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301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama to receive award from Israel... on: February 19, 2013, 11:01:32 AM
Israel to award Obama prestigious Presidential Medal of Distinction

Posted by Robert Spencer - 2-19-2013 at www.jihadwatch.org

This is about as meaningful as his Nobel Prize. Pamela Geller nails it, calling it the "Please-Don't-Hurt-Us Award" and noting: "It's an interesting strategy. I am sure Israel's top psychiatrists thought this one up. Feed the narcissist. Perhaps he'll do less harm. What are they calling it? The Hagel? The Brennan? Or the Mursi? Or the Romney Walk-back?"

"Israel to award Obama prestigious medal in visit," from the Associated Press, February 18 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

JERUSALEM – Israel will award President Barack Obama the country's Presidential Medal of Distinction during his upcoming visit.
Israeli President Shimon Peres' office said Monday that Obama will be recognized for his "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens."

Huh?

Obama is scheduled to visit Israel in March -- his first as president.
Obama has often had a tense relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Jewish state's West Bank settlement policies and the lack of peace process with the Palestinians.

But Peres and the committee behind the award noted Obama's overall friendship and backing of the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction is comparable to the France's "Legion of Honor" or the "Order of Canada."
302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chuck Hagel's "Amnesia"... on: February 19, 2013, 10:58:51 AM
Hagel says he "doesn't recall" his remark about Israel controlling the State Department

Posted by Robert Spencer at www.jihadwatch.org on Feb. 19, 2013

Maybe his Muslim Brotherhood handlers have taught him about that "war is deceit" thing.

"Hagel 'Doesn't Recall' Remark on Israel Controlling State Dept.," by Rachel Hirshfeld for Israel National News, February 18 (thanks to Voice of the Copts):

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that he has accepted a new disclaimer from President Obama’s defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) disavowing one of his many offensive statements about the state of Israel.
Graham told “Fox News Sunday” that he received a new letter from the beleaguered nominee in which Hagel claimed he “did not recall” the odious statement-- allegedly made during a speech at Rutgers University in 2007-- in which he argued that the State Department is controlled by the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.

“Well, if in fact that’s true, that would end the matter,” Graham said, adding, “I just take him at his word unless something new comes along.”

“I'm glad he answered my question about a very disturbing comment he allegedly made,” he told Fox News.

Graham joined fellow Republicans in filibustering Hagel's nomination on Thursday, marking the first time a defense secretary has been filibustered in the Senate.

Graham is continuing to seek more information from the Obama administration this week on the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Bengazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The senator warned last week that he would hold off approval of both Hagel and John Brennan, Obama's nominee for CIA director, until he receives more answers.

During the interview, however, Graham indicated that he would support ending debate on Hagel when the Senate returns from recess next week, despite considering him “one of the most radical and unqualified choices” to be defense secretary.

Hagel’s numerous other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments include the former senator claiming that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people" in Congress into “doing dumb things”; that the Jewish state is keeping the “Palestinians caged up like animals” and that Israel has kept the Palestinian people “chained down for many, many years.”

He has further come under fire for his feeble position on military action against Iran, his willingness to open direct talks with Hamas, his opposition to declaring Hizbullah a terrorist organization, as well as a long list of other highly provocative issues and associations.
303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The real state of the Union... on: February 19, 2013, 10:48:29 AM
The Real State of the Union

Posted By Tom Blumer On February 19, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

In his State of the Union speech on February 12, President Barack Obama failed to note that this nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was born on the same date 204 years earlier. Perhaps that’s because it was Lincoln who said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Obama removed all doubt about his foolishness — at least in his public statements, though possibly not in regards to his and fellow progressives’ larger agenda — when he told the assembled senators and congressmen that, concerning the state of the economy, “[W]e have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.”

No it’s not, and all of the insufferable media cheerleading describing jobs reports as “mostly encouraging” even when the official unemployment rate goes up, and about “A U.S. Economy That’s Strengthened Over [the] Past 4 Years,” won’t change that.

The evidence could take up a book. I’ll limit mine to three areas: employment, student loans, and housing.

A February 1 Investor’s Business Daily editorial, which appeared shortly after the government released its January jobs report, laid out the primary truth about the current job market:

It took an average of just 24 months to regain all the jobs lost in the previous nine recessions. But at the current Obama job-creation pace, it will take about 80 months to regain those lost jobs.

Mort Zuckerman, the liberal editor-in-chief at U.S. News who voted for Obama in 2008, recently wrote the following in a Wall Street Journal column:

After four years America remains in a jobs depression as great as the Great Depression. But the crisis isn’t seen in that light because the country isn’t confronted daily by scenes of despair like the 1930s photographs of bread lines and soup kitchens …

… The jobless today are much less visible than they were in the 1930s because relief is organized differently.

Zuckerman’s subheadline succinctly detailed the point just made: “Twelve million out of work, 48 million on food stamps, 11 million on disability.”

Even those glum statistics don’t adequately capture the entire problem. Per Zuckerman, “The only work that has increased (since the November 2007 peak in nationwide employment) is part-time, and that is because it allows employers to reduce costs through a diminished benefit package or none at all.” Many employers are also clearly doing all they can to keep all but a few key employees from toiling more than 30 hours per week, because ObamaCare will compel them to treat employees who work 30 or more hours as “full-time,” forcing them to either provide mandatory health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t.

Additionally, the jobs that are being obtained are going overwhelmingly to workers who are 55 and older, where employment (again, largely part-time) has grown by 4 million during the past four years. Employment for everyone else during that same period has decreased by almost 3 million. The overall labor force participation rate is back to where it was during the early 1980s, an era when a much higher percentage of spouses voluntarily stayed home to raise their children.

The growing crisis in the government’s student loan programs may be the least publicized trillion-dollar mess in world history. Outstanding balances have grown by $400 billion during just the past four years. During that time, the percentage of loans which is 90 or more days delinquent has skyrocketed from an already awful 8 percent to 11 percent, with most of that increase occurring during just the past few reported quarters.

Why is this happening — and why will the situation probably get much worse? High school grads are going on to college at a record high percentage, but an unprecedented percentage of those who do are ill equipped to succeed in their studies. When they fail, their student loans don’t go away, not even in bankruptcy. If they can get jobs, they probably won’t pay very well. Their student loan payments act as an effective millstone hindering their ability to otherwise advance in life.

The alleged recovery in the housing industry is one of the most heavily publicized economic myths going. We’re supposed to be excited that new home sales are achieving three-years highs, even though today’s level is barely back to where it was during the early-1980s recession, when the U.S. population was 25 percent lower. Today’s level of homebuilding activity is about half of what it should be in a truly healthy economy. Though it’s clear that the housing bubble engineered by government frauds by design Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and assisted by previous Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan caused home prices to increase beyond reason during the previous decade, the fact remains that inflation-adjusted home prices are right back where they were in 1990. So much for a home being a great long-term investment.

Uncanny in its inability to learn from past mistakes, risky lending policies and decisions have taken yet another government housing entity, this time the Federal Housing Authority, to the brink of insolvency. Last week, the Government Accountability Office “released a report stating … (that it) is a ‘high risk’ entity.”

Lincoln said something else about foolishness which ties directly into Obama’s State of the Union address: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” As the nation’s Obama-induced economic malaise continues, the roster of those who are being fooled will continue to shrink.
304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Porting of gun barrels... on: February 18, 2013, 04:51:34 PM
Crafty - here is some additional info, just FYI, I don't like porting because of the increased muzzle flash, and hot gasses that may escape and burn you depending on where you fire the gun (an issue only with handguns)  for rifles and shotguns, the gasses usually aren't an issue, but I still dislike the increased noise and muzzle flash.  I haven't found it to be particularly noticeable in decreasing muzzle rise, either.  Just my opinion:


How Porting Works
Porting consists of adding holes through the shotgun’s barrel, near the end.  These holes are placed along the upper sides of the barrel by a gunsmith (don’t try to drill them yourself!).  When the shotgun is fired, some of the hot gases will escape through the port holes, rather than through the muzzle.  Since the port holes are near the end of the barrel, there is virtually no effect upon the speed at which the shot or slugs exit the shotgun.

Pros of Porting
Porting results in a reduction of recoil and a reduction in muzzle climb.  The recoil reduction comes from the fact that some of the hot gases that would normally help propel the shotgun backward against the shooter’s shoulder (recoil) are instead directed out of the port holes.  Similarly, the reduction in the tenancy of the muzzle to rise when the shotgun is fired (also referred to as muzzle climb, muzzle flip, muzzle lift, etc.) is reduced.  This is because the hot gases exiting the port holes will help push the barrel back down.  The net result is that porting results in a gun that recoils more softly, and stays on target better.  This can be especially beneficial for recoil sensitive individuals.

Cons of Porting
Porting is not appropriate for every shotgun, however.  Porting increases the amount of noise heard by the shooter and those standing next to the shooter.  Porting also results in a more visible flash when the shotgun is fired.  Both are the result of having the hot gases from the combustion of gun power exit the barrel through the port holes, rather than through the muzzle.  The extra noise is primarily a concern when the shotgun is fired for sporting, rather than self defense purpose.  The extra flash, however, could be an issue for self defense at night, since it may worsen the effect upon the shooter’s night vision.  The hot gases which exit through the port holes can also cause burns, which may be either a benefit or liability if firing the shotgun in self defense at close range.

Conclusion
I whole heartedly endorse the porting of shotgun barrels, and have multiple shotguns with ported barrels.  My home defense guns, which I fire regularly at the range have ported barrels.  I don’t mind the slight increase in noise that I’ve noticed, nor the flash.  I also know other gun owners who feel differently, so barrel porting is a decision for each person to make.
305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Are there any Peaceful Solutions Left? on: February 17, 2013, 04:59:09 PM
www.alt-market.com/articles/1337-gun-rights-are-there-any-peaceful-solutions-left
306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fed propaganda... on: February 17, 2013, 08:59:04 AM
G M - that is because this money is being held by banks.  When it enters circulation and the Fed stops keeping interest rates close to zero, watch out.
I think the smartest strategy right now is to stock up on essentials, and put most of your liquid assets into gold and silver bullion.  Call me crazy - but this insanity cannot continue indefinitely without causing a financial collapse.
307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What fool believes this propaganda put out by the Federal Reserve? on: February 17, 2013, 07:35:59 AM
The Fed has been "monetizing" the debt at a rapid pace.  While this graph shows the Federal Reserve's definition of money supply, it does not take this into account.  Which is like trying to calculate the trajectory of a rocket to the moon without taking into account the forces of gravity.  It's a joke.
308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economic Indicators, Stock Market Now Dangerously Detached from Reality... on: February 14, 2013, 08:44:05 PM
The U.S. Economy is now Dangerously Detached from Reality

Brandon Smith - www.alt-market.com - February 8, 2013

Recently I was asked to give a presentation on the current state of the global economy to a local group of concerned citizens here in Northwest Montana.  I was happy to oblige but when composing my bullet points I realized that, in truth, there were no legitimate economic numbers to examine anymore.  You see, financial analysts have traditionally used multiple indicators of employment, profit, savings, credit, supply, and demand in their efforts to divine the often obscured facts of our financial system.  The problem is, nearly every index we used in the past, every measure of capital flow and industry, is absolutely useless today.  

We now live in an entirely fabricated fiscal environment.  Every aspect of it is filtered, muddled, molded, and manipulated before our eyes ever get to study the stats.  The metaphor may be overused, but our economic system has become an absolute “matrix”.  All that we see and hear has been homogenized and all truth has been sterilized away.  There is nothing to investigate anymore.  It is like awaking in the middle of a vast and hallucinatory live action theater production, complete with performers, props, and sound effects, all designed to confuse us and do us harm.  In the end, trying to make sense of the illusion is a waste of time.  All we can do is look for the exits…

There is some tangible reality out there, but it is difficult to find, and there are few if any mainstream numbers to verify.  One has to remember always that the fundamental world of money and trade revolves around real people and real circumstances.  No matter how corrupt our economic system is, as long as there are human beings, there will always be supply and demand that cannot be hidden.  We have to look past the “official numbers” and look at the roots of trade.  Where has demand fallen?  Where has supply diminished?  Where are the tangible goods and needs and how have they changed?

Let’s first start with the mainstream version of our system, looking at each aspect of the economy that no longer represents the truth of our situation…

Employment, Savings, And Debt

Much of this information is old news to those of us in the Liberty Movement, who tracked the progress of the global collapse long before the general public even knew of its existence.  However, it is useful to take a step back and look at the basic picture every once in a while.  

According to numbers issued by the Department of Labor, weekly unemployment reports have dropped to a five year low, and the overall unemployment rate is holding at 7.9%.  This would seem to be a vast improvement over the dreadful bloodletting in the system only a few years ago.  Has the private Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration really done it?  Have they turned back the tide on the greatest fiscal crisis the U.S. has seen since the Depression?

No.  They haven’t.  

They have only changed how the data is disseminated to the public. In order to understand how the employment statistics con is being engineered, it is important to understand the difference between “Adjusted” and “Unadjusted” numbers.

Labor Department data is “seasonally adjusted”, using a series of statistical assumptions including something called “Trend Cycle Analysis”.  Trend Cycle Analysis is, basically, a sham, but a sham put together in a very complex and confusing manner.  If you ask a mainstream economist what it is, you’ll likely get a three hour long dissertation filled with financial babble and very little concrete explanation.  So let me break it down as simply as I can…

Imagine that you are going to estimate how much profit you plan to make in a particular month, but you don’t just consider your current pay rate and pop it into a calculator; you also throw in the possibility of a few pay raises, an inheritance from a grandma who might kick the bucket, and, your exaggerated expectations of the entire year’s profit on top of that.  You may also take into account future bad weather, a mugging, a nuclear war….whatever.  All hypothetical situations not based in reality.  Basically, you decide that a particular trend in your income is inevitable, then, mold your statistical analysis around that assumption.      

When your real profit numbers come in (the unadjusted numbers) and they do not meet your expectations, you simply change them according to what you believe SHOULD have happened.  If you insist that your profits are going to go up for the year, and they go down for a couple months instead, you change the variables you use to calculate the statistical average so that the results match your expectations, assuming that it will all balance out in the end.

Now, this sounds utterly insane for the common person out there trying to make a living.  If you ran your household this way, without accepting the cold hard unadjusted numbers in front of you, you’d find yourself broke and on the street in no time.  Unfortunately this is EXACTLY how our government handles most financial data; by coming to a final conclusion before hand, and then forcing the numbers to fit that conclusion.

This is why in February of 2013, “adjusted” first week unemployment rate was reported at 366,000 – a 5000 person drop from the week before.  A seeming improvement in the trend.  But, unadjusted numbers came in at 386,176 – a 16,000 person spike from the week before.  When one examines real unemployment numbers, he finds that the divergence between the adjusted and unadjusted statistics is growing larger with each passing quarter.  That is to say, the contradiction is becoming so blatant between the hard numbers and the Labor Department’s fantasy numbers that one must question whether or not the government is lying to us outright about the state of the economy (hint – they are lying).  

These same methods are used by the government to calculate progress in the housing market, disposable income, etc.  

The claim of “recovery” in the jobs market simply doesn’t jive with other indicators, like 2012 Christmas retail, which had the worst showing since the crash in 2008 (and these are still mainstream numbers!):

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/26/us-holiday-retail-sales-growth-weakest-since-2008/

Average household savings continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel, indicating that the public is not spending or withholding cash.  They are simply broke:



And the overall GDP of the U.S. contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the first time in three years (again, according to official numbers, meaning the reality is much worse):

http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/30/news/economy/gdp-report/index.html

The downturn in consumption and industry also seems to be supported by the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of global shipping and rates.  The BDI has fallen to near historic lows THREE TIMES in the past year, which to my knowledge, has never happened before.  In the past, the BDI has been a strong prophetic indicator of future market volatility.  Usually, around a year after a severe decline in the index, a dangerous economic event takes place.  The BDI made its first sharp drop to all time lows at the end of January 2012, exactly a year ago.  

U.S. household debt was recently reported to have fallen to a 29 year low, but the ratio used by the Federal Reserve applies a statistic for disposable income that is derived from the Trend Cycle boondoggle method.  While markets cheer, the truth is, the only reason household debt obligations have fallen at all is because bank lending and credit issuance remains frozen.  Consumer debt falls when there is no money to borrow.  In fact, the Federal Reserve actually pays large banks NOT to lend to the public; an activity which was exposed by Dennis Kucinich in 2009 on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  An activity that continued through 2012:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/the-fed-should-stop-paying-banks-not-to-lend/

Keep in mind, one of the primary arguments the Federal Reserve used when promoting the bailout concept was that it would “free up credit markets” so that lending could pick up again and fuel a recovery, and yet, at the same time, they were paying banks to NOT lend.

Meanwhile, the supposed job recovery has produced an astonishing increase in welfare recipients in the U.S., including a record 46 million Americans on foodstamps (approximately 15% of our population):

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/report-15-americans-food-stamps-980690

If we are to apply any “trend” to our calculations on overall economic health, then we should include the extreme level of government handouts, and poverty levels which are now at all time highs.  The facts are undeniable; the number of people who have much less than they did in 2008 has grown.  How then could the U.S. be considered “in recovery”?

National Debt And The Fiat Lie

With the Dow Index hovering near highs of 14,000 our system truly looks to be on a rocket ship to pre-2008 money market bliss.  In a mere five years we have returned to equity spikes that stagger the mind and the wallet.  At least, that’s how it all appears…

What needs to be taken into account, though, is the amount of fiat money being created by the Federal Reserve, and how much of that printed pixie dust currency is fueling our magical flight to Neverland.  Since 2008, our official national debt has increased from $10 trillion to $16.4 trillion, and some estimate $17 trillion to $18 trillion by the end of 2013 (unless, of course, a collapse occurs).  Which means our national debt, which took decades to reach the $10 trillion mark, will have nearly doubled in only six years!  

So, what has a doubling of our national debt in such a short span of time bought us?  Well, credit markets remain frozen, property markets remain stagnant, poverty is at historic levels, welfare recipients are at epic highs, and consumer activity and GDP is back at 2008 lows.  Where did all that printed money go?  Where was it spent?  To answer that question, we only need to find what area of the economy has seen the most positive (or fantastical) activity.  What sector is seeing a massive boost while the rest tumbles?

I suggest that a large portion of QE1 through QE3 has gone to prop up the stock market, and nothing else.  I suggest that American taxpayers are fronting the bill for the equities bonanza we see today.  I suggest that the Dow is being used as a Red Herring to distract the populous for as long as possible while real assets are being snapped up and hoarded by international banks and foreign entities.  I suggest that we are being leached dry and that the parasites are almost ready to move on…

When will it all end?  Perhaps sooner than many people think.  The decision by D.C. to delay talks on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” until March may not be coincidence.  Extensive cuts in federal spending are absolutely necessary and cannot be dismissed forever, but, because the last vestiges of our system that still operate do so through government money, such cuts will cause immediate damage to the economy, including possible default and dollar devaluation.  Refusal to make cuts will result in credit downgrades, currency inflation, and a loss of the greenback’s world reserve status.  There is no “right” way out of this quandary.  

When this collapse is initiated, it would certainly behoove all parties involved, including central banks, international banks, and criminal politicians, to have a scapegoat handy for the citizenry to direct their rage at.

Event Horizon Economics

An “Event Horizon” in physics is a moment or singularity in spacetime at which a gravitational pull becomes so great that there is no way to escape it.  It is a point of no return.  I believe America’s economy has reached its own Event Horizon.  Our system is now entirely fiat driven, with very little or no true economy left.  Without constant injections from the Fed, and perpetually low interest rates, the country would implode tomorrow.  This is not recovery.  Actually, I’m not sure what to call it.  

Today, independent economic analysts cannot look to the numbers to determine future trends.  Most are fake, and the rest are ugly, and I’m not sure much else can be said in their regard.  Instead, we must now look to events, rather than statistics, because our country has been maneuvered into a position of utmost frailty.  Like an avalanche shelf waiting for that perfectly timed disturbance to trigger its roaring collapse.  All that is needed is a macro-crisis, and it is no great feat for such a thing to be created in our tension filled global environment.

War in Syria and Iran leading to a tripling of energy prices.  Sanctions and strife with North Korea leading to Chinese economic retribution.  Conflict between China and Japan, again leading to Chinese economic warfare and perhaps real warfare.  An opportune “cyber attack” which could be used as an excuse for a market crash and even an internet shutdown.  A “political impasse” between Reps and Dems which leads to a default of U.S. credit.  Any one of these catastrophes could easily occur (with a little nudge from some well placed people) and feed a wider global tragedy.  The important thing to remember is that while this event will be blamed for the breakdown, it was international banks, the Federal Reserve, and elements of our own government that made the domino effect possible.  They put the pieces in place.  The act that knocks them over is secondary.

I have spent the past seven years writing about “potential” threats to our overall system, but these dangers were always just beyond our sight.  Just around the corner.  Today, it is as if the journey is over, and all those threats have materialized right before my eyes as real, and imminent.  I am watching that which I warned of come to fruition, and this is certainly not a pleasant thing.  What is valuable, though, is what we have all done in the Liberty Movement with the time that we had.  From when I began writing for the movement until now, I have seen an overwhelming increase in public awareness.  It may not be obvious to newer activists, but it is there all the same.  While we still face disparaging odds, and millions upon millions of oblivious bystanders, there is, amidst these darker moments, a steadfast community of free men and women forming.  I have full faith in the future.  Much more so than I ever did before.  Our economy may be detached from reality, but our endeavors as individuals will not be.  Our resolve will be the great game changer.  Not fiscal calamity.

 

 

You can contact Brandon Smith at:  brandon@alt-market.com
309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comic strip... on: February 12, 2013, 11:10:51 AM
Crafty,

Now THAT is freakin' HILARIOUS smiley
310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brainwashing Kids Against Guns... on: February 12, 2013, 09:18:36 AM
Brainwashing Kids About Guns

Posted By Mark Tapson On February 12, 2013 @ www.frontpagemag.com

A spate of recent incidents in which schoolchildren were punished for incidents triggering the hysteria of politically correct school officials highlights the left’s increasing insanity about guns.

A five-year-old girl from Pennsylvania was suspended from school last month after telling a friend she was going to shoot her with a pink toy gun that sprays bubbles. Despite not even having the bubble gun with her at the time of the shockingly dire threat, the kindergartener was later interrogated by school officials without her parents present. She was ultimately – are you sitting down for this? – labeled a “terrorist threat,” suspended for ten days, and required to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

At about the same time, a school in Maryland suspended two six-year-olds for making a gun gesture with their hands while playing cops-and-robbers during recess. Two weeks before that, another six-year-old was suspended for the same terrorist offense. This idiocy is reminiscent of an incident last year in which a deaf three-year-old was informed by school district officials that the signing he uses for his name too closely resembles him waving a gun. So now he is required to spell out his name letter by letter instead. That’ll teach him.

The insanity continues. Now a seven-year-old Colorado boy has been suspended for throwing a pretend grenade at a pretend box full of “evil forces” while playing “rescue the world” at recess. Again, that’s a pretend grenade he lobbed at a pretend box of evil (good thing he didn’t refer to it as an “axis of evil,” or the officials might have tarred and feathered the kid and run him and his Bush-loving parents out of town). His school maintains a list of “absolutes,” no-nos designed to keep the schoolgrounds safe, which includes “no fighting, real or imaginary; no weapons, real or imaginary.” Because it isn’t enough to ban students from playing with real weapons; it must be verboten even to think about them, even when combating evil.

Alex Evans said he threw the fake grenade “so nothing can get out and destroy the world… I was trying to save people and I just can’t believe I got dispended.” Alex, that’s because you’re not far enough along in school yet to have been sufficiently indoctrinated by your schoolteachers. In a few years, once you’ve absorbed enough Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, you will understand that we are the ones destroying the world through our imperialistic war-mongering and racist theft of natural resources. However, had you thrown an imaginary grenade at an imaginary band of violent Tea Partiers, you would have gone to the head of the class.

In an article that contains more handwringing about how guns are poisoning our children’s minds, The New York Times reports on groups of “anti-toy-gun activists” (now there’s a pathetic label) who encourage exchanges in which toys like Hula Hoops are given to children who turn in their toy guns – a sort of children’s version of firearm buybacks like the one that disarmed Australians back in the 90s. One of those is the California group Alliance for Survival, whose coordinator Jerry Rubin explains, “No one is saying that if you play with a toy gun, you’re going to grow up to be a violent killer.” No? Then why ban toy guns? Because “the game is still the same: pretend to kill your friends, pretend to kill your classmates.” Except that kids aren’t pretending to kill their friends and schoolmates; they’re pretending to kill the bad guys. Anti-toy gun activists like Rubin can’t comprehend that this might be healthy practice for when these children grow up and one day have to confront uncompromising evil in the real world.

This is all part of the radical left’s determination to make pariahs out of American gun owners, even if those guns dispense nothing more dangerous than bubbles or a deaf boy’s name. As the totalitarian hypocrite Eric Holder said at the Women’s National Democratic Club years ago, American youth need to be “brainwashed” into thinking negatively about guns. In fact, he urges kids to report gun owners to authorities, so be careful who knows you have a legally purchased and registered handgun, all you law-abiding moms and dads. You might find yourselves betrayed to the government by your own children, just like during China’s Cultural Revolution. “I’ve also asked the school board to make a part of every day some kind of anti-violence, anti-gun message,” Holder said, “every day, every school, at every level… We need to do this every day of the week and really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

This is the Attorney General who funneled guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, resulting in hundreds of murders. He is part of an administration that turns a blind eye to gun violence committed in this country by leftists or Islamic terrorists like the Fort Hood shooter, whose massacre was labeled “workplace violence” (as opposed to the kindergartner who was called a terrorist threat). The Obama administration cares about a tragedy like Sandy Hook only insofar as it is a crisis they don’t want to let go to waste. The administration says nothing about the ongoing handgun massacre of children in tightly gun-restricted Chicago, because it doesn’t fit their “ban guns to save the children” narrative, and because, quite frankly, they don’t care about saving the children anyway. What they care about is disarming the American populace. Their obsession with gun control is about big-government gun confiscation, not gun crime prevention, just as their demonization of guns in the minds of schoolchildren is also about disarming Americans and molding a generation of defenseless pacifists.

This hatred of guns is ragingly irrational. The left wants to indoctrinate upcoming generations into believing that, in any and all circumstances, guns – even imaginary ones; even a pointed index finger – are the apotheosis of violent evil. And yet the Obama administration has now opened the door to combat for women in the military. How are those women – and our young men  too, for that matter – supposed to deal with that disconnect, when from kindergarten onward they are relentlessly brainwashed to despise guns, and yet are now expected to go into combat and kill the enemy?

And then of course there is the hypocrisy of left-leaning Hollywood, which inundates young people with violent imagery and then pats itself on the back with smugly self-righteous public service messages calling for immediate political solutions to gun violence.

The left does not want American citizens to own guns – it’s that simple. And they want to shape our children into a helpless citizenry that entrusts its protection to the well-armed nanny state. They care nothing about the right of Americans to protect their homes, schools and loved ones from home invaders or burglars or rapists. They care least of all about our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms to oppose a tyrannical government, because that right stands in the way of the radical left’s tyrannical ambitions.
311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Robert Spencer disinvited by Catholic Bishop to "interfaith" conference... on: February 10, 2013, 01:23:21 PM
Check this out - I'd appreciate it (as would Robert) if you will sign the
petition to the bishop below:

www.ipetitions.com/petition/diocese-of-worcester-should-let-robert-spencer/?
utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend

Here is more detail as to what exactly happened.  This bishop is allowing Islamic supremacists to intimidate him into silencing Robert's truth-telling at this conference:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/worcester-bishop-spencers-talk-about-extreme-militant-islamists-and-the-atrocities-that-they-have-pe.html

312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Imam Rauf... on: February 07, 2013, 11:19:00 AM
Regarding the story Crafty posted below - Note well how many fawning pieces/interviews with Rauf the media broadcast.  Including 60 Minutes.  It is truly sickening.  No hard questions, no investigation of his shady background or incendiary statements in Arabic in his book (which of course were stricken from the U.S. version)  The only person that gave him even a bit of a hard interview was Sean Hannity on Fox News - and Rauf lied his way through that from start to finish.  In my opinion Hannity was much too easy on him, giving him the benefit of the doubt, when it was clear that he was lying, if Hannity or his staff had done their homework.  The same goes for Bill O'Reilly - even worse.  O'Reilly didn't even challenge Rauf at all.

We are truly witnessing a successful stealth jihad campaign which the Muslim Brotherhood is waging, in its own words, according to documents seized during the "Holy Land" foundation investigation - "To infiltrate and destroy Western civilization from within."  Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller - labeled "extremists" by all mainstream media except Fox News - have repeatedly pointed this out - but no matter - the jihad goes on.  AND the pro-jihad propaganda campaign with signs on buses in New York (and soon in other cities) suggesting that jihad means working out in a gym in the morning, or doing something charitable for your neighbor goes on without any questions from the media.  What crap.  No one other than a handful of courageous heroes like Spencer, Geller, David Horowitz and Frank Gaffney are drawing attention to any of this.  As a result, millions of gullible Americans who get their news from the mainstream media, and don't bother to do any research on their own are fooled by this propaganda campaign.
313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Excellent piece at Pamela Geller's site re: Islamic propaganda campaign... on: February 06, 2013, 10:46:20 AM
This is really rather sickening to watch - CNN and others promoting puff pieces about the "This is my jihad" campaign (Propaganda campaign led by CAIR - essentially the Muslim Brotherhood.) This is a naked attempt to conceal and mislead the American public about what Islam teaches.  Pamela has her own series of counter-ads pointing out the fact that jihad is traditionally understood as making war on "infidels" (non-Muslims.)  Her ads - to which she links in this piece - contain actual quotations from the Koran.  I encourage you to support her campaign with a donation if you are able:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/02/big-medias-myjihad.html

314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Boy Scouts... on: January 31, 2013, 09:52:52 AM
I have a couple of problems with some of the statements in this letter, though I do support the BSA's right, as a private organization, to admit/exclude whomever they want.

1)  "where same-sex molestation occurs, homosexuals are almost always the perpetrators."  Huh  That's an rather obvious fact, not sure what relevance it has to the discussion.

2) "Fact is, there is nothing "gay" about being homosexual."  This appears to me to be a judgement implying that homosexuals in general are moral reprobates.

3) "The scout oath contains the phrase "morally straight."  I see no inherent conflict here with being homosexual.  Obviously the author disagrees.

4)  "A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent." Again - there is no inherent conflict here with being homosexual.

I understand many members of the BSA board's concerns about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, for example.  I also, as mentioned above - fully support BSA's right to full self-determination in who it admits.  However - these sorts of condemnatory and degrading statements about gays in general are not what I would consider healthy discourse on the issue.
315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Holocaust Remembrance Day... on: January 27, 2013, 10:26:28 PM
Thanks for sharing that, Marc. 
316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CBS News Director: Time to Destroy the Republican Party... on: January 23, 2013, 09:55:38 AM
CBS News Director: Obama Must Go for the Throat

Posted By Mark Tapson On January 23, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

A month ago I wrote, in a piece on FrontPage Mag called “The Art of Class War,” that progressives aren’t interested in coexistence or bipartisanship with the right; they want total domination and our eventual extinction. Last Friday an article subtly titled “Go for the Throat!” appeared on the leftist website Slate in which their chief political correspondent John Dickerson openly confirmed my point, calling for President Obama to destroy the Republican party in his second term.

Writing just prior to Obama’s inaugural ceremony, Dickerson strategized,

The challenge for President Obama’s speech is the challenge of his second term: how to be great when the [D.C.] environment stinks… Washington’s partisan rancor, the size of the problems facing government, and the limited amount of time before Obama is a lame duck all point to a single conclusion: The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat. [Emphasis added]

Thank you, Mr. Dickerson, for putting your party’s totalitarian ruthlessness on the table in plain sight. Thank you for removing any lingering doubt that yours is the fascist party of hatred and intolerance, not to mention lack of diversity where it counts – the diversity of ideas.

Dickerson asserts that Obama has two options as he enters his second term: on the one hand, he can simply be the caretaker to what Dickerson calls “the achievements of his first term. He’d make sure health care reform is implemented, nurse the economy back to health, and put the military on a new footing after two wars.” (Allow me to correct Dickerson here: he means Obama would make sure that his health care leviathan drags us all down into a Euro-socialist wasteland, continue to drive the economy off a cliff, and decimate our military.)

But, Dickerson says with an admiration born of the cult of personality so central to the left’s totalitarianism, “he’s not going for caretaker”; Obama is “more ambitious than that” (most definitely) and is not “content to ride out the second half of the game in the Barcalounger” (definitely not – he’s more likely to ride out the second half of the game on the golf course, where he spent much of the first half).

“How should the president proceed then, if he wants to be bold?” asks Dickerson rhetorically. Press harder for bipartisan consensus? Schmooze with Republicans, perhaps even – shudder – compromise with them? Perish the thought, Dickerson concludes, blaming the Republicans for hindering the progressive march toward Utopia:

That’s the old way. He has abandoned that. He doesn’t think it will work and he doesn’t have the time. As Obama explained in his last press conference, he thinks the Republicans are dead set on opposing him. They cannot be unchained by schmoozing. Even if Obama were wrong about Republican intransigence, other constraints will limit the chance for cooperation. Republican lawmakers worried about primary challenges in 2014 are not going to be willing partners. He probably has at most 18 months before people start dropping the lame-duck label in close proximity to his name.

God knows the radical left resents constraints on their impatient political power grabs. So what’s an Alinsky-steeped former community organizer to do?

Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition’s most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.

Dickerson credits Yale political scientist Stephen Skowronek for this theory of what distinguishes the legendary transformational presidents from the mere caretakers. “In order for a president to be transformational,” Dickerson summarizes about the academic’s work, “the old order has to fall as the orthodoxies that kept it in power exhaust themselves.” He concedes that Obama didn’t succeed in his first term with his “gambit… to build a new post-partisan consensus”; of course, by post-partisan consensus, he means the Democrats get their way on every issue and the Republicans shut up, set aside their principles, and surrender every point. “But,” he continues,

by exploiting the weaknesses of today’s Republican Party, Obama has an opportunity to hasten the demise of the old order by increasing the political cost of having the GOP coalition defined by Second Amendment absolutists, climate science deniers, supporters of “self-deportation” and the pure no-tax wing.

So Obama’s aim should be to redefine the right as ossified extremists, and then precipitate the fall of “the old order.”

So what, you say? Someone at some leftist website has exposed the radicalism we already knew defined them. Yes, but his openness is indicative of broader support. As Fox News’ Brit Hume pointed out, Dickerson is not just Slate’s “chief political correspondent” but is also CBS News’ political director. Big Hollywood’s John Nolte notes that a political director at CBS News “is now comfortable openly calling for the destruction of the Republican Party,” knowing he will not be excommunicated or even chastised for it by his mainstream collaborators – I mean, colleagues.

That’s because a second election victory for the post-American president has emboldened the radical forces that propelled him there, and the progressives smell blood. Total victory is within their grasp, they sense, so they no longer feel the need to hide their true goals.
317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's Pro-Statist Inaugural Address Analyzed... on: January 22, 2013, 01:47:04 PM
Obama’s Startling Second Inaugural Admission

Posted By Tom Blumer On January 22, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address on Monday was mostly what one would have expected: A paean to the wonders of statism and how great America could be if we would just overcome our unhealthy legacy. In Obama’s world, we would all be so much better if we could get over obsessions like rugged individualism and the true meaning of the words contained in our nation’s Constitution, and let a benevolent, all-knowing government take more control over our everyday lives.

But in the midst of his “we know better” exercise, Obama made the most stunning admission of abject failure I have heard a president utter in my lifetime. I’ll have more on that shortly.

In his speech, Obama made a pretense of paying homage to our Founding Fathers, but followed it with a clear indication that he believes their wisdom is passé by claiming that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” Other than our involvement in wars, which he falsely claims will soon be coming to an end, I can’t imagine what he could be thinking of. Obama even added a dose of coldly calculated and contemptuous ridicule to the mix by including an insulting reference to the modern wartime inadequacy of “muskets and militias.”

Though it was indeed, as the Politico’s Glenn Thrush correctly noted, “the most liberal speech he has delivered as president,” it clearly disappointed some of those in the establishment press who wanted to hear Obama go for his opponents’ jugulars. That group includes John Dickerson, who has been Political Director at CBS News since November 2011.

Dickerson put on his best game face at Slate after the speech, but it’s clear from reading his previous 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column on Friday that Obama didn’t go as far as he would have liked.

The column’s headlines called for Obama to “Go for the Throat!” and “declare war on the Republican Party.” In his content, Dickerson claimed that Republican recalcitrance meant that “Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize,” and that the president “can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP.” Slate was so thrilled with the piece that it amped up its “most popular” tease list title to read: “Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party.” Dickerson’s occupation of such an influential perch at CBS and the presence of so many others like him at other news outlets largely explain why last year’s establishment press coverage of the GOP primaries and the general election was so ruthlessly biased against Republicans and especially conservatives.

Given the content of the rest of his speech, it was astonishing to hear Obama say the following five words: ”An economic recovery has begun.”

Wow.

We’re just three weeks shy of the fourth anniversary of the passage of the February 2009 “stimulus plan.” It was supposed to turn the economy around after the evil George W. Bush ruined everything. Obama’s Keynesian economists told us that without the stimulus plan’s immediate implementation, unemployment would rise to an unacceptable 9 percent by the summer of 2010. But if we would just pass this monstrosity which nobody read, unemployment would peak at 8 percent in just a few months and gradually fall to 5.2 percent by the end of 2012.

What really happened is that despite the plan’s passage (actually, largely because of it), the unemployment rate hit 10 percent before 2009 was even over, stayed above 8 percent for a post-World War II record 43 months, and is still at 7.8 percent. The Obama government, set into fiscal motion by the Democratic Congress of 2009-2010 and running on autopilot ever since, has run up $5 trillion in supposedly stimulative budget deficits and has been the beneficiary of four years of supposedly stimulative near-zero interest rates courtesy of Ben the Betrayer Bernanke’s Federal Reserve.

Now, after all of that ruinous stimulus, the best our president can say is: “An economic recovery has begun.” It’s almost as if he wants us to believe that this strange, uncontrollable beast called the economy has finally decided to get better on its own.

Unfortunately for those who are unemployed, under-employed, and discouraged, there’s still reason to believe that the economy, after so many false starts during Obama’s first term, is once again sputtering.

Economists have been wearing out their erasers and “delete” keys writing down their estimates of economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2012. The rough consensus is that gross domestic product will grow by an annualized 1.5 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the third quarter – if we’re lucky.

Seasonally adjusted job growth has only averaged 130,000 during the past ten months. That’s below the 150,000 jobs needed just to keep pace with growth in the adult population. Additionally, in a sign that the trend is in the wrong direction, the raw number of jobs changes before seasonal adjustment has been lower than that seen in the same month of the previous year during three of the past four months.

Finally, in perhaps the most ominous sign of decay, last week’s report on initial jobless claims told us that the raw number of claims filed (i.e., before seasonal adjustment) was greater than the comparable week a year ago — the first time this has happened in a truly comparable non-holiday week since October 2009.

The way things are going, Obama’s successor may very well use those same five words — “An economic recovery has begun” — in his or her inaugural address four long years from now.
318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cable from Ambassador Stevens sent to Clinton warning of violence... on: January 22, 2013, 11:12:29 AM
www.washingtonguardian.com/ambassadors-final-warning-benghazi
319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post on Michele Bachmann... on: January 22, 2013, 09:18:46 AM
The Left’s New Campaign to Destroy a Friend of Israel’s: Michele Bachmann

Posted By Caroline Glick On January 22, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

To sign the Freedom Center’s  petition to stop the witch-hunt against Rep. Michele Bachmann,  click here. And  please spread the word about this petition far and wide!

Israel has many passionate supporters on Capitol Hill, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle. These are men and women who are deeply committed to Israel and understand that Israel is the US’s only reliable ally in the Middle East and America’s most vital ally in the world today in light of the rise of radical Islamic regimes, movements and leaders.

Now that Obama has officially entered his second term in office, Israel enters a period unlike any it has experienced before. It will face a hostile US president who does not fear the voters. Moreover, it faces a US president who is so hostile to Israel that his first serious act after his reelection was to appoint Chuck Hagel Defense Secretary, (and John Brennan CIA Director).

As I wrote last week, I believe that Israel will not be the hardest hit by Obama’s “transformative” foreign policy over the next four years. As an independent state, Israel has the ability to diversify its network of strategic allies and so mitigate somewhat the hit it will take from the Obama administration. The US, and first and foremost the US military, will not be so fortunate.

Not surprisingly, Israel’s biggest defenders in the US Capitol are also the most outspoken allies of the US military and the most concerned about maintaining America’s ability to remain the most powerful nation on earth both economically and militarily. They are as well, Obama’s most outspoken critics on the Hill.

For their outspoken criticism, and their competence, these men and women have been targeted for political destruction by Obama and his allies. Last November we saw this leftist machine outgun and so defeat Cong. Allen West in Florida and Joe Walsh in Illinois. Both men were targeted by Obama’s smear machine that included, among other things, J-Street endorsements of their opponents, and rancid attacks against them.

One of the voices that Obama’s machine has spent millions of dollars trying to silence is that of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

As a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and as a contender in the Republican presidential primaries, Bachmann has been one of Israel’s most passionate and articulate defenders and one of Obama’s most effective critics on everything from federal spending to Obama’s abandonment of the US-Israel alliance to his opening of the US federal government and intelligence apparatuses to members of the Muslim Brotherhood – that is to members of a movement dedicated to the destruction of the American way of life.

For her efforts, Rep. Bachmann has been the target of repeated media smear campaigns, often joined by skittish Republicans like John McCain who failed to recognize the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Libya and Egypt, and failed to understand the danger that the penetration of the US federal government by Muslim Brotherhood members constitutes to US national security.

I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting with Rep. Bachmann on several occasions over the years. She is one of the most intelligent women I know. And her grasp of the nature and importance of the US-Israel alliance is extraordinary. So too, her understanding of the challenges to US national security is clear, educated and sophisticated.

Watch for instance these speeches that she has delivered in recent months.

The day she announced her candidacy for President:



And at the Values Voters Summit shortly before the Presidential election:



In the past, every time that I have written about Cong. Bachmann, I have been bombarded with comments from readers who say that they cannot believe I can support her, since they claim, she is such an extremist. But Cong. Bachmann is not an extremist at all.

What she is is a victim of a very successful smear campaign undertaken by people who recognize her talent, conviction, intelligence and effectiveness. They set out to destroy and marginalize her, just as they set out to destroy and marginalize Mitt Romney and West and Walsh and many others, because they perceive these leaders as a threat to their agendas.

Today Cong. Bachmann is the target of a new leftist smear campaign, organized by the far Left People for the American Way. The campaign involves a petition that has reportedly been signed already by 178,000 people demanding that House Speaker John Boehner expel Rep. Bachmann from the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

The proximate cause for the petition is a series of letters Bachmann and five other (wonderful and similarly courageous) Congressional colleagues penned to the Inspectors General of the Departments of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the State Department, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice asking for the IGs to conduct an investigation of the ties senior officials in these departments have with the Muslim Brotherhood.

For her efforts, Bachmann was condemned not only by the Left, but by Senator John McCain as a bigot and a McCarthyite.

But she is none of these things. And last month, her concerns were borne out when the Egyptian magazine Rose al Youssef published an article about Muslim Brotherhood operatives in senior positions in the Obama administration. According to the article, these operatives have transformed the US “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world, to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.” (Here is the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s translation of the article.)

Among those mentioned in the articles are some of the officials that Bachmann named in her letters last July. Far from waging a McCarthyite, bigoted witch hunt against guileless American citizens, as the Egyptian article makes clear, her concerns were founded in fact and totally reasonable.

Before Obama was reelected, I heard repeatedly that supporters of Israel like Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, and Haim Saban who had properly criticized Obama’s hostility towards Israel but then supported his reelection bid, did so because they believed that by supporting him, they would be in a position to pressure him to support Israel in his second term. According to this line of reasoning, these men and others like them believed that Obama would listen to them in his second term if – but only if – they supported his reelection against a candidate who was clearly more supportive of Israel than Obama.

By appointing Hagel as Defense Secretary, Obama made clear even before he was sworn in for his second term that this assumption was completely wrong. By supporting his reelection they supported giving Obama four years to lead American foreign policy unconstrained by the need to feign support for Israel. When you empower your enemies, your enemies are empowered.

By the same token, when you support your friends, your friends are empowered. Rep. Bachmann is a friend of Israel’s. And she is an American patriot committed to doing everything in her power to protecting the US and defending and maintaining America as the indispensable nation.

In response to the PFAW’s petition, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, with which I am proud to be formally associated as the Director of its Israel Security Project, launched a counter-petition to Speaker Boehner voicing support for Bachmann. If you are a US citizen, please take a few moments to sign the petition.

Here is the link.

For further reading on the campaign against Bachmann see Andy McCarthy in National Review here, and Robert Spencer in Frontpage Magazine here and here.

Editor’s note: Frontpage’s editor Jamie Glazov also recently joined Robert Spencer on his show on ABNSat.com to discuss the attacks against Rep. Michele Bachmann and the Unholy Alliance behind them. Watch the whole interview below:



Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gun violence is a Democratic Party Problem... on: January 18, 2013, 10:13:57 AM
Gun Violence is Not a Republican Problem, It’s a Democratic Problem

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 18, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

Forget Wal-Mart and skip your local gun show. The murderers of tomorrow will not be found wearing orange vests at your local sporting goods store. They won’t have NRA memberships or trophies on their walls.

You won’t find them in America. Look for them in Obamerica.

67% of firearm murders took place in the country’s 50 largest metro areas. The 62 cities in those metro areas have a firearm murder rate of 9.7, more than twice the national average. Among teenagers the firearm murder rate is 14.6 or almost three times the national average.

Those are the crowded cities of Obamerica. Those are the places with the most restrictive gun control laws and the highest crime rates. And many of them have been run by Democrats and their political machines for almost as long as they have been broken.

Obama won every major city in the election, except for Jacksonville and Salt Lake City. And the higher the death rate, the bigger his victory.

He won New Orleans by 80 to 17 where the murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. He won Detroit, where the murder rate of 53 per 100,000 people is the second highest in the country and twice as high as any country in the world, including the Congo and South Africa. He won it 73 to 26. And then he celebrated his victory in Chicago where the murder rate is three times the statewide average.

These places aren’t America. They’re Obamerica.

In 2006, the 54% of the population living in those 50 metro areas was responsible for 67% of armed killings nationwide. Those are disproportionate numbers especially when you consider that for the people living in most of those cities walking into a store and legally buying a gun is all but impossible.

Mayors of Obamerican cities blame guns because it’s easier than blaming people and now the President of Obamerica has turned to the same shameless tactic. The NRA counters that people kill people, but that’s exactly why Obamerican leaders would rather talk about the guns.

Chicago, the capital of Obamerica, is a city run by gangs and politicians. It has 68,000 gang members, four times the number of police officers. Chicago politicians solicit the support of gang members in their campaigns, accepting laundered contributions from them, hiring their members and tipping them off about upcoming police raids. And their biggest favor to the gang bosses is doing nothing about the epidemic of gang violence.

80% of Chicago’s murders are gang-related. But in 1999 when a bill came up in the Illinois State Senate to charge anyone carrying out a firearm attack on school property as an adult, a law that would have largely affected gang members, the future leader of Obamerica voted present. Had he not voted present, it is doubtful that he would have been reelected in an area where gang leaders wield a great deal of influence.

The majority of murders in the cities with the worst homicide rates are gang-related. And while it isn’t always possible to be certain whether a killing was gang-related, the majority of homicide victims in city after city have been found to have criminal records.

In 2010, there were 11,078 firearm homicides in the United States and over 2,000 known gang-related killings, over 90% of which are carried out with firearms. Since 1981, Los Angeles alone has had 16,000 gang related homicides. That’s more than twice the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is what Obamerica looks like. It’s a place where life is cheap and illegal guns are as available as illegal drugs. It’s the war that we aren’t talking about, because it’s easier to talk about the inanimate objects being used to fight that war.

There are, as John Edwards said, two Americas. America is a country that runs pretty well. And then there’s Obamerica. Not all of Obamerica is broken, but a lot of it is. America does not have a gun violence problem. Obamerica does. And Obamerica has a gun violence problem for the same reason that it has a drug problem and a broken family problem.

Democratic leaders and machines, combined with social workers and justice crusaders have run Obamerica into the ground. Obamerican cities used to be the homes of industry and progress. Now they’re places where young Black and Hispanic men kill each other in growing numbers.

America does not need gun control. It is a mostly law-abiding place. And gun control cannot help Obamerica. Not when its murder rate is driven by gangs who have no trouble obtaining anything; whether it’s legal in the United States or not.

This country does not need to have a conversation about how many bullets should go in a clip. It does need to have a conversation about how many parents should go in a family. It needs to talk about the ghettos of Obamerica and have a serious conversation about broken families and generational dependency.

Obama has become a role model to millions of people in the black community. If anyone can address these problems, it’s him. But instead of trying to solve the problems of Obamerica, instead of doing something about the high levels of unemployment, the broken families and the glamorization of drug dealing and violent crime, he wimped out and picked a fight with rural America.

AIDS prevention was sabotaged by the claim that the disease was a general problem spreading through the population. It wasn’t. Neither is gun violence.

Adam Lanza is as much of a poster boy for gun violence, as Ryan White was for AIDS. A better poster boy for gun violence might be Jay-Z, who boasts of having been a drug dealer and claims to have shot his brother at the age of 12. The drug dealer to millionaire rapper is the Horatio Alger story of Obamerica. And Jay-Z can be seen partying with Obama.

If Obama really wants to get serious about gun violence, then all he has to do is turn to the man standing next to him. But Obama, like every Chicago politician before him, don’t want to end the violence. The death toll is profitable, not just for rappers writing bad poetry about dealing drugs and shooting rivals, but for the politicians atop that heap who score money and gain power by using the problems of Obamerica as some sort of call to conscience for the rest of the country.

That’s what Obama is doing now. Hiding behind Newtown and adorable little kids is the grim specter of Obamerica’s death toll. It’s buried inside the gruesome figures of how many Americans are shot each year issued as an indictment against the entire country in general and gun owners in particular. But those numbers are not an indictment of America. They are an indictment of Democratic mayors and liberal social policy. They are an indictment of Obama.

We need to set aside the same old tired social justice rhetoric and have a serious conversation about what is wrong with New Orleans, Detroit and Chicago. And we need to do it before it’s too late.
321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Christie... on: January 17, 2013, 12:34:02 PM
Good points, Crafty.  I might add that Ann Coulter and many inside-the-beltway pundits (though I'm not sure about Karl Rove) were talking him up as a Presidential candidate this last time around - Coulter was practically ecstatic about the prospect.  Another example of these people's inability to see that CONSERVATISM, properly articulated - is what wins elections against Democrats - not "appealing to the independents," or "moderating" conservative principles.  Christie would have been an even bigger disaster than Romney.  Glad he decided not to run.
322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Karl Rove... on: January 17, 2013, 10:49:43 AM
Fine for him to offer suggestions now, after a disastrous Romney campaign he helped orchestrate.  I have very little respect for Karl Rove these days, as it's he and his type of inside-the-beltway don't "offend" the independents mentality that has lost us the last two elections.  I'm not impressed with his performance or his advice - particularly over the course of this last election, where he tirelessly cheerleaded for Romney as the only candidate who could win, then advised him not to go after Obama aggressively in the campaign.  Why anyone gives him any credibility at this point is beyond me.
323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hitler Honored in Upscale Mall in Turkey... on: January 16, 2013, 10:54:14 AM
Hitler honored in upscale mall in modern, moderate Turkey

Robert Spencer - January 16, 2013 - www.jihadwatch.org

Turkey's rapid re-Islamization and abandonment of secularism has been accompanied by a sharp rise in hostility for Israel and Islamic antisemitism. "Hitler Honored in Upscale Instanbul Mall," by Lori Lowenthal Marcus in the Jewish Press, January 15:

People who have been paying attention know that relations between Israel and Turkey have been eroding, but not many realize that Turkey is now not only openly hostile to the Jewish State, but also to the Jewish people.
On Friday, January 11, a Turkish citizen took a picture to show exactly how belligerent Turkey has become.  The picture is of a huge poster with the words, “Who Would You Like to Meet if You Could?” and the last name, and only photograph, is of Adolf Hitler.  The other choices include Suleiman I, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Napolean Bonaparte, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Vladimir Lenin, Boris Yeltsin, Leonardo Da Vinci, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jackson.  But only Hitler warranted a picture, a huge one at that.

According to Ege Berk Korkut, an active Turkish writer and blogger, the sign was placed in the Sapphire Mall by the owners, a group of Turkish businessmen who are devoted to Erdogan. Korkut explained to The Jewish Press that the Sapphire is an ultra-upscale mall in Levent, the wealthiest neighborhood in Istanbul. The Sapphire building is one of the tallest buildings in Europe.

Korkut said that while a few people have complained about the banner – and the management has refused to remove it – most shoppers just glance at it and continue shopping.  Ho-hum, nothing startling or even mildly interesting about a huge photograph of Adolf Hitler hanging in the Turkish equivalent of Via Bellagio in Las Vegas or The Shops at Columbus Circle in New York City.

And it is not only Israel and the Jews towards which Turkey has turned its back.

The Iranian Ambassador to Turkey, Bahman Hussein Pour, discussed the close and ever-increasing Iranian-Turkish relations in an article in the January 14 MehrNews.com, an Iranian news agency.

Hussein Pour pointed out that while Western countries, “especially the U.S.,” have been pressuring Turkey to reduce economic relations with Iran, “Iran-Turkey trade volume exceeds $21b this year for the first time.”  The Iranian Ambassador concluded that Turkish-Iranian relations are irreversible.

In addition to the trade relations between the two countries which has more than quadrupled since 2008, Hussein Pour also explained that “more than 15 Turkish provinces have become sister provinces with Iranian ones.”
324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morsi calls Jews "Apes and Pigs" - American Media Fails to Notice... on: January 16, 2013, 10:50:23 AM
Posted by Robert Spencer - January 13, 2013 - www.jihadwatch.org

I posted here at Jihad Watch on January 3 about MEMRI's report on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi calling Jews "blood-suckers...warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs." Eight days later, Richard Behar in Forbes noted the media -- the same media that shamelessly cheerled for the so-called "Arab Spring" that was always an Islamic supremacist takeover and not a democracy movement at all -- has steadfastly refused to take notice of this fact. After all, it would upset their paradigm.

"News Flash: Jews Are 'Apes And Pigs.' So Why Is Egypt's Morsi The Elephant In America's Newsrooms?," by Richard Behar in Forbes, January 11:

Last Friday, the sitting president of Egypt – the world’s 15th most populous nation — was exposed for calling Jews “apes and pigs.” And he did it in a TV interview (in Arabic) in 2010, less than two years before he took office.
Needless to say, this was HUGE NEWS for American mass media! Only it wasn’t. (Knock, knock, New York Times? Anybody home?) In fact, to be fair to the paper of record, not a single major outlet has covered it. Not AP or Reuters. Not CBS News or CNN. Not Time magazine or U.S. News & World Report. Not the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Etcetera. And therein lies a story, which this column can only begin to skin open here.

Mohamed Morsi’s bizarre Apes-and-Pigs rant hit the Jerusalem Post’s homepage that same day (again, last Friday), as its lead story. Specifically, a prestigious U.S. organization named the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) — chaired by Oliver “Buck” Revell, a former deputy head of the FBI in charge of counter-terrorism – released it widely to the global media and posted it on YouTube.

Undoubtedly, the Cairo and Jerusalem bureaus of the big U.S. media outlets saw the story. But the news only found its way to certain American readers and viewers by getting picked up in Jewish and/or conservative forums over the following days.

Commentary magazine, American Thinker and Breitbart thoughtfully weighed in on the subject. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), Jewish Talk Radio, and the Christian Broadcasting Network also saw value in covering it. So did – of all things — a prominent national stock-picking and finance newspaper, Investor’s Business Daily. Fox News entertainer Sean Hannity has been pouncing on it — no surprise there. (Do I really have to tune in to that unpleasant loudmouth if I want to be sure not to miss such newsworthy information?) UPI gave it some pickup, but that news service is only a shadow of its former great self. Once nearly equaling the size and reach of AP in the 1960s, it shrunk to a virtual carcass by 2000 — when it was sold to a company founded by Reverend Moon, the self-proclaimed messiah.

The Times of Israel ran a story about it, and added the fact that Morsi was captured three months ago by MEMRI on a different video. In that tape, he can be seen in fervent prayer at a mosque in western Egypt in October, mouthing the word “Amen” after the preacher urged Allah to “destroy the Jews and their supporters.” (Virtually every big media outlet in America ignored that, too.)

I studied the Pigs-and-Apes story’s journey and trajectory through America over the past week with Sue Radlauer, the Director of Research Services here at Forbes. We gave it seven days to see if any of the so-called “mainstream media” — a pejorative phrase that too-often obscures more than it reveals — bestowed the hate speech even a few sentences of back-page ink. Nothing.

Of course, the demonization of Jews is commonplace and de rigueur in the Arab media (although most Americans wouldn’t know that because they are not being made aware of it). But what makes this omission in Big Media especially egregious is that Morsi–sometimes spelled Morsy or Mursi– went even further than genetically pairing Jews with lower beasts. As you can see and hear for yourself in the Morsi Tapes, he called for an end to any and all negotiations for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians – droning on that all the land belongs to the latter. He called for a boycott of American goods because of its support for Israel. (Of course, he didn’t bother mentioning that American taxpayers have provided nearly $70 billion of aid to Egypt, since it made peace with Israel in 1979, and the spigot continues for now.) He even went so far as to label the Palestinian Authority an entity “created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests.”

Apes and pigs aside, Morsi also warned his TV listeners that Jews have never been nice people. “They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history,” he oozed. “They are hostile by nature.” (One can almost see comedian Jon Stewart’s frozen eyes right about now, before he says something like, “A holiday in Luxor, anyone?”)

If that’s not enough to make the Morsi Tapes even a little newsworthy, consider that Egypt’s economy is on the brink of collapse, with its government desperate for a $4.8 billion IMF loan. Meanwhile, plans have long been underway for the first official visit by the Egyptian president to Washington this March, where he’ll dine with President Obama. So far, the U.S. State Department hasn’t issued a peep of dismay about the tapes. And yet this is arguably the time to do so — before (not after) the huge checks are cut.

So what’s going on here? On Monday, I raised the topic of Morsi’s 2010 language with Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. “Well, they [Muslim Brotherhood] certainly don’t have a monopoly over anti-Semitic comments in the Middle East,” said Oren, who was born and raised in America, and who has written best-selling books on Middle Eastern history. “These comments were alarming, intolerant, and cause for serious concern. Still, we want to distinguish between what they say and what they do. We expect people to act in a responsible and accountable way. That Morsi and his government today played a constructive role in reaching a ceasefire [with Hamas in November], that’s more important – because it actually saved lives.”

Fair enough. But major, seasoned reporters still need to hold Morsi’s feet to fire over such comments – if not by asking him directly about them, then at least by reporting that he uttered them. Surely, if the president of virtually any other country in the world had defamed an entire people in such a way — only a couple years before they got the top job, to boot — it would have at least gotten a few column-inches. Yet Morsi gets a free pass.

“In my view, it’s important to know just how extreme this important man really is, especially because [Leon] Panetta and [Hillary] Clinton after visits there made statements suggesting otherwise,” says MEMRI board director Elliott Abrams, who served in top policy positions under Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush. “You’re right that if such a tape by Putin or [Turkey's] Erdogan or [Argentina's] Kirchner, etc., etc., was discovered, it would be big news. If it isn’t, is the MSM saying, ‘Well, hell, we know all Muslims have a fanatical hatred of Jews, so no big deal?’”

On Sunday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spent an hour with Morsi in Cairo in what the network billed as an exclusive interview. It was a fine conversation, and he’s doing an hour-long special this weekend about his hour-long interview and visit to Egypt. Blitzer is one of my favorite TV anchors today. (He plays it straight, if sometimes dull, and doesn’t condescend to viewers. I never feel like he’s trying to drag me with a rope through my television set.)

But Wolf could have tossed a few Ape-and-Pig hardballs in Morsi’s direction — given that his reporting staff surely must have been aware of the tapes from the Jerusalem Post piece, if from nowhere else. Why not ask the anthropologist-in-chief: “Do you still believe that Jews are pigs? Invoking Koranic scripture, you claimed that Zionists descend from pigs, but since Zionists weren’t around at the time of your prophet, does this mean all Jews come from pigs, or just certain ones? Do you still believe that America should be boycotted? And does that include American cash? Or should your whole diatribe be disregarded as merely the kooky, carefree views from one’s youth – uhhh…TWO YEARS AGO?”

For several days, I attempted to speak with Blitzer about the good, the bad and the ugly of media coverage of the Middle East. But his publicist says he’s too busy – even to consider responding to a single email question prior to my publishing.

The New York Times rarely touches this stuff. In fact, a harshly critical mega-report about the newspaper’s Middle East coverage was recently released by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). The Times can’t be too happy about it. “The failure of the New York Times to cover the hate indoctrination leads the pack, in a way,” CAMERA’s head Andrea Levin told me yesterday. “The fact that they deem it to be so unimportant helps to lay down that news decision for others as well. And, to us, it’s one of the greatest derelictions in current news coverage of the conflict.”...

Read it all. And note that yesterday the New York Times, probably shamed into it by Behar's piece, finally noticed Morsi's remarks. The rest of the mainstream media, however, still doesn't find Morsi's remarks fit to print.
325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michele Bachmann under attack from Islamists...(Keith Ellison) on: January 16, 2013, 09:12:42 AM
Why Michele Bachmann Is Right About Keith Ellison

Posted By Robert Spencer On January 16, 2013

Editors’ note: While Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been vindicated for suggesting that Muslim Brotherhood elements have infiltrated the U.S. government, the left-wing activist group, People For the American Way (PFAW), has launched a petition drive against Rep. Bachmann in an effort to remove her from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Frontpage editors felt this was an opportune time to put a spotlight on other attackers of the Congresswoman and their troubling associations, and so we deemed it important to rerun Robert Spencer’s article, “Why Michele Bachmann Is Right About Keith Ellison,” from our July 23, 2012 issue, below:

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has accused Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) of having a “long record of being associated” with the Hamas-linked Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Evoking the days of McCarthyism, a common charge being leveled at Bachmann these days, Ellison responded: “I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” He accused Bachmann of religious bigotry:

“I think she has a very narrowly prescribed definition of who belongs and who doesn’t. And there’s a whole bloc of people she don’t like. I think she thinks that we’re evil because we don’t understand God the way she does….It’s also about marginalizing and alienating a certain group of Americans who she does not view are American enough.”

Not content with that, he accused her of petty attention-seeking:

“But you have to ask yourself, you know, why did she make this so public? Why did she seem to be seeking public attention for these allegations she was making? If she really had actionable intelligence, why wouldn’t she go to the agencies that investigate these things? I think the answer is clear that she wanted attention. That was her goal all along.”

The only problem with Ellison’s wounded-martyr stance toward Bachmann’s accusations is that what she said is true: Ellison really does have a “long record of being associated” with Hamas-linked CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood.

As long ago as 2006, Ellison’s closeness to Nihad Awad, co-founder of Hamas-linked CAIR, was a matter of public record. Awad, who notoriously said in 1994 that he was “in support of the Hamas movement,” spoke at fundraisers for Ellison, raising considerable sums for his first Congressional race. According to investigative journalist Patrick Poole, Ellison has appeared frequently at CAIR events since then, despite the fact that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed posters telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI.

Poole explains that “according to Justice Department, Awad is a longtime Hamas operative. Multiple statements made by federal prosecutors identify Awad as one of the attendees at a 1993 meeting of US Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee leaders in Philadelphia that was wiretapped by the FBI under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant. The topic of discussion during that 1993 meeting was how to help Hamas by working in the U.S. to help sabotage the Oslo Peace Accords.” But none of that fazed Ellison.

CAIR is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Awad and CAIR’s cofounder, Omar Ahmad, were officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) before founding CAIR. A captured internal Muslim Brotherhood document lists the IAP as one of the Brotherhood’s allied groups in the U.S.

And as for the Muslim Brotherhood itself, in 2008 Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. What is the Muslim American Society? The Muslim Brotherhood. “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” So reported the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb. The Muslim American Society, according to Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “is the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. The agenda of the MAS is to … impose Islamic law in the U.S., to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy.”

Weirdly, Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, denied that MAS had funded Ellison’s hajj: “Keith Ellison is a member of Congress who knows that congressmen don’t take trips sponsored by nonprofits. That would be a breach of congressional ethics.” Bray apparently failed to check with Ellison’s office before issuing this statement, as his office issued its own statement saying: “The trip, funded by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, was fully reviewed and approved in advance by the House Ethics Committee.”

Imagine if a conservative Congressman had taken a trip that had been paid for by a Christian group that was, according to one of its own internal documents, dedicated to “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house” so that Christian law would replace the U.S. Constitution. I expect we would hear more of an outcry than we ever heard about Ellison’s Brotherhood-funded hajj.

Ellison has also retailed the Muslim Brotherhood-invented concept of “Islamophobia,” which was cooked up in a Brotherhood think tank, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, as a weapon to intimidate Americans into being afraid to resist jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. And in March 2011 he famously began weeping during Congressman Peter King’s (R-NY) first hearings on Islamic jihad terrorism, as he read what turned about to be a false report about a Muslim who went missing on 9/11 and was suspected of terror ties until he turned out to have been killed in the jihad attacks of that day. Ellison’s crocodile tears stole the show on that day, and successfully diverted media attention from what should have been the focus of the hearing: Islamic jihad activity in the United States.

Michele Bachmann is right: Keith Ellison’s Brotherhood ties should be investigated. That he and so many others on the Left have had such a furious reaction to her mere call for an investigation is only an indication that they have something to hide. John Boehner and the rest of the Republican Congressional leadership should be defending her and joining her call for investigations into Muslim Brotherhood influence in the Government. Instead, to their shame, they have joined Ellison in throwing her to the wolves, demonstrating that mainstream Republicans are no better than mainstream Democrats in confronting the threat of Islamic supremacism. And meanwhile, the Islamic supremacists continue to advance.
326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Left's delusions... on: January 14, 2013, 07:35:53 AM
IF they try something radical to gut the Second Amendment, I think they are in for a VERY rude awakening.  This is a line that a very significant minority of Americans won't tolerate crossing.
327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republicans radical??? on: January 11, 2013, 04:01:05 PM
Not with the present leadership.  Boehner and Cantor, along with Mitch McConnell, are spineless wimps when it comes to dealing with media wrath and Democrat hardball tactics.  If Allen West were speaker, or someone of his ilk - we might have a chance.  As is stands, Peggy Noonan's suggestions are a pipe dream.

Either the current Republican leadership is forced out in favor of tea-party types, or we are witnessing the effective death of the party as a national political force.  It has become watered-down and nothing more than Democrat-lite.
328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Piers Morgan vs. Ben Shapiro... on: January 11, 2013, 08:43:34 AM
The arrogance and idiocy of Piers Morgan never fails to amaze:

www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2013/01/10/CNNs-Morgan-Slams-Down-Constitution-Calls-It-Your-Little-Book
329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Don't think for a moment Obama won't do what he can get away with... on: January 10, 2013, 08:24:14 AM
Gun Confiscation By Presidential Decree?

Posted By Matthew Vadum On January 10, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

President Obama may soon act unilaterally to curtail Americans’ right to keep and bear arms and impose a new national firearms policy without congressional approval.

Spurred on by the Newtown, Connecticut schoolhouse massacre last month that took 26 lives, Obama could restrict, perhaps even abolish, private gun ownership with the stroke of his auto-pen.

Second Amendment backers are justifiably angry after Vice President Joe Biden spoke yesterday about ways to curb violent gun-related crime. He suggested that the president may take swift, decisive action without congressional approval.

“The president is going to act,” said Biden who is heading up a task force that is supposed to make policy recommendations to Obama later this month. The vice president reportedly “guaranteed” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino that President Obama would push through sweeping firearms restrictions before February.

“There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden added, “As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.”

“I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we’re going to do nothing,” Biden said. “It’s critically important we act.”

In normal times the prospect of gun confiscation might be next to nil, the stuff of conspiracy theories, but in the age of Obama so many bad things seem possible. With the country in a sour mood, the economy stuck in a ditch, and a transformational Marxist in the White House, terrible outcomes that previously appeared farfetched now could become possible.

Consider that Obama is a devout ideologue who deep down doesn’t believe Americans should be allowed to own guns. He’s a longtime supporter of gun confiscation but when he began running for president he began claiming to be a supporter of the Second Amendment in order not to scare away moderate voters.

He has Freudian-slipped from time to time. In his first presidential campaign he mocked small-town Americans as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion,” paraphrasing Saul Alinsky’s attacks on ordinary Americans.

Consider also that Obama is a narcissistic president with a messiah complex who began his political career in the living room of unrepentant bomb-detonating terrorists.

Since winning the 2008 election Obama has: refused to enforce laws he dislikes including laws cracking down on the voter fraud Democrats often need to win elections; routinely assaulted the Bill of Rights; decreed a partial immigration amnesty after it was rejected by Congress; ignored court orders; recess-appointed high government officials when Congress wasn’t actually in recess; attempted to intimidate Supreme Court justices; kept a Nixon-style enemies’ list and labeled his detractors in the Tea Party movement as terrorists; waged class warfare and encouraged racial animosity; presided over the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal that provided weapons to Mexican drug cartels; nationalized large swaths of private industry; ignored politically-inspired violence carried out by his allies; unilaterally moved to impose economy-killing carbon emission controls; openly disdained entrepreneurs; waged war without congressional approval; accepted illegal foreign campaign contributions; tried to get a governor to appoint his crony (Valerie Jarrett) to fill the Senate seat he vacated; said police “acted stupidly” when they dared to arrest his personal friend; turned a blind eye to rampant corruption in his administration; and forced health care providers to violate their religious beliefs.

Now Obama is apparently considering minting a $1 trillion platinum coin in order to evade the congressionally imposed national debt limit.

This is the behavior of a Third World banana republic caudillo, not the supposed leader of the free world.

Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said the president’s proposal to go it alone sounded like “dictatorship” to him. “The Founding Fathers never envisioned Executive Orders being used to restrict our Constitutional rights,” he said in a press release. “We live in a republic, not a dictatorship.”

Two unusually insightful posts on the micro-blogging website Twitter summed up the public’s anxiety at Obama’s overreach and imperial approach to policymaking.

“Executive Orders on 2nd Amendment Rights could cascade into revolt,” tweeted @daxtonbrown. “I don’t think Obama realizes how seriously people take gun rights.”

A user with the handle @siftyboones tweeted, “My family will not be reduced to docile livestock at the whim of the government. The End.”

Any executive order taking Americans’ guns away would be a brutal assault on the rule of law. It could also lead to violent civil unrest in a nation founded upon a healthy distrust of governmental power.

Yesterday NRA president David Keene reaffirmed that the purpose of the Second Amendment to the Constitution was to prevent tyranny and deter foreign invaders.

“The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunters. Hunters use firearms. Hunters have every right to use firearms, as do target shooters, as do gun collectors, as do others,” said Keene.

“The fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment has to do with personal and national defense. It was put into the Constitution by the Founders who considered it as important indeed as the First Amendment.”

As Charles Krauthammer waxed eloquent on Fox News Channel last night:

We have a 200-year history and culture of gun ownership. And we have a Second Amendment and we have a system that believes that the rights, the Second Amendment, in other words, predate the republic and the point of having a government, as in the Declaration [of Independence], is to secure the rights. In Britain you have no such right, the government will control gun ownership so unless you’re willing to confiscate, which would be unconstitutional and that would cause an insurrection in the country –Australia did– these things are not going to have an effect, except at the margins and that’s the tragedy here.

Although many law enforcement personnel would probably refuse to enforce something as profoundly un-American as a gun-confiscation diktat, it is not at all clear where Obama would get the legal authority to unilaterally impose new gun control measures. Even liberal constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe concedes that –at a minimum– the Second Amendment safeguards the individual right of Americans to “possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes.”

The Supreme Court has blown away gun grabbers in recent years. In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the high court struck down the draconian ban on gun ownership that had long been in effect in the nation’s capital. The court found for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, affirming what serious constitutional scholars had known for years.

The court followed up in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, making it clear that the individual right to keep and bear arms acknowledged in the Heller ruling applies to the states as well. That 2010 decision quashed a Chicago city ordinance banning the possession of handguns.

Complicating matters further for Obama, it turns out then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was correct when she said to lawmakers in 2010, “we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

A new report from Breitbart.com indicates that a provision is buried in the Obamacare legislation that protects Second Amendment rights. The clause states that the government is not allowed to collect “any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed that he added the legislative language in order to keep the National Rifle Association out of the legislative battle over Obamacare. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

Will any of these legal concerns matter to President Obama who regards the Constitution at best as a living document and at worst as an inconvenience?

As gun and ammunition sales skyrocket nationwide, it is clear the public isn’t taking the chance that Obama will feel restrained by the laws of the land.
330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan... on: January 08, 2013, 03:55:59 PM
Though Alex Jones is I think a bit too belligerent here, he makes his points extremely well, and cuts off Morgan at the knees, as he deserves.  Sad that we don't have any journalists in the mainstream media willing to do the same:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyKofFih8Y
331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Al Gore Enables Stealth Jihad Activity in the U.S... on: January 07, 2013, 03:37:03 PM
Al Gore Profits from the Stealth Jihad

Center for Security Policy | Jan 07, 2013

By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Let's call it Al Goreera.  That seems a fitting title for the new network that former Vice President Al Gore is launching with the jihadists' favorite television outlet: Al Jazeera.  The effect will be to create vast new opportunities for our enemies to propagandize the American people, a key ingredient of their "civilization jihad" against our country.
 
It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this treachery.  Imagine the furor that would have erupted if, during the Cold War, one of the United States' most prominent former leaders had enriched himself to the tune of $100 million by giving the Soviet Union's intelligence service, the KGB, a vehicle for engaging in information and political warfare in some 40 million homes across this land.  If anything, the danger posed by Al-Goreera today is even greater since most of us -- and especially our elites -- are unaware that such warfare is even afoot.
 
Yet it is.  In the Holy Land Foundation trial -- the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history -- the government introduced into evidence the Muslim Brotherhood's strategic plan for its operations in America. This 1991 document, entitled "The Explanatory Memorandum on the Strategic Goal of the Group," established that the Brothers' mission here is "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within...by their hands [meaning ours] and the hands of the Believers  so that God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
 
Toward this end, Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood employ various subversive techniques.  Among the most important are those aimed at achieving what the military calls "information dominance."  Al Jazeera is used by jihadists the world over -- including its Wahhabi owner, the Emir of Qatar -- to promote their narratives of hatred of the infidel West in general, and Israel and the United States in particular.
 
The Washington Free Beacon recently identified (http://freebeacon.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-al-jazeera/) seven illustrative examples of the network's regular dissemination of praise for terrorists and their sponsors.  These include the likes of the late Yemini-American al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Sudan's genocidal dictator, Omar al-Bashir.  The virulently shariah-promoting, Qatari-based cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi even has a regular show on Al Jazeera's programming for Muslim consumption.  He uses it to sanction murderous holy war against American soldiers and Israelis, including women and children.
 
Of course, those promoting the network's penetration of the United States -- among them Mr. Gore, who will get a board seat on the new network to be formally known as Al Jazeera America -- tend to pooh-pooh concerns about the Arabic-language mother ship's service to the jihadi cause.  In any event, these apologists insist that the programming in English is objective and fair, claiming that Colin Powell says it is the only network he watches.  Who knows, given their appalling predilections, it may also be the favorite of President Obama's newest nominees, Defense Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel and CIA Director-designate John Brennan.
 
The truth, however, is that over time if not immediately, the dictates of the owner and the editorial board in Doha will ensure that the content of Al Goreera helps obscure, rather than illuminate, the ominous nature of civilization jihad and promotes the shariah doctrine it seeks to insinuate into this country.
 
Regrettably, the Federal Communications Commission has washed its hands of this transaction claiming, in the words of a spokesman, it "doesn't have regulatory oversight of transactions relating to ownership of cable networks."  It's a safe bet that the deeply Islamist-penetrated Department of Justice (see Part 9 of www.MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com) won't intervene, either.  In light of the stakes, Congress must inject itself into the matter.
 
At the very least, Al Jazeera America should be obliged to register as a foreign agent.  That term is defined by the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) as individuals or entities that are wholly owned by a foreign government, that take instruction from the owners or their agents and that attempt to influence public opinion and policy in America.  Al Goreera would certainly fit that description, and Congress should ensure that its broadcasts are identified accordingly.
 
The larger point was illuminated recently in an important essay by Jonathan Tobin at Commentary Magazine's blog (www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/01/04/the-al-jazeera-liberals-al-gore/):  "The real issue here is not a false argument about diversity [in the U.S. media]. It is instead one about what it means to be a liberal in today's media environment....Gore refused to sell his channel to conservative Glenn Beck saying that he didn't wish to see his vanity project fall into the hands of those who disagreed with his politics. Fair enough. But the fact that Gore sees Al Jazeera as a good match for his brand of American liberalism speaks volumes about the nature of that set of beliefs."
 
With his spawning of Al Goreera, the former Vice President has offered proof positive of the Left's readiness tomake common cause with our enemies. Al Gore and his ilk must be held accountable -- not just for the affinity they feel for jihadists, but for enabling the latters' undermining of America. For a man who was once a heartbeat and then some 500 votes away from the presidency to enrich himself by selling out his country in this fashion is not just contemptible.  It is a threat to the national security.
332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Destruction of the black family in America... on: January 04, 2013, 02:46:24 PM
The Heritage Foundation has done some excellent research on this - specifically Bill Bennett and Thomas Sowell.  The black family unit used to be among the MOST stable subgroups in the country - prior to the welfare state instituted in the 1960s.  It was at that point that the alarming increase in single-parent households (mothers without husbands) started, and with it the dramatic increase in crime among these inner-city blacks and other minorities.
333  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
334  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.
335  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.
336  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.”
337  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!
338  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.

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339  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.
340  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.
341  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?
342  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.
343  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.
344  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.
345  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.
346  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
347  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.”
348  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.  
349  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
350  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?
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