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301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. Marine tells off Senator Diane Feinstein... on: January 03, 2013, 12:24:19 PM
U.S. MARINE’S SCATHING RESPONSE TO SEN. FEINSTEIN’S GUN CONTROL PROPOSAL: ‘I AM NOT YOUR SUBJECT. I AM THE MAN WHO KEEPS YOU FREE’

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 7:30pm by      Jason Howerton


(CNN iReport)
One U.S. Marine was more than a little displeased with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s draconian gun control proposal, which includes an assault weapons ban and provisions on handguns and even “grandfathered weapons.”

The letter, written by U.S. Marine Joshua Boston, was titled “No ma’am” and was first posted on CNN iReport on Dec. 27. The letter has since gone viral and has been shared extensively on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as it seemingly has resonated with a segment of the American population.

Read Boston’s entire “No ma’am” letter below and then share it with others:

Senator Dianne Feinstein,
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joshua Boston
Cpl,
United States Marine Corps
2004-2012
302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Don't Hold Your Breath... on: January 03, 2013, 09:27:42 AM
Unfortunately, considering the spineless/clueless nature of the Republican "leadership" in Congress, I have ZERO confidence that what must be done will in fact be fought for by the Republicans.  I think a financial collapse is inevitable before the American people wake up and demand better than what we are getting from our pathetic representatives.  See below:

Taking Up the Debt Ceiling War

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On January 3, 2013 @ www.frontpagemag.com

The tax battle is over. Democrats, President Obama and their media cheerleaders succeeded in getting a nervous and divided Republican Party to acquiesce to a bitter bargain. They allowed taxes to rise, while getting almost nothing in return in terms of spending cuts, other than vague promises to be fulfilled sometime in the future. Given the tenor of the times — with entitlement mentality run amok, our spendthrift president’s reelection in November, and the certainty that anything short of capitulation would have been framed by the media as a Republican-created debacle — perhaps it was the only reasonable course of action Republicans could take right now. In the upcoming and far more serious battle over the debt ceiling, Republicans must unify for the simplest of reasons: either they extract serious spending cuts from Democrats and the Obama administration in exchange for raising the debt ceiling — or the nation is headed for fiscal collapse.

Republicans desperately need to educate Americans about our current trajectory. In the last four years, the national debt has increased by more than $5 trillion, including $2.1 trillion of additional debt accumulated since August 2011, when the debt ceiling was raised from $14.3 trillion to $16.4 trillion. Thus, a mere seventeen months later, America technically went bankrupt again on New Year’s Eve. This means that until further credit is authorized by the House in the form of raising the debt ceiling – again – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will have to move money around in federal accounts, a process he claims will buy us about two more months before technical bankruptcy becomes genuine bankruptcy.

Now one might think that our runaway freight train of deficit spending would have chastened our elected representatives. One would be completely and utterly wrong. Despite the great fiscal cliff “victory” being touted by Democrats and their media enablers, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed that the heart of that victory, raising taxes on wealthy Americans, is little more than emotional boob bait for the masses: as a result of the deal, $3.9 trillion will be added to the national debt over the next ten years, bringing us up to more than $20 trillion.

Unfortunately and incredibly, this is small potatoes compared to America’s unfunded obligations. Christopher Cox, former chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Bill Archer, former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, reveal the true scope of America’s problem in a Wall Street Journal article. “The actual liabilities of the federal government–including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits–already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP,” they write.

Yet the most important part of the article addresses the reality of taxation. “When the accrued expenses of the government’s entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually…Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon,” they warn (italics added).

In response to this reality, our intrepid president and his party have brought their teaspoons to the battle. Even as the fiscal cliff deal was on the cusp of being made, Obama insisted that the one atom of relative sanity, the spending cuts mandated by sequestration, conveniently kicked down the road for another two months, were a bridge too far. “We’re using an axe instead of a scalpel,” he contended. For perspective’s sake, it should be noted that the total amount of spending scheduled to be “axed,” absent the further whittling that will more than likely occur when the political class inevitably reprises its lament regarding “draconian cuts,” comes to $1 trillion over ten years.

Such unseriousness, courtesy of reckless Democrats and, in some respects, spineless Republicans, is precisely what brought the nation to the brink of insolvency. If one compares the minuscule level of cuts deemed “draconian,” with the gargantuan and growing level of spending that is somehow “manageable,” as long as the “rich” pay their “fair share,” only one logical, if painful, conclusion can be reached:

Despite their past culpability, either Republicans stand firm, take control of the federal spending debate immediately and endure the coordinated and massive attacks that are sure to accompany any effort to bring the nation’s spending addiction under control, or the country will face dire consequences.

Such attacks have already begun. Huffington Post columnist Jason Linkins refers to debt ceiling “hostage takers” who are “dangerous psychopaths, full stop.”  House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who must have missed the memo regarding over-the-top language, referred to Republicans seeking to leverage the debt ceiling as “somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, ‘I’m going to shoot my child if you don’t do what I want done.’” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) chairman of the Finance Committee, was less incendiary, but equally unrealistic. ”It’s anachronistic,” he said.  “We’ve already voted on spending and revenue, and so the debt ceiling is just a confirmation of what we voted on.”

Baucus is disingenuous at best, and an outright liar at worst. Over the course of the last three and a half years, House Republicans have sent budget proposal after budget proposal to the Democratically-controlled Senate. Every one of them has died without a vote. Despite being required by law to do so, the Senate has not only failed to pass a budget in those same three and a half years, they failed to even draft one in 2011 or 2012. The House also passed a bill in October to avoid the fiscal cliff, and Democrats not only tabled it, but sent out Chuck Schumer to warn Republicans that any attempt to reform the tax code in 2013 would be completely resisted, because the idea is “obsolete.” Democrats have been so irresponsible, even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough noticed. Senate Democrats are “negligent” and “cynical” because “they don’t want the American people to know what their priorities are,” he contended.

Democrat priorities are painfully obvious. They wish to grow the size and scope of government, and the costs of doing so are irrelevant.

As far as the president is concerned, the Constitution may be irrelevant as well. On New Year’s day, Obama warned Republicans that he intends to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally. “I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills, they have already racked up through the laws they have passed,” he said.

He continued. “Let me repeat, you can’t not pay bills that we have already incurred,” he said. “If Congress refuses to the United States government the ability to pay these bills on-time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic–far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff. People will remember back in 2011, the last time this course of action was threatened, our entire recovery was put at risk. We can’t go down that path again.”

U.S. News and World Report editor-in-chief Mort Zuckerman illuminates the president’s preferred path. “If you constantly live beyond your means by increasing your credit card balance and bank borrowing, eventually your debt rises to a level where all you are doing is paying the interest on your credit cards and loans…This is what is facing the United States. Unless we make changes, by 2055 interest costs will be the only thing that the United States will be able to pay for with available revenues and resources,” he writes.

And that’s assuming we make it that far. Any remaining daylight between now and the ultimate day of reckoning is predicated on the reality that the rest of the world still believes American is not a deadbeat nation. Americans have virtually no clue how fast things can change once investors lose confidence in our ability to get our fiscal act together. In 2012, the interest alone on the current level of debt was almost $360 billion — financed at record-low interest rates. If rates return to their historic norms, those payments could double in a New York minute. Adding more debt would raise them still higher. In other words, America could be facing a future where more than a trillion dollars is spent — on absolutely nothing other than interest. Yet somehow any attempt by Republicans to draw a line in the sand amounts to hostage-taking of children by dangerous psychopaths engaged in anachronistic and obsolete endeavors.

That’s the kind of rhetoric to which Republicans will be subjected in the coming two months. If they have an ounce of integrity left, they will come to realize that taking a rhetorical beating may be difficult to endure. But that is far better than acting as willing accomplices in bankrupting the nation.
303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Welcome to VERY scary times... on: January 02, 2013, 11:26:04 AM
2013: Welcome to Very, Very Scary Times

Posted By Victor Davis Hanson On January 2, 2013

On the One Hand…

These should not be foreboding years. The U.S. is in the midst of a veritable energy revolution. There is a godsend of new gas and oil discoveries that will help to curtail our fiscal and foreign policy vulnerabilities — an energy bonanza despite, not because of [1], the present administration.

Demographically, our rivals — the EU, China, Russia, and Japan — are both shrinking and aging [2] at rates far in excess of our own [3].

In terms of farming, the United States is exporting more produce than ever before at record prices. Americans eat the safest and cheapest food on the planet.

As far as high-tech gadgetry, the global companies that have most changed the world in recent years — Amazon’s online buying, Google search engines, Apple iPhones, iPads, and Mac laptops — are mostly American. There is a reason why Mexican nationals are not crossing their border into Guatemala — and it is not because they prefer English speakers to Spanish speakers.

Militarily, the United States is light years ahead of its rivals. And so on…

The New Poverty Is the Old Middle Class

We have redefined poverty itself [4] through government entitlements, modes of mass production and consumerism, and technological breakthroughs. The poor man is not hungry; more likely he suffers from obesity, now endemic among the less affluent. He is not deprived of a big-screen TV, a Kia, warm water, or an air conditioner. (My dad got our first color television during my first year in college in 1972, a small 19 inch portable; I bought my first new car at 39, and quit changing  my own oil at 44.)

In classical terms, today’s poor man is poor not in relative global terms (e.g. compared to a Russian, Bolivian, or Yemeni), but in the sense that there are those in America who have more things and choices than does he: a BMW instead of a Hyundai, ribeye instead of ground beef, Pellegrino rather than regular Coke, Tuscany in the summer rather than Anaheim at Disneyland, and L.L. Bean tasteful footwear rather than Payless shoes. I was in Manhattan not long ago, and noticed that my cheap, discount-store sportcoat and Target tie did not raise eyebrows among the wealthy people I spoke to, suggesting that the veneer of aristocracy is now within all our reach. When I returned to Selma, I noted that those ahead of me at Super Wal-Mart were clothed no differently than was I. Their EBD cards bought about the same foods.

Put all the above developments together, and an alignment of the planets is favoring America as never before — as long as we do not do something stupid to nullify what fate, our ancestors, and our own ingenuity have given us. But unfortunately that is precisely what is now happening.

The New Hubris

These are the most foreboding times in my 59 years. The reelection of Barack Obama has released a surge of rare honesty among the Left about its intentions, coupled with a sense of triumphalism that the country is now on board for still greater redistributionist change.

There is no historical appreciation among the new progressive technocracy that central state planning [5], whether the toxic communist brand or supposedly benevolent socialism, has only left millions of corpses in its wake, or abject poverty and misery. Add up the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and the sum is 80 million murdered or starved to death. Add up North Korea, Cuba, and the former Eastern Europe, and the tally is egalitarian poverty and hopelessness. The EU sacrificed democratic institutions for coerced utopianism and still failed, leaving its Mediterranean shore bankrupt and despondent.

Nor is there much philosophical worry that giving people massive subsidies destroys individualism, the work ethic, and the personal sense of accomplishment. There is rarely worry expressed that a profligate nation that borrows from others abroad and those not born has no moral compass. There is scant political appreciation that the materialist Marxist argument — that justice is found only through making sure that everyone has the same slice of stuff from the zero-sum pie — was supposed to end up on the ash heap of history.

Read the News and Weep

That is not conspiracy talk, but simply a distillation of what I read today. On the last day of the year when I am writing this, I offer you just three sample op-eds.

A journalist, Donald Kaul, in the Des Moines Register offers us a three-step, presto! plan [6] to stop school shootings:

Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. … Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. …Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.

Note the new ease with which the liberal mind calls for trashing the Constitution, outlawing those whom they don’t like (reminiscent of “punish our enemies” [7]?), and killing those politicians with whom they don’t agree (we are back to Bush Derangement Syndrome, when novels, movies, and op-eds dreamed of the president’s assassination [8].)

What would be the Register’s reaction should a conservative opponent of abortion dare write, “Repeal the First Amendment; ban Planned Parenthood as a terrorist organization; and drag Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi from a truck”? If an idiot were to write that trash, I doubt the Washington Times or Wall Street Journal would print such sick calls for overturning the Constitution and committing violence against public officials.

Ah Yes, Still More Redistribution

Turning to a column in The New Republic, John Judis, in honest fashion, more or less puts all the progressive cards on the table in a column titled “Obama’s Tax Hikes Won’t Be Nearly Big Enough [9]” — a candor about what the vast $5 trillion deficits of Obama’s first term were all about in the first place.

Here is the summation quote: “But to fund these programs, governments will have to extract a share of income from those who are able to afford them and use the revenues to make the services available for everyone.”

Note that Judas was not talking about the projected new taxes in the fiscal cliff talks, but something far greater to come. He understands well that the “gorge the beast” philosophy that resulted in these astronomical debts will require enormous new sources of revenue, funds “to extract” from “those who are able to afford them” in order to “make services available for everyone.”

That is about as neat a definition of coerced socialism as one can find. Implicit in Judas’s formulation is that only a very well-educated (and well-compensated) technocratic class will possess the wisdom, the proper schooling, and the morality to adjudicate who are to be the extracted ones and who the new “everyone.”

The Constitution — Who the Hell Needs It?

The third item in my year-end reading was the most disturbing. A law professor (could it be otherwise?) named Louis Michael Seidman enlightens us with “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution” [10] — yet another vision of what the now triumphant liberal mind envisions for us all:

As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

Did Madison force Obama to borrow a half-billion dollars to fund Solyndra and its multimillionaire con artists?

Note Seidman’s use of “evil,” which tips his hand that our great moralist is on an ethical crusade to change the lives of lesser folk, who had the misfortune of growing up in America — a place so much less prosperous, fair, and secure than, say, Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Spain, Greece, Italy, or Japan and Germany (in the earlier 20th century history) . When I lived in Greece, traveled to Libya, and went into Mexico, I forgot to sigh, “My God, these utopias are possible for us too, if we just junked that evil Constitution.”

White Guys Did It

The non-archaic, un-idiosyncratic, and anti-downright evil Professor Seidman presses his argument against his inferiors who wrote the “evil” document: “Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.”

Ah yes, old white male Madison, who lacked the insight, character, and morality of our new liberal technocrats in our successful law schools, such as, well, Mr. Seidman himself:

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official —  say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress  –  reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

I suppose human nature changes every decade or so [11], so why shouldn’t constitutions as well?

I can see Seidman’s vision now: Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi decides that semi-automatic handguns, not cheap Hollywood violence or sick video games, empower the insane to kill, and, presto, their “considered judgment” and favored “particular course of action” trump the archaic and evil wisdom of “white propertied men.”  But if we wish to avoid the baleful influence of white guys, can Seidman point to indigenous Aztec texts for liberal guidance, or perhaps the contemporary constitution of liberated Zimbabwe, or the sagacity of the Chinese court system?

The Law Is What We Say It Is

Note the fox-in-the-henhouse notion that a constitutional law professor essentially hates the Constitution he is supposed to teach, sort of like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warning the Egyptians not to follow our own constitutional example, when South Africa has offered so much more to humanity than did Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and others: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa.” [12]  Ginsburg obviously vacations in Johannesburg, goes to Cape Town for her medical treatment, and has a vacation home and bank account in the scenic South African countryside.

Seidman looks fondly on Roosevelt’s war against the Constitution (especially the notion that law is essentially what an elected president who has proper “aspirations” says it is):

In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation.

No doubt.

Free at Last from Constitutional Chains

In the age of Obama, the constitutional law lecturer who once lamented that the Supreme Court had not gone far enough by failing to take up questions of forced redistribution, Seidman writes:

In the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text. Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.

But I thought it was the Constitution, not the anti-Constitution or egalitarian good will, that separated us from Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Tojo’s Japan, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and most of the miserable places that one sees abroad today, from Cuba to North Korea, which all had and have one thing in common — the embrace of some sort of national, republican, or democratic “socialism” guiding their efforts and plastered about in their sick mottoes.

The progressive mind, given that it is more enlightened and moral, alone can  determine which parts of the “evil” Constitution should be summarily ignored (e.g., the Second Amendment) and which should not be: “This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.”

Give Real Freedom a Chance

I am sure that history offers all sorts of examples where people without evil documents like our Constitution protected free speech and religious worship — out of “respect.”  Ask Socrates, Jesus, six million Jews, 20 million Russians, or those with eyeglasses [13] during the days of the Khmer Rouge. Apparently, what stops such carnage is not the rule of constitutional law, but good progressive minds who care for others and show respect. I’ll try that rhetoric on the next thief who for the fourth time will steal the copper wire conduit from my pump.

So just dream with Professor Seidman:

The deep-seated fear that such disobedience would unravel our social fabric is mere superstition. As we have seen, the country has successfully survived numerous examples of constitutional infidelity…What has preserved our political stability is not a poetic piece of parchment, but entrenched institutions and habits of thought and, most important, the sense that we are one nation and must work out our differences. No one can predict in detail what our system of government would look like if we freed ourselves from the shackles of constitutional obligation, and I harbor no illusions that any of this will happen soon. But even if we can’t kick our constitutional-law addiction, we can soften the habit… before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.

I have seen their future and it is almost here right now. Scary times, indeed.
304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Business-Crushing Regulations Around the Corner... on: December 27, 2012, 10:29:02 AM
Obama’s Regulatory Cliff Draws Near

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 27, 2012 @ www.frontpagemag.com

Many Americans believe the biggest problem the nation currently faces is the so-called fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, the fiscal cliff is nothing compared to the avalanche of new regulations that will be coming in 2013. That Americans remain unaware of this ominous development is understandable. The most transparent administration in history ignored the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and a subsequent series of executive orders that require the semi-annual release of all regulations under development or review by some 60 departments, agencies, and commissions. Thus, the April 2012 and October 2012 deadlines came and went without compliance. Now that the election is over, Americans will discover just how all-encompassing Obama and his big-government zealots intend to be.
The scope is staggering. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the overall regulatory burden has reached $1.8 trillion annually, and $215.4 billion in compliance costs have been added in 2012 alone. The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website reveals that 4,100 new regulations are in the pipeline, with more than 400 aimed at small businesses, whose compliance costs will exceed those of their larger competitors by 36 percent.

Unsurprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be taking the lead role in flexing the administration’s regulatory muscles. Proposals to significantly expand the Clean Water Act will give the EPA power over virtually every body of water in the nation, including farm ponds, streams, and even storm water runoff, all of which could seriously impact family farmers and small businesses. More restrictive requirements for controlling ozone emissions could cost $90 billion annually and trigger the potential loss of millions of jobs. The designation of coal ash as a “hazardous substance” will substantially increase energy costs, adding another $79 billion to $110 billion to the regulatory tab, and eliminating thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri, and Ohio. A new rule that tightens allowable levels of so-called fine particulate matter will be added to the mix as well, making it far harder for local governments to issue new manufacturing permits.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who had demanded the Obama administration comply with the law regarding the release of regulations and was ignored, released a list of ominous new rules compiled by his Senate committee on Environment and Public Works, including Greenhouse Gas Regulations that “will cost more than $300 to $400 billion a year, and significantly raise the price of gas at the pump and energy in the home” and affect “not just coal plants” but “churches, schools, restaurants, hospitals and farms [that] will eventually be regulated.” Inhofe further reveals these requirements are “so strict they virtually eliminate coal as a fuel option for future electric power generation.”

Adding to Americans’ misery is a large number of proposed regulations that were piling up at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) before the election as well. 78 percent of the 151 regulations awaiting review had been pending for more than 90 days, once again exceeding the maximum time allowed by law. Several of the most costly include a Department of Transportation rule requiring rear-view camera and video displays for all new cars and trucks, at an estimated cost of up to $2.7 billion; stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators that could run as high as $20 billion in costs; energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers, freezers and commercial refrigeration, applying to virtually all equipment used in retail food stores, increasing manufacturing costs by $500 million over four years; and Department of Labor restrictions on worker exposure to crystalline silica common in mining, manufacturing and construction jobs, costing $5.5 billion, as well as inducing a loss of $3.1 billion of economic output on an annual basis. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also joining the frenzy, aiming to implement long-delayed regulations requiring automakers to include event data recorders, aka “black boxes,” in all new cars and light trucks beginning in 2014.

Then there is the Frank-Dodd financial reform law. Although it was written almost two-and-a-half years ago, the 2300 page behemoth, with at least 400 separate rules affecting virtually the entire financial sector, had failed to meet 63 percent of its own deadlines as of July 2, 2012. As a result, thousands of businesses, already reeling from the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff, are dealing with more uncertainty here as well, having no idea what they must do to be in compliance. Despite the idea that the law was ostensibly written to address the financial crisis of 2007-2008, many of its provisions are completely unrelated to it.

Yet in keeping with this administration’s “never let a crisis go to waste” mentality, Dodd-Frank offered the administration yet another opportunity to expand the size and scope of government. These include vast new powers granted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the regulatory authority for credit and debit cards, mortgages, student loans, savings and checking accounts, and most other consumer financial products and services. The CFPB’s power is further enhanced by the reality that it is immune to congressional control, because its funding is now a fixed portion of the Federal Reserve’s budget.

Dodd-Frank also expands government authority to seize control of firms that regulators designate as failing and, unlike bankruptcy proceedings, the process is not supervised by a court and grants only limited judicial review, raising the possibility that government can illegally seize property in violation of the Constitution. Other regulations will impact consumer credit, result in higher service fees and, as financial institutions are forced to pay for regulatory compliance officers and attorneys, money that would otherwise be loaned for mortgages and new businesses will be tied up.

Other parts of Dodd-Frank yet to be finalized are rules for such items as living wills, capital requirements and proprietary trading restriction for banks and other financial institutions, along with possible court challenges that would most likely hinge on whether a rule can withstand a cost-benefit analysis. In short, businesses and financial institutions expected to lead the nation in growth and job creation will be flying blind–meaning they will most likely wait and see what Congress does before expanding, or adding new employees.

The other 800-pound gorilla with loads of uncertainty attached to it, even as it begins to affect Americans in 2013, is Obamacare. It wasn’t until right after the election that Americans learned they will be paying a $63 fee to offset what the administration concedes will be a massive disruption in the insurance markets, courtesy of new healthcare requirements. Yet this is nothing compared to the 13,000 pages of federal ObamaCare regulations that still don’t fully address how the maze of new programs will operate. Many Americans are already aware that several companies are cutting back on employees and/or employee hours to avoid the mandate that requires companies with 50 full-time employees to pay their healthcare, or pay a fine. Yet the law is so confusing it took a whopping 18 pages of gov-speak to define a full-time employee. Equally vague are the regulations states must follow to set up health care exchanges, so much so that even those that support the process don’t know how to proceed. Health insurance companies also remain in the dark regarding what benefits must be covered and at what price so they can design and price their policies, develop marketing materials that meet yet-to-be-announced government specifications, and deal with a seeming endless maze of other calculations.

Once again, many of the new regulations were approved as early as last May by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), yet kept from the public until after the election. Such surreptitiousness produced an embarrassing moment for 18 Democratic senators and senators-elect, who “discovered” the bill they had voted for or supported contained a job-killing $28 billion tax on medical device sales.

Yet the most ominous aspect of Obamacare is the power it confers on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a position currently held by Kathleen Sebelius. The American Spectator’s Philip Klein gave Americans a hint in 2010. The new healthcare law “finds that there are more than 700 instances in which the Secretary is instructed that she ‘shall’ do something, and more than 200 cases in which she ‘may’ take some form of regulatory action if she chooses. On 139 occasions, the law mentions decisions that the ‘Secretary determines,’” he writes. As a result Sebelius can “determine what type of insurance coverage every American is required to have. She can influence what hospitals can participate in certain plans, can set up health insurance exchanges within states against their will, and even regulate McDonald’s Happy Meals. She’ll run pilot programs that Democrats have set up in an effort to control costs, and be in a position to dole out billions of dollars in grant money.”

In short, one could make a reasonable argument that a healthcare bureaucrat is the most powerful woman in the nation.

Other than the details of the regulations themselves, none of this should surprise anyone. This president and his party have made it very clear they will spare no effort to insert government into the lives of Americans wherever possible, even testing the limits of the Constitution to do so. The avalanche of new regulations, piled on top the hundreds of thousands of those that already exist, is further testament to a progressive ideology that has taken the concept of government by, for and of the people and turned it on its head. Now more than ever Americans are expected to serve government, not the other way around.

Sadly, a substantial number of Americans don’t mind, having bought into a devil’s bargain of entitlements and handouts aimed at convincing them such an odious tradeoff is reasonable. Yet the words of former President Gerald Ford ring truer than ever: “A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”
305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kwanzaa: The Invented (in 1966) Holiday... on: December 27, 2012, 08:07:47 AM
Kwanzaa: Holiday Brought to You by the FBI

Posted By Ann Coulter On December 27, 2012 @ www.frontpagemag.com

Is it just me, or does Kwanzaa seem to come earlier and earlier each year? And let’s face it, Kwanzaa’s gotten way too commercialized.

A few years ago, I suspended my annual Kwanzaa column because my triumph over this fake holiday seemed complete. The only people still celebrating Kwanzaa were presidential-statement writers and white female public school teachers.

But it seems to be creeping back. A few weeks ago, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., complained about having to stick around Washington for fiscal cliff negotiations by accusing Republicans of not caring about “families” coming together to bond during Kwanzaa. The private schools have picked up this PC nonsense from the public schools. (Soon, no one will know anything.)

It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga — aka Dr. Maulana Karenga — founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers. He was also a dupe of the FBI.

In what was ultimately a foolish gamble, during the madness of the ’60s, the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the group, the better.

By that criterion, Karenga’s United Slaves was perfect. In the annals of the American ’60s, Karenga was the Father Gapon, stooge of the czarist police.

Despite modern perceptions that blend all the black activists of the ’60s, the Black Panthers did not hate whites. They did not seek armed revolution (although some of their most high-profile leaders were drug dealers and murderers). Those were the precepts of Karenga’s United Slaves.

United Slaves were proto-fascists, walking around in dashikis, gunning down Black Panthers and adopting invented “African” names. (That was a big help to the black community: How many boys named “Jamal” are currently in prison?)

It’s as if David Duke invented a holiday called “Anglika,” which he based on the philosophy of “Mein Kampf” — and clueless public school teachers began celebrating the made-up, racist holiday.

Whether Karenga was a willing dupe, or just a dupe, remains unclear.

Curiously, in a 1995 interview with Ethnic NewsWatch, Karenga matter-of-factly explained that the forces out to get O.J. Simpson for the “framed” murder of two whites included: “the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, Interpol, the Chicago Police Department” and so on. Karenga should know about FBI infiltration. (He further noted that the evidence against O.J. “was not strong enough to prohibit or eliminate unreasonable doubt” — an interesting standard of proof.)

In the category of the-gentleman-doth-protest-too-much, back in the ’70s, Karenga was quick to criticize rumors that black radicals were government-supported. When Nigerian newspapers claimed that some American black radicals were CIA operatives, Karenga publicly denounced the idea, saying, “Africans must stop generalizing about the loyalties and motives of Afro-Americans, including the widespread suspicion of black Americans being CIA agents.”

Now we know that the FBI fueled the bloody rivalry between the Panthers and United Slaves. In one barbarous outburst, Karenga’s United Slaves shot to death two Black Panthers on the UCLA campus: Al “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins. Karenga himself served time, a useful stepping-stone for his current position as a black studies professor at California State University at Long Beach.

Karenga’s invented holiday is a nutty blend of schmaltzy ’60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another charming legacy of the Worst Generation.

In 1974, Patricia Hearst, kidnap victim-cum-SLA revolutionary, posed next to the banner of her alleged captors, a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA’s revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani — the exact same seven “principles” of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa praises collectivism in every possible area of life — economics, work, personality, even litter removal. (“Kuumba: Everyone should strive to improve the community and make it more beautiful.”) It takes a village to raise a police snitch.

When Karenga was asked to distinguish Kawaida, the philosophy underlying Kwanzaa, from “classical Marxism,” he essentially said that, under Kawaida, we also hate whites. (Kawaida, Kwanzaa and Kuumba are also the only three Kardashian sisters not to have their own shows on the E! network.)

While taking the “best of early Chinese and Cuban socialism” — excluding, one hopes, the forced abortions, imprisonment of homosexuals and forced labor — Karenga said Kawaida practitioners believe one’s racial identity “determines life conditions, life chances and self-understanding.” There’s an inclusive philosophy for you.

Kwanzaa was the result of a ’60s psychosis grafted onto the black community. Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural nonsense that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga’s United Slaves — the violence, the Marxism, the insanity.

Most absurdly, for leftists anyway, they have forgotten the FBI’s tacit encouragement of this murderous black nationalist cult founded by the father of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa emerged not from Africa, but from the FBI’s COINTELPRO. It is a holiday celebrated exclusively by idiot white liberals. Black people celebrate Christmas. (Merry Christmas, fellow Christians!)

Sing to “Jingle Bells”:

Kwanzaa bells, dashikis sell
Whitey has to pay;
Burning, shooting, oh what fun
On this made-up holiday!
306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What the Israeli Public Really Thinks: on: December 24, 2012, 12:07:51 PM
What the Israeli Public Really Thinks

Posted By Steven Plaut On December 24, 2012 -

I find public opinion polls fascinating, at least when they are real polls, as opposed to that manipulative pseudo-poll from a couple of weeks back, run by Peace Now’s Amiram Goldblum (Hebrew University, pharmacy studies) and his far-leftist cronies, claiming to “prove” Israelis were pro-apartheid.   In the past the Israeli media used to publish 3 or 4 polls a week.  The number dropped to near zero in recent years, and my guess is it is because the leftist media do not want you to know what Israelis actually think.

But with elections nigh, there are a lot of polls coming out.  The one in a recent edition of Maariv is, I think, interesting.  It is a survey of the general population (including Arabs), and a sub-survey just of those who identify themselves as leaning to the Right.

You can draw your own conclusions.

Of the general population, when asked if they favor the existence of a Palestinian state, 66% oppose, 11% favor, and 23% are undecided or have a more ambiguous position.  Bear in mind that about 18% of Israelis are Arabs.  When asked if they favor construction in the E-1 area between Jerusalem and the Maaleh Adumim suburb, which has been in the news recently as a “controversy,” 51% support construction, 9% oppose, and 40% are not sure (probably do not know what it is about). When asked about allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, 71% support and 7% oppose.  When asked what they think of Supreme Court judicial review of laws, 48% oppose it, 41% support, and only 10% did not know.

When restricted to Israelis defining themselves as leaning Right, 54% of these are secularists, 27% say they are religiously “traditionalist,” 11% modern Orthodox, and 8% Chareidi.  This is notable because the media stereotype of the “Right” is as the ”Religious Right.”  But more than half of rightists are secularist, larger probably than the numbers among the Left or Center.  Women are more likely than men to identify with the Right, and the young more than the old.  About 24% of rightists have college or post-high school education, probably a bit less than the general population but not a lot less.  Income distribution of Rightists looks similar to that of the general population.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here. 
307  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Evil in Connecticut on: December 21, 2012, 04:43:45 PM
I agree with G M on this point.  Here in Georgia, we fought tooth-and-nail for years before finally getting a bill through the state legislature that mandated employers to allow firearms in employees' locked vehicles.  An employer can (and usually does) still prohibit anyone - including concealed carry permit holders - to bring a firearm into the workspace with them.  I agree that the employer ought to be directly liable for any killings that result from this policy - without limitation.
308  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / What the Left means by "Gun Culture"... on: December 19, 2012, 01:58:12 PM
Gun Culture and Gun-Control Culture

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 19, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Hardly had the blood been scrubbed off the floors in Newtown than everyone who was anyone had begun shifting the blame from Adam Lanza to some intangible social failure.

Back in 2002, Michael Moore trundled his bulk over to Colorado to exploit the Columbine massacre for a general rant about gun culture, American foreign policy and how hard it was to find a shop selling bacon grease by the ton at two in the morning.

In his film, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Moore gave his audience what they wanted, lots of scenes of “hicks and hillbillies” buying, selling and giving away guns all over the place to illustrate the murderous ravages of American gun culture. Some of those scenes were staged, but it didn’t matter since Moore was catering to an audience that had nothing but contempt for working class Americans and would believe any awful thing about them.

What did gun culture have to do with a plot by two disgruntled dorks with tastes in pop culture far afield from the rural gun-loving dystopia that Moore was doing his best to depict? About as much as gun culture has to do with headcases like Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner.

Your average school shooter is unhappy and angry, irreligious, incapable of fitting into a community and filled with rage that he exercises through violent fantasies. His culture isn’t gun culture. It’s loner culture. Video games do not cause him to kill, but they are how he entertains himself until he can get a taste of the real thing.

Adam Lanza, Dylan Kleibold, Eric Harris, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, One L. Goh and Jared Loughner had as much in common with what the Michael Moore Fan Club thinks of as “gun culture” as Michael Moore does with the working class. Whatever gun culture they had was not the American Scots-Irish culture of the hunter, the rancher and the militia member, but the urban posse of emasculated men of no worth that brandish weapons as a way to get respect.

The gun culture of the school shooter is the lobby scene in The Matrix, the frag or be fragged multiplayer gaming culture of Halo and Doom, and the Joker killing his way across Gotham. None of these products of mass entertainment make one a killer, but they are also far more illustrative of the type of gun culture that defines school shooters, than anything that Michael Moore and the MSNBC talking heads mean by gun culture.

For most Americans there is no gun culture, only the ownership of guns. To the extent that any gun culture has developed it was in response to a gun-control culture that sought to demonize the ownership of firearms. The traditional and religious culture of the American gun owner has little in common with the power fantasies of the school shooter. To the gun owner, a firearm is a necessary tool. To the school shooter, it is a way to stop feeling powerless, a way to get beyond the ersatz joys of killing bots and avatars, of watching Keanu Reeves spin through the air while filling a mob of policemen full of lead, with the joy of the real kill.

For all the loose talk about American gun culture, no one really seems to be able to define what it is. Defining gun culture by the entertainment industry drifts too far into Hollywood and Detroit, and away from the rural culture that is the real target of gun-control culture.

Instead there are a thousand articles written in children’s blood crying out, “We can’t just do nothing.” Something must be done. Now. Last week. If only we ban more weapons, we can be as safe as Norway, home of the worst shooting spree of all, or Connecticut, which already has an assault weapons ban. For the children… who had no one to protect them when a gunman came to their school and will still have no one to protect them when gun-control culture gets its way.

After these come a torrent of armchair psychology analyses of America’s gun culture, which are only slightly more elegant versions of Michael Moore’s thesis about rural America. And those are what gun culture is really about. After all how can you be confident of your own superiority unless you have a documentary and a hundred articles affirming it for you by the traditional method of putting down the people at the bottom of the ladder.

What liberals think of as gun culture is really shorthand for rural America. It’s what liberals won’t say, but it’s what they mean. Americans are still sentimental about the village, so, for now, the number of movies that portray the rural community as ideal, rather than a hive of small-minded bigots, is still rather high. But there are backdoor ways of getting at the same topic, and talking about gun culture is one of them.

When liberals talk about “gun culture”, they mean the same thing that Barack Obama did when he told his San Francisco fundraiser friends about the people out there who still cling to their bibles and their guns. It isn’t about the guns really, though gun-control culture is worried about having that much personal autonomy in the hands of people who don’t share their values and like their independence, it’s about rural America. And rural America, like guns, is another symbol that stands in for traditional America.

The left cannot talk about how much it hates this country. Gun culture is one of its dog whistles. Talking about gun culture allows the left to publicly vent its hatred for America. But the truth about gun culture is that the left has a great deal more in common with Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner. Far more than those shooters had with any phantom conservative gun culture.

The American left, like any high school shooter, is bitter, angry, disgruntled and filled with contempt for the rest of the country. Stuck in a country made of flyover country, the left treats Americans to their own Columbine Massacre every time it defends criminals and terrorists, every time it wrecks American manufacturing and laughs all the way to the bank as it bankrupts Americans.

And both the left and the shooters agree that the people should not have guns.
309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Modern Wisdom from Ancient Minds. on: December 18, 2012, 01:39:46 PM
Modern Wisdom from Ancient Minds

Victor Davis Hanson - December 18, 2012

The Tragic View

Of course we can acquire a sense of man’s predictable fragilities from religion, the Judeo-Christian view in particular, or from the school of hard knocks. Losing a grape crop to rain a day before harvest, or seeing a warehouse full of goods go up in smoke the week before their sale, or being diagnosed with leukemia on the day of a long-awaited promotion convinces even the most naïve optimist that the world sort of works in tragic ways that we must accept, but do not fully understand.


Yet classical literature is the one of the oldest and most abstract guides to us that there are certain parameters that we may seek to overcome, but must also accept that we ultimately cannot.

You Can’t Stop Aging, Nancy

Take the modern obsession with beauty and aging, two human facts that all the Viagra and surgery in the world cannot change. I expect few readers have endured something like the Joe Biden makeover or the Nancy Pelosi facial fix (I thought those on the Left were more inclined to the natural way? Something is not very green and egalitarian about spending gads of money for something so unnatural). Most of you accept wrinkles, creaky joints, and thinning hair. Oh, we exercise and try to keep in shape and youthful, but a Clint Eastwood seems preferable looking to us than a stretched and stitched Sylvester Stallone.

The Greek lyric poets, from Solon to Mimnermus, taught that there is nothing really “golden” about old age. That did not mean that at about age 50-70 one is not both wiser than at 20 and less susceptible to the destructive appetites and passions — only that such mental and emotional maturity come at the terrible price of a decline in energy and physicality. When I now mow the lawn or chain saw, in about 10 minutes a knee is sore, an elbow swollen, a back strained — and from nothing more than a silly wrong pivot. Biking 100 miles a week seems to make the joints more, not less, painful. At 30 going up a 30-foot ladder was fun; at near 60 it is a high-wire act. There is some cruel rule that the more it is necessary at 60 to build muscle mass, the more the joints and tendons seem to rebel at the necessary regimen.

The ancients honored old age, as the revered Gerousia and the Senate attest, but on the concession that with sobriety came far less exuberance and spontaneity. I suppose old Ike would never had mouthed JFK’s “pay any price” to intervene and oppose communism. Yet we must try to stay competitive until the last breath, if not with our bodies, then with our minds — like old blabbermouth Isocrates railing in his 90s, or Sophocles writing the Oedipus at Colonus (admittedly not a great play) well after 90. Cicero’s De Senectute reminds us that knowledge and learning can bridge some of the vast gap between the age cohorts. I remember an 80-year-old woman in one of my Greek classes who palled around with the 20-somethings; apparently when they were all reading Homer, they all forgot trivial things such as looks and age — at least for the ephemeral two hours they were reading The Iliad. (One young man after a class said, “She looks good in jeans.”)

In term of relative power, the Greeks and Romans felt that youth often trumped wisdom, at least in the sense that the firm 21 year old held all the cards with her obsessed 50-year-old admirer.  When I sometimes read of the latest harassment suit that involved consensual adult sex involving an “imbalance in power,” I wonder what a Petronius, who wrote about crafty youth using their beauty to incite and humiliate the foolish aging, would think. Was Paula Broadwell really a victim in a “power imbalance”? Over the decades I have seen a number of adept young graduate students who fooled silly old goats (often the same nerds that they were in high school) into consensual relationships that aided their careers, but then, when the benefits were exhausted, they moved on, only to define themselves as victims as the need arose. A Greek would laugh at that idea of victims and oppressors.

As far as beauty goes, what is so attractive about either the perfect Stepford wives’ look or the starved model appearance? From red-figure vase painting to Rubens, Western tastes have appreciated curves, not lines. Where did the new beauty profile come from that is abnormal and usually achieved only through surgery: 5’ 10” females, weighing 120 lbs., with micro-waists and huge breasts and rears, as if more than 1% of the population is born that way? Ovid also reminds us that, on occasion, a blemish can mesmerize the beholder, in the way perhaps Cleopatra’s ample nose incited Caesar and Antony. I used to find the actress Sandy Dennis’s uncorrected overbite appealing in the way I don’t find today’s oversized, bleached, spot-lighted, and perfectly capped choppers inviting. A mole for the Greeks should not be removed. The classics remind us that a small defect is no defect at all. Forty years ago, I once knew an undergraduate with a scar across running across her chin, maybe six inches in length, and a few millimeters wide. It was hypnotic. And what happened to the classical emphases on voice, comportment, grace, and gesture as ingredients of beauty? Have they simply fallen by the wayside in our boobs/butt obsessed popular culture? Are there voice or posture classes anymore, or has it become all liposuction and implants?

Hoi Aristoi/Polloi

Admittedly classical literature is aristocratic, at least in the sense that the well-read and learned had more money than those whom they often wrote about. But that said, it is striking how frequently over a thousand years of Greek and Latin masterpieces arise words like “mob” (ochlos) and “throng” (turba) to describe the herd-like desire for entitlements without worry as to how they were to be funded. Virgil (vulgus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur) and Horace (Odi profanum vulgus et arceo) would assume that even the Wall Street Journal is not read at Super Wal-Mart. (But be careful: at a local electric motor shop, the two Hispanic mechanic/owners once asked me how I would rate Peter Green’s Alexander the Great — and then cited four other biographies — while I was waiting to have a motor rewound.)

Alexis de Tocqueville put forth a thesis that American democracy had a chance because the small-scale entrepreneur (see above) and autonomous, self-reliant agrarian were not so prone to the Siren-calls of the European mob. He felt that we in American would not perhaps follow the model of the fourth-century Athenian dêmos or imperial Roman vulgus that flocked to the cities for the dole, and hated the wealthy the more they taxed them (don’t think Obama will be happy with just raising rates on “millionaires”) — as if the ability to pay high taxes was always proof of the ability to pay even more. Tocqueville derived that pessimistic view from Aristotle whose best democracy was a politeia — rule by owners of some property, who were largely agrarian and self-reliant, and did not expect subsidies from others. Classics, then, teaches us to beware a situation when 47% of the population do not pay income taxes and nearly half of us receive federal and state subsidies. Perhaps we should go over the cliff so that the 53% all understand the burdens of higher taxes to subsidize the 47% who pay no income taxes. If we hike taxes on those who make over $1 million a year, then cannot we not insist that everyone pays at least $500 per year in federal income taxes — to appreciate that April 15 is not Christmas?

In that regard I now often think of Solon’s seisachtheia, the “shaking off” of debts by those small farmers of Attica burdened from having to pay 1/6th (or so scholars still believe) of their produce to their creditors — or the Messenian helots who were obligated to give ¼ to ½ of everything they produced to their Spartan overlord. Yet at this point, with a looming 40% federal tax rate, 12% California tax, returning payroll and higher Medicare taxes, and the new Obamacare hit, millions would prefer the oppressive take of classical serfdom to the present 55-60% of their income grabbed by the state. The new American helots, after all, will fork over sixty percent of their almond crops to the IRS, build six out of ten houses for their government, drive their trucks until July for Washington — and write thirty PJ weekly columns a year for Obama. The Tea Party might have been better named the Helot Party.

Stasis

I was thinking of the class strife in Sallust’s Conspiracy of Cataline the other day as well; I used to teach it and the Jugurthine War in third-year Latin. In my thirties I never quite understood the standard hackneyed redistributionist call of the late Roman republic for “cancellation of debts and redistribution of property!” But recently I reread Sallust with a new awareness — in the context of all the talk of mortgage forgiveness, credit card forgiveness, student loan forgiveness, wealth taxes, and new estates taxes. The subtext of those Catalinian platforms, of course, is that someone else was culpable for having enough money in the first place (rather than prudence, character, dutifulness, etc.) to pay what he had borrowed — and therefore as atonement should pay for others who were defrauded by the system.

In the Roman state, those who borrowed unwisely periodically needed a clean slate — paid for by those who mostly did not, albeit always dressed up in the sense of the noble poor and the rapacious rich. “Pay your fair share,” “fat cat,” “you didn’t build that,” “at some point you’ve made enough money,” etc. are right out of the demagoguery so brilliantly chronicled by Aristophanes, Plutarch, and Sallust. Debt relief and redistribution were not quaint classical topoi, but inherent in the human condition. For now our would be Gracchus in the White House seems a lot more like a Publius Claudius Pulcher (author of the expansion of the grain dole), an upscale elite who chose demagoguery as the best route to power, fame, influence, and riches — and who can’t finish a sentence without blasting “millionaires and billionaires” as the source of all our woes. How did it happen that those in government, with higher than private sector salaries, with access to free perks, with better than normal pensions and benefits, so often talk about the need for higher taxes without anyone replying that they were selfish in asking the worse off to subsidize the better off?

The Golden Mean

One theme sort of resonates through classical literature. Character consists of moderation, of avoiding hubris and thereby escaping nemesis. Character is formed through balanced behavior, from the trivial of not overeating, oversleeping, and overdrinking (“glutton,” “sloth,” and “drunk” have disappeared from the American vocabulary, though they were ubiquitous in Western languages for the last 2500 years), to being humble in success and resilient in humiliation and defeat as well. But here is the warning: the good man — whether Ajax or Socrates — should expect — perhaps even welcome? — the disdain of the crowd, and usually will not win acclaim or receive what he deserves in this life. (Achilles finally came to accept that.)

Once upon a time in Hollywood, great directors grasped that, and so in their versions of the Iliad or the Sophoclean play — think Shane, Ride the High Country, High Noon, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence — the man with character, if not killed, rides off into the sunset alone, glad to be free of those he saved. We don’t like our George S. Pattons and Curtis Lemays, at least until we are faced with the Waffen SS and the Japanese imperial military. Today, Marshall Will Kane might be dubbed a “loser,” or Ethan Edwards as “obsessed.”

Whatever character is, it was not Susan Rice’s recent letter/op-ed bowing out of consideration for nomination to the office of Secretary of State. Instead it was Euripidean projection, Pentheus-style, as she alleged politicization and cheap partisan distraction on the part of her critics, even as she unleashed a pattern of obfuscation of her own and race/gender pandering from her supporters.

Ave atque Salve

I was given a great gift to have been a student of classics, to have lived on a farm, and to have had a father who was nobly self-destructive in the Ajaxan sense (on his Selma gravestone reads Sophocles’ chiastic aphorism, “live nobly, or nobly die”). He practiced an archaic code that won him admiration, but made his job, his career, and his life almost impossible, whether over Tokyo in a B-29, or on a tractor, or in the Byzantine labyrinth of junior college administration, at which he excelled with his colleagues and students, but was deemed too eccentric by his administrative superiors. When I came home at 26 puffed up with a PhD, he met me in the driveway and said “The shed needs new shingles,” a not too subtle reminder right out of Hesiod that with intellectual progress can come moral regress.

One of the great, though inadvertent gifts of the Obama administration has been to remind us that the Rhodes Scholarship, the Harvard Law degree, the Stanford PhD, the Princeton BA mean, well, nothing much at all, if not perhaps a suspicion that a lot of intellectual branding and grandstanding came at the expense of two years on a tuna boat, or a year picking apples, or four summers at Starbucks, of anything to remind the young genius that he was not so smart after all, and that character is not created by getting an award or being stamped by an unworldly elite institution.

In this age of Obama and a corrupting equality of result, we must continue to speak out, with dash and style, with the knowledge that most of our peers prefer sameness and mandated equality to freedom and liberty, if the latter result in inequality. But at least we are not alone, the best of the ancient world nods with us.

And that is the point, is it not — to keep the ancient faith and so welcome rather than fear the popular anger of the age?
310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ed Asner's Insanity... on: December 11, 2012, 07:55:02 AM
Ed Asner’s ‘Occupy’ Attack on the Rich

Posted By Mark Tapson On December 11, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Like other notable entertainment biz hypocrites such as race-baiter Russell Simmons, rapper Kanye (“Bush doesn’t care about black people”) West, and documentary propagandist Michael Moore, actor/activist Ed Asner threw in his lot with the anarchic Occupy Wall Street movement, supplying the narration for a cartoon condemning wealthy Americans for not paying their “fair share” of taxes.

Asner, 83, former gruff-but-lovable TV star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant, and now gruff-and-hateful self-admitted socialist, narrated a nearly eight-minute video created and posted online last week by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) called Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale. The site’s brief description of the plot includes the ludicrous claim that “Things go downhill in a happy and prosperous land after the rich decide they don’t want to pay taxes anymore.”

You have to see this outrageous and amateurishly animated video to believe just how blatant and exaggerated is its class warfare propaganda. It’s shot through with the Occupy movement’s language about the decent 99 percent versus the insanely greedy 1 percent. It asserts that the heartless rich (all white men, of course, as opposed to the diverse commoners) became wealthy through tax loopholes, tax cuts and tax evasion; they are blamed for causing the decline of public services and crashing the economy, for buying politicians and suppressing votes, and for controlling the media which then hypnotizes the people into believing there is no alternative to capitalism. The rich are then depicted blaming the poor, public servants and teachers for the economic collapse of society.

As the video hit the internet, conservatives denounced its hypocrisy and its caricature of the wealthy. GatewayPundit.com warned that the video “could be playing in your child’s classroom as we speak” and noted that “it was written by CFT staffer Fred Glass (2011 compensation: $139,800) and narrated by proud leftist actor (and 1 percenter) Ed Asner.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity played clips from the video on his show for his guests. Conservative Tucker Carlson said, “There’s really no overstating how dumb this is. The idea that there are any California teachers currently in classrooms in charge of children who agree with that, is horrifying.” Hannity’s Democrat guest Kirsten Powers acknowledged, “It was pretty bad. I have to say, even I found it offensive. It was too much demonizing for my taste.”

As long as Asner is demonizing rich white men, let’s look at this rich white man’s own résumé in leftist political activism, which began when he led a 1980 strike by the Screen Actors’ Guild, an organization he would later head twice as President. He was a vocal critic of the Reagan administration, condemning our involvement in Central America and participating in a fundraiser to aid guerrillas fighting against the Reagan-backed government in El Salvador. He also lent his name to a rebel-supporting direct-mail piece.

For his efforts on behalf of the progressive agenda, he has received the ACLU‘s Worker’s Rights Committee Award, the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, the Eugene Debs Award, the Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.

Asner and his wife have contributed financially to a number of Democratic political campaigns and progressive organizations, including MoveOn.org. As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) he has said: “Socialist means a thing that will curb the excesses of capitalism: the increasing wealth of the rich and decreasing wealth of the poor… For me, solidarity, civil liberty, and social justice can all be summed up with three simple letters – DSA.”

Predictably an advocate of gun control and opponent of the death penalty, Asner testified as a character witness for accused cop killer Kenneth Gay and has spoken out publicly on numerous occasions protesting the death sentence of the celebrity set’s favorite cop-killer, Mumia Abu Jamal. Asner was also a member of the International Committee to Free Geronimo Pratt of the vile Black Panther Party, arrested in 1970 for murdering a Los Angeles schoolteacher.

In addition to lending his support to murderers, the actor avidly cheers the celebrity set’s favorite murdering dictator Fidel Castro and cluelessly blames the U.S. for pushing him into the sphere of Soviet influence. He claimed that Castro has been forced into “excesses” because of Cuba being “constantly embargoed by the United States.” Poor misunderstood Castro.

An unsurprising critic of the Bush administration, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and American foreign policy in general, Asner has advocated for the 9-11 Visibility Project, which promotes the idea that our government knew the terrorist attacks were coming and did nothing to stop them, and he has stated that “9-11 has been used to justify ‘endless war’ and a continual rollback in civil liberties that seems to have no end in sight.” He has said that George Bush “is making us an imperialist government.” Parroting the irrational, fact-free, race-obsessed mindset of his progressive brethren, Asner added, “that there is a strong streak of racism whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in regime change has been of people of different color.” Perhaps he thinks we should be deposing the dangerous dictators of Norway or Canada instead.

Speaking of regime change, Asner was a signatory to the 2002 Not In Our Name petition organized by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which calls for the overthrow of the U.S. government and its replacement with a Communist dictatorship.

Yes, how much better off Americans would be if we did away with rich businessmen (but only the white males, not the Oprahs or the Russell Simmonses) and embraced the likes of angry socialist Ed Asner, Fidel Castro, 9/11 truthers, the Black Panthers, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and the Occupy movement. What a fairy-tale ending that would be for America.
311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / More Islamic Infiltration - Now In Charter Schools... on: December 10, 2012, 05:25:00 PM
A Turkish 'Trojan Horse' for Loudoun?

Center for Security Policy | Dec 10, 2012

By Frank Gaffney, Jr. - December 10, 2012.

It is a commonplace, but one that most of us ignore:  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  That applies in spades to a proposal under active consideration by the school board in Virginia's Loudoun County.  It would use taxpayer funds to create a charter school to equip the children of thatWashington exurb with enhanced skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  Ostensibly, they will thus be equipped to compete successfully in the fields expected to be at the cutting edge of tomorrow's workplace.
 
What makes this initiative, dubbed the Loudoun Math and IT Academy (LMITA), too good to be true?  Let's start with what is acknowledged about the proposed school.
 
LMITA's board is made up of a group of male Turkish expatriates.  One of them, Fatih Kandil, was formerly the principal of the Chesapeake Science Point (CSP) Public Charter School in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  Another is Ali Bicak, the board president of the Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation, which owns CSP and two other charter schools in Maryland.  The LMITA applicants expressly claim that Chesapeake Science Point will be the model for their school.
 
The taxpayers of Loudoun County and the school board elected to represent them should want no part of a school that seeks to emulate Chesapeake Science Point, let alone be run by the same people responsible for that publicly funded charter school.  For one thing, CSP has not proven to be the resounding academic success the applicants claim.  It does not appear anywhere in the acclaimed US News and World Report lists of high-performing schools in Maryland, let alone nationwide - even in the subsets of STEM or charter schools.
 
What is more, according to public documents chronicling Anne Arundel Public Schools' dismal experience with CSP, there is significant evidence of chronic violations of federal, state and local policies and regulations throughout its six years of operations, with little or inconsistent improvement, reflecting deficiencies in fiscal responsibility and organizational viability.
 
Why, one might ask, would applicants for a new charter school cite so deeply problematic an example as their proposed institution?  This brings us to aspects of this proposal that are not acknowledged.
 
Chesapeake Science Point is just one of five controversial schools with which Mr. Kandil has been associated: He was previously: the director at the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, Ohio; the principal at the Wisconsin Career Academy in Milwaukee and at the Baltimore Information Technology Academy in Maryland; and one of the applicants in a failed bid to establish the First State Math and Science Academy in Delaware.
 
These schools have something in common besides their ties to the peripatetic Fatih Kandil.  They have all been "inspired" by and in other ways are associated with Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish supremacist and imam with a cult-like following of up to six million Muslims in Turkey and elsewhere around the world.  More to the point, Gulen is the reclusive and highly autocratic leader of a global media, business, "interfaith dialogue" and education empire said to be worth many billions and that is run from a compound in the Poconos.
 
This empire - including its roughly 135 charter schools in this country and another 1,000 abroad - and its adherents have come to be known as the Gulen Movement.  But those associated with it, in this country at least, are assiduously secretive about their connections to Imam Gulen or his enterprise.  For example, the LMITA applicants, their spokeswoman and other apologists have repeatedly misled the Loudoun school board, claiming that these Turkish gentlemen and their proposed school havenothing to do with Gulen.
 
There are several possible reasons for such professions.  For one, the Gulen schools are said to be under investigation by the FBI.  A growing number of them - including Chesapeake Science Point - have also come under critical scrutiny from school boards and staff around the country.  In some cases, they have actually lost their charters for, among other reasons, chronic financial and other mismanagement and outsourcing U.S. teachers' jobs to Turks.
 
The decisive reason for the Gulenist lack of transparency,however, may be due to their movement's goals and modus operandi.  These appear aligned with those of another secretive international organization that also adheres to the Islamic doctrine known as shariah and seeks to impose it worldwide: the Muslim Brotherhood. Both seek to accomplish this objective by stealth in what the Brotherhood calls "civilization jihad" and Gulen's movement describes as "jihad of the word."
 
This practice enabled the Gulenists to help transform Turkey from a reliable, secular Muslim NATO ally to an Islamist state deeply hostile to the United States - one aligned with other Islamic supremacists, from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas to al Qaeda.  Fethullah Gulen's followers clearly don't want us alive to the obvious dangers posed by their penetration of our educational system and influence over our kids.
 
The good news is that members of the Loudoun County school board have a code of conduct which reads in part: "I have a moral and civic obligation to the Nation which can remain strong and free only so long as public schools in the United States of America are kept free and strong."  If the board members adhere to this duty, they will reject a seductive LMITA proposal that is way too "good" to be true.
312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools on: December 10, 2012, 02:38:49 PM
Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 10, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The effort to turn public school classrooms into laboratories for government propaganda has reached a new milestone. Common Core State Standards in English is a program already adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. It calls for an increase in the reading of “informational text” instead of fictional literature. When the new standards are fully implemented in 2014, nonfiction texts will comprise 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, with a required increase to 70 percent by grade 12. Thus, timeless literature such as Of Mice and Men, or Catcher in the Rye will be replaced by recommended nonfiction works such as “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” or “Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency.”

Proponents of Common Core, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, claim U.S. students have grown used to easy reading assignments that leave them unprepared to comprehend complex nonfiction. This leaves too many students unprepared for the rigors of college and the demands of the workplace, experts say. And while some of the recommended texts are legitimate, such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” those mentioned in the first paragraph, or a New Yorker essay titled “The Cost Conundrum,” which would give students the impression that the Affordable Healthcare Act is good policy, are little more than thinly-veiled efforts to promote a progressive agenda masquerading as education.

Jamie Highfill, an eighth-grade English teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville, AK reveals some of the “unintended consequences” of the rollout. “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling,” said the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year. “With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They’re getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen,” she added.

David Coleman, the chief architect of the Common Core, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said educators are overreacting as the standards move from concept to classroom. “There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” he contended.

There ought to be, but not just for the concerns expressed by teachers such as Ms. Highfill. As National Review’s Stanley Kurtz explains, there is a good reason why control over public schools was kept out of federal hands by the Founding Fathers. They realized that one political party or ideology shaping the curriculum in public schools was a direct route to tyranny. What the Obama administration has done has conditioned Department of Education funding and regulatory waivers on state acceptance of Common Core. That such a move is constitutionally suspect at best, and another naked power grab at worst, should infuriate Americans who still believe an education is about teaching children how to think, not what to think. (Furthermore, considering the reality that this is being sold as an alternative to “easy reading assignments,” they should ask themselves how and why the public school curriculum was dumbed-down in the first place).

Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Mary Grabar reveals how 48 state governors were lured into entering a contest called “Race to the Top” for a portion of $4.35 billion of funds made available by the stimulus package. “It was one of the many ‘crises’ exploited by the Obama administration,” she writes. “While the public was focused on a series of radical moves coming in rapid-fire succession, like the health care bill and proposed trials and imprisonment of 9/11 terrorists on domestic soil, governors, worried about keeping school doors open, signed on.”

Far more importantly, she reveals the players involved. The educational component of Common Core is controlled by Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William Ayers, former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, who became a professor of education — and a friend of Barack Obama’s. Both Darling-Hammond and Ayers have advocated ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” The big picture here is to eliminate objective measurement of knowledge and skills, and replace them with teachers offering up subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.

In a 2009 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond extolled these initiatives as the Obama administration’s “opportunity to transform our nation’s schools.” Grabar reveals what such “transformation” is intended to achieve. ”When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools,” she warns.

Some state governors have wised up. Virginia opted out when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell was elected. Georgia, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina, and others have also begun, or completed, the effort to do the same. Last February, Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley explained her rationale for doing so. “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the Federal government,” she wrote in a letter to a state lawmaker, “neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan characterized Haley’s fear of losing control as “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.” Yet when Utah dumped the program, Duncan was far more conciliatory. “States have the sole right to set learning standards” he wrote in a letter.

Legally they do, but the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) application says exactly the opposite, noting that any applicant is required to adopt “a set of content standards…that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium.” In other words, any states that wish to compete for RTTT school funding must embrace Common Core. Thus, a portion of federal funding for schools is nothing less than an effort to coerce the states into adopting a de facto national educational system. In many instances, such coercion is hardly necessary: the public school system is dominated by progressive-supporting unions who contribute virtually all of their campaign dollars to Democrats. Thus, the progressive agenda is already welcomed in many public schools. The Common Core curriculum is nothing less than an effort to coordinate that agenda on a national level.

In 2009, Bill Ayers was one of three keynote speakers at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group. The other two speakers were Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter. The Renaissance Group is purportedly interested in finding ways to educate the “New American Student,” part of which deals with the alleged inability of white teachers to deal with the issues of poverty, diversity and multiculturalism that affect their students. While some Americans might contend that the emphasis on such obvious progressive talking points is overblown, they should still ask themselves why those in charge of overseeing the federal government’s education programs would associate with a terrorist thug whose contempt for American culture, tradition and history is well-documented.

Just before he was elected in 2008 President Obama told his followers, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It would appear that he and his progressive minions intend to make good on that promise, state by state, school by school–and child by child.
313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools... on: December 10, 2012, 11:03:28 AM
Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 10, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The effort to turn public school classrooms into laboratories for government propaganda has reached a new milestone. Common Core State Standards in English is a program already adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. It calls for an increase in the reading of “informational text” instead of fictional literature. When the new standards are fully implemented in 2014, nonfiction texts will comprise 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, with a required increase to 70 percent by grade 12. Thus, timeless literature such as Of Mice and Men, or Catcher in the Rye will be replaced by recommended nonfiction works such as “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” or “Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency.”

Proponents of Common Core, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, claim U.S. students have grown used to easy reading assignments that leave them unprepared to comprehend complex nonfiction. This leaves too many students unprepared for the rigors of college and the demands of the workplace, experts say. And while some of the recommended texts are legitimate, such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” those mentioned in the first paragraph, or a New Yorker essay titled “The Cost Conundrum,” which would give students the impression that the Affordable Healthcare Act is good policy, are little more than thinly-veiled efforts to promote a progressive agenda masquerading as education.

Jamie Highfill, an eighth-grade English teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville, AK reveals some of the “unintended consequences” of the rollout. “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling,” said the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year. “With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They’re getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen,” she added.

David Coleman, the chief architect of the Common Core, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said educators are overreacting as the standards move from concept to classroom. “There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” he contended.

There ought to be, but not just for the concerns expressed by teachers such as Ms. Highfill. As National Review’s Stanley Kurtz explains, there is a good reason why control over public schools was kept out of federal hands by the Founding Fathers. They realized that one political party or ideology shaping the curriculum in public schools was a direct route to tyranny. What the Obama administration has done has conditioned Department of Education funding and regulatory waivers on state acceptance of Common Core. That such a move is constitutionally suspect at best, and another naked power grab at worst, should infuriate Americans who still believe an education is about teaching children how to think, not what to think. (Furthermore, considering the reality that this is being sold as an alternative to “easy reading assignments,” they should ask themselves how and why the public school curriculum was dumbed-down in the first place).

Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Mary Grabar reveals how 48 state governors were lured into entering a contest called “Race to the Top” for a portion of $4.35 billion of funds made available by the stimulus package. “It was one of the many ‘crises’ exploited by the Obama administration,” she writes. “While the public was focused on a series of radical moves coming in rapid-fire succession, like the health care bill and proposed trials and imprisonment of 9/11 terrorists on domestic soil, governors, worried about keeping school doors open, signed on.”

Far more importantly, she reveals the players involved. The educational component of Common Core is controlled by Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William Ayers, former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, who became a professor of education — and a friend of Barack Obama’s. Both Darling-Hammond and Ayers have advocated ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” The big picture here is to eliminate objective measurement of knowledge and skills, and replace them with teachers offering up subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.

In a 2009 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond extolled these initiatives as the Obama administration’s “opportunity to transform our nation’s schools.” Grabar reveals what such “transformation” is intended to achieve. ”When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools,” she warns.

Some state governors have wised up. Virginia opted out when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell was elected. Georgia, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina, and others have also begun, or completed, the effort to do the same. Last February, Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley explained her rationale for doing so. “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the Federal government,” she wrote in a letter to a state lawmaker, “neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan characterized Haley’s fear of losing control as “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.” Yet when Utah dumped the program, Duncan was far more conciliatory. “States have the sole right to set learning standards” he wrote in a letter.

Legally they do, but the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) application says exactly the opposite, noting that any applicant is required to adopt “a set of content standards…that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium.” In other words, any states that wish to compete for RTTT school funding must embrace Common Core. Thus, a portion of federal funding for schools is nothing less than an effort to coerce the states into adopting a de facto national educational system. In many instances, such coercion is hardly necessary: the public school system is dominated by progressive-supporting unions who contribute virtually all of their campaign dollars to Democrats. Thus, the progressive agenda is already welcomed in many public schools. The Common Core curriculum is nothing less than an effort to coordinate that agenda on a national level.

In 2009, Bill Ayers was one of three keynote speakers at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group. The other two speakers were Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter. The Renaissance Group is purportedly interested in finding ways to educate the “New American Student,” part of which deals with the alleged inability of white teachers to deal with the issues of poverty, diversity and multiculturalism that affect their students. While some Americans might contend that the emphasis on such obvious progressive talking points is overblown, they should still ask themselves why those in charge of overseeing the federal government’s education programs would associate with a terrorist thug whose contempt for American culture, tradition and history is well-documented.

Just before he was elected in 2008 President Obama told his followers, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It would appear that he and his progressive minions intend to make good on that promise, state by state, school by school–and child by child.
314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rand Paul: "Let the Democrats Own This" on: December 07, 2012, 09:41:40 AM
I support Rand Paul's plan here 100%.  Republicans need to realize they are being played for fools (as always) and grow a set of gonads.  Sadly, I don't think John Boehner has any intention of doing this.  He's too busy spouting meaningless rhetoric while he caves in to every Democrat wet dream.  Sickening.

www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/12/06/sen_rand_paul_we_should_let_dems_raise_taxes_and_then_let_them_own_it.html
315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Wants to Go Over the Cliff... on: December 07, 2012, 08:57:03 AM
No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Middle Ground

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 7, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The latest machinations surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of tax increases and spending cuts many economists insist would put the nation back into recession, continue. Ironically, the current impasse has far less to do with economic realities than ideological intransigence. The lion’s share of that intransigence belongs to the president, who has made it increasingly clear that any deal, even one that includes increased revenue, is DOA unless it includes higher taxes on the “rich.” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner illuminated the administration’s position on Sunday. “There’s no path to an agreement that does not involve Republicans acknowledging that rates have to go up on the wealthiest Americans,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Yet on Monday, Republicans made an offer described as a “savvy tactical move,” or an effort to regain the high ground in the debate. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to the president that embraced many of the ideas put forward by Democrat Eskine Bowles, who was part of the Simpson-Bowles Commission put together in 2010 by Obama himself. It was an ostensible effort to rein in the nation’s burgeoning debt, currently standing at more than $16.2 trillion. The commission came up with a series of recommendations, including a cap on discretionary spending, some tax increases, and overall tax reform. It was subsequently rejected by the president, likely due to the reality that it recommended cutting individual tax rates to as low as 23 percent, and capping federal spending and revenue at 21 percent of GDP. It is the latter proposal that likely irked a president determined to maintain government spending and revenue at the current 24 percent of GDP, matched only by FDR during WWll.

The proposal offered by Boehner endorsed a 10-year plan, including $800 billion in new tax revenues, $600 billion in health savings, another $600 billion in a combination of “mandatory” and “discretionary” savings, and a revision of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) used to calculate future Social Security benefits that would save another $200 billion. Such savings total $2.2 trillion. It was a genuine compromise, as evidenced by the reality that it irritated many Republicans.

In his letter, Boehner explained the rationale for such a plan. After noting that the election essentially maintained the status quo of a Republican House, along with a Democratic Senate and presidency, Boehner contended that “the American people rightly expect both parties to come together on a fair middle ground and address the nation’s most pressing challenges.” He further emphasized that the plan Obama submitted to Congress last week was a re-hash of the president’s ”Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction,” submitted in September 2011. ”We cannot in good conscience agree to this approach, which is neither balanced nor realistic. If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution [Paul Ryan's budget plan].”

Boehner then put the proverbial ball in the administration’s court. “This is by no means an adequate long-term solution, as resolving our fiscal crisis will require fundamental entitlement reform. Indeed the Bowles plan is the kind of imperfect but fair middle ground that allows us to avert the fiscal cliff without hurting our economy and destroying jobs. We believe it warrants immediate consideration.”

The administration did consider it — sort of. Senior administration officials contended the plan wasn’t serious enough to merit a counter-proposal. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer claimed it “does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill.” He then reiterated the administration’s immutable demand. ”Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit,” he added. CNN then laid out the administration’s real aims: “Senior administration officials said they are confident the public will blame Republicans and not the president if the United States reaches the end of the year without a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.”

With ample assistance from the mainstream media, that is virtually certain. But such thinking reveals an almost unprecedented level of cynicism. In effect, administration officials have admitted that what benefits Democrats politically trumps what benefits the nation. So much so, they are willing to let the country slide back into recession, as long as Republicans get blamed for it.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) revealed the disingenuousness of the administration’s insistence that taxing the rich is a panacea. “The president’s plan to increase taxes on the upper two percent covers the spending by this federal government not for eight years, not for eight months, not for eight weeks but for eight days. Eight days only,” said Price. “It’s not a real solution. So, again, I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested in raising tax rates than in gaining economic vitality.”

Furthermore, a usually reliable media is not marching in lockstep with Democrats. Politico’s Ben White called the GOP’s proposal “significant,” noting that it is “less fanciful than the original administration request, which included phony savings (the war wind-downs), a gratuitous fork-in-the-eye (unlimited debt ceiling authority) and some new stimulus (just to make GOP blood boil and warm liberal hearts).” Bloomberg’s Josh Barro also saw the cynicism expressed by the aforementioned senior officials, contending that “if the White House really is willing to risk an austerity crisis unless it gets its way on an unrelated policy matter — then the Obama Administration is as irresponsible as it often accuses Republicans of being.”

The Washington Post’s Robert Samuels laid it out even better. “Put Social Security on the table — clearly and irrevocably,” he writes. “Protecting retiree benefits is the left’s political equivalent of the right’s ‘no new taxes’ pledge. Congressional Republicans are abandoning their untenable position. Now it is time for President Obama and congressional Democrats to do the same. As long as they don’t, they aren’t bargaining in good faith, or in the national interest.”

Even Erskin Bowles, who insisted that the GOP plan was not representative of his efforts, or those of the Simpson-Bowles plan, called for compromise. ”Every offer put forward brings us closer to a deal, but to reach an agreement, it will be necessary for both sides to move beyond their opening positions and reach agreement on a comprehensive plan which avoids the fiscal cliff and puts the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy,” he said in a statement.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) offers a sobering look as to why such an agreement is necessary. In 2012, non-interest federal spending totaled $3.25 trillion. $762 billion was for Social Security, $469 billion for Medicare, $251 billion for Medicaid, and $651 billion for defense. These expenditures account for 66 percent of the federal budget. Since the federal government borrows forty cents of every dollar it spends, America is already in the red financing just these four programs – and that’s before the bulk of the Baby Boomer generation retires, driving at least three of these costs far higher.

Interest payments on America’s outstanding debt are also part of the mix. In 2012 that payment was $359 billion, financed at record low interest rates of approximately 2.8 percent. The Federal Reserve claims it will keep interest rates at near-zero until 2014. Based on current rates of spending, the national debt will likely approach $20 trillion by then. If interest rates return to a historical average of 4 percent, a staggering $800 billion will be needed just to pay the interest on that debt. There is also the “unfunded obligations” problem. Unfunded obligations are promises the government has made to such entities as seniors, veterans and retired employees. By 2011, America’s unfunded obligations totaled $61.6 trillion.

In short, the idea that “taxing the rich” is a make or break part of any deal — even as entitlement reform remains off the table — borders on insanity.

Yet two realities are readily apparent. First, that insanity is ideologically driven. This was made clear during the 2008 Democratic primary debates, when ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked the president why he supported an increase in the capital gains tax rate, given a historical record that repeatedly shows the government losing revenue as a result. ”Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness,” he answered. This goes a long way towards explaining why the president would rather kill a deal than accept tax reform as a viable alternative for raising revenue.

If such “fairness” precipitates a recession–or worse–in 2013, due to an inability to reach a compromise? As long as Republicans get blamed, all is well. That Democrats as a party, or the president as an individual, see themselves as the ultimate arbiters of fairness–for the entire nation–demonstrates a breathtaking level of arrogance.

Second, whether they realize it or not, it is this combination of arrogance and fiscal irresponsibility that Americans re-empowered on November 6. Despite an election that reinforced the status quo, Obama and Democrats believe they were given a mandate, and that Republicans are nothing more than an inconvenient impediment in their efforts to transform the nation into a Euro-style welfare state, even if another recession is necessary to do so.

Finally, Americans need to realize that President Obama’s campaign pledge to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” is really targeting individuals making $200K, and families making $250K — right now. Since that additional revenue would only run the government for eight days, the public might want to consider what other sources of revenue the president and his party will subsequently target. That is worth remembering when the definition of millionaires and billionaires is “revised” once again. Perhaps in the not-too-distant future, anyone earning $150K — or less — will be surprised find themselves on the “wrong” side of the Democrats’ never-ending class warfare campaign. They shouldn’t be. To paraphrase Willie Sutton, the middle class will be the next target because, “that’s where the money is.”
316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Fiscal Cliff"... on: December 03, 2012, 07:43:42 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with G M.  Let Barack plunge us over the so-called cliff.  He's made it excruciatingly clear that is what he wants.  The Republicans ought to stand back and let him do it.  Yes - they will get blamed initially - but that will happen REGARDLESS.  So - better to stand on principle and NOT "negotiate" actual spending cuts that will NEVER - I repeat - NEVER happen with Democrat Party consent.  They have proven this for decades.  Caving in even a little at the top for the 1% of income earners is not acceptable in my book.  What good will it do? NONE - it's a class-warfare ploy which is ultimately corrosive to our society and our fiscal health.

As Rush Limbaugh commented on Friday - "This "fiscal cliff" is actual nirvana for liberal Democrats.  They get everything they want - higher taxes on everyone, massive defense cuts, and more money to buy votes with.  What's not to like?  Clearly the President isn't concerned about unemployment or a robust economy.  He's demonstrated that over the last four years beyond question."  Obama's goal (along with the Democrats) is to create as much government dependency as possible.  That is what they WANT to happen.  This is something even many conservative pundits - Charles Krauthammer among them - do NOT understand.  They insist on analyzing Obama's incentives/actions as though he actually wants to reduce unemployment and create growth in the economy.  He doesn't.  He is a Marxist.  
317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Whittle on Why Romney Lost and How to Win... on: December 02, 2012, 10:24:56 PM
This is absolutely on-target.  Whittle is one of the wisest conservative voices out there, IMHO:

http://blip.tv/davidhorowitztv/bill-whittle-6444929
318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WHY Warren Buffet is WRONG on tax policy: on: November 30, 2012, 04:38:05 PM
How is Warren Buffett Wrong on Tax Hikes?

Heritage Foundation - November 30, 2012.

Let’s talk taxes. In a New York Times op-ed yesterday, famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett once again argued that the wealthy should be taxed more.

This isn’t the first time Buffett has made the case for higher taxes, and it’s not the first time he’s been wrong. Here are four reasons he is wrong to push for tax hikes.

1. Buffett says tax hikes won’t hurt jobs.

Fact: Tax hikes, especially those he espouses, hurt jobs.

Buffett cites periods when tax rates were high and says that “Under those burdensome rates,” employment “increased at a rapid clip.”

This country has an employment problem right now, and tax rates aren’t even as high as Buffett wants. The tax increases President Obama champions would hit small businesses that create jobs. According to Treasury figures, 1.2 million Americans who employ people are paying their taxes through the individual income tax, and they would be hit head-on. The amount that their taxes would go up could be roughly equivalent to one employee’s salary, meaning that’s one person they can’t hire in the new year. A study by Ernst and Young estimates that these tax hikes would kill 710,000 jobs.

2. Buffett says tax hikes won’t stop investors from investing.

Fact: Any time you tax something, you get less of it.

Buffett says: “So let’s forget about the rich and ultrarich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if—gasp—capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased. The ultrarich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities.”

Let’s think about what taxes are intended to do. The cigarette tax is intended to curb smoking. Proponents of a carbon tax want to curb the amount of carbon emissions we are producing. In Washington, D.C., a plastic bag tax is intended to curb the number of plastic bags people use.

When you tax something more, people do less of it. This is how taxes work. It doesn’t change because the behavior being taxed is investing rather than smoking.

3. Buffett says the wealthy aren’t even paying a minimum tax.

Fact: We already have an Alternative Minimum Tax.

Buffett says, “We need Congress, right now, to enact a minimum tax on high incomes.”
We already have this. It’s called the Alternative Minimum Tax. As Heritage’s Curtis Dubay explains:

Congress passed the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in the early 1970s to ensure that a few high-income taxpayers did not reduce their tax liability too much by taking advantage of all the deductions, exemptions, and credits Congress put in the tax code. But Congress did not index for inflation the income threshold over which families qualify for this extra tax. So now Congress must annually “patch” the AMT by raising the threshold to correct this mistake. Even with the patch, the AMT still ends up falling on almost 4 million taxpayers; Congress initially intended for it to hit only a few hundred.

The top 10 percent of earners in the United States already pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes. To move forward in this debate, those who argue that we just need to “tax the rich” will have to get real. We can’t close the budget deficit by taxing the rich. Even though Buffett also claims…

4. Buffett says we need to raise taxes to bring in more revenue for the government.

Fact: The problem is government spending, not government revenue.

Buffett says, “Our government’s goal should be to bring in revenues of 18.5 percent of [gross domestic product] and spend about 21 percent of G.D.P.”
Revenues are lower now today than normal, not because of tax rates, but because of the slow-growing economy. As the economy recovers, so will revenues. And they will continue to grow as the economy thrives. Why? Because more people are investing, saving, working, and enjoying higher wages. The nifty little benefit for the government of a strong, growing economy is that people pay more in taxes.

But on to spending. The White House already estimates that federal spending will be 23.1 percent of GDP this year—well above Buffett’s target. But, unlike taxes—which will return to the historical levels Buffett aims for, spending will continue to spiral ever upwards. In 25 years, spending will be 35.7 percent of GDP. In 2025, the big three entitlements will gobble up a full 18.5 percent of GDP—the entire amount of revenue that Buffett would like to raise.

In Buffett’s world, then, after funding entitlements, that leaves only 2.5 percent of GDP for everything else (assuming that interest rates don’t go through the roof). The fact is that ever-growing entitlements have put spending on a trajectory toward a European-level implosion. If they are not reined in, taxes on everyone will have to rise perpetually just to keep pace.

While Warren Buffett is right about many things, he is wrong about tax hikes. Which leads us to the real questions: Why are we even talking about tax hikes? Where are the spending cuts?
319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grover Norquist - Traitor... on: November 29, 2012, 01:28:08 PM
Pro-Islamist Losing Grip on Republican Party

Arnold Ahlert - November 28, 2012 - www.radicalislam.org

Anti-tax promoter Grover Norquist is losing his vice-like grip on the Republican party. The head of Americans for Tax Reform, who as recently as last year counted 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate among those who had signed his anti-tax pledge, has seen those numbers decline to 217 in the House, one shy of the 218 needed for a majority, and 39 in the Senate.

Both totals represent an all-time low. Last Wednesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) disavowed his pledge not to raise taxes, even as he acknowledged doing so could hurt his reelection chances in 2014. ”I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country,” he said. “I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.” Americans might not like seeing their taxes go up, but Grover Norquist’s fall from grace has its benefits: As he goes down, so goes his pro-Islamist agenda.

That agenda was laid bare by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) in a speech on the House floor, October 4, 2011. “My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf. “My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low ... My concern is with the other individuals, groups and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”

Wolf mentioned Norquist’s “association and representation” of terrorist financier and vocal Hamas supporter Abdurahman Alamoudi and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian.

In 2004, Alamoudi, one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for supporting terror. Alamoudi, a self-described supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, had cultivated ties with the Clinton White House that eventually enabled him and his associates to select, train and certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

Fearing a loss by Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Alamoudi befriended Norquist to ensure his access to senior levels of the U.S. government would be maintained if Republicans took charge. He gave Norquist $20,000 to establish the Islamic Free Market Institute and Alamoudi’s longtime deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the founding director.

Norquist and Saffuri eventually became an integral part of the Bush administration’s Muslim outreach efforts during the 2000 campaign, with Saffuri named as Muslim Outreach Coordinator. During that campaign, Bush was also introduced to Sami Al-Arian. In 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Wolf illuminated the bigger picture of that relationship, noting that Norquist was an “outspoken supporter of Al-Arian’s effort to end the use of classified evidence in terror trials.”

Al-Arian ran the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), and Norquist supported their efforts to weaken or repeal the Patriot Act as well, despite the terrorist atrocities perpetrated on 9/11.

Wolf also revealed that Norquist “was scheduled to lead a delegation to the White House on September 11, 2001, that included a convicted felon and some who would later be identified by federal law enforcement as suspected terrorist financiers.” One of the members of that delegation was Omar Ahmed, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was named an un-indicted co-conspirator when the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of sending million of dollars in funding to Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations.


 
Another relationship Norquist cultivated was with Suhail Khan, who has ties to a variety of Islamist movements. Khan’s father, the late Mahboob Khan, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose anti-Semitic activities at American colleges has been documented on numerous occasions, including their latest attempt to organize a divestment campaign against Israel at the University of California, Irvine.

In 2007, Norquist promoted Suhail Khan’s candidacy for election to the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) board of directors. He was subsequently appointed. In 2012, at an irregular meeting of that organization, the board voted to dismiss accusations made against both Khan and Norquist by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and a former defense official in the Reagan administration.

Gaffney has been hammered by the ACU and others for suggesting that the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood reached the highest levels of the U.S. government despite the reality that it was Gaffney who drew attention to Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian, both of whom ended up as convicted felons for their terrorist activity. Yet it is Gaffney’s credibility that has been called into question for daring to draw attention to Norquist’s unseemly activity.

Wolf also pointed out that Norquist was “an outspoken advocate for moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” and “led a public campaign to undermine Republican-led efforts to block the Obama Administration’s transfer of 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheik Mohammed to New York City” in 2009.

In 2010, Norquist inserted himself into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, which he characterized as a “Monica Lewinsky ploy,” distracting from the core Republican message heading into the 2010 elections. Yet according to Wolf, Norquist “used Americans for Tax Reform to circulate a petition in support of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’” completely undermining his own contention that the issue was a distraction.

For years, Grover Norquist’s reputation as a staunch anti-tax advocate has overshadowed his dubious associations with Islamists, and anyone who has dared to criticize him for those associations has drawn rebuke from both sides of the aisle.

Thus, it is more than a little ironic that his ability to influence Republicans with respect to taxes is waning, even as Islamists, most notably Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are attempting to establish a dictatorship in Egypt, are becoming ever more powerful.

Sen. Chambliss isn’t the only Republican distancing himself from Norquist. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) has referred to him as “some random person.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that “fewer and fewer people are signing this, quote, pledge.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.) called the pledge a “tortured vision of tax purity.” House newcomer Rep. Ted Yoho, (R-FL), who declined to sign the pledge, was sarcastic. “I’ll pledge allegiance to the flag. I’ll pledge to be faithful to my wife,” he quipped.

Yet it was Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who best summed up the growing rebellion. “A pledge is good at the time you sign it,” he said. “In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don’t think you can have a rule that you’re never going to raise taxes or that you’re never going to lower taxes. I don’t want to rule anything out.”

Republicans can resist raising taxes without signing a pledge should they choose to do so for the good of the nation. Yet without the pledge Grover Norquist has long wielded like a hammer, his leverage among Republicans is precipitously diminished. Considering his dubious ties to Islamists and their agenda, that’s more than a reasonable tradeoff.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net

Copyright © 2009 Clarion Fund, Inc. All rights reserved.
320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grover Norquist - Traitor... on: November 29, 2012, 01:27:35 PM
Pro-Islamist Losing Grip on Republican Party

Arnold Ahlert - November 28, 2012 - www.radicalislam.org

Anti-tax promoter Grover Norquist is losing his vice-like grip on the Republican party. The head of Americans for Tax Reform, who as recently as last year counted 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate among those who had signed his anti-tax pledge, has seen those numbers decline to 217 in the House, one shy of the 218 needed for a majority, and 39 in the Senate.

Both totals represent an all-time low. Last Wednesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) disavowed his pledge not to raise taxes, even as he acknowledged doing so could hurt his reelection chances in 2014. ”I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country,” he said. “I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.” Americans might not like seeing their taxes go up, but Grover Norquist’s fall from grace has its benefits: As he goes down, so goes his pro-Islamist agenda.

That agenda was laid bare by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) in a speech on the House floor, October 4, 2011. “My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf. “My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low ... My concern is with the other individuals, groups and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”

Wolf mentioned Norquist’s “association and representation” of terrorist financier and vocal Hamas supporter Abdurahman Alamoudi and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian.

In 2004, Alamoudi, one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for supporting terror. Alamoudi, a self-described supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, had cultivated ties with the Clinton White House that eventually enabled him and his associates to select, train and certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

Fearing a loss by Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Alamoudi befriended Norquist to ensure his access to senior levels of the U.S. government would be maintained if Republicans took charge. He gave Norquist $20,000 to establish the Islamic Free Market Institute and Alamoudi’s longtime deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the founding director.

Norquist and Saffuri eventually became an integral part of the Bush administration’s Muslim outreach efforts during the 2000 campaign, with Saffuri named as Muslim Outreach Coordinator. During that campaign, Bush was also introduced to Sami Al-Arian. In 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Wolf illuminated the bigger picture of that relationship, noting that Norquist was an “outspoken supporter of Al-Arian’s effort to end the use of classified evidence in terror trials.”

Al-Arian ran the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), and Norquist supported their efforts to weaken or repeal the Patriot Act as well, despite the terrorist atrocities perpetrated on 9/11.

Wolf also revealed that Norquist “was scheduled to lead a delegation to the White House on September 11, 2001, that included a convicted felon and some who would later be identified by federal law enforcement as suspected terrorist financiers.” One of the members of that delegation was Omar Ahmed, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was named an un-indicted co-conspirator when the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of sending million of dollars in funding to Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations.


 
Another relationship Norquist cultivated was with Suhail Khan, who has ties to a variety of Islamist movements. Khan’s father, the late Mahboob Khan, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose anti-Semitic activities at American colleges has been documented on numerous occasions, including their latest attempt to organize a divestment campaign against Israel at the University of California, Irvine.

In 2007, Norquist promoted Suhail Khan’s candidacy for election to the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) board of directors. He was subsequently appointed. In 2012, at an irregular meeting of that organization, the board voted to dismiss accusations made against both Khan and Norquist by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and a former defense official in the Reagan administration.

Gaffney has been hammered by the ACU and others for suggesting that the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood reached the highest levels of the U.S. government despite the reality that it was Gaffney who drew attention to Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian, both of whom ended up as convicted felons for their terrorist activity. Yet it is Gaffney’s credibility that has been called into question for daring to draw attention to Norquist’s unseemly activity.

Wolf also pointed out that Norquist was “an outspoken advocate for moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” and “led a public campaign to undermine Republican-led efforts to block the Obama Administration’s transfer of 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheik Mohammed to New York City” in 2009.

In 2010, Norquist inserted himself into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, which he characterized as a “Monica Lewinsky ploy,” distracting from the core Republican message heading into the 2010 elections. Yet according to Wolf, Norquist “used Americans for Tax Reform to circulate a petition in support of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’” completely undermining his own contention that the issue was a distraction.

For years, Grover Norquist’s reputation as a staunch anti-tax advocate has overshadowed his dubious associations with Islamists, and anyone who has dared to criticize him for those associations has drawn rebuke from both sides of the aisle.

Thus, it is more than a little ironic that his ability to influence Republicans with respect to taxes is waning, even as Islamists, most notably Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are attempting to establish a dictatorship in Egypt, are becoming ever more powerful.

Sen. Chambliss isn’t the only Republican distancing himself from Norquist. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) has referred to him as “some random person.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that “fewer and fewer people are signing this, quote, pledge.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.) called the pledge a “tortured vision of tax purity.” House newcomer Rep. Ted Yoho, (R-FL), who declined to sign the pledge, was sarcastic. “I’ll pledge allegiance to the flag. I’ll pledge to be faithful to my wife,” he quipped.

Yet it was Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who best summed up the growing rebellion. “A pledge is good at the time you sign it,” he said. “In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don’t think you can have a rule that you’re never going to raise taxes or that you’re never going to lower taxes. I don’t want to rule anything out.”

Republicans can resist raising taxes without signing a pledge should they choose to do so for the good of the nation. Yet without the pledge Grover Norquist has long wielded like a hammer, his leverage among Republicans is precipitously diminished. Considering his dubious ties to Islamists and their agenda, that’s more than a reasonable tradeoff.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net

Copyright © 2009 Clarion Fund, Inc. All rights reserved.
321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grover Norquist - Traitor... on: November 29, 2012, 01:25:51 PM
Pro-Islamist Losing Grip on Republican Party

Arnold Ahlert - November 28, 2012 - www.radicalislam.org

Anti-tax promoter Grover Norquist is losing his vice-like grip on the Republican party. The head of Americans for Tax Reform, who as recently as last year counted 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate among those who had signed his anti-tax pledge, has seen those numbers decline to 217 in the House, one shy of the 218 needed for a majority, and 39 in the Senate.

Both totals represent an all-time low. Last Wednesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) disavowed his pledge not to raise taxes, even as he acknowledged doing so could hurt his reelection chances in 2014. ”I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country,” he said. “I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.” Americans might not like seeing their taxes go up, but Grover Norquist’s fall from grace has its benefits: As he goes down, so goes his pro-Islamist agenda.

That agenda was laid bare by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) in a speech on the House floor, October 4, 2011. “My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf. “My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low ... My concern is with the other individuals, groups and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”

Wolf mentioned Norquist’s “association and representation” of terrorist financier and vocal Hamas supporter Abdurahman Alamoudi and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian.

In 2004, Alamoudi, one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for supporting terror. Alamoudi, a self-described supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, had cultivated ties with the Clinton White House that eventually enabled him and his associates to select, train and certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

Fearing a loss by Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Alamoudi befriended Norquist to ensure his access to senior levels of the U.S. government would be maintained if Republicans took charge. He gave Norquist $20,000 to establish the Islamic Free Market Institute and Alamoudi’s longtime deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the founding director.

Norquist and Saffuri eventually became an integral part of the Bush administration’s Muslim outreach efforts during the 2000 campaign, with Saffuri named as Muslim Outreach Coordinator. During that campaign, Bush was also introduced to Sami Al-Arian. In 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Wolf illuminated the bigger picture of that relationship, noting that Norquist was an “outspoken supporter of Al-Arian’s effort to end the use of classified evidence in terror trials.”

Al-Arian ran the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), and Norquist supported their efforts to weaken or repeal the Patriot Act as well, despite the terrorist atrocities perpetrated on 9/11.

Wolf also revealed that Norquist “was scheduled to lead a delegation to the White House on September 11, 2001, that included a convicted felon and some who would later be identified by federal law enforcement as suspected terrorist financiers.” One of the members of that delegation was Omar Ahmed, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was named an un-indicted co-conspirator when the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of sending million of dollars in funding to Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations.


 
Another relationship Norquist cultivated was with Suhail Khan, who has ties to a variety of Islamist movements. Khan’s father, the late Mahboob Khan, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose anti-Semitic activities at American colleges has been documented on numerous occasions, including their latest attempt to organize a divestment campaign against Israel at the University of California, Irvine.

In 2007, Norquist promoted Suhail Khan’s candidacy for election to the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) board of directors. He was subsequently appointed. In 2012, at an irregular meeting of that organization, the board voted to dismiss accusations made against both Khan and Norquist by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and a former defense official in the Reagan administration.

Gaffney has been hammered by the ACU and others for suggesting that the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood reached the highest levels of the U.S. government despite the reality that it was Gaffney who drew attention to Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian, both of whom ended up as convicted felons for their terrorist activity. Yet it is Gaffney’s credibility that has been called into question for daring to draw attention to Norquist’s unseemly activity.

Wolf also pointed out that Norquist was “an outspoken advocate for moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” and “led a public campaign to undermine Republican-led efforts to block the Obama Administration’s transfer of 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheik Mohammed to New York City” in 2009.

In 2010, Norquist inserted himself into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, which he characterized as a “Monica Lewinsky ploy,” distracting from the core Republican message heading into the 2010 elections. Yet according to Wolf, Norquist “used Americans for Tax Reform to circulate a petition in support of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’” completely undermining his own contention that the issue was a distraction.

For years, Grover Norquist’s reputation as a staunch anti-tax advocate has overshadowed his dubious associations with Islamists, and anyone who has dared to criticize him for those associations has drawn rebuke from both sides of the aisle.

Thus, it is more than a little ironic that his ability to influence Republicans with respect to taxes is waning, even as Islamists, most notably Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are attempting to establish a dictatorship in Egypt, are becoming ever more powerful.

Sen. Chambliss isn’t the only Republican distancing himself from Norquist. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) has referred to him as “some random person.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that “fewer and fewer people are signing this, quote, pledge.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.) called the pledge a “tortured vision of tax purity.” House newcomer Rep. Ted Yoho, (R-FL), who declined to sign the pledge, was sarcastic. “I’ll pledge allegiance to the flag. I’ll pledge to be faithful to my wife,” he quipped.

Yet it was Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who best summed up the growing rebellion. “A pledge is good at the time you sign it,” he said. “In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don’t think you can have a rule that you’re never going to raise taxes or that you’re never going to lower taxes. I don’t want to rule anything out.”

Republicans can resist raising taxes without signing a pledge should they choose to do so for the good of the nation. Yet without the pledge Grover Norquist has long wielded like a hammer, his leverage among Republicans is precipitously diminished. Considering his dubious ties to Islamists and their agenda, that’s more than a reasonable tradeoff.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net

Copyright © 2009 Clarion Fund, Inc. All rights reserved.
322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "Conversion therapy" on: November 28, 2012, 11:32:43 AM
My informed opinion on this - FWIW - is that the plaintiffs have a good case.  Neither of these practitioners is a licensed psychotherapist, and to say that their methods are unorthodox is putting it quite mildly.  I personally do not believe conversion therapy is effective, and I know for a fact that it is often very harmful (from first-hand reports of those who have undergone such treatment.)  It's based - again in my informed opinion - on a completely false premise.  While I'm not necessarily comfortable with the government banning the practice by licensed practitioners, so long as the clients voluntarily agree to such treatment, I think that the quacks referred to in this story deserve to be put out of business and sued for fraud/psychological damage.
323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraqi woman beaten to death on: November 27, 2012, 11:24:48 AM


Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations said, “Since the beginning our ultimate goal was to get justice for Sister Shaima Alawadi.”

He referred to the case as “a family tragedy,” and said that domestic violence “has no place in our faith.”

“She has been a piece of our heart,” Mohebi said of Alawadi. “We need to do what we can to bring about justice.”



This is the typical lying engaged in by CAIR - which is trying to appear sympathetic to the victim in order to appear reasonable to non-Muslims in this country.  The reality is that Mohebi MOST LIKELY KNEW FROM THE START that this was very likely an attack by the husband on the wife to "salvage his honor."  This is all-too-common in Islamic countries, and is becoming common here in the U.S., although it is only in the last year or two that it has been reported widely - largely thanks to people such as Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Jamie Glazov, Robert Spencer, and yes - Pamela Geller - who are demanding that these incidents be exposed for what they truly are.  Framing the murder as a "hate crime" is a common tactic used by Muslim family members and CAIR to hide the truth about these honor killiings.
324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamic teachings re: marriage... on: November 27, 2012, 02:17:36 AM
With all due respect, Crafty - accepting the premise of this article requires that one have a massive ignorance of Islamic teaching with regard to women and their virtual slave-status with regard to men - PARTICULARLY within the context of marriage.  Islam itself is inherently misogynist. G.M. is right on target with his sarcastic comment.  The writer of this story is either staggeringly ignorant about Islamic jurisprudence (along with the woman who started this support group herself), or is actively, knowingly dissembling in order to present a "kindler, gentler" version of Islam which does not exist - for the purpose of persuading non-Muslims that Shariah is benign.  This is the essence of taqiyya and stealth jihad.  I strongly advise that you read Wafa Sultan's book "A God Who Hates"   www.amazon.com/God-Who-Hates-Courageous-Inflamed/dp/0312538367/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354004162&sr=8-1&keywords=a+god+who+hates  Also superb is Nonie Darwish's book "Cruel and Unusual Punishment"  www.amazon.com/Cruel-Usual-Punishment-Terrifying-Implications/dp/1595551611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354004776&sr=8-1&keywords=nonie+darwish  Both women are former Muslims who have experienced the reality of Islamic law and its horrific treatment of women first-hand.
325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The REAL Pravda actually sees the truth of Obama... on: November 26, 2012, 10:38:08 AM
How ironic that the Russian Pravda is now reporting truth about the United States and our ignorant voters, while the U.S. media shills for the Obama administration:

Obama's Soviet Mistake

By Xavier Lerma - November 26, 2012


Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Putin said regarding the military,

"...instead of solving the problem, militarization pushes it to a deeper level. It draws away from the economy immense financial and material resources, which could have been used much more efficiently elsewhere."

Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it.  He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia.  Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.

Reading Putin's speech without knowing the author, one would think it was written by Reagan or another conservative in America. The speech promotes smaller government and less taxes. It comes as no surprise to those who know Putin as a conservative. Vladimir Putin went on to say:

"...we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.

 The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.

Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt - are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.

During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself."

President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

"We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success."- Vladimir Putin

The red, white and blue still flies happily but only in Russia. Russia still has St George defeating the Dragon with the symbol of the cross on its' flag. The ACLU and other atheist groups in America would never allow the US flag with such religious symbols. Lawsuits a plenty against religious freedom and expression in the land of the free. Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law.   

Let's give American voters the benefit of the doubt and say it was all voter fraud and not ignorance or stupidity in electing a man who does not even know what to do and refuses help from Russia when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead we'll say it's true that the Communists usage of electronic voting was just a plan to manipulate the vote. Soros and his ownership of the company that counts the US votes in Spain helped put their puppet in power in the White House. According to the Huffington Post, residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the Unites States. We'll say that these Americans are hostages to the Communists in power. How long will their government reign tyranny upon them?

Russia lost its' civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once "Land of the Free" remain the United Socialist States of America?  Their suffering has only begun. Bye bye Miss American Pie!  You know the song you hippies. Sing it! Don't you remember? The 1971 hit song by American song writer Don McLean:

"And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage.

No angel born in Hell could break that Satan's spell

And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw...

Satan laughing with delight the day the music died

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...

This'll be the day that I die

This'll be the day that I die

So, the question remains:

How long will America suffer and to what depths?

 

Xavier Lerma

Contact Xavier Lerma at xlermanov@swissmail.org

His popular articles can be seen at http://xlerma.wordpress.com/

Hyperlink to Pravda is mandatory if you republish this article.

 

 

 

Дмитрий Судаков
Copyright © 1999-2012, «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.
326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Gay & Straight on: November 17, 2012, 07:23:11 PM
Crafty - that is pretty damn funny - I agree...
327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chris Christie - Useful Idiot for Islamists... on: November 15, 2012, 09:53:37 AM
Four Islamists on Gov. Christie’s Muslim Outreach Committee

Ryan Mauro - www.radicalislam.org - November 15, 2012.

A RadicalIslam.org investigation has discovered that at least four Islamists sit on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Muslim outreach committee, which was formed after Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa concluded in May that NYPD intelligence-gathering operations in New Jersey did not break any laws.

All of the information about the Islamist backgrounds of these four committee members is publicly available, yet the Christie Administration picked them to serve as liaisons to the Muslim community of the state. As a result, they are having private meetings with N.J.’s top security officials. This is just the latest example of Christie’s embrace of Islamists that should be shunned, not exalted.

The discovery that the Islamists were on the committee was made when RadicalIslam.org obtained a previously unreleased list of committee members present at a September 5, 2012 meeting at the Leroy Smith Building in Newark.

The four committee members of concern are:

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security for not disclosing on his green card application that he was arrested and convicted by Israel in 1993 for his involvement with Hamas;
Ahmed Shedeed, a fervent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and President of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, a mosque with a history of Islamist leadership. Its website currently contains disturbing statements about jihad, the West, wife beating and polygamy;
Mohammed Younes, the President of the American Muslim Union, a group with Islamist leadership and close ties to Qatanani’s mosque, which was founded by a Hamas fundraiser; and
Imam Abdul Basit of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, a mosque founded by a radical cleric. In July, it held a Brotherhood-linked seminar featuring multiple extremist speakers.
Addressing the committee were: Attorney General Chiesa, NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Edward Dickson. These addresses were followed by dialogue with committee members.

Other NJ officials that were present at the meeting were: First Assistant Attorney General Calcagni, Special Assistant Christopher Iu, Special Assistant Paul Salvatoriello, State Police Major Gerald Lewis and Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Community Affairs Chief John Paige.

Profiles of the Four Islamist Committee Members

Imam Mohammad Qatanani

The most notorious of the committee members is Mohammad Qatanani. He was arrested in Israel in 1993 because of his links to Hamas, including the fact that his brother-in-law was a Hamas official in the West Bank. Qatanani told the Israelis that he had been a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood but left in 1991 because he had limited time for this project. The Israeli government says he admitted to being a Hamas member and was convicted, but he was released as part of a plea bargain. The Department of Homeland Security is seeking his deportation for failing to disclose this on his green card application.

In 1994, Qatanani moved to NJ to lead the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, a mosque founded in 1989 by Hamas fundraiser Mohammed El-Mezain. In November 1994, El-Mezain stated that ICPC was collecting money for Hamas, according to an FBI report. The two men jointly led the ICPC and lived together as El-Mezain raised money for terrorism until he stepped down in 1999. In July 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began deportation proceedings against Qatanani.

The DHS says Qatanani “engaged in terrorist activity” and is guilty of “material misrepresentation” and “engaging in unauthorized employment … by allowing an out-of-status alien to reside with him.” It also describes a “highly dubious” transfer of thousands of dollars to the West Bank.

“It is certainly suspicious when a person who has been convicted of being a member of, and providing services, to Hamas, who has personal ties to a Hamas militant leader, and a Hamas fundraiser also sends undisclosed cash to the West Bank,” the 2008 DHS court filing states.

Qatanani is the only Hamas supporter identified by name in a July 2008 NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness intelligence report about the Hamas network in the state. His preaching between 2007 and 2009 reflected his radical views, as shown in translations made by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. For example, he prayed for the defeat of “occupation and oppression” in Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya in 2007. The enemies of Islam are the U.S., Israel and Russia in this context.

He also preached that Jews and Christians “will be swiftly punished by Allah” and that Muslims should not speak poorly of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric that endorses suicide bombings and Hamas. He also defended donations to the families of suicide bombers. Just this September, Qatanani said the U.S. should outlaw criticism of Islam.

Under Qatanani’s leadership, the ICPC has held various Islamist speakers, such as Hamas-supporter Imam Reda Shata, Hamas-linked activist Abdelhaleem Ashqar (who is now in prison for refusing to testify about the Hamas network in the U.S.) and Wagdy Ghoneim, who was voluntarily deported from the country in 2005 for his terror ties and now preaches extremism in Egypt.

In April 2004, a former chairman of the ICPC’s board, Esam Omeish, praised Palestinians who “[understand] that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” pointing out the “beloved” founder of Hamas as an example to follow. He also supports the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” force and once was the president of the Muslim American Society, a Brotherhood front. He also “likes” Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi on Facebook.

Despite this record, Christie defended Qatanani against the DHS in 2008, calling him  a “man of great goodwill.” His Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna was as a character witness for him during the trial. The immigration judge granted Qatanani permanent residency, but the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned the ruling. The next deportation hearing is scheduled for November 26.

In May, Attorney General Chiesa met with Qatanani after he cleared the NYPD of breaking state laws. On July 24, Qatanani attended an Iftar dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. During his address, Christie pointed out Qatanani, calling him a “friend” and attacking his critics as anti-Muslim “bigots.”

Mohammed Younes

The President of the American Muslim Union, Mohammed Younes, is also on the Muslim outreach committee. This organization is very closely tied to the Hamas-linked Islamic Center of Passaic County led by Imam Qatanani, having had five common officials as of 2004. For example, Younes has served on the mosque’s board of trustees.

Younes sounds sympathetic to the cause of Hamas. He said in 2001, “I put myself in the Palestinians’ shoes, the suffering, the pain, the hunger. I don’t know what I would do. Are they dogs? Are they garbage? I don’t want to see anyone killed. But you can’t be selective.” He called the U.S. hypocritical for condemning Hamas but not Israel. However, he said he would not donate to Hamas because “they are killers,” but supports giving aid to the children of killed Hamas operatives.

During Qatanani’s deportation trial, Prosecutor Alan Wolf said that a pamphlet was found at the ICPC after the 9/11 attacks that explained what Muslims should not tell the police. Wolf also mentioned that a newspaper quoted Younes in 2002 where he advised against giving personal information to law enforcement. As he left, Younes complained, “The FBI is abusing us.”


 
Younes seems to have a pattern of defending guilty Islamists while accusing the government of misconduct. He defended the ICPC by saying it “did not know everywhere their money was going, and they would have not meant to give it to Hamas.” As mentioned, El-Mezain publicly stated that the fundraising was for Hamas. When five Muslims were convicted of planning to attack Fort Dix, Younes said, “I don’t think they actually meant to do anything. I think they were acting stupid, like they thought the whole thing was a joke.”

One common official between AMU and ICPC is Mohamed El-Filali. Media reports have titled him the executive director of ICPC, but the mosque’s website says he is the Outreach Director. IslamWeb described him as an AMU official in 2002. Joel Mowbray writes that the Associated Press identified him as an “Executive Committee member” of AMU around the time he led a rally that said Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is equivalent to Hitler. He refused to condemn suicide bombings, saying “I am not in their shoes. My house has not been destroyed; my brother has not been shot dead.” El-Filali met with Attorney General Chiesa after he cleared the NYPD.

Another concerning AMU official is Magdy Mahmoud. He was on the executive board of the Muslim Arab Youth Association at the same time as the FBI learned of extremist rhetoric at its events. In 1994, Hamas fundraiser Mohammed El-Mezain spoke for the group. He spoke after an individual that the audience was told led the “Hamas military wing.” An FBI report documents the speaker saying, “I’ve been told to restrict or restrain what I say … I hope no one is recording me or taking any pictures, as none are allowed … because I’m going to speak the truth to you. It’s simple. Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them! No peace ever!”

Mahmoud was the chairman of the AMU’s Chapters Committee from 1999 to 2001. He is also the co-founder and a former president of the NJ chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial. The federal government says CAIR is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. A CAIR-NJ official met with Attorney General Chiesa after he cleared the NYPD.

Another official is Waheed Khalid, who is the chairman of AMU’s Bergen County chapter and the former president of Dar ul-Islah Mosque in Teaneck, N.J.  In May 1998, he expressed sympathy for Hamas, saying, “They are trying to get the occupiers out of their home.” In 2002, he refused to comment on the authenticity of the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion but suggested it has credibility by saying that most people believe it. He also defended an Egyptian television show based on it, saying, “They have the right to show it, and I think it is news, and it is quite interesting to know what it says.”

In 2002, AMU sponsored a rally with the Muslim American Society, a Brotherhood front, and the pro-Hamas Islamic Association for Palestine, another Brotherhood front. The event demanded the indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a war criminal and that the U.S. cut off aid to Israel. In contrast, the AMU did not endorse the 2005 “Free Muslims March Against Terror” that condemned all terrorist groups including Hamas, according to Discover the Networks.

In 2004, AMU’s online newsletter said a “Zionist commando orchestrated the 9-11 terrorist attacks” and praised Neturei Karta, a Jewish extremist group that supports Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the elimination of the state of Israel.

Governor Christie picked the AMU’s general counsel, Sohail Mohammed, to be a Superior Court Judge in 2011. Mohammed was the attorney for Imam Qatanani and also defended Sami al-Arian, who was convicted of being a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the U.S. Christie reacted to the controversy over his appointment by saying, “This Sharia Law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.”

Ahmed Shedeed

Muslim Brotherhood supporter Ahmed Shedeed is the president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, an Islamist mosque. His Facebook page has a photo of him at a rally in New York City for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi. He also “likes” the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and three Arabic pages that have Morsi as their main photo, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America. Shedeed repeatedly shares Brotherhood-themed photos on his page.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Islamic Center of Jersey City has a history of links to extremism. Its director from 1978 to 1990, Mohammed Al-Hanooti, was the president of a pro-Hamas group called the Islamic Association for Palestine from 1984 to 1986. The American Muslim Brotherhood’s internal files identify it as one of its fronts. He also attended a secret Brotherhood-organized meeting of Hamas supporters in Philadelphia in 1993. In the late 1990s, he served as the imam of the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia, which has extensive Brotherhood and Hamas ties.

According to his biography from the website of an Islamist conference  to be held in Chicago this month, al-Hanooti left the Islamic Center of Jersey City to serve as an imam at Qatanani’s ICPC from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1999, he served as the imam of the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia, another mosque with extensive Brotherhood and Hamas ties. From 2000 to 2001, he was the imam of the Islamic Center of Capital District in Albany, New York.

Mohammad Salameh, a terrorist convicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, often attended the mosque in the early 1990s. Al-Hanooti was also named a “possible unindicted co-conspirator” in the Trade Center plot.

In 2000, the mosque’s imam, Sayyid Askar, said that “jihad is an absolute obligation upon those land has been occupied, and all Muslims have to stand together to repulse the enemy.”

The Islamic Center of Jersey City’s website features Islamist preaching. It advises Muslims to respond to questions about jihad by attacking U.S. foreign policy:

“Why should we be on the defensive? Why don’t we adopt a more assertive attitude? If they confront us on one question, we should respond with ten of our own. If they ask us about jihad, we should ask them about America’s openly aggressive policies in many parts of the world, not to mention all of their covert operations.”

It also justifies jihad as a fight against oppression (which it previously accused the U.S. of being guilty of) and “worldly” rule:

 “The Islamic teachings about jihad are what uproots oppression and guarantees people the freedom to think and to choose their religion for themselves without being under any compulsion. Islam seeks to have people freely submit themselves to their Creator and not be placed under the subjugation of any worldly dictator, race, tribe, or nationality.”

It preaches that the West is racist:

“We can stress how Islam teaches equality between all people. There is no preference for anyone over anyone else except by a person’s piety and virtue. This is the way to do away with the problem of racism that people in the West suffer from.”

It justifies polygamy:

“If they ask you about polygamy, ask them about the sexual promiscuity that is rife in their societies that has brought humiliation to so many women and allowed men to absolve themselves of their responsibilities towards them and towards their children?”

The ICJC’s website also links to an article asking the question, “Does Islam Allow Wife Beating?” The answer is yes, as long as it is warranted, the face is not touched and no marks are left. It explains, drawing upon the teaching of former Islamic Society of North America President Muzammil Siddiqi:

“However, in some cases, a husband may use some light disciplinary action in order to correct the moral infraction of his wife, but this is only applicable in extreme cases and it should be resorted to if one is sure it would improve the situation.”

“The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) explained it ‘dharban ghayra mubarrih’ which means ‘a light tap that leaves no mark.’ He further said that face must be avoided. Some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by siwak, or toothbrush.”

“It is also important to note that even this "light strike" mentioned in the verse is not to be used to correct some minor problem, but it is permissible to resort to only in a situation of some serious moral misconduct when admonishing the wife fails, and avoiding from sleeping with her would not help. If this disciplinary action can correct a situation and save the marriage, then one should use it."

It then quotes from Jamal Badawi, another Islamic Society of North America official:

"There are cases, however, in which a wife persists in bad habits and showing contempt of her husband and disregard for her marital obligations. Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body, but never on the face, making it more of a symbolic measure than a punitive one.”

“Based on Quran and Hadith, this measure may be used in the cases of lewdness on the part of the wife or extreme refraction and rejection of the husband's reasonable requests on a consistent basis (nushuz). Even then, other measures, such as exhortation, should be tried first.”

“As defined by Hadith, it is not permissible to strike anyone's face, cause any bodily harm or even be harsh. What the Hadith qualifies as ‘dharban ghayra mubarrih,’ or light striking, was interpreted by early jurists as a (symbolic) use of siwak! They further qualified permissible ‘striking’ as that which leaves no mark on the body.”

Imam Abdul Basit

Qari Abdul Basit is the imam of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, a mosque founded in 1987 by the Islamist cleric Zaid Shakir, who continues to be a guest lecturer. In 2006, the New York Times reported that Shakir said “he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law.”

Shakir legitimizes attacks on U.S. troops, specifically the hijacking of airplanes transporting soldiers. He argues that the 1983 Marine barracks bombing by Hezbollah was not an act of terrorism. In April, he wrote a poem about how U.S. soldiers rape girls and murder Muslim civilians. In September, he coupled his condemnation of the murder of U.S. Ambassador Stevens with a condemnation of how four Afghan women, in his view, were “brutally murdered by NATO bombs.”

Shakir believes in 9/11 conspiracy theories and accuses the U.S. of “demonizing” Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez, while characterizing Al-Qaeda, Hamas and other Islamist terrorists as fighters against oppression, though he condemns some of their tactics. In 2003, he preached that the U.S. is waging a war on Islam and Muslim-Americans should wage jihad through institution-building.

The Center has gotten funding from Saudi King Fahd. The Saudi government promotes a radical version of Islam often called “Wahhabism.” On July 7, the New Brunswick Islamic Center hosted an Islamic Society of North America seminar about Sharia. FBI investigators identified ISNA as a Muslim Brotherhood front as early as 1987. A U.S. Muslim Brotherhood strategy document from 1991 lists ISNA among “organizations and the organizations of our friends.” ISNA was also designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation affair, the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history. The federal government said is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

The ISNA event at Imam Abdul Basit’s New Brunswick Islamic Center featured numerous Islamists. This includes the aforementioned Muzammil Siddiqi who explained the limitations of wife-beating. In 2001, he expressed his hope that Sharia law, including its criminal law, would one day be implemented in the U.S. He also supports Muslim countries that have the death penalty for homosexuals and suggests that Muslims were not involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Siddiqi taught about worshipping Allah and community engagement. Joining him in the latter session was Saffet Catovic, who used to be the New York representative of Benevolence International, a charity shut down for its ties to Al-Qaeda. In 1992, Catovic spoke at an Islamic Association for Palestine conference (a Brotherhood entity) where he said the “long-range” goal is building an Islamic Caliphate. He also spoke at a military-themed “Jihad Camp” in 2001.

Teaching about Sharia was Imam Qatanani and Jamal Badawi. Badawi is another unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial because he raised funds for the Hamas front. His name is in a 1992 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood phone directory. He has justified suicide bombings and refers to Hamas terrorists as “martyrs.” He also explicitly endorsed Palestinian “combative jihad” in 2010. Badawi also spoke about how Muslims can implement Sharia in their own lives.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Geller: American Gays: WAKE UP and Fight the Right Fight... on: November 13, 2012, 07:46:44 AM
Gays in the U.S. Have Largely Been on the Wrong side of this Anti-Jihad War - It's Time to Change That.

Pamela Geller - Yahoo News - November 11, 2012

Mashregh News, a government-controlled paper in Iran, recently claimed that Israel "spreads homosexuality" around the world in its quest for world domination. The article, said Chris Karnak on the gay website GGG, "reads like an article from the Nazi agitation paper Der Stürmer."

Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, an expert on Iran's treatment of minorities of all kinds, said that the piece was "against gays, against the West and anti-Semitic," and that it "legitimizes the execution of gays in Iran; they made a text not only to ridicule the West but to provide a reason why Iran executes gays."

Yet gays in the U.S. in large numbers oppose Israel, and resist attempts to stop the global jihad and Islamic supremacism that Iran so energetically promotes. Where is the counter-voice to the anti-Israel agitation in the gay community? What I find so amusing about the gay community's opposition to Israel is Israeli society's absolute embrace of the gay community. They had gays in the military before it was even contemplated in the U.S. My colorist, who is not Jewish, goes to Israel every year for their Gay Pride Parade, so fabulous is that event. LGBT rights in Israel are the most progressive in the Middle East and Asia. Out Magazine named Tel Aviv the gay capital of the Middle East. Yet gays in the U.S. largely line up with the left against Israel. They're on the wrong side. The lethal side, fatal for gays. Literally.

The article in Mashregh News was not singular. It was indicative of the sorry treatment of gays all over the Islamic world.

GayStarNews reported last June that the Indonesian city of Tasikmalaya in West Java is seeking to criminalize homosexuality, in accordance with Islamic law, sharia. Last January, three Muslims in London were arrested on hate crime charges for handing out leaflets calling for the execution of gays; one explained: "My intention was to do my duty as a Muslim, to inform people of Allah's word and to give the message on what Allah says about homosexuality."

Gays excoriate Christians for disapproving of homosexuality, but Christianity doesn't call for the execution of gays; Islam does. The holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, mandates execution for lesbians, but not for gay men (where's Irshad Manji on that?): "If any of your women commit a lewd act, call four witnesses from among you, then, if they testify to their guilt, keep the women at home until death comes to them or until Allah gives them another way out. If two men commit a lewd act, punish them both; if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone - Allah is ready to accept repentance from those who do evil out of ignorance and soon afterwards repent: these are the ones Allah will forgive" (4:15-16).

However, the Hadith, the traditions of Muhammad that are normative for Islamic law, says that Muhammad's companions toppled a wall on gays; in our own age, the Taliban has imitated that punishment. Iran's Constitution mandates death for gays, and the Iranian Islamic regime has regularly carried out public hangings of gay men.

Where homosexual activity is legal in Muslim countries, some Muslims take the sharia into their own hands. Early in September, the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News reported: "A gay teenager was allegedly killed last month by his father and uncle in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in a murder that the boy's rich and powerful tribal family subsequently sought to cover up, according to local members of the LGBT community."

Sedef Cakmak, a Lambda member, said: "I feel helpless: we are trying to raise awareness of gay rights in this country, but the more visible we become, the more we open ourselves up to this sort of attack."

The gay community in the U.S. should be in the avant garde that is fighting for the oppressed members of their community in the Islamic world. There is no minority in the U.S. that is as passionate, as fierce, and as effective as the LGBT community. What they have achieved, in relationship to their numbers, is spectacular and unrivaled. Why would they not apply their same premise of opposition to oppression and discrimination to societies that are abhorrent and monstrous in their treatment of gays? There is no group that I would rather have shoulder-to-shoulder with me, hands down, than this effective, uncompromising movement. And what could be more crucial, and as clear-cut an issue, as life and death?

Gay activist Michael Lucas should have had an army behind him when he opposed Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, standing up, out of righteous indignation, against that event at the LGBT Center in New York. He was a hero for the cause, and yet he was met with scorn and derision by the Islamic-leftist machine, that attempts to destroy any and all voices that dare to stand for freedom, individual rights, and justice for all.

Now, many gays in America may say, "It's not our problem. Those are tribal, savage societies." Apart from the inhumanity of that position, they are wrong because the treatment of gays in Islamic lands has a lot to do with what is happening in America. We see sharia encroaching in our workplaces, our schools, and our public institutions. Does the gay community really think it is going to be exempt because it opposes Israel?

Jonathan Tobin put it well in Commentary: "The notion that those who view gay rights as the most important issue here in the West would, at the same time, support gay-bashing Palestinian Islamists in their campaign to eradicate gay friendly Israel is a caricature of the psychosis of the left."

The gay community should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with my group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (which is dedicated to defending the principle of equality of rights for all) against Islamic supremacism, sharia and the systematic slaughter of gays in Muslim countries. I urge members of the gay community to start protesting the sharia and get into the fight for freedom. Readers will weigh in in the comments section with experiences of their own of the Muslim persecution of gays, but that is not enough, not nearly enough. It's anecdoctal. We need a movement -- a real movement -- in the gay community to vocally and meaningfully oppose the most extreme and brutal ideology on the face of the earth.

Stop fighting the last war. Stonewall has been won. Sharia is this century's Stonewall.
329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 06, 2012, 10:53:56 AM
As Mark Levin has been saying - getting Romney in the White House is only the first step.  Our work will be just beginning.  If the way he ran his campaign is any indication of how he will govern/deal with the Dems - we have our work cut out for us.  But - the first step is getting him across the finish line - I think Dick Morris and Michael Barone are going to be quite close to correct in their predictions, both of which have Romney winning by a decent margin both the popular vote and the electoral vote.
330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris' Senate prediction... on: November 06, 2012, 10:08:48 AM
Morris is also predicting that Republicans will win a decent majority in the Senate - essentially reversing the ratio that exists now.
331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 05, 2012, 07:02:40 AM
Obama’s Army of Illegal Election Workers

Posted By Matthew Vadum On November 5, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Democrats have enlisted thousands of young illegal immigrants to drag their supporters to the polls on Election Day tomorrow.

These get-out-the-vote workers may or may not be breaking the law by helping with voter mobilization. Because the workers are already unlawfully present in the United States, presumably all employment they engage in –including electioneering— already violates laws against unauthorized employment.

It’s not like their patron, President Obama, would do anything about it anyway. This past summer Obama swept aside federal law in order to pander to this growing constituency. In a move more imperial than presidential, Obama bypassed Congress and partially implemented the so-called proposed DREAM Act which would have offered a path to U.S. citizenship for youthful illegals who served in the armed forces or attended college. Up to 1.4 million illegal aliens could benefit from the move.

Using undocumented aliens as election workers is a new low for the activist Left.

“For people who aren’t supposed to be in the country in the first place to be deployed for partisan advantage is the last straw,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that favors limits on immigration levels.

“‘The strategic deployment’ of illegal immigrants who benefit from the Obama administration program is a ‘corruption of the political process,’” he said.

And there can be little doubt that some of the Obama supporters these election workers cajol into voting booths will themselves be illegal immigrants ineligible to vote in the national election. Lax, and in some cases non-existent ID requirements, at the state level will allow people to vote who have no legal right to vote.

In the battleground state of Nevada, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is strong-arming union members who are bona fide U.S. permanent residents into unlawfully casting ballots. (Permanent residents, or green card holders, are allowed to reside and work in the U.S. permanently but are not allowed to vote unless they become naturalized as U.S. citizens.) The union is affiliated with the UNITE HERE labor federation.

Union members who have a shaky grasp of the English language told Glenn Cook of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that they were tricked into signing voter registration forms and are now being pressured to vote. President Obama and Democrats are counting on the unions in Nevada to help get them across the finish line tomorrow.

“One of the immigrants was visited at home by a Culinary representative and said the operative made threats of deportation if no ballot was cast,” Cook writes. He notes that in Nevada no proof of citizenship is required in order to register to vote or to vote. “One would establish identity and one would establish residence,” Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said. “Just like every other voter in Nevada, they will not be asked to prove citizenship.”

In the swing states of Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, the young illegal aliens doing the voter-mobilization work are “often referred to as Dreamers after the failed DREAM Act legislation that would have offered them a path to citizenship.” They are knocking on doors, working in telephone banks, and asking students on college campuses to vote, the Wall Street Journal reports. They are also active in solid-blue California and in Republican-dominated Texas.

The illegal campaign workers are targeting Latinos, a fast-growing demographic that President Obama has urged to “punish” its “enemies.” Obama is reportedly running ahead among Latino voters so the efforts of the so-called Dreamers could help down-ticket candidates in congressional and state races.

One of the leading groups exploiting the free labor of undocumented workers is the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition (CIRC). Illegal campaign workers “are winning the hearts and minds of Coloradans through their efforts,” said CIRC executive director Julien Ross.

CIRC pushed the Obama administration to enact a policy, now called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that lets those under the age of 31 who arrived in this country by age 16 and have lived here for the last five years to seek a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation and work permit.

CIRC has some unsavory friends. It is a “partner” with the far-left Center for Community Change (CCC) and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON).

CCC is headed by Deepak Bhargava, who worked for a decade at ACORN. CCC sponsored a December 2007 forum for thousands of community organizers from across America. Bhargava introduced speaker Barack Obama at the event and said America was “a society that is still deeply structured by racism and sexism.” He elicited a pledge from Obama that if elected the president in 2008 he would invite CCC and other Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing groups to “help [the new administration] shape the agenda.”

NDLON’s mission is to interfere with the enforcement of immigration laws and its “strategy is to make legal everything about the illegal immigrant except his immigration status.” The group pressures local governments to set up day laborer centers and works with labor unions to unionize day laborers.

Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez from Brazil thinks illegal aliens getting involved in electoral politics is a great idea.

“We can’t vote but we can get people to vote who support our issues. It’s our way to participate in this democracy,” said Sousa-Rodriguez, who is supervising a get-out-the-vote drive in Florida and Ohio that is co-sponsored by United We Dream, a national undocumented youth network.

United We Dream’s stated mission is to create “meaningful alliances with other national immigrant and education rights organizations and making sure there is a voice for immigrant youth in these organizations.”

One of the group’s more high profile board members is Josh Bernstein. Bernstein is “director of immigration” at the radical labor union SEIU. (Who knew labor unions had directors of immigration?) Back in the 1980s he was director of Californians for a Fair Share, a group created to fight welfare cuts.

Take a guess which political party Bernstein’s illegal election workers –and all the other illegal election workers mentioned in this article— will benefit from all this unpaid labor.
332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stealth Islamist Charter Schools in U.S. Under Investigation... on: November 01, 2012, 07:11:10 AM
Stealth Islamist Charter Schools Under Investigation

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On November 1, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The charter school movement associated with Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen is under federal investigation

If one believes that the battle for the nation’s soul is occurring, not just in Washington, D.C., but in schools across the nation, the steady advance of Turkish-Gulen Charter Schools may be cause for alarm. Fethullah Gulen is a Turkish Islamic cleric who fled his native country in 1998, after being charged with seeking to overthrow the secular Turkish government. He currently lives in exile at a 28-acre mountain complex in the Pocono Mountains, with more than $25 billion of assets at his command. The 135 charter schools associated with the Gulen Movement (GM) enroll more than 45,000 students and comprise the largest charter school network in the United States — all of which are fully funded by American taxpayers. Fethullah Gulen has been under investigation by the government since 2011.

That investigation, carried out by FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education, is centered around charter school employees who are allegedly engaged in kicking back part of their salaries to the Muslim movement also known as Hizmet (service to others), founded by Gulen. Gulen initiated his movement in Izmir, a city on Turkey’s Aegean coast, more than 40 years ago, preaching impassioned sermons to his followers, who may now number as many as six million. In Turkey, the Gulen Movement has been accused of pushing for a hardline Islamic state. Despite this reality, government officials investigating the kickback scheme are apparently satisfied that there is no religious agenda being disseminated in America. Their investigation is centered around the hundreds of Turkish teachers, administrators, and other staffers employed under the H1B visa program, who may or may not be misusing taxpayer money.

This would appear to be a stunningly naive approach to the issue. H1B visas allow US employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations on a temporary basis. “Specialty occupations” are defined as “requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor.” Gulen schools are among the nation’s largest users of the H1B visas. In 2009, they received government approvals for 684 visas. The Harmony School, a Gulen-related institution, has applied for more H1B visas than any educational institution in the country.

GM officials at some of the charter schools that ostensibly specialize in math and science, claim they need to fill teaching spots with Turkish teachers. At the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School in State College, Ruth Hocker, former president of the parents’ group, grew suspicious when certified American teachers began to be replaced by uncertified Turks with limited English-speaking skills who, despite that limitation, commanded higher salaries. Parents pointed out that these uncertified teachers were moved from one charter to another when their “emergency” credentials expired. They also spoke about a pattern of sudden turnovers of Turkish business managers, administrators, and board members.

Similar complaints arose in Texas, where it was revealed that hundreds of Turkish teachers and administrators were also working with H1B visas. In addition, the Harmony School group was using taxpayer money to fund Gulen’s movement via school construction and renovation projects. Despite assertions that the bidding process on those projects was fair, records showed that virtually all of the work has been done by Turkish-owned contractors, according to the New York Times.

A former teacher from Turkey revealed an ominous development, reportedly telling the FBI that the Gulen Movement had divided the United States into five regions, with a general manager in each who coordinates the activities of the schools, and related foundations and cultural centers.

All of the above raises the obvious question: if these schools are traditional American charter schools that do nothing more than “follow the state curriculum,” as Tansu Cidav, the acting CEO of the Truebright Science Academy in North Philadelphia contends, why is it necessary to hire foreign teachers and coordinate activities nationwide?

A federal document released in 2011 may provide the answer. It posits that Gulen’s charter schools may in fact be madrassahs, where students are “brain-washed” to serve as proponents of the New Islamic World Order Gulen purportedly seeks to create.

Former Muslim Brotherhood member Walid Shoebat illuminates the bigger picture. Shoebat, who was highly critical of a CBS “60 Minutes” report on Gulen (who refused to be interviewed for the piece), likens the cleric’s movement to the leftist Center for American Progress (CAP) And radical billionaire George Soros. “Both men are extremely wealthy, use that money to surreptitiously spread their ideologies, and like to operate behind the scenes as much as possible,” writes Shoebat.

The American Thinker’s Janet Levy takes it one step further. After noting that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan belongs to the AKP political party founded by Gulen upon his arrival in Pennsylvania, she points out that “Turkey is reverting to its historical Ottoman Empire-inspired Islamic fundamentalism,” even as “it is pursuing a stealth or cultural jihad against the West, in large part through the efforts of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic theologian.” In a 1999 video, Gulen himself spoke of a surreptitious plan for taking over the Turkish government: ”You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe … The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it[.]”

The movement is well on its way towards achieving that aim. GM is now active in 140 countries. Aside from its charter school empire, other interests including boarding schools, universities, banks, media companies, newspapers, charities, and think tanks.

60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl took the typically leftist, see-no-Islamist-evil approach towards complaints about the Gulen schools advancing an Islamic agenda in America, assuring viewers that he promotes “tolerance, inter-faith dialogue and, above all, he promotes education.” Yet even Stahl was forced to acknowledge that while Gulen “invites conspiracy theories that he’s running Turkey from the Poconos and is bent on global Muslim domination,” his movement “does lack transparency: its funding, hierarchy, and ambitions remain hidden–leading our State Department to wonder in cables between Ankara and Washington if Gulen has an ‘insidious political agenda.’”

This is not the first investigation conducted of Gulen’s empire. In 2008, members of the Netherlands’ Christian Democrat, Labor, and Conservative parties agreed to cut several million euros in government funding for organizations affiliated with Gulen. An investigation ensued when Erik Jan Zürcher, director of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History, along with five former followers who had worked for Gulen, told Dutch television that the Gulen community was moving step-by-step to topple the secular order.

In Pennsylvania, neighbors of Gulen’s fortress retreat complain of hearing automatic gunfire and the drone of a surveillance helicopter that constantly searches for intruders. 100 Turkish guards stand watch over the property as well. If this man and his movement–which continues to expand–have nothing to hide, they have a remarkable way of showing it.

As a Turkish observer speaking to the New Republic noted, “No society would tolerate this big of an organization being this untransparent.” The FBI’s new investigation against Gulen’s organization brings us one step closer to exposing what goes on behind the closed doors of Gulen’s empire.
333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shoebat: Al-Qaeda "Brother" Placed in Charge of U.S. Embassy in Tripoli... on: October 31, 2012, 09:41:25 AM
Libyan Leaks: Secret Document reveals Al-Qaeda ‘brother’ put in control of U.S. Embassy in Tripoli

by Shoebat Foundation on OCTOBER 31, 2012

Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack

A treasure trove of secret documents has been obtained by a Libyan source who says that secularists in his country are increasingly wanting to see Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama on November 6th. This charge is being made despite Muslim Brotherhood losses in Libyan elections last July which resulted in victory for the secularists. One of those documents may help explain this sentiment.

It shows that in supporting the removal of Gadhafi, the Obama administration seemed to sign on to an arrangement that left forces loyal to Al-Qaeda in charge of security at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli from 2011 through at least the spring of 2012.

The National Transitional Council, which represented the political apparatus that opposed Gadhafi in 2011 and served as the interim government after his removal, made an extremely curious appointment in August of 2011. That appointment was none other than Abdel Hakim Belhaj, an Al-Qaeda ally and ‘brother’. Here is a copy of that letter (translation beneath it):



Translated, the document reads:

National Transitional Council – Libya
8/30/11

Code: YGM-270-2011

Mr. Abdel Hakim Al-Khowailidi Belhaj

Greetings,

We would like to inform you that you have been commissioned to the duties and responsibilities of the military committee of the city of Tripoli. These include taking all necessary procedures to secure the safety of the Capital and its citizens, its public and private property, and institutions, to include all international embassies. To coordinate with the local community of the city of Tripoli and the security assembly and defense on a national level.

Mustafa Muhammad Abdul Jalil

President, National Transitional Council – Libya

Official Seal of National Transitional Council

Copy for file.

As for Belhaj’s bonafides as an Al-Qaeda ally, consider the words of the notorious Ayman al-Zawahiri. In a report published one day prior to the date on the memo above, ABC News quoted the Al-Qaeda leader as saying the following – in 2007 – about the man the NTC put in control of Tripoli in 2011:

“Dear brothers… the amir of the mujahideen, the patient and steadfast Abu-Abdallah al-Sadiq (Belhaj); and the rest of the captives of the fighting Islamic group in Libya, here is good news for you,” Zawahiri said in a video, using Belhaj’s nom de guerre. “Your brothers are continuing your march after you… escalating their confrontation with the enemies of Islam: Gadhafi and his masters, the crusaders of Washington.”

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was founded by Belhaj.

In a BBC report from one month earlier – on July 4, 2011 – a man named Al-Amin Belhaj was identified as an NTC spokesman and said the following:

“Everyone knows who Abdel Hakim Belhadj is. He is a Libyan rebel and a moderate person who commands wide respect.”

Abdel Hakim Belhaj had been identified in a video report embedded in the the BBC article as…

“…about the most powerful man in Tripoli.”

Abdel Hakim Belhaj is many things but moderate is not one of them.

Interestingly, according to a report by the Jamestown Foundation in 2005, the man who attributed the ‘moderate’ label to Abdel Hakim Belhaj was actually a leader with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood:

This last week Al-Amin Belhadj, head of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, issued a press release on the Arabic language section of Libya-Watch, (Mu’assasat al-Raqib li-Huqquq al-Insan) calling for urgent action on behalf of 86 Brotherhood members imprisoned since 1998 at Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison and on hunger strike since October 7.

The nexus between Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood comes into clearer focus when one looks at the Libyan Ambassador to the United States. His name is Ali Sulaiman Aujali. He had the following to say about Belhaj according to an ABC News report:

“(Belhaj) should be accept(ed) for the person that he is today and we should deal with him on that basis… people evolve and change.”

Really? How many times do westerners have to fall for this line before they trip over it?

In fact, about one month prior to Aujali’s vouching for Belhaj, he appeared at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention. ISNA is a Muslim Brotherhood front group in America.

Aujali represents one individual who is willing to bridge the gap between Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now, fast forward to 9/13/12, two days after the attack in Benghazi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated the Muslim Eid holiday in the Ben Franklin room in Washington, D.C. and shared a podium with none other than Ali Sulaiman Aujali and a woman named Farah Pandith, who is a prominent name inside the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

In 2009, Pandith was sworn in as a U.S. Representative to Muslim Communities by Hillary Clinton. Pandith followed the path of the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress and was sworn in on the Qur’an.

Another interesting alliance revealed itself in various cities across America in the days after the death of Ambassador Stevens. In at least both Los Angeles, CA and Columbus, OH the Libyan American Association aligned with CAIR to hold a vigil for Ambassador Stevens.

While in Jamaica in June of 2011, Hillary Clinton rhetorically asked:

…whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people…

At that very moment – and in light of the release of this secret document – the appropriate question would have been:

…whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of Al-Qaeda…

When put that way, Hillary’s position isn’t nearly as unassailable.

Walid Shoebat is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and author of For God or For Tyranny
334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / David Horowitz on Oliver Stone's Showtime Mini-Series... on: October 31, 2012, 07:15:45 AM
Oliver Stone’s Unbelievable Crap

Posted By David Horowitz On October 31, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com


Originally published at Breitbart.com.

On the evidence of his new Showtime mini-series and companion book, Oliver Stone is both a communist and political moron, a redundancy to be sure. Having previously celebrated a trio of evil-doers – Castro, Arafat and Hugo Chavez – Stone now adds The Untold History of the United States to the cinematic garbage heap he has been piling up since J.F.K. and Born on the 4th of July. Like them, this latest contribution is an unrelenting (and unrelentingly perverse) attack on America as history’s Great Satan, the root cause of worldly evil.

The heroes of this latest Stone fantasy are — I kid you not — Vladimir Lenin and Henry Wallace. Wallace is cast by Stone as the visionary of a planet without capitalism and war, and consequently as America’s missed opportunity to change the world. Along the way, Stone composes nauseating apologetics for Joseph Stalin and other historical villains including even Saddam Hussein, all of which are necessary to sustain his preposterous narrative of America as the great villain of a century in which America in fact defeated the two most monstrous regimes on human record – the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany – liberating more than a billion people in the process.

For those too young to remember, Henry Wallace was a former Vice President who was snookered by American Communists into running for the White House in 1948 as the anti-Cold War candidate of the Progressive Party. The Progressive Party was a political front the Communists had created to help Stalin drag millions of East Europeans into his Soviet gulag and slaughterhouse. Two years later, when the Communists invaded South Korea, a chastened and pathetic Wallace went on television to concede that he had been duped into lending his name to a malevolent cause. Wallace died soon after in disgrace. Now Stone is attempting to resurrect his most shameful hour and present it to the uninformed as the second coming.

By contrast, every step of America’s way in Stone’s fabrication is portrayed in the worst imaginable light, up to and including the Islamist attacks of 9/11, which he describes as merely an excuse America used to conduct criminal wars “against two Islamic nations” that caused “far more damage to the United States than Osama bin Laden ever could,” while “shredding the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Convention” in the process.

Even the title of Stone’s rant is a lie, since his narratives of the Bolshevik Revolution (idealists whose noble vision was thwarted by capitalist pigs), World War II (Stalin won it) and the Cold War (launched by American imperialists but ended by peace-loving Mikhail Gorbachev) are a twice-told story: the first time by Kremlin propagandists and their minions, the second by leftwing diehards who can’t handle the truth, and who have now been joined by the executives at Showtime in airing a miniseries that is malignant and unbelievable crap.
335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why Our Forces Were Told to "Stand Down" in Benghazi... on: October 29, 2012, 06:43:35 AM
Why Our Forces Were Told to ‘Stand Down’ in Benghazi

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 29, 2012 @ www.frontpagemag.com


To understand what went wrong in the Benghazi mission, it’s important to begin by looking at what was so unique about it.

When the Islamist mobs began their September 11 rampage, they found embassies with high walls, heavy security and police protection. Even in Tunis and Cairo, where the Arab Spring Islamist regimes have been accused of collaborating with their fellow Salafists, there were credible military and police forces capable of preventing the kind of full scale assault that took place in Benghazi.

The mission in Benghazi, however, was an American diplomatic facility with few defenses in a city where the police were virtually helpless against the Islamist militias and where the national government had announced that it would allow the Salafists to destroy Sufi tombs rather than intervene.

On September 1, I wrote that the real implication of these remarks was that the Libyan government had given the Islamists a free hand and would take no action no matter what they did. And bloodshed was sure to follow. Ten days later it did.

After the fall of Saddam, American diplomatic facilities in Iraq did not remain unguarded or protected only by local militias. It was always understood that American diplomatic facilities in a country whose government had recently fallen were sitting ducks and needed heavy protection. The State Department cables show that this was something that quite a few of the Americans on the ground also understood. The Benghazi consulate had been attacked, and its next attack would only be a matter of time.

When Al Qaeda decided to commemorate September 11 with a wave of attacks on American diplomatic facilities across the Muslim world, from Tunis all the way to Indonesia, in a recreation of its own 1998 embassy attacks, its planners paid special attention to the one facility that was a soft target and surrounded by jihadist fighters. A facility that was a perfect target because it was completely exposed.

Benghazi should have either had the same protection that a similar facility in Iraq would have or it should have been closed down. Instead the State Department chose to rely on its friendly relations with the jihadists, having forgotten the story of the scorpion and the frog, trusting in an Islamist militia linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and to its future Al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Al Sharia attackers to protect it.

The State Department was not being cheap. Its budget had climbed steadily under Obama and it could have set up another Green Zone in Benghazi if it chose to. But that would have been a flashback to the Bush era that represented everything the appeasement lobby had hated about those eight years.

Libya was meant to be a new kind of war. Not a display of American arrogance and unilateralism, but a show of submissiveness to the goals and ambitions of the Muslim world. In post-American diplomacy, the Americans did not arrive with a show of force, surrounded by Marines and heavy fortifications, but bent humbly under the defensive shield of the Islamist Ummah. Rather than exporting the Dar Al Harb, the Americans would ask for the protection of the Dar Al Islam.

The reason that the Navy SEALS were denied the support of a Spectre C-130U gunship was the same reason that the consulate had been left nearly unguarded. And it was the same reason that so many soldiers had died in Afghanistan because they had been denied air and artillery support or even the permission to open fire.

What happened in Benghazi was only extraordinary because it caught the attention of the public, but American soldiers in Afghanistan had been suffering under the same conditions ever since it was decided that winning the hearts and minds of Afghan civilians was more important than the lives of American soldiers.

The four Americans killed in Benghazi lived and died by the same code as thousands of Americans in Afghanistan. And that code overrode loyalty to one’s own people in favor of appeasing Muslims. The two former SEALS broke that code, violating orders by going to protect the consulate and were abandoned in the field by an administration that prioritized Muslim opinions over American lives.

From the post-American diplomatic perspective, the lives of a few Americans, who knew what they were getting into, was a small sacrifice to make when weighed against the potential of turning the entire Muslim world around. A Spectre gunship blasting away at an Islamist militia in the streets of Benghazi would have ended the fiction of a successful war in Libya and infuriated most of the Islamist militias. Worst of all, it would have made Americans seem like imperialists, instead of helpful aides to the Islamist transition of the Arab Spring. It would have ruined everything and so it was shut down.

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not the first Americans to be abandoned by their country for diplomatic reasons. They will not be the last. And while we investigate and expose the decisions that their government made, it is important for us to remember that such decisions come out of a mindset that says there are diplomatic goals that are more important than American lives. This mindset did not begin with the War on Terror and it will not end until it is exposed for what it is.

During Israel’s descent into peace madness, its left-wing government coined a phrase for those Israelis killed in terrorist attacks, calling them, “Sacrifices of Peace.”

Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods are our government’s sacrifices of peace. They died so that we might go on in our futile effort to win over the Muslim world. And they are not the only ones. There is no way of knowing how many of the 1,500 Americans who were killed in Obama’s surge died because they were prevented from firing first or denied air support. But the number is likely to be in the hundreds.

Similarly 3,000 died in the attacks of September 11 because our diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia were too important to close the revolving door that allowed the terrorists such easy access to our country. They too were sacrifices of peace, burned on the altar of appeasement by a diplomatic establishment that puts the opinions of our enemies first and American lives last.

What went wrong in Benghazi is the same thing that went wrong in Afghanistan. It is the same thing that went wrong on the original September 11. It is the same thing that has gone wrong throughout the War on Terror. If we are to learn any lesson from what happened in Benghazi, it should be that American lives come before Muslim diplomacy and that any government which does not put American lives first, which does not take whatever measures are necessary to save their lives, regardless of what Muslims may think, is not an American government, but a post-American government.
336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wanted for Manslaughter and Treachery... on: October 27, 2012, 07:58:49 AM
WANTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER AND TREACHERY

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 26, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, said in an interview, “And apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help.  This was my son, he wasn’t even there.  He was at a safe house about a mile away.  He got the distress call.  He heard them crying for help.  That’s why he and Glenn risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation.  And I’m sure that she wasn’t the only one that received that distress call: “Come save our lives.”

When I heard that there’s a very good chance that the White House as well as other members of the military knew what was going on, and obviously someone had to say, “Don’t go rescue them.” Because every person in the military, their first response is, “We’re going to go rescue them.” We need to find out who it was that gave that command.”

So who gave that command?

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”

Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

Now we know who is taking responsibility for denying support to the consulate and the safe house.

The photo, which is the official one put out by DOD, from the press conference held by Panetta and General Dempsey is horribly eloquent in terms of body language.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended the failure to go in by claiming that the issue was a lack of reliable intel, despite the fact that they had multiple distress calls and a drone overhead.

Blaming a lack of reliable intel is fine if you want to pull away from intervening in Syria, but not when a US diplomatic facility and its personnel are under sustained attack. And how much intel was really needed to send two jets to buzz the area and possibly scare off some of the attackers, who would not have posed any threat to the aircraft?

Although forces were on alert and ready to launch an operation if needed, the US military commander for Africa, General Carter Ham, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and Panetta all decided against any intervention as they had no clear picture of events unfolding in Benghazi, he said.

So the buck has been passed to Panetta and Dempsey and Ham. Dempsey is a soulless administration toady and Ham is deeply invested in Libya. Panetta is a Clintonite who is completely expendable, especially if the charges get pinned to Hillary. But Panetta still seems filled with self-loathing and Dempsey looks disgusted with him.

Not doing something because there is no intel is a common excuse in these circles when they don’t want to do something. Just as with Iran, there would never have been enough intel.

And how much intel was needed really? Benghazi had an extended profile and was the cause of the entire Libyan war. The consulate had an extensive intelligence apparatus and the declassified cables we’ve seen are a fraction of the actual classified cables that would have been at Panetta, Dempsey and Ham’s disposal.

They knew about the Islamist militias and had descriptions of their armament from the RSO’s reports. They didn’t know the exact number of attackers or every single possible detail, but you can never really know everything before going in.

“There’s a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told a news conference.

But there were already forces in harm’s way, who were trying to provide some real time intel from their point of view. What Panetta means is that the decision was made not to send aid to them, and it wasn’t about risking more lives, but about the politics of intervening in Libya and offending the Libyans. It was done for the same reason that US soldiers have at times been abandoned without air support in Afghanistan.

“I feel confident that our forces were alert and responsive to what was a very fluid situation,” General Dempsey said, which is one of those strange statements that leaders issue after a complete screw up.

The full transcript of the conference was fairly well hidden on the site, but turned up here, it shows the full exchanges.

  Q:  Can I follow up on that?  One of the reasons we’ve heard that there wasn’t a more robust response right away is that there wasn’t a clear intelligence picture over Benghazi, to give you the idea of where to put what forces.

But when there was, in fact, a drone over the CIA annex and there were intelligence officials fighting inside the annex, I guess the big question is, with those two combined assets, why there wasn’t a clear intelligence picture that would have given you what you needed to make some moves, for instance, flying, you know, F-16s over the area to disperse fighters or — or dropping more special forces in.

SEC. PANETTA:  You know, let me — let me speak to that, because I’m sure there’s going to be — there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here.

We — we quickly responded, as General Dempsey said, in terms of deploying forces to the region. We had FAST platoons in the region. We had ships that we had deployed off of Libya. And we were prepared to respond to any contingency and certainly had forces in place to do that.

But — but the basic principle here — basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.

Q:  So the drone, then, and the forces inside the annex weren’t giving enough of a clear picture is what you’re saying.

SEC. PANETTA:  This — this happened within a few hours and it was really over before, you know, we had the opportunity to really know what was happening.
337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya and on: October 24, 2012, 11:04:13 AM
G M:  THAT is the burning question - I agree.  WHERE are the autopsy results???  I don't trust ANYTHING being reported about how these guys died until/unless we see the autopsy reports.  It is very significant that nothing has been released regarding this.  If I were a family member, I would demand that the body exhumed for autopsy - assuming it has already been buried in Arlington - which I believe is the case.  My guess is that this administration is blocking this at every turn with whatever excuse they can come up with to get past the election.
338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer... on: October 24, 2012, 07:14:56 AM
Obama’s Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer

Posted By Matthew Vadum On October 24, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

The freshly appointed chairman of a federal investigation into the Benghazi massacre is an apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

And to add insult to injury, at press time Tuesday evening the chairman of this new State Department panel, former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, was poised to participate in a panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.”

The news comes on the heels of a new report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism that found that “scores” of known radical Islamists met with senior Obama administration officials during hundreds of visits to the White House.

Pickering’s appointment as probe chairman was announced in the Federal Register on October 4. The State Department “Accountability Review Board” headed by Pickering is tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The problem is that Pickering has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC lost an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Pickering is a member of the advisory board of NIAC. He was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from May 1997 through the end of 2000, according to a 2009 report titled “Rise of the Iran Lobby,” by Clare M. Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. He’s also vice chairman of international consultancy, Hills & Co., and co-chairman of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group (whose executive committee includes George Soros).

“Ambassador Pickering’s positions on Iran include calls for bilateral talks without preconditions and a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran,” Lopez writes. “Iran has proposed a similar plan to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Pickering advocates a process leading to mutual diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States.”

“U.S. national security policy is being successfully targeted by Jihadist entities hostile to American interests,” she writes. One of these groups, NIAC, is involved in “a de facto partnership” with its better known but more notorious jihadist ally “the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line.”

This network “includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world.” NIAC and its predecessor group, the American-Iranian Council, have long “functioned openly as apologists for the Iranian regime.”

CAIR is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials.

The panel discussion featured Pickering, Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative.

Khan and Rauf are prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Khan is known for her over-the-top attacks on those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Asked in 2010 if America was “Islamophobic,” Khan replied that “It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia — it’s hate of Muslims,” she said.

Of course use of the word “Islamophobia” is a tool of intimidation, calculated to silence the so-called Islamophobe.

If one fears Islamist ideology as an irredentist, imperialist, totalitarian force, one is rational. “Phobia” implies that one who fears or is skeptical of the intentions of Muslims is mentally unbalanced. The term is used the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.

While two George Soros-funded nonprofits, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America, are working overtime to try to convince Americans that this make-believe mental illness of Islamophobia is a threat to American democracy and pluralism, the embattled Obama administration has been in damage control mode for weeks as the president’s foreign policy aimed at appeasing totalitarian Islamic theocrats collapses. The administration has been sucking up to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57-state (56 sovereign states and the Palestinian Authority) group that considers itself the Caliphate reborn.

Americans’ civil rights and political correctness are weapons of infiltration used by our Islamofascist enemies. Just like our Soviet Communist enemies during the Cold War, Islamists are using Americans’ goodness and their sense of fair play, including an aversion to being accused of racial stereotyping, against America.

Hard data do not support claims that Islamophobia exists in the United States.

As Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in Commentary last year: “the notion of a rising wave of hatred against Muslims is unsupported by any statistical research.”

“When you consider that Muslims claim to have about the same number of adherents in this country as Jews and that anti-Jewish crimes have always far outnumbered those committed against Muslims, the media hysteria about Islamophobia is exposed as a big lie. But even if there are fewer Muslims here than their groups claim, the conclusion is unchanged.”

And there is credible evidence that Obama, who told the UN last month that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” is sympathetic to Islamists’ increasingly vocal demands for Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws.

So, apparently, is Ambassador Pickering, which makes him unfit to head any probe of what happened last month in Benghazi, Libya.

339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Concerns Regarding Romney and Stealth Jihadists... on: October 23, 2012, 03:01:59 PM
This is just one of many reminders that Romney is FAR from the ideal candidate - as most forum members will acknowledge.  We have to deal with this reality.  As Mark Levin has repeatedly said:  "Our fight will be only beginning - as we struggle to constantly hold Romney's feet to the fire.  He is not a true conservative."

Mitt Romney's Embrace of Kenny Gamble

David J. Rusin - October 23, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Mitt Romney's embrace of Kenny Gamble, an operator of Philadelphia charter schools who doubles as a prominent suit-and-tie Islamist calling himself Luqman Abdul Haqq, raises questions about a potential Romney administration's readiness to identify and steer clear of smooth-talking radicals. The Republican candidate should treat this blunder as a learning opportunity. The lesson: never make the mistake of promoting a Muslim leader without properly vetting him first.


The story begins on May 24, when Romney's desire to push his education policies and reach out to urban voters prompted a visit to West Philadelphia's Universal Bluford Charter School, one of several managed by Gamble's conglomerate, Universal Companies. According to an ABC News report, Romney "had heard about Universal … and asked for an invitation." Gamble claimed as much in a radio interview.
Seated beside Gamble, Romney joined other local figures for a roundtable (video here) in which he discussed ideas for attracting good teachers, involving parents, and boosting achievement. Romney generously praised Gamble, at one point turning to him and saying, "I'd like to get your experience from the front lines and first salute you for the investment you've made, financial and personal, in establishing a pathway for hundreds, thousands of young people to have changed lives." Gamble led Romney on a tour of the facilities as well.

No less disconcerting, the Romney campaign appears not to have done any serious follow-up on Gamble despite drawing criticism from bloggers for the trip to an "Islamist-owned charter school." Thus, Romney compounded the previous error by eagerly dropping Gamble's name multiple times during NBC's Education Nation summit in New York on September 25.

"I saw a school in the inner city of Philadelphia," Romney explained. "And I understand that the school was closed down, that 90 percent of the kids in that school were not reading at grade level. … A guy named Kenny Gamble … put in place a charter school." After recounting his surprise at the art, music, and computer instructors there, Romney touted how Gamble runs it "like a business." He continued: "As I recall, almost 90 percent of the students there now are reading at grade level. And it's the same students." (Note, however, that Universal's education record is very much a mixed bag.)

Wherever Romney originally heard about Gamble and Universal, it probably was not from the websites of Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, Islamist Watch, or Militant Islam Monitor, which for years have documented Gamble's troubling agenda — a history that should make him toxic to any politician knowledgeable about stealth jihad.


An African-American music and real estate mogul, Gamble has long been listed — under his alternate name, Luqman Abdul Haqq — as part of the governing council of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), which is among the most radical U.S. Muslim groups. Its formation was inspired by Jamil al-Amin, a convicted cop killer and Islamic separatist who dreams of a Shari'a-run state; he enjoys MANA's support to this day and even has phoned into MANA meetings from prison. Gamble's other MANA colleagues have included Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who preached jihad against the U.S. and was shot to death after initiating a gunfight with federal agents in 2009, and Siraj Wahhaj, one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Just as several MANA leaders have championed the building of closed Islamic communities, Gamble outlined his own "model" for them during an interview on Saudi television. Worse, he is suspected of actually using his enormous South Philadelphia real estate holdings to assemble what has been dubbed a "black Muslim enclave." Confronted in 2007, Gamble responded with a rant portraying segregation as natural. "It's like cats," he insisted. "They're all cats. But you don't see the lion with the tiger. You don't see the tiger with the panther." Equally alarming are Gamble's intimate ties to the Jawala Scouts (photos here), aptly described as an "Islamic paramilitary boys group" featuring "hand-to-hand combat, firearms training, and survival tactics."

Additional background is available in an Islamist Watch article from 2008, published after Gamble left his fingerprints on that year's election by hosting an Obama office. Alternatively, a simple online search yields plentiful data.

What makes the Romney-Gamble flirtation so unsettling is the apparent lack of due diligence in determining who does and does not get endorsed by the man who could be the next leader of the free world. Ten minutes on Google should suffice to raise red flags, but did anyone from the campaign bother to look? More disturbing is the possibility that uncomfortable facts turned up but were dismissed as tangential to Gamble's work in education.

"Saluting" somebody like Gamble for one facet of his life while ignoring the rest imparts an aura of respectability to the individual as a whole, easing the path for his less savory projects. This seems to be understood for every group except Muslims. Imagine, for example, a senior figure in a radical Christian organization whose luminaries have been linked to violence and terrorism, a man who has shrugged off charges of constructing a "white Christian enclave" and been involved with a youth movement whose participants march in fatigues and brandish weapons. Regardless of his other accomplishments, would this person be asked to share camera time with a presidential hopeful? The question answers itself.

The role of the media is significant here. Though they would hammer any candidate who bolstered the analogous Christian radical, mainstream news sources that covered Romney's Bluford visit made no mention of the skeletons in Gamble's closet, illustrating that their see-no-evil mentality vis-à-vis Islamism trumps even their instinct to shame Republicans. Indeed, the obvious hypersensitivity and double standards protecting Islamists can foster complacency among politicians of both parties, who assume that they will not be held accountable for palling around with them.

This certainly has been the case in Philadelphia, where Mayor Michael Nutter has suffered no ill effects from having Gamble on his inaugural committee, personally presenting the sign to rename a block in Gamble's honor, and headlining the dedication ceremony for a taxpayer-supported mural that lauds him. Such legitimization has paved the way for Gamble to build his Islamist-tinged empire through massive government assistance, including dirt-cheap property from the city, sweetheart deals with the School Reform Commission when it was chaired by a onetime Universal board member, and regular feedings at public troughs that span the municipal, state, and federal levels.

Rather than provide a "they do it too" excuse for politicians caught befriending Islamists, the Philadelphia establishment's cozy relations with Gamble only underscore the importance of a critical eye and the will to act on it — in other words, real leadership. As radical Muslims aggressively seek similar openings to win undeserved respect and influence governments both nationally and internationally, a president capable of recognizing and shunning them is more vital than ever. Washington's colossal and bipartisan failures in Muslim outreach — most recently seen in the mind-boggling selection of an Islamist to represent the U.S. at a conference on human rights — have done enough damage already.

Islamists have grown adept at hiding in plain sight, so great care must be taken when choosing which Muslims to engage and extol. With luck, airing the embarrassing facts behind his unfortunate promotion of Kenny Gamble / Luqman Abdul Haqq will be the wake-up call that Mitt Romney needs to learn this lesson now and, should he prevail on November 6, be in a better position to succeed where past presidents have faltered.

David J. Rusin is a research fellow at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nonie Darwish on Obama's Motivation with regard to Benghazi coverup... on: October 22, 2012, 02:45:03 PM
Nonie Darwish is an American who was born and raised in Egypt.  She is a former Muslim (convert to Christianity.)  Her story is a moving one, set forth in her 2007 book "Now They Call Me Infidel."  She offers her thoughts on the Benghazi catastrophe today in an article at www.frontpagemag.com:

Why Obama Blamed the Video

Posted By Nonie Darwish On October 22, 2012

Most Americans reacted with horror and pain when the decent American ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was dragged and sodomized [not yet confirmed] by Libyan terrorists. To date, the autopsy report of the ambassador and three other American heroes has not been made public and is perhaps being held till after the elections.

Americans deserved the proper outrage and comfort by the US president after such a horrendous terror attack, but President Obama failed to do that. Instead, he found an excuse: a video that came out months earlier before Sept. 11, 2012. For weeks the Obama administration hammered the American people with a guilt trip over Islamic outrage; the killing and burning was because of a video insulting Islam.

But when the truth came out that this was a calculated terror attack, the American people were outraged. That was when the White House decided to quickly change the game, and without hesitation Obama boldly suggested in the second debate that he did call the attack an act of terror. How can Obama expect to get away with this? Holding Islamic outrage as a justification for violence and then changing to a wishy-washy condemnation of terror has failed to fix the damage already done. I was used to this kind of dishonest maneuvering by Arab leaders, but could never have imagined that an American president could stoop to that level. Have we been infected by Islamic illogic?

There is no doubt that it must be very difficult for any American administration to deal with a culture like that of the Muslim world; a culture that must be treated as immature spoiled children who must get their way. What America fails to understand is that Islamic scriptures forbid Muslims to take non-Muslims as friends or partners worthy of compromise and equal rights. One would think that America after Sept. 11, 2001 would have learned the lesson of the deviance of Islamic jihad and the psyche of the Muslim world, which is constantly brewing and looking for an excuse and a crack of weakness to confirm Muslims’ need to feel wronged in order to justify attacks on American interests.

By now, the US should understand that Muslims who engage in anger and terror constantly search for excuses, but we must never fall for such excuses. Islamic chatter is constantly itching for confrontation and looking for justification of terror, which prompted the U.S. embassy in Cairo to release the following statement condemning the video before any attacks on the Cairo embassy:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Four hours after the release of this statement crowds stormed the embassy, destroyed the U.S. flag and replaced it with an Islamic flag. By issuing such a statement, the US embassy in Cairo took the bait and provided the excuse Islamists needed. The anger in Egypt about the 2-month-old video, which had to come out exactly on the eve of 9/11, should have been proof enough that it was only an excuse.

Having been born and raised in the Muslim world, I know that Islamic anger and terror against the West lurks and lies in wait for any excuse to explode at the culture that is the object of their jihad. Jihad, once the pride of the Islamic world, is now an international crime that Muslims have learned to camouflage as self-defense. Not one mosque Friday sermon in the Middle East is devoid of cursing the non-Muslim (kafir) enemies of Islam. Since jihad is a violation of the rights of others, nations and individuals, Muslim culture has become all too eager to assert its victimization by others, for an opportunity to exploit the weakness of its prey — a flinch or apology — which it considers a signal to engage in holy violence.

When anyone dares to say jihad means violence, the so-called moderate Muslims are outraged, but manage to look the other way when violence is committed in the name of Islam. The more some Muslims terrorize, while others stand by in denial, the more they confuse, soften and weaken their victim. While one face of Islam is doing the terror, the other face tells the world: “We love peace and don’t you dare judge us by our terrorists because if you do we will riot, burn and kill.” One fact remains: both faces of Islam work hand in glove and one cannot survive without the other.

Muslims have learned from their history that terror works. They have also learned that for terror to achieve its goal of surrender of the prey, the Islamic tender touch must accompany the terror — the Islamic father holds the stick and the Islamic mother hugs while the father inflicts the beating.

The American people have been traumatized by 9/11 but many have not found comfort and legitimization to their pain. And now we have an American president who refuses to make the American people the number one recipients of his empathy, preferring to cater to the outside world and to indulge the cat and mouse game jihadists are playing with American sensibilities. Many in the American mainstream media and government have taken the Islamic bait and turned against the victims of Islam, whether they are the American people, Coptic Egyptians or apostates of Islam. To those who think they know better, all those mentioned above are simply Islamophobes. They have denied the American people the right to identify their enemy and eradicate it. They have turned a blind eye to American victims of terror and their families and neglected that America is in need of a healing process based on justice. They have even added insult to injury by telling the American people that they are to blame and by refusing to treat Americans as adults worthy of justice, accountability and calling a spade a spade.

America, with its superpower knowledge and status, has fallen for the old tricks of Islamic culture; many Americans believe they must have done something wrong to deserve terror.

Many Americans have reacted to 9/11 as the infamous Stockholm Syndrome victims, blaming each other but never the perpetrator of the terror; America is now a polarized country unable to stand up and call the terror attack by name. That old Arab trick has always worked on many cultures. Just ask the Coptic Christians when Egypt used to be a Christian nation and a superpower.

Consciously or unconsciously, the American people elected their first president after 9/11/01, Barack Hussein Obama, a man proud of his Islamic heritage and who believes that because of his unique heritage and understanding of Islam, he is best fit for bringing about reconciliation with Islam, at least during his administration.

But when that did not happen and the 9/11 terror was repeated under Obama’s watch, both Obama’s credibility and Islamic excuses were threatened. Obama’s legacy of being the only president in recent history who managed to have no major terror attack during his presidency was destroyed. He now has nothing to show for changing the American-Muslim world relationship. He now cannot say that everything he did was worth it for the sake of peace, and that those who criticized his appeasement, for bowing to the Saudi kind and for his Cairo speech, were right.

Obama was aiming for a legacy of peace with Islam, but that legacy came crashing down with the terror attacks on 9/11/12. The Muslim world was obviously disappointed with Obama who was not appeasing them enough. The Muslim world always wants more; more than what Obama or any other president can give them. They don’t want co-existence, they want surrender.

Obama’s theory failed. He overestimated himself and his belief that he understands the Muslim world. His belief that he would show future presidents how to do it failed.

In desperation, Obama pursued a policy of denial in an attempt to save face. He went as far as telling the American people, just like many Muslims do, that terrorism is really not terrorism and that it must be because of a logical reason and that Muslims are reasonable people without an agenda of jihad.

The video became the handy excuse not only for the Egyptian people to save face, but also for the Obama administration to save face. If that came at the expense of the truth, or the lives of American diplomats, then so be it. Many Americans are proud they finally have their first black president, but to me, an American born and raised in Egypt, I see many similarities between Obama and Arab leaders I grew up with. Obama would be best described as the first Arab president.
341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 21, 2012, 08:58:37 AM
As a freshman in college that year (1980), I will never forget the way that the overwhelming majority of college students were absolutely convinced Reagan would get us into a nuclear war with Russia.  I wasn't - and other kids looked at me in disbelief and told me I was a "fascist" if I voted for Reagan.  Yawn.
342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dick Morris' Comparison with 1980 election... on: October 21, 2012, 08:42:55 AM
Morris is echoing exactly what I've been saying to family and friends about this election - it's eerily similar to 1980, and I believe, will have a similar outcome (Romney landslide):

www.dickmorris.com/the-carter-reagan-election-and-its-parallels-to-obama-romney-dick-morris-tv-history-video/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: October 19, 2012, 11:19:54 AM
Yes, Crafty - you do seem to be a bit obsessed with this idea, no?  LOL.    grin

Before you crack me over the head with that stick - I fully acknowledge my own fixation on other issues...
344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: October 19, 2012, 09:58:38 AM
Crafty:  Sure.  That's a clear distinction.  To clarify, I think what Romney described doing was perfectly fine - it was his decision after all - and wasn't mandated.
All I'm saying is that from a broader philosophical perspective, GENERALLY, arbitrary quotas are a bad idea.  Hiring a person because she is female, or gay, or black, or Catholic or whatever is illogical from a competitive standpoint in business.  The over-riding primary criteria should always be how well the person can perform in that job.
345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Binders of Women"... on: October 19, 2012, 08:33:19 AM
Leaving aside the desperate and crazy assertion that the use of this term was anything but a clumsy choice of words (I chuckled as he said it live, and thought: "he means to say binders of women's resumes" - big deal), the answer to Crafty's question is YES. 

This thought occurred to me as well as I watched debate #2.  I would have preferred that Romney had attacked the entire idea of a "gross disparity in women's pay" as demonstrably false for at least the last 20 years.  However, that admittedly might have been getting into the weeds in an unwise manner during a political debate.  The average person watching would need to have this explained in detail to grasp it, and this wasn't the right forum.

But yes - this is unquestionably affirmative action, and is as ill-advised as any other form of mandated hiring or admission preference IMHO.
346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Secret Service "Aware" of Threats Against Romney... on: October 18, 2012, 08:10:29 AM
www.weeklystandard.com/print/blogs/secret-service-aware-threats-against-romney_654788.html
347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More on Muslim Jihadist Bomb Plot in NYC... on: October 18, 2012, 07:30:34 AM
"Bangladeshi man arrested after allegedly trying to blow up Fed building in NYC," from Fox News, October 17:

DEVELOPING: Federal authorities arrested a Bangladeshi national Wednesday morning for allegedly plotting to blow up a Federal Reserve building in New York City's lower Manhattan, mere blocks away from the site of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.
The 21-year-old suspect, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of the Fed building on Liberty Street, but the device was a fake supplied to him by undercover FBI agents who had been tracking his activity, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force said Wednesday afternoon.

The supposed explosives posed no threat to the public, the FBI said.

A criminal complaint accuses Nafis of having overseas connections to Al Qaeda and travelling to the U.S. in January to recruit individuals to form a terrorist cell and conduct an attack on American soil. But one of Nafis' potential recruits was an FBI source, who alerted authorities, the FBI said.

A federal law enforcement official told Fox News that there was no evidence Nafis was directed by Al Qaeda to carry out this attack, though he appears to have thought he was working for the terrorist group.

At one point, according to criminal complaint, Nafis told undercover agents: "I don't want something that's like, small. I just want something big. Something very big ... that will shake the whole country, that will make America, not one step ahead, change of policy, and make one step ahead, for the Muslims ... that will make us one step closer to run the whole world."

A U.S. official told Fox News that President Obama was Nafis' first target, but the criminal complaint only refers to "a high-ranking official." The complaint also mentions the New York Stock Exchange as a proposed target....

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly noted that there have been 15 terrorist plots targeting the city since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Al Qaeda operatives and those they have inspired have tried time and again to make New York City their killing field," Kelly said. "After 11 years without a successful attack, it's understandable if the public becomes complacent. But that's a luxury law enforcement can't afford."
348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: October 17, 2012, 12:31:05 PM
Crafty - one thing this professor says regarding her colleague Alan Dershowitz is very true and has always baffled me:  He is on the one hand a staunch defender of Israel and has gone to the mat many times against people who demonize that state and promote Palestinian lies, which are endless.  HOWEVER - he does appear to by "hypnotized" by Obama, and unable to criticize his foreign policy, particularly in regard to Israel. 

Something truly bizarre is at work here that so many otherwise intelligent American Jews are fooled into supporting this President.  It is mind-boggling, and recalls nothing so much as the large percentage of European Jews in the late 1930s who failed to see the writing on the wall right in front of their faces.  One would think they would have learned this horrific lesson from their brethren who survived.  That they have failed to do so is chilling.

349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Setting the record straight on the Benghazi question, etc... on: October 17, 2012, 08:59:00 AM
Another Disastrous "Moderation" Job by U.S. Media Personality.

Joseph Curl - The Washington Times - October 17, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Another debate, another debacle for America's media.
In the runup to the second presidential debate, CNN's Candy Crowley declared that she would not just be a "fly on the wall" as she played the tiny role of moderator, that she would step in whenever she chose to say, "Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?"
And boy did she, cutting off Republican Mitt Romney repeatedly and often throwing the floor to President Obama with an open "let me give the president a chance here."
More, she alone decided the topics for the debate, picking questions from the 80 so-called "undecided" voters chosen by the Gallup polling organization. Her selections were tailor-made for Mr. Obama — Mitt Romney's tax plan, women's rights and contraception, outsourcing, immigration, the Libya debacle (which gave Mr. Obama to finally say that the buck stops with him, not, as Hillary Clinton said, with her).
She even chose this question, directed to both men: "I do attribute much of America's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration. Since both of you are Republicans, I fear the return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?"
Ms. Crowley, who called Mr. Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as running mate a "ticket death wish," asserted her unilateral power at the outset, telling the audience before the cameras went on that she planned to "give the debate direction and ensure the candidates give answers to the questions."
After both candidates answered Question One, she blurted: "Let me get a more immediate answer" — whatever that means. But when Mr. Romney sought to correct falsehoods told by the president, she cut him off: "We have all these folks here." In the end, Mr. Obama would get 9 percent more time.
At Question Two, Mr. Obama, asked by Mr. Romney how much he had cut federal oil permits, took over the floor — with Ms. Crowley's silent approval. "Here's what happened," he said as he filibustered for a full minute. Mr. Romney sought to get the last word — as the president had the question before — but the moderator shut him down: "It' doesn't quite work like that."
When Mr. Romney sought to counter Mr. Obama's assertion after Question Three, Ms. Crowley again cut him off: "Before we get into a vast array...." she said before asking a completely different question.
The next question was pure Obama — workplace inequality (the president mention at every stop his Lily Ledbetter legislation). But the query gave him the platform to demand Americans pay for contraception for all women, saying the governor "feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making."
For the record, Mr. Obama spoke for two minutes, then Mr. Romney, then Mr. Obama again. Ms. Crowley then rushed into the next question.
When the immigration question came up, both candidates gave their answers. Then the moderator once again butted in, ordering Mr. Romney to "speak to the idea of self-deportation."
By then, Mr. Romney had had enough, and talked over her demands. "No, let — let — let me go back and speak to the points the president made and — and — and let's get them correct."
At the next question, the moderator lost all control. "Candy," Mr. Obama said. "Hold on." "Mr. President," the governor said, "I'm still speaking." They mixed it up for a bit, then Ms. Crowley said: "Sit down, Mr. Romney."
The most shocking exchange took place on the Benghazi attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others dead.
Mr. Romney: "You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying."
Mr. Obama made no defense. "Please proceed, governor."
"I want to make sure," Mr. Romney said. "Get the transcript," the president said. Then Ms. Crowley jumped in to do her own fact-check, on the spot. "It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. ... He did call it an act of terror."
The truth is, he didn't. The day after the attack, he said only this: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for." It took another two weeks before the White House would label the attack an act of terror.
The Obama people, of course, loved it — having blamed Mr. Obama's dismal performance in the first debate on poor moderating.
"He's back," said Team O spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who lauded Ms. Crowley for her fact checking.
But then she caught herself and quickly added: "He was never really gone, but he's back."

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at jcurl@washingtontimes.com.


Read more: CURL: Crowley skews hard for Obama in disastrous debate - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/17/curl-crowley-skews-hard-obama-disastrous-debate/print/#ixzz29Z3oY4Qx
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350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Caroline Glick on American Jews and this election... on: October 15, 2012, 05:05:36 PM
American Jewry’s Cherished Values

The most significant passage:  "For 70% of American Jews, party loyalty trumps all of their conceivable rational interests. For them, partisan loyalty is more important than facts. They do not want to use independent judgment. They just want to be Democrats.

The most disturbing aspect of the surveys of American Jewish voters is not that they are willing to vote for the most hostile US president Israel has ever experienced in order to remain true to their party. The most disturbing aspect of the American Jewish community’s devotion to Obama and the Democrats is that it indicates that the vast majority of American Jews have abandoned their faculties for independent thought and judgment in favor of conformism and slavish partisanship. They have rendered themselves unreachable."


Posted By Caroline Glick On October 15, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Decades ago, the sociographer Milton Himmelfarb coined the aphorism that “American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” And his words ring as true today as ever. Surveys show that roughly 70 percent of American Jews intend to cast their ballots for President Barack Obama’s reelection next month.

Himmelfarb’s quip indicated that American Jews abjure their economic interests in favor of their liberal values. Certainly it is true that for American Jews to vote for Obama next month they must act against their economic interests.

Obama’s economic policies have taken a huge toll on the economic fortunes of American Jews who invest disproportionately in the stock market. His nationalization of the college loan business has given universities impetus to raise tuition rates still further, thus dooming more young American Jews to start their adult lives under a mountain of debt. And it isn’t at all clear how they will be able to pay off this debt since under Obama half of recent college graduates cannot find jobs.

Obama’s gutting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare has harmed the medical choices for older Jewish Americans.

His war on tax deductions for charitable contributions has placed synagogues, Jewish schools and nursing homes in financial jeopardy.

So with economics ruled out as a reason to support Obama we are left with American-Jewish values.

But is Obama really advancing those values? What are those values anyway? Well, there’s civil liberties.

American Jews like those. But Obama doesn’t.

Take freedom of speech. Obama is the most hostile president to freedom of speech in recent memory. He has advocated implementing the so-called “fairness doctrine” for radio to stifle the free speech of his political opponents on talk radio.

He has sought to undermine the freedom of the Internet through federal regulations and intimidation of Internet companies such as Google.

He has made repeated and outspoken attempts to intimidate individuals, groups and businesses including Google to bar freedom of speech as relates to criticism of Islam. He has purged the lexicon of the federal government of all terms necessary to describe jihad, Islamic radicalism and terrorism, and so made it impossible for federal employees to examine, investigate, discuss or understand the nature of the greatest national security threat facing the US.

Then there are women’s rights. American Jews like those.

True, Obama has distinguished himself as the greatest ally of abortion-on-demand ever. He even supported infanticide of babies who survived abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature.

But, we women are a bit more than reproductive machines.

We also work and raise families. And Obama’s economic programs hurt women as much if not more than they hurt men.

Aside from that, there are females who live outside of the US.

American Jews have long been outspoken champions of women’s rights around the world. But here Obama’s record is arguably worse than any president in US history.

Obama has abandoned the women most at risk of gender-based discrimination, rape and murder – the women and girls of the Muslim world. Whereas the Bush administration liberated the women and girls of Afghanistan from the maniacally misogynist Taliban regime, the Obama administration is negotiating with the Taliban and setting the conditions for its return to power. If the signature image of the Bush administration’s war in Afghanistan was that of women voting, the signature image of Obama’s war in Afghanistan is the photo of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai. This week Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan for her defense of the right of girls to go to school.

Then there is the cause of good governance. American Jews like that.

But here, too, Obama fails to live up to liberal values of clean politics. Every day seems to bring with it another scandal related to the Obama administration.

This week we learned that the Obama campaign is illegally soliciting funds from foreigners.

According to a report published by the Government Accountability Institute, some 20% of visitors to the Obama campaign’s fund-raising site “my.barackobama.com” are foreigners, barred by US law from contributing to political campaigns. So, too, the Obama.com website was registered by Robert Roche, a US businessman living in Shanghai with ties to Chinese state-owned companies. Roche is an Obama campaign bundler. Sixty-eight percent of the traffic on the site comes from foreign users. Obama.com is currently managed by a Palestinian rights activist in Maine.

Finally, there is the cause of Israel and US-Israel relations that American Jews are assumed to care about.

After the fiasco at the Democratic National Convention when the widespread antipathy for Israel raging in the Democratic Party was broadcast on primetime television, the Obama administration has stopped even trying to hide its contempt for the Jewish state and its American Jewish supporters.

Whereas the US refused to walk out of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s obscene address to the UN General Assembly last month, US Ambassador Susan Rice chose to absent herself entirely from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s address before the body.

Adding insult to injury, last week Obama appointed Salam al-Marayati to represent the US at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s annual 10-day human rights conference. Marayati is the founder and executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. As Robert Spencer recalled this week, on September 11, 2001, Marayati gave an interview to a Los Angeles radio station accusing Israel of being responsible for the jihadist attacks on the US.

He is an outspoken supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah.

And Obama appointed him to represent America at a major human rights conference.

So what is it that drives over two-thirds of American Jews to support Obama? The only issues that come easily to mind are social issues – particularly the two flagship causes of American Jews these days – abortion and homosexual marriage.

While it is true that Obama shares their positions on these issues, it is hard to believe that these two issues have become the cri du coeur of more than two-thirds of American Jews.

It isn’t that it is wrong for people to support abortions on demand and homosexual marriage. And it isn’t wrong for people to oppose them. There are reasonable, Jewish arguments to be made for a woman’s right to abort her unborn children. But there are also reasonable Jewish arguments for constraining that right. There are Jewish arguments in favor of permitting homosexuals to wed. And there are Jewish arguments opposing such unions.

Then there is the relative urgency of the issues. With the US economy in a rut and American national security increasingly imperiled, are abortion rights and gay marriage really the American Jewish community’s top priorities?

True, there are some American Jewish fanatics who are propelled to near violence when faced with opponents of their beliefs. And they are capable of intimidating a large proportion of their fellow Jews into toeing their extremist lines. Their intolerance has been on display in all of its ugliness at synagogues around the US since the start of the election campaign. In one recent, outrageous incident, one gay marriage partisan managed to intimidate his congregation on Erev Yom Kippur.

On the most sacred evening on the Jewish calendar, at Anshe Emet synagogue in Chicago, congregant Gary Sircus led other congregants in walking out of services when, in keeping with synagogue protocol (and common courtesy), Rabbi Michael Siegel acknowledged the presence of US Rep. Michele Bachmann in the audience.

After staging the walkout, Sircus went home and began an online assault on Bachmann and on his synagogue for extending the outspoken and stalwart supporter of Israel the courtesy of acknowledging her presence at services.

Sircus wrote a letter of support to Jim Graves, Bachmann’s deep-pocketed Democratic opponent in her reelection campaign. In it, he referred to Bachmann as “this evil woman.”

Rabbi Siegel did not decry Sircus for his shocking behavior. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune Siegel said, “I am aware of the fact that our congregation’s policy in regards to [welcoming public officials to the community and honoring their presence] clearly caused pain to some members of our community on the most precious day of reconciliation on the Jewish calendar. That we regret deeply.”

In a letter of explanation to synagogue board members, Siegel spoke of the need to welcome visitors even if they don’t share the community’s “values.”

But when did the members of Anshe Emet take a vote to determine that support for gay marriage is their shared value?

Undoubtedly, Sircus’s success in embarrassing his entire community owed in part to his willingness to intimidate his fellow congregants with his moralistic sanctimony on Erev Yom Kippur.

But it isn’t only gay marriage champions who use intimidation tactics to silence their communities into conforming with their views. American Jewish Democratic partisans have taken a leading role in blocking dissenting voices from their midst.

For instance, this past May B’nai Emet Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida, invited Amb. Susan Rice to address the congregation. Synagogue officials not only rejected offers to have Rice debate opponents of Obama’s treatment of Israel. They barred community members known for their opposition to Obama from attending the speech. For these synagogue officials, the idea that their partisan prejudice might be challenged was simply unacceptable.

To be fair, there are some American Jews who have been willing to approach politics with an open mind. For instance, Susan Crown, of the Chicago-based Henry Crown business empire, has transferred her support from Obama to Mitt Romney.

In an interview with Chicago Magazine Crown explained that she switched candidates last May when Obama gave his speech calling on Israel to withdraw from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and contract to within the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. Crown said that her switch was due as well to economic and foreign policy considerations.

Crown’s arguments for transferring her support from Obama to Romney are all rational. On the other hand, the positions taken by the likes of Sircus and the management of B’nai Emet are emotional and unthinking.

Unfortunately, the polls indicate that more than two-thirds of American Jews are with the synagogue bullies at B’nai Emet and with Sircus, not with Crown.

For 70% of American Jews, party loyalty trumps all of their conceivable rational interests. For them, partisan loyalty is more important than facts. They do not want to use independent judgment. They just want to be Democrats.

The most disturbing aspect of the surveys of American Jewish voters is not that they are willing to vote for the most hostile US president Israel has ever experienced in order to remain true to their party. The most disturbing aspect of the American Jewish community’s devotion to Obama and the Democrats is that it indicates that the vast majority of American Jews have abandoned their faculties for independent thought and judgment in favor of conformism and slavish partisanship. They have rendered themselves unreachable.

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