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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Markets In Crisis - US Dollar Reserve Status Coming to an End... on: June 21, 2014, 07:01:53 PM
Energy Markets Are On The Brink Of Crisis


Thursday, 19 June 2014 04:17    Brandon Smith  www.alt-market.com


The multitudes of people, especially Americans, who view U.S. government activity in a negative light often make the mistake of attributing all corruption to some covert battle for global oil fields. In fact, the average leftist seems to believe that everything the establishment does somehow revolves around oil. This is a very simplistic and naïve view.

Modern wars are rarely, if ever, fought over resources, despite what the mainstream gatekeepers might tell you. If a powerful nation wants oil, for instance, it lines the right pocketbooks, intimidates the right individuals, blackmails the right officials or swindles the right politicians. It has no need to go to war when politicians and nations are so easily bought. Modern wars, rather, are fought in order to affect psychological change within a particular country or population. Wars today are fought to cover up corrupt deals and create desperation. Oil is used as an all-encompassing excuse for war, but it is never the true cause of war.

In reality, oil demand has become static and is even falling in many parts of the world, while new oil and gas-producing fields are discovered on a yearly basis. Petroleum is not a rare resource — at least, not at the present. And the propaganda surrounding the “peak oil” Armageddon scenario is pure nonsense. Oil prices, unfortunately, do not rise and fall according to supply - instead they rise and fall according to market tensions and, most importantly, the value and perceived safety of the U.S. dollar. Supply and demand have little to do with commodity values in our age of fiat manipulation and false investor perception.

That said, certain political and regional events are currently in motion that could, in fact, change investor perception to the negative, and convince the world of a false fear of reduced supply. While supply is more than ample, the expectation of continued supply can be jilted, shocking commodities markets into running for the hills or rushing into mass speculation, generally resulting in a sharp spike in prices.

A very real danger within energy markets is the undeniable threat that the U.S. dollar may soon lose its petrodollar status and, thus, Americans may lose the advantage of relatively low gas prices they have come to expect.  That is to say, the coming market crisis will have far more to do with the health of the dollar than the readiness of supply.

In the span of only a few years, as the derivatives crisis took hold and the fed began its relentless bailout regime, petroleum costs have doubled. It wasn’t that long ago that someone could fill his vehicle's tank with a $20 bill. Those days are long gone, and they are not coming back. The expectation has always been that prices would recede as the overall economy began to heal. Of course, our economy will not be healed until it is allowed to crash, as it naturally should crash. And as it crashes, because of our currency's unique place in history, the price of oil will continue to climb.

The petrodollar has always been seen as invincible — a common denominator, a mathematical constant. This is a delusion propagated by a lack of knowledge and common sense amongst establishment economists.

As I have covered in great detail in numerous articles, the U.S. dollar’s world reserve status is nearing extinction. Multiple major economies now trade bilaterally without the use of the dollar; and with foreign conflicts on the rise, this trend is going to become the norm.

In the past week alone, Putin adviser Sergey Glazyev recommended to the Kremlin that a coalition of nations be formed to end the dollar's reserve status and initiate a form of economic warfare to stop "U.S. aggression".  Of course, anyone familiar with the escapades of international banking cartels knows that it is the money elite that dictate U.S. aggression, just as they dictate the policy initiatives of Russia.  I would note that there is only ONE currency exchange structure that could be used at this time to shift global forex reserves away from the dollar system, and that is the IMF's Special Drawing Rights.

The argument has always been that the IMF is a U.S. controlled institution, however, this is a faulty assumption.  The IMF is a GLOBAL BANKER controlled institution, a front organization for the Bank of International Settlements, which is why the recent refusal by the U.S. Congress to vote on new capital allocations for the IMF has resulted in the world's central bank threatening to remove U.S. veto power. Globalists have no loyalty to any single nation, and the reality is, the fall of the dollar actually benefits these financiers in the long term.

Russia’s historic oil and gas deal with China, just signed weeks ago, removes the dollar as the petroleum reserve currency.

Russia’s largest gas company, Gazprom, has all but excluded the dollar in all transactions with foreign nations. In fact, nine out of 10 of Gazprom’s foreign clients were more than happy to buy their products without using dollars.  This fact cripples the arguments of dollar cheerleaders who have always claimed that even if Russia broke from the dollar, no one else would go along.

Gazprom and the Russian government have followed through with their threats to cut off gas pipelines to Ukraine, and now, some analysts fear this strategy may extend to the EU, in which many countries are still 30% dependent on Russian energy.

China is currently striking oil deals not only with Russia but also with Iran. New oil deals are being signed even after a $2 billion agreement fell through this spring.  And, despite common misinformation, it was actually China that was reaping the greatest rewards through the reopening of Iraqi oil fields, not the U.S., all while U.S. military assets were essentially wasted in the region.

Now, any U.S. benefits are coming into question as Iraq disintegrates into chaos yet again. With the speed of the new Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgency growing, it is unclear whether America will have ANY access to Iraqi oil in the near future.  If ISIS is successful in overrunning Iraq, it is unlikely that Iraqi oil will ever be traded for dollars again. Unrest in Iraq has already caused substantial market spikes in oil prices, and I can say with considerable confidence that this trend is going to continue through the rest of the year.

Interestingly, mainstream news sources suggest that Saudi Arabia has been a primary funding source for the ISIS movement.  It is true that the Saudis have warned for years that they would fund and arm Sunni insurgents if America ever pulled out of the country.  But, I would point out that the U.S. has also been covertly supporting such extremist groups in the Mideast for quite some time, and this is not discussed at all in the MSM storyline. The mainstream narrative is painting a picture of betrayal by the Saudis against the U.S. through subversive groups designed to break the foundations of nations opposed to its policy views.  When, in fact, the destabilization of Iraq has been nurtured by money and weapons from both America and Saudi Arabia.

It was the CIA which trained ISIS insurgents secretly in Jordan in preparation for their subversive war in Syria.  It was an agreement signed by George W. Bush and delegated under Obama's watch that allowed ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to be set free in 2009.  Saudi Arabia has been openly arming the Sunni's for years with the full knowledge of the U.S. government.  So then, why is the narrative being created that America and Saudi Arabia are at odds over ISIS?

Such a development would place the U.S. squarely in conflict with the Saudi government, our only remaining toehold in the global oil market. Without Saudi Arabia’s patronage of the dollar, most OPEC nations will follow (including Kuwait), and the dollar WILL lose its petrodollar status. Period.

In the past few days, Saudi Arabia has demanded that the foreign interests refrain from any military intervention in Iraq.  While Barack Obama has repositioned an aircraft carrier, armed troops, and special forces in the area.

Now, my regular readers understand that this was going to happen eventually anyway. The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing bonanza has destroyed true dollar value and spread unknown trillions of dollars in fiat across the planet. The dollar’s death has been assured. It has been slated for execution. This is why half the world is positioning to dump the currency altogether. My regular readers also know that the destruction of the dollar is not an accident; it is part of a carefully engineered strategy leading to the centralization of all economic power under the umbrella of a new global currency basket system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.

I believe Saudi Arabia may be a near term trigger in the next great shift in petroleum markets away from the dollar. Renewed U.S. involvement in Iraq, diplomatic tensions over ISIS, and more lucrative offers from Eastern partners have been edging Saudi Arabia away from strict petrodollar ties. This shift is also not limited to Saudi Arabia.

“Abu Dhabi, the most influential member of the United Arab Emirates,” has suddenly ended its long-standing exclusive relationship with Western oil companies and has signed a historic deal with China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Russia has formed the new Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, two countries with freshly discovered oil fields.

On the surface, it appears as though the world is huddling itself around oil resources in an environment of East versus West conflict. However, these changes are not as much about petroleum as they are about the petrodollar. The reality is the dollar’s reserve-status days are numbered and this is all part of the plan.

What does this mean for us? It means much higher gas prices in the coming months and years. Is $4 to $5 per gallon gasoline a burden on your pocketbook? Try $10 to $11 per gallon, perhaps more. Do you think the economy is straining as it is under the weight of current gas prices? Imagine the earthquake within our freight-based system when the cost of trucking shipments triples. And guess who will end up paying for the increased costs? That’s right: you, the consumer. High energy prices affect everything, including shelf prices of retail goods. This is just the beginning of what I believe will be ever expanding inflation in oil prices, leading to the end of the dollar’s petroleum reserve status, then it's world reserve status by default, and the introduction of a basket currency system that will ultimately benefit a select few global financiers while diminishing the quality of living for millions, if not billions, of people.
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 20, 2014, 11:18:22 AM
The fact that the Republican Party leadership is NOT trumpeting Scott Walker's spectacular success story re: Wisconsin's budget speaks volumes.  The Republican leadership is interested only in the status quo in Washington.  Walker's success ought to be shouted from the mountaintops at every opportunity by every nationally-prominent Republican as a model of the success of conservative fiscal policy.

It isn't being done.  Not by Paul Ryan - John Boehner - Cantor (good riddance) - and certainly not by the new majority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is nothing more than another disgusting sycophant for Boehner.  It' not only the left that wants to destroy Walker and his reputation - it's his own party.  Smaller government is fundamentally opposed by the leadership of both parties now.  It threatens their personal interests.

53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: June 20, 2014, 10:05:27 AM
Crafty: What is "TIA?"

Doug: Obama understands that he is weakening the U.S., which is his intention.  His interests are not ours.
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glick: U.S. Heads Down Road to Next 9-11... on: June 20, 2014, 09:49:55 AM
The Threat Is Blowback

Posted By Caroline Glick On June 20, 2014 - frontpagemag.com

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.


Watching the undoing, in a week, of victories that US forces won in Iraq at great cost over many years, Americans are asking themselves what, if anything, should be done.

What can prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the al-Qaida offshoot that President Barack Obama derided just months ago as a bunch of amateurs – from taking over Iraq? And what is at stake for America – other than national pride – if it does? Muddying the waters is the fact that the main actor that seems interested in fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq is Iran. Following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul and Tikrit last week, the Iranian regime deployed elite troops in Iraq from the Quds Force, its foreign operations division.

The Obama administration, along with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, views Iran’s deployment of forces in Iraq as an opportunity for the US. The US, they argue should work with Iran to defeat ISIS.

The idea is that since the US and Iran both oppose al-Qaida, Iranian gains against it will redound to the US’s benefit.

There are two basic, fundamental problems with this idea.

First, there is a mountain of evidence that Iran has no beef with al-Qaida and is happy to work with it.

According to the 9/11 Commission’s report, between eight and 10 of the September 11 hijackers traveled through Iran before going to the US. And this was apparently no coincidence.

According to the report, Iran had been providing military training and logistical support for al-Qaida since at least the early 1990s.

After the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, al-Qaida’s leadership scattered. Many senior commanders – including bin Laden’s son Said, al-Qaida’s chief strategist Saif al-Adel and Suleiman Abu Ghaith – decamped to Iran, where they set up a command center.

From Iran, these men directed the operations of al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Zarqawi entered Iraq from Iran and returned to Iran several times during the years he led al-Qaida operations in Iraq.

Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaida continues today in Syria.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in directing the defense of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran has opted to leave ISIS and its al-Qaida brethren in the Nusra Front alone. That is why they have been able to expand their power in northern Syria.

Iran and its allies have concentrated their attacks against the more moderate Free Syrian Army, which they view as a threat.

Given Iran’s 20-year record of cooperation with al-Qaida, it is reasonable to assume that it is deploying forces into Iraq to tighten its control over Shi’ite areas, not to fight al-Qaida. The record shows that Iran doesn’t believe that its victories and al-Qaida’s victories are mutually exclusive.

The second problem with the idea of subcontracting America’s fight against al-Qaida to Iran is that it assumes that Iranian success in such a war would benefit America. But again, experience tells a different tale.

The US killed Zarqawi in an air strike in 2006.

Reports in the Arab media at the time alleged that Iran had disclosed Zarqawi’s location to the US. While the reports were speculative, shortly after Zarqawi was killed, then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice floated the idea of opening nuclear talks with Iran for the first time.

The Iranians contemptuously rejected her offer. But Rice’s willingness to discuss Iran’s nuclear weapons program with the regime, even as it was actively engaged in killing US forces in Iraq, ended any serious prospect that the Bush administration would develop a coherent plan for dealing with Iran in a strategic and comprehensive way.

Moreover, Zarqawi was immediately replaced by one of his deputies. And the fight went on.

So if Iran did help the US find Zarqawi, the price the US paid for Iran’s assistance was far higher than the benefit it derived from killing Zarqawi.

This brings us to the real threat that the rise of ISIS – and Iran – in Iraq poses to the US. That threat is blowback.

Both Iran and al-Qaida are sworn enemies of the United States, and both have been empowered by events of the past week.

Because they view the US as their mortal foe, their empowerment poses a danger to the US.

But it is hard for people to recognize how events in distant lands can directly impact their lives.

In March 2001, when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas statues in Afghanistan, the world condemned the act. But no one realized that the same destruction would be brought to the US six months later when al-Qaida destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon.

The September 11 attacks were the blowback from the US doing nothing to contain the Taliban and al-Qaida.

North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile tests, as well as North Korean proliferation of both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to rogue regimes, like Iran, that threaten the US, are the beginnings of the blowback from the US decision to reach a nuclear deal with Pyongyang in the 1990s that allowed the regime to keep its nuclear installations.

The blowback from Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power is certain to dwarf what the world has seen from North Korea so far.

Yet rather than act in a manner that would reduce the threat of blowback from Iraq’s disintegration and takeover by America’s worst enemies, the Obama administration gives every indication that it is doubling down on the disastrous policies that led the US to this precarious juncture.

The only strategy that the US can safely adopt today is one of double containment. The aim of double containment is to minimize the capacity of Iran and al-Qaida to harm the US and its interests.

But to contain your enemies, you need to understand them. You need to understand their nature, their aims, their support networks and their capabilities.

Unfortunately, in keeping with what has been the general practice of the US government since the September 11 attacks, the US today continues to ignore or misunderstand all of these critical considerations.

Regarding al-Qaida specifically, the US has failed to understand that al-Qaida is a natural progression from the political/religious milieu of Salafist/Wahabist or Islamist Islam, from whence it sprang. As a consequence, anyone who identifies with Islamist religious and political organizations is a potential supporter and recruit for al-Qaida and its sister organizations.

There were two reasons that George W. Bush refused to base US strategy for combating al-Qaida on any cultural context broader than the Taliban.

Bush didn’t want to sacrifice the US’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, which finances the propagation and spread of Islamism. And he feared being attacked as a bigot by Islamist organizations in the US like the Council on American Islamic Relations and its supporters on the Left.

As for Obama, his speech in Cairo to the Muslim world in June 2009 and his subsequent apology tour through Islamic capitals indicated that, unlike Bush, Obama understands that al-Qaida is not a deviation from otherwise peaceful Islamist culture.

But unlike Bush, Obama blames America for its hostility. Obama’s radical sensibilities tell him that America pushed the Islamists to oppose it. As he sees it, he can appease the Islamists into ending their war against America.

To this end, Obama has prohibited federal employees from conducting any discussion or investigation of Islamist doctrine, terrorism, strategy and methods and the threat all pose to the US.

These prohibitions were directly responsible for the FBI’s failure to question or arrest the Tsarnaev brothers in 2012 despite the fact that Russian intelligence tipped it off to the fact that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers were jihadists.

They were also responsible for the army’s refusal to notice any of the black flags that Maj. Nidal Hassan raised in the months before his massacre of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, or to take any remedial action after the massacre to prevent such atrocities from recurring.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the progenitor of Islamism. It is the organizational, social, political and religious swamp from whence the likes of al-Qaida, Hamas and other terror groups emerged. Whereas Bush pretended the Brotherhood away, Obama embraced it as a strategic partner.

Then there is Iran.

Bush opted to ignore the 9/11 Commission’s revelations regarding Iranian collaboration with al-Qaida. Instead, particularly in the later years of his administration, Bush sought to appease Iran both in Iraq and in relation to its illicit nuclear weapons program.

In large part, Bush did not acknowledge, or act on the sure knowledge, that Iran was the man behind the curtain in Iraq, because he believed that the American people would oppose the expansion of the US operations in the war against terror.

Obama’s actions toward Iran indicate that he knows that Iran stands behind al-Qaida and that the greatest threat the US faces is Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But here as well, Obama opted to follow a policy of appeasement. Rather than prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or stem its advance in Syria and Iraq, Obama treats Iran as though it poses no threat and is indeed a natural ally. He blames Iran’s belligerence on the supposedly unjust policies of his predecessors and the US’s regional allies.

For a dual-containment strategy to have any chance of working, the US needs to reverse course. No, it needn’t deploy troops to Iraq. But it does need to seal its border to minimize the chance that jihadists will cross over from Mexico.

It doesn’t need to clamp down on Muslims in America. But it needs to investigate and take action where necessary against al-Qaida’s ideological fellow travelers in Islamist mosques, organizations and the US government. To this end, it needs to end the prohibition on discussion of the Islamist threat by federal government employees.

As for Iran, according to The New York Times, Iran is signaling that the price of cooperation with the Americans in Iraq is American acquiescence to Iran’s conditions for signing a nuclear deal. In other words, the Iranians will fight al-Qaida in Iraq in exchange for American facilitation of its nuclear weapons program.

The first step the US must take to minimize the Iranian threat is to walk away from the table and renounce the talks. The next step is to take active measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration appears prepared to do none of these things. To the contrary, its pursuit of an alliance with Iran in Iraq indicates that it is doubling down on the most dangerous aspects of its policy of empowering America’s worst enemies.

It only took the Taliban six months to move from the Bamiyan Buddhas to the World Trade Center. Al-Qaida is stronger now than ever before. And Iran is on the threshold of a nuclear arsenal.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glick: U.S. Starts Down Road to Next 9-11... on: June 20, 2014, 07:00:10 AM
The Threat Is Blowback

Posted By Caroline Glick On June 20, 2014 - frontpagemag.com

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.


Watching the undoing, in a week, of victories that US forces won in Iraq at great cost over many years, Americans are asking themselves what, if anything, should be done.

What can prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the al-Qaida offshoot that President Barack Obama derided just months ago as a bunch of amateurs – from taking over Iraq? And what is at stake for America – other than national pride – if it does? Muddying the waters is the fact that the main actor that seems interested in fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq is Iran. Following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul and Tikrit last week, the Iranian regime deployed elite troops in Iraq from the Quds Force, its foreign operations division.

The Obama administration, along with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, views Iran’s deployment of forces in Iraq as an opportunity for the US. The US, they argue should work with Iran to defeat ISIS.

The idea is that since the US and Iran both oppose al-Qaida, Iranian gains against it will redound to the US’s benefit.

There are two basic, fundamental problems with this idea.

First, there is a mountain of evidence that Iran has no beef with al-Qaida and is happy to work with it.

According to the 9/11 Commission’s report, between eight and 10 of the September 11 hijackers traveled through Iran before going to the US. And this was apparently no coincidence.

According to the report, Iran had been providing military training and logistical support for al-Qaida since at least the early 1990s.

After the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, al-Qaida’s leadership scattered. Many senior commanders – including bin Laden’s son Said, al-Qaida’s chief strategist Saif al-Adel and Suleiman Abu Ghaith – decamped to Iran, where they set up a command center.

From Iran, these men directed the operations of al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Zarqawi entered Iraq from Iran and returned to Iran several times during the years he led al-Qaida operations in Iraq.

Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaida continues today in Syria.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in directing the defense of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran has opted to leave ISIS and its al-Qaida brethren in the Nusra Front alone. That is why they have been able to expand their power in northern Syria.

Iran and its allies have concentrated their attacks against the more moderate Free Syrian Army, which they view as a threat.

Given Iran’s 20-year record of cooperation with al-Qaida, it is reasonable to assume that it is deploying forces into Iraq to tighten its control over Shi’ite areas, not to fight al-Qaida. The record shows that Iran doesn’t believe that its victories and al-Qaida’s victories are mutually exclusive.

The second problem with the idea of subcontracting America’s fight against al-Qaida to Iran is that it assumes that Iranian success in such a war would benefit America. But again, experience tells a different tale.

The US killed Zarqawi in an air strike in 2006.

Reports in the Arab media at the time alleged that Iran had disclosed Zarqawi’s location to the US. While the reports were speculative, shortly after Zarqawi was killed, then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice floated the idea of opening nuclear talks with Iran for the first time.

The Iranians contemptuously rejected her offer. But Rice’s willingness to discuss Iran’s nuclear weapons program with the regime, even as it was actively engaged in killing US forces in Iraq, ended any serious prospect that the Bush administration would develop a coherent plan for dealing with Iran in a strategic and comprehensive way.

Moreover, Zarqawi was immediately replaced by one of his deputies. And the fight went on.

So if Iran did help the US find Zarqawi, the price the US paid for Iran’s assistance was far higher than the benefit it derived from killing Zarqawi.

This brings us to the real threat that the rise of ISIS – and Iran – in Iraq poses to the US. That threat is blowback.

Both Iran and al-Qaida are sworn enemies of the United States, and both have been empowered by events of the past week.

Because they view the US as their mortal foe, their empowerment poses a danger to the US.

But it is hard for people to recognize how events in distant lands can directly impact their lives.

In March 2001, when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas statues in Afghanistan, the world condemned the act. But no one realized that the same destruction would be brought to the US six months later when al-Qaida destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon.

The September 11 attacks were the blowback from the US doing nothing to contain the Taliban and al-Qaida.

North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile tests, as well as North Korean proliferation of both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to rogue regimes, like Iran, that threaten the US, are the beginnings of the blowback from the US decision to reach a nuclear deal with Pyongyang in the 1990s that allowed the regime to keep its nuclear installations.

The blowback from Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power is certain to dwarf what the world has seen from North Korea so far.

Yet rather than act in a manner that would reduce the threat of blowback from Iraq’s disintegration and takeover by America’s worst enemies, the Obama administration gives every indication that it is doubling down on the disastrous policies that led the US to this precarious juncture.

The only strategy that the US can safely adopt today is one of double containment. The aim of double containment is to minimize the capacity of Iran and al-Qaida to harm the US and its interests.

But to contain your enemies, you need to understand them. You need to understand their nature, their aims, their support networks and their capabilities.

Unfortunately, in keeping with what has been the general practice of the US government since the September 11 attacks, the US today continues to ignore or misunderstand all of these critical considerations.

Regarding al-Qaida specifically, the US has failed to understand that al-Qaida is a natural progression from the political/religious milieu of Salafist/Wahabist or Islamist Islam, from whence it sprang. As a consequence, anyone who identifies with Islamist religious and political organizations is a potential supporter and recruit for al-Qaida and its sister organizations.

There were two reasons that George W. Bush refused to base US strategy for combating al-Qaida on any cultural context broader than the Taliban.

Bush didn’t want to sacrifice the US’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, which finances the propagation and spread of Islamism. And he feared being attacked as a bigot by Islamist organizations in the US like the Council on American Islamic Relations and its supporters on the Left.

As for Obama, his speech in Cairo to the Muslim world in June 2009 and his subsequent apology tour through Islamic capitals indicated that, unlike Bush, Obama understands that al-Qaida is not a deviation from otherwise peaceful Islamist culture.

But unlike Bush, Obama blames America for its hostility. Obama’s radical sensibilities tell him that America pushed the Islamists to oppose it. As he sees it, he can appease the Islamists into ending their war against America.

To this end, Obama has prohibited federal employees from conducting any discussion or investigation of Islamist doctrine, terrorism, strategy and methods and the threat all pose to the US.

These prohibitions were directly responsible for the FBI’s failure to question or arrest the Tsarnaev brothers in 2012 despite the fact that Russian intelligence tipped it off to the fact that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers were jihadists.

They were also responsible for the army’s refusal to notice any of the black flags that Maj. Nidal Hassan raised in the months before his massacre of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, or to take any remedial action after the massacre to prevent such atrocities from recurring.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the progenitor of Islamism. It is the organizational, social, political and religious swamp from whence the likes of al-Qaida, Hamas and other terror groups emerged. Whereas Bush pretended the Brotherhood away, Obama embraced it as a strategic partner.

Then there is Iran.

Bush opted to ignore the 9/11 Commission’s revelations regarding Iranian collaboration with al-Qaida. Instead, particularly in the later years of his administration, Bush sought to appease Iran both in Iraq and in relation to its illicit nuclear weapons program.

In large part, Bush did not acknowledge, or act on the sure knowledge, that Iran was the man behind the curtain in Iraq, because he believed that the American people would oppose the expansion of the US operations in the war against terror.

Obama’s actions toward Iran indicate that he knows that Iran stands behind al-Qaida and that the greatest threat the US faces is Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But here as well, Obama opted to follow a policy of appeasement. Rather than prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or stem its advance in Syria and Iraq, Obama treats Iran as though it poses no threat and is indeed a natural ally. He blames Iran’s belligerence on the supposedly unjust policies of his predecessors and the US’s regional allies.

For a dual-containment strategy to have any chance of working, the US needs to reverse course. No, it needn’t deploy troops to Iraq. But it does need to seal its border to minimize the chance that jihadists will cross over from Mexico.

It doesn’t need to clamp down on Muslims in America. But it needs to investigate and take action where necessary against al-Qaida’s ideological fellow travelers in Islamist mosques, organizations and the US government. To this end, it needs to end the prohibition on discussion of the Islamist threat by federal government employees.

As for Iran, according to The New York Times, Iran is signaling that the price of cooperation with the Americans in Iraq is American acquiescence to Iran’s conditions for signing a nuclear deal. In other words, the Iranians will fight al-Qaida in Iraq in exchange for American facilitation of its nuclear weapons program.

The first step the US must take to minimize the Iranian threat is to walk away from the table and renounce the talks. The next step is to take active measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration appears prepared to do none of these things. To the contrary, its pursuit of an alliance with Iran in Iraq indicates that it is doubling down on the most dangerous aspects of its policy of empowering America’s worst enemies.

It only took the Taliban six months to move from the Bamiyan Buddhas to the World Trade Center. Al-Qaida is stronger now than ever before. And Iran is on the threshold of a nuclear arsenal.
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not One of Us... on: June 19, 2014, 06:38:12 AM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysQl4aW7tME
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: June 18, 2014, 10:54:50 AM
Because Obama and his cronies think America is the problem.  It's crystal clear - and has been since before he took office.  Read his two books (the second of which most experts believe was ghost-written by William Ayers.)  This man hates America as it was founded and told us he planned to "fundamentally transform" it.  He is succeeding faster than many expected he could.  When Rush Limbaugh famously stated "I hope he fails" upon Obama's election, this is what he was talking about.  The man is NOT failing.  He is enacting his malevolent agenda for America just as he intended.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: June 07, 2014, 08:06:23 PM
Doug,

I never said I advocate eliminating the Fed as a top priority, or that it should be done in one fell swoop.  I'm simply saying it's a desirable ultimate goal.  I'm quite familiar with Herman Cain and his ideas - having lived here in Atlanta for many years and listened to and even infrequently chatted with him.  He is ultimately in favor of eliminating the IRS and instituting the Fair Tax.  His 9-9-9 plan is an incremental step in that direction.  He has told me this in person.  Obviously the elimination of the Federal Reserve would have to be done in an incremental fashion as well.
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Federal Reserve... on: June 06, 2014, 05:07:56 PM
Absolutely I advocate eliminating the Federal Reserve.  It's nothing more than a legalized cartel that steals wantonly from American citizens at will. This country's economy ran just fine without it up until 1913, and there was actually much less volatility, and MUCH less debt - as the Fed by definition incentivizes the creation of massive amounts of debt.  This way - Congress doesn't have to raise taxes nearly as much to fund its wild spending sprees.

And yes - fiat money needs to be eliminated as well.  At the very least - a gold standard needs to be re-introduced, and it needs to have teeth.  Otherwise we are at the mercy of international bankers who will create money as they see fit to manipulate markets and economies.  This is where we are at now - and we're about to reap the whirlwind...

The Founders also understood that ancient Rome faced the same dilemma before its collapse, as their coinage had been debased to the point where it was virtually worthless by the Emperors.  They steadily reduced the amount of precious metals in the coins until rampant inflation occurred in the general marketplace.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Federal Reserve... on: June 06, 2014, 11:10:52 AM
Re: Video on the Federal Reserve System:

This is no conspiracy theory.  These are facts.  The Constitution states very clearly that money shall consist ONLY of gold and silver coinage.  Paper money was used under the Articles of Confederation with disastrous results, and the Founders well understood this.

Fiat money was NEVER intended to be allowed by the Founders - and for good reason.  There are many relevant quotes from Jefferson, et. al. on this subject, and how devaluing the currency would enslave the people.

Far too many people accept the fiction that the Federal Reserve is a necessary evil.  Its actions actually greatly exacerbated the Great Depression, and it is now on the verge of destroying the dollar altogether.  No conspiracy theory.  Just the facts.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who is New Secret Buyer of U.S. Debt? on: June 06, 2014, 08:47:17 AM
Who Is The New Secret Buyer Of U.S. Debt?


This article was written by Brandon Smith and originally published at Alt-Market.com - May 23, 2014

On the surface, the economic atmosphere of the U.S. has appeared rather calm and uneventful. Stocks are up, employment isn’t great but jobs aren’t collapsing into the void (at least not openly), and the U.S. dollar seems to be going strong. Peel away the thin veneer, however, and a different financial horror show is revealed.

U.S. stocks have enjoyed unprecedented crash protection due to a steady infusion of fiat money from the Federal Reserve known as quantitative easing. With the advent of the “taper”, QE is now swiftly coming to a close (as is evident in the overall reduction in treasury market purchases), and is slated to end by this fall, if not sooner.

Employment has been boosted only in statistical presentation, and not in reality. The Labor Department’s creative accounting of job numbers omits numerous factors, the most important being the issue of long term unemployed. Millions of people who have been jobless for so long they no longer qualify for benefits are being removed from the rolls. This quiet catastrophe has the side bonus of making it appear as though unemployment is going down.

U.S. Treasury bonds, and by extension the dollar, have also stayed afloat due to the river of stimulus being introduced by the Federal Reserve. That same river, through QE, is now drying up.

In my article The Final Swindle Of Private American Wealth Has Begun, I outline the data which leads me to believe that the Fed taper is a deliberate action in preparation for an impending market collapse. The effectiveness of QE stimulus has a shelf-life, and that shelf life has come to an end. With debt monetization no longer a useful tool in propping up the ailing U.S. economy, central bankers are publicly stepping back. Why? If a collapse occurs while stimulus is in full swing, the Fed immediately takes full blame for the calamity, while being forced to admit that central banking as a concept serves absolutely no meaningful purpose.

My research over many years has led me to conclude that a collapse of the American system is not only expected by international financiers, but is in fact being engineered by them. The Fed is an entity created by globalists for globalists. These people have no loyalties to any one country or culture. Their only loyalties are to themselves and their private organizations.

While many people assume that the stimulus measures of the Fed are driven by a desire to save our economy and currency, I see instead a concerted program of destabilization which is meant to bring about the eventual demise of our nation’s fiscal infrastructure. What some might call “kicking the can down the road,” I call deliberately stretching the country thin over time, so that any indirect crisis can be used as a trigger event to bring the ceiling crashing down.

In the past several months, the Fed taper of QE and subsequently U.S. bond buying has coincided with steep declines in purchases by China, a dump of one-fifth of holdings by Russia, and an overall decline in new purchases of U.S. dollars for FOREX reserves.

With the Ukraine crisis now escalating to fever pitch, BRIC nations are openly discussing the probability of “de-dollarization” in international summits, and the ultimate dumping of the dollar as the world reserve currency.

The U.S. is in desperate need of a benefactor to purchase its ever rising debt and keep the system running. Strangely, a buyer with apparently bottomless pockets has arrived to pick up the slack that the Fed and the BRICS are leaving behind. But, who is this buyer?

At first glance, it appears to be the tiny nation of Belgium.

While foreign investment in the U.S. has sharply declined since March, Belgium has quickly become the third largest buyer of Treasury bonds, just behind China and Japan, purchasing more than $200 billion in securities in the past five months, adding to a total stash of around $340 billion. This development is rather bewildering, primarily because Belgium’s GDP as of 2012 was a miniscule $483 billion, meaning, Belgium has spent nearly the entirety of its yearly GDP on our debt.

Clearly, this is impossible, and someone, somewhere, is using Belgium as a proxy in order to prop up the U.S. But who?

Recently, a company based in Belgium called Euroclear has come forward claiming to be the culprit behind the massive purchases of American debt. Euroclear, though, is not a direct buyer. Instead, the bank is a facilitator, using what it calls a “collateral highway” to allow central banks and international banks to move vast amounts of securities around the world faster than ever before.

Euroclear claims to be an administrator for more than $24 trillion in worldwide assets and transactions, but these transactions are not initiated by the company itself. Euroclear is a middleman used by our secret buyer to quickly move U.S. Treasuries into various accounts without ever being identified. So the question remains, who is the true buyer?

My investigation into Euroclear found some interesting facts. Euroclear has financial relationships with more than 90 percent of the world’s central banks and was once partly owned and run by 120 of the largest financial institutions back when it was called the “Euroclear System”. The organization was consolidated and operated by none other than JP Morgan Bank in 1972. In 2000, Euroclear was officially incorporated and became its own entity. However, one must remember, once a JP Morgan bank, always a JP Morgan bank.

Another interesting fact – Euroclear also has a strong relationship with the Russian government and is a primary broker for Russian debt to foreign investors. This once again proves my ongoing point that Russia is tied to the global banking cabal as much as the United States. The East vs. West paradigm is a sham of the highest order.
Euroclear’s ties to the banking elite are obvious; however, we are still no closer to discovering the specific groups or institution responsible for buying up U.S. debt. I think that the use of Euroclear and Belgium may be a key in understanding this mystery.

Belgium is the political center of the EU, with more politicians, diplomats and lobbyists than Washington D.C. It is also, despite its size and economic weakness, a member of an exclusive economic club called the “Group Of Ten” (G10).

The G10 nations have all agreed to participate in a “General Arrangement to Borrow” (GAB) launched in 1962 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The GAB is designed as an ever cycling fund which members pay into. In times of emergency, members can ask the IMF’s permission for a release of funds. If the IMF agrees, it then injects capital through Treasury purchases and SDR allocations. Essentially, the IMF takes our money, then gives it back to us in times of desperation (with strings attached).  A similar program called ‘New Arrangements To Borrow’ (NAB) involves 38 member countries.  This fund was boosted to approximately 370 billion SDR (or $575 billion dollars U.S.) as the derivatives crisis struck markets in 2008-2009.  Without a full and independent audit of the IMF, however, it is impossible to know the exact funds it has at its disposal, or how many SDR’s it has created.

It should be noted the Bank of International Settlements is also an overseer of the G10. If you want to learn more about the darker nature of globalist groups like the IMF and the BIS, read my articles, Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too, and False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency.

The following article from Harpers titled “Ruling The World Of Money,” was published in 1983 and boasts about the secrecy and “ingenuity” of the Bank Of International Settlements, an unaccountable body of financiers that dominates the very course of economic life around the world.

It is my belief that Belgium, as a member of the G10 and the GAB/NAB agreements, is being used as a proxy by the BIS and the IMF to purchase U.S. debt, but at a high price. I believe that the banking elite are hiding behind their middleman, Euroclear, because they do not want their purchases of Treasuries revealed too soon. I believe that the IMF in particular is accumulating U.S. debt to be used later as leverage to absorb the dollar and finalize the rise of their SDR currency basket as the world reserve standard.

Imagine what would happen if all foreign creditors abandoned U.S. debt purchases because the dollar was no longer seen as viable as a world reserve currency.  Imagine that the Fed’s efforts to stimulate through fiat printing became useless in propping up Treasuries, serving only to devalue the domestic buying power of our currency.  Imagine that the IMF swoops in as the lender of last resort; the only entity willing to service our debt and keep the system running.  Imagine what kind of concessions America would have to make to a global loan shark like the IMF.

Keep in mind, the plan to replace the dollar is not mere “theory”.  In fact, IMF head Christine Lagarde has openly called for a “global financial system” to take over in the place of the current dollar based system.

The Bretton Woods System, established in 1944, was used by the United Nations and participating governments to form international rules of economic conduct, including fixed rates for currencies and establishing the dollar as the monetary backbone. The IMF was created during this shift towards globalization as the BIS slithered into the background after its business dealings with the Nazis were exposed. It was the G10, backed by the IMF, that then signed the Smithsonian Agreement in 1971 which ended the Bretton Woods system of fixed currencies, as well as any remnants of the gold standard. This led to the floated currency system we have today, as well as the slow poison of monetary inflation which has now destroyed more than 98 percent of the dollar’s purchasing power.

I believe the next and final step in the banker program is to reestablish a new Bretton Woods style system in the wake of an engineered catastrophe. That is to say, we are about to go full circle. Perhaps Ukraine will be the cover event, or tensions in the South China Sea. Just as Bretton Woods was unveiled during World War II, Bretton Woods redux may be unveiled during World War III. In either case, the false East/West paradigm is the most useful ploy the elites have to bring about a controlled decline of the dollar.

The new system will reintroduce the concept of fixed currencies, but this time, all currencies will be fixed or “pegged” to the value of the SDR global basket. The IMF holds a global SDR summit every five years, and the next meeting is set for the beginning of 2015.

If the Chinese yuan is brought into the SDR basket next year, if the BRICS enter into a conjured economic war with the West, and if the dollar is toppled as the world reserve, there will be nothing left in terms of fiscal structure in the way of a global currency system. If the public does not remove the globalist edifice by force, the IMF and the BIS will then achieve their dream – the complete dissolution of economic sovereignty, and the acceptance by the masses of global financial governance. The elites don’t want to hide behind the curtain anymore. They want recognition. They want to be worshiped. And, it all begins with the secret buyout of America, the implosion of our debt markets, and the annihilation of our way of life.
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fox News: Bergdahl Declared Himself a Mujahid... on: June 06, 2014, 07:15:11 AM
Secret documents: Bergdahl converted to Islam, declared himself a “mujahid”

Robert Spencer    Jun 5, 2014

This is getting worse by the minute. Will Obama ever backtrack and apologize at any point, or will he keep on digging in and insisting that obtaining back this traitorous deserter was the right thing to do? Will the mainstream media continue to cover for him, or will it finally hold him accountable? Is the cover-up of what really happened here a result of the Administration’s desire not to have news out there about another Muslim soldier turning traitor?

“EXCLUSIVE: Bergdahl declared jihad in 2010, secret documents show,” by James Rosen, Fox News, June 5, 2014 (thanks to Marisa):

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.

The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.

The documents show that Bergdahl at one point escaped his captors for five days and was kept, upon his re-capture, in a metal cage, like an animal. In addition, the reports detail discussions of prisoner swaps and other attempts at a negotiated resolution to the case that appear to have commenced as early as the fall of 2009.

The reports are rich in on-the-ground detail — including the names and locations of the Haqqani commanders who ran the 200-man rotation used to guard the Idaho native — and present the most detailed view yet of what Bergdahl’s life over the past five years has been like. These real-time dispatches were generated by the Eclipse Group, a shadowy private firm of former intelligence officers and operatives that has subcontracted with the Defense Department and prominent corporations to deliver granular intelligence on terrorist activities and other security-related topics, often from challenging environments in far-flung corners of the globe.

The group is run by Duane R. (“Dewey”) Clarridge, a former senior operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1980s best known for having been indicted for lying to Congress about his role in the tangled set of events that became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. He was pardoned by the first President Bush in December 1992 while on trial. A New York Times profile of Clarridge published in January 2011 disclosed the contractual relationship Eclipse had with the Pentagon, through subcontractors, and reported further that Clarridge’s activities had included efforts to help find Bergdahl.

Clarridge told Fox News his group enjoyed a subcontract from U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, from November 2009 through May 31, 2010, and that after the contract was terminated, he invested some $50,000 of his own money to maintain the network of informants that had yielded such detailed accounts of Bergdahl’s status.

Clarridge further told Fox News that by the end of 2010, he had furnished at least 13 of these detailed SITREPs, or situation reports, that his network generated about Bergdahl to Brigadier General Robert P. Ashley Jr., who in April 2010 was named director of intelligence, at the J-2 level, at CENTCOM. Clarridge said Eclipse SITREP # 3023, dated Aug. 23, 2012 — in which a member of the Haqqani network, said to be close to Bergdahl’s captors, reported that the American prisoner had declared himself a “mujahid” — was among the reports provided to Ashley.

The latter is now commanding general at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, where a message left with the public affairs office was not immediately returned.

The documents obtained by Fox News show that Eclipse developed and transmitted numerous status reports on the whereabouts of the errant American soldier, spanning a period from October 2009, roughly three months after Bergdahl reportedly walked off his base in Afghanistan and fell into custody of the Haqqani network, up through August 2012.

At one point — in late June 2010, after Bergdahl succeeded in one of his escape attempts — the Haqqani commanders constructed a special metal cage for him, and confined him to it. At other points, however, Bergdahl was reported to be happily playing soccer with the Haqqani fighters, taking part in AK-47 target practice and being permitted to carry a firearm of his own, laughing frequently and proclaiming “Salaam,” the Arabic word for “peace.”

Reached by telephone, retired U.S. Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, a 45-year service veteran who served as CENTCOM commander from August 2010 to August 2012, told Fox News he may have received bits and pieces of the intelligence generated by Eclipse, but said Ashley, with whom he maintained a close working relationship, had not forwarded on to him the specific SITREPs cited by Fox News.

Mattis was also adamant that no one at CENTCOM or within the broader U.S. military or intelligence community — despite intensive investigation of such allegations — ever learned of anything to suggest Bergdahl had evolved into an active collaborator with the Haqqani network or the Taliban. “We were always looking for actionable intelligence,” Mattis said. “It wasn’t just the IC [intelligence community]. We had tactical units that were involved in the fight. We had SIGINT. Any collaborators who were on the other side and who came over to our side. We kept an eye on this. … There was never any evidence of collaboration.”

Fox News reported on Monday that Bergdahl was the subject of a “major classified file” prepared by the U.S. intelligence community, and that many members of that community harbored concerns that Bergdahl, during his period of captivity, may have engaged in collaboration with the enemy.

Experts consulted by Fox News said that SITREP # 3023 presents a picture of an American captive who, if not an active collaborator, may have succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome — the dynamic by which hostages can become enamored of their captors and join their cause — or simply feigned allegiance in order to survive. The report cited a source new to Eclipse — a member of the Haqqani network said to be close to Mullah Sangeen, the Haqqani commander charged at all points over the last five years with operational custody and control of Bergdahl — whose trustworthiness had not been fully vetted by the group. However, the report stated, the informant “does have plausible access to the information reported below, and claims to have seen Bergdahl personally in Shawal,” in North Waziristan.

“In the early stages Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s captivity,” the report states, “he was held at Palasin, Naurak, FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], under the control of Mullah Sangeen and under the direct supervision of Haji Mursaleem, Sangeen’s father. Conditions and locality changed after Mursaleem died [in September 2010], and Bergdahl was kept under tight guard after his attempted escape from his new place of detention in Shawal.

“As of August 2012,” the report continues, “the person with responsibility for Bergdahl’s captivity is Sangeen’s brother, who has delegated the actual guarding of Bergdahl to Abubakr Asadkhel, a Burra Khel Wazir loyal to Sangeen, and whose sub-tribe lives in Shawal. Abubakr leads approximately 200 armed men from his tribe and operates from five bases (markaz) in Shawal. … Abubakr’s tribe is one of the prosperous branches of the Wazir and owns lots of trucks. Abubakr circulates his prisoner between schools in the area he controls, and his different insurgent bases.”

Conditions for Bergdahl have greatly relaxed since the time of the escape. Bergdahl has converted to Islam and now describes himself as a mujahid. Bergdahl enjoys a modicum of freedom, and engages in target practice with the local mujahedeen, firing AK47s. Bergdahl is even allowed to carry a loaded gun on occasion. Bergdahl plays soccer with his guards and bounds around the pitch like a mad man. He appears to be well and happy, and has a noticeable habit of laughing frequently and saying ‘Salaam’ repeatedly….
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Seven-minute history of the Federal Reserve System... on: June 05, 2014, 03:45:03 PM
Worth watching and sharing with those who are ignorant about the Fed:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=j282JKnmeVo
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The March Toward A Global Currency... on: June 04, 2014, 11:00:00 AM
It's only a matter of time before the US Dollar loses its global reserve status.  BUY GOLD & SILVER BULLION NOW.  When this happens, it will be too late:

The New World Order And The Rise Of The East

Wednesday, 04 June 2014 02:44    Brandon Smith


“Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge, which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible…” – George Orwell, 1984

Nations, cultures and populations are best controlled through the use of false paradigms. This is a historically proven tactic exploited for centuries by oligarchs around the world. Under the Hegelian dialectic (the very foundation of the Marxist and collectivist ideology), one could summarize the trap of false paradigms as follows:

If (A) my idea of freedom conflicts with (B) your idea of freedom, then (C) neither of us can be free until everyone agrees to be a slave.

In other words: problem, reaction, solution. Two sides are pitted against each other in an engineered contest. Each side is led to believe that its position is the good and right position. Neither side questions the legitimacy of the conflict, because each side fears this will lead to ideological weakness and disunity.

The two sides go to war, sometimes economically, sometimes militarily. Both governments demand that individuals relinquish freedom, independence and self-reliance, a sacrifice that “must be made” so that victory can be achieved. In the end, neither nation nor society has truly won. The only winners are the oligarchs, who sing words of loyalty to their respective camps, while acting in league from the very beginning. The oligarchs, who never intended to target each other in the first place. Their target, their ONLY target, was the citizenry itself — the dumbfounded masses now mesmerized with shock, awe and terror.

The false paradigm method and the Hegelian dialectic are in full force today. Only a few years ago, Russia, China and the United States were considered close economic and political allies. Today, those alliances are being quickly scrapped in order to make room for conflict, a conflict useful only to a select international elite. As I have outlined in numerous articles, including Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too and False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency, when one looks beyond all the theatrical rhetoric being thrown around between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, the ultimate reality is that the relationship of both governments to the global banking elite is the same.

During both of Obama’s Presidential terms, he has flooded his cabinet with current and former employees of Goldman Sachs, a longtime proving ground for elitist financiers with globalist aspirations.

And who is the primary economic adviser to Vladimir Putin and the Russian state? Why Goldman Sachs, of course!

U.S. and European elites have been calling for a centralization of economic power under the control of the International Monetary Fund, as a well as a new global currency.

Not surprisingly, Putin also wants a new global currency under the control of the IMF.

Obama is closely advised by globalists like Zbigniew Brzezinski, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and cofounder of the Trilateral Commission, who in his book Between Two Ages: America’s Role In The Technetronic Era states:

"The nation-state is gradually yielding its sovereignty …[F]urther progress will require greater American sacrifices. More intensive efforts to shape a new world monetary structure will have to be undertaken, with some consequent risk to the present relatively favorable American position…"

As long as he has been in power, Putin has been closely advised by Henry Kissinger, yet another member of the CFR and proponent of the Trilateral Commission, who has said:

"In the end, the political and economic systems can be harmonized in only one of two ways: by creating an international political regulatory system with the same reach as that of the economic world; or by shrinking the economic units to a size manageable by existing political structures, which is likely to lead to a new mercantilism, perhaps of regional units. A new Bretton Woods kind of global agreement is by far the preferable outcome…"

Both Kissinger and Brzezinski refer to this harmonized global economic and political structure as the “New World Order.” The fact that the political leaders of Russia and the United States are clearly being directed by such men should not be taken lightly.

China, too, has made demands for a restructuring of the global monetary system into a centralized currency basket under the dominance of the IMF.

China’s ties to the banking elite of London are well documented.

The call on both sides for a new monetary system and the end of the dollar as world reserve seems to greatly contradict the fantasy that the East and West are fundamentally at odds.  The progression towards a world currency and/or economic governance also appears to be growing along with the consolidation of economic and military ties between Eastern nations. This would suggest that the rise of the East and the crippling of Western elements is actually advantageous to global bankers in the long term.

While disinformation agents and media shills have attempted to downplay any danger to the strength of America and the dollar, Eastern governments have been swiftly establishing alliances and decoupling from U.S. influence.

The historic 30-year Russia/China gas deal has, of course, been finalized. This deal is already eating up market space and influencing the way in which the energy trade traditionally behaves.

China and Russia have also expanded on their bilateral agreements made in 2010, which remove the dollar as the reserve currency in transactions between the two nations.

China’s thirst for gold continues, while the country is now building its own gold exchange to rival the U.S. Comex.

Russia has recently established what Putin calls the “Eurasian Economic Union,” a deal which includes Kazakhstan and Belarus, two countries that hold large, freshly discovered oil fields.

In response to the engineered conflict over Ukraine, as well as the “Asian-Pacific Pivot” by the U.S., China has openly called for a new security pact with Russia and Iran.

Let’s also not forget that China is set to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy by 2016, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

While the rise of the East is being painted in Western circles as a threat to U.S. and NATO dominance, the bigger picture is being hidden from view. Yes, indeed, the consolidation of the East is a considerable threat to the dollar and the U.S. economy — most importantly in the event that China refuses to accept dollars as payment on exports and debts. With the world’s largest exporter/importer refusing to take dollars as a reserve, most nations will inevitably follow their lead.  The argument against this development is, of course, that there is no rational trigger for such a violent fiscal attack. I would remind skeptics that there was no rational trigger for the current strengthened relations between Russia and China until the Ukraine crisis. Is anyone really foolish enough to bet against another direct or indirect conflict between NATO and the East? And is anyone really ignorant enough to assume that said event would not be used as an excuse to cut the legs out from under the dollar completely?

The New World Order players have positioned the East and West for just such a scenario. Why? In my article Who Is The New Secret Buyer Of U.S. Debt?, I give evidence indicating that the Bank of International Settlements and the IMF are preparing the financial world for a new global monetary system, brought into existence by a second Bretton Woods conference. The debasement of the dollar and the rise of the East are NOT obstacles to this plan.  Rather, they are required factors. There can be no truly global economic system without “harmonization”, the demise of the dollar's world reserve status, and the end of sovereign economic governance.

For those who doubt this scenario, read Paul Volcker’s latest statement, as reported by Zero Hedge.

Volcker, the same man who was directly involved in the destruction of the first Bretton Woods agreement and the final death rattle of the gold standard, is now promoting a NEW Bretton Woods-style agreement in which currencies are pegged to a controlled market system — in essence, a centralized international monetary system. Volcker also suggests that a single nation-based reserve currency like the dollar may be a danger to overall fiscal health.

Volcker is right. The dollar-dominated forex casino and fiat fraud is a danger to the world. Volcker helped make it that way! And what a surprise, the former Federal Reserve chairman has a solution on a silver platter for the American people — all we need is GLOBAL centralization and bureaucratic oversight.

The propaganda is being carefully planted within the mainstream. Christine Lagarde of the IMF now spends the whole of her media interviews inserting the phrase “global economic reset” without explaining exactly what that would entail, while central banking elites like Volcker suggest a Bretton Woods II conference leading to a global monetary authority. In the meantime, Russian government-funded media outlets like RT produce pieces accusing the U.S. of being a nuclear menace while we Americans get to watch manipulative Hollywood films like “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” which depicts a Russian plot to collapse the U.S. economy.  China and U.S. representatives squabble with each other at geopolitical meetings fueling fears of diplomatic breakdown, while the Pentagon "suggests" they may have to revamp their military strategies in consideration of yet another World War.  Just as in Orwell's book, 1984, old enemies become allies and then enemies once again, and at the top of the pyramid, it's all a farce.

The best lies contain elements of truth. The truth here is that the East is forming alliances in opposition to the West, the West is involved in underhanded covert operations all over the planet, and both “sides” are in fact on the verge of a catastrophic battle for supremacy. The great lie is that important details have been left out of our little story. Both sides are merely puppet pieces in a grand game of global chess, and any conflict will ultimately benefit the small group of men standing over the board. They include the international financiers who have influenced the very policy fabric of each government toward a climactic crisis which they hope will finally give them the “New World Order” they have always dreamed of.

 
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pamela Geller Responds to Liberal Rabbi... on: June 04, 2014, 07:59:49 AM
Georgetown Rabbi Less Outraged at Islamist Jew-Hatred than Its Opponents

by Pamela Geller, Breitbart, 2 Jun 2014

Rabbi Rachel Gartner, the Director of Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown University, has published a ridiculous broadside at The Huffington Post titled “An Antidote for Islamophobia,” denouncing what she calls my “odious” and “heinous anti-Muslim messages” – referring to my American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) ads denouncing the savage jihad against Israel and the Qur’anically-justified anti-Semitism.

This rabbi never bothers to explain what is so “hateful” and “odious” about these ads; she just takes it for granted as she attacks a fellow Jew. But what has this rabbi herself done to combat the vicious Jew-hatred rooted in Islamic teachings that has left thousands of innocents dead? What has this rabbi done to ensure that the cold-blooded murder of little Miriam Monsonego, who was killed by jihadist Mohamed Merah at her school in Toulouse in March 2012 in the name of the Qur’an and Islam, would be the last in the cause of jihad?

Where has Rabbi Rachel spoken about the bloody 1,400-year history of Jews in Muslim lands? She quotes Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “In a free society, not all are guilty, but all are responsible.” Then she adds, “Let’s take responsibility for countering hate speech wherever we encounter it, lest we all go crashing down together.” Yes, let’s do that, Rachel. When have you countered the vicious Jew-hatred that is an increasingly common feature on college campuses and from BDS groups, as well as in Arab media (as the Middle East Media Research Institute and Palestinian Media Watch so indefatigably chronicle), and even in sermons in all too many mosques?

Gartner also says, “The antidote to bad, ill-advised free speech is good, healthy free speech.” I totally agree. Where, then, was Gartner standing up for my right to speak when Jewish groups in Los Angeles and Toronto canceled my speaking engagements? Shouldn’t she have called for discussion and debate to show whose free speech was really “bad” and “ill-advised” and whose was “good” and “healthy”?

She would never have done that, because that would have revealed the hollowness of her opposition to my message, just as she never explains in her Huffington Post piece exactly what is wrong with my ads. Instead, she just claims that they’re “actually hate speech in political garb.”

She may think this because my ad refers to the fact that Islamic Jew-hatred is in the Quran. “Keep the Quran out of it,” she demands. “Unless you also want to reference suras like this one (there are many): ‘Indeed, I, God, sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light, and the prophets judged by it, as did the rabbis and scholars.’ (Quran 5:44)”

Is she seriously claiming that the Quran is more favorable than unfavorable to the Jews? She seems to have missed a key distinction: the Quran is favorable to Jews who accept Muhammad as a prophet and the Quran as a holy book, and venomous to those who do not. The “unbelievers among the People of the Book” are the “most vile of created beings” (98:6). Does she know that the Qur’an says that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Muslims: “the most hostile to those who believe are the Jews” (5:82)?

Yes, the Qur’an says that in the Torah was guidance and light. But it also says of the Jews that “a party from among them indeed used to hear the Word of Allah, then altered it after they had understood it” (2:75), and it is common teaching among Muslims that the Torah as it stands today has been altered and corrupted by Jews in order to erase prophecies of the coming of Muhammad. The Jews’ corruption of their own Scriptures is referenced in the Hadith as well.

But none of that likely matters to Rachel Gartner, for she claims that “all sacred texts can be used to elevate us or to appeal to the basest of human instincts. Choose the high road, share teachings of peace and understanding, respect and love. If you do so, it will strengthen others in doing the same.” Great. But what about the Muslims who read the Qur’an’s many denunciations of the Jews and come away believing, in the words of a music video that was shown on Hamas’s official Al-Aqsa TV station, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah?”

Gartner seems to think that the existence of Muslims who don’t think that way cancels out and compensates for the existence of those who do. But it doesn’t. They are all too real, and in numbers that are all too large. Or maybe Gartner thinks that if we challenge Muslims who believe this way it will offend those who don’t. But why would it, if they sincerely reject Islamic anti-Semitism?

This weak and cowardly rabbi sanctions the annihilation of the Jewish people by savagely attacking those who stand against it.

The post Pamela Geller, Breitbart: An Antidote for the Self-Loathing Jew appeared first on Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs.
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bergdahl - Collaborator? on: June 04, 2014, 07:51:24 AM
After Bergdahl disappeared, “IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They were getting perfect hits every time.”

Robert Spencer    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:33pm - jihadwatch.org


Bergdahl should be tried for treason. Obama should be investigated in order to determine how much of this he knew before he traded the Taliban jihadis for Bergdahl, and if necessary, tried as well. But that won’t happen. A teary-eyed Boehner will explain that the five jihadis just had to be traded for Bergdahl, and while he would have preferred to send back just four, he will settle.

“Bergdahl’s team leader: Intercepted radio chatter said he sought talks with the Taliban,” CNN, June 3, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

(CNN) – Former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow was the team leader with Bowe Bergdahl the night Bergdahl disappeared.

“Bergdahl is a deserter, and he’s not a hero,” says Buetow. “He needs to answer for what he did.”

Within days of his disappearance, says Buetow, teams monitoring radio chatter and cell phone communications intercepted an alarming message: The American is in Yahya Khel (a village two miles away). He’s looking for someone who speaks English so he can talk to the Taliban.

“I heard it straight from the interpreter’s lips as he heard it over the radio,” said Buetow. “There’s a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away.”

The Army will review the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “in a comprehensive, coordinated effort,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said Tuesday.

The review will include speaking with Bergdahl “to better learn from him the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity,” he said.

The night Bergdahl disappeared, says Buetow, the platoon was at a small outpost, consisting of two bunkers and a perimeter of military trucks. Buetow was in one of the bunkers, and Bergdahl was supposed to be in a tent by one of the trucks.

Then a call came through on the radio.

“I’ll never forget that line, ‘Has anyone seen Bergdahl?’” says Buetow.

Firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon say Bergdahl disappeared while he was on guard duty.

Buetow says Bergdahl was about to go on guard duty, but when a fellow soldier went to wake him, he was not in his tent. He had left behind his weapons, his bullet-proof vest, and night vision gear.

“I immediately knew, I said, ‘He walked away. He walked away,’” said Buetow.

Bergdahl walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary, according to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon.

Read: Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero

Buetow was involved in the immediate search for Bergdahl, pushing a patrol into a nearby local village.

“Immediately as we left the base, two small boys walked up to us, and they told us that they saw an American crawling in the weeds by himself,” said the former Army sergeant. The search followed that lead, and others, for months.

“For 60 days or more, I remember, just straight, all we did was search for Bergdahl,” said Buetow, “essentially chasing a ghost because we never came up with anything.”

At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for him, according to soldiers involved in those operations.

The Pentagon was not able to provide details on specific operations in which any soldiers were killed during that time were involved.

Buetow says even though those operations were not “directed missions” to search for Bergdahl, there was an underlying premise of acting on intelligence to find the missing soldier.

“The fact of the matter is, when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were at if Bergdahl hadn’t left,” says Buetow. “Bergdahl leaving changed the mission.”

Many soldiers in Bergdahl’s platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

“Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They were getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical,” said Buetow.

It was “very suspicious,” says Buetow, noting that Bergdahl knew sensitive information about the movement of U.S. trucks, the weaponry on those trucks, and how soldiers would react to attacks.

“We were incredibly worried” that Bergdahl was giving up information, either under torture, or otherwise, says Buetow….

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67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 03, 2014, 07:40:42 PM
O'Reilly said tonight on his program that he spoke with an anonymous source close to the White House who said Obama has concluded public opinion no longer matters, and he is simply going to do what he wants going forward without regard to public opinion.  My question to O'Reilly is this: "Excuse me, Captain Obvious - but since when has Obama cared about the law or public opinion?  What has changed?  How dense are you that you are just realizing this now?  You had to have some source close to the White House tell you this?"
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Facts Regarding Retail Sales, etc. - Not Being Reported... on: June 03, 2014, 07:15:28 AM
Market Veteran Warns: “Massive Shocks In The World Financial System In Coming Years”

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:47    Mac Slavo


This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com

There is a euphoria being enjoyed by many in the investment world and in economic circles centered around the notion that the world has recovered from the financial crisis of 2008. Stock markets in the United States have risen to all time highs. Mainstream financial experts imply this is a key indicator of economic growth, improved consumer confidence, and a return to boom times.

But not everyone agrees. Swiss market veteran Egon Von Greyerz suggests that exactly the opposite is the case, noting that the underlying economic fundamentals all over the world are indicative of massive problems from the United States to China.

In an interview with King World News Von Greyerz highlights his reasoning, citing numerous data points that paint a completely different picture from the one being shown to the majority of the world’s citizens.

It surprised me to see how many of those top economists and fund managers were totally bullish on the global economy based on their view of growth in the United States.

I also went to a conference for ultra-high net worth individuals in Singapore, and I noticed very little fear or concern about the risks in the world today.

So this is a very dangerous time with the people who control the investment markets having very little regard for the risks and the dangers that the world is currently facing.



We have discussed the massive risks which are present in the system and they are more ubiquitous now than ever — Japan, EU, UK, US, China, and geopolitical risks.  The financial system has the same problems today as it had in 2008, but the money printing over the last few years has achieved a calm and complacency that will lead to massive shocks in the world financial system in coming years.



A lot of the economic indicators in the U.S. are very weak.  Retail sales are plunging, bank profits are falling, home sales are falling fast, both existing and new homes, and 56 percent of Americans have sub-prime credit today.



Global debt is now around $275 trillion, or 385 percent of world GDP.  That’s $38,000 of debt for each and every person in the world.  Even the average American is one paycheck from bankruptcy.  So how does anyone ever believe that any of this debt could ever be repaid?  Well, it won’t be, that’s absolutely guaranteed.

All this will lead to unprecedented money printing and hyperinflation.  Thereafter we are likely to see a deflationary collapse of the financial system.  We will certainly be looking at a very different world in coming years.

Excerpts from full interview made available by King World News

The notion that the global economy is in recovery and that the United States has exited the recession of 2008/2009 is a facade.

Michael Snyder at the Economic Collapse Blog and Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform recently noted that despite the purported success of government cash infusions, America’s death rattle is growing louder as household retail brands are being absolutely pummeled by a lack of consumer spending.

Retail store results for the 1st quarter of 2014 have been rolling in over the last week. It seems the hideous government reported retail sales results over the last six months are being confirmed by the dying bricks and mortar mega-chains. In case you missed the corporate mainstream media not reporting the facts and doing their usual positive spin, here are the absolutely dreadful headlines:

Wal-Mart Profit Plunges By $220 Million as US Store Traffic Declines by 1.4%
Target Profit Plunges by $80 Million, 16% Lower Than 2013, as Store Traffic Declines by 2.3%

Sears Loses $358 Million in First Quarter as Comparable Store Sales at Sears Plunge by 7.8% and Sales at Kmart Plunge by 5.1%

JC Penney Thrilled With Loss of Only $358 Million For the Quarter

Kohl’s Operating Income Plunges by 17% as Comparable Sales Decline by 3.4%

Costco Profit Declines by $84 Million as Comp Store Sales Only Increase by 2%

Staples Profit Plunges by 44% as Sales Collapse and Closing Hundreds of Stores

Gap Income Drops 22% as Same Store Sales Fall

Ann Taylor Profit Crashes by 75% as Same Store Sales Fall

American Eagle Profits Tumble 86%, Will Close 150 Stores

Aeropostale Losses $77 Million as Sales Collapse by 12%

Big Lots Profit Tumbles by 90% as Sales Flat & Exiting Canadian Market

Best Buy Sales Decline by $300 Million as Margins Decline and Comparable Store Sales Decline by 1.3%

Macy’s Profit Flat as Comparable Store Sales decline by 1.4%

Dollar General Profit Plummets by 40% as Comp Store Sales Decline by 3.8%

Urban Outfitters Earnings Collapse by 20% as Sales Stagnate

McDonalds Earnings Fall by $66 Million as US Comp Sales Fall by 1.7%

Darden Profit Collapses by 30% as Same Restaurant Sales Plunge by 5.6% and Company Selling Red Lobster

TJX Misses Earnings Expectations as Sales & Earnings Flat

Dick’s Misses Earnings Expectations as Golf Store Sales Plummet

Home Depot Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic Only Rises by 2.2%

Lowes Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic was Flat

Of course, those headlines were never reported. I went to each earnings report and gathered the info that should have been reported by the CNBC bimbos and hacks. Anything you heard surely had a Wall Street spin attached, like the standard BETTER THAN EXPECTED.

Those are the facts.

Last week well known contrarian economist John Williams made two dire predictions. First, the government’s Q1 economic growth numbers would be revised downward and actually show that the economy shrank for the first three months of the year. This has now been confirmed with official revisions showing negative one percent growth.

Second, Williams predicts that come July 30 the second quarter will verify that the United States has entered another recession, which is officially defined as two consecutive negative growth quarters.

Once these data are released it will confirm what we’ve been warning about for many months – that there is and has been no economic recovery. The U.S. (as well as China and Europe) are about to hit the next wave of this broader depression.

There is, as Williams noted, no way of saving the system at this point, echoing Von Greyerz’s assessment that we will soon be living in an unrecognizable world.

It won’t all happen overnight, but a collapse is all but assured at this point.

Those who have made the effort to get informed and taken steps to prepare for the inevitable calamity that is to come will fare much better than the 99% percent of Americans who will be totally blindsided when life as we have come to know it comes to an abrupt halt.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: June 03, 2014, 07:12:33 AM
The Velocity Of Money In The U.S. Falls To An All-Time Record Low

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:16    Michael Snyder - www.alt-market.com


This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The Economic Collapse

When an economy is healthy, there is lots of buying and selling and money tends to move around quite rapidly.  Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is the exact opposite of that right now.  In fact, as I will document below, the velocity of M2 has fallen to an all-time record low.  This is a very powerful indicator that we have entered a deflationary era, and the Federal Reserve has been attempting to combat this by absolutely flooding the financial system with more money.  This has created some absolutely massive financial bubbles, but it has not fixed what is fundamentally wrong with our economy.  On a very basic level, the amount of economic activity that we are witnessing is not anywhere near where it should be and the flow of money through our economy is very stagnant.  They can try to mask our problems with happy talk for as long as they want, but in the end it will be clearly evident that none of the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have been addressed.

Discussions about the money supply can get very complicated, and that can cause people to tune out, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

To put it very basically, when there is lots of economic activity, there is lots of money changing hands.

When there is not very much economic activity, the pace at which money circulates through our system slows down.

That is why what is happening in the U.S. right now is so troubling.

First, let’s look at M1, which is a fairly narrow definition of the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M1…

A measure of the money supply that includes all physical money, such as coins and currency, as well as demand deposits, checking accounts and Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts. M1 measures the most liquid components of the money supply, as it contains cash and assets that can quickly be converted to currency. It does not contain “near money” or “near, near money” as M2 and M3 do.
As you can see from the chart posted below, the velocity of M1 normally declines during a recession.  Just look at the shaded areas in the chart.  But a funny thing has happened since the end of the last recession.  The velocity of M1 has just kept falling and it is now at a nearly 20 year low…

Velocity Of Money M1

Next, let’s take a look at M2.  It includes more things in the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M2…

A measure of money supply that includes cash and checking deposits (M1) as well as near money. “Near money” in M2 includes savings deposits, money market mutual funds and other time deposits, which are less liquid and not as suitable as exchange mediums but can be quickly converted into cash or checking deposits.
In the chart posted below, we can once again see that the velocity of M2 normally slows down during a recession.  And we can also see that the velocity of M2 has continued to slow down in the “post-recession era” and has now dropped to the lowest level ever recorded…

Velocity Of Money M2

This is a highly deflationary chart.

It clearly indicates that economic activity in the U.S. has been steadily slowing down.

And if we are honest, we have to admit that we are seeing signs of this all around us.  Major retailers are closing down stores at the fastest pace since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, consumer confidence is down, trading revenues at the big Wall Street banks are way down, and the steady decline in home sales is more than just a little bit alarming.

In addition, the employment situation in this country is much less promising than we have been led to believe.  According to a report put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, an all-time record one out of every eight men in their prime working years are not in the labor force…

“There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began.”
Never before has such a high percentage of men in their prime years been so idle.

But since they are not counted as part of “the labor force”, the government bureaucrats can keep the “unemployment rate” looking nice and pretty.

Of course if we were actually using honest numbers, the unemployment rate would be in the double digits, our economy would be considered to have been in a recession since about 2005, and everyone would be crying out for an end to “the depression”.

And now we are rapidly approaching another downturn.  In my recent articles entitled “Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?” and “27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy“, I detailed much of the evidence for why this is true.

And those that run the Federal Reserve know all of this.

That is one of the reasons for all of the “quantitative easing” that they have been doing.  The folks at the Fed know that the U.S. economy would probably drift into a deflationary depression if they just sat back and did nothing.  So they flooded the system with money in a desperate attempt to revive economic activity.  But instead, most of the new money just ended up in the pockets of the very wealthy and further increased the divide between those at the top and those at the bottom in this country.

And now Fed officials are slowly scaling back quantitative easing because they apparently believe that the economy is getting “back to normal”.

We shall see.

Many are not quite so optimistic.

For example, the chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar, believes that the S&P 500 could plummet 15 to 20 percent when quantitative easing finally ends.

Others believe that it will be much worse than that.

Since 2008, the size of the Fed balance sheet has grown from less than a trillion dollars to more than four trillion dollars.  This unprecedented intervention was able to successfully delay the coming deflationary depression, but it has also made our long-term problems far worse.

So when the inevitable crash does arrive, it will be much, much worse than it could have been.

Sadly, most Americans do not understand these things.  Most Americans simply trust that our “leaders” know what they are doing.  And so in the end, most Americans will be completely blindsided by what is coming.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Velocity of Money in U.S. Falls To All-Time Record Low... on: June 03, 2014, 07:11:49 AM
The Velocity Of Money In The U.S. Falls To An All-Time Record Low

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:16    Michael Snyder - www.alt-market.com


This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The Economic Collapse

When an economy is healthy, there is lots of buying and selling and money tends to move around quite rapidly.  Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is the exact opposite of that right now.  In fact, as I will document below, the velocity of M2 has fallen to an all-time record low.  This is a very powerful indicator that we have entered a deflationary era, and the Federal Reserve has been attempting to combat this by absolutely flooding the financial system with more money.  This has created some absolutely massive financial bubbles, but it has not fixed what is fundamentally wrong with our economy.  On a very basic level, the amount of economic activity that we are witnessing is not anywhere near where it should be and the flow of money through our economy is very stagnant.  They can try to mask our problems with happy talk for as long as they want, but in the end it will be clearly evident that none of the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have been addressed.

Discussions about the money supply can get very complicated, and that can cause people to tune out, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

To put it very basically, when there is lots of economic activity, there is lots of money changing hands.

When there is not very much economic activity, the pace at which money circulates through our system slows down.

That is why what is happening in the U.S. right now is so troubling.

First, let’s look at M1, which is a fairly narrow definition of the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M1…

A measure of the money supply that includes all physical money, such as coins and currency, as well as demand deposits, checking accounts and Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts. M1 measures the most liquid components of the money supply, as it contains cash and assets that can quickly be converted to currency. It does not contain “near money” or “near, near money” as M2 and M3 do.
As you can see from the chart posted below, the velocity of M1 normally declines during a recession.  Just look at the shaded areas in the chart.  But a funny thing has happened since the end of the last recession.  The velocity of M1 has just kept falling and it is now at a nearly 20 year low…

Velocity Of Money M1

Next, let’s take a look at M2.  It includes more things in the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M2…

A measure of money supply that includes cash and checking deposits (M1) as well as near money. “Near money” in M2 includes savings deposits, money market mutual funds and other time deposits, which are less liquid and not as suitable as exchange mediums but can be quickly converted into cash or checking deposits.
In the chart posted below, we can once again see that the velocity of M2 normally slows down during a recession.  And we can also see that the velocity of M2 has continued to slow down in the “post-recession era” and has now dropped to the lowest level ever recorded…

Velocity Of Money M2

This is a highly deflationary chart.

It clearly indicates that economic activity in the U.S. has been steadily slowing down.

And if we are honest, we have to admit that we are seeing signs of this all around us.  Major retailers are closing down stores at the fastest pace since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, consumer confidence is down, trading revenues at the big Wall Street banks are way down, and the steady decline in home sales is more than just a little bit alarming.

In addition, the employment situation in this country is much less promising than we have been led to believe.  According to a report put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, an all-time record one out of every eight men in their prime working years are not in the labor force…

“There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began.”
Never before has such a high percentage of men in their prime years been so idle.

But since they are not counted as part of “the labor force”, the government bureaucrats can keep the “unemployment rate” looking nice and pretty.

Of course if we were actually using honest numbers, the unemployment rate would be in the double digits, our economy would be considered to have been in a recession since about 2005, and everyone would be crying out for an end to “the depression”.

And now we are rapidly approaching another downturn.  In my recent articles entitled “Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?” and “27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy“, I detailed much of the evidence for why this is true.

And those that run the Federal Reserve know all of this.

That is one of the reasons for all of the “quantitative easing” that they have been doing.  The folks at the Fed know that the U.S. economy would probably drift into a deflationary depression if they just sat back and did nothing.  So they flooded the system with money in a desperate attempt to revive economic activity.  But instead, most of the new money just ended up in the pockets of the very wealthy and further increased the divide between those at the top and those at the bottom in this country.

And now Fed officials are slowly scaling back quantitative easing because they apparently believe that the economy is getting “back to normal”.

We shall see.

Many are not quite so optimistic.

For example, the chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar, believes that the S&P 500 could plummet 15 to 20 percent when quantitative easing finally ends.

Others believe that it will be much worse than that.

Since 2008, the size of the Fed balance sheet has grown from less than a trillion dollars to more than four trillion dollars.  This unprecedented intervention was able to successfully delay the coming deflationary depression, but it has also made our long-term problems far worse.

So when the inevitable crash does arrive, it will be much, much worse than it could have been.

Sadly, most Americans do not understand these things.  Most Americans simply trust that our “leaders” know what they are doing.  And so in the end, most Americans will be completely blindsided by what is coming.
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Velocity of Money in U.S. Falls To All-Time Record Low... on: June 03, 2014, 07:10:55 AM
The Velocity Of Money In The U.S. Falls To An All-Time Record Low

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:16    Michael Snyder - www.alt-market.com


This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The Economic Collapse

When an economy is healthy, there is lots of buying and selling and money tends to move around quite rapidly.  Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is the exact opposite of that right now.  In fact, as I will document below, the velocity of M2 has fallen to an all-time record low.  This is a very powerful indicator that we have entered a deflationary era, and the Federal Reserve has been attempting to combat this by absolutely flooding the financial system with more money.  This has created some absolutely massive financial bubbles, but it has not fixed what is fundamentally wrong with our economy.  On a very basic level, the amount of economic activity that we are witnessing is not anywhere near where it should be and the flow of money through our economy is very stagnant.  They can try to mask our problems with happy talk for as long as they want, but in the end it will be clearly evident that none of the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have been addressed.

Discussions about the money supply can get very complicated, and that can cause people to tune out, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

To put it very basically, when there is lots of economic activity, there is lots of money changing hands.

When there is not very much economic activity, the pace at which money circulates through our system slows down.

That is why what is happening in the U.S. right now is so troubling.

First, let’s look at M1, which is a fairly narrow definition of the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M1…

A measure of the money supply that includes all physical money, such as coins and currency, as well as demand deposits, checking accounts and Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts. M1 measures the most liquid components of the money supply, as it contains cash and assets that can quickly be converted to currency. It does not contain “near money” or “near, near money” as M2 and M3 do.
As you can see from the chart posted below, the velocity of M1 normally declines during a recession.  Just look at the shaded areas in the chart.  But a funny thing has happened since the end of the last recession.  The velocity of M1 has just kept falling and it is now at a nearly 20 year low…

Velocity Of Money M1

Next, let’s take a look at M2.  It includes more things in the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M2…

A measure of money supply that includes cash and checking deposits (M1) as well as near money. “Near money” in M2 includes savings deposits, money market mutual funds and other time deposits, which are less liquid and not as suitable as exchange mediums but can be quickly converted into cash or checking deposits.
In the chart posted below, we can once again see that the velocity of M2 normally slows down during a recession.  And we can also see that the velocity of M2 has continued to slow down in the “post-recession era” and has now dropped to the lowest level ever recorded…

Velocity Of Money M2

This is a highly deflationary chart.

It clearly indicates that economic activity in the U.S. has been steadily slowing down.

And if we are honest, we have to admit that we are seeing signs of this all around us.  Major retailers are closing down stores at the fastest pace since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, consumer confidence is down, trading revenues at the big Wall Street banks are way down, and the steady decline in home sales is more than just a little bit alarming.

In addition, the employment situation in this country is much less promising than we have been led to believe.  According to a report put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, an all-time record one out of every eight men in their prime working years are not in the labor force…

“There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began.”
Never before has such a high percentage of men in their prime years been so idle.

But since they are not counted as part of “the labor force”, the government bureaucrats can keep the “unemployment rate” looking nice and pretty.

Of course if we were actually using honest numbers, the unemployment rate would be in the double digits, our economy would be considered to have been in a recession since about 2005, and everyone would be crying out for an end to “the depression”.

And now we are rapidly approaching another downturn.  In my recent articles entitled “Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?” and “27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy“, I detailed much of the evidence for why this is true.

And those that run the Federal Reserve know all of this.

That is one of the reasons for all of the “quantitative easing” that they have been doing.  The folks at the Fed know that the U.S. economy would probably drift into a deflationary depression if they just sat back and did nothing.  So they flooded the system with money in a desperate attempt to revive economic activity.  But instead, most of the new money just ended up in the pockets of the very wealthy and further increased the divide between those at the top and those at the bottom in this country.

And now Fed officials are slowly scaling back quantitative easing because they apparently believe that the economy is getting “back to normal”.

We shall see.

Many are not quite so optimistic.

For example, the chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar, believes that the S&P 500 could plummet 15 to 20 percent when quantitative easing finally ends.

Others believe that it will be much worse than that.

Since 2008, the size of the Fed balance sheet has grown from less than a trillion dollars to more than four trillion dollars.  This unprecedented intervention was able to successfully delay the coming deflationary depression, but it has also made our long-term problems far worse.

So when the inevitable crash does arrive, it will be much, much worse than it could have been.

Sadly, most Americans do not understand these things.  Most Americans simply trust that our “leaders” know what they are doing.  And so in the end, most Americans will be completely blindsided by what is coming.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More damning information on prisoner swap... on: June 03, 2014, 07:08:52 AM
Five Jihadis For One Deserter

Posted By Robert Spencer On June 3, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

When he announced the exchange of five Guanatamo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan since 2009, Barack Obama declared that the swap was “a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.” However, as ever more damning information came to light about both the deal and Bergdahl himself, it became increasingly clear that the prisoner exchange was actually a reminder of Barack Obama’s unwavering commitment to appeasing and aiding jihadis.

Many people have questioned the wisdom of this deal that sends five seasoned, committed, and ruthless jihadis back to Afghanistan, where they will undoubtedly resume their jihad against the American troops there. The freed jihadis include, according to the Associated Press, “Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence”; “Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden”; and “Mohammad Fazl, whom Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001.”

Even more disturbing, however, are the questions swirling around Bowe Bergdahl himself. Former infantry officer Nathan Bradley Bethea, who served with Bowe Bergdahl, wrote in the Daily Beast on Monday that “Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.” Refuting reports that Bergdahl got separated from his unit while on patrol, Bethea declared: “Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not ‘lag behind on a patrol,’ as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.”

Corroborating this was an Associated Press report that was also published on Monday, stating that “a Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.” This official said that the evidence that Bergdahl had deserted was “incontrovertible.”

Why might Bergdahl have deserted? A clue may lie in the fact that the Taliban claimed in 2010 that Bergdahl had converted to Islam and was teaching bomb-making to its jihadists. His father, Robert Bergdahl, appears to be a convert to Islam, as during the ceremony with Obama in the Rose Garden announcing the exchange, he proclaimed: “Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim” – the phrase, “In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful,” which is the heading of 113 of the Qur’an’s 114 chapters. (Journalist Neil Munro noted in the Daily Caller that “although Bergdahl quoted the Quran verse, the White House transcript did not translate it or even include the Islamic prayer. Instead, the transcript simply said Bergdahl spoke in the Pasho language, which is the language of the Pushtun tribe, which forms the vast majority of the Taliban force. In fact, ‘Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim’ is Arabic.” The lavishly-bearded Robert Bergdahl has also called for the release of the jihadists in Guantanamo and has implied that American troops are killing Afghan children in a tweet he concluded with “ameen,” the Arabic form of “amen.”)

What’s more, it was also revealed Monday that in an email to his father just days before he deserted, Bergdahl wrote: “I am sorry for everything here. These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.” He thundered: “I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools. I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

His father thundered back: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

Apparently he did, by walking away from his unit and seeking out the Taliban. Nor was his action entirely unexpected. James Rosen reported at FoxNews.com Monday that Bergdahl — “both in his final stretch of active duty in Afghanistan and then, too, during his time when he lived among the Taliban — has been thoroughly investigated by the U.S. intelligence community and is the subject of ‘a major classified file.’” In conveying as much, the Defense Department source confirmed to Fox News that many within the intelligence community harbor serious outstanding concerns not only that Bergdahl may have been a deserter but that he may have been an active collaborator with the enemy.”

It strains credulity to imagine that Barack Obama was not apprised of the existence of this file and these suspicions about Bergdahl. In any case, high-level officials appear to have been aware of them and embarrassed by them for quite some time, as they have enforced a gag order on the members of Bergdahl’s unit, threatening legal action against them if they revealed what happened on the night Bergdahl disappeared.

Why the cover-up? Were Obama Administration officials afraid that the story of a Muslim soldier (if the Taliban claim is true) deserting his post and joining up with the enemy would have negative repercussions for Obama’s disastrous fantasy-based policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere? Did they think that such news would provide a fresh basis to challenge the “diversity” in the military that military brass value more than life itself – as Army chief of staff George Casey demonstrated when he said right after the Fort Hood jihad massacre that “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse”?

Whatever his reasoning may be, Obama has now traded five battle-hardened jihad warriors for someone he was in a position to know was a deserter and possibly a traitor, who had said that he was ashamed to be an American. If the mainstream media and the Democratic Party covers for the President in this, the latest in his long string of insults to the American people, it will be an outrage. But there is no doubt that they will do so. And quickly this incident will be forgotten, like all of Obama’s earlier insults. But if there are any free people left in America, they will not let this incident be forgotten – and will use it as the linchpin to begin the massive change we so desperately need in the political and media culture.
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Velocity of Money in U.S. Falls To All-Time Record Low... on: June 02, 2014, 11:13:11 PM
The Velocity Of Money In The U.S. Falls To An All-Time Record Low

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:16    Michael Snyder - www.alt-market.com


This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at The Economic Collapse

When an economy is healthy, there is lots of buying and selling and money tends to move around quite rapidly.  Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is the exact opposite of that right now.  In fact, as I will document below, the velocity of M2 has fallen to an all-time record low.  This is a very powerful indicator that we have entered a deflationary era, and the Federal Reserve has been attempting to combat this by absolutely flooding the financial system with more money.  This has created some absolutely massive financial bubbles, but it has not fixed what is fundamentally wrong with our economy.  On a very basic level, the amount of economic activity that we are witnessing is not anywhere near where it should be and the flow of money through our economy is very stagnant.  They can try to mask our problems with happy talk for as long as they want, but in the end it will be clearly evident that none of the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have been addressed.

Discussions about the money supply can get very complicated, and that can cause people to tune out, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

To put it very basically, when there is lots of economic activity, there is lots of money changing hands.

When there is not very much economic activity, the pace at which money circulates through our system slows down.

That is why what is happening in the U.S. right now is so troubling.

First, let’s look at M1, which is a fairly narrow definition of the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M1…

A measure of the money supply that includes all physical money, such as coins and currency, as well as demand deposits, checking accounts and Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts. M1 measures the most liquid components of the money supply, as it contains cash and assets that can quickly be converted to currency. It does not contain “near money” or “near, near money” as M2 and M3 do.
As you can see from the chart posted below, the velocity of M1 normally declines during a recession.  Just look at the shaded areas in the chart.  But a funny thing has happened since the end of the last recession.  The velocity of M1 has just kept falling and it is now at a nearly 20 year low…

Velocity Of Money M1

Next, let’s take a look at M2.  It includes more things in the money supply.  The following is how Investopedia defines M2…

A measure of money supply that includes cash and checking deposits (M1) as well as near money. “Near money” in M2 includes savings deposits, money market mutual funds and other time deposits, which are less liquid and not as suitable as exchange mediums but can be quickly converted into cash or checking deposits.
In the chart posted below, we can once again see that the velocity of M2 normally slows down during a recession.  And we can also see that the velocity of M2 has continued to slow down in the “post-recession era” and has now dropped to the lowest level ever recorded…

Velocity Of Money M2

This is a highly deflationary chart.

It clearly indicates that economic activity in the U.S. has been steadily slowing down.

And if we are honest, we have to admit that we are seeing signs of this all around us.  Major retailers are closing down stores at the fastest pace since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, consumer confidence is down, trading revenues at the big Wall Street banks are way down, and the steady decline in home sales is more than just a little bit alarming.

In addition, the employment situation in this country is much less promising than we have been led to believe.  According to a report put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, an all-time record one out of every eight men in their prime working years are not in the labor force…

“There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began.”
Never before has such a high percentage of men in their prime years been so idle.

But since they are not counted as part of “the labor force”, the government bureaucrats can keep the “unemployment rate” looking nice and pretty.

Of course if we were actually using honest numbers, the unemployment rate would be in the double digits, our economy would be considered to have been in a recession since about 2005, and everyone would be crying out for an end to “the depression”.

And now we are rapidly approaching another downturn.  In my recent articles entitled “Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?” and “27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy“, I detailed much of the evidence for why this is true.

And those that run the Federal Reserve know all of this.

That is one of the reasons for all of the “quantitative easing” that they have been doing.  The folks at the Fed know that the U.S. economy would probably drift into a deflationary depression if they just sat back and did nothing.  So they flooded the system with money in a desperate attempt to revive economic activity.  But instead, most of the new money just ended up in the pockets of the very wealthy and further increased the divide between those at the top and those at the bottom in this country.

And now Fed officials are slowly scaling back quantitative easing because they apparently believe that the economy is getting “back to normal”.

We shall see.

Many are not quite so optimistic.

For example, the chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar, believes that the S&P 500 could plummet 15 to 20 percent when quantitative easing finally ends.

Others believe that it will be much worse than that.

Since 2008, the size of the Fed balance sheet has grown from less than a trillion dollars to more than four trillion dollars.  This unprecedented intervention was able to successfully delay the coming deflationary depression, but it has also made our long-term problems far worse.

So when the inevitable crash does arrive, it will be much, much worse than it could have been.

Sadly, most Americans do not understand these things.  Most Americans simply trust that our “leaders” know what they are doing.  And so in the end, most Americans will be completely blindsided by what is coming.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson on: May 31, 2014, 12:16:03 PM
Many blacks, just as with gays and Jews, have been conditioned to be liberals FIRST, and everything else is below that on their political priority list.  Although I will say that with RELIGIOUS blacks, there is a higher percentage (though still small) of those with constitutionally-conservative views.  I think the same can be said for gays and Jews.  All three of these groups seem to vote almost reflexively for the Democrat candidate on the ballot.  It doesn't objectively make sense for any of the three.
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson on: May 31, 2014, 07:17:51 AM
Carson begins a national book tour today in West Palm Beach, FL.  He has a bus with his book cover painted across the vehicle - not unlike Sarah Palin's earlier bus tour.  I get the sense that like Palin, though there is lots of talk about his possible candidacy, he's genuinely not interested in running for office.  Rather, I surmise he thinks - again like Palin - that he can be more effective speaking and advocating for conservative principles.

I happen to agree with Crafty that executive experience is a key qualification for the job.  Much better even, is having risked all of your own money to start and run a successful business.  It's key that any leader understand the basics of economics from a micro level at the very least.  Obama famously wrote in his first book that during the short time he worked for a public law firm, he felt as if he were working "behind enemy lines."  This is consistent with his clear disdain for capitalism.  Both he and Mrs. Clinton are skilled Alinsky acolytes, and unfortunately, most of the American public has never read "Rules for Radicals," and has no clue who Alinsky was - much less that these two slavishly follow his prescription for gaining and wielding power.
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 30, 2014, 09:34:19 PM
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I will relish the opportunity to watch Hillary squirm under Trey Gowdy's aggressive questioning.  I hope it happens.  She and her husband are a disgrace to this nation.  The thought of her as a Presidential candidate is nauseating.
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / One in Eight American Men between 25-54 are not working - All-time high... on: May 30, 2014, 11:03:52 AM
www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/1-8-american-men-between-ages-25-54-are-not-working_793938.html
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: May 30, 2014, 10:53:13 AM
No offense intended, but to me - this is really an absurd debate.  The facts are very clear to anyone with two eyes and a functioning brain that looks at the unemployment statistics and the retail economy as evidenced by simply driving around various parts of the country and observing the literally thousands of shuttered businesses and empty strip malls.  Doug makes excellent points as well.  Corporate profits up by 3% with 25% growth in stock prices simply defies gravity.  What is so hard to understand about this?

If a person wants to engage in navel-gazing and theoretical, legalistic arguments about why black is white and up is down - that is their business.  If that person chooses to manage their investments in this manner - so much the worse for them.  I choose to view the world as it is - based on the evidence I see with my own eyes and rational capacity, then plan accordingly. Frankly, I think this discussion is one for idiots, because it essentially asks the question: "Which do you trust? An economist with a vested interest in projecting a rosy outlook, or the cold, hard, obvious facts available to anyone who makes even a modest effort at investigation?

79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Scott Grannis makes a perceptive point; Wesbury on: May 29, 2014, 06:15:42 PM
"In short, the supply side of the economy remains healthy, with no signs of deterioration."  Really?  870,000 jobs in 4 months?  Well BELOW what is required simply to keep even with new workers entering the workforce?  SHRINKING GDP?  Sounds like a prescription for a robust, "plow-horse" economy to me!   rolleyes
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 29, 2014, 10:42:00 AM
If Trey Gowdy is allowed to do his job effectively as chairman of this select committee on Benghazi, Hillary will be destroyed as a potential candidate.  We can only hope.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Anti-CAIR Ads Defaced with Swastikas and Anti-Semitic Vandalism... on: May 29, 2014, 07:01:43 AM
But as you will read - AFDI has printed up PLENTY more for replacement in anticipation of this.

www.truthrevolt.org/news/anti-cair-ad-defaced-swastikas-anti-semitic-vandalism
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: May 28, 2014, 12:57:35 PM
Trey Gowdy should be very interesting to watch.  He is a former prosecutor, and the definition of a pit-bull.  Unless he is somehow restrained by Republican "leadership" - and I'm not sure he can be - he will get to the bottom of this.  I understand he has plenty of evidence and a detailed plan of attack regarding subpoenaing witnesses, including Hillary.  I can't wait to see these people squirm.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 28, 2014, 08:09:12 AM
Well, I am a Christian, and the Pope certainly does NOT speak for me.  Having been raised in the Catholic Church I know its history, both recent and ancient.  I stand with unwavering solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.  Any Christian who does not is either ignorant or anti-semitic.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NDAA - Voter Apathy Is Killing This Nation... on: May 28, 2014, 07:24:53 AM
It’s Not Just Obama That’s Screwing America : Congress Reaffirms NDAA

Monday, 26 May 2014 16:27    M.D. Creekmore - www.alt-market.com


This article was written by M.D. Creekmore and originally published at TheSurvivalistBlog.net

That’s right folks, it isn’t just our fearless leader B.O. that’s wiping his butt on the Constitution and the Bill of rights, it’s congress too, and before you go off blaming the democrats, no matter how evil they are, I should point out that this monstrosity against American citizens, was reaffirmed with the support of a majority of republicans – see the full congressional member roll-call and how they voted here.

The “No” votes are votes against amendment  H.Amdt. 676 sponsored Rep Adam Smith (D) to eliminate indefinite detention of American citizens, without due process of law under the NDAA H.R. 4435.

In total 214 republicans voted against amendment  H.Amdt. 676  that would have eliminated the power given to the president and the executive branch allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens under NDAA without formal charges, or due process of law.

Looking to my state of  TN Republican “representatives” Phil Roe R, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, and Stephen Fincher all voted against the amendment that would have eliminated the power of indefinite detention of Americans given to the president under NDAA.

They are an embarrassment to the state of TN and to America as a whole.

What exactly is the National Defense Authorization Act you ask? Well it essentially does away with the constitutionally guaranteed right to a due process and a fair trial by providing the executive branch of government with the power to arrest and detain indefinitely any US citizen, without charge or due process of law.

Via The New Ameriican

One of the most noxious elements of the NDAA is that it places the American military at the disposal of the president for the apprehension, arrest, and detention of those suspected of posing a danger to the homeland.

Furthermore, a key component of the NDAA mandates a frightening grant of immense and unconstitutional power to the executive branch. Under the provisions of Section 1021 the president is afforded the absolute power to arrest and detain citizens of the United States without their being informed of any criminal charges, without a trial on the merits of those charges, and without a scintilla of the due process safeguards protected by the Constitution of the United States.

Further, in order to execute the provisions of Section 1021, Section 1022 (among others) unlawfully gives the president the absolute and unquestionable authority to deploy the armed forces of the United States to apprehend and to indefinitely detain those suspected of threatening the security of the “homeland.” In the language of this legislation, these people are called “covered persons.”

The universe of potential “covered persons” includes every citizen of the United States of America. Any American could one day find himself or herself branded a “belligerent” and thus subject to the complete confiscation of his or her constitutional civil liberties and nearly never-ending  incarceration in a military prison.

What this amounts to is essentially a repeal of the sixth amendment and once again our so-called “conservatives republicans” have showed where they stand, how they stand and what they stand for. Why we keep voting either one of these political parties (republican – democrat / democrat – republican) and their attached evils into office to “lead” OUR country, is beyond me.

Folks we don’t have a two-party system as we’ve been lead to believe. Many Americans think that they have a choice when they enter the voting booth. Well guess what we don’t – republicans and democrats, democrats and republicans what’s the difference? Neither political party actually represents the American people nor do they care about defending individual American rights or the Constitution

In the U.S. we have a one party system masquerading as a two party system, to give voters the illusion of having a choice and hope for change, but both parties are controlled by the same people who really run the country. The system is rigged and we don’t have a choice…

And unfortunately, I don’t expect a third party like The Tea Party to ever take a majority of Congress, the Senate or the Presidency, the people who really run things won’t let it happen or maybe it’s because the American people care more about the next football game or American Idol than what is really happening to OUR country…  Nope Democrats and and Republicans and business as usual…

Want proof, we need to look no further than the recent senate race in KY where “Republican Mitch McConnell Crushes Tea Party Challenger Matt Bevin“… But I digress…

The republicans think that no one will know, remember or care how that they voted on this, prove them wrong. Take a look at your state and write down how each one of your “representatives” voted on this and then you vote to throw them out of office during the next election.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pope Francis' Disturbing Actions In Israel... on: May 28, 2014, 07:21:25 AM
Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit

Posted By Caroline Glick On May 28, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were right when they blamed the noxious anti-Israel incitement rampant in Europe for Saturday’s murderous shooting attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the assault and battery of two Jewish brothers outside their synagogue in a Paris suburb later that day.

Anti-Israel incitement is ubiquitous in Europe and is appearing in ever-widening circles of the Western world as a whole.

Until this week, the Catholic Church stayed out of the campaign to dehumanize Jews and malign the Jewish state.

Pope Benedict XVI was perceived as a friend of Israel, despite his childhood membership in the Hitler Youth. His opposition to Islam’s rejection of reason, eloquently expressed at his speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006, positioned him as a religious champion of reason, individual responsibility and law – Judaism’s primary contributions to humanity.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II was less willing to confront Islamic violence. But his opposition to Communism made him respect Israel as freedom’s outpost in the Middle East. John Paul’s visit to Israel in 2000 was in some ways an historic gesture of friendship to the Jewish people of Israel.

Both Benedict and John Paul II were outspoken champions of the Second Vatican Council and maintained doctrinal allegiance to the Church’s rejection of anti-Judaism, including the charge of deicide, and its denunciation of replacement theology.

Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis’s visit to the Promised Land this week.

In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew. There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was after all, an Israeli Jew.

But Francis couldn’t take the truth. So he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, “Aramaic.”

Netanyahu was probably flustered. True, at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic. And Jesus was educated. But the language of the people was Hebrew. And Jesus preached to the people, in Hebrew.

Netanyahu responded, “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, “Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.” The report went on to delicately mention, “Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.”

Israelis “object to that” because it is a lie.

The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.

Consider first Francis’s behavior at the security barrier.

Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of Israelis. But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

As the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Francis may have heard of the November 2002 massacre at Kibbutz Metzer. Metzer was founded by Argentine communists in the 1950s. Metzer is located 500 meters from the 1949 armistice lines which made it an obvious beneficiary of the security fence. But true to its radical roots, in 2002 members of the kibbutz waged a public campaign against the planned route of the security fence. They feared that it would, in the words of Metzer member Danny Dovrat, “ignite hostility and create problems” with the kibbutz’s Palestinian neighbors.

Thanks to that concern, on the night of November 10, 2002, a gunman from the “moderate” US- and EU-supported Fatah terror organization faced no physical obstacle when he entered the kibbutz. Once there he killed two people on the street and then entered the home of Revital Ohayon and executed Revital and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4 years old.

Fatah praised the attack on its website and pledged to conduct more assaults on “Zionist colonizers,” and promised to continue “targeting their children as well.”

Had he actually cared about the cause of peace and non-violence he claims to champion, Francis might have averred from stopping at the barrier, recognizing that doing so would defile the memory of the Ohayons and of hundreds of other Israeli Jewish families who were destroyed by Palestinian bloodlust and anti-Semitic depravity.

Instead, Francis “spontaneously” got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.

The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign.

Although the economic consequences of the campaign of economic warfare against Israel in the West have been negligible, BDS’s goal is not economic. The goal of the movement is to dehumanize Israelis and set apart for social ostracism anyone who refuses to embrace the anti-Jewish slanders that Jews have no right to self-determination and are morally inferior to every other religious, ethnic and national group in the world.

And that is nothing compared to the other slogan on the barrier. That one equated the Palestinians in Bethlehem to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. In other words, it denied the Holocaust.

By standing there, kissing the barrier with its Holocaust denying slogan, Francis gave Vatican license to Holocaust denial.

And that was just the beginning.

Pope Francis met with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace in Bethlehem. When Israel transferred control over Jesus’s birthplace to Abbas’s predecessor Yasser Arafat in 1996, Arafat seized the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of the Nativity and turned it into his – and later Abbas’s – official residence.

Standing next to Abbas on seized church property, the pope called Abbas “a man of peace.”

Abbas returned the favor by calling for Israel to release all Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. And the pope – who interrupted Netanyahu when he told an historic truth – said nothing.

At mass at the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed with Latin Patriarch Fuoad Twal. In his sermon Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking “in the footsteps of the Divine Child,” and likening the Israelis to King Herod.

In his words, “We are not yet done with the present-day Herods, who fear peace more than war… and who are prepared to continue killing.”

Rather than condemn these remarks, Francis echoed them.

“Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we before today’s children?” the pope asked.

“Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?” During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as “dear friends,” Francis called them his “dear brothers.”

Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam.

In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and “the enemies of Allah.” He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls “tell us to follow in their path.”

Francis didn’t condemn him.

Francis stridently condemned the anti-Jewish attacks in Brussels and Paris. And during his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the terror victims memorial he said similarly appropriate things. But all of his statements ring hollow and false in light of his actions.

Israelis and Jews around the world need to be aware of what is happening. Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CEO pay... on: May 27, 2014, 03:54:39 PM
DMG - certainly I agree with you that there is a huge amount of crony capitalism going on right now.  This is not a true free-market system, because the government is picking winners and losers by whom it favors with its regulations.  The SEC has been corrupt in this regard for decades, as it is NOT enforcing rules that create a level playing field.  In a truly free-market system, CEOs would be rewarded when their companies do well, and not rewarded when profitability/revenue declines.  That's only one aspect though - there is so much onerous regulation going on (Obama's solar energy companies for example) which make it possible for management to preside over a company which goes bankrupt, and walk away with millions of dollars - effectively stolen from the investors - which many times happen to be U.S. taxpayers.

As an aside - I've never liked this idea of an "old boys club" of corporate directors - unlimited in scope - which has been allowed by the SEC for decades.  People who know nothing about running a particular company in a certain industry are put on the board by a minority of stockholders and paid huge salaries - in exchange for the same treatment.  One hand washes the other.  NO ONE ought to be allowed to be on the board of 20 different companies.  It simply is not possible for one person to know enough about all those separate entities to make effective, informed decisions about how they should be run.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Has a Cow Over Pamela Geller's Truthful Bus Ads... on: May 27, 2014, 02:40:19 PM
We're told that Pamela's ads are "racist, bigoted, and hateful" by the ignorant and gullible establishment media - willing accomplices, or dupes - of CAIR and other terrorist-linked pro-Islamic groups.  How dare anyone tell the truth about Islam?  Further - note that these ads are ABOUT Islam - they are NOT about Hitler per se.  Notice how these media outlets cover the story in order to mislead.  As Pamela has repeatedly and accurately stated: "When it comes to Islam - Truth is the new hate speech."

http://pamelageller.com/2014/05/pamela-geller-wnd-column-global-firestorm-islamic-jew-hatred-ads.html/
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Median CEO pay for 2013 exceeds $10 million... on: May 27, 2014, 08:24:15 AM
The big story here is that the REASON this has happened is that these CEOs are increasingly being paid in stock itself - not even in stock options.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it is an attempt to tie pay to performance.  BUT - the stock market is being manipulated in gross fashion, and over the last several years has NOT reflected the true performance of the companies behind the stocks.  It’s not the CEO’s faults or even the boards of directors that they are being overpaid - it is the massive and unprecedented manipulation of the stock market.  A crash is inevitable at this point - it’s not a question of IF, it’s only a question of WHEN?

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/median-ceo-pay-crosses-10-million-2013
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Current Pope... on: May 27, 2014, 08:11:37 AM
GM,

I think you are right - which to repeat - indicates massive and unacceptable ignorance of the facts - particularly for the leader of the largest group of Christians on the planet.
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Current Pope... on: May 27, 2014, 07:47:28 AM
Does that mean he is ignorant, that he really believes this garbage he is spouting, or that he knows it is false and doesn't care?
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pope Francis Makes a Grave Error... on: May 27, 2014, 07:10:30 AM
For the record, I was raised by Roman Catholic parents in the R.C. church, and though I consider myself a devout Christian, and have great respect for many of the traditions of the R.C. church, I do not consider myself a "practicing Catholic."  I do not know if this Pope is making a calculated and foolish political decision in stating these falsehoods, or is simply ignorant.  Either is unacceptable, especially when Christians are being slaughtered in record numbers in Islamic countries all over the Middle East right now.  See story below:


Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”

Posted By Robert Spencer On May 27, 2014 @ jihadwatch.org

AP reported Sunday that “Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts ‘unacceptable.’”

Not only that, but “Palestinian officials hailed Francis’ decision to refer to the ‘state of Palestine.’ In its official program, the Vatican referred to President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the ‘state of Palestine,’ and his Bethlehem office as the ‘presidential palace.’ He pointedly called Abbas a ‘man of peace.’”

This is not really all that surprising. After all, this is the Pope who wrote last November that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” If “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” then Abbas is certainly a “man of peace.”

Abbas is the “man of peace” who said on March 15, 2013: “As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” He said that while undoubtedly knowing that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna is quoted in the Hamas Charter as saying: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV has featured a music video that proclaimed: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.”

The “man of peace” heads up Fatah, which is hardly more “moderate.” Palestinian Media Watch reported on May 14 that “on one of its official Facebook pages the Fatah movement, which is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, yesterday posted a warning to Israelis. A sign showed an assault rifle and a map of ‘Palestine’ that included both PA areas and all of Israel. In Arabic, Hebrew, and English it said: ‘Warning. This is a land of a Palestinian state and the occupation to leave immediately’ (English original).”

Likewise, in mid-March, Palestinian official Abbas Zaki, a close friend of the “man of peace,” declared: “These Israelis have no belief, no principles. They are an advanced instrument of evil. They say, the Holocaust, and so on – fine, why are they doing this to us? Therefore, I believe that Allah, will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death.” Fatah has also vowed to “adhere to the option of armed resistance until the liberation of all of Palestine,” and threatened to “turn the beloved [Gaza] Strip into a graveyard for your soldiers, and we will turn Tel Aviv into a ball of fire.”

On top of all this, the spot where the Pope paused to pray at what AP called “Israel’s controversial separation barrier” – actually its security barrier – featured graffiti referring to the barrier as an “apartheid wall” and comparing Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto. Middle East analyst Tom Gross noted that in reality, “the security barrier, which has saved countless lives, was built to protect Israelis after some 1000 civilians were killed by suicide bombers.” Israel did not build the barrier because of “racism” or a desire to emulate apartheid South Africa — to compare Israel to apartheid South Africa is a monstrous piece of disinformation, as a black South African has explained.

Moreover, Gross points out: “Bethlehem is a relatively prosperous town where restaurants and juice bars are packed, and BMWs, Mercedes and Humvees compete for parking spaces in the center or town. By contrast, 400,000 Jews were herded into the Warsaw Ghetto and those who weren’t beaten or starved to death there, were taken to be exterminated at nearby camps.”

In allowing himself to become an instrument of Palestinian jihad propaganda, and spreading that propaganda himself, the Pope has done a grave disservice to free people and aided and abetted the genocidal jihad against Israel. The damage resulting from his trip is impossible to calculate at this point, but it could be immense. Pope Francis’s jaunt in the “State of Palestine,” was a tremendous show of support for the jihad against Israel, and a dark day for the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church, and free people everywhere.

92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Taxpayers: $28 billion LOSS on GM "bailout"... on: May 26, 2014, 08:03:37 AM
Government Motors' 15.6 million recalls is quite the record-breaker

Dan Calabrese - www.caintv.com - May 26, 2014.

For a single year. Just five months in.

If you think it's gratuitious that I'm still connecting GM's problems to the bailout and subsequent era of government ownership, you don't know enough about how the auto industry works - which is to say, it doesn't work so much as it plods.

The culture put in place by the Obama Administration did not leave the company when the government sold its shares. Culture change moves more slowly than a glacier in the auto industry. Besides, if you don't think it sounds like the Obama White House to ignore problems until they grow on a massive scale and then offer a litany of excuses and obfuscations, boy, I don't know what to tell you.

From this morning's Detroit News (where I am also a columnist):

GM has stepped up the pace of its recall campaigns as it tries to show it is more responsive to safety concerns since it was learned that the company knew for years of problems with ignition switches in some vehicles. Several key safety officials at the automaker have left, retired or been moved to new positions. It has added 35 product investigators since the beginning of 2014 and is taking a look at all outstanding issues.

On Friday, GM paid a record-setting $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to recall in a timely fashion 2.6 million vehicles linked to 13 deaths due to the defective ignition switches. The automaker admitted it broke the law in the settlement that will require intensive monitoring and monthly meetings with NHTSA to discuss all pending safety issues over a three-year period.

GM also is bracing for the fallout of an internal report into what went wrong over the course of the decade of delays in issuing the ignition-switch recalls. Two congressional committees plan to bring GM CEO Mary Barra back to testify for a second round of hearings. The Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and at least one state attorney general are investigating.

The White House declined to comment on whether the spate of GM recalls suggest the government didn’t exercise proper oversight during the nearly five years when it owned a significant stake in the automaker as part of the $49.5 billion bailout.

“What’s absolutely important as a general principle is every automobile manufacturer — foreign or domestic — be held accountable when it comes to safety matters,” spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.

Fine. Hold them accountable. And exactly what form should the accountability take? When the government first took control of GM, Obama immediately fired then-CEO Rick Wagoner. And rightly so. It was one of the few unassailably correct decisions Obama has made. Wagoner had proven he was incapable of leading the company effectively and he needed to be replaced.

But GM has not found a leader in the years since who proved up to the task. GM's priority since the bailout has been to provide political cover for the advocates of the bailout, which is why it has added plants, shifts and employees it really didn't need. It is also the reason it ramped up the production of Chevy Volts despite the lack of demand. Politicians held out the Volt as one of the primary rationales for bailing out the the company, so the factory needed to crank up Volt production to justify the politicians.

And when a safety issue arose, GM showed the same instincts as the government: Try to cover it up if you possibly can so no one will criticize you.

The culture of GM hasn't changed. It was only reaffirmed by the bailout, which sent the message that GM was not only too big to fail, but too important to be expected to change. This was as much about bailing out the UAW as anything else, and that's a vicious cycle. Union works its way into company. Union helps lead company to brink of obsolescence. Union gets bailed out by political allies. Union repeats process.

Taxpayers lost $28 billion helping this company stay exactly the way it has always been. And politicians tell us it was a good investment. I hope you're happy with your return.
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Stacks the Benghazi Select Committee... on: May 23, 2014, 11:02:18 AM
Hillary Stacks the Benghazi Select Committee

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On May 23, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

On Wednesday, Democrats deigned to join Republicans on the House Select Committee investigating Benghazi, primarily to protect Hillary Clinton’s reputation in particular, and the Obama administration’s in general. Toward that end they will likely do what they always do whenever their party is threatened: denigrate the investigation as it unfolds and obstruct it as much as possible.

Thus, it was completely unsurprising that even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed five colleagues to the panel she dismissed the need for it. “The Republican obsession with Benghazi has not been about the victims, the families or the country,” she insisted, adding that it is “not necessary” to participate in a “partisan exercise once again.”

So why participate at all? A Politico story reveals the reason for the Democrats’ sudden change of heart. According to “sources familiar with the conversations,” Hillary Clinton informed several House Democrats and aides that she preferred that they participate rather than leave her open to unanswered “enemy fire” from House Republicans. “Republicans are making it clear they plan to use the power of the Benghazi Select Committee to continue to politicize the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi, which is exactly why Democratic participation in the committee is vital,” a Democrat close to Clinton contended. “Inevitably, witnesses ranging from Secretary Clinton to Secretary Kerry will be subpoenaed to testify, and the Democrats appointed to the committee will help restore a level of sanity to the hearings, which would otherwise exist solely as a political witch hunt.”

Leading Democrats endeavored to stay “on message.” “The creation of this committee is solely for propaganda, for politics,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). “It’s rather cheap, in my opinion, because after all the other committees held hearings and looked at the issue, and there was nothing there. But Republicans are trying to make a scandal where there is none.” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) noted that “even a kangaroo court would be better off with a defense attorney,” and panel member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) believes “Republicans will attack Hillary Clinton by any means necessary.”

Cummings is the top Democrat on the Committee that also includes Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee; Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA); Ways and Means Committee member Linda Sanchez (D-CA); and Armed Services Committee member Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Cummings insisted he decided to participate because we’ve “seen firsthand how abusive the Republicans have been during this investigation” and because Congress owes it to the families of the victims “to bring some minimal level of balance to this process and check false claims wherever they may arise.”

Perhaps they could start with Nancy Pelosi. Even as John Boehner (R-OH) announced the formation of a select committee, Pelosi claimed that family members of the slain Americans asked her not to launch another investigation. “Two of their families have called us and said, ‘Please don’t take us down this path again,’” Pelosi said during a weekly press conference. “It’s really hard for them. It’s very sad.” Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) office also insisted that a family member from the maternal side of Tyrone Woods’ family ostensibly agreed with Pelosi. Tellingly, none of the family members were named.

On the other side of the equation, Pat Smith, and Charles Woods, parents of slain diplomat Sean Smith and Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, respectively, expressed a clear and unambiguous desire to move forward and get to the truth behind the slaughter of their children.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who will be chairing the Committee, appears to be a man determined to ferret out that truth. Ten days ago in a devastatingly effective putdown of the mainstream media, the man who spent six years as a federal prosecutor handling cases that included drug trafficking rings, bank robberies, and child pornography cases, indicated he will bring that experience to the investigation. After quoting Obama’s promise to bring the perpetrators of the Benghazi murders to justice (though no one has even been arrested to this point), he laid out a series of unanswered questions that should embarrass any members of the media who consider themselves investigative journalists. They included the following:

–Do you know why requests for additional security were denied? Do you know why an ambassador asking for more security, days and weeks before he was murdered and those requests went unheeded? Do you know the answer to why those requests went unheeded?

–Do you know why no assets were deployed during the siege? And I’ve heard the explanation, which defies logic, frankly, that we could not have gotten there in time. But you know they didn’t know when it was going to end, so how can you possibly cite that as an excuse?

–Do you know whether the president called any of our allies and said, can you help, we have men under attack? Can you answer that?

–Do any of you know why Susan Rice was picked [to go on five Sunday talk shows after the attacks]? The Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton] did not go. She says she doesn’t like Sunday talk shows. That’s the only media venue she does not like, if that’s true.

–Do you know the origin of this mythology, that it was spawned as a spontaneous reaction to a video? Do you know where that started?

These and other equally probing questions severely undercut the contention by Pelosi and her fellow Democrats that everything about what happened in Benghazi is already known. This was the position still taken on Tuesday by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). “The pertinent questions have been asked and answered again,” he insisted.

Joining Gowdy on the Republican side of the Committee are Reps. Martha Roby (R-AL), House Armed Services Committee member; House Intelligence Committee member Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA); House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Jim Jordan (R-OH); Mike Pompeo (R-KS); Boehner confidante Peter Roskam (R-IL); and Susan Brooks (R-IN).

In contrast to Democratic hysteria, Gowdy maintained that the Committee members selected by Pelosi were “great picks.” “The ones that I know well are very thoughtful and very smart, and I have a great working relationship with them,” Gowdy added. He declined to offer any specifics on the nature of the hearings, noting that closed depositions tend to elicit more information from witnesses, while open hearings allow the public to decide who is more truthful. When asked which method (or both) would apply to Hillary Clinton, Gowdy refused to answer. “I’m not foreclosing any avenue of information,” he said.

Hillary Clinton’s reputation remains in the forefront. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) further illuminated that sentiment, insisting his fellow Democrats must prevent the hearings from being “made about one person.” “I think the American public feels that Hillary Clinton did an outstanding job as secretary of state and if Republicans are using Benghazi to blemish her record, I don’t think it will stick,” he contended.

If the public feels that way about Clinton, it stands in stark contrast State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. During an interview, Psaki couldn’t  cite a single specific accomplishment attributable to that outstanding job. Nor could Clinton herself when she spoke at the Women of the World Summit in New York City on April 3. “I think we really restored American leadership in the best sense,” she generalized.

Perhaps Gowdy and his fellow Republicans will focus on the details of that leadership—or lack thereof—but Democrats are counting on Cummings to blunt any such efforts. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Cummings outlines a three-fold strategy aimed at minimizing damage for Clinton and other members of the Obama administration. The first aspect will be to “figure out exactly what (Republicans) are looking for … to focus on not who I am up against, but what I am searching for.” The second aspect is to “constantly raise the issues,” followed by an effort to “not allow any untruth to go unchallenged.” Yet even the Huff Post admits that Cummings’ real value to Democrats is his “combativeness.”

Cummings proved that during the IRS hearings when he attempted to turn a hearing where Lois Lerner asserted her right not to testify for the second time into a sideshow after hearing Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) adjourned the meeting and cut off Cummings’ mic. Issa did so when it became apparent Lerner would have nothing to say and Cummings refused to voice the question he claimed he wanted to ask. Cummings subsequently accused Issa for “efforts to re-create the Oversight Committee in Joe McCarthy’s image.”

Yet just as damning emails revealed greater Obama administration involvement in the IRS’s efforts to target conservative tax-exempt groups, so too did damning emails reveal the extent to which the administration was willing to go to “tailor” the facts on Benghazi. It was those emails that forced Boehner’s hand on forming a select committee, especially since it took a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch to obtain them.

Nonetheless, Cummings remained reliably obstructionist. “I do not believe a select committee is called for after eight reports, dozens of witness interviews and a review of more than 25,000 pages of documents,” he declared. Whether those documents include the series of 41 documents obtained by Judicial Watch as a result of forcing the administration’s hand in court remains unclear.

Thus the so-called battle lines are drawn. Democrats and their media allies have made sure that their participation will be characterized as an effort to blunt Republican hyper-partisanship, even as they willfully ignore the reality that while the Obama administration’s disinformation campaign has been thoroughly shredded, not a single individual has been held accountable. Their other tactic consists of focusing, not on what happened in Benghazi, but how to prevent a reprise of that atrocity. “We hope that we can shine a light on where our focus should be, preventing tragedy like Benghazi from ever happening again.”

Sorry, no sale. The focus should be on what happened, and why it was necessary to cover it up. And if this is the so-called witch hunt Democrats say it is, no doubt they will be more than willing to hear from the 20-30 Benghazi survivors. It’s been almost a year since CNN reported that frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations were being employed to keep them from from talking to the public or Congress. Moreover, it’s utterly absurd that anyone could insist all Benghazi questions have been asked and answered when the Commander-in-Chief has yet to account for his whereabouts that night. Former Secretary of State Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they spoke to Obama only once during the attack, and Clinton testified she spoke with him at 10 p.m. EST.

Shortly after that phone call the State Department issued the following statement:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.

It is the commitment to the truth, toxic as it likely is for both Clinton and the Obama administration, that should drive the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Point of an Honest Discussion of Race... on: May 23, 2014, 10:44:03 AM
‘The Point’ of an Honest Discussion of Race

Posted By Jack Kerwick On May 23, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

In reply to a recent article in which I disclosed some neglected facts concerning race and slavery, a reader inquired as to the point in unveiling them.  Before answering, let’s review some of the tidbits that I shared in the interest of that “honest discussion” of race that the Eric Holders of the world continually charge the rest of us with deferring:

(1) For centuries, millions of white European Christians were enslaved by Asian and African Muslims;

(2) The first slaves in Colonial America were white;

(3) Blacks were in America prior to slavery;

(4) A significant portion of African blacks who eventually became slaves in America were already Christian;

(5) These black slaves had been converted by the African blacks who sold them into bondage;

(6) During the antebellum period, there existed several thousand slave owners who were black;

(7) The first slave master in America was a black man, Anthony Johnson, an Angolan who had originally been sold into slavery by his fellow Africans to Arabs and who owned black and white servants.

There is still other historical “trivia” that defy the conventional narrative on race and slavery.

The civilized world, justly, expresses outrage over the abduction and enslavement of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls at the hands of the African Islamic terrorist organization, Boko Haram.  But the stone-cold truth of the matter is that this sort of thing has been transpiring in Africa from time immemorial.  For millennia upon millennia, black Africans have seized upon and enslaved other black Africans.  And, as notes famed Islamic scholar, Bernard Lewis, among others, from the dawn of Islam, Muslims have abducted and enslaved non-Muslims—both black and white.

It is estimated that well over 100 million black Africans died over the span of 14 centuries as they were marched across the scalding hot sands of the Sahara Desert by those Arab raiders and traders intent upon reducing them to a life of bondage in foreign lands.

In spite of the tremendous number of blacks transported to the Middle East, the latter consists of relatively few blacks today. Why?  For one, African boys were frequently forced to undergo castration, a practice so barbaric that but a tiny percentage survived it.  Those who did, however, fetched a purchasing price several times that of their peers who were not made into eunuchs.

Another consideration accounting for the miniscule black population in the contemporary Middle East is that African girls were sold as concubines and into sex slavery to Arab masters.  This reflected the Islamic belief—most recently articulated by the leader of Boko Haram but first stated in the Koran and practiced by Muhammad—that girls can and should become wives once they are nine years of age.  Upon begetting their masters’ offspring, many eventually became assimilated into their families.

But, thirdly, the tragic fact is that many slaves were simply worked to death.

What follows are some other fascinating truths that are a “must” for any truly honest discussion of race and slavery:

While whites were by no means unique in practicing slavery, they were indeed unique insofar as they were the first people in all of history to have developed a moral revulsion against this age-old institution.  No one liked being abducted and enslaved by others.  But many of these same unfortunates wouldn’t have hesitated to do the same to others if the opportunity had arisen.  Whites, more specifically, English white Christians, personified and led by the conservative William Wilberforce, succeeded in prevailing upon the British Empire—the most economically and militarily powerful presence on the planet at that time—to abolish slavery, not just in England or even within the Empire, but in every area of the globe over which Britain could hope to exercise any of its influence.

More scandalously, the British met with much resistance from Arabs, Asians, and Africans.  Bernard Lewis relays an exchange between a British Consul General in Morocco and the Sultan of that land that typifies precisely the challenges to its campaign against slavery that the English had to surmount.  When the Sultan was asked what he had done to relegate to the dustbin of history the trade in human flesh, he “replied, in a letter expressing evident astonishment, that ‘the traffic in slaves is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam…up to this day.’”  The Sultan added that he was oblivious to slavery’s “manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.”

Incidentally, England’s success was a long time coming, for in some parts of the non-European world, places like India and Saudi Arabia, slavery didn’t become illegal until the 1940s and 1960s, respectively.

My reader who inquired as to the “point” in raising these facts at no time denies any of them.  Thus, he confirms what some of us have long suspected: in their tireless promotion of the conventional orthodoxy on race and slavery in America, neither he nor his ilk has ever been in the least bit interested in history for its own sake.  Rather, there has always been a “point” to their campaign, the advancement of a political agenda involving fictions concerning perpetual black suffering, white oppression, and white guilt.

The facts to which I allude here frustrate that agenda.

And this, by the way, is “the point” of mentioning them.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Point of an Honest Discussion of Race... on: May 23, 2014, 08:07:51 AM
‘The Point’ of an Honest Discussion of Race

Posted By Jack Kerwick On May 23, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

In reply to a recent article in which I disclosed some neglected facts concerning race and slavery, a reader inquired as to the point in unveiling them.  Before answering, let’s review some of the tidbits that I shared in the interest of that “honest discussion” of race that the Eric Holders of the world continually charge the rest of us with deferring:

(1) For centuries, millions of white European Christians were enslaved by Asian and African Muslims;

(2) The first slaves in Colonial America were white;

(3) Blacks were in America prior to slavery;

(4) A significant portion of African blacks who eventually became slaves in America were already Christian;

(5) These black slaves had been converted by the African blacks who sold them into bondage;

(6) During the antebellum period, there existed several thousand slave owners who were black;

(7) The first slave master in America was a black man, Anthony Johnson, an Angolan who had originally been sold into slavery by his fellow Africans to Arabs and who owned black and white servants.

There is still other historical “trivia” that defy the conventional narrative on race and slavery.

The civilized world, justly, expresses outrage over the abduction and enslavement of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls at the hands of the African Islamic terrorist organization, Boko Haram.  But the stone-cold truth of the matter is that this sort of thing has been transpiring in Africa from time immemorial.  For millennia upon millennia, black Africans have seized upon and enslaved other black Africans.  And, as notes famed Islamic scholar, Bernard Lewis, among others, from the dawn of Islam, Muslims have abducted and enslaved non-Muslims—both black and white.

It is estimated that well over 100 million black Africans died over the span of 14 centuries as they were marched across the scalding hot sands of the Sahara Desert by those Arab raiders and traders intent upon reducing them to a life of bondage in foreign lands.

In spite of the tremendous number of blacks transported to the Middle East, the latter consists of relatively few blacks today. Why?  For one, African boys were frequently forced to undergo castration, a practice so barbaric that but a tiny percentage survived it.  Those who did, however, fetched a purchasing price several times that of their peers who were not made into eunuchs.

Another consideration accounting for the miniscule black population in the contemporary Middle East is that African girls were sold as concubines and into sex slavery to Arab masters.  This reflected the Islamic belief—most recently articulated by the leader of Boko Haram but first stated in the Koran and practiced by Muhammad—that girls can and should become wives once they are nine years of age.  Upon begetting their masters’ offspring, many eventually became assimilated into their families.

But, thirdly, the tragic fact is that many slaves were simply worked to death.

What follows are some other fascinating truths that are a “must” for any truly honest discussion of race and slavery:

While whites were by no means unique in practicing slavery, they were indeed unique insofar as they were the first people in all of history to have developed a moral revulsion against this age-old institution.  No one liked being abducted and enslaved by others.  But many of these same unfortunates wouldn’t have hesitated to do the same to others if the opportunity had arisen.  Whites, more specifically, English white Christians, personified and led by the conservative William Wilberforce, succeeded in prevailing upon the British Empire—the most economically and militarily powerful presence on the planet at that time—to abolish slavery, not just in England or even within the Empire, but in every area of the globe over which Britain could hope to exercise any of its influence.

More scandalously, the British met with much resistance from Arabs, Asians, and Africans.  Bernard Lewis relays an exchange between a British Consul General in Morocco and the Sultan of that land that typifies precisely the challenges to its campaign against slavery that the English had to surmount.  When the Sultan was asked what he had done to relegate to the dustbin of history the trade in human flesh, he “replied, in a letter expressing evident astonishment, that ‘the traffic in slaves is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam…up to this day.’”  The Sultan added that he was oblivious to slavery’s “manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.”

Incidentally, England’s success was a long time coming, for in some parts of the non-European world, places like India and Saudi Arabia, slavery didn’t become illegal until the 1940s and 1960s, respectively.

My reader who inquired as to the “point” in raising these facts at no time denies any of them.  Thus, he confirms what some of us have long suspected: in their tireless promotion of the conventional orthodoxy on race and slavery in America, neither he nor his ilk has ever been in the least bit interested in history for its own sake.  Rather, there has always been a “point” to their campaign, the advancement of a political agenda involving fictions concerning perpetual black suffering, white oppression, and white guilt.

The facts to which I allude here frustrate that agenda.

And this, by the way, is “the point” of mentioning them.
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pope Francis: "Che Guevara of the Palestinians"... on: May 22, 2014, 01:31:56 PM
Pope Francis: ‘The Che Guevara of the Palestinians’?

Posted By Robert Spencer On May 22, 2014

“The Che Guevara of the Palestinians” is set to visit Palestinian Authority-controlled Judea and Samaria next week, beginning in Bethlehem, and the city of Jesus’s birth is already in high excitement. The bearer of that illustrious title is none other than Pope Francis. According to Israel National News, “Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis…said that the pope intends to define himself as the ‘Che Guevera of the Palestinians’ and support their ‘struggle and rights’ during his visit.”

If the Pope or anyone around him has expressed a similar intention to speak out about the Muslim persecution of Palestinian Christians, it has not been recorded – in sharp contrast to the abundance of signals that the Pope has sent to Palestinian Authority officials. Fr. Jamal Khader of the Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem explained: “He is taking a helicopter directly from Jordan to Palestine — to Bethlehem. It’s a kind of sign of recognizing Palestine.” In anticipation of his doing just that officially, Palestinian officials have put up posters proclaiming “State of Palestine” and depicting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Francis, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

Not only that, but while in Bethlehem, Pope Francis will meet with Abbas; he also plans to celebrate Mass there rather than in Jerusalem, a move that Israel National News says “has been called a show of support for the PA.” He then plans to visit a Palestinian “refugee camp.”

Khader predicted: “Knowing who he is, and his sensitivity for all those who suffer, I am sure that he will say something defending all those who are suffering, including the Palestinians who live under occupation.” Ziyyad Bandak, Abbas’s adviser for Christian affairs, was enthusiastic: “This visit will help us in supporting our struggle to end the longest occupation in history….We welcome this visit and consider it as support for the Palestinian people, and confirmation from the Vatican of the need to end the occupation.”

All this comes after a Church official in Jerusalem criticized Israeli authorities for asking that a sign announcing the Pope’s visit be taken down from a historic site on which such signs are prohibited for preservation reasons. The unnamed official referenced recent Hebrew-language hate graffiti spray-painted on mosques and churches, saying that he and other Church officials “question the fact that the police, instead of taking action against the extremists who paint hate slogans on mosques and churches, choose to remove a sign with a positive message that welcomes the pope in three languages. We hope the police will act with the same determination to prevent the growing incitement and violence against Christians.”

While referring to the graffiti as “incitement and violence against Christians,” however, Church officials have been much more reticent regarding Muslim persecution of Palestinian Christians, even when it has included actual violence. According to Israel National News, “Christian Arab residents of the village of El-Khader in the Bethlehem area were savagely attacked by local Muslims as they celebrated a Christian holiday two weeks ago. A report by CAMERA, an organization which monitors anti-Israel bias in the media, reported that Christians attempting to enter Saint George’s Monastery in the village were intimidated and attacked with rocks and stones.”

Yet about this and other incidents of Muslim persecution of Christians, Pope Francis, as well as Vatican and Church officials, have said little. Last November, Pope Francis decried the plight of “Christians who suffer in a particularly severe way the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” He added that “Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears” and declared: “We won’t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong.”

Neither on that occasion or any other, however, has Pope Francis ever ascribed the suffering of Middle Eastern Christians to anything beyond “the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” Apparently he believes that if those tensions and conflicts could somehow be resolved, Christians would be able to live freely in the Middle East. After all, he has famously asserted that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” thereby dismissing the possibility that Christians may be facing persecution from Muslims who are obeying the Qur’anic imperative to fight them “until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

What’s more, when Pope Benedict XVI spoke out in January 2011 against the jihad bombing of the Coptic cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, reacted angrily, breaking off dialogue with the Vatican and accusing the Pope of interference in internal Egyptian affairs. In a statement, Al-Azhar denounced the pontiff’s “repeated negative references to Islam and his claims that Muslims persecute those living among them in the Middle East.” When Pope Francis succeeded Benedict, Al-Azhar and other Muslim authorities expressed hopes that he would repair relations between Muslims and Christians by not repeating the mistakes of his predecessor — including speaking out about the Muslim persecution of Christians.

Francis complied, affirming his “respect” for Islam and apparently accepting al-Azhar’s stipulation that “casting Islam in a negative light is ‘a red line’ that must not be crossed.” He has not, in any case, crossed it, even to decry the actions of Muslims to harass, victimize and persecute Christians because of Qur’anic declarations that they are accursed of Allah for saying Jesus is the Son of God (9:30); are unbelievers for affirming the divinity of Christ (5:17; 5:72); and must be warred against and subjugated (9:29).

And so during his trip that the Palestinians are awaiting with such excitement, it is likely that he will have little, if anything, to say about how core beliefs held by the Palestinians he is celebrating are used to justify the oppression of their Christian brethren. It is even less likely that he will note that Christians in Israel enjoy greater rights and freedoms than their brethren in any Muslim country. We may only hope that whatever the “Che Guevara of the Palestinians” says in Bethlehem or elsewhere in the Palestinian Authority, that it will not be capable of being exploited, by those persecutors of Christians he seems determined to ignore, to justify their actions and perpetuate that persecution.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Democrat Party's Brain Damage... on: May 16, 2014, 07:16:59 AM
The Democratic Party’s Brain Damage

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 16, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

In 2008, Democrats insisted that Senator John McCain was too old to be president. At a rally introducing Hillary Clinton, Congressman John Murtha criticized him for even running. “It’s no old man’s job,” he said.

Obama and Kerry used language suggesting that McCain was senile. Left-wing activists claimed that he could die of skin cancer at any moment. Late night comedians turned McCain’s age into a target.

McClatchy headlined a story, “Some wonder if McCain’s too old and wrinkly to be president.”

There are no stories in which reporters ask passerby if Hillary is too old and wrinkly to take 3 AM phone calls.

In Newsweek, Anna Quindlen, a fanatical Hillary supporter, wrote that, “The senator’s pursuit of the presidency reminds me a bit of those women who decide to have a baby in their late 50s.” If she has any objection to Hillary’s pursuit of the presidency while pushing 70, she hasn’t written about it.

By October, spurred by repeated media attacks on his age, 34 percent of Americans said that McCain was too old to be president. The sharp spike in the poll numbers over one month showed how effective the Democratic age smear was.

Had McCain been elected, he would have taken office at 72. If Hillary Clinton wins, she’ll be 69. And age is suddenly no longer an issue. Neither is health.

Quindlen emphasized that McCain couldn’t lift his arms over his head. No one is going to ask how flexible Hillary Clinton is in body (the political flexibility of the woman who opposed and supported nearly everything at one time or another is already renowned).

The problem as it turned out was not that McCain was old. It was that he was a Republican.

Slate ran an article claiming that McCain’s brain would go bad over the next eight years, but discussing the state of Hillary’s brain is out of bounds. Late night comedians won’t be making jokes about how old Hillary is or how confused she gets in the morning.

Those jokes could only be made about a man who was three years older than she is now.

It’s outrageous to question the medical consequences of Hillary’s “traumatic brain injury” which took her six months to recover from after passing out and falling down while boarding a plane. But ridiculing Bob Dole’s dead arm, an injury he suffered while dragging one of his men into a foxhole out of enemy fire during WW2, or McCain’s inability to lift his arms or perform certain tasks after they were broken by his torturers, was part of the political game.

We can question the health of war veterans, but not of a career politician.

There will be no stories about how wrinkled Hillary’s skin is. No one will ask her if she can tie her shoes or use Twitter without an assistant. Or whether she forgets things sometimes.

But if a Republican in his late sixties or early seventies becomes a candidate, then the switch will flip and suddenly asking those questions will become fair game.

Again.

The issue isn’t Hillary’s brain. It’s that Democrats don’t consider themselves accountable in the same way that they expect Republicans to be. It’s that they consider attacks on Republicans fair game that they are too thin-skinned to accept.

If McCain was too old and his brain too infirm to serve in the White House, the same people making that argument should have to explain why those same questions can’t even be asked about Hillary. Does three years make a world of difference? Has medical science been so dramatically revolutionized over the last eight years that they no longer matter?

If Hillary isn’t too old and if her health is off limits, then Democrats should admit that they engaged in cynical ageist attacks to win the White House. But that too would be accountability.

And we have a crisis of accountability.

The Democrat in the White House and his associates refuse to accept responsibility for anything. Any call for accountability results in an explosion of outrage as if the very act of holding the ruling party accountable is a crime.

The huffing and puffing over the suggestion that a woman who took six months to recover from a serious health episode may have health problems that will affect her performance is typical of the way that the Democratic Party behaves.

And of the way that its media auxiliaries echo its agenda.

When Murtha accused McCain of being too old, the media took the attack seriously. When Karl Rove mentioned Hillary’s health problem, the majority of the stories focused on it as a cynical attack. This partisan coverage gap is not an anomaly. It’s the new normal.

The problem isn’t Hillary’s brain damage. It’s the Democratic Party’s brain damage.

The Democratic Party, which has been around since the early 19th century, is just too old. The parts of its brain that relate to accountability and integrity have been burned out. The political party suffered a traumatic brain episode in the sixties and hasn’t recovered from it since. The left side of its political brain is dominant while the right side has completely withered away.

The Democrats keep insisting that they’re moving forward, when they’re actually wandering off to the left. They insist that they’re centrist when they’ve completely drifted off the road.

It doesn’t matter how young or old its candidates are as long as they base their worldview around discredited 19th century ideas about economics and equally discredited 20th century ideas about the virtues of central planning. A youthful body with a decayed brain rotting with ideas that were old when Nixon and LBJ were toddlers isn’t progressive.

It’s hopelessly reactionary.

Obama may have been in his late forties when elected, but his ideas were around one hundred and forty years old. No matter what age Hillary is, her ideas are equally old. It’s not the state of her brain that’s the problem; it’s the things that she’s been putting in there since a young age.

If Hillary and her Democratic Party really want to demonstrate their mental fitness, they can start by naming one single new economic idea that they’ve brought to the table in the last seventy years. And if they can’t, Americans will ask themselves whether they can afford another eight years of 19th century economics from a party whose last new idea is even older than Hillary.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: May 15, 2014, 10:49:58 AM
My first reaction is that it is an outright lie.  I'm sure that this can be demonstrated with a little research.  ThinkProgress is a hard-core leftist pro-Democrat organization, and is notorious for putting out garbage, not unlike Jay Carney.
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 15, 2014, 10:46:34 AM
Well, this is true that the Republican establishment has an incredible knack for pulling defeat from the jaws of victory (Hello, Mr. Karl Rove,) but I hope that we all focus hard on this midterm election THIS year and work hard for true conservative candidates.  Then, if God forbid, this horrid woman should become President, we can keep her in check.

Frankly, I'm still not completely convinced that Obama intends to leave office on schedule.  We've got to cripple him for these last couple of years, regardless.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LA Times story... on: May 14, 2014, 10:26:25 AM
"Barring the release of audio, it is impossible to determine whether Rove uttered the words “brain damage,” but it’s also beside the point. The point was that through his words prospective 2016 voters were reminded of Clinton’s 2012 health issues and, by extension, a host of loosely related things, including her age (69 were she to be elected in November 2016) and her family’s past resistance to transparancy.

And Clinton was reminded that, if she runs, her opponents will be merciless and not always bound by reality."


Oh, cry me a river!  POOR Hillary.  She's SO put upon by mean old nasty Karl Rove.  Of course neither she nor her husband have ever employed such mean, nasty tactics.  They're just innocent victims.  And she's a WOMAN, for God's sake!  How could Rove be so insensitive?  Gag me.
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