Saturday, September 22, 2012

Benedict XVI to French Bishops: Defend marriage and life

STRATFOR: The Ongoing Crisis in Syria (Agenda)

When Endeavor’s Astronauts Received the Eucharist in Space

When Endeavor’s Astronauts Received the Eucharist in Space

GOA Report: While the Inspector General Exonerates Eric Holder ...


Gun Owners of America


GOA continues pressing its suit against ATF in court
The long-awaited Inspector General's report on the Fast and Furious scandal in out, and most of the news media are breathlessly clearing Attorney General of any wrongdoing.

But as GOA's Larry Pratt summarized in one interview: "The wolf has reported from the chicken coop that there's nobody here but us chickens." (Click here to see the interview in its entirety.)

The obviously self-serving, 471-page report:

* Takes the words of the people it is supposed to be objectively investigating at face value
* Presents evidence that shows Holder should have known about Fast and Furious much earlier than he claims -- then ignores that evidence
* Allows the White House to walk away scot-free from the investigation without providing ANY documents which might tie the Oval Office to the scandal
* Ignores demonstrable, gross incompetence of high-level Justice Department employees

The hope of the Obama administration, of course, is that this issue will now be put to rest and not be an issue in the election. And conveniently, the report came out just one day before Congress recessed until after the November elections, so we won't be hearing much from Congress over the next six weeks.

But GOA agrees with the words of Edmund Burke that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." So we will not allow this issue to be swept under the rug.

Gun Owners has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District for D.C., and we will continue to press that suit to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to produce thousands of pages of documents it is still withholding (the Inspector General report notwithstanding).

GOA will continue to conduct interviews and participate in "townhall" meetings across the country to make sure voters are aware that the Fast and Furious scandal is far from settled and that those responsible for knowingly allowing firearms to get into the hands of some of the most dangerous criminals in the world must be brought to justice.

You can read GOA's in-depth analysis of the IG report by clicking here.

And please consider a generous contribution to Gun Owners as we fight this battle in the courts, the media, and on the campaign trail.

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
 
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

Encouraging Investment in Wisconsin
 
Earlier this week, I met with other Midwestern Governors and potential investors from Japan about opportunities to encourage more job creation in Wisconsin and the overall region. 
 
Governor Mitch Daniels, of Indiana, massively increased foreign investment in his state over the last eight years of his tenure. Today, Japanese companies invest more money in Indiana than nearly any other state, and those companies employ tens of thousands of workers.

Talking with Governor Daniels during this meeting, I am hopeful the Midwest region as a whole and Wisconsin specifically, can expand regionally on investments made in Indiana over the course of the last few years.
 
Maintaining Safe Transportation Network
 
As we move forward and continue to prioritize funding Wisconsin’s transportation network, which will spur economic growth, it is important to remember safety on our roadways. This week was national Child Passenger Safety Week, so I teamed up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver to kick off and promote the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats.

The number one killer of children from birth to age 12 is car accidents. It’s important for parents and caregivers to understand the benefits of wearing a seatbelt and having their children in correctly installed safety seats. Our goal is to make sure everyone traveling on the road has the best chance to avoid injury or death should they be involved in a traffic crash.

To view a web video from the kickoff with Governor Walker and Donald Driver, click here, and to view the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s new instructional video please click here 
 
225th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution
 
This week marked the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution. I marked this important event by talking to 4th graders in De Pere, Madison, Wausau, and Franklin. With the help of the Wisconsin Historical Society, we were able to bring along one of the signers of the Constitution, “Robert Morris,” of Pennsylvania, who spoke to the students about his role in the American Revolution and the drafting of our nation’s founding documents.

Our founding fathers risked their lives to embark on our great American experiment and crafted the Constitution to serve as its blueprint. Our commitment to freedom and opportunity laid out in the Constitution made America the greatest and most prosperous nation on Earth and served as a model for countless other nations around the world.

The U.S. Constitution establishes the rules and separate powers of the three branches of the federal government—Congress, an executive branch led by the President, and the Supreme Court. The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in continuous use.
 
Just Ask the Governor
 
Each e-update, I will answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.

Question: I am disappointed at the judge’s decision on the unions. What can I do?
Answer: We need to wait to see how the case moves forward in the court system.
Recently, a Dane County judge in Madison issued a ruling that struck down key provisions of the budget reforms enacted late last year. We are confident this ruling will be overturned because Act 10 is constitutional. This would not be the first time a Dane County judge's decision on Act 10 was held to be wrong by a higher court.

Since enacting the reforms contained in Act 10, taxpayers have saved more than one billion dollars, property taxes on a median value home have decreased for the first time in twelve years, we balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit at the state level without increasing taxes, and government services have improved.

This week, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a brief seeking a stay of the ruling, which would keep Act 10 in place, until the appeals process is complete.

Independent legal experts and those from both sides of the aisle already noted the judge’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and point out that seeking a stay is the responsible course of action, given the confusion caused by the judge’s flawed ruling.

While we are confident the law will be upheld, if the current ruling on Act 10 stands, it could result in public employee layoffs, increased debt for local units of government and school districts, and it could return us to a system where a handful of special interests control huge portions of our government budgets. This ruling strips power from local elected and school board officials and reduces their ability to effectively manage their budgets.

Voters spoke more than two years ago about the need to reform government, reduce spending, and balance our budget. The voters reaffirmed their decision on June 5th.
When this ruling is overturned the reforms will continue to be enacted, we will continue down the path of balanced budgets, and we’ll be able to focus on helping the people of our state create jobs.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker

Benedict XVI explains stigmata of 'Father Pio'

STRATFOR: Ukraine's Foreign Policy Strategy (Dispatch)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

RIA Novosti: Russian Warship Tests Missile Defense Capability

RIA NovostiNuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr VelikyRussian Warship Tests Missile Defense Capability
21:55 20/09/2012 The flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet, nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, has carried out missile defense drills during the current patrol-and-training mission in the Arctic, Izvestia newspaper said on Thursday.>>

Congressmen call for end to Afghan war - Military News | News From Afghanistan, Iraq And Around The World - Military Times

Congressmen call for end to Afghan war - Military News | News From Afghanistan, Iraq And Around The World - Military Times

PAUL: Demanding justice from Libya, Egypt and Pakistan - Washington Times

PAUL: Demanding justice from Libya, Egypt and Pakistan - Washington Times

IAF Targets Terrorists in the Gaza Strip • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

IAF Targets Terrorists in the Gaza Strip • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

Navy to Commission USS Fort Worth; U.S. Navy Memorial Honors Four Military Veterans

USS Green Bay Departs Naval Base San Diego Naval Today

USS Green Bay Departs Naval Base San Diego Naval Today

Governor Nikki Haley presents Constitution Week proclamation to Daughters of the American Revolution

US Navy to Commission LCS Fort Worth Naval Today

US Navy to Commission LCS Fort Worth Naval Today

Lower Gas Prices May Be On The Way

Lower Gas Prices May Be On The Way: Oil prices have been sharply lower this week, down about 7 percent since Friday. In New York trading today oil settled at $91.98, down $3.31 for the day. The recent run up in the price of oil may have been a bit of an anomaly. ...

Brazilian ambassador expects at least 2 million youth in Rio de Janeiro for WYD

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

RIA Novosti: Third Indian Frigate Undergoes Dock Trials in Russia

RIA NovostiThe Trikand is the last in a series of three frigates built under a $1.6-billion contract with IndiaThird Indian Frigate Undergoes Dock Trials in Russia
05:10 19/09/2012 A Talwar class frigate being built for the Indian Navy at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad has begun dock trials, the shipyard said.>>

Libya, Mid East Burning! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Prenatal Testing Leading to Abortions of Disabled Babies is Eugenics | LifeNews.com

Prenatal Testing Leading to Abortions of Disabled Babies is Eugenics | LifeNews.com

STRATFOR: The Libya Attack and After-Action Investigations (Tearline)

Vigor Announces ULSTEIN’s SX151 Design in the U.S. Naval Today

Vigor Announces ULSTEIN’s SX151 Design in the U.S. Naval Today

Israel Today magazine - Romney: No hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace right now

Article courtesy of Israel Today magazine, www.israeltoday.co.il.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | Ryan Jones

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently suggested that if he wins the current race for the White House, he will significantly alter the degree and manner of America's involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Likening the situation to the ongoing tug-of-war between China and Taiwan, Romney told a room of campaign donors in Boca Raton, Florida that the best America and the West can hope for at present is to contain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The gathering took place behind closed doors on May 17, but an attendee filmed Romney's response to a question about the "Palestinian problem" and uploaded the footage to YouTube this week.

Romney said that when looking at the Middle East situation he is forced to consider that "the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that [therefore] the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Romney suggested that those who argue for simply giving the Palestinian Arabs an independent state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are not looking at the bigger picture.

"The border between Israel and the West Bank is...right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel," explained Romney. "[On the] other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan. And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza. Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel."

Romney said the only way for Israel to feel secure in such a situation would be to police the new Palestinian state's borders and airspace, which obviously the Palestinians would not agree to.

"I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes [being] committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and [then] these thorny issues, and I say, 'There's just no way,'" continued Romney, noting that at present it is better to simply "hope for some degree of stability [while recognizing] that this is going to remain an unsolved problem."

"We live with [a similar situation] in China and Taiwan," concluded Romney. "We have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."

The Palestinian leadership was infuriated by Romney's remarks, calling them "absolutely unacceptable."

The Obama Administration also took a jab at Romney, with White House spokesman Jay Carney saying that the Republican's approach lacks "leadership," while failing to address the fact that, as Romney pointed out, the US has long sidestepped the China-Taiwan conflict.

"Learn How to Defend Yourself- IDF Style" Second Episode Published • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

"Learn How to Defend Yourself- IDF Style" Second Episode Published • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

RIA Novosti: Russian Navy Plans to Assign 30 Helicopters to Each Mistral

RIA NovostiMistral-class shipRussian Navy Plans to Assign 30 Helicopters to Each Mistral
06:02 19/09/2012 Each of the two Mistral class amphibious assault ships being built in France for the Russian Navy will have air wings consisting of 30 Ka-52K and Ka-29 helicopters, Izvestia newspaper reported on Wednesday.>>

Obama Camp Launches Desperate Ad as Catholic Vote Crumbles | LifeNews.com

Obama Camp Launches Desperate Ad as Catholic Vote Crumbles | LifeNews.com

US Navy: The Floating City

Pope's reflects on recent trip to Lebanon during general audience

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

STRATFOR: China-Japan Islands Dispute and U.S. Neutrality (Dispatch)

RSC Update: It's Not About the Video

 
 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | View Online


RSC Update: It’s Not About the Video


From the Chairman

President Obama and his top aides insist the recent wave of protests and attacks by radical Islamists, which began on the anniversary of 9/11, are spontaneous demonstrations sparked by a YouTube video. While preliminary news reports pointed in that direction, we have since learned that the initial attacks in Egypt and Libya were planned days ahead of time, “well before news circulated” of that ridiculous video.

It’s not about the video. The Libyan government believes al Qaeda was responsible for the assault on our consulate in Benghazi, where our Ambassador and three other Americans were murdered during an intense battle with well-armed and well-organized attackers.

When mobs all over the world shout "Death to America" as they storm American embassies and burn American flags, they do it because they do not like America. They do it because we are a convenient bogeyman to blame for their own domestic problems. They do it because they think we will not or cannot defend ourselves. The video is just an excuse.

Turning a blind eye to reality does not make reality any less dangerous.

God Bless,

Congressman Jim Jordan
Chairman, Republican Study Committee


RSC Media Activity – RSC members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.

· Rep. Steve King (IA-05): The President Intrudes on Us from Farm to the Lunch Tray; Des Moines Register, September 9.

 
· Rep. John Kline (MN-02): Speaks on Fox-9 TV about how ObamaCare is Killing Jobs; Fox-9 TV, September 10.


· Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04): FISA Amendments Should Be Extended; Washington Times, September 12.

 
· Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08): QE3: Unwise and Unnecessary; National Review, September 12.

 
· Rep. Allen West (FL-22): Rep. West Speaks on Fox News about Libya and Obama's Foreign Policy; Fox News, September 14.


· Rep. Dave Camp (MI-04) with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): Welfare Work Requirements Are a Success -- Obama's Plans to Change Them Must Be Stopped; FoxNews.com, September 17.

 
· The RSC released a new graphic about Solyndra and similar “green energy” companies given subsidies by the Obama administration.


RSC Member Activity RSC members make it a priority to introduce productive, conservative solutions for America’s future.

· RSC members, led by Reps. Steve Southerland (FL-02), Tim Scott (SC-01), and Allen West (FL-22), officially launched a new Anti-Poverty Initiative in a summit with community and grassroots leaders brought together from across the country by the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.


· Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04) introduced the Voter Registration Integrity Act to direct states to implement a voter registration check and verification when individuals move.

 
· Rep. Joe Walsh (IL-08) re-introduced the Federal Election Integrity Act, which would require citizens to present a government-issued photo ID to vote in federal elections and provide money to states (from a pre-existing federal subsidy) to provide IDs for those who cannot afford them.

 
· 128 members of Congress, led by Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-01), called on President Barack Obama to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu during the Israeli leader’s upcoming visit to the United States.

 
· Reps. Steve King (IA-05) and Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which would repeal the USDA’s recently released school lunch standards, prohibit the USDA's upper caloric limits, and protect rights of parents to send their children to school with the foods of their choice.

 
House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives recently.

· On September 12, the House passed H.R. 5949, FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization, which extends amendments to FISA enacted in 2008.

 
· On September 13, the House passed H. J. Res. 117, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013. This legislation extends funding for federal agencies and the TANF welfare program until the end of March 2013.

 
· Also on September 13, the House passed H.R. 6365, the National Security & Jobs Protection Act, which would replace the sequester with common sense spending reductions and reforms that protect our troops and help avoid a new recession.

 
· On September 14, the House passed H.R. 6213, the No More Solyndras Act. The bill prevents the Department of Energy from issuing any new loan guarantees under the program that subsidized Solyndra and other companies for applications submitted after December 31, 2011.


Outlook – A quick look at what’s on the horizon.

· Monday was Constitution Day, marking the 225th anniversary of the signing of that document at the Constitutional Convention.

 
· Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, began Sunday at sundown and ends Tuesday at sunset. The House will not be in session Monday and Tuesday, in observance of the holiday.


· On Thursday the House is expected to vote on H.J.Res. 118, legislation co-authored by RSC Chairman Jordan which would prevent the Obama administration from ignoring the clear language of the 1996 law that implemented work requirements for the TANF welfare program.

 
· On Thursday, the House is also expected to vote on the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, which would prioritize visas for foreign graduates of American universities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

 
· On Friday, the House is expected to vote on the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409, which would rein in the EPA’s costly job-killing regulations on that industry.

 
· Saturday is the first day of autumn.

 
RSC Reports

· The RSC published a Policy Brief in August discussing the continued high poverty rate despite nearly 50 years and more than $15 trillion spent in a federal “War on Poverty.”

 
· RSC Updates are now online! Looking for one of our recently released charts and graphs? Click here.

 
· Stay up to date on budget and spending news with reports from the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force.


· Check out the RSC Sunset Caucus’ work to shrink the size of government and the Repeal Task Force’s work to eliminate bad laws and regulations.

 
· House rules now require sponsors of legislation to provide a Constitutional Authority Statement that explains how Congress has the constitutionally-derived authority to enact their proposals. Click here to see liberals’ highly questionable attempts.


· Read the RSC Money Monitor to track how bills passed by the House affect budget authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

###






House Republican Study Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman

Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director

Joe Murray, Professional Policy Staff
Curtis Rhyne, Professional Policy Staff

Ja’Ron Smith, Professional Policy Staff

Derek Khanna, Professional Policy Staff

Brian Straessle, Communications Director

Michael Tate, Deputy Communications Director
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach

Yong Choe, Director of Business Outreach and Member Services

Rick Eberstadt, Research Assistant

1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9717

This should balance things out…



http://netrightdaily.com/2012/09/this-should-balance-things-out/

A Note on Romney’s Arrogant and Stupid Remarks

A Note on Romney’s Arrogant and Stupid Remarks

Vatican to release documentary with previously unseen footage from Vatican II

Navy Conducts Burial at Sea for Neil Armstrong; USS Fort Worth Arrives in Galveston, Texas

NFL.Com Features Page Dedicated Solely To Tim Tebow « CBS Tampa

NFL.Com Features Page Dedicated Solely To Tim Tebow « CBS Tampa

Delegation of Young Norwegian Officers to Arrive in Russia’s NF Main Base Severomorsk Naval Today

Delegation of Young Norwegian Officers to Arrive in Russia’s NF Main Base Severomorsk Naval Today

Dempsey: 'Insider' attacks pose serious threat to Afghan war effort, drawdown - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Dempsey: 'Insider' attacks pose serious threat to Afghan war effort, drawdown - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Way Up North: A Short Quiz

Way Up North: A Short Quiz: Listed below are 10 direct quotes. You have to guess which  American politician said it.   Your four choices  are: Former Alaska  Gover...

From Rome to Australia: Relic of St. Francis Xavier taken to Sydney

Air Force, DOD to cut off Joint Strike Fighter from further funding, says Sec. Donley - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Air Force, DOD to cut off Joint Strike Fighter from further funding, says Sec. Donley - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Russia: NF Missile Cruiser Petr Vliky Passes Kara Strait Naval Today

Russia: NF Missile Cruiser Petr Vliky Passes Kara Strait Naval Today

Where Are the 47% of Americans Who Pay No Income Taxes? - The Atlantic

Where Are the 47% of Americans Who Pay No Income Taxes? - The Atlantic

The Department of Justice Filed an Emergency Appeal to Uphold the NDAA's Indefinite Detainment Powers, and The Washington Post Wishes Them Luck

The Department of Justice Filed an Emergency Appeal to Uphold the NDAA's Indefinite Detainment Powers, and & The Washington Post & Wishes Them Luck

Ovide Lamontagne - Primary Election Night Acceptance Speech

U.S. Navy Takes Over Amphibious Transport Dock Anchorage (LPD 23) Naval Today

U.S. Navy Takes Over Amphibious Transport Dock Anchorage (LPD 23) Naval Today

STRATFOR: From Gadhafi to Benghazi

From Gadhafi to Benghazi is republished with permission of Stratfor.

By George Friedman

Last week, four American diplomats were killed when armed men attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attackers' apparent motivation was that someone, apparently American but with an uncertain identity, posted a video on YouTube several months ago that deliberately defamed the Prophet Mohammed. The attack in Benghazi was portrayed as retribution for the defamation, with the attackers holding all Americans equally guilty for the video, though it was likely a pretext for deeper grievances. The riots spread to other countries, including Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, although no American casualties were reported in the other riots. The unrest appears to have subsided over the weekend.

Benghazi and the Fall of Gadhafi


In beginning to make sense of these attacks, one must observe that they took place in Benghazi, the city that had been most opposed to Moammar Gadhafi. Indeed, Gadhafi had promised to slaughter his opponents in Benghazi, and it was that threat that triggered the NATO intervention in Libya. Many conspiracy theories have been devised to explain the intervention, but, like Haiti and Kosovo before it, none of the theories holds up. The intervention occurred because it was believed that Gadhafi would carry out his threats in Benghazi and because it was assumed that he would quickly capitulate in the face of NATO air power, opening the door to democracy.

That Gadhafi was capable of mass murder was certainly correct. The idea that Gadhafi would quickly fall proved incorrect. That a democracy would emerge as a result of the intervention proved the most dubious assumption of them all. What emerged in Libya is what you would expect when a foreign power overthrows an existing government, however thuggish, and does not impose its own imperial state: ongoing instability and chaos.

The Libyan opposition was a chaotic collection of tribes, factions and ideologies sharing little beyond their opposition to Gadhafi. A handful of people wanted to create a Western-style democracy, but they were leaders only in the eyes of those who wanted to intervene. The rest of the opposition was composed of traditionalists, militarists in the Gadhafi tradition and Islamists. Gadhafi had held Libya together by simultaneously forming coalitions with various factions and brutally crushing any opposition.

Opponents of tyranny assume that deposing a tyrant will improve the lives of his victims. This is sometimes true, but only occasionally. The czar of Russia was clearly a tyrant, but it is difficult to argue that the Leninist-Stalinist regime that ultimately replaced him was an improvement. Similarly, the Shah of Iran was repressive and brutal. It is difficult to argue that the regime that replaced him was an improvement.

There is no assurance that opponents of a tyrant will not abuse human rights just like the tyrant did. There is even less assurance that an opposition too weak and divided to overthrow a tyrant will coalesce into a government when an outside power destroys the tyrant. The outcome is more likely to be chaos, and the winner will likely be the most organized and well-armed faction with the most ruthless clarity about the future. There is no promise that it will constitute a majority or that it will be gentle with its critics.

The intervention in Libya, which I discussed in The Immaculate Intervention, was built around an assumption that has little to do with reality -- namely, that the elimination of tyranny will lead to liberty. It certainly can do so, but there is no assurance that it will. There are many reasons for this assumption, but the most important one is that Western advocates of human rights believe that, when freed from tyranny, any reasonable person would want to found a political order based on Western values. They might, but there is no obvious reason to believe they would.

The alternative to one thug may simply be another thug. This is a matter of power and will, not of political philosophy. Utter chaos, an ongoing struggle that leads nowhere but to misery, also could ensue. But the most important reason Western human rights activists might see their hopes dashed is due to a principled rejection of Western liberal democracy on the part of the newly liberated. To be more precise, the opposition might embrace the doctrine of national self-determination, and even of democracy, but go on to select a regime that is in principle seriously opposed to Western notions of individual rights and freedom.

While some tyrants simply seek power, other regimes that appear to Westerners to be tyrannies actually are rather carefully considered moral systems that see themselves as superior ways of life. There is a paradox in the principle of respect for foreign cultures followed by demands that foreigners adhere to basic Western principles. It is necessary to pick one approach or the other. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that someone can have very distinct moral principles, be respected, and yet be an enemy of liberal democracy. Respecting another moral system does not mean simply abdicating your own interests. The Japanese had a complex moral system that was very different from Western principles. The two did not have to be enemies, but circumstances caused them to collide.
The NATO approach to Libya assumed that the removal of a tyrant would somehow inevitably lead to a liberal democracy. Indeed, this was the assumption about the Arab Spring in the West, where it was thought that that corrupt and tyrannical regimes would fall and that regimes that embraced Western principles would sprout up in their place. Implicit in this was a profound lack of understanding of the strength of the regimes, of the diversity of the opposition and of the likely forces that would emerge from it.

In Libya, NATO simply didn't understand or care about the whirlwind that it was unleashing. What took Gadhafi's place was ongoing warfare between clans, tribes and ideologies. From this chaos, Libyan Islamists of various stripes have emerged to exploit the power vacuum. Various Islamist groups have not become strong enough to simply impose their will, but they are engaged in actions that have resonated across the region.

The desire to overthrow Gadhafi came from two impulses. The first was to rid the world of a tyrant, and the second was to give the Libyans the right to national self-determination. Not carefully considered were two other issues: whether simply overthrowing Gadhafi would yield the conditions for determining the national will, and whether the national will actually would mirror NATO's values and, one should add, interests.

Unintended Consequences


The events of last week represent unintended and indirect consequences of the removal of Gadhafi. Gadhafi was ruthless in suppressing radical Islamism, as he was in other matters. In the absence of his suppression, the radical Islamist faction appears to have carefully planned the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. The attack was timed for when the U.S. ambassador would be present. The mob was armed with a variety of weapons. The public justification was a little-known video on YouTube that sparked anti-American unrest throughout the Arab world.

For the Libyan jihadists, tapping into anger over the video was a brilliant stroke. Having been in decline, they reasserted themselves well beyond the boundaries of Libya. In Libya itself, they showed themselves as a force to be reckoned with -- at least to the extent that they could organize a successful attack on the Americans. The four Americans who were killed might have been killed in other circumstances, but they died in this one: Gadhafi was eliminated, no coherent regime took his place, no one suppressed the radical Islamists, and the Islamists could therefore act. How far their power will grow is not known, but certainly they acted effectively to achieve their ends. It is not clear what force there is to suppress them. It is also not clear what momentum this has created for jihadists in the region, but it will put NATO, and more precisely the United States, in the position either of engaging in another war in the Arab world at a time and place not of its choosing, or allowing the process to go forward and hoping for the best.

As I have written, a distinction is frequently drawn between the idealist and realist position. Libya is a case in which the incoherence of the distinction can be seen. If the idealist position is concerned with outcomes that are moral from its point of view, then simply advocating the death of a tyrant is insufficient. To guarantee the outcome requires that the country be occupied and pacified, as was Germany or Japan. But the idealist would regard this act of imperialism as impermissible, violating the doctrine of national sovereignty. More to the point, the United States is not militarily in a position to occupy or pacify Libya, nor would this be a national priority justifying war. The unwillingness of the idealist to draw the logical conclusion from their position, which is that simply removing the tyrant is not the end but only the beginning, is compounded by the realist's willingness to undertake military action insufficient for the political end. Moral ends and military means must mesh.

Removing Gadhafi was morally defensible but not by itself. Having removed him, NATO had now adopted a responsibility that it shifted to a Libyan public unequipped to manage it. But more to the point, no allowance had been made for the possibility that what might emerge as the national will of Libya would be a movement that represented a threat to the principles and interests of the NATO members. The problem of Libya was not that it did not understand Western values, but that a significant part of its population rejected those values on moral grounds and a segment of the population with battle-hardened fighters regarded them as inferior to its own Islamic values. Somewhere between hatred of tyranny and national self-determination, NATO's commitment to liberty as it understood it became lost.

This is not a matter simply confined to Libya. In many ways it played out throughout the Arab world as Western powers sought to come to terms with what was happening. There is a more immediate case: Syria. The assumption there is that the removal of another tyrant, in this case Bashar al Assad, will lead to an evolution that will transform Syria. It is said that the West must intervene to protect the Syrian opposition from the butchery of the al Assad regime. A case can be made for this, but not the simplistic case that absent al Assad, Syria would become democratic. For that to happen, much more must occur than the elimination of al Assad.

Wishful Thinking vs. Managing the Consequences


In 1958, a book called The Ugly American was published about a Southeast Asian country that had a brutal, pro-American dictator and a brutal, communist revolution. The novel had a character who was a nationalist in the true sense of the word and was committed to human rights. As a leader, he was not going to be simply an American tool, but he was the best hope the United States had. An actual case of such an ideal regime replacement was seen in 1963 in Vietnam, when Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam was killed in a coup. He had been a brutal pro-American dictator. The hope after his death was that a decent, nationalist liberal would replace him. There was a long search for such a figure; he never was found.

Getting rid of a tyrant when you are as powerful as the United States and NATO are, by contrast, is the easy part. Saddam Hussein is as dead as Gadhafi. The problem is what comes next. Having a liberal democratic nationalist simply appear to take the helm may happen, but it is not the most likely outcome unless you are prepared for an occupation. And if you are prepared to occupy, you had better be prepared to fight against a nation that doesn't want you determining its future, no matter what your intentions are.

I don't know what will come of Libya's jihadist movement, which has showed itself to be motivated and capable and whose actions resonated in the Arab world. I do know that Gadhafi was an evil brute who is better off dead. But it is simply not clear to me that removing a dictator automatically improves matters. What is clear to me is that if you wage war for moral ends, you are morally bound to manage the consequences.


Read more: From Gadhafi to Benghazi | Stratfor

Romney Video: Prairie Fire

Vatican and Italian government team up provide medical aid to kids in Latin America

Monday, September 17, 2012

Europe Space Agency Eyes Manned Flights with China | Sci-Tech Today

Europe Space Agency Eyes Manned Flights with China | Sci-Tech Today

U.S. Navy - VCNO Welcomes Newest Chiefs; Largest Mine Counter Measure Exercise Begins

World Maritime News - Denmark and China Expand Collaboration in Maritime Industry

World Maritime News - Denmark and China Expand Collaboration in Maritime Industry

GOP bill would repeal Agriculture Dept. calorie caps on school lunches - The Hill's Floor Action

GOP bill would repeal Agriculture Dept. calorie caps on school lunches - The Hill's Floor Action

What A Tangled Web We Weave. The Administration’s Benghazi Story Unravels. | RedState

What A Tangled Web We Weave. The Administration’s Benghazi Story Unravels. | RedState

U.S. Navy: Camp Lemmonier Pins New Chief Petty Officers

STRATFOR: Taliban Attack on NATO Base (Dispatch)

Romney to get more specific - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Romney to get more specific - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Exploring the Modern Destruction of Ancient Wrecks | Sci-Tech Today

Exploring the Modern Destruction of Ancient Wrecks | Sci-Tech Today

h/t: The Maritime Observer

Erickson: 13th congressional race really heating up

Erickson: 13th congressional race really heating up

USS Michael Murphy Nears Commissioning Naval Today

USS Michael Murphy Nears Commissioning Naval Today

U.S. Navy: Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka Pins New Chiefs

Speech about making NM a “right to work” state draws protesters

Speech about making NM a “right to work” state draws protesters

Fourth Project 11356 Frigate for Russian Navy to Be Laid Down at Yantar Shipyard Naval Today

Fourth Project 11356 Frigate for Russian Navy to Be Laid Down at Yantar Shipyard Naval Today

Vatileaks: Trial hearing for Pope's butler set for September 29th

Rome Reports: The best images from Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon

NM National Guard forces help beat back gunmen in Egypt

NM National Guard forces help beat back gunmen in Egypt

Baltiysky Zavod Shipyard Starts Large-Scale Recruitment, Russia Naval Today

Baltiysky Zavod Shipyard Starts Large-Scale Recruitment, Russia Naval Today

STRATFOR: Egypt's Geographic Challenge


Oliver North: I'm giving all my grandsons guns | Campaign 2012

Oliver North: I'm giving all my grandsons guns | Campaign 2012: 'Number thirteen will get his when he turns twelve.'

USS Fort Worth Deploys for Its Commissioning Site in Texas Naval Today

USS Fort Worth Deploys for Its Commissioning Site in Texas Naval Today

Mitt Romney Ad: Failing American Families

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rice dodges queries on free speech, Marine guards

Rice dodges queries on free speech, Marine guards

World Maritime News - Austal Christens US Navy’s Second JHSV

World Maritime News - Austal Christens US Navy’s Second JHSV

Pope to Lebanon: Don't give into voices that want to destroy peace

Weekly Update from Maloney for West Virginia

Dear Friends,

This week, we remembered the tragedy of September 11th. It was a stark reminder for me that we are facing serious issues in our nation and in our state. Are we going to continue down the wrong path in West Virginia with more unemployment, less coal jobs, and more of our tax dollars being wasted by Charleston politicians? Or are we going put our state back on track by growing jobs and ending the corruption and wasteful spending by the career politicians?

This is an important choice for voters on November 6th, and this is a crucial election. The choice is yours, the voters of West Virginia. With 50 days until the election, please let your friends and neighbors know how important this is for the future of West Virginia.


Sincerely,
Bill Maloney signature-


Bill Maloney

Coal Rally at Walter Energy in Powellton


Bill- Walter Energy 9.10.2012

On Monday, I participated in a rally a coal mine in Fayette County. To get our economy going away and creating jobs, we must stand up for coal!


Black Heritage Festival in Clarksburg

BillandSharon- Black Heritage Festival 9.8.2012

Last weekend, Sharon and I attended the Black Heritage Festival in Clarksburg. We are joined in this picture by Jim Griffin, a local community leader and the festival's chairman. He did a great job making the event happen!

Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show in Martinsburg

BillMartinsburgAirshow9.15

On Saturday, I went the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show in Martinsburg. In the photo, I am standing next to the USAF's C17 Cargo Plane! It's huge!

Bill in the News

Daily Mail: Campaigns Launch Final Ad Assault:
This article covers our latest television commercial. If you have not seen it, you can view it here.

Martinsburg Journal: Revenue Drop Bringing Budget Cuts
This column covers the recent budget crisis facing our state. The article states that "two months of sagging state budget figures has prompted the expected political implications. Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Maloney has accused incumbent Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of leading the state into a fiscal crisis." As I've said from the start, we should have prepared for these challenges months ago. Unfortunately, the career politicians in Charleston continue to hide their heads in the sand.

Rome Reports: Pope on his way back to Rome

Rome Reports: Pope ends three day visit to Lebanon

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.


Honoring Those Who Serve
This week, we marked the 11th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on our nation on September 11th, 2001. When those who want to destroy our nation senselessly killed innocent citizens, we responded by banding together and moving forward. Wisconsin stands with those who have selflessly served in the past, and those who are currently defending our freedoms abroad.
It is important to remember the price individuals have paid for the freedoms we enjoy today, which is why I went to visit with Wisconsin National Guard Troops deployed to Kosovo last week. They were deployed for Operation Joint Guardian, the NATO mission to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all residents of Kosovo. Those serving in Kosovo appreciated knowing their home state supported their efforts.
As we remember the devastation caused by terrorist attacks, I encourage everyone to reach out to those families who have loved ones overseas or veterans who have served in the past to offer words of support and encouragement.
To hear my remarks supporting the troops and to view photos of individuals deployed in Kosovo, click here.
Major High Tech, Engineering Expansion

This week, I joined local economic development leaders and General Electric (GE) to announce a $3.1 million Innovative Engineering Center expansion at the gas engine facility in Waukesha. GE plans to hire 115 employees to fill the 22,000 square foot expansion. GE currently employs over 7,000 individuals in Wisconsin.
This major expansion reaffirmed GE’s commitment to Wisconsin. As we move forward, I will continue to work on making it easier for Wisconsin job creators to expand in our state.

Back to School

Like many parents across Wisconsin, Tonette and I are excited to see our two sons head back to school. While our two sons have always attended public schools in Wisconsin, this year is a major milestone for us as parents—our oldest son will be heading off to college. This achievement couldn’t have been done without the hard work and dedication of outstanding teachers, hardworking school board members and school administrators, and a community that values quality education.
Tonette and I are grateful for the work done to educate our sons and all children across Wisconsin.
As the 2012-13 school year begins, I will continue to collaborate with educators and work with Superintendent Evers to improve education in our state.
To view a video we made kicking off the school year, please click here.

Government Credit Ratings, a Stark Contrast

Last week, Standard & Poors (S&P) downgraded Illinois’ bond rating and gave the state a “negative outlook” in the future. Earlier this week, Moody’s credit rating agency issued the following statement regarding our federal government:
Budget negotiations during the 2013 Congressional legislative session will likely determine the direction of the US government's Aaa rating and negative outlook, says Moody's Investors Service in the report "Update of the Outlook for the US Government Debt Rating."
If those negotiations lead to specific policies that produce a stabilization and then downward trend in the ratio of federal debt to GDP over the medium term, the rating will likely be affirmed and the outlook returned to stable, says Moody's.
If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody's would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1.
Wisconsin is on a different path—just last year Moody’s rated our state budget credit positive.
If political leaders continue to kick the can down the road, raise taxes, and ignore fiscal realities, our nation will face the consequences. Decisive leadership is needed in Washington to reduce government spending and bring debt in line with GDP to avoid credit downgrades and future negative outlooks.
Wisconsin balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, reducing services, cutting Medicaid, or engaging in any massive public employee layoffs. We enacted long-term structural reforms, which led to another bond house giving our current budget a “credit positive” outlook. Moving forward, I will continue to reform government by eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse and making it operate more efficiently and effectively.
Additional information about Wisconsin’s credit positive rating can be accessed by clicking here, information about Illinois’ downgrade can be found here, and info about the U.S. government’s credit rating can be found here.

Just Ask the Governor

Each e-update, I will answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.
Question: Did the state of Wisconsin submit an application with the Federal Government, I believe the deadline was July 31, to apply for funds to continue Senior Care in the State of Wisconsin for 2013?
Answer: Yes, under my direction Wisconsin applied to extend Senior Care until 2015. The deadline to apply for a federal waiver was August 31.
Since 2002, SeniorCare has provided affordable, comprehensive prescription drug coverage to thousands of Wisconsin seniors. I am committed to making sure SeniorCare remains available to those who need it.
SeniorCare has a simple enrollment process, a $30 annual enrollment fee, an income-based deductible and copayments of $5 for generic drugs or $15 for brand drugs. The program provides exceptional value to both its members and taxpayers. In Fiscal Year 2011, it reduced drug costs for Wisconsin seniors by approximately $114 million.
Below are a few important facts about this valuable program:
  • About 75 percent of those enrolled in SeniorCare are women.

  • Although the majority of members have been enrolled for 2 years or less, 11 percent are charter members and have been enrolled since the inception of the program, 9 years ago.

  • The per member spending has decreased due to a combination of factors including increased use of generic drugs, increased rebates from drug companies, and changes in reimbursement to pharmacists.

  • Many seniors are enrolled in both SeniorCare and a Medicare Part D drug plan or private insurance. Almost 40 percent of those enrolled in SeniorCare have some other type of prescription drug coverage as well.

  • For most seniors, SeniorCare provides a better value than Medicare Part D. However, Part D is better for the lowest income members who qualify for federal subsidies and for members with high drug costs.

  • In state Fiscal Year 2011, the total cost of SeniorCare was $108.9 million. This cost was divided among rebates from drug manufacturers (40%), the federal government (21%), members (19%), state funds (13.6%) and other insurance (6.7%).

  • The Senior Care waiver is estimated to lower total net Medicaid spending by $146 million in 2011, of which $53 million will be state savings.






For additional information about SeniorCare, call the SeniorCare hotline at (800) 657-2038 or visit: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/seniorcare.

It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker