Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today's offering: Robust enough not to be mocked

Big offering today. I’ll start with the non-Syrian items. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: The Amazon Legion. By Tom Kratman 
Kratman’s major flaw as a writer of military science fiction is that, prolific and hard-working as he is, he cannot seem to write novels as fast as I can read them. I cope with that by saving them until I need a break from my usual fare of history, politics and economics. Feeling drained after finishing the recent excellent but bitter history of Dien Bien Phu, “Valley of Death,” I pulled The “Amazon Legion” off the shelf where it had been waiting for a year or two.

“The Amazon Legion” is the fifth in the Patrick Carrera series, and while it can stand alone, like any good novel, you’ll do yourself a favor if you start at the beginning with “A Desert called Peace.” In this offering, Carrera, faced with a shortage of trigger pullers, raises an infantry regiment of women. (Also one of gays, though they are tangential to the story.) Kratman’s writings are not mindless escapism—he always makes you think about the philosophy of war and the horrors of close combat. He has obviously thought long and hard about this subject, and both military leaders and progressive politicians supporting women in combat units would do well to read this book. I suspect folks like Nancy Pelosi think that it will all be sanitized, either the woman soldier dead quickly and cleanly or returning home to honors with a flesh wound. The reality is more likely to be her crawling around the field, begging for water, dragging her entrails behind her after being disemboweled by a shell. Kratman’s solution to the gender differences and the challenge of inter-unit romantic relationships is to segregate the women in their own unit, and to prepare them for combat through the kind of rigorous, brutal training that has not been politically possible in our country even for men since WWI—if it ever was. As always, Kratman has an excellent ability to bring alive to readers the terror of battle. And he can make you hate or care about his characters—I’m still grieving two good guys he killed off in another series. If you like adventure, military science fiction or want to know what it will be like for women in combat, read this book.

The Lost Freedom of Association. By Walter Williams 
Excerpt: I’m sure that might be a considerable dispute about freedom of association compared with the one over freedom of expression. To be for freedom in either case requires that one be brave enough to accept the fact that some people will make offensive expressions and associate in offensive ways. Let’s explore this with an example from the past.

Book: Clinton's State told Benghazi was a 'terrorist attack' minutes after it began. By Paul Bedard 
What difference does it make? ~Bob

How to Not Outlive Your Money
Excerpt: Without a plan for retirement, many people say they just plan to "wing it." Surveys show many workers feel overwhelmed by day-to-day financial pressures, worried about paying monthly expenses and job security. … A new analysis released by Fidelity found the average 401(k) balance was $80,600 at the end of June, up nearly 11 percent from the same quarter a year ago. For steady savers who were continuously employed in a workplace plan for the past decade, the average balance rose to $211,800, nearly 19 percent higher than a year ago.

Using Dynamic Analysis Makes Tax Reform 30 Percent Less Challenging
Excerpt: Cutting individual and corporate tax rates together would boost GDP by 4.74 percent, increase the capital stock by 11.5 percent, and could increase the number of full-time equivalent jobs by 5.2 million. The average increase in aftertax income across all AGI ranges is 7.57 percent.

Excerpt: Kahr Firearms Group, a gun manufacturer, is moving its corporate headquarters from downstate New York to a 620-acre plot in Pike County, in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. The move comes after New York earlier this year passed the SAFE Act, banning sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

OH OH! Watch Out Illinois Liberals, New State Rep is Black Constitutional Republican Who Cares About Teens
Excerpt: Anthony, 37, grew up in a Chicago housing project and unlike many others from that background, he grew up to be a conservative and a Republican. He went on to serve as a police officer and a Kendall County sheriff’s deputy since 2008. He is known as a constitutional conservative which is the last thing Illinois Democrats want to see. (Writer doesn’t know the difference between congressional and state rep districts. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade, was found hanging in his prison cell, officials say. (I’m Bob, and I approve of this message. ~Bob.)

Vietnam vets shut down Fonda movie showing in Wellsville
Excerpt: Moviegoers in Wellsville had a choice of two movies on Friday night, once they walked past a group of Vietnam veterans 20 strong.
 The veterans, who were right around the corner from their American Legion post at the Grand Theater on North Main Street, were upset Jane Fonda was portraying former First Lady Nancy Reagan in the movie, "The Butler." (Fonda said vets protesting her should “get a life.” I have a life—her Communist friends missed. ~Bob.)

Saudi Arabia donating $200 million for Palestinian cities to prevent Judaization
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has decided to grant $200 million for the development of Palestinian cities, and for protecting their Arab and Islamic character against “Judaization.” (Your gas money at work. Support energy independence—drill in ANWR, off the coasts and on federal lands, build the Keystone pipeline, support fracking. ~Bob.)

South Africa BDS leader defends call to 'kill the Jew'
Excerpt: A leader of the South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel justified calls to "shoot the Jew" during a protest last Wednesday against a concert by an Israeli musician. (Meanwhile, the hunt for the mythical Islamophobia and backlash against Muslims goes on. ~Bob.)

Measure Would Declare Hasan a 'Terrorist'
Excerpt: Victims of Nidal Hasan's rampage at Ft. Hood are praising Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and two central Texas Republican Congressmen, John Carter and Roger Williams, for introducing the 'Honoring the Ft. Hood Heroes Act' which would declare that those who were shot in November of 2009 were 'casualties of war in the face of an armed enemy,' and were not victims of 'workplace violence' as the Pentagon has claimed, 1200 WOAI news reports.

Excerpt: Well, we're learning this week that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be breathing their last in the next year or so. Debt ridden, dazed, and without direction, Fannie and Freddie shows what can happen when big government is allowed to step in and corrupt something.

Lessons From the Anti-Petraeus. By Kelley Vlahos
Excerpt: Gentile was a scrappy contrarian presence on the then-sizzling military blogosphere and a bugle of reason in a virtual hothouse of sycophancy. He risked daily rebuke from a phalanx of military academics and pundits who cast objectivity aside to support Petraeus’s narrative of success: that local populations could be protected and “won over” in support of the Iraqi government to win the war.

Excerpt: Tucker, the Deputy Commissioner of Operations Support, is a 29-year IRS veteran and in her current position reports directly to the agency’s commissioner. She came under fire for her failure to act when she learned that the IRS had awarded hundreds of millions or dollars in contracts, fraudulently, to the information technology provider Strong Castle, Inc.

Gunmen kill 16 members of Shi'ite family in Iraq
Hope the neighbors don’t become Islamophobia—that would be a tragedy. ~Bob

Tamarod Targets Hamas Rule in Gaza. By Paul Alster
Excerpt: While the world's media rightly focuses on high-profile crises in Syria and Egypt, another potential hotspot is bubbling up somewhat under the radar: the rising opposition to the Hamas regime in Gaza.

Excerpt: The following chart shows Germany’s August temperatures for the last 20 years using the data from Germany’s Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD) in Offenbach. Nowhere is a steady warming trend to be found.

Obama's Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit Unaffordable: Independent National Journal analysis finds premiums higher under Obamacare as employers weigh dropping coverage.
Excerpt: Republicans have long blamed President Obama's signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the "Unaffordable Care Act." Turns out, they might be right.

Obama Says He’d be Considered ‘Maybe Center-Right’ in Parts Of Europe. By Fred Lucas
Excerpt: President Barack Obama said he’d be considered a moderate – possibly even center-right — in Europe, even if that’s not the case in his own country. (Which is why Europe is ahead of us swirling around the drain. ~Bob.)

Health Care Premiums to Increase Up to 125% in Wisconsin Due to Obamacare

Wisconsin, which voted for Obama twice, will see their insurance premiums rise 125% because of Obamacare. Thanks, Wisconsin!

Excerpt: Given the importance of understanding how Obamacare impacts the cost of health insurance — especially for the people who struggle to afford it today — I and two Manhattan Institute colleagues, Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Howard, have produced an interactive map where you can look up information on Obamacare premiums and subsidies on a state-by-state basis.

Obama's Economy Hits His Voters Hardest: Young people, single women and minorities have fared the worst during the past four years. By Stephen Moore
For better or worse, a truism of American politics is that voters vote their pocketbooks. Yet according to a new report on median household incomes by Sentier Research, in 2012 millions of American voters apparently cast ballots contrary to their economic self-interest. (They wer just too dumb to know. ~Bob.)

Fracking Boom Seen Raising Household Incomes by $1,200
Excerpt: Surging oil and natural gas production brought on by hydraulic fracturing is lifting the U.S. economy by lowering energy costs for consumers and manufacturers, according an industry-funded report.

Shootings in Nwk are not caused by law abiding gun owners but by criminals with illegal guns.

How climate change could prevent another Hurricane Sandy
Excerpt: A new study, however, suggests that rising temperatures might shield people on the East Coastfrom another rare, west-bound superstorm like last fall's Hurricane Sandy, by causing a shift in atmospheric conditions that would push a similarly massive system out to sea.

I’m shocked that Obama’s only third. ~Bob

In the entire history of mankind, when has a Muslim country ever sought to manumit abducted infidel slaves?

Valhalla for the Inarticulate. By Taki
Excerpt: The Oxford philosopher John Gray, a man I used to get drunk with until he gave up the sauce, insists that the pursuit of distraction has now been embraced as the meaning of life. Gray knows what he’s talking about. In his latest book, The Silence of Animals, he portrays man as a desperate creature who twists and turns to avoid acknowledging that he, too, is an animal. 

Black Homeownership Hits 18 Year Low
Thank you Barack Obama, Fannie, Freddie and 50 years of Progressive interference in markets. ~Bob.

Chicago Police: If You Carry a Gun, We're Trained to Shoot You
Off duty & retired cops in civilian clothes carry guns. Do they shoot them?

The Blasphemy Police. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: You can coast for a while on the accumulated inheritance of a pre-Muslim past — as, indeed, much of the Dar al-Islam did in those Middle Ages Dawkins so admires — but it's not unreasonable to posit that the more Muslim a society becomes the smaller a role Nobel prizes and translated books will play in its future. According to a new report from the Office of National Statistics, "Mohammed," in its various spellings, is now the second most popular baby boy's name in England and Wales, and Number One in the capital. It seems likely that an ever more Islamic London will, for a while, still have a West End theater scene for tourists, but it will have ever less need not just for Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward and eventually Shakespeare but for drama of any kind.

Excerpt: In response, Murray notes that his survey of the first century of US history demonstrates: "American exceptionalism is a concept that was shared by observers throughout the Western world, not just Americans.…[It] is a fact of America’s past, not something you can choose to “believe in” any more than you can choose to “believe in” the battle of Gettysburg."

Clearing Croatia of Commies. By Frano Budimlic
Excerpt: The 1990s saw the violent dissolution of communist Yugoslavia, but they did not see the defeat of the communist ruling class that thrives in the small nation of Croatia to this day. While Syria awaits its obliteration and Miley Cyrus captivates the minds of countless Americans, the newest EU member, Croatia, finds itself in a historic struggle with Aunt Angela Merkel—now dubbed by Croatian dissidents and patriots as the heroine of our time.


Excerpt: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution authorizing U.S. military force in Syria Wednesday. The committee voted 10-7, with one senator, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), voting present.

Ed Markey can rail for almost two decades about the federal regulation of rollercoasters, but he can't vote on a question of war.

Markey votes "present" as homage to Obama's State Senate career & Syria policy.

Senate-crafted Syria resolution riddled with loopholes for Obama
Excerpt: Senators on Wednesday tried to write a tight resolution authorizing President Obama to strike Syria under very specific circumstances, but analysts and lawmakers said the language still has plenty of holes the White House could use to expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend.

Resolution. By Rich Galen
Excerpt: Now, the Congressional nose-counting begins: Who's for the resolution to attack Syria, who's against, who's undecided, and who is calling their chief of staff asking, "What's all this about Syria? Where the hell is Syria? Those are mostly U.S. Senators.

Serious About Syria? By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: When the President of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.
But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. (The attack will be “just robust enough not to be mocked” as one Obot said. ~Bob)

The Road to Damascus. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Imagine the Crips and the Bloods, armed to the teeth by every country from Mexico to China, fighting over the ruins of California cities, and you get some idea of the glorious Syrian civil war being fought by the Brave Syrian People, most of whom at this point are about as Syrian as the Palestinians are from Palestine, in a conflict that will determine once and for all who will be ethnically cleansing whom next year. The Syrian rebels are Sunni. The Syrian regime is Alawite, which is close enough to Shiite for government work. This isn't some heroic battle between the people and the dictator; it's a religious war. 

Flashback: It's Time to Talk to Syria. By John Kerry and Chuck Hagel
If you hit a paywall, Goofgle the title. ~Bob. Excerpt: The recent announcement of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria through Turkey, and the agreement between the Lebanese factions in Qatar – both apparently without meaningful U.S. involvement – should serve as a wake-up call that our policy of nonengagement has isolated us more than the Syrians. These developments also help create new opportunities and increased leverage that we can only exploit through substantive dialogue with Syria. (Now Kerry is going to send the troops to sand like Genghis Khan. ~Bob)

Pictures emerge showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria together
Excerpt: Mr Kerry was visiting the region when he was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He met with Mr Assad at least six times, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Pelosi, The Democrats And Assad: The Enemy Within
Good pic of her with her pal assad. ~Bob

No One Understands Syria, But Everyone Is Choosing Sides. By Michael Moynihan
Excerpt: This current conflict better resembles the Spanish Civil War: the great powers arming and manipulating a bloody internal conflict; the celebrity and pundit classes—now with the added earnestness of high school friends ruminating on social media—taking sides, regardless of how ill-equipped they are to offer informed judgment. With fresh memories of Iraq, we’re all being deeply skeptical while staking our territory, but our arguments are often as confused, naive, misinformed, and conspiratorial as they were in 2003. (Not me—a pox on both their houses. ~Bob.)

From Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Yesterday Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), asked a devastating question: "You say this is the world's red line, not ours, and I agree. So how many partners will we have with us?"

Matthews: Dems Must Support War to 'Save President's Hide'
Excerpt: “I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this. They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.” (Good reason to bomb the snot out of people. I bet the Syrians have bodies of dead kids already stored to claim they were killed by us, which the Muslim world will believe. ~Bob.)

McCain opposes Syria strike resolution
Excerpt: Sen. John McCain, President Obama's biggest cheerleader on Capitol Hill for a strike in Syria, said Wednesday that he would not support a Senate panel's draft resolution authorizing the use of force. (But he voted yes. ~Bob.)
On Syria, Obama faces a skeptical public
Excerpt: President Obama has turned the question of whether to strike Syria into an extraordinary national sales job — seeking to convince skeptics in Congress and among the public that military action would be worth the risk. It does not seem to be selling well. That’s the takeaway from the most recent national polling and the response from voters nationwide. (If he told them he wanted to bomb Obamacare, there would be a surge of support. ~Bob.)

How about we just mandate the Syrians buy health insurance?

Excerpt: I will admit it’s unclear to me–and I suspect fairly unclear to almost everyone else–what would happen if Assad left the scene. Which makes knowing what to do, and what to counsel, difficult.

Who Made the Sarin Used in Syria?

Two articles on the use of Gas in WWI
Some background. ~Bob

No Syrian War to Save Obama's Face! By Patrick J. Buchanan
Excerpt: Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata? Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama's face? (“We regret to inform you that your daughter’s F-16 was shot down and she burned to death, but her sacrifice will not only help women’s equality, but preserve the President’s credibility. Her death was a small price to pay for that, we are sure you’ll agree.” If we are bombing Syria to save Obama’s credibility, shouldn’t we have bombed Benghazi, Mexico and the IRS as well? ~Bob)

The Syria Confidence Trick. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: There isn’t much enthusiasm for Obama’s plan for Syria and even the experts have trouble explaining why the attacks will do any good. The debate has congealed down to credibility. The only real argument in favor of hitting Syria is that Obama laid down a red line and Congress is obligated to protect his credibility when making poorly thought out threats for the sake of national security. (The United States has not had any credibility since the Democrat Congress abrogated our pledge to stand by South Vietnam, cutting off supplies that led inevitability to the reeducation camps, the Boat People and the Communist genocide in Cambodia. ~Bob.)

On Syria: Not At This Time. By Erick Erickson 
Excerpt: For two years, President George W. Bush made a public case for an invasion of Iraq. He built public support, international support, and congressional support. His administration documented CIA intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s personal cheerleading over 9/11, the dictator attempting to assassinate President George H. W. Bush after the President had left office, Al Qaeda’s use of Iraq as a training ground for further attacks on our interests, and then he explained how this all merged into a real and tangible threat to our national security interests. … If what George W. Bush did was a rush to war with a nonexistent coalition, what the hell is this effort to bomb Syria?

CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer Exposes Syrian War Lobbyists
Excerpt: American and Russian warships are both in the region. Each nation is supporting opposing sides in the conflict. Russia's last foreign military base outside the former Soviet Union is located in Syria. Hezbollah and Iran are both threatening to attack Israel if the U.S. takes military action against Assad's government in Damascus

Allen West to Obama, ‘Don’t Lecture Us About Obligation After Benghazi
Excerpt: “He is afraid to make a decision so is now setting up Congress for the blame,” he continued. “We should not commit our Military because Obama said something stupid and especially since he does not have a strategic or operational objective.

Excerpt: Obama's occasional photo ops with Cameron mask a horrifying truth underneath, that President Obama has obliterated the Anglo-American alliance since he took office, and is arguably one of the most anti-British Presidents of all time.

The fix is in. By Steve Deace
Excerpt: You know this is all for show, right? Let’s face it, the fix is in. This isn’t our first rodeo. We’re not falling for the banana in our tailpipe again. Oh, sure, a lot of Republicans will talk a good game about holding Obama’s feet to the fire on military intervention in Syria. They’ll pretend to listen to you, and act like they don’t trust Obama, either. 

.@JohnKerry What's the difference between 100k killed by Assad of the Millions killed by the North Vietnamese? #LiberalHypocrite

Excerpt: Code Pink, the anti-war group who interrupted Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, has adopted a new tactic today. (Tweet from Kathleen McKinley ‏@KatMcKinley. Dear WaPo, this is not "a new tactic." How easily you forget the attack on Condi Rice.

If bombing targets in another country isn't a war, then explain to me what Japan did at Pearl Harbor?

Best question of the day from Rep. Salmon; who r the 34 country's supporting this? Kerry: uh, I don't have the list with me!

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert hit Obama administration on military action in Syria
Racists! ~Bob

Krauthammer on Syria strike: ‘If you want to send a message, you call the Western Union.’

Al-Qaeda Linked Syrian Rebels Attack Christian Village
Tweet from Senator Rand Paul ‏@SenRandPaul: This is the side the American people are being asked to join in the Syrian civil war.

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