Daily Archives: February 8, 2010

Iran anniversary ‘punch’ will stun West: Khamenei

Breitbart

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran is set to deliver a “punch” that will stun world powers during this week’s 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

“The Iranian nation, with its unity and God’s grace, will punch the arrogance (Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) in a way that will leave them stunned,” Khamenei, who is also Iran’s commander-in-chief, told a gathering of air force personnel.

The country’s top cleric was marking the occasion when Iran’s air force gave its support to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a key event which led to the toppling of the US-backed shah on February 11, 1979.

His comments came as Iran said it would begin to produce higher enriched uranium from Tuesday, in defiance of Western powers trying to ensure the country’s nuclear drive is peaceful.

This year’s anniversary is expected to become a flashpoint between security forces and supporters of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who charge that the June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was rigged.

Opposition supporters are expected to stage anti-government protests on Thursday when the traditional regime-sponsored marches to mark the revolution take place across the country.

Mousavi renewed his call for demonstrations on the February 11 anniversary.

Just over a week ago, he and Karroubi had implicitly called for a gathering of their supporters.

“The 22nd of Bahman is upon us, truly it should be called the day of gathering,” Mousavi said on his Kaleme.org website Monday.

“I feel we have to participate while maintaining the collective spirit as well as our identity and leave an impression,” Mousavi said.

“Anger and bitterness should not take our control away.

“The clerics should know that since imprisonment, beatings, and other confrontational methods are done in the name of Islam and the Islamic regime, it is hurting Islam and we all should try to stop,” he added.

Anti-government protests were first triggered after the June 12 presidential election won by Ahmadinejad.

Over the past eight months, several thousand people were arrested. Some were released and others were given hefty prison terms, among them politicians, journalists and human rights activists.

Two protesters were tried, convicted and hanged in the aftermath of the election.

Khamenei told the air force personnel the “most important aim of the sedition after the election was to create a rift within the Iranian nation, but it was unable to do so and our nation’s unity remained a thorn in its eyes.”

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Gallup: Majority of Democrats have positive image of socialism

Hot Air

Barack Obama complained at the House Republican Conference that the GOP had mischaracterized ObamaCare as “a Bolshevik plot.”   His allies made hay earlier this week from a poll from Daily Kos that showed 63% of Republicans believed Obama to be a socialist.  However, a poll by Gallup released yesterday shows that such a label would endear Democrats to Obama — since a majority of Democrats have positive attitudes towards socialism (via Power Line):

More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of “socialism,” while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives. …

Americans are almost uniformly positive in their reactions to three terms: small business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurs. They are divided on big business and the federal government, with roughly as many Americans saying their view is positive as say it is negative. Americans are more positive than negative on capitalism (61% versus 33%) and more negative than positive on socialism (36% to 58%).

Democrats and Republicans agree in their ratings of several of the terms, but differ significantly in their ratings of others — in particular, capitalism, the federal government, and socialism.

On capitalism, both Republicans and Democrats have majorities with positive attitudes, but at 72% to 53%, the difference is significant.  Two-thirds of Democrats have a positive image of the federal government, compared to just 27% of Republicans.  On big business, the difference is only eight points, 54% for Republicans to 46% of Democrats, which may show how much small businesses are valued when compared to the capitalism numbers (97% GOP, 95% Dems).

But of course, the big difference is on socialism.   Only 17% of Republicans have a positive image of socialism (and where are those 17% anyway?), while 53% of Democrats feel positively towards it.  Gallup doesn’t break out independents in this poll, but in a separate breakout, only 39% of moderates have a positive image of socialism, while 20% conservatives and 61% of liberals do.

As Obama and Nancy Pelosi keep pushing for greater government control of the health-care and energy sectors, the comparisons of Democrats to socialists will get stronger.  That may not turn off the Democratic base, but it could explain why so many independents have fled the Democrats and are pushing back against the Obama-Pelosi agenda.

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Tea Party Activists ‘Fed Up’ with Obama Agenda

Newsmax

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The “tea party” activists all agree: Government is too big. Spending is out of control. Individual freedom is at risk. And President Barack Obama’s policies are making it all worse.

But that’s where the consensus ends among the diverse groups of frustrated Americans who count themselves part of this fledgling coalition.

“We’re afraid and we’re fed up and we’re angry,” says Donna Henton of Blair, Neb. “But where this is going to go, we just don’t know.”

If the people attending the first national “tea party” convention here are uncertain, imagine the difficulties of the Republican and Democratic parties, both of which are trying to leverage this antiestablishment energy for their own gain. How it works out could make a big difference in elections this fall and beyond.

Here’s what’s clear: This is pure people-driven politics facilitated by the Internet. This is an ideological mix of libertarianism and conservatism with the common denominator being lower spending and smaller government. This is a loose collection of citizen groups with no leader but many voices. And this is the product of long-simmering anger.

Is it just a blip? Or will it emerge as a lasting political powerhouse shaping elections and government for years to come?

“This movement is beginning to mature … not as a third party but a force to be reckoned with in the traditional party structure,” declared Mark Skoda, a talk radio host who founded a Memphis “tea party” group and helped organize the convention.

Yet, candidates who have adopted the “tea party” slogan are running as independents in campaigns nationwide. There are “tea party” groups that insist the convention hosts don’t speak for them. And viewpoints among attendees here vary.

Loren and Dora Nelson of Seattle, a couple in their 80s, see the coalition as a way to strengthen the GOP. “It’s giving voice to the grass roots in the Republican Party,” the husband said.

But it’s not about ideology — or necessarily even party politics — for Eileen Million, 50, from Huntsville, Ala. “It’s a people movement,” she said. “Republican or Democrat, I don’t care who they are if they truly represent the will of the American people.”

Ty Reynolds, 34, of Topeka, Kan., put it this way: “It’s about individual liberty vs. government control. Leave me alone and stop taxing me so much and be responsible stewards of the people’s money.”

In Washington, both major parties have struck a cautious stance, seemingly not sure what to make of the coalition but nonetheless trying to use it.

Republicans have sought to cajole the coalition into the GOP fold. Party Chairman Michael Steele has even called himself a member. The GOP knows that a conservative third party could threaten Republicans’ electoral chances by splitting the right-flank vote and triggering Democratic victories. It happened in an upstate New York congressional race last fall.

Democrats, at times, have sought to demonize the coalition, casting it as an extreme right-wing part of the GOP. But Obama, himself, has stepped lightly, mindful that the members’ anger is real, they hold allegiance to no political party and among their ranks are independent voters and even moderate Democrats.

What’s taking place is at least somewhat similar to other modern political uprisings including the supporters of businessman Ross Perot in the 1990s. Less organized, there was the “silent majority” of middle America that rallied behind Richard Nixon two decades earlier. Much like the “tea party” contingent, those voters were largely white and middle class, a demographic Obama didn’t win during the 2008 campaign and has struggled to win over since he took office.

“Tea parties” popped up last spring in small towns and big cities alike as disillusioned Americans — many never before involved in politics — protested the $787 billion economic stimulus measure, Wall Street bailouts and Obama’s health care plan.

Since then, local leaders have struggled over the coalition’s direction. There’s even dispute over the name’s origin: It was drawn from the 1773 tax revolt, or it’s an acronym for “taxed enough already.”

The coalition was tagged as extremist because of disruptions during health care town hall meetings last summer and signs like “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” that sprouted at a Washington rally last fall following Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s death. And, while it claimed credit for Republican Scott Brown’s surprise win for Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat last month, several “tea party”-backed candidates came up short in Illinois primary races this week.

The convention itself has had its controversies. It’s a for-profit gathering organized by Nashville lawyer Judson Phillips at the sprawling Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, where vendors hawk mementos that include tea-bag necklaces for $89.99.

Some would-be attendees balked at the $549 ticket price and Sarah Palin’s $100,000 fee to give the keynote address Saturday night, worried the cost was sullying the grass-roots image and preventing activists from attending. Two featured speakers — Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee — pulled out, citing ethics concerns.

Still, the three-day event for some 600 people is intended to try to turn grass-roots activism into ballot-box achievement. It includes sessions about involving young people in the conservative movement, using primaries to defeat liberalism and unifying the movement’s many groups.

To try to add some structure to the coalition, Skoda announced creation of the Ensuring Liberty Corp., and an affiliated political action committee aimed at electing up to 20 candidates this fall who advocate less government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states’ rights and strong national security.

“This is about giving voice to a people who don’t feel they’re being represented by either party. But it’s too early to tell how this is all actually going to play out,” said Nancy Hiser, 26 and from Findlay, Ohio. “The only consensus here is that everyone is probably opposed to the Obama agenda.”

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When Times are Tough……….

Big Government

Cartoon - Blow a Bunch of Cash - ALG (990)

Robert Kennedy’s fantastically stupid weather predictions

American Thinker

Clarice Feldman

David Freddoso reminds us of Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s (D.Caracas) screed just 15 months ago that global warming means anemic winters in the DC area.

Kennedy, then:

In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today’s anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don’t own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington’s C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy.

As for the Feldmans, we lucked out–three guys with shovels showed up at our door somehow and did a fantastic job digging us out of over 20 inches of snow.Clarice Feldman

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I Prefer Local to Global

Family Security Matters
Perhaps it is just the product of the times in which I grew up and my experience with the events of the world. Or perhaps it is the spin that has been added to the word “global,” endowing it with an almost spiritual quality.
Mostly, though, I think it is my utter disgust with “global warming,” having spent the better part of three decades striving to defeat this plot to enable all forms of governmental intrusion into people’s lives and choices.
A bit of personal history: As a child, I recall riding the train to and from the Jersey shore when it was filled with young men in uniform, all destined to fight in far-off places whose names even then seemed exotic to me – Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Normandy, and Sicily. It was the harsh geography of war, but to a youngster it only meant someplace far away.
By the time I was a teenager, an older brother was already in Japan at the headquarters from which the Korean conflict was conducted. There were new names to deal with, Seoul, Incheon, and the Yalu River. By then the Cold War was well on its way.
The 1950s were full of talk of A-bombs and then H-bombs, and then intercontinental missiles. In college, I took scant notice of events in Cuba, but a few years later I would be in full combat gear waiting for orders to invade. Then the problem went away without ever really going away. It has since spread to Venezuela.
Like many Americans, I learned about the world because we were sending troops somewhere to push back against some form of aggression or some new oppressive regime. At home, the streets were filled with Civil Rights marchers or anti-war marchers, both of whom would be replaced by new groups demanding to be heard. It was the era of Woodstock and Watergate.
And no trains filled with soldiers because the military had ceased to be every young man’s duty to serve their nation. It became a voluntary military and, we’re told, one that is superior to the former model. It would suffer casualties in Beirut, wrest Grenada from a communist takeover, invade Panama to remove yet another corrupt leader and then, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, go there to set things right. After 9/11, in 2001 it would drive the Taliban and al Qaeda out of Afghanistan and then in 2003 invade Iraq to bring down Saddam Hussein.
Is it any wonder Americans are weary of war? Is it any wonder that the word “global” to my generation means some new place where young, dedicated Americans are battling some new despot, regime, or threat to peace anywhere and everywhere?
All of which brings me to the new meaning of “global” for the generations that followed mine. It is attached to “global warming,” the greatest hoax, not merely in the modern era, but in all of history! And it was initiated and implemented by an international institution that was supposed to end wars, the United Nations.
Some years ago, the UN published a book called Our Global Neighborhood, but we do not live in a global neighborhood. We live in our own, local neighborhood. The UN is all about global government with, of course, global taxes, a global army, and, as is the case of every dictatorship, a global restriction on gun ownership.
It is all about a vast matrix of global treaties that involve the surrender of some element of U.S. sovereignty to the UN to oversee “heritage” sites and our national parks. It is about an educational indoctrination program to turn American children into “citizens of the world.”
So you will have to forgive me if I look at the world and see places where Americans have continually had to sacrifice blood and treasure because someone or some nation had ambitions to impose their will on people who just wanted to be left alone.
If something terrible happens in America I do not expect to see one single other nation on Earth come to our aid.
In America today, the enemy is not always in some far-off place. It is in Washington, D.C. where an out-of-control Congress is spending and borrowing to the point where we are being warned that our dollar is at risk of being worthless. Led by a feckless new president, it has imposed huge debts on generations yet to be born.
The White House is trying to expand an “entitlement” program, Medicare that is already broke for the purpose of controlling one sixth of the nation’s economy.
The White House is giving money to banks and then threatening to tax them after they have repaid it.
The White House has bought General Motors and Chrysler instead of letting them go through a bankruptcy process like any other business.
The White House is squandering billions on “clean energy” and “green jobs,” both of which are mere fantasies while billions of barrels of oil go untapped, billions of cubic feet of natural gas remains unavailable, and hundreds of year’s worth of coal is not mined.
Congress is engaged in phony, multi-billion dollar “stimulus” programs instead of cutting taxes to jump-start the economy.
“Think globally. Act locally” is the mantra of the environmental movement, but the movement itself is a global monster, determined to decide what you can eat, how you should deal with your garbage, what kind of car or truck you can drive, how much you should heat or cool your home.
It is despotism, no matter what other name you call it.
And then there are those insane followers of Islam who want to inflict more harm on America because they are not content with killing their fellow Muslims.
I wish I could ignore the world beyond my neighborhood, but it won’t let me.

School bombing exposes Obama’s secret war inside Pakistan

Times Online

THE discovery of three American soldiers among the dead in a suicide bombing at the opening of a girls’ school in the northwestern Pakistan town of Dir last week reignited the fears of many Pakistanis that Washington was set on invading their country.

Barack Obama has banned the Bush-era term “war on terror” and dithered about sending extra troops to Afghanistan, but across the border in Pakistan, the US president has dramatically stepped up the covert war against Islamic extremists.

US airstrikes in Pakistan, launched from unmanned drones, are now averaging three a week, triple the number last year. “We’re quietly seeing a geographical shift,” an intelligence officer said.

For the past month drones have pounded the tribal region of North Waziristan in apparent retaliation for the murder of seven CIA officers in Afghanistan by a Jordanian suicide bomber working with the Pakistani Taliban.

// <![CDATA[// Last week America launched its first multiple drone attack, according to Pakistani security officials. Eighteen missiles were fired from eight unmanned aircraft in Dattakhel village, killing 16 people.

The discovery of the dead US soldiers revealed that America’s shadowy war in Pakistan not only involves drones but also small cadres of special operations soldiers.

Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, insisted that US troops were in Pakistan only to provide counter-insurgency training for the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force operating in the tribal areas.

Other sources said there were about 200 US military inside the country. “I’m not sure you could just call it training,” one official said. “They are hardly behind the wire if they are on trips to schools in Dir.”

The three US soldiers, who have been described variously as special operations forces and civil affairs troops, were killed when their convoy was bombed as it travelled to the re-opening of the school. It had been rebuilt with US aid after being bombed by the Taliban last year.

Three schoolgirls, two villagers and a Pakistani soldier were also killed in the attack, for which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. More than 100 were wounded, mostly schoolgirls.

It was officially reported that the device was a remote-controlled bomb. It has now emerged that a suicide bomber rammed into the vehicle carrying the Americans. This suggests the bomber had inside information. “This attack was too perfect: they lay in wait for the convoy to pass and knew exactly which vehicle to hit,” a US military officer told the Long War Journal.

One of those killed was Sergeant Matthew Sluss-Tiller, 35, the father of a three-year-old daughter. His mother, Jane Blankenship, said her son had been in Pakistan on a civil affairs mission and had grown a beard for it.

One official suggested the “trainers” may be used to pick up intelligence on drone targets, particularly because the CIA did not trust its counterparts from the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service that has close links to the Taliban.

The Americans insist the drone attacks have been a success, picking off the second and third tier of Al-Qaeda’s leadership. In August they killed Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban. They recently claimed to have killed his successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, but Pakistan’s foreign minister said this had not been confirmed.

To the irritation of Washington, Islamabad has kept up a pretence that drone attacks are carried out without its approval, even though the aircraft are based in Pakistan.

Among the Pakistani public, there has been outcry at the attacks. Surveys constantly show that Pakistanis consider the US a greater threat than the Taliban, despite 3,021 Pakistani deaths in terrorist attacks last year.

If the drones are controversial, the presence of US soldiers on Pakistani soil is far more so. Despite a $1.5 billion (£959m) aid programme, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, had to fly into Pakistan two weeks ago to reassure its military leadership. “Let me say definitively the US does not covet a single inch of Pakistani soil,” he told Pakistan’s National Defence University.

Additional reporting: Daud Khattak

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