First things first – our radio broadcast link is temporarily down. We hope to be back with it ASAP.
I came across a quote this week that, while humorous is not funny. Because it is true.
“Castro and I are going to have to hurry or we are going to be further right than Obama.” Hugo Chavez
PERHAPS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE WHAT THE RUSSIAN NEWSPAPER “PRAVDA” THINKS OF THE CURRENT MESS IN THE US:
(I CHECKED THIS OUT AND IT IS LEGITIMATE NEWS THERE. THANKS, PAUL.)
6/10/2009 - Soto - Hezbollah at Homeland - Moore
AMERICAN CAPITALISM GONE WITH A WHIMPER? 27.04.2009
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheep, excuse me, I meant people.
True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy".
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more than Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more than happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.
The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more than ordinary street thugs, in comparison.
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more than a whimper to their masters.
Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.
So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies.. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less than two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.
Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.
So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.
The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery without a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.
BLOOMBERG.COM WRITER THINKS PRAVDA MAY BE RIGHT!!
Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead: Kevin Hassett
Commentary by Kevin Hassett
June 8 (Bloomberg) -- I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout.
Once that happens, their new pay czar Kenneth Feinberg can set the wage for everybody and Rahm Emanuel can stack the boards of all of our companies with his political cronies.
I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.
“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?
At issue is Obama’s policy to end the deferral of multinational taxation.
The U.S. now has about the highest combined corporate tax rate, second only to Japan among industrialized countries. That rate is so high that U.S. firms have an enormous disadvantage versus competitors. The average corporate tax rate for the major developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008 was about 27 percent, more than 10 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate.
U.S. firms have nonetheless prospered because our tax code allows a business to set up a subsidiary in a low-tax country. When that subsidiary earns profits, they are taxed at the rate of that country, and don’t face U.S. tax until the money is mailed home.
The economically illiterate partisan Democratic view is that this practice is unpatriotic and bleeds jobs from the U.S. The economic reality is that American companies use this approach to acquire market share overseas. The alternative is losing the business to foreign competitors.
Don’t just take my word for it. A recent paper by Harvard economists Mihir Desai and C. Fritz Foley and Berkeley economist James Hines and published in the distinguished American Economic Review, gathered data on American multinationals to explore the impact of foreign investments on domestic U.S. activity.
Encourage Overseas Sales
Their conclusion was striking. The authors found that “10 percent greater foreign capital investment is associated with 2.2 percent greater domestic investment, and that 10 percent greater foreign employee compensation is associated with 4 percent greater domestic employee compensation. Changes in foreign and domestic sales, assets, and numbers of employees are likewise positively associated; the evidence also indicates that greater foreign investment is associated with additional domestic exports and R&D spending.”
So when firms expand their operations abroad, taking advantage of the lower foreign tax rates, it helps their workers in the U.S. Higher sales abroad (surprise, surprise) are good for domestic workers.
It is worth noting that this study, which is confirmed by a boatload of evidence elsewhere, was coauthored by the same James Hines who recently wrote a sweeping review of international tax policy with Obama’s top economist, Larry Summers. Summers has to know what the literature says.
So the question is, why does Obama advocate a policy that so flies in the face of everything that economists have learned? How could Obama possibly say, as he did last month, that he wants “to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens?” Further, how could Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner call a practice that top scholarship has shown increases wages and employment in the U.S. “indefensible?”
I have to admit I am at a loss. Maybe it is good politics to bash American corporations, and Obama isn’t really serious about making this change happen. But if the change is enacted, and domestic corporate taxes aren’t reduced to offset the big tax hike, the result will be a flight from the U.S. that rivals in scale the greatest avian arctic migrations.
If that occurs, the firms that stay in the U.S. will be at such a huge tax disadvantage that they will absolutely need a “rescue.”
(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)
THE SODOMITE’S PREZ
Of course it’s no surprise that the Democrat Party is the one most frequently promoting abortion, homosexuality and other anti-biblical behaviour. This week King Obie proclaimed June Gay Pride Month.
Only two things wrong with that – it isn’t anything to be proud of and most of us find it shameful.
AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT NAPOLiTANO COULDN’T GET MORE NUTS!
This will not only NOT make you feel more secure, but will cause you to question if there really is a Muslim in charge of America.
Let me see now, ACORN is in charge of voter registration and the US Census, and this lollipop from the ADC is working in homeland security. RIGHT!
Napolitano adds adviser with ties to terror backers
Swears in leader of Arab group that hailed jihadists as 'heroes'
Posted: June 07, 2009
by Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in to her official advisory council the head of an Arab American organization whose officials have labeled deadly anti-U.S. jihadists as "heroes" and opposed referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, also has close ties to anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, whose association with President Obama – first exposed by WND – stirred controversy during last year's presidential campaign.
The ADC also leads the opposition to domestic anti-terrorism measures taken after the 9-11 attacks, such as watch lists, background check delays for visas and an initiative meant to more comprehensively screen visitors from select Mideast countries or specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats.
Last week, Napolitano swore in Damascus-born Kareem Shora, the ADC's national executive director, to a position on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, an outside-the-department group of national security experts that advises the secretary. Shora is the first Arab rights advocate on the panel.
At the ceremony in Albuquerque, Shora reportedly recounted how he watched with his immigrant father Obama's address last week to the Muslim world. Shora said his father cried when he heard Obama's message of reconciliation.
ADC glorifies terrorism
The ADC takes an openly anti-Israel line. Its official material has accused the Jewish state of "apartheid" and "atrocities" against the Palestinians. In 2006, a local ADC group drew up a petition calling on the U.S. to stop providing Israel with weapons.
Scores of senior ADC officials have expressed positive views toward terrorist organizations.
In 1994, during one of the main peaks of Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, "I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable. … I don't believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization."
Discover the Networks notes that two years later, Moghrabi's successor, Hala Maksoud, defended the Hezbollah terrorist group.
"I find it shocking," Maksoud said, "that [one] would include Hezbollah in … [an] inventory of Middle East 'terrorist' groups."
In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish characterized Hezbollah as "a disciplined and responsible liberation force."
When Israel released Hezbollah prisoners in early 2004, Imad Hamad, ADC's Midwest Regional Director, openly celebrated the freedom of "the heroes."
Besides its deadly terrorism against Israel, Hezbollah distinguishes itself as second only to al-Qaida among terror groups responsible for killing the most Americans. It's responsible for such deadly attacks as the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 299 servicemen, including 220 U.S. Marines. ADC linked to Khalidi
The ADC is linked to Columbia University's Khalidi, who spoke at several of the organization's events. At one speech, in June 2002, the New York Sun documented how Khalidi appeared to condone the killing of armed Israelis.
"Killing civilians is a war crime. It's a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They're civilians, they're unarmed," Khalidi said in a recorded address. "The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that's different. That's resistance."
The ADC also has collaborated on numerous projects with the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, an organization founded by Khalidi's wife Mona, and which WND first reported received start-up funds from a nonprofit, the Woods Fund, on which Obama served as a paid director.
The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago's Palestinian immigrant community, worked on projects supporting open boarders and education for illegal aliens. Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The organization co-sponsored anti-Israel projects and exhibits.
Khalidi, an apologist for PLO terrorism, holds the position of Columbia's Edward Said professorship of Arab Studies. Said, a well-known far-leftist intellectual and apologist for Palestinian terrorism, served on an advisory counsel to the ADC.
ADC opposes anti-terrorism screening
According to the ADC charter, the organization seeks to "empower Arab Americans; defend the civil rights of all people of Arab heritage in the U.S.; promote civic participation; and encourage a balanced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."
The organization has actively lobbied against the Patriot Act and was reportedly instrumental in scaling back some of the restrictions of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System program, or NSEERS. Shora was personally involved in those efforts.
The NSEERS required persons whose nationality identifies them as a possible security risk to submit to control processes governed by the Department of Justice. NSEERS also targeted specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats, at times making them undergo fingerprinting, photographing and registration.
WE WATCHED IN AMAZEMENT WHEN PHILI BLACK PANTHERS WITH A NIGHT STICK THREATENED VOTERS. – ON FILM! AND THE POLICE SAW THEM.
Why Would Justice Dept. Protect Black Panthers?
Charges brought against three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense under the Bush administration have been dropped by the Obama Justice Department, FOX News has learned. The charges stemmed from an incident at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day 2008 when three members of the party were accused of trying to threaten voters and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force -- one even brandishing what prosecutors call a deadly weapon.
PALIN IS ON TO SOMETHING HERE.
Her comments are on the mark. Now we want to ask you a couple of more “conspiratorial” questions. Why accelerate the Sotomayor hearings? Oh, yes, and the people who brought you more national debt than all Presidents since Washington want to take over your health care!
King Obie has a 61% approval rating according to the (as Limbaugh calls them) “state run media.”
As for the 600,000 “saved or new” jobs they predict this summer – there is no way to chart that, so why not say 600 trillion? Sort of like the Darwinian “billions of years ago,” if you want impressive limits the farthest light year is the limit.
Palin blasts Obama administration: Government wants to "control the people"
(CNN) – Alaska governor Sarah Palin let loose Wednesday on the Obama administration for enacting fiscal policies that "fly in the face of principles" and "defy Economics 101."
In a speech introducing Michael Reagan — the son of former President Ronald Reagan — to an audience in Anchorage, Palin warned that the government is planning to "bail out debt ridden states" so it can "get in there and control the people."
"Since when can you get out of huge national debt by creating trillions of dollars of new debt?" Palin asked. "It all really is so backwards and skewed as to sound like absolute nonsense when some of this economic policy is explained."
"We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population, and fearful lawmakers, being led to believe that big government is the answer, to bail out the private sector, because then government gets to get in there and control it," she said. "And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people."
"Some in Washington would approach our economic woes in ways that absolutely defy Economics 101, and they fly in the face of principles, providing opportunity for industrious Americans to succeed or to fail on their own accord," she said. "Those principles it makes you wonder what the heck some in Washington are trying to accomplish here."
Though the bulk of her remarks focused on government encroachment into the private sector, and praise for former President Reagan's views on limited government, the former vice presidential candidate briefly touched on national security. She told the crowd that "the terrorists are still dead set against us" and that her son Track is still deployed in Iraq.
"It is war over there, so it will not be war over here," she said. "And it had better still be our mission that we win, they lose."
She also pointed to the recent dismissal of another ethics complaint against her, one that accused the governor of having a conflict of interest for wearing a jacket to the opening of the Tesoro Iron Dog race in February that feautured the logo of the sponsor of her husband's team. Palin has been forced to set up a legal defense fund to help pay for fees related to an onslaught of ethic complaints.
Palin said of the people who have filed the complaints: "Those are the folks who want to tell me, they want to tell you, to sit down and shut up. We will not do that. I just can't, because I love my state. I love my country." (Primebuzz.com)
SPEAKING OF THE SOTOMAYOR NOMINATION: Here’s Krauthammer:
Sotomayor: Criticize, then confirm
May. 31, 2009
Charles Krauthammer , THE JERUSALEM POST
Sonia Sotomayor has a classic American story. So does Frank Ricci.
Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Connecticut, Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut's youngest certified EMT.
After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven "truckie," the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.
He placed sixth on the lieutenant's exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted.
Ricci (with 19 others) sued.
That's where these two American stories intersect. Sotomayor was a member of the three-member circuit court panel that upheld the dismissal of his case, thus denying Ricci his promotion.
This summary ruling deeply disturbed fellow members of Sotomayor's court, including Judge Jose Cabranes (a fellow Clinton appointee) who, writing for five others, criticized the unusual, initially unpublished, single-paragraph dismissal for ignoring the serious constitutional issues at stake.
Two things are sure to happen this summer: The Supreme Court will overturn Sotomayor's panel's ruling. And, barring some huge hidden scandal, Sotomayor will be elevated to that same Supreme Court.
WHAT SHOULD a principled conservative do? Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views. No magazine gossip from anonymous court clerks. No "temperament" insinuations. Nothing ad hominem. The argument should be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy.
On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats' enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.
Sotomayor shares President Barack Obama's vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making - sympathetic concern for litigants' background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.
Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy - and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.
Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life - through charity, respect and loving-kindness - and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.
But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.
Obama and Sotomayor draw on the "richness of her experiences" and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: "I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich... So help me God."
WHEN THE HEARINGS begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling "facially race-neutral." Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor solely on the grounds - consistently violated by the Democrats, including senator Obama - that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.
Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less "advantaged." A teaching moment, as liberals like to say. Clarifying and politically potent. Seize it.
- The Washington Post Writers Group
JEWISH TIES? PARDON ME.
I had to laugh when I read this article. Here is a gal who likes to knosh on pig intestines, ears and feet. I know, her Jewish ties are a reach. The link here is liberalism, not Jewishness.
Sotomayor's Jewish ties
May. 28, 2009
Ron Kampeas / jta , THE JERUSALEM POST
Jewish groups don't endorse US Supreme Court nominees, at least in writing.
The tears and choked sobs when Sonia Sotomayor accepted President Obama's nomination on Tuesday told another story.
Packed into the room along with Sotomayor's family, friends and colleagues were representatives of Jewish groups that have consulted with the White House about prospective replacements for David Souter.
The story of her life - the daughter of a Puerto Rican single mother from the Bronx, NY, whose ambitions knew no bounds - resounded with a community that has made the story of immigrant triumph over struggle a template of Jewish American success.
"It was impossible not to moved by her personal story," said Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center. "To see her mother sitting there and think about what this says about her and her country - the combination of someone who grew up in a housing project, who has been on the bench for a long time, but who has been a prosecutor as well, that combination is very powerful."
"It was thrilling," said Sammie Moshenberg, the Washington director of the National Council of Jewish Women.
It doesn't hurt that Sotomayor, 54, is a poster child for strong Jewish-Hispanic relations. In 1986, when she was in private legal practice, she joined one of the first young leadership tours of Israel sponsored by Project Interchange, which is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee.
Sotomayor so enjoyed the country - its immigrant culture, its popular music influenced heavily by Jewish immigrants from Argentina and Brazil - that she made a return visit in 1996 when she was a federal judge, and recently joined a Project Interchange US-Israel forum on immigration. In the process, she formed a lifelong friendship with Project Interchange founder Debbie Berger and her husband, Paul, who attended her swearing-in as a Manhattan appeals court judge in 1998.
"She enjoyed Israel not just from an intellectual perspective, she liked the music and the people," Paul Berger told JTA. … (J-Post.com)
SOTO RIPPED NANCY!
Ripped her right off the front pages that is. Say “Thank you,” Nancy. It’s true that the nomination came just in time to get Pelosi some breathing room.
Still, the Republicans are frustrated that Pelosi is still receiving CIA briefings, even after saying that the CIA lied to her.
SPEAKING OF SHOVED ASIDE!
King Obie did a swell job of removing the Clinton threat as we said last week. Hillary is playing second fiddle to George Mitchell in the area of Middle East affairs.
Still she’s in there swinging as you can see.
Israel rejects Clinton claim of no agreement on settlements
Jun. 7, 2009
HILARY LEILA KRIEGER and HERB KEINON , THE JERUSALEM POST
Just after US President Barack Obama's landmark address in Cairo, and just before US Mideast envoy George Mitchell returns to the region on Tuesday, the dispute between Washington and Jerusalem over settlement construction ratcheted up a notch.
Israeli officials rejected on Saturday a statement by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissing Israeli assertions that the Bush administration had agreed to allow some construction in the settlements to allow for natural growth.
"There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which, of course, people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the United States government," Clinton told reporters on Friday, in a news conference with her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, at the State Department.
Recently, Israeli officials, buttressed by some former Bush administration appointees, have maintained that Jerusalem retained tacit US approval to build in already existing settlements, so long as new settlements were not created, the lines of the settlements' boundaries did not expand and no government aid was given to these residents.
Some Israeli officials are contending that the US is backtracking on previous understandings which were vital to Israel supporting both the Gaza disengagement, and the road map, a three-stage process leading towards a Palestinian state which called for a halt to settlement construction, including for natural growth.
Clinton said that despite reports of such understandings, which were outlined by former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams in The Washington Post in April, "There are contrary documents that suggest that they were not to be viewed as in any way contradicting the obligations that Israel undertook pursuant to the road map. And those obligations are very clear."
In response, a senior government official reiterated Jerusalem's position that understandings "were reached between the Israel and American government concerning settlements, and on the basis of those understanding Israel accepted the road map and disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Those understandings have been confirmed publicly by leading officials of the Bush administration."
Clinton and other State Department officials have also repeatedly refused to endorse a written document in 2004 from then US president George W. Bush to former prime minister Ariel Sharon, in which he acknowledged that it was not realistic to expect Israel to pull back completely to the June 1967 lines, something Israel interpreted as US support for its holding on to the large settlement blocs close to the Green Line.
Israel officials have long maintained that construction in these specific settlement blocs should not be subject to the same restraints imposed on other settlements, which are mostly located outside of the security fence and often near Palestinian population centers.
When the subject of whether the US felt bound by the Bush letter was raised with State Department Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley on Wednesday, he referred to Israeli and Palestinian obligations under the road map.
Asked whether this meant the US was not bound by the letter, he replied, "I would suggest that you keep focusing on the road map."
Despite the differences, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post shortly after Obama's speech in Cairo Thursday that "there's a professional, constructive dialogue on this issue," and that "we have differences, but believe we can find an arrangement that works."
The settlement issue is expected to be a primary focus of Mitchell's discussions here this week.
The settlements issue has become a major flash point between the US and Israeli governments, as Obama and his top deputies have frequently and publicly repeated the demand that settlement construction stop, despite the political complications that creates for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition.
Obama himself attempted to defuse some of the tension during his European trip this weekend, however, pointing out that his demands have been long-standing US policy.
He also stressed that he is not only making demands of Israel.
"I've discussed the importance of a cessation of settlement construction," he said in France Saturday, "but I also want to reemphasize, because that's gotten more attention than what I've also said, which is the Palestinians have to renounce violence, end incitement, improve their governance capacity so that Israelis can be confident that the Palestinians can follow through on any commitments they make across the table."
The day before, in Germany, he also emphasized his call for the Arab states to take decisive action.
"The Arab states have to be a part of this process. It's not sufficient just to point at the Palestinian problem and then say we are not going to engage, we're not going to take responsibility," he said.
"They are going to have to step up as well because the Arab states not only are important politically, they're also important economically. And to the extent that they put their shoulder behind the wheel, that can move the process forward in a significant way."
He referred to them making economic and diplomatic moves towards Israel as the process gains momentum.
Obama also reiterated the importance of a two-state solution and making progress toward that goal, referring to "the need for all of us to redouble our efforts to bring about two states, Israel and a Palestinian state, that are living side by side in peace and security."
He added, "I think the moment is now for us to act on what we all know to be the truth, which is that each side is going to have to make some difficult compromises."
In a joint press conference with Obama in France on Saturday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy joined the US president in calling on Israel to stop settlement construction.
On Iran, the two presidents again mutually called for the Islamic Republic not to develop a nuclear weapons program.
Obama said there must be "tough diplomacy" with Teheran on the nuclear issue. Sarkozy said he worried about "insane statements" by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Meanwhile, Obama on Friday delayed for another six months moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in what has become a bureaucratic ritual since Congress passed a law in 1995 requiring the move.
An escape clause in the Jerusalem Embassy Act allows the president to delay the move every six months if he determines it contrary to US security interests.
"US policy on Jerusalem has not changed; Jerusalem is a final-status issue to be resolved in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians," a White House official said Friday.
AP contributed to this report.
PEACE IN OUR TIME?
While the US media were swooning over the Obama Egypt speech to the world’s Muslims, Limbaugh was trashing it, and most were just amazed at the ignorance in saying that the US is a Muslim Nation, the world’s terrorists were very pleased.
I read much of the 6000 word speech and it was another warm and toasty marshmallow. The Prez is so good at making all America’s enemies love him that we should be pleased. But then, when one is running for the King of the World title, he better be good.
You may be interested in an J-Post article that follows:
PA, Hamas hail Obama's message to Israel
Jun. 4, 2009
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
Palestinians here expressed satisfaction with US President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo, while many Arabs and Muslims around the world voiced mixed feelings.
The Palestinian Authority was the first to welcome Obama's statements as a "new and different start." Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, termed the speech a "clear and frank message to the Israelis." He said the Palestinians were particularly satisfied with Obama's talk about the need to end the suffering of the Palestinians, halt settlement construction and establish a Palestinian state.
"President Obama's readiness for partnership, listening, confidence-building and ending tensions is the first and basic step for just and comprehensive peace in the region," Abu Rudaineh said. "Israel must take Obama's words seriously."
He added that the message Obama had sent to the Israelis in his speech was that they must choose between peace and continued tension.
Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat hailed the speech as a historic event and said he expected the Obama administration to launch practical measures, including the deployment of observers on the ground, to impose the two-state solution.
Erekat said he did not expect Israel to comply with Obama's demand to end settlement construction.
"This call will fall on deaf ears in Israel," he said. "And this will be Obama's real test."
Hamas also welcomed Obama's speech, although some of the movement's spokesmen appeared to be less enthusiastic.
Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum welcomed what he called "Obama's calm tone." But, he continued, the speech was "full of contradictions and lacking in practical policies and steps to support Palestinian sovereignty on our land."
Barhoum said Hamas was disappointed because Obama had not called for "respecting the legitimacy" of the Islamic movement - which, he added, had come to power in a free election.
Rejecting Obama's call for recognizing Israel's right to exist, the Hamas spokesman said his movement would not accept the Quartet's conditions for dealing with the Hamas government: recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of all previous agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel.
"Recognition of Israel would mean giving legitimacy to the occupation," Barhoum explained. "It would also give Israel a cover for pursuing its aggression and crimes against our people."
He also expressed regret that Obama did not "apologize" to the Arabs and Muslims for US policies and actions against their countries. The Hamas spokesman also criticized Obama for ignoring the Palestinian "right of return" to their original villages inside Israel. However, he welcomed Obama's opposition to continued construction in the settlements.
Earlier, the Hamas government invited Obama to visit the Gaza Strip. The invitation was issued by Ahmed Yousef, a senior official with Hamas's Foreign Ministry.
Yousef told Al-Jazeera television that the speech was reminiscent of Martin Luther King, Jr. in its vision - but that it would not make Hamas inclined to recognize Israel.
"What he said about Islam was great. What he said about Palestinian suffering and a Palestinian state is great," Yousef said. But "we have a lot of reservations," he added.
Palestinian political analyst Hani Habib said he saw Obama's speech as an indication of Washington's intention to embark on a more balanced and rational policy toward the Israeli-Arab conflict.
"I think we are going to see something different from what we've seen from previous US administrations," he said. "The Obama administration's new policy is based on the assumption that the situation in the Middle East is closely linked to American interests."
Habib said Obama's speech had left many Arabs and Muslims with the impression that it was possible to reconcile with a superpower that had waged a hostile campaign against them for a long time.
Ordinary Palestinians here and elsewhere in the PA territories also had mixed feelings about the speech, although many welcomed what they believed was the beginning of real change in Washington's "bias" in favor of Israel.
Many also praised Obama for displaying respect for Islam and Muslims.
"I felt as if I was listening to a speech delivered by the president of an Islamic state," said university student Ala Safwan. "This is the first time that we hear an American president say good things about Islam."
Other Palestinians said that while they felt deep satisfaction with Obama's speech, they were waiting to see if he would follow up and take "real steps" to bring about a Palestinian state.
"Obama said many good things in support of the Arabs and Palestinians, but that's not enough," said shopkeeper Walid Hamayel. "Only the future will tell if Obama is serious about the two-state solution."
Throughout the Arab and Islamic world, many also seemed to approve of Obama's "new and balanced" policy toward the Middle East conflict.
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa described the speech as "fair and balanced" and called on Israel to comply with Obama's call for peace.
"This speech lays the foundations for a positive relationship between the US and the Arabs and Muslims," he said. "I believe that Obama's talk about peace is directed toward Israel, and that's why the Israelis must comply."
Egyptian dissident Ayman Nour said that the speech was "actually better than we expected, but not as good as we hoped."
He said Obama's position on democracy was "very general, a bit weak. We hoped for more detail."
Muslim leaders expressed cautious optimism over Obama's speech, saying they were expecting "deeds and not only words."
The mufti of Syria, Ahmed Hassoun, was quoted by a German news agency as expressing his gratitude to Obama for being "fair toward the Muslims." But, he added, "we want Obama to be clearer regarding our causes, and we thank him for his support for the Palestinians."
AP contributed to this report.
OBAMA COMMENTS IN GERMANY!
I remind you that Europe has embraced socialism for years. Now that it is backtracking and voting for conservative leaders our American government is turning into the latest Politburo!
The remarks below will not warm the Palestinians’ hearts. Personally, I think they should be engraved on a wall in Israel!
"When it comes to the Palestinians, we know what they're supposed to be doing. They have to continue to make progress on security in the West Bank.
They have to deal with incitement issues. There's still a tendency, even within -- among Palestinians who say they are interested in peace with Israel, to engage in statements that are -- that incite a hatred of Israel or are not constructive to the peace process. Now I think, to his credit, President Abbas has made progress on this issue -- but not enough.
We still have not seen a firm commitment from the Palestinian Authority that they can control some of the border areas that Israel is going to be very concerned about if there were to be a two-state solution. There are still problems of corruption and mismanagement within the Authority that have to be addressed.
So there are going to be a whole set of things having to do with the Palestinians' ability to govern effectively and maintain security. And if they're not solved, Israelis are going to have trouble moving forward.
And the Arab states, what I'd like to see is indicators that they are willing, if Israel makes tough commitments, to also make some hard choices that will allow for an opening of commerce, diplomatic exchanges between Israel and its neighbors."
–Remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama Friday (June 5) at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Dresden Castle, Germany
KALKILYA – HOME OF HAMAS TERRORISTS.
The IDF has opened the Kalkilya crossing roadblock this week. This borderline Arab city inside the West Bank is a cauldron of terrorism and radicalism. It was only a couple of weeks ago you might remember that we reported on the PALESTINIAN security forces discovery of weapons and explosives inside a mosque here.
Then the next week there were gun battles between the PA, Hamas and IDF forces at various times. It ain’t Iraq, but it is not peaceful here.
With these roadblocks down terrorists can move freely between locations carrying their weapons and explosives. Look for more attacks inside Israel.
DID ISRAEL LIKE OBAMA’S SPEECH? Here’s a blurb.
Right shocked by Obama's comparison of Palestinians' plight to Holocaust
Jun. 5, 2009
Gil Hoffman , THE JERUSALEM POST
Ministers and MKs on the Right expressed outrage on Thursday at US President Barrack Obama's comparison of the suffering of the Palestinians to what Jews endured in the Holocaust.
In his Cairo speech, immediately after talking about the Holocaust, Obama said that "on the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."
"Obama shockingly equated the destruction of European Jewry to the suffering Arabs brought upon themselves when they declared war on the nascent state of Israel," National Union MK Arye Eldad said. "If he doesn't understand the difference, perhaps he will when he visits the Buchenwald concentration camp [on Friday]. And if he still won't get it then, the Muslims will teach him a painful lesson that his predecessor learned on September 11."
Diaspora Affairs and Public Relations Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) blamed Obama's comparison between the Holocaust and the Palestinians' plight on previous Israeli governments for accepting the Palestinian narrative. He singled out Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, who he said emphasized Palestinian interests over Israel's as foreign minister.
Eldad's National Union colleague, MK Michael Ben-Ari, compared Obama to Pharoah and said that just as the Jewish people overcame one, the Jewish state would overcome the other.
IRANIAN GUNPLAY AT AHMADINEJAD CAMPAIGN OFFICE
Amazingly this story about a shooting taking place was released. The tag is that the authorities said the gunmen were first al Qaeda, then neither Shiite nor Sunni, and finally that they were American dupes.
Things are not calm in Iran. And we certainly with the candidates who are for better relations with the US well.
Iran: Gunmen wound 3 at president's campaign site
By NASSER KARIMI
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Gunmen wounded three people at one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's campaign offices in southeast Iran on Friday, a day after a bombing in a Shiite mosque in the same city killed 25 people, the official news agency said.
The attacks took place in Zahedan, the capital of a lawless province near Pakistan and Afghanistan that has witnessed attacks by Jundallah, a militant group that claims to be fighting for the rights of minority Sunnis and is believed to have al-Qaida links.
Abdel Raouf Rigi, a Jundallah spokesman, told Al-Arabiya television that his group was responsible for Thursday's attack and said it was carried out by a suicide bomber targeting a secret meeting of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards that was taking place inside the mosque.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed "interventionist powers" of trying to incite sectarian conflict with the mosque bombing, and the country's interior minister specifically accused the U.S. and Israel. Iran often blames Western powers for violence inside the country—accusations they routinely refuse.
It was unclear if there was any connection between the two attacks in Zahedan, located some 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) southeast of Tehran.
The three gunmen who attacked the campaign office insulted and threatened people before opening fire and injuring two office workers and an infant, the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted the office chief, Mohammad Zahed Sheikhi, as saying. The men were captured after a short chase, he said without providing further detail.
The attack comes two weeks before Ahmadinejad faces a tough election against three other candidates, two of whom are reformists who have criticized the president's performance and hope to improve relations with the West.
Ahmadinejad and other hard-liners in the government have often had a hostile relationship with the U.S. and its allies, reflected in the frequent accusations that the countries are fomenting unrest in Iran.
"I announce that ... those who committed the bombing are neither Shiite nor Sunni. They are Americans and Israelis" who want to stoke sectarian conflict in the country, Iranian Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said on the ministry's Web site.
Khamenei urged Sunni and Shiite leaders in a message read by state television temper their reaction to the attack and distance themselves from extremists.
The Martyr Foundation, a government organization that provides financial support to victims of terrorist attacks in Iran, said 25 people were killed in the bombing in Zahedan's second-largest Shiite mosque.
Jalal Sayyah, a senior security official in Zahedan, said 145 people were injured in the bombing and three suspects have been detained.
"Hire of the terrorists by the U.S. was verified based on investigation," Sayyah told The Associated Press.
Sayyah did not say whether the terrorists belonged to a specific group. In 2007, Jundallah, or God's Brigade, killed 11 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards in Zahedan.
Iran blamed a similar bombing of a Shiite mosque in the country's southwest in April 2008 on three men it said had ties to the U.S. The bombing in the city of Shiraz, located some 550 miles (885 kilometers) south of Tehran, killed 14 people.
Last month, Iran hanged the men, who the court said were members of a little known monarchist group that wants to overthrow the country's ruling Islamic establishment.
SYRIA HAS URANIUM! Say it isn’t so!
Early this year Israel sent F-15s to Syria with a potent message. No Nukes. Now the UN’s nuclear agency has reported that it has found unexplained particles of uranium in Syria.
I am totally shocked! Not. In fact, Israel released information last week stating that the very site that they had turned to rubble is being rebuilt – as a chemical warfare producing plant. Wait and see. It too, will go “BOOM!” some night.
As for the UN’s nuclear comics, they have proven their worth in Iraq years ago and in Iran constantly for six years now. Like the rest of the UN they are without redeeming qualities.
JUST ONE MORE PRESIDENT WITHOUT COURAGE
Obama can resurrect the entire US economy with a wink and a nod (and a bit of regal unconstitutional power) but he cannot find the guts to move the US embassy to Jerusalem where that nation’s capitol resides. Haaretz reported on the cowardice this week.
“The U.S. Congress approved the transfer of the embassy 14 years ago.
Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty. Netanyahu said he had made the same declaration during his visit to Washington last month when he met with Obama.
"The new U.S. administration informs us with intolerably ease that we have to give up Jerusalem," the premier said during a May ceremony marking Jerusalem Day.
"With all due respect, the U.S. president sees the American interest and does not know that Jerusalem is not a territorial issue, but a much deeper one - 'the hope of two thousand years/the land of Zion and Jerusalem,'" he said, quoting Israel's national anthem. (Haaretz.com)
Our radio broadcast today was on the IDF’s robot snake. I know you cannot listen on Wednesday but we hope to have the link restored soon. In the mean time, here is the link ot the video and the news report. This thing is way too cool!!
IDF developing battlefield robot snake
Jun. 9, 2009
DOV LIEBER , THE JERUSALEM POST
A robot snake, capable of recording video and sound on the battlefield, is the latest addition to the IDF's technological achievements.
According to a Channel 2 report - click here to watch video - the spying robot, about two meters long and covered in army camouflage, mimics the movements and appearance of a real snake, slithering around through caves, tunnels, cracks and buildings, sending images and sound back to a soldier controlling the device through a laptop. The snake has a single camera on front end.
Able to bend its joints so well that it can slither through very tight spaces, the new robotic device will be utilized to find people buried under rubble of collapsed buildings. Furthermore, the snake is able to arch its body straight, allowing it to see over obstacles.
Researchers studied the movements of live snakes in order to create the most natural and realistic prototype.
A price has yet to be set for the robotic snake, which is still in being developed; however, according to reports, the IDF plans on providing their combat units with the recording devices.
Aside from recording multimedia, the robot snake can be used to carry bombs intended to wreak havoc on enemy soldiers or buildings.
The Ministry of Defense, with experts from Technion, most likely based their intelligence-gathering robot on a previous project of Ben Gurion University, which in the recent past has created a whole slew of robotic animals with special abilities. … (jpost.com)
We have traveled about 13,000 miles in the past three weeks. I am finally sitting still. My wife and I walked a couple of miles today just to get the kinks out. It felt so good!
She goes for consultations and then cataract surgeries which will cover almost 8 weeks time from start to finish because of the surgeon’s schedule. We treasure your prayers for and for his expertise.
Those who have experienced this all seem quite positive about the procedure and the results. I personally hate getting a gnat in my eye. The idea of someone slicing it is not a positive.
NEWS, NEGATIVE AND KNOWING GOD
I live with reading, reporting and commenting on the events of the day as well as some history. News is a big part of what I do. But it is not who I am. That’s different.
Occasionally I get a note from someone who is almost panicked about one event or another. I get a bit exercised myself now and then about some form of stupidity or another. But I also know that there is a God in Heaven whose sovereignty is omnipotent. He has everything under control.
As Job could testify, there are times in even the best of people’s lives when everything seems to go wrong. We suffered the loss of one of the finest men I’ve ever know recently. I loved him like a brother.
We hugged one another and expressed our love for each other, and then I left for Israel, never to see him alive again. The vacuum he has left in his family as well as his friends’ lives it immense. Every now and again each day I will think of him and my heart breaks anew. Forty-eight is too young to be leaving this earth from human considerations.
But the impact he left behind is even larger than the loss we feel, though. He wrote, taught, led his family with his wife, and was an example of what a Christian man whose life is balanced ought to be. This is not a eulogy. This is the testimony of a man who lived for the Lord. Not as a preacher, missionary, or even a full time ministry worker. He was a layman who put his treasure where his heart was – in the hands of his Saviour.
The great heart-warming thought that comes to me now is that he was married to a woman who has the same virtues and faith, and who trusts the Lord, even in her moment of greatest pain and loss.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
Because every one of us has the potential to get out of balance. Usually this happens when we get sick, weary, frustrated, angry or afraid. We get to looking around us instead of looking up.
Job has “comforters” who were anything but. Yet there is a little piece of the book of Job that I am reminded of. When Job’s situation began to change was right after he was told to go tell others “there shall be lifting up.”
It’s not a very motivational statement. Not really very profound on the face of it. But this little bit of advice is awesome. Why?
Because it takes our eyes off ourselves. Off our situation, our loss, our plight and puts our minds to consider others. It is when we reach out to those who are perhaps not even as desperate as we are, that our lot improves.
There shall be lifting up. The song says “I’ve read the back of the book,” meaning that the Lord sets all things right eventually.
These are frightening and frustrating times. Our nation is deluded by a group of people who seem convinced in repeating Karl Marx’s foolish socialist experiment and ruining our land. Human rights, infant rights and the US Constitution are worthless to them, it seems.
But consider God. He still reigns. Instead of fear, demonstrate some faith. Encourage others. Talk and walk and live like someone who knows that the Lord is in charge. Man proposes, but God disposes.
We are in the final stages of publishing our 3rd Jake Crabtree novel. It will be out soon. Thanks to you all who have written or spoken to us, encouraging us to get it done. I think you’ll like it. If our editors are any judge, it is the best yet.
Thank you also for your love, support, encouragement and friendship since we began this journey in January 2004. We appreciate your being in our corner.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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This Week In Israel is written for those with a real interest in Israel and what affects that nation. Written from a position of love and concern for the people, we want to educate, at times entertain, and keep you up to speed.