Sunday, May 22, 2011

Political Digest for May 22, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. Royalties to wounded veterans.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Blog comment
Thank you for your service in producing this digest every day. You often put together a more interesting and provocative "report" than TownHall, RCP and Pajamas Media. Do you ever sleep? --LG. Alas, I'm lucky to get even 8 or 9 hours in a night. ~Bob.

Calling the shot
Four days ago I wrote that President Obama's Middle East foreign policy speech last Thursday would show a lack of understanding of the religious foundations of the unrest now sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. I was right. But he compounded ignorance with irresponsibility. Not only did he state that Israel should withdraw to the old indefensible 1967 borders, he promised the United States, deep in debt, will give billions to Egypt and provide a billion dollar loan guarantee. The Muslim Brotherhood, soon to control Egypt, is rejoicing. Read my first take on the situation below. Best regards. - Chet

President Obama and the Cell-Phone Wars
Excerpt: Trying to hang on to a bump in his approval ratings, President Obama will give a foreign policy victory speech on Thursday. His Press Secretary, Jay Carney, says the speech will urge Middle East leaders to be kind to cell-phone users who organize riots. He did not say the president might ask the rioters to explain exactly what they want from their social network civil wars, but he did promise us the speech will be “sweeping.” So, after platitudes and media buzzwords like “Arab Spring,” and “Arab Awakening,” and “pro-democracy,” will the president surprise the world with a coherent foreign policy for the region? Will he deliver a clear case-by-case basis for an American posture toward events in each country? In a word, no. Two major fault lines run through the Obama administration’s inept attempts to deal with unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. The first is a refusal to recognize or name the religious nature of the civil wars that now rock North Africa and the Gulf. That fault is closely matched by an inability to discover the political identity of the young Arabs in the streets, and what they really want. Since our government sends our children to fight and die on battlefields in the Islamic world, it is vital to examine these two failings of those now in power in Washington.

The blowup with Israel
Excerpt: PRESIDENT OBAMA and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have a powerful and urgent common interest. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has turned his back on both Israel and the United States; he is seeking accommodation with the extremist Hamas movement and has announced that he will seek a declaration of Palestinian statehood from the U.N. General Assembly in September. The result could be what Mr. Netanyahu’s defense minister calls “a diplomatic tsunami” against Israel and possibly the eruption of another Israeli-Palestinian war. As for the United States, the U.N. vote could isolate it in support of Israel, undermine the ambitious strategy that Mr. Obama has just announced to promote democracy in the Arab world — and maybe derail the Arab Spring itself. Now, of all times, the Israeli and U.S. governments ought to be working closely together; they should be trying to defuse the U.N. threat, induce Mr. Abbas to change course, and above all prevent a resumption of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, Friday found Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu once again publicly and poisonously at odds with each other, thanks to a handful of lines added by Mr. Obama to his Middle East speech on Thursday. The president’s decision to publicly endorse terms for a peace settlement seemingly calculated to appeal to Mr. Abbas, over the strong objections of Mr. Netanyahu, has had the effect of distracting attention from the new U.S. agenda for the region.

DEA accidentally finds guns from ATF "gunwalker​"
I predict heads will roll, but not the right ones. ~Bob. Excerpt: CBS News has learned that the DEA has confiscated a stash of assault rifles connected to ATF's Fast and Furious operation. It's a major seizure of weapons in the controversial ATF case that's the subject of at least two investigations. Sources say it's believed the suspects intended to take the guns to Mexico. Sources say DEA accidentally came upon the guns while stopping suspects in an unrelated case in the Phoenix area on April 13th. When agents stopped at least two suspects, they found two giant garbage cans full of dozens of AK-47 type weapons wrapped in cellophane. Sources tell CBS News that a trace on the first weapon showed it was purchased in Nov. 2009 by a suspect in ATF's Fast and Furious case.

Boundaries of peace: Will Palestinians face reality? Benjamin Natenyahu
As I say in my book, Collapse, it takes two sides to make a peace, only one to make a war. Liberals like Obama can't seem to understand that. Hamas does not want peace with Israel. It wants a new holocaust. ~Bob. Excerpt: ISRAEL wants peace. I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. A peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality; the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakable facts. For there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some realities. The first is that, while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines -- because these lines are indefensible; because they don't take into account demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. Remember that before 1967 Israel was all of nine miles wide, half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace: They were the boundaries of repeated wars -- because attacking Israel was so attractive. So we can't go back to those indefensible lines, and we're going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan. The second reality is that Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas. Hamas, as President Obama said, is a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction. It's fired thousands of rockets on our cities, on our children. It's recently fired an anti-tank rocket at a yellow school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy. And Hamas has just attacked you, Mr. President, and the United States, for ridding the world of Osama bin Laden.

Poll on Israel and the 1967 borders
Vote early and often. If it were Chicago, the children murdered by Hamas could vote too. ~Bob.

PA to Pay Terrorists in Israeli Prisons Salaries
Allah-murder Annuities. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Palestinian Authority passed a law last month granting all PA residents and Israeli Arabs imprisoned by Israel for terror crimes a monthly salary, Palestinian Media Watch reports. According to PMW, the PA has defined by law which residents and Israeli Arabs would be deemed "prisoners" as "Anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation." In other words, all PA residents in Israeli prisons for terror crimes are officially added to the PA payroll. According to the definition in the PA law, PA car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, but Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers will.

The Truth About Greenhouse Gases
Excerpt: We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the NASA or the Navy limit for human beings. Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. (This is a good article. I find it interesting that the US Navy considers any CO2 concentration of less than 8,000ppm acceptable for periods of up to three months (presumably in a submerged vessel). In percentages, that would be 0.08%, some 20+ times the current concentration. Further, at the current rate, the author estimates it will take 300 years to reach the “plant preferred” concentration of 1,000ppm (there is overwhelming evidence that a mere 50 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 was in the range of 7,000ppm with no human help possible—there were no humans, yet). Ron P.)

Geert Wilders Presents: 5 Steps Americans Must Take to Avoid the Fate of Islamized Europe
Probably too late. ~Bob. Excerpt: Never before have I walked into a church to be greeted by a barrier of armed police with metal detector wands. Nor have I had to let officers open my purse to search for weapons before I could enter a sanctuary—that is, until now. That was when Geert Wilders came to speak at Cornerstone Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to warn America, to warn Christians. He came to wake up the Bible Belt to the threat of Islam. But before a single word was spoken, these ominous signs foreshadowed the truth of what was yet to come. Geert Wilders is not a president, royalty, or anyone most of us would recognize on the street. And yet, as he took the podium to a loud applause and standing ovation, Wilders stood flanked with security constantly scanning the crowd, reminiscent of our own presidential secret service.

White House on War Powers Deadline: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization
If Bush had taken this position, you don't have to wonder what Senators Obama and Biden would have said. ~Bob. Excerpt: In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.

'Homeless' Planets May Be Common in Our Galaxy
Excerpt: Our galaxy could be teeming with "homeless" planets, wandering the cosmos far from the solar systems of their birth, astronomers have found. The study could help clear up a long-running debate of whether free-floating planets really exist, and how common they are. (I’m not going to worry unless some of them are travelling in a group of five or six. Ron P. They are not "homeless planets." They are "undocumented orbs." Maybe they will take on populations "Americans won't." ~Bob.)

Spain protesters defy ban to remain in Madrid square
Excerpt: The protesters, dubbed "los indignados" [the indignant], are demanding jobs, better living standards, a fairer system of democracy and changes to the Socialist government's austerity plans. "They want to leave us without public health, without public education, half of our youth is unemployed, they have risen the age of our retirement as well," said protester Natividad Garcia. "This is an absolute attack on what little state welfare we had." (I wonder if they understand the irony in asking for jobs—from the government? Soon coming to a city near you. --Ron P. I'm organizing a protest demanding to be young and good looking. I've worked for it and the government owes it to me. I also want people like Tiger Woods to be required to "spread the babes around." ~Bob.)

The Myth of Big-Time Gun Trafficking: Crime weapons usually come from petty theft and opportunistic dealers, not from an organized black market
Excerpt: Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support this set of interconnected claims. The best available study, by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, indicates that criminals obtain guns from a wide variety of largely interchangeable low-volume sources. Criminals usually get their guns in one of three ways: as a byproduct of thefts, primarily residential burglaries; by buying guns one at a time from friends and relatives who neither regularly sell guns nor act as "straw purchasers" (legally qualified buyers who purchase guns for those prohibited from doing so); or, if they have no criminal convictions, by lawfully buying guns from licensed dealers.

Mayor Ed Koch [Democrat] Says He Will Change Parties Due to Obama Israel Policy
Excerpt: Democratic senior statesman Ed Koch says Israel is facing its “most dangerous and critical period” and he is ready to break with his party in the next presidential election over President Obama’s policies on the Middle East.

No Concept of Time: The Amazonian tribe where nobody has an age and words like 'month' and 'year' don't exist
Excerpt: An Amazonian tribe has been discovered that has no concept of time or dates, scientists said today. The Amondawa people of Brazil do not even have words for 'time', 'week', 'month' or 'year', said Chris Sinha, of the University of Portsmouth. He argues that it is the first time scientists have been able to prove time is not a deeply entrenched universal human concept, as previously thought. (There are lots of these people in LA. - Kate)

Caroline Glick: Obama's Abandonment of America
Excerpt: I was out sick yesterday so I was unable to write today's column for the Jerusalem Post. I did manage to watch President Obama's speech on the Middle East yesterday evening. And I didn't want to wait until next week to discuss it. After all, who knows what he'll do by Tuesday? Before we get into what the speech means for Israel, it is important to consider what it means for America. Quite simply, Obama's speech represents the effective renunciation of the US's right to have and to pursue national interests. Consequently, his speech imperils the real interests that the US has in the region - first and foremost, the US's interest in securing its national security. Obama's renunciation of the US national interests unfolded as follows:

AFL-CIO Issues Threat to Dems: Help Us or Pay
Excerpt: AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka issued a threat to Democrats nationwide at the National Press Club on Friday, calling on them to support his and other unions or face losing their support.

Promise of Arab Uprisings is Threatened by Divisions
Excerpt: The revolutions and revolts in the Arab world, playing out over just a few months across two continents, have proved so inspirational to so many because they offer a new sense of national identity built on the idea of citizenship. But in the past weeks, the specter of divisions — religion in Egypt, fundamentalism in Tunisia, sect in Syria and Bahrain, clan in Libya — has threatened uprisings that once seemed to promise to resolve questions that have vexed the Arab world since the colonialism era. From the fetid alleys of Imbaba, the Cairo neighborhood where Muslims and Christians have fought street battles, to the Syrian countryside, where a particularly deadly crackdown has raised fears of sectarian score-settling, the question of identity may help determine whether the Arab Spring flowers or withers. Can the revolts forge alternative ways to cope with the Arab world’s variety of clans, sects, ethnicities and religions?

Brutal. But true: Mark Steyn: The unzippered princeling and the serving wench
Excerpt: Bernard-Henri Lévy, the open-shirted, hairy-chested Gallic intellectual who talked Sarkozy into talking Obama into launching the Libyan war, is furious at the lèse-majesté of this impertinent serving girl and the jackanapes of America's "absurd" justice system, not to mention this ghastly "American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other." Well, OK. Why shouldn't DSK (as he's known in France) be treated as "a subject of justice like any other"? Because, says BHL (as he's known in France), of everything that Strauss-Kahn has done at the IMF to help the world "avoid the worst." In particular, he has made the IMF "more favorable to proletarian nations and, among the latter, to the most fragile and vulnerable." What is one fragile and vulnerable West African maid when weighed in the scales of history against entire fragile and vulnerable proletarian nations? Yes, he Kahn! Before you scoff at Euro-lefties willing to argue for 21st century droit de seigneur, recall the grisly eulogies for the late Edward Kennedy. "At the end of the day," said Sen. Evan Bayh, "he cared most about the things that matter to ordinary people." The standard line of his obituarists was that this was Ted's penance for Chappaquiddick and Mary Jo Kopechne – or, as the Aussie columnist Tim Blair put it, "She died so that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act might live." Great men who are prone to Big Government invariably have Big Appetites, and you comely serving wenches who catch the benign sovereign's eye or anything else he's shooting your way should keep in mind the Big Picture. Yes, Ted Ken!

Worth Reading: What Does Obama Gain by Snubbing Israel?
Excerpt: As recently as 2005, President George W. Bush promised Israel, in exchange for new concessions, that the United States would not press Israel to return to the 1967 borders. This week President Obama broke that pledge by our government. Obama's new pressure on Israel, he knows, will alienate many American Jews. Jews comprise only about 2 percent of America's population, but this mostly-Democratic bloc turns out to vote, and 80 percent in 2008 voted for him. President Obama, I believe, would have risked losing a large share of Jewish support only if he believed it could be offset elsewhere. In 2008 he had an active outreach to America's Muslim community. One of his campaign workers stirred brief controversy by attending a gathering of radical Islamist Muslims. The number of American Muslims is growing. A greater concern, however, is the mountain of cash an American president who turned against Israel might harvest from donors in oil-rich Muslim nations.

All 5 chapters of the Thos Sowell interview: Facts and Fallacies

VIDEO: Herman Cain Officially Announces His Presidential Campaign: "We're going to take our country back."
Excerpt: "I stand here today the son of a chauffeur and a domestic worker who taught me and my brother three of the most important values we could have ever learned--belief in God, belief in what we can do for ourselves, and belief in this exceptional nation called the United States of America. Believe in it! You know the people that are struggling the most are the ones that don't believe in it. They don't believe in the values of this nation. My parents never uttered the word 'victim' because they never felt like a victim, having the opportunity to be in this nation despite its challenges.

Herman Cain: 'I'm running for President of the United States, and I'm not running for second.'
Excerpt: Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain officially threw his hat into the 2012 ring on Saturday at a rally in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. “I came here to declare my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America, this moment,” Cain said. “And, just to be clear, just to be clear, in case you accidentally listen to a skeptic out there, let me say it again: I’m running for President of the United States and I’m not running for second. I’m not running for second.” “Now, let me tell you, because I’ve had reporters ask me sometimes, ‘well, are you running just to get attention and maybe come in second or maybe to get a cabinet position?’ I said you don’t know very much about me,” Cain said. “I don’t run for second. I’m running to be number one.”

OBL buried at sea--what really happened
Too funny.

Mark Steyn on Obama Speech: 'Narcissistic buffoon' pushing 'pansy left's view of the world'
Excerpt: “[I] think this is the war – if you have the western faculty lounge attitude, which is the sewer Obama has been marinated in his entire adult life, then 1967 matters far more than 1973, or 1948, or 1922, because 1967 is as the faculty lounge left see it, the moment when the Israeli occupation began,” Steyn said. “Why by the way did it begin? It began because Israel’s neighbors launched another disaster war on them. The enemy, Egypt – Israel’s enemies are incompetent at fighting conventional war and they discovered that actually instead of sending your troops into battle and keep losing your wars, why not play western public opinion like a fiddle and eventually the pressure – you start with the low-hanging fruit, your average European foreign minister, but eventually if you keep the pressure up you will land an American president who basically is not prepared to stand by the state of Israel and that’s what they got right now.”

Not All Muslims charged with threatening to kill Matt & Trey
Excerpt: Federal authorities are using words uttered by the co-founder of a radical Islamic group to charge him with threats against the creators of “South Park.” A criminal complaint alleging the communication of threats was filed in Virginia late last week against Jesse Curtis Morton, also known as Younus Abdullah Mohammad…Morton, a former resident of Brooklyn, New York, is the second person charged in the “South Park” case.

Satellite images reveal alarming speed Pakistan is rushing to finish weapons-grade nuclear reactor
If Pakistan becomes a terrorist-controlled state, as is fairly likely, we will have to take out their nukes with ours, or have terrorists take out DC, NYC & LA with nukes. Stark choice. ~Bob. Excerpt: New satellite images have shown the alarming speed at which Pakistan is constructing a weapons-grade nuclear reactor. The aerial images, taken on April 20, show the rapid building progress of the fourth reactor to produce plutonium in Pakistan's Khushab facility. The site was barren in 2009 and the facility 'costing billions' was undetectable by satellite just 17 months ago, but has since grown at an alarming rate.

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