Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our muslim-in-chief shows where his loyalties lie yet again...

Obama calls for Muslim Brotherhood to be included in Egypt's political process

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Funny how he never called for supporters of Mubarak to be included in the post-"Arab Spring" political process. "Obama Call for Muslim Brotherhood Role Overtaken in Egypt," by Nicole Gaouette and John Walcott for Bloomberg, July 5:
The Obama administration’s call for an “inclusive” political process in Egypt with a role for the Muslim Brotherhood has been overshadowed by deadly clashes between security forces and supporters of the Islamist group. 
Violent protests yesterday in Cairo and elsewhere over the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Mursi raised doubts about prospects for an eventual accommodation that would allow the Brotherhood that supports him to compete in new elections.
While President Barack Obama’s administration has stopped short of condemning the July 3 military takeover, it has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups,” including “avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Mursi and his supporters,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said July 4 in a statement.
The administration has urged the Egyptian military to stop using heavy-handed tactics, according to two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on private communications. They said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the Islamists to violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.
Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said....

The War For Economic and Energy Freedom is On

By: Marita Noon/ Townhall Finance

During the Fourth of July celebrations, you probably thought about the freedoms we enjoy in the USA. Perhaps you even pondered how those freedoms are slipping away right before your eyes. But, did you think about economic freedom? Did you think about energy freedom? They are all connected and are all important to America.

Economic freedom is described as “the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life. It’s the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources … While a simple concept, economic freedom is an engine that drives prosperity in the world and is the difference between why some societies thrive while others do not.”

America’s forests and the management, or mismanagement, of them provides an important example of “economic freedom”—especially the part about using resources. And, the spotted owl saga offers a case study of such mismanagement.

“It is hard to imagine a bigger failure—or a greater success—depending on which side of the issue you stand,” is how I start the “spotted owl” chapter in my book Energy Freedom. “If you strive for open and honest government policy that is straight-forward about its goals, this twenty-year experiment has failed. If you believe the end justifies the means, regardless of the cost in life or livelihood, then the spotted owl represents a great success.”

Twenty-three years ago, nearly to the day, the spotted owl was listed as an endangered species. Since then, environmental groups have used the designation to block logging—and other economic activity on federal lands. In 1989, logging on federal lands accounted for more than half of Oregon’s timber harvest. Since 2008, it has fallen to less than ten percent. The listing has shut down a substantial part of federal timber harvest and threatens logging on private lands.

In 1994, the Clinton Administration introduced the Northwest Forest Plan that was supposed to guarantee specific amounts of logging, but according to Jim Geisinger, executive vice president of the Associated Oregon Loggers, those numbers never materialized. The federal forests were left more vulnerable to catastrophic fires—which hurt the very trees that were supposed to be protected.

Last week, in his Climate Action Plan speech, President Obama wanted the American public to believe that the extreme fires we are facing—that just killed 19 firefighters in Arizona—are as a result of climate change. He stated: “Firefighters are braving longer wildfire seasons, and states and federal governments have to figure out how to budget for that. I had to sit in on a meeting with the Department of Interior and Agriculture and some of the rest of my team just to figure out how we’re going to pay for more and more expensive fire seasons.”

In fact, as Ann Forest Burns, vice president of the American Forest Resource Council, explains: “For every dollar invested in forest management—harvesting timber to put the forest on a sustainable basis for current and future generations—we save $1.46 in firefighting.” She told me that the American people would be appalled if they understood how the forests are managed. Instead of allowing the forests to make money through timber harvests, we are taking money away from forest management to fight fires.

The forest overgrowth exacerbates the problems of the naturally dry climate in the Southwest, which in turn adds to the fire dangers like a self-perpetuating cycle. The natural process is that rain falls on the forest. The water not used by the trees soaks into the underlying aquifer. Each tree soaks up hundreds of gallons of water a week. In arid climates, nature does not support many more than 50 trees per acre. In many parts of New Mexico, where several fires are currently burning, the forest now has up to 2,500 trees per acre—using up all the water resources. Because logging was stopped decades ago, the forest is packed with fuel, wildfires are sparked, and they quickly burn out of control.

The US Forest Service (USFS) needs to change its policy and start selectively harvesting trees—not clear cutting, but harvesting the way it’s been applied on New Mexico’s Mescalero Indian Reservation. The forest on the Mescalero land is a healthy forest. When a recent fire was raging across the Lincoln National Forest, it stopped completely and dropped down from the trees to become a very natural, and manageable, grass fire when it got to the forest the Mescalero tribe had treated.

A study from the USFS supports the Mescalero’s approach. Published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, the study found that thinning to 50-100 trees per acre—depending on the species, terrain and other factors—reduces the impact of catastrophic wildfires, helps protect communities, provides jobs, and promotes overall forest health.

According to Burns, every million board feet harvested supports eleven direct forest industry jobs. Yet, environmentalists continue to block logging and the economic freedom it represents.

However, economic freedom was just handed a win from the courts.

On June 26, a federal district court in Washington, DC, smacked down the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for failing to comply with timber harvest requirements. Under the BLM’s own resource management plan, the timber harvest for Oregon’s Medford and Roseburg districts should have been 57 and 45 million board feet, respectively. Instead, current harvest has been 19 million and 29 million. The court’s decision requires the BLM to increase the harvest by 38 million board feet in the Medford District and 16 million board feet for Roseburg—which equals the creation of 594 jobs.

A press release from the American Forest Resource Council says: “These harvest levels are just a small percentage of the annual growth volume of timber on these lands. The BLM lands in Western Oregon have 73 billion board feet of standing volume. These timberlands are capable of growing 1.2 billion board feet per year”—with the potential of creating more than 13,000 jobs. These job growth numbers don’t really represent new jobs, as these are jobs that have been killed over the past 23 years as a result of forest management—presumably enacted to protect the spotted owl. Unfortunately, the court decision came too late to save the 85 jobs at Rough and Ready Lumber Company—one of the plaintiffs in the case. Rough and Ready closed its doors in May due to a lack of available timber from federal lands.

Environmental groups expect an appeal of the decision.

The USFS plan to manage for the spotted owl has threatened property rights, killed jobs, and increased the severity of wildfires—all while the spotted owl population has declined thanks to a bully: the barred owl.

25 Signs Obama Is Treating Veterans Like Human Trash...

AP(PressTV) -- Why does the Obama administration treat our military veterans like human garbage? 

Every year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Barack Obama and our other politicians make very nice speeches, but the truth about how they feel about our veterans can be seen in how they are treated every single day. 

In the United States today, there are well over half a million veterans that have been waiting for at least 125 days to have their benefit claims processed.  Many of them will ultimately have their claims sent back or denied just so a government employee somewhere can get a bigger bonus. 

Meanwhile, conditions at VA facilities all over the country are absolutely abysmal, and many veterans have to wait more than half a year just to get an appointment at one of those facilities.  Once you start looking into how this country really treats military veterans, it becomes easier to understand why 22 military veterans commit suicide in America every single day. 

Our vets have a higher rate of unemployment, a higher rate of poverty, a higher rate of homelessness, a higher rate of depression and a higher rate of divorce than the general population.  It is a crying shame.  One of the ways that any society is judged is by how it treats military veterans, and the truth is that America has failed miserably.  This has been particularly true since Barack Obama has been in the White House.

The following are 25 signs that military veterans are being treated like absolute trash under the Obama administration.

1. The average claim for veteran benefits takes more than half a year to be processed.

2. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a backlog of more than half a million overdue claims for benefits that are at least 125 days old.

3. In 2009, the number of veterans that had been waiting for more than a year to have their benefits approved was 11,000.  Today, that number has soared to 245,000.

4. Thousands upon thousands of military veterans that are waiting for their claims to be processed are dealing with absolutely horrible injuries.

5. At one VA hospital in Wisconsin, one military veteran with a broken jaw that was seeking treatment still had not had his jaw fixed after a month and a half.

6. Today, it takes military vets an average of seven months to get an appointment at a VA facility.

7. Many VA facilities are in absolutely horrific condition.  A while back, ABC News conducted an investigation of conditions at VA facilities across the United States.  What ABC News discovered was absolutely shocking.  The following are just a few of the things that they found during the course of their investigation:
  • *Bathrooms filthy with what appeared to be human excrement
  • *Dirty linens from some patients mixed in with clean supplies
  • *Examining tables that had dried blood and medications still on them
  • *Equipment used to sterilize surgical instruments that had broken down
  • *Some patients were forced to beg for food and water
  • *Veterans were neglected so badly that they developed horrific bedsores and dangerous infections
8. As I have written about previously, applying for veteran benefits is extremely complicated, and VA employees are actually paid bonuses for denying claims.

9. Large numbers of military veterans that legitimately should be getting benefits are having their claims denied by the federal government. 

10. Last year, more than 85,000 military veterans were treated for sexual abuse that they suffered while serving in the military.  40 percent of them were men.

11. According to a recent Defense Department survey, approximately 14,000 men in the U.S. military were sexually assaulted by other men during 2012.

12. According to the Washington Post, there is an epidemic of sexual assaults being committed by military recruiters.  The Pentagon is pledging to do something about the problem.

13. The number of active members of the U.S. military that are killing themselves now exceeds the number that are dying on the battlefield.

14. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, twice as many members of the Texas National Guard have killed themselves as have been killed in combat.

15. According to one recent study, 22 military veterans kill themselves in the United States every single day.

16. At this point, combat veterans account for about 20 percent of all suicides in the United States.

17. The unemployment rate for military veterans is significantly higher than for the population as a whole.  This is especially true for younger veterans.

18. On any given night, approximately 200,000 military veterans are homeless in the United States.

19. All over America, monuments that honor military veterans are crumbling and falling apart. 

20. Under the Obama administration, many military veterans have had to pay to have their medals shipped to them.  For example, one soldier actually had to pay a 21 dollar shipping fee to get his Purple Heart. 

21. In some areas of the country the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been caught banning the words “God” and “Jesus” during funeral services for veterans.

22. Today, the federal government provides “end of life” literature to veterans to them determine when their lives are “no longer worth living”.

23. One study discovered that approximately one-third of all military veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq were officially determined to be mentally ill by government officials.

24. All over America, “mental illness” is being used as a reason to take guns away from military veterans.

25. The federal government is increasingly labeling military veterans as “potential domestic terrorists” if they express viewpoints that are critical of the government.

Obamacare in Your Neighborhood

By: Bruce Bialosky / Townhll Columnist

All of us have been living with Obamacare for four years. First, it was the development of the bill, then it was Nancy Pelosi telling us we had to pass the bill to know what was in it, then it was the passing of the bill on a party line vote, and now it is trying to figure out how it affects us and the people around us.

Like others, we have been reading the variety of developments surrounding the bill. There is the touting of the frontloaded benefits. We have been reading about how state-by-state decisions have been made about statewide exchanges that mystify most of us. The rest of us wait until the bills come in the mail to see how the new law will change our costs. Some, like medical device manufacturers, have been fighting back to eliminate the tax that they say will cripple their industry and has already caused dislocation. Now the delay of the bill as the Obama-ites realize they have a disaster on their hands.

You may have read how certain companies have been cutting back on hours for their employees, preventing their employees from working the thirty hours a week that would require them to have employer-provided insurance. Somewhat like a car accident or a hurricane, you don’t expect things like this to affect you -- it only affects “those people over there.”

I have been going to same restaurant for lunch every Saturday for many years. I only miss it when I am out of town or during tax season (when I am typically in my office). I sit at the bar where there are two TVs, offering options for multiple sporting events. I spend time speaking to all the staff -- every manager knows me well. It is truly my neighborhood place. For a long time (about five years), the same man has worked the bar shift. We have created quite a relationship. I even call him to let him know if I am not going to be there. Otherwise, come noon on Saturday there I am. I may have a friend in tow or a kid, but I am there. We talk sports, movies and about our families.

When I returned from our post-tax season vacation, I went for my Saturday lunch -- excited to tell my friend about the trip. He is always anxious to see pictures. Only this time I got to the restaurant, and he was not there. I find out he is no longer working the shift. To say the least I was disappointed.

Later that week, we went to the same restaurant for dinner. My friend was working and I discussed the matter with him and a manager. His hours had been cut back to avoid the new Obamacare rule. He had to choose the best shifts, and my shift lost out.

My friend, the bartender, is a grown man in his forties of Hispanic heritage. He has a wife and children, and he has to support them. With his now-restricted hours, he will not have enough income coming in to take care of them.

Someone who supports Obamacare might say it is the fault of the employer. The employer should provide the insurance to their employees. Even with a stripped-down insurance plan for his family, it would cost over $1,000 per month. That would mean the sandwich which now costs $12 will become $15. The meal that costs $19 will now cost $23. It is easy for supporters to say customers will pay, but the reality is we will see significant reductions in customer trips and a huge loss of jobs.

Now my friend is on a hunt to find a second job. He will have to balance demands between two employers and will probably end up spending less time with his family. He will also end up working more hours, thereby helping to freeze out someone else from getting a position. We will become more of a part-time employment country simply because some attorney working for a Congressional committee came up with 30 hours as being a full-time employee. Because laws are written in black and white, this one choice has dislocated millions of Americans. I am sure that the writers of Obamacare never anticipated this backlash. They thought we would all fall in line like the Jews following Moses with the Ten Commandments.

Congresswoman Pelosi stated we would have to pass the bill to learn what is in it. This was an aspect of the bill not clearly stated and fortunately some groups are working on changing this portion of the law to make 40 hours determine a full-time employment. In the meantime, the small print of this area of the bill is just one more thing that is killing the American job market, and the good intentions of supporters have turned into an albatross for many Americans. The only question that remains -- when will the ill-effects of Obamacare impact you?

NO further words needed