Friday, February 27, 2009
Baha'i gardens named world heritage site
Baha'i, Haifa and Israel will celebrate this occasion during March: (auto translated)
Baha'i Celebrate - Haifa city engineer says gardens are Haifa's world renown landmark
The Bahai are a small religion who have branched from Shia in Iran more than a 100 years ago. Many have found refuge from persecution in Israel and have built their beautiful gardens on the slopes of mount Carmel in Haifa.
More at Wikipedia:
Unprecedented EU stance - expressing solidarity with Hamas endorsing residents of Gaza. Good people? In what way? What good deed did they ever do - use all the goodwill capital the world has given them to build and launch rockets?
Obviously the antisemites from Europe still don't care that Gazan Hamasholes are holding a human being hostage (a French citizen) and are denying Shalit red cross visits. The good people... sheesh
Now be a good dhimmi and pay up so they can rebuild the terror base and continue their war to conquer the world from the stink hole they call home.
EU's Solana on unprecedented Gaza visit
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana toured the war-shattered Gaza Strip on Friday, his first such trip since the Islamist Hamas seized power in the Palestinian territory in June 2007.
"I came to Gaza to see by myself the situation and the destruction and to show the solidarity to the good people of Gaza who have suffered so much," he said at a news conference.
"I wanted to see with my eyes the level of destruction," he said of the devastation wrought by Israel's 22-day military offensive that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.
Cross posted on Weasel Zippers
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The New York Times wrongly reported that the [Wall Street] Journal's circulation growth is due to heavy discounting and that the use of this tactic had increased since the News Corp takeover.
So a news paper telling the truth goes up in circulation, and the lying corrupt and biased media falls to the abyss and lies through their teeth about the successful competitors.
Here's a prime example as to why people are willing to pay for wall-street-journal's content (and will never give a dime to NYT again):
The 2% Illusion
Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough.
President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."
This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.
Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.
Note that federal income taxes are already "progressive" with a 35% top marginal rate, and that Mr. Obama is (so far) proposing to raise it only to 39.6%, plus another two percentage points in hidden deduction phase-outs. He'd also raise capital gains and dividend rates, but those both yield far less revenue than the income tax. These combined increases won't come close to raising the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that Mr. Obama is going to need.
The bottom line is that Mr. Obama is selling the country on a 2% illusion. Unwinding the U.S. commitment in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire can't possibly pay for his agenda. Taxes on the not-so-rich will need to rise as well.
On that point, by the way, it's unclear why Mr. Obama thinks his climate-change scheme won't hit all Americans with higher taxes. Selling the right to emit greenhouse gases amounts to a steep new tax on most types of energy and, therefore, on all Americans who use energy. There's a reason that Charlie Rangel's Ways and Means panel, which writes tax law, is holding hearings this week on cap-and-trade regulation.
Mr. Obama is very good at portraying his agenda as nothing more than center-left pragmatism. But pragmatists don't ignore the data. And the reality is that the only way to pay for Mr. Obama's ambitions is to reach ever deeper into the pockets of the American middle class.
H/T to Hotair.
Ever had the feeling your leaders are trying to make a fool out of you?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
No terror talk: Homeland Security head's new tone
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano avoids the terms "terrorism" or "9/11" in remarks prepared for her first congressional testimony since taking office, signaling a sharp change in tone from her predecessors.
Napolitano is the first homeland security secretary to drop the term "terror" and "vulnerability" from remarks prepared for delivery to the House Homeland Security Committee, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.
Tom Ridge, who headed the agency when it was launched in 2003, mentioned terrorism 11 times in his prepared statement at his debut before the oversight committee in 2003. And in 2005 Michael Chertoff, the second secretary, mentioned terrorism seven times, according to an AP analysis of the prepared testimonies.
Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, instead charts a course in very different terms than Chertoff, who used law enforcement and military jargon — "intelligence," "analysis," "mission" — to describe the agency's objectives.
The department's top priorities are spelled out in legislation that created it after 9/11: preventing a terrorist attack in the United States; reducing the vulnerability for such an attack; and helping with the recovery if the U.S. is attacked.
Napolitano's prepared remarks also show her using the word "attacks" less than her predecessors, although she makes clear that the department's responsibility is protecting the nation against terrorism. She is the first secretary to use a Capitol Hill debut to talk about hurricanes and disasters, a sign of the department's evolving mission following Hurricane Katrina.
Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith said the absence of the actual word, "terrorism" from her prepared testimony is not deliberate.
"Next time we'll send Cliffs Notes over with the testimony," Smith said. "Anyone who doesn't understand that she's talking about terrorism when she says her mission is to protect the American people from threats both foreign and domestic clearly needs a study guide."
Napolitano is not alone in her departure from terror talk.
President Barack Obama has largely avoided using the term "war on terror," although it has not been scrubbed from the White House lexicon.
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee doesn't mention terrorism or 9/11 in his prepared remarks for Wednesday's hearing either. Securing the borders, responding to natural disasters, ensuring transportation safety, protecting critical infrastructure and administering grants are the priorities, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson says.
The United States hasn't been attacked since 2001, and the color-coded threat alert system hasn't changed since 2006 when a U.S.-bound terrorist plot was thwarted in the United Kingdom. But intelligence officials still consider the potential for terrorist attack on the U.S. a serious concern and send messages of "not if, but when."
The committee's top Republican said he was struck that Napolitano's prepared remarks did not include terrorism, Sept. 11, new threats or a formula for distributing counterterrorism grants to states and cities — a topic near and dear to the New Yorker.
"This can't be the evil we don't speak about," Peter King said. "Any testimony on homeland security should be centered around the threat of terrorism and what we're doing to combat it."
Napolitano has talked about unifying a 218,000-strong department that includes agencies charged with protecting the country's borders, enforcing immigration laws, protecting the president, responding to disasters, keeping terrorists off of airplanes and preventing computer attacks.
We should all get ready to defend our homes from UFO-s, Global Warming, Flying Gerbils and Angry Squirrels - because obviously, terror is not a threat anymore.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Good luck selling snake oil big O. Good luck.
Chances big O would say something about Durban II shame?
Chances big O would blame Bush for everything?
Chances he will discuss how contraceptives and dog parks and other pork will do any good?
Promises... promises... promises...
Caterpillar employees - do you still believe this snake oil salesman?
Israel and Gaza: A billion here, a billion there - monopoly money? Obama switching allies in Middle East?
US official: Gaza reconstruction aid to top $900M
United States aid for the Gaza Strip's reconstruction will likely top $900 million, an official said, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to make her first Mideast trip as America's top diplomat.
Israeli and Palestinian officials said Monday that Clinton will visit Israel and the West Bank during the first week of March. Clinton said during her Asia trip last week that she would attend an international donors conference in Egypt on March 2 to discuss reconstruction in Gaza.
She provided no other details, but a U.S. official in the United States said Monday that the Obama administration's donation will be at least $900 million in humanitarian and rebuilding aid to the Palestinian Authority to help Gaza recover from Israel's offensive against Hamas last month.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the donation had not received final approval, said the exact amount was still to be determined.
The official added that the aid would not go to Hamas. The U.S. recognizes the West Bank-based government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and has no formal contacts with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which runs a separate Palestinian administration in the Gaza Strip.
Israel worried Obama may cut aid
– Israel's Defense Ministry is reportedly worried President Obama will scale back military aid to Israel to protest continued Jewish construction in the biblical West Bank.Also:
The defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Jerusalem Post, commented ahead of the Obama administration's anticipated release of its fiscal 2010 budget and the visit here later this week by Mideast envoy George Mitchell. Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader, is a fierce opponent of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
WND reported exclusively earlier this month Obama's White House had pledged to the Palestinian Authority it will closely monitor Jewish construction in the West Bank and will protest any new housing developments in the biblical territory, according to top PA negotiator.
"They told us the White House will watch for any Jewish construction," said the PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Obama knows that if (Likud Chairman Benjamin) Netanyahu is the next prime minister, he will try to expand the settlements. They pledged to us this will be strongly protested," the negotiator said.
Anti-Israel former ambassador to Saudi Arabia officially nominated and accepted position in Obama admin: director of the National Intelligence Council (I believe people who keep demonizing a "Jewish Lobby" are also anti-semitic, so - an antisemite is the new Dir. of National Intel Council)
Cut a billion from Israel, give it to
I believe this policy can't be any more clear. And Obama cannot be made any less of a liar:
Although the electoral campaign is way behind us - we need to keep reminding people about this particular lie, and how it's implementation will and is affecting the Middle East.
Obama campaign promises not to cut aid to Israel
If you ask me, the new administration is treating the economy and public funds as if it were monopoly money. Print it at as you go - it's not real, it's toy money. Keeps going through "start" and collecting his 200 (billions) on his way to a spending binge. The recent joke spread as pro Obama propaganda - he's going to halve the deficit, a week after doubling it.
How much of a stretch is it to claim that moving a billion from aid to Israel to Hamas is a switch of allies? Are you feeling comfortable paying in cash to those who deliberately fire rockets at homes of Jews in Sderot and Ashdod? How about those who strap suicide belts to 14 year old teens and blow up people eating at a shawarma stand and at pizzerias?
The question a month ago was "will Obama rule from the center after campaigning from the left"? The answer is unraveling before us. And it has been only a month. Just wait and see what's coming next...
Monday, February 23, 2009
A tragic and horrfying story of a man shot dead by an idiot policeman:
CNN:BART officer accused of murder for the shooting of Oscar Grant - more at this google search.
Now abused by those who wish to unleash a grand Jihad against.... Da Joooooos.
Those outside the Bay Area may not know the backstory: Early on January 1, a young adult African-American named Oscar Grant was fatally shot at a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stop by a BART police officer. The incident was captured on a few cellphones as it happened. The officer has been arrested for murder and there have been several riots in downtown Oakland.
How is this connected to the recent action in Gaza, or to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in general? Nothing published about Grant suggested that he was politically involved in this issue. However, this incident has been cynically manipulated by the local anti-Israel groups to recruit support in the African-American community for their own jihadist agenda. So, to nobody's surprise, recent anti-Israel rallies in San Francisco featured posters attempting to link Grant's death to the Gaza situation, to recruit those angry over the shooting to the side of those for whom Grad and Qassam rockets are "legitimate resistance".
Here's Tzipporah's report from a "community meeting" held in Oakland 2 days ago. For upcoming attractions, just see what's been happening in France.
There's lots more - I urge you to click and read to understand how bad things are going to get soon enough...
Cross Posted on Weasel Zippers
60 Percent of Secular Women Voted for Kadima
Kadima, the first party in Israel to use gender terminology as part of its election campaign, did exceedingly well among secular women who took part in the election: 60 percent of them voted for the party and its leader, Tzipi Livni.
According to a report in Ha'aretz's Politico, Kadima emphasized a feminist line in the final stretch of its campaign, whereas Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu was "machoistic." Pre-election polls confirmed these trends: 55 percent of Kadima's voters were women and 45 percent men, while the exact opposite was true for Yisrael Beiteinu, where 55 percent of the voters were men.
According to the report, there are no precise statistics regarding the number of women who voted for Kadima because in Israel, unlike the United States, no one has ever sponsored a large-scale poll of voter demographics that includes information regarding ethnicity, age and sex.
Pollster Kalman Gaier and Machon Smith did carry out one such poll, however, on Election Day, with the participation of 2,400 people who had already voted.
The poll determined that 60 percent of secular women voted Kadima, versus only 34 percent of secular men. 26 percent of traditional women voted Kadima versus 20 percent of traditional men. Among immigrants from the former Soviet Union and among voters aged 60 and upward there was no significant difference between the voting patterns of women and men.
She even managed to sneak through 26 percent of non-secular women. For those who aren't aware - the majority of Israel's Jewish population is secular, many are also atheists. That does not imply US's style liberalism though. Security and heritage do come first even for majority of secular society in Israel. I would estimate that although the liberal secular left in Israel has always been vocal - by the numbers it has collapsed and represent only a fringe minority.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Caroline Glick: Obama's Durban gambit
Durban II drafts: Israel is racist, occupying state
Obama appoints pro-Hamas, Anti-Israel aide to a top intelligence post
A recommended read:
The Obama Administration Sacrifices Israel
The cover-up on Durban II's anti-Semitic agenda
The Obama administration's decision to join the planning of the U.N.'s Durban II "anti-racism" conference has just taken a new twist: cover-up. On Friday, State Department officials and a member of the American Durban II delegation claimed the United States had worked actively to oppose efforts to brand Israel as racist in the committee drafting a Durban II declaration. The trouble is that they didn't.
The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva "outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document" and in particular "our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism." One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: "The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference." In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
P.S. John Kerry visits Syria, and rockets are fired from Lebanon - coincidence?
2 rockets fired from Lebanon and 8 from Israel
Beirut - Two rockets were fired from south Lebanon at Israel early Saturday, with one slamming into a mostly Christian Arab village and causing minor injuries to at least one Israeli, reported Lebanese and Israeli officials
Lebanese security said the rockets were fired from the Mansouri and al-Qulaila areas near the coastal town of Naqoura and said one rocket appeared to have landed in Israel.
An Israeli army spokesman said a woman was injured and the military responded to the rockets. He did not elaborate.
Israeli paramedics in Jerusalem said one rocket landed in northern Israel, causing minor injuries to three people who were taken to a hospital in the nearby coastal town of Nahariya. Israeli censorship rules do not allow media to report where, specifically, rockets fired from Lebanon land in Israel.
The rocket exploded in a mostly Christian, Arab village in the Galilee region, leaving a large groove in the ground next to a house. Drops of what appeared to be dried blood were sprayed on the pavement and shrapnel smashed through a kitchen window, filling the sink with glass.
"I was sleeping when I heard something like a bomb," local resident Masad, who did not give his last name, told Associated Press Television News. "I got up and saw something unbelievable — a katyusha," he said, referring to the type of rocket often used by militant groups in south Lebanon.
Friday, February 20, 2009
A Russian answer to Iran's threat
A few months ago, at a small private luncheon I attended, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, one of the wisest men in the foreign affairs community, was asked about the Iran problem. "Iran can't be solved," he replied, "without Russia."
Someone from the Obama administration must have been eavesdropping.
All the signs suggest that in return for Russian pressure upon Iran to end its military nuclear program, the Obama White House quid pro quo would abandon the missile defense project the Bush White House had planned to build on Russia's doorstep.
Iran hails military ties with Russia
Iran's defense minister said Friday he hopes to obtain new weapons from Russia to upgrade the nation's arsenals.
Iran has relied on Russian military assistance in the past and hopes to continue doing so, Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said.
"Russia has advanced military technologies, we have used them and plan to keep using them," he said at a news conference.
Najjar wouldn't elaborate on what specific weapons Iran was seeking. He met with his Russian counterpart and toured some Russians weapons plants during his five-day visit that began Monday.
Moscow has developed close ties with Tehran and is building its first nuclear power plant.
Russia also has supplied weapons to Iran, including Tor-M1 air-defense missiles, despite U.S. and Israeli complaints. However, Russian officials have rejected claims that they have provided Iran with more powerful, long-range S-300 air defense missile systems.
Supplying the S-300s to Iran would markedly change the military balance in the Middle East and the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.
NATO: Iran can help stem Afghan violence (Link to Iranian propaganda website...)
NATO Chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says Iran can help stabilize Afghanistan, amid a major stalemate in US military efforts in the country.
Only a day after Washington offered a grim view on its military operations in southern Afghanistan, Scheffer said Iran should be involved in efforts to secure, stabilize and rebuild the war-torn country.
According to Scheffer, a broader regional approach is needed to eradicate insurgency in Afghanistan.
Army Gen. David McKiernan, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said the US military has suffered logistical setbacks in its effort to restore security in Afghanistan and is now “stalemated” by the rampant Taliban insurgency
Obama team urges Polish patience on shield
The United States urged Poland Thursday to be patient over a missile defence deal it inked with Washington while President Barack Obama's team reviews the controversial multi-billion dollar shield.
"What I told the defense minister today is that they have to give us a little more time to review these things," US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a NATO meeting in Krakow, southern Poland.
Gates said no final decision on the shield, which has enraged Russia, has yet been made.
"Between the economic crisis, Afghanistan and Iraq the administration has not yet reviewed where it is on a whole range of issues including relationships with our allies, the missile defense program, the relationship with the Russians."
Russia, though absent, looms large at NATO talks
The new Obama administration wants to start fresh with Russia and the time is near to resume wider NATO cooperation with Moscow despite its invasion of Georgia last summer, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday.
Gates also expressed satisfaction with small NATO pledges of additional help in the war in Afghanistan, although none approached the U.S. announcement this week of 17,000 new forces for the deteriorating war. Gates suggested that President Barack Obama would save heavier lobbying for a NATO summit in April.
Charles Krauthammer: Obama so far easy to bully
The Biden prophecy has come to pass. Our wacky veep, momentarily inspired, had predicted last October that “it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama.” Biden probably had in mind an eve-of-the-apocalypse drama like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Instead, Obama’s challenges have come in smaller bites. Some are deliberate threats to U.S. interests, others mere probes to ascertain whether the new president has any spine. Preliminary X-rays are not very encouraging.
Consider the long list of brazen Russian provocations:
(a) Pressuring Kyrgyzstan to shut down the U.S. air base in Manas, an absolutely crucial NATO conduit into Afghanistan.
(b) Announcing the formation of a “rapid reaction force” with six former Soviet republics, a regional Russian-led strike force meant to reassert Russian hegemony in the Muslim belt north of Afghanistan.
(c) Planning to establish a Black Sea naval base in Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia, conquered by Moscow last summer.
(d) Declaring Russia’s intention to deploy offensive Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if Poland and the Czech Republic go ahead with plans to station an American (anti-Iranian) missile defense system.
President Bush’s response to the Kaliningrad deployment (the threat was issued the day after Obama’s election) was firm. He refused to back down because giving in to Russian threats would leave Poles and Czechs exposed and show the world that, contrary to post-Cold War assumptions, the U.S. could not be trusted to protect Eastern Europe from Russian bullying.
CNN: Clinton says U.S. might rethink missile shield if Iran shifts, Clinton signals
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled Tuesday that the United States might rethink plans for a missile defense shield in Europe if Iran decides against pursuing nuclear weapons.
"If we are able to see a change in behavior on the part of the Iranians, then we will reconsider where we stand, but we are a long, long way from seeing such evidence of any change in behavior," Clinton said after a meeting in Washington with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency.
The Bush administration signed deals last summer to place radar units for the missile defense system inside the borders of the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.
The move angered Moscow, which said the system could be used against Russia. The Bush White House went ahead with its plans for the missile defense system, insisting it was planned primarily as a deterrent to Iran's suspected nuclear ambitions.
Just a reminder, Obama always speaks different tunes when campaigning at Jewish crowds, throwback to 2007:
Obama: Iran threatens all of us
Sen. Barack Obama said Friday the use of military force should not be taken off the table when dealing with Iran, which he called "a threat to all of us."
Speaking before a pro-Israel crowd at a downtown hotel, Obama also repeated his call for a phased pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq and strongly backed a strong U.S. relationship with Israel.
Earlier in the day, the Republican National Committee took aim at Obama, issuing a research memo aimed at highlighting the Illinois freshman senator's lack of experience on foreign affairs. That the gloves-are-off memo was even generated at this time is a testament to Obama's growing strength in the Democratic primary field.
Israel urges more pressure on Iran
Foreign Ministry issues response to IAEA report on Iran and Syria, says Iran's continuing uranium enrichment merits international intervention; also calls for probes into sites barred by Syria after evidence of nuclear activity was discovered there
Israel responded Friday to a report filed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the subject of nuclear proliferation in Iran and Syria.
The Foreign Ministry stated that "the international community must increase its pressure on Iran to stop its military plan. Regarding Syria Israel is demanding that other sites be investigated."
Livni, thank-goodness is on her way out. Talking and begging for help obviously failed. More inspections, more talks of sanctions, more of begging the world for assistance only gives the Iranian more time.
Iran in 'backroom offers' to West
Iran offered to stop attacking British troops in Iraq to try to get the West to drop objections to Tehran's uranium enrichment project, a UK official says.
Obama's Overtures Toward Iran Worry Nearby Arab Nations
Obama's move toward Iran worries Gulf states
While the moderate, Sunni-dominated Gulf states were outspoken critics of President George W. Bush's aggressive approach to the Middle East, President Obama's diplomatic overtures to radical, Shiite-dominated Iran also has Gulf leaders worried, reports the Jordan Times:
"Our basic demand is that America should not give concessions on the Iranian nuclear programme and its interventions in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine . . . ," said Mustafa Alani of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre.
"We should be a part of these negotiations. We don't want any surprises. We need to be a partner and our interests need to be represented," Alani continued. Gulf Arabs, who warned against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, now fear the early withdrawal promised by Obama will leave that country in the hands of Iranian-allied Shiite politicians who have dominated the post-Saddam Hussein government. They fear a U.S. administration that rules out military action will fail to curb Tehran's nuclear programme, and eventually leave Sunni Arabs squeezed between two non-Arab nuclear power centres—Iran and Israel.
Hezbollah makes enemies at home
One of Lebanon's leading liberal journalists, Michael Young, writes that the fundamentalist Shiite movement Hezbollah is less popular and more vulnerable politically than is generally assumed. A key piece of evidence he presents is a Beirut rally in recent days by hundreds of thousands of anti-Hezbollah Lebanese. They gathered for the fourth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Young's article for the United Arab Emirates newspaper the National is reprinted in Al Arabiya:
The Hariri memorial gathering showed, not for the first time, that there is a substantial portion of Lebanese, certainly a clear majority that would like to see the implementation of a viable project of statehood. In contrast, what Hezbollah offers, and has offered in past years, is an anti-state, a project that defines itself almost entirely through what it has denied the state: a monopoly over the use of violence; sovereignty over all its citizens and territory; and an ability to consolidate Lebanese independence after the debilitating 29-year Syrian military presence.
Since the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in April 2005, Hezbollah has seen its anchors in the society gradually erode, so that it stands virtually alone today in defending its austere vision of a garrison state. The party has the weapons to do so, but not the flexibility to reinvent itself in a way that might reassure its Lebanese partners. Therein lie the roots of Hezbollah's decline, no matter how long that takes.
Today's action in the financial sector of the market pretty much leaves me speechless. I'll mainly link then:
Nationalization fears slam banks - Understand the cause - there's a cause, and then there's an effect.
Some banks may have to be nationalized, Sen. Dodd says
Wells Fargo & Co. dived $2.88, or 24%, to $9.13. The BKX index of 24 major bank stocks was down 9%, bringing its year-to-date loss to 55%...
Year to date loss of 55%!? It's only mid Feb!!! Sen. Dodd who received a sweet heart deal from (now defunct) countrywide - he's participating in the vocal nationalization choir.
Also: Obama has lost 30% of the value of Banks in the US in 2 weeks!
It's not Bush's fault, it's not deregulation, it's not the capitalist system - the Blame falls directly at the hands of the sitting president. There's another way to "spread the wealth", to destroy all wealth - it's called Bolshevism!
But hey, NYT has other news to share with you:
Obama Bans Gimmicks, and Deficit Will Rise
For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.
The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses.
But the biggest adjustment will deal with revenues from the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system enacted in 1969 to prevent the wealthy from using tax shelters to avoid paying any income tax.
Even with bigger deficit projections, the Obama administration will put the country on “a sustainable fiscal course” by the end of Mr. Obama’s term, Peter R. Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Thursday in an interview. Mr. Orszag did not provide details of how the administration would reduce a deficit expected to reach at least $1.5 trillion this year.
Mr. Obama’s banishment of the gimmicks, which have been widely criticized, is in keeping with his promise to run a more transparent government.
Fiscal sleight of hand has long been a staple of federal budgets, giving rise to phrases like “rosy scenario” and “magic asterisks.”
The $2.7 trillion in additional deficit spending, Mr. Orszag said, is “a huge amount of money that would just be kind of a magic asterisk in previous budgets.”
“The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”
Recent presidents and Congresses were complicit in the ploy involving the alternative minimum tax. While that tax was intended to hit the wealthiest taxpayers, it was not indexed for inflation. That fact and the tax breaks of the Bush years have meant that it could affect millions of middle-class taxpayers.
If they paid it, the government would get billions of dollars more in tax revenues, which is what past budgets have projected. But it would also probably mean a taxpayer revolt. So each year the White House and Congress agree to “patch” the alternative tax for inflation, and the extra revenues never materialize.
Nearly $70 billion of the just-enacted $787 billion economic recovery plan reflected the bookkeeping cost of adjusting the alternative tax for a year.
The White House budget office calculates that over the next decade, the tax would add $1.2 trillion in revenues. But Mr. Obama is not counting those revenues, and he is adding $218 billion to the 10-year deficit projections to reflect the added interest the government would pay for its extra debt.
It's all about priorities now get the fork and chase those mysterious rich people not paying enough Alternative Minimum Tax!
Media Watchdog: Dutch Coverage of Israel 'Beyond Belief'
A media watch organization says that the primary state-funded news program of the Netherlands engaged in anti-Israel distortion and manipulation of the news from the Middle East during the IDF's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The media fans the flames of anti-Semitism, the group concludes in a report released this week.
According to analysts from the European media watchdog organization Israel Facts Group, a leading Dutch prime-time TV news program, NOS Journaal, "omits and distorts the facts and manipulates the opinion of the Dutch public beyond belief." Israel Facts Group monitors focused on NOS Journaal's coverage of the Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008 and into January 2009.
For comparison, the monitors checked the NOS reporting against the TV station's own journalistic code, which Israel Facts Group member Yochanan Visser said "obliges it to provide impartial and independent news and to allow the right of response." In addition, the Israel Facts Group compared the reports from NOS with those of German and Israeli state-funded news programs.
According to the Israel Facts Group report on the NOS coverage, Palestinian Authority rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel preceding the launch of Operation Cast Lead were ignored. One exception was a report on 60 rockets fired by Hamas on December 19, eight days prior to the start of Cast Lead. "But NOS found an explanation for them," Visser explained. "According to NOS they were the Hamas answer to the Israeli 'offensive' on December 23. In fact, Israel responded that day to a Hamas attack on the Gaza border in which three Hamas terrorists were killed."
Reporting on Christmas preparations from Bethlehem, NOS reporter Sander Van Hoorn "reminded his viewers about the siege of the Church of the Nativity by Israel in 2003, after some wanted Palestinian terrorists had fled into the church, though without mentioning the Palestinian hijacking of the church, the hostages they took and the desecration of the church," Visser said. Van Hoorn "told Dutch viewers that the occupation in Bethlehem was still in full swing."
Once Cast Lead began, according to the Israel Facts Group, NOS refused to broadcast any footage released by the IDF Spokesperson's Office, "because according to NOS, Israel was carpet-bombing Gaza." In terms of broadcast images, "ninety percent of all footage dealt with the suffering of the Gaza population. The Israeli front was finally discovered on December 31, when all Dutchmen are busy with New Year's celebrations and do not watch the news."
On January 6, when an Israeli retaliatory strike hit a United Nations school in Gaza, "we sent the editor of NOS an e-mail in which we alerted him to the IDF version of the incident (Hamas was firing mortar shells from the street next to the school, to which the IDF responded). In the 8:00 p.m. news there was no mention of the IDF version nor was there one in the 10:00 p.m. Journaal. The NOS reported that Israel was firing at UN schools and kept sticking to that, even after we asked them to correct the error," Visser explained.
"In general, no official Israeli spokesmen found their way into the reports of NOS, no footage of the ground action or pinpoint strikes was aired, and the right of reply for Israel was not granted after accusations by NGOs or Palestinians. Pictures of the Israeli front lasted a few seconds and were accompanied by comments that only material damage was reported. A serious analysis of the backgrounds of the war was not provided and all acts, which could have been negative for the Palestinians, were omitted from the reports of NOS," the Israel Facts Group report says.
"The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Holland during January was skyrocketing," Visser continues. "At a demonstration in Amsterdam attended by a Dutch member of parliament, scores of people shouted 'Hamas Hamas, Jews to the gas!' A shooting attack took place on a Jewish health center. It seems obvious what was fanning the flames which led to these incidents."
Ironically, during the Gaza war, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende expressed an understanding for Israel's military actions in Gaza. Israel's campaign, he explained, could not be condemned as it constituted a reaction to the scores of rockets the Gaza regime has fired at Jewish towns in southern Israel.
In a televised interview, Balkenende would not lay the blame for the conflict on Israel; however, he said, "Both parties should acknowledge that it is in the interest of their people if they renounce violence." Balkende belongs to the Christian Democrats party, which has been tagged in European circles as pro-Israel in orientation.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Bank of America, JP Morgan-Chase and Wells Fargo were good banks. They were well managed, those which resisted giving away bad mortgage loans were forced to do so by politicians like Barny Frank and civil groups who sued banks to give away bad loans.
Obama him self filed such a law suit against CITI bank, one of the victims of the subprime mortgage meltdown:
Obama Sued Citibank Under CRA to Force it to Make Bad Loans
Eventually, the banks were urged by the Feds to buy out and "bail" distressed banks like Wachovia, Bear-Sterns and others. This in turn caused the "good" banks to fall into their own equity drop spiral.
The final straw came in the last two weeks. Over the last couple of weeks, everyone and his brother has been saying "Nationalize banks" - the effect on the stock market is noticeable and I ask out loud: Was this deliberate? Was this part of a socialist agenda? Did the capitalist system collapse in a deliberate calculated move?
Gloomy assessment as governments consider bank nationalization
Sen. Graham says bank nationalization an option
Liberal Democrats: Nationalised banks should be used to ensure ...
Nationalization gains as an option
Even Republicans may back US bank nationalization
Buy American Why Obama should nationalize the banks
Should US take over weak banks?
In praise of nationalizing banks
BofA and Citi shares fall on nationalization fear
Gloomy assessment as governments consider bank nationalization
You can't start a story by telling how it ends. This story starts with coercing banks to give out bad loans, then coercing them to merge, then coercing them to accept spontaneously regulated funds (TARP), then talking down the economy, talking down the banks, and eventually talking aloud about nationalizing banks without doing so - causing the entire stock market to collapse.
I'm not a financial professional - these are all facts available throughout the news media and can be collected by anyone. It seems the government - deliberately or not (stupidly if not deliberately) has brought a national financial catastrophe on the nation. To top off this abysmal behavior - liberals have gone off and performed a spending spree, like a last meal of the condemned - our government went on to spend every dollar the public does not have in a spendulus law.
The story of life does not end - and the sun will shine again, however this story - the story of destroying capitalism will end with a well predicted result. The question we should all be asking is - what will happen next, 10 years from now - how will we recreate what is being demolished in front of our eyes at this very moment.
Again, I'll translate a small part, if you click for more details you will hurt your eyes trying to make sense of the odd auto-translation:
Gaza Residents Furious: The Tunnels Collapsed and With Them Resident's Investments
The destruction of Gaza's smugglers tunnels by IDF brought with it an unexpected outcome: A big number of mediators, who promised small investors huge profits in exchange for an investment in digging tunnels disappeared with the money after the war. Hamas: "The investment is prohibited by Sharia law"
chief thieving terroristminister said:"A number of investors collected millions in a way that is disallowed in Sharia and we will find them and punish them".
Despite such rhetoric, residents of Gaza believe Hania's government knew and participated in collecting these funds.
But... but... we were told by the media that everyone in Gaza is starving for food and are the poorest people on earth - which is why the UN is paying them in cash and invests in Gaza a lot more than in the entire continent of Africa. Huh. They still managed to collect Millions of Dollars! I guess all the US funds and UNRAW funds do end up as cash under a mattress in Gaza.
I wonder how "voluntarily" the people of Gaza gave away their money to Hamas' mafia rule. I only assume that the first to speak about it will be thrown from a high rise building for disagreeing with Hamas, or any other kind of brutal punishment - they are experts in abusing their own population.
The suit is failed against NuCoastal Corporation, El Paso Energy Corporation, Bayoil (USA) Inc., and directors Oscar Wyatt Jr. and David B. Chalmers Jr.
GE traded with Iran, Amex funneled funds to Hezboallah and these companies and individuals have admitted to the crimes in 2007 (read to the end of the article). The big question is whether or not the lawyers presenting this case can show linkage between the bribes and trade that the companies have committed to payout to suicide bombers.
When these kind of lawsuit conclude successfully to the terror victims side they tend to destroy the accused side financially, however we are talking about corporations here - so it is less likely to cause real dent. If it does, one should worry about political bailout leadership stepping in...
Terror victims sue U.S. oil companies for funding terror
American and Israeli victims of terrorism have filed a precedent-setting suit against three U.S. oil companies and their directors, charging them that they indirectly assisted the funding of terrorist organizations. This is the first time that Israeli victims of terrorism have filed a suit of this kind against American firms.
The suit, filed in January at the U.S. District Court in the capital, Washington D.C., by attorneys Michael Miller and Gavriel Mairone against NuCoastal Corporation, El Paso Energy Corporation, Bayoil (USA) Inc., and directors Oscar Wyatt Jr. and David B. Chalmers Jr.
To date, most suits by terror victims were filed against Arab or Iranian individuals, terrorist groups, Iran and various Arab states.
The suit argues that the companies and their directors traded with Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the period 2000-2003 under the framework of the United Nations' Oil for Food program. Investigative reporting and a UN probe revealed that bribes were paid and other violations were carried out in order to bypass the limitations set by the program, which was meant to allow Iraq to sell some of its oil in order to purchase food and medical equipment for the civilian population of Iraq.
The UN probe concluded that Saddam Hussein and senior officials of his regime also transferred funds to terrorist organizations and the families of suicide bombers, in order to encourage terrorism during the intifada.
Saddam Hussein announced at the time that he would make a $25,000 contribution to the family of each terrorist. Among those benefiting from the money were Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades of Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Arab Liberation Front, a group set up during the 1960s by Iraqi intelligence.
The suit emphasizes that the aim of these groups was to engage in systematic and widespread acts of terror, crimes against humanity and genocide with the publicly stated goal of destroying and eliminating the state of Israel and ethnically cleansing its Jewish population. The suit also mentions dozens of attacks that claimed the lives of more than 100 Israelis.
The suit emphasizes that the aim of these groups was to engage in systematic and widespread acts of terror, crimes against humanity and genocide with the publicly stated goal of destroying and eliminating the state of Israel and ethnically cleansing its Jewish population. The suit also mentions dozens of attacks that claimed the lives of more than 100 Israelis.
After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. intelligence found documents that allegedly proved that the oil companies named in the suit and their directors bribed Saddam and senior officials in his regime in order to win tenders. The bribes were allegedly placed in secret bank accounts which were not reported to the UN.
In 2007 the companies and the directors were tried, admitted part of the charges against them and reached plea bargains which included jail time and millions in fines.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Watching terror programs at your home in Duisburg.
Antisemitism has reached levels unparalled since the end of the Second World War, a London conference heard on Tuesday.Europe allowed this to happen. They opened the flood gates and let in every Jihadi and his village, then they lectured everybody not to criticize the Islamists because westerners simply misunderstand the culture. They have shown very little criticism of the blatant antisemitism rising from these communities, and to top it off - they let Jiahdi/Hate Arab channels be broadcast all over Europe.
Synagogues have been burnt, threatening graffiti daubed on buildings, verbal threats shouted across the street and hate emails sent, the 100 policymakers from nearly 40 countries attending the first London Conference for Combating Antisemitism were told.
The rise in antisemitism has been a feature of the past 35 years, Irwin Cotler, once counsel to Nelson Mandela and the former Canadian minster of justice and attorney general, told delegates.
But it is now a “new sophisticated, globalising, virulent and even lethal antisemitism, reminiscent of the atmospherics of the 30s, and without parallel or precedent since the end of the Second World War”, Cotler said.
Earlier this year, frigures from the Community Security Trust, a charity working to protect Jews in the UK, recorded 541 antisemitic incidents in Britain in 2008, the third highest annual total since it began recording incidents in 1984.
In Germany, a Jewish cemetary is desecrated once a week on average, Petra Pau, vice-president of the Bundestag said.
In short, Europe invited the new Nazis in - to finish off the job the German Nazis started. All the while, European nations continue lecturing Israel on how to treat Jihadis. Europe is no longer in decline - it is neck deep in Islamist excrement. It seems the excrement has blocked their ears from listening to politicians warning against this and trying to reverse the tide.
Jihad TV in Europe
Their propaganda notwithstanding, Hamas and, two years ago, Hezbollah suffered devastating military defeats that may diminish their ability to attack Israel with rocket fire. But these Iranian-backed terrorist organizations are deploying another dangerous weapon in their war against Western democracies -- terrorist television stations.Europe shows even less signs of hope when you consider that many of the ones who echo the claims in this post turn out out to be members of far-right nationalist racist groups.
Thanks to Arab satellite companies, Hezbollah's al-Manar and Hamas's al-Aqsa TV stations can still beam their incitement and hatred into European living rooms, radicalizing Muslim immigrants throughout the Continent.
Al-Manar, however, is not a mere propaganda tool. Founded in 1991 by Hezbollah guerillas, it is an operational weapon in the hands of a deadly terrorist organization. Following a 2006 letter to then-President George W. Bush signed by a majority of the U.S. Senate, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Treasury Department designated al-Manar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. This designation placed, for the first time, a media outlet on the same terrorism list as al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah itself.
The designation highlighted the role of al-Manar as more than just a station with objectionable content. The Hezbollah outlet was actively involved in recruiting and fund raising for Hezbollah, and providing preoperational surveillance for terror attacks. Undersecretary of Treasury Stuart Levey has observed that al-Manar is an "entity maintained by a terrorist group" and is therefore "as culpable as the terrorist group itself."
Europe has also taken several steps against al-Manar. In 2004, the European Union and the governments of France, Spain and Holland determined that al-Manar violated a European law prohibiting incitement to hatred in broadcasting. This encouraged European satellite providers Eutelsat, Globecast, Hispasat and New Skies Satellite to cease transmission of the station.
Hamas, designated by both Europe and the U.S. as a terrorist entity, followed al-Manar and took its own brand of jihad to the airwaves in 2006. Today, Hamas's al-Aqsa television disseminates its violent message on Arabsat. Eutelsat, France's leading satellite operator and the world's third-largest satellite company, also began broadcasting al-Aqsa on its Atlantic Bird 4 and Eurobird 2 satellites, enabling Hamas to incite, recruit and raise funds throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Al-Aqsa TV is notorious for its uninterrupted speeches of Hamas leaders calling for suicide bombings, for its youth-oriented music videos that incite viewers to murder, and programs aimed at children which glorify suicide bombers. Faced with world-wide outcry for using Disney-like characters, the show's producers dropped the Mickey Mouse character -- they told kids that Israel had killed the popular rodent -- and found bees, bunnies and other animals to tout the virtues of jihad.
Bottoms Up On the Jihadi Excrement Martini Europeans. You earned it fair and square.
Cross Posted On Weasel Zippers
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Let's see how much coverage this story gets in American MSM - a dirty bomb plotter to be released, just because Obama "feels like it".
British protesters urge release of Guantanamo detainee
Protesters wearing Guantanamo-style orange boiler suits protested outside the US embassy in London on Tuesday, demanding the return of a detainee.
Binyam Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian-born former British resident with refugee status in Britain, is still being held at the Guantanamo Bay US prison camp on Cuba.
The small group of demonstrators carried placards reading "Bring Binyam home," "No more torture, no more lies" and banners reading "Bring home innocent men" and "Justice is our right; end torture."
British officials visited Mohamed at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay on Saturday and found there was no medical reason to prevent him from returning home.
Mohamed has ended his hunger strike and is hoping to be cleared for release within days, his lawyer said Sunday.
In one of his first acts in office, new US President Barack Obama agreed to close Guantanamo and has tasked top officials with working out what to do with the inmates.
Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 before being taken to Morocco and Afghanistan, and then on to Guantanamo, the US "war on terror" detention camp.
He was suspected of attending an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and of plotting to build a radioactive "dirty bomb," but has never been charged.
Cross Posted On Weasel Zippers
SEC charges Stanford Group in $8B scheme
A Houston-based broker-dealer and investment advisory firm with an office in Dallas has been charged in an $8 billion investment scheme that centers around a CD program and involves false promises to investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission out of its Fort Worth Regional office alleges in a lawsuit filed in Dallas that Robert Allen Stanford through three of his companies -- Antiguan-based Stanford International Bank, Houston-based Stanford Group Co. and Stanford Capital Management -- were involved in orchestrating a fraudulent investor scenario where the parties made false promises to investors and fabricated return data on investments, the SEC said in a statement Tuesday.
The SEC also filed charges against James Davis, chief financial officer of SIB and Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Conner has granted the SEC’s request to implement an emergency temporary restraining order to freeze the parties’ assets and appoint a marshal over those items.
“As we allege in our complaint, Stanford and the close circle of family and friends with whom he runs his businesses perpetrated a massive fraud based on false promises and fabricated historical return data to prey on investors,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “We are moving quickly and decisively in this enforcement action to stop this fraudulent conduct and preserve assets for investors.”
Rose Romero, regional director of the SEC’s Fort Worth office, called the scheme “a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world.”
SEC director using the words "Shocking", after the Madoff massive wealth theft - you'd expect the people working at SEC will be less shocked.
Of course, now that the country is taking the same course and over leveraging itself, getting more debt to pay for - ehhh.. wait a second... what is the generational theft act supposed to finance anyways? Did anyone read the spendulus billulus already?
Gee - I guess that stimulus package isn't what inverters were hoping for, is it?
Obama waves goodbye to America as we knew it...
Economy and bank worries drag Wall Street lower
Stocks tumbled on Tuesday, pulling the benchmark S&P 500 index to its lowest in three months, after a regional manufacturing report fell to a record low and financial shares slid further on signs of more trouble for European banks.As you can read - there are many other reasons for the ear blowing sound of collapse at Wall St, but lest we forget, Mr. "Urgently needs a bill" - waited 3 days until today to sign his stimulus billilus in a ceremonial atmosphere. Are you celebrating with him right now? He went partying. The economy is crashing - and he took a vacation. Where's Micheal Moor with his "documentaries" mocking Bush's golf escapes?
Dismal economic data from Japan added to the gloom and made oil prices sink. Energy shares were the biggest drag on the Dow and S&P stock indexes, with Exxon Mobil Corp down 3.8 percent.
Adding to the negative sentiment, Moody's Investors Service said various eastern Europe banks faced downgrades and that recession in emerging Europe will be more severe than elsewhere due to large imbalances. Investors fled some western banks seen having a crucial role in keeping the former Communist bloc afloat after financing growth in recent years.
Obama poised to sign stimulus into law
President Barack Obama is poised to sign into law the most sweeping economic package in decades, a rescue plan designed to create millions of jobs, spur consumer spending and revive the nation's outlook.As Obama Signs $787 Billion Stimulus, the Question Is, Will it Work?
Capping the biggest victory of his month-old administration, Obama will sign the economic legislation Tuesday in Denver.
The setting, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is meant to underscore the investments the new law will make in "green" energy-related jobs.
Ahead of Obama's arrival in Colorado, the White House went live with a Web site, http://www.recovery.gov, that will allow people to track where the money is being spent. The White House press office also promoted the projected job growth for each state and congressional district.
The flailing economy continues to dominate Obama's time.
Tuesday is when General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which are living off a combined $13.4 billion in federal bailout loans, are due to hand in plans to the government about how they can remain viable.
And on Wednesday in Arizona, Obama will unveil another part of his economic recovery effort -- a plan to help millions of homeowners fend off foreclosure.
But first comes the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, which tries to address the nation's economic free fall on multiple fronts.
Ehh... probably not... :-(
I'm not the one who made this prediction, Presidential spokesman Gibbs did:
NPR: Obama Poised To Sign Stimulus Bill
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs warned it would take time for the economy to improve. "Things have not yet bottomed out. They are probably going to get worse before they improve," he said.
I said it before, and I'll say it again - it's astounding how the left and Obama's people have talked down the economy during the election - and now that he's elected - he's still using economic fear mongering to get his way. And again, I'm not alone while saying this:
Marketwatch: President Obama's speeches on the economy are needlessly scaring the daylights out of the American people.
In an effort to ensure swift passage of his fiscal stimulus plan, which is aimed at arresting the recession, the president and his aides have used jargon that risks making it worse, to say the least.
For example, while addressing the residents of Elkhart, Ind., last week, Obama warned that "if we don't act immediately, our nation will sink into a crisis that, at some point, we may be unable to reverse."
A few days later, when asked at his first press conference as president to elaborate on why he used such "dire language," the president referred to a "potentially negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of."
Monday, February 16, 2009
Source is in Hebrew: ynet.co.il
English auto-translation: here: "Livni: Some selected hate and lack of wisdom" - lack of wisdom is the nice way to call those who disagree with you "stupid".
Nevil Chamberlin, for ever will be remembered as the bringer of
There's more to this post than just taunting: Obama's Envoy to Afghanistan Begs Iran for Help
The photo I was referring to was removed, I replaced it.
Violent Convicts Convert to Islam in US's Jails, Converts to Christianity in Saudi Arabia end up in Jail
Just connecting the dots here:
Detroit: Farrakhan visits Kilpatrick
Friends say Nation of Islam head is one of many spiritual counselors who have met with ex-mayor.
Supporters of ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick warn not to read too much into a jailhouse visit by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who met with the former mayor Thursday.
WWJ (950 AM) reported it has received a copy of Thursday's Wayne County Jail visitor log that shows Kilpatrick was visited by Farrakhan; his son, Wallace D. Farrakhan; and Minister Rasul Muhammad of the Detroit Nation of Islam chapter. The log is not available to the public.
Malik Shabazz, a longtime confidant of the Kilpatrick family, said a relative of the mayor, whom he declined to identify, confirmed Farrakhan visited the ex-mayor.
"Having Minister Farrakhan visit is like having the pope come by," Shabazz said.
Shabazz said he did not know if Kilpatrick was considering a conversion but that "he has become more spiritual."
The Detroit News sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act for a list of Kilpatrick's visitors. County officials released the list in December; all the names were blacked out.
Waller, who doesn't expect to see freedom until 2033, attends a Muslim prison service every week with dozens of other men who have converted to the faith since being locked away. These "prison Muslims" are among the fastest-growing religious groups in U.S. correctional facilities.
A movement that began in the 1970s under Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to evangelize inmates has evolved into one of the most effective religious rehabilitation agendas in the U.S. Imams under the Nation of Islam continue to draw converts, but most Muslims in prison today are Sunnis, said Lawrence Mamiya, a professor at Vassar College who has studied Muslim prison ministries.
Mamiya estimates that about 10 percent of all prison inmates have converted to Islam. Using his estimate, about 1,800 of the state's 18,000 inmates would be Muslim.
About 1 percent of Washington residents claim to be Muslim, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That's the same as the national average.
For most men behind bars, their conversion is temporary. Just one in five who convert to Islam while in prison continue on in that faith once they are released, Mamiya said.
That makes experts wonder whether "Prison Islam" isn't a religious movement but a convenient infrastructure for a prison gang that affords members special privileges, including rugs and sticks of incense for their cells.
Chaplains who supervise Muslim services say most men are genuine in their faith.
As of August, Muslim inmates in Washington prisons have received halal meals, said John Barnes, a chaplain at McNeil Island Corrections Center. That change came after a rash of lawsuits nationwide by Muslim prisoners who claimed that they were given vegetarian meals instead of meat slaughtered as required by Islamic law.
Meals specially prepared for religious inmates are usually better quality than standard fare, said Walter Taylor, a 32-year-old inmate in Monroe. He is a devout Muslim, but said he had to claim other faiths with the prison system in order to meet requirements in the Quran for the practice of Islam.
Before the prisons began serving halal meals, Taylor registered as Jewish in order to eat kosher meals, which have similar dietary restrictions as halal meals.
He has also registered as a Wiccan for the privilege of having scented oils in his cell.
"Then I became a Sikh so I could get a turban," he said, motioning to the thin skullcap he wears to Muslim services.
Each privilege is necessary to fully practice Islam, said Taylor, who converted to the faith in prison 11 years ago -- about a year after he was incarcerated. He began studying Arabic about four years ago, and said he is now fluent. Other Muslims in the Monroe prison are dabbling in the language, too, creating a community bound not only by faith but also by tongue.
A 2006 report by George Washington University and the University of Virginia found that tight-knit communities of Muslims in prison are ripe for radicalization, and could easily become terrorist cells. A shortage of trained, federally approved imams has left openings for prisoners themselves to lead Muslim congregations, without supervision through chaplain programs.
A Monroe inmate acts as full-time imam for Muslims in the prison. He declined to be interviewed for this story.
Most of the inmates who convert to Islam are African-American, and are attracted to Islam for its discipline and belief in equality, said Faheem Siddiq, a longtime planner for the city of Everett who has acted as a Muslim chaplain in state prisons for more than five years.
"In Washington state, from Walla Walla to McNeil Island, the majority of these guys are low-income African-American converts who have an opportunity in a sober environment to try to reflect and change their lives," Siddiq said. "Islam offers them that opportunity."
Terrorist plots have been hatched in prisons, but that is a problem largely in Europe, where many Muslim prisoners are of Middle Eastern or Arab descent, Mamiya said.
"With African-Americans, it's very different," Mamiya said. "They have their own problems they want to concentrate on."
Muslim communities in prisons also provide some of the same benefits of gangs, Mamiya said. They protect one another, but they don't "demand extortion in order to be initiated," he said.
"Many of the men don't like the idea of the Christian 'turning the other cheek,' " Mamiya said. "Islam emphasizes self-defense as an ethic, so they prefer that."
There is also a strong sense of responsibility and discipline.
"In Christianity, Jesus Christ died for sins," Taylor said. "But in Islam, there's no scapegoat. I can't say that the devil made me do it."
And now, what happens to converts to Christianity in Saudi Arabia, those who think turning the other chick is a better alternative to a legacy of revenge and bloodshed?
The Untold Ordeal of a Christian Convert in Saudi Arabia
Christian converts in Saudi Arabia go through many untold ordeals at the hands of government officials and other Muslim fundamentalists because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
As reported by Open Doors, the Saudi authorities have arrested 28-year-old Hamoud Bin Saleh simply because he gave testimony of his conversion from Islam to Christianity, and also of his critical posture of the kingdom's judiciary on his website.
According to the Open Doors report, this arrest comes barely five months after the daughter of a member of Saudi Arabia's religious police was killed for writing online about her faith in Christ.
The same story from a different report: Christian convert lands in jail in Saudi ArabiaWeasel Zippers
For more details, review these sources:
YnetNews: Kadima: We agree with Lieberman on 90% of issues (Voter theft of centrist votes in action)
Haim Ramon says meeting with Yisrael Beiteinu rep went well but witholds reponse to 'loyalty law'; Arab, leftist politicians respond with anger
JPost: Kadima okays Israel Beiteinu's demands; Bibi urges unity gov't
Kadima on Monday accepted Israel Beiteinu's list of coalition demands and Avigdor Lieberman's party said it hoped Likud would soon follow suit.
As well as civil unions and an eased conversion process, Lieberman is also seeking to be appointed defense minister or finance minister, wants Daniel Friedmann to stay in the justice portfolio, strongly advocates electoral reform and wants the next coalition committed to toppling Hamas in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu urged Kadima to join a national unity government.
YnetNews: Netanyahu says will form government soon
Likud chairman tells his faction he won't be wasting time. 'We plan to form a broad national unity government, and I hope Kadima accepts this call.' MK Silvan Shalom: We demand that Kadima members stop their tricks and deals
Here's how I view these updates:
While Kadima is pretending to bypass Likud from the right, we need to remember two things:
1. Both Kadima and "Israel Beitenu" are offshoots from Likud.
2. Both these parties sat in a coalition with Labor about 2 years ago and governed from the left while keeping on making right-wing related proclamations when it came to security.
But the bottom line is that they both made more proclamations and noise than act as needed when they had to. If the next government would be structured from the same parties that were punished in the last election - then the same "no action" government will return with a different pin-head at the top.
The likelihood of Likud lead government is still high regardless of the political shenanigans in action.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
There are racists, and then there are racism enables - oh yea, Ann Coulter made a mistake in her book too.
Columnist Ann Coulter Defends White Supremacist Group
This post is about something worse. It's about Durban II. The "anti-racism", pro-antisemitism conference.
Obama cannot pretend to misunderstanding what Durban II is about. After all Bush did cancel USA's involvement. Obama knows what Durban II is about - and he chooses to support it.
U.S. will attend Durban II planning session
The United States will participate in planning a controversial international conference against racism.Somehow, I'm suspicious of whether or not the USA will eventually participate. There would always be an excuse. You cave once, you cave twice... where's the back bone? The excuses made this time, that it is only in attempt to change direction - is in one both admitting of knowledge regarding what Durban II is, and an acceptance and participation in creating it.
The State Department announced late Saturday night that it would send a delegation to the Feb. 16-19 consultations for the United Nations-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, dubbed Durban II, "as a means of evaluating the current direction of Conference preparations and whether U.S. participation in the Conference itself is warranted."
The conference, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in April, has threatened to be similar to the first conference, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, which was used by Arab states and their supporters to attack Israel.
The United States and Israel walked out of the first conference after the introduction of a resolution comparing Zionism to racism, which is likely to be raised again.
"This will be the first opportunity the (Obama) Administration has had to engage in the negotiations for the Durban Review, and - in line with our commitment to diplomacy - the U.S. has decided to send a delegation to engage in the negotiations on the text of the conference document," a statement from the State Department read.
"The intent of our participation is to work to try to change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading. We hope to work with other countries that want the Conference to responsibly and productively address racism around the world."
The statement added that the United States' participation in what it called "informal negotiations" did not indicate that the United States has decided to participate in the actual conference. Decisions about participating in the conference or other planning sessions leading up to it "will be taken at a later date, depending on the results that we see from the negotiating process," according to the statement.
Canada and Israel have already announced that they will boycott the conference.
To understand what Durban I was about, read this:
Jew-Hatred in Durban
And here's what's coming in Durban II
Durban II: Son of the Anti-Semitic Demon Rises From the Grave To Eat The Brains Of The World
Also, Yourish: Durban II: Heading right down the same anti-Semitic path
About Ann Coulter again, please understand - I expect her to clarify herself very soon.
Israeli brinkmanship puts Gaza truce in peril
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is mounting a last-ditch effort to free a captured Israeli soldier by blocking an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to release him.
Whether Olmert's brinkmanship can produce a breakthrough in the few weeks he has left depends on Israel making difficult concessions that could bolster Hamas, and on the Islamist group taking a gamble on the Jewish state keeping its word. Many diplomats are sceptical all the pieces will fall in place.
Hamas has no faith that Israel, which is about to change governments, will abide by commitments under the proposed ceasefire, mainly to keep Gaza's border crossings open, if captured soldier Gilad Shalit is freed.
Wary of taking steps it believes would bestow legitimacy on Hamas, Israel has refused to provide guarantees and has rebuffed a proposal for the U.N. to monitor the compliance of both sides, according to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity.
See - the problem isn't the constant barrage of rockets, the weapons smuggling, the kidnaps, and the fact that the ruling terrorists in Gaza are holding a human being captive without access to red cross to verify human rights - no, it's Israel's lack of trustworthiness and refusal to allow international stooges to proclaim "Yai or Nai" regarding who broke a cease fire. Utterly ridiculous, and deliberately reported in an attempt to give Hamas legitimacy while belittling Israel's legitimate interests.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
You cannot say the attack was unsuccessful - you had a regime change in the US, many lost their fortunes, banks continued to collapse and the nation might still face a depression. The big question in my opinion is WHO (not why). 9/11 was picked as the date - could it be any more obvious as to why? The likelihood that "friends and allies" from "the religion of peace" committed financial suicide bombing within US institution is high right now. (The date, think of the date)
More about the attack, Gateway Pundit, who raises more political questions regarding the generational theft spendulus:
Rep. Kanjorski Drops Bomb... US Financial System Was Attacked On September 11th
Catastrophic Financial Attack On 9-11 Caused Economic Meltdown!
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) told CSPAN: "It would have been the end of our economic and political system."
The catastrophic attack occurred on September 11, 2008?
Why is this news just now getting out?
Capitalism Gone Wild reported:Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania explains what former Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke told congress during the September 2008 closed door session. During the first third of the video an enraged caller is ranting to Rep. Kanjorski about how wasteful the first $700 billion bailout was. The best part is 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the tape where Rep. Kanjorski reveals what Paulson and Bernanke told congress that shocked them into supporting the first $700 billion bailout.Rush Limbaugh commented on this bomb earlier in the week:
On Thursday Sept 15, 2008 at roughly 11 AM The Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the USA to the tune of $550 Billion dollars in a matter of an hour or two. Money was being removed electronically.
The Treasury tried to help, opened their window and pumped in $150 Billion but quickly realized they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. So they decided to closed down the accounts.
Had they not closed down the accounts they estimated that by 2 PM that afternoon. Within 3 hours. $5.5 Trillion would have been withdrawn and the entire economy of the United States would have collapsed, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.The question is who was doing this? Who was withdrawing all this money? And the next question is why? That's where my mind starts exploding, and this is dangerous to have these explosions going this way. Could it have been George Soros? Could it have been a consortium of countries -- Russia, China, Venezuela -- countries that are eager to have Barack Obama elected because they know that will make it easier for them to continue their own foreign policies in the world?This is all very interesting-- When President Hussein was campaigning and the "economic crisis" hit, he did not think it pressing enough to leave the campaign trail, but now we should push through a trillion dollars in legislation without oversight because a few weeks later the King deems it urgent?
Pennsylvania Democrat reveals the financial crisis was deliberate, planned, staged:
At 2 minutes, 20 seconds into this C-SPAN video clip, Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania explains how the Federal Reserve told Congress members about a "tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars." According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occured over the period of an hour or two.
As Rush said: "It's amazing this was said on C-SPAN on Thursday, January 27th, and nobody picked up on it."
When I started reading this, I thought we were talking about 9/11/01 - the attack on the world trade center was definitely an attack on financial institutions. Could it be that nations participated in assisting terrorists in their attempt to topple US's economy?
Cross posted on Weasel Zippers
With a H/T to commenter 90, Paul Kanjorski is apparently another lying nut-job: