Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How to stop the slaughter of the innocents

Exclusive: Joseph Farah on what happens when gun owners fight back against criminals

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/how-to-stop-the-slaughter-of-the-innocents/#0qeAmpxkHYP8vHDG.99

Global Economic Slowdown Signals Sad New Year

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Global Economic Slowdown Signals Sad New Year 
The only advantage of a long, drawn-out disintegration of the overall system is that as the years pass, it becomes possible to discover a pattern through which we can gauge where we really stand today and will stand tomorrow. Unfortunately, the pattern now in motion suggests that the next year will be exactly what we have been predicting over the past several months: dismal.

The mainstream media refuse to discuss it at great length, but all signs show an epic global slowdown in demand and production, especially in the final quarter of 2012.

This is exactly as I predicted in January of this year using the Baltic Dry Index as a guide. During that first quarter, the BDI fell to record lows, indicating an extreme decline in shipping demand around the world, which, in turn, indicates a fall in demand for raw goods, which, in turn, indicates a fall in demand for consumer goods.

Mainstream pundits sought to distract the public from this fact by claiming that the BDI was collapsing due to an “oversupply of ships,” not rescinding demand. This disinformation was proven incorrect in the beginning of the third quarter of this year, when export nations from China to Japan to Germany all began reporting abysmal manufacturing numbers and steep faltering in overseas purchases.

Of course, we all know what happened next: The markets began to tank, losing 1,000 points within the span of a week. Not so unpredictably (since I also predicted it at the beginning of the year) the Federal Reserve leapt into action with its announcement of a third round of quantitative easing.

QE3 has done little to change the problem of falling global demand, but it has certainly defibrillated stocks. In fact, I think it is safe to say that a majority of QE fiat funds are flowing (directly or indirectly) into the Dow, and not much else. International trade and consumption are starting to feel the pain, and respective countries are no longer able to hide it. Keep in mind that this slowdown is occurring right at the height of the Christmas season, when consumption is usually supposed to reignite.

China’s export growth fell far more than expected in November, something which many Chinese economists are attributing to the complete lack of resurgence in American markets.

Manufacturing in the U.K. went into steep decline almost simultaneously, showing that sinking demand is striking both the East and West .

Germany, the largest economy in the EU and the only country still holding the absurd political entity together, has been shocked to discover that Bundesbank is forecasting a contraction in growth to near zero in 2013.
Japan’s economy suffered an annualized decline in gross domestic product in November greater than that which occurred during the Fukushima disaster.

This contraction has recently caused Japan to install a new, revamped government during elections this month, which unfortunately will be instituting almost identical policies.

Finally, Brazil, a developing export nation with very important significance as a litmus test for world consumption, posted near zero growth in the third quarter of 2012, far below expectations but in line with the bigger picture. The global financial machine is disintegrating, right under our very noses .

In order to understand what is happening, I want you to imagine a diminishing cycle. Imagine that in 2008, America was on the edge of a whirlpool and was suddenly caught in the current. Today, we have circled the epicenter several times, each rotation becoming smaller and more volatile than the last. Eventually, the whirlpool will reach an end, and our economy will be sucked into the funnel. One can see evidence of this decline in the BDI:

Baltic Dry Index D1

Notice how each year since 2008 there is a spike in shipping rates, indicating a rise in demand for materials at the onset of the Christmas season. Yet also notice that this spike in demand grows smaller with each passing year. In 2012, the increase has been almost nonexistent, meaning that we are likely very close to going down the drain.

Some pundits may argue that November’s Black Friday sales were tremendous, and this signals a recovery in spending and consumption. I would point out that such numbers are deceiving. High sales during the most discounted day of the Christmas buying season is not necessarily a good thing. What it shows is that a majority of shoppers were looking for the lowest prices possible because of a lack of funds. Full season numbers have not yet been released; but when they are, I believe we will see a fantastic spike in sales on Black Friday followed by a complete flatline for the rest of the year. Obviously, high consumption has not been sustained; otherwise, manufacturing and shipping would be in much better shape.

The issue here is one of priorities. With multiplying distractions going on around the world, including the fear of mass murders at home, will the public be able to keep track of deadly financial tidal waves just off the coast or will people even care with so many sharks in the water? The next two months will be very revealing.

The so-called “fiscal cliff” is on the way, and the question of whether the U.S. government should kick the can down the road or take the sour medicine it needs and move on has arisen once again. This debate is and always has been an illusion. Whether we continue to increase government spending, taxation and inflation or we cut all spending and shut down the fiat presses, there is still going to be a collapse.

This collapse will not be due to the indecision or partisan bickering of our politicians. They are in much closer agreement than the MSM would like to admit. Instead, the monolithic Catch-22 of our age will be the direct result of the actions of the private Federal Reserve and the peripheral international banking cartel. What I fear most is that the results of the fiscal cliff negotiation along with other triggers around the planet will be used to veil the already imploding system and eventually be exploited as scapegoat events for a disaster that has been in the making for decades, not just a few years. The omens are not good for 2013, and we can only circle the drain for so long.

No Time To Disarm America

by / Personal Liberty Digest

No Time To Disarm America
In the wake of the terrible tragedy that occurred last week at a Connecticut elementary school, the opinions have begun following in from both sides of the gun control debate. The debate is sure to become increasingly fallacious and nasty in coming months as people on both sides make ridiculous claims to support their case.

President Barack Obama spoke over the weekend at a memorial service for the 26 victims of Adam Lanza’s horrifying shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His speech, some people (gun-control advocates, no doubt) gushed, was akin to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Here is part of the President’s speech:
We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law—no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that—then surely we have an obligation to try.
In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?
The President is prepared to “use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens” to prevent further tragedies like what occurred in Connecticut. Because, he asserted, Americans must protect the children.

The President’s words are strong, and combined with his past positions there is little doubt that his plan involves launching anything less than a full on assault on Americans’ right to own semi-automatic weapons.
In a USA Today column last week, Glenn Reynolds channeled famed author and renowned gun activist William S. Burroughs in describing what the government’s most likely course of action will be:
“After a shooting spree,” author William Burroughs once said, “they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” Burroughs continued: “I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”
Many Americans disagree with Burroughs’ opinion and are pushing for police and military personnel to be society’s sole armed protectors. And in gun-free zones, such as schools and many State and Federal properties, they are.

Those places have also become magnets for crazed gunmen. The cowardly mind-set of a man willing to kill at random — despite the anti-hero persona mainstream media seek to affix to these individuals — doesn’t lend itself well to ballsy attacks on rooms filled with armed men. Instead, they seek out the weakest or most unassuming targets imaginable: moviegoers in a darkened theater, attendees at a political rally, mall shoppers or schoolchildren.

And no matter what utopia the American left believes we inhabit, laws banning (and the all-out confiscation of) even every firearm manufactured will not stop the killing. Those capable of murder believe themselves to be far superior to any laws of man.

Perhaps a better option would involve a lessening of gun laws and an American realization that it is not up to the police, but to the citizen to ensure his own safety.

Speculation is reckless, but it is very tempting to fantasize about how Friday morning may have turned out differently if the school had been full of armed and trained teachers with easy access to firearms.

“Guns in schools, the horror,” liberal Americans might say. They may even venture to believe that frustrated armed teachers could be dangerous to students, though that seems very unlikely given the stories of teacher heroism coming from Connecticut where those educators likely wished they had tools at their disposal to better protect themselves and their students.

In 2008, the isolated Harrold Independent School District in Texas made an addition to its $100,000 state-of-the-art security system because administrators feared an armed intruder could do much damage in the 20 minutes it could take police to arrive. Feeling students and staff would be safer if on-site, trained staff members were equipped to handle a crisis at a moment’s notice, they decided to allow teachers to train and carry firearms to school.

In the years since, no gun has been brandished and no student hurt by an armed teacher. In fact, reports indicate that the students really didn’t have much at all to say about the policy. But the school district’s superintendent David Thweatt made a good point in 2009, a year after the policy went into place.

“We’re the first responders. We have to be,” Thweatt said. “We don’t have 5 minutes. We don’t have 10 minutes. We would have had 20 minutes of hell” if attackers had targeted the school.

Despite the President’s opinions, it is no time for gun rights activists to back off on the fight to keep and bear all legal firearms. We are all our own first responders and the protectors of those in our care who cannot defend themselves.

Where's the outrage against Hamas? 

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Where indeed? This is a good piece about the double standard against Israel, but it is a bit naive regarding the possibility of peaceful coexistence between Israel and the "Palestinian" jihadists. "Where’s the outrage against Hamas?," by Frida Ghitis for the Miami Herald, December 17:
You say you want to help the Israeli-Palestinian peace process? Here’s one small part we can all do, with thanks to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for the reminder. 
Meshaal, exiled political chief of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group, has done us a great service by drawing an incandescent line between those who want peace and coexistence, and those who categorically reject negotiations, seeking only to destroy the enemy.
For those who would like to see peace, the choice is very simple. When Meshaal spoke in Gaza a few days ago, calling for Israel’s destruction, the entire world should have spoken out in outrage.
Of course, that did not happen. Reaction to the horrifying speech was rather muted, particularly in Europe, where some may equate criticism of a Palestinian leader with, heaven forbid, support for Israel. But those who want the best for Palestinians should recoil at the words spoken by the Hamas leader during the group’s anniversary celebrations in Gaza earlier this month.
Nothing could be worse for Palestinians than embracing a position that rejects coexistence with Israel. That is a recipe for stalemate, suffering, and continuing strife.
Hamas leaders, emboldened by the victories of their Muslim Brotherhood brethren elsewhere in the Arab world, have engaged in a self-defeating contest to see who is the most extremist among them. The Gaza-based leadership triggered a near-war against Israel a few weeks ago, and their rival Meshaal has now reiterated, “There will be no concession on any inch of the land,” explaining he demands all of Israel, “from the river to the sea,” including Haifa, Tel Aviv, Safed and, of course, Jerusalem. In keeping with efforts to deny any Jewish links to the city, he declared “Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”
When the speech came, European leaders were drafting a statement condemning Israel’s announcement that it is moving forward plans for settlement construction in the controversial E1 area. Condemning Israel comes easily in the EU. But when someone suggested the condemnation should also note that a Palestinian leader said Israel should be destroyed — to the cheers of tens of thousands of ebullient supporters, against a backdrop of a mock missile of Iranian design — the Europeans hesitated.
According to Israel Radio, four European countries — Denmark, Finland, Portugal and Ireland — wanted only to condemn Israel without mentioning the words of Hamas, despite the group’s essentially genocidal charter. More diplomatic minds prevailed and a very brief mention of the awful speech was included in the final EU document.
In the U.S., the writer Michael Tomasky chastised his friends. “The left in the developed world,” he wrote, “has let its hatred of imperialism and occupation prevent it from seeing and denouncing” problems within movements it has supported.
Meshaal’s words did not make a lot of waves. The world doesn’t really blink when someone calls for Israel’s destruction. That’s a pity, because that silence magnifies Israelis’ fears that they cannot trust international opinion, and it makes them more skeptical of diplomacy....

Israel betrayed again by the Obama administration

U.S. Ambassador Tells Georgia to Vote for a 'Palestinian' State

By Pamela Geller / from The American Thinker

From the former Soviet Republic of Georgia comes news of an extraordinary betrayal by the Obama Administration. As Obama continues to abandon freedom in his support of Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia revolutions and regimes in Egypt and elsewhere, he has taken behind-the-scenes steps to further the international isolation of Israel, the only democracy in that Middle East.

Just before the November 29 United Nations vote granting non-member state observer status, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, an Obama appointee, met with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. During their conversation, Norland recommended that the Prime Minister that Georgia should vote in favor of a Palestinian state.

This happened despite the U.S.'s official opposition, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote "unfortunate and counterproductive ... plac[ing] further obstacles in the path of peace." Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on the day of the vote: "None of the vital interests of peace appear in the resolution that will be put forward before the General Assembly today and that is why Israel cannot accept it." He was right. But in Georgia, the U.S. was betraying a steadfast and true ally.

This information comes from Gabriel M. Mirilashvili, a prominent businessman and corporation owner in Georgia, who is Vice-President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and head of the World Congress of Georgian Jews. Mirilashvili says that he heard this from Ivanishvili himself, and that there exists an official record of the conversation between Norland and Ivanishvili. When Mirilashvili urged Ivanishvili to oppose the Palestinian statehood resolution, Ivanishvili responded that the American ambassador had told him to support it.

It is also interesting to note that a few days before this meeting, George Soros came to Georgia and also met with Prime Minister Ivanishvili, and they agreed to collaborate on various initiatives. President Obama's close ties to Soros goes back to the 2007 and the run up to the 2008 presidential election.

Meanwhile, another source said that Georgia is harboring Chechen jihadists -- killers who have Georgian passports. When some of these jihadis were arrested in Turkey, the Turkish press published the fact that they were traveling on Georgian passports. What's more, their leader, Umar Sugaipov, who is not currently in Georgia, is a former deputy head of security for the late President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Aslan Maskhadov.

This is the kind of government that the Obama Administration is whispering with to work against Israel. That the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia would advise that nation's Prime Minister to support a Palestinian state is shocking, but not surprising. This is what the U.S. under Obama has been covertly but effectively pursuing on the world stage for four years now. While Obama is courting influential Jews in America and Americans who support the tiny Jewish state, he is betraying Israel, our only reliable ally in the Middle East.

Obama's foreign policy has been instrumental in the rise of jihadist and Islamic supremacist regimes across the Middle East and North Africa. And it is not difficult to see what the second Obama presidential term will bring. President Obama is consistent in his foreign policy. Four years into his presidency, the world is radically transformed, and soon will be unrecognizable.

Obama has said pro-Israel things -- but in reality his words mean nothing when he has also called upon Israel to accept a Palestinian state with contiguous borders, which would mean a truncated and bisected Israel disastrously vulnerable to jihad attacks. He has also insulted Netanyahu repeatedly. Obama clearly wants to go even farther, but the "Palestinians" and Muslim states so far still won't cooperate by even giving the appearance of accepting Israel's existence and wanting to establish a lasting peace.

Obama's hostility towards Israel is hardly surprising. I warned of his policies towards Israel and the Jewish people in my book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America. His anti-Israel alliances and troubling relationships are meticulously documented. What wasn't knowable was just how unfriendly Obama would get with the Jewish homeland. If his anti-Jewish mentors and advisors are any indication, Israel would be wise to realign with other freedom-loving nations as quickly as possible - before U.S. Ambassadors direct any more foreign leaders to betray Israel.