Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gutsy Taiwan to mainland China: In your face

Small island won't be intimidated by Beijing's threat of 1,600 missiles

Taiwanmissile
is deploying its Hsiungfeng, or Brave Wind, cruise missile aimed at mainland China, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

It is the first time that Taiwan has aimed missiles at the Chinese mainland.

Reports suggest that the Taiwanese have deployed 100 of the indigenously produced missiles meant to act as a deterrent. The Hsiungfeng has a range of some 300 miles and has cost the military some $1.02 billion to produce.

If attacked, Taiwanese officials say that the cruise missiles would be aimed at airports and other military bases of the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA.

The only problem is that Beijing similarly has missiles targeted at Taiwan. Analysts say that the PLA has some 1,600 of its own short- and medium-range missiles aimed at Taiwan from the Chinese mainland.

The cruise missile deployment comes despite a general easing of tensions between Taipei and Beijing since Ma Ying-jeou was elected president in 2008. He was reelected to a second term last January.

The easing of relations has had the effect of increasing trade and Chinese tourists to the island.

However, China hasn’t renounced the possible use of force in its long-stated goal of retaking Taiwan which it regards as one of its provinces.

The U.S. is obliged to come to Taiwan’s assistance should it be attacked. In addition, the U.S. recently announced that it was putting more naval assets in the region of the South China Sea, which Beijing claims to be its area of influence and wants foreign navies to stay out.

The U.S. has undertaken to press the issue of freedom of navigation, as has India, which similarly is moving more naval assets into the South China Sea as it assists Vietnam in exploring for maritime resources under the sea.

China has raised concerns so far with India’s participation and has had a longstanding dispute with Vietnam and now the Philippines over undersea exploration for minerals in the South China Sea.

Why the West Loves Lying to Itself About Islam

By: Daniel Greenfield / Israeli News

 
Ask the powers that be: Muslim integration into Europe is going swimmingly. (Actually, it's going like a house on fire, not to mention a bus, a lot of cars and two towers on fire.) They are in denial. They have too much at stake.

Say that you get a tempting offer from a Nigerian prince and decide to invest some money in helping him transfer his vast fortune from Burkina Faso or Dubai over to the bank across the street. The seemingly simple task of bringing over the 18 million dollars left to him by his father hits some snags which require you to put in more and more of your own money.
 
Eventually you have invested more than you ever would have ever done up front, just trying to protect the sunk cost, the money that you already sank into Prince Hussein Ngobo's scheme. And to protect your self-esteem, you must go on believing that, no matter what Prince Ngobo does, he is credible and sincere. Any failings in the interaction are either your fault or the fault of some third party. Anyone who tells you otherwise must be a Ngobophobe.

Now imagine that Prince Ngobo's real name is Islam.

That is where Western elites find themselves now. They invested heavily in the illusion of a compatible Islamic civilization. Those investments, whether in Islamic immigration or Islamic democracy or peace with Islam have turned toxic, but dropping those investments is as out of the question as writing off Prince Ngobo as a con artist and walking away feeling like a fool.

Western elites, who fancy themselves more intelligent and more enlightened than the wise men and prophets of every religion, and who base their entire right to rule on that intelligence and enlightenment, are not in the habit of admitting that they are fools.

The Arab Springers who predicted that the Muslim uprisings would bring a new age of secularism, freedom and an end to the violence between Islam and the West; are busy writing up new checks. Thomas Friedman is penning essays explaining why the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood will mean regional stability and peace with Israel (and if it doesn't, it will be our fault.)

It's not insanity; it's the term that rhymes with a certain river in Egypt. The Brotherhood's victory discredits the Arab Spring, which discredits the bid for Arab Democracy, which discredits the compatibility of Islam and the folks on Fifth Avenue. Follow the river back along its course and suddenly the Clash of Civilizations becomes an undeniable fact. It's easier to give up and let the river of denial carry you further along until, five years from now, you find yourself explaining why Al-Qaeda ruling Libya is actually a good thing for everyone.

"Denial isn't just a river in Egypt; it also laps at the shores of Tel Aviv, flows out to the English coast and all across Europe."

In 1991, Israel cut a land-for-peace deal with a greasy Egyptian bloke named Yasser Arafat. The Cairo-born Arafat would turn his gang of terrorists into a government and police force, and rule over an autonomous territory, in exchange for ending the violence. Clinton smiled beatifically as hands were shaken and a new era of peace was upon us. The era, however, has yet to show up.

Over two decades of terrorism have not shaken the belief of the American or Israeli establishment in the "Two-State Solution", which has solved absolutely nothing, except perhaps the problem of how to make the Middle East into an even more unstable place. As the violence increased and the pathway to peace
decreased, American Presidents and Israeli Prime Ministers redoubled their concession offers and their faith in the Two-State Solution’ now an article of faith in most circles. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt; it also laps at the shores of Tel Aviv, flows out to the English coast and all across Europe.

Ask a Eurocrat for the time of day and he'll calculate how much to charge you for the subsidies to artisanal clock farmers that it will take to answer that question. Ask him about Islamic integration and he will instantly tell you that everything is going smoothly and the problems only exist in the minds of a few bigots and the pages of a few tabloids.

Muslim integration into Europe is going swimmingly, much like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Arab Spring. It's going like a house on fire, not to mention a bus, a lot of cars and two towers on fire’ on the other side of the Atlantic. Whatever problems there are, as with the peace process and the spring process, are undoubtedly the fault of someone who isn't a Muslim.

The Arab Spring, the Palestinian Peace Process and every similar bid to transform the region  presumed that disempowerment was the cause of Muslim violence and that, conversely, empowerment was the solution. Give the poor dears some weapons, a country, a ballot box, free and open elections, and they'll be less likely to blow themselves up while seeking 72 virgins on the downtown express. Instead, empowering people who were violent while disempowered; only made them more violent. Some of the best minds in two hemispheres are engaged in seeking a solution to this paradox, which isn't a paradox at all but rather a straight-line projection.

If Abdul is beheading people when all he has to work with is a sword then, if you give him a gun, he will start shooting them instead. If he's blowing up buses when he only has a terrorist group, he will blow up countries when he has a country. Empowering Abdul does not diminish his grievances, because his grievances are a function of his capacity for violence. Increasing his capacity will increase his grievances until the entire world is on the wrong end of his empowerment scimitar.

The liberal projection that "Abdul + Power + Money + Bigger Guns = Peace" made as much sense, as Prince Ngobo's story about his transfer fees being cursed by witches, but, as the song goes, "You gotta have faith." Some of the things that we have faith in are bigger than us and some are just us. Those who put their faith in Prince Ngobo and in the benign nature of Islam are really putting their faith in their own instincts, trusting that they are right, even while looking into the eye of the wrongness.

We rarely know a thing for what it is. For the most part we know it only for what we want it to be. Our knowledge of the world is inseparable from our worldview, and the machine of the ego which casts the shadows that projects our inner world on the outer world. The only way to avoid that trap is by studying consequences, by creating theories based on actual events, rather than manufacturing events based on theories.

Most people project their own desires and motivations on to others. Americans assumed that Muslims just wanted democracy, free enterprise and apple pie. Muslims assume that Americans are conspiring to undermine them and destroy them through a byzantine series of plots and conspiracies, because that is what they would do in our place and that is what they are trying to do. The Eurocrats assume that Muslims wanted to be good multicultural socialists, because that is what they want them to be. They assumed that the Arab Spring was the equivalent of Europe's own socialist monarchist movements, after having wrongly assumed the same thing about Arab Socialist movements generations earlier. They assumed those things, because just like Prince Ngobo's business partners trying to figure out how to call up Lagos, they wanted them to be true because of their own desires.

The sunk cost of the free world into the illusion that Islam is benign, that it is a positive influence and that it can be coexisted with is enormous. Even the dollar, euro and shekel costs make the wildest frauds seem tame. The cultural cost is even greater.

The mechanism of denial is that sunk cost. That faith which our political, cultural and academic superiors have in themselves’ in their probity, their insight and their rational tools of scientific governance. Muslims dare not question Islam because they fear Allah. Liberals dare not question Islam because they fear being fools. If they were completely wrong about Islam, then what else were they also wrong about? Pull at one thread and the whole dreamcoat dissolves leaving behind a very naked emperor.

The longer the fraud goes on, the more impossible it is for them to admit that they were wrong. What could have been tossed out after a year is an article of faith after twenty and undeniable after forty. To admit that you made a mistake right away is bearable, but to admit that your policy for generations has been utter moon-baked lunacy is inconceivable.

The trouble with naked emperors is that everyone knows they are naked. Give people permission to point out the obvious and they will commence pointing and laughing. The only way to keep from being made a mockery is by desperately maintaining the consensus that everyone knows the pants are there; even if you can't see them. Everyone knows that Islam is violent in the deeper parts of their minds, where common sense observations directly gathered from experience go. Give people permission to point out the obvious and they will turn angrily on those who lied to them and manipulated them for decades. Worse still, they will brand them incompetent fools who cannot be trusted with the reins of government.

Most insidiously, the left likes the imaginary world that that it has created. The multicultural utopia with jolly Pakistanis adding spice to London, Saudis putting up little mosques on the Canadian prairie and sassy Shiites bringing diversity to Dearborn, isn't just propaganda’ it's the imaginary world that they want to live in. Just as The Newsroom created an imaginary world in which the left won every debate in the last two years, the new world order that they have imagined of a friendly multicultural democratic Islam, is their imaginary world, created and maintained at our expense, and in the face of all reality and reason.

The illusion of Islam has, like the banking system, become too big to fail. It cannot fail because it would take too much else down with it, leaving behind a harder world. No matter how unintegrated Muslims in Europe are, the Eurocrats must insist that, aside from a few exploding bumps in the road, everything is going according to plan. Any day now a lesbian Imam will be preaching the virtues of secularism in Finsbury Park. It must be that way because the alternative is unthinkable.

Senate To Gut Second Amendment?

guns SC Senate To Gut Second Amendment?

As New York City plays host to a conference that will shape the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) into final form, most 2nd Amendment supporters are concerned that stealth language or overly broad applications woven into the document will serve to separate Americans from their right to keep and bear arms. After all, why else would preliminary versions of the Treaty be so difficult to obtain and U.N. pre-conference position statements remain consistently absent from the internet?

Barack Hussein Obama leads the most anti-gun rights Administration in the nation’s history. Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, and recently appointed ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones have spoken often and passionately about the importance of implementing more restrictive gun control legislation.

But the gun-grabbing Regime will not be able to ratify the UN’s global gun control measure without first securing a 2/3rds majority of Senators to vote in favor. And it won’t be easy to convince 67 politicians to sign onto a document that countless critics have spent nearly a decade rightly representing as a worldwide assault on the 2nd Amendment. Especially not as the American public must once again be told that the document has to be “passed” in order to find out what’s IN it!

Late last year, the Heritage Foundation obtained an ATT “Draft Paper” from an NGO participating in the Treaty mark-up. The Paper makes it clear that the finished product would be broad in scope, controlling everything “from rifle scopes to battleships.” And although the Treaty purports to monitor only “international arms transfers,” document language shows the UN also wishes to control “internal transfers” as “any firearm transfer—meaning any change in ownership…might conceivably somehow affect another nation…”

Therefore, the ATT will demand that signatories control and monitor “transfers including ‘transport’ across national territory.” To accomplish this, a nation would necessarily “maintain records of all imports and shipments of arms that transit their territory,” creating records on “the type of arms transferred and their ‘end users’.” So as international records would be kept of all weapons bought and sold within the United States, the Treaty would create not only a global arms registry but the rules by which arms might be transferred and to whom.

Would Senators sympathetic to global arms control try to slip these and other unconstitutional ATT edicts past American voters?

DC politicians—including Republicans—have already written purposely misleading and legally ineffective language into both the 2012 and 2013 National Defense Authorization Acts for the sole purpose of deceiving the American public into believing that their constitutional rights were being looked after. As for treaties, they commonly include “reservations”, that is, language designed to “define and limit the effect of a ratified treaty.”

A few dedicated, gun-grabbing Senators might get the idea of attaching a codicil to the ATT, claiming it would prevent the ratified Treaty from imposing upon the 2nd Amendment rights of the American people, thereby safeguarding the right to keep and bear arms.

Of course, they wouldn’t bother to inform Americans that the Arms Trade Treaty specifically forbids any reservations that are “incompatible with the object and purpose” of the Treaty! Would members of the Washington political class be so dishonest as to try such an underhanded stunt?

It’s doubtful that a sufficient number of Senators would risk the fury of the NRA and gun-owning voters. But then again, stranger things have certainly happened in the nation’s capitol.  After all, a Supreme Court Chief Justice has just prostituted both himself and the Constitution!

Maybe keeping tabs on the Senate wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Obama Blackmails the Middle Class 

 By: Ann-Marie Murrell  / Townhall.com

Obama recently gave yet another televised pep rally, complete with a laughing, cheering progressive audience. The purpose this time was all about taxing his most hated class o' people, the Evil Rich (of which he finally admitted he is a part of).

He used words like "holding hostage" and offered veiled threats to the middle to lower-classed, warning us that if his offer of taxing the rich doesn't happen, the middle class (cue threatening music) WILL PAY.

As one of those middle to lower-classed people, I am personally insulted and more than a little angry.

Apparently Barack thinks we are all brain-dead like the rest of his followers and that we don't remember a few very important things.

For one, he thinks we don't remember that the first two years of his presidency he OWNED Washington! 

From 2008 to 2010 he held the majority in both the Congress and Senate and he could have taxed those Evil Rich people to hell and back by now--and yet, he chose not to.  (Why, I wonder?  Hmmm...)

Another thing Barack seems to think we didn't notice is that the two things he mentioned as "good" were the Republican Bush tax cuts and the Republican-led Clinton-era economy.

But seriously, folks--does Obama really think this baby-tiny ONE YEAR ONLY tax break is a good thing for all us non-rich people?  How in the world does he expect us to get back on our feet via this "gift" of not taxing us to death for only one short year?  What happens after that, Obama?

And speaking of "gifts", we already have these tax breaks (again established by Republican President Bush) yet this Naked Emperor talks as if he established said tax breaks all by his lonesome.  It's sort of like he's re-wrapping a gift our grandmother has already given us and now we're all supposed to say, "Oh thank you so much, Obama, I didn't have one of these!"

But I digress...

Another disturbing aspect of Obama's speech was when he talked about how America needs to start operating from the top down, bottom up.  Again, does he think we've forgotten that these are almost exactly what his scary Communist "Green Czar" friend Van Jones used to preach?  Glenn Beck has done entire episodes about Jones' "top down, bottom up" theory; it was scary then, and even scarier now coming straight out of the president's mouth. 

Sorry Obama and all your Marxist friends, but I'm not buying the idea that only the poorest of us can elevate the rest of the country.  I've been extremely poor and I know for a fact that when you have no money, you are focused on one thing and one thing only:  NOT BEING POOR ANYMORE.  Yet Obama and his progressive buddies are seriously trying to convince us that the best way to get our economy booming again is not by President Reagan's proven-to-work "trickle down" economy but rather from the bottom up.

Blackmailing, threatening and full-on lying to all of us not only doesn't work, it makes people (like me) very, very angry--but there is a solution.

Instead of denigrating the healthiest and wealthiest in America, let's give them incentive to keep their businesses here in this country.  Let's encourage and congratulate them for helping keep America on top for approximately 235 years.  While we're at it, let's stop sending multi-billions of our hard-earned dollars to other countries whose leaders despise us (and who are probably using that money for nefarious reasons) and instead invest in drilling, industry, techonology and entrepreneurship in our own country.  These things will create job growth, along with offering REAL hope and change.

(But you already know this, don't you, Obama?)

As for the people who were cheering Obama during his threatening speech, I can only assume that these poor folks are victims of some horrible disease, or maybe Stockholm syndrome.  They have somehow been hypnotized, mesmerized and/or tricked into believing whatever lines of crap their president feeds them.  Or maybe they have simply chosen to ignore the facts and do not care what the truth is.  Either way, they need our immiedate prayers...

Meanwhile, polls are showing that 56% of Americans believe Obama has changed America for the worst and his backers are currently promoting the brilliantly dim campaign slogan that "Things aren't so bad."

Oh yes they are, Barack--yes, they are.

Obama’s Bumbling Class Warfare Agenda             

By: Daniel J. Mitchell  / Townhall.com

We know that President Obama’s class-warfare agenda is bad economic policy. We know high tax rates undermine competitiveness. And we know tax increases will lead to even more wasteful and destructive government spending.

But analytical arguments won’t necessarily bring us victory. Let’s also mock the President’s divisive agenda with some amusing cartoons.

Our first contribution comes from Lisa Benson. This cartoon sort of reminds me of this Chuck Asay gem, presumably because of an engine that is overburdened by bad government policy.



You can find some of my favorite Benson cartoons here, here, here, herehere, and here.

Next we have one from Michael Ramirez. He’s used elements of this theme before, as you can see here and here.



More Ramirez gems can be found here, here, here, here, here, herehereherehereherehere, and here.

Our next contribution comes from Henry Payne. I’m not even sure why I like it, but I do.



More clever Payne cartoons can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

Last but not least, we have one from Jerry Holbert.



This last one isn’t specifically about class warfare, but I liked it so it earned its way into this post. Holbert is new to me, but this is a good introduction.

Now let’s take this opportunity  to discuss one serious point. Obama presumably wouldn’t be pursuing a spiteful tax agenda if he didn’t think it was a political winner. Is it possible – notwithstanding the title of this post – that he’s right?

Ezra Klein makes that case in a column for Bloomberg.
…polls consistently show that increasing taxes on the wealthy is hugely popular. …Obama’s announcement on Monday was an effort to publicize one consequence of inaction: If Republicans refuse to extend the Bush tax cuts for only the bottom 98 percent of taxpayers, insisting instead on extending them for the top 2 percent as well, the resulting gridlock could trigger a tax increase for everyone. Obama wants to saddle Republicans with two unpopular tax positions simultaneously: Republicans are so intent on not raising taxes on the rich that they’re willing to raise taxes on everyone else.
In addition to arguing that the no-tax-hike-for-anyone position will actually lead to a tax-hikes-for-everyone result, Klein suggests that an anti-tax-hike agenda is a pro-spending-cut agenda.
 In the New York Times Magazine, Robert Draper reported what happened when a focus-group moderator for Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super-PAC, explained to voters that Romney and the Republicans want to cut deeply into Medicare while cutting taxes on the rich: “The respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.” As in any game of poker, once the cards are down on the table, you usually find that one side actually holds the winning hand. The question is whether Democrats can call the Republicans’ bluff before November.
That passage includes factual mistakes (Medicare spending would continue to grow under the GOP reform plan, for instance, just not as fact as currently projected), but that’s not relevant in the world of politics. The real issue is whether the pro-tax agenda is a political winner. Or, to be more specific, is a class-warfare tax agenda politically popular?

I hope not, though it is possible.

For what it’s worth, I think the key is whether the GOP maintains a firm no-tax-hike stance. Here’s some of what I wrote last year about this topic.
…the no-tax-increase pledge helps the GOP because it sends a signal to all voters that they will not be raped and pillaged (at least in excess of what is happening now). This puts Democrats in a tough position. They can play the politics of class warfare (as Obama likes to do) and say only the “rich” will pay higher taxes, but voters don’t dislike their upper-income neighbors. Moreover, they probably suspect that Democrats have a very broad definition of what counts as rich, so they instinctively gravitate to the GOP position. After all, the only sure way of avoiding a tax hike on yourself is to oppose tax hikes for everyone. If Republicans put tax increases on the table, however, the politics get turned upside down. Instead of being united against all tax increases, voters realize somebody is going to get mugged and they have an incentive to make sure they’re not the ones who get victimized. That’s when soak-the-rich taxes become very appealing.
Democrats, for all intents and purposes, can appeal to average voters by targeting the so-called rich. And even though voters will be skeptical about what Democrats really want, they don’t want to be the primary target of the political predators in Washington. Think of it this way. You’re a wildebeest running away from a pack of hyenas, but you know one member of your herd will get caught and killed. You despise hyenas, but at that critical moment, you’re main goal is wanting another member of the herd to bite the dust.
I’d also call attention to this polling data, which suggests some additional effective ways to fight class-warfare policy.

P.S. Supporters of limited government also should explain that the left wants higher taxes on the rich as a prelude to higher taxes on everyone. The New York Times accidentally admitted this was their agenda, and there’s plenty of evidence from Europe showing that screwing the middle class is the only way to finance big government. Simply stated, the Laffer Curve limits the degree to which the rich can be raped and pillaged so the politicians have no choice but to eventually target the rest of us.

Op-ed:
Democrats are jumping off the sinking Obama ship
By: Diane Sori

 
“I am a Democrat, and I plan to remain a Democrat. But, in this election, I will be voting for the candidate I see best fit to restore our nation to economic greatness. I’m voting for Mitt Romney.”        
Barney Bishop, lifelong Democrat and former Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party.

“President Obama may think the private sector is ‘doing fine’ and able to handle one of the largest tax hikes in history – but he’s looking increasingly isolated. The President’s fellow Democrats have finally realized that tax hikes on job creators will only further harm the struggling economy...”                               
Amanda Henneberg, Romney campaign spokesperson.

From two different party notables...one common conclusion...the sinking Obama economic ship has Democrats jumping overboard en-masse.

Many Democratic leaders and elected officials, who this time out are no longer buying the ‘Hope and Change’ rhetoric, were once ardent Obama supporters but after four years of a tanking economy they have started putting their kool-ade cups down and now see that Barack Hussein Obama is nothing like their hero Bill Clinton.  These Democrats claim, and in some aspects they’re right, that Clinton promoted the growth of eight prosperous years and delivered balanced budgets and even surpluses that helped reduce the nation’s debt all while staying focused on the needs of middle class Americans.  But with Obama’s sole solution to America’s economic woes being to add yet more government-spending programs and business unfriendly regulations, these Democrats are fighting each other to see who can jump ship first.

And it’s starting to look like even those adoring Democrat ‘blind-to-the-truth’ groupies that heavily contributed to his campaign in 2008 aren’t doing so this time because Obama’s economic disasters have left them without money to spare or even in many cases without jobs to go to.  And all the while Mitt Romney continues to rake in more contributions than Obama, who has even sunk so low in desperation as to request that those buying wedding gifts contribute the money they would have spent on those gifts to his campaign instead. 

Arrogance thy name is Barack Hussein Obama.

Now add into the mix that even Obama’s once loyal Democratic Jewish supporters can no longer be counted on to support him this time out as the ratio of Democratic Jews to Republican Jews has fallen to less than 2 to 1, from a 2008 high of 3 to 1.  And all because of Obama’s lack of support for Israel and his sending millions and millions of dollars in economic aid to their enemies.

In addition, small business owners, the very people who generate most of the private-sector jobs, have started deserting Obama and the Democrat party, because while they’ve been working harder and longer hours than they were before Obama took office, they’re seeing less for their efforts...much, much less.  In fact, many are losing their businesses completely do to regulation after regulation Obama’s bad policies impose upon them, which is just the opposite of the Obama promised fewer regulations and a permanent cut in the personal income tax rate or at least no hike in that rate.

Liar thy name is Barack Hussein Obama.

Throughout the past years the one thing both Democrats and Republicans have agreed on is that they want a better economic future for their children than they had.  But with Obama’s constant campaign bloviation that economic investment is bad or should be punished, this has pushed many of the more moderate Democrats away.  Even if they don't outwardly say they will NOT vote for Obama, they have indicated that their voice against him will be heard in the privacy of the voting booth. 

But the bottom line for Republicans and now Democrats is that people have less money than they did four years ago; they pay more for gas and groceries than they did four years ago; they are still out of work in record numbers than they were four years ago; they will shortly be paying more taxes, many more taxes than they did four years ago, and you have some very unhappy voters in both parties.

Ex-president thy name is Barack Hussein Obama.