Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Hizbullah MP, Retired Brig.-Gen. Walid Sakariya: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Hizbullah Will Wipe Out Israel, Even at the Cost of Hundreds of Thousands of Casualties, following US Withdrawal from Iraq.
If, following the US withdrawal, Iraq becomes a bridge linking Iran to Syria, the Iranian forces could cross Iraq and arrive in Syria, in order to participate in a direct war on the Golan front.
In that case, Israel would not be fighting Hizbullah alone. It would be fighting Hizbullah, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This is the so-called "Shiite Crescent" that they fear. Since Iran dominates this [axis], the Arab countries refer to it as the "Shiite Crescent."
If Hizbullah has 5,000 missiles and can destroy some targets in Israel, the equation will completely change when Syria and Iran join the war. You will have the strategic superiority and a force large enough to pulverize Israel, even if this war costs you hundreds of thousands of martyrs – not just 1,000 or 2,000. You will enter this war with a population mass exceeding 100 million.
Interviewer: Syria is that important...
Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Walid Sakariya: Of course. But if Syria is victorious as a confrontation country, Israel will come to an end. There are military balances. Hizbullah can defeat Israel, but it cannot abolish it. If Syria enters a war with Israel, it may be able to regain the Golan, but it will not be able to liberate Haifa and Tel Aviv.
However, Hizbullah, Syria, Iraq, and Iran will constitute a force that is militarily superior to Israel and will destroy it. They will wage a war and might even suffer hundreds of thousands of martyrs – because Israel might use the nuclear weapon in order to survive – but nevertheless, this war will put an end to Israel.Source Memri.
Posted by Will at 7:57 AM
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Solomon Islands 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- London riots Live reporting Here.
- Peter King asks for probe into White House's role in bin Laden movie.(Politico).House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday demanded an investigation into a report that the White House is cooperating with a film on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.In a letter to the Defense Department and the CIA, King asked for a probe and classified briefing about any cooperation or consultation between the agencies and the film, set to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who made “The Hurt Locker” in 2008 which won six Oscars, including best picture and best director.“The Administration’s first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government,” King wrote. “In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”White House spokesman Jay Carney called the claims “ridiculous” during his daily press briefing.Carney the White House is offering the same level of cooperation ot the filmmakers as it does with other journalists.“We don’t discuss classified information,” he said.The spokesman also took a shot at King, saying he hoped that his Homeland Security Committee would find more important things to do given that the country is fighting a war on terror.Word of the Obama administration’s cooperation with Bigelow was first reported on Sunday by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote that the White House was hoping the film, set for an Oct. 12, 2012, release date, would boost Obama ahead of next year’s election.Dowd wrote that the “White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made ‘The Hurt Locker’ will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.”Hmmmm....."I did it my way?"Read the full story here.
- Gingrich: Suspend U.N. Funding Now!(HumanEvents).By Newt Gingrich.Only at the United Nations is it possible to imagine a Palestinian state announced on a meeting agenda. U.N. corruption was on full display last week when, as the Hudson Institute’s Anne Bayefsky noted, the U.N. published its provisional list of speakers for the September opening session. It listed the speaker from “Palestine” as the “Head of State” for the first time ever.This is just a preview of a diplomatic crisis and an existential threat to the state of Israel that is shaping up for September.The Palestinian Authority is promising to ram ahead with its bid in just over a month to be recognized as a state at the United Nations, and the General Assembly will likely approve it over the objections of the United States and Israel. This will define a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, stretching to the 1967 borders and encompassing territory that currently is home to thousands of Israelis.It is a dangerous plan.It would violate every standing agreement the Palestinians have with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, to negotiate a final border agreement.U.N. recognition would take place totally apart from any negotiation with Israel, and without the Palestinians renouncing violence or acknowledging Israel's statehood.The possibility of Western nations voting in favor of the plan at the U.N. would also strengthen terrorists' belief that their commitment to violence and their unwavering rejection of Israel's right to exist has begun to produce their desired goals.A peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem must begin with negotiations. The Palestinian Authority, however, has refused to enter talks until Israel agrees to accept the border lines it demands. President Obama and the State Department must be clear with Western allies. They should reject action that would reward terrorist groups who refuse to abide by the basic principles of human dignity and freedom.The United States has the leverage to prevent this diplomatic disaster if the Obama Administration wants to use it: we are by far the largest donor to the U.N., financing roughly a quarter of its entire budget. We should be willing to say that if the U.N. is going to circumvent negotiations and declare the territory of one of its own members an independent state, we aren’t going to pay for it. We can keep our $7.6 billion a year. We don’t need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies.That is exactly how President George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker handled a similar drive to force Palestinian statehood in 1989.As Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has pointed out, the Palestine Liberation Organization attempted at that time to earn recognition by the U.N. as a state, and its effort won significant support. But rather than cave to the Palestinians’ manipulations, Secretary Baker warned that the U.S. would cut off contributions to U.N. agencies if they upgraded the P.L.O.’s status. “To emphasize the depth of our concern,” Secretary Baker promised in 1989, “I will recommend to the President that the United States make no further contributions, voluntary or assessed, to any international organization which makes a change in the P.L.O.’s present status an observer organization.”His warning got the message across. The director of one U.N. agency preparing to upgrade the P.L.O., the World Health Organization, told the New York Times of the threat: “We are very concerned. We expect there will be a serious cutoff of funds. You know the American Congress.”The Times later credited the warning with persuading Arab countries not to follow through on the plan.That is the resolve we need to show today. Washington should make clear immediately that it will not accept dangerous stunts that threaten Israel’s survival.When the U.N. is set to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state and Israel is the only country in the world not even permitted to determine its own capital, something is very wrong.The time to stop this disaster is before it happens. The time for Congress and President Obama to set out the cost of a United Nations betrayal of Israel is before the General Assembly meets.Hmmmm......Hear,hear!Read the full story here.
- Why police were so soft on London looters: They 'were ordered to stand and observe' as capital burned (but in Manchester they were hunting looters within hours).(DailyMail).Police were ordered to 'stand and observe' rioters as they laid waste to London's streets instead of confronting them, it was claimed today. Scotland Yard insiders have revealed teams were frustrated at their inability to wade in and arrest troublemakers while they looted and burnt out shops.They had apparently been told to try and contain any violence but not to haul away offenders who would instead be identified through video footage later, according to The Times. It was only on Monday night, when the riots escalated still further, that tactics changed and armoured vehicles called Jankels were used to disperse the crowds.On Tuesday night, some 16,000 officers also flooded London's streets - almost triple the previous night's deployment - and they were finally given the green light to confront the gangs.Hmmmm......Whom ordered them to stand and 'observe'? Read the full story here.
- All aboard "Downgrade One "?President Obama to Travel to the Midwest on a Three-Day Economic Bus Tour.(Whitehouse).On August 15-17, President Obama will travel to the Midwest on a three-day economic bus tour, making stops in southern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and western Illinois. The President will discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring in communities and towns across the nation and hear directly from Americans, including local families andsmall business owners. The President knows we must do everything we can to promote economic growth, restore confidence in our nation’s future and restore the sense of optimism for future generations.Read the full statement here.
- Turkey’s Erdogan expects Syria reforms within 15 days,meanwhile on wednesday Syrian tanks and troops swept into two northwestern towns near the Turkish border.(AlArabiya).Syrian tanks and troops swept into two northwestern towns near the Turkish border on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding 13 according to activists, as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he expects Syrian reforms within 15 days.In the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, residents reported heavy gunfire as troops deployed across the provincial capital, making arrests and spraying pro-Assad slogans on buildings.Mr. Erdogan, a former close ally of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, said his foreign minister had emphasized when he visited Damascus on Tuesday that the violence must cease.“In Syria, the state is pointing guns at its own people,” he declared. “Turkey’s message to Assad is very clear: stop all kinds of violence and bloodshed.”The Turkish leader said he hoped that Mr. Assad, confronting nearly five months of pro-democracy demonstrations, would take steps within 10 to 15 days towards promised political reforms.Rights groups say 1,600 civilians have been killed since the uprising against Mr. Assad’s 11-year-rule erupted in March, making it one of the bloodiest upheavals in the Arab world this year. Authorities say 500 soldiers and police have died.Syria has barred most independent media since the unrest began, making it hard to verify conflicting reports by activists, residents and officials.Already under Western sanctions, Mr. Assad faces growing international pressure to curb the bloodshed after three regional powers publicly called for change this week, leaving Iran as Syria’s only staunch remaining ally.Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia condemned the violence and recalled its ambassador, while Egypt’s new government, which took office after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February, said Syria was nearing “the point of no return.”On Tuesday Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu held more than three hours of talks with Assad. A Turkish official said he called for “an end to bloodshed, withdrawal of the soldiers, the importance of having elections as soon as possible” and dialogue with the opposition.In response, Mr., Assad said Syria “will not relent in pursuing the terrorist groups in order to protect the stability of the country and the security of the citizens ... but is also determined to continue reforms,” Syria’s state news agency said.Washington expressed disappointment at Mr. Assad’s comments and said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expected to talk to Mr. Davutoglu after his meetings in Syria.“It is deeply regrettable that President Assad does not seem to be hearing the increasingly loud voice of the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.France also voiced dissatisfaction. “The time for delaying tactics is up. The Syrian authorities must respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages said. Hama and Deir al-Zor are populated mostly by majority Sunnis and the crackdowns there resonate with their co-religionists who predominate in the Middle East and govern most Arab countries.But as troops were reportedly deploying in Sermin, dozens of military vehicles packed with soldiers streamed out of the flashpoint protest hub Hama, after completing a 10-day operation.“The army units have gone back to their barracks after having accomplished their mission, and residents, happy to be rid of the armed gangs who tried to sow discord among the population, have returned home," a high-ranking army officer said.That was confirmed by Turkey's ambassador to Damascus who visited the city, Prime Minister Erdogan said.“Our ambassador went to Hama and said that the tanks, security forces had started to leave Hama. This is highly important to show that our initiatives had positive results,” Mr. Erdogan said.Hmmmm.......Is Erdogan protecting Assad....Obeying Iran?Read the full story here.
- Syria expands offensive near Turkey border.(Al-Jazeera).Syrian tanks stormed two northwestern towns near the border with Turkey, expanding its military offensive to crush protests, local residents said, a day after Ankara pressed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end killings of civilians.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least one woman was killed and 13 people injured on Wednesday when 12 tanks and armoured vehicles, entered the towns of Taftanaz and Sermin, around 30km from the border with Turkey.On Tuesday, Syrian forces killed four villagers in the nearby town of Binnish, rights campaigners said."The three towns are near Idlib (the provincial capital) and are close to each other geographically and in family ties. Daily protests in the region have been unabated since the start of Ramadan," a local resident, who gave his name as Ali, told Reuters news agency by phone, referring to the annual Muslim fasting month that began last week.Syrian troops also seized control of the eastern flashpoint city of Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday following intense shelling and gunfire, an activist said. The city has been under attack by Assad's forces for four days."They are shooting anything that moves," the activist said, speaking to The Associated Press news agency by telephone on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals."The situation is terrible. Bakeries and pharmacies are closed, while food and baby formula are scarce."Meanwhile, dozens of Syrian army vehicles packed with soldiers left the flashpoint protest hub of Hama on Wednesday, 10 days after storming the central city," an AFP news agency correspondent reported.Forty personnel carriers decked with Syrian flags rolled out of Hama with soldiers chanting slogans praising embattled Assad, said the journalist who visited the city on a tour organised by the authorities."With our blood and our soul we sacrifice ourselves for you, Bashar," some chanted as others recited slogans saying their allegiance rests with "God, Syria, Bashar".Rights groups say about 1,700 people have been killed since March, and an aggressive new military campaign that began a week ago has killed several hundred.Attacks on flashpoint cities killed more than 20 people on Tuesday.Hmmmm......Is Erdogan actually covering Assad's actions after Iran's pressure on Ankara ?Read and see (video) the full story here.
- Related - Iranian Majlis Member: Arab Countries Should Mobilize for Syria.(Memri).In a speech in Cairo, Iranian Majlis National Security Council chairman Ala Al-Din Boroujerdi said that the U.S. is working to topple the Syria regime – the linchpin of the resistance axis – after losing the Mubarak regime in Egypt.He called on Arab countries to mobilize for the stability of Syria as "the center of Palestinian resistance."He also called on Turkey to cease its threats toward Syria, and rejected the claims of a "massacre."Boroujerdi said that President Assad is promoting serious reforms.Hmmmm.....I wonder if Erdogan 'got the message'?Read the full story here.
- Israel: We never agreed to discuss nukes.(Ynet).Israel and Arab nations have tentatively accepted an invitation by the UN nuclear agency to discuss a Middle East free of atomic arms, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau, however, denied the report.Whether the meeting takes place may depend on the participants' willingness to compromise on preconditions. An official from a delegation accredited to the International Atomic Energy agency says IAEA chief Yukiya Amano planned to meet with the Arab group on Sept. 5 to try and bridge differences. But he and members of other delegations describe the chances of success as possibly the best since 2000. That was when IAEA nations asked the agency to convene such talks. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi blamed Israel and the United States for being an obstacle en route to a nuclear weapon-free Middle East.Hmmmm.....Seems i was right saying after Pakistan Israel would be next?Read the full story here.
- Islamic militants urge rioters to topple British government.(TheSpectator).CAIRO - Militant online forums are abuzz with calls to Muslims in Britain to launch Internet campaigns in support of the British rioters and to urge them to topple the government.Dozens of contributors on Wednesday suggested Muslims in Britain should flood social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, with slogans and writings inciting the British youth to continue rioting.One contributor says the rioters should adopt slogans similar to those used by Arab protesters during the uprisings in the Middle East this year."The people want the killer of Mark Duggan punished" is suggested — a reference to the British man whose death sparked the riots.Another contributor says an Internet media attack is very important and that "chaos is useful to militants in London."Hmmmm........Taliban Statement: Most Islamic Battles, Like the Conquest of Spain, were Fought During "The Holy Month of Ramadan".Read the full story here.
- Mrs. Obama’s Failure to Show Up at Dover.(Whitehousedossier).By Keith Koffler.This is not something I wanted to be cynical about, though I was a little. And now I am a lot.There is no way to reconcile a sincere devotion to helping military families with her decision to travel to Oregon with her mother to visit her brother this week instead of being by President Obama’s side yesterday as he comforted the 30 grieving families of those who lost their sons, brothers, and fathers in Afghanistan Saturday.Not just any son, brother or father. The best kind you could ever have.This is simply just not acceptable. It’s an ignorance of her duty as first lady – even if she were not one supposedly dedicated to military families. It even suggests a general lack of compassion.Nobody inflicted these roles on her. She chose to be first lady, seems to be enjoying the perks, and is already campaigning and raising heaps of money so that she can stay there.What first gave me pause when she launched the Joining Forces thing was that someone who suggested quite clearly – because it was an accident – that she had never really been proud of her country was of all things suddenly dedicated to helping the military.It sounded like image makeover, both for her and a husband who had never served and who is not held in particularly high esteem by our armed forces.It sounded like something born more out of political calculation more than anything else.Turns out, it was.Read the full story here.
- Good news: 83% of Obamacare Grants Awarded to Local Health Centers Went to States That Supported Obama in 2008.(DougRoss).Earlier today, the Department of Heath and Human Services announced it was writing $29 million in checks to "expand access to health care". These Obamacare funds would support "community health center programs across the country", though it would appear Blue states did decidedly better than Red States. Of the $29 million HHS awarded, $24 million of it went to 2008's Blue States. But I'm sure that's just coincidental. I'm certain that Kathleen Sebelius and her fine cadre of bureaucrats would never, ever permit political bias to impact their decision-making processes.Except it turns out that more than 83% of the funds went to Blue states. You may recall that it appears that Nancy Pelosi abused the Obamacare waiver system to reward her restaurateur friends in San Francisco. Obamacare has nothing at all to do with health care. It's about control. Punishing enemies and rewarding friends. It's about a Soviet-style form of government that has as its core the destruction of the Constitution and of our individual liberties. Removing the options you have for medical treatment and replacing them with a one-size-fits-all, centralized health care regime is a huge step in the direction of totalitarianism. Hmmmm......Thugocracy in it's natural habitat.Read the full story here.
- BURTON: The danger of underestimating Obama.Disastrous policies are intentional steps on road to socialism.(WashingtonTimes).It is a cardinal mistake in any competition, be it sports or politics - and politics is a competition of ideas - to underestimate your opponent. All too often, underestimating your opponent leads to disaster. I believe that America, especially America’s political class, is vastly underestimating President Obama; and if we continue to do so, it will be a disaster for America. Specifically, I am worried about the growing political story line that the Obama administration is “failing” because they are just inexperienced and the president is simply “in over his head.”It is true that Mr. Obama never held an executive position in his life prior to being elected to the presidency. It is true that Mr. Obama had only three years (2005-2008) in the U.S. Senate prior to going to the White House, and it is true that Mr. Obama had just seven years of experience (1997-2004) in the Illinois state Senate - where he cast more than 130 “present” votes rather than go on the record on contentious issues. However, we should be under no illusion that the president’s lack of leadership experience means he is “in over his head” or that he does not know what he is doing.Mr. Obama knows precisely what he is doing: He is changing America into his vision of a European-style socialist utopia where the government controls every aspect of our lives. Consider the facts, since taking office, Mr. Obama has taken control of the student loan industry, the health care industry, the banking and financial sectors, and he orchestrated the bankruptcy and reorganization of two-thirds of the American automotive industry, leaving his political allies in the labor movement in effective control of the companies and allowing the administration to dictate the industry’s direction.Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could not strong-arm enough Democrats to pass legislation to allow the president to take control of our energy sector, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is aggressively rewriting and reinterpreting environmental regulations to accomplish the same end result: government control of energy.The pattern is unmistakable: Every solution proposed by the Obama administration to every problem is more government control. That is the textbook definition of socialism: “Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).Putting aside the fact that socialism is absolutely incompatible with the philosophy that made America a world superpower - limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labor-market flexibility - the problem with socialism, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, is “that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” If you don’t believe this statement is true, how do you explain the sovereign debt crisis threatening to destroy the European Union?While America’s debt crisis cannot be laid entirely at the feet of Mr. Obama, the fact is that in pursuit of his socialist agenda, he has accelerated the crisis with his reckless spending. The federal budget deficit in 2008, the last year before Mr. Obama took office, was $458.6 billion. The projected deficit for 2011 is $1.5 trillion - 323 percent higher than the nation’s deficit in the last year before President Obama took office. The president’s budget request for fiscal 2012 would lead us to the highest-ever budget deficit, roughly $1.6 trillion.It is not yet too late to save America from financial ruin nor is it too late to save the American way of life. But to confront these threats, we must confront reality and that means we must stop viewing the president’s policies as the innocent missteps of a man who is “in over his head.” The president is not in over his head; he knows precisely what he is doing: rushing America down the path toward socialism.Hmmmm......Impeachment sounds real nice lately.Read the full story here.
- Congressional Probe over Net Neutrality.(BigGovernment).On June 2, 2011, Judicial Watch released documents that show the Obama FCC’s collusion with a radical leftist organization to seize control over the Internet. This investigation caught the eye of congressional leaders, and now it appears a congressional probe of the matter is in the offing.
According to The Hill:
The House Energy and Commerce Committee pressed the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday for all documentation of the rulemaking process behind the agency’s net-neutrality regulations.Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) cited reports that FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus attended White House meetings where net-neutrality rules were debated as evidence the FCC rules passed in December were politically motivated.The representatives also pointed to an investigation from Judicial Watch that unearthed emails from the advocacy group Free Press to aides of FCC Commissioner Michael Copps advocating strongly for net neutrality, which Copps supported. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) termed the emails “collusion” last month.
“These allegations suggest the FCC’s network neutrality proceeding was designed to fulfill a presidential campaign slogan, when it should have been based on an analysis of statutory authority, an economic analysis of the Internet service market, and an examination of the record,” the lawmakers wrote.“If true, it seems the FCC failed to develop an independent conclusion derived from a balanced fact-based record, which is incompatible with proper rule-making.”Importantly, that FCC 3-2 vote seemed to be at with odds an April, 2010, federal appeals court ruling that the FCC had exceeded its authority in seeking to regulate the Internet and enforce “net neutrality” rules. (More evidence the lawless Obama administration has as much respect for court rulings as it does the U.S. Constitution — which is to say, very little.)
Now let me tell you why Congress is so “suspicious.”
The documents we uncovered show that the Obama FCC was deeply involved in discussions with the radical leftist organization Free Press in the run up to the December 2010 FCC vote. How deep? Free Press reached out to the FCC to invite FCC Commissioner Michael Copps to write an op-ed for the Albuquerque Journal in advance of a November 16 hearing on Internet Access. Free Press helped coordinate a speaker’s list for FCC “Internet workshops” — which was a “Who’s Who” of liberal activists.There were also a series of back-and-forth emails to set up meetings between Copps and former Free Press President John Silver just before the net neutrality vote.
Allow me to introduce you to the people who seem to be running the FCC’s Internet policies:
Robert McChesny, former editor of the socialist magazine Monthly Review, is the co-founder and president of Free Press. Kim Gandy, the Chairman of the Free Press Board of Directors, served as the President of the leftist National Organization for Women from 2001-2009. Craig Aaron, Free Press’s President and CEO, formerly worked as managing editor of the socialist tabloid In These Times. Free Press is financially supported by George Soros’ Open Society Institute and other hard-left groups such as the Ford Foundation and Democracy Alliance.Two socialists, a radical feminist, and a left-wing eccentric billionaire who uses his wealth to drive the liberal agenda — that’s quite a team.The “net neutrality” debate is highly technical and somewhat confusing. Proponents of net neutrality count on this confusion to hoodwink people into accepting their agenda. But here’s why many see “net neutrality” as so dangerous.
Proponents of net neutrality, like Free Press, believe Internet access is a civil right. And what happens when you make something a civil right? You put the government in charge of “protecting” those rights. In the case of net neutrality, proponents want taxpayer-funded online access for everyone, most especially communities they deem “underserved.” This, of course, would require government control.
If allowed to move forward, the Left’s version of “net neutrality” could stifle innovation by preventing Internet service providers from managing their information networks with any flexibility. And it could effectively kill the digital economy. As Reason Magazine’s Steven Titch argued, if net neutrality were in play several years ago, there would be no iPhone, to give just one example.So here’s the question you need to ask yourself. Do you want George Soros and Barack Obama to be able to micromanage the Internet? Congress is right (once again) to follow Judicial Watch’s lead in asking this question.Hmmmm......When will the impeachment procedure finally begin?Read the full story here.
- You got to be kidding?Entire U.S. Stealth Fighter Fleet Grounded.(Wired).In past few decades, the U.S. Air Force has spent untold billions researching and developing a family of stealth fighter jets that are supposed to be generations ahead of any dogfighters in the sky.But after building more than 170 F-22 Raptors and a handful of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, not a single one is available for service. The Air Force currently has zero flyable stealth fighters. None.The vaunted F-22 has been grounded with a possible faulty oxygen system since May. Production of the last few Raptors is even on hold, because the jets can’t fly from the factory.Last week, test flights for the newer F-35 were suspended, too, because of a valve problem in the plane’s integrated power package. It’s the third time this year that JSFs have been grounded. Tests may resume as early as next week. Then again, they may not.Yesterday, the U.S. military committed to spending another $535 million to buy 38 more Joint Strike Fighters — a family of stealth jets that are supposed to become the multipurpose, affordable workhorses of tomorrow’s fleet. Ninety percent of America’s combat aviation power is eventually supposed to come from the jets’ three variants.But the jets have been anything but cheap. The current cost for the JSF program is $382 billion and rising for more than 2,400 aircraft. No wonder just about every major deficit reduction plan scales back the JSF effort in some way.And, at the moment, they’re not producing any combat power, either.Back in 2002, the plan was to have more than 90 JSFs flying by next year. As things currently stand, the Air Force and Navy might not get their variants until 2016. The Marines — who knows?For now, every available penny in the JSF program is tied up in getting the jets back into the air and their programs on track.“The so-called ‘fifth-generation’ fighters have certainly revolutionized U.S. air power,” Ares’ Bill Sweetman noted, “if not quite in the way anyone had in mind.”Hmmmmm......."Leading From behind"?Read the full story here.
- UK - A new tumblr blog has been set up called "Catch a Looter": Do you recognise these UK rioters?(TechDigest).While technology and social media has been highlighted as a key enabler in the organisation of groups of looters during last night's horrific London riots, here's an opportunity to use tech and the web against those who terrorised the capital last night.A new tumblr blog has been set up called "Catch a Looter".While there are few details on who the site owner is, it's acting as a rogues gallery, letting those who have photos or videos of troublemakers to post them online in the hope that they will be caught.Plenty of clear images of looters and troublemakers on there, mostly young men, and many clear enough to be easily identified if you knew them. This video of an already injured man being mugged is particularly despicable.If you have any information on the identities of criminals involved in last night's chaos, you can anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.Read and see the full story here.
- Michelle Obama Takes Secret Vacation to Oregon.(Whitehousedossier).By Keith Koffler.First Lady Michelle Obama Slipped out of Washington unnoticed Monday for a secret trip to visit her brother, Oregon State University men’s basketball coach Craig Robinson, at his home on Corvallis, Ore.Mrs. Obama reportedly jetted into the Eugene Airport, landing at about 11 am PDT. She and family members then headed out in a 11 vehicle motorcade for the ride to Corvallis.The White House has so far said little about the trip, which was unannounced. It’s unclear how long the vacation will last.Mrs. Obama and family members flew on a Boeing C-40B, the military version of a 737 that serves as Air Force 2.Mrs. Obama has in the past incurred criticism for her travels, including an early departure for her most recent Hawaiian vacation and a luxurious 2010 trip to Spain. Most of the costs of her travel are borne by taxpayers.The C-40B included a flight crew of eight to 10 people, according to one report. Mrs. Obama is traveling with one of her daughters – it’s unclear which one – and her mother.President Obama remains on his own in Washington, where today he is headed over to Dover Air Force Base to honor the fallen soldiers who died in a Taliban attack on their chopper Saturday.Hmmmm.......Poor Bo left behind again, we feel your pain.....I mean the dog of course.Read the full story here.
- EPA’s Mission Impossible: A Deadline to Destroy Domestic Energy.(Heritage).Last week, Bloomberg reported that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory push against the fossil fuel industry will cost America’s largest utility, the Southern Company, up to $18 billion in compliance costs. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.According to data in a filing by Southern last week, the EPA’s new emissions requirements cannot be met in the three years allowed by the agency. The results: more power plant closures, spikes in electricity prices, job losses, and increased power outages.Southern’s filing demonstrates that, based on company data from actual upgrade projects, the EPA’s compliance timetable in its proposed “Utility MACT” rule is simply impossible to achieve. Southern has undertaken more upgrade and compliance projects than any other power producer.Take scrubbers: Over the past seven years, it has installed 16 of them to capture emissions. The average time to complete each upgrade was 54 months—a full year-and-a-half longer than the EPA is now demanding for the entire industry to comply.The installation of filter systems, another emissions control technology, takes anywhere from 34 to 48 months from start to finish. And Southern’s figures show that, with most of the low-hanging fruit of easy upgrades already completed, the EPA-required installations would come in at the far end of that timeline.“Controlling the entire fleet by 2015 cannot be done at any cost,” the company concludes.As a result, plants that can’t be upgraded in time must be taken off line in 2015. With less power available on the grid, electricity prices are forecast to spike by 11.5 percent nationwide in 2016, causing hundreds of thousands of job losses across the economy, according to National Economic Research Associates.And according to Bernstein Research, the EPA’s rules will slash reserve capacity—i.e., the availability of electricity generating capacity to meet peak demand and plug power interruptions—resulting in increased power outages of longer duration. In a hot summer like this one, that means rolling blackouts, loss of air conditioning, and potentially heat-related deaths.The Obama EPA’s disdain for the most abundant domestic energy sources is well known, but the consequences of its regulatory onslaught are only now gaining public attention. Congress should, at the very least, extend the EPA’s impossible compliance deadline to avert some of the economic damage and job loss that are the inevitable result of the EPA’s war on domestic energy. Even better, Congress should consider whether regulation is called for at all—a question which the EPA has, prior to this Administration, answered in the negative.Hmmmm......"CHANGE" you never wanted or needed.Read the full story here.
- White House Rules by Fiat Once Again.(Heritage).In the shadow of yesterday’s disastrous Wall Street meltdown and President Barack Obama’s address to the nation, a lesser-noticed piece of news emerged from the Obama Administration: By executive fiat, the White House is once again circumventing Congress in the name of advancing the President’s agenda.It’s a story we’ve heard before. Where President Obama can’t legislate, he will use executive branch action to accomplish his agenda. In the past, he has applied that tactic in the auto bailout, EPA regulations, and Obamacare. Now he’s using this approach to remake No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—the most significant K-12 education law—by granting states conditional waivers from the onerous provisions of NCLB in exchange for adopting a yet-to-be-specified set of executive branch education policy priorities. The news came in an announcement from the Department of Education: With the new school year fast approaching and still no bill to reform the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will provide a process for states to seek relief from key provisions of the law, provided that they are willing to embrace education reform.The Department of Education is taking this unilateral action in order to insulate schools from NCLB’s unintended consequences. NCLB requires all students to be proficient in English and math by 2014, a worthwhile but unrealistic goal that is placing federal heat on schools. As a result, states and local school leaders have been focused on compliance with Washington, not the needs of the children they teach. Heritage’s Lindsey Burke explains that “the waiver route is a bad precedent that neither provides long-term relief for states nor solves the underlying problem with accountability, which would be more effective if directed to parents, not bureaucrats.”Though Carney says the White House will “work together to get significant things done,” the Administration’s actions on education this week aren’t reflective of that sentiment. In fact, they fly squarely in the face of proposals in Congress to restore state and local control over education and to begin reducing the federal role in education. Burke explains that the House Education and the Workforce Committee has completed significant work on major proposals to restore state control over education and put power in the hands of those closer to the student. But putting power in the hands of the people is not the Obama Administration’s goal. Instead, it wants to extend Washington’s tentacles into local schools.The federal government has totally failed to improve America’s educational outcomes, and now the Obama Administration has grabbed the wheel of government and is steering us further down a dead-end road. Instead of more Washington red tape, states need more control over their schools. Conditional waivers for NCLB aren’t the answer. Instead, Congress should allow states to completely opt out of NCLB through proposals that are approved by Congress. Meanwhile, the White House might want to take a lesson in constitutional governance.Hmmmm.......Than one day you wake up and realise you're living under a dictatorship.Read the full story here.
- Obama and Tisha B'Av: An American Calamity.(LevantineTimes). On a hot summer night in Boston, a young state senator from Illinois stepped to the podium to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. That night, the relatively unknown upstart would mesmerize his way onto the national political stage. He would later utilize what psychotherapists call "neuro-linguistic programming" to win a Senate seat, and then ultimately the US presidency. The young state senator was Barack Hussein Obama and the date was Tuesday, July 27, 2004. To most watching at home in the US and elsewhere around the world, it was a regular Tuesday night. But to those who observe the holidays and important dates in the Jewish tradition, it was the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, better known as the fast day of Tisha B'Av. Historically speaking, this day tends to be a calamitous one for the Jewish people as well as the State of Israel. Notable events include:
- The destruction of the 1st and 2nd Holy Temple's by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the Romans in 70 CE respectively, as well as Simon bar Kokhba's failed revolt against the Romans in 132 CE, leading to the destruction of the city of Betar where 100,000 Jews perished.
- The expulsion of Jews from England and Spain, in 1290 and 1492 respectively.
- The beginning of WWI, which led to WWII and eventually the Holocaust.
- In 1941, Hermann Göring ordered SS general Reinhard Heydrich to make all the necessary preparations for the Final Solution. Then one year later, the first transports reached Treblinka and the extermination of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto began.
- The AMIA Bombing (Asociación Mutua Israelita Argentina) by terrorists in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 86 and wounded more than 120, was on July 18, 1994, the 10th of Av.
- The Disengagement from Gaza began on the 10th of Av in 2005, when residents of Gush Katif were evicted from their homes by the Israeli government, leading to non-stop rocket fire from Hamas.
Then, the penultimate of ominous moments came when Standard and Poor's, one of the leading credit rating agencies in the world, downgraded America's credit rating for the first time in history from its perennially sterling AAA to AA+. This happened on the Shabbat right before Tisha B'Av, better known as Shabbat Chazon or the Shabbat of vision or prophecy. Thus, when one considers Obama's chilly relationship with Israel throughout his presidency, its plain to see that the fate of his presidency and the country will be linked to Tisha B'Av. One recalls a passage from the Torah (Old Testament) which reads: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you." Thus, by showing contempt for Israel, Obama has thereby rendered America and any endeavor its government partakes in to be cursed.Read the full story here.
- Anti-normalization forces gaining strength in Jordan.(JPost).Israel is increasingly concerned about damage to Israeli- Jordanian relations caused by anti-normalization elements in Jordan that have become more and more active since the beginning of the year, sources in Jerusalem said Tuesday.While there have long been vocal elements inside Jordan opposed to the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, in recent months these voices have increased and are jeopardizing economic ties, the sources said.For instance, last week the Jordanian insurance agency that provided policies for the Israeli embassy’s fleet of cars in Amman informed envoys that because of pressure from anti-normalization forces to cut off ties, it would no longer work with the embassy, a move that has forced it to scramble to find a new insurer.In addition, the sources said that since the beginning of the year there had been a 25-30 percent decrease in agricultural products exported to Jordan because of pressure placed on Jordanian businesses bringing in the products.According to the sources, those opposed to peace between the two countries are looking for the names of Jordanian businesses importing items from Israel, and placing pressure on them to end their contact with Israeli firms.In addition, the sources said that even Jordanian exporters – such as businesses selling olives to Israel – are being pressured to stop. The olive exporters are being told that Israeli firms are taking their olives, making olive oil out of them and exporting it themselves for a profit to Europe.The sources said Israeli diplomatic officials had raised these matters with Jordanian authorities, hoping to hear government statements saying there is peace with Israel and that business is not only permitted but welcome.They were met with “rolling eyes.”The sources said anti-normalization forces in Jordan then see there is no objection from the government, gain confidence from the silence and continue with their efforts.In addition, the sources said the Jordanian press was increasingly becoming more anti-Israel. For instance, an article Monday on the English website of the Ammon news service referred to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a war criminal, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon as a “despicable bastard,” Israel as a “snake,” and Zionists as a “despicable, obnoxious group of people.”The Jordan Times, meanwhile, ran a story Sunday reporting that 17 years after the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, many Jordanian journalists “still view Israel as an enemy occupying Arab lands and oppressing a brotherly Arab people, which, they say, should be enough to deprive it of the right to get an Arab platform.”The paper quoted the head of Jordan Press Association, Tareq Momani, as saying that when Israel was involved, patriotism “should take precedence over all other considerations.” He said his organization opposed contact between its members and Israelis.“We are totally against any contact with Israelis. The issue here is not just about journalism.Israel for us is still an enemy occupying Arab land and oppressing Arab people.We will not accept giving their views a platform,” Momani was quoted as telling the Times.The sources in Jerusalem attributed the increasingly negative atmosphere toward Israel in Jordan to the Arab Spring, the diplomatic standoff with the Palestinians and the run-up to the Palestinian statehood recognition bid at the UN in September. Read the full story here.
- Tisha B’Av – Mourning the Loss of the Second Temple, Ignoring the Second Holocaust and Considering the Destruction of the Third.(KaffirKanuck).A must read.
- Toronto School board sees duelling demonstrations over Muslim prayers.(ParentCentral).About a hundred demonstrators congregated on the steps of the Toronto District School Board on Monday evening toting signs and shouting chants condemning the city’s public schools for allowing Muslim prayer groups.“No Islam in our schools! Never, never, never!” shouted Ron Banerjee, director of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy.The demonstration comes several weeks after a similar one was held at the same location with groups such as the Jewish Defense League and the Christian Heritage Party.The Canadian Egyptian Congress, which represents some Coptic Christians, joined the groups in voicing concern over the conversion of auditoriums and cafeterias into prayer spaces for Muslim students.“I don't mind them having their prayers but they have to take them to their mosques,” said Nazeer Bishay, president of the Canadian Egyptian Congress. “The school should only be for the core subjects: English, French, History, Geography, Math, and Biology.”On the edge of the street were about a dozen young Muslims clad in colourful hijabs, carrying signs supporting the school board.“We'd like to thank the TDSB for respecting our rights,” said Hatice Celik, wearing a bubble gum pink hijab.The 21-year-old graduated from Nelson A. Boylen Collegiate where she regularly attended a weekly Muslim group on Fridays.“Peace, multiculturalism, diversity, that's what we want,” she said.Mohamed Mohamed came out on behalf of his teenage siblings who are attending public high schools in the GTA.“At York University, we already have religious accommodation for all religious groups so why not for the TDSB?” Said the 20-year-old York University student.Police officers monitored from afar and intervened when verbal disputes became heated.The controversy over Muslim prayers in public schools was recently ignited over Valley Park Middle School's decision to bring in an imam to provide Friday prayer service to 300 Muslim students, who were reportedly failing to return to school after leaving early to attend a mosque.Read and see the full story here.
- Muslims Attack Christian Village in Egypt -- 1 Murdered, Homes Looted and Torched.(Aina).Muslims attacked Christians in the village of Nazlet Faragallah, in the southern Egyptian Minya province, on Sunday evening. The attack continued until the early hours of Monday morning, August 8. One Copt was murdered and homes were looted and torched when Muslims from Nazlet Faragallah together with Muslims from four neighboring villages started their violence at approximately 8 PM, after breaking their Ramadan fast.According to eyewitnesses, thousands of Muslims entered the village from all sides, firing automatic weapons (mostly in the air), looting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at several homes. “They even destroyed our irrigation pumps,” said one witness.The first attack was on the house of Father Youanes, pastor of St. George Church, which lies at the head of the village. He was beaten and his home was looted and torched.Maher Nassif Tobias (50), an employee at the local council, was murdered in his home. He was found by his son. His house was completely looted, including his livestock.Security forces arrived 4 hours after the attack began and there were too few of them. “They only had batons in their hands, and were unable to control the situation,” said a Coptic village resident. “Our village is surrounded by corn fields. The Muslims came into the village to loot and quickly disappeared in the fields, the police could not follow them. They were coming from all directions at the same time.”Nazlet Faragallah has 8000 inhabitants, 80% are Copts and 20% Muslims. In a statement tonight, the security authorities in Minya said the Muslim attack on Nazlet Faragallah was caused by a group of Copts, headed by Haddar Ishaq, firing at Muslims as they came out of the mosque on Sunday afternoon. Copts in the village denied this claim.Three Muslims were arrested yesterday and three Copts today. None of the Copts were involved in any incident, and one of them had broken his leg two weeks before. “Security is doing its balancing act again,” said one of the villagers. “They will use these Copts, who were arrested at random, to bargain for their freedom in exchange for village Copts giving up their rights during the ‘reconciliation’ meeting.”It was reported that Muslim women walked the streets today, warning that after breaking the Ramadan fast the men would come to finish the Christians off, but this did not happen, as security was present in large numbers in the village and preparations were being made for another “reconciliation” meeting to take place on August 9.Hmmmm......The religion of peace.Read the full story here.
- Pharma Nightmare: Indians sitting ducks as drug trials turn fatal.(BlacklistedNews).Source: Tribune India.For the first time since 2010 when six tribal girls from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh involved in the clinical trials of anti-cervical cancer HPV vaccine died, the government has admitted that 1,725 persons have lost their lives to drug trials in the last four years.The number of deaths has risen from 132 in 2007 and 288 in 2008 to 637 in 2009 and 668 last year, indicating the complete ineffectiveness of regulatory controls over the $400 million sector. Last year, the government gave compensation in just 22 cases out of the 668 that resulted in deaths due to “serious adverse events” during drug trials, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Parliament this week.Currently, 1,868 clinical trials are going on as per the Clinical Trial Registry of India maintained by the office of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Many of the drugs being tested are not even of specific relevance to the country and could have been tested anywhere. Equally shocking is the fact that the rules, under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, entirely trust the trial investigator with the reason attributed for the death of a subject. This is resulting in gross under-reporting of actual deaths during clinical trials.Dr Chandra Gulhati, a leading medical practitioner, who led several clinical trials in the UK, says the number of deaths would be much more than we will ever know. “We have no system of independent auditors to investigate the cause of death of subjects involved in clinical trials. Whatever the investigator says is believed even if he attributes the death to a prior disease. Such investigators are always hired by the firm conducting the trial. How can we expect them to be objective all the time?”, he asks.Under the rules, a company interested in trial is supposed to approach the Drug Controller with a protocol to get approvals. But there has been evidence of weak monitoring of requests. “I just investigated a case where 800 pages of protocol were submitted to the DCGI for approval. The permission was granted in four days whereas even a clinician like me would require at least a month to understand the whole project. Clearly, people in the DCGI office are not vetting the requests properly,” said Gulhati, who is now investigating the cause of 81 deaths due to recent clinical trials in Indore.The rules further mandate the company conducting the trial to get consent forms signed from subjects. The idea is to have safeguards but it’s not working. In the HPV vaccine trial which was suspended after 6 deaths last year, the government inquiry concluded that consent forms had actually been signed by wardens of hostels where the girls resided and not by the girls themselves. In both Gujarat and Andhra, over 22 pc of the vaccinated girls were tribals even though our law bar trials on tribals unless the drug being tested is of specific benefit to them. Dr Amit Sengupta, who helped expose loopholes in the HPV trial conducted by the US NGO PATH, says India must drastically reduce the number of trials happening here. “Why should we allow trials of drugs for medical conditions that prevail elsewhere in the world? Trials for diarrhoea, malaria etc are understandable, but why should foreign firms come to us to test anti-cancer drugs? Cancer is prevalent in their countries also. Let them test there,” he says. The reason is: since the cost of testing in India is 80 per cent less than in the developed world, firms come here. Experts, meanwhile, also want the DCGI to frame rules to specify that trials will be allowed only in cases where the firm in question undertakes to make the drug available to Indians at affordable prices.Promoters of the HPV vaccine trial for instance wanted the vaccine included under India’s Universal Immunisation Programme even though it costs Rs 9000 per eligible girl (age 9 to 15 years). Vaccines for trial came free of cost from pharma giants GSK and MSD. Considering 1.25 crore girls enter the age group 9 to 15 years annually, the promoters could have made Rs 11, 250 crore per year had the government accepted public distribution of the HPV vaccine.Hmmmmm.........To put it plainly "Life is cheaper in India"?Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely different!High and mighty: Stunning new images of world's tallest tower a.k.a. : "Kingdom Tower".(DailyMail).Incredible new images of what the world's tallest tower will eventually look like have been revealed.The $1.2 billion Kingdom Tower, which will stretch 3,280ft into the Saudi Arabian sky, has so far only been illustrated through concept sketches and a rendering showing the bank-busting building from afar.But these amazing artist impressions detail up-close what the exterior of the sleek, streamlined tower will look like and how the site will fit in with surrounding buildings.Gordon Gill, of arhictects AS+GG, said its outline was inspired by the 'folded fronds of young desert plant growth'.He said: 'The way the fronds sprout upward from the ground as a single form, then start separating from each other at the top, is an analogy of new growth fused with technology. We're thrilled to be working with His Highness to help define this path for the Kingdom.'The tower has a three-petal footprint and tapering wings which produce an aerodynamic shape that will help reduce structural loading due to wind vortex shedding. Each of its three sides features a series of notches that create pockets of shadow to shield areas of the building from the sun and provide outdoor terraces with stunning views of Jeddah and the Red Sea. Read and see the full story here.