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10201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mandate on: February 01, 2011, 10:42:55 AM|mostview

Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun
10202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 01, 2011, 10:28:21 AM

A clear strategy to support Mubarak from the start would have made a difference. The right incentives for Egypt's military could have had them quickly put down and isolate the protests/riots.

You fight a fire when it's small, not when the whole forest is ablaze.
10203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why Coptic Christians Fear a Revolution on: February 01, 2011, 06:36:55 AM
- FrontPage Magazine - -

Why Coptic Christians Fear a Revolution

Posted By Robert Spencer On February 1, 2011 @ 12:35 am

Forgotten in all the excitement over the revolution in Egypt has been the precarious situation of Coptic Christians there. Yet just weeks ago, Copts in Egypt experienced an unprecedented reign of terror. An Islamic jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murdered twenty-two people and wounded eighty more at the Coptic Christian Church of the Saints in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Eve. Just days later, as Christmas (which Copts celebrate on January 7) 2011 approached, an Islamic website carried this ominous exhortation: “Blow up the churches while they are celebrating Christmas or any other time when the churches are packed.” And if the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, the treatment of the Copts is likely only to get worse.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton recently injected a note of realism into the mainstream media euphoria over the heroic “pro-democracy” demonstrators in Egypt. “The overthrow of the Mubarak regime,” Bolton warned, “will not by any sense of the imagination lead to the advent of Jeffersonian democracy. The greater likelihood is a radical, tightly knit organization like the Muslim Brotherhood will take advantage of the chaos and seize power.” And that will be bad news for Egyptian Christians: “It is really legitimate for the Copts to be worried that instability follow Mubarak’s fall and his replacement with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Apparently aware of this, the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III, has forbidden Copts from participating in the demonstrations. It has been widely reported in the West that many Copts are defying this ban; on the other hand, however, a source on the ground in Egypt tells me that the news reports are wrong, and that Copts are not participating. Whatever may be the truth of the matter, it is certain that a Muslim Brotherhood state in Egypt would make their situation even worse than it is already.

Coptic Christians have suffered discrimination and harassment for centuries. A law dating from 1856 and strongly influenced by classic Islamic restrictions on subjugated non-Muslim dhimmi communities remains on the books to this day, and severely restricts the construction of new churches. That law is part of a pervasive tendency toward discrimination: Human Right Watch reported in January 2011 that “despite the fact that the Egyptian Constitution guarantees the equality of rights, there have been reported cases of widespread discrimination against Egyptian Christians.”

Discrimination and harassment have been daily features of Coptic life for years. In February 2007, rumors that a Coptic Christian man was having an affair with a Muslim woman – a violation of Islamic law – led to a rampage that resulted in the destruction of several Christian-owned shops in southern Egypt. A similar rumor induced Muslims to torch Christian homes in southern Egypt in November 2010. And besides physical attacks, Christians have been restricted from speaking freely. In August 2007, two Coptic rights activists were arrested for “publishing articles and declarations that are damaging to Islam and insulting to Prophet Mohammed on the United Copts web site.”

Authorities have even asserted that restriction on speech outside Egypt itself, in connection with people discussing the plight of the Copts. When Pope Benedict XVI spoke out in January 2011 against the persecution of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, reacted angrily, breaking off dialogue with the Vatican and accusing the Pope of interference in internal Egyptian affairs. In a statement, Al-Azhar denounced the pontiff’s “repeated negative references to Islam and his claims that Muslims persecute those living among them in the Middle East.” This was not the first time Al-Azhar had moved against those who decried the persecution of Christians in Egypt rather than against the persecutors: just weeks before taking issue with the Pope’s statements, Al-Azhar demanded that Copts repudiate a U.S. report on Coptic persecution. The Mubarak government of Egypt, meanwhile, recalled its ambassador to the Vatican.

Mistreatment of Christians in Egypt frequently meets with indifference – or worse yet, complicity — from Egyptian authorities. In November 2010, Egyptian security forces opened fire on a crowd of unarmed Christians who were protesting against the discrimination and harassment they faced in Egyptian society; four people were killed. In June 2007, rioters in Alexandria vandalized Christian shops, attacked and injured seven Christians, and damaged two Coptic churches. Police allowed the mob to roam free in Alexandria’s Christian quarter for an hour and a half before intervening. The Compass Direct News service, which tracks incidents of Christian persecution, noted: “In April 2006, Alexandria was the scene of three knife attacks on churches that killed one Christian and left a dozen more injured. The government appeared unable or unwilling to halt subsequent vandalism of Coptic-owned shops and churches…”

The ordeal of Suhir Shihata Gouda exemplifies the experience of many Egyptian Christians, and principally of Christian women, who are frequently victimized by Muslim

men. According to the Jubilee Campaign, which records incidences of Christian persecution, a group of Muslims kidnapped Suhir and forced her to marry a Muslim. When her father complained to police, they beat and cursed him instead of registering his complaint. Finally, her new Muslim husband joined a mob that went to her father’s house and threatened to kill all the Christians in the area if the family complained to authorities again.

This persecution combined with denial in Egypt itself is bad enough, but even worse, Muslims are also targeting Copts worldwide. The Canadian Press reported in December 2010 that “the Shumukh-al-Islam website, often considered to be al-Qaeda’s mouthpiece, listed pictures, addresses and cellphone numbers of Coptic Christians, predominantly Egyptian-Canadians, who have been vocal about their opposition to Islam.” Accompanying this information were calls to murder those listed.

And all this has happened while Egypt has been ostensibly a secular state. If the Muslim Brotherhood ultimately succeeds in imposing Sharia in Egypt, Copts may come to look back at the age of Mubarak as the good old days.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

URL to article:
10204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: February 01, 2011, 05:11:38 AM
Were I a NYC resident, I'd be more concerned about things like the clearance of snow from the streets.....
10205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 31, 2011, 11:42:35 PM

Pentonomics - The GDP Joke
January 28, 2011 - 8:13am — mpento
Friday, January 28, 2011
Michael Pento

The MSM is running around today applauding our 4th quarter GDP report, which increased at a 3.2% annual rate. However, the current dollar or nominal GDP growth rate was 3.4%. That’s correct; the BEA is suggesting that inflation grew at just over a .2% annual growth rate in Q4 2010! Does anybody that’s not a politician or central banker really believe that the rate of inflation for goods produced domestically was growing at a .2% annual rate?


To make matters worse, personal consumption expenditures were up 4.4% and final sales surged 7.1%. I say worse because the savings rate is dropping as consumers and business ramp back up their borrowing. Household purchases, which account for about 70 % of the economy, rose at a 4.4% pace last quarter, the most since the first three months of 2006. The increase added 3 percentage points to GDP.


To be able to consume one must first have produced. If you consume without having produced, you are spending either borrowed or printed money. And the money that is being spent isn’t used to purchase capital goods, which can expand the productive output of the economy. Consumer credit is up two months in a row and we are spending borrowed and printed money, not money earned from growing real incomes.


 The Fed’s preferred inflation metric, which is tied to consumer spending and strips out food and energy costs, climbed at a 0.4% annual pace, the smallest gain in data going back to 1959. So we should expect more borrowing and more Fed printing, as Mr. Bernanke feels inflation is perilously low.

Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital is a well-established specialist in the “Austrian School” of economics. He is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, and other national media outlets and his market analysis can be read in most major financial publications, including the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining Euro Pacific, Michael worked for a boutique investment advisory firm to create ETFs and UITs that were sold throughout Wall Street. Earlier in his career, he worked on the floor of the NYSE.
10206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 31, 2011, 11:17:30 PM
Did they purchase salt and soft drinks in AZ as well?   shocked
10207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 31, 2011, 11:15:18 PM
His age and cancer were not an issue recently, were they? Was a transition announced before the riots/protests?

Do you think that if we had a president with an actual resume, that there might be a different outcome?
10208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 31, 2011, 05:53:42 PM
It's my understanding that the only place in the world currently producing M1-Abrams tanks is the factory in Egypt.
10209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Muslim Brotherhood Wants War With Israel on: January 31, 2011, 04:20:58 PM

Mohamed Ghanem, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, calls Egypt to stop pumping gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army for a war with it’s eastern neighbor.

Speaking with Iranian television station Al-Alam, Mohamed Ghanem blamed Israel for supporting Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Ghanem also said that the Egyptian police and army won’t be able to stop the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

There are doubts about the loyalty of the Egyptian army to president Mubarak. If the brotherhood takes control over Egypt, it will be very messy from the whole region.

10210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I'm not shocked on: January 31, 2011, 02:54:44 PM

Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak


By Douglas Hamilton

JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:54pm EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel's President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

"We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak," he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. "I don't say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East."

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam." It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, "to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president ... an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?"

"The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations ... is painfully naive."

Obama on Sunday called for an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.

**History will reflect that the biggest anti-semites in the US were those that voted for Obama, no matter the intent.
10211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Egypt military promises no force against protests on: January 31, 2011, 02:11:48 PM

Egypt military promises no force against protests
By MAGGIE MICHAEL and HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Maggie Michael And Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press 7 mins ago

CAIRO – Egypt's military promised Monday not to fire on any peaceful protests and said it recognized "the legitimacy of the people's demands" ahead of a demonstration in which organizers aim to bring a million Egyptians to the streets to press for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

The military statement was the strongest sign yet that the army was willing to let the week-old protests continue and even grow as long as they remain peaceful, even if that leads to the fall of Mubarak. If the 82-year-old president, a former air force commander, loses the support of the military, it would likely be a fatal blow to his rule.

The announcement came after the latest gesture by Mubarak aimed at defusing the upheaval fell flat. Protesters in the street and his top ally, the United States, roundly rejected his announcement of a new government Monday that dropped his interior minister, who heads police forces and was widely denounced by the protesters.

In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed the naming of the new government, saying the situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments.

The new lineup was greeted with scorn in Tahrir Square, the central Cairo plaza that has become the protests' epicenter, with crowds of more than 10,000 on Monday chanting for Mubarak's ouster.

"We don't want life to go back to normal until Mubarak leaves," said Israa Abdel-Fattah, a founder of the April 6 Group, a movement of young people pushing for democratic reform.

The mood in Tahrir — or Liberation — Square, surrounded by army tanks and barbed wire, was celebratory and determined as more protesters filtered in to join what has turned into a continual encampment despite a curfew, moved up an hour to 3 p.m. on its fourth day in effect. Some protesters played music, others distributed dates and other food to their colleagues or watched the latest news on TVs set up on sidewalks.

Young men climbed lampposts to hang Egyptian flags and signs proclaiming "Leave, Mubarak!" One poster featured Mubarak's face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward a leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power.

A coalition of protest groups called for a million people to join protests Tuesday — and many protesters spoke of marching out of Tahrir Square to move toward one of the several presidential palaces around Cairo. That would be a significant step: For days, the military has allowed the crowds to gather freely, but only within the confines of Tahrir.

The military's statement suggested the army may allow the protesters to march out of the square as long as they don't engage in violence.

"Your armed forces, realizing the legitimacy of the people's demands and out of concern to carry out its responsibility to protect the nation and citizens, states the following," the spokesman, Ismail Etman said in the introduction of the statement. He said the military "has not and will not use force against the public" and underlined that the "the freedom of peaceful expression is guaranteed for everyone."

He added the caveats, however, that protesters should not commit "any act that destabilizes security of the country" or damage property.

Looting that erupted over the weekend across the city of around 18 million eased — but Egyptians endured another day of the virtual halt to normal life that the crisis has caused, raising fears of damage to Egypt's economy if the crisis drags on. Trains stopped running Monday, possibly an attempt by authorities to prevent residents of the provinces from joining protests in the capital.

Banks, schools and the stock market in Cairo were closed for the second working day, making cash tight. An unprecedented complete shutdown of the Internet was in its fourth day. Long lines formed outside bakeries as people tried to replenish their stores of bread.

Cairo's international airport was a scene of chaos and confusion as thousands of foreigners sought to flee the unrest, and countries around the world scrambled to send in planes to fly their citizens out.

**A big fcuking deal, as our esteemed VP would say.**

10212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 31, 2011, 01:10:47 PM
"He notes this guy ElBaradei who is being touted by the media is actually no friend of the West it sounds."

I caught a bit on the radio from Limbaugh, who correctly pointed out how friendly the MSM is to the Muslim Brotherhood and how the same MSM is so biased and hostile towards the Tea Party.

10213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bastards on: January 31, 2011, 01:04:29 PM
In much of the world, you are stuck with the choice between one version of a corrupt thug and his crew and a worse thug and worse crew. Just as we had to ally with Stalin to beat Hitler, then ally with various strongmen bastards across the globe as we faced down the Soviets, the realpolitik can and should be informed by our morals and long term strategy.

I wouldn't want to be an Iranian under the Shah, but I'd like even less to be an Iranian under the Mullahs. I wouldn't want to live under Mubarak, but I don't see a better life for the Egyptians waiting in the wings. Not now anyway.
10214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 31, 2011, 12:50:38 PM
"Naturally the various Iraqi players read the writing on the wall , , , just as the various Afpakia players are doing now."

As are the players in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere in the ME.
10215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cancer, Carter and Obama on: January 31, 2011, 08:00:38 AM

Cancer, Carter and Obama
January 30, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

There are some eery similarities between Egypt 2011 and Iran 1979, and some of them are unfortunately about American leadership.  There are some big differences, too, but for the moment let’s just look at some parallels and try to draw some necessarily tentative conclusions.  After all, everything is up for grabs right now and things will probably change a lot in the next few hours and days.

First of all is prostate cancer.  The shah was dying of it and Mubarak is afflicted with it.  We know Mubarak’s got it.  We didn’t know the shah had it.  One of the effects of the disease and its treatment seems to be that the person has difficulty making tough decisions, and it inevitably forces him to think about his legacy.  The shah didn’t want to go down as a bloody dictator, and he rejected all appeals from his generals to open fire on the demonstrators.  This encouraged the opposition and discouraged the military commanders.

Second is the role of Washington.  Carter did not know what to do, and he was operating on the basis of very bad intelligence.  Above all, he (thanks to his CIA) had very little good information about Khomeini.  He and advisers like Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Iran desk officer Henry Precht and NSC staffer Gary Sick all permitted themselves to believe that we could continue to have very good relations with Iran even if the shah were overthrown.   They failed to see the nature and extent of the  Khomeini movement, saw it as a “progressive revolution,” and UN Ambassador Andrew Young famously called the ayatollah a holy man, and even “some kind of saint.”

I don’t know the quality of our intelligence on the Egyptian opposition, but if former Ambassador Martin Indyk is correct (and all I’ve got to go on is a Tweet saying he said it on BBC Arabic), the White House and State Department may be signaling approval of Mohammed al-Baradei.  According to Al Jazeera — a very unreliable source to put it mildly — Obama has told leaders in the Gulf that the United States favors a “peaceful transition” to greater democracy.

Well, so do I.  But Baradei is one of the last men I would choose for that role.  He doesn’t like America and he’s in cahoots with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.  He would be likely to try to replay the ghastly catastrophe of 1979.  Bad for freedom, bad for the Egyptian people, bad for America.   Does our intelligence community not know this?  And if they do, why is Obama tilting towards this outcome?  If he is, that is…

In 1979 we came down hard on the shah to show restraint towards the demonstrators, just as we are today with Mubarak.  I understand that no American government, let alone an Obama government, can openly say to Mubarak: “What are you waiting for?  Put it down!”  I don’t know what we’re saying privately.  Gates has apparently spoken to his counterparts in Cairo and Jerusalem.  What did they say?  I don’t know, obviously, but that conversation would go a long way to clarify the real facts.  I’ll bet you that there was some sort of deadline to Mubarak:  if you can’t establish control within x days, we will have to work with the opposition.  That would be normal and sensible.

The greatest American sin in 1979 was to confuse the shah.  He didn’t know what we wanted.  From the State Department he heard calls for sweet reasonableness, entreaties not to use live ammunition against the mobs, and so forth.  From Brzezinski he heard pleas to be strong.  Maybe even to crack down violently.  The shah didn’t know who to believe.  Then it got worse.  We sent a General Huyser to Tehran with two sets of instructions:  a) to support a military coup and b) to prevent a military coup.  So the shah and the generals stood by and watched, and Khomeini’s multitudes, who knew exactly what they wanted, fought all-out and won.

It follows that Mubarak has to know exactly what we want.  Do we know what we want?  My impression is that we are confused, just as in 1979.  Obama’s statement the other day (yesterday if I remember rightly) was not encouraging.  “The future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people” and we will support them.  What does that mean?  There’s a fight going on, and we have to take sides.  I think Mubarak is entitled to wonder just what we want, and that’s dangerous, because it means that his decisions will be driven at least in part by guesswork and suspicion.

As I’ve said, that we have come to this impasse shows a long-standing policy failure, just as it did in Iran in 1979.  We should have supported democratic opposition forces all along (footnote:  it’s quite amusing to hear former officials proclaiming “we can’t support dictatorship” when they did precisely that when they were in office.  Including some, like C. Rice, who promised to support democrats and then didn’t.).  But we didn’t, the London Telegraph’s misleading headline writers notwithstanding.  Now we have no attractive options.  Too bad.

So even if our intelligence is weak, we still have to make decisions, and the basic rule has to be the same as Hippocrates’ injunction to doctors:  don’t make things worse.  Don’t inflict an even worse tyranny on the Egyptian people, one that is likely to plunge the region into a big war.  If that means working with the generals to create a transition government that promises to shape a more attractive polity, so be it.  The lesser of two evils is a legitimate policy decision.

In fact, it’s the most common one.  I’m sure Obama hates being in this position, as any of us would.  But he’s got to make decisions.  Clearly and emphatically. And stay on top of it, which is not at all his style or inclination.

And that’s the final similarity with 1979:  the wrong American in the wrong job at a crucial time.  Let’s hope that the Almighty truly does protect the blind, the drunk, and the United States of America.

It’s even better to be lucky than to be smart.
10216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From Michael Yon on: January 30, 2011, 10:28:44 PM


I asked General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey for his thoughts on the evolving situation in Egypt:

    Egypt is a few steps short of a disaster.  The corrupt, incompetent regime will not survive.

    Most likely outcome--- the Generals take charge, announce a reform government, start  the process of responding to the injustice and despair of the common citizen. Then the situation staggers along for some period.

    Worst outcome the Generals stand with the same gang that has looted the nation--- probably minus Mubarak. Then there is a possible civil war with the soldiers in many cases siding with the people not their officers. The only organized opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood which could then possibly gain power.

    Our central US foreign policy concern is the stability of the Peace Treaty with Israel.  At the end of the day if required--- we would go to war to prevent the annihilation of the Israelis.  This would be a terrible outcome for the entire region.

    And--- oh by the way---there is the matter of the Suez Canal and the flow of oil to a Europe with an increasingly ant-Israeli political stance.

    We have few good options.  The President and Secretary Clinton are carefully walking the line.  Oddly enough--- only the last Administration with President Bush and Secretary Condi Rice has ever taken a strong reform position with Mubarak.

    This one is important.  Egypt is central to peace in the region.  Their people have been ill-used by the Mubarak Regime.  Watch the enlisted soldiers of the Egyptian Army. If they go with the people--- there will be incredible bloodshed.

    Barry McCaffrey
10217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 30, 2011, 10:09:48 PM
I hope your analysis is correct.
10218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 30, 2011, 09:46:09 PM

Will Egypt's Military Officers Free the Revolution?

10219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 30, 2011, 09:27:24 PM
I think the generals are loyal to Mubarak, I think there are serious questions as to the entire military structure's loyalty.
10220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 30, 2011, 08:36:37 PM
I would much prefer a free and democratic Egypt with the rule of law, free markets and protection of minorities.

That's not going to happen here. So, I'd rather have Mubarak or another that will preserve the status quo of an authoritarian ally rather than a major domino of the caliphate falling into place, and setting up other middle eastern allies to fall as well.

The MSM is badly misleading the public right now. Losing Egypt will shape the future, and not in a good way for anyone on the planet.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do. I'll take no joy seeing my predictions coming true.
10221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama lost Egypt because of Glenn Beck on: January 30, 2011, 05:21:03 PM

Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as "the president who lost Iran," which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who "lost" Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America's alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.

America's general weakness clearly affects its friends. But unlike Carter, who preached human rights even when it hurt allies, Obama sat on the fence and exercised caution. He neither embraced despised leaders nor evangelized for political freedom, for fear of undermining stability.

Obama began his presidency with trips to Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and in speeches in Ankara and Cairo tried to forge new ties between the United States and the Muslim world. His message to Muslims was "I am one of you," and he backed it by quoting from the Koran. President Hosni Mubarak did not join him on the stage at Cairo University, and Obama did not mention his host. But he did not imitate his hated predecessor, President George W. Bush, with blunt calls for democracy and freedom.

Obama apparently believed the main problem of the Middle East was the Israeli occupation, and focused his policy on demanding the suspension of construction in the settlements and on the abortive attempt to renew the peace talks. That failure led him to back off from the peace process in favor of concentrating on heading off an Israeli-Iranian war.

Americans debated constantly the question of whether Obama cut his policy to fit the circumstances or aimed at the wrong targets. The absence of human rights issues from U.S. policy vis-a-vis Arab states drew harsh criticism; he was accused of ignoring the zeitgeist and clinging to old, rotten leaders. In the past few months many opinion pieces have appeared in the Western press asserting that the days of Mubarak's regime are numbered and calling on Obama to reach out to the opposition in Egypt. There was a sense that the U.S. foreign policy establishment was shaking off its long-term protege in Cairo, while the administration lagged behind the columnists and commentators.

The administration faced a dilemma. One can guess that Obama himself identified with the demonstrators, not the aging dictator. But a superpower isn't the civil rights movement. If it abandons its allies the moment they flounder, who would trust it tomorrow? That's why Obama rallied to Mubarak's side until Friday, when the force of the protests bested his regime.

The street revolts in Tunisia and Egypt showed that the United States can do very little to save its friends from the wrath of their citizens. Now Obama will come under fire for not getting close to the Egyptian opposition leaders soon enough and not demanding that Mubarak release his opponents from jail. He will be accused of not pushing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hard enough to stop the settlements and thus indirectly quell the rising tides of anger in the Muslim world. But that's a case of 20:20 hindsight. There's no guarantee that the Egyptian or Tunisian masses would have been willing to live in a repressive regime even if construction in Ariel was halted or a few opposition figures were released from jail.

Now Obama will try to hunker down until the winds of revolt die out, and then forge ties with the new leaders in the region. It cannot be assumed that Mubarak's successors will be clones of Iran's leaders, bent on pursuing a radical anti-American policy. Perhaps they will emulate Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who navigates among the blocs and superpowers without giving up his country's membership in NATO and its defense ties with the United States. Erdogan obtained a good deal for Turkey, which benefits from political stability and economic growth without being in anyone's pocket. It could work for Egypt, too.
10222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Glenn Beck" translates to "ElBaradei" in Arabic on: January 30, 2011, 04:14:51 PM

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group,is in talks with other anti-government figures to form a national unity government without President Hosni Mubarak, a group official told DPA on Sunday.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned from running for elections for parliament, some movement members have presented candidacy for parliament as independents.
Egypt protests - AP - Jan 29    

An army officer, borne on the shoulders of anti-government protesters, tearing up a picture of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in downtown Cairo, January 29, 2010.
Photo by: AP

Gamal Nasser, a spokesman for the Brotherhood, told DPA that his group was in talks with Mohammed ElBaradei - the former UN nuclear watchdog chief - to form a national unity government without the National Democratic Party of Mubarak.

The group is also demanding an end to the draconian Emergency Laws, which grant police wide-ranging powers The laws have been used often to arrest and harass the Islamist group.

Nasser said his group would not accept any new government with Mubarak. On Saturday the Brotherhood called on President Mubarak to relinquish power in a peaceful manner following the resignation of the Egyptian cabinet.

Speaking to CNN later Sunday, ElBaradei said he had a popular and political mandate to negotiate the creation of a national unity government.

"I have been authorized -- mandated -- by the people who organized these demonstrations and many other parties to agree on a national unity government," he told CNN.
10223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 30, 2011, 01:53:07 PM
"GM, good posts.  This one I don't think was Glen Beck's fault."


As far as Glenn Beck goes, you can accuse him of anything with no standard of proof required. I think he was behind JFK's assassination and smallpox in N. America as well. And if you disagree, you are obviously worse than Hitler.   wink
10224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glenn Beck founded the Ikhwan on: January 30, 2011, 09:39:35 AM

The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy
Posted by Frank Gaffney Jan 30th 2011 at 3:31 am

Suddenly, Washington is consumed with a question too long ignored:  Can we safely do business with the Muslim Brotherhood?

The reason this question has taken on such urgency is, of course, because the Muslim Brotherhood (or MB, also known by its Arabic name, the Ikhwan) is poised to emerge as the big winner from the chaos now sweeping North Africa and increasingly likely to bring down the government of the aging Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

In the wake of growing turmoil in Egypt, a retinue of pundits, professors and former government officials has publicly insisted that we have nothing to fear from the Ikhwan since it has eschewed violence and embraced democracy.

For example, Bruce Reidel, a controversial former CIA analyst and advisor to President Obama, posted an article entitled “Don’t Fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood” at the Daily Beast.  In it, he declared:  “The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists. Al Qaeda’s leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, started their political lives affiliated with the Brotherhood but both have denounced it for decades as too soft and a cat’s paw of Mubarak and America.”

Then, there was President George W. Bush’s former press spokeswoman, Dana Perino, who went so far on January 28th as to tell Fox News “…And don’t be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This has nothing to do with religion.”

One reason we might be misperceiving the MB as no threat is because a prime source of information about such matters is the Muslim Brotherhood itself.  As the Center for Security Policy’s new, best-selling Team B II report entitled, Shariah: The Threat to America found:  “It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim-American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”

In fact, for much of the past two decades, a number of these groups and their backers (including, notably, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) have cultivated extensive ties with U.S. government officials and agencies under successive administrations of both parties, academic centers, financial institutions, religious communities, partisan organizations and the media.  As a result, such American entities have been subjected to intense, disciplined and sustained influence operations for decades.

Unfortunately, the relationships thus developed and the misperceptions thus fostered are today bearing poisonous fruit with respect to shaping U.S. policy towards the unfolding Egyptian drama.

A notable example is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  A federal judge in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial – which successfully prosecuted the nation’s largest terrorism financing conspiracy – found that CAIR was indeed a front for the Ikhwan’s Palestinian affiliate, Hamas.  Nonetheless,  Fox News earlier today interviewed the Executive Director of CAIR’s Chicago office, Ahmed Rehab, whom it characterized as a “Democracy Activist.”

True to form, Rehab called for the removal of Mubarak’s regime and the institution of democratic elections in Egypt.  This is hardly surprising since, under present circumstances, such balloting would likely have the same result it did in Gaza a few years back: the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood and the institution of brutally repressive theocratic rule, in accordance with the totalitarian Islamic politico-military-legal program known as shariah.

An important antidote to the seductive notions being advanced with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – and, for that matter, in Western nations like ours – by the Ikhwan’s own operatives, their useful idiots and apologists is the Team B II report.  It should be considered required reading by anyone who hopes to understand, let alone to comment usefully upon, the MB’s real character and agenda.

For example, Shariah: The Threat to America provides several key insights that must be borne in mind in the current circumstances especially:

    * “The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. Its express purpose was two-fold: (1) to implement shariah worldwide, and (2) to re-establish the global Islamic State (caliphate).

    * “Therefore, Al Qaeda and the MB have the same objectives. They differ only in the timing and tactics involved in realizing them.

    * “The Brotherhood’s creed is: ‘God is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.’”

    * It is evident from the Creed, and from the Brotherhood’s history (and current activities)…that violence is an inherent part of the MB’s tactics. The MB is the root of the majority of Islamic terrorist groups in the world today.

    * The Muslim Brotherhood is the ‘vanguard’ or tip-of-the-spear of the current Islamic Movement in the world. While there are other transnational organizations that share the MB’s goals (if not its tactics) – including al Qaeda, which was born out of the Brotherhood – the Ikhwan is by far the strongest and most organized. The Muslim Brotherhood is now active in over 80 countries around the world.

Of particular concern must be the purpose of the Brotherhood in the United States and other nations of the Free World:

    * “…The Ikhwan’s mission in the West is sedition in the furtherance of shariah’s supremacist agenda, not peaceful assimilation and co-existence with non-Muslim populations.”

    * “The Ikhwan believes that its purposes in the West are, for the moment, better advanced by the use of non-violent, stealthy techniques. In that connection, the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to establish relations with, influence and, wherever possible, penetrate: government circles in executive and legislative branches at the federal, state and local levels; the law enforcement community; intelligence agencies; the military; penal institutions; the media; think tanks and policy groups; academic institutions; non-Muslim religious communities; and other elites.

    * “The Brothers engage in all of these activities and more for one reason: to subvert the targeted communities in furtherance of the MB’s primary objective – the triumph of shariah.”

In short, the Muslim Brotherhood – whether it is operating in Egypt, elsewhere in the world or here – is our enemy.  Vital U.S. interests will be at risk if it succeeds in supplanting the present regime in Cairo, taking control in the process not only of the Arab world’s most populous nation but its vast, American-supplied arsenal.  It is no less reckless to allow the Brotherhood’s operatives to enjoy continued access to and influence over our perceptions of their true purposes, and the policies adopted pursuant thereto.
10225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Again, Glenn Beck's fault on: January 30, 2011, 09:10:00 AM

Egypt and Iran: Will We Again Fuel the Fires of Revolution?
If Obama emulates the horrendous decisions Jimmy Carter made during the Iranian revolution, radical Islam will spread through the region like a forest fire.
January 30, 2011 - by Abraham H. Miller

Egypt is the largest nation in the Arab world and the fulcrum of American foreign policy among Arab nations. Its streets are ablaze with fires; its police have been withdrawn and replaced by the army; an attempt by President Hosni Mubarak to quell the rioters has only inflamed them further. The Obama administration is responding as if it is tiptoeing through a mine field. Those waiting for American leadership have to contend with the empty platitudes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is urging restraint on the Mubarak regime.

The scene is all too reminiscent of the Iranian revolution of 1979. Then, President Jimmy Carter not only demanded restraint but also had his administration work behind the scenes to bring down the shah. Carter believed he was watching a democratic revolution unfold, one led by Mehdi Bazargan, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh and Abulhassan Banisadr. Neither Carter nor his advisers understood that this democratic-centrist revolution, like those in Europe, would be short-lived. Bazargan resigned from the government over its authoritarian turn; Ghotbzadeh was shot by a firing squad; and Banisadr fled to France, where he currently lives under heavy police protection.

As someone who spent decades studying riots, revolutions, and other forms of civil violence, I have some advice for the administration:

Hillary Clinton might consider remaining silent for the duration of the event. One of the dramatic non-PC findings of the Kerner Commission Report on our own experiences with civil unrest is that even a legitimate government that hesitates in the face of riots will both inflame and contribute to the duration and intensity of violence. Riots end when there are swift, decisive, and appropriate responses to the violence. Riots persist when the police hesitate, when the police are restrained, and when the rioters feel they are in control.

Studies of revolution, including the Russian Revolution, show that the loyalty of several companies of armed, disciplined, and well-led soldiers willing to continually fire into the mobs would crush any revolution. Such an observation sounds barbaric until you consider the millions of lives that are needlessly wasted in a revolution and its aftermath. Imagine if the second Russian Revolution, the October Revolution, the one the Communists made, had been stopped in its tracks: no Lenin, no Civil War, no Stalin, no Gulags, no invasion of Poland, no totalitarian dictatorship. The taking of a few hundred or thousand lives in the streets of St. Petersburg would have saved the lives of countless millions.

Revolutions are like a cart running downhill, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his brilliant analysis of the French Revolution.  The American media is focused on the demand for democratic reform voiced by the mobs in the streets of Egypt. But revolutions don’t stop with the initial demands. Revolutions create power vacuums that draw new players with different agendas from those who initially sought to make the revolution. Revolutions move to the extremes, usually to the left. Those who join the mob to demand more liberty will ultimately create a regime that extinguishes all liberty. Did those who ran through the streets of Paris in July 1789 think they were revolting for the ensuing “Terror”? Did the workers who charged the Winter Palace in 1917 think they were fighting for the Gulag? Did Banisadr and Ghotbzadeh think they were replacing the shah of Iran with a theocracy?

The choice in the streets of Egypt is not Mubarak or democracy. It is Mubarak or the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the Muslim Brotherhood, like the ayatollahs of Tehran, who are the best situated to benefit from and direct the revolution, unless of course the Egyptian military holds firm.

If the Brotherhood comes to power, it will behave as did its proxy in Gaza: one man, one vote, one time, with the opposition shot in the legs and thrown off rooftops.

I will not write a brief for the oligarchy nor would I have written one for the shah. But just because you can visibly see evil does not mean that its elimination will produce something better.As the aphorism of revolution states, “Like Saturn, the revolution devours its own children.” And in so doing becomes something its creators never intended.

Our first order of business in Egypt is to produce stability and then to do something we have not done before: Assist the Egyptians in finding a mechanism for a transition to reform through an evolutionary rather than revolutionary path. The only institution capable of doing this is the Egyptian military. They should not be abandoned as was the Iranian military.

Had Obama done more than basked in the adulation of his Cairo speech and actually leaned on the regime to evolve toward a more legitimate and inclusive government, we might not be confronting the mess ahead of us.

For decades we have been dumping billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons into Egypt. A revolution means that those weapons could fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. This will tilt the balance of power in the Middle East. Emboldened by success in Egypt, radical Islam will next show its power in the Gulf and threaten the world’s oil supply. Already there are riots in Yemen.

The world as we knew it might just spin out of control. It remains to be seen if the Egyptian military, with or without our support, will rise to the task of restoring order and stability in Egypt and become a vehicle for vital political change. But if Obama emulates the horrendous decisions Jimmy Carter made during the Iranian revolution, radical Islam will spread through the region like a forest fire with the Saudis facing the ultimate conflagration.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.
10226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This too, Glenn Beck's fault on: January 30, 2011, 08:47:58 AM

If Brotherhood takes over, IDF will face formidable enemy
Analysis: This year is turning into critical one for Israeli isolation in the Mideast. Turkey is gone and Egypt appears to be on way.
The collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt is not yet about Israel but soon will be, depending on his successor.

If the Muslim Brotherhood grabs the reins in the massive Arab country, Israel will face an enemy with one of the largest and strongest militaries around, built on some of the most advanced American-made platforms.
10227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glenn Beck's fault on: January 29, 2011, 10:50:28 PM

Friday, January 28, 2011
What the President Knew (and Didn't Know)

As the situation in Egypt spirals out of control, the Obama Administration is trying to play both sides of the fence--and put the best possible spin on a worsening crisis.

Friday evening, the White House announced that Mr. Obama had a 30-minute phone conversation with embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, encouraging him to restore cell phone and internet service in his country. Those communication channels were cut earlier in the day, part of Mubarak's attempt to complicate organization efforts by the opposition.

And, in an effort to distance the administration from Mr. Mubarak--a reliable U.S. ally for three decades--the White House trotted out political advisor David Axelrod for an "exclusive" interview with Jake Tapper of ABC. During their conversation, Mr. Axelrod eagerly volunteered that President Obama has "confronted" Mubarak on Egypt's human rights abuses "on several occasions" in recent years.

That message was clearly aimed at the growing throngs of protesters in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities. While the riots have not acquired an anti-American tone (at least not yet), many of those participating in the uprising openly chastised the U.S. for its long-time support of the Mubarak regime. That criticism will likely grow in the hours ahead, with word that the Muslim Brotherhood is now taking an active role in the protests. The Brotherhood (which has been officially banned in Egypt for decades) never misses an opportunity to attack the U.S., through propaganda or other channels. It's almost certain that the protests will become stridently anti-American in the next few days--if not sooner.

That's one reason Washington sent out feelers to the opposition on Thursday. But, on the other hand, we're not quite ready to thrown Mr. Mubarak overboard--at least not yet. When PBS anchor Jim Lehrer pressed Joe Biden on the Egyptian president's record, the Vice President refused to describe him as a dictator. That showed continuing support for the Mr. Mubarak--for that moment. But a few hours later, as protesters clogged the streets of Cairo once more, it became apparent that Washington was hedging its bets, demanding the Mubarak regime respect human rights, and that both sides refrain from violence. Mr. Mubarak wasn't exactly tossed under the bus, but it was hardly a rousing show of support.

Meanwhile, there are nagging questions about the U.S.'s role in forementing the rebellion and whether the President was surprised by the sudden threat to Egypt's stability. As for the first issue, the U.K. Telegraph reports that American diplomats aided an Egyptian dissident's participation in an activist's conference in New York in 2008, hiding his identity from Mubarak's security services. In return, the dissident told American diplomats in Cairo that a coalition of regime opponents would attempt to topple the Egyptian leader in 2011. So, if the Telegraph report is true--and they published a classified U.S. cable that supports the story--then Washington helped put these events in motion.

We should note, however, that the British paper failed to put this development into proper context; as the American Spectator reports, the dissident's support was part of a program, advanced by the Bush Administration, to support legitimate democratic reforms in Egypt and elsewhere. Since then, the Obama team has discontinued the initiative, and appears to be "winging it" on the current crisis. Foreign policy expert Robert Kagan told the Politicio that he was "stunned" by the lack of planning in response to (or in advance of) the current upheaval in Egypt.

The lack of preparation apparently extends to the State Department, which forgot about the Egyptian dissident's vow about a coup attempt in 2011. Indeed, the Obama Administration has been ad-libbing its way through the crisis all week. One of the key indicators: Friday's Presidential Daily (Intelligence) Brief, or PDB. Last night, NBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly reported that Mr. Obama's daily brief lasted 40 minutes and it was devoted entirely to the situation in Europe.

The focus is unsurprising, but the length is. During my own career as a spook, I briefed senior officers and civilian officials during several conflicts and crises, including the invasion of Panama; the First Gulf War and Operation Allied Force. The longest brief I ever delivered for any of those events was 10 minutes--including questions from the audience. Of course, my audiences were fully prepared for what was unfolding. Friday's marathon PDB suggests a commander-in-chief playing catch-up on fast-moving events.

If it's any consolation, he's not alone. This type of situation is the most difficult for any administration. There's little they can do, except observe and issue periodic statements designed not to inflame any of the factions.

But this situation is slightly different. The "dominoes" of U.S.-backed Arab governments are beginning to topple, across North Africa and into the Middle East. Think about the consequences of Islamist governments in control of Egypt (and the Suez Canal); Jordan and Yemen, among others. American access to key waterways could be effectively blocked, making it much more difficult to move warships between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, to the Persian Gulf.

Ironically, the canal is less important for U.S. trade; many of the tanker and container vessels moving crude and products to North America are too large to pass through the canal. However, access problems at the canal would have a devastating effect on the European economy, so there will be pressure from our NATO allies to keep the waterway open.

The loss of Egypt and Jordan would also have dire consequences for Israel. Thirty years of peace with those Arab neighbors would come to an end, and Tel Aviv would (again) be surrounded by hostile foes, committed to the eradication of the Jewish State, and supported by an Iranian regime on the verge of going nuclear. That must be a part of our strategic calculus as well. If Mubarak goes, the tenure of Jordan's King Abdullah will be measured in days, and the West Bank will probably fall under the control of Hamas as well. Meanwhile, Israel's most implacable foe (Syria) sits on the Golan Heights, while Hizballah controls the "new" government in Lebanon. If that isn't a nightmare scenario for Mr. Netanyahu, we don't know what is. What is the U.S. prepared to do to ensure Israel's security in that sort of environment.

And beyond that, how do we respond when the protest movement advances to the Persian Gulf Region? Those oil-rich states, long controlled by autocratic monarchs, are ripe for revolt as well. This is hardly a movement that is limited to Egypt or Tunisia, and there are plenty of Islamists (read: terrorists) ready to stoke the fires of revolution in places like Saudi Arabia; Oman, Dubai and Kuwait.

Despite those past "lectures" to Hosni Mubarak, it seems likely that Mr. Obama (and his administration) was blind-sided by this crisis. We can only hope that he gets up to speed quickly and develops some sort of strategy to protect U.S. interests, including the Suez Canal. The consequences of inaction would be enormous.
ADDENDUM: Recent bulletins from Cairo report that Mr. Mubarak has installed his intelligence chief, Omar Sulieman, as Egypt's new vice president. That's not the sort of move Mubarak would make if he was planning to surrender power. The new VP is well-known to U.S. intelligence officials; he's ruthless, extremely competent and not shy about cracking skulls to keep the regime in power. If Mubarak can retain the support of his army, the situation in Cairo (and other Egyptian cities) may resemble Tiananmen Square before the end of the weekend. What happens then is anyone's guess.

One more thought: that 40-minute PDB is also significant in this regard. While the presentation likely included video from media reporting, the unusual length also suggests a substantial stream of intelligence reporting on the uprising. That is encouraging, but it also raises the question of how much information Mr. Obama had received on conditions in Egypt before the uprising began.

10228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I blame Glenn Beck on: January 29, 2011, 09:53:06 PM

A sobering reminder—based upon hard data—from an essay of mine published in April, 2007:

In a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ interview survey of 1000 Egyptian Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007, 67% of those interviewed-more than 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”-desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”). The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 74% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”
10229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Reagan/Obama cover on: January 29, 2011, 05:24:06 PM

Flip side.
10230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What Egyptian democracy would look like on: January 29, 2011, 05:03:37 PM

    The chances for democracy and liberalism are different in every country. Tunisia has a good chance because there is a strong middle class and a weak Islamist movement. But in Egypt look at the numbers in the latest Pew poll.

    In Egypt, 30 percent like Hizballah (66 percent don’t). 49 percent are favorable toward Hamas (48 percent are negative); and 20 percent smile (72 percent frown) at al-Qaida. Roughly speaking, one-fifth of Egyptians applaud the most extreme Islamist terrorist group, while around one-third back revolutionary Islamists abroad. This doesn’t tell us what proportion of Egyptians want an Islamist government at home, but it is an indicator.

    In Egypt, 82 percent want stoning for those who commit adultery; 77 percent would like to see whippings and hands cut off for robbery; and 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

    Asked if they supported “modernizers” or “Islamists” only 27 percent said modernizers while 59 percent said Islamists:

    Is this meaningless? Last December 20 I wrote that these “horrifying figures in Egypt…one day might be cited to explain an Islamist revolution there….What this analysis also shows is that a future Islamist revolution in Egypt and Jordan is quite possible.

I worry that the 59 percent of Egyptians who prefer Islamists to modernizers are going to have to learn the hardest way possible–as the Iranians have and the people of Gaza are learning right now–that modernizers are better. There may not be another way.
10231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / As usual, Bolton is correct on: January 29, 2011, 04:35:09 PM

It's the military that is the real government and they are not going to go peacefully.

I think the question is whether and to what extent the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamists have infiltrated the leadership. If the military holds firm it's entirely possible, although bloody, that the government can hold onto power. That doesn't necessarily mean Mubarak will be in power, but the military will be, and I think that is why this contrast makes it so important for people to understand, this is not a choice between the Mubarak government on one hand, and sweetness and light, Jeffersonian democracy on the other.

I don't think we have evidence yet that these demonstrations are necessarily about democracy. You know the old saying, "one person, one vote, one time." The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't care about democracy, if they get into power you're not going to have free and fair elections either.

And I think there is substantial reason, for example, to worry the minority Coptic Christian population, about 10% of the population will be very worried if the Muslim Brotherhood came to power.

Let's be clear what the stakes are for the United States. We have an authoritarian regime in power that has been our ally. We don't know at this point what the real alternatives are.

JON SCOTT, ANCHOR: If you are Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, or if you are President Obama at this moment, what do you do, what do you say? There have been a couple of cautious statements put out by the U.S. State department so far.

BOLTON: Those statements have been mush. I mean this is a case where we are far better advised to remain silent, try to understand better what's going on, what the stakes are, rather than making statements that other people are parsing to say, "oh, they are supporting the demonstrators," "oh, they are supporting the government." I think there is confusion inside the administration.

In all fairness, I think everybody, including leaders of the opposition, was caught off guard by the strength of the protests, but I do think it's important to underline that today is different from the previous days with the Muslim Brotherhood bringing its supporters into the streets, and that's why the stakes are even higher today and in the next few days than they have been.

I do think that the regime is under enormous pressure, there is no doubt about it, but I don't think that just because you have people climbing onto tanks you can assume that they are friendly to democratic values.

I think there is a lot of opposition to the regime and a lot of opposition by the Muslim Brotherhood that is determined to bring down this secular military government, and install one of very harsh Sharia law, which would have enormous implications for the United States, for Israel, for other Arab governments in the region.

You just mentioned the Suez Canal, how would you like the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of that waterway? I think that's the reason why the Obama administration should be working behind the scenes and try to understand better what the ground truth is in Cairo and the other major cities.

Read more:
10232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: January 29, 2011, 02:49:33 PM
Ugh.  angry
10233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 29, 2011, 02:48:40 PM
There are very few, if any would-be Thomas Jeffersons clad in man-dresses in Egypt. Democracy in Egypt will be the genesis of the Islamic Republic of Egypt.
10234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The IMF warns us on: January 29, 2011, 10:05:08 AM

We better.
10235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The pragmatic fantasy on: January 28, 2011, 07:32:26 PM
Jewish World Review Jan. 28, 2011 / 23 Shevat, 5771

The pragmatic fantasy

By Caroline B. Glick

 | Today the Egyptian regime faces its gravest threat since Anwar Sadat's assassination thirty years ago. As protesters take to the street for the third day in a row demanding the overthrow of 82-year old President Hosni Mubarak, it is worth considering the possible alternatives to his regime.

Thursday afternoon, Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency returned to Egypt from Vienna to participate in anti-regime demonstrations. As IAEA head, Elbaradei shielded Iran's nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He repeatedly ignored evidence indicating that Iran's nuclear program was a military program rather than a civilian energy program. When the evidence became too glaring to ignore, Elbaradei continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran and obscenely equated Israel's purported nuclear program to Iran's.

His actions won him the support of the Iranian regime which he continues to defend. Just last week he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran telling the Austrian News Agency, "There's a lot of hype in this debate," and asserting that the discredited 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 remains accurate.

Elbaradei's support for the Iranian ayatollahs is matched by his support for the Muslim Brotherhood. This group, which forms the largest and best organized opposition movement to the Mubarak regime is the progenitor of Hamas and al Qaida. It seeks Egypt's transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad. In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly drawn into the Iranian nexus along with Hamas. Muslim Brotherhood attorneys represented Hizbullah terrorists arrested in Egypt in 2009 for plotting to conduct spectacular attacks aimed at destroying the regime.

Elbaradei has been a strong champion of the Muslim Brotherhood. Just this week he gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the jihadist movement. As he put it, "We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. …[T]hey have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them." The Muslim Brotherhood for its part has backed Elbaradei's political aspirations. On Thursday it announced it would demonstrate at ElBaradei's side the next day.

Then there is the Kifaya movement. The group sprang onto the international radar screen in 2004 when it demanded open presidential elections and called on Mubarak not to run for a fifth term. As a group of intellectuals claiming to support liberal, democratic norms, Kifaya has been upheld as a model of what the future of Egypt could look like if liberal forces are given the freedom to lead.

But Kifaya's roots and basic ideology are not liberal. They are anti-Semitic and anti-American. Kifaya was formed as a protest movement against Israel with the start of the Palestinian terror war in 2000. It gained force in March 2003 when it organized massive protests against the US-led invasion of Iraq. In 2006 its campaign to get a million Egyptians to sign a petition demanding the abrogation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel received international attention.

Many knowledgeable Egypt-watchers argued this week that the protesters have no chance of bringing down the Mubarak regime. Unlike this month's overthrow of Tunisia's despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, they say there is little chance that the Egyptian military will abandon Mubarak.

But the same observers are quick to note that whoever Mubarak selects to succeed him will not be the beneficiary of such strong support from Egypt's security state. And as the plight of Egypt's overwhelmingly impoverished citizenry becomes ever more acute, the regime will become increasingly unstable. Indeed, its overthrow is as close to a certainty as you can get in international affairs.

And as we now see, all of its possible secular and Islamist successors either reject outright Egypt's peace treaty with Israel or will owe their political power to the support of those who reject the peace with the Jewish state. So whether the Egyptian regime falls next week or next year or five years from now, the peace treaty is doomed.

Since the start of Israel's peace process with Egypt in 1977, supporters of peace with the Arabs have always fallen into two groups: the idealists and the pragmatists.

Led by Shimon Peres, the idealists have argued that the reason the Arabs refuse to accept Israel is because Israel took "their" land in the 1967 Six Day War. Never mind that the war was a consequence of Arab aggression or that it was simply a continuation of the Arab bid to destroy the Jewish state which officially began with Israel's formal establishment in 1948. As the idealists see things, if Israel just gives up all the land it won in that war, the Arabs will be appeased and accept Israel as a friend and natural member of the Middle East' family of nations.

Peres was so enamored with this view that he authored The New Middle East and promised that once all the land was given away, Israel would join the Arab League. Given the absurdity of their claims, the idealists were never able to garner mass support for their positions. If it had just been up to them, Israel would never have gotten on the peace train. But lucky for the idealists, they have been able to rely on the unwavering support of the unromantic pragmatists to implement their program.

Unlike the starry-eyed idealists, the so-called pragmatists have no delusions that the Arabs are motivated by anything other than hatred for Israel, or that their hatred is likely to end in the foreseeable future. But still, they argue, Israel needs to surrender.

It is the "Arab Street's" overwhelming animosity towards Israel that causes the pragmatists to argue that Israel's best play is to cut deals with Arab dictators who rule with an iron fist. Since Israel and the Arab despots share a fear of the Arab masses, the pragmatists claim that Israel should give up all the land it took control over as a payoff to the regimes, who in exchange will sign peace treaties with it.

This was the logic that brought Israel to surrender the strategically priceless Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for the Camp David accord that will not survive Mubarak.

And of course, giving up the Sinai wasn't the only sacrifice Israel made for that nearly defunct document. Israel also gave up its regional monopoly on US military platforms. Israel agreed that in exchange for signing the deal, the US would begin providing massive military aid to Egypt. Indeed, it agreed to link US aid to Israel with US aid to Egypt.

Owing to that US aid, the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF.

And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off mass destruction capability. Despite its strength, due to the depth of popular Arab hatred of Israel and Jews, the Egyptian regime was weakened by its peace treaty. Partially in a bid to placate its opponents and partially in a bid to check Israeli power, Egypt has been the undisputed leader of the political war against Israel raging at international arenas throughout the world. So too, Mubarak has permitted and even encouraged massive anti-Semitism throughout Egyptian society.

With this balance sheet at the end of the "era of peace," between Israel and Egypt, it is far from clear that Israel was right to sign the deal in the first place. In light of the relative longevity of the regime it probably made sense to have made some deal with Egypt. But it is clear that the price Israel paid was outrageously inflated and unwise.
10236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Moody's Says Time Shortens for U.S. Rating Outlook as S&P Downgrades Japan on: January 28, 2011, 06:58:17 PM

Moody's Says Time Shortens for U.S. Rating Outlook as S&P Downgrades Japan

Moody’s Investors Service said it may need to place a “negative” outlook on the Aaa rating of U.S. debt sooner than anticipated as the country’s budget deficit widens.

The extension of tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush, the chance that Congress won’t reduce spending and the outcome of the November elections have increased Moody’s uncertainty over the willingness and ability of the U.S. to reduce its debt, the credit-ratings company said yesterday.

“Although no rating action is contemplated at this time, the time frame for possible future actions appears to be shortening, and the probability of assigning a negative outlook in the coming two years is rising,” wrote Steven Hess, a senior credit officer in New York and the author of the report. The rating remains “stable,” according to the report.

The warning from Moody’s came on the same day that Standard & Poor’s lowered Japan to AA- from AA, signaling that the ratings firms are stepping up pressure on the governments of the world’s biggest economies to curb their spending. The threat of a lower rating may cause international investors to avoid U.S. assets. About 50 percent of the almost $9 trillion of U.S. marketable debt is owned by investors outside the nation, according to the Treasury Department in Washington.

U.S. debt has increased from about $4.34 trillion in mid-2007 as the government increased spending to bail out the financial system and bring the economy out of recession. The budget deficit has increased to 8.8 percent of the economy from 1 percent in 2007.

‘Trajectory Is Worse’

“Because of the financial crisis and events following the financial crisis, the trajectory is worse than it was before,” Hess said in a telephone interview.

Moody’s said it expects there will be “constructive efforts” to reduce the deficit and control entitlement spending. It predicted 10-year Treasury yields will rise toward 5 percent without surpassing that level.
10237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morici: Japan Sound, U.S. Insolvent on: January 28, 2011, 06:54:29 PM

Morici: Japan Sound, U.S. Insolvent

S&P has downgraded Japan's long-term debt from AA to AA-, indicating the U.S. AAA rating should be taken down several notches to less than AA-.

National economies must generate foreign currency for their governments to pay foreign creditors, and national governments must be able to tax, sell bonds or print money, without causing inflation, to cover operating expenses and pay interest.

Japan's ability to pay is simply much stronger than the United States.

Japan has a strong current account surplus-thanks to a powerful manufacturing export machine-and the Bank of Japan sits on $1 trillion in foreign currency reserves. It has more than enough cash flow and adequate reserves to service the claims of foreign creditors. The United States can hardly make such a claim.

Domestically, Japan does suffer from deflation, slow growth and maintains a large budget deficit to prop up domestic demand, because Japanese citizens save so much. With prices falling, even in the face of global commodity inflation, the Japanese government has adequate latitude to sell bonds to its savers, and the BoJ has more than enough flexibility to purchase those bonds as needed-monetarize debt-without instigating domestic inflation or creating other adverse macroeconomic consequences.

The United States is a wholly different situation. The U.S. has a gaping current account deficit-on oil and with China-and policies pursued by the Bush and Obama Administrations are worsening those conditions. Owing to the large current account deficit, the United States must run a huge budget deficit, close to 10 percent of GDP, just to sustain growth at 3.5 percent and keep unemployment from flying out of control.

The large U.S. current account deficit indicates the U.S. economy as a whole is not generating adequate revenues to pay foreign creditors interest due on U.S. debt, and Washington must service the interest on externally held debt by printing more bonds and selling those abroad, but foreign private demand for those bonds is satiated. Consequently, the United States is much too dependent on the government of China to print yuan to buy dollars, and in turn, to use those dollars to buy Treasuries to finance the U.S. private economy's current account deficit and the federal budget deficit.

Read more:
10238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What next? Disco? on: January 28, 2011, 03:55:12 PM

Stagflation? Check.

A incompetent leftist president dithers while we get ready to lose a vital ally to jihadists? Check.

Spiking gas prices? Check.

10239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2011, 02:52:46 PM
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.
10240  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."
10241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Laser-like focus on: January 28, 2011, 02:07:44 PM

Jobs, jobs, jobs.
10242  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.
10243  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.
10244  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:
10245  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?
10246  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
10247  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?
10248  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?
10249  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
10250  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

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