I am on vacation, and probably will have little computer access, but will post if I can. I’ll leave a few things to post for your reading pleasure, if Blogspot doesn’t hiccup, as it sometimes does. I should be back in the swing of things on August 24.
New Book: Old Jarhead Poems: The Heart of a Marine
At the urging of the editors at Leatherneck, where many of these were published, I’m making my Marine/Military poems available in a small book. I will not be marketing it much, as I want to keep pushing Collapse, which I think is important to the future of the country. I note it here for those who might be interested in such things. Here’s the description from the Amazon website: Old Jarhead Poems is a collection of traditional verse about Marines, the Corps, courage, war, friendship and freedom written over more than forty years by a Marine. Many of these poems have been previously published in Leatherneck and other magazines. Those who love the Marines, respect courage and dedication or who admire traditional poetry about the old values will find this small volume a treasured keepsake they will return to time and again. All author’s royalties from this book will be donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund to help wounded veterans.
The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.
Worth Reading: Social Degeneration Part 2 by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Although much of the media have their antennae out to pick up anything that might be construed as racism against blacks, they resolutely ignore even the most blatant racism by blacks against others. That includes a pattern of violent attacks on whites in public places in Chicago, Denver, New York, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Kansas City, as well as blacks in schools beating up Asian classmates -- for years -- in New York and Philadelphia. These attacks have been accompanied by explicitly racist statements by the attackers, so it is not a question of having to figure out what the motivation is. There has also been rioting and looting by these young hoodlums. Yet blacks have no monopoly on these ugly and malicious episodes. Remarkably similar things are being done by lower-class whites in England. Anybody reading "Life at the Bottom" by Theodore Dalrymple will recognize the same barbaric and self-destructive patterns among people with the same attitudes, even though their skin color is different. Anyone reading today's headline stories about young hoodlums turning the streets of London into scenes of shattered and burning chaos, complete with violence, will discover the down side of the brotherhood of man. While the history and the races are different, what is the same in both countries are the social policies and social attitudes long promoted by the intelligentsia and welfare state politicians.
The Unbiased Media Strikes Again
Great Cartoon, a few weeks old.
Excerpt: The Obama administration has told us how it intends to change Medicare many times and in many places. It wants to replace fragmented decision making by independent doctors with coordinated care delivered by doctors working in teams, connected to a medical home. It wants Medicare to purchase quality, not quantity. It wants decisions to be evidence-based. It wants electronic records in order to standardize care and reduce errors. So how does the administration plan to get all this done? It plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on pilot programs to try all these ideas out and then .. Wait a minute. Aren't these ideas already being tried out somewhere? Yes. In Medicare, as a matter of fact. How well are they working? As a long-time critic of managed care, I admit the results look pretty good. So if the Obama administration's core ideas have already been tried and tested and they are well underway, why are we spending hundreds of millions of dollars reinventing the health delivery wheel? I thought you'd never ask. If you are practical and pragmatic, you wouldn't - especially when the government is running out of money anyway. But if you are intensely ideological, there are three reasons: First, the place where these ideas are being implemented and vetted is in Medicare Advantage plans; Barack Obama campaigned against these plans in his presidential bid, claiming that they were over-paid. Second, the Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies; many legislators hate them because (a) they are private, (b) they are insurance, and (c) they represent "privatization" of Medicare. Third, the ideas that are being tried and vetted are originating in a competitive marketplace instead of where the administration thinks that health delivery ideas are supposed to come from - a government bureaucracy.
Do Disability Benefits Discourage Work?
Excerpt: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is intended to replace lost income for people suffering from a disability that is likely to cause substantial long-term losses in earnings. A concern has been that SSDI may have a disincentive effect on the willingness of recipients to work — that is, that some SSDI beneficiaries would work if they did not receive benefits. This study examined SSDI applications between 2005 and 2006, focusing on a "natural experiment" that arises from the disability determination process itself: Some of the disability examiners who decide these cases are more stringent than others. This allowed the study team to compare work activity among similar applicants who were initially allowed or denied benefits only because their applications were randomly assigned to disability examiners with different propensities to allow benefits. The researchers found that those who have impairments that are on the margin of allowance for SSDI benefits are strongly discouraged from returning to work if they are awarded benefits. They also found that those who are relatively less impaired are substantially more likely to return to work if denied benefits, whereas beneficiaries with the most severe impairments would not be any more likely to work if they had not received SSDI.
Terminating the Small Business Administration
Excerpt: The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created by the Small Business Act of 1953. The primary purpose of the SBA is to encourage lending to small businesses through government loan guarantees. Other SBA activities include offering direct loans for disaster recovery and helping small businesses gain government contracts, say Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. The SBA will cost taxpayers about $6.2 billion in 2011. Annual outlays are typically closer to $1 billion, but the SBA has suffered higher than usual losses on its guaranteed loans in recent years, so the costs imposed on taxpayers have soared. The SBA will guarantee almost $24 billion in new loans in 2011. The share of guaranteed loans outstanding that the SBA -- and ultimately federal taxpayers -- is on the hook for is about $70 billion. The SBA retains political support because it is a tool for policymakers to signal their support of small businesses. At the same time, SBA supporters have cultivated a myth that being against the agency is equivalent to being against small businesses. In reality, the great majority of American small businesses have thrived without government subsidies. The SBA's lending programs benefit a relatively tiny number of businesses at the expense of taxpayers and the vast majority of businesses that do not receive government support.
Allen West for Senate, and why it makes sense
Excerpt: Even as he says it remains unlikely, the fact that West is showing a little leg in considering a Senate bid is notable. And it could also be West’s best option for returning to Congress in 2012. The prospect of the conservative firebrand and tea-party favorite (despite his vote for the debt-limit deal in August) running for Senate makes sense, and it has done so for a long time now. West already represents one of the more Democratic-leaning districts held by a Republican in the country, and depending on who you ask, it could be hard for Republicans who control the drawing of new Florida congressional districts to make him safer in 2012 — or even maintain the same percentage of Republicans in West’s current district. All of that makes reelection anything but a sure bet, especially for someone who has been among the most conservative members of the 2010 freshman class. “The case for him to run [for Senate] is pretty straightforward: He is a freshman member of Congress who doesn’t know what his district is going to look like if he runs for the House,” said Republican-aligned Florida political analyst Justin Sayfie. “But if runs for the Senate, he knows exactly what the ‘district’ looks like.”
German economic slowdown yields more sour news for Europe
If the eurozone implodes, as looks ever more likely, we will be dragged into the abyss with them. ~Bob. Excerpt: The economy of Germany, Europe’s headline performer, slowed to a virtual standstill over the past three months, according to new figures released Tuesday, a further blow to international efforts to contain the financial crisis on the continent. The discouraging news came just hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for closer European coordination in setting economic policy and new steps to discipline governments whose lax budget practices prompted the debt crisis.
Excerpt: According to a whole host of polls and surveys, the American people are incredibly angry right now. The American people are hopping mad at the government, the American people are hopping mad about the economy and the American people are hopping mad about the direction that this country is headed. Never before in modern U.S. history have the American people been this angry. There is vast disagreement about what the solutions to our problems actually are, but what everyone can agree on is that the American people are absolutely seething with anger right now. The statistics that you are about to read are mind blowing. We used to be such a happy country. Once upon a time we were one of the happiest places on earth. But as the economy has fallen to pieces anger has been steadily growing. If something is not done to turn the economy around eventually this anger is going to erupt in frightening and unpredictable ways. The American people are not equipped to handle hard times. We are incredibly spoiled. Most of us have only known good times, and most of us have been taught that we will have endless prosperity all of our lives because we live in the greatest nation on earth. Well, “the greatest nation on earth” is about to get a massive wake up call. We are up to our eyeballs in debt and we are bleeding jobs, businesses and wealth at an astounding pace. Our economy is dying right in front of our eyes, and most Americans have been so “dumbed-down” that they don’t even realize what is happening. (It took hunger to wake you up, America, but now you are starting to get it. The government ONLY knows how to borrow, print and spend. Keynesian stimulus is an abject failure. The Soviet Union was supposed to have taught us that a command economy, with bureaucrats in charge of all trends -- or rather, TRYING to be in charge -- simply will not and cannot work. A small nucleus of Americans know this now. Other poor souls still expect a politician to fix everything for them. If our politicians continue to fiddle as Rome burns -- and it looks increasingly as though this is their only trick -- then we will be back to the same situation that prevailed in the Soviet Union (who'd have ever thought it would come to this?). And how did the people cope there? They eventually turned their backs on the government-run economy to the point that it collapsed. Out of necessity, they created a parallel economy (black market), which eventually took over the majority of economic functions. This parallel economy is already here, but its role will be expanded naturally as time goes on. Try as it might, the government cannot stop market forces. As the poll numbers reported below show, the more government tries to control the market the more irrelevant it will become. May the forces be with you, Americans! You the governed are becoming the government, by default. --Don Hank)
Green: Obama is a victim of Bush's failed promises
I'm told this writer and paper are to the left! ~Bob. Excerpt: Just one year ago, fresh from his inauguration celebrations, President Obama was flying high. After one of the nation’s most inspiring political campaigns, the election of America’s first black president had captured the hopes and dreams of millions. To his devout followers, it was inconceivable that a year later his administration would be gripped in self-imposed crisis. Of course, they don’t see it as self imposed. It’s all George Bush’s fault. George Bush, who doesn’t have a vote in Congress and who no longer occupies the White House, is to blame for it all. He broke Obama’s promise to put all bills on the White House web site for five days before signing them. He broke Obama’s promise to have the congressional health care negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN. He broke Obama’s promise to end earmarks. He broke Obama’s promise to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent. He broke Obama’s promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo in the first year. He broke Obama’s promise to make peace with direct, no pre-condition talks with America’s most hate-filled enemies during his first year in office, ushering in a new era of global cooperation. He broke Obama’s promise to end the hiring of former lobbyists into high White House jobs. He broke Obama’s promise to end no-compete contracts with the government.
Letter from an Iowa Rest Stop
Funny parody. ~Bob. Excerpt: Sitting here, at this ghastly Des Moines rest stop, totally cramped on my bus (repurposed, by the way, from the Black Eyed Peas 2004 Elephunk Tour – props to my man, will.i.am!), waiting for Plouffe to bring me a packet of beef jerky and an espresso, I can’t help but think about how much I remind myself of Martin Luther King Jr. He too did something with buses, I think. And he was, like me, criticized a lot. Since arriving in Iowa, a number of “people” have asked me, “Why are you here, instead of running the country? What about the economy? Jobs? War? Blah? Blah? Blah?” I should not stoop to answer these questions, as they are coughed and hacked in my direction, plebian sputum clinging to each syllable, by people with no interest in trying to understand the complex economic issues that have imperiled my reelection bid. Here’s the thing you’ve got understand. I am here in this . . . place . . . because injustice is here. You see, America, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. And since I am a great orator (like Dr. King, Abe Lincoln, Cicero, etc, etc), then you must simply be failing to listen properly.
Re-Analyzing the "World Saving" Arab Spring…That Wasn't!
Excerpt: The "Islam is a religion of peace" and the "world peace" crowds have been spouting about the beauty and hope of the "Arab Spring" phenomenon for months now. Even after the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt went back on their word not to get involved in the political process there, the nauseatingly effervescent, supporters of all things Islam refused to accept the possibility that they might not have the religion, the Arab angst or the likely outcome of these uprisings, right.
Family on benefits move into £2 million home
Excerpt: Taking advantage of housing benefit rules introduced by the last Labour Government, jobless Saeed Khaliif, 49, his wife Sayida and their children have been able to set up home in fashionable West Hampstead, an area beyond the reach of many well heeled house-hunters in the capital. The family, who had been living in a semi-detached house in Coventry, were able to move south and sign what is believed to be a £2,000 a week lease for the six bedroom property despite having no connection with their new area. The house, on a leafy street close to where Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson lives, is estimated to be worth £2 million.
Liberal Psychoses-- Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: How are we to make sense of flash mobbing, the London rioting, more hatred expressed for the Tea Party, more calls for ever more debt and spending, and Barack Obama’s dive below 40% approval in the polls? Let me backtrack a bit. ... I grew up with die-hard Roosevelt Democrats. Packers, shippers, and distributors made all the profits; farmers, we were told, did the work. Co-ops like Sun-Maid were noble; in contrast, grasping private packers paid on “consignment”: give us your produce in an oversupplied market and we will get what we can, when we can, for it. Often plums and peaches were dumped, and we paid the packing and storage fees for the privilege of losing the crop. Unfairness, not the capricious nature of market capitalism, is what we wished to hear. In my youth, my mother helped out in the “Dollars For Democrats” campaign. I remember the 1960s’ talking points still, as she drove us through the poorer sections of the San Joaquin Valley raising money for JFK (Nixon would win the state by 36,000 votes). We had high hopes for Pat Brown and Sen. Claire Engle. Charles “Gus” Garrigus was our local assemblyman. At eight I met a young Alan Cranston at a run-down café on the old 99 Highway in Selma, a sort of awkward gangly guy still at that stage talking about hard-core, bread-and-butter populism. After all, what was so unfair about wanting a 40-hour week, overtime pay, disability and unemployment insurance, public works and infrastructure (e.g., the California water projects, LAX, the state freeway system), fair housing, money for the new JC/CSU/UC tripartite “master plan” of higher California education? It was not uncommon in those days to see unpaved streets and a few outhouses — something I was told the distant wealthy could avoid but the state should not.
Why do Jews still back Obama
Rick Perry and Islam
Excerpt: Some questions have been raised about Rick Perry's views on Islam. Islamic infiltration into American politics means that every candidate deserves close scrutiny. My purpose is not to attack Perry, but to conduct a preliminary discussion of the subject. Pamela Geller and Debbie Schlussel have written their own articles, which add more pieces to the puzzle. As with every candidate, the discussion will go on as more materials are brought forward. First of all it's important to recognize that the Rick Perry question, is also the Chris Christie question, it's the question that comes with every governor from a state with a large and politically active Muslim population. This question will have more serious implications as the size of the Muslim population expands even further.
Warren Buffett — Coddled Billionaire
Excerpt: During my nearly three decades in network news, all at CBS, I came to realize that when it came to economic issues most reporters were hopelessly out of their depth. Or to put it another way, they were dumb as dirt. Most wouldn’t know a capital gain from a mutual fund. But that never stopped them from pretending they knew what they were talking about. I bring this up now because all three broadcast networks reported the big news that billionaire Warren Buffett had an op-ed in the New York Times in which he lamented the fact that he isn’t being asked to pay enough in taxes. Buffett has said this many times before in all sorts of forums, but once something appears in the New York Times, it becomes official as far as so-called mainstream journalists are concerned, so they dutifully pay attention. And they paid special attention to this catchy part of Buffett’s column: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,” he wrote. “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.” I agree. It is time that the government started to get serious about shared sacrifice. In fact, it’s way past time. And guess who isn’t sharing in the sacrifice. Try, the bottom half of workers in America, who pay no federal income tax at all.
Obama Bus-Tour Greyhound One Made in Canada
Excerpt: They say that perception is important, especially in politics. So even though Obama’s new, tricked-out bus for his three-day, Midwest bus tour was purchased through a U.S. retailer, the fact that it was made in Canada will surely raise some eyebrows. Rumors started swirling this week on blogs and in comment sections that Obama’s bus — nicknamed “Greyhound One” — was not American-made, which is ironic considering part of the president’s goal on the tour has been to talk about jobs and getting Americans back to work. The New York Post reveals the large vehicles were originally built in Canada by luxury bus-maker Prevost: President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built — in Canada, The Post has learned. The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts. It’s a VIP H3-45 model, the company’s top of the line, and is used by major traveling rock bands. “That’s the more luxurious model,” Christine Garant of Prevost told The Post.
The Spending Threat to Our National Defense
Excerpt: Consider it a warning from the highest levels of the U.S. government. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta held a joint press event in Washington in which they cautioned that U.S. debt is jeopardizing America's ability to ensure national security and preserve its interests abroad. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011—the debt ceiling agreement enacted earlier this month—$350 billion in cuts to defense spending must be made over 10 years. But if Congress doesn't reach an agreement on $1.5 trillion in deficit savings, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be made. Half of those would come from the military's budget by 2013. And Panetta said yesterday that those cuts would be disastrous: This kind of massive cut across the board, which would literally double the number of cuts that we're confronting, that would have devastating effects on our national defense; it would have devastating effects on certainly the State Department.
Religion and the Cult of Tolerance: Freedom of religion isn't just about thought and speech.
Excerpt: Earlier this summer, the chief rabbi for Great Britain warned about a new intolerance being imposed in the name of tolerance. "I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organizations is an erosion of religious liberty," Lord Sacks told a House of Commons committee in June. "We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century—a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere." Though not as pronounced on this side of the Atlantic, we can see the same trend that so worries Lord Sacks. Here too the imposition comes in the guise of nondiscrimination laws and codes. Here too the result is the same: Faith organizations are told whom they must employ and what they must assent to, or face being shoved off the public square. The latest example is a case called Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear. It stems out of a dispute involving a teacher who was replaced at a very small school when she became ill and absent from work. When the teacher threatened to take her complaint to the EEOC, she was sacked.
Los Angeles Mayor Urges End to Tax Limits for Businesses
This would be good news for Texas and other states wanting to attract business from California. ~Bob. Excerpt: Calling California's law limiting property taxes "a corporate tax giveaway," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday he wanted businesses removed from the protections of the measure, known as Proposition 13. In pressing for the change, Mr. Villaraigosa took on a law considered sacrosanct in state politics, and as antitax sentiment is high nationwide. Mr. Villaraigosa, a Democrat and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said the law—which limits annual property-tax increases to no more than 2%—should apply to homeowners but not corporations. That change would generate an estimated $2.1 billion to $8 billion annually, he said.
Warren Buffett's Tax Dodge-The billionaire volunteers the middle class for a tax increase.
Excerpt: Barney Kilgore, the man who made the Wall Street Journal into a national publication, was once asked why so many rich people favored higher taxes. That's easy, he replied. They already have their money. That insight is worth recalling amid the latest political duet from President Obama and Warren Buffett demanding higher taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Mr. Buffett is repeating his now familiar argument this week, coinciding with Mr. Obama's Midwestern road trip on the economy. Since the media are treating Mr. Buffett as a tax oracle, let's take a closer look at some of the billionaire's intellectual tax dodges. The double tax oversight. The Berkshire Hathaway magnate makes much of the fact that he paid only 17.4% of his income in taxes, which he considers unfair when salaried workers often pay more. But Mr. Buffett makes most of his income from his investments, in particular from dividends and capital gains that are taxed at a rate of 15%. What he doesn't say is that much of his income was already taxed once as corporate income, which is assessed at a 35% rate (less deductions). The 15% levy on capital gains and dividends to individuals is thus a double tax that takes the overall tax rate on that corporate income closer to 45%.
Sorry, Bam: Lincoln had it way worse
Excerpt: President Obama has a new complaint: “Lincoln -- they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.” More abused than Abraham Lincoln? Obama has no idea. He has yet to experience anything like the hatred poured on his distinguished predecessor. Lincoln was the single most despised president in American history. The vitriol began even before he was elected. After securing the Republican nomination in 1860, he was branded the “Black Republican.” Southern newspapers obsessed over his physical appearance. He was “the leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a human frame” and “a horrid looking wretch . . . sooty and scoundrelly in aspect, a cross between the nutmeg dealer, the horse swapper and the night man.” They didn’t like his views any better. Lincoln was “a blood-thirsty tyrant,” a “border ruffian” and “a vulgar mobocrat.” An Alabama group proposed a motto: “Resistance to Lincoln is obedience to God.” Throughout the emerging Confederacy, Lincoln was burned in effigy. His name didn’t even appear on Southern ballots. Lincoln won the election anyway and tried to reassure Southerners about his intentions. In the grip of secessionist hysteria, they refused to hear him. His speeches, spewed a Louisiana editorialist, demonstrate “profound ignorance,” display “dishonest and cowardly efforts to dodge responsibility” and “have no equals in the history of any people, civilized or semi-civilized.” Following Lincoln’s inauguration, the Charleston Mercury dubbed the new president “the Ourang-Outang at the White House.” Others called him “the Illinois Ape,” a “Baboon,” and “the original gorilla.” A Virginia congressman called him “a cross between sandhill crane and an Andalusian jackass.” This was their colorful way of saying that Lincoln was less than human.
Military Force Must Be Considered
Excerpt: Because neither current nor additional sanctions alone will deter Tehran, and because a nuclear Iran would be a disaster for the United States and the world, Washington must seriously consider a military option. Such an option - ranging from an embargo on vital goods to a covert sabotage of Iran's nuclear sites to an overt strike on them - brings two benefits. First, a believable U.S. threat of force might get Tehran's attention, forcing the regime to ponder whether its nuclear pursuit is worth a military confrontation. Second, military force ultimately might be the only way to destroy Iran's program or slow it down significantly enough to avert a disaster. Sanctions are hard to enforce under any circumstances, and those against Iran are no exception. Reuters reported recently, for instance, that China and Iran are discussing how to construct a barter system to bypass U.S. sanctions that make it hard for countries to do business with Iran in dollars. (Too busy bombing Libya, which Bush convinced to give up its nukes. ~Bob.)
Code blue for China's red army
One of the reasons I included China among the four key threats to our survival in my book, Collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: The cyberwarfare scenario is just one of the various exercises involving military blue units, or cyberspace special forces, that have been described in recent years in PLA Daily, the English-language edition of the People's Liberation Army daily newspaper. The existence of these semi-independent units in all military regions was confirmed in May by the Defence Ministry. The units are co-ordinated by the Information Security Base under the control of the PLA's General Staff Department. Already, a large number of soldiers have been trained in hacking and defence skills. And, from the army, air force and navy to the strategic missile force, the blue units have developed their own tactics to deal with their perceived enemies, mainland military experts say. Strategically, the blue units apply in cyberspace Mao Zedong's doctrine of guerilla warfare - the concept of avoiding direct confrontation with big and powerful enemies such as the United States. Mao abandoned big cities when taking on the invading Japanese and anti-communist Nationalists. He established strongholds in less-developed rural areas and constantly hit the enemy's regular armies with small bands of guerillas. He also mobilised large peasant militias to fight powerful but less numerous enemies. It was a strategy that eventually proved successful. Decades later, that approach to warfare is guiding the PLA's operations in cyberspace, according to a 2006 paper by Dr Wan Dongsheng, a cyberwar specialist with the PLA's Electronic Engineering Institute. Wan says that any confrontation between China and the US in cyberspace today would have many similarities with those earlier wars. Again it would be a case of seemingly less-developed technology squaring off against a more advanced one, involving many people against a few. China might lose considerable ground in the early phase of war, but the guerilla strategy would consume the enemy and grind it down at enormous cost. China's guerilla attacks would avoid defence strongholds such as military command centres. Instead, it would target civilian sectors such as the power grid, financial system, international trade, transport and even hospitals to cause the greatest damage, given that more than 95 per cent of the US military's network is connected to the internet.
20% Now Support U.S. Military Action in Libya
Excerpt: Voter support for continued military action in Libya continues to fall along with the number of voters who think dictator Moammar Gaddafi will be removed from power as a result. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 20% now believe the United States should continue its military action in Libya. Fifty-two percent (52%) oppose further military action there, while another 28% are not sure. (The argument that Gaddafi was killing his own people applied ten fold to Saddam. ~Bob.)
Promotions of ‘Fast and Furious’ officials draw Texan’s wrath
If Bush was to blame for FEMA and Katrina under his administration, why is Obama not to blame for ATF and Gunwalker under his? ~Bob. Excerpt: A senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday described as “inconceivable” a Justice Department decision to promote key Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) personnel who oversaw the controversial “Fast and Furious” weapons investigation that allowed hundreds of guns to be walked into Mexico. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who last week demanded that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. immediately brief his office regarding the “scope and details of any past or present ATF gun-walking programs” in his state, said until Mr. Holder and the department “come clean” on the gun-walking investigation, “it is inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington.” The ATF has promoted three key supervisors of the controversial sting operation that allowed firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S. border into Mexico.
Excerpt: The below video from Breitbart.tv (h/t Larry O’Connor) shows one of the most blatant, race-baiting moments in recent memory. But not from the person MSNBC wants you to think it came from. “That big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous.” – Rick Perry “That black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama.” – Ed Schultz No Ed, the black cloud is “that debt”, as the undoctored video shows. Even by MSNBC standards, this selective editing by Ed Schultz, expressly to paint Perry as a racist, is pretty appalling. The ostensibly-more-credible-than-Ed-Schultz ABC News’ “The Note” blog also used the doctored quote. (Even if Perry called Obama a “black cloud,” is that racist? Obama says he is black, so why is “cloud” racist? ~Bob.)
Excerpt: With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.
$360M lost to insurgents, criminals in Afghanistan
Excerpt: After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling
Russian security forces foil Islamist terror plot to bomb train
Excerpt: RUSSIAN authorities have foiled a plot by militants who were building fertiliser bombs in a suburban apartment and planning to attack a bullet train between Moscow and St Petersburg, a newspaper reported.
7 pulled from Iraqi mosque, killed execution-style
As long as they didn’t hurt a Qur’an, still very Islamic. The Allahmurders of Muslims continue. ~Bob. Excerpt: Gunmen wearing military uniforms pulled seven people from a Sunni mosque south of Baghdad and then shot and killed them execution-style, officials said Tuesday, raising the death toll to 70 in Iraq's deadliest day this year.
Miami Declares Emergency, Mulls Union Cuts
Excerpt: The "good news" keeps right on rolling. As such, I keep wondering which major US city will be the first to declare bankruptcy. Please consider candidate Miami.
Important: $2.4 Trillion Nail in the Coffin
Excerpt: Washington just added another $2.4 trillion to an already exploding debt of $14 trillion. The accumulated obligations of the U.S. now exceed 100% of America’s Gross Domestic Product. We’ve reached that point at which we are trapped in an economic catch-22. Over the last 150 years or so, the average interest rate paid on cost of capital has been 4%. But these days, interest rates on the federal debt run just 1.25%. That’s mostly due to a lack of demand by private companies for borrowing and the fact that the Fed is pumping money into the bond markets to keep interest rates down. Rates, however, will soon go up. Additional borrowing by the U.S. government -- and the other 181 countries currently running in the red -- will force interest rates to increase as countries race against each other to attract investor money away from stock markets and other liquid assets. Part one of the catch-22 is this. The U.S. can’t afford to borrow money at anything much more than 0% interest. For each percentage point that interest rates rise, it costs an additional $150 billion or so per year to pay the additional interest. For example, if rates were to rise to the historic average of 4% on our entire debt, our annual deficit would increase by an additional $600 billion per year.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. --George Bernard Shaw
Military Retirement in Cross-Hairs of Budget Cutters?
Excerpt: Earlier, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Navy Admiral, Mike Mullen said on July 31st at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, “There’s no immediate plan to affect retirement.”(First, wonder if they know it's not PC to use "Cross-Hairs" any more and second, if that statement from Admiral Mullen isn't a red flag, then red flags don't exist. MasterGuns)
Brace for another U.S.-Mideast war
Excerpt: Turkey secretly passed a message to Damascus last week that if it does not implement major democratic reforms, NATO may attack Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND. The Egyptian security officials said the message was coordinated with NATO members, specifically with the U.S. and European Union. Assad has been widely accused of ordering massacres on militants and protesters engaged in an insurgency targeting his regime. The Egyptian officials said Turkish leaders, speaking for NATO, told Assad that he has until March to implement democratization that would allow free elections as well as major constitutional reforms. (Don’t think for one minute that Turkey's intervention is about democracy!
Turkey is predominantly Sunni, while Bashar Assad is a Shiite. But the almost-dead broke Western powers are itching for a fight, claiming they want democracy. A little known fact is that Syria under Assad has been Christian friendly. In fact, the Syrian government supplied cement to groups that wanted to build churches. Mark my words: WHENEVER Western powers, be it the US or the EU, NATO or a European leader decides to support a Middle Eastern rebellion, the result is and always will be a deterioration of the situation of the indigenous Christian population, whose situation always has been grim to tenuous, not to mention less security for Israel. Things are coming to a head. I am trying hard not to see a buildup to Armageddon here. But the signs are so hard to ignore. -Don Hank)
US considers funding $12 billion Pakistani dam project, despite dissipating anti-terrorism cooperation and the angering of India
Excerpt: The President, it should be remembered, is currently traveling the country in his ObamaBus discussing how he intends to help revitalize America. Even as U.S.-Pakistani cooperation on anti-terrorism programs is withering, the United States is considering backing the construction of a giant, $12 billion dam in Pakistan that would be the largest civilian aid project the U.S. has undertaken here in decades. Supporters of a U.S. role in the project say American participation would mend the United States' tattered image, going a long way toward quieting widespread anti-Americanism amid criticism that the U.S. lavishes money on Pakistan's military while doing little for the country's civilian population. (You could give them every penny in America and kill every Jew for them, and they would still hate us. ~Bob.)
Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Education Section
Excerpt: Over the last two weeks, PJMedia has published a series of articles about the hiring practices of the Civil Rights Division at the Obama Justice Department. Today’s installment relates to the Education Section: this Section has enormous power over issues such as race-based preferences in college scholarships, decades-old desegregation orders, and the federal response to racially motivated violence that plagues American schools. (…) The PJMedia series has demonstrated that, rather incredibly, every single one of the career attorneys hired since Obama took office has a fringe leftist ideological bent and nearly all have overtly partisan pasts. Every single one. The left still doesn’t get it: they brazenly think this is perfectly acceptable. (…) Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King rewrote hiring guidelines in 2009, resulting in hiring committee members being forced to toss any resume that did not describe a radical background. King didn’t believe that lawyers who represented defendants in civil rights cases also have expertise in the law. What they lacked, of course, was the correct ideological and partisan fervor. And so resume after resume hit the trash can, unless the applicant was a committed leftist. (The header of the article contains links to the prior 4 related articles. If the right had done something like this, the MSM would be screaming for our blood, and not just figuratively, either. Scary stuff. Ron P.)
Cantor urges House GOP to avoid brinksmanship in spending fights
Excerpt: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urged rank-and-file Republicans in a Wednesday memo to avoid brinksmanship in upcoming battles over Washington spending. The message from the majority leader is an effort to prevent the kinds of fights over government spending that could lead to government shutdowns this fall if Congress cannot agree on legislation to fund the government. It suggests Republican leaders worry they could take a political hit if there is a government shutdown from voters already irritated over the contentious summer talks over raising the debt ceiling.
Robert A. Hall