Saturday, October 15, 2011

State Department Awards 4,453 Diversity Visa Applications to Iranians

By Matt Cover – The State Department has awarded  4,453 permanent resident Diversity Visa applications to immigrants from Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism that was recently implicated in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.
The visa applications were part of the 2012 Diversity Visa lottery, which seeks to recruit immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. In 2011, the State Department awarded 1,842 Diversity Visas to Iranian immigrants.
The lottery program for Diversity Visas awards prospective immigrants with the chance to obtain a permanent residency visa. The 4,453 prospective Iranian immigrants will still have to pursue their visa applications on their own, according to the State Department’s website.
To be eligible, applicants must have at least a high school education or two years of work within the previous five years at a job that requires at least two years of training.
Iran’s intelligence services have been implicated in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States by bombing a restaurant or public place in Washington, D.C.
The only man arrested in that plot, so far,  is a naturalized Iranian-American citizen named Manssor Arbabsiar. Another man, believed to be an Iranian agent, is still at large. How either man entered the country is unknown, although Arbabsiar is a naturalized citizen, suggesting he has lived in America for sometime.
Anyone out there see something wrong with the "Diversity Visa" program?  We are at war in nations in which Iran supplies weapons to murder our troops.  Does anyone think that ten years after 9/11, America has become an "enabler" to terrorism, rather than a deterrent?  And lastly, would someone begin to overhaul our entire IMMIGRATION system, for the sake of America's national interest and security?

The Middle East Today: Ha, Ha, Ha! Stop! It’s Too Funny! I Can’t Take It Any More!


October 15, 2011 - 9:20 pm - by Barry Rubin
By Barry Rubin
There’s a saying that goes something like this: When things are bad, a Jew cries. When they get even worse, a Jew cries more. And when they even get worse, a Jew laughs. As indelicate as this may seem, the current situation makes me want to laugh.

That’s so because things are more ridiculous than they are scary. As the advice and claims of others get increasingly absurd, you have no desire to listen to them. You just have to do what you know is right and stop having any doubts about it precisely because the arguments on the other side are just so historically inaccurate, factually false,.and illogical.

For those joining the story late–a group that seems to include Western politicians, media and academic “experts”–here’s a little background. In 1993, Israel made an agreement with the PLO to try to achieve peace. It turned over the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank to a Palestinian government. Israel accepted the establishment of large security forces, the supply of guns, and the transfer of billions of dollars of aid.
Israel made major offers of territory and concessions to Syria and the Palestinian Authority in 2000, after almost a decade of negotiation. The other side rejected those compromise solutions. The Palestinian leadership instead launched a five-year-long war of terrorism. They lost. Then Israel was attacked by Hizballah. The world intervened and made promises to Israel. These were broken. Then Israel was attacked by Hamas. It defended itself. Again it won, but the world rushed in to save Hamas and to condemn Israel.  
Of course, you can say that Israel did mean things and didn’t keep every commitment it made. Yet any balanced and honest assessment has to acknowledge the basic accuracy of the preceding summary. And any that doesn’t is basically worthless as a guide to policy or education.  Now, what are the latest developments? Well, let’s see:

 –Turkey’s government has gone beserk (in fact, a product of its Islamism and a celebration of breaking the armed forces that posed the last barrier to their total control of the country) and has started acting as if it is at war with Israel. There is a real possibility that Turkish naval vessels will escort ships organized by terrorist groups to violate a legal blockade to strengthen a regime in the Gaza Strip that openly talks about killing all of the world’s Jews. That government, behaving as if it is at war with Israel, is simultaneously being used by the U.S. government to help direct Syria’s future and lead its main new counter-terrorism project.
Feel the chuckles coming on yet?
–The Palestinian Authority, allied with the aforementioned antisemitic, genocidal Hamas, violates all of the agreements it made during the last 18 years—after refusing to negotiate for 2 years—by seeking unilateral independence in the UN. This would mean it will never have to negotiate with Israel or compromise in any way. Thus, this stratagem will kill any chance of negotiations.
Nevertheless, countries are lining up to vote in favor of this proposal. It’s the ultimate embodiment of “social justice” and endless entitlements. The Palestinians “deserve” a state and don’t have to do anything at all to obtain one except to demand it.
–Egypt’s revolution is baying for Israel’s blood. Palestinian-Egyptian terrorists cross Israel’s border and kill Israeli civilians; a mob attacks the Israeli embassy as the authorities stand by and do nothing. Hysteria returns to the country as if the Camp David peace agreement never happened. The Muslim Brotherhood—which we were told is weak and not Islamist—is now heading toward either a takeover or at least becoming the country’s most powerful force.
–What is the reaction in much of the Media, Universities, and Governments? Let’s use the appropriate acronym for this trio—MUG. Guess who is getting mugged?
Let me limit myself to one example of the genre. The former failed and minor Jewish organizational politician Seymour Reich writes in the NewYork Times:
 “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gained nothing—except placating his right-wing coalition — by rebuffing President Obama’s proposal in May for negotiating Israeli-Palestinian borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, although some reports indicated that he may have later softened his stand.”
This is an amazing paragraph, if only for the fact that Reich attacks Netanyahu for taking a position that Reich admits he didn’t actually take! And after many occasions on which Netanyahu did precisely what Reich wants failed. Of course, there’s no mention about years of Palestinian intransigence or of the previous risks and concessions made by Israel and even by Netanyahu.
I do not mean this as a direct reference to Mr. Reich but as an observation to the current institutional set-up. In Biblical times, one sold out for a bowl of stew (“mess of pottage”) while today one does so for a New York Times op ed piece, or perhaps a tenured professorship, or admiring media coverage of oneself. Christians speak of “the wages of sin.” Well, those salaries are at all-time highs, with great fringe benefits, and extremely low unemployment.   
Reich continues. “Mr. Netanyahu must step back from the brink. He should cast aside his far-right coalition members, form a government with moderate parties and add a freeze on settlement construction to an offer to negotiate without preconditions. This would demonstrate seriousness.”
Why does Israel or Netanyahu need to show at this date that they are serious? Doesn’t the virtually daily efforts of Netanyahu to restart negotiations show seriousness? The nine-month-long settlement freeze? The quick acceptance of Obama’s proposal for a summit conference at the end of 2009?
I will pay no more attention to these people. They are not serious. They are deaf to what we say and blind to what we do. They are not dealing with reality. As our next-door neighbors say: Let them go drink the Nile!
They only have one note: It’s all Israel’ fault! If it only had offered more and accepted a Palestinian state everything would be fine. If it gave everything and demanded nothing—since the PA is unwilling to make any concession—then everything would be fine.

As to everything else in the region from Palestinian intransigence to the alliance with Hamas to events in Egypt and Turkey, there only response is to say that it’s not really happening! The Muslim Brotherhood was real sorry about the attack on the embassy (then how come it endorsed the assault?) The moderate secularists will win everywhere. Turkey is just miffed that Israel didn’t capitulate totally.
Israel is isolated! So rather than be isolated it should make every concession demanded of it? And then everyone will love it and give up the war against it.

The fact that this is what we have been told repeatedly and it hasn’t happened means nothing! Oh, no. This time, once Israel goes back to the pre-1967 borders, recognizes the Fatah-Hamas regime, and doesn’t make trouble over little things like the Palestinians refusing to end the conflict even under those conditions; the military build-up in Palestine; and the demand that a few million Palestinians can come live in Israel then everything will really be great!  Are we supposed to take this seriously? Starting to understand why I’m laughing?
Let me take one example out of hundreds to show the absurdity of the situation. The sufferings of which Palestinians so upsets and animates Egyptians, Turks, and the Western left? Those in the Gaza Strip. What is the strategy of the Gaza Strip’s government? Kill the Jews. It is more openly radical than the policy of the PLO in the 1960s and1970s. How many Israeli soldiers and settlements are in the Gaza Strip? Zero. How many rockets from the Gaza Strip are in Israel? Thousands! 
So this is why I’m laughing.
First, the claims, arguments, and demands being made against Israel are ridiculous.
Second, they have become so ridiculous that maybe people should start to notice.
Third, since there is no alternative in the face of this nonsense, we know that our course is a correct one. We know that more risks, concessions, and apologies will have no positive effect for Israel’s interests or security. We know that courting death and disaster will not even win applause or sympathy.
Please listen very carefully and I will put the following conclusions in boldface:
The Palestinians and Arab regimes have given us no reason to believe that more concessions and risks will bring us any closer to a stable and secure peace. They have given us every reason to believe that they will quickly forget what Israel has done and go back to their default goal of wiping Israel off the map.
The Western democracies have given us no reason to believe that more concessions and risks will bring us greater support and more help from them if and when those actions backfire against Israel. They have given us every reason to believe that they will quickly forget what Israel has done and go back to their default position that it is all Israel’s fault  
Today, Israel gives up south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai, and most of the West Bank as well as offering all of the Golan Heights to Syria. Tomorrow they will say that Israel has done nothing. The radicals claim that Israel does not want peace; the relative moderates that Israel hasn’t show that it wants peace.
Consequently, with full good conscience, we can justify our laughter on pragmatic realpolitik or on spiritual terms. Regarding the former, an idiotic analysis fails; the truth comes out; those who follow foolish policies fall.
And for those of you who are spiritually inclined: “The wicked plot against the righteous, and threatens him with his teeth. The Lord doth laugh at him; for He sees that his day is coming.” –Psalm 37

Occupy Wall Street: Communism's Clueless Foot Soldiers - by Alan Caruba

Warning Signs

By Alan Caruba
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Norman Thomas, a U.S. Socialist Party candidate for president, once famously said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Thomas ran for president six consecutive times from 1928. He needn’t have bothered as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and subsequent Democrat Presidents introduced most of the planks of the Communist Manifesto and we live with them to this day.

The Occupy Wall Street youngsters are the latest foot soldiers of Communism, though it is likely most are too ignorant to realize it. They have been so thoroughly indoctrinated in government schools and by Hollywood and the media that they have no idea how they are being used by labor unions and other leftist organizations.

The protesters are likely unaware of the misery and murders Marx’s Communism imposed on Russia courtesy of Lenin, Stalin, and those who followed in their footsteps. Mao's Red China murdered thousands as well in the pursuit of the “equality” that is the alleged goal of Communism and liberalism.

In 1848, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote “The Communist Manifesto.” Marx never held a job in his life, living off of donations from Engels and others. He failed miserably at every enterprise he tried, including publishing newspapers. 

The Manifesto had ten planks. The first was the abolition of property in land and the application of all rents to public purposes. Anyone who owns land in America for their homes or any activity such as farming or mining knows that they must pay fees to various levels of government. Even in death, inheritance taxes are a penalty imposed on passing property to one’s children. These taxes were the subject of the Manifesto’s third plank which called for the abolition of all rights of inheritance.

The second plank is one that is very much in the news. It is a heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Everyone pays income taxes and there are demands that “millionaires and billionaires” pay more than others. Corporate income taxes in the U.S. are among the highest in the world. In the Supreme Court decision, McCulloch v Maryland Webster, Chief Justice John Marshall said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Too much taxation is one of the reasons the nation finds itself in its current financial crisis as it is directly connected to whether people will invest in new businesses or existing ones and destroys job creation.

The Manifesto called for the centralization of all means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state and the U.S. government is replete with commissions that achieve this goal. The fifth plank called for the centralization of credit in the hands of the state and, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Federal Reserve, a system of privately owned banks that have a monopoly on the creation of money backed solely by the credit of the government. Standard & Poors recently downgraded the nation’s credit rating. Is there really any gold in Fort Knox? One hopes.

Most famously the Manifesto called for the state to own all factories and instruments of production. Instead of merely permitting the standard practice of bankruptcy to occur so that they could be restructured, the Obama administration stepped in and “bailed out”, i.e. took ownership of General Motors and Chrysler companies. Creditors were kicked to the curb.

The Manifesto called for government control of all labor and agriculture. The federal government has a matrix of departments that exercise control of these sectors of the economy; a Department of Labor and a Department of Agriculture.

The tenth plank of the Manifesto called for “free education for all children in public schools and the combination of education with industrial production.” The Occupy Wall Street protesters are the result of government schools whose purpose is to create a docile work force that, along with various government “entitlement” programs provides for a cradle-to-grave submissive workforce.

But the Occupy Wall Street protesters, you say, hardly seem submission, nor do the unions that we’ve seen occupy the state house in Wisconsin, call for strikes, and other forms of worker protests. Intimidation in the quest for the Manifesto's objectives is a Communist tactic.

The protesters are calling for free college educations. The unions were protesting against the loss of collective bargaining with governments that determine their pension and health benefits, all paid for with public funding.

Little wonder the protesters are being embraced by the Democratic Party and unions, and that those spoiled brats befouling the walkways, streets, and alleys of New York and other cities are totally oblivious to the way they are being used. 

Americans better insist that Capitalism emerges stronger from this latest spate of organized anarchy. If not, Karl Marx and the foolish liberals will succeed in destroying what is left of the nation. 

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Obama Demands Americans "Preach Tolerance"

Original: Obama Demands Americans Preach Tolerance

By Todd Starnes
President Obama demanded that Americans “preach tolerance” in a proclamation he issued announcing “National Character Counts Week.”

“Together, all Americans must cultivate moral fortitude, preach tolerance, and demonstrate the value of respect for those different from ourselves,” he stated in a press release issued by the White House.

The president said National Character Counts Week is a time to “celebrate our country’s core values and commit to passing them on to the next generation.”
Those virtues, as defined by President Obama, include personal integrity, bold ingenuity and a drive to serve others.
He also said it is “imperative” that public schools create a “climate of acceptance and compassion.”
Those are the virtues, he said, that define “our Nation.”
However, at no point in the proclamation does the president mention the word “freedom” as something that defines the nation.
Following, is a full reading of the proclamation:
In times of adversity and triumph alike, the American people have been guided by the strength of our character. With resilience and compassion, we have provided for our neighbors, lifted their spirits, and embraced our shared humanity. During National Character Counts Week, we celebrate our country's core values and commit to passing them on to the next generation.
By setting a positive example for our children, we can inspire in them the virtues that define our Nation: personal integrity, bold ingenuity, and a drive to serve others. America's role models -- from parents and teachers to community leaders and coaches -- play an integral role in shaping character. They foster patriotism, promote civic pride, and teach young people to live by the Golden Rule by treating others the way they want to be treated. Together, all Americans must cultivate moral fortitude, preach tolerance, and demonstrate the value of respect for those different from ourselves.
Tragic events in our Nation remind us why it is imperative that we create a climate of acceptance and compassion in our schools and communities. Our country has mourned as we have heard heartbreaking stories of promising young men and women subjected to harassment and bullying, driving some out of school, and others to ultimately take their own lives. No family should have to endure such a loss, and no child should feel that alone. Let us honor their memories by striving to make our neighborhoods and schools safe and affirming places for every child to learn, grow, and dream.
Our Nation's character is engrained in our past, central to our present, and key to our future. All of us share a responsibility to preserve and uphold the values that have kept our country strong, prosperous, and free. This week, we resolve to stay true to the American spirit and live according to our highest ideals.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 16 through October 22, 2011, as National Character Counts Week. I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the
Read more:

No one could respond better than the individual who left this comment on Fox Nation:

Lee_in_KY  16 hours ago
Mr. President, tolerate MY Religion.
Mr. President, tolerate MY Right to own a firearm.
Mr. President, tolerate MY Right to keep the money I EARN.
Mr. President, tolerate MY Right to have MY kid pray silently in public school.
Mr. President, tolerate MY dissension when you quadruple the deficit.
Mr. President, tolerate MY desire for our brave soldiers to protect our homeland.
Mr. President, tolerate Our State's Right to protect their own borders.
Mr. President, tolerate MY right to know if you gave mexican drug cartels guns.
Mr. President, tolerate MY distain for a public school system that indoctrinates rather than teaches.
Mr. President, tolerate MY opinion that any man that allows his family to sit in a church and listen to a preacher scream 'God dam America' - isn't fit to lead our nation.
I will add a few comments to "Lee in KY's" comment:
Mr. President, tolerate Our Rights as a nation to know the difference between friends and foes of the United States of America. 
Mr. President, tolerate Our history and Constitution and stop making it up as you go along. 
Mr. President, WE have tolerated your lack of leadership these past few years and we hope you won't be offended when "we the people" vote you OUT in Nov. 2012.

Egypt’s Starvation Time - by Stephen Brown/Front Page

Posted by Stephen Brown Bio ↓ on Oct 14th, 2011

Religious violence against Christians and complaints against the ruling military council make up most headlines one reads about Egypt today. But the Nile state’s biggest, and largely unknown, problem concerns how it is going to feed its millions of desperately poor and hungry people in a time of economic downturn and political turmoil. It is estimated that about 40 million Egyptians among an 82 million population now live below the poverty line.
Egypt is the biggest wheat importer in the world, but, frighteningly, may soon run out of funds to buy on international markets the necessary food to feed its impoverished masses. A story in the Financial Times last week states that the Central Bank of Egypt’s foreign currency reserves have dropped $10 billion, from $29.8 to $19.4, since last February.
“The current reserves are estimated to cover 4.8 months of imports, down from 6.9 in April, 2011,” the story goes on to say.
Which translates into only five months until catastrophe strikes. Egypt consumes14 million tonnes of wheat annually, half of which it imports. The amount of wheat Egypt currently has in storage combined with planned purchases, primarily from Russia, is expected to last only until March.
While the recent massacre of Christians by the Egyptian army demonstrates that Egypt is disintegrating, the inability of the country’s rulers to feed their country’s millions of poor would lead to a collapse into chaos of monumental and cataclysmic proportions. The Asia Times columnist Spengler (a literary pseudonym), who has written about Egypt’s impending food crisis, believes it will not matter what form of government eventually takes charge in Egypt because the starvation issue will override all other concerns. As Spengler succinctly puts it: “Even Islamists have to eat.”
“It [Egypt] will look like the Latin America banana republics, but without the bananas,” Spengler states. “That is not meant in jest: few people actually starved to death in Latin inflations. Egypt, which imports half its wheat and a great deal of the rest of its food, will actually starve.”
Egypt’s food problem has been strongly affected by the continuing steep rise in world food prices. Corn and wheat, for example, have nearly doubled in price in the past year. Overall, food prices rose by 25 percent in 2010. Already last spring, the World Bank estimated that food costs for the world’s poor were reaching a “breaking point.” To make matters worse, prices have increased most dramatically on key commodities, such as rice, bread and cooking oil, the basic staples of people like those who make up Egypt’s huge underclass, rather than on processed foods.
“Food price increases will correspondingly roughly triple the inflationary impact in Egypt compared to Qatar,” reported the Arab paper, the Gulf Times. “In Egypt, the Consumer Price Index increased by 17.2 % in 2010 compared to 3.8 % in Qatar.”
The Arab street in Egypt has exploded twice in the past over food prices. The first time occurred in 1977 when the government of Anwar Sadat ended subsidies on basic commodities. Known as the “Bread Riots,” tens of thousands of people took to the streets in several Egyptian cities in what was called the greatest threat ever to military rule until Hosni Mubarak was deposed earlier this year. Eight hundred people perished in the 1977 disturbances until the subsidies were restored days later.
The second set of food riots in Egypt occurred in 2008. Caused by record commodities prices, riots occurred in several third world countries. Then, however, it was large rice producers like Thailand, India and Vietnam who suspended exports that helped create the unrest. In Egypt, at least ten peopledied in the 2008 disturbances.
“People are fighting. Killing for bread, some are even pulling out knives. What is happening? What is this? Famine?” said an Egyptian man at the time.
But the situation Egypt faces now is much bleaker. Soon, it may be a question of simply no food available for Egypt’s poor rather than one of prices or subsidies. One can only then imagine the nightmarish violence that will take place as people fight to feed their children and themselves.
Egypt’s options to reverse its slide towards starvation appear limited, to say the least. Tourism, one of Egypt’s biggest earners of foreign currency, fell to almost nothing during the demonstrations last January that deposed Mubarak. While there has been an upturn, tourism still dropped 35 percent in this year’s second business quarter. Another problem is that those tourists who still do travel to Egypt are only visiting certain areas, avoiding places like Luxor and Aswan, due to security concerns. It has also been noted that they are also not as free spending as in pre-Mubarak times.
No solution is also to be found in Egypt’s backward agricultural and education sectors either. An Egyptian wheat field only produces about 18 bushels per acre, while a non-irrigated American field produces almost double. The Egyptian education system is also not one that produces innovative and creative people who could help solve the looming food crisis. One of the Egyptian presidential candidates, Mohamed Elbaradei, indicated as much when he said of the Arab world in general that it is “now a collection of failed states who add nothing to humanity and science,” as “people were taught not to think or act, and were consistently given an inferior education.” And the fact that 91 percent of Egyptian women undergo female genital mutilation, often at the hands of medical doctors, further indicates just how backwards Egyptian culture truly is.

It is thus highly doubtful that Egypt can reverse its appalling record of its treatment of Christians and women and reorient itself toward building the democratic institutions necessary for economic prosperity and cultural advancement that could feed a people. The corruption, the cultural backwardness, the anti-Christian hatred, unemployment, a stagnant economy, a dishonest, inefficient bureaucracy and Muslim religious fanaticism all point in the other direction. The Egyptian army’s killing of 25 Christians last Sunday, for example, cost Egypt substantial stock market losses besides the money from tourists who cancelled their vacations. Significantly, only Egypt’s finance minister resigned over the murderous incident.
Elbaradei also says Egypt will face bankruptcy within months. That deadline may be extended with help from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. But even their wealth cannot subsidise 82 million people for a long period of time. As it stands, they already pledged several billion dollars in assistance last July and may not be willing to give much more.
If a collapse does occur in Egypt, southern Europe can expect a massive flight of refugees to cross the Mediterranean in search of food and safety. Israel and the West must also be prepared in such a case to face in Egypt a failed state along the lines of Somalia and Pakistan, in which terrorists will be welcome. In such an anarchic situation, Egyptian Christians would be facing a Rwanda-style bloodbath, which the West should currently be preparing to prevent. In the end, disruption of the food supply will see Egypt plunge into a murderous chaos and become Africa’s latest, largest human tragedy.