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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BAraq borrrows from Duval; Michelle from Alinsky on: July 19, 2016, 02:02:05 PM
https://www.facebook.com/donaldtrumppresident/videos/606879372808623/

http://www.youngcons.com/michelle-obama-caught-copying-parts-of-dnc-speech-from-saul-alinsky/
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: EDC 76% likely to win on: July 19, 2016, 02:00:41 PM
Hillary Clinton has a 76% chance of winning the presidency, our election forecast finds. See the state-by-state breakdown.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 12:50 PM EDT

Our elections model suggests that Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidency, based on the latest state and national polls. A victory by Donald Trump remains quite possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same probability that an N.B.A. player will miss a free throw.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Baraq and Erdogan on: July 19, 2016, 11:38:50 AM
http://9502-presscdn-0-95.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/erdogan-obama-450x250.jpg
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 19, 2016, 11:02:23 AM
Pat Smith: ‘I Blame Hillary Clinton Personally for the Death of My Son’

Hey, remember when grieving mothers of American men slain in battle had “absolute moral authority,” in the words of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd?

Why would Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed in the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, not have that same authority?

From Pat Smith’s remarks Monday night:

My son Sean was one of four brave Americans killed during the 2012 terrorist attack at Benghazi.

Sean was a wonderful son and father to my two amazing grandchildren, Samantha and Nathan, now 10 and 11. He was proud to serve his country with the United States Foreign Service. The last time I talked to Sean, the night before the terrorist attack, he told me, “Mom, I am going to die.”

All security had been pulled from the embassy, he explained. And when he asked why, he never received a response. Nobody listened. Nobody seemed to care.  The very next day, he was murdered by radical Islamic terrorists. To this day, I don’t even know why a computer guy like Sean was sent to Benghazi. That night, we lost sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. We lost four brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they chose to serve. And the American people lost the truth.

For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism the tragedy in Benghazi has wrought upon America, I blame Hillary Clinton. I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.  In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism. But when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible. Since then, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son is dead. I’m still waiting.

Whenever I called the State Department, no one would speak to me because they say I am “not a member of the immediate family.” Sean is my SON. Hillary Clinton is a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. I am a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. How could she do this to me? How could she do this to any American family?

It will not surprise you to learn that a lot of members of the media seethed at Smith’s speech. Perhaps it was indeed exploitative for the Trump campaign to put her front and center at the convention; she’s grieving and, some will argue, looking for a scapegoat for her son’s death. (Again, I don’t recall this argument coming from any Democrats during the peak of Cindy Sheehan’s public role in antiwar activism.)

If you’re one of those folks who found Pat Smith’s remarks shamelessly exploitative, I wonder if you’ll see the same grumbling about the speakers at the upcoming Democratic National Convention:

Also scheduled Tuesday are Mothers of the Movement members Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin; Maria Hamilton, Mother of Dontré Hamilton; Lucia McBath, Mother of Jordan Davis; Lezley McSpadden, Mother of Michael Brown; Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, Mother of Hadiya Pendleton; Geneva Reed-Veal, Mother of Sandra Bland.

Oh, now it’s not okay to invoke tragic deaths in the name of a political agenda? I’ll keep that in mind next week. Or after the next mass shooting.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / For want of a working coffee pot , , , on: July 19, 2016, 10:55:55 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/business/for-want-of-a-working-coffeepot-your-flight-is-delayed.html?emc=edit_th_20160719&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / CalPers actual rate of return on: July 19, 2016, 10:52:08 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/calpers-proclaimed-rate-of-return-7-5-actual-61/
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cal Berkeley's segregated housing on: July 19, 2016, 10:51:08 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/cal-berkeley-to-open-segregated-housing-in-fall-for-real/
58  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Wihongi & Denny: Tactical Clinch on: July 19, 2016, 10:32:58 AM
http://www.roughmenstandready.com/2016/04/training-review-jared-wihongi-and-marc-dennys-tactical-clinch/
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cop Killer from "Sovereign Citizen" movement? or Nation of Islam? or Islam? on: July 19, 2016, 10:11:46 AM
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/inside-the-moorish-sovereign-citizen-movement-that-motivated-the-baton-rouge-cop-killer/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438039/gavin-long-his-roots-his-racial-ideology-grievance?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Jolt07192016&utm_term=Jolt

http://pamelageller.com/2016/07/baton-rouge-cop-killer-gavin-eugene-long-was-nation-of-islam-member.html/

http://pamelageller.com/2016/07/baton-rouge-cop-killer-was-muslim-convert.html/

60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Secret sidebar halves time Iran will need to go nuke on: July 18, 2016, 05:51:33 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/07/18/secret-document-iran-nuclear-constraints/87256214/


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd at the Azadi stadium in Kermansheh, west of Iran, on July 17, 2016. EPA/PRESIDENCY OF IRAN / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY ORG XMIT: ABD01(Photo: Presidency of Iran / Handout, EPA)

VIENNA (AP) — A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.

The document is the only secret text linked to last year's agreement between Iran and six foreign powers. It says that after a period between 11 to 13 years, Iran can replace its 5,060 inefficient centrifuges with up to 3,500 advanced machines.

Since those are five times as efficient, the time Iran would need to make a weapon would drop from a year to six months.

Iran says its enrichment is peaceful, but the program could be used for nuclear warheads.

Two diplomats providing the information Monday demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to do so.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Secret sidebar halves time Iran will need to go nuke on: July 18, 2016, 05:50:35 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/07/18/secret-document-iran-nuclear-constraints/87256214/


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd at the Azadi stadium in Kermansheh, west of Iran, on July 17, 2016. EPA/PRESIDENCY OF IRAN / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY ORG XMIT: ABD01(Photo: Presidency of Iran / Handout, EPA)

VIENNA (AP) — A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.

The document is the only secret text linked to last year's agreement between Iran and six foreign powers. It says that after a period between 11 to 13 years, Iran can replace its 5,060 inefficient centrifuges with up to 3,500 advanced machines.

Since those are five times as efficient, the time Iran would need to make a weapon would drop from a year to six months.

Iran says its enrichment is peaceful, but the program could be used for nuclear warheads.

Two diplomats providing the information Monday demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to do so.
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Real GDP accelerating? on: July 18, 2016, 05:11:59 PM
Real GDP Accelerating To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 7/18/2016

Forecasting economic growth from quarter to quarter is a humbling experience. Even when you get the trend right – and it's hard to beat our forecast of Plow Horse growth – there's always a quarter here and there that will throw you for a loop.

Trying to estimate growth in the second quarter is even tougher than others because that's the time of year when the government goes back and revises the GDP reports for the past few years. Moreover, the government has had persistent problems seasonally adjusting GDP, tending to underestimate growth in the first quarter each year while overestimating growth in the middle two quarters. Government statisticians say they're trying to fix that problem, but who knows how much they'll do this time.

With all this in mind, we're forecasting that the economy grew at a 2.2% annual rate in Q2, maintaining a Plow Horse pace. However, there are important signs of improvement. For example, it looks like "real" (inflation-adjusted) personal spending rose at the fastest pace in a decade. And the key reason holding down overall growth in Q2 is an inventory correction that may end up overshooting, helping boost growth in the quarters ahead.

Meanwhile, the M2 measure of the money supply has grown at an 8.2% annual rate in the first six months of 2016, the fastest pace since 2012. This is consistent with our forecast that both real GDP growth and inflation should be accelerating more than most investors expect in the next year or so, which, in turn, should be good for equities and bad for most bonds.

Below is our "add-em-up" forecast for Q2 real GDP.

Consumption: Auto sales declined slightly in Q2, but retail sales outside the auto sector rose at a 7.1% annual pace in Q2, and services, grew at about a 2.5% rate. Overall, it looks like real personal consumption of goods and services, combined, grew at a 4.4% annual rate in Q2, contributing 3.0 points to the real GDP growth rate (4.4 times the consumption share of GDP, which is 69%, equals 3.0).

Business Investment: Business equipment investment looks like it declined at a 1% annual rate in Q2 while commercial construction fell at a 10% rate. R&D probably grew around its trend of 5%. Combined, we estimate business investment slipped at a 1% rate, which should subtract 0.2 points from the real GDP growth rate (-1.0 times the 13% business investment share of GDP equals -0.1).

Home Building: Residential construction looks like it took a breather in Q2, dropping at an 8% annual rate. Don't get worried, though. This a temporary breather; builders still need to ramp up production to fill a shortage of homes. In the meantime, the temporary drop in Q2 will trim 0.3 points off of the real GDP growth rate. (-8.0 times the home building share of GDP, which is 4%, equals -0.3).

Government: Military spending rose in Q2 while public construction projects declined. On net, we're estimating that real government purchases rose at a 1% rate in Q2, which would add 0.2 percentage points to real GDP growth (1.0 times the government purchase share of GDP, which is 18%, equals 0.2).

Trade: At this point, the government only has trade data through May, but the data so far suggest the "real" trade deficit in goods has gotten a little smaller. As a result, we're forecasting that net exports add 0.3 points on the real GDP growth rate.

Inventories: At present, we have even less information on inventories than we do on trade, but what we have suggests companies were surprised by the acceleration in consumer spending, resulting in a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory accumulation during Q2. We're forecasting inventories subtracted 0.9 points from real GDP growth in Q2.

Put it all together, and we get a forecast of 2.2% for Q2, another Plow Horse quarter. However, the sharp inventory slowdown suggests production and, therefore, real GDP is likely to pick up in the third and fourth quarters. Corporate profits and stock prices are likely to keep rising as well. We expect this to affect the Fed and Fed speakers to become more hawkish, letting investors know a rate hike is a serious possibility by September.
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Latinos for Trump on: July 18, 2016, 10:16:45 AM
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/founder-latinas-trump-latinos-will-put-him-over-top-n611281
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 18, 2016, 09:57:11 AM
"You are a vet and was in VN? "


 huh
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Fair Use Doctrine on: July 18, 2016, 09:55:46 AM
Uploaded on Feb 27, 2011

Who do you Love? (Bo Diddley) video of live performance by Quicksilver Messenger Service at Winterland in 1973.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for 'fair use' for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Video excerpt all materials presented under fair use for non-profit, research, and educational purposes, copyright reserved by the original owners including but not limited to Bill Graham Archives, LLC, and Wolfgangs Vault, who I would like to thank in advance for their kindness and patience in not having their lawyers smash me and my little youtube account flatter than hammered shit.

THE USE OF ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IS USED UNDER THE GUIDELINES OF "FAIR USE" IN TITLE 17 & 107 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. SUCH MATERIAL REMAINS THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL HOLDER AND IS USED HERE FOR THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION, COMPARISON, AND CRITICISM ONLY.

NO INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT IS INTENDED

'I like Dick Dale, I could appreciate him more during the surf period....like I was like.... I was anti-surf, you know? Because they were collegiate. They would like ...like during the folk era, you know...The Kingston Trio........ I was a beatnik..... I was more into jazz....grooving, sharing, umm....that kind of stuff, and like but Link Wray, man. Link Wray affected me so much that first of all, alot of my style, alot of my chords and stuff I got by copying, you know? I saw him on TV man. I'd never played guitar, and he had his guitar that looked so offensive, it was phallic...Rumble, man.....Rumble just blew me away. That's what turned me on to playing guitar. He's the father of the power chord. I still remember it as one of my strongest memories, man. It just burned itself in my mind. I heard Rumble....it was '58. When I heard that, what I heard was, dirty, man. What he was doing was saying, f#ck man, kiss my ass, you know, real rebellious shit, you know, without saying it, you know?' -John Cipollina

Quicksilver Messenger Service initially held back from signing a record deal but eventually signed to Capitol Records in late 1967, becoming the last of the top-ranked San Francisco bands to sign with a major label. Capitol was the only company that had missed out on signing a San Francisco freak band during the first flurry of record company interest and, consequently, QMS was able to negotiate a better deal than many of their peers. Quicksilver Messenger Service had appeared on the movie and soundtrack album Revolution.

Quicksilver Messenger Service released their eponymous debut album in 1968. It was followed by Happy Trails, released in early 1969 and largely recorded live at the Fillmore East and the Fillmore West. According to David Freiberg, at least one of the live tracks was augmented with studio overdubs and the tracks Calvary and Lady of the Cancer Moon were recorded in the studio just before Gary Duncan left Quicksilver Messenger Service.

These albums, which have been hailed as two of the best examples of the San Francisco sound at its purest define the classic period in the group's career and showcase their distinctive sound, emphasizing extended arrangements and fluid twin-guitar improvisation. Cipollina's highly melodic, individualistic lead guitar style, combined with Gary Duncan's driving rhythm guitar, feature a clear jazz sound, a notable contrast to the heavily amplified and overdriven sound of contemporaries like Cream and Jimi Hendrix. In 2003 Happy Trails was rated at #189 in the Rolling Stone Top 500 albums survey, where it was described as the definitive live recording of the mid-Sixties San Francisco psychedelic-ballroom experience. Archetypal Quicksilver Messenger Service songs include the elongated, continually re-titled suite based on Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love?. Additionally QMS had a reputation for joining their fans in the use of LSD during their live shows.

QMS's guitar work shimmered with a brilliance and clarity which made other bands seem murky in comparison. Unlike most members of the other San Francisco acid rock bands, who were often folkies converted to rock, John Cipollina and Gary Duncan were rock musicians before forming their band. Gary Duncan's playing clearly had the broadest scope of any guitarist among the S. F. bands and he had an expert facility to deliver it. Equally expert was John Cipollina, who also had the clearest vision of how he wanted to sound. Cipollina's playing was so completely given over to that vision, and he presented it so well, that the question of scope never arose. John's electric guitar playing was the musical essence of electricity itself, as though he was playing the current directly and the guitar was the valve that allowed him to do that.

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        "Who Do You Love?" by Quicksilver Messenger Service Listen ad-free with YouTube Red

66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / France: Colonization by Immigration on: July 18, 2016, 09:43:52 AM
Colonization by Immigration
“Sheer Horror” in Paris

The Orwell of his generation visits the Banlieues, finding out the truth of "no go" zones in the heart of France.
BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | July 11, 2016

Ben Judah is a journalist who comes especially well-recommended.  His two books, one about Russia and the other about London, have been hailed for their shockingly honest accounts of unpleasant truths.  Of his work on London, the New Statesman reviewer wrote:  “Every MP should be given a copy immediately. On every page lies an uncomfortable truth, in every paragraph sheer horror.”

Now he has turned to the rapid shift towards Islam in France.  Brought on by mass immigration and hardline Islamic preachers, Judah finds a neighborhood in the shadow of the tombs of French kings that is no longer French.

    “The French are too scared to come and shop in Saint-Denis since the attacks. There’s fear. There’s less order — less police, more druggies, more dealers and more thieves. It’s getting worse. I tell you — ten years ago it was not this bad.”

    How does the French state explain all this? I take the butcher’s accusation to the prefect. Grey-haired Philippe Galli is Saint-Denis’s most powerful official and the president’s envoy to the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. His throaty, gravelly voice is accustomed to power.

    “Those same people who say there is a lack of authority,” snaps the 60-year-old prefect, “are the same ones who refuse the police access when they try and enter. Those from the Maghreb, by origin, permit themselves to behave in ways that would be unthinkable where they came from.”

    He tells me that the secret services are currently monitoring 700 people at risk of radicalisation in Saint-Denis, and the police are too frightened to enter alone most areas under his control.

The whole of his piece should be read.

The French government has been drawing up counter-insurgency plans against those al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) have been recruiting.  Last year’s multiple major terror strikes in Paris not only led to the deaths of hundreds, but also highlighted the failure of European police authorities to handle the problem of rising Islamic radicalism.

Meanwhile, with French native birthrates continuing to be below replacement level, mass immigration has continued apace.  A quarter of teenagers in France are now Muslims, implying a future in which any radicalized Islam poses only a greater threat to the stability of the Republic.  Second generation immigrants, according to several major inquiries, seem to be the ones most inclined to radicalization.  The problems of France today may well pale in comparison to the problems of a generation from now.

When can you kill civilians with suicide bombers? Also, what does it take to qualify as a "civilian" who might enjoy any level of protection from suicide bombs?
BY Immanuel Al-Manteeqi

Already Judah’s article identifies a rising Antisemitism that is driving French Jews from their homes.  But it is also driving non-Jewish French from their homes, and making those who continue to live in the changing neighborhoods feel besieged.

The response by the French has been a rising nationalism.  Even al Qaeda’s top figure in charge of recruting from France has endorsed the National Front.  “If the French don’t want war, they should vote Marine Le Pen,” he said. “OK, she’s a woman, and one can call her a racist.  But at least she defends the true values of France.”

Does she?  Judah cites a gay leftist who has come to feel inclined towards a more nationalist politics.  “I realised… my error of interpretation on immigration and Islamisation, which is a danger to liberty…. [A]ll around us this rise of halal, this halalisation of France through its dishes, it’s a conquest of France through its dishes, if you look closely.”

That has parallels in Germany, where nationalism is also rising as a response.  These stories may not be pleasant to read, but every wise person should consider them, and ponder what is to be done.
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eight things that show that ISIS is Islamic on: July 18, 2016, 09:40:38 AM
Go to  http://counterjihad.com/indian-muslim-scholars-vs-common-sense-al-azhar for clickable links

These 8 Things Show How ISIS is Islamic

A group of Muslim scholars in India try to challenge the view that the Islamic State is Islamic. Al-Azhar University disagrees. Our resident Muslim Scholar takes sides.
BY Immanuel Al-Manteeqi · @Al_Manteeqi | July 11, 2016

In 2014, after President Obama and numerous others stated that ISIS was not Islamic, and indeed that it was anti-Islamic, al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni learning in the Arab world, refused to denounce ISIS members as non-Muslims. The contrast was stark: Western leaders and Muslim apologists residing in the West denounce ISIS members as non-Muslims while the main representative of Sunni Islam refuses to do so.

Al-Azhar’s stance has drawn severe criticism from many quarters, and Al-Azhar ulema (i.e., religious scholars) have come under pressure to denounce ISIS members as non-Muslims.

However, in 2015, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyib, the grand imam of al-Azhar, doubled down on the official stance taken by the university, as he refused to condemn ISIS members as non-Muslims. He justified this position by stating that al-Azhar follows the Ash’ari theological school, which states that one cannot condemn as non-Muslim apostates people who profess the shahada (the testimony of faith in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad)[1] and who direct their prayers toward the Ka’ba in Mecca.

But recently, a reportedly massive meeting of Indian Muslim scholars challenged this view. The ulema taking part in this meeting unanimously passed a resolution that condemned the recent attacks Islamist attacks and suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world. The resolution also denounced ISIS as not only un-Islamic, but anti-Islamic as well. The following is a relevant excerpt from the resolution:

    The ISIS has nothing to do with Islam and its principles and tenets, and, in fact, all its activities and terror attacks are meant to strike at the very roots of Islam. The ISIS is not only unIslamic but acts as a tool in the hands of Western forces who are enemies of Islam. In the garb of Muslims, they are defaming Islam. [emphasis mine]

It is good to see many Muslim scholars coming together to condemn ISIS. However, this condemnation has to be grounded in facts and evidence, not upon wishful thinking. Indeed, the above excerpt itself hints at a primary motive for this resolution. These Muslim scholars believe that Western “enemies of Islam” are using ISIS to defame the name of Islam. To these Muslim scholars, ISIS members are “defaming Islam,” particularly in the hostile West, and so they want, as much as they can, to rectify the image of Islam to Westerners. Therefore, their resolution is nothing more than another mentally strained attempt at Islamic apologetics. The simple fact of the matter is that there is hardly any ground for claiming that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam”—and that is why al-Azhar has refused to condemn ISIS members as non-Muslims. In what follows, I offer prima facie considerations that ISIS is indeed an Islamic movement.[2]

1. All ISIS members are Muslims

Not a single member of ISIS holds to a faith other than Sunni Islam. What unites all ISIS members, who hail from many different countries and positions in the socioeconomic ladder, is their shared commitment to a particular militant interpretation of Islam.

2. The idea of a caliphate, a central notion in ISIS’s philosophy, is incontrovertibly an exclusively Islamic notion.

3. The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has a PhD in Islamic studies from Saddam University.[3]

4. Al-Azhar University, the scholarly seat of Sunni Islam, has refused to denounce ISIS militants as non-Muslims.[4]

Indeed, as various commentators have pointed out, some of al-Azhar’s books and professors teach violent subjugation of infidels through jihad, and the acquirement of female sex slaves, both staple doctrines of ISIS.

5. ISIS is an offshoot of Al-Qa’ida, a self-proclaimed Islamic organization whose doctrines are very similar to those of ISIS.[5]

6. Tens of millions of Muslims the world over support ISIS, and more than 200 million do not express an explicitly unfavorable view towards ISIS.[6]

7. The symbols and features of ISIS are Islamic: the black flags that they fly (which refer to Muhammad and Allah), the growing of their beards (which comes from the ahadeeth), the “nasheeds” or hymns that they play in their videos, and their citation of Islamic authorities like Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328)).

8. The type of punishments that ISIS carries out, from slicing the hands of thieves (Q 5:38), to crucifying people (Q 5:33), to the stoning of adulterers, are all distinctive punishments found in the earliest Islamic source texts.[7]

Cumulatively, these eight points make a prima facie good case for ISIS’ being an Islamic movement. So, in the absence of adequate evidence to the contrary, one should believe that ISIS is an Islamic movement.

Indeed, Bernard Hayekel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, thinks that the debate over whether ISIS is islamic is a waste of time because it abundantly clear that they are. The following are his concise and poignant words here:
Read Next
Colonization by Immigration
"Sheer Horror" in Paris

The Orwell of his generation visits the Banlieues, finding out the truth of "no go" zones in the heart of France.
BY CounterJihad

    To say that IS is not Islamic is inaccurate. IS is definitely an Islamic movement; they are an extreme Islamic movement, but to say that they are not Muslims or that they are outside the interpretive parameters of Islam is factually incorrect. You know, ending up in this debate [about whether IS] is Islamic or not Islamic is a total waste of time. There is no question that these people are drawing inspiration from Islamic texts. There is no doubt. And they know these texts better than most Muslims.[8]

It is time to face the facts. The people who join ISIS, no matter how immoral they might be, are Muslims, and ISIS is a thoroughly Islamic organization. ISIS members are not non-Muslims, and certainly are not anti-Islamic, as Western Islam apologists like Hamza Yusuf would have you believe.[9]

The fight against ISIS and its cohorts cannot be won until world leaders in the West follow the advice of Sun-Tzu—viz., “know your enemy.” We must know who our enemies are, and should not ignore the influence of the ideologies that they claim to follow.

No, just labeling ISIS as Islamic radicals is not a sufficient condition for ending the Islamic violence that we see the world over, but it is a necessary condition.

It must be realized that that we are not in war with terrorism; terrorism is just a tactic used by radical Islamists. Rather, we are in war with Islamists and radical Islam, a type of Islam that has plausible justification in Islamic history and Islamic source texts.

Further, it must be admitted that ISIS members the world over are acting out of primarily religious beliefs, and not out of socio-economic reasons.

Indeed, since ISIS members are signing up to put their lives on the line for the Islamic state, the latter reason is certainly not their primary motivation. Their primary motivation is jihad fi sabeel i’llah, or Jihad for the sake of Allah. They seek nothing less than the subjugation of the entire world to Islam and sharia.

[1] The shahada is considered to be the first of the five pillars of Islam.

[2] An analysis of the Islamicity of ISIS’ most notorious actions is beyond the scope of this short article.

[3] William McCants, “The ISIS Apocalypse,” 74, 117.

[4] General Secretariat of the Supreme Council of Al-Azhar, “الأزهر: مفتي نيجيريا لم يكفر داعش في مؤتمر مكافحة الإرهاب,” Al-Azhar University, December 11, 2014, www.azhar.eg/en-us/الأمانة_العامة_للمجلس_الأعلى_للأزهر/الأزهر-مفتي-نيجيريا-لم-يكفر-داعش-في-مؤتمر-مكافحة-الإرهاب.

[5] William McCants, “The ISIS Apocalypse,” 5-31.

[6] This data is ultimately based on the Pew Research Center’s November 2015 poll. See Jacob Poushter, “In nations with significant Muslim populations, much disdain for ISIS,” Pew Research Center, November 17, 2015, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/17/in-nations-with-significant-muslim-populations-much-disdain-for-isis. The above figures are inferred from the Pew Research Center’s data in conjunction with the July 2015 population estimates found in the CIA World Factbook.

[7] For the prescription of stoning for adultery, see Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book 23, Hadith 413, et al.

[8] “Bernard Haykel: How Islamic is the Islamic State?,” YouTube video, 3:08, posted by “Buno Braak,” Nov. 23, 2014.

[9] “The Crisis of ISIS: A Prophetic Prediction | Sermon by Hamza Yusuf,” YouTube video, 12:38, posted by “Zaytuna College,” Sept. 19, 2014.
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Diamond and Silk on BLM and related matters on: July 18, 2016, 09:28:17 AM
https://www.facebook.com/theviewersview/videos/671318993017217/
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Russia's Muslim regions turning to Gulf for help on: July 18, 2016, 09:24:19 AM
Forecast

    As Russia's financial circumstances worsen, many of the country's Muslim republics will try to attract outside investment by implementing Islamic finance tools and establishing joint banks with Muslim countries, despite federal regulations.
    Fearing the potential political and social consequences, the Kremlin will try to keep the regions' Islamic financing and Persian Gulf ties to a minimum unless they funnel through Moscow.
    The prospect of the Muslim republics growing distant from the Russian government or being influenced by foreign states will continue to trouble Moscow, particularly since many of those regions pose the greatest internal threats to Russian security.

Analysis

As Russia's economy continues to stagnate, the country's 83 regions are being forced to compete with one another for outside investment to stay afloat. The quest for funding was a popular theme at the recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where regional governments and corporations tried to woo foreign partners and financiers. Some regions have focused their campaigns on Asia and Europe: The Kaluga and Kaliningrad provinces, for example, have signed investment deals with Bavaria, and Kaluga's governor visited Vietnam earlier in the year seeking funding. But four of Russia's Muslim republics — Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya and Dagestan — have set their sights on Muslim states in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, a strategy that has put Moscow on edge.

Making Ends Meet

Russia's Muslim population is growing rapidly, thanks to high fertility rates and an influx of immigrants from predominantly Muslim Central Asia. Now nearly 13 percent of Russians are Muslim, and most live in the country's eight autonomous Muslim republics: Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Adygea. Under Russian law, these regions — autonomous republics because of their non-Russian majorities — can choose their own languages, constitutions, presidents and security structures. Moscow granted the regions these freedoms, albeit begrudgingly, in the wake of the North Caucasus wars in an effort to quell secessionist sentiment and instability.

The Muslim republics' economies vastly differ from one another. Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, for instance, are two of the most developed regions in Russia because of their oil and agricultural wealth. Both regional governments control their own energy firms, which provide the bulk of the regions' budgets, as well as their own banking systems. In fact, according to Forbes, Tatarstan's two largest banks rank among Russia's most reliable banking institutions. Chechnya and Dagestan, meanwhile, are still struggling to overcome the damage caused by nearly two decades of war with Russia, as are their neighbors in the North Caucasus. Economic growth in these republics relies on federal subsidies, which have been substantial in recent years. Over the past decade, Kremlin funds have made up 80 to 90 percent of the Chechen and Dagestani budgets and more than half of the other North Caucasus regions' budgets. Similarly, the banking systems of Chechnya and Dagestan are dependent on Russia's federal banking system, a stark contrast to the independent banks of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.

Despite their economic differences, Russia's Muslim republics have been uniformly hurt by the collapse in global oil prices. Growth has slowed in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, while the North Caucasus regions have seen their subsidies halved amid the Russian recession. For the past two years, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has even had to dip into his administration's private reserves to make up for his region's budgetary shortfalls (though, admittedly, the reserves were built with funds gained by docking civil servants' salaries). Moscow has not stepped in to address the issue, leaving Russia's regions to look for external investment and financial support on their own.

Finding Financiers in the Muslim World

Some of Russia's Muslim republics have more experience in finding outside backers than others. Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have been fairly successful in maintaining the interest of foreign investors for the past 10 years; Tatarstan is considered Russia's best region for investment, while Bashkortostan is among the top 10. Each has industrial and high-tech economic zones and enough independence from Moscow to strike deals with foreign partners. By contrast, the republics of the North Caucasus have attracted very little foreign investment over the years.

Across the board, though, Russia's Muslim republics are weighing the merits of adopting Islamic lending laws to solve their financial predicament. Unlike conventional finance rules, these laws prohibit lenders from charging interest. Instead, loans more closely resemble investments in specific projects, deriving profit from those projects' success. Islamic financing mechanisms are also often backed by physical assets, making them less risky than their conventional counterparts. From the republics' perspective, the use of Islamic financing would draw the interest not only of Muslim consumers at home but also of other Muslim states.

But their plan has hit a snag: Islamic financing has been legally banned in Russia because it does not require interest payments as traditional financial instruments do. Some Islamic finance tools that resemble profit-sharing agreements between lender and borrower have also been prohibited because they are technically classified as "commercial activities," which Russian banks cannot participate in. Some banks, including federal ones, have found loopholes to skirt the law. Others, such as those in the Muslim republics, have simply ignored it outright, issuing transactions under Islamic banking guidelines or negotiating with foreign financial groups to start implementing them.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, has neither fully supported nor blocked the regions' use of Islamic financing. In March, the Central Bank of Russia approved a roadmap for Tatarstan to begin exploring Islamic banking mechanisms as a test case. The government has yet to change Russian laws on the matter, however, and according to Tatar banks, Russian banks have stalled talks on joint projects with Tatar banks and foreign lenders over the past year. So Tatarstan has struck out on its own. Last year, the region's largest bank, AK Bark, began to issue Islamic bonds that come with far lower rates and fees than its eurobonds do. At the same time, Tatar insurance operator Alliance began to sell an Islamic financial product called Halal Invest.

Tatarstan is hoping that its use of Islamic finance will pull in investment from members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with which the region has had close ties for some time. In the past few years, funding from the Gulf states has indeed risen dramatically, jumping from $60 million in 2011 to $760 million in 2015. Most of the new money has been funneled toward the Smart City being built in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan. The special economic zone will host biomedical, hospital and academic research centers, along with information technology development labs, employing some 50,000 people in total. By venturing into Islamic financing, Tatarstan is attempting to secure even more resources for its cornerstone project. To that end, it has entered into talks with Saudi Arabia's Islamic Development Bank, which has promised to make Tatarstan the Islamic finance hub of Russia within the next few years.

Chechnya has not been far behind. Like Tatarstan, Chechnya has sought partnerships with the Gulf states — including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — over the past few years. Kadyrov has discussed several construction projects in Grozny with Saudi and Emirati officials, though both delegations expressed concern over the region's lack of Islamic money-transfer systems. In response, the Chechen president announced early in 2016 that his region would open an Islamic bank and consult with an Emirati investment firm to establish a joint venture with a GCC partner. A high-ranking Saudi delegation is scheduled to visit Chechnya in the coming months to revisit investment talks.

Bashkortostan and Dagestan have been slower to follow in Tatarstan and Chechnya's footsteps. Bashkortostan has close ties to Tatarstan and has opted to wait and see whether its efforts to create a viable Islamic financing system pan out. Similarly, Dagestan has put off creating its own system until it sees how nearby Chechnya's fares.

Russia Moves to Minimize the Gulf's Clout

The question now is whether Russia will allow Gulf state financing to continue. For years, Moscow avoided making deals with the Gulf states because of its complicated relationships in the region. But when its ties to the West began deteriorating in 2014, Russia began to look for other partners. After sapping up its major investment avenues in China, the Kremlin finally began to reach out to the GCC. Between 2014 and 2015, the Gulf states pledged some $25 billion in funding for Russia — but Moscow kept those funds tightly controlled through the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Now that the Gulf states are reaching deeper into Russia by bypassing Moscow and negotiating directly with the regions, the Kremlin is faced with a dilemma. On one hand, it cannot afford to prop up the Muslim republics on its own. On the other, it also cannot allow the regions to fall into disrepair for fear of the instability it may cause, and it is unwilling to alienate its rapidly expanding Muslim population. But from Moscow's perspective, the rise of Islamic financing is worrisome for a couple of reasons. For one, the Sharia principles inherent in Islamic financing do not mesh with those of Russia's banking system. Moreover, the GCC is interested in promoting Sharia principles more broadly within the republics' communities — something that runs counter to Russia's history of clamping down on strong, independent Islamic ideologies among its people. The Kremlin will accept the Gulf states' money — if it chooses to do so — only as long as it can ensure that the funds go to projects that will not undermine its hold on the Muslim republics.

In addition, Moscow is concerned that the diversification of the republics' investment and business options could further distance them from the federal banking system, or by the same token, grant them greater independence. Nearly all of Russia's Muslim republics have experienced bouts of secessionism, though some have been stronger than others. The Kremlin, therefore, will be careful not to give the regions too much room to establish robust and independent financial systems. Indeed, Tatarstan's two biggest banks have already complained that Russia's federal banks, VTB and Sberbank, are aggressively trying to expand in the region, pressuring Tatar banks to give up some of their business in the process.

The Kremlin is also wary of GCC states gaining direct avenues of influence in Russia's Muslim republics. Concerns about color revolutions and infiltration by other states have led the Kremlin to enact a series of draconian laws that label any foreign money entering Russia a "foreign agent." Moscow has also begun monitoring all Russian entities that do business with foreign corporations. Because the Kremlin does not consider the Gulf states allies, it will likely scrutinize partnerships involving their firms even more closely. That said, not all GCC companies have political agendas. Though Mazcorp, for example, maintains deep ties with Abu Dhabi's royal family, the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank comprises 56 member states and cannot easily be used by Riyadh to advance its goals abroad.

Russia is especially distrustful of ties forged between the GCC and certain Muslim republics, such as Chechnya. For more than two decades, Moscow has firmly maintained that the GCC states (alongside the United States) instigated the First and Second Chechen Wars. The Kremlin claims that Saudi Arabia, in particular, implanted its Wahhabist doctrine in the region and provided arms, supplies, training and support — largely through various charities and humanitarian organizations — to Chechen militants. June negotiations between Kadyrov and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's aide have undoubtedly rekindled Moscow's fears. During the talks, the two discussed Saudi Arabia and other Arab states participating in joint training at Chechnya's International Special Forces Training Center.

Moscow will likely continue to put national security and Russian unity ahead of the needs of its growing Muslim population, no matter how dire the regions' financial situations become. Though the Kremlin cannot force its Muslim republics to ignore the opportunities presented by Islamic financing and investment, it will do what it can to insert itself in the process to rein in their budding relationships with the rest of the Muslim world.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton, Bush, and the Saudis on: July 18, 2016, 08:49:05 AM
https://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/clinton-bush-covered-saudi-terror-network-us
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton, Bush, and the Saudis on: July 18, 2016, 08:48:34 AM
https://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/clinton-bush-covered-saudi-terror-network-us
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton, Bush, and the Saudis on: July 18, 2016, 08:47:50 AM
https://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/clinton-bush-covered-saudi-terror-network-us
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTAH: Murdoch Brothers-- what happens next at FOX News? on: July 18, 2016, 08:44:11 AM
Murdoch Brothers’ Challenge: What Happens Next at Fox News?

By BROOKS BARNES and EMILY STEELJULY 17, 2016

Lachlan Murdoch, left, and his brother James Murdoch, the executive co-chairmen of 21st Century Fox, called for an internal investigation into Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes. Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — They have shaken up 21st Century Fox’s profile in Washington, replacing their father’s Republican lobbying chief with a Democratic one. They have jettisoned film executives, overhauled foreign TV operations and dug into the evolution of cable channels like National Geographic.

Their father, Rupert Murdoch, handed them the reins of 21st Century Fox only a year ago. But since then, James and Lachlan Murdoch have been remaking the company at breakneck speed.

Yet there remains one corner of the company — a critically important one — where the generational shift has not been visible: Fox News.

The brothers have left it alone for two reasons. First, Fox News, which continues to dominate in the ratings, contributes roughly 20 percent of the conglomerate’s annual earnings, and any changes, even seemingly minor ones, could endanger that profit. Second, Roger Ailes, who has run Fox News for 20 years, has little interest in corporate oversight. He has sparred with Lachlan Murdoch in the past — and won.

But the Murdoch siblings now have little choice. Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Mr. Ailes on July 6. Her charges have resulted in a public-relations nightmare for Fox News, and 21st Century Fox now faces questions about succession planning at the linchpin operation. In short, analysts say, it has become the Murdoch brothers’ biggest leadership challenge since taking over.

Moving with notable speed, the Murdochs hired the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to run an internal investigation. A leader of the firm’s inquiry is Michele Hirshman, a former deputy New York attorney general known for helping Eliot Spitzer fend off criminal charges in the federal prostitution case that led to his resignation as governor. Ms. Hirshman’s team, which includes multiple Paul, Weiss partners and associates, has started to interview employees and review emails.

Mr. Ailes, 76, a towering figure in media and Republican politics, has denied any wrongdoing, and 21st Century Fox has expressed its “full confidence” in him.

Even so, James and Lachlan Murdoch, along with lawyers and their father, who has been phoning in from vacation, have had daily discussions about the crisis, according to two people briefed on the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private company dealings. Given the importance of Fox News to the company, the high profile of Mr. Ailes and the seriousness of the allegations, the Murdochs want to make sure impartial and thorough consideration is given to the matter.

There are also things to consider beyond the specifics of Ms. Carlson’s lawsuit. What happens if the investigation turns up nothing to support her claims but finds a hostile workplace nonetheless?

Upending Fox News with a seismic leadership change, particularly as the presidential election season intensifies, is a scenario the brothers are not eager to confront. Despite their personal feelings toward Mr. Ailes, which run cool, and despite their eagerness to modernize 21st Century Fox, the company needs Mr. Ailes, analysts say.

In addition to the more than $1 billion in profit it delivers annually, Fox News gives 21st Century Fox a weapon in talks with cable and satellite operators: Carry all of our networks, and at favorable terms, or we will withhold the enormously popular Fox News. Without the omnipotent Mr. Ailes in charge, Fox News could quickly lose its focus and become less of a juggernaut. Moreover, Mr. Ailes has no clear replacement.

A spokeswoman for 21st Century Fox declined to comment for this article.

In June 2015, when Rupert Murdoch named his sons, James, now 43, and Lachlan, 44, as his successors, the reaction in Hollywood — and even inside 21st Century Fox, to a degree — was subdued. Most people figured the brothers would be timid, at least until their father, who held on to the title of executive chairman, stepped more firmly aside. (James Murdoch was named chief executive and Lachlan Murdoch was named executive chairman, but the company says the two manage in tandem.)

There were some early awkward moments. During a conference call last year with analysts to discuss quarterly financial results, Lachlan Murdoch seemed to struggle, while James Murdoch seemed to signal that this was less a partnership than a one-man show. But the brothers swiftly fell into step and began to exercise their new power, in some instances catching their own executive ranks by surprise.

In September came a $725 million deal to buy control of the National Geographic roster of cable channels and print publications. News of the deal was met with skepticism by many National Geographic employees, who questioned whether their organization’s scientific standards would be threatened by closer alignment with 21st Century Fox — and, in particular, with Fox News, where some commentators have questioned global warming.

On the day the deal was announced, James Murdoch, a supporter of environmental causes (his wife, Kathryn, is a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund), calmed the National Geographic troops at a town hall meeting. He apologized for some of the programming that 21st Century Fox had previously put on the National Geographic channels under a more limited partnership, saying it did not meet the brand’s standards or promise.

In January, the brothers restructured 21st Century Fox’s international channels business, a roster of some 350 channels that generates $3 billion in annual revenue, resulting in the departure of the division’s chief executive, Hernan Lopez. In February, they started a voluntary buyout program aimed at older movie and television personnel — Fox News and Fox local stations were excluded — resulting in the departures of nearly 400 people.

The moves have continued apace. In April, Michael Regan, the company’s longtime lobbying chief, was replaced by Chip Smith, a veteran Democratic strategist. Hulu, which is co-owned by 21st Century Fox, said in May that it would begin selling a bundle of cable and broadcast channels. The brothers have sought to be industry leaders when it comes to piping television directly to consumers — whether in India with Hotstar, a streaming service that now has 72 million users, or with the Fox broadcast network, which last week began testing a similar app.

The brothers recently put into motion a regime change at their film division by abruptly announcing that Stacey Snider, the studio’s co-chairwoman, would succeed Jim Gianopulos as movie chief.

“You have to have a real appetite for change,” James Murdoch said at an analyst event in June. “Our biggest risk, our single biggest competitive threat, is our own incumbency.”

And yet there Fox News has sat — an island that, until now, has fallen into the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” category.

James and Lachlan Murdoch have long had a complicated relationship with Mr. Ailes. About a decade ago, Mr. Ailes and Lachlan Murdoch faced off in a power struggle that eventually led to Lachlan’s unexpected resignation from his father’s empire. James Murdoch has been careful not to criticize Mr. Ailes in public, but people close to him say that he has expressed private concerns that the Fox News brand casts an unfavorable shadow on other parts of the company, particularly in Hollywood.

The friction between Mr. Ailes and the brothers came into public view last summer, when Mr. Ailes told an interviewer that he would continue to report directly to Rupert Murdoch. A week later, a company spokeswoman said that Mr. Ailes would report to Lachlan and James and continue his “longstanding relationship with Rupert.” The next week, in announcing a new multiyear contract for Mr. Ailes, the company said he would report jointly to Rupert, Lachlan and James.

A timeline for the Paul, Weiss investigation has not been disclosed. Although reported by some news outlets as an “independent” review commissioned by the company’s board, that description is not correct. The firm was retained by 21st Century Fox not only to investigate but also to provide legal advice. (The rarer true independent review would preclude legal advice.)

Even so, questions have surfaced about the firm’s independence, in part because of an unconnected case. Last year, the National Football League hired Paul, Weiss to conduct an inquiry into underinflated game balls used by the New England Patriots. The firm later represented the N.F.L. in a related court proceeding, drawing criticism from a New York judge for serving as both investigator and retained counsel. (That judge’s ruling was reversed on appeal.)

A spokeswoman for Paul, Weiss declined to comment.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sheriff Clark vs. Don Lemon on: July 18, 2016, 08:29:26 AM
https://www.facebook.com/wesley.davis.3762/videos/1157375857655938/
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nigeria finds a crisis in every direction it turns on: July 18, 2016, 08:26:43 AM
Nigeria Finds a National Crisis in Every Direction It Turns

By DIONNE SEARCEYJULY 17, 2016

Fuel trucks stranded near the main highway of Warri, Nigeria, last month after militants calling themselves the Niger Delta Avengers disrupted fuel distribution. Credit Jane Hahn for The New York Times

UGBORODO, Nigeria — Militants are roaming oil-soaked creeks in the south, blowing up pipelines and decimating the nation’s oil production. Islamist extremists have killed thousands in the north. Deadly land battles are shaking the nation’s center. And a decades-old separatist movement at the heart of a devastating civil war is brewing again.

On their own, any one of these would be a national emergency. But here in Nigeria, they are all happening at the same time, tearing at the country from almost every angle.

“Nigeria is the only country we have,” President Muhammadu Buhari implored in a recent speech. “We have to stay here and salvage it together.”

Mr. Buhari took office a year ago, promising to stamp out terrorism in the north and to rebuild the nation’s economy. But he has been knocked off course by a series of crises across the country, forcing him to toggle between emergencies.

Beyond low prices for the nation’s oil, the source of more than 70 percent of the government’s revenue, Nigerian officials have been tormented by a new band of militants claiming to be on a quest to free the oil-producing south from oppression. They call themselves the Niger Delta Avengers.

Despite their name, which sounds as if it might be out of a comic book, the militants have roamed the waters of the south for six months, blowing up crude oil and gas pipelines and shattering years of relative peace in the region.

As a result, Nigeria’s oil production in the second quarter this year dropped 25 percent from the same period a year earlier — enough to contribute to a slight increase in global oil prices, according to an analysis by Facts Global Energy, a consulting firm in London.

By The New York Times

Partly because of the Avengers and their sabotage, Nigeria has fallen behind Angola as Africa’s top oil producer.

The attacks have been so costly that Mr. Buhari sent troops that had been fighting in the north against Boko Haram — the extremist group that has killed thousands and forced more than two million people to flee their homes — to battle the Avengers in the south instead.

Mr. Buhari then reconfigured those efforts after complaints that marauding soldiers had roughed up people and property while looking for militants in the south, creating even more resentment among the impoverished people who live there.

Militants have struck in the south in the past, kidnapping or killing oil workers and police officers to demand a greater share of the nation’s oil wealth. But the Avengers seem bent on crippling Nigeria’s economy while it is particularly fragile, striking at the core of Mr. Buhari’s plans for the nation.

The Avengers have sent oil, power and gas workers fleeing, torturing the multinational companies that burrow for oil underneath the waters. Fuel deliveries around the country have stalled because almost everything that has to do with oil in Nigeria right now has been tangled up by the militants.

On the main highway in the southern port city of Warri recently, a long row of fuel tankers sat on the side of the road, idle. A bent-back windshield wiper served as a makeshift clothesline. A mini tube of toothpaste rested on the dashboard of one truck. The truckers were stranded, waiting to fill up.

They had been there a month.

“We are not asking for much, but to free the people of the Niger Delta from environmental pollution, slavery and oppression,” the Avengers wrote on their website, explaining their attacks. “We want a country that will turn the creeks of the Niger Delta to a tourism heaven, a country that will achieve its full potentials, a country that will make health care system accessible by everyone. With Niger Delta still under the country Nigeria we can’t make it possible.”

Mr. Buhari’s government has said it is open to negotiating with the group. But it is already stretched thin.

On the opposite side of the country, Boko Haram is still raging. Mr. Buhari has started a major offensive against the group that has made progress, but it has yet to stamp out the violence.

Another longtime battle is flaring in the middle of the country, between farmers and nomadic Fulani herdsmen looking for grazing pastures. Hundreds have been killed in battles as herdsmen roam into new territory to look for vegetation for their cattle. Officials have blamed climate change and the nation’s rapidly growing population for the scarcity of pastureland.

And with their demands for economic equality for the south, the Avengers have been trying to stoke the aspirations of separatists elsewhere in the nation.

More than four decades ago, at least one million people were killed during the Nigerian civil war, when separatists led an uprising that created an independent republic of Biafra in the southeast. It lasted three years, until 1970.

Now, a Biafran separatist movement is simmering again, with the police and protesters clashing regularly since October, when a prominent activist was arrested and jailed. Some have accused the Nigerian security forces of seeking out and killing protesters.

The Avengers are fanning the separatist sentiments, invoking the Biafran movement and calling for a “Brexit”-style referendum to split the nation along several fault lines.


The south has long been a reservoir of anger and resistance, a place where countless billions in oil revenue are extracted for the benefit of distant politicians and companies abroad. Yet drinking water and electricity can be scarce, and the swamps people live around are regularly polluted with Exxon Valdez-size spills, casting an oily sheen on the creeks and coating the roots of dense mangroves in black goo.

Many people in the predominantly Christian south say they believe that Mr. Buhari, a Muslim from the north, is neglecting them for political or sectarian reasons, even though conditions were also grim under his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner.

“You always say you fought for the unity of this country during the civil war,” the Avengers taunted Mr. Buhari on their website. “You haven’t been to the Niger Delta, how can you know what the people are facing.”

In his recent speech, Mr. Buhari recalled the horrors of the civil war, when he served in the military fighting Biafrans. “The president has a vision of one united Nigeria and is prepared to do everything to keep it as one,” he said.

This spring, Mr. Buhari announced that he would personally introduce a $1 billion cleanup program of the oil-polluted Niger Delta area. It was to be Mr. Buhari’s first visit to the region since taking office, but with the Avengers’ movement raging, the president abruptly canceled his trip. Residents of Delta State felt slighted.

“Years have passed with neglect, deprivation, environmental deprivation, poverty, no electricity, no roads, no hospital, no schools, but we are living in the country of Nigeria,” said Blessing Gbalibi, a fuel-truck driver raised in the creek communities. “Over there in Abuja,” he added, referring to the capital, “they are taking our resources.”

Yet many Niger Delta residents like Mr. Gbalibi oppose the Avengers because their acts of sabotage have degraded the already-poor quality of life in the region. Spills from explosions have further polluted farmland and fishing holes. Mr. Gbalibi and his fuel truck were among those stuck on the side of the highway for a month because the Avengers had disrupted fuel distribution.

About a decade ago, another band of militants, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, prowled the creeks, blowing up pipelines. The federal government reined it in by setting up an amnesty program that offers cash and job training, some of it overseas, for more than 30,000 militants and residents, according to Paul Boroh, a retired brigadier general and the special adviser to Mr. Buhari for the program.

But oil revenue finances the program, and the fall in oil prices prompted the president to consider ending the amnesty program at the end of last year. Mr. Boroh said he had lobbied to keep the plan for now, but to phase it out over the next two years.

The Avengers movement sprang up around the time the president was considering an end to the program, prompting many Niger Delta residents to wonder if the shadowy group is made of former militants hoping to keep up amnesty payments.

The amnesty program is far from universally loved in the creeks. Many residents say payments are routinely siphoned by corrupt community leaders. Others say the job training they received was virtually useless. Oil companies prefer to hire foreigners, they complain, or they hire locals only on a short-term basis — and then nothing.

The program sent Mike Gomero, a former militant, to learn the teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at a two-week session in South Africa. He is no longer blowing up pipelines. But he still does not have a job.

“The amnesty program is not a solution,” said Williams Welemu, a former member of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. “It’s palliative.”

Communities like Ugborodo, so deep in the winding creeks that it is at least two hours from the mainland by speedboat, are dotted with homes that are little more than tiny zinc huts on islands that are sinking into the sea. They are filled with unemployed residents trained as geologists, pipe fitters and marine engineers.

One of them, Collins Bemigho, stood along a dirty swamp, orange flares from a giant Chevron terminal glowing in the distance behind him. He complained about a lack of indoor plumbing, of good health care or a secondary school, and then pointed to a thick pipe jutting from the water.

“If I wanted to bust a pipeline, I could do that right here,” Mr. Bemigho said. “We’re not rewarded for being well behaved.”
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2013 Stratfor analysis on: July 18, 2016, 08:07:50 AM
Analysis

Editor's note: As a coup in Turkey unfolds, this analysis, first published in December 2013, explores the competing circles of power that are now challenging the conservative rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has long sought to move the country away from control of its older secular elites, which include the military. We republish this analysis for its contextual insight.

Turkey's Bosporus, the 31-kilometer (19-mile) waterway transecting historic Byzantium — the present-day sprawling metropolis of Istanbul — provides an instructive metaphor for the roiling Turkish scandals currently grabbing headlines. Surface currents on this busiest of world straits flow from north to south, from the Black Sea through the Bosporus and on to the Mediterranean. Unseen, however, a deeper current below runs south to north, against seeming logic actually pulling water from the Mediterranean up and into the Black Sea from which it came. The Black Sea is what geologists call a "meromictic" lake, with some 90 percent of its volume devoid of oxygen, all of it low in salinity. The Mediterranean, by contrast, is highly saline. The result is a complex hydrology discovered only in 1935. The currents and crosscurrents mystify scientists to this day.

Much the same can be said of Turkey's politics: What one sees from above obscures the complexity and interplay of currents below. On the surface, Turkey appears to be a modern state with a political system and parties easily analogized to their counterparts in Europe or North America. In this view, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a reformist group credited with defanging a prickly military that mounted three coups between 1960 and 1980, delivering to the country a vibrant democracy. The AKP came to power in 2002 on a trilogy of promises to promote freedom, end poverty and end corruption. Until recently, Turkey under the AKP was touted by many in the West as a model for the Middle East and Islamic world.

More recently by this account, the AKP that came to power as a coalition of Islamists and liberals, is newly at odds with a group known as the Gulen movement, a powerful religious fraternity whose global network of media outlets, schools and commercial enterprises make it a serious player in Turkish politics. It is led in turn by a lay preacher named Fethullah Gulen, self-exiled and living in Pennsylvania.

Some 80 people have been swept up in a recent wave of arrests and charges, with at least four AKP ministers threatened with corruption indictments. A raid on the president of the largest state-owned bank found $4.5 million in his home. Scenes of the arrest of the son of the minister of interior, the nation's top cop, rivet Turkish TV watchers. Prosecutors tied to the Gulen movement meanwhile lead the drama. That the movement and its allies in the police and judiciary are seen as the animators of the now infamous "Ergenekon" and "Sledgehammer" court cases that silenced many an AKP critic and put hundreds of officers — including the former chief of the army's general staff — behind bars, serves to cement this view of the obvious current of Turkish politics. That the government's reaction was to remove the lead prosecutor, an erstwhile AKP hero, puts the capstone on this conventional narrative.

But within Turkey's complex political hydrology, something deeper ensues. For Turkey is not a modern state. Rather, it is the collapsed star of empire. It is the heir to the dynasties and sub-dynasties that wove the Ottoman Empire into a tapestry of shifting alliances among fiefdoms known as "millets." In turn, the Ottoman Empire itself, which conquered the Byzantine Empire in 1453, did not so much replace its predecessor as subsume and mimic it. No wonder that Turkey's politics remain, in a word, Byzantine.

It is not excessively simplistic to argue that the fundamental dynamic of the Ottoman Empire was an endless struggle between the center, in Istanbul, and the periphery that reached at the empire's height from Budapest in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, sweeping up to encircle the Black Sea in what is today Russia and the Caucasus. Those centrifugal forces eventually tore the empire apart, leading to the establishment of today's Republic of Turkey in 1923.

Secular republicanism nominally replaced theocratic monarchism, but old habits and reflexes endured.

One enduring tradition was a rent-seeking system of wealth creation at odds with any notion of Weberian capitalism. Innovation and entrepreneurialism was — and is — an almost alien concept. In its place was an intimacy between business and government that made the two often hard to distinguish. State-run enterprises dominated throughout the 20th century as vast private fortunes depended both on government largesse, connections and high tariff walls. The center of power, moved to the new inland capital of Ankara, was supreme, and tight central control under the tutelage of the military was the rule.

Political parties other than the founding Republican People's Party were not allowed until the late 1940s. When they arrived their hues were — and still are — more akin to fiefdoms or even the millets of old. They function as patronage systems, arbitrating factional disputes and managing the alliances of powerful families and the state. The first multiparty elections were held in 1950. Those elections, which yielded rule by a party of the periphery and hinterland, the Democrat Party, also signaled a return to the fundamental tension. Its leader, Adnan Menderes — whom Erdogan sees as a mentor — challenged the rule of the center and the patronage networks that both supported and were nurtured by that center. The result was the coup of 1960. Menderes was hanged. His gallows, constructed next to a makeshift military courthouse during his trial, speaks volumes about presumption of innocence in Turkey and hints at the independence of the judiciary even today.

Great family fortunes were allowed to accumulate, with the Eczacibasis, the Kocs, the Sabancis and the Dogans all synonyms today for Turkey's largest conglomerates. These replaced, and in some cases outright seized, the assets of the former commercial and subservient Ottoman classes, the non-Muslim minorities now largely departed.

Ideological violence, the Cold War and Turkey's Kurdish separatist impulses were all part and parcel of Turkey's grand political dramas of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But whenever a government strayed too far from the centralist line, the military stepped in. Coups occurred in 1971 and again in 1980, with the political classes allowed to return only after a punitive breather each time.

Surges between these two poles created other and lesser commercial dynasties as each party upon obtaining power sought to buttress its gains with a new wealthy class of supporters created through access to state bank credits, public tenders and other patronage.

As globalized trade surged and tariffs fell during the 1980s, another new party and government led by the late Turgut Ozal took power. The Motherland Party spawned another round of assertiveness and economic rise in the hinterland. This empowered the so-called Anatolian Tigers, a breed of conservative bourgeoisie whose wealth stemmed from Turkey's embrace of the trends of globalization in textiles, cement, furniture manufacture and construction. Lesser clashes between the center and periphery ensued, including a "post-modern coup" in 1996, whereby the military quietly forced Turkey's first Islamist government from power. Once again, the old guard reasserted itself.

Ultimately, however, this newest class cleared the way for Erdogan's success in 2002. It also was fueling the rise of the Gulenist movement, which drew and draws its power from a similar if narrower base.

The first AKP government was a coalition of sorts of Islamists, secular conservatives weary of the state's fickle economic management, liberals with an eye on the model of the then-surging European Union, and, of course, the Gulenists.

The economy was improving, and in 2004, Turkey under the AKP began its negotiations to join the European Union. This embrace of the European Union masked many of the center-periphery distinctions, and a flood of portfolio and foreign direct investment greased the traditional cogs of patronage. But this also opened new fissures between the old and new ruling elites, with foreign direct investment in some years exceeding the entire volume of foreign investment into Turkey from the time of the republic's founding until 2000.

The sheer momentum of the EU embrace and economic growth aided greatly in the assault on military power, and with help from many quarters, the AKP curtailed the ability of the generals and jailed those who resisted. Real crimes were certainly addressed in a series of trials, though the motivations had to do with, once again, the currents below.

But the AKP's assault on the old guard was not limited to the military. Bastions of old-line commercial power, beginning with the media and telecommunications empire of the Uzan family, were effectively seized and redistributed to AKP allies. The media and energy empire of the Dogan family was hit next with billions of dollars in tax fines when the group stepped out of line in its reporting. More recently, the powerful Koc industrial and retail dynasty was cut down to size with a series of inquiries that followed support for protesters who rallied in the last spring and early fall in Istanbul's Gezi Park in opposition to Erdogan and the AKP's rule.

For its part, the Gulen movement is at odds with the AKP over many things. On the economic front in particular these include a set of proposed education reforms that would close private university prep classes, a moneymaker for the movement in a sector that vastly outstrips the size of the formal budget for national education. And indeed the movement appears the broker in the new anti-AKP coalition forming among the factions. But this is only the obvious political current.

The Gulenists, however, are clearly not alone. Erdogan's premiership has aroused great enmities among once-loyal liberals, conservatives and critically, the old elite who once thought they could do business with the AKP. With assets in the police, media and judiciary, the Gulen movement is a minor rival, but a useful and public one for the disparate groups now coalescing to cut Erdogan down to size.

The intent will likely be to tame the AKP, not kill it. The emerging electoral punch of the anti-AKP coalition in a presidential election next summer is unlikely to derail the AKP's formidable machine. Nor is it likely to deny Erdogan's move from premiership to presidency. But local elections in March are another matter. The prize of the Istanbul mayoralty, the post from which Erdogan launched his career two decades ago, is one the emerging anti-Erdogan coalition could snag with the help of the Gulenists. That will not devastate the AKP, but it will be a huge psychological blow and slow the party's swagger.

It will also signal the return of normalcy in Byzantium. After a decade in the shadows and on the defensive, the power brokers of the Ottoman-derived center are back to challenge the upstarts from the periphery of Turkish politics. Turkish politics flow in odd ways and multiple directions, just like the waters of the country's Bosporus.
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Turkey's manipulation of Europe, then and now on: July 18, 2016, 12:33:23 AM
Turkey's Manipulation of Europe, Then and Now
by Efraim Karsh
The Times Literary Supplement
July 17, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6117/turkey-europe-then-and-now
 
 

Originally published on June 24 under the title "Holding the Balance of Power: Turkey's Complicating Relationship with Europe during the First World War and Since."
 
A Turkish regime exploiting an international crisis to manipulate Europeans. Sound familiar?

It is a historical irony that, for the second time in a century, Turkey is exploiting a major international crisis to manipulate the most powerful European nation into a hugely misconceived and self-defeating policy.

Having exacerbated the Syrian civil war by allowing jihadists of all hues to cross Turkish territory to fight his friend-turned-nemesis Bashar al-Assad, then spurred a massive humanitarian crisis by allowing hundreds of thousands of Syrian refuges (and assorted Middle Eastern migrants camped in Turkey) to infiltrate Europe illegally, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan capitalized on Chancellor Merkel's recoil from her "open door" migration policy to extract substantial financial and political concessions from the European Union that, if fully implemented, will irreversibly change the EU's demographic and cultural identity.

Ottoman culpability for the outbreak of the First World War was of course infinitely smaller, yet the ailing Muslim empire was equally adroit in harnessing German vulnerabilities and anxieties to its advantage. In The Ottoman Endgame, Sean McMeekin lays bare the full extent of Istanbul's manipulation and deceit, beginning with its success in goading Berlin into a secret defence alliance unpalatable to most German decision-makers, including the Chancellor, the Foreign Minister, the Ambassador to Istanbul, and numerous senior officers who considered the Ottoman army a "problem child."
 
Sean McMeekin, The Ottoman Endgame. 550 pp. Allen Lane. £30, 9-781846-147050.

He shows, for example, how the Ottoman Minister of War, Enver Pasha, clinched the alliance treaty by promising to turn over to Germany the soon-to-be-delivered UK-built Ottoman flagship, knowing full well that the vessel had been requisitioned by London; and how, immediately after signing the agreement, the Ottomans extracted a string of far-reaching concessions, left out of the preceding negotiations lest they prevent the treaty's conclusion, by allowing two German warships into the Dardanelles (in contravention of the 1841 London Convention stipulating the closure of the straits to military vessels), only to have them incorporated into the Ottoman navy so as to comply with Istanbul's declaration of neutrality - made in flagrant violation of the nascent alliance treaty.

Indeed, in order to get their ally to comply with its contractual obligation to join the war, the Germans had to pour vast quantities of weapons and money into the bottomless Ottoman pit and had to endure months of insinuated threats of defection before the Sultan declared war on the Anglo-French-Russian Triple Entente on November 10, 1914.

Nor was the objective balance of power between the two allies reflected in the actual relationship between them throughout the war. Quite the reverse; in line with their long-established practice of using their perennial weakness as a lever for winning concessions from powerful allies, the Ottomans exploited their First World War setbacks to attract ever-growing military, economic, and political support from Berlin for paltry returns.
The Ottomans exploited their wartime setbacks to attract greater military and economic support from Berlin.

Thus, for example, in the late-war negotiations on the renewal of the bilateral alliance, Istanbul secured the reiteration and expansion of the original German pledges as well as a commitment both to avoid a separate peace treaty and to accord the Ottoman Empire vast territorial gains in Thrace, Macedonia, and Transcaucasia. Similarly, in the summer of 1917, when Enver set out to establish a special 120,000-strong new army, code-named Yilderim ("Thunderbolt"), the Germans agreed to assign to it thousands of troops despite their great reluctance to divert any forces from the main theatre of war in Europe.
Last but not least, the Germans so resented the Ottoman foray into Transcaucasia following Russia's departure from the war in the wake of the October 1917 Revolution that they threatened to withdraw all their officers from the Ottoman Empire were it to march on the Azeri capital of Baku, and planned to resist such a move "with all available means," including sabotaging the railways used to supply the Turkish army. These attempts at influence, however, came to naught as Istanbul considered Transcaucasia the natural preserve for its imperial ambitions, going so far as to order its forces to engage in battle any German units that stood in their way.

McMeekin's meticulous documentation of this pushing and shoving goes a considerable way to discrediting the conventional paradigm of Ottoman victimhood. Yet he seems reluctant to follow his factual findings to their logical conclusion. "The decision by Turkish statesmen to enter the war in 1914 is best understood as a last gasp effort to stave off decline and partition by harnessing German might against the more dangerous powers with designs on Ottoman territory - Russia, Britain, and France (in roughly that order)", he writes. "Given the security problems facing the empire in 1914, there was no realistic scenario in which it could have endured indefinitely on some kind of status quo ante, only bad and worse options."
Istanbul's plunge into World War I was a straightforward attempt to revive imperial glory and regain lost territories.

This conclusion is hardly supported by the historical facts (or, indeed, by The Ottoman Endgame's narrative). Far from a desperate bid to stave off partition by the European powers (merely a year before the outbreak of the First World War, Britain and Russia prevented the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by its former Balkan subjects), Istanbul's plunge into the whirlpool was a straightforward attempt to revive imperial glory and regain lost territories. Had the Ottomans stayed out of the conflict, as begged by the Triple Entente, they would have readily weathered the storm and the region's future development might well have taken a different course.

No empire can of course endure indefinitely and the Ottoman Empire was no exception to this rule. Yet, having lost its European colonies well before the First World War, it faced no intrinsic threat to its continued existence for the simple reason that its mostly Muslim Arabic-speaking Afro-Asian subject population was almost totally impervious to the national idea - the ultimate foe of empires in modern times and the force that had driven the Ottomans out of Europe.

Even more far-fetched is the author's speculation that in the event of a German victory "a semi-victorious Britain (whatever this creative euphemism means) may still have picked off Ottoman Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Syria in exchange for accepting the German position in Russia and Ukraine." For one thing, there is no reason to assume that a victorious Germany would have shown greater magnanimity to a defeated Britain (or France) than that accorded to it by the two powers. For another, having shown no interest in colonizing the Ottoman Empire before the world conflict, Britain remained wedded to its continued existence for months after Istanbul's entry into the war, leaving it to a local Meccan potentate - Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of the Hashemite family - to push the idea of its destruction.
 
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk extricated Turkey from its imperial past reestablished it as a modern, largely secularist nation-state.

In his concluding comments, McMeekin rightly deems Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's extrication of Turkey from its imperial past and its reestablishment as a modern, largely secularist nation-state to have been a resounding success. What he fails to note, however, is that for quite some time this legacy has been under sustained assault. In the thirteen eventful years since it first came to power in November 2002, Erdoğan's Islamist Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) has largely undone Atatürk's secularist reforms; transformed Turkey's legal system; suppressed the independent media; sterilized the political and military systems; and embarked on an aggressive foreign policy blending anti-Western rhetoric with Neo-Ottoman ambition to "reintegrate the Balkan region, Middle East and Caucasus... together with Turkey as the centre of world politics in the future" (in the words of Foreign-Minister-turned-Prime-Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu).

This in turn means that while for Atatürk and his erstwhile successors Turkish-European relations, notably Ankara's bid for EU membership, were a matter of political and cultural affinity on top of anything else, for the AKP these relations are strictly instrumental: a springboard both for harnessing European economic and financial resources to the AKP's grand ambitions without real reciprocation, not unlike Istanbul's First World War alliance with Berlin, and for establishing an Islamist bridgehead in Europe with a view to its gradual expansion. As Davutoğlu told a large gathering of Swiss Turks in January 2015:
Islam is Europe's indigenous religion, and it will continue to be so... I kiss the foreheads of my brothers who carried the tekbir [i.e., the call Allahu Akbar] to Zurich... How holy those people were, who came and sowed the seeds here, which will, with Allah's help, continue to grow into a huge tree of justice in the centre of Europe. No one will be able to stop this... We will enter the EU with our language, our traditions, and our religion... Would we ever sacrifice one iota of that culture? With Allah's grace, we will never bow our heads.

Efraim Karsh is emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at Kings College London, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and principal research fellow at the Middle East Forum.
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: July 17, 2016, 10:12:29 PM
I have always had a leery feeling about open carry, especially long guns.

In the context of the RNC it may be a really bad idea.

Prayers for all of us.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: July 17, 2016, 10:10:10 PM
Amen!
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Things can escalate quickly on: July 17, 2016, 06:40:13 PM
https://www.facebook.com/TheRebelPatriot/videos/1745395925729838/

81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: July 16, 2016, 03:42:15 AM
First time I've run across this source:
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/u-s-warships-surround-disputed-chinese-waters-prepared-for-war-wwiii-at-stake_07152016
82  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Lesnar was juiced, Hunt wants half of purse on: July 15, 2016, 09:03:13 PM
http://www.mmafighting.com/2016/7/15/12204448/mark-hunt-asks-for-half-of-brock-lesnars-purse-or-release-from-ufc
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: July 15, 2016, 08:39:52 PM
I saw that; either he is getting desperate or he is getting a lot of money for the gig , , , or both.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt on Pence on: July 15, 2016, 08:35:04 PM
Governor Pence -- a Good Choice for VP

I have known and respected Governor Mike Pence for more than a decade, since he was a smart, principled, conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2005, Mike and I held an event together at the American Enterprise Institute about “The Future of Conservatism.” I was impressed by his eloquent case for smaller, more accountable government. He was an early critic of the fiscal excesses of Congressional Republicans during the Bush years and of federal overreach in general.

As Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Mike was the only member of the senior Republican leadership to address the Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C. in 2010. He was instrumental in helping House Republicans win the majority that year.

He also served for a time as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative House Republicans -- a sign that he was well-liked and respected among his House colleagues.

Mike went on to win the Indiana governorship in 2012 and he has served a very successful term in that role. He signed the largest tax cut in the state’s history, eliminated the estate tax, and significantly reduced income taxes -- all while controlling spending.

Governor Pence’s conservative reforms helped drive an economic boom in Indiana. In just 3 years, the state has added more than 150,000 jobs and reduced its unemployment rate from 8.4 percent to less than 5 percent. Companies like Subaru, Amazon, and Salesforce have added thousands of jobs in the state.

Mike has also been committed throughout his career to defending the rights of the unborn and protecting religious liberty and the role of faith in public life.
As an accomplished governor, a solid conservative, and a former leader in the House who has good relationships with Congress, Mike Pence is a strong vice presidential nominee.

He can help reach out and reassure members of Congress and Republican governors who may be skeptical of Trump’s untraditional candidacy. People who know Mike and have served with him will appreciate his background in the conservative movement.

Mike also brings very practical governing experience which could prove invaluable in a vice president. He knows how to govern from the executive branch, and he also understands the dynamics of a legislative body as a former member of the House leadership.

Mike Pence will make an excellent vice president for Donald Trump. Their partnership has the potential to be transformative, to revitalize our economy and our national security, and to make America great again.

Your Friend,
Newt
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH on Trump and the Business Roundtable on: July 15, 2016, 10:19:12 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/business/for-trump-business-leaders-are-more-elites-to-resist.html?emc=edit_th_20160715&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH on MN officer's training on: July 15, 2016, 10:16:58 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/us/minnesota-police-officers-bulletproof-warrior-training-is-questioned.html?emc=edit_th_20160715&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Delta Force Marine awarded Navy Cross on: July 15, 2016, 09:54:51 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/16/delta-force-marine-awarded-navy-cross-fight-cia-an/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

Edited to add:

From Kris Paronto:

"For doing what? He didn't fire his weapon or come up to assist on the roof tops until ‪#‎Tig‬ started cussing the guys out in building C approximately 3 -4 minutes after the last mortar hit, telling them he needed help while myself, Jack and Boon remained in the fight on our roofs..... Then he proceeded to toss Ty and Glen's bodies off the roof the after the Annex had been secured by the Qaddafi loyalist militia. Maybe he did something in Building C to warrant it that I didn't see, but I don't know what that would've been unless destroying classified information now warrants the Navy Cross.

I have an idea why he received this medal.... And it's a slap in the face to those that did do a lot of heroic things for 13 hours. I don't want to get into it in detail, but I will say that when you're a CIA staffer, you're play ball and sometimes you forget what integrity and friendship are. As long as your still employed ehh TL's.......
‪#‎Truth‬ ‪#‎Tanto‬ Kris Tanto Paronto"
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary on Immigration July 2016 on: July 15, 2016, 09:52:11 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/14/clinton-resettle-one-million-muslim-migrants-first-term-alone/
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's Muslim immigration policy on: July 15, 2016, 09:51:23 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/14/clinton-resettle-one-million-muslim-migrants-first-term-alone/
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saudi Wahhabi money behind mosque in Nice on: July 15, 2016, 09:45:44 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/15/saudi-funded-mosque-opened-nice-two-weeks-attack/
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / United Kingdom's new foreign secretary Boris Johnson on: July 15, 2016, 04:33:35 AM


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/world/europe/boris-johnson-uk-foreign-secretary.html?emc=edit_th_20160715&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt zingers on: July 15, 2016, 04:19:41 AM
http://www.subjectpolitics.com/top-5-newt-gingrich-debate-zingers/
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya on: July 15, 2016, 04:11:23 AM
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5501/a-final-footnote-on-gadhafi#

94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Student faces expulsion on: July 15, 2016, 03:58:21 AM
http://heatst.com/culture-wars/university-student-who-criticized-black-lives-matter-faces-expulsion-death-threats/
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gay Billionaire amongst speakers at Rep convention on: July 15, 2016, 03:53:50 AM
http://heatst.com/politics/gay-billionaire-peter-thiel-convention/
96  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Baltic Dog's Fight Club, Dog Ryoga Vee on: July 15, 2016, 03:51:48 AM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/zarastone/2016/07/06/the-weird-and-wonderful-history-of-silicon-valley-fight-club/#68b2111540f7

Dog Ryoga Vee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K27Rb6-6VNw
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 15, 2016, 03:39:22 AM
No.  This was 1980.  I had thought I was Left because of my opposition to the Vietnam War and to my being sent there during the '60-70s but with my study of economics beginning in 1975 at U. of PA I realized that it was the Right that was about freedom.
98  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Dog Ryoga Vee on: July 15, 2016, 03:35:08 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K27Rb6-6VNw
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / For Nice, France on: July 14, 2016, 09:17:40 PM
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZkdRJqEVyg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6cJR9copFw
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Today's episode in the potty wars on: July 14, 2016, 06:55:30 PM
https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/davidmack/trans-woman-arrested-in-target
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