Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Doug Ross has a superb break down on one of the conclusions we can draw from the Wikileaks deluge - Obama lied repeatedly to the American people about Iran and Middle East policy:
Anyone remember that exactly one year ago President Obama's original deadline for Iran expired?
Back in the halcyon days of hopeychange, newly minted President Barack Obama articulated his master plan for dealing with Iran....
But -- as the Wikileaks disclosures make clear -- Israeli concessions have (and had) nothing at all to do with stopping Iran. Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries wanted Iran crushed -- as King Abdullah put it, "cut off the head of the snake" -- period.
Let me repeat: Obama knew all along that Israeli concessions had nothing to do with stopping Iran's march to nuclear weapons. Yet he persisted in linking the two, even though it raised the risk of an atomic conflagration that could engulf the world.
I'd like to know: does it get any more irresponsible than that?
Well,no, it doesn't..but to be fair, Obama was certainly no more irresponsible on Iran than his predecessor George W. Bush was.Bush simply talked a better game without doing anything.
The difference is in Obama's case, he's known from day one that Iran is warring against us in Iraq and Afghanistan and there's not even a pretense that they're not seeking nukes any more, a pretense Bush had to contend with.
And unlike Bush, in Obama's case time is quickly running out.
Part of what's going on, I think, is that our president has a sentimental sympathy for Islam, which explains his coddling of Iran and Pakistan and his anumus towards Israel.He sees American presence (and especially that of Israel)as provocations to the Muslim world be eliminated as part of his ideal of a multi-polar world where America is just another country subservient to the International Community and Islam is resurgent.
That, by the way, mirrors the stance of Iran, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood on the matter.
And that's why, no matter how loudly and urgently the Arab nations called for American intervention in Iran, he ignored them.
If you feel like you may have seen this movie before,you have...in the appeasment of Hitler by Britain prior to WWII.
Wikileaks, if nothing else, revealed exactly how incompetent and dangerous Barack Obama really is.
Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the State of Oklahoma from certifying the election results in State Question 755, the bill that would ban Oklahoma courts from using international or sharia law in making rulings.
From the decision (PDF):
"Having carefully reviewed the briefs on this issue, and having heard the evidence and arguments presented at the hearing, the Court finds that entry of a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from certifying the election results for State Question 755 would not be adverse to the public interest. While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, for the reasons set forth above, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights."
This is basically a legal delaying tactic designed to hold things off until there's a higher court ruling on how the measure's provisions stack up Constitutionally. That will likely not take very long.
I would expect the Tenth Circuit to void this injunction forthwith once it gets there.
The CAIR plaintiff is arguing that sharia law is part of his free exercise of religion and that the Oklahoma amendment interferes with that. While th ejudge bought that, obviously sharia is not religious practice since it is law, and a law whose provisions violate the Constitution directly.Plus, the plaintiff contradicts his own argument by stating that he wants his will probated under sharia law - which is (a)hardly an exercise of religion but of legal jurisprudence and (b) not a violation of his right to practice Islam since he's going to be deceased at the time!
Not only that, but if sharia law is a religious practice and not law then the First and Fourteenth Amendments would already prevent Oklahoma courts (and all other state courts) from using it. And if sharia is indivisible from the practice of Islam, than those same Constitutional provisions would mandate that those practices of Islam not in accordance with US law would likewise be forbidden.
There are similar precedents in case law already on the books regarding certain practices of voodoo and santeria, some of whose rites violate US laws on felony animal torture. Likewise with polygamy...which is also permitted under sharia.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Rod Blagojevitch has a simple request - he wants the government prosecutor to play all the tapes that were made in court, where everyone can hear them. Not ony that, but he claims the government won't 'because there's a smoking gun on there'.
Does he know something we don't?
(hat tip, The Left of Satan)
( video cheerfully swiped from the Baron at Gates of Vienna, with an additional thanks to Steen for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling)
The Swiss People's Party, who were behind the successful referendum to ban minarets have scored another victory.
Foreigners convicted of serious crimes such as rape, murder and robbery will now be immediately expelled from Switzerland, presumably after their prison sentences.
52.9 percent of voters and a majority of Switzerland’s cantons supported the Swiss People’s Party initiative calling for the expulsion of foreigners convicted of crimes ranging from murder and rape to drug dealing and social security fraud.
While the linked article doesn't state it ( it is, after all, from the New York Times) the term 'foreigners' is a euphemism for Muslims, who make up the vast majority of perpetrators with foreign backgrounds.
Christian Blocher, the People’s Party leader, presented figures during the campaign showing that while foreigners make up 22 percent of the resident population, they account for 54 percent of convictions for grievous bodily harm and 62 percent of robbery convictions. “Prisons do not stop crimes,” he said. “The only way to go about it is to force them to leave the country.
The center-Right Swiss People's Party has a fairly hard line on immigration, law and order and Islamism and came out of the 2007 elections as Switzerland’s largest political party, with 29 percent of the popular vote.
The current referendum could be test run for the general election next year.
Senator John Kerry's solution to peace in the Middle East? Israel surrenders, moves back to indefensible borders and gives up access to Jewish Holy sites in the Old City.
At least that's what the former head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee told Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani and the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa in two separate meetings, as revealed by the released diplomatic cables.
The Emir, who is largely regarded in the Arab world as an Iranian ally told Kerry that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was a key to Middle East peace and that Kerry should focus on him. Kerry agreed with the emir, but questioned Assad's arming of Hezbollah and interference in Lebanese politics. Kerry also agreed with the emir that Israel should give Syria back the Golan Heights.
"The Chairman added that Netanyahu also needs to compromise and work the return of the Golan Heights into a formula for peace," the diplomatic cable reported.
Kerry also said told the Emir that any final agreement would have to include a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
"Any negotiation has its limits, added Senator Kerry, and we know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable," the cable stated, summarizing the meeting with the Emir.
Obviously Kerry doesn't understand - or want to understand - that Jerusalem is non-negotiable for the Israelis too. No Israeli government would ever accede to dividing it again.
"For the Israelis", the Senator continued, "Israel's character as a Jewish state is not open for negotiation. The non-militarization of an eventual Palestinian state and its borders can nonetheless be resolved through negotiation."
Ah, the wisdom of John Kerry...the 'Palestinians' have already stated unequivocally that they will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, will never agree to any land swaps and and still insist on being able to flood Israel with genocidal 'refugees' after any peace settlement.
What Kerry is pushing for is an Israeli surrender in exchange for things the 'Palestinians' have no intention of agreeing to.
I certainly hope some of the naive Jews who voted for this creature are paying attention.
Sarah Palin: 'Serious Questions about the Obama Administration's Incompetence in the Wikileaks Fiasco'
Sarah Palin weighs in on the Wikileaks fiasco and asks a few obvious questions that I doubt the Obama Administration has answers to:
We all applaud the successful thwarting of the Christmas-Tree Bomber and hope our government continues to do all it can to keep us safe. However, the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.
First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a “journalist,” any more than the “editor” of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a “journalist.” He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?
What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?
Most importantly, serious questions must also be asked of the U.S. intelligence system. How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information? And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?
The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?
We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.
- Sarah Palin
Do you get the feeling that if a certain housewife from Wasilla was in the White House, none of these questions would need to be asked? Even if she had to hunt down Julian Assage and his pals personally?
One Iranian nuclear scientist was killed and another badly injured by car bombs in Tehran today in two separate attacks.
The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering team at the Shahid Behesti university in Tehran as was the injured scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani.
Shahriari was "in charge of one of the great projects" at Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, the Islamic republic's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
The other scientist, Davani, is a senior defense ministry and armed forces logistics scientist, and a member of the Revolutionary Guards. He is also said to be one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes.
The assassins, riding motorcycles, tossed bombs at -- or attached them to -- the cars of the two Shahid Behesti University professors as they drove with their spouses en route to work.
"A Pulsar motorbike drove close to Dr. Shahriari's car and stuck a bomb on his car which after a few seconds exploded," Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
"Experts are examining the incidents," Sajednia said. "The type of the bombs and explosive materials and the extent of damage have not been determined yet."
Both scientists were reportedly members of Iran's Basiji militia, which is unusual since the membership of the Basij is mainly drawn from the working and lower middle class, rather like Hitler's SA. If true, the two scientists were very active in politics.
Needless to say, the Iranians are blaming the Mossad and the CIA for the bombings.
Imagine...Iran upset over 'terrorism'!
Most presidencies have a number of moments that define them, that reveal the essence of both the man and his administration.
Barack Hussein Obama has had a number of these moments already. But the current Wikileaks scandal has to be a true 'the emperor has no clothes' moment...a truly revealing portrait of a truly failed and impotent presidency.
Here we have the spectacle of a foreign organization not only openly publishing illegally obtained, highly classified documents that strain relations with our allies, compromise our diplomats and our intel and endanger our troops and operatives in the field but taunting us by giving us advance notice of their intent to do so.
Our response to what amounted to a threat to our national security? Did we get the CIA involved to take out the perpetrators? Did we even warn them that if they even thought about publishing this stuff and didn't return it immediately, there would be serious consequences?
No,we had our State Department's lawyer Howard Koh write a letter essentially saying 'this was really nasty of you, so please give us our stuff back, OK?'
And then President Obama went off to take care of some important things..play a little basketball and pardon a couple of turkeys.
The publishing of the Wikileaks documents does deep damage to American interests far beyond what was actually revealed. Our allies and US friendly assets among our enemies are going to think twice about cooperating with us, since the confidentiality of that cooperation is no longer guaranteed. Certainly no Arab government and possibly Israel are going to risk speaking openly and bluntly to us about security matters in the future. And our diplomats and agents abroad are also going to more constrained about what they tell Washington, since it could come back to compromise their missions or even get them killed.
In view of that, President Obama's public statement on the matter is highly illuminating:
"President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information. "
Well...that'll teach 'em, won't it? Although I have to chuckle a bit at the line about how the Obama Administration supports 'responsible, accountable, and open government'. The American people certainly haven't seen anything like that here.
Still, it's worth looking at how puerile and ineffectual the White House's response to this attack - and I can't really refer to it any other way. The two Wikileaks episodes have shown us to be a world power in name only, governed by an administration who won't even respond forcefully to our country's enemies.
That's evident not only from how we've handled the leaks themselves, but from the actual Wikileaks revelations, especially the ones dealing with our non-policy on Iran.
Are we to believe that the entire resources of the US government were unable to track down Julian Assange and the Wikileaks people, recover the data and arrest and prosecute them?
There are really only two possibilities, and neither of them is pleasant to contemplate. Either the Obama Administration really doesn't know quite how to handle this or deep down, the president actually approves of the US being taken down a peg and is making a kabuki protest. That certainly would jibe with a number of other things the Administration has done.
In either case, what we have is a sitting President of the United States of America who has allowed a major attack on US Security to go essentially unchallenged. And there will be consequences.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The big story today is the latest WikiLeaks’ release of the first batch of about 250,000 US diplomatic cables, which expose US dealings with the rest of the world and are particularly damaging both to the Obama Administration and the foreign policy 'establishment'.
The key to how this happened is US soldier Bradley Manning, a former intelligence analyst who has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in 2011. He is allegedly downloaded tons of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad, including Siprnet the diplomatic encrypted cable database. The leaked cables range up to the "SECRET NOFORN" level, which means they are meant never to be shown to non-US citizens.
Manning allegedly leaked the stolen data to WikiLeaks, a site run by Australian hacker Justin Assuage.
While these cables are intended to be read by officials in Washington up to the level of the secretary of state, the most sensitive "top secret" and above foreign intelligence files aren't part of what's been leaked, since they can't be accessed from Siprnet, which is where the current documents come from.
So, what's in the latest batch? Plenty. For starters:
In fact, Obama’s June 2009 meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, just before Obama's Cairo speech ended with King Abdullah flying into a tirade over Obama's inaction on Iran.
And that concern extended to other Arab leaders.
This directly contradicts foreign policy 'experts' like Chas Freeman, Stephen Walt, Robert Dreyfuss, Marc Lynch and a slew of others who have continuously stated that 'delivering Israel' is the key to Mid East peace rather than dealing with Iran and now appear not to have the foggiest idea about what they're talking about.
Or perhaps they merely have an agenda more concerned with Israel than with Middle East peace.
Of course, you read about this here on Joshuapundit first, about three years ago.
Aside from the usual blather about the 'peace process', Barack's remarks on Iran and Pakistan are of interest:
In both meetings, Barak described Iranians as "chess, not backgammon players." As such, Iran will attempt to avoid any hook to hang accusations on, and look to Pakistan and North Korea as models to emulate in terms of acquiring nuclear weapons while defying the international community. He doubted Tehran would opt for an open, relatively low-threshold test like the recent one in North Korea. Rather, Iran will seek ways to bypass the NPT while ensuring its program is redundant and well-protected to prevent an irreparable military strike. Barak estimated a window between 6 and 18 months from now in which stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons might still be viable. After that, he said, any military solution would result in unacceptable collateral damage. He also expressed concern that should Iran develop nuclear capabilities, other rogue states and/or terrorist groups would not be far behind.
Barak reinforced his message regarding Pakistan in both meetings. He described Pakistan as his "private nightmare," suggesting the world might wake up one morning "with everything changed" following a potential Islamic extremist takeover. When asked if the use of force on Iran might backfire with moderate Muslims in Pakistan, thereby exacerbating the situation, Barak acknowledged Iran and Pakistan are interconnected, but disagreed with a causal chain. To the contrary, he argued that if the United States had directly confronted North Korea in recent years, others would be less inclined to pursue nuclear weapons programs. By avoiding confrontation with Iran, Barak argued, the U.S. faces a perception of weakness in the region.
There will undoubtedly be more coming.
The recent GM stock sale was supposed to be an opportunity for the American taxpayer to receive repayment on the Obama Administration's $50 billion bail out of the company. But the real winners by far were the coffers of the United Auto Workers...and ultimately, the Democrats at election time, who will grab their share of the swag in campaign contributions.
As you'll remember the government takeover essentially gifted GM to the unions and screwed over the private bond and equity holders , many of whom were private pension funds and retired auto workers. They have received nothing for their investments in the old GM.
The union, however, is sitting pretty. The sale of stock obtained by the UAW in the company's 2009 bankruptcy settlement well on its way to recouping the billions of dollars GM owed it, as compared to the taxpayers who have recouped only about 30 percent of the bail out.
The union earned a whopping $3.4 billion through the sale of one-third of its shares in GM last week. Analysts estimate that it would break even if it sells the remaining two-thirds of its shares at an average price of $36 — close to where the stock traded shortly after the offering hit the market.
Because of the far bigger stake inGM and the union's preferred position, for taxpayers to break even the stock would have to rise to at least $52 and by some estimates as high as $103 — levels that would take years to achieve if they ever get there.
Remember also that GM just received a $45.4 billion dollar tax credit against future profits at the American taxpayer's expense given to them by the Obama Administration that could keep GM tax free for years...a mere $100 billion gift to the UAW and the Democrats at our expense.
It's the Chicago way, gone national.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip recently made a trip to the UAE, where the Queen doffed a hijab and walked barefoot through her first official visit to
The mosque was named for the former ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed, who hosted the British Royal Family on its previous visit in 1979.
While she was involved with that, the UK's Foreign Secretary, William Hague put together the new strategic and economic alliance with Britain as set forth by in the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which was signed in the presence of the Queen.
The Brits themselves are quite forthright about the price of this new agreement and what it means:
Whitehall officials said Foreign Secretary William Hague's decision to reach out to Gulf states in an effort to secure better diplomatic and trade ties meant Britain had to ‘take on board’ Arab foreign policy goals. Requesting better ties would be a two-way street, not just plea for more defence contracts and exports, they said. ‘It will be a six lane highway with movement in both directions,’ said one diplomat. ‘We have to respond to what Gulf States want. If we want a long-term partnership on foreign policy, then changes in our stance have to be part of it.’
... Officials in both Abu Dhabi and London make no bones about stressing the significance of the defence relationship as the West and its regional allies gear up to a possible confrontation with Iran. That may mean yet further withdrawal of traditional British support for Israel, with criticism of its government already more marked under Mr Hague than it was under New Labour government.
In another indication of the Foreign Office's new sensitivity to Arab opinion, officials admitted to The Daily Telegraph that policies on the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, Israel's invasion of Gaza in 2008-9, and its occupation of the West Bank and settlements policy were ‘motivators’ for the Islamic radicalism that they confronted daily in the Gulf.
I would question that phrase 'traditional British support for Israel' in view of the fact that the Brits were quite happy back in 1948 to arm, train and in the case of Jordan officer the same Arab armies who made no secret of their intention to launch a second Holocaust among the Jews of Israel...less than three years after the liberation of Auschwitz. And that is far from the only hostile actions the UK has taken against Israel since its birth.
But this is something new in that it's an official recognition that the UK has bought into the same perverse nonsense the Obama Administration has when it comes to Israel..
Britain's latest move plays into a wide spread campaign to make Israel illegitimate and isolated, just as the Jews were made illegitimate and isolated before the Holocaust.
According to this logic, if the West forces the Jews of Israel into indefensible borders or even if Israel conveniently disappears, all the Islamic radicalism and the jihad directed against the West will go away with it.
Yes, Hezbollah, Hizb al Tarir, al-Qaeda, Hamas and all their similar organizations will go out of business, Iran will give up its nukes and cease its war against the West, an Islamist Turkey will no longer be a concern and Pakistan will cease to be a haven for Islamist terrorism. According to the underlying,almost never openly expressed narrative, all the West needs to do is give the Muslims the Jews, behave like good dhimmis and the West will be left in peace.
The absurdity and danger of this kind of appeasement mindset ought to be self-evident to any thinking person, but Britain appears hell bent on proving that it has learned nothing from history.
The UK has been anti-Israel for quite some time, and it's no secret. In fact, most Israelis can't even enter the UK safely any more. This just makes Britain's anti-Israel stance official.
President Obama caught a flying elbow during a basketball game from Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and ended up needing 12 stitches in his upper lip.
Decerega issued a statement through the White House late today.
"I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport," the statement said. "I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon."
In related news, Decerega had no comment upon receiving notice after the game from the IRS that he is being targeted for a class five tax audit or that his car had been apparently towed away for a parking violation.
I may have made that last part up.
Sarah Palin made a small momentary gaffe on Glenn Beck's radio show during an interview, saying we needed to stand by our North Korean allies. She corrected it at once and it was obvious what she meant, but the Leftish press made a major political headline out of it.
So Sarah Palin, being who she is, decided to take this opportunity to remind them of a few things about double standards:
A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States
"My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…
Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.
Obviously, I would have been even more impressed if the media showed some consistency on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t resist the temptation to turn a simple one word slip-of-the-tongue of mine into a major political headline. The one word slip occurred yesterday during one of my seven back-to-back interviews wherein I was privileged to speak to the American public about the important, world-changing issues before us.
If the media had bothered to actually listen to all of my remarks on Glenn Beck’s radio show, they would have noticed that I refer to South Korea as our ally throughout, that I corrected myself seconds after my slip-of-the-tongue, and that I made it abundantly clear that pressure should be put on China to restrict energy exports to the North Korean regime. The media could even have done due diligence and checked my previous statements on the subject, which have always been consistent, and in fact even ahead of the curve. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story? (And for that matter, why not just make up stories out of thin air – like the totally false hard news story which has run for three days now reporting that I lobbied the producers of “Dancing with the Stars” to cast a former Senate candidate on their show. That lie is further clear proof that the media completely makes things up without doing even rudimentary fact-checking.)
“Hope springs eternal” as the poet says. Let’s hope that perhaps, just maybe, they might get it right next time. When we the people are effective in holding America’s free press accountable for responsible and truthful reporting, then we shall all have even more to be thankful for!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Ah hah hah hah!
On a serious note, the ignorant RINOs who have been engaged in Palin bashing lately need to understand that they are playing a dangerous and self-destructive game. They need to be reminded that the Leftish media will not just go after Sarah Palin, but will cynically use them to bring down any Republican nominee no matter who it is...and that person will not receive anything remotely like fair treatment by the likes of the dinosaur media.
Remember how eagerly the media embraced Senator John McCain as their 'favorite moderate Republican' - until he was running for president?
The collective media fellatio of Obama is by no means over, despite a few momentary lapses and sore knees. It will come back with a vengeance in 2012, and wholesale bashing of Sarah Palin by the GOP will only fuel the fires for how any Republican nominee is going to be treated.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday's festivities.
The votes have been cast, the sacred runes read and this week’s Watcher’s Council results are history. But before I get to that, a word, if you don't mind.
Yesterday we celebrated a holiday that is uniquely American...well, almost. Our pals residing in the Great White North celebrate Thanksgiving as well, albeit a month earlier and with entirely different traditions.
Our Thanksgiving comes from an innate gratitude for G-d's bounty and the fact that we live in a free country, with rights derived from our Creator, not from government. That's something the men who risked their 'lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor' for that principle understood innately, and we had best not forget that.
This week’s winner by a nose was Joshuapundit for JCS Mullen: ‘We Can Stop Islamic Extremism by Teaching People to Read The Qu’ran…’ , my fact checking of the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff's fanciful remarks that 'radical Islam' is caused by poverty and illiteracy and that if Muslims really could read the Qu'ran themselves and understand it, all would be well:
I'm not sure which is more shocking...Admiral Mullen's ignorance of the Qu'ran itself or of the people who comprise the leadership and even much of the rank and file of the groups he's talking about.Our non-Council winner was Stop Shouting with My Rebuttal to a Progressive who Admonished Me to Play Nice …. an inspired rant telling the Left that no, all is not well, the gloves are off and there are some pretty heavy scores to settle.
They are mostly highly educated, from the middle and upper classes and know what's in the Qu'ran, the Sirrah and the Hadiths a lot better than Admiral Mullen apparently does.Let's look at just a few of these uneducated, poverty stricken ignorant Muslims.
Osama bin-Ladin came from a wealthy and privileged family in Saudi Arabia, studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University and earned a degree in civil engineering. Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, the number two of al-Qaeda, was born to a prominent upper middle class family in Egypt and came from a large family of doctors and scholars.He graduated from from Cairo University in 1974 with an advanced degree, served three years as a surgeon in the Egyptian Army and later earned a master's degree in surgery.
Khalid Meshaal, the leader of Hamas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Kuwait University. The late unlamented Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a founder of Hamas attended al-Azhar University in Cairo and had a career as an educator. Another now deceased founder, Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi was a pediatrician who graduated first in his class at Egypt's Alexandria University. Ismail Haniyeh, the current Hamas political leader in Gaza graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in Arabic literature,Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas' 'foreign minister' and bagman got his degree in medicine from Cairo University.
Hezbollah's supreme authority is Iran's Ayatollah Khamanei, but Sheik Hassan Nasrallah studied at Shi'a seminaries in the Beqaa Valley town of Baalbek, at Najaf, Iraq,and at Qom in Iran. Former chief of operations Imad Mughniyeh was a student in the engineering department at the American University of Beirut, while Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's second in command came from a wealthy merchant family and likewise studied at Shia seminaries.
There are a great many more examples, not least of which are a number of American jihadis like Sami al-Arian, the Fort Hood killer Major Hasan and Adam Yahiye Gadahn, who likewise were poverty stricken, illiterate and experienced the message of Islam only through what their imams and mullahs told them, right?
Yes, just a group of ignorant peasants with far less insight into the Qu'ran than Admiral Mullen. Some of them have only spent decades studying it.
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 2 votes! – Joshuapundit--JCS Mullen: ‘We Can Stop Islamic Extremism by Teaching People to Read The Qu’ran…’
- Second place*t* with 1 2/3 votes – Bookworm-George Soros: A missing moral compass
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes -Right Truth- Sentenced to Death for Being Christian
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD-Grand Bargain
- Fourth place with 1 vote -Mere Rhetoric- J Street Co-Founder Daniel Levy – Israel “Does Everything To Try And Turn” Palestinians Violent
- fifth place with 2/3 vote – The Razor – Why Two Friends Hate Sarah Palin
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – What’s Wrong With Employment
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Simply Jews – Your Superintendent, you know…
- First place with 2 votes! – Stop Shouting - My Rebuttal to a Progressive who Admonished Me to Play Nice ….submitted by Right Truth
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Jihad Watch – Ground Zero mosque developers want $5 million in federal money intended to rebuild Lower Manhattan after 9/11 submitted by Snapped Shot
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Jedediah Bila/Human Events – A Reply to Mona Charen’s “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run” submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –American Digest – The Address: Seven Score and Seven Years Ago submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Third place with 1 vote - Wall Street Window – Quantitative Easing Explained submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place with *t* 2/3 votes - Full Comment -China mouths platitudes while its ally provokes war submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes - The Propagandist -The Demagogue submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 votes - T.F. Stern’s Rantings – The Ultimate Form of Wealth Redistribution submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Political Punch – Biden on Afghanistan: ‘Daddy is Going to Start to Take the Training Wheels Off.’ submitted by Mere Rhetoric
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote -American Thinker – A Mass Nervous Breakdown of the Left submitted by VA Right
See you next week!
El Rushbo tells the real story of Thanksgiving
And a few heroes who really deserve our thanks take a little time off to enjoy the day....
And finally, the original Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington, 1789:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty G-d, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
Sarah Palin talks about why she was forced to resign as governor on Dennis Miller's radio show...
(hat tip, Breitbart)
The Israeli government has been waiting for some time for a formal written letter from the Obama Administration containing US assurances in exchange for the 90-day 'settlement freeze' extension they want from Israel in order to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
After a great deal of waffling by the Obama Administration over what's actually being promised, Netanyahu formally requested the US proposition in writing before presenting it to his cabinet for a vote.
While rumors that the letter is coming shortly have been prevalent, there's at least one credible report that says the letter isn't coming at all.
It relies on an anonymous 'senior diplomat with inside knowledge of Netanyahu's recent meetings in Washington',which always makes me a bit cautious but it seems plausible and jibes with a few other things I've heard from a couple of my notorious Little Birdies.
According to the diplomatic source, Clinton made a number of commitments when talking to Netanyahu, but later greased out from under them by claiming that she had not been speaking on behalf of President Obama – who, she said in the end, did not give his approval.
The original offer was that the proposed construction freeze would last for three months, and that the US would not demand any further freezes.
However, according to this diplomatic source U.S. leaders have since said that the building freeze for Jews in Judea and Samaria would be open ended and end only if Israel and the 'Palestinians' came to an agreement on the borders of the proposed 'Palestinian' state, something that is likely impossible. I can confirm that one of my own sources within the 'Palestinian' Authority said that there was no way the 'Palestinians' would resume negotiations with a temporary freeze unless the borders of the 'Palestinian' state were guaranteed by the US in advance, including half of Jerusalem.
As speaking of Jerusalem, this particular Little Birdie also told me that unless the freeze included East Jerusalem, there's likewise no deal.This directly contradicts the original US promise to Israel that Jerusalem would be exempted, and in fact according to this report U.S. officials have stated that the construction freeze would apply to all Jews living east of the 1949 armistice line, including in Jerusalem.
If the freeze is not limited to three months and if Jerusalem is not exempted from it, Netanyahu would probably not even present it to his cabinet since there's little on no chance of them approving it. Shas and even most of Netamyahu's fellow Likudniks would not consider voting for it.
Another sticking point is the extra squadron of F-35 fighter jets Israel was supposed to receive in exchange for the freeze. The way things are sorting out, it appears that the `extra' F35 jets are part of a separate package and that Israel will pay for them in full.
This is a retreat even from the initial US offer, which stated that Israel would only receive the extra F-35's if a peace agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to another source of mine, the whole idea of formal written guarantees to Israel in exchange for the freeze has been pulled for now because the 'Palestinians' refused to go along with it and were going to say no anyway. That makes sense,because it was highly unlikely that any deal Netanyahu could get through the Israeli cabinet would be acceptable to the 'Palestinians'
It wouldn't exactly look good for Obama or for the 'Palestinians' if the Obama Administration went to the trouble of getting the Israelis to agree to a deal and then the 'Palestinians' quashed the deal, now would it?
Journolista Ben Smith over at the Politico has an interesting story on how elements of the IRS are apparently targeting pro-Israel groups..to the point where one of them is taking the IRS to court.
A Pennsylvania Jewish group named Z-Street filed the suit against the the Internal Revenue Service claiming the agency is targeting pro-Israel groups.
they introduced a letter in federal court from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.
"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status.
"Describe your organization's religious belief system toward the land of Israel."
Z Street testified that a different IRS agent reviewing its own application for tax exempt status told them that the IRS is "carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel" and that "a special unit" is determining whether its activities "contradict the Administration's public policies.'"
The IRS has quite a bit of subjective leeway when it comes to approving or denying tax exempt status,merely by stating that a group works against "established public policy."
Given who's currently in the White House, it would hardly be a surprise to find that the IRS has begun applying this policy to pro-Israel groups seeking 501(c)3 staus.
By law, such groups can't advocate for political positions, but I doubt we'd see similar scrutiny for CAIR, J Street, or the NAACP, all of whom are profoundly political in their advocacy but align closely with President Obama's views.
I hope the easily duped Jews that voted for Obama and continue to observe the quaint ritual of lockstep support for the Democrats will take note of this.
Full disclosure..Z Street co-founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus, who is quoted in the piece is a friend and hardly the sort of hysteric given to seeing anti-Semitism behind every bush.
Although, when you look at the comments section on this article, you'll find that something like this certainly brings them out from under their rocks.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Russians and Chinese have agreed to stop pegging their bi-lateral trade in dollars and use their own currencies.
The yuan has now started trading against the Russian ruble in the Chinese interbank market, while the renminbi will soon be allowed to trade against the ruble in Russia, according to a statement made by Vladimir Putin after a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
This is arrangement between China, the world's chief manufacturing economy and Russia, whose economy is based on selling natural resources (particularly energy) has some interesting implications.
In spite of all the commotion in the West and the handshakes and expressions of good will between Russia and China, there's actually only a few points of common ground here.
Russia, with a declining population and a state controlled economy cannot provide the two things China really needs, an alternative market to America for its cheaply produced consumer goods and investment of its capital. On the other hand, China is unlikely to want to pay the prices Russia is demanding for its fossil fuel energy.And unlike the EU, they are not locked in to dealing with the Russians because of issues of pipeline control.
Things Russia has to offer that China definitely wants include military and nuclear technology, and in fact the Russians have already made a deal with the Chinese to build two nuclear reactors for China's Tianwan nuclear power plant. But given the centuries-old antagonism between the two countries and their long border,it remains to be seen what the Russians are actually willing to supply to China.
The chief impact, of course, is psychological. Countries that delineate their commodities trade in dollars, like the members of OPEC have in effect been importing US inflation into their own economies for years. Two major economic powers abandoning the dollar for their bi-lateral trade could give other countries similar ideas..especially oil and gas producers.
Meanwhile, the US continues to deliberately let our own vast gas, oil and coal resources go unused and fallow instead of using them to achieve energy independence and create wealth and prosperity.
The Watcher’s Council is a group of some of the most incisive blogs in the`sphere. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best posts, with the results appearing on Friday.
So, let’s see what we have this week….
- Snapped Shot – Jailed by the World’s Perfect Government
- Joshuapundit -JCS Mullen: ‘We Can Stop Islamic Extremism by Teaching People to Read The Qu’ran…’
- The Razor – Why Two Friends Hate Sarah Palin
- Bookworm Room – George Soros : a missing moral compass
- Right Truth – Sentenced to Death for Being Christian
- The Glittering Eye -What’s Wrong With Employment
- Rhymes With Right – In Defense Of Barbara Bush
- Mere Rhetoric – J Street Co-Founder Daniel Levy – Israel “Does Everything To Try And Turn” Palestinians Violent
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Grand Bargain
- The Colossus of Rhodey – “Ah, those leftist dictators”
- VA Right - An Unforgettable Hero of a Forgotten War
- Simply Jews – Your Superintendent, you know…
- Jihad Watch – Ground Zero mosque developers want $5 million in federal money intended to rebuild Lower Manhattan after 9/11 submitted by Snapped Shot
- Jedediah Bila/Human Events – A Reply to Mona Charen’s “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run” submitted by Joshuapundit
- Wall Street Window – Quantitative Easing Explained submitted by The Razor
- Hot Air – Awesome! Chris Christie tells of apology from President of Teachers Union
- Stop Shouting -My Rebuttal to a Progressive who Admonished
Me to Play Nice …. submitted by Right Truth
- American Digest – The Address: Seven Score and Seven Years Ago submitted by The Glittering Eye
- T.F. Stern’s Rantings – The Ultimate Form of Wealth Redistribution submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Political Punch – Biden on Afghanistan: ‘Daddy is Going to Start to Take the Training Wheels Off.’ submitted by Mere Rhetoric
- Full Comment – China mouths platitudes while its ally provokes war submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Spiked Online – “Students are supposed to read books, not burn them” submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Michelle Malkin – DREAM Act nightmare: 2.1 million future Democrat voter recruitment drive submitted by VA Right
- The Propagandist – The Demagogue submitted by Simply Jews
- Caroline Glick – Facing Our Fears submitted by The Watcher
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Wonder why the TSA spent billions of our tax dollars on scanners that don't detect explosives hidden in body cavities and can be easily fooled by someone who knows what he's doing?
Wonder no more.
One of the major contractors for the machines is a company called Rapiscan, and their political connections are impeccable.
One of Rapiscan’s chief lobbyists is Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee who personally approved the contract.
Another shill for Rapiscan is George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who earned part of his salary going on a media tour promoting the use of these scanners without disclosing that he was a paid employee of Rapiscan.
And finally, the big enchilada. None other than George Soros, Obama intimate and the primary financier of the Left's infrastructure owns 11,300 shares of OSI Systems Inc., the company that owns Rapiscan. Not surprisingly, OSI’s stock has appreciated hugely since Rapiscan got their lucrative guv'mint contract.
Amazing how the dots connect, isn't it?