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December 2014


“The lights of the menorah embody the spirit of the Jewish people. A spirit that has outlived the atrocities of every tyrant. In the heart of the flame that has burned for a thousand years lives the soul of a people. ”

Holidays are a calendar. They mark points in emotional and physical time. They remind of us who we are.

Many of those celebrating Chanukah celebrate a holiday that does nothing more than celebrate ‘celebration’, the rituals and rites of entertainment, a special food, a symbol whose meaning they don’t remember and a little family fun.

Chanukah is many things but it is not a safe holiday. It is a victory celebration in a guerrilla war. It is a reminder that Obama’s war on Jerusalem was preceded long before him by Antiochus’s war on Jerusalem. It is a brief light in a period of great darkness.

The great irony of Chanukah is that those likeliest to strip away its historical and religious meaning would have been fighting against the Macabees. The battle to preserve the meaning of Chanukah is part of the struggle to preserve the Jewish traditions and culture that the left attacks.

Today’s struggle for Jerusalem, for Judaism, for freedom of religion and a meaningful life continues that same old struggle of Chanukah.

The overt militarism of the Chanukah story has made it an uncomfortable fit for liberal Jews who found it easier to strip away its dangerous underlying message that a time comes when you must choose between the destruction of your culture and a war you can’t win. In those dark days a war must be fought if the soul of the nation is to survive.

There are worse things than death and slavery, the fate that waited for the Maccabees and their allies had they failed, the fates that came anyway when the last of the Maccabees were betrayed and murdered by Caesar’s Edomite minister, whose sons went on to rule over Israel as the Herodian dynasty.

Pakistan School Massacre and the Evils of Islamic Extremism :Clare George-Hilley

Clare George-Hilley is Director of Communities and Social Justice, Parliament Street Research Council. She is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator @ClareHilley

The latest Islamic attack on a school in Pakistan is a reminder that these terrorists have no limits when it comes to inflicting violence on the innocent and the vulnerable. They must be met with force, whether in Pakistan, Iraq or Britain.

Today’s attack by the Taliban on a Pakistani school is reminder that Islamic extremists have no limit on their depravity and no mercy for their victims.

It is hard to imagine the fear that ran through the hundreds of innocent school children when the band of extremists burst into their classrooms, waving guns and making threats.

This grievous terrorist attack was a total massacre, with 135 children murdered, over 100 more injured and one teacher burned alive and shot in the head. Their crime, which so offended the Islamists, was that they wanted to get an education.

The group who have proudly taken credit for this atrocity are the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), yet another Islamic organisation that thrives of negative publicity by planning and committing unspeakable acts.

Like the Islamic State (IS) group which has escalated its power by brutal murders and beheadings, it is seeking worldwide attention to attract more followers and strike fear into the hearts of innocent Pakistanis.

This problem is by no means contained in the Middle East and Asia, the al-shabaab group which operates mainly in East Africa has been terrorising countries like Somalia and Kenya for years. Their target, of course is always exclusively civilians, blowing up shopping centres in Nairobi and targeting the tourist strips of Mombasa.

The result of these atrocities has been that airlines all over the world refusing to fly to Kenya, crippling the tourist industry and plunging an already struggling country deeper into poverty.

Jeb, the Chamber’s Water Boy: For so Many Reasons, It’s Time to Nip the Jeb Bush Candidacy in the Bud. By Michelle Malkin (Amen!!!!)

Allow me to unite America’s left, right, and center in just three words: No, Jeb, No.

Florida’s former GOP governor Jeb Bush made the obvious official this week when he announced on Facebook that he’s “actively exploring” a 2016 White House run. Of course he’s running. That’s what inveterate politicians do.

Well, I hate to break it to Jeb Inc. There’s no popular groundswell for Bush Part III. None, zip, nada. Independents, progressives, and conservatives are all weary of the entrenched bipartisan dynasties that rule Washington and ruin America. Only in the hallowed bubble of D.C. and New York City elites does a Jeb Bush presidential bid make any sense.

Jeb’s indulgent (and ultimately doomed) enterprise has three privileged constituencies: Big Business, Big Government, and Big Media. This iron triumvirate explains how the failed campaigns of so-called “pragmatic,” “thoughtful,” and “moooooderate” liberal Republican candidates such as John McCain, Jon Huntsman, and Bob Dole ever got off the ground. The “Reasonable Republican,” anointed and enabled by the statist Big Three, serves as a useful tool for bashing conservatives and marginalizing conservatism.

For Republicans who argue that Jeb is the most “electable” choice, I ask: What planet are you on? After two disastrous terms of Barack Obama’s Hope and Change Theater, the last thing the Republican party needs is an establishment poster child for Washington business as usual. I mean, really? A third Bush who’s been working for his dad, his dad’s friends, or the government since 1980?

A Beltway-ensconced scion so chummy with the Clinton family that he awarded close family friend — and potential 2016 nemesis — Hillary a “Liberty Medal” last year as chairman of the National Constitution Center?

That’s the GOP donor bigwigs’ “fresh idea” for “American Renewal”?


And they’re off! This morning, in a notably understated Facebook post, former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced that he was thinking about thinking about running for the White House. “I have decided,” Bush confirmed, “to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.” “Best wishes to you and your families for a happy holiday season,” he teased.” “I’ll be in touch soon.”

The reactions came thick and fast. Depending on the speaker, Bush was greeted as a glorified Democrat, hiding inside an elephant’s hide; as a colorless moderate, too insipid and too dull to provoke any reaction at all; or as precisely the sort of competent, calm, and respectable politician that Republicans will need if they are to win back control of the executive branch. Celebrating the move, Bush’s champions focused on his excellent record as a two-term governor and played up his social conservatism; lamenting the news, his detractors relitigated his approach to the disaster that is Common Core, and his unreliable position on immigration. Would Bush be a good president? Your mileage may vary.

As for me: Well, I must confess that I am not entirely sure what I think of Bush’s record. But, then, I don’t really need to be. Rather, I am fundamentally opposed to his candidacy on more basic grounds: Namely, that he’s the wrong man, at the wrong time — and in the wrong country, too. “As loathsome and un-American as it may seem to hold someone’s family name against him,” Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote earlier this week, “this point needs to be emphasized: the GOP and the country don’t need another Bush.” Dougherty is right. The United States is a republic, and in republics the citizenry should be reflexively nervous about dynasties, regardless of how much they like their individual members. Certainly, America has survived the emergence of great and powerful families before. President John Quincy Adams was President John Adams’s son; President Benjamin Harrison was President William Henry Harrison’s grandson; and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President Theodore Roosevelt’s fifth cousin. But these were departures from the norm, rather than the norm itself. If Jeb Bush does manage to make it all the way to the top, we will be in uncharted dynastic territory — territory that, frankly, should begin to worry us.

As it stands, the Republican party has not won a presidential election without a Bush on the top of the ticket since 1984, and it has not won the presidency without a Bush somewhere on the ticket since 1972. If Jeb were elected president, it would be the case that, for three decades, one family had been in charge of the country each and every time the electorate moved in its party’s direction. What, I wonder, would that say about conservatism? And what, I wonder, would it say about America writ large if, 36 years after George H. W. was first sworn in as vice president, the Right concluded that the only way that it could credibly win power was to tap into the same, oft-pumped well?

Is Jeb Ready for Hillary? By Jim Geraghty

Back in 2005, Peggy Noonan wrote about the increasingly public friendship between George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton:

What bothers me about the fervid friendship of the Bushes and Mr. Clinton — and the media celebration of it — is the faint whiff of superiority, a sense they radiate that all those slightly icky little people running around wailing about issues — tax reform, the relation of the individual to the state, the necessary character of a president — and working the precincts are somehow . . . a little below them. There is an air of condescension toward that grubby thing, belief. Those who hold it are not elevated, don’t quite fit into the high-minded nonpartisan brotherhood. When in fact the people doing the day-to-day work of democracy, and who are in it because they are impelled by deep belief and philosophy, are actually not below them at all, and perhaps above them. Not that they’re on the cover of People hugging, but at least they’re serious.

It is the suggestion, or the suspicion, that these men have grown close because they are not serious, were never quite serious, that grates. That makes one wonder. That leaves some Republicans, and I have to assume more than a few Democrats, scratching their heads when they see Newt smiling with Hillary, and John McCain giggling with Hillary. It leaves you wondering: Why are these people laughing?

Much more recently, former president George W. Bush has referred to Bill Clinton as “my brother from another mother” and to Hillary Clinton as his “sister-in-law.” On September 11, 2013, Jeb Bush, chair of the National Constitution Center, honored the former secretary of state with the organization’s Liberty Medal, marking Clinton’s “lifelong career in public service.” At a March conference on education, Hillary Clinton praised Jeb Bush as someone “who really focused on education during his time as governor in Florida, and who has continued that work with passion and dedication in the years since.”


Insert all the standard boilerplate about the joy of friendship and personal relationships, and how political opponents don’t need to be lifelong enemies. Yes, it’s nice that the 1992 election results didn’t cause these two families to hate each other forever. Yes, it’s nice that the former presidents have come together to help noble causes and can unite to help charities and the vulnerable when they need it.

But come on, man.

The base of the Republican party strongly dislikes Hillary Clinton. Some might use the term “hate”; others would object to that term because it suggests an irrational, unthinking rage.

Europe Declares War on the Internet by Soeren Kern

“Spanish newspapers formed suicide pact, invited Google to pull the trigger. Google did.” — Twitter user.

Spain’s ailing newspaper industry, which is utterly dependent upon Google News search engine to drive traffic and revenues, is now at risk.

The spirit of the new law “is not really about compensation, but about extorting money from Google… The final result of the Google Tax: no one gets paid, media lose traffic and Internet users lose an important service. Spanish newspaper publishers should be thankful that an external agent drives readers to their publications for free.” — Alfredo Pasqual, technology commentator.

Europe’s obsession with Google may be more about anti-Americanism than anything else.

The Internet giant Google has announced that it is shutting down its Google News service in Spain.

The move came in response to a new copyright law in Spain that would require Google and other news aggregators to pay Spanish publishers for linking to their content.

The Spanish law follows similar legislation in other parts of the European Union, where politicians are increasingly lashing out at Google over a host of complaints about antitrust, privacy and taxation issues.

Google has accommodated critics in some countries, but with Spain, the government appears to have completely overreached: Spain’s ailing newspaper industry, which is utterly dependent upon Google News to drive traffic and revenues, is now at risk.

Spain’s new Intellectual Property Law (Ley de Propiedad Intelectual) was approved in February 2014 and enters into effect on January 1, 2015. Also known as the “Google Tax” (tasa Google), the purpose of the new law is to force predominately American internet content aggregators to pay for the rejuvenation of digital media in Spain.

Angry CIA Interrogator James Mitchell Lashes Out at Partisan Senate Report By Paula Bolyard

In his first televised interview since a non-disclosure agreement was loosened, Dr. James Mitchell, an Air Force psychologist who was an integral part of the controversial CIA enhanced interrogation program, lashed out at the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Monday’s Kelly File. Mitchell, who gave very specific details about the interrogations of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, who was at the time a suspect in the attacks, told Kelly that he’s angry about the report and feels that the disclosure of his identity has put him in danger. Mitchell said, “They had a foregone conclusion.” He believes the CIA put his life and the lives of other CIA officials and their families in danger. “For some sort of moral high ground?” he asked.
Mitchell said that the report didn’t include any Republicans and it didn’t include the CIA. “From my perspective and the perspective of the other interrogators that were involved that I’ve talked to, it seems almost like some secret tribunal. Some Star Chamber. It’s like being caught up in a bad spy novel,” Mitchell told Kelly.

He said the CIA report has accused him and fellow interrogators of “some horrible things” but they can’t be prosecuted because what they did was legal at the time. “They didn’t give us the chance to explain anything. They didn’t bother talking to the people at the CIA or the people who were no longer at the CIA who were involved, like the past directors.” He said the report has stirred up “all of the crazies and all the jihadists and so now we’re getting death threats and we’re getting all kinds of things. ”

“I do not mind giving my life for my country, but I do mind giving my life for a food fight for political reasons between two groups of people who should be able to work it out like adults,” Mitchell told Kelly when asked if his life was in danger.

”No one from the Senate committee has ever asked me a single thing. If they think I’ve abused somebody they should ask me about it. They should point at the piece of the paper, let me review the documents, and let me at least try to explain my…ourselves. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has the opportunity to address the charges against him but I don’t,” Mitchell complained.

Mitchell said he is proud of the work the int


Ban Ki-Moon Negligent on Climate Science By Tom Harris
Ban Ki-Moon Negligent on Climate Science
The secretary general ignores the many scientists who present him with conflicting information.

The climate controversy is one of the world’s most important discussions. At stake are billions of dollars, countless jobs, and — if UN negotiators are right — the fate of the global environment itself.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should therefore help create a political climate that encourages all global warming experts to contribute to the debate. With a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in public administration, Ban lacks the training to properly assess the science. So his only fair course of action is to encourage his science advisors to carefully consider all reputable points of view about the factors driving climate change.

But Ban does the opposite. He takes sides, choosing to only credit scientists who assert that dangerous climate change is being caused by human activity.

During the UN Climate Change Conferences in 2007 (Bali), 2009 (Copenhagen), and 2012 (Qatar), hundreds of climate experts endorsed open letters to Ban explaining where he was going wrong on the science. Among the scientific luminaries signing the letters were Dr. Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists; Freeman J. Dyson of Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton; Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, professor of natural sciences, Warsaw; Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, professor of meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, founding director, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska; William Kininmonth, former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre; Dr. Gösta Walin, professor emeritus in oceanography, Göteborg University, Sweden; and Dr. Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, of the Pulkovo Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The secretary general did not even acknowledge receipt of the open letters, let alone address any of the scientists’ points. Yet Ban condemns Canada for not doing more on climate change, while neglecting his own failure to deal fairly with this difficult issue.


Officers chant “Chavez Lives” at their “Studies of the Thoughts of the Supreme Commander Hugo Chavez” classes. But Supreme Commander Chavez was killed by Cuban medicine and his regime and philosophy are on their last legs as the Venezuelan people have turned against his successor.

When Cuban medicine let Chavez die, it also raised a tombstone for the Castro regime. Chavez gave away 100,000 barrels a day to Castro keeping the Communist regime afloat. In return Cuban secret police, organizers and teachers helped keep the Supreme Commander in power. But Hugo Chavez is dead and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, is wildly unpopular. Venezuela has turned into Cuba with food shortages and soldiers in the street and no one wants to live like Cuba.

Not even the Cubans do.

The cult of Chavez portrays him as a holy figure to Venezuela’s poor and to its military officers who are the last firewall of a collapsing government which needs soldiers and street thugs to protect Maduro. But the revolution is collapsing faster than the next wave of officers can be indoctrinated with chants of “Chavez Lives”. This inevitable failure of Socialism is being unintentionally sped up by Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi campaign against American fracking has dumped cheap oil on the market hurting Russia, Iran and Venezuela; all of which rely heavily on energy exports.

Chavez had screamed against capitalism in fiery speeches while building his Socialist revolution around oil exports and financial credit. Now Maduro is stuck with a $5 billion bill and no way to pay it. The former bus driver and community organizer vowed that he would make oil $100 a barrel. Not only does he have no way of doing that outside his own miserable price controlled country, but oil is headed for $50 a barrel and Maduro is stuck denouncing credit rating companies for ranking Venezuela below African countries with Ebola. African countries with Ebola however have lower debt and a financial plan that doesn’t involve delivering a speech denouncing the CIA every hour on the hour.

Maduro and his Cuban handlers know that a debt default is coming. There are basic shortages all over the country of everything from milk to toilet paper. A debt default will make Venezuela’s deeply dysfunctional economy in which no one can buy a new car and people fly out of the country to get dollars to buy basic products on the black market even worse.


Hatred of Women on the March in Iran By Majid Rafizadeh

The hatred, misogyny and injustice against Iranian women has continued to ratchet up under the office of the so-called moderate president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

After a series of acid attacks against young women in the city of Esfahan, the Iranian parliament (Majlis) has passed a new bill, which would allow Basij, the governmental volunteer militia, to go around in the streets and give verbal warning to those Iranian women who do not comply with the government’s Islamic dress code.

More recently, stabbing women has become another sign of increased violence. A suspect was recently arrested for stabbing six women in city of Fars in Iran, reportedly for wearing an improper hijab. One of the women was stabbed in the stomach. According to Saham News, the suspect is the son of a Basij Commander from the village of Ghotbabad.

The Basij, which is supervised by the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, intervenes in the day to day activities of ordinary people, spying on individuals, and attempting to impose the ideological and Islamist doctrine of the Iranian government.

When I used to live in Iran, I, like many Iranian people, witnessed how young girls would be dragged into police cars by the moral police for not complying with the government’s religious dress code. Showing some strands of hair or some part of the body in public can lead to arrest, imprisonment, and fines.

The Vigilante Law to Impose Hijab and Dress Code