A kaleidoscopic shift of the political pattern of Europe 2

New political parties have been rising in many European countries to oppose established policies of both leftist and conservative governments, particularly policies towards the European Union and immigration.

Most of the new parties are on the Right, but recently some have been formed – or have quite suddenly grown from being inconsequential groupings into forces to be reckoned with  – on the Left.

The newly aggressive parties of the Left are mainly in the South, in countries at the receiving end of EU subsidies, angry that the subsidies are not substantial enough.

The new parties of the Right are mainly in the North, in countries at the paying end of the system, angry that they have to subsidize the failing economies of the South.

That sections of the Left should see how badly Europe needs a strategy for survival, should find fault with the EU, and object to unending immigration of dependents into their already hard-pressed welfare states, is a startling development. It means that new political patterns of alignment and opposition are emerging.

In the following article, which we quote from Gatestone, Peter Martino writes about the new parties’ concern with the adverse economic effects of EU membership. He only touches on immigration as a factor in the intensifying discontent which prompts the formation of new political organizations, movements and agendas, but it is in fact quite as hot an issue.

Last week, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won a landmark victory in the Rochester & Strood by-election. With this win, UKIP secured its second Member of Parliament. The UKIP candidate, Mark Reckless, won 42.1% of the votes, thrashing the Conservatives (34.8%), Labour (16.8%) and the Liberal Democrats (0.9%). It was the first time ever that UKIP stood in Rochester & Strood. The party won votes from all the major parties. The Conservatives lost 14.4% of the votes, Labour 11.7% and the Liberal Democrats a whopping 15.5%.

UKIP is expected to do very well in the British general elections next May. Last month, a poll predicted the party could win up to 25% of the vote in these elections. In the 2010 general elections, the party had only 3.1%.

UKIP stands for the preservation of the Britain’s national identity. It opposes the European Union (EU) and wants Britain to remain a sovereign nation rather than become a state of a federal Europe. The party is also critical of mass immigration, in particular from Eastern Europe. Though Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, carefully avoids the issue of Islam, the party has also become the refuge of voters who worry about Islamization. Above all, however, the party embodies the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the traditional political establishment.

As such, UKIP is part of a broad trend that can currently be perceived all over Western Europe.

In Spain, a poll this week said that Podemos, a brand new party that was established only nine months ago, is currently the largest party in the country with 28.3% of the vote. The governing conservative Partido Popular of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would finish second with 26.3% and the Socialist Party would get only 20.1%. Three years ago, in the November 2011 general elections, the Partido Popular won 44.6% of the votes.

Unlike UKIP, Podemos is a party that clearly belongs to the left of the political spectrum. Podemos (the Spanish for We can) was founded by “anti-capitalist” academics and trade unionists who want to “oppose the dominating EU politics from the left”. Unlike UKIP, Podemos does not want to abolish the EU. On the contrary, since Spain is receiving billions of euros in EU subsidies, a majority of the Spaniards clearly want their country to remain an EU member state.

However, the party opposes the austerity policies that the EU is imposing on Spain as a prerequisite for the continuation of the flow of EU subsidies. Both the Spanish Socialist Party and Prime Minister Rajoy’s Partido Popular are perceived by voters as implementing the same set of EU-prescribed policies.

In this regard, Podemos does resemble UKIP, which also accuses the British political establishment of simply implementing EU mandated policies. In Britain’s case, the dissatisfaction with the EU stems mostly from British taxpayers having to pay billions to the EU, which are then transferred to countries in the south of Europe [such as Spain -ed], where governments use them to fund welfare programs. In this sense, the rise of leftist tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties), such as Podemos, reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north of Europe.

Indeed, all along the Mediterranean, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly.

One of the keynote speakers at Podemos’ recent first-ever party congress was Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s neo-communist party Syriza. In last May’s European elections, Syriza became Greece’s biggest party with 26.5% of the votes, ahead of the governing Nea Demokratia party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Syriza draws on the same kind of sentiments as Podemos and is popular for exactly the same reasons.

The same is true of Italy’s Five Star Movement, led by the comedian Beppe Grillo, which, with 21.2% of the vote, became the country’s second largest party in last May’s European elections.

And the same is even true for the Front National of Marine Le Pen in France. Ms Le Pen claims that without the euro, the EU’s common currency, there would be “no need for austerity”. Drawing on anti-EU sentiments, the Front National became the largest French party in last May’s European elections with 24.8% of the vote.

The popularity of these parties is still rising. A recent poll in France revealed that Marine Le Pen might win the next French presidential elections, not just in the first round, but also in the decisive second round. It is the first time ever that the FN leads in a presidential poll against France’s two major parties, the Socialist PS and the Center-Right UMP.

In the countries to the north, however, the popularity of the parties opposing the EU subsidization of the southern countries is rising equally spectacularly.

In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers’ money.

In neighboring Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party established last year to oppose eurozone bailouts, is shaking up politics with its astonishing wins in recent state elections.

In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats (SD), opposing both immigration and the EU, won 13% of the vote in last September’s general elections, but their popularity keeps rising. Last week, an SD spokesman said the party is currently expected to win up to 18% of the vote.

All across Europe, the electorate is deeply dissatisfied and disillusioned with both the Conservative and the Social-Democrat parties of the political establishment. Voters no longer see much difference between the traditional political protagonists, who are perceived as imposing an EU agenda that, for various reasons, is seen as bad for the country.

In Europe judging by the polls, political landslides are on the way.

A woman of the people 47

Far from having any objection to luxury, we like it. (Though we maintain that it should be bought with one’s own money, not the tax-payer’s – as for instance Obama’s enormously expensive fund-raising jaunts are.) So when we question the purchase of luxury, it is not from any taste for puritan restraint. The only question with the subject in hand is whether what or whom is bought, is worth the price.

The article we quote from comes, unexpectedly, from the left-leaning Washington Post.

It reveals how a Leftist (ie. a person whose heart purportedly bleeds for the plight of the underdog, and who loudly objects to “the gap between the rich and the poor” ) demonstrates her solidarity with the less-well-off.

The particular hypocrite under the magnifying glass here is Hillary Clinton. The luxury she demands is charged to the incomprehensible people who want to hear her lecture. Her banal speeches, telling listeners nothing of any interest or originality, cost a staggering sum. And the demands being very detailed and pernickety, also take a lot of human energy.

When officials at the University of California at Los Angeles began negotiating a $300,000 speech appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the school had one request: Could we get a reduced rate for public universities?

The answer from Clinton’s representatives: $300,000 is the “special university rate”.

That e-mail exchange and other internal communications, obtained this week by The Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request, provide a rare glimpse into the complex and meticulous backstage efforts to manage the likely 2016 presidential candidate’s lucrative speaking career.

At UCLA, efforts to book Clinton and then prepare for her visit were all-consuming, beginning almost immediately after she left her job as secretary of state on Feb. 1, 2013, until she delivered her Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership speech on March 5, 2014.

The documents show that Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency exerted considerable control over her appearance and managed even the smallest details — from requesting lemon wedges and water on stage to a computer, scanner, and a spread of hummus and crudité in the green room backstage.

Top university officials discussed at length the style and color of the executive armchairs Clinton and moderator Lynn Vavreck would sit in [them?] as they carried on a question-and-answer session, as well as the kind of pillows to be situated on each chair. Clinton’s representatives requested that the chairs be outfitted with two long, rectangular pillows — and that two cushions be kept backstage in case the chair was too deep and she needed additional back support.

After a lengthy call with a Clinton representative, UCLA administrator Patricia Lippert reported to campus colleagues, “She uses a lavalier [microphone] and will both speak from the audience and walk around stage, TED talk style. We need a teleprompter and 2-3 downstage scrolling monitors for her to read from.”

During a walk-through of Royce Hall five days before the lecture, the e-mails show, Clinton’s team rejected the podium planned for her use during her 20- to 30-minute speech, setting off a scramble on campus to find a suitable podium and rent a new university seal to match.

Critics have argued that the carefully staged events and high speaking fees could complicate Clinton’s ability to run a populist campaign built around the economic struggles of the middle class. …

[Her representatives] asked for a case of still water, room temperature, to be deposited stage right. They also asked that “a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer, pitcher of room temperature water, water glass, and lemon wed­ges” be situated both on a table on stage as well as in another room where Clinton would stand for photos with VIPs.

For the green room, Clinton’s representatives requested: “Coffee, tea, room temp sparkling and still water, diet ginger ale, crudité, hummus and sliced fruit.” They also asked for a computer, mouse and printer, as well as a scanner, which the university had to purchase for the occasion.

When university officials decided to award Clinton the UCLA Medal [!- ed], Clinton’s team asked that it be presented to her in a box rather than draped around her neck. That request was sent to the university’s chancellor, Gene Block.

“Chancellor Block has agreed to accommodate Hillary Clinton’s request to have the medal presented in a box,” Assistant Provost Margaret Leal-Sotelo wrote in one e-mail.

Lippert replied: “I can either have the jewelers box open or closed, in case the Chancellor doesn’t want to risk opening it.”

By contract, Clinton’s approval was needed for any promotional materials. Clinton gave permission for the university to record the event, but “for archival purposes only”. For public distribution, Clinton’s speaking agency approved only a two-minute highlight video to upload to YouTube. “Please make sure it is available only for one (1) year from the date of posting,” a Harry Walker Agency official added.

Clinton posed for individual photos with 100 VIPS, or 50 couples — “We get a total of 50 clicks,” one university official explained — as well as two group photos. Lippert wrote to colleagues that Clinton’s representatives wanted the group shots “prestaged,” with participants assembled and ready to take the photographs before Clinton arrived “so the secretary isn’t waiting for these folks to get their act together.” Reiterating the request, Lippert added, “She doesn’t like to stand around waiting for people.” …

Clinton’s [UCLA] appearance was privately funded as part of a lecture series endowed by Meyer Luskin, an investor and president of Scope Industries, a food waste recycling company.

In 2012, former president Bill Clinton delivered the inaugural Luskin lecture at UCLA for $250,000. Upon learning that Hillary Clinton’s fee would be $300,000, Guy Wheatley, a UCLA development official, wrote in an e-mail: “Wow! She get’s $50K more than hubby!”

Luskin told a university official to make sure the event raised at least $100,000. The university sold more tickets — which ranged in price from $250 for one seat to $2,000 for two seats, a photo with Clinton and access to a post-lecture reception with the college deans — and provided fewer free tickets to students. …

On campus, university planners fielded repeated requests for complimentary or reserved tickets — for scholarship students, for donors, for faculty and staff.

Organizers faced criticism that more students could not attend, particularly after an early morning event to allow students to enter a lottery for one of 413 free tickets turned into a shoving match. But students without tickets were able to watch a live stream of the event in an overflow location, Renaud said.

It is a relief to know that not all those who wanted to hear what she had to say were Hillary fans:

Other controversy surrounded Clinton’s visit. When an online survey asked the public what questions should be posed during a 40-minute question-and-answer session, university officials noted in e-mails that the majority of the suggestions were about the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Our guess: Those questions were not put to her.

And here – to provide even more evidence of the lady’s moral tin-ear so to speak – is an extract from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Hillary Rodham Clinton likes to travel in style.

She insists on staying in the “presidential suite” of luxury hotels that she chooses anywhere in the world, including Las Vegas.

She usually requires those who pay her six-figure fees for speeches to also provide a private jet for transportation — only a $39 million, 16-passenger Gulfstream G450 or larger will do.

And she doesn’t travel alone, relying on an entourage of a couple of “travel aides,” and a couple of advance staffers who check out her speech site in the days leading up to her appearance, much like a White House trip

Her lifestyles of the rich and famous ways, and comments that she made about her wealth during a recent book tour, have fueled criticism that she’s out of touch with average Americans.

The Democratic contender said she pays taxes, unlike some people who are “truly well off”.  She also said she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001. In the past eight years alone, the couple has earned more than $100 million, much of it from speaking fees

And for her colossal fee, she expects much and gives little:

“It is agreed that Speaker will be the only person on the stage during her remarks,” according to the May 13 contract the Harry Walker Agency signed for [one of Clinton’s appearances].

According to her standard speaking contract, Clinton will remain at the event no longer than 90 minutes; will pose for no more than 50 photos with no more than 100 people; and won’t allow any press coverage or video- or audio-taping of her speech.

The only record allowed will be made by a stenographer whose transcription will be given only to Clinton. The stenographer’s $1,250 bill, however, will go to the [institution hiring her].

The [institution] … is prohibited from advertising the event on radio, TV or billboards. Mail and website ads are allowed, although Clinton staffers must approve in writing any promotional material. …

Clinton’s contract allows her to invite up to 20 guests [to a dinner accompanying the speaking engagement], including her staff, and have them sit together to be able to join the photo line.

None of the photos can be made public.

“The Sponsor is also required to communicate to the photo line attendees that the photo is for private, personal use only and that the photo cannot be used in any way to imply any kind of endorsement of an entity, individual, product or service,” the contract says.

“Any use of the photo that suggests or implies any such endorsement is forbidden.” …

Demands in the standard Clinton contract include (in addition to her own round-trip flights “on a chartered private jet e.g., a Gulfstream 450 or larger”), business class travel (a small concession here) for two advance staffers; hotel accommodation selected by Clinton’s staff (in addition to the “presidential suite” for herself), of “up to three adjoining or contiguous single rooms for her travel aides and up to two additional single rooms for the advance staff”; “a $500 travel stipend to cover out-of-pocket costs for Clinton’s lead travel aide”; and “meals and incidentals for Clinton, her travel aides and advance staff, as well as all phone charges”.

It amounts to a lot. Hillary Clinton is very expensive to hire.

But has she ever said anything worth paying a cent for? 

To Democrats that is probably an irrelevant question. Whatever Democratic Party pablum she regurgitates, or doesn’t, adds or subtracts not a jot to or from her value to those who want to hear her.

To quote her only famous – and infamous – line: “What difference does it make?”  

Posted under Progressivism, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 29, 2014

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Muslim Britain 3

Britain is becoming a Muslim country.

An American conservative writer, Bethany Blankley, recently told this story of her visit to the (still) United Kingdom.

As an American Anglophile who lived in London in 1995 and in Edinburgh ten years later, I was greatly dismayed to witness how much the U.K. has changed for the worse during my recent trip to London shortly after Remembrance Day.

The highlight of my trip was to see the 888, 246 poppies and pay tribute to those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose faces adorned small crosses lining the pavement alongside Westminster Abby. With [the TV series] Peaky Blinders’ season two finale still fresh on my mind, I couldn’t help but recognize the striking differences and similarities between 1914 and 2014 Britain.

Peaky Blinders, set in circa 1920 Birmingham, portrays a primarily white protestant and catholic community hit hard by the Great War.

2014 Birmingham bears no resemblance as Muslim children outnumber Christian [read “indigenous”] children by double. The same is true for other cities throughout the UK: Bradford, Leicester, Luton in Bedfordshire, Slough in Berkshire, and the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets, where nearly to-thirds of children are Islamic.

Additionally, over the last decade Muslim immigrants and converts have more than doubled in the UK. … More than 5,000 Brits convert to Islam each year in the UK. Muslim births outnumber non-Muslim births in some areas by 8:1, keeping in line with the Hadith, “Marry, for I will outnumber peoples by you.”

By 2050 (some argue within ten years), the UK will be a majority Muslim nation.

It is worth following that link. It gives chilling information from the Census Bureau.

In Europe, the majority of Muslims are on welfare. In the UK, The Sun recently exposed Imam Anjem Choudary and others, urging Muslims to claim unemployment to have more time to plan jihad against non-Muslims. Exploiting the welfare system is justifiable because [he said:], “The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-believer]. You work, give us the money.” 

The irony here is that the original reason – or excuse – for the importation of unlimited numbers of immigrants from Islamic countries into Britain (and into all western European countries), was that they were needed as a work force. The indigenous population was reproducing at too low a rate to sustain the welfare state. None of this was at any time explained to the general public. The media did not do their job and provide the information. Either they were complicit with the bureaucracy in concealing these facts, or the bureaucracy successfully kept it even from them.

Ever more people on welfare, and still a shrinking work force – surely a guaranteed formula for bankruptcy?

Increased Muslim populations is directly linked to increased crime. Muslims control the prisons and are actively seeking to destroy democracy by creating “no-go zones” within de facto Shari’a judicial systems, organized under the Islamic Sharia Council.

Only a few years ago, on July 7, 2011, exactly six years after the London Tube Bombings (when Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured 800 others), the Islamic Emirates Project was launched. It seeks to transform Muslim communities (specifically twelve British cities) into independent areas operating solely under Shari’a law, and it is succeeding.

In one strategy document they state, “The Only Identity for Muslims is Islam … In no shape or form can a Muslim support any form of nationalism such as promoting Britishness.”

Yet, the UK continues to welcome with open arms boatloads of Trojan horses onto its shores and its people live in willful denial, like their former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who sold engines to Germany that were later used by German planes to blitzkrieg London.

I recently spoke to a self-identifying Christian who seeks to encourage British Christians involvement in British politics. I asked him about Britain’s most serious threat: Islam and immigration. With a straight face and serious demeanor, he told me extremists like Jihad John who had just decapitated another white Christian American humanitarian aid and ex-Army ranger, represent a minority of British Muslims who are “actually peaceful”.

He is not alone. Every Brit I spoke to, from tour guide to hotel staff to airport supervisor to commuter, expressed the sentiment that “Islam is a peaceful religion”.

Such sentiment could not be more ironic as Britain is honoring its war dead during the 100-year anniversary of the Great War. Only Winston Churchill sounded the alarm bells in 1935 when Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles and began militarizing and taking land, with the support of 99 percent of German voters.

In 1936, Hitler began a skillful “Diplomatic Revolution”, negotiating with European countries, publicly expressing his desire for “peace”. Muslims today are propagating the same lie through Qur’an sanctioned deceit known as Taqqiya.

A similar strategy to Hitler’s has been implemented throughout Britain and its government and law enforcement are turning a blind eye.

Like Hitler’s militarization— Muslim Patrols are replacing British police, walking the streets harassing non-Muslims shouting, “this is a Muslim area”.

Muslims ignore British civil and criminal laws, enforcing violence against women and children. Child prostitution, rape, forced marriage, abuse, and genital mutilation are all Qur’an sanctioned.

Muslim leaders like Mohammed Shahid Akhtar, Imam of Birmingham’s Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif Mosque, argue child marriage must be enforced. Upon learning a teenager did not want to be married he said, “She’s 14. By Sharia, grace of Allah, she’s legal to get married.” Likewise, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, explains men who rape their wives should not be prosecuted because “sex is part of marriage”.

In Oxfordshire, where I visited Churchill’s grave, a pedophile ring went unreported by a social worker and police for at least ten years. These public officials knew a sex trafficking ring of nearly 2,000 children existed in their jurisdiction, perpetrating rape of girls as young as 11, drugging and holding them against their will in care homes (public housing) and later forcing many to have abortions.

Yet public officials did nothing because they didn’t want to be labeled as “racist” or “Islamaphobic” because all perpetrators were Muslim men.

Likewise, the Birmingham City Council suppressed information for 23 years of a sex trafficking operation targeting children specifically linked to Muslim cab drivers.

Like Hitler’s indoctrination of school children, Muslims are doing the same. For example, in 13 Birmingham public schools children are being taught “Christians lie” …

Christians as Christians do lie, of course, but so do Muslims as Muslims

… and “wives must have sex or go to hell”.  Non-Muslim parents’ concerns have been ignored and the Department of Education Superintendent insists the Islamization of its school system “is not a police matter”.

But it surely is a Department of Education matter.

Numerous examples of Muslim violence exist in the UK, and Europe. France, followed by the Netherlands and Belgium, have the largest percentage of Muslims in the EU, with over 25 percent living in major metropolitan areas, all of which are experiencing unprecedented levels of crime. Europe’s Muslim population is projected to exceed 58 million by 2030.

These facts are no small matter. The Brits I spoke to claimed Muslim extremists are only a small percentage and that British Muslims account for less than 25 percent of their population. But in 1936, nearly 6 million Germans were members of the Nazi party— representing only 7 percent of the German population. That 7 percent caused more than 50 million deaths by 1945.

There is little time and much at stake. …

British citizens must demand their political and legal systems eliminate Shari’a councils …  and oppose the police department’s inane attempt to become “culturally diverse” by hiring convicted criminals instead of prioritizing curtailing crime.

That’s another link worth following. Astoundingly, it is true. The police in Britain are hiring criminals. Foxes to guard the chicken coops.

It seems that terror of being labeled “racist’ has driven the British police force mad.

My grandfathers and their brothers and the millions of British war dead did not fight for democratic freedoms to be replaced by Shari’a law. Either rule of law matters or it doesn’t. The European Court of Human Rights ruled more than once that Shar’ia law is “incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society”, and opposes the “values embodied in the Geneva Convention”.

100 years after the Great War Europeans and Americans do not need appeasement or denial. They need leaders like Churchill, Thatcher, or Reagan, who steadfastly name and fight evil. For them evil was Nazism or Communism.

Today evil is Islam.

Posted under Britain, Commentary, Demography, Europe, immigration, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 28, 2014

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We give thanks – to you 4

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On this Thanksgiving day, November 27, 2014, we at The Atheist Conservative thank our readers and commenters – especially our frequent commenters – for helping so vitally to make our online magazine of analytical opinion the success that it is.

We extend our thanks also to our occasional visitors and even to our (more indulgent) critics.

The greater part of the value of our site results from your interest in it, your contributions to it, your sympathetic and corrective views.

Thank you for the links you send us, the knowledge you give us, the works you tell us about, the ideas you stimulate us with, the anecdotes you enthrall us with.

Feast, drink deep, be merry!

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We drink to your good health, happiness with much laughter, and enduring liberty.

Posted under Miscellaneous, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 27, 2014

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The US pays Iran to pretend to negotiate 4

There is no deal, and the evidence suggests there isn’t going to be one.

Michael Ledeen writes at the Weekly Standard:

He did it again, as we should have expected.  Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei walked us right up to the finish line, spat on us, and walked away. Months and months of secret and public talks, letters, back channels, and gestures produced nothing of the sort the president, assorted foreign ministers, pundits, and politicians had been predicting. Instead we are to keep talking, and keep paying the Islamic Republic for the pleasure and privilege.

It’s not Barack Obama’s unique failure; the same thing happened to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both of them came to believe they had a deal with Khamenei, and both of them were rudely disabused of their error when the Iranians walked away. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was so sure it was a done deal, and so intent on getting it signed and sealed, that she issued three hundred visas over a single weekend in September 2006, for passengers to travel on Ali Larijani’s plane to New York for a signing ceremony at the UN.  She then flew to New York to await the Persians. But Larijani’s plane sat on the tarmac in Tehran, and neither he nor the 300 ever came. …

The basic conclusion: Khamenei does not want a deal with the United States (aka “The Great Satan”). Obama has been pursuing a strategic alliance with Iran since 2008, well before his inauguration and even before his election. During the election campaign he quietly dispatched retired Ambassador William Miller to Tehran to inform the mullahs that a new era in Iranian-American relations was about to begin, and the “dialogue” between Washington and Tehran has continued for more than six years.  No sensible person doubts Obama’s willingness to be generous to the Iranians.

His “willingness to be generous to the Iranians”? We would say his longing to give them everything they want, including – or above all – the capacity to destroy Israel.  

And if the US itself were to be attacked by a nuclear-armed Iran, is Obama more likely to hit it back or try to appease it?

 Any lingering skepticism should be definitively eliminated by the latest “extension,” which reportedly bestows $700 million on Khamenei every month for continuing to talk.

So Iran is not continuing to seem to negotiate only in order to buy time to become a nuclear-armed power. It is also being paid to seem to do so by the US!

Khamenei could certainly have had a very good deal if he wanted it. If he didn’t take one, it’s because he doesn’t want it.

Why? Because it’s all about core convictions: he hates us, and he doesn’t want to go down — possibly quite soon, if reports of the gravity of his prostate cancer are accurate — as the ayatollah who came to terms with Satan.

Moreover, he doesn’t need to get in bed with the devil in order to achieve his basic objectives. The interim agreement gives him plenty of nuclear wiggle room, as we see from the rude treatment of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.  They insisted on visiting the suspected nuclear facilities at Parchin, the Iranians told them to go to hell, and nothing happened.

On the sanctions front, Khamenei certainly hates them, but he’s grinding down their enforcement, finding myriad ways to avoid them, and getting cash money in the bargain.

On the battlefield, he’s doing quite well, thanks in no small part to American cooperation in support of his (and his Russian ally’s) prime regional objective, namely the survival of the Assad regime in Syria. …

And the new Iraqi government leaders, whom we purport to trust and support, zipped off to Tehran within days of taking office. …

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that Zarif and Rouhani convinced Khamenei to approve the talkathon with The Great Satan because they had understood that Iran could get most anything it wanted from Obama.  I don’t think they were dragged to the negotiating table by “biting sanctions”, even though the sanctions hurt the Iranian people and sensitive parts of the economy.

Their nuclear activity has increased as sanctions tightened, and Iranian military activity in Iraq and Syria is mounting. These matter much more to Khamenei than a chicken shortage in the markets.

Posted under Commentary, Iran, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Kerry lies about negotiations with Iran 2

Yet more lies from the Obama administration.

Kerry said on Monday, November 24, in Vienna – the “deadline” for the negotiations with Iran over it’s nuclear program:

I would say to those who are skeptical. Those who wonder whether we should rush ahead down a different course. I believe the United States and our partners have earned the benefit of the doubt at this point. Many were quick to say that the Joint Plan of Action would be violated; it wouldn’t hold up; it would be shredded. Many said that Iran would not hold up its end of the bargain. Many said that the sanctions regime would collapse. But guess what? The interim agreement wasn’t violated. Iran has held up its end of the bargain. And the sanctions regime has remained intact.

He lied.

The following is by Omri Ceren from The Israel Project:

Violations of Nuclear Restrictions – Advanced Centrifuges

Under the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), Iran had committed to freeze its centrifuge activities at Natanz. Nevertheless, the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report noted that Iran was feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into it’s IR-5 centrifuges at Natanz.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, said Iran considered the activities Research and Development (R & D) and said that it would continue feeding UF6 into its advanced centrifuges.

Violations of Nuclear Restrictions – Uranium Stockpiling

While Iran is allowed to continue enriching uranium to 5% under the JPA, it is not allowed to  increase its overall stockpile of uranium during the JPA period. The IAEA’s report, released earlier this month, however, notes that Iran’s stockpile of LEU “has grown by 8 percent to nearly 8.4 tonnes in about two months.”

With the advanced IR-5 centrifuges that Iran continues to test, low-enrichment uranium (LEU) could easily be enriched up to 90%, making it usable for nuclear weapons. 

Violations of Sanctions Restrictions – Oil Export Caps

The IEA reported this spring that Iranian crude exports were far exceeding the 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by the P5+1* as a key condition for the JPA. In reality, Iran was exporting more than 1.65 million barrels per day. While administration officials insisted that, on average, Iranian exports would remain around 1 million barrels per day, shipments of oil and condensate continued to increase throughout the summer.

Even though Asian importers bought less Iranian crude in October, shipments were still above the 1 million barrel per day limit, violating Iran’s JPA commitments.

 

*P5+1 = the five permanent members of the UN security Council (US, UK, France, Russia, China) plus Germany.

Posted under Commentary, Diplomacy, Iran, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 24, 2014

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How much would would a would Chuck chuck? 8

So Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has been chucked.

It will be called a resignation, but that’s the usual lie to save the pride of anyone chucked out of office.

What would he have done to offend the Obama gang? Why would he be chucked in the midst of a small war against the Islamic State?

Although a self-styled Republican, Chuck Hagel seemed tailor-made to serve in Obama’s cowering cabinet.

We repeat from a part of our post, Four men, four years – to disable America? (January 11, 2013), this quotation about Chuck Hagel from Front Page, by Joseph Klein:

Hagel … has espoused a deep kinship with the radical anti-war Left, advocated reckless foreign policy positions such as direct talks with terrorists and their leading sponsor, Iran, and demonstrated a nasty hostility to Israel …  To have this kind of individual serving as the head of the U.S. Defense Department is to severely jeopardize the security interests of the U.S., our ally Israel and the rest of the free world.

In August 2006, Hagel joined only eleven other senators in refusing to write the European Union asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. …

We are facing the prospect of a Secretary of Defense who goes out of his way to antagonize our only true ally in the Middle East and who cannot bring himself to treat Hamas and Hezbollah as the terrorist enemies of all freedom-loving countries that they surely are.

Hagel … is caught in the time warp of the Vietnam syndrome, the national defense paralysis that stemmed from what Ronald Reagan once described as “feelings of guilt as if we were doing something shameful”. … 

How would Chuck Hagel’s case of the Vietnam syndrome play out in his dealing as Secretary of Defense with the Iranian nuclear threat? In one word, appeasement. Like Obama, Hagel has called for “unconditional” talks with Iran. … He has opposed economic sanctions … He was one of two senators to oppose the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act in 2001. In 2008, Hagel was reported to have been “solely responsible” for blocking a bill that would have tightened economic sanctions in Iran …

Hagel appears willing to accept a nuclear-armed Iran as a fact of life that we will just have to learn to live with. … Hagel also thinks that the United States should offer to back off any declaratory support for regime change in Iran. While in the Senate, [he] even voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. …

Before President Obama officially announced his nomination of Chuck Hagel for the position of Secretary of Defense and John Brennan for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Obama said that protecting the security of the American people was his number one priority. …

Our comment was:

Protecting the American people from what? From their own Constitution? From liberty?

There is nothing to regret about this man’s departure from office. There would be nothing to regret about the departure from office of anyone in the Obama administration. The going of the entire gang would be cause for the wildest national celebration.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 24, 2014

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The French pandemonium 4

Today we post under Pages (listed at the top of our margin) the next essay in the series by Jillian Becker titled The Darkness of This World (Part Two).

The title of the new essay is The French Pandemonium (One).

It continues a discussion of the Romantic movement which – the series argues – arises from the same need in the human psyche that requires religion. In France, the most influential poets, novelists, essayists and philosophers have been those who have cultivated rebellion against what they call “bourgeois society”. Some of the most eminent of them bluntly declare that their rebellion is a choice of Evil.

Of course not all the French writers of the post-Enlightenment centuries have been Romantics or conscious advocates of Evil. But those who “chose Evil” stoked the fires of destructive rebellion in generations of European intellectuals and have had by far the greater effect on history. In the twentieth century they became so popular and powerful that they helped create the New Left; incited seasons of violent protest demonstrations on city streets throughout Europe and even on other continents; inspired the formation of European terrorist gangs; and implanted their anti-civilization ideology as a new dogma in schools and academies throughout the Western world, including America. As the series continues it will explain how the anti-Americanism of the Left, even in America itself, springs from the European intellectual movement against our civilization.

Here is the first part of the essay:

A pandemonium is a gathering of all the demons or devils. Devils are expected to be noisy, so the word has come to mean a deafening cacophony of shrieking voices.

What the voices of this pandemonium clamor for, is “Evil”. It is not an insult to call them demons; it is an acknowledgment of their choice. They choose Evil, they call for Evil, they acclaim Evil, they are for Evil.

And what are they against? They are against What Is. They are against our civilization. They are against the bourgeois, whom they hold responsible for everything that’s wrong with our civilization: free enterprise industrialization; liberal democracy; parliamentarianism; conservatism.

It was in France that the clamor was loudest among certain poets and novelists and philosophers to épater le bourgeois – shock the bourgeoisin the nineteenth century, reaching a crescendo between the world wars of the twentieth century, rising again after the end of the second. A racket of foaming hate; a literary hue and cry after the middle-class citizen.

As you may have noticed, the bourgeoisie is, in fact, the all-achieving class. Almost everything of value since the Enlightenment, including the Enlightenment itself, has issued from the middle-class; every invention, every discovery, every advance, with so few exceptions they can be counted on a few of your fingers. But to the demons of poetry and philosophy and revolution, the bourgeois was everything that was wrong with Life: the bourgeois with his politesse, his prudence, his order and cleanliness, his comfortable house, his good-quality clothes, his well-stocked larder, his prosperity, his faithfulness to duty, his thrifty habits … “No, no,” the scornful voices yell, interrupting me. “Its not just that, it’s … it’s … it’s his complacency, his bad taste, his narrow-mindedness, his privilege, his exploitation of underdogs, his obsession with material things – and his stupid sexual inhibition. Those, don’t you see, are the unbearable traits that make him a worthy target of our artistic fury. He does not, cannot feel as we do. Down with him! Grind him into the dust! ”

But it is the againstness itself that characterizes the demons. If every one of those despicable things about the bourgeois were overcome or destroyed (as every one of them was in Communist Russia), and civilization wholly laid to waste, the urge would rage on, its hunger unappeased, hunting its everlasting prey: What Is. To them, as to the Gnostics of old, everything that is here is bad; the good lies beyond.

Whatever words have been used to describe the Paris fashions in scorn – modernism, post-modernism, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction – they are all expressions of rebellion. To be a rebel is to be heroic. Despised and rejected by the bourgeois herd, the rebel is a martyr to his deep passion for art, his higher vision of a better world.

To protest against the bourgeois idea of what is good, the demons advocated doing whatever the bourgeois considered evil. They placed themselves in a French counter-tradition, a line that runs from Rousseau with his belief in the primacy of feeling and sentiment, through Robespierre with his Terror, the Marquis de Sade with his penchant for sexual torture, the nineteenth century poets Charles Baudelaire with his Flowers of Evil and Arthur Rimbaud with his Season in Hell, and on through the intellectual trend-setters – whom we will come to – of twentieth century French literature and their continuing effects. There are still reigning French demons in the twenty-first century. It is a dynasty of the defiant. …

You can find all of it here.

The sheriff’s tale 7

Sheriff Scott Jones of Sacramento County, California, sends a sensible, temperate, but urgently important video message to President Obama about immigration reform:

Posted under Crime, immigration, Law, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 22, 2014

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The pusillanimous party 8

Demonstrating how it is only the lesser of two evils, the Republican Party, so recently energized and savvy enough to win big in the elections, is lying back on it’s “go along to get along” couch. Or at least a significant section of it is.

President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration hasn’t even been issued yet, and already congressional Republicans are desperately trying to come up with reasons why they’re powerless to do anything about it.

We quote from the Federalist by Sean Davis (via Watchdog Community):

It would be “impossible to defund President Obama’s executive order through a government spending bill”, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said Thursday. …

We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely-fee funded. As of right now, our understanding is the primary agency responsible for implementing any type of executive order is CIS and we don’t fund CIS. There are no appropriated dollars.

That is absolute nonsense. The notion that Congress can turn on a money spigot but is banned from turning it off is nonsense. And the worst part is that it’s willful nonsense. There is simply no law whatsoever that says that the House is only allowed to X and Y but not Z on an appropriations bill.

Now why would appropriators be so invested in pushing something completely false about the Congressional power of the purse? Easy. They don’t want another defund/shutdown fight. I get that. I understand that a lot of Republicans think the 2013 shutdown seriously hurt the long-term interests of the party. I don’t agree with it, but I understand that concern. But what’s happening right now is that rather than just saying, “We don’t want another defund/shutdown fight,” appropriators are dishonestly pretending that even if they wanted one, it’s impossible. Which is balderdash.

The excuse they’re trying to make is that because the USCIS, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is funded primarily by mandatory, rather than discretionary spending, they have no way to whack it with an annual appropriations bill. …

It’s a clever little argument. Completely wrong, but clever. What these appropriators want you to believe is that “not subject to annual appropriations” and “cannot be changed via an appropriations bill” are synonymous. They’re not. …

The only thing that differentiates mandatory and discretionary spending is how often each must be re-authorized. Every single dollar spent by the federal government must be first appropriated by Congress.

Just because some spending is not subject to annual appropriation doesn’t mean it’s not subject to appropriation at all. Congress can’t block Obama’s executive order by shutting down the government, but it most certainly can defund it by law.

Congress adds riders and prohibitions to appropriations bills all the time. Why? Because it can. That’s kind of the whole purpose of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution:

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.

And from that power of the purse come the most powerful words in federal law. [Congress can say:] “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds shall be appropriated or otherwise made available for ______.”

That’s it. That’s literally all it takes. …

Republicans can add defunding language to any bill whenever they so choose.

The issue is not that they can’t use the power of the purse to block Obama’s lawless power grab. The issue is that they don’t want to. The real shame is that they can’t even be honest about that.

Posted under immigration, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 21, 2014

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