Friday, August 28, 2009
by Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet
Falconer proposes swarms of citizen informers casing neighborhoods looking for suspicious behavior
A frontrunner to become Mayor of Orange County Florida proposes to combat crime in the area by creating a 1,000 person strong spy force who would cruise around neighborhoods on bikes reporting suspicious behavior to uniformed supervisors, a creepy program with dark undertones of the Hitler Youth program of 1930’s Nazi Germany.
Matthew Falconer, who professes to be a Libertarian, has been handing out a business card to potential voters outlining his platform.
On the back of the card, Falconer outlines his intention to, “Improve public safety by putting 1,000 additional observers on patrol in your neighborhood.”
Falconer’s website provides more detail as to what exactly this new program will entail.
My solution is to innovate. I call for the implementation of my “COPs” program (Citizen Observers). This program will put 1000 young people on bicycles with radios patrolling our neighborhoods keeping our citizens safe. My mission is to prevent crime and move away from the responsive method of public safety in Orange County. The observers will ride through specific areas, seek out criminal behavior, and report events to a uniformed supervisor. They will also talk with residents to find out who is committing the crimes in the area and attempt to gather information to solve existing crimes.
Falconer’s website states that the “public safety personnel” will receive just $10 dollars an hour, meaning the cost of the entire program will amount to no more than $2.5 million dollars a year.
Falconer’s intention to “move away from the responsive method to public safety” and instead have poorly trained amateur teenage spies watching their neighbors and actively seeking out suspicious behavior with seemingly little accountability whatsoever sets a dangerous precedent. Even if the program has genuine intentions behind it, the potential for members of the 1,000 strong spy force to abuse their power to settle scores with neighbors they don’t like is clearly a possibility, which is exactly what has happened historically when citizens are afforded the power to inform on each other.
Falconer’s proposal is clearly anti-American and unconstitutional. Though some may argue that vigilantes are a good thing in an age of growing corruption and police brutality, the fact is that vigilantes are traditionally responsive to crime and act as watchmen, they do not spy on the innocent and actively seek out potential criminal behavior, as Falconer’s program outlines.
Fears about the creation of an East German-style Stasi outfit that would keep an eye on Americans were raised in July of last year when President Barack Obama, during a speech on the campaign trail, promised a “national civilian security force” that would be just as powerful as the U.S. military.
As we have documented, informant programs that encourage Americans to spy on each other are already in operation across the country in a number of different guises.
The legacy of training Americans to spy on each other in the name of “safety” has its origins in Operation TIPS, which was supposedly nixed by Congress, a DOJ, FBI, DHS and FEMA coordinated program that would have recruited one in twenty-four Americans as domestic informants, a higher percentage than was used by the Stasi in Communist East Germany.
Government funding was cut after an outcry but private funding continues and the same program was introduced under a number of sub-divisions including AmeriCorps, SecureCorps and the Highway Watch program.
Similar programs being run bother privately and under government auspices are increasingly beginning to mirror the citizen denunciation campaigns that became prominent in Nazi Germany.
One common misconception about Nazi Germany was that the police state was solely a creation of the authorities and that the citizens were merely victims. On the contrary, Gestapo files show that 80% of all Gestapo investigations were started in response to information provided from denunciations by “ordinary” Germans.
“There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors,” wrote Robert Gellately of Florida State University.
You Tube user Austin White makes his feelings about Falconer’s proposal clear in the clip below.
Source: Prison Planet
by Haya El Nasser USA Today
Editor's note: Wait a Friggin Minute Here-gov to use children as census workers?
Anyone tempted to ignore the 2010 Census will have a tough time doing it — especially if they have kids in school.
The government has launched Census in Schools, an all-out campaign targeting superintendents, principals, teachers, students and, indirectly, parents, as schools open across the nation this month and next. The message: The Census is coming and here's why everyone should care.
The goal is to send posters, teaching guides, maps and lesson plans to every school in the nation, Puerto Rico and U.S. island territories to encourage everyone to participate in the national count. The materials will land in more than 118,000 schools and reach 56 million students.
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"It's great to reach the children because children are such strong voices in their homes," says Renee Jefferson-Copeland, chief of the Census schools program. "In households that are linguistically isolated, they can express the information to their parents."
The school effort is more ambitious than in 2000, the last time the government set out to count everyone. At that time, teachers had to request the material and it was available only in print. Now, the kits and lessons will arrive in every school and lesson plans can be downloaded online, where they will be available in 28 languages.
The Constitution mandates a complete population count every 10 years. The tally — down to the city block — helps redraw political boundaries and determine states' representation in Congress and the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds to state and local governments every year.
"It's extremely important for us," says Michael McGrady, associate director for partnership development at the National Head Start Association, which promotes school readiness for low-income children and their families. "Historically, Head Start families have been undercounted and that has a negative effect on their communities."
Between January and March, the Census Bureau will help plan a week of Census education in schools. During Census Week, teachers will devote 15 minutes every day for five days to the topic by discussing such things as civic participation, confidentiality or geography. Beginning in mid-March, more than 120 million Census questionnaires will be delivered to residential addresses.
The Census Bureau is partnering with Sesame Street to extend the 2010 Census message to preschoolers and adult caregivers. Under consideration: Using Sesame Street characters on Census materials and having characters participate in school events and public service announcements.
Source: USA Today
Image: Margie Laupheimer / Earthhope Action Network
Fox News August 28, 2009
Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 show the Senate bill could give the president a "kill switch" on the Internet and allow him to shut out private networks from online access.
A Senate bill would offer President Obama emergency control of the Internet and may give him a "kill switch" to shut down online traffic by seizing private networks -- a move cybersecurity experts worry will choke off industry and civil liberties.
Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 emerged late Thursday, months after an initial version authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., was blasted in Silicon Valley as dangerous government intrusion.
"In the original bill they empowered the president to essentially turn off the Internet in the case of a 'cyber-emergency,' which they didn't define," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which represents the telecommunications industry.
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"We think it's a very bad idea ... to put in legislation," he told FOXNews.com.
Clinton said the new version of the bill that surfaced this week is improved from its first draft, but troubling language that was removed was replaced by vague language that could still offer the same powers to the president in case of an emergency.
"The current language is so unclear that we can't be confident that the changes have actually been made," he said.
The new legislation allows the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and make a plan to respond to the danger, according to an excerpt published online -- a broad license that rights experts worry would give the president "amorphous powers" over private users.
"As soon as you're saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it's going to be a really big issue," Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CNET News.
A Senate source familiar with the bill likened the new power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when he grounded all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001, CNET News reported.
Spokesmen for Senator Rockefeller and the Commerce Committee did not return calls seeking comment before this article was published.
But Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said the legislation was critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records.
"I know the threats we face," Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the legislation was introduced. "Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest."
The bill would also let the government create a detailed set of standards for licensing "cybersecurity professionals" who would oversee a single standard for security measures.
But many in the technology sector believe it's a job the government is ill-equipped to handle, said Franck Journoud, a policy analyst with the Business Software Alliance.
"Simply put, who has the expertise?" he told FOXNews.com in April. "It's the industry, not the government. We have a responsibility to increase and improve security. That responsibility cannot be captured in a government standard."
Clinton, of the Internet Security Alliance, praised President Obama's May science policy review, which he said would take cybersecurity in the right direction by promoting incentives to get the private industry to improve its own security measures.
But he faulted the Senate bill, which he said would centralize regulations for an industry that is too varied to fall under the control of a single set of rules without endangering the economy and security.
"We think a lot of things need to be done to enhance cybersecurity," he told FOXNews.com, but this bill is "not something that we could support."
Source: Fox News
Thursday, August 27, 2009
by Steven Plaut FrontPageMagazine
Marc H. Ellis
Some of the individuals waging an all out war on American college campuses against Israrel and the Jews are themselves Jewish. Some have called them "non-Jewish" or "self-hating" Jews. What is undeniable is that in the role they have chosen, these individuals are collaborating, often openly and without apology, with groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah and states such as Ahmadinejad's Iran that call for a new genocide. Over the next few weeks, Frontpage will profile some of these Jewish collaborators in the war against Israel and the Jews and show how they give and and comfort to the Islamist enemy -- The Editors.
The campus war against Israel and the Jews is led by a group of anti-Semites, many of them faculty members, who have made a career for themselves by traveling from one university to another supporting Arab terrorism. They invariably pretend that they are promoting peace. But in the Orwellian bubble where they live, Arab aggression and terror become self-defense and Israeli self-defense becomes aggression and terror. Israeli democracy is apartheid, while Arab genocide is liberation.
One of the most bizarre aspects of this campus war against the Jews is how common self-hating anti-Semitic Jews are in the ranks of the movement to achieve the annihilation of Israel. For reasons that only a psychiatrist could fully understand, these people use their birthright to give authenticity to the campaign of delegitimizing and demonizing Israel. Today the leading promoters of "divestment" and of boycotting Israel are academic Jewish leftists, some of them from Israel itself. In a few extreme cases, this detestation of Israel is combined with a fawning courtship of Islamic terrorists, American and European Neo-Nazis, and even Holocaust Deniers.
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One of the most public of these Jewish collaborators in the Arab war against Israel's survival is Marc H. Ellis, a Jewish "professor of theology" and director of the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor, a Baptist University in Waco, Texas. For most of the academic world, especially the world of Jewish scholarship, Ellis is a bigot residing in the lunatic fringe. But in the eyes in the eyes of Holocaust Deniers and Arab terrorists, he is a distinguished theologian. The racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright is a fan of Ellis' books and often recommends them.
The theology that Ellis teaches is the theology of Jewish evil. Ellis is essentially a Norman Finkelstein look alike. Unlike Finkelstein, who was fired from DePaul University because his "scholarly" books were Jew-baiting propaganda in disguise, Ellis has a job. But, in fact, there are surprisingly few differences between the ranting anti-Semitism for which Finkelstein was fired and the "scholarly work" for which Ellis has been rewarded. Indeed, the two have a long history of collaboration. They appear at one another's conferences and on one another's web sites, standing together in a sort of anti Semitic mutual assistance pact.
Like Finkelstein, Ellis is honored and cited as a Jewish anti-Jewish and anti-Israel authority who helps debunk the "myth" that there ever was a Holocaust of Jews by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers, notably on the web site of recently deported Canadian Nazi Ernst Zundel, by the Neo-Nazi "Institute for Historical Review".
Ellis has hosted Finkelstein in Texas on numerous occasions, and the two sit together on the boards of a number of pro-jihad anti-Israel propaganda organizations such as the Deir Yassin Remembered Organization, which also includes among its members such notables as Saudi-financed Paul Findley, Swedish Neo-Nazi Israel Shamir, PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, and Israeli convicted spy and traitor - the communist Mordecai Vanunu who recently spoke at the York University anti-Semitic conference calling for Israel to be exterminated.
Ellis has publicly endorsed not only Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry, but also Finkelstein's scurrilous attacks on Nobel Prize winning writer and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel. Ellis and Finkelstein are listed together in Gabriel Schoenfeld's review of Holocaust pseudo-scholarship in The Return of Anti-Semitism.
Ellis has been a full-time basher of Israel for decades. He holds a PhD from Marquette University, a Jesuit institution in Milwaukee which has never distinguished itself as a serious research center on Jewish thought. His first position after graduation was at Maryknoll School of Theology, a Catholic school in New York that it is evidently not accredited as a research university, although it has had its fair share of "liberation theologists. He moved to Baylor University in 1998 as a full professor and now directs "Jewish Studies," by himself, the sole faculty member at the "Center of American and Jewish Studies." The Center web site lists endorsements by a "Christian feminist theologian," by Noam Chomsky and a few other anti-Semites, but not by a single scholar of Judaism.
Ellis has a publication record that consists almost exclusively of anti-Israel propaganda tracts. These all largely promote liberation theology1 mixed with his thoughts about the Holocaust and Israel's endless track record of "inhumane crimes."2 Most of these works are published with "Fortress Press," a non-academic church publisher associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ellis sits on the editorial board of Tikkun, a far-leftist, anti-Israel, Sixties-fixated magazine, which touts Marxism and New Age liberation theology dressed up in some nominally Jewish emblems and slogans. Ellis is a regular on the Bash-Israel lecture circuit, especially before Muslim audiences, and is a speaker in demand for the "Palestine Solidarity" events that have become central part of the anti Israel, anti Semitic displays on American college campuses.
The centerpiece of Ellis' crusade against Israeli survival is a warped view of the Holocaust that rivals Norman Finkelstein's. He has authored a number of books that claim to be "Holocaust scholarship," including Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life (Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), O, Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant (Fortress Press, 1999), and Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes (Pluto Press, 2003), the latter two purporting to extract some "lessons of the Holocaust" for use in resolving the Arab-Israeli war.
Ellis summarizes his ambivalence about the Holocaust in these words: "To speak of the Holocaust without confessing our sins towards the Palestinian people and seeking a real justice with them is a hypocrisy that debases us as Jews. Surely, the ultimate trivialization is the use of memory to oppress others and this, rather than the 'industry', is responsible for the difficulties facing those who seek to communicate the historic suffering of European Jews."
A central assertion in Ellis' campaign against Israel is his insistence that Jews have abandoned "Prophetic Ethics." But there is little in his books to indicate that he has the slightest idea of which ethics the Prophets of the Bible really promoted, nor even that he has ever bothered to read those books of the Bible. He evidently is willing to take Tikkun editor Michael Lerner's word on what they contain.3
Ellis' idea of defending the ethics of the Hebrew Prophets is to write Israel-bashing pieces for the same al-Ahram Egyptian daily that regularly prints blood libels about Jews and cites the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as an authoritative source.4 Industriously, if somewhat mysteriously, Ellis finds sources in the Books of the Prophets for the Palestinian "Right of Return," which he so passionately endorses,5 although (or perhaps because) it means an end Jewish national existence. Ellis thinks that Jews should turn their High Holidays into days of mourning for their "crimes" against "Palestinians."6
One of Ellis's recent books is called Judaism does not Equal Israel, and he has touted it in numerous talks on and off the Baylor campus. Its theme is that Israel is not just an evil threat to the region but to Judaism itself. It features a foreword praising Ellis' negative take on Judaism written by fellow Israel-basher Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (The fact that Ellis could not find a Jewish theologian to praise his "take" on Judaism is significant.)
Another work in which he reiterates his insistence that the Holocaust needs to be converted into a weapon against Israel's survival is Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes (Pluto Press, 2003.) The first hint one has of the real orientation of this atrocious little book, which purports to be a theological re-examination of what it means to be Jewish after the Holocaust, is that the only people Ellis and his publisher could find to endorse the book on the jacket are Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and others favoring Palestinian terrorism. Pro-terror and Islamist web sites have given the book rave reviews. So has the PLO's web site. The leftist publication The Nation recently praised the book's call for Israel to be eliminated, although expressing dislike for the fact that Ellis thinks religion still has some positive roles to play in the 21st century.
The only thing of value that Ellis thinks Jews should derive from their experiences during the Holocaust is a duty to unambiguously denounce Israel and to support the demands and agenda of the Palestinian terrorists. He denounces all Jewish denominations and all rabbinic institutions for their failures to endorse Palestinian violence unreservedly. He is as hostile to the Jews of America as he is to those of Israel: "We as Jews come after the Holocaust, but we also come after the illusory promises of Israel and America. And we cannot find our way alone, only with others who realize that the promises they have been handed are also illusory."
Ellis' concept of Israel is of a bunch of "bullies" riding about in helicopters and firing senselessly at poor innocent Palestinian civilians for absolutely no reason at all (an image repeated ad nauseum in many of Ellis' screeds). Suicide bombers blowing up Israeli buses and other perpetrators of mass atrocities against Jews do not interest him. Ellis' Israel is a belligerent selfish entity, mistreating and enslaving (yes, he uses that term) the Palestinians, as part of some sinister grand design of the settlers in the "Palestinian" territories.
Ellis pretends never to have heard of the Oslo "peace process" and writes about Israeli "conquest" and "occupation" of the Palestinians as being "complete," this long after Israel turned almost all of these unfortunates to the Hamas' and the PLO's tender rule.
The theme of Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes is the same that Ellis preaches nonstop on the lecture circuit. He asserts that the Jews have utilized the Holocaust as a gimmick to grasp power, steal property, and oppress the poor Arabs. Further, he asserts that Israel's original sin was to utilize the Holocaust as an excuse to occupy "Palestinian" land. The only "massacres" of any consequence that have occurred in the long Mideast struggle, in his view, are Jenin and Deir Yassin (neither of which was in fact a massacre.) What the Palestinians suffered in these ambiguous encounters was, he says, the moral equivalents of the Holocaust of the Jews. But in the 2002 Jenin battle, less than twenty civilians died in the midst of a military operation by Israel against terrorists hiding in the town. And Deir Yassin was the scene of a 1948 battle in which some 100 civilians were killed, in an action immediately condemned by the leadership of the Haganah, the Jewish community's main paramilitary force, and by the area's two chief rabbis. To put these events in the scale of atrocity with the Holocaust is simply obscene.
Ellis is openly contemptuous of any talk about Jews being in need of any national empowerment. Such things constitute "Constantinian Judaism,"7 to use Ellis' favorite nonsense term, a malapropism picked up - one suspects - after spending too much time misrepresenting Judaism at Christian theological institutions. What he means by this term is the conscripting of religion to serve the agenda of the militarist state. (Ellis uses it to describe Jews who support either Israel OR the United States - and of course those evil malicious Jewish "settlers.") Jews can only fulfill their proper ethical role in history, which - Ellis is persuaded - is to promote socialism and leftist fads, if they are stateless and suffering.
Ellis never finds time in all his discussions of the theological implications of the Holocaust to consider the mass murder of Jewish children by his beloved Palestinians. Uniformed Jewish youths certainly have no right to ride around in helicopters to prevent such things. Nor is he willing to acknowledge that any "mistreatment" of Palestinians, such as the assassination of some of their leading terrorists, might have anything at all to do with the atrocities committed by Palestinians against countless Israeli Anne Franks. In a book supposedly about the lessons of the Holocaust for the Jews, there is not a single word about the Nazi-like demonization of Jews by the PLO and its affiliates, nor about the daily Islamofascist calls for genocide against Jews.
Ellis even rejects the political positions of Israel's Far Left as insensitive, brutal, and insufficiently "progressive." He is a passionate supporter of the "One-State Solution," in which Israel will simply be eliminated as a Jewish state and will be enfolded within a larger Palestinian-dominated state that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. (This is also known as the "Rwanda Solution" because of the atrocity that would surely follow its implementation.) He preaches it at conference after conference, insisting that such a fate is the ultimate realization of the Jewish mission and the only permissible lesson that Jews may learn from the Holocaust.
The main theological lesson that Marc H. Ellis draws from the Holocaust and preaches wherever he goes is that Jews must stop trying to defend themselves against violent anti-Semites and that instead "progressive Jews" such as himself should see to it that Israel is destroyed. The only real lesson that Ellis wishes the world to learn from the Holocaust is that Israelis are now behaving like the Nazis who murdered six million of their forbears and that Jews who assist the Palestinian violence in achieving its aims are ethically equivalent to the "good Germans" who rescued Jews in World War II from the Gestapo.
Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog".
by Fouad Ajami WSJ
The politics of charisma is so Third World. Americans were never going to buy into it for long.
So we are to have a French health-care system without a French tradition of political protest. It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence. These "townhallers" who have come forth to challenge ObamaCare have been labeled "evil-mongers" (Harry Reid), "un-American" (Nancy Pelosi), agitators and rowdies and worse.
A political class, and a media elite, that glamorized the protest against the Iraq war, that branded the Bush presidency as a reign of usurpation, now wishes to be done with the tumult of political debate. President Barack Obama himself, the community organizer par excellence, is full of lament that the "loudest voices" are running away with the national debate. Liberalism in righteous opposition, liberalism in power: The rules have changed.
It was true to script, and to necessity, that Mr. Obama would try to push through his sweeping program—the change in the health-care system, a huge budget deficit, the stimulus package, the takeover of the automotive industry—in record time. He and his handlers must have feared that the spell would soon be broken, that the coalition that carried Mr. Obama to power was destined to come apart, that a country anxious and frightened in the fall of 2008 could recover its poise and self-confidence. Historically, this republic, unlike the Old World and the command economies of the Third World, had trusted the society rather than the state. In a perilous moment, that balance had shifted, and Mr. Obama was the beneficiary of that shift.
So our new president wanted a fundamental overhaul of the health-care system—17% of our GDP—without a serious debate, and without "loud voices." It is akin to government by emergency decrees. How dare those townhallers (the voters) heckle Arlen Specter! Americans eager to rein in this runaway populism were now guilty of lèse-majesté by talking back to the political class.
We were led to this summer of discontent by the very nature of the coalition that brought Mr. Obama, and the political class around him, to power, and by the circumstances of his victory. The man was elected amid economic distress. Faith in the country's institutions, perhaps in the free-enterprise system itself, had given way. Mr. Obama had ridden that distress. His politics of charisma was reminiscent of the Third World. A leader steps forth, better yet someone with no discernible trail, someone hard to pin down to a specific political program, and the crowd could read into him what it wished, what it needed.
The leader would be different things to different people. The Obama coalition was the coming together of disparate groups: the white professional liberals seeking absolution for the country in the election of an African-American man, the opponents of the Iraq war who grew more strident as the project in Iraq was taking root, the African-American community that had been invested in the Clintons and then came around out of an understandable pride in one of its own.
The last segment of the electorate to flock to the Obama banners were the blue-collar workers who delivered him Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. He was not their man. They fully knew that he didn't share their culture. They were, by his portrait, clinging to their guns and religion, but the promise of economic help, and of protectionism, carried the day with them.
The Obama devotees were the victims of their own belief in political magic. The devotees could not make up their minds. In a newly minted U.S. senator from Illinois, they saw the embodiment of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Like Lincoln, Mr. Obama was tall and thin and from Illinois, and the historic campaign was launched out of Springfield. The oath of office was taken on the Lincoln Bible. Like FDR, he had a huge economic challenge, and he better get it done, repair and streamline the economy in his "first hundred days." Like JFK, he was young and stylish, with a young family.
All this hero-worship before Mr. Obama met his first test of leadership. In reality, he was who he was, a Chicago politician who had done well by his opposition to the Iraq war. He had run a skillful campaign, and had met a Clinton machine that had run out of tricks and a McCain campaign that never understood the nature of the contest of 2008.
He was no FDR, and besides the history of the depression—the real history—bears little resemblance to the received narrative of the nation instantly rescued, in the course of 100 days or 200 days, by an interventionist state. The economic distress had been so deep and relentless that FDR began his second term, in 1937, with the economy still in the grip of recession.
Nor was JFK about style. He had known military service and combat, and familial loss; he had run in 1960 as a hawk committed to the nation's victory in the Cold War. He and his rival, Richard Nixon, shared a fundamental outlook on American power and its burdens.
Now that realism about Mr. Obama has begun to sink in, these iconic figures of history had best be left alone. They can't rescue the Obama presidency. Their magic can't be his. Mr. Obama isn't Lincoln with a BlackBerry. Those great personages are made by history, in the course of history, and not by the spinners or the smitten talking heads.
In one of the revealing moments of the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama rightly observed that the Reagan presidency was a transformational presidency in a way Clinton's wasn't. And by that Reagan precedent, that Reagan standard, the faults of the Obama presidency are laid bare. Ronald Reagan, it should be recalled, had been swept into office by a wave of dissatisfaction with Jimmy Carter and his failures. At the core of the Reagan mission was the recovery of the nation's esteem and self-regard. Reagan was an optimist. He was Hollywood glamour to be sure, but he was also Peoria, Ill. His faith in the country was boundless, and when he said it was "morning in America" he meant it; he believed in America's miracle and had seen it in his own life, in his rise from a child of the Depression to the summit of political power.
The failure of the Carter years was, in Reagan's view, the failure of the man at the helm and the policies he had pursued at home and abroad. At no time had Ronald Reagan believed that the American covenant had failed, that America should apologize for itself in the world beyond its shores. There was no narcissism in Reagan. It was stirring that the man who headed into the sunset of his life would bid his country farewell by reminding it that its best days were yet to come.
In contrast, there is joylessness in Mr. Obama. He is a scold, the "Yes we can!" mantra is shallow, and at any rate, it is about the coming to power of a man, and a political class, invested in its own sense of smarts and wisdom, and its right to alter the social contract of the land. In this view, the country had lost its way and the new leader and the political class arrayed around him will bring it back to the right path.
Thus the moment of crisis would become an opportunity to push through a political economy of redistribution and a foreign policy of American penance. The independent voters were the first to break ranks. They hadn't underwritten this fundamental change in the American polity when they cast their votes for Mr. Obama.
American democracy has never been democracy by plebiscite, a process by which a leader is anointed, then the populace steps out of the way, and the anointed one puts his political program in place. In the American tradition, the "mandate of heaven" is gained and lost every day and people talk back to their leaders. They are not held in thrall by them. The leaders are not infallible or a breed apart. That way is the Third World way, the way it plays out in Arab and Latin American politics.
Those protesters in those town-hall meetings have served notice that Mr. Obama's charismatic moment has passed. Once again, the belief in that American exception that set this nation apart from other lands is re-emerging. Health care is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it is an unease with the way the verdict of the 2008 election was read by those who prevailed. It shall be seen whether the man swept into office in the moment of national panic will adjust to the nation's recovery of its self-confidence.
Mr. Ajami teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University. He is also an adjunct fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Source: Wall Street Journal
by Brad Friedman Brad Blog
Long-gagged FBI whistleblower's full under-oath testimony from Ohio election case, details Congressional blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, more...
Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.
Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.
Though there was much concern, prior to her testimony, that the Obama Dept. of Justice might re-invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" to keep her from speaking, they did not do so. Nor did they choose to be present at the Washington D.C. deposition.
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The BRAD BLOG covered details of some of Edmonds' startling disclosures made during the deposition, as it happened, in our live blog coverage from August 8th. The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.
High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.
During the deposition --- which we are still going through ourselves --- Edmonds discusses covert "activities" by Turkish entities "that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery."
Speaking about current members of Congress during a break in the testimony, Krikorian told The BRAD BLOG that "for people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence." (More video statements from Krikorian, Edmonds and attorneys from all parties, taped before, during, and after the 8/8/09 testimony, are available here.)
Edmonds' on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings. Edmonds alleges the front company had actually been shut down in August of 2001 --- three years prior to Bob Novak's public disclosure of the covert operative's identity --- following a tip-off to a wire-tap target about the true nature of the CIA front company. The cover was blown, Edmonds alleges, by Marc Grossman, who was, at the time, the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Grossman served as ambassador to Turkey. He now works "for a Turkish company called Ihals Holding," according to Edmonds' testimony.
An unclassified FBI Inspector General's report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds' classified allegations to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-NE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds' case, Grassley noted: "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."
The 8/8/09 deposition was brought by Krikorian as part of his defense in a case filed against him before the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). The 2nd district Congresswoman has accused Krikorian, an Armenian-American who ran against her as an independent in 2008, of "false statements" during the campaign last year alleging that she had accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests. Krikorian says that Schmidt, co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Committee, accepted more money from Turkish interests during last year's campaign than any other member of Congress, despite few, if any, ethnic Turks among her local constituency. He has suggested she may have been instrumental in helping to hold off a Congressional vote on a long-proposed, much-disputed resolution declaring the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a "genocide" by the Turks.
Edmonds herself happens to be a Turkish-American, though she was recently attacked by the Turkish Lobby, following her long-sought, long-blocked testimony.
The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds' under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts.
Click to view all five videos
Source: Brad Blog
The Federal Trade Commission is threatening to use antitrust and copyright laws to shut down the New Media – and save "mainstream" journalism
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which usually concerns itself with "consumer protection" issues, is now taking an interest in the journalism industry. The financially strapped New York Times reports:
"The commission is planning two days of workshops in December – titled ‘From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?’ – to examine the state of the news industry."
This ominous development ought to scare the pants off of anyone concerned with the maintenance of a free society – and the continued existence of dissent in an increasingly conformist profession where "journalists" are often reduced to the status of mere stenographers as they eagerly communicate to the masses the words, wishes, wit, and wisdom of government officials.
The FTC was the progeny of the "Progressive" Era, which, as Murray Rothbard reminds us, "begins around 1900 with Teddy Roosevelt and so forth. Woodrow Wilson cements it with his so-called reforms which totally subject the banking system to federal power and with the Federal Trade Commission, which did for business what the Interstate Commerce Commission did for the railroads. In other words, he imposed a system of monopoly capitalism, or corporate state monopoly, which we now call the partnership of the government and of big business and industry, which means essentially a corporate state, or we can call it economic fascism."
The creation of the FTC was occasioned by a campaign for the radical expansion of the federal government, and, not coincidentally, the beginning of World War I – a set of circumstances that roughly resembles what we are experiencing today. This gives a particularly sinister edge to the FTC’s sudden interest in the struggling newspaper industry and remarks by FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz to the effect that "Competition among news organizations involves more than just price."
That’s indubitably true: it’s all about content. Yet one fails to see how – in a free society – the government can concern itself with such matters. Or why it should. That is, until one reads onward in the Times piece, and discovers that Leibowitz "is married to Ruth Marcus, an editorial writer at the Washington Post."
The Post, like all newspapers, is losing money hand over fist: apparently its niche as the voice of elite opinion and the conventional wisdom isn’t paying off. Those "lunches" with powerful politicians and grasping lobbyists might have made some big bucks, if the whole shady business hadn’t blown up in their faces and forced them to cancel. So, when all else fails, these sorts instinctively turn to the government for some advantage or handout, although the exact nature of the "newspaper bailout" that all too many journalists have been talking about has yet to take shape. That’s what these "workshops" are for: they’ll figure out a way to feed at the public trough and no doubt come up with a credible-sounding rationale, as per the Times piece:
"Though some may be uncomfortable with government oversight of any aspect of journalism, the F.T.C. seems to be ‘attempting to play a facilitating and public educational role in gathering together various disciplines and perspectives to talk about the crisis in mainstream journalism,’ said Neil Henry, a professor and dean at the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘The government’s willingness to raise the profile of this issue, and to help explain why it is important for a national conversation, I think in general is welcome.’"
The tone is unmistakable: those few archaic types who may experience discomfort at the thought of some Washington bureaucrat prescribing a cure for what ails journalistic enterprise are living fossils, ungrateful wretches, and paranoid to boot. No need to worry, though: Professor Henry assures us the Feds are just "facilitating" the "national conversation" – but who started this conversation, anyway? A bunch of self-styled "mainstream" journalists and a government bureaucrat married to one, who have a pecuniary interest in finagling federal funding for their cash-strapped employers and stifling the competition, i.e., Internet-based news organization (such as, say, this one).
As the FTC Web site puts it:
"The workshops will consider a wide range of issues, including: the economics of journalism and how those economics are playing out on the Internet and in print … online news aggregators, and bloggers; and the variety of governmental policies – including antitrust, copyright, and tax policy – that have been raised as possible means of finding new ways for journalism to thrive."
So what this means is that the Old Journalism is going to deploy an agency of the federal government to regulate the industry in order to save these tired old dinosaurs who don’t deserve to survive in the first place. They’ll use every weapon in the government’s arsenal to do it: antitrust laws (watch out, Craigslist!), copyright laws (forget about linking to an Associated Press story: that’s copyright infringement!), and "tax policy" – if we can’t get them by hook or by crook, we’ll just tax the New Media to death. That‘ll teach them to respect their elders!
Note, also, that the professor is very specific in his concerns: it’s "the crisis in mainstream journalism" he’s oh-so-worried about and that the government is going to find a solution to – as opposed to, you know, the other kind of journalism, which is all icky, not to mention downright disreputable.
So what is it about "mainstream journalism," anyway, that led to this supposed "crisis," which government facilitators – such as a man married to a Washington Post columnist – are going to lead us out of?
Well, I’m just guessing, but maybe "consumers" – i.e., readers – weren’t at all happy with the level and nature of the coverage provided by the Old Journalism. Maybe they began to distrust and finally abandon completely all those "news" organizations that reported with a straight face the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Maybe the social and political collusion that goes on in Washington between government officials and "journalists" led them to distrust the latter as much as they disdain the former. It hardly matters that these consumers don’t need or want "protection" from bloggers and non-"mainstream" news sources – but you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to get it anyway. After all, the Nanny State knows best: we’re from the government, and we’re here to help…
The "mainstream" media is, by definition, the instrument and servant of the state. The Washington Post, for example, doesn’t challenge the conventional wisdom; rather, it lives to enforce it as accepted fact. And when the "facts" turn out to be otherwise, as in the case of Iraq’s WMDs – well, then, "Oops! That’s what everybody thought!"
And, of course, the media did a lot to ensure the election of our current president. Without all that favorable – even fawning – coverage, he might not have gotten the Democratic nomination and sailed to victory quite as easily as he did. So this sudden interest in the preservation of "mainstream" journalism is the payoff. In the American spoils system, all the victor’s foot soldiers are rewarded with their fair share of the pelf.
The idea that the FTC is going to start regulating the journalism business – or even start a "national conversation" about the prospect of doing so – ought to send chills down the spines of every real journalist in this country. Unfortunately, it won’t: most of these guys and gals are self-styled "progressives" who can’t very well make an argument against government intervention in their industry while they endorse bailing out the rest of the economy. Why, the government is our friend – and if you don’t believe that, you’re a wacko extremist who’s probably bringing guns to town hall meetings.
The way they’ll lull liberals into accepting this unprecedented FTC "interest" in journalism is to aver that this is Obama’s government we’re talking about here, and he would never countenance government control of the news industry. Our guy is in the saddle – so don’t worry about that whip he’s carrying, because of course he won’t actually use it…
A media bailout is coming. They’ll think up some sort of half-a**ed rationale for it. Leave it to Professor Henry and his trendy confreres; that’s what they get paid for. They won’t call it government control of the news, they won’t acknowledge that’s what they want, but when the first news aggregator gets prosecuted by the FTC for "copyright infringement" and the indispensable Craigslist is slapped with a fine for "unfair competition," please don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The FTC couldn’t regulate Bernie Madoff, in spite of being tipped off about his activities and presented with evidence of crimes – but they sure can start a "national conversation" about saving the sorry a**es of the Washington Post and the New York Times. Well, I’d like to start a "national conversation" of my own – all about how scared, clueless, and terminally lazy "journalists" and their friends in high places are angling for advantage, at our expense. That’s one conversation Leibowitz, his fellow bureaucrats, and their journalistic handmaidens would never permit.
This article is heavily referenced. Go here to see all references.
Justin Raimondo's articles
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A new law just passed in Massachusetts imposes fines of up to $1000 per day and up to a 30 day jail sentence for not obeying authorities during a public health emergency. So if you are instructed to take the swine flu vaccine in Massachusetts and you refuse, you could be facing fines that will bankrupt you and a prison sentence on top of that.
The YouTube video below is of a news report about this disturbing new law. In particular, pay attention at the 1:40 mark when the anchor and reporter discuss the new penalties for not obeying the health authorities during an emergency.....
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If you have not realized it yet, the controversy over swine flu vaccinations is about to get very, very real. The authorities know that a lot of people are extremely concerned about the safety of the swine flu vaccine, and they are putting the infrastructure in place to deal with those dissenters.
Let us hope that the worst case scenario with the swine flu does not take place, but the reality is that health authorities across the United States are gearing up for the biggest vaccination campaign in the nation's history. It looks like this fall could be very, very interesting.
Source: Bird Flu Pandemic
Friday, August 21, 2009
by the staff of thelastcrusade.org Canada Free Press August 20, 2009
Update: First Lady Now Requires 26 Servants
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” -- Albert Einstein
“In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much,” she said. “See, that’s why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service, “ Michelle Obama
No, Michele Obama does not get paid to serve as the First Lady and she doesn’t perform any official duties. But this hasn’t deterred her from hiring an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary.
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How things have changed! If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart or serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these servants of Miz Michele are the same as members of the national security and defense departments and the bill for these assorted lackeys is paid by John Q. Public:
2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY)
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
5. Winter, Melissa E. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
6. $90,000 - Medina, David S. (DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (DIRECTOR AND PRESS SECRETARY TO THE FIRST LADY)
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND ADVANCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
11. Reinstein, Joseph B. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR FOR THE FIRST LADY)
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF ADVANCE AND TRIP DIRECTOR FOR THE FIRST LADY)
14. Lewis, Dana M. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT AND PERSONAL AIDE TO THE FIRST LADY)
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY TO THE FIRST LADY)
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT FOR SCHEDULING AND TRAVELING AIDE TO THE FIRST LADY)
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CORRESPONDENCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
18. Tubman, Samantha (DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR,SOCIAL OFFICE)
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (STAFF ASSISTANT TO THE SOCIAL SECRETARY)
21. Bookey, Natalie (STAFF ASSISTANT)
22. Jackson, Deilia A. (DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CORRESPONDENCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
Source: Canada Free Press
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Scroll down for updates…
As we always like to point out: There are no coincidences in Obama world.
Via the Boston Globe: Surprise!
A girl from Malden asked President Obama a question at Tuesday’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire about the signs outside “saying mean things” about his health care proposal.
Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: “How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”
The question opened the door for the president to respond to what he called an “underlying fear” among the public “that people somehow won’t get the care they need.”
The girl later told the Globe that picking the president’s brain was “incredible.”
“It was like a once in a lifetime experience,” she said.
Julia’s mother was an early Obama supporter in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.
“This was my first time meeting Barack Obama, and he’s a very nice man,” Julia said. “I’m glad I voted for him.”
She said Obama won a mock presidential election at the Cheverus School in 2008. And on Tuesday, he approached her after the town meeting.
“He said ‘great question,’” Julia said. “I shook his hand and got his picture.”
Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia’s mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn’t miss a beat when Obama called on her.
“It was surreal,” said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.
Manning Hall has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm.
But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”
Oh, goodness. Of course not.
Now, look for Dems to play the kiddie human shield card to the hilt. Anyone who mentions Hall’s political pedigree will be attacked as a vicious meanie stalker. Graeme Frost redux!
More from Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit.
And via BlueMassGroup:
” I have been honored to work with Kathleen Manning Hall on the New England Finance and Steering Committee for Barack Obama for over a year. She has raised money, slogged through the snow in New Hampshire and has devoted every minute of her time toward electing Barack Obama President of the United States. She has not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. Please elect her as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention to vote for Barack Obama.”
Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick)
KATHLEEN MANNING HALL
to be a
PLEDGED DELEGATE FOR BARACK OBAMA
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN DENVER
WHAT: Massachusetts 7th Congressional
WHEN: April 5, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. (Doors
open at 12:00)
WHERE:MINUTEMAN REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
758 Marrett Road, Lexington
WHO: Registered Democrats from Arlington,
Belmont, Everett, Framingham,
Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford,
Melrose, Natick, Stoneham, Waltham,
Watertown, Wayland, Weston,
Winchester, Woburn, Revere, Winthrop.
I am very excited and honored at the prospect of serving as a Massachusetts delegate for Obama in Denver. Many of you know that I’ve been campaigning tirelessly for Senator Obama since last summer. I’ve spent much time on the ground in New Hampshire, traveled to Iowa, organized in Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and Maine, and I have made phone calls to voters in many other states. I’m part of the New England Steering Committee as well as a Coordinator for Massachusetts Women for Obama; in fact I am helping to organize a large group of MA WFO who will be traveling to Pennsylvania April 11-14.
I realized Barack Obama was a unique politician the first time I heard him speak, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where I was a volunteer. I was simply blown away by his inspirational message, and I continued to follow his career. In October, 2006 I attended a Kennedy Library event, where he indicated he was considering a run for the presidency. As soon as he announced his candidacy in February 2007, I was on board. I truly believe he has the necessary judgment and experience to be president, and that he is the only candidate who can inspire and bring real change to our country and restore America’s credibility and leadership around the world. I’m committed to doing everything I can to help him get elected president…
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Obama Health Care Town Hall Portsmouth New Hampshire
Aug 11 2009 -- Paid union members and other Democrat Party activists were bused in from out of state at Portsmouth, New Hampshire Town Hall Meeting to fake local support for Obama's Health Care Bill
Astroturf! Fake Local Support for Obamacare at Fake "Town Meeting"
Karroubi charged that several protesters were
tortured in the Kahrizak detention centre in Tehran
An Iranian opposition leader made fresh claims on Saturday that several protesters jailed in the June election unrest died in prisons after they were tortured, beaten and made to crawl like animals.
"Some youngsters who were chanting slogans were beaten in such a way that they lost their lives," said Mehdi Karroubi in his newspaper Etemad Melli on Saturday.
The reformist cleric charged that several protesters were tortured in the Kahrizak detention centre, south of Tehran, before it was ordered closed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"Unfortunately some of the people who took part in the protests were tortured," Karroubi said in a separate claim on the website of his political party, also called Etemad Melli.
"I heard they (security forces) stripped people in Kahrizak and made them crawl like animals with prison guards riding on their backs."
He said it was a "shame" for the Islamic republic to indulge in such tactics as "some of those arrested were forced to be naked and piled upon each other" in the prison cells.
"I also heard that while they were being tortured, the protesters were forced to curse their mothers," he added.
Karroubi's allegations have added to an already tense political situation in Iran which is battling its worst crisis since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
The June 12 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triggered massive street protests in Tehran by supporters of opposition leaders, and in the ensuing violence about 30 people were killed, according to officials.
The opposition claims that 69 people were killed in the protests which rocked the pillars of the Islamic regime and deeply divided the nation's clergy and ruling elites.
An Iranian MP on a parliamentary panel probing allegations of detainee abuses suggested that the opposition toll figure had been inflated as it also contained the names of protesters who have gone missing.
The political turmoil has exposed even Khamenei to criticism for his unwavering backing for Ahmadinejad.
Several opposition websites reported that a group of former MPs have written to the powerful Assembly of Experts which supervises the activities of the supreme leader, urging it to ask whether Khamenei was fit to lead the country.
"The supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has responsibilities and he supervises all the three branches... we call upon you to act according to article 111 of the constitution," they said of a clause which calls for the supreme leader to be dismissed if he is found incapable of doing his duties.
It was unclear how many ex-MPs endorsed the statement posted on opposition websites, but it was the first such direct attack on Khamenei. No Iranian news agencies carried the statement by the ex-MPs.
Karroubi, who came a distant fourth in the June election, has made sustained accusations against the security forces of abusing detainees.
Earlier this week he alleged that some male and female detainees were "savagely raped" in prison. Parliament speaker Ali Larijani dismissed the claim.
Iranian hardliners have demanded that Karroubi provide proof of his accusations or prepare himself for severe punishment.
Karroubi said his camp was ready to answer the questions of his critics, and called on them to gather in front of his newspaper office later on Saturday.
He also urged his supporters to gather on Monday at the same place where he would address them on his claims about prisoner abuses, his party website said.
Source: Agence France-Presse
Barack Hussein Obama wacko
Muslim in a skirt
If anyone doubted that Obama is a traitor to America and is siding with Muslim terrorists read his directive below.
The following was published at THE WHITEHOUSE BRIEFING ROOM on January 27, 2009
Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related to Gaza
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related to Gaza
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2©(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the "Act"), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2©(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 27, 2009
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It can also be read here in this government document.
Remember when B. Hussein Obama got up before America on national television and announced that he would not aid the Iranian protesters, victims of Ahmadinejad's brutal Basij police? And how diplomatic and politically correct he sounded? Well, how convenient, (majority of) leftists, Muslim terrorist supporters, and all traitors to America. How convenient, all Nazi Jew-haters.
Obama just threw Israel to the dogs. This could also start WWIII. I am getting those wild urges of self-defense again. It's time now, Patriots. Is anyone up for getting blown up in a world-wide war? I, for one, am kind of partial to life, liberty and a peaceful existence.
And as I'm patriotic to America and not a bunch of mentally-ill, psychotic Muslim terrorists who align themselves with communists and Nazis, I'll fight these bastards to the death.
Rot in Hell Barack Obama.
Source: Earthhope Action Network
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Referring to The Constitution Party's Interesting Facts Page
My comments are in red text ~
The Constitution Party's in blue.
DID YOU KNOW?
That there are great quotes from James Madison but that he is also the biggest fucker upper of the Constitution and that Thomas Jefferson wouldn't talk to him for decades because of his botch up job on what could have been the greatest document ever written to limit a federal government?
DID YOU KNOW?
Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said:
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ".
That although Patrick Henry was a great patriot he also did not want a separation of church and state unlike Thomas Jefferson who made sure it and the rest of the first and second amendments were included in the Constitution.
DID YOU KNOW?
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said:
"Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers."
That John Jay was a Federalist authoritarian more loyal to Britain than to the newly formed United States who along with Hamilton and Madison were bent on destroying America before she was born?
DID YOU KNOW?
That like liberals and many conservatives The Constitution Party should keep its mouth shut about Thomas Jefferson since apparently they don't understand a word he ever said and their philosophies often go directly against those of Jefferson (and those of Congressman Ron Paul as well).
That Thomas Jefferson was the man? Yes he was.
DID YOU KNOW?
That The Constitution Party would have been more aptly named the UnConstitution Party or maybe the Jesus Party and that what they advocate is the ruling of America by Christians? And by inference the breaking of The First Amendment to The Constitution of the United States?
Source: Earthhope Action Network
Monday, August 10, 2009
by John S. Baker and Elliot Stonecipher WSJ
Next year’s census will determine the apportionment of House members and Electoral College votes for each state. To accomplish these vital constitutional purposes, the enumeration should count only citizens and persons who are legal, permanent residents. But it won’t.
Instead, the U.S. Census Bureau is set to count all persons physically present in the country—including large numbers who are here illegally. The result will unconstitutionally increase the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states of their rightful political representation. Citizens of “loser” states should be outraged. Yet few are even aware of what’s going on.
In 1790, the first Census Act provided that the enumeration of that year would count “inhabitants” and “distinguish” various subgroups by age, sex, status as free persons, etc. Inhabitant was a term with a well-defined meaning that encompassed, as the Oxford English Dictionary expressed it, one who “is a bona fide member of a State, subject to all the requisitions of its laws, and entitled to all the privileges which they confer.”
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Thus early census questionnaires generally asked a question that got at the issue of citizenship or permanent resident status, e.g., “what state or foreign country were you born in?” or whether an individual who said he was foreign-born was naturalized. Over the years, however, Congress and the Census Bureau have added inquiries that have little or nothing to do with census’s constitutional purpose.
By 1980 there were two census forms. The shorter form went to every person physically present in the country and was used to establish congressional apportionment. It had no question pertaining to an individual’s citizenship or legal status as a resident. The longer form gathered various kinds of socioeconomic information including citizenship status, but it went only to a sample of U.S. households. That pattern was repeated for the 1990 and 2000 censuses.
The 2010 census will use only the short form. The long form has been replaced by the Census Bureau’s ongoing American Community Survey. Dr. Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Immigration Statistics Staff, told us in a recent interview that the 2010 census short form does not ask about citizenship because “Congress has not asked us to do that.”
Because the census (since at least 1980) has not distinguished citizens and permanent, legal residents from individuals here illegally, the basis for apportionment of House seats has been skewed. According to the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey data (2007), states with a significant net gain in population by inclusion of noncitizens include Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas. (There are tiny net gains for Hawaii and Massachusetts.)
This makes a real difference. Here’s why:
According to the latest American Community Survey, California has 5,622,422 noncitizens in its population of 36,264,467. Based on our round-number projection of a decade-end population in that state of 37,000,000 (including 5,750,000 noncitizens), California would have 57 members in the newly reapportioned U.S. House of Representatives.
However, with noncitizens not included for purposes of reapportionment, California would have 48 House seats (based on an estimated 308 million total population in 2010 with 283 million citizens, or 650,000 citizens per House seat). Using a similar projection, Texas would have 38 House members with noncitizens included. With only citizens counted, it would be entitled to 34 members.
Of course, other states lose out when noncitizens are counted for reapportionment. According to projections of the 2010 Census by Election Data Services, states certain to lose one seat in the 2010 reapportionment are Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania; states likely (though not certain) to lose a seat are Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio could lose a second seat. But under a proper census enumeration that excluded illegal residents, some of the states projected to lose a representative—including our own state of Louisiana—would not do so.
The census has drifted far from its constitutional roots, and the 2010 enumeration will result in a malapportionment of Congress.
In the 1964 case of Wesberry v. Sanders, the Supreme Court said, “The House of Representatives, the [Constitutional] Convention agreed, was to represent the people as individuals and on a basis of complete equality for each voter.” It ruled that Georgia had violated the equal-vote principle because House districts within the state did not contain roughly the same number of voting citizens. Justice Hugo Black wrote in his majority opinion that “one man’s vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another’s.” The same principle is being violated now on a national basis because of our faulty census.
The Census Bureau can of course collect whatever data Congress authorizes. But Congress must not permit the bureau to unconstitutionally redefine who are “We the People of the United States.”
Mr. Baker teaches constitutional law at Louisiana State University. Mr. Stonecipher is a Louisiana pollster and demographic analyst.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Artwork: Margie Laupheimer / Earthhope Action Network
Comment at Earthhope Forums
by Sally Zelikovsky American Thinker August 10, 2009
Democrat bigwigs and their media shills have concocted a libelous narrative of the town hall phenomenon that has shaken up the party's health care plans. They meet the classic definition of Chutzpah, as explained by Leo Rosten in the Joy of Yiddish:
Gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible "guts"; presumption plus arrogance such as no other word, and no other language, can do justice to. A Chutzpanik may be defined as the man who shouts, "Help! Help!" while beating you up.
(Article continues below)
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A fair sample of the Democrats' narrative is provided by Bill Press' article "The Tea Baggers Are Back -- Crazy as Ever." One can only conclude that this amounts to a collective act of audacity so flamboyant and disgraceful, that even liberals are taking notice. And this is driving the press and our leadership batty. Like the man above, Press cries "Help, help, they're protesting!" while he and those around him protest and have been for decades. His article is an expertly crafted verbal sleight of hand reminiscent of the fascist hooligans to which he likens today's tea party protesters. In his opening salvo he declares:
Ah, democracy! It never works better than when informed citizens gather in town hall meetings to discuss and debate the issues of the day.
But, oh, democracy! It's never more damaged than when partisan zealots plot to disrupt town hall meetings in order to prevent any honest debate of the issues.
That's Chutzpah, Bill, because if you did your journalistic homework, like, I don't know, actually spoke with some of us, you might have ascertained we are truly non-partisan -- you can ask the Hillary Pumas or the disgruntled Democrats and independents suffering from buyer's remorse about that. You would also learn that probably less than 1% of us are actually zealots given that most, if not all of us, protested for the first time in our lives on April 15th and have jobs and families that demand our full attention.
You would also conclude that we have been asking for an honest debate about the pending health care -- a debate that entertains all viewpoints and does not shut anyone out -- constituents as well as conservatives in Congress. We have been asking for town hall meetings and have been turned down long before the seeds for your article had been planted; we have been writing letters, sending faxes and emails and making calls to our elected officials and, if we receive a response, it is usually from an ignorant intern or a vapid form letter that regurgitates the congressperson's position and reveals that he/she will vote his/her conscience regardless of the constituents' opinions. This is why, Bill, we took to the streets in the first place.
And that's exactly what's happening in health care forums held across the nation by members of Congress....Taking a page right out of a Nazi playbook, organizers bus in professional protestors and arm them with instructions on how to take over meetings, shut down discussion, shout over any pro-health care reform speakers, and then post video of the resulting chaos on YouTube. It's mob rule, pure and simple.
It takes Chutzpah, Bill, to think that any of us would take our cues from a Nazi playbook. Many of us are Jewish, gay or Catholic -- groups persecuted by the Nazis. A considerable number of tea partiers have family who fought and died or were injured fighting the very bastards you align us with. And, let's be honest, Bill. The Nazis persecuted political dissenters, something we never did during the "Dissent is Patriotic" years of Bush. Given the memos on the White House website, memos from Health Care for America NOW! and the overall tone of the mainstream media about our supposed bad behavior (when the same media gave a free pass to every liberal protest during the Bush years), an atmosphere of repression is being created.
Your characterization of us as "professional protesters" is drenched in chutzpah. The left has paid community organizers whose express job it is to agitate. The left buses in people from the hinterlands, equips them with signs, shirts and buttons, gives them lunch and presto! Instant demonstration. I can personally attest that there is not one professional protester at the San Francisco Tea Party. I organize it. I know. Like it or not, Bill, we are all home grown. Some of us cut our teeth watching the left go nuts in front of Marine Recruitment offices in Oakland. But in the agitation world, we just fell off the turnip wagon.
Now, remember, you called us yahoos. So which is it? Are we slick, Astroturf professionals? Or tobacco-chewing, toothless yahoos? You can't have it both ways.
And listen up, Bill. If some of us took our cues from a handbook, it was the one our President studied, one we picked up and read when doing our homework about Mr. Obama: Alinsky's despicable Rules for Radicals. Right out of, what did you call it? The Nazi handbook? Bus them in, make them professional, arm them, take over meetings, shut down discussion, shout over them and use the media.
Tsk, tsk. The C-word again, Bill. "Mob rule pure and simple." If the few shout downs you wring your hands over amount to mob rule in your book, you better go back and read your history. Don't forget to include the Bush years when mobs, anger and derangement ruled the day. By the way, how is it that you and your fellow journalists know that the people who cause the unruly behavior are right wingers? As I said, many tea party folk hail from your end of the political spectrum and many left-wingers attend these meeting as well.
According to HCAN's instructional memo Fight Back against the Right, health care reform proponents are directed to attend town hall meetings with the primary purpose of...disrupting them, especially those arranged by...conservatives (seems a bit like the kettle calling the pot black, hm?). Left-wingers, who, unlike the right wingers in this memo, are not described as militant or extreme, are advised to meet with Members of Congress ahead of time to talk strategy (where's that wholesome debate?), bring more people to the meetings than the other side will have because they will have smaller numbers (so what are you so afraid of?), assign 3-5 people to speak with reporters and "be assertive in shaping the narrative that they write" (where's that down home objective journalism, you supposedly practice?) and are asked not to debate the policy at these meetings but to "re-focus the agenda on communicating with the Member of Congress" who "needs cover" because "they are getting beaten up by right wing zealots...." The memo states that its left-wing protestors should "let the Member know....that we, the majority, agree with him." Beautiful Stalinesque sleight of hand at the expense of freedom. And you, Bill, are a part of that. I'm sure you are proud of your Chutzpah.
Having encouraged viewers to show up, sympathetic anchors on Fox News then pretend these are "grassroots" protests springing up spontaneously across the country in opposition to President Obama's plans for health care reform. Nonsense. There's nothing spontaneous about them. They're not grassroots protests, they're "Astroturf" protests. Just look at who's paying the freight, who shows up and what orders they're given.
First of all, no one is paying the freight. I pay for the permits out of my own pocket. I set up and paid for my own website. I finance the T-shirts and stickers. Sometimes a couple of friends throw some money my way as a donation to buy something like wristbands to give away. Show me the money, Bill, and oh, there's more Chutzpah! Let's look at the funding for America's all-American Grassroots Organization of the Century: ACORN, that pinnacle of authentic, left-wing grassroots community organizing facing court challenges in several states for its voter fraud violations, heavily funded by a host of left-wing and liberal groups. Does their size, influence, funding and organization make them less grassrootsy? If it does, then I'll make you a deal. If you label them an "astroturf" organization, then when the tea party movement gets that big and powerful and well-funded, then you can call us astroturf too.
But as long as you refer to ACORN as a grassroots group, you might want to pull back on the Chutzpah and allow us the same classification and recall that most of us are doing this from our home computers, on our own time. Ask 99% of us why? Because we want the best this country has to offer in terms of liberty and prosperity for our children and their children. I know, so sappy it's hard to believe it's true. How can cold-feeling fiscal conservatives care about their offspring? Only liberals are that caring.
Funding and direction for the Stalinist-style campaign comes from two conservative, lobbyist-run Washington think tanks: Americans for Prosperity, headed by Tim Phillips, former partner of Ralph Reed in Century Strategies; and FreedomWorks, led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Previously, both organizations funded and orchestrated the so-called "tea parties" staged on April 15. And in many ways, today's town halls are simply a continuation of yesterday's tea parties, with many of the same players and tactics.
It's Chutzpah time again! What funding? Can you show it to me? And again, even if it were there, nu? (That's Yiddish for "So what?") What direction? Everyone I know, who is a tea party coordinator, does their own thing. I can't even get the various groups in the Bay Area to work together because they are so entrenched in their grassrootiness.
But this is when I really had it with your Chutzpah: your reference to our Stalinist-style campaign. Who is shutting up whom? Who has been forestalling townhall meetings? Who printed the Fight Back Against the Right memo (clearly addressed to folks on the left) instructing people how to arrange or dominate townhall meetings with their MOCs? In one breath, MOCs refuse to meet with constituents they assume are right wingers, HCAN puts out a memo telling left-wing agitators how they can go about arranging such meetings and that if they organize their own, they will have much more control over the event and will be able to limit the other side's opportunities for disruption. "When the other side gets too loud, we should shut them down with chants that counter their message." So, townhall meetings, disruption and shout downs are ok for left-wing agitators, but not right-wingers. And the left should wrest control from the right and re-focus towards the left, but when it is the other way around, oh, I get it, it is an angry, unruly mob!
Thank G-d your average American can diagnose a case of Chutzpah with ease. I'm sorry to report, Bill, that you are suffering from an acute case of Terminal Chutzpah.
How does this all sound for nonpartisanship, inclusiveness and open debate? Who is asking whom to snitch, Bill? And let's examine some of the dots here in this scenario. We have a memo from HCAN, the server for which is owned by Blue State Digital, which happens to be the former employer of Macon Phillips, who is Obama's media director and the suspected author of the now infamous "flag us" statement from the White House. Who is Stalinesque? Didn't Stalin have a politburo? Doesn't Obama have a record-breaking number of Czars who, I might add, are unaccountable to the People?
One more thing you should know, Bill. My husband and many of the tea party members came from Socialist or Communist dictatorships. In particular, my husband's family came from the USSR. When they were contemplating a move to the US in the early 70s, they couldn't even tell their extended family and friends for fear that information might be coerced from them in ways that make waterboarding look like child's play. They lived in fear that someone might get suspicious and snitch on them. The mere act of thinking about leaving the USSR put their jobs and apartment at risk. A mere slip of the tongue from their children in school could land them in the gulag. All this while you were worrying about whether you should wear black or brown shoes with your suit.
The tactics used by the left in the HCAN memo and in your own article, Bill, where you turn the debate on its head and shout "See?" have been around since bipeds crawled out of the primordial ooze.
I thank G-d I will be on the side of history with people who fought for the right of the common man to be heard rather than on the side that went through all manner of contortions to silence, marginalize and ultimately dehumanize the common man.
Yes, Americans don't like "rude, ugly obnoxious behavior on the left or right" but they also have a good nose and can sniff guys like you out like Limburger Cheese. And that is precisely what scares you.
In the end, the staged town hall protests will hurt the opposition's cause, not help it. Which is why, were I a Republican member of Congress, I'd encourage these yahoos to stay home. Were I a Democratic member, I'd pay them to show up.
In the end, Bill, were I a Republican member of Congress, I'd encourage the tea people to keep doing what they're doing because it is their God-given right enumerated in the Constitution and one that you exercise freely on a daily basis with access to millions. Were I a Democrat member, I'd stop grousing ad nauseum about your constituents exercising their First Amendments and earn your keep by actually answering their questions instead of obfuscating and prevaricating about the bill's contents.
Before I finish, I'd like to extend Bill an invitation to come to my home and explain to my children what a "tea bagger" is and how he can possibly include in that definition a person like their mother...an educated, heterosexual, Jewish, stay-at-home mom who is at the forefront of the tea party movement in the Bay Area. Once again, the press is debasing the tone of debate in America and giving parents across the nation cause to consider cancelling their subscriptions to a media that persists in using such odious and reprehensible verbiage to malign the millions who feel their representatives are not listening.
Sally Zelikovsky is the Founder of Bay Area Patriots and the Coordinator of the San Francisco Tea Party. She thanks President Obama for rushing through legislation inimical to liberty, forcing millions from all walks of life to wake out of their complacency and work together on issues that bind them, showing the world what true nonpartisanship is.
109 Comments on "The Chutzpah of the Town Hall Libel"
Source: American Thinker
Artwork: Wild Thing
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