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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's Latest Asinine Argument for Gun Control...
on: August 27, 2015, 03:59:47 PM
THIS MAY BE OBAMA'S DUMBEST GUN CONTROL ARGUMENT YET
August 27, 2015 Daniel Greenfield
And that's saying something.
Obama is determined to fight his gun control Jihad and attempted to exploit the racist murder of two white reporters by pushing his own political agenda in the dumbest way possible.
“It breaks my heart every time you read about or hear about these kinds of incidents,” Obama said. “What we know, is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.”
Since the set of people killed by guns includes terrorist attacks, this is a stupid and meaningless thing to say.
Obama could have equally said that more people are murdered than are murdered by terrorists. Or that more people died in wars than in WW2.
The various statistical attempts to minimize 9/11 that the left has been pushing all these years (more people die in car accidents in a year, etc) are obnoxious enough, but this is really aimed at liberals so stupid they have trouble walking upright.
Since gun-related incidents include suicides, Obama is giving us the incredible news that the total number of ways in which people are killed by guns is greater than any specific way they can be killed by guns.
Also the total number of ways in which people can die is greater than any specific way people can die, including gun-related incidents, therefore we shouldn't take them seriously, because despite Obama's Ivy League education, he has no concept of logical reasoning.
I'm not clear on the number of people who have been killed by carbon dioxide, but Obama has been turning the country upside down and destroying jobs even faster than usual fighting it. But if it kills fewer people than all the other gases combined, including it, we don't need to worry about it.
That's Obama logic. It's close enough for government work. Unfortunately.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brandon Smith: Wesbury is Either Outright Lying, or Smoking Crack...
on: August 27, 2015, 12:57:12 PM
Lies You Will Hear As The Economic Collapse Progresses
Thursday, 27 August 2015 Brandon Smith
It is undeniable; the final collapse triggers are upon us, triggers alternative economists have been warning about since the initial implosion of 2008. In the years since the derivatives disaster, there has been no end to the absurd and ludicrous propaganda coming out of mainstream financial outlets and as the situation in markets becomes worse, the propaganda will only increase. This might seem counter-intuitive to many. You would think that the more obvious the economic collapse becomes, the more alternative analysts will be vindicated and the more awake and aware the average person will be. Not necessarily...
In fact, the mainstream spin machine is going into high speed the more negative data is exposed and absorbed into the markets. If you know your history, then you know that this is a common tactic by the establishment elite to string the public along with false hopes so that they do not prepare or take alternative measures while the system crumbles around their ears. At the onset of the Great Depression the same strategies were used. Consider if you've heard similar quotes to these in the mainstream news over the past couple months:
John Maynard Keynes in 1927: “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”
H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: “I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.”
Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929: “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” And on 17, 1929: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”
W. McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 30, 1929: “This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan… that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years.”
Harvard Economic Society, Nov. 10, 1929: “… a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall.”
Here is the issue – as I have ALWAYS said, economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a process. The global economy has been in the process of collapse since 2008 and it never left that path. Those who were ignorant took government statistics at face value and the manipulated bull market as legitimate and refused to acknowledge the fundamentals. Now, with markets recently suffering one of the greatest freefalls since the 2008/2009 crash, they are witnessing the folly of their assumptions, but that does not mean they will accept them or apologize for them outright. If there is one lesson I have learned well during my time in the Liberty Movement, it is to never underestimate the power of normalcy bias.
There were plenty of “up days” in the markets during the Great Depression, and this kept the false dream of a quick recovery alive for a large percentage of the American population for many years. Expect numerous “stunning stock reversals” as the collapse of our era progresses, but always remember that it is the overall TREND that matters far more than any one positive or negative trading day (unless you open down 1000 points as we did on Monday), and even more important than the trends are the economic fundamentals.
The establishment has made every effort to hide the fundamentals from the public through far reaching misrepresentations of economic stats. However, the days of effective disinformation in terms of the financial system are coming to an end. As investors and the general public begin to absorb the reality that the global economy is indeed witnessing a vast crisis scenario and acknowledges real numbers over fraudulent numbers, the only recourse of central bankers and the governments they control is to convince the public that the crisis they are witnessing is not really a crisis. That is to say, the establishment will attempt to marginalize the collapse signals they can no longer hide as if such signals are of “minimal” importance.
Just as occurred during the onset of the Great Depression, the lies will be legion the closer we come to zero hour. Here are some of the lies you will likely hear as the collapse accelerates...
The Crisis Was Caused By Chinese Contagion
The hypocrisy inherent in this lie is truly astounding, to say the least, considering it is now being uttered by the same mainstream dirtbags who only months ago were claiming that China's financial turmoil and stock market upset were inconsequential and would have “little to no effect” on Western markets.
I specifically recall these hilarious quotes from Barbara Rockefeller in July:
“Something else that doesn’t matter much is the Chinese equity meltdown—again. China may be big and powerful, but it lacks a retail base and fund managers experienced in price variations, never mind a true rout...”
“Doom-and-gloom types have been saying for a long time that we will get a stock market rout when the Fed finally does move to raise rates. But as we wrote last week, history doesn’t bear out the thesis, not that you can really count on history when the sample size is one or two data points...”
Yes, that is a bit embarrassing. One or two data points? There have been many central bank interventions in history. When has ANY central bank or any government ever used stimulus to manipulate markets through fiat infusion and zero interest fueled stock buybacks or given government the ability to monetize its own debt, and actually been successful in the endeavor? When has addicting markets to stimulus like a heroin dealer ever led to “recovery”? When has this kind of behavior ever NOT created massive fiscal bubbles, a steady degradation of the host society, or outright calamity?
Suddenly, according to the MSM, China's economy does affect us. Not only that, but China is to blame for all the ills of the globally interdependent economic structure. And, the mere mention that the Fed might delay the end of near zero interest rates in September by a Federal Reserve stooge recently sent markets up 600 points after a week-long bloodbath; meaning, the potential for any interest rate increase no mater how small also has wider implications for markets.
The truth is, the crash in global stocks which will undoubtedly continue over the next several months despite any delays on ZIRP by the Fed is a product of universal decay in fiscal infrastructure. Nearly every single nation on this planet, every sovereign economy, has allowed central and international banks to poison every aspect of their respective systems with debt and manipulation. This is not a “contagion” problem, it is a systemic problem to every economy across the world.
China's crash matters not because it is causing all other economies to crash. It matters because China is the largest importer/exporter in the world and it is a litmus test for the financial health of every other country. If China is failing, it means we are not consuming, and if we are not consuming, then we must be broke. China's crash portends our own far worse economic conditions. THAT is why western markets have been crumbling along with China's despite the assumptions of the mainstream.
China's Rate Cuts Will Stop The Crash
No they won't. China has cut rates five times since last November and this has done nothing to stem the tide of their market collapse. I'm not sure why anyone would think that a new rate cut would accomplish anything besides perhaps a brief respite from the continuing avalanche.
It's Not A Crash, It's Just The End Of A “Market Cycle”
This is the most ignorant non-explanation I think I have ever heard. There is no such thing as a “market cycle” when your markets are supported partially or fully by fiat manipulation. Our market is in no way a free market, thus, it cannot behave like a free market, and thus, it is a stunted market with no identifiable cycles.
Swings in markets of up to 5%-6% to the downside or upside (sometimes both in a single day) are not part of a normal cycle. They are a sign of cancerous volatility that comes from an economy on the brink of disaster.
The last few years have been seemingly endless market bliss in which any idiot day trader could not go wrong as long as he “bought the dip” while Fed monetary intervention stayed the course. This is also not normal, even in the so-called “new normal”. Yes, the current equities turmoil is an inevitable result of manipulated markets, false statistics, and misplaced hopes, but it is indeed a tangible crash in the making. It is in no way an example of a predictable and non-threatening “market cycle”, and the fact that mainstream talking heads and the people who parrot them had absolutely no clue it was coming is only further evidence of this.
The Fed Will Never Raise Rates
Don't count on it. Public statements by globalist entities like the IMF on China, for example, have argued that their current crisis is merely part of the “new normal”; a future in which stagnant growth and reduced living standards is the way things are supposed to be. I expect the Fed will use the same exact argument to support the end of zero interest rates in the U.S., claiming that the decline of American wealth and living standards is a natural part of the new economic world order we are entering.
That's right, mark my words, one day soon the Fed, the IMF, the BIS and others will attempt to convince the American people that the erosion of the economy and the loss of world reserve status is actually a “good thing”. They will claim that a strong dollar is the cause of all our economic pain and that a loss in value is necessary. In the meantime they will, of course, downplay the tragedies that will result as the shift toward dollar devaluation smashes down on the heads of the populace.
A rate hike may not occur in September. In fact, as I predicted in my last article, the Fed is already hinting at a delay in order to boost markets, or at least slow down the current carnage to a more manageable level. But, they WILL raise rates in the near term, likely before the end of this year after a few high tension meetings in which the financial world will sit anxiously waiting for the word on high. Why would they raise rates? Some people just don't seem to grasp the fact that the job of the Federal Reserve is to destroy the American economic system, not protect it. Once you understand this dynamic then everything the central bank does makes perfect sense.
A rate increase will occur exactly because that is what is needed to further destabilize U.S. market psychology to make way for the “great economic reset” that the IMF and Christine Lagarde are so fond of promoting. Beyond this, many people seem to be forgetting that ZIRP is still operating, yet, volatility is trending negative anyway. Remember when everyone was ready to put on their 'Dow 20,000' hat, certain in the omnipotence of central bank stimulus and QE infinity? Yeah...clearly that was a pipe dream.
ZIRP has run it's course. It is no longer feeding the markets as it once did and the fundamentals are too obvious to deny.
The globalists at the Bank for International Settlements in spring openly deemed the existence of low interest rate policies a potential trigger for crisis. Their statements correlate with the BIS tendency to “predict” terrible market events they helped to create while at the same time misrepresenting the reasons behind them.
The point is, ZIRP has done the job it was meant to do. There is no longer any reason for the Fed to leave it in place.
Get Ready For QE4
Again, don't count on it. Or at the very least, don't expect renewed QE to have any lasting effect on the market if it is initiated.
There is truly no point to the launch of a fourth QE program, but do expect that the Fed will plant the possibility in the media every once in a while to mislead investors. First, the Fed knows that it would be an open admission that the last three QE's were an utter failure, and while their job is to dismantle the U.S. economy, I don't think they are looking to take immediate blame for the whole mess. QE4 would be as much a disaster as the ECB's last stimulus program was in Europe, not to mention the past several stimulus actions by the PBOC in China. I'll say it one more time – fiat stimulus has a shelf life, and that shelf life is over for the entire globe. The days of artificially supported markets are nearly done and they are never coming back again.
I see little advantage for the Fed to bring QE4 into the picture. If the goal is to derail the dollar, that action is already well underway as the IMF carefully sets the stage for the Yuan to enter the SDR global currency basket next year, threatening the dollar's world reserve status. China also continues to dump hundreds of billions in U.S. treasuries inevitably leading to a rush to a dump of treasuries by other nations. The dollar is a dead currency walking, and the Fed won't even have to print Weimar Germany-style in order to kill it.
It's Not As Bad As It Seems
Yes, it is exactly as bad as it seems if not worse. When the Dow can open 1000 points down on a Monday and China can lose all of its gains for 2015 in the span of a few weeks despite institutionalized stimulus measures lasting years, then something is very wrong. This is not a “hiccup”. This is not a correction which has already hit bottom. This is only the beginning of the end.
Stocks are not a predictive indicator. They do not follow positive or negative fundamentals. Stocks do not crash before or during the development of an ailing economy. Stocks crash after the economy has already gone comatose. Stocks crash when the system is no longer salvageable. Since 2008, nothing in the global financial structure has been salvaged and now the central banking edifice is either unable or unwilling (I believe both) to supply the tools to allow us even to pretend that it can be salvaged. We're going to feel the hurt now, all while the establishment tells us the whole thing is in our heads.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump Doing Better Than Jeb Bush With Liberals, Moderates, Democrats...
on: August 25, 2015, 03:01:26 PM
TRUMP DOING BETTER W/LIBERALS, MODERATES AND DEMOCRATS THAN JEB BUSH
Trump and Jeb Bush get the same amount of the non-white vote
August 21, 2015 Daniel Greenfield
The consultant class messaging is that Trump would scare away far too many moderate and minority voters. So far there's no sign of that. In matchups against Hillary, the latest CNN poll shows Trump and Jeb Bush getting the same amount of the non-white vote (very little).
It also shows Trump having a slight lead among liberals, moderates and Democrats. The amount is within the margin of error and insignificant, but it shows that the claim that Trump will alienate middle of road voters isn't currently being reflected in polls. Or rather, Trump is not any more alienating than Republican candidates to a demographic that is thoroughly media injected.
Trump however does somewhat worse than Jeb Bush with independent voters and he appears to move a few percent of Republican leaning voters to Clinton.
Trump does much better with the 35 to 49 age group voters than Jeb Bush. His performance is terrible with younger voters though. And there is a troubling warning sign in the poll. Trump performs worse than Jeb Bush among under $50K voters, the people he's supposed to be appealing to with immigration populism.
Trump's biggest problem appears to be the South. Clinton and Bush are neck and neck there. With Trump, Hillary has a solid poll lead.
He does pick up more Tea Party support than Jeb. And Trump does significantly better in the Northeast than Bush, but that may matter less in an election. Trump is somewhat better in urban areas, but much worse in rural areas. It looks like that may be a hole in his campaign that he needs to fix.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver
on: August 17, 2015, 07:24:59 PM
Thanks for the blast from the past - just put on my recording of "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues - amazing...
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary is a Criminal - Time for a Special Prosecutor...
on: August 14, 2015, 10:38:00 AM
The Countless Crimes of Hillary Clinton: Special Prosecutor Needed
Now Hillary finally hands over her server—after it's been professionally wiped clean By Sidney Powell | 08/13/15
After years of holding herself above the law, telling lie after lie, and months of flat-out obstruction, HIllary Clinton has finally produced to the FBI her server and three thumb drives. Apparently, the server has been professionally wiped clean of any useable information, and the thumb drives contain only what she selectively culled.
Myriad criminal offenses apply to this conduct. Anyone with knowledge of government workings has known from inception that Hillary’s communications necessarily would contain classified and national security related information. Thanks to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, it is now beyond dispute that she had ultra-Top Secret information and more that should never have left the State Department.
Equal to Ms. Clinton’s outrageous misconduct is that of the entire federal law enforcement community. It has long chosen to be deliberately blind to these flagrant infractions of laws designed to protect national security—laws for which other people, even reporters, have endured atrocious investigations, prosecutions, and some served years in prison for comparatively minor infractions. During the same years that Hillary was communicating about national security and world affairs off the grid, the Department of Justice has had no qualms threatening news reporters and prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act.
It’s high time for a special prosecutor to be named to conduct a full investigation into Ms. Clinton’s likely commission of multiple felonies, including a conspiracy with Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and possibly others, to violate multiple laws. While the FBI and Department of Justice have willfully ignored Hillary Clinton’s outrageous conduct, they didn’t hesitate a minute to investigate and prosecute former CIA Director and national hero, General Petraeus. He was just tarred, feathered and ridden out of the CIA on a rail for sharing some information (his own notebook) with his biographer who was both in the military and had a top secret clearance.
Yet, Petraeus did not have a secret server set up to house his classified and top secret information or digital satellite imagery; he destroyed nothing; and, there was no “leak.”
But that’s not all. During the same years that Hillary was communicating about national security and world affairs off the grid, the Department of Justice has had no qualms threatening news reporters and prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. To hell with the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent, even the New York Times reported that this administration prosecuted more reporters and whistleblowers for “espionage” than all prior administrations put together.
Remember Fox news reporter James Rosen? The Holder Justice Department not only seized his emails immediately and without his knowledge, they suggested he was a criminal “co-conspirator” in a leak case—under the Espionage Act—which carries a ten-year term of imprisonment. And they quickly indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senator Menendez on extremely stretched or tortured views of vague criminal statutes and factual allegations of conduct that may well not be criminal.
Senator Menendez can’t vacation with his best friend but Hillary Clinton and her “Foundation” can accept millions of dollars from foreign governments seeking to curry her favor. Yet there’s been no criminal investigation of Ms. Clinton and her cabal? They couldn’t seize her server months ago while it contained all the emails? They couldn’t put a stop to it from the beginning?
Oh right, I forgot. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Ms. Clinton had declined to allow an Inspector General at the State Department during her entire tenure—so there was no internal oversight. And oh yes, her name is Clinton, and she has long deemed herself above the law. The rules only apply to everyone else.
But wait, there’s still more. The current Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, Leslie Caldwell, and her Chief of the Corporate Fraud Section, Andrew Weissmann, destroyed Arthur Andersen and its 85,000 jobs on unfounded charges of obstruction of justice for destroying documents the Supreme Court said it had no legal obligation to keep.
The laws governing Ms. Clinton’s obligations are clear. Nonetheless, they haven’t even convened a grand jury to look into Ms. Clinton’s longstanding assertion that she wiped her server clean—of documents she was legally required to keep? On top of that, there can be little doubt that Eric Holder and other high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials themselves wrote Ms. Clinton at Clintonemail.com—not to mention countless communications with the President and “All His Muses”—Counter-terrrorism advisor Lisa Monaco, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and then White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler (not to mention Valerie Jarrett)—about Benghazi and all other top secret and classified issues. The DOJ hasn’t subpoenaed the emails from any of the recipients—or the internet service providers? Or looked for them on the backup government servers of the accounts of all the recipients?
And the State Department still today is making statements defending her? Not only did Ms. Clinton deliberately demonstrate disdain for the Federal Records Act and nullify the protections of the Freedom of Information Act, she violated the Espionage Act by having information relating to the national defense on her server at all. And her deliberate disregard for national security made the job of all hackers that much easier.
As Andy McCarthy explained it in the National Review: In fact, the espionage act—which regulates the handling of intelligence by government officials — does not refer to classified information; it refers to information relating to the national defense. Moreover, it does not prohibit solely the transmission of such information; it criminalizes the communication, delivery, or transmission of that information; causing communication, delivery, or transmission of that information; permitting the removal of that information from its proper place of custody through gross negligence; permitting that information to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed through gross negligence; or, failing to make a prompt report to superiors in the government when an official knows that the information has been removed from its proper place of custody, communicated to someone not authorized to have it, lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed.
See also Title 18 United States Code Section 2071 (prohibiting destruction of records). The Inspector General for the Intelligence Community has advised Congress that even in the few emails he has reviewed, there was top secret information—in the form of digital satellite imagery and signals intelligence. Regardless of how it was marked, and no doubt Ms. Clinton will blame others, even a neophyte would have known that such information was of the highest secrecy.
Not surprisingly, the first seeds of Ms. Clinton’s deflecting the blame to underlings were sown by her protectors in the State Department itself last night. Aside from that, her knowledge and intent do not matter under some of these statutes and are indefensible under others. General Petraeus certainly had no criminal intent, and neither did any of the reporters. Ms. Clinton, however, established her entire system to avoid the law and in violation of the Espionage Act—as she and her co-conspirators removed all records from the State Department from its inception. Compounding her crimes, she knowingly and willfully destroyed whatever she wanted to destroy—despite or more likely because of—the incriminating information it contained and in the face of the Benghazi investigation.
There’s still more. The countless false statements are crimes under 18 United States Code Section 1001—both by Ms. Clinton to Congress (“no classified information”) and in writing by Cheryl Mills to the State Department and just filed with Judge Sullivan—in which she states: “On matters pertaining to the conduct of government business, it was her practice to use the officials’ government email accounts.”
We already know that Ms. Clinton used her personal server exclusively. Title 18 United States Code Section 1001 makes it a crime for anyone to “knowingly and willfully” falsify, conceal, or cover up “a material fact,” or make “any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or misrepresentation,” etc. Countless people are convicted felons under this statute—some for offenses that would never occur to anyone even to be a crime. And these are just a few of the possible statutes that it would appear to any federal prosecutor that she and her corrupt cabal violated.
As Lt. Col. Ralph Peters had the guts to say last night on FoxNews, “Hillary Clinton is a criminal.” Military heroes who have risked their lives for this country have gone to prison for less. The Department of Justice’s selective prosecutions have been well-documented. Its favoritism and targeting practices must end.
As discussed on NewsMaxTV’s Hardline last night, it’s time for a national outcry for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and indict Ms. Clinton’s flagrant violations of some of our most important laws. Anyone else would have been arrested by now.
Until there is a massive change in this country, justice is a game.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Administration Decided to Support Al-Qaeda?
on: August 13, 2015, 10:56:02 AM
OBAMA'S BETRAYALS: WILLFULLY SUPPORTING AL-QAEDA AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Dare anyone call it treason?
August 12, 2015 Robert Spencer
Editor's note: The following is the first article in the FrontPage series "Obama's Betrayals," which will explore the president's record of perfidy, malfeasance and crimes against the American people. As the Obama presidency enters its final stages, examples of this treachery are only becoming more numerous and brazen. "Obama's Betrayals" will shine the spotlight on these attacks on the American polity, the incredible damage they are inflicting on the nation, and the dangerous agenda the president intends to complete before leaving office.
It doesn’t get any more explosive than this: a high-ranking former Obama administration official charging that the administration made a conscious decision to support al-Qaeda – so where is the mainstream media?
Brad Hoff reported in Foreign Policy Journal last Friday that “in Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was ‘a willful decision.’”
When Hasan asked Flynn if “the administration turned a blind eye” to analyses explaining how the Syrian “rebels” against the Assad regime were actually Islamic jihadists who wanted to establish a hardline Sharia state in Syria, Flynn responded: “I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.”
“A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?,” asked Hasan.
Flynn responded: “It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.” That is, arm those Salafist, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood elements, and do all they could to enable them to succeed.
One has to pause and consider the source for all this. Mehdi Hasan is a highly suspect analyst and Foreign Policy Journal appears to be a pro-jihad paleocon publication, and Al Jazeera is certainly a pro-jihad propaganda outlet. All that is noted, but if this transcript is accurate, former DIA director Michael Flynn is confirming that the Obama Administration knowingly decided to support al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and directly enabled the rise of the Islamic State.
And given the Obama Administration’s general stance toward the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, what would be unbelievable about that? It has been well known for years that Obama has energetically supported the Muslim Brotherhood – so well known that Egyptians protesting against the corrupt and tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi in 2013 held up signs calling on Obama to “stop supporting terrorism.”
But al-Qaeda? The former head of the DIA revealing that the Obama administration made a conscious decision to aid the organization that murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001 and has been waging global warfare against the United States ever since? That is something else again.
It would, however, be consistent with so many odd aspects of Obama’s behavior. The President has aroused controversy over his affinity with Islam throughout his presidency, with his extravagant praise of the non-existent Islamic role in the founding and growth of the American republic, his exaggeration of Muslim achievements, his refusal to name the global jihad threat in any accurate manner, and so much more – even small incidents such as his notorious 2008 “slip of the tongue” in which he referred to “my Muslim faith,” right up to the one that broke in February 2015, when a photo surfaced from the U.S.-African Leaders’ Summit in August 2014, showing Obama passing by a group of African delegates with his right index finger raised in a gesture strongly reminiscent of the Islamic State’s now notorious one-finger salute.
That Islamic State, of course, was the direct beneficiary of Obama’s Syria policies, and now Michael Flynn has revealed that that was essentially the plan all along. So why isn’t the honking gaggle of Republican presidential candidates saying anything about this – demanding an investigation, asking Flynn for more information, imploring Obama to come clean about his Syria strategy – anything at all? In a sane political atmosphere, this would be enough to bring down the Obama presidency. Instead, it will get little notice and no action whatsoever.
Why that is so remains a mystery. Can it be that Flynn’s allegations are simply too hot to handle for everyone, and that, if taken seriously, they would bring down many more people than just Barack Obama? That seems to be the only remotely plausible explanation. But it is a deeply disquieting one.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS, is coming August 24.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump
on: August 12, 2015, 03:09:52 PM
With regard to Crafty's concern that Trump is secretly in cahoots with the Clintons - I find that very hard to believe at this point - since IF that were true, we never would have even heard about the phone call in the first place. Note well that it was a CLINTON aide that leaked that story. Highly unlikely scenario in my opinion - plus - no one seems to be able to pin down the date of this phone conversation more precisely than within a 3-month period.
Rush addressed this specific concern on his program yesterday, as he had two callers in a row advancing Crafty's hypothesis. His response was that he finds it highly unlikely that this is the case - that he suspects the phone call never even occurred - but that ultimately, he understands the concern that Trump is a phony (not who he says he is) and that all of this will come out in the wash before long if that is in fact the case. We have a LONG time to go before the election. It's still quite early, and I also believe that if Trump's candidacy is a Democrat plot, it's an almost unbelievably stupid one, and will be exposed sooner rather than later.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Imams "Shocked" to Find Terrorists In Their Mosques...
on: August 11, 2015, 03:58:16 PM
|Shocked, Shocked to Find That Terror Is Going On in Here!
Posted By Robert Spencer On August 10, 2015
It’s an iconic moment in American cinema, from Casablanca: Captain Renault tells Rick Blaine that he is “shocked! shocked!” to discover that gambling is going on in his establishment, and that it will be immediately closed — just as a clerk approaches and hands Renault his winnings. Muslims aren’t generally known for cinematic tributes, but mosque leaders around the country deserve Oscars for how they reenact this scene every time a jihadi is apprehended. For how long are law enforcement officials going to fall for the act?
The latest example comes courtesy of Arafat Nagi of Lackawanna, New York, who was arrested last week for recruiting for the Islamic State. According to WIVB , the local Muslim community is “devastated and in shock.”
In shock, eh? Dr. Khalid Qazi, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, said that Nagi “had withdrawn from the community about three years ago. He had some domestic issues, some family issues.” Ah, that does explain it. Qazi is implying that Nagi was a bit unbalanced, leading to his involvement with the Islamic State, and that if he hadn’t withdrawn from the peaceful Muslim community three years ago, this wouldn’t have happened.
But wait: back in 2002, Nagi had wanted to join the Lackawanna Six  – six local Muslims who attended an al-Qaeda training camp.
According to Qazi, Nagi withdrew — he wasn’t expelled for his “extremism,” but withdrew — from the local Muslim community only three years ago. That means that for ten years after trying to join an al-Qaeda group, Nagi was presumably a member in good standing of the local Muslim community.
Clearly his recent arrest shows that he hadn’t given up his “extremism.” Yet when Nagi is arrested, the local community is “in shock”? They knew for at least thirteen years that Nagi was a supporter of the violent jihad doctrine they supposedly reject and abhor. What was shocking about his arrest?
Qazi was, of course, posturing for the media and law enforcement authorities, and there is no indication that either didn’t wholly swallow his act. Indeed, despite the fact that this same act has played all over the country, it always gets rave reviews.
It played in Birmingham, Alabama, last April , when a young Muslim woman fled to the Islamic State. A spokesman for the girl’s parents — why did they need a spokesman? — said:
For them this is worse than losing the life of a child, to have them join such a horrible, horrible gang of violent extremists. Nothing can describe the pain they are facing.
The spokesman was none other than Hassan Shibly, a lawyer and the chief executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with established ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood .
Shibly claimed that the woman had withdrawn from the local Muslim community a year before joining the Islamic State, and added:
The reason she withdrew from the community is because the Muslim community is very vocal against groups like ISIS … she made the decision based on her communication online with them that she wanted to join them.
He didn’t bother to explain why the peaceful Islam the young woman presumably learned from the community and her shocked and devastated parents wasn’t able to withstand the appeal of a supposedly twisted, hijacked version of the religion. He didn’t have to: he could be secure in the knowledge that no one would ask him to do so.
And so it goes. After the July 16 jihad massacre of U.S. Marines in Chattanooga by Mohammod Abdulazeez, the Times Free Press  reported that Bassam Issa, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga:
… has said how shocked he was to find out that a young man who went to his mosque harbored radical ideas. He doesn’t see how anything Abdulazeez learned locally could have led to such thinking or to such a tragic plan.
And last April, a Muslim woman named Noelle Valentzas was arrested  for plotting, along with another Muslim woman, a jihad bombing on U.S. soil. Valentzas’ husband, Abu Bakr, said of his wife’s arrest:
I don’t believe any of it, period. We are all shocked, the whole community. That’s not who she is.
But back in 2007, Abu Bakr was photographed  at the Muslim Day Parade in New York City with the black flag of jihad. He carried it at other parades as well.
A particularly hammy version of this play-acting came in Rochester, New York, in June 2014 , when Mufid Elfgeeh, a Muslim local restaurant owner, was arrested for plotting to murder American soldiers. Sareer Fazili, president of the Islamic Center of Rochester, said:
Our religion is one of peace and one of submission and I think all of our friends in the faith based community know that. … I’m very shocked, I’m very upset, very disappointed that somebody who claims they follow Islam, the same religion that has been taught for so many years would think that he is within the bounds of our teachings because nothing could be further from the truth.
He was shocked to hear that someone who professes to be a Muslim would commit an act of violence? Really?
Had Sareer Fazili never heard of 9/11? 7/7? The Bali bombing? The Boston Marathon bombing? The Fort Hood massacre? Or any of the thousands of other jihad attacks perpetrated by people who not only profess to be Muslim, but say that when they bomb and kill they are following the teachings of Islam?
Fazili also said, according to WHEC , that he “does not believe Elfgeeh has ever been a member of the Islamic Center.” That may be, but it is noteworthy how so many devout Muslims who turn to violent jihad — Elfgeeh had tweeted “about the prophet Muhammad and terrorist groups fighting in the name of Allah” — never seem to go to mosque.
Every time there is a jihad attack or plot in the U.S., local Muslims say that no one knew him, he never went to mosque. Yet by their own words, these people are fanatically devout and observant.
Anyway, relax: “Members of the Islamic Center say these beliefs are foreign and are not what is taught at their center.”
Great. So do they teach against these beliefs, which are so widespread as to not be shocking at all, at the Center? Do they teach young Muslims why they should reject the al-Qaeda view of Islam on Qur’anic grounds? Why are there no such programs anywhere? And why does no one ever ask why?
Khalid Qazi, Hassan Shibly, Bassam Issa, Abu Bakr, Sareer Fazili and the rest all do an admirable job playing Captain Renault, but it is time for this play to close, and for law enforcement officials and the mainstream media to get more skeptical about these professions of shock and dismay at every jihad arrest. These jihadis didn’t exist in a vacuum, much as these Qur’an-toting Renaults would have us believe otherwise. If it doesn’t stop soon, this credulity could be the death of us.
Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economic Reality Now Catching Up To Market Fantasy...
on: August 09, 2015, 10:13:11 PM
|Economic Reality Now Catching Up To Market Fantasy
Friday, 07 August 2015 04:49 Brandon Smith - www.alt-market.com
In the mind of a schizophrenic person, internal elements of fantasy (negative and positive) are made manifest in the psyche and projected out onto the real world. Often, the daydream images of the mind are not merely images to them. Rather, what they imagine subconsciously becomes reality. Their faculties of observation become so limited, either due to a reaction to trauma or merely an inherent inability to cope, that they cannot decipher between fact and fiction. A person could go on like this for quite some time if all his needs are provided for by someone else. But the moment that support ends (and it will), the realities of necessity, not to mention supply and demand, take hold. One cannot live in a schizophrenic world indefinitely.
The current global mishmash of interdependent and socialized economies are, at bottom, schizophrenic. Our markets are not based in any fundamental reality. There is very little tangible foundation left to stand on, and this has been the case for several years. Yet some people might argue that since the derivatives crash of 2008, most of the world has continued to walk on air and there is little for us to worry about.
The power of fantasy is that it is self-perpetuating. Fantasies are fueled most commonly by misplaced hopes and unhealthy or unrealistic desires, and such things are darkly and grotesquely energizing. Fantasies can indeed keep economies around the world functionally alive even when they are clinically dead. But again, there is always an end.
Equities and commodities markets in particular have levitated despite economic fact, making their eventual fall ever more spectacular. That fall has now begun halfway through 2015.
Let’s look at the cold hard truths of our current situation.
New signals of market crisis are generating every two to four weeks as we grind on into the third quarter. This is in stark contrast to the relatively predictable and "stable" market behavior of the past three years. I realize that we are experiencing a “slow boil” and that many people may not even be taking note of the exponential increase in negative economic signs, but really, think about it - at the beginning of 2014, what was the general financial sentiment compared to today?
Europe has just experienced the worst “near miss” yet with the Greek crisis, a crisis that is still not over and will likely end in chaos as the last-minute deal with the European Central Bank is derailed by International Monetary Fund intervention.
Keep in mind that Europe is overwhelmed with debt as peripheral countries border collapse and core nations like France float in a recessionary ether they refuse to openly acknowledge.
Asia is the biggest story right now, with Chinese markets in veritable free fall despite all attempts by the communist government to quell stock selling and shorting, to the point of threatening arrest and imprisonment for some net short sellers.
China’s Shanghai Stock Exchange has experienced a 30% drop in market value in a month's time. The mainstream argument meant to marginalize this fact is that less than 2% of China’s equities are owned by foreign investors; therefore, a crash there will not affect us here. This is, of course, pure idiocy.
China is the largest importer/exporter in the world; and it’s set to become the world’s largest economy within the next two years, surpassing the United States. China’s economy is a production economy, and the nation is a primary supplier for all consumer goods everywhere. Thus, China is a litmus test for the fiscal health of the rest of the world. When Chinese companies are struggling, when exporters are seeing steady overall declines and when manufacturing begins to crawl, this is not only a reflection of China’s economic instability, but also a reflection of the collapsing demand in every other nation that buys from China.
Collapsing demand means collapsing sales and collapsing market value. For a global economic system so dependent on ever growing consumption, this is a death knell.
In the U.S., markets have experienced a delayed reaction of sorts, due in great part to the Federal Reserve’s constant injections of fiat fantasy fuel since the credit crisis began. This kind of artificial support for markets has become an expected and essential part of market psychology, resulting in utter dependency on easy money siphoned into big banks that then use it to bolster equities through massive stock buybacks (among other methods). Now, however, quantitative easing has been tapered and zero interest-rate policy is nearing the chopping block. The stock buyback scam is nearing an end.
Already, U.S. stocks are beginning to feel the pain as reality slowly nibbles away once dependable gains. There is a good reason for this - Wages are in constant decline; manufacturing is in steady decline; retail sales are in decline, and government and personal debts continue to rise. We are not immune to the financial chaos of other nations exactly because we have been railroaded into a highly interdependent global economic system. In fact, much international fiscal uncertainty is tied directly to the fall of the American consumer as a reliable cash cow and economic engine.
So where is this all headed?
Commodities tell part of the story, with oil sliding steadily, signaling what we in the alternative economic community have been saying for years: Fiat stimulus propped up markets (including energy markets) that should have been allowed to deflate long ago, and now we are suffering the consequences. Crude oil prices fell 19 percent in July alone as energy companies the world over scramble to adapt. Gold and silver have taken considerable hits to their paper value while physical purchases continue to skyrocket, meaning the street price of metals may soon decouple from illegitimate and manipulated market prices.
Smaller and some medium-sized economies will continue to “surprise” markets with volatile debt issues, like Puerto Rico (nearing possible default) and Venezuela (nearing certain doom). These are more canaries in the coal mine to watch carefully.
It is also important to keep in mind that prices on necessities including food and housing remain high despite deflation in other areas (like wages). This suggests we are in the midst of a stagflationary fiscal environment.
Centralization is the key to every single economic development we’ve seen since the 2008 crash. Venezuela, in particular, is a marker for where we are all headed: total price controls, food confiscation from farms, rationing and even computer-chipped ration cards in order to thwart any attempts by citizens to stockpile essentials. Do not assume that such draconian measures are limited to third world socialist hellholes. Or, at the very least, do not assume that a country like the U.S. is not on the verge of becoming a third world hellhole.
As for Europe, French president Francois Hollande has openly called for a centralized “eurozone government” in order to deal with the ongoing economic crisis there (something I have been warning about for several years). Supranational government is the endgame for sovereign humanity, and the EU is on the fast track.
In China, the march continues toward the inclusion of the yuan in the IMF’s SDR currency basket, the greatest economic centralization scheme of all time. The recent suggestion by an IMF panel to "delay" inclusion until 2016 only reinforces the likelihood that the Yuan will be entered into the basket. If the IMF had no intention to bring China into the fold, they would have suggested a 5 year delay just as they did back in 2010. For those who think China’s recent market crisis will somehow thwart their inclusion into the SDR, think again. The IMF has already announced that the market route in China will have no bearing on the SDR conference, which is set to end in November.
In the U.S., the markets wait for the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes. The rate hike issue is an underestimated one by some analysts, who seem to think that initial hikes will be "minor" and will result in little to no reverberations. Interest rates affect more than just overnight bank lending; they are the primary pillar supporting current market psychology. There is NO other financial element giving positive influence to investor psychology. There is no good economic news out there to warrant the bull market of the past few years. There is no open form of QE (and future QE seems unlikely as renewed stimulus would only be an admission that the first three attempts at QE failed miserably, derailing any point to new easing). There is no recovery. And when any even minor or engineered "good news" is presented in the mainstream, markets have reacted NEGATIVELY for fear that this will hasten higher interest rates.
Beyond psychology and false hopes, even minor increases in interest rates will essentially kill most large scale bank lending. We know through the limited audit of the TARP bailouts that trillions in fiat was created simply to feed international banks and corporations through ZIRP and that this kind of free money lending has been a mainstay ever since. ZIRP is the primary driver of stock buybacks and the equities bull market. But this will only continue as long as the Fed loans remain free (or almost free). Trillions in loans can equal billions in interest even with a minor rate rise, meaning, with the end of ZIRP and free money, banks and corporations will stop borrowing, stock buybacks will dissolve, and equities will lose the artificial support they have so far enjoyed.
Even mainstream financial news outlets are beginning to question why the Fed would push at all for rate hikes and pretend that the American fiscal system is in recovery, when ALL other information would lead the rational person to the contrary conclusion. I would point out that in order to understand central planners and globalist motives, you need to look at what they chase.
The Fed’s job is to destroy the U.S. economy and the dollar, not save them, which is why the Fed continues to deny economic turmoil and charges headlong into a rate hike scenario even though no one in the mainstream asked them to. The Chinese central bank’s job is to make all arrangements for Yuan inclusion in the SDR, despite the fact that China is supposedly in conflict with Western banks. The ECB and Europe are obsessed with centralized government even if they have to break several eggs to get it. And the IMF and Bank of International Settlements are set up to be the economic heroes of the day, warning us all (too late, of course) of the potential downfall of central bank stimulus policies and government debt obligations.
In a murky world of market fantasy, our first guideposts are the fundamentals themselves. Supply and demand can be misrepresented for a time through manipulated statistics, but the tangible effects of decline cannot be. Our secondary guideposts are the paths that internationalists and central banks bulldoze through the fiscal forest. To anyone with any sense, the endgame is clear: Total centralization is the goal, and economic fear is the tool they hope to use to get there. I have written on numerous solutions to this threat in past articles; but the first and most important action is for each of us to acknowledge, wholeheartedly, that the system we know is ending. It is over. What replaces that system will either be up to us or up to them. Only by admitting that there is an end to the fantasy, a painful end, will we then be able to help determine our future reality.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ann Coulter: Trump Still Right About Mexican Rapists...
on: August 06, 2015, 12:52:28 PM
DONALD TRUMP: STILL RIGHT ABOUT MEXICAN RAPISTS
The horrific culture of child rape being imported into America.
August 6, 2015 Ann Coulter
There's a cultural acceptance of child rape in Latino culture that doesn't exist in even the most dysfunctional American ghettoes. When it comes to child rape, the whole family gets involved. (They are family-oriented!)
In a 2011 GQ magazine story about a statutory rape case in Texas, the victim's illegal alien mother, Maria, described her own sexual abuse back in Mexico.
"She was 5, she says, when her stepfather started telling her to touch him. Hand here, mouth there. The abuse went on and on, became her childhood, really. At 12, when she finally worked up the desperate courage to report the abuse and was placed in foster care, she says her mother begged her to recant -- the family needed the stepdad's paycheck. So Maria complied. She was returned home, where her stepdad continued to molest her. When she talks about it, tears stream down her face."
Far from "I am woman, hear me roar," these are cultures where women help the men rape kids.
Maria dismissed the firestorm of publicity surrounding the sexual precocity of her own daughter, laughingly referring to the 11-year-old rape victim as "my wild child." She even criticized the girl's older sisters for complaining about the young girl's promiscuous clothing choices, saying -- of an 11-year-old: "Well, she's got the body, so leave her alone."
In 2013, illegal immigrant Bertha Leticia Rayo was arrested for allowing her former husband, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, to rape her 4-year-old daughter, then assisting his unsuccessful escape from the police. The rapist, Aroldo Guerra-Garcia, was also aided in his escape attempt by another woman, Krystal Galindo. (Kind of a ladies man, was Aroldo.)
That same year, the government busted up a child pornography operation in Illinois being run out of the home of three illegal aliens from Mexico, including a woman. At least one of them, Jorge Muhedano-Hernandez, had already been deported once. (Peoria Journal Star headline: "Bloomington men plead guilty to false documents.")
The Baby Hope case in New York City began when a Mexican illegal alien, Conrado Juarez, raped and murdered his 4-year-old cousin, Anjelica Castillo. His sister helped him dispose of the body. Police found the little girl's corpse in a cooler off the Henry Hudson Parkway, but the case went unsolved for two decades, because none of the murdered girl's extended illegal alien family ever reported her missing. Anjelica's mother later told the police she always suspected the tiny corpse in the cooler was her daughter's, but never told anyone.
In 2014, Isidro Garcia was arrested in Bell Gardens, California, accused of drugging and kidnapping the 15-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, then forcing the girl to marry him and bear his child. The mother had suspected Garcia, then 31 years old, had been raping her teenage daughter, but did nothing. All three were illegal aliens from Mexico, making this another case for the "Not Our Problem" file.
In 2007, Mexican illegal immigrant Luis Casarez was convicted in New Mexico for repeatedly raping a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old. During his sentencing, Casarez borrowed Marco Rubio's talking points about hardworking illegal immigrants with roots in America. "I have been here for many years," Casarez told the judge -- incongruously, through a translator. "That's why," he added, "I've been working instead of getting involved with problems." Other than that one thing.
Two weeks after Luis Casarez was indicted for child rape, his son, Luis Casarez Jr., was indicted in a separate case of child rape.
When the crime is this bizarre, it's not "anecdotal." "Child rape perpetrated by more than one family member" isn't your run-of-the-mill crime. It's rather like discovering dozens of cannibalism cases in specific neighborhoods.
How many fourth-generation American father-son child-rape duos do we have? How many American brother-sister teams are conspiring in child rape and murder? How many mothers are helping their boyfriends and husbands get away with raping their own children?
And how many 12-year-old American girls are giving birth -- to the delight of their parents?
In some immigrant enclaves, the police have simply given up on pursuing statutory rape cases with Hispanic victims. They say that after being notified by hospital administrators that a 12-year-old has given birth and the father is in his 30s, they'll show up at the girl's house -- and be greeted by her parents calling the pregnancy a "blessing."
This happens all the time, they say.
And yet, in the entire American media, there have been more stories about a rape by Duke lacrosse players that didn't happen than about the slew of child rapes by Hispanics that did because Democrats want the votes and businesses want the cheap labor. No wonder they hate Trump.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: Rockets Will Fall On Tel Aviv if Congress Kills Deal...
on: August 06, 2015, 07:20:47 AM
Obama: Rockets will fall on Tel Aviv if Congress kills Iran nuke deal
AUGUST 5, 2015 11:25 AM BY ROBERT SPENCER
As if this deal would prevent that. And would the rockets come from Iran or the U.S.?
Seriously, this posturing about being pro-Israel after agreeing to a deal that severely compromises Israel’s security is obscene.
“Obama tells US Jews: Rockets will fall on Tel Aviv if Congress kills Iran nuclear deal,” by Michael Wilner and Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2015 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):
WASHINGTON — Rockets would fall on Tel Aviv and Israel would “bear the burden” of a US military attack on Iran that would result from a scuttling of the Iran nuclear deal, US President Barack Obama told a delegation of Jewish leaders at the White House on Tuesday.
The meeting, held in the Cabinet Room for over two hours, featured a passionate president intent on winning over skeptics of the signature agreement. The nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is intended to cap, restrict, monitor and partially roll back Iran’s nuclear work for a fifteen year period in exchange for sanctions relief.
According to Greg Rosenbaum, the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council and one of nearly two dozen heads of Jewish organizations in the meeting, when one of the participants took umbrage with Obama’s characterization of those who are opposed to the deal as warmongers, Obama launched into an explanation of why he believed that the rejection of the deal would ultimately lead to a US military attack. Obama said that if Congress rejected the deal, the Iranians would walk away from negotiations, and he would be under intense pressure to take military action.
This, Rosenbaum quoted Obama as saying, would be disastrous for Israel and the US.
Iran, with its annual $15 billion military budget, would not go to war with the US, with a defense budget of nearly $600 billion a year, but would fight an “asymmetrical” war, the president said.
Another participant in the meeting, Robert Wexler, president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, confirmed the conversation. Obama noted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support for the invasion of Iraq, as well as his skepticism over the JPOA, an interim nuclear accord that was in place during the negotiations, he said.
“He approached it in a lawyerly fashion,” Wexler said, who thought some minds may have been changed during the meeting.
But yet a third participant disagreed. Few skeptics were converted, he said, noting that nearly half of the meeting focused on the president’s tone in describing critics of the agreement.
“He acknowledged how people in Israel and people who love Israel are deeply concerned and skeptical. He wasn’t dismissive of that,” the third source said, who requested anonymity to express frankness.
Several figures in the room questioned Obama’s equating skeptics of the deal as “neocons” responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. “He said he would be sensitive and careful about this,” the source said. “But recognizing that it makes folks uncomfortable, he basically said he really does believe that a rejection of the agreement would lead to war.”
Rosenbaum, who supports the deal, said that Obama mentioned the possibility of suicide speed boats ramming into a US aircraft carrier, but that Israel would “bear the brunt of the burden” and rockets would fall on Tel Aviv.
Referring to AIPAC plans to spend some $20 million in a public campaign against the deal, Obama said that it was that organization’s right to lobby Congress, but the arguments must be made on the merits of the case, and should not be personal, including attacks on other Jews who supported the deal.
If the attacks turn personal, he cautioned, then it would weaken the American Jewish community and as a result the strength of the US-Israel relationship. Rosenbaum said that he himself spoke at the meeting about how his organization, which supports the accord, received extremely hateful messages from other Jews opposed to the deal.
Obama, according to Rosenbaum, bewailed that AIPAC brought some 600 people to Washington last friday to lobby Congress against the accord, but were willing to give White House officials only some 30 minutes to meet with the group. Then, the president said, the lobbyists gave fact sheets to the congressmen that he said were factually incorrect.
The result, Obama complained, was that he then had to spend 45 minutes with each congressman disputing AIPAC’s claims.
Obama, who was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden as well as key advisors such as Ben Rhodes, met with the group for more than two hours and, according to Rosenbaum, spoke at the outset for 20 minutes, going through the history of the deal.
Obama said that when he came into office he came in with three guiding principles on the Mideast: that Iran not achieve a nuclear bomb, that the “unbreakable”bond [sic] with Israel be made even stronger, and that the US achieve its foreign policy objectives through diplomacy, not military action….
And he has failed abysmally at all three.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Renting vs. buying...
on: July 29, 2015, 07:37:51 PM
I agree with you 100%. You articulated the case better than I would have. I happen to be one of those less than 1% that prefer to rent, but I am keenly aware that I am in a tiny minority. I have my own reasons, which include not wanting to be tied down to one location, but you are correct that MOST people who are not buying, aren't doing so because they CAN'T. It's not because they think buying is a poor investment decision.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Home Ownership Rate Lowest Since 1967 - Rents Soaring...
on: July 29, 2015, 07:42:38 AM
Oh yeah - PLOWHORSE!!! LOL.
Homeownership rate drops to 63.4%, lowest since 1967
Diana Olick | @DianaOlick - CNBC News
The U.S. homeownership rate fell to 63.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Census. That is down from 63.7 percent in the first quarter and from 64.7 percent in the same quarter of 2014. It marks the lowest homeownership rate since 1967.
Homeownership peaked at 69.2 percent at the end of 2004, when the housing market was in the midst of an epic boom. The 50-year average is 65.3 percent.
"It is now just five-tenths from the record low seen in 1965 in data going back also to 1965," noted Peter Boockvar, an analyst with The Lindsey Group. "All the governmental attempts (certainly aided and abetted by many players in the private sector) at boosting homeownership has gotten us to this point in time with all the havoc it wreaked over the past 10 years. It's just another governmental lesson never learned, of don't mess with the free market and human nature."
Household formation, however, is rising. The number of occupied housing units grew, but all on the renter side. The number of owner-occupied units fell from a year ago. No wonder both rents and occupancies continue to soar.
"Our results for the second quarter and year to date exceeded our original outlook," noted Tim Naughton, chairman and CEO of AvalonBay, one of the nation's largest apartment REITs, in the company's second-quarter earnings release out Monday. "For the balance of the year, we expect accelerating apartment demand to support stronger performance across our business."
Multifamily apartment starts soared 55 percent in June from June of 2014, according to the U.S. Census. This, as single-family housing starts rose 15 percent. Apartment supply is still far lower than demand. Annual rent growth hit 5 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to Axiometrics, a real estate analytics company. Apartment occupancy hit 95.2 percent, a near record high.
Home sales have been increasing modestly this year, but first-time buyers are still playing a historically small part in the market. Still-rising home prices and tight lending standards are keeping these buyers on the sidelines. Home prices in some markets are hitting new highs and prices are gaining the most on the low end of the market, where first-time buyers mostly start.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Recession Imminent...
on: July 28, 2015, 07:51:03 PM
Contrary to what people like Wesbury would have you believe:U.S. Recession Imminent - World Trade Slumps By Most Since Financial Crisis
Friday, 24 July 2015 03:48 www.zerohedge.com
- see link for graphic.
As goes the world, so goes America (according to 30 years of historical data), and so when world trade volumes drop over 2% (the biggest drop since 2009) in the last six months to the weakest since June 2014, the "US recession imminent" canary in the coalmine is drawing her last breath...
As Wolf Street's Wolf Richter adds, this isn’t stagnation or sluggish growth. This is the steepest and longest decline in world trade since the Financial Crisis. Unless a miracle happened in June, and miracles are becoming exceedingly scarce in this sector, world trade will have experienced its first back-to-back quarterly contraction since 2009.
Both of the measures above track import and export volumes. As volumes have been skidding, new shipping capacity has been bursting on the scene in what has become a brutal fight for market share [read… Container Carriers Wage Price War to Form Global Shipping Oligopoly].
Hence pricing per unit, in US dollars, has plunged 14% since May 2014, and nearly 20% since the peak in March 2011. For the months of March, April, and May, the unit price index has hit levels not seen since mid-2009.
World trade isn’t down for just one month, or just one region. It wasn’t bad weather or an election somewhere or whatever. The swoon has now lasted five months. In addition, the CPB decorated its report with sharp downward revisions of the prior months. And it isn’t limited to just one region. The report explains:
The decline was widespread, import and export volumes decreasing in most regions and countries, both advanced and emerging. Import and export growth turned heavily negative in Japan. Among emerging economies, Central and Eastern Europe was one of the worst performers.
Given these trends, the crummy performance of our heavily internationalized revenue-challenged corporate heroes is starting to make sense: it’s tough out there.
But not just in the rest of the world. At first we thought it might have been a blip, a short-term thing. Read… Americans’ Economic Confidence Gets Whacked
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Muslim Moderates Rally Against Terror...
on: July 28, 2015, 02:38:14 PM
MUSLIM MODERATES RALLY AGAINST TERROR IN IRELAND
All fifty of them.
July 28, 2015 Robert Spencer
Everyone has been waiting for this for years, and at last it has happened. The historic happening took place in Ireland, a nation hitherto not distinguished for standing in the cultural vanguard, but all that will change now, thanks to a rally hosted by a group calling itself the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, which has finally delivered to the world the desire of the ages: Muslims rallying against terrorism!
Surely tens of thousands of Muslims attended, right? You know, that vast majority of Muslims who abhor and reject terrorism? Those moderates upon whom the leaders of Western countries are betting the very futures of their nations turned out in droves, didn’t they?
Well, not exactly. RTE News reported this on Sunday about the blessed event: “Up to 50 people took part in a rally organised by the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council to protest over the actions of the so-called Islamic State.”
That’s right. I’m afraid the turnout was, uh, fifty people. Not fifty thousand. Fifty. And not only that, but according to the Irish Examiner, the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council “faced resistance from a few members of the Islamic community, while promoting the event.” Not just verbal resistance, either: “Organisers said that a member of the council was assaulted by someone at a mosque who claimed to support ‘ISIS’, while he was handing out leaflets to promote today’s protest against terrorism.”
So not only did the vast majority of moderate Muslims fail to show up, but the group protesting against jihad terror faced active resistance from other Muslims. When have we heard about a Muslim who wanted to join the Islamic State facing active resistance, even to the point of assault, from moderate Muslims? We have seen Muslims express bewilderment that they went, and anger at the government (whether of the U.S. or Britain) for not stopping them from going, but we have not generally seen Muslims doing anything themselves to prevent them from going.
What’s more, this is not the first time that attendance at a Muslim rally against terrorism has been decidedly underwhelming. In October 2014 in Houston, a rally against the Islamic State organized by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew the grand total of ten people. In August 2013 in Boston, about 25 Muslims rallied against “misperceptions” that Islam was violent. About the same number showed up in June 2013 at a progressive Muslim rally in Toronto to claim that their religion had been “hijacked.”
And back in 2005, a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it dubbed a “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” intending to “send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered … and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.” In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people.
Contrast those paltry showings to the thousands of Muslims who have turned out for rallies against cartoons of Muhammad or against Israel. Here are some headlines from the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre of Muhammad cartoonists in January 2015:
Chechnya: 800,000 Muslims protest Muhammad cartoons; protests also in Iran, Pakistan, Ingushetia, elsewhere
Pakistan: 10,000 Muslims protest against Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons
Australia: 1,000 Muslims rally against Charlie Hebdo and the freedom of speech
Kyrgyztsan: 1,000 Muslims rally: “I am not Charlie, I love my Prophet.”
But given a chance to show how Muslims overwhelmingly reject “extremism,” only a handful show up.
This is just the opposite of what the situation should be if the mainstream narrative about Islam and jihad were true. We should be seeing pro-jihad terror Muslims opposed strenuously within their own community. Instead, those who oppose jihad terror are the real “tiny minority of extremists,” hounded and opposed by their fellow Muslims.
You’d think that some of the non-Muslim analysts who have been confidently telling us that moderate Muslims will any day now rise up against their “extremist” brethren and take back their religion from those who have “hijacked” it would get a clue from all this, and realize that the moderates have had almost fourteen years now since 9/11 to rein in the “extremists,” and have not done so, and are not going to do so.
But they won’t. They will be out there with their pom-poms again to cheerlead for the next “moderate Muslim rally against terror” – and they’ll not have to strain their pocketbook all that much to buy a nice halal dinner for everyone who shows up.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Poor Obama - he's so viciously attacked, and he's such a nice guy!!!
on: July 27, 2015, 12:51:34 PM
OBAMA WHINES GOP IS MEAN, FORGETS HE ACCUSED THEM OF TREASON
Poor Obama. Why is everyone being so mean to him?
July 27, 2015 Daniel Greenfield
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time for another round of America's hottest game show, "Poor Obama".
Poor Obama. Why is everyone being so mean to him? No seriously, Obama would like to know.
“We’ve had a sitting senator call John Kerry ‘Pontius Pilate.’ We’ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for president suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Obama said, referring to Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas, respectively. “These are leaders in the Republican Party.”
Republican leaders are “shocked,” Obama said, when tycoon Donald Trump, who’s leading the GOP field in polls, questions the heroism of Republican Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “Yet that arises out of a culture where those kinds of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace and get circulated nonstop through the Internet and talk radio and news outlets,” the president said.
But, the president said, when he is attacked, the people who were outraged on McCain’s behalf “are pretty quiet.”
Attacks circulated non-stop through the internet?
Like the time Obama's allies circulated the trending hashtag #47Traitors directed at Senate Republicans opposed to the Iran sellout?
That hashtag was promoted by obscure online outlets like the New York Times.
And how did Obama respond to it? By charging them with treason and accusing them of "wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran"
Obama can hypocritically whine about talk radio all he wants, but this is the guy with a history of telling his supporters things like “argue with [people], get in their faces” and “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”.
You can't accuse Republicans of treason and then whine when you get called a state sponsor of terrorism for feeding $140 billion to a state sponsor of terrorism. The former is a disgusting lie. The latter is a fact.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another Clueless Liberal American Jew...
on: July 24, 2015, 01:38:58 PM
|CAIR LEADER NEZAR HAMZE IS NOW DEPUTY SHERIFFFirst Jewish Sheriff of Broward County picks representative of terror group to wear gun and badge.
July 24, 2015 Joe Kaufman
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has its foundation in the terrorist organization Hamas. It has been named as a co-conspirator by the U.S. government for two federal trials dealing with the financing of Hamas, and it is recognized as an international terrorist group by the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Given this information, how is it possible that one of this group’s leaders, Nezar Hamze, could be considered for a position at one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the United States? However, that is exactly what has happened.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is the largest fully accredited Sheriff's office in the nation. As such, having the title of Sheriff comes with much fanfare and responsibility. The current Sheriff is Scott Israel; he was elected to office in November 2012. As Sheriff, Israel has made it a point to reach out to diverse crowds, including those who could be considered enemies of the U.S. and her allies.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s 2015 radical Muslim tour began this past January, when he posed for photos with Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout and a member of Zakkout’s Miami-based AMANA group at a local mosque. Zakkout is a big supporter of Hamas. On his Facebook page, one can find Hamas logos and photos of Hamas militants and leaders, including Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and deceased Hamas bomb maker Yehiya Ayyash.
In July 2014, Zakkout organized a pro-Hamas rally held in Downtown Miami, where the crowd chanted loudly a number of anti-Jewish and pro-Hamas slogans. Zakkout is shown on video with a huge grin on his face, as his mob repeatedly screams, “We are Hamas.” Following the rally, Zakkout wrote in Arabic on his Facebook page, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Zakkout is also a big fan of white supremacist and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. Zakkout has posted different links on his Facebook site to Duke videos , including a link to Duke’s official YouTube page. In July 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Zakkout’s group AMANA for featuring what it called a “vicious” David Duke video on its website. In the video, which is titled ‘No War for Israel in Iran – Keep Americans Safe,’ Duke rails against Jews and is shown shaking hands with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The next stop for Sheriff Israel, on his tour, was the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF), for a June Ramadan Iftar meal. The event was sponsored by Emerge USA, an innocuously named Islamist lobbying and advocacy group that attempts to dupe politicians into attending its functions by seducing them with a “Muslim vote.”
Like he did with Zakkout, Sheriff Israel posed for photos, one of which has him standing alongside Mayor of Sunrise, Florida Mike Ryan and the co-founder and co-chairman of Emerge, Khurrum Wahid.
Wahid, a South Florida attorney, has spent years representing high-profile Muslim terrorists. They include: Rafiq Sabir, who received a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being part of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; Sami al-Arian who spent time in prison (and was later deported) for his activities within Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); and Hafiz Khan, a Miami imam who received 25 years for shipping $50,000 to the Taliban explicitly to murder American troops overseas.
According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.
Another photo from the Iftar featured Sheriff Israel and IFSF Events Coordinator Abdur Rahman al-Ghani. Al-Ghani’s Facebook page is littered with anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and Islamic supremacist language and images. In March 2013, al-Ghani posted on his Facebook site a photo of a group of American rabbis, who were meeting with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office to discuss Judaism, with the caption, “Every President has end [sic] up like this. This is the power of Zionism in our U.S. Government.” In December 2012, he wrote on Facebook, “Zionist/Israelis are not holy people. They are demonic and the most evil on earth.”
In April 2012, al-Ghani posted on his Facebook page a graphic depicting an American flag, stating “Worlds [sic] Number One Terrorist Organization.” In March 2012, he posted a graphic stating, “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD.” He wrote next to it, “Yes, Allah (SWT) has Decreed [sic] we will overtake the world in numbers…” And in February 2012, al-Ghani posted a graphic of the CIA logo spattered in blood with a caption that read in part, “You wipe out the organization that is solely responsible for every terrorist act committed since it’s [sic] creation. You wipe out the CIA.”
Next to the photo of Sheriff Israel with al-Ghani, Emerge wrote, “Thanks again to IFSF and Abdur Rahman al-Ghani.”
The third stop of Sheriff Israel’s radical Muslim tour, which took place this month, led him to the Darul Uloom Mosque, located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Darul Uloom has ties to a number of high-profile al-Qaeda terrorists.
“Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student at Darul Uloom. His teacher was the current imam at the mosque, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed. Padilla was sentenced to 21 years in prison for providing material support to terrorists and for conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals overseas.
Now-deceased al-Qaeda commander and al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader at the mosque. In 2010, Shukrijumah was indicted by New York authorities for plotting suicide bombings in the city’s subway system. His father, Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, who was a translator for the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “Blind Shaikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, taught classes at Darul Uloom. One of Gulshair’s students, Imran Mandhai, was sentenced to twelve years in prison for plotting to blow up strategic targets in South Florida. Mandhai was deported to Pakistan this past May.
It has further been alleged that one of the 19 hijackers from the September 11 attacks prayed at Darul Uloom.
The official website of Darul Uloom contains a photo of its imam, Shafayat Mohamed, shaking hands with now-deceased bigot Ahmed Deedat. Deedat, author of the book ‘CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI-FICTION?’ was infamous for going around the world giving lectures on how Christianity is a false religion. In his book, ‘Muhammad the natural successor to Christ,’ he repeatedly refers to homosexuals as “sodomites.” He states, “Euphemistically they call them ‘gays’ a once beautiful word meaning - happy and joyous - now perverted!”
The photo of Shafayat Mohamed with Deedat, whom Shafayat Mohamed said he “had a good relationship” with, was taken in Durban, South Africa, at what was then named the Bin Laden Center. Deedat, who according to the New York Times was “a vocal anti-Semite and ardent backer of Osama bin Laden,” personally received millions of dollars from Bin Laden for the center.
Shafayat Mohamed, himself, was thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his outspokenness against homosexuals. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that homosexual sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. He stated, “I have been pondering over the reasons for the recent Tsunami, ever since the incident took place… a time when thousands would have been enjoying themselves during the holidays in the ‘GAY PARADISE’… [A]fter days of pondering, I was able to find a major similarity with the Tsunami and Sodom & Gomorrah.”
Sheriff Israel arrived at Darul Uloom to deliver a Ramadan message to the crowd; he did so, before being warmly embraced by the imam, Shafayat Mohamed. But the real message was sent by the individual who was introducing the Sheriff. It was Deputy Sheriff Nezar Hamze. This was an alarming and surreal surprise, as Hamze has been a leader of a local chapter of the Hamas-associated CAIR for the past five years. Hamze is the Regional Operations Director of CAIR-Florida. Previously, he served as CAIR-Florida’s Executive Director.
CAIR was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization acting as a terrorist enterprise run by then-global Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Marzook, at the time, was based in the U.S and currently operates out of Egypt as a spokesman for Hamas. In 2007 and 2008, amidst two federal trials, the U.S. government named CAIR a co-conspirator in the raising of millions of dollars for Hamas.
Under a graphic of the World Trade Center in flames, CAIR posted to its national website a link to the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), asking its followers to donate money. The group also asked its followers to donate to the al-Qaeda charity, Global Relief Foundation (GRF).
In November 2014, just eight months ago, along with ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, CAIR was named a terrorist organization by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Hamze has his own anti-social and dangerous issues, apart from being a CAIR leader.
In December 2010, outside a fundraiser for then-Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, George Galloway, being held at the Islamic Center of South Florida (ICOSF), in Pompano Beach, Hamze was caught on video repeatedly refusing to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so.
As well, in June 2007, after his cousin, Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze, murdered a woman, running her over with his minivan, Nezar tried to make excuses for his cousin. Abdelaziz had dragged her body for several miles down the road – her body parts scattered throughout – and then attempted to flee the U.S. to Lebanon, where the Hamze family is from. Nezar was quoted by the media, saying, while his cousin “made some bad decisions,” he “may have been a little threatened.”
All of this would seem to make someone like Nezar Hamze ineligible to serve in any capacity within law enforcement and would render his designation as Deputy Sheriff untenable. Yet, there was Hamze, at Darul Uloom, in full uniform with firearm at his side.
During his talk, Sheriff Israel said of Hamze that he was a “friend” and a “phenomenal Deputy Sheriff.” He said that Hamze was with him because they are “on the same mission,” that they are “like-minded,” and because, “as a man who studies Islam and as a Muslim, he’s gonna find out information that we can’t. He’s gonna be able to bring information back to the community and take information from the community and bring to us.”
Can Sheriff Israel, the first Jewish Sheriff in Broward County, seriously believe that Nezar Hamze – a man who has spent years as a leader of a fanatic Muslim organization; a man who repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas when given numerous chances; a man who tried to make excuses for his murderer cousin, after his cousin had willfully ran over a woman, dragged her body for several miles, and then tried to flee the country – should serve as a Deputy Sheriff in one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the nation?!!
By employing Nezar Hamze, Sheriff Scott Israel has compromised not only the Broward Sheriff’s office, but the security of the entire county and by extension U.S. national security. And with the intelligence information made available to someone in Hamze’s position and the misleading information Hamze has exhibited he is capable of providing, who knows how much damage this could cause!
If the situation is not corrected and Nezar Hamze is not dismissed from his position immediately, Sheriff Israel should resign from office immediately.
If you wish to contact Sheriff Israel, you can do so by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com
, or you can call the Broward Sheriff’s Office, at 954-764-4357. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this office.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Retail Apocalypse" Just Beginning...
on: July 17, 2015, 10:33:22 AM
I've been noting this for the past couple of years, as strip malls shut down and remain vacant. Major retailers are shutting down stores, and the media is not reporting this, as they try to prop up consumer sentiment and give people the impression that everything is actually improving under this disastrous Obama economy. You ain't seen NOTHING yet. See below:
Major Chain Stores Shutting Down As America Faces “Birth Pangs Of Retail Apocalypse”
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 Mac Slavo
Reduced consumer spending is heralding a looming economic downturn, if not collapse, with an unprecedented shutdown of major box stores, restaurants and grocers underway.
It doesn’t bode well for the millions of Americans who are already seriously struggling, and will only accelerate the death of the middle class.
Along with this massive shrinkage of the retail sectors will go thousands of jobs. Natural Newsreports:
There is chatter across the web about dozens of major retail chains that are expected to permanently shutter a large number of their store locations this year. Popular names like Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Chico’s, Children’s Place, Coach, Fresh & Easy, Gymboree, JCPenney, Macy’s, Office Depot, Pier One, Pep Boys, and many others are named as soon-to-be casualties in what some news sources are now referring to as the coming “retail apocalypse.”
The Economic Collapse Blog pins 2015 as a significant “turning point” for the U.S. economy, ominously warning that at least 6,000 retail store locations are expected to close this year based on company announcements. Many American consumers are already witnessing the birth pangs of this retail apocalypse as brick-and-mortar department, specialty, and even food shops close their doors for good.
The list of store closures (see here) is truly massive, and in no way accounts for everything that’s coming.
But Americans are still buying one major retail category — technological gadgets like iPhones, wearables, smart devices and computers. As technology purchases soar, shopping malls that have long specialized in clothing and fashion retail are falling in on themselves.
Business Insider calls it a slow and painful death, noting the collapse not only of thousands of stores from dozens of chains, but even the fall of giants like Gap:
Gap once ruled the retail world. But today America’s largest apparel retailer is closing a quarter of its stores and laying off hundreds of workers after disappointing sales.
Gap’s closures are indicative of a larger trend in American retail.
According to National Real Estate Investor, more retailers are planning to close, but are holding on for the end of the holiday shopping season:
After a tsunami of store closing announcements during the first half of the year, experts forecast that the remainder of 2015 will be relatively quiet as retailers focus on getting through the holiday season. However, retailers will continue to shutter stores throughout the year as leases expire.
The most recent store closing data available reports that retailers and restaurateurs announced closings of more than 3,500 establishments totaling an estimated 19.9 million square feet, according to the U.S. Retail Real Estate Supply Conditions report from ICSC Research and PNC Real Estate Research. The planned 1,784 store closures announced after Radio Shack’s February Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing represented half of the total first-quarter tally.
And the tenants aren’t being replaced by new stores; the retail sector is just shrinking.Business Insider notes:
More than two dozen malls have shut down in the last four years and another 60 malls are on the brink of death, The New York Times reported, citing Green Street Advisors, a real-estate and real-estate investments trust analytics firm.
The elephant in the room in clearly online sales, with major sites like Amazon undercutting and dwarfing brick and mortar box stores.
And with online sales impacting on-the-ground retail, local jobs are destroyed as well. The future of retail will be more compacted, less physical and more out of reach for those with shrinking pocketbooks and dwindling means.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump
on: July 14, 2015, 03:44:41 PM
Much ado about nothing. Trump can't possibly do more damage to the Republican brand than its leadership has already inflicted on it over the past 20 years. Is Trump a bona fide conservative? No. Do I think he'll last long as a candidate? No. But he is doing one thing right that no other conservative candidate for President (save Newt Gingrich for a short time during the last campaign) has done in the last 20 years: standing up to the press forcefully and without apology.
Republican candidates need to understand (as now possibly only Trump and Walker and maybe Cruz do) that the media is NOT their friend. In fact - it is their mortal enemy - orders of magnitude more powerful and dangerous than any Democrat or Republican challenger. It is in effect an extension of the Democrat Party with virtually unlimited resources in terms of money, talent and good little liberal soldiers ready to take orders and repeat talking points.
Ronald Reagan was the last presidential candidate to understand this, and to beat the media at their own game by going over its head directly to the American people. The Republican candidate who fails to do this places himself in a precarious position, hoping to benefit from the missteps of his opposition. When was the last time a conservative candidate for President went on offense, selling conservative ideas to the voters? A huge cohort of voters now under 45 to 50 can't remember any such time in their lifetimes.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lincoln...
on: July 14, 2015, 03:26:28 PM
I'm not arguing that abolishing slavery was a bad thing, and neither is Dr. Williams (who by the way, is black.) What both of us are saying is that the rationale used by Lincoln was intellectually dishonest and simply not correct. The individual members of a confederation have the inherent right to nullify the agreement if they feel they are being abused by the federation. The issue of the morality of slavery is separate and distinct.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Williams: Lincoln Wrong About Right of Secession...
on: July 14, 2015, 02:01:57 PM
This is a point I have long agreed with and argued with professors of history and others who have a penchant for deifying Lincoln. The anger I engendered while I was living in CT arguing this point was considerable. Here in the South it's not quite so vitriolic:Historical Ignorance
Walter E. Williams - July 14, 2015
The victors of war write its history in order to cast themselves in the most favorable light. That explains the considerable historical ignorance about our war of 1861 and panic over the Confederate flag. To create better understanding, we have to start a bit before the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies "to be free, sovereign and independent states." These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact — secede.
During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made that would allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison rejected it, saying, "A union of the states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound."
In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty — in a word, secede.
On March 2, 1861, after seven states seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that read, "No state or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States."
Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S.
Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here's a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?
On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, "Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty."
Both Northern Democratic and Republican Parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South's right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): "If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861." Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): "An attempt to subjugate the seceded states, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil — evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content." The New York Times (March 21, 1861): "There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go."
The War of 1861 settled the issue of secession through brute force that cost 600,000 American lives. We Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech: "It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense." Lincoln said the soldiers sacrificed their lives "to the cause of self-determination — that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth." Mencken says: "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves."
The War of 1861 brutally established that states could not secede. We are still living with its effects. Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution's limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dark Day in World History...
on: July 14, 2015, 01:20:57 PM
Today is a very dark day. Mark your calendars, boys and girls. Today Obama successfully pushed through a "deal" with Iran that will guarantee - actually expedite - its acquisition of nuclear weapons. It follows that today marks the day on which it has been assured that both Israel and the U.S. will face nuclear attacks on their soil at the hands of the Iranians. 1938 - Chamberlain - death pact with Hitler. Today we witness a similar act of insanity. Prepare yourselves.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Boston Bomber Files for New Trial...
on: July 09, 2015, 07:20:03 AM
|Condemned Boston Marathon jihadi bomber files motion for new trial
Pamela Geller - July 8, 2015
He never should have been taken alive.
Boston pays in blood and money — this will go on for decades, while providing this devout savage with his three halal meals, prayer mats and prayer meetings with coreligionists, converting the broken and the violent in Boston’s prison system.
“Condemned Boston Marathon bomber files motion for new trial,” July 06, 2015 Associated Press
FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2014, courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sits in federal court in Boston for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. (Jane Flavell Collins via AP, File)
BOSTON – Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has filed a motion for a new trial, less than two weeks after he was formally sentenced to death for the 2013 attack.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers filed a preliminary motion for a new trial Monday for his conviction and death sentence. The motion did not contain any details on what grounds they plan to argue, saying only that a new trial is “required in the interests of justice.”
The 21-year-old Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 charges in the bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260. The same jury recommended the death penalty, and a federal judge on June 24 sentenced him to death.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers call the motion a “placeholder” until they can file a more detailed motion next month.
- See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/07/condemned-boston-marathon-jihadi-bomber-files-motion-for-new-trial.html/#sthash.MP1t80S4.dpuf
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Lure of Fantasy Islam...
on: July 08, 2015, 12:49:39 PM
THE LURE OF FANTASY ISLAM
Just because you ignore the reality of Islam, doesn’t mean it will ignore you.
July 8, 2015 Dr. Stephen M. Kirby
Fantasy sports such as football and baseball have become increasingly popular on the internet. For those not familiar with fantasy sports, the emphasis is on fantasy. The simple explanation is that you pretend to be the owner of a team, join a pretend league which has other pretend teams, and then man your team with actual professional players from that particular sport. In this fantasy world you can pick players from any team to be a member of your own team.
When it comes to Islam, there is a similar world that has been created. In this world there are two teams involved, of differing sizes and membership, and interacting at different times and places. The large team consists of a group of non-Muslims who know little if anything about Islam, generally wish with all of their hearts that it is a “Religion of Peace,” seem to prefer any presentation that will support that wish, and frown on anyone who expresses skepticism about that wish during the presentation, or afterwards. The small team usually consists of one Muslim making a presentation that largely fulfills the wish of the large team. The accuracy of the presentation is not questioned because the presenter has already established his credentials simply by being a Muslim.
In this world of Fantasy Islam, the presenter is able to create his own version of Islam, react with patronizing sympathy or condescending dismissiveness toward any non-Muslim who questions his version, and knows that the majority of his audience will support him in maintaining the comfort of this fantasy.
Since the make-up of the large team changes regularly and this team is the more passive of the two, let’s look at two of the individuals who have appeared on the small team:
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the Muslim Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). He is well-known as a proponent of reforming and modernizing Islam, and for years has been a guest on countless television and radio programs. Unfortunately, for years Jasser has also played Fantasy Islam.
Mickelson in the Morning
We can go back to October 11, 2010 when Jasser was on a major Iowa radio station with host Jan Mickelson here. During the interview, Jasser said he didn’t believe that Muhammad had really spoken what was in the hadith about killing a Jew hiding behind every stone (Time: 17:58). Here is that hadith:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah's Messenger said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'"
Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2926
The collection of hadiths by Al-Bukhari has been considered by Muslim scholars to be the most authoritative collect of hadiths since the 9th Century. Jasser simply has no doctrinal basis for dismissing Al-Bukhari.
Later in the same program, Jasser talked about the Verse of the Sword in the Koran (Time: 24:09 and 26:20). He said that this verse only referred to a specific battle against a specific tribe and applied only to 623 AD; it no longer had any relevance today. Here is that verse:
Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salat (the prayers), and give Zakat (obligatory charity), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Chapter 9, Verse 5
Where did he come up with 623 AD? 9:5 was among the verses from Chapter 9 that were revealed in early 631 AD. And these verses were not related to a specific battle or to a specific tribe, but rather directed toward all non-Muslims (Life of Muhammad (Sirat Rasul Allah), pp. 617-619; The History of al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, pp. 77-79; and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 370-376).
There is no basis in Islamic doctrine for Jasser’s assertion that 9:5 has no relevance today. His assertion ignores the facts that Muslims believe the Koran consists of the eternal words of Allah, and Chapter 9 of the Koran was the last chapter to be “revealed” to Muhammad. Consequently, the commands found in Chapter 9 are the final, eternal words of Allah on the matters addressed in that Chapter.
Over the years Jasser has continued playing Fantasy Islam. He was interviewed on a segment of the Abraham’s Tent radio program, which was aired on September 29, 2014. In this interview he made his standard assertion that 5:51 of the Koran, which commands Muslims not to be friends with Jews and Christians, had been intentionally misinterpreted (Time: 25:38). Here is that verse:
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya' of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya', then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).
Jasser claimed that Auliya’ really meant “legal representatives.” He said this verse simply meant that when it came to picking such a representative, Muslims should pick someone who understands the legalisms in Islam, meaning a Muslim, and not somebody of another faith. It had nothing to do with prohibiting Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians.
Once again Jasser is flying in the face of Islamic doctrine. As I pointed out in an earlier article, in 5:51 Allah commands Muslims not to be friends with Jews and Christians. And, as I also pointed out in that article, this understanding is supported by five modern translations of the Koran; the messages of additional verses of the Koran; five authoritative Koran commentaries, written at different times between circa 900-1995 AD; and the teachings of Muhammad.
Jasser also expressed the basis for his Fantasy Islam: “Every Muslim has the right to interpret their faith.” (Time: 29:11). This too flies in the face of Islamic doctrine, e.g.:
Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn 'Abbas said that the Prophet said, 'Whoever explains the Qur'an with his opinion or with what he has no knowledge of, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.'
Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp. 32-33
In this interview Jasser suggested that 5:38 of the Koran, which commands amputation for theft, was “metaphorical” and “not literal” (Time 54:25). Here is that verse:
And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off (from the wrist joint) their (right) hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.
Not only is this verse not a metaphor, it is explicit in commanding the amputation of hands for theft. In addition, Muhammad, who is the example of conduct for Muslims, ordered the hands of many thieves to be cut off; he even said he would cut off the hand of his favorite daughter if she committed theft (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 4304).
A Battle for the Soul of Islam
In 2013 the paperback edition of Jasser’s widely acclaimed book A Battle for the Soul of Islam was published. After reading only the eleventh chapter, “How the Qur’an is Misinterpreted,” I decided not to read the rest of the book.
Jasser’s version of Fantasy Islam is best epitomized in this eleventh chapter with the following statement he wrote on p. 252:
Nowhere in the Qur’an does God tell Muslims that they must repeat and thus emulate the Prophet Muhammad’s role and actions as a military or governmental leader.
This statement is immediately repudiated by 33:21 of the Koran:
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
There are no limitations here on the circumstances in which Muhammad is to be considered a good example. In fact, this verse was actually “revealed” as a result of Muhammad’s military leadership and the example he set for his Muslim warriors during the Battle of the Trench in 627 (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 7, p. 658; Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, p. 900; Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas, p. 546; and Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 4, p. 374).
Since 33:21 is a verse that counters Jasser’s Fantasy Islam, he has apparently decided to deny it, which means he has apparently also decided to ignore this warning from his prophet Muhammad:
It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever denies a Verse of the Qur'an, it is permissible to strike his neck (i.e. execute him)..."
Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2539
Dr. Syed Mohiuddin
Dr. Syed Mohiuddin is President of the American Muslim Institute (AMI), the Muslim group involved in building a new mosque as part of the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska. I recently attended a presentation he made at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Omaha. The presentation was titled The True Nature of Islam. Here is how Mohiuddin presented “the true nature” of Islam.
When asked about the treatment of women, Mohiuddin assured the audience that the Koran repeatedly stated that men and women were equal, without, however, mentioning any supporting verses. In reality, the Koran says that it takes the testimony of two women to equal that of one man (2:282); a woman is to receive only half the inheritance of a man (4:12); a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man (2:221), while Muslim men can marry Jews and Christians (5:5) and have up to four wives (4:3).
Mohiuddin was wise not to mention things that Muhammad said about women, e.g.:
It is not wise for anyone of you to lash his wife like a slave, for he might sleep with her the same evening.
Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 4942
Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals with you and do not possess anything for themselves.
The History of al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, p. 113
Mohiuddin was asked why, if Islam says we are all brothers and sisters, do we see beheading of Christians on the beaches of Libya? He replied that Islam,
if practiced appropriately and correctly, would never, never allow that… And the true Muslims in true Islamic countries would never allow that to happen.
In reality, there are two verses in the Koran (8:12 and 47:4) and numerous hadiths that allow Muslims to behead people, even captive non-combatants.
Mohiuddin said there were “major differences” in how the Koran was interpreted. And he said there were instances when people added their own thoughts to provide an incorrect interpretation. He gave an example from Al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Koran, in which he said the translator had included in parenthesis the words “Jews” and “Christians” to explain “those who go astray” (1:7). For some reason, much of the audience laughed when he said this.
In reality, Muhammad himself said that the Christians had gone astray (e.g. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 410, and Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, Vol. 1, p. 127), and it was also an accepted belief among later Muslim scholars that the Jews too had gone astray (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, p. 87). But in Mohiuddin’s version of Islam, this was a bad translation.
I asked Mohiuddin to explain the Doctrine of Abrogation. His first response was to confuse it with apostasy. To prompt him a bit, I pointed out that abrogation meant that when there was a conflict between the meanings of two verses, the verse “revealed” later would supersede the earlier verse (meaning that the belligerent Medinan verses found in Chapter 9 supersede the peaceful Meccan verses elsewhere in the Koran). I asked him to comment on this principle. After some general, and not necessarily germane remarks, he concluded by saying that the message “was the first one which supersedes the other one.”
The Doctrine of Abrogation is fundamental to understanding the messages of the Koran. How can one talk about the “true nature of Islam” without understanding the Doctrine of Abrogation?
When asked about 5:51, which prohibits Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians, Mohiuddin said this verse only referred to a specific tribe of people during a specific time of war. He said this verse had to be specific to a time and tribe because of the other verses in the Koran that “repeatedly emphasized the importance of” Jews and Christians. He did not mention any supporting Koran verses.
So let’s consider some supporting Koran verses that emphasize Jews and Christians: Allah is angry with the Jews, and the Christians are misguided because they believe that Jesus is the son of God (1:7); Jews are among the worst enemies of Islam (5:82); Muslims are commanded to fight Jews and Christians until the Jews and Christians pay protection money with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (9:29); Allah curses the Jews and the Christians (9:30); and Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures and “will abide in the fire of Hell” (98:6).
These verses show us that Jews and Christians are certainly important to Islam, but not in the positive way implied by Mohiuddin.
In hindsight, Mohiuddin’s presentation should have been titled Dr. Mohiuddin’s Personal Impressions of Islam, or more simply, Fantasy Islam. After the presentation, the audience of 60-70 people walked out misinformed, but also feeling comforted about Islam; the latter which, from the apparent attitude of the hosts and much of the audience, appeared to be the main purpose of the event.
For many years non-Muslims in the West have been fed a steady diet of how Islam is a “Religion of Peace” and is similar, and even related to, Judaism and Christianity. At the same time we have seen an increasing number of acts of violence done in the name of Islam.
For those willing to learn and investigate, the irrefutable conclusion is that most, if not all, of the violent acts committed by the jihadists are truly supported by Islamic doctrine, just as the jihadists themselves claim. But this conclusion can create a cognitive dissonance between what we have heard about Islam and what we see actually being done in the name of Islam and supported by Islamic doctrine. This dissonance can create stress. The antidote to this stress for many is to turn to Fantasy Islam, where Islam is what any peaceful-sounding Muslim wants it to be, and the jihadists are the hijacking outliers.
But this is only a temporary resolution. Just because you continue to ignore the reality of Islam, doesn’t mean that the reality of Islam will continue to ignore you. The Christians in the Middle East and Africa are the canaries in the coal mine.
Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of three books about Islam. His latest book is Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New York Times: Overpriced Bird Cage Liner...POTH turns down Mohammed ad.
on: July 04, 2015, 08:15:17 AM
MUHAMMAD CARTOON IN THE NEW YORK TIMES? OF COURSE NOT.
by PAMELA GELLER 1 Jul 2015 - breitbart.com
Last Monday, the New York Times ran a lavish full-color image of a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI made out of condoms. If they thought twice about offending Roman Catholics’ religious sensibilities, they gave no public hint of doing so. And so my human rights organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), decided to test their commitment to free speech by submitting an ad featuring a cartoon of Muhammad – the winning cartoon from our free speech event in Garland, Texas, which the Times had refused to run in their coverage of the jihad terror attack on our event.
Predictably, it rejected our ad as well. AFDI submitted the ad, featuring Bosch Fawstin’s cartoon of Muhammad exclaiming, “You can’t draw me!” and the cartoonist answering, “That’s why I draw you,” with the caption “Support Free Speech,” to run on Sunday, July 5, at the staggering cost of over $40,000.
Our ad is not obscene or offensive in any objective sense. It is a statement about how free people are not going to submit to violent intimidation and allow bloodthirsty thugs to curtail our freedoms.
But for the Sharia-compliant New York Times, even that was too far over the line. The Times’ John Shaw wrote me: “I have checked with our advertising acceptability department and this ad does not comply with our acceptability standards because it is offensive on religious grounds. We thank you again, but we will not be able to accept the ad.”
Offensive on what religious grounds? Sharia. For years now, the New York Times has adhered to and enforced the strict code of Islamic law. Bowed and cowed, the Times will not violate the vicious and archaic blasphemy laws under the sharia: it will not criticize, mock or otherwise mock Islam, no matter how high the death toll or how gruesome the jihad.
Back in 2012, the New York Times ran a full-page ad calling for Christians to leave the Catholic Church. When AFDI submitted a mirror image of that same ad, making the exactly the same declaration concerning Islam, the ad was rejected out of hand. We used the same language as the anti-Catholic ad. The only difference was that ours was true and what we described about the mistreatment of women and non-Muslims under Islamic law was true. The anti-Catholic ad, by contrast, was written by fallacious feminazis. Nonetheless, in a craven capitulation to Sharia blasphemy laws, the Times rejected my ad.
Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the New York Times, called me to advise me that they would be accepting my ad, but considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot situation. Christie said that the Times would be reconsidering it for publication in “a few months.”
During our conversation, I asked Christie, “If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times building, would you have run that ad?”
Christie responded, “I’m not here to discuss the anti-Catholic ad.”
I said, “But I am, it’s the exact same ad.”
He said, “No, it’s not.” I said, “I can’t believe you’re bowing to this Islamic barbarity and thuggery. I can’t believe this is the narrative. You’re not accepting my ad. You’re rejecting my ad. You can’t even say it.”
Christie then sent me a follow-up letter, claiming that the Times was going to “delay publication in light of recent events in Afghanistan, including the Quran burning and the alleged killings of Afghani [sic] civilians by a member of the U.S. military. It is our belief that fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the region in danger.”
The publication “delay” is, of course, still going on.
Not to be outdone, the Washington Post rejected the ad as well. Video here and here.
It was most disingenuous for the New York Times to refuse to run our counter-jihad ad based on their concern for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Liars. The New York Times has done more to jeopardize the safety of our troops than any mainstream media outlet, with the possible exception of Newsweek. Was the Times concerned that they were putting our troops’ live in danger when they ran front page articles on Abu Ghraib every day for a month? Starting on May 1, 2004, the New York Times had a front page article on Abu Ghraib every day for 32 days.
Who leaked the NSA wiretaps under FISA, jeopardizing not just troops but American citizens, or the highly classified Pentagon order authorizing special ops to hunt for al-Qaida in the mountains of Pakistan?
The New York Times exposed SWIFT (which put military and civilians at great risk of jihad). SWIFT was a legal secret program that gave the government access to a massive database of international financial transactions, using “broad subpoenas to collect the financial records from an international system.” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in 2006, “The president is concerned that, once again, the New York Times has chosen to expose a classified program that is protecting the American people.”
Despite the obvious hypocrisy of the Times, the mainstream media fell into line. It took a couple of days to get their arms around how to frame the Times’ self-enforcing of Shariah, but the Huffington Post and the left lemmings soon began to follow the Times’ line, claiming that running my ad would endanger lives.
Really? What nerve. What is lower than using our brave men and women to cover for the Times’ cowardice and anti-freedom editorial policies? That is so … left.
And now, with their running the Pope condom “art” but refusing to run my free speech statement, their cowardice and hypocrisy are fully exposed.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump
on: July 02, 2015, 06:53:26 PM
Spouting all of the facts and statistics Ann did in her column cannot be done in a sound bite. Trump is the master of this - and he's not backing off of it, either. Good for him. Rush Limbaugh asked an open question of his listeners today - Is Donald Trump hurting the Republican "brand" with his comments - as so much of the media is claiming? The overwhelming consensus from his listeners was - "Hell, no! If anything - Trump is revealing in stark contrast the wimps and cowards the present crop of Republican "leaders" are for refusing to go anywhere near his commentary - much less agree with any of it." I couldn't agree more.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ann Coulter: Donald Trump is Right...
on: July 02, 2015, 03:49:40 PM
|MEDIA HIDE FACTS, CALL EVERYONE ELSE A LIAR
July 1, 2015 - www.anncoulter.com
When Donald Trump said something not exuberantly enthusiastic about Mexican immigrants, the media's response was to boycott him. One thing they didn't do was produce any facts showing he was wrong.
Trump said: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
The first thing a fact-checker would have noticed is: THE GOVERNMENT WON'T TELL US HOW MANY IMMIGRANTS ARE COMMITTING CRIMES IN AMERICA.
Wouldn't that make any person of average intelligence suspicious? Not our media. They're in on the cover-up.
A curious media might also wonder why any immigrants are committing crimes in America. A nation's immigration policy, like any other government policy, ought to be used to help the people already here -- including the immigrants, incidentally.
It's bad enough that immigrants, both legal and illegal, are accessing government benefits at far above the native rate, but why would any country be taking another country's criminals? We have our own criminals! No one asked for more.
Instead of counting the immigrant stock filling up our prisons, the government issues a series of comical reports claiming to tally immigrant crime. The Department of Justice relies on immigrants' self-reports of their citizenship. The U.S. census simply guesses the immigration status of inmates. The Government Accounting Office conducts its own analysis of Bureau of Prisons data.
In other words, the government hasn't the first idea how many prisoners are legal immigrants, illegal immigrants or anchor babies.
But there are clues! Only about a quarter of California inmates are white, according to a major investigative piece in The Atlantic last year -- and that includes criminals convicted in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, when the vast majority of California's population was either black or white.
Do immigration enthusiasts imagine that more than 75 percent of the recent convicts are African-American? Blacks have high crime rates, but they make up only about 6 percent of California's entire population.
A casual perusal of the "Most Wanted" lists also suggests that the government may not have our best interests in mind when deciding who gets to live in America.
Here is the Los Angeles Police Department's list of "Most Wanted" criminal suspects:
-- Jesse Enrique Monarrez (murder),
-- Cesar Augusto Nistal (child molestation),
-- Jose A. Padilla (murder),
-- Demecio Carlos Perez (murder),
-- Ramon Reyes, (robbery and murder),
-- Victor Vargas (murder),
-- Ruben Villa (murder)
The full "Most Wanted" list doesn't get any better.
There aren't a lot of Mexicans in New York state -- half of all Mexican immigrants in the U.S. live in either Texas or California -- and yet there are more Mexican prisoners in New York than there are inmates from all of Western Europe.
As for the crime of rape specifically, different groups have different criminal proclivities, but no one takes a backseat to Hispanics in terms of sex crimes.
The rate of rape in Mexico is even higher than in India, according to Professor Carlos Javier Echarri Canovas of El Colegio de Mexico. A report from the Inter-American Children's Institute explains that in Latin America, women and children are "seen as objects instead of human beings with rights and freedoms."
All peasant cultures have non-progressive views on women, but Latin America happens to have the peasant culture that's closest to the United States.
The only reason our newspapers aren't chockablock with reports of Latino sexual predators is that they are too busy broadcasting hoax news stories about non-existent gang-rapes by white men: the Duke lacrosse team (Crystal Gail Mangum), University of Virginia fraternity members (Jackie Coakley) and military contractors in Iraq (Jamie Leigh Jones).
In fact, the main way we find out about Hispanic rapists is when the media report on dead or missing girls -- hoping against hope that the case will never be solved or the perp will look like the rapists on "Law and Order." When it turns out to be another Latino rapist, that fact is aggressively suppressed by the media.
New Yorkers were horrified by the case of "Baby Hope," a 4-year-old girl whose raped and murdered body turned up in an Igloo cooler off of the Henry Hudson Parkway in 1991. After a 20-year investigation, the police finally captured her rapist/murderer in 2013. It was her cousin, Conrado Juarez, an illegal alien from Mexico, who disposed of the girl's body with the help of his illegal alien sister.
New York City is the nation's media capital. But only The New York Post reported that the child rapist was a Mexican.
In 2001, the media were fixated on the case of Chandra Levy, a congressional intern who had gone missing. All eyes were on her boss and romantic partner, Democratic congressman Gary Condit. Then it turned out she was assaulted and murdered while jogging in Rock Creek Park by Ingmar Guandique -- an illegal alien from El Salvador.
There was a lot of press when three Cleveland women went missing a decade ago. By the time they escaped in 2013 from the sick sexual pervert who'd been holding them captive, it was too late for the media to ignore the story. The girls hadn't been kidnapped by the Duke lacrosse team, but by Ariel Castro.
Now, get this: While investigating Castro, the police discovered that he wasn't the only Hispanic raping young girls on his block. (All in all, it wasn't a great street for trick-or-treating.)
Castro's erstwhile neighbor, Elias Acevedo, had spent years raping, among many others, his own daughters when they were little girls. The New York Times' entire coverage of that case consisted of a tiny item on page A-18: "Ohio: Life Sentence in Murders and Rapes."
The media knew from the beginning that the monstrous gang-rape and murder of Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16, in Houston in 1993 was instigated by Jose Ernesto Medellin, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. But over the next decade, with more than a thousand news stories on that case, the fact that the lead rapist was a Mexican was not mentioned once, according to the Nexis archives.
Only when Medellin's Mexicanness was used to try to overturn his death sentence did American news consumers finally find out he was an illegal alien from Mexico. (After years of wasted judicial resources and taxpayer money being spent on Medellin's appeals, he will now be spending eternity way, way south of the border.)
Who is this media cover-up helping? Not the American girls getting raped. But also not the Latina immigrants who came to the U.S., thinking they were escaping the Latin American rape culture. So as not to hurt the feelings of immigrant rapists, the media are willing to put all girls living here at risk.
No wonder the media is sputtering at Trump. He broke the embargo on unpleasant facts about what our immigration policies are doing to the country.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Terror Threat Now Highest It's Ever Been...
on: June 27, 2015, 08:40:12 AM
Rep. Nunes: America Faces Highest Terror Threat Level Ever
Posted By Michael Cutler On June 25, 2015
Usually the first challenge I face in writing my commentaries is to come up with a concise title that captures the most salient part of the issue I am writing about. Today I found this task easy, I simply borrowed the headline from CBS News’ Face the Nation article that quoted none other than Congressional Representative Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
That headline is concise and echoes the very same concerns I have had in reviewing all of the publicly available information on the issue of threats posed by international terrorists.
What is impossible to understand is how the administration, members of Congress, local and state politicians and journalists have been absolutely unwilling to “connect the impossible to ignore dots” that are flashing, not unlike the strobe lights on a police car or other emergency vehicle.
Here is the segment of the article that accompanied the headline and addressed the topic of the threat of terrorism in the United States today:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, said the nation faces “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country” due to the flow of foreign fighters to and from Iraq and Syria and the radicalization of young people on the Internet.
U.S. officials have been warning for months about the threat posed by people from America or Western Europe who travel to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS ) and then return to their home countries, where they may carry out attacks. Nunes said the U.S. is not aware of all the people who have made the trek or who have now come back, although FBI Director James Comey has said there are cases open in all 50 states.
Officials are increasingly looking for ways to combat radical jihadists’ effectiveness  in recruiting supporters through social media.
“They’re very good at communicating through separate avenues where it’s very difficult to track,” he said. “That’s why when you get a young person who is willing to get into these chat rooms, go on the Internet and get radicalized, it’s something we are not only unprepared [for], we are also not used to it in this country.”
He said that investigations often “do no good” in encrypted chat rooms where those communications take place, so Americans should be diligent about reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities because “we are having a tough time tracking terrorist cells within the United States.”
The warnings are particularly pertinent with the July 4 holiday approaching. Nunes noted that there will be large gatherings in every city across America.
“It’s just tough to secure those types of areas if you have someone who wants to blow themselves up or open fire or other threats of that nature and we just don’t know or can track all of the bad guys that are out there today,” he said.
The famed playwright, George Bernard Shaw’s statement says it all:
“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
If our leaders were to seek to learn history’s lessons they should read the appropriate history books.
The 9/11 Commission Report  and the “9/11 and Terrorist Travel  – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” are the most complete and authoritative “history books” concerning the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and even included evaluations of vulnerabilities that led to previous terror attacks — both those that succeeded and those that failed. These books were prepared by the government of the United States in response to the horrific terror attacks that left more than 3,000 innocent victims dead.
My May 22, 2015 commentary for the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) website, “Bin Laden, The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration ,” addressed the fact that when the U.S. Navy SEALS raided the bin Laden compound, among the documents found in his library were a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report and a copy of an application for United States citizenship. It must be presumed that he had no intentions of filing for U.S. citizenship himself, but was contemplating embedding his terrorist operatives in the United States through the naturalization process.
Presumably bin Laden read that report — the obvious question that has no obvious answer, is “how many member of the administration, Congress, political leaders in states and cities around the United States and journalists who are quick to chime in with their proclamations about how to ‘fix’ the ‘broken’ immigration system have actually read those reports?”
The damage inflicted on the United States and indeed the world by those attacks, has been inestimable and it continues to reverberate in so many ways. These reports both addressed the issue of the ways in which the 9/11 terrorists were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States. The latter of those two reports (the Staff Report) obviously focused the ways that the terrorists were able to travel around the world as they went about their deadly preparation and on flaws and vulnerabilities in the immigration system that failed to prevent the entry and subsequent embedding of not only the 19 hijackers, but other terrorists who were identified as operating in the United States in the decade leading up to the attacks of 9/11.
In point of fact, the investigation upon which these reports were based determined that the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world and cross international borders, especially the borders of the United States, were essential to the ability of the terrorists to carry out those deadly attacks.
The preface of the report begins with the following three paragraphs and makes it clear that this report sought information from as many credible sources as possible:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
Congress gave the Commission the mandate to study, evaluate, and report on “immigration, nonimmigrant visas and border security” as these areas relate to the events of 9/11. This staff report represents 14 months of such research. It is based on thousands of pages of documents we reviewed from the State Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, approximately 25 briefings on various border security topics, and more than 200 interviews. We are grateful to all who assisted and supported us along the way.
The story begins with “A Factual Overview of the September 11 Border Story.” This introduction summarizes many of the key facts of the hijackers’ entry into the United States. In it, we endeavor to dispel the myth that their entry into the United States was “clean and legal.” It was not. Three hijackers carried passports with indicators of Islamic extremism linked to al Qaeda; two others carried passports manipulated in a fraudulent manner. It is likely that several more hijackers carried passports with similar fraudulent manipulation. Two hijackers lied on their visa applications. Once in the United States, two hijackers violated the terms of their visas. One overstayed his visa. And all but one obtained some form of state identification. We know that six of the hijackers used these state issued identifications to check in for their flights on September 11. Three of them were fraudulently obtained.
Page 46 and 47 of this report noted:
By analyzing information available at the time, we identified numerous entry and embedding tactics associated with these earlier attacks in the United States.
The World Trade Center Bombing, February 1993. Three terrorists who were involved with the first World Trade Center bombing reportedly traveled on Saudi passports containing an indicator of possible terrorist affiliation. Three of the 9/11 hijackers also had passports containing this same possible indicator of terrorist affiliation.5
In addition, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the attack, and Ahmad Ajaj, who was able to direct aspects of the attack despite being in prison for using an altered passport, traveled under aliases using fraudulent documents. The two of them were found to possess five passports as well as numerous documents supporting their aliases: a Saudi passport showing signs of alteration, an Iraqi passport bought from a Pakistani official, a photo-substituted Swedish passport, a photo-substituted British passport, a Jordanian passport, identification cards, bank records, education records, and medical records.6
“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.
Page 61 contained this passage:
Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists
In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.149 Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.150 With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.
This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”
“Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.”
Both reports made it abundantly clear that had our immigration system worked, the attacks could not have been carried out.
Engineers use the term “root cause” to describe a fundamental failure from which all else that went wrong happened. For example, if a car’s brakes fail and the car hits a tree, the fact that the airbags failed to deploy is important, but the point is that the crash would not have happened in the first place if the brakes had worked.
Similarly, the terror attacks that have been carried out in the United States all resulted by the “root cause” of failures of the immigration system to prevent the terrorists from entering the United States in the first place.
The next failure of the immigration system occurred when terrorists were able to embed themselves in the United States. In this regard two factors came into play.
1. Terrorists who violated their immigration status were not apprehended even when they interacted with local police, leaving them free to remain at large.
2. Terrorists were able to acquire many identity documents — some actually issued by state governments — in false names, concealing their identities and movements.
Today most politicians have accepted the deceptive language first implemented by Carter administration when the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) mandated that its employees refer to aliens illegally present in the United States as being “undocumented immigrants,” an obfuscating and purposefully innocuous sounding term.
This was obviously done to create the misimpression that these individuals were simply immigrants who needed a piece of paper. Therefore the only thing we needed to do was give them the bureaucratic equivalent of a “hall pass” to make things okay.
The truth could not be more different from this lie that was and continues to be foisted on Americans by our own government. Aliens who evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry should be referred to by the term that immigration enforcement personnel use, “EWI (Entry Without Inspection). This is the equivalent of trespassing or “breaking and entering.”
Such aliens are unscreened. We have no record of their entry and they may well be fugitives from justice in other countries, may have links to criminal or terrorist organizations.
The 9/11 Commission Report  addressed the importance of the immigration inspections process conducted at ports of entry noting:
Inspectors at the ports of entry were not asked to focus on terrorists. Inspectors told us they were not even aware that when they checked the names of incoming passengers against the automated watchlist, they were checking in part for terrorists. In general, border inspectors also did not have the information they needed to make fact-based determinations of admissibility.The INS initiated but failed to bring to completion two efforts that would have provided inspectors with information relevant to counterterrorism—a proposed system to track foreign student visa compliance and a program to establish a way of tracking travelers’ entry to and exit from the United States.
The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel  detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud, including political asylum fraud, to enter and embed themselves in the United States.
Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”
Here is an excerpt from that report that makes the above issues crystal clear:
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
Meanwhile there are mayors of some cities and even governors of some states that have created “sanctuaries” for aliens who evaded the inspections process at ports of entry that represent both our first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists, transnational criminals and others whose presence in the United States poses a threat to national security and the safety and well-being of Americans — and even members of the ethnic immigrant communities of which they are a part, irrespective of what their native countries might be. These politicians are even providing driver’s licenses and municipal identification documents, ignoring the fact that criminals and terrorists use changes in identity the way that chameleons use changes in coloration to hide in plain sight, often among their intended victims.
How can our nation’s leaders be so blind or corrupt as to ignore what should be commonsense issues that were clearly identified in the 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report I have noted above?
On July 27, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic: Whether the Attempted Implementation of the Reid-Kennedy Immigration Bill Will Result in an Administrative and National Security Nightmare. 
At that hearing I noted  that advocates for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens should get the “MVP Award” from al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. That statement applies today more than ever before.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why American Jews Vote Liberal...
on: June 25, 2015, 02:41:10 PM
The One Number That Shows Why Jews Really Vote Liberal
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On June 25, 2015
The debate over why Jews vote the way that they do is an old one, but it’s rarely backed by much data except the estimates of the Jewish vote from the last election.
There is, however, one piece of data  that currently predicts the Jewish vote. It’s religious attendance.
60 percent of Jews  that attend weekly religious services disapprove of Obama. Only 34 percent approve.
Among those who don’t attend religious services, approval of Obama stood at 58 percent to 38 percent.
There are really two Jewish votes; the religious Jewish vote and the secular Jewish vote.
Something similar happens when we break down Obama’s approval ratings  by church attendance. Among those who attend church weekly, Obama’s approval ratings hover between 39 percent and 46 percent. Among those who never attend church, between 53 to 57 percent approve of Obama.
These numbers come from a Gallup poll taken  this year that did what few polls of American Jews do in breaking down the seemingly monolithic vote to find some interesting things. The most interesting thing is that the Jewish vote is more demographically out of step with Americans than politically out of step.
When we break it down by behaviors and beliefs, the Jewish vote is not that different than the overall American vote. What is different is the balance of behaviors and beliefs in the Jewish community.
Only 11 percent of American Jews attend religious services weekly. Among Americans in general, it’s over 40 percent.
Recently I noted that American Jews had become a liberal outlier  globally as Jews in the UK, Canada, Israel and Australia were voting conservative. And Jewish communities in those countries also tend to be relatively more traditional and religious than in the United States.
UK Jews are more than  twice as likely to attend synagogue services weekly as American Jews.
63 percent of Israeli Jews “believe completely” that there is a G-d while only 34 percent of American Jews are certain that they believe in G-d, a universal spirit or something. 63 percent of Israeli Jews keep Kosher as do 52 percent of UK Jews and 22 percent of American Jews. Intermarriage is at 44 percent among American Jews, 26 percent among UK Jews and negligible among Israeli Jews.
Traditional religious values naturally align with conservative politics. And vice versa.
The political left with its messianic obsessions, environmental apocalypses and fanatical devotion to the cause occupies a space traditionally filled by religion.
When religion leaves, other things replace it instead. The Jewish left is the hole left by the absence of Judaism and any meaningful Jewish historical, national and cultural identity.
When asked what it means to be Jewish, 56 percent of American Jews mentioned social justice, 42 percent mentioned comedy and only 43 percent mentioned Israel. 28 percent mentioned being part of a Jewish community. Only 19 percent mentioned anything involving religion.
People with Jewish last names for whom being Jewish is leftist politics and a joke should not be expected to care about Israel. If being Jewish means nothing to them, why would the Jewish State?
However among UK Jews, 61 percent listed Jewish peoplehood, 40 percent mentioned social justice, 38 percent listed religion and 36 percent mentioned the Sabbath. Those are still poor numbers, but they explain why the UK Jewish community is politically healthier and saner than its American cousins.
The political results of that difference in worldviews expressed itself when 70 percent of UK Jews  voted conservative while 69 percent of Jews  voted for Obama. (Down to 61 percent Democrat  affiliation this year.)
It’s all a question of whether you think being Jewish means being part of a community, a nation and a religion… or laughing at Jon Stewart’s jokes.
Religion is a significant predictor of political orientation, but it’s not the only significant factor.
Obama’s biggest base of support is among Jewish college graduates. That’s where he enjoys a 54 to 43 percent approval rating. Among post-graduates that climbs to 62 percent against 36 percent.
That’s not too radically different from the overall Obama approval ratings for college graduates in the general population which has hovered between 53 percent and 46 percent .
Among Jews with only a high school diploma or less, 53 percent disapproved of Obama while only 39 percent approved. These numbers are far more negative on Obama than the national average, but those numbers are skewed by a disproportionate share of minority supporters in that category.
If Jews had the same percentage of college grads and post-grads as the rest of the country, the Jewish vote might be conservative. But while 29 percent of adults overall have a college degree and 10 percent have a post-graduate degree, 58 percent of Jews have a college degree and 28 percent have a post-graduate degree. The fundamental difference here isn’t so much political as demographic.
The problem with American Jews is an internal imbalance in which higher education has displaced traditional Jewish learning and the ideals of social justice have displaced Judaism. Jewish culture has been reduced to neurotic self-mockery and hipster knowingness.
This isn’t a purely Jewish problem. It’s a situation that exists among some non-Jewish elites whose Christianity doesn’t venture beyond social justice and whose identity is making fun of their own ‘whiteness’. It’s worse among Jews because a higher percentage of them live and think this way.
American Jews are more dysfunctional than Jews in the UK or Israel, because their leaders more enthusiastically adopted the worldview of the liberal Protestants they were trying to imitate.
The fight against slavery and then for civil rights that came to religiously define some liberal Protestant churches also became the closest thing to religion for liberal Jewish denominations. Abraham Joshua Heschel marching at Selma was a defining spiritual experience for them, incessantly referenced, but incapable of being repeated. It was a theology that depended on the vicarious experience of the otherness of others. Like their liberal Protestant cousins, a secular religious movement was desperately drawing on the religious tradition of another group of people while making oppression into their faith.
British Jews are rediscovering their religion and the focus on social justice is plummeting for those under 40. But British Jews never lost their sense of self to the same extent that American Jews did. That is why it will take more than the renewed threat to Israel to shift the American Jewish vote. Rising anti-Semitism on the left and the isolation of Jews in liberal spaces, on and off campus, will play its part as it has in Europe, but the European Jews have done a better job of holding on to what being Jewish means.
In both the UK and the US, the middle ground is vanishing with the secular social justice Jews leaving while the Orthodox population increases generationally. A third of Jewish children in the UK are being raised in Orthodox homes. New York City will have an Orthodox majority before too long.
An emerging Jewish conservative majority among American Jews will badly traumatize and infuriate a Jewish liberal consensus that views leftist politics as identity and religion. The fallout is already beginning and it will only get uglier. American Jewish leaders who want a united Jewish community will have to move to the middle. They will have to recognize that controversies such as the protests against UJA-Federation funding of anti-Israel groups  are a small taste of much larger things to come.
Jews around the world are living and voting conservative. American Jews may lose Woody Allen and Jon Stewart, but they will gain healthier communities and families. There will be fewer college graduates, but there will also be fewer screaming BDS activists smashing Jewish store windows. And American Jews will finally become part of the circle of Jewish communities around the world and in the Jewish State.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Valerie Jarrett's Documented Communist Ties...
on: June 25, 2015, 07:32:28 AM
FBI Files Document Communism in Valerie Jarrett’s Family
JUNE 22, 2015
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.
Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show.
According to Bowman’s government file the Association of Internes and Medical Students is an organization that “has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line” and engages in un-American activities. Bowman was born in Washington D.C. and had deep ties to Chicago, where he often collaborated with fellow Communists. JW also obtained documents on Bowman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) showing that the FBI was brought into investigate him for his membership in a group that “follows the communist party line.” The Jarrett family Communist ties also include a business partnership between Jarrett’s maternal grandpa, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Stern, the Soviet agent associated with her dad.
Jarrett’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was also another big-time Chicago Communist, according to separate FBI files obtained by JW as part of a probe into the Jarrett family’s Communist ties. For a period of time Vernon Jarrett appeared on the FBI’s Security Index and was considered a potential Communist saboteur who was to be arrested in the event of a conflict with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). His FBI file reveals that he was assigned to write propaganda for a Communist Party front group in Chicago that would “disseminate the Communist Party line among…the middle class.”
It’s been well documented that Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer and longtime Obama confidant, is a liberal extremist who wields tremendous power in the White House. Faithful to her roots, she still has connections to many Communist and extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Jarrett and her family also had strong ties to Frank Marshal Davis, a big Obama mentor and Communist Party member with an extensive FBI file.
JW has exposed Valerie Jarrett’s many transgressions over the years, including her role in covering up a scandalous gun-running operation carried out by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Last fall JW obtained public records that show Jarrett was a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious, a disastrous experiment in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.
In 2008 JW got documents linking Valerie Jarrett, who also served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team, to a series of real estate scandals, including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and Obama fundraiser/friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko. According to the documents obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State, Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that provided funding and support for Chicago slum projects operated by Rezko.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama and Hillary's Execrable Exploitation of Charleston Massacre...
on: June 19, 2015, 11:18:14 AM
A National Tragedy and a Partisan Response
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On June 19, 2015
Why do black lives only seem to matter when white people take them? Why does the president of the United States think it’s proper to take a horrible racial tragedy in Charleston South Carolina as an excuse to bash America as the violence capital of the “advanced” world, and a prop for Democrats’ lust for gun control legislation in a state that already has it?
Last year 82 people were shot over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago. 16 of them died . The victims and the shooters were black.
Now two 15-year-olds  have already been shot in a single Chicago neighborhood in two days.
These are tragedies every bit as terrible as what took place in a church in Charleston, but the mass shootings of black people doesn’t attract much national attention when white people aren’t involved.
Chicago’s bloody weekends show us that the politicians and reporters haven’t turned their attention to Charleston because they care about dead black people.
They are there for the psychotic killer, Dylann Storm Roof, not for his victims. They are there for a Southern state with a Republican governor who can be safely blamed the way that their Mayor of Chicago can’t. They are there to use the voiceless dead as convenient props in their campaign for gun control – in a state that already has  some of the toughest gun control laws in the South. They don’t care about black people. They care about their political agendas.
Obama made that clear when he blamed Republicans for the shootings in his statement. The formatting of the statement  on the White House website with its paragraphs about healing and the church in small print and the call for gun control and accusations of racism set out in giant bold type show with stark clarity what the president’s priorities are.
His priority is not, “Now is the time for mourning and for healing.” It is, “Someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun” and “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries” to impose his burden of collective guilt on all Americans.
By complaining that “the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues”, Obama blamed the Charleston shootings on Republicans even as he was hypocritically calling for “mourning and healing.” Six and a half years of divisive politics and disregard for representative government should show that the last thing Barack Obama wants is a national healing.
It is a shameless new frontier in the political exploitation of a human tragedy diminishing both the black victims and their black and white mourners alike. But for Obama, politics is the priority. The mourning is secondary. And forget about the healing.
Obama and Hillary insist that the country needs gun control, but what it really needs is a coming together of its ordinary citizens. It isn’t just Charleston that needs a new unity. It’s Democratic cities Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit – all centers of violence, all zones where strict gun laws rule that need it as well.
The world’s worst mass shootings have happened in other advanced societies – not America as Obama claims. They happen in countries like Norway, a social democracy, France, a country ruled by anti-gun socialists and South Korea. Making guns hard to get does not stop a determined killer. It prevents his victims from stopping the rampage. Dylaan Roof stopped to reload his gun 5 times in the Charleston AME Church. If only one of the bible study members had possessed a firearm, most of the victims would still be alive. The demonization of firearms takes place in societies that let go of personal responsibility. It leaves even law enforcement helpless down to the disarmed Paris police officer cringing before the heavily armed Charlie Hebdo Jihadists and the fumbling Norwegian police who let Breivik kill 69 people in one shooting before he was stopped.
Despite Obama’s slander of the country of which he is the putative president, the difference between America and the rest of the world is not that they have mass shootings and we don’t. Mass shootings have taken place in European countries with very tough gun laws. The difference is that when two terrorists with assault rifles dressed in body armor came for the Mohammed cartoonists in Texas, they were stopped by a middle-aged man with a handgun. Or when a jihadist beheaded a woman in Oklahoma and was slicing off the head of another, he was stopped by an individual who appeared with a rifle and took the law into his own hands.
America is a country where it is easier to buy a gun and where it is easier to stop an armed gunman. The victims in the church followed the law in South Carolina  and didn’t bring their guns into the church.
The gunman didn’t follow the law and killed them.
America is a nation with a boundless generosity of spirit as we have seen in Charleston and with leaders who are unworthy of their people as we have seen in Washington D.C.
Hillary Clinton decided to use the tragedy in her stump speech, insisting, “In the days ahead, we will again ask what led to this terrible tragedy and where we as a nation need to go. In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest. We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division.”
The hard truth that Hillary does not want to face is that our division does not come from disturbed lone gunmen, but from politicians like her who turn every tragedy into a campaign speech. Hillary, who ran a divisive racial campaign against Obama, now wants to lecture the country on race and division.
Obama and Hillary managed to pull off a divisive racial campaign within their own party and now they sound as if Dylann Storm Roof represents a racist nation that needs their hypocritical lecturing.
While people in Charleston, black and white, have generously come together, Obama and Hillary selfishly pursue a divisive attack on the Second Amendment and their usual divisive racial program.
Obama paints America as a terrible place of mass shootings that is, as usual in his skewed view of the country, substantively worse than the rest of the world. Unlike the mass shootings in Europe, our mass shootings are a burden of collective guilt that he uses to reinforce a negative image of America. And, unlike the mass shootings in Chicago or Detroit, they are also a burden of collective racial guilt.
The solution to gun violence won’t be found in waging war on the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment does not kill people. America is not a violent place because of the Constitution.
And the solution can’t be and won’t be found in the rejection of personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility means accepting that Dylann Storm Roof was responsible for his actions, as the gang members in Chicago are responsible for their actions and as we are all responsible for our actions.
And it also means believing that black lives and all lives matter everywhere; not just when they’re convenient for scoring political points.
The life of a black woman killed in a church by a white gunman should not matter any less than the life of a black woman taken by a black gang member in Chicago over another bloody weekend.
To send any other kind of message is divisive and only contributes to the problem.
No group of worshipers should ever be massacred in a church, but the best way to fight violent bigots is not by pursuing divisive political programs. It is by uniting law abiding citizens against violence and hate.
True leaders do not respond to tragedy by dividing the nation along the lines of race or into the camp of those who believe in the Bill of Rights and the camp of those who do not. These divisive instincts have only helped lead to a fractured society in which violent killers filled with anger and hate proliferate.
There was a time when Americans looked to Obama for unity. Unfortunately he chose the path of division. Hillary had the opportunity to urge unity among Americans after this horrible massacre, chose instead to put her own agenda first and subordinate the tragedy to the talking points of her political campaign.
If the politicians exploiting the Charleston shootings really care when black people are murdered, they will have the opportunity to show it this weekend in Chicago. And if they remain silent and unheeding, then they will have demonstrated that they don’t really care about the victims in Charleston. At least not that much.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Boston Muslims "struggle with image?"
on: June 18, 2015, 10:39:58 AM
This is pure, unadulterated bullshit propaganda that these mosques put out, and gullible "news" outlets like the New York Times repeatedly swallow hook, line, and sinker.
This Boston mosque has very clear ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and has connections to several convicted terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers. This is extensively documented at jihadwatch.org and pamelageller.com
The question we should be asking is WHY is the NYT, nor any other establishment media outlet , NOR THE FBI - investigating this mosque, and the many like it, where this doctrine of violent jihad is being preached? WHY? There is a very deliberate cover-up going on here, and the Obama Justice Department is deeply involved.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geller: ISIS isn't just coming after me....
on: June 11, 2015, 09:43:45 AM
Pamela Geller: “The jihadists aren’t just coming for me, they are coming for all of us that believe in freedom.”
JUNE 10, 2015 6:06 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER
She is right, of course, not that Hollywood is on the case: Hollywood wouldn’t dare make a film that depicted Islamic jihadists honestly and accurately. She also says a great deal more that is on-point and important about the freedom of speech and more in this interview. “Pamela Geller: Hollywood Is “In the Pocket” of Jihadists (Q&A),” by Paul Bond, Hollywood Reporter, June 9, 2015 (thanks to Steve):
Pamela Geller has been on a rampage against radical Islam for years, beginning notably in 2010 by spearheading of the opposition to what she called the “Ground Zero Mega Mosque” near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center. Her most recent controversy was the organization of a “Draw the Prophet Muhammad” contest in Texas.
A “rampage.” How ridiculous. Islamic jihadists have been on a rampage against free people. Pamela Geller is resisting them — and the Hollywood Reporter says she is the one on the rampage.
At the event, two self-described jihadists shot a security guard before police killed them. Then, on June 2, police killed a knife-wielding Muslim man in Boston whose goal was allegedly to behead Geller in retaliation for the contest. Even though the contest was a major news story, few media outlets published the winning cartoon. Geller’s group, American Freedom Defense Initiative, put the image on billboards, 100 of which debuted in St. Louis on Monday with the tagline “Support Free Speech.” She spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the (largely hostile) media is portraying these events.
HR: Why are you being overly provocative, purposely insulting Muslims?
I am not being overly provocative or purposely insulting Muslims. Islamic jihadists, not I, made Muhammad cartoons the flash point for the defense of the freedom of speech when they began killing over them. If we don’t stand against them on that point, the only alternative is surrender and submission. I did not make the cartoons a flash point, the jihadis did.
HR: But if you just don’t insult their prophet, they’ll leave you alone, no?
No. The death penalty for insulting Muhammad is just one aspect of Sharia. There is much, much more of infidel behavior that violates Sharia. If we refrain from drawing Muhammad, more demands to adhere to other aspects of Sharia will follow. Millions are suffering or have been slaughtered under Islamic Sharia law in Muslim countries. Islamic supremacists mean to impose it in the West.
HR: Why shouldn’t cartoons insulting a religion be regarded as hate speech instead of protected free speech?
There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. “Hate speech” is a subjective judgment. If it were outlawed, the authority with the power to decide what constitutes it would have the power to control the public debate.… If a group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear, while other groups curtail their activities to appease the violent group. This results in the violent group being able to tyrannize the others. Cartoons have been used as satire since the beginning of satire — especially in our country — and no one gets a pass. Not the Pope of Rome, president of the United States or Hollywood’s biggest movie stars.… If you don’t like it, don’t look at it, boycott the network that airs it, don’t buy the publication, make counter-images, make a million, fine, but you have to adjust to us, not we to you, and if that’s too much, don’t come here. Threaten violence? Commit violence? The consequences are yours to bear.
HR: It seems many media pundits who claim allegiance to the First Amendment aren’t persuaded by your arguments.
They are afraid of being killed by Islamic jihadists and camouflage their fear and cowardice as “respect” for Islam and Muslims.
HR: Are there any TV hosts who have been particularly hostile to you during interviews?
Yes. Martha MacCallum, Erin Burnett, Alisyn Camerota, Chris Cuomo — although he let me speak and make my case.
HR: How about behind your back?
Yes. Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham. They said I was insulting the entire religion, one held by our moderate allies such as Egypt and Qatar. They are wrong in assuming that we must submit to Sharia to placate moderates, rather than that moderates need to accept the freedom of speech. Roman Catholics don’t like their religion mocked or the mockery of other religions, but Roman Catholics don’t kill when their religion is mocked — and so no one talks about “provoking” them or “respecting” them. In any pluralistic society, we have to put up with being offended and even with our core beliefs being mocked. Roman Catholics have learned that. Mormons and others have learned that — look at The Book of Mormon on Broadway. Why must we condescend to Muslims and think they cannot learn that? It’s the low expectation of soft bigotry.
HR: So this isn’t entirely a partisan issue where conservatives stand by you and liberals don’t?
No. Chris Hayes stuck up for me on MSNBC. This is not a left/right split, it is a free person/slave split.
HR: Did any TV host say something that struck you as particularly wrongheaded?
They all say I have the right to draw Muhammad but shouldn’t out of respect. They don’t seem to realize that any surrender on this point will only be seen by the jihadists as a victory and embolden them to make more demands. CNN’s Erin Burnett said I relished being the target of a beheading. It’s madness. Who self-promotes to get killed?
HR: So you’re not purposely courting danger, as Burnett and others have insinuated?
Of course not. I love life. But I will not live as a slave.
HR: Are there any TV hosts you’d like to face off with but who won’t have you on?
Bill O’Reilly. I expect he knows he would be shown up.
HR: We know about the man arrested who intended to behead you. Any other threats you can share?
I have received many threats. The FBI and NYPD are aware of them and on the case.
HR: Anyone in Hollywood reach out to you to offer support?
HR: Should Hollywood care about threats against you?
They may think they’re exempt, but they aren’t. Islamic supremacists will be demanding they adhere to Sharia as well. Of course, most producers already are careful not to show anything that might offend Muslims, including accurate representations of jihad plotting and activity, so Hollywood is mostly already in their pocket. But this is their issue, and the entertainment industry should be on the front lines in the information battle space. The jihadists aren’t just coming for me, they are coming for all of us that believe in freedom.
HR: So why do you think Hollywood, which routinely claims to push the envelope in its art, hasn’t supported you?
They’re afraid of being ostracized.
HR: Your “Draw Muhammad” event certainly got a lot of news coverage. Should mainstream media outlets have published the winning cartoon?
Every media outlet should publish the Muhammad cartoons. They can’t kill us all. By kowtowing to violent intimidation, they are inviting more of it. Instead, they should be showing that we will all stand together for free speech. If the media had published the Danish cartoons back in 2005, this would never have become an issue. The submission by media, entertainment and academic elites empowered the savages.
HR: The Southern Poverty Law Center included you on their list of “hate groups.” Are they right?
Of course not. They’re the hate group, using that label to demonize and stigmatize all who don’t share their hard-left agenda. The SPLC smear machine does [not] profile jihad groups, but they target and libel patriots, veterans, Tea Party organizations and other groups that work in defense of freedom. They named [Republican presidential contender] Ben Carson as a hate group. That should tell you everything you need to know about them. Their [sympathizers] have violently attacked family groups, and one tried to assassinate Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. And a few months back an SPLC [sympathizer] killed three Muslims in a parking dispute in North Carolina.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Spencer: Australian Prime Minister Appears to Understand...
on: June 11, 2015, 09:29:17 AM
Australia PM: Only effective defense against terror persuading people God doesn’t demand death to infidel
JUNE 11, 2015 1:17 AM BY ROBERT SPENCER
Abbott is right: the only effective defense against jihad terror will be to confront its ideology. I have no idea if Abbott himself realizes what this will entail, but it is encouraging at the very least that he has enunciated this, which no other Western leader is willing to acknowledge. Obama, Cameron and the others all pretend that there is nothing wrong with the Islamic ideology at all — they won’t even admit that Allah commands death to the Infidel. Their willful ignorance and denial will only ensure more deaths of more Infidels.
“Tony Abbott opens summit on countering terrorist propaganda,” by Michael Safi, Guardian, June 10, 2015:
Tony Abbott has opened a regional summit on countering terrorist propaganda in Sydney, telling delegates Islamic State “is coming if it can for every person and every government with a simple message: submit or die”.
Representatives from governments and civil society groups from 25 countries are meeting for two days to share ideas for challenging the appeal of Isis and other jihadi groups at the countering violent extremism (CVE) summit. More than 15,000 foreign fighters are estimated to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join the conflict, including at least 100 Australians.
The prime minister said waves of immigration had helped Australia flourish, “yet the tentacles of the death cult have extended even here as we discovered to our cost during the Martin Place siege last December”.
The prime minister also referenced claims of an Isis plot in Melbourne last year, likely to be the alleged stabbing of two police officers by 18-year-old Numan Haider in September.
He said Isis had inflicted death “mostly on Muslims in the Middle East”, but added: “This is what the death cult has in store for everyone if it has its way.”
“Daesh is coming if it can for every person and every government with a simple message: submit or die,” he said. “You can’t negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it.”
Abbott again paid tribute to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for his call that “Islam needed nothing less than a religious revolution to reverse centuries of false thinking”.
“In the end though, the only really effective defence against terrorism is persuading people that it’s pointless, persuading people that God does not demand death to the infidel,” he said. “Above all we need idealistic young people to understand that joining this death cult is an ugly, misguided and wrong-headed way to express their desire to sacrifice.”
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, also addressed the summit, revealing that 115 passports had been cancelled, nine had been suspended and 14 refused to Australians currently in Iraq and Syria or suspected of wishing to join the conflict in the region.
She said “it defies all comprehension” that women made up around one-fifth of those flocking to join Isis, “given that it is women who are disproportionately affected by extremist groups”.
There were between 30 and 40 women “known to be either engaging in or supporting activity in Iraq, Syria or here in Australia”, she said.
Over the next two days the summit will hear from intelligence chiefs, academics, leaders of Muslim organisations and representatives from Google and Facebook. The sessions are closed, but one of the speakers, Michele Grossman from Victoria University, told Guardian Australia she would emphasise the need to support the families of young people at risk.
“Families can be a frontline of defence,” she said. “Those who are closest to us are often the very first to see early or subtle changes in attitude, in behaviour, in social networks, and this means we really need to see some new ways about how we can educate families on how to read and how to act on such early warning signs….
That is assuming that Muslim families are against all this. An unproven assumption at best.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Phony Earnings Numbers Fueling Stock Price Increase...
on: June 09, 2015, 12:38:54 AM
Something I and many others here have been saying for some time now:
AP ANALYSIS: MORE 'PHONY NUMBERS' IN REPORTS AS STOCKS RISE
June 8, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) -- Those record profits that companies are reporting may not be all they're cracked up to be.
As the stock market climbs ever higher, professional investors are warning that companies are presenting misleading versions of their results that ignore a wide variety of normal costs of running a business to make it seem like they're doing better than they really are.
What's worse, the financial analysts who are supposed to fight corporate spin are often playing along. Instead of challenging the companies, they're largely passing along the rosy numbers in reports recommending stocks to investors.
"Companies are tilting the results," says fund manager Tom Brown of Second Curve Capital, "and the analysts are buying it."
An analysis of results from 500 major companies by The Associated Press, based on data provided by S&P Capital IQ, a research firm, found that the gap between the "adjusted" profits that analysts cite and bottom-line earnings figures that companies are legally obliged to report, or net income, has widened dramatically over the past five years.
At one of every five companies, these "adjusted" profits were higher than net income by 50 percent or more. Many more companies are in that category now than there were five years ago. And some companies that seem profitable on an adjusted basis are actually losing money.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. After the dot-com crash of 2000, companies and analysts vowed to clean up their act and avoid highlighting alternative versions of earnings in a way that could mislead investors.
But Lynn Turner, chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission at the time, says companies are still touting "made-up, phony numbers" as much as they did 15 years ago, perhaps more, and few experts are calling them out on it.
"The analysts aren't doing enough to get behind the numbers that management gives them to find out what's really going on," Turner says.
Offering an alternative view of profits that leaves out various costs is not new. It's perfectly legal, and sometimes helpful as a tool for investors to gain insight into how a business is doing.
But with stocks breaking record after record and the current bull market entering its seventh year, there's more money riding on the assumption that the earnings figures being touted by companies and analysts are based on sound calculations.
"The longer the rally, the bigger the downside because of all the smoke and mirrors," says money manager John Del Vecchio, co-author of "What's Behind the Numbers?" a book on how profit reports can mislead.
In its study, AP compared bottom-line profit figures that follow rules called generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, to the adjusted profit figures calculated by financial analysts and collected by S&P Capital IQ. AP looked at companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
Most of the time, the adjustments made companies look better by leaving out things like costs related to laying off workers, a decline in the value of patents or other "intangible" assets, the value of company stock distributed to employees, or losses from a failed venture. Critics argue that these are regular costs and shouldn't be excluded.
- Seventy-two percent of the companies reviewed by AP had adjusted profits that were higher than net income in the first quarter of this year. That's about the same as in the comparable period five years earlier, but the gap between the adjusted and net income figures has widened considerably: adjusted earnings were typically 16 percent higher than net income in the most recent period versus 9 percent five years ago.
For a smaller group of the companies reviewed, 21 percent of the total, adjusted profits soared 50 percent or more over net income. This was true of just 13 percent of the group in the same period five years ago.
- Quarter after quarter, the differences between the adjusted and bottom-line figures are adding up. From 2010 through 2014, adjusted profits for the S&P 500 came in $583 billion higher than net income. It's as if each company in the S&P 500 got a check in the mail for an extra eight months of earnings.
Fifteen companies with adjusted profits actually had bottom-line losses over the five years. Investors have poured money into their stocks just the same.
- Stocks are getting more expensive, meaning there could be a greater risk of stocks falling if the earnings figures being used to justify buying them are questionable. One measure of how richly priced stocks are suggests trouble. Three years ago, investors paid $13.50 for every dollar of adjusted profits for companies in the S&P 500 index, according to S&P Capital IQ. Now, they're paying nearly $18.
In a crackdown after the dot-com crash, regulators required companies to lay out clearly in their financial reports how they arrived at alternative versions of their profits. The bottom-line figures have to be prominently reported, too. But it's not clear the extra details have helped.
"The data is more confusing than it's been in a long time, and the reason is all the junk they put in the numbers," says fund manager Michael Lewitt of the Credit Strategist Group. He says analyst reports don't help, and finds himself spending too much time sifting through the same "nonsense" figures he confronted back in the dot-com days.
Michelle Leder, founder of Footnoted.com, which produces detailed analyses of financial statements, says most investors don't even bother to sift, preferring instead to seize upon a single number, often the wrong one.
"People just want to know the number," she says. "They don't care how the sausage is made."
Boston Scientific, a maker of medical devices like stents used to prop open arteries, had adjusted profits of $3.6 billion in the five years through 2014, according to analysts' calculations. But if you include a write-off for a failed acquisition, various "restructuring" charges and costs stemming from layoffs and lawsuits, it's a different picture entirely: $4.9 billion in net losses.
In a brief talk to analysts in April, the chief financial officer at Boston Scientific used the word "adjusted" in referring to results 34 times, twice every minute, on average. The word is also littered throughout the company's presentations and financial reports. In recent years rivals Medtronic, Stryker and Zimmer have also highlighted their results this way, says Raj Denhoy, an analyst at Jefferies, an investment bank.
Aluminum giant Alcoa has taken "restructuring" and related charges in 20 of the past 21 quarters. The company reported net losses of more than $900 million in the five years through 2014, but analysts have largely shrugged them off because they're tied to a strategic shift that involves getting rid of unwanted businesses. Analysts prefer to point to the $3.1 billion in adjusted profits during that time.
To be fair, analysts see the adjusted figures more as a tool for helping estimate future profits than as a judgment on the past. They say many losses and charges are not likely to recur and shouldn't be included in their calculations.
But in an age of constant change, when some companies revamp their business repeatedly, many one-time items are starting to seem not so one-time anymore.
"If you have to reinvent the company every couple of quarters, then it's not a one-off," says accounting expert Jack Ciesielski, longtime publisher of The Analyst's Accounting Observer, a newsletter.
What to count
For their part, Boston Scientific and Alcoa say the extra figures they provide help shed more light on their companies. Boston Scientific says the numbers allow investors to see the company "through the eyes of management" because they are the same ones its executives use in making decisions. Alcoa says its financial results reflect a "significant transformation" to make it more competitive.
Another number often missing in adjusted profit figures is the value of stock awarded to employees. This stock-based pay, the argument goes, requires no exchange of cash, so it doesn't affect a company's earnings power. Critics say stock distributions are a part of compensation and should be counted as an expense.
"What if they said they're going to pay for rent by issuing stock?" asks Brown of Second Curve Capital. "Would you then (exclude) rent" in calculating earnings?
Salesforce.com, a leader in cloud computing, routinely excludes the cost of stock compensation from figures it touts to investors, and analysts largely do the same. Analysts say the company earned $1.2 billion in adjusted profits in the five years through 2014. Its bottom-line result, including stock pay and other costs, was a $712 million loss.
Brian Rauscher, chief portfolio strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co., says stocks can continue to rise based on an inflated account of company profits for months or even years, but not indefinitely. He says it's like a bomb no one can see has been placed under the market: You know it's there, but you're not sure when it will go off.
"We don't know if the fuse is a few inches or a few miles," he says.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / First They Came for Pamela Geller, and I Did Not Speak Out...
on: June 08, 2015, 11:11:34 AM
First They Came for Pamela Geller, and I Did Not Speak Out
Posted By Robert Spencer On June 7, 2015 @ pjmedia.com
“This is a showdown for American freedom,” said Pamela Geller  about the abortive jihad beheading plot against her, and she was right. The showdown is right upon them now, and mainstream media talking heads have no idea of the significance of what is happening.
“They targeted me for violating sharia blasphemy laws. They mean to kill everyone who doesn’t do their bidding and abide by them voluntarily,” Geller added.
“It’s just beginning,” she warned. “ISIS is here. Islamic terrorism is here.”
That is all true. The jihad plot against Pamela Geller was an attempt to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws upon someone who does not accept them. If it had succeeded, it would have shown Americans that no one who deviates from Sharia norms is safe. It would have been a staggering blow to the continuation of the U.S. as a free society.
Heedless of these manifest implications, however, the mainstream media hasn’t caught on. The execrable New York Daily News  couldn’t stop sneering at the heroic Pamela Geller — “conservative firebrand,” “Upper East Side right-winger” — even when she was a direct target of an Islamic State-inspired murder plot.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, interviewing Geller , lectured her:
You can show the cartoon. People have the equal right to criticize your showing the cartoon as an overt provocation of a religion.
And he asked her:
Why not do what we often teach as a function of virtue — when we’re dealing with savagery — which is show that we are better than this? Not show that we can poke them in the eye in a way they don’t like it.
Geller rightly responded:
That’s not what you’re doing. You are submitting, and you are kowtowing. And they’re saying to you, if you draw a little cartoon; if you draw a stick figure and say it’s Mohammed, we’re going to come and kill you. And so you say, okay, we won’t — we won’t draw it. CNN won’t show it.
The Daily News and Chris Cuomo and the rest at CNN, along with their many colleagues among the comfortable media and political elites, are happy to throw her under the bus. They effectively say: “Free speech? Yes, of course, but not deliberate provocation.”
They don’t realize that whatever distaste they may have for Pamela Geller (and that distaste ultimately derives from the fact that she speaks truths they would rather ignore and deny), she stands for all of us now. Whether you’re as proud to stand with her as I am, or whether you wish she would go away, she is the figure today about whom one must decide: will I stand for freedom, or kowtow to violent intimidation? Will I submit to the tyranny of violence, or defend free society?
Remember Pastor Niemöller from World War II?
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Well, here we are. Those days are upon us again, and as few, or fewer, people are paying attention to what is happening as were in those days.
First they came for Pamela Geller, and they did not speak out, because they didn’t like “right-wingers.” Or because they wanted to keep appearing on CNN, or because they didn’t want to offend Islamic supremacists, or because they thought her ads were in poor taste, or because they wanted to keep getting invited to the best parties, or because their Leftist Alinskyite friends would have laughed at them.
So first they came for Pamela Geller, and they did not speak out. What they do not realize, or do not care to acknowledge, is that the jihadists will not stop with Pamela Geller. They will not stop with those who had something to do with showing Muhammad cartoons. They will not stop. It is stand now, or surrender.
“This is a showdown for American freedom,” said Geller. Yes, it is.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Directive 11: Obama's Secret Islamist Plan...
on: June 08, 2015, 10:37:42 AM
Directive 11: Obama’s Secret Islamist Plan
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On June 8, 2015
Behind the rise of ISIS, the Libyan Civil War, the unrest in Egypt, Yemen and across the region may be a single classified document.
That document is Presidential Study Directive 11.
You can download Presidential Study Directive 10 on “Preventing Mass Atrocities” from the White House website, but as of yet no one has been able to properly pry number 11 out of Obama Inc.
Presidential Study Directive 10, in which Obama asked for non-military options for stopping genocide, proved to be a miserable failure. The Atrocities Prevention Board’s only use was as a fig leaf for a policy that had caused the atrocities. And the cause of those atrocities is buried inside Directive 11.
With Obama’s typical use of technicalities to avoid transparency, Directive 11 was used to guide policy in the Middle East without being officially submitted. It is possible that it will never be submitted. And yet the Directive 11 group was described  as “just finishing its work” when the Arab Spring began.
That is certainly one way of looking at it.
Directive 11 brought together activists and operatives at multiple agencies to come up with a “tailored” approach for regime change in each country. The goal was to “manage” the political transitions. It tossed aside American national security interests by insisting that Islamist regimes would be equally committed to fighting terrorism and cooperating with Israel. Its greatest gymnastic feat may have been arguing that the best way to achieve political stability in the region was through regime change.
What little we know  about the resulting classified 18-page report is that it used euphemisms to call for aiding Islamist takeovers in parts of the Middle East. Four countries were targeted. Of those four, we only know for certain that Egypt and Yemen were on the list. But we do know for certain the outcome.
Egypt fell to the Muslim Brotherhood, which collaborated with Al Qaeda, Hamas and Iran, before being undone by a counterrevolution. Yemen is currently controlled by Iran’s Houthi terrorists and Al Qaeda.
According to a New York Times story, Obama’s Directive 11 agenda appeared to resemble Che or Castro as he “pressed his advisers to study popular uprisings in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia to determine which ones worked and which did not.”
The story also noted that he “is drawn to Indonesia, where he spent several years as a child, which ousted its longtime leader, Suharto, in 1998.”
The coup against Mubarak with its coordination of liberals, Islamists and the military did strongly resemble what happened in Indonesia. The most ominous similarity may be that the Muslim mobs in Indonesia targeted the Chinese, many of whom are Christians, while the Muslim mobs in Egypt targeted Coptic Christians.
Both were talented groups that were disproportionately successful because they lacked the traditional Islamic hostility to education, integrity and achievement. Islamist demagogues had succeeded in associating them with the regime and promoted attacks on them as part of the anti-regime protests.
Chinese stores were looted and thousands of Chinese women were raped by rampaging Muslims. Just as in Egypt, the protesters and their media allies spread the claim that these atrocities committed by Muslim protesters were the work of the regime’s secret police. That remains the official story today.
Suharto’s fall paved the way for the rise of the Prosperous Justice Party, which was founded a few months after his resignation and has become one of the largest parties in the Indonesian parliament. PJP was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood’s local arm in Indonesia.
His successor, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, was more explicitly Islamist than Suharto and his Association of Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) conducted a campaign against Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. It helped purge non-Muslims from government while Islamizing the government and Indonesia’s key institutions.
Habibie had been the Chairman of ICMI and ICMI’s Islamists played a key role in moving Suharto out and moving him in. It was obvious why Obama would have considered the Islamization of Indonesia and the purge of Christians under the guise of democratic political change to be a fine example for Egypt.
While we don’t know the full contents of Directive 11 and unless a new administration decides to open the vaults of the old regime, we may never know. But we do know a good deal about the results.
In its own way, PSD-10 tells us something about PSD-11.
Obama’s insistence that human rights be made a core national security interest paved the way for political and military interventions on behalf of Islamists. Obama had never been interested in human rights; his record of pandering to the world’s worst genocide plotters and perpetrators from Iran to Turkey to Sudan made that clear. When he said “human rights”, Obama really meant “Islamist power”.
That was why Obama refused to intervene when the Muslim Brotherhood conducted real genocide in Sudan, but did interfere in Libya on behalf of the Brotherhood using a phony claim of genocide.
Positioning Samantha Power in the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council was part of the process that made over the NSC from national security to servicing a progressive wish list of Islamist terrorist groups that were to be transformed into national governments.
Power, along with Gayle Smith and Dennis Ross, led the Directive 11 project.
Secret proceedings were used to spawn regime change infrastructure. Some of these tools had official names, such as “The Office of The Special Coordinator For Middle East Transitions” which currently reports directly to former ambassador Anne Patterson who told Coptic Christians not to protest against Morsi. After being driven out of the country by angry mobs over her support for the Muslim Brotherhood tyranny, she was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
“The Office” is still focused on “outreach to emergent political, economic and social forces in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya” even though counterrevolutions have pushed out Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, while Libya is in the middle of a bloody civil war in which an alliance of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda controls the nation’s capital.
But even as Morsi’s abuses of power were driving outraged Egyptians into the streets, Gayle Smith , one of the three leaders of Directive 11, reached out to the “International Union of Muslim Scholars ”, a Muslim Brotherhood group that supported terrorism against American soldiers  in Iraq and which was now looking for American support for its Islamist terrorist brigades in the Syrian Civil War.
The men and women responsible for Directive 11 were making it clear that they had learned nothing.
Directive 11 ended up giving us the Islamic State through its Arab Spring. PSD-11’s twisted claim that regional stability could only be achieved through Islamist regime change tore apart the region and turned it into a playground for terrorists. ISIS is simply the biggest and toughest of the terror groups that were able to thrive in the environment of violent civil wars created by Obama’s Directive 11.
During the Arab Spring protests, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit had told Hillary Clinton that his government could not hand over power to the Muslim Brotherhood. “My daughter gets to go out at night. And, God damn it, I’m not going to turn this country over to people who will turn back the clock on her rights.”
But that was exactly what Hillary Clinton and Obama were after. And they got it. Countless women were raped in Egypt. Beyond Egypt, Hillary and Obama’s policy saw Yazidi women actually sold into slavery.
Directive 11 codified the left’s dirty alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood into our foreign policy. Its support for Islamist takeovers paved the way for riots and civil wars culminating in the violence that birthed ISIS and covered the region in blood.
And it remains secret to this day.