Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Today's Worth Reading Political News and Opinion

Because I conceived, organized and co-designed the Leatherneck Tartan back in 1987, I have been made a lifetime member of "Clan Leatherneck" a charitable group that uses the tartan, and brings together Marines with Celtic ties, plus helps wounded vets. Bob

Book Recommendation: The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin 
I rate this excellent book as a "Must Read" for open-minded, intelligent people. (Not so much for polemists of the right and left who haven't entertained a thought beyond the current talking points of their team in years.) It is neither a liberal nor a conservative book--I can imagine Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz sitting side by side in the library mining it for facts and talking points. Well and widely sourced (footnotes make up about 35% of the book) Kotkin quotes favorably from Marx and Elizabeth Warren among others on the left as well as many conservative thinkers. The book deals with the rise of a new oligarchy of tech billionaires and the clerisy who support them to replace the old oligarchy of energy and industrial barons. He goes into depth about the growth of income inequality and the decline of the middle and working classes in ways that will resonate with both progressives and conservatives. He spares neither party in his apportionment of responsibility for the current state of economic affairs. Kotkin weaves solid economic history from the fall of feudalism to the rise of the middle class into the narrative. Minds that are open to learning cannot fail to learn from this book. Some of the quotes that stuck with me:  "Increasingly, American politics resemble not so much a rising democracy as an emerging plutocracy, with dueling groups of billionaires right and left determining most political choices." "Middle-class taxpayers have been transformed into unwitting underwriters of over $20 billion in bonuses paid out in 2013 by Wall Street." "The tax system penalizes the Yeomanry (his term for the low and middle income earners) but rewards the oligarchs." "In the absence of a focus on how to grow economies more rapidly and broadly, both political philosophies (liberal and conservative) fall short." I highly recommend this book to those with the G2 to understand it, open minds and a concern about the direction of this country. ~Bob

Why Liberals Should Love Donald Trump. By Robert A. Hall
Feel free to forward or post.

Must Read: Dear Germany. By Tom Kratman
Excerpt: So I understand that your rulers and overlords have decided that you have to take in some eight hundred thousand “refugees” from wherever.1 Yes, yes, I know they’ve tried to pretend that these are people fleeing persecution, but you know and I know that most of them are looking for either a better job or a healthy dose of your government’s largesse. Yes, yes, I am sure they show you the picture of the drowned Syrian kid, Alan Kurdi, 2 about half hourly to spark your conscience, but you know and I know the kid was killed by his human-smuggling father’s negligence and incompetence, 3 as the father went in search of some free dental care at European expense. 4 No, no; I am sure you were not consulted, lest you give the wrong answer. (Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: WHAT I LEARNED ON PAGE 84 AT 0430 THIS MORNING. By Col. Andy Weddington, USMC (Ret.)

Worth Reading: Obama's Islamic State War Czar Stepping Down
Excerpt: The timing of Allen’s departure could not be worse for the Obama administration. The incoming Marine Corps Commandant, Lieutenant General Robert Neller, testified last month that the war is at a “stalemate.” Last week, the head of the U.S. Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, testified that of the 54 Syrian rebels trained and equipped by the U.S. military, only “4 or 5” were still in the fight. And now the Pentagon is investigating allegations by dozens of intelligence analysts that their reporting on the progress in the war effort was altered before being given to top officials. U.S. officials familiar with Allen's decision say he has been frustrated with White House micromanagement of the war and its failure to provide adequate resources to the fight. He unsuccessfully tried to convince the administration to allow U.S. tactical air control teams to deploy on the ground to help pick targets for air strikes in Iraq. Allen also tried several times to convince the White House to agree to Turkish demands for a civilian protection zone in Syria, to no avail. (Simple, really.  There's no point trying to serve the country as it needs if your boss is BHO.  After you realize you're wasting your time and effort and doing no good but just helping him play for time, the best thing you can do is get the hell out. --Del. Gen. Allen lost his son, Robert, Lt, USMC in Afghanistan. ~Bob))

Surprise: State Department’s account of e-mail request differs from Clinton’s
Excerpt: But State Department officials provided new information Tuesday that undercuts Clinton’s characterization. They said the request was not simply about general rec­ord-keeping but was prompted entirely by the discovery that Clinton had exclusively used a private e-mail system.

Worth Hearing: Democrats Explain the Iran Deal
Worth hearing Dems explain it in their own words. ~Bob

Worth Watching: A guide to the dark side. By Pat Condell

Worth Watching: Why You Should NEVER Hire a Muslim. By Pat Condell

Worth Watching: Islam Invasion Of Europe Will FAIL. By Pat Condell

Why the GOP race might come down to Marco Rubio versus Jeb Bush

Obama staffer Jake Brewer killed in bicycle accident
Excerpt: His wife, Mary Katharine Ham, is a conservative commentator and journalist. She shared news of her husband's death in a post on Instagram Sunday. (She is often on Fox. ~Bob)

Yogi Berra, an American story. By George F. Will

Should Ben Carson Endorse Sharia Slavery in Islamic Law? Is a black man supposed to prove his tolerance by endorsing a religion that practices slavery?  By Daniel Greenfield
As usual, the media are only reporting part of the story.  All I heard all day on the radio was that Carson says no Muslim can be President.  Not the remotest mention of his saying that the reason is that believing in Sharia Law as superior to all Western law would be a barrier (duhh... yes, it sure would be!), or that he said if the person clearly rejected that idea, then Carson would have no problem with him.  Nor would I or most other Americans, but I'd sure have a problem with anyone who proclaims himself a fundamentalist Muslim devoted to the replacement of Western civilization by Islam.  That's not all Muslims, of course, but it is some for sure. Given the numerous quotes from assorted Muslim spokesmen about this (see some below), Carson is only making a salient point.  But the media just love any chance to disqualify a conservative Black man on any pretext at all. --Del

Worth Reading: The Medal and the Man
A worthwhile story of the kind of man that has made this nation great and safe.  RIP, Colonel, and S/F. Del

Worth Reading: Is Everything We Know Wrong? By Jonathon Last
Excerpt: Barack Obama has become the transformational president he aspired to be. Among the things he has transformed is the nature of the political compact between the rulers and the ruled in our republic. Before Obama, citizens hoped that their elected leaders would be wise, independent, and disinterested leaders -- but they never really counted on utopian vision. What they banked on was that the people they elected would, at the very least, be self-interested vote-seekers -- so that if voters started punishing politicians for a specific course of action, the politicians would abandon it. The passage of Obamacare broke this arrangement. And the impending passage of the Iran nuclear deal, in the face of voter discontent will cement this new relationship as the norm. In both cases, Democratic law makers went along in processes that were highly irregular (the nuclear option for passage of Obamacare; no treaty ratification with Iran); with initiatives they largely disliked on the merits; that voters demonstrably disliked in polling; and that had (or are likely to have) negative outcomes not just in the real world, but in the political world, too. This sort of power dynamic is new in American politics. (My only quibble is that this “the rules no longer apply” approach to politics probably precedes Obama by a little bit. We’ve seen candidates change their views on an ongoing war before, but in the past, turning on a dime the moment a war becomes unpopular would have been seen as craven and poor leadership. Yet in 2004, we saw candidates running presidential campaigns based on opposing a war that they had voted for less than two years prior. John Kerry, John Edwards, and then Hillary Clinton four years later, all ran anti-war campaigns, all casually discarding any sense that they had any responsibility to finish what they had voted to start. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.)

What a difference a debate makes: Carly Fiorina surges into second

Of course: Hillary Clinton announces opposition to Keystone pipeline
Excerpt: After declining to state her position for years, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she opposes the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Keystone means jobs and cheaper energy for low and middle income folks, but the wealthy green billionaires oppose it.  And she is with the money--always. ~Bob)

Killer of Kentucky State Trooper active in #BlackLivesMatter

WHAT?....Secretary of the Navy Implies Marines Are Dishonest Chauvinists

Graphic Warning: Have You Seen How Muslims ‘Celebrate’ EID Al-ADHA – The Festival Of Sacrifice? (Viewer Discretion Advised)
PETA dares say nothing. ~Bob

CRASHING CARLY'S HARD DRIVE. By Col. Andy Weddington, USMC (Ret.)

Worth Reading: U.S. soldiers ordered to ignore Afghan allies’ abuse of boys
Excerpt:  In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Kids with cancer and their parents ejected from park near White House
Probably not the right ethnic group or they would have been invited to the White House. ~Bob

Worth Reading: Panel: U.S. Needs to Rethink Strategy to Defeat Radical Islam. By John Grady

Kerry says US will take 85,000 refugees next year; 100,000 in '17
Can we put them on his estates and on his yacht? --Barb

Democrats have a growing debate problem on their hands

SAS hero kills six ISIS fighters by himself despite being 'out-gunned and outnumbered' during terror ambush in Syria

Survey: More than 1 in 5 female undergrads at top schools suffer sexual attacks
Excerpt: Researchers acknowledged the possibility of an overstated victimization rate because there was evidence that hundreds of thousands of students who ignored the electronic questionnaire were less likely to have suffered an assault. ... Others said they were victims of unwanted touching or kissing that could be defined as sexual battery.

The 10 most influential billionaires in politics

Excerpt: He noted that since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has resettled about 1.5 million immigrants from Muslim nations. Some 90 percent receive on food stamps, and 70 percent are receiving free healthcare and cash welfare.

COEXIST! Muslim Group Says Liberalism Can Only Exist if it… “Submits to Islam”?
Well, Islam means "submission." ~Bob

ARMY STRONG? By Col. Andy Weddington, USMC (Ret)

Customer carrying a concealed weapon shoots suspected bank robber at Citizen's Bank

US-trained rebels gave their weapons to al-Qaeda immediately on entering Syria. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The Obama Administration repeatedly assured us that they were working with “vetted moderates” in Syria. Obviously they have no idea how actually to do such vetting, or were never sincere about attempting to do so in the first place.

The Muslim Islamophobes Who Agree With Ben Carson. Carson almost literally quoted Islamic doctrine and prominent Muslim leadership, and for this he is labeled a bigot.

Fine. Can we take our tax dollars with us when we leave? ~Bob

Regulating community: Local government cracks down on Little Free Libraries. By Andrew Collins

Thousands of Europeans Take to the Streets to Drive Out Islam:

Is Obama a Muslim?
The bad part about the whole "Obama IS a Muslim" thing is that there is not really compelling proof of it at all, and he does tons of things a real Muslim doesn't, like drinking beer and eating pork, and liking gays besides.  And people who keep pushing the idea just open themselves to being dismissed with glee by the leftist media as "Islamophobes", and after that nothing they say matters. There is so much totally factual stuff to object to about what has done, has said, continues to do that it's just a waste to go on about him being a Muslim.  I have several of the more emphatic vets on my list mad at me because I don't support the claim and tell them to focus on the stuff about which there is no possible doubt, and that's the obvious existing and continuing damage to the nation. --Del

A Driver’s License Won’t Get You Through Airport Security If You Live in These States
Excerpt: If Steven Spielberg were to stop you on the street next year and invite you to star in his movie on the condition that (you) leave right now for the airport without stopping at home, your opportunity at fame and fortune would be squandered if you happened to be a resident of New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Louisiana, or American Samoa. The reason: At some point in 2016—the precise date hasn’t yet been announced—driver’s licenses from those states will no longer be considered sufficient to clear airport security and board an airplane. (,,,) The State Department has some tips on how to get a passport in a timely manner. (Considering that one of the Boston TV stations–WCVB Channel 5–recently did a special report about how one convicted drug dealer –and, it implied, many others–had acquired 9 different REAL, LEGITIMATE Massachusetts driver’s licenses in 9 different names and addresses, every one with his picture, from the Registry of Motor Vehicles by showing birth or baptismal certificates–all real, but not his–from Puerto Rico, you have to wonder just how "real" even a Real ID is. Especially if it comes from a "sanctuary" state. Ron P.)

Excerpt: Francis gets criticism from the left too, since he has not in fact changed Catholic doctrine on any of the moral issues that divide it from progressives. (Pope Francis is the most popular man in the world who attacks contraception, a successor in that title to Gandhi.) ... It’s not as though Pope Francis has proposed, or ever would propose, that the view that businessmen should never fire anyone is binding on the consciences of Catholics. These are his opinions, not the teachings of the Church. American conservatives should also keep in mind that these are the opinions of a man whose understanding of economics has been shaped by an Argentinean political economy very different from our own. One might still wish that the pope would refrain from sharing them so volubly, if only because they sow confusion in a world already rife with misunderstandings of Church teaching. 

Obama's Free Lunch Fallacy: Paid Sick Days Aren't Free Either

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