3D Printing of a Gun. How can you have gun control if you can download your gun like music?

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- The 3-D Printed Handgun -


Here is what gets to the heart of the argument. my father brought up technology. what happens with 3d printers? Will the government be able to stop the transfer of a blue print of a gun over the internet any better then they can stop the transfer of music and video.
And then there’s Defense Distributed, a.k.a. the Wiki Weapon Project, the initiative cooked up by a University of Texas Law student and some of his buddies to 3-D print a working firearm. The group’s Indiegogo funding campaign was shut down in the early going and 3-D printer maker Stratasys revoked the lease on Wiki Weapon’s fabricator at one point, but through Bitcoin and other technology providers they’ve managed to keep the project alive and funded.
Last we saw the Defense Distributed boys out on the range, they were firing an AR-15 rifle with a 3-D printed lower receiver--not of their own design, but one that is already available out there on the Web. They managed to get six rounds off before the plastic component broke, but they learned a bit about recoil and stress as they pertain to 3-D printed plastic in the process. These guys seem pretty serious about bringing their own, freely distributed, publicly available printable firearm design into being relatively soon, which could make 2013 an interesting year in terms of ethics and legal infrastructure that are scrambling to keep up with accelerating 3-D fabrication technologies.

Egypt On the Verge of Bankruptcy

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Goldman Graph 3
By David P. Goldman, JINSA
“The country is on the verge of bankruptcy,” Egyptian opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei told the newspaper al-ArabiyaDec. 23. Unable to reduce subsidies that account for most of a budget deficit that now exceeds 14 percent of GDP, and unwilling to raises taxes, it seems most likely that the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi will instead take the path of least resistance and allow a steady devaluation of the Egyptian pound. During the past two weeks, central bank intervention to support the pound’s value on the foreign exchange market has stopped and the currency has fallen sharply.


Central bank intervention in support of the pound is shown clearly on the chart of daily values for the Egyptian pound’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar during the year to date. The spikes in the exchange rate reflect central bank activity. The sharp drop in the pound’s exchange rate during the past two weeks reflects an absence of central bank intervention.
In the advent of last week’s referendum on a proposed new Islamist constitution, the Morsi government postponed negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, out of fear that the austerity measures required by the IMF would elicit a wave of political opposition. As Andrew Bowman wrote in the Financial Times:
The loan is conditional on some very unpopular tax increases and fuel subsidy cuts to reduce the deficit to 8.5 per cent during the financial year starting July 2013. The government is loathe to take these on at this moment in time with its authority fragile and new elections looming in 2013. Indeed, when it tried to introduce new taxes on consumer goods a few days before the constitutional referendum, it removed them within a few hours following public outcry. Its loan request has been postponed until January and the delay may entail renegotiation.
The Morsi government’s failure to secure the IMF loan also jeopardizes other expected loans, including a $500 million credit from the African Development Bank. This is a crisis of governance, of the sort I analyzed on this site in September. Morsi cannot get a popular mandate without reneging on essential economic reform measures, but he cannot obtain the financing that Egypt requires to avoid bankruptcy if he reneges on reform.
That leaves Egypt’s central bank with cash reserves of just $7.1 billion (out of total reserves including gold of $15 billion), enough to cover just over two months’ worth of the country’s $36 billion annual trade deficit, equivalent to about 16 percent of Egypt’s GDP. Against this enormous trade deficit, Egypt has
1) Tourism revenues that peaked at $12.5 billion in 2010 before falling to only $9 billion in 2011, and now may be running as low as $6 billion a year, according to one estimate in the Egyptian press;
2) Suez Canal revenues of somewhat less than $5 billion a year; and
3) An indeterminate volume of workers’ remittances, estimated at anywhere between $7.7 billion and $18 billion;
4) Whatever Egypt can borrow, which at the moment is essentially nothing.
Remittances almost certainly have risen since 2009, when the central bank estimated the flow at $9.5 billion, although a major source of those remittances-the 2 million Egyptians working in Libya-dropped sharply after the Libyan civil war. 1.7 million Egyptians work in Saudi Arabia, 500,000 in Kuwait, and 500,000 in Jordan. Their repatriated earnings are in many cases the main support of their families at home.
Egypt’s dependence on remittances, though, makes a devaluation of the Egyptian pound an especially dangerous exercise. As long as Egyptians overseas expect the national currency to keep falling, they are likely to delay sending money home as long as possible. That in turn will worsen the central bank’s foreign exchange position and make devaluation more likely, in a vicious circle. It seems clear from the earlier intervention pattern that the Egyptian central bank hoped to prevent devaluation. Since the collapse of the IMF loan negotiations, though, it may have concluded that it has no other alternative.
The position of Egypt’s foreign workers, moreover, is fragile. King Abdullah of Jordan warned at a private meeting (cited by the news siteAI-Monitor) that Jordan might use the 500,000 Egyptians now working in in his country as “bargaining chips” against the Muslim Brotherhood, which he denounced as part of a “new extremist alliance” in the Arab world. Jordan’s monarchy has been under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood during the past year, and it seems clear that the Hashemites will not sit on their hands. A major Jordanian complaint is the interruption of piped Egyptian natural gas, at an estimate cost to the Jordanian government of 5 billion Jordanian dinars. The same pipeline through which Egypt supplied Israel also met four-fifths of Jordan’s gas requirements.
According to a Dec. 17 report in Egypt’s Official Gazette, cited by theEgypt Independent, Egypt will import gas from international companies in Qatar at a cost of U.S. $14 per million BTUs. Qatar’s government sells gas at $9 per million BTUs, and Egypt is contractually obligated to sell gas to Jordan at $5.50 per million BTUs. The unfavorable terms suggest that something else is at work: Egypt may be overpaying for Qatari gas to amortize Qatar’s $2 billion emergency loan to the country’s central bank last fall. Qatar has given the Morsi government indispensable support. Announcement of this loan Aug. 12 coincided with President Morsi’s dismissal of the old-line Egyptian military leadership, and the funds have allowed Egypt to maintain wheat stockpiles at adequate levels during the past several months. It appears, though, that Qatar’s aid comes with a price tag, and that Egypt’s import costs will rise as a result.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves, meanwhile, are so squeezed that banks are refusing to provide financing for food imports (other than wheat bought directly by the government) because importers have not had access to hard currency to pay their arrears, the Food Industries Association warned Nov. 27. The importers’ association warns that food imports may drop by 40 percent during coming months as a result.
Morsi’s hold on political power is fragile after the mass protests that preceded this month’s constitutional referendum and the opposition’s unwillingness to concede legitimacy to the government’s narrow victory. Prior to the referendum, Morsi showed himself unable to reduce subsidies or raise taxes in order to control a domestic budget deficit and a trade deficit that are both running at close to a sixth of GDP. If he takes the path of least resistance and allows the Egyptian pound to depreciate severely, as the local market evidently expects, it may be difficult for the hard-pressed Egyptian pound to find a stable bottom, for reasons noted earlier: fears of devaluation will delay remittances and provoke capital flight, worsening the central bank’s already dire cash position.
The danger is that Egypt will descend into banana republic-like inflation, but without the bananas. We have witnessed many cycles of devaluation and inflation in Latin American countries, but all of those cases involved food exporters. Egypt by contrast imports half its food.
The government’s likely response will be to employ state controls in a heavy-handed but haphazard fashion: imposing foreign exchange controls, rationing essential items, raiding alleged speculators, and stirring up have-nots against supposed haves. If the opposition is unable to unseat Morsi, he is likely to lead Egypt to an extreme degree of statism-a sort of North Korea on the Nile.
It is not clear where he can turn. President Morsi is at a stalemate in discussions with the international financial organizations. The Gulf States are even more hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood than before Egypt’s political crisis, and less inclined to help. Even Qatar, it appears, is extracting payment for its previous help on a cash-and-carry basis through the energy market. The most likely outcome will be austerity through devaluation rather than tax increases or subsidy cuts, with deleterious consequences for the already-failing Egyptian economy. On the strength of the available evidence, we would have to answer our question of September-”is Egypt governable?”-in the negative.
David P. Goldman, JINSA Fellow, writes the “Spengler” column for Asia Times Online and the “Spengler” blog at PJ Media. He is also a columnist at Tablet, and contributes frequently to numerous other publications. For more information on the JINSA Fellowship program, click here.

US Navy Seal Commander, Who Killed Osama Bin Laden, Commits ‘Apparent Suicide’ In Afghanistan

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Flashback: UNBELIEVABLE: ‘More Than 20 Navy SEALS From The Unit That Killed Osama Bin Laden’ Die In Helicopter Crash :  US Navy Commander who killed Bin Laden, commits suicide (The Siasat Daily, Dec 25, 2012):
Hyderabad – SEAL Team 4 Commanding Officer Job W. Price commit suicide. He was best known for finding and then killing Osama bin Laden.
Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, died Saturday, Dec. 22, of a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Suicide of the Officer of this grade raises many questions among the media, as the team was best known for killing Osama Bin Laden that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011.
Military officials are looking into the death of Cmdr. Job W. Price as a possible suicide, but that his death remains under investigation.
Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., was in charge of coordinating all Team 4 missions.
Price was in Afghanistan supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province. He was assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Va.
SEAL Team 4 is among eight SEAL team deployments. SEAL Team 6 is best known among them for finding and then killing Osama bin Laden.
- US Navy Seal’s ‘apparent suicide’ in Afghanistan under investigation (Guardian, Dec 25, 2012):
US military officials are investigating the apparent suicide of a Navy Seal commander in Afghanistan.
Navy Seal Commander Job W Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, died on Saturday from a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.
A US military official said the death “appears to be the result of suicide”. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the death is still being investigated.
“The Naval Special Warfare family is deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate,” said Captain Robert Smith, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, which manages all Virginia-based Navy Seal teams.
“We extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family, friends, and NSW community during this time of grieving.”
Smith added: “As we mourn the loss and honour the memory of our fallen teammate, those he served with will continue to carry out the mission.”.
A US military official confirmed Price was from Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Seal Team 4, which is part of the mission to train Afghan local police to fend off the Taliban in remote parts of Afghanistan.
Price is survived by a wife and a daughter.

Suha Arafat: The 2000 Intifada Was Premeditated, Planned by Arafat

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Suha Arafat: The 2000 Intifada Was Premeditated, Planned by Arafat

UK 'disappointed' in Ariel university upgrade

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Media_httpwwwjpostcom_kzvafThe so called UK is now englabad..who cares what they think..they are too scared now of their islamic community..mind your own business UK and worry about your own demise.England exiled the Jews for 600 years. They also made it difficult for Jews to get into Israel before and during WWII, insuring certain death for who knows how many Jews in Europe. You would think they would learn to shut up given the massive amount of blood on their hands. I condemn the existence of Oxford and Cambridge Universities on lands that used to belong to the Druids.
(jpost.com)  Antisemitism Embedded in British Culture
Interview with Robert Solomon Wistrich
Antisemitism has been present in Great Britain for almost a thousand years of recorded history. In the twelfth century, Catholic medieval Britain was a persecutory society, particularly when it came to Jews. It pioneered the blood libel and the church was a leader in instituting cruel legislation and discriminatory conduct toward Jews.
English literature and culture are drenched in antisemitic stereotypes. Major British authors throughout the centuries transmitted culturally embedded antisemitism to future generations. Although they did not do so deliberately, it was absorbed and has had a long-term, major impact on British society.
In the new century the United Kingdom is a European leader in several areas of antisemitism. It holds a pioneering position in promoting academic boycotts of Israel. The same is true for trade-union efforts at economic boycotts. There is also no other Western society where jihadi radicalism has proved as violent and dangerous as in the UK.
In the UK the anti-Zionist narrative probably has greater legitimacy than in any other Western society. Antisemitism of the "anti-Zionist" variety has achieved such resonance, particularly in elite opinion, that various British media are leaders in this field. Successive British governments neither share nor have encouraged such attitudes-least of all Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They have shown concern over antisemitism and the boycott movement and tried to counteract them. However, Trotskyites who infiltrated the Labour Party and the trade unions in the 1980s have been an important factor in spreading poisonous attitudes. The BBC has also played a role in stimulating pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli attitudes over the years.
"The United Kingdom has been a European leader in several areas of antisemitism in the new century. It holds a pioneering position in promoting academic boycotts of Israel. The same is true for trade-union efforts at economic boycotts.
"Although the anti-Zionist narrative is worldwide and widespread in the European Union, this discourse in the UK probably exceeds that of most other Western societies. Thus antisemitism has achieved a degree of resonance, particularly in elite opinion, that makes the country a leader in encouraging discriminatory attitudes. Trotskyites who infiltrated the Labour Party and the trade unions back in the 1980s are an important factor in spreading this poison."
Prof. Robert Wistrich holds the Neuberger Chair for Modern European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 2002 he has been director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at that university and has been vigorously involved in the struggle against its inroads.
He adds: "There is also no other Western society where jihadi radicalism has proved as violent and dangerous as in the UK. Although antisemitism is not the determining factor in this extremism, it plays a role. This Islamist radicalism has helped shape the direction of overall antisemitism in the UK.
"Another pioneering role of the UK, especially in the area of anti-Israelism is the longstanding bias in BBC reporting and commentary about the Jewish world and Israel in particular. Double standards have long been a defining characteristic of its Middle East coverage. This has had debilitating consequences. The BBC plays a special role owing to its long-established prestige as a news source widely considered to be objective. It carries a weight beyond that of any other Western media institution.
"One characteristic of English antisemitism has been its often understated nature, in keeping with British tradition. That makes it more effective because one does not become aware of it so easily. One example among many is the British journalist Richard Ingrams, who was editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye for twenty-three years starting in the 1960s. He once wrote in the Observer that he threw away unread all correspondence he received from people with Jewish names regarding the Middle East because, he thought, they must be biased on the subject. If someone were to tell him he is an antisemite he would, of course, reject that. But would he publicly write the same thing about Arab correspondents?"
Medieval England: A Leader in Antisemitism
Wistrich observes that analyzing current antisemitism requires looking back in time. The present motifs often resemble ancient ones and have their roots there. "Nothing is ever as new as it appears. Antisemitism in Great Britain has been around for almost a thousand years of recorded history. Medieval England was already a leader in antisemitism.
"In the Middle Ages, England pioneered the blood libel. The Norwich case in 1144 marked the first time Jews were accused of using the blood of Christian children for their Passover matzot. In the twelfth century, medieval Britain was a persecutory Catholic society, particularly when it came to Jews. In this environment the English church was a leader in instituting cruel legislation and discriminatory conduct toward Jews, unparalleled in the rest of Europe.
"From the Norman Conquest of 1066 onward there was a steady process-particularly during the thirteenth century-of persecution, forced conversion, extortion, and expropriation of Jews. This culminated in the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 under Edward I. It was the first ejection of a major Jewish community in Europe. It is important to bear this in mind because it is not widely known, least of all in England. I grew up there and went to grammar school and to Cambridge University and do not recall that this was ever mentioned. On the contrary, we were taught at school about the chivalry of Richard the Lionheart, not the massacres of Jews by Crusader kings.
"Britain was not only the first country in medieval Europe to expel Jews but also one of the last to take them back. It took slightly more than 350 years for this to happen. The return of the Jews to the British Isles began very quietly and informally in 1656 under Oliver Cromwell. This was the beginning-drop by drop-of the formation a new community that over time would contribute a great deal to British society."
Antisemitism without Jews
"The long absence of Jews from the shores of the British Isles did not mean that in the intervening period, antisemitism disappeared. This is an instructive early example of how society does not need the physical presence of Jews for the potency of the anti-Jewish stereotypes to penetrate the culture.
"I grew up on English literature. When I was sixteen we had to prepare for the advanced-level certificate. In our syllabus were several of the classic English works. They included Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from the late fourteenth century; Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta from the late sixteenth century; and William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice of the same period, which until today has remained one of the most popular plays of the English theater.
"One interesting question is how could Shakespeare draw such a portrait of Shylock probably without ever encountering a real flesh-and-blood Jew? There are many theories about that. Yet he and Marlowe before him managed to portray the Jews as major villains whom the populace would instantly recognize as the ‘antitype.' I am not, of course, saying Shakespeare was an antisemite in the ideological sense (his portrait of Shylock is more complex than that). But the force of the anti-Jewish stereotype is so powerful that this is what is ultimately retained in the ‘collective unconscious' of English culture.
"This Shylock image influenced the entire West because it fits so well with the evolution of market capitalism from its early days. Shakespeare portrayed the subject in a way that is to a certain extent realistic, reflecting the rise of a commercial society in Venice and of economic competition. But Shylock has come to embody an image of the vengeful, tribal, and bloodthirsty Jew, who will never give up his pound of flesh. Rightly or wrongly, this is what most people remember. Shylock is the English archetype of the villainous Jew. Those who talk about how humanistic, universal, and empathetic his portrait is, are ignoring not only how it was perceived at the time but its historical consequences."
Literature Drenched in Antisemitism
"We also studied Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, from the Victorian era, in which a Jew is again the archetype of the villain. In addition, there were modern twentieth-century authors who portrayed their characters in a partly antisemitic way. Among them were Edwardian writers like John Galsworthy, H. G. Wells, and Nobel Prize winner T. S. Eliot. The latter was the major twentieth-century poet whose work we had to study. There were few authors devoid of any antisemitism. One exception was George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), an eccentric though remarkable woman who understood the Jewish plight. Her book Daniel Deronda can be considered a pro-Zionist work, as well as being a classic Victorian novel.
"From my experience with this syllabus, all these authors, however admirable their contribution to English and world literature, were unintentionally transmitting culturally embedded antisemitism to future generations. The influence of such a process should not be underestimated. It is difficult to neutralize antisemitic images like that of Judas-the betrayer of Christ-in the Gospels.
"English literature and culture are drenched in anti-Jewish images, perhaps even more than many of the great literary traditions of Europe. Obviously, though, there are analogies in France, Spain, Germany, Romania, and Russia. One cannot understand attitudes toward Jews in Britain today without taking into account the antisemitism embedded in the national culture. It exists without even being noticed and is often silently soaked up. Many well-educated and well-meaning people fail to understand the long-term impact of such a cultural factor on their society, and are not even aware of their own latent prejudices. That was my experience during the thirty years I lived in Britain and it has got much worse because of anti-Israeli sentiment."
The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
During the nineteenth century, matters evolved more favorably for the English Jews. Says Wistrich: "The British Empire reached its pinnacle of power and influence. England had become a relatively liberal society. Jews could feel proud and self-confident in proclaiming that they were British citizens. In the Middle East, Britain was even considered a protector of the Jews. It was more tolerant than most of its rivals and more open to intervening and trying to correct the disabilities of Jews in other parts of the world. So this was a kind of ‘golden age.'
"Yet here, too, the picture is more ambivalent than is often assumed. This was particularly so in the late nineteenth century with the immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe into Britain. At that time there was strong xenophobia. This dislike of foreigners has always been a factor in the insular British mentality. There was a conservative antisemitism resistant to the Jew as an alien who could never be fully English. The Aliens Bill of 1905, directed at halting the immigration of Russian Jews, was a case in point.
"In the twentieth century, after the Russian Revolution, a linkage between Jews and communism that was intertwined with antisemitism became a pronounced theme in British public discourse. There was considerable publicity around the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This ended when Philip Graves, a London Times correspondent, exposed it as a forgery. Until then, one could read editorials in The Times that were based on the belief that Britain had spilled much blood in the First World War only to fall into the hands of a world Jewish conspiracy-a Pax Judaica!
"Similar accusations had been made before that, during the Boer War in South Africa. There were insinuations that a small clique of cosmopolitan Jewish financiers had dragged the British Empire into a futile, useless, expensive, and wholly destructive war for their own narrow financial interests. It was stressed that these ‘foreign Jews' were well-connected in the upper echelons of British politics. Such claims could also be heard from leading figures in the emerging British Labour Party and trade unions, which were promoting an antiwar sentiment resonant with anti-Semitism.
"In the literature around 1900, one often finds examples of a full-fledged left-wing conspiracy theory in which British imperialism is being manipulated and controlled by ‘Anglo-Hebraic' financiers. The entire issue was connected to the discovery of gold in South Africa. This theory was promoted by distinguished English intellectuals, enlightened journalists and writers, as well as the prominent liberal economist John Hobson.
"The entire episode shows striking similarities with trends in left-wing political circles in recent years. The radical Left asserts that former prime minister Tony Blair was led by the nose into a disastrous, neo-imperialist war in Iraq by a clique of rich British and American Jews. The so-called American neoconservative conspiracy had spilled over to Britain, serving Ariel Sharon and the Likud government that was then in power in Israel. British trade unionists, then and now, proved susceptible to this kind of conspiracy theory."
Right-Wing Antisemitism
"The theme of ‘warmongering Jews' became especially popular in the 1930s with the rise of British fascism under its aristocratic leader, Sir Oswald Mosley, who came originally from the Left. British fascism was stopped by active mobilization against it. Contrary to what would happen a few years later, the communists were among the most militant antifascists in the East End. The Jewish community, which included many working-class Jews, had a kind of unwritten alliance with the Left to stop fascism. That tradition unfortunately seems to be dead and buried today.
"In the Second World War, Britain was not willing to attempt to rescue the Jews of Europe in any meaningful way. It was not only imperial Realpolitik that made the British close the gates of Palestine. We know that officials in the Colonial and Foreign offices and people in the administration in Palestine were far from immune to antisemitic sentiment while supporting an Arab state after the 1939 White Paper.
"During the war the British government was obsessed by the fear that their fight against Hitler could be construed as a war on behalf of the Jews. To avoid ‘fighting a Jewish war' became a kind of alibi for the British authorities to do almost nothing for the Jews. Britain's solemn commitment to create a Jewish National Home in Palestine was in fact betrayed in the hour of greatest need for European Jewry. This is a serious stain on the British record, which until then had many positive sides."
Toward Israel's Creation
"After 1945-in the three years before the creation of the state of Israel-relations between Britain and the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, reached their lowest point. For example, in 1946 the commander of British Forces in Palestine, Lt. Gen. Evelyn Barker, ordered his men to avoid fraternization with Palestinian Jews and to ‘punish the Jews in the manner this race dislikes as much as any, by hitting them in the pocket, which will demonstrate our disgust for them.'[1] Antisemitism was also very virulent in Britain at that time.
"After the Mandatory Government in Palestine executed members of the Irgun, a Jewish underground organization, the latter reacted by hanging two British sergeants. This led to anti-Jewish riots in 1947 in a number of British cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and London. No lives were lost, but it was a very nasty time. Britain was far from immune in this postwar period to the kind of antisemitism that existed elsewhere on the European Continent, in the Americas, or the Middle East.
"Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary in the Labour government of Clement Attlee, was convinced that a Jewish conspiracy existed, supposedly in alliance with the Soviet Union. A commonly held view, both in London and Washington at that time, was that ‘the Jews' were determined to bring down the British Empire. The empire did indeed crumble, though it was not due to any Jewish conspiracy but to more mundane economic and political factors. The war against Hitler had sapped British strength.
"Bevin made a number of antisemitic statements. He made remarks about Jews trying to jump to the head of the queue even after Auschwitz and the Holocaust. His attitude was also recorded by people who knew him well. The young Labour MP Richard Crossman, who was close to Bevin, emphasized that he was ‘obsessed by the Jews' and wanted to teach them a lesson they would never forget.
"Another eyewitness testimony was that of James McDonald, the first American ambassador to Israel, who had been actively involved in the refugee issue in the 1930s. In London, on his way to Israel in August 1948, he had a conversation with Bevin. McDonald mentions in his diaries how shocked he was by the antisemitism emanating from the British foreign secretary. It was hatred of Israel, of the United States and, in particular, of the Jews.[2]
"Winston Churchill's record on Zionism was, of course, far more positive. But it was not as unequivocal as we often assume. There is a discrepancy between his wonderful rhetoric and what Churchill-as a lifelong Zionist-actually did for the Jews when he was in power. He was very intransigent on key issues. The gates of Palestine were kept shut under his premiership.
"During the Second World War, Churchill was in favor of the White Paper and kept it in place, despite his strong condemnation of it in 1939 when in opposition. His wartime actions regarding the Jews were no better than those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is to say, unimpressive. Nor, after becoming prime minister again in 1951, was Churchill's record on Israel particularly brilliant, though he had the historical vision to understand that Israel's re-creation was a major event in modern history. In expressing its meaning Churchill was at his best."
The British Roots of "Zionism Is Nazism"
"It is important to remember that in the 1940s the ‘Zionism is Nazism' libel was rather popular among highly placed Englishmen. True, the Nazi-Zionist equation was predominantly a Soviet contribution to postwar antisemitism. But it did not originate there. Indeed, a number of Britishers can claim first-class honors in this field. An example is Sir John Glubb Pasha, who was commander of the Arab Jordanian Legion fighting against Israel in 1948. He was an upper-class conservative Englishman and a lifelong Arabophile, with a special love for desert Arabs. He was also a convinced antisemite.
"Glubb was obsessed with the idea that Jews had anticipated Hitler's master race theory. Nazism, in his view, was a pale copy of the Hebrew original as revealed in Old Testament sources. In memos he sent to London he branded Jews as Nazis who combined their East European fanaticism with a narrow Hebraic cast of mind, based on biblical vengeance and hatred. He described Israel from the outset as a Nazi state, as the historian Benny Morris has demonstrated.
"Glubb was not alone. One can find in British documents similar statements from high-ranking officials in the Palestine administration. Most probably when all the papers of the High Commissioner for Palestine from the last years of the Mandate are revealed, further statements of this kind will come to light. One figure high up in the Palestine administration was Sir Edward Grigg, later Lord Altrincham. He referred to what he called the National Socialist character of what became the Israeli Labor Party (Mapai) and of the Hagana (the core of the Israeli army). He saw in the Zionist youth movements a copy of the Hitler Youth.
"The perverse theory that the Jews were not ‘Semites' or connected to Palestine but descendants of the Khazars in Asia was also very popular among important people such as Sir Edward Spears, who headed the Committee for Arab Affairs in Britain in the late 1940s.[3] Even today one can hear this theory cropping up in conversations with certain members of the British elite after a few glasses of port."
Toynbee
"In the 1950s and 1960s Arnold Toynbee, the renowned British philosopher of history, was immensely popular. I had to read him at school and as an undergraduate at Cambridge University. He came to shockingly anti-Zionist conclusions presented in the grand style of historical generalization. As an Englishman he felt superior to the German Gentile barbarians who had infamously inflicted the Holocaust on the Jews. But he also claimed that the Jews were worse than the Nazis because they had knowingly imitated their evil deeds and become ruthless persecutors. Today, a disturbingly large number of English people-misguided, intoxicated, and half-brainwashed by parts of the media-would probably agree with Toynbee.
"Toynbee ranted on about the ‘expulsion' of the Palestinians, which he considered a crime of a greater order than that committed by the German Nazis! Israeli ambassador Yaacov Herzog demolished his arguments in a debate in the early 1960s in Montreal. But the mud stuck. After all Toynbee was an elite figure of the British establishment. He promoted these ideas before they became fashionable. The Left only fully embraced these distorted views after 1967.
"In the 1970s, I was actively involved in such debates when I wrote my doctorate at University College, London. The campus war had heated up and was at full blast in 1975 after the UN ‘Zionism is racism' resolution. There were efforts to ban all Jewish societies on British campuses. This was stopped by a militant and determined campaign. The time was not yet ripe for the brazen antisemitism of the kind we find today in Britain and much of Europe, but it was certainly there beneath the surface.
"In the 1970s, the anti-Zionists in Britain-some of them Jews and expatriate Israelis-were already vilifying Israel as an ‘ethnic cleansing' and ‘racist' state. Even then there were claims that Zionism equals apartheid. Among the most extreme demagogues were Jewish Trotskyites, who were the most vitriolic in their loathing for Zionism."
Trotskyites
"It is a curious fact that Trotskyites have been influential in left-wing circles in the UK-at least in comparison to other European countries. Only in France does one find anything equivalent. There seems to be no obvious reason connected to British society or culture. Perhaps it is related to the weakness of the Communist Party, which faded quickly in the 1950s in Britain. Unlike in France and Italy, communism was never very powerful on the British Left. Trotskyism could therefore fill the vacuum. It is an alternative form of communism that bears many parallels with the Stalinism that the Trotskyites love to hate and vilify. Of course, the Trotskyites were hunted down in the Soviet Union and eliminated by Stalinist communists. This persecution had antisemitic undertones.
"Trotskyites have been characterized by an intense polemical energy and have often been in the forefront of the ‘anti-imperialist struggle.' With the collapse of official communism after 1990 in most parts of the world, they saw a chance for themselves to become what they call a ‘revolutionary vanguard.'
"In their concept of the world, Zionism has for decades been inextricably linked with global capitalism and American imperialism. These were also the hackneyed phrases of Soviet propaganda. The communist empire has collapsed, of course, but the Trotskyites are still running with the ball. Their numbers are small but they have tenacity, ideological discipline, and use clever tactics of infiltration. They have practiced these more effectively in recent decades in the UK than perhaps anywhere else. Trotskyites infiltrated the Labour Party and the trade unions in the pre-Blair era. We see the bitter fruits in boycott actions today against Israel, sparked by people who went through this anti-Zionist indoctrination and have passed it on.
"Trotskyites are organized in the Socialist Workers Party, which was very active in the 1970s. It has become a larger political factor in recent decades. I watched the huge antiwar demonstration in London in February 2003. The two main organizers were the Muslim Association of Britain-close to the Muslim Brotherhood-and the Socialist Workers Party. They formed a Marxist-Islamist alliance against the war in Iraq and on the issue of Palestine-which was a major unifying factor. In my forthcoming book on global antisemitism since 1945 I analyze this ‘Red-Green Axis' at considerable length.
"In the demonstration there were antisemitic insinuations and intonations in the slogans and catchwords used. The protest came at the time when the ‘cabal' theory that the Jews had seized control of American and British foreign policy was being widely advanced. It was crudely asserted in Britain, Europe, the Middle East-and to a lesser degree in the United States-that Bush's war in Iraq was being fought on Israel's behalf. This echoes the antisemitic notions of the late 1930s about ‘warmongering Jews' pushing the West into an unnecessary conflict with Nazism."
The Respect Party
"There is also a relatively new party called Respect led by MP George Galloway from Scotland. He was on the left of the Labour Party before he went independent. Galloway at one time received generous assistance from Saddam Hussein and defended him regularly on British television. He has always been a militant anti-Zionist, an antiglobalist, and is ferociously anti-American. The actual name of his Islamist-Marxist movement is a complete misnomer. The Respect Party shows no respect for anyone, much less for Jews or Israel, which it constantly vilifies.
"Galloway is an intellectual lightweight and rabble-rouser. He sees a revolutionary potential in the Muslim immigrants in Britain, a kind of ‘substitute proletariat' that could help revive the lost dreams of international socialism. Being against Israel and America is what brings the far Left and radical Islamists together. They have very little in common on issues such as feminism, attitudes toward homosexuals, or secularism."
Muslim Antisemitism
"Then there is the more general Muslim contribution to antisemitism in Britain, which is growing all the time and has become a significant factor. The exploration of Muslim attitudes in the UK is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, it appears that close to half of British Muslims believe in a Jewish conspiracy that dominates UK media and politics.[4] The percentage of Muslim perpetrators of violent antisemitic acts is nearly ten times greater than the Muslim percentage of the general population. Muslims from Britain have been involved in a series of high-profile cases. One leading terrorist was Omar Sheikh, the alleged mastermind of the beheading of the American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi. The horrific video emphasized Pearl's Jewish origins. Sheikh, an Anglo-Pakistani, was born and bred in Britain and educated at the London School of Economics.
"In 2003 Abdullah al-Faisal, a black Jamaican who had converted to Islam was tried on charges of racial hatred and incitement to murder Jews in a London criminal court. His videotapes included statements about the need to kill ‘filthy Jews.' He also called for the murder of Hindus, another target of Muslim extremists in Britain.
"Al-Faisal encouraged British Muslims to carry out bombings in Israel. One of his cassettes was prophetic. He called upon British citizens to fly into Israel and carry out mass murder as a contribution to the global jihad and to Allah. Not long afterward, two British Muslims executed a suicide bombing at Mike's Place, a bar on the Tel Aviv waterfront. I was the historical adviser for a British TV documentary that dealt with this topic in 2003.
"At the other extreme, the far-Right British National Party sees a climate emerging where it might do better than in the past. The fascists would frankly like to see a Britain without Muslims. On the other hand, they also see eye to eye with many Muslim extremists on issues concerning Israel and the Jews. These British fascists admire Osama bin Laden."
The BBC and Other Media
"Since the Second Intifada, the BBC as well as some major British newspapers have reported daily on Israel in an often tendentious, biased, and one-sided fashion. Under no circumstances will the BBC refer to any act of Hamas or other Palestinian terrorist organizations as terrorism. These killers are always referred to as militants, which has trade-union connotations in Britain. It is the term used when, for instance, shop stewards advocate a factory strike.
"Within the distorted BBC system, the reporting of Israeli civilian fatalities and Palestinian suicide attacks made them seem no more than minor pinpricks compared to the retaliations by Israel, the definitive ‘rogue state.' The BBC invariably disconnects jihadi terrorism from any notion that it is part of a hate culture and the result of ideological indoctrination. The explanation is that these murderous deeds are driven by the relentless, ‘racist actions' of the Israeli government. It is Palestinian misery and oppression that allegedly brings about suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. I believe this is a false, simplistic, and one-sided account. Terrorism is mentioned without connection to an ideology and the issue of antisemitism in the Arab or Islamic world is virtually nonexistent."
The Jewish Lobby
"Another favorite topic of the British media is the power of the Jewish lobby. One well-publicized example occurred when the veteran Labour MP Tom Dalyell said in a 2003 interview in Vanity Fair that Tony Blair was surrounded by a ‘cabal' of Jewish advisers. Of the three people he mentioned, only one was Jewish, Lord Levy.
"A second exemplar, Peter Mandelson, did have a Jewish ancestor but never claimed to be a Jew; while the third was Foreign Minister Jack Straw, whom many Jews consider anti-Israeli. Straw, it turned out, did have a Jewish grandfather but had never advertised the fact. Dalyell claimed these people were linked up with the neocons in Washington in a pro-Israeli Jewish world conspiracy. Many others on the British Left have held virulently anti-Israeli views, including former minister Claire Short who, at one point, blamed the Jewish state for global warming!
"There are exceptions to the anti-Israeli attitude. The most important was former prime minister Tony Blair, who was as sympathetic to Israel as one can reasonably be under the circumstances. The paradox is that, while Blair and his successor Gordon Brown have been pro-Israeli and pro-Jewish, Britain is still one of the leaders of current European antisemitism. That is the sobering reality and it needs to be honestly addressed.
"There is much to be said for the claim that Blair's support for Israel during the Second Lebanon War was the straw that broke the camel's back and brought him down as prime minister. He was undefeated in elections yet had to resign under pressure from his own party. Blair and Brown fit into a line of statesmen who came out of the British Christian tradition, which has a historic affinity with Zionism. These leaders include Arthur Balfour, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson, and Margaret Thatcher-individuals of vision and great political talent. In my opinion they represent the best in the British political tradition.
"Britain can also pride itself on the publication of the Report of the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, which did a fair and thorough-though not perfect-job of investigating the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment in the UK. I gave extensive evidence to that inquiry, though for some reason the recording equipment did not function properly and hence there was only a brief summary in the final document. The Report does not contradict anything I have been saying, though it was too soft on Muslim antisemitism and lacked any historical perspective."[5]
Ken Livingstone
"Among those who have contributed to the current hostile mood is Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London until May 2008. In the 1970s, he knocked on my door to ask for my vote in a local North London election. It turned out he was a passionate admirer of Leon Trotsky and was enthused to learn that I had just written a book on the Bolshevik leader-the kind of Jew he could empathize with-a radical leftist, an international socialist, and an ‘anti-Zionist.'
"A few years later he became a coeditor of the Labour Herald, the Labour Party's paper in London. In 1982, during the First Lebanon War it published on its front page a caricature of then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin in full SS uniform with the skull-and-bones insignia on his head. He was standing atop a mountain of skulls. The caption was in big, black Gothic script: ‘The Final Solution.' Underneath it Begin was saying: ‘Who needs shalom when you have Reagan behind you?' This cartoon could have come straight out of Pravda.
"Livingstone always presents himself as an antiracist. He claims to be against any form of discrimination that affects minorities and outsiders. Supposedly he was the friend of gays, lesbians, new immigrants, Afro-Caribbeans, and Muslims. Yet Livingstone has often related to Anglo-Jewry as a kind of Israeli fifth column in Britain and as accomplices of its ‘racist' policy.
"Livingstone not long ago gratuitously insulted a Jewish reporter of the Evening Standard by likening him to a concentration-camp guard. Even though then-prime minister Tony Blair asked him to apologize to the Jewish community for his offensive remarks, he consistently refused to do so. On the contrary, he insisted on attacking Ariel Sharon as a ‘war criminal' and it didn't hurt him with the general public in Britain.
"Another case concerned his remarks about the Reuben brothers, who are property developers in London. They are of Iraqi Jewish origin and have lived in Britain for forty years. Livingstone was apparently exasperated by the prices they charged. He accused them of parasitic behavior and told them to ‘go back to the Iran of the ayatollahs.' At that time Iran's president was already threatening to wipe Israel off the map.
"On two occasions Livingstone gave red-carpet treatment to Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi whom he invited to London. This Egyptian sheikh lives in Qatar and has supported suicide bombings as being consistent with Islam. He was presented by Livingstone as a ‘progressive' and the kind of moderate who could positively influence British Muslims. In reality, Qaradawi is a bigot and a homophobe as well as being a blatant antisemite.
"What is interesting is that in Britain, as in much of Europe, the proclaimed antiracism of the left-wing variety often feeds the new antisemitism-which is primarily directed against Israel. Of course, if one suggests that such leftists are antisemites in disguise, they are likely to become enraged and retort that one is ‘playing the antisemitic card.' This has become a codeword for saying, as it were, ‘You are a dishonest, deceitful, manipulative Jew' or a ‘lover of Jews.' Zionists supposedly use the ‘accusation of antisemitism' to distort and silence the fully justified criticism of Israel and its human rights abuses. The word ‘criticism' in this context is misplaced. It is a euphemism or license for the demonization of Israel. And that in turn is a major form of antisemitism in our time."

Video: Wakf destroys more priceless Temple Mount artifacts

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(Carl)We've seen this before. The 'Palestinian' Wakf is bulldozing the Temple Mount again destroying thousands of priceless artifacts.
The story is told in Hebrew here. In 2004, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that excavations cannot be carried out on the Temple Mount without archeological supervision. While there is apparently some dispute as to whether a permit was obtained, what is clear is that there was no supervision other than the person in the video who sought to stop the work. The Antiquities Authority was not allowed to go through the material before it was dumped.
More here and here.

Nurse Kissing Sailor: She's Jewish too

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(V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers)

The nurse in the famous 1945 Kissing Sailor photograph is an Austrian Jew who lost her parents in the Holocaust, and herself barely escaped to the US in 1939. The photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, was also Jewish.

Slavery still common practice in Yemen

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A Yemeni family brought into enslavement decades ago fights the stigma of their status as 'slaves' in impoverished Yemen (AFP)
A Yemeni family brought into enslavement decades ago fights the stigma of their status as 'slaves' in impoverished Yemen (AFP)(alarabiya.net)
(telchaination.blogspot.com) Call it sharia-slavery if you will, but that's what still reigns supreme in Yemen (Hat tip: Jihad Watch):
Slavery is still being practiced in parts of Yemen, with men, women and children all falling victim to the practice. And according to local human rights activists, the government would prefer to simply sweep the problem under the carpet.
An investigation by the Wethaq Foundation, based on six months of field studies, has revealed 190 cases of slavery in three provinces in the north west of the country. The organisation also found evidence of people being bought and sold, and its report is raising questions about just how widespread slavery is in Yemen.
Yemeni Human Rights Watch had already documented its first case of enslavement in 2008, when activists found evidence of a slave being traded for around 2.000 euros. The case was discovered via local documents used to register real estate which included the phrase: “the slave Qenaf, son of slave Sara, was legally purchased”.
Charity
According to activist Najeeb Al-Saadi, it is not uncommon for individuals from the Arab Gulf to buy slaves in Yemen and then set them free. This, he says, is seen as a charitable act, in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
Al-Saadi also claims his group was able to free a slave called Naseem during its research. The terms of release included keeping the identity of the seller confidential and keeping the slave away from the media. Naseem has now been brought to the capital Sana'a, and the Foundation is searching for someone to adopt him.
Mohammed Naji Allaw is an activist and former member of parliament. He says most slaves were set free back in the 1960s after the September 26 Revolution. They remained hugely disadvantaged though because of their low economic status.
No hope
The new findings by the Wethaq Foundation are backed up by research conducted by the Al-Masdar website in 2010. This confirmed that local communities in the North-West are comfortable with slavery. For those enslaved the situation is grim. In interviews conducted by the website, the slaves said they have not received any education and believed they had little chance of improving their situation.
According to Al-Saadi, the Yemeni authorities have been happy for the slavery question to remain hidden, and the publication of his organisation’s report is raising awkward questions. When Al-Masdar previously wrote about the issue, the authorities’ response was to deny slavery existed and to send troops to the North-West to intimidate those who had spoken out. Al-Saadi hopes his group’s new research will make it impossible for the issue to be swept aside again and that the government will be forced to take action.
Slavery is banned and all people are equal under Yemeni law, but experts say extreme poverty fuels the practice as poor people in rural areas are often totally dependent.
And why? Because there's almost nobody sane there to give them civilized jobs.
As for "buying freedom" for the slaves, does it help? Not in the long term. The slavemongers will only go along and take more people hostage as slaves. The slavemongers definitely don't deserve the money for all the trouble they're causing the prisoners they hold onto.

Amazing: 'Human rights watch' actually realizes Gaza 'Palestinians' commit war crimes

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(Carl) Well, isn't this amazing? 'Human rights watch' has finally figured out that Hamas and other 'Palestinian' terror groups committed war crimes by shooting rockets from civilian areas in Gaza to civilian areas in Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.
“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”
The group also found that Gazan groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Resistance Committee, justified targeting civilian centers as reprisal for Israeli strikes, an act also banned under international law.
Furthermore, such groups "repeatedly fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli counter-fire," the report said.
The detailed report included examples of rockets being launched from densely populated areas in Gaza, and noted that groups fired from underground tunnels with hatches for the first time. HRW faulted Palestinian armed groups for failing to alert civilians or urge them to evacuate prior to launching rockets in their vicinity.
As the ruling power in the Strip, the human rights group said, Hamas was responsible for reining in the behavior of other groups.
“As the ruling authority in Gaza, Hamas has an obligation to stop unlawful attacks and punish those responsible,” Whitson said.
But lest you get your hopes up for a Goldstone or other style of inquiry into these human rights violations....
A week earlier, HRW reported that Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities during the operation also violated laws of war, saying that Israel provided no specific information to justify claims that they were military targets.
“Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” Whitson said. “Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war.”
Well yeah, except that Israel did provide evidence, and Hamas' al-Aqsa television is a designated terror organization.

Report: Hagel going under the bus

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Maybe Obama didn't want Hagel because Hagel was too loyal to the enemies of the Saudis and Sunni
(Carl)Chuck Hagel may be headed under the bus.
Besieged by criticism from right and left, and considerable skepticism from his former Senate colleagues, Chuck Hagel appears to be following the path of Susan Rice as a trial-balloon nominee who finds himself quickly losing altitude in Washington. And as happened with Rice, the White House is now signaling that it may soon puncture Hagel's hopes.
Just as occurred with Rice, the U.N. ambassador whose prospective nomination as secretary of State—leaked to the media—flamed out in the face of widespread criticism of her, President Obama appears to be rethinking his choice for Defense secretary.
A senior administration official told National Journal on Sunday that it was “fair” to say Obama is considering candidates other than Hagel for Defense secretary, in particular Michele Flournoy who was under secretary of Defense for policy in Obama's first term, and Ashton Carter, the current deputy Defense secretary. Only a week ago, Bloomberg News reported that Hagel was Obama’s top choice.
The White House's revised characterization of Hagel’s standing came after what was, for the former Republican senator, a particularly discouraging series of comments on the Sunday-morning talk shows. Outgoing Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that it would be “a very tough confirmation process,” while on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Hagel’s former fellow Republican in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, said Hagel’s would be “a challenging nomination.” Graham added: “I don’t think he’s going to get many Republican votes.”

Is Chuck Hagel About To Go The Way of Susan Rice?

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Hagel Steve Clemons Hauser.JPGThe Atlantic had an Op Ed saying Chuck won't fuck with the gays in the military. The wagons are circling. A sense a vulnerability. Getting Hagel in could be Obama's dream cuz he pulls in the Ron Paul people. Sadly I think not only are these people a threat, they are also a threat to themselves. Obama wants intervention in Syria. Where does Hagel fit in here? Is he closer to the Shia or the Sunni? It is almost like the far right have their hand out to the Shia and Obama of course we know where he stands with the Sunni. To bring Hagel in would consolidate loyalties, but I'm not even sure Obama wants to be loyal to Iran because he's loyal to the Sunni. This is a complicated dynamic. I've thought so badly of Obama for so long that it never occurred to me that he might not want Hagel very much either. Where did this slip of Hagel being a homophobe come from? The NYTimes? hmmmm.... my theory says Obama is backstabbing his own nominee. I think Obama wants to look like he is sharing power and then take it away. Yes,,, that is exactly what I think.
(Daniel Greenfield)Rice’s goose wasn’t cooked until liberals began attacking her over Keystone and Africa. There are now signs that Hagel is coming under fire from liberals as well.
Daily Kos is taking a shot at Hagel over environmental issues, which have ridiculously become a big part of the Pentagon under Obama Inc. And the New York Times is taking a shot at him over gay rights, which under Obama Inc, is ridiculously also a big part of what the Pentagon does now.
Hagel can and will quickly backpedal on global warming and gay rights. It’s certainly easier for him to do this than it was for Rice to undo everything that she had done wrong in Africa. But the liberal attacks are a symptom of what may be the growing conflict between liberals and Obama.
Approaching the 2012 election, Obama began insincerely throwing out a grab bag of party favors to liberals, including gay rights and an executive amnesty for Mexican illegal aliens, but the left intends to make sure that they extract maximum value from O’s second term and that means repeated confrontations that are meant to push him to the left while challenging the orthodoxy of his nominees.
The choice of Hagel was a strange one to begin with. Bringing in Hagel three years ago would have been a clever way to provide cover for an Iraq withdrawal with a Republican anti-war senator. Bringing him in now is mostly useless. Gay rights has been shoved into the military. Iraq is done. Afghanistan is coming up but not much political cover is needed for a war that most people think should end.
Romney hardly attacked Obama on foreign policy, aside from Israel, and that’s where Hagel has the worst possible record. There really is no benefit to a Hagel nomination without a pro-war and anti-war debate in the country. Indeed Obama these days is pushing his own “clean” wars that Republicans rarely dissent from.
Hagel is anti-military and favors major defense cuts, so bringing him to do the dirty work has some utility, but it’s not clear that anyone cares. Republicans have barely made it an issue. Romney failed to defend the military against Tricare health care cuts, which would have been a smart issue to jump on. Most Americans do oppose major defense cuts, but they had the chance to vote against that in November. And it’s not about to stop Obama. Nor does Obama have any further reason to care what the voters who stayed home or foolishly swung over to him, but are nevertheless pro-military, think.
Liberals naturally want one of their own in there. Why waste a major portfolio on a former Republican with a droopy face whose useful expired in 2007?
The second term is usually the spoils of war term. It’s the circular firing squads term. And the Republican collapse has made liberals even more eager to fight over the spoils. They don’t see any point in sharing them with Chuck Hagel.
We sometimes don't give Obama enough credit. I don't like him, but he got reelected by playing the game like a master. I really think he is sabotaging his own candidate.

UN Finally Admits Syria is a Holy War, Not a Rebellion

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the UN is only admitting that it is a holy war probably because the Shia have more pull then the Sunni in the UN. that isn't necessarily a great thing... but it explains a few things
(Daniel Greenfield) It’s a sad commentary on our current corrupt leadership that these days the UN tends to admit the truth about a conflict, as they did in Libya and now Syria, before Obama does.
Fighters from around the world have filtered into Syria to join a civil war that has split along sectarian lines, increasingly pitting the ruling Alawite community against the majority Sunni Muslims, U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday.
The deepened sectarian divisions in Syria may diminish prospects for any post-conflict reconciliation even if President Bashar al-Assad is toppled. And the influx of foreign fighters raises the risk of the war spilling into neighboring countries, riven by the same sectarian fault lines that cut through Syria.
“As battles between government forces and anti-government armed groups approach the end of their second year, the conflict has become overtly sectarian in nature,” the investigators led by Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro said in an updated report.
note: Brazil's aliance with Iran in recent news. Brazil ignores Iran's sanctions
Most of the “foreign fighters” slipping into Syria to join rebel groups, or fight independently alongside them, are Sunnis from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.N. investigators found, reporting on their findings after their latest interviews conducted in the region.
“They come from all over, Europe and America, and especially the neighbouring countries,” said Abuzayd, adding that names from 29 states had been recorded so far.
It said the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah had confirmed that group members were in Syria fighting on behalf of Assad.
So this is now a straight up Sunni vs Shiite conflict. It’s a religious holy war, not a rebellion against a dictator. This is what I have been saying all along and the UN’s own human rights apparatus confirms it. But the mainstream media will avoid really reporting this or considering the implications as Obama’s plans for war in Syria move forward.
Investigators also said human rights violations were being committed on all sides of the conflict and members of government and anti-government groups alike would be listed for possible referral to the International Criminal Court.
Right, good luck indicting a bunch of Turkish and Qatari funded terrorists, backed by Obama Inc’s air power.

Muslims Angered by Spain's Granting Sephardic Jews Path to Citizenship

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if America falls apart ...it is good to know I have other options then Israel. Of course it doesn't sound like Spain's economy is doing much better... and they appear to be just as liberal with Muslims that kill Jews as Israel is.

(algemeiner.com) National Library of Spain. Photo: madridailyphoto.blogspot.com.
Muslims are demanding that Spain grant instant citizenship to all the descendants of Muslims expelled from Spain in the Middle Ages after the Spanish government had announced plans to grant automatic citizenship to all Jewish descendants of those expelled from Spain in the 1492 Inquisition.
Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo announced the decision regarding descendants of expelled Spanish Jews last month in Madrid.
According to the Gatestone Institute, Sephardic Jews could already get Spanish citizenship after living in Spain for two years. Now, Sephardic Jews who reside elsewhere can immediately get a Spanish passport if they confirm their ancestry through a special accreditation. However, only those who identify as Jewish today can benefit from this policy, not the descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity to escape persecution. Those Jews must undergo a formal conversation to Judaism first.
Moroccan journalist Ahmed Bensalh Es-salhi wrote in the newspaper Correo Diplomático that the “decision to grant Spanish citizenship to the grandchildren of the Hebrews in Spain in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while ignoring the Moriscos, the grandsons of the Muslims, is without doubt, flagrant segregation and unquestionable discrimination…This decision is absolutely disgraceful and dishonorable.” He has also threatened Spain.
“Is Spain aware of what might be assumed when it makes peace with some and not with others? Is Spain aware of what this decision could cost? Has Spain considered that it could jeopardize the massive investments that Muslims have made on its territory?” Es-salhi wrote.
Jamal Bin Ammar al-Ahmar, a university professor at the Ferhat Abbas University in Sétif in northeastern Algeria, has also called on Spanish King Juan Carlos I to condemn those who expelled Muslims from Al-Andalus in the 15th century, to apologize “on behalf of his ancestors,” and to assume “responsibility for the consequences.”

American Colleges Are Over $205 Billion in Debt, Harvard is $6 Billion in Debt

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(Daniel Greenfield) The Student Loan Bubble is bad, but interestingly enough, as this New York Times article points out, the loan problem extends all the way up the ladder to the institutions of higher education who never seem to have enough money.
Remember that our financial experts come out of a system that is this deep underwater and they have a heavy investment is bailing it out.
Overall debt levels more than doubled from 2000 to 2011 at the more than 500 institutions rated by Moody’s, according to inflation-adjusted data compiled for The New York Times by the credit rating agency. In the same time, the amount of cash, pledged gifts and investments that colleges maintain declined more than 40 percent relative to the amount they owe.
While Harvard is the wealthiest university in the country, it also has $6 billion in debt, the most of any private college, the data compiled by Moody’s shows.
At the Juilliard School, which completed a major renovation a few years ago, debt climbed to $195 million last year, from $6 million in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2002. At Miami University, a public institution in Ohio that is overhauling its dormitories and student union, debt rose to $326 million in 2011, from $66 million in 2002, and at New York University, which has embarked on an ambitious expansion, debt was $2.8 billion in 2011, up from $1.2 billion in 2002, according to the Moody’s data.
The pile of debt — $205 billion outstanding in 2011 at the colleges rated by Moody’s — comes at a time of increasing uncertainty in academia. After years of robust growth, enrollment is flat or declining at many institutions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. With outstanding student debt exceeding $1 trillion, students and their parents are questioning the cost and value of college. And online courses threaten to upend the traditional collegiate experience and payment model.
Student debt turns out to be only 5 times as high as the accumulated college debt, and that’s only at the colleges rated at Moody’s. What would happen if we added up the entire pile of debt for all institutions of higher education in the country? Somehow I think we would arrive at some very scary numbers.
The system is broken and spending its way deeper into debt. Tuition costs have risen dramatically and hardly made a dent in the tremendous piles of debt accumulated over the last decade.
It would seem as if Academia’s brokenness amplifies the brokenness of its graduates. It acts as a predictor for the entire broken system. Academia is a deadbeat metaphor turning out deadbeat students in a deadbeat nation.
Harvard borrowed $1.5 billion to pay its bills rather than selling off assets at a sharp discount. Its interest expense more than doubled from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2011, to nearly $300 million.
“The financial crisis has acted like a tidal wave that, as it receded, exposed certain vulnerabilities with a new clarity,” Harvard officials said in the November annual report.
That’s a fancy way of saying, “We’re morons.”

Egypt constitutional vote: 'Things are definitely worse than under the old regime' - Telegraph

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As Egyptians vote on whether to adopt the new constitution, Richard Spencer talks to those promoting the new rules - and those fearful of what is to come.

Kariman Ghali (R), mother of Alber Saber (L), reacts at the cage during his trial in Cairo September 26, 2012
Kariman Ghali (R), mother of Alber Saber (L), reacts at the cage during his trial in Cairo, September 2012 Photo: REUTERS
When Alber Saber's mother called police to protect him from a mob baying for his blood, something odd happened: they arrested him. They then threw him in prison, encouraged his cellmates to attack him, and finally took him to court where he was jailed for three months.
Mr Saber's alleged offence was all the more significant in light of the new constitution – being voted on by millions of Egyptians on Saturday – that is at the heart of Egypt's political crisis.
The mob in his Cairo suburb accused him of atheism and disrespect of the Prophet Mohammed, and demanded he be killed; a neighbour had alleged he had posted to his Facebook page the now notorious Islam-mocking video that triggered protests across the world in September.
His mother, Kariman Ghali, cries frequently as she describes visiting him in prison the day after the mob surrounded their apartment block.
"He had blood all over his T-shirt," said Mrs Ghali, who claims her son was put in a wing reserved for dangerous inmates. "The policeman told the prisoners, 'This guy insulted the Prophet, I want to see what you can do with him.' Someone stabbed him with a razor."
He was then taken to another cell where the inmates were urged to see if they could outdo the first set.
Some 250,000 police and soldiers were deployed across Egypt on Saturday to protect voting in the second half of the referendum on the draft constitution, which was drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel from which Christians and liberals had withdrawn in protest.
Among the many charges levelled against the constitution by both human rights groups, secular and liberal activists, and the Coptic Christian minority, is that its defense of basic freedoms is heavily curtailed when it comes to religion and politics.
Specifically, it will forbid any law that would permit anything deemed insulting either of people or of religion, the Prophet Mohammed or the other figures considered by Islam to be God's messengers. Such a clause could clearly have a chilling effect on free thinking and speech.
Demonstrations continued right to the eve of Saturday's vote, which was expected to lead to a clear but not convincing victory both for the constitution – drafted by an overwhelmingly Islamist assembly – and for President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers, who have pushed it through.
In the first phase of voting in the split referendum last weekend, 57 per cent backed the document, albeit with a low turnout, and a similar result was expected on Saturday.
Yet many are alarmed that it will further enshrine an intolerance that is already on the rise.
"Things are definitely worse than under the old regime," said Gamal Eid, of the Arabic Human Rights Initiative. "It is because of the Islamists having power – their sense that they have won."
That is only part of the story. Despite regular descriptions of ex-President Hosni Mubarak's old dictatorship as "secular", it too made Egypt a country constitutionally obliged to follow the "principles of Sharia". The laws it promulgated were wide enough and flexible enough to turn the Islamist tap on and off at will, according to the Mubarak's regime's short-term interests.
Blasphemy laws have been in place since 1937, and can be used to defend Christianity as well as Islam. But in practice the law was deployed regularly, both as a sop to the Muslim Brotherhood and also simply as a means of state repression.
Nevertheless, Mr Eid says there is a sense that religion can now be invoked to pursue any manner of grievances, in a way designed to emphasise a conservative vision of society.
In one case he has taken up, an 18-year-old girl from a provincial village was arrested for blasphemy after a row with her mother and brother, who had discovered she had met a boyfriend after going away to university.
It was the girl who had complained to the police first, alleging that her mother and brother had beaten her, but when questioned, the mother claimed the girl had cursed her and cursed her religion. That was enough for the police to switch the focus of their attention.
Until the start of the referendum campaign, it appeared that this tightening of personal freedoms was at least going to be kept within a legal framework. Events since have brought this into question.
A lot changed on the night of December 5. During the afternoon, a group of Muslim Brotherhood supporters swept down on a tent encampment outside the presidential palace, occupied by anti-Morsi protesters, and tore them down.
The counter-demonstration that evening was violent and bloody, with both sides hurling stones at each other, and the Muslim Brotherhood claiming that several of its members were shot dead.
But also disturbing was the role earlier of what appeared to be a Muslim Brotherhood militia who seized protesters off the streets and took them for their own "interrogation" before handing them over to police.
"After they caught me they dragged me away and started threatening me," said Walid al-Ganzouri, no youthful stone-thrower but a 35-year-old, British educated engineer. "They said they were going to kill me, and started beating me up."
Along with scores of others, he was eventually handed over, bruised and with cuts to his head, to the prosecution service, which released them for lack of evidence. This did not stop Mr Morsi, during a late-night address, saying that "evidence from confessions" obtained from some of those seized showed they were plotting against the government.
This talk of a coup has been used to heighten the atmosphere in ways that stretch beyond the politics of the constitution itself. A preacher linked to the Brotherhood, Safwat Hegazi, for example, was not disavowed by the movement after he threatened in a speech to "splash Christians with blood" if they tried to join in attempts to bring Mr Morsi down.
Gehad el-Haddad, a senior Brotherhood adviser, told The Sunday Telegraph that he accepted that there had been "inflammatory language" on all sides.
But he said the Brotherhood's supporters had been forced to act against the protesters because the police had refused to do so.
It is true that the loyalty of the police has been in doubt since their leaders were arrested after last year's overthrow of Mr Mubarak.
Some of those opposed to Mr Morsi, and the constitution, are undoubtedly prominent Christians. But a "no" vote of at least 43 per cent in last week's part of the referendum vote suggests that opposition also runs deep among many Muslims.
Mr Saber is of Christian origin too, something that lends extra concern to his case. But his mother claimed that was less relevant than the active positions he took. She says he was really seized because he had posted a photo on his Facebook page of a banner in Tahrir Square accusing the Brotherhood of having hijacked last year's revolution.
His jail sentence was imposed for atheism despite no evidence being found of his ever having posted the video. Last weekend, he was released on bail pending an appeal.
"The verdict was an absolute inquisition," Mrs Ghali said. "They didn't listen to the lawyers' defence."
She is now joining the protests outside the palace. "This is not only for my son's case – but also for all our sons' futures."

MSNBC: People Against Gun Control Are Scared Of “Black And Brown People” Rising Up To Get Them…

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Shockingly, this is the same UPenn professor who called for the filmmaker behind “Innocence of Muslims” to be locked up for making the movie.

HT: NY Post

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