Thursday, December 8, 2011


Collapse picked up two more reviews on Amazon, still all five-star
20. I received a PDF copy of this book from the author, Robert A. Hall, and I read it in one sitting. This relatively brief book is packed with excellent information, backed up by numerous research references, both books, and web sites. I read a great deal on current political issues, and little in this book was totally new to me. However, I think it will be of great use as a manageable-sized summary of the issues which Hall presents--runaway government spending at all levels, the consequences of uncontrolled immigration, the permanent conflict with jihadist Islam, and the rise of China as a regional power determined to oust the US from East Asia. The underlying issue below all these problems is the blithe unconcern and unawareness of the challenges facing us by the greater part of the American public. Hall's book, I think, is an excellent, brief wakeup call to the American voters.

19. All along I thought that I had a fairly good understanding of what our country was facing. After reading Mr. Hall's excellent book I realize I didn't have a clue. That scares the hell out of me because I know there are a lot of people like me and then there are the majority of American's who aren't even paying attention. This book should be required reading in school each year from the 7th grade through graduation from high school.

Newt Quote from Twitter
Newt tells CNN that if Israelis told him, as president, of an impending strike on Iran's nuke program he would reply: "How can we help you?"

Why Obama needs to make Reaganomics disappear by James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: Barack Obama’s Osawatomie Speech was certainly one of the worst given by a U.S. president in modern American history. This bit was particularly egregious:

Senate Proposal Would Outlaw Solyndra-Style Loan Guarantees
Excerpt: A Senate appropriations panel will consider a measure that would prevent the Department of Energy from subordinating taxpayers to private investors in the repayment of federally guaranteed loans. The measure is the first legislative proposal created in response to the Solyndra scandal.

Excerpt: Paying top city employees to work exclusively for public employee unions was challenged as an unconstitutional giveaway of taxpayer money in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

How Much Money Do The Top Income Earners Make?
Excerpt: WHAT THE TOP 1%, 5%, 10%, 25% and 50% MAKE IN AMERICA
Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make: Top 1%: $380,354, Top 5%: $159,619, Top 10%: $113,799. (Wait. I thought the 1% were millionaires and billionaires? ~Bob.)

Ft. Hood Shooting Classified As "Work Place Violence"
Excerpt: Political correctness leads to people being killed, and the Ft. Hood shooting is a perfect example. Back in March, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing about the radicalization of Muslim-Americans. By the end the hearing the conclusion about given testimony that day was clear: political correctness is fueling the radical Islam problem in America, not fixing it. (Simply amazing. 13 warriors are killed by a terrorist on American soil, and it's now classified as work place violence. Just when one begins to think that this administration has reached the max on being absurd, it does something or says something that takes absurd to a whole new level. Allen West tweeted that we no longer have a Commander in Chief. I share that sentiment. --MasterGuns)

Germany pours cold water on EU summit hopes
Excerpt: Pessimistic comments from EU paymaster Germany and new figures exposing deepening stress among Europe's banks dented financial market hopes of a turning point in the euro zone's debt crisis at a summit this week.

RNC ad blasts Fast and Furious 'cover up' (Video)
Excerpt: The Republican National Committee launched a web ad blasting Eric Holder for "covering up" the botched Fast and Furious program that allowed automatic weapons to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of the Attorney General's testimony before a House panel investigating the program Thursday. 

Marines to cut troops, not weapons, to meet 2013 budget cuts
Excerpt: The Marine Corps plans to shed troops, not weapons programs, next year in order to meet the budget cuts mandated by the August debt-ceiling deal, a senior service official said Wednesday.

Study: Phased-in teen driving privileges could save 2,000
Excerpt: The USA could save 2,000 lives a year if all 50 states instituted comprehensive programs of phased-in driving privileges for teens, according to a report out today.

Fine-Tuning the Perfect Employee
Excerpt: Faced with a dearth of skilled labor, more companies are taking employee education into their own hands. Unemployment figures are high, but finding workers with the right skills for the job -- especially for highly specialized roles such as power plant technicians or laboratory chemists -- remains a big challenge, says the Wall Street Journal. In a survey from Lloyd's, the British insurance concern, U.S. executives considered lack of skilled workers one of the greatest risks their companies faced in 2012, second only to loss of customers. So rather than wait for the perfect candidates to walk through the door, companies have decided to school their in-house staff or train new hires who may lack the exact skills they are looking for.

Municipal 'millionaires': Tax hikes to fund gov’t 1%-ers
Excerpt: Gov. Cuomo, under enormous pressure from public-employee unions and Democrats in the Legislature to extend New York’s “millionaires’ tax,” is considering at least some higher taxes on higher incomes. The big irony here is that much of the money raised from any “millionaire” tax hikes would go to fund the growing phenomenon of public-sector millionaires. How’s that? Well, most dictionaries define a millionaire as someone with wealth (i.e., assets) of $1 million. By that definition, many New York teachers and the vast majority of police and firefighters are millionaires, because the “net present value” of their retirement benefits is well in excess of $1 million. (But what will it be worth after the fiscal collapse? ~Bob.)

Pearl Harbor, WWII, and a Lesson for Today
Excerpt: On this day 70 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and requested a declaration of war against Japan following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor the day before. Roosevelt's words carried forth across the nation via radio, and the consequences of the actions America would take would be felt around the world--and across history. The lessons America learned in those fateful days should be remembered even today.

Oil-Rich America?
Excerpt: Of course, there are sizable interests opposed to the new American gas and oil finds -- not all of them foreign governments, but instead reflected in the current Obama administration policy of halting new pipelines, placing moratoriums on offshore drilling, and putting lucrative federal lands off-limits. Yet if the United States does not produce much of the fuel that it uses, will the oil-exporting Gulf sheikdoms, Nigeria or Iran better protect the world's environment than American-based oil companies? Would our oil dollars or theirs be less likely to fuel terrorism, illegal arms sales and rogue regimes? (This can’t possibly happen under any administration that worships at the green temple. Ron P.)

The Perception Dilemma
Excerpt: The voters who make up Obama’s base, meanwhile, are facing a much slower recovery, and may even be getting worse. (…) Together, these groups made up a significant portion of Obama’s base. African-Americans, Hispanics, and younger voters, who were much of his activist volunteer base in 2008, accounted for nearly half of the votes Obama received in the election. But the recovery has not reached them as fast as it has other voters. (Center-left National Journal has been largely supportive of the administration and its policies, so this has to be read as bad news for Obama. Ron P.)

Excerpt: It’s been nearly five weeks since I broke the story exclusively at PJ Media: Homeland Security Advisory Council memberMohamed Elibiary downloaded sensitive Texas Department of Public Safety reports from the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest (HS SLIC) database, then shopped them to at least one left-leaning media outlet. Elibiary claimed the reports represented a pattern of “Islamophobia” under GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s watch.

DNA: The next big hacking frontier
Fascinating, but just another way to wage terrorism. –GBH.
Was Fast and Furious All About Gun Control?
Excerpt: If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history. I think one would have to go back to James Buchanan, who ordered the shipment of federal armaments to the South so that they could be commandeered by secessionists when disunion came, to find a worse scandal.

Issa launches probe of alleged DEA-laundering operation in Mexico
Excerpt: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is launching a congressional investigation into the Drug Enforcement Administration following claims that the agency helped drug cartels launder money -- an operation the lawmaker said bears striking resemblance to the failed "Fast and Furious" anti-gunrunning probe. While Fast and Furious was designed to allow federal agents to trace the flow of illegal weapons to the Mexican cartels, the DEA operation reportedly was designed to allow agents to trace the flow of money.

Iran refugees (IN IRAQ ) fear bloodbath
Liberals haven’t cared about tens of millions of corpses their policies created in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. What’s a few thousand more? ~Bob.) Excerpt: As he hosts Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday, President Obama will need to hastily tie up Iraq’s loose ends — including Camp Ashraf, a mess that could quickly turn ugly and cloud Obama’s chance to claim “promise fulfilled” on ending the Iraq war. At year’s end, as US troops leave Iraq, Maliki plans to evacuate Ashraf. Since 1986, when Saddam Hussein took them under his wing as part of his war against Ayatollah Khomeini, the camp near the Iraq-Iran border has housed members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) — a group that Tehran’s mullahs consider a formidable foe.

Five Big Lies in Obama's Economic Fairness Speech
excerpt: : One thing is certainly true about President Obama — no matter how many times people point out the falsehoods in his speeches, he just keeps making them. Case in point: his latest "economic fairness" address. In that speech Tuesday, Obama once again tried to build a case for his liberal, big-spending, tax-hiking, regulatory agenda. But as with so many of his past appeals, Obama's argument rests on a pile of untruths. Among the most glaring:

2012 Republican Race: The Field May Not Be Closed by Rhodes Cook
Excerpt: Conventional wisdom is that the Republican presidential field is set, and that it is much too late for a new candidate to enter the race. In years past, that would be absolutely correct. Over the last few decades, dozens of primaries and caucuses have been shoe-horned into the opening weeks of the election year, with the tendency on the Republican side for the front-running candidate to score a quick knockout.

Occupy L.A. Ends with a Whimper, Not a Bang
Excerpt: When the end finally came, they went with a whimper. Well, maybe something more than a whimper, but when Los Angeles Police Department officers at long, long last moved to clear the Occupy L.A. encampment that had blighted the landscape around City Hall for two months, they were greeted with catcalls and the usual tired, sophomoric chants — Whose streets? Our streets! The whole world is watching! and the rest of the tedious litany — but very little in the way of active resistance.

Love the cartoon. ~Bob. Excerpt: While our President seeks to euphemize the terrorists’ attacks inside our borders [see the Baron’s report] Congress is taking a harder look at the specifics. Here is part of their executive summary: More than 2.3 million Americans in the military have volunteered to go into harm’s way overseas to combat terrorists since 9/11. But these heroes “who shall have borne the battle,” as President Lincoln called war veterans, also have been in danger here at home — where they should be safe and secure. … For President Obama the horrific reality of terrorism is resolved easily: just call it something else. This Saul Alinsky language maneuver doesn’t work at the national level, Mr. President.

No-confidence motion against Holder to be introduced in House on Thursday
Excerpt: Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, one of the first congressmen who demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder resign immediately, told The Daily Caller he’s introducing an official House resolution to push for a vote of no confidence in Holder as attorney general. The House resolution is a way to formalize the growing surge in calls for Holder’s immediate resignation, and it sends a message to House leadership and to the administration that many members of Congress aren’t happy with Holder’s behavior throughout the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

Measure to curb union, corporate clout qualifies
California Republican interests have qualified a ballot measure that would severely curb the political influence of public and private employee unions while depriving Democratic political candidates of a major source of campaign cash. The measure, which bans political contributions through payroll deductions, qualified Tuesday for the November 2012 statewide ballot. With labor's primary funding source under attack, the measure sets up an expensive campaign season ahead for both sides.

The Covert Intelligence War Against Iran by Scott Stewart
Excerpt: There has been a lot of talk in the press lately about a “cold war” being waged by the United States, Israel and other U.S. allies against Iran. Such a struggle is certainly taking place, but in order to place recent developments in perspective, it is important to recognize that the covert intelligence war against Iran (and the Iranian response to this war) is clearly not a new phenomenon.

Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Bad Economics! Good Politics? by Bernard Goldberg
Excerpt: So the man who once promised he would bring us together has now kicked off his campaign for re-election determined to tear us apart. Irony doesn’t begin to tell the story.

Obama on the (Class) Warpath
Excerpt: Republicans have yet to settle on a nominee, but President Obama has already decided whom he will run against: the rich. If his populism-fueled speech this Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kansas, is any guide, Obama’s reelection platform will be centered on class warfare. In his speech, Obama conjured a grim image of middle class struggle.

Excerpt: An Islamic cleric residing in Europe said that women should not be close to bananas or cucumbers, in order to avoid any “sexual thoughts.” The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve. (The more power Islamists get in a society, the more controlled women are. ~Bob.)

Egyptian Salafi clerics issue spate of controversial fatwas
Excerpt: The recent emergence of the hardline Salafi trend in Egypt after the January 25 revolution has given way to a series of controversial fatwas that mainly focused on women, Copts, culture and democracy. Preacher Mustafa al-Adawi issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslim women from wearing high heels because they are a source of seduction for men. “A woman can only wear high heels for her husband but she is not to do so outside her house,” he said.

Explaining Elizabeth Warren's Appeal
Excerpt: In today's Hotline Spotlight, we take a look at the left's new knight in shining armor. For the third presidential election cycle in a row, the liberal blogosphere has a candidate to rally around: In 2004, it was Howard Dean. In 2008, it was Barack Obama. Now, it's Elizabeth Warren. (…) And that's exactly the same reason Warren is becoming such an icon to those on the left: Depressed partisans have a candidate who gives them hope amid signs their party is still struggling. (Those who abuse Scott Brown as a RINO should contemplate Sen. Warren. ~Bob.)

All great peoples are conservative. –Thomas Carlyle
(Oh, yeah? What about Charlie Sheen? And Rod Blagojevich? And Charlie Rangel? And…Bob.)

Worth Reading: We used to make things here in Wisconsin.
Excerpt: We made machine tools in Milwaukee, cars in Kenosha and ships in Sheboygan. We mined iron in the north and lead in the south. We made cheese, we made brats, we made beer, and we even made napkins to clean up what we spilled. And we made money.

The Age of Hamilton - by Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: Gingrich, Obama and [Theodore Roosevelt] are all Hamiltonians, and Ron Paul thinks they are all dead wrong. As we gear up for 2012 and beyond, American attention is increasingly returning to the oldest battle in our political history: the battle between the Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians that split George Washington’s cabinet down the middle and established our first party system. That fight was essentially over three things that divide us intensely today: the role of the federal government, the nature of the credit system, and the future of the social hierarchy.

Bozell Statement: Newt Was Found Innocent Nearly 13 Years Ago – Networks Have Yet To Report It by Brent Bozell
Excerpt: Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago. It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law. It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck. Why not today? Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once. The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.

CARTOON: How I'm feeling like the 2012 election will go...

Obama Recycles Themes From Failed Presidential Democratic Campaigns
Excerpt: Which presidential candidate said this in an ad: “I refuse to make your family pay more so that millionaires can pay less?” Who promised to “fight for seniors” against opponents who wanted to “slash Medicare?” If you answered President Barack Obama, you’re about 27 years too late.

Chris Christie Mocks Occupy Protesters After They Disrupt Iowa Appearance - by Alex Pappas, Daily Caller
Excerpt: New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie gave a group of Occupy protesters here a taste of his Jersey charm when they disrupted a rally he was headlining in support of presidential candidate Mitt Romney Wednesday night. “You’re so angry, aren’t you?” Christie said, mocking the protesters to the delight of the crowd. “Work it all out. Work it all out for yourselves.”

VIDEO: GOP Rep. Peter King : Newt Gingrich 'very ineffective,' 'undisciplined'
Excerpt: “Believe it or not, I have nothing against Newt personally,” King said. “He has great revolutionary skills. He is the guy that you know brought Congress back to Republicans after 40 years, but as a leader, he’s very ineffective and he’s undisciplined.

We Pay for 'Free' Heatlthcare, Obama Gets the Thanks by Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Markets
Excerpt: There is only one really big difference between [California artist Spike Dolomite Ward and me]: I'm paying for her health care. How am I paying for it? Because I'm one of the suckers who has kept on paying his health insurance premiums, making provision for my medical needs before I get sick.

Oil-Rich America? Vast new energy reserves will have staggering repercussions. By Victor Davis Hanson.
Excerpt: There is a revolution going on in America. But it is not part of the Tea Party or the loud Occupy Wall Street protests. Instead, massive new reserves of gas, oil, and coal are being discovered almost everywhere in the United States, due to revolutionary methods of exploration and exploitation such as fracking and horizontal drilling. Current prices of over $100 a barrel make even complex efforts at recovery enormously profitable.

Economic Fundamentals: The world is slowly coming to its senses.
Excerpt: Difficult though current economic and political times are, ineluctable forces of economic arithmetic and national interest are asserting themselves in ways that are, in the circumstances, reassuring. There are a number of particular areas where this phenomenon of irrepressible geopolitical logic is emerging. Finally, the Chinese miracle, replete with the hallelujah chorus of China marching inexorably to the headship of the world, is starting to appear less a wave of the future than a faddish hope or alarm running out of steam.

Another Failed Energy Loan: Taxpayers are being stuck with the losses.
Excerpt: The biofuels bust continues. The latest failure: Range Fuels. Last week, the company defaulted on a government-guaranteed $80 million loan that it had used to build an ethanol plant in Georgia. AgSouth Farm Credit, the servicer of the loan, will begin a foreclosure saleon the plant in January. The foreclosure provides yet another indictment of the Obama administration’s energy policies. (More that you have to pay so Obama and company can feel green and fuzzy. ~Bob.)

Holder Says Definition Of "Lying" To Congress Depends On "State Of Mind"
Depends, I guess, on what “is” is. ~Bob.

The BBC: Less trustworthy, more dangerous than a cannibal polar bear - by James Delingpole, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: Today's endangered polar bear story du jour comes, you won't be at all surprised to hear, from the BBC's news website. An "environmental photojournalist" named Jenny E Ross took a photograph of a polar bear eating a cub - and concluded, as of course any self-respecting environmental photojournalist would, that this was probably the result of "climate change". "This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent," she told BBC News. "However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change." Don't you just love that having-it-both-ways fudge?

"We're Sorry," Japanese Government Tells Canadian WWII POWs - by Kim McKrael, The Globe and Mail, Ottawa
Excerpt: “The Japanese government has had a lot of difficulty apologizing for anything to do with the Second World War,” said Diana Lary, a retired professor at the University of British Columbia with expertise in Asian military history. “Compare that with what the Germans did. They not only apologized but [they] apologized profusely and made all kinds of restitutions.”

Defending the Border: Lille Loophole: Why can't the state do the one thing it's supposed to? by Ed West, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: Yet the irony is that while there is no area of life that the state doesn’t consider its responsibility, it has virtually abandoned doing its one primary task – defending the border. According to the BBC, “British border staff have faced threats of arrest by Belgian police for trying to stop people exploiting a loophole allowing them to enter the UK without passport checks”. Under this “Lille loophole”, which sounds like the kind of scam thought up by a roguish gang of 10-year-old boys to get into the cinema, passengers can travel from Brussels to Lille without showing passports (Belgium and France being within the Schengen area) but then travel on to London without any checks.

East London Mosque hosts speaker who has called for Jewish women to be enslaved and 'pillaged' - by Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: Last Friday, according to publicity material (above) and its Facebook page, the [East London Mosque] was due to host that conspicuous moderate, Sheikh Saad al-Beraik, who has stated: “Muslim brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy neither compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours. Why don't you enslave their women? Why don't you wage jihad? Why don't you pillage them?”

Guards Shoot Some Prisoners to Quell California Riot - by Greg Lucas, Reuters
Excerpt: The riot at the maximum security prison was contained within minutes, Thornton said. The prison is located just outside the state capital [Sacramento] in the nearby town of Represa.

China's President Hu Urges Navy to Prepare for Combat by Robert Siaget, AFP
Excerpt: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urged the navy to prepare for military combat, amid growing regional tensions over maritime disputes and a US campaign to assert itself as a Pacific power. The navy should "accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for military combat in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security," he said.

Inside President Obama's War on the Fast & Furious Whistleblowers - by Frank Miniter, Forbes
Excerpt: But none of these labels seem harsh enough to federal bureaucrats. They’ve left whistleblowers in legal limbo; they’ve barred whistleblowers from offices and forced others to transfer to backwater districts; they’ve mined records to publically disparage at least one recently (more on him in a moment); they’ve deemed a few to be “traitors” and had them shunned by colleagues … and this is just the beginning of what they’ve been doing to the few courageous squealers who exposed Operation Fast and Furious, the once-secret operation that, by design mind you, let thousands of guns “walk” from U.S. gun stores to the arsenals of Mexican drug cartels.

Gingrich's Organization Deficit Disorder - by Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal
Excerpt: He has no serious team in Iowa, and he failed to present enough signatures to get on the ballot in Ohio. With the Iowa caucuses just 26 days away, the Republican presidential contest is now a two-man race. According to this week's Gallup poll, the two candidates with the broadest appeal to GOP voters are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Obama's Godfather Speech --The president sounds more like a Corleone than a Roosevelt.
Excerpt: Most press accounts of Barack Obama's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, Tuesday described it as delivered by the "president of the United States." And indeed the person delivering it analogized himself to Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. In fact, the Osawatomie speech was not given by the President of the United States. It was given by the leader of the Democratic Party.

Analyzing Egypt's "Wondrous" Transformation!
Excerpt: Does anyone still remember when the proponents of the "Arab Spring" erupted with glee over the prospect of a 'blossoming democracy' in the midst of tyranny in Egypt? How about the thunderous applause and shrieks of adulation when the 'rebels' in Libya so bravely took on the hordes of Khadafy's hell hounds?

Excerpt: Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama's jobs plan-- a bill to extend the payroll tax cut, for the second week in a row on Thursday. The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48. It would have cut the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent from the current 4.2 percent while funding itself by imposing a surtax on millionaires.

EPA pollution finding shakes up ‘fracking’ debate
Excerpt: A preliminary Environmental Protection Agency report on apparent groundwater contamination in Wyoming from the gas drilling method called hydraulic fracturing could shake up the battle over federal regulation of the practice. EPA released a draft report Thursdaywith results of groundwater monitoring in a Wyoming natural gas field where drinking well owners had complained of odor and poor taste. (Another reason why we have to go on funding terrorism through Saudi oil, I guess. ~Bob.)

Wisconsin Militant Atheist Group Demands Texas Town Remove Nativity Scene
Excerpt: “I’m an old country boy, you come to my house looking for a fight, you’re going to get one,” said County Commissioner Joe Hall. “That’s from the bottom of my heart.” There’s no confusing how Hall feels. He says the county isn’t budging. “We’ll remove it when hell freezes over,” Hall said. “It’s not going to happen.” (Ut-oh, they done riled up Cousin Joe! ~Bob.)

Robert A. Hall

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