Larwyn’s Linx: When The Bleeding Heart Becomes The Iron Fist

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When The Bleeding Heart Becomes The Iron Fist: Dave Carter
The Speaker’s office is keeping score of #HarryReidsShutdown: Moe Lane
“I Was Laughing At Boehner Until The Mail Came”: RWN

Obama: “I Won’t Violate The Constitution, Unless You Make Me”: NR
Obama Incites Federal Workers to Target Conservatives: John DeMayo
Perry to CA: Success isn’t measured by those on public assistance: RWN

Bachmann: GOP Not Caving: ‘Bigger Than Obamacare’: Ben Shapiro
Steve Stockman: Will Eric Holder sue over Obamacare photo IDs?: Twitchy
WI Gov. Walker refuses to close parks, defies Obama: RWN


‘Shutdown’: $ 63B Spent, $ 26B Taxed; $ 1B in Salaries–in Just 2 Days: CNS
Where’s sense of crisis in a 17% government shutdown?: Byron York
I Signed Up for Obamacare and All I Got Was Screwed: AWD

Just because it’s a phony crisis doesn’t mean it can’t be made even phonier: Mark Steyn
Obama admin allows government union reps to work during shutdown: Susan Crabtree
US Postal Service Employee of the Year: Fellowship

Scandal Central

Battle of the Barrycades – Vets storm Vietnam Memorial, U.S Park Police called in: LI
Police officer pushes John Ondrasik out of Jefferson Memorial: Twitchy
NOT THE ONION: Obama closes the ocean.: IHTM

Meet the Vets who moved “water-filled barriers” to get to Iwo Jima Memorial: LI
NBC: Police Remove Vietnam War Veterans at Memorial Wall: John McCormack
Shutdown Theater™ moves from the petty to the sublime: Ace

Climate & Energy

EPA Ordered to Recheck Greenhouse Gas Records: Courthouse News


NYT reporter: Obama admin “most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered”: Hot Air
You might be a liberal if … you think the government “shutdown” is racist: LI
The English-to-Democrat Dictonary: JPA

Chad Henderson Claimed He Donated $ 1000 to Obama’s Reelection: John Sexton
Government Shutdown, Day 5: Bring Me Your Sob Story: MOTUS
Occupy WWII: Charlie Foxtrot


The British Health Care Scandals in Context: Walter Russell Mead
Boston Globe says Ft. Hood jihadist’s motive “unknown”: Creeping
Jerusalem 101 – 4000 Years of History in 5 Minutes: MagNote

The Goal of Muslim Immigration According to Muhammad’s Teachings: Y.K. Cherson
Connecticut: Terror-linked CAIR Gets Muslim Holidays on School Calendar: Creeping
Obama Eviscerates Troops’ 1st Amendment Rights: GWP

Master Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, RIP: Oldest Living MOH Recipient Passes Away At 96: Ace
Million Vet March on the Memorials: MVM
Truckers Offer Free Rides To DC To Veterans For October 13 March: CDN


IT experts on website’s problems: “The site basically DDOS’d itself”: Hot Air
HHS could look to the ‘cloud’ to help fix exchange site: Kelly Kennedy, USA Today
Choosing a “biker mob” gun: Bearing Arms


Obamaha Beach: Day by Day
Wanted by the White House: MORE Sob Stories!: Cube
DMF Volunteers Services to Update White House Social Sites: DMF

Image: Vets Storm Vietnam Memorial
Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Calling All Patriots: Million Vet March On The Memorials 10/13

QOTD: “Welcome to liberal utopia, where barriers are not erected against terrorists or illegal aliens on our nation’s borders, but rather against citizens, and where wheelchair-bound veterans enroute to honor their comrades face tighter security than terrorists enroute to murder a US Ambassador. This is where up is down, wrong is right, illegality is celebrated as progress, and where Constitutionalism is derided as racist. No longer relegated to the fever swamps of academic fancy, utopia has acquired real estate and made known its demands.” –Dave Carter

Doug Ross @ Journal

BREAKING: Rockets fired at northern Israel from Lebanon. Iron Dome shoots one down. Developing…

Iron Dome battery deployed in North (Photo credit: Ben Hartman, Jerusalem Post)

Iron Dome battery deployed in North (Photo credit: Ben Hartman, Jerusalem Post)

(Washington, D.C.) — “Four rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday afternoon,” reports the Times of Israel. “There were no immediate reports of casualties. The IDF promptly retaliated, attacking targets in south Lebanon, Lebanese media reported.”

” The red alert siren sounded in the cities of Nahariya, Acre, and Kiryat Shmona, and residents reported hearing explosions,” noted the Times. “One of the rockets fell on the outskirts of a small town near Nahariya. An Israeli Iron Dome battery intercepted a second rocket, Channel 2 reported. It was initially unclear where the other two rockets fell….Israel last week deployed a sixth Iron Dome battery north of Tel Aviv, with an eye to the missile threat from the north. The anti-missile system is a keystone in Israel’s air defense array and successfully intercepted hundreds of short- and medium-range missiles shot at Israeli cities during the conflagration in Gaza in November.”

The Jerusalem Post is reporting the number of rocket may be “three” or “four.”

Arutz Sheva, Israel’s National News channel 7, reported that IDF Radio was indicating that “bomb shelters in the northern city of Akko (Acre) have been opened for public use, and the IDF is urging residents of the north to remain close to shelters. The IDF has denied earlier reports from Arabic media that it responded to the rockets with artillery fire. Lebanese media has been reporting that at least 2 of the rockets were fired from the Ras al-Ain neighborhood of the city of Tyre. According to initial reports, one rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while three others struck in ’open areas.’”

Haaretz notes that “two weeks ago, four IDF soldiers were injured in an explosion near the Lebanese border. According to a statement made by the Lebanese army the incident took place on the Lebanese side of the border.”

This is a developing story. I’ll post more details as they become known.

>> To read Damascus Countdown, a New York Times best-selling novel about how the prophetic destruction of Damascus might unfold, please click here.

>> Kansas Governor Brownback has invited me to Topeka to speak about “Damascus Countdown.” Please join us at the State Capitol on Sept. 7.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

“Iron Lady” Thatcher was first British Prime Minister to visit Israel. A tremendous leader who helped bring down the Evil Empire.

Crackpot Preppers

The Iron Lady meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu.

UPDATED: A great lady will be missed.

Margaret Thatcher, the middle class daughter of a grocer, rose through the male-dominated political world in the U.K. to become the first — and only woman — Prime Minister in the history of Great Britain. By the force of her will and the conviction of her deeply-held principles about the virtue of freedom and liberty, Thatcher emerged as one of the most important and influential world leaders of the 20th century.

Like Churchill, Thatcher understood the nature and threat of evil and bravely led the British people during times of great peril. The U.S.-British alliance was at its peak strength and impact when Reagan and Thatcher led the Free World to bring down the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

Thatcher was the first serving British premier to visit Israel. This was no insignificant decision given that the fact that the British empire controlled Palestine during the “Mandate” period and the British Foreign Office was deeply committed to the Arab side and quite hostile to the Jews who wanted to return to and reestablish their Biblical homeland after the Holocaust.

“Margaret Thatcher who died of a stroke at 87 on Monday, was the first serving British prime minister ever to visit Israel,” reported the Israeli daily, Haaretz, today. “During her landmark visit in 1986, she was asked why Queen Elizabeth has never found the time to tour the Holy Land, to which she answered, ‘but I’m here.’ Of course, when one reviews the ‘firsts’ and other achievements by Thatcher over her long career, the fact that she was the first British prime minister to stare down the Arabists of the Foreign Office and visit Jerusalem is way down on the list.”

Her list of accomplishments is long and sweeping and while she made many allies and fans — winning three terms as PM — she also had many critics and detractors.

My wife, Lynn, and I had the honor of attending a black tie dinner for Lady Thatcher that was organized by The Heritage Foundation in September 1991, when I worked for Heritage. We had long been admirers of the “Iron Lady” but this was the first time we had every seen her and heard her speak in person. We were deeply impressed by her passion for setting people free from the tyranny of oppressive, suffocating government taxation and regulation. [To read her speech, please click here.]

A few years later, when I was working as a senior advisor for Steve Forbes, I had the opportunity to learn even more about the woman who saved Great Britain from socialism, at least for a season. Steve was close to Thatcher. They spoke frequently on key policy issues. Their families vacationed together. Thatcher even appeared with Steve in Iowa at a political fund-raiser. She didn’t exactly endorse Steve’s campaign for the presidency, but she came as close as she felt comfortable as a retired foreign leader. They were, after all, kindred spirits on the virtues of cutting taxes and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Thatcher knew the deadweight on the economy of excessive taxation,” Steve noted in a column about her today. “She cut the top income tax rate from 98% to 40%. She cut the corporate income tax rate from 52% to 35%.”

“Along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher was a giant of our era and, indeed, of history,” Steve wrote. “These three leaders brought about the fall of Soviet communism and the resurgence of political and economic liberty around the world.  Like Reagan, Thatcher was one of those rare individuals who was both a movement leader and an effective political leader.  It is one thing to have firm ideas, quite another to have the skills to bring them into being and for them to endure after you leave office.  The current economic crisis has put Margaret Thatcher’s ideas and ideals under siege even though this disaster resulted from ignoring her and Reagan’s fundamental free market principles.”


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Tensions with Syria escalate. Netanyahu orders Iron Dome batteries deployed in North. Number of Israelis seeking gas masks triples.

“Two Iron Dome batteries have been deployed in northern Israel over the past few days, the IDF said on Sunday,” reports Ynet News. “One battery of the missile-defense system was deployed in the Krayot area, while the other was installed in the Galilee region. Additional, fully operational batteries have already been deployed in the Haifa are and in other locations. About a week ago the security establishment successfully tested an upgraded version of the Iron Dome rocket defense system in Israel’s central region. The upgrades are designed to give the Iron Dome ‘improved capabilities against an unprecedented range of threats,’ the Defense Ministry said. ‘The test, which was completed successfully, will lead to an upgrade in Iron Dome’s operational capabilities.’”

Meanwhile, Ynet also reports: ”The defense establishment’s concerns about the potential threat of chemical weapons from Syria and Hezbollah has not gone unnoticed by the Israeli public. The Israel Postal Serivce reported Wednesday that more Israelis are updating their gas masks and ABC kits. In fact, the number of Israelis changing their nonconventional warfare protection kits has nearly tripled over the past month. The public demand can be attributed to recent upheaval in Syria and the alarming possibility that the regime’s arsenal of nonconventional weapons may find its way to Hezbollah, as was implied by IAF Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel Tuesday. ‘Syria is undergoing tectonic changes. Given its massive arsenals, Israel may find itself dealing with nonconventional weapons on its borders,’ Eshel said.”

>> Pre-order forthcoming international geopolitical thriller, Damascus Countdown, which releases March 5th

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Inside Israel’s Iron Dome system: why the cost of each interceptor is dropping fast

irondomeJust to be clear: I’m a huge fan of Israel’s “Iron Dome” rocket and missile defense system. It’s downright miraculous, and it’s saving a lot of lives, probably including my own.

As readers of this column know, my Joshua Fund colleagues and I were in Israel for the entire eight-day war with Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Numerous times we heard the air raid sirens go off and had to run into bomb shelters with our Jewish and Arab friends. We also personally witnessed the Iron Dome system in action — its interceptors zig-zagging through the skies over Ashkelon, for example, at supersonic speeds and destroying the incoming rockets with earth-shaking booms. The results were stunning. The system destroyed about 421 of the 1,500 or so rockets fired at Israel, and with a success rate of some 90%. In the end, only six Israelis died during ”Operation Pillar of Defense,” despite the near constant barrage of Palestinian attacks. Sadly, most of those were from fathers standing outside to watch the rocket war, while their wives and children were safely inside their bomb shelters.

The Israeli-designed system can determine whether a Palestinian rocket will land in an open field or on a house or business. If the former, Israel doesn’t fire an interceptor, thus saving money. If the later, Israel fires multiple interceptors to destroy the incoming rocket before it can do damage or kill. An interceptor in mid-flight that misses its target or isn’t needed automatically self-destructs so as to minimize further casualties. Understandably, Israelis are in love with the new system. They’re ecstatic that they have a new level of protection. They know the system is not perfect, but it’s better than they had in the last war, and they know it’s steadily improving and is making the job of Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad that much harder.

One of the issues my colleagues and I discussed while we were in Israel was the high cost of the Israeli interceptors. That’s why I was so intrigued this morning when I read a fascinating story in the Jerusalem Post about the Iron Dome. Consider:

  • ISRAEL’S COSTS PER INTECEPTOR ARE DROPPING: The Post noted that while the cost of each interceptor originally built for the system was between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000 a piece, most of those costs were R&D related. Now the cost of producing new interceptors is dropping fast as Israel produces more of them. “Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors don’t really cost $ 40,000 to $ 50,000 each to manufacture,” reports the Post. “Like any high technology system, the vast majority of the costs of Iron Dome are systems development and manufacturing setup. These fixed costs are spread  over the number of items estimated to be manufactured and priced accordingly.  However, if the number of items produced substantially exceeds the initial  estimate, costs drop proportionately. The actual marginal cost of production of a Tamir interceptor is low and reflects the costs of the basic raw  materials; metal, fuel, explosives and electronic components used in its manufacture, and the labor required to run the assembly line. If the IDF ends up ordering 10 times as many interceptors as originally estimated, then their ‘cost’ will likely drop to around $ 5,000. At 100 times as many the “cost” will approach the marginal cost of less than $ 1000.”
  • THE IRON DOME’S SHOOT-DOWN ACCURACY IS IMPROVING: “Iron Dome is fundamentally a highly advanced computer system with a very rapid upgrade cycle,” reports the Post. “So far Iron Dome is matching pace with the iPhone for major software and hardware upgrades, and consequent performance  increases. This will not only continue but will actually accelerate in accordance with Moore’s Law and Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns which state that the performance of computer systems increases exponentially with time. With each upgrade the interception rate will improve and the range of missiles it can intercept may also improve further. It is therefore that we can expect Iron Dome to reach a 95 percent or higher interception rate in the next year or two, and to continue to improve as the speed and processing power of the computers that make up its brain and eyes (radar) advance. The  practical upshot of this is that the number of rockets per Israeli fatality has risen from 50-75 (Lebanon and Gaza pre-Iron Dome) to 300 in 2011 (75%  interception) and around 500 in 2012 (90% interception), despite Hamas using  more lethal rockets.”
  • IRAN’S AND HAMAS’S COSTS PER ROCKET — AND PER ISRAELI KILLED — ARE SOARING: “The real cost of  the rockets and missiles which Iron Dome intercepts is vastly underestimated by most commentators,” the Post asserts. “Grad rockets may well cost Iran only $ 1,000 each on the open market, but this is not the delivered cost to Hamas in Gaza. The supply line from Iran to Gaza is an extremely convoluted and expensive one which  involves huge losses from IAF action bombing convoys and factories in Sudan, and  interception by western navies. Large bribes have to be paid at every step of the way, particularly to the Beduin in Sinai and the Egyptian soldiers in Rafah who are supposed to be stopping the smuggling. And the losses continue once the Grad gets to Gaza, with the IDF regularly destroying rocket caches. Thus, 1,000 Grads, which cost Iran $ 1 million to purchase, may end up as 300  Grads which cost a further $ 2 million in ‘delivery charges.’ This turns a $ 1,000 Grad rocket in Iran into a $ 10,000 Grad rocket in Gaza….The strategic implications are that the current rocket-based terror strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah has been rendered both  ineffective and economically unsustainable. I estimate it is currently costing  Hamas (and thus its patron Iran) around $ 5 million (500 rockets at $ 10,000 each) to murder a single Israeli. When Iron Dome reaches 95% interception rate these figures will double and at 97.5% they will double again.”

We could all wish the Iron Dome system — and Israel’s newly-developed system to shoot down medium-range missiles, known as “David’s Sling” — weren’t needed. But they are. Let’s keep praying for peace and security for Israel and her neighbors. But let’s also be grateful for all the scientists and engineers that developed these system, for the leaders who had the foresight to insist that they be built (including Ronald Reagan who was ridiculed for insisting upon the development of missile defenses), and for the American taxpayers who have been helping to foot some of the bills.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog