If you have some money left over from Christmas, this is a book you will want to own. Otherwise, you will want to get it numerous times from your library. If you are as fed up with Daniel J. Flynn, A Conservative History of the American Left as I am, hundreds of pages of what's wrong with America because it's chock-a-block with leftards, or if you find Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism an endless round of more of the same, then this is where to go for relief and great insight into what makes the Modern world so fine in spite of its problems. This is a smart book by a smart ... person. Nice to read, bright, insightful, up-lifting, and volume one of a projected four volume work. I am liking it big time.
We know leftards are evil scums, but this book has nothing much to do with that. This is a book about good people, and why they are so because of the Modern world. In my own voluminous effort I attempt to write something similar, to show the good, but I haven't done anything as good as this so far. This is great reading, good thinking, smart and informed, all-round a wonderful book. Amazon reviews are strange. Give this one a chance, and a few pages in you'll see for yourself why I am in love with this one.
Islam on Christmas: Bombing wounds 11 at Christmas Mass in Philippines
MANILA: A bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass at a chapel inside a police camp in the volatile southern Philippines, wounding a priest and 10 churchgoers.
The device was hidden in a ventilation window near the ceiling of the chapel, which is on the compound where the provincial police office is located in Jolo town on Jolo Island, Sulu provincial police said.
The island is a stronghold of Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants, but it wasn’t clear who was responsible for the bombing. Investigators recovered parts of a cell phone they believe detonated the device.
All of the wounded were civilians. One woman remained at a hospital for observation later Saturday, but police said one did not need hospital treatment and the others have been treated and sent home.
The Rev. Romeo Villanueva, 72, said a newly ordained priest, the Rev. Ricky Bacoldol, who was assisting him, was thrown off his feet by the blast impact and suffered a slight leg injury.
“I was reading the Gospel. I was not yet finished when there was a loud explosion,” Villanueva told The Associated Press by telephone.
Hmmm...."The war on christianity"?
Outrage by the US President......Silence and we all know why !3 bomb attacks on Christmas aimed at Christians not a word - 1 bomb among Muslims in Iran, but there he is speaking out against it!
Islam on Christmas: Explosions Target Churches and Christmas Eve Celebrations, MURDERING 36 CHRISTIANS IN COLD BLOOD
JOS/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Explosions in Nigeria's central region killed 32 people on Christmas Eve and six people died in attacks on two churches in the northeast of Africa's most populous nation, officials said on Saturday.
On Friday night, a series of bombs were detonated during Christmas Eve celebrations in villages near the central city of Jos, killing at least 32 people while 74 were in a critical condition, the state police commissioner said.
FromVlad Tepes, citing a comment from the Tundra Tabloids:
I live in the same town as the pig and a man of middle eastern decent was seen kicking the pig. You will not read this in any newspaper or comments on there online articles due to censorship against any critical comments about muslim immigrants.
The local newspaper even go as far as suggesting that it was a drunk angry man without anything at all to support that theory. They will do everything in there power to lead away the attantion from the immigrants.
Vlad Tepes has more, including and update and this commentary:
There is nothing that the non-Muslim does or doesn’t do, that won’t piss off the Mussulman. It’s because we live and breath is the reason for their hatred.
On April 2, 2002 armed Palestinian Arab terrorists forced their way into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, one of Christianity's most sacred sites, the birthplace of Christ. In the midst of over 200 nuns and priests, they sought refuge from Operation Defensive Shield, the Israel Defense Forces actionWest Bank locations. For 38 days, until May 10, 2002, the world watched as the gunmen refused to surrender their positions inside the Church.
Only Israeli restraint and respect for the Christian shrine prevented the Palestinian desecration from turning into its destruction.
Why was the IDF in Bethlehem at the time? In December, 1995, Israel had turned over control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority, but the PA failed to quell terrorist activities. Quite the contrary; terrorism never stopped and after September 2000, increased dramatically with the al-Aqsa Intifada. In February and March, 2002, more than two dozen Israelis had died in five separate incidents of murder, bombings and gunfire within Israel and the territories, with over six dozen injured. In each case, the Fatah in Bethlehem claimed responsibility for the deaths.
In the first days of April 2002, an IDF Paratroop Brigade moved into the area to seek out and destroy explosives, arms factories and related terrorist infrastructure. A heavily armed band of terrorist gunmen, trying to evade the IDF, moved into Manger Square but found IDF troops and tanks ready for them. That triggered a planned and premediated Palestinian Arab operation to take over the Church of the Nativity.
IDF forces began negotiations to end the takeover. The Palestinian Arabs inside the church included many who were known terrorists and Israel demanded that they surrender. They were members of Palestinian groups on the U.S. Department of State Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, including several Hamas operatives who had killed innocent civilians. Also taking cover in the Church were Tanzim militia leaders from Yasir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) who were involved in recent suicide bombings, plus members of the Al Aqsa Brigade.
Israel identified the terrorist individuals by name and sought to take them into custody; the Palestinian Authority refused to transfer them into Israeli hands. Nor were representatives of other governments helpful in concluding the matter. An early agreement to end the standoff failed when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declined to accept the gunmen, saying that no one nation could be asked to take that responsibility, and the European Union needed to find an EU solution.
Israeli negotiating initiatives for humanitarian services during the siege were also rejected. Several efforts to remove injured persons and bodies of the dead were stymied by Palestinian Arab refusal to cooperate, and when International Red Cross representatives, recruited for the task by Israel, adamantly refused to enter the Church.
As IDF operations continued in the area, a nearby explosives laboratory was found and destroyed, and a large pipe bomb in an adjacent mosque was retrieved. Several Hamas and Tanzim operatives were arrested. Eventually some of the Palestinians inside begin surrendering, while occasional exchanges of gunfire occurred. Gradually, various church staff and trapped civilians were evacuated. One by one over time, 95 persons were released during the siege.
During the occupation of the Church of the Nativity, Yasir Arafat complained of the Israelis:
How could the world possibly be silent about this atrocious crime? ... What concerns me is what is happening at the Church of the Nativity. This is a crime that cannot be forgiven.
More objective observers, such as Ariel Cohen in the National Review, saw things more clearly:
Using priests and nuns as human shields in the most sacred location for Christianity is not just barbaric. It is a violation of the 1977 First Protocol to the Geneva Convention and is a war crime. Similar cases from the Balkan wars are heard today before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Only brutal terrorists would desecrate religious shrines and hurt clergy ...
Under worldwide pressure not to damage or desecrate the Church of the Nativity, Israel insisted that the IDF would not attack. Palestinian Arabs played on fears of a bloodbath should Israel invade the Church, but throughout the siege, the IDF held to their promise that not a single Israeli soldier would enter Church premises. An IDF spokesman said:
IDF commanders have issued specific orders to protect the integrity and sanctity of all holy places in Bethlehem, just as we do in other areas.
A priest inside told the Associated Press that only in the early days he feared the Israelis would rush the building; he later relaxed when the Greek Orthodox patriarchy assured him the Israeli army had guaranteed it would not. While early reports alleged that the IDF had broken the front door, Marc Innaro, an Italian journalist who witnessed the events, said the Palestinians had shot their way in:
They shot at the doors ... with machine-guns and they opened the doors and rushed inside. We were in a monastery, which is very close, 25 metres near to the Nativity Church.
On May 1, a fire was seen from the distance, but upon investigation turned out to be another location, in an adjacent building. Palestinian Arab "witnesses" claimed that flares fired by Israeli soldiers sparked the blaze, but Israeli government spokesman Dore Gold responded that the fire was intentionally set by Palestinian Arab fighters holed up inside.
Finally, on May 10, after 38 days, the crisis concluded with a negotiated plan. Thirteen "senior terrorists" departed for Cyprus by British aircraft, to be dispersed among various EU nations. Twenty-six more were transported to the Gaza StripGaza was greeted with a celebration and they were treated as heroes. One hundred twenty-four other Palestinian Arabs inside the Church were set free.
After the Palestinians' departure, the IDF was invited inside by Church officials to look for explosives or booby traps. An IDF spokesman said that 40 "explosive devices" were found in the Church compound. The IDF reported that seven Palestinians and no Israelis died in the confrontation at the Church.
The Church was not seriously damaged, but cooking utensils, trash, and clothing were strewn around. The debris of the occupation, and the smells of the unsanitary conditions, lingered.
Subsequent to release of the terrorists into European exile, more than fifty Congressmen wrote to United States Attorney-General Ashcroft, demanding that extradition be sought for two of them. Tanzim members Ibrahim Mussa Abayat and Jihad Yusef Halil Ja'ara had murdered an American citizen in Israel before fleeing to the Church of the Nativity. Under US law, individuals who commit acts of terrorism against American nationals may be prosecuted for such acts in the United States, regardless of where the acts took place. Congress has prodded the Executive Branch for enforcement of the law.
MUMBAI, India – Police searched India's financial capital on Friday for four men who authorities believe entered Mumbai to carry out a terrorist attack, a top police official said.
Authorities issued a terror alert for the city, where a three-day terrorist seige in 2008 killed 166 people. Since then, police have periodically raised the alarm, but there have been no subsequent attacks in the city.
Police have received credible information that at least four men belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group have entered the city and were planning to strike during the holiday season, said Himanshu Roy, joint police commissioner of Mumbai Police. India blames Lashkar for the 2008 assaults.
Pakistani officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
On Friday, police set up checkpoints along major roads in the city, put additional men on patrol duty at public places and released computer photographs of the four suspects.
"The four men are planning violent attacks that are going to cause destruction," Roy said.
He identified the four men but said their nationalities were not known.
"The four have recently arrived in Mumbai. We believe the threat is serious," Roy said.
Roads were also closed Friday near the Taj Mahal hotel and Mumbai's iconic landmark Gateway of India. However, traffic was normal, and people went about their normal activities in the rest of the city. Mumbai is also home to Bollywood, India's prolific film industry.
In March, Mumbai police said they prevented a major terrorist strike after they arrested two Indian men, who, police said, were preparing to hit several targets in the city.
Then in September, police issued a terror alert for the city during a popular Hindu festival. Police said they had information that two Islamist militants were planning a terror strike and that the men were acting on directions from handlers in Pakistan.
India has called on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists thought to be operating from their soil. Lashkar-e-Taiba is banned by Pakistan's government but it still thought to have support in Pakistan's powerful military and intelligence community.
In the 2008 attack, several gunmen laid siege to two luxury hotels — including the Taj Mahal — a Jewish center, a popular restaurant and Mumbai's crowded main train station. The lone surviving gunman was captured and earlier this year sentenced to death.
New Delhi has repeatedly accused Islamabad of complicity in terrorist attacks against India. Pakistan denies the charge saying it only offers the militant groups political and diplomatic support.
Comments from two Anonymouses:
Anonymous I said...
Wow, thanks a bunch there, Faux News.
Four men - four men - four suspects - the four men - four men - nationalities not known - the four - two indian men, back in March - in September, two Islamist militants, and handlers in Pakistan, in Pakistan, terrorists - in the 2008, several gunmen, the lone surviving gunman, militant groups.
WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to American companies over the past decade so they could sell some types of products in Iran and other countries the U.S. considers terrorist sponsors, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi and some of the largest U.S. banks benefited, the newspaper said.
Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that ended up including products as diverse as cigarettes and chewing gum.
The story posted on the Times' website implies no illegal activity by administration officials or company personnel. Rather, it suggests the various deals for goods ranging from Louisiana hot sauce to body-building supplements undermine America's moral and diplomatic authority as the leading purveyor of tough sanctions on Iran, North Korea and other nations.
The newspaper said one American company was allowed to bid on a pipeline job to help Iran sell natural gas to Europe even though the U.S. opposes such deals. Other American companies were permitted to deal with Iranian firms suspected of involvement in terrorism or weapons proliferation, the Times said.
"Allowing the export to Iran of food items like hot sauce or salad dressing from the U.S. is required by statute and, in any event, is trivial in the context of our Iran policy," Stuart Levey, the Obama administration's sanctions chief, said in a statement to The Associated Press late Thursday. "Our efforts are focused on matters like the illicit conduct of the Iranian government and financial institutions that are facilitating it."
Treasury officials noted that the permitted trade was inconsequential compared with the broad scope of U.S. sanctions, as goods sold to Iran amounted to only 0.02 percent of all U.S. exports in the first quarter of this year. And they were but a fraction of a percent of all Iranian imports, officials said.
Congress passed the law easing sanctions for some goods in 2000, largely with Cuba in mind. Levey said those rare cases don't conflict with the larger American effort to apply international pressure on Iran, which is already facing four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions over its disputed uranium enrichment program. Instead, they are part of the attempt to ensure that sanctions don't affect the availability of food, medicine and medical devices to Iranian people as the U.S. pressures Tehran on the nuclear issue, alleged links to terrorism and missile programs
Kraft Food Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Part of the problem is that in many countries facing U.S. or international sanctions, the government is a large player in the economy. The Times noted that the documents it obtained through a public records request showed the U.S. approved sale of luxury items to stores owned by blacklisted banks.
In response, administration officials said decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and reflect the realities of import chains, which can link some companies unwittingly to others. "I haven't seen any licenses that I thought we should have done differently," Adam Szubin, the director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which grants the licenses, told the Times.
But he conceded that U.S. officials weren't fully investigating every importer.
“But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.” John 1:12-13 NEW AMERICAN BIBLE
Humans like to adorn themselves with the majesty and pageantry of greed. Politicians speak from podiums, academics line their offices with framed parchments, athletes and entertainments hawk merchandise they often fail to use. Museums proudly display oil paintings of Napoleon on horseback and nightmares envision the “latest” fuehrer to champion in front of ecstatic crowds of wide-eyed believers. Indian prince Siddhartha wandered his kingdom of wealth before he became “the Buddha” and Muhammad cast away his mere “five camels, a flock of goats, a house, and a slave” in order to take Arabia by sword. Only God came as a homeless infant, born in a manger unfit for animals. No human could conceive of such a conception, but God chose to come into his earthly world unhindered by human expectations. Had he arrived with all the power and glory he is capable of rendering unto our minuscule existence, his human subjects would have run and cowered behind every rock and tree they could find. Instead, he chose, in his infinite wisdom, to arrive amongst his flock in the most unthreatening way imaginable – as an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. Only absolute evil remains threatened by a baby. Herod the Great valued his kingdom more than his God, so he had the Holy Innocents butchered by the dozens if not the hundreds. Their sole crime being that they were near enough to Christ’s age that Herod could not afford their existence. To survive, Christ had to trust that Mary and Joseph would spirit him away into Egypt to await the death of ‘the Great’ – a human so vile that he could not let a mere child live. And what of today? How many tens of millions of infants are destroyed through abortion simply because their parents’ “kingdom” cannot afford these children? How many people deny the very existence of Christ because “how can God have a mother?” As soon as we question the infinite power of God, we elevate ourselves onto the pantheon of human sacrifice. That is, our souls die because we cannot fathom that God can have whatever God desires, including a human body and mother. Yet, God so loved the world that he did not question our ability to accept whether he could create his own mother if he so chose. He of infinite power did not want to terrify us into belief, as the “Allah” of Islam seems so destined to do. His first gift unto the human world was to grant us free will, an ability to close our hearts and minds to him who created us and everything that we can comprehend – and much that we cannot. God’s magnificent Kingdom remains so hospitable that he delivered the key to us personally, as an infant who even worried his parents for three whole days as he wandered away. All that we need to do to unlock the entrance to his mansion is simply to believe in him and heed his words and deeds. Distancing ourselves from Christ is but a distraction. We can manufacture other deities, even involving ourselves if we so choose. We can glorify our actors and athletes, our politicians and our prophets, our ministers and our militants, and still not match the unblemished life of Jesus. In all of the Gospels, there remains not one instance of Christ endangering his detractors or punishing those who did not believe in him. In fact, his greatest ‘threat’ to the Establishment was to forgive everyone including those who nailed him to a cross and pierced his side with a lance all while mocking him and casting dice for his clothes. For those of us who cannot wait in line at the register or endure being patted down at the airport, Christ’s example shines forth as the perfect example to emulate. He bore a crown of thorns, long needles of which undoubtedly pierced his skull so that we may not experience an infinitely greater inconvenience than waiting for a cashier to ring up an elderly customer who cannot find her money quickly enough for our tastes. He endured skin-shredding lashes so that our infinite punishment would not exceed that of enduring a mere earthly existence amongst people we did not choose to associate with. He endured forty days of fasting so that he would understand our comparatively little hunger. He even permitted his closest friend to deny him three times and another to betray him to death for profit so that our complaints of infidelity and debt would pale in comparison. Today, thousands of atheists fear the mere sight of a Christmas tree and millions of Muslims and others fear the thought that God could be so powerful as to visit every one of us in person. Like the farmer who wished that he could change into a bird in order to lead a flock of sparrows into the warmth of his barn during a blizzard, God understood that he had to persuade – not force – us into following him into the protective warmth of His Kingdom. Neither a politician wearing tailored suits nor a “prophet” bearing armor and a sword could walk on water or change that water into wine. Nevertheless, Christ did. No entertainer or athlete could calm a storm or give sight to the blind. Nevertheless, Christ did. Buddha, Mao, and Muhammad inspired billions, but they could not raise the dead. Yet Christ did. And to think that he loved us so very much that his greatest gift was to come to us as a mere child, thrust into an inhumane human world, without home or friend, and ultimately suffer an unimaginably horrible death for our sins just so that we could have eternal life – if we so choose to believe in him. As they say, only a child could conceive of such a story…
"The idea that Islam is a “peaceful religion hijacked by extremists” is a dangerous fantasy—" ... All civilized nations must unite in condemnation of a theology that now threatens to destabilize much of the Earth.
Without circumscribing an entire history of the world, most Americans know that it was once the norm for populations to be ruled, sometimes quite ruthlessly. In fact, governance (versus rule) is a fairly recent development, geopolitically speaking. I believe that our system of government having evolved into what it did makes it manifestly superior to others, but that's an entire story unto itself.
Whether one studies the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, or the monarchs of Asia or Europe, for millennia, people lived and died at the whims of the most powerful. A clan or warlord killed their way to the top and seized power over a region. The people under their sway were provided protection in exchange for some form or forms of homage. Once their power was established, the ruler, ruling family or class could concentrate on becoming pretentiously "cultured."
The right of such agencies to the power they amassed was often said to be a result of Divine Will. In the case of some – such as the rulers of Egypt – the sovereign was even touted to be a god himself. What rationale was used to persuade the people that their supreme rulers were such due to Divine Will? Well, if it weren't the will of the gods (or God) for them to hold such lofty positions, then they wouldn't be there in the first place, now would they?
Pretty convenient …
In such circumstances, populations were not accustomed to feeling entitled to much of anything. They considered themselves fortunate not to be summarily carted off on any given day, to be raped or murdered for some warlord or nobleman's sport.
With the advent of Christianity and Judeo-Christian sensibilities in the West, the view of the relationship between people and their governments began to evolve. With such events as the signing of the Magna Carta (1215), the Mayflower Compact (1620) and the Declaration of Independence (1776), aspects of Natural Law (which held that there were rights bestowed upon people by their Creator) that wound all the way back to basic principles found in Mosaic Law gave way to the idea that people were capable of self-governance, the caveat being that their supreme allegiance ought to be to God.
Most importantly, notions of liberty and sanctity of life became inculcated into the Western worldview. This did not occur in other societies, and the evidence thereof is still readily observable.
In the United States, for the first time, the government was subject to the people, rather than the reverse.
By and by, the prosperity and comfort to which freedom under the American system gave rise also gave rise to intellectual indolence. We became spoiled. We also became disengaged, which allowed philosophically opposed forces (progressives) to gain a political foothold.
What febrile, intellectually superficial rank-and-file liberals fail to grasp is that the core tenets of our culture, which are unique to it, had their genesis in Christianity – whether they like it or not. In their infantile fantasy relative to what America "should" be, they presume that all of the things they take for granted – life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, worship, freedom of ownership, etc. – will somehow still be guaranteed, despite their leaders' diametric opposition to this paradigm.
In the first century, a belief system centered around a loving, self-sacrificing God was novel. Previously, there was simply no compelling reason for people to behave kindly or equitably toward one another (except for that of obedience, as in Mosaic Law). In preceding cultures (some of which still predominate in certain regions), life itself was notoriously cheap. Westerners – and liberal ones in particular – operate upon the laughable assumption that if we treat people as we would like to be treated, they will reciprocate in kind.
Which just illustrates that liberals excel at nothing else if not denial.
This was illustrated superbly in an original episode of the "Star Trek" series called "Bread and Circuses." Here, the Enterprise crew encounters an Earth-like, technologically advanced society resembling the Roman Empire. It is what the writers (one of whom being the series creator Gene Roddenberry himself, I might add) thought might reasonably be extrapolated had Christian values never taken hold in the West. In this society, sex and death were central to the culture. Personal power reigned supreme. Life had no value. Gladiators and live executions were broadcast on prime-time television. The "Christ" figure had been crucified a scant few years before, so his teachings were just beginning to spread. Most of his scattered but dedicated followers were slaves.
As we celebrate Christmas and give thanks for America's blessings, one of the things I believe it appropriate to consider is the very paradigm of thought and life that we hold, solely due to Christ's ministry. While this is something that was once acknowledged and paid deference even by non-Christians, given the increasing assaults on Christianity by secular socialists, it is something all Americans could stand to re-affirm. Christ was not only the salvation of humankind in the spiritual realm, but the salvation of society in a cultural sense.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, every individual believes he is so important to God that he can speak directly to Him.
Such a belief system naturally causes it's adherents to question the authority of those "above". For are not these leaders, also, merely children in God's Kingdom?
Yes, they are.
And, these days, they are naughty children.
And they'll be getting lumps of coal for Christmas.
Airline travelers flying the unfriendly skies are presented with two options, that are actually only a single option, to have themselves and their children degraded in public in order to spare Muslim feelings. That we have a ban on profiling travelers, but no ban on molesting or humiliating them, tells us everything we need to know about why we have the current system that we do.
In a war we terrorize the enemy. In a siege we terrorize our own. And we have been terrorizing our own for a long time now.
In 1999, we dropped thousands of tons of explosives on Yugoslavia, bombing trains, fuel depots, homes, bridges and people. We did that in order to give the Muslim drug dealing terrorists of the KLA their own state. Today that state is a gateway for drug trafficking and sex slaves into Europe, and a training ground for terrorists.
Since 1991, we have been bribing, intimidating and pressuring Israel to give the Muslim-Marxist terrorists of the PLO their own state. Flip open any newspaper and you can find articles and editorials dripping with outrage because after 18 years of terrorism, the terrorists still haven't gotten their own state.
Now we're terrorizing ordinary Americans for being critical of Islam. Drop a bible in the toilet, and you've created art. Drop a Koran in the toilet, and you've committed a hate crime. What's the difference? Muslim privilege. Offending Jews or Christians results in strongly worded letters. Offending Muslims results in murder. And to avoid murder, we privilege Muslims. We give them special rights. We ban criticism of their ideology. We refuse to publish cartoons that will touch off their homicidal urges.
Obama’s Attny Gen. Says Americans More Dangerous Than Al Qaeda
From the All-American Blogger:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News that he has “sleepless nights” over his worry about domestic terrorists. He thinks that Americans, natural born are far more dangerous than foreign terrorists.
At some level he has a point, but the way he phrased the whole issue once again proves that neither he, nor his president by extension, really have any logical grasp of the evil we face in radical Islam. In fact, they are philosophically resistant to even see Islam as the enemy.
“The Obama Administration has ignored evidence that this federal takeover will hang a millstone of regulatory and legal uncertainty around the neck of a vibrant sector of our economy.
"Proceeding on its own liberal whims rather than facts, this FCC has chosen to grant itself broad authority to limit how businesses can bring the internet to consumers in faster and more innovative ways.
“Americans loudly demanded a more limited federal government this November, but the Obama Administration has dedicated itself to expanding centralized government planning. Today, unelected bureaucrats rammed through an internet takeover, even after Congress and courts warned them not to.
“To keep the internet economy thriving, this decision must be reversed. Regulatory reform will be a top priority for Republicans in the next Congress, and I intend to prevent the FCC or any government agency from unilaterally burdening our recovering economy with baseless regulation.
"In order to provide the stability businesses need to grow, I will work with my fellow senators to see passage of my FCC Act, which would ensure that the FCC can only use its rulemaking powers where there is clear evidence of a harmful market failure, as well as the REINS Act, which would add the accountability of a Congressional vote before any government agency’s proposed major regulations may be finalized.
Senator DeMint referred to the FCC as "Fabricating a Crisis Commission."
The closing statement of the article reads as follows:
A Penn State student that has previously posted audio clips of songs praising Osama bin Laden has now published a tune in tribute to the Swedish suicide bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly. Emerson Begolly, who operates online under his nom de jihad, Asadullah Alshishani and is listed on the Penn State directory as an undergrad in the Letters, Arts and Sciences department, posted his nasheed (Islamic chant) on the infamous Ansar AlJihad forum last week – just two days after al-Abdaly’s attempted terror attack. Begolly’s song vows to “blow their heads right off their shoulders” and that “martyrdom is what I wanted best”.
After initially appearing to retreat in the face of the midterm onslaught, Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have decided to pursue an end-run strategy to impose regulation on energy producers regarding greenhouse-gas emissions. The move sets up a confrontation between the White House and Congress, which has already signaled a willingness to play hardball with Obama on regulatory innovation:
The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a schedule for setting greenhouse gas emission limits, known as “performance standards,” for the nation’s two biggest carbon-emitting industries, POLITICO has learned.
Under the schedule agreed to by EPA, states and environmental groups, the agency will issue a draft greenhouse gas performance standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement – which comes after states and environmentalists challenged the George W. Bush administration’s failure to set the standards – requires EPA to issue a draft limit for refineries by Dec. 2011 and a final rule by Nov. 2012.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the schedule, according to a litigant in the legal fight.
The U.S. intelligence community has an official response to the massive WikiLeaks document dump -- WTF.
It's not what you think.
WTF is the acronym for the newly formed WikiLeaks Task Force, a project launched by the CIA to determine how the leak of hundreds of thousands of cables and files will affect intelligence operations.
Though the title might encapsulate a widely shared government attitude toward the diplomatic debacle, the CIA is actually fairly confident about its standing in the wake of the security breach as it continues to investigate the impact.
"The CIA has had strong, longstanding measures in place to protect classified information," CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood said.
CIA communications generally were not a part of the document cache made public by WikiLeaks. The agency has experienced a touch of vindication, after having resisted post-Sept. 11 efforts to increase information-sharing on a Pentagon communications system known as SIPRNet.
The Pagan Temple, citing this story about immigrants from Somalia being offended by the giant elf, states:
Perhaps a compromise is in order. Instead of his traditional attire, dress him in flowing white robes and wrap a rag around his head. Instead of saying "Ho, ho, ho" and carrying a big bag of wrapped presents, he can scream "Allahu Akbar" and wave a blood dripped scimitar.
Or, we could actually do the sensible thing-tell them to adjust to our culture or get the fuck out. Now that's a concept.
To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.
The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.
There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.
If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.
All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.
Counterterror Officials: Terror Chatter on the Rise During Holiday Travel Season Top Security Officials Tell ABC's Diane Sawyer About Efforts to Keep U.S. Safe By BRADLEY BLACKBURN
With the busy holiday travel season already in motion, the nation's top counterterror officials are seeking to assure the public of their efforts to safeguard the homeland even as they acknowledge real dangers.
In a wide-ranging interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan said that though they know of no specific, credible threat against the U.S. at this time, there are plenty of warning signs to keep them on alert.
"There is a lot of chatter in the intel world ... that references the holidays," said Napolitano. "We know that things have already happened in Europe, and we're watching that very closely as well. But yes, there is increased chatter in the system. And there are increased efforts undertaken now by ... homeland security."
On Christmas Day one year ago, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian-born, apparent al Qaeda operative, allegedly attempted to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight.
Abdulmutallab was able to board an aircraft with explosives concealed in his underwear, despite being on a terror watch list, and attempts by his father to alert U.S. officials that he was a danger. Only his fellow passengers were able to prevent him from detonating the device.
Officials say that a year later, new security measures would have prevented Abdulmutallab's attempted attack.
"We would prevent him from getting on that plane from Amsterdam to Detroit," said Napolitano. "That's more international protocols put in place ... new international aviation requirements."
"We identified deficiencies in the system," said Brennan. "We have learned lessons from these examples of attempted attacks. And we now, I think, are having a much stronger system as a result."
Security Advisors on Threats to U.S. Sawyer sat down with the trio of officials on the same day that British authorities arrested 12 men in England.
Brennan and Napolitano knew of the arrests and said that the plot would not have threatened the United States, but Director Clapper, who briefs the president daily on the nation's security, appeared to be unfamiliar with the events in London.
"First of all, London," Sawyer said. "How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? ... Director Clapper?"
"London?" Clapper said, before Brennan entered the conversation explaining the arrests.
Later in the interview, Sawyer returned to the subject.
"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," Sawyer told Clapper.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," he replied.
After the interview, Clapper's office declined to say whether he knew about the specific disrupted plot but issued a statement:
"The question about this specific news development was ambiguous. The DNI's knowledge of the threat streams in Europe is profound and multi-dimensional, and any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate."
Terror Threats Averted in 2010 If 2010 passes without a successful terror attack on U.S. soil, it is certainly not for lack of attempts. From the failed Times Square bomb attempt to sting operations that snared alleged terrorists in Oregon and Maryland, there's mounting evidence of the danger posed by homegrown terror.
"Identifying so-called self-radicalization is unquestionably a tough problem," Clapper said. "We are in dialogue with the Muslim community. And that is going to be a source of advice, counsel, and wisdom, as well as hopefully alerting us to those among their number who are professing radical views."
While the Times Square bomb attempt and the Christmas Day plot were both extremely close calls, Brennan claimed that both scenarios actually showed strides on the part of U.S. officials in securing the country.
"Neither one of those attacks were successful," he said. "People may attribute it to luck, but I think it's because of the pressure that we as the U.S. government have put on the terrorist groups over the past decade."
Counterterror Advisors Say Perfection is Not Possible The group did acknowledge that the U.S. still has plenty of work to do, particularly overseas where a radical message often takes root and terrorists can find sanctuary.
"Terrorists hide in certain places. They're operating and training in certain areas, and we need to continue to work with our foreign counterparts to make sure that they're doing their best to root these individuals out," he said. "We have to continue to adapt, continue to be flexible, and to continue anticipating what the terrorists are thinking themselves."
Sawyer asked about recent comments from Michael Leiter at the National Counterterrorism Agency, asserting that not all attacks can be stopped and some innocent lives will inevitably be lost.
"I think Mike Leiter was correct," Napolitano said. "You cannot hermetically seal the United States."
"We're not going to bat 1,000 necessarily. We can't guarantee that," said Clapper. "But we're certainly doing everything we can to ensure that we do thwart any kind of an attack."
"What I say to the American people is that ... thousands of people are working 24/7, 364 [sic] days a year to keep the American people safe," said Napolitano.
"There are evil people in the world who are trying to do us harm," said Brennan, "but this government has come an awfully long way."
Bangladeshi 'stepson affair' woman dies after caning By Ethirajan Anbarasan BBC News, Dhaka
Two people have been arrested after the death of a Bangladeshi woman who was publicly caned for allegedly having an affair with her stepson, police say.
A group of village elders and clerics sentenced Sufia Begum under Sharia law to 40 lashes for adultery.
The 40-year-old died of her injuries almost a month after the beating in Rajshahi district, her family says.
Bangladesh banned such punishments in the name of religious edicts or fatwas by Muslim clergy earlier this year.
It is thought to be the first case of a fatality linked to a Sharia law punishment since the practice was outlawed.
Two people, including a woman who allegedly took part in the beating, have been arrested. Police say they are looking for four others.
"According to the information we've received, village elders tied 10 canes together and beat her four times," Masud Parvez, an investigating police officer, told the BBC.
Ms Begum was admitted to a hospital in Rajshahi, a city in the district of the same name, with severe injuries a week after the beating, which took place on 12 November in a village in the north-west of the country.
It is not clear why it took so long to take her for medical treatment.
Doctors in Rajshahi recommended she be sent to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, for further treatment because her injuries were so severe.
But her brother told the BBC the family could not afford to take Ms Begum to Dhaka, and she died on 14 December.
"Her body was swollen and I couldn't even recognise her," said Ms Begum's brother, Taimur Rahman.
Police say it has not yet been established clearly that she died from injuries caused by the caning.
Women's rights campaigners in the country are demanding action, and have gone to Ms Begum's home village in an effort to find out what happened.
Activists say dozens of fatwas are issued under Sharia law each year by village clergy.
Nearly 90% of Bangladesh's estimated 160 million population are Muslims, most of whom practice a moderate version of Islam.
A document released by WikiLeaks described efforts by high-ranking Afghan officials to quash reports of police officers and other Afghans arrested for "purchasing a service from a child."
The leaked diplomatic cable quoted former Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar's concern that publicity about the arrests, which involved the hiring of "dancing boys," would "endanger lives."
The author of the diplomatic cable fretted that the case would be "blown out of proportion, an outcome that would not be good for either the U.S. or Afghanistan."
The vast gulf between U.S. and Afghan attitudes about homosexuality and pedophilia has generated concern among U.S. advisers in Afghanistan since the American presence there began to expand.
In late 2009, U.S. and British forces ordered a study of Pashtun male sexuality. They were worried that homosexuality and pedophilia among Afghan security forces and tribes could create cultural misunderstanding with allied troops, according to a copy of the report obtained by The Washington Examiner.
The study, requested by 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion along with British forces in Lashkar Gah, was conducted by members of one of the Defense Department's Human Terrain Teams stationed in Afghanistan. The report was authored by team member Anna Maria Cardinalli, who said the goal was to learn how to advise "U.S. and British service members who report encounters with men displaying apparently homosexual tendencies. These service members are frequently confused [by] this behavior."
The report described unease by U.S. Marines and British soldiers who felt they were being propositioned, or who were outraged by apparent acts of pedophilia by Afghan soldiers and police. It documented one case in which 12 of 20 Pashtun interpreters working with one U.S. Army unit had contracted gonorrhea from homosexual encounters.
Troops interviewed by The Examiner say they are frequently forced to deal with a radically different attitude toward sex with male youths by Afghan security forces.
"I know Marines and soldiers who have refused to work with Afghan military or police," said one U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's not about homosexuality as much as it is about the young boys. Some of them like to show pictures on their cell phone -- that should be illegal. Some of the Afghans have their own young boys they use for sexual purposes and we can't do anything about it."
"Homosexuality is strictly prohibited in Islam, but cultural interpretations of Islamic teaching prevalent in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan tacitly condone it in comparison to heterosexual relationships," the study states.
For a male to have sex with a boy is considered a "foible," the report said. By contrast, having sex with an "ineligible woman" would set up "issues of revenge and honor killings."
Years of living under that cultural construct have greatly altered sexual attitudes, the study said. "One of the country's favorite sayings is 'women are for children, boys are for pleasure," the report noted.
Five days ago, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez got his cherry-picked lame-duck legislature to pass a new law allowing him to “rule by emergency decree” for the next 18 months, thereby allowing him to bypass the newly elected legislature, in which the opposition won scores of seats. Chavez calls it an “Enabling” act that will allow him to successfully deepen and extend his “socialist Bolivarian revolution.” You can read about it in various press reports, such as this one from the AP and a report from Reuters, or you can read a first rate analysis from the conservative website The New American.
Teodoro Petkoff is a former Marxist guerrilla leader and now a major opponent of Chavez’s goons. He correctly called Chavez’s announcement a “Christmas ambush,” writing in his daily Tal Cual that Chavez is preparing totalitarian measures that amount to “a brutal attack … against democratic life.” These measures include a new vat tax, restricting access to the internet, regulating posts on the internet, and, of course, closing down more of opposition newspapers, and television and radio stations. All this, of course, in the name of real “democracy.” Joel D. Hirst at the Council on Foreign Relations presents a full account of what Chavez intends to do with his new powers.
Here, from Hirst and the Council, are Chavez’s main goals:
Media and Telecommunications. The modification of the Media Responsibility Law and the Telecommunications Law place severe restrictions on the Internet, centralizing access under the control of a government server. They re-categorize the airwaves as a “public good” and set in place harsh penalties for arcane and obtuse violations of the law. The laws require TV stations to re-apply for their licenses and for the owners to be in the country (a clear reference to Globovision, whose owner, Dr. Guillermo Zuloaga, is in political exile in the United States).
Electoral Reform. The reform of the Political Party Law establishes the crime of electoral fraud. Fraud would be committed if a politician changed parties, voted against legislation that was “ideologically represented” by their “electoral offer” (on file when they registered their candidacy with the National Electoral Council), or if they make common cause with ideas or people who are not ideologically akin to their electoral offer. Sanctions are the expulsion from parliament and inability to run for public office for up to eight years. This law is meant to protect against individuals or political parties turning against Chavez, as happened with the opposition parties of PODEMOS (We Can) and PPT (Fatherland for All).
Economy and Governance. Chavez is pushing through a block of five laws: Popular Power, Planning and Popular Power, Communes, Social Control, and the law of Development and Support of the Communal Economy. These laws establish the commune as the lowest level of Venezuelan economy and government. They set in place the Popular Power, which is responsible to the Revolutionary leadership (Chavez) for all governing (eliminating the municipalities and regional government’s constitutional mandate). To facilitate the creation of this new governance model, the Assembly is approving the Law of the System for Transferring the Responsibilities of the States and Municipalities to the Popular Power.
Clearly, the above is a full recipe for totalitarian power and the creation of another full-fledged Cuban-style regime in our hemisphere. The American far left, or what remains of it, will be quite happy. Bill Ayers, who is on record as extolling Chavez’s educational system as the one he wants imposed in the United States, must be elated today after learning that university autonomy will be abolished, and that the university will now require “teaching courses on Popular Power and communes, and [that it] focuses the pedagogy around revolutionary principles.” Perhaps Chavez will import Ayers’ instructional manuals on how to achieve this end for the mandatory new programs.
All of us, every single man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth were born with the same unalienable rights; to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, if the governments of the world can't get that through their thick skulls, then, regime change will be necessary.
“I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government’
I think that we’re in a period today comparable to the American founding period in two senses: one, we’re worried about decay — we’re worried about whether we’re squandering our legacy and whether we’re calling into question whether people can really govern themselves — but also because, and this is the heartening part of this, today as never before in my lifetime, Americans have rekindled their interest in the founding era and the founding principles. Look at the wonderful sales of biographies of the founders: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison. Look at the Tea Party, which I think frankly is one of the great events of my lifetime.
The American people go through life with a little crick of their necks from looking back at the past, and that’s healthy. We always relate to the Declaration and to the Constitution and here, along comes the Tea Party movement named after something that happened in 1773: the Boston Tea Party. And it’s called us back to reverence for, and understanding of, and insistence upon, the founding principles of limited government. So, in a good sense and a bad sense, I think we’re in the founding period.”
--- George Will
"An Islamic regime must be serious in every field," explained Ayatollah Khomeini. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."
"I want to be very, very clear, however: I understand and agree with the analysis of the problem. There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9/11. It's real and grave. It is as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let's not pretend it isn't." ~~~~~Bono~~~~~