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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MFS - The Other News

                          Morning Posting.

  • From AP:FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger.The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.For example, he said he wants to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.A look at some of Obama's statements Tuesday night and how they compare with the facts.Hmmmm.....Living in a make believe world?Read the full story here.

  • HT:DailyCaller.Text of Paul Ryan’s Republican response to the State of the Union.Here.

  • HT:WND.BORN IN THE USA?Game-changer! Arizona to pass 2012 eligibility law.Obama will have to produce birth certificate to run again.It could be a game-changer.A plan in Arizona to require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is approaching critical mass, even though it has just been introduced. The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors. It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass. In the House, there are 25 co-sponsors, with the need for only 31 votes for passage, and Burges told WND that there were several chamber members who confirmed they support the plan and will vote for it, but simply didn't wish to be listed as co-sponsors. The proposal, which also is being taken up in a number of other states, is highly specific and directly addresses the questions that have been raised by Barack Obama's occupancy of the White House. It says:Within ten days after submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate's citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate's age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.The Arizona bill also requires attachments, "which shall be sworn to under penalty of perjury," including "an original long form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance." It also requires testimony that the candidate "has not held dual or multiple citizenship and that the candidate's allegiance is solely to the United States of America." "If both the candidate and the national political party committee for that candidate fail to submit and swear to the documents prescribed in this section, the secretary of state shall not place that presidential candidate's name on the ballot in this state," the state plan explains.Read the full story here.

  • HT:Aina.Islam and the State of the Union."The state of our union is . . . denial -- at least when it comes to Islam."I'm not holding my breath waiting for President Obama, as denier-in-chief, to make that pronouncement when he addresses the nation this evening at one of Leviathan's more notorious wastes of time, the State of the Union address. Indeed, Washington's annual celebration of itself, high on pageantry and bereft of substance, is unlikely to dwell much on the "religion of peace," notwithstanding its centrality -- acknowledged or not -- to much of U.S. policy. Such silence is fitting, as is its flip side: to brand as "Islamophobia" any deviation from the party line -- a bipartisan party line if ever there was one. An adult discussion of Islam would bring down the house of cards on which our policy is based. Better to say nothing.Thankfully, the Jeruslam Post's Barry Rubin won't play along. He disrupted our sweet dreams last week with a pronouncement from al-Azhar University. Al-Azhar is the centuries-old seat of Sunni scholarship in Egypt, a status that vests its sharia scholars with unparalleled doctrinal influence over the world's 1.4 billion Muslims.It is conventional wisdom among the West's Islamophilic opinion elites -- and thus prototypically among Obama administration officials -- that jihad, the Islamic injunction to struggle in Allah's cause, has been distorted by sharia-obsessed Islamophobes into a summons to destroy the West. Jihad, this wisdom holds, is just an internal exercise in self-betterment -- kind of like greening the planet and brushing after every meal. Jihad becomes confrontational and even violent only in self-defense, when Muslims are truly under siege.Au contraire, says al-Azhar's Imad Mustafa. To be sure, he agrees that the doctrine of "defensive jihad" calls for war against non-Muslims who "attack" Muslims. But defense, for purposes of this doctrine, is in the eye of the beholder -- or, more accurately, in the eye of the mufti who decides what sorts of provocations constitute an "attack." Implicitly, that leaves room for lots of pretty offensive jihad if the mufti construes the concept of "attack" broadly enough. What is bracing about Mustafa's new fatwa, however, is that he's not leaving anything to chance. He's making what is implicit unmistakably explicit.But we are not watching, seeing, noticing, or studying. President Obama just announced the appointment of Quintan Wiktorowicz to the National Security Council as "senior director for [what else?] global engagement." A perfect fit for the administration, Wiktorowicz is a former Rhodes College professor whose claim to academic fame is the trendy theory that, as NPR admiringly put it, "very religious Muslims were in fact the people who ended up being the most resistant to radicalization."Who, then, becomes a radical, Mr. Wiktorowicz? They tend to be (in NPR's description of his theory) "people who don't have a good grounding in the religion." Grounding in what aspect of the religion? We're not told -- just left with his insistence that Islam is ecumenical and non-violent, end of story. The game, though, is given away with our new engagement director's explanation that any effective "counterradicalization" campaign must include "beefing up education about Islam among Muslims themselves."Alas, real "education about Islam" would include such discomfiting texts as Imad Mustafa's latest fatwa. Wiktorowicz is not talking about teaching the Islam that is. He's talking about teaching the Islam of his dreams. On the Islam that is, al-Azhar has the ear of Muslims. The Obama administration has the ear of NPR.Denial is not a river in Egypt. Turns out it's a university in Egypt.Read the full story here.

  • White House official: Obama will tackle 'very important issue' of gun control.A White House senior adviser said Tuesday night that President Obama is "going to address [gun control]."In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, David Plouffe responded to criticism that the president did not mention gun control in his State of the Union address. Some Democrats on Capitol Hill and gun-control advocates have called for new legislation in the wake of the deadly shooting that killed six and injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) earlier this month."He's going to address this," Plouffe said. "It's a very important issue and I know there's going to be a lot of debate on the Hill."It's not clear what legislation Obama will urge Congress to pass. Despite his support for reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, he has not made the issue a priority and has been lambasted by gun-control groups during the first two years of his presidency.Williams said he was told by a senior administration official that Obama will take on gun control at a different venue and later date.Hmmmm......Doesn't want a standing militia in America,when he grabs power?Read the full story here.

  • Educated Non-Muslims Don't Like About Islam in a Nutshell.THE QURAN is Islam's most holy book. Sixty-one percent of the Quran is about non-Muslims. Writings about what Muslims should do is religious. Writings about what non-Muslims should do or how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims is political (read more about this). Therefore, based on Islam's most holy book, Islam is more political (61%) than religious (39%).There are 245 verses in the Quran that could be considered "positive verses" about non-Muslims. Every single one of those verses have been abrogated by later, negative verses about non-Muslims. Not one positive verse about non-Muslims is left.In contrast, there are 527 verses of intolerance toward non-Muslims, and 109 verses specifically advocating violence towards non-Muslims. Not one of these verses has been abrogated.My conclusion: Non-Muslims who like Islam don't know much about it.Hmmmmm.."Kill disbelievers wherever you find them" 2:191-2..War is ordained by Allah, and all Muslims must be willing to fight, whether they like it or not. 2:216...says about the full story here.  HT:TundraTabloids.

  • Egypt bans demonstrations.CAIRO — Egypt said on Wednesday it was banning demonstrations and quickly dispersed protesters who tried to gather, seeking to draw a line under unprecedented protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.Activists called on Egyptians to take to the streets again on Wednesday to end Mr. Mubarak’s 30-year rule after a “Day of Wrath” of anti-government protests across Egypt in which three protesters and one policeman were killed.Police fired teargas and water cannon in the early hours of Wednesday to disperse protesters in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square. By daybreak, Cairo and other cities were calm. Police were deployed in large numbers around the capital.Brief attempts by protesters to gather again on Wednesday outside a court complex in Cairo and in the industrial city of Mahallah el-Kubra were quickly broken up. In Tahrir square, police questioned and moved on anyone who appeared to loiter.As cleaners swept the last stones and debris from Cairo’s streets, the independent newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm arrived at newsstands bearing a stark red front-page headline: “Warning”.“No provocative movements or protest gatherings or organisation of marches or demonstrations will be allowed, and immediate legal procedures will be taken and participants will be handed over to investigating authorities,” the state news agency MENA cited the Interior Ministry as saying.The Interior Ministry blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for Tuesday’s violence, although the banned Islamist opposition group has only played a small part in protests and has even angered its own youth members by not being active enough.Read the full story here.

  • HT:AhmadiyyaTimes.Egypt's Would-Be Revolution: Mubarak's notorious police stood down, but only for a few hours.CAIRO, Egypt -- It is too soon to know whether the stunning demonstrations that have rocked Egypt today, with tens of thousands of protesters descending on cities throughout the country and overtaking Cairo's central square in an effort to reproduce Tunisia's recent uprising, will succeed in forcing change. But a telling comment came just after cannons, shooting gas-infused water, dispersed crowds along one major Cairo thoroughfare, when a man turned to me and said, "We want a revolution. We don't want Hosni Mubarak."That man was a police captain.To be sure, today's protests have been marked with instances of shocking, even if sadly predictable, regime violence. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets; government-hired thugs beat protesters in the streets; and many - including my own roommate - were arrested. But perhaps the most surprising aspect of today's "day of rage" was that, for the first few hours, Egypt's notorious security forces stood down.Around 1:30, a protest erupted suddenly at the Lawyers Syndicate, a hotbed of opposition political activists one mile north of Tahrir Square, where about 200 activists began pushing onto the streets. Rows of riot police quickly pushed back, hoping to contain them within the syndicate's gates. Soon after, a second crowd gathered across the street. As riot police scrambled, protest leaders began appealing to nearby pedestrians to join in, and some did, boxing in the police. Meanwhile, a group of former opposition parliamentarians held a third protest on the steps of the nearby high court, shouting demands for the end of Mubarak's reign. This group quickly gained strength and converged with the second crowd, overwhelming the riot police. The three demonstrations became one and began their push towards Tahrir Square.Initially, riot police formed rows of human chains blocking off the square. But when the marching protesters met the ranks of police, a strange thing happened. The chains broke at every point, allowing the demonstrators to pass through. The police, it seemed, were simply unwilling to hold. At these edges of the square, and in the square itself, confrontations between protesters and security officials were few and far between. Jubilation was in the air as the ever-growing crowd passed the Egyptian Museum and took Tahrir Square with the astounding acquiescence of the police."I think the police are helping us," said Ghad party youth leader Moshira Ahmed Mohasseb, who led chants on the march toward Tahrir. "They're tired. Everyday they're fighting another strike in another place, and I think they're starting to think again."As the crowd grew, a police officer, who might in the past have responded with his baton, instead took out a camera and snapped a photo. Whatever was happening, he wanted to record it rather than to stop it."Read the full story here.

  • Blair's Muslim relative: Try him for war crimes.Former British PM's sister-in-law, Muslim convert Lauren booth, delivers address in Malaysia on 'Islam from the perspective of Western women'. Blair should be arrested and sent to International Court of Justice in The Hague over invasion of Iraq, she states.Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth, a rights campaigner and Muslim convert, said on Wednesday that he should be tried for war crimes over the invasion of Iraq. Booth, the half-sister of Blair's barrister wife Cherie, is in Malaysia for lectures organized by Viva Palestina, a British-based organization associated with controversial politician George Galloway.Asked whether Blair should be arrested and sent to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for war crimes, Booth replied: "Absolutely. He misled the British people and took Britain to war on a lie."The conflict in Iraq was "an offense", she told reporters after a speech at a Malaysian university, saying it was organized well in advance between Blair and the United States leadership.Booth has been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, and a supporter of the Palestinian cause, and in 2008 travelled with other activists to Gaza by ship to protest against Israel's blockade of the territory.Hmmmmm......The "black"sheep in the family,or indoctrination?Read the full story here.

  • Tunisia seeks arrest of ex-leader.Ousted President Ben Ali is wanted to stand trial for theft and currency offences, says the nation's justice minister.Tunisia wants to have ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family arrested and put on trial for possession of expropriated property and for transferring foreign currency abroad, the nation's interim justice minister has said.Interpol, the international police agency, has been asked to help arrest Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and other family members who have fled the country, Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said on Wednesday.Ben Ali went to Saudi Arabia this month after weeks of violent protests against poverty, repression and corruption. He amassed vast riches during his 23 years in power, with his family controlling many of Tunisia's biggest companies.On January 15, the day after Ben Ali left, dozens of inmates were reported to have been killed in a mass breakout from a prison in the town of Mahdia. The same day, 42 inmates were killed in a prison riot in Monastir in what was described by a hospital official as "complete chaos".Chebbi said 2,460 prisoners had been released since Ben Ali was ousted from power. It was not clear how many of them had been in jail for political crimes, but the government said earlier it was releasing all political prisoners.The toppling of Ben Ali after 23 years in power, in protests led mainly by young people protesting against poverty, corruption and political repression, has electrified Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa, where many countries face similar problems. Jeff Feltman, the US assistant secretary of state, visiting Tunis, encouraged the interim government to do more to satisfy the demands of the people, and said Washington was ready to assist Tunisia in preparing for its first free elections.Read the full story here.

  • Canadians 'support more troops to defend Arctic claims'.Canadians feel so strongly about defending their claims to the Arctic that they support increasing troops numbers there, a major poll suggests.Some 9,000 people in eight Arctic countries gave views on their nations' relationship with the Arctic.The Canadian-led research suggests Canadians feel most strongly when it comes to sovereignty issues. "The Arctic is seen as a crucial ingredient to our sense of national identity," said the study.The research was published by the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.Fifty-eight percent of Canadians said they supported a strengthened military presence in the north to protect against international threats, the study's authors' said."While Canadians say they are open to working with other countries, at the same time a clear majority of Canadians...want to increase Canada's military presence in the Arctic," its authors said.Certain parts of the Arctic have been under dispute for many years, including the Arctic sea region and parts of the Arctic seas.Around three-quarters of the Canadian respondents believe the contested Northwest Passage is in Canadian waters, and half of them believe the Beaufort Sea should belong to Canada.Forty-three percent of Canadians said their government should pursue a firm line in defending Canadian sections of the Arctic.This hard line was echoed by 36% of respondents in Iceland, 34% in Russia and 10% or less in the United States, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.In response to the survey, Canada's defence minister Peter MacKay said the Arctic was "a very high priority for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our government".Read the full story here.

  • Medvedev after bombing: Learn from Israel.Russian president orders reform in country's security apparatus following deadly suicide attack at Moscow airport; says Israel should be taken as example. 'They have many security checkpoints, meticulous inspections that will drive you insane'. Russians want to learn from Ben-Gurion Airport: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday instructed the country's Transportation Ministry and police to reform security procedures at airports.In an interview published by Novye Izvestia newspaper on Wednesday, former head of the Russian Interpol Vladimir Ovchinsky claimed, "The level of terror threat in Russia is higher than that in Israel. "Our war is more intensive than the one between Israelis and the Palestinians," he noted, adding in a pessimistic tone, "The war in the Caucasus may last a hundred years." Hmmmm......At least they're not afraid to profile.Read the full story here.

  • HT:BigPeace.Video : Hidden Footage from Inside North Korea: Starvation and Anger.Rimjin-Gang is the project of courageous citizen journalists within North Korea. The following is footage taken from inside the country. The interview with the 23-year-old woman is heartbreaking. Rimjin-Gang reports that shortly after the interview she died of malnutrition.Read and see the full story here.

  • Excavation of Old City tunnel complete.Revelation of canal connecting City of David in Silwan and Western Wall raises mixed feelings. Angry Arab residents claim dig was political, not historical.Jerusalem police forces secured the Old City throughout Tuesday fearing the Israeli Antiquities Authority's announcement over the completion of a new tunnel seven years in the making, which will open up an underground passage directly underneath city walls, not far from Temple Mount, would cause riots. However, despite the tension at the Silwan neighborhood, the day went by without any irregular events.The new tunnel is actually a drainage canal dating back to the time of the Second Temple. It is 700 meters long (0.435 miles) and connects the City of David in Silwan to the Archaeological Park and Davidson Center in Jerusalem, near the Western Wall.The canal, which was probably dug in the days of Herod, was exposed during the excavation headed by the Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and funded by the Elad Foundation. The canal passes underneath a main road and underneath Arab homes in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.Jerusalem District head archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Dr Yuval Baruch, explained that the canal is located right underneath an old street which was used by Jerusalem residents and pilgrims making their way to the Temple. The canal was used mainly for drainage. Baruch joked that despite limited means at the time, the canal was built "in less time than it took to build the light rail in Jerusalem." The Antiquities Authority plans on opening the tunnel for visitors. According to Baruch they are "well aware of the sensitivity surrounding the digging, but with such an excavation we are exposing 3000 to 4000 years of history - and not just Jewish history." Read the full story here.

  • HT:BigPeace.Pakistanis Suing the CIA and US Over Drone Attacks: Want $500 Million Per Victim.Even though it is President Obama who has ramped up the use of drone attacks to deal with militants in Pakistan, he is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. A lawyer representing the plaintiffs admits that $500 million per victim is “very high” but he believes it is “appropriate.” Almost every day, people in the Pakistani region of Waziristan are killed or seriously injured by drone attacks carried out by the CIA. Now a group of victims’ relatives is standing up to Washington — by suing the US government.An eye and both legs: That was the price that 17-year-old Sadaullah Wazir paid for living in a part of the world that is deemed a “terrorist haven” and that has been a target for US drones over the past few years. Since Barack Obama became US president, these attacks have become increasingly frequent. The Pakistani newspapers now report daily on those killed and injured in the tribal areas in the west of the country…Experts doubt the legality of the US strategy in Pakistan. Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, has asked the US to make public their rules for the drone missions, give the numbers of civilian victims and prove that there were no other viable alternatives to the deadly aerial attacks. Up to now, Washington has been cautious about making any statements regarding the drone operations. Read the full story here.

  • HT:Imra.Moshe Arens warns that anti-stealth technology may neutralize US F-35s, Israeli military technology is key to future. For many years a basic tenet of Israeli defense policy was that its soldiers must have a qualitative advantage over its enemies in terms of the weapon systems at their disposal. The question was how to achieve that qualitative superiority.Yitzhak Rabin once told me that victory on the battlefield could only be achieved with weapons acquired abroad, and this view was shared by many in the defense establishment. France was Israel's main source of advanced weapons in the 1950s, with the United States assuming that mantle thereafter. The claims by Israeli engineers that they could develop systems that were at least as good as anything available abroad were dismissed as pipe dreams.The F-35, the latest U.S. fighter that Israel wants to acquire, will include no Israeli systems. The F-35 development program has been plagued by frequent delays and mounting cost overruns. The design compromises that have to be made to accommodate its goal of serving as a joint strike fighter that will be acquired by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and the Marines have limited its performance capabilities.In the meantime, anti-stealth technology is being developed and may yet neutralize what is being advertised as the aircraft's major advantage before delivery or within its operational lifetime. Russia and Indian are developing a more advanced aircraft, the Sukhoi T-50, which is certain to be sold to Arab air forces and to face the IAF's aircraft in the future.It is time to reexamine Israel's own capabilities in this area. In any event, IAI must not be permitted to allow our fighter-aircraft design capability to atrophy.Read the full story here.

  • President Gül warns of rising racism, discrimination in Europe.Turkish President Abdullah Gül has warned about the growing pessimism in Europe that he said was reshaping the continent's political life on the back of increasing manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in many European societies. “Let us not forget that popular support for explicit anti-Semitism was only 5 percent in the late 1920s. With the snowball effect, this poisonous minority paved the way for the Holocaust in the late 1930s. History does repeat itself if we do not draw lessons from our past mistakes,” he said to deputies from the 47 nations represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).“Over the past few years, our member states have been affected by weakening social ties. Radicalization and increasing gaps between different religious, ethnic and cultural communities started to harm the social fabric of our nations,” President Gül remarked, adding: “We must retain confidence in the ability of our democratic institutions to promote human rights, tolerance, dialogue and social cohesion. We need to develop a democratic framework for living together.”As for minorities, Gül said that if any group is not happy with the decision of the domestic courts, they can always take a case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). He squarely placed the blame for deteriorating relations with Israel on the Jewish state, saying Turkey did all it could to help Israel to reconcile its differences with its neighbors in the past. “The collective punishment of the Gazan people is not acceptable as confirmed by international bodies. Many international human rights organizations have tried to help the Gazans. Turkey did that, too. People from 47 nations participated in that aid convoy, but Israel attacked them in open waters,” he explained.Gül also dismissed the genocide question raised by Armenian deputy Naira Zohrabyan, saying the Turkish government does not believe the term can be applied to the incidents during World War I. He called for the establishment a historical commission to investigate World War I killings during which Armenians, Turks and many others perished and asked for all archives to be opened up. Recalling that he was the first Turkish president to visit Armenia, Gül said Turkey wants to normalize relations with its neighbor, but the occupation of Azerbaijani lands must cease. “As long as there are problems in this area, there will be a wall between Europe and Asia. If we solve these, the Caucasus would be a great gateway for prosperity,” he noted.Hmmmmm......"Blame the Jews"?Read the full story here.

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