My Generation’s Disease
By Benjamin Brophy on 5.17.13 @ 6:07AM
Millennials are going out of their way to deserve their sad fate.
I have closely watched the up-and-coming generation, known as The Millennials, for 29 years now. That is the advantage of being part of a generation, I suppose. Joel Stein wrote an extensive piece on Millennials in the most recent issue of Time and he remains rather bullish on our potential.
I hesitate to share his optimism because of a paradox we seem to exhibit: Namely, that there are more avenues for us to entertain ourselves than ever before, yet we are more bored than ever before. It is this boredom that has led to a pervasive ennui amongst us.
Consider that 75 percent of Millennials have a social network profile and one in five has posted a video of himself online. Consider also that 78 percent of teens now have cellphones — with 48 percent of those phones being smartphones — and 95 percent of teens use the Internet. As of 2010, 67 percent of households had an individual who played videogames. In 2011, consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware, and accessories.
Entertainment has never been more diversified. We have more cable channels, critically acclaimed television shows, and formulaic movies than ever before. Beyond the small screen, Internet providers like Hulu and Netflix allow instant viewing of almost any movie or television program ever created. Kindles make any printed product accessible anywhere and iTunes allows for infinite music (as well as movie and TV) options.
Next to these technical amusements, there are of course, the old vices. Some are packaged in new ways, like pornography instead of “free love” or whatever the hippies called it. According to a 2009 study, single men watched pornography three times a week for an average of 40 minutes, while men in relationships watched it 1.7 times a week for around 20 minutes. That same study could not find a single man in his 20s who had never looked at porn. Millennial women aren’t off the hook either, as their consumption of pornography has increased as well. So while levels of premarital and promiscuous sex are slightly falling among Millennials, they are instead indulging in Internet-packaged sex at a level unheard of for other generations.
Social drinking, barhopping, and the party scene are also widely available for Millennials. These habits are something of a rite of passage for every generation, but Millennials seem to be extending this phase of life as they postpone marriage.
Some of this is undoubtedly due to The Great Recession. Millennials are having a difficult time finding jobs; only 47 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds are employed, the smallest share since government started recording data in 1948.
But do Millennials respond to these economic troubles by putting their nose to the grindstone and doing whatever it takes to make ends meet? Hardly. In fact, of the four generations Pew Research has data for, the Millennial generation does not cite work ethic as distinctive of itself. One in eight return to live in their parents’ homes. Millennials want to save the world, but they sit and wait for that world-changing opportunity to be handed to them. They find no satisfaction in the mundane. Instead of working 2-3 jobs, launching a business, or doing what it takes to succeed, they retreat. Millennials may be the first generation to have a lower standard of living than their parents, but with this response to adversity, perhaps deservingly so.
Much ink has been spilled in management books discussing how to get the most out of these youths in the workplace. Largely, they come to the same conclusion: Millennials are entitled, over-confident, and expect too much too quickly. We should not be surprised. Today’s young adults were raised by parents who made sure to boost their self-esteem at every turn, telling them they could achieve whatever they set their minds to, and handing out trophies for sixth place.
But what happens when this generation is not engaged in the workplace? It resorts to its amusements on the job. Eighty-five percent of Facebook users log on daily and half say they log on as soon as they open their Internet browser. Estimates of how much time users spend on Facebook per day ranges from 40-149 minutes. This leads to staring at useless information, more clicking, and ultimately less fulfillment on the job.
Thus, not only are our private lives filled with trite distractions, but now our workplaces are as well.
The result? Millennials are depressed. They are more likely to be told that they have a stress disorder or a depression problem than any other generation. It’s because we are bored! We have filled our lives with trinkets and toys, most of which appear on our screens, but all lack any real meaning or substance. Coincidentally, this generation is also the least religious, and that is a shame because faith is one of the few things that can lend real meaning to our lives. Despite all of this, Millennials have a great desire to make an impact. The cliché is that we want to save the world, but we want to do it from behind a computer screen.
So we continue to click keyboards, remotes and ourelves while wishing for more money. We continue down a road of mild depression. Perhaps this is why Millennials embraced President Obama so tightly in both 2008 and 2012. This generation supported him by a margin of two to one in 2008. The strong support came even though we are by-and-large not very political. Millennials wanted a savior who could make a difference in the world, but would not make us work very hard for it. The president’s messiah narrative was perfectly in tune with those desires.
However, it has not taken us long to become disenchanted with this president and the current state of politics in general. The president’s approval amongst younger adults has already fallen to 52 percent. That is a precipitous drop.
This generation has become a tepid, dispassionate mass waiting for someone to show it the way out. But Obama disappoints, the economy continues to tank, and all of our amusements serve to do nothing but distract us while a deeper longing continues to go unmet. The best we have been able to offer are “clever” insults and other forms of mocking on the Internet. This generation has to find its cornerstone on which to build meaning or we will simply be sitting in front of our screens waiting for another savior to save us from ourselves.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat May 18, 2013 12:46 am
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Obama, Umbrellas, Marines
‘The Incident in the Rose Garden Rain’
By Judi McLeod
Friday, May 17, 2013
Armed by the arrogant confidence that comes via a protective circle of self-serving, back-scratching politicians (including Republican ones), who do nothing to deter his increasing taunts against all things American, President Barack Hussein Obama continues to publicly trash the cherished image of the military.
Taking a leaf straight from the book of his overbearing wife, Michelle who used military members in full dress as props on the night she invaded living rooms via satellite from the White House to announce this year’s Best Picture, yesterday big brave BHO used Marines holding umbrellas to shelter both himself and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from a little light drizzle in the White House Rose Garden.
The photograph of the two with the umbrella-holding Marines went viral on the Internet, but lost on an ever-taunting Obama was the stark contrast between the dedicated young men who serve the country and his anti-American self.
This president who holds respect for nothing American and who seems to consider nothing sacred referred to Erdogan as “our prime minister”. Was he planning to later dive, yet again under the slip-of-the-tongue cover, or was it part of a deliberate attempt to underline photographic proof that an Islamic prime minister can be served by an umbrella-holding U.S. Marine?
Worst of all Obama, who still maintains the cover up on the September 11, 2012 slaughter of four courageous Americans in Benghazi, Libya openly called the terrorist attack that cost them their lives, an “incident”.
This from the same president, who with his vice president and secretary of state in tow, showed up to comfort and promise justice for the loss to the loved ones of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Tyrone S. Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith when their bodies were returned to the USA.
The call for Marines with umbrellas to save them from the rain seemed to surprise even even Prime Minister Erdogan.
It’s not as if U.S. Marines stand around waiting to be called for umbrella duty.
In creating yesterday’s pictorial taunt, Obama actually breached Marine umbrella protocol: “The commander in chief of the American Armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.” (The Daily Caller, May 16, 2013).
“According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
“The relevant portion of their regulation reads, “3035 UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.”
“Items not expressly delineated as authorized components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training.
“Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according (to) the Marine Corps Manual.
“The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states “The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”
Obama’s cheap tricks from his personal ‘Department of Taunt’ make for hurtful images that are hard to block out.
The Marxist squatting on the White House shows as much respect for Marines as he does for the victims of terrorist attacks on his watch.
Meanwhile there is some hope just in knowing that over the passing of time, even long after he’s gone, Obama’s progeny (including relatives among the too many to count children of his half brother Abongo “Roy” Malik) will some day learn about a president’s shameful taunting of Marines on May 16, 2013 that came to be known forever more as: ‘The Incident in the Rose Garden Rain’.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri May 17, 2013 6:15 am
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May 12, 2013
Scenes from the Democrat ruling class
A lengthy criminal investigation of the son of prominent Congressman Chaka Fattah is underway in Philadelphia. It is always a bad thing to have the feds looking into throwing you in the slammer, but if it’s going to happen, then it really helps to have blood ties to the Democratic Machine. They know how to shake money out of trees.
We learn from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig R. McCoy and Mark Fazlollah,
Former Gov. Ed Rendell and former Mayor W. Wilson Goode have launched a fund-raising effort to pay the legal bills of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah’s son, who has been under federal investigation for months.
Rendell said he agreed to pitch in after Rep. Fattah contacted him for help.
Rendell, in an interview, estimated that the Philadelphia congressman and his wife had spent $250,000 to help Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr., 30, and said the costs had become a "little bit of a struggle" for the family.
Imagine that: he’s not even under indictment, but they have laid out a quarter mill for legal talent. Must be the best, the kind of guys who charge $500 and up for an hour of their time, so maybe 500 hours or so of legal attention so far, with multiples of that to come should criminal indictments lead to a trial. It kind of sounds like that’s what they’re expecting.
Dad earns almost $175k as a Rep, and stepmom is a news anchor on Channel 10 in Philly. So this glamour couple, this Philly Power Elite Pair, probably pull down at least mid six figures.
Well, if you have a former governor and a former mayor asking you, I guess it will be difficult to say no, especially if you do business with, are regulated by, pay taxes to, or otherwise come on the radar screen of government, especially in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I mean, Ed Rendell says Chip is a "wonderful kid" and assures you that this has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with his father, the powerful congressman who has been a bedrock of the Congressional Black Caucus since 1995.
"I’m not doing it because he is Chaka Fattah’s son, though I have a good relationship with Chaka. I’m doing it because I have a good relationship with him."
Late in February, the public first learned of the investigation via the Inquirer:
Federal authorities are investigating why a company owned by the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was paid $450,000 by an education firm that has received millions in contracts from the Philadelphia School District, according to sources familiar with the probe.
Agents from the FBI and U.S. Treasury Department served two search warrants early Wednesday for Chaka Fattah Jr.’s records, the first at his apartment at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton. They also seized Fattah’s records and a computer from the Logan Square law office of David T. Shulick. He is president of Delaware Valley High School, a for-profit company that contracts with school districts to educate students with discipline problems.
The younger Fattah, 29, known as "Chip," is owner of a consulting company called 259 Strategies L.L.C. that works as a subcontractor for Shulick’s companies. Fattah Jr. has working space at the law office.
The $450,000 payment from Shulick’s company is more than 10 percent of the approximately $4 million that Delaware Valley will receive from the School District this year.
Now, I am certain it is just a coincidence that finding money for education – especially money for those labeled "disadvantaged" — happens to be one Chaka Fattah, Sr.’s principal legislative accomplishments. He staked out that territory first with the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) which, even though you may never have heard of it has passed out a cool 4 billion bucks to help "disadvantaged" youth get ready for college. Since those early days, the Congressman has been busy getting more federal money for targeted recipients.
It may be that this investigation will result in no indictment. Or even if an indictment is issued, Chip will be found not guilty. In which case, he will be very lucky indeed to have found some good friends to help him out. What I find noteworthy is how cushy it can be to be born into the Democrat ruling class.
You might assume that because he had working space at a law firm that Chip was a lawyer. Sorry, not even a college grad; dropped out of Drexel. Before he got into "consulting," he ran a "concierge firm catering to the wealthy, such as by chartering them private jets on short notice." A high end gofer. I wonder what other sorts of things he procured for people rich enough to chargetr a jet but not quite rich enough to own one? Maybe some of his ex-clients there will kick in. In any event, it helps to have friends in powerful places.
Living at the Residences at the Ritz Carleton in Philly is not exactly slumming, either. "The 48-story contemporary masterpiece accented by a dramatic crystal spire, the new tower has transformed Philadelphia’s skyline and forever redefined condominium living"
Rendell and Goode have already badly bungled this project, at first laughably claiming that the donor list would be kept private, and that the Congressman would not know who had contributed:
Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that advocates for more transparency in Washington, said the Fattah Jr. fund could be a magnet for "businesses and special interest groups who have a lot of money and who are looking at ways to throw more money at the feet of the congressman by any means possible."
Holman said any plan short of full disclosure would have had problems. Even if a donor list had been kept from Rep. Fattah, Holman said, he would likely learn the donors anyway. "You can bet the lobbyist for the [donating] company is going to let the congressman know about it," Holman said.
Under congressional rules, legal defense funds that benefit officials must disclose donations, and the size of donations is capped. Those rules apply to funds for the officials, not their relatives.
On Friday, Burrell said all donations, amounts of donations, and all fund expenditures would be made public "to be fully transparent."
Making no judgment as to the merits of the possible case against Chip Fattah, it should be obvious that the massive amount of spending on government education (we spend more money per student than any other major country) has become a piggy bank for the Democratic Machine. The recycling of money through union dues laundered into political contributions for the Democrats is the mostly (but not completely) visible component. Grants, contracts, administrative fees and the like are another target of opportunity for politicians seeking bucks, and maybe for their offspring with no professional education.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 12, 2013 10:00 am
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..Accused Fort Hood shooter seeks to avoid death penalty
By Jim Forsyth | Reuters –
Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 31 in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in an undated Bell County Sheriff’s Office photograph. REUTERS/Bell …more County Sheriff’s Office/Handout less
…..By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Accused Fort Hood gunman Army Major Nidal Hasan is expected to ask a court on Thursday to remove the death penalty as a punishment option in his forthcoming court-martial on charges of killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage.
At a pre-trial hearing, judge Colonel Tara Osborn is likely to consider a request from the defense that Hasan’s trial be pushed back until September 1. Selection of the panel of officers who will act as the jury is set to begin on May 29.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is facing the death penalty for opening fire in Forth Hood, Texas, on a group of soldiers who were preparing to deploy to Iraq on November 5, 2009.
In addition to the 13 killed, 32 were wounded, and Hasan, 42, is paralyzed from the chest down from gunshots fired by two civilian Fort Hood police officers who ended what was the worst shooting at a U.S. military installation.
Osborn previously denied a request by Hasan’s lawyers that the death penalty be removed from consideration in return for a guilty plea. The Uniform Code of Military Justice, the unique law code that governs the armed forces, does not allow a guilty plea to a capital charge.
Jeffrey Addicott, a professor of law at St. Mary’s University in Texas, said nothing has happened that would change Osborn’s decision.
"The evidence is overwhelming, so the defense has always concentrated on two things: How can we delay this trial, and how can we get a reduced sentence," said Addicott, a former legal adviser to the Army Special Forces. "The defense is hoping that the more time that goes by, they can just get the government to throw up their hands in frustration and say, OK, we’ll just accept a guilty plea."
Osborn has been trying to get the trial schedule on track after extensive delays while the military justice system debated whether Hasan, who is Muslim, should be required to shave his beard to comply with military rules. Osborn has put that issue aside.
Opening arguments in the trial are expected to begin on July 1.
Hasan’s lawyers are also asking that a media affairs expert be appointed at government expense to assist the defense in jury selection.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu May 09, 2013 11:52 am
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The Untouchables of the 21st Century
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013 7:55 PM
Throughout history and throughout the world, there have been classes of untouchables. Best known perhaps (other than Elliott Ness and Wall Street bankers) are the caste that goes by the name in South Asia, a.k.a. the Dalits, but there are/were also for instance the Cagots in France, the Burakumin in Japan, and the Roma and Jewish populations in medieval Europe though the Middle East. In the US, one could include the black and native populations. Wikipedia has this definition:
Untouchability is the social-religious practice of ostracizing a minority group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom or legal mandate. The excluded group could be one that did not accept the norms of the excluding group and historically included foreigners, house workers, nomadic tribes, law-breakers and criminals and those suffering from a contagious disease. This exclusion was a method of punishing law-breakers and also protected traditional societies against contagion from strangers and the infected.
The origin of the phenomenon may have started simply as a way to exclude criminals and diseased people from a community, but obviously that’s not where it led.
Untouchability typically means none to limited access to public resources, schools, churches, temples, and having to live outside of established communities and villages. Often – but not always – there was a connection with certain occupations, especially those seen as impure, such as handling the dead (this could include executioners), and dealing with human and animal waste. In parts of Europe, dealing with money was seen as impure, from a religious point of view, which drove a lot of Jews into the field, since they were banned form most other occupations.
I could write a lot more on the interesting though often cruel and barbaric history of untouchability in a wide definition of the word, but I want to focus on what started to make me think of it, modern unemployment numbers in the western world. That is to say, we are now on the verge of casting a huge group of people, essentially our own neighbors, outside of our communities. They are no longer allowed to participate in what makes our societies tick.
This is true for people of all ages (see: Companies won’t even look at resumes of the long-term unemployed), but it’s an absolute "disaster that got tired of waiting to happen" among young people. Eurostat published this graph last week:
Youth unemployment in Greece (EL) is at about 60%, in Spain (ES) at 55.9%. Then Portugal and Italy at 38.3% and 38.4%, Ireland at 30.3%. Add a bunch of eastern European nations and you have the obvious suspects. Among the others, though, some truly stand out. How about Finland at 19.8%? That’s an AAA country, EU core. Same story, only worse, for France: 26.5%. Sweden (SE), supposedly doing so well without the euro: 25.1%. Belgium at 22.3%, the UK 20.7%. They make the US look sort of OK at 16.2%, or at least they serve to somewhat hide how ugly that number really is. In comparison, the EU "hard core" gets no higher than Holland at 10.5%.
Of course there are people who will argue that some of the youth included are in school, not looking for jobs. But given such notions as A) governments’ propensities to present rose-colored numbers and B) the numbers of kids enrolled in schools only to not be counted as jobless, I would be wary of overemphasizing the argument.
The numbers, let’s focus on Europe for now, are certain to only get worse. How do we know? Easy as pie. It’s a matter of political principle. All those unemployed young people are nobody’s priority but their own. They simply don’t have the political might yet to swing policy decisions in their favor. That is still with the generations of their parents and grandparents, who will vote against anyone trying to cut their wages and benefits. Who will even demand, and receive, government help in dealing with the losses on the homes they bought at irresponsibly elevated prices; they’ll claim the government should have warned them.
Losses on homes is one thing the young need not worry about: purchasing a house is way out of reach for them, and for most will remain so for the rest of their lives. The lack of – conventional – political might threatens to doom the young to a life of subservient survival. What might they have will have to come from unconventional methods to change matters. For now, the situation is locked, even as it’s sinking fast. What happened in Portugal over the past month is a "great" example of how Europe deals with its issues.
You may remember that in early April, Portugal’s highest court declared a set of austerity measures included in the government’s 2013 budget illegal, saying they couldn’t single out public workers for salary and benefits cuts. Then, before you could think: democracy works!, the EU/ECB/IMF troika paid an an "unscheduled" visit to Lisbon. The result? Portugal fires another 30,000 public workers. That’s right, if you can’t cut their benefits, you just fire them.
Of course this is merely the latest in a long line of troika induced measures. 50,000 public sector jobs were already lost in the past two years , and 205,000 jobs disappeared overall in 2012 alone, and 500,000 since 2008.
What do these numbers mean? Here’s a helpful little exercise: The US is 30 times the size of Portugal. So to put them in an American perspective, it’s like 900,000 public workers are fired in one fell swoop, after 1,5 million lost their jobs in the two years prior, in an economy that lost 6.15 million jobs overall in just the last year(!), and 15 million since 2008.
Not that the troika is done just yet:
Still, an I.M.F. report issued in January concluded that "Portugal’s education system remained overstaffed and relatively inefficient by international standards." It suggested "making the education system more flexible and limiting the state’s role as a supplier of education services" by eliminating 50,000 to 60,000 jobs. 15,000 public school teachers lost their jobs in the past two years.
That’s right, their words, not mine: making the education system more flexible [..] by eliminating 50,000 to 60,000 jobs. Again, that would compare to firing between 1.5 and 1.8 million American teachers.
Can Portugal afford to lose all these teachers? Maybe not: about 63% of Portugal’s adult population has not completed high school. Plus, recently graduated teachers can forget about ever getting a job. And so 60,000 young and educated Portuguese emigrate every year. I don’t know about you, but to me it’s starting to feel like a scorched earth policy.
The European Commission, meanwhile, not only has no answer to these problems, it doesn’t even have any intention of doing anything about them. Quite the opposite. The EC wants to continue with the "reforms" it has forced upon PIGSIC countries (can I buy a K?), and we all know what that means: jobs must be cut. Which in turn means that unemployment will rise. Even if they don’t say it in so many words. In order to create jobs, you need to cut them first.
From the Telegraph:
[Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner], had no good news for Europe’s growing ranks of unemployed and admitted that "mitigating" against unemployment was all that could be done under the present austerity policy that rules out public-led investment to boost jobs.
He also warned that growth across the EU would return too slowly to reduce unemployment in the short term as European economies remain dependent on exports to offset the impact of the recession and lack of investment caused by the financial and sovereign debt crisis.
"We are living through a very difficult process of adjustment and it is having an unfortunate toll on employment," he said.
"We need consistent consolidation of public finances and structural reforms to boost growth. We need to reform labour market policy to fight youth unemployment. We have to use all possible ways and means to turn the trend in the European economy and mitigate effects of current protracted recession."
And from Bloomberg:
"High unemployment points to the need for continuing the course in structural reforms," said Marco Buti, head of the commission’s economics department. "The reduction in fiscal deficits is making headway in a differentiated way."
That last bit is just meaningless weirdspeak, if you ask me. "The reduction in fiscal deficits is making headway in a differentiated way." Maybe he simply means to say that the people may be screwed, but the banks are fine.
What I do understand is that his words again come down to: "High unemployment points to the need for job cuts". And that remains a strange point of view, especially when seen from the eyes of the unemployed.
So is there any good news? Perhaps that depends on your point of view as well. For instance, I read this in the Telegraph:
"Austerity is finished. This is a decisive turn in the history of the EU project since the euro," [French finance minister Pierre Moscovici] told French TV. "We’re seeing the end of austerity dogma. It’s a victory of the French point of view."
First of all, that "victory" looks about as Pyrrhic as can be. Several EU nations get more time to cut their deficit to the mandated 3% maximum, but that’s just because they’re even more broke broker brokest than anyone was ready to admit last time around. And the EU did another round of adjusting predictions downward, a move that’s devoid of any meaning if you repeat it every single time. There was also another round of "but next year we’ll see the return of growth", but really, who listens anymore? As for the "French point of view", the people hate President Hollande so much after less than a year in office they long back for the good old days of Sarkozy. France is so screwed, but no-one has the guts to say it out loud.
Oh, right, and the EU was proven wrong in Italy. That must have hurt, even if they didn’t say so. The return to power of Silvio Berlusconi caused yields on Italian 10 year bonds to plummet. Ergo: they should have left the midget mummy in place, so the markets spoke.
On the whole though, there is just one conclusion left for southern Europe, and I apologize in advance for repeating myself. Countries like Greece and Portugal and Italy need to get out of the Eurozone as quickly as they can. They badly need to regain of their own monetary policy. They must be able to devalue their currencies vis a vis Germany and Holland and the US. Moreover, if they don’t leave, they will be swept up (and under) in the wave of bad data that will come out of the EU core. That will start a much bigger squeeze of the periphery than the one we’ve seen so far. It’ll be like being trapped underneath a badly wounded behemoth, not something you should volunteer for.
The Eurozone (and probably the EU as a whole and as a mechanism) has nothing left to offer its poorer members but a world of pain. But it’s up to the people themselves to make sure they get out in time. And all the countries still have europhiles in power. Italy got close, but it’s already back to the days of old with the same old president and a new PM from the same old school. And if leaving half your children with the prospects of being condemned into meaningless lives, of being ostracized as modern day untouchables, is not enough to wake you up and say No Mas, you really need to wonder what is.
Brussels is not going to create jobs for Europe’s young people, they’re instead going to cut more jobs, they say so themselves. What they intend to do is squeeze the politically relevant – older – part of the population, but only so far. They don’t want them to revolt. That leaves only the young to be squeezed more. Brussels incessantly produces positive looking economic growth numbers, and then incessantly adjusts them downward. They do this because it puts people to sleep. It works. People actually believe that things will get better, that their economies will start growing again and it’ll all be fine.
People who are in power will do almost anything to hold on to it. That includes politicians, bankers, corporate executives. We can all identify those groups, and we love to rage against them. But political power in our societies is also defined by age. In that the young have very little of it, and the older have a death grip. That can work, and has worked, as long as – economical – trend lines are positive. It no longer does, however, when these lines break.
Then you don’t have one society anymore, but several, starting with older haves and younger have nots. And of course everyone’s parents have more than they do, but until now there was the prospect of going out and getting as much as or more than, one’s parents have (a better life for my children). That prospect is now gone. But people are slow to realize and accept that. They’d rather believe otherwise, and there are scores of politicians and media willing to keep that faith alive. After all, their own livelihoods depend on it.
Unfortunately for our children, our believing it just about literally means we throw them away with the bathwater. And that can of course only spell trouble down the road. Unless we create all those millions of jobs for them. But we’re not even trying: our politicians are busy only keeping us from blowing our gaskets over budget cuts and tax raises; they don’t care about out children, because they’re not the ones voting them in power. This is not a road to nowhere, it’s a road to surefire mayhem. There will inevitable come a point where the younger generation we now leave out to dry gains the voting power and asks: What have you done for me lately? And then, what will be the answer?
But the reality is that in Europe too, "Companies won’t even look at resumes of the long-term unemployed". And there are millions of long-term unemployed. Who will never have a real job. Which means that you will arrive at a point where this is no longer a problem solvable within current paradigms. So maybe we need to change those.
Our definition of work has slowly slid from doing something that is useful to yourself, your family and the society you live in, to doing something, a job, that will allow you to buy as big a car and home as possible, and consume as many products as you can whether you need them or not, in order to keep the economy growing. This change in definition has gone largely unnoticed until now, but in light of the levels of – youth – unemployment we see in ever more places, maybe we should take another look at what it means.
Maybe countries like Italy and Greece and Portugal would do better at this point in time to get out of the rat race posing as a force for the good that is the EU. Maybe they have to get back to basics, to making sure they can independently feed themselves, build shelter, and get clean water to everyone.
Maybe competing with Germany and Holland for a scarce musical chair is not the way to go; looking at those unemployment numbers, one might easily come to entertain that idea. And feeding and clothing oneself is not exactly a bad thing to begin with. Our ancestors did, that’s why we’re here. Maybe it’s the best chance they have to engage their young people: in (re)building their societies. And even if things in the global economy do improve somewhere down the line, what exactly would they risk losing?
Better be quick though: the EU has one of its numerous edicts coming out soon that bans people who grow their own food in their gardens, in small plots and allotments, from using their own seeds. They must instead by law buy their seeds from vendors "ordained" by Brussels (yeah, there’s Monsanto again…).
Any one of these countries can tell Brussels to go take a hike, and they’ll pay back the debt over 50 years in a currency of their own choosing. But they’re not doing it. Not so far. Coincidentally, in the graph above, if you look at Iceland, you’ll notice they’re doing about the best of the lot, with fast falling jobless numbers. Iceland didn’t have to leave a monetary union, granted, but still.
They can either cling to our faith in a recovery that’s been promised for years while everything has only gotten progressively worse, or they can do something about it. And that will soon be true for all of us. We’re just still living in a theater of illusion grace to the fact that we have collectively decided to keep our debts hidden under the carpet, which today no longer works in southern Europe, and tomorrow will grind Germany, Japan and the US to a halt.
If we go there in blind faith, the future – however brutal it may be – still belongs to the young, and guess who will become the untouchables?
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon May 06, 2013 4:15 pm
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May 6, 2013
Bill Ayers and the Culture of Rape
By M. Catharine Evans
Bill Ayers told a University of Oregon social justice class in 2012 "our fate hinges on our ability to open our eyes." Well, Bill, rumor has it you are rapist, so let’s open the discussion.
Frontpage Magazine and several other sites published Donna Ron’s account of what happened one Friday night in 1965.
The terms "psychological rape" or "date rape" had not yet been coined but Ms. Ron’s story, the kind the Left are so fond of, suggests Ayers was at most a rapist; at least, a sexual deviant.
So when Ayers talks about women’s rights, or mentions rape as he does in the University of Oregon lecture, he conveniently forgets to mention his own allegedly sordid past with women.
Any woman who has suffered the humiliation of forced sex, whether psychological or physical, never forgets. Donna’s ability to remember graphic details after many years is typical of those who have endured sexual trauma.
The young women introducing Ayers to the University of Oregon class probably had no idea they were standing next to a possible sexual predator. If they dismiss Ayers’ history of violence against innocent police officers and his later refusal to renounce his actions, chances are these same young people that Ayers advises to critically examine the world around them, will not care about one young woman who had the misfortune of meeting up with the terrorist.
But in light of the recent University of Wyoming hoax involving Ayers fan and co-plaintiff in a 2010 lawsuit against UW regarding his speaking engagement at the college, Meg Lankers-Simon and her efforts to draw attention to the "culture of rape," young women at liberal colleges should take a second look at the former Weather Underground terrorist.
Here’s part of Donna Ron’s story (warning: graphic language):
Bill Ayers’ apartment was around the corner and a half a block away from the sorority house. The more time I spent there, the more out of place I felt with my sisters. Sometimes I would stop by just to keep from having to go back to a place I had begun to think of as boring. I guess it was one of those evenings — maybe on the way back from the library, maybe just to get out of the sorority house, I don’t remember exactly. What I do recall is that when I was getting ready to leave Ayers told me I couldn’t go until I slept with his roommate and his brother. At this point Bill and I had slept together just once. I was sexually inexperienced, having had only one serious boyfriend with whom I had recently broken up.
At first I thought Ayers was joking. I got up; and went to the door. He moved quickly to block me at the doorway. He locked the door and put the chain on it. I went to the couch and sat down and told him that I had no intention of having sex with his roommate and his brother or him. He said that I had no choice but to do as he said if I wanted to get out of there. He claimed that I wouldn’t sleep with his married roommate because he was black — that I was a bigot. I had gone to school with black kids and had them as friends all my life. I couldn’t believe he was saying that to me.
I felt trapped. I had to get out of the situation I was in and because he was so effective a guilt-tripper, I also felt I had to prove to him that I wasn’t a bigot. I got up from the couch and walked over to the black roommate’s bed and put myself on it and he —me. I went totally out of my body. I floated beside myself on the outside and above the bed looking at this black stranger— me angrily while I hated myself.
After that I had to go lie down on Bill Ayer’s bed for his brother to — me. Rick Ayers was a decent person, unlike his brother, and couldn’t go through with it He started and stopped and let me go. I also thought I had to let Bill —me but at that point he unbolted the door and I left.
I remember going back to the sorority house and talking to my best girlfriend and telling her what had happened
I was a mess and felt it was my fault for letting it happen. I was ashamed. Back home at the end of the semester, I got my parents to send me to a psychiatrist. What had happened affected my ability to trust in a relationship with a man and I didn’t have a close relationship again for a long time.
Later I read about Ayers and his book Fugitive Days on the Internet. This was just after the terrorist attack on 9/11 and he was entirely unrepentant for having been a terrorist himself. "I would do it again," he told the Times when he was asked about having set a bomb in the Pentagon.
I also discovered that he was a Distinguished Professor of Education at University of Illinois Chicago campus. I think that freaked me out more than anything. That a man so cruel and conscienceless could attain such a position enraged me. I contacted him by email through the University’s website. He wrote back that he didn’t remember me.
Anybody reading this might ask why Ms. Ron bothered to email a man she calls "conscienceless and cruel" more than thirty years after the incident.
Sexual abuse victims are notorious for seeking closure. The need to confront their attackers is at times overwhelming. This part of Ms. Ron’s story rings so true as to make the rest seem very plausible.
As a group counselor for a Women’s Advocacy Program run by the YWCA in the 1990′s, I came into contact with many women exactly like Donna.
In a 9/11 New York Times book review for Fugitive Days Ayers’ own words support Ron’s claims. The "rich kid radical," as he was known, points out in the article that Weather Undergrounders weren’t exactly discriminating when it came to sex.
He also writes about the Weathermen’s sexual experimentation as they tried to ”smash monogamy.” The Weathermen were ”an army of lovers,” he says, and describes having had different sexual partners, including his best male friend.
A month before the New York Times review, which included Ayers’ early fascination with the joy of July 4 "candle bombs" and how he really "trembled mostly for the Big Ones, the loud concussions,” the professor and his Underground terrorist wife wrote an article for Mothering The Natural Family Living Magazine entitled "The Son Also Rises Boys to Men, Outside the Stereotypes."
Oddly enough, the man Ms. Ron accused of date rape in 1965 brings up the topic in the 2001 article. Ayers and Dohrn recounted an "alleged date rape" at their sons’ high school.
The former members of the Weather Underground, who in Ayers’ own words descended into a "whirlpool of violence," and who admitted they practiced ‘anything goes’ sex, offered advice on sexual relationships to other parents of teenagers. After reading about Ayers these past four years it makes sense it takes a sexual predator to know one.
An alleged date rape after a party at our kids’ high school became a huge focus of fear and anxiety, conversation, accusation, and contention. The adults, typically, knew almost nothing, but the kids were all abuzz. Would the young woman tell her parents? Would she file charges? Would the event and the aftershock become openly acknowledged?
We overheard Zayd, Malik, and Chesa talking about it and, as usual, butted in. When they seemed evasive and somewhat lighthearted about what we took to be a most serious act, we began to question them sharply: "Do you understand what a profound violation, what a disgusting and vile crime is being alleged?" "Don’t you see how badly she was hurt and how unjust and immoral it was?"
…we talked more clearly about guilt and responsibility…The date rape helped us clarify several areas of agreement:
Sex can be enormously pleasurable and powerful when it is mutual, respectful, authentic.
When an older guy and a younger girl have sex, there’s a concern about power and intimidation. (The girl in this instance was a freshman, the guy a senior.)
If the guy uses alcohol and drugs to grease the wheels of cooperation, there’s a real problem. (The guy in this case got her drunk.)
If there is one girl and more than one guy, it’s force, for sure. (The guy arrived at the girl’s house at midnight with his best friend, and the three of them drank heavily until the guy coaxed the girl into a basement bedroom practically within reach of the TV the three had been watching.)
If a girl says "no" at any point, everything stops there.(There was dispute about whether she ever said "no.")
Whether Ayers is making up the date rape scenario at his kids’s school or not, the similarities between the advice he gives to his sons and Donna Ron’s account of what happened in 1965 are startling.
Accounts of Ayers’ early days are as bad as it gets. Just think: a fugitive, a terrorist, a communist with a small ‘c’ and an alleged rapist helped launch a future president’s political career.
Activist young women who are truly interested in the victims of sexual assault should take a hard look at Ms. Ron’s story and run as far away from Bill Ayers and his ilk as they can.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon May 06, 2013 9:45 am
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Has climate agenda run out of steam?
Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 7:00 pm
FRANK MIELE/Daily Inter Lake
I got an e-mail from Democratic lobbyist John Podesta last week that began “Dear Friend,” so I knew it had arrived at my inbox by accident.
Podesta was the last chief of staff during the Bill Clinton presidency, and is currently the chair of the Center for American Progress, which as you can tell by the name is one of those groups trying to undermine our nation’s values and traditions under the guise of marching us into the 21st century’s version of “1984.” (Are we there yet?)
Personally, I would rather march into the gulag and rot in chains for the rest of my life while thanking God for the liberty our Founding Fathers had bequested us than to spend even one minute in the mental prison known as progressivism.
But that’s just me.
My “dear friend” John Podesta has a different idea. He and his comrades think we are making progress the more we chip away at the bedrock of the Constitution, so that our liberties are replaced with guarantees. Under the progressive framework, instead of being free to fail, we are guaranteed to succeed. Whereas the original Constitution was supposed to protect us as individuals against an over-reaching government, the reshaped progressive Constitution is supposed to empower government to reach into every aspect of our lives — religion, health care, personal beliefs — and reshape them according to the world view of those who “know better” than us. I can’t remember if it was Nietzsche who called such people our “overlords” or not, but if he didn’t he should have.
One of the best levers the progressives have found to muscle us toward more and bigger government is the issue of climate change, formerly known as global warming. After all, as individuals we are powerless to change the weather, but progressives have convinced us that if we all pull together (and stop barbecuing ribs!) we will be able to harness Mother Nature. Such true believers are just as deluded as the advisers of King Canute who thought he could stop the tide just by commanding it to do so.
Fortunately for King Canute, he could prove the futility of this delusion simply by putting his chair at the edge of the sea, uttering his command to the waters to halt, and then waiting until his feet got wet. For the modern world, however, we would have to spend trillions of dollars in equipment modifications, new technology and “carbon trading” before we finally had to admit that we were just as warm as when we started.
In the meantime, the progressive “overlords” know darn well that climate change cannot be “regulated” like health care, but they see it as a gigantic cudgel to force society to change its behavior in ways big and small to better suit the progressive agenda.
Maybe the enormity of the challenge of any kind of global change has finally started to sink in though, because recent trends in both science and popular opinion have tended to minimize the alarmism about global warming (oops! I mean climate change!).
So much so that apparently both the New York Times and Washington Post have, in the words of Mr. Podesta, “gutted their coverage of climate change.” He calls these independent shifts in reporting priorities “some of the most block-headed decisions of all time.”
I call them a welcome change, but I am pretty confident that Podesta and the Center for American Progress would call me much worse than a block-head if they knew I still supported the Constitution, liberty and common sense. Heck, I even support global warming, since I prefer it to the alternative — thousand-foot-deep glaciers covering my home in Northwest Montana the way they did at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago.
But I have a feeling John and I will not be talking anytime soon. If he is mad at the New York Times just for shutting down its Green Blog and closing its environmental desk, then he is going to be absolutely furious with me for exposing the progressive agenda for using climate change as a steppingstone to complete social transformation.
Indeed, when John hears about this column, I suppose it will be the end of a beautiful friendship.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 05, 2013 2:35 am
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Gosnell Placed In Solitary Confinement – Prisoners Don’t Like Baby Killers
Posted by Jim Hoft on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 8:50 PM
Baby killing Dr. Kermit Gosnell is being held in solitary confinement. Apparently, his fellow prisoners don’t approve of snipping baby’s necks.
Journalist J. D. Mullane reported:
Life News reported:
Kermit Gosnell has been in jail since his January 2011 arrest after authorities raided his abortion clinic.
The jury in the Gosnell murder trial is expected to deliver a verdict soon, and the abortion “doctor” is housed at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
He is currently in solitary confinement pending the verdict and his expected sentencing. That’s because, according to one local reporter in Philadelphia, fellow prisoners don’t take his crimes of killing babies in infanticides too kindly.
Should Gosnell be convicted and face a prison term, he would likely remain in solitary or in a sensitive needs population for the duration of his time in prison term.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu May 02, 2013 6:13 am
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April 28, 2013
The Brothers Tzarnaev and the Danger Whose Name we Dare not Speak
By Clarice Feldman
We now have had a number of terrorist attacks on the homeland — though the administration often refers to them in ridiculous euphemisms like "workplace violence" — and the behavior of the administration, including our lavishly funded FBI and Homeland Security Administration, and our richly rewarded media stars remains so predictable I’ve decided to spare you the time it takes to unravel the unending lies and poppycock we are regularly fed about these horrors, lies, and blundering that only increase our danger.
This week’s bombing of civilians at the Boston Marathon in which three people, including an 8-year-old child, perished upon being torn to bits and 250 were wounded, some most grievously, followed the template set by the other Islamist incidents on Obama’s watch. The media stumbles over itself trying not to see why we were attacked while glorifying terrorists, showing them in the most innocent-looking youthful pictures they can find, interviewing irrelevant credulous neighbors and school chums and blaming innocents (us) for the acts of terror. The federal government in large part, starting with the White House, is no better. HSA Secretary Napolitano urges us, "see something, say something" but the major media and all the president’s men (and women) seem to operate under a different order, "See, hear, and speak nothing of the Islamist evil that threatens us."
A. The Media
1. Making Celebrities of Terrorists
If you’ve never read Sultan Knish’s blog, you ought to. He’s one of the brightest stars of the internet and his comments this week on the media treatment of terrorists could not be more acid nor accurate.
The media’s coverage is weighed down by its old fetish of murder as celebrity. The media covers murderers and celebrities in the same way. It writes exhaustively about them, but rarely meaningfully. The murderer, like the celebrity, is famous for being famous. And fame clips context and suppresses meaning. It becomes its own reference. A thing is famous for being known. It is known for being famous. It enters the common language as a reference. A metaphor.
In the case of the Tsarnaevs, the surface coverage, the endless rounds of interviews with friends and relatives, with anyone who ever met them or retweeted them, is mandatory because it avoids the more difficult question of why they killed.
Prisons are full of 300 pound men who beat their 90 pound wives to death in self-defense and spree killers who felt bullied and misunderstood and defended themselves with killing sprees. The kind of evil we see in movies, the serial killer who gleefully whisper about demonic pacts and the joy of killing, are a rarity. Even human monsters are human. They explain things in terms of their egos. They are always defending themselves against some form of oppression and looking for someone to sympathize with their outrage.
Muslim terrorists are no different.
Islam, as one of the great world religions, has a long history of needing to be defended against small boys, blind female poets and elderly cartoonists. Sometimes Muslims have to defend Islam against each other, the way they are now doing in Syria. Other times defending Islam requires demolishing its archeological sites, the way that the Saudis are doing. Either way defending Islam is difficult work.
Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) deftly explains that there is a private Islam, which guides the daily life of its practitioners, and a "public Islam" which would force us all to follow the same proscriptions. That Islam, the public Islam, "must be defended by bombs", he argues. Both the media and the administration refuse to acknowledge that distinction.
Why did Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonate bombs at the Boston Marathon? They were engaged in an old disagreement over political systems. Terrorists of the left set off bombs to force a political revolution. Their Islamist fellow-travelers are doing the same thing. Dig away enough of the trappings of the celebrity murderer and you come to the ideas buried underneath all the rubble.
[The media] wants us to speak of foreign policy as an isolated American act and of random violence as arising from thin air. It does not want us to understand the nature of the struggle. It does not want us to know why we die. It is determined to keep from us the reason why Muslims kill.
Sulltan Knish’s article is something that should be read in its entirety, but if you want a short form of the media celebrity treatment of Islamist thugs he describes, Iowahawk provided it in a tweet:
"When I tweeted [Guy sends 268 people to the hospital, and the NY Times want to rewrite him as the new Holden Caulfield. #BomberInTheRye] last night, it was in response to the Times’ bizarre stream of ‘poor little misfit alienated immigrant teen’ profile puff-pieces. It was (as satire is suppose to be) an intentional exaggeration meant to make a point. As God is my witness, I swear I had no idea they would ACTUALLY LIKEN HIM TO HOLDEN CAULFIELD."
What an embarrassment.
2. The Media Act as if We Are Murderous Thugs
It may be that the media dissembles concerning the impetus for these murderous acts because it knows no better. Certainly they give evidence everyday of their thin knowledge of the world outside their pressroom cloisters. But one cannot help but feel that from 9/11 on the media has treated Americans as if WE were the murderous thugs who must not learn of the Islamist nature of the slaughterers lest we grab our pikes and scimitars and start off to mosques to behead the innocent.
Brendon O’Neill at the Telegraph captured my puzzlement at this continued inexplicable treatment of the media’s audience:
Clearly, some observers fear ordinary Americans more than they do terrorists; they fret more over how dangerously unintelligent and hateful Yanks will respond to bombings than they do over the bombings themselves. But where is this Islamophobic mob? Where are these marauding Muslim-haters undergoing a post-Boston freakout? They are a figment of liberal observers’ imaginations. In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn’t true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims.
There were similarly wrongheaded fears of an outburst of mass Islamophobic hysteria in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, too. Policemen were posted outside mosques. NHS trusts encouraged doctors and nurses to keep their eyes peeled for anyone who expressed anti-Muslim hate. Trade union officials warned of a "backlash" against Muslims. But the backlash never came. Brits did not rise up in spite and fury against Muslims. Crown Prosecution Service crime figures for 2005-2006, covering the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, showed that only 43 religiously aggravated crimes were prosecuted in that period, and that Muslims were the victims in 18 of those crimes. Eighteen prosecutions for anti-Muslim crimes — all those crimes are unfortunate, of course they are; but this was far from an "Islamophobic backlash". As the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said: "The fears of a [post-7/7] rise in offences appear to be unfounded." Time and again, Left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public — and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid. The anti-Islamophobia lobby poses as the implacable opponent of bigotry, yet it spreads a bigoted view of ordinary white folk as so volatile, so brimming with fury, that they are one terrorist bombing away from transforming into an anti-Muslim pogrom. Yes, some prejudiced things have been said about Muslims post-Boston; but far more prejudiced things are being said or implied about ordinary Americans.
This contempt for the innocent victims of Islamic terrorism permeates the International set of anti-democratic American and Israeli haters. Princeton Professor Richard Falk who sits on the preposterously named and constituted UN Human Rights Commission is an exemplar of this caste of blinkered mandarins. He publicly blamed the bombing on U.S. foreign policy and its support of Israel. Just as he has earlier suggested our government had a hand in 9/11.
As the NY Post’s Michael Goodwin observed, Falk’s fault finding error is shared with the president:
Yet Falk is not the only one with warped views. His praise for President Obama’s apologies to Muslims should give the president reason to pause, but the White House is too busy making sure it passes the test of the Boston bombing trial.
Not so much the test of whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty, about which there seems little doubt. Rather, the trial is a test of American values, according to all the president’s men.
Obama himself still refuses to cite Islam as a motive for the bombing, despite the copious evidence investigators and the media have produced. He rushes to judgment only when it suits his worldview.
The dynamic is bizarre. Americans are attacked and, in return, are warned by their president to behave. Obama used that formula to defend the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, saying it was important that "we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."
Apparently, the president sees the Constitution as a suicide pact.
B. The Administration Shares the Media and Mandarins’ Distorted View and Exacerbates the Danger
There was little doubt as the week ended that the FBI and HSA both seriously blundered in their treatment of the terrorists and their family, in the lies they told to us about what they had done and why, and there can be little doubt that, absent a sea change, we are in far greater danger now than we were before Obama was elected, a time when we had a president who thought us worthy of defending. Apart from the president’s history outlined by Goodwin, we have seen unfolded a series of acts that could only have maximized our peril and that could be directed only from the top levels of the administration.
1. It has stripped the FBI manual of relevant information and blinded it to the danger of Islamism:
As The Washington Examiner’s Mark Flatten reported last year, FBI training manuals were systematically purged in 2011 of all references to Islam that were judged offensive by a specially created five-member panel. Three of the panel members were Muslim advocates from outside the FBI, which still refuses to make public their identities. Nearly 900 pages were removed from the manuals as a result of that review. Several congressmen were allowed to review the removed materials in 2012, on condition that they not disclose what they read to their staffs, the media, or the general public.
With the recent proliferation of revelations about FBI blindness on the Brothers Tsarnaev, a comment made last year by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, to Flatten now has a tragic resonance: "We’ve got material being removed more because of political correctness than in the interest of truth and properly educated justice officials. We are blinding our enforcement officers from the ability to see who the enemy actually is." The Boston bombing showed the tragic consequences of that.
Even if they are made aware of the danger, the FBI fails to act against Islamists, undoubtedly because it is a certain career ender.
The Russian FSB (the successor to the KGB) warned us about the bomber, the CIA brought this information to the FBI which performed a perfunctory interview, never looked at the bomber’s Facebook page, and no one seemed to have noticed that he went to Russia for 6 months, doubtless meeting with Islamist Chechen terrorists. Even the Obama-loving Washington Post found the FBI performance remarkable:
there are reasons for concern about the two agencies’ performance, based on what is known so far about their tracking of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The older and more radical brother was first identified as a possible extremist by Russia, which asked the FBI to investigate him in early 2011. Later that year, also after prompting from Russia, the CIA asked that his name be added to a watch list maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, The Post’s Greg Miller and Sari Horowitz reported. His subsequent departure for Russia in early 2012 resulted in "a ping" to customs officials, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday. However, it appears the FBI never learned that Tamerlan had left the country and was not informed when he returned in July.
2. The FBI seriously interfered with the interrogation of the Dzhokhar Tzarnaev.
Dzhokhar was apparently wounded in the leg and neck by Boston police officers when, after firing hundreds of rounds, made Swiss cheese of the Boston whaler in which he was hiding unarmed.
Despite his throat wound and under a special exception set by the Attorney General, FBI agents were given 48 hours in which to question him without Mirandizing him, the questioning was slow going because of his wounds, especially the throat wounds which we’d earlier (falsely) been told were self-inflicted. But after only 16 hours and while the FBI was still questioning him and reportedly getting "crucial information," another FBI agent filed a criminal complaint in Boston and a magistrate accordingly appeared, told the terrorist he had a right to remain silent and Dzhokhar availed himself of the proffered privilege and stopped talking.
Whether this was just another in a series of blunders or a deliberate act to keep him from revealing more, I am sorry to say I don’t know. Given all that preceded this — including a litany of bald-faced lies megaphoned by the press — no conspiratorial explanation seems unthinkable.
3. Federal agents were clearly the sources of repeated early claims the brothers were self trained lone wolves, and they did so without evidence of that and at a time when they couldn’t possibly know that to be true. In fact, the evidence indicates they were not.
The nature of the bomb shows they had some assistance in bomb making. Friday afternoon FNC reported the FBI is now considering there was a third bomber whose identity we do not know.
There’s also a report that the terrorists’ mother, wanted for shoplifting in Boston, was also on a terrorist watch list and that Tamerlan’s wife played some role — if only to tip them off they were being watched. The mosque in Boston which they attended has radical ties and been associated with other terrorism suspects.
4. There is more than a small hint that other federal agencies were involved in getting a Saudi injured at the scene of the blast and tagged a "person of interest" off a watch list and perhaps even spiriting him out of the country.
• A Saudi national originally identified as a "person of interest" in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212, 3B — "Security and related grounds" — "Terrorist activities" after the bombing on April 15
• TheBlaze received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national — identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — as the story gained traction on April 18.
• Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill on April 18, saying the inquiry was "so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer."
• An ICE official said April 18 that a different Saudi national is in custody, but that he is "in no way" connected to the bombings.
• Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano on April 22
• New info provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered on the evening of April 17 to disassociate him from the initial charges
• Sources said on April 22 that the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. A DHS official told TheBlaze that Alharbi properly transferred his student visa to a school in Massachusetts
• TheBlaze sources reveal April 22 that Alharbi was put on a terror watchlist after the bombing, and Napolitano confirms he was on a "watchlist" April 23.
By week’s end, Beck’s story, now confirmed after an early denial by Secretary Napolitano, grew even more shocking:
• At the time the event file was created for Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, it indicated he was "armed and dangerous"
• Alharbi was admitted into the country under a "special advisory option," which is usually reserved for visiting politicians, VIPs, or journalists. The event file cover page indicates he was granted his status without full vetting.
• One of the first excuses given by law enforcement when confronted about Alharbi’s pending deportation was an expired visa. But according to the event file, his visa is good until 11-NOV-2016.
• The event file indicates he entered the U.S. on 08/28/12 in Boston, MA but says he is a student at the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio. He has an apartment in Boston, and doesn’t seem to have been a full-time student in Ohio.
• When a file is created in the system the author(s) are notified via email when it is accessed, and given the email address of the person accessing, so there is a record within the government data system of who deleted them. It was amended to remove the deportation reference, then someone later went in and tried to destroy both the original event file and amended versions. Copies had already been made.
• The original event file was reviewed and approved by two high level agents — Chief Watch Commander Maimbourg and Watch Commander Mayfield.
Sure looks like a cover-up. Since there are pictures of Michelle Obama visiting Alharbi in his hospital room, since the Administration has been lying about him repeatedly and altering official records, and since there’s as yet no answer as to how and why he was admitted under a "special advisory opinion" and since we do not yet know if he’s still here or was spirited out of the country, we have good reason to be suspicious.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:15 am
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