Archive for January, 2009

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Al Gore’s Global Warming

January 30, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Climate Change: As a winter storm shutters D.C.-area schools, Al Gore does a show-and-tell on global warming before Congress. The road to Copenhagen is being paved with good intentions.


Read More: Global Warming


“When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things,” a joking President Obama told reporters Wednesday morning. Daughters Malia and Sasha had a snow day as the private school they attend, Sidwell Friends, closed due to a winter ice and snow storm.

Truer words were never spoken. When it comes to weather, the current Democratic majorities in the nation’s capital don’t have a clue. But neither that nor the weather deterred Gore from testifying Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the need to pursue a treaty to lower carbon emissions at a United Nations conference in Copenhagen next December.

The storm has been blamed for at least 23 deaths and a glaze of ice and snow that caused widespread power failures from the Southern Plains to the East Coast. As the roads in D.C. iced and the snow fell, Gore might as well have quoted Groucho’s line: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

Gore would probably blame the storm on global warming too. In his eyes and those of fellow warm-mongers, global warming causes everything — including the global cooling that has been both obvious and documented since 1998. These cyclical trends used to be called weather. Now they’re ominously called “climate change.”

To underscore his point, Gore flipped through more than four dozen new slides showing melting ice caps, Western wildfires, deforestation and oxygen-depleted seas in a hearing room where the lights were dimmed. Dim bulbs or not, some facts were left out of his presentation.

Each year, millions of square miles of sea ice melt and refreeze. The amounts vary from season to season. Despite photos of floating polar bears taken in summer, data reported by the University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research Center show global sea ice levels the same as they were in 1979, when satellite observations began.

The island nation of Tuvalu, poster child for rising sea levels, is still well above water at last report.

Pictures of a collapsing Antarctic ice shelf that’s been warming for decades are common. But the shelf in question constitutes just 2% of the continent, and temperatures show that the entire continent has been cooling for decades, with thickening ice.

Western wildfires are due in large part to the failure to clear dead trees and underbrush that fuel these fires because lumber companies might profit or the habitat of endangered critters might be harmed.

Deforestation has been fueled by the Gore-induced quest for biofuels and the planting of cleared areas with crops like corn to be put in our gas tanks. The Paris-based OECD says the use of fuels such as ethanol made from corn, palm oil and other sources using crops as raw material amounts to “a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal.”

Oxygen-depleted seas are caused in part by this increased planting of crops for biofuels such as ethanol to replace petroleum, something Gore supports. This has created dead zones for marine life in places like the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, while driving up food prices around the globe.

Gore insists that climate change brings drought, famine and increasing numbers of ferocious storms. However, total hurricane energy activity, as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has dropped by two-thirds since the record was set in 2005. Hurricane activity, like all weather, is cyclical.

As environmental guru Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” points out, famine has declined rapidly over the past half-century even as greenhouse gases have risen.

That is, until we started using food to fuel our cars. The World Bank estimates that this policy has driven at least 30 million people worldwide into hunger.

If it keeps snowing, Al, there’s a shovel-ready job waiting for you in D.C.

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The Day America Lost the War on Terror

January 28, 2009

Friends,

Obama has barely warmed his seat in the White House yet he has clearly defined this country’s new attitude toward Israel and Muslim Jihadists.

Where is the outrage of Jews who voted for Hussein Obama to the tune of 82% at his appointments of George Mitchell and Dennis Ross to spearhead our new policies toward Israel and Iran. Mitchell attempted, during the Clinton years, to blame both Israel and the Palestinians equally for Palestinian violence and Dennis Ross was the architect of the failed Oslo Accords under Clinton that has brought Israel to its current position; on its knees. Neither of these diplomats ever came to the conclusion that Arafat was a terrorist.

The appointments of both of these apologists for Muslim terror does not bode well for this country and Israel. The columnist below adds to this conclusion of our country’s new path towards terror.

Alan

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The Day America Lost the War on Terror
Ben Shapiro www.Townhall.com
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On Nov. 4, 2008, America lost the war on terror. President Barack Obama’s feckless, pathetically apologetic perspective on foreign policy spells the end of the quest for liberty in the Middle East. It spells the end of America’s moral leadership in the global war for freedom. And it spells the end of a hard-fought campaign to protect America. Our enemies must be happily celebrating their great good fortune in America’s election of this platitudinous, morally relativistic, Jimmy Carter carbon copy in the midst of battle.

On Jan. 26, 2009, Obama granted his first television interview as president of the United States to Al Arabiya, the Dubai-based television network part-owned by the Saudi government. In the interview, he demonstrated with the utmost clarity that his understanding is inversely proportional to his arrogance.

He started by humbling America before the world. “(A)ll too often the United States starts by dictating,” Obama said, shame for his country dripping from his lips. “So let’s listen.” There was no call for the Muslim world, which has sponsored genocide after genocide, terrorist group upon terrorist group, to listen.

Obama apologized for President Bush’s “Islamic fascism” terminology, equating Muslim terrorism with nonexistent terrorism by Jews and Christians: “the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.” There was no call for the Muslim world to actively fight terrorism — honesty is not the Obama administration’s policy.

Obama repeated the Clintonian line that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict could be solved by pressing Israel into negotiations with terrorists — a foolish conceit that has cost Israeli and Palestinian lives. He talked about getting rid of “preconceptions” regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict — code for embracing negotiations with Hamas. He pledged to talk with Iran — on the same day that Iran’s government spokesman branded the Holocaust “a big lie.” He bought into the Muslim-sponsored notion that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict lies at the heart of all trouble in the Middle East. He praised the one-sided Saudi peace plan as an act of “great courage.”

Most sickeningly, Obama openly jettisoned his constitutional role as the caretaker for America’s national interest. Instead, Obama posed himself as an honest broker between America and the Muslim world. “(T)he United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect,” he said. “I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.” Obama didn’t stop there. He stated that his job is to speak for the Muslim world, defending them from Americans’ negative perceptions: “And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.”

No, Mr. President. Your job is not to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world harbors us no ill will. That is their job. The Muslim world must demonstrate with its words and actions that they do not wish America replaced with an Islamic state. They must demonstrate that they do not support terrorism against America and our allies.

Your job is to protect and defend the United States of America. That is your sworn duty.

And you abrogate your sworn duty every time you go on Arab television stations and apologize for America’s foreign policy. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you force American allies to negotiate with terrorists. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you pledge to protect the interests “not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity” — the same ordinary people who elect Hamas, prop up the Ayatollahs, supported the Taliban, recruit for al-Qaida, and live off of the beneficence of Hezbollah. Not all Muslims are “extraordinary people,” and the interests of suffering Muslims do not always align with American interests.

On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans elected their first international president. They elected a man who does not seek to preserve American values. Leftists perceived George W. Bush as an imperialist for American interests; by the same token, Obama is an imperialist for “global interests.” In a war to save America from implacable foes, Obama’s Global Interest Imperialism dooms American exceptionalism to the ash heap of history. With it may go the last, best hope of Earth.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

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Addicted to Oil

January 28, 2009

Oil – Islam – Terrorism

BREAK FREE FROM FOREIGN OIL

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National Security Court?

January 28, 2009

National Security Court? We Already Have One

by Bill West
IPT News
January 26, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/984

Last week, the Wall Street Journal offered an op-ed article detailing the difficulties facing the Obama Administration in closing the Guantanamo detention center: what to do with those detainees and how to handle terrorism suspects captured in the future on foreign battlefields by our military and intelligence services. The article notes that a possible option to solve these problems would be the Congressional creation of a new “National Security Court.” Such a court would be a hybrid of federal civilian criminal courts, U.S. military courts and the Guantanamo-based military commissions.

This concept has been around for a couple of years now. It was initially proposed by Andrew McCarthy, the former senior Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York who successfully prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh,” as well as the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center attack. The concept appears to have substantial merit. Theoretically, such a court would be able to try cases against terrorist enemy combatants utilizing both overt evidence and, under tightly controlled circumstances, classified intelligence evidence. The creation of a National Security Court would require the proverbial act of Congress.

Some argue such a National Security Court would be a “star chamber” and would fly in the face of traditional American jurisprudence. However, if properly structured and staffed, such a court would go a long way to solve the conundrum of how to deal with enemy combatant terror suspects, many of whom cannot effectively be tried in civilian courts due to the classified nature of key evidence against them. Presumably, within a National Security Court system, defense attorneys would receive appropriate security clearances, and unclassified summaries of classified evidence would be provided to defendants whenever possible. Mechanisms would likely be in place to allow for the secure and, if necessary anonymous, testimony of intelligence agents and their “assets.” Does all this sound a bit too fantastic to really work? It might be a surprise to learn the United States already has a workable, if not working, version of a National Security Court.

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-132) created significant revisions to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Among those revisions was the creation of Title V of the INA. That provision created the Alien Terrorist Removal Procedures and the Alien Terrorist Removal Court (ATRC). The ATRC was the result of a bi-partisan Congressional effort supported by then-President Bill Clinton. The ATRC changed the nature of potential deportation (removal) adjudication substantially, but in a limited and controlled fashion.

Before the ATRC, all formal deportation cases resided in the Immigration Court system that is rooted in Title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That court process requires, for the adjudication of the merits of deportation charges, that the Government present overt evidence in open and adversarial court proceedings. Classified, or secret, evidence can be utilized in Title II Immigration Court proceedings only under very limited circumstances, where it is presented in-camera and ex-parte to the court, for the court to render decisions on certain immigration relief issues. Those relief issues include release from custody in pending deportation proceedings and the various kinds of discretionary relief from deportation, like political asylum.

In contrast, regular Immigration Court proceedings require the underlying substantive deportation charges be proven with overt, publicly scrutinized evidence to which the alien respondent (defendant in deportation cases) and his/her attorneys receive full access. The ATRC, however, changed that process for what was then the significant but small population of aliens suspected of being involved in terrorism and terror support activities. The ATRC process can be invoked only if it is determined – and that determination literally requires a decision by the U.S. Attorney General – that the case cannot be handled in regular Immigration Court proceedings. That situation would virtually always be when key evidence is classified – obtained by intelligence agencies or other highly covert sources.

The ATRC provides mechanisms for classified information to be used as evidence to adjudicate the merits of the underlying deportation charges. That is done, however, under notably limited and tightly controlled procedures. Whenever possible, unclassified summaries of classified evidence are to be provided to the respondent and his/her attorneys. Defense attorneys may be granted security clearances so they can have access to classified evidence and the respondent and his/her attorneys may challenge the evidence against him/her. The judges who sit on the Court are selected by the Chief Justice of the United States (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), and all the judges receive appropriate security clearances. As previously stated, only cases certified by the Attorney General, after a multi-level and multi-agency review process, can be heard by the Court. There is a specific adversarial process allowed in the court proceedings and special, yet still adversarial, appellate proceedings are permitted.

The ATRC has been in operational existence since about 1997. As noteworthy as this “national security” court for deportation cases might seem, ironically, not one case has been tried before it. In the hue and cry of the late 1990s over the use of “secret” evidence in immigration proceedings, the same Clinton Administration that supported the creation of the ATRC chose the politically expedient avenue of not sending any cases to it. Similarly, if perhaps inexplicably, the Bush Administration did not refer any cases to the ATRC, even after the 9/11 attacks. Even while the Bush Administration and the Congress toiled over the creation of the Guantanamo military commissions, wherein classified evidence could be allowed to prosecute detained enemy combatants who might face the death penalty, no deportation cases were sent to the already duly constituted ATRC.

The inactive ATRC does not mean its underlying concept is without merit. Its lack of utilization is likely more the result of misplaced political correctness at the highest levels of our political leadership. If the creation of a new National Security Court is to be seriously considered, Congress and the new Administration may do well to look at the ATRC as a model. Many of the procedural and operational issues that might relate to a National Security Court have already been addressed with the Alien Terrorist Removal Court.

Bill West is a consultant to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He retired in 2003 as chief of the national security section for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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A ‘jihad of self-examination’ is long overdue for Islamists

January 27, 2009

Other Voices: A ‘jihad of self-examination’ is long overdue for Islamists

Posted by Steve Pastner January 22, 2009 12:43PM

By Steve Pastner

Other Voices

Steve Pastner
The writer is a retired anthropology professor and sculptor who specialized in the tribal regions of the Islamic world, conducting fieldwork in southwest Pakistan and the Horn of Africa, among other places.

Sigmund Freud jokingly noted that the Irish are the only group impervious to psychoanalysis. If by that he meant “resistant to constructive self analysis and criticism,” it’s obvious Freud never met Islamists or their supporters, both within and beyond the Muslim community. This is indicated by the spate of demonstrations locally and globally in support of Hamas extremists and associated calls for the abolition of the state of Israel – not just cessation of its Gaza operation.

If pro-Hamas Muslims truly possessed honor, you’d think that to protest the dishonorable horrors perpetrated in the name of Islam by the terrorist likes of Hamas, they’d practice either mass apostasy or a major internal “jihad al aql”- an Arabic term I coined for a thus-far-hypothetical “struggle for rational self-improvement” along the lines of the western “age of reason.”

After all, Jihadi misdeeds not only target “infidels” (in Israel, Mumbai, Beslan, London, Madrid, the Twin Towers, etc.) but also co-religionists in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan and indeed Palestinian areas, among others, where they constitute a good chunk of the undeniable misery of many Muslims.

Yet rather than self-criticize, even when they are victims, the most vocal/visible Muslim spokesmen continue to disproportionately blame others for largely self-generated problems.

Numerous factors internal to the Islamic world are behind such problems. Start with endless violent and shifting intra-Muslim ethnic, sectarian and other conflicts down to the level of clans and even families, all as acute in Palestinian areas as anywhere. These make reliable treaties difficult, if not impossible, to achieve and maintain.

Add to this patterns of graft and corruption in many Muslim settings that would shame even the Illinois governor and you’re incubating a homegrown petri dish of problems, quite apart from “zionist” and “western imperialist” whipping boys. The latter scapegoating is particularly hypocritical given Islam’s own history of imperialism that is far older than the West’s, while Israel has no such history at all, beyond U.N.-legitimated ancient claims to a Vermont-sized scrap of real estate. Sadly for all concerned this scrap includes strategic border areas reluctantly occupied in wars Israel won (but didn’t start), about which there is enormous agonizing and debate within the Israeli and wider Jewish communities and which its genocidal, uncompromising enemies won’t even let it return without a fight.

Then throw in an unhealthy dash of religiously sanctioned “taqiyyah” or “say anything if it’ll forward the cause of Islam” on the propaganda and diplomatic fronts. Toss in a generous pinch of children weaponized into homicidal and suicidal “martyrs” via toxic madrassah indoctrination and you’ve got messes that spill into others’ backyards, from the World Trade Center, to Hamas rockets into Israel and a possible war between India and Pakistan over the latter’s stonewalling about its links to the Mumbai massacre.

To contribute essays to Other Voices, contact Bob Needham, opinion editor, at 734-994-6825 or bneedham@annarbornews.com.

When that happens it’s not surprising that Muslims, many innocent, suffer. While this is tragic, it’s not a morally equivalent “cycle of violence” at all but instead often has a genesis – and also, importantly, remedies – within the “umma” (Muslim community of believers) itself.

The ineffectiveness of moderate Muslims in reining in extremists should also be a source of embarrassed self-criticism. But this much cliched “vast majority” may, in fact, be numerically overstated, as witnessed by large violent turnouts that can be mobilized for nonsensical cartoon protests and to demonize Jews while few show up to decry, say, the recent Mumbai carnage, or the indiscriminate suicide and rocket attacks on civilians in Israel which are at the root of the current Gaza crisis. In any case, a constructive internal Islamic critique has not materialized in any significant public (a key word!) measure, thereby minimizing opportunities for real peace.

In his “Murder in Amsterdam,” author Ian Buruma addresses the killing by a Dutch Muslim of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was rightly concerned about the dramatic increase in Islamic radicalism in Europe. This book raises the unhappy need to explore “limits to tolerance” when dealing with such extremism in western countries, where liberal values have become a shield protecting grossly illiberal acts and aspirations. Much of the anti-Semitic postering and vocalizing in recent Dearborn and Ann Arbor anti-Israel protests, and elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe, raises just such a troubling specter, as does recent Gaza-related vandalism against Jewish schools in Chicago.

In contrast to well-documented neo-Nazi links to radical Islamists (see George Michaels’ “The Enemy of My Enemy”), many non-Muslim groupies of Hamas and other jihadis, such as Ann Arbor’s longtime synagogue harassers, describe themselves as of the “left.” Frequently they are part of the “International Solidarity,” Green Party (once respectable before its environmentalism was trumped by boosterism for Islamic extremists) and “boycott Israel” movements (a version of which was, happily, trounced at the local food co-op last year). They too, a la Freud’s observation, could profit from cognitive readjustment therapy. This might reconcile the huge “disconnect” between their sanctimonious self-proclaimed status as “peace-loving progressives” and “human rights activists” and their strident, unambiguous support for some of the most repressive, aggressive and bigoted ideologies since Hitler.

News readers should check out the blog site “zionistsout.blogspot.com” affiliated with the local synagogue picketers and boycott advocates. It is a disgrace that local Muslims have not forcefully repudiated these views.

As a former, once-sympathetic professional student of the Muslim world, I hope an internal reformation of Islam, based on more Muslims publicly engaging in constructive self-criticism (a la the brave Somali activist Hirsi Ali, currently under death threats for her criticisms of her own religion, and my friend Akbar Ahmed, the Pakistani scholar-diplomat in exile) makes possible my renewed respect and affection for a rich but currently deeply flawed religious culture (the essence of any religion being what it motivates believers to do in its name).

Until that happens, the growing domination of extremists, both extra-governmental and elected, as in Iran and Gaza , supported by western apologists (whose motives range along a spectrum from well-meaning gullibility through opportunism to anti-Semitic malice) makes Islam hazardous not just to others but to itself.

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Geert Wilders

January 26, 2009

Interview with Geert Wilders at The Hague

bijenkorf.wordpress.com

bijenkorf.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/geert-wilders


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Obama wants to ban Limbaugh

January 26, 2009

Obama wants to ban Limbaugh.