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9751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 09:22:03 PM
Rachel,

The Doctor may or may not be complicit in the deaths of his daughters, but as I stated before, the jihadis are well known to place innocents in harm's way in the hopes that US or Israeli troops return fire and inflict civ. casualties so the global jihad's propaganda machine can wave the bloody shirts.

As far as any "palestinian" tragedy, I personally could give a rat's ass. Why? See below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrM0dAFsZ8k
PA Muslims celebrating fall of the twin towers on 9/11
Fox News

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ0bWEnW_WU
PA Muslims Celebrate 9-11-2001
CNN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buzRV-t5fLM&feature=related
PA Muslims CHEERING deaths of Americans on 9/11

US/EU/UK governments must explain why they finance, arm, and train international PA/PLO terrorists in the global jihad war against Israel, America, Britain and the Free World.

The Palestinian Authority seeks global Islamic conquest:
Friday sermon, Palestinian Authority TV. May 13, 2005. Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris:
“The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world…” http://memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=669

9752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 08:30:41 PM
http://www.seconddraft.org/history_pallywood.php

Hooray for Pallywood!
9753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 08:26:04 PM
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lynn-davidson/2008/03/03/expert-idf-didnt-shoot-intifada-icon-mohammad-al-dura-media-yawn

Pallywood propaganda, aided and abetted by the global media.
9754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 08:20:58 PM
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/poller/1011

The al-Dura Hoax
NIDRA POLLER - 10.02.2007 - 5:40 PM

Daniel Seaman, chairman of Israel’s Government Press Office, declared today that the al-Dura news report was staged. This was the report filmed on September 30, 2000 at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip by a Palestinian cameraman employed by state-owned French channel France 2, which purported to show the death of a Palestinian boy at the hands of the Israeli army. The news broke in the Israeli media this morning, is spreading in the United States, but has not pierced the firewall of mainstream media in France.

In the voice-over to the footage, France 2 Jerusalem bureau chief Charles Enderlin dramatically described the “death” of the twelve-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Dura, “target of gunfire from the Israeli position.” The 55-second video was immediately broadcast worldwide and assimilated by unsuspecting viewers. It functioned as a blood libel, justifying atrocities against Israelis and Jews.

For seven years investigators and analysts have labored relentlessly to counter that unfounded accusation. For seven years Charles Enderlin and France 2, protected by the Chirac government and upheld by mainstream media, have stifled criticism and discredited these investigators. The Israeli government, pursuing a “let sleeping dogs lie” policy, discouraged efforts to expose the hoax. Jewish organizations shied away from the controversy.

The al-Dura affair is a smudge on the face of coverage of the “Middle East conflict”; every attempt to wipe it away spreads and deepens the stain. In 2005, France 2 and Enderlin, apparently confident that they could wipe away the smudge, brought defamation lawsuits against three French-based websites that had posted material questioning the authenticity of the al-Dura video. The cases were heard in the autumn and winter of 2006-2007. France 2 lost one on a technicality, and won the other two. Suddenly mainstream media in France discovered the affair . . . long enough to report that the al-Dura scene was not staged!

But one of the defendants, Philippe Karsenty, director of the French news watchdog site Media-Ratings, appealed his conviction and has achieved a major victory—the Appellate Court asked France 2 to produce the 27 minutes of raw footage from which the 55-second “news” video was excerpted. If France 2 has not turned over the document by tomorrow, the Court will order them to do so. The raw footage will be projected at a hearing scheduled for November 14, and the case will be heard in full on February 27, 2008.

The Palestinian cameraman, Tala Abu Rahma, testified under oath that Muhammad al-Dura and his father Jamal were pinned down by uninterrupted gunfire from the Israeli position for 45 minutes. Rahma claims he filmed the incident off and on from beginning to end for a total of 27 minutes, from which Charles Enderlin excerpted 55 seconds for the news report. Enderlin, backed by his hierarchy, insists that the raw footage confirms the authenticity of the news report . . . but has refused to make it available for public scrutiny.

Four reliable witnesses who have viewed the footage testify that it is composed of staged scenes, faked injuries, and falsified ambulance evacuations. There are no images of the al-Duras.

If the raw footage is projected in the courtroom, the battle will be half won, no matter how the court rules on Karsenty’s appeal. If a dozen world-class journalists attend the November 14 hearing, the al-Dura affair will be brought out of its dark alley and into the agora of democratic societies, where it should receive its final judgment.
9755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 08:02:14 PM
I don't even watch the BBC (Heck I don't even have cable; I read books, but I'm not happy the Lakers are on
ESPN only).  sad

Don't look to me to defend the BBC; choose another reporting newspaper. 

**If you'll recall, you cited the BBC.**

They seem to ALL carry the story.

**Yes, the same story from the wire service. BFD.**

It's being talked about around the world AND in Israel.
Israeli Tank kills......  So it's your choice of a multitude of respected reporting versus a blog out of Jerusalem.

**Again, what "respected" reporting? The global media machine has time and time again unquestioningly swallowed jihadist propaganda and then never followed through when the truth emerged.**

Not my job to argue your position,  smiley but I would focus on if the attack was justified.  Perhaps it was...
But you've got to admit, even the Hamas Film Institute couldn't have written a better story to support
their side. 

**This may have well been a constructed story, just as there have been plenty in the past.**

Wrong or right, this fight is being fought on the battlefield AND in the press.

Yes, and you and your leftist ilk are queuing up to act as the global jihads' Tokyo Roses. Shame.
9756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 07:47:15 PM
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/SendMail.aspx?print=print&type=0&item=129471

Guns or Love? IDF, Gaza Doctor Trade Blame on Clash at his Home
Tevet 22, 5769, 18 January 09 12:07by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

(IsraelNN.com) The IDF and a Gaza doctor who works in Israel traded charges on whether people in his Jabalya home were armed with guns or love. The IDF shelled the building, killing three of his daughters and wounding three others.

Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, who formerly worked at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva and now works at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, protested the army shelling at a press conference at the Tel Aviv hospital.

Levana Stern, whose sons are serving in Gaza, interrupted the media event to protest, "Why is he engaging in propaganda? He is talking against Israel at the Sheba hospital. You should all be ashamed. All my children are serving in Gaza. Who knows what he had at his home?"

The IDF said his home was the source of gunfire at soldiers. The doctor told reporters, "Were they armed when they were killed? They were not armed with weapons, but rather, with love; love for others. They planned to travel to Canada; I got a job in Canada and they wanted to come with me."

After he was interrupted by Stern, Dr. Al-Aish replied, "They don't want to see the other side; they only want to see one side. They don’t want to see the others."

Stern said her heart aches over his children's deaths but added, "I don't understand why the people of Israel give him a platform at the hospital while our soldiers are lying here wounded. He needs to tell the story, but tell it once, and that's it."
9757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 07:35:36 PM
The Israelmatzav blog.  Now there is an impartial influential report.  I believe I've read,

**I'll put it's credibility up against any left wing bilge you unquestioningly swallow.**

"Israel right wing under pressure".  Maybe a meteor hit the house?

**Maybe, as is the well documented haji M.O.,  the jihadist used a civillian dwelling filled with innocents as a military site in the hope that any return fire will result in propaganda fodder to feed to the world's useful idiots.**

Versus a very long list (BBC et al) of reputable neutral reporting?  Maybe I should check out what the
Hamas Daily Gazette had to say?

**You've already been repeating HAMAS' propaganda, like a good leftist.**


It was Israeli tank fire.  The guy was a hero.  Even the public in Israel is upset.

**Please cite your source for this assertion.**


9758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 07:27:30 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-451138/Report-BBCs-anti-Israel-bias-stay-secret.html#

Report on BBC's anti-Israel bias will stay secret

By PAUL REVOIR

Last updated at 17:55 27 April 2007



BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons
The BBC has won its legal battle to block the publication of a report into alleged bias in its reporting of Middle East affairs.

A ruling obtained under freedom of information legislation had obliged the corporation to make the internal audit public.

But that decision was overturned by the High Court.

The BBC's decision to spend an estimated £200,000 of licence feepayers' money to keep the Balen Report secret has been widely condemned.

The corporation was accused of hypocrisy because it has regularly used freedom of information legislation to break news stories.

The attempt to force the BBC to publish the report - compiled in 2004 by its editorial adviser Malcolm Balen - was led by lawyer Steven Sugar, who represented himself in court.

The ruling will disappoint the Jewish community which would have wanted to know whether the 20,000-word document had found any evidence of anti-Israeli bias in news programming.

Mr Justice Davis, sitting at the High Court in London, said last August's decision by the Information Tribunal for the report to be published was flawed.

He said: "I conclude that the BBC's submissions are well founded. The tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain any appeal."

The judge said the document was exempt from inspection under freedom of information laws because it was held by the BBC "for the purposes of journalism, art or literature".

After the verdict, Mr Sugar said: "It is a technical win by the BBC which has the result desired by the BBC of weighting the Freedom of Information Act in its favour.

"Perhaps the BBC Trust under its new chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, will take a different view to the BBC management and conclude that it is in the public interest for Mr Balen's report to

be published."

Mr Sugar called on ministers to review the journalistic exemption.

"The exception was drafted in general terms which has allowed its use to prevent the public gaining access to much material which I am sure the Government intended should be publicly available," he said.

"I hope Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, who is a supporter of freedom of information, will consider clarifying the journalism exception. This would not require primary legislation."

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley and a member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said: "This seems to be outrageous. If the BBC are embarrassed about what they are doing they should not be doing it.

"If they are not embarrassed they should release the information. It is a sad day when they have spent so much money to keep it secret -people think this is a colossal waste of money."

The BBC has faced repeated claims that its reporting of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been skewed towards the Palestinian cause.

Its critics cite the revelation from Middle East correspondent Barbara Plett that she cried when Yasser Arafat was close to death in 2004.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC has always maintained that the Balen Report is held for purposes of journalism and, therefore, outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

"We believe that programme makers must have the space to be able to freely discuss and reflect on editorial issues in support of independent journalism.

"It was always intended as an internal review of programme content, to inform future output. It was never intended for publication.

"The BBC's action in this case had nothing to do with the fact that the Balen Report was about the Middle East - the same approach would have been taken whatever area of news output was covered.
9759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 07:16:52 PM
The BBC is a neutral reporting party? Bwahahahahahahahahaha!
9760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buh-bye AAA rating on: May 22, 2009, 06:02:49 PM
Geithner Vows to Cut U.S. Deficit on Rating Concern (Update2)


By Robert Schmidt


May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner committed to cutting the budget deficit as concern about deteriorating U.S. creditworthiness deepened, and ascribed a sell-off in Treasuries to prospects for an economic recovery.

“It’s very important that this Congress and this president put in place policies that will bring those deficits down to a sustainable level over the medium term,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. He added that the target is reducing the gap to about 3 percent of gross domestic product, from a projected 12.9 percent this year.

The dollar extended declines today after Treasuries and American stocks slumped on concern the U.S. government’s debt rating may at some point be lowered. Bill Gross, the co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. “eventually” will lose its AAA grade.

Geithner, 47, also said that the rise in yields on Treasury securities this year “is a sign that things are improving” and that “there is a little less acute concern about the depth of the recession.”

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield jumped 17 basis points to 3.36 percent yesterday and was unchanged as of 12:18 p.m. in London. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index fell 1.7 percent to 888.33 yesterday. The dollar tumbled 0.5 percent today to $1.3957 per euro after a 0.8 percent drop yesterday.

Gross’s Warning

Gross said in an interview yesterday on Bloomberg Television that while a U.S. sovereign rating cut is “certainly nothing that’s going to happen overnight,” markets are “beginning to anticipate the possibility.” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, speaking in Hong Kong today, nevertheless argues it’s “hard to believe” the U.S. would ever default.

Britain’s AAA rating was endangered when Standard & Poor’s yesterday lowered its outlook on the nation’s grade to “negative” from “stable,” citing a debt level approaching 100 percent of U.K. GDP.

It’s “critically important” to bring down the American deficit, Geithner said.

In its latest budget request, the administration said it expects the deficit to drop to 8.5 percent of GDP next year, then to 6 percent in 2011. Ultimately, it forecasts deficits that fluctuate between 2.7 percent and 3.4 percent between 2012 and 2019.

Early Stages

Ten-year Treasury yields have climbed about 1 percentage point so far this year, in part after U.S. economic figures indicated that the worst of the deepest recession in half a century has passed. The yield on 30-year bonds has jumped to 4.31 percent, from 2.68 percent at the beginning of the year.

The Treasury chief said it’s still “possible” that the unemployment rate may reach 10 percent or higher, cautioning that the economic recovery is still in the “early stages.”

“The important thing to recognize is that growth will stabilize and start to increase first before unemployment peaks and starts to come down,” he said. While “these early signs of stability are very important” this is “still a very challenging period for businesses and families across the United States,” he said.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 12,000 in the week ended May 16 to 631,000, according to Labor Department statistics released yesterday. Still, the number of workers collecting unemployment checks rose to a record of more than 6.6 million in the week ended May 9.

As of April, the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, the highest level since 1983. The economy has lost 5.7 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.

Municipal Bonds

Also yesterday, Geithner said the U.S.’s $700 billion financial rescue package can’t be used to aid cities and states facing budget crises.

The law “does not appear to us to provide a viable way of responding to that challenge,” Geithner told a House Appropriations subcommittee in Washington. Among the hurdles: money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed for financial companies, he said.

Geithner said he will work with Congress to help states such as California that have been battered by the credit crunch and are struggling to arrange backing for municipal bonds and short-term debt.

The municipal bond markets are “starting to find some new balance and equilibrium,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: May 22, 2009 07:20 EDT

9761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 04:48:12 PM
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/01/palestinian-doctors-daughter-may-have.html

Hmmmmm
9762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 04:15:16 PM
"Saving human lives is the main purpose of my work. There is a Palestinian nation and an Israeli nation, and I care about both sides. Words are stronger than thousands of bullets. I want others here to feel the Palestinian suffering and to open their eyes to the Palestinian suffering. I fully believe our humanity brings Jews and Arabs together."

"Now we have to learn to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. Both sides should focus on saving lives. If we make mistakes, we should learn from our mistakes and not repeat them, not continue all our lives, Israelis and Palestinians, making mistakes. It's not mistakes, it's craziness."


Hardly anti-American or anti-Israeli....

Given what happened I think the good doctor is rather magnanimous.  I am not sure I would be so forgiving given the circumstances.

Done any due dilligence to see if there is any truth to this story? It sounds like a pallywood psy-op to me. If the "palestinians" don't like getting hit by the Israelis, they should stop starting wars.
9763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: May 22, 2009, 08:58:27 AM
Feminists Betray Muslim Women
By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, May 21, 2009


A feminist professor has once again passed up an opportunity to stand up for the human rights of Muslim women. Recently Dr. Laura Briggs, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Head of the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona, welcomed new Ph.D. students to the department. 

In the course of her address, Briggs, author of Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico, praised the work of other professors, including that of Saba Mahmood, Associate Professor of Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. Mahmood, said Briggs, “confronted one of the legacies of a long history of orientalism and the recent wars in the Middle East: the way we are invited to see Muslim women as hopelessly, painfully oppressed, without their own autonomy, will, or individual rights.” So apparently the oppression of Muslim women has nothing to do with Islamic law or culture; it is merely a byproduct of “orientalism and the recent wars in the Middle East” – in other words, it is the West’s fault. “If we sometimes notice other Middle Eastern women—women’s rights activists, for example,” Briggs continued, “it is only to reinforce the notion that the great mass of Muslim women are terribly oppressed by the rise of conservative religiosity, by their husbands, by the ways they are compelled to dress.”

Briggs has good news: Mahmood spent two years – two years! – in Egypt and discovered that that oppression is just a mirage: “But after two years of fieldwork in the women’s mosque movement in Egypt, Mahmood asks us to consider a new question: what if community, as much as or more than the notions of individual rights, is a route to living meaningfully? Perhaps we ought to rethink the idea that women’s agency and personhood spring from resistance to subjection, and attend to the ways that in conservative religious communities, the cultivation of virtue and of closeness to God, of certain emotions and of forms of embodiment, are challenging but hardly one-dimensional ways of producing the self.”

Clearing away the pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook, Briggs is apparently saying that if women feel fulfilled in being subjugated as inferiors under Sharia law, then their good feelings outweigh their oppression and subjection. One wonders what Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem might have said in the 1960s if this same argument-from-fulfillment had been posed to them regarding American women. But aside from being inconsistent with what has been the feminist view of women’s oppression for decades, Briggs’s words also represent a betrayal of the Muslim women whose suffering is objective, ongoing, and largely unnoticed. 

To take just one of many available examples, wife-beating is largely tolerated, and even encouraged, in many Muslim cultures – largely due to the deleterious influence of Qur’an 4:34, which directs men to beat disobedient women. It is accordingly no surprise that the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences has determined that over ninety percent of Pakistani wives have been struck, beaten, or abused sexually — for offenses on the order of cooking an unsatisfactory meal. Others were punished for failing to give birth to a male child. Dominating their women by violence is a prerogative Muslim men cling to tenaciously. In Spring 2005, when the East African nation of Chad tried to institute a new family law that would outlaw wife beating, Muslim clerics led resistance to the measure as un-Islamic.

But to this – and to genital mutilation, honor killing, polygamy, and so much more that is sanctioned or tolerated by Islamic law – Briggs and Mahmood would apparently turn a blind eye, as long as the women involved were “living meaningfully.” And our concern for them? “Orientalism”!

 

Ironically, in her address Briggs also praised Saidiya Hartman, a professor of English and Comparative Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies at Columbia University. Hartman, according to Briggs, “sees everywhere around us and in us the legacies of slavery.” Briggs asks: “Can we exorcise these ghosts by calling into memory the Middle Passage, the rapes, the slave raids, the fortresses of the Gold Coast and the betrayals of the obruni, the stranger, that made the commerce of slavery possible?” And she concludes: “In her books, Scenes of Subjection and Lose Your Mother, Women’s Studies scholar Hartman writes brilliant prose that is full of heart and embodied, because she thinks that we as individuals and communities are not better off when we try to forget these things.”

Fair enough. But if we are not better off when we try to forget slavery, why are we better off when we try to forget the oppression of women in Islam?

It’s a question that Linda Briggs, and other feminists, would do well to consider.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.
9764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2009, 08:52:38 AM
As usual, JDN is happy to propagandize for anything anti-American or Anti-Israeli.

Yawn.
9765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 21, 2009, 04:08:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVMc4g3ybnI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Ffrontpagemag%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded

Jimmy Carter's war against the Jews.
9766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Has Obama given up on halting Iran? on: May 20, 2009, 03:15:19 PM
**No, he never meant to in the first place.**

Has Obama given up on halting Iran?
May. 20, 2009
Yaakov Lappin , THE JERUSALEM POST
There are growing indications that the US has come to terms with a nuclear-armed Teheran, two analysts told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

"The Americans are in a state of mind according to which Iran has already gone nuclear," said Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan's Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Kedar, who served in Military Intelligence for 25 years, said US President Barack Obama was "at peace" with the idea of a nuclear Iran.

"You can tell from how the Americans talk. Look at how [US special envoy] George Mitchell talks, or how Obama talks. I don't see them being pressured by this threat. They have shown no urgent desire to change this reality," he added.

"Obama has given up," Kedar said.

The result is that the US and Israel have only "small things to talk about," mainly the Palestinian track.

"Netanyahu doesn't want to talk about the Palestinians. He wants to talk about Iran. But Obama does not see the bigger problem," Kedar said.

The June 7 legislative vote in Lebanon could serve as a "wake-up call" for Obama, he added, since "after these elections, the Hizbullah coalition could be the largest in the country. Very quickly, Hizbullah could change the constitution to turn Lebanon into a Hizbullah state" - a development Kedar said might cause Lebanon to split off into smaller polities as other sects opt out of the country.

This would be an unmistakable sign of Iran's growing influence in the region.

"If this happens, the Americans could wake up," he said.

Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies, also believes there are a growing number of "hints" suggesting that Washington has come to terms with a nuclear Iran.

"There are implicit indications that it might be going in that direction," she said. "Even at the official level, [US Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton is on record as saying that the chances of success for negotiations with Iran are very small. If you're going into negotiations which you say ahead of time will likely fail, you're giving the sense that you might not be doing everything possible [to stop the Iranian nuclear program]," Landau said.

"The US administration is projecting some kind of sense that they're not taking these negotiations seriously enough. If they just go through the motions, but they don't believe talks will succeed, that is worrisome," she said.

Landau said she was disturbed that Obama appeared to view negotiations and sanctions as alternative policies, when in fact they needed to go together.

"In order to get Iran to be serious, you have to pressure it, and it must feel that the status quo is not more valuable than a negotiated settlement," she said. "I don't see that understanding in the Obama administration."

A source close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took a more optimistic view, citing a recent interview with Obama in Newsweek that quoted him as saying he was not taking any options off the table on Iran, as a hopeful sign.

"Before Sunday's meeting between Obama and Netanyahu, Obama would not put a time limit on talks with the Iranians. But what he said in effect on Sunday was that he was giving the talks six months. That's not so terrible," the source said.

However, he acknowledged that Obama's deadline was double that of Israel's requested deadline of three months.

Asked if America had come to terms with a nuclear Iran, the source said, "I don't think that appraisal is right."

He added that those who "held too high an expectation for Sunday's meeting were disappointed. Those who thought Obama would change all his stances and give a two-month time limit were disappointed. But there was a change in Obama's stance - he has given the talks a deadline, until the end of the year."

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1242212418402&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
9767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 19, 2009, 12:39:15 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/19/california-tax-revolt-what-next/

California tax revolt: What next?
POSTED AT 8:40 AM ON MAY 19, 2009 BY KARL   


The Los Angeles Times claims that the campaign over six state budget propositions on today’s ballot in California ended with a whimper, and seeks to downplay the expected result by predicting a low turnout. But yesterday was more like the calm before the storm.

Tonight’s results will gauge what polls suggest is voter fury over the failure of the Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled Legislature to balance the state’s books.

As Californians struggle with joblessness, home foreclosures and sharp losses in the stock market, the state has raised taxes, cut spending and borrowed to fix a $42-billion shortfall — and still remains more than $15 billion shy of a balanced budget.

If voters reject Propositions 1C, 1D and 1E — the three chief money-raisers on Tuesday’s special election ballot — the shortfall will grow to $21 billion.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Democratic allies trotted out the usual human shields in this fight — kindergarteners, firefighters and policemen, nurses, etc. They outspent their opponents by seven-to-one. None of it worked. Although the opposing sides here did not always follow partisan lines (e.g., the SEIU opposes the initiatives), a recent Field Poll showed 72% of voters agreeing that rejecting the measures “would send a message to the governor and the state legislature that voters are tired of more government spending and higher taxes.”

In the face of expected defeat, Schwarzenegger has fled cross-country to Washington, DC, to listen to Pres. Obama talk about new federal tailpipe emissions. There is even more of a metaphor in the trip than the obvious punchline, as California’s future is likely to be found in DC. California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has already asked Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner to backstop a wave of short-term borrowing California will need to undertake this summer. Indeed, the Busness Insider notes that the yield on California debt has already been shrinking:

We’d say that the market is probably also pricing in the possibility that Barney Frank will get his way and we’ll have a federal backstop of all muni debt soon enough. Even without a formal backstop, we think it’s unlikely that the Obama administration and a Democrat controlled Capitol Hill would let California default.

This is another way that we’ve broken the signalling function of the credit markets, which no longer provide clear indications of expected economic performance thanks to the numerous and varied government interventions.

This is more of the uncertainty that undermines economic recovery. But an administration running auto companies for the benefit of the UAW and its political viability in the Rust Belt undoubtedly considers the Golden State “too big to fail.” After all, the New York Daily News headline would write itself: “Obama to California: Drop Dead.”

However, bailouts are unpopular. Many Americans will chafe just as much at the prospect of paying to bail out California’s decades of inept govenment as they do at paying to bail out GM’s decades of inept management. Obama would bail out California to hold onto those electoral votes, but he will have to worry about how many he loses in the process.
9768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 18, 2009, 10:16:07 PM
I continue to learn on this forum.  I don't always agree, but I definitely learn.

Often, I find I learn more from a debate or disagreement than a love-in of
like minds always agreeing.  Give me the dissenting opinion anytime.

As for you, while we do not always agree, (I think we do more often than you appreciate)
I do admire the effort and passion.  And the honesty; you make no bones about your
opinions and beliefs, and are willing to follow them blindly  smiley  I mean that as a compliment,
don't take offense.



I would say that I have a core set of values shaped by my life's experiences that I strive to adhere to.
9769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Asian Geopolitics on: May 18, 2009, 09:40:59 PM
Waiting for the streets to fill with anti-China protesters.......

**Crickets**
9770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 18, 2009, 09:36:56 PM
http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/07/worlds-fattest-countries-forbeslife-cx_ls_0208worldfat_2.html

Rank   Country   %
1.   Nauru   94.5
2.   Micronesia, Federated States of   91.1
3.   Cook Islands   90.9
4.   Tonga   90.8
5.   Niue   81.7
6.   Samoa   80.4
7.   Palau   78.4
8.   Kuwait   74.2
9.   United States   74.1
10.   Kiribati   73.6
11.   Dominica   71.0
12.   Barbados   69.7
13.   Argentina   69.4
14.   Egypt   69.4
15.   Malta   68.7
16.   Greece   68.5
17.   New Zealand   68.4
18.   United Arab Emirates   68.3
19.   Mexico   68.1
20.   Trinidad and Tobago   67.9
21.   Australia   67.4
22.   Belarus   66.8
23.   Chile   65.3
24.   Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)   65.2
25.   Seychelles   64.6
26.   Bahrain   64.1
27.   Andorra   63.8
28.   United Kingdom   63.8
29.   Saudi Arabia   63.5
30.   Monaco   62.4
31.   Bolivia   62.2
32.   San Marino   62.1
33.   Guatemala   61.2
34.   Mongolia   61.2
35.   Canada   61.1
36.   Qatar   61.0
37.   Uruguay   60.9
38.   Jordan   60.5
39.   Bahamas   60.4
40.   Iceland   60.4
41.   Nicaragua   60.4
42.   Cuba   60.1
43.   Germany   60.1
44.   Brunei Darussalam   59.8
45.   Slovenia   59.8
46.   Peru   59.6
47.   Vanuatu   59.6
48.   Finland   58.7
49.   Jamaica   57.4
9771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 18, 2009, 09:09:40 PM
Huss,

Um, every time i've gone to Canada, the population looks pretty.....American.

Aside from Looneys and liters, it's hard to tell i'm in a different country.
9772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 18, 2009, 12:06:17 PM
I differentiate between a "Boycott Israel" i.e. people who oppose Israel's politics (valid or invalid depending upon your viewpoint)
versus a "Boycott Jews" which I would find repugnant. 

Here in America, I have heard/seen boycott this, that, and everything else it seems under the sun.  In and of itself, why can't a person/group
oppose another group's/country's products or politics?  Free speech?

And I am a little unclear as to the video (I don't speak French) but it seems that the group simply bought up all Israel products on the shelf.
Heck, if I was manager, I would be grateful, not apologetic.

**Get mad if you want, but it looks like you've learned a lot since you posted the above.**
9773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 18, 2009, 03:59:36 AM
Rallies at Southern California markets end in arrests
By: Associated Press | Thursday, February 19, 2004 10:17 PM PST ∞

LOS ANGELES -- More than 40 people were arrested Thursday during supermarket rallies in support of grocery clerks idled by a four-month strike and lockout.

The granddaughter of late farmworker union leader Cesar Chavez, state Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, and an 86-year-old member of the Gray Panthers activist group were among those arrested during civil disobedience rallies involving clerks and about two dozen labor unions and community groups, organizers said.

Some protesters linked arms and blocked the entrances at Vons and Pavilions stores.

Twenty people were handcuffed and led away from the two stores in mid-city Los Angeles and the San Pedro area, organizers said. Ten people were taken into custody in Santa Monica and 17 in the Orange County town of Mission Viejo, authorities said.

They were cited for misdemeanors such as trespassing, obstructing an entrance or failure to disperse and were released to face court appearances, authorities said.


**Wow. And they didn't even touch the produce.**
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis attended one rally.

"I'm here as a mommy trying to explain to her little boy why we honk, why we put our thumbs up and why we don't go into those markets," she told KABC-TV. She was not among those arrested.

More civil disobedience rallies could occur as community groups from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. prepare to support the clerks, said Shannon Donato, one of the protest organizers.

"Today was the beginning of what you will continuously see across the nation," she said.

Meanwhile, federally mediated negotiations between the union and store chains continued for a ninth day without resolution.

The strike that began Oct. 11 put 70,000 clerks from San Diego to San Luis Obispo on picket lines in front of stores owned by Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc.. Both sides have been deadlocked for months over the cost and scope of health benefits and a proposed two-tier wage system for future employees.

After clerks went on strike at Safeway-owned Vons and Pavilions stores, Albertsons and Ralphs, owned by Kroger Co., locked out their workers. The chains have lost tens of millions of dollars in sales since then but have been able to keep stores open with replacement workers.
9774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 18, 2009, 12:45:47 AM
I am going to read a book and maybe take Crafty's advice.

But....

No damage to items was reported by the store...

**Again, just because a victim chooses not to report a crime does not mean a crime was not committed.**


Store management had no objection to this assembly; therefore law enforcement has no valid reason to intercede on private property.

**Not true. Often crimes are reported to law enforcement by a witness that is not being directly impacted by the criminal act. It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but usually a law enforcement officer seeing a crime committed, need no complaintant to make an arrest.**

No complaint was filed by management regarding perishable goods; no complaint, no case. 

**Again, just because a victim chooses not to report a crime does not mean a crime was not committed.**

And no report of stolen goods,

**See above.**

I guess they went shopping after they finished their protest?

**Sure. That's why there are no shopping bags, just stacks of items swept off of shelves visible.**

They have RICO statutes in France?  I didn't know that?

**Again, we are using US legal standards as we don't speak French and can't plumb through French statutes or legal process.**

Sorry, no chargeable crime, but I give you credit, "if you don't have the facts, dazzle them with your #$%^&*"
You know that if there was no complaint by management police would do nothing - zero.

**Wrong. Depending on the statutes, it is possible for law enforcement to pursue a case without the cooperation of a victim.**

But I am worn out so I will take Crafty's advice and move on.





You don't have to be French to be a surrender monkey, but it helps.
9775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 10:10:06 PM
smiley  It's the weekend and I have time.  And if I dig deep enough won't I see light?  grin
And GM is starting to grow on me...
Maybe it's the beer he suggested I drink instead of wine?

Interesting posts GM; let me give it a try...

"Vandalism is typically defined as when a person knowingly causes serious physical damage to a structure or its contents."
"Serious physical harm" means physical harm to property that results in loss to the value of the property of five hundred dollars or more."

I doubt if many food items cost more than $500.00 and without a complaint, well.......
No Vandalism.

**It's total losses, not the cost per item.**
______________
Unlawful Assembly Law & Legal Definition
"such persons assemble without authority of law,..."

But the owner allowed them in, treated them as customers and therefore they were assembled with authority of law.
No unlawful assembly...

**If you entered Whole Foods and began disrupting business, as was done in the video, you soon would be contacted by the store management and law enforcement in short order. Again, your rights to assembly do not apply to private property of others. Again, try it if you think I'm wrong.**
______________
Extortion Law & Legal Definition
"A person commits the crime of extortion if he knowingly obtains by threat control over the property of another, with intent to deprive him of the property."

But they never threatened, never gained "control" over the property (it remained in the store) and there was no intent to deprive the store of any of their property.
No extortion...

**Wrong. Once the products were removed from the shelves, they were no longer available to legitimate customers. Perishable items were certainly damaged. According to additional media reports observant Jews in the area were deprived of kosher products due to the acts of this group. The video shows that at least one greenshirt exited the store with what appeared to be a shopping cart full of items.Again, try this at Whole Foods.**
______________
Theft Law & Legal Definition
"Knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property"

They had permission to be in the store so it was not "unauthorized control over the property of another" and there was no intent to deprive the owner
of his or her property - they didn't take anything.
No  theft...

**See above. RICO statutes have been used against groups that target merchants using similar, if not identical acts to what was seen in the video.**

_______________
NO CRIME!!!       evil

And you know better than I know that if there is no complaint, there is no case and therefore all of the above will rarely if ever prosecuted.

As for "stepping up and walking my talk" what am I suppose to do?  Stage a boycott Pepsi rally at my nearby Ralphs? Sorry, I don't do protests or boycotts,
but that doesn't mean others shouldn't if they are passionate about the subject. 


Pick a subject. Try this as an experiment. You seem so sure that the conduct in the video is legal. Try it and show us you are correct.

**As far as a crime not being a crime if it's not reported.... If a woman is raped and she decides not to report, do you claim that a crime was not committed? Lots of crimes go unreported, doesn't mean the acts were not criminal. Lots of crimes go unprosecuted. It doesn't mean a crime wasn't committed. If I recall correctly, the Contra Costa DA's Office is no longer prosecuting most any misd. crimes due to budget cuts. This does not mean that there aren't misd. crimes in Co-Co county, just that they aren't prosecuted.**

**Lots of murders of civil rights workers in the south went unprosecuted, so I guess those weren't crimes, by your logic.**
9776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 07:24:09 PM
Vandalism Law & Legal Definition
Related to Vandalism


 
Vandalism is typically defined as when a person knowingly causes serious physical damage to a structure or its contents. Vandalism is governed by state statutes, which vary by state. Some states have separate statutes that deal specifically with vandalism to certain property, such as autos, cemeteries, or school property. Statutes typically provide for penalties based upon the value of the property damage. Local laws should be consulted for specific requirements in your area.
The following is an example of a state statute dealing with vandalism:
A) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to an occupied structure or any of its contents.
(B) (1) No person shall knowingly cause physical harm to property that is owned or possessed by another, when either of the following applies:
(a) The property is used by its owner or possessor in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation, and the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is five hundred dollars or more;
(b) Regardless of the value of the property or the amount of damage done, the property or its equivalent is necessary in order for its owner or possessor to engage in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation.
(2) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity. A governmental entity includes, but is not limited to, the state or a political subdivision of the state, a school district, the board of trustees of a public library or public university, or any other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities only in geographical areas smaller than that of the state.
(C) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other similar structure that is used as a memorial for the dead; to any fence, railing, curb, or other property that is used to protect, enclose, or ornament any cemetery; or to a cemetery.
(D) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause physical harm to a place of burial by breaking and entering into a tomb, crypt, casket, or other structure that is used as a memorial for the dead or as an enclosure for the dead.
(E) Whoever violates this section is guilty of vandalism. Except as otherwise provided in this division, vandalism is a felony of the fifth degree that is punishable by a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to the penalties specified for a felony of the fifth degree in sections 2929.11 to 2929.18 of the Revised Code. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars, vandalism is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is one hundred thousand dollars or more, vandalism is a felony of the third degree.
(F) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Cemetery" means any place of burial and includes burial sites that contain American Indian burial objects placed with or containing American Indian human remains.
(2) "Serious physical harm" means physical harm to property that results in loss to the value of the property of five hundred dollars or more.
9777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 07:19:56 PM
Unlawful Assembly Law & Legal Definition

 
At common law, an unlawful assembly is a gathering of at least three persons whose conduct causes observers to reasonably fear that a breach of the peace will result. Although freedom of assembly is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, law enforcement has the right to require disbursement of such an assembly as part of the "police powers" of the state. Determination of the potential dangers of riot or breach of peace are subjective and decided on the spot by police officers or other public officials.
Claims of "unlawful assembly" were often used to break up labor union picket lines until the late 1930s, against peaceful civil rights marches in the 1950s and 1960s, and by the police against anti-Vietnam War demonstrators in the late 1960s.
The following is an example of a local unlawful assembly statute:
"Wherever three or more persons assemble with intent or with means and preparations to do an unlawful act which would be riot if actually committed, but do not act toward the commission thereof, or whenever such persons assemble without authority of law, and in such a manner as is adapted to disturb the public peace, or excite public alarm, such assembly is an unlawful assembly."
9778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 07:10:25 PM
Extortion Law & Legal Definition


 
A person commits the crime of extortion if he knowingly obtains by threat control over the property of another, with intent to deprive him of the property. The property extorted may be an item of personal property or a sum of money. A threat may include impersonating as government official, such as a police officer.
Extortion is a felony in all states, except that a direct threat to harm the victim is usually treated as the crime of robbery. Extortion may be classified under different categories of seriousness depending on the degree of wrongful intent. Blackmail is a form of extortion in which the threat is to expose embarrassing, damaging information to family, friends or the public.
9779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 07:08:04 PM
Theft Law & Legal Definition

 
Generally, a person commits the crime of theft of property if he or she:
Knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property;
Knowingly obtains by deception control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property; or
Knowingly obtains or exerts control over property in the custody of a law enforcement agency which was explicitly represented to the person by an agent of the law enforcement agency as being stolen.
Without proof of intent to deprive, no criminal act has occurred. There must be an element of dishonesty which may be revealed from the words or actions of the perpetrator. In California, the Supreme Court has held that proof that a defendant intended to take property only temporarily, but for so extended a period of time as to deprive the owner of a major portion of its value or enjoyment, satisfies the intent element of a theft prosecution in California.
A person commits the crime of theft of services if:
He intentionally obtains services known by him to be available only for compensation by deception, threat, false token or other means to avoid payment for the services; or
Having control over the disposition of services of others to which he is not entitled, he knowingly diverts those services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to such services.
To be convicted of theft by taking someone must unlawfully take, appropriate or carry away any property of another with intent of depriving him of the property. A person commits the offense of theft by receiving if he or she receives, retains, or disposes of stolen property of another person that he/she knew or should have known was stolen. Theft is often classified into degrees of misdemeanors or felonies carrying varied penalties according to the value of the item stolen. State laws vary, so local laws should be consulted for the specific requirements in your area.
9780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 06:56:58 PM
GM said," What they and JDN don't understand is the legal concept of the elements of a crime. For an individual to be charged with a crime, you must have every element of the offense or you won't get the arrest warrant signed, or even worse have a warrantless arrest thrown out, with all the potential civil and criminal liabilities. you as the arresting officer may face."

I really do understand.  That has been my point all along that "you must have every element of the offense"...
I keep arguing this point to no avail.

You keep insisting that because the police were not called means no crime was committed. If the acts in the video were done in the US, I can assure you that multiple criminal charges could be filed. If you think those acts were legal, then as I said before, try doing that at your local supermarket. We'll see how that works out for you.

Step up and walk your talk.
9781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: May 17, 2009, 04:51:01 PM
JDN,

Ever wonder why you don't often see wealthy organized crime figures becoming the victims of street crime? Ever hear of a biker wearing the colors of a outlaw motorcycle gang getting his bike jacked at gunpoint? Ever hear of certain ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn with very low crime rates despite being close to neighborhoods with very high crime rates? Ever wonder how this could be? Hint: It ain't the NYPD keeping things quiet.
9782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: May 17, 2009, 04:43:50 PM
April 12, 2004, 8:39 a.m.
Holding Us Hostage
Speaking their language.

The recent mania for hostage taking in Iraq reminded me of an exchange I had with one of my professors in grad school. We were discussing the Iran-Contra hearings, particularly the secret attempts to bring Iranian influence to bear on the terrorist groups that held a half dozen Americans. I brought up an alternative crisis-resolution model. In September 1985, four Soviet diplomats in Beirut were kidnapped by members of Hezbollah. One of them, Arkady Katkov, was shot in the head, and the rest were imprisoned. The terrorists wanted the Soviet Union to bring pressure on Syria to stop giving military support to a rival militia group. The situation was similar to that the United States, France, and other countries faced vis-à-vis the same Iranian-backed Shiite militants. But the Soviet response was different. Working with Syria, the KGB tracked down three young relatives of the Hezbollah leader. The Soviets then, so it is said, mutilated one of the men and sent body parts to the terrorists with a promise that the other two in their care would be treated similarly unless their people were released. That evening, the three diplomats, emaciated, unshaven, barefoot, and wearing dirty track suits, appeared at the gates of the Soviet embassy. Problem solved.

Naturally, I was not suggesting we go the mutilation route — what I admired was the unwillingness of the Soviets to accept the boundaries Hezbollah had tried to establish. Maybe in our face-off with the terrorists we should have abducted some their people, particularly family members, and leveled the playing field. But the professor took issue with my argument:

Professor: "We can't do things like that."
JR: "Why not?"

Professor: "We're a democracy."

JR: "So what? Foreign terrorists acting abroad have no rights under our law."

Professor: "But if we did something like that and it became known, the public would not stand for it."

JR: "The public would love it. Who are their heroes? Guys like Rambo and Dirty Harry. The American people just want the job done. They won't question success. If Ollie North had pulled off something like that and brought our people home, there would have been no need to keep it secret. President Reagan could have announced it in prime time."

Professor: "But what about the investigations?"

JR: "There would be no investigations."

Professor: (Silence)

I was not the only one thinking that way back then, and certainly not the most influential. After the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front, during which disabled American Leon Klinghoffer was shot in his wheelchair and thrown overboard, Donald Rumsfeld called terrorism a form of "outright warfare" against the United States. He called for vigorous action against terrorists on their home ground, which at the time meant moving against their state sponsors as well. Sixteen years later, al Qaeda and the Taliban discovered what the Rumsfeld Doctrine entailed.

Recent communiqués from al Qaeda have discussed the possibility of taking hostages to exchange for terrorists held in Guantanamo and elsewhere. This is a switch for the terrorists, who in recent years have usually taken prisoners as the prelude to ritual execution. The practice probably shows the influence of the Chechens, for whom it is customary. The Danny Pearl kidnapping and murder is the most noted example. This senseless and brutal act, recorded in grisly detail (and the entire video has not been shown publicly) was meant no doubt to frighten, but only had the effect of increasing our anger. However, before 9/11 al Qaeda knew the value of using hostages as a medium of exchange. This is noted in the recently declassified August 6, 2001 PDB; in 1998 al Qaeda discussed hijacking an American aircraft to exchange for Omar Abdel-Rahman, "spiritual leader" of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The technique was used on an Air India flight hijacked in December 1999 and taken to Kandahar. Among the three fellow travelers the terrorists got released was Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh — mastermind of the Danny Pearl murder, now in a Pakistani jail awaiting execution.

Hostage taking, like other forms of terrorism, is a weapon of the weak. It is aimed at our emotions, and thus at our national will. Above all, hostage taking seeks to humiliate. It plays better on television than killing people, because it produces images that are more sympathetic, and the event can last much longer than a single news cycle. It gives producers something to storyline and build catchphrases around. The Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80, for example, persisted long enough to make Ted Koppel's career. Luckily, the recent spate of hostage takings shows no coordinated media or political strategy. They seem to be random actions taken by small groups of independent actors. The tale of kidnapped journalists Stephen Farrell and Orly Halperin is noteworthy — the group that took them captive was talked out of killing them by a wiser band of terrorists who knew it was bad form to murder reporters. It tends to bias the coverage. The Taliban on the other hand made it a practice to slay any journalists they caught — they were nothing if not sincere.

The terrorists may be trying to recreate the conditions of the late 1970s, in which a hostage crisis helped bring down a president, or the mid-1980s, in which another nearly achieved the same effect. But these are different times. We now acknowledge what we chose not to admit then, that we are at war with terrorism. That alone changes our perspective and broadens our options. Our leadership will not let the hostage takers set the parameters of the situation. We can of course communicate with the terrorists — I would not call it "negotiation," that would lead to a lot of Democratic chest-beating. But talking to the enemy is a valuable way to collect intelligence and try to stabilize the situation while working on other solutions. The actual resolution would involve something more active — rescue, counter hostage-taking, psychological operations, coercive diplomacy, enlisting the assistance of friendly tribal leaders (something we should be doing as a matter of course anyway), or other forms of action. If the terrorists kill our people before we can get them back, we establish our credibility by hunting them down the way the Israelis did with "Operation Wrath of God," aimed at the Palestinian Black September terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and were also responsible for the 1973 murder of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel Jr., and charge d'affaires George Curtis Moore, among others. Nice how Israel did not let political correctness get in the way of naming that operation.

Yet does not have to end that way. We should make it known that if the hostage takers choose to release their captives unharmed and surrender they can enjoy all the benefits of due process in the new Iraqi justice system. After all, we are not savages; the terrorists are.

And in case you were wondering, the professor in question has since come around to my way of thinking. Not that I am taking credit.


   
   
 


    
http://www.nationalreview.com/robbins/robbins200404120839.asp
        

9783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 17, 2009, 04:29:58 PM
TANGENT:

GM:

Your basic point is sound, but I would also point out that many women's rights groups define rape in very Orwellian terms.  A few years back we had a thread here where it was reported that as they define it (working from memory here so the number could be off somewhat) some 80% of women who have been raped don't know they were raped.   huh huh huh



Yeah, i've had those debates with feminists in academia. What they and JDN don't understand is the legal concept of the elements of a crime. For an individual to be charged with a crime, you must have every element of the offense or you won't get the arrest warrant signed, or even worse have a warrantless arrest thrown out, with all the potential civil and criminal liabilities. you as the arresting officer may face.

Without getting into a sexual assault statute of one state or another, the crime generally can be cover by these definitions:

Sexual Battery Law & Legal Definition

 
Sexual battery is an unwanted form of contact with an intimate part of the body that is made for purposes of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. Sexual battery may occur whether the victim is clothed or not. It is a crime, which varies by state laws, so local laws should be consulted.
The following is an example of a state law defining sexual battery:
"Any person who touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery."

Aggravated Sexual Assault Law & Legal Definition

 
Aggravated sexual assault is a felony sexual offense governed by state laws, which vary by state. It is typically defined as a sexual assault that maims, wounds, or disfigures the victim, or involves a victim who is physically or mentally incapacitated. It may also be defined to include a sexual assault that is aided or abetted by another person, occurs during commission of another crime, or involves use of a deadly weapon. Local laws should be consulted for specific requirements and applicable penalties.
The following is an example of a state law dealing with aggravated sexual assault:
An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:
The victim is less than 13 years old.
The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and a. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree;or b. the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim; or c. the actor is a foster parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson, or criminal escape;
The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;
The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;
The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;
The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.


You'll note that nowhere is there the requirement for law enforcement to be notified as an element of the offense. Nowhere is there a provision for "gender feminists" to assert that as we live in a patriarchy, no woman can give truly voluntary consent for sex. Of course, we'll see what effect Obama's judicial appointments have on this.  rolleyes
9784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 16, 2009, 11:06:00 PM
**So, according to JDN, these women who don't call the police weren't victims of a crime. Yes?**

http://www.wjactv.com/news/19142996/detail.html

Sexual Assault Remains Most Unreported Crime
Posted: 8:01 pm EDT April 9, 2009
Updated: 8:36 pm EDT April 9, 2009

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sexual assault remains the most under-reported crime, so increasing the knowledge of how to protect against sexual assault is top priority, especially at Penn State University.
"The numbers indicate to us that there is between 800 and 1,000 incidents each year," said Susan DelPonte, Program Assistant with Center for Women Students.
DelPonte said her staff only sees about ten percent of those incidents walk through the door.
"Unfortunately I think there is still a societal stigma and women think it's their fault," she said.
The numbers are even lower for university police.
"If we see one, we're lucky," said Police Service Officer Ellen Aschenbrenner. "I understand why people don't report it, the stigma. The fear that they will be put on trial themselves and be victimized over again. I totally understand that, but I would like to see more justice for these people who are victimized."
DelPonte said, "Our job is really to give them resources that are available, so it's always their choice."
One of those resources is a series of rape aggression defense classes or RAD.
The program is made possible by Penn State University Police and Center for Women Students.
It's four classes totaling 12 hours of the latest self-defense techniques.
"The main goal of this defensive class is to get away and to survive the encounter,” said Aschenbrenner. "So, it doesn't matter what your fitness level is. It doesn't matter how big you are, strong you are, petite you are, these techniques are designed so that any woman can do them."
This semester’s RAD series begins next week for women students only, however, Aschenbrenner said she has trained community groups before and will do it again if there is an interest.
9785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 16, 2009, 05:10:24 PM
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/israel-today--the-west-tomorrow-15134

Israel Today, the West Tomorrow

MARK STEYN
May 2009
                 

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2008, a group of just under 100 people—Londoners and a few visitors —took a guided tour of the old Jewish East End. They visited, among other sites of interest, the birthplace of my old chum Lionel Bart, the author of Oliver! Three generations of schoolchildren have grown up singing Bart’s lyric:

Consider yourself

At ’ome!

Consider yourself

One of the family!


Those few dozen London Jews considered themselves at ’ome. But they weren’t. Not any more. The tour was abruptly terminated when the group was pelted with stones, thrown by “youths”—or to be slightly less evasive, in the current euphemism of Fleet Street, “Asian” youths. “If you go any further, you’ll die,” they shouted, in between the flying rubble.

A New Yorker who had just moved to Britain to start a job at the Metropolitan University had her head cut open and had to be taken to the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, causing her to miss the Holocaust Day “interfaith memorial service” at the East London Central Synagogue. Her friend, Eric Litwack from Canada, was also struck but did not require stitches. But if you hadn’t recently landed at Heathrow, it wasn’t that big a deal, not these days: Nobody was killed or permanently disfigured. And given the number of Jewish community events that now require security, perhaps Her Majesty’s Constabulary was right and these Londoners walking the streets of their own city would have been better advised to do so behind a police escort.

_____________

A European Holocaust Memorial Day on which Jews are stoned sounds like a parody of the old joke that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. According to a 2005 poll by the University of Bielefeld, 62 percent of Germans “are sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews”—which is a cheerfully straightforward way of putting it. Nevertheless, when it comes to “harping on,” these days it’s the Jews who are mostly on the receiving end. While we’re reprising old gags, here’s one a reader reminded me of a couple of years ago, during Israel’s famously “disproportionate” incursion into Lebanon: One day the U.N. Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world’s soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

“Great idea,” says his deputy. “Er, but who would we play?”

“Israel, of course.”

Ha-ha. It always had a grain of truth, now it’s the whole loaf.

“Israel is unfashionable,” a Continental foreign minister said to me a decade back. “But maybe Israel will change, and then fashions will change.” Fashions do change. But however Israel changes, this fashion won’t. The shift of most (non-American) Western opinion against the Jewish state that began in the 1970s was, as my Continental politician had it, simply a reflection of casting: Israel was no longer the underdog but the overdog, and why would that appeal to a post-war polytechnic Euro Left unburdened by Holocaust guilt?

Fair enough. Fashions change. But the new Judenhass is not a fashion, simply a stark reality that will metastasize in the years ahead and leave Israel isolated in the international “community” in ways that will make the first decade of this century seem like the good old days.

A few months after the curtailed Holocaust Day tour, I found myself in that particular corner of Tower Hamlets for the first time in years. Specifically, on Cable Street—the scene of a famous battle in 1936, when Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, in a crude exercise of political muscle, determined to march through the heart of Jewish East London. They were turned back by a mob of local Jews, Irish Catholic dockers, and Communist agitators, all standing under the Spanish Civil War slogan: “No Pasaran.” They shall not pass.

From “No Pasaran” to “If you go any further, you’ll die” is a story not primarily of anti-Semitism but of unprecedented demographic transformation. Beyond the fashionable “anti-Zionism” of the Euro Left is a starker reality: The demographic energy not just in Lionel Bart’s East End but in almost every Western European country is “Asian.” Which is to say, Muslim. A recent government statistical survey reported that the United Kingdom’s Muslim population is increasing ten times faster than the general population. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and many other Continental cities from Scandinavia to the Côte d’Azur will reach majority Muslim status in the next few years.

Brussels has a Socialist mayor, which isn’t that surprising, but he presides over a caucus a majority of whose members are Muslim, which might yet surprise those who think we’re dealing with some slow, gradual, way-off-in-the-future process here. But so goes Christendom at the dawn of the third millennium: the ruling party of the capital city of the European Union is mostly Muslim.

There are generally two responses to this trend: The first is that it’s like a cast change in Cats or, perhaps more precisely, David Merrick’s all-black production of Hello, Dolly! Carol Channing and her pasty prancing waiters are replaced by Pearl Bailey and her ebony chorus, but otherwise the show is unchanged. Same set, same words, same arrangements: France will still be France, Germany Germany, Belgium Belgium.

The second response is that the Islamicization of Europe entails certain consequences, and it might be worth exploring what these might be. There are already many points of cultural friction—from British banks’ abolition of children’s “piggy banks” to the enjoining of public doughnut consumption by Brussels police during Ramadan. And yet on one issue there is remarkable comity between the aging ethnic Europeans and their young surging Muslim populations: A famous poll a couple of years back found that 59 percent of Europeans regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.

Fifty-nine percent? What the hell’s wrong with the rest of you? Hey, relax: In Germany, it was 65 percent; Austria, 69 percent; the Netherlands, 74 percent. For purposes of comparison, in a recent poll of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—i.e., the “moderate” Arab world—79 percent of respondents regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace. As far as I know, in the last year or two, they haven’t re-tested that question in Europe, possibly in case Israel now scores as a higher threat level in the Netherlands than in Yemen.

To be sure, there are occasional arcane points of dispute: one recalls, in the wake of the July 7 bombings, the then London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s somewhat tortured attempts to explain why blowing up buses in Tel Aviv is entirely legitimate whereas blowing up buses in Bloomsbury is not. Yet these are minimal bumps on a smooth glide path: The more Europe’s Muslim population grows, the more restive and disassimilated it becomes, the more enthusiastically the establishment embraces “anti-Zionism,” as if the sinister Jewess is the last virgin left to toss in the volcano—which, given the 13-year old “chavs” and “slappers” face down in pools of their own vomit in most British shopping centers of a Friday afternoon, may indeed be the case. For today’s Jews, unlike on Cable Street in 1936, there are no Catholic dockworkers or Communist agitators to stand shoulder to shoulder. In post-Christian Europe, there aren’t a lot of the former (practicing Catholics or practicing dockers), and as for the intellectual Left, it’s more enthusiastic in its support of Hamas than many Gazans.

To which there are many Israelis who would brusquely reply: So what? Pity the poor Jew who has ever relied on European “friends.” Yet there is a difference of scale between the well-established faculty-lounge disdain for “Israeli apartheid” and a mass psychosis so universal it’s part of the air you breathe. For a glimpse of the future, consider the (for the moment) bizarre circumstances of the recent Davis Cup First Round matches in Sweden. They had been scheduled long ago to be played in the Baltiska Hallen stadium in Malmo. Who knew which team the Swedes would draw? Could have been Chile, could have been Serbia. Alas, it was Israel.

Malmo is Sweden’s most Muslim city, and citing security concerns, the local council ordered the three days of tennis to be played behind closed doors. Imagine being Amir Hadad and Andy Ram, the Israeli doubles players, or Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt, the Swedes. This was supposed to be their big day. But the vast stadium is empty, except for a few sports reporters and team officials. And just outside the perimeter up to 10,000 demonstrators are chanting, “Stop the match!” and maybe, a little deeper into the throng, they’re shouting, “We want to kill all Jews worldwide” (as demonstrators in Copenhagen, just across the water, declared just a few weeks earlier). Did Aspelin and Lindstedt wonder why they couldn’t have drawn some less controversial team, like Zimbabwe or Sudan? By all accounts, it was a fine match, thrilling and graceful, with good sportsmanship on both sides. Surely, such splendid tennis could have won over the mob, and newspapers would have reported that by the end of the match the Israeli players had the crowd with them all the way. But they shook ’em off at Helsingborg.

Do you remember the “road map” summit held in Jordan just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq? It seemed a big deal at the time: The leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. president, all the A-list dictators of the Arab League. Inside the swank resort, it was all very collegial, smiles and handshakes. Outside, flags fluttered—Jordan’s, America’s, Saudi Arabia’s, Egypt’s, Palestine’s. But not Israel’s. King Abdullah of Jordan had concluded it would be too provocative to advertise the Zionist Entity’s presence on Jordanian soil even at a summit supposedly boasting they were all on the same page. Malmo’s tennis match observed the same conventions: I’m sure the Swedish tennis wallahs were very gracious hosts behind the walls of the stockade, and the unmarked car to the airport was top of the line. How smoothly the furtive maneuvers of the Middle East transfer to the wider world.

_____________

When Western governments are as reluctant as King Abdullah to fly the Star of David, those among the citizenry who choose to do so have a hard time. In Britain in January, while “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators were permitted to dress up as hook-nosed Jews drinking the blood of Arab babies, the police ordered counter-protesters to put away their Israeli flags. In Alberta, in the heart of Calgary’s Jewish neighborhood, the flag of Hizballah (supposedly a proscribed terrorist organization) was proudly waved by demonstrators, but one solitary Israeli flag was deemed a threat to the Queen’s peace and officers told the brave fellow holding it to put it away or be arrested for “inciting public disorder.” In Germany, a student in Duisburg put the Star of David in the window of an upstairs apartment on the day of a march by the Islamist group Milli Görüs, only to have the cops smash his door down and remove the flag. He’s now trying to get the police to pay for a new door. Ah, those Jews. It’s always about money, isn’t it?

Peter, the student in Duisberg, says he likes to display the Israeli flag because anti-Semitism in Europe is worse than at any other time since the Second World War. Which is true. But, if you look at it from the authorities’ point of view, it’s not about Jew-hatred; it’s a simple numbers game. If a statistically insignificant Jewish population gets upset, big deal. If the far larger Muslim population—and, in some French cities, the youth population (i.e., the demographic that riots) is already pushing 50 percent—you have a serious public-order threat on your hands. We’re beyond the anti-Semitic and into the ad hoc utilitarian: The King Abdullah approach will seem like the sensible way to avoid trouble. To modify the UN joke: Whom won’t we play? Israel, of course. Not in public.

One Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, a group wearing “BOYCOTT ISRAEL” T-shirts entered a French branch of Carrefour, the world’s largest supermarket chain, and announced themselves. They then systematically advanced down every aisle examining every product, seizing all the items made in Israel and piling them into carts to take away and destroy. Judging from the video they made, the protesters were mostly Muslim immigrants and a few French leftists. But more relevant was the passivity of everyone else in the store, both staff and shoppers, all of whom stood idly by as private property was ransacked and smashed, and many of whom when invited to comment expressed support for the destruction. “South Africa started to shake once all countries started to boycott their products,” one elderly lady customer said. “So what you’re doing, I find it good.”

Others may find Germany in the ‘30s the more instructive comparison. “It isn’t silent majorities that drive things, but vocal minorities,” the Canadian public intellectual George Jonas recently wrote. “Don’t count heads; count decibels. All entities—the United States, the Western world, the Arab street—have prevailing moods, and it’s prevailing moods that define aggregates at any given time.” Last December, in a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing power and wealth, Pakistani terrorists nevertheless found time to divert one-fifth of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If this was a territorial dispute over Kashmir, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay? Because Pakistani Islam has been in effect Arabized. Demographically, in Europe and elsewhere, Islam has the numbers. But ideologically, radical Islam has the decibels—in Turkey, in the Balkans, in Western Europe.

And the prevailing mood in much of the world makes Israel an easy sacrifice. Long before Muslims are a statistical majority, there will be three permanent members of the Security Council—Britain, France, Russia—for whom the accommodation of Islam is a domestic political imperative.

_____________

On the heels of his call for the incorporation of Sharia within British law, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave an interview to the Muslim News praising Islam for making “a very significant contribution to getting a debate about religion into public life.” Well, that’s one way of putting it. The urge to look on the bright side of its own remorseless cultural retreat will intensify: Once Europeans have accepted a not entirely voluntary biculturalism, they will see no reason why Israel should not do the same, and they will embrace a one-state, one-man, one-vote solution for the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

The Muslim world has spent decades peddling the notion that the reason a vast oil-rich region stretching thousands of miles is politically deformed and mired in grim psychoses is all because of a tiny strip of turf barely wider than my New Hampshire township. It will make an ever more convenient scapegoat for the problems of a far vaster territory from the mountains of Morne to the Urals. There was a fair bit of this in the days after 9/11. As Richard Ingrams wrote on the following weekend in the London Observer: “Who will dare to damn Israel?”

Well, take a number and get in line. The dust had barely settled on the London Tube bombings before a reader named Derrick Green sent me a congratulatory e-mail: “I bet you Jewish supremacists think it is Christmas come early, don’t you? Incredibly, you are now going to get your own way even more than you did before, and the British people are going to be dragged into more wars for Israel.”

So it will go. British, European, and even American troops will withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a bomb will go off in Madrid or Hamburg or Manchester, and there will be nothing left to blame except Israeli “disproportion.” For the remnants of European Jewry, the already discernible migration of French Jews to Quebec, Florida, and elsewhere will accelerate. There are about 150,000 Jews in London today—it’s the thirteenth biggest Jewish city in the world. But there are approximately one million Muslims. The highest number of Jews is found in the 50-54 age group; the highest number of Muslims are found in the four-years-and-under category. By 2025, there will be Jews in Israel, and Jews in America, but not in many other places. Even as the legitimacy of a Jewish state is rejected, the Jewish diaspora—the Jewish presence in the wider world—will shrivel.

And then, to modify Richard Ingrams, who will dare not to damn Israel? There’ll still be a Holocaust Memorial Day, mainly for the pleasures it affords to chastise the new Nazis. As Anthony Lipmann, the Anglican son of an Auschwitz survivor, wrote in 2005: “When on 27 January I take my mother’s arm—tattoo number A-25466—I will think not just of the crematoria and the cattle trucks but of Darfur, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Jenin, Fallujah.” Jenin?

You can see why they’ll keep Holocaust Day on the calendar: In an age when politicians are indifferent or downright hostile to Israel’s “right to exist,” it’s useful to be able to say, “But some of my best photo-ops are Jewish.”

The joke about Mandatory Palestine was that it was the twice-promised land. But isn’t that Europe, too? And perhaps Russia and maybe Canada, a little ways down the line? Two cultures jostling within the same piece of real estate. Not long ago, I found myself watching the video of another “pro-Palestinian” protest in central London with the Metropolitan Police retreating up St. James’s Street to Piccadilly in the face of a mob hurling traffic cones and jeering, “Run, run, you cowards!” and “Allahu akbar!” You would think the deluded multi-culti progressives would understand: In the end, this isn’t about Gaza, this isn’t about the Middle East; it’s about them. It may be some consolation to an ever-lonelier Israel that, in one of history’s bleaker jests, in the coming Europe the Europeans will be the new Jews.
9786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 16, 2009, 04:41:41 PM
GM; while I thought/hoped we were moving on...




10. Generally, NO. Privately owned shopping malls are not considered to be public forum areas (like streets, sidewalks and public parks are) for purposes of 1st Amendment activity. People may have the right to protest outside the mall on public property, but you can keep demonstrators out of privately owned parking areas and the mall interior completely, if owners of the mall don't want people protesting there.
[

ERGO -  IF the owners of the mall does not object, people cannot be kept out of the mall and demonstrations are allowed.

In this instance, the owner did not call the police nor did the owner seem to object, therefore again I repeat, NO CRIME...






**The Simon Wiesenthal Center would disagree, it seems.**

2009 News Releases

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

Wiesenthal Centre-Backed French National Bureau Against Antisemitism Takes Legal Action against Anti-Israel Boycotters


Paris, 23 March 2009

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre-backed National Bureau Against Antisemitism (BNVCA), together with the French Association for Assistance to Israel (SFSI) and the Jewish Communities Council of Seine-Saint Denis (CCJ 93), on 20 March, took legal action against "persons instigating, promoting, or complicit, in the boycott of Israeli manufactured products."

Registering with the Public Prosecutor of the Bobigny district, their complaint noted:

- "Numerous calls from our members and the general public, regarding the invasion of Paris suburban supermarkets by anti-Israel boycotters."

- "The language of this campaign of incitement to hatred against Israel, in the short or mid-term, leads to anti-Jewish acts in the country.
Example: "The Israelis sell baby diapers [here], while they kill Palestinian children."

- "Videos available on EUROPALESTINE.COM, YOUTUBE.COM and DAILYMOTION.COM (see web links below) present these boycott operations in "Carrefour" supermarkets around Paris. We urge the management of these stores not to succumb to delinquent intimidation and to continue offering their clientele products, including from Israel, without discrimination."

- "This boycott campaign should be viewed as a discriminatory and punishable crime, inasmuch as many of the targeted products serve the kosher dietary needs of Jewish citizens [of France]."

- "All persons responsible for provocation to these crimes and delicts are charged under 'Article 23 of the Law of 29 July 1881, Appendix 47 of the Criminal Code', and for delicts against the Public Good under "Article 27 of the same law'."

Flyers, stickers and a list of products to be boycotted were also submitted to the Prosecutor.

"The threatening nature of the boycotters' occupation in each supermarket, and their manipulation of the public, is too reminiscent of the Nazi 'Kristallnacht' ('Night of Broken Glass') of 9 November 1938, under the slogan 'Kauft nicht bei Juden!' (Do Not buy Jewish products)," commented Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

"We all know where 'Kristallnacht' ended: at Auschwitz and the destruction of Europe", concluded Samuels.

______________________

Web links of boycott actions:

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3908
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/boycot+israel+/video/x8nocz_action-boycott-israel_news
(Aulnay-sous-Bois, 7 March 2009)

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3814
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/boycot+israel+/video/x8jj7c_operation-de-boycot-2_news
(Genevilliers, 21 February 2009)

http://www.europalestine.com/article.php3?id_article=3846
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGKifWrNoOk
(Saint Denis, 14 February 2009)

______________________

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58.
9787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 16, 2009, 10:04:07 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/11/state-pursues-cell-phone-jamming-test/print/

Monday, May 11, 2009
Maryland pursues cell-phone jamming test

Brian Witte ASSOCIATED PRESS


ANNAPOLIS -- Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to ask federal regulators to allow Maryland to hold a cell-phone jamming demonstration at a state prison to show the effectiveness of stopping inmate cell-phone use, which has been a safety threat in prisons around the nation.

The Federal Communications Commission can give federal agencies permission to jam cell-phone signals, but the Communications Act of 1934 doesn't allow state and local agencies to use the technology, which prevents cell-tower transmissions from reaching the targeted phone.

"Current attempts to ensure that cell phones stay out of prisons can easily be foiled and must be supplanted by the best technology available," Mr. O'Malley wrote in a letter to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, who is co-sponsoring legislation in Congress to legalize cell-phone jamming at state and local prisons.

The Democratic governor wrote the letter to Maryland's senior senator to indicate his intent to request a demonstration and to update Miss Mikulski on the state's efforts to clear prisons of illegal cell phones.

"I am committed to seizing the opportunity that this legislative initiative has created to move law enforcement and the enhancement of public safety to the 21st century as cell phones become smaller and more difficult to find," Mr. O'Malley wrote.

South Carolina ran a demonstration in Nov. 2008 without federal permission, while Texas planned one, then called it off because of the federal restriction. The FCC has denied two recent requests from the District of Columbia and Louisiana for test jamming sessions.

Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman, said the time is right for the FCC to consider Maryland's request because Congress is taking up the issue and that there's a need for up-to-date data on how the technology can be used to prevent prisoners from using cell phones.

Inmates use cell phones to get around security, further gang activity and conduct criminal activity from behind bars, authorities say.

Last week, a Baltimore drug dealer who used a cell phone in the city jail to plan the killing of a trial witness was sentenced to life without parole. Patrick A. Byers Jr. was convicted of murdering Carl S. Lackl Jr., who had identified Byers as the gunman in a previous killing. Mr. Lackl, a 38-year-old single father, was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting outside his home in July 2007, a week before Byers was scheduled for trial.

Maryland corrections officials confiscated 947 cell phones in 2008 by using specially trained dogs and other security measures. That's a 71 percent increase in confiscations compared with 2006, according to the O'Malley administration.

Mr. O'Malley said the confiscations helped reduce serious assaults by inmates on staff by taking away a tool that inmates can use to coordinate attacks - resulting in a 32 percent drop from 2006 to 2008. Mr. O'Malley wrote that serious weapon assaults are down 75 percent over the same period.

"But while we have made progress, we can do much more to improve public safety and eradicate the harm caused by these cell phones by shutting them down," Mr. O'Malley wrote in the May 7 letter to Miss Mikulski.

Mr. Abbruzzese said state officials are working on the details of a demonstration, and it's not known where or when it would occur.

Chris Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulator affairs at CTIA - The Wireless Association, the industry's leading trade group, said he has concerns about cell-phone jamming affecting customers who live near prisons.

"While we don't want prisoners to have service inside the jails, we also don't want our customers to be impacted outside the jails," Mr. Guttman-McCabe said.

Examples of inmates using cell phones to further criminal activity have cropped up nationwide.

In Texas earlier this month, a death-row inmate and two relatives were indicted in a purported cell-phone smuggling case that led to a statewide prison lockdown. A grand jury also indicted Richard Lee Tabler on a felony retaliation charge for threatening to kill a state senator.

In Kansas, convicted killer John Manard planned his 2006 prison escape using a cell phone smuggled in by an accomplice. The following year, two inmates escaped another Kansas prison with the help of a former guard and a smuggled cell phone.
9788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: May 16, 2009, 09:55:01 AM

http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/Charles-Remsberg/articles/1242034-Handling-Protesters-Part-2/

Handling Protesters, Part 2

From the Calibre Press Street Survival Newsline

Do you have to be spit on by protesters--& other key questions
Part 2

In Part 1, we posed a dozen questions related to Legal Considerations in Managing Protests and Civil Disorder, derived from a panel on that topic sponsored by the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

See how well you scored, according to information presented by the IACP's panelists, Mary Claire McNaught, public safety attorney for the Winston-Salem (NC) PD and Daniel Schofield, chief of the legal unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico (VA).

The questions one more time:

1. While recognizing that Americans have more protection for free expression than probably any other nationality, what 4 general limitations can government (police) still place on public demonstrations?

2. What 3 criteria must be met by any restrictions placed on demonstrating?

3. Give examples of specific restrictions that might legally be imposed under these criteria.

4. Can you deny a group the right to protest based on a threat of violence associated with their demonstration?

5. What legal tactic can be used in advance to impose control over groups with bad reputations for causing problems with their demonstrations?


6. What key player should be a part of the planning before a demonstration takes place?
7. As a line officer, do you have to endure insults and spitting from demonstrators?

8. Name at least 3 liability risks you may face in conjunction with public protests.

9. Name 2 ways you can legally use videotape to your advantage?

10. Are demonstrations inside shopping malls legal?

11. Does the media have special rights at demonstration sites?

12. Can you charge protesters for the cost of protecting them?

Bonus Question: An American police officer is driving down the road and sees a lawyer walking on 1 side and Saddam Hussein walking on the other. Who does the officer hit first?

The answers:

IMPORTANT NOTE: As with any legal advice, be sure to check with your local advisors to be certain that the principles and precedents explained here currently apply in your jurisdiction.

1. Authorities can limit public speech, and the correlative right to protest and demonstrate, to a reasonable time, a reasonable place and a reasonable manner. You'll often see this 3-part terminology in court decisions dealing with 1st Amendment freedoms. These restrictions apply to speech (and protests) in public areas like roads, sidewalks, parks or other sites that are traditionally open for citizens to gather, talk and demonstrate.

Protest can also always be restricted because of its relationship to illegal conduct. Demonstrators do not have the right to trespass onto somebody's private property to protest or to engage in assault or disorderly conduct or any other behavior that violates the law. When free expression becomes illegal conduct, it can always be restricted.

2. Any limitation has to meet these criteria:

a) It must be content neutral, meaning that you don't restrict only those groups whose message you disagree with. In enforcing a quiet zone around a hospital, for example, you are not trying to control the message put forth by demonstrators, you're trying to control the noise that interferes with people getting well. Content neutrality is THE most important factor in keeping restrictions legal.

b) Any limitation must be narrowly tailored to serve an important interest. To continue the quiet zone analogy, the zone must not extend out farther than it has to to accomplish its purpose. It can't be clear across town where it has no reasonable relation to the hospital it supposedly protects. In other words, imposition of a restriction has to closely match the reason for it.

c) Limitations must ALLOW FOR ALTERNATIVES. If a person or group is restricted from protesting 1 place, they should have ample opportunity to demonstrate some other place in town.

3. If some group wants to protest across an interstate highway because they think that will have the biggest impact, you can easily deny that. In a recent federal case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals supported a city in Alabama that completely banned tables set up on city sidewalks to distribute literature because they were considered too disruptive to pedestrians. You can deny the right to protest during RUSH HOUR. Many cities have statutes that prohibit demonstrations within a certain distance of a CHURCH during hours of service or shortly before or after because of anticipated traffic problems.

You can also sometimes limit the SIZE of a protest group. If a group of 500 wants to demonstrate in a park that can legitimately accommodate only 100 persons, you can stop that.

Court cases suggest that you CAN'T have a complete ban on protesting in a residential neighborhood. But you can prohibit a group from focusing on a particular resident (called "focused residential picketing"). And you can stop groups from marching through residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night when the noise would disrupt privacy.

In imposing restrictions, just remember the criteria itemized in #2. You must apply objective, content-neutral limitations based on some important consideration.

4. YES, but to do so you have to meet a VERY HIGH STANDARD.

Say you want to deny the Ku Klux Klan the right to march in your town because you're worried that you won't be able to protect against a real bloodbath. Courts have said that the police (or government in combination with the police) must prove that maintaining public safety and order is beyond the reasonable ability of your officers and administrators.

The courts will ask why you couldn't get help from neighboring jurisdictions or other sources. They will ask specific reasons why your doubt of maintaining public order is accurate. They will take a very close look because obviously a lot of jurisdictions would like to say, "Hey, we just can't be safe, so you can't come here."

It is very rare that a jurisdiction is able to place a complete ban on a group's ability to protest. You might be able to move the protest, or limit the size or delay it until you have time to recruit extra help, but a complete ban will very rarely be upheld.

5. If you are faced with a problem group, like the Ku Klux Klan or Operation Rescue, wanting to demonstrate in your community and you are concerned about your ability to maintain order because the group is known for not demonstrating peacefully and legally in other communities, you can probably obtain an INJUNCTION from a local judge that will allow you to impose specific, advance limitations on the group's right to protest/demonstrate. For example, an injunction might specify that protesters can't carry weapons, even if they have permits that ordinarily enable them to do so.

This legal tactic became a very useful arrow in law enforcement's quiver with the U.S. Supreme Court's sanction in the case of Madsen v. Women's Health Center [114 S.Ct. 2516 (1994).] In this important case, the Court upheld for the first time the use of injunctions in regards to demonstrations.

A local judge will likely be sympathetic with your position because he is not going to want his own community ripped apart by the group you're concerned about. Even if it turns out later that the judge shouldn't have issued the injunction, you and your department are fully protected from liability so long as you are acting pursuant to his order.

6. Your LOCAL PROSECUTOR. If the prosecutor doesn't agree with you on the arrests you make, he is going to abandon you when you get ready to go to trial. Be sure he participates in the planning and helps you evaluate the statutes that you may want to use as foundations for your arrests. Your department legal advisor or city attorney can guide you regarding civil liability issues, but a prosecutor's input is important where possible criminal charges against demonstrators or counter-demonstrators are concerned.

Particularly if you haven't had cause to use them for awhile, take a close and critical look at your statutes on disorderly conduct, public assembly and noise (noise can be an especially useful ground for arrest in protest situations, if the statute is specific enough). In some cases, these statutes are old, confusing and vague. The language would no longer pass court scrutiny. With sufficient notice, it may even be possible to get weak statutes updated before the protest goes down.

Once a prosecution strategy is agreed upon, officers must be informed as to what's permissible arrest-wise. When Winston-Salem PD anticipates an event with potentially troublesome protesters, officers are given a booklet clearly delineating elements of the non-routine offenses they might be called upon to arrest for. They are then trained on what they will need to show in order to get a conviction for each offense.

Take full advantage of what your laws will let you do. Your prosecutor should be oriented to telling you what you can do legally, not just hammering at what you can't do.

You also want to review physical control tactics that may be appropriate in handling demonstrators. In many departments, the command staff was trained in the '70s, while line officers were trained in the '90s. You don't want commanders encouraging an obsolete "stomp-and-drag" approach--and then later using inflammatory terminology like that in court--when more currently trained officers may know of more effective, lower profile options.

7. INSULTS, YES; SPITTING, NO.

Where exchanges between civilians are concerned, courts generally have ruled that when 1 person is right up in the face of another, close enough so that fighting could occur, and that person speaks directly to the other in an insulting, threatening, provoking manner, such speech can be considered "fighting words" and can be cause for arrest. [For an explanation of "fighting words", see Newsline No. 68.]

However, law enforcement officers, unlike ordinary citizens, are generally expected because of their professional training to restrain themselves in the face of insulting language. So if you're policing a demonstration and 1 of the protesters gives you obscene gestures and nasty talk, you're expected to have a thicker skin and not punch him in the mouth.

Spitting's a different matter. A protester even preparing to spit is committing assault and can be arrested. In 1 instance, a handcuffed subject was being walked to a police vehicle when he made a gurgling sound as if getting ready to spit. An officer immediately delivered when he later called "a straight-arm stun technique designed to redirect the head," injuring the subject but preventing officers from being spit on. A federal Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit against the officer, reasoning that no police officer should be left defenseless against someone preparing to spit on him and that objectively reasonable force to prevent the spitting does not violate any legal standard imposed by the constitution.

8. One of your highest liability risks--a very, very high risk--is FALSE IMPRISONMENT or FALSE ARREST, stemming from an arrest made without probable cause. This can happen easily in a confusing demonstration situation, where you have many people engaged in various types of behavior and quite likely struggling with you. Adequately documenting who in the crowd actually did what and that you had a specific reason for everyone you took in becomes difficult, especially in mass-arrest situations.

EXCESSIVE FORCE also remains a concern. While courts are becoming more and more cognizant of law enforcement realities, they still hold officers to a fairly high standard. If you're accused of excessive force, you will need to be able to articulate why you felt the level of force you used was required.

There may also be claims that you deprived would-be demonstrators of their CIVIL RIGHTS by imposing unreasonable limitations that made the protest ineffective. Your actions will then be tested against the criteria of objectivity itemized in #2. Courts will give great latitude for your regulation of free speech in public places but they do not look favorably on totally eliminating it just because it is inconvenient, unpopular or expensive, all of which it often is. If you effectively eliminate a person's chance for public expression, you need a very strong reason for doing so.

In some state courts, the accusation of FAILURE TO PROTECT is beginning to be raised. Here the court will look for evidence of a "special relationship" between you and the protesters that gives you an exceptional need to protect. Be careful not to make promises, such as: "Yes, you can demonstrate safely because we'll certainly have enough police officers there" or "We'll be fully equipped and fully prepared to protect you, you don't have to worry about a thing."

Another liability area for administrators that has started to emerge in some states is FAILURE TO PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEE. An officer who gets injured wants to collect beyond workmen's compensation and argues, "You [the administrator] knew perfectly well you were expecting 2,000 Klansmen and you put me out there with 3 other officers and said, 'Here, guys, hold the line'--without adequate training, proper support, proper communications or proper equipment to handle the job, knowing full well that there was potential for harm to me."

9. Videotape can help you prepare tactically for managing a protest and help you defend yourself afterwards against charges of excessive force.

If you know a particular group is coming to town, contact other jurisdictions where these protesters have been previously and ask to borrow videotapes of their demonstration. Some groups try deliberately to provoke inappropriate responses from officers so they can sue or at least so they can get more publicity for their cause. Seeing some of their tactics ahead of time can help you plan your actions better. You may also be able to go on the Internet and find out what other agencies have learned when dealing with the group you're facing.

It's a good idea, incidentally, to practice and videotape crowd control tactics in role-playing exercises, just as you practice DT moves. Make and critique your mistakes with each other so you don't make them in public. Field-test your equipment beforehand, too.

If you use pain compliance or leverage techniques (like some we demonstrate in the Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar) to move people who are blocking an area, you are likely to get allegations of improper force afterwards. If the event has been taped, you can show in court that you used only an amount of force reasonably necessary to get the job done.

Departments and officers win almost all these force cases, unless the force used was clearly outrageous. More and more judges recognize that the way to evaluate an officer's use of force is to put themselves in that officer's shoes. They recognize the officer is in a tense, rapidly evolving, often dangerous situation and that he has to make split-second decisions. Even the Supreme Court has said that not every push or shove that an officer engages in that turns out to be unnecessary violates the law. There has to be room for understanding the dynamics of force confrontations...and videotape can help make the circumstances clearer.

Videotapes you make can be used for future training, too.

10. Generally, NO. Privately owned shopping malls are not considered to be public forum areas (like streets, sidewalks and public parks are) for purposes of 1st Amendment activity. People may have the right to protest outside the mall on public property, but you can keep demonstrators out of privately owned parking areas and the mall interior completely, if owners of the mall don't want people protesting there.

The same can be true regarding private universities. If it's private property it's not public-forum property. Even public buildings, like schools and police stations, are not normally open for demonstrations.

In July, 1997, a MN judge ruled that demonstrations must be permitted inside the Mall of America, the nation's largest, near Minneapolis. But that was because government funds were used in its construction. However, the judge said that the mall has the right to determine the time, place and manner of demonstrations and ruled that some animal-rights protesters must face trespassing charges because they failed to get permission from the mall before demonstrating inside last spring.

11. NO. From a legal standpoint, the media does not have any right of access to any area of public property or to your briefings or planning sessions that the public in general doesn't have. If you set up a no-person zone, with access barred by a police line, for example, the media has no legal right to say, "We're the media, we can come in there." You may decide to let them in, to give them extra access, but that's absolutely your choice.

Sometimes to cover big events, news helicopters will fly over areas where police don't want them for safety reasons. In LA this has been dealt with on occasion by a call to the FAA. The FAA, in turn, has declared the area in question a restricted zone, and news pilots who don't get out of there are subject to losing their licenses.

12. Not really. You can charge the group, but only for the cost their activities directly create. Say you have 50 Klanspeople who want to march down the middle of Main St., crossing 4 intersections. You can charge the Klan for traffic control officers at each intersection (including extra help you bring in from other jurisdictions), provided that you likewise charge other groups comparably for the same service. You can charge the cost of clean-up, but only for the clean-up activities you can actually tie to the activities of the protesting group, not those required because 2,000 onlookers trashed the area. That all has to be absorbed by your community as a cost of doing business in a democracy.

Likewise, you cannot charge protesters for the possible reaction of those observing their protest. In the case of 50 Klanspeople and 2,000 onlookers, if most of your extra resources are to keep the onlookers from bashing in the heads of the marchers, you can't charge for that protection.

Of course you can charge an administrative processing fee for a parade permit before a march-type demonstration is held, provided the fee is set and administered in a non-discriminatory, content-neutral manner. In other words, you must charge the Girl Scouts who want to stage a parade across town the same permit fee as you do the KKK. You don't favor 1 group over another because you like 1 group and don't like the other.

You can have a provision for indigent groups if you wish, but they must meet an objective test for indigence before the fee can be waived.
9789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Funny, you don't look Jewish.... on: May 15, 2009, 01:35:25 PM
Pigs Must Die, Because They Are Descended from the Jews
By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Friday, May 15, 2009


All pigs alive today are descendants of the Jews who were turned into pigs by Allah, according to a senior Egyptian religious leader. Since all pigs are descendants of Jews, it is obligatory to kill all pigs, says Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman. 

Presumably if pigs were merely animals, they would not face destruction. It is their Jewish ancestry that condemns them to death.   

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Hakika al-Dawliya adds that this is not the only opinion. It cites Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar [Sunni Islamic university], who believes that all the Jews who were turned into pigs by Allah died out without reproducing, and therefore there is no relationship between today's pigs and Jews.

The following is the transcript from Al-Moheet Arab News Network:   

"CAIRO -- Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman, supervisor of the Da'awa [Islamic Indoctrination] of the Egyptian Waqf [Islamic Holy places], has issued a Religious Ruling (Fatwa) that pigs in our time have their origins in Jews who angered Allah, such that He turned them into monkeys, pigs, and Satan-worshippers, and it is obligatory to kill and slaughter them [the pigs].

Othman based his ruling on the respected Quranic verse, 'Say [to the People of the Book - Jews and Christians], Come and I shall make known to you who receives the worst retribution of all from Allah: those whom Allah has cursed and upon whom He has poured His wrath, whom He has made into monkeys and pigs, and who have served abominations. Their place is worst of all, and their deviation is the greatest of all...' (Quran, sura 5, verse 60)

Sheikh Othman noted that this verse concerning the nation of the prophet Moses descended [from Allah to the Quran], and the books of commentary confirm this. There are two opinions among the Ulama [Islamic scholars] in this regard: The first is that the Jews, whom Allah transformed and turned into pigs, remained in that state until they died, without producing descendants. The other opinion is that the Jews who turned into pigs multiplied and produced descendants, and their line continues to this day. Sheikh Othman also cited Hadiths (traditions attributed to Muhammad) as support...

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Hakika al-Dawliya quoted Othman: "I personally tend towards the view that the pigs that exist now have their origins with the Jews, and therefore their consumption is forbidden in the words of Allah: 'A carcass, and blood, and the flesh of a pig are forbidden to you....' Moreover, our master Jesus, peace be unto him - one of the tasks that he will fulfill when he descends to earth is the killing of the pigs, and this is proof that their source is Jewish.

Sheikh Othman said that whoever eats pig, it's as if he ate meat of an impure person, and stressed that this Religious Ruling is backed by the Islamic Sages of Al Azhar, but they are afraid to say this publically... so the Sages won't be accused of Anti-Semitism.     

Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar [Sunni Islamic university], said that the first view is accurate, because when Allah punishes a group of people he punishes only them. When Allah grew angry with the nation of Moses, He turned them into pigs and monkeys as an extraordinary punishment... but they died out without leaving descendants."

[Al-Moheet Arab News Network, May 10, 2009]
[Al-Hakika al-Dawliya, May 9, 2009]

Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.
9790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 13, 2009, 09:05:18 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124217336075913063.html#

Tax Increases Could Kill the Recovery
The cap-and trade levy would hit low-income earners especially hard.
 
By MARTIN FELDSTEIN

The barrage of tax increases proposed in President Barack Obama's budget could, if enacted by Congress, kill any chance of an early and sustained recovery.


Martin Kozlowski
Historians and economists who've studied the 1930s conclude that the tax increases passed during that decade derailed the recovery and slowed the decline in unemployment. That was true of the 1935 tax on corporate earnings and of the 1937 introduction of the payroll tax. Japan did the same destructive thing by raising its value-added tax rate in 1997.

The current outlook for an economic recovery remains precarious. Although the stimulus package will give a temporary boost to growth in the current quarter, it will not be enough to offset the combined effect of lower consumer spending, the decline in residential construction, the weakness of exports, the limited availability of bank credit and the downward spiral of house prices. A sustained economic upturn is far from a sure thing. This is no time for tax increases that will reduce spending by households and businesses.

Even if the proposed tax increases are not scheduled to take effect until 2011, households will recognize the permanent reduction in their future incomes and will reduce current spending accordingly. Higher future tax rates on capital gains and dividends will depress share prices immediately and the resulting fall in wealth will cut consumer spending further. Lower share prices will also raise the cost of equity capital, depressing business investment in plant and equipment.

The Obama budget calls for tax increases of more than $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Official budget calculations disguise the resulting fiscal drag by treating Mr. Obama's proposal to cancel the 2011 income tax increases for taxpayers with incomes below $250,000 as if they are real tax cuts. The plan to modify the Alternative Minimum Tax to avoid increases for some taxpayers is also treated as a tax cut.

But those are false tax cuts in which no one's tax bill actually declines. In contrast, the proposed tax increases are very real. And despite the proposed tax increases, the government's new spending and transfer programs would cause the annual budget deficit in 2019 to exceed $1 trillion, or 5.7% of GDP.

Mr. Obama's biggest proposed tax increase is the cap-and-trade system of requiring businesses to buy carbon dioxide emission permits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the proposed permit auctions would raise about $80 billion a year and that these extra taxes would be passed along in higher prices to consumers. Anyone who drives a car, uses public transportation, consumes electricity or buys any product that involves creating CO2 in its production would face higher prices.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Finance Committee on May 7 that the cap-and-trade price increases resulting from a 15% cut in CO2 emissions would cost the average household roughly $1,600 a year, ranging from $700 in the lowest-income quintile to $2,200 in the highest-income quintile. Since the amount of cap-and-trade tax rises with income, the cap-and-trade tax has the same kind of adverse work incentives as the income tax. And since the purpose of the cap-and-trade plan is to discourage the consumption of CO2-intensive products, energy or means of transportation by raising their cost to consumers, the consumer-price increases would be the same for a 15% reduction in C02 even if the government decides to give away some of the CO2 emissions permits.

But while the cap-and-trade tax rises with income, the relative burden is greatest for low-income households. According to the CBO, households in the lowest-income quintile spend more than 20% of their income on energy intensive items (primarily fuels and electricity), while those in the highest-income quintile spend less than 5% on those products.

The CBO warns that the estimate of an $80 billion-a-year tax increase could be significantly higher or lower, depending on how the program is designed. The Waxman-Markey bill currently before Congress calls for reducing greenhouse gasses 20% by 2020 and by an incredible 83% by 2050. As the government reduces the amount of CO2 that is allowed, the price of the CO2 permits would rise and the pass-through to consumer prices would also increase.

The next-largest tax increase -- with a projected rise in revenue of more than $300 billion between 2011 and 2019 -- comes from increasing the tax rates on the very small number of taxpayers with incomes over $250,000. Because this revenue estimate doesn't take into account the extent to which the higher marginal tax rates would cause those taxpayers to reduce their taxable incomes -- by changing the way they are compensated, increasing deductible expenditures, or simply earning less -- it overstates the resulting increase in revenue.

Since the projected revenue from this source is already designated to be used for Mr. Obama's health plan, some other tax increases will be needed. Moreover, Mr. Obama's budget characterizes the projected $634 billion outlay for health-care reform as just a down payment on the program. The budget notes that there would be "additional resources and new benefits to be determined with Congress." Those additional resources would no doubt be even higher taxes.

The third major tax increase is the plan to raise $220 billion over the next nine years by changing the taxation of foreign-source income. While some extra revenue could no doubt come from ending the tax avoidance gimmicks that use dummy corporations in the Caribbean, most of the projected revenue comes from disallowing corporations to pay lower tax rates on their earnings in countries like Germany, Britain and Ireland. The purpose of the tax change is not just to raise revenue but also to shift overseas production by American firms back to the U.S. by reducing the tax advantage of earning profits abroad.

The administration is likely to be disappointed about its ability to achieve both goals. Bringing production back to be taxed at the higher U.S. tax rate would raise the cost of capital and make the products less competitive in global markets. American corporations would therefore have an incentive to sell their overseas subsidiaries to foreign firms. That would leave future profits overseas, denying the Treasury Department any claim on the resulting tax revenue. And new foreign owners would be more likely to use overseas suppliers than to rely on inputs from the U.S. The net result would be less revenue to the Treasury and fewer jobs in America.

It's not too late for Mr. Obama to put these tax increases on hold. If he doesn't, Congress should protect the recovery and the longer-term health of the U.S. economy by voting down this enormous round of higher taxes.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal's board of contributors.
9791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2009, 03:30:02 AM
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone-jammer.htm/printable

A good primer on the topic.
9792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2009, 03:08:45 AM
http://www.corrections.com/articles/20369

Allow cell phone jamming
By Jon Ozmint, Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections
Published: 01/12/2009

 Technology advances at an amazing pace, and criminals figure out how to employ it for illegal purposes at an equally amazing pace. Within prisons across our nation criminals and their accomplices are using wireless technology to threaten public safety.

The Federal Communications Act of 1934 was created “for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communication.” By with-holding surgical jamming technology from state and local law enforcement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) violates this purpose and fails to acknowledge advancing technology.

Cell phones are contraband in prison. However, contraband can get past even the best detection systems. X-ray scanners, metal detectors, drug and bomb dogs, and the best of search techniques are all creations of human ingenuity and they can all be defeated by human ingenuity.

In South Carolina prisons, we have improved procedures to squeeze the traditional contraband pipelines. As a result, we are now experiencing an increase in what we call ‘throw-overs:’ efforts to introduce contraband directly over our fences by throwing, shooting or dropping packages containing contraband. This method requires coordination with the ‘throwers’ on the outside, via cell phones.

Today, cell phones and related technology are now the contraband of choice in America’s prisons. Here’s why.

Cell phones allow inmates to avoid using inmate phone systems, where calls can be monitored and recorded. Recently, witnesses and others have been murdered as a result of ‘hits’ issued by inmates using cell phones. From drug dealing to credit card fraud to escapes, cell phones in prisons threaten public safety.

There are two ways to deal with the issue of cell phones in prisons. One is detection and location technology. This technology is expensive and imprecise. Further, it is only partially effective since it only works while phones are operating and it requires continuous staffing to monitor and search for phones, SIMS cards, and parts.

The second method, blocking or jamming, is 80% cheaper and 100% more effective. It is continuous and it cannot be defeated by hiding and moving phones and their parts: it eliminates the threats created by cell phones.

Years ago, technology used to block and jam signals was imprecise: in order to block cell phones within a limited area, such as a prison or a single building, the technology would interfere with other calls outside of that radius. Thus, the FCC was justified in prohibiting such blocking.

Now, improved technology can block only certain signals and within a set radius only. ‘Surgical jamming’ can be aimed. In fact, we invited the FCC to attend our recent demonstration of this technology in one of our maximum security prisons. Disappointingly, they refused to even send a representative.

From the beginning, the wireless industry has voiced two objections to using this technology in prisons: (1) interference with calls outside of prison, such as E-911 calls; and, (2) interference with our own law enforcement radios. After our demonstration, the public and the media present know that these arguments are specious: surgical jamming does not interfere with law enforcement radios or block E-911 calls. In fact, it will not block any call or frequency outside of the prison perimeter.

Jamming cell phones can be an effective and necessary tool for law enforcement. Federal agencies are already allowed to purchase and use this jamming technology. So, if a cell-phone detonated bomb threatens the U.S. Capital or the FCC building, federal law enforcement can jam the signal. After all, they are very important people!

But, out here in the hinterlands, if a cell phone-detonated bomb threatens a local courthouse or school, Congress and the FCC have made it a crime for our state and local law enforcement to use the same technology that they afford to federal authorities. Apparently, our safety is not quite as important.

This double-standard is the pinnacle of arrogance, even by Washington standards.

Congress and the FCC should be ashamed. And, they should act.

Jon Ozmint is the Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections and is asking the FCC to allow state and local law enforcement authorities to use jamming technology and to allow South Carolina to pilot surgical jamming technology in prisons, immediately.
9793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2009, 03:04:38 AM
GPS Evidence Too Unreliable For Legal Purposes

GPS devices can be easily jammed and their data can be spoofed, particularly when tied to cellular systems, experts argue.
By Thomas Claburn,  InformationWeek
April 30, 2009
URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217201050


GPS location data from tracking devices and mobile phones has become an important component of court cases as a way to establish where people have been and when they were there.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the constitutionality of warrantless GPS tracking, a more fundamental question may be whether GPS data is reliable enough to be admissible in court.

Todd Glassey, chief scientist of Certichron, a time data trust service, and founder of the U.S. Time Server Foundation, argues that GPS devices can be easily jammed and that their data can be spoofed, particularly when tied to cellular systems -- as offender tracking bracelets may be.

This isn't a novel concern. The U.S. Department of Defense has forbidden the use of L1 GPS -- the version of GPS available to civilians -- for military purposes since 1998, owing to data integrity and security shortcomings. The military relies on L2 GPS, which is encrypted and more accurate.

A 2003 Los Alamos National Laboratory research paper by Jon S. Warner and Roger G. Johnston, members of the lab's Vulnerability Assessment Team, states, "Civilian Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers are vulnerable to attacks such as blocking, jamming, and spoofing." The VAT had previously demonstrated that claim by simulating the hijacking of a cargo truck monitored by GPS.

The FCC has tried to prevent the sale of GPS jammers, which are illegal under the Communications Act of 1934. But schematics for a do-it-yourself GPS jamming device can be easily found online and built for less than $150. And they can be bought online through various Web sites.

For less than $2,000, says Glassey, someone could acquire the gear necessary to spoof the location of GPS bracelets issued to sex offenders or other parolees. The potential risks are obvious.

Many law enforcement entities have opted to use L1 GPS tracking bracelets to allow defendants to remain free prior to trial and to track high-risk releases like sex offenders. Often, they wed these systems to voice-recognition systems and cellular location-sensing backup systems.

But according to Glassey, the availability of call-redirectors, Vonage, Skype, and other VoIP systems means that system safeguards aren't sufficiently secure.

"The knowledge of the use of GPS test equipment to alter or affect the readings inside of GPS receivers has already made the jump from the technology community to the hacker community such that commercial products and general knowledge of how to spoof L1 GPS systems is available everywhere," Glassey explained in a technical brief he prepared for the D.C. Circuit appeal of U.S. v. Jones.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed an amicus brief in that case in support of a claim by defendant Antoine Jones that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the warrantless placement of a GPS tracking device in his car.

But constitutional considerations aside, Glassey maintains that L1 GPS data should not be admissible in court without some other form of corroborating evidence. He contends that the reliability claims made to the court by manufacturers of GPS tracking devices are misrepresentations.
9794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: May 13, 2009, 02:37:00 AM
I know cell phone jamming is a violation of federal law, even for local level law enforcement. I'd guess that GPS jamming is illegal, but this is a guess.
9795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 13, 2009, 02:34:11 AM
GM; I think we need to move on.

**Yes. Once you are trapped by facts you should feel that need.**

AGAIN, as to the French Supermarket in question, nothing was destroyed. 

**Just because something wasn't destroyed, doesn't mean it's value wasn't damaged, as BBG pointed out the cost of restocking and diminished value translate to dollars (or euros) lost.**

No crime committed.

**Wrong. I can't comment as to the Napoleonic code, but in the US what was seen in the youtube clip would be chargable under several statutes. In my state, if you knowingly deprive the lawful owner of an item, that is a form of theft. Disorderly conduct and criminal tampering are a few other charges that spring to mind.**
NO  criminal theft, no trespassing, no vandalism.  But as a law enforcement officer, you know that.

As for the Police, the protest/incident was so minor (check out the other happy customers milling
about the store) management didn't care. 

**Did they? I hate to point out French culture and history, but cowering and submission to thugs isn't exactly unheard of.**

No complaint, therefore no police; but again, you know that.
Probably  these same "protestors" will be customers tomorrow.

**Maybe, and as extortion often works, the extorted businesses might just decide it's easier to pay the jizya rather than have the store burned down.**

And while I agree, Israel is the Middle East's only true democracy, some think their treatment and
policy towards the Palestinians is outrageous..  And therefore they protest and boycott. That is their right.
Boycott's are a part of American tradition too, nothing wrong or illegal.

Boycotts are legal. I'm boycotting Pepsico myself. Let's look at the definition.


boycott

The refusal to purchase the products of an individual, corporation, or nation as a way to bring social and political pressure for change.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition


Now, I'm not buying anything from Pepsico. This is legal. If I went to my local grocery store and started sweeping Pepsico products from the shelves, that would be illegal, as mentioned before. Comprende?

Now if you still want to insist that the conduct seen in the video was legal, go down to your local Ralph's, Lucky's or in your case, Whole Foods and see how that works out for you. Be sure to let us know.
9796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 10:40:45 PM
http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDBmMGRiN2Q1MzcwYTQwOWU4NGJjOTY1NWQxOTc0YWI=

Sunday, April 12, 2009


French Supermarket Intifada   [Tom Gross]
A taste of things to come... appearing soon at a supermarket near you?

Recently several French supermarkets have been invaded and any produce suspected of originating from Israel has been destroyed.

Here is one example at French supermarket chain Carrefour:



Where are the police?

A journalist friend of mine in Paris tells me that the organization of boycotts is illegal in France, and that the destruction of Israeli products deprived some Orthodox Jews of the opportunity to buy kosher products and they subsequently went hungry (almost all processed kosher foods sold in France come from Israel).

Now, the London Jewish Chronicle reports that the British supermarket giant Tesco has set up a customer helpline for those considering boycotting Israeli goods.

Callers selecting the general information option on its customer helpline hear the recorded message: “If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one.” They are then connected to specially-trained call center staff.

No other country is targeted this way – just Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy. Tesco is now a public company (and by some estimates is the world's fourth largest retailer) but the chain’s founder in 1919, Jewish immigrant Jack Cohen, must be turning in his grave.
9797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 12, 2009, 09:54:00 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/12/video-are-the-elderly-cost-effective/

Logan's Run, anyone?
9798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 07:47:44 PM
So if this conduct is legal, could anti-abortion activists go into a Planned Parenthood and hold such a protest?

Could you go into your local supermarket and hold a similar protest?  I suggest you walk your talk and see how it turns out.
9799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 01:59:53 PM
Did you miss this article posted above?

I had a scoop on the Marais fires, but didn't even know about the "supermarket intifada", in which French supermarkets, such as Carrefour, have been invaded and any produce suspected of originating from Israel is destroyed, until I was told about it by my friend and colleague, Tom Gross (www.tomgrossmedia.com). Except for a brief mention on the France 2 TV channel, the media have ignored that story.

Boycott Israel is a longstanding passion of Olivia Zemmour, a Tunisian Jew whose venomous hatred of Israel knows no bounds. Goons from her organisation, CAPJPO, now united with an outfit called EuroPalestine, beat up Jewish boys from the left-wing Zionist Hashomer Hazaïr youth movement during a 2003 "peace march".
Look at the EuroPalestine website (www.europalestine.com) and you don't need to understand French to get the flavour of their unabashed anti-Zionist operations. Islamists face the camera and spew out hate-filled talking points: Israel=Occupation, Genocide, Apartheid. A "commando" with a trademark beard and North African accent holds up an Israeli product, declaring: "We won't allow this stuff chez nous. This is our country." Then he sweeps up bottles of shampoo and threatens: "This is what will happen to anyone who supports Israel."

If it were only a few thousand wackos here, a handful of delinquents there, a few pinpricks in a healthy society, but this is not the case. It is an onslaught and it's moving fast. France-Info radio just reported a little sugar-coated item on the joyous Muslim converts attending the annual UOIF (French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood) convention at Le Bourget.

Islamist movements are emboldened because the authorities, the media and secular society have failed to react properly to their show of force in January. Using the Israeli operation in Gaza as a pretext, the French-Arab street swung into action with a vengeance. I watched angry Muslims pouring from all directions into Place de la République on 3 January, hastily donning their keffiehs, marching as to war. While the
media (with the notable exception of an unsigned article in Le Figaro) painted this explosion of organised rage in the soft colours of anti-war protest, Islamist websites proudly displayed their true face: blood-curdling shouts of "Death to Israel, Death to the Jews"; Hamas and Hizbollah flags, slogans; violent attacks on the police; and the destruction of public and private property. Those were not demonstrations, they were acts of conquest by jihad foot soldiers claiming our streets, in our society, for the free expression of hate speech, death threats and genocidal promises.

9800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: May 12, 2009, 01:20:33 PM
If you disrupt a business, you are depriving a business of money, which is a form of theft. If you are doing it to force it to submit to you, this is racketeering/extortion.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1581141/Mafia-free-supermarket-defies-mob-extortion.html

Mafia-free supermarket defies mob extortion
 
By Nick Pisa in Rome
Last Updated: 9:42PM GMT 08 Mar 2008

Fabio Messina (left) in his mob-free shop in Palermo
Shoppers in Sicily have the chance to take on the Mafia after the first racket-free supermarket opened yesterday on the island long dominated by the mob.
Its owner, Fabio Messina, is taking a brave stand against the organisation by stacking his shelves with products only from firms which - like his own - have refused to pay pizzo, the local term for protection money.
 

"For too long ordinary citizens of Palermo and business people have been held to ransom, and now we are fighting back," said Pasquale Masucci, a computer technician who was one of the store's first customers.
The supermarket, located in the heart of Palermo, is the latest initiative from campaign group Addiopizzo (Goodbye Pizzo) that has been fighting racketeering since 2004.
Its campaign was launched by pasting up posters around the city overnight, bearing the slogan: "A society that pays pizzo is a society without dignity.''
Investigators estimate that the Mafia extorts more than £130 million a year from shops and businesses in the Palermo region, with the island as a whole handing over 10 times that figure. The more money a business makes, the more money the Godfathers expect - and those who don't pay up are quickly paid a visit.
It starts with a friendly chat to explain the rules, followed by a nudge such as a brick through the window. If that fails to make the point, a home, business or car might be firebombed.
Small shops are expected to hand over around £100 a month: for supermarkets and jewellers, the going rate is nearer £1,000.
But shoppers and businesses are rebelling, with those refusing to pay adding their names online at the Addiopizzo website. As of yesterday, 241 firms and individuals were listed.
Now Mr Messina, 29, has decided to bring them together by stocking their items in Supermercato Punto Antipizzo - literally, anti-pizzo point supermarket.
He said: "I felt the time had come to give those businesses that had refused to pay the pizzo an extra economic opportunity.
"All the products in the store are supplied by firms who have refused to pay pizzo — we are talking about products from fruit and vegetables to wine, olive oil, pasta and bread. The sort of items you find in any normal supermarket."
Gerlando Mazone, an optician who is among the anti-Mafia traders, has refused to back down despite suffering several break-ins.
Mr Mazone said: "I refused to pay the pizzo and the windows were smashed and I lost £230,000 worth of stock.
"I then also noticed my customers were falling away and it broke my heart. I am not ashamed to say I cried every night. But with the help of Addiopizzo I am starting to get back on my feet.
"Of course I could have gone to the local boss, paid the money and got my stock back - but I don't see why I should share my profits with anyone other than my staff.''
Centre left senator Francesco Ferrante, who has campaigned against Mafia racketeering, said: "With the opening of this supermarket a new symbol of rebellion and pride has been born from a category that has too often been crushed by Cosa Nostra.
"They have decided to declare war on the racketeers by giving honest citizens the opportunity to fight back against the godfathers with a simple gesture - such as buying from a pizzo free supermarket.''
Shoppers in Palermo hope this stand will prove successful. "If everybody does just one thing like this then we are all making a stand against the Mafia," said Mr Masucci's wife Tiziana, a teacher. "I am not afraid to come shopping here and I have told all my friends about it. I wish the owner all the success in the world."
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