Camp Pendleton Security Incident

This story is based on two articles–one from 10 News and one from the UK Daily Mail.  Last weekend three Middle-eastern men tried to gain unauthorized access to Camp Pendleton.  The fact that they were caught had to do with the alertness of a garage attendant nearby.

The UK Daily Mail reports:

“The security alert at Camp Pendelton in San Diego took place shortly after midnight on Saturday after a garage attendant had reported overhearing terrorist threats from three men at a nearby garage that afternoon.

“The attendant later told military investigators the trio asked for directions for Camp Pendleton before leaving.”

The incident shows how important it is for all of us to be alert at all times. 

10 News reports:

“John, who does undercover security and anti-terrorism work for Eagle Eye Security Solutions, did not want to be identified.

“He told 10News the Camp Pendleton incident sounds like a possible probe or dry run and said their visits raise a few red flags.

“”Number one: they went on base twice. Their stories didn’t stick, kinda wishy washy. Number two: the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle,” said John. “They could have been probing the security, not just cameras, sensors, individual security from MPs. Three: [they] could have wanted to know what background checks would have produced.”

“A criminal background check on the trio conducted by the Department of Homeland Security found no “derogatory records” for the men. Additionally, the U.S. Border Patrol said the immigration statuses for the three men were confirmed and they did not appear on any terrorist watch databases.”

The bottom line here is very simple–the threat of terrorism is still with us.

Sometimes I Think People From Other Countries Value Being An American Citizen More Than Americans Do

On Monday, the New York Times posted an article about city officials in San Gabriel, California, closing down a house that was used for ‘maternity tourists.’ 

The article reported:

“For months, officials say, the house was home to “maternity tourists,” in this case, women from China who had paid tens of thousands of dollars to deliver their babies in the United States, making the infants automatic American citizens. Officials shut down the home, sending the 10 mothers who had been living there with their babies to nearby motels.

“”These were not women living in squalor — it was a well taken care of place and clean, but there were a lot of women and babies,” said Clayton Anderson, a city inspector who shut down the house on March 9. “I have never seen anything like this before. We really couldn’t determine the exact number of people living there.””

The house that was closed down was neat and clean and populated by women from China.  The women involved were here legally.  The children born here were not ‘anchor babies’ in the sense that their mothers were here illegally.  The debate over giving American citizenship to anyone born here has generaly centered on anchor babies rather than babies born to women here legally.

The article states that the State Department cannot deny a woman a visa simply because she is pregnant.

The article points out:

“”These people aren’t doing anything in violation of our laws,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates tougher immigration controls. “But if anything, it is worse than illegal immigrants delivering a baby here. Those kids are socialized as Americans. This phenomenon of coming to the U.S. and then leaving with people who have unlimited access to come back is just ridiculous.””

To me, this is a whole new aspect of the idea that any baby born in America automatically becomes a citizen.

The AARP And Obamacare

It was interesting to see the AARP strongly support Obamacare despite the fact that Obamacare took money out of Medicare Programs senior citizens depend on and even eliminated Medicare Advantage–one of the most popular Medicare programs.  There were rumblings at the time that the end of Medicare Advantage would mean greater enrollment in the AARP’s supplemental insurance programs, but no numbers were actually given.  Well, that has changed.

Hot Air posted a story yesterday that the AARP will make about $1 billion from the implementation of Obamacare. 

The article details some of the findings in a Republican report recently released:

“# Since 2002, income generated from AARP membership dues has increased 32%, or $60 million. However, during this same period, income derived from AARP’s business relationships, primarily with insurance companies, has nearly tripled, increasing by $417 million. Royalty payments from for-profit companies comprised nearly 46% of AARP’s revenue in 2009, while membership dues totaled just 17% of total revenues.

“# As a result of the new health care law, the Obama Administration estimates more than 7 million seniors will lose their current Medicare Advantage plans, resulting in a massive migration of seniors to Medigap plans. AARP is the nation’s leading provider of Medigap plans and has a contract in which AARP financially gains for every additional Medigap enrollee.

“# Based on low, mid and high-range estimates, AARP stands to financially gain, over and above the millions of dollars they currently receive from United, between $55 million and $166 million in 2014 alone as a result of new Medigap enrollees stemming from the health care law’s cuts to MA, which AARP strongly endorsed.

“# Under the midrange estimate and under their current contract, AARP’s financial gain from the health care law could exceed $1 billion during the next 10 years. This is because AARP will see their royalty payments increase as seniors are forced out of MA plans and buy AARP Medigap plans instead.”

The Republicans are asking that the IRS investigate the AARP’s tax exempt status.  The article notes that the AARP has become a for-profit entity and is no longer entitled to tax-exempt status.

Why Americans Should Cherish The First Amendment

Yesterday the UK Telegraph posted a story about the trial of Geert Wilders.  A judge has refused to dismiss the case against Mr. Wilders.  Mr. Wilders is facing trial on charges of incited hatred and discriminations against Muslims. 

The article reports:

“But reading out the ruling on Wednesday, presiding judge Marcel van Oosten said the case would go ahead. He rejected most of the defence’s objections such as its questioning of the court’s authority to hear the case in the first place and of the way that the prosecutors had pursued the trial.

“However, judges did agree with the defence that part of the indictment against Mr Wilders should be dropped. In it he allegedly refers to the Koran as “fascist” and said it should be banned.

“The judges said that in including the quotes in the indictment prosecutors were going beyond the brief set out by the Amsterdam appeals court.”

This is a dangerous case.  One aspect of Sharia Law is that any criticism of Islam is illegal.  Criticism of Islam can result in very harsh penalties.  To condemn this man because he has spoken out against the extreme control radical Islam has over those who practice it is a step toward endorsing Sharia Law and will negatively impact the right of all of us to be honest about what we believe.

Words Versus Actions

Today’s Washington Examiner reported on a speech given at Georgetown University by President Obama on America’s energy policy.  The President wants to set a goal of reducing America’s oil imports by one third by 2025.  The obvious answer here is–Drill, Baby, Drill, but somehow I doubt that is what he has in mind.

The article reports:

“The president acknowledged that there is little he can do to bring down the cost, since oil is priced globally and increased demand from China and other developing nations continues to push prices up.  A longer-term energy strategy, he said, would depend not only on increasing domestic oil production, but also on boosting the use of other energy sources, including natural gas and biofuels.

“”We have to discover and produce cleaner, renewable sources of energy,” Obama said.  “And we have to do it quickly.””

As reported in rightwinggranny.com on March 14, the majority of imported oil in the United States is used in the transportation industry.  Even electric cars need something to generate their electricity, and biofuel (ethanol) has been a total disaster for food prices and fuel economy.  The solution to American dependence on foreign oil is to develop our own resources (not give money to Brazil to develop theirs).

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a suite of bills that aim to expand offshore drilling by forcing the Obama administration to vet proposed exploration quickly and sell more oil and gas leases along the East Coast.

The article reports:

“Since Feb. 28, the government has approved six of the 57 deep-water drilling projects that were permitted before that ban was imposed.

“A second bill would force the administration to conduct previously planned oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf and offshore Virginia that were delayed or canceled after last year’s spill. For instance, it would require two Gulf lease sales that were to take place this year but may be pushed to 2012 while the government completes an environmental study.

“A third measure would force the government to sell leases in the nation’s most energy-rich offshore areas, chiefly along parts of the Atlantic coast and Arctic waters near Alaska.”

If actions speak louder than words, who is looking out for America’s energy needs?

An Interesting Move From An Unexpected Source

There has never been any doubt that the American tax laws are the result of the lobbying efforts of special interest groups.  If you need proof of that, find out what some people who make millions pay in income taxes versus those of us in the middle class.  I am not supporting soaking the rich, I am just asking for a tax system that does not grant special privileges to anyone.  However, some of the obvious inequities in our system make me wonder.

The Hill‘s Blog Briefing Room reported today that former Senator Russ Feingold has called for the resignation of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt from President Obama’s jobs council. Why?  Because last year GE reported a $14.2 billion profit and paid no income taxes.

On March 28, the Wall Street Journal reported:

“”We expect to have a positive tax liability for 2010 when we file our U.S. income taxes later this year,” the conglomerate said in a written response to questions from Dow Jones Newswires. But “we think it will be covered by overpayments.””

“…GE called the Times report “particularly distorted and misleading” on its website Friday. On Monday, GE noted on its website that it paid almost $2.7 billion in “cash income taxes” globally in 2010, “including significant U.S. federal income tax payments.”

“GE also has said that its tax rate has been abnormally low recently largely because of losses suffered by its financial arm, GE Capital, during the financial crisis. The company noted that GE Capital lost nearly $32 billion from 2008 to 2010.

“”Our 2011 tax rate is slated to return to more normal levels with GE Capital’s recovery,” the company said.”

Frankly I believe that the American corporate tax rate should be lower, but I also believe that American corporations should be paying taxes to America on their profits. 

The Hill quotes Russ Feingold:

“”How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce?” Feingold asked. “And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes.””

I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Russ Feingold, but I think he is right on this one.  I am firmly convinced that there are some serious conflicts of interest involved in this appointment.

Exactly What Is Our Tax Money Supporting ?

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today that told a story about Planned Parenthood that has somehow gotten lost in the budget debate.  One of the issues in the current budget debate is the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  During this debate the CEO of Planned Parenthood stated, “millions of women are going to lose their health-care access, not to abortion services, but to basic family planning, you know, mammograms.”   A blog called live action decided to test that argument.  They attempted to schedule a mammogram at a Planned Parenthood clinic before the funds were cut.  They were told that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. 

According to the article:

“In fact, one center told the caller that “we don’t deal with the health side of it so much.  We’re mostly a surgical center”:”

The article also reports:

“And when Planned Parenthood tells people that their mission focuses on women’s health, one of their former directors begs to differ. Abby Johnson left the nation’s largest provider of abortions in 2009 after being pressured to increase the number of abortions at her Bryan, TX clinic, and after watching an ultrasound-guided abortion that convinced her to oppose abortion and work to actually improve women’s health. The Susan B Anthony List pro-life organization has produced this one-minute television ad that features Johnson explaining the actual profit motive at PP, and it’s not condom sales:”

Please follow the above link to Hot Air to see the video.  I think it has become very obvious that the taxpayer money that goes to Planned Parenthood is funding abortion.  If Planned Parenthood wants to do abortions, we probably can’t stop them–abortion is legal and the abortion industry is extremely profitable under current rules.  However, the American taxpayer should not have to fund the abortion industry directly or indirectly by funding Planned Parenthood.

Is It Extreme To Use The Word Extreme ?

Power Line posted a story yesterday on the overheard Democrat talking points voiced by Senator Chuck Schumer.  The story goes that the Senator was briefing the Democrats on how to handle the budget negotiations and did not realize reporters were also on the line.  The article reports:

“Mr. Schumer told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said, “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.””

Note to Senator Schumer–this is not a game–this is the future of America.  The thing to remember here is that when the Democrats held the majorities in the House and Senate and the Presidency, they were unwilling to pass a budget for 2011.  Why?  Because they would rather play politics than get anything done.  It really is time to send these people packing–they need to be unelected and sent home!

The really comical part of this story is that they used their revealed talking points after they got caught.  Our media is not reminding you why there is no budget, and the Democrats would rather have the political advantage they believe they will get from a shutdown.  This is not good for the country, and the people doing this do not have the good of our country in mind.  This is not a game–it is our future.

Michael Yon Speaks Out About Rolling Stone

I am posting this word for word from Michael Yon‘s website.  It is his rebuttal to a very misleading Rolling Stone article.  Please read it carefully.  The picture being painted by Rolling Stone is not an accurate picture.  This was posted today.

Seldom do I waste time with rebutting articles, and especially not from publications like Rolling Stone.  Today, numerous people sent links to the latest Rolling Stone tripe.  The story is titled “THE KILL TEAM, THE FULL STORY.”  It should be titled: “BULLSHIT, from Rolling Stone.”

The story–not really an “article”–covers Soldiers from 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) in Afghanistan.  A handful of Soldiers were accused of murder.  It does in fact appear that a tiny group of rogues committed premeditated murder.  I was embedded with the 5/2 SBCT and was afforded incredible access to the brigade by the Commander, Colonel Harry Tunnell, and the brigade Command Sergeant Major, Robb Prosser.  I know Robb from Iraq.  Colonel Tunnell had been shot in Iraq.

The brigade gave me open access.  I could go anywhere, anytime, so long as I could find a ride, which never was a problem beyond normal combat problems.  If they had something to hide, it was limited and I didn’t find it.  I was not with the Soldiers accused of murder and had no knowledge of this.  It is important to note that the murder allegations were not discovered by media vigilance, but by, for instance, at least one Soldier in that tiny unit who was appalled by the behavior.  A brigade is a big place with thousands of Soldiers, and in Afghanistan they were spread thinly across several provinces because we decided to wage war with too few troops.  Those Soldiers accused of being involved in (or who should have been knowledgeable of) the murders could fit into a minivan.  You would need ten 747s for the rest of the Brigade who did their duty.  I was with many other Soldiers from 5/2 SBCT.  My overall impression was very positive.  After scratching my memory for negative impressions from 5/2 Soldiers, I can’t think of any, actually, other than the tiny Kill Team who, to my knowledge, I never set eyes upon.

The online edition of the Rolling Stone story contains a section with a video called “Motorcycle Kill,” which includes our Soldiers gunning down Taliban who were speeding on a motorcycle toward our guys.  These Soldiers were also with 5/2 SBCT, far away from the “Kill Team” later accused of the murders.  Rolling Stone commits a literary “crime” by deceptively entwining this normal combat video with the Kill Team story.  The Taliban on the motorcycle were killed during an intense operation in the Arghandab near Kandahar City.  People who have been to the Arghandab realize the extreme danger there.  The Soviets got beaten horribly in the Arghandab, despite throwing everything including the Soviet kitchen sink into the battle that lasted over a month.  Others fared little better.  To my knowledge, 5/2 and supporting units were the first ever to take Arghandab, and these two dead Taliban were part of that process.

The killing of the armed Taliban on the motorcycle was legal and within the rules of engagement.  Law and ROE are related but separate matters.  In any case, the killing was well within both the law and ROE.  The Taliban on the back of the motorcycle raised his rifle to fire at our Soldiers but the rifle did not fire.  I talked at length with several of the Soldiers who were there and they gave me the video.  There was nothing to hide.  I didn’t even know about the story until they told me.  It can be good for Soldiers to shoot and share videos because it provides instant replay and lessons learned.  When they gave me the video and further explained what happened, I found the combat so normal that I didn’t even bother publishing it, though I should have because that little shooting of the two Taliban was the least of the accomplishments of these Soldiers, and it rid the Arghandab of two Taliban.

Some people commented that our Soldiers used excessive force by firing too many bullets.  Hogwash.  And besides, they were trying to kill each other.  Anyone who has seen much combat with our weak M-4 rifles realizes that one shot is generally not enough, and the Taliban were speeding at them on a motorbike, which very often are prepared as suicide bombs.  If that motorcycle had been a bomb, as they often are, and got inside the group of Soldiers and exploded, they could all have been killed.  Just yesterday, in Paktika, three suicide attackers came in, guns blazing, and detonated a huge truck bomb.  Depending on which reports you read, about twenty workers were killed and about another fifty wounded.

In the video, our guys would have been justified in firing twice that many bullets, but at some point you are wasting ammo and that is a combat sin.  The Soldiers involved in that shooting told me that the Taliban on the back may have pulled the AK trigger, but the loaded AK did not fire because the Taliban didn’t have a round in the chamber.  Attention to detail.  At least one also had an ammunition rack strapped across his chest.

This could go on for pages, but Rolling Stone is not worth it, and thrashing them might only build their readership.  I’ve found in the past that boycotts work.  I led a boycott against one magazine and it went bankrupt.  It’s doubtful that Rolling Stone will go bankrupt for its sins, but you can cost them money not by boycotting their magazine, but by boycotting their advertisers.  That hurts.  Just pick an advertiser whose products you already buy, boycott it, and tell the advertiser why you are not buying their product.

Now I’ve got to get back to work.

Thank you, Michael, for clarity in the fog of war.

Whoops!

This isn’t funny, but it is ironic.  Fox News is reporting that NATO may delay its takeover of the kinetic military action in Libya because Susan Rice, America’s Ambassador to the United Naitons, says that the Obama Administration has not ruled out arming the rebels in their fight against Moammar Gadhafi.  

Ms. Rice appeared on ABC’s Good Morning, America and stated that our primary purpose was to protect civilians and establish a no-fly zone, but that we have not ruled out arming the rebels.

This discussion comes at a rather inconvenient time–Yahoo News is currently reporting that the rebels have been driven back from Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte. 

Yahoo News reports:

In a scene reminiscent of the rebels’ rout last week, panicked volunteers jumped into their pickup trucks and attempted to speed away from the bombardment, kicking up dust clouds and choking the narrow coastal highway in a mad scramble of vehicles.

“Sirte is dominated by members of the Libyan leader’s Gadhadhfa tribe and was used as a second capital by Gadhafi. Its loss would be a symbolic blow and open the way to the capital Tripoli.”

It is rather obvious that this is not going to be a three-day war.  We need to make up our minds now how much we are willing to invest in Libya.  This is not an auction where you are spurred on by other bidders–it is a war where people’s lives are at stake.  We need either to bomb the government forces into submission or get out.  Any other course of action will kill more innocent people. 

How To Manipulate Numbers To Draw Really Dumb Conclusions

The American Thinker posted an article today linking to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article entitled, “Who Wins With Higher Gas Prices?”  Dan Chapman, who wrote the article, cites statistical proof that high gas prices result in better public health.

The American Thinker cites part of the article:

“Other health benefits accrue to higher gas prices. Charles Courtemanche, an economics professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, recently published a study showing that a sustained $1 increase in the price of a gallon of gas results in a 10 percent drop in the nation’s obesity rate.

“Americans who walk and bike more often and eat at restaurants less often will suffer fewer obesity-related diseases. Every $1 uptick in gas prices saves 11,000 lives and $11 billion in health-care costs annually. [Emphasis mine]”

American Thinker points out what happens when you follow this logic to its obvious conclusion:

“In other words, if gas prices increase by $40 per gallon, we can virtually eliminate obesity in America (do the math). But even better, if we raise the price per gallon by $27,275.00, we can save the lives of every American, presumably in perpetuity, and erase the national debt.”

We’d better be careful and not give the environmentalists any wild ideas!  There are a few things Dan Chapman leaves out–what increased gasoline prices do to the price of food, making it more difficult for lower income families to buy healthy food, people who work 30 or 40 miles from home in an area that does not have public transportation, and the crippling effect increased fuel costs have on the economy.  This is truly a really dumb statistical conclusion. 

The Veneer Of Civilization

This is going to be one of those rambling articles with no link, so if that’s not your cup of tea, you have my permission to stop reading now!

I think our current problem with dealing with tyrannical dictators has its roots in the trauma civilized nations suffered during World War II.   World War I was to be “The War That Ended All Wars.”  The treaty at Versailles was such that a militant Germany would never be able to rise again (we saw how well that worked).  In World War II, we were a little less na├»ve.  I believe that there were three events during World War II that truly scarred the psyche of civilized nations–the firebombing of Dresden, the pictures from the Concentration Camps, and the use of the atomic bomb.  These three things showed civilized nations the horror of war in no uncertain terms.  America fought the Korean Conflict with one hand tied behind its back–although we were fighting an enemy that did not have atomic weapons, rather than end the war abruptly with an atomic weapon, we fought a grinding ground war which probably cost many more lives than an atomic bomb would have.  In Viet Nam we were afraid to fight with all our might for fear of having the Russians or the Chinese get involved–they were involved, but we still held back. 

I have very mixed emotions about our involvement in Libya.  I remember Viet Nam.  All the young men in my high school class had to choose–if they didn’t go to college, they went to Viet Nam.   Initially we went as advisors under President Eisenhower and President Kennedy, but that was not where things went. 

We are providing air cover for rebel troops in Libya.  I am told by military people I know that the only way to provide close air cover is to have boots on the ground to tell the airplanes where to drop their bombs.  Otherwise you have civilian casualties which will be used for propaganda purposes.  Unfortunately Arab dictators are much more skilled at the propaganda war than America is.

In 1991 we put together a coalition and drove Iraq out of Kuwait.  We didn’t go all the way to Baghdad because the coalition would not support that move.  We paid a high price for that.  It was impressive to end the war in 100 days and still have a coalition, but the lessons of history proved us wrong.  I fear we are about to do the same thing in Libya.  We need to be all in or all out.

We have acquired the veneer of civilization–we oppose the killing of innocents, but not with all of our strength.  We oppose totalitarian dictators, but we are not necessarily aware of the credentials of the people we help overthrow them.  We have put on the veneer of civilization at the expense of actually doing the civilized thing.  You don’t put a band aid on cancer–you operate and remove it.  You do chemotherapy if necessary–even though it is a miserable process.

My final conclusion here is that we are ignoring the source of the problem.  Iran is a sponsor of world-wide terrorism.  Iran funds terrorist organizations and the governments that support them.  Until we deal with Iran, we are going to find ourselves fighting the tentacles rather than fighting the octopus.

Ant-Muslim Bias

On Saturday Bill Bennett and Seth Leibsohn posted an article at CNN‘s Opinion Page.  The article was entitled, “Don’t Overstate Anti-Muslim Bias.” 

The article reports that two weeks after the House Homeland Security Committee held hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America, Dick Durbin has announced that he will be holding related hearings in the Senate.  However, the hearings in the Senate will focus on anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States.

The article reports:

“Senator Durbin has said anti-Islamic sentiment in America is on the rise and that, “It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.” The hearing, scheduled for next week, follows a CNN special to air this Sunday, “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door.””

In 2009 (the most recent year statistics are available) there were 931 acts of bias against Jews and 107 against Muslims.  Based on those numbers, it doesn’t seem as if Muslims are the ones having the problem with bias. 

The article states:

Still, an uncomfortable fact remains, but it is not about bigotry. Despite the full and equal rights Muslims are and should be entitled to in America, we face a problem that too few are willing to speak about: Radical Muslims have declared war on America, from within and without, and that threat is on the rise. This uncomfortable fact has put many Americans on the defensive. But most of those on the defensive are those who recite this fact, not those who avoid it.

“We predict that when all is said and done by the end of next week, Peter King, who held hearings on radicalization in the Muslim community, will have been subject to far more scrutiny and negative publicity than Dick Durbin.

“But King was right to raise his issue; his opponents are the ones grandstanding.”

Considering the numbers from 2009, isn’t holding the hearings on anti-Muslim bias instead of anti-Jewish bias a form of bias?

Who Gets Libyan Oil ?

Who gets the oil in Libya?  This is a chart from Stratfor.com (Stratfor Global Intelligence) showing where the oil is in Libya and who gets it.  This is the reason NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was so willing to get involved and take the lead in the operation in Librya–they were protecting their oil supply.  There is nothing wrong with that, I just think it would have been nice if the major media had bothered to report it.  In helping Europe insure its continuing supply of oil, we are also protecting ourselves from sudden price hikes in the cost of oil.  To help the rebels in the war in Libya is in our best interest–it is good that civilians are being protected, but we are protecting our own interests as well.  The downside of the war in Libya is that we have no guarantees that whoever comes into power will be friendly to America.  Some of the rebels have ties to organizations that are sworn enemies of America; there are no guarantees that those people will not be in charge when the smoke clears.

 

This may in fact be war for oil.  There is nothing wrong with that, I would just appreciate a little more honesty.

The Basis For Iranian Foreign Policy

CBN News posted an article today about a video produced by the Iranian government stating that the current Middle East chaos is evidence the the Mahdi (the Twelfth Imam) is about to appear. 

The article reports:

“It’s called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical tweflth Imam or Mahdi — the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.

“”This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji — the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office,” said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.”

The belief that chaos in the world will usher in the appearance of the Mahdi is one of the beliefs of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The video claims that Iran will rise to be one of the leaders in the new Muslim world–a world in which Christians, Jews, and other non-believers are either killed or conquered.  The video says that the Imam will rule the world from Iraq. 

The article concludes:

“”I think it’s a very grave development,” Mideast expert Joel Rosenberg, author of The Twelfth Imam, told CBN News, “because it gives you a window into the thinking of the Iranian leadership: that they believe the time for war with Israel may be even sooner than others had imagined.”

“Kahlili says The Coming is Near will soon be distributed by the Iranian regime throughout the Middle East.  He explained their goal to instigate further uprisings in Arab countries.”

I know that there are peaceful Muslims, but make no mistake, they will be forced into silence as the militant Muslims gain increased power.  This video is designed to create chaos.  This video is the face of the enemies of western civilization.

This is the link to watch the video at Reza Kahlil‘s website.

More Questions, Fewer Answers

The UK Telegraph posted an article on Friday about Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader.  Mr. al-Hasidi has stated that jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

The article reports:

“Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.”

I don’t mean to be difficult here, but NATO and the US were asked to come to the aid of the rebels in Libya.  We were essentially dragged in kicking and screaming.  We are not invaders.  Why were we considered ‘invaders’ in Iraq and Afghanistan and yet asked to get involved in Libya?

The article further points out:

“Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

“US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.”

“Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military’s West Point academy has said the two share an “increasingly co-operative relationship”. In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG emmbers made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

“Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion, which it said would lead to the imposition of “the stage of Islam” in the country.”

I understand that there are humanitarian reasons for intervening in Libya right now.  What I am concerned about is the sort of government Libya will have when the dust clears.  Will we replace a secular tyrant with an Islamic tyrant?  Why would that be considered an improvement?

Giving Union Members Control Of Their Union Dues

On Friday, the Orlando Sentinel posted an article stating that the Florida House passed a bill that will ban automatic deduction of union dues from a government paycheck and will require that union members sign off on the use of their dues for political purposes.

The bill makes perfect sense to me–the unions need to be responsible for collecting their own dues and the unions need to respect the wishes of their members in making political donations.  The article points out that Florida is a ‘right to work’ state, which means that workers are not required to join a union. 

The article reports:

“The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, has one more committee stop before it makes it to the floor.”

The bill allows union members to have more control of how their union dues are spent.  That’s a good thing.  Union leaders need to be held accountable as to how they handle union members’ money.

Quote Of The Day

Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday today said, “Of course, we wanted to get the White House view on Libya.  However, they chose to offer Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates to ABC, CBS and NBC, but not to Fox.  Despite the fact we routinely have more more viewers than two of those Sunday shows, the Obama team felt no need to explain to the millions of you who watch this program and Fox News why they have sent U. S. servicemen and women into combat.  We thought you’d like to know.”

Freedom Of The Press In America

The Drudge Report posted a story on an incident at a fund raiser for Vice-President Biden held Wednesday in Florida.  It was a $500-a-person gathering in Winter Park, Florida, and Scott Powers of the Orlanda Sentinel was the ‘pool reporter’ covering the event. 

The reporter was put in a storage closet during the event.  He was allowed out of the closet to hear 35 minutes of remarks by Vice-President Biden and then returned to the closet for the remainder of the event. 

The article reports:

“Powers didn’t mention his confinement in either of his pool reports that day, saying only that “press coverage was limited to a single pool reporter, filing on behalf of all local media, who was allowed to listen to the remarks but not given an opportunity to talk with anyone at the event.””

Freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of a democracy.  This is not freedom of the press.  Mr. Powers was a pool reporter assigned to cover the event for the press.  The fact that he was not given access to the guests at the fundraiser raises questions as to exactly who was there and what were the subjects of discussion.  It seems to me that placing someone in a closet and keeping guard at the door is not normal political activity and should be looked into.  I suspect Mr. Powers will not file a complaint because filing a complaint would severely limit his access to the President and Vice-President in the future; however, reporting from the closet doesn’t seem to be great access to begin with.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  This story is now posted online at the UK Daily Mail and the Daily Caller.

When The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

Fox Business reported yesterday on the amount of money paid out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 signed on December 8, 2010.  This bill, H. R. 4783, is also sometimes referred to as “The Pigford Settlement.” 

One aspect of the bill is to pay black farmers who had been discriminated against by the USDA in loan applications during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The numbers, however, just don’t add up.  The article reports:

“When some black farmers sued, claiming discrimination, the USDA agreed to pay $50,000 to every black person who was discriminated against.

“According to the census, there were 18,000 black farmers in the country when the lawsuit was filed.  But 97,000 black ‘farmers” have applied for the money.

“Black farmer Jimmy Dismuke says its fraud.  He said lawyers went to black churches and told people who had never farmed to file for the money.

“”People say well, how do I qualify?” Dismuke told us.  “And then [the lawyers] started talking about potted plants.  They said if you had a potted plant, you can be a farmer.  And if you have a yard and you fertilize it, you’re a farmer.”

“Just about anyone can say that they “attempted to farm.”  And the USDA–which did not keep all its loan records–has no way to refute that.  So the taxpayers pay, and pay.”

At a time when the federal budget is totally out of control, we cannot afford to be handing out $50,000 payments to people who have never farmed anything larger than their back yard.  Please read the entire article to see how this supposedly well meaning program has spiraled totally out of control. 

Communication Matters

Sometimes I am not as well informed about political events as I should be.  The fact that community meetings are being held on the Secure Communities strategy was total news to me.  Hopefully, there are many people more informed on this than I was.

The Main Street Journal is a online Massachusetts newspaper specializing in local news.  It posted an article on Friday about a Secure Communities forum that will take place at Lawrence High School on Saturday, April 2nd from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  The article describes Secure Communities as “the Department of Homeland Security’s comprehensive strategy to improve the identification and removal of criminal aliens from the United States.”

The article reports:

“Governor Deval Patrick announced earlier this month that a series of community meetings would be held to promote an open dialogue on the subject. However, Tea Party activists who attended a recent hearing held in Framingham have charged the forums have been rigged to produce a pre-determined outcome, specifically to leave the impression that Massachusetts residents are opposed to the initiative.

“The panel at the Framingham event was one-sided and included only those who opposed the program. Panelists were allowed extensive latitude to speak and control the forum while members of the audience were allowed only one minute to speak each.”
The article explains that the Secure Communities program provides for an immigration-history check as well as the routing criminal-history check done on every person booked into a local jail.   
 
The article further reports:
 
“Ralph Belmore, co-chair of the Marlborough Tea Party said he believes the public is largely unaware of the Secure Communities program and the series of public hearings scheduled by the governor’s office. On the other hand, illegal immigrant advocacy groups appear to be well aware and are playing a key role in the hearings. “We want the governor to take action,” said Belmore who believes most Massachusetts residents would back the plan if they knew about it.”
The problem is that most Massachusetts residents know nothing about the public hearings or the Secure Communities program.  I consider myself fairly well informed on current events, but this article was news to me.  Secure borders are a necessary part of a safe and stable country.  I have no problem with legal immigration–it’s a good thing (although streamlining the process would be a really good idea), but coming here illegally shows a disrespect for the laws of America.  I realize there are many illegals here that are honest, hardworking people, but we need to find a way to help them become legal and we need to find a way to let them know that they are subject to all the laws of the land.  Any illegal who breaks the law should be given a ticket home immediately.  The first step in this process is finding out whether a criminal is here legally or illegally.  That seems to be common sense.

Why Do The People Who Supported Obamacare Want Waivers ?

Michelle Malkin posted an article at Townhall.com about New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s request for an Obamacare waiver for New York City. 

The article reports:

“Weiner joins a bevy of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s” loudest cheerleaders — unions, foundations and left-leaning corporations — in clamoring for more waivers for favors. (The list of federal waiver recipients now tops 1,000, covering more than 2.6 million workers.) And he follows a gaggle of health care takeover-promoting Democrats maneuvering on Capitol Hill for get-out-of-Obamacare loopholes.”

The article further reports:

“Echoing all the Republican critics of Obamacare who objected to top-down rules that override local variations in health care expenditures, Weiner explained: “I’m just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.” ” 

The article points out that repeal would be the ultimate waiver (not to mention the most necessary one).

The Girl Scout Cookie Caper

CBS News in St. Louis reported yesterday that the city of Hazelwood, Missouri, has gotten tough with some serious lawbreakers–girl scouts selling cookies in a stand they set up in front of their house.  The city spokesman, Tim Davidson, said it is against the city code to sell products from home. 

The article points out:

“And while he has heard some complaints from residents that Hazelwood is being too harsh on the teens, Davidson says others have pointed out that one tenet of the Girl Scouts is good citizenship.

“”The fact that we did have this code in place, it’s the responsibility of every good citizen to respect the laws that we have,” said Davidson.”

I wonder what the crime rate is in Hazelwood, Missouri.  I wonder how much time was wasted on the Girl Scout Cookie Caper that might have been better used elsewhere.

The problem was solved when Reverend George Hutchings bought the remaining boxes, took some, and told the girls to give the rest to the neighbors.  That was a very generous thing to do, but I think the Girl Scouts need to get involved in local government with their parents and learn how to change a law. 

If the most disobedient thing these girl scouts ever do is sell cookies on their front lawn, their parents should be proud!

Why Is The Senate Doing This ?

On Tuesday the Washington Times‘ Inside Politics Blog posted a short piece stating that Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, is planning to hold hearings to examine Muslims’ civil rights.  The Democrats are holding these hearings in response to the hearings held in the House of Representatives earlier this month by Representative Peter King of New York dealing with the radicalization of American Muslims.

The article reports:

“”Our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion for all Americans,” Mr. Durbin said.  “During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.”

“The hearing will be the first ever before the Judiciary Committee’s new subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and human rights, which Democrats created this year. Mr. Durbin is the chairman of the subcommittee.”

My first question at this point is, “What is the purpose of this new subcommittee?”  Why did we need a new subcommittee?  Don’t we have courts that handle this sort of thing?  But even if there is a real need for a new subcommittee, why have they chosen to investigate the civil rights of Muslims? 

The article reports:

“In 2009, the latest FBi statistics available, anti-Islamic hate crimes accounted for 9.3 percent of the 1,376 religiously motivated hate crimes recorded. That’s far less than the 70.1 percent that were anti-Jewish.”

Where is the investigation of the Jewish civil rights that were violated?  Do Muslim civil rights include the use of Sharia Law in American courts?  If so, how does that impact the civil rights of women and Americans of other faiths (Sharia Law outlaws any religion other than Islam and severely limits the rights and freedom of women)?  Why is the subcommittee investigating less than 10 percent of hate crimes instead of investigating 90 percent?  Is that discrimination?

Which is more of a threat to America, radicalization of Muslim Americans or hate crimes against Muslims?  Where should Congress be focusing its attention?

Just asking.