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January 2013


http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=300885 The election results indicate the Israeli electorate has become dangerously detached from real challenges the nation needs to address. If Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yacimovich join Netanyahu’s coalition without Bayit Yehudi and the ultra-Orthodox parties, Netanyahu will have no option but to follow the path of Begin, Rabin and Sharon and reach […]


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2203110/Deadly-Hunter-Killer-submarine-capable-hearing-ship-leaving-port-New-York–sat-underwater-English-channel.html#ixzz26SLVilYf Inside the Navy’s new £1billion supersub: Deadly Hunter Killer submarine is capable of hearing a ship leaving port in New York… whilst sat underwater in the English channel One of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful nuclear submarines Carries dozens of cruise missiles capable of hitting targets 1,200 miles away Her sonar can detect […]


http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/01/28/gun-laws-and-the-fools-of-chelm-by-david-mamet.html The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so. By David Mamet. Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded […]


Before her caterwauling display at the hearings , Hillary Clinton choked up and almost wept recalling how she hugged the families of the victims of her bungling in Benghazi. Gee, maybe she should get a job as a comforter in a funeral home.

The interesting thing is how snarky she was at a Congressional hearing. Remember how she called General Petraeus a liar? And, she was not talking about his marital infidelity here, another subject which she once attributed to a “vast right wing conspiracy.”

“Last week, it got a little dramatic. Senator Hillary Clinton called General Petraeus a liar. And believe this, if there’s one thing she knows, it’s how to spot a guy who’s lying.” –Jay Leno

Read this:


WASHINGTON — Senator Clinton squared off yesterday with her possible challenger for the White House in 2012, General David Petraeus, and came closer than any of her colleagues to calling the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq a liar.

Using blunter language than any other Democrat in the last two days, Mrs. Clinton told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief.”

Referring to the charts General Petraeus brought to the House and Senate this week, Mrs. Clinton said, “Although the charts tell part of the story, I don’t think they tell the whole story.” She said the “bottom-up” political reconciliation was “anecdotal” and that the success in Anbar province, where sheiks turned on Al Qaeda, started before the surge.

At the end of her speech, Mrs. Clinton pointed to what she saw as a discrepancy in the general’s responses to questions from other senators about whether he would recommend that America keep 130,000 troops in Iraq a year from now if no progress was made toward national reconciliation.

“Don’t you think the American people deserve a very specific answer about what is expected from our country in the face of the failure of the Iraqi government and its failure to achieve its political agenda?” she asked.

General Petraeus responded calmly. “I don’t see quite as big a difference as you do,” he said. “I would be very hard pressed at that time to recommend a continuation of our current troop levels” if conditions on the ground were the same in a year as they are now. He added that Mrs. Clinton’s question was “quite a bit hypothetical.”



“I have been half in love with easeful Death…”
– John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”

Easeful death: that, in a nutshell, is the topic of Samuel Gregg’s new book, Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future. Gregg, who is the director of research at the Acton Institute, reminds us that when Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to America in 1831, he encountered a nation of people who startled and impressed him with their robustness, energy, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit – in a word, their life. The America of today, or at least the America of not very long ago, was still recognizably, at heart, the same America that Tocqueville wrote about in Democracy in America: a country of hard-working, optimistic people who believed ardently in self-reliance, individual enterprise, and – above all – freedom.

Gregg contrasts this intensely vital America with the nations of Europe that, since World War II, have rejected U.S.-style liberal democracy in favor of social democracy, subordinating individual liberty to cradle-to-grave communal security and allowing their economic vigor to be smothered by, as Gregg puts it, the “dead hand of the state.” If indeed what Europeans enjoy today is a kind of “easeful death,” it is a death that many of them would die rather than give up. Frenchmen who can’t bring themselves to get up in the morning and go to work – preferring instead to live on generous government benefits – are nonetheless able to spend days on end marching in the streets, stopping traffic, ranting at gendermes, and mounting the barricades, Les Miz-style, in protest against even the slightest proposed rollback in those handouts.

Never mind the economic logic of the situation – the fact that something’s eventually got to give. We’re talking about multiple generations of Europeans who have been brought up on the idea that they’re entitled. The idea that a society, to be truly humane, must temper the harshness of capitalism through the multifarious efforts of a benign state. The idea that today’s European social-democratic welfare state represents the very culmination of the millennia-long progress of human civilization. And, of course, the idea that even the slightest compromise with realism would amount to an inexcusable step back toward American-style barbarism. As Jacques Chirac put it (disgracefully) in 2005, liberalism – meaning an economy more like America’s – “would be as disastrous as communism” to his country. Or how about this dumb line, which Gregg credits to former European Commission president Jacques Delors: “Cinema explains American society. It’s like a Western, with good guys and bad guys, where the weak don’t have a place.” (Yes, and in France all the conversations are in song, just like in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.) The America-as-Wild-West meme is a moribund cliché, of course, but it’s alive and well in the Land of the Dead.


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obamas-new-peacekeeper-army/ Sending women into combat, like the end of the ban on official homosexuality, has been met with worried remarks about its impact on the “warrior culture.” But the new military that the left has been building for some time now is not interested in warriors; it wants peacekeepers. The old army fought for a […]


http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/sharpe/130124 It is what Barack Obama didn’t say in his second Inaugural Address that was the most significant. He came close to turning his back on most of the world as he delivered a fiercely liberal and avowedly socialist vision of what he wants America to be. He said, “A decade of war is now […]


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338763/hillary-clinton-s-dodgy-testimony-jonah-goldberg A lot of people in Washington apparently forgot how good Hillary Clinton is at not telling the truth. Wednesday, in her testimony before the Senate and, later, the House, Clinton brilliantly fudged, dodged, and filibustered. Of course, she’s a pro. Clinton was slow-walking depositions, lawyering up, and shifting blame when many of her questioners […]



When the shah fled Iran, my newspaper colleagues and I actually thought we were covering a promising new era.

Only a few newspaper headlines become iconic, a story in their own right. The headline “Shah Raft”—”The Shah Has Left” in Persian—is one of those. It was printed on the front page of Iran’s two main daily newspapers, Kayhan and Ettelaat, on Jan. 16, 1979, after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left Tehran for good.

“Shah Raft” captured the victory of the revolution. It encapsulated history in the making. It ran in bold Persian letters, in size 84 font, across the top of the page. Over a million copies were printed. In Iranian journalism circles, the headline has sparked years of debate: Who wrote it? Who picked it? How did it come about?

This month marks 34 years since “Shah Raft” hit the press. I was a deputy editor at Kayhan at that time. Here is what I remember from the newsroom in Tehran that night.

Enlarge Image
Associated Press

More than a million supporters of an Islamic republic assembled around Shayad monument in Tehran.

All day on Jan. 16, Kayhan’s offices had been packed, buzzing. We’d brought a television set to the newsroom to watch the departure of the shah. The reporter assigned to the story was glued to the television in anticipation. His sleeves were rolled up. He was ready to write. Another reporter was at the Tehran airport reporting live from a payphone. There were no cellphones in those days. I was responsible for talking to the reporter and relaying his minute-by-minute dispatches to the copydesk.

The newsroom staff resembled a team of wandering spirits, proceeding from the television set, to the phone, to the editorial desk.

In our morning editorial meeting that day, we had discussed how we would handle the headline if the shah really did leave Iran. Would we use the shah’s name with the singular or plural form of the verb “to leave”? In Persian, a plural verb is often used with a singular noun to suggest utmost respect for the subject.

Until then, we had always been obliged to use the plural form of the verb when writing about the shah. But things were changing fast. Kayhan’s editor in chief, Rahman Hatefi, said at the meeting: “Once the shah leaves there is no coming back. He is as good as dead.”

That settled it. Worried about the possible repercussions of our coverage, we agreed with Ettelaat to use the same font and to go to press at the same time. Safety in numbers.

Still, our page designer was anxious. A political prisoner under the shah, he had dreamed of this day. He prepared the layout of “Shah Raft” in advance and kept it in his desk drawer. He paced around the newsroom, chain-smoking, sometimes walking over to my desk to put his hands on my shoulders. His eyes sparkled.

None of us knew then what we know now: Publishing the headline “Shah Raft” would spell the end of our careers. None of us knew that most of us would end up in jail, tortured and interrogated. We could have never known that out of 110 newsroom staff present that day, only one person would still be working at Kayhan today.

Around noon, I heard the reporter screaming on the phone. “Houshang, Houshang, the shah left!”

I couldn’t believe it. “Did you see with your own eyes?” I asked.

“I saw with my own eyes. The shah left. He left!”

I hung up the phone and screamed, “The shah left!”


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/24/infuriated-boxer-stormed-out-benghazi-hearing/ Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Wednesday night she was “infuriated” during Sen. Rand Paul’s questioning of Sec. Hillary Clinton and even left the hearing room. “When I heard him say those words, I walked out of the hearing room, and listened to him from behind the stage, because I was so […]