Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ode the the Welfare State

From the NY Daily News, 1949:

Islamists all around us and they do mean us harm


In what may be the first time a Muslim religious figure was removed from a campus position by a university administration, Boston’s Northeastern University told Imam Abdullah Faaruuq that his services as chaplain for Muslim students were “no longer needed.” This happened just days after we published an expose documenting that Faaruuq is a supporter of convicted Islamist terrorists who is inciting Boston Muslims against the U.S government. 

Our findings about Imam Faaruuq are summarized in our video: It shows that there is a culture of extremism at the Islamic Society of Northeastern University (ISNU) – the Muslim student group on campus that Faaruuq led as its “spiritual adviser.”
Among other extremist activity he brings to campus, Faaruuq has been active in a movement seeking to free convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Aafia Siddiqui and Tarek Mehanna. The video shows FBI Director Robert Mueller describing Siddiqui in 2004 as one of the seven most wanted Al Qaeda terrorists. Aafia Siddiqui, a young Pakistani-born MIT student, got involved with an Al Qaeda cell while in Boston. In 2008, she was arrested in Afghanistan and charged with attempted murder of FBI agents. In her possession were plans for a chemical attack on New York City and a large amount of cyanide. In 2010, she was convicted and sentenced to 86 years in jail.
Since Siddiqui’s arrest, Northeastern Chaplain Faaruuq has been speaking out on her behalf and inciting Boston Muslims against the U.S. government. Viewers learn that in the early 1990s, Faaruuq developed an association with Aafia Siddiqui, who attended Faaruuq’s Boston mosque and worked with Faaruuq to distribute Jihadist literature to Massachusetts prisons, where he had also served as a Muslim chaplain.
In lectures around Boston, Faaruuq has called on Boston Muslims to defend Siddiqui because “after they’re finished with Aafia, they’re gonna come to your door.” He told worshipers not to be afraid to “grab onto the gun and the sword, go out into this world and do your job.”

In 2009, he began supporting another local extremist, Tarek Mehanna, who was arrested and convicted in April 2012 on terror charges. Faaruuq participated with Northeastern students in demonstrations in support of Mehanna.

Until we began exposing Faaruuq in 2010, the website of the Northeastern Muslim student group, which he served as a spiritual adviser, openly promoted radical books and extremist leaders who call for jihad, the genocide of Jews, and death for homosexuals.
Extremist influence on Muslim students at Northeastern might indeed be a factor in inciting terrorism. Recently, Northeastern graduate Rezwan Ferdaus pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the Pentagon and Capitol buildings in Washington.
Northeastern has gone practically radio silent on the matter, speaking only of a “reorganization” of its Spiritual Life Center and denying that Faaruuq’s Islamic extremism was an issue for them. While surely repulsed by the Imam’s rhetoric, the university’s administration understands that if it admitted the true reason for Faaruuq’s dismissal, it would be attacked on campus by the left and by radical Muslims as Islamophobic and racist. We certainly were, with our video’s Facebook page quickly being vandalized with shrill vitriol. Some radical Muslims even threatened violence, with one writing, “Islam means peace… Don't piss an arab off with this nasty low life words or you will be the blame to put america on her knees.”
One Muslim student from Northeastern, however, gave us hope and vindication. She wrote: 
I am a Muslim student at Northeastern University, and am extremely happy to see this guy go. While I believe Northeastern has done well in removing this man, I feel that there needs to be a closer monitoring of who is and isn't allowed to influence students on campus. I am a religiously moderate individual who, upon attending a couple of NU's Islamic groups meetings, felt extremely uncomfortable in the environment. I believe that this group should have been more accessible for Muslims liberal, moderate, and conservative.
Unfortunately, this moderate Muslim woman was immediately pounced upon by extremist Muslim Northeastern students – accused of being a traitor, a hypocrite, and an apostate. She deleted her message within two hours.
Northeastern made a commendable decision, even if it continues to be shrouded in silence. Leaving Faaruuq in place would have meant a continual betrayal of Muslim students that reject extremism and Muslim parents, who may not be aware that their children are being radicalized on Northeastern’s campus.
While ridding the campus of Faaruuq was clearly a good thing, it is obvious that Northeastern University needs to take additional steps in dealing with Islamist extremism on campus. Northeastern’s President Aoun needs to investigate the Islamic Society of Northeastern’s activities, funding sources and radical influences, as well as – and perhaps especially -- any radical faculty members who promote hate on campus. Stay tuned.

Redefining the First Amendment

Read This While You Can

Cindy Simpson
Read this column by Diana West while you can -- while we still have journalists brave enough to write the truth, and before the truth is censored.  West, a syndicated columnist and author, noted an astonishing statement within Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly, and dissected and explored its meaning and terrifying implications. 
West's column, "The Anti-Blasphemy, Anti-First-Amendment President," highlighted this extraordinary Obama sentence:
"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
West noted:
No Big Media outlet reported this stunning pronouncement. It's as if Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983 and the media failed to report that he used the phrase "evil empire." To make the comparison more direct, imagine if a Republican president declared that "the future must not belong to those who slander the messiah of Christianity" - or, for that matter, the prophet of Latter-day Saints. We would have heard all about it, and for the rest of our lives.
The meaning of "slander" under Islamic law is explained by West to encompass "anything Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth. " (Emphasis mine.) Such a definition, as West noted, would include any criticism of "Muhammad and, by natural extension, Muhammad's totalitarian religious/legal system of governance."
In acknowledging the qualifying sentences Obama wrapped around that extraordinary statement, West explained:
But, but, but ... the president also said the future "must not belong" to those who "target Coptic Christians in Egypt"... and "bully women."
First of all, "target" and "bully" are wan verbs to describe the terror, bloodletting and systemic abuse that Christian populations and women suffer at the hands of Islam. More important, though, the violence inherent to religious cleansing and female oppression is in no way comparable to the most critical words or pictures on a page or screen. Such an equivalence is immoral. The president should be ashamed.
Read West's insightful column in its entirety.  Her conclusion is chilling:  "I can't think of another instance in which an American president has publicly uttered such a rank betrayal of American principles. And the media censored it!"
The mainstream "old media" may be censoring the truth -- but for now, anyway, we still have New Media.  And we have word-of-mouth.  Go tell it on the mountain.

The Libya story gets more interesting.

US consulate attack in Benghazi 'disrupted major intelligence operation’

The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi in which the ambassador to Libya was killed seriously disrupted a major intelligence operation based there, according to briefings by Washington officials.

A large number of Americans whose existence was unknown to Libyan leaders were evacuated from Benghazi even as fighting around the compound continued.
The new briefings admit they were involved in CIA or other intelligence operations targeting Islamist activity in the east of the country, as well as securing some of the more dangerous weapons with which the country is infested.
The revelations are being used by Islamist leaders, currently on the defensive after the attack and a subsequent backlash by secular forces which saw some of their bases stormed over the weekend, as justification for their anti-American rhetoric.
Ismail Sallabi, one of the most powerful Islamists in the country, told The Daily Telegraph on Monday he also objected to the American drones that have been circling Benghazi since the attack on the consulate.
“If the CIA were really there I regard that as an invasion of Libyan sovereignty, like the aeropla
“Of course it would be different if it had the agreement of the Libyan government and was declared – but we don’t want these agreements to be under the table.”
As the attack on the consulate was under way, around 30 Americans were driven at high speed to an accommodation block – sometimes referred to as a “safe house” though it was no better protected than the consulate itself – but came under renewed attack there.
They were then taken to the airport and flown directly to Tripoli and out of the country. According to the New York Times, they included at least 12 CIA agents who are now “scattered across Europe and the United States” – something which is hindering the FBI investigation into the killing of the ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other staff.
The paper said the CIA team had been playing a “crucial role in conducting surveillance and collecting information on an array of armed militant groups”. It quoted an official as saying its enforced withdrawal was a “catastrophic intelligence loss”.
Similar reports in the Wall Street Journal said that the Libyan government had only been informed of the extent of the intelligence operation after the attack.
The size of the US presence has led to speculation that Islamists targeted by the operation, including Ansar al-Sharia, a militant group, and al-Qaeda, had staged a pre-emptive attack. Washington has backed away from its original insistence that the assault was a protest that got out of hand and now describes it as a terrorist incident.
Mr Sallabi, who used to lead one of Libya’s biggest revolutionary militias, the February 17 brigade, said he had offered protection to the US ambassador, and had warned him that the city was becoming dangerous.
He is now a senior commander with the Rafallah al-Sehati militia, whose base was stormed after those of Ansar al-Sharia in a wave of anti-Islamist protests in Benghazi in Friday night.
He is now in delicate negotiations with the authorities and the army.
His men have arrested 113 people he said were involved in the attack, including soldiers, but at the same time stressed his loyalty to the newly elected parliament in Tripoli.
He said he accepted a decision announced on Monday to put army officers in charge of “approved” Islamist militias like his own to tie them more closely to the official military.
“We take our orders from the chief of staff,” he said. “My brigade is one of the closest of all the militias to the parliament.”
But he said he regretted the attacks on Ansar al-Sharia, described as an “illegitimate militia” and its subsequent disbandment. He said his men had been on the verge of a major operation to arrest those it believed responsible for the attack on the consulate, but following the attack on his base that would not now happen.
“The danger is now that the members of Ansar al-Sharia will go into the shadows,” he warned.

So, we'll send them $450 million as a bribe. How is this different then what went on for decades before?

US Embassy issues terror warning for Americans in Egypt

Citing credible threat to women engaged in missionary activities, diplomats urge citizens to exercise vigilance

Obama: Do what I say don't obey the law that requires notification

The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.
The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.
But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.
The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.
Senate Republicans, who accused the White House of trying to hide job losses after the first guidance, said Friday that the new OMB statement “puts politics ahead of American workers.”
“The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”
The fight over WARN Act notices began in June when Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens said his company might send the notices to all 123,000 of its employees.
Some companies were hesitant to follow Lockheed, but several others told McCain in letters earlier this month they might send the notices, too, despite the Labor Department guidance.
But the new guidance would appear to address one of the chief concerns from the companies — that they could be liable to compensate employees who were laid off if the companies don’t issue the notices.
The GOP senators complained, however, that this tactic would push the cost of the layoffs onto taxpayers.
A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman told The Hill that the company is still reviewing the documents.

How the program became the Obama phone

Friday, September 28, 2012

Making lots of people poorer

Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013
Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013.
Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013:
The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase:  Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year.  In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.
The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase:  The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).
There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.
The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase:  This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:
Capital GainsDividendsOther*
2013+ (current law)23.8%43.4%43.4%
The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.
The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2 billion tax increase: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans.  This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.
The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike -- an $86.8 billion tax increase:  The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits.  Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:
First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
All Remaining Wages
Current Law1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
3.8% self-employed

Click here to view PDF form.

Evidence the Islamists are winning with this Administration

Riots, Rage, Videos, Politics, and Free Speech

How should Americans, and the U.S. government, react when some statement (in a book, video, tweet, or whatever medium) is made that insults a religion–and violence follows?
Even this soon after the events of the last two weeks some conclusions can be drawn.
First, there should be absolutely no compromise on the issue of freedom of speech. To many Americans this will seem obvious, but there is a huge drive around the world to prevent and criminalize any criticism of religion. As Salman Rushdie, who has lived under threat of death for his book Satanic Verses, recently said: “I think it’s very important that we hold our ground. It’s very important to say, ‘We live like this.’ ” And as that New York Times interview notes, Rushdie has been living in the United States because we have indeed held that ground when many other countries have ceded it.
Second, the United States government should not apologize for stupid or offensive comments made by private citizens. Here again Rushdie is right: “It’s not for the American government to regret what American citizens do. They should just say, ‘This is not our affair and the [violent] response is completely inappropriate.’ ” The reaction of our government in the recent case was wrong, and made us look fearful and weak. For one thing, I don’t believe such apologies work, and there is no evidence they did in the recent cases. But beyond the question of efficacy is the question of fairness and fear.
The fact is that religions are insulted all the time, in this country and beyond. Defamation of Catholicism is constant. The Broadway show “The Book of Mormon” is, the reviews state, a searing and blasphemous satire of the Mormon religion—yet our Secretary of State happily attended a performance and applauded. Defamation against Judaism is too frequent, not least in the Islamic world, to require much comment; many examples are available at the MEMRI web site here. Just today, to take another example, I came across the most recent Palestinian Media Watch report on the defamation of Judaism in official broadcasts of the Palestinian Authority. Every religion is defamed, yet apologies appear to be expected and to be offered only in one case: Islam. The explanation is clear: only in that case is there fear of violence.
Our reaction, and especially the reaction of the American government, should not be to offer apologies for the exercise of free speech by our fellow citizens, however benighted they may be. The Rushdie case is a reminder that the offense, and threat of violence,  is not always the product of ignorant or deliberately provocative speech, and in any event why should the government pose as film or drama or literary critic? We should insist on the right to free speech and demand that other governments live up to their obligations to protect our citizens and property. The State Department spent $70,000 buying time on Pakistani television for an advertisement showing Secretary Clinton and President Obama in essence apologizing for the now-famous 14 minute anti-Muslim video trailer and emphasizing how much they disagreed with it. One has to wonder: did no one consider an advertisement saying that Americans believe in freedom of speech and religion, that millions of Muslims enjoy those rights in the United States, and that Pakistan has an obligation under international law to protect foreign embassies from violence?
Many citizens of Muslim countries will be on our side. Some will be religious minorities—Christians, for example—who seek protection of their own rights; others will be Muslims who wish to live under law rather than mob rule or rule by the mullahs. I believe the attacks of the last two weeks are largely an orchestrated response by religious radicals meant to enhance their own power at the expense of more moderate parties and governments. That riots or attacks occur tells us nothing about popular opinion, and we have seen recent responses in Libya (where there have been sizeable demonstrations against the murderous attack in Benghazi, and demands to rein in militias) that are a reminder of this.
Islamists seek to put the governments in a corner, where they must use force to protect the U.S. embassy or other facility. In Tunisia the new government met the test, using force when necessary to stop an assault on the embassy, arresting 96 people, and responding to a public mood that it is time to act against extremists. In other cases, such as Egypt and Sudan, the governments failed. It is that failure that our own government should criticize, not the use of the right of free speech by American citizens, and when governments act properly they should have our full and public support—as Sen. Marco Rubio explained eloquently in a Senate floor statement on September 20.
Third, because this kind of thing will happen again—some American saying something about Islam that leads to violence in Muslim countries—we should not forget about the last two weeks. We are in a moment of hyper-partisanship right now but after the election we should review what the U.S. government said and did, and whoever is elected should resolve that we must do better next time. Our highest officials cannot be put in—nor should they rush to take—the position of apologizing for every stupid or ignorant, much less for every intelligent and artistic, criticism of Islam. Far better to restate and hold firm to our principles; demand that other governments meet their obligations to protect our people and facilities; and give those many millions of citizens of Muslim majority countries seeking to live under the rule of law our firm support.
Further support for the conclusion just above is given at the MEMRI website, whichsummarizes some new content under the headline “Harsh Self-Criticism In Arab World Over Violent Reactions To Anti-Islamic Film:”
The attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and embassy in Cairo on the night of September 11, 2012, and the spread of violent protests to many countries in the Middle East have sparked unprecedented criticism in the Arab press of Arab and Islamic society and its way of dealing with the current crisis. Many articles claimed that violent protests harm the Prophet Muhammad and his way and are contrary to Islam’s moral standards, and that it would have been better to show the moderate and tolerant face of Islam by responding through artistic and cultural expression.
These are the kinds of views and reactions that we in the United States should encourage, and an insistence on freedom of speech is far more likely to achieve that goal than repeated apologies for the views of private citizens.

Poor parental choices, government handouts, and the destruction of the family

‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gangbangers in Chicago: What makes them tick, what are they thinking?
CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson sat down with gang members in Chicago’s troubled Englewood neighborhood to try to find some answers.
“There’s no solution to the violence,” one gang member tells him. “Killing, killing is the solution.”
Some of the responses he received were not encouraging.
Jacobson asked the young man if he would kill personally, if he had to.
“I’ve never killed before, but if I had a gun in my possession,” he said.
Jacobson says he has been walking the blocks for many years, but the state of despair never changes – poverty, sticks and stains.
The gang members do not like the state of affairs any more than anyone else.
“We’ve got to eat. We want to. We want money. We want to get fresh, we want fresh eggs almost every day. We want all that,” another young man said.
But where do they get the money they need? The young man answered bluntly.

“Rob, steal and kill. That’s the only way. We didn’t grow up in Beverly Hills. We don’t get it handed to us,” he said.
“We ain’t living in Hyde Park,” added a third young man. The home of the University of Chicago is only a couple of miles away from Englewood – geographically, at least.
But given the state of their impoverished Englewood neighborhood, where is the money they can get?
“Selling drugs,” a young man replied. “In our neighborhood, I ain’t going to lie to you. That’s where the money comes from.”
Some of the young men were brought into gangs as children. Isn’t that pretty young to play gang warfare?
A young man answered: “I chose the gang. I didn’t have to choose anything. I was only 10. My OG (old gangster) gave me everything. But I just went on my own and I chose to get in the gang. We was whipping everybody in the neighborhood. Respect. I was getting money.”
The gang members also said they are at war with the Chicago Police Department.
“The police hate us,” a young man said. “Every time they ride past us, they shoot us down and do all that. Do what you want to do, I don’t care about you all, keep riding. Who are you all? We’re not scare of you all. I’ll fight you too. Take that badge off.”
But he says the police cannot catch them or exact any consequences.
“I laugh at the police,” he said. “They’re a joke to me.”
And where would the young men like to be in 10 years?
One of them replied, “in a mansion, with a lot of cars, and a lot of women.”
Another said, “I just hope I’m still living.”
Link in headline to see video

Honesty and transparency under the Obama regime

On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to “usher in a new era of open government” and “act promptly” to make information public.
As Obama nears the end of his term, his administration hasn’t met those goals, failing to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, according to an analysis of open-government requests filed by Bloomberg News.
Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information: The cost of travel by top officials. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s request for those documents within the 20-day window required by the Act.
“When it comes to implementation of Obama’s wonderful transparency policy goals, especially FOIA policy in particular, there has been far more ‘talk the talk’ rather than ‘walk the walk,’” said Daniel Metcalfe, director of the Department of Justice’s office monitoring the government’s compliance with FOIA requests from 1981 to 2007.
The Bloomberg survey was designed in part to gauge the timeliness of responses, which Attorney General Eric Holder called “an essential component of transparency” in a March 2009 memo. About half of the 57 agencies eventually disclosed the out-of-town travel expenses generated by their top official by Sept. 14, most of them well past the legal deadline.