Sunday, April 22, 2012
Another episode in the long tradition of Leftist antisemitism
Even Karl Marx was a virulent antisemite, despite having Jewish ancestry himself
Occupy Wall Street has continuously been accused of anti-Semitism since the movement’s inception in September 2011. While some could argue that these instances are merely anecdotal, The Blaze has documented them and, at the least, they constitute a disturbing pattern that’s worth addressing.
This week, as The Algemeiner noted, there’s a new anti-Jewish Occupy story brewing after the group’s Facebook page hosted a curious image. The picture, which has now been removed, is a cartoon showing a Jewish man driving a car — but it’s not just any vehicle.
In his right hand, the man is holding a stick shift with President Barack Obama’s head on it. This is apparently an attempt to showcase that the Israeli state has complete control over the American government. Then, the steering wheel is the United Nations’ official symbol — again, an attempt to show Israel as having dominion over and “driving” the international community.
Here’s how The Algemeiner describes the situation surrounding the image that was posted on the Occupy Tampa Facebook page:
A community page claiming to be associated with Tampa Florida’s Occupy Wall Street chapter published a shocking photo on its Facebook page Thursday morning. However, according to a member of Occupy Tampa’s communications department, the Facebook page is not officially sanctioned by the movement in Florida and the post was not made by Occupy Tampa.
“We’ve asked people to leave Occupy Tampa for doing the kinds of things that we are now being accused of doing as a movement,” a spokesman told The Algemeiner. “This is not a post made by Occupy Tampa.”
Treating slackers like hackers
How a federal law can be used to prosecute almost anyone who uses a computer. Once again: Too much power to arrogant bureaucrats
If you are reading this column online at work, you may be committing a federal crime. Or so says the Justice Department, which reads the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) broadly enough to encompass personal use of company computers as well as violations of fine-print website rules that people routinely ignore.
Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rightly rejected this view of the CFAA, which Chief Judge Alex Kozinski noted could make a criminal out of "everyone who uses a computer in violation of computer use restrictions—which may well include everyone who uses a computer." Unfortunately, other appeals courts have been more receptive to the Justice Department's interpretation, which gives U.S. attorneys the power to prosecute just about anyone who offends or annoys them.
Congress passed the original version of the CFAA in 1984, when the Internet was in its infancy and the World Wide Web did not exist, to protect government computer systems and financial databases from hackers. As a result of amendments and technological developments, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr explains in a 2010 Minnesota Law Review article, "the law that began as narrow and specific has become breathtakingly broad," potentially regulating "every use of every computer in the United States."
The 9th Circuit case involved David Nosal, who left the executive search firm Korn/Ferry International in 2004 and allegedly enlisted two former colleagues to feed him proprietary client information with an eye toward starting a competing business. In addition to conspiracy, mail fraud, and trade secret theft, Nosal was charged with violating the CFAA, which criminalizes unauthorized computer access in various circumstances.
Although Nosal's confederates were authorized to use Korn/Ferry's database, federal prosecutors argued that improperly sharing information with him retroactively rendered their access unauthorized. As Judge Kozinski noted, "the government’s construction of the statute would expand its scope far beyond computer hacking to criminalize any unauthorized use of information obtained from a computer."
The felony Nosal was accused of committing involves unauthorized access "with intent to defraud." But the CFAA also makes someone guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, if he "intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access" and "thereby obtains…information."
Based on the government's definition of unauthorized access, Kozinski observed, that provision would apply to "large groups of people who would have little reason to suspect they are committing a federal crime," such as employees who violate company policy by using workplace computers to play games, answer personal email, read blogs, watch YouTube videos, or check sports scores. Even people using their own computers on their own time could be prosecuted for violating "terms of service" they have never read by fibbing about their age or weight on dating sites, posting photos of other people without their permission, or sharing content that Facebook deems offensive.
Kerr notes that terms of service "are written extremely broadly to give providers a right to cancel accounts and not face any liability." Hence "violating the TOS is the norm," and criminalizing such violations "would give the government the ability to arrest anyone who regularly uses the Internet."
That danger is not merely theoretical. Remember Lori Drew, the Missouri woman who was widely vilified in 2007 after she played a MySpace prank on a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide? Although Missouri prosecutors concluded that Drew had broken no laws, Thomas O'Brien, then the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, took it upon himself to prosecute her for violating the CFAA by disregarding MySpace's terms of service.
In 2009 U.S. District Judge George Wu threw out Drew's conviction, ruling that O'Brien's reading of the CFAA would make the law unconstitutionally vague, giving grandstanding prosecutors like him unbridled discretion while leaving their potential targets—pretty much everyone—uncertain about how to comply with the law. As Kozinski put it, "we shouldn't have to live at the mercy of our local prosecutor."
The good ol' generous taxpayer again
Anybody who actually has to work for their money will boil at this
Congressional lawmakers grilled General Services Administration officials for a third straight day Wednesday about a rogue employee's penchant for lavish, taxpayer-funded junkets, unearthing evidence that the waste, fraud and abuse is more common and has been going on much longer than first indicated.
Over the last six years, the GSA, which is in charge of the federal government's real estate holdings, has been racked repeatedly by financial kickbacks, insider dealing and general incompetence, lawmakers said.
Just last year, seven GSA employees were found guilty of accepting bribes and defrauding the government in a scheme that cost taxpayers $750,000. Other GSA scandals date back to the Carter administration in the 1970s.
"It really shakes you up," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chaired a Senate inquiry Wednesday. "The expression is fool me once, but again and again?"
Senators Wednesday marveled at the scope of the latest scandal. A regional commissioner, Jeff Neely, spent $823,000 on a conference for GSA employees in Las Vegas in October 2010 and appears to have a long history of freely spending taxpayers' money on leisure trips and perks and other questionable expenses.
The GSA's Inspector General, Brian Miller, who has been investigating Neely since November 2010, said he learns of new abuses nearly daily. He told the Senate committee he just discovered that Neely's wife, Deborah, "had a parking space throughout the year" at the federal building where Neely worked, even though she doesn't work for the government.
Wasteful spending was embedded in the culture of some GSA departments, in particular Neely's, where the management for years planned annual conferences with the chief goal of outdoing the previous year's event, Miller said.
The Las Vegas conference Neely planned included loft hotel suites, lavish parties, a mind reader and clown for entertainment and commemorative coins in velvet boxes for the 300 attendees.
While the Las Vegas event was described as "over the top," even by Neely, it was apparently nothing new, Miller said.
"Many of the witnesses we talked to said this conference was similar to previous Western Regional Conferences held in Oklahoma, New Orleans and Lake Tahoe," Miller said. "This was along the same lines. Each of the so-called hosts for the conference tried to outdo one another."
President Harry Truman created the GSA more than 60 years ago to oversee federal buildings and support federal government offices. One of the agency's missions was to streamline government and reduce costs.
"There has been abuse throughout the GSA over a number of decades," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., said. "Would it not be fair to ask, has GSA outlived its usefulness as a federal agency?
Dan Tangherlini, who took over the GSA following this month's ouster of top management, assured lawmakers he has already canceled most GSA travel and is stepping up oversight.
But the pattern of abuse will likely continue, Tad DeHaven, budget analyst for the Cato Institute, told The Washington Examiner.
"You just don't have the incentives in place for people to be economical with money," DeHaven said. "There will be hearings. Everyone will express their outrage and indignation and will promise to fix it, and then five years from now, they'll have another scandal. It will never end. It will never stop."
Bishop Says Obama on Hitlerian Path
When I saw the headline, “Bishop Compares Obama Policies to Hitler, Stalin,” over an article on Newsmax.com, the conservative website, I thought at first it must be an error or exaggeration. Was a Catholic Bishop actually being this harsh? I have reported on the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Obama Administration’s birth control mandate affecting religious institutions. My local priest called it evil and demonic and has suggested the church will be persecuted and ministers jailed for resisting the federal onslaught. But comparing the President personally to Hitler and Stalin?
The Newsmax headline about the charge concerned a story from LifeSiteNews.com. The Daily Caller titled it: “Illinois Bishop: Obama ‘intent on following a similar path’ as Hitler, Stalin.”
I went to the www.LifeSiteNews.com and the headline over its story was only slightly different: “Obama taking ‘similar path’ as Hitler and Stalin: Illinois bishop.” The question then became—were these stories somehow exaggerating what the Catholic Bishop said?
The Catholic Post ran the full text of the homily of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky at the Mass during the April 14 “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” in Peoria. The homily is also available on podcast. The headlines did indeed capture the essence of what he said. The Bishop goes by the title “Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D.” CSC stands for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the order that runs Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. D.D. stands for Doctor of Divinity. He is an educated man.
Taking aim at Obama, Hollywood and the media, the Bishop said: “For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.
“The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
“And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
“The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS [Health and Human Services], and of the current majority of the federal Senate.” (Applause)
It turns out that the Bishop was just getting warmed up. He went on: “Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
“In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his ‘Kulturkampf,’ a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
“Clemenceau, nicknamed ‘the priest eater,’ tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
“In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama—with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.”
“This fall,” said Bishop Jenky, “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”
Whether you agree or disagree, these were extraordinary comments and certainly worthy of national media attention. But the story remains mostly in the conservative media.
The notion of Obama as an “extreme secularist,” if not a dictator wannabe, is widely shared within the Catholic Church. A Priest recently told me that the Catholic Bishops, who usually divide into liberal and conservative factions, are united against Obama in this controversy.
Food Stamp Rolls to Grow Through 2014, CBO Says
The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 MILLION people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014.
Spending for the program, not including administrative costs, rose to $72 billion in 2011, up from $30 billion four years earlier. The CBO projected that one in seven U.S. residents received food stamps last year.
In a report, the CBO said roughly two-thirds of jump in spending was tied to an increase in the number of people participating in the program, which provides access to food for the poor, elderly, and disabled. It said another 20% “of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the” 2009 stimulus law.
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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 12:13 AM