Archive for March 24th, 2009

‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Look at this…the government thinks I could be a domestic terrorist. Leave it to them to accuse innocent people while ignoring the ones who might actually be terrorist.

If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.

That’s according to “The Modern Militia Movement,” a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities.

“Due to the current economical and political situation, a lush environment for militia activity has been created,” the Feb. 20 report reads. “Unemployment rates are high, as well as costs of living expenses. Additionally, President Elect Barrack [sic] Obama is seen as tight on gun control and many extremists fear that he will enact firearms confiscations.”

MIAC is one of 58 so-called “fusion centers” nationwide that were created by the Department of Homeland Security, in part, to collect local intelligence that authorities can use to combat terrorism and related criminal activities. More than $254 million from fiscal years 2004-2007 went to state and local governments to support the fusion centers, according to the DHS Web site.

During a press conference last week in Kansas City, Mo., DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called fusion centers the “centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing” in the future.

“Let us not forget the reason we are here, the reason we have the Department of Homeland Security and the reason we now have fusion centers, which is a relatively new concept, is because we did not have the capacity as a country to connect the dots on isolated bits of intelligence prior to 9/11,” Napolitano said, according to a DHS transcript.

“That’s why we started this…. Now we know that it’s not just the 9/11-type incidents but many, many other types of incidents that we can benefit from having fusion centers that share information and product and analysis upwards and horizontally.”

But some say the fusion centers are going too far in whom they identify as potential threats to American security.

People who supported former third-party presidential candidates like Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr are cited in the report, in addition to anti-abortion activists and conspiracy theorists who believe the United States, Mexico and Canada will someday form a North American Union.

“Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups,” the report reads. “It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian material.”

Other potential signals of militia involvement, according to the report, are possession of the Gagsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag or the widely available anti-income tax film “America: Freedom to Fascism.”

Barr, the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, told FOXNews.com that he’s taking steps to get his name removed from the report, which he said could actually “dilute the effectiveness” of law enforcement agencies.

“It can subject people to unwarranted and inappropriate monitoring by the government,” he said. “If I were the governor of Missouri, I’d be concerned that law enforcement agencies are wasting their time and effort on such nonsense.”

Barr said his office has received “several dozen” complaints related to the report.

Original Link.

‘Politics of Fear’ Obama-Style

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

A leading terrorism analyst says because of pressure from oil-producing regimes, President Obama and members of his national security team are pursuing the very “politics of fear” they once accused President Bush of pursuing.

During her first testimony before Congress, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano avoided using the word “terrorism,” but instead referred to the phrase “man-caused disasters.”

[Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies] says Napolitano’s comments signal a major policy shift, and abandon Arab allies in the Middle East who are encouraged by elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as struggling for democracy in their own countries. Distancing the nation from using the “right terminology,” he says, takes the U.S. in the wrong direction.

Original Link.

Obama Budget to Bring $9.3 Trillion in Deficits

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

For those of you who have almost constantly accused President Bush of unbridled spending; worse than anything anyone else has ever done…please be quiet now. Your man in the White House, The One, Emperor Obama I, is exceeding President Bush’s deficit by over four times.
Many of you equated President Bush’s spending to that of a “drunken sailor”. If President Bush was the drunken sailor, I can’t publish on this blog what that makes Obama for his spending.
Get a grip people. What we have now is at least ten times worse than what we had.
When the Associated Press, one of Obama’s main shills in the election, is willing to offer criticism of his policies, then we know things are not going well at all.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s budget would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade, more than four times the deficits of Republican George W. Bush’s presidency, congressional auditors said Friday.

The new Congressional Budget Office figures offered a far more dire outlook for Obama’s budget than the new administration predicted just last month — a deficit $2.3 trillion worse. It’s a prospect even the president’s own budget director called unsustainable.

In his White House run, Obama assailed the economic policies of his predecessor, but the eye-popping deficit numbers threaten to swamp his ambitious agenda of overhauling health care, exploring new energy sources and enacting scores of domestic programs.

The dismal deficit figures, if they prove to be accurate, inevitably raise the prospect that Obama and his Democratic allies controlling Congress would have to consider raising taxes after the recession ends or else pare back his agenda.

By CBO’s calculation, Obama’s budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year of red ink over 2010-2019.

Worst of all, CBO says the deficit under Obama’s policies would never go below 4 percent of the size of the economy, figures that economists agree are unsustainable. By the end of the decade, the deficit would exceed 5 percent of gross domestic product, a dangerously high level.

White House budget chief Peter Orszag said that CBO’s long-range economic projections are more pessimistic than those of the White House, private economists and the Federal Reserve and that he remained confident that Obama’s budget, if enacted, would produce smaller deficits.

Even so, Orszag acknowledged that if the CBO projections prove accurate, Obama’s budget would produce deficits that could not be sustained.

“Deficits in the, let’s say, 5 percent of GDP range would lead to rising debt-to-GDP ratios that would ultimately not be sustainable,” Orszag told reporters.

Deficits so big put upward pressure on interest rates as the government offers more attractive interest rates to attract borrowers.

“I think deficits of 5 percent (of GDP) are unsupportable,” said economist Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “It will lead to higher interest rates to the point where it will force policymakers to make changes.”

Republicans immediately piled on.

“This report should serve as the wake-up call this administration needs,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. “We simply cannot continue to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future to pay for bigger and more costly government.”

But Obama insisted on Friday that his agenda is still on track.

“What we will not cut are investments that will lead to real growth and prosperity over the long term,” Obama said. “That’s why our budget makes a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform [socialized health care like they have in other countries…health care that introduces massive waits for treatment and less care from lack of incentive. -ed]. That’s why it enhances America’s competitiveness by reducing our dependence on foreign oil [how? you won’t let us drill domestically or build any new refineries. -ed] and building a clean energy economy.”

Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget for the 2010 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 contains ambitious programs to overhaul the U.S. health care system and initiate new “cap-and-trade” rules [which will raise the cost of consumer goods. who do you folks think get to pay for higher taxes and penalties socked to companies? they certainly don’t. we, the consumers, get that honor. -ed] to combat global warming [which doesn’t exist. -ed].

Both initiatives involve raising federal revenues sharply higher, but those dollars wouldn’t be used to defray the burgeoning deficit and would instead help pay for Obama’s health plan and implement Obama’s $400 tax credit for most workers and $800 for couples.

Obama’s budget promises to cut the deficit to $533 billion in five years. The CBO says the red ink for that year will total $672 billion.

Most disturbing to Obama allies like Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., are the longer term projections, which climb above $1 trillion again by the end of the next decade and approach 6 percent of GDP by 2019.

Among about a dozen major changes to Obama’s budget, Conrad is looking to curb Obama’s 9 percent increase for non-defense appropriations to show short-term progress and insists that the long-term deficit and debt crisis will have to be addressed via a special bipartisan commission.

“The budget that I’ll submit will cut the deficit by more than two-thirds over these first five years,” Conrad. “These imbalances are just absolutely unsustainable.”

The worsening economy is responsible for the even deeper fiscal mess inherited by Obama. As an illustration, CBO says the deficit for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1, will top $1.8 trillion, $93 billion more than foreseen by the White House. That would equal 13 percent of GDP, a level not seen since World War II.

The 2009 deficit, fueled by the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and diving tax revenues stemming from the worsening recession, is four times the previous $459 billion record set just last year.

The CBO’s estimate for 2010 is worse as well, with a deficit of almost $1.4 trillion expected under administration policies, about $200 billion more than predicted by Obama.

Long-term deficit predictions have proven notoriously fickle — George W. Bush inherited flawed projections of a 10-year, $5.6 trillion surplus and instead produced record deficits — and if the economy outperforms CBO’s expectations, the deficits could prove significantly smaller.

Republicans say Obama’s budget plan taxes, spends and borrows too much, and they’ve been sharply critical of his $787 billion economic stimulus measure and a just-passed $410 billion omnibus spending bill that awarded big increases to domestic agency budgets.

The administration says it inherited deficits totaling $9 trillion over the next decade and that its budget plan cuts $2 trillion from those deficits. But most of those spending reductions come from reducing costs for the war in Iraq.

Original Link.

“Dumbing Down Marriage” by Allen Hunt

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Being able to buy a $500,000 house on fabricated and blown up income figures with no money down……. a perversion of the American dream of homeownership.

Getting paid $15MM for employment that helped cause failure at major financial institutions…..a perversion of the American work ethic.

Assaulting the institution of marriage so as to eviscerate it of any meaning whatsoever….. a perversion of the American social fabric.

And assaulting the very idea of marriage is exactly what is occurring at every turn. Consider just four examples from the past week:

1) New data shows more than 40% of American babies were born out of wedlock. This staggering figure continues a twenty-year growth trend in children starting life from the outset in incomplete families.

2) Most, if not all, dictionaries, now provide multiple definitions for “marriage.” Their stated goal is to reflect cultural usage rather than to create it.

3) The same-sex marriage battle continues in California in spite of the passage of Proposition 8 in November. Gay activists have already begun mobilizing for another referendum if the state’s Supreme Court allows Proposition 8 to stand.

4) Two Pepperdine University law professors published an article in Time this week, arguing that the government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

These four examples join what has become a siege on the very notions of family and marriage in America. Much like Vicksburg in 1863, where residents dug tunnels to survive the daily bombardment from Union cannons and hid food to try to outlast the severed supply lines, marriage and family today live in a fixed state of defense and survival, clinging to what little sustenance they can find in a culture almost exclusively hostile to them. From the defective idea of “same-sex marriage,” to the increasing disregard for marriage as the birthplace for children, and to a malformed desire to make marriage contractual and disposable at will, family and marriage stand battered and bruised by a ceaseless bombardment of attack.

Sadly, in the not too distant future, we will experience the painful chaos borne by those in our nation who claim to “broaden” our understanding of marriage. In fact, these folks dumb down the very concept of marriage so as to gut it of meaning altogether. The resulting chaos, if the trend continues, will wreak havoc on children who will consistently find themselves unable to give and receive love in appropriate ways, unable to form deep bonds of intimacy and long-term commitments, and unable to provide a stable setting for future generations. This chaos comes from the increasing pressure in our culture to define the ideas of marriage and family by purely individual desires rather than by socially meaningful and viable ones.

Read the rest of the article here.

Quiet Muslim-Only Town in N.Y. Founded by Alleged Terrorist

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Our very own potential breeding ground for home grown Muslim terrorist? Time will tell. Of course by then, it will be too late to stop it and innocent people will have died.

HANCOCK, N.Y. — If you didn’t know where to look, you’d probably never find Islamberg, a private Muslim community in the woods of the western Catskills, 150 miles northwest of New York City.

The town, sitting on a quiet dirt road past a gate marked with No Trespassing signs, is home to an estimated 100 residents. There are small houses and other buildings visible from the outside, but it is what can’t be seen from beyond the gate that has some watchers worried.

Islamberg was founded in 1980 by Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, a Pakistani cleric who purchased a 70-acre plot and invited followers, mostly Muslim converts living in New York City, to settle there.

The town has its own mosque, grocery store and schoolhouse. It also reportedly has a firing range where residents take regular target practice. Gilani established similar rural enclaves across the country — at least six, including the Red House community in southern Virginia — though some believe there are dozens of them, all operating under the umbrella of the “Muslims of the Americas” group founded by Gilani.

Federal authorities say Gilani was also one of the founders of Jamaat al-Fuqra, a terrorist organization believed responsible for dozens of bombings and murders across the U.S. and abroad. The group was linked to the planning of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and 10 years earlier a member was arrested and later convicted for bombing a hotel in Portland, Ore.

Shoe bomber Richard Reid has been linked to the group, along with convicted D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad. But it is Sheikh Gilani who creates the most controversy and concern.

Gilani has told his followers that “Zionist plotters” plan to rule the world, and he encourates them to leave America’s cities and avoid the “decadence of a godless society.” Gilani is the man American reporter Daniel Pearl was trying to interview in Pakistan when he was kidnapped and beheaded. The Sheikh was taken into custody and later released by Pakistani authorities; he denies any involvement in Pearl’s murder.

Gilani also denies any connection to Jamaat al-Fuqra, as do residents of the MOA compounds, who say the “terrorist” group doesn’t exist and was created by enemies of Islam hoping to destroy their communities. Members also deny sending a portion of their earnings to the Sheikh, but a former resident told FOX News that 10 to 30 percent of their income is regularly delivered to Gilani in the form of cash donations.

FOX News attempted to visit Islamberg after earlier efforts to set up on-camera interviews were rebuffed. A spokesman said by phone that residents typically shy away from interviews since they worry their words will be manipulated and turned against them. He accused FOX News of misrepresenting the group and suggested covering an Islamic festival in Binghamton later in the month to celebrate the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. Then he hung up.

Local police told FOX News there has been plenty of rumor and innuendo over the years but very little trouble. The FBI’s Albany Division said the agency has an open discourse with the residents of Islamberg. They’ve visited the compound but won’t discuss whether there are any ongoing investigations.

That has not dispelled the worries of some watchdogs. Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, says the group is making a concerted public relations effort to present a benign face and hide its violent past.

“I think we need to be very much on guard about every member of these compounds,” he said. Though Spencer admits there is nothing inherently wrong with living in isolation, he stressed that “they’re not at all open to visitors, they’re not at all open to scrutiny and there’s an abundance of evidence of sinister goings-on.”

Spencer offered no evidence to back his misgivings, but suggested political correctness may be hampering investigations. He says the group’s connection to Sheikh Gilani is reason enough to be concerned that they’re planning for “something on a larger scale and longer term,” to “further the causes of the global Islamic Jihad”, something MOA has repeatedly denied and scoffed at in the past.

Residents call it a peaceful place to raise a family away from the pressures of the city, and maintain that the group is woefully misunderstood.

Critics, lacking an eye into the cloistered community, still wonder whether it’s something more.

Original Link.

“We’ve Legalized Theft in America” by Star Parker

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

It says something about the dismal state of affairs in our country today by what outrages folks.

Sure, if we want to portray business as the root of our economic ills, outrage about executives getting bonuses at a company that received taxpayer bailout funds has political sex appeal. Or perhaps that some company that got bailed out sent their managers to a fancy retreat somewhere. Or that maybe a bailed-out company sponsored a golf tournament.

But where’s the outrage about the circumstances that allow this all to happen to begin with? Where is the outrage about the ease with which politicians can expropriate hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ funds to do these bailouts?

I have been looking through a new study, released by an organization called the Property Rights Alliance, called the International Property Rights Index. The study examines 115 nations worldwide and examines the correspondence between prosperity in a country and how secure private property is there.

It shows a practically perfect correlation. The more secure private property is in a given country, the more prosperous it is. Countries rated in the top 25 percent in secure and safe private property have on average nine times more income per person than those in the bottom 25 percent.

It’s one of those things that makes so much sense that you wonder why you have to do a study to show it. The easier it is to steal in any given country the less likely the economy will function well there.

You really don’t even need a fancy business degree to predict this. One of the Ten Commandments, transmitted so many thousands of years ago, instructs us not to steal.

Read the rest of the article here.