Sunday, June 12, 2011

Political Digest for June 12, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

Blog Comments Down?
I've tried to post comments on two other blogs that use blogspot. It put me into an endless loop of comment, log in, back to comment, back to log in...

I assume if you've tried to comment on my blog, you hit the same frustration. Hopefully they will have it fixed soon. Sorry. ~Bob.

Collapse info posted on a Listserv for Psychologists
For the folks concerned about the "depressing times," I recently read a short book by Robert A. Hall titled "The Coming Collapse of the American Republic: And what you can do to prevent it" (I bought it on The author has considerable experience as a state legislator and has been executive director for several professional associations (including the Florida Psychological Association). Not only does he analyze what is happening and what caused it, but he offers seemingly astute recommendations for remedies. He does not consider one political party to be more or less at fault than the other--it is the system that is the problem. Certainly psychologists have the potential to change the system. --Cordially, Bob Woody

Predicting the Future in 2008
I was looking for a quote and ran through these two posts from 2008, below. How do you think I did in making predictions? ~Bob

What to expect from President Obama

Change is Coming

Book Recommendation: Race & Economics by Walter E. Williams, PhD
Williams is an economist at George Mason university. This book is short, easy to read, and well researched and documented. Williams, who is black, points out how government policy and regulations (often at the behest of unions) often disadvantaged blacks far more than racial discrimination by private individuals. This should be read by every policy maker. But those who think good intentions trump bad outcomes will ignore it. ~Bob

Excerpt: What’s most scary in America today may be the deficit and it may be government policies, but for me the scariest thing is the way that traditional American pragmatism, an open-minded search for truth, the reliability of the media and of academia, has virtually disappeared in many cases. I’m talking here about the media, academia, and the highly publicized public debate, not what all of the people are thinking. Clearly, a lot of people aren’t buying the conventional wisdom. But the important point is that it is the conventional wisdom, the main ideas held by the elite and government, what young people are being taught, and probably pretty much everything half of the population is hearing. I was in California, Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and other places. While this certainly doesn’t apply to all schools, the indoctrination that I’ve seen in one elementary school shocked me. If you really hear what eleven-year-olds are saying to each other you’d be amazed: accusing each other of being racists at the drop of a hat; thinking man-made global warming is a threat to their personal survival into adulthood; viewing America as evil. If that happens in an educational system — especially in universities — indoctrination means that the more “educated” someone is, the more “stupid” they become.

DREAM Act Activists Release 'How To Stop Deportation' Guide
They're deporting people here illegally? Who knew? ~Bob. With the fizzling of the DREAM Act last year and the belief that President Obama is doing little to help their plight, activist groups took matters into their own hands this week, boldly publishing a guide for youth on how not to get deported. Compiled by the Asian Law Caucus, Educators for Fair Consideration, and New Immigrant Youth Alliance, the 63-page page manual titled Education Not Deportation: A Guide for Undocumented Youth in Removal Proceedings is intended to help those who've exhausted all other options. The guide covers everything from legal topics ("What is going to happen at your court hearings?" "Where can you find an attorney?" "What is deferred action?") to campaigning strategies ("Why go public?" "What can your Member of Congress do?"). The advice is comprehensive and relevant to today's generation with tips on how to use Facebook, Twitter and Digg to round up an army of support.

Report: Police Investigating Rep. Weiner's Communication with Delaware Minor
See, he's concerned about energy policy and he thought she was a coal minor. ~Bob. Excerpt: Delaware police talked with the family of a high school girl Friday about possible online messages she received from Rep. Anthony Weiner, according to a Fox News report. The girl, a 17-years-old high school junior, received a direct message from Weiner on April 13 after following the congressman on April 1, sources told Fox News’ Jana Winter.

Solo missions over for Waipawa patrolman, 91
Still a few good men. ~Bob. Excerpt: Ninety-one-year-old John Bray has been patrolling the streets of Waipawa for too many years to count. But two months ago the Community Patrols of New Zealand volunteer was told he couldn't continue until a partner was found to accompany him because it was deemed too dangerous. CPNZ Waipawa co-ordinator John Carter said the decision was made by the national body. "CPNZ has a policy that you must not patrol by yourself," he said. "It's very sensible I think." Mr Bray was hopeful he could return to his Sunday night vigils soon, following two recent phone calls from people offering to help out if he "wanted to get things cracking again".

New challenge for U.S.-Pakistan ties
Excerpt: Twice in recent weeks, the United States provided Pakistan with the specific locations of insurgent bomb-making factories, only to see the militants learn their cover had been blown and vacate the sites before military action could be taken, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. Overhead surveillance video and other information was given to Pakistani officials in mid-May, officials said, as part of a trust-building effort by the Obama administration after the killing of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid early last month. But Pakistani military units that arrived at the sites in the tribal areas of North and South Waziristan on June 4 found them abandoned. U.S. officials say they do not know how the operation was compromised. (I wonder how that could’ve happened. Ron P.)

When Will We Ever Learn?
Excerpt: In the words of Pete Seeger, "When will we ever learn?" Washington sells us snake oil. Oblivious fools that we are, we just keep right on buying.  A recent newspaper Letter to the Editor (6/8/11) accurately quotes the American Journal of Public Health (2009) that 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of health insurance. The author then blames the health industry. True, then wrong. The author also ignores the 10-plus million Americans who choose, yes choose, not to sign off for free government health insurance. When they become sick, Federal mandates require that providers deliver "free" health care. People in Canada -- who have insurance -- are dying every day waiting for "approved care service," yet some Americans urge that we adopt their system. True and foolish.

Kansas Motorist Drives for Three Miles with Dead Man on Roof of Van
Excerpt: KAKE-TV reported the driver -- named as Mohamed Sarrafizadeh -- was booked into jail Friday evening on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, but was later released after paying a bond.

58% Want English-Only Ballots
Excerpt: When voters goes to the polls, most still want to see their ballots in English only. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters think election ballots should be printed only in English. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree and feel ballots should be printed in both English and Spanish. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans and 60% of voters not affiliated with either major party support ballots only in English. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats prefer bilingual ballots. (Either in English only, or in every possible native language of the voter. It's racial discrimination to print ballots in Spanish for voters of Hispanic ancestry, but not in Polish, Vietnamese, etc. for voters from those cultures. Of course, helping Hispanics not to learn English does keep them poor and on welfare, which is probably the point. ~Bob.)

Feel Good News: U. S. Africa Embassy Bombing Suspect Killed in Somalia
Excerpt: The Al Qaeda operative behind the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania has been killed, U.S. officials tell Fox News. Somali officials have determined that a man killed by security forces on Tuesday was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, said a spokesman for Somalia's minister of information, Abdifatah Abdinur. "We've compared the pictures of the body to his old pictures," he said. "They are the same. It is confirmed. He is the man and he is dead. The man who died is Fazul Abdullah." Mohammed, a native of the Comoros Islands, was on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list had a $5 million bounty on his head for allegedly planning the Aug. 7, 1998, embassy bombings.

By Sen. Rand Paul.

Patrick (Mass. Gov) gives 3 % raises to thousands of managers
Excerpt: Governor Deval Patrick has agreed to give 4,000 state managers a 3 percent raise beginning July 1, despite a state budget that is forcing cuts to higher education, local aid, and social services. Patrick’s budget chief, Jay Gonzalez, was expected to send out a memo this afternoon authorizing the raise, which coincides with a salary increase given to unionized employees. Managers have not had a pay raise since July 2007, a result of the fiscal crisis, and union members have seen only a 1 percent pay raise since that time. Many in the private sector have also taken wage freezes and cuts.

How the jobs crisis scars a generation
Actually, I think things are a lot better...a lot better than they will be in two years. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama is given to cute vehicular metaphors about the state of the economy. We were "in a ditch," then got out and hit a "bump in the road." This is studiously folksy. It also vastly understates the nature of our situation. Obama is presiding over an unspooling social catastrophe in the form of unemployment, and especially long-term unemployment. For all those people who are chronically unemployed, it's as if they have been hit by the proverbial car and then backed over by it again and again. According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly a third of the unemployed -- 4 million people -- have been out of work for more than a year. Almost half of the unemployed have been out of a job for more than six months, a figure higher than during the Great Depression. They may wonder when it was exactly that we got out of "the ditch."

California: District Maps Draw a New Political Landscape
Excerpt: California's new voting districts could put Democrats within reach of as many as five more seats in Congress and enough in the state Legislature for the two-thirds majority needed to raise taxes, according to Democratic and Republican analysts. Draft maps of the new political boundaries, drawn for the first time by an independent panel rather than party bosses, were released Friday and are expected to usher in the most dramatic shakeup of California's state and federal offices in decades. Eventually, some powerful incumbents could lose their jobs. "You're looking at three to five Republican members of Congress that just kind of vanish," said Matt Rexroad, a Republican political consultant in Sacramento who advises clients on redistricting.

Nick Popaditch, Still Making the Case Against Bob Filner
There still no word on whether Nick Popaditch wants to make another run for Congress in California’s 51st district, now that the nine-term Democratic incumbent, Bob Filner, has announced plans to run for mayor of San Diego. However, those close to Popaditch are calling attention to these two new videos, detailing what they describe as “Filner smears against Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.” They point out that Filner’s description of returning veterans wildly overstated their likelihood to be involved with homicides and suicides, a bit of demagoguery that really stuck in Popaditch’s craw. This is a longer video about Popaditch, and his experiences with Filner’s negative ads, which were demonstrably false, and Filner’s arguments in the spring of this year that he was a victim comparable to Gabby Giffords.

Fanning Imaginary Flames: A Look Back At The Great Church Fire Propaganda Campaign
Excerpt: Fifteen summers ago, America's news media informed us that black churches throughout the South were being torched by white racists. The purported wave of arsons dominated the airwaves and generated thousands of newspaper articles. Pundits, politicians and preachers decried the terrorism and the hate it represented. In fact, it never happened. Here is the little-known story of how an obscure radical group teamed up with a leftist national church organization, an unprincipled President and a legion of compliant news outlets to create a media firestorm -- one based entirely on lies. ... In late March of 1996, The Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) and the National Council of Churches (NCC) held a joint press conference to report a huge increase in the number of arsons committed against black churches. In media interviews, the Rev. Mac Charles Jones, a CDR board member, blamed "a well-organized white-supremacist movement" for what he called "domestic terrorism." The CDR stated in a preliminary report that the number of such arsons had increased each year since 1990, and claimed that all suspects arrested were white. Though the media typically described the CDR as an independent group that monitors hate crimes, the organization was in fact a propaganda outlet for the radical left.

Get Out of Jail Early --Crack dealers catch a break from Team Obama.
Excerpt: Poor neighborhoods in America's inner cities already endure an excess of drug-related crime and violence. The Obama Administration's push to retroactively apply a new law that reduces sentences for crack cocaine convictions is unlikely to help. Last August, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which narrows the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. Under the old law, a person convicted of selling five grams of crack received the same mandatory minimum five-year sentences as someone selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The new law reduces that 100-to-1 disparity to about 18-to-1, and last week the Administration called for the new sentencing rules to be implemented retroactively. If that happens, more than 12,000 convicts could have their sentences reduced by an average of three years, and more than 4,000 prisoners could be out by the end of next year. Upon release these former inmates are not headed for Santa Monica and Scarsdale. More likely, they will return home to places like Compton and the South Bronx to again terrorize the law-abiding.

Iran caught 10 times trying to send arms to terrorists'
Submitted to the Security Council? Stand by for some fast and furious inaction now! ~Bob. Excerpt: Iran has been caught red-handed in 10 different attempts in recent years to transfer weaponry to terrorists throughout the Middle East, including a recent case, in April, when a shipment of advanced missiles was caught en-route to Taliban forces in Afghanistan, according to a United Nations report obtained Thursday by The Jerusalem Post. The report was submitted three weeks ago to the Security Council by a UN group of experts that monitors compliance with UN sanctions imposed on Iran. The report was leaked to the Internet and obtained by a number of leading Israeli defense analysts.
Family of Suspect in Arkansas Military Center Shooting Says Gov't Knew He Was Dangerous
Just a random shooting, you know. Nothing to do with Islam or Jihad. ~Bob. Excerpt: Suspected shooter Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad is escorted from Little Rock police headquarters after a military recruiting center attack in Arkansas. The family of Carlos Bledsoe, who is accused of shooting and killing an Army private and injuring another outside a military recruitment center in Arkansas in June 2009, says the FBI has a lot to answer for in the case -- suggesting the federal government was aware that Bledsoe was a jihadist in training even before the shooting. “We're asking for (Attorney General) Eric Holder ... to give my son a fair trial, and the only way he can get a fair trial is in federal court,” Melvin Bledsoe, the suspect’s father, said in a recent interview. “I think it's not in federal court because the FBI and the federal government knows that the FBI dropped the ball – point blank.” Melvin Bledsoe alleges that his son was radicalized at a mosque in Nashville, Tenn., before he travelled to Yemen in September 2007. His family says the young man, who once praised Martin Luther King Jr. as his hero, attended at least two training camps for extremists in Yemen. Carlos Bledsoe, who also goes by the convert name Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, was picked up in Yemen in October 2008 because he had overstayed his visa, and he was carrying a fake Somali passport. His father says he was held in a Yemeni jail, and within days, the family was told by Bledsoe’s wife that the “U.S. government” had sent someone to talk to him.

Racial Quota Scandal at Obama Justice Department
Excerpt: Judicial Watch uncovered hundreds of documents from the City of Dayton, Ohio, showing that Department of Justice (DOJ) officials pressured the Dayton Police and Fire Departments to lower testing standards because not enough African-American candidates passed the written exam. On May 25, Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit against the DOJ to obtain additional records related to the Dayton program after the DOJ failed to respond to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request(Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 11-971)).

Politico Issues Correction After Palin Camp Bashes Authors for ‘Making Up’ Quote
Since when is making us stuff about Palin wrong? Most folks think she actually said she could see Russia from her porch. ~Bob. Excerpt: News outlet Politico has been forced to issue a correction after two authors incorrectly attributed a damning quote to her in an opinion piece. In an article that pits Palin vs. Rep. Michele Bachmann, authors Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell appear to catch Palin slamming Bachmann. Here it is in context, which is the third paragraph in the article: Palin’s bus tour had some of the hallmarks of a primal scream: “I built this constituency, not Bachmann, not anyone else.” Looking at it through her eyes, she has a point. That’s a big deal. Considering the piece, that would appear to be the start of a word war between the two Tea Party favorites. But there’s just one problem. Palin never said it.

President's newest scandal becomes laughing matter
Funny. ~Bob. Excerpt: A potentially false name tied to Barack Obama's Social Security number has become the object of a Facebook spoof. Using the name "Harrison J. Bounel" – a suspected Obama alias, based on official records – a Facebook user has created a social media page lampooning the sitting president. The Bounel name appeared earlier this year after a debt collector discovered a Harrison J. Bounel listed under the same address and using the same Social Security number as Obama. Shortly thereafter, satirist Peggy Knutson of Oklahoma City created the "Harrison J. Bounel" Facebook page, which makes all sorts of digs at the president's past, politics and policies.

1998 US Embassy Blasts Suspect Killed in Somalia
Excerpt: The al-Qaida mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania was killed this week at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu by Somali forces who didn't immediately realize he was the most wanted man in East Africa, officials said Saturday. The death of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed — a man who topped the FBI's most wanted list for nearly 13 years — is the third major strike in six weeks against the worldwide terror group that was headed by Osama bin Laden until his death last month.

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