October 30, 2010

Why Do Jews Vote for Their Enemies?

BY JAMES LEWIS

AMERICANTHINKER.COM - October 28, 2010

American blacks vote Obama for the color of his skin. American Leftists vote Obama because they hope he will shaft this country more royally than anybody else has so far.

So what excuse do the Jews have? The black and the radical leftist vote Obama for reasons I can understand. Obama is black, even if his life experience has no relationship to the average American black person -- none at all. And Obama is a radical, so even the radicals have a reason. However, why does Obama keep his favorable standing with American Jews? It makes no sense.

With his favoritism for Muslims, by trying constantly to undermine the elected government of Israel and by constantly reaching out to a Hitler-wannabe in Iran, Obama has made it clear enough what side he's on. His friends Jodie Evans of Code Pink and Bill Ayers agitated for the Gaza flotilla that turned into a planned PR disaster for Israel. His administration supports the grotesque and shameful farce of Iran, the Sudan, and Libya sitting on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Those are genocidal, torturing, and utterly reactionary regimes. And that's just the start of Obama's bitter hatred of Israel and Western values. There's more coming -- you betcha.

American Jews are voting against their plain self-interest. They voted for someone who listened to Jeremy Wright ranting against Jews and whites for twenty years. Wright is a race-hater, pure and simple, and he hates Whitey and the Jews. What's more, Michelle Obama is the daughter of a Chicago ward boss who grew up in that atmosphere, rife with Louis Farrakahn and the Black Muslims, Jeremy Wright, and the ranting Father Pfleger. Michelle grew up with the Jesse Jackson family, and we know where Jesse stands. Put all that together, and you get classical Jew-hating. It's obvious to anybody who pays attention.

Obama's pal George Soros helped set up the phony front group J Street, which specializes in undermining Israel while claiming to defend it; it's classical Stalinist agitprop. Anybody could find that out. Granted that the media tried to cover it all up, but it's on the web, for goodness' sake. Use your fingers and it's right there.

Jews have the reputation of being intelligent, and academically, they often are. But Jewish smart people seem to be -- how shall I say this? -- incapable of thinking straight about politics. Once many Jews figure out what side in politics they are rooting for, they are stuck for life. No facts, no matter how persuasive, will change their minds. This is nuts. It is certainly not intelligent. In politics, American Jews seem to be idiots savant: Very bright in one part of life, but with big islands of ignorance, denial, and wishful thinking.

And yes, some of my best friends, and all that.

I can make up all kinds of imaginary reasons. Back in Europe it was the socialists and Soviets who ultimately did the most harm to the Nazis, so Eastern European Jews were drawn into that horrific maelstrom and chose the only side that wasn't systematically threatening and killing Jews. But that's historically one-sided. George Soros infamously grew up in Hungary selling the (stolen) furniture and art of the Jews who were marched to the concentration camp. Liberal Jews still admire the man.

Jews are attracted to the fantasy world of the lion lying down with the lamb. But reality tells us it hasn't happened yet, and the chances that peace will break out all over are not high. The Left constantly runs that sucker play, and American Jews fall for it. I've talked with Jewish friends, and I keep trying to figure it out. Can't they spot a cruel scam when they see it? Where is their intelligence?

The Jews in Europe had a very bad time with Catholics and Orthodox of various stripes, especially in Poland and Russia. And yet the European Enlightenment that started the liberation of Jews from the medieval ghetto was created by many Christians and some Jews. Historically, Christianity has both anti-Semitic elements and philo-Semitic ones, as the historian Paul Johnson points out in his history of the Jews. Listen to Mozart's Requiem Mass. Half the text comes from the Hebrew Bible.

A billion Muslims in the world are exposed to classic anti-Semitic hate propaganda. You can see it day by day on the MEMRI website, with straight translations from the Persian and Arab language media. Hate-Jew cartoons are all over those Islamic media. Hitler's Mein Kampf sells like hotcakes in Egypt. The Saudis sponsored a truly filthy TV series shown throughout the Arab world based on the Elders of Zion, the phony czarist anti-Jewish propaganda tale. (It features those folks with caricatured Shylock faces who are constantly plotting to take over the world, talking like Snidely Whiplash and rubbing their hand in glee while they are preparing to kill a Christian baby for Passover.) This is sleazy, nasty, hateful, and moronic stuff. Arab audiences in Egypt and Iran just love it. They are mental throwbacks to the Dark Ages.

And yet, American Jews vote for Obama. Now, Obama himself is careful to avoid any appearance of militant hatred of Jews. He just inveighs against "Wall Street Fat Cats" and "Neo-cons" and protects Black Muslims who are caught in voter intimidation in Philadelphia. A lot of those targets of abuse are Jews, and a lot of them sort of agree with Obama's rants against capitalism. But capitalism frees people, and the Jews, who have suffered more than their share of oppression, should recognize that instantly.

Half of American Jews are women. Women are badly used and abused both sexually and physically throughout the Islamic world. So are gay people. So are Christians who profess a religion that does not elevate Muhammad as the last prophet. Jews by the million have been forced to leave Muslim countries and are now settled in Israel and America. Every other day Ahmadinejad issues another nuclear threat against Tel Aviv. The Muslim Brotherhood, which inspired Hamas, has acted to destroy Jews and Israelis since its World War II alliance with Hitler. Jimmy Carter is a big fan of Hamas and brought that other medieval throwback, Ayatollah Khomeini, into power, thereby driving Jews and other Iranians out of that country.

And still the Jews vote 70-plus percent for their enemies.

Two plus two does not equal four.

This is not adult, rational behavior. It is not intelligent. It is not wise or benevolent. It is not charitable toward the weak and oppressed peoples of the earth. It is not good for future generations. And as 97 percent of the Israeli public has decided, Obama is very bad for Israel; after all, he's done nothing visible about Iranian nukes, which are the biggest genocidal danger to Israel ever. A second Holocaust has never been closer. Obama's backed off now for the election, but he'll be back at Netanyahu's throat as soon as the election is past. His White House "advisors" are all for shafting Israel but good. It's their substitute for sane foreign policy.

Something isn't right here. People usually don't vote for those who hate them and who constantly act in alliance with genocidal haters like Hamas and the Iranian fascisti.

Something isn't right.

Now watch the midterm elections, when the country will render its first verdict on Obama and his cronies in office, on the recession, the insanely high budgets, Obama's friendly alliances with ranting enemies of America and Israel.

I'll bet that Obama's crew gets more than 50 percent of the Jewish vote in the midterms.

Is this crazy, or what?


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2010

Brothers! Wage Jihad on US Soil - (More Instruction from Religion of Peace)

In Online journal, al Qaeda pushes 'lone-wolf' attacks

By Shaun Waterman
The Washington Times, October 13, 2010

The problem al Qaeda is having in making use of potential Western recruits is evident in the latest edition of its online English-language magazine, which calls on would-be U.S. terrorists to carry out "lone wolf" attacks in the United States instead of traveling abroad to join extremist groups.

"It's a sign that their infrastructure is under pressure," said Brian Fishman, a research fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "What it tells us is that it is very hard for al Qaeda to incorporate Westerners into their organization. It doesn't mean that they don't have top-down plans to attack the United States and other Western countries," Mr. Fishman told The Washington Times.

But analysts also caution that lone-wolf attacks — like the November massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, that Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of carrying out — can be difficult to prevent because they involve so little communication and preparation. The latest edition of Inspire magazine, released this week, says that lone-wolf attacks with firearms — like a shooting rampage in a Washington-area eatery — are a more effective way for would-be martyrs to wage al Qaeda's war than efforts to join extremist groups abroad.

"Do not attempt to travel overseas to join the Mujahideen in an overt matter [sic]," reads an article in the magazine, provided to The Times by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks al Qaeda publications. "We strongly encourage our brothers to fight jihad on U.S. soil," says the article, titled "Tips for Our Brothers in the United States of America."

The 74-page, full-color magazine, produced online in the portable document format (PDF) by al Qaeda's Yemen-based affiliate group, appears to be produced and written by a small number of English-speaking and U.S.-reared extremists. This week's release is the second edition. The first was published in June. Much of the new edition has been previously published or is a reworking of old material.

A "random" shooting rampage "at a crowded restaurant in Washington D.C. at lunch hour, for example, might end up knocking out a few government employees" and, because of its location, would attract "additional media attention," the article suggests. Another article suggests welding blades to the front of a pickup truck to use "as a mowing machine, not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies of Allah." "Pick your location and time carefully. Go for the most crowded locations. … To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control," the article states.

Although the article does not mention it, the tactic echoes an attack in March 2006, when Mohammed Taheri-azar, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen, injured nine people with a sport utility vehicle on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder, saying in letters to the student newspaper that he aimed to "avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide" and to "punish" the U.S. government.

One counterterrorism specialist who works with U.S. government agencies and asked for anonymity, said the article's authors were "just going with the flow." "A lot of lone-wolf attacks have taken place, and they are just trying to capitalize on that," the specialist said.

Mr. Fishman added that this was not the first time al Qaeda propagandists had urged lone-wolf attacks, nor the first time they had cautioned recruits not to try to join up with groups abroad. "Al Qaeda has been trying to inspire these kind of lone-wolf attacks for years," he said. He noted that Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a second-tier leader of al Qaeda's central group based on the Afghan-Pakistan border, recently posted a statement on extremist websites urging recruits not to try to come to Pakistan.

"He said, in effect, 'fight where you are … the conditions are not right [here]. … We are unable to train and use you effectively,'" Mr. Fishman said. "There is always this tension in jihadist propaganda," Mr. Fishman said, adding that recruiters know that "the romance and camaraderie of battle" is a big draw for would-be extremists.

A recent recruitment manual, written under the pen name Abu Amro Alqaidi, noted, "It's a lot harder to get someone to act alone where they are then to get them to travel abroad," Mr. Fishman pointed out. But at the same time, "they are wary of bringing people in … they might be spies.” The would-be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shazad, reportedly told investigators that when he tried to volunteer with extremist groups in Pakistan, they thought he was a spy.

Mr. Fishman said there are other problems with absorbing so-called "walk-in" recruits from Western countries. "They don't want to have to baby-sit people," he said of extremist groups involved in insurgencies. "Even if they aren't spies, such recruits can be a security liability. … They don't speak the local language; they don't know how to get around. … They aren't trained or tough."

This tension is evident in the magazine. After noting the dangers of being apprehended while traveling to try to join up overseas, the author states, "even if traveling to join the fronts of jihad was accessible and easy, we would still encourage [recruits] to perform operations in the West. To kill a snake, strike its head."

U.S. officials from several agencies declined to respond directly to the magazine's call for attacks.

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2010

ZOA CRITICIZES OBAMA FOR USING WAIVER TO ENABLE FURTHER U.S. AID TO TERROR-PROMOTING PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized President Barack Obama for signing a waiver permitting the transfer of U.S. funds to the Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), while relaxing a requirement contained in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, that U.S. policy promote “the cessation of terrorism and incitement in institutions and territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.” The ZOA has repeatedly demanded of successive U.S. administrations that U.S. aid to the PA be cut off in pursuit of precisely such a policy.
 
The Act requires the Secretary of State to “ensure such assistance is not provided to or through an individual or entity with terrorist ties” and prohibits the use of such funds “to recognize or honor individuals or the families of individuals who commit terrorism.” It also restricts the U.S. from sending foreign aid to Hamas-controlled areas of the Palestinian Authority. The Act also requires that the proposed recipient is “not a member of, or controlled by, Hamas or any other foreign terrorist organization.”
 
The Act also requires the President to certify that no PA ministry, agency, or instrumentality that receives U.S. funding is controlled by Hamas, “unless the Hamas-controlled PA has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist and is adhering to all previous agreements and understandings with the United States, Israel and the international community, including agreements and understandings pursuant to the Roadmap.” It also requires the President to prove “the Hamas-controlled PA has made demonstrable progress toward purging from its security services individuals with ties to terrorism, dismantling all terrorist infrastructure and cooperating with Israel's security services, halting anti-American and anti-Israel incitement, and ensuring democracy and financial transparency.”
 
President Obama approved the transfer of funds to the PA, utilizing an exemption from the requirement to promote the cessation of terrorism and incitement on the grounds of “national security interests.” Other exemptions allowed under the legislation, upon certification to Congress, include assistance for administrative and personal security costs for the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and to cover the expenses for his official activities, as well as funding for the judiciary branch of the PA and other entities. The announcement of the waiver, published October 7, did not include information on the amount or its purpose.
 
Previous U.S. funds authorized for the PA and earmarked to for PA civil service salaries have ended up in Hamas hands. In 2009, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spent NIS 90 million ($21.5 million) to rebuild Hamas-ruled Gaza, with tax revenues transferred by Israel with the understanding that the money would go to PA civil service salaries. Instead, Hamas directly received the funds, and no money was deposited in the workers’ accounts in Gaza banks, an outright violation of the agreement (Chana Ya’ar, ‘Obama Uses “Security” Waiver to Evade PA Funding Restrictions,’ Israel National News, October 11, 2010).
 
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “ZOA strongly opposes this increase in aid to Abbas and the PA, because it rewards the PA’s on-going refusal to have direct talks with Israel while continuing to promote hatred of Israel and Jews in every aspect of their society and culture.
 
“There can be no hope of Palestinian moderation or reform if there is no accountability and unmerited rewards lavished upon the PA. still less so, when President Obama side-steps with this waiver even the minimal reporting requirements under the law which stipulate that money given to the PA must not reach Hamas and must be delivered only within the context of promoting an end to sponsorship of terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it.
 
“With this move, President Obama has done the exact opposite of what promoting peace demands. Instead of suspending aid to the PA for failing to end support for terrorism, rejection of Israel and incitement to hatred and murder, but he has now hugely increased U.S. aid, rewarding extremism and non-compliance while continuing to ignore Palestinian incitement.
 
“In May, President Obama said that he intended to ‘hold both sides accountable for actions that undermine trust during the talks’ – but having ignored all instances of PA incitement since that date, he now further rewards the PA, invoking a waiver without explanation in order to deliver more funds to the PA, irrespective of whom may be the eventual recipients.
 
 “It is past time for the Obama Administration to honor its commitment to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for incitement to violence and hatred. This requires withholding aid, not continuing it and increasing it.”
 
We urge all supporters of Israel to contact the White House (P: P: 202-456-1111; F: 202-456-2461; E: president@whitehouse.gov) and their Members of Congress and Senators to express their criticism and concern at this unwarranted increase in aid to Abbas’ PA. House and Senate members can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and through our website.
 
 

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2010

TEXTS, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPES (PLUS MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES) (jsk)

Gary Peters Camp Strikes Again

Rocky Raczkowski, Republican Candidate Michigan's 9th District

October 23, 2010

Birmingham, MI - It has recently come to the attention of the campaign (Rocky for Congress) that a new round of vicious attacks and outright lies have surfaced in a last hour desperation move to try to disrupt our momentum and lead in this heated 9th District Congressional race.

This latest smear (in Oakland County) against Rocky Raczkowski's honor, reputation, and character is representative of what is happening in races across the country as Democrats, like Gary Peters, who are facing the likelihood of losing desperately try to save their congressional seats by "any means possible."

These scurrilous allegations have been launched by persons, including Lisa Lis (a supporter of Gary Peters) and controversial blogger Debbie Schlussel, whose dislike for Rocky may well be a long-simmering resentment for his decision not to endorse her bid for public office many years ago.

This mud-slinging by Rocky's opponent and his camp is nothing more than a despicable and desperate act to divert attention away from the issues that matter most to the constituents of Oakland County. Gary Peters is trying to run away from his record as a rubber-stamper of ObamaCare; Cap and Trade; the failed stimulus and the rest of the Pelosi/Obama agenda, because he knows he has voted against the wishes of the people of Oakland County.

"This isn't the first time my opponent's campaign has scraped the bottom of the barrel to deflect attention away from his woeful record as a reckless tax-and-spend Washington politician. I was forced to file a defamation lawsuit against Peters in the first go-round for blatant lies in his campaign ads. Just this week, Peters refused to be deposed in court to answer the charges.

We can't let Peters M.O. of dirty politics sidetrack us. So I'd like to set the record straight on each of the following allegations so we can focus on our #1 priority of getting our county back on track," said Raczkowski. Raczkowski continued, "It is reprehensible that some individuals that are supporters of my opponent are behind a malicious campaign to dishonor me with bald-faced lies by distributing a doctored, spliced videotape. I renew my call for them to produce the video tape which was filmed by Peters' campaign in its entire unedited, unspliced form. This is typical of dirty politics, where they impugn my character, reputation and my support for the Jewish State and people when they themselves have questionable motives and actions.

Additionally, I flatly deny the baseless suggestion that my signing of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes commits me to be a shill for radical Islam. I am proud to have joined scores of other fiscally responsible candidates in our State and across the country, who have signed this same no-tax pledge. However, as strongly as I support the American's for Tax Reform tax pledge, I strongly repudiate the foreign policy and national security agenda of Grover Norquist, which is the antithesis of everything I believe and fought for in my two overseas deployments in the War on Terror.

I encourage everyone to jump on our website and read my positions on a whole host of crucial issues including my stalwart support for Israel at www. rockyworksforus. com and also enclosed in this packet. Furthermore, I encourage anyone that has questions about my support for Israel to speak with those who are champions of Israel in the local community. You can also feel free to call me directly at my office at (248) 556-4400 or on my cell phone at (248) 388-4664."

Personal Remarks - jsk

The above experience described by Rocky certainly rang a bell in my own memory. It was not that long ago that, in the last days of the campaign, Candidate Gary Peters posted the most gross lies against then Congressman Knollenberg. Furthermore the ads were obviously very expensive and most likely funded by outside sources that had targeted Congressman Knollenberg for defeat, despite over 20 years of service to this great nation and the well-being of the State of Israel.

The Lis statements are no surprise either. In my own experience, Hannan Lis and his wife have been at the far Left of the mindless political spectrum against Israel for years. How people like them have been successful in assuming the masquerade of friends of Israel has always been beyond my understanding. With “friends” like that, who, indeed needs enemies?

Finally, we have a few individuals in this world whose egos are so fragile and resultant desire for revenge, despite other consequences, has no rational limits. Unfortunately, a huge amount of individual talent, that could be placed to positive purpose, is wasted in this own self-destruction.

But, hold on! What’s the upside? The upside is, of course, if people like the above are so vehemently against Rocky, it vindicates, in spades, our own decision to support him,

So, please remember to vote for Rocky and not allow the shenanigans and lies of his opponents to take you from the basic issues that threaten the very existence of this great nation, the state of Israel and the entire civilized world.

Jerome S. Kaufman
www.israel-commentary.org

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2010

Even Franklin D. Roosevelt warned against public sector employee unions.

(A long harrowing tale. Hang in there) jsk

What public-sector unions have wrought

By Jeff Jacoby

Commentary
October 2010

ORGANIZED LABOR in the United States achieved a milestone in 2009 that once would have been unthinkable: for the first time, union members working in government jobs outnumbered those working in the private sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of unionized private employees fell last year to 7.4 million. That represented just 7.2 percent of the private-sector labor force, the lowest proportion in over a century.

By contrast, union membership in the public sector topped 7.9 million, or 37.4 percent of all federal, state, and local government jobs. The share of government workers belonging to labor unions, in other words, is more than five times the unionized share of the private sector. Union membership in private industry peaked at 35.7 percent in 1953 and has dwindled ever since. In the public sector, unions surpassed that level years ago and show no sign of weakening.

There was a time when even pro-labor Democrats objected to public-sector unionism. "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the head of the National Federation of Federal Employees. In the private sector, organized employees and the employer meet across the bargaining table as (theoretical) equals. But in the public sector, said FDR, "the employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress." Allowing public-employee unions to engage in collective bargaining would mean opening the door to the manipulation of government policy by a privileged private interest.

In the late 1950s, however, the consensus against public-sector unions began to collapse. In 1958, New York City Mayor Robert Wagner Jr. issued an order allowing public employees in the city to unionize and bargain collectively. The following year, Wisconsin became the first state to enact a public-sector collective-bargaining law. On January 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, which granted bargaining rights to federal employees.

Around the country, an avalanche of public-sector bargaining laws followed. "Membership in public unions rose exponentially," writes journalist Roger Lowenstein in a recent book 1 chronicling the explosion of pension debt in American life. Virtually proscribed only a decade earlier, by the mid-'60s these unions had been transformed into lobbying powerhouses with salaried staffs, hired lawyers, in-house newspapers, and (just in New York City alone) a quarter of a million dues-paying members.

In the ensuing half-century, the public sector in the United States has grown enormously. The number of government employees at all levels surged from about 8.2 million in 1959 to 22.5 million in 2009. Historically, government work paid less than comparable employment in the private economy, but greater job security and good pensions compensated for the lower wages. No longer: now government workers tend to fare better than private-sector workers across the board—not only in job security and pensions but in wages and other benefits as well.

Thus in New York City, for example, the Citizens Budget Commission reported in 2005 that state and local government employees were paid significantly higher wages than employees in the private sector. That differential, the commission noted, "undermines the longstanding myth that the public sector must provide unusually generous fringe benefits packages in order to compensate for higher private-sector salaries."

Similarly, following an eight-month investigation, the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury observed last year: Supporters of government pension benefit increases routinely argue that public employees are underpaid compared to private-sector counterparts, so retirement benefits must be sweetened to compensate. However, recent surveys used by the City's Department of Human Resources to benchmark compensation disclose that in nearly all job classifications the City pays more in wages and salaries than the other governmental agencies and more than most private-sector employers.

Nationwide, according to BLS data for 2009, state and local government employees were paid an average wage of $26.01 per hour, which was 34 percent higher than the average private-sector wage of $19.39 per hour. Even more lopsided was the public-sector advantage in fringe benefits, such as health and life insurance, paid vacations and sick leave, and—above all—retirement income: state and local governments provided their workers with benefits valued, on average, at $13.65 per hour, a 70 percent premium over the average benefits package in the private sector.

In addition to being more expensive, the benefits that come with government jobs are provided to more employees. Life insurance, for example, was offered to 80 percent of employees working for the government but to just 59 percent of workers in the private sector. Traditional defined-benefit pension plans were available to 84 percent of government workers—but to only 21 percent of private employees.

With compensation so generous, it is not surprising that government employees are only one-third as likely to leave their jobs as workers in the private sector. The logical inference is drawn by Chris Edwards, a scholar at the Cato Institute: "[S]tate and local pay is higher than needed to attract qualified workers."
Yet when it comes to outearning Americans who labor in the private sector, state and local government employees are left in the dust by their counterparts at the federal level.

In 2008, the 1.9 million civilians employed by Uncle Sam were paid, on average, an annual salary of $79,197, according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. The average private employee earned just $49,935. The difference between them came to more than $29,000 -- a disparity that has more than doubled since 2000.

Add benefits to the mix and the federal advantage is even more striking. Total federal civilian compensation in 2008 averaged $119,982—more than twice the $59,908 in wages and benefits earned by the average private-sector employee. Edwards has tracked the inexorable widening of that gap: federal employees in 1960 averaged $1.24 for every $1 earned by an American in the private sector. By 1980, that $1.24 had grown to $1.51; in 2000 it was up to $1.66. Now it is $2—and climbing.

In its budget narrative for 2011, the Obama administration acknowledges the premium in federal compensation but attributes it to the specialized skills and greater education of federal workers: The federal government hires lawyers to tackle corruption, security professionals to monitor our borders, doctors to care for our injured veterans, and world-class scientists to combat deadly diseases such as cancer. Because of these vital needs, the Federal Government hires a relatively highly educated workforce, resulting in higher average pay. In 2009, full-time, year-round federal civilian employees earned on average 21 percent more than workers in the private sector.

In a similar vein, when Scott Brown, the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, called in February for a federal hiring and salary freeze "because... federal employees are making twice as much as their private counterparts," he was promptly taken to task by the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union. "Comparing salaries of federal employees and private sector employees is not an apples-to--apples comparison," the union's president admonished Brown in a letter. "The only appropriate way to make a fair pay comparison is to compare similar jobs with one another."

A few weeks later, USA Today published just such a comparison. Analyzing the salaries (not including benefits) paid in the 216 occupations with direct equivalents in both the federal and private-sector labor markets, it found a government premium in more than eight out of 10 categories. Registered nurses in the government's employ, for example, were paid an average of $74,460 a year, while those in the private sector earned an average of $63,780. Among librarians, the federal pay advantage was $12,826; among graphic designers, $24,255; among pest-control workers, $14,995. Overall, the paper concluded, "the typical federal worker is paid 20 percent more than a private-sector worker in the same occupation."

Even when taxpayers fall on hard times, the good life goes on for public employees. During the first year and a half of the current "Great Recession," the number of federal workers with salaries of $100,000 and up increased 46 percent. At the Defense Department, the number of civilian employees making $150,000 or more quintupled from 1,868 to 10,100; at Justice, the increase was nearly sevenfold.

The devastation wrought by the worst recession in two generations has not been evenly distributed. Between January 2008 and June 2010, the American private sector lost roughly 8 million jobs. Over the same period, the public sector workforce grew by 590,000. IT IS NOT by happenstance that the growth in public-sector union jobs—from a trivial share of overall union membership 50 years ago to a majority today—has coincided with so vast an expansion of government and of its employees' pay and perquisites.

As FDR had foreseen, there are crucial differences between collective bargaining in the public and private sectors. Labor unions negotiating on behalf of government employees enjoy at least four potent advantages, which they long ago learned to exploit.

First, unlike their counterparts in the private sector, government unions are largely free from market discipline. Unions operating in the private economy know that there are limits to the demands they can make of an employer; private firms have to earn a profit to stay alive, and competition swiftly punishes those that fail to control cost and quality. If unions insist on too much, management may respond by substituting capital for labor or by closing a facility. At the bargaining table, both sides are aware that higher prices or inferior service can cause a company to lose sales, shed jobs, or even go out of business. But public-sector unions face no such constraint. The government agencies they bargain with don't have to make a profit or retain customer loyalty; they can't go out of business or relocate to another state. And, of course, their revenue is acquired the old-fashioned way: through the compulsion of taxpayers.

A second advantage lies in the difference between public- and private-sector strikes. In business, a strike (or the threat of a strike) is an economic weapon that takes a toll on both sides: management suffers the loss of business, and labor must absorb the loss of wages. Consumers may experience some inconvenience, but they generally have the option of switching to another supplier or deferring their transaction to a later date. In the public sector, by contrast, strikes are political weapons. Because government services tend to be legal monopolies, a strike by police, garbage collectors, teachers, or air-traffic controllers inflicts pain on the public at large. The union seeks to pressure management not by depriving it of revenue—the government collects taxes no matter what—but by making conditions so miserable that voters will pressure public officials to end the crisis by acceding to the union's demands.

"As the city's transit strike drags into its fourth day," the Associated Press reported last November from Philadelphia, where bus and subway operators had walked off the job, "tempers are frayed, commuter trains are packed, streets are clogged, and some residents remain virtually stranded at home." Only government unions can inflict that kind of widespread pain and chaos by calling a strike.

In many states, strikes by public employees are prohibited, and disputes that cannot be settled through collective bargaining are resolved through mandatory binding arbitration instead. Far from promoting compromise, however, binding arbitration undermines it. Unions have every incentive to bargain to impasse and then insist on arbitration, since they know that an arbitrator will almost never award public employees less than the government's final offer.

That makes binding arbitration a can't-lose proposition for the unions and a certain loser for the taxpayers. As a state senator in 1969, Coleman Young authored Michigan's mandatory-arbitration law. As mayor of Detroit years later, he came to deeply regret it. "We know that compulsory arbitration has been a failure," Young told National Journal in 1981. "Slowly, inexorably, compulsory arbitration destroys sensible fiscal management" and has "caused more damage to the public service in Detroit than the strikes [it was] designed to prevent."

A third advantage: in public-sector collective bargaining, labor and management frequently both stand to benefit from higher wages and more munificent retirement income. After taxpayer activists in California last year used the Freedom of Information Act to procure a list of government retirees receiving more than $100,000 annually in pension payments, the Sacramento Bee noticed who was on it:

Managers also dominate the $100,000 club list. These are the people who are supposed to represent the public when employee benefits are negotiated. But when government managers sit down with union leaders to dicker over compensation, they are negotiating for themselves as well. If rank-and-file workers get a wage or benefit boost, non-union managers get a commensurate hike and a matching pension benefit.

Needless to say, that is not the way contract negotiations are conducted in the private sector, where managers are aware of their company's bottom line and know they will be judged on their ability to protect it. The absence of that check and balance in the public sector has often transformed collective bargaining into something closer to collusion than to hardheaded haggling.
But a fourth advantage is more significant than any of these: government labor unions can reward politicians who give them what they want and punish those who don't.

As a result, negotiations in the public sector have an inherent bias toward higher salaries, more lavish benefits, and more inflexible work rules. "This is because public unions can organize politically and influence elections," Lowenstein remarks in While America Aged, which is to say, they can vote their bosses out of office. This gives them direct clout over the people who determine their benefits. By contrast, the [United Auto Workers], for all its muscle, cannot vote the CEO of General Motors out of a job. Politicians thus face huge temptations to increase benefits. Even though this is costly in the long run, in the short run officeholders are rewarded at the ballot box.

Former AFSCME president Jerry Wurf: "We're political as hell."
It didn't take unions long to figure out that their members' votes, and the political donations funded in part with their members' dues, would yield tremendous leverage at the bargaining table. Consequently, for many public-sector unions, politics became a core function. Time magazine, reporting in 1973 that the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees was "teach[ing] local unionists how to organize political rallies, telethons, and letter-writing campaigns," quoted AFSCME's president, Jerry Wurf: "We're political as hell."

That attitude is reflected on the AFSCME website, which boasts that candidates "all across the country, at every level of government" have learned to "pay attention to AFSCME's political muscle." The union is blunt about its reliance on politics to achieve its collective-bargaining aims. "We elect our bosses, so we've got to elect politicians who support us and hold those politicians accountable," AFSCME says. "Our jobs, wages, and working conditions are directly linked to politics."

For an even blunter expression of political hardball as played by the public-sector unions, turn to YouTube and watch the video labeled "SEIU Threat." At a budget hearing in the California legislature in 2009, an official of the Service Employees International Union, the nation's fastest-growing union, was recorded telling lawmakers to give the union what it wanted—or else. "We helped get you into office, and we got a good memory," she says evenly. "Come November, if you don't back our program, we'll get you out of office."

SEIU's memory—not to mention its clout and deep pockets—was clearly appreciated by the Obama administration. SEIU spent $67 million to elect Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2008. In the first nine months following Obama's inauguration, union president Andrew Stern visited the White House 22 times—more than any other visitor. Several top SEIU officials were appointed to posts in the new administration, including Patrick Gaspard, who became the White House political director, and Craig Becker, who was named to the National Labor Relations Board. "SEIU is on the field, it's in the White House, it's in the administration," gloated Stern—with reason—in a video to his members.

Over the past two decades, AFSCME has funneled nearly $43 million to presidential and congressional candidates, making it the nation's second-largest campaign donor at the federal level. It has spent an additional $40 million on its own independent efforts to influence elections. The comparable figures for SEIU are $28 million (direct donations) and $61 million (independent activities). Other public-sector unions on the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics's "Top All-Time Donors List" include the National Education Association at No. 8 and the American Federation of Teachers at No. 13. Nearly all their donations have gone to Democrats, and Democrats have responded (sometimes, to be sure, with help from Republicans) by making government employment ever-more lucrative -- and by supporting the higher taxes and expanded programs that lead to even more public-sector employment.

The unions' power to "elect our bosses" has thus turned public-sector collective bargaining into a rigged game -- rigged in favor of a privileged government elite and against the private taxpayers who pay its bills. The perks that accompany government employment have in many cases grown outlandish and unaffordable: no-deductible, no-co-pay health insurance. Preposterously lucrative overtime rules. Public-sector-only holidays. Hefty pay raises in the midst of a recession. Job security and tenure that make it close to impossible to fire even the most incompetent worker.

Looming over everything, however, are the Cadillac pension plans that most unionized government employees take for granted—and that for most other Americans are the stuff of fantasy. The heads of public-worker unions "have used their political muscle to set up two classes of citizens," says New Jersey's combative Republican governor, Chris Christie -- "those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them."

The excesses in government pensions have drawn mounting scrutiny in recent years. Every day there are a dozen or more fresh links at the invaluable website PensionTsunami.com, which aggregates the latest press coverage of the "multiple pension crises that are about to drown America's taxpayers."

Even traditionally liberal, government-friendly publications -- the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post -- have devoted considerable attention to the exploding costs of public pension plans and the many techniques state workers can use to "spike" their retirement payout. Numerous stories have described the largesse awarded to "double-dippers" -- government employees who "retire" on a full pension and then return to government work so they can keep collecting a paycheck as well. There are even triple-dippers: in 2008, George M. Philip collected his $261,000 yearly pension as the former chief of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System, received a further $100,000 to continue consulting with the teachers fund, and made $280,000 as president of SUNY-Albany. His total one-year take: $641,000.

Other media coverage has focused on the "disability" rules that allow police and fire personnel who have been injured on the job to retire early and immediately begin receiving enhanced (and sometimes tax-free) pensions. Often these "disabilities" have nothing to do with public service. In Nevada, for instance, state law decrees that heart disease among police officers and firefighters is to be considered a work-related disability—even if it is actually due to poor diet, lack of exercise, or genes.

Loose disability rules are also an invitation to fraud. The Sacramento Bee reported a few years ago that as California Highway Patrol officers approached the end of their careers, they "routinely pursued disability claims" in order to qualify for fattened pensions—at one point, the share of CHP officers retiring as disabled was more than 80 percent—whereupon some of them "embarked on rigorous second careers." An egregious recent case in Boston was that of Albert Arroyo, a firefighter who went out on disability, claiming to have been "totally and permanently disabled" when he tripped on a staircase in March. While on injured leave, he continued to collect his full salary, tax-free. Remarkably, his "total and permanent" disability didn't keep him from competing in men's bodybuilding contests or finishing eighth in the 2008 Pro Natural American Championships.

In many states, public employees retire well before the conventional retirement age of 65. State workers in California, where public-sector unions are among the most powerful anywhere, can retire at 55 after 30 years of work, receiving pensions equal to as much as 81 percent of their last year's pay. For public-safety employees, the pension formula -- "3 percent at 50" -- is even more generous: it allows them to retire as young as 50, with a guaranteed pension equal to 3 percent of their final salary times the number of years worked. A police officer who was hired at 20 can thus retire at the age of 50 and be paid 90 percent of hisfinal compensation each year for the rest of his life. For many retirees, this means collecting a six-figure pension for decades.

For most private-sector workers, of course, guaranteed pensions are not an option; their retirement income (Social Security aside) will come from IRAs, 401(k) plans, and other personal savings. If they contribute too little to those funds during their working years or if markets plummet, their post-retirement earnings will necessarily be reduced. But the pensions of government employees are generally set in stone. Statutes or court rulings lock states and localities into honoring their employment contracts with the unions, regardless of economic conditions or how unaffordable they may prove.

That means that more and more taxpayers are going to find themselves working longer and harder, not only to provide for their own retirement, but also to pay for the risk-free, platinum-plated pensions of bureaucrats who earn higher salaries, enjoy more lavish benefits, and retire earlier than they do. Many Americans already resent the unfairness of this arrangement, and it doesn't take a crystal ball to see the backlash that is coming.
Nor does it require a seer to grasp that a fiscal catastrophe is impending as states and municipalities struggle to cover pension promises they cannot possibly afford.

In February, the Pew Center on the States warned that underfunded state retirement systems collectively face a $1 trillion funding gap, a crushing prospect made worse by the obvious fact that "every dollar spent to reduce the unfunded retirement liability cannot be used for education, public safety, and other needs."

In fact, the funding gap is likely to be much greater than $1 trillion, since Pew's projection did not take into account the market crash of 2008. California's unfunded pension debt alone amounts to $500 billion, according to a Stanford University study released in April. Nationwide, estimates the Cato Institute's Edwards, the total underfunding of public-employee pensions comes to $3.2 trillion. That is an almost incomprehensible arrears, one that cannot be made up without slashing government services or drastically raising taxes—or a combination of both.

"For a glimpse of California's budgetary future," warns David Crane, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's economic adviser, look no further than the $5.5 billion diverted this year from higher education, transit, parks, and other programs in order to pay just a tiny bit toward current unfunded pension and healthcare promises. That figure is set to triple within 10 years and—absent reform—to continue to grow, crowding out funding for many programs vital to the overwhelming majority of Californians.

In July 2009, The Boston Globe interviewed Scott Lang, the mayor of New Bedford, Mass., and a rarity -- especially among Democrats -- in his willingness to call urgently for rolling back public pensions and health benefits. He says current pension and health insurance systems for city employees have to go, period. If not, they will destroy the city and its ability to maintain the services people expect like public safety. . . . "It's absolute insanity. They're unsustainable," he says about pensions. "There isn't the money to pay for an unfunded liability like that. All the revenues will be eaten up by past-due promises."

Not many Democratic politicians are prepared to speak that way yet. But that is likely to change as the pension crisis intensifies. One labor-friendly Democrat who now acknowledges the inevitable is Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor and California Assembly speaker. "The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life," Brown wrote in a San Francisco Chronicle column in January. But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits...while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages....Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact.

PUBLIC-SECTOR UNIONS will fight tooth and nail against any effort to rein in their outsize benefits, and with their immense political clout, they will not be easily defeated. But neither will it be easy to ignore the widening gulf between the public-union aristocracy—with its recession-proof jobs, automatic raises, early retirement, and spectacular pensions—and the scores of millions of Americans working in the private sector, whose standard of living is being eroded by high taxes, profligate government, and a shaky economy. In states where public-sector unions are dominant, such as California and New York, politicians will increasingly find themselves pressed to choose between the unions and a restive, indignant public.

In some places, the first steps toward curbing once-sacrosanct public pensions are being taken. In June, Baltimore's city council voted to raise the amount police and firefighters must contribute toward their pensions and lengthened from 20 to 25 the minimum number of years of service required—not just for new hires but even for current employees with less than 15 years on the job. Naturally, the unions protested and went to court, but the city council's willingness to cross them is significant. Also significant is the strong editorial stand taken by the Baltimore Sun, which praised the council's reforms and rejected the union's complaints. "Without changes to these pension benefits," the Sun argued, "Baltimore would face disaster."

Officials elsewhere have attempted other fixes. In Illinois, the retirement age for new employees has been raised to 67, the nation's highest. Colorado and Minnesota cut back the automatic annual cost-of--living increases previously promised to retirees. Utah, Georgia, and other states have revamped their pension plans, moving from a pure defined-benefit system to hybrid plans that combine a guaranteed pension with a 401(k)-like component. In July, the National Conference of State Legislatures counted 11 states that had enacted major changes in 2010 aimed at shoring up their public pensions.

But many of these reforms affect only new employees or are under challenge in court. In most states and localities, the fundamental reality remains unchanged: the overwhelming majority of government employees have guaranteed pensions—pensions that threaten to devastate budgets and crush taxpayers unless something is done to restrain them.

FDR warned that unionizing government employees was a dangerous idea. Numerous solutions have been suggested. The distinguished University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein urges a blanket prohibition on increasing the pensions or wages of public employees for work they have already completed. He also argues for allowing citizens to challenge new union contracts in court so that provisions inequitable to the taxpayer could be voided before taking effect.

But with a multi-trillion-dollar pension avalanche heading toward us, more radical reforms are inescapable. One way or another, government employees must be weaned from their exorbitant defined-benefit pension plans. Those plans should be closed completely to new employees and frozen for current employees. Already-vested benefits cannot be touched, but all retirement benefits going forward ought to be accrued within a defined-contribution plan requiring employee contributions. Without depriving employees of any benefits they have earned to date, governments have to be able to amend the terms on which future benefits are earned.

Tens of millions of Americans working in the private sector—including many belonging to labor unions—know from first-hand experience that the terms and conditions of future employment can be changed. That is how real life works, and a government job should not confer immunity from real life.

FDR was right. Collective bargaining has no place in the public sector. It inevitably leads to abuse. Favoritism, undue influence, lack of transparency, manipulation of government policy, the relentless mulcting of the taxpayer—this is the poisoned fruit of turning government agencies into union shops. It goes without saying that public employees ought to be as free as anyone else to join professional associations and affinity organizations. They are certainly entitled to all the protections of the civil rights laws and of a reasonable civil service system. But labor unions should have no right of exclusive representation in any government workplace and no right to negotiatewages and benefits with public officials who crave their votes and political support.

Public-sector collective bargaining has been a mistake—a mistake whose ruinous, expensive, and corrupting effects are climaxing in the onrushing public-pension tsunami. There is no easy way to undo that mistake. But as the gathering crisis makes vividly clear, there are many good reasons to try.



Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2010

How much will your 2011 Taxes Increase?

... As a result of Democratic Congressional deliberate neglect and Obama's New Tax and Spend Philosophy?

People have the right to know the truth because an election is coming in November. In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will
 take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great
 waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave:
Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief
 In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors,
 small business owners, and families.These will all expire on January 1, 2011:
 
 

Personal income tax rates will rise.  The top income tax rate will rise from
 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:


-The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
 
-The 25% bracket rises to 28%
 
-The 28% bracket rises to 31%
 
-The 33% bracket rises to 36%
 
-The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%


Higher taxes on marriage and family. The "marriage penalty" (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couple relative to the single level.  The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
 
 

The return of the Death Tax.  This year, there is no death tax.  For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
 


Higher tax rates on savers and investors.  The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.
 


Second Wave:

Obamacare
 
There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.  Several will first
 go into effect on January 1, 2011.  They include:
 
The "Medicine Cabinet Tax."  Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA) ,or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).
 
The "Special Needs Kids Tax"  This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on
 flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal
 government limit).  There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center ) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.  Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.
 


The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike.  This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.
 

Third Wave:
The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes
 
When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they'll be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won't be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.  The major items include:
 
The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year.
According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress' failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million.  These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.  The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.


Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.  Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct or "depreciate") equipment purchases up to $250,000.  This will be cut all the way down to $25,000.  Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment.  In January of 2011, all of it will have to be "depreciated."
 
Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the "research and experimentation tax credit," but there are many, many others.  Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.
 

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.  The deduction for tuition 
and fees will not be available.  Tax credits for education will be limited.
Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.  Coverdell 
Education Savings Accounts will be cut.  Employer-provided educational
 assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

 Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. 

Under current law, a
 retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly 
to a charity from their IRA.  This contribution also counts toward an annual  "required minimum distribution." This ability will no longer be there.
  
Now your insurance is INCOME on your W2's...... 

One of the surprises we'll find come next year, is what follows - - a little "surprise" that 99% of us had no idea was included in the  "new and improved" healthcare legislation . . . the dupes, er, dopes, who backed this administration will be astonished!
 
Starting in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by the company. It does not matter if that's a private concern or governmental body of some sort. If you're retired?  So what; your gross will go up by the amount of insurance you get.
 

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have
 never seen.  Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or
 $20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt. That's what you'll pay next
 year. For many, it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it's even
 worse. This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the 15% that don't
have insurance and it's only part of the tax increases.
 

Not believing this???  Here is a research of the summaries.....
 
On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS- SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001, as modified by sec. 10901) Sec.9002  "requires employers to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employees gross income."
 

Joan Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger letters.  Go to Kiplingers and read about 13 tax changes that could affect you.  Number 3 is what is above.
 Why am I sending you this?  The same reason I hope you forward this to every 
single person in your address book.
 

 


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2010

A Christian friend, Velasco Legasi, comments and queries:

“You have a patriotic person in the person of MK Avigdor Lieberman. He knows history and current events. We wish that the Leaders of Israel and the World will wake up to the reality that 17 years after its creation, the Oslo agreement is simply a well conceived delaying tactic of the Muslims to deceive the Jews and Israel.”

Mr. Velasco Legasi, a biblical scholar, seems to also wonder if the Jews and the Israelis read their Bible or have any faith in it. “As I Read your Jewish Bible in Daniel 2:43-45, I found out that the Gentile powers have 8 years to Govern the World and the Next 1000 years is Israel's Glory under the Son Of David."

He explains further, quoting Zechariah, who is called the Prophet of Restoration. Zechariah's is the penultimate book of the 12 minor prophets in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

“And this is the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the nations who have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh will smolder while they are still standing on their feet; their eyes will rot in their sockets; their tongues will rot in their mouths. And such will be the plague on the horses and mules, camels and donkeys, and all the animals to be found in that camp. When that comes, a great terror will fall on them from Yahweh; each man will grab his neighbor's hand and they will hit out at each other. Even Judah will fight against Jerusalem.

The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be heaped together: gold, silver, clothing, in vast quantity. All who survive of all the nations that have marched against Jerusalem will go up year by year to worship the King, Yahweh Sabaoth, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Should one of the races of the world fail to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh Sabaoth, there will be no rain for that one.

Should the race of Egypt fail to go up and pay its visit, on it will fall the plague which Yahweh will inflict on each one of those nations that fail to go up to keep the feast of Tabernacles. When that day comes, the horse bells will be inscribed with the words, "Sacred to Yahweh," and in Temple of Yahweh the very cooking pots will be as fine as the sprinkling bowls at the altar. And every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall become sacred to Yahweh Sabaoth; all who want to offer sacrifice will come and help themselves from them for their cooking; there will be no more traders in the Temple of Yahweh Sabaoth, when that day comes.

Such a day is coming for Yahweh when the spoils taken from you will be divided among you. Yahweh will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women in half the city will go into captivity, but the remnant of the people will be cut off from the city. Then Yahweh will take the field; he will fight these nations as he fights in the day of battle. On that day, his feet will ascend the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem from the east. The Mount will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge gorge; half mountain will recede northward, the other half southward. Yahweh, your God will come and the holy ones with him.

When that day comes, there will be no more cold, no more frost, it will be a day of wonder - Yahweh knows it - with no alteration of day, and in the evening, it will be light. When that day comes, running water will come from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea, half to the western sea, that will flow summer and winter. And Yahweh will be the king of the world. When that day comes, Yahweh will be unique and his name unique.”

(This being the biblical prophesy, how can the Israelis and Diaspora Jews currently succumb to the misguided judgments of their own leaders, the false promises of their so-called friends and the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League and whatever other minuscule, present day powers have their fleeting moment of historical significance.) (jsk)


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2010

Michigan Voters - 9th Congressional District - A Clear Message

Take the time to learn more about our 9th Congressional District candidate Rocky Raczkowski in this WXYZ interview. This is Rocky in his own words, articulating his own vision, expounding on his priorities as a dedicated patriot and military veteran and an experienced legislator and businessman.

If you care about the economy, health care, our national security and Israel, Rocky is the right choice!! It's no wonder freshman Democrat Gary Peters is playing dirty; it is much safer for Peters to launch a baseless smear campaign against Rocky than answer for his record of voting for Obamacare, Cap and Trade and the failed stimulus.  Peters can run from his record of voting with the Obama/Pelosi agenda more than 95 percent of the time, but he can't hide!

To see Rocky's video:

Our opponent has already spent $2 million putting false, personal attacks on TV. Please forward this message on to your friends.  I am counting on you to help us get the truth out to voters all across the 9th District.  With your help, we'll win on November 2nd and start getting America back on the right track!

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2010

The Hoax of Climate Change Continues to Drive Obama's Stimulus Packages.

Cracks in Climate Change Onslaught Appear

By John McLaughlin

For those of us who view the concept of man-made global warming as one of the greatest hoaxes in history, two events this week give some hope that the international "climate change" juggernaut may eventually be halted.

The UK Daily Express and the New York Times and the report that the InterAcademy Council (IAC), a multinational organization of science academies assembled to produce independent analyses on major scientific, technological, and health issues, has released a 113-page critical assessment of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Serious criticisms of the IPCC's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report forced the panel and its UN overseers to request an evaluation by the IAC.  The criticisms centered on numerous highly suspect IPCC conclusions including an exaggerated and false claim of Himalayan glacier melting and faulty sea level change data affecting the Netherlands.  Claims of faulty peer review of technical papers printed or referenced in the Report (which became known as Climategate) also added to an urgent IAC review.

The IAC report does not evaluate the merits of the science in the IPCC assessment but says the panel's management and methods for doing its work need serious overhaul.  One major recommendation is that the panel should become a more professional organization with a paid top management limited to eight-year terms coinciding with publication of each new assessment report.  This was viewed as a hint that Rajendra K. Pachauri, the current IPCC chairman should step down;

Other recommendations offer hope that skeptics will have a greater say in what passes for science in the global warming controversy. As the Times reports:
The committee noted that some climate panel leaders had been criticized for public statements perceived as advocating specific policies. "Straying into advocacy can only hurt I.P.C.C.'s credibility," the report said.

It also suggested that the panel revise the way it rates doubts about some of the science, that the process of choosing the scientists who write the report be more open and that the panel require that any possible conflicts of interest be revealed.

The initial reaction from skeptics has been positive.  For example:
Hans von Storch, a climate researcher at the Institute of Meteorology at the University of Hamburg and a frequent critic of the climate panel who has called on Mr. Pachauri to resign, said past mistakes tended to dramatize the effects of climate change. Carrying out the recommendations would make the climate panel much less aloof and help the climate change debate, Dr. von Storch said.

He added, "I am pretty optimistic that all this will lead to a much more rational and cooled-down exchange." If growing ranks of skeptics can have a greater say in the underlying science of climate change, that can only be beneficial to tamp down the hysteria which seeks to control debate.

In anther important development, Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor of the UK Independent attempts to spread alarm over the possibility that the upcoming international conference in Cancun this winter will be no more productive than the admitted failure of last December's climate change "summit" in Copenhagen.

It is hard to exaggerate the dire effect which the failure at Copenhagen has had both on the climate change negotiating process itself, and on the belief of those involved that an effective climate deal might be possible.

A year ago, many environmentalists, scientists and politicians genuinely thought that the meeting in Denmark might produce a binding agreement to cut global CO2 by the 25-40 per cent, by 2020, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated is necessary to keep the warming to below C [sic]. Today that optimism has vanished.

McCarthy holds out little hope of any real progress in spite of the latest bogeyman gripping global warming activists:  the "gigaton gap." Cancun, or "COP 16" as it is officially known, will again see ministers and officials from nearly 200 nations grapple with the politics of global warming, but no one thinks they will be able to close a widening breach in the world's defences against dangerously rising temperatures - the "gigatonne gap".

McCarthy claims without attribution that the world is currently emitting annually about 45 gigatons -- or 45 billion tons -- of CO2 which could grow to 51-55 gigatons by 2020 implying a potential gigaton gap catastrophe.  This hyper rhetoric sounds very ominous until you consider, as Dr. Roy Spencer points out in his book Climate Confusion, that the total weight of the atmosphere is 5 quadrillion tons. In other words, 50 gigatons added to 5 million gigatons represents a mere 10 parts per million -- relatively speaking, a trivial change each year.

All of this scare-tactic hysteria comes without any credible and repeatable scientific tests showing how trivial amounts of CO2 can have any major impact on global warming and without any believable mathematical model showing minimal climate change in over 1000 years except for the last 70 years of technological progress. For those of us wishing for a return to rigorous science in the climate change debate, failure at Cancun can only help stall progress until greater transparency of IPCC assessments makes the whole process moot.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2010

Apostate Jew, Casper Weinberger, in his own self-hatred, deliberately framed Jonathan Pollard (jsk)

Letter from former Asst Secy of Defense Korb to Pres. Obama - Release Pollard

September 27, 2010
Dr. Lawrence J. Korb
203 Yoakum Pkwy Apt 908 Alexandria. VA 22304
The Honorable Barack H. Obama President of the United States
The White House
Washington,  D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As Assistant Secretary of Defense a the time of Jonathan Pollard's arrest I
respectfully request that you exercise your power of clemency on behalf of Mr. Pollard who has now been in prison for 25 years. Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally.

Based on my first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that the severity of Pollard's sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Secretary Weinberger submitted two affidavits to the court in order to convince the judge to give Pollard a harsher sentence than the one requested by the government, despite Pollard admitting guilt, plea bargaining and cooperating with the government. The government committed to not seeking a life sentence but due to the Weinberger Affidavits, the redacted version of which I have read,  Mr. Pollard received a disproportionate life sentence.

Secretary Weinberger omitted his crucial involvement in the Pollard case from his memoirs and when asked by the famed investigative journalist Edwin Black, about the omission, Weinberger indifferently responded, "Because it was, in a sense, a very minor matter, but made very important." Asked to explain, Weinberger continued, "As 1 say, the Pollard matterwas comparatively minor.  It was made far bigger than its actual importance." When asked why this was so, Weinberger replied "I don't know why-it just was."

Mr. Pollard was not charged with harming America and has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions.  Furthermore, the average sentence for his offense is 2-4 years and today the maximum sentence is 10 years. Justice would best be served by commuting Pollard's sentence to the time he has already spent in Sincerely,

Lawrence J. Korb

--------------------------------------------
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2010

You, too. Please send a letter to your Congressman

Letter to Congress from the Offices of Congressmen Barney Frank, Bill Pascrell, Eldolphus Towns and Anthony Weiner

Date: 9/28/2010

Twenty-five years is enough.

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in sending the following letter to President Obama, asking him to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, the former civilian defense officer who has been incarcerated since 1985 and is serving a life sentence for passing classified information to Israel.

The letter stresses that we are not questioning Mr. Pollard's guilt, or the process by which he was convicted and sentenced, or the necessity of punishing those who engage in espionage on behalf of allied countries. Rather, the appeal for clemency is based on the vast disparity between Mr. Pollard's sentence and the sentences given to many others who have been convicted of similar activities, even with countries that unlike Israel are or have been adversaries of the United States.

We also note the positive impact that a grant of clemency would have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards Israel and the Israeli people.  This would be particularly helpful at a time when the Israeli nation faces difficult decisions in its long-standing effort to secure peace with its neighbors.

If you wish to sign, or have any further questions, please contact Markus Rose with Congressman Frank at markus.rose@mail.house.gov

Signed:
___________________________________________________
BARNEY FRANK                                   BILL PASCRELL, JR.
United States House of Representatives      

___________________________________________________
EDOLPHUS TOWNS                              ANTHONY WEINER
United States House of Representatives


October 12, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write to urge you to use your constitutional power to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, thereby releasing him from prison after the time he has already served. As you know, such an exercise of the clemency power does not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted. Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.

We believe that there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served - or not served at all - by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations adversarial to us, unlike Israel.

Recently, we allowed a large number of Russians, who had been spying on us for the country that had long been our major adversary, to leave with no punishment whatsoever. This makes it very hard for many to understand why Mr. Pollard should continue to serve beyond the nearly twenty-five years he has already been in prison. We agree that it is important that we establish the principle that espionage of any sort is impermissible, but it is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-five years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence.

We further believe that at a time when Israel, our democratic ally, is being faced with difficult decisions, a decision by you to grant clemency would not only be a humane act regarding Mr. Pollard, but it would also be taken in Israel as a further affirmation of the strong commitment the U.S. has to the ties between us, and we believe that such an affirmation could be especially useful at a time when those decisions are being made.

In summary, we see clemency for Mr. Pollard as an act of compassion justified by the way others have been treated by our justice system; as an act that will do nothing whatsoever to lessen our defenses against espionage; and a step that far from hurting the national security, could advance it by the impact it would have within Israel. We urge you to use the clemency power in this case.

* * * * * * * * * *

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2010

Before You Vote - A revealing video analysis of Barack Obama

BY Dr. RICHARD L. RUBENSTEIN

Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Bridgeport. He served as President of the University from January 1, 1995 until December 31, 1999 having previously served as Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Rubenstein is a Life Member of the Board.
From 1970 to 1995 Rubenstein was a member of the faculty of Florida State University, serving since 1977 as Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion

video>


October 08, 2010

Obama not only one consistently making bad calls

Twins come unglued against Yankees

October 7, 2010 - 9:18pm

Redacted from article
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Baseball Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Twins have lost their cool and now find themselves on the brink of losing yet another AL division series to the New York Yankees. Manager Ron Gardenhire's long-running feud with umpire Hunter Wendelstedt flared up an inopportune time for the Twins, resulting in an ejection in the seventh inning of a 5-2 loss on Thursday night that put the Twins on the brink of elimination in the best-of-five series. Minnesota has now lost 11 straight postseason games. Eight of those defeats have come to the Yankees.

The Twins have heard nothing but questions about their inability to beat the Yankees this week, and their frayed nerves surfaced in the seventh inning. Pitcher Carl Pavano appeared to have Yankees designated hitter Lance Berkman struck out, but Umpire Wendelstedt called the 2-2 pitch a ball. Berkman hit a double on the next pitch that put the Yankees ahead 3-2. Gardenhire came out to visit Pavano on the mound and intentionally lingered, prompting Wendelstedt to come out and hurry things along.

Gardenhire barked at Wendelstedt on his way back to the dugout and was quickly ejected. It's at least the fourth time Wendelstedt has ejected Gardenhire during his managerial career. Gardenhire was suspended for one game in 2005 after a profanity-laced rant to reporters about Wendelstedt following an ejection against Baltimore.

The two went back and forth again in 2009 after Wendelstedt gave him the hook in a game against the Tigers when Gardenhire wanted a balk call on Armando Galarraga. "I would challenge (Gardenhire) to sit down and watch the replays," Wendelstedt said then. "Because he was wrong. ... I'm going to invite him to my umpire school. If he wants to learn what a balk is, he can come down in January to umpire school and we'll teach him. "Gardenhire's reply: "If he'll agree to take the chances over, I'll go with him."

In an Associated Press story about scouting reports on umpires that ran earlier this season, this is how one team assessed Wendelstedt: "Inconsistent zone, both in-game and from game-to-game, seemingly losing focus at times by balling pitches over middle and calling strikes on pitches well off plate. Seems to want hitter to put ball in play."

(Barack, as an ardent sport fan, please take note of any similarities) jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:02 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2010

An Assessment of Netanyahu's leadership vs. the Reality of Israel's Position

A Time to Lead

By Herbert Zweibon, Chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel

OUTPOST. September, 2010

In the June issue we said that Obama was playing the anti-lsrael fiddle while the West burned. Now we must ask if Netanyahu is fiddling while the state confronts slow burning fires on many fronts. His administration appears to be in a state of denial, engaging in make-believe activities while avoiding the hard tasks that need to be done.

There's no greater make-believe than the "peace process." Netanyahu issues a Ramadan message to Moslems around the world emphasizing his efforts to "move forward peace agreements," testifies defensively on Israel's boarding of the Turkish terror ship, and now agrees to "direct talks" under U.S. auspices, i.e., to submit to enormous pressure for major unilateral withdrawals, more "land for nothing."

Meanwhile Israel is passive, where it is not apparently blind to mounting dangers.

1. Turkey. Under Erdogan, Turkey has changed from ally to enemy. This transformation is especially dangerous because Israel has sold Turkey some of its most sensitive intelligence gathering systems and weapons platforms. Israel must now assume that if Turkey is not currently sharing these technologies with Syria and Iran (with both of which it is forging alliances), it will shortly be doing so.

Yet, Caroline Glick points out, "Both the statements and actions of senior officials lead to the conclusion that our leaders still embrace the delusion that all is not lost with Turkey." The IDF chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told lawmakers: "Relations with the Turkish army are important and they need to be preserved." Instead of breaking off all military ties with Turkey, Israel is scheduled to deliver yet more sensitive equipment. Given Turkey's cooperation with the terror flotilla and its outrageous attacks on Israel in the incident's aftermath, diplomatic relations should also be
frozen.

2. Lebanon. The murder of Israeli Lt. Col. Dov Harari and the wounding of Captain Ezra Lakia by a Lebanese army sniper serves as a reminder of the looming disaster on Israel's north. Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, has become politically dominant, and according to a recent IDF briefing, has 40,000 short and medium range missiles. It's only a matter of time before the ineffective UNIFIL, which was supposed to oversee the disarming of Hezbollah but is now under armed attack by it, flees the country. Barak promises to hold Lebanon responsible if (or rather, when) those missiles fly. He should instead be warning Syria that the road from the Golan to Damascus is wide open.

3. Gaza. While Israel engages in highly publicized confrontations with blockade-running ships, heavy weapons move through the tunnels between Gaza and Egyptian-controlled Sinai. Using pipes from the Mediterranean it would not be difficult for Israel to flood the deepest tunnels through which these weapons come.

4. Egypt. With Mubarak soon gone, the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to assume greater power within the regime and if so, the peace treaty with Israel (not that it ever was worth much) may be abrogated. But Glick notes that Netanyahu just made the "routine fawning pilgrimage to Mubarak" demonstrating Israel's leadership was "not thinking about the storm that is brewing just over the horizon in Cairo."

5. Iran. Netanyahu has made it clear that he recognizes the existential threat a nuclear Iran poses to Israel. What is not clear is what he intends to do about it. Since it is hard to imagine any circumstances under which Obama would take military action to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear capability, the ball is squarely in Israel's court.

If Netanyahu is to give Israel hope and direction, he must seize the initiative in confronting all the above challenges.



Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2010

MK A. Lieberman presents painful truth at the 65th General Assembly

To the consternation of self-hating Jews and Israelis from the misguided inexplicable Left

October 1st, 2010
www.spectator.org

H.E. Mr. Avigdor Liberman
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

By P. David Hornik

Not surprisingly, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman’s speech to the UN General Assembly this week drew condemnations, with Palestinian delegates walking out on the speech. Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz ran an article claiming U.S. Jews were “outraged.” It quotes extreme-dovish activist Seymour Reich as saying, “If Lieberman can’t keep his personal opinions to himself, he ought to resign from the cabinet,” and an unnamed “leader” as saying, “Every time…Lieberman voices his skepticism about achieving peace, he undermines Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s credibility.”

In Israel, among prominent commentators denouncing the speech was Ron Ben-Yishai in Yediot Aharonot, the country’s largest daily. In a piece called “Time to Fire Lieberman,”  Ben-Yishai, who usually writes on military affairs and is often quite reality-cognizant, bitterly accused Lieberman of showing “chutzpah and contempt” toward Netanyahu, “undermining Israel’s image as a democratic, enlightened state,” and “granting a diplomatic victory” to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. Ministers from the left-of-center Labor Party — part of Netanyahu’s coalition — also skewered the speech.

Now, what did Lieberman actually say? A perusal of the short address reveals nothing morally or intellectually objectionable. After the opening pleasantries, Lieberman asked: “Why, during the seventeen years since we signed the Oslo Accords, have we not arrived at a comprehensive agreement signifying the end of the conflict [with the Palestinians]?”

He went on to contest “the prevalent view that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the heart of the instability in the Middle East,” noting that more than ninety percent of the wars and war victims of the [region] since the Second World War did not result from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and are in no way connected to Israel, stemming rather, from conflicts involving Muslims or conflicts between Arab states. The Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf war, the wars between North and South Yemen, the Hamma atrocities in Syria, and the wars in Algeria and Lebanon, are just a few examples of a list that goes on and on.

Anything wrong there? Nope; I could have said it myself. Lieberman then turned to the “second flawed explanation” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely, “the so-called ‘occupation,’ the settlements in Judea and Samaria and the settlers themselves.” He pointed out Firstly, all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under Arab control for 19 years, between 1948 and 1967. During these 19 years, no one tried to create a Palestinian state.

Peace agreements were achieved with Egypt and Jordan despite the presence of settlements. And the opposite is also true: we evacuated twenty-one flourishing settlements in Gush Katif [in Gaza], and we transferred more than 10,000 Jews and in return, we have Hamas in power and thousands of missiles on Sderot and southern Israel. Again, all quite accurate.

Lieberman went on: The other misguided argument is the claim that the Palestinian issue prevents a determined international front against Iran…. In truth, the connection between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is precisely reversed. Iran can exist without Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, but the terrorist organizations cannot exist without Iran…. [I]n searching for a durable agreement with the Palestinians…one must understand that first, the Iranian issue must be resolved…. Adding that “this is not a sufficient condition [but] it is nevertheless a necessary one,” Lieberman was again spot-on.

He then came to some remarks that indeed diverge from Netanyahu’s — recently — stated positions. Referring to the conflict’s underlying “emotional problems” such as the “utter lack of confidence between the sides,” Lieberman said: [W]e should focus on coming up with a long-term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades. We need to raise an entire new generation that will have mutual trust and will not be influenced by incitement and extremist messages.

As is true everywhere, where there are two nations, two religions and two languages with competing claims to the same land, there is friction and conflict. Countless examples…confirm this, whether in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Africa, the Far East or the Middle East. Where effective separation has been achieved, conflict has either been avoided, or has been dramatically reduced or resolved. Consider the cases of the former Yugoslav republics, the split-up of Czechoslovakia and the independence of East Timor….

Thus, the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory. Let me be very clear: I am not speaking about moving populations, but rather about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities.…This is not an extraordinary insight [nor] a controversial political policy. It is an empirical truth.

Again, this is reasonable thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both well grounded and out-of-the-box. It’s inconsistent with what Netanyahu has lately been saying in two regards: the prime minister’s declared optimism that an agreement with the Palestinians can be reached within a year; and his seeming acceptance of the dominant land-for-peace paradigm now considered (wrongly) to be based on the 1967 borders.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu’s reaction to his subordinate’s talk was mild. His office stated that Lieberman’s address was not coordinated with him, and that “the prime minister is the one who is heading the negotiations on behalf of the State of Israel. Issues related to the peace process will be discussed and decided on at the negotiation table, not anywhere else.” It was a distancing but not a repudiation, and the question is why.

One thing to point out is that Lieberman is not from Netanyahu’s Likud Party but, instead, the leader of his own Yisrael Beiteinu faction. As such, in Israel’s parliamentary system, Lieberman’s independence of Netanyahu could be seen as less jarring. This is, however, a nicety that may not be appreciated abroad. Also to be mentioned is Netanyahu’s wish to avoid rocking the boat of his so-far stable coalition. So is the need to project that he’s in charge, hence not react too sharply to Lieberman’s seeming defiance.

But there may be another factor at play as well. Few observers believe Netanyahu is actually a convert to Pollyannaish views of Israel’s conflict with its environment. More likely, his approach to the Palestinian issue is aimed at managing the relentless pressure from a U.S. president for whom it’s an obsession and who in his own recent UN speech devoted ten paragraphs to it compared to two paragraphs for international terror and two for the Iranian threat.

It could well be that for Netanyahu, too, Lieberman’s words were a breath of fresh air. Someone needs to tell the truth.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2010

When was Islam not provoked?

(As the world retreats in abject fear and intimidation) jsk

By: Michelle Malkin
Examiner Columnist
September 10, 2010

Shhhhhhh, we're told. Don't protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don't burn a Koran. It'll imperil the troops. It'll inflame tensions. The "Muslim world" will "explode" if it does not get its way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Pardon my national security-threatening impudence, but when is the "Muslim world" not ready to "explode"?

At the risk of provoking the ever-volatile Religion of Perpetual Outrage, let us count the little-noticed and forgotten ways. Just a few months ago in Kashmir, faithful Muslims rioted over what they thought was a mosque depicted on underwear sold by street vendors. The mob shut down businesses and clashed with police over the blasphemous skivvies. But it turned out there was no need for Allah's avengers to get their holy knickers in a bunch. The alleged mosque was actually a building resembling London's St. Paul's Cathedral. A Kashmiri law enforcement official later concluded the protests were "premeditated and organized to vitiate the atmosphere."

Indeed, art and graphics have an uncanny way of vitiating the Muslim world's atmosphere. In 1994, Muslims threatened German supermodel Claudia Schiffer with death after she wore a Karl Lagerfeld-designed dress printed with a saying from the Koran. In 1997, outraged Muslims forced Nike to recall 800,000 shoes because they claimed the company's "Air" logo looked like the Arabic script for "Allah."

In 1998, another conflagration spread over Unilever's ice cream logo -- which Muslims claimed looked like "Allah" if read upside-down and backward (can't recall what they said it resembled if you viewed it with 3D glasses). Even more explosively, in 2002, an al-Qaida-linked jihadist cell plotted to blow up Bologna, Italy's Church of San Petronio because it displayed a 15th century fresco depicting Mohammed being tormented in the ninth circle of Hell.

For years, Muslims had demanded that the art come down. Counterterrorism officials in Europe caught the would-be bombers on tape scouting out the church and exclaiming, "May Allah bring it all down. It will all come down."

That same year, Nigerian Muslims stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to death 200 people in protest of the Miss World beauty pageant -- which they considered an affront to Allah. Contest organizers fled out of fear of inflaming further destruction.When Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel joked that Mohammed would have approved of the pageant and that "in all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them." The newspaper rushed to print three retractions and apologies in a row. It didn't stop Muslim vigilantes from torching the newspaper's offices. A fatwa was issued on Daniel's life by a Nigerian official in the sharia-ruled state of Zamfara, who declared that "the blood of Isioma Daniel can be shed.

It is abiding on all Muslims wherever they are to consider the killing of the writer as a religious duty." Daniel fled to Norway.
In 2005, British Muslims got all hot and bothered over a Burger King ice cream cone container whose swirly-texted label resembled, you guessed it, the Arabic script for "Allah." The restaurant chain yanked the product in a panic and prostrated itself before the Muslim world.

But the fast-food dessert had already become a handy radical Islamic recruiting tool. Rashad Akhtar, a young British Muslim, told Harper's Magazine how the ice cream caper had inspired him: "Even though it means nothing to some people and may mean nothing to some Muslims in this country, this is my jihad. I'm not going to rest until I find the person who is responsible. I'm going to bring this country down."

In 2007, Muslims combusted again in Sudan after an infidel elementary school teacher innocently named a classroom teddy bear "Mohammed." Protesters chanted, "Kill her, kill her by firing squad!" and "No tolerance -- execution!"She was arrested, jailed and faced 40 lashes for blasphemy before being freed after eight days. Not wanting to cause further inflammation, the teacher rushed to apologize: "I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone, and I am sorry if I caused any distress."

And who could forget the global Danish cartoon riots of 2006 (instigated by imams who toured Egypt stoking hysteria with faked anti-Islam comic strips)? From Afghanistan to Egypt to Lebanon to Libya, Pakistan, Turkey and in between, hundreds died under the pretext of protecting Mohammed from Western slight, and brave journalists who stood up to the madness were threatened with beheading.

It wasn't really about the cartoons at all, of course. Little-remembered is the fact that Muslim bullies were attempting to pressure Denmark over the International Atomic Energy Agency's decision to report Iran to the UN Security Council for continuing with its nuclear research program. The chairmanship of the council was passing to Denmark at the time.

Yes, it was just another in a long line of manufactured Muslim explosions that were, to borrow a useful phrase, "premeditated and organized to vitiate the atmosphere." When everything from sneakers to stuffed animals to comics to frescos to beauty queens to fast-food packaging to undies serves as dry tinder for Allah's avengers. It's a grand farce to feign concern about the recruitment effect of a few burnt Korans in the hands of a two-bit attention-seeker in Florida. The eternal flame of Muslim outrage was lit a long, long time ago.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)