Friday, April 18, 2014

If Obamacare is a success, as the White House and establishment media would like us to believe, then why is the Obama Administration so anxious to hide the numbers?

After all, surely we haven’t set the bar so low that the Administration can claim victory simply because it has coerced and/or bribed a few million people into an Obamacare plan?

Here’s some of what the Wall Street Journal recently wrote about a very suspicious change in the way the government measures health insurance coverage.
Out of the blue, the Census Bureau has changed how it counts health insurance—at the precise moment when ObamaCare is roiling the insurance markets. Since 1987, the Current Population Survey, or CPS, has collected information on the health-insurance coverage status of Americans. …But this year the Census revamped the CPS household insurance questions, muddying comparisons between the pre- and post-ObamaCare numbers. 
…Robert Pear of the New York Times obtained internal Census documents that note that the new CPS system produces lower estimates of the uninsured as an artifact of how the questionnaire is structured. …For changes this substantial, standard procedure would be to ask the new and old questions concurrently. With an overlap, researchers could study changes over time using the long-term historical information without introducing bias, as well as interpret emerging developments with new tools. …this sudden change will undermine public trust in the supposedly nonpartisan institutions of government. Muddying a useful source of information about ObamaCare’s results is definitely unfortunate, but our guess is that it wasn’t coincidental.
Allow me to re-phrase that last sentence. The disingenuous change to the Census data on insurance is about as coincidental as the Administration’s efforts to re-define poverty and about as random as the IRS’s decision to only undermine and attack the political rights of Tea Party groups.

But there’s more to say about Obamacare than merely pointing out dishonest manipulation of government data.

We also have some very bad news for taxpayers.

Here’s what Chuck Blahous wrote for E21, starting with an observation of how the media wants to boost Obama.
Earlier this month there was tremendous press attention to new data indicating that enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges had surpassed 7 million. …much of the press, desperate to write something positive after months of reporting on website glitches and insurance plan cancellations, characterized the milestone as good political news for ACA supporters.
Last week, masked men in camouflage garb with no insignia, dressed and equipped like Russian special forces, started taking over police stations and other government buildings in the Donets basin in Eastern Ukraine. They appeared to be working in tandem with local militias in defying the Ukrainian government.

This week, the Ukrainian government has responded by sending in military forces to counter these actions. There has been shooting and violence. But Ukraine's military doesn't seem capable of asserting control.

So Vladimir Putin's Russia, with some 40,000 troops massed just outside Ukraine, seems to have taken effective control of a significant chunk of Ukraine -- or at least denying effective control to the Ukraine government.

Whether Putin will follow up with an explicit occupation and annexation, as he did with Crimea, is unclear. Polling and previous referendum results indicate much less support for absorption into Russia in Eastern Ukraine than in Crimea.

What is clear is that Putin's actions violate the 1994 Budapest Memorandum -- signed by Russia, the U.S. and Britain -- that guaranteed Ukraine's boundaries in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

And what is just as clear is that the United States is unable to do anything effective to enforce its commitment.

Barack Obama's response has been tepid. Ukrainian authorities requested light arms, antitank weapons and intelligence assistance. Obama agreed to provide Meals Ready to Eat and to have them delivered by commercial trucks rather than military transport planes.

It was explained that Putin would find that provocative. But Putin surely finds provocative the Obama administration's verbal condemnations of Russia's actions and the sanctions on a handful of Russian insiders imposed by the U.S. and Europe.

Obama seems to have chosen a middle option. He has declined the recommendation of NATO military commander Gen. Philip Breedlove for strategic intelligence sharing with Ukraine. And he has declined some foreign policy experts' advice that we should acquiesce without complaint in Russia's domination of Ukraine.

Strong arguments can be made that either option would be preferable to the middle course Obama has chosen. It has left the United States, contrary to Theodore Roosevelt's advice, speaking very loudly and wielding a very small stick.

Obama came to office, as did his two predecessors, hoping to establish a cooperative post-Cold War relationship with Russia. Characteristically, and unlike Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he blamed current problems on his predecessor and called for a "reset."

But the KGB veteran Putin, who called the demise of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century, sees things differently. He pocketed Obama's concessions on missile defense and nuclear arms, and seeks to expand Russia's domain back toward czarist and Soviet dimensions.

Clinton and Bush encouraged the expansion of NATO and the European Union eastward to include former Soviet satellites and the Baltic nations absorbed by the Soviets in the Hitler-Stalin pact.

But the hopes that the appeal of European-style democracy would spread farther east have not been fulfilled.

Ukraine has remained an economic basket case, with a kleptocracy like Russia's but without its oil resources. Politically, it has been closely and bitterly divided between a pro-Russian east and south, and a pro-Western west and north.

The lure of the European example has been diminished by sluggish economic growth and the troubles of the euro. And if Obama has been unwilling to give military aid, European leaders dependent on Russian natural gas and investments have been wary of imposing economic sanctions.

The real danger may lie not in Ukraine but farther west. Obama's dismissal of his red line in Syria and his tepid actions on Ukraine may lead Putin to believe he will not back up other commitments.

Putin says he is protecting Russian minorities in Ukraine; what if he does so in the Baltic republics?

The British historian Christopher Clark, author of "The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914," warns of "the danger, in trying to avoid conflagration in Ukraine, that Western leaders fail to provide clear signals to Putin."

The West, he says, must show "firmness and clarity in defending the real red lines established by NATO." That means more U.S. and NATO military forces in the Baltics and Poland. And beefing up U.S. and NATO militaries.

Putin's goal may be to dismantle NATO, as he believes NATO dismantled the Soviet Union, which would be the greatest geopolitical tragedy of this century.

Jews ordered to register in Ukraine “face deportation, citizenship revoked and see their assets confiscated” 
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs 

last-jew-vinnitsa-ukraineThe back of the photograph is inscribed “The last Jew in Vinnitsa [Ukraine]“

Jew-hatred in the Ukraine has a terrible genocidal history. Between 1941 and 1945, 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews were exterminated. Most Ukrainians chose to cooperate with the Nazis. Newly uncovered mass graves speak to an even greater horror.

And now again — but these barbarians can’t hide behind the Nazis this time.

More here:  Exposing a hidden Shoah, one mass grave at a time. 

 Jewish massgrave near Zolochiv, Lviv region, west Ukraine. Photo was done by Gestapo shortly before the grave was covered.

Fingers are being pointed at both the nationalists and the Russians. I have seen similar charges waged at the nationalists in the past months. In either case the Ukraine has a wicked history and they are living up to it. Which is why I have not written much about the Russian invasion. Both sides stink.

It sounds eerily like this:
Jews of the city of Kiev and vicinity! On Monday, September 29, you are to appear by 08:00 a.m. with your possessions, money, documents, valuables, and warm clothing at Dorogozhitskaya Street, next to the Jewish cemetery. Failure to appear is punishable by death.
—Order posted in Kiev in Russian and Ukrainian on or around September 26, 1941
There are currently 70,000 Jews in the Ukraine. Israel ought to airlift those poor Jewish souls out of there. Why there are still there is beyond me. Every Jew who I ever met from the Ukraine had a horrible story to tell of systematic Jew-hatred, persecution and humiliation.

Jews digging their own graves, UkraineJews digging their own graves, Ukraine
UPDATE: Here’s the flier:

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Robert Spencer interview on Arab Winter Comes to America

  / Townhall Columnist
RobertSpencer_Arab WinterPamela Geller asked me a few questions about my book Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In:
Geller: What possessed you to write this book now? Why?
Spencer: The denial of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat is near-total. The only people who speak honestly about the threat we face are ostracised from mainstream discourse, vilified, ridiculed, defamed, and marginalized. Even the government and law enforcement officials are, as a matter of policy, ordered to ignore, deny and downplay the motives and goals of jihad terrorists. This is a recipe for disaster, and that disaster will surely come unless there is a substantial turnaround. I wrote this book to that end. Not that I think it will affect that turnaround in itself, but by chronicling the extent of the denial, as I do in the book, I hope to move some people to act to clear away the fog of deception and institute some more realistic policies.
Geller: You’ve made this the whole of your work for well over 15 years. What changes in the past 10 years have encouraged you? Distressed you?
Spencer: I’m afraid it has been mostly distress, although now I am way beyond distress.
In the early years I thought that there would be strong response not just in the U.S., but in the West and in non-Western nations that were also targets of jihad, against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. I did not expect the massive and international capitulation to Islamic supremacist intimidation, such that while 25 years ago, when the Rushdie fatwa was first issued, there was a huge outpouring of support for the freedom of speech, now that freedom’s ostensibly foremost guardians readily agree that self-censorship is in order so as to avoid offending Muslims. We are well on our way to adopting, under the guise of avoiding and criminalizing “hate speech,” Sharia restrictions on criticism of Islam, thereby establishing Muslims (including jihad terrorists) as a protected class of which criticism is not allowed. And that will be the death of free society.
Geller: Are we winning this war?
Spencer: Not at all. Muslims riot and kill over cartoons and videos, and instead of telling them to grow up and explaining the cardinal importance of the freedom of speech to them, Western leaders (chief among them Obama) declare in ringing tones that speech that offends Muslims indeed should not be allowed. The implications of this capitulation have yet to be felt. But they will be, when free people wish to speak out against tyranny and find that all their avenues for doing so have been blocked in the interests of stopping “hate speech” — which is in the eye of the beholder in any case.
Geller: What’s the biggest failing of the West?
Spencer: Ethnocentrism. And the chief ethnocentrists are the multiculturalists. They naively assume that the whole world thinks like they do, and wants what they want. It’s a false assumption, drastically false, and the fallout of its falsehood could bring down the West altogether.

Geller: What are the biggest changes under the Obama administration?
Spencer: Although Bush proclaimed Islam a Religion of Peace, he did not stop the truth about Islam and jihad from being taught to military personnel and FBI agents (by, among others, me). But Obama foreclosed on that teaching after pressure from Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is another decision with consequences that will be disastrous, and that have yet to be felt.
Geller: How has sharia moved into the American marketplace of ideas?
Spencer: As I explained above, it is now taken for granted even by the media that speech that offends Muslims must not be countenanced. Likewise the idea that Islamic law and culture must always be accommodated, even at the expense of American law and custom, has gained widespread traction. The danger of this is that there is always more Sharia to accommodate, and as the only ones who are opposing this are branded and dismissed as “bigots” and “Islamophobes,” there is no one I can see who can or will stop the headlong rush to total capitulation.
Geller reviewed the book as well — see her review here.

The Jewish people did NOT kill Jesus
By: Diane Sori
(This updated Op-ed is being re-run today, Good Friday, as per request.)

As we enter the Easter and Passover season some Christian sects will once again bring up the old hatreds that the Jewish people killed Jesus, when nothing could be further from the truth. Before you discount this, please read what I have to say.
Simply, the Jews did NOT kill Jesus as it was the Romans that had him crucified and caused his mortal death. Pope Benedict XVI completely absolved and publicly apologized for wrongly charging the Jews with the death of Jesus, and most contemporary Christian theologians acknowledge that the Jews could NOT possibly have influenced the all-powerful Romans into killing Jesus. 

The lie that the Jews had Jesus put to death or had any part in his death has been spread ever since the time of the Romans, and has caused more harm to the Jewish people over the centuries than almost anything else, and still does so by anti-Semitic bigots who continue to perpetrate this lie.   

The Jewish people did NOT kill Jesus...Jesus was put to death under the direct orders of Pontius Pilate. Obviously some of his accusers were Jews, but so many others who accused him were NOT Jews, and it’s ridiculous to say ALL Jews in Judea were accusers of Jesus or that ALL Jews demanded his death.
Remember that many Jews followed Jesus and saw his miracles during his years of preaching (Matthew 15:30-31: "And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them."..."Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel."). In fact, the four Gospels record 37 miracles of Jesus, and the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44) had been brought back from the dead by Jesus. And a lot of Jews felt nothing but gratitude, admiration, and love towards Jesus.

However, many religious leaders (Pharisees) did NOT like Jesus because of his accusations and condemnations of them, and according to the Gospels they wished to get rid of him in any way they could (Matthew 12:14: "Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.). For example, Jesus, on several occasions, called the Pharisees 'hypocrites, serpents, and a brood of vipers', and he described them as untrustworthy leaders in front of huge crowds (Matthew 23 1-39). This resulted in the Pharisees status within the Jewish community to be publicly undermined by someone the crowds looked up to and believed in. This was an unacceptable humiliation to them, thus the Pharisees were always on the lookout for opportunities that would allow them to accuse and then kill Jesus. It was the Pharisees alone who wanted to kill Jesus NOT the Jewish people, I repeat, the Pharisees NOT the Jewish people.

Jesus was but one of many young Jewish preachers in Judea at that time. He taught basic fundamental Judaism. Even the tenet of 'love thy neighbor' first appeared in the Torah thousands of years before his birth. Remember too that Jesus did NOT know of Christians as they came after, for Jesus was born, lived as, and died a Jew. Remember that Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day in the Temple according to Jewish Law, and that Jesus thought of himself as a Jew, and because Judaism has always allowed for debate and discussion of Jewish Law, Jesus was NO threat to Judaism as a whole. Remember also that Jesus NEVER consciously or unconsciously turned his back on Judaism.

And at the time of Jesus, Jews were a despised minority, they had NO power to request, let alone demand, any man's death for the Jews were entirely at the mercy of the Romans, and to even think that the Jewish people pressured the Romans to kill Jesus, as some contend, is just ridiculous. The Romans, however, did view Jesus as a threat because they viewed him as a political rebel and enemy of the state. And with Pontius Pilot being an extremely ruthless and violent leader, he did NOT need to take orders from Jews or from anyone for that matter. If he had wanted to spare Jesus' life he could have but he did NOT. Pontius Pilate was NOT only a willing participant in Jesus' death but he was the man who ordered it. And remember, crucifixion has always been forbidden to Jews because it's such a brutal method of ending a person's life, and is considered paramount to murder in the Jewish religion. So simply put, Pontius Pilate sentenced, ordered, and had carried out the sentence of killing Jesus the man.

Now I’ll share with you, my fellow patriots, what I believe...and this is my belief be the spiritual aspect of Jesus' death. In ancient Israel, God's word called for a sacrificial system meant to emphasize the seriousness of sin and its demand for payment. Capital sins, especially those related to disobeying most of the Ten Commandments, could NOT be paid for by any mere sacrifice, so the penalty was always death. In fact, the Bible is quite specific that the penalty for sin is death with or without the Law (Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."). To stop such an end for all mankind, there was a need for a sacrifice that would serve as payment for all our sins. Only a ‘Divine Being’ per say, could be such a sacrifice, as Paul talked about in chapter ten of the Book of Hebrews. So basically, the Son of God was the only sufficient payment for the sins of man. Therefore, it's justifiable to say that our sins...the sins of man...killed Jesus NOT the Jews.

God did NOT have to send Jesus to die for the sins of mankind. He didn’t have to watch His ‘Beloved Son’ go through an unspeakably horrible flagellation and a horrific death on the cross nor did Jesus really have to offer himself for anyone. Yet, he distanced himself from power and glory most would have welcomed, and came and lived as a man, only to die by the excruciating pain of flagellation, and agonized for hours hanging from a cross before his physical self passed away.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whomsoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

So, I think it was actually God the Father who offered His Only Son to be nailed to a cross. Jesus agreed to do God's will, fully aware of the serious ramifications that his decision would have for him. Yet, he knew that his suffering would bring about salvation for mankind, as per his words, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:51).

So the answer to who really killed Jesus I think is this: some Pharisees wanted him dead; Pontius Pilate did NOT prevent it, actually ordered it, and had the sentence carried out; and our sins (the sins of man) basically called for it. Most of all though, I believe it was God the Father who willed it, and it was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who willingly offered himself to be sacrificed for all mankind.   

This is what I believe as I try to make sense of the unthinkable.