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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cut Off Money To The Middle East

The following link goes to a list of oil companies, and shows the percentage of their oil that comes from the Middle East. Where I live, we have mostly Arco, Chevron, and Shell stations. I see on the list that Chevron has one of the highest percentages of Middle East oil and Shell has one of the lowest. I've been a Chevron customer for many years, but that just ended. Until one of the terror-free gas stations opens up in my area, Shell will be getting all my gas money.

Oil Companies' Persian Gulf Percentages

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Set America Free Energy Freedom Summit

Anybody live near Chicago? Do you dislike the fact that we are sending billions of dollars to countries that are actively working to destroy us? Set America Free has an upcoming event intended to change that. Here is the information from their roundtable home page:

October 24-25, 2008

Chicago, IL


The United States depends on foreign countries for its energy supply. In recent years, this dependence has taken a toll on our pocket books, the environment and our national security.


All over the country millions of American are standing up and asking what they can do to help break America’s dependence on foreign oil. The answer is here: Energy Freedom Summit: Chicago, 2008.


Join Clinton-administration CIA director R. James Woolsey, Reagan-administration National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane and other leading energy experts from the Set America Free coalition to gain substantive training on the energy crisis and its solutions.


Leave equipped with media training, event organizing skills, and the tools to engage your government officials.


For too long we’ve tied our fortunes to the Middle East. It’s time to break free.


To put America on the path to energy independence today, click here to register or call Michael at 202-250-6158.

Program Schedule

Accommodations

Transportation

Register Now!

The conference will take place at the European Crystal Conference Center.

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Will Syria, Hezbullah and Iran hold off their chemical attacks?

I have done a number of posts regarding Israel's ongoing lack of gas masks. Our gas mask situation is quite simple right now: We don't have any. Now the JPost is reporting that we're not likely to have any until late 2009 (at least). Will Syria, Hezbullah and Iran wait for us to get them before they attack?
Last year, the Defense Ministry finished collecting gas masks from the public and in the past few weeks completed refurbishing a majority of the kits. The initial plan, a senior defense official said Wednesday, was to return the masks to the public in January.

"Most of the masks are refurbished and they are sitting and waiting to be returned to the public," the official said. "We initially wanted to return the masks in January but the Treasury did not release the funds and we are still waiting for the budget to be able to hire a civilian company to distribute them."

The gas masks are an essential component of the public's "protective envelope" in the event of a chemical attack, according to the official. When in the hands of the public, the masks also play a role in deterring enemies from using such weapons.

"When an enemy knows that the number of casualties will not be so high since the public has masks it needs to think very hard whether it is in its best interest to use chemical weapons," the official said. [And when the enemy knows that the public doesn't have masks, it's an incentive to attack. Great, huh? CiJ]

Syria is believed to have a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. According to the Global Security Web site, the Syrian arsenal is comprised mostly of large amounts of the Sarin nerve agent and mustard gas and is reportedly producing and weaponizing the VX nerve agent. The US, the site says, has estimated that Syria has several hundred liters of chemical weapons, with hundreds of tons of agents produced annually.
The lack of responsibility on this issue being exhibited by the Israeli government is appalling. Unfortunately, it's the general public that's in danger of paying the price.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.
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Vote Fraud is Not Obama's Concern - He Just Wants to Silence Those Who Have Exposed It




From Punditarian at the Astute Bloggers:



Bloomberg reports
 (Hat tip-Gateway):
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama's campaign asked the U.S. Justice Department to expand a special prosecutor's investigation to include possible improprieties surrounding reports the FBI is looking into voter fraud in the presidential race.
Vote fraud is not Obama's concern. He just wants to silence those who have exposed it.

Thus will a bolshevist administration use the organs of law enforcement to disable its critics.

You still have a chance to stop it.

Vote accordingly.

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The FBI Changes Their Minds


From this post at Atlas Shrugs:
INFILTRATED FBI FLIPS ON HONOR KILLING-BOWS TO ISLAM, ATLAS CALLS FBI

FBI CAVES TO CAIR. Will those sweet, dear brutalized girls ever get justice? They died in vain.. The West failed them in life and the West has failed them in death.

[...]

This is what was purged from the FBI Most wanted poster.

...The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father's rules of not dating non-Muslim boys. Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an "Honor Killing."...
I previously posted about the FBI's finally using the term "honor killings" HERE at IBA. My optimistic reaction that a tiny bit of progress had been made in at least recognizing that Amina and Sarah Said were murdered in an honor killing was short-lived.

CAIR and obfuscation triumph again.

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Barack Obama's 1000 Sundays Of Hate

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That's Funny, I Thought It Was A Huge Underreaction


Response to 9/11 was 'huge overreaction' - ex-MI5 chief




Stella Rimington has condemned the politicisation of national security since she left the secret service


A former head of MI5 today describes the response to the September 11 2001 attacks on the US as a "huge overreaction" and says the invasion of Iraq influenced young men inBritain who turned to terrorism.


In an interview with the Guardian, Stella Rimington calls al-Qaida's attack on the US 

"another terrorist incident

" but not qualitatively different from any others.

"That's not how it struck me. I suppose I'd lived with terrorist events for a good part of my working life and this was as far as I was concerned another one," she says.




I've heard this same shit from my relatives in Britain. Many Brits are so wrapped up in themselves that they are completely incapable of seeing that 9/11 was "qualitatively different."

Brits are so wrapped up in feeling sorry for themselves because the IRA put some bombs in pubs that they can't see that this enemy really fucking wanted to kill as many Americans as they possibly could.

9/11 was an existential attack conducted by people whose only means to effect a real existential threat was to fly planes into buildings. But, the lesson to be learned, which many Brits miss, is that if the enemy chooses his biggest weapon, that means he will do whatever he can to kill as many of your people as possible.

If the Muslim fanatics had a nuclear weapon they would have used it.

But, maybe the reason the Brits are so god damned upset about the bombs-in-pubs routine is because when you blow up beer, it really does seem like an existential threat to Brits. So, maybe I've got this all wrong.

The Brits are all, like, "They blew up my bleeding porter, now what the fuck am I going to do? There's no reason to go on living, is there?"

Fucking stupid-assed Brits. Don't come around here with that shit. If you think getting your pub blown up is the same as having someone attempt to kill 100,000 of your fellow citizens in one feel swoop, then you can't see the difference between your ass and your elbow, and maybe you ought to start thinking about reapplying for membership in Western Civilization, because clearly, you don't belong here anymore.

Of course, you all are proving it with your fucking Sharia courts.

Women are only worth half that of men, right Brits? 

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Al-Jazeera In Ohio

Stirring the pot:



From the news alert I received in a forwarded email (emphases mine):
ANP is working on a series between now and Nov. 4 analyzing the phenomenon of rage among McCain-Palin supporters which has surfaced in the past few weeks. Our first piece in the series will debut next week as we look at the rising tension at rallies we've attended, the effect of negative ads on the GOP base and John McCain's and the RNC's responsibility in fanning the flames.

For the other stories in this series, we need your help. Between now and Nov. 4, we want to document this rising rage nationwide at GOP rallies or anywhere else. If you have any evidence of rage, bigotry or deliberate misinformation among McCain supporters, whether at an official rally or elsewhere (local GOP groups, etc.), we need your help to video these events.

ANP producers have witnessed intimidation of Obama supporters, hate speech, racial epithets at these rallies. Our own reporters have been restricted by Republican operatives from speaking to supporters of John McCain or Sarah Palin.
Here's what we're looking for. Please look at this revealing report shot by Al Jazeera English:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zRqcfqiXCX0

We like this report for two reasons:

1) The reporter asks journalistic questions but also insistently probes people about the motivations behind their opinions but does so without the intent to provoke.

2) The approach is unbiased.

Many observers, including ANP, are worried that this agitation and rage may lead to more pointed hate speech and perhaps even incitment to violence in the campaign's last three weeks. And we would like you to help us document it.

If there is a McCain-Palin rally in your immediate area (go to http://www.johnmccain.com/Calendar/ to find out), we'd like to hear about it. You should edit the best rushes (about five minutes worth) and e-mail it to dhutchins@newsproject.org using software at www.pando.com or www.yousendit.com. Make sure "McCain Palin Rage" is in the subject line.

If we use your footage in our series, whether it is 5 seconds or 5 minutes, we will pay a fee of $500 and give you producers credit.

[...]

Davin Hutchins
Managing Producer, ANP
ANP's site is HERE.

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Don't dingle my dangle, harlot!

OK, it's Saturday morning. Let's lighten up a little.

I’ve been thinking about the Islamic member. As you do. It does seem more apt to assume a state of tumescence than those appendages belonging to males of other religions and none.

Back in the summer, we heard stories about the “burcycle”. That’s a portmanteau word incorporating burqa and bicycle. It would allow women in Iran – where women are not allowed to ride bicycles – to take to the road on two wheels (they can ride on motorbikes, apparently, but must be accompanied by a male and sit behind him, which makes actually driving the motorbike a bit difficult without pressing her gazonkas arousingly against her companion's back, which could be a bit embarrassing if it's her dad).

The woman riding an ordinary bicycle is deemed to be too arousing for Muslim men, it seems, so someone has invented this “burcycle” contraption, which is a sort of shed on two wheels. The poor cyclist is in the shed, pedalling away, and remains concealed, apart, we assume, from the head.

But even the head could find itself more covered than usual. We heard a few weeks ago that some crazy imam in Saudi Arabia wants veiled women to be able to show only one eye. Yes, one eye is enough, apparently, says Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan.

Anything more is seen as a come-on to the men. Well, the heterosexual ones, that is, but, of course, most Islamic countries don’t have homosexuals, do they? If they find any, they usually dispose of them in interesting ways.

But just what is it about the Muslim male that makes him less able than others to keep his pecker in his pants? Why is it so hard to prevent the blood running to his dangly bits?

A document that came into my possession some time ago may be of interest, and is clearly good news to many Muslim males. This highly sensitive piece of evidence (OK, it's provenance may be a bit dubious) came to me after I had read a story in the International Herald Tribune last year, in which Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the spiritual leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, accuses women of “emotional abuse”, saying that men are finding it difficult to sleep at night because they are so aroused. He wants changes,

. . . including that women should stop wearing lipstick and perfume to lower the risk of being raped. Women’s groups have slammed his statements, saying Islam teaches both men and women to be responsible for modesty. They say comments like these encourage rapes because it puts the onus on women.

And so to my highly sensitive document. This purports (as I say, it could just be a fake) to be a transcript of a sermon this geezer gave to his brethren within the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which shows that not all is bad, and some Muslims are rising to the challenge. This is what he is alleged to have had to say:

Brothers, it is with a sad heart that I come before you today – though “come” may not be the most appropriate of words in these hard— er, these trying times.

I am truly cognisant of how uncomfortable it is for us to pray, kneeling as we do. These harlots do not realise the anguish caused to us five times a day when we come here to commune with Allah (pbuh) and our Pillars of Islam make painful contact with the floor.

But, in his great munificence and generosity of spirit, most merciful Allah (pbuh) has smiled on his poor, hard-done-to creatures, and has provided gracious compensations.

My great friend Dawoud al-Har Don in Rawalpindi is now making a great profit (pbuh) by selling mini-burqas to his brothers in that great city so they can cover their impressive members while undressing for bed, in order that their womenfolk might not become violently aroused at the sight of them and seek to rape them.

In New York, where he runs a street stall selling most agreeable and delectable sweetmeats, my good friend and cousin-twelve-times-removed Hadir al-Priapus has found a novel and amusing way to display his halal doughnuts to customers.

And my wife’s uncle, Mahmoud el-Stiffi – in Bradford in England – has at last found somewhere to hang his donkey jacket.

And as for myself, my brothers, I have grown an affection for my member and have decided to give him – er, it – a name. I have chosen for his name Mohammed (pbuh).

The International Herald Tribune is not the only news outlet to carry the story. But no publication other than Infidel Bloggers Alliance has hard evidence of Nik’s letter to his hard-done-to brethren in Malaysia. We have hard copy, and we have it firmly backed up on an external hard drive.

The drive was not hard, however, till it noticed a pair of floppies.

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Unreasonable Fear of Islamophobes

By the time I finished reading the 24-page report put out by Smearcasting.com, (about the top 12 Islamophobes in America) I had made so many notes in the margins, I could have easily written a document twice its size in commentary on the ridiculous PR effort to convince readers that those who are trying to educate the public about Islam's relentless encroachment, Islam's political goals, and the methods of Jihadis are all "Islamophobes" who are doing nothing more than smearing the good name of Muslims everywhere and stirring up "racial hatred."

The whole 24-page document, entitled Smearcasting, criticizes, insinuates, implies, but doesn't really say anything substantial, but displays a virulently hateful and sarcastic tone about these "Islamophobes." Ironically enough, they seem Islamophobe-phobic and yet in the entire document, they never once refute any of the quoted claims of their hated dirty dozen.

On top of that, they do not acknowledge — and I think this is a significant omission — two significant facts. And the ommission of this acknowledgment makes the document lose all credibility. The two facts they omit are:

1. Muslims are committing large numbers of violent acts in the name of Islam.

2. There are intolerant and clearly violent portions in the Qur'an.

These are such glaring and pertinent facts, I don't think any amount of whitewash of Islam or vilification of these pundits could gain any credibility unless they are addressed, or at least acknowledged.

But the article, Smearcasting, actually cheered me up because first of all, they offered nothing that caused any doubt about the work we're doing. And more important for my morale, I discovered the impressive reach of these pundits. It was heartening to know so many people are hearing this message and apparently wanting to hear this message.

Micheal Savage has a radio show that reaches 8.25 million readers per week. According to the article, Savage "sees a monolithic Islamic scheme to take over the U.S." This, as well as many other statements are never refuted in the article, by the way. They must have assumed they were speaking to multicultural journalists who would accept the implication that these claims were preposterous, when almost all the pundits' comments they quoted in the article (in order to ridicule the statements) were accurate, reasonable assertions and statements of fact.

Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor show reaches 3.5 million listeners. Michelle Malkin and Robert Spencer both have bestselling books. Glenn Beck has the third highest-rated national radio talk show among adults ages 24 to 54, and he has "repeatedly associated Islam with Nazism. He drew a parallel between Mein Kampf and 'jihad' because, he said, both mean 'my struggle.'" This is another statement the article left standing, as if it was self-evident this is ridiculous, when in fact it is an accurate statement.

Anyway, it was a relief to know these antijihad pundits were so popular. Our message doesn't have nearly the reach we need, but this is a good start, and the numbers were bigger than I expected. And it was pleasing to know that in this well-researched onslaught meant to defame and hopefully destroy these twelve kings and queens of Islamophobia, that the best they could come up with was completely toothless.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Video: Islam Will Destroy The World

About Australia:



(Hat tip to Mark Alexander)

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Last Night On KFNX

Our guest host Jim Horn and I interviewed Tracy of No Compromise When It Comes To Being Right, which has a blog and used to have an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio. No more!

I have previously posted what happened to Tracy's show HERE at IBA.

Tracy was with us during the first half of the show. Unlike Blog Talk Radio, KFNX allowed Tracy to share the some of the information which she was trying to share earlier this week on BTR.

You can download a recording of the show HERE.

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Today On Blog Talk Radio

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, which WC and I cohost. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time.

The call-in number is (646) 915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Friday, October 17 (60 minutes): Author Allan Goldstein and Mustang of the blog Social Sense will participate in a point/counterpoint discussion of the candidates and the issues.

Listen to the October 17, 2008 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
October 24: The Beak and Joe Kaufman
October 31: Mohammed Abdul
November 7: GM Roper
November 14: The Merry Widow
November 21: Robert Spencer
November 28: Warren

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Obama and Media Objectively Fascist

Ace has the story on what happens to citizens who ask the Messiah tough questions. They can expect the drive-by media to root through their garbage, while the local Democratic machine and unions check his papers and work permit (Yet another Atlas parallel). That is now happening to "Joe the Plumber:"

This rotten socialist bastard and his creepy Marxist cultists are already using the power of the state to destroy people who cross him, and he's not even in office yet.

This is the same media that hasn't bothered to look into Obama's associates, voting record, and ACORN voter fraud for the last two years. If Obama gets in expect a Blitzkrieg against free speech starting with the "Fairness Doctrine" on steroids.

Update: It's about time. McCain takes Obama to task for his McGovernite plan to "spread the wealth" he is incapable of producing. In the clip's opening, McCain asks why a citizen can't ask The One a critical question without getting gang-raped by Obama's media pals, The Toledo Democratic machine and union thugs.




Money quote: "America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by redistributing the wealth. We became the greatest nation by creating new wealth."

It seems the media and Democratic establishment's vicious attack upon Joe Wurzelbacher has fired up McCain. Or at least one can hope.

Crossposted at The Dougout

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Ayn Rand Avenged

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

Answering the engineered takeover of the economy by the federal government is an unprecedented cultural phenomenon: People who read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged years ago and dismissed it but now see the parallels are filled with trepidation. The people who read Granville Hicks’ review of it in The New York Times in October 1957 and agreed with his estimate of the novel, a work whose literary value he also denied, can no longer think that it was a “parable of buried talents.” People who read the novel decades ago and never questioned its truth are issuing warnings about the parallels between the novel and current events. And people who have read the novel only recently are seeing its plot unfold before their very eyes. All are now realizing that “the end is near.” But, the end of what?

For the time being, the end of freedom. Hopefully, that time will be short. But if Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson can demand that bankers sign a “gift certificate” under the threat of blackmail or extortion -- like the one industrialist Henry Rearden in the novel was compelled to sign -- then the real world plot is advancing chapter by chapter to a climax whose timetable and resolution will depend on how much freedom Americans are willing to surrender and how much they are willing to endure servitude and impoverishment in the name of “stability,” “community” or “patriotism.”

In editorials, columns, and letters to the editor, Rand is suddenly being remembered as a philosophical soothsayer. The occasion? Chickens coming home to roost. Justice rearing its awful head. The bankruptcy of not only government-regulated economies and government policies, but of their altruist and collectivist foundations. Everything Rand ever said and wrote about the perils of statism is coming to pass.

Is it the Erinyes or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping over the earth, wreaking carnage and tribulation among the wicked and innocent alike, leaving a trail of conquest, famine, slaughter, and death?

What unleashed them? The irrational. The quest for the unearned. A murderous envy for man the free, volitional being. A hatred of existence.

What can defeat the Four Horsemen? What can satisfy the Furies to send them back to the underworld? Objective reality, reason, self-interest, and capitalism (also known as: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics). Anyone who has subscribed to Objectivism and remained consistent with its tenets is now in the place of the novel’s hero, John Galt, watching the chaos engulf the earth. That person and many others like him will not be much touched or harmed by the Horsemen. It is not their Apocalypse, but that of those who conducted their lives by denying objective reality, denigrating reason, damning self-interest, and condemning capitalism; that of anyone who did not concern himself with cause and effect, or with thinking in principles, or who complained about selfishness, and accepted the second-hand mantra that free minds and free markets were unfair, unconnected, or unnecessary to his existence.

The instances of the letters and articles that say “I told you so” are too numerous to cite here. Two, however, are noteworthy. One letter, by Iwan Price-Evans, appeared in the Daily Telegraph (London).


…[I]t is startling how prescient was her novel Atlas Shrugged. There is the socially responsible banker who went bust because he gave loans to those who needed them, rather than to those who could afford them. There’s the government regulation and takeovers to ensure that failed businesses keep going. There’s the unthinking desire to cling to ‘stability,’ and the consensus that it is a global problem and everyone must pull together for the common good.

All is in denial of reality, a rejection of reason. Result: the rational is distrusted; men are guilty of being ‘unfair’ if they value competence and ‘unfeeling’ if they refuse to indulge failure. The individual is subordinated to the national, and the national to the international. If Rand is right thus far, what of the years ahead? Perhaps the motor of the world is stopping.

The second instance was a startling essay on the bailout in the October 2nd edition of The Virginia Gazette, “We should all go on strike,” by a local entrepreneur, Matthew Webb. Obviously influenced by Atlas Shrugged, Webb opens with:


We should not have passed the bailout. Why? First, the sky clearly was not falling, at least until they did pass it, and the market has since plunged.

Second, the market would have taken care of itself. We needed to correct this the real way, which was to let anything that really doesn’t have value be valued as such….

Third, the government is the last entity qualified to run something as complicated as this bailout package. Name one department of government that is well run. You can’t!

This argument would not fly with Paulson and Company. They would reply that they are trying to “do good,” and so must operate on a “higher plane” of money management -- the higher plane being the ether of nothingness, impenetrable by the likes of Mr. Webb and Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher of Ohio -- because there is nothing to penetrate. The Webbs and the Wurzelbachers of the world do not count in the Paulson and Company calculations for power, nor are they even visible.

Attached to the revised bailout bill sent by the Senate back to the House were numerous pork barrel appropriations. The more notorious ones included money for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s constituent, Star-Kist, subsidies for Puerto Rican rum producers, and subsidies for racetracks. Mr. Webb reveals another one:


…[B]uried in the bill is the Bicycle Commuter Act (H.R. 807, S. 2635). The bill provides a tax benefit to employers who offer cash reimbursements to employees to defray costs of riding to work. Bike commuters can use the money to pay for bicycles, accessories, safety equipment, insurance, and locker or shower fees….It’s a green initiative….

Environmentalism, of course, is now a religion questioned by neither Democrat nor Republican. It is primarily an ideology. And for all the anti-intellectualism displayed by Congress, it and the Bush administration clung to the “green” ideology. “The goal,” said Nancy Koehn, a historian at the Harvard Business School, “is to get the engine of capitalism going as productively as possible. Ideology is a luxury good in times of crisis.” [The mind is now a "luxury good!"]

Of course, the best way to get the engine of capitalism going again is for the government to vacate the economy and swear off any and all intervention, instead of pouring molasses into its fuel tank.

Among his suggestions for “going on strike” Webb has three important ones:


Abolish the withholding tax, where they take your money before you even see it, so you don’t think it’s actually yours….Abolish the Federal Reserve….We now see what happens when the fox rules the henhouse….Amend the Constitution so that bailouts of any private entity or industry are forbidden.

None of that is possible today, except through a major revolution by the American people. The original Revolution was, after all, a kind of strike by the American colonists, and it was answered by the Crown with force.

My sole reservation with Mr. Webb’s essay is that the “stakeholding” device, by which Paulson demanded that the nine largest American banks sell the government “shares” in their assets, is not, as he claims, an instance of communism. It is actually fascism, by which a government goes into “partnership” with nominally private businesses, with those businesses or banks, however, taking their marching orders from the government. This is what was practiced in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

And which is now practiced in the United States, Britain, and most of Europe.

And, of course, Henry Paulson and Bernard Bernanke of the Federal Reserve are not alone in promoting fascism. There is Nancy Pelosi, who on the day that Congress passed the bailout, announced her own suggested contribution to the regimentation of Americans to lock-step them in a march in Obama’s or McCain’s “new direction.” Just as Hitler “stimulated” a moribund German economy by pouring money into government sponsored projects and buying off the “lower” classes with special benefits, Pelosi, according to the Associated Press on October 8, wants to create a $150 billion economic stimulus plan.


….Pelosi said Wednesday that a $150 billion economic stimulus plan is needed now because of the faltering economy and she may call the House into session after the election to pass it….Pelosi said a stimulus package would create jobs by investing in public works, increasing food stamp benefits and extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.

All that is needed now for Pelosi, Obama, Paulson, Bernanke et al. to consolidate their power grab and scrap the Constitution completely is the equivalent of a Reichstag Fire.

The motor of the world is sputtering to a stop. There is no “perhaps” about it.

Crossposted at The Dougout
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UN chief: Hizbullah must be disbanded

From Associated Press:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Lebanon will not be a fully sovereign state until Hizbullah, and other militia groups are disbanded.

"Hizbullah's maintenance of separate military assets and infrastructure is a fundamental challenge to the government's attempts to consolidate the sovereignty and authority of the Lebanese state," he wrote in a six-month report to the UN Security Council, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. 

"In addition, several Palestinian militias operate in the country, inside and outside of refugee camps," said the secretary general, adding that they also undermine the stability of the country and the region. 

In the report, Ban also said he was encouraged by the positive developments in relations between Lebanon and Syria, but called on the two countries to take further steps to improvesecurity along the border. 

"Over the last six months, Lebanon has experienced both the ruinous effects of sectarian violence and hope and optimism," he said in the report. 

"I applaud the historical steps that have been taken so far by Presidents Suleiman and Al-Assad," he said. "For the first time since their independence, the two neighboring states are establishing diplomatic relations.

The foreign ministers of Syria and Lebanon signed a document Wednesday formalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries for the first time in their turbulent history. 

The signing comes a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree establishing diplomatic relations with its smaller neighbor - a long-standing demand of the West and Lebanese politicians opposed to Syria's influence in the country

The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since both gained independence from France in the 1940s in an arrangement that many Lebanese viewed as a result of Syria's refusal to recognize Lebanese sovereignty. 

Ban, in his report, said in addition to establishing diplomatic relations, Lebanon and Syria must also take concrete steps to implement other agreements reached during these meetings, including "joint activity to improve security arrangements along that border." 

In his April report, Ban highlighted the mounting international concern over Lebanon's failure to fill the presidential post, left vacant after pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud stepped down last November. 

In Thursday's report, he said the most significant progress made in the last six months was Lebanon's compliance with requirements for a "free and fair presidential electionaccording to Lebanese constitutional rules." 

Ban said Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's election on May 25 "represented a significant step forward," but said "I remain concerned by the political assassinations and explosions that continue to plague Lebanon." 

The secretary-general said that clashes in May and violent incidents since then raised concerns "that groups on all sides of the political spectrum may be re-arming." 

In the report, Ban called on Lebanese parties to immediately halt all efforts to acquire and build paramilitary capabilities. 

He reiterated that disarming and disbanding all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias should be done through a political dialogue "that will lead to the monopoly on the use of force by the government of Lebanon throughout all of its territory." 

"The ultimate purpose of disarmament is the establishment of a strong Lebanese state for all inhabitants of Lebanon," he said. 

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Guess who didn't lose money when the banks crashed

YNet reports that leading terror organizations like al-Qaeda are among the very few investors who have not been hurt by the massive drop in stock values over the last several weeks. That's because they don't keep their money in banks anymore due to sanctions imposed by the West. But there's a silver lining in that cloud: While the terrorists aren't losing their money, they can't move it very efficiently either.
One principal reason the groups may avoid fallout now is because they've been forced to pull away from banks, relying instead on less-efficient ways to move money.

Those methods - including hand-carrying money and using informal money-transfer networks called hawalas - likely will shield extremists from the current banking system turmoil.

But the methods also are slower and less efficient ways to move money - and thus could hamper efforts to finance attacks, analysts say.

"It would be inconceivable that large amounts of (terror-linked) money would transit through the formal financial system, because of all the controls," said Ibrahim Warde, an expert on terrorist financing at The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Terrorists are primarily funded by oil money (principally Saudi and Iranian) and by the drug trade in Afghanistan. Are they losing money because of the drop in oil prices? Maybe. But the price of oil is still higher than it was in January 2007. So while the boom in terror funding may be over, they're not losing money by any stretch.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.

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Friday OT Smile

If the light stays on for more than four hours, call the electrician
viag_switch.jpg

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Bush Negotiates With Iran By Giving Away What Belongs To Israel

Interesting strategy. How would you like to be able to buy a car or a home like that?

I'll give you my neighbor's lawn for an extra thousand square feet.



Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida says Palestinian leader Abbas delivered secret letter from US president to Syrian counterpart Assad, offering 'a quick and satisfactory solution' to Golan Heights issue in return for complete disbandment of Syrian-Iranian alliance 
Roee Nahmias 

US President George W. Bush suggested to Syrian President Bashar Assad that Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights in exchange for a complete disbandment of the Syrian-Iranian alliance, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida reported Friday.

 

According to the report, the offer was made in a secret letter from Bush delivered to Assad by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his recent visit to Damascus.

 

The letter included an American proposal to reach "a quick and satisfactory solution" to the Golan issue in return for defined moves and a 
declaration that the Syria would abandon its alliance with Iran once and for all.

 

A Palestinian source close to Abbas told the paper that the offer was included "in a secret letter sent personally by President Bush.

 

"In the letter, Bush suggested finalizing the agreement within several weeks, before the US presidential elections, in order to push the Middle East peace process, an achievement the president will be able to proudly present before leaving the White House in January."

 

The same source added that the delegation accompanying Abbas on his visit to Syria "was unaware of the letter or its details, and the US insisted that this be carried out secretly and far away from the official channels."

 

The newspaper went on to report that the American ambassador to Damascus was not informed about the issue as well.

 

The source added that the real objective of Abbas' arrival in Damascus was to deliver the letter to Assad.

 

During his visit to the Syrian capital, the Palestinian president refrained from meeting with most of the leaders of the Palestinian organizations residing in Damascus. According to the report, he only held a few polite meetings with a number of senior member of the Palestinian groups.

 


The unofficial peace talks between Israel and Syria have been brought into a stalemate. The fifth round of Turkish-mediate negotiations, which was scheduled to being in mid September, was postponed.

 

Sources at the Prime Minister's Office have clarified that the talks would be resumed immediately after a solution is found in regards to the definition of the role of Ehud Olmert's outgoing Chief of Staff Yoram Turbowicz, who also served as his representative at the negotiations table. 

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