Friday, January 9, 2015

Vive la France and more news and comment


Winter is here. The high Friday was 4 degrees. Lows below zero, with dangerous wind chills much lower. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: The Great Draft Dodge: Karl Eikenberry and what Americans lost when they stopped fighting. By James Kitfield
Excerpt: On a blustery November morning in 2014, Karl Eikenberry, now 63, close-cropped hair going gray at the temples, stands in khakis and a sports coat before a class at Princeton University. With the last U.S. combat troops poised to leave Afghanistan the following month, ending the longest war in American history, the students naturally want to know what lessons he has taken away from the experience. One thing he has learned—one thing he knows for sure—is that few if any of the students before him, the scions of American wealth and power, will ever serve in the armed forces. The less than 1 percent of the U.S. population that Eikenberry led in wartime were the sons and daughters not of Wall Street hedge-fund managers or high-tech entrepreneurs, but of working-class cops, teachers, firefighters, and especially other soldiers. One 2007 U.S. Army survey cited in The Modern American Military found that the 304 general officers in the military had 180 children serving in uniform, making military service something of a family business. By contrast, the editor's own research indicated that, of the 535 members of Congress, the country's political elite, fewer than a dozen had children in uniform. Since the establishment of the all-volunteer force, military experience in Congress has also dropped precipitously, with the number of members who served in uniform falling from 398 in 1971 to only 118 in 2013.

Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Massively Funds Wisconsin Cop-Hating Protests. By Eric Owens
Excerpt: The National Education Association is heavily involved in supporting a militant group in Wisconsin that spends its time and energy organizing angry anti-police protests. ... Wisconsin Jobs Now has variously declared that the state’s police officers are racists, killers and animals, according to EAGnews.

Why Free Community College Is Anything But Free. By Lindsey Burke
Excerpt: The administration’s proposal begs certain questions. Low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can be used to finance their tuition obligations at a community college. Indeed, the number of Pell recipients has doubled since 2008. So the proposal will serve as little more than a federal handout to the community college system.

Important: Labor Participation Rate Drops To Fresh 38 Year Low; Record 92.9 Million Americans Not In Labor Force
Excerpt: Case in point: after a modest rebound by 0.1% in November, the labor participation rate just slid once more, dropping to 62.7%,or the lowest print since December 1977. This happened because the number of Americans not in the labor forced soared by 451,000 in December, far outpacing the 111,000 jobs added according to the Household Survey, and is the primary reason why the number of unemployed Americans dropped by 383,000. (If everyone would give up, the unemployment rate would drop to zero. ~Bob)

Meet U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, the Youngest Woman to Ever Break into the Old Boys' Club of Congress
Excerpt: "When I first told Congressman Ryan I was thinking of running, his advice was this: 'You have one mouth and two ears. Use them in that ratio.'" To do that she traveled more than 100,000 miles through her upstate New York district, much of it in her Ford F-150 truck—often alone, sometimes stranded by snowstorms—to meet voters and hear their concerns. (...) Featured photo: Rep. Elise Stefanik, photographed at the Viceroy New York hotel in New York City. Ann Taylor shirt. Loft skirt. Vita Fede earrings. Timex watch. Lana Jewelry bracelet. Sarah Chloe ring. (For any who wonder why some media aren’t taken seriously when they give us "news," ask yourself when was the last time you saw the brand name of one of Obama’s [or any other male politician’s] shirts and jewelry mentioned. This lady clearly deserved better. We will hear more of her. --Ron P.)

Stop obsessing about inequality. It’s actually decreasing around the world. By Marian L. Tupy
Excerpt: In America, the income gap between the top 1 percent and the rest has grown. But if we look not at America, but the world, inequality is shrinking. We are witnessing, in the words of the World Bank’s Branko Milanovic, “the first decline in global inequality between world citizens since the Industrial Revolution.” For most of human history, incomes were more equal, but terribly low. Two thousand years ago, GDP per person in the most advanced parts of the world hovered around $3.50 per day. That was the global average 1,800 years later.

46 Million on Food Stamps in 2014
Excerpt: A total of 46 million people received food stamps last year, costing taxpayers a whopping $80 billion. Contrast those numbers with 2007, when the food stamp program cost $38 billion. Only during the recession, says Russell, has enrollment in the food stamp program been higher. In fact, prior to 2007, the highest enrollment had ever been was 27.5 million in 1994.
President Obie. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Culture was bureaucratically and violently absurd. Counterculture was humanely lovingly absurd. That's still the image that the left likes to wear like an old pair of jeans. It's still just a bunch of easygoing fellows out to build community and take on Officer Obie’s senseless repressive rules. But then the counterculture became the culture and the left became Officer Obie. Or President Obie. If there's anyone who's going to drag you into court with twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs as proof; it's going to be the Officer Obies of the EPA. (The article does a very nice job in explaining how what was a movement for freedom and ridicule of the bureaucrats has somehow become the creator of more restrictions by far more powerful and arrogant bureaucrats than ever before. Remember that old Pogo statement... "We have met the enemy, and they is us". --Del)

Gun News

Colorado Lawmakers Move to Repeal Gun Control Laws on First Day of State Legislative Session
Excerpt: Colorado lawmakers haven’t wasted any time in their efforts to repeal Colorado’s magazine capacity limit and the state’s universal background check laws. Republican lawmakers introduced two new bills yesterday which would repeal both of the controversial laws passed by lawmakers last year.

Las Vegas homeowner shoots, kills intruder
Excerpt: Police say two men kicked in the front door of the home and one of them was shot multiple times by someone inside the home. Police say the two suspects were armed and shot at the homeowner first.

Another Bloomberg Gun Control Lackey Faces Jail Time. By Tony Oliva
Excerpt: Kathleen Kane has been on my crap list since day one. I knew that she was getting her marching orders from Michael Bloomberg and she has exercised her authority as AG to make it ever more difficult for gun owners in Pennsylvania. She started out by trashing reciprocity agreements with other states. She also refuses to work on any new agreements so the ability of Pennsylvanians to travel with their 2nd Amendment rights intact is being curtailed by her directly.

Why Is America Losing 60,000 Corporations Each Year?
Excerpt: In recent talks on tax policy, pundits have focused on the rise in corporate "inversions" -- when American corporations move abroad and reincorporate overseas. But is that really America's biggest corporate problem? There were just 14 inversions in 2014. However, America does lose 60,000 corporations every year. How? A new report from William McBride of the Tax Foundation explains: restructuring. Traditional corporations are taxed on their income via the corporate income tax. After they distribute profits to their shareholders, those shareholders are taxed on the dividends they receive, and they are also subject to the capital gains tax when they sell their stock. This is known as "double taxation," because shareholders are forced to pay taxes on money that was already taxed first at the corporate level. All corporations face this tax system, but not all businesses are corporations -- many businesses are partnerships, sole proprietorships or what are known as "Subchapter S corporations" (a form that carries the liability benefits of a corporation, but in which business income is taxed at the individual level, not the corporate level). In his report, McBride explains that one of the major differences between these business forms and the traditional corporation is how their profits are taxed: these non-corporate forms are known as "pass-through" entities. Rather than being forced to pay the corporate income tax and face double taxation, their income "passes through" to owners and shareholders, where it is taxed once.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

What You Need to Know About the Fight to Make Members of Congress Enroll in Obamacare. By Melissa Quinn
Excerpt: For years, Republicans have made the case that members of Congress and their staffs are getting special treatment under Obamacare. Their complaint stems from a 2013 decision by the federal Office of Personnel Management that allowed more than 12,000 congressional employees, their spouses and dependents to purchase health insurance from D.C.’s small business exchange. Now, as the case makes its way through D.C. Superior Court, the city’s attorneys say those congressional employees should not be permitted to purchase health insurance through the District’s Small Business Health Options Program.

Why Does the ACA Definition of Full-Time Work Matter?
Excerpt: Congressional Republicans are looking at changing the Affordable Care Act's definition of full-time work. What exactly would that mean? Currently, the ACA's employer mandate requires employers who have at least 50 full-time employees to provide their employees with health insurance -- those who do not are forced to pay a fine. Under the ACA, full-time work means working 30 hours per week or more. To avoid the additional labor costs, employers have a few options. For example, they can keep their workforce under 50 employees, cut employees' pay, cut current employees' hours to less than 30 hours a week or hire more part-time employees (for less than 30 hours per week). Employers have responded to the law with workforce changes -- according to Ben Gitis, policy analyst at the American Action Forum, the ACA had reduced employment by 350,544 jobs as of September 2014.

Public Approval of Health Care Law

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: French police launched simultaneous raids against jihadists who were holding hostages in two separate locations near Paris, France. The two suspects in the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a third accomplice who is thought to have executed a policewoman in Paris were killed by police officers as they stormed a print shop and a Jewish grocery where the jihadists were holding hostages, Le Monde reported. Four hostages were killed at the grocery story.

French police end twin standoffs, killing Charlie Hebdo terror suspects and an associate
Excerpt: The fast-moving events Friday also underscored the complex, even haphazard web of allegiances that constitute locally bred terrorism, with three men apparently working together yet claiming loyalties to two rival organizations based in the Middle East: al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen and the Islamic State militant group that has seized parts of Iraq and Syria.

French police kill Paris massacre suspects, hostage-taking terrorist; Al Qaeda rep says group directed magazine attack
Excerpt: A member of Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen said the group directed the massacre at a Paris magazine, hours after near simultaneous raids by French police on Friday killed the two Islamist brothers behind the attack and another terrorist.

Media Cowards and the Cartoon Jihad. By Michelle Malkin 
Excerpt: I have never laughed so bitterly as I did while reading Thursday’s lead editorial by the great pretender-defenders of free speech at The New York Times. Paying obligatory lip service to the 10 cartoonists and staffers of the Paris satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo who were slaughtered for offending Islam, the Times intoned: “It is absurd to suggest that the way to avoid terrorist attacks is to let the terrorists dictate standards in a democracy.” ... “Under Times standards,” a newspaper spokesman said in a statement this week, “we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. ... So says the paper that blithely published a Catholic-bashing photo of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung and defended the taxpayer-funded “Piss Christ” exhibit thusly:

Another Ex-Con, Another Terrorist Attack - The Danger in Closing Gitmo. By Patrick Dunleavy
Excerpt: Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, and Amedy Coulibaly, the radicalized Islamic terrorists who brutally murdered police, journalists, and civilians in the streets of Paris share a common theme with other Muslim terrorists such as Mohammed Merah (Toulouse, France Massacre 2012) Alton Nolen (the Oklahoma beheading), Michael Zehaf Bibeau (Attack on Canadian Parliament) and Carlos Bledsoe (Arkansas Army Recruiting Station). All spent time behind bars. This list would be larger if we included those arrested for plotting terrorist attacks that were thwarted by counter-terrorism officials. (Simple solution. Take no prisoners. ~Bob)

Bill Maher Blasts ‘Pussy Nation’ Too Afraid Of Offending Muslims Over Paris Terror Attack
Excerpt: Maher asked those with left-leaning political beliefs to acknowledge that it’s not “racist” to call Islam a violent religion. And when Kimmel suggested that Americans need to realize what a huge deal this was, Maher uttered the line of the night: “Pussy nation.”

Bill Maher: Hundreds of Millions of Muslims Support Attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’
Excerpt: “I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this,” the host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher said on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. “But here’s the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, ‘We don’t approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off.”

Excerpt: USA Today obviously thought it was a good idea Thursday to print an argument that murder of those who “insult” Muhammad is not only “legitimate,” but apparently “right”: “People know the consequences: Opposing view.” ... "Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires."

Nicholas Kristof & the Spirit of Charlie Hebdo. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: On the day when journalists were massacred in Paris, while blood still ran wet where they had fallen, and as eye witnesses described the killers' shouts of "Allahu Akbar" – "Allah is great" – the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof asked the world not to judge the killers too quickly: most urgently, he said, don't jump to the conclusion they are Muslims. Really? Even when they sounded the Muslim prayer? Even when they called their deeds, loud and clear in the streets of Paris, "vengeance for the Prophet"?

Important Detail Revealed About the French Officer Executed on Video by Suspected Islamic Extremists. By Dave Urbanski
Excerpt: The French police officer seen executed on video by suspected Islamist extremists after a deadly attack on a satirical Paris newspaper was himself a Muslim, NBC News has revealed.
Bicycle Patrolman Ahmed Merabet, 42, also was a married father, NBC News learned from an official in Merabet’s station.

Will Egypt show America how to win the war on radical Islamic jihadism? By Charles Ortel
Excerpt: The biggest story not yet covered appropriately in mainstream media plays out now in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attacks the root causes of continuing conflict between certain adherents of Islam and freedom-loving secularists, in defiance of President Obama and of fierce critics. Living in a nation of 87 million persons, where an estimated 90 percent are Muslim, President el-Sisi is certain that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization, or a force for good and so his government holds hundreds of members of that organization in prison, where many face death sentences, including former President Mohammed Morsi.

5 Recent Terrorist Attacks by Islamists You May Have Missed. By Daniel Kochis
Excerpt: March 2012: Toulouse and Montauban, France – A French national of Algerian origin kills three off-duty soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi in three separate terrorist attacks in southern France. Before being killed by police in a shootout, the terrorist, who carried out the terrorist attack in the name of Islam, told authorities he did so in part because he was mad over France’s military role in Afghanistan.

Our moderate "allies." Meanwhile, Saudis Lash Blogger for "Insult" to Islam
Excerpt: For sheer brutality, it pales in comparison to the massacre of journalists and cartoonists Wednesday at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, but Saudi Arabia's flogging of a liberal blogger Friday further shows how rooted the concept of violence is in response to any insult of Islam. Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes – he received the first 50 in a public square in Jeddah Friday – along with 10 years in prison and a fine equal to $266,666, Reuters reports. His crime? Creating a website called "Free Saudi Liberals," which advocated greater religious freedom. Saudi Arabia found this "insulting to Islam."

US School Forces Girls to Follow Islamic Dress Code on Field Trip
Excerpt: A school district in Colorado is coming under the wrath of the community for telling school girls that they may have to submit to sharia-compliant rules regarding covering their heads and ankles on a field trip to a Muslim mosque.

Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future. By David Horowitz and Robert Spencer
Excerpt: In the wake of the horrifying Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, leftists and Islamic supremacists are, once again, moving swiftly to portray Muslims as victims and any attempts to examine the real motives and goals of the Jihadist killers in Paris as unjustified and “Islamophobic.” To combat this pernicious tactic and the toxic delusion that impoliteness about the Prophet, and not planned Islamic terrorism, is somehow the cause of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in particular and the global jihad in general, Frontpage is running the Freedom Center’s pamphlet, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, written by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer.

Laughing at Mohammed. By Daniel Greenfield 
' border=0 v:shapes="_x0000_i1025"> Excerpt: Draw a cartoon of anyone. Start by exaggerating the features. Make his ears bigger, his nose longer, stretch out his jaw, push out his eyes and if your picture is wearing a turban, watch the bullets fly. ... And Mohammed, despite his child-molesting, caravan-robbing, sex slave-keeping and occasional demonical possession ways (see Satanic Verses; The, the subject of yet another murderous censorship Jihad), is considered the perfect man. And anyone who disagrees must die.

The Prophet Versus Some Myth Named Jesus. By Aaron Gardner 
Excerpt: The implication is clear, if you believe your precious sky fairy had a son and he is your god, then you are clearly not to be taken seriously. You belong to on oppressive cult that wants to hang gays and enslave minority. Also, SCIENCE. BOOM!! But then, a group of people yelling Allahu Akbar murder someone and the script changes tone and direction to absolutely no one’s surprise.

The Real Islam: Bodies ‘littered on the streets’ after Boko Haram attack on Baga. Locals say insurgents began shooting indiscriminately in Nigerian town
Excerpt: Two locals said the Islamist insurgents began shooting indiscriminately and burning buildings on Tuesday evening in raids on the civilian population that carried on into Wednesday.
More than 2,000 people are unaccounted for according to Musa Bukar, chairman of local government for the Kukawa district, which includes Baga.

White House spokesman: US needs to “redouble” efforts to explain the true “tenets” of Islam. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: I think this is a great idea. The White House should indeed redouble its efforts to explain what the Qur’an and Sunnah actually say. If it did this honestly, this would lead to a massive change in its foreign and domestic policies. What’s the downside? Of course, the problem with this is that the White House is enveloped in a fog of willful ignorance about Islam’s texts and teachings, and Earnest here is only saying that they’re going to redouble their efforts to thicken that fog.

Muslims segregated from French society in growing Islamist mini-states. By Rowan Scarborough
Excerpt: A backdrop to the massacre in Paris on Wednesday by self-professed al Qaeda terrorists is that city officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block. France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law.

Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed shot dead outside Ohio airport after ‘attempting to stab’ police officer: cops 
Excerpt: A 41-year-old Ohio man armed with several knives tried to buy a plane ticket with a fake ID before being gunned down by police after lunging at an officer with a blade outside the Columbus airport, police said.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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