THE FISCAL CLIFF ON HOLD UNTIL MARCH: MATTHEW VADUM With a cocky President Obama no doubt grinning from ear-to-ear, federal lawmakers yesterday gave their blessing to legislation that boosts income tax rates and government spending while kicking many of the “fiscal cliff” issues down the road for several weeks. The $1.2 trillion in scheduled spending cuts –falling largely on the Pentagon– have now […]

HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: HARRY REID TYRANNY….THE END OF THE FILIBUSTER? As members of Congress fight with the president and each other over the budget impasse, another battle looms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he may try — on the very first day of the new Congress — to change the Senate’s rules regarding the filibuster. Reid wants to severely limit the minority’s […]

Retired Ambassador Ryan Crocker Takes Plea Bargain in DUI Charge (NOV. 2012)

After three postment of his DUI hearing in Spokane, Washington (originally scheduled for September 12, then postponed to October 10 and later to November 5), Ambassador Crocker finally had his court hearing on Nov. 21. According to the, the former ambassador pleaded guilty to “a reduced charge of reckless driving in connection with a drunken auto accident” this past summer. Excerpt: The 63-year-old retired diplomat accepted the plea bargain this afternoon in Spokane County District Court. He faced a drunken-driving charge following a collision with a semitruck at a busy Spokane Valley intersection on Aug. 14. He drove away as a witness tailed him, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the collision.
Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense

“His keen understanding of national security was clear to me as I represented the U.S. across the Middle East.”

Mr. Crocker has served as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discussion of former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s possible nomination for secretary of defense continues to swirl. I recently joined with eight other senior former Foreign Service colleagues in an open letter expressing our unqualified support for the idea and for Mr. Hagel as a person of integrity, courage and wisdom. Here’s why.

As a veteran of almost 40 years in Middle Eastern affairs, I have a sense of how complex and multifaceted the issues in that region are. There are no easy answers or prepackaged solutions, and Mr. Hagel understood this from the day he walked into the Senate in 1997.

I began my three-year tour as U.S. ambassador to Syria the following year. During that time and beyond, there was never a question in my mind about Mr. Hagel’s support for Israel. Neither was there a question about his support for Middle East peace, and he understood that peace is made between enemies, not friends. He backed the process, led by then-President Bill Clinton, that almost produced peace in early 2000.


The Senate fiscal-cliff bill still means higher taxes on every working American. So much for just going after ‘the rich.’
Whatever ultimately emerges from the fiscal-cliff negotiations over the past 48 hours, the country will survive. But the damage can’t be undone. Taxes are going up for all working Americans. And so is the size of government.

Businesses have been waiting to see whether a second Obama administration will encourage the economy. During the fiscal-cliff negotiations, however, the president made clear that his goal isn’t to get business going again but instead to expand government and redistribute income. He offered no real spending cuts and instead used the year-end deadline to divide America into classes—to the point of campaigning on New Year’s Eve against higher earners. Though the president talks about fairness, his policies penalize profit and investment. This hurts aspiring Americans more than it hurts those who have already made it.

The deal that emerged from the Senate early Tuesday morning is being sold as a tax cut for the middle class, but the expiration of the two-percentage-point payroll tax holiday means that working Americans’ take-home pay will drop. The bill reduces the value of tax deductions for upper incomes and, with the new open-ended 3.8% Medicare tax that was enacted under ObamaCare, income-tax rates on families and small business owners earning over $450,000 have been pushed above 44%.

DEATH AND TAXES: DANIEL GREENFIELD On November 13, 1789, Benjamin Franklin sat down to write a letter to a French scholar and physicist by the name of Jean-Baptiste Leroy, famous for his experiments with electricity. The French Revolution was gathering steam, Versailles and the Bastille had been stormed and Parisians were becoming used to Madame Mob marching through her […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: OUTSIDE THE TERRITORY OF REASON As the edge of the fiscal cliff approaches and then recedes, like an imagined desert isle appearing and disappearing admit the waves, the process that has brought America into the tyranny of debt goes on. The national debt, like our annual deficits, is a symptom of the true problem. Irresponsible behavior is a symptom […]

THE REAL MISERABLES: FRENCH “YOUTHS” TORCH 1193 CARS IN NEW YEAR’S EVE “TRADITION” !!!! BY ERICA RITZ A New Year’s Eve tradition for some in France of torching empty, parked cars has continued into 2013. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday that 1,193 vehicles were burned overnight around the country, where the stunt began in the 1990s. “In France’s rundown suburbs, it has become as much of a New Year tradition […]


My ultra erudite friend Jed Babbin put this word in his New year greeting…..

It means fear of the number 13

It is just a superstition

British textbook erases Israel
A book commended by the Duke of Edinburgh and the British Council has been shown to have an anti-Israel bias

A popular textbook used by institutions and teachers to teach English as a second language has been found to have a disturbing anti-Israel undertone.

The textbook contains a map of the Middle East, labelling and identifying the countries displayed and presenting it as part of an exercise for a ‘Jordanian student at Greenhill College’. The map however, leaves off the label of ‘Israel’, instead replacing it with the words “Occupied Palestine”.

The book, “Skills in English: Writing Level 1” is utilised by teachers across the United Kingdom and further afield. The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Award judges called the book, “Extremely well-planned and constructed and very impressive.”

“I teach English as a foreign language in a further education college in Nottingham, England. I came across the attached map and couldn’t believe my eyes!” Liz Wiseman told the Israel Today website.

The textbook is written by husband and wife authors Terry and Anna Phillips, who between them have over 65 years of teaching English. Anna’s biography states: “Anna began writing materials for special courses as a senior teacher working for the British Council in Oman. Later, as Director of Studies and Owner-Manager of the International House school in Oman, she spent much of her time adapting and developing materials…”

Liz Wiseman, who made the discovery, acknowledged that she was not obliged to use the textbook, however it is regarded as one of the more popular English Language Teaching (ELT) books published by the mainstream, ‘Garnet Education’ organisation.


2013.01.01 (Swabi, Pakistan) – Six women are among seven humanitarian workers brutally machine-gunned by Mujahideen.
2012.12.31 (Bakarabad, Pakistan) – One civilian is killed when religious hardliners blow a girls’ school.
2012.12.31 (Musayyib, Iraq) – Four women and children are among seven innocents slain in their homes by the Islamic Army of Iraq.
2012.12.31 (Karrada, Iraq) – Sunnis set off a bomb next to a group of Shi pilgrims, killing five.
2012.12.31 (Ras al-Ayn, Syria) – A pregnant Christian woman is left widowed after her husband is beheaded Islamic radicals and fed to dogs.

2012.12.30 (Ittehad Chowk, Pakistan) – Gunmen fire at two Christian brothers in a targeted attack. One later dies of injuries.

To no one’s surprise, the Religion of Peace racked up 11,267
dead bodies in 2,459 barbaric terror attacks during 2012.
The Nigerian child pictured above was in the wrong
place at the wrong time… church on a Sunday morning.