Friday, November 30, 2012

UN votes to create new jihad base against Israel

From JIhad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

That's what Gaza became, contrary to all the confident predictions that Israel's withdrawal would usher in a new era of peace, and that's what a Palestinian state would be as well. "Palestinian 'state' wins U.N. recognition," from USA Today, November 29:
The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday 138-9 with 41 abstentions to grant Palestine non-member state status. 
The vote does not settle outstanding issues with Israel or change anything on the ground, say experts.
"We are here for a final serious attempt to achieve peace," Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas told General Assembly delegates before the vote. "Not to end the negotiation processâ?¦ rather to breath new life into the negotiation process."
Vuk JeremiÄ?, president of the General Assembly acknowledged the historical nature of the vote and called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders "to work for peace, negotiate in good faith and succeed."
Israelis say the Palestinian appeal for non-member state status will make peace less likely. Currently the Palestinian Authority has the status of U.N. observer.
Abbas went forward despite appeals to postpone the request, which the United States says will only make negotiations for a permanent state less likely to happen.
"If the Israeli authorities want to threaten my life, they can," Abbas said according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an. "The whole world realizes that the Palestinian Authority, with all its political and security services, and administrative bodies, has been ready to upgrade its status for six years."
The Israeli government did not threaten Abbas' life, but said said that peace is only achieved through negotiations, and not by unilateral declarations that do not take into consideration Israel security needs.
"Israel's hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration, and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens," he said Thursday.
Ahead of the vote, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch filed an amendment to a defense bill that would eliminate funding for the United Nations if the General Assembly changes Palestine's status.
"Increasing the Palestinians' role in the United Nations is absolutely the wrong approach, especially in light of recent military developments in the Middle East," he said in a statement. "Israel is one of America's closest allies, and any movement to strengthen one of its fiercest enemies must not be tolerated."
In his speech, Abbas said he"did not come here to de-legitimize a state established years ago, that is Israel. Rather we are here to affirm a state that must achieve its independence, and that is Palestine."
His bid to seek U.N.recognition was met with "an incessant flood of Israeli threats," he said, including "justification of military assaults and ethnic cleansing,particularly in east Jerusalem."
Israel's occupation "is becoming consistent with an apartheid system" that promotes "racial hatred and incitement," he said. "The window of opportunity is narrowing and time is running out."...
What incredible mendacity and projection.
Netanyahu: Palestinian State Recognition is Meaningless

Reported in United With Israel

The UN has overwhelmingly accepted “Palestine” as an observer “state”, with a similar status to the Vatican. PM Netanyahu said that it is “a meaningless decision that will not change anything on the ground.” There cannot be a Palestinian state without a settlement that guarantees the security of all citizens of Israel.

The status change may not alter the political situation, since it wouldn’t imply any legally binding recognition of sovereignty, borders, etc. However, it is certainly a Palestinian public relations victory. Furthermore, it gives the Palestinians a seat in the UN General Assembly among other member states and would potentially give them access to various UN agencies, such as the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that the ICC would view Palestine as a state despite an upgraded status, given that the Palestinians lack national unity, the capability of governance and are unable to fulfill the international obligations of a state. Yet even if the ICC accepts Palestine as a state, it isn’t certain that the ICC, which has barely dealt with Sudanese and Ugandan officials, will accept complaints against Israel. Furthermore, if Palestine accepts the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, then they are opening up the possibility that Palestinians can be tried at The Hague for war crimes. Yet Abbas is not deterred by these facts.

In fact, the Palestinians, by embarking upon this route, can face many troubles. The Palestinians could lose all of their Israeli and American financial backing, which could be greatly detrimental to the Palestinian economy if the Arab states don’t bail Abbas out. Indeed, one Palestinian told Yedioth Achronot that in his view Abbas’ UN bid represented a loss for “some countries will cut aid.” Other possible consequences could include Israel annexing Area C of Judea and Samaria, heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, and a decreased likelihood of establishing a Palestinian state based upon a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Yet, even though this is the case, numerous countries supported the Palestinian upgrade at the United Nations in an overwhelming fashion. 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution, nine countries voted against it, and 41 countries abstained.

One reason why the Palestinian bid has been so successful in Europe is that the Palestinian draft document is designed to garner western support. As the Institute for National Security Studies asserted, “The draft explicitly refers to “a State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.” This is a formula all West European states would endorse.” Yet still, as Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu stated, “no Palestinian state can be established without a declared resolution of the conflict and viable security arrangements that will protect the State of Israel and its citizens.”
Obama's Playing a Game of Chicken With the Economy

Obama's Playing a Game of Chicken With the Economy 

By: Donald Lambro / Townhall Columnist

It is clear by now that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are not going to work out a full blown deal on taxes, spending and entitlements by the end of this month.
The task before them and Congress is so fraught with fiendishly complicated and politically-charged issues that the idea that a couple of people behind closed doors can come up with a broadly acceptable solution is laughable.
In fact, I'm going to go out on a cliff on this one (no pun intended) and say that there will be no final disposition of these thorny issues, known as the "fiscal cliff", until next year. Wrapping up a grand, multi-trillion dollar compromise bill in four weeks or so wasn't in the cards to begin with, and the two most important people needed to do this sent out a number of signals that they were in no rush to meet this or any other deadline.
Since the president met with congressional leaders in a post-election love-fest, pledging they were ready to work together to avoid a fiscal leap into the abyss, Obama and Boehner haven't met in two weeks. And it is reported they haven't even talked on the phone for at least a week.
Even Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman of the president's deficit-reduction commission that proposed a sweeping tax and spending reform plan to steer clear of the cliff now doubts anything will get done before the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve.
"It would be insane to breach this fiscal cliff, yet I think there is only a one-third possibility we'll actually get something done before December 31," Bowles confessed Tuesday at the Christian Science Monitor's newsmakers breakfast forum. "There has been no serious discussion yet about entitlement reform."
"Am I optimistic? No, but I am hopeful." he told reporters as he left a meeting in the Capitol with Boehner and other House Republican leaders this week.
The compromise Budget Act of 2011 requires Obama and Congress come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan for the next decade by year's end. If not, $100 billion or so will be automatically cut from defense and domestic (non-entitlement) programs on Jan. 1.
Quite frankly, if Congress can't find $100 billion in cuts in a waste-ridden, inefficient, over-staffed $3.5 trillion budget -- absent serious defense cuts -- they are not really trying.
But Obama is threatening to veto any deal that does not significantly raise tax rates on investors, small businesses and other sectors of our economy.
For his part, Boehner has sketched out part of a plan to deal with the revenue side of the equation that would raise the tax flow into the Treasury by getting rid of dozens of exemptions, credits, deductions and other loopholes that will broaden the revenue base in order to lower tax rates on individuals and corporations to boost economic growth.
Obama, who still doesn't know how to balance a budget, keeps saying the "math doesn't add up." But the tax code is filled with tax preferences worth trillions of dollars over time, without touching the holy grail of tax deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. It was done in the Reagan tax reforms of 1986 that slashed the top tax rate to 28 percent.
Obama often talks about standing his ground on raising the two top individual tax rates and the White House has threatened to let all the Bush tax cuts expire if he doesn't get his way. That will raise taxes for every American -- lower, middle class and upper income alike -- including the 10 percent tax rate for those in the lowest income bracket.
But Boehner feels his good faith compromise on raising new revenues by reforming and simplifying the tax code is as far as he and his party are willing go. "We're willing to put revenue on the table as long as we're not raising rates," he told reporters this week for the umpteenth time.
There is new evidence that a majority of Americans favor Boehner's approach. A national poll by the Winston Group, a Republican research firm, found that 65 percent of the Americans surveyed favored a plan to boost tax revenues that ends "special interest tax loopholes and deductions commonly used by the wealthy" rather than one that raises tax rates on "Americans earning more than $250,000."
The frightening fiscal cliff and tax cut expiration deadlines that we face are a creation of Congress that was agreed to by Obama who signed them into law. He agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts at the end of 2010, including the top rates, for two more years because the economy was weak and unemployment was hovering over 9 percent, despite his $800 billion "stimulus" plan.
Well, unemployment remains at 8 percent, or more if you count part-timers who can't find full-time jobs, and the economic growth rate this year is averaging a mediocre 2 percent that insures high unemployment will persist for the foreseeable future. The Obama economy, economists agree, remains sluggish.
But Obama is obsessed with increasing the tax rates on investment in a severely under-capitalized economy and on small entrepreneurs who are the largest job creators.
Higher tax rates have been his all-purpose prescription for just about everything: Unemployment? Raise taxes. Weak economy? Raise taxes. Yearly trillion dollar deficits? Raise taxes.
When the history of Obama's presidency is written, it will be known as "The Age of Uncertainty." That is the legacy of his policies in a sputtering economy. Businesses are keeping their cash on the sidelines because they do not know what next year will bring. Medical device makers are laying off thousands of workers in anticipation of higher tax costs under Obamacare. Millions of Americans are getting letters announcing their health care premiums are going up next year.
As for the fiscal cliff, no sweat. Congress can extend all the tax cuts before the end of the year and rescind the automatic budget cutting deadline, giving lawmakers time to fashion the tax, spending and entitlement reforms that are needed to keep America from tumbling into insolvency.
But will Obama agree to sign such a stop-gap bill, or will he continue to play an obsessive, ideological game of chicken that threatens to send our economy into another recession?
Benghazi Probe Must Not Get Sidetracked

Benghazi Probe Must Not Get Sidetracked 

By: Diana West / Townhall Columnist

It is neither "racist" nor "sexist" to question U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's role in the Benghazi scandal. It is, however, almost entirely beside the point.

Rice wasn't making life-and-death decisions on Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack; President Obama was. Rice, therefore, is unable to answer the all-important question about what order President Obama issued upon hearing that U.S. diplomats in Benghazi were under fire. She can't look America in the eye and answer whether the U.S. military was ordered not to rescue Americans fighting for their lives.

Nor is Rice likely to be the Obama administration official who first concocted the false narrative blaming a YouTube video for a (nonexistent) protest in Benghazi, which, the false narrative continues, "spontaneously" erupted into "unplanned" violence -- the whopper President Obama told for two full weeks.

Another key piece of the puzzle Rice is unlikely to possess is why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, three days after the Benghazi attack, was out there flogging that same concocted story, as when Clinton tried to console the father of slain ex-SEAL Tyrone Wood by promising him the video's producer would be arrested and prosecuted. Further, it is unlikely Susan Rice can explain why CIA Director David Petraeus went before the House Intelligence Committee, also on Sept. 14, in a closed session and similarly lied, deceiving members into believing that an "unplanned" attack left four Americans, including an American ambassador, dead.

These are just some of the red flags over Benghazi that can never be checked if GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire continue to monopolize the issue and focus solely on Rice and those not-all-that-interesting talking points. It's almost as if they wish to tighten the lens over Benghazi so closely that we never notice that what's really needed is a review of the administration's Arab Spring policies. It is these policies, which, thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and White House adviser Samantha Power, actually put Uncle Sam on the path to jihad in Libya by supporting al-Qaida and other jihad terrorists in their bid for power. Maybe that's because the GOP largely supported these same disastrous policies, too.

Here are some of the Benghazi questions that still demand answers:

Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone -- White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) -- on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?

Speaking of the president's U.N. address -- notorious for declaring, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam" -- who wrote it? Its underlying message that "slander" (read: free speech) of Islam causes violence dovetails neatly with the Istanbul Process, an Obama administration initiative to prohibit and even criminalize speech critical of Islam. The initiative is spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in conjunction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic bloc of 56 nations, plus the Palestinian Authority.

President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that "the minute" he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. "Number one," the president said, "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do."

Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn't someone be fired for insubordination? If no U.S. military assets were available -- a big "if" for the sake of argument -- why weren't NATO allies such as Turkey or Britain called on to help? What exactly was the president doing during the eight-hour span of the terror attack?

On Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 10, a YouTube video featuring al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted online. In it, Zawahiri exhorted Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of al-Qaida senior leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. The CIA and other intelligence agencies appear to have ignored this video entirely. Why?

Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster. For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was "aided" (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.

What was the Benghazi mission (it did not function as a consulate) doing there in the first place? Troubling reports indicate the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria's anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya's anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic law). Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?

Notice I haven't even mentioned Petraeus' affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not altogether unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress -- a felony -- and get away with it?

Ask President Obama.

The Shark Tank

Rubio Opposes U.N. Vote for Palestine’s “Observer Status” 

by Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank

The United Nations’ General Assembly vote that acknowledged Palestine as “nonmember observer state” represents a clear victory for the committed enemies of Israel.

In a lopsided vote of 138-9, the U.N. further cemented is reputation as a safe haven of anti-Israel sentiment and completely committed to eventual creation of a Palestinian state- a state which will immediately be at war with Israel once it has been established.

U.S. government officials from both sides of the political aisle, including the U.S. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio have all registered their opposition of the measure, calling it “unfortunate” and a real detriment to the ongoing peace process with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the General Assembly shortly before the vote “defamatory and venomous,” saying it was “full of mendacious propaganda” against Israel.
Abbas had told the General Assembly that it was “being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine.” Abbas said the vote is the last chance to save the two-state solution.-Fox News
Rubio, who recently attended a Rally for Israel in Miami, Florida,and is one of the most outspoken supporters of Israel in the Senate, took issue with Abbas’ move by calling it a “reckless endorsement by the United Nations”-
“I oppose this unilateral move by the government of president Abbas and regret its reckless endorsement by the United Nations.  True peace and international recognition of a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.  The Palestinian people would be much better served if the Palestinian Authority were to spend its energies in responding to several Israeli calls for direct negotiations.  As the Senate debates the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I am proud to be a co-sponsor of an amendment to prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding for the United Nations in the event the organization upgrades Palestine’s status from permanent observer ‘entity’ before a comprehensive peace agreement has been reached with Israel.  The Senate should swiftly adopt it.”-U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Abbas and the Hamas led government in Gaza and the West Bank will surely consider this acknowledgement by the U.N. as yet another  positive step towards what it believes will be its eventual victory over Israel. 

The timing of this measure couldn’t have come at a worse time given the recent hostilities and terrorist attacks that Israel has endured over the past several weeks- not to mention the looming conflict between Israel and Iran that now appears inevitable. 

Something I've been saying since the election...

Trying To Secede? Don’t Waste Your Time

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Trying To Secede? Don’t Waste Your Time
I don’t know who thought of the scheme that allows citizens to petition the Federal government to allow their State to withdraw from the Union. But whoever it was sure came up with a dandy way to get a lot of good patriots spinning their wheels, wasting their time and pouring a bunch of money down the drain.

On the surface, the pitch sounds pretty appealing. Anyone who can get 150 signatures on a petition can put it on the White House website We the People. The website promises: “If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.” What qualifies as “enough support”? A minimum of 25,000 signatures.

Thus far, petitions to allow a State to secede from the union have come from all 50 States. Texas is leading the tally, with 116,070 signatures submitted the last time I checked. But six other States have also passed the 25,000 test: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee.

As far as I can determine, the White House hasn’t issued an “official response” to any of them. As of this writing, there are 146 petitions on the website. Some 66 of them are requests for secession. (Yes, some lucky States have more than one.) And while the White House says it has responded to 82 petitions, none of the secession ones have made the list. It seems there’s a little avoidance going on.

It’s hard to quarrel with some of the assertions made in the various petitions. Consider this from the one from Texas:

“Given that the State of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

Of course, not everyone in Texas wants to be part of the secession movement. A group from El Paso, Texas, has submitted a petition that would allow the city to secede from the State. “El Paso is tired of being a second-class city within Texas,” the petition declares.

Eager to get in their 2 cents’ worth, some residents of Houston have submitted a petition stating that secession-minded Texans “are mentally deficient.” This group is asking for “more education in our state to eradicate their disease.”

Hmmm, are things about to get nasty in the Lone Star State?

Since anyone can submit a petition for just about anything, some pretty weird things can get posted. One petition called on President Barack Obama to “do the Hokey Pokey on national television.” That one got removed before it could garner anywhere near 25,000 signatures.

One that achieved the required minimum asks to “Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America.” As someone remarked, that sounds sort of like kicking a prisoner out of jail for trying to escape, doesn’t it?

Another petition demands that States be required to pay their portion of the national debt before being allowed to secede. Since neither the States nor individual taxpayers are legally liable for money the Federal government has borrowed, it’s hard to see how this one could be implemented. No matter; the Federal government already has plans to extract as much money as possible from any American who wants to surrender his citizenship.

Since many signatures are just a first name and initial, there is no way to confirm their validity — or even that they are residents of the States whose petition they signed.

But please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not going to argue that the secession petitions need more oversight. I don’t believe there is any way to make them more practical or to increase their effectiveness. Nor do I dismiss them as just a mildly amusing distraction.

No, I think this petition movement is actually hurting the cause of liberty. It’s taking time and money away from efforts that could make a difference and channeling them into something that is simply a dangerous waste of both.

Does anyone anywhere really believe that petitions on a White House website will achieve anything positive in the battle for liberty? C’mon, folks. Those of us who believe in limited government — who want to see government spending reduced, not taxes increased — know we’ve got some mighty battles in front of us. Let’s focus our efforts where they have some chance of affecting policy, not fritter them away on meaningless efforts.

Yes, I know that the results of the last elections were somewhat discouraging. But this November wasn’t the most depressing election of my lifetime. That watershed event occurred 48 years ago, when Lyndon Baines Johnson crushed Barry Goldwater by a far bigger margin than when Obama beat Mitt Romney.

The nomination of Goldwater at the Cow Palace in San Francisco was an incredibly symbolic event. Conservatives had wrested control of the Republican Party from the East Coast establishment — the so-called Rockefeller Republicans who had controlled it for decades.

We’d done it by going outside of traditional party channels. Our weapons weren’t ballots, at least at the beginning. No, they were alternative methods of communications: films and filmstrips, meetings in living rooms, and small paperbound books that we distributed by the millions. Remember A Choice Not An Echo or None Dare Call It Treason? Some of you probably still have copies stuck in a box in a corner of your basement or garage.

Remember, these were the first elections following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In those emotion-filled days, it’s not surprising that the Democrats won the White House in a landslide, along with big majorities in the House and Senate.

For a conservative, it was disheartening to see what followed: massive new social programs as LBJ tried to build what he called the Great Society, plus huge increases our military presence in Vietnam. The results led to some of the most bitter divisions and nastiest confrontations this country has ever seen.

But in time, the pendulum started swinging back. Conservative defeats in the 1960s and ’70s led to some victories in the ’80s and ’90s. Granted, all we’ve been able to do so far is slow the growth of government; we haven’t gotten strong enough to reduce the size and power of the Federal behemoth.

But if we abandon the battlefield, we never will. If there were ever a time to stay the course and even redouble our efforts, this is it. Let’s pick some battles where we can expect a sizable number of our fellow citizens to be on our side — not ones that will drive them even farther away from us.

More on this in future columns. In the meantime, stay the course. And keep some powder dry.
–Chip Wood
Rep. Allen West's Statement on UN General Assembly Vote on Palestinian Statehood

(WASHINGTON)---Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today regarding the United Nations resolution upgrading the Palestinians' status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations, approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body -- a vote of 138 to 9:

"Slowly but surely, hostile nations are tightening the noose around the sovereign State of Israel. Only those who are not students of history, Islam or the Muslim Brotherhood will be surprised by these actions.

It is naive to think this vote is solely about human rights or a homeland for Palestinian people. This vote is yet another step towards delegitimizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

When the cease-fire brokered by the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egyptian government was announced, Hamas and the Palestinians celebrated it as a victory over Israel, not as a step towards peace.

The true intentions of nations such as Iran and Syria are one thing, but it is deeply disappointing when countries such as Austria, France, Italy, Norway and Spain vote in lockstep. It is unfortunate that so many in our own country, including those in this current administration, continue to ignore the reality."
As the UN screws Israel again the last laugh is on them
By: Diane Sori

Israel got the shaft again yesterday as the U(seless) N(ations) General Assembly voted 138 to 9, with 41 nations abstaining, to grant the 'so-called' Palestinians non-member observer state status.

"The only way to reach peace is through agreements between the parties, not at the UN.” said Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, in direct contrast to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' plea that this was the "last chance to save the two-state solution" with Israel.

By saying that the Palestinians will accept no less than "the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194," Abbas actually "violated agreements with Israel, and Israel will act accordingly" according to a statement issued immediately after the vote by Prime Minister Netanyahu's office.

This statement makes it clear to all that yesterday's vote frees Israel of its obligations under the Oslo Accords, because the vote is a blatant violation of the underlying principle of those agreements, meaning that both sides had agreed that all major issues would be resolved through direct negotiations, not through unilateral in who the hell does the U(seless) N(ations) think they are dictating new boundaries to the sovereign state of Israel.

And while yesterday's vote is really nothing but a symbolic political move in the Palestinian demand for statehood, it does allow the Palestinians to now participate in debates at the UN, and to join UN agencies and bodies like the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The most barbaric criminals of all becoming part of the International Criminal Court...the lunacy of this is just beyond belief.

But then again when it comes to the U(seless) N(ations) common sense and logic goes right out the window.

And how did this vote happen...the timing says it all.  If this vote had been taken while Hamas was raining rockets down on Israel, this cleverly calculated move by Palestinian officials of asking countries to recognize an independent Palestinian state (with borders following the ceasefire lines which separated Israel and the West Bank before June 1967... including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, all occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War) might never have gone their way. 

Knowing these are the borders the Palestinians want, Benjamin Netanyahu completely, totally, and rightly so has publicly rejected these territorial lines as a basis for any negotiations because they are 'unrealistic' and 'indefensible' leaving Israel at some points only 8 miles wide...easily overrun by her with this vote NOT caring about Netanyahu's concerns, the countries of the world have now shown Israel that they really must go it alone.

And Netanyahu fully realizing that Israel would face a diplomatic defeat said that regardless of how many countries voted against Israel, "no force in the world will get me to compromise on Israel's security nor could any force in the world ever sever the thousands-year-old tie between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.”

Netanyahu said that the decision will "Not change anything on the ground. It will not further the establishment of a Palestinian state, but will make it more distant."

And I so agree as somethings are just NOT open to a divided Jersusalem will NEVER happen...the U(seless) N(ations be damned.

And just so people don't forget, here is history lesson 101...there are NO such thing as Palestinians...NO such thing at all.  The idea of a ‘Palestinian people’ with a language, culture and nationality all their own, is something created by former PLO head Yasser Arafat in the 1960's. This creation was embellished upon by the surrounding Arab nations and the media after the humiliating Arab defeat to Israel in the '67 war.  Today’s so-called ‘Palestinian people’ are just regular run of the mill Arabs who speak Arabic, whose religion, or should I say whose cult is islam, and whose real culture is shared by the surrounding Arab countries.

And remember, these Arabs had a was called Trans-Jordan back in 1948 when Israel was formed, but their own Jordanian people didn't want them then and they still don't want them now.

So, the bottom line is that yesterday the U(seless) N(ations) gave observer state status to a people that don't even exist...and we're supposed to take this organization seriously...I don't think so.

And if it wasn't such a serious issue concerning Israel, the U(seless) N(ations) vote would actually be laughable...just as they are.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Federal lawsuit exposes massive fraud and cover-up by Hamas-linked CAIR

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

The American Freedom Law Center is on the case: "Federal Lawsuit Exposes Massive CAIR Fraud and Cover-up," from the AFLC:
Last Friday, the Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. and the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a devastating legal brief supported by hundreds of pages of evidence, asking a federal judge to find the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) liable to five of its former clients for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The legal brief demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that CAIR is a criminal organization that deceptively holds itself out to the public as the nation’s largest Muslim-American civil rights organization. 
The brief and supporting evidence were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in two companion cases, Saiyed v. CAIR and Lopez v. CAIR, in which David Yerushalmi is lead counsel. The brief and supporting evidence overwhelmingly demonstrate that CAIR was involved in a massive criminal fraud and cover-up that injured numerous client-victims who had looked to CAIR for legal assistance, yet the CAIR “attorney” allegedly handling their cases was in fact not an attorney.
Yerushalmi, who is also Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of AFLC, commented, “The evidence has long suggested that CAIR is an organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to further its aims of stealth Jihad in the United States,” referring to the fact that CAIR was named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.
“According to the facts that are carefully laid out in our legal brief and fully supported by the record evidence,” Yerushalmi explained, “CAIR has engaged in a massive criminal fraud in which numerous CAIR clients have been victimized, and because of the CAIR cover-up many still don’t realize it. The fact that CAIR has victimized Muslims and non-Muslims alike demonstrates that it is only looking out for itself and its ongoing efforts to bilk donors out of millions of dollars of charitable donations thinking they are supporting a legitimate organization.”
Five former clients of CAIR filed the two lawsuits in federal court alleging common law and statutory fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against CAIR. These two lawsuits followed an earlier lawsuit which had also alleged that CAIR’s fraudulent conduct amounted to racketeering, a federal RICO crime. In that case, the court dismissed the RICO counts, concluding that CAIR’s conduct as alleged was fraudulent but not a technical violation of RICO. The two civil lawsuits were filed by Yerushalmi on January 6, 2010, and because they arise out of the same facts, the cases were consolidated.
The supporting evidence, which was compiled after more than a year and a half of contentious discovery that involved numerous document requests, motions to compel the production of documents that CAIR was concealing, and multiple depositions of high-ranking CAIR officials, shows that Morris Days, the “Resident Attorney” and “Civil Rights Manager” at the now defunct CAIR-MD/VA chapter in Herndon, Virginia, was in fact not an attorney and that he failed to provide legal services for clients who came to CAIR for legal representation. The evidence also shows that CAIR knew of this fraud and purposefully conspired with Days to keep the CAIR clients from discovering that their legal matters were being mishandled or not handled at all. While Yerushalmi and AFLC represent the five plaintiffs in these two lawsuits, three of whom are Muslim Americans, according to CAIR’s internal documents, there were many more victims of the CAIR fraud scheme.
As set forth in the court filings, CAIR knew or should have known that Days was not a lawyer when it hired him. But, like many organizations accused of wrongdoing, things got worse when CAIR officials were confronted with clear evidence of Days’ fraudulent conduct. Rather than come clean and attempt to rectify past wrongs, CAIR conspired with Days to conceal and further the fraud. To this end, CAIR officials purposefully concealed the truth about Days from the clients, law enforcement, and the media. When CAIR did receive calls from irate clients about Days’ failure to provide competent legal services, CAIR fraudulently deceived them about Days’ relationship with CAIR, suggesting that he was never actually employed by CAIR.
Robert Muise, co-counsel in the lawsuit and Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of AFLC, commented: “The overwhelming evidence marshaled in this case will finally put to rest the myth fabricated by CAIR’s PR machine and perpetrated by a complicit media that this is a legitimate Muslim-American civil rights organization. This lawsuit strips away CAIR’s veil of legitimacy.”

Reverend Rubio? The Media Begins Its Attack on Marco Rubio 

By: Paul Kengor / Townhall Columnist

In a recent interview, Senator Marco Rubio, effectively the Republican front-runner for 2016, was asked, “How old do you think the Earth is?”
 It’s a question of utter irrelevance to the country’s status and whether Marco Rubio would be a good president. Rubio’s answer was excellent: “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.”

To any sensible person, this was a perfect response. Who could object?

Well, an editor for the New York Times—that flagship of faith and reason—judged Rubio’s response “ludicrous.” A writer at the liberal Slate, who no doubt Googled first, claimed authoritatively: “Our planet was formed 4.54 billion years ago. If Rubio suggested otherwise, it’s because he’s uninformed or stupid.”

Ah, yes. I’m sure everyone at Slate knows the Earth is 4.54 billion years old.

As for myself, if someone asked me that question out of the blue, I couldn’t answer. I’ve been a scientist, an agnostic/borderline atheist, and ultimately a Christian. I’ve taught Sunday School, lectured at colleges, collected data at top research labs, and everything in between. I’ve published in scientific and political journals. I know, as Marco Rubio does, that theologians dispute this.

In fact, anyone with a serious, sincere interest in this question knows this. But, of course, the question wasn’t asked to Rubio out of serious, sincere interest; it never is when posed to a Republican.

Marco Rubio needs to understand two things at play here: 1) these types of questions will only get worse as he continues to campaign for president; and 2) these are not earnest questions. No, these are political booby-traps set by political partisans who work as journalists. They are used to try to caricature conservatives as extremists.

I recall a painful example when George W. Bush first became Texas governor. Bush was known as a committed Christian who had a late-in-life conversion. For the secular liberal media, this meant that Bush was a “fundamentalist.” For liberal journalists, it also meant an opportunity.

And so, one journalist asked the governor if Jews get into heaven. Taken by complete surprise, Bush fumbled his answer. Afterward, he thought long and hard about it, and consulted Billy Graham. The next time Bush got the question he was ready. It was December 1999, when he was running for president, and when his opponent, Al Gore, wasn’t (of course) getting asked any such questions by the liberal media. Bush’s answer was a good one:

[I] understand that people communicate with God and reach God in dif­ferent ways…. Obviously there’s the big issue between the Christian and the Jew, the Jewish person. And I am mindful of the rich traditions and history of the Jewish faith. And I am mindful of what Billy Graham one time told me: for me not to try to figure out—try to pick and choose who gets to go to heaven…. Billy Graham said, “Don’t play God.” I don’t get to determine who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. That’s not me. Governors don’t do that.

That’s a really good response: “Governors don’t do that.” They “don’t play God.” They don’t decide who goes to heaven.

Marco Rubio wasn’t asked that same question, at least not yet, but his answer might be the same: “Sorry, man, I’m not playing God.”

In fact, here’s a further response Rubio might consider more generally: “Look, let’s be honest: We both know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to trip me up. I’m not a theologian. I’m not a minister. I don’t want to be one, and the American public doesn’t want me to be one. Let’s stick to issues that concern people. And one more thing: Are you asking these same questions to any Democrats? Are you?”

Rubio should say it calmly, gently, and with a smile—but emphatically. He is running for president, and not running for reverend. He wants to be President Rubio, not Reverend Rubio.

Unfortunately, for Rubio, like all conservative Republicans who seek the presidency, it will be open season on his beliefs. Republicans are badgered on their faith in ways that liberal Democrats plainly are not. For the media, it’s the same old double standard. I hope Marco Rubio refuses to tolerate it.
Make the Democrats Own the Obama Economy

Make the Democrats Own the Obama Economy 

By: Ann Coulter  / Townhall Columnist

Democrats are proposing to reinstate the Bush tax cuts for everyone ... except "the rich." (Why do only tax cuts come with an expiration date? Why not tax increases? Why not Obamacare? How about New York City's "temporary" rent control measures intended for veterans returning from World War II?)

Raising taxes only on the top 2 percent of income earners will do nothing to reduce the deficit. There's not enough money there -- even assuming, contrary to all known history, that the top 2 percent won't find ways to reduce their taxable income or that the imaginary increased government revenue would be applied to deficit reduction, anyway.

Apart from Obamacare, it's difficult to think of a more effective method of destroying jobs than raising taxes on "the rich." This isn't a wealth tax on useless gigolos like John Kerry -- it's an income tax on people who are currently engaged in some profitable enterprise. Their business profits, which could have been used to hire more employees, will instead be used to pay the government.

But Republicans are over a barrel. Unless Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement, the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year. By pushing to extend the tax cuts for everyone except "the rich," Democrats get to look like champions of middle class tax cuts and Republicans can be portrayed as caring only about the rich.

And when the economy tanks, the Non-Fox Media will blame Republicans.

The economy will tank because, as you will recall, Obama is still president. Government rules, regulations, restrictions, forms and inspections are about to drown the productive sector. Obamacare is descending on job creators like a fly swatter on a gnat. Obama has already managed to produce the only "recovery" that is worse than the preceding recession since the Great Depression. And he says, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

The coming economic collapse is written in the stars, but if Republicans "obstruct" the Democrats by blocking tax hikes on top income earners, they're going to take 100 percent of the blame for the Obama economy.

You think not? The Non-Fox Media managed to persuade a majority of voters that the last four years of jobless misery was George W. Bush's fault, having nothing whatsoever to do with Obama.

The media have also managed to brand Republicans as the party of the rich, even as eight of the 10 richest counties voted for Obama. And that doesn't include pockets of vast wealth in cities -- Nob Hill in San Francisco, the North Shore of Chicago, the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Back Bay of Boston -- whose residents invariably vote like welfare recipients. Seven of the 10 richest senators are Democrats. The very richest is the useless gigolo.

Republicans have a PR problem, not an economic theory problem. That doesn't mean they should cave on everything, but seeming to fight for "tax cuts for the rich" is a little close to the bone, no matter how tremendously counterproductive such taxes are.

Yes, conservatives can try harder to get the truth out, but as UCLA political science professor Tim Groseclose has shown, media bias already costs Republicans about 8 to 10 points in elections. Try arguing a year from now that Republicans' refusal to agree to tax hikes on the top 2 percent of income earners -- resulting in an expiration of all the Bush tax cuts -- had nothing to do with the inevitable economic disaster.
Republicans have got to make Obama own the economy.

They should spend from now until the end of the congressional calendar reading aloud from Thomas Sowell, Richard Epstein, John Lott and Milton Friedman and explaining why Obama's high tax, massive regulation agenda spells doom for the nation.

Then some Republicans can say: We think this is a bad idea, but Obama won the election and the media are poised to blame us for whatever happens next, so let's give his plan a whirl and see how the country likes it.

Republicans need to get absolute, 100 percent intellectual clarity on who bears responsibility for the next big recession. It is more important to win back the Senate in two years than it is to save the Democrats from their own idiotic tax plan. Unless Republicans give them an out, Democrats won't be able to hide from what they've done.

Even Democrats might back away from that deal.
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We still need answers on Benghazi 
By Marco Rubio, Special to CNN

Buildings and cars burn after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked on September 11. 
Editor's note: Marco Rubio represents Florida in the United States Senate. A Republican, he is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

(CNN) -- Eight weeks after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, it is encouraging that Congress is finally serious about examining the events surrounding that day.

As the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said on "Meet the Press" recently, this was not an intelligence failure. But failures clearly happened elsewhere, particularly in the State Department.

State Department documents revealed that slain Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and others had warned several times of "growing problems with security" and violence in eastern Libya, where Benghazi is located, after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi and after the Transitional National Council moved its governing headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli in September 2011. Stevens' predecessor Ambassador Gene Cretz had also sent cables to the State Department warning of the deepening security crisis in Libya.

Marco Rubio
Well before the Benghazi attack, our intelligence agencies, Department of Defense and State Department cables from the U.S. Embassy in Libya all warned of a growing security crisis. They said terrorists from across the region, including al Qaeda elements believed to be associated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, were able to travel freely into the country to recruit, organize, plan attacks and procure weapons.

This is not to suggest these attacks were planned months in advance. We don't know, but we do know that they were premeditated. We also know that the CIA believed the Benghazi tragedy on September 11 was the work of terrorists within hours of the attacks.

Conducting diplomacy on behalf of the United States is not without risks. U.S. foreign service officers and members of the diplomatic corps understand this. I think it is important that the U.S. continue to show the flag in far-flung corners of the world, some of which may often be dangerous.
Diplomats like Stevens thrive on engaging with the local population. That important work must continue in Libya, Pakistan, Egypt and other countries that pose difficulties. However, the U.S. government has a responsibility to ensure that our posts overseas are properly fortified and defended, based on the security situation on the ground.

We know that the security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi and the CIA annex was woefully inadequate. It should have been fortified, and more reliable security forces were clearly needed to defend those facilities. Immediate access to heavier weapons may have saved lives.

It is important to decide which elements of the U.S. national security structure should be available to support the defense and extraction of U.S. diplomats and personnel if they come under fire.

The State Department needs a clear procedure, understood by all, to communicate with the Department of Defense or the CIA in emergencies. We need to resolve why the nearest defense rescue team was six hours away and why teams weren't deployed that might have been able to save the lives of the two Americans at the CIA annex who died in the early hours of September 12. Although there are no obvious targets for fighter jets, the mere presence of an American or allied F-15 nearby could strongly deter attackers.

Because the uppermost purpose of any inquiry is to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, we need to know what measures Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken to ensure that decisions about security and requirements of U.S. diplomatic missions are given the highest priority.

We understand from congressional testimony that the deputy assistant secretary for international programs in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has broad authority over the allocation of security resources, with life and death consequences for our diplomats. Given the vulnerability of nontraditional posts like Benghazi, we should determine whether higher-level officials should oversee security issues. If not, we must be sure that anyone assuming such a position is adequately qualified in overseas security operations and threat analysis.

We must also ensure that clear mechanisms are in place to enable a seamless emergency response among the different agencies that share responsibility. On all these counts, we have more questions right now than answers.

It is very important to establish how far the U.S. commitment to Libya extends. While the U.S. played a role in helping the Libyans overthrow Gadhafi, we need to assess how this attack affects our plan for a post-Gadhafi Libya.

I believe the U.S. has a responsibility to help the Libyans develop their defense services through the expansion of the Defense Department's Section 1206 training and equipment programs. The U.S. must also support the Libyans in forging a new constitution that respects the rights of all and begins to restore governance to their country.

Americans have watched recent developments in Libya with great sadness and concern. We have a strong interest in helping a secular, pro-American government that rejects Islamic extremism take root. 

Unfortunately, this attack and the confusion stemming from the administration's response have led some to conclude that Libya is more trouble than it's worth. But our interests in Libya are worth pursuing, and getting answers and developing solutions to prevent future tragedies are critical to our national interest.
Standing on the edge of the fiscal cliff
By: Diane Sori

In between talk about Benghazi, ObamaCare, and voter fraud the words 'fiscal cliff' loom large.

Fiscal cliff...the monetary nightmare we'll face on December 31st when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect.

Among those changes are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts, the end of certain tax breaks for businesses; the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003; reductions in both defense and non-defense spending; major cuts to NASA; the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts; the end of a payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment benefits; and the onset of reimbursement cuts to Medicare doctors. And let's NOT forget the beginning of the mother of all taxes related to the God-awful monstrosity known as ObamaCare.

Thanks've screwed 'We the People' yet again.

And unless the White House and Congress come to a bipartisan deal to stop our economy from going over that cliff, on January 1st over we go to the tune of $7+ TRILLION worth of tax increases and spending cuts over this decade. And to add insult to injury, the debt ceiling will need to be raised by early next year leading to what experts are saying could be another recession.

Oh what a happy day this all is...NOT!

And to make this even worse is the fact that the Republicans just might have to agree to a marginal income tax increase to stop the fall off the cliff along with agreeing to concessions on both the revenue and entitlement ends even though Obama has said he will veto any fiscal cliff package that extends the Bush Tax Cuts for top earners, something the Republicans insist upon.

It's 'read my lips...NO new taxes' all over again.

And while both parties are at least paying lip-service to agreeing that the most important thing is to kick start the economy, the reality is that if we do go over the fiscal cliff it will not only affect our economy but would also likely result in a credit rating downgrade in 2013, and add to our debt burden as well.

But how did this nightmare all start you's really very simple...the fiscal cliff was created when the command decision was executed to switch US currency from 'treasure' backed bills to federal reserve notes with no backing. Essentially, bills show the possession of 'treasure' (as in gold or silver), meaning something of value is backing it, notes are money owed, credit turning into debt over time, with NO tangible backing.

Basically, this is what's known as 'fiat money.' Fiat money distorts the real time value of money and destroys both the money and the economies that use it, our economy included. 'Real money' like gold and silver retains value over time, the greater its value and the longer it endures, the more likely it will be accepted as money thus strengthening any economy that uses it.

This is the 'establishment's' (the government's) dirty little secret that's hidden in plain sight.

This is why 'savers' are penalized in our credit based economy while spenders are heralded. Spenders put bills (treasure) back into the economy, savers take those bills (treasure) away.  And here's an interesting the 95 years since the creation by the Federal Reserve of credit based money, the US dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power...that's 95% of 'treasure' lost.

So what will happen as the fiscal cliff looms one can be certain but it's possible that all players will agree to postpone the fiscal cliff until March, giving themselves more time to work out a deal and to keep the economy from sliding into recession in January...and to pass the buck to the new Congress...agreeing to NOTHING and doing NOTHING...par for the course and something we know is the most likely scenario.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obama Throws Israel to the Wolves

“Accepting defeat after eight days means that the Zionist regime is becoming increasingly weak." — Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
by Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch

Barack Obama pressured Israel to accept the current ceasefire agreement with Hamas that was devised by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi, and Israel’s worst enemies are thrilled.

Hamas declared November 22, the day the truce went into effect, a “national holiday of victory.” Israel National News reported that “mosques in Gaza City blared through their loudspeakers: ‘Allahu Akbar (G-d is great), dear people of Gaza, you won. You have broken the arrogance of the Jews.’”

A Hamas sheikh, preaching at the funeral of one of those killed in Gaza, declared that Hamas had just won a great victory, one that would prove to be “the first nail in the coffin of Israel.” The Financial Times noted that “on Friday, the midday prayers were dominated by declarations of victory, with some preachers drawing a line between the latest conflict and the Prophet Mohammed’s victory over the infidels.”

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad crowed: “Zionists have reached the dead point and have no other alternative but officially recognizing and bowing to the absolute right of the Palestinian nation.” The speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, agreed, saying: “The victory of Gaza highlights the necessity to continue resistance and Jihad against the Zionist regime. With their patience and perseverance, the people of Gaza showed that the only way to confront the Zionist regime is Jihad and resistance.” The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, said that “accepting defeat after eight days means that the
Zionist regime is becoming increasingly weak,” and that the “counter-resistance is getting stronger.”

Meanwhile, Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal’s deputy, has already stated obliquely that Hamas has no intention of keeping to the terms of the ceasefire anyway. Marzouk rejected calls for Hamas to stop amassing weapons, saying: “These weapons protected us and there is no way to stop obtaining and manufacturing them.”

Yet the truce terms require, according to the Voice of America, “‘all Palestinian factions’ to stop all hostilities toward Israel from Gaza, including rocket fire and attacks along the Gaza-Israel border.” So if the truce forbids them to fire upon Israel, what is Hamas going to do with all these weapons? Or is Marzouk signaling that Hamas has no intention of keeping the truce at all?

For its part, Islamic Jihad was eager to emphasize that the jihad against Israel would go on. “The battle with the enemy has not ended,” a masked jihadist from the group maintained. “Our choice in fighting and getting weapons to defend our people is going on.”

Another indication that the jihad against Israel will flare up again soon enough came from the imprisoned Saudi Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Fahd, who praised the jihad bombings in Riyadh in 2003 and was jailed shortly thereafter. In a fatwa posted last week on a jihadi website, al-Fahd declared, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, that “the Jews are the leaders of the infidels and the greatest enemies of Islam and the Muslims in the present age,” and that therefore Muslims who waged jihad warfare against Jews everywhere would be discharging “one of the most important duties and greatest virtues.” Al-Fahd added that “any guarantees of protection granted them by tyrannical and infidel governments are meaningless, especially when the Jews are attacking Muslims as they please.”

Al-Fahd may be in prison, but his view of the jihad against Israel as a religious obligation incumbent on every Muslim is not by any means restricted to him alone. So many Muslims worldwide share it that even in far-off Indonesia, a Muslim group last week began offering “jihad registration forms” to those believers who wished to wage jihad against Israel.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Badie, meanwhile, reminded the world that “jihad is obligatory” for Muslims, and dubbed truces with Israel a “game of grand deception.”

All that may be an elaborate exercise in false bravado and self-delusion. It may be that the ceasefire is not the victory for the forces of jihad that those forces are claiming. But the signals are unmistakable: over the past year Israel wrote no fewer than twenty messages to the United Nations, asking for support in defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza. The UN didn’t acknowledge any of those letters, but was stirred into action almost immediately when Israel began to defend itself – not to declare support for the Israeli defensive actions against the relentless rocket attacks, but to compel Israel to stop.

And after just eight days, they succeeded, courtesy of Barack Obama. When Israel’s defensive actions began, Obama declared clearly his support for the Jewish state’s right to defend itself, but now he has made another declaration – one that is just as clear, albeit tacit: that when Israel does defend itself, he will move heaven and earth to stop it from doing so, before the damage to the jihad war machine gets too extensive.

The jihadis got the message loud and clear.
Saving Free Elections

Saving Free Elections 

By: Robert Knight  / Townhall Columnist

Pawing through the ashes of the Romney defeat, it’s clear that if the Republican Party wants to compete nationally, it has to do several things, such as re-message timeless traditional values, attract more young and minority voters, particularly Hispanics, and do a better job of getting out the vote. 
But this will be moot if the integrity of the voting process is not restored.

From Republican Rep. Allen West’s improbable recount loss in South Florida, to reports of voting machine irregularities, to the hundreds of precincts in Ohio and Pennsylvania that reported a virtual 100 percent vote for Barack Obama and zero for Mitt Romney, something is clearly wrong.

“It’s kind of a weird coincidence that, in Philadelphia, where more than 50 precincts reported no votes for Romney, that Democratic officials kicked GOP poll watchers out of the polls,” Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky told me in a phone interview. “They went to court, and that took a couple of hours, so what happened while they were gone?”

One of the biggest problems is the increase in early voting and mail-in ballots without a photo ID requirement. As the leftwing Brennan Center points out, there are relatively few examples of vote fraud reported on Election Day itself. That’s partly because the media are not interested, and because it’s far easier to cheat during extended periods of mail-in balloting.

Ohio’s Wood County, in the northwestern part of the state, has a population of 126,355, with an estimated 21 percent younger than 18 who can’t vote. That means that only about 100,000 residents can legally vote. Yet the secretary of state reports that 104,461 people are registered to vote. To make a long mystery short, consider that Wood County is home to Bowling Green University, which has 20,000 students.

“When those students graduate or leave school, many don’t cancel their voter registration, which leaves the Wood County Board of Elections facing a bit of a conundrum: How can you tell when a voter is no longer a voter?” the Columbus Dispatch asks in an article, “Vote Fraud in Wood County?”

The director of the Wood County Board of Elections told the paper that the operating policy is to wait two national election cycles and then try to contact the voter to see whether they still live in the county. This means that students who voted in 2004 and 2008 and left campus long ago could have voted there anyway in 2012 as well as wherever they went.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to purge their voter rolls, but not to remove names until two national election cycles have passed. Moreover, the states are not required to compare their lists against those of other states. This leaves a lot of room for fraud.

In the next two years, expect the Left to sponsor legislation to introduce early voting in the 18 states that don’t have it. They also will try to have more photo ID laws blocked by the U.S. Justice Department and weaken laws that require even minimal IDs for mail-in ballots.

At the same time, conservatives will make the case for requiring photo IDs for voting and for mail-in absentee ballots, expanding citizenship requirements, and ending or at least reducing early voting.

One of the main arguments for early voting is that it’s supposed to increase turnout. It doesn’t. With more states allowing it, turnout was significantly down, with about 5 million fewer people voting in 2012 than in 2008. In the 10 battleground states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, turnout percentage decreased in all but one state, Iowa, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Early voting undermines the secret ballot, reduces the importance of the national election day, costs taxpayers far more than a single voting day, forces campaigns to spend more over a longer period of time, and, finally, prevents voters from exercising a change of heart if more information surfaces before Election Day (Benghazi, anyone?). “We don’t let jurors decide in a trial before all the evidence is heard,” says conservative activist attorney Andy Schlafly. “Elections are just as important.”

Help may be on the horizon. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which Arizona is challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling overturning that state’s proof of U.S. citizenship requirement for voting. Only three states – Arizona, Georgia and Kansas – have enacted proof of citizenship laws, with the Kansas law taking effect in 2013, and Arizona’s in limbo until the Court rules.

In another important voting case, on Nov. 9, the Court agreed to revisit Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by hearing Shelby County, Ala. vs. Holder, Department of Justice, et al. The law requires the U.S. Justice Department or a three-judge federal panel in the District of Columbia to approve any changes in election laws or districting in nine Southern states and some local jurisdictions around the nation. Congress enacted the law to prevent racially-motivated voting violations.

In 1966, in South Carolina v. Katzenbach, the Court upheld the Act, citing the clear history of racial discrimination. But the Court also indicated that if conditions change, the constitutionality of the Act might be revisited.

That would be a good thing. Citing the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Justice Department under Eric H. Holder, Jr. blocked perfectly good photo ID voter laws in South Carolina and Texas despite a 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding a similar law in Indiana.

There’s no evidence that voter ID laws “suppress the minority vote.” There is evidence, however, that in some places where such laws have been neutralized (Pennsylvania), vote fraud occurred.

Did vote fraud make the crucial difference in the 2012 election? Maybe, maybe not. It’s difficult to account accurately for millions of ballots.

And that’s just the way the Left likes it.

US-China Trade at Recession Levels

In a article, we indicated that the U.S. Census' data on the value of U.S.-China international trade was overstating the growth in the value of that trade because of the falling value of the U.S. dollar with respect to China's currency, the renminbi (or as its often referred to in foreign exchange, the yuan):

Here, we see that the growth of China's exports to the United States is continuing its trend of slow growth, while following its typical seasonal pattern. Typically, China's exports to the U.S. peak each year in the period from August to October, in advance of the U.S.' holiday shopping season.
In reality, because the value of the U.S. dollar has been falling with respect to the value of China's currency since early 2010, the value of trade shown in the chart above represents a lower quantity of actual goods and services traded today than what similar values in 2010 would indicate.

Today we're going to show that's exactly the case. In our first chart, we're showing the value of goods and services imported by the United States from China priced in both U.S. dollars, as reported by the U.S. Census, and priced in Chinese yuan, going by the official exchange rate recorded by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Value of U.S. Imports from China, January 1985 - Present

In the chart, we've tweaked the vertical scale for the Chinese yuan so that it corresponds to that currency's minimum value with respect to the U.S. dollar from January 1994, when the value of the yuan was set to be worth just 11.46 cents (or 0.1146 U.S. dollars). As of October 2012, the relative value of the dollar has fallen so that one yuan is now worth 15.96 cents (or 0.1596 U.S. dollars).

With that visual adjustment made, we discover that from the Chinese perspective, there has been almost no increase in the value of China's exports to the United States since 2010, and very little growth since 2007.

Our second chart shows how U.S. exports to China have fared in terms of both U.S. dollars and Chinese yuan:

Value of U.S. Exports to China, January 1985 - Present

Measured in terms of China's currency, we find that the value of U.S. exports to China has actually been declining since they peaked in January 2010, which coincides with the peak of that nation's economic stimulus spending, which it had earlier specified on 6 March 2009. (The announcement of how the Chinese government would implement its massive stimulus program is the economic event that finally arrested and reversed the steep decline of the U.S. stock market at the time following the U.S. fiscal crisis of 2008.)

Our final chart shows the year-over-year growth rates for the U.S. imports from China calculated in terms of the U.S. dollar-based data and for U.S. exports to China calculated in terms of Chinese yuan-based figures, since these units are how each nation's economy would actually see the value of trade imported from the other nation:

Year Over Year Growth Rate of U.S.-China Trade, January 1986 - Present

Through September 2012, we find the year-over-year growth rate of trade between the two nations is at near-zero levels of growth, indicating near recessionary conditions if we take this measure as an indication of the relative health of the economies of both nations. But perhaps the real news is what factoring in the falling dollar does for our impression of the health of China's economy.

Previously, using just the U.S. dollar-based growth rate of U.S. exports to China, we found that China's economy had entered into recession in December 2011.

But after factoring in the falling value of the dollar over time, which results in the growth rate of trade between the two nations being overstated on the Chinese side of the trade balance, we find that China's economy really slipped into recession some two months earlier, in October 2011. This month coincides with the beginning of a period of contraction for China's manufacturing industries.

Going forward, we'll be using this improved version of our trade growth rate chart in our analysis of the relative economic health of both the United States and China.