Monday, January 31, 2011

2010 - Warmest Year on Record?

Everytime these guys get caught cheating or lying they double down. John Hinderaker explains how the NOAA is cooking the temperature data:

It is widely being reported that, based on surface-temperature data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2010 was tied for the warmest year on record. What is not so widely reported is that those surface temperature data have been so shamelessly manipulated by climate alarmists that they are entirely unreliable. For a short course in one of the great scientific scandals of all time, go here.

There are a number of things wrong with the data produced by NOAA and NASA, but one of the most basic involves the urban heat island effect. It it commonly understood that cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside; you see that every day in weather reports. Thus, weather stations located in urban areas, as many of them are, tend to show increasing temperatures as urbanization and changing land use make the immediate area of the weather station warmer. One study indicated that even a tiny village of 1,000 people can warm temperatures by up to 3.8 degrees F.

Follow the link to see charts.

The anti Israel, anti American Left


If you believe him your historically ignorant.


What a guy...

Outrageous teachings by new GZ mosque big

Political Intolerance

Conservative Actors Reveal Life of Secrecy, Lost Jobs Amidst 'Intolerant Left'


A number of Goldblog readers believe I've gone soft on the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not true. I know what the Muslims Brothers believe. And it's not Unitarianism. I'm just unsure whether the Brotherhood will find its way to power in Egypt in the current situation. But as a public service, here are several statements of the new Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood, Mohammad Badi, courtesy of MEMRI. Reading this will help you understand why a Brotherhood-led Egypt is not an optimal outcome for the West. Here he is on the need for jihad against the perfidious Zionists:
"Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life."
And here he is, sounding suspiciously like a Qaeda theorist on the subject of America's imminent demise:
"The Soviet Union fell dramatically, but the factors that will lead to the collapse of the U.S. are much more powerful than those that led to the collapse of the Soviet empire - for a nation that does not champion moral and human values cannot lead humanity, and its wealth will not avail it once Allah has had His say, as happened with [powerful] nations in the past. The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise...
And here, between the lines, is a profound challenge to the moderate Palestinian Authority, presently locked in a death-struggle with Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood:
"Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. The peoples know well who is [carrying out] resistance and who has sold out the [Palestinian] cause and bargained over it. We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you..."

Beware the kill switch

As Egypt goes offline US gets internet 'kill switch' bill ready

As Egypt's government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet.

The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, reported.

It was initially introduced last year but expired with a new Congress.

Senator Susan Collins, a co-sponsor of the bill, said that unlike in Egypt, where the government was using its powers to quell dissent by shutting down the internet, it would not.

“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” Collins said in an emailed statement to Wired. “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”

The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman, who is chairman of the US Homeland Security committee, seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the internet in times of national emergency.

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Last year, Lieberman argued the bill was necessary to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people".

He said that, for all its allure, the internet could also be a "dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets".

US economic security, national security and public safety were now all at risk from new kinds of enemies, including "cyber warriors, cyber spies, cyber terrorists and cyber criminals".

Although the bill was targetted at protecting the US, many have said it would also affect other nations.

One of Australia's top communications experts, University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt, had previously railed against the idea, saying shutting down the internet would "inflict an enormous damage on the entire world".

He said it would be like giving a single country "the right to poison the atmosphere, or poison the ocean".

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The scale of Egypt's crackdown on the internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts have said.

US President Barack Obama, social networking sites and rights groups around the world all condemned the moves by Egyptian authorities to stop activists using mobile phones and cyber technology to organise rallies.

"It's a first in the history of the internet," Rik Ferguson, an expert for Trend Micro, the world's third biggest computer security firm, said.

Julien Coulon, co-founder of Cedexis, a French internet performance monitoring and traffic management system, added: "In 24 hours we have lost 97 per cent of Egyptian internet traffic".

Despite this, many Egyptians are finding ways to get access, some using international telephone numbers to gain access to dial-up internet.

According to Renesys, a US Internet monitoring company, Egypt's four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 GMT on Thursday.

Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

"In an action unprecedented in internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.

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What are they afraid of?

China restricts news, discussion of Egypt unrest

Rewarding his friends out in the open.

Obama Administration Has Given Obamacare Waivers to 28 Food Workers Union Locals--Union’s PAC Spent $673,309 to Get Obama Elected

Social engineering...bwahaha

Better in than out: African country set to make breaking wind a crime


US judge may escalate battle over healthcare reform

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What else would one expect from El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood

Cairo: Anger starting to focus on Israel, US

The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?

WOLF: Tawdry details of Obamacare

If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare, there’s an easy way. Look past its press releases. Ignore its promises. Forget its talking points. Instead, simply witness for yourself the outrageous way the White House protects its best friends from Obamacare.

Last year, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had granted 111 waivers to protect a lucky few from the onerous regulations of the new national health care overhaul. That number quickly and quietly climbed to 222, and last week we learned that the number of Obamacare privileged escapes has skyrocketed to 733.

Among the fortunate is a who’s who list of unions, businesses and even several cities and four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee) but none of the friends of Barack feature as prominently as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

How can you get your own free pass from Obamacare? Maybe you can just donate $27 million to President Obama‘s campaign efforts. That’s what Andy Stern did as president of SEIU in 2008. He has been the most frequent guest at Mr. Obama‘s White House.

Backroom deals have become par for the course for proponents of Obamacare. Senators were greased with special favors, like Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and his Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and her Louisiana Purchase. Even the American Medical Association was brought in line under threat of losing its exclusive and lucrative medical coding contracts with the government.

Not only are the payoffs an affront to our democracy and an outright assault on our taxpayers, the timing itself of the latest release makes a mockery of this administration’s transparency promises. More than 500 of the 733 waivers, we now know, were granted in December but kept conveniently under wraps until the day after the president’s State of the Union address. HHS is no stranger to covering up bad news; in fact, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Last year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing Obamacare would cost $311 billion more than promised and would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance.

For this administration, transparency promises last only until the teleprompter is unplugged.

Backroom deals and cover-ups may be business as usual for Washington, but understanding why the Obama administration protects its friends from Obamacare offers special insight into what the purveyors of the mandate themselves think about their own law. This is key: The waivers aren’t meant to protect victims from unintended consequences of Obamacare; they are meant to exempt them from the very intentional increased costs of health insurance that the law causes. Under Section 2711 of the Public Health Service Act, Obamacare increases the annual cap of insurance benefits, which sounds great - as does everything else in big government - until the bill comes due, in this case, in the form of higher insurance premiums.

In short, the administration has decided that you will face increased health insurance premiums, but special friends in the unions will not. Look closely, and you’ll see not only the White House‘s duplicity but also what the Obama administration really thinks of its crown jewel, Obamacare. White House words say that the annual insurance benefit cap is a feature of the program, but its actions say that it’s a bug.

The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does theWhite House keep protecting its best friends from it?

Our democracy cannot allow a president to exercise the unholy power of picking and choosing winners and losers, of choosing who must follow his flawed laws and who gets a free pass. If any American deserves a waiver from Obamacare, then all Americans do.

It was Mr. Obama himself who infamously said, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends.” This president speaks anything but softly, and Obamacare is his big stick.

It’s time to give every American his own waiver: Repeal Obamacare.

Dr. Milton R. Wolf is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist, medical director and cousin of President Obama. He blogs daily

Con men at work

By James Lewis
The secret to instant wealth is to spot a mass delusion and bet against it. The Tulip Craze. Florida swamp land.

Getting the timing right is tricky, but we are blessed with an overload of mass delusions. You can pick your own favorite. Delusional bubbles have to pop at some point, because the people who are paying for them eventually figure out that they've been had.

Global warming fraud is now in the midst of a slow collapse. The Chicago Carbon Exchange just closed, because the investors figured out the scam. But the list of liberal crazes is long, and we can expect the media to make up ever-new headlines to keep their business model alive. For George Soros, it's not only profitable, but it's also a good cause, because socialist world government is his guiding fantasy. It was socialist Europe that made up global warming, and turned Mad Cow into a mass hysteria. You can bet that the big investors had it figured out long before things got rolling.

Then there is the Chevy Volt, a fantasy "hybrid," financed in part by thirteen trillion tax dollars from Obama. There will be huge government subsidies for electrical charging stations to juice up your golf cart every forty miles. So invest in golf cart technology.

Then there is ZeroCare, Bee Colony Collapse disease, and flesh-eating bacteria. What will they call next season's flu virus? Maybe Mad Swine Flu?

The one thing we know is that the left will find another scare story to panic you with.

Our media hysterias are so dumb -- they are so anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-common sense -- that the only question is "When will the next balloon go up?"

But don't expect the libs to figure it out. They will fall for it the way they always do. Mass delusion satisfies their need for a personal faith. They may not believe in any organized religion, but the media have them believing in organized panics.

Making money from liberal delusions is not new. Bernie Madoff ran his Ponzi scheme on liberal charities 'cause that's where the biggest suckers are. Starry-eyed college kids are now planning careers in "the nonprofit sector," meaning they expect to take their salaries and perks off the top. But they need good media sob stories, like Obama's and Bill Ayers's pitch to a foundation, getting 196 million bucks for inner-city schools with a "jazz-based curriculum." Then they took the money to buy political IOUs in Chicago.

Obama started off as a con artist, and he is still doing it, but on a much grander scale. Millions of liberals still bow down to their little home shrine of Obama today because they're terrified of being called "racists" if they don't. Political correctness is a giant guilt trip to bilk America. Al Sharpton goes for direct extortion, but there are many ways to milk this cow.

Barney Frank specialized in laws requiring empty mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie, and then he got his friends big jobs at those fraudocracies. But that takes clout in the Democratic Party or the Chicago Machine. Buying politicians is cheap, because election campaigns are inexpensive compared to what you can get from them. As for the Big Liberal Media like Ted Turner and GE, they just give Obama free glorification and call it "news." The Democrats pay back the favor with special goodies for GE and Ted. That's why GE and the guvmint are such good chums.

If I were the Saudis, I would be buying the green movement in Europe and America, just like the KGB did for almost a century. The Saudis would be crazy not to. After all, if Canadian shale comes up with endless clean natural gas, the price of oil is bound to fall. If you're a Saudi princeling, what do you do? You give money to Al Gore and his green mob. Oil is the only saleable commodity in Saudi Arabia, other than hate-the-infidels propaganda and the hajj. So they need liberal mass delusions to stop safe nuclear power in America and Europe.

It can't take a lot of money to buy agents of influence in the media; just find some up-and-coming greenie fanatics in the journalism schools and turn them to your cause as early as possible. The professors will help you spot them, just like Cambridge professors spotted homosexual Communists in the 1930s. British intelligence was completely penetrated by the KGB, and in more ways than one. Give the kids free trips to Saudi, and swamp them with the ecological idealism of the Saudi Royals. Then you get them jobs in the media and pick out the winners. If they have useful addictions, you can keep them hooked. Green propaganda has to get nuttier and nuttier as the media frauds bid for more money from the Saudis.

Love and peace, dude, love and peace.

As ZeroCare takes over our medical care, millions of Americans will go for treatment in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Thailand. Obama's death panels are going to schedule your decease in time to save money. ZeroCare is going to turn American medicine into a single, finite kitty. Your spending on medicine now means less for everybody else. But you don't have to obey the new Medical Commissars. You can retire abroad, or just go there for medical treatment. That's why socialist governments always need to be more and more coercive, because people keep trying to run away. Black and gray markets are bound to explode.

The feds will try to stop you, of course. They can't stop Mexican illegals crossing the border with drugs, but they will try to stop you from fleeing with your own money. In socialist Europe, there is a huge flow of money to Switzerland and Luxembourg, which have less banking regulation. Barbados and Belize will rise, along with Greenland, Vanuatu, and Nova Scotia.

Drugs are a substitute for money, like gold and jewels, but I wouldn't invest in poisons that kill people. There are true believers in marijuana, like George Soros, who won't have any qualms about investing a couple of hundred million in such a beneficial vegetable. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. made his family fortune smuggling booze during Prohibition, and alcohol kills more people than cigarettes. A lot of the Irish have a genetic susceptibility to alcoholism, so old Joe made his millions from creating giant epidemics of misery, violence, and early death among his own Irish supporters.

Today the EU capital of Brussels is famous for graft, because tens of thousands of EU decrees come from there. The EU in Brussels has never passed its own annual audits. Never. Political corruption goes with coercing free markets. You can therefore expect the flow of money to lobbyists, tax lawyers, and tax havens to explode.

When Bill Clinton federalized Utah Lands, Senator Feinstein's billionaire husband shifted his money to Chinese mining. Why? Because Clinton took known Utah minerals off the market "to protect the environment." Chinese minerals were bound to go up because there are only so many identified mineral sources. The eco-ninnies were manipulated, but they still adore Bill for playing to their batty beliefs. It's happy time for all, especially the Bernie Madoffs of this world.

Liberal gullibility is the most biggest resource in the world. All you have to do is spot the latest crazes (easy enough) and place your bets the other way. It's like your own casino. In the long run, you can't lose, because reality always wins in the end. The only question is when those bubbles will pop.

I recommend diversification.

Egypt, Israel and the future

The pragmatic fantasy
By Caroline Glick:
January 28, 2011

Today the Egyptian regime faces its gravest threat since Anwar Sadat's assassination 30 years ago. As protesters take to the street for the third day in a row demanding the overthrow of 82-year old President Hosni Mubarak, it is worth considering the possible alternatives to his regime.
On Thursday afternoon, Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency returned to Egypt from Vienna to participate in anti-regime demonstrations.
As IAEA head, Elbaradei shielded Iran's nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He repeatedly ignored evidence indicating that Iran's nuclear program was a military program rather than a civilian energy program. When the evidence became too glaring to ignore, Elbaradei continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran and obscenely equated Israel's purported nuclear program to Iran's.
His actions won him the support of the Iranian regime which he continues to defend. Just last week he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran telling the Austrian News Agency, "There's a lot of hype in this debate," and asserting that the discredited 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 remains accurate.
Elbaradei's support for the Iranian ayatollahs is matched by his support for the Muslim Brotherhood. This group, which forms the largest and best organized opposition movement to the Mubarak regime is the progenitor of Hamas and al Qaida. It seeks Egypt's transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad. In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly drawn into the Iranian nexus along with Hamas. Muslim Brotherhood attorneys represented Hizbullah terrorists arrested in Egypt in 2009 for plotting to conduct spectacular attacks aimed at destroying the regime.
Elbaradei has been a strong champion of the Muslim Brotherhood. Just this week he gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the jihadist movement. As he put it, "We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. ...[T]hey have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them."
The Muslim Brotherhood for its part has backed Elbaradei's political aspirations. On Thursday it announced it would demonstrate at ElBaradei's side the next day.
Then there is the Kifaya movement. The group sprang onto the international radar screen in 2004 when it demanded open presidential elections and called on Mubarak not to run for a fifth term. As a group of intellectuals claiming to support liberal, democratic norms, Kifaya has been upheld as a model of what the future of Egypt could look like if liberal forces are given the freedom to lead.
But Kifaya's roots and basic ideology are not liberal. They are anti-Semitic and anti-American. Kifaya was formed as a protest movement against Israel with the start of the Palestinian terror war in 2000. It gained force in March 2003 when it organized massive protests against the US-led invasion of Iraq. In 2006 its campaign to get a million Egyptians to sign a petition demanding the abrogation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel received international attention.
Many knowledgeable Egypt-watchers argued this week that the protesters have no chance of bringing down the Mubarak regime. Unlike this month's overthrow of Tunisia's despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, they say there is little chance that the Egyptian military will abandon Mubarak.
But the same observers are quick to note that whoever Mubarak selects to succeed him will not be the beneficiary of such strong support from Egypt's security state. And as the plight of Egypt's overwhelmingly impoverished citizenry becomes ever more acute, the regime will become increasingly unstable. Indeed, its overthrow is as close to a certainty as you can get in international affairs.
And as we now see, all of its possible secular and Islamist successors either reject outright Egypt's peace treaty with Israel or will owe their political power to the support of those who reject the peace with the Jewish state. So whether the Egyptian regime falls next week or next year or five years from now, the peace treaty is doomed.
SINCE THE start of Israel's peace process with Egypt in 1977, supporters of peace with the Arabs have always fallen into two groups: the idealists and the pragmatists.
Led by Shimon Peres, the idealists have argued that the reason the Arabs refuse to accept Israel is because Israel took "their" land in the 1967 Six Day War. Never mind that the war was a consequence of Arab aggression or that it was simply a continuation of the Arab bid to destroy the Jewish state which officially began with Israel's formal establishment in 1948. As the idealists see things, if Israel just gives up all the land it won in that war, the Arabs will be appeased and accept Israel as a friend and natural member of the Middle East's family of nations.
Peres was so enamored with this view that he authored The New Middle East and promised that once all the land was given away, Israel would join the Arab League.
Given the absurdity of their claims, the idealists were never able to garner mass support for their positions. If it had just been up to them, Israel would never have gotten on the peace train. But lucky for the idealists, they have been able to rely on the unwavering support of the unromantic pragmatists to implement their program.
Unlike the starry-eyed idealists, the so-called pragmatists have no delusions that the Arabs are motivated by anything other than hatred for Israel, or that their hatred is likely to end in the foreseeable future. But still, they argue, Israel needs to surrender.
It is the "Arab Street's" overwhelming animosity towards Israel that causes the pragmatists to argue that Israel's best play is to cut deals with Arab dictators who rule with an iron fist. Since Israel and the Arab despots share a fear of the Arab masses, the pragmatists claim that Israel should give up all the land it took control over as a payoff to the regimes, who in exchange will sign peace treaties with it.
This was the logic that brought Israel to surrender the strategically priceless Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for the Camp David accord that will not survive Mubarak.
And of course, giving up the Sinai wasn't the only sacrifice Israel made for that nearly defunct document. Israel also gave up its regional monopoly on US military platforms. Israel agreed that in exchange for signing the deal, the US would begin providing massive military aid to Egypt. Indeed, it agreed to link US aid to Israel with US aid to Egypt.
Owing to that US aid, the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF. And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off mass destruction capability.
Despite its strength, due to the depth of popular Arab hatred of Israel and Jews, the Egyptian regime was weakened by its peace treaty. Partially in a bid to placate its opponents and partially in a bid to check Israeli power, Egypt has been the undisputed leader of the political war against Israel raging at international arenas throughout the world. So too, Mubarak has permitted and even encouraged massive anti-Semitism throughout Egyptian society.
With this balance sheet at the end of the "era of peace," between Israel and Egypt, it is far from clear that Israel was right to sign the deal in the first place. In light of the relative longevity of the regime it probably made sense to have made some deal with Egypt. But it is clear that the price Israel paid was outrageously inflated and unwise.
IN CONTRAST to the Egyptian regime, as the popular outcry following Al Jazeera's publication of the
Palestinian negotiations documents this week shows, the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority is as weak as can be. Yitzhak Rabin, the godfather of the pragmatist camp famously argued that Yassir Arafat and Fatah would handle the Israel-hating Palestinian Street, "without the Supreme Court and B'Tselem."
That is, he argued that it made sense to surrender massive amounts of strategically critical land to a terrorist organization because Arafat and his associates would repress their people with an iron fist, unfettered by the rule of law and Palestinian human rights organizations.
And yet, the fact of the matter is that Arafat commanded the terror war against Israel that began in 2000 and transformed Palestinian society into a jihadist society that popularly elected Hamas to lead it.
The leaked Palestinian documents don't tell us much we didn't already know about the nature of negotiations between Israel and Fatah. The Palestinians demanded that the baseline of talks assume that all the disputed territories actually belong to them. And for no particular reason, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert agreed to these historically unjustified terms of reference.
While this was well known, in publishing the documents, Al Jazeera has still made two important contributions to the public debate. First, the PA's panicked reaction to the documents exposes the ridiculousness of the notion that the likes of Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat and Salam Fayyad are viable partners for peace.
Not only do they lack the power to maintain a peace deal with Israel. They lack to power to sign a peace deal with Israel. All they can do is talk - far away from the cameras - about hypothetical, marginal concessions in a peace that will never, ever be achieved. The notion that Israel should pay any price for a deal with these nobodies is completely ridiculous.
The Al Jazeera papers also expose Livni's foolishness. Just as she failed to recognize the inherent weakness of the Lebanese state when she championed UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which called for the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese army to deploy to the border with Israel at the end of the 2006 war, so Livni failed to understand the significance of the inherent weakness of Fatah as she negotiated away Gush Etzion and Har Homa.
And she didn't need Al Jazeera's campaign against the PA to understand that she was speaking to people who represent no one. That basic fact was already proven with Hamas's victory in the 2006 elections.
THE TRUTHS exposed by the convulsive events of the past month make it abundantly clear that Israel lives in a horrible neighborhood. It is a neighborhood where popular democracy means war against Israel.
In this neck of the woods, it is not pragmatic to surrender. It is crazy.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Egypt riots are an intelligence chief's nightmare
Western intelligence in general and Israeli intelligence in particular did not foresee the scope of change in Egypt, which may require a reorganization of the IDF.
By Amos Harel
The events of the last few days in Egypt – apparently the most important regional development since the Islamic revolution in Iran and the Egyptian-Israeli peace deal of 1979 – are also an expression of the decision-makers' nightmare, the planners and intelligence agents in Israel.
While in other countries many are watching with satisfaction at what looks to be possibly the imminent toppling of a regime that denied its citizens their basic rights, the Israeli point of view is completely different.
The collapse of the old regime in Cairo, if it takes place, will have a massive effect, mainly negative, on Israel's position in the region. In the long run, it could put the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan in danger, the largest strategic assets after the support of the United States.
The changes could even lead to changes in the IDF and cast a dark cloud over the economy.
Western intelligence in general and Israeli intelligence in particular did not foresee the scope of change in Egypt (the eventual descriptor "revolution" will apparently have to wait a little longer). Likewise, almost all of the media analysis and academic experts got it wrong.
In the possible scenarios that Israeli intelligence envisioned, they admittedly posited 2011 as a year of possible regime change – with a lot question marks – in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but a popular uprising like this was completely unexpected.
More than this, in his first appearance at a meeting last Wednesday of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee the new head of military intelligence Major General Aviv Kochavi said to member of Knesset, "There are currently no doubts about the stability of the regime in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is not organized enough to take over, they haven't managed to consolidate their efforts in a significant direction."
If the Mubarak regime is toppled, the quiet coordination of security between Israel and Egypt will quickly be negatively affected. It will affect relations between Cairo's relationship with the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, it will harm the international forces stationed in Sinai.
It will mean the refusal of Egypt to continue to allow the movement of Israeli ships carrying missiles through the Suez canal, which was permitted for the last two years, according to reports in the foreign press, in order to combat weapons smuggling from Sudan to Gaza. In the long run, Egypt's already-cold peace treaty with Israel will get even colder.
From the perspective of the IDF, the events are going to demand a complete reorganization. For the last 20 years, the IDF has not included a serious threat from Egypt in its operational plan.
In the last several decades, peace with Cairo has allowed the gradual thinning out of forces, the lowering of maximum age for reserve duty and the diversion of massive amounts of resources to social and economic projects.
The IDF military exercises focused on conflict with Hezbollah and Hamas, at most in collusion with Syria. No one prepared with any seriousness for a scenario in which an Egyptian division would enter Sinai, for example.
If the Egyptian regime falls in the end, a possibility that seemed unbelievable only two or three days ago, the riots could easily spill over to Jordan and threaten the Hashemite regime. On Israel's two long peaceful borders there will then prevail a completely different reality.
Egyptian update
From Sheila Raviv's blog:
29th January 2011

I was asked an excellent question today. "What is more dangerous, an Arab dictatorship or an Arab democracy"? I believe the latter.
Jonathan Mann of CNN suggested that the situation in Egypt bears no resemblance to that of Iran during the reign of the Shah. "Egypt has an educated middle class and has known many years of freedom, even under Mubarak" and what does he think Iran was like during the time of the Shah? Iran was a dictatorship, and not necessarily a benign dictatorship, but it was not a religiously oppressive country either. Business and education thrived and relationships with the West ensured modernisation.
The greatest mistake the West makes is to assume that democracy ensures freedom; democracy cannot ensure freedom unless those elected into power honour the rights of all their subjects. Carter did it in Iran by removing the Shah (unquestionably a tyrant) and after student and popular rebellion he installed the Ayatollahs giving them the power and finances to wreak havoc in the West and control the Arab world. That mistake brought us Hezb-Allah , the demise of Christian Lebanon and Hamas, Islamic Jihad and, indeed Al Qaeeda.
We are faced with a popular revolution, with good cause, against the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak. However if the West, led by the United States, does not enter the fray NOW we may see Egypt go the way of Iran. Diplomatic and economic support for Mubarak under the proviso that he hold elections within 6-8 months may just save the day. Promises of reform and extra financial aid to the poor to appease the middle class instigators could just defuse the situation. Mubarak is not a good man, but he is a leader who has kept his country from war, built a strong economy and held the fundamentalist threat at bay. Mubarak is a pragmatic leader; the tough broker for peace in the region, who growled "Chtom ya kalb" (sign you dog) when Arafat threatened to walk out of talks with Israel after days of negotiations; it is Mubarak who is acting as the go-between for the West to the Arab world.
If US influence is important and since the USA gives no less than $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt the situation presents a rare opportunity to demand protection for the Egyptian Christian community which has been decimated to the silence of the media and apathy of our leaders.
Changes have been made in government and Egypt's former air force chief and minister for civil aviation, Ahmed Shafiq, has been designated the new prime minister by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and asked to form the next Cabinet, and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was appointed vice president, a position that has been vacant for the past 30 years
With 500,000 soldiers the army is very much part of Egyptian society, maybe one of the few elements which binds them; most families have someone in the Egyptian military. The police are patently absent from the crowd control situation, hated by the populace for their sheer everyday brutality.
Wisely Prime Minister Netanyahu has distanced himself and Israel from the Egyptian arena. The last thing we, or Mubarak, need is to make this about the Arab Israeli conflict.
May G-d protect them and us from extremists and death-wishers

For those who like percentages and statistics
The Moslem Brotherhood is the strongest opposition bloc which presents greater problem since there is no charismatic leader to take over from Mubarak leaving these fundamental extremists waiting in the wings.
Recent polls of the Egyptian population suggest that-
30 % are pro HezbAllah
49 % are pro Hamas
20 % are pro al-Qaeeda.
82 % want stoning for those who commit adultery;
77 % want to see whipping and hands cut off for robbery or theft;
84 % favour the death penalty for any Moslem who changes his religion.
27 % support modernisation while 59 % want traditional or fundamental Islam:
That means that a popular revolution is unlikely to bring democracy -


Where the violent rhetoric is excused by the Left.

Clarice's Pieces: She Wouldn't Harm a Fly

By Clarice Feldman
Frances Fox Piven is a sociology professor who for four decades has advocated violent social upheaval as a means of effecting the radical change she believes in. Her notion of appropriate change is quite obviously the displacement of the productive class and elected public leaders in favor of people like -- ahem -- herself.

This week, Glenn Beck called Piven out on her advocacy of violence. In response, the New York Times, a group that has amusingly chosen to call itself the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Sociological Association have attacked Beck for daring to take her at her word. Now, with Piven exposed to a broader audience than usual as a firebrand who holds views dangerous to democratic life, her friends have dolled her up in widow's weeds (her equally radical husband, Richard Cloward, died in 2001) and noted her age (78) to distract us from her work.

They want us to think, as did Psycho's Norman Bates channeling his long-dead mother, that "[t]hey'll see and they'll know and they'll say, 'Why she wouldn't even harm a fly.'"

Stanley Kurtz at NRO; Ann Althouse, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin who has her own blog site; and the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto have taken the lead in this fight to expose Piven and her defenders.

In my opinion, they clearly have the better of it.

In the course of this brouhaha, it becomes apparent that leftist academics don't want to be and should not be taken seriously, that the cultural elite can dish out violent rhetoric but cannot take being called on it, that the NYT has blundered into another loser of an argument, and that people who want to waste their tuition money should major in sociology, which has obviously become the redoubt of clueless, revolutionary manqués.

Piven's battlefield was not the barricades, but rather a book she co-authored in 1977 and (twice now) the pages of The Nation, the magazine edited by a very wealthy woman who, along with cloistered academics like Piven, somehow believes she speaks for the dispossessed.

Piven and her husband took the first shot in a 1966 Nation article, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty." In this work, the couple advocated using the poor to so completely swamp the welfare system with demands that it would shock the Democratic Party into enacting major reforms. Some have argued that this tactic so overwhelmed New York City and the state of New York that it bankrupted them.

In the following years, the pair added to their notion of overwhelming local welfare services the notion of greatly increasing the number of poor voters by motor voter registration laws, which most certainly have facilitated fraud, including the voting by illegal aliens and others statutorily ineligible to vote. In effect, Cloward and Piven moved the target of forcing overwhelming demands on the system from welfare offices to election bureaus, seriously disrupting the election process.

Here is a picture of Cloward and Piven with then-President Clinton at the signing of the Motor Voter law.
In 1977, she and her husband wrote a book, which Kurtz summarizes:

At the heart of the book, Cloward and Piven luxuriously describe instances of "mob looting," "rent riots," and similar disruptions, egged on especially by Communist-party organizers in the 1930s. Many of those violent protests resulted in injuries. A few led to deaths. The central argument of Poor People's Movements is that it was not formal democratic activity but violent disruptions inspired by leftist organizers that forced the first great expansion of the welfare state. Toward the end of the book, when Cloward and Piven describe their own work with the National Welfare Rights Organization, they treat the violent urban rioting of the Sixties as a positive force behind that era's expansion of the welfare state.

And there the ravings of Piven might have remained -- lost in the mists of history, her advocacy of concerted violently disruptive actions deliberately designed to make orderly democratic action harder, if not impossible, almost unknown to most of us. Her unmistakable will to substitute her radical beliefs for the voters' more temperate ones and her chosen leaders for those democratically elected have not atrophied with old age, however.

On January 10, Piven authored yet another piece in The Nation, "Mobilizing the Jobless," which brought fresh scrutiny to her unremitting advocacy of radical, violent action.

Before people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant. . . .

An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.

As the strikes in Greece to which Piven referred were violent, she most certainly was advocating violence. Here is a contemporary description of those riots:

Greece's fiscal crisis took a new turn to violence Wednesday when three people died in a firebomb attack amid a paralyzing national strike, while governments from Spain to the U.S. took steps to prevent the widening financial damage from hitting their own economies.[snip]

Greece's 24-hour nationwide general strike brought much of the country to a standstill, closing government offices and halting flights, trains and ferries.

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country's budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner's office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

Nevertheless, since Piven is one of theirs -- a part of the leftist cultural elite -- both the NYT and the American Sociological Association tried to deny that she had advocated violence. In addition, the group which labels itself Center for Constitutional Rights -- although clearly it is not for free speech -- announced that Fox should muzzle Glenn Beck because of his "Misinformation Campaign Against [the] Progressive Professor."

Piven denied to the NYT that she advocated violence in the article. It's hard to see how that defense stands up, unless she is saying that she didn't know what happened in Greece when she urged the American unemployed to take action "like the strikes and riots" there.

And as Taranto reports, the NYT's effort to suggest that Piven herself became the target of threats as a result of anything Beck did is without evidentiary basis. All Beck did was report the truth of what she said.

Professor Althouse reserved her strongest blows for the American Sociological Association, which was outraged that a prole like Beck dared to question Piven. In analyzing the association's high-minded but foolish letter of "outrage" directed at Beck, Althouse wraps up the argument for never taking the calls for debate from that association seriously. It's clear honest debate over their colleague's statements is the last thing they want:

So vigorous debate about Piven's ideas is really important, but it better be the right kind of debate by the right kind of people and most certainly not that terrible, terrible man Glenn Beck. She's very lofty and serious, so, while she should be challenged, she must be challenged only by lofty and serious individuals, and of course, Glenn Beck is not one. . . .

Does lofty, serious, intellectual sociology involve looking at evidence and analyzing it rationally? Linking the Tucson massacre to hot political rhetoric was a rash mistake made by demagogues - you want to talk about demagogues?! - demagogues who were slavering over the prospect of a right-wing massacre that would prove politically useful. . .

So Piven should not have called for "something like" Greek-style riots, and it was good of Glenn Beck to point out that Piven crossed the line, right? I mean, we're dedicating ourselves to serious, undistorted analysis here. That's what you said you wanted, didn't you?

Sociology does not enjoy an especially elevated reputation in the academy, and the American Sociological Association provides an object lesson in why that is. And these people can take anything except rational examination of their arguments.

In sum, this was another week in which the media and cultural elites acted stupidly and were called on it. Twice in a row now they've tried to paint their opposition as violent thugs only to be revealed themselves as snobbish poseurs, projecting their own thuggish urges onto others. It was another week in which those living off the productive labor of others deride those others, try to undermine them, and are in the process undermining the very society which makes it possible for such foolish poseurs to live in comfort.

Democrat culture of corruption

Stealing an Election? Voter Fraud Indictments

Two Democratic politicians in an upstate New York city have been charged in a "massive" voter fraud case first reported a year ago on Fox News.

A 59-page, 116-count indictment charges Troy Democratic City Councilman Michael LoPorto and Edward McDonough, Democratic Commissioner of the Rensselaer County Board of Elections, with forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument. The two men arrive in court in handcuffs on Friday and pleaded not guilty.

Seven other public officials and political operatives are said to be targets of the continuing investigation. The Fox News Voter Fraud unit first reported the brazen allegations just over a year ago, with reports that absentee ballots and applications were forged to try to stuff the ballot box and steal an election.

The case involves absentee ballots from the Working Families Party primary in September of 2009 for the Troy City Council and Rensselaer County legislature. It has been alleged the signatures and absentee exucses of unsuspecting voters were forged, all to ensure the Democratic candidates also won the Working Families Party line. Democratic candidates in New York State often run as Working Families Party hopefuls.

"No one is entitled to more than one vote," said Special Prosecutor Trey Smith, who brought the case. "Anyone who misappropriates the vote of a fellow citizen, takes from all of us. Anyone who attempts to minimize what happened, by saying this has been going on for years, or their vote doesn't matter, trivializes a principle of equality which is historically American, and as our founders believed, a fundamental right of all human beings....not surprisingly, no one has come forward to take full responsibility for the massive fraud perpetrated on the citizens of Rensselaer County."

Smith even collected DNA samples from the majority of the Troy City Council and others, which were compared to samples taken from absentee ballots and applications. Those swabbed include five City Councilmen, among them the Council President, as well as four other public officials and political operatives. Some of them have told Fox News that they did nothing wrong, or had no comment.

Last October, we met Councilman LoPorto, who owns a popular local restaurant, and he told us he had "nothing to say," but then denied any wrongdoing when we questioned him further.

"Did you do anything wrong?" we asked.

He answered, "No."

"Did you try to steal an election?"


"Did you forge any ballots?"

"No," said LoPorto when we interviewed him before the start of the monthly Troy City Council meeting.

LoPorto would not comment as he left court Friday, but his lawyer, Michael Feit said he is not guilty.

“This ends the first part of this case, which having been tried in the media, now we get a chance to defend these charges in a forum where we can be heard, where all the evidence will be presented and the rules of law have to be followed."

"No one tried to steal any election," insisted Troy City Council President Clem Campana in October. He denied any wrongdoing, but also claimed that the case "is Troy politics at its best, it’s been going on forever."

He called the scandal "politically motivated," and blamed former Republican County legislator and Troy official Bob Mirch, who first discovered the allegations and hired investigators to secure the voters' affidavits. Mirch is a pugnacious veteran of Troy's combative political scene, who because he served as the city's public works chief, is known by the colorful sobriquet, "The Garbage Man." He was defeated for re-election in November of 2009, in part because he thinks voters didn't buy his allegations of voter fraud and thought the issue was all baseless mudslinging.

Today, Mirch reacted to the indictments by saying, "I was correct."

"It’s been frustrating waiting this long," he told Fox News, but said "I am grateful it is finally happening, and hopefully the Special Prosecutor will continue on, because there are seven to ten more people who were involved in this voter fraud scheme and they need to be brought to justice."

When the story first broke, voters who told us they had fake votes cast in their names were outraged.

"I can't believe they thought they would get away with this," voter Jessica Boomhower told Fox News. She said a phony absentee ballot was submitted in her name, and that she had no idea that she supposedly voted. Her absentee application claimed she would be attending "a work conference in Boston" on election day, but she said that was not true.

"They decided they would vote for us," she said. "I am sure this goes on a lot in politics and it is very rare when they do get caught."

"I never signed a thing," voter Brian Suozzo told us. His absentee application claimed he was "at home recovering from a medical procedure," which he also said was a lie. "You always hear about this stuff on the news, but to have it happen to me...that someone took my signature and voted with it, I feel extremely violated."

Two of the absentee ballot applications cited "bus to casino," as reasons those voters supposedly couldn't show up at the polls.

Smith called the affected voters, victims, saying "one is deaf and can communicate effectively only in sign language. Those who believed that the victims would never complain about the misappropriation of their voting rights, were wrong. The victims spoke and now the grand jury has spoken with this indictment."

In a statement to New York State Police, McDonough said his understanding was that the absentee ballots "would be picked up and delivered to the voters." He said after the allegations became public, that he became "angry at what the perception was that I was getting from the media as it pertained to the Democratic party."

But at a meeting of political operatives to discuss the scandal, McDonough admitted to police investigators that "I did ask if anyone was recording the meeting," and he "expressed anger that my office had been compromised by someone's operatives," according to the police documents.

Former Troy City Democratic Chairman Frank LaPosta told Fox News that his fellow Democrats ostracized him for speaking out against the allegations, and that the prosecutions show he was right.

"I feel vindicated," he says, "because I was the only one who stood up when this happened and said whoever was involved should leave office, and my fellow Democrats turned against me."

LaPosta also said he feels "sad for the Democratic Party in Troy," and that "it is a shame that elections are not conducted in a fair way, but the people responsible for this fraud should pay the price for what they’ve done."

One political operative who allegedly gathered absentee ballot applications, former Troy Housing worker and Democratic Committeeman Anthony DeFiglio, told the state police that "it was common knowledge that these people were never going to receive an absentee ballot. This is a political strategy to get control of a third party line." He also claimed that the practice "is an ongoing scheme, and it occurs on both sides of the aisle," and that "what appears as a huge conspiracy to non-political persons, is really a normal political tactic that went out of control."

The investigation of at least seven other politicians and political operatives apparently continues.