Syrian revenge: #Hackers attack Israeli guesthouse websites | #SyrianElectronicArmy #Syria

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(Eye)Assad-affiliated hackers attack '50 Zionist entity websites,' guesthouses in the north, online furniture retailer; say ready to take on anyone who threatens Syria's 'pure' lands.
(Ynet) What damage is caused to Israeli security by downing the website of an online furniture retailer? The connection between the two seems vague, however that was one of the targets of an Assad affiliated hacker group, who attacked Israeli websites in response to the alleged attack on their country.
A number of hours after Damascus admitted that an attack took place, the organization, which calls itself the Syrian Electronic Army, claimed: "We have hacked into 50 central Israeli websites."
Syrian officials were quick to claim that the attack would not go unavenged, however it is doubtful whether this is what they meant.
"After 'Israel' attacked (our) Center for Scientific Research in Rural Damascus (sic), we decided to respond, but in our way, (the) Syrian Electronic Army hacked dozens of the Zionist entity websites," the hacker group's website said.
The hackers, who are affiliated with President Bashar Assad's regime, claimed on their Facebook page that additional attacks can be expected, and that they will prove to the world that the Syrian Electronic Army is ready to take on anyone who threatens Syria's "pure" lands.
Despite the harsh wording of its statements, a small review of the websites attacked revealed that any connection between them and Israeli security is minimal at best.
In a list published by the hackers, they cited attacking websites affiliated with guesthouses in the north, the website of a northern moshav, sites offering diet and nutrition workshops, a site offering a course in online advertising, a portal for alternative medicine and even a site that shows the time in foreign countries.
More...
Everybody has hackers... everybody

@Slate said it would of been impossible for #Beyonce to lip-synch?

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I believe Slate said Biden's reaction proved that the singing was real(Superstar singer Beyonce has admitted to lip-synching the national anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration - but insisted she was "very proud" of her performance.)Beyonce: Why I Lip-Synched At Inauguration
After opening a news conference on Thursday by belting out The Star-Spangled Banner - as if to leave no doubt of her capabilities - Beyonce answered questions from reporters about the inauguration show and her upcoming Super Bowl appearance.
She is scheduled to perform during the Sunday championship football game's halftime show.
The singer called herself a "perfectionist" and said wanted her performance for President Barack Obama to be flawless.
She said various conditions - including cold weather and lack of time to practise - led to her decision to use a pre-recorded track.
"I practise until my feet bleed and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra," she said.
"Due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk.
"It was about the President and the inauguration, and I wanted to make him and my country proud, so I decided to sing along with my pre-recorded track, which is very common in the music industry. And I'm very proud of my performance."
It was the first time the pop icon has spoken publicly since the lip-synching allegations began to swirl just hours after her performance.
All inaugural performances are pre-recorded ahead of time as a fallback.
Beyonce has teased photos and video of herself preparing for the show, which is expected to be the biggest audience of her career.
Last year's halftime performance by Madonna was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime performance ever, with roughly 114 million viewers - more than watched the football game itself.
this quote is funny now... ain't it?
(Slate) For me, the most compelling evidence that Beyoncé was doing it for real is the HELL YES smile on Joe Biden's face. Now, that is, clearly, a dude standing two feet from an electrifying lady singing like a motherfucker.

Venezuela Reportedly Spying on Jewish Community

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Reports that the Venezuelan intelligence agency is targeting and spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community as well as on Venezuelan companies and organizations with ties to Israel is deeply troubling, asserted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Jew walks next to synagogue
(Jew walks next to synagogueFlash 90)
“We are deeply troubled by a recent news report alleging that the Venezuelan Intelligence Service (SEBIN) is spying on the Venezuelan Jewish community,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
“Venezuela under the regime of Hugo Chavez has a history of harassing the Jewish community in that country,” he said. “It is chilling to read reports that the SEBIN received instructions to carry out clandestine surveillance operations against members of the Jewish community, as described in detail in documents leaked by the Argentinean web site, Analisis24.”
The Analisis24 report, which has since been republished on at least one web site in Venezuela, included several documents, mainly from 2010, with specific, private and official information about Jewish Venezuelans.  For instance, among the documents posted are the official passport information of members of an NGO related to Holocaust remembrance, including all entry and exits from the country and where the members traveled.
“In a country where the government and some of its followers have publicly accused the Jewish community of disloyalty and where the community’s institutions and houses of worship have been attacked, reports of this kind of surveillance add fuel to an already incendiary atmosphere inciting prejudice and hate,” said Foxman. “For more than a decade, elements of the Venezuelan government-run media and the so-called ‘alternative’ media operated by Chavez government supporters have regularly engaged in spreading anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.”
“The Analisis24 article suggests there is an official government policy targeting Venezuela’s Jewish community,” Foxman added. “We strongly condemn these dangerous intimidation tactics and call on the current leadership of the Venezuelan government to immediately cease targeting the Jewish community.”
The League has monitored and issued reports on anti-Semitism in Venezuela in the past several years and criticized the government of President Hugo Chavez for promoting anti-Semitism in Venezuela for political purposes. 

Brooklyn College Political Science Department Denies Equal Free Speech And Academic Freedom To Pro-Israel Students And Faculty

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Source: Gatestone Institute 
By Professor Alan M. Dershowitz
Submitted by Correspondent Tom Ifrach, Middle-East Studies, Ben-Gurion University


The international campaign to delegitimize Israel by subjecting the Jewish state—and the Jewish State alone—to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has now come to the most unlikely of places: Brooklyn College. The political science department of that college has voted to co-sponsor a campaign event at which only pro-BDS speakers will advocate a policy that is so extreme that even the Palestinian Authority rejects it.

The poster for the BDS event specifically says that the event is being "endorsed by…the political science department at BC." The BDS campaign accuses Israel of "Apartheid" and advocates the blacklisting of Jewish Israeli academics, which is probably illegal and certainly immoral. The two speakers at the event deny Israel's right to exist, compare Israel to the Nazis and praise terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

The president of Brooklyn College claims that this co-sponsorship does not constitute an endorsement by the college and that this is an issue of freedom of speech and academic freedom. But when a department of a university officially co-sponsors and endorses an event advocating BDS against Israel, and refuses to co-sponsor and endorse an event opposing such BDS, that does constitute an official endorsement. Freedom of speech, and academic freedom require equal access to both sides of a controversy, not official sponsorship and endorsement of one side over the other. The heavy thumb of an academic department should not be placed on the scale, if the marketplace of ideas is to remain equally accessible to all sides of a controversy.

I have no problem with a BDS campaign being conducted by radical students at Brooklyn College or anywhere else. Students have a right to promote immoral causes on college campuses. Nor do I have a problem with such an event being sponsored by the usual hard left, anti-Israel and anti-American groups, such as some of those that are co-sponsoring this event. My sole objection is to the official sponsorship and endorsement of BDS by an official department of a public (or for that matter private) college.

I was once a student at Brooklyn College, majoring in political science. Back in the day, departments did not take official positions on controversial political issues. They certainly didn't sponsor or endorse the kind of hate speech that can be expected at this event, if the history of the speakers is any guide. The president of the university says this is a matter of academic freedom. But who's academic freedom? Do "departments"—as distinguished from individual faculty members—really have the right of academic freedom? Does the political science department at Brooklyn College represent only its hard left faculty? What about the academic freedom of faculty members who do not support the official position of the department? One Brooklyn College faculty member has correctly observed that:

[B]oycotting academics is the opposite of free speech. It symbolizes the silencing on people based on their race and religion.

Does the political science department not also represent the students who major in or take courses in that subject? I know that as a student I would not want to be associated with a department that officially supported boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. My academic freedom would be compromised by such an association. Also, I would worry that a department that was so anti-Israel would grade me down or refuse me recommendations if I were perceived to be pro-Israel, or even neutral. I would not feel comfortable expressing my academic freedom in such a department. I'm sure there are many students at Brooklyn College who feel the same. What can they do to express their academic freedom? Should they fight fire with fire by advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions against the political science department or against Brooklyn College? Would that too be an exercise of academic freedom?

If I were a Brooklyn College student today and an opponent of BDS against Israel, I would not major in political science. I would worry that my chances of getting into a good law school or graduate program would be put at risk. I would pick a department—or a school—that was less politicized and more academically unbiased.

Academic freedom does not include the power of department or faculty members to proselytize and propagandize captive students whose grades and future depend on faculty evaluations. That's why academic departments should not take political positions that threaten the academic freedom of dissenting students or faculty.

I can understand the department of political science sponsoring a genuine debate over boycott, divestment and sanctions in which all sides were equally represented. That might be an educational experience worthy of departmental sponsorship. But the event in question is pure propaganda and one-sided political advocacy. There is nothing academic about it. Would the political science department of Brooklyn College sponsor and endorse an anti-divestment evening? Would they sponsor and endorse me, a graduate of that department, to present my perspective to their students? Would they sponsor a radical, pro-settlement, Israeli extremist to propagandize their students? Who gave the department the authority to decide, as a department, which side to support in this highly contentious debate? What are the implications of such departmental support? Could the political science department now vote to offer courses advocating BDS against Israel and grading students based on their support for the department's position? Should other departments now be lobbied to support BDS against China, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, the Palestinian Authority or other perennial violators of human rights?

Based on my knowledge of the Brooklyn College political science department, they would never vote to sponsor and endorse an anti-BDS campaign, or a BDS campaign against left wing, Islamic, anti-Israel or anti-American countries that are genuine violators of human rights. Universities, and some departments in particular, are quickly becoming more political than academic. This trend threatens the academic freedom of dissenting students and faculty. It also threatens the academic quality of such institutions.

The Brooklyn College political science department should get out of the business of sponsoring and endorsing one-sided political propaganda and should stop trying to exercise undue influence over the free marketplace of ideas. That is the real violation of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Shame on the Brooklyn College political science department for falsely invoking academic freedom and freedom of speech to deny equal freedoms to those who disagree with its extremist politics.

#Upated #Assad has transferred chemcial weapons to #Hezbullah

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Reports from Israel conclude that this won't escalate. I'm betting that this is not true and they are merely hoping that this won't escalate. Assad needs to bring Israel into a war to survive.
(Carl) Israel Radio is reporting (9:00 am) that Kuwaiti daily al-Watan reported in Thursday's editions that Syria has already transferred chemical weapons to Syria, including more than two tons of mustard gas. According to the report, Syria has also transferred missiles with a 300-kilometer range that are capable of delivering the chemical weapons. The use of the weapons is being supervised by high-ranking Syrian officers stationed in Lebanon.
There is no confirmation of the report from other sources.
(US officials say Israel notified them of Syrian attack, target was sophisticated SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles) Although, Israel has not confirmed it, American officials have told the New York Times that Israel notified the US that it attacked a convoy of weapons headed for Hezbullah in Lebanon. The weapons in question were sophisticated SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles (Hat Tip: Herb G).
The American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel had notified the United States about the attack, which the Syrian government condemned as an act of “arrogance and aggression.” Israel’s move demonstrated its determination to ensure that Hezbollah — its arch foe in the north — is unable to take advantage of the chaos in Syria to bolster its arsenal significantly.
The predawn strike was the first time in more than five years that Israel’s air force had attacked a target in Syria. While there was no expectation that the beleaguered Assad government had an interest in retaliating, the strike raised concerns that the Syrian civil war had continued to spread beyond its border.
In a statement, the Syrian military denied that a convoy had been struck. It said the attack had hit a scientific research facility in the Damascus suburbs that was used to improve Syria’s defenses, and called the attack “a flagrant breach of Syrian sovereignty and airspace.”
Israeli officials would not confirm the airstrike, a common tactic here. But it came after days of intense security consultations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the possible movement of chemical and other weapons around Syria, and warnings that Jerusalem would take action to thwart any possible transfers to Hezbollah.
Thousands of Israelis have crowded gas-mask distribution centers over the last two days. On Sunday, Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system in the north, near Haifa, which was heavily bombed during the 2006 war with Lebanon.
(Carl) Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy explains why the SA-17's matter.
“Israel is able to fly reconnaissance flights over Lebanon with impunity right now,” Mr. Levitt said. “This could cut into its ability to conduct aerial intelligence. The passing along of weapons to Hezbollah by the regime is a real concern.” 
(Carl) And what's so special about the SA-17?
The SA-17 is an advanced antiaircraft missile with a low radar signature, which makes it difficult to target it. It possesses a range of approximately 25 kilometers, and the IAF considers them a danger to its freedom of operation in the region.
(Carl) Hmmm.

#Assad regime claims #Israel attacked 'military research center,' rebels deny it #Syria #Iran

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It would be very bad for Israel to of attacked Syria because this would be exactly what Assad would want. It would obscure his genocide and divide his Sunni and Muslim Brotherhood opposition. He also could respond with deadly chemicals and nerve gases.
(Carl)The Syrian government is now claiming that the IAF attacked a 'military research center' in the town of Jamarya along Syria's border with Lebanon.Syria claims that two people were killed and five were wounded in the strike. But Syrian rebel forces - who have no more love for Israel than the Syrian government - are denying the story, claiming that the facility came under mortar fire from rebels and nothing more.
Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center in Damascus province at dawn on Wednesday, Syria's military command said, denying reports that the planes had struck a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon.
Two people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the site in Jamraya, which it described as one of a number of "scientific research centers aimed at raising the level of resistance and self-defense."
The building was destroyed, the military command said in a statement carried by state media.
It said the planes crossed into Syria below the radar level, just north of Mount Hermon, and returned the same way.
It did not mention specific retaliation but said "these criminal acts" would not weaken Syria's support for Palestinians and other groups engaged in "resistance" to Israel.
Several rebel sources, however, including a commander in the Damascus area, accused the authorities of lying and said the only attacks at Jamraya had been mortar attacks by insurgents.
Is Syria trying to provoke Iran - which last week said that an attack on Syria is an attack on it - into attacking Israel? Hmmm.

Caroline Glick on why the Obama administration is putting women in combat units

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Caroline Glick has a different perspective on the Obama administration's plan to put women in combat units than do most prominent women in the media. She spent five and a half years as an officer in the IDF, and she was an embedded reporter with an all-male American infantry unit during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. So what does she think about putting American women in combat units?
As to the US military, as David Horowitz wrote back in 1992, the movement to assign women to frontline combat unit is not about advancing women. It is about destroying the US military. The fact that Obama didn't even need for Hagel to enter office before taking his first swipe at the military shows just how grandiose his plans for gutting US military capabilities in his second term are. 
To be clear, as a woman who served as an officer in the IDF for 5 and a half years, and worked as an embedded reporter with an all male US infantry unit in Iraq, I have to say that I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with women serving in combat. But the purpose of last week's decision wasn't about permitting women to fight on the battlefield. They already do. It was about social engineering and weakening the esprit d'corps of the US military. As Saul Alinsky taught his followers the goal is never what you say it is. The goal is always the revolution.
Delegitimizing and weakening Israel is only one part of the "revolution." Israel will survive Obama and Hagel and Kerry and Brennan. 
But that doesn't mean we and our supporters in the US should keep silent about their hostility just because we know we can't block their appointments. By pointing out their radicalism, we are at a minimum sending out the necessary warning about what their future plans will likely involve. And that is important, because the more they are criticized the weaker they will feel. 
Read the whole thing

#Hagel got Eisenhower very, very wrong

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In an earlier post, I noted Chuck Hagel's admiration for the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, specifically for Eisenhower's handling of what's known in Israel as the Sinai campaign (the 1956 war between Israel, Britain and France on one side and Egypt on the other). I also reported that Hagel had it all wrong, because Eisenhower later believed that making Israel withdraw from Sinai was the biggest mistake of his Presidency.
Lee Smith has a lot more details about Eisenhower's regrets over the Sinai campaign.


In fact, Eisenhower came to believe that Suez had been the “biggest foreign-policy blunder of his administration.” In hindsight, it’s not hard to see why. He ruined the position of two longtime allies, effectively driving Britain out of the Middle East once and for all, and without any benefit to American interests. If Eisenhower expected Nasser to be grateful, he was sorely mistaken.
“From Nasser’s perspective, he played the superpowers against each other and came out the winner,” says Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. “What Ike thought he was doing was laying the groundwork for a new order in the Middle East, a third course between the re-imposition of European colonialism and the Soviet Union. But all Eisenhower did was strengthen Nasser and destabilize the region.”
Doran, a former George W. Bush Administration National Security Council staffer in charge of the Middle East, is finishing a book about Eisenhower and the Middle East that looks at how Eisenhower’s understanding of the region changed over time. “Eisenhower slammed his allies and aided his enemies at Suez,” Doran explains, “because his policy was based on certain key assumptions of how the Arab world worked. The most important of these was the notion of Arab unity. He believed they would respond as a bloc to certain stimuli.”

Chief among them, Eisenhower and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed, was the Arab-Israeli conflict. They saw the role of the United States then as playing the honest broker, mediating between Israel on one side and the Arab world on the other. If this conceit is still popular today with American policymakers, says Doran, “it’s partly because some Arab officials continue to talk this way. The idea is, to win over the Arabs we have to stop being so sympathetic to Israel.”
But in the wake of Suez, Eisenhower came to see the region through a different lens. He paid more attention to what Arab leaders actually did, rather than what they said. “Between March 1957 and July 1958, Eisenhower got the equivalent of the Arab spring,” says Doran. “It was a revolutionary wave around the region and for Ike a tutorial on Arab politics. There was upheaval after upheaval, in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and then the Iraqi revolution of 1958 that toppled an American ally. All of them were internal conflicts, tantamount to Arab civil wars, and had nothing to do with Israel. With this, Eisenhower recognized that the image he had of the Arab world had nothing to do with the political realities of the Middle East.”
Read the whole thing.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Obama has the same mistaken conception of the Middle East that Eisenhower had in 1956. Today's it's known as linkage. By 1958, Eisenhower had dismissed it as a policy strategy. Don't bet on Obama doing the same.

Aide to Egypt's president flatly denies the Holocaust

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Fathi Shihab-Eddim
(Fathi Shihab-Eddim)
(EOZ) From Fox News:
A key figure in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's government called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.
The outrageous claims, by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers, came as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, and also as the U.S. continues to assess its relationship with the increasingly radical Arab state.
“The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,” Shihab-Eddim said, leaving no room for doubt that the Egyptian government -- like Iran's -- has at the very least significant elements that deny one of history's best documented genocides.
“U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it [the Holocaust] to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb,” Shihab-Eddim said.
See how moderate Egypt's leaders are? They blame America, not Jews, for the "myth" of the Holocaust! Remember that next time someone calls Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood anti-semitic. Good thing Israel's other peace partner is just as reasonable.

Greta Van Susteren interviews #Hillary #Clinton about #MiddleEast ,Pres #Morsi and #Benghazi.

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You see the way this feminist hussy is trying to spin why an insecure embassy was in Libya? We were giving the Muslim Brotherhood weapons, but Clinton spins it. We were there to keep the weapons from going to Israel? Those were our weapons. Wow... that takes some progressive chutzpah. The lies never... ever... ever... stop!


Video - Greta Van Susteren interviews Hillary Clinton about Middle East ,Pres Morsi and Benghazi.HT: BarrackNow. Greta brings up Morsi's 2010 comments, which included him saying the Jews were descendants of "apes and pigs", and that Egypt must "nurse its children on hatred of the Jews". A few hours before Greta's interview, reports came out that a close Morsi aid said the Holocaust never happened and that the Jews secretly moved to the U.S.
Hillary's response?
At the 1:58 mark, she says "We were quite concerned about those statements" and that "the Egyptian presidency has repudiated" the comments.
What more proof does one need that the Democratic Party has more contempt for Christians and conservatives than for the Muslim Brotherhood? Virtually the entire Barack Obama administration, for more than four years, has been engaged in class warfare that involves much more critical and relentless criticism of conservatives who haven't even come close to talking like Morsi.
At the 3:30 mark, when asked about Morsi personally, Hillary said:
"I think he has a lot of the right intentions".
Wait a minute. A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who also happens to be the President of Egypt has pure intentions?! The intentions of the Brotherhood include the annihilation of Israel and establishing a global caliphate.

#Canada Picked A Bad Week To Invest In #Wind Power Technology

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(OTTAWA) – January 23, 2013 – Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced that it has provided Endurance Wind Power (Endurance), a Vancouver-based manufacturer of wind turbines designed for power grid application, with CAD 7 million in financing for the completion of new projects in the United Kingdom....


Ooops...The wind turbine that couldn't cope with a gale: £250,000 tower crashes to the ground after its blades spin out of control

The Endurance Wind Power E-3120 50kW device was the first model of its kind to be erected in the UK

h/t ZD

Zimbabwe Government Down to $217, America May Be Next

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(Sultan Knish) Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Tuesday that that was all that was left in the country’s public accounts after it paid its civil servants last week
But the debt the country built up during those years of nationalist rule by President Robert Mugabe left it with a minimal tax base and few cash reserves (MORE)

@YidWithLid: The Chuck #Hagel Video @JStreetDotOrg Tried To Keep From The Senate

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In 2009 Chuck Hagel was a keynote speaker to the J-Street Conference (J-Street is the fake pro-Israel group created by George Soros to give cover to anti-Israel activists).
According to Jennifer Rubin, the Senate Armed-Services Committee which will evaluate Hagel's nomination was tipped off that Hagel departed from his prepared remarks and made controversial comments to the J Street Conference.

In exchanges with Senate Armed Services Committee staff, J Street volunteered the prepared remarks and said it decided not to provide the complete video for fear that Hagel’s remarks would be taken out of context.
Succumbing to the pressure, J-Street finally posted the video this afternoon.
In viewing the video (30 Minutes long-embedded below) we learn that Hagel is a believer in the meme created by former Secretary of State James "F**K The Jews They Won't Vote For Us Anyway" Baker as part of his Iraq study group.
This falsehood is that all of the United States' problems in the Middle East are caused by the Israel/Palestinian conflict--be it Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan--all of it would be easily solved if there could only be peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.  It has nothing to do with radical Islam?
When originally suggested by Baker's study group then Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden  stated that he rejects the linkage the study group made “Even if a peace treaty were signed tomorrow, it would not end the civil war in Iraq,” Biden said during a January 17 2007 hearing. But it is a falsehood Hagel perpetuates in his speech.
While specifying that Israel-Palestinian negotiations were key for US policy success in the region, Hagel ignores the fact that Iran may be the single most destabilizing influence in the Middle East. Hagel does say that Iran should be prevented from getting the bomb, but rejects both sanctions and the military option leaving engagement as the only option.
Another naivete' of Hagel's highlighted by the speech was the Senator's belief that the Syrian government was just sitting there waiting to be flipped from the "dark side" to peace makers. He  believed that through "engagement" Assad would reject Iran. I wonder how that worked out?
In this video, Hagel shows himself to have a naive' world view especially when applied to the Middle East and does not belong in such a key position defending the United States.
If you cannot see video below, Please Click Here


Note: I have downloaded the video and will repost myself should J-Street decide to take it down.

Analysis: Al-Qaida’s increasing presence in Lebanon by

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(Fighters from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra, December 2012. Photo: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters)
by (Ariel Ben Soloman)
Is the group's presence, which is growing due to spillover from the war in Syria, a reality or a Syrian/Iranian propaganda?
Al-Qaida’s presence in Lebanon is growing, partly because of the spillover from the civil war next door in Syria. There are reports that Jabhat al- Nusra, a.k.a. the al-Nusra Front, which the US last month designated as a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaida, is using Lebanon as a staging ground from which to launch its operations in Syria. A Lebanese expert claims, however, that many of these claims come as part of an effort by the Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis to push this story in order to keep the West from toppling the Assad regime.
Great numbers of Lebanese Sunnis have been joining Islamist opposition forces in Syria in recent months, according to a senior Lebanese security official quoted in The Washington Post in the past week. The report quotes the official stating that the Sunni al-Nusra Front is establishing links with extremist cells based out of Tripoli, Lebanon, which is a center of Sunni extremists.
“Small groups were organized in north Lebanon to facilitate the transport of weapons, ammunition and logistical equipment, as well as fighters, across the border into Syria with the help of smugglers. These groups initially communicated with their Syrian counterparts with cellphones but eventually began using more sophisticated and secure communication methods, such as Thuraya satellite phones,” the story read.
A key man on the Syrian side is Khaled Mahmoud, a known Lebanese Islamist, who according to senior Lebanese security officials has urged Muslims to wage jihad in Syria, forming a group called Jund al-Sham, “the first Sunni armed opposition group in the Syrian conflict led by a Lebanese militant.”
The key question about this report is, who is the “senior security official” being quoted? It could very well be a Hezbollah- affiliated intelligence official trying to push the pro-Assad line that the battle in Syria is a battle against al-Qaida. The story also quoted Hilal Khashan, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, as saying “Sunnis in Lebanon, whether they are extremists or not; whether they are religious or not, side very strongly with the Syrian uprising.” Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, says that of course there are Sunnis in Lebanon who are crossing the border to take part in the fighting, but not all are al-Qaida sympathizers. He says that you have Shi’ites and Hezbollah-affiliated fighters also crossing over to aid Bashar Assad’s forces. The Jerusalem Post spoke with Badran about a recent report published on the website Al- Monitor, which is connected with pro-Hezbollah and pro- Assad circles. The website often translates articles into English from the Lebanese media affiliated with the Hezbollah-Assad- Iran axis, mostly from the newspaper As-Safir. Also many of its stories on Lebanon are written by writers coming from this camp. For instance, the man behind Al-Monitor, Jamal Daniel, owns a 20-percent stake in As- Safir and writers such as Jean Aziz and Nasser Charara, for instance, are columnists for Al- Akhbar, which in Lebanon is seen as little more than a Hezbollah mouthpiece.
A story published on Al-Monitor on Monday titled, “Al-Qaeda Taking Root in Lebanon,” by Mohammad Harfoush, argues that al-Qaida is building “structural roots” in Lebanon “following instructions from Ayman al- Zawahri,” its leader. It cites “reports in Beirut” as saying that the organization has named Majid al-Majid as the organization’s new emir in the Levant and that it will begin terrorist operations against political leaders, religious institutions, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
The report goes on to say that al-Nusra is using Lebanon as a base for its operations in Syria and is trying to unite various Sunni extremist groups such as the Palestinian group Fatah al- Islam and Jund al-Sham.
Badran is skeptical of reports that al-Nusra is setting up a base in Tripoli, and suspects that the source for these claims might be security officials sympathetic to Hezbollah, especially since these claims are being pushed in pro- Hezbollah media.
“There is now a very systematic propaganda effort by the Syrian regime and its allies in Lebanon, whose voice is given a platform in the US by Al-Monitor,” he says.
Badran adds, “They would like to drive home two points: First, Assad is not going away, and second, that the whole world, and specifically the US, is reassessing its policy of regime change because it sees that the fight is between the regime and al-Qaida. And second, they want to create the impression that the US, in particular, is reassessing its policy of regime change. The regime is trying to rebrand itself, as was its message for many years in the past, as a bulwark against al-Qaida.”
The primary strategic goal in Syria for the West should be, according to Badran, to deal with Iran and its network in the region, “where Assad is a critical linchpin.”
When presented with the counter-argument that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists are the most powerful force in the Syrian opposition and very well may take power after Assad falls, Badran responds: “The idea of the brotherhood taking control in Syria glosses over the deep fissures in that organization, as well as in Syrian society more broadly. The Sunnis of Syria are historically, and continue to be today, a deeply divided and fractured group that are not cohesive. There is a natural fragmentation in Syrian society and amongst Sunnis that would mitigate against any project to reconstitute a massive Islamist Sunni block.” Badran does not deny that the Brotherhood would have a role to play but says that it is a secondary problem to that of Iran.
“One year ago, concerns over al-Nusra’s role and size were much less than they are today,” he says. “By not interfering, the US has stayed out of the game entirely, and allowed the Turks, Qataris, Saudis and others to support their own local assets, be it the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi groups, or Syrian tribes. “Being neutral has consequences.”
I didn't catch the political slant till after I published this. America should not be neutral. America should regard Sunni and the Shia as dangerous ideologists that kill Jews, Homosexuals and infidels. If we arm one side here then we should be sure to arm the other... that last suggestion was a joke. Stay the hell out of Syria. Let these morons gas each other.

(Video) Caroline Glick - The presence of Jews on the West Bank

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Video of Intelligence Squared debate in London

Caroline Glick..
carolineglick.com..
29 January '13..

Since I came home from London, subsequent events have borne out my dim assessment of England, and done so at break-neck pace. As one of Britain's great righteous gentiles Douglas Murray wrote in an essay published yesterday by the Gatestone Institute, England is no longer even trying to hide its anti-Semitism. At this point, to live well in the kingdom, Jews are required to accept or at least express minimal objection to the dominant narrative that Israel is the current Nazi Germany.

Back in 2005, I felt it was a mistake for Israel to push for the UN to establish an international Holocaust remembrance day. What did we need it for?

The UN emerged at the 2001 Durban conference as the epicenter of global anti-Semitism. Why should we give it an out for its hostility towards live Jews by letting it pretend it isn't a anti-Semitic institution because it mourns dead Jews?

At any rate, it took no time at all for the UN and its member states to use the new International Holocaust Remembrance Day as a means of defaming Israel and so gunning for a new Holocaust of Jewry.

In England in the space of a week, a British parliament member from the Liberal-Democrat Pary named David Ward said that Israel is perpetrating a Holocaust on the Palestinians Arabs, and the Sunday Times published the above anti-Semitic, Nazi-styled cartoon. The cartoon came out on the ill-conceived International Holocaust Memorial Day.

So I am sad to say, I am right.

Britain is no place for Jews.

Anyway, here are my opening remarks at the debate.

And here's the link to the entire debate.

Link: http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2013/01/video-of-intelligence-squared.php


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Apple Hid $94 Billion in Tax Shelters $Aapl

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(Sultan Knish)Al Gore is a board member of Apple Inc. He tried to dodge his taxes with a premature closing of the Al Jazeera sale. And Apple Inc. hid 94 billion dollars in overseas revenues in tax shelters. Al Gore just exercised Apple share options worth 29 million.
The iPad maker has slashed its tax bill by paying less than 2pc on its overseas profits, as it moves money through offshoots in low-tax countries such as the British Virgin Islands.
Apple’s completely legal tax avoidance strategies bring the total the company has sheltered from the US tax authorities to $94bn, according to a Sunday Times analysis.
Corporation tax on Apple’s overseas operations amount to just 1.9pc of profits, compared with a tax rate of up to 24pc in the UK and 35pc in the US.
Apple’s employees have donated $307,000 to Obama and only $28,910 to Mitt Romney. Apple itself has spent millions on lobbyists with the top issue being taxes. Apple spent most of its time lobbying in favor of H.R.1834: Freedom to Invest Act of 2011. What is this grandly named act of freedom? It’s a one time tax cut allowing companies to pay a lower tax rate on overseas revenues.
(MORE)

According to Arab press, Hamas leader Mashaal seeking presidency of PLO

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'Al-Quds Al-Arabi' quotes Palestinian sources as saying several Arab states, led by Jordan and Qatar, are pushing for Mashaal to chair the PLO as a way of getting Hamas to sign the Oslo Accords and recognize Israel. (Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report) Mashaal and other Hamas leaders were expelled from Jordan and stripped of their Jordanian citizenship more than a decade ago. But over the past 18 months, Jordan has moved toward restoring its relations with Hamas, allowing Mashaal and some of his top aides to visit the kingdom on at least three occasions. The rapprochement between Jordan and Hamas came after the Islamist movement pledged to refrain from meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs. Hamas has also reassured Amman that it does not support calls to replace Jordan with a Palestinian state. On Friday the Jordanian king gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during which he said that Hamas appeared to be ready to soften their position and live peacefully next to Israel, according to a report on the Albawaba website. Abdullah also stated that Hamas was becoming “a bit more realistic” and was open to dialogue with Israel. The Albawaba report stated that “Jordan’s monarch was soon made to eat his words when Hamas shot down his hopeful claims point blank,” as Hamas spokesman Yahya Moussa al-Ebadsh stated on the website, Palestine Today, that its relationship with Israel would not change. “The only relationship with this enemy is the resistance,” he said.

Terror Gang That Targeted Gush Etzion Busted

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In a joint operation, the Shabak, IDF, and Israel Police arrested in recent months an Arab terror cell, based in Beit Fajr, adjacent to Bethlehem. The terrorists, among them members of the Tanzim – the military wing of Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority – confessed to being involved in planning and carrying out numerous attacks against Israelis. A news blackout on the case was lifted Monday, and details of the case were released for publication.
Among the acts of terror they carried out was a shooting attack on a bus that was traveling from the town of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. In addition, they fired shots at Migdal Oz itself, and then shot at IDF troops and security officials who came to the town in the wake of the attack. No one was injured in those attacks.
TerroristsThe gang said that they had a long list of terror attacks that they were planning to carry out, and that only their arrest by Israeli authorities had stopped them. The five members of the terror gang, all of them Beit Fajr residents, range in age from 21 to 35 years. The five have been indicted on numerous charges, including attempted murder, membership in an illegal terror group, and others.
Also released for publication Monday afternoon was the IDF elimination Sunday night of a Bedouin near the site of the security fence in Sinai. The Bedouin, along with a gang, met several individuals at the fence, with one of them bringing a ladder, apparently to boost himself over the fence onto the Israeli side.
The operation was interrupted by an IDF patrol, which called on the group to surrender itself. Instead, they attempted to run away, and after warning them again, soldiers, fearing that the group consisted of terrorists on their way to carry out an attack on an Israeli population center, opened fire on them, and arrested them. One of the detainees, injured as he tried to escape, later died of his wounds in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva.
This is Fatah and not Hamas. Let me repeat that... This is Fatah. The peace partner that Obama and Clinton said were moderate. There is no peace partner with people who never changed what they said they were about.... which is killing Jews as stated by Mohammad in his Quran and Hadith. The U.S. government will not admit this.

Rupert Murdoch Apologizes for Sunday Times Anti-Semitic Cartoon

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Keep in mind that FOX NEWS and News Corp are partially owned by Saudis (breitbart.com)News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, who has owned the Sunday Times since 1981 and is a personal supporter of Israel, apologized publicly on Twitter for the publication of Gerald Scarfe's cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu constructing a wall using Palestinians’ bodies and dripping with blood. Murdoch tweeted:
Gerald Scarfe has never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times. Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.
The blowback from the cartoon was fierce; Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador to London, said, "The newspaper should apologize for this. We’re not going to let this stand as it is. We genuinely think that a red line has been crossed and the obligation on the newspaper is to correct that.”
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League emailed;
There was nothing subtle about the caricatured image of Prime Minister Netanyahu using the blood of Palestinians to build a wall. While Mr. Murdoch’s apology is welcome, we nevertheless found it disturbing that the newspaper’s senior editors have vigorously defended the cartoon as a form of legitimate criticism. The cartoon, which is so shocking and reminiscent of the virulently anti-Semitic cartoons we see routinely in the Arab press, is clearly indefensible.
There is no word yet about any disciplinary action taken against Scarfe.

#Sweden's moral decline

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(Gatestone Institute) Just as Raoul Wallenberg remains as an example of courage, Sweden's Mayor of Malmo, Ilmar Reepalu, a Social Democrat who has held the office for 17 years, does not.
Last October, around 300 people assembled in Raoul Wallenberg Square in Malmo, to join in solidarity the few Jews of Malmo, now numbering about 600, whose community center had just suffered an explosion, and whose cemetery had just been desecrated by antisemitic graffiti. At the same time as this demonstration, on the other side of Malmo, a celebration was taking place to commemorate the birth of Raoul Wallenberg, who, in Hungary in1944, saved thousands of Jews, from being sent to their death in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. From July 9, 1944 until his arrest by the Soviet army on January 17, 1945 at the age of 32, Wallenberg issued "protective passports" to thousands of Jews and rented 32 buildings, which he declared diplomatic facilities. He used diplomacy, bribery and blackmail to provide Jews with immunity from arrest. He persuaded General Schmidthuber, the Commander of the German Army in Hungary, to cancel Adolf Eichmann's plan to attack the Jewish ghetto and slaughter the 70,000 Jews there. About 120,000 Jews survived in Hungary alone as a result of Wallenberg's efforts.
The courage of Wallenberg is disappointingly absent in Sweden today. Once a moral superpower, Sweden cannot now claim to be seen as even an open or tolerant place. Instead, it has become a haven for antisemitic behavior, as well as anti-Israel activity, by both Muslim activists and various political groups. Members of the Swedish parliament have attended supposedly "anti-Israel" rallies, which quickly descended into occasions for competitive antisemitic rhetoric.
Jews are being "harassed and physically attacked," by "people from the Middle East," according to Malmo resident, Fredrik Sieradzik, in an interview with the Austrian paper, Die Presse. "Malmo," he said, "is a place to move away from."
Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap, and where the largest tabloid paper, Aftonbladet, libelously claimed, in an August 2009 article, that Israeli soldiers were taking the organs of dead Palestinians. When the city of Malmo in 2009 hosted a tennis match between Sweden and Israel, no spectators were allowed for "reasons of security."
The individual most conspicuous in the denial of this reality is the mayor of Malmo, Ilmar Reepalu,. This reality consists of attacks on Jews in a city where the Jewish population has been reduced from 2,000 to about 600; where Molotov cocktails are thrown at Jewish funeral chapels, and antisemitic graffiti is scrawled throughout the town. The mayor nevertheless denies the increase in antisemitism there. When he does allude to the subject, he argues that the violence comes from right wing extremists, not from Muslims who now make up a considerable part of his Malmo population.
Reepalu asserts that "We accept neither Zionism nor antisemitism. They are extremes that put themselves above other groups, and believe they have a lower value." Of the small Malmo Jewish community, he says: "I would wish for the Jewish community to denounce Israeli violations against the civilian population of Gaza. Instead, it decides to hold a demonstration [in reality a pro-peace rally] which could send the wrong signals." Reepalu speaks of Israeli "genocide" in Gaza.
Reepalu, as is common with people in other countries in Europe in their fails to consider that government, laws and human rights partly exists to protect the minority from the majority. He blames the local Jews' use of free speech and freedom of assembly for attacks on them: If only the Jews would stop speaking and gathering peacefully, the distorted logic goes, no one would be attacking them. Historically, the opposite is true: even when Jews remained quiet, and spent years in hiding, as many often did, the only acceptable form of behavior, apparently, was not to exist.
After years of unremitting antisemitic activity in Malmo, many Jews have either left or are thinking of leaving, largely for Stockholm, England or Israel. Reepalu's comment was : "There have not been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo." From time to time the mayor has claimed that his views were misrepresented, but the full recordings, published on the website of the paper Skanska Dagbladet, make clear that they were not.
One can only hope that the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, the exemplification of Sweden's height as a moral superpower, may lead some of those exercising power in Sweden to deal with the forces of accelerating bigotry at their doorstep, and their own bigotry inside.

#IRAN Rocket Shoots #Monkey into #Space

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#MillionMoms for #GunControl Hold Rally of 6,000 in DC #MollySmith #SuzanneBlueStarBoy

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(The One Million Moms rally was organized by two lesbians, Molly Smith and Suzanne Blue Star Boy whose lifestyle makes them physically incapable of being moms except through medical intervention and outside donors.) And the One Million Non-Moms turned out a rally of 6,000 that seemed to have more politicians than people. The march cost $49,000 or about $8 per participant. The turnout would have been better if they had just paid people to come. Some of them might have even been moms.
how revolting

#Turkey struggling to avoid international financial #blacklist over #MoneyLaundering

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Turkey, which has become a money laundering capital of the world, is on the verge of being placed on an international blacklist (Hat Tip: Joshua I).
Turkey is scrambling to push through a long-awaited anti-terrorism financing law before a deadline next month to avoid being expelled from an international watchdog and placed on its blacklist alongside Iran and North Korea.
Turkey is already on a "grey list" of countries drawn up by the 36-member Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a money-laundering watchdog, for not implementing the legislation required by its members despite pressing Ankara for years.
The FATF has warned Turkey if it does not pass the necessary legislation, which would allow alleged "terrorist" accounts to be frozen without a court order, by Feb. 22, it will be expelled as a member of the group and blacklisted.
Such a move could restrict foreign activity with Turkish banks, hamper Turkey's ability to raise funds abroad and could affect its credit rating, which received a boost last year when Fitch raised the country to investment grade.
"Potentially, this would be a crippling blow to Turkish banks as they look to be more international in outlook, and have been active in seeking to finance themselves increasingly offshore in recent months," said Timothy Ash at Standard Bank.
On Friday, a parliamentary commission passed the draft bill, which has been stalled since 2011, after two days of debates. Despite strong resistance from the country's main opposition party, Turkish officials have voiced confidence that the legislation would be adopted by next month's deadline.
Part of the reason the bill has been held up is Turkey's existing terrorism legislation. Opposition lawmakers fear the law could be used to wrongly label people as terrorists.
Turkey has one of the highest arrest rates in the world for terrorism charges and faces increasing criticism from the United Nations and rights groups over what they see as poorly-defined and broad-based laws which are regularly abused.
The biggest problem with Turkey is not what is going on illegally, but rather what is going on legally, like its trading gold for oil with Iran.

The child-soldiers of #Palestine

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Palestine Youth
(JPost) In June 1970, Life Magazine featured a report on “Palestinian Arabs” with a cover photo that showed a group of boys holding what seems to be real guns; the photo was captioned: “The ‘Tiger Cubs’ train at a camp in Jordan.”

The report included another similar photo accompanied by a text explaining that it showed “student guerillas in Jordan receiv[ing] weapons instruction in a tent under the stern gaze of Che Guevara. The course is sponsored by the liberation front.”

Nothing throws out #Chivalry like #fascism and #genocide: #Assad to be protected by #women

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It's come to this. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has run out of men to protect him. So now he's going to be protected by women.
Dressed in fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, the female recruits – the “Lionesses for National Defence” – are part of a new paramilitary force. They have already been deployed in Homs, where they have been spotted guarding areas where residents still largely support the regime. Videos from both opposition and pro-government sites purport to show members of the all-female unit in action.
The women are part of the recently formed National Defence Force (NDF), which appears to be a key component of the Syrian state’s counter insurgency strategy. The regime is struggling to gain the upper hand in the street battles that have devastated large areas of the country’s cities and killed thousands of its soldiers. Rebels are holed up in several neighbourhoods of Homs and the capital’s southern suburbs.
Abu Rami, a spokesman for the Syrian Revolution General Commission in Homs, first saw the female recruits about five days ago at Tadmour Circle on the outskirts of an Alawite area, before another activist returned to film them. The shaky video, which appears to have been filmed secretly, shows around half a dozen armed women guarding a major intersection.
“I was very surprised, it’s the first time we have seen this,” he said. “I think it’s an excuse to make the FSA [Free Syrian Army] kill women and then show the world as propaganda, but anyone with a weapon is a legitimate target.”
He said the women were also seen in the Wadi al-Dahab area, where some 500 recruits are reported to be receiving training at a military base.
In scenes reminiscent of parades by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s female bodyguards, a video uploaded on to a pro-regime YouTube channel at the beginning of the month shows about a hundred women marching in front of a portrait of the president. The NDF, which includes male recruits, is expected to have 10,000 members.
 I'm sure Asma al-Assad is thrilled.
Hitler was progressive with gender opportunities too

David Mamet: Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm - Newsweek and The Daily Beast

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† A city in eastern Poland.

Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.

‘In announcing his gun control proposals, President Obama said that he was not restricting Second Amendment rights, but allowing other constitutional rights to flourish.’

For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”


All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.

As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.

President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”

But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?

It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good—that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.

The Constitution’s drafters did not require a wag to teach them that power corrupts: they had experienced it in the person of King George. The American secession was announced by reference to his abuses of power: “He has obstructed the administration of Justice … he has made Judges dependant on his will alone … He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws … He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass out people and to eat out their substance … imposed taxes upon us without our consent… [He has] fundamentally altered the forms of our government.”
Gun rights advocates rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Jan. 2013.
Who threatens American society most: law-abiding citizens or criminals? (Matt Rourke/AP)

This is a chillingly familiar set of grievances; and its recrudescence was foreseen by the Founders. They realized that King George was not an individual case, but the inevitable outcome of unfettered power; that any person or group with the power to tax, to form laws, and to enforce them by arms will default to dictatorship, absent the constant unflagging scrutiny of the governed, and their severe untempered insistence upon compliance with law.

The Founders recognized that Government is quite literally a necessary evil, that there must be opposition, between its various branches, and between political parties, for these are the only ways to temper the individual’s greed for power and the electorates’ desires for peace by submission to coercion or blandishment.

Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife. It awakens anxiety, passion, fervor, and, indeed, hatred and chicanery, both in pursuit of private gain and of public good. Those who promise to relieve us of the burden through their personal or ideological excellence, those who claim to hold the Magic Beans, are simply confidence men. Their emergence is inevitable, and our individual opposition to and rejection of them, as they emerge, must be blunt and sure; if they are arrogant, willful, duplicitous, or simply wrong, they must be replaced, else they will consolidate power, and use the treasury to buy votes, and deprive us of our liberties. It was to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government.

Many are opposed to private ownership of firearms, and their opposition comes under several heads. Their specific objections are answerable retail, but a wholesale response is that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. On a lower level of abstraction, there are more than 2 million instances a year of the armed citizen deterring or stopping armed criminals; a number four times that of all crimes involving firearms.

The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals.

Violence by firearms is most prevalent in big cities with the strictest gun laws. In Chicago and Washington, D.C., for example, it is only the criminals who have guns, the law-abiding populace having been disarmed, and so crime runs riot.

Cities of similar size in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and elsewhere, which leave the citizen the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed in the Constitution, typically are much safer. More legal guns equal less crime. What criminal would be foolish enough to rob a gun store? But the government alleges that the citizen does not need this or that gun, number of guns, or amount of ammunition.


But President Obama, it seems, does.

He has just passed a bill that extends to him and his family protection, around the clock and for life, by the Secret Service. He, evidently, feels that he is best qualified to determine his needs, and, of course, he is. As I am best qualified to determine mine.

For it is, again, only the Marxists who assert that the government, which is to say the busy, corrupted, and hypocritical fools most elected officials are (have you ever had lunch with one?) should regulate gun ownership based on its assessment of needs.

Q. Who “needs” an assault rifle?

A. No one outside the military and the police. I concur.

An assault weapon is that which used to be called a “submachine gun.” That is, a handheld long gun that will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held down.

These have been illegal in private hands (barring those collectors who have passed the stringent scrutiny of the Federal Government) since 1934. Outside these few legal possessors, there are none in private hands. They may be found in the hands of criminals. But criminals, let us reflect, by definition, are those who will not abide by the laws. What purpose will passing more laws serve?

My grandmother came from Russian Poland, near the Polish city of Chelm. Chelm was celebrated, by the Ashkenazi Jews, as the place where the fools dwelt. And my grandmother loved to tell the traditional stories of Chelm.

Its residents, for example, once decided that there was no point in having the sun shine during the day, when it was light out—it would be better should it shine at night, when it was dark. Similarly, we modern Solons delight in passing gun laws that, in their entirety, amount to “making crime illegal.”

What possible purpose in declaring schools “gun-free zones”? Who bringing a gun, with evil intent, into a school would be deterred by the sign?

Ah, but perhaps one, legally carrying a gun, might bring it into the school.
Obama family attending Easter church service
If President Obama determines a need to defend his family, why can’t we defend our own? (Jonathan Ernst, Reuters/Landov)

Good.

We need more armed citizens in the schools.

Walk down Madison Avenue in New York. Many posh stores have, on view, or behind a two-way mirror, an armed guard. Walk into most any pawnshop, jewelry story, currency exchange, gold store in the country, and there will be an armed guard nearby. Why? As currency, jewelry, gold are precious. Who complains about the presence of these armed guards? And is this wealth more precious than our children?

Apparently it is: for the Left adduces arguments against armed presence in the school but not in the wristwatch stores. Q. How many accidental shootings occurred last year in jewelry stores, or on any premises with armed security guards?

Why not then, for the love of God, have an armed presence in the schools? It could be done at the cost of a pistol (several hundred dollars), and a few hours of training (that’s all the security guards get). Why not offer teachers, administrators, custodians, a small extra stipend for completing a firearms-safety course and carrying a concealed weapon to school? The arguments to the contrary escape me.


Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre rattles off a list of places protected by armed guards at an NRA press conference.

Why do I specify concealed carry? As if the weapons are concealed, any potential malefactor must assume that anyone on the premises he means to disrupt may be armed—a deterrent of even attempted violence.

Yes, but we should check all applicants for firearms for a criminal record?

Anyone applying to purchase a handgun has, since 1968, filled out a form certifying he is not a fugitive from justice, a convicted criminal, or mentally deficient. These forms, tens and tens of millions of them, rest, conceivably, somewhere in the vast repository. How are they checked? Are they checked? By what agency, with what monies? The country is broke. Do we actually want another agency staffed by bureaucrats for whom there is no funding?

The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.

The so-called assault weapons ban is a hoax. It is a political appeal to the ignorant. The guns it supposedly banned have been illegal (as above) for 78 years. Did the ban make them “more” illegal? The ban addresses only the appearance of weapons, not their operation.

Will increased cosmetic measures make anyone safer? They, like all efforts at disarmament, will put the citizenry more at risk. Disarmament rests on the assumption that all people are good, and, basically, want the same things.

But if all people were basically good, why would we, increasingly, pass more and more elaborate laws?

The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.

President Obama seems to understand the Constitution as a “set of suggestions.” I cannot endorse his performance in office, but he wins my respect for taking those steps he deems necessary to ensure the safety of his family. Why would he want to prohibit me from doing the same?

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