Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Re: Nationalism -- the Bane of the Modern Age

Doesn't one have to be at least a little bit "nationalist" in order to celebrate Veterans' Day?

I consider myself unnationalist.  Also I'm not patriotic in the usual sense of the word.  I might appear to be anti-war, but I'm not anti-all-wars, just anti-some-wars.

I disagree with part of the article.  R. Higgs says, 

"As religion's hold on the Western man's mind has diminished during the past several centuries, replaced by a cold scientific sense that, at bottom, everything is just a lot of lifeless particles and electrical currents or, in many cases, replaced by nothing at all, this empty space has dilated."  

I suppose it's probably true that religions' holds on Western minds has diminished during the past several centuries.  And yes, it is _partly_ replaced by what could be called a "scientific sense".  However, I disagree with the way he characterizes the result.  A scientific sense, and a diminishment of religions' holds, do not have to be "cold" and do not have to lead to the conclusion that there's a lifeless nothingness to everything.  And they do not have to lead to ethical blankness either.

What I believe is that, as people learn more about a variety of cultures, they question religions more, and they learn to think for themselves more.  I think this is generally a good thing.  Given time, the thoughtful person will eventually come to some of the same ideas that were in the religion(s), but will de-emphasize or forsake the more wrong parts of religion(s).

For example, a person might realize that life is more satisfying when treating outsiders with respect or kindness.  (It's not always feasible, but one can try to do it more and more.)  A similar principle was in the religion.  But now he understands it in a different way.  Meanwhile, he de-emphasizes or even stops doing things like burnt-animal sacrifices or Spanish Inquisitions.  All these things could be described in science-y ways, but I'd say it's really just thoughtfulness, that is, thinking and trying to do the right things because they make sense in one's own mind.  And I think it's exposure to _different_ ways of thinking (more than one way of thinking) that leads to this kind of thoughtfulness.

Thoughtfulness and good behavior can happen in religion, but I think that for many people, including myself, they work better with the less-religious thoughtfulness.

-jrl

On Monday, November 11, 2013 7:29:46 PM UTC-8, MJ wrote:

Nationalism -- the Bane of the Modern Age
By Robert Higgs 
Saturday April 27, 2013

Everyone, it seems, has a hollow space in his makeup. Perhaps he has no faith, no hope, no charity; no sense that he is basically a lord or a priest or a peasant; no comfort in knowing his personal latitude and longitude in the great scheme of things; no ethical compass to give him his bearings and help him navigate between what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad.

As religion's hold on the Western man's mind has diminished during the past several centuries, replaced by a cold scientific sense that, at bottom, everything is just a lot of lifeless particles and electrical currents or, in many cases, replaced by nothing at all, this empty space has dilated. Into the vacuum of ethical emptiness and absent personal identity has rushed nationalism. More and more people answered the question, "What are you?" by saying "I am a Frenchmen," or a German, or an American, or whatever. State rulers, of course, actively strove to encourage such mass identification because it rendered the masses easier to exploit, plunder, and command. The culmination came in the world wars, when scores of millions submitted to kill and to die in the service of nationalism.

Americans, perhaps more than any others, are immersed in nationalism, drenched to the bone. It follows them everywhere ­ to school, to work, to their amusements and entertainments, even in many cases into their churches. They wallow in it, and they wallow happily. The merest village idiot takes pride that "We are #1," whatever such a declaration might mean. Usually, sad to say, it means only that the idiot's rulers in Washington have their hands on the levers and buttons that allow them to dish out violent death and effective intimidation on a global scale. Hooray for us, he proclaims; we're the biggest, baddest bully in the history of mankind. Yet, this pathetic individual, and the hundreds of millions who resemble him more or less, are really nothing at all. Their inner selves are entirely ersatz; their moral core is devoid of real substance. They have effectively surrendered their souls, their minds, and their capacity for living a moral life to politician/rulers who shamelessly pull the strings of their identity.

Nationalism and its fruit ­ the powerful welfare/warfare nation-states that now infest virtually the entire planet ­ are the banes of the modern age. Their fundamental resources are violence and fraud, and their most indispensable fraud is the conviction they have inculcated in their subjects that the people's very identity, the very essence of who they are, derives from and depends on the nation-state that dominates their lives.

http://blog.independent.org/2013/04/27/nationalism-the-bane-of-the-modern-age/

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Re: No Exit: Why the US Can't Leave the Middle East

In M. Totten's article he says, "We sort of won the war in Iraq, but it cost billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and Baghdad is still a violent, dysfunctional mess."  I have some trick questions:  To which thousands of lives is he referring?  How long has Baghdad been a violent, dysfunctional mess?

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:21:08 PM UTC-8, Travis wrote:








http://tinyurl.com/o33vsay

 

 

No Exit: Why the US Can't Leave the Middle East

Michael J. Totten

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/sites/default/files/styles/full_view/public/field/image/11.4.13.waj_.totten.jpg

America is in a bad mood.

In the midst of the worst economy since the 1970s, we're on the verge of losing the war in Afghanistan, the longest we've ever fought, against stupefyingly primitive foes.

We sort of won the war in Iraq, but it cost billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and Baghdad is still a violent, dysfunctional mess.

The overhyped Arab Spring has been cancelled in Egypt. Liberating Libya led to the assassination of our ambassador. Syria is disintegrating into total war with bad guys on both sides and the US dithering on the sidelines, worried more about saving face at this point than having any significant effect on the facts on the ground.

A majority of American voters in both parties have had it. They're just flat-out not interested in spending any more money or lives to help out. Even many foreign policy professionals are fed up. We get blamed for every one of the Middle East's problems, including those it inflicts on itself. How gratifying it would be just to walk away, dust off our hands, and say you're on your own.

But we can't.

 

Actually, in Egypt maybe we can. And maybe we should.

Hosni Mubarak was a terrible leader and a lukewarm ally at best, but until the Egyptian army arrested him in 2011, Cairo had been part of the American-backed security architecture in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean ever since his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, junked Egypt's alliance with the Soviet Union.

The election of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in the wake of the Arab Spring, though, moved Egypt into the "frenemy" column. It's still there under the military rule of General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the new head of state in all but name since the army removed Mohamed Morsi.

Sisi is no less hostile to Washington than Morsi was. As Lee Smith put it shortly after the second coup in three years, Egypt's new jefe "sees the United States as little more than a prop, a rag with which he burnishes his reputation as a strongman, a village mayor puffing his chest and boasting that he is unafraid to stand up to the Americans." 

Sisi knows his country and what it takes to appeal to the masses. The whole population—left, right, and center—is as hostile toward the United States as it ever was. Never mind that Americans backed the anti-Mubarak uprising. Never mind that Washington sought good relations with Egypt's first freely elected government in thousands of years. Never mind that the Obama administration refuses to call the army's coup what it plainly was in order to keep Egypt's aid money flowing. None of that matters. The United States and its Zionist sidekick remain at the molten center of Egypt's phantasmagorical demonology.

Bribing Egypt with billions of annual aid dollars to maintain its peace treaty with Israel and to keep a lid on radical Islam makes even less sense today than it did when Morsi and the Brotherhood were in charge. Morsi needed that money to prevent Egyptians from starving to death. He had a major incentive to cooperate—or else.

But now that the Brothers are out of the picture, partly at the behest of the Saudis, Riyadh says it will happily make up the difference if Washington turns off the aid spigot.

Turn it off then, already. Our money buys nothing from Sisi if he can replace it that easily. If he gets the same cash infusion whether or not he listens to the White House, why should he listen to the White House? He isn't our friend. He's only one step away from burning an American flag at a rally. He's plenty motivated for his own reasons to keep radical Islamists in check since they're out to destroy him. And his army is the one Egyptian institution that's not at all interested in armed conflict with Israel because it would suffer more egregiously than anything or anyone else.

We're either paying him out of sheer habit or because Washington thinks it might still get something back from its investment. Maybe it will, but it probably won't.

Either way, Sisi instantly proved himself more violent and ruthless than Mubarak when he gave the order to gun down hundreds of unarmed civilians. The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood "retaliated" by burning dozens of churches, murdering Christians at random, and shooting policemen does not make what he did okay. He was, for a few days at least, no better than Bashar al-Assad. Giving him money and guns will make us no friends but plenty of enemies, especially when his regime proves itself no more capable of halting Egypt's freefall than the last one.

Max Boot at the Council on Foreign Relations put it this way in the Los Angeles Times: "It is no coincidence that both Osama bin Laden and [al-Qaeda deputy Ayman al-] Zawahiri hailed from US-allied nations that repressed their own citizens. Both men were drawn to the conclusion that the way to free their homelands was to attack their rulers' patron. It is reasonable to expect that a new generation of Islamists in Egypt, now being taught that the peaceful path to power is no longer open, will turn to violence and that, as long as Washington is seen on the side of the generals, some of their violence will be directed our way."

Even if the Egyptian army faces the kind of full-blown Islamist insurgency that ripped through Algeria in the 1990s—which is unlikely, but possible—Cairo will still get all the help it needs from the Gulf, not because the Saudis oppose radical Islam, but because they view the Muslim Brotherhood as the biggest long-term threat to their rule.

The case for walking away from Egypt and dusting our hands off is sound.

 

Libya, however, is another matter entirely.

Having learned in Iraq that occupying Arab lands is bad for everyone's health, the US helped free Libya of Muammar el-Qaddafi without suffering even one single casualty. We did it all from the skies. The ground was thick with indigenous rebels, so no American ground troops were required. Qaddafi had no friends to come to his rescue and he stood no chance with his feeble and outdated hardware.

But then we lost Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others during the long Libyan aftermath, when a terrorist group tied to al-Qaeda attacked the US consulate in Benghazi. It happened on the same day—not coincidentally, on September 11th—that mobs of fanatical Salafists waving al-Qaeda flags rioted and set fires all over the region, using a ludicrous anti-Muhammad video uploaded to YouTube by a crackpot Egyptian "filmmaker" no one had ever heard of before as a pretext.

For reasons that still don't make any sense, American officials falsely claimed the Benghazi incident was the result of yet another protest riot gone out of control. But there was no protest or riot in Benghazi related to that video, contrary to Washington's initial clumsy and mendacious public statements.

Unlike in Egypt and even Tunisia, nobody in Libya protested against the United States for "allowing" a so-called blasphemous video to be uploaded to YouTube. The only demonstrations in Libya that week were against radical Islamists, against the terrorists that murdered Ambassador Stevens. The citizen groundswell against Benghazi's Islamist militia was so intense that its members had to flee into the desert.

Libya is a traditional and conservative place, but that does not mean it's Islamist. Two out of three Egyptians voted for Islamist parties in the post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, but in Libya, the National Forces Alliance, a moderate centrist party, won the most seats in 2012. The Justice and Construction Party—the political vehicle for Libya's Muslim Brotherhood—only won ten percent of the vote. The Brotherhood isn't quite as irrelevant in Libya as, say, the Green Party is in the United States, but it's close.

Libya's people are not just by and large against the Islamists. They are perhaps friendlier to the West in general and the United States in particular than anyone else in the Arab world.

It makes sense if you think about it. Under no theory can the United States be held responsible for Qaddafi's crimes and repression. He was a self-declared enemy of America on the day he took power, and he'd still be tormenting his hapless citizens like a sadistic mad scientist if Americans hadn't provided air support for the rebels. He received no money, no weapons, no training, no diplomatic cover—nothing—from the United States.

Every bad thing Libyans ever heard about Americans came from the internal propaganda organs of the man who kicked them in the face every day for forty-two years. At least some of their geopolitical views resemble those of Eastern Europeans under the communists—if the Americans are the enemies of our tyrannical government, how bad can they be? They are as pro-American as we could ever expect Arab Muslims to be.

Libya under Qaddafi had far too much government. Now it does not have enough. The previous regime was one of the most repressive on earth, and when it went down, most institutions—including the army—went with it. The state and its security forces are therefore too weak. They're being rebuilt from scratch and won't be finished for years.

There is no reason in the world for the US not to associate with or help Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his colleagues. On the contrary, if the government can't establish a monopoly on the use of force in the lawless parts of the country, Libya could end up an incubator of terrorism like Somalia, Yemen, or Mali, despite the fact that most of its people want nothing to do with it.

 

Syria is the last country we can afford to ignore right now, even though large numbers in both parties—for perfectly logical reasons—are averse to doing anything more than shuddering at a distance.

But what happens there is our business because it affects us. Syria isn't Belize. It matters who runs that country, and it matters a lot.

Bashar al-Assad's regime is the biggest state sponsor of international terrorism in the Arab world, and it's aligned with the Islamic Republic regime in Iran, the biggest state sponsor of international terrorism in the entire world. Obviously, then, it's in our interest to see him defeated.

One of his principal enemies on the home front, though, is the al-Qaeda–linked Nusra Front. Obviously it's not in our interest to see these bin Ladenists replace Assad.

The Free Syrian Army is disgruntled at the lackluster assistance the United States has provided, but that's partly because it has been fighting against Assad alongside the Nusra Front, and also because many of its own commanders are also Islamists, even if they're moderate compared with al-Qaeda. The tactical alliance between the two groups is fracturing, and it won't outlast Assad by even a week, but it's enough to make Washington reluctant and skeptical.

Americans have always been willing to sacrifice money and lives for allies and friends, but allies and friends who are powerful enough inside Syria to affect outcomes are thin on the ground. Early in the game, the administration could have tried to arm, fund, and train a politically moderate fighting force inside Syria, but that will be a lot more difficult now that the Turks and the Gulf Arabs are backing their own proxies who don't share our interests or values.

So there are those who say let them kill each other because, as Daniel Pipes argues, it "keeps them focused locally" and "prevents either one from emerging victorious." It brings to mind Henry Kissinger's famous quip about the Iran-Iraq war. "It's too bad they can't both lose."

The operative word in Kissinger's sentence is "can't." Opposing sides don't zero each other out. That's not how wars work, or end. Wars end when somebody wins. 

The worst-case scenario from an American point of view is that they both win. That's an actual possibility. Syria could fracture into pieces. In a way, it already has. An Alawite rump state backed by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia existing alongside a Sunnistan ruled by Islamists could very well emerge as a semi-permanent reality of Middle Eastern geography. At the very least, the United States needs a policy that reduces the likelihood of that most horrible outcome.

A few months ago, I asked the Lebanese MP Samy Gemayel what he thought about Washington's confusion in Syria. "Before you can know what to do," he said, "you have to know what you want." One way or another, we should want both Assad and al-Qaeda to lose. But they aren't going to lose simultaneously. They'll need to lose consecutively. One of them first has to win.

So fight and defeat Bashar al-Assad, or support someone who will do it instead. Then fight and defeat the Nusra Front, or support someone who will do it instead.

Or face the fact that one or both are going to win. If the Nusra Front wins, we'll have an Afghanistan on the Mediterranean. And if Assad wins, he could end up under an Iranian nuclear weapons umbrella.

 

Some parts of the world are like Las Vegas. What happens there, stays there. Sub-Saharan Africa is the primary example. Hardly anyone outside that region has even noticed that the various wars in Congo have killed millions of people since the late 1990s, and even fewer have cared.

The Middle East isn't like that. Until cars and trucks can be powered by solar, wind, or nuclear energy, the entire world depends on the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf region. That requires American security guarantees, which require our presence. And until radical Islamist organizations utterly lose their local appeal, we'll have little choice but to intervene periodically for reasons that have nothing to do with economics or resources. For the time being, aggravating though it may be, Americans and Arabs are stuck with each other. We can take a bit of a breather, but retirement is decades away.

Michael J. Totten is a contributing editor at World Affairs and the author of four books, including Where the West Ends and The Road to Fatima Gate.

 



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Fwd: [Shared Post] Massive sea monster spotted on deep-sea oil rig camera (VIDEO)




Massive sea monster spotted on deep-sea oil rig camera (VIDEO)
http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/massive-sea-monster-spotted-deep-sea-oil-rig-camera-video/


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Fwd: Naked Hillary Is Out There

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Fwd: What Business of the U.N. Is the Operation of the Alamo?







November 13, 2013

What Business of the U.N. Is the Operation of the Alamo?

Victor Keith

In a possible development that would have Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Travis rolling in their graves, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is considering designating the Alamo a World Heritage Site.  Such a designation brings along a myriad of restrictions, and although proponents of the designation, such as San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, insist that the State of Texas would still have authority over the site, many serious concerns of the people of Texas are not being addressed.

For one thing, such a designation establishes a "buffer zone" of some 4,500 acres around the site, which could affect thousands of Texan property owners in the area.  A reminder of what this could mean can be found in the aftermath of Yellowstone National Park being declared a "World Heritage Site in Danger" during the Clinton administration.  A privately owned mine located miles away from the park was forced to close under the auspices of this declaration.

The principle of property rights is an alien concept to the world government bureaucrats of the United Nations.  The collectivist nature of these true believers is that the less enlightened inhabitants of other countries need to sacrifice their rights for the good of the world collective.  So now Texans are faced with violation of their property rights due to regulations handed down by an international body over which they have no course of redress.

The final insult was delivered by local officials who said that such a designation would bring "an immense honor" to the Alamo.  So the ultimate price paid by the some 180 defenders of the Alamo was not enough to deliver "immense honor," but a U.N. designation would finally make the site worthy of note.

Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorakeith.com.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/what_business_of_the_un_is_the_operation_of_the_alamo.html at November 13, 2013 - 02:28:22 PM CST



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Fwd: [New post] California: Busted bank robber says burqa ‘perfect disguise’





creeping posted: "via 10News.com ...the woman who dressed in a burqa and tried to rob a National City bank last summer told 10News it was the perfect disguise. Elysia Roiz told 10News she was desperate for money to support her 2-year-old special needs son when sh"
Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Creeping Sharia

California: Busted bank robber says burqa 'perfect disguise'

by creeping

via 10News.com ...the woman who dressed in a burqa and tried to rob a National City bank last summer told 10News it was the perfect disguise. Elysia Roiz told 10News she was desperate for money to support her 2-year-old special needs son when she decided to wear a burqa to rob the Wells Fargo on […]

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Fwd: ObamaCare Dirty Dozen Democrats Flee for Political Cover









 

http://www.teaparty.org/wsj-obamacare-dozen-flee-political-cover-30586/

 

WSJ: 'Obamacare Dozen' flee for political cover

The Democrats who voted for the debacle are now scrambling for cover.

(The Wall Street journal) – The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren't letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren't offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.

Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado's Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it. Alaska's Mark Begich put out a statement saying he chewed out the big cheese for "absolutely unacceptable" mismanagement and "an understandable crisis in confidence." He must have drafted it in advance.

Oregon's Jeff Merkley chimed in to report that even after the two-hour encounter session that was not on the public schedule, he was still "very frustrated" and "I remain deeply convinced that this is a 'show-me' moment." Asked by Politico if Democrats were losing credibility, an anonymous attendee said, "You got to have it, to lose it."

Mr. Obama held their hands and told them not to worry. But that's also what he, Bill Clinton and other horse whisperers said in 2010. The "moderates" who made theNancy Pelosi majority went on to be wiped out in the largest turnover of House seats since 1938.

Mr. Obama then comforted the party regulars that all would be well once the exchanges launched. That day arrived, sort of, since the website doesn't work. He's now urging Democrats to keep calm because the public will love it once the subsidies start to roll out. Yet insurance is being cancelled, premiums are surging and patients like Edie Sundby can't keep their doctors.

Meanwhile, the Salesman in Chief has been exposed for his fraudulent promises. Before October Mr. Obama's rhetoric seemed desperate like Shelly Levene in "Glengarry Glen Ross," repeating discredited assurances that few believed. Now it seems somewhat sinister as he tries to falsify his history of false claims.

All of which has the ObamaCare Dozen—the Democrats who each cast the decisive 60th vote and are running for re-election in 2014—fleeing for political cover. We offer a list of the dozen nearby, and they're right to worry that voters might punish ObamaCare's implementation as they did its passage. But so far the 12 are trying to pull off nothing more than confidence tricks.

New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen is leading a coalition asking for an unspecified extension of ObamaCare's March 15 enrollment deadline. Mr. Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas) and Mark Udall (Colorado) are among those on this bus, though Ms. Shaheen has special cause for alarm given that New Hampshire's joint state-federal exchange enlisted only a single insurer, whose narrow network excludes 10 of the state's 26 acute-care hospitals.

But her idea would merely draw out the technical agony, and the exchange premiums are based on assumptions of a full year of coverage. Premiums may not cover claims if people delay or forgo signing up in 2014, and then rates will spike the next year. All of this would also give the exchanges a stigma as untrustworthy, more so than even Health and Human Services incompetence.

The Shaheen plan also won't un-terminate insurance or help the people who face a gap in coverage through no fault of their own. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu is hoping to cauterize that crisis with a bill that supposedly allows people to keep their plan if they stay current on premiums. About 80,000 Louisiana policy holders—or half of the individual market—will be dumped in 2014, according to the state's insurance commissioner.

Here again, complex insurance contracts take months to plan financially and negotiate with providers. They could be renewed for maybe a few months but not forever, which is why the Landrieu bill is simply a new mandate ordering insurers to continue offering these plans. But the hard business truth is that these plans are already gone. The only way to solve the problem is a time machine to go back to 2010 when HHS published its deliberately restrictive rule on "grandfathering."

The Shaheen and Landrieu proposals are merely ploys for these Democrats to distance themselves from ObamaCare while still embracing it. But they can't have it both ways. Either they can vote to take down the whole regulate-subsidize-mandate apparatus for a year and propose major reforms to prevent a reprise of the last six weeks. Or else they will be enablers of the current and future disruptions, cancellations and limited health choices.

No doubt the ObamaCare Dozen noticed the Virginia Governor's race, which revealed that even presumably safe Democrats could be vulnerable on health care if Republicans can field decent candidates. As flawed and out-fundraised as GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli was, he closed a huge gap in the polls by relentlessly belting ObamaCare in the final stretch.

Exit polls report that only 46% of the Virginia public supports ObamaCare, while 53% were opposed, 41% strongly opposed. Mr. Cuccinelli pulled 89% of those opposed. In 2014, Mr. Udall, Mr. Merkley and Virginia's Mark Warner might not be as fortunate as Terry McAuliffe.

The ObamaCare Dozen are receiving an overdue education in the damaging consequences of the bill they supported, all of which were predicted by critics in 2010. Any one of these Senators could have prevented the current madness by voting no. And now the President they empowered to govern from the ideological left has rejected even their de minimis fixes and is promising to "grind it out" even if the problems get worse. These Senators deserve to be held accountable at the ballot box.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579183713385661566

 



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Fwd: Easy sex and booze used to sell ObamaCare









Easy sex and booze used to sell ObamaCare

By S.A. Miller

November 13, 2013 | 5:59am

WASHINGTON — Sign up for ObamaCare and get a sleazy hookup.

Colorado has launched a new ad campaign that attempts to entice young women to sign up for the new national health-care program with the promise of free contraceptives and carefree sex.

In one of the print ads, a flirty young woman holding a package of birth-control pills and leaning against a young man says: "OMG, he's hot! Let's hope he's as easy to get as this birth control."

She continues her steamy monologue: "My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers."

"I got insurance. Now you can too," she says. "Thanks ObamaCare!"

The ad, which is dripping with lusty sexuality, dubs the young couple "Susie and Nate … Hot to Trot."

To be on the safe side, there's an added warning: "The pill doesn't protect you from STDs; condoms and common sense do that."

The ad is part of the "thanks obamacare!" campaign targeting young Coloradans — and underscores how the law's backers will say just about anything to lure young people to sign up for the new mandatory health coverage, an outcome that is critical to ObamaCare working as planned.

The entire health-care overhaul relies on the young and healthy buying insurance to offset the cost of covering Americans with pre-existing conditions and other new benefits.

An earlier "Got Insurance" ad in Colorado titled "Brosurance" featured a young man doing a handstand on a keg of beer as his two "bros" each hold up one of his legs with one hand and grasp a red plastic cup in the other.

"Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier," reads the caption. "Don't tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills."

Modal Trigger

Colorado officials defended the ads, admitting they were provocative by design.

"It's been fun to watch how it all plays out," said Adam Fox, the director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

"We've seen both positive and negative reactions, but if people are seeing the ads and purchasing health insurance, that's a good thing."

Traffic to the Web site that features the ads exploded so much on Tuesday that the site went down for a few minutes.

The depiction of young women as bubbly sexpots stirred outrage in some quarters. Conservative talk-radio host Dana Loesch in a tweet called it "The 'You're a whore' ad for ObamaCare" and said, "So basically, hosurance."

"Liberal ladies you have lost the right to call anyone a misogynist again," tweeted Denver-based political blogger Kelly Maher.

Another ad in the series shows a young lady holding a package of birth-control pills and leaning against a cardboard cutout of hunky actor Ryan Gosling.

"Hey girl," says the caption. "You're excited about easy access to birth control and I'm excited about getting to know you."

 



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Fwd: Will Government Be Able to Remotely Control Your Car?








http://cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/will-government-be-able-remotely-control-your-car

 

Will Government Be Able to Remotely Control Your Car?

November 13, 2013 - 5:34 AM


 

By Terence P. Jeffrey

It will be brought to you by the same people now bringing you Obamacare.

In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published its "Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles." It pointed to a "continuum" of automobile development that "runs from vehicles with no active control systems all the way to full automation and self-driving."

"Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip," said this federal policy statement. "By design, safe operation rests solely on the automated vehicle system."

To be sure, in a free society, individuals could use automated vehicles to many good ends.

A presentation that a group of Swedish analysts gave at a conference in South Korea in May, which is now posted on the NHTSA website, summarizes the upside potential.

"From an individual perspective the main benefit from autonomous driving would be to recapture the true freedom behind the wheel, the freedom that cars defined a century ago," said this presentation. "At that time freedom was defined by the possibility to go wherever you wanted with your own car. Today true freedom is defined in further dimensions, such as being able to travel and spending time as desired."

"An autonomous driving vehicle could open up possibilities for other activities such as leisure, work and social interaction," said the presentation.

But, if the driver does not control the vehicle, who does?

Last year, under then-Secretary Ray LaHood, the Department of Transportation started a program in Michigan to pilot test "vehicle-to-vehicle" communications systems — or V2V. This is the next step on the "continuum" toward automated cars.

The department's plan for a V2V research project describes the sort of information vehicles equipped with V2V technology would be able to transmit.

"V2V communication for safety refers to the exchange of data over a wireless network that provides critical information that allows each vehicle to perform calculations and issue driver advisories, driver warnings, or take pre-emptive actions to avoid and mitigate crashes," said the DOT plan.

"Data that may be exchanged," said the plan, "includes each vehicle's latitude, longitude, time, heading angle, speed, lateral acceleration, longitudinal acceleration, yaw rate, throttle position, brake status, steering angle, headlight status, turn signal status, vehicle width, vehicle mass, bumper height and the number of occupants in the vehicle."

NHTSA already sees that V2V's ability to track and gather information from cars — and the eventual ability to automate cars — could have applications beyond simply deterring accidents.

"In addition to the potential safety impact of V2V and automation, the agency is also aware that these technologies have significant added potential to contribute to intelligent management of roadway traffic and reduce the burden of highway traffic on the environment," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a speech in New York in April.

How would the government carry out the "intelligent management of roadway traffic" or "reduce the burden of highway traffic on the environment" if the national transportation infrastructure allowed it to track or even prevent the movement of vehicles?

The people who are bringing us Obamacare may not be able to efficiently create and run such a system, but who can doubt they would like to have one?

Back in 2009, at the beginning of President Barack Obama's first term, Transportation Secretary LaHood told the Associated Press: "We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled."

He soon proposed the "livability initiative" — a joint program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Environmental Protection Agency designed to push people into densely packed housing near public transportation lines.

When asked at the National Press Club if this was an effort to "coerce people out of their cars," LaHood said: "It is a way to coerce people out of their cars."

In 1973, John P. Holdren, who now runs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, joined with population-control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich in writing "Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions."

"We believe a federal task force should be established immediately to do the planning and to lay the groundwork for dealing with the automobile problem without great disruption of the national economy," wrote Holdren and his co-authors. "In the short-term, alternative activities must be found for various industries, including those related to the automobile."

"Given the potential of this transformative technology, we have accelerated our efforts," NHTSA Administrator Strickland said of V2V in testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee this May. "NHTSA will use the results from the Safety Pilot and other studies to decide this year whether to further advance the technology through regulatory action, additional research or a combination of both."

Strickland also told the committee that vehicle manufacturers had indicated "full self-driving is several years away."

 



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Fwd: CRIMINAL TERROR CHARGES FILED AGAINST OBAMA








http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/criminal-terror-charges-filed-against-obama/

Criminal terror charges filed against Obama

Alleges involvement with Muslim Brotherhood

Published: 1 day ago

by Jerome R. Corsi

WASHINGTON –- Several prominent media sources in Egypt are now reporting that Egyptian lawyers have filed criminal terrorism charges in the International Criminal Court against President Obama in addition to the criminal terrorism charges previously filed in Egyptian courts against the president's half-brother Malik Obama.

Malik Obama is quickly becoming a person of interest in Egypt for his alleged management of funds for a terrorist organization based in neighboring Sudan. A group of Egyptian lawyers, meanwhile have charged President Obama with crimes against humanity for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The charges come as the criminal trial against former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to begin in Egypt in January 2014. Morsi facing charges that he supported the Muslim Brotherhood in acts of violence directed against the Egyptian people.

President Obama is likely to be a subject in Morsi's criminal trial because of evidence the Obama administration used the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to provide direct financial support to key Muslim Brotherhood political operatives, with the full knowledge and complicity of the Morsi government, as WND was first to report in August.

Criminal complaints filed at ICC

The Egyptian newspaper El Watan has reported a group of Egyptian lawyers has submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, charging Obama with backing the group that incited widespread violence in Egypt both before and after what is known in Egypt as the "June 30 Revolution." The Egyptian army coup d'état removed Morsi from the presidency July 3.

As first reported by CBN News, the complaint names several top-ranking Muslim Brotherhood leaders, beginning with the head of the organization, Muhammad Badie, as well as Mohamed al-Beltagy, Essam al-Erian and Safwat Hegazi.

The complaint charges that Obama coordinated, incited and assisted the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the commission of crimes against humanity in the period from March 7 through Aug. 18 in Egypt.

The complaint specifies the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt persecuted the country's Christian minority, including the torching, destruction and plundering of some 85 Christian churches. The regime also scapegoated the Christian Copts in Egypt for their support of the June 30 Revolution and the removal of Morsi from the presidency, the complaint asserts.

The complaint alleges Muslim Brotherhood incitement against the Copts resulted in the murder of a 10-year-old girl who was shot and killed as she walked back from Bible class, the murder of a young Coptic priest who was shot in front of his church in the Egyptian Sinai with his body found mutilated and beheaded, and the murder of two girls, aged 8 and 12, who were riddled with bullets as they attended a Christian church wedding.

The complaint further alleges that since the Muslim Brotherhood denounced the Copts, entire towns and villages have been emptied of Christians. More than 100 Christian families, for example, have been driven from the North Sinai city of El Arish.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters are accused of extorting Copts by making them pay tribute money to Islamic overlords, while those unwilling to pay were attacked, with their wives and children being beaten or kidnapped.

In a YouTube video, CBN News contributor Raymond Ibrahim reported from Egypt details of alleged atrocities committed by Muslim Brotherhood members against Christians in Egypt.

Criminal complaints against Malik Obama

Former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat reported on his website that Youm7 television in Egypt has now confirmed Ahmed Nabil Ganzory – in his capacity as a lawyer and agent for Sadik Rauf Ebeid, a physician residing in the United States and an officer in the Egyptian Air Force – filed a criminal complaint against Malik Obama with Egyptian Attorney General Hisham Barakat.

WND reported in September that the complaint called for Malik Obama to be placed on Egypt's terror watch list because of his involvement as an owner and investment adviser for the Sudan-based Islamic Dawa Organization, or IDO, and the organization's umbrella group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

The following is a direct translation from Youm7:

Dr. Ahmed Nabil Ganzory, in his capacity as lawyer and agent for Dr. Sadik Rauf Ebeid, and resident in the United States of America, filed a complaint with Egypt's Attorney General Hisham Barakat, against Malik Obama, accusing him of supporting terrorism in Egypt and for his involvement in managing the Islamic Da'wa Organization (IDO). The complaint also asks to include Chancellor Tahani Al-Gebali to substantiate claims against Obama. …
Complaint No. 1761 for the year 2013 reported to the Attorney General asked the Egyptian High Court to consider the suspicious activity of a group called the Islamic Da'wa Organization (IDO), which is owned and managed by Malik Obama. This group is now being investigated by international bodies and the attached evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a close link exists between Malik Obama and some of the most notorious characters already wanted for their involvement in terrorism, as is consistent with the pictures and reports attached. …
The complaint also asks the court to bring in Malik Obama – a resident of the United States – to be questioned in regards to the terrorist groups in Egypt, whether by inciting or participating with or in any form of support punishable by law. It seeks permission to declare Obama a defendant in his right outside Egypt diplomatically, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the case of non-appearance and compliance for the investigation, the complainant requests monitoring [Mr. Obama] by including his name on all Egyptian airports and ports, and take the necessary legal steps. [emphasis placed by Walid Shoebat]

In August, WND reported Tahani Al-Gebali, chancellor of the Constitutional Court of Egypt, substantiated the claims made against Malik Obama. On a television news programs in Egypt, al-Gebali asked the court to bring Malik Obama to Egypt for questioning as "one of the architects" of investments made by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ganzory, the attorney who filed the criminal complaint against Malik Obama, was identified in a recent interview on El-Balad TV in Egypt as an Egyptian constitutional law expert.

In the interview, Ganzory claimed he has "what it takes to convict Obama's brother in financing terrorism."

"Malik Obama will be brought to face justice in Egypt if and when these charges are proven," he said.

In an email to WND, Dr. Sadek Raouf Ebeid, the U.S. resident who brought the criminal complaint in Egypt against Malik Obama, explained an attempt to serve the complaint to Malik in Kenya failed because he was not in the country at the time.

Ebeid further explained his attorney, Ganzory, is currently preparing to serve the complaint to Malik in the U.S.

Arguing that President Obama is complicit in advancing the activities of his half-brother, Ebeid said evidence WND has published suggests Malik Obama received unprecedented assistance from the White House through retroactive approval of tax-exempt status for the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization created by Malik Obama in the U.S.

© Copyright 1997-2013. All Rights Reserved. WND.com.

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