Posts Tagged ‘ability’

The Noose Around Israel’s Neck

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, July 21st, 2014

This is article 1210 of 1217 in the topic International

Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim.

There are three things you can do when you are about to be hanged. You can walk proudly, recite a glorious line or two to embed your martyrdom in historical memory, and then allow yourself to be hanged. Jews have an extensive body of experience with that brand of martyrdom.

Alternatively you can plead your case all the way to the gallows, arguing that a mistake has been made, that your case has been improperly reviewed, begging for someone to listen and do something. This way also ends in a hanging. But it’s the hanging of a slave without even a shred of dignity attached to it. A man that dies pleading with his murderers, and puts his fate in the honesty of the liars and hypocrites whose own crimes makes the worst of his look like virtues, is a craven fool.

Because there is really only one thing you can do when the noose is being placed around your neck. Resist. A noose works by tightening around your neck and cutting off your air or breaking your neck. If you resist the tightening of the noose, you may actually survive. On the other hand if you follow through all the procedures, if you allow your hands to be tied behind your back, and the noose to be fastened around your neck while trusting in the system to do right by you– your death is inevitable.

For two decades Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by empty international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets.

Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.

Every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.

This is not a peace process, and it has never been one. It is a public lynching.

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Obama’s Illegal alien tidal wave to cost taxpayers $billions annually: Report

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This is article 437 of 452 in the topic Immigration

With many American citizens feeling helpless — and hopeless — as they watch their nation’s border security openly violated by illegal alien children — some of whom are over 18-years-old — a nonpartisan watchdog group reported on Thursday that the state of California alone spends upwards of $25 billion each year to provide human services to millions of lawbreakers.

The state’s estimated 3 million illegal aliens and their 1.1 million U.S.–born children, known as anchor babies, cost the average California household — headed by a U.S. citizen – $2,370 annually.

“While President Barack Obama and many Democrats benefit from the influx of illegal aliens who may become Democrats themselves, it’s the American taxpayers footing the bill for the politicians’ future voters,” said former police officer and security director Iris Aquino.

The group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), released a study that finds providing healthcare, education, law enforcement, and social services to a growing illegal alien population costs Californians $25.3 billion per year, according to the report.

In a 2013 Examiner news story, it was reported that some state and local governments have expressed concerns about the impact that criminal aliens have on already overcrowded prisons and jails and that the federal government reimburses them for only 25 percent of the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens.

The education of illegal aliens’ children or the American born children of illegal aliens is the largest burden to taxpayers at $14.4 billion each year. That includes standard public school education as well as English language instruction. Despitefederal funding, which is but a fraction of the costs, the average amount taxpayers must pay $10,450 each year for each student.

The second-largest expense for the illegal alien population is law enforcement, courts and prison costs for illegal aliens who’ve committed crimes other than entering the U.S. unlawfully. The cost to California is said to be more than $4.4 billion, the FAIR study notes.

Meanwhile, healthcare for illegal aliens — even before Obamacare — costs taxpayers in California another $4 billion. The report finds that taxes collected from illegal aliens amounts to about $3.5 billion annually, and so claims that illegal immigrants “contribute more than they take” are spurious.

FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, stated in the report:

“Twenty-five billion dollars a year in costs associated with illegal immigration represents a fiscal crisis that affects California’s ability to meet its basic obligations to citizens and legal residents. While clearly the Federal government bears responsibility for its failure, or refusal, to enforce our immigration laws, in California’s case many of the burdens of illegal immigration are self-induced.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that illegal immigration represents an unsustainable fiscal burden to the state, the California Legislature and local governments across the state continue to provide new benefits, new services, and new privileges to illegal aliens, even as the state neglects the needs and concerns of other Californians. The costs will continue to grow so long as the state continues to reward illegal immigration and impedes immigration enforcement. California taxpayers will continue to be the losers in this unhappy scenario.”

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Winning the War

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This is article 84 of 87 in the topic Wars

The last President to have taken part in actual combat left office nearly twenty years ago. It’s a little-remarked milestone buried amid a great deal of posturing by leaders who want to talk the talk without having walked the walk. Since then, we have gone from a draft dodger to a man who never had to bother dodging, a commentary on a generational shift from a period when military service was not alien to the Yale and Harvard campuses. Meanwhile, the country remains in a conflict without end.

Obama will complete his pullouts on a campaign schedule, but that will not end the war. You cannot end a war that you did not begin. The sustained conflict we are in did not begin when we entered Afghanistan or Iraq, it will not end just because we leave.

The Afghanistan victory lap is as much about disguising the ‘cut and run’ phase; as it is about reminding the folks in Virginia and Iowa that the man on television parachuted in, cut the throats of all of Osama’s guards, shot him in the face and then made a topical quip. Waving around Bin Laden’s head is a good way to distract them from the fact that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan, that Obama’s own strategy there failed badly and cost numerous American and British lives, and that we are turning the country over to the Taliban.

Afghanistan and Iraq were part of a strategy for containing and draining the fever swamps of terrorism. That strategy failed for a variety of reasons, not the least of them being that we failed to learn the lessons of Vietnam. The Obama Administration alone managed to roll out a “hearts and minds” strategy and a brief push to intimidate the other side into coming to the negotiating table for a face-saving withdrawal. It’s almost a pity that Obama wasn’t old enough to have to dodged the draft. At least that way he might have actually known something about the Vietnam War.

Instead we have come away with thousands of casualties, living and dead, often left with poor medical care, at rates that this administration is determined to hike up. We have generals who don’t know how to win wars but know how to behave in mosques and female cadets from West Point are being dressed up in hijabs and taken to Jersey City so that they might learn how to relate to Muslim culture. And most of all the war isn’t over.

The enemy was never a few peasants in Afghanistan, beating their wives, growing their drug cash crops and murdering their daughters over a slight. They are bastards and they generally hate us, to the extent that they are aware of us, much as they hate their neighbors from a different ethnic group. But, left to their own devices, they would only be a threat to their own female relations. They are our enemies, but they are not the enemy.

Bin Laden didn’t come out of Afghanistan. He came out of Saudi Arabia, and he found refuge in Pakistan. And those are two countries that we would never think to touch, because the former owns us, and the latter has sizable numbers and nuclear weapons.

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More Progressive Hypocrisy

by Bob Livingston on Friday, May 23rd, 2014

This is article 188 of 194 in the topic Liberalism
More Progressive Hypocrisy

THINKSTOCK

So progressives and hoplophobes (sorry for the redundancy) are lauding the fact that the restaurant Chiplotle has chosen to deny service to people exercising their 2nd Amendment right.

Yet those same progressives went apoplectic when a bakery owner and a photographer chose — for religious reasons — not to bake a cake or photograph homosexual weddings. Can you say hypocrisy?

In a free society, a business should be able to engage in a voluntary transaction or contract, or not, as the owner sees fit, just as the customer has the ability to choose whether to purchase a good or service from a particular business. If a business wants to refuse service to a person wielding a gun, good for it.

Likewise, if a business wants to refuse to perform a service for any other reason, the business should have that right as well.

To support one business’ decision to deny service but not the other is utter hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is the norm for progressives and statists.

To paraphrase Howard Dean, we have had enough of the politics of hate and anger and division. The left wants power so much they think it’s OK to win by taking away the right to bear arms. They are not American. They would be more comfortable in England or Australia.

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Obama gets tough with Israeli leaders during interview

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

This is article 1130 of 1217 in the topic International

President Barack Obama told an Internet publication on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making it more and more difficult for him and his administration to continue backing Israel against those nations and activists trying to isolate it from the international community if the Kerry-led Israeli-Palestinian meetings fail to achieve a meaningful peace.

During his interview with Bloomberg View, Obama claimed that he is urging Israel’s Prime Minister to give the White House and State Department enough leeway in testing the Iranian government’s honesty regarding their nuclear program. Iranian officials have claimed they are working a non-military project when it comes to that Islamic nation’s nuclear program.

However, Obama admitted that Israel’s leaders are suspicious of the West’s diplomatic engagement with Tehran.

“In fact, more than a few U.S. military analysts have criticized Obama for his alleged display of weakness and wishful thinking when dealing with international crises,” said a former intelligence officer now a corporate security director, Thomas V. Harnish.

Obama told Bloomberg that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians appears to be more and more unlikely, and he called on the Jewish State to work with Secretary of State John Kerry in attempting make the peace talks successful in achieving a lasting peace.

Obama said his message to Netanyahu in a White House meeting scheduled for Monday would be: ‘If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?’”

During his Bloomberg interview, Obama warned that “if peace talks fail and Israel presses ahead with expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land in the West Bank, then Washington would have limited ability to protect it from international fallout.”

Israel is facing a global boycott as well as a divestiture juggernaut that are successful in European nations and on university campuses in the United States.

“Is it just me or do other Americans see a president who is timid and lax in his dealings with Iran, Russia, and Muslim nations while he attempts to bully a nation like Israel that is and has always been our ally?” asked political strategist and attorney Mike Baker.

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U.S. nuclear facility’s radiation leak creates serious concerns

by Jim Kouri on Monday, February 17th, 2014

This is article 249 of 262 in the topic energy

A U.S. nuclear waste facility in New Mexico is creating serious concern on Sunday when radiation escaping from the repository was detected, according to news organizations.

An air-sampling monitor located at the Carlsbad, N.M., Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) detected high levels of radioactive particles that are being characterized as “abnormal” in nature, according a Department of Energy press statement.

Roger Nelson, the DOE spokesperson, said that none of the facilities staff were working underground at the time of the leak and no injuries, human contamination or damages have been reported.

DOE noted that more than 135 employees were above ground during the leak and they were told to stay away. Tests for exposure to radiation were conducted and all of the workers’ results were negative.

While the radiation is considered ultra-hazardous, it can doesn’t easily penetrate human or animal skin, but it is extremely harmful and life-threatening if swallowed or inhaled, according to Reuters.

But, according to the Centers for Diseased Control, “internal contamination is caused by humans swallowing or breathing in radioactive materials, or if radioactive materials enter a body through an open wound or are absorbed through the skin. Some types of radioactive materials stay in the body and are deposited in different body organs.”

On the other hand, external contamination exists when radioactive material, in the form of dust particles, liquid or powder contacts a person’s clothing, skin, or hair. However, the CDC warns that men or women “who are externally contaminated can become internally contaminated if radioactive material gets into their bodies.”

According to an Examiner news story:

“The DOE is the agency charged with regulating the safety of nuclear facilities. A key part of DOE’s self-regulation is the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), which develops, oversees, and helps enforce nuclear safety policies.

“At the request of the US Congress in 2008, the Government Accounting Office reviewed relevant DOE policies, interviewed officials and outside safety experts, and surveyed DOE sites to determine the number and status of nuclear facilities. GAO also assessed oversight practices based on a series of reports on DOE nuclear safety and discussions with nuclear safety experts.

“HSS falls short of fully meeting GAO’s elements of effective independent oversight of nuclear safety: independence, technical expertise, ability to perform reviews and have findings effectively addressed, enforcement, and public access to facility information.”

The cause of the WIPP radiation leak remains unknown, according to reports on Sunday.

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The Obamacare security nightmare: It gets worse

by Michelle Malkin on Thursday, February 6th, 2014

This is article 648 of 686 in the topic Healthcare

The Obamacare security nightmare: It gets worse
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Fraudsters on the inside, hackers on the outside. Here we are, stuck in the middle with the security nightmare called Obamacare. Can it get any worse? Yes, it can.

After the spectacular website crashes during last fall’s federal health insurance exchange rollout, enrollees will soon wish the entire system had stayed down and dead. “404 Error” messages and convicted felon Obamacare navigators may be the least of our health care tech problems now. The latest? U.S. intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services last week that the Healthcare.gov infrastructure could be infected with malicious code.

Who’s responsible? Washington Free Beacon national security reporter Bill Gertz writes that U.S. officials have “warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected” of possible sabotage. A government tech bureaucrat in the Belarusian regime bragged last summer on Russian radio that HHS is “one of our clients” and that “we are helping Obama complete his insurance reform.”

Gulp. When an authoritarian minion from the country known as “Europe’s last dictatorship” boasts about “helping” the Obama White House, be afraid. One of our intel people spelled it out for Gertz: “The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks.”

No kidding. The friends of Vladimir Putin are not our friends. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Belarus and other Eastern European hacking gangs have been at the center of several recent international cybercrimes. These aren’t merely schemes to steal credit card numbers or vandalize websites with annoying graffiti. They’re acts of espionage and sabotage — like using malware in a phishing scheme aimed at White House employees to gather military intelligence and pilfer sensitive government documents.

It’s not just the federal health care system’s problem. Former Obamacare website contractor CGI still holds dozens of contracts with other federal agencies and state governments worth billions of dollars — and wide access to health and financial data. In my state of Colorado, for example, CGI has a $78 million contract to “modernize, host and manage” the state’s financial system. Have they checked to see whether Belarus hackers are standing by?

For their part, Obamacare officials are making their usual “don’t worry about it, the problem’s under control” noises. But we already know the problem is far out of control. Last month, GOP oversight hearings exposed persistent failures by Obamacare overseers to fix security lapses.

Former most-wanted cybercriminal Kevin Mitnick concluded in a letter to Capitol Hill: “It’s shameful the team that built the Healthcare.gov site implemented minimal, if any, security best practices to mitigate the significant risk of a system compromise.” If the latest warnings from our intel agencies are any indication, it appears that Obamacare Keystone Kops didn’t just leave out security protections, but also may have allowed foreign programmers to write in cyber-traps.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC and a former cybersecurity official with the National Security Agency and the U.S. Marine Corps, warned that “Healthcare.gov is not secure today” and said nothing had changed since he gave Congress that assessment three months before.

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Which Words Work

by Dr. Robert Owens on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

What words mean is important.  The ability to speak, to transfer complex and symbolic knowledge from one person to another is one of the hallmarks of humanity.  When words lose their meaning communication loses its ability to transmit thoughts.  Obviously words can change their meanings over time.  One example is the word prevent.  This word now means to stop something from happening.  Hundreds of years ago it meant for one thing to happen before another: pre-event. 

This is natural and is the organic outgrowth of how people speak.  All languages change over time.  What isn’t natural is when, for ideological reasons, groups work to change the meanings of words to either confuse the discussion or to attract support from people who normally would not lend them their support. 

Leaving aside the natural organic change of meanings and looking instead at the contrived control of meaning for political purposes we recognize the need to establish precise meanings to convey precise thoughts. 

A perfect example is how the words liberty and democracy have become intertwined and confounded.  Knowing that equality before the law is a necessary bridge on the road to liberty advocates of liberty rightfully believe that all citizens should have a share in making the law.  This is where the advocates of liberty and the proponents of the democracy movement share a preference for a means while they do not necessarily share a preference for the ends. 

The advocates of liberty standing on the foundation of the enlightenment thinking of the 18th century and the classical liberal traditions of the 19th see democracy as a means for limiting the coercive power of government no matter what form that government may take.  Conversely to the dogmatic democrat the only legitimate limit on government power is the current majority opinion.   

The difference between these two positions is starkly revealed if we understand what each side sees as the opposite of their idea.  To the dogmatic democrat it is authoritarianism and to the classical liberal it is totalitarianism.  Neither of these two opposites excludes the other.  It is possible for a democracy to use totalitarian methods, and an authoritarian government might implement the principles of liberty. 

Both of these terms democracy and liberty are used in vague and wide references by those who seek to lead our people.  Their precise meanings have been blurred by this usage to the point where many people confound them and believe if they can vote they have liberty.  However if we can return the meaning to these words we will find that it is possible to separate the two and find clarity. 

The doctrine of liberty deals with what laws ought to be.  The doctrine of democracy deals with the manner of determining what will be the law.   

The advocates of liberty agree that it is best if only what the majority accepts should be law however they do not agree that all majority driven law is always good law.  They seek to persuade the majority that the principles of liberty should be the hallmark of all laws.  They accept that majority rule is the fairest method of deciding what the laws are.  They do not agree that this gives the majority the unlimited authority to decide what the laws ought to be. 

The doctrinaire democrat holds that majority opinion not only decides what the law should be and that this majority opinion is also the measure of what is good law. 

Therefore when we confound the concept of liberty with the use of democratic action it is natural to accept that everything democratically decided upon is an advance for liberty.  One has only to look at the fact that the German people voted to give Hitler dictatorial powers to see that this is an illusion. 

For while the principles of liberty are one of the paths which may be chosen through democratic action the use of democratic action does not preclude other choices and it says nothing about what is the proper role of government.  While the spread of democracy, especially the idea of one-man-one-vote, has advanced the cause of liberty in many nations there is nothing that demands that it do so.  In America today many popular policies are advanced on the merit that they are the democratic desire of a majority.  This does not necessarily mean that they will advance the cause of liberty.  To require a citizen to purchase certain products such as health care and to use the coercive power of the state to enforce it may have passed as part of a democratic procedure; however, this does not advance the cause of liberty. 

Giving someone the power to vote does not magically give them the knowledge or the information as to how to vote.  When the franchise is extended to more and more low information voters this may advance the cause of democracy; however, it does not advance the cause of liberty.  Low information voters are easily manipulated by demagogues who exploit the desires of the day to build their own kingdoms and enhance their own power without regard to our constitutional limits. 

We have a growing mass of low information voters, a progressive government who makes it their business to shape the majority opinion, and a media that is dedicated to the government party.  This is the prescription for a totalitarian democracy.  The constraining hand of the constitution and tradition has fallen away and the manipulated voice of the majority calls for more entitlements, more regulation, more government to solve the problems caused by entitlements, regulations and government. 

We have come full circle.  In our revolution the advocates of liberty rose up against an autocrat to demand freedom.  They then used that freedom to craft a government limited in power so that people could live their lives and build their fortunes without oppression.  Today we have elected leaders who have progressed past these limits.  Leaders who seek to control every aspect of life.  We may have reached the dreams of the democratic fathers however these dreams are turning into the nightmares of our Founders: advocates of liberty one and all. 

Dr.

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Hezbollah terrorists boast of improving missile accuracy

by Jim Kouri on Monday, January 13th, 2014

This is article 693 of 776 in the topic Terrorism

Lebanon-based, terrorist network Hezbollah boasted in the Middle East news media that it has greatly improved its missile prowess including their ability to target Israel cities and towns with pinpoint precision, according to a senior Iranian army commander’s statement on Sunday appearing in the local news organization Kayhan International.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said that Zionists will soon see Hezbollah’s new missile capability if the Israeli military attempts to take action against the Shiite Islamist group, according to Middle East reporters on Sunday.

The Kayhan International news story said the recently killed Hezbollah commander, Hassan al-Laqis, should be credited with building up Hezbollah with weapons, rockets, missiles and other improvements.

Hezbollah’s Al-Laqis was killed in southern Beirut in December. Iran’s top IRGC commanders, including the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, which is responsible covert and special operations, attended a commemoration ceremony held to honor the deceased Hezbollah chief.

“[Al-Laqis] was a great, resourceful and very active Hezbollah commander whose works could be revealed should a Hezbollah-Israel war break out. He created great defense supplies [sic], ” and was “one of Hezbollah’s masterminds in the field of electronic war,” Hajizadeh said.

Hezbollah’s capability has improved so tremendously in recent years that it can hit and destroy any target inside Israel with pinpoint ability, he claimed.

Hezbollah has been financially and militarily supported by the Islamist Iranians since the terrorist group was founded in 1982 during the Lebanese war with Israel.

Hezbollah members practice an Iranian-style radical Shiite ideology that plays a central role in the organization’s establishment and continues to play a central role in its operation. Hamas, on the other hand, is a radical Sunni Islamic movement with roots in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Examiner news story.

Neither terrorist group just appeared out of thin air: Hezbollah was established in part as a result of longstanding religious and cultural links between the Shiite communities in Lebanon and Iran, which intensified after the fall of the Shah in 1979, thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s betrayal of the Shah of Iran and his family, the Examiner story noted.

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Robert Gates memoir: Pakistan’s top security adviser agrees with Gates

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, January 9th, 2014

This is article 690 of 776 in the topic Terrorism

On the same day that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates‘ soon-to-be-released memoir created a Washington, D.C., media feeding frenzy regarding his criticism of — and revelations about — President Barack Obama’s handling of the Afghan conflict, Pakistan‘s top foreign affairs official said on Wednesday that the U.S. has failed to achieve its stated goals of peace, defeating terrorism, promoting development and political stability in post-Osama bin Laden Afghanistan.

Gates’ upcoming book criticizes President Obama, his national security team, and his lack of interest in the military strategy employed in Afghanistan. While, according to press reports in the Middle East, Pakistan’s Sartaj Aziz, that country’s senior adviser for national security and foreign relations, said that the United States was fighting a wrong war, with wrong methods and with wrong people.

“The United States was now fighting those which were trained, armed and funded by it during Russian invasion of Afghanistan,” Aziz said.

Aziz complained that Obama’s increased use of drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal regions proved his total ignorance of Pakistani values and traditions. He said he believed Obama’s actions and his inactions were counterproductive.

Pakistan has forcefully raised the drone issue with the United States, Aziz claims. “The international community is now supportive of the Pakistani position and the government would raise the issue more emphatically in the weeks to come.”

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee announced that on Jan. 15, 2014, he and his committee will begin probing what he termed, “Obama’s failure to reflect the reality that is al-Qaeda.

Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, a former federal prosecutor, said in a press release:

“The President’s narrative fails to reflect the reality that al-Qaeda is not on the run, but is in fact growing in strength at an alarming rate across the Middle East and Northern Africa. As of last week, major fighting in both Ramadi and Fallujah saw al Qaeda-linked groups gain territory in cities where U.S. soldiers recently suppressed violent insurgents. The civil war in Syria is attracting jihadists and the fighting is spilling over into neighboring countries while extremism engulfs entire regions in Libya and Somalia.

“We must take an honest look at the danger to the homeland from the spread of extremism. Continuing to downplay the terrorist threat endangers our ability to defeat it, and this hearing will examine the consequences of the Administration’s counterterrorism rhetoric.”

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