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The Fogel Massacre

Day After Five Jews Massacred, P.A. Names Town Square After Jew-Killer

March 17th 2011

Terrorism - Al Bireh Square Dalal al-Mughrabi
Al Bireh Square named for Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi

Today, the Zionist Organziation, which I represent, called on the Obama Administration to demand that Mahmoud Abbas take action to immediately terminate incitement to murder Jews and commit violence against Israel, including rescinding the naming of dozens of streets, schools, city squares, youth camps and sports tournaments in honor of killers of Jews and ending incitement in its schools, media and speeches. Abbas has the complete ability to control the actions of his Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority.

The fact that the PA named a square Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, after the terrorist leader Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the Fatah terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were slaughtered demonstrates to the world a sick pride in murder and a rejection of any peace efforts. 

At the scene of the event, which was festooned with Palestinian flags and posters of Mughrabi, Fatah member Sabri Seidam said, “We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement” Read more ..

The 2012 Vote

The Primaries Favor Palin

March 14th 2011

Politics - Palin Candidate

It is difficult to believe, but the first election for the next president of the United States is less than a year away.

The New Hampshire primary is alive and well and headed toward a date of Valentine’s Day next year, but it will probably occur earlier, perhaps even on Jan. 3. That’s not a long time from now in campaign time, but the most interesting aspect of this fact is that no one knows who is the leading candidate in the potential Republican field.

I have participated in presidential primaries in New Hampshire since 1976. It is part of the fun of being from that state. There has always been a presumptive favorite or two. Not this year. The field is wide open, the names numerous with more to come, one expects, but it is difficult to see clearly who might be the nominee.

In the past, there would be an heir apparent or maybe two. It would be between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan or Reagan and George Bush or Bush and Bob Dole or Bush and John McCain, but not this year. There does not seem to be an envelope floating around with a winner in it. This raises the issue of how the process will evolve. Read more ..

The Battle for Libya

No American War in Libya is Needed

March 14th 2011

Arab Topics - Muammar Qaddafi with Flag

Recently, JINSA asserted that the U.S. Air Force could and should "flatten the Libyan Air Force."  We seem to have wandered through other people's conversations about a) no fly zones; b) ground troops; and c) helping the Libyan rebels. 

No, no. Managing a "no fly zone" implies a long term commitment the U.S. government should not make; our ground troops are quite fully committed elsewhere, thank you; and we have no particular interest in "helping" rebels we do not know and who, according to the newspapers, want their rescue to be divine and immaculate with no American or British fingerprints. None of that would be good policy.

The point was and remains that the Libyan military has undertaken indiscriminate action against Libyan towns and villages. The point was for the United States to punish the perpetrators, remove a weapon from their arsenal and show in a concrete and specific way that the United States does not accept the bombardment of cities and civilians. It was as much for us to make ourselves clear about the limits of our tolerance as it was for the Libyans. Read more ..

The Battle for Libya

Libyan Protesters Seek Justice—and Exiled Jews Should, Too

March 14th 2011

Jewish Topics - Libyan Jewish Women

I left Libya more than 42 years ago when the mobs were roaming the streets. They were not chanting for democracy or yearning for freedom—they were looking for Jews.

I am a Libyan Jew, though I have now lived in the Bay Area for 40 years. The upheavals sweeping Libya open old wounds. Violent political culture has often been part of Libyan society, especially toward its Jews.

There had been a Jewish presence in Libya since the 3rd century BCE—one millennium prior to the advent of Islam in the region. We were “tolerated” to varying degrees by successive rulers and continued to be part of a rich and ongoing thread in the fabric of Libyan society. Read more ..

Media on the Edge

Fox News Cleans House

March 7th 2011

Politics - Gingrich Santorum 2012
Newt Gingrich, left; Rick Santorum, right.

It’s the new shortcut to running for president. Forget about forming an exploratory committee, begging everybody you know for campaign contributions, then spending two years on the road, shaking hands and eating rubber chicken. There’s a far easier, less messy and more effective approach: Just get a job on Fox News.

Think about it. There’s no sweat involved. You just have to talk. As often as you want to. To a nationwide audience of likeminded conservatives. You don’t even have to know the facts. Nobody expects that from Fox. You just give your opinion, no matter how wacky it is. And you get paid for it!

It’s worked for Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Lou Dobbs, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum. Why do you think nobody takes Mitt Romney seriously? Because he’s so boring not even Fox would hire him. Read more ..

Unions on Edge

Union Power is a Sympton of What Ails the U.S.

March 7th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Star Parker, CURE
Star Parker

Government unions use the force model to enrich themselves at the direct expense of taxpayers to the point of bankrupting us all.  Unionized government workers who have taken to the streets to protest moves in Wisconsin and Ohio to limit their power are doing us all a favor.


Our great nation today is sick and badly in need of therapy. The screams and protests of these government union workers should help all Americans identify these public unions as a major symptom of the sickness that is dragging us down and what we need to do to fix it.

America is about freedom -- political freedom and economic freedom. Our nation has been a human laboratory that has shown, for the entire world to see, that the moral truths that underlie our freedom produce bounty and prosperity.

It has been those moments when we have departed from the blueprint for freedom laid out so clearly in our Declaration of Independence -- that our Creator endowed us with certain rights and that men form government to secure and protect those rights -- when we have had pain.

The willingness of the founders to tolerate slavery in a country designed to be free produced a legacy of pain that haunts us still today.

Today's departure is the extent to which we have allowed a culture of force to take hold, limiting our freedom and the natural bounty it produces. The two fronts of this culture of force is the growth of government, where the institution there to protect us is now telling us what to do, and with union power, which goes hand in hand with government power. Read more ..

Pakistan on Edge

Shahbaz Bhatti: RIP - A Voice of Reason in Pakistan is Silenced

March 7th 2011

PakistanTopics - Shahbaz Bhatti
Shahbaz Bhatti

In the lingering winter cold, which is refusing to let spring emerge, we have been witness to another murder, which has further chilled us to the bone. Most of us, in our personal capacities, have been shocked to bits about our Minister for Minorities Affairs being shot dead in Islamabad in broad daylight. It is as if the white portion, which depicts the minorities on our flag, has been soiled so mercilessly yet again. It was bad enough that we lost the Governor of Punjab only two months ago to sheer intolerance, it is even worse to have the Minorities Affairs Minister murdered thus. And the sinking feeling in the gut is that this is not the last murder we have seen of someone killed because of bigotry and hatred. Read more ..

Labor on Edge

Wisconsin: The Question

February 28th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams
Armstrong Williams

Two points jump out at me as I watch the union protests in Wisconsin.

First, the “new era of civility” is over, and second, that union myrmidons continue to put their own self-interests above the rest of the taxpayers and nation.

If you recall after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, was shot Jan. 8, the left was quick to vilify the right for so-called vitriol and hostile rhetoric. They claimed the alleged shooter Jared Loughner to be the poster child for what happens to normal folks that listen to too much Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Except, we found out that was all a red herring; Mr. Loughner turned out to be a fairly apolitical nut job. But still, everyone from CNN to President Obama demanded that we “tone down the rhetoric.”

Yet I saw Mr. Obama accuse Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, of an “assault on unions.” Sounds like violent rhetoric to me. I also see that the union protesters are carrying signs comparing Mr. Walker and the Republicans to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Nazis, as well as several with Mr. Walker in target crosshairs. Well, I guess it was a nice, “civil” 3 weeks. Civility is not the main concern that the protests reveal, but I do find it both amusing and disappointing at the same time. Read more ..

Inside Islam

Understanding Shariah Finance and Islamic Banking in American Finance

February 28th 2011

Corporate Logos - Citibank

The Middle East, with its exotic tropical sirocco winds, is also now the haven and leader of a new form of finance that is enticing the world with the alluring scent of its petrodollars. Substantial profits are to be made, and gold plated Bentleys, mansions on the Palm Jumerah Island, and golf courses designed by Tiger Woods only add to the mystique behind the veils. However, more than Dubailand and dreams of riches lurk behind the Islamic ideologues who invented the concept of Islamic Finance, and they are ones who are promoting this form of "interest-free, Muslim friendly, ethical investment" worldwide. Read more ..

The Battle for Libya

Obama Should Flatten Libya's Air Force and the Criminal Qaddafi

February 24th 2011

Libya Topics - Libyan cargo plane

President Barack Obama finally stirred himself to address the carnage in Libya, saying the "suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable." Without calling on Muammar Qaddafi to step down - as he did to Mubarak for far less - he announced no sanctions or punishment. He left it to Qaddafi. "The Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need and to respect the rights of its people," he said. "It must be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities and face the cost of continued violations of human rights." Read more ..

Lebanon on Edge

Hezbollah: Governing Faction in Lebanon, A Criminal Group Abroad

February 21st 2011

Terrorism - Hezbollah Troops
Hezbollah Soldiers

This week marked the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, killed in a Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005. Noting the solemn occasion, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon issued a statement paying tribute to Hariri and the other twenty-two people killed that day and reaffirming the UN's "commitment to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated." Read more ..

The Way We Are

The National Anthem: More than a Song

February 21st 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

I’ve read (and maybe even said) some incendiary things through the years that were designed to elicit a response or stoke the ire of readers in order to initiate a frank conversation. But a recent piece by national columnist Kevin Blackistone makes even the seasoned political watcher cringe.

In his recent missive entitled, “Time to Turn Off the National Anthem Before Sports Events,” Mr. Blackistone argues that the singing of the National Anthem at sporting events has outlived its purpose. He submits that very few Americans even know the song, and suggests that still fewer can recall why the words were written in the first place. There’s nothing about playing T-ball that should call forth memories of a lopsided British attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

“Sports,” Mr. Blackistone writes, “have and continue to ritualize [the Anthem] with barely a shred of relevance.”

Singing a song about soldiers raising a flag following hours of cannon bombardment may have little to do with the indoor soccer game parents are watching, but that same song does remind everyone at that game that they stand there because of American sacrifice. Blood was shed so that we might be free. When we say that soldiers “will never be forgotten,” shouldn’t we mean it? We honor and commemorate their lives and the sacrifices they made for us by remembering them. That’s why we sing the National Anthem at sporting events. We don’t do it because there’s some underlying connection between the American Revolution and sports, but because sports bring us together to enjoy something as a group. It unites us beyond our cultural and political differences. The stockbroker sits next to the dockworker, and both are united by their devotion to the local team. Isn’t that the perfect time to celebrate the nation that embodies that very idea? Read more ..

Iran on Edge

Straight Talk in Support of Freedom in Iran

February 18th 2011

Iran - Iran protest

Democrats and Republicans showed admirable bipartisanship as President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton led the nation through the crisis in Egypt. It wasn’t exactly a return to an era when politics stopped at the water’s edge, but it was a fair-minded recognition that the administration had no great choices and limited control over the direction of the Cairo protests. Stuck between a multi-decade autocracy on one side and potentially pushing a country of 75 million Muslims to the Muslim Brotherhood’s virulent political Islam through our lack of support for the protesters on the other, the President and our political establishment steered a steady course. Read more ..

Egypt After the Revolt

Egyptians Celebrate Democracy by Sexually Assaulting a Journalist

February 18th 2011

Egypt - Lara Logan
CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Egypt

A female journalist was sexually and brutally assaulted by a gang of 200 Egyptians in Tahrir Square. What does the terrible personal tragedy of Lara Logan tell us about “modern” Egypt and more broadly about the Arab culture?

The most remarkable thing about the incident is that this was not the making of an infuriated and frustrated crowd, but of liberated, relieved and jubilant men who had just gotten rid of their dictator. How did they choose to usher their newly born democracy? Sexually assault an infidel, preferably blonde.

Peaceful protest…

One need not look far and deep to understand a culture. Just look at basic behaviors. How people debate each other, how they mourn, how they drive and, yes, how they celebrate. Read more ..

Egypt After the Revolt

Putting to Rest the Myth that Egypt's Unrest is no Threat to Israel

February 14th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Mitchell Bard

The impact of unrest in Egypt on Israel's security will not be known until it is clear who will be leading the country. Whatever his failings as a leader within Egypt, Hosni Mubarak faithfully upheld the peace treaty with Israel. If, however, Mubarak--now unseated--is replaced by someone who does not keep the country's treaty commitments, Israel's security will be endangered.

Since signing the peace deal with Egypt in 1979, Israel has reduced the percentage of its GDP devoted to defense spending by nearly a third- from 23 percent in the 1970s to 9 percent today. 479 Israel also significantly reduced the number of soldiers stationed on its southern border and has been able to focus its strategic planning on other threats. Peace with Egypt has contributed to the economic growth of Israel and also was a catalyst for other peace negotiations. Psychologically, the treaty also showed to Israelis that peace with an Arab, Muslim state is possible. 

A change in regime could easily lead to the reversal of these trends. While Mubarak fulfilled the letter of the peace treaty, he was never fully committed to its spirit. The media, military and general public were never conditioned to accept Israel as their neighbor. The Egyptian media in particular has often been critical of Israel to the point of anti-Semitism and the military has consistently directed war games against Israel. Read more ..

Islam on Edge

Iraqi Bishop says the US and Europe are Blind to Islamization

February 14th 2011

Islamic Topics - Muslims London

The secular western world is incapable of fully understanding the threat of a “reawakening of Islam” in the Middle East, according to a Catholic bishop of Iraq. Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk called the Middle East a “scary volcano” because of the possible consequences of widespread unrest. Iraqi Christians, faced with numerous murders by Islamists, are leaving Iraq where they have lived for 2,000 years.

“There are Islamic forces and movements that wish to change the Middle East, creating Islamic States, caliphates, in which Sharia (Islamic law) rules,” he warned.

Radical groups such as al-Qaida and Ansar al Islam are calling on citizens in other Middle Eastern nations to inject an Islamic influence into otherwise general protests in places like Tunisia and Egypt. Archbishop Sako says these calls have “the clear intention of fueling ... a total religious change” in the area. “They are voices that could find fertile ground in Egypt and elsewhere and therefore should not be underestimated, also because there are regional powers whose leaders have defined these revolts as the 'reawakening of Islam',” he said. Read more ..

Economic Recovery on Edge

Playing Chicken with the Debt Ceiling

February 6th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

While Congress prepares its budget for this year, threatening deep cuts to a $14 trillion debt, the first real test of the GOP’s fiscal constitution is shaping up to come in the form of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.

Years ago, no one wanted to talk about expanding the credit line of the U.S. Government. It was such a stark reminder of how bad a hole we were in, that both parties built the significant vote as a procedural move with other votes. In other words, they tried to bury the thing in hopes members would not have to rise in defense of an ever-growing nightmare.

What profiles in courage: both parties were part of the Ostrich Caucus, sticking their collective heads in the sand on some of the most important issues of the day.

And now here we are again, Republicans are at the helm, and Treasury Secretary Geithner and his minions are screaming like Chicken Little that if their opponents don’t “do the right thing” then the U.S. will default on its debt obligations.

Keep in mind this story barely made a ripple back in Feb 2010—the last time the nation’s debt ceiling was to be raised. President Obama couldn’t be bothered with such distractions, and the White House was all too eager to revert to Rule #1 of its administration: blame Bush. Read more ..

Inside Africa

2011 May Be the Year of Africa

January 30th 2011

Africa Topics - African school kids

January, 2011, has seen Africa in the world headlines more than usual; but these are not just “news events”, here today, forgotten tomorrow.

The countries affected by the “Jasmine Revolution” unfolding in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt –and Yemen just across the sea- have something in common, and uprisings haven’t just happened there one after the other, by coincidence. These are all popular demonstrations, protests against entrenched leaders who show no signs of handing over power, whose regimes are characterized by corruption, unemployment –the unemployed have nothing to lose by taking to the streets- food costs, and a government that is out of touch with its people. Read more ..

Islam on the Edge

Radical Muslim Victories Are Well-Funded

January 30th 2011

Terrorism - Hamas head

For the past five decades most funding to MB-affiliated organizations around the world – especially those involved directly in terrorist activities – has come from oil rich countries in the Middle East. However, Hamas, the MB Palestinian branch, designated as a terrorist organization by the E.U. and U.S., seems to derive large sums of money from the EU, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), of which the U.S. is the largest contributor. Individual countries also donate directly to the PA and Gaza (i.e. Hamas). The U.S. also aids the PA and Gaza through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more ..

America on the Edge

Understanding What the Constitution Stands for is Key

January 30th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Star Parker, CURE

I salute the Republicans of the 112th Congress for their initiative to restore the U.S. Constitution to its legitimate place of prominence in our public discourse.

Reading it aloud at Congress’s opening session and requiring members to cite constitutional authority when introducing new legislation are great ideas.

It will help highlight that the real debate is about the underlying defining principles of our nation that the constitution exists to protect.

Democrats mocking these gestures show their disdain for those underlying principles. When Congressman Henry Waxman, D-CA, says, “Whether it’s constitutional or not is going to be whether the Supreme Court says it is,” it’s like my saying that whether or not I steal from my neighbor depends on my calculation of whether or not I’ll get caught.

The constitution is our operating manual defining the functions and bounds of our federal government. It was meticulously designed by our founders so that we would have government consistent with the values and principles of our nation. It’s in those values and principles that our “eternal truths” lie. Not in the constitution constructed to secure them. If the drafters didn’t see it this way, they wouldn’t have provided provisions to amend and change it. It’s in our increasingly tenuous sense of what the truths are that precede the constitution, or the questioning by some if indeed there are any eternal truths, where our problems lie. Read more ..

Religious Tolerance

Minorities Feel Further Marginalized by Recent Events in Pakistan

January 24th 2011

PakistanTopics - Lahore's Cathedral

The cathedral in Lahore was packed on Sunday, January 17. There were not only Christians but members of the civil society present despite the foggy morning to “warm up” against rising extremism in a Muslim Pakistan. A number of Catholic Pakistanis were also active in the old, red-brick hall of the main protestant church of Lahore. Salmaan Taseer—the governor of Punjab provice and a liberal man—was assassinated by his official security on calling for a review the blasphemy laws under which a Christian woman had been sentenced to death.

The main churches held special prayers for Taseer last Sunday to pay tribute to Taseer’s advocacy for minority rights and opposition to the death penalty for the blasphemy-accused. Read more ..

Italian-Americans on Edge

Reflecting on Italian-American Identity: The Mafia and Me

January 24th 2011

History American - Mobster meeting

Like many others of Italian-American heritage, I experienced some discomfort when in 1951 Senator Estes Kefauver, a Democrat from Tennessee, launched his highly publicized investigation into the organized rackets, uncovering scores of thugs with Italian surnames. Subsequent decades produced an endless parade of such rogues whose mugs were repeatedly splashed across the print and broadcast media.

I must admit that when it came to names, the mafia operatives really had them: Lucky Luciano, Scarface Al Capone, Sammy the Bull Gravano, Joey Bananas Bonanno, Crazy Joey Gallo, Jimmy the Weasel Fratianno, Sonny Red Indelicato, and Sonny Black Napolitano. One could go on with Joey Kneecap Santorielli, Johnny Bingo Bosco, Itchy Fingers Zambino, Big Paulie Castellano, and Lupo the Wolf Saietta. Also Johnny Blind Man Biaggio, Vinny Gorgeous Basciano, and Fredo the Plumber Giardino. Read more ..

Economic Recovery on Edge

Looking Forwards—and Back

January 18th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

We are two weeks into 2011, but it’s not simply a new year. The end of 2010 marked the passing of the first decade of this new century. It’s only fitting we look back and look for lessons learned.

There’s no question this nation and the world were rocked early on. September 11 caused many to question just what age of man we were truly entering —a new era of fear or an era of power centers shifting to meet this terrorist scourge? In the wake of that horrific day came a simple yet powerful thought—a motivation to prevent another attack on American soil, no matter the cost. Quickly, that mindset spread to other sectors in our government, and our own way of life. Not surprisingly, the U.S. and, indeed the world, economy was turned upside down. President George W. Bush and opponents alike were quick to reassure the public. The calming words? “Whatever it takes.”

When airlines were reeling due to new security guidelines; when states were forced to post state troopers at capital buildings and major landmarks; when our leaders vowed to hunt down the enemy, even if it meant fighting two wars, at every turn, the answer was the same - whatever the cost. It was easy to say such a phrase. Yes, our nation was in supreme debt, but security knows no price tag—or so the line went—and we needed to take these extraordinary steps to return to normal. Read more ..

Pakistan on Edge

Islamic Pakistan Gives Immunity to Those Who Kill Christians and Other Blasphemers

January 10th 2011

Islamic Topics - AntiBlasphemy marchers Pakistan

About 40 Pakistanis accused of blasphemy under Islamic law have been killed extra-judicially since 1986, and in most cases the killers have escaped.

For example, Imran Latif, 22, a resident of Lahore, was sitting in his house near Pir Makki shrine on the sunny afternoon of November 11, 2010 when the doorbell rang. On opening the door, reportedly, two men armed with pistols asked Latif to accompany them. A few yards from the house, they pumped five bullets into Latif’s body before escaping on their motorbike. The bullets killed him on the spot.

Latif had been released on bail by a local court following charges that he had purposely burned pages of the  Koran—an act of blasphemy, as is commonly known under Islamic law. He was arrested in mid-2010 and was acquitted in November. Read more ..

Jews and Arabs

Why Some Jews Don’t Speak Arabic

January 10th 2011

Jewish Topics - Iraqi Jews Landing in Israel

I always interpreted the term “rootless cosmopolitan,” a Soviet euphemism for “Jew” with a distinctly pejorative ring, as a compliment. The Jewish stevedores who hauled their loads along Salonika’s docks, the Jewish writers who populated the cafes of Vienna and Paris, the Jewish newshounds who bashed out copy for shoestring budget newspapers in London and New York—all conjured up hugely appealing images of a worldly people equally at home with the labor of the hand and the labor of the mind. Jews were building transnational networks, both rabbinical and revolutionary, before we even knew what to call such things. Read more ..

Novel Identities

Historical Coincidence and a Hawaiian Birth Certificate

January 4th 2011

Asia Topics - Sun Yat Sen document

I have this nasty habit of researching things that I take an interest in; I’ve been that way forever. I think I learned more from researching topics on my own than I did from formal schooling. I read a book, see a movie, hear an abbreviated news report, and bang I’m at the family encyclopedia, at the library, nowadays online.

Well, there I was, in my kitchen slurping up some hot delicious soup and reading the tail end of a “new” Sam Spade novel written under license by a Dashiell Hammett biographer, Joe Gores. The story includes a fictional Chinese woman who claims to be the daughter of Sun Yat-sen, the real-life “father” of nationalist China. The overall Spade story takes place in San Francisco in the period between the end of WWI and the start of the Depression—it’s meant as a prequel to the Sam Spade Maltese Falcon novel.

I’m a bit rusty on my Sun Yat-sen legacy, so to brush up on his background and chronology of events I Googled “Sun Yat-sen.” At the top of the Wikipedia page, and again in a section titled “Early Years,” Sun’s birth date and then birth place is listed as November 12, 1866 in Guangdong province (16 miles north of Macau), in the Empire of the Great Qing of China.

Sun Yat-sen’s history goes on to relate how “after receiving a few years of local school, at age thirteen, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Sun Mei, who was fifteen years Sun Yat-sen's senior, had emigrated to the Hawaiian Islands as a laborer and had become a prosperous merchant.” According to the listed birth date the year that Sun went to Hawaii was 1879. Read more ..

Islam on Edge

How Long Can A Thirst for Revenge Last?

January 3rd 2011

Islamic Topics - Exterminate dhimmi

Five men arrested in Denmark and Sweden this week had been plotting to attack the offices of Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper at the center of the 2005 Muhammad cartoons.

The would-be terrorists were, according to experts, very professional and very precise. They had no grandiose plan to hit national symbols, no plan for the mass murder of innocents, no nukes or chemical weapons—just a well-constructed plan to exact revenge on a chosen target. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula says the offense given to Muhammad, to Islam and to Muslims is so great that more revenge attacks can be expected. This raises larger cultural and security questions about giving offense and taking revenge. Read more ..

The Traveler’s Edge

A Race to the Bottom for Airlines

January 3rd 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

Considering how much I travel abroad and domestically constantly, I’m actually surprised how much I hate and resent the thought of flying. It’s not the fear of heights, or the turbulence, or even the perpetual fear of a terrorist attack. No, the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of airline carriers. Also, the utter agony and different standards for every airport of what can and can’t pass through security screening is baffling.

Think about it. Every major industry today is progressing. Auto manufacturers are building cars with better fuel economies, more room, and more horsepower and with fewer emissions. The same holds true for consumer electronics, power companies, phone carriers, freight rail, and trucking. Even the Postal Service seems to be trending in the right direction. Everyone—except the airlines.

If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself when was the last time you boarded a flight that wasn’t full to the gills? When did you actually have room in the overhead compartment to store your belongings? When do you last recall getting a meal or a cup of coffee without having to hand the flight attendant a major credit card? The seats are smaller and more uncomfortable, and certainly more dirty than they have ever been. Smell that foul stench coming from the back of the plane? It’ll pass. Want a blanket? That’s $5 please. Want to watch TV? Another $5 please. What’s next, a coin-operated toilet? Read more ..

Border War

Two Border Towns Divided by a Border and Crime Statistics

January 3rd 2011

Mexican Topics - Truncated border fence

Hugging a common land and embracing a sisterly river, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are linked in a zillion ways.

But in 2010, the twin cities might as well have been on different planets. Depending on the press or law enforcement source, anywhere between 3075 and 3156 people were murdered in the Mexican city and the adjacent Juarez Valley. Of the victims, 304 or 306 were women, again depending on the source. In the state of Chihuahua, about 5,400 people- including more than 400 women-reportedly fell victim to homicide. Both the female murder toll and the overall homicide rate represent unprecedented numbers for Ciudad Juarez and the wider region south of the border. Read more ..

America and Venezuela

Uncle Sam and his Venezuelan Rival Should Lay Down Their Knives

January 3rd 2011

Latin American Topics - Obama and Chavez
Obama and Chavez

A recent visceral assault by the U.S. and Venezuela against each other, while engaging in what few would call traditional diplomatic behavior, has produced an ironic situation in which the two major victims of the fracas—Bernardo Alvarez, the current Venezuelan ambassador to Washington, and Larry Palmer, who was the U.S. ambassador-designate to Caracas—have been terribly misused by each side. Both are professionals who, throughout their careers, have been committed to dialogue and reconciliation. They both have been misused by local politicians with other fish to fry. When you have a volatile leader like Hugo Chávez, whose objectionable conduct has repeatedly proven to be more bark than bite, and an Obama administration in which a State Department PR functionary, P.J. Crowley, and some of his colleagues utter references to the Venezuelan leader that are more often than not little more than menacing threats, it makes for a volatile situation. Read more ..

The Tax Edge

Why the VAT Is Not Pro-Saving

December 27th 2010

Economy - Money Money Money

President Barack Obama’s unsustainable near-term fiscal policies are now preamble to the massive and longstanding long-term fiscal problems highlighted in the Bowles–Simpson Commission report, the Domenici–Rivlin report, and elsewhere. As Europe in similar straits is now demonstrating that, in the immortal words of Herb Stein, “what cannot go on forever won’t.”

The preferred solution to excessive deficits for those favoring big government is to turn to a value-added tax (VAT) for additional revenues. In making their case for a VAT, proponents often cite economic advantages of a VAT over an income tax as though the policy was to substitute the VAT for income tax rather than add the VAT. For example, one argument often raised in favor of the VAT is that it would improve the level of private saving. But given that the VAT is being proposed in addition to the income tax rather than as a substitute for it, this argument is flat-out false. Read more ..

The Koreas on Edge

Time to Stop Coddling North Korea

December 27th 2010

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

These are tense times on the world stage. Drip-drips of classified information strain already dicey relations between the U.S. and its allies. Russian spies are caught red-handed and swapped for others. Iranians negotiating with anyone bent on the destruction of Israel. And yet, the current conflict and on-again, off-again talks with North Korea make one long for the simpler days of Cold War era diplomacy.

A pattern is clearly forming with the North Koreans, and it does not favor peace-loving nations around the world, most notably the United States and South Korea.

Last month’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island was just the latest in a string of actions by the Communist regime that signals either the country’s desperation, or desire to provoke its enemies, or both. The artillery barrage comes on the heels of a shocking discovery by an American scientist who was practically handed the keys to a new, advanced uranium-enrichment facility no one knew or thought could exist inside the dark Korean border. That follows the unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship in March, leaving 46 sailors and crew dead. But wait—there’s more. Read more ..

Inside Jihadism

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Challenge to the World

December 27th 2010

Islamic Topics - Muslim Brotherhood Cairo
Muslim Brotherhood protest

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is one of the most dangerous Islamic groups in the world today, not only because it supports terrorism—providing political and financial support for its Palestinian branch, Hamas, for example—but because it is part of a global Islamist network and promotes an ideology that encourages extremism and terrorism.

With branches in seventy countries and linked to major Islamic organizations, the MB has an extensive and well-financed network of educational, social, and cultural institutions which promote a strategic MB plan for Islamic dominance—not through violence, but integration, becoming part of the national social and political life, and the application of Sharia law. Read more ..

Religious Tolerance

Bishop Tutu is No Saint When it Comes to Jews

December 21st 2010

Africa Topics - Desmond Tutu
Bishop Desmond Tutu

Among the world’s most respected figures is South Africa’s Bishop Desmond. His recognizable face—with its ever present grin—has become a symbol of reconciliation and goodness. But it masks a long history of ugly hatred toward the Jewish people, the Jewish religion and the Jewish state. Bishop Desmond Tutu is no mere anti-Zionist (though Martin Luther King long ago recognized that anti-Zionism often serves as a cover for deeper anti-Jewish bigotry). He has minimized the suffering of those killed in the Holocaust. He has attacked the “Jewish”—not Israeli—“lobby” as too “powerful” and “scar[y].” He has invoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish “arrogance,” “power,” and money. He has characterized Jews a “peculiar people,” and has accused “the Jews” of causing many of the world’s problems. He once even accused the Jewish state of acting in an “unChristian” way. Read more ..

The Political Edge

Is Envy More Important than Prosperity?

December 21st 2010

Contributors / Staff - Star Parker
Star Parker

Congressman Anthony Weiner is making a name for himself. The New York Democrat wants taxes raised on wealthy Americans and is one of the more vocal opponents to the deal that would retain current tax rates for everyone.

"An estate tax cut for millionaires adds exactly zero jobs. A tax cut for billionaires -- virtually none," says Weiner. But what does Weiner know about job creation, about work, about being an entrepreneur? Looking over his resume, you see he's never held a private sector job. Right out of college, he went to work on the staff of then-Congressmen Chuck Schumer, followed by six years serving on New York's city council, and then ran for congress in 1999, capturing the seat he currently holds.

Mr. Weiner is a politically ambitious young man who has built power and career by confiscating and redistributing other people's money. Consider that the wealthy are that Weiner wants to punish. The death tax punishes the very behavior that defines the economic heart and soul of American prosperity. Thomas Stanley and William Danko wrote a book called The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy. Read more ..

Ground Zero on Edge

Beware of Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf and the PR Campaign that Supports Him

December 21st 2010

Islamic Topics - Feisel Abdul Rauf

A profile titled “A Gift of Reconciliation” in the New York Times Style Magazine is about none other than the man behind the mosque at Ground Zero. Brainwashing? You bet.

The propaganda campaign in favor of Islam is intense, subtle, clever, elegant, vulgar, massively well-funded, and incredibly well coordinated, synchronous, just like suicide bombings often are.

This “war by other means” is even more important, partly because it continues to “gentle” the West into submission by misinforming the public and partly because this kind of stealth warfare remains curiously and stubbornly below the radar of our intelligentsia and our media.

Let me say, as I always do, that most Muslims are not terrorists and are, themselves, in the clutches of very corrupt and evil leaders who are either old-fashioned tyrants or comprise a new form of totalitarian jihad. Some of the bravest Muslims in the world have been murdered by Muslim tyrants and terrorists, are sitting in Muslim jails, or are living in exile. However, the majority of Muslims have either been brainwashed or simply do not wish to risk their lives or those of their families by taking a stand against Islamic imperialism, colonialism, and intolerance.   Read more ..

Inside Africa

Ghana's Success Story Cut Short by World Bank

December 21st 2010

Africa Topics - Palm oil nuts
Palm nuts

Two decades ago, the rest of the world saw Africa as a hopeless continent. Today, Ghana is one of Africa's success stories. Its economy, spurred by a thriving private sector, has grown on average by over 6 percent a year for the past five years. A significant part of this growth has been fueled by the success of the country's palm oil industry, with over 300,000 hectares of land currently under cultivation.

Palm oil provides a major source of employment and revenue for Ghanaian smallholders, with 27,000 farmers engaged in the industry. The Ghanaian government recognizes the huge role palm oil plays in the economy, investing more than $3 million in the industry so far, and recently announcing a "master plan" to support expanded production.

Ghanaian ex-president John Kufuor left an important legacy for the country's palm oil community. President Kufuor selected an additional 300,000 hectares of land for oil palm expansion which will be developed over the next few years. This will meet both domestic and international demand, as the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has noted a shortfall in supply up to a million tons for the economic sub-region.   Read more ..

Islam on Edge

Anwar Ibrahim’s Islamic Agenda

December 13th 2010

Arab Topics - Anwar Ibrahim

The list of prominent U.S. admirers of Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister, on trial for corruption and sodomy, is impressive. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, former President of the World Bank James Wolfensohn, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Letters of support on his behalf praise his leadership and fight “for international justice, peace and development.” Strangely, these prominent figures fail to notice that Anwar’s fight is not for democracy, justice and peace according to Western principles. Instead, his call is for democratization “on the platform of Islam.”

It is Anwar’s constant advocacy of Islamic rule that led the Qatar-based spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Qaradawi, to join the defenders of the Malay politician. Read more ..

The Politcal Edge

Deriding the Middle

December 13th 2010

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

If there is one thing that we can count on from in immediate aftermath of an election, it is the annoying and unceasing bleating from the Left about the intelligence of the electorate. The electorate they are referring to is not America as a whole, it is the 35 percent of voters that are considered moderates.

From 2000–2005 the moderates were a bunch of crazy, inbred warmongers too stupid to know which party was actually looking out for them. 2006–2009, by contrast, was a time of rational enlightenment. The days following the elections of 2010 have brought a predictable chorus from the left. The moderates are now “insane, hormonal teenagers”, fools that are dooming America to finical insolvency because they do not want with yet another stimulus or ObamaCare. Talk about bi-polar.

Think about it for a minute. For 7 out of the past 11 years, the left has derided, in the most salacious terms possible, the voters most responsible for deciding the party in power. For all their complaints about the evil conservatives and Tea Partiers dumbing down America, promoting irrational choices and behavior, and lowering the public discourse; they are the ones slinging the most mud at a group of people that tend to represent the epitome of middle-class. How does show a wild swing of praise and criticism help the public discourse? Read more ..

The Political Edge

How the Internet Changed American Politics

December 13th 2010

Obama Admin Topics - Obama and Blackberry

Two years ago, the road to 2012 seemed like a cakewalk for President Barack Obama and an unreachable mountain for the Republicans. The roles haven’t quite reversed yet, but they are evening out. And like in the old Bob Hope-Bing Crosby  movies like “Road to Morocco” or “Road to Singapore,” the road to 2012 has turned into an absurdist journey. Not a traditional political journey, but a silly parody of it with very serious stakes.

American politics has changed so dramatically over the last several years that anyone who had been in a coma  would have trouble adjusting to this new world, in which the occupant of the Oval Office spends half his time abroad and the other half appearing on TV shows, and his likely opponent is doing her press releases via Facebook and has her own TV show. Most of the old taboos have been broken. From the dignity of the office to foreign money to the press corps, very little remains intact anymore. And a lot of this is collateral damage from the impact of the Internet on our political institutions.

The Internet has done two things. First, it undermined the existing system by creating faster and cheaper communication and organizational alternatives. Had the institutions adapted to it, the change would have been much less drastic. But that's not what happened. The media is the most obvious casualty of that failure to adapt, but the political institutions are next. Obama vs Palin is not a matchup that could have existed in the pre-Internet America. But the Internet has made grassroots organizing easier, and is tearing down the wall between the inner and outer circles of political parties. Obama and Sarah Palin are both beneficiaries of that. Read more ..

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