Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Senators ripped for bungling Obama's AG pick
WASHINGTON – An honest Senate vetting process would have uncovered the role of Obama’s attorney general nominee in a federal government cover-up of HSBC money laundering and other corruption, alleges a judicial watchdog.

“When the White House and Justice Department first vetted Loretta Lynch to be Eric Holder’s replacement as attorney general, she was required to disclose that she had been the subject of at least one complaint of professional misconduct filed with the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility,” explained Elena Sassower, director of the Center for Judicial Accountability in White Plains, New York.

“I know at least one complaint of professional misconduct has been filed against Loretta Lynch – because I filed it myself,” Sassower told WND in an interview, referring to a 2001 complaint.

Her national grassroots organization was created in 1989 to expose judicial corruption at all levels of government.

As WND reported, Lynch oversaw the investigation in 2012 of drug-related international money laundering allegations against London-based HSBC Holdings LLC. WND published a series articles documenting charges HSBC laundered billions of dollars that traced back to the Mexican drug cartels.

As a result of HSBC agreeing to a settlement requiring the international bank holding company to pay the U.S. government more than $1.2 billion in fines for money laundering, Lynch’s office agreed in return not to press criminal charges against any bank employee of the U.S.-based HSBC subsidiary.

Sasshower’s professional conduct complaint against Lynch was filed March 23, 2001. Also named was Mary Jo White, then-U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Sasshower’s charge was that they did not reply to CJA’s various complaints and accompanying documentation alleging then-Republican New York Gov. George Pataki had “politicized” the merit selection process to appoint judges, including judges to New York’s Supreme Court.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee was not interested in legitimate complaints that could have been filed against Lynch’s conduct as U.S. attorney,” Sassower said. “The committee members were not interested in investigating corruption in New York judicial politics.”

Having Eric Holder endorse Lynch as his successor would have been like appointing Attorney General John Mitchell to head the Watergate committee investigating President Nixon, she said.
PARIS -- Massive interconnectivity in our era has ironically resulted in self-isolation, self-delusion and aggression -- for individuals and nation-states alike. Did anyone predict that the perception of close proximity fostered by globalization and interconnectivity might lead to blowback?

Yes, in fact several scientists did.

In 1971, Charles Southwick wrote in the Ohio Journal of Science: "I think we could agree that the dramatic multimedia approach of our communications networks affects the sense of crowding and crisis that individuals and social groups perceive."

Southwick theorized that increased social contact and irritation leads to more aggressive and violent behavior, as well as "abnormal clusterings of individuals." In other words: self-isolation from all but a select few.

Experiments on rats by ethologist John Calhoun in the 1960s showed that some subjects drop out of social interaction altogether and go into a "spiral of deteriorating health" as a result of perceived overcrowding. Psychologist Jonathan Freedman later demonstrated that excessive social contacts and interaction (as opposed to physical overcrowding) were the primary cause of these deteriorations -- which is the precise phenomenon exacerbated nowadays by the Internet and social media.

Consider, for example, the guy who doesn't go out much, spends hour upon hour carefully crafting an image on Facebook or Twitter, gauging his success, popularity and self-worth on the number of "likes" from people with whom he has never had a real conversation. He's "clustering": deliberately limiting his world to a select few, despite having the world at his fingertips

This person would be devastated if anyone tapped him on the shoulder and burst his bubble of self-delusion by critiquing his lifestyle. He has created a world of his choosing to the exclusion of the onslaught of humanity that he considers omnipresent -- if only online. After all, his entire life is now online. He may even lash out violently if his worldviews are challenged -- the phenomenon of cruel Internet trolls fits perfectly with scientific theory on perceived social fatigue.

If this kind of lifestyle proves to be unsatisfying for our hypothetical bubble dweller, behavioral experiments suggest that he would simply further self-isolate -- perhaps even give up on society rather than realize what he's doing to himself and simply log off for his own benefit.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are 9 million unemployed Americans of working age. That figure does not include the 2.2 million jobless Americans "marginally attached" to the labor force who want to work but hadn't looked for work in four weeks at the time of the survey.

 Among the "marginally attached" group are 682,000 working-age Americans who have given up the search because they don't believe there are any jobs available. It would be interesting to discover how many of these people have made a choice -- whether entirely conscious of it or not -- to self-isolate in this era of globalization.

What should really raise alarms is when we start seeing globalization lead to isolation and aggression from individual nations.

We're witnessing the world being split back up into Eastern (led by Russia and China) and Western (led by the USA and Europe) bipolarity -- and at a time when we've never been more interconnected. The worldwide information boom of recent years, with the vast global expansion of the Internet and social media, correlates with the re-emergence of the old Cold War bifurcation and aggression between the two spheres: verbal sparring, economic sanctions, cyberattacks, propaganda wars, etc.

This increased nation-state aggression at a time of unprecedented interconnectivity seems counterintuitive -- except to the science that has long envisioned this precise outcome.

One could also argue that the sense of proximity and competition sparked by globalization has led to insular self-delusion as a means of self-preservation. Many believe that domestic politics have never been more blindly and aggressively ideological, for example.

Consider one current example in the international sphere: U.S. President Barack Obama's recent remarks about leftist-led Greece falling even deeper into economic crisis suggest either a severe lack of self-awareness or a self-deprecating sense of humor. "You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression," Obama said. "At some point there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits."

This from the president who has increased the national debt by 70 percent since he took office. How many yes-men does it take to wrap oneself in that level of delusion? And how many other leaders are equally and increasingly isolated from inconvenient political realities?

For all the perceived benefits of an interconnected world, we have yet to realize the full repercussions. We're just beginning to see the downside of the lack of self-awareness that comes with greater use of the Internet and social media, and with our expanded engagement of the world through these relatively new channels.
There has been much debate recently over vaccination mandates, particularly in response to the measles outbreak currently taking place throughout the country.

At this juncture, there have been 102 confirmed measles cases in the U.S. during 2015, with 59 of them linked to a December 2014 visit to the Disneyland theme park in Southern California. (It is important to note that 11 of the cases associated with Disneyland were detected last year and, consequently, fall within the 2014 measles count.) This large outbreak has spread to at least a half-dozen other states, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently requesting that all health care professionals "consider measles when evaluating patients with febrile rash and ask about a patient's vaccine status, recent travel history and contact with individuals who have febrile rash illness."

One must understand that there is no specific antiviral therapy for measles and that 90 percent of those who are not vaccinated will contract measles if they are indeed exposed to the virus. This explains why Arizona health officials are monitoring more than 1,000 people after potential exposure to measles. These are pretty staggering numbers that should concern not only parents and children, but also the general populace.

I have been asked many times throughout the past week for my thoughts concerning the issue of vaccines. The important thing is to make sure the public understands that there is no substantial risk from vaccines and that the benefits are very significant. Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society. Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country. We should not allow those diseases to return by forgoing safety immunization programs for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them.

Obviously, there are exceptional situations to virtually everything, and we must have a mechanism whereby those can be heard. Nevertheless, there is public policy and health policy that we have to pay attention to regarding this matter. We already have policies in place at schools that require immunization records -- this is a positive thing. Studies have shown over the course of time that the risk-benefit ratio for vaccination is grossly in favor of being vaccinated as opposed to not.

There is no question that immunizations have been effective in eliminating diseases such as smallpox, which was devastating and lethal. When you have diseases that have been demonstrably curtailed or eradicated by immunization, why would you even think about not doing it? Certain people have discussed the possibility of potential health risks from vaccinations. I am not aware of scientific evidence of a direct correlation. I think there probably are people who may make a correlation where one does not exist, and that fear subsequently ignites, catches fire and spreads. But it is important to educate the public about what evidence actually exists.

I am very much in favor of parental rights for certain types of things. I am in favor of you and I having the freedom to drive a car. But do we have a right to drive without wearing our seatbelts? Do we have a right to text while we are driving? Studies have demonstrated that those are dangerous things to do, so it becomes a public safety issue. You have to be able to distinguish our rights versus the rights of the society in which we live, because we are all in this thing together. We have to be cognizant of the other people around us, and we must always bear in mind the safety of the population. That is key, and that is one of the responsibilities of government.

I am a small-government person, and I greatly oppose government intrusion into everything. Still, it is essential that we distinguish between those things that are important and those things that are just intruding upon our basic privacy. Whether to participate in childhood immunizations would be an individual choice if individuals were the only ones affected, but as previously mentioned, our children are part of our larger community. None of us lives in isolation. Your decision does not affect only you -- it also affects your fellow Americans.

Obama: Iran has “no aspiration to get a nuclear weapon” because “it would be contrary to their faith”

Barack ObamaIt was reported back in September 2013 that “although talk of such a fatwa has been around for at least eight years, there’s no evidence it was ever issued, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which flatly called the fatwa a hoax. MEMRI claims the phony fatwa is promoted by Iranian diplomats and Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan. ‘There is no such fatwa. It is a lie from the Iranians, a deception, and it is tragic that President Obama has endorsed it,’ MEMRI Founder and President Yigal Carmon told FoxNews.com.

In July, the Iranian website Tasnimnews, which is linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, published an extensive list of 493 fatwas from Khamenei dating back to 2004. None forbade the pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

“Obama: Iran Won’t Pursue Nuclear Weapons Because It’s ‘Contrary to Their Faith,’” by Bradford Thomas, Real Clear Politics, February 9, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
In a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday, President Obama said he believed a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons was possible because Supreme Leader Khamenei said it would be “contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
The issues now are sufficiently narrowed and sufficiently clarified where we’re at a point where they need to make a decision. We are presenting to them in a unified fashion, the P5+1 supported by a coalition of countries around the world are presenting to them a deal that allows them to have peaceful nuclear power but gives us the absolute assurance that is verifiable that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon.
And if in fact what they claim is true, which is they have no aspiration to get a nuclear weapon, that in fact, according to their Supreme Leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon, if that is true, there should be the possibility of getting a deal. They should be able to get to yes.
But we don’t know if that’s going to happen.
Australia: Two Muslims arrested for "public beheading" plot
UK: Muslims present petition with 100,000 signatures calling for restrictions on the freedom of speech
 
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Egypt President Sisi: “Muslim Brotherhood is the Origin of all Islamic Extremism”

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

Further proof that President Obama has sided and supported the terrorists in the gravest threat the free world faces.

America getting schooled by the likes of Egypt and Jordan on jihad?
“Sisi: ‘Muslim Brotherhood is the Origin of all Islamic Extremism,’”  By Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, February 9, 2015
EGYPT-POLITICS-VOTE-SISI
Egypt’s Sisi calls the Muslim Brotherhood the progenitor of modern Islamic extremism.
In a particularly pointed interview conducted with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi by German journalists, Sisi called for a “reformation” of Islam, said that ISIS and all other Islamic extremists descended from the Muslim Brotherhood, and agreed that true Muslims must take action against the extremists who are...