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10051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Israel Fears Regime Change in Egypt on: January 28, 2011, 02:27:33 PM,1518,742186,00.html

Israel Fears Regime Change in Egypt

By Gil Yaron in Jerusalem
Riot police in Cairo (Jan. 26 photo): Israel is afraid of regime change in Egypt.

Riot police in Cairo (Jan. 26 photo): Israel is afraid of regime change in Egypt.

Israel is watching developments in Egypt with concern. The government is standing by autocratic Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, out of fear that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could take power and start supplying arms to Hamas.

Israel is usually a country where politicians have an opinion on any topic, and vociferously so. But in recent days, Israel's leadership has been unusually silent on a certain question. No one, it seems, is willing to make an official comment on the ongoing unrest in Egypt, where protesters have been holding anti-government rallies. It's not because Israel does not care about the riots ravaging its southern neighbor -- on the contrary, Israeli news channels, normally prone to parochialism, have been closely following recent events in the Arab world, from Tunisia to Lebanon.

Radio, television and newspapers constantly report the courage of the demonstrators in the streets of Cairo, not only relishing the historic spectacle, but openly expressing sympathy with Egypt's struggle for democracy.

But the Israeli government is keeping quiet. "We are closely monitoring the events, but we do not interfere in the internal affairs of a neighboring state," was the curt answer from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to requests for comments.

So for journalists looking for quotes, it is a happy coincidence that Israel's former Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer resigned from the Israeli cabinet last week and can now freely express his opinions as a member of the opposition Labor Party. "I don't think it is possible (for there to be a revolution in Egypt)," Ben-Eliezer told Israeli Army Radio. "I see things calming down soon." The Iraqi-born former minister is a renowned expert on Israeli-Arab relations and is a friend of the Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

Ben Eliezer's statement is consistent with the assessment of members of Israel's intelligence community and Middle East experts, who point to the strength of Egypt's army. In his remarks to Army Radio, Ben-Eliezer also explained Israel's position on the protests. "Israel cannot do anything about what is happening there," he said. "All we can do is express our support for (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak and hope the riots pass quietly." He added that Egypt was Israel's most important ally in the region.

Uneasy Peace

Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1979, but the relationship between the neighboring countries remains delicate. Good relations are limited to government circles. The regime in Cairo attempts to curtail the establishment of closer links between the countries' civil societies. The professional associations of doctors, engineers or lawyers, for example, require their members to declare that they will not contribute to normalizing relations with Israel.

Even 30 years after the peace agreement, annual trade between the neighboring countries only amounts to a value of $150 million (€110 million). (For comparison, Israel's trade with the European Union was worth around €20 billion in 2009.)

A recent incident involving the vice governor of the Sinai Peninsula reveals how many Egyptians think about Israel. After a shark attack off the coast, the official said that it could not be ruled out that the deadly fish had been released by Israeli intelligence to harm Egypt's tourism industry. After the bloody attack on a church in Alexandria on Jan. 1, a spokesman for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood speculated that Israel could be responsible for the attack, with the intention of sowing discord between Christians and Muslims.

Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main reasons why official Israel seems to support Mubarak so keenly. It is considered the most popular political movement in Egypt, and its position regarding the peace treaty with Israel is clear: They want it revoked immediately. "Democracy is something beautiful," said Eli Shaked, who was Israel's ambassador to Cairo from 2003 to 2005, in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Nevertheless, it is very much in the interests of Israel, the United States and Europe that Mubarak remains in power."

For Israel, more is at stake than the current so-called "cold" peace with Egypt and a few tens of millions of dollars in trade. "Never before have Israel's strategic interests been so closely aligned with those of the Sunni states as today," says Shaked, referring to Arab countries whose populations are mainly Sunni Muslim, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The recent publication of the US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks showed what he means: Much of the Arab world, and especially Mubarak, sees Shiite Iran and its allies, such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as an existential threat, just as Israel does.

Potential Serious Danger

"If regime change occurs in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would take the helm, and that would have incalculable consequences for the region," says Shaked. The Israeli government has noted with concern the fact that, even after 30 years of peace, Egypt's army is still equipped and trained mainly with a possible war against Israel in mind.

A cancellation of the peace treaty would open up a new front with the 11th largest army in the world, which is equipped with modern American weapons. But what Israel fears more than a -- somewhat unlikely -- armed conflict with Egypt is an alliance between an Islamist regime in Cairo and Hamas, which considers itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today the Egyptian army tries to stop -- albeit hesitantly -- weapons smuggling from Sinai to Gaza, the main supply route for Hamas. An Egyptian regime that opened the border with Gaza for arms deliveries would pose a serious danger to Israel.

Shaked considers the West's demands for more openness and democracy in Egypt to be a fatal mistake. "It is an illusion to believe that the dictator Mubarak could be replaced by a democracy," he says. "Egypt is still not capable of democracy," he adds, pointing out that the illiteracy rate is over 20 percent, to give just one example. The Muslim Brotherhood is the only real alternative, he opines, which would have devastating consequences for the West. "They will not change their anti-Western attitude when they come to power. That has not happened (with Islamist movements) anywhere: neither in Sudan, Iran nor Afghanistan."

Ultimately the choice is between a pro- or an anti-Western dictatorship, says Shaked. "It is in our interest that someone from Mubarak's inner circle takes over his legacy, at any cost." In the process, it is not possible to rule out massive bloodshed in the short term, he says. "It would not be the first time that riots in Egypt were brutally crushed."
10052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Laser-like focus on: January 28, 2011, 02:07:44 PM

Jobs, jobs, jobs.
10053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 28, 2011, 02:04:16 PM

Naturally, Barack Obama was an active part of ACORN at the time, helping it legally in court and helping it organize voters.  By 1996, ACORN and the New Party were essentially the same body.  Along with the Democratic Socialists of America, the New Party endorsed Barack Obama in his State Senate bid.

Obama began seeking the New Party endorsement in 1995.  He had been running in a four way primary against his former boss, Senator Alice Palmer, herself a far left radical, and two other individuals.  But an election law quirk gave Obama the upper hand.  In order to get on the ballot, candidates had to collect signatures of voters.  Printed names were not allowed.  Obama challenged the petitions of his rivals and was able to get every one of them thrown off the ballot.  By the time the ballot was drawn up for the 1996 election, Obama’s was the only name in the race.

Nonetheless, Obama still coveted the New Party endorsement.  The New Party required candidates who received the endorsement sign a pledge of support for the party.  Obama did not need to support a party that was, in effect, a front group for communists; yet he still chose to.  The July issue of the New Ground noted that 15% of the New Party consisted of Democratic Socialists of America members and a good number of Committee of Correspondence members.
10054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 28, 2011, 01:59:29 PM

Absent the ability to read minds and hearts, I can't really tell you if Barack Obama is uniquely dishonest.  What is for certain, though, is that his campaign is uniquely deceitful.  These two things are not synonymous. Politicians are famous for suppressing facts and manufacturing fantasies to hide their faults, and, while Obama certainly practices this sleight-of-hand, I can't say he is more inured to it that your average prevaricating pol.  But what is doubtless is that he has more faults to hide.

It's ironic that Obama has used the "lipstick on a pig" line, because Avon's whole inventory couldn't, sans media spin, cover up his true colors.  And color is a factor this election.  It's not that the senator is black, however, or that, as he said last debate alluding to McCain's criticism, he is "green behind the ears."  It's that he is red behind the ears.

Barack Obama may be the most radically-left major-party presidential nominee in our nation's history.  A recent analysis of voting records -- not words but actions -- showed that the senator owned the most left-wing record in the Senate in 2007, placing him ahead of even that body's one avowed socialist, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.  Now, if Sanders proclaims himself a socialist, and Obama is to the left of Sanders, what do you call Obama?

Of course, some question the methodology of the study, and, true enough, a different one might yield slightly different rankings.  But if Obama is within a sickle-length of socialist Sanders, does it really matter if he is a couple of spots above or below?  This is an instance where we definitely should remember second place.

Yet accusations of socialism are, well, just so hard to believe.  But a damning revelation just came to light that should leave no doubt about Obama's sympathies.  The blog "Politically Drunk On Power" (PDOP) discovered documents showing that the senator was a member of the "New Party," which is, the blog explains,

    ". . . a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America (the DSA) to push forth the socialist principles of the DSA by focusing on winnable elections at a local level and spreading the Socialist movement upwards."

Now, listen to this.  The New Party tried its best to obscure Obama's ties to the organization and had scrubbed the relevant documents from its website; however, PDOP was able to find them at a non-profit Internet Archive Organization.  Quoting from the October 1996 New Party update, the blog reveals:

    New Party members are busy knocking on doors, hammering down lawn signs, and phoning voters to support NP candidates this fall. Here are some of our key races . . .

    Illinois: Three NP-members won Democratic primaries last Spring and face off against Republican opponents on election day: Danny Davis (U.S. House), Barack Obama (State Senate) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary).

PDOP then cites the November 1996 issue of Progressive Populist magazine, which reported on the results of the general election, writing:

    "New Party member Barack Obama was uncontested for a State Senate seat from Chicago [emphasis mine]."

Providing further evidence, PDOP provides an excerpt from the DSA's July/August Edition of New Ground 47 Newsletter, which in part reads:

    . . . the NP's '96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude . . . .  [One of them,] Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.

Citing yet another source, the 1996 Election Update from the Columbus Free Post, PDOP writes:

    "The first NP member heads to Congress, as Danny Davis wins an overwhelming 85% victory yesterday (he got a higher percentage of the vote in that district than the President). NP member and State Senate candidate Barack Obama won uncontested."

Now there is an obvious question.  If Obama was a member of the New Party, why was he running as a Democrat in Illinois?  The answer is that these socialists were Machiavellian and understood that they could not as yet win power under their own banner.  This tactic was outlined in the New Party's 1997 Happy Birthday Update.  Here are parts of the PDOP excerpt:

    . . . the New Party would remain independent of the Democratic Party - but without undermining the Democrats.

    . . . the New Party's founders suggest, the left needs an organization that straddles the inside-outside fence. If the U.S. left is ever to make a meaningful decision on the third-party-vs.-Dems question, they propose, it must first take on the task of grassroots power-building.

    . . .  The party's strategy has been to build political organizations in a few targeted cities, working closely with labor and community organizations.

Does Obama's history as a "community organizer" still sound innocuous or even positive?  The above provides the strongest indication that he was a socialist community organizer.

Here is more from the update:

    "Chapters run candidates only where they have a real chance of winning, combine campaign work with organizing and education, and refuse to spoil elections by stealing votes from the better of two major party candidates [emphasis mine]."

Given this fact, is it any surprise that ex-weathermen terrorist and Obama ally Bill Ayers obtained a $50 million government grant (our tax money) for "education" and then gave it the senator, who, in turn, funneled it to ACORN, a group involved in "organizing"? 

The update continues:

    . . . Until major changes in the legal structure of the U.S. politics happen, we're stuck with a two-party system, and progressives -- if they want to win many elections -- will have to run, and vote, Democrat.

    . . . [Our affiliated] organizations can, from time to time, move their political muscle and know-how into Democratic primaries to back progressive candidates for state legislature and even Congress, but do not have the size or clout to field their own candidates for the Senate, the Governor's office, or the White House.

No, but it now seems they very well may soon have one of their number in the White House.

Next, PDOP provides evidence from an article written by New Party member Jim McGrath in 1997:

    ". . . Chapters generally require endorsed candidates to sign a contract, with requirements that they be NP members, identify as such, support the NP principles and program, and work to build NP chapters . . . ."

In other words, it's highly probable that Obama signed a contract with this socialist party and was a member.

More from the article:

    . . . For the New Party, whether progressives should run as Democrats is a tactical, not ideological, question . . . .  Regardless of whether our candidates run as "non-partisan" (in fact, the vast majority of our candidates, as we're generally running in local elections which are usually non-partisan), "New Party Democrats" (inside Dem Primaries), or independents, they all are New Party members . . . .

Note that all throughout these quotations, we see continual admissions that socialists are, in fact, running as Democrat candidates, using the major party as a political Trojan Horse.  These socialists have also won offices in many parts of the nation.  Thus, two ominous questions present themselves: Should Obama win the presidency, how many in the Democrat-controlled house will be fellow New Party travelers?  And, with both the legislative and executive branches in their hands and the election past, will the lipstick come off?  Will they feel free to legislate a radical socialist agenda?   

Lastly there is the Chicago DSA Press Release New Ground 69, which tells us (in the Endorsements Section) of how ". . . Obama participated in a 1996 UofC YDS Townhall Meeting on Economic Insecurity . . . ."

What does "YDS" stand for?

Youth Democratic Socialists.   

I understand that some of you are enraptured by Barack Obama.  He is a charismatic leader at the center of a cult of personality, and you may not want to think ill of him.  But we all want to be responsible voters, and this requires placing country before oratory, before image, before personality, before party, and considering evidence presented.  And in Obama's case it is overwhelming; it can be said beyond a reasonable doubt that he was a socialist.

Thus, responsible citizens must demand two things before giving the senator their vote.  First, he must come clean about his socialist past and exhibit some contrition.  Second, he must convince us that he has renounced these socialist beliefs and will not push the DSA agenda from the Oval Office.

We also must be mindful of the old saying, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."  As for the Chicago surprise's past, he cultivated his political career in a very bad neighborhood.  A bad ideological one.  And if he wants to now occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the onus is on him to truly prove he has left it behind.
10055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 28, 2011, 01:54:05 PM
The mainstream media thought that the membership of Todd Palin, who is not a candidate for any office, in the Alaska Independence Party important enough to report in such outlets as the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and the New York Times, among others.

So now that Barack Obama's membership in the far left New Party has been unearthed, will they report his membership in that Socialist organization?

Proof of Obama's membership in the New Party was discovered by the Politically Drunk On Power blog:

    In June sources released information that during his campaign for the State Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama was endorsed by an organization known as the Chicago "New Party". The 'New Party' was a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America (the DSA) to push forth the socialist principles of the DSA by focusing on winnable elections at a local level and spreading the Socialist movement upwards. The admittedly Socialist Organization experienced a moderate rise in numbers between 1995 and 1999. By 1999, however, the Socialist 'New Party' was essentially defunct after losing a supreme court challenge that ruled the organizations "fusion" reform platform as unconstitutional.
    After allegations surfaced in early summer over the 'New Party's' endorsement of Obama, the Obama campaign along with the remnants of the New Party and Democratic Socialists of America claimed that Obama was never a member of either organization. The DSA and 'New Party' then systematically attempted to cover up any ties between Obama and the Socialist Organizations. However, it now appears that Barack Obama was indeed a certified and acknowledged member of the DSA's New Party.

    On Tuesday, I discovered a web page that had been scrubbed from the New Party's website. The web page which was published in October 1996, was an internet newsletter update on that years congressional races. Although the web page was deleted from the New Party's website, the non-profit Internet Archive Organization had archived the page.
    From the October 1996 Update of the DSA 'New Party':
    "New Party members are busy knocking on doors, hammering down lawn signs, and phoning voters to support NP candidates this fall. Here are some of our key races...

    Illinois: Three NP-members won Democratic primaries last Spring and face off against Republican opponents on election day: Danny Davis (U.S. House), Barack Obama (State Senate) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)."

You can find the above quote from the scubbed New Party web page at this Internet Archive Organization link. More confirmation of Obama's membership in the New Party can be found at an article in the November 1996 Progressive Populist magazine:

    New Party members and supported candidates won 16 of 23 races, including an at-large race for the Little Rock, Ark., City Council, a seat on the county board for Little Rock and the school board for Prince George's County, Md. Chicago is sending the first New Party member to Congress, as Danny Davis, who ran as a Democrat, won an overwhelming 85% victory. New Party member Barack Obama was uncontested for a State Senate seat from Chicago.

The Democratic Socialist Party of America also reported on Obama's New Party membership in its July/August 1996 edition:

    The Chicago New Party is increasely becoming a viable political organization that can make a different in Chicago politics. It is crucial for a political organization to have a solid infrastructure and visible results in its political program. The New Party has continued to solidify this base.

    First, in relation to its infrastructure, the NP's membership has increased since January '95 from 225 to 440. National membership has increased from 5700 in December '95 to 7000. Currently the NP's fiscal balance is $7,000 and receives an average of $450/month is sustainer donations.

    Secondly, the NP's '96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude. Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee. Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis. Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration. The lone loser was Willie Delgado, in the 3rd Illinois House District. Although Delgado received 45% of the vote, he lost by only 800 votes. Delgado commented that it was due to the NP volunteers that he carried the 32nd Ward. Delgado emphasized that he will remain a visible community activist in Humbolt Park. He will conduct four Immigration workshops and encouraged NP activists to get involved.

Kudos to Politically Drunk On Power for digging up this information about Obama's membership in the socialist New Party. The question now is if the MSM will deem his party membership important enough to report on. They sure didn't hesitate to report on Todd Palin's membership in the Alaska Independence Party.

UPDATE: Yet more proof of Obama's close involvement in the socialist New Party from NewsBusters' Hermano who provided this link to the Chicago Democratic Socialists of American September-October 1995 New Ground 42 edition:

    About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to update members on local activities and to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates. The NP is being very active in organization building and politics. There are 300 members in Chicago. In order to build an organizational and financial base the NP is sponsoring house parties. Locally it has been successful both fiscally and in building a grassroots base. Nationwide it has resulted in 1000 people committed to monthly contributions. The NP's political strategy is to support progressive candidates in elections only if they have a concrete chance to "win". This has resulted in a winning ratio of 77 of 110 elections. Candidates must be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP.

    The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia's District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer's vacant seat.

So Obama signed a contract with the New Party? Verrrry interesting.

Read more:
10056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Socialist on: January 28, 2011, 01:40:04 PM

The more you dig in to this, the more troubling it becomes.

In the 1996 election for the Illinois State Senate, Obama was running in a four way primary.

To make up ground, and pay attention here, to make up ground he sought the New Party endorsement as well. In that way, Obama calculated that he could get the Democratic left and the hard left to support him.

But Obama was running against Alice Palmer -- she was already hardcore left. So, and again pay attention, Obama *went to the left* of a hard core leftist to win. That's what he did by seeking the New Party endorsement.

Now here is where it gets interesting. At the beginning of 1996, Obama was able to get all of his opponents thrown off the ballot.

Mr. Hope and Change used the brass knuckles and ran uncontested as the Democratic nominee.

We've already established that the New Party had, by 1996, become the party of the hardcore leftist radicals -- an amalgamation of communists, socialist, and other reds — in other words, not something acceptable to mainstream America.

Why then, if he then did not need the New Party's support, did he keep up the relationship?
10057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 12:51:18 PM

George Soros is one of the most powerful men on earth. A New York hedge fund manager, he has amassed a personal fortune estimated at about $13 billion (as of 2009). His management company controls billions more in investor assets. Since 1979, Soros' foundation network -- whose flagship is the Open Society Institute (OSI) -- has dispensed more than $5 billion to a multitude of organizations whose objectives are consistent with those of Soros. (The President of OSI and the Soros Foundation Network is Aryeh Neier, former Director of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy.) With assets of $1.93 billion as of 2008, OSI alone donates scores of millions of dollars annually to these various groups, whose major agendas can be summarized as follows: 

    * promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
    * promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
    * opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
    * depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
    * promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
    * promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
    * promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
    * defending suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
    * financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
    * advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
    * opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
    * promoting socialized medicine in the United States
    * promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather ... the demolition of technological/industrial civilization”
    * bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
    * promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike

To view a list of many of the more important organizations that support these agendas and have received direct funding from Soros and his Open Society Institute in recent years, click here. (Comprehensive profiles of each are available in the "Groups" category of

There are also numerous “secondary” or “indirect” affiliates of the Soros network. These include organizations which do not receive direct funding from Soros and OSI, but which are funded by one or more organizations that do. These secondary affiliates also include organizations that work collaboratively or synergistically with Soros-funded groups. To view a list of some of these organizations, click here. (Comprehensive profiles of each are available in the "Groups" category of

In one of his most significant and effective efforts to shape the American political landscape, Soros was the prime mover in the creation of the so-called "Shadow Democratic Party," or "Shadow Party," in 2003. This term refers to a nationwide network of more than five-dozen unions, non-profit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats. This network's activities include fundraising, get-out-the-vote drives, political advertising, opposition research, and media manipulation.

The Shadow Party was conceived and organized principally by George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Harold McEwan Ickes -- all identified with the Democratic Party left. Other key players included:

    * Morton H. Halperin: Director of Soros' Open Society Institute
    * John Podesta: Democrat strategist and former chief of staff for Bill Clinton
    * Jeremy Rosner: Democrat strategist and pollster, ex-foreign policy speechwriter for Bill Clinton
    * Robert Boorstin: Democrat strategist and pollster, ex-national security speechwriter for Bill Clinton
    * Carl Pope: Co-founder of America Coming Together, Democrat strategist, and Sierra Club Executive Director
    * Steve Rosenthal: Labor leader, CEO of America Coming Together, and former chief advisor on union matters to Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich
    * Peter Lewis: Major Democrat donor and insurance entrepreneur
    * Rob Glaser: Major Democrat donor and Silicon Valley pioneer
    * Ellen Malcolm: Co-founder and President of America Coming Together, and founder of EMILY’s List
    * Rob McKay: Major Democrat donor, Taco Bell heir, and McKay Family Foundation President
    * Lewis and Dorothy Cullman: Major Democrat donors

To develop the Shadow Party as a cohesive entity, Harold Ickes undertook the task of building a 21st-century version of the Left's traditional alliance of the "oppressed" and "disenfranchised." By the time Ickes was done, he had created or helped to create six new groups, and had co-opted a seventh called Together, these seven groups constituted the administrative core of the newly formed Shadow Party:

    * America Coming Together
    * America Votes
    * Center for American Progress
    * Joint Victory Campaign 2004
    * Media Fund
    * Thunder Road Group

These organizations, along with the many leftist groups with which they collaborate, have played a major role in helping Soros advance his political and social agendas.

According to Richard Poe, co-author (with David Horowitz) of the 2006 book The Shadow Party:

    "The Shadow Party is the real power driving the Democrat machine.  It is a network of radicals dedicated to transforming our constitutional republic into a socialist hive. The leader of these radicals is ... George Soros. He has essentially privatized the Democratic Party, bringing it under his personal control. The Shadow Party is the instrument through which he exerts that control. ... It works by siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions that would have gone to the Democratic Party in normal times, and putting those contributions at the personal disposal of Mr. Soros. He then uses that money to buy influence and loyalty where he sees fit. In 2003, Soros set up a network of privately-owned groups which acts as a shadow or mirror image of the Party. It performs all the functions we would normally expect the real Democratic Party to perform, such as shaping the Party platform, fielding candidates, running campaigns, and so forth.  However, it performs these functions under the private supervision of Mr. Soros and his associates. The Shadow Party derives its power from its ability to raise huge sums of money.  By controlling the Democrat purse strings, the Shadow Party can make or break any Democrat candidate by deciding whether or not to fund him. During the 2004 election cycle, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates, prompting one of its operatives, MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser, to declare, 'Now it’s our party.  We bought it, we own it…'"

Soros in 2004 spent some $26 million trying, unsuccessfully, to defeat President Bush’s reelection bid, a task Soros called “the central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death.” He has likened Republicans generally, and the Bush administration in particular, to “the Nazi and communist regimes” in the sense that they are “all engaged in the politics of fear.” “Indeed,” he wrote in 2006, “the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and Communist propaganda machines by drawing on the innovations of the advertising and marketing industries.” Soros elaborated on this theme at the January 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he told reporters: “America needs to . . . go through a certain de-Nazification process.”

Soros has been a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, who, in turn, has long admired Soros and shares many of his agendas. At a 2004 "Take Back America" conference in Washington, DC, Mrs. Clinton introduced Soros with these words:

    “Now, among the many people who have stood up and said, ‘I cannot sit by and let this happen to the country I love,’ is George Soros, and I have known George Soros for a long time now, and I first came across his work in the former Soviet Union, in Eastern Europe, when I was privileged to travel there, both on my own and with my husband on behalf of our country. ...  [W]e need people like George Soros, who is fearless, and willing to step up when it counts.” (Cited in David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party, p. 53)   

In December of 2006, Soros met with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama in his (Soros') New York office. Soros had previously hosted a fundraiser for Obama during the latter's 2004 campaign for the Senate. On January 16, 2007, Obama announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee, and within hours Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount allowable under campaign finance laws. Later that week the New York Daily News reported that Soros would back Obama over Senator Hillary Clinton, whom he had supported in the past. Soros' announcement was seen as a repudiation of Clinton's presidential aspirations, though Soros said he would support the New York senator were she to win the Democratic nomination.

By the time Obama was elected, it was clear that his economic and political prescriptions for America were quite consistent with those of Soros. For example, in a November 2008 interview with Spiegel, Soros made some comments which foreshadowed precisely the course that President Obama's administration would eventually pursue in 2009. Said Soros:

    "I think we need a large stimulus package which will provide funds for state and local government to maintain their budgets ... For such a program to be successful, the federal government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, another infrastructure program is necessary. In total, the cost would be in the 300 to 600 billion dollar range…. I think this is a great opportunity to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence. The U.S. needs a cap and trade system with auctioning of licenses for emissions rights. I would use the revenues from these auctions to launch a new, environmentally friendly energy policy."

The interviewer then said: "Your proposal would be dismissed on Wall Street as 'big government.' Republicans might call it European-style 'socialism.'" Soros replied:

    "That is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful -- but also very harmful to our society…. I think it is better to have a government that wants to provide good government than a government that doesn't believe in government…. At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable."

To gain some perspective on the massive levels of funding that George Soros lavishes on the far Left, be sure to view this vital document:

Organizations Funded Directly by George Soros and his Open Society Institute
10058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 28, 2011, 12:30:51 PM
Would inflation distort the stats on consumer spending?
10059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 12:29:02 PM
Glenn Beck rightly condemns Soros for Soros' acts.

Soros is a bad guy. So, why the sympathy for the devil, Rachel?
10060  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris on: January 28, 2011, 12:21:45 PM
Hopefully it looked something like the aftermath of the tea house battle in "Kill Bill".   evil
10061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 10:21:46 AM
Attack on Glenn Beck Shames The Rabbinical Profession and Desecrates God’s Name

Posted By Jeff Dunetz On January 27, 2011 @ 2:00 pm In Anti-Semitism,Email,Feature,Right to Exist | 7 Comments

As the Torah says Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people (Lev. 19:16). The ancient Jewish Sages took that passage and said that there are three transgressions that would cause a man to lose his place in the world to come: murder, adultery, and idol worship, and that loshon hora (evil speech) is equivalent to all three (Bab. Erchin 15b).  Jews believe that the harm done by telling tales about people is worse than the harm done by something like theft because one can repay stolen money, but harm done by speech can never be repaired.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, 400 Rabbis joined with a socialist Jewish organization called Jewish Funds for Justice (JFJ) to bring shame upon themselves, their holy profession and the entire Jewish people, and even worse have committed a Chillul Hashem (desecration of God’s name) with an open letter to Fox News against Glenn Beck (the full ad is embedded below).

    The letter states, “In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed. But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only ‘left-wing rabbis’ who think so.”

    Mr. Beck’s three-day series defaming Holocaust survivor George Soros sparked the letter from rabbis. At that time, Mr. Beck claimed Mr. Soros survived the Holocaust as 14-year-old boy by collaborating with the Nazis to send other Jews to the death camps. Mr. Beck said, that Mr. Soros “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off. And George Soros was part of it. He would help confiscate the stuff. It was frightening. Here’s a Jewish boy helping send Jews to the death camps.”

    Mr. Beck’s three-day attack on Mr. Soros was hardly the first time he has misused the Holocaust to incite viewers. The rabbis’ note Mr. Beck has made “literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom [Beck] disagree.” Beck routinely compares American leaders to Nazis, has likened his crusade against progressives to that of “Israeli Nazi Hunters,” and has said that putting the “common good” first leads to “death camps.”

    In the face of mounting criticism by Jewish groups, Fox News chief Roger Ailes dismissed criticism of Mr. Beck in an interview with the Daily Beast as nothing more than “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anybody can ever use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.”

    We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air.”

Loshen Hora is not permitted even when true, but in this case there is nothing to worry about because it’s not true.  I can guarantee you not one of these Rabbis are listeners of Beck, because if they were, they would know that he hadn’t as the letter they signed said made, literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom [Beck] disagree. According to Jewish law, if they sign a letter saying that Beck made hundreds of on air references they should see the proof.  So I ask Rabbi Steven Wernick, Executive Vice President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement of Judaism of which my family and I are members, where’s the proof?  To Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Dean, Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical School which recognized my wife and me for community service who also signed the letter, I ask: is this what you want to teach the rabbis of tomorrow? I invite any of the Rabbis who signed this letter did you watch the three day Soros series or did you just read the partial transcript sent to you? Did you know that almost everything that Beck said in those three days came directly out of the mouth of George Soros?

If any of these 400 rabbis has any proof for the charges you signed, contact me and show me the proof if you can–but they can’t. Even worse, they didn’t even ask for the proof before they lent their names to organized loshen hora.

The Jewish Fund for Justice is waging this battle against Glenn Beck as an agent of George Soros. The group receives significant funding  Soros’ Open Society Institute, which gave the organization $30,000 in 2008, $150,000 in 2009 and $200,000 in 2010, (H/T Ken Larrey). I wonder if any of the Rabbis who signed this letter knew the motivation, or that before Beck did his three day special on Soros, there was a meeting between senior staff of the two and Soros’ guy warned Beck’s not to do the expose? Of course not! A true rabbi would have called Beck and asked for his side; none did.

Soros’ funding is only part of the story, the Jewish Funds for Justice’ progressive message of redistribution of income and social justice, and the continued collective guilt of Whites (especially Men) is antithetical to Beck’s call for personal (vs government) responsibility and charity, along with a constitutional guarantee of equal opportunity for all (as opposed to a guarantee of equal result).

On its website the Jewish Funds For Justice has a online library of articles, leadership and facilitation exercises, templates, and other helpful resources for you to utilize in your organizations. Feel free to download and share any of these materials.

An entire section of the library is about the “White Man” as the oppressor. A series of articles which say even if they don’t know it, the Caucasian is a racist and an oppressor, which gives insight into their beliefs behind social justice. This position seems to echo some of the positions of Black Liberation Theology, which have been exposed by the Fox broadcaster. The thought that we are collectively guilty and our salvation will only come if we collectively repent against the social crimes that we have done.

For example, one of the articles in their library is called Male Privilege and White Privilege” by Peggy McIntosh

    I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. This paper is a partial record of my personal observations and not a scholarly analysis. It is based on my daily experiences within my particular circumstances.

    I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, code-books, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks.

Another called The Culture of White Supremacy argues that the culture in the US is “White Culture” and that culture

    …is intertwined with other major cultural manifestations of the is U.S: the greed competition and individualism of capitalism; male supremacist fear and hatred of the power of women; historical Christianity’s hatred and fear of sexuality, and its compulsion to divide humankind into the “saved” and the “dammed;” and the militarism’s glorification of war and conquests as proof of manhood and nationhood that has roots in European culture going back thousands of years.

    White culture is a melting pot of greed, guys, guns and God. Its a deadly brew.

The document also claims that calls for people to take personal responsibility is just another way of keeping the non-White races inferior.

Many of the other documents in that section promote the same view that all Whites (especially White Men) are racist oppressors including:

    * Systemic Racism, Injustice from Cradle to Grave
    * Interview with Lani Guinier, Tracking the Miners Canary
    * Being a Strong White Ally
    * Basic Tactics
    * Article: ”Building Diversity in Organizations” by Tyra Sidberry
    * A Few Thoughts on Racism and Leadership
    * STAND UP: An Exercise on Oppression for Leaders
    * Class Race Exercise
    * Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing
    * Quotations

With the belief that Whites continue to oppress the non-whites, it’s no wonder they believe in Government-led social justice. The Government has to do it, because the Caucasian Man either wont or doesn’t realize that he should.

    JFJ has developed seminary programs to prepare rabbinical students for “the challenges of engaging their communities in the critical and profoundly Jewish work of meaningful social justice” — i.e., the redistribution of wealth. These seminary programs are outgrowths of JFJ’s emphasis on “congregation-based community organizing” (CBCO), which is described by Benjamin Ross, JFJ’s Director of Organizing, as “a social change strategy developed by Saul Alinsky.” Aiming to “challenge [religious] congregations to address systemic issues relating to poverty and social injustice,” this type of organizing is spearheaded by four major national CBCO networks: the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation, the PICO National Network, the Direct Action Research and Training Center, and the Gamaliel Foundation. JFJ works in partnership with local affiliates of each of these organizations.

Another part of the motivation behind the attacks is many of the key figures of the JFJ are involved with other organizations/people who have been exposed by Beck.  For example:

    * Rabbi David Saperstein, who is on the JFJ Board, serves on Obama’s faith advisory board and served on many boards with of Rev. Jim Wallis who has also led attacks on Glenn Beck. Saperstein is also on the board of the People for the American Way Foundation, which was formed by the Tides Foundation. The Tides Foundation gets much of its funding from George Soros.

    * Mik Moore Chief Strategy Officer at Jewish Funds for Justice is the former  Deputy Political Director at SEIU Local 32B

    * Until 2008 Simon Greer attended the residency program of the Windcall Institute, a project of the Common Counsel Foundation. Van Jones serves on the advisory board of the Windcall institute.

    * Si Kahn who is on the board of JFJ was the founder and until last year the Executive director of Grassroots Leadership, which received $130,000 from Soros’ Open Society Institute in 2008 (which was the latest tax return I could find).

Notice the pattern?

In the end what the Wall Street Journal ad today represents is a slander made by 400 Rabbis who did not even bother to check to see if what they were signing is true, driven by JFJ a political organizations whose politics run contra to those of Glenn Beck. Both the organization and its leadership are beholden to George Soros who sent a Representative to threaten Beck for his expose’ and/or others who have campaigned against Glenn Beck. In other words, this “open letter” published in today’s Wall Street Journal, is nothing but an attempt to slander someones name for political reasons.

I hope that the 400 rabbis who have committed this Loshen Hora, caused all of this shame and have desecrated the name of god Chillul Hashem (desecration of God’s name) realize the error of their ways, not that their offense could ever be totally rectified.

As an old Chasidic tale teaches: A man once went around spreading lies about the rabbi. Eventually he began to feel remorse for the wrong he had done. He went to the rabbi and begged his forgiveness, saying he would do anything to make amends. The rabbi said, “Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds.” The man followed the request gladly. When he told the rabbi that he had done the task, the rabbi said, “Now, go try and gather the feathers.” The man said, “But Rabbi I cannot gather the feathers they are all scatter to the winds.” The Rabbi replied, “Exactly! You cannot take back the damage your words have done, the same way you cannot than recollect the feathers.”
Jewish Funds for Justice Wall Street Journal Ad

Article printed from NewsReal Blog:

URL to article:
10062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 10:08:01 AM

Rabbis Spend $100K to Slam Beck for Slamming Soros
January 27, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Four-hundred lib rabbis — the kind that give sanctimonious sermons about the environment at Westchester synagogues — have banded together to slam Glenn Beck with a $100K ad in the Wall Street Journal. According to the clerics, Beck has been unfairly attacking George Soros for collaborating with the Nazis in WWII when the billionaire was a fourteen-year old — something that Soros himself admits and, incredibly, doesn’t feel guilty about.

Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes interviewed Soros about his “youth.” Given the rabbis’ WSJ ad, it seems worth reprinting a transcript of a significant part of that interview here:

KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.

Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that’s when my character was made.

KROFT: In what way?

Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and–and anticipate events and when–when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a–a very personal experience of evil.

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

KROFT: I mean, that’s–that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

Mr. SOROS: Not–not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t–you don’t see the connection. But it was–it created no–no problem at all.

KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

Mr. SOROS: No.

KROFT: For example that, ‘I’m Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.’ None of that?

Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c–I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the–whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the–I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.

Wow. All I can say is wow. That lack of guilt has always been astounding to me and an indication of who Soros really is. (Hello, rabbis.)

Nevertheless, these goody-goody rabbis think Beck is the problem, not Soros. They blame Beck for going over the top in his speech (where have we heard that before?), misusing the memory of the Holocaust, etc., but no word of the “misuse of speech” by Soros-funded that famously made a video comparing George Bush to Hitler, something that has been scrubbed from the Internet but can be found here.

Talk about misusing the memory of the Holocaust. But I guess it wasn’t worth $100K.
10063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2011, 09:21:30 AM
"Still, Mr. Mubarak generally views broader reforms as an invitation to extremism. “We have heard him lament the results of earlier U.S. efforts to encourage reform in the Islamic world,” said a cable, noting that he often invoked the shah of Iran — a secular leader who came under pressure from Washington, only to be replaced by an even more repressive, hostile government."

**Don't you wish we had kept the Shah in power, bastard that he was?
10064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JournoList-ism, Reagan edition on: January 28, 2011, 08:05:45 AM

Don’t fool yourself… Journolist is alive and well.
It was apparent this week after Obama’s SOTU Address that the state-run media is still coordinating their message to the American people.

All three major networks described Obama’s confusing speech as being “Reaganesque.”
They want so desperately for the failed socialist they helped elect to appear like the beloved Ronald Reagan.
10065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2011, 05:24:38 AM
I would offer for our consideration another line of analysis here.

Bush sought to get us out of the supporting bastards because they were our bastards line of policy e.g. look out how well Kissinger's embrace of the Shah worked out.  I suppose we could blame the moron Carter, but does that not evade the central question presented?

Did not Hamas' victory in Gaza meant that Israel could finally take a hard line?

**Aside from that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Was not one of the core premises of the Iraq War to enable democracy?  Yes the Dems have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but what if we had not thrown away the success of the Surge?  Would we not be esconced on Iran's western border with Iraq as a beacon of the possible for the Arab (Muslim) world?

**There was a window where a west-friendly democracy movement had a chance to develop, like the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon. However, our enemies, both foreign and domestic killed it in the crib. I fear that what could happen in Egypt would be "One man, one vote, one time.**

I lack the knowledge to opine on the implications of the MB taking over in Egypt, but as Stratfor points out, geopolitics are geopolitics and Sunni and Shia (Iran) seem to be oil and water.  I do think policies based upon backing unpopular bastards have their risks.

**The need to back unpopular bastards sucks, but it sucks less than losing the center of gravity in the arab world to jihadist control.**
10066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carteresque on: January 27, 2011, 03:57:12 PM

What could go wrong?
10067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 27, 2011, 03:49:54 PM
Good. This will not pass, and continue to alienate blue dog dems.
10068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 27, 2011, 02:24:26 PM
I'll bet that the Muslim Brotherhood is pulling the strings on these protests. If Egypt were to fall to them, it would be catastrophic.

It, in essence would be the victory Osama was looking for in the wake of 9/11.
10069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Initial jobless claims jump 51,000 on: January 27, 2011, 09:08:45 AM

**Not exactly roaring back.....
10070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Standard & Poor's downgrades Japan for debt problems on: January 27, 2011, 08:57:16 AM

Standard & Poor's downgraded Japan Thursday as it expects the country's "fiscal deficits to remain high in the next few years," as it continues to deal with problems like debt, deflation and an aging population.

The rating agency lowered Japan's long-term credit ratings to AA-minus from AA, and said the outlook is "stable." S&P noted that the county's fiscal pressures are offset somewhat by its "strong external position, and the flexibility afforded by the yen's international role."

The report mentioned one other positive -- Japan's gold and foreign exchange reserves of more than $1 trillion "are second only to China's."

However, Japan is still grappling with "persistent deflation" and a "fast-aging population," according to the report. More importantly, S&P stated that Japan's debt load will continue to grow into the next decade.
10071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New-home sales in 2010 fall to lowest in 47 years on: January 27, 2011, 06:21:59 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Buyers purchased the fewest number of new homes last year on records going back 47 years.

Sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4 percent from the 375,000 homes sold in 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined after hitting record highs for the five previous years when the housing market was booming.

The year ended on a stronger note. Buyers purchased new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 329,000 units in December, a 17.5 percent increase from the November pace.

Still, economists say it could be years before sales rise to a healthy rate of 600,000 units a year.

"The percentage rise in sales looks impressive but 10 percent of next-to-nothing is still next-to-nothing," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, referencing the December increase. "New home sales are bouncing around the bottom and we see no clear upward trend in the data yet."
10072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 27, 2011, 05:42:46 AM

Coach Obama still doesn't understand the game
From a taxpayer's perspective, Obama's biggest weakness is his lack of understanding of how the economy really works. That weakness has already cost us $1 trillion, and what he said in his SOTU speech last night shows that this was a lot of money down the drain, because he learned very little from his failures these past two years. He continues to believe that enlightened politicians can boost economic growth much like a good coach can whip a team or a star player into shape. Last night's SOTU peech was Coach Obama's pep talk before the big game. Problem is, he still doesn't understand the game of economic growth, so there is little chance that his coaching will prove effective.
10073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Baltic Dry Index on: January 26, 2011, 10:12:07 PM

Meaningful or not?
10074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 26, 2011, 09:40:42 PM
There is no absolute safety, no matter what policy is implemented. As with other policies, it's a matter of balancing individual freedoms with public safety.
10075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sh*t meets fan on: January 26, 2011, 08:49:04 PM

Read it all, and pray.

10076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Before Tucson rampage, a powerful law went unused on: January 26, 2011, 05:13:00 PM

Jan 13 (Reuters Legal) - As evidence mounts that Jared Lee Loughner exhibited disturbing behavior months before the rampage in Tucson, it's increasingly clear that Arizona authorities could legally have detained him for psychiatric evaluation and treatment -- and potentially have been able to avert the tragedy. But officials in other states might not have had that power, a review of state laws on involuntary commitment suggests.

Arizona has one of the least restrictive laws when it comes to detaining apparently mentally ill people against their will. Under the state's broad involuntary-commitment statute, the government can mandate in-patient treatment for anyone determined to be "persistently or acutely disabled." That could include a broad range of seemingly troubled individuals. By comparison, many other states limit involuntary commitment only to people shown to be a danger to themselves or others, or who are found to be completely unable to take care of themselves.

Under Nevada's involuntary-commitment law, for example, prior to confining someone the state must demonstrate that the person "is mentally ill and, because of that illness, is likely to harm himself or others if allowed his liberty." In Connecticut, someone can be committed only if he or she has "psychiatric disabilities and is dangerous to himself or herself or others or gravely disabled" -- and "gravely disabled" has usually been interpreted to mean that the person is unable on his own to obtain adequate food, shelter and clothing. Under those standards, some mental-health law experts say it might have been hard to make a case for committing Loughner.

"I've never read about him threatening anyone or brandishing a gun," said Jonathan Stanley, a board member of Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization that lobbies for the treatment of severe mental illnesses. "He was pretty creepy, and that's not grounds for commitment in the strict states."


Arizona also goes farther than many other states in defining who may initiate involuntary-commitment proceedings. In Arizona, virtually anyone who had suspected that Loughner had mental problems and needed help could have filed an application to a state-licensed healthcare agency for a court-ordered evaluation. Some states require that the application be initiated by someone close to the troubled person, among other discrete categories.

Loughner's behavior had caused serious concern among students and faculty at Pima Community College where he was a student. Police documents released on Wednesday show that some even feared for their safety, according to reports in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. A professor requested that a campus-security officer be on guard outside one of Loughner's classes. One student told school officials she was scared Loughner had a knife after he made disturbing comments in a poetry class such as, "why don't we just strap bombs to babies."

The area of involuntary-commitment law highlights a tension within any democracy: balancing the rights of the individual against public-safety concerns. A landmark 1979 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Addington v. Texas, made it harder for the government to commit people against their will, requiring officials to justify any such detention with "clear and convincing" evidence. Earlier, the standard had been a "preponderance of the evidence," which is used in most civil cases.
10077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 26, 2011, 04:54:47 PM
Criminals sometimes claim a political motivation behind their crimes. Sometimes there is a political agenda, more often it's just window dressing for typical criminal conduct.
10078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 26, 2011, 12:10:13 PM
Well, there are already federal laws that cover straw purchases and the export of weapons and it appears the BATFE is working those cases. Perhaps Mexico should secure it's border.....
10079  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pathological on: January 26, 2011, 10:04:54 AM

The president’s friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett sometimes pointed out that not only had he never managed an operation, he’d never really had a nine-to-five job in his life. Obama didn’t know what he didn’t know, yet his self-confidence was so stratospheric that once, in the context of thinking about Emanuel’s replacement, he remarked in all seriousness, “You know, I’d make a good chief of staff.”
10080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Double dip on: January 26, 2011, 07:59:49 AM

Home prices fall in nearly all major cities, heightening fears of double dip

By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 25, 2011; 4:12 PM

Home prices slipped in nearly every major metropolitan area in November, with a few cities hitting their lowest levels since prices peaked about four years ago, according to a closely watched index released Tuesday.

From October to November, prices fell in 19 of the 20 metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, widely considered a gauge of the housing market's health. The only exception was San Diego, where prices were basically unchanged.

Only four areas posted year-over-year gains in November, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and the Washington region. But in the aggregate, prices dipped 1.6 percent in November from the same time a year earlier, falling in 16 cities.

The nine cities that hit their lowest annual levels since the housing bust started were Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tampa.

The 20-city index is now about 3 percent above April 2009 levels, "suggesting that a double dip could be confirmed before spring," said David Blitzer, the index committee's chairman.

10081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Banana Federation of Greater Bananastan on: January 25, 2011, 09:48:11 AM

Massive Inflation, Right under Our Noses
10082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 25, 2011, 09:33:55 AM
I think Wesbury is wrong, though I hope he's right. I've listed already the profound problems we are facing economically. We are but one serious bump away from real catastrophe and nowhere near anything like a real recovery, but only time will tell who is correct.
10083  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: January 25, 2011, 07:01:27 AM
In the case of the military, "the troops" covers both genders and all branches, for law enforcement, "Law Enforcement Officers" covers everyone.
10084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The wealth and debt of nations on: January 25, 2011, 06:11:26 AM

Which country is the world’s wealthiest? When asked this question, economists generally refer to gross domestic product per capita. By this measure, according to the IMF, the top eight for 2010 are Luxemburg, Norway, Qatar, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Sweden and United Arab Emirates. The U.S. ranks ninth, the Netherlands 10th and Canada 11th.

But does GDP per capita really measure the wealth of a country? Think about it in personal terms: What if your income ranked among the top tier in the country, but your debt also ranked among the highest? Would you be “wealthy”? Not if your debt were so large that, even with your high income, you have no hope of ever paying it off. Similarly, GDP per capita is an income measure that says nothing about a country's balance sheet.
10085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Paging Trickydog on: January 24, 2011, 07:01:19 PM

Quantum Entanglement Could Stretch Across Time

10086  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: January 24, 2011, 04:03:56 PM
Not trying to be PC, but as my wife got hired recently to work as a police officer and is now in a stress academy, I'm even more aware of the prices paid.
10087  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: January 24, 2011, 03:49:32 PM
Don't forget the women in blue.
10088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Glenn Beck's fault on: January 24, 2011, 03:14:28 PM

"So who’s inciting violence here?"
The Glenn Beck/Frances Fox Piven controversy.

ADDED: Do academics mean to have influence or not? Are we supposed to think of them as oversmart flakes who are tucked away in institutions where they won't screw up real life for the rest of us? Because that's the only way in which it makes sense to portray Glenn Beck as the villain. He took an academic seriously, as if she meant what she said and expected real people to hear and act.
10089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 24, 2011, 02:48:15 PM

Bad day for the world's toughest ballerina.
10090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will this help or hurt the economy? on: January 24, 2011, 12:09:25 PM

Gas pump prices that are around $3 a gallon now may seem like a bargain by the time your kids are on Easter egg hunts.

Pump prices have risen nearly 9 percent since Dec. 1 and topped $3.10 a gallon this week. That's the highest level since October 2008. The price may rise or fall a little over the next few months, but analysts expect it to range between $3.20 and $3.75 gallon by March and April ahead of the summer driving season.

The national average for regular gasoline about $3.12 a gallon on Friday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That's nearly 12 cents more than a month ago and 38 cents above a year ago.

Average pump prices range from $2.81 to $3.70 in major cities. For example, the average in Salt Lake City is $2.74 a gallon and in New Orleans it's $2.97 a gallon. Drivers in San Francisco pay $3.44 a gallon, and in Honolulu gas is $3.58 a gallon.

Americans typically drive less in the winter. Demand is about 1 percentage point higher than a year ago but remains weaker than the historical average, said energy analyst Jim Ritterbusch. The nation's gasoline supplies remain above the five-year average.

Over the next couple of months, refineries will conduct regular maintenance to prepare for the changeover to summer driving mixes. That could affect supplies, but gas prices should remain steady to a few cents more, according to oil analyst Tom Kloza of Oil Price Information Service.

By spring he expects the average price to rise to between $3.50 and $3.75 a gallon. Ritterbusch expects $3.20 to $3.25 a gallon by Memorial Day.

For every penny the price at the pump increases, it costs consumers overall an additional $4 million, according to Cameron Hanover analyst Peter Beutel. If the price goes up a dime a gallon, consumers pay $40 million more each day for that increase.


10091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 24, 2011, 11:47:06 AM
The economy is tanking. Check out food and gas prices and unemployment.
10092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 24, 2011, 10:53:51 AM
10093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: January 24, 2011, 10:14:11 AM
I hope you keep contributing here, Trickydog. Good to have someone grounded in the hard sciences around.
10094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stealth on: January 23, 2011, 04:34:28 PM

Jan. 23, 2011
Chinese Stealth Jet May Use U.S. Technology
Experts Believe Newly-Unveiled High-Tech Fighter May Borrow Technology Taken From U.S. Jet Shot Down in 1999
10095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 23, 2011, 01:31:22 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Schumer's Ploy

This was inevitable...

When investigators discovered that Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner had been rejected by the Army (because of admitted drug use), it was just a matter of time before some politician connected the dots: Hey, let's require military recruiters to report anyone with a history of drug abuse to other federal agencies!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), come on down. Earlier this week, Mr. Schumer proposed that federal officials who learn of an individual's illegal drug use must report that information to the FBI. The admission would then go into a federal database, and be used to deny the individual the right to purchase a gun.


Noting that the alleged shooter in the Tucson massacre had admitted to military recruiters that he had used drugs on several occasions, Schumer said he is proposing to the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that the military be required to to notify federal officials about such admissions. He said such a process does not require new legislation.


Schumer said if military recruiters or other officials report admissions of drug use to a national database, those individuals could be denied a gun.

After Jared Loughner was interviewed by the military, he was rejected from the Army because of excessive drug use. Now by law, by law that's on the books, she should not have been allowed to buy a gun," Schumer told NBC.

"But the law doesn't require the military to notify the FBI about that and in this case they didn't. So I--this morning--I'm writing the administration and urging that be done and the military notify the FBI when someone is rejected from the military for excessive drug use and that be added to the FBI database."

Obviously, Schumer's "proposal" is little more than a thinly-veiled effort to restrict Second Amendment rights. But unfortunately, his suggestion may gain traction, given the fallout from the Tucson tragedy and the administration's own feelings on gun control. We can hear the arguments now: This is a reasonable proposal; it won't require any new laws and it might prevent a similar massacre in the future.

But even a cursory examination reveals that the Schumer suggestion is a horribly bad idea, on multiple levels. First, it places a undue burden on military recruiters, who talk to literally dozens of potential recruits during any given week. We're reasonably sure that Senator Schumer has no idea (read: doesn't care) how much work--and paperwork--is involved in processing a single person into the U.S. military.

Now, on top of all that effort, Schumer wants armed forces recruiters--who often work in a "one-deep" office, miles from the nearest military installation--to screen all of their contacts for illegal drug use and report it to the FBI. Memo to Mr. Schumer: in 21st Century America, most of the young men and women who express an interest in military service are ultimately rejected, for a variety of reasons. So, the recruiter must wade through his list of rejects, looking for individuals whose drug use might make them a future, crazed gunman.

Readers will also note that Senator Schumer didn't bother to define the level of illegal drug use that should be reported to the FBI. Why is that an issue? Because the U.S. military, thank God, has standards that are much tougher than society as a whole. By regulation, the armed services routinely reject applicants who fail a urinalysis test, or admit to the recreational use of marijuana (or other drugs) on more than 15 occasions. That's the way it should be. We don't want stoners (or drunks) handling classified information, or maintaining multi-billion dollar weapons systems.

But that doesn't necessarily mean those same individuals should be denied the right to own a gun. In many cases, that rejection by the military is a wake-up call, convincing young people to give up the weed or the booze and become responsible adults. Those individuals, with no arrest record or convictions on file, should not be penalized for what they told a military recruiter years ago. Under current laws, persons in that category are still eligible for gun ownership, and we see no reason to change.

Besides, the type of drug use in Lougher's case was not a clear predictor of his future rampage. We're guessing the marijuana didn't help, but no one can make the case that Lougher was pushed over the edge because of his drug use. Indeed, the type of activity that Lougher told the Army about is a misdemeanor offense in much of the country.

Ask yourself this question: Do we really need to create a national database of young people who have admitted to marijuana use, and send the FBI to pay them a visit--on the very remote chance they might buy a gun and go off the deep end? Personally, I'd rather see the FBI devote its resources to more important tasks, such as tracking down the thousands of individuals from terrorist havens who enter this country each year. That group poses a far greater menace than military rejects who admit to past recreational drug use and may choose to buy a gun some day.

Schumer's proposal creates civil liberties issues as well. Requiring military recruiters to report applicant's admitted drug use could be construed as a form of illegal domestic surveillance. There's also the matter of where the reporting might end. At some point, most recruits fill out a SF-86, which provides background information for their security clearance. Would Mr. Schumer like the military to hand over those as well? Compared to recruiter interview forms, the SF-86 is a veritable goldmine of information on past residences, associations and travels.

And while we're on that topic, what about notes from the Defense Investigative Service agents who interview the family and friends of those applying for a clearance? Did we mention that some of the claims made in those interviews are unsubstantiated? Now, imagine all that information making its way into a national database, accessible to legions of bureaucrats and available for all sorts of purposes. Gee, whatever happened to that supposed right to privacy that the left keeps harping about?

If it's any consolation, the Schumer proposal is still a ways from becoming a legal requirement. But don't discount that possibility, since it can be implemented without new legislation. Stroke of the pen, law of the land, as the Clintonistas used to say.
ADDENDUM: Hard-core libertarians and the folks at NORML should not interpret this as an endorsement of legalizing drugs. Far from it. We still support the "zero tolerance" policy of the U.S. military and wish the same standard could be applied to military recruits. Unfortunately, the armed services have elected to tolerate certain levels of recreational drug use among prospective enlistees, due to the widespread use of marijuana among those in the primary recruiting cohort (18-25 year-olds).
10096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 23, 2011, 01:13:22 PM
The president should therefore call for several additions to the database: names on the terrorist watch list,

**The terrorist watch list is arbitrary, a useful tool, but the potential for abuse is there. The 2nd. is a core constitutional right, this suggestion is a deprivation of due process.

 military recruits who fail drug tests and patients ordered to undergo mental-health treatment, if their doctor or family requests they be added.

**Someone pees hot for weed at 18. Do we prevent him/her from ever owning a gun for the rest of his/her life? As far as those ordered by a court for psych treatment, that's already covered under the current statute.

 He should also demand that reluctant states supply court records on mentally incapacitated residents.

**If there has been a legal action placing someone into psych treatment, then the records should already be accessible.
10097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 23, 2011, 12:54:46 PM

BATFE Letter Re: Mental Disqualification

U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Office of the Director
May 9, 2007


We at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), like all Americans, were saddened by the tragic events that unfolded at Virginia Tech last month. In the immediate aftermath, many questions arose about whether the person responsible for the shootings was prohibited under Federal law from possessing a firearm, and how the shooter passed the background check required before purchasing the two firearms used on April 16, 2007.

As the Federal agency responsible for enforcing the Federal firearms laws, ATF works every day to prevent the criminal misuse of firearms. We stand ready to assist our State and local partners in better understanding the Federal prohibitors and how we can work together to prevent future tragedies. This letter serves to explain what ATF has done in response to the events at Virginia Tech and to provide information on the nature and scope of the Federal prohibition.

In the initial weeks after the Virginia Tech shootings, ATF took immediate steps to communicate with our State and local law enforcement partners and the licensed firearms community. In particular, ATF joined the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who, along with the United States Attorney General and the Secretary of Education, embarked on a twelve-State effort to meet with State and local leaders, educators, mental health experts, and law enforcement officials to find out what can be learned from the tragedy at Virginia Tech. A summary of lessons learned will be reported back to the President with recommendations about how the Federal Government, working in conjunction with State and local partners, can prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.

During the first week of May, ATF used the occasion of the annual FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Users Conference in Portland, Oregon, to reach out to State law enforcement officials to clarify the meaning of the Federal prohibition for those persons adjudicated as a “mental defective” or committed to a mental institution. ATF has also begun the process of clarifying the Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473), the form that is completed whenever a person purchases a firearm from a federally licensed dealer. The new Form 4473 will make it clear, for example, that any person who has been found by a court, board, or other lawful authority to be a danger to self or others is prohibited from purchasing a firearm or ammunition. ATF will also be sending an open letter to all Federal firearms licensees to further instruct on the meaning of the Federal prohibition.

Many States are already taking steps to identify persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of their mental health history. However, as of April 2007, only 23 States have submitted any mental health information to the NICS system, and only four regularly report such information. ATF and our FBI partners who operate the NICS system are encouraging State authorities to take the necessary actions to ensure that all disqualifying information is provided to prevent the purchase of firearms by those prohibited from possessing firearms under Federal law. Accordingly, ATF stands ready to assist any State with questions or concerns they may have with respect to collecting additional information regarding whether a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4). Many States are considering how to enhance their collection efforts in the aftermath of Virginia Tech, ATF would like to provide all necessary assistance with those efforts.

Section 922(g)(4) of 18 U.S.C. makes it unlawful for any person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution to possess firearms or ammunition. This prohibition covers two classes of persons—those who have either been (1) adjudicated as a mental defective; or (2) committed to a mental institution.

Each of these terms is defined by Federal regulation at 27 C.F.R. § 478.11 as follows:

   1. A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
         1. Is a danger to himself or to others; or
         2. Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
   2. The term shall include—
         1. A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
         2. Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.


This term means a formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term also includes a commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness, and commitments for other reasons such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or any voluntary admission to a mental institution.

ATF has historically interpreted these provisions as constituting two distinct prohibitions. Each prohibition represents a separate disqualification. For example, a “commitment” means a formal commitment, not a voluntary stay. Excluded are stays for observation only. Nor does the term include a stay in a mental institution that never involved any form of adjudication by a lawful authority. However, a stay that began as a voluntary stay may be subsequently transformed into a disqualifying stay if a court, board, or other lawful authority makes a determination that the person is a danger to self or others. Moreover, a voluntary stay that is by itself not disabling could be later converted into a formal commitment and therefore be disabling.

For purposes of a Federal firearms disability, ATF interprets “adjudicated mental defective” to include anyone adjudicated to be a “danger to him or herself,” “a danger to others,” or lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage their own affairs.” For purposes of Federal law, “danger” means any danger, not simply “imminent” or “substantial” danger as is often required to sustain an involuntary commitment under State law. Thus, for example, adjudication that a person was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others would result in Federal firearms disability, whether the court-ordered treatment was on an inpatient or outpatient basis. This is because the adjudication itself (a finding of danger due to mental illness) is sufficient to trigger the disability.

It should be emphasized that whatever adjudication procedure a State employs, the Constitution requires certain guarantees of due process. In order for a particular commitment order to qualify as a prohibiting commitment, ATF historically has required that traditional protections of due process be present, including adequate notice, an opportunity to respond, and a right to counsel. Such protections are important because whether a person has been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to a mental institution, the firearms disability is permanent.

We recognize that the procedures that result in a person being prohibited vary widely under State law and we encourage each of you to work closely with ATF to determine whether your statutory or regulatory mental health commitment or adjudication procedures under a particular set of facts might result in a determination that qualifies as a Federal prohibition.

We appreciate the interest that Federal, State, and local law enforcement and other stakeholders have in improving the enforcement of our nation’s firearms laws, and ATF stands ready to assist the States in improving their efforts to ensure information on disqualified persons is collected and provided to the NICS system. Questions or concerns about any of these issues may be directed to your local ATF field office.
Signed By Michael J. Sullivan
10098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Glenn Beck's fault on: January 23, 2011, 12:39:28 PM

More Ring Lardnerism

H/T to Powerline for this.

It seems Glenn Back, by accurately quoting Frances Fox Piven, has gored the Ruling Class ox again.  Professor Piven wrote, and The Nation published,  an article calling for violent, angry protest.  In her piece in The Nation, Piven calls for:

    An effective movement of the unemployed [that] will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union,[Emphasis mine.]

Beck and The Blaze have publicized the piece; Piven appears to have become something of a bête noire for Beck.  (And yes, there’s no doubt that Beck does obsess about things sometimes.) But he’s neither misattributing the piece, nor taking it out of context; Piven is urging violence as what will be necessary to achieve her ends.

The reaction in the Times?  Why obviously, to accuse Beck of fomenting threats against Piven.  They quote in particular:

    In response, a liberal nonprofit group, the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote to the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, on Thursday to ask him to put a stop to Mr. Beck’s “false accusations” about Ms. Piven.

    “Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent response,” the group wrote.

Piven’s own response:

    That is not a call for violence,” Ms. Piven said Friday of the references to riots. “There is a kind of rhetorical trick that is always used to denounce movements of ordinary people, and that is to imply that the massing of people itself is violent.”

No one notes, apparently, that there’s no such thing as a “nonviolent riot” and the riots in Greece in particular have been deadly.

According to the Times, the Center for Constitutional Rights says (find their full web article here):

    t took exception to the sheer quantity of negative attention to Ms. Piven.

    “We are vigorous defenders of the First Amendment,” the center said in its letter to Fox. “However, there comes a point when constant intentional repetition of provocative, incendiary, emotional misinformation and falsehoods about a person can put that person in actual physical danger of a violent response.” Mr. Beck is at that point, they said.

The puzzle, of course, is that Beck is repeating and truthfully quoting Piven — or, appears to be, unless Piven asserts the article published under her name wasn’t actually hers. The central point or the CCR’s complaint seems to be that while they’re all in favor of free speech, they don’t want too much of it.

In other words…

    “Shut up he explained.”
10099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The new hate speech on: January 23, 2011, 12:36:57 PM
Accurately reporting what the left says=hate speech

The Second Time is Farce: Frances Fox Piven Calls for a new Cloward-Piven Strategy for Today
December 30, 2010 - by Ron Radosh

Writing in The Nation magazine on May 2, 1966, sociologists Richard Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven published what was to become in later years one of the most famous and influential of leftist articles. Titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty,” the two socialist intellectuals developed a new so-called “crisis strategy” — that of trying to use the existing welfare system to create chaos that would weaken the corporate capitalist state and eventually foment revolution. “Discover the Networks” has a good summary of their thesis.

The two became the ideologists of a group formed to implement their strategy, called “The National Welfare Rights Organization,” or NWRO. As Stanley Kurtz explains in Radical-in-Chief: “the idea was to flood state and local welfare systems with more applicants than they could possibly afford to carry. Cloward and Piven believed that this ‘break the bank’ strategy would force President [Lyndon B.] Johnson and a liberal Democratic Congress to bail out overburdened state welfare systems with a federally guaranteed annual income.” This experience of activism by the poor would create a new anti-capitalist sentiment, and would stoke the poors’ “sense of entitlement and rage.” Later, the group’s mission would be carried on by ACORN, whose leaders endorsed and built upon Cloward and Piven’s strategy.

The idea was to consciously create a fiscal crisis of the state. ACORN’s chief strategist, Peter Dreier, explained this in an article, “The Case for Transitional Reform,” which appeared in the journal Social Policy in February 1979. Dreier called for injecting “unmanageable strains into the capitalist system, strains that precipitate an economic and/or political crisis,” producing a “revolution of rising entitlements” that “cannot be abandoned without undermining the legitimacy of the capitalist class.” Once a “fiscal crisis in the public sector” occurred, the movement could push for creation of “socialist norms” being advanced as the only possible solution.

A few decades have passed since this strategy was first announced. They had great hopes that when  Bill Clinton became president, they could implement their strategy. But the Clinton administration — once seen potentially by the Left as a vehicle for fulfillment of its dreams — worked with Republicans in Clinton’s second term to pass meaningful and successful welfare reform. This was precisely the opposite of what the Left wanted and hoped for.

Now, as President Barack Obama is beginning the mid-point of his first and possibly only term in office, the Left is again trying to advance a new form of the old strategy. And the author of the new program is none other than Frances Fox Piven, the co-author with her late husband of the original 1966 article.  Clearly, Piven looks back fondly with memories of what NWRO did in the 1970s. The New York Times reported on their tactics on September 22, 1970:

    There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests — and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones.

My friend Sol Stern, now with City Journal and the Manhattan Institute,  explained how successful they were:

    The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley’s wildest dreams. From 1965 to 1974, the number of households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city’s private economy.

Under the liberal administration of Mayor John Lindsay, welfare spending more than doubled, from $400 million to $1 billion a year. Money for the poor was now 28 per cent of the city’s budget, and New York almost collapsed as a result — precisely the hope of Cloward, Piven and George Wiley.

Now, as our national economy and many state and city budgets again are at the breaking point, Frances Fox Piven has issued a new call to repeat and build upon the ruinous strategies that she and her late husband advanced decades ago. And as in 1966, her vehicle is The Nation, the flagship magazine of the Left which today has a huge circulation and much greater influence than it had in the 1960s.

Writing in the current issue, Piven  presents a clarion call for a new mass movement, one that the magazine publishes as an editorial statement representing its editors. (It is currently under the magazine’s firewall.)  She begins by noting that nothing is taking place to deal with ending what she claims is an unemployment rate of 15 million people. To regain the 5 percent rate of 2007, she estimates there would have to be 300,000 jobs created each month for several years, something that is next to impossible.

Thus Piven asks a question: “So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?” In other words, the kind of action her protégé George Wiley fomented in the 70s with the NWRO. She admonishes the Left not to wait for “the end of the American empire and even the end of neoliberal capitalism,” but to up the ante at present to pressure for “big new [government] initiatives in infrastructure and green energy” that could “ward off the darkness.”   Her fear is that the new Congress, instead of moving in the direction she and the Left favors, will concentrate on “deficit reduction by means of tax cuts and spending cuts.” As for President Obama, she sees him as a new version of  Herbert Hoover, who foolishly meets with corporate executives and seeks to placate them.

What is needed, she suggests, are “mass protests” that might influence Obama and press “him hard from his base.” To do that, however, she notes that they have to get past the many obstructions to mobilize the unemployed. This is especially the case that the unions today “do little for their unemployed,” who don’t pay dues and “are likely to be malcontents.”

Piven argues that their task is harder than it was in the past, because the unemployed are diverse, are not in one area of the country and have no common institutional setting. It is hard to bring people together, even in welfare and unemployment centers, she complains, since often administrators try to avoid long lines and crowded waiting areas, where organizers could proselytize and inflame the dissatisfied applicants.

But most important, she writes, “they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant (my emphasis) …Losing a job is bruising; even when many other people are out of work, most people are still working. So, a kind of psychological transformation has to take place; the out-of-work have to stop blaming themselves for their hard times and turn their anger on the bosses, the bureaucrats or the politicians who are in fact responsible.”

They also need targets, which she sees as “the most difficult of the strategy problems.” Since she knows well that “local and state governments are strapped for funds,” the poor and the unemployed must demand “federal action.” It is, in other words, another “fiscal crisis of the state” that, as in the past, can be used to advance the radical goal. There first have to be local protests that have to “accumulate and spread,”  then “become more disruptive” (my emphasis) in order to pressure our national political leaders.  What does Piven mean when she calls for disruption? She is clear and up front about her intent:

    An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees. (my emphasis.)

What she is calling for is nothing less than the chaos and violence engulfing Europe. Disgruntled leftist unionists, students who expect an education without cost, and citizens of social-democratic states cannot accept that the old terms of the social contract they thought would last forever have worn out their welcome. The European welfare-state governments can no longer function with the kind of social programs that now far exceed their nation’s budgets and hence are moving their countries to the precipice of total collapse.

So Piven hopes that in our own country, “a loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge,” spurred on, no doubt, by ideologues like Piven and the encouragement of the New York City leftists who run The Nation magazine. Perhaps on their next Carribbean cruise they can talk about it some more.  Hence Piven hopes that young workers and students, “who face a future of joblessness, just might become large enough and disruptive enough to have an impact in Washington.”

Will it happen here? There is no exact science of protest movements, she notes. But who, she asks, “expected the angry street mobs in Athens or the protests by British students?” Living in the past, she looks hopefully at the strikes in 1934, and the civil rights movement of the1960s. Clearly no student of history, Piven fails to comprehend the very different circumstances that made these social movements have legs. All she can do is issue her hope that another “American social movement from the bottom” will emerge, and then the organized Nation left can “join it.”
10100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 23, 2011, 12:29:16 PM
I think there is a place for such contractors. The CIA seemingly is too big and too risk adverse to do much of what is required.
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