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 on: May 28, 2015, 09:47:53 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Erdogan vs. the New York Times, and Democracy
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
May 28, 2015
 For 13 years, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has worked to impose his Islamist vision on Turkey's proud secular democracy, reshaping the country into a neo-Ottoman republic. His success can be credited in no small measure to his manipulation and intimidation of the press, and the occasional censorship of social media and the Internet overall. Now, in a gesture that betrays either Islamist imperialism, sheer ignorance of Western democracy, or both, Turkey's president and former prime minister is expanding his reach, raising his fist – and, he hopes, his influence – at the West, using the New York Times as his target.

Infuriated by a "shameless" May 23 Times editorial that called him "increasingly hostile to truth-telling" and accused him of "brute manipulation of the political process" in the upcoming June 7 elections, Erdogan accused the paper of "overstepping the limits of freedom" and "meddling in Turkish politics." Speaking in Istanbul on Monday, the Turkish leader called on the Times to "know its place," and alleged that if the paper were to criticize U.S. leaders, those leaders "would immediately do what is necessary" – an ominous suggestion that spotlights his own way of dealing with journalists who say things he doesn't like: he puts them in prison, often on charges of "terrorism." In 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists cited Turkey as the leading imprisoner of journalists for the second year in a row. The release of eight of those journalists in 2014 put the country in second place, but signs are strong that 2015 will see the country take the lead again.

Indeed, only days after his rant against the Times, Erdogan took revenge on former Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, revoking his promise to grant him "honorary citizenship" and instead calling him "an enemy of our government and of our country." That change of heart appears to have come when someone on the president's staff uncovered a Jan. 4 article Kinzer penned for the Boston Globe, in which he observed, "Once seen as a skilled modernizer, [Erdoğan] now sits in a 1,000-room palace denouncing the European Union, decreeing the arrest of journalists, and ranting against short skirts and birth control."

This is hardly the first time Erdogan has wrestled with the "Gray Lady." In 2014, the then-prime minister refuted the Times' report that Turkey had allowed weapons to flow into Syria to aid ISIS. Turkey, he insisted, "is against terrorism of all kinds, indiscriminately." It was an ironic statement at best, coming from a man with Muslim Brotherhood sympathies who is also the leader of a country that allegedly serves as a Hamas headquarters. It is also worth noting that while Erdogan called Kinzer an "enemy of the government," he openly welcomed members of the Brotherhood expelled from Egypt after the fall of Mohamed Morsi.

But it wasn't just the article Erdogan found problematic, he also criticized the Times' use of a photograph of him exiting a mosque, claiming it suggested that he and the mosque were responsible for recruiting jihadists for ISIS. The paper subsequently apologized for the image, saying it was "published in error." That led Erdogan to crow locally that he had triumphed over the Times – and so, he meant to suggest, over America. Similarly, in the aftermath of the latest Times conflict, he warned that the Times no longer rules Turkey: "They are used to ruling the other side of the world from 10,000-15,000 kilometers' distance," he declared. "But there is no such Turkey. There is no more old Turkey. There is a new Turkey."

It was a typical Erdogan gesture: he often seeks that kind of triumph – not only over America, but over the entire world. He has famously stated that Muslims, not Columbus, discovered America, a position he defended with the assertions that "as the president of my country, I cannot accept that our civilization is inferior to other civilizations," and that "Western sources shouldn't be believed as if they are sacred texts."

At speeches in Europe, he has exhorted Turkish-Europeans to resist assimilation. "Assimilation is a crime against humanity," he told an international audience of 20,000 who attended his 2008 speech in Cologne, Germany. And in 2013, in a highly controversial move, he demanded that the Dutch government place Turkish-Dutch foster children only in Muslim homes – despite the fact that there are few Muslim families offering to house foster children.

More recently, the Islamist party he founded in 2001, the Justice Development Party (AKP), went so far as to proclaim that "God is on our side" in the upcoming parliamentary elections – a statement that in itself defies the deepest principles of a secular, democratic republic. It is a position also in keeping with Erdogan's neo-Ottoman agenda, which to date has included the institution of mandatory religion classes and lessons in Arabic-Ottoman script in all Turkish schools. (Kemal Ataturk banned Ottoman script with the founding of the Turkish Republic, replacing it with a Latin alphabet aimed at Westernizing Turkey, turning it away from its Islamic and Arab history.)

Much about Erdogan's vision, in fact, can be read into this reinstatement of Ottoman Turkish; as the Washington Post observed, his opponents have taken the move "as a sign of the creeping Islamization of Turkey's resolutely secular society that has taken place under Erdogan's watch. Bans on headscarves and veils have been lifted by Erdogan. The number of students studying in state-run religious seminaries has grown from 63,000 in 2002, when Erdogan first came to power, to nearly 1 million today – a statistic the Turkish president celebrates." Not for nothing did Erdogan promise early in his administration to build "a new religious youth."

From all of this emerges a confused, somewhat bizarre understanding of the role of the written word, be it in journalism or religious text, and a confusion between the two. It is forbidden to criticize Mohammed, for instance, but it is equally forbidden, evidently, to criticize Turkey's president (as it is the leaders of most, if not all, Muslim countries).

Indeed, a 16-year-old schoolboy was arrested last December on charges of insulting the president over comments defending secularism and alleging government corruption. In an Islamist society – that of political Islam – there is no distinction between Islam and the state: to criticize one is tantamount to criticizing the other.

In the same way, Erdogan's aim of creating a "new Turkey" that restores the Ottoman Empire and is more powerful than America or Europe, is akin to the ideal of a world Caliphate – a world under Islam. Already it is plain that, as he gradually erodes the legacy of a secular Turkey, increasingly he paves the way for the sharia state he has reportedly advocated in the past. What he may not realize is that the harder he tries to silence these truths, the clearer he makes them.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

 on: May 28, 2015, 09:44:20 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 28, 2015, 09:26:51 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M

Of course.

 on: May 28, 2015, 09:18:50 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 28, 2015, 09:17:45 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 28, 2015, 07:32:32 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M

If you give money to the "homeless", you are a world class sucker. More than a few are career criminals and/or sex offenders.

 on: May 28, 2015, 05:00:58 PM 
Started by G M - Last post by Crafty_Dog
TPP Not About Trade
Published on on May 26, 2015
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has nothing to do with trade.

While it officially embraces 11 countries plus the U.S., 76 percent of our trade with these nations is with Mexico and Canada, already covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Any export growth is likely to have been already covered by NAFTA, making the TPP irrelevant to our trade relations.

The TPP is nothing but an effort by the globalists to circumvent American sovereignty, transferring a host of issues from the control of the U.S. Congress and the various state legislatures to international trade courts.

Start with the fact that nobody knows what is in the TPP. President Obama will not let anyone see it. Indeed, many of the provisions are said to be aspirational, setting policy goals and leaving it to the trade courts to sort out. Any assurance that the treaty curbs currency manipulation is fanciful. The courts can interpret it any way they want. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund now does so, preventing any effort to restrict Chinese manipulation, despite overwhelming evidence that it is happening.

But the main impact of the TPP is to create legal obstacles in the way of American attempts to regulate access to our market.

Does American or state law restrict genetically modified food? The TPP won't permit it.

Does the U.S. Congress impose limitations on the "free flow of labor" between America and Mexico? The TPP can stop it.

Will Congress refuse to take action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions? Lawmakers can be required to under the environmental provisions of the TPP.

Obama has labored long and hard to strip Congress of its authority over immigration, emissions and the environment, food regulations and energy policy. Congress, in turn, has worked to take away state power over insurance regulation and banking. Now comes the coup de grâce: a treaty taking many of these powers away from the United States -- executive and legislative branches -- and state government.

The long-term goal of the globalists is an international rule of law unaccompanied by democracy. Because there is no global forum for the manifestation of worldwide popular will, this formula leads to rule by bureaucrats: those who know best. It is government by a new aristocracy of civil servants and technicians.

Why are they so eager to pre-empt the power of elected bodies? Steeped in the traditions of opposition to democracy, they regard the will of the people as unpredictable and subject to demagoguery. The French and the British have always used their civil service to insulate their countries from the ravages of ambitious populist politicians. Germany has a well-deserved suspicion of popular sovereignty, and Japan has always been ruled by its bureaucracy.

Multinational corporations find bureaucrats easy to control, subject as they are to the influences of the revolving door between regulators and those they regulate. Coming from industry or planning to return there, the supposedly disinterested bureaucrats are anything but impartial.

What is incomprehensible is why normally trustworthy Republican senators and congressmen are falling in line behind Obama. Hasn't this president stripped our nation of enough power? Has he not tipped the system of checks and balances all out of kilter? Are we to trust him with more power? Are the Republicans to vote him more power?

Under fast-track authority he can negotiate anything he wants, put it in a treaty, jam it through Congress and make it the law of the land, permanently. Don't Republicans see what they are doing in handing him this kind of power?

In the hands of other presidents, fast-track made sense. Before the development of the World Trade Organization, free trade deals were the only way to stop a world of tariffs and prosperity-killing regulations. But now, the era of tariffs is over, and trade deals are really about sovereignty and power.

Don't hand over more of American sovereignty, particularly under this president!

 on: May 28, 2015, 04:32:13 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Clinton Foundation Used By Hillary To Secretly Pay Political Hitman And Amateur Spy, Sid Blumenthal
Published on on May 28, 2015
What was Sidney Blumenthal hired to do for his $120,000 a year full-time salary at the Clinton Foundation during the four years that Hillary was Secretary of State? Was he hired to provide off-the-shelf intelligence to Hillary? And to trash her critics and possible opponents?

That's what it looks like.

Blumenthal has always been Hillary's expert on the vast right wing conspiracy and he is superb at stoking her paranoia and investigating and attacking anyone who threatens the Clinton orbit. He's the one that spread the groundless rumor, conceived by Hillary, that Monica Lewinsky was an unwelcome and unstable stalker of an innocent president. Anything for Hillary.

We know that Sidney sent 20 dense emails chock full of cloak and dagger "intel" about Libya and Algeria to the Secretary of State. We also know that Hillary took Sid's information and advice seriously and circulated his emails to her top aides in the State Department (after scrubbing Sid's name).

There's something else we know: Sidney had absolutely no experience in foreign affairs and the source of his information was, in part, a party with a financial interest in Libya.

What we didn't know was that shortly after the Obama Administration refused to allow Hillary to hire Sidney, he landed on the Clinton Foundation payroll -- as a full-time employee with a big salary and benefits. After Hillary left the State Department, Sidney was demoted to a consultant -- he kept his salary but the benefits were cut. It was only a few months ago -- in March -- that he left the Clinton Foundation. Right about the time that his emails surfaced.

At the same time that he worked full-time at the Foundation, Sidney also worked for Media Matters -- the aggressive pro-Hillary group headed by the wacky David Brock. In addition, Sidney was a consultant to a pro-Hillary PAC. He was a busy man -- consumed with defending Hillary.

So Sidney was at Hillary's full disposal while she was Secretary of State. Sidney's claims that he sent the emails as a "private citizen" don't sound too good. He may have been a private citizen, but he was paid by the Clintons.

So maybe his "unsolicited" advice on Libya wasn't so unsolicited after all.

When Hillary was asked about Sidney's emails, she never mentioned his employment at the Clinton Foundation. Here's what she said: "We've been friends for a long time," said Clinton during an event in Iowa. "He sent me emails I passed on in some instances. That's part of the give and take...I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are."

Once again, Clinton is skirting the truth. Initially, when Blumenthal's connection to the Clinton Foundation was made public, a spokesman said that he helped with "research" and "planning a commemorative event."

Now that we know that he was a full-time employee, the Clinton Foundation is now saying that Sidney worked on President Clinton's "legacy."

It's now obvious that Sidney was there to help Hillary in her political work. That's not what the Clinton Foundation is supposed to be doing.

Blumenthal has been subpoenaed by the Benghazi Committee. Here's one question it should ask: Did Sidney Blumenthal do any work -- with Media Matters, for example, -- to counter criticisms of Hillary's role in Benghazi?

ONE MORE QUESTION: What other political activities were funded by the Clinton Foundation?

 on: May 28, 2015, 03:10:19 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Yes  grin

 on: May 28, 2015, 12:58:48 PM 
Started by G M - Last post by ccp
I find this poll rather discouraging.   Apparently 37 % polled think or are so stubborn they will claim she Clinton is honest.  70% think she is a good leader.  Really.  Why?  On what basis?

 We don't have democracy or a republic if our leaders are serial liars.  We have tyranny.
Honesty should be, but is not, a major prerequisite  to hold elective office.  I don't rejoice at these numbers. 

*****by John Nolte28 May 2015203

Former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most famous and well-known politician (not named Barack Obama) in America today. Clinton has been in the national public eye for nearly a quarter-century. Everyone has their own opinion of her, and for that reason she is polling like an incumbent. The only thing is that she is polling like a vulnerable incumbent.

The joint scandals involving Clinton violating State Department email regulations and all the shady money around the Clinton Foundation have taken a serious toll, especially on her credibility. According to a Pew Poll released Thursday, a full 53% say Clinton is not honest. Only 39% disagree.

Clinton scores high on leadership (60-37%) but is weak on whether she cares about voters’ “needs and problems” (48-47%).*****

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