http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/06/the-final-countdown-israel-vs-iran/ The Final Countdown: Israel vs. Iran Posted By Bruce Thornton The 33-year farce of Western appeasement of Iran may be reaching its denouement. For the last few months, the pace of events have quickened as the West sanctions and threatens, and Iran blusters about closing the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil to Europe, […]
Newt’s Plan, Mitt’s Morass By Deroy Murdock
Despite losing Tuesday’s Florida primary, Newt Gingrich used his Sunshine State effort to showcase his voluntary 15 percent flat tax — 2012’s smartest idea yet, both strategically and substantively. Through the November 6 election, this concept can inoculate Republicans from the Democrats’ ceaseless lies about the wealthy “not paying their fair share” of taxes. And, if implemented, Gingrich’s prescription would reinvigorate America’s feeble economy.
Among the barbs that Gingrich and Willard Mitt Romney traded, the former House speaker made this generous-sounding comment at the January 23 Tampa debate:
“I’m prepared to describe my 15 percent flat tax as the Mitt Romney flat tax,” Gingrich declared. “I’d like to bring everybody else down to Mitt’s rate, not try to bring him up to some other rate.”
As Gingrich further explained at the January 26 Jacksonville face-off:
I have proposed an alternative flat tax that people could fill out where you could either keep the current system — this is what they do in Hong Kong — . . . with all of its deductions and all its paperwork, or you’d have a single page: ‘I earned this amount. I have this number of dependents. Here is 15 percent.’ My goal is to shrink the government to fit the revenue, not to raise the revenue to catch up with the government.
Gingrich’s initiative is excellent politics. President Obama and his liberal pals simply refuse to acknowledge the latest IRS data, which irrefutably demonstrate that the oft-excoriated top 1 percent of filers in 2009 generated 16.9 percent of the nation’s income and paid 36.7 percent of its income tax. Meanwhile, the Tax Policy Center reported last August that in 2011, those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 paid an effective rate of 5.7 percent in combined income, payroll, corporate, and death taxes. Those who made at least $1 million paid 29.1 percent.
Homeland Security Lexicon: You’re All ‘Militia Extremists’ Now Posted By Patrick Poole
A recently published “lexicon” distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targets citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government, categorizing such as “militia extremists.”
The “lexicon,” marked Unclassified/For Official Use Only (FOUO), is dated November 10, 2011, and was sent out by email to law enforcement and homeland security agencies on November 14 by LaJuan E. Washington of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
We have exclusively posted the DHS “lexicon” here .
Its definition of “militia extremists” states:
(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who facilitate or engage in acts of violence directed at federal, state, or local government officials or infrastructure in response to their belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms and is attempting to establish a totalitarian regime. These individuals consequently oppose many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership), and often belong to armed paramilitary groups. They often conduct paramilitary training designed to violently resist perceived
Apple Branches Out to High-Tech Israel Posted By Brian London http://pjmedia.com/blog/apple-branches-out-to-high-tech-israel/ In January, U.S. electronics firm Apple confirmed its purchase of Israeli flash memory company Anobit. Apple often uses its vast cash reserves to buy small companies with interesting technology, and Apple is already using Anobit’s products for “packing more storage capacity into Macs and […]
How should Jews feel about the religious music of great Christian composers (including the convert Felix Mendelssohn)? Norman Podhoretz  has said that he “senses the Infinite” listening to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. A devout Orthodox rabbi of my acquaintance allows that he loves Mozart’s Requiemmore than any other musical work. What does this music mean to Christians?
Among all the arts, Western classical music is the only true innovation of the modern West: We can read Aeschylus or Pindar just as we do Shakespeare or Keats, but the ancient world produced nothing that resembles Josquin des Prez, let alone Mozart. Alone among the arts, classical music is an artifact of the modern Christian West, and it is hard to extract it from its Christian context.
On a Good Friday some 30 years ago, in an undistinguished church in a mid-sized German city, I heard the most remarkable musical performance of my life: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with a combined amateur-professional orchestra, the church’s amateur choir, and hired vocal soloists. The Passion sets parts of the Gospel interspersed with devotional poems. It is ill-suited for the concert stage, for when performed as intended in church, on the saddest day of the Christian calendar, congregation and performers join the liturgical drama. (Strictly speaking, as an observant Jew, I shouldn’t have been in a church at all, although some Orthodox rabbis  permit Jews to enter evangelical churches that contain no religious iconography, such as the one where this recital was taking place.)
Music helps the Christian to mourn the death of Jesus of Nazareth, and Bach’s great work makes this intensely personal: A palpable hush came over players and congregation when the bass soloist sang his last aria, “Make yourself pure, my heart—I want to bury Jesus myself.” As Franz Rosenzweig wrote in The Star of Redemption of Christian music, “He who joins in singing a chorale, or who listens to the mass, the Christmas oratorio, the passion … wants to make his soul stand with both feet in time, in the most real time of all, in the time of the one day of the world of which all individual days of the world are but a part. Music is supposed to escort him there.” But during the nine days before the saddest event in the Jewish calendar, the 9th of Av, rabbinic law forbids Jews from hearing any music at all; the most lugubrious hazzan in the world is of no help.
This past July, I dined in a kosher restaurant in Vienna with a young priest from an Austrian Stift who is finishing his studies in philosophy in Rome. As we finished the wine, Father A. challenged me: “What is your definition of beauty? My opinion of you will depend a great deal on your answer.” That is an important issue for Catholics, who believe that an earthly institution, namely the Church, holds the keys that unlock what is locked in heaven. If that is possible, God must make himself knowable in some way to humans, for example, by taking human form. One of these ways is beauty. Adapting Plato, Catholic theology equates the good and the beautiful by making them attributes of God.
“Beauty has two components,” I offered. “One is what we might call harmony: It unites all the elements of the object of perception into a whole in which the parts have a necessary relation to the whole.” That was right out of Plato, and Father A. flashed an arachnoid smile as I feinted toward the web.
“The other element is surprise,” I continued.
“What do you mean?” asked Father A., himself surprised.
“There are any number of things that meet the criterion of harmony—for example, geometrical constructions, crystal patterns, and so forth—but we don’ t necessarily consider them beautiful,” I went on. “They may be as dull as they are harmonious. The experience of beauty requires the sense of discovery of a harmony we hitherto did not perceive and whose existence we did not suspect.”
“That’s interesting,” Father A. allowed. “I hadn’t thought about it quite that way.”
“Would you agree,” I added, “that the concept of surprise is bound inextricably to the concept of expectation? I can only be surprised if something happens that differs from what I anticipated.”
“I suppose that is true,” said Father A.
“Let’s take the example of Mozart. Close to the end of the Andante  of the 21st piano concerto, Mozart brings back the opening F-major theme not in its original key, but rather in the remote key of A-flat major. Would that qualify as a beautiful surprise?”
“By all means,” said Father A. He admires Mozart.
“And the surprise depends on our expectations about musical form, in this case, the practice of recapitulating a theme in its original key?”
“I suppose so.”
“And someone who had never heard Western classical music might have no experience of musical form, and no such expectation?”
No answer this time. Father A. guessed where I was going with this.
Eric Nelson is a danger to academia.
“In sum, in The Hebrew Republic Nelson has thrown down the gauntlet of a revolution. He means to overturn the accepted foundations of modern intellectual history by re-evaluating the early modern period and asking whether biblical and Jewish ideas were as foundational as Greek and Roman thought in creating the modern world. And Nelson, in being persuaded that the Bible was a motive force in early modern political history, is not alone.
A lot of ink will be spilled, and careers and reputations will lie bleeding on the ground, before this battle ends. It is likely to be exciting, not least because it is fun to watch evidence-based scholarship triumph over dogma defended as truth.”
You would not think so from his background. He is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of Governmentat Harvard University. He has had a proper education, at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge. Although both of these institutions were founded by believing Christians, Harvard and Trinity got over all that a long time ago.
Nelson knows that taking the Bible seriously as a source of political theory is simply not done. His first, highly regarded book, The Greek Tradition in Republican Thought, establishes the central importance of Greek texts—which had been newly recovered in the Renaissance—in the formation of early modern republicanism. His second book was a scholarly edition of the translation of Homer done by Thomas Hobbes—that Thomas Hobbes, the 17th-century thinker who helped found modern political philosophy by rejecting ancient authority and arguing that the principles of just government can instead be reasoned out by an intelligent mind closely observing nature and its mechanisms. Intellectual historians understand that Hobbes and the philosophers who followed him drew on Greek and Roman ideas but most certainly not on the political ideas found in the Bible.
We have all been taught that it was the dethroning of revealed religion that produced political modernity. Everyone knows this, knows that European political thought was not transformed and made modern by reading the Bible (let alone the Talmud); it was remade by a rejection of the Bible in favor of rationalism. So how can a Harvard professor like Nelson have produced the book he did, entitled The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought?
http://bigpeace.com/stzu/2012/02/05/new-craze-in-germany-animal-brothels/ Animal sex abuse is on the rise in Germany, with bestiality brothels being set up across the country, according to a state animal protection officer demanding stronger laws to protect mankind’s furry and feathered friends. Madeleine Martin, the animal protection official for Hessian state government, said the law needed to be changed to make […]
US Greens Won’t ScrapeThe Bottom Of The Barr-el … Will They?!
So that cringeable “comedienne” Roseanne Barr is standing for nomination as the Green Party candidate for the US Presidency!
An uncouth slovenly loudmouth, at any rate in her eponymous TV show during the 1990s, she has said some truly bizarre and despicable things about Jews and Israel, for instance here and here and here.
Who knows what deep psychological need such views satisfy in an individual who utters them.
But perhaps even worse than Ms Barr’s expressed contempt for her Jewish heritage is the delighted reaction from the audience, as seen in this video.
“If you’re not Jewish and you get into Israel you will live and work in one of the freest, law-based democracies in the world. You will have opportunities to go to great universities and better yourself. You will have access to a health system that is the envy of much of the world, and certainly far superior to Britain’s National Health Service. It has it’s downsides, and very particular downsides — just as Britain’s downsides are particular to Britain, France’s to France, America’s to America. But as countries go, the Israelis have made a pretty good go of it by any standards, and they should be proud of themselves.”
As Islamist extremists take power in Egypt and beyond, the New Statesman publishes a vicious, defamatory trash job on Israel’s democratic traditions
Of all the bigotries, in the world today, one stands out for special consideration. That is not simply because it is so odious, though it is certainly that. It is because it is the one bigotry that presents a clear and present danger of translating into a genocidal outcome. It is also the one form of bigotry that has been openly accepted and internalised by large sections of a British and West-European political intelligentsia that remains dominated by the liberal-Left.
I am talking, of course, about anti-Zionism – a uniquely discriminatory agenda aimed at deligitimising the State of Israel and ending that country’s existence as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
http://times247.com/ Occupy movement becomes college course in Chicago USA Today Sunday, February 5, 2012 News Thirty-two undergraduate students are enrolled at Roosevelt University’s “Occupy Everywhere” class. It’s a political science course that looks at the movement that started last summer near New York City’s Wall Street and spread nationwide. Read more… Read more at: http://times247.com/ Obama […]