12/17/14
Cuban Flag

American Alan Gross released after Obama swaps 3 members of the Cuban Five for Gross

Hat Tip: BB

Appeaser-in-Chief Set to Announce Lifting of U.S. Embargo Resumption of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba; Obama Expected to Change 55-Year U.S. Policy to Reward Castro Regime – Video 12/17/14

Barack Obama Assures America He’s Personally Taking Part In Cuba Deal With A Picture Of . . . Barack Obama…

Castro Urges Obama to Embrace Inner Dictator by Lifting Embargo with Executive Action

Cuban-American lawmakers lash out at the White House over Cuba normalization

John Bolton: Obama’s policy on Cuba is APPEASEMENT

RUBIO RESPONDS: This is just another concession to a tyranny by Obama

Rubio on Obama’s New Cuba Policy: ‘The White House Conceded Everything’…’This is a Victory For The Oppressive Cuban Government’

12/17/14
Fatal Compassion

The Compassion of the Religion of Peace is Fatal

By: Richard Cameron
Blasted Fools

 photo SudanRefugees_zpsf2a9e735.jpg

One of the main issues that commenced my fallout with George W. Bush, was the incredible statement he made that “Islam is a religion of peace”. From that moment forward, I began to see the fiction of the ‘War On Terror’ in an entirely new light. There could be no war on terror if the ideology behind the terrorists was being redefined by the leader of the free world as something other than the vicious, hateful and divisive creed that it is.

It was my first, but not last clue that regards whatever war we were conducting –  defeating terror and opposing the foundational beliefs inspiring it, wasn’t the object of our mission. If the Koran and the other related commentaries of Islam were dictating attacks on infidels and we weren’t at war with it, just what were we at war with?

Later, our government stripped away all pretense of such a purpose, by mothballing the expression ‘War on Terror’ altogether.

It’s interesting to hear apologists for Islam claim that hateful behavior of Muslims is not mainstream, but only from radical groups that have “hijacked the faith”.  As a rationale for dismissing the likelihood that Islam contains within itself something inherently toxic, progressives will argue that the actions of certain individuals bombing abortion clinics, demonstrate that there are extremists in all religions.

The obvious problem with that argument is that if persons representing themselves as Christians committed even a tiny fraction of the number of barbaric acts that Muslims perpetrate, we would be inundated with reports of them in the mass media.

Islamic hate crimes are the statistical norm among the followers of that religion, whereas, sectarian crimes by Christians, Buddhists, Jews and Hindus are anomalies by comparison.

From Africa to Syria to Pakistan and Egypt and throughout the Islamic world, the conditions of fear and terror that Christians and other religious minorities live under on an hour to hour basis, defy imagination.

One can only read the testimonies of the survivors to begin to conceive of the atrocities committed by Islam’s faithful – and a full accounting of the thousands of such attacks would fill several volumes. What’s more, these would be in addition to the well publicized activities of the Islamic State.

According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. Of 50 countries where Christians are under attack, 42 have either a Muslim majority or have sizable Muslim populations. That would indicate to any reasonable observer that there is something in the Islamic ‘water’.

Most people have heard the accounts of school children in Nigeria abducted by the hundreds by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Garnering less publicity are the distressing accounts of ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by the group.

It was reported in August by Voice of the Martyrs that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a six-year-old boy on June 1 because he was a Christian. The attack occurred in Attagara, Gwoza district, Borno State – a predominately Christian community. Over 100 militants descended upon the village, slaughtering men, women, and children.

In this incident, a man named Sawaltha Wandala witnessed children being murdered on his way to church service. A six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but was alive. Wandala picked him up to carry him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was confronted by a gang of terrorists. They took the child from Wandala, cut his head off then beat 55 year old Wandala and struck him over the head with a large stone, leaving him to die.

During another attack on Attagara, John Yakubu returned to his family’s home to gather their animals so his family wouldn’t starve in the refugee camp in Cameroon. He was spotted by Boko Haram members and taken captive.

“We know you’re John,” they said to him, according to Voice of the Martyrs. “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.” When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.

“Can you become a Muslim now?” “You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out. The men continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him. “We will show you.”  Yakuba’s head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone. He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma.

In another incident,  a teacher of a school for boys in Northeast Nigeria described the group’s killing of 29 young men. The militants locked the door of one dormitory where male students were sleeping and then set it ablaze, slitting the throats of those who tried to clamber out of windows and gunning down those who ran away, said teacher Adamu Garba.

Rape of Christian women and girls is widespread in Muslim countries such as Pakistan –  one of America’s counterfeit ‘allies’. The attorney of one victim –  a 12 year old, who was raped by a gang of Muslim men, describes the government’s collusion with Islamic criminals:

“In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance.”

No one, whether it be a Catholic nun, a small child, a baby, a young girl not yet in puberty, or the elderly – are spared the ferocity of hate and spiteful treatment from these denizens of Hell. Their targets are not limited to just those of the Christian faith. Jews, Hindus, Yazidis and others are subject to their wrath as well.

Kirsten Powers of USA Today recounts an interview with Human rights lawyer Nina Shea, in which Shea described the horror in Mosul . “(The Islamic State) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money.

One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have 100 dollars?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.  “We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future,” Shea said. “This is a crime against humanity.”

The men of faith who have stood in the eye of the Islamic storm have a message to us in the West.  Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younnan, head of the Syrian Catholic Church in Lebanon, describes the campaign against Christians as religious cleansing:

“I want to tell American Christians to stand up, wake up and no longer be a silent majority. American-elected representatives need to stand up for their principles on which the U.S. has been founded: the defense of religious freedom … and respect for human rights.”

The exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, warned the West that its turn will come.  Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona, writes:

Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.

You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.

And Archbishop Nona’s warning has unfolded as reality in the U.K, America and in Europe, wherever followers of ‘The Prophet’ have migrated. Breitbart reports that school health services in the small Swedish city of Norrköping have found 60 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) among schoolgirls since March, with evidence of mutilation found in all 30 girls in one class, 28 of the most severe form.

And in England, Muslim men have committed thousands of rapes of children which the public authorities have taken great pains to ignore and cover up. The courts have so made themselves instruments of permissiveness that the U.K.’s military is forbidden to even raise their voice to militants during questioning.

In a follow up report, we will examine how American foreign policy has made religious minorities, particularly in the Middle East, more vulnerable to the savagery of the ‘religion of peace’.

12/17/14
Obama Exchanges Hostages With Cuba

Obama Exchanges Castro’s Killer for American Hostage

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Communists are ecstatic. “The Cuban Five Are Free” is a statement from the U.S. support network for the Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. for various crimes, including participating in a murder conspiracy.

Obama essentially released the three remaining Cuban spies in exchange for American Alan Gross, who had been held hostage by the Cuban regime for over five years. Gross was a foreign aid worker imprisoned by the Castro regime for trying to help ordinary Cubans communicate with the outside world. President Obama confirmed the role of Pope Francis, a vocal critic of Western-style capitalism, in the deal.

Once again, we are treated to a display of secret and deceptive government by the Obama administration, in this case designed to bolster an anti-American regime. The announcement was made after Congress adjourned for the legislative session.

Among its other crimes against the American people, the Castro regime sponsored terrorism on American soil carried out by such groups as the Weather Underground and the Puerto Rican FALN. Testimony confirms that the Weather Underground murdered San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell on February 16, 1970. The FALN claimed responsibility for over 140 bombings, including the infamous January 24, 1975, lunchtime attack on Fraunces Tavern in New York City which killed four innocent people.

Puerto Rican FALN terrorist William Morales and Black Liberation Army cop-killer Joanne Chesimard are currently being protected by the Cuban regime.

Humberto Fontova, author of the book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, tells Accuracy in Media (AIM) that the deal confirms that Gross was a hostage all along. “He was quite simply a hostage,” said Fontova. “That was the word that the media tried to avoid. He was a hostage. The Castro regime grabbed Gross as a hostage, and it worked like a charm.”

The New York Times had endorsed such a deal in a November 2, 2014, editorial, “A Prisoner Swap With Cuba.”

The deal also proves that Obama’s officials had been lying all along. Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald reported back in June that “The Obama administration says it is not negotiating for the release of Alan Gross, the U.S. government contractor arrested in Cuba in 2009 on alleged spy charges.”

The Miami Herald quoted Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as saying back in June that she didn’t think the administration was being honest about negotiating with the communist regime. “I seriously believe the administration is considering a swap,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said. “The administration has shown itself not to be faithful to the law and is not to be trusted.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was correct.

I wrote about the proposed deal in my column, “Obama May Free Cuban Spies and Terrorists.”

We noted that before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan was Obama’s solicitor general and submitted a legal brief in the “Cuban Five” case. She noted in the brief that members of the “Cuban five” were affiliated with the Cuban intelligence service and the “Wasp Network,” whose purpose included penetrating U.S. military facilities and transmitting information about the facilities’ operations and layout to Cuba, and infiltrating Cuban-American groups.

One of the “Cuban five,” Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of four people, members of Brothers to the Rescue. The four were shot out of the air in international waters by Cuban MiGs after the spy alerted Cuba to their plans.

Through this deal, Obama is equating murder and spying against the U.S. with Alan Gross trying to bring Internet freedom to the Cuban people.

What’s more, Obama says he will review whether Cuba should remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. He’s deliberately ignoring the fact that Chesimard, a convicted cop-killer and member of the Black Liberation Army, escaped from prison and fled to Cuba with the help of the Weather Underground. Also known as Assata Shakur, she was involved in the “execution style” murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

Joe Connor, who lost his father in the Fraunces Tavern FALN bomb blast in New York City, is angry that Obama didn’t insist that Cuba send the two terrorists, Chesimard and Morales, back to the U.S. to face justice. As the deal stands, the U.S. gets back one unidentified intelligence “agent,” in addition to Gross, in exchange for three Cuban spies—one of them convicted of murder.

“We need to make a condition of any relations with Cuba the return of all fugitives from American justice,” Connor said. “At the top of that list needs to be Chesimard and Morales.”

In our May 3, 2013, column, “How Obama Obstructs Justice in the Search for a Communist Terrorist,” we noted, “If the FBI wants to find Joanne Chesimard, who has just been added to the ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List,’ it could begin by wiretapping President Obama’s friends, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and other members of the Weather Underground.” Ayers and Dohrn helped sponsor Obama’s political career in Chicago, after he was mentored in Marxism by Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii.

If Obama had been devoted to freedom for the Cuban people, he would have sought regime change in Cuba. Obama could also have used his policy of “humanitarian intervention” to protect the courageous dissidents in Cuba, who are beaten up and tortured by the secret police of the regime. But Obama has decided to pursue a policy of keeping the Castro brothers in power and simply talks about possible changes in Cuba.

If we had a U.S. President devoted to freedom in the world, Morales and Chesimard could have been snatched in Cuba and brought back to face justice in the U.S. “All that it would take is an order from the President of the United States,” we noted in one column. Of course, Obama is not interested in bringing them to justice. It will be up to Congress to demand answers from the administration about why there were no demands for the return of these terrorist fugitives.

Another area of inquiry has to be the secret negotiations. It may be the case that Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was in on the deal. When he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, Holder was involved in pardons for members of the FALN and the Weather Underground.

In covering the deal, our media are conveniently ignoring the fact that, during the Cold War, Cuba hosted Soviet nuclear missiles targeting the U.S. Former CIA officer Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets, includes the revelation that Fidel Castro knew that Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-declared Marxist and Castro sympathizer, was going to kill President Kennedy.

CIA defector Philip Agee died in Havana after doing terrible damage to our intelligence efforts. The FBI file on Agee shows that Agee was a Cuban DGI and Soviet KGB operative.

Fontova tells AIM that Obama has already done a lot to bolster the Castro regime, by facilitating travel to the communist island and enabling Cubans in the U.S. to send money back to their relatives. The latter, he said, amounts to about $4 billion a year—more than what the Soviets provided on a yearly basis to the regime.

Still, he says some aspects of the Cuban embargo are written into law. “The votes are not there” to lift the embargo entirely, he said.

But he said Obama will do everything possible to undermine what’s left of the embargo through more executive orders.

Under Obama’s plan, Castro will be able to open a full-blown embassy in Washington, D.C., which will function as a major base of spying operations, in addition to its United Nations mission. The so-called Cuban Interests Section currently operates as Castro’s embassy in the nation’s capital and as a front for the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI.

In the past, as AIM has discussed on several occasions, Cuban agents operating out of the Cuban Interests Section have been actively manipulating members of the U.S. press and working with U.S.-based communist groups to influence U.S. policy toward Cuba. This kind of espionage will accelerate as Obama’s pro-Castro policy goes forward.

12/17/14
Cuban Flag

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Cuba Betrayed Edition

The Watcher’s Council

With today’s announcement by President Obama that the U.S. will be normalizing relations with Cuba, American foreign policy took a very dark turn. Just at the point when this hideous regime was on the verge of collapse, our president took action that will not promote freedom for the Cuban people, but will throw an economic lifeline to a brutal dictatorship to enable it to stay in power. Disgraceful and shameful beyond words.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Greg at Rhymes With Right was quoted in Breitbart.

My latest, Fear And Loathing – Labor And Livni’s Hatnua Join Forces is up at the Times of Israel.

This week, The Political Commentator, IOwnTheWorldReport.Com and Blazing Cat Fur earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

12/17/14
The Enemies Within 2015-2017 Edition

Who is Killing America? Find Out by Pre-ordering Trevor Loudon’s “The Enemies Within” 2015-2017 Edition

New Zeal

Who is killing America?

Why is the world’s greatest nation struggling? The economic recovery is a sham. “Obamacare” is wrecking the world’s greatest healthcare system. The world’s greatest military is being gutted.

The southern border is being erased with “amnesty’ being granted to millions of illegal aliens, while millions of Americans are unemployed or “underemployed.”

The US Constitution is being trashed daily, by the very people delegated and paid to uphold and protect it.

Why is this happening? Why do America’s leaders continue to force policies like “Obamacare” and “amnesty” down the throats of America’s voters?

Clearly America has enemies. What if some of the worst of those enemies are currently serving in the US House of Representatives? What if many of them are allied with radical Marxist organizations, or even hostile foreign governments, who are intent on bringing the United States of America to its knees?

The first rule of warfare is to “know thine enemy.” Your enemies in the US Congress know everything about you. But what does the “mainstream media” let you know about them?

enemieswithincoverThe 2013/2015 edition of my book “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists, and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” began the urgent task of exposing America’s many internal enemies.

From Amazon:

This book contains the keys for understanding the political process in America. The Communist fronts of the 1930s and 40s never disappeared, but merely changed their names or even remained as they were. The end of the Cold War, it turns out, was irrelevant for the continued advance of socialism in America. All the basic methods for infiltrating American institutions were at hand and the socialists were determined to change the country, change its economic system and eliminate capitalism as far as they were able.

Everywhere, the socialists grab issues, even inventing crises where there are none. In this book we learn about the various fronts in the war of the far left to remake America as a socialist society. If you want to understand what’s really going on in the U.S., you have to read this.

J.R. Nyquist

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Who knew that it would take a New Zealander to really describe in detail the ominous processes at work to destroy countries such as the United States. It would be very informative for anyone, especially those who have fallen into the trap set to slowly bring the destruction about.

Jane H. Kelley

If I was teaching a course in Political Science or Government, this would be one of the required textbooks! Finally, a competent researcher who also has the courage of his convictions has shined the light where it should be: The Communist Party Internationale. If you honestly want to know the single cause of America’s problems, from social to economic to moral, look no further. Get and read this essential book!

Calvin Fields

My updated version, exposing the radicals in the 2015-2017 Congress is even better!

The 2015-2017 edition of “Enemies Within” will expose covert radicals in several new states, including Hawaii, Kentucky and Rhode Island, plus, it will include new profiles from California (six), Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Why does Red State Arizona have two communist affiliated Reps? Why does even redder Texas have four?

Why does a young new Senator work so hard to empower Colombia’s narco-terrorist Marxist guerrillas? Who is Beijing’s best friend in the US congress? Which US Senator is claimed as a member by America’s largest Marxist organization? Who are the Communist Party USA’s best friends in the House of Representatives?

How many US Congress members and Senators would fail a basic FBI security clearance? Does it matter that these people can still serve on the Homeland Security Committee, the Armed Services Committee? Even the Intelligence Committee?

My new book will be released on April 11, 2014, but you can begin to pre-order PERSONALLY SIGNED copies immediately.

As a bonus, the first 25 people to pre-order the 2015-17 edition, will earn a half hour personal phone call with author and speaker Trevor Loudon, on my next visit to the United States, commencing February of 2015.

The first 11 people to order three copies or more will get a whole hour’s conversation!

To pre-order my book, or books, please use the button below.



Buy 1 or more




If you would like a special inscription in your book or books, please email your instructions to me at Trevor Loudon.

12/17/14
Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush sets his sights on the Oval Office

By: Richard Cameron
RedState

The only obstacles in his path are conservatives and Jeb Bush’s progressive agenda.


Jeb Bush spiffing up his globalist bonafides with the World Affairs Council

Brace yourself – Jeb Bush will run in 2016.

Although he’s still dancing around it and acting coy, Jeb Bush has already decided to run for the GOP Presidential nomination next year. A sure sign of this is a puffed up portrait of his term as Governor of Florida planned for release next Spring. It won’t be a hardcover, but an ebook – which indicates that since no one but hard core Bush-bots are likely to read or purchase it, the ebook will be used as a marketing piece, or what others including myself, would term campaign propaganda.

The reason Bush is sitting tight until next year to announce, is the same reason presidential candidates on both sides of the dual party aisle are holding back; he doesn’t want to make himself a target this soon. It doesn’t matter. He’ll be a target (not a literal one), before, during and after his official announcement.

It’s hard to discern what broad appeal Jeb Bush will have to anyone who is not an admirer of the Bush family political dynasty, the endless wars they’ve presided over, the imperialist behavior of their presidencies, or the violence they’ve inflicted on the Constitution. He certainly is not a conservative.

It’s not as though Jeb did anything more than pay lip service to reductions in government spending. In fact, Florida’s budget expanded by 27 percent during his terms in office. And if you liked the federal bailouts of the Banksters on Wall Street in 2008, you’ll surely be impressed with Jeb Bush’s personal financial dealings, one of which is outlined by Gary W. Potter, PhD. Professor, Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University:

Jeb Bush had a role in yet another Savings and Loan fiasco when he defaulted on a loan from Broward Federal Savings and Loan. Broward Federal loaned $4,565,000 to J Edward Houston, a real developer in February, 1985. The loan was secured only by Houston’s personal guarantee. On the same day, one of Houston’s company lent the same amount to a partnership made up of Jeb Bush and Armondo Condina for the purpose of purchasing a building in Miami.

The Bush-Condina partnership was required to repay the loan only if revenues from the building were sufficient to cover the repayment. Bush and Condina made no payments on the loan at all and in 1987 Houston defaulted on the loan and the Bank sued both Houston and Bush-Condina. In a sweetheart settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Bush and Condina only had to repay $500,000 of the $4.5 million loan and got to retain ownership of the building which had been the collateral on the loan.

In 1991, the FDIC sued the officers and directors of Broward Federal charging that the loan ultimately used by Bush and Condina was an example of the bank’s negligent lending practices. The Bush-Condina loan played a key part in the failure of Broward Federal which cost taxpayers $285 million.

Needless to say, Jeb had no problem with defining the 2008-2009 Fed bailouts as being necessary.

Jeb Bush has proven to be all over the map with just about every matter of public policy. For starters, he was against gay marriage, before he was for it. He was opposed to corporate welfare until he saw the opportunity and campaign donations that come with supporting it.

He touts a goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 (a complete absurdity), but claims to champion a free market approach to national energy policy. Jeb Bush contradicts himself on the question of immigration reform. He opined in the Wall Street Journal in January 2013:

“A practicable system of work-based immigration for both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants — a system that will include a path to citizenship — will help us meet workforce needs, prevent exportation of jobs to foreign countries and protect against the exploitation of workers.”

But a few months later in March, he said:

“I think there has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally. It’s just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law. If we’re not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, then we’re going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country.”

Bush is another in the warfare state Amen chorus of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)49% and Rep. Peter King (R-NY)35% – men who see the military as a hammer and every potentially adverse situation internationally as a nail. Jeb Bush, who never so much as donned a military uniform, unhesitatingly proposes that the United States risk a hot war with Russia by aggressively rattling sabers in their backyard.

He was also supportive of the idea of invading Syria to overthrow Assad’s government, thus paving the way for ISIS to establish Damascus as the capitol of their desired world Caliphate.

Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week, sums up a position that Jeb Bush fiercely defends and that puts him at odds with a large swath of GOP voters:

The George H.W. Bush style of domestic policy that both his sons inherited is one of giving liberal programs half the funding and authority liberals want, but dolloping on so much conservative-branded “accountability” that it can be sold to the right. Poppy pushed “standards-based reform.” W. did No Child Left Behind. And Jeb is the leading GOP advocate for what’s become of Common Core. Whatever the merits, being identified so closely with a Bill-Gates subsidized education scheme hated from the right wing to Louis C.K. will prove costly.

Jeb Bush is in sync with the oligarch investment class, but finds the conservative base of the GOP incomprehensible. Jamelle Bouie writing in Slate explains why:

Since leaving office, Bush has lived in the realm of corporate philanthropy, where wealthy executives give huge sums for a variety of unconservative causes, like climate change and Common Core. It’s a world of vocal centrism, where Michael Bloomberg is esteemed and the fights are for gun control and calorie labeling, not traditional values and the repeal of Obamacare.

In fact, Bush has participated as a board member on corporations such as Tenet Healthcare and Inno-Vida, both of which have been beneficiaries of the crony capitalism aspect of Obamacare. Jeb believes Obamacare is lucrative, which explains his attacks on conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)95% who are focused on unraveling it legislatively.

Cementing this is his recent comment dismissing efforts to repeal Obamacare, “We don’t have to make a point any more as Republicans. We have to actually show that we can, in an adult-like way, we can govern, lead.”

At the end of the day though – what should be the Silver bullet against any realistic chance Bush has at claiming the nomination – is his insistence on promoting amnesty, despite the clear evidence that the election we just had in November was a repudiation of ‘immigration reform’.

Bush touts Hispanic ‘Family Values’ as being essentially superior to those of Americans. Remember the “Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love”, quote? Jeb is not relenting:

“If we are going to be young and dynamic and aspirational, we have to control the border. Most people that come to this country come for their families, plain and simple. So, they break the law, there should be penalty — they pay a fine, they should get back of the line, they should learn English, they shouldn’t get government subsidies. They should work. All those things are the price to pay for coming illegally.”

At the same time, Bush warned not to “ascribe evil motives for people wanting to put food on the table for their families.”

Of no interest to Bush are the millions of Americans that have been displaced in the job market by this invasion of locusts. And as I have pointed out in considerable detail, Bush has to know he’s lying about the conditions he outlines for the path to citizenship.

No illegal will ever pay any fine, be denied any government subsidies, get in the back of any line, be required to learn English or pay any back taxes. This is all complete fiction. Best summing up why a Jeb Bush candidacy should be a non-starter are Bush’s own words:

“If you run with big ideas and then you’re true to those ideas, and get a chance to serve and implement them and do it with passion and conviction, you can move the needle. … And that’s what we need right now in America. I have no clue if I’d be a good candidate, I hope I would be. I think I could serve well as president, to be honest with you. But I don’t know that either. I think you learn these things as you go along. I know a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else.”

Jeb, you may be uncertain of your qualifications, but we aren’t uncertain of your lack of them. Sorry Jeb, but unless Sheldon Adelson has his way, it will be “someone else”.

12/16/14
Stock Market

Will the European Union reindex stock markets to 100 points?

By: Wim Grommen

The introduction of the euro brought the citizens of Europe many advantages, including uniformity. It would be nice if that uniformity also applied to the comparison of the various stock exchanges. An index point is not a fixed unit in time and does not have any historical significance, so the European citizen may therefore not attach any significance for the future. Comparing index points to their history and also comparing the various stock exchanges makes no sense. The time is ripe to reindex European stock exchanges to 100 points.

Reindexing to 100 points has many advantages

After the introduction of a single currency for Europeans, it is important that the EU also creates uniformity in the stock exchanges. Because a stock market index has no relevant future value, the time is ripe to re-index stock markets to 100 points. The re-indexing of the stock exchanges to 100 points can be easily implemented.

For each stock market index, a so-called DIVISOR100-value is introduced.

The value of each DIVISOR100 is determined by the number of index points from the final position of a stock market at a certain date, eg. December 31, 2013 divided by 100. On December 31, 2013 the AEX ended at 401.79 and thus AEX_DIVISOR100 gets the value 4.0179 (401.79 divided by 100). The DAX ended December 31, 2013 at 9552.16 and thus DAX_DIVISOR100 gets the value 95.5216 (9552.16 divided by 100).

AEX_DIVISOR100 4.0179 DJIA_DIVISOR100 165.7666
DAX_DIVISOR100 95.5216 S&P500_DIVISOR100 18.4836
FTSE100_DIVISOR100 67.4909 NASDAQ_DIVISOR100 41.7659
CAC40_DIVISOR100 42.9595 NIKKEI_DIVISOR100 162.9131
BEL20_DIVISOR100 29.2382 HANGSENG_DIVISOR100 233.0639

Table: Overview of values ​​for DIVISOR100 for the various stock exchanges

Dividing the number of points of each stock market by the DIVISOR100-value, the stock market is reindexed at 100 points. The AEX ended on December 31, 2013 at 401.79, and the number of points for the AEX is now divided by 4.0179, the value of the AEX_DIVISOR100. The DAX ended December 31, 2013 at 9552.16 and the number of points on the DAX is now divided by 95.5216, the value of the DAX_DIVISOR100. To this the indexes of these stock exchanges on reindex-date January 1, 2014 are at 100 points.
The advantage of this method of re-indexing is that each stock market retains its own characteristic properties, such as composition and calculation and that the history of the market chart also is retained. The technical analyst can still continue to apply the same methods to the stock market graph and recognize patterns in the graph.

For the citizens of Europe the stock markets are much more transparent with this reindexing.

The closing position of the market prices at June 30, 2014 without reindexing:

AEX 413.59 DJIA 16826.60
DAX 9833.07 S&P 1960.23
FTSE100 6743.90 NASDAQ 4408.18
CAC40 4422.84 NIKKEI 15162.60
BEL20 3127.21 HANGSENG 23190.72

The closing position of the market prices at June 30, 2014 after reindexing:

AEX_2014_100 102.91 DJIA_2014_100 101.51
DAX_2014_100 102.94 S&P500_2014_100 106.05
FTSE100_2014_100 99.92 NASDAQ_2014_100 105.54
CAC40_2014_100 102.95 NIKKEI_2014_100 93.07
BEL20_2014_100 106.96 HANGSENG_2014_100 99.50

At a glance,citizenscan see howa stock marketis doingcompared to the100 points. He seesimmediatelywhat percentage the indexdeclined orrosefromJanuary 1, 2014. Comparingmarket indicesinside andoutside Europeisapiece of cake. Theemotionfactorin the currentformulas of themarket indices, the reluctance and or euphoriaof investors caused by largefluctuationsin points is greatlyreduced bythere-indexing,and hence therationality of citizensand investors willpredominate.

Transition and costs

In order for the citizens of Europe to get used to the idea of ​​re-indexing of the exchanges, the old index values can still be published alongside the new index values ​​during a transition period​​. In due course they will only have a view for the new index values​​. The cost of this project for the European citizens will be nil; the formulas that calculates market indices are already changed several times annually.

For additional background information:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average: a Fata Morgana

Stock Market Indices Are Fata Morganas

12/16/14
Israel

Light the Lights

Arlene from Israel
Tonight we light the first light in the eight day Festival of Chanukah. A time for joy and hope.

Credit: ebay

Actually, there are two stories of Chanukah: One has to do with the miracle of the oil, which burned in the Temple for eight days although there was only enough oil for one day.  In commemoration of this, we eat foods associated with oil – potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts).

Credit: ourtastytravels

Credit: Jerusaleminsiders

In truth, if we are going to talk about miracles: the existence of modern Israel is a miracle. We should be ever mindful of this, and ever grateful.

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Then there is the historical Chanukah story of the Maccabees battle against the Greeks – which enabled them to regain and rededicate the Temple after it had been defiled.  There are lessons here in terms of determination and bravery (for the war was very long and bitter) and dedication to our traditional practices and our faith.  All very much lessons for today.

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A particular determination is required right now.  For these are very tough times, no matter how you cut it.

I held off posting yesterday to see what would evolve with regard to the UN Security Council and anti-Israel resolutions to be brought forward.  But there is nothing definitive to report yet.

Prime Minster Netanyahu, who met with Secretary of State Kerry yesterday, seems to be holding tough.  He says he will not agree to any UN coercion.

Kerry himself is waffling, and this is very unsettling.  Netanyahu put on a good front before meeting with Kerry, saying that there was no reason to believe that the US would diverge from its traditional position of vetoing Security Council measures that are anti-Israel.  But that is not really the case.  We know what a lame duck Obama is capable of.

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At a press conference today, Kerry said that the parties themselves must resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict – it cannot be done from the outside.

Nu?  That means it cannot be resolved via UN attempts to force Israel to move back to the ‘67 line.  No?

But in that same press conference he offered no assurances about his readiness to veto what might yet be proposed.

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Kerry-A-solution-to-the-Israeli-Palestinian-conflict-cannot-be-imposed-from-the-outside-384833

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Of course, it is possible that the Kerry “indecision” is a tactic aimed at getting Netanyahu to cave on agreeing to negotiate. So far I have no indication that Netanyahu has agreed to anything.

One of the things I picked up today was a reference by Kerry about “the cycle of violence,” which invariably infuriates me. This is a false moral equivalency. There is no cycle of violence, only Arab terrorism and Israeli response.

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The PA may bring forward a proposal this week that would require Israel to return to its situation prior to the 1967 war by February 2016; it would acknowledge eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, and would make provision for the “Palestinian refugees.”  There is no precise wording of this proposal available in its entirety yet.

The French are working on a different proposal that would, as I understand it, require that negotiations between Israel and the PA be completed in two years.  Somewhat less horrendous than the PA version, but neither viable nor acceptable.

Please, dear readers, do not panic about any of this.  It’s a long way from a PA-proposed resolution in the Security Council, which has not yet materialized, to a real shift in Israel’s situation.

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Relevant to this, I believe, is the announcement by the PA that they would not be cancelling security cooperation with Israel over the death of Abi Ein, as had been threatened. A PA official now admits that they never intended to follow-through with the threats.  They rely on Israel, said this official.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.631570

Hey, no surprise there.  Abbas wouldn’t last a week if not for Israel’s control of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

What we see then is that the PA leadership makes threats that it doesn’t necessarily intend to act upon.  And that Israel has some leverage over the PA.

So…stay tuned.

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The PA says that if its proposal does not pass in the Security Council it will go to the International Criminal Court and level charges of war crimes against Israeli leaders.  This may be yet another threat.  Abbas has already been warned by our leaders that this path would work two ways. In any event, there is no guarantee that the ICC would accept “a Palestinian state” as a member.

But see what one very wonderful legal warrior in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Ha-Din – the Israel Law Center, is doing: filing claims in the ICC against Abbas and Hamas leaders.  She is taking the offensive and hopes to make Abbas think twice.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-best-defense-against-palestinian-lawfare-is-offense/

 

Credit: Wikipedia

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Let me turn here, then, to a brief update on the political circus:

Eli Yishai has made it official. He has broken with the Shas party and is forming a new party, Yahad – Together.  It is being watched very closely, for it appears that it will not be just a duplicate of the haredi party, Shas, but will bring in national religious elements as well.  It aims to be a party that, indeed, unifies people in their concern for religious values and political nationalism.  Although it is early to make predictions, it carries genuine promise.

What we know so far is that Yoni Chetboun, who just left Habayit Hayehudi because of some deep discontents, will be joining Yishai. And now all eyes are on the relationship between Uri Ariel and Naftali Bennett.  If Uriel walks out of Habyit Hayehudi with his Tekuma faction, he would very likely join Yishai.

There are very early predictions that when the dust settles this new party might bring in as much as seven mandates.  Aryeh Deri, who now heads Shas, is having conniptions. But on Aryeh Deri, who is not exactly the model of an upright politician, it looks good.  Apparently Yishai – who was pretty much shafted by Deri – will take a fair amount of support with him and has already received the endorsement of some significant rabbis.

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Finally…Chanukah, songs.  First a medley of some traditional songs with a pleasing twist:

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/taking-tradition-to-a-whole-knew-level/  (Yes, it should be a “new” level, but the singing is nice.)

And then, a very lovely new version of the classic Maoz Tzur, by much-loved Israeli entertainer and cantor Dudu Fisher:
https://soundcloud.com/algemeiner/maoz-tzur-dudu-fisher-mix

Enjoy, and Chag Chanukah Sameach!