Friday, December 30, 2011

Iowa Comes Down ToThe Wire

The latest polls show Mitt Romney in a statistical dead heat with Ron Paul, followed by Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. Michele Bachmann is bringing up the rear, having fallen to single digits.

Romney campaigned in Des Moines today, stumping with New Jersey governor Chris Christie on a cold wet day with temperatures in the twenties. Considering the weather, Romeny drew a decent crowd as he mocked President Obama and his $4 million Hawaiian vacation.

"We’re out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America. He just finished his 90th round of golf.”

Governor Christie: “You people disappoint me on Tuesday, you don’t do what you’re supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney I will be back, Jersey-style, people. I will be back,” he joked.

Rick Santorum is moving up in the polls as Newt Gingrich has been falling. A lot of evangelicals are reportedly giving him a second look. He's invested a great deal of time here in Iowa and he needs a strong finish here to keep his campaign viable.

Michele Bachmann has perhaps the saddest story of all. After winning the Ames straw poll, she suffered perhaps a terminal blow when her Iowa campaign chair defected to Ron Paul without giving her any warning whatsoever.

As much as I like Michele Bachmann, I think what we're seeing here is an indication that her campaign was hurried and perhaps premature. She's only been in Congress four years,and hopefully she can make another try for top job when she's had a little more seasoning and time to process what went wrong this time.


LATMA'S Year End Roundup - SOTA Israeli Satire!

A very cool 'crystal ball' theme this time! Enjoy!

"It's The Jihad, Charley Brown!"

Awwwww! How cute!

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week's Watcher's Council Results

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Bridge Too Far: CAIR Versus Bare Naked Islam

I note with interest a PR wire sent out by the The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) boasting that they had taken down an 'anti-Islam hate site'. The site in question is Bare Naked Islam. ( h/t memeorandum)

CAIR's PR wire is entitled "CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Internet Threats to Mosques" and they cite their successful attempt to have Wordpress shut the site down.

Predictably, a collective shriek went through the blogosphere, starting with Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit and there were a multitude of calls to 'boycott sharia compliant Wordpress.'

I doubt this will make me any friends, but I don't support that action at all, and I think it's worth the time to explain why.

I don't need to tell my regular readers what I think of CAIR. The information that came out in the Holy Land Federation trial on CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood fronts should have been enough to shut them down permanently and provide jail sentences for a number of their members, and that's exactly what would have happened if the Obama Department of Justice hadn't filed Disinclination to Prosecute briefs in what were likely open and shut cases, letting the Islamists walk free.

But in this case, I took an actual look at the content CAIR was protesting before joining the hue and cry.

It's a screen shot of what appears to be an actual page from Bare Naked Islam's site, and if that was what was actually running there, CAIR was entirely within their rights to voice their concern and bring to to WordPress's attention.

The page in question celebrates a graffiti attack on a French mosque with the text "Whoo Hoo! Will the Muslims ever get a clue they aren't welcome in France?"

The comments are even worse, with many of them calling for the burning of mosques 'with the asslifters inside of them.' Others call for violent attacks on Muslims. You can find the page and the comments at the above link.

If that was truly what BNI was allowing on their site, ( and I wouldn't put it past CAIR to manufacture something like this) the site owner definitely crossed the line. The Supreme Court has made it quite clear on a number of occasions that free speech ends when it comes to bodily harm and mayhem. That's exactly how neo-Nazi Tom Metzger's conviction was upheld - because of messages on his answering machine urging violence on various ethnic groups he didn't care for. When you provide a forum for this kind of violent hatred, you are past protected speech and yelling fire in a crowded theater.

I would also add that as far as I'm concerned, the site owner had a responsibility to monitor the comments. The fact that the owner didn't gives credence to the appearance that the owner not only didn't disagree, but supported and approved using the site as a forum for those kind of sentiments.

There is plenty to be said about Islamist infiltration in America, about jihad, about creeping sharia, about the threat of Islamists and Salafists to our civilization, and I've said it here more than once. But to call for the butchering of innocent people praying in a mosque is simply evil. In fact, it's exactly how jihadis treat churches in places like Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia.

And speaking just for myself,I consider that not only irresponsible but morally reprehensible.

It's also stupid, because it plays right into the Islamist's hands.

It's not well known, but a fair number of domestic jihad terrorist attacks here in America have been thwarted because an American Muslim saw or heard something in a mosque, overheard a conversation, saw something that didn't look or feel right and reported it to the authorities, often at risk to themselves.

They did it out of simple decency, which is the frame where the majority of people operate ordinarily. But they also did it because they realized that every jihad attack here in America reflected on them as Muslims and threatened their continued existence as free citizens in a free country.

It works exactly the same way for the kind of material I saw on that Bare Naked Islam page. It allows Islamists like CAIR to use it to shut down legitimate criticism of Islamism and jihad, it gives credence to the constant whining about Islamophobia and most importantly, it allows them to go to Muslims who may not support CAIR's agenda and raise money and support from them, saying: 'You see why you need us? You see now how we were right all along?'

A friend asks 'do you really think it's worth losing their site over?' That's not my decision to make. But if what CAIR linked to was what was actually appearing on Bare Naked Islam and not manufactured, then as far as I'm concerned, Wordpress was well within their rights to decide that they didn't want to be associated with that kind of material, and to invite the owners of Bare Naked Islam to take their content elsewhere.

It's a decision I would have made myself, CAIR or no CAIR. There's real danger in getting so blinded by hatred that you become what you despise without realizing it.

The devil of our lesser nature inside all of us laughs out loud at that kind of self-inflicted wound.

The Latest On US/Taliban Secret Negotiations - Mediated By Radical Muslim Brotherhood Leader

Yesterday's The Hindu has published a detailed report on the secret negotiations beyween the Taliban and the US. And even more interesting is whom the go between is...none other than radical Muslim Brotherhood jihadist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a name I'm sure you're all familiar with.

Qaradiwi is famous for praising Hitler and calling for the extermination of all Jews at the hands of Islam.He's also a huge fan of clitorectomies, wife beating, murdering homosexuals, and of course, the world-wide caliphate.He also praised "martyrdom operations" in Iraq frequently - against our troops.

The Indians are incensed at the American use of Qaradawi as a mediator because of his long standing call for a jihad against India to retake Kashmir:

In 2009, Mr. al-Qaradawi had issued a fatwa, or religious edict, asserting that “the Kashmiris were properly fighting jihad against the Indian army.” The jihad was legitimate, he argued, since mujahideen groups sought to create an Islamic state. Therefore, the edict concluded, it was incumbent on all Muslims to help Kashmiris gain their “freedom from Indian aggression.”

New Delhi, Indian diplomatic sources said, has been warily watching Mr. al-Qaradawi's emergence as peace broker — fearful that his growing influence could help regional jihadist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad find new sanctuaries in a rapidly changing West Asia or a future Afghan regime which includes the Taliban.

The negotiations themselves have already resulted in Taliban leader Mullah Omar being taken off the American list of most wanted terrorists.Other deal poimts involve the release of all prisoners still held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, the lifting of United Nations sanctions on the Taliban leadership and recognition as a legitimate, non-terrorist political group.In other words, we're supposed to free the jihadists now held at Club Gitmo, legitimize the Taliban and turn a blind eye as they return Afghanistan back to the 7th century hellhole it was before we came.

In exchange, the Taliban will agree to play nice and to sever ties with al-Qaeda...which is headed back to the Middle East anyway now that we're leaving to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by the American retreat and the Arab Spring.By the way, that's exactly why Osama bin-Laden was fingered, because the new al-Qaeda head, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zarahiri, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, wanted to head back to the Middle East to partake of those new opportunities and bin-Laden refused.

Don't buy the horse manure currently being peddled that the Muslim Brotherhood are 'peaceful' and about political change. They're about change all right, by any means necessary. And they have no problem whatsoever with jihadist violence when it suits them.

Embarrassing that the Obama Administration would turn to a genocidal racist like Qaradawi as a mediator for peace negotiations and add to his clout and prestige. They think they're using the Muslim Brotherhood..but the reality is that the Brotherhood is using them.

Rasmussen: Romney 45%, Obama 39%

Actually, as Scott Rasmussen points out, this isn't as much of an outlier as it seems:

A week ago, Romney trailed Obama 44% to 41%. The week before that, he held a slight 43% to 42% edge over the president. The two candidates have been essentially tied in regular surveys since January, but Romney remains the only GOP hopeful to lead Obama in more than one survey. Despite Romney’s current six-point lead, his latest level of support is in line with the 38% to 45% he has earned in matchups with the president this year. However, Obama’s 39% is a new low: Prior to this survey, his support has ranged from 40% to 46% in matchups with Romney.
Rasmussen is the latest poll with the highest sampling. However, Democrat polster PPP shows Romney leading Obama 47-45% as of December 18th, and the ABC/WAPO poll from the same period shows them tied.

The CNN poll from the 12/16-12/18 period show Obama leading Romney by 7 points, 52-45%,but I think I deconstructed CNN's polls for you pretty thoroughly quite recently.

It's early days, but we're probably seeing is a bit of a consensus coming together around Governor Romney as the GOP nominee and thus the anti-Obama.

I'll have more on this later.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel - 'Give Your Kids A Terrible Present, Video It And Post It On YouTube'!

Ah, the disappointment and confusion...too funny!

Lil' Riley On Toy Marketing..Hilarious!!

A little something I found in my wanderings...just had to share.

Tensions Ratcheting Up With Iran?

There are a couple of items worth examining on this today.

The first one was a response ( obviously cleared with higher authority) to Iran's threats to close the Strait of Hormuz from the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet's spokeswoman Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, who warned Iran that any disruption "will not be tolerated." She added that the U.S. Navy is "always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation."

That statement sent oil prices down today, with benchmark crude falling 77 cents to $100.57 a barrel in morning trading and Brent crude falling 82 cents to $108.45 a barrel in London.

The second item is a piece by national-security correspondent Eli Lake in the Daily Beast that claims Israel and the US are currently arguing/negotiating over red lines that would trigger taking out Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

Reportedly, SecDef Leon Panetta's remarks to the Israelis at the Saban Center 3 weeks ago didn't go over well, especially combined with remarks by other Administration figures and surrogates. Ambassador Oren made a formal diplomatic protest, a demarche, which according to Lake led to him gettng assurances from th eAdministration about their own red lines for launching an attack on Iran's nuke sites and therefore the Israelis could just sit back and relax, relying on the Obama Administration to take care of things.

Unfortunately - I can't imagine why - the Israelis mistrust President Obama's intentions, and if Lake is correct, there's been a fair amount of ongoing haggling over those red lines the Israelis are being told about:

With Republicans lining up to court Jewish donors and voters in America in 2012, Obama faces a tricky election-year task of ensuring Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear bomb on his watch while keeping the Israelis from launching a preemptive strike that could inflame an already teetering Middle East.

The stakes are immensely high, and the distrust that Israelis feel toward the president remains a complicating factor. Those sentiments were laid bare in a speech Netanyahu’s minister of strategic affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, gave on Christmas Eve in Jerusalem, in which he used Panetta’s remarks to cast doubt on the U.S.’s willingness to launch its own military strike.

Ya’alon told the Anglo-Likud, an organization within Netanyahu’s Likud party that caters to native English speakers, that the Western strategy to stop Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons must include four elements, with the last resort being a military strike.

“The fourth element of this combined strategy is the credible military strike,” Ya’alon said, according to a recording of the speech provided to The Daily Beast. “There is no credible military action when we hear leaders from the West, saying, ‘this is not a real option,’ saying, ‘the price of military action is too high.’”

The two items are obviously related, with the somewhat bellicose naval rhetoric intended not only for the mullahs but for the Sunni rulers of the Gulf States, and also for the Israelis, in an effort to convince them to trust this president not to fold when it comes to the Iranian threat .

If the talks Lake describes are in fact being held and if that's the topic being discussed, there are going to be a number of things to be ironed out.

For one thing, the Israelis ( who almost certainly have better intelligence on the ground in Iran than we do) are convinced Iran is a lot further along with its nuclear weapons program than the Obama Administration is. They also are no doubt pointing out the every day of delay gives Iran more time to hide, disperse and harden its nuclear sites, making success in taking them out more difficult. The Israelis undoubtedly reason that the longer they or the Americans wait, the stronger Iran will be and the greater the possibility of casualties or failure.

On the other hand, the chief concern of the Obama Administration is politics. As I mentioned before, the Iranians have a suspicion that a down- in- the- polls President Obama might just try and revive his fortunes with a pre-emptive strike as an October Surprise in 2012. Part of the Iranian strategy is to warn him off by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, reminding him that an attack by the US or the Israelis or even meaningful sanctions could lead to a spike in world oil prices that could effect the US economy and the president's re-election prospects.

From President Obama's perspective, there's no question that he would rather delay any decision on a military strike on Iran until much later, depending on how his re-election campaign is going. Unfortunately, in order to do that, he's going to have to convince the Israelis to hold off.

If there actually are negotiations on Iran going on between the Obama Administration and Israel, that's the real topic of conversation. President Obama is likelyreaping the harvest of three years worth of distrust and discord he sowed with Israel and I doubt things are going smoothly.

Leaving The Building: Senator Ben Nelson retires

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) has decided to retire.

One of the more moderate Democrats, he was facing an uphill battle for re-election in the Cornhusker State because of his votes in favor of ObamaCare, and the special deal he made for his vote to have the feds pay for medicaid in his home state got dubbed the 'Cornhusker Kickback' and did not play well back home.

Nelson's retirement virtually guarantees a Republican victory in 2012. There no significant Democrat capable of mounting a challenge to any of the major GOP candidates.

"This virtually guarantees a Republican victory in 2012," said University of Nebraska Lincoln political scientist Mike Wagner. "There's almost no scenario in which a Democrat can win -- especially at this late stage."

The Republicans need four seats to take control of the Senate, and Nelson, 70, joins joins several other Democrats to retire from the Senate, including Virginia's Jim Webb, Wisconsin's Herb Kohl, Hawaii's Daniel Akaka, New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman, and North Dakota's Kent Conrad. Only one Republican, Arizona's John Kyl will not be running in 2012.

The Democrats have 23 seats to defend in the next election, versus 10 for the GOP.

Blood On The Mistletoe: The Unreported Honor Killing In Texas

Some of you may have seen the headlines about 6 people dying in Grapevine, Texas area after being gunned down by someone wearing a Santa suit. Just a little holiday mayhem, right? Wrong.

That 'Santa' was a Muslim, enraged that his daughter was dating a non-Muslim, that his uppity wife had the nerve to leave him. So he killed them, and every one else in the house. And then he shot himself.

The Santa-suited killer has been identified as Aziz Yazdanpanah; the victims were his estranged 55-year-old wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, their 19-year-old daughter, Nona Narges Yazdanpanah, his 15-year-old son, Ali Yazdanpanah, Fatemeh Rahmati’s 58-year-old sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, her husband, Hossein Zarei, 59, and their daughter Sahra Zarei, a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Yazdanpanah, a Muslim, was obsessed with his daughter's non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting classic stalker behavior.

Here's how some of his daughter Nona's classmates describe the killer:

“She would come to school crying and telling us her dad was crazy,” said Lacie Reed, 18. “He wouldn’t let her wear certain things. He was always taking her phone away, checking her call history and checking her text messages.”

Friends said Nona’s father had installed cameras all around the home so he could watch the family’s comings and goings. Others said he nailed her bedroom window shut so she could not sneak out at night and see her boyfriend.

“She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion,” Reed said. “He would take her phone away and her mother would give it back to her and her brother would let her use his phone,” Alvarenga said. “She was doing good. She was just excited that her life was going to start and she was going to have control of it.”

Yet none of this surfaced in the initial reports on the story as the above local news video shows. And the policeman in it is quoted as saying they're more interested in reconstructing the crime than motive.

Like Major Hassan's one man jihad - aka 'work place violence' at Fort Hood,just another random tragedy, nothing to see here, move along...

Tom Friedman vs. Israel

That's the title of a brand new Pajamas Media column by David Gerstman, whose Middle East media analysis appears here from time to time. Here's a slice:

Two weeks ago, columnist Thomas Friedman created a controversy in his column “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir“ when he wrote:
I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.

By using language evoking antisemitic imagery of Israel “owning” Congress, Friedman seemed to step over a line. In an effort to control the damage of his ill-advised language, Friedman defended himself to Gary Rosenblatt of the The Jewish Week. At the end of the article Rosenblatt wrote:
Friedman has often written of his support for the State of Israel, despite his sometimes sharp criticism of Jerusalem’s policies.

Last year Bradley Burston of Ha’aretz quoted Friedman:
“Israel doesn’t have to worry about me,” Friedman had stressed early in the interview. “At the end of the day, Israel will have my support — it had me at hello.”

Supporters like Rosenblatt portray Friedman as a friend of Israel. However a survey of his extensive writing about the Middle East shows that Friedman is hostile to Israel. The problem isn’t simply his “sometimes sharp criticisms” of Israel, rather it is his ever-shifting standards that always find Israel wanting.

In 1999, Friedman wrote a hypothetical column titled “How Bibi got Re-elected.” The conceit of the column — actually written before Netanyahu lost the premiership to Ehud Barak — was that Netanyahu tackled the most important issue facing Israel at that time — withdrawing Israeli troops from Lebanon. Friedman wrote:

Now that Israeli troops are out of Lebanon, noted Mr. Netanyahu, everything is reversed: Politically, if the Iranian-directed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas try to come across the border, they will be invading Israel, and Israel will be justified in massively retaliating against Lebanese, Syrian and Iranian troops that abet such an invasion. And if Israel does retaliate, it won’t be with guerrilla warfare, but with the Israeli Air Force massively striking Lebanese, Iranian and Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and maybe inside Syria.

The Israeli move has totally unnerved the Syrians, the Hezbollah guerrillas and Iran. ”They are all now in a quandary,” said the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen. ”The Hezbollah guerrillas are saying to themselves: ‘Now that we have liberated Lebanon, do we want to use that as leverage to rule Lebanon? Or do we want to use that as a springboard to move on to Jerusalem?’ If they want to do the latter, now they’re really going to have to pay for it.”

Over the next six years Hezbollah violated the internationally approved border no less than 20 times, killing and wounding Israeli civilians and soldiers. In 2006 — following a particularly egregious incident in which Hezbollah crossed the borders, immediately killing eight soldiers and kidnapping (later killing) Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, Israel struck back. How did Friedman describe Israel’s response?

In a column titled “War, Timeout, War, Time …” Friedman wrote about Israel’s three recent wars against terror:

What is different about these three wars, though, is that Israel won them using what I call “Hama Rules” — which are no rules at all. “Hama Rules” are named after the Syrian town of Hama, where, in 1982, then-President Hafez el-Assad of Syria put down a Muslim fundamentalist uprising by shelling and then bulldozing their neighborhoods, killing more than 10,000 of his own people.

In Israel’s case, it found itself confronting enemies in Gaza and Lebanon armed with rockets, but nested among local civilians, and Israel chose to go after them without being deterred by the prospect of civilian casualties. As the Lebanese militia leader Bashir Gemayel was fond of saying — before he himself was blown up — “This is not Denmark here. And it is not Norway.”

The brutality of the Israeli retaliations bought this timeout with Hezbollah and Hamas, and the civilian casualties and troubling TV images bought Israel a U.N. investigation into alleged war crimes.

Even as Friedman acknowledged that Israel was fighting an enemy embedded among civilians, he still compared Israel’s second Lebanon War with Hafez Assad’s brutal assault on civilians. Rather than defending Israel’s right to self-defense, Friedman equated Israel’s self-defense with Assad’s all out assault on civilians. Even though Israel heeded his advice by withdrawing from southern Lebanon, Friedman didn’t defend Israel when the withdrawal resulted in a new threat.

While Israel fought against the terror infrastructure that Arafat had built up subsequent to Oslo, there was international pressure for diplomacy. Ahead of the Arab League summit scheduled for March 2002, Friedman wrote a column (in the form of a fictional memo from President Bush) titled “Dear Arab League“:

Memo to: President Hosni Mubarak, Crown Prince Abdullah, King Abdullah, President Bashar al-Assad and the rest of the Arab League

We’re just bystanders. You’re the ones with the power to really reshape the diplomacy, not me. And here is my advice for how to do it. You have an Arab League summit set for March in Lebanon. I suggest your summit issue one simple resolution: “The 22 members of the Arab League say to Israel that in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal to the June 4, 1967, lines — in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and on the Golan Heights — we offer full recognition of Israel, diplomatic relations, normalized trade and security guarantees. Full peace with all 22 Arab states for full withdrawal.”

Since you’ve all told me privately that this is your position, why not make it public and get the benefit? This is how to bury Osama bin Laden and define for the world who the Arabs really are. If you can’t take that risk, why should I?

An excellent takedown of one of Israel's self-proclaimed 'friends. Read the rest here

Watcher's Council Nominations - Buh Bye 2011 Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

The New Year fast approaches and 2012 is just around the corner..the year of the Dragon, a time of energy, change and important decision in Chinese Astrology.

Council News:

This week, Ask Marion and The Pagan Temple took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

  • Victor Davis Hanson A Vandalized Valley submitted by The Noisy Room

  • Melanie Phillips -A Fearful Symetry submitted by The Political Commentator

  • Daled Amos Jews And Chinese Food On December 25th submitted by Simply Jews

  • Dorothy RabinowitzWhat Ron Paul Thinks of America submitted by Joshuapundit

  • Powerline Fighting Stereotypes in the U.K. submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey

  • Karen Holt/ Historic Americans Examiner -The power of a simple, 'Thank You!' submitted by Right Truth

  • The Daily Caller President Obama's top 10 constitutional violations submitted by The Right Planet

  • Bill Whittle -Three Years Under Obama submitted by Bookworm Room

  • A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days Apologists For Communist Totalitarianism: I Hate Those Guys submitted by The Glittering Eye

  • RedstateDid the VA GOP change the rules on primary ballot access in November 2011? submitted by VA Right!

  • Race 4 2012 The Ron Paul Newsletter Decision Tree submitted by Rhymes with Right

  • Big Peace The Economic Factors Behind Arab Spring Revolutions and Why Mubarak Was Right submitted by The Mellow Jihadi

  • Accuracy In Media Ron Paul Under Fire for Praising Accused Traitor submitted by New Zeal

  • Small Wars Journal This Week At War submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD

  • PropublicaHow Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission submitted by The Watcher

  • Mark SteynSilent Night submitted by The Watcher

  • Enjoy! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Obama Wants His Credit Card Limit Raised: New Debt Ceiling To Be Over $16 Trillion!

    President Obama needs a new credit card limit, and this one is going to be about $1.2 billion higher than the last one.

    He will be asking Congress by the end of the week to increase the debt ceiling from $15.194 trillion to $16.394 trillion. Presumably, he'll phone it in from the golf course in Hawaii.

    Since they're in recess until later in January, the White House expects to get the approval of Congress without a challenge.

    When you look at all the money that's been squandered on a bogus stimulus to reward the president's political allies,on auto company bail outs to benefit the unions,on green energy scams that only benefited the president's campaign donors, when you look at President Obama's use of signing statements to avoid cutting spending eve when Congress mandates it, it's amazing to me that Congress doesn't redeem itself by standing up,saying no and demanding that the president do what millions of other Americans are being forced to do thanks to his mismanagement of the economy - cut spending and get expense more in line with revenues.

    It's probably too much to expect him to actually take measures to grow the economy, but atleast you'd think they would stand firm on that much.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Obama On New Spending Bill: 'Screw Congress, I'm Only Bound By The Parts I Like'

    Before jetting off to his $4 million vacay in Hawaii, President Obama signed into law the 2012 omnibus funding bill....along with a signing statement that pretty much said he's only going to abide by the parts he likes and ignore over 20 policy riders passed by Cpngress, including riders on gun control, Guantamano, and keeping the President's "czars" from being employed by the White House. He also objected to Defense provisions in the bill that limit the president's ability to put troops under foreign command and require 30 days advance notice to Congress for any use of the military which would involve more than $100,000 in construction costs.

    This president has made extensive use of such signing statements, and they're scary because they point to another characteristic of the Obama Administration - its contempt for law when it gets in the way of the almighty agenda.

    I can here the Obamabots churning over this from here and screaming "Bush did it too", the typical reply ten-year-olds use on the playground when caught in some misdeed.

    That's your standard, the conduct of a president you hated? That makes it OK?

    President Bush indeed 'did it too', and the fact that he did it far less egregiously and often than President Obama doesn't excuse it - any more than it excuses President Obama.

    And keep in mind that things change. What President Obama is getting away with today sets precedent of what a different president can get away with tomorrow. And you just might not like the results.

    Ron Paul: 'Hey He's Not Racist, Just Batsh*t Crazy'

    So says his former aide and campaign coordinator Eric Dondero:

    It’s his foreign policy that’s the problem; not so much some stupid and whacky things on race and gays he may have said or written in the past.

    Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business. When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such.

    I would challenge him, like for example, what about the instances of German U-boats attacking U.S. ships, or even landing on the coast of North Carolina or Long Island, NY. He’d finally concede that that and only that was reason enough to counter-attack against the Nazis, not any humanitarian causes like preventing the Holocaust.

    There is much more information I could give you on the sheer lunacy of his foreign policy views. Let me just concentrate on one in specific. And I will state this with absolute certainty:

    Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11.

    He did not want to vote for the resolution. He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for “invading” Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration.

    On the eve of the vote, Ron Paul was still telling us staffers that he was planning to vote “No,” on the resolution, and to be prepared for a seriously negative reaction in the District. Jackie Gloor and I, along with quiet nods of agreement from the other staffers in the District, declared our intentions to Tom Lizardo, our Chief of Staff, and to each other, that if Ron voted No, we would immediately resign.

    Ron was “under the spell” of left-anarchist and Lew Rockwell associate Joe Becker at the time, who was our legislative director. Norm Singleton, another Lew Rockwell fanatic agreed with Joe. All other staffers were against Ron, Joe and Norm on this, including Lizardo. At the very last minute Ron switched his stance and voted “Yay,” much to the great relief of Jackie and I. He never explained why, but I strongly suspected that he realized it would have been political suicide; that staunchly conservative Victoria would revolt, and the Republicans there would ensure that he would not receive the nomination for the seat in 2002. Also, as much as I like to think that it was my yelling and screaming at Ron, that I would publicly resign if he voted “No,” I suspect it had a lot more to do with Jackie’s threat, for she WAS Victoria. And if Jackie bolted, all of the Victoria conservatives would immediately turn on Ron, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

    And oh yes,according to Dondero, Ron Paul has some interesting views on Israel. He isn't just anti-Israel, he's against it's very existence and thinks it all ought to be given back to the Arabs.

    That of course fits in with the amendment he offered lst February to cut off all aid and military sales to Israel and only Israel.And his endorsement in 2008 of avowed anti-semite and 9/11 truther Cynthis McKinney,who ran as the Green Party candidate.

    Anti-semite? Naw. not Ron Paul! Just ask the neo-Nazis over at Stormfront who are raising money for him and have his logo on their site.

    Ron Paul hanging out with Stormfront founder Don Black...birds of a feather indeed.

    Iran's War Games: 'An Important Message..Especially To The Colonialist Powers'

    The Iranian navy is in the process of staging Velayat 90, a ten day military 'exercise' covering an area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden,the entrance to the Indian Ocean.

    The regime's official PRESS-TV quotes member of the Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Zohreh Elahian as saying: “The [Iranian] Navy's military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman indicate the power and dominance of Iran's Navy in regional waters. The exercises send an important message to the whole world, especially the colonialist powers…and also show the power of [Iran's] armed forces, particularly [the country's] Navy.”

    Elahian also added that 'foreign media' have admitted that Iran and its Navy are so powerful that if threatened, the country can take control of the Strait of Hormuz as the global economic and energy conduit.

    The last one, of course, is the kicker and the real purpose of this display.

    In an actual brawl with, say, the US Navy, Iran's navy would find itself overpowered in a hurry. Their line ships consist of three destroyers over 50 years old and a mere handful of light frigates and corvettes. Some of these ships date from the 1970's but sport more modern anti-ship missiles like Chinese C-802's, most of which date from the mid-1990's. They also have two of what they call 'missile boats', essentially large patrol boats with extra missile launchers.They're both Iranian built, with all that implies.

    The main emphasis of Iran's navy is submarines and patrol boats designed for coastal defense.The best of the subs are 3 Russian SSK Kilo class, with most of the rest being mini-subs or 'midget' class, like the Tareq and Qadir types mentioned in the PRESS TV article.Again, except for the SSK's, most of them are Iranian manufactured.

    None of them would hold up for very long against a carrier group, especially since Iran's air force is, shall we say, marginal.

    That's exactly why the second part of Zohreh Elahian's official statement is the important one.

    The main mission of Iran's navy in the event of hostilities with be to lay mines and otherwise obstruct the Persian Gulf oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway only thirty four miles (54 kilometers) at its narrowest point.

    Nearly 25% of the world's oil supply flows through the Strait on a daily basis,and since the Strait, like most of the Persian Gulf is essentially a shallow basin, the actual shipping area consists of two 2-mile wide channels for inbound and outbound tanker traffic, as well as a 2-mile wide buffer zone.

    What the Iranians are actually doing here is sending a message to President Barack Obama, as well as to the new Shi'ite government of Iran and other Arab governments in the Gulf.

    Iran undoubtedly has its suspicions that President Obama might just try to pull off an October Surprise in 2012 to bolster his re-election campaign by attacking Iran. They also want him and surrogates like Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton to keep the Israelis from taking out Iran's nuclear sites. The current naval exercises and accompanying threats are Iran's way of reminding President Obama that such an attack might just result in blocking the Strait and a spike in oil prices that would damage the American economy. The fact that Iran would also suffer, since its oil resources sit on the Gulf is secondary, and they're hoping that a threat to a weak and ineffectual president is going to be enough to buy time. Once Iran has nuclear weapons, they figure they'll be as untouchable as North Korea.

    The other message being sent is to Iraq and the other Arab Gulf states. Simply put. it reads: "The Americans are leaving with their tails between their legs, and they won't protect you.We're the new power in the region, we can bankrupt you at our whim and you'd be unwise not acknowledge that and behave accordingly."

    I'm reminded of how President Reagan acted to similar Iranian provocation back in the 1980's, but then he was a very different president.

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    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Greetings To Jews From The Chinese Restaurant Association Of America

    A side note for the uninitiated...most Jews have a real love affair with the various kinds of Chinese food year 'round. And for those of the Tribe who don't keep kosher, Chinese food on Christmas Day is something of a ritual, because a number of Chinese restaurants run by non-Christians are open for biz on December 25th!

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    Merry Christmas!

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    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    President Reagan's Address To The Nation, 1981

    President Reagan's first Christmas address to the nation, just in case you've forgotten how real leaders sound. Still inspiring, 30 years later.

    The president had recovered from being wounded in an assassination attempt only 9 months earlier, and was in the midst of cleaning up the mess he'd been left with - a failed foreign policy, double digit interest rates,high inflation and unemployment, and a declining economy. His words and his faith in G-d, country and his fellow Americans shine through in every word.So does his strength and his character as a man.

    And notice how he opens the speech referring to himself as a tenant in the people's house? Which is also where the Reagans spent that Christmas. Jetting off to a luxury $4 million vacation at the taxpayer's expense when so many of his fellow Americans were unemployed and suffering would have been unthinkable to President Ronald Reagan.


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    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Homage To Barack Obama - Our Fourth Greatest President!

    Yes, just like the Dear Leader says, he's great all right. His line at the end will either make you howl with laughter or shake your head in disgust.

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    Naming Radical Islam - The Heart Of The Matter

    There is a psychological term some of you may have heard me mention before known as 'category error'. It refers to the inability to solve a problem because of the inability to name it correctly, deliberately or unconsciously.

    A good example can be seen here in this exchange yesterday between California Congressman Dan Lundgren, Republican Chairman of the House Administration Committee and part of the Homeland Security Committee and Paul Stockton, President Obama's Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. ( h/t Vlad Tepes, via long time Joshua's Army member Louie Louie)

    In spite of Lundgren's continued questioning, it's obvious that Stockton would prefer to have his fingernails ripped off with pliers rather than seriously say the words 'radical Islam' or deal with what that implies.

    Islamic fascism continues to be treated as the 'he-who-must-not-be named' of American policy, just as Lord Voldemort was in the Harry Potter series. It's easy to see where such a policy ultimately leads, although unlike some commentators, I'm convinced that it will eventually be dealt with successfully. But the longer we wait, the higher the cost.

    Assistant Secretary Stockton is wrong when he states that we're 'not at war with Islam.' Whom we aren't at war with is all Muslims, but we are definitely at war with a certain and not insignificant portion of Islam and its adherents, whether we realize it or not. A percentage approaching a majority of non-American Muslims openly feel that we're at war with Islam according to the Pew Trust polls and the percentage of American Muslims that agree with them is growing. And they wouldn't agree with Rep. Lundgren that their views are 'radical' at all, leaving that PC nonsense to gullible infidels. This is especially true of the younger demographic exposed to hard line Wahabist and Muslim Brotherhood run mosques, madrassahs, websites and imams here in America that are funded overseas.

    As our old friend Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman once said, there's no such thing as 'radical Islam', only Islam and not Islam. There are many Muslims who agree with him entirely.

    This disturbing trend is exactly what Rep Peter King's ( R-NY) hearings on Islam were about, and the amazing thing is that they weren't held years earlier.

    Assistant Secretary Stockton is by no means a stupid man, by the way. He's an Ivy League product by way of Dartmouth and Harvard and an academic with an impressive list of think tanks and teaching positions under his belt.

    Assistant Secretary Stockton undoubtedly thinks he is rendering service to his country by taking the position he's taking. Unfortunately, he isn't.

    His experience, his political orientation and his education have so indoctrinated him along certain lines that either he isn't able to acknowledge this truth or is afraid to do so because of the risk of the accompanying damage to his career and his livelihood. Perhaps both.One doesn't get to his level in government or academia without going along to get along.

    Until we create a climate that encourages the Paul Stocktons in Washington to see things as they are and either evolve or quietly remove themselves from positions of influence, this is going to continue until something game changing like another 9/11 occurs.

    Hopefully, it won't take something as devastating for that very necessary wake up call.

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    The Obamas Head Off To Their $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation..On The Taxpayer's Dime

    Now that President Obama has finished his labors on our behalf, it's time for yet another vacay.

    This 17 day idyll is estimated to cost the American tax payer a cool $4 million plus, over $235,000 per day.Ain't no recession here, bubba!

    First let's start with the travel expenses:

    The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.

    However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

    The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii was not made available. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew's per diem and hotel.

    Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.

    These numbers also don't account for the food and drink bill en route, especially when it comes to Michele Obama's assorted staffers and hangers on.

    Now, when the Obamas reach Hawaii, they're going to be paying their own rental for a house nearer to the beach rather than using the Winter White House. Unfortunately, since the Kailua rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal, not only are the taxpayers footing the bill for housing a larger than usual Secret Service detail,but the cost of housing U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes in Kailua, as well as the cost of maintaining ships off shore.

    Rentals in pricy Kailua are calculated at a cost about $1,200 per day ( figured at a cost of $200 per bedroom per day,which I think is frankly low). 18 days ( since security arrives a day early) comes to $151,200.

    Now, the President’s staff and White House Press Corps ( don't ask me why they're along) are staying at the Moana Surfrider a world famous five star hotel overlooking the beach in Waikiki.

    Rooms usually start at a base rate of $250 to $450 per night, and are even higher during the holidays. There's a special government rate of $177 per night,but the Surfrider's normal policy is that it's not available during the holidays, which are peak time.

    But let's make this a gimmee, as President Obama's golf budies would say and calculate this at that rate. That would mean the taxpayers are footing the bill for over $72,216 in hotel bills for an estimated 24 staff. If it isn't at the government rate, we're talking better than double that figure.

    Also, tourist mecca that it is, Hawaii charges a 9.25 percent Transient Accommodation Tax and a 4.712 percent General Excise Tax - $10,082.80 if we're talking government rates, more like just over $20,000 if we're not. Add in taxes and charges for meals, internet use, and other et ceteras,( figure an average of $75 per day, again a lowball estimate) and we're probably talking about more like between $150,00 and $185,000.

    None of this includes food and beverages for the president's party and their guests while they're on vacay, car rentals, the cost of installing extra phone lines, bullet proof glass and other and security precautions in private residences and then restoring them to their original condition, greens fees, and all the other little extras that crop up when you're on vacation.

    At least a bit over $4,000,000...and probably more. And this at a time when a lot of Americans are struggling to get by and just pay their bills. Yes, President Obama is definitely out there fighting for the middle class!

    Hawaii is beautiful this time of year I'm told. Especially if someone else is footing the bill.

    In fairness to the president, there's a Daily Mail story out there based on a National Inquirer piece saying that the president tried to talk Mooch-elle into a local holiday at the presidential retreat at Camp David, which is not exactly one of the slum properties then State Senator Obama got funded out of public money and had his old pal Tony Rezco build back in Chicago.

    But the First Lady apparently got in his face and told him no way, no how.

    This actually has the ring of truth, seeing as the president probably would have preferred to keep things more low key with elections coming up. And based on her previous performances, I can well believe that Mooch-elle simply was not to be denied. It's obvious who wears the pants in that particular family.

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    Amazing Encounter With Wild Gorillas In Uganda

    A rare and beautiful encounter with a tribe of wild mountain gorillas near Bwindi National Park, Uganda.

    Thanks and a hat tip to longtime Joshua's Army member Joyce C. for sending this my way.

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    The Council Has Spoken!! This Week's Watchers Council Results

    Christmas is just around the corner, and I and all of my colleagues here at the Watcher's Council wish all of you a merry and blessed Christmas,with all the warmth and happiness that goes with this time of year:

    But wait, there's more!

    Christmas Day just also happens to be special for another's the birthday of our own Dave Schuler, The Glittering Eye!

    Now, I've known Dave in an online sense ever since I first became part of the madness known as the Watcher's Council, and I've never ceased to appreciate his good humor, his renaissance approach to a myriad amount of interests, and his willingness to lend a hand when needed. Most of all, he's put up with me all this time...many happy returns,Dave!

    But wait, there's still more...

    The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and yes, we have this week's Watcher's Council winners!

    This week's winner, The Noisy Room's Syria - The Tipping Point Into Hell was an excellent examination of exactly why America intervening in Syria's civil war is a really bad idea, especially since the Muslim Brotherhood is now spearheading the Syrian opposition. Here's a slice:
    Ask yourself, what happens if we intervene in Syria? Nothing good will come of it. As the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine raises its rough countenance and swivels its sights towards Syria, America should pause and consider where this road leads. Straight to a world war drawing in Iran, Russia and China, courtesy of the Obama administration and its thuggish goons.

    I have no love for the Ayatollahs and the whack jobs that rule Iran. War with them is almost a foregone conclusion, primarily because we never had the backbone to take out their nuclear ambitions or smack them for their terrorist forays. That confrontation is coming and will rock the world. However, sticking our nose into Syria as we did in Libya, will poke the badger, so to speak. You won’t free Syria from a tyrant, you’ll solidify Islamic radicalism and embolden it. Iran will not let it go, they are vested in Syria and will step in to dance with us almost immediately. Russia is using Iran for all they are worth and will back them in conflict, as will the Chinese. That’s your formula for the war to end all wars, considering how Obama and Panetta have neutered a great deal of our military muscle. It will also get many Christians slaughtered in Syria, but our Marxist-in-Chief cares little about that I would wager.

    Think of Russia as the Mob and Iran as one of their enforcers. Russia is angling for control in the Middle East and Europe. You would not want to play Risk with these guys, trust me. They will let the Islamic extremists do their dirty work by invading, warring and wiping Israel off the map. When Russia is done with them, they will attempt to put the Islamists down. Who will win? Well, Russia has might, but Iran has insane religious fervor. They are willing to take everyone out to win. My money is on the Jihadists, but that roll of the dice is anyone’s guess. Let’s pray it never gets that far, but it sure looks like it’s progressing in that direction. I suspect in the end, the Chinese will be there to claim whatever is left, if anything is.

    So, why would we stick our nose once again where it does not belong? Power, control and delusion. The Progressives always believe they will come out on top and in control. But they are not the biggest dog in this fight and they will get the crap kicked out of them by the big boys in Russia, Iran and China. And there are no do-overs in this game.

    I understand Syria is murdering their own. That is evil and heinous, but nothing we do will change Islamic rule there. Either Iran will win or the Muslim Brotherhood will. Both are horrific and both are very bad for us. Both sides of that coin are our enemies, make no mistake about it. Pushing the so-called Arab Spring there is just enough to really stir the war pot.

    We had a tie this week between two must read entries in our non-Council category. One was by Friedrich Hansen in The Brussels Journal entitled A Brief History of Liberty for the OWS Crowd submitted by The Political Commentator, which was exactly what it sounded like, a scholarly attempt to explain the roots of our political liberty.

    The other was Sultan Knish's Mr. Islam's Blindfold and Machete submitted by Right Truth.

    As is usual in these cases, I had to put on my Watcher's hat and break the tie. While the Brussels Journal piece was erudite and well written, ultimately Sultan Knish's visceral imagery won me over.

    Here are this week’s full results. Only New Zeal was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners

    See you next week! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

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