Happy Forth of July
And the beginning of the 237th year of the Independence of the Republic. According to Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a lady asked Dr. Franklin, “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” replied the Doctor, “if you can keep it.” The question remains open.
I’m on the Road
Going to take the Glorious Fourth and a couple of vacation days and go see my Radio Relay Chief from Khe Sanh. Need to remind him how I won the National Defence Medal saving his life. (Well, not doing something stupid and getting us all killed counts, right?) Then he’ll remind me that I only got the Good Conduct Medal because I rotated home before the misunderstanding about ownership of a jeep trailer load of beer, which my buddies thought belonged to the Radio Relay section and the Officers thought belonged to them … a common mistake in war. In any case, I’m not sure how much computer time I can get, so posts may be slim. ~Bob.
Book Recommendation: What It Is Like to Go to War. By Karl Marlantes.
Marlantes is the author of the acclaimed Vietnam War novel, Matterhorn, which I have not read, but will add to my list. He is a Marine combat infantry officer who holds the Navy Cross, among other decorations. His outfit was, if you’ll pardon language from the time, often “in the shit.” Thus he has earned the right to his opinions, regardless of how you feel about them. He draws on his extensive combat experience to develop this painfully honest—perhaps brutally honest—and insightful exploration of the morality and psychology of war, violence and killing, and the effects on the warriors and on society. Marlantes is unsparing of himself, of actions he regrets or is ashamed of. He also makes specific recommendations for dealing with these issues, with veterans and with future warriors.
I think every veteran, depending on his or her own experiences and psyche, will find parts of this book very moving, and parts they disagree with. Personally, I would argue with his assumption that a pre-emptive strike is immoral. Are you to wait until the intruder in your home pulls a gun and opens fire on your family? Or, worse, if Iran doesn’t attack us openly, must we sit by and let them build nuclear weapons to give to terrorists that may incinerate Tel Aviv, New York and Washington, DC, tipping us into economic and social collapse?
I am proud of my own service as a Marine, proud I volunteered for Vietnam and of my conduct there. But I’m aware that in Marlantes’ book, I’m a REMF. I returned from a relatively easy tour unscathed and untroubled by PTSD through good fortune, not merit. I was fortunate that my job as a Radio Relay Team Chief put me with regiment HQ, not in the bush with the infantry, fortunate that the personal system decided I’d spend part of my tour on Okinawa, fortunate that I rotated home from Khe Sanh in September of 1967, when it was still quiet, fortunate that the NVA trooper laying rockets to hit DaNang didn’t move one 1/8th inch right so it landed on me, instead of yards away, fortunate that no VC in Khe Sanh ville decided I was worth blowing his cover to take out when I was TAD to CAC-O, wondering around like a tourist. And, yes, when I read an account like Marlantes, I feel guilty over my good fortune, thus unworthy to comment on his conclusions.
While it think veterans will appreciate this book, it really needs to be read by those who never served, especially by politicians, policy makers and therapists treating PTSD. One last note. As to the young woman who spit on Marlantes in his Marine uniform on the train, I am confident that she has been well punished for that thoughtless, cruel act. I’m sure that as she grew older, she remembered it with a burning shame she can never wipe out.
Judicial Betrayal. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. … Chief Justice John Roberts need fear no such fate because he has lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court. But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher -- and should be.
Iran says test-fires missiles over threats of attack
Excerpt: Iran said on Tuesday it had successfully tested medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel in response to threats of military action against the country, Iranian media reported. Israel says it could attack Iran if diplomacy fails to force it to halt its disputed nuclear energy program.
U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran
Excerpt: The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over itsnuclear program escalates.
New Book: Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future by Grover Glenn Norquist and John R. Lott Jr.
Okay, new in February, but I just heard about it, have not read it yet! ~Bob
Chinese Passengers, Crew Thwart Attempted Plane Hijacking
Excerpt: An attempted hijacking of a Chinese passenger plane was thwarted today by crew members and passengers in the skies above the restive western Chinese province of Xinjiang. (E-mail with the link claimed they were Muslim and two were killed. ~Bob.)
Obama braces for June jobs data
Excerpt: Weak June manufacturing numbers released Monday intensified concern about the fragility of the economic recovery and turned election-watchers’ attention toward unemployment numbers due out at the end of this week. The reports, just four months before voters cast their ballots in the presidential election, come amid a wave of bad news on the global economy, which is seen by both the White House and President Obama’s critics as the most potent threat to his chances of securing a second term in office.
Wall Street Is Still Giving to Presidenthttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303933404577500810740985338.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
Excerpt: President Barack Obama called Wall Street executives "fat cats,'' criticized their bonuses and tried to raise their taxes. The financial-services industry, in turn, has directed a stream of complaints toward the administration, fueling perceptions of a rift between the president and a key 2008 donor group. But, defying expectations, the securities and investment industry has remained an important part of the Obama fundraising effort. (He better hope the 99% don’t hear about this. ~Bob.)
The Energy Revolution and Its Discontents
Excerpt: With all the gloomy economic news coming out of late, one bright spot flew under the radar last week: the United States is poised to be the proverbial center of the energy universe. A recent study by Harvard Research Fellow Leonardo Maugeri found that the United States' incredible shale reserves represent "the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades."
Market bombs kill 44 before Iraqi Shi'ite ritual
Excerpt: A bomb in a small truck exploded in a market in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya on Tuesday, killing 40 people, and a bomb blast killed four more near the city of Kerbala, police and officials said - the latest in a series of sectarian attacks. (More Muslims dead of Allahmurder, at the hands of those who didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob.
A Strategy to Undo ObamaCare: To push through key parts of the Affordable Care Act, Democrats used the 'reconciliation' process. A Republican president, House and Senate can use reconciliation to repeal them. By Keith Hennessey
Excerpt: Now that the Supreme Court has ruled ObamaCare's individual mandate constitutional, the direction of American health policy is in the hands of voters. So how do we get from here to "repeal and replace"? Step one is electing Mitt Romney as president, along with Republican House and Senate majorities.
Roberts the coward --Chief justice’s pathetic flip. By John Podhoretz
Excerpt: Last Friday on NPR, liberal columnist E.J. Dionne said something very revealing about why Chief Justice John Roberts decided to affirm the constitutionality of ObamaCare. The remarks proved even more enlightening when we learned for a certainty from peerless Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford that Roberts did indeed change his mind a month after voting it down with the conservative bloc.
Teaching Economics. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Having written two textbooks on introductory economics -- one full of graphs and equations, and the other with neither -- I know from experience that the second way is a lot harder to write, and is more time-consuming. The first book was written in a year; the second took a decade. The first book quickly went out of print. The second book ("Basic Economics") has gone through 4 editions and has been translated into 6 foreign languages. (I rate Basic Economics a must read. ~Bob.)
Tatler in Israel: Highest Levels of Israel Gov’t Call Second Obama Term a ‘Nightmarish Scenario.’ By Sammy Levine
Excerpt: I am traveling through Israel with the Young Jewish Conservatives—an emerging organization that is breaking the stereotype that all Jews (especially young ones) lean to the left. Tonight we had the opportunity to speak with someone who shall remain anonymous, and who is a very credible source. He told us that there are those at the “highest levels of the Israeli Government” (possibly including Prime Minister Netanyahu himself) who have recently said that 4 more years of an Obama Presidency would be a “nightmarish scenario” for the Jewish State…
Roberts v. Roberts. By Rick Richman
Excerpt: During the oral argument on ObamaCare, the justice who most concisely destroyed the government’s argument that it was a “tax” was … Chief Justice John Roberts. Here was the colloquy between the chief justice and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli during the March 27, 2012 oral argument:
John Roberts and the Cloward-Piven Strategy by Michael Walshhttp://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2012/07/02/john-roberts-and-the-cloward-piven-strategy/
Excerpt: I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet on the Right just how awful the John Roberts Obamacare decision really is, or what nasty consequences will now flow from it….Let’s not kid ourselves: the economic destruction and remaking of America is the goal here, implemented by a Cloward-Piven strategy to so over-stress existing institutions that the public will be clamoring for direct rule from the District of Columbia, and the permanent political class’s century-long “progressive” dream will finally be a reality. That’s one of the things “fundamental transformation” has always been about. And John Roberts just gave them carte blanche to proceed apace….
Holder Withholding Documents From Congress On CAIR-Linked Holy Land Foundation Terror Funding Case
Excerpt: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is in the spotlight after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold him in contempt because he is refusing to provide documents related to the Fast and the Furious scandal. But there’s another scandal you should know about. For over one year, he has refused to hand over documents about the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S.
Proxy fight: Holder goes to Washington Post, says GOP out to get him, Obama. By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday that a bipartisan group of legislators held him in criminal and civil contempt of Congress last week because he is a “proxy” for attacking President Barack Obama in an election year. Holder gave The Washington Post’s Sari Horwitz his first post-contempt interview. She printed his comments unchallenged.
Christians Under Siege from Islamists. By Joel Himelfarb
Excerpt: Raymond Ibrahim provides another vivid, disturbing monthly report on Islamist persecution of Christians around the world. Perhaps the most dangerous place to be a Christian today is Pakistan, which in May had "the lion's share of persecuted Christians," Ibrahim writes. Incidents there covered "the entire gamut of persecution – from apostasy and blasphemy to rape and forced conversions."
Liberals Claim “ObamaTax” Punishes “Free Riders”
Excerpt: What an about-face this is. Pelosi, the Democrats are pushing for Obamacare back in 2009 and 2010, and they were bombarding us with heartbreaking stories about the 30 to 50 million people who had to go without health insurance. And they weren’t free riders, they were victims. They were victims of a mean country, victims of the rich, victims of corporations, victims of small business. (Well, I’m for punishing “free riders.” Think there should be special tax on every non-veteran to fund the VA. ~Bob.)
Undoing Obamacare. By Andrew B. Wilson
Excerpt: In upholding Obamacare, he set off a headlong race for the exits by the same lobbying groups -- believe it or not -- that had cut deals with the administration to create the legislation. Back then, the lobbyists were telling each other: If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Now the bodies are piling up in the doorway as those who pandered to the president trample over each other in their haste to get out of the blazing or crumbling structure that is Obamacare.
Rogers: National-Security Leaks ‘Probably the Most Damaging’ in U.S. History
Excerpt: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., called the recent slew of national-security leaks “probably the most damaging” in this country’s history, warning that people’s lives are in danger and families have already had to be relocated as a result of the public speculation about highly classified operational activities. Rogers's stark assessment, in an interview with National Journal, reflects some of the first tangible signs of operational fallout from the explosive leaks to the media, which have so far sparked accusations that Obama administration officials released the information for political gain ahead of an election. (Five or ten stiff prison sentences or perhaps an execution or two might remind people that access to classified information is NOT a Constitutional right and requires oaths of secrecy that invoke severe penalties when violated. The combination of a liberal press that would print anything to bring shame on GWB and any policy remotely associated with him and a liberal administration pulling every string it can find to justify its continued existence will be deadly to the Republic if continued. --Ron P. I’m in for the firing squad, no charge. ~Bob.)
Justice Roberts Inside The Beltway: Did He Forget What's Outside?
Excerpt: Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington — too often, Republicans — who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness.
Worth reading: There Ain't No More Middle-Ground. By Daniel Greenfield
excerpt: "There is no more neutrality in the world," said Black Panther leader, civil rights activist and fun-loving rapist; Eldridge Cleaver. "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem-- there ain't no more middle ground." We live in Eldridge Cleaver's world now, a world with no more middle ground. Where not doing anything does not mean you will be left alone. This is no longer a nation founded on the curious premise that the government should leave people alone unless they are causing problems. (A grim but not illogical argument. --Del)
17 Reasons To Be EXTREMELY Concerned About The Second Half Of 2012
Excerpt: What is the second half of 2012 going to bring? Are things going to get even worse than they are right now? Unfortunately, that appears more likely with each passing day. I will admit that I am extremely concerned about the second half of 2012. Historically, a financial crisis is much more likely to begin in the fall than during any other season of the year.
Did Roberts Make a Conservative Trojan Horse?
Excerpt: Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That’s how the Democrats got Obama-care going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything. . . . (Until Obama appoints two new Justices in 2013…. ~Bob.)
ICE agent shot in Texas conducting investigation will likely survive
Excerpt: An agent for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations was shot Tuesday morning in Texas while conducting surveillance in a criminal investigation, a spokeswoman from the agency said. The shooting occurred in Hidalgo County, Texas. The agent is currently in surgery for a gunshot wound, the spokeswoman said.
CPAC's boy wonder swings left
Excerpt: Krohn — who went on to write a book, “Defining Conservatism,” that was blurbed by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Bill Bennett — still watches that speech from time to time, but it mostly makes him cringe because, well, he’s not a conservative anymore.
Michelle Obama Encourages Pastors to Break the Law
Excerpt: Where’s the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State when Liberal Democrats politic in Churches? If the wife of a conservative candidate went into churches to ask the people to vote for her husband, groups like the ACLU and Americans United would be sending threatening letters that the church could lose its tax-exempt status. (Stretching a point. Individuals asking for votes is different from Congress passing a law relating to the establishment of a religion. Churches have been telling folks how to vote for years. Folks been ignoring them as long. ~Bob.)
DC Area Out Of Power, Obama On Vacation
Excerpt: Maybe President Obama is taking the support of Northern Virginia--one of the hardest-hit areas--for granted, given its strong shift towards the Democratic Party in recent years, with an influx of federal employees. Maybe he is counting on the slavish mainstream media to continue to cover for him. But with DC out of power, and Obama on vacation, at least some locals are beginning to wonder whether it shouldn't be the other way around.
Farewell, Personal And Medical Privacy, Obamatax Is Here. By Dr. Susan Berry
Excerpt: Though the liberal media mocked conservatives a couple of years ago, ridiculing their concern that the IRS would be overseeing Americans’ healthcare, the truth is the Obama administration had always planned to hire at least 4,500 new IRS agents, to the tune of nearly $304 million, to make sure those Americans who failed to comply with the law’s mandate to purchase insurance--Nancy Pelosi would now call them “free riders”--would pay their…er…tax. …
The Obama Foreign Policy: There is much to criticize, but Romney must choose his points carefully. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The 2012 election will hinge on the economy, not on U.S. foreign policy, unless there is a major overseas crisis — an Israeli attack on Iran, an Iranian detonation of a nuclear weapon, a Middle East war, a North Korean attack, or something of that sort. That said, there is much to lament in the current administration’s foreign policy. But Mitt Romney should be careful in critiquing the status quo, given that it is full of paradoxes and contradictions.
Supreme Court ruling will cost Dems in local races
Court decisions result in elections that have consequences. Who is going to pay a high price in November for last Thursday’s U.S. Supreme court’s ruling? Here in Massachusetts, it wasn’t a good day for Liz Warren’s ailing campaign.
Robert A. Hall