As most folks have already heard, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A restaurant, made statements that suggested they were supportive of Biblically defined marriage, and not supportive of same sex marriage. The result has been a firestorm of anti-Christian rhetoric. Chicago Mayor Rahm “never let a good crisis go to waste” Emanuel has suggested that he will block any attempts by Chick-Fil-A to open a new restaurant in Chicago. Emanuel said, “Chick-Fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values … What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city.” (Source) Focus on that line “if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.” In the context of Emanuel’s statement this means accept gay marriage regardless of your beliefs or stay out of Chicago.
Emanuel’s anti-Christian attack is supported by Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, “There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-Fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.” (Source) (Excuse me? Consequences for one’s beliefs?)
Boston Mayor Tom Menino is also in support of banning Chick-fil-A based on Cathy’s religious beliefs, saying, “Chick-Fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion … That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-Fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” (Source) Menino later said “I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there.” However, in light of his promise that the acquisition of permits for restaurant construction “will be very difficult … unless they open up their policies” seems to indicate that Menino is simply trying to protect his rear from any future lawsuits that may stem from any difficulty Chick-Fil-A may experience when they apply for those permits.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee has also jumped on the anti-Christian bandwagon, tweeting, “Very disappointed #ChickFilA doesn't share San Francisco's values & strong commitment to equality for everyone.” And, “Closest #chickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.” (Source)
As the brouhaha continues, and voices from both sides of the debate continue unabated, there are a few points that I would like to make. To begin with, the pro-gay community is openly accusing Chick-Fil-A of hate, simply because it’s president is opposed to same-sex marriage. But isn’t denying Chick-Fil-A a business license based solely on the religious belief of its president a form of hate, and a form of discrimination based on hate? Yes, it is. The bigotry expressed by the above mayors and Alderman Moreno is reprehensible and is an open display of intolerance and hate. If they, and others in the pro-gay community wish to harbor hate, bigotry and discrimination against Christians and Christian belief, then that is their right. And if they want to protest against Chick-Fil-A, then that is their right as well. But they do not have the right to make threats against Chick-Fil-A or anyone because of their religious beliefs.
The 1964 Federal Civil Rights Law, 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2), permits federal prosecution of anyone who "willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person's race, color, religion or national origin" because of the victim's attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting. (emphasis mine). Public Law #103-322A, a 1994 federal law, defines a hate crime as “a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.” (again, emphasis mine).
By definition, because all three mayors and the alderman are singling out Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A for punishment simply because of Cathy’s religious beliefs, they are guilty of a hate crime, and they should be prosecuted for it.
I would also like to point out that contrary to the prevailing opinion of the pro-gay community, they do not have a right to marriage. In fact, no one, straight or gay, has a “right” to be married. They may choose to be married, but there is no Constitutionally protected right to marriage. I do understand their (the homosexual community) desire to have the same benefits as straight married couples, i.e. insurance, survivorship, medical benefits, etc.; but again, there is no right to these benefits. Insurance companies and employers make that decision, and they are free to deny these benefits for any straight couple that may apply for them. Again, there is no Constitutionally guaranteed right to any of these benefits.
The reality is that homosexuals want special rights. Rights that are guaranteed only for them and for no one else. And that is just plain wrong. Simply because they have made the conscious decision to be homosexuals does not mean that they should be granted federally protected rights. And don’t go down the “homosexuality is genetic” road. It is not genetic, it is a choice. (Source). For those of you who disagree with me, and I am sure there are many, before you begin to rail against my religious beliefs as so many are doing against Dan Cathy, my answer to you all is: “I am not ‘anti-gay’, I am anti-homosexuality. There is a difference. Your tolerance for intolerance is a definite indicator of your hate and bigotry against any and all who disagree with you.” There’s your answer, now spare me your bigoted ramblings.
But the crux of this matter, what we should all be focusing on, is that the attacks against Chick-Fil-A are government led. They are an attempt at government regulated religion. The First Amendment specifically states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” And for a duly elected government official, acting in his or her official capacity to attempt to regulate religious beliefs (“if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.” – Mayor Rahm Emanuel; “There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.” – Alderman Proco Moreno; [Construction permits] “will be very difficult … unless they open up their policies” – Mayor Tom Menino; “Closest #chickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.” – Mayor Edwin Lee), is a very dangerous, very slippery slope that can, and will lead to a further erosion of our freedom.
When I read what these government officials have said while acting in their official capacity, I am reminded of the words of two of communism’s favorite sons, Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. Lenin said “A Marxist must be a materialist, i.e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i.e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could”(from his book, Private Property and Communism). And Marx said “Communism begins from the outset with atheism.” (Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right).
The Founding Fathers wanted the people of the United States to be free, and to remain free. Communists, and from the looks of things certain duly elected public officials, want the exact opposite. There was no place in Lenin’s regime for the church, and the church is facing similar persecution in the United States today.
Government regulated religious beliefs are a very dangerous thing. For government, or anyone for that matter, to openly or otherwise take any steps to ban Christian beliefs or even Christian speech, is a violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. If the Constitution is to stand, then these rights, and all other Constitutionally protected rights must be protected at any and all cost.
It seems as if the battle cry among those defending radical islam (and is there really any other kind?), has changed, at least for the time being, from “ISLAMOPHOBIA!!!” to “McCARTHYISM!!!”, and all because Michelle Bachmann and four other members of Congress had the unmitigated audacity to ask the state department’s deputy inspector general to look into the matter of a possible national security problem.
Not that problems like this haven’t happened before, because they have. Remember the Camp Chapman attack in 2009 and Mohamed Elibiary, the Homeland Security Advisory Council member leaked classified information? Yes, it has happened, and I for one, would like to know if it has happened, and is still happening, elsewhere.
Elsewhere, in this case, is the state department. Specifically involving Huma Abedin, the aide and close friend of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Abedin may have ties to radical islam by way of her family, and Congresswoman Bachman would like this possible breach of national security looked into. Others, such as Senator John McCain, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Scott Brown and Speaker of the Hosue John Boehner, however, do not want it looked into and have condemned Michelle Bachmann for even suggesting that Huma Abedin could possibly be linked to muslim extremists. But what if Bachmann is right? Can we, as a country take that chance?
If Huma Abedin is innocent, as McCain, Rubio and others insist, then she would have nothing to fear from any examination of her familial ties. In fact, one would think that she would publically welcome it simply to prove her innocence in the public eye and shut Bachmann and the rest up permanently. So far, there have been no comments from Abedin. But again, what if Bachmann is right? A simple look at the facts raise some serious questions as to Abedin’s loyalty to the United States.
Huma Mahmood Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1976, to Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin and Dr. Saleha Mahmood. When she was two years old, her family moved to Saudi Arabia. She has a brother, Dr. Hassan Abedin. Like her parents, and her brother, Huma Abedin is a practicing muslim, and, in fact, was not only born into islam, but was raised in a fundamentalist islamic environment in a fundamentalist islamic country that strictly enforces sharia law according to Wahhabi interpretation – the strictest interpretation found in all of islam, and enforced by “the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice” (Saudi Arabia’s sharia police, founded during the 1920’s – decades before Huma Abedin was born – and still in power to this day).
Huma Abedin’s father, Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin, founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, an organization supported by the Muslim World League – a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was also a member of the Muslim World League in the 1980’s. Huma Abedin’s mother, Dr. Saleha Mahmood is the current director of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and a documented member of the Muslim Sisterhood, and auxiliary branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Hassan Abedin, Huma’s brother, has been linked to Sheikh Qaradawi – a documented member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Omar Naseef, former secretary general of the Muslim World League and founder of the Rabita Trust – an organization known for funding terrorists and having ties to al-Qaeda.
To briefly recap, Huma Abedin’s father, mother and brother all have documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not to say that Huma Abedin herself has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, but each member of her immediate family does. Is it possible that Huma Abedin may have ties as well? Growing up in a fundamentalist islamic family, in a strict fundamentalist Wahhabi country with Wahhabi teaching ingrained in her from a very early age, one would tend to think that there is at least a possibility.
And then there is the issue of Huma Abedin herself. An admitted muslim, who grew in being ingrained with and influenced by strict Wahhabi teachings, growing up in a Muslim Brotherhood family where she was undoubtedly taught that the Muslim Brotherhood was good and right and of allah, why did she marry a Jew? Not that I have anything against Jews, because I do not. They are God’s chosen people. But I find it interesting that Huma Abedin married Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman, who happens to be Jewish. Yet, muslim women are not permitted to marry Jews. The koran clearly states: “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe in allah alone and verily, a believing slave is better than a mushrik, even though he pleases you. Those (Al-mushrikoon) invite you to the fire, but allah invites you to paradise and forgiveness by his leave, and makes his ayaat (i.e. proofs, evidences, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember.” [al-Baqarah 2:221]
According to koranic scholar Imam al-Tabari, the terms “Al-Mushrikoon” and “Mushrik” refer to any “non-muslim from any other religion, whether from among the Jews or Christians, or any other kaafir religion. It is not permissible for her to marry a Jew, a Christian, a Magian, a communist, an idol-worshipper, etc.” And yet, this is exactly what Huma Abedin did, and what is interesting about this is, her family (brother and mother – her father died in 1993) have not condemned her for violating the koran – the “sacred and holy” words of mohammed. Is her marriage to Anthony Weiner nothing more than taqiyya, the islamic doctrine of deception which states that in a time of war it is permissible to deceive non-muslims? The fact that her family has not condemned her for her marriage to a Jew speaks volumes. Why would they condemn her if she was still a practicing muslim (as she states) who is engaging in taqiyya in order to serve allah? Answer – they wouldn’t. Perhaps this is why they have not condemned her.
As not only an aide to Secretary of State Clinton, but also a close friend and confidant for the past 15 years, Huma Abedin job includes advising Secretary Clinton on politics and policy in the Middle East. Her advice carries great weight and influence on Secretary Clinton, and she has access to highly classified information as a result of both her job and her closeness to Clinton. Has Huma’s advice to Clinton served to influence foreign policy? Of course it has. That’s part of her job description. A more appropriate question would be just how has Huma Abedin’s advice influenced foreign policy? And that is a question that is a bit harder to answer. In fact, unless Secretary Clinton actually states just how Huma’s advice has influenced foreign policy, we may never really know the extent of her influence. However, what we can do is look at the shift in and changes to foreign policy since Huma Abedin and Hilary Clinton have been in the White House. For example:
1. The State Department now has representatives in Egypt, who will be responsible for acclimating members of the new ruling party – The Muslim Brotherhood – to working with the United States.
2. An announcement was made by Clinton’s State Department, that the Obama administration would be satisfied with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.
3. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton personally intervened to ensure entry into the United States for Tariq Ramadan, a controversial and influential member of The Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan had previously been barred from entering the United States due to his ties to islamic terrorism.
4. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has worked closely with the OIC (Organization of Islamic Coopreration) to silence criticism of islam – in accordance with sharia law.
5. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the State Department purposely excluded Israel from the “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a coalition of islamist governments and the United States, whose mission it is to fight terrorism on a global scale. Like The Muslim Brotherhood, the Global Counterterrorism Forum does not recognize the unprovoked attacks on Israel by Hamas to be terrorist actions.
6. After The Muslim Brotherhood “won” the parliamentary elections in Egypt (through questionable means), the Obama administration granted $1.5 billion in aid to The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
7. In 2011 Secretary of State Hilary Clinton overruled congress and authorized a $147 million aid package to Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist organization and the Palestinian branch of The Muslim Brotherhood.
8. The Clinton state department and the Obama administration not only granted a visa and entry permit to a known member of a terrorist organization (Gama’at al Islamia – aligned with al-Qaeda, and involved in the 1993 WTC bombing in New York City), but they also brought in members of The Muslim Brotherhood, all for a meeting in the White House. When the administration was asked why U.S. law was circumvented to allow known terrorists into the United States and into the White House, the administration refused to provide that information.
9. Recently, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton visited Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi, a leader in The Muslim Brotherhood. Clinton also used her influence to pressure General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Egyptian military to step down and surrender power to Morsi. According to Morsi, one of his top priorities as president will be to pressure the United States to release and return to Egypt, Omar Abdel Rahman – also known as “The Blind Sheikh.” Rahman is currently incarcerated in the United States for his part in master minding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as well as the murder of JDL founder Meir Kahane and conspiring to simultaneously blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the U.N. building, the George Washington bridge and U.S. armories. Rahman also urged his followers to bomb as many American military installations as possible – telling them to use the 1983 bombing of the U.S. barracks in Lebanon as a blueprint for terror. The Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, one Mohammed Badie’ has also stated that the Brotherhood’s U.S.-assisted win in Egypt, is a stepping stone to the establishment of a just islamic caliphate, and that the United States is now experiencing the beginning of its end.
In light of Huma Abedin’s association with The Muslim Brotherhood, her strict Wahhabi upbringing, her close relationship with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and her role as Clinton’s primary advisor on politics and Middle Eastern policy, one must question whether or not any of these incidents were somehow influenced by Huma Abedin. The possibility certainly exists.
In 1991, The Muslim Brotherhood drafted a manifesto entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” Within this document, The Muslim Brotherhood spells out its plan to the establishment of a global islamic state, or caliphate, with the United States as one of its conquered countries. The document lays out the need for a “civilization jihad” as necessary for the conquering of America and Canada and the assimilation of North America into the global islamic state. What is this “Civilization Jihad”? It is simply a jihad against civilization. Our civilization. It includes becoming part of our society, but not for the purpose of assimilation. It is for the express purpose of changing our society so that it becomes slowly acclimated to the idea of a dominant islamic presence. Muslim fundamentalists begin by employing taqiyya and making themselves appear to be members of American society. They begin to purchase businesses and establish islamic neighborhoods around those businesses. They soon have islamic controlled enclaves. In France, Sweden, England and other areas of Europe, these enclaves are known as “No Go” zones, where even law enforcement are reluctant to enter. Sharia is implemented in these areas, and enforced. Dearborn, Michigan is experiencing a growing “No Go” zone of its own with its own Arab-American Chamber of Commerce, Arab police chief, and the 14 block long Arab festival (open to all except Christians – and strictly enforced by local police).
They enter politics – local, state and federal – until such a time as they have become more common than the areas previous residents. In other words, they take over using sheer numbers. Eventually, the only logical conclusion happens, and the area becomes 100% muslim. This is the same tactic employed by islam for centuries. A prime example of this was the islamic conquering of Persia in the 7th century during the establishment of the last islamic caliphate, which lasted until the early 20th century. Once again, history has given us every example, every lesson needed to understand and recognize the potential peril in entertaining islam.
But all of this does not answer the question of Huma Abedin. At least not definitively. Is she a member of The Muslim Brotherhood? Is she using her position a primary advisor on the Middle East to the Secretary of State to assist The Muslim Brotherhood? Or is it all nothing more than coincidence? Is the letter written by Michelle Bachman nothing more than simply “McCarthyism”? (by the way, history has proven that McCarthy was right in his suppositions regarding communist infiltration of our government), or, like McCarthy, are Bachmann’s concerns legitimate? Only time will tell, but, by then it may be too late.
For more instances of muslim brotherhood influence in American government, as well as inroads radical islam has made in the United States, please read the following:
The following can be downloaded from my website at http://independentrealist.weebly.com/written-by-thomas-paine-2nd.html :
As well as these related documents, which can be downloaded at http://independentrealist.weebly.com/written-by-others.html :
For more information on islamic extremists in the United States, please visit the following links:
Source links for this article:
For a downloadable copy of this article, click below.
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That the federal government is actively spying on American citizens as a known and unquestionable fact; and you don’t have to visit any of the of conspiracy theory websites populating the fringes of internet to read about any of this, as the information is readily available to any who care to search for it.
In this day and age, the federal government, as well as numerous private corporations, are spying on American citizens in ways our founding fathers could never have imagined.
For instance, the federal government is known to have conducted domestic spying operations in 36 states. Since this report was issued, more states have been added to this list. Local law enforcement and various individual state agencies are also known to utilize drones to conduct domestic spying operations. In fact, with a recent congressional approval, it is believed that by 2020 as many as 30,000 flying drones will be buzzing throughout American airspace and spying on American citizens. Citizens. (Source http://www.naturalnews.com/034919_spy_drones_America_surveillance.html )
And then there is the popular “data mining,” which involves sending out digital “spiders” or “crawlers” to search the internet seeking out key words, and then, after discovering those key words, report back via whatever medium the crawler has been instructed to report back by. As of 2004, there were at least 54 federal agencies involved in at least 199 data mining projects. Knowing the governments propensity for exponential growth, one can imagine just how many agencies and operations are involved at this point.
From the Pentagon (who has contracted with a private firm to compile data on teenagers it can recruit into the military) to the NSA (who has contracted with Cogito Inc to compile who knows what), massive amounts of personal information are being collected and stored by the government. Cogito reports that more than half of their clients are involved in intelligence, security and public safety. Even the security arm of the United States Senate plans to contract with a private company to engage in data mining to prevent potential threats against lawmakers.
At the heart of the governments intelligence gathering machine is a system known as ADVISE, or Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement. ADVISE is a little known project headed by the Department of Homeland Security, the bureaucratic behemoth who manages the TSA. What could possibly go wrong here, right? Data mining is big business, and our government is one of the largest consumers.
Data mining is not the only method used to spy on American citizens. Since President Obama took office in 2008, the FBI’s use of “National Security Letters” (used to look into the private lives of American citizens), has more than doubled, and warrantless wiretaps have quadrupled. As I mentioned earlier, flying drones are being used in increasing numbers in this country, and not just by the federal government. Various state and local law enforcement agencies are using them, as are several state agencies and even institutions of higher learning. Combined with data mining, the intelligence gathered by drones is often routed to what are known as fusion centers.
These fusion centers around the country are compiling information gleaned from domestic intelligence gathering operations, and creating massive databases that can be accessed via multiple law enforcement agencies (and presumably by experienced and talented computer hackers as well).
Simple hacking (if there is anything simple about it) is another method used to gather intelligence. Not only has the Central Intelligence Agency admitted that they are looking into using internet connected devices to spy on American citizens, but the technology and knowledge to do so is readily available for just about anyone. The simple fact of the matter is, given the proper knowledge and technology, anyone can gain remote access to any internet connected device in your home or car, and this goes way beyond simply gathering consumer preferences data.
For instance, there is an application currently available for higher end smart phone called “blue jack.” This application allows the user to remotely access any Bluetooth enabled device, without the device owners knowledge, and turn that device into a microphone through which the user can listen to any conversation, and access device data. Blue Jacking (also known as “blue snarfing” or “blue bugging”) can turn anyone into a spy.
In this day and age, it should be understood, and accepted, that any internet system can be hacked, and that includes servers. You know, that thing your internet service provider has that your computer is hooked into so you can access the internet. Yes, even servers can be hacked, and once hacked, IP crawlers can be utilized to search for an individual IP address (yours, mine, ours), and once located (perhaps through your computers permanent MAC address) that individual computer can be remotely accessed without the owners knowledge. And, once that computer is remotely accessed (whether it is yours, mine, or whomever’s), data can be removed, changed, or even deleted, and/or programs such as keyloggers, malware, or spyware can be installed on that computer – and all without the computer owners knowledge.
And if that isn’t enough to give you the willies, remember, I said “internet connected devices.” This not only includes your internet connected computer, game systems, Sirius radio, phones, and televisions, but also the GPS system in your vehicle. And if that GPS system is voice activated like Navigon, Garmin, TomTom, Magellen, and even OnStar, then the potential for security problems increases tenfold. Voice enabled GPS systems are connected to the internet, and can, therefore, be hacked and remotely accessed. When this happens, your wonderful little gadget becomes a wonderful little audio monitor. Yes, someone could be listening in when you are having a conversation in your car and you would never, ever know.
Voice enabled GPS systems in your vehicles are connected to the internet and can therefore be monitored. Yes, someone could be listening in when you are having a conversation in your car. What you will hear in the following video is a dramatization of what could very easily happen to anyone with a voice activated GPS. Happy motoring!
So reads the title question in a recent NY Times “Room for Debate” article. If I have ever read a more ridiculous debate, I cannot think of one. I can say this, however, I am damn glad I am married! Especially after reading some of the comments. Maybe I am just old and have outlived my time, but I really do not understand all these men who seem to be unable to “find” themselves, or cannot yet “figure” themselves out, or are trying to become more “sensitive” and “get in touch with their feminine side.” What a load of sheep dip.
Yes, I am glad I am married (to a wonderful, beautiful wife – for almost 30 years). I don’t think I could ever fit into a world where men worry about pedicures, manicures, and exfoliation. Nor could I fit into a world where it is somehow necessary to shed a tear every time I see Bambi’s mom shot. Hell, if I get half a chance during the season, I’ll shoot Bambi, both her folks and Thumper too.
If my nails need trimming, I’ll do it myself (and a dremel tool works great – just so you know). I do shave, but only my face. I don’t wear fancy colognes – old spice and bay rum are just fine, thank you. I will defend my family, my property and myself, and I won’t lose a minute of sleep if I have to shoot an intruder. I hunt, I fish, and I like to camp. I can run my own lawnmower, chainsaw, and work on any and all of my machines and vehicles. I don’t like to fight, but will if provoked, even if it means getting my butt handed to me (which has happened – hey, ya win some, ya lose some – at least you stand up for yourself). I try to stay in shape and in good health, but I don’t need to look like Mr. Universe to do so.
AND, I wash the dishes – sometimes. I have changed more diapers than I care to remember. I have been sad, and hurt, and even cried on one or two occasions when someone close to me was injured or died. I help my wife in our garden, and in our home (vacuuming, dusting, etc.), but I do these things and have done these things, not because I am trying to be in touch with my feminine side (which I do not have), nor am I trying to show my “sensitivity.” I do them because I love my wife and we simply live our life together. Operative word here – TOGETHER.
So I read the NY Times article and I think to myself, “what the hell is wrong with these people, that they cannot simply be themselves, and they live to impress other people by being just as shallow and plastic as they are?” Like I said, thank goodness I am married and I don’t have to deal with that kind of nonsense.
I just read this over at Maggie's Notebook, and I just had to pass it on. What's next? Maybe a nice gift wrapped White House for Obama to hand over to the Muslim Brotherhood? Sheesh! Anyway, check out this great article...
TSA to Exempt Muslim Women from TSA PatDowns? Adjustments and More Expected – For Muslims Only March 20, 2012By MaggieThe Council on American Islamic Relations is calling on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to come to heel and stop the humiliating, invasive, intrusive pat-downs of Muslim women. Napolitano said “adjustments will be made where they need to be made,” and particularly for Muslims, “there will be more to come,” whatever that means.
(CNSNews.com) – When asked today if she [Napolitano] will insist that Muslim women wearing hijabs must go through full body pat downs before boarding planes, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did not say yes or no, but told CNSNews.com there will be “adjustments” and “more to come” on the issue.
“Look, we have, like I said before, we are doing what we need to do to protect the traveling public and adjustments will be made where they need to be made,” Napolitano responded. “With respect to that particular issue, I think there will be more to come. But, again, the goal here, you know, we’re not doing this just to do it. We’re doing it because we need to keep powders and gels and liquids off of planes that are unauthorized just as we need to keep metals off of planes.Continue Reading Here
From the American Thinker websiteJuly 8, 2012
RIP: Free Speech about Islam By Adam Turner The right of Westerners to speak freely regarding Islam-related topics -- radical Islam or Islamism, Islamist terrorism, and Islamist terror funding -- is in jeopardy. Islamists and their sympathizers try to silence any and all questions possibly critical of Islam with a vicious, multi-pronged assault until a critic is silenced, punished, or made an example of for others.
Islamists seem to use at least three different methods: 1) the initiation of legal proceedings, known as "lawfare" -- i.e., frivolous or malicious lawsuits which often do not even hope to succeed in court and are reluctant to reach discovery to avoid disclosing information, but which therefore seem intended, on charges of hate speech or defamation, to harass and financially crush the defendant; 2) threats of violence, or violence itself; or 3) pressure applied based on political correctness, as with attempts to smear reputations by alleging "racism," "Islamophobia," or other epithets. Sometimes the Islamists use only one of these methods -- sometimes two, or all three. Regardless, the assault is often successful.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/rip_free_speech_about_islam.html#ixzz203byLpoA
In the spirit if passing along things I have received and things that I have read and watched that I like, and that I think are pertinent to today's society, here is Paul Harvey's "If I Were The Devil." It is actually kind of eerie in that he wrote it back in the mid 1960's and never before has it been more appropriate and more descriptive of our world and especially our country, than it is today. Enjoy. (The transcript follows the video)
"If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’ “To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
“If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I could get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”
Negotiations Behind U.S. Sanctions Against Iran
July 3, 2012 | 0914 GMT
By Reva Bhalla
Over the past week, the latest phase of U.S.-led sanctions against Iran has dominated the media. For months, the United States has pressured countries to curtail their imports of Iranian crude oil and is now threatening to penalize banks that participate in oil deals with Iran. In keeping with the U.S. sanctions campaign, the European Union on July 1 implemented an oil embargo against Iran. The bloc already has begun banning European countries from reinsuring tankers carrying Iranian oil.
On the surface, the sanctions appear tantamount to the United States and its allies serving an economic death sentence to the Iranian regime. Indeed, sanctions lobbyists and journalists have painted a dire picture of hyperinflation and plummeting oil revenues. They argue that sanctions are depriving Tehran of resources that otherwise would be allocated to Iran's nuclear weapons program. This narrative also tells of the Iranian regime's fear of economically frustrated youths daring to revive the Green Movement to pressure the regime at its weakest point.
But Iran's response to sanctions deadlines has been relatively nonchalant. Contrary to the sanctions lobbyist narrative, this response does not suggest Iran will halt its crude oil shipments, nor does it portend a popular uprising in the streets of Tehran. Instead, it suggests that sanctions are likely a sideshow to a much more serious negotiation in play.
Loopholes in the Sanctions Campaign
The sanctions applied thus far certainly have complicated Iran's day-to-day business operations. However, Iran is well versed in deception tactics to allow itself and its clients to evade sanctions and thus dampen the effects of the U.S. campaign.
One way in which Iran circumvents sanctions is through a network of front companies that enable Iranian merchants to trade under false flags. To enter ports, merchant ships are required to sail under a flag provided by national ship registries. Tax havens, such as Malta, Cyprus, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, the Seychelles, Singapore and the Isle of Man, profit from selling flags and company registries to businesses looking to evade the taxes and regulations of their home countries. Iranian businessmen rely heavily on these havens to switch out flags, names, registered owners and agents, and addresses of owners and agents.
The U.S. Treasury Department has become more adept at identifying these firms, but a government bureaucracy simply cannot compete with the rapid pace at which shell corporations are made. Several new companies operating under different names and flags can be created in the time it takes a single sanctions lawsuit to be drawn up.
Many of Iran's clients turn a blind eye to these shell practices to maintain their crude oil supply at steep discounts. Notably, the past few months have been rife with reports of countries cutting their Iranian oil imports under pressure from the United States. However, after factoring in the amount of crude insured and traded via shell companies, the shift in trade patterns is likely not as stark as the reports present.
The United States already has exempted China, Singapore, India, Turkey, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the 27 members of the European Union from the sanctions. Many of these countries imported higher than average quantities of Iranian crude in the months leading up to their announcements that they had cut down their supply of Iranian crude. China, South Korea, India and Japan also are finding ways to provide sovereign guarantees in lieu of maritime insurance to get around the latest round of sanctions. Even though many of these countries claim to have reduced their oil imports from Iran to negotiate an exemption, falsely flagged tankers carrying Iranian crude likely compensate for much of Iran's officially reduced trade.
U.S. lawmakers are drawing up even stricter sanctions legislation in an effort to track down more Iranian shell companies, but the U.S. administration is likely aware of the inadequacies of the sanctions campaign. In fact, while Congress is busy trying to expand the sanctions, the U.S. administration is rumored to be preparing a list of options by which it can selectively repeal the sanctions for when it sits down at a negotiating table with Iran.
The Real Negotiation
While talk of sanctions has dominated headlines, a more subtle dialogue between Iran and the United States has been taking place. In an editorial appearing in U.S. foreign policy journal The National Interest, two insiders of the Iranian regime, Iranian political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani and former member of Iranian nuclear negotiating team Seyed Hossein Mousavian, communicated several key points on behalf of Tehran:
Perhaps most important, they said, "the Islamic Republic is willing to agree on a face-saving solution that would induce it to give up the cards it has gained over the past years."
- The United States and Iran must continue to negotiate.
- Sanctions hurt Iran economically but by no means paralyze Iranian trade.
- Iran cannot be sure that any bilateral agreement made with the United States will be honored by a new administration come November.
- The United States must abandon any policy intended to bring about regime change in Tehran.
- Washington has few remaining options other than military intervention, which is an unlikely outcome.
- Iran can significantly increase pressure on the United States by, for example, threatening the security of the Strait of Hormuz, an act that would raise the price of U.S. oil.
On June 27, the United States delivered an important message. U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert said during a Pentagon news conference that the Strait of Hormuz had been relatively quiet and that the Iranian navy had been "professional and courteous" to U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. According to Greenert, the Iranian navy has abided by the norms that govern naval activity in international waters. Previously, armed speedboats operated provocatively close to U.S. vessels, but they have not done so recently, Greenert said. It is difficult to imagine Greenert making such a statement without clearance from the White House.
When Iran began the year with military exercises to highlight the threat it could pose to the Strait of Hormuz, Stratfor laid out the basic framework of the U.S.-Iranian relationship. Both countries have defined their red lines. Iran raises the prospect of closing the Strait of Hormuz or detonating a nuclear device. The United States moves its naval carriers into the Persian Gulf to raise the prospect of a military strike. Both remind each other of their respective red lines, yet both stay clear of them because the consequences of crossing them are simply too great.
The situation calls for a broader accommodation. Over the past decade, Iran and the United States have struggled in negotiations toward such an accommodation. At the heart of the negotiation is Iraq -- a core vulnerability to Iran's western flank if under the influence of a hostile power and Iran's energy-rich outlet to the Arab world. The United States has tried to maintain a foothold in Iraq, but there is little question that Iraq now sits in an Iranian sphere of influence. With Iraq now practically conceded to Iran, the other components of the negotiation are largely reduced to atmospherics.
Iran's biggest deterrent rests in its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. The leverage Tehran holds over the strait allows Iran room to negotiate over its nuclear program. Of course, the United States would prefer that Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions and will continue efforts to impede the program, but a nuclear Iran might in the end be tolerated as long as Washington and Tehran have an understanding that allows for the free flow of oil through the strait. Everything from the sanctions campaign to U.S. covert backing of Syrian rebels to the nuclear program becomes negotiable. As the Iranians put it, a path has been created for a "face-saving solution" that would allow both to walk away from the dialogue looking good in front of their constituencies, but would also require the sacrifice of some of the levers they have gained in the course of the negotiation.
With only four months until the U.S. election, it is difficult to imagine that this negotiation will reach the point of a strategic understanding between Washington and Tehran. However, one would be remiss to overlook the important confidence-building measures that are being communicated at a time when neither power wants to skirt its respective red lines, Iraq is more or less a moot issue and the United States is trying to redirect its focus away from the Middle East.
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