Sorry libs. Obama did not give the direct order to kill the Somali pirates. You'll have to wait another day for the cut-and-runner to earn his hero badge.
Blackfive has the real story:
I just finished listening to the press conference w/ ADM Gortney about the rescue of Captain Phillips. At the time it happened the USS Bainbridge was towing the lifeboat to calmer waters as the sea state was deteriorating. One of the pirates was on board the Bainbridge as the talks about obtaining Phillip's release continued. The lifeboat was approx. 25 m behind the Bainbridge when snipers on the fantail observed one of the pirates in the pilot house of the lifeboat pointing an AK-47 at the back of a tied up Phillips and the other two pirates on board were visible (at least shoulders and heads). The standing authority gave them clearance to engage the pirates if the life of the captain was in imminent danger. The on scene commander deemed this to be true and gave the order to fire. All three bad guys were taken out and then a rigid inflatable boat went to the lifeboat to retrieve Phillips. It is unknown at this point whether the shooters were SEALs or Marine Scout Snipers as both would have been available.
This was not a rescue attempt ordered by National Command Authority i.e. the President. It was a reaction by the on scene commander under standard authority to safeguard the life of a hostage.
The AP is reporting that President Obama gave the order to use military force to rescue the hostage, that is misleading.
They want so desperately for the community organizer to become a real hero.
Obama's welcome in Iraq was staged
"Cheered wildly by U.S. troops", begins Jennifer Democratic Operative Loven’s AP report on Obama’s surprise visit to Iraq on Tuesday.
Quite a contrast to the silent treatment Marines gave Obama at his Camp LeJeune speech in late February. Just how did Obama manage to fix that little problem? According to a sergeant in Iraq :
We were pre-screened, asked by officials “Who voted for Obama?”, and then those who raised their hands were shuffled to the front of the receiving line. They even handed out digital cameras and asked them to hold them up. [Via Macsmind.]
As supporting evidence for the digital-cameras part of the story, the sergeant (or Mac, can’t tell which), suggests that the identical cameras can be verified in the AP photos. Looks right:
Charles Dharapak/associated press
So will the press cover this evidence of a staged and unrepresentative show of military affection for our anti-military president? The reporters were there. Did they actually see the troops being sorted by whether they voted for Obama, which the sergeant describes as happening on the spot?
Stephen Hurst’s AP report is upfront about Obama’s fervent desire for a hero’s welcome:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama went for the defining television shot by capping his first extended foreign tour with a surprise visit to Iraq.
He got it – pictures of hundreds of U.S. troops cheering wildly as he told them it was time for the Iraqis to take charge of their own future.
Just no mention of HOW Obama managed to fake this response: Obama lovers to the front!
US government statistics about the economy are "fiddled"
All economic indicators since the Depression era—many developed using Keynes' models—have been modified over the years. Like Ptolemy's retrograde “loops” of centuries' past, the net effect is to obfuscate—the ill, real economic consequences of errant, Keynesian government policies. The rationale for these modifications has ranged from academic to economic to political. But without question, the impact of economic phenomena has increasingly been made to look “less bad” over the years.
Take for example the manner in which Consumer Price Index inflation has been modified over the years: in 1983, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' measurement was changed to exclude the cost of owning a house; in 1995, it was changed per the Boskin Commission's recommendations to remove what the body viewed as “biases” inherent in prior indicators; in 2006 the Federal Reserve Board of Governors stop measuring M3 because the figure was no longer deemed relevant.
The net result is that inflation as reported today bears little resemblance to inflation as it was reported in the rightly maligned Carter era, when inflation was in the double digits. But as reported by Joshua Holland in Dollars and Sense, under the older metrics, CPI inflation has actually averaged about 9.5 percent from 2001-2008, much higher than the 2.4 percent average reported.
Other objections to today's manufactured figures include the fact that food, energy and other commodities—deemed too volatile to accurately plot inflation trends—are excluded from “core” inflation numbers reported by the government, and thus the media. To settle all of these theoretical arguments is not the purpose of this piece, rather it is to consider the real-world implications of the manipulators' contentions.
What if the data was flawed? What would that mean, for the economy, for the government, for the markets, and for the American people? The trouble here is that government data carries with it a weight of authenticity that other data do not. If it were flawed, either somewhat or severely, the consequences would ripple economy-wide, wreaking havoc and causing distortions. Like bubbles.
Economic analyses are based on that data. Financial decisions are made based on that data. Certainly, monetary policy judgments have been made based upon that data, as noted by Gjerstad and Smith in their Wall Street Journal piece describing how manipulation of the interest rates accommodated and perpetuated the housing bubble to critical levels.
All of which affects—and harms—the American people, who just watched the value of their retirements wiped out because of that bubble, watched energy and other commodities soar last year to unaffordable levels, and watched the very solvency of the financial and credit systems tested. All as a direct result of monetary, fiscal, and other policies pursued by government.
Americans were hurt badly in the process: with their investments, at the gas pump, and by the ability of their employers to hold on to them as employees, or to even stay in business....
Modifications to economic data as reported by the government are not contained to the CPI, unfortunately. Take for example the measure of unemployment: today, unemployment (U3) as reported by the government is 8.5 percent; but under older reporting methods, the actual unemployment figures ranges anywhere from 15.6 percent to 19.8 percent depending on the method.
As noted by Dr. Martin Weiss, unemployment during the Great Depression reached 25 percent. But if current methods for reporting were used then, it would have appeared to be far less. So, it would be grossly inaccurate for anybody to suggest that today's unemployment is not nearly as bad as the Great Depression, when today's reporting method in no way resembles reporting back then.
Now, due to the—very likely deliberate—distortion the manipulators have built into the system, comparing today's data to that of years past is an apples-to-oranges contrast. For example, comparing today's inflation to Carter-era hyperinflation. The public may believe that so long as inflation is single-digit, that inflation is not a problem. Meanwhile, an apples-to-apples comparison would show something far worse than is reported.
The numbers therefore also have a propaganda value, and are often used politically to help or damage presidential administrations. And they do indeed have an impact. If inflation and unemployment are “low,” if the budget is “balanced”, or if the Gross Domestic Product “increases”, the incumbents have an advantage. In the very least, there is an incentive for the numbers to be skewed.
But now, with unemployment spiraling upward and the inflation bug almost ready to bite again, the fatal cracks in the actual economy will soon be so apparent that no amount of hiding the numbers by bureaucrats will prevent the stark realization that a catastrophe has occurred. And no amount of the orthodox Keynesian punditry declaring the patriotism of government spending, investing, paying taxes, and “talking up” the economy will be enough to convince the people that sun revolves around the Earth—or that the government creates any wealth at all.
MA: Ex-lawmaker scores state job AND full pension check : “They were just 84 words of dense, technical language buried deep in a 556-page budget bill. But each ‘pursuant,’ ’shall’ and ‘provided’ was pure gold for former state representative Timothy A. Bassett. The obscure provision passed by the Legislature in 1999 enabled Bassett to accept a high-paying job as the chairman and executive director of the Essex Regional Retirement Board without giving up a dime of his $41,000-a-year state pension from a previous job. In effect, lawmakers decreed Bassett could receive a retiree’s pension without being retired.”
Big government is the biggest business of all: “Of all the ‘big businesses’ you deal with, the federal government is the biggest. Unless you have an exceptionally large mortgage payment, your taxes (open and hidden, direct and indirect, immediate and deferred) are probably your single greatest annual personal expense. You are the ‘customer.’ Are you getting your money’s worth? Would you do business with these people at all if you had a choice? Are they offering you something you can’t live without … or just making you an offer you can’t refuse?”
Wrong to breed pedigree dogs?: “Criticizing other people who do nothing but exercise their own rights is something all of us have a right to do. But I’m becoming less and less reluctant to do so. My feeling is, if they are exercising their rights, why should I let their actions bother me? Don’t I have better things to do than be angry about what other people do with their own lives? It also seems to me we would have greater civility throughout society if people just respected each other’s rights rather than condemn and criticize each other all the time. From pointing out fashion disasters of celebrities, to mocking earnest and well-intentioned movies, to condemning people with odd lifestyles but who don’t harm anyone else, it seems to me all this negativity makes us more ill-mannered toward each other and more depressed internally. But when rights are violated, by either private criminals or State agents, I think it’s appropriate to stand up and condemn the guilty — such as death-threateners and government agents who harrass and steal from the innocent.”
The war on home-based businesses: “Many potential businesses are already forbidden to entrants without extensive resources due to prohibitive licensing requirements, a subject much examined by the Institute for Justice as they try to remedy the various laws that prohibit people from working their way out of poverty. But it is impossible to license every single field. It is impossible to prohibit home businesses. While certain fields can be forbidden or strictly regulated, the realm of human endeavor is too broad for piece-meal laws to restrict. In order to inhibit home based businesses it is necessary for there to be very broad laws to catch any endeavor not already covered by existing licensure laws. Two such bills have recently been in the congress. One has been signed into law and one is in committee.”
Get government out of the marriage business: “Polygamists have refused to acknowledge the state and its intrusion into their private affairs, and so they should. There’s no legitimate reason for the government to dispense morality edicts on what is properly the private sphere.”
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)