Saturday, January 18, 2014

'The Truth Hurts' And The 'Reign Of Collective Stupidity'

That title comes from Caroline Glick's latest commentary and it is certainly worth reading. Her article is coupled with a related article 'The Reign Of Collective Stupidity':

To hear it from the White House, and from Israel’s leftist media, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is a major liability. As half the planet now knows, Ya’alon is harshly critical of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s persistent efforts to force Israel to surrender its land and ability to defend itself to the PLO.

In a private conversation that Ya’alon did not expect to be made public, he criticized Kerry’s so-called security plan that offers Israel advanced technology in exchange for PLO control over its eastern border. Ya’alon also rejected the notion that the PLO is interested in making peace. And he stated the inconvenient fact that PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas is only in power because Israel has security control over Judea and Samaria.

Ya’alon also said, again in a private conversation, that Kerry’s razor-sharp focus on Israel and the PLO owes to an “incomprehensible obsession,” and that by neurotically pushing for a deal that has no chance of being concluded or achieving peace, Kerry is exhibiting “messianic” character traits.

Ya’alon’s private statements about Kerry were no harsher than public statements that the Saudis have made regarding the Obama administration’s regional policies. Last November, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal. According to Goldberg, the Saudi royal attacked US President Barack Obama “with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush.”

Among other things, Alaweed said, “There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran. We’re really concerned – Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle Eastern countries about this.”

Alaweed questioned Obama’s motives in negotiating with Iran, saying the president is “wounded,” and appeasing Iran in order to win back the support of Democratic lawmakers who oppose Obamacare. In his words, “Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”

It is hard to think of harsher criticism than Alaweed’s. And yet, the administration had nothing to say about it. Neither he, nor his fellow Saudi prince Bandar Bin Sultan al-Saud, the Saudi intelligence chief who said last month that he is scaling back intelligence cooperation with the US, was personally attacked by the administration.

No umbrage was taken at their statements. And again, their public statements were no less harsh than what Ya’alon said in a private conversation about Kerry.

Neither the Israeli people, nor the US’s traditional Sunni Arab allies support Obama’s policies in the region. They believe Obama’s policies are dangerous for them, and antithetical to US interests.

Indeed, Ya’alon’s assessments of the administration are not only in line with regional opinion, the vast majority of Israelis share his views. According to a poll published last week by Makor Rishon, 80 percent of Israelis think that Kerry’s peace plan has no chance of bringing peace. Seventy-three percent oppose his security plan for the Jordan Valley. And 53% object to the entire premise of his talks – that Israel should surrender almost all of Judea and Samaria to the PLO.

Moreover, the average man on the Israeli street sees the destruction wreaked by the Obama administration’s policy throughout the Middle East, and he cannot figure out what Kerry wants with us.

Rather than do everything possible to strengthen moderate forces in Syria, like the Kurds, and cultivate, train and arm regime opponents who can fight both the Assad regime and al-Qaida rebels, Kerry has devoted himself to demanding that Israel release more Palestinian terrorist murderers from prison.

Rather than protect Lebanon from the predations of Iran and Syria to ensure its independence, Kerry is holding marathon meetings with Netanyahu to try to coerce him into helping the PLO build another Jew-free terrorist state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Rather than try to blunt the growing power of Hezbollah – Iran’s terrorist army – in Syria, the US’s policy is inviting Iran, the party most responsible for the war, to join the phony peacemakers club at Geneva.

Then of course, there is Iran itself, and its nuclear weapons program.

After the six-party nuclear deal with Iran was concluded on Monday, Iran’s leaders declared victory over the US. They boasted that the most dangerous components of their nuclear weapons program are unaffected by the deal they just concluded with the Americans. They laid a wreath on the grave of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who masterminded the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 243 US servicemen. And they forced Lebanon’s Sunnis to accept a Hezbollah-dominated government.

For its part, the Obama administration continues to insist that the greatest threat to peace is the US Congress, because its members wish to pass an additional sanctions bill against Iran that would only come into force in a year if the Iranians do not abide by the agreement.

The only parties whose lot is improved by the Obama administration’s Middle East policies are Iran, the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood. But none of them will praise those policies, because they all hold the US in contempt.

This is why the Palestinian leadership continues to incite against Israel and reject the Jewish state even as the US is acting as their surrogate in talks with Israel.

This is why the Iranians mock the US, even though the White House just cleared the way for Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and develop its economy and has allowed it to take over Iraq and Lebanon, and defend its puppet regime in Syria.

This is why the Muslim Brotherhood condemns the US even as the Obama administration upended the US alliance with Egypt in order to support the Muslim Brotherhood.

Americans are getting the same message from allies throughout the Middle East. Under Obama, America’s regional policies are so counterproductive that the US has come to be seen as the foreign policy equivalent of a drunk driver.

As the US’s strongest ally, and also as a country that has depended for decades on US support, Israel is a passenger in the back seat of the car. On the one hand, we are happy for the ride. On the other hand, the administration’s driving is endangering our survival.

To be a good ally – and a grateful one – requires you to warn your ally when his actions are ill-advised and dangerous. And that is precisely what Israel has done. Israel’s behavior is the definition of proper behavior.

Aside from being dead wrong, the anti-Semitic undertones of the administration’s castigation of the Jewish state as ungrateful are hard to miss.

An acquaintance of mine tells the story of finding himself in the midst of a public demonstration against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The chant being raised, so reminiscent of the 1960s, was: Hey, Hey, Ho Ho! Stephen Harper Has Got To Go. My acquaintance asked a placard-bearing young woman, obviously a student, what precisely she objected to in Harper's conduct and policies. She was unable to respond. He repeated his question and, after some hesitation on her part, received the answer: "I don't know, but he's got to go." Ipse dixit!  

Listening to CBC radio's weekly opinion sampler, Cross-Canada Checkup, on the Sunday before New Year, I was treated to a random specimen of public perspectives and sentiments on issues regarded as having been of major importance in the year coming to an end. I learned, inter alia, that global warming was a dire threat to the continuance of the species. I discovered that our conservative government has pursued an agenda injurious to the national interest. And so on. That global warming has been largely discredited and that temperatures have remained stable for the last 17 years was, apparently, news to the coast-to-coast participants in the program. They had never heard of premier Canadian climatologists Tom Harris, Lawrence Solomon, Tim Patterson and Ross McKitrick (oft maligned by the denizens of the global warming industry) or of the Oregon Petition with its 32,000 dissenting scientists. (As James Lewiscomments, "Anybody who still falls for climate scare-lines after this freezing winter is either (a) terminally brainwashed or (b) stupid beyond repair. It's often hard to tell the difference.") That the Harper government had steered the country through the fiscal meltdown of the last tumultuous years, leaving it in one of the strongest economic positions in the developed world, was scarcely a blip on the radar of national consciousness. People with salaries and the leisure to opine at length on phone-in programs seem to think this privileged condition is somehow natural and unassailable.

Canada, however, is small beer in comparison to the political travesty that is the United States, where nearly half the population relies on food stamps, welfare payments, tax rebates and a blizzard of entitlements, whose foreign policy is a shambles of half-baked and destructive initiatives, which boasts a scandal-ridden and thoroughly inept administration and is mired in a swamp of economic insecurity, which has exponentially expanded a "coercive, intrusive regulatory regime" as well as devastating the healthcare system, and which twice elects a man who would make a Justin Trudeau prime ministry look like a feasible alternative to the electoral mayhem, fiduciary malfeasance and political stagnation that "The One" has inflicted upon his nation.

Meanwhile, the socialist, top-down economic policies adopted by a majority of European nations are infallibly bankrupting them, to the extent that the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank see fit to raid the bank accounts of private depositors, as recently in Cyprus. As for the electorate, a large share of whom profit from cradle-to-grave welfare entitlements and who are becoming strangers to the habits of entrepreneurship and plain hard work, the jury is still out but the verdict is troublingly predictable.

How did we get into such a sociopolitical morass? The signs of a culture in precipitous and perhaps terminal disarray proliferate everywhere, in the corrupt and partisan media, in an entertainment industry that has devoted itself to the production of unadulterated trash, and in an academy that has sold its soul to mere credentialing, politically correct indoctrination and totalitarian impulses, operating, in the words of Daren Jonescu, as "re-education camps" in the interests of "an artificially restrictive and pre-packaged pseudo-world." These forces swoop darkly over the political landscape like Ringwraiths, further devitalizing a debilitated population. The result is what political scientist Samuel Popkin in The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns called "low information signalling," a term picked up by comedian manqué Bill Maher as "low information voters" and applied to dunning effect by Jonah Goldberg in The Tyranny of Clichés.
Low information voters, however, are far preferable to the class of citizens -- like the young lady whom my acquaintance queried -- arising among us who may be designated as no information voters, driven by hidebound ideology and complacent ignorance of almost limbic proportions. Crucial decisions are taken by those who are either uneducated, having given themselves over to what Victor Davis Hanson calls a crash and burn culture, or miseducated, having been lobotomized by a heavily politicized pedagogic curriculum controlled by the Left. And that, I suggest, is the root of our dilemma.

Aristotle goes on to assert in Book 5 that the best way to preserve a democracy is education. "For even the most beneficial and widely approved laws bring us no benefit if they are not inculcated through education and the habits of citizens." He could not have been more right. But for the time being, between the uneducated and the miseducated falls the shadow of our malaise. 

So where does this vast ignorance eventually take us?

Directly into the Tribulation. 

Part of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 is the abolition of private property. Confiscation of private property will be done under the guise of “sustainability.” They’ll argue that having a large plot of land is an inefficient use of the land, and that your land would be better used if it were developed into something else.
Perhaps they’d prefer that a mass transit rail run right through your property. So they’d take your property over through eminent domain, forcing your out of your own house and off your property to somewhere else where they have much more dense housing, and use the land that was previously yours as they saw fit.
These types of tyrannical gestures are being implemented around our country at the local level. In California, there is a law that’s awaiting Governor Brown’s signature that would institute an agency at the county level that could seize private property basically on a whim and using “sustainability” as the excuse.

Writing for the San Rafael Patch, Richard Hall sums up SB 1 here:
*  A city mayor or county supervisor forms a new joint powers authority called a “Sustainable Communities Investment Authority” (SCIA), they appoint elected officials to serve on the SCIAs board.
*  If you live within 1/2 mile of a bus that runs every 15 minutes during peak commutes, or the SMART train or Caltrain in a single family home neighborhood your neighborhood can be targeted by the SCIA as inefficient land use and “blighted” as it is not high density multi-family housing. Almost everyone reading this in Marin (apart from some Steve Kinsey constituents in Western Marin) is therefore affected – I have seen the map with these 1/2 mile radiuses and it covers almost all Marinites.
*  The SCIA can then wield the power of eminent domain to purchase unused, for sale or even occupied land in order to build high-density multi-family housing – that it deems to be efficient land use.
*  The SCIA can then impose local taxes on us to pay not just for the eminent domain purchases but to help the land developer build by subsidizing the building of high density housing.
*  In order to meet criteria in SB1 allowing imposition of local taxes the SCIA must impose“a sustainable parking standards ordinance that restricts parking in transit priority project areas to encourage transit use to the greatest extent feasible.” Yes you read that right, “to the greatest extent feasible.” This could mean anything from reducing available parking, to introducing parking permits and parking meters.
This is, of course, nothing less than communism. They just don’t call it communism. They call it “social justice”.

Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, high ranking military officers have been removed from theirpositions at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented. Things have gotten so bad that a number of retired generals are publicly speaking out about the “purge” of the U.S. military that they believe is taking place.
As you will see below, dozens of highly decorated military leaders have been dismissed from their positions over the past few years. So why is this happening? When I was growing up, my father was an officer in the U.S. Navy. And what is going on right now is absolutely crazy – especially during a time of peace. Is there a deliberate attempt to “reshape” the military and remove those that don’t adhere to the proper “viewpoints”? Does someone out there feel a need to get officers that won’t “cooperate” out of the way? Throughout world history, whatever comes next after a “military purge” is never good. If this continues, what is the U.S. military going to look like in a few years?
Perhaps you are reading this and you think that “purge” is too strong a word for what is taking place. Well, just consider the following quotes from some very highly decorated retired officers…
-Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely: “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
-Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady: “There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.”
-Retired Army Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin: “Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.”
-Retired Navy Captain Joseph John: “I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views.”

A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.”
Now this trend appears to be accelerating. We have seen a whole bunch of news stories about military officers being dismissed lately.
Almost always, a “legitimate reason” is given for the dismissal. And without a doubt, if a military officer is actually behaving unethically, that officer should be held accountable.
However, the reality is that everyone has “skeletons in the closet”, and if you really want to get rid of someone it is usually not too hard to find a way to justify your decision.
The following are excerpts from three news stories about military officers in trouble that have come out so far in 2014…
#1 The Air Force Times: A group of former Air Force majors, forced out this summer by a noncontinuation board, plans to file a lawsuit claiming the service had no right to separate them simply to meet end-strength numbers set by Congress.
More than 10 of the 157 dismissed majors are banding together to challenge the move in court, seeking either reinstatement or early retirement pay. All 157 had been twice passed over for promotion and were within six years of retirement.
#2 Defense News: Acting US Navy Undersecretary Robert Martinage, the department’s No. 2, has resigned under pressure, sources confirmed for Defense News.
The resignation, which Martinage announced to his staff Tuesday morning, came after allegations were made of inappropriate conduct with a subordinate woman, the sources confirmed.
#3 Huffington Post: The Air Force says 34 nuclear missile launch officers have been implicated in a cheating scandal and have been stripped of their certification in what is believed to be the largest such breach of integrity in the nuclear force.
Some of the officers apparently texted to each other the answers to a monthly test on their knowledge of how to operate the missiles. Others may have known about it but did not report it.
The cheating was discovered during a drug investigation that involves 11 Air Force officers across six bases in the U.S. and England.
Taken alone, it would be easy to dismiss those stories as “coincidences”. But when you put them together with the stories of dozens of other high ranking military officers that have been purged from the U.S. military in recent years, a very disturbing pattern emerges.
The following is a list of high ranking military officers that have been dismissed over the past few years that has been circulating all over the Internet. I think that you will agree that this list is quite stunning…

The Sun's activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned.
They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London's River Thames.
Researcher believe the solar lull could cause major changes, and say there is a 20% chance it could lead to 'major changes' in temperatures.

Whatever measure you use, solar peaks are coming down,' Richard Harrison of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC.
'I've been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this.'
He says the phenomenon could lead to colder winters similar to those during the Maunder Minimum.
'There were cold winters, almost a mini ice age.
'You had a period when the River Thames froze.'

'We have 400 years of observations, and it is in a very similar to phase as it was in the runup to the Maunder Minimum.

Mike Lockwood University of Reading says that the lower temperatures could affect the global jetstream, causing weather systems to collapse.
'We estimate within 40 years there a 10-20% probability we will be back in Maunder Minimum territory,' he said.
Last year Nasa warned 'something unexpected' is happening on the Sun'
This year was supposed to be the year of 'solar maximum,' the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle.
But as this image reveals, solar activity is relatively low.


News From The Middle East:

US Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly set to present a memorandum of understanding between Israel and the Palestinians at a conference in Jordan at the end of the month, London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Kerry is due to present the document at a summit in Aqaba hosted by Jordanian King Abdullah.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Friday denied there was a working draft of a US framework agreement being passed between Jerusalem and Ramallah, but said Washington was “working with both sides on a framework for negotiations moving forward that addresses all of the core issues.”

Israeli media reports claim the Palestinian leadership has decided to reject Kerry’s proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and instead launch a global diplomatic and legal assault on Israel.
The Palestinian Authority is currently setting up teams to wage diplomatic war against Israel in “every conceivable” forum, including pushing for boycotts of Israel and seeking legal rulings against Israel via international courts in The Hague, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Friday night.

The Palestinian leadership has reportedly decided to reject Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and instead launch a global diplomatic and legal assault on Israel.

The Palestinian Authority is currently setting up teams to wage diplomatic war against Israel in “every conceivable” forum, including pushing for boycotts of Israel and seeking legal rulings against Israel via international courts in The Hague, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Friday night.

The Palestinians are furious that Kerry is offering them a state “with no borders, no capital, no [control over] border crossings… and without Jerusalem,” the TV report said, quoting Palestinian sources.
On Jerusalem, rather than the complete control that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is demanding over all areas of the city captured by Israel in the 1967 war, including the Old City, Kerry is merely offering the Palestinians a capital based in one of the city’s outlying neighborhoods such as Isawiya, Abu Dis (where construction of a Palestinian parliamentary building was begun in 2000), Beit Hanina or Shuafat.

Israel’s envoy to the UN has slammed its “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians” as “propaganda.” The UN announced 2014 as the year dedicated to identifying obstacles to the peace process and promoting solidarity with the Palestinians.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, attacked the UN’s decision in a heated statement, decrying the organization for “oiling the Palestinian propaganda machine.”
“Rather than putting an end to Palestinian incitement, the UN is now the primary platform for Palestinian propaganda,” Prosor said Thursday.
“The organization allocates endless resources to advancing lies and half-truths of the Palestinian leadership instead of dealing with pressing issues facing the international community and the Middle East region.”
He also said that while the UN was encouraging “solidarity” the Palestinian Authority continued to propagate a culture of hatred towards Israel, claiming that cross-border attacks had “doubled” in the past year. Prosor asked why the UN had not designated 2014 as a year of “solidarity with the Israeli victims of terror.”
“The time has come to stop this hypocrisy and ask why there is no solidarity with the Israeli victims of terrorism and their families.”
The resolution to designate 2014 as the year of Palestinian Solidarity was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Nov. 26, with 110 votes in favor, 7 against and 56 abstentions. The US, Australia, Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau voted against the initiative.
As part of the resolution the UN will seek to “to promote solidarity with the Palestinian people as a central theme, contributing to international awareness” of Palestinian state ambitions. In addition, the UN will address the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories and identify obstacles impeding the peace process in the region.


Sandra said...

Hi Scott,

I just got around this morning to read the end of the comments from the other day. I wish to say if I have caused anyone offense, I say sorry. Stephen, if you feel that I have targeted you in any way that was never my intent. I truly care for our "little family" of watchers. I appreciate all your hard work Scott, and again express my thanks. As far as the comments go, I enjoy reading them and I am sure there are many others that would agree, but not want them to take away from our real mission, ...looking up! Especially your great Godly mission, Scott, as our "reporter".

WVBORN56 said...

I missed it until this morning too Sandra. The comment section here is a bit atypical of most comment sections in that here it is more of an established community.

The danger with most comment sections is the cloak of anonymity that gives folks cover to say things they normally would not say face to face. For the most part that does not occur here. The worst of the negative comments here are tame by the standards of what I read elsewhere.

As has been mentioned we are adults and can sift through most of the stuff and of course healthy debate is good. "Iron sharpens iron"

Everyone also knows that the comment sections do not necessarily represent the authors point of view either. I remember reading an article on either the Blaze or Brietbart recently and was disappointed to see all the anti-Semitic comments on a conservative site. I knew that those comments did not represent the author at all. That is why I believe regulars challenge Stephen's or other points of view when they are not backed by God's word. I imagine it is an attempt to "help moderate" the site to maintain integrity.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their work. If one falls down his friend can pick him up. But pity the man who falls down and has no one to help him up!

Sandra said...

WV, spoken like a gentleman and godly believer...thank you. I am very sensitive and never want to cause hurt in someone else. It is true that sometimes I make a comment but it does not come out the way I intended. I agree a good debate sharpens and causes me to search the scripture to make sure it lines up with God's Word. Anyways, thanks again.

hartdawg said...

Scott.....or anyone who knows and cares to answer, do you think that Israel and the Israeli government knows that it's not America that's betraying Israel but just mostly the current administration?

Caver said...

WV, well said Brother.

Hartdawg, Bibi knows and his State Dept knows that its the Adm and not the people that are behind this.

Much of their military upper ranks know....but they also know our State Dept and Military over there will follow orders.....well, at least up to a point.

Many of their average citizens know because they communicate with "friends-n-family" over here. I have no idea what their average citizen knows or thinks.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that this has caused a "cut off" of typical interaction and communication flow at the higher levels with our people over there and the host country.

It ain't pretty and very awkward.

Scott said...

Hart, I'm with Caver. I think Bibi knows. After all, he also knows prophecy, which is HUGE in this day and age, and hopefully serving as a basis for key decisions.

WV - well said - many thanks for all of your insightful comments

Sandra - I didn't notice anything you said as being offensive before