Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Fwd: Watch Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Mock Beer Nerds

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Fwd: The Axis of Cyber Evil: A North Korean Case of Cyber Espionage







http://www.hstoday.us/blogs/critical-issues-in-national-cybersecurity/blog/the-axis-of-cyber-evil-a-north-korean-case-of-cyber-espionage/3072be3aacf419cc494e3910a62107b2.html

 

The Axis of Cyber Evil: A North Korean Case of Cyber Espionage

October 10, 2013

By: MacDonnell Ulsch

China, Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea are long established cyber threats that have evolving into a post-Cold War axis of cyber evil that is escalating in intensity and should be taken seriously by any entity, government or private sector, possessing valuable proprietary information. And the stakes are getting higher.

 

Let's start with the Syrian Electronic Army, or SEA, which is thought by many to be funded by the Bashar Hafez Al Assad regime. Until recently, the media and diplomatic focus on Syria has been on the deployment of deadly chemical weapons, but now we are witness to cyber attacks on the institutions that have been critical of Assad and Syria: the New York Times, the BBC, the Qatar government, National Public Radio, and even Al Jazzera. The attacks resulted in various levels of cyber disruption, and are believed to have resulted from very sophisticated phishing attacks.

 

Iran has also been engaged in attacking US banks' websites for more than a year, creating operational disruption in the form of denial of service attacks, while demonstrating that US targets are not, by any measure, immune.

 

China's cyber attacks are well known, despite its diplomatic protestations. Transnational organized crime is equally well established. But North Korea's recent attacks against South Korean targets are particularly interesting, because North Korea is an element of the axis of cyber evil.

 

The attacks by North Korea, which were recently made public by anti-malware company Kapersky Lab, are concerning for several reasons: first, because of the selection of attack targets, and second, because of North Korea's relationship with China; the targets included the Sejong Institute, a South Korean think tank specializing in national security strategy and Korean unification.

 

This seems to be a clear case of political espionage. The Korea Institute for Defense Analyses is a quasi-governmental national security and defense organization, so it, too, is an understandable target for North Korea, as is the South Korean Ministry of Unification. One of the more intriguing espionage targets was South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd., part of the Hyundai Group, a diversified corporation.

 

While the other targets are logical, given North Korean unification and national security concerns, the Hyundai information theft may not be as immediately obvious. It is true that North Korea maintains a merchant marine operation, but it seems unlikely that this rogue nation-state would benefit substantially and directly from cyber espionage against Hyundai Merchant Marine. South Korea ranks number eight in the global merchant marine market sector, with 1,114 vessels. North Korea, on the other hand, is 34th in the world and maintains a fleet of only 150 vessels, many of which are said to not be seaworthy, and reportedly do not stray far from home port.

 

To put this in perspective, Germany is ranked number one, with 3,768 vessels. It seems improbable that North Korea would steal information for its own competitive positioning, given its anemic economy, deficient fleet operational status and its maritime scrutiny.

 

What is more likely is that either North Korea was hired by China to breach South Korean interests -- perhaps the political components of the breach providing strategic cover -- North Korea, acting independently, believed that it could sell the information to China, or China launched the attack against South Korea, but making it look like the attack was originated by North Korea.

 

Geography plays a part in the cyber attack against South Korea. Ten of the IP address ranges, according to Kapersky, originated in the Jilin Province Network and the Liaoning Province Network. Situated in the northeast region of China, Jilin and Liaoning are near the North Korean and Russian borders. The Internet Service Providers that serve the region are believed to maintain communication lines into parts of North Korea.

 

Once a center of heavy industry, with strong Russian, Chinese and North Korean influence, this region of China has not fared well economically, and its population exceeds 100 million. Industry sectors include steel, automotive, shipbuilding, aircraft, petroleum and manufacturing.  There are approximately a dozen key universities in the region, many of them with strong science and technology programs.

 

And here is the point: China has an aggressive revitalization plan that was developed by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC economic development report, translated from Chinese, stated that "China's participation in international competition, the use of domestic and foreign resources and markets to accelerate the pace of expansion of trade … to create more opportunities," is part of China's economic development strategy. The report also stated that "economic development is not sufficient." However, there is a more direct link that suggests China is the beneficiary of the Hyundai information.

 

Citing that its "high tech industries [are] inadequate," the report documented the need for China to significantly improve its "international level of shipbuilding …" and to "accelerate the development of [its] high-tech industry."

 

Perhaps most indicative of China's involvement is its stated objective to pursue, as part of its regional economic strategy, an upgrade of its "logistics management, logistics and distribution facilities" and its "integrated logistics system in Northeast China." Of course, global integrated logistics is the business of Hyundai Merchant Marine, the South Korean espionage target.

 

Regardless of specifics -- and we may never know exactly what occurred -- it is obvious that North Korea has global reach. It is also obvious that it has an important relationship with China.  And given China's voracious appetite for an extraordinary range of information that it will use to fuel its global economic leadership, companies possessing intellectual property and trade secrets are at extreme risk. Because most  proprietary information is unregulated, and is, therefore, not subject to basic protections, the risk of compromise is heightened.

 

This is not a call to regulate proprietary information. But every audit and risk committee member of board of directors and every CEO and general counsel should ask questions about their company's ability to protect the very information that is anticipated to contribute to the current and future corporate value.

 

This is not just a security problem. This is an issue of critical corporate governance, clarity of mission … and long-term reputation and market competitiveness. It is, equally, a national economic security imperative.

 

MacDonnell Ulsch is CEO & Chief Analyst of ZeroPoint Risk Research LLC.

 



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Fwd: [New post] President Lucifer’s Puppeteers Demanding Their Money’s Worth





traildustfotm posted: "This is from a story on UK Daily Mail. The way I translate the message is that US military forces are not working hard enough for Arab jihadist money these days. We didn't spill American blood fast enough for our new masters. It seems that we need to get "
Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Fellowship of the Minds

President Lucifer's Puppeteers Demanding Their Money's Worth

by traildustfotm

This is from a story on UK Daily Mail. The way I translate the message is that US military forces are not working hard enough for Arab jihadist money these days. We didn't spill American blood fast enough for our new masters. It seems that we need to get our news from outside America if we want anything resembling the truth. ~ TD 

saudi_leader_0001

Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with US over response to conflict in Syria

  • Saudi Arabia is an important ally to the U.S. as it provides a secure source of oil
  • Saudi diplomats now promise a 'major shift' in relations with the U.S. over inaction in the conflict in Syria
  • Secretary of State John Kerry says he is committed to keeping a good relationship with the Saudis

By REUTERS REPORTER

Upset at President Barack Obama's policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years.

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a 'major shift' in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria's civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

'The shift away from the U.S. is a major one,' the source close to Saudi policy said. 'Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.'

It was not immediately clear whether the reported statements by Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador to Washington for 22 years, had the full backing of King Abdullah.

The growing breach between the United States and Saudi Arabia was also on display in Washington, where another senior Saudi prince criticized Obama's Middle East policies, accusing him of 'dithering' on Syria and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Please read the whole article at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2472680/Saudi-Arabia-severs-diplomatic-ties-US-response-conflict-Syria.html#ixzz2iZxuNU1L
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Fwd: What the Left Does Not Understand About Islam




What the Left Does Not Understand About Islam

 

The left has never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.

The Cold War was even worse. The left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the moderate left slowly disavowed the USSR but refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.

Having failed the test twice, it is no wonder that the left has been unable to come to terms with Islam, or that it has resorted to insisting that, like Germany and Russia, the Muslim world is just another victim of imperialism and western warmongering in need of support and encouragement from the progressive camp.

The anti-war worldview is generations out of date. It is mired in an outdated analysis of imperial conflicts that ceased being relevant with the downfall of the nation-state and its replacement by international organizations and causes based around ideologies. Nazism could still loosely fit into the jackboots of the nation state. Communism was another creature entirely, a red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and using those organizations to take over nations.

Islam is even more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations, but able to spring up anywhere in the world. Its proponents have even less use for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law; a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.

The left is incapable of engaging with Islamism as an ideology, instead it reduces the conflict to a struggle between colonial and anti-colonial forces, showing once again that the left's worldview is usually at least fifty years out of date. Mapping colonial and anti-colonial conflicts over a map of Mali, where the anti-colonial forces are represented by the slave-owning Tuaregs and the Arab and Pakistani Jihadis invading an African country, makes very little sense, but that is all that the left knows how to do.

Their response to the Clash of Civilizations has been to include Islamists in the global rainbow coalition of minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third world farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, sex workers and terrorists; without considering what the Islamists were or how they would fit into this charmed circle.

The left views the Islamists as just another front group to be used. The Islamists see the left the same way and in Iran, Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamists have a better track record of getting the better of the left. But the left never learns from history. It never questions its outdated Marxist fisheye view of events or realizes that the Industrial Revolution, feudal peasants and the banks are not a metaphor for absolutely every struggle that takes place anywhere in the world. And so the left dooms itself to repeat again and again the history that it refuses to learn.

Rather than deal with Islamism, the left persists in fighting phantom wars against nationalism, capitalism, militarism, colonialism and imperialism; all things that are approaching extinction in its sphere of influence, while thriving outside its sphere of influence. The left is too busy fighting a civil war to see that if it wants to survive, it will have to fight a global war. True to its nature, it is determined to finish digesting the West before it is ready to defend it, and by the time that the left digests the West, with the help of its Islamist allies, the war will be over and the left will have lost.

The left is undone by its own conception of history as a treadmill moving forward through historical stages, rather than a chaotic morass of forces colliding together. In the progressive understanding of history, progressive forces defeat reactionary forces and humanity advances to the next stage. There is no room in that neat orderly evolution for the violent chaos of Islamism and its resurrection of tribal forces, ethnic grievances and religious intolerance into a worldwide movement that is every bit as fanatical and determined to forcibly carve out its own vision of a new world order.

From the progressive perspective of history as an evolutionary process, Islamist tribal fanaticism is from too early a stage to threaten the left. Socialism must battle against the industrialism of the previous stage, with each generation advancing the future by destroying the achievements of the previous generation in a species of grim historical cannibalism. The left fears being held back by capitalism, not by Islamism. It does not believe that the values of the 6th century can compete with it, only that the values of the 19th century can.

While the left sees itself as progressive and Islamism as reactionary, it is the left that has trouble adapting to new developments, while the Islamists have successfully glommed onto everything from the Cold War to the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of international organizations and even the War on Terror, and exploited events for their ends. In the new century, the Islamists have been riding the left over the finish line, without the left realizing that it was being ridden.

The left dwells in an intellectual bubble of its own making. It transforms that bubble into an elaborate place, furnishing the space until it resembles a miniature world, but a bubble is not a world, it can only ever be a bubble. Trapped inside the bubble, the left cannot realize that the world is going backward, not forward, that the 21st century is really the 7th century and that the future is the past.

The Islamists understand this quite well. The left cannot.

 

 

Article by: Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.



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Fwd: The Muslim Brotherhood's Man in the White House




 

The Muslim Brotherhood's motto:

Allah is our objective
The Prophet is our leader
Koran is our law
Jihad is our way
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope

The Muslim Brotherhood's goal in America:

The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour

 

 

Robert Spencer in FrontPage Magazine: The Muslim Brotherhood's Man in the White House


In FrontPage today, I give a summary of Obama's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the State Department announced early in October that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, it was yet another manifestation of Barack Obama's unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a support that has already thrown Egypt back into the Russian orbit. The aid cut was essentially giving the Egyptian people a choice between Muslim Brotherhood rule and economic collapse. Nothing else could have been expected from Obama, who has been a Brotherhood man from the beginning.

Obama's support for the Brotherhood goes back to the beginning of his presidency. He even invited Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to offer a prayer at the National Cathedral on his first Inauguration Day – despite the fact that ISNA has admitted its ties to the Brotherhood. The previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status. Obama didn't ask Mattson to explain ISNA's links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. On the contrary: he sent his Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to be the keynote speaker at ISNA's national convention in 2009.

Even worse, in April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hizballah a "liberation movement") participated in a fundraiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Like ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood. In a book entitled In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, coauthor Hassan Hathout, a former MPAC president, is identified as "a close disciple of the late Hassan al-Banna of Egypt." The MPAC-linked magazine The Minaret spoke of Hassan Hathout's closeness to al-Banna in a 1997 article: "My father would tell me that Hassan Hathout was a companion of Hassan al-Banna….Hassan Hathout would speak of al-Banna with such love and adoration; he would speak of a relationship not guided by politics or law but by a basic sense of human decency."

Al-Banna, of course, was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an admirer of Hitler and a leader of the movement to (in his words) "push the Jews into the sea."

Terror researcher Steven Emerson's Investigative Project has documented MPAC's indefatigable and consistent opposition to virtually every domestic anti-terror initiative; its magazine The Minaret has dismissed key counterterror operations as part of "[t]he American crusade against Islam and Muslims." For his part, while Alikhan was deputy mayor of Los Angeles, he blocked a Los Angeles Police Department project to assemble data about the ethnic makeup of mosques in the Los Angeles area. This was not an attempt to conduct surveillance of the mosques or monitor them in any way. LAPD Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing explained that it was actually an outreach program: "We want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities." But Alikhan and other Muslim leaders claimed that the project manifested racism and "Islamophobia," and the LAPD ultimately discarded all plans to study the mosques.

And early in 2009, when the Muslim Brotherhood was still outlawed in Egypt, Obama met with its leaders. He made sure to invite Brotherhood leadersto attend his notorious speech to the Islamic world in Cairo in June 4, 2009, making it impossible for then-President Hosni Mubarak to attend the speech, since he would not appear with the leaders of the outlawed group.

Then on January 31, 2011, when the Mubarak regime was on the verge of falling in the Arab Spring uprising, a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Frank Wisner, met secretly in Cairo with Issam El-Erian, a senior Brotherhood leader. That meeting came a week after a Mubarak government official announced the regime's suspicions that Brotherhood and other opposition leaders were coordinating the Egyptian uprising with the Obama State Department.

Early in February, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, tried to allay concerns about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt by claiming, preposterously, that the group was "largely secular." Although the subsequent torrent of ridicule compelled the Obama camp to issue a correction, the subtext of Clapper's statement was clear: the Obama Administration had no problem with Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, and was not only going to do nothing to stop it, but was going actively to enable it.

And so in June 2011, the Administration announced that it was going to establish formal ties with the Brotherhood. The U.S.'s special coordinator for transitions in the Middle East, William Taylor, announced in November 2011 that the U.S. would be "satisfied" with a Muslim Brotherhood victory in the Egyptian elections. In January 2012, Obama announced that he was speeding up the delivery of aid to Egypt, just as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns held talks with Brotherhood leaders – a move apparently calculated to demoralize the Brotherhood's opposition in the Egyptian elections.

Not surprisingly, when Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt's 2012 presidential election, Obama immediately called Morsi to congratulate him. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hurried to Cairo to meet with Morsi in July 2012, as anti-Brotherhood protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy complex there. The Obama administration's support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt had been so glaringly obvious that foes of the Brotherhood regime pelted her motorcade with tomatoes and shoes for delivering that country up to the rule of the Brotherhood. Protestors held signs reading "Message to Hillary: Egypt will never be Pakistan"; "To Hillary: Hamas will never rule Egypt" and "If you like the Ikhwan [Brotherhood], take them with you!"

Obama invited Morsi to visit the U.S., although by September 2012, when Morsi had called for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the 1993 World Trade Center jihad attack plotter, as well as for restrictions on the freedom of speech, and persecution of Egyptian Christians had increased dramatically, Obama quietly canceled the proposed meeting.

Meanwhile, Obama's foreign policy displayed a decided pro-Brotherhood orientation. Former U.S. prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has listed a great many strange collaborations between Obama's State Department and Muslim Brotherhood organizations, including:

• Secretary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a Bush-administration ruling that barred Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Brotherhood's founder and son of one of its most influential early leaders, from entering the United States.

• The State Department collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia proscriptions against negative criticism of Islam.

• The State Department excluded Israel, the world's leading target of terrorism, from its "Global Counterterrorism Forum," a group that brings the United States together with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey — which now finances Hamas and avidly supports the flotillas that seek to break Israel's blockade of Hamas. At the forum's kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel — in transparent deference to the Islamist governments, which echo the Brotherhood's position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.

• The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer $1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood's victory in the parliamentary elections.

• The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestinian branch.

• The State Department and the administration hosted a contingent from Egypt's newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gamaa al-Islamiyya), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The State Department refused to provide Americans with information about the process by which it issued a visa to a member of a designated terrorist organization, about how the members of the Egyptian delegation were selected, or about what security procedures were followed before the delegation was allowed to enter our country.

Once in power in Egypt, the Brotherhood government drafted a new constitution, enshrining Islamic law as the highest law of the land, restricting the freedom of speech and denying equality of rights for women. The Associated Press reported that the constitution reflected the "vision of the Islamists, with articles that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities and civil liberties in general."

AP reported that the constitution's wording gave the Muslim Brotherhood "the tool for insisting on stricter implementation of rulings of Shariah," and that "a new article states that Egypt's most respected Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, must be consulted on any matters related to Shariah, a measure critics fear will lead to oversight of legislation by clerics."

Cairo's Al-Azhar is the foremost exponent of Sunni orthodoxy. Its characterization of what constitutes that orthodoxy carries immense weight in the Islamic world. It hews to age-old formulations of Islamic law mandating second-class dhimmi status for non-Muslims, institutionalized discrimination against women, and sharp restrictions on the freedom of speech, particularly in regard to Islam. Al-Azhar's having a role in the government of Egypt and its administration of Sharia meant the end of any remaining freedom in Egyptian society.

While forcing this constitution on Egyptians, the Morsi regime became increasingly brutal toward dissenters. In a move reminiscent of Communist governments, the Brotherhood regime had opposition leaders investigated for high treason. Morsi even tried to arrogate dictatorial powers for himself, although he backed off after protests. Huge crowds came out to protest against the Morsi regime – a clear indication that if Obama had backed the Brotherhood because he thought it represented the popular will of the vast majority of Egyptians, he was dead wrong. Yet as all this was happening, Hillary Clinton demonstrated how out of touch the Obama Administration was with what was really happening in Egypt when she said, according to Fox News, that "the U.S. must work with the international community and the people in Egypt to ensure that the revolution isn't hijacked by extremists."

The Arab Spring "revolution" was "hijacked by extremists" as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood regime took power. Yet as the turmoil in Egypt increased, Obama responded not by admonishing the Muslim Brotherhood regime to respect the human rights of all its citizens, but by shipping over twenty F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, as part of an aid package amounting to over a billion dollars. A Republican congressional aide noted at the time that "the Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab." The Obama Administration responded by downplaying the significance of the Brotherhood's increasing authoritarianism, speaking blandly about "Egypt's democratic transition and the need to move forward with a peaceful and inclusive transition that respects the rights of all Egyptians."

It was no surprise last summer, then, when millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest against the Brotherhood regime and it was suddenly and unexpectedly toppled from power, that numerous anti-Brotherhood protesters held signs accusing Obama of supporting terrorists. One foe of the Brotherhood made a music video including the lyrics: "Hey Obama, support the terrorism/Traitor like the Brotherhood members/Obama say it's a coup/That's not your business dirty man." A protestor in Tahrir Square held up a sign saying, "Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians." Signs like that one became commonplace at anti-Morsi protests; another read, "Hey Obama, your bitch is our dictator."

Yet as the anti-Muslim Brotherhood riots reached their peak, Obama responded by sending a group of American soldiers to Egypt to help with riot control.

As an Egyptian newspaper crowed about the influence of Muslim Brotherhood operatives within the Obama Administration, it was no surprise that Obama would want them in power in Egypt as well. By cutting off aid in October 2013, he was strong-arming the Egyptians until they would have no choice but to agree – or turn to the Russians, as Egypt's military regime has recently said it might do. Egypt has been an American ally, but is now returning to the sphere of influence of a resurgent Russia – thanks to Barack Obama's uncritical support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt, albeit imperfect, was a reliable and pivotal ally of the U.S. in the Middle East for three decades. With the Camp David Accords it kept an uneasy but unmistakable peace with Israel, while the Sadat and Mubarak regimes kept a lid on the Brotherhood and Salafist forces that were clamoring for Egypt to declare a new jihad against the Jewish State. Egypt's unwillingness to go to war with Israel during that period stymied the anti-Israel bloodlust in neighboring Muslim countries as well, for Egypt's size, position, and history give it a unique stature in the Islamic world.

All that is gone now. Egypt is on the way to renewing its alliance with Russia, which led it to mount two wars against Israel, in 1967 and 1973. Obama has alienated America's allies and emboldened her enemies, all in a vain attempt to appease a group that was never going to be a friend of the U.S. in the first place. If he didn't have so many other blots on his record, this could be the most dangerous aspect of his legacy.

Posted by Robert on October 23, 2013 8:14 AM



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Fwd: [CAP News 10/23/13] Terrorism Celebrates 250 Years





CAP News
Terrorism Celebrates 250 Years
Terrorism Celebrates 250 Years
An Afghani couple enjoys a game of Twister in celebration of terrorism's 250th anniversary.


KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CAP) - No one is quite sure of the exact date, but few will dispute the fact that 250 years ago this month, modern terrorism got its start. And according to terrorism experts, it's been quite a ride.

"Terrorism in some form or another has been around since the dawn of time," said independent terrorism consultant Omar McNalley. "But to really pick a start date, one has to go back to 1763 and give the nod to Zulfikar Khan."

According to historical documents, Zulfikar Khan was the elder brother of Ahmad Shah Abdali, the man credited with the founding of modern Afghanistan. It was during the Sikh holocaust when Ahmad Shah assaulted Lahore and Amritsar that Khan loaded an elephant full of explosives, rode it into a busy marketplace, and set off the bombs.

Terrorists are expected to mark the passing of the historical month in much the same fashion as they approach other significant dates - a couple suicide bombings, ongoing hatred of the West, and maybe a kidnapped journalist beheading. In other words, business as usual.

"See, that's the problem with terrorist youths today," said 63-year-old Afghani terrorist Hassan al-Hassan. "They don't know where they came from; they don't understand the history. A lot of great people died to make terrorism today possible."

al-Hassan, a three-time suicide bombing survivor, pointed to a number of things that separate today's young terrorists from "those of the old school" - among them a lack of creativity, the demand for more and more virgins, and no effort to actually stay alive.

"It's laziness, that's all it is," said al-Hassan as he stroked the nub where his left arm used to be. "When I was a kid, we got five, maybe six virgins. Who needs 72? The excess is unnecessary.

"We'll be lucky if terrorism makes it another 50 years, let alone 250," said al-Hassan.

Whether it's 50 years or 250 years, three things are certain: terrorism will look nothing like it does now, today's practitioners won't be around to show us, and CAP News will be there to cover it all.
IN OTHER NEWS

Eclectic singer Lady Gaga has admitted to CAP News that while the applause is indeed a fantastic motivator, she also lives for the paycheck. "Clapping alone does not millions of dollars make," Gaga said. "Little monsters emptying daddy's wallet to come see me prance around in outrageously expensive outfits does."
FROM THE VAULT
CBS News Pilots
October 23, 2008

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Fwd: ObamaCare Headed for Full-Scale Meltdown






The Flaw in ObamaCare Points to Its Future Failure: It's Time to Propose Real Alternatives

Posted By Ron Radosh On October 22, 2013  

Some Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz, have argued that if ObamaCare goes through, an entire group of people will want and like the services offered, thus creating a new dependent culture of people hooked on the supposedly universal and free medical care being offered. Hence, any chances of repealing or reversing it in the future will be doomed.

The events of the previous week have shown that this is an unfounded fear. More likely is that the inherent flaws in ObamCare, now more apparent than ever, will create a groundswell of public opinion demanding either its delay or a movement to scratch it completely and come up with a program that actually works to reform and improve health care in a meaningful way.

We now know, as Stuart Stevens reports in The Daily Beast [1], that even left-leaning Vermont, the state with the only openly socialist senator, has seen that the roll-out of the health exchanges has been "an unmitigated disaster." And in the reliably blue state of Maryland, only 1,000 people were able to enroll on the state's own website, which had as many glitches and software problems as the federal website.

While liberals and leftists argue that the program is solid, and that it is only the software that is bad, Stevens writes that the current problems serve to illustrate ObamaCare's fatal flaw:

One of the president's key selling points of the ACA was the promise that if you liked your plan, you could keep it. We're learning that's often not the case as Obamacare is implemented across the country. And in Vermont, there has been no pretense of such assurance.

As of January 1, 2014, in Vermont, the ability for individuals or employers with 50 or fewer employees to purchase health insurance from private insurance companies ceases to exist. As for policies already covering those businesses and individuals? Those cease to exist, as well. In other words, in Vermont, a good percentage of its population will have no choice but to buy health insurance through the state exchange.

Now Vermont, like the federal government, is using PR to try to get people to register, as well as trying other methods, such as urging applicants to try to phone in their applications or do it via snail mail. Why not go back to early 20th century methods while we're living in the 21st century? Perhaps they should also try to revive the Pony Express.

Vermont, Stevens points out, has the highest insurance premiums in the nation. As good liberals, their government has stringent regulations on the insurance industry, thus preventing competition.  ObamaCare will not help Vermont residents, since there are only two companies offering plans on the exchange. And rates are the same for everyone, whatever their age or condition of their health. What this reveals is the essence of socialist engineering to produce equality. To their eyes, it sounds good and moral since everyone pays the same and everyone gets equal treatment. The result: People in their 50s and early 60s — before they are eligible for Medicare — pay the same rates as a young person in his 20s! As Cynthia Cox, a healthcare expert at Kaiser,  explains,  "Younger people will have higher premiums in Vermont than they might if they lived elsewhere, whereas older people might have lower premiums than if they lived elsewhere."

So if you are such a young person, who earns a starting salary of perhaps $25,000 a year, and you find out that to purchase a health insurance policy on the new exchange will cost you a small fortune, you will, instead, opt to pay the $95 penalty (or 1% of your income, whichever is greater) at tax time. If you become seriously ill before that, you will then enroll and get the medical care you need, assuming that the federal and state enrollment sites are working by then.  This means, however, that when your decision is put together with all the other young people who do the same and do not enroll, the ObamaCare system will not have enough young people registered to pay for the elderly people with serious health conditions who have enrolled. At that point, the system crashes and is not fiscally sustainable. As Stevens puts it, "without a pool of younger, healthier participants, it's difficult for any insurance plan to survive.

The truth is, as Michael Gerson writes [2], that ObamaCare "could become an intellectual crisis for modern liberalism."  The software "glitches" could be fixed — although perhaps not in time for the January enrollment deadline. But even if they are, without enough young people enrolling, the program on its own terms is not likely to work. Its likely failure will show the follies of liberalism and the belief of all those who think socialist type planning can work. Those who really need the coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or those with new, serious medical conditions, will do everything to enroll. Those without these fears will sit back and opt for the small penalty fee. Oh yes, the government could change that to an enormous fee, but imagine the outcry of the young Obama supporters if it tries to do that.

Some will argue that a government-run health system can work, and that the problems only prove that we need a full-scale socialized medicine program, like the UK's National Health Service or Canada's type of universal health care. In this country, it could be instituted by expanding Medicare to everyone over 55, thus in effect becoming a single-payer system. If that is done, we will be on our way to a two-tiered medical system. The wealthy will go to concierge doctors and the fine hospitals not in the system, and the rest of us will go to second-rate hospitals and be forced to see those doctors who have not opted out of serving Medicare patients.

Moreover, the country will go broke sooner rather than later, as coverage for all over 55 will quickly become the single most expensive entitlement program existing, without funds to pay for it. And can you imagine the people who run the failing U.S. Postal Service creating the bureaucracy that will administer Medicare for all?

While Republicans are polling lower than ever as a result of the government shutdown, it should be kept in mind that as ObamaCare evolves, the Obama administration and the Democrats will quickly lose the confidence of the American people. In the National Journal [3] Ron Fournier writes, "Beyond Obamacare, the Democratic Party's reputation for competency is as stake.  The cost of the [Obama Care website] site is already $394 million, a massive amount compared to private-sector CMS work, and sure to grow."

So bring it on. And what conservatives should do is offer their own meaningful alternatives, such as those proposed by Tom Miller in the latest National Affairs [4]. Miller writes that our debate has to be not just about Obama Care,  but "must be understood as part of a larger debate about the future of the country." And that requires serious proposals for market-based systems that deal with the problems of the uninsured, and that address the issues of the "cost, quality, complexity, and accountability of the options [Americans] have in the current health-care system."

Saying no to ObamaCare is not enough. It is time that our politicians go beyond that and offer serious alternatives to fix our healthcare system.

s


Article printed from Ron Radosh: http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2013/10/22/the-flaw-in-obama-care-points-to-its-future-failure-its-time-to-propose-real-alternatives/

URLs in this post:

[1] The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/22/obamacare-s-vermont-fail.html

[2] Michael Gerson writes: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-ailing-obamacare-could-become-a-crisis-for-liberalism/2013/10/21/00bbc938-3a82-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html

[3] National Journal: http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/why-obama-should-be-freaked-out-over-obamacare-20131021

[4] National Affairs: http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/conservative-health-care-reform-a-reality-check

 



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