The pusillanimous party 7

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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Choosing evil 6

At UC Berkeley, students are content to let the flag of ISIS be waved on their campus, and some even wish the flag-waver “Welcome!” and “Good luck!”.

When he switches to an Israeli flag, students shriek fury at him.

Posted under education, Islam, Israel, jihad, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Race to the top 7

How much worse race relations have become since Barack Obama was elected (ludicrously) to the presidency. Of course he got elected because a great many whites voted for him for no better reason than that he is black. A totally racist reason. So the signs for the elimination of race as a divisive political issue were not good.

It was a very poor reason to vote for him, his skin color. In no way did he, although a black American, embody the experience and historical consciousness of most black Americans. Through his paternal line he is a member of the Luo tribe of East Africa. His (Muslim and Communist) Luo father was not even an immigrant in America, only a short-stay student visitor. So if some thought a vote for Obama was a vote to make amends to black Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors, they widely missed the mark.

In two of his columns syndicated today, Thomas Sowell deplores the latest measures Obama is taking to stress and exploit racial differences.

First he writes against a policy being implemented in Minneapolis to privilege black delinquent children by giving them lighter punishment than white children who commit the same offenses:

If anyone still has any doubt about the utter cynicism of the Obama administration, a recent agreement between the federal government and the Minneapolis Public Schools should open their eyes.

Under the Obama administration, both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have been leaning on public schools around the country to reduce what they call the “disproportionate” numbers of black male students who are punished for various offenses in schools.

Under an implicit threat of losing their federal subsidies, the Minneapolis Public Schools have agreed to reduce the disparity in punishment of black students by 25% by the end of this school year, and then by 50%, 75% and finally 100% in each of the following years.

In other words, there are now racial quota limits for punishment in the Minneapolis schools.

If we stop and think — as old-fashioned as that may seem — there is not the slightest reason to expect black males to commit the same number of offenses as Asian females or any other set of students.

When different groups of human beings have behaved differently in all sorts of ways, in countries around the world, for thousands of years of recorded history, why would we accept as dogma that the only reason one set of students gets punished more than others is because the people who are doing the punishing are picking on them?

Politically — which is the way the Obama administration looks at everything — any time they can depict blacks as victims, and depict themselves as their rescuers, that means an opportunity to get out the black vote for Democrats.

On the surface, this may look like a favor to blacks. But only on the surface.

Anyone with common sense knows that letting a kid get away with bad behavior is an open invitation to worse behavior in the future. Punishing a kid for misbehavior in school when he is 10 years old may reduce the chances that he will have to be sent to prison when he is 20 years old.

Other schools in other cities, which have also caved under pressure from the federal government, and agreed to lighten up on black kids who misbehave, have reported an increase in misbehavior, including violence. Who would have thought otherwise?

Letting kids who are behavior problems in schools grow up to become hoodlums and then criminals is no favor to them or to the black community. Moreover, it takes no more than a small fraction of troublemakers in a class to make it impossible to give that class a decent education. And for many poor people, whether black or white, education is their one big chance to escape poverty.

Next, Sowell writes about the absurd policy of enforcing “racial quotas for academic performance” in public schools:

Just as school boards across the country scramble to meet new federal limits for punishing black students, Obama’s educrats now want them to hit racial quotas for academic performance, too.

Last month, slipping almost everybody’s notice, the Education Department’s office for civil rights issued a guidance letter to 14,000 local school districts that expands “racial equity” beyond school discipline into virtually every aspect of public education.

Breathtaking in its scope, the 37-page edict warns school boards that they have to reach the same equity, based on “disparate impact” statistics, in:

1) advanced placement courses;

2) gifted and talented programs;

3) distribution of funds;

4) school facilities;

5) technology; and,

6) teacher talent, experience and diversity.

Those who don’t get their numbers right risk forfeiting federal funding and being investigated for discrimination. It doesn’t matter if school policies provide black students equal access to fast-track programs and resources. Or if standards are color-blind.

If disproportionate numbers of African-Americans don’t avail themselves of those policies, schools can expect a visit from Obama’s diversity cops. …

From now on, racial imbalances in “advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses, gifted and talent programs” and other honors programs will be flagged by Obama’s racial bean counters. If your school has “too many” whites and Asians and “too few” blacks in those programs, you might want to lawyer up. …

Of course, most boards will not want to fight Washington and risk losing subsidies. So they’ll more than likely work to get their numbers right — even if it means lowering entrance standards and curving test scores.

Liability does not end there. The Obama regime also sees as racist disparities in the quality of facilities, resources and teachers. …

It blames these allegedly discriminatory disparities for lower black graduation rates. …

School districts that show statistical disparities by race will be aggressively investigated under the administration’s unconstitutional disparate impact theory and “be expected to put in place a clear plan for remedying the inequality in a timely fashion.” …

In effect, activist federal bureaucrats are micromanaging all local school decisions now, with the goal of massive redistribution of resources and outcomes.

The best way to ensure underprivileged kids have access to quality education is to give their parents better options through school choice facilitated by education vouchers. But Democrats and their school union donors fight such common-sense solutions and opt for race-baiting instead.

The incoming GOP majority in Congress ought to demand the administration rescind its draconian new school policy guidance.

Nowhere at this time is the result of Obama’s racist policies more starkly apparent than in Ferguson, Missouri.

Obama made an unscheduled visit to the black leaders of recent protest riots there and told them to “Stay on course”.

Seems they will.

Kerry Picket writes at Breitbart:

Protesters anxiously awaiting the St. Louis grand jury decision relating to the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown have been training activists all weekend in preparation for the day the grand jury makes an announcement about whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for Brown’s death.

Regardless of the verdict, then, “activists” will protest.

In a small room located on South Jefferson Avenue … organizers like Rev. Osagyefo Sekou are instructing groups of individuals about tactics relating to resisting police commandsduring demonstrations. Sekou is a St. Louis native who grew up in the area but now lives in Massachusetts.

He’s come to Ferguson specially for the sport.

Topics covered by organizers like Sekou … included decentralized protest actions, jail support, first aid, legal issues, as well as staying safe on the streets during demonstrations. …

Sekou says to the group, “Our task in part is, in addition to all the information is get a sense as to why we are here. We are part of the guiding principles for this movement. It’s militant non-violent civil disobedience. Can you please say that?”

Attendees respond, “Militant non-violent civil disobedience.”

“Militant” but also “non-violent”?

Sekou continues, “And we use the word ‘militant’ as opposed to the word ‘passive’ non-violent civil disobedience, because we are about a direct encounter with the state to create drama to show that we are willing to take a risk in confronting the state because of injustice. Right?”

Attendees reply, “Right.”

The injustice is accepted as a fact.

“We break unjust laws, because it’s the morally right thing to do. That’s why we do it. And there’s a tradition of that,” Sekou says to the group of mainly white attendees – many who are at least 50 years old.

Elderly whites will be breaking the law to create drama to show that they’re willing to take a risk in confronting the state. If they do, there will be no outcry from the media. It’s not as if these were members of the Tea Party.

“And militant non-violent civil disobedience gave us the 8 hour work day. It gave us women’s right to vote. It gave us the possibility of me standing here in this room with you without the relative fear of arbitrary violence because this meeting would have been historically illegal 50 years ago. That’s what militant non-violent civil disobedience gave us.  We are angry, but we will not allow the anger to have the last word,” says Sekou as the protesters-in-training answered him positively with rousing congregational “yeahs” after each sentence.

“So what militant non-violent civil disobedience allows us to do is to create a container that we can channel it directly at the state, because this is not about bad apples. This is about a rotten system,” Sekou tells the trainees.

“Because you can be a good cop who doesn’t shoot black people but if you give out more tickets in Ferguson than there are actually people in Ferguson, that’s an evil system.”

Sekou then starts, “So we are confronting an…”

The audience finishes his sentence stating back to him, “Evil system.”

He continues, “[This is] not about an individual police or about individuals. This is about confronting an evil system. And the thing that guides us is love — not the kind of love that you see somebody and you think they’re cute — not that — [but rather] deep abiding love. Say that.”

Attendees responded, “Deep abiding love.”

“That’s what guides us, because deep abiding love says you’re willing to go to jail for what you believe in. Deep abiding love says you’re willing to risk your life for what you believe in,” Sekou says. “That’s what deep abiding love does. Deep abiding love in the front of tanks and tear gas and pepper spray says you will not bow down.” …

At this point some attendees are asked to participate in an exercise involving locking arms while others play the police vociferously demanding they leave the area.

Sekou asks those who are locking arms how they felt after that experience.

“Did you tense up? In those instances what’s the guiding principles?”

They reply, “Deep abiding love.”

“So when you feel the person next to you, you hold the line. You hold the line. One of the toughest things to do is if you are being advanced upon, if you sit, it’s harder for you to be broken up, right? So as they come for you this time, I want you to sit and lock,” he says.

The topic of race came up briefly as Sekou points out, “Look at all these white folks putting their bodies on the line for black people, because this is not a separate struggle. It is one struggle.”

Another organizer, later in the training, tells the group there is indeed “mostly white folks here.”

The sort of white folks who approve of Obama no matter what he does because he is black. Racist white folks.

New DOJ boss same as the old DOJ boss? 1

Under Attorney General Eric Holder the Department of Justice became an agency for enforcing discrimination against whites and patronizing blacks.

His probable successor is Loretta Lynch. Will she perpetuate Holder’s outrageously unjust policies, or will she try to use it for the purpose it was established for?

We quote from an article by J. Christian Adams at PJ Media (via Watchdog Community – a site we recommend to our readers):

The nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general is a deft political decision by President Obama. Lynch’s nomination satisfies the racial interest groups yet doesn’t carry the toxic record that other possible nominees carried. … [and so] provides the false promise [that] the Justice Department may improve once Holder is gone.

That hope ignores the fact that Holder, while lawless as can be, was the symptom of an institutional problem when progressives wield power at the most powerful federal department. Holder may go, but hundreds who think just like him will still be managing affairs …

It’s worth noting one good thing about Lynch. She is coming from a United States attorney’s office. … [Her]  most beneficial qualification is being an outsider in an era where the DOJ insiders have turned the department into a plaything to appease the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party. Her experience as a two-time U.S. attorney is the one bright spot in her nomination.

That’s where the good news about Lynch ends.

Most notably, she seems to be a devotee of the fable that Jim Crow is coming back, and that laws designed to ensure election integrity are really a plot to disenfranchise minorities. She specifically attacked voter identification laws. She called them an effort “to take back” what Martin Luther King had won.

Opposition to voter ID is designed to scare minority voters and help Democrats win turnout wars.

Her misplaced opposition to voter ID portends a broader problem. The department under Holder has undertaken racially selective law enforcement. While DOJ officials bluster about criminal civil rights cases that never happen, such as against George Zimmerman and in Ferguson, they brazenly refuse to prosecute civil rights cases when white victims are subject to racially motivated violence. Incident after incident after incident has occurred in the last few years, and Matt Drudge routinely catalogs them at the Drudge Report.

A single prosecution of these cases, nay, even an investigation, would deflate Holder’s critics, myself included. But these cases have not been prosecuted under Holder because the prosecutors oppose using civil rights laws to protect white victims of hate crimes. Holder even said so himself in congressional testimony – saying that hate crime laws are designed to protect traditional racial minorities.

That’s code for, if you aren’t one of “his people” the law won’t protect you. …

Will Lynch commit to keeping quiet about DOJ investigations, or will she stoke racial division, as Eric Holder did in Ferguson?

The Senate should bore into Lynch’s views on the same, and hard. There are plenty of skilled questioners on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Armed with the list of racially motivated attacks over the last few years, they should extract a commitment from her that she will break with Holder’s racially selective law enforcement.

Exhibit One can be the inspector general’s report on the Justice Department Civil Rights Division which documents the pervasive opposition at all levels to racially neutral enforcement of civil rights laws.  Ask Lynch if she will implement the changes to hiring practices that former Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez refused to implement – namely hiring people other than ideological progressives to serve as lawyers.

Senators might also ask Lynch if she thinks blacks are less sophisticated voters than whites. After all, that’s what a paid Justice Department expert testified to in the attack on Texas voter identification laws. Does Lynch think it is appropriate for hundreds of thousands of dollars to line the pockets of hired DOJ experts who espouse such segregationist-style nonsense?

Senators might also ask Lynch if she has the spine to tell a president that he can’t simply suspend immigration laws by fiat. Or, does she believe he can?

Will Lynch’s on-the-ground understanding of the threats of Islamic terror in New York cause her to reassess the department’s queer biases? For example, will the department continue to employ lawyers in sensitive national security positions advising on terror policy when they represented Islamic terrorists at GITMO before coming to DOJ?

Some might rejoice at Holder’s departure, assuming a clean slate means a new approach. Beware. The Justice Department has suffered the same type of fundamental transformation the president promised for the country. Without stiff and sophisticated congressional oversight, Lynch may be Eric Holder 2.0.

Posted under Commentary, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Sauce for the Israeli goose … 4

… is not the same for the Coalition gander.

General Dempsey reported on Israel’s extraordinary efforts to avoid harming civilians.

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told an audience in New York that he believed the Israel Defense Force went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in this past summer’s military conflict in Gaza.

The military leader was speaking to the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

In addition to praising the IDF’s efforts to limit civilian casualties, Dempsey also said that the Pentagon sent a team to Israel to see what lessons could be learned from the IDF’s expertise during Operation Protective Edge. This included observing the measures taken by the IDF to prevent civilian casualties and the way in which the Israeli military dealt with the terror tunnels.

The reason this is such extraordinary news is that Israel was criticized harshly and repeatedly for failing to prevent the heavy loss of civilian life during the conflict, which saw more than a thousand Gazans die, including many civilians and children. Various human rights entities accused and continue to accuse Israel of committing war crimes. Even the White House and State Department repeatedly claimed Israel failed to do enough to prevent civilian casualties.

But when asked to address the alleged “callous indifference” by Israel to the extensive damage and civilian deaths, Dempsey told the audience that he thought the IDF “did what they could” to avoid civilian casualties.

“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey told the group. “In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added.

Dempsey said Hamas had turned Gaza into “very nearly a subterranean society” with tunneling throughout the coastal enclave.

“That caused the IDF some significant challenges. But they did some extraordinary things to try and limit civilian casualties,” Dempsey said, which included “making it known that they were going to destroy a particular structure,” Dempsey said.

In addition to dropping warning leaflets, Dempsey said, the IDF developed a technique called “roof-knocking.” This involves dropping a low-yield explosive or non-explosive device on a rooftop. This “knocking” is a warning to residents to leave the building before it is shelled. Of course, even this effort to limit civilian casualties was criticized for not being gentle enough.

Dempsey said civilian casualties during the summer’s conflict were “tragic, but I think the IDF did what they could” to avoid them.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,” Dempsey said.

(It  should also  be remembered that Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, used civilians – children in particular – as human shields, often forcing them to remain in the very buildings they had been warned were to be bombed.)

Whatever lessons the team from the Pentagon learnt from the IDF’s expertise at taking measures to prevent civilian casualties, were apparently not applied by the US when the Air Force bombed IS/ISIS/ISIL in Iraq.

AP reports:

US bombing kills children in Iraq.

Iraq’s prime minister on Wednesday ordered his first major shakeup of his military since taking office three months ago, relieving 26 army officers of their commands and retiring 10 others as a monitoring group said airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group and other extremists in neighboring Syria have killed more than 860 people, including civilians, since they began in September. …

On Wednesday, three bombings in and around the Iraqi capital killed at least 17 people and wounded nearly 40, police and hospital officials said.  …

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that at least 50 civilians, including eight children and five women, also have been killed in the airstrikes, the group said.

The mainstream media do not feature these deaths. The TV news screens of the West are not filled with images of these dead children. They are of less concern than the dead children of Gaza. Because the hearts of the hardboiled media bleed only when the Israelis are doing the bombing.

What did the Obama administration have to say about all this?

When Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the flood of rockets being launched at its cities, and particularly when it mounted a short ground operation to locate and destroy infiltration tunnels under the border, there was the predictable response from the UN, the NGOs and Israel’s usual critics that it was causing ‘disproportionate’ civilian casualties in Gaza. Surprisingly (or not), the Obama Administration and State Department joined the chorus.

You probably recall John Kerry’s sarcastic remark that Israel had carried out a “hell of a pinpoint operation”.  And you may remember that back in July, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that “there’s more that could be done [by Israel]” to reduce civilian casualties. There are also reports of a particularly “combative” phone call from President Obama to PM Netanyahu during the war.

So [on November 8], the intrepid Matt Lee of the AP asked Psaki whether the Chairman of the JCS knew what he was talking about:

QUESTION: Yesterday, the ICC made its decision that there was no case to prosecute for war crimes in Gaza. But also yesterday – and you spoke about that very briefly here. But also yesterday, General Dempsey, who is no slouch when it comes to military things, told an audience in New York that the Israelis went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage during the Gaza war.

And I’m puzzled, because I thought it was the position of the Administration – or maybe it was just the position of the State Department and the White House – that Israel was not doing enough to live up to its – what you called its own high standards. Back on August 3rd, there was the statement you put out after the UNRWA school incident, saying that the U.S. “is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling’. And that was some pretty fierce criticism.

How do you reconcile these two apparent divergent points of view? When this statement came out, the United States was appalled? Did that just mean the State Department was appalled?

  1. PSAKI: No, that is the position of the Administration; it remains the position of the Administration. As we made clear throughout the summer’s conflict, we supported Israel’s right to self-defense and strongly condemned Hamas’s rocket attacks that deliberately targeted civilians, and the use of tunnels, of course, of attacks into Israel. However, we also expressed deep concern and heartbreak for the civilian death toll in Gaza and made clear, as you noted in the statement you pointed to, that we believed that Israel could have done more to prevent civilian casualties, and it was important that they held their selves to a high standard. So that remains our view and position about this summer’s events.

QUESTION: Okay. But I’m still confused as to how you can reconcile the fact that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – who knows a bit about how military operations work, I would venture to guess; I don’t know him, but I assume that he wouldn’t be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if he was – if he didn’t —

  1. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: — says that the Israelis essentially did the best that they could and lived up to – by extension lived up to their high standards by taking – by going to, quote, “extraordinary lengths” to limit the collateral damage.

  1. PSAKI: Well, I would point you to the chairman’s team for his – more specifics on his comments. But it remains the broad view of the entire Administration that they could have done more and they should have taken more – all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.

But the Coalition is not required to do the same? Apparently not.

So is there an element of special treatment for Israelis? Do anti-Semitic Europe and anti-Israel pro-Islam Obama set the moral bar higher for Israelis than for any others – or for themselves?

To borrow a saying: We report, you decide.

It’s not terrorism, it’s war 14

European governments cannot think of an effective way to deal with the jihadis in their midst.

Take the case of Sweden. We quote from an article in this month’s issue of Commentary by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein. It is titled A Local Story of Global Jihad:

Sweden has long functioned as a hub for international terrorism and has housed members of international terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Armed Islamic Group, Al Shabaab, Egypt’s Gamaa al-Islamiyya, and the Islamic State. Because membership in foreign terrorist organizations is not illegal, these operatives have largely been left alone.

In some cases, the Swedish government has gone out of its way to help them. In 2002, Swedish jihadist Mehdi Mohammad Ghezali was captured in Afghanistan by American forces. Deemed an enemy combatant, he was incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay. Stockholm immediately launched a campaign to release Ghezali, and in 2004 he was let out. Five years later, he was arrested in Pakistan for collaborating with the Islamic State.

While other European countries have broadened their anti-terrorism policies in order to crack down on terrorist propaganda, Sweden has become a safe haven for websites and publishers that specialize in jihadist material. Additionally, Sweden is home to certain mosques that are funded by foreign countries and known to function as recruitment centers for terrorist organizations. On the island of Hisingen, for instance, the Gothenburg Mosque, in Sweden’s second-largest city, is financed by Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Center in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, is funded and owned by the World Islamic Call Society, an Islamist umbrella organization founded by Muammar Qaddafi. With 60,000 members, it’s the largest mosque in Scandinavia. And the Husby Islamic Center, in the Stockholm suburb, was funded by Qatar. The new mosque to be built in Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, is a Qatari undertaking as well.

But Sweden’s most insidious enabling of jihad is achieved through its generous social-benefits system. According to the latest numbers from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the average immigrant family in Sweden, consisting of two parents and two children, receives $3,135 per month in benefits. What’s more, these funds are exempt from the country’s standard 33 percent income tax. This may not seem like a lot of money compared with the gargantuan sums we often hear about in cases of international terror financing, but it’s more than enough to do great harm. The Swedish Security Service concluded that the money Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly [a suicide bomber who returned from the Middle east and blew himself up on a Stockholm street] and his wife were given in benefits and loans from the Swedish government was used to finance his trips abroad, where he received terrorist training. The family had no other source of income.

Abdaly, Ghezali, and the country’s approximately 200 other potential militants are manifestations of the larger problem of jihad in Europe. There is no shortage of nightmare stories to attest to this ballooning reality. British citizens who received al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan bombed the London subway in 2005. Mehdi Nemmouche, an ISIS member and French national, fought for jihad in Syria before opening fire on innocents at the Jewish Museum in Brussels this past May. The ISIS executioners who recently beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning delivered their crazed overtures to human slaughter in native British accents. …

Western leaders are now aggressively pursuing ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but while they chase the bad guys from the edge of town, they risk leaving the door to the house wide open. Above all, it must be remembered that the jihadists’ long-term goal is to strike the West. The war they fight has no borders; the caliphate they seek has no geographic limits.

Europe is slow to connect the dots when they form a discomfiting image. For Sweden, a country that prides itself on the progressive values of openness and inclusivity, the steps necessary to fight a counter-jihad at home are almost too painful to countenance. The Swedish measures now in place amount to a kind of counter-radicalization therapy. … Muslim extremism in faraway lands is a suitable topic for discussion, but addressing the jihadists among us is political kryptonite.

Yet such considerations are meaningless to the jihadists themselves. As Abdaly himself put it: “The Islamic State has lived up to its holy promise; we are here in Europe, and in Sweden. We are a reality, not a fantasy.” In Sweden, Europe’s third-largest contributor to the jihad, we’d do well to take our enemies at their word.

Britain is floundering in a fog of of misdiagnosis just as Sweden is.

We quote from a recent article at Stand for Peace by Sam Westrop:

On September 30, Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, gave a speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference, in which she outlined the threat posed to Britain by terrorism from abroad and extremism at home.

After giving the customary assurance that the actions of ISIS have no basis in Islam and proffering a quote from the Quran, May boasted of the Government’s record fighting fundamentalism, promised new powers to fight extremist groups and declared her gritty determination to uphold “British values”.

This grandiose speech revealed ambition – albeit mostly May’s own. It did not, however, demonstrate any real progress. The Home Secretary’s effusions were example of a government that has only half-heartedly responded to the problem of extremist ideology. It is a government that likes to talk but fails to act.

The Home Secretary then announced a series of weak measures to be taken in dealing with “extremism” in the organized charities, the media, the internet, schools, prisons, universities.

Sam Westrop rightly concludes:

It appears that the Home Office urgently needs to define “extremism.” This definition should include the smiling Islamist who attends interfaith vigils during the day but propagates anti-Semitism and expresses support for Hamas at night.

Extremism is a dangerous animal, but presently it is being given both the carrot and the stick. As long as we allow the human face of Islamist extremism to subsist, and even flourish, we will continue to churn out radicalized Muslim youth who will choose the Kalashnikov over a university degree. No one claims that the answer to Islamist extremism is easy. The question of extremism, however, is remarkably simple. If only the government would understand.

And the US government, under the leadership of a devotedly pro-Islam president, is trying to pretend that holy warriors are simply breaking US domestic law and need to be tried in civil courts.

We quote from the Guardian:

Irek Hamidullin was arraigned on 12 counts, including providing material support to terrorists, trying to destroy US military aircraft and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Half of the charges are punishable by up to life in prison. Attorney general Eric Holder chose not to seek the death penalty …

Hamidullin is the first military detainee from Afghanistan to be brought to the US for trial. His transfer represents the latest attempt by the Obama administration to show that it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects – a move criticized by some Republican lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.

US officials say Hamidullin is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and US soldiers in Khowst province. He had been held at the US Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield before being brought to the US. … He became affiliated with the Taliban in 2001.

The indictment says Hamidullin commanded three groups of insurgents that attacked Afghan border police at Camp Leyza, one of six locations the Taliban had identified as possible targets. He directed insurgents armed with anti-aircraft machine guns to fire at US military helicopters responding to the attack, the indictment says, and later used a machine gun to shoot at US troops and Afghan border police assessing damage at the battle site.

Those are clearly acts of war. Hamidullin should be tried by a military tribunal.

What Western governments fail to understand is that their countries are not being subjected to “extremism”, or “terrorism”, but war. 

The jihad is indeed global. Jihad means Holy War. Sure, it must be fought in Europe as well as in the Middle East. But it must be recognized as a war everywhere

Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.  

It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. They are one of the armies of Islam. 

Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world. 

At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.

Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.

Even if  the US-led “coalition ” were to defeat the Islamic State, the war would not stop. It will be kept going  on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, America, until the nuclear bombs of Iran strike –  first Israel and then anywhere else they choose.

How should it be dealt with? At the very least the West should treat Islamic states as it did the Soviet Union. Our long war with the USSR was called a Cold War, but there were many places where it was hotly fought. Persons in the West who were loyal to the enemy ideology were tolerated for the most part if they did nothing actively to aid the enemy. When they acted to help the enemy at the expense of their own country, they were put to death – as the Rosenbergs were.

That is the precedent for the West to follow in dealing now with the equally abominable ideology and aggressive intent of Islam.

Warrior Song for Veterans Day 2014 5

Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

Thank you, Veterans!

Here’s the Warrior Song, to pay tribute to America’s armed forces.

Posted under United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 10, 2014

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A Democrat crows over tricking the “stupid” American voter 9

… to get the perfectly horrible health care law passed.

For the Left, the end always justifies the means.

See how smug Jonathan Gruber, architect of Obamacare, looks as he shares his  joke about the “stupidity” of the American voter.

Here’s what he says, so you can mull it over:

This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it was written to do that. In terms of risk related subsidies, if you had a law which made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.

Daniel Greenfield comments at Front Page:

So an Obamacare architect just admitted that the whole thing was built on a tower of lies and that it is indeed a tax.

As the Supreme Court ruled it is.

The passing of the Obamacare law was also a great leap forward on the road to serfdom.

It needs to be repealed.

Justice seen not to be done 16

How passionately, profoundly, unalterably President Barack Obama loves Islam is demonstrated by the story of Major Nidal Malik Hasan. 

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a phsychatrist in the US army, was sentenced to death in August 2013 for killing 13 people and wounding 32  at the military base of Fort Hood in 2009.

He said that he did it for the Taliban, the enemy that the US army was fighting a war against in Afghanistan.

He is a traitor and a mass-murdering Islamic terrorist.

A military court tried him for murder and attempted murder and condemned him to death. He is imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He will live there for years, in comfortable and privileged conditions, while his case is slowly reviewed by appellate courts.

Due process is being scrupulously observed. Justice is being done.

Or is it?

We quote from an article by Michael Daly at the Daily Beast, dated August 6, 2013:

Nidal Hasan’s victims must suffer twice — first when they were shot by the army shrink turned jihadi, and again as the government calls the murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood “workplace violence”.

As U.S. Army psychiatrist turned jihadi Nidal Hasan finally goes on trial for shooting 13 fellow soldiers to death at Fort Hood …  the government continues to classify the 2009 attack: “Workplace violence”.

In what might be termed the audacity of nope, the government has declined to call this al Qaeda–inspired mass murder an act of terrorism because to do so would be “unfair to the victims”.

Orwell’s Ministry of Truth could not do better.

The official reasoning is that it would jeopardize the case because, as stated in a Pentagon memo, “defense counsel will argue that Major Hasan cannot receive a fair trial because a branch of government has indirectly declared that Major Hasan is a terrorist — that he is criminally culpable.”

That has not stopped the government from calling the 9/11 attacks anything but terrorism. The 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon has on display the Purple Heart, the medal awarded to all the soldiers who were killed or injured there that day.

But the Purple Heart has been denied the soldiers who were killed or wounded at Fort Hood. And, because they were classified as victims of simple calamity rather than of combat, they and their families have been denied the accompanying benefits. A number of them say they have not even been able to secure adequate care for their wounds.

And, perhaps in part because people assumed that the army would take care of the soldiers as it would any other fallen and wounded warriors, there was no huge outpouring of financial support for them as there would later be for, say, the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

To her great and everlasting credit, nobody has been more vocal about all this than one of the two heroic police officers who took Hasan down and ended the carnage.

“Betrayed is a good word,” Police Sgt. Kimberly Munley has said of the way the soldiers have been treated.

Munley speaks up on behalf of the soldiers even though as a civilian she would be ineligible for the medal or the benefits, even though she was wounded in the attack.

And Munley has more than enough cause to complain about how she and her equally heroic comrade, Police Sgt. Mark Todd, have been treated themselves. …

Maybe you saw them on television seated beside the first lady at the State of the Union address, Munley still in pain from the bullet wound in her leg.

But surely they received something more than that gestural “honor”? Medals? Compensation? Promotion? An award ceremony? Official thanks on behalf of the nation?

Nope.

You may not know that both of them were subsequently laid off due to budget cuts.

You also may not know that Todd suffered a stroke this past Christmas, two days after returning from Afghanistan, having gone to work there for a civilian contractor when his heroism at Fort Hood failed to save him from being “excessed.”

The stroke apparently left him unable to speak, but he has nonetheless been placed on the list of potential witnesses as the trial gets under way at Ford Hood. …

Munley almost certainly will testify at the trial. Her lawyer, Reid Rubinstein, reports that she is as ready as ever to do whatever duty requires.

She is presently honoring a request by the prosecutors to refrain from public comment during the trial. But you can be sure she will have plenty to say afterward. And likely little of it will be about her own troubles.

In the meanwhile, Rubenstein has joined with another attorney, Neal Sher, in filing a lawsuit against the government on behalf of Munley, a number of the shot soldiers, and their families. The suit notes that the army and the FBI ignored repeated warnings that an increasingly militant Hasan was bent on jihadist violence.

The suit charges that, among other things, the authorities “knew or should have known that Hasan was abusing his patients, who were American soldiers returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, by calling them ‘war criminals’ in the course of psychiatric treatment sessions, and promising criminal prosecution against them because these soldiers had killed Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

How nuts is that?

Imagine coming home shaken up by the war and seeking psychiatric help and having this guy call you a war criminal?

Imagine later hearing that this same sick shrink was allowed just to spout lines from the Quran in place of the formal oral presentation required of all new doctors.

And that Hasan’s communications with al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki were initially excused as research into radical Islam.

And that Hasan spoke of being “happy” when a fellow jihadist shot an American soldier to death outside an Arkansas recruiting station in June of 2009 — a soldier who would also be denied a Purple Heart.

And that five months later Hasan allegedly went with a gun into an area where soldiers were either returning from a deployment or preparing to deploy [and shot them].

Among those who were shot was Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, a physician who … died while using her body to shield a fellow soldier, an act that should have earned her a medal for valor as well as a Purple Heart.

Also shot was Pvt. Francheska Velez, just back from Iraq, completing paperwork for education benefits and pregnant with her first child.

“She lived for a short time in terrible pain and agony, knowing that she and her child were dying,” the lawsuit says.

The suit also says that just before the gunfire, Hasan was heard to shout, “Allahu akbar! 

What happened with that lawsuit Rubenstein and Sher brought against the government on behalf of the victims?

Nothing.

Sean Hannity, a sharp thorn in the side of the Left (and long may he continue to be so), brings to public attention a statement the two lawyers have issued five years after the terrorist crime was committed.

Neal M. Sher and Reed D. Rubinstein, attorneys for over 120 Fort Hood terror attack victims and family members, issued the following statement [November 5], on the fifth anniversary of that attack:

Five years ago today, the terrorist Nidal Hasan yelled “Allahu akbar” and, wearing the uniform of an U.S. Army major, began slaughtering Americans. Fourteen innocent people lost their lives and over fifty were injured. For five years, Hasan has bragged of committing this atrocity in the name of Islam to protect the Taliban.

Hasan’s victims saw their lives forever changed that terrible day.  But the real tragedy of Fort Hood was that our government could have easily prevented their suffering.   The U.S. Army and FBI had long known that Hasan was a jihadist with al-Qaeda connections and, simply by following their own standard policies and procedures, easily could have stopped him before anyone was hurt. Instead, because of what the Senate Homeland Committee’s investigation called “political correctness”, the government willfully averted its eyes to Hasan’s jihadism.  Hasan should have been arrested. Instead, he was promoted and given other special privileges.

Incredibly, the government’s policies of political correctness and special privileges for Hasan continued even after his killing spree.  

The day after the carnage, on November 6, 2009, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that U.S. authorities “were taking measures to quell anti-Islam sentiments” in the U.S. and that Hasan “does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith”.

On November 8, 2009, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said on the Sunday talk shows that the “real tragedy” of Fort Hood would be damage to “diversity” policies and publicly warned against “guessing at Hasan’s motive,” though the government knew of Hasan’s jihadist motive from the start.

The special privileges for Hasan also continued. Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave Wikileaks documents, was kept naked in an isolation cell and charged with aiding the enemy. But Hasan, who killed for the Taliban, was not similarly charged or confined. Instead, he was given uniquely comfortable accommodations and special food; permitted to wear a beard, a privilege denied loyal American soldiers; and allowed to give Al-Jazeera an interview praising anti-American “mujahadeen”.     

Though the government went out of its way to coddle Hasan, it had no kindness for his victims. First, they were used as props in staged “mourning” ceremonies to benefit political leaders, then they were personally promised assistance by President Obama and top generals, and finally they were shoved down a memory hole. Hasan’s terrorism became “workplace violence”, meaning that those who survived the charnel house were denied support, benefits and mental health treatment. In some cases, soldiers were physically and mentally abused for requesting treatment of Fort Hood-related injuries.

Five years on, the government has done nothing to help the victims of Fort Hood. …

Now, from our new Congress, we call and hope for action. First, we ask for equity. Congress should provide similar benefits to the Fort Hood victims as it provided to the 9/11 Pentagon victims. The government should not be allowed to dodge its culpability.

Second, we ask Congress hold oversight hearings to investigate and hold accountable the Department of Defense and the White House for their post-attack policies, conduct and abuse.

Will some justice in this case at last be done?

The elephant in the oval office 6

Most of the time the New Yorker is on the wrong side politically.

But this cover is both witty and true.

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Posted under cartoons, Humor, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 7, 2014

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