Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Obama administration authorises Targeted Killings?
Has Obama got tired of "dialogue" or hasn't he heard about this yet?
The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.
Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.
The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.
The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.
"A Very Dangerous Political Plaything"
A sardonic comment by Keith Burgess Jackson, a philosophy and law professor:
I leave you this fine evening with a column by Thomas Sowell. Unless you have spent time in academia, as I have, you probably don't know that white people are necessarily racist. It's not as though there is a mere correlation between being white and being racist, for a correlation, being imperfect, would allow for some whites not to be racist and for some nonwhites to be racist. The relationship is necessary rather than contingent: Merely being white, in a white-supremacist culture such as ours, makes one a racist.
Paul Krugman, for example, is white, and therefore (note the deduction) a racist. He doesn't deny it; he would admit it. His racism causes him to be self-loathing. His very support for Barack Obama is a manifestation of racism. What better way could there be to alleviate white guilt than to support the black man? Progressives such as Krugman are obsessed with race. Everything is racialized. If you're white, you cannot escape your racism. All you can do is (1) loathe yourself, (2) attack your fellow whites (a form of psychological projection), and (3) do everything within your power to promote the interests of blacks (thereby alleviating your guilt).
Welcome to the United States of America in 2010. Ain't it great?
Radicals to rule us all
See the truth about the Obama administration in its appointees
What do Craig Becker, Chai R. Feldblum and Jacqueline A. Berrien have in common? They're the latest left-wing activists to gain public office in President Obama's gallery of radical rulers, courtesy of recess appointments on March 27.
Mr. Becker is a labor lawyer who has pledged to force "card check" on the nation's workplaces, which would end the right to work without being a union member. Instead of secret-ballot elections determining whether a workplace would be unionized, which preserves the employees' freedom to disagree, card check would automatically unionize a workplace if a majority of employees signed a form or card. That would be done under the watchful eye of union goons, of course. No pressure there.
Mr. Becker, who was counsel for Andy Stern's radical, ACORN-linked Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well as the AFL-CIO, is now on the five-member National Labor Relations Board. That's the federal agency that serves as a neutral arbiter between employers and labor. Putting Mr. Becker on the board makes about as much sense as naming Yogi Berra as the plate umpire in a Yankees-Red Sox game - no offense to Yogi, a great American.
Ms. Feldblum, a lesbian activist at Georgetown Law Center who has said she cannot think of a single instance in which religious freedom would trump "gay rights," is the newest commissioner on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That's the agency that enforces federal civil rights laws in the workplace. Ms. Feldblum once said the culture war could be resolved in a simple manner: "Gays win, Christians lose." She is an author of the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), another of Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank's nuclear gifts to the radical left.
ENDA would affect every employer in America with 15 or more employees. By elevating "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into federally advantaged "rights" categories, ENDA would put a gun to the head of any employer failing to promote the gay rights agenda in the workplace. This means devout Christians, Jews (and even Muslims if the Obama administration is serious) would see their beliefs defined as a form of bigotry punishable by law.
Joining Ms. Feldblum as chairman of the EEOC is Ms. Berrien, most recently of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund. Her resume is a litany of racial and feminist entitlement claims, and she filed a brief arguing that Virginia Military Institute (VMI) should be forced to admit women. Did I mention that she was a staff attorney for the ACLU?
These latest appointees fit right in with the 40 or so "czars" Mr. Obama has appointed to high places in federal agencies. Since "green jobs czar" Van Jones resigned on Sept. 6 after being outed as a self-described communist, Mr. Obama has been a bit more careful to appoint people who are merely radical leftists, not necessarily communists.
Still, he has an outright socialist as "energy czarina" in Carol M. Browner, who is charged with making the case for the "cap-and-trade" bill, which would cripple industry, impose the biggest energy tax in history and turn Al Gore into a multibillionaire. Ms. Browner, who was at the far-left Center for American Progress, was on the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, an elite arm of Socialist International. She also is a former board director of APX Inc., which facilitates - surprise! - trading in carbon offsets.
As long as we're talking radical, here are a couple more snapshots of Obama appointees.
* John Holdren, director of the White House's Office on Science and Technology Policy (the "science czar"). Mr. Holdren has the president's ear about how to spend our money on science. During the 1970s, he co-wrote a book with the overpopulation panic couple Paul R. and Anne Ehrlich in which they floated the idea of putting birth-control agents in public drinking water and made the case that mandatory abortions could be justified under the U.S. Constitution. More recently, Mr. Holdren has been a major backer of global-warming treaties. During his confirmation hearing on Feb. 12, 2009, he told an incredulous Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, that he stood by his 1986 prediction that man-made global warming could kill as many as 1 billion people by 2020.
* Harold Koh, State Department legal adviser ("foreign law czar"). Mr. Koh, a self-described "transnationalist," thinks the days of the United States as an exceptional nation are over and that our laws and court decisions should reflect international legal opinion. He once referred to President George W. Bush as the "torturer in chief" and has tried to have former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo drawn and quartered for drafting a legal opinion about the limits of interrogation techniques. He has testified in support of crackpot U.N. power grabs, including the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Among its activities, the CEDAW committee has attacked conscientious objections against abortion by doctors in Italy and the observance of Mother's Day in Belarus and has promoted legalization of prostitution.
These folks are just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Obama's recess appointments make it clear that we're probably in for even more loons at the top.
Menachem Begin, a hero of modern Israel's founding and later Prime Minister, was never short of words. Some rather amusing history here suggests that Israel could again use talents like his. I might add that I personally agree entirely with Begin's remarks at the time
Attempt to regulate the internet defeated: "A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.”
Comment on Comcast v. FCC Decision: "This decision firmly slaps the hand of a federal agency that has been trying to grab new regulatory powers in the name of net neutrality that are well beyond its congressional mandate. In doing so, the court struck a blow on behalf of advocates of limited government and the idea that specific legislation, not arbitrary regulation, should be the law of the land.”
Why the Donks want Stevens to retire from SCOTUS NOW: "Even though Obama will be in office for three more years, there is one particularly pressing reason Democrats would like to see Stevens go now rather than later. That reason is coming up this November. Democratic leaders know their 59-vote majority in the Senate will likely shrink after the midterm elections. It's a long shot, but Republicans might even win control of the Senate altogether. That scenario would be a nightmare for the White House, but even continued Democratic rule with a smaller majority would give the president less flexibility in choosing a successor to Stevens. And the narrower the Democratic majority, the greater the possibility Republicans might filibuster a particularly objectionable Obama nominee.
CA: LA mayor calls for temporary shutdowns of some agencies: "Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for shutting down non-essential agencies two days a week Tuesday as he and City Council members remained locked in a standoff over the intertwined issues of electricity rates and the city’s worsening budget shortfall. … The latest escalation of the financial crisis began Monday when the Department of Water and Power took steps to withhold a promised $73.5-million payment to the city’s depleted treasury. Villaraigosa blamed the action on the council’s rejection of an electricity rate increase, which DWP officials said was necessary to cover the DWP’s fluctuating fossil fuel costs and the mayor’s renewable energy agenda. City Controller Wendy Greuel has warned that, without the DWP payment, Los Angeles could run out of money to pay its bills and employees within weeks.”
Israel: Lieberman warns Palestinian Arabs not to declare state: "Israel’s hard-line foreign minister warned Palestinians against plans to unilaterally declare independence next year, saying in an interview Tuesday that such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements. Avigdor Lieberman also made harsh comments about Turkey, Israel’s increasingly alienated ally, saying the Turkish prime minister was coming to resemble Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.”
Dutch sidestep EU red tape to rescue German ship: "Gaining fast on the pirates who had seized a German freighter, Dutch naval captain Col. Hans Lodder had no time to waste on bureaucracy. Sidestepping the command of the European Union’s anti-piracy task force, he went instead to his own government for authorization to recapture the ship by force. Lodder first ascertained that the freighter’s crew had locked themselves in a bulletproof room. Then he launched his ship’s Lynx helicopter with a team of six special forces marines. With troops providing cover fire from the helicopter, the marines rappelled onto the ship's deck of the MV Taipan to shoot it out, if need be, with the pirates. But they met no resistance. The 15-man crew was rescued, and 10 Somali pirates were captured."
"Anarchy" leads to order in the streets: "The thought that city streets — upon which we depend for daily functioning — could ever become disorderly, leads most people to accept a governmental policing function of such avenues without much question. We imagine that without speed limits, traffic lights at busy intersections, and all of the varied warnings plastered on tens of thousands of signs that encumber streets in our cities, driving would become a turbulent and destructive undertaking. For a number of years now, a number of cities in Europe have been experimenting with the removal of all traffic signs — including traffic lights, stop signs, speed limit directives — and with surprising results. Various towns in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand — even the UK! — have joined in the experiment. Contrary to the expectations of those who might expect multi-car pileups throughout the cities, traffic accidents have been dramatically reduced (in one town, dropping from about eight per year to fewer than two). Part of the reason for the increased safety relates to the fact that, without the worry of offending traffic sign mandates, or watching for police speed-traps, or checking the rear-view mirror for police motorcycles, drivers have more time to pay attention to other cars and pedestrians.”
The war on internships: "Since at least the 12th century until very recently, entry into a profession has come via an apprenticeship, or, in the American terminology, a formal internship. A young person comes to work with people experienced in a trade, usually in exchange for office space, housing, tools to use, but little or no monetary compensation. Everyone wins: the employer gets to scope out a potential hire, and the intern gains priceless experience and a later job offer, new contacts, or a letter of recommendation.”
Army: Gays Can Be Booted if They Speak Up: "Reversing course, Army Secretary John McHugh warned Soldiers that they still can be discharged for admitting they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier when he suggested the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been temporarily suspended"
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 9:56 PM