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10201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: June 30, 2009, 10:49:22 PM
June 29, 2009
Persistent Myths in Feminist Scholarship


"Harder to kill than a vampire." That is what the sociologist Joel Best calls a bad statistic. But, as I have discovered over the years, among false statistics the hardest of all to slay are those promoted by feminist professors. Consider what happened recently when I sent an e-mail message to the Berkeley law professor Nancy K.D. Lemon pointing out that the highly praised textbook that she edited, Domestic Violence Law (second edition, Thomson/West, 2005), contained errors.

Her reply began:

"I appreciate and share your concern for veracity in all of our scholarship. However, I would expect a colleague who is genuinely concerned about such matters to contact me directly and give me a chance to respond before launching a public attack on me and my work, and then contacting me after the fact."

I confess: I had indeed publicly criticized Lemon's book, in campus lectures and in a post on I had always thought that that was the usual practice of intellectual argument. Disagreement is aired, error corrected, truth affirmed. Indeed, I was moved to write to her because of the deep consternation of law students who had attended my lectures: If authoritative textbooks contain errors, how are students to know whether they are being educated or indoctrinated? Lemon's book has been in law-school classrooms for years.

One reason that feminist scholarship contains hard-to-kill falsehoods is that reasonable, evidence-backed criticism is regarded as a personal attack.

Lemon's Domestic Violence Law is organized as a conventional law-school casebook — a collection of judicial opinions, statutes, and articles selected, edited, and commented upon by the author. The first selection, written by Cheryl Ward Smith (no institutional affiliation is given), offers students a historical perspective on domestic-violence law. According to Ward:

"The history of women's abuse began over 2,700 years ago in the year 753 BC. It was during the reign of Romulus of Rome that wife abuse was accepted and condoned under the Laws of Chastisement. ... The laws permitted a man to beat his wife with a rod or switch so long as its circumference was no greater than the girth of the base of the man's right thumb. The law became commonly know as 'The Rule of Thumb.' These laws established a tradition which was perpetuated in English Common Law in most of Europe."

Where to begin? How about with the fact that Romulus of Rome never existed. He is a figure in Roman mythology — the son of Mars, nursed by a wolf. Problem 2: The phrase "rule of thumb" did not originate with any law about wife beating, nor has anyone ever been able to locate any such law. It is now widely regarded as a myth, even among feminist professors.

A few pages later, in a selection by Joan Zorza, a domestic-violence expert, students read, "The March of Dimes found that women battered during pregnancy have more than twice the rate of miscarriages and give birth to more babies with more defects than women who may suffer from any immunizable illness or disease." Not true. When I recently read Zorza's assertion to Richard P. Leavitt, director of science information at the March of Dimes, he replied, "That is a total error on the part of the author. There was no such study." The myth started in the early 1990s, he explained, and resurfaces every few years.

Zorza also informs readers that "between 20 and 35 percent of women seeking medical care in emergency rooms in America are there because of domestic violence." Studies by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, indicate that the figure is closer to 1 percent.

Few students would guess that the Lemon book is anything less than reliable. The University of California at Berkeley's online faculty profile of Lemon hails it as the "premiere" text of the genre. It is part of a leading casebook series, published by Thomson/West, whose board of academic advisers, prominently listed next to the title page, includes many eminent law professors.

I mentioned these problems in my message to Lemon. She replied:

"I have looked into your assertions and requested documentation from Joan Zorza regarding the March of Dimes study and the statistics on battered women in emergency rooms. She provided both of these promptly."

If that's the case, Zorza and Lemon might share their documentation with Leavitt, of the March of Dimes, who is emphatic that it does not exist. They might also contact the Centers for Disease Control statistician Janey Hsiao, who wrote to me that "among ED [Emergency Department] visits made by females, the percent of having physical abuse by spouse or partner is 0.02 percent in 2003 and 0.01 percent in 2005."

Here is what Lemon says about Cheryl Ward Smith's essay on Romulus and the rule of thumb:

"I made a few minor editorial changes in the Smith piece so that it is more accurate. However, overall it appeared to be correct."

A few minor editorial changes? Students deserve better. So do women victimized by violence.

Feminist misinformation is pervasive. In their eye-opening book, Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies (Lexington Books, 2003), the professors Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge describe the "sea of propaganda" that overwhelms the contemporary feminist classroom. The formidable Christine Rosen (formerly Stolba), in her 2002 report on the five leading women's-studies textbooks, found them rife with falsehoods, half-truths, and "deliberately misleading sisterly sophistries." Are there serious scholars in women's studies? Yes, of course. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, an anthropologist at the University of California at Davis; Janet Zollinger Giele, a sociologist at Brandeis; and Anne Mellor, a literary scholar at UCLA, to name just three, are models of academic excellence and integrity. But they are the exception. Lemon's book typifies the departmental mind-set.

Consider The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World (2008), by the feminist scholar Joni Seager, chair of the Hunter College geography department. Now in its fourth edition, Seager's atlas was named "reference book of the year" by the American Library Association when it was published. "Nobody should be without this book," says the feminist icon Gloria Steinem. "A wealth of fascinating information," enthuses The Washington Post. Fascinating, maybe. But the information is misleading and, at least in one instance, flat-out false.

One color-coded map illustrates how women are kept "in their place" by restrictions on their mobility, dress, and behavior. Somehow the United States comes out looking as bad in this respect as Somalia, Uganda, Yemen, Niger, and Libya. All are coded with the same shade of green to indicate places where "patriarchal assumptions" operate in "potent combination with fundamentalist religious interpretations." Seager's logic? She notes that in parts of Uganda, a man can claim an unmarried woman as his wife by raping her. The United States gets the same low rating on Seager's charts because, she notes, "State legislators enacted 301 anti-abortion measures between 1995 and 2001." Never mind that the Ugandan practice is barbaric, that U.S. abortion law is exceptionally liberal among the nations of the world, and that the activism and controversy surrounding the issue of abortion in the United States is a sign of a vigorous free democracy working out its disagreements.

On another map, the United States gets the same rating for domestic violence as Uganda and Haiti. Seager backs up that verdict with that erroneous and ubiquitous emergency-room factoid: "22 percent-35 percent of women who visit a hospital emergency room do so because of domestic violence."

The critical work of 21st-century feminism will be to help women in the developing world, especially in Muslim societies, in their struggle for basic rights. False depictions of the United States as an oppressive "patriarchy" are a ludicrous distraction. If American women are as oppressed as Ugandan women, then American feminists would be right to focus on their domestic travails and let the Ugandan women fend for themselves.

All books have mistakes, so why pick on the feminists? My complaint with feminist research is not so much that the authors make mistakes; it is that the mistakes are impervious to reasoned criticism. They do not get corrected. The authors are passionately committed to the proposition that American women are oppressed and under siege. The scholars seize and hold on for dear life to any piece of data that appears to corroborate their dire worldview. At the same time, any critic who attempts to correct the false assumptions is dismissed as a backlasher and an anti-feminist crank.

Why should it matter if a large number of professors think and say a lot of foolish and intemperate things? Here are three reasons to be concerned:

1) False assertions, hyperbole, and crying wolf undermine the credibility and effectiveness of feminism. The United States, and the world, would greatly benefit from an intellectually responsible, reality-based women's movement.

2) Over the years, the feminist fictions have made their way into public policy. They travel from the women's-studies textbooks to women's advocacy groups and then into news stories. Soon after, they are cited by concerned political leaders. President Obama recently issued an executive order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls. As he explained, "The purpose of this council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy." He and Congress are also poised to use the celebrated Title IX gender-equity law to counter discrimination not only in college athletics but also in college math and science programs, where, it is alleged, women face a "chilly climate." The president and members of Congress can cite decades of women's-studies scholarship that presents women as the have-nots of our society. Never mind that this is largely no longer true. Nearly every fact that could be marshaled to justify the formation of the White House Council on Women and Girls or the new focus of Title IX application was shaped by scholarly merchants of hype like Professors Lemon and Seager.

3) Finally, as a philosophy professor of almost 20 years, and as someone who respects rationality, objective scholarship, and intellectual integrity, I find it altogether unacceptable for distinguished university professors and prestigious publishers to disseminate falsehoods. It is offensive in itself, even without considering the harmful consequences. Obduracy in the face of reasonable criticism may be inevitable in some realms, such as partisan politics, but in academe it is an abuse of the privileges of professorship.

"Thug," "parasite," "dangerous," a "female impersonator" — those are some of the labels applied to me when I exposed specious feminist statistics in my 1994 book Who Stole Feminism? (Come to think of it, none of my critics contacted me directly with their concerns before launching their public attacks.) According to Susan Friedman, of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, "Sommers' diachronic discourse is easily unveiled as synchronic discourse in drag. ... She practices ... metonymic historiography." That one hurt! But my views, as well as my metonymic historiography, are always open to correction. So I'll continue to follow the work of the academic feminists — to criticize it when it is wrong, and to learn from it when it is right.

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the author of Who Stole Feminism? (Simon & Schuster, 1994) and The War Against Boys (Simon & Schuster, 2000), and editor of The Science on Women and Science, forthcoming from the AEI Press.
Section: The Chronicle Review
10202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where is the outrage? on: June 27, 2009, 05:20:02 PM
Milt, Rogt, JDN?

Obama prepares to hold Gitmo guys indefinitely, just as Bush did

In yet another sign of political perfidy, the White House of President George W. Bush has drafted a presidential executive order that would allow that double-dealing Republican chief executive to hold suspected terrorist detainees indefinitely.

According to the president's intentions, such suspects could be detained for long periods of time, virtually indefinitely. Is this really what the nation voted for last November?

Oh, wait. No. According to an exclusive Washington Post/Pro Publica report this afternoon, it's the refreshing new Democratic administration of Barack Obama that's now preparing this new executive order to hold certain terrorist suspects indefinitely.

This is an obviously inspiring sign of the new style of leadership the Democrat promised and is finally bringing to the White House. As one blogger put it, George W. Obama. And it shows the kind of powerful political pragmatism with which the ex-senator from Illinois approaches this job at such a crucial and globally turbulent time.Strangely, it was leaked to the Post on a slow summer Friday afternoon when it wouldn't gain much attention.

According to the Post report, the 44th president is now starting to think that closure of the internationally-reviled Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which Obama announced with so much fanfare on his first day in office last winter, may be impossible to actually accomplish before the one-year deadline he set for himself before actually planning where else to put these prisoners.

In other words, fanfare aside, status quo ante. Democrat or Republican, same deal. Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney will be so pleased that the Obama-Biden folks finally accepted his advice to protect national security.

Another sign, finally, of real change after eight long years of the very same thing.

-- Andrew Malcolm
10203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 23, 2009, 01:57:18 PM

Perfectly captures our President on Iran.
10204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: June 21, 2009, 10:17:04 PM
- Works and Days - -

“This Is the Moment”?
Posted By Victor Davis Hanson On June 20, 2009 @ 4:10 pm In Uncategorized | 95 Comments

Let Me Count the Ways Why Obama Should at Last Speak Out ( —I write this at around noon on Saturday, and suspect the pressure of public outrage will soon get to Obama, and he soon will recant and start sounding Reaganesque)


(As in something like this:


“Hundreds of thousands of gallant Iranians are now engaged in a non-violent moral struggle against tyranny in Iran-one of the great examples of bravery in our times. All free peoples of the world watch their ordeal, and can only wish them success, while owing them a great deal of gratitude for risking their lives for the innate and shared notion of human freedom and dignity. We in the United States ask the government of Iran—as well as its military and security forces — to recognize the universal appeal of freedom that flourishes among its own remarkable people, to stand down and renounce its serial use of violence and coercion-and to ensure a truly free election where the voices of all can be at last fully heard, so that  Iran can once more properly reenter  the family of law-biding nations”.)


So why speak out louder? (Does not Obama see that the world has been given a rare chance, thanks to brave Iranians—as if the German people had risen up in 1938 in fear of what was on the horizon)


1)   It is the moral and right thing to do to support the brave and idealistic (the Congressional Democrats mostly get this. And, after a week of embarrassment, the “I worship whoever runs the White House” pundits are not far behind and scrambling to retract and revise last week’s obsequious columns.). The dissidents in fact can win in this new age of private instant communications, in which global news is not predicated on elite correspondents and news desks editors, but can flow globally and instantaneously, unfiltered, with unforeseen consequences.)


2)   The theocracy is a fiendish regime that hides behind third-world victimhood while it murders and promotes terror abroad. When it totters, the world sighs relief from Iraq to Lebanon; when it chest-thumps, thousands die at home and abroad.



3)   Of the three ways to stop a nuclear theocracy-(regime change, preemption, embargo), supporting the opponents of the regime is the most logical, peaceful, and cost-effective-and has the best chance of success. (Ask the worried surrounding Arab frontline countries).



4)    There is a long bipartisan American history of supporting dissidents who were fighting for election fairness abroad in Poland, Serbia, Latin America, and South Africa. (Does Obama think Mandela did not wish words of support from America? Why then would he think the Iranians being shot at in the streets would not wish moral clarity from the prophet of Cairo?). The Europeans (and even the Arab world) are way ahead of us.


5)   Obama’s realpolitik is flawed: 1) if the mullahs win, they will have greater contempt for our timidity; 2) if the dissidents win, they will not forget our realistic fence-sitting; 3) you can never believe (ever) anything the mullahs say or do. Negotiating with them is like signing a pact with Hitler. They are afraid of US voiced support for the dissidents, not the dissidents themselves who ask for our solidarity. If anything, the theocrats grasp that their own do not want a nuclear confrontation with Israel in which the people would be sacrificial pawns. Again and again, the dissidents have repeated that they are tired of being hated in the world as Ahmadinejad’s Iranians, not that they wanted Obama’s America to be less critical of Ahmadinejad.

…. And Why He Has Not:


1)   Our President has always been a trimmer-voting present serially in Illinois; proclaiming broad new positions on the campaign trail only to disown them while President; rhetorically always splitting the difference with ‘on the one hand, on the other’, ’some, they, others say’, ‘I don’t accept false choices…’ etc. So now he waits to see who wins. And then will provide the soaring rhetoric postfacto to suggest that he was either the careful realist all along who foresaw the dissidents’ failure-or the enthusiastic moralist who always really did cheer on the mullahs’ demise. Robert Gibbs has both scripts already fed into the bookend A and B teleprompters.





2)   It’s a personal thing that interferes with Obama’s ego, and messianic personal diplomacy.  Obama himself is not comfortable with those abroad who emulate American values and seek to have the freedoms and rights we take for granted. The post-colonial industry mandates that the Other is a perpetual victim of colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, and racism with justified grievances. Only elite American intellectuals of singular insight and empathy understand the calculus of the oppressed, and so, through apologies, accommodations, and concessions, they alone on our behalf can deal with an Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Ortega, Castro, Morales, Nasrallah, etc. But when we see a purple-finger election, a statue of liberty at Tiananmen, or the current Levi-clad, cell-phoning, English-placard-carrying Iranian grassroots resistance, all the above is rendered null and void. Obama wants to rise above his country; but when his country is not held in disrepute (as is true among the Iranian people), he is an actor without a role.


People abroad really do prefer freedom and true constitutional government to autocratic grievance mongers who loot their country and brutalize the free. In such conditions, old-fashioned Americans, often inarticulate and perhaps clumsy, but honest in their belief in the universal appeal of human freedom, do better than all the nuanced Kennedy School intellectuals (e.g. They laughed at the reductionist  “Tear Down This Wall” and “Evil Empire” and apparently preferred “No Inordinate Fear of Communism”). So a deer-in-the-headlights Obama wonders, ‘Wait, why aren’t they shouting the boilerplate ‘Death to America!’ and invoking, like I did, 1953 and the CIA crimes? Don’t they know the things that we did to them and I apologized for? Don’t they see that I am as separate from the US of the 1950s as they are? What’s this grass-roots rejection of an anti-Western, anti-colonialist indigenous Iranian government all about? (cf. his moral equivalent comparison of Mousavi to Ahmadinejad as equally anti-American).



3)   Obama is clueless. Hillary knows more, but not that much more (Bill knows less as his 2005 Davos disastrous encomium of Iran proved). Biden, well, is Biden. The brighter like Holbrooke serve on the second tier.  In short, no one knows now to whom do you apologize? And if to no one, what then do you do? We’re back to sorta, sorta not shoot the pirates, kinda, kinda not stop the Koreans, maybe, maybe not keep renditions, tribunals, wiretaps, intercepts, and drone attacks-or why didn’t someone brief me on the problems with closing Guantanamo before I promised the world at end to our American Gulag?





4)   He’s addicted to the ossified Iraqi paradigm of “Bush intervened and caused a mess” (Free Iraq is apparently still equivalent to Saddam’s Iraq), so “I don’t want to follow his lead” (as if vocal support now is the same as shock and awe then). Somewhere in stone a lie is chiseled “Iraq made Iran stronger”. He doesn’t see the footnote: “But if Iraqi democracy survives, it fuels emulation in neighboring Iran and does more to undermine the theocracy than all the F-22s in the world”. Who knows-if Iranian freedom spreads, some nut might praise Bush’s commitment to Middle East freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, and not Obama’s apologetics at Cairo? (Free Shiites in Iraq are far better for Iran than either oppressed minorities under Saddam, or Saddam’s opportunistic dictatorship). Bottom line again: Obama needs to forget Ahmadinejad and talk daily with Maliki.




5) His entire anti-Bush foreign policy is then in trouble. We’ve heard for eight years a cheap slur of “neo-cons” did it, not that in the dangerous world abroad there are no good choices, but supporting freedom is usually the better alternative if one must choose. If a peaceful democratic revolution succeeds in Iran, then what happens with “outreach” to Putin, Chavez, and Hamas? The new liberal realpolitik insisted that we don’t offer moral judgment, and was framed instead by winning the hearts and minds of tyrants through humbling ourselves and meae culpae. But if these democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and an Iran (?) were to succeed, then what? You would not go to Chavez and promise first to talk about shared colonial racist oppression, but rather say to the Venezuelan people, “We stand with you in your struggle to achieve freedom and dignity and to join the other democracies of Latin America”? That is not just in the cards, and so Iran, is well, a monkey-wrench.


For now, watch the Iranian army and police. If one battalion bolts, then . . .

Article printed from Works and Days:

URL to article:
10205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 21, 2009, 10:18:35 AM


June 20, 2009 --
When Barack Obama was running for president, he vigorously reassured voters of his firm commitment to America's special relationship with Israel. Indeed, he worked to beef up his pro-Israel bona fides long before he even announced his intention to run. In a 2006 speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama recounted a helicopter tour over the Israeli border with the West Bank. "I could truly see how close everything is and why peace through security is the only way for Israel," he said. In that same speech, Obama called the Jewish State "our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy." During the primary and general election campaigns, Obama dispatched a stream of high-profile Jewish supporters to canvas Florida, and in a 2008 AIPAC speech, he went so far as to declare that Jerusalem must remain the "undivided" capital of Israel.

For all the qualms that anti-Obama "smears" would depress support in the Jewish community, Jews rewarded Obama with nearly 80% of their votes, more than they gave John Kerry.

Just six months into the new administration, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that those who harbored suspicions about Obama's approach to the Middle East had good reason to be worried. A confluence of factors -- including his administration's undue pressure on Israel, a conciliatory approach to authoritarian Muslim regimes, and the baseless linkage of the failed "peace process" to the curtailment of the Iranian nuclear program -- point to what could become "the greatest disagreement between the two countries in the history of their relationship," as Middle East expert Robert Satloff recently told Newsweek.

This dramatic shift in American policy began several months ago when the administration signaled that it would make the cessation of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank the centerpiece of its policy to revamp the region. And that approach, mostly hinted at through anonymous leaks, became as good as official when Obama delivered his vaunted address to the Muslim world in Cairo earlier this month. In that speech, Israel (and, specifically, its policy of settlement construction) was the only state to merit specific criticism from the president of the United States. Among all the degradations and injustices in the Middle East, from the abhorrent treatment of women in nations like Saudi Arabia, to Syrian-backed assassinations of pro-sovereignty politicians in Lebanon, to the arrest and imprisonment of gay men in Egypt, the leader of the free world singled out America's one, reliable democratic ally in the region for rebuke.

Obama's strategic worldview assumes that once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, other problems in the Middle East will be easier to fix, if not solve themselves. "We understand that Israel's preoccupation with Iran as an existential threat," National Security Advisor Jim Jones told George Stephanopoulos last month. "We agree with that. And by the same token, there are a lot of things that you can do to diminish that existential threat by working hard towards achieving a two-state solution."

By establishing this connection, the fate of the entire region thus hinges upon the resolution of a problem that hasn't had a solution for over six decades. This is an awfully convenient view for those who enjoy the status quo, which is why so many Arab despots cling to it, and it's discouraging to see the Obama administration joining them.

"Linkage" is faulty for two reasons. The first is intrinsic to the peace process itself, as it is going nowhere. And it will continue to go nowhere for at least as long as Hamas -- a terrorist organization constitutionally committed to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews -- rules the Gaza Strip, which it has controlled since violently seizing power in the summer of 2007. But it's not just Hamas that remains hesitant to work with Israel. To see the continued intransigence of the Palestinians, witness their bizarre reactions to Benjamin Netanyahu's momentous speech last week, in which the Israeli Prime Minister, for the first time in his career, announced his support for the two-state solution so obsessively demanded by the international community. The Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt denounced Netanyahu's pledge as "nothing but a hoax." The PLO Executive Committee Secretary called Netanyahu a "liar and a crook" who is "looking for ploys to disrupt the peace endeavor." A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that, "The speech has destroyed all peace initiatives and [chances for] a solution." And these are the so-called "moderates."

The second reason why "linkage" is a faulty premise, and why the Obama administration is so foolish to pursue it, is that the problems of the Middle East are not inspired by the lack of a Palestinian state. The biggest crisis in the Middle East right now is Iran's mad quest for nuclear weapons. Nothing even comes close. Even the Arab states -- whose citizens, we are told, cannot rest due to Palestinian statelessness -- are letting the world know that their foremost concern is a revolutionary Islamic theocracy with nuclear weapons (As the dramatic and inspiring street protests in Tehran over the past week have amply demonstrated, what really rouses the Muslim "street" is the venality and cruelty of the region's authoritarian governments, not far-off Zionists reluctant to give Palestinians a state).

These regimes know that Iran, thus armed, will be able to act with far greater impunity that it already does, causing more trouble for coalition forces in Iraq, ordering its proxy armies of Hamas and Hezbollah to ramp up attacks on Israel and stir chaos in Lebanon, and support radical elements throughout the region. It would also set off a regional arms race, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt as the next likely proliferators. Yet the Obama administration does not seem to realize that stopping an Iranian nuclear bomb ought take precedence over the stalled "peace process."

In his otherwise admirable remarks about the significance of the Holocaust and the hatefulness of its denial in his Cairo speech, Obama did further damage by paying obeisance to the Arabs' false narrative about Israeli's creation. In neglecting to affirm the Jews' historic claim on the land of Israel, Obama confirmed the Arab belief that they are paying for the crimes of mid-twentieth century Europe. However awful the misfortune that befell them, Obama's narrative -- in the minds of his audience -- portrays the Jews, however awful their misfortune, as occupiers, not indigenous neighbors.

The Cairo speech provided Obama with an opportunity to call on the Muslim world to acknowledge that Jews are as much a part of the Middle East and its history as are Persians and Arabs, Sunnis and Shia, Druz and Christians. He failed in that task.

Unfortunately, the President seems to be paying no domestic political price for turning on Israel. Given the historic support that the American public has shown for the Jewish State, this is in and of itself a disturbing sign. But when an American administration's rhetoric and diplomacy render Israel the obstinate actor and portray its supposed recalcitrance as the main obstacle to peace, public opinion will follow.

The percentage of American voters who call themselves supporters of Israel has plummeted from 69% last September to 49% this month, according to the Israel Project. Meanwhile, only 6% of Jewish Israelis consider Obama to be "pro-Israel," a Jerusalem Post poll found, pointing to a disturbing gulf between the two nations. There are even signs of rising anti-Semitism, as a survey by Columbia and Stanford professors found that 32% of Democrats blamed Jews for the financial crisis.

Obama is turning America against Israel, for what exactly? The false hopes of improved relations with Arab nations and a nuclear-equipped Iran. That is not what he promised in his campaign, and neither a fair practice or a fair trade.

James Kirchick is an assistant editor of The New Republic and a Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow.
10206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: June 20, 2009, 04:30:53 PM

June 20, 2009, 6:00 a.m.

Neutrality Isn’t an Option
You always have a dog in the fight, whether you know it or not.

By Mark Steyn

The polite explanation for Barack Obama’s diffidence on Iran is that he doesn’t want to give the mullahs the excuse to say the Great Satan is meddling in Tehran’s affairs. So the president’s official position is that he’s modestly encouraged by the regime’s supposed interest in investigating some of the allegations of fraud. Also, he’s heartened to hear that OJ is looking for the real killers. “You've seen in Iran,” explained President Obama, “some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election . . . ”

“Supreme Leader”? I thought that was official house style for Barack Obama at Newsweek and MSNBC. But no. It’s also the title held by Ayatollah Khamenei for the last couple of decades. If it sounds odd from the lips of an American president, that’s because none has ever been as deferential in observing the Islamic republic’s dictatorial protocol. Like President Obama’s deep, ostentatious bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, it signals a fresh start in our relations with the Muslim world, “mutually respectful” and unilaterally fawning.

And how did it go down? At Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayotollah Khamenei attacked “dirty Zionists” and “bad British radio” (presumably a reference to the BBC’s Farsi news service rather than the non-stop Herman’s Hermits marathon on Supergold Oldies FM). “The most evil of them all is the British government,” added the supreme leader, warming to his theme. The crowd, including President Ahmadinelandslide and his cabinet, chanted, “Death to the U.K.”

Her Majesty’s Government brought this on themselves by allowing their shoot-from-the-lip prime minister to issue saber-rattling threats like: “The regime must address the serious questions which have been asked about the conduct of the Iranian elections.”

Fortunately, President Obama was far more judicious. And in return, instead of denouncing him as “evil” and deploring the quality of his radio programming, Ayatollah Khamenei said Obama’s “agents” had been behind the protests: “They started to cause riots in the street, they caused destruction, they burnt houses.” But that wasn’t all the Great Satin did. “What is the worst thing to me in all this,” sighed the supreme leader, “are comments made in the name of human rights and freedom and liberty by American officials . . . What? Are you serious? Do you know what human rights are?”

And then he got into specifics: “During the time of the Democrats, the time of Clinton, 80 people were burned alive in Waco. Now you are talking about human rights?”

It’s unclear whether the “Death to the U.K.” chanters switched at this point to “Democrats lied, people fried.” But you get the gist. The President of the United States can make nice to His Hunkalicious Munificence the Supremely Supreme Leader of Leaders (Peace Be Upon Him) all he wants, but it isn’t going to be reciprocated.

There’s a very basic lesson here: For great powers, studied neutrality isn’t an option. Even if you’re genuinely neutral. In the early nineties, the attitude of much of the west to the disintegrating Yugoslavia was summed up in the brute dismissal of James Baker that America didn’t have a dog in this fight. Fair enough. But over in the Balkans junkyard the various mangy old pooches saw it rather differently. And so did the Muslim world, which regarded British and European “neutrality” as a form of complicity in mass murder. As Osama bin Laden put it:
The British are responsible for destroying the Caliphate system. They are the ones who created the Palestinian problem. They are the ones who created the Kashmiri problem. They are the ones who put the arms embargo on the Muslims of Bosnia so that two million Muslims were killed.

How come a catalogue of imperial interventions wound up with that bit of scrupulous non-imperial non-intervention? Because great-power “even-handedness” will invariably be received as a form of one-handedness by the time its effects are felt on the other side of the world. Western “even-handedness” on Bosnia was the biggest single factor in the radicalization of European Muslims. They swarmed to the Balkans to support their coreligionists and ran into a bunch of Wahhabi imams moving into the neighborhood with lots of Saudi money and anxious to fill their Rolodex with useful contacts in the west. Among the alumni of that conflict was the hitherto impeccably assimilated English public (ie, private) schoolboy and London School of Economics student who went on to behead the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl. You always have a dog in the fight, whether you know it or not.

For the Obama administration, this presents a particular challenge — because the president’s preferred rhetorical tic is to stake out the two sides and present himself as a dispassionate, disinterested soul of moderation: “There are those who would argue . . . ” on the one hand, whereas “there are those who insist . . . ” on the other, whereas he is beyond such petty dogmatic positions. That was pretty much his shtick on abortion at Notre Dame. Of course, such studied moderation is usually a crock: Obama is an abortion absolutist, supporting partial-birth infanticide, and even laws that prevent any baby so inconsiderate as to survive the abortion from receiving medical treatment.

So in his recent speech in Cairo he applied the same technique. Among his many unique qualities, the 44th president is the first to give the impression that the job is beneath him — that he is too big and too gifted to be confined to the humdrum interests of one nation state. As my former National Review colleague David Frum put it, the Obama address offered “the amazing spectacle of an American president taking an equidistant position between the country he leads and its detractors and enemies.”

What would you make of that “equidistance” if you were back in the palace watching it on CNN International? Maybe you’d know that, on domestic policy, Obama uses the veneer of disinterested arbiter as a feint. Or maybe you’d just figure that no serious world leader can ever be neutral on vital issues. So you’d start combing the speech for what lies underneath the usual Obama straw men — and women: “I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal.” Very brave of you, I’m sure. But what about the Muslim women who choose not to cover themselves and wind up as the victims of honor killings in Germany and Scandinavia and Toronto and Dallas? Ah, but that would have required real courage, not audience flattery masquerading as such.

And so, when the analysts had finished combing the speech, they would have concluded that the meta-message of his “equidistance” was a prostration before “stability” — an acceptance of the region’s worst pathologies as a permanent feature of life.

The mullahs stole this election on a grander scale than ever before primarily for reasons of internal security and regional strategy. But Obama’s speech told them that, in the “post-American world,” they could do so with impunity. Blaming his “agents” for the protests is merely a bonus: Offered the world’s biggest carrot, Khamenei took it and used it as a stick.

He won’t be the last to read Obama this way.

— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2009 Mark Steyn
National Review Online -
10207  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Security issues on: June 19, 2009, 10:20:36 PM
The LDS have a large cadre of former/current  federal law enforcement/intel officers to draw from to protect church interests.
10208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 18, 2009, 03:30:44 PM
Ok, I don't see how the economy will turn out alright after Obanomics drives us into unimaginable debt.

Meanwhile, we are getting ready to catch a BRIC to our collective heads. And Tthe remaining axis of evil nations are running wild.

So, how does this portend a recovery?
10209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama greenlights the crackdown on: June 18, 2009, 10:25:22 AM


June 18, 2009 --
SILENCE is complicity. Our president's refusal to take a forthright moral stand on the side of the Iranian freedom marchers is read in Tehran as a blank check for the current regime.

The fundamentalist junta has begun arresting opposition figures, with regime mouthpieces raising the prospect of the death penalty. Inevitably, there are claims that dissidents have been "hoarding weapons and explosives."

Foreign media reps are under house arrest. Cellphone frequencies are jammed. Students are killed and the killings disavowed.

And our president is "troubled," but doesn't believe we should "meddle" in Iran's internal affairs. (Meddling in Israel's domestic affairs is just fine, though.)

We just turned our backs on freedom.


Of all our foreign-policy failures in my lifetime, our current shunning of those demanding free elections and expanded civil rights in Iran reminds me most of Hungary in 1956.

For years, we encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against oppression. When they did, we watched from the sidelines as Russian tanks drove over them.

For decades, Washington policymakers from both parties have prodded Iranians to throw off their shackles. Last Friday, millions of Iranians stood up. And we're standing down.

That isn't diplomacy. It's treachery.

Despite absurd claims that Obama's Islam-smooching Cairo speech triggered the calls for freedom in Tehran's streets, these politics are local. But if those partisan claims of the "Cairo Effect" were true, wouldn't our president be obliged to stand beside those he incited?

Too bad for the Iranians, but their outburst of popular anger toward Iran's oppressive government doesn't fit the administration's script -- which is written around negotiations with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

To Obama, his dogmatic commitment to negotiations is infinitely more important than a few million protesters chanting the Farsi equivalent of "We Shall Overcome."

This is madness. There is no chance -- zero, null, nada -- that negotiations with the junta of mullahs will lead to the termination (or even a serious interruption) of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our president's faith in his powers of persuasion is beginning to look pathological. Is his program of negotiations with apocalypse-minded, woman-hating, Jew-killing fanatics so sacrosanct that he can't acknowledge human cries for freedom?

Is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright a better role model than Martin Luther King? It's a damned shame that our first minority president wasn't a veteran of our civil-rights struggle, rather than its privileged beneficiary.

An ugly pattern's emerging in our president's beliefs:

He's infallible. This is rich, given all the criticism of the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit mistakes. We now have a president with Jimmy Carter's naivete, Richard Nixon's distaste for laws, Lyndon Johnson's commitment to the wrong war, and Bill Clinton's moral fecklessness.

Democracy isn't important. Our president seems infected by yesteryear's Third-World-leftist view that dictatorships are essential to post-colonial development -- especially for Muslims.

Look where Obama has gone and who he supports: the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, his groveling speech in Egypt, his embrace of Hamas, his hands-off approach to the gory regime in Sudan -- and now his dismay at the protests in Iran.

Strict Islam is true Islam. This is bewildering, given Obama's childhood exposure to the tolerant Islam practiced in most of Indonesia. The defining remark of his presidency thus far was his Cairo demand for the right of Muslim women to wear Islamic dress in the West -- while remaining silent about their right to reject the hijab, burqa or chador in the Middle East.

History's a blank canvas -- except for America's sins. Of course, we've had presidents who presented the past in the colors they preferred -- but we've never had one who just made it all up.

Obama's ignorance of history is on naked display -- no sense of the brutality of Iran's Islamist regime, of the years of mass imprisonments, diabolical torture, prison rapes, wholesale executions and secret graves that made the shah's reign seem idyllic. Our president seems to regard the Iranian protesters as spoiled brats.

Facts? Who cares? In his Cairo sermon -- a speech that will live in infamy -- our president compared the plight of the Palestinians, the aggressors in 1948, with the Holocaust. He didn't mention the million Jews dispossessed and driven from Muslim lands since 1948, nor the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank.

Now our president's attempt to vote "present" yet again green-lights the Iranian regime's determination to face down the demonstrators -- and the mullahs understand it as such.

If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.
10210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: June 17, 2009, 07:45:57 AM
Obama's choice is not to choose on Iran
The president has an opportunity to stand up for democracy.
Jonah Goldberg
June 16, 2009

Do it, President Obama, please. Take the side of democracy.

Declare yourself and your nation on the side of hope and change where it is more than a slogan and better than a rationalization for ever-bigger government. Stop measuring the success of your diplomacy with Iran by the degree to which the grinning, hate-filled stooge of a clerical junta will "temper" his rhetoric about the pressing need to destroy Israel and slow his ineluctable pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Instead, choose a higher standard. Look to history. Look to the aspirations of the students risking their lives and livelihoods to protest a sham election. Stop fawning over the mythological Muslim street only when it hates America, and look to the real Iranian street at the moment of its greatest need, when its heart may be open to loving America.

You often invoke President Kennedy's pledge to put a man on the moon to justify your domestic agenda. You and your supporters invite comparisons to Camelot. Well, what of John F. Kennedy's most solemn vow? "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

No, we should not bomb Iran, or invade it. Those prices are too steep; those burdens are too heavy. But maybe you could lift a finger for democracy?

During the campaign you mocked those who belittled your rhetoric as "just words." Well, what you've offered so far is less than just words. You've put a fresh coat of whitewash on Iran's sham "democracy." On Monday, you proclaimed yourself "troubled" by the events in Iran, before hinting that you'd negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad no matter what an investigation into his "landslide" victory found. Then there was your pre-election mumbling about "robust debate [that] hopefully will advance our ability to engage them in new ways."

Of course, debate in Iran has been robust only if you are grading on a curve. Ahmadinejad's main opponent, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was an accidental reform candidate. The mullahs had disqualified about 400 others, leaving in the race only four presumed hacks deemed to be pliant enough not to rock the boat. Mousavi's popular support and the robustness of the debate he ignited were an unintended consequence of a rigged election, not the intention of a democratic regime. Going into the election, you chose to celebrate the process, to placate a theocratic politburo.

Reportedly, you are biding your time, waiting to see what happens, as if it is a great mystery. Your campaign lived and breathed YouTube. Check it now, check it often. You and your team promised "soft power" and "smart power." Well, let's see some of that. Because by not clearly picking a side, it appears you have chosen the wrong side.

Do you fear antagonizing the powers-that-be in Iran? That ship has sailed. Though I am sure they're grateful for your eagerness not to roil the seas around them. Is it because you think "leader of the free world" is just another of those Cold War relics best mothballed in favor of a more cosmopolitan and universal awe at your own story?

"Enough about those people bleeding in the street. What do you think of me?" Is that how it is to be?

During the Bush years, what was best about liberalism had bled away. One of the worst things about the Republican Party has always been its Kissingerian realpolitik, the "it's just business" approach to world affairs that amounted to a willful blindness to our ideals beyond our own borders. The Democratic Party may not have always gotten the policies right, but it had a firm grasp of the principle.

In the 1990s, liberals championed "nation building," and conservatives chuckled at the naivete of it. Then came Iraq, and Republicans out of necessity embraced what liberals once believed out of conviction. The result? Liberals ran from their principles, found their inner Kissingers and embraced a cold realism whose chill emanated from the corpse of their ideals.

Labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO, once battled tyranny abroad on the grounds that workers everywhere need democracy. Today, the president turns a blind eye to the independent labor movement in Iran, and the unions and Democrats spend their time trying to figure out how to eliminate the secret ballot in the American workplace.

So far, "hope and change" has meant spending trillions we do not have on expanded government we do not need. Meanwhile, the huddled masses of Iranians yearning to breathe free think hope and change means something more. But the new American colossus stands all but silent, her beacon dimmed, her luster tarnished.

Please, Mr. President, prove me wrong.
10211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: June 15, 2009, 11:03:25 AM
Obama's probable response to the crisis:

1. Blame Bush.

2. Issue another apology.

3. Go golfing.
10212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Limited Government on: June 13, 2009, 09:34:10 AM
I like the new thread.
10213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: June 10, 2009, 09:21:26 PM

Obama is a 20 year disciple of Rev. "Them Jews" Wright. Much like Obama's lack of concern for the US soldier murdered by the black muslim convert in Arkansas, I doubt his concern here. His radicalism become clearer every day.
10214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: June 10, 2009, 07:28:26 PM

I'm sure he's just "shocked and saddened".  rolleyes
10215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sarah warned us about this on: June 10, 2009, 06:02:40 PM

Good news: U.S. reportedly reading terrorists their Miranda rights now

Say, weren’t we warned during the campaign that this might happen if Obama won? Take it away, Sarahcuda:

Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay … he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights?

As I recall, she ate no small amount of crap for accusing him of that given his silence on the matter before the election. But then, this is the same woman who said enormous tax hikes were inevitable under The One in order to pay for his catastrophic expansion of government, notwithstanding his campaign promises not to raise taxes on the middle class. How’s that prediction working out so far? Crazy Sarah and her nutty theories.

Anyway, yeah. Miranda warnings:

If Tenet is right, it’s a good thing KSM was captured before Barack Obama became president. For, the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. “The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement. Here’s the problem. You have foreign fighters who are targeting US troops today – foreign fighters who go to another country to kill Americans. We capture them…and they’re reading them their rights – Mirandizing these foreign fighters,” says Representative Mike Rogers, who recently met with military, intelligence and law enforcement officials on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan.

Rogers, a former FBI special agent and U.S. Army officer, says the Obama administration has not briefed Congress on the new policy. “I was a little surprised to find it taking place when I showed up because we hadn’t been briefed on it, I didn’t know about it. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of it, but it is clearly a part of this new global justice initiative.”

It was thoughtful of the most transparent administration evah to force Rogers to find out about this on the battlefield. There’s a certain perverse logic to it, though: If you’re unwilling to use any form of enhanced interrogation to save lives, you might as well go the whole nine yards and affirmatively warn detainees that they don’t have to talk to you. That’s what a law-enforcement approach to terrorism means — accepting a heightened risk of an attack by eschewing certain preventative measures in order to heighten the risk of conviction in court later by following criminal procedure. How this squares with The One’s willingness to send drones into Pakistan and torpedo houses packed with people on the say-so of informants is beyond me, but I’m sure we’ll get a speech on it at some point down the line. Exit question: Why institute a Miranda policy for terrorists captured abroad before the Supreme Court’s even heard the issue? They might find a wrinkle distinguishing classic criminal cases from prisoners of war — especially if Sotomayor’s half as tough on crime as the White House spin team keeps assuring us she is.
10216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's church bulletin on: June 10, 2009, 05:53:15 PM

Great reading for a future president.
10217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: June 10, 2009, 11:40:06 AM
Who would have guessed that someone that was a 20 year adherent of Rev. Wright would be an anti-Israeli president ?

Shocked! I am just stunned to see this development. How many Jews in Obama's administration again?
10218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 10, 2009, 11:15:20 AM

Terror Names Linked To Doomed Flight AF 447

3:58pm UK, Wednesday June 10, 2009
Peter Allen, in Paris
Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.

Debris from Air France flight AF 447 has been recovered from the Atlantic
French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31.
Flight AF 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm.
While it is certain there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out.

Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil.
It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic.
A source working for the French security services told Paris weekly L'Express that the link was "highly significant".
Agents are now trying to establish dates of birth for the two dead passengers, and family connections.
There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".
France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan.
Security chiefs have been particularly worried about airborne suicide attacks similar to the ones on the US on September 11, 2001.
10219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 10, 2009, 09:54:03 AM
Comment, Rachel?
10220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 10, 2009, 09:51:06 AM
What of a High Energy Radio Frequency burst directed to the "fly by wire"  system?
10221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hack-Jet: Losing a commercial airliner in a networked world on: June 09, 2009, 11:29:32 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

Hack-Jet: Losing a commercial airliner in a networked world

By Roderick Jones

When there is a catastrophic loss of an aircraft in any circumstances, there are inevitably a host of questions raised about the safety and security of the aviation operation. The loss of Air France flight 447 off the coast of Brazil with little evidence upon which to work inevitably raises the level of speculation surrounding the fate of the flight. Large-scale incidents such as this create an enormous cloud of data, which has to be investigated in order to discover the pattern of events, which led to the loss (not helped when some of it may be two miles under the ocean surface). So far French authorities have been quick to rule out terrorism it has however, emerged that a bomb hoax against an Air France flight had been made the previous week flying a different route from Argentina. This currently does not seem to be linked and no terrorist group has claimed responsibility. Much of the speculation regarding the fate of the aircraft has focused on the effects of bad weather or a glitch in the fly-by-wire system that could have caused the plane to dive uncontrollably. There is however another theory, which while currently unlikely, if true would change the global aviation security situation overnight. A Hacked-Jet.

Given the plethora of software modern jets rely on it seems reasonable to assume that these systems could be compromised by code designed to trigger catastrophic systemic events within the aircraft's navigation or other critical electronic systems. Just as aircraft have a physical presence they increasingly have a virtual footprint and this changes their vulnerability. A systemic software corruption may account for the mysterious absence of a Mayday call - the communications system may have been offline. Designing airport and aviation security to keep lethal code off civilian aircraft would in the short-term, be beyond any government civil security regime. A malicious code attack of this kind against any civilian airliner would, therefore be catastrophic not only for the airline industry but also for the wider global economy until security caught up with this new threat. The technical ability to conduct an attack of this kind remains highly specialized (for now) but the knowledge to conduct attacks in this mold would be as deadly as WMD and easier to spread through our networked world. Electronic systems on aircraft are designed for safety not security, they therefore do not account for malicious internal actions.

While this may seem the stuff of fiction in January 2008 this broad topic was discussed due to the planned arrival of the Boeing 787, which is designed to be more 'wired' --offering greater passenger connectivity. Air Safety regulations have not been designed to accommodate the idea of an attack against on-board electronic systems and the FAA proposed special conditions , which were subsequently commented upon by the Air Line Pilots Association and Airbus. There is some interesting back and forth in the proposed special conditions, which are after all only to apply to the Boeing 787. In one section, Airbus rightly pointed out that making it a safety condition that the internal design of civilian aircraft should 'prevent all inadvertent or malicious changes to [the electronic system]' would be impossible during the life cycle of the aircraft because 'security threats evolve very rapidly'.

Boeing responded to these reports in an AP article stating that there were sufficient safeguards to shut out the Internet from internal aircraft systems a conclusion the FAA broadly agreed with - Wired Magazine covered much of the ground. During the press surrounding this the security writer Bruce Schneier commented that, "The odds of this being perfect are zero. It's possible Boeing can make their connection to the Internet secure. If they do, it will be the first time in the history of mankind anyone's done that." Of course securing the airborne aircraft isn't the only concern when maintenance and diagnostic systems constantly refresh while the aircraft is on the ground. Malicious action could infect any part of this process.

While a combination of factors probably led to the tragic loss of flight AF447 the current uncertainty serves to highlight a potential game-changing aviation security scenario that no airline or government is equipped to face.

Comments on Hack-Jet:

(Note - these are thoughts on the idea of using software hacks to down commercial airliners and are not specifically directed at events surrounding the loss of AF447).

If you would like to comment on Hack-Jet go to discussion blog linked here.

From the author of Daemon Daniel Suarez:

It would seem like the height of folly not to have physical overrides in place for the pilot -- although, I realize that modern aircraft (especially designs like the B-2 bomber) require so many minute flight surface corrections every second to stay aloft, that no human could manage it. Perhaps that's what's going on with upcoming models like the 787. And I don't know about the Airbus A330.

I did think it was highly suspicious that the plane seems to have been lost above St. Peter & Paul's Rocks. By the strangest of coincidences, I had been examining that rock closely in Google Earth a few weeks ago for a scene in the sequel (which was later cut). It's basically a few huge rocks with a series of antennas and a control hut -- with nothing around it for nearly 400 miles.

Assuming the theoretical attacker didn't make the exploit time-based or GPS-coordinate-based, they might want to issue a radio 'kill' command in a locale where there would be little opportunity to retrieve the black box (concealing all trace of the attack). I wonder: do the radios on an A330 have any software signal processing capability? As for the attackers: they wouldn't need to physically go to the rocks--just compromise the scientific station's network via email or other intrusion, etc. and issue the 'kill' command from a hacked communication system. If I were an investigator, I'd be physically securing and scouring everything that had radio capabilities on those rocks. And looking closely at any record of radio signals in the area (testing suspicious patterns against a virtual A330's operating system). Buffer overrun (causing the whole system to crash?). Injecting an invalid (negative) speed value? Who knows... Perhaps the NSA's big ear has a record of any radio traffic issued around that time.

The big concern, of course, is that this is a proof-of-concept attack -- thus, the reason for concealing all traces of the compromise.


From John Robb - Global Guerrillas:

The really dangerous hacking, in most situations, is done by disgruntled/postal/financially motivated employees. With all glass cockpits, fly by wire, etc. (the Airbus is top of its class in this) it would be easy for anybody on the ground crew to crash it. No tricky mechanical sabotage.

External hacks? That is of course, trickier. One way would be to get into the diagnostic/mx computers the ground crew uses. Probably by adding a hack to a standard patch/update. Not sure if any of the updates to these computers are delivered "online."

Flight planning is likely the most "connected" system. Easier to access externally. Pilots get their plans for each flight and load them into the plane. If the route has them flying into the ground mid flight, it's possible they won't notice.

In flight hacks? Not sure that anything beyond outbound comms from the system is wireless. If so, that would be one method.

Another would be a multi-directional microwave/herf burst that fries controls. Might be possible, in a closed environment/fly by wire system to do this with relatively little power.


There has been continuous discussion of the dangers involved with fly-by-wire systems in Peter Neumann's Risk Digest since the systems were introduced in the late 1980s. The latest posting on the subject is here.

Investigator: Computer likely caused Qantas plunge

Links to Note

PodCast Analysis of flight AF447 error messages from Innovation Analysis Group [Analysis suggest all computer systems failed simultaneously]

Pilot Network online discussion

Aviation Safety Network

Photograph of Jet from spotter site

Twitter Feed for Flight AF447

By Roderick Jones on June 9, 2009 3:34 PM
10222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: June 08, 2009, 06:00:29 PM
40% of the US population doesn't pay federal income tax. Should they be able to vote?
10223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 08, 2009, 02:50:38 AM

NYPD Intelligence issues update on Jihad at army recruiting station
June 6, 9:19 AM
A suspected "Jihadist" killed one US Army recruiter and wounded another during a morning attack in Little Rock, on Monday .
Private William Long, 23, was killed as he worked at a military recruitment center in Arkansas. 

Long and another man, Private Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18, were shot as they stood outside the Army-Navy recruitment center in Little Rock.  Ezeagwula was wounded but survived the attack.

According to the New York City Police Department's Intelligence Division, the suspect, a black male, drove his SUV by the Army/Navy Recruitment Center located at the Ashley Area Square Shopping and opened fire on two recruiters standing outside of the military recruitment offices.

Emergency Medical Responders pronounced one of the recruiters DOA (dead on arrival), while the other recruiter was rushed to the hospital where he is in critical, but stable, condition.

Following the drive-by shooting, bloodshed and the subsequent pursuit, local police officers captured the suspect near the Interstate (I-30/I -630) highway interchange.

After taking the suspect into custody, police discovered a SKS rifle, a .22 caliber handgun, ammunition, and a "suspicious" package, according to the NYPD Intelligence Division's William O'Regan, a research specialist.

Police said that the suspect surrendered without incident and that he used language "indicating his association with "Jihad." He also indicated the possible existence of explosives.

The Little Rock police officers at the scene brought in their department's Hazmat/Bomb Squad, who retrieved the suspicious parcel for analysis.

Little Rock police reported there were no other suspects involved in the deadly attack.

According to NYPD Intelligence, military installations continue to be the target of anti-military groups and individuals. Recruiting stations, National Guard armories, and Reserve Centers have no armed guards which makes them vulnerable targets.

New York City military facilities have been targeted in the past — i.e. the March 6, 2008 bombing of the Times Square Recruiting Station.

Police identified the alleged attacker as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, an Islamic convert. He is being charged with first-degree murder as well as 15 counts of perpetrating terrorism.
Update by NYPD Intelligence Division/NYPD Shields
According to officials with the New York City Police Department, Abdulhakim Majahid Muhammad, a/k/a
Carl Leon Bledsoe, converted to Islam as a teenager.
Prior to the attack and homicide, the FBI had initiated an investigation of Muhammad following his return to the US from Yemen. According to the intelligence report -- based on the FBI report and a post-incident interview of Muhammad -- he was arrested in Yemen for carrying a false passport. Subsequently he studied "Jihad" with a Yemeni Islamic scholar.
Muhammad told interrogators that he attacked the recruiting station and Army recruiters because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
The search warrants issued for the young terrorist's apartment and SUV reportedly resulted in the following in addition to items already found in SUV:
-Molotov cocktails
-Homemade silencers
-Compact disks with Arabic writing
Muhammad allegedly conducted Google Map searches on Jewish institutions, a Baptist church, a child care facility, a U.S. post office, and military recruiting centers in the following areas:
-Atlanta, Georgia
-Little Rock, Arkansas
-Louisville, Kentucky
-New York, New York
-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
-Memphis, Tennessee
The NYPD issued a list of previous plots and attacks:
-May 2009, 4 converts arrested in New York for targeting Bronx Synagogues and a military aircraft
-February 2009, convert arrested for killing Philadelphia police officer
-June 2008, converts sentenced for targeting military and Jewish facilities in California
-November 2007, convert pleads guilty to conspiracy to use WMD’s against Illinois shopping mall
-February 2007, convert convicted for role in “Virginia Jihad Network”
-August 2007 convert pleads guilty in New York to conspiracy to support terrorists
The NYPD Shields report stated that there exists a "troubling trend for US security and law enforcement officials."
The report also stated that terrorists -- foreign and domestic -- continue the targeting of high-value civilian and government targets, while military installations continue to be the target of anti-military groups and individuals
Recruiting stations, National Guard armories, and Reserve Centers have no armed guards which makes them vulnerable targets. New York City military and religious facilities have been targeted in the past—i.e. the March 6, 2008 bombing of the Times Square Recruiting Station
Additional Sources:
U.S. Army National Guard Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Report,
“Update: Gunman Shoots Two at Arkansas Military Recruitment Center,”FBI and DHS Threat Alert and Advisory Message,"
National Association of Chiefs of Police Terrorism Committee
10224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 07, 2009, 10:49:09 PM
Very funny Doug.


Whatever it takes to protect the President. No matter who is in the office.
10225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 09:17:45 AM

Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Unreported Legal Abuse of Non-Muslims in Islam


Indian in Saudi Arabia to Have an Eye Gouged Out

The big story here is not the brutality of the Saudi justice system. What is never reported is that because non-Muslim testimony has half the weight of a Muslim's in a sharia court, non-Muslims are almost always the losers of disputes. (The same holds true for women.) In this case, for example, an Indian gas station worker pointlessly testified that the injury he inflicted was in self-defense.

This presents enormous potential for abuse, even disregarding corruption and the routine hostility toward the "other" in the Muslim world. This is how the most unbelievable items are routinely stolen from Christians, for example, such as land and houses in the West Bank and Gaza. It is one reason why Christians are fleeing nearly every country with Muslim rule.

This system offers unscrupulous Muslims carte blanche to abuse others in private, which is behind the routine oppression (including rape) and de facto enslavement of foreign domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.

A former PLO terrorist, Walid Shoebat, explained how his land and property in Judea were stolen from him by his family after he converted to Christianity. His case was not typical, given the death sentence meted under sharia for converts from Islam. After he converted, he learned that his American mother had been held prisoner for 35 years after a honeymoon in the Holy Land. His father's responses to her attempts to flee made her keep her Christianity a secret from her own children.

Update (Dec. 29): Here is a shocking illustration:

79 Lashes for Gangrenous Maid Who Spoke Against Saudi Torturer (from The Arab News-Saudi Arabia, via the excellent Lost Budgie Blog).
A Riyadh judge sentenced an Indonesian maid, who accused her sponsor and his wife of torturing her, to 79 lashes yesterday....In March, Miyati was brought to a hospital in Riyadh by her sponsor in a critical condition suffering from gangrene to her fingers, toes and a part of her right foot. Doctors had to remove some of her fingers and toes....A judge later sentenced the sponsor?s wife, who admitted to beating Miyati, to 35 lashes. The husband was found innocent due to lack of evidence against him.
There was a "lack of evidence" against the husband despite the pictures, the medical evidence and the wife's confession. The (apparently Muslim) maid's testimony was essentially discarded because it is accorded half of the weight of that of a Muslim man.

Despite the distinction unanimously claimed by the mainstream media between "radicals" and the "moderate majority," there is no significant Muslim opinion that disagrees with either the desirability of implementing Muslim law or the half-valuation of testimony under it. There is almost no source other than IRIS explaining the systemic incentive to exploit the "other" under Islam.

See also:

Saudi Police Arrest Thousands of... Runaway Maids

Saudis to Gouge Out More Eyes

April 24, 2006: Pakistani Teen Raped, Jailed in Saudi Arabia
"Isma Mahmood, 16, was deported to Pakistan last month after having served six months in shackles and handcuffs in a prison in Saudi Arabia. Her crime?being raped by a Saudi man"
10226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 09:10:21 AM
Sharia law, based on the qu'ran, ahadith and the sunna (life of Muhammad) mandate the treatment of non-muslims in a discriminatory manner.
10227  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knife Law on: June 06, 2009, 09:02:25 AM
This is sooooooo stupid. Know what edged weapons the average street scrote carries? A box cutter or tile knife bought at the dollar store. Cheap, plausibly deniable and readily disposable after they commit a crime with it.
10228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 06, 2009, 08:51:47 AM

August 11, 2006
Echoes of Early Design to Use Chemicals to Blow Up Airliners

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Aug. 10 — The plot to blow up several airliners over the Atlantic, uncovered by British authorities, bears a striking, if not eerie, resemblance to a plot hatched 12 years ago to simultaneously blow up a dozen airliners over the Pacific.

That scheme was developed in Manila by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was starting his climb to become a top lieutenant to Osama bin Laden, and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was a mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Philippine investigators came to believe that the Manila operation was financed by Mr. bin Laden.

Mr. Mohammed code-named the operation Bojinka, which was widely reported to have been adopted from Serbo-Croatian, meaning big bang. But Mr. Mohammed has told his C.I.A. interrogators that it was just a “nonsense word” he adopted after hearing it when he was fighting in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviet Union, according to “The 9/11 Commission Report.” Mr. Mohammed was seized in Pakistan in 2003, and is now being held by the C.I.A. at an undisclosed location.

The Bojinka plot in 1995 was anything but nonsense. At an apartment in Manila, Mr. Yousef began mixing chemicals, which he planned to put into containers that would be carried on board airliners, much like the plotters in Britain are alleged to have been planning.

In those days, it would have been relatively easy to get liquid explosives past a checkpoint. Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Yousef, according to the 9/11 Commission, studied airline schedules and planned to sneak the liquid on a dozen planes headed to Seoul, South Korea, and Hong Kong and then on to the United States. The idea was that the bombs, complete with timing devices, would be left on the airliners, but that the plotters would disembark at a stop before detonating the devices.

To rehearse the operations, a practice bomb was detonated in a Manila theater late in 1994. Another bomb was concealed aboard Philippine Airlines Flight 434 from Manila to Tokyo 10 days later. The bomb exploded on the way to Tokyo, killing a passenger, but the pilot managed to land the damaged 747. American prosecutors later concluded that Mr. Yousef had taken a liquid explosive onto the plane before disembarking.

The plot, however, was foiled in early 1995 when a fire broke out in the apartment where some of the conspirators were working. Among the things found when the police investigated was Mr. Yousef’s laptop, with a file named “Bojinka.” They also found dolls with clothes containing nitrocellulose, according to the 9/11 Commission.

“When the police hit the place, they were weeks away from starting,” said Michael J. Garcia, a prosecutor in the 1996 Bojinka trial and now the United States attorney in Manhattan. “In Ramzi’s laptop there were very detailed plans,” he said, including equipment, airports, flight numbers and the timer settings.

Mr. Yousef was captured in Pakistan, turned over to the United States, convicted in New York and sentenced to life without parole.

According to investigators, Mr. Yousef’s specialty was making bombs from innocuous-looking objects that could be smuggled through airport security — a digital wristwatch modified to serve as a timer, or a plastic bottle for contact lens solution filled with liquid components for nitroglycerine.

When questioned after his arrest, Mr. Yousef refused to explain precisely how he had planned to carry out the bombings, according to testimony at his trial for the Bojinka plot.

Brian G. Parr, a Secret Service agent, testified at the trial that under questioning Mr. Yousef made clear that other terrorists were aware of the explosive technique, and he did not want to compromise their ability to carry out similar acts.

“He said that he didn’t want us to have knowledge of the techniques that they were going to use,” Mr. Parr testified, “because it may help us prevent other people from using those techniques.”

And Mr. Yousef, in his statement to Mr. Parr, made clear that he had carefully analyzed how to carry explosives through airline security.

For example, when questioned about one chemical mixture that could be used in explosives, Mr. Yousef said he would not have used it because it could have “been easily detected by airport security screening,” Mr. Parr testified.

Mr. Parr said that Mr. Yousef “specifically said that he would have used a different type of device that even the most sophisticated bomb-screening machines would not have been able to detect.”

Mary Jo White, the former United States attorney whose office successfully investigated and prosecuted Mr. Yousef in the Bojinka plot, recalled: “It was frightening. There were people wandering the globe able to do this. And that was 10 years ago.”

Mr. Mohammed has told his interrogators that after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which involved explosives loaded onto a truck that failed to bring down the building, he “needed to graduate to a more novel form of attack,” as the 9/11 report puts it. That led to Bojinka, and the first thoughts about using planes to bomb the World Trade Center.

Raymond Bonner reported from Jakarta, Indonesia, for this article, and Benjamin Weiser from New York. William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting from New York.
10229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / London: The Latest in a String of Al Qaeda Plots Against Airlines on: June 06, 2009, 08:40:51 AM
**When I look at the missing Air France flight, I'm reminded of the incidents below.**

Counterterrorism Blog

London: The Latest in a String of Al Qaeda Plots Against Airlines

By Zachary Abuza

The London plot is simply the latest in a concerted effort to target airliners, something that Al Qaeda and its affiliates know would have a crippling global impact. In statement by Osama bin Laden issued in early October 2002, he warned: “We will target the nodes of your economy.” The global aviation industry is clearly front and center in Al Qaeda’s targeting.

•   In 1994-1995 Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed plotted to down 11-12 US jetliners over the Pacific in what is now known as the Bojinka Plot. Although a test run worked when a bomb aboard a jetliner detonated forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Okinawa, the plot went awry when Ramzi Yousef and an accomplice Hakim Murad set the nitro-glycerine on fire.

•   In 2001, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed began planning a second phase of 9/11 that would target the West Coast of the United States with Jetliners from Asia. This plot was put on hold by the Al Qaeda leadership.

•   22 December 2001 Richard Reid’s plot to blow up a jetliner with a shoe bomb – a mixture of high explosives and TATP, failed.

•   On 27 November 2003, English authorities recovered a similar shoe bomb from Sajid Badat, a co-conspirator of Richard Reid.

•   In 2004, Philippine Police raided an Abu Sayyaf safehouse in Manila where they found a number of small bombs comprised of C4 melted down with I think kerosene and injected into toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles. Philippine intelligence officials believed these bombs were intended for use on airplanes.

•   In September 2004, US officials intercepted another shoe bomb at California postal facility, sent from Southeast Asia.

By Zachary Abuza on August 10, 2006 10:36 PM
10230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 05, 2009, 10:49:09 PM
No idea. I don't have enough money to worry about investing.
10231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economic Dog and Pony Show on: June 05, 2009, 10:15:05 PM
June 5, 2009

The Charm Offensive

This week, Team Obama took their dog and pony show on the road. Treasury Secretary Geithner went to China, Fed Chairman Bernanke to Capitol Hill, and the President himself began a Mideast tour in Saudi Arabia. This full-court press is not coincidental, and comes just as the federal government has begun unloading trillions of dollars in new Treasury obligations. The coordinated charm offensive is meant to assure the world-at-large that the United States can repay these obligations without destroying the dollar.

Given the renewed weakness in the dollar and the recent expressions of concern from China, our largest creditor, about the safety of its current holdings, this is no easy sell. Not only must our leaders convince holders of our debt not to sell what they already own, but to back up the truck and buy a whole lot more. The hope is that a dream team consisting of a charismatic politician, a skilled Wall Street banker with longstanding ties to China, and a respected Fed Chairman, can close the deal. However, no matter how slick the sales pitch, no amount of lipstick can dress up this pig.

The most obvious fear the trio must address is that oversized deficits will persist indefinitely. Reading from a carefully scripted rebuttal book, all three proclaim that as soon as the stimulus revives our economy, the government will take all necessary steps to reign in the deficits that result. Bernanke’s testimony showcases this rhetorical shift. The Fed Chairman claimed that catastrophe has been averted and that the recession is nearly over. As a result, he advised Congress to now focus on debt management. How he expects them to do that was left unexamined.

Setting aside the fact that the recession is far from over and that the stimulus will actually weaken the economy in the long run, Bernanke’s words were less a practical guide to Congress than a bromide for our foreign creditors. Meanwhile, Obama carefully peppers his speeches with calls for Americans to live within their means, to save more and spend less, to produce more and consume less. But nothing in the government’s current fiscal or monetary policy will encourage such behavior. In fact, the objective of economic stimulus is to prevent such changes from taking place!

The laughter of Chinese students that greeted Secretary Geithner at Peking University shows how ridiculous this spiel sounds overseas. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the current Administration are deafening. Multi-trillion dollar deficits, bailouts, nationalizations, quantitative easing, and grandiose plans for government-provided healthcare, education, and alternative energy, render all their claims of future prudence meaningless. If our leaders will not make tough choices now, why should anyone believe they will do so later when those choices will be even harder to make?

Of course, it’s not just major holders, like China and Saudi Arabia, that need to be convinced. Since the largest holders are already in so deep, they have the greatest short-term incentive to play ball. While throwing good money after bad is certainly a lousy investment strategy, it is politically expedient as it delays the need to officially acknowledge losses. The spin is designed to keep all the smaller, more nimble holders from dumping their Treasuries. The major holders can publicly pledge their commitment to Treasuries, while they privately planning their exit strategies, as long as they feel that the smaller holders won’t spook the market by front-running their trades.

However, once the psychology turns, there is no way to stop the rush for the exits. Remember how quickly the secondary market for subprime mortgages collapsed? One day, investors were lining up to buy; the next day, the stuff couldn’t be given away. Make no mistake about it, we are issuing subprime paper and no amount of political spin can alter that reality. Bogus credit ratings aside, I think the world already knows this and it’s just a matter of time before someone admits it.

In the meantime, by continuing to lend, our creditors merely supply us the shovels to dig ourselves into an even deeper economic hole. Their credit enables our government to grow when it needs to shrink, finances bailouts of companies that should be allowed to fail, and enables a nation that should be saving and producing to continue borrowing and spending. As a result, the more money the world loans us, the less capable we are of paying it back. I really wish the world would stop doing us favors, as neither party can afford the consequences.

For an timely example, just look at California. With an unmanageable $20 billion deficit, California recently asked Washington for a bailout. With none immediately forthcoming, California was forced to make real and needed budget cuts. The hard choices, which will benefit California in the long run, would not have been made if federal funds had been committed. We all should be so lucky.

For a more in depth analysis of our financial problems and the inherent dangers they pose for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read Peter Schiff’s book "Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse".
10232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / There Goes The Country on: June 05, 2009, 10:00:37 PM

June 3, 2009

There Goes The Country

Yesterday, after a painfully long death spiral, General Motors finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Oftentimes, bankruptcy portends rebirth. Unfortunately, the politically-inspired GM plan holds no such possibilities. Under the current deal, the restructuring of GM will cost taxpayers some $100 billion (after the hidden costs of interest and refinancing are included). Even then, it is highly unlikely that GM will ever be competitive or that its debts will ever be repaid. Far worse, the massive government bailout will delay rather than encourage broader economic recovery. And yet, U.S. stock markets rose on the GM announcement as if it were good news.

General Motors is but a microcosm of what most ails the U.S. economy. For decades, GM rested on its laurels. Its management yielded to innumerable, exorbitant trade union demands, passing the costs on to consumers in the form of lower quality products. The result was that higher quality foreign cars, eventually also produced domestically by American workers, severely eroded GM’s once dominant market position. The company’s autonomy was effectively extinguished by the growing debt needed to finance this downward spiral. Investors, believing that GM was “too big to fail,” continued to accept the company’s high-risk paper.

In short, GM was brought to its knees by the abuse of trade union power and management’s unwillingness to fight back.

Contrary to general belief, GM is not a huge employer. It directly employs only some 60,000 workers. This is less than one tenth of one percent of the number of Americans presently unemployed. However, its trade union pension fund is being given billions of dollars of citizens’ money and a major stake in the restructured company. Favoring GM workers over the millions of America’s unemployed is grossly inequitable. The reason, however, is found in the murky world of politics.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), GM’s primary union, was a major supporter of President Obama’s election campaign. Predictably, this Administration has moved aggressively to subsidize them. Obama has taken the position that GM workers are an ‘elite’ and entitled to privileges not afforded to other workers. If GM were any other company entering bankruptcy, many workers would have lost their jobs, pensions and health coverage. Not so under the protective blanket of Daddy Government.

In its fight for grotesque entitlements for this small, but heavily Democratic, subset of the workforce, the Administration has run roughshod over those who financed the American auto industry, even labeling some as “unpatriotic” for failing to surrender their contract rights as bondholders. The notion that these stakeholders should “cooperate” to reach an “equitable” solution ignores the free-market cooperation that led to the original, contractual agreements. If I agree to give you half of my steak in return for half of your mashed potatoes when I finish my entrée, and when I go to collect you have eaten 9/10 of your mashed potatoes, can you plead poverty? You ate the potatoes!

Aside from these considerations, the sheer logic of the deal is faulty. Has Obama ever heard of opportunity costs?

Having pursued a path to commercial failure for many decades, it is clear that GM’s management and workforce are moribund. However, the government has decided to pump massive amounts of citizens’ money into this flaccid firm, without the practical ability to change its operations. Remember, the unions put Mr. Obama in office, and this project is meant to reward them. Will he have the courage to do what a profit-seeking management couldn’t, by cutting the fat from this company? Obama now claims that a new “private sector” management team will be installed to make decisions independent of political control. This is farcical.

Economists believe that for each $1 billion spent on infrastructure projects, 35,000 wealth-generating jobs are created in the broader economy. The Administration is set on spending a minimum of $60 billion, and more likely $100 billion, to protect 60,000 workers at GM. Spent on much needed infrastructure, these same monies would create between 2.1 and 3.5 million real private sector jobs.

Furthermore, the money spent on GM represents a direct penalty against those foreign auto companies that manufacture domestically, who are fighting desperately for a piece of a decreasing market. American workers at these plants must surely feel unfairly discriminated against. Perhaps these competitors’ ownership is overseas; but, while GM was shipping its manufacturing to Canada and Mexico, these firms were expanding their operations right here in America.

The federal bailout of GM exemplifies the grossly negative impact that government intervention has on the economy. As this type of behavior becomes ever more accepted and popular (barring a major change in voter sentiment), the prospects for the U.S. dollar and American stock markets is grim. Yet, American investors are bullish on the bad news. They are reading corrupt bankruptcy proceedings and profligate spending as a sign of effective governance. This highlights how desperately most investors, indeed most Americans, are clinging to the red herrings of “hope” and “change.”

As goes GM, so goes the country.

For a more in depth analysis of our financial problems and the inherent dangers they pose for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read Peter Schiff’s latest book "The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets".
10233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 05, 2009, 09:54:24 PM

Anyway you spin it, the job market is still bad

We’ll learn today how many jobs were destroyed by employers in May.

But, to use the jargon of Wall Street, even if the number “beats estimates,” let’s not get too excited.

It’s probably recession/bailout fatigue, but I’ve run out of patience for the economic spin doctors from both extremes - the doom and gloomers as well as the sunny optimists.

Already this week, I’ve heard chief investment officers and economists calling for a “four- or five-handle” on the employment report. That’s financial news show-speak for a monthly loss of jobs of 400,000 to 500,000.

Such a report would be promising, the optimists say, because it shows the job market is getting “less bad.” After all, the worst month for job loss stands as January, when U.S. employers shed 741,000 workers.

But when the job market has turned from a comfy warm tub to a scalding cauldron of acid, wonky discussions about the temperature seem to miss the point:

It’s a lousy job market, and it’s going to stay bad for some time to come.

Yes, 500,000 is a smaller figure than 700,000. Forgive me if I save the champagne for the month when employers are creating jobs again.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the United States has lost 5.7 million jobs. Pick any survey of forecasters you want and none predicts job creation beginning before 2010. Think deep into 2010.

For the 132 million of us counted in non-farm payroll statistics, that’s worrisome. For the 13.7 million unemployed identified in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, that’s downright depressing.

The economists at IHS Global Insight are among the more optimistic. They project a decline in payroll employment of 450,000 in May. “In normal circumstances a decline of 450,000 jobs would be seen as very bad news,” IHS said in a recent note.

Their point is these are not normal times, so coming after the loss of 539,000 jobs in April, 699,000 jobs in March and 681,000 in February, IHS views a four-handle as “clear improvement.”

What’s clear to me is that we have a lot of pain to endure before we harvest Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “green shoots.”
10234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 04, 2009, 08:49:29 PM

I'd agree that the borders created by the British empire created a real mess that we face today.

My tribe traded land for peace and let's say it didn't work out real well for us.
10235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 04, 2009, 08:08:16 PM
So, JDN, when are you going to stop illegally occupying Aztlan ?
10236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 04, 2009, 07:57:11 PM

An Absolut Outrage
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, April 08, 2008 4:20 PM PT

The Border: A vodka maker's ad campaign in Mexico is more than a marketing faux pas that offends many Americans. There's a real movement out there that feels our Southwest is really occupied Mexico.

The first rule of marketing is know your customer base. So when the makers of Absolut vodka began an ad campaign in Mexico featuring what a map of North America might look like "In An Absolut World," it was well aware it might appeal to many Mexicans there and here.
The ad by the Swedish Absolut Spirits Co. features an 1830s era map where Mexico includes California, Texas, Arizona and other southwest states. The U.S. border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 and before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico ceded to the U.S.
The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of the leading Latino advertising agency in the U.S., Grupo Gallegos.
"Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land," the Argentine native said of the Absolut campaign, "so this is their way of reclaiming it. It's very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea."
This isn't the first ad campaign targeted at what some Mexican activists call the "Reconquista" movement of those who dream and work toward the day when the American Southwest will be reconquered. To them, illegal aliens crossing the U.S. border are merely returning home.

In 2005, a Los Angeles billboard advertising a Spanish-language newscast showed the Angel of Independence, a well-known monument in Mexico City, in the center of the L.A. skyline, with "CA" crossed out after "Los Angeles" and the word "Mexico" in bold red letters put in its place.
The activists working for this cause actually see themselves as "America's Palestinians" and view the Southwest as their Palestine and Los Angeles as their lost Jerusalem.
An editorial in the newspaper La Voz de Aztlan in Los Angeles stated: "There are great similarities between the political and economic condition of the Palestinians in occupied Palestine and that of La Raza in the southwest United States."

The editorial went on to say: "The similarities are many. The primary one, of course, is the fact that both La Raza and the Palestinians have been displaced by invaders that have used military means to conquer and occupy our territories."
A key player in the "Reconquista" movement is the National Council of La Raza. Its motto: "For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing."
Few caught the significance of the warmly received words of then-Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo before the Council in Chicago on July 27, 1997:
"I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders." During a 2001 visit to the U.S., President Vincente Fox repeated this line, calling for open borders and endorsing Mexico's new dual-citizenship law.
A secondary group in the "Reconquista" movement is an Hispanic student activist group known as MEChA, for Movimento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan).
It has spent the last three decades indoctrinating Latino students on American campuses, claiming that the American Southwest was stolen and should be returned to its rightful owners, the people of Mexico, under the name "Nation of Aztlan."
Aztlan is the mythical place where the Aztecs are said to have originated.
Former MEChA members include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was officially endorsed by La Raza for mayor and awarded La Raza's Graciela Olivarez award. Another MEChA member is former California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who delivered the keynote address at La Raza's 2002 annual convention.
We have an idea: Let's build the border fence and pay for it by selling ad space, even to an ideologically driven company such as the makers of Absolut vodka. We'll drink to that.
10237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 04, 2009, 06:21:59 PM
GM said; "The point is valid. You live on land that other claim as theirs, that was taken by military might. Aside from Native Americans, Los Angeles was once part of Mexico, and may be once again in the future. So, explain how your case is different."

I thought colonialism among the industrialized world was a thing of the past; I guess not...

**I guess you are still living on colonialized land, yes? Is that alright?**

And it seems the U.S. Government's position (not to mention most of the world) is that indeed the settlements are illegal.

**Our current president's position, shocking given his anti-semitic associations. Funny how world opinion isn't so upset over China's brutal occupation of Tibet, as an example.**

"At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."

Barack Hussein Obama, standing with his muslim brothers. Big surprise!
10238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Israel, meet the Obama bus on: June 04, 2009, 09:14:59 AM

How Obama's Cairo Speech Threw Israel Under the Bus

President Obama's speech in Cairo was historic.  No other President has gone to a foreign nation to so publicly throw a strong ally under the bus. Once again the President, pandered to the Muslim world by dissing Israel in a major way, he downplayed the role of terrorism, made Hamas look like a rowdy Boys Glee Club, called for the internationalization of Jerusalem, and used the Palestinian party line to describe the Israeli presence not only in the West Bank and Gaza but its VERY existence at all:

He started his Israel/Palestinian discussion by talking about the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism:
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

You notice that how he discusses Anti-Semitism, without mentioning the fact that the Muslim Middle East is the major supplier of Anti-Semitic fervor in the world.

Obama then goes on to talk about the 60+ years of Palestinian suffering, taking the Palestinian view that the very creation of Israel was bad. He mixes the "Christian" Palestinians with the Muslim ones, ignoring the horrible persecution of Palestinian Christians by their Muslim neighbors. Obama also discusses Gaza as an occupied territory. Er..Mr. President maybe you didn't read the newspapers in August 2005, but Israel pulled out of Gaza almost four years ago.  I know--I was in Jerusalem at the time.
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
Obama also forgot to mention the role of Egypt and Jordan in making sure that the Palestinians stayed in camps and the fact that there were more Jews thrown out of Muslim countries in 1948 than Arabs leaving Israel. A mistake he repeats below:
For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers - for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel's founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
Displacement? I am surprised he didn't use the word nabka (catastrophe) that's what the Muslims call it. Again accepting Muslim propaganda, the President doesn't make the point that the Arab Palestinian's weren't thrown out, the were told to leave by the Arab League states.

That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them - and all of us - to live up to our responsibilities.

Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.

Violence? You mean Terrorism? No because in the next few lines he reaches out to HAMAS:
Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.
He makes Hamas seem like naughty children, "OK Hamas stop hitting your brother." Here again what Obama doesn't say is just as bad as what he says, "recognize Israel's right to exist." The words he missed is a Jewish state. Neither Hamas or the supposedly moderate Fatah recognize Israel as a Jewish State, they both call for flooding the country with millions of Muslims to ensure that Israel becomes another Muslim country:
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
We have discussed this Ad nauseam during the past few days, by saying this, not only is Obama throwing Israel to the international wolves, but he is ignoring agreements that previous administrations made with Israel about natural growth of existing settlements.
Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.
This was one of Bibi Netanyahu's campaign promises, but not as an obligation as a way to peace.  This is not Israel's obligation, this is the obligation of Egypt and Jordan who created the problem.

His discussion of the "humanitarian crisis" was a bit disingenuous. Maybe he should have mention why Israel closed the borders, and the fact that Hamas has been stealing many of the supplies heading to Gaza.
Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel's legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.
Again he doesn't call for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Now he calls for the internationalization of Israel's capital Jerusalem:
America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true.

Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer

During the campaign, I warned all lovers of Israel, that Barack Obama would abandon the state of Israel, today he foreshadowed that abandonment to the Muslim world
10239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did White House order FBI to "back off" anti-terror investigations of radicalize on: June 04, 2009, 08:35:39 AM

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

RED ALERT: Did White House order FBI to "back off" anti-terror investigations of radicalized Muslim converts?

Today's update from Stratfor Research describes the background of a recent attack on U.S. soldiers in Little Rock, Arkansas. One soldier was killed and another critically wounded by a lone gunman who began shooting from a pickup truck.

Police quickly apprehended a suspect, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a 21-year-old African-American man and convert to Islam. In his vehicle, police recovered an SKS rifle and two handguns. Muhammad reportedly admitted to the shootings and claimed he had specifically targeted U.S. military personnel; he stated had more soldiers been in the parking lot, he would have shot them too.

A disturbing aspect of the attack is that Muhammad had been brought to the FBI’s attention months ago, according to ABC News.

But U.S. counterterror teams may have been intentionally prevented from investigating radicalized converts to Islam:

Several weeks ago, STRATFOR heard from sources that the FBI and other law enforcement organizations had been ordered to “back off” of counterterrorism investigations into the activities of Black Muslim converts. At this point, it is unclear to us if that guidance was given by the White House or the Department of Justice, or if it was promulgated by the agencies themselves, anticipating the wishes of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Stratfor implies, however, that the investigations were canceled for purely political reasons.

...politics have proved obstructive to all facets of counterterrorism policy. And politics may have been at play in the Muhammad case as well as in other cases involving Black Muslim converts...

Is it possible that the White House or Eric Holder's Justice Department "turned off" counterterror investigations that could have saved the targeted soldiers?

This paragraph would appear to make clear that such an order was given:

Many FBI supervisors are reluctant to authorize investigations that they believe may have negative blow-back on their career advancement. In light of this institutional culture, and the order to be careful in investigations relating to Black Muslim converts, it would not be at all surprising to us if a supervisor refused to authorize a full-field investigation of Muhammad that would have included surveillance of his activities... Had the FBI opened a full-field investigation on Muhammad, and had it conducted surveillance on him, it would have been able to watch him participate in preoperational activities such as conducting surveillance of potential targets and obtaining weapons.

Congress must demand the release of this order and a complete explanation of its issuance.

Furthermore, the White House was silent on this incident, but immediately issued a press release in the case of the slain Kansan abortion doctor.

Congress must demand an immediate investigation of these reports. Our men and women serving in the military deserve better.
10240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 04, 2009, 08:21:30 AM
Well, the quick and dirty response is, just as the Obamas didn't get permission from the Iroquois tribe before convicted felon Tony Rezko, helped them with their home purchase, Israel need no permission to build additional housing for it's citizens in land it won in war. What native people used to live on the land your home now rests on?

You are too intelligent; you can do better than that.

The point is valid. You live on land that other claim as theirs, that was taken by military might. Aside from Native Americans, Los Angeles was once part of Mexico, and may be once again in the future. So, explain how your case is different.
10241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Whoops, the "accidental" release of classified material on: June 03, 2009, 09:49:23 PM


No Accident

If you believe the so-called "experts," the recent, on-line publication of a detailed report on U.S. nuclear facilities was nothing more than an "accident."

The 266-page summary, which provided detailed information on civilian nuclear sites and programs, was posted at a Government Printing Office website until Tuesday night, when it was suddenly removed. That action followed disclosure of the document's existence--and its accessibility--at a web site devoted to government secrecy.

According to The New York Times, the report was marked "Highly Confidential" and listed hundreds of civilian reactors and research facilities linked to government nuclear programs. In some cases, the document provided maps that showed the precise location of fuel stockpiles used for nuclear weapons.

While analysts debate the damage caused by the disclosure, the Times managed to find an expert who dismissed the report's publication as little more than a clerical error:

“These screw-ups happen,” said John M. Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s going further than I would have gone but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

Of course, there is no small irony in Mr. Deutch's comments. As you'll recall, he was dismissed as CIA Director during the Clinton Administration for a colossal security blunder. Investigators discovered the Mr. Deutch not only took home highly classified intelligence files, he uploaded them on a personal computer that was linked to the internet. The CIA has never disclosed if foreign intelligence agencies were able to access Mr. Deutch's computer, and download secret files stored on his personal computers--machines that were never cleared for classified use.

Apologist for Mr. Deutch tried to depict him as a computer neophyte--a latecomer to the world of laptops--but that defense only goes so far. A CIA investigation into Deutch's computer files revealed that the CIA Director first tried to retain his machines, which had been purchased by the agency. When that request was rejected, Mr. Deutch apparently tried to reformat his computer, in an attempt to erase the classified files. He even sought help from technical experts at CIA HQ in an effort to reformat computer memory cards, a request that first raised questions about the director and his security habits.

In other words, Mr. Deutch willfully broke the rules, although he was never prosecuted and received a pardon from President Clinton. The "willful intent," so apparent in the Deutch case, is also evident in the "accidental" publication of that nuclear report. In other words, someone made a conscious decision to put the document on that unclassified government web site.

How can we be so sure? Government policy mandates the creation, editing and publication of classified reports on systems cleared for that type of information. Typically, a "confidential" report would be produced on a SECRET-level system, and published on an intranet cleared for that level of data. In the Department of Defense, the intranet for SECRET information is called SIPRNET. Other government agencies also have access to SIPRNET, or utilize their own SECRET-level intranets.

Getting that report on that unclassified web site, took several deliberate steps (or mistakes, depending on your perspective). First, the document had to be downloaded from a classified system and then copied or uploaded onto the unclassified site. Quite a series of missteps, wouldn't you say?

However, tracking down the guilty party should be relatively easy--assuming that the Obama Administration is interested in sealing the security breach. Government computer systems (at all levels) are extensively monitored, and employees must log on/log off using a personalized access card. Consequently, it shouldn't be too hard to find out who download the report, then uploaded it on the unclassified system.

One final note: many of the government's classified systems won't accept "outside" media, meaning you can't stick an unclassified flash card, floppy disk, CD-ROM or DVD into the appropriate drive and download information. Obviously, the feds haven't released details on the system(s) involved in this compromise, so we can't be completely sure how the information was transferred.

But one thing is clear: given the steps required, the posting of that report on an unclassified government web site was anything but an accident or a simple "screw-up."
10242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 03, 2009, 07:33:49 PM
Well, the quick and dirty response is, just as the Obamas didn't get permission from the Iroquois tribe before convicted felon Tony Rezko, helped them with their home purchase, Israel need no permission to build additional housing for it's citizens in land it won in war. What native people used to live on the land your home now rests on?
10243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: June 03, 2009, 11:29:12 AM,3566,524833,00.html

Source: More Targets Found on Arkansas Shooting Suspect's Computer

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A senior U.S. official tells FOX News that more targets were found on the computer of a man charged in the fatal shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas — suggesting the accused gunman may have been part of a larger plot to attack military targets and may not have been acting alone.

Officers found maps to Jewish organizations, a Baptist church, a child care center, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S., New York and Philadelphia, according to a joint FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press.

After Monday's attack outside the Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, detectives searched a computer linked to suspect Abdulhakim Muhammad, and discovered research into multiple sites in different states, according to the memo.

Muhammad, 23, a Muslim convert who previously was known as Carlos Bledsoe, pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the deadly suburban shopping complex shooting.

Authorities said he targeted soldiers "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past."

Private William Long, 23, was killed and Private Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18, was wounded. Both completed basic training within the past two weeks and had never seen combat. Ezeagwula was in stable condition at a hospital.

The latest information seemed to contradict a local police official's denial earlier Tuesday that the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy, though details of possible accomplices and their involvement weren't immediately disclosed.

Muhammad is being held without bond and is due to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Muhammad, a U.S. citizen, is accused of carrying out a targeted attack against U.S. forces because of "political and religious motives" and already had been under investigation by the FBI at the time of the shootings.

An FBI joint terrorism task force based in the southern U.S. reportedly had been tracking Muhammad after he traveled to Yemen and was arrested and jailed there for using a Somali passport, an official told The Associated Press. The probe had been in its early stages and based on Muhammad's trip to Yemen, ABC News reported.

While there, Muhammad, who was born and raised in Tennessee, studied jihad with an Islamic scholar, according to He moved to Little Rock in April.

At Tuesday's court hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said Muhammad told investigators that "he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot."

Long and Ezeagwula were targeted as they stood outside the recruiting center smoking cigarettes.

Muhammad, wearing a dark blue jail uniform with brown plastic sandals, sat with his hands in his lap before Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle. He did not say anything during the brief hearing.

Investigators described the killing as one motivated by politics and religion: A Muslim convert upset with the U.S. military drove to a recruiting center and opened fire.

Muhammad was not part of any organized terrorist group, nor was his attack part of a larger conspiracy, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said on Tuesday.

Interviews with police show that the suspect "probably had political and religious motives for the attack," Thomas said. "We believe that it's associated with his disagreement over the military operations."

Muhammad told authorities that he approached the recruiting center in Little Rock by car on Monday and started shooting at two soldiers in uniform, according to a police report.

"He saw them standing there and drove up and shot them," Lt. Terry Hastings told the AP. "That's what he said."

The two victims had completed basic training within the past two weeks and were not regular recruiters, said Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion, which oversees the Little Rock office.

Witnesses told police that a man inside a black vehicle pulled up outside the recruiting center and opened fire about 10:30 a.m. Long fell onto the sidewalk outside the center, while Ezeagwula was able to crawl toward its door.

Muhammad was arrested along an interstate highway moments after the shootings, authorities said.

Police said an assault rifle and other weapons were found in Muhammad's car when he was arrested.

The accused shooter's father, Melvin Bledsoe, hung up on a reporter who called about his son's arrest Monday night.

FOX News' Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
10244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:35:45 AM

Great documentation of who Ayers really is and the Obama connection.
10245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:33:15 AM
And Obama is Ayers' protege. God help us.
10246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:30:24 AM
America the brutalizer! Osama bin Laden our terrorist enemy and mass murderer is not exactly one of your huddled masses. He is a Saudi prince! Sheik Abdel Rahman, architect of the first World Trade Center bombing is a sheik! Brutalization is not their problem. They are brutes! Like other radical zealots they are driven by a religious fanaticism confident that God is on their side and those who do not share their faith – in our case, Christians and Jews – are infidels, worthy of destruction. In Palestinian schools in democratic Israel, Palestinian school children are taught by their Palestinian teachers to chant "Destroy the heathen Jews." Register it. Not those who have injured them, but those who are not Muslims. Religious fanaticism will express itself in political – and eventually military – fanaticism whatever you do. Ask not, Americans, what your country has done to deserve its pain. Ask what has been done to inflict pain on your country and what you can do about it.

In May 1998, three years before the World Trade Center bombing, Osama bin Laden was interviewed by ABC News reporter John Miller. He explained his war this way:

John Miller: Mr. Bin Laden, you have issued a fatwa [death sentence] calling on all Muslims to kill Americans where they can, when they can. Is that directed at all Americans, just American military, just Americans in Saudi Arabia?
Osama bin Laden: Allah ordered us … to purify Muslim land of all non-believers,… We are surprised this question is coming from Americans…. American history does not distinguish between civilians and military, and not even women and children. They are the ones who used the bombs against Nagasaki…. America does not have a religion that will prevent it from destroying all people…. We believe that the biggest thieves in the world and the terrorists are the Americans… We are sure of Allah’s victory and our victory against the Americans and the Jews as promised by the prophet peace be upon him….We predict a black day for America and the end of the United States as United States…

Is this clear enough? This holy war is not about American acts. It is about who we are. It is not a war that can be negotiated. It is them or us.
This is the hour for America to take care of itself; to take steps to defend itself. America must be hard where it has been soft, calculating where it has been sensitive, strong where it has been weak. Osama bin Laden is impressed with American weakness, the very kind of weakness urged again on America in this crisis, by appeasers like John Lahr. Rush to thought, not judgment:

Osama bin Laden: We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia. We are ready for all occasions. We rely on Allah.
On the day of the World Trade Center bombing, I appeared on a Fox TV program in San Diego and did my best to steer the discussion towards the steps America must take to defend herself, to carry the war to the enemy camp. But the host would have none of it. While thousands of Americans writhed in agony in the twisted steel of the Trade Center, she wanted to discuss the danger of American "hysteria," the "threat" that American prejudice might pose to Muslims in our midst. It did not even occur to her that if Americans were prejudiced in a way that made this issue pressing, these terrorists would never have been trained as pilots by American companies, housed in American homes, or ignored by American security agents at the airports where they hijacked the airliners in order to convert them into bombs.
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are a far more typical academic couple, and their NY Times interlocutor a far more familiar arbiter of information to the American public than is comforting to consider. We have already been treated to TV images of college students shifting the blame to American shoulders while the embers of the Trade Center are still warm. Many of us have children in secondary schools who, in this hour of mourning, have been lectured by their teachers on America’s sins and chickens coming home to roost. The political friends of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn have been busily at work for the last two decades seeding our educational culture with anti-American poisons that could one day destroy us.

A visit to a well-traveled website "for the progressive community" – – reveals how profoundly America has been rejected and how passionately its bloodthirsty enemies have been embraced by significant sections of our population, even as we enter a life and death struggle with an enemy that wants to exterminate us:

"Not only have we caused these events with our monstrous foreign policies but also with our complete disregard of our environment causing mortal damage to the Earth (Earth is a living being) and other species that co-exist with us." – Susan Yost, Cumberland VA
"My heart went out to all the people there as I sat watching, waiting … and then sadness filled me, sadness that the foreign policy of this country has come back to haunt us; sadness that our government has been so arrogant that a lesson like this occurred;…It is US policies of terror in other countries that have brought this down on us." Matthew A Peckham, Eugene OR
"Our corporate entities not only run this country but have decimated many other small countries in ways we cannot even fathom….This is a wake up call, America. It is time to change our ways." –Rich Cianflone, Colorado
"We are reaping what we have sown. We will now have the dreaded opportunity to live in the same fear that our financial policies and military assistance have inflicted on others." – Harold Parkey, Fort Worth, Texas
"For fifty-six years Washington has successfully conducted mass murders…." – William Mandel, Oakland, California (Mandel is a lifelong Communist and taxpayer funded Public Radio commentator.)
"The United States conducts itself as a terrorist organization throughout the world." – Lance Del Goebel, Manhattan, Illinois
"U.S. foreign policy has come home to roost today … we are reaping what we have sown."—Glynn Ash
America, the Great Satan.
Actually, these comments are merely cribbed from bin Laden’s friend, Saddam Hussein, whose response to the Trade Center attacks was as follows: "Notwithstanding the conflicting human feelings about what happened in America yesterday, America is reaping the thorns sown by its rulers in the world. Those thorns have not only bloodied the feet and the hearts of many, but also the eyes of people shedding tears on their dead whose souls have been reaped by America." Saddam then invoked a litany of misdeeds that could have come from a primer written by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn or any number of familiar anti-American extremists: "There is no place that does not have a symbolic monument that shows America’s criminal acts against these victims, whether in Japan that was the first to be seared by the nuclear destruction weapons boasted by America, or Vietnam, Iraq … or the criminal acts the US is now perpetrating by supporting the criminal racist Zionism against our heroic Palestinian people…."

This is the banal excuse of common criminals – the devil made me do it. "I don’t think you can understand a single thing we did," explains the pampered Weatherman bomber Bill Ayers "without understanding the violence of the Vietnam War."

I interviewed Ayers ten years ago, in a kindergarten classroom in uptown Manhattan where he was employed to shape the minds of inner city children. Dressed in bib overalls with golden curls rolling below his ears, Ayers reviewed his activities as a terrorist for my tape recorder. When he was done, he broke into a broad, Jack Horner grin and summed up his experience: "Guilty as hell. Free as a bird. America is a great country."

In my experience, what drives most radicals are passions of resentment, envy and inner rage. Bill Ayers is a scion of wealth. His father was head of Detroit’s giant utility Commonwealth Edison, in line for a cabinet position in the Nixon Administration before his son ruined it by going on a rampage that to this day he cannot explain to any reasonable person’s satisfaction (which is why he has to conceal so much). It could be said of Bill Ayers that he was consumed by angers so terrible they led him to destroy his father’s career. But in the 10 hours I interviewed him I saw none of it. What I saw was a shallowness beyond conception. All the Weather leaders I interviewed shared a similar vacuity. They were living inside a utopian fantasy, a separate reality, and had no idea of what they had done. Nor any way to measure it. Appreciating the nation to which they were born, recognizing the great gifts of freedom and opportunity their parents and communities had given them, distinguishing between right and wrong – it was all above their mental and moral ceiling.

In the days ahead, this is one of the dangers we face.
10247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:29:00 AM
Allies in War | September 14, 2001

ON THE MORNING OF THE ATTACKS on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, along with a million other readers of the New York Times including many who would never be able to read the paper again, I opened its pages to be confronted by a color photo showing a middle-aged couple holding hands and affecting a defiant look at the camera. The article was headlined in an irony that could not have been more poignant, "No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives." The couple pictured were Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, former leaders of the 1960s’ Weather Underground, America’s first terrorist cult. One of their bombing targets, as it happened, was the Pentagon. 


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"I don’t regret setting bombs," Ayers was quoted in the opening line of the Times profile; "I feel we didn’t do enough." In 1969, Ayers and his wife convened a "War Council" in Flint Michigan, whose purpose was to launch a military front inside the United States with the purpose of helping Third World revolutionaries conquer and destroy it. Taking charge of the podium, dressed in a high-heeled boots and a leather mini-skirt – her signature uniform – Dorhn incited the assembled radicals to join the war against "Amerikkka" and create chaos and destruction in the "belly of the beast." Her voice rising to a fevered pitch, Dohrn raised three fingers in a "fork salute" to mass murderer Charles Manson whom she proposed as a symbol to her troops. Referring to the helpless victims of the Manson Family as the "Tate Eight" (the most famous was actress Sharon Tate) Dohrn shouted:

Dig It. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!
Embarrassed today by this memory, but unable to expunge it from the record and unwilling to repudiate her terrorist deeds, Dorhn resorts to the lie direct. "It was a joke," she told the sympathetic Times reporter, Dinitia Smith; she was actually protesting America’s crimes. "We were mocking violence in America. Even in my most inflamed moment I never supported a racist mass murderer." In 1980, I taped interviews with thirty members of the Weather Underground who were present at the Flint War Council, including most of its leadership. Not one of them thought Dohrn was anything but deadly serious. Outrageous nihilism was the Weatherman political style. As soon as her tribute to Manson was completed, Dohrn was followed to the Flint platform by another Weather leader who ranted, "We’re against everything that’s ‘good and decent’ in honky America. We will loot and burn and destroy. We are the incubation of your mothers’ nightmares."
It has long been a fashion among media sophisticates to ridicule the late J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI men who sought to protect Americans from the threats posed by people like Ayers and Dohrn in their "days of rage." But Hoover’s description of Bernardine Dohrn as "La Pasionara of the lunatic left" is far more accurate than anything that can be found in the Times profile.

Instead of a critique of this malignant couple and their destructive resume, the Times’ portrait provides a soft-focus promotion for Ayers’ newly published Fugitive Days, a memoir notable for its dishonesty and its celebration of his malevolent exploits. Ayers’ text wallows in familiar Marxist incitements and the homicidal delusions of Sixties radicalism, including a loving reprint of an editorial from the old socialist magazine Alarm! Written by Albert Parsons, one of the Haymarket anarchists, whom the Weathermen idolized:

Dynamite! Of all the good stuff, that is the stuff! Stuff several pounds of this sublime stuff into an inch pipe…plug up both ends, insert a cap with a fuse attached, place this in the immediate vicinity of a lot of rich loafers who live by the sweat of other people’s brows, and light the fuse. A most cheerful and gratifying result will follow. In giving dynamite to the downtrodden millions of the globe, science has done its best work.
In Fugitive Days, Ayers has written – and the Times promoted – a text that the bombers of the World Trade Center could have packed in their flight bags alongside the Koran, as they embarked on their sinister mission.
"Memory is a motherf*cker," Ayers warns his readers, in the illiterate style that made him an icon of the New Left. It is as close as he gets to acknowledging that his account leaves World Trade Center size holes in the story of his criminal past. Among them is its second half, how Weatherman imploded in the year other Americans were celebrating the bicentennial of their nation. It imploded because the devotion of the terrorists to the bibles of the cause – Lenin, Stalin, Mao – eventually led them into a series of brainwashing rituals and purges that decimated their ranks. None of this is remembered in Ayers’ book. Nor is the passage of their closest comrades into the ranks of the May 19th Communist Movement, which murdered three officers – including the first black policeman on the Nyack force, during an infamous robbery of a Brinks armored car in 1981. Caveat emptor. The point of the omissions is to hide from others (and from Ayers himself) the real-world consequences of the anti-American ideologies, which took root in the Sixties and now flourish on college campuses across the country.

Today William Ayers is not merely an author favored by the New York Times, but a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His Lady Macbeth is not merely a lawyer, but a member of the American Bar Association’s governing elite, as well as the director of Northwestern University’s Children and Family Justice Center. These facts reflect a reality about the culture of facile defamation of America and ready appeasement of her mortal enemies, that confronts us as we struggle to deal with the terrorist attack.

The President has correctly defined the repulsive deed that has left 10,000 dead as an "act of war." This, it must be said, is a very belated recognition of our reality, which was postponed for almost a decade by an Administration infused with the attitudes of self-flagellation and moral equivalence perfectly expressed on the day of the attack by John Lahr, a writer for the Microsoft Internet journal Slate. On the day of the attack that crushed to death and burned alive 10,000 innocent civilians at their workplace, John Lahr advised America to "Rush to Thought, Not to Judgment."

I fear the hysteria in the American character, which splits so easily into good and bad, which rushes to judgment rather than to thought. The terrorists have taken aim at the American government and American capitalism and brought them both – symbolically at least – down. America, from the point of view of the terrorists, has been humiliated and brutalized as they feel they have felt humiliated and brutalized by America.
This is the we-feel-your-terrorist-pain, appeasement perspective perfectly tuned. The hysteria in the American character! A character that permitted fanatical America-haters to bomb the World Trade Center not once but twice without so much as instituting serious security at its airports, lest the American Civil Liberties Union and other members of the appeasement coalition take their government to court to ensure that terrorists, too, have civil liberties. Hysterically "anti-Islamic" America, which during the Clinton years forbade its intelligence operatives from using "human rights violators" as intelligence assets to prevent such terrorist attacks. Who in these Middle Eastern thugdoms with any access to authority or power let alone terrorist networks is not a human rights violator? Liberal self-hatred masquerading as a concern for human rights was the primary reason why it was so easy for a complicated and lethal attack to be planned and carried out without coming to the attention of American intelligence agencies. It was more important for the Clinton Administration to be sensitive to the utopian concerns of the progressive elites and the one-world kleptocrats who make up the UN than to protect the American people.

10248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:13:14 AM

TUESDAY, JUNE 02, 2009

Two Shootings, Different Priorities

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, flanked by his attorney, enters a not guilty plea in an Arkansas courtroom. The Muslim convert is facing capital murder charges in connection with Monday's shooting of two U.S. Army recruiters in Little Rock (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette photo).

After an anti-abortion extremist killed Kansas physician George Tiller on Sunday, the Obama Justice Department swung into action. Just hours after the shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder announced added security for selected abortion providers and the clinics where they work.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Service has confirmed that federal agents would be guarding abortion doctors and medical offices in the coming days, though the scope of the security operation remains unclear.

Readers will note that Mr. Holder offered no public reaction just 24 hours later, when two U.S. Army soldiers were gunned down outside a recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula were shot by 23-year-old Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who spent time in Yemen.

Long died from his injuries at a Little Rock hospital a short time after the shooting; Ezeagwula, who was shot in the neck, is expected to survive.

Both soldiers were recent graduates of basic training, participating in the "Hometown Recruiter" assistance program. Long and Ezeagwula were assigned to the Little Rock office for two weeks, talking to friends and family members about opportunities offered by the Army. The hometown recruiter program has been in existence for more than 30 years, and dates back to the earliest days of the all-volunteer military.

Appearing in court today, Muhammad entered a "not guilty" plea to capital murder charges in connection with the shootings. A prosecutor said the suspect admitted to targeting the soldiers, and said he "would have shot more" had other recruiters been outside. Muhammad also told investigators that he was "upset" over the military's treatment of Muslims.

There are literally hundreds of armed forces recruiting stations across the country, but despite Monday's deadly attack, Mr. Holder apparently sees no need for added security. Never mind that recruiters are unarmed and their offices are (typically) located in storefronts, behind pane-glass windows and doors. While some recruiting centers have added security measures in recent years, most are unprotected. Comparatively speaking, a typical abortion clinic is far more secure than a military recruiting center in the same community.

And never mind that recruiting stations have been the target of an escalating campaign of harassment, intimidation and violence in recent years. Michelle Malkin has chronicled scores of attacks across the country in recent years, but the anti-recruiter campaign has received virtually no attention from the MSM. Given the media's indifference--and the Democratic Party's cozy alliance with the anti-war left--it's no surprise that Mr. Holder is unconcerned about attacks on military recruiters.

But that position may come back to haunt the attorney general and his boss, President Obama. Early reports suggest the Little Rock suspect spent several years in Yemen after his conversion to Islam, and one source indicated that Muhammed may have traveled on a Somali passport. Additionally, the FBI has confirmed that it's anti-terror division was investigating Muhammad before the shooting (emphasis ours).

While Federal authorities have uncovered no evidence of a wider conspiracy (at least not yet), there's much we don't know about the former Carlos Bledsoe. What prompted his conversion to Islam, and how did he make it to Yemen, a hotspot for jihad? Did he come in contact with former Gitmo detainees who migrated to that Middle Eastern nation, and have become a key part of the local Al Qaida affiliate? Was there a Somali connection, and finally, what brought Mr. Muhammad back to the U.S. and sent him on that murderous rampage?

At this point, answers to those questions are in short supply. We have no doubt that the FBI will conduct a professional investigation, but there's a larger issue that must be resolved, since it will set the tone for the inquiry. Simply stated, as the probe unfolds, will Mr. Obama allow his Justice Department to follow all leads, regardless of where they lead?

Thirteen years ago, another Democratic President (Bill Clinton) had an opportunity to aggressively pursue a terror investigation. But he thwarted an FBI probe into the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, believing the search for Iranian masterminds would undermine his overtures toward Tehran.

Obviously, the shootings in Little Rock are vastly different that the massive truck bomb that devastated our military barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 airmen. But the saga of Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad has foreign elements that must be investigated. There's every chance that Mr. Muhammad acted alone, but there is also the possibility that he had assistance and influence from individuals abroad.

As Mr. Obama prepares for his Cairo speech, he might consider a proper balance between building better relations with the Muslim world, and protecting U.S. citizens from its most radical elements. Mr. Muhammad is a product of that environment, and the family of Private Long has every right to know how those elements influenced his murder. They should also ask Mr. Holder why abortion doctors deserve federal protection ahead of our military recruiters.
10249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:09:19 AM

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bill Ayers: Unrepentant LYING Terrorist   [Andy McCarthy]
In that Fox interview that Rich linked to, Ayers preposterously claimed that he and his fellow Weather Underground terrorists did not really intend to harm any people — the fact that no one was killed in their 20 or so bombings was, he said, "by design"; they only wanted to cause property damage:

Between October 1969 and September 1973, the Weather Underground claimed credit for some twenty bombings across the country, in which no one was harmed — save the three cell members who perished in a Greenwich Village townhouse in March 1970, when one of their creations detonated prematurely. Ayers claimed the fact that no other individuals were killed as a result of the Weathermen’s actions was “by design.”
In his autobiography, Fugitive Days: A Memoir, Ayers recalled, he posed the question: “How far are you willing to take that step into what I consider the abyss of violence? And we really never did, except for that moment in the townhouse.… I actually think destroying property in the face of that kind of catastrophe is so — restrained. And I don’t see it as a big deal.


First of all, "that moment in the townhouse" he's talking about happened in 1970.  Three of his confederates, including his then girlfriend Diana Oughton, were accidentally killed when the explosive they were building to Ayers specifications (Ayers was a bomb designer) went off during construction.  As noted in Ayers' Discover the Networks profile, the explosive had been a nail bomb.  Back when Ayers was being more honest about his intentions, he admitted that the purpose of that bomb had been to murder United States soldiers:

That bomb had been intended for detonation at a dance that was to be attended by army soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plan been successfully executed. Ayers attested that the bomb would have done serious damage, "tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too."

In fact, Ayers was a founder of the Weatherman terror group and he defined its purpose as carrying out murder.  Again, from Discover the Networks:

Characterizing Weatherman as "an American Red Army," Ayers summed up the organization's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents."

Now he wants you to think they just wanted to break a few dishes.  But in his book Fugitive Days, in which he boasts that he "participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972," he says of the day that he bombed the Pentagon:  "Everything was absolutely ideal. ... The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."

And he wasn't singular.  As I noted back in April in this article about Obama's motley collection of radical friends, at the Weatherman “War Council” meeting in 1969, Ayers' fellow terrorist and now-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others:  “Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!”  And as Jonah recalled yesterday, "In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered 'fork' gesture its official salute."  They weren't talking about scratching up the wall-paper.

A Weatherman affiliate group which called itself "the Family" colluded with the Black Liberation Army in the 1981 Brinks robbery in which two police officers and an armed guard were murdered.  (Obama would like people to believe all this terrorist activity ended in 1969 when he was eight years old.  In fact, it continued well into the eighties.)  Afterwards, like Ayers and Dohrn, their friend and fellow terrorist Susan Rosenberg became a fugitive.

On November 29, 1984, Rosenberg and a co-conspirator, Timothy Blunk, were finally apprehended in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  At the time, they were actively planning an unspeakable bombing campaign that would have put at risk the lives of countless innocent people.  They also possessed twelve assorted guns (including an Uzi 9 mm. semi-automatic rifle and an Ithaca twelve-gauge shotgun with its barrel sawed off), nearly 200 sticks of dynamite, more than 100 sticks of DuPont Trovex (a high explosive), a wide array of blasting agents and caps, batteries, and switches for explosive devices.  Arrayed in disguises and offering multiple false identities to arresting officers, the pair also maintained hundreds of false identification documents, including FBI and DEA badges.
When she was sentenced to 58 years' imprisonment in 1985, the only remorse Rosenberg expressed was over the fact that she and Blunk had allowed themselves to be captured rather than fighting it out with the police.  Bernadine Dohrn was jailed for contempt when she refused to testify against Rosenberg.  Not to worry, though.  On his last day in office, the last Democrat president, Bill Clinton, pardoned Rosenberg — commuting her 58-year sentence to time-served.

These savages wanted to kill massively.  That they killed only a few people owes to our luck and their incompetence, not design.  They and the Democrat politicians who now befriend and serve them can rationalize that all they want.  But those are the facts.
10250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal issues on: June 03, 2009, 10:07:19 AM

Declared "war on Amerikkka" at its Flint War Council in 1969
Responsible for the deaths of police officers and the wanton destruction of public property
Some former members are now comfortably ensconced in University professorships

Weatherman (known colloquially as The Weathermen) was a political faction elected in 1968 to lead the radical group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The organization took its name from a line in the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues ("You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"). Emerging in 1969 as the most militant wing of the SDS's Revolutionary Youth Movement, the fledgling Weatherman issued a "manifesto" eschewing nonviolence and calling instead for armed opposition to U.S. policies; advocating the overthrow of capitalism; exhorting white radicals to trigger a worldwide revolution by fighting in the streets of the "mother country"; and proclaiming that the time had come to launch a race war against the "white" United States on behalf of the non-white Third World.

Grounded in identity politics, Weatherman ideology and rhetoric rebelled against what later came to be known as America's "white skin privilege." Weatherman opposed the strategy of a rival SDS faction, Progressive Labor, which rejected the sexual and chemical excesses of the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s in favor of a purer, Marxist-Leninist popular front movement aimed at developing student-labor alliances.

FBI files from 1976, recently made public under the Freedom of Information Act, confirm the connections between Weatherman, Havana, and Moscow. Weatherman leaders like Mark Rudd traveled illegally to Havana in 1968 to engage in terrorist training. There, camps set up by Soviet KGB Colonel Vadim Kotchergine were educating Westerners both in Marxist philosophy and urban warfare.

At a 1969 "War Council" in Flint, Michigan, Weatherman leader Bernardine Dohrn (currently a law professor at Northwestern University and a Board member of the ACLU) praised the serial murderer Charles Manson and his accomplices: "Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them.  They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach. Wild."  She then proclaimed that the time had come to launch a war against "Amerikkka" (Weatherman always spelled "America" this way, to convey the group's belief that the nation was ineradicably racist to its core). Toward this end, Dohrn advocated the formation of an even more radical "Weather Underground" cult to carry out covert terrorist activities rather than public acts of protest. By early 1970, her wish would be realized.

Weatherman's first public demonstration was its October 1969 "Days of Rage" protest in Chicago, timed to coincide with the trials of the Chicago Seven (a group of radical leftists led by Tom Hayden), who had fomented a riot at the Democratic Party nominating convention in that city the previous year. Advertised with the slogan "Bring the war home,"  "Days of Rage" sought to create enough chaos to shock the American public out of its alleged complacency vis a vis the Vietnam War.

The opening "Days of Rage" salvo, designed to glorify the anarchist movement, was the October 8 demolition of a statue dedicated to the memory of eight policemen who had been killed in the Haymarket Labor Riot of 1886. Thereafter, some 300 people -- both members and supporters of the Weatherman agenda --  ravaged Chicago's business district, smashing windows and destroying automobiles. Six people were shot and seventy were arrested. The violence continued, though on a smaller scale, for each of the next two nights. As Sixties historian Todd Gitlin observed, however, no popular uprising was sparked by these events, much to the group's dismay. Notable "Days of Rage" leaders included Bill Ayers, now a Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, and Mark William Rudd, currently a mathematics professor at a New Mexico community college.

Weatherman was further radicalized by the December 1969 shooting death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton by Chicago police. Hampton was a street thug who, in his much-heralded "morning education" programs, taught black youths that violent opposition to the U.S. government was a worthy goal. He was quoted in a 1969 Chicago Sun-Times article as saying, "I am at war with the pigs," and forecasting an armed struggle between blacks and whites. He routinely carried weapons and instructed his subordinates to do the same. For Weatherman, Hampton's death provided one more excuse to pursue a revolutionary agenda. In March 1970 the organization issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government, using for the first time its new name, the "Weather Underground Organization" (WUO), adopting fake identities, and pledging to pursue covert activities only.

Shortly after that Declaration was made public, three members of the Weather Underground accidentally killed themselves in a Manhattan townhouse while attempting to build a powerful bomb they had intended to plant at a social dance in Fort Dix, New Jersey -- an event that was to be attended by U.S. Army soldiers. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plot been successfully executed.

The Weather Underground went on to claim credit for some 25 bombings over the next several years, detonating explosives at the rebuilt Haymarket statue, a bathroom at the Pentagon, the Capitol barber shop, the New York City police headquarters, and a variety of other targets. 

The Weather Underground also (for a fee of $25,000) helped psychedelic drug guru Timothy Leary break out of a California prison and arranged for his transport to Algiers. When Leary was re-arrested in 1974, he cooperated in the FBI investigation of WUO in exchange for a lighter sentence.

By the time the U.S. withdrew its military forces from Vietnam in 1975, the Weather Underground was clearly losing vitality as an organization, having failed to invigorate a new radical movement in the U.S. or to inspire an all-out war against the government. In the wake of President Jimmy Carter's amnesty for draft dodgers, members of the group began to emerge from hiding. Many were never prosecuted; others had their convictions overturned. Some, like Rudd, Dohrn, and Ayers, claimed places for themselves in academia, while others attempted to return to the mainstream.

On October 20, 1981 -- long after the Weather Underground had ceased to exist -- former Underground member Kathy Boudin and her soon-to-be husband, David Gilbert, were accomplices in the robbery of a Brinks armored car in Nyack, New York. In the course of that heist, one Brinks guard and two Nyack police officers were murdered. Also involved in the robbery was Judith Clark, who had served a prison term for her participation in the "Days of Rage."  Boudin hired attorney Leonard Weinglass, a law partner of her father, to defend her in the case. Weinglass arranged for a plea bargain whereby Boudin pled guilty to one count of felony murder and robbery, in exchange for a prison sentence of twenty years to life. She was paroled in 2003, however, over strong opposition from New York State police. Gilbert remains in New York's Attica State Prison, having refused to bargain.

In 1985, former Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg (who also was implicated in the Nyack robbery) and Linda Evans were apprehended while transporting 740 pounds of explosives which they both acknowledged were slated for use in additional bombings. Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years in prison, Evans 40; President Bill Clinton pardoned both women in January 2001.
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