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10151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: February 06, 2011, 01:57:07 PM
" I have bought hundreds of CFL light bulbs,"

You ready to deal with the toxic aftermath of a broken CFL bulb, Doug?   evil
10152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BATFE-WTF? on: February 06, 2011, 11:53:17 AM,0,6169639.story

Guns tracked by firearms bureau found at firefight scene
Two AK-47s bought in Arizona were used in a firefight that left a Border Patrol agent dead last month. The discovery comes amid a growing congressional investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


PHOENIX - A U.S. senator is examining a claim that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a December shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said in a letter provided Monday to The Associated Press he had received information that appears to partially corroborate the claim received by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the guns.

"Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw buyers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the Southwest border area and into Mexico," reads a letter sent Thursday from Grassley to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The letter does not elaborate on the role possible of federal agents in the sale of the guns, and it could not be determined if the purchases were part of a sting operation.
10153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: February 06, 2011, 11:34:18 AM
The climate changes. Sometimes it's warmer, sometimes it's colder. Were "Anthropogenic global warming" real, there would be no need to falsify data, as has been done.
10154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 06, 2011, 11:25:43 AM
Indeed, BD.


It's important to focus like a laser beam on the really stupid overreaches by the federal gov't. Things that the average person would look at and agree with.

Like this:
10155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: February 06, 2011, 09:42:07 AM
It's my understanding  Pima county has a large infestation, I mean population of liberals. So what if the DA and Sheriff wage a legal war against the Tea Party there and get re-elected as a result?
10156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The MB and terminal decline on: February 06, 2011, 09:29:02 AM

A Moving Letter from Salim Mansur
Claire Berlinski, Ed. · 12 hours ago

Salim Mansur sent me the link to his latest column about Egypt. It is excellent, but what struck me even more was the note he sent me with it. I asked his permission to publish it, which he kindly granted me.

    Dear Claire:

    Below is my column from today on Egypt. Since I do not have an opportunity to write in public more than one column per week, I am limited to what I can say. Extremely distressed by the crew in Washington, and in most European capitals. Media is so corrupted by left-leaning thinking that there is not much of an analysis to be expected in the media that is now competing with facebook, twitters, etc. The dumbing down of thinking is itself a huge problem the West is facing now as it tries pathetically to undertstand/explain politics and history of other cultures when it no longer has faith in its own civilizational values. I despair, and so I follow Samuel Pepys who confined himself to his diaries while London burned and I am trying to devote my time to reading and writing of my own (that of course I might not be able to publish, and even if published few will read).

    I am more convinced now, as I wasn't when Paul Kennedy wrote about the rise and fall of great powers, that the West has gone over the tipping point in its terminal decline. That intelligent people, or people who claim to be intelligent, (I have in mind the talking heads in the U.S. media such as Chris Matthews or Fareed Zakaria) cannot make the difference between the sham of the Muslim Brotherhood talking about freedom and democracy and the generic thirst in man to be free. These are the people who have like the Bourbons learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They are glibly about to put the Lenins of our time into trains heading for Moscows of our time, they find nothing odd that they are pushing for the Muslim Brotherhood to be taken into governing when everything needs to be done to keep the Muslim Brotherhood out even as one carefully negotiate the long historic transition of Arab societies from tribal autorcracy and military dictatorships to representative rule and constitutionally limited government. I read you when I can, and I wish that you and others like you were closer to the main media control in the West, or in government.

    Take care, and God bless.

10157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 06, 2011, 09:17:31 AM

"This stance is just plain silly.  Interstate commerce clause?  Airline traffic certainly pertains.  FAA?  I have no problem with him, or anyone for that matter, questioning national government involvement in regulation.  But he should pick his fights with more care. "

Yup. If there is anything today that is clearly interstate commerce, aircraft would fall into that definition.
10158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / How does the "Supremacy of the Sheriff" look now? on: February 05, 2011, 08:12:59 PM
**Not that Holder's DOJ will do anything about this, if true.....
10159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Food and failed Arab states on: February 05, 2011, 10:19:40 AM

Food and failed Arab states
By Spengler

Even Islamists have to eat. It is unclear whether President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt will survive, or whether his nationalist regime will be replaced by an Islamist, democratic, or authoritarian state. What is certain is that it will be a failed state. Amid the speculation about the shape of Arab politics to come, a handful of observers, for example economist Nourel Roubini, have pointed to the obvious: Wheat prices have almost doubled in the past year.

Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, beholden to foreign providers for nearly half its total food consumption. Half of

Egyptians live on less than $2 a day. Food comprises almost half the country's consumer price index, and much more than half of spending for the poorer half of the country. This will get worse, not better.

Not the destitute, to be sure, but the aspiring and frustrated young, confronted the riot police and army on the streets of Egyptian cities last week. The uprising in Egypt and Tunisia were not food riots; only in Jordan have demonstrators made food the main issue. Rather, the jump in food prices was the wheat-stalk that broke the camel's back. The regime's weakness, in turn, reflects the dysfunctional character of the country. 35% of all Egyptians, and 45% of Egyptian women can't read.

Nine out of ten Egyptian women suffer genital mutilation. US President Barack Obama said Jan. 29, "The right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny … are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere." Does Obama think that genital mutilation is a human rights violation? To expect Egypt to leap from the intimate violence of traditional society to the full rights of a modern democracy seems whimsical.

In fact, the vast majority of Egyptians has practiced civil disobedience against the Mubarak regime for years. The Mubarak government announced a "complete" ban on genital mutilation in 2007, the second time it has done so - without success, for the Egyptian population ignored the enlightened pronouncements of its government. Do Western liberals cheer at this quiet revolt against Mubarak's authority?

Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt's First Lady, continues to campaign against the practice, which she has denounced as "physical and psychological violence against children." Last May 1, she appeared at Aswan City alongside the provincial governor and other local officials to declare the province free of it. And on October 28, Mrs Mubarak inaugurated an African conference on stopping genital mutilation.

The most authoritative Egyptian Muslim scholars continue to recommend genital mutilation. Writing on the web site IslamOnline, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi - the president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars - explains:

    The most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favor of practicing circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet's hadiths - even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: "Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands."

That is not a Muslim view (the practice is rare in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan), but an Egyptian Muslim view. In the most fundamental matters, President and Mrs Mubarak are incomparably more enlightened than the Egyptian public. Three-quarters of acts of genital mutilation in Egypt are executed by physicians.

What does that say about the character of the country's middle class? Only one news dispatch among the tens of thousands occasioned by the uprising mentions the subject; the New York Times, with its inimitable capacity to obscure content, wrote on January 27, "To the extent that Mr. Mubarak has been willing to tolerate reforms, the cable said, it has been in areas not related to public security or stability.

For example, he has given his wife latitude to campaign for women's rights and against practices like female genital mutilation and child labor, which are sanctioned by some conservative Islamic groups." The authors, Mark Landler and Andrew Lehren, do not mention that 90% or more of Egyptian women have been so mutilated. What does a country have to do to shock the New York Times? Eat babies boiled?
10160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No Idea Glenn Beck had fans in Egypt..... on: February 05, 2011, 08:41:40 AM

Glenn Beck's fault.
10161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 05, 2011, 08:40:23 AM
Let's see if NBC/SeeBS/ABC/CNN cover it.
10162  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Perhaps the greatest TV show ever on: February 05, 2011, 12:16:33 AM

I'm pretty jaded (shocking, I know) but this show had me in tears I laughed so hard.
10163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cloward-Pivening our allies now? on: February 04, 2011, 05:09:02 PM

Loss for words. WTF!
10164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 04, 2011, 02:04:51 PM
Funny how not too long ago, Obama was respectful towards Mubarak and the left lectured us on not interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.
10165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 04, 2011, 01:39:27 PM
I think the only reason there is anything of a middle class left in California is that underwater homeowners don't want to default or take the loss.
10166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More civility from the left on: February 04, 2011, 01:36:01 PM

More leftist goodness.
10167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 04, 2011, 01:10:48 PM

The FBI had an informant inside the original NY/NJ AQ cell, but decided the 2000 bucks a month (or so) wasn't worthwhile and cut him loose. Other USG entities also had pieces of the puzzle, but no one put them together.
10168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / They need to read this forum on: February 04, 2011, 09:58:20 AM
The problem is Egypt is very brittle. Were the Muslim Brotherhood to take over, things for the Copts, as well as average Egyptians would be much worse off. Keep in mind that those who could take power in Egypt see the pyramids and other artifacts there as something they'd like to destroy, just as the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas in Bamiyan. And, like the talibs, the destruction of artifacts would be the least of the horrible things done by them.

Egypt used to be very westernized, now salafism is taking deep root in the population. This does not bode well for the future. Classic Egyptian things, like belly dancing are going away because they are "unislamic".

Almost like I knew what I was talking about.
10169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Arab revolution and Western decline on: February 04, 2011, 08:06:11 AM

The Arab revolution and Western decline

By Ari Shavit

Two huge processes are happening right before our eyes. One is the Arab liberation revolution. After half a century during which tyrants have ruled the Arab world, their control is weakening. After 40 years of decaying stability, the rot is eating into the stability. The Arab masses will no longer accept what they used to accept. The Arab elites will no longer remain silent.

Processes that have been roiling beneath the surface for about a decade are suddenly bursting out in an intifada of freedom. Modernization, globalization, telecommunications and Islamization have created a critical mass that cannot be stopped. The example of democratic Iraq is awakening others, and Al Jazeera's subversive broadcasts are fanning the flames. And so the Tunisian bastille fell, the Cairo bastille is falling and other Arab bastilles will fall.

The scenes are similar to the Palestinian intifada of 1987, but the collapse recalls the Soviet collapse in Eastern Europe of 1989. No one knows where the intifada will lead. No one knows whether it will bring democracy, theocracy or a new kind of democracy. But things will never again be the same.

The old order in the Middle East is crumbling. Just as the officers' revolution in the 1950s brought down the Arab monarchism that had relied on the colonial powers, the 2011 revolution in the square is bringing down the Arab tyrants who were dependent on the United States.

The second process is the acceleration of the decline of the West. For some 60 years the West gave the world imperfect but stable order. It built a kind of post-imperial empire that promised relative quiet and maximum peace. The rise of China, India, Brazil and Russia, like the economic crisis in the United States, has made it clear that the empire is beginning to fade.

And yet, the West has maintained a sort of international hegemony. Just as no replacement has been found for the dollar, none has been found for North Atlantic leadership. But Western countries' poor handling of the Middle East proves they are no longer leaders. Right before our eyes the superpowers are turning into palaver powers.

There are no excuses for the contradictions. How can it be that Bush's America understood the problem of repression in the Arab world, but Obama's America ignored it until last week? How can it be that in May 2009, Hosni Mubarak was an esteemed president whom Barack Obama respected, and in January 2011, Mubarak is a dictator whom even Obama is casting aside? How can it be that in June 2009, Obama didn't support the masses who came out against the zealot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while now he stands by the masses who are coming out against the moderate Mubarak?

**Read it all
10170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 300% ? on: February 03, 2011, 09:23:43 PM

Coming Soon: A 300-Percent Increase in Foreclosures
10171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cloward-Piven, on a global scale on: February 03, 2011, 05:01:22 PM

10172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 03, 2011, 04:13:36 PM
Hey, if you step up to the plate and swing, you aren't always going to connect.   undecided

I'm still not seeing a roaring economy, and I see a lot of unresolved structural problems, but no one at CNBC wants to ask me my take on the economy.
10173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The new civility on: February 03, 2011, 12:36:42 PM

I'm sure the MSM will be all over this.
10174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hit his tip jar, if you like this on: February 03, 2011, 07:46:08 AM

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Groups Whose Quotes Used By Soros Group to Attack Glenn Beck, Repudiate Anti-Beck Effort

Carried in the January 27th edition of the Wall Street Journal was an advertisement/open letter from four-hundred Rabbis organized by a socialist Jewish organization called Jewish Funds for Justice (JFJ), with strong ties to financier George Soros (the full ad is embedded at the bottom of this page). As discussed the day the ad came out, the rabbis efforts brought shame upon themselves, their holy profession and the entire Jewish people, and even worse have committed a Chillul Hashem (desecration of God's name). A conversation with one of the signers, Rabbi Steven Wernick , the day after my initial post raised more questions (which as of this moment the Rabbi still hasn't answered).

That however, is the not the end of the story.  Over the past few days, three of the groups used to corroborate the false charges raised by Jewish Funds For Justice have repudiated the letter arraigned by the George Soros proxy. All three weren't contacted prior to the use of their names, disagreed with the thrust of the letter and were not happy that they were included. A fourth came out and said the letter was too one sided.  Not surprisingly  the only group/person not raising some objection to the letter has an association with George Soros.

The text of letter/advertisement in the Wall Street Journal offers quotations from outside sources as support of their case against the Fox commentator:

    Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a child survivor of the Holocaust, described Beck's attack on George Soros as "not only offensive, but horrific, over-the-top, and out-of-line." Commentary magazine said that "Beck's denunciation of him [Soros] is marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo." Elan Steinberg, vice president of The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, called Mr. Beck's accusations "monstrous." Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, called them "beyond repugnant." And Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University, says Beck is using traditional anti-Semitic imagery.

The first one to weigh in was Jeffrey Tobin of Commentary who saw the letter as an overt attempt to silence someone with home they disagree politically:

    In the body of their ad is a quote from a COMMENTARY Web Exclusive article written by me about Beck’s willingness to raise questions about George Soros’s behavior during the Holocaust. In it I made it clear that while we consider Soros’s political stands abhorrent, his alleged activities as a 14-year-old boy during the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary ought to be out of bounds for his critics. As the Jewish Funds for Justice ad states, the piece said Beck’s attack on Soros on this point was marred by ignorance and innuendo, and I stand by that characterization....

    The difference between COMMENTARY and the rabbis who speak in the name of the Jewish Funds for Justice couldn’t be clearer. We agree that Holocaust imagery and related topics ought not to be abused for partisan political purposes, though we have to say in passing that Beck’s idiotic attack on Soros is nowhere near as great an offense as Rep. Cohen’s calling his Republican opponents Nazis on the floor of the House of Representatives. But unlike those rabbis, we do not do so only when the offenders are people we disagree with on other issues. Had these rabbis sought to denounce both right-wing and left-wing figures that have called their foes Nazis or made specious comparisons to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Goebbels, they might have done so with some credibility. But since they have invoked their status as spiritual leaders as well as the prestige of the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements solely to silence a conservative political speaker whom they dislike, they have none.

Yesterday in the Wall Street Journal there were two letters published from organizations named in the JFJ open letter:

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld Vice President American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors wrote:

    I suppose that I am to rest easy now that these rabbis and the individuals they quote in their advertisement find Glenn Beck and Roger Ailes... represent a greater threat to the welfare of the Jews than George Soros. I have no position on Mr. Beck, but I am frankly puzzled as to how he merits so great an expenditure by this group. What a waste of communal resources this represents when there are so many needy people, Holocaust survivors and others.

    This absurdity and the fact that these rabbis have never seen fit to comment on Mr. Soros's support for entities that have harmed Israel and Jewish interests (and in my view, Western interests generally), force me to speak out. [my emphasis]

    Elan Steinberg is quoted in the advertisement in his capacity as vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors. He has no more right than I do to speak in the name of the survivors on this topic. I know this because I, too, am vice president of the American Gathering. I also know that in my 30 years of participation in large-scale annual commemorations I have yet to meet a survivor who expressed support for Mr. Soros.

Most surprising was the second letter which was from Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, who has often used his organization as an arm of the progressive movement. Foxman defended Beck and Fox News as friends of Israel :

    I was surprised to see my name and statements attributed to me used in the advertisement from Jewish Funds for Justice calling on Rupert Murdoch to "sanction" Glenn Beck for his repeated use of Holocaust and Nazi images on his Fox News program.

    I want to make it clear, for the record, that I do not support this misguided campaign against Fox News, even though my name was used.

    While we have said many times that Nazi comparisons are offensive and inappropriate when used for political attacks, in my view it is wrongheaded to single out only Fox News on this issue, when both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, can share equal guilt in making trivializing comparisons to the Holocaust.

    Furthermore, the open letter signed by hundreds of rabbis is a trivialization in itself—bizarrely timed for release on United Nations's Holocaust Remembrance Day. At a time when Holocaust denial is rampant in much of the Arab world, where anti-Semitism remains a serious concern, and where the Iranian leader has openly declared his desire to "wipe Israel off the map," surely there are greater enemies and threats to the Jewish people than the pro-Israel stalwarts Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck.

A fourth person sited in the letter Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University, said that she didn't disagree with the thrust of the letter but felt it was distorted because of it was one-sided:

    I don’t disagree with the thrust of JFSJ’s ad. That said, I do worry that it is a distortion to focus solely on the conservative end of the political spectrum.

    During his term in office, President George W. Bush was frequently compared to Hitler. A 2006 New York Times ad from a group called the World Can’t Wait, signed by a number of prominent leftists (as well as five Democratic members of Congress), cited a litany of complaints about the Bush administration’s policies and concluded: “People look at all this and think of Hitler — and rightly so.” British playwright and Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter, who signed onto the ad, went to so far as to call the Bush administration “more dangerous than Nazi Germany.” (Emphasis added.)

    Similarly, references to Israelis as “Nazis” and claims that Israel is committing genocide abound in left-wing discourse. Because of their ubiquity, we have almost become inured to the horror of such comparisons.

    One need not minimize the danger of Beck’s rhetoric in order to wonder why JFSJ — which has significant credibility among progressives — has not mounted an equally passionate critique of misbegotten analogies on the left. Is this about principle, or is it about politics? Is this about anti-Semitism, or about Rupert Murdoch? (Of course, there are also some conservatives who have no trouble spotting anti-Semitic innuendo except when it is appearing on Fox.)

Rev. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance has not commented on the JFJ effort, perhaps because he is so busy. After all the Reverend is also on the Faith Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations an organization tied into George Soros on many levels (Soros is a former board member, his Corporation is a sponsor and one of the council's resident experts, Morton Halprin is also an adviser to Soros' Open Society Foundation).


Despite its best attempts to attack Fox News' Glenn Beck, the vast majority people/organizations cited by the Jewish Funds for Justice as corroboration for their slander have labeled their open letter for what it is, a hypocritical effort on their part and by the 400 rabbis, to exploit the Holocaust for political purposes. I said it before and I will say it again, each and every one of those Rabbis should feel ashamed for their attempt to libel Glenn Beck and Fox News.
10175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: February 03, 2011, 07:37:01 AM
Global warming. Is there anything it can't do?
10176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 03, 2011, 07:36:07 AM
"How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Muslim Brotherhood."

10177  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: February 03, 2011, 01:34:10 AM
Thanks SG!

Unfortunately, I'll still forget and put year of the tiger on my checks for months now..... 

10178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Busting the Soros-Rabbis on: February 02, 2011, 05:40:16 PM

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011
More objections to selective outrage about the Holocaust
By Jennifer Rubin

Last week I took to task the large group of rabbis who, after having not voiced similar objections to the equally egregious behavior of liberals, chose to go after Glenn Beck for his use of Holocaust language.

Yesterday, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (with whom I don't always see eye to eye) took issue with the rabbis' ad in the Wall Street Journal (where the ad originally ran). In a letter to the editor Foxman wrote:

    I was surprised to see my name and statements attributed to me used in the advertisement from Jewish Funds for Justice calling on Rupert Murdoch to "sanction" Glenn Beck for his repeated use of Holocaust and Nazi images on his Fox News program.

    I want to make it clear, for the record, that I do not support this misguided campaign against Fox News, even though my name was used.

    While we have said many times that Nazi comparisons are offensive and inappropriate when used for political attacks, in my view it is wrongheaded to single out only Fox News on this issue, when both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, can share equal guilt in making trivializing comparisons to the Holocaust.

    Furthermore, the open letter signed by hundreds of rabbis is a trivialization in itself--bizarrely timed for release on United Nations's Holocaust Remembrance Day. At a time when Holocaust denial is rampant in much of the Arab world, where anti-Semitism remains a serious concern, and where the Iranian leader has openly declared his desire to "wipe Israel off the map," surely there are greater enemies and threats to the Jewish people than the pro-Israel stalwarts Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck.

Now, Foxman's words were not taken out of context. But unlike the left-wing rabbis of the Jewish Funds for Justice, Foxman has blasted Keith Olbermann, Time magazine, Steve Cohen,, Huffington Post and other left-leaning outlets and figures.

In another letter to the editor, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, wrote, in part:

    I have no position on Mr. Beck, but I am frankly puzzled as to how he merits so great an expenditure by this group. What a waste of communal resources this represents when there are so many needy people, Holocaust survivors and others. Herein lies the mercy of religious figures--not in politics.

    This absurdity and the fact that these rabbis have never seen fit to comment on Mr. Soros's support for entities that have harmed Israel and Jewish interests (and in my view, Western interests generally), force me to speak out.

    Elan Steinberg is quoted in the advertisement in his capacity as vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors. He has no more right than I do to speak in the name of the survivors on this topic. I know this because I, too, am vice president of the American Gathering. I also know that in my 30 years of participation in large-scale annual commemorations I have yet to meet a survivor who expressed support for Mr. Soros.

**Read it all.
10179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I guess I have to turn in my neocon badge..... on: February 02, 2011, 02:38:18 PM

The Neocons Split with Israel Over Egypt

Feb 2 2011, 8:37 AM ET By Jeffrey Goldberg
Well, this is interesting. The neoconservative (or liberal interventionist) wing of American Jewish political thought (not that all neocons are Jewish, God forbid anyone should think that!) is cheering on the revolution in Egypt, while the Israeli government, and much of Israel's pundit class, is seeing the apocalypse in Mubarak's apparent downfall. Writing in The Times today, Yossi Klein Halevi captures the despairing mood of the Israeli policy elite:

    "(T)he grim assumption is that it is just a matter of time before the only real opposition group in Egypt, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, takes power. Israelis fear that Egypt will go the way of Iran or Turkey, with Islamists gaining control through violence or gradual co-optation.

    Either result would be the end of Israel's most important relationship in the Arab world. The Muslim Brotherhood has long stated its opposition to peace with Israel and has pledged to revoke the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty if it comes into power. Given the strengthening of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas's control of Gaza and the unraveling of the Turkish-Israeli alliance, an Islamist Egypt could produce the ultimate Israeli nightmare: living in a country surrounded by Iran's allies or proxies.

But the neoconservatives, who have made democracy promotion in the Middle East an overarching goal, are scratching their heads at what they see as Israeli shortsightedness. I asked Elliott Abrams, formerly of the Bush Administration National Security Council, and now at the Council on Foreign Relations, what he makes of the Israeli longing for Mubarak. He was scathing in his response:
10180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Superior firepower on: February 02, 2011, 01:34:06 PM

One of the many reasons I love this country!
10181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 02, 2011, 11:06:00 AM

Shanghai, China (CNN) -- It all started with the lure of the glitz, the glamour and the dream of being China's next pop star. But, as with many reality shows, Lou Jing's instant fame came with unanticipated consequences.

Lou Jing was born 20 years ago in Shanghai to a Chinese mother and an African-American father. According to her mother, who asked not to be identified in this report, she met Lou's father while she was still in college. He left China before their daughter was born.

Growing up with a single mom in central Shanghai, Lou Jing said she had good friends and lived a normal life. "When I was young, I didn't feel any different," she said.

But as soon as she stepped into the national spotlight on a Chinese reality television show called "Go! Oriental Angel," Lou Jing became a national sensation -- not necessarily because of her talent, but how she looked.

"After the contest started, I often got more attention than the other girls. It made me feel strange," Lou said.

The reality show hosts fondly called her "chocolate girl" and "black pearl." The Chinese media fixated on her skin color. Netizens flooded Web sites with comments saying she "never should have been born" and telling her to "get out of China."

Lou Jing's background became fodder for national gossip, sparking a vitriolic debate about race across a country that, in many respects, can be quite homogenous. There are 56 different recognized ethnic groups in China, but more than 90 percent of the population is Han Chinese. So people who look different stand out.

"We lived in a small circle before," said her mother. "But after Lou was seen nationwide, some Chinese people couldn't accept her."

It has been a shocking ordeal for someone who says she always considered herself just like every other Chinese girl.

"Sometimes people on the street would ask me, 'Why do you speak Chinese so well?' I'd just say, 'Because I'm Chinese!'" Lou said.

But, as any curious child would, Lou Jing certainly thought about why she looked different. In a clip reel aired on the show, her classmates say they tried to protect her from feeling out of place.

"She used to wonder why she had black skin," said one classmate. "We thought about this question together and decided to tell her it's because she likes dark chocolate. So her skin turned darker gradually."

Another classmate weighed in, "We said it's because she used to drink too much soy sauce."

Even Lou Jing's maternal grandmother admitted in a taped interview, "I told Lou Jing she was black because her mom was not very well and had to take Chinese medicine."
10182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 02, 2011, 10:58:37 AM

Koreans Reassess Concept of Blood Purity

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

A heated debate is mounting over the term ``blood purity'' as the United Nations advised the Korean government to refrain from using the term.

A particularly nasty strain of racist propaganda has enabled North Korea's dictatorship to maintain power, according to this fascinating cultural survey. An American-born, South Korea-based instructor of North Korean literature, Myers (A Reader's Manifesto) combines his cultural and linguistic fluency with sharp analysis to throw light on one of the world's most closed-off cultures. Examining North Korean books, news broadcasts, and films, Myers finds that the country's supremacist propaganda can be traced to imperial Japan, which sought to convince Koreans that they were part of the "world's purest race." Myers acidly discredits Western interpretations of North Korea as "hard-line communist" or "Confucian," noting the prevalence of maternal rather than paternal imagery and the societal scorn for the former Soviet bloc. Esoteric cultural markers-e.g., the heavy use of flashbacks in film and literature-are mined for compelling clues to the North Korean sensibility. Myers' greatest feat is his explanation of how the regime has maintained power despite its failures in almost every area of governance-how it has convinced average North Korean citizens that shipments of U.S. food aid, for example, are actually reparations for past "Yankee" crimes. A sharp and smart introduction to one of the world's most secretive societies.
10183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 02, 2011, 10:36:51 AM
As far as JDN's post, most every country is founded on a shared race, ethnicity, religion. The US was founded on a set of ideas.

On the topic of race, east asians tend to make a Klansman from the deep south look liberal. Japan is no exception.
10184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 02, 2011, 10:33:11 AM
"I understand that the world can be a dark, dangerous place sometimes and that sometimes we need to deal with bad people, but this brings with it its own costs."

We also have opportunities when we ally with less than free nations. Aside from rebuilding Germany and Japan after WWII, we took a brutal, oppressive South Korea and a Taiwan that had a thuggish strongman running it and grew them into free nations with civil liberties. It took time, but it happened. If we had shunned them, I doubt very much this would have happened.
10185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 02, 2011, 10:25:52 AM
What I've observed from first gen immigrants is a true appreciation of how good America is. Those born here tend to be complacent about our freedoms and standard of living.
10186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 02, 2011, 10:23:15 AM

The anti-semitism slur against Glenn Beck is the same as the racist slur against the Tea Party. Those that make it can't debate the points, so they try to defame their political opponents.
10187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 02, 2011, 10:20:10 AM

Well, if we only deal with decent upstanding countries, then we better get out of the UN!

Say, that's not a bad idea.....   wink
10188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama’s Brotherhood Moment on: February 02, 2011, 09:51:12 AM
Obama’s Brotherhood Moment

Posted By Robert Spencer On February 2, 2011 @ 12:45 am

Game over: Barack Obama has endorsed a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new, post-Mubarak government for Egypt.

This should come as no surprise. Obama has behaved consistently all along, from his refusal to back the protesters in Iran, who were demonstrating against an Islamic Republic, to his backing of these protesters in Egypt, to whom he has just given a green light to establish a government that, given numerous historical precedents, will likely be the precursor to an Islamic Republic.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that a post-Mubarak Egyptian ruling group “has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.”

Robert Malley, an Obama adviser and Mideast negotiator for Bill Clinton, explained that Obama’s expression of willingness to see the Brotherhood as part of a ruling coalition in Egypt was a “pretty clear sign that the U.S. isn’t going to advocate a narrow form of pluralism, but a broad one.”

In The Post-American Presidency, Pamela Geller and I profile Robert Malley, Samantha Power, and other fierce foes of Israel in the Obama Administration. In light of the information we reveal in the book, the Administration’s stance toward the Muslim Brotherhood comes as no surprise. But the ideology and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood will come as a surprise to most Americans, especially now that the mainstream media is retailing numerous soothing falsehoods about the group. Thus they warrant a closer look.

Contrary to claims that it is a moderate organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually the prototypical Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia group of the modern age. Founded by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood emerged as a response to colonialism and Western influence in the Islamic world. Al-Banna wrote that “a wave of dissolution which undermined all firm beliefs was engulfing Egypt in the name of intellectual emancipation. This trend attacked the morals, deeds and virtues under the pretext of personal freedom. Nothing could stand against this powerful and tyrannical stream of disbelief and permissiveness that was sweeping our country.” His remedy? Restoration of Islamic law as the ruling principle of governance.

Al-Banna consequently decried Kemal Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate in secular Turkey, which he complained separated “the state from religion in a country which was until recently the site of the Commander of the Faithful.” Al-Banna characterized it as just part of a larger “Western invasion which was armed and equipped with all [the] destructive influences of money, wealth, prestige, ostentation, power and means of propaganda.”[1]

Al-Banna’s Brotherhood had a deeply spiritual character from its beginning, but it didn’t combat the “Western invasion” with just words and prayers. In a 1928 article al-Banna decried the complacency of the Egyptian elite: “What catastrophe has befallen the souls of the reformers and the spirit of the leaders?…What calamity has made them prefer this life to the thereafter [sic]? What has made them…consider the way of struggle [sabil al-jihad] too rough and difficult?”[2] When the Brotherhood was criticized for being a political group in the guise of a religious one, al-Banna met the challenge head-on:

We summon you to Islam, the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam, and if this smacks of “politics” in your eyes, then it is our policy. And if the one summoning you to these principles is a “politician,” then we are the most respectable of men, God be praised, in politics . . . Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world. . . . We believe that Islam is an all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order.[3]

Al-Banna wrote in 1934 that “it is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world: God is greatest [Allahu akbar]! This is not parochialism, nor is it racial arrogance or usurpation of land.”[4]

In the same article al-Banna insisted that “every piece of land where the banner of Islam has been hoisted is the fatherland of the Muslims” — hence the impossibility of accommodation with Israel, against which the Brotherhood and its offshoots still struggle. But the problem was not just Israel, which after all did not yet exist when the Brotherhood was founded. According to Brynjar Lia, the historian of the Muslim Brotherhood movement: “Quoting the Qur’anic verse ‘And fight them till sedition is no more, and the faith is God’s’ [Sura 2:193], the Muslim Brothers urged their fellow Muslims to restore the bygone greatness of Islam and to re-establish an Islamic empire. Sometimes they even called for the restoration of ‘former Islamic colonies’ in Andalus (Spain), southern Italy, Sicily, the Balkans and the Mediterranean islands.”[5]

Such a call might seem laughable except that the Brotherhood also had weapons and a military wing. Scholar Martin Kramer notes that the Brotherhood had “a double identity. On one level, they operated openly, as a membership organization of social and political awakening. Banna preached moral revival, and the Muslim Brethren engaged in good works. On another level, however, the Muslim Brethren created a ‘secret apparatus’ that acquired weapons and trained adepts in their use. Some of its guns were deployed against the Zionists in Palestine in 1948, but the Muslim Brethren also resorted to violence in Egypt. They began to enforce their own moral teachings by intimidation, and they initiated attacks against Egypt’s Jews. They assassinated judges and struck down a prime minister in 1949. Banna himself was assassinated two months later, probably in revenge.”[6]

The Brotherhood was no gathering of marginalized kooks. It grew in Egypt from 150 branches in 1936 to as many as 1,500 by 1944. In 1939 al-Banna referred to “100,000 pious youths from the Muslim Brothers from all parts of Egypt,” and although Lia believes he was exaggerating at that point, by 1944 membership was estimated as between 100,000 and 500,000.[7] By 1937 it had expanded beyond Egypt, setting up “several branches in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco, and one in each of Bahrain, Hadramawt, Hyderabad, Djibouti and,” Lia adds matter-of-factly, “Paris.”[8] These many thousands, dispersed around the world, heard al-Banna’s call to “prepare for jihad and be lovers of death.”[9]

The Brotherhood’s ability to attract Muslims in all these disparate societies indicates the power of its religious appeal. It wasn’t offering Muslims a new version of Islam, but a deeply traditional one. The call to restore the purity and vitality of Islam has always struck a chord among Muslims; and the Islam the Brotherhood preached was the traditional one of a total Islamic society, one that could not abide accommodation—let colonial subjugation—to the West. Al-Banna told his followers: “Islam is faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur’an and a sword.”[10]

Al-Banna is a revered figure in the Muslim world today, and by no means only among radicals. His grandson Tariq Ramadan, the well-known European Muslim moderate, praises his grandfather for his “light-giving faith, a deep spirituality, [and] personal discipline.”[11] And many of al-Banna’s writings are still in print and circulate widely.

The Brotherhood has never rejected or renounced al-Banna’s vision or program. And now it is closer to implementing it in its homeland than it ever has been before – no little thanks to Barack Obama.

[1] Brynjar Lia, The Society of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt, Ithaca Press, 1998. P. 28.

[2] Lia, p. 33.

[3] Lia, pp. 68-9, 75-6.

[4] Lia, p. 79.

[5] Lia, p. 80.

[6] Martin Kramer, “Fundamentalist Islam at Large: The Drive for Power,” Middle East Quarterly, June 1996.

[7] Lia, pp. 153-4.

[8] Lia, p. 155.

[9] Jonathan Raban, “Truly, madly,deeply devout,” The Guardian, March 2, 2002.

[10] Shaker El-sayed, “Hassan al-Banna: The leader and the Movement,” Muslim American Society,

[11] Tariq Ramadan, “Foreword,” in Hassan al-Banna, Al-Ma’thurat, Awakening Publications, 2001. Reprinted at

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

URL to article:
10189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 02, 2011, 09:26:41 AM
So, if I was to discuss the history of organized crime in the US and I mentioned Meyer Lansky, is that anti-semetic?

So then how is Glenn Beck's discussion of various leftists, some of whom are supposed to be Jewish, anti-semetic? Anti-semites hate Israel, so how exactly do the accusers explain this?
10190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: February 02, 2011, 09:09:57 AM

You posting this because you find it interesting or because you agree?
10191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From 2005 on: February 02, 2011, 08:50:11 AM

According to the report, between 1990 and 2003 Egypt used its two research reactors at Inshas in the Nile Delta to irradiate “small amounts of natural uranium,” conducting a total of 16 experiments. 

According to the IAEA, none of the experiments fully succeeded; but in each case, they should have been reported to the agency under terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act.

Finally, Egypt had to admit that it had not fully disclosed the extent of its nuclear facilities.

It failed to declare the pilot plant used for the plutonium and uranium-separation experiments and did not provide design information for a new facility under construction, also at Inshas.

This facility could be used for more extensive experiments, the IAEA believed, and noted that Cairo should have notified the IAEA of its decision eight years ago.

Chided, but not accused of clandestine action
The IAEA declared the lapses a “matter of concern” and promised to pursue verification.

“The agency’s verification of the correctness and completeness of Egypt’s declarations is ongoing, pending further results of environmental and destructive sampling analyses and the agency’s analysis of the additional information provided by Egypt,” the report said.

Still the IAEA did not accuse Egypt of having a clandestine nuclear weapons program and the Egyptian government, in a statement issued in response, tried to downplay the concern, claiming “differing interpretations” of Egypt’s safeguards obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty had led to the problems.

And Cairo continued to emphasize that its “nuclear activities are strictly for peaceful purposes.”

Albright and others are not so certain.

Cause for concern?
“Egypt has been playing games and it just doesn’t fly that they didn’t know what they had to report. They knew, but didn’t want to report it, and the elimination of this doesn’t eliminate the concern,” Albright said. “Egypt is developing very slowly a capability if they decide to go nuclear.”

William M. Arkin, an NBC News analyst, said that Egypt’s revelations show that “it had gone a lot farther than Iran” in terms of experimentation with separation of plutonium, adding that if the United States had discovered such experiments in Iran, it would no doubt be raising the stakes in the current standoff with Tehran.

One reason Arkin and others cite for the seeming imbalance in criticism for the two countries’ nuclear advances is the U.S.-Egypt relationship.

The U.S. has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since the Camp David peace accords in 1979, as well as an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance.

By most estimates, Egypt has received more than $50 billion in U.S. aid since 1975 and has proven one of the most reliable U.S. allies in the war on terror.

In fact, Albright, Arkin and National Defense University researcher Judith Yaphe believe that there is a connection between Iran’s nuclear ambitions and those of Egypt.

Efforts to counter Iranian program
Yaphe, who has written extensively on the effect an Iranian nuclear weapon would have on other countries in the Middle East, says part of the issue is pride.

“How can you, as an Egyptian, sit by and let Iran go past you in this area? For Egyptian scientists, it’s a loss of face,” Yaphe said. “Egyptians look very hard at what Iran has done. Iran has the money, but you don’t need a lot of money if you already have the basic infrastructure.”

Albright agreed that Iran is driving Egyptian plans, but suggests it’s more about strategy than pride. “Now, they have to be worried about Iran, as well as Israel.”

A former senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that it may not just be Iran and Israel that worry Egyptian defense officials.

“They now know that Libya, with whom they have had volatile relations the past two decades, had a nuclear program under way,” the official said, noting Libya’s admissions that it had acquired nuclear weapons development technology from Pakistan in the 1990’s.
10192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Headlines from the future..... on: February 02, 2011, 08:35:04 AM
A headline from the future with President Obama: "The Sunni-Shia Nuclear Arms Race Escalates".

I wonder how much gas will be then....

America is not short of allies in its quest to thwart Iran, though some are clearly more enthusiastic than the Obama administration for a definitive solution to Iran's nuclear designs. In one cable, a US diplomat noted how Saudi foreign affairs bureaucrats were moderate in their views on Iran, "but diverge significantly from the more bellicose advice we have gotten from senior Saudi royals".

In a conversation with a US diplomat, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain "argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their [Iran's] nuclear programme, by whatever means necessary. That programme must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it." Zeid Rifai, then president of the Jordanian senate, told a senior US official: "Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won't matter."

In talks with US officials, Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed favoured action against Iran, sooner rather than later. "I believe this guy is going to take us to war ... It's a matter of time. Personally, I cannot risk it with a guy like [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. He is young and aggressive."

In another exchange , a senior Saudi official warned that Gulf states may develop nuclear weapons of their own, or permit them to be based in their countries to deter the perceived Iranian threat.

No US ally is keener on military action than Israel, and officials there have repeatedly warned that time is running out. "If the Iranians continue to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more difficult to target and damage them," the US embassy reported Israeli defence officials as saying in November 2009.

There are differing views within Israel. But the US embassy reported: "The IDF [Israeli Defence Force], however, strikes us as more inclined than ever to look toward a military strike, whether launched by Israel or by us, as the only way to destroy or even delay Iran's plans." Preparations for a strike would likely go undetected by Israel's allies or its enemies.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told US officials in May last yearthat he and the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, agreed that a nuclear Iran would lead others in the region to develop nuclear weapons, resulting in "the biggest threat to non-proliferation efforts since the Cuban missile crisis".

The cables also expose frank, even rude, remarks about Iranian leaders, their trustworthiness and tactics at international meetings. Abdullah told another US diplomat: "The bottom line is that they cannot be trusted." Mubarak told a US congressman: "Iran is always stirring trouble." Others are learning from what they describe as Iranian deception. "They lie to us, and we lie to them," said Qatar's prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim Jaber al-Thani.

WikiLeaks: tension in the Middle East and Asia has 'direct potential' to lead to nuclear war
Tension in the Middle East and Asia has given rise to an escalating atomic arms and missiles race which has “the direct potential to lead to nuclear war,” leaked diplomatic documents disclose.
10193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: February 01, 2011, 08:23:19 PM

Wikileaks doc: Al Qaeda on the brink of a dirty bomb, feds seeking missing 9/11 suspects

posted at 9:12 pm on February 1, 2011 by Allahpundit

Drudge is giving this banner treatment but I’m not sure why. Of course Al Qaeda is on the brink of a dirty bomb. Their comrades-in-arms in the Taliban are the jihadist proxy of one of the world’s biggest nuclear proliferators, aren’t they? If the filthbags in Pakistani intelligence want Al Qaeda to have nuclear material, they’ll find a way to smuggle some out of the state supply, I’m sure. In fact, according to a new piece in the NYT, Pakistan’s practically swimming in fissile material these days. Never mind the dirty bombs; how long before AQ or Lashkar e-Taiba or some other arm of Pakistan’s terror apparatus has itself a fully-functioning atomic weapon?

    New American intelligence assessments have concluded that Pakistan has steadily expanded its nuclear arsenal since President Obama came to office, and that it is building the capability to surge ahead in the production of nuclear-weapons material, putting it on a path to overtake Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapons power…

    “We’ve seen a consistent, constant buildup in their inventory, but it hasn’t been a sudden rapid rise,” a senior American military official said. “We’re very, very well aware of what they’re doing.”…

    But the bigger worry is the production of nuclear materials. Based on the latest estimates of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, an outside group that estimates worldwide nuclear production, experts say Pakistan has now produced enough material for 40 to 100 additional weapons, including a new class of plutonium bombs. If those estimates are correct — and some government officials regard them as high — it would put Pakistan on a par with long-established nuclear powers…

    “The biggest concern of major production, to my mind, is theft from the places where the material is being handled in bulk — the plants that produce it, convert it to metal, fabricate it into bomb parts, and so on,” said Matthew Bunn, a Harvard scholar who compiles an annual report called “Securing the Bomb” for the group Nuclear Threat Initiative. “All but one of the real thefts” of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, he said, “were insider thefts from bulk-handling facilities — that’s where you can squirrel a little bit away without the loss being detected.”

Read the story being touted by Drudge and you’ll see that most of the Wikileaks docs come from 2009, which is already a different world from what’s happening in Pakistan today. Why they’re ramping up nuke production now, especially with their economy teetering, remains obscure, but according to one foreign analyst it’s simply to boast some sort of numerical advantage over their longtime nemesis India. Or maybe it’s a form of insurance against state collapse: The west will never let Pakistan crumble since it knows the consequences of letting influential lunatics in the government make off with the nuclear crown jewels. It’s precisely because Al Qaeda is perpetually on the brink of having a dirty bomb or something worse that we’re forced to be conciliatory with these cretins at all.

The other Wikileaks story being passed around tonight is more interesting and more inscrutable. Via the Telegraph, apparently there was a team of verrrry suspicious men from Qatar making some verrrry suspicious moves around the country right before 9/11. Among the remarkable coincidences: Possible surveillance of the World Trade Center shortly before the attack, “pilot-type uniforms” seen in their room by hotel housekeepers, and the fact that they were scheduled to fly from L.A. to D.C. on September 10 aboard the very same plane that ended up being steered into the Pentagon the next morning. (They ended up flying to London instead.) I’ve read the piece twice and still can’t decipher what the plot might have been. Were they going to try to use the uniforms to get past airport security somehow? No other 9/11 cell used that M.O. Were they going to plant weapons on the plane for the hijackers in D.C. to use the next morning? Again, there’s no evidence that any other cell had help like that. Maybe they were prepared to pull a hijacking of their own? But in that case, why’d they bug out to London instead of following through? All theories welcome.
10194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From 2007 on: February 01, 2011, 01:57:32 PM

US Attorneys slap down Bloomberg
Posted by David Hardy · 8 February 2007 03:39 PM

VCDL has the report.The Exec Office of US Attorneys informs the mayor that they will not prosecute any of the dealers he targeted, and warns that his engaging in "stings" without law enforcement authorization could jeopardize real operations and expose him and the city to liability.

The latter is pretty apparent. The dealers would have the defense that they didn't realize that the gun was going to the person who didn't sign the forms, but the buyers have no such defense -- they knew exactly that that was the plan. So there's no doubt that the buyers broke the Gun Control Act, and that those who set them to it were liable as aiders and abettors, not to mention on a conspiracy theory. I'd assume that Bloomberg and company (1) figured it was worth it for the publicity and (2) figured that the laws don't apply to the rich and powerful. They may just have been right on both.
10195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Meet the new boss..... on: February 01, 2011, 12:04:45 PM
Far worse than the old boss.....,0,7079100.story?track=rss

Reporting from Washington —
The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.

The organization must reject violence and recognize democratic goals if the U.S. is to be comfortable with it taking part in the government, the White House said. But by even setting conditions for the involvement of such nonsecular groups, the administration took a surprise step in the midst of the crisis that has enveloped Egypt for the last week.
10196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Liberals and the Streets of Cairo on: February 01, 2011, 11:56:12 AM

American Liberals and the Streets of Cairo

      Leon Wieseltier

The contours and consequences of the uprising in Egypt—which, after decades in which Hosni Mubarak destroyed the civil society of his country and stifled the most elementary aspirations of his people, was perfectly inevitable—are still unclear. About the justice of the protestors’ anger there can be no doubt. But the politics of the revolt are murky. Its early stages have not been the work of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is hard to believe that the Islamist organization will not be tempted to play the Bolshevik role in this revolution: it has the ideology and the organization with which to seize control of the situation, and it is the regime’s most formidable political adversary. The army may decide, with the government seriously wounded and robbed of any semblance of legitimacy, to do more than bring order to the streets. Mubarak, in a characteristic act of a failing dictator, has fired his cabinet, as if the ire of the Egyptian people was directed at his ministers: a pathetic move that brings to mind the memory of the Shah of Iran’s eleventh-hour reshuffle of his doomed government. We know this script. The political popularity, and political authority, of Muhammed ElBaradei is also hard to measure.

What is not unclear, however, is that the Obama administration, and American liberals more generally, have been caught intellectually unprepared for this crisis. The administration’s predicament, it must be said, is strategically complicated: since Mubarak may fall, it cannot afford to alienate the protestors, but since the protestors may fail, it cannot afford to alienate Mubarak. Our officials have been improvising, not altogether brilliantly. Joe Biden fatuously declared that “I would not refer to [Mubarak] as a dictator.” Robert Gibbs said that “this is not about taking sides.” Hillary Clinton, who used to speak warmly of Mubarak as “family,” has called for “restraint” and “reform” and “dialogue,” and warned that a crackdown could affect American aid to Egypt—as if anything but a crackdown is to be expected from Mubarak. And Barack Obama is also trying to finesse things, urging Mubarak to transform “a moment of volatility” into “a moment of promise”—the eloquence is irritating: there are times when the power of language is not the power that is needed—and proclaiming that “the United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people.”

Continue? There is nothing wrong with crisis management in a crisis, but the problem that the Obama administration now confronts is precisely that it has not been a cornerstone of American policy toward Egypt to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people. It has preferred cronyism with the regime occasionally punctuated by some stirring remarks. What we are witnessing, in the confusion and the dread of the administration, are the consequences of its demotion of democratization as one of the central purposes of American foreign policy, particularly toward the Muslim world. There were two reasons for the new liberal diffidence about human rights. The first was the Bush doctrine, the second was the Obama doctrine. The wholesale repudiation of Bush’s foreign policy included the rejection of anything resembling his “freedom agenda,” which looked mainly like an excuse for war. But whatever one’s views of the Iraq war, it really does not seem too much to ask of American liberals that they think a little less crudely about democratization—not only about its moral significance but also about its strategic significance. One of the early lessons of the rebellion against Mubarak is that American support for democratic dissidents is indeed a strategic matter, and that the absence of such American support can lead to a strategic disaster. Such are the wages of realism. It is a common error that prudence is thought about the short-term; the proper temporal horizon for prudential thinking is distant and long. Realism does not equip one for an adequate appreciation of the historical force of the democratic longing. In this sense, realism is singularly unrealistic. It seems smart only as long as the dictators remain undisturbed by their people, and then suddenly it seems incredibly stupid.

Obama replaced the freedom agenda with an acceptance agenda. His foreign policy has been conducted in a vigorously multicultural spirit. He rightly sensed that an emphasis upon democratization was a critical emphasis—a castigation of the existing dispensations in countries ruled by autocracies and authoritarianisms, and he did not come to castigate. He came in friendship, to “restore America’s standing.” He sought to do so with an embrace of differences, an affirmation of religions, a celebration of civilizations. As a matter of principle, such assertions of respect are right and good. But what if the positive tone misses the point—not about the dignity of other peoples, but about their actual circumstances? Of what use is happy talk to unhappy people? Do societies desperately in need of secularization and its blandishments really need the American president to cite their Scripture to them? In accordance with his warm new priorities, democracy was the fourth of Obama’s five themes is his speech in Cairo in 2009, the one called “A New Beginning.” When he finally got around to it, he introduced it this way: “I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other.” Or: the United States will no longer bother you about how you are living. He then proceeded to a fine little sermon about the virtues of government “through consent, not coercion,” but said nothing about the political conditions in Egypt. The Cairo speech did not discomfit the Mubarak regime. I imagine that many of Obama’s listeners in Cairo that day are on the streets of Cairo today, and some of them attacked the American Embassy.
10197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 01, 2011, 11:42:19 AM
"I know that this thread is now going to be full of indignant fulmination against Israel."

It is?
10198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Opposition And Army Plan Mubarak's Demise on: February 01, 2011, 11:25:21 AM

Opposition And Army Plan Mubarak's Demise

1:17pm UK, Tuesday February 01, 2011

Dominic Waghorn, in Cairo
The Muslim Brotherhood has told Sky News it is in talks with other opposition groups and the army about the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.
10199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Soros' Media Matters blames the JEWS on: February 01, 2011, 11:22:36 AM

Monday, January 31, 2011
Media Matters Blames The Egyptian Crisis on Those Foreign Policy-Controlling, Media-Owning JEWS

The George Soros funded Media Matters has been waging a months-long attack on Glenn Beck trying to brand the commentator as a card carrying anti-Semite. Perhaps before making false charges against Beck, Media Matters should examine its own house of cards.

In a column published today on Media Matters political correction site, MJ Rosenberg claimed that the current Egyptian crisis was the fault of AIPAC and the "Israel Lobby." For those of you who have lived on a different planet till today, "Israel Lobby" is a polite way of saying "Jews." It is based on the old anti-Semitic canard that it is the Jews who control the United States government.

Two years ago, Media Matters who has received major funding from financier George Soros, hired Rosenberg, a Jew to chip away at the image of the Jewish State, similar to what Soros did in creating J-Street. MJ Rosenberg was perfect for this role as Jewish-Lobby conspiracy theorist, bully with a keyboard, and a self-proclaimed violator of national security.

To be honest I have only crossed paths with Rosenberg's writing twice before, in the matter of Chas Freeman President Obama's pick for NIC Chairman who was a tool for both the Saudi and Chinese government and in the matter of Steve Rosen, the former AIPAC who was wrongly charged with espionage (the charges were dropped this year). In both cases, Rosenberg’s strategy has been is to attack people personally, throw around the “N” word (neo-con), twist words around (including mine) and accuse those of us who differ from his point of view as hell-bent to run the foreign policy of the United States of America.

In today's piece, Rosenberg says the reason for the Egyptian rebellion is the failure to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian issue:

    If one needs additional proof that the "pro-Israel" lobby and the policies it dictates to US policymakers are bad for both the U.S. and Israel, look no further than what is happening in Egypt.

    The regime that the Israeli government and its U.S. lobby have depended upon to enforce the status quo is going down. It is not clear when, but it's going to be soon, much sooner than anyone ever anticipated. And you can be sure that any democratic government that takes Mubarak's place is not going to play the role of America's (let alone Israel's) enforcer in the Middle East.

    Hopefully, the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty will survive — thousands of lives on both sides have been saved by President Carter's Camp David Treaty — but there are no guarantees. Far from it.

    Of course, no one would even be worried about the peace treaty if the Israelis had agreed to implement the critical second part of the Camp David Accords.

    That was the part that would have ended the occupation. But the Israelis chose to ignore it and the lobby and the ever-faithful Congress blocked Carter's efforts to push it through.

Its interesting that when one goes through the Wikileaks documents about the Middle East not the secret cables ties the Palestinian/Israel to issues in the other countries. In both the recent unrest in Tunisia and in Egypt not once was there a mention of the Palestinians or Israelis except for mentioning the fact that both parties would prefer to see Mubarak remain in power.

Rosenberg indicates that the reason for the lack of Israeli/Palestinian peace is Israel, Congress and of course the Israel (Jewish) Lobby. I guess he forgot the fact that Yasser Arafat walked away from a favorable deal at the end of the Clinton Administration and Mahmoud Abbas walked away from a similar deal at the end of the Bush Administration.

    I am often accused of harping on the lobby's baleful influence. I plead guilty. But it's my obligation because (1) I know from personal experience — 15 years on Capitol Hill and four at AIPAC — how it operates, (2) I know how little it really cares about Israel, and (3) I am free to tell the truth about it. If I worked in the mainstream media or in the U.S. government, I wouldn't be.

How do you like that, we Jews control US foreign policy and the run the media--damn we are good. But wait there is more, according to MJ Rosenberg of Media Matters if it wasn't for the Jews, American would be best friends with Iran.

    Another area where the lobby has done so much damage is in our relations with Iran.

    AIPAC is dedicated to "crippling" sanctions and eventually war with Iran if sanctions don't bring down the regime. Later this spring, AIPAC will host its annual conference which will, as has been the case for a decade, feature mind-numbing warnings about the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Dang those Jews are so horrible. Not only do we control everything, but we made the last two Presidents push sanctions on those innocent Iranians and those sanctions are only being imposed to help Israel. Wow the guilt is going to keep me awake for days.

Perhaps the Media Matters columnist should have read the recent accounts released by Wikileaks

According to the leaked document, part of the conversation between King Abdullah and the US officials touched on Saudi attitudes towards Iran, its influence in Iraq and the need to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic.

**Read it all.
10200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Egypt sneezes..... on: February 01, 2011, 11:10:34 AM

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