http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323485704578258172660564886.html?mod=hp_opinion Fear-mongering exaggeration about effects of global warming distracts us from finding affordable and effective energy alternatives. In his second inaugural address on Monday, President Obama laudably promised to “respond to the threat of climate change.” Unfortunately, when the president described the urgent nature of the threat—the “devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, […]
North Korea reacted angrily Wednesday to a U.N. resolution that condemns its recent rocket launch and imposes new sanctions, hinting that it may conduct another nuclear test.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry warned that Pyongyang “will take steps for physical counteraction to bolster the military capabilities for self-defense, including the nuclear deterrence, both qualitatively and quantitatively.”
Analysts interpreted the statement as a sign that North Korea will conduct another nuclear test.
“Based on their previous behavior and today’s statement, it is quite possible that North Koreans may conduct another nuclear test sooner or later,” said Seong-ho Sheen, an associate professor at Seoul National University. “When it comes to the nuclear issue, the new leader, Kim Jong-un, seems to have unchanged determination to keep a nuclear deterrence capability for his own regime’s survival.”
In 2006 and 2009, North Korea responded with nuclear tests to U.N. sanctions punishing rocket launches.
“I think they very well could be ready to test a uranium weapon, but we do not know for sure whether they have enough highly enriched uranium to do that,” said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst with the International Crisis Group.
“If they do test a uranium bomb, then it would disclose that they have mastered the technology to enrich uranium and have been doing it long enough produce significant quantities,” he added.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived back in the Senate, after dodging a few falling safes, multiple banana peels and an ornery dog named Henry, to give a carefully prepared histrionic rant which can be summed up, “I do care a lot” and “None of this was my fault” and “What difference at this point does it make?”
The last isn’t a sarcastic restatement. It’s what she actually said.
It might make a difference to a Coptic Christian whose trailer was blamed by the leader of the free world for a series of Al Qaeda attacks against American diplomatic facilities and who was sent to prison on the orders of members of the administration.
That fellow of many names, now serving a year in prison, is the only one to actually get locked up. The ringleader of the attack walks the streets of Benghazi freely. A drone could make short work of him, but no drones are coming his way. Instead a car bomb, planted by Libyan enemies nearly took him out. Some of the other Benghazi attackers were killed by the Algerian military during the siege; doing the work that Obama won’t do. If the Benghazi terrorists finally die, it will most likely be at the hands of the French, the Syrian army or Libyan rival militias.
Benghazi, Obama said, during his appearance with Jon Stewart, the man of many grimaces, was a bump in the road. And that’s all it was. The Obama campaign bus drove over four bodies and reached its destination in an armored parking garage somewhere in D.C. An irritated Hillary Clinton, who is prepping for her own bus tour in 2016, has every reason to demand to know what difference it makes now to discuss who lied about what and who failed to secure the Benghazi mission.
The election is over, and her testimony was delayed until after the fat lady held up her talking points at the debate and sang. Al Qaeda is dead, except for the parts of it rampaging across Syria, Iraq, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Pakistan, and a decade of war is coming to an end or just beginning. It makes no difference now which one of those it really is, just as it makes no difference, whether, as Clinton said, it happened “because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans?”
Dead is dead. The Benghazi four are dead. Stability in the Middle East is dead. Hope is dead. Victory is dead. It’s time to discuss the serious stuff. Like finding the right title for Hillary’s next biography, ghost-written and set for release around 2015, right after the Dems suffer a Congressional setback from angry NRA voters and just before the next election to position her as the new voice of hope.
“Bumps in the road” is one option. It really communicates that Hillary has been through a lot and driven over a lot of hard roads full of potholes and people who were only there because the Republicans refused to fully fund her infrastructure and outreach programs. But “What Difference Does It Make?” best captures the zeitgeist of the time. That sense that nothing matters once you’ve won.
What Difference Does It Make?: Hillary Clinton in Peace and War” will show up on shelves with a cover of her in some distant country looking out at the exotic landscape or surrounded by properly foreign children. It will be packaged along with a public speaking tour of colleges as Hillary promises to teach the leaders of tomorrow how they too can make a difference her way. The tour will use up Hillary’s store of funny and inspiring stories from her meetings with foreign leaders and human rights activists, most of which will be made up, but what difference does it make?
Everyone will pretend to be inspired by her. Suddenly it will be of paramount importance (circa 2015) that young women have a president of their own to look up to. It’ll all be fake, like her career, but what difference does that make. The real campaign slogan, at this point, might as well be, “Hillary, why not?” and “You know it’s going to happen anyway.”
Over in Cairo, leading senators visited Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohammed Morsi and tried to explain to him that ranting about Jews being the bloodthirsty spawn of apes and pigs who must be driven out of the Middle East is “inappropriate” if he expects to be considered a force for stability in the region. In response, Morsi told the senators that he respects all religions and that the only reason the New York Times belatedly mentioned the story a month later is because the apes and pigs control the media.
Afterward Senator McCain called for $480 million in economic aid to the Morsi regime and Obama sent him a bunch of tanks and jets, because really what difference does it make?
http://ipa.org.au/publications/2147/false-dawn:-the-arab-spring In a sense, the so-called Arab Spring can be said to have begun on 26 December 2010 in the Tunisian hinterland township of Sidi Bouzid, where a 26-year-old impoverished vegetable seller and father of eight, Mohamed Bouazizi, immolated himself in protest at the umpteenth confiscation by local police of his vending cart. Bouazizi’s story […]
“Asked whether she wants to say something to Putin, she answered bluntly: “No, honestly speaking, for me he doesn’t exist. He is just a blank spot for me.”
MOSCOW (AP) – The imprisoned members of the Pussy Riot feminist punk band say they feel no regrets about the irreverent “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral that landed them behind bars for two years.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina offered a vivid, but stoic, description of their harsh prison conditions in interviews published Wednesday in the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. They said they don’t expect clemency from authorities.
Tolokonnikova, who works at a sewing machine like most female prisoners in Russia’s prison colonies, was quoted by the paper as saying she has had her fingers punctured by the needle but has picked up speed and experience and can now meet her quota of making lining for 320 jackets a day.
Like other prisoners, she bathes once a week and uses cold water to wash the rest of the week.
“I am not paying much attention to living conditions,” she said in an interview filmed last month. “I’m ascetic, and living conditions matter little for me.”
Tolokonnikova said she meditates to prevent her spirit from being dulled by the monotonous labor. She added that the main thing she misses at her prison colony is the ability to read freely; prison conditions leave little room for reading the Bible and philosophy books.
Three members of Pussy Riot were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in August after they raucously prayed to the Virgin Mary for the deliverance from Putin at Christ the Savior Cathedral. One of them, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was later released on appeal, but Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were sent to prison colonies last fall.
Tolokonnikova argued that their protest wasn’t aimed at religion. “It was an ironic, cheerful and bold act, a political outcry, so to speak,” she said, adding that the Russian state media interpretation of it as a blasphemous action was deliberately wrong.
She said she wants to go to a prison church to talk to its priest and attend the service, although she added she has no intention of being baptized just yet.
She said that she had been warned about likely harassment by other prisoners who felt insulted by the band’s act, but there was nothing like that at her prison colony in Mordovia, a province in western Russia about 350 kilometers (217 miles) southeast of Moscow.
“ISRAEL- I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD” Michael Ordman
The Israeli elections are over and we are now into the period of horse-trading that inevitably is required to build a new coalition for governing the country. Excluding the politicians, however, most Israelis are going about their regular business. The country’s many forward-thinking entrepreneurs continue building new enterprises or expanding their current ones, which will undoubtedly bring huge benefits to the world.
Those living in, or traveling to, far-off locations will definitely appreciate the innovations from first two Israeli companies featured. Starting on dry land, Israel’s Alvarion is deploying its fast wireless broadband service for the benefit of the 7500 residents and workers on the North Slope of Alaska – one of the remotest and harshest places on earth. We then cast off to hear about Station 711 – part of Israel’s RRsat Global Communications Network – which has just launched the latest version of its mobile communications for ships. Its Fleetbroadband gives crews a commercial, operational and personal link to the rest of the world while at sea.
We need to keep moving in order to appreciate Israel’s number one position in the market for Gesture Technology – the latest feature that lets you communicate with your personal computer by waving your hands in front of the built-in camera. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Israeli companies PointGrab and eyeSight revealed their latest deals; PointGrap’s with Samsung’s smart TVs and eyeSight’s with AMD’s new graphics chip. We now increase the speed in order to catch up with the new Chevy Corvette C7 Stingray sports car. The new model is much lighter and stronger than similar vehicles, thanks to the very same dense plastic composite material that protects US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The material is manufactured by Plasan Sasa, which is based at Kibbutz Sasa in Northern Israel.
Exclusive: Morsy implies Jews control the American media
Posted By Josh Rogin
Last week in Cairo, seven U.S. senators had a highly contentious meeting with Egyptian PresidentMohamed Morsy during which the Muslim Brotherhood leader implied that he was the victim of an American media run by the Jews.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) led a delegation last week to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Afghanistan that included Sens. Chris Coons(D-DE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY). Their stop in Cairo included a 90-minute meeting with Morsy that devolved into an uncomfortable set of exchanges as the senators pressed the Egyptian president to explain his 2010 comments describing Jews as “bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians” as well as “the descendants of apes and pigs.”
After the meeting, McCain issued a statement saying that the senators “voiced our strong disapproval of the statement” and that the senators and Morsy “had a constructive discussion on this subject.” Morsy’s spokesman issued a statement after the meeting saying that Morsy believed in religious freedom and “the need to distinguish between the Jewish religion, and those who belong to it, and violent actions against defenseless Palestinians.”
But inside the meeting, the discussion over Morsy’s 2010 remarks was much more heated than either side publicly acknowledged afterwards, according to Coons. Addressing the comments was the first item on the senators’ agenda, and the discussion did not go well, he told The Cable in an interview.
“We tried to give President Morsy an opportunity, now that he is the president, to put his comments in a different context because he was claiming that he was taken out of context. On their face they seemed to be very offensive and inappropriate,” Coons said. “It was a difficult conversation.”
Hilllary on Libya: ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com/Columnists/John-Nolte After being pressed today by Republican Senator Ron Johnson to explain how it was that over the course of weeks, the Obama Administration stood by an absurd story claiming that four Americans were murdered in Libya due to a spontaneous protest gone bad, outgoing Secretary […]
In the context of his usual call for “engagement” (rather than war) with nations who harbor “suspicion and fear” of America, President Obama in his inaugural speech of January 21 called for “peace in our time.”
Since it is hard to believe that any literate person, with or without Ivy League degrees, can fail to recognize the irony that has surrounded these words ever since Neville Chamberlain uttered them in September 1938 after signing the Munich Agreement with Hitler, just what did the president intend by them? Is it possible, even in these dark times, that neither the president nor anybody around him in his large cadre of speech writers and advisers, reviewing the speech before its delivery on such an occasion, took notice of them? With the single exception of Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, no prominent representative of the chattering classes noticed them either. Not even the normally astute Charles Krauthammer, who is not only a relentless critic of the president but a certified psychiatrist conversant with and presumably on the lookout for, “Freudian slips,” thought to ask whether Obama had here committed a grievous error in speech and memory because of some unconscious, subdued wish or train of thought.
Let me venture a few possible interpretations, if only as aids to further reflection. They are a distillation of conversations I’ve had with several of my fellow septuagenarians, every one of whom, I should perhaps add, was jolted by hearing Obama’s call for “peace in our time.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 24, 2013) – In light of the discussions of a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, it’s important to note that in extraordinary cases, the path to citizenship can be run in reverse. Naturalized citizens who acquire their citizenship through fraud, especially those involved in terrorism or espionage, can and should be subject to denaturalization.
The Center for Immigration Studies today released a new report, “Upholding the Value of our Citizenship: National Security Threats Should Be Denaturalized”, that discusses the danger of allowing naturalized U.S. citizens who have been charged with serious national security-related offenses to retain their citizenship. Even immigrants who fraudulently conceal material facts in order to be granted citizenship remain citizens and receive all the benefits, including sponsorship of family members for immigration and traveling abroad using a U.S. passport. The report also reveals that the Department of Homeland Security has no method in place for reviewing such cases, which ensures there will not be any future improvement of the vetting process.
W.D. Reasoner (a pseudonym) is a retired government employee with many years of experience in immigration administration, law enforcement, and national security matters.
This paper examines the surprising number of naturalized citizens who have been charged and convicted of serious national security crimes — including terrorism, espionage, and theft of sensitive information and technology — in the last several years. It compares the relative ease with which aliens naturalize with the extreme difficulty in stripping them of citizenship, even when they prove to be national security threats who have gamed the system.
It also discusses the fact that the federal government, and the Department of Homeland Security in particular, have no systematic method of examining such cases to establish a baseline of “lessons learned” to attempt to weed out future threats, nor make any significant effort to denaturalize individuals even after they have committed serious national security offenses of the type described. It recommends that if the government will not or cannot take better care to prevent the admission of individuals who are serious threats to our safety, then it must move more aggressively to reverse its mistakes and strip citizenship from those who commit national security crimes against our nation.
Key findings include:
In the past decade, dozens of naturalized U.S. citizens have been arrested and charged with a variety of serious national security-related offenses involving terrorism, spying, and theft of sensitive information and technology.
The federal government almost never revokes the citizenship of these naturalized citizens, even when it is clear that they concealed material facts regarding their extreme ideas or associations with terrorist groups or foreign intelligence organizations at the time they naturalized.
There is no central government repository of information about naturalized citizens who engage in serious national-security offenses.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has no systematic method for collecting the information nor efforts in place to review such cases, either for the purpose of instituting denaturalization or in order to discern whether there are steps it can and should take to better vet applicants during the naturalization process.
Administrative naturalization continues unabated with hundreds of thousands being granted citizenship each year (over 6.5 million in the last decade).
The consequence of these actions is to place all Americans at greater risk, as shown by the kinds of crimes for which many naturalized citizens have already been arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced.
The now-defunct INS, a predecessor agency to DHS’s U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), had created a parallel regulatory structure to administratively denaturalize individuals when facts came to light revealing that an applicant had been ineligible at the time of naturalization.
In July 2000, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the regulation exceeded the INS’s authority and issued an injunction against its use.
As a result of the Ninth Circuit decision, presently the only way naturalized citizens can be stripped of citizenship is through criminal prosecution or civil suits in the already overburdened federal district courts.
Congress has within its power the ability to pass legislation re-instituting the capability to administratively denaturalize individuals granted citizenship in error or as a result of misrepresentations, concealment of materials facts, or other forms of fraud. Doing so would help protect the American people and enable the government to better ensure the integrity of the administrative naturalization process.
An appendix at the end of this document lists dozens of recent examples of naturalized citizens who have been charged with serious national security offenses.