Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama, the African Colonial

Very interesting:

American Thinker: Obama, the African Colonial
Had Americans been able to stop obsessing over the color of Barack Obama's skin and instead paid more attention to his cultural identity, maybe he would not be in the White House today. The key to understanding him lies with his identification with his father, and his adoption of a cultural and political mindset rooted in postcolonial Africa.

Like many educated intellectuals in postcolonial Africa, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was enraged at the transformation of his native land by its colonial conqueror. But instead of embracing the traditional values of his own tribal cultural past, he embraced an imported Western ideology, Marxism. I call such frustrated and angry modern Africans who embrace various foreign "isms", instead of looking homeward for repair of societies that are broken, African Colonials. They are Africans who serve foreign ideas.

The tropes of America's racial history as a way of understanding all things black are useless in understanding the man who got his dreams from his father, a Kenyan exemplar of the African Colonial.

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Nothing so shocking about this coup

Another perspective on the Honduran sorta kinda coup:

Nothing so shocking about this coup - Other Views - MiamiHerald.com
The greatest tourist attraction in Central America has always been politics. Diplomats stop by every few years, take a couple of snapshots of what's going on at the presidential palace, and then profoundly declare their opinions, devoid of context or history. This week's favorite diplotourism destination is Honduras, where the army Sunday arrested President Manuel Zelaya and booted him across the border to Costa Rica. In the Polaroid analysis, it's pretty clear what happened: ''A return to barbarism in our hemisphere,'' as Argentina's president Cristina Fernández put it.

She had plenty of company. ''The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all,'' said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ``We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law.''

The OAS Permanent Council voted ''to condemn vehemently the coup d'etat staged this morning against the constitutionally established government of Honduras.'' U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded ``the reinstatement of the democratically elected representatives of the country and full respect for human rights.''

Here's a question for all these new-found defenders of Honduran democracy: Where were you last week? Perhaps if some of these warnings about sticking to the constitution had been addressed to President Zelaya, the Honduran army would still be in the barracks where it belongs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

France May Dissolve Church of Scientology

I have mixed feelings about this and no I don't care for Scientology:

France May Dissolve Church of Scientology | Liveblog | Christianity Today
In a groundbreaking case, a Paris court will decide for the first time whether to dissolve the Church of Scientology in France, which is facing charges of organized fraud.

The demand was made by French prosecutors on Monday (June 15) as they wrapped up their case against the church's Paris headquarters and bookshop. If found guilty, the institutions may also face a nearly $6 million fine.

Six members of the church are also on trial, and may also face heavy fines along with prison sentences if convicted.

The plaintiffs, two former Scientologists, claim the church conned them into spending tens of thousands of dollars in bogus products in the 1990s, including an "electrometer" that the church says can measure energy levels.

But the church, which claims a membership of 45,000 in France, rejects the accusations and claims it is being persecuted.

The plaintiffs, are "apostates who ... want to criticize their ex-religion," Fabio Amicarelli, a European Scientology representative, told French media recently.

Polyamory: When One Spouse Isn't Enough

Not hard to see this one coming:

Polyamory: When One Spouse Isn't Enough - ABC News
She has a birth name but calls herself "Ashara Love," because most people don't understand her unconventional family.

Love, a 51-year-old insurance underwriter from California, has been married to her husband "Cougar" for a decade, but they've had numerous sexual triads, which they insist have enriched their relationship.

"I am living my life partially hidden and partially open," said Love, whose friends and boss know about her sexuality, but her parents do not.

"Many of us adopt another name because it provides us with protection from being outed," she said. "We are the next generation after the gay and transgender communities."

As polyamorists, the couple belongs to a small group that believes people have the right to form their own complex relationships with multiple partners. The most vocal want the right to marry -- as a cluster.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama's Persian Tutorial

Very good read:

Obama's Persian Tutorial - WSJ.com
President Barack Obama did not "lose" Iran. This is not a Jimmy Carter moment. But the foreign-policy education of America's 44th president has just begun. Hitherto, he had been cavalier about other lands, he had trusted in his own biography as a bridge to distant peoples, he had believed he could talk rogues and ideologues out of deeply held beliefs. His predecessor had drawn lines in the sand. He would look past them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Americans Hate the Media

Very interesting:

Why Americans Hate the Media - 96.02
Why has the media establishment become so unpopular? Perhaps the public has good reason to think that the media's self-aggrandizement gets in the way of solving the country's real problems.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Supreme Leader Loses His Aura as Iranians Flock to the Streets

I wonder how far the Iranian security forces will go in trying to quell the uprising:

Op-Ed Columnist - A Supreme Leader Loses His Aura as Iranians Flock to the Streets - NYTimes.com
The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. “I swear to God,” he shouted at the protesters facing him, “I have children, I have a wife, I don’t want to beat people. Please go home.”

He's Barack Obama!!!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Record Unemployment in 12 States

Ouch, and Oregon is not doing well.

Gateway Pundit: Thanks Barack... Record Unemployment in 12 States
Michigan again reported the highest jobless rate, 14.1 percent in May. The states with the next highest rates were Oregon, 12.4 percent; Rhode Island and South Carolina, 12.1 percent each; California, 11.5 percent; Nevada, 11.3 percent; and North Carolina, 11.1 percent. Six additional states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rates of at least 10.0 percent. The California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and South Carolina rates were the highest on record for those states. Florida, at 10.2 percent, and Georgia, at 9.7 percent, also posted series highs. Nebraska and North Dakota registered the lowest unemployment rates, 4.4 percent each.

What the World's Great Recession Looks Like

Not particularly good news:

What the World's Great Recession Looks Like - The Atlantic Business Channel
Yesterday I posted four graphs showing that although the collapse in US home prices and our federal deficit is without precedent, the country is still tracking better than the Great Depression in just about everything else. We're not experiencing (yet) either Depression-era deflation or even average-recession inflation. US trade is beginning to rebound slightly. Our industrial production falloff isn't even close to the early '30s, and our unemployment, while historically terrible, isn't Depression-vintage.

But today I got my hands on alarming graphs from the folks at VoxEU (via a column by Martin Wolf) which convincingly demonstrates that, for the much of the world, 2009 looks, without question, just as bad, if not worse, than the first years of the Great Depression.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shortest slasher flick

World's Shortest Slasher Flick

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Man Who Would Be God


Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » The Man Who Would Be God
I know many Jews who think that because Rahm Emanuel, a Jew, has Obama’s ear, it means Israel can rely on Obama’s better instincts. What they are ignoring is that Mr. Emanuel is a longtime veteran of Chicago politics, which means that power and influence are an end in themselves. And as every tyrant and left-winger will tell you, the ends justify the means. With friends like Obama and Emanuel, Israel doesn’t need any enemies, although God knows they have plenty.

One of the things that annoy me the most about Obama is how easily he lies. One of the things that annoy me about the media is the way they enable him to get away with it.

For instance, when he jammed through the trillion-dollar pork pie, he claimed it was so urgently needed he couldn’t spare the legislators even 48 hours to plow through the 1,100 pages. However, once they passed the bill, Obama waited four days before flying off to Denver to sign it.

Lately, there’s been a video making the rounds on the Internet showing one of Obama’s female bureaucrats being grilled by a congressional committee that was trying to find out where a couple of trillion dollars might have gone missing. I almost felt sorry for the lady as she shuffled her papers around, as if the money might be hiding between the pages. After six or seven minutes of this hilarious but chilling charade, I fully expected her to say her dog ate it.

A second lie that recently went unquestioned by the media was Obama’s claim that he had only given President Sarkozy short shrift when he was in France because it was essential that he get back to the Oval Office and make those tough decisions that only he can make. And, sure enough, it turned out that within an hour of his return to Washington, he was on the golf course, making one of those gut-wrenching executive decisions — deciding whether to use a putter or a sand wedge from the edge of a bunker.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It'll be years before jobs return to much of U.S.

Interesting.  HT: Ken

Projection: It'll be years before jobs return to much of U.S. | McClatchy
Unlike the labor market collapse that killed millions of U.S. jobs in a matter of months, the nation's return to peak employment will not be nearly as uniform nor as swift.

While signs indicate that the worst of the recession may be over, only six metropolitan areas across the country are expected to regain their pre-recession employment levels by the end of 2009, according to projections from IHS Global Insight, a leading economic forecaster.

The areas poised for a jobs rebound later this year are: Anchorage, Alaska; Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Columbia, Mo.; Laredo, Texas; and the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux areas of Louisiana.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gipperslist Conservative Classifieds

Your Guide To Following The Iranian Election Protests Online

How to keep up with all the news and more using the new media:

Your Guide To Following The Iranian Election Protests Online | Popular Science
The best sources to follow the unprecedented torrents of information flowing from the ground via social media tools.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Supervolcano may be brewing beneath Mount St Helens

I seriously hope not:

10 June 2009 - New Scientist
IS A supervolcano brewing beneath Mount St Helens? Peering under the volcano has revealed what may be an extraordinarily large zone of semi-molten rock, which would be capable of feeding a giant eruption.


...As we’ve already seen, one of the things that can rob us of our contentment is the tendency to focus on what is going to make us content in the future instead of enjoying what we have right now.

Probably one of the best illustrations of this principle is God’s provision of manna to His people in the desert. Each day, God provided just enough manna for his people to eat – even providing a double portion the day before the Sabbath so that the people would not have to gather food on the Sabbath.
But some, who were not content to just have enough for that day, tried to gather more than they needed. But just as God had promised, every time they did that, the excess would become full of maggots and create a stench.

That’s probably what Jesus had in mind when He taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” In other words, we need to learn to just be content if we have enough today and not worry about trying to hoard in order to try and provide some kind of security for the future.

Once again, there is obviously a balance here. Living in the present doesn’t mean that we don’t take prudent measures to prepare for the future. The Bible certainly teaches that we should do that. But once again, our focus is the key.
If we focus on trying to accumulate wealth and possessions as our means of future security and contentment, we are going to be greatly disappointed.
But if we walk with God one day at a time according to His principles we will take the appropriate measures not because we can find security and contentment in them, but because they will be a natural by-product of our relationship with God.

I’m concerned about what is happening in the world today. But nonetheless I am completely content.

My contentment does not depend on the circumstances around me, no matter how they may look. As long as I can just be grateful for whatever God chooses to give me, as long as I can be a giver and not just a consumer and as long as I can live for today, then I can find my contentment in Jesus.
True contentment comes from only one place, complete trust in Jesus.

Crops under stress as temperatures fall

Via Drudge:

Crops under stress as temperatures fall - Telegraph
It is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose. In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century. One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat.

It is appropriate that another contributory factor to the world's food shortage should be the millions of acres of farmland now being switched from food crops to biofuels, to stop the world warming, Last year even the experts of the European Commission admitted that, to meet the EU's biofuel targets, we will eventually need almost all the food-growing land in Europe. But that didn't persuade them to change their policy. They would rather we starved than did that. And the EU, we must always remember, is now our government – the one most of us didn't vote for last week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iran on Fire

Wow, this could be significant:

Michael J. Totten: Iran on Fire

Protest againt fake elections TEHRAN IRAN 13 June 2009 17:45 PM

Friday, June 12, 2009

$134 billion in US bonds found in Italy


$134 billion in US bonds found in Italy and Here.
Italy may have just hit the jackpot, while America may have reason to worry.

Two Japanese nationals were detained in northern Italy last week by Italian police. These men were found with "249 U.S. Treasury bonds each worth $500 million, plus 10 Kennedy bonds and other U.S. government securities worth a billion dollar each," according to the International Business Times.

It has yet to be definitively determined whether the loot was real or counterfeit, but if real, and because of Italy's money laundering laws, Italy could stand to earn - sit down - $38 billion in fines!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Laffer Spike

This is nothing to laugh about:

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Chart of the Day: The Laffer Spike
Arthur Laffer, who brought us the Laffer Curve in the 1980s, has another kind of geometric shape for us today in the Wall Street Journal. Let’s call it the Laffe Spike, and unfortunately this one isn’t hypothetical. It demonstrates the massive boost in monetary supply pushed by the Fed and the government, and its historical singularity (via QandO):

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Paglia on Obama's Cairo Speech


Hot Air »
The Cairo speech will certainly not be Obama’s final word on this important subject, which I hope will remain on the front burner throughout his presidency. But before he can sway hearts and minds, the president will need to show that he understands the ultimate divergence and perhaps incompatibility of major creeds. At the finale, his recitation of soft-focus quotes from the Koran, Talmud and Bible came perilously close to a fuzzy New Age syncretism of ‘all religions are the same’ — which they unequivocally are not. The problem facing international security is that people who believe something will always be stronger and more committed than people who believe nothing — which unfortunately describes the complacent passivity of most Western intellectuals these days.”

Sex Without Intimacy: No Dating, No Relationships

Scary article and its own relativistic perspective is becoming the norm in our culture.  In 20 years the psychological damage that this behavior will bring about will be huge.  If we think people are having trouble committing now...

Sex Without Intimacy: No Dating, No Relationships : NPR
The hookup — that meeting and mating ritual that started among high school and college students — is becoming a trend among young people who have entered the workaday world. For the many who are delaying the responsibilities of marriage and child-rearing, hooking up has virtually replaced dating.

It is a major shift in the culture over the past few decades, says Kathleen Bogle, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University.

Young people during one of the most sexually active periods of their lives aren't necessarily looking for a mate. What used to be a mate-seeking ritual has shifted to hookups: sexual encounters with no strings attached.

The Dowd Conundrum: Why Vulcans and Other Intellectuals Don't Belong in the Big Chair

Monday, June 08, 2009

Obama repackages stimulus plans with old promises

This is from the AP, what a surprise!

Obama repackages stimulus plans with old promises
For the first time, the administration admitted the economic forecasts it used to sell the stimulus were overly optimistic.

"At the time, our forecast seemed reasonable," Vice President Joe Biden's top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said Monday, explaining that the White House underestimated the scope of the recession. "Now, looking back, it was clearly too optimistic."

By now, according to earlier White House economic models, the nation's unemployment rate should be on the decline. The forecasts used to drum up support for the plan projected today's unemployment would be about 8 percent. Instead, it sits at 9.4 percent, the highest in more than 25 years.

Some analysts believe the White House is still not being realistic, that Obama will be lucky if any real job creation from his recovery effort is seen by the end of the year, let alone the employment explosion he predicts.

"I think these estimates are overly optimistic," said Arpitha Bykere, a senior analyst with RGE Monitor.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Six Views on the Creation/Evolution Debate

Interesting.  Read the whole thing:

Parchment and Pen » Six Views on the Creation/Evolution Debate
1. Young Earth Creationism

The belief that the universe and all that is in it was created by God around ten-thousand years ago or less. They insist that this is the only way to understand the Scriptures. Further, they will argue that science is on their side using “catastropheism.” They believe that world-wide biblical catastrophes sufficiently explain the fossil records and the geographic phenomenon that might otherwise suggest the earth is old. They believe in a literal Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, snake talking, and world-wide flood.

2. Gap Theory Creationists

Belief that the explanation for the old age of the universe can be found in a theoretical time gap that exists between the lines of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. God created the earth and the earth became formless and void. Therefore God instituted the new creation which begins in Genesis 1:2b. This theory allows for an indefinite period of time for the earth to exist before the events laid out in the creation narrative. Gap theorists will differ as to what could have happened on the earth to make it become void of life. Some will argue for the possibility of a creation prior to humans that died out. This could include the dinosaurs. They normally believe in a literal Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, snake talking, and world-wide flood.

3. Time-Relative Creationism

Belief that the universe is both young and old depending on your perspective. Since time is not a constant (Einstein’s Theory of Relativity), the time at the beginning of creation would have moved much slower than it does today. From the way time is measured today, the succession of moments in the creation narrative equals that of six twenty-four hour periods, but relative to the measurements at the time of creation, the events would have transpired much more slowly, allowing for billions of years. This view, therefore, does not assume a constancy in time and believes that any assumption upon the radical events of the first days/eons of creation is both beyond what science can assume and against the most prevailing view of science regarding time today. This view may or may not allow for an evolutionary view of creation. They can allow for in a literal Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, snake talking, and world-wide flood.



Dark Roasted Blend: Ekranoplans Showcase

A bizarre cross between a hovercraft and an airplane,
developed during Cold War

They hover and skim above the water surface at speeds of up to 250 miles an hour, they carry heavier loads of cargo and troops than any airplane - the Ekranoplans, or "Wing-in-Ground" (WIG) vehicles are possibly the most exciting and strange looking technology ever designed by men.
Developed mostly by Soviets during Cold Wars years (by Rostislav Alexeev's design firm) some of them were over 500 feet in length and had an estimated weight of over 500 tons! And yet they skimmed over the waves with grace, at high speeds, able to negotiate stormy conditions, unseen by radar - all thanks to an aerodynamic principle known as the "ground effect".

Samaritans use modern means to keep ancient faith

The past in the present:

Samaritans use modern means to keep ancient faith | Lifestyle | Reuters
Guardians of an ancient faith with a cameo role in the Bible, the 750 surviving followers of the Samaritan religion are using surprisingly modern methods to keep their tiny community alive.

Internet acquaintances, mail-order brides and pre-nuptial genetic tests have all become familiar to Samaritans trying to plan future generations despite a shortage of young women within their own tight-knit community.

Such openness to the outside world seems baffling in a group that considers itself the original Israelites and upholds rigid traditions about diet, sex and the Sabbath.

Half of the community lives in the tidy modern village of Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, the faith's holy mountain in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and the other half lives in the Israeli town of Holon near Tel Aviv.

Husney Kohen, 65, one of the faith's 12 hereditary priests, saw no contradiction in the lifestyle of a community that numbered more than a million in the late Roman Empire but is now, as he puts it, "the smallest sect in the world."

The Samaritans trace their ancestry to the northern Israelite kingdom that was destroyed by the Assyrians in around 720 BCE. Their faith shares many similarities with Judaism.

In the Name of Love

Hopefully the Church can get back to its roots:

Called to Serve
Trinity Jordan, pastor, Elevation Church, Layton, Utah

The two young Mormon missionaries stood there in my living room, wide eyed, pondering what they had just heard.

I decided to repeat myself to make sure they heard me correctly, “Yes, I would like very much to go through the missionary discussions. But, before we do, can we hang out three times without talking about your beliefs or my beliefs. Tonight we will order pizza, make some lemonade, and just chat.” They nodded as if they really didn’t speak my language.

The night passed as we dove into casual conversation of where we were from, what our interests were, and where we had been in life. The next meeting brought with it a trip to a local ice cream shop to continue our conversation. As we ate our ice cream and laughed at each other’s stories, I looked down at one of the Mormon missionaries’ shoes. They were completely ripped apart.

“What is up with your shoes, bro?”

“Well, I’ve been on my mission for 10 months now and I only brought with me one pair of shoes.”

“What size do you wear? I’m sure I’ve got an old pair of shoes in my closet that are better than those.”

I was secretly plotting at this point. I had learned from the previous week that his birthday was coming up. I could make our third meeting a birthday party, complete with a gift of shoes that he desperately needed.

The balloons were in place. The cake was made. The streamers hung from the ceiling. Friends of mine that I knew would be nice to these young missionaries were hiding all over my house. The doorbell rang. I answered the door.


As they walked into my house like two deer in headlights. I held out my present to my new Mormon missionary friend. He slowly opened the present. He stopped as he lifted the lid of the shoebox and stared at the new pair of shoes. “Why did you do this?”

“Cause I love you, man. You are my friend.”

“No, really, why did you do this?”

“Mama said you can learn a lot about a man by the shoes he wears, bro. I’m serious; I love you.”

The gospel story is a story of love. God’s love for us. God’s love in us. God’s love changing us and God’s love flowing out of us to transform the world.

John tells us that God is love. Paul says we have died to Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us.

This means we have the most amazing love in the world living in us. A love that changes lives. A love unlike what anyone in the world can offer. A selfless, gracious love.

My job as a follower of Jesus is to love. This is the characteristic that defines me as a disciple. My love for others. My job isn’t to save anyone. But, rather to be a living witness for Jesus. The job of Savior of the World is filled and He is doing a great job. I’m terrible at it.

This is why people walk away hurt from our churches. We are doing jobs that are not ours to do and we neglect what we are supposed to do. Love people. People need to feel like they belong with us before they believe like us. By loving them we let the good news of the gospel penetrate their hearts. The good news is that Jesus gives us life and hope through what He did for us on the cross. This will lead to spiritual conversations of Jesus and the life that He offers to all.

I believe in the local church. Can you imagine what we could do if we always did our job of loving people we come into contact with? Pharisees would call us friends of sinners. The drunks and prostitutes would be welcomed into our church services feeling welcomed and ready to receive Christ’s offer of redemption.

We have gotten so disconnected from a dying world around us, we are trying to perfect methods of salvation instead of working on truly loving the people we come in contact with everyday. We harm those around us when we don’t do our job and try to do God’s job. You and I are not charged with convicting the world of sin—that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Our task is to unconditionally love people.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Obama taps anti-abortion activist to faith-based health post

I'm not quite sure what to make of this:

The Raw Story » Obama taps anti-abortion activist to faith-based health post
President Barack Obama has tapped an anti-abortion activist to a senior Health and Human Services "faith-based" position just a week after the murder of prominent abortion doctor George Tiller.

Alexia Kelley is executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), and will head the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to The American Prospect, a liberal magazine, "Kelley is a leading proponent of 'common ground' abortion reduction -- only CACG's common ground is at odds with that of Obama. While the administration favors reducing the need for abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, Kelley has made clear that she seeks instead to reduce access to abortion."

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll


Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 34% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0. That’s the highest level of strong disapproval and the lowest overall rating yet recorded.

Reporters with pom-poms

We are not seeing any upturn in the economy in our area:

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Reporters with pom-poms
With unemployment hitting its highest rate in more than a generation and the Obama administration’s predictions falling flat, watching the media reaction today should be rather … interesting. In a Republican administration, the least little hiccup in unemployment would generate scads of human-interest stories about hardships, families on the brink, and so on. Dean Baker at Counterpunch scornfully notes that the national media has rushed to put the most positive spin possible on grim economic news during the Obama Era — and even some impossible spin as well:

Israel papers: new era in US ties

There is concern in Israel:

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel papers: new era in US ties
Commentators in Israeli papers interpreted US President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world as marking a clear shift in ties between the US and Israel, and possibly the end of a special relationship.

One writer called on the Israeli government to adapt to the new winds blowing from Washington or face a storm, while several said the US president had given the government notice that it would now have to honour commitments made towards reaching peace with the Palestinians.

At least one interpreted this as meaning that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would have to reshape his cabinet.

Several writers referred respectfully to the US leader and saw his words in a positive light, while others were disparaging. One saw him as a sycophant.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama’s Demands To Stop West Bank Expansion Includes Jerusalem


State Dept.: Obama’s Demands To Stop West Bank Expansion Includes Jerusalem - The Philadelphia Bulletin Archives

Jerusalem — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued an unprecedented statement clarifying President Barack Obama’s demands for Israel to stop expanding Jewish communities in areas it acquired following the 1967 Six-Day War, including Jerusalem.

The statement, issued Wednesday, applies to the area known in Israel by their Biblical names, Judea and Samaria, and as the West Bank by the international community...

Ms. Clinton’s press spokesman was asked if President Obama’s demand to halt expansion of “West Bank Jewish communities” included a demand to stop expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

The answer was affirmative. The U.S. State Department demands that Israel limit Jewish growth in these areas of Jerusalem, “whose status remains to be determined” in negotiations.

Israeli Government Press Director Daniel Seamen reacted to this Obama administration statement by saying: “I have to admire the residents of Iroquois territory for assuming that they have a right to determine where Jews should live in Jerusalem.”

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Obama: America "One of the Largest Muslim Countries in the World"

We have roughly 4.5 million Muslims in the US.  We wouldn't even break the top 40.  I don't know what Obama was thinking on this, but I would imagine this will get a lot of air play in the middle east.

The Weekly Standard
As we noted earlier, and as ABC now confirms, Obama's speech in Cairo will focus on his Muslim roots and the unique perspective it provides him. Obama also teased the contents of the speech in an interview with a French television station:

What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what's happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there's got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.

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Thoughts on the Obama Peace Process

Good analysis:

Commentary » Blog Archive » Thoughts on the Obama Peace Process
It’s pretty amazing — actually, it’s perverse — that Mahmoud Abbas seems to be getting away with his profession of passivity to the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl: “I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements.” Now imagine if the Israeli prime minister had preempted his meeting with Obama by saying flippantly that Israel will not lift a finger on behalf of the peace process until the PA vanquishes Hamas and ends its delegitimization of the Jewish state. This would have made headlines around the world and it would have provoked a stern rebuke from Obama. Abbas’s declaration did neither.

Tank Museum

Mythologies of Dresden


President Obama's Visit to Germany: Mythologies of Dresden Must Be Rejected
On February 13, 1945, 1,100 British and American bombers attacked the city of Dresden, which lies south of Berlin. The bombers dropped a mix of high explosives and incendiary bombs, which created a firestorm that destroyed the center of the city. The number of casualties will never be known, but at the time Nazi authorities privately estimated that 25,000 people lost their lives. A 2004 study of the raid by British historian Frederick Taylor sets the toll at between 25,000 and 40,000 killed,[1] while in 2008 an authoritative commission of German historians estimated the likely toll at 18,000 and definitely no more than 25,000.[2]

The attack on Dresden was not unusual. In July 1943, a British raid on Hamburg created a similar firestorm that destroyed 56 percent of the city's dwellings and killed 40,000 people.[3] Both attacks were part of the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign that was launched after U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. That campaign followed the German bombing of Warsaw in September 1939 and Rotterdam in May 1940, the Nazi blitz against London in the summer and fall of 1940, the German destruction of Belgrade from the air in April 1941, and the British bombing campaign against Germany that began in May 1940 and intensified in 1942.

Monday, June 01, 2009

China Suspends North Korea Exchanges, Yonhap Reports

This could be significant:

China Suspends North Korea Exchanges, Yonhap Reports (Update1) - Bloomberg.com
China suspended government exchanges with North Korea after Kim Jong-Il’s regime last week tested a nuclear device and fired short-range missiles, Yonhap News said.

China has halted plans to send officials to North Korea and won’t accept visits from Kim’s government either, the Korean- language news agency said today, citing unidentified diplomatic sources in Beijing.

China’s foreign ministry has said the country “resolutely opposes” North Korea’s nuclear test. China on May 25 agreed with the U.S., Japan and Russia to work toward a United Nations Security Council resolution censuring North Korea. The U.S. and Japan want the statement to call for cutting the communist country’s global financial ties, UN diplomats said.



American Thinker: Mega-egos
Let us consider the mega-ego, a sub-species of humanity that has always been with us, and flourishes today in America. We know them from the media and from our surroundings.