Yet there was complete agreement during the debate on the direness of the Iranian threat, and the commitment never to allow the mullahs to get close to having the potential for possessing a nuclear bomb – whatever the exaggerated differences on tactics. Understandably. This is the view propagated by both the Bush and Obama administrations for a dozen years. It exercises complete dominion in the media, in the think tanks and among our political class generally. From the unanimity of opinion, one would never realize that it is based on suppositions of dubious validity.... The crucial assumption is that Iran is a criminal state. That judgment, however, is not based on any standard definition of international criminality. The only offense for which it has been judged guilty is a technical violation of its obligations as a signatory of the NPT to inform the IAEA in a timely way of all its nuclear activities – in this case, civilian activities. (That since has been done). That’s it. The NPT stipulates no prohibition whatsoever on uranium enrichment to any level, activities that were considered an integral part of the civilian fuel cycle at the time the Treaty was drafted.Of course nobody brought it up. I haven't seen a comment yet on this particular matter. I haven't even heard any commentary of late of the source of the conflict between Iran and the US (that whole Shah thing). But I suppose since the Debate Show(tm) is entertainment and not an actual debate or anything intended to actually challenge fundamental policy, or, God forbid, inform the public, that such information doesn't fit the script. Star Wars and Jar Jar Binks was a better way to spend my time.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
While the latest in "Reality TV", AKA The Presidential Debates, were held last night, no one representing an actual ideological difference was present. Expected so, I watched Star Wars again. Sure the whole "we don't have bayonettes" anymore" may be a cute line, but the implication, "We bomb people remotely who we deem could be terrorists" hasn't seemed to pierced the consciousness of most of the viewership. Terrorists, being, in part, those US Citizens who are most pursuasive in their use of their alleged first amendment rights to speak out against a government which they have a grievance against. And oh, yes, their 16 year old sons. Just in case. But that's not the point of this post. I just wanted to point the reader to Michael Brenner's piece on the Debate Show(tm):
Monday, October 08, 2012
The idea of a global government is not new to me. It's a staple of Seventh Day Adventist "discussion" and is often mocked as a conspiracy theory by most of the population. Here's Kofi Annan on the subject
It was, by Annan's account, the ultimate moral dilemma; do loyalties lie with the UN and the rule of law, or with innocent civilians being slaughtered? He stands by his support for the Nato airstrikes, but warned at the time that unless the security council was restored as the sole source of legitimacy, the world would be "on a dangerous path to anarchy". [my emphasis]I found that comment quite striking. The security council as the sole source of legitimacy? Of what? Oh, "The world". Oh. That sounds like a supreme world government to me. And hasn't that how it's been acting? The proper leader of Libya deposed and murdered, literally in the street, by NATO after being given "legitimacy" by the UN. Who is the security council? The former world colonizers, China and Russia. And China's on there because of two things: The Nukes and The Money. So much for "conspiracy".
French spies operating in Sirte, Gaddafi's last refuge, were able to set a trap for the Libyan dictator after obtaining his satellite telephone number from the Syrian government, they said... With international attention switching from Libya to the mounting horrors in Syria, Mr Assad offered Paris the telephone number in exchange for an easing of French pressure on Damascus, according to Rami El Obeidi. "In exchange for this information, Assad had obtained a promise of a grace period from the French and less political pressure on the regime – which is what happened," Mr El Obeidi said.What's that saying? What goes around comes around. The Telegraph
I've been waiting for folks who took to "explaining" the violence over the YouTube video to discuss this but I haven't seen any commentary. Here's the story:
AMRITSAR, India -- Hundreds of angry Muslims in southeast Bangladesh torched at least 10 Buddhist temples and dozens of homes Sunday after alleging that a Buddhist man insulted Islam on his Facebook page, authorities said. Muslims, claiming that a Facebook page showed a burned copy of the Koran, headed to several Buddhist villages in the area. Bangladesh's English-language Daily Star newspaper reported that the Buddhist who allegedly posted the offensive image on Facebook mistakenly tagged it on his Facebook profile and that his account was closed soon after violence erupted even as police escorted him and his mother to safety.See, so not only can you not burn a Quran. You cannot post a picture of a burnt one in any context whatsoever. I see. Not only can you not post a picture of a burnt Quran, but you cannot tag a photo of a burnt Quran for any reason not approved by any and every Muslim who may stumble upon it. I see. And if you do such a thing, then regardless to your intent and regardless to whether you were the one who burnt the Quran random "sacred objects" of some other religion is "fair game" just because. So for all those folks who bent themselves into all manner of positions to argue about Christian - Muslim 'misunderstandings" and the issues with "The West" should look at the fact that it really isn't about Islam and The West" it is about folks in Islam who think everybody has to do with they say, or else. Same threat I discussed before.
I always tell folks that a lot of "entities" that cannot vote (or are even "citizens") have more influence than that of citizens. Here's another nice example:
More than one in five of Britain's largest corporations are channelling political donations to favoured candidates ahead of next month's elections in the US – though these sums may be only the tip of a new campaign-financing iceberg, according to leading politicians, judges and pro-transparency watchdogs.... Among the industries already well versed in bankrolling US politics are finance, pharmaceuticals, energy and defence. British multinationals such as HSBC, Barclays, Experian, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, BP, Shell and BAE all have political action committees (PACs) that channel donations from employees to US politicians.< P />Barcklays Arena anyone?
14 of the top 50 most active foreign-controlled PACs have parent groups listed in London, according to Washington group the Centre for Responsive Politics. This makes the UK the biggest hub for non-US multinationals seeking to exert influence at the US ballot box on 6 November. Despite this, some FTSE 100 groups continue to tell shareholders in annual reports and elsewhere that they do not make political donations. Companies are able to make such claims because PACs receive their funds from US employees – often led by the most senior American executives – and only dip into company coffers to cover administrative costs. Typically, the PACs are staffed by company lobbyists and distribute campaign contributions in line with the company's lobbying agenda.Guardian UK
Baptist Pastor Mark Harris stood before his flock in North Carolina on Sunday and joined hundreds of other religious leaders in deliberately breaking the law in an election-year campaign that tests the role of churches in politics. By publicly backing candidates for political office from the pulpit, Harris and nearly 1,500 other preachers at services across the United States were flouting a law they see as an incursion on freedom of religion and speech. Under the U.S. tax code, non-profit organizations such as churches may express views on any issue, but they jeopardize their favorable tax-exempt status if they speak for or against any political candidate. "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" has been staged annually since 2008 by a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. Its aim is to provoke a challenge from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in order to file a lawsuit and have its argument out in court... In that case, the agency took action against James Hammond, pastor of the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, after he endorsed Republican Michele Bachmann for Congress. The move led to a challenge of the IRS' audit procedure for churches, which the agency lost, and since then there have been no publicly known examples of it taking action against churches.I have often called for the IRS to stip the non-profit status of any non-profit, particularly organized religious bodies of their status. I do not quite understand how the IRS can lose such a court case. When I started my non-profit the wording could not be any clearer.
Exemption Requirements - Section 501(c)(3) Organizations To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.So exactly how is the IRS losing a court case with such a clear rule? I think there is politics going on. Each and every organization that sent a video of their leadership, acting in their capacity as leader of said non-profit (as opposed to as a private citizen outside of their duties under the non-profit) should have the organization lose it's status. So either the 2009 case was not a clear cut "Pulpit Freedom" event or there are people who are afraid of being the one to pull the tax-exempt plug from these organizations.