

Lessons of Youth the Character of Man
Andy Weddington, Colonel, USMC (Ret)

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." Billy Graham

The year was 1992, it could have been 1991 or maybe a year earlier, I think, that I taped a small few inches by few inches clipping from the newspaper to the side of our refrigerator. It stayed there for years. It yellowed. Eventually the scotch tape cracked and the adhesive failed. The clipping fell. I don't know what happened to that clipping. But seeing the words on it frequently every day left it burned into my memory.

It was a quote: "There's nothing wrong with Bart Simpson [cartoon character] that a soap sandwich, a paper route, and a Catholic school can't fix."

That was the observation of William J. Bennett. Mr. Bennett served as the Secretary of Education for several years during President Ronald Reagan's second term. His comment on young Master Bart, a brat, was made when asked what he thought about The Simpsons television program. Mr. Bennett was neither impressed nor amused by Bart and family. And, as I recall, he thought the program destructive (or words to that effect).

Funny how things stay with you. More than 20 years have passed and every once in a while Mr. Bennett's words come to mind.

They came to mind last week when Mr. Obama (using the word President before his name I just cannot any longer do) made yet another idiotic and downright scary public comment - this time disparaging Catholic schools as divisive to a community.

Now to dissect Mr. Bennett's quote...

A graduate of a Catholic, a parochial, elementary school - during 8th grade I had a 7-day a week morning paper route - what I would like to say to Mr. Obama I will not.

For I remember more than one bar of soap being raked across my mouth by Mom - while working my way through life and that Catholic school. Which, by the way, offered me a superb education of daily benefit still.

That about covers the thought of Mr. Bennett, per my life.

Soap sandwich - check.

Paper route - check.

Catholic school - check.

Those three experiences, along with scouting and sports, complemented with parents who instilled tough, but necessary, lessons with clear values preparing their children for the world built character. I was the oldest of five and the example, the leader, though the role was unclear to me at the time. Steadily that responsibility crystallized.

Though perhaps not knowing it at the time, Mom and Dad were shaping that necessary bedrock for making a Marine. And another Marine. And a Coast Guardsman. And another brother (married a soldier [female] and raised a Marine) and baby sister (married an Airman) more successful still.

I've been a Marine for 33+ years. Will be forever. And ever. I cannot think of anything achieved of which I am more proud. Nor can I imagine accomplishing anything that will top earning that title and the privileges thereunto pertaining. With privilege comes responsibility, for life.

There's something about Marines synonymous with character and respect.

I, like Mr. Bennett, found nothing impressive nor amusing about The Simpsons.

Mr. Obama, day by day, shows us what he's made of. The trait 'character' does not come to mind. But the noun 'character' does.

I do not see a man molded by soap sandwiches, a paper route, nor Catholic school.

And I am thankful to be on the opposite coast - for I want to keep as far away as possible from him, and his ilk; I do in spirit and geographic separation is a plus.

Remember, one is known by company kept. That another invaluable lesson absorbed by listening to, but more so by watching, my parents. Leadership by example - I witnessed it at home.

Therefore to amend, to update, Mr. Bennett's assessment...

"There's nothing wrong with Barack Obama [cartoon character] that a soap sandwich, a paper route, and a Catholic school could not have fixed."

If for that, America would be a far better country today.

We will recover, somehow, from Mr. Obama - a character void character - a Bart Simpson of our time.

Elections loom. Now we must begin the search for the men and women shaped by soap sandwiches, paper routes, and Catholic schools - or something akin.

They walk amongst us.

Billy Graham is one of them - though too old for office.

Hillary Clinton is not one of them - and therefore not fit for office.

America has had enough of 'the Simpsons.'

As a nation, it's time for principles and morals and tough love - like that Sheriff Andy Taylor, community sage and icon of the fictional town, Mayberry, NC, wisely and judiciously doled out. Opie, his 'son', amongst other admirable traits, had character. He sure did. And he set an example for many youth, and adults, too. And though it was only a television program, look at the impact the late Andy Griffith, complementing his co-star's parents, had on young Ronny Howard. What a fine man, Ron Howard.

'The Andy Griffith Show' was a regular in our home when I was a boy. I still watch it. The Simpsons would have never been permitted. And is not still. No need to offer why - for that was just explained.

I figure Mr. Bennett, too, watched 'The Andy Griffith Show' - and would echo all.

I say no more.

Post Script

William J. Bennett was raised Catholic. He attended Catholic schools. Most probably he had a soap sandwich, or two, and delivered newspapers.

As for The Simpsons, I agree with Mr. Bennett.

I am a member of TAGSRWC - The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club.

Blessed Sacrament School, Burlington, NC. Makers of responsible citizens - of 'men' and 'women' - of character. I am a proud graduate.

Two items worth reading

IRS Sent $46 Million In Tax Refunds To 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens — All At The Same Address In Atlanta
Excerpt: The IRS sent more than $46 million in tax refunds to 23,994 “unauthorized” alien workers who all listed the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). However, the Atlanta address that received millions of dollars in refunds was not the only address apparently housing thousands of “unauthorized” aliens. In fact, it wasn’t even the only address in Atlanta that was claiming such a situation. (Well, they were really busy with the Tea Party you know. Accidents happen. ~Bob.  These are the guys we trust to collect taxes fairly and efficiently, while also searching out and punishing tax fraud.  But look at what managed to slip by them!!!  Maybe they could reallocate the effort at doing super focused investigations of charities with conservative names into checking out massive tax filings from single addresses.  That would find more real criminals and protect the system from raiding by frauds.  Seems like a good idea, yes? --Del)


Men Who Truly Want To Fight For You. By Andy Weddington, Colonel, USMC (Ret)
I also read the article cited in this superb summary. Combat at the small unit level can not be replaced. As Andy mentions, far too many of our senior leaders never saw combat at the small unit level and believe me it is different than at the regiment or division level. The number of athletes who can go from high school to pro in any sport is infinitely small. The same is true with the military going from no combat experience to large units is even more difficult and the cost is in blood not reputation. Keep at it Andy. --Don

Worth Reading

While time pressure and my declining health have forced me to stop producing the political SitRep, at least for now, I will sometimes pop in a couple of items of interest, as below. ~Bob

Lies Subvert Democracy. Obama and his team have subverted the government they pledged to serve. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Almost everything that IRS officials have reported about the agency’s unlawful targeting of conservative groups has proven false. IRS malfeasance was not limited only to the Cincinnati office, as alleged, but followed directives sent from higher-ups in Washington. Lois Lerner confessed to the scandal only through a rigged public query by a planted questioner, designed to preempt an upcoming critical inspector general’s report. There is legitimate dispute over both the number and the purpose of former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman’s visits to the White House and nearby executive office buildings, but he did his credibility no good by snidely remarking to Congress that at least one of those visits was to take his kids to the White House Easter Egg Roll.

The Price of Loyalty in Syria. By Robert F. Worth
Excerpt:  In 1936, when the French were poised to merge the newly formed Alawite coastal state into a larger Syrian republic, six Alawite notables sent a petition begging them to reconsider. “The spirit of hatred and fanaticism embedded in the hearts of the Arab Muslims against everything that is non-Muslim has been perpetually nurtured by the Islamic religion,” they wrote. “There is no hope that the situation will ever change. Therefore, the abolition of the mandate will expose the minorities in Syria to the dangers of death and annihilation, irrespective of the fact that such abolition will annihilate the freedom of thought and belief.” One of the petition’s signers was Sulayman al-Assad, the grandfather of Syria’s current president. Later, after the French abandoned them, the Alawites rushed to embrace the cause of Syrian nationalism, and went to great lengths to make the rest of the country forget their separatist ambitions.

Excerpt: Fed-up by the rise of crime in her neighborhood in Milwaukie, Oregon, 65-year-old, Coy Tolonen has decided to put matters into her own hands — using a Glock handgun.
The grandmother of three has organized a neighborhood “Glock Block,” a group of pistol-packing elderly neighbors seeking to deter crime, KOIN 6 News in Oregon reported.

And Now, The Selling of Obamacare: Will Americans buy a plan they don’t love? By Zeke J Miller
Excerpt: The reason: the law is increasingly unpopular. According to an NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month, 49% of Americans now believe the law is a bad idea, the highest percentage recorded, with only 37% saying it is a good thing. … The exchanges need roughly 2.7 million healthy 18-t0-35-year-olds to sign up to be solvent. The majority of that group is nonwhite and male, according to Simas’ data, and a third are located in just three states: California, Texas and Florida. If too few choose to enroll because they don’t know about the law, don’t like it, or feel they don’t need insurance, the exchanges will fail. And so will the law.

Will Obamacare Hurt Jobs? It's Already Happening, Poll Finds
Excerpt: Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered "yes" when asked if they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."

Will Obamacare Hurt Jobs? It's Already Happening, Poll Finds
Excerpt: Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered "yes" when asked if they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."

Catholic Schools Fall on Hard Times. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: Catholic schools have fallen on hard times. In the past ten years, enrollment has fallen by 22 percent, and in New York City alone the Archdiocese has closed 56 schools since 2011, leaving only 219 remaining.  … In the past, Catholic schools have routinely outperformed public schools on standardized tests, and they boast college admissions rates near 100 percent. Just as important for many Catholic parents, the schools have also helps parents bestow the values and culture handed down to them through the generations.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Guest Post: Trying to Change the Topics

Trying to Change the Topics
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)

Any time that an organization or individual is on the losing side of an issue, the best course of action is to change the subject. It seems that the administration is doing that now. One potential scandal after another has been facing the administration for weeks, and attempts to explain them has been sadly amateurish and ineffective. No one seems to be in charge or know anything about what happened in Benghazi, the IRS, and the Dept. of Justice going after the Associated Press.

The key individual in the IRS has been placed on paid leave (a vacation at taxpayers expense), the FBI director had no idea who was investigating the IRS scandal or how many people were involved, and the head of the National Security Agency stated that his agency was not reading Emails.

As the bad news continues, the administration announced that it now has positive evidence that Syria used chemical weapons against its citizens and as a result, the United States will arm the antigovernment rebels. The timing of this announcement seems rather suspect and the key element in the rebel forces has ties to Al-Qaeda. This could be the latest example of the Arab Spring becoming another disaster.

We have been fighting in Afghanistan for years and now the administration has announced that it will be negotiating with the Taliban as we leave the country. This is like speaking with Hitler and hoping that his seizure of Czechoslovakia will end his desire for taking over countries. The Taliban ravaged the country and allowed it to be a safe haven for terrorists. Of course, we will demand that it no longer will do this. TSK TSK!!

To add to the growing list of topics trying to change the subject is women in combat. The administration now announces that women will be allowed in those combat arms previously forbidden such as Rangers, Seals, Special Forces. The caveat remains that standards will not be reduced, but when has that not ever happened when those in charge want to do something? We have the most powerful and effective military force in world history and slowly but surely, we are making decisions that emasculated this force and makes it less effective. Driving a vehicle or being shot at is significantly different that carrying a combat load for mile after mile, not washing for weeks on end, and going with reduced food and sleep for endless days. Equality is not the name of the game but rather combat effectiveness. I can give too many personal examples what infantry combat is like, but for those who care less about effectiveness, it is not heard.

Each of these topics that attempt to change the subject and allow the administration to ignore the growing emphasis on the numerous scandals will fail. One of the chapters in my book on leadership is TRUST. Trust must be earned and it is earned on a daily basis by what the leader habitually does. It is not what he says, but by what he does. We have seen what the government has done in numerous areas, and we do not like it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Worth Reading: EMP attack

Newt Gingrich warns EMP attack could end it all. By Juana Summers 
Excerpt:  “The reason I began focusing on this a decade ago is there are very few events you can’t recover from. You can recover from 9/11, you can recover from Pearl Harbor. This is really different,” Gingrich said. “This creates such a collapse of our fundamental productive capacity that you could literally see a civilization crash and tear itself apart fighting … internally.” A science fiction novel called “One Second After” told a cautionary tale of the doomsday scenario that would unfold if such an attack hit the U.S., frying electrical circuits and knocking out power. In the introduction to the book, Gingrich suggested that an EMP attack would “throw all of our lives back to an existence equal to that of the Middle Ages.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Post: That (Fe)Male Thing, Again - Heavy Sigh

That (Fe)Male Thing, Again - Heavy Sigh
By Andy Weddington, Colonel, USMC (Ret)

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;" William Shakespeare

I'd not planned what follows as today's comment - for something else Marine was on my mind for tomorrow. But today, Thursday, by tradition, is 'Field Day' in the Marine Corps so a good day for the topic at hand.

Though I confess a while back, bewildered and disgusted and not knowing what else to say after more than a handful of commentaries, I vowed to leave the topic alone.

But for hearing and reading more in the media this week, I cannot, must not, be quiet. And will not! For there is sworn duty to speak. 

Women in ground combat - especially the infantry - is the matter.

More quantitative articles. More let's be sane, be reasonable, be "fair" articles. More articles. More interviews. More let's bury the truth, reality. More forget the studies. More we need more studies and testing. More forget the data. More of you can't say that. More of this and more of that. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But the article that brought me to this point I read Tuesday evening - sent to me by a Marine infantryman who has fought in some awful places. My senior, I pay attention when he opines.

The article was penned by a retired four-star U. S. Navy admiral. He wrote opinion supporting women in ground combat. To me (and the Marine who sent the article) his logic flawed - on sundry fronts. And, his conclusion, that demanding physical standards (for infantry and special forces) will not be compromised during the breakneck speed forced march, without pause for breath of sanity nor change of socks, towards "equality" under the guise of "gender neutrality" to meet political objectives is, putting it kindly and offering benefit of the doubt, naiveté.

After reading his biography, it is astounding that he decided to weigh in, in the public arena, on a matter of which he is not intimately familiar.

On the other hand, there is a four-star who, though no longer amongst us living, left recorded sworn testimony about the matter. He is an expert. He is an unimpeachable authority on the topic. And though he spoke some 22 years ago, his perspective is as germane today as during his time in uniform and thereafter. And today.

A snapshot of his biography: infantryman; three wars; command in all three; special ops behind enemy lines World War II; Inchon and Chosin Reservoir, Korean War; Operation Dewey Canyon, Vietnam War; close combat to include hand-to-hand; Navy Cross; Distinguished Service Cross; Silver Star; Bronze Stars with combat 'Vs'; etc., etc., etc.

That is, he has the qualifications to comment. Any man, or woman, with more authority, more credibility, please rise and speak.

Otherwise, no matter who you are or what you think you know, take a few minutes and listen to a genuine authority, General Robert H. Barrow, USMC (27th Commandant), address the hardships and horrors of ground combat. And hear out his beliefs, based on nature, as to the disastrous inevitability (some of which is now playing out - not prophetic but logical, predictable) of mixing males and females in combat units - ground and aviation alike.

Pause, and listen, closely, to a wise warrior:

Now, some critics have chosen to focus on a remark or two he made that, for some, come across as sexist. Perhaps. I don't think so. Not at all. I think that conclusion is thin-skinned, shallow, and presumptuous. His remarks were part of his upbringing, his character, and offered for context - or so they came across to me.

But it was his remarks clearly defining combat and humbly recounting his awful experiences that merit the focus.  


General Robert H. Barrow, USMC
05 Feb 1922 - 30 Oct 2008
Recruit to Commandant
Years of Service: 1942 - 1983

By the way, those hardships (and gender mixing problems) apply equally to the grueling training necessary to prepare men for combat. And there can be horrors, too. Difficult, dangerous training is not without tragedy.

So, I ask, who's the authority? A living four-star et al. without experience or a four-star who's lived of that he speaks?!

Clearly, extreme measures are required to kill stupidity. Therefore, I have a suggestion, direct and to the point, for those advocating women in ground combat. And for those against but deficient the chemistry and courage to rise and speak...

"Enough pussyfooting! USMC - flip, immediately, the combat exclusion paradigm. No men in combat arms. None. Period. The issue would be settled and damn quick. Executive Summary of the social experiment: Balls, literally, required to play a man's 'game'."

Yet let's make no mistake, combat is not a "game."

No, not kidding and no apology for slightly off-color language. For now is not the time for androgynous tea-sipping pinkie finger extended dialogue. No, sir, it's time for bare knuckles and K-Bar "discussions." That's the business at hand. And well know, I am but a messenger - searching for Garcia - many a Marine, all ranks, are forming a giant regiment.

So quick, change recruiting quotas and change all enlisted and officer MOS assignments. Get it done. Get it done, now. After all, men and men and women and women and men and women are interchangeable - combat readiness "standards" can make it so. And will, if this madness is not stopped.

God forbid it takes combat to prove the absurdity of it all. Last night I dined with a retired sergeant major, an artilleryman, landed at Gavutu, Saipan, Guadalcanal, and on a handful of other beach heads in the South Pacific during World War II. He missed Iwo Jima because he was so ill he was evacuated. He's nearly 94, mentally sharp; rattled of the names of his DIs in seconds (boot camp 74 years ago), and thinks women in ground combat units is insanity. He confirmed having seen General Barrow's testimony and just smiled.

In closing, something else I learned from General Barrow, through his son - a retired Marine and gentleman and longtime friend, "In all things be a gentleman."

I ever struggle (above off-color word or two noted) to live up to that noble standard, so as not to disappoint nor embarrass family, Marines under whom I have served (that I know read this forum and greatly respect), and to honor a fellow Marine, a commandant, whom I admire for his physical and moral courage on and off battlefields.

Those are some of the reasons for drawing sword on this matter. Not to mention heritage, Corps Values, national security, and more. And, doing what is right vice doing what is politically correct or personally convenient and self-serving.

Leadership - it is damn lonely at the top.

I read the other day the current commandant has a reprieve, until 2015, for making recommendations regarding women in the infantry.

Why? To "test" and "study" the unnecessary, the known? Really, at this point, what difference does it make? The truth is not going to change.

Finally, (Fe)male, noted the Periodic Table's symbol for Iron is Fe. But Iron alone is not good enough - it rusts. To endure, Iron must be forged into steel, that which makes infantrymen; especially the infantrymen, the officers, who lead infantrymen. As I recall, to date four young, physically fit female lieutenants have volunteered for the Infantry Officers Course (IOC) - none have come close. Nor have some men. The course's only purpose is to produce Marines who will lead Marines in ground combat. With the aim of as many of those Marines as possible surviving hell. Male infantryman.

Every Marine is a rifleman. But not every Marine can be, nor should be, an infantryman.

Alas, will the traditional U. S. Marine's Mess Night toast, "Long live the United States and success to the Marines," - two institutions inextricably linked - endure? For that matter, will either survive?

For Mother Nature and time are the truth-tellers - not a politician; not an admiral; not a commandant; and certainly not a mere retired colonel, unafraid to speak the truth.

Post Script
Following General Barrow's testimony that ended with a prediction of destruction of the Marine Corps if proceeding with putting women in combat units, implementation of President Clinton's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' - to great resistance - happened. Not long thereafter, a courageous Marine, then a major now retired colonel, named Art Corbett went public with a controversial article powerfully and elegantly making the case against. He concluded with words to the effect, 'Better to furl our colors and be remembered for what we once were.' His article garnered the stink eye from seniors but earned a hand-written, one-word note from General Barrow, "Bravo!" A similar time is upon our Corps. Any Iron, forged into steel, majors out there?

Author's Endnotes

1. Field Day - USMC euphemism for housecleaning; from work spaces to living quarters. Everybody pitches in - dusting; scrubbing; sweeping; swabbing; and more. Spit and polish! Inspection Friday morning.

2. The author is an infantryman - 0302 - familiar with the field and Field Day.

3. Iron's atomic number is 26 - my first unit after graduating the IOC was G 2/6 - Golf Company, 2nd Battalion / 6th Marines. Ironic. 

Worth Reading: Entitlements

Entitlements: Face the Truth or Face the Consequences. By Sheryll Poe

Excerpt: In a landmark speech before the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Directors, Chamber Executive Vice President Bruce Josten laid out “ten truths” about entitlements (see below) and called for a national conversation and swift action on the reforms needed to strengthen and improve the nation’s core social insurance programs.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Rotting, Decaying And Bankrupt – If You Want To See The Future Of America Just Look At Detroit
Excerpt: Eventually the money runs out. Much of America was shocked when the city of Detroit defaulted on a $39.7 million debt payment and announced that it was suspending payments on $2.5 billion of unsecured debt, but those who visit my site on a regular basis were probably not too surprised. Anyone with half a brain and a calculator could see this coming from a mile away.  But people kept foolishly lending money to the city of Detroit, and now many of them are going to get hit really hard. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has submitted a proposal that would pay unsecured creditors about 10 cents on the dollar. 

This is why I'm getting out of the Chicago area as soon as I retire. ~Bob