Monday, January 31, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt and the world (video, cartoon)

Does the Obama administration have a plan for an Egypt who is no longer our second "best friend in the region"?

The rhetoric from both the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicates the United States is firmly planted on both sides of the fence.

The drama, to digress slightly, harkens back to a time when then candidate Obama was being questioned for his scant resume, particularly on foreign policy and national security matters.

Now all understand, as many of us understood then, that "Yes we can" and "Change you can believe in" are catchy slogans, but they do not get you through a global crisis.

Back in the present the riots persist and appear to be one major act away from spiraling out of control. What will the end game in Egypt be? Will it, as some might have you believe, turn into a fledgling democracy with minimal input being given by what has been described by some in the media as a moderate Muslim Brotherhood?

There is nothing moderate about the Muslim Brotherhood as the video below will show, and should opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei assume power he would be the puppet of an Islamic government that would be no friend of the United States, Israel or the world.

Context for the masses

To put it into a context that can be understood by the masses, many of whom don't care much for the United States or Israel, imagine $300+ for a barrel of oil and/or food prices that triple or worse. That is the problem that we now face!

Cartoon courtesy of Dry Bones.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mubarak, Egypt and Iran (Cartoon)

Nothing is as simple as it seems. There are many cross currents if the Mubarak regime falls!

Hosni Mubarak "interviewed" on Saturday Night Live (Video)

The interview begins at 1:20 of the video

A Saturday Night Live look at a not so funny situation.

Rutgers University: Publicly funded institution of higher learning or a restricted country club?

Rutgers: Publicly funded university or no Jews allowed country club?

According to reports, a Rutgers University
open-invitation event spnonsored by the group "Never again for anyone", suddenly became closed. This occurred when campus police officers, at the request of the event sponsors, barred a group of Jews including holocaust survivors from entering.

The event at Rutgers, billed as anti-Zionist, was open-invitation until the sponsor asked campus police to bar anyone from entering who was wearing a kippah or yarmulke. The campus police complied and the open quickly turned to closed.

Was this an example of the First Amendment to the Constitution being trampled on in a variety of ways, an act of anti-Semitism, the actions of a Rutgers campus police force in over its head and regretted today or something else?

From The Jerusalem Post, a quote from one of the barred Jewish students:

"We wanted to protest this event because as the children and grandchildren of victims of the Holocaust we believed it to be absolutely absurd to compare Israeli act of self defense to the viscous, systematic murder of millions of Jews, Catholics, Gays, Gypsies, Russians and others," Jewish student Aaron Marcus said in an online report.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egypt another brick in the Obama/Carter debate (Political cartoon)

Tale of the tape: Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama

We have all heard the argument that President Obama could be the worst President since Jimmy Carter. Or is that including Jimmy Carter?

The events in Egypt bring back the memory of a similar event taking place in Iran decades ago. Then it was the Shah and today it is Mubarak. Carter dumped the Shah and left a power vacuum filled by a theocratic Islamic government.

WWOD or What Will Obama Do?

This cartoon courtesy of Dry Bones provides one more brick in the wall of comparison.

An American woman's tale of a Muslim life

Life under Sharia Law as told by an American woman

A chilling tale told by a woman whose father grew up Muslim in Albania. She tells of what life under Sharia Law is like for women, and why allowing it into the United States would be a grave mistake.

The story is timely given the upheaval and rioting in the Middle East, specifically now in Egypt (although in Yemen, Jordan, Tunisia, etc. as well). What would the citizens of these countries face under an Islamic theocracy based government were the Muslim Brotherhood to be the major force in the fall of the current government and rise of a new one?

What would the region, specifically Israel, and the rest of the world face if Mubarak falls and Islamic extremists assume power? And if Egypt falls, what happens in a country like Saudi Arabia that is ruled with an iron fist by the Royal Family? Global economic collapse?

The dangers of relying on your enemies for anything would come clearly into focus as crude oil would rise to hundreds of dollars a barrel (China is another example of enemy reliance). That said, here is the story.

The story from a website named BNI

So I had a long talk with my Dad about the recent sharia law block and lawsuits from CAIR and what it would really mean for the United States.

My dad was born and raised in the country now called Albania. He was born to Muslim parents, and therefore it was the only religion he has ever known. There are not many stories about Islam in Albania, not to the extent of Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or Afganistan where the majority of the population is Muslim. But he did grow up learning quickly that Islam is not at all what it seems. It teaches hate and violence against virtually all humanity.

It looks appealing to some people due to its culture though it varies with different countries and money. In Albania, for example, the woman who is engaged-to-be-married receives many gifts of jewelry and gold as does her family. There is also money given to the father of the soon to be bride. What most people who convert to Islam fail to realize is the true nature and horrors of it all. Wife-beatings are common and are permitted for any reason. Child brides are a normal custom among Muslims and men often leave their wives as they age in favor of the child brides (some forced into marriage as young as 4-5)...

Read the rest of the story at this link.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Post-Mubarak Egypt - Serious crisis for Israel and the world

Robert Gibbs recently held press conference sheds little light on the situation in Egypt, other than to portray the Obama administration as being a little late to the party that may lead to the downfall of the Mubarak government.

One thing we do know is that if the Mubarak regime falls in Egypt, it will be an extreme negative for the safety and security of Israel. Any charade of a Middle East peace process would be over, and the border between Egypt and Israel would become a portal for insurgents. It would also likely provide yet one more official safe-haven for terrorists to train, plot and initiate plans around the globe.

Another thing that we can project is that any new government of Egypt would be Islamist in one way or another, presenting another huge negative for the region and the world as our access to raw materials in the name of oil will diminish and the regions access to WMDs and willingness to use them escalates. The free-flow of goods through the Suez Canal would be threatened as well.

As this extremely fluid situation continues to develop, as I had said in a previous article, if you thought the situation in Egypt was someone else's problem, think again! (see here).

In case you thought the turmoil in Egypt was someone else's problem (Video added)

Egyptian Revolution Jan 25th 2011 - Take what's Yours! from JoeChaban on Vimeo.

For many Americans the rioting in the streets in Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and Tunisia are as far away as any other story that supposedly has no immediate impact on our daily lives.

FYI, the stability of the Middle East is as critical as any other national security issue as the chart of crude oil prices below shows.

The fall of governments that are "friendly" to the United States offers one opportunity. That for Islamic extremists who are always standing at the ready to take power.

The U.S. selling F-16s to Iraq may not be the greatest of ideas

Advanced weapons sales to Iraq: Is this really a good idea? These two stories tell me that it may not be!

As the U.S. stands by the commitment made by President Obama for total troop withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011, should we be providing advanced weaponry in the form of F-16s to a tenuous Iraqi government, with questionable ties and allegiances and a population containing a goodly number of our enemies sympathizers?

The situation in Iraq is not stable enough, and the players still far to unknown in terms of allegiances, to be providing advanced weapons systems that would put Iraq on the map in terms of its military capabilities, and that wood potentially alter the balance of power in the Middle East.

Does the potential exist for Iraq to decay and fall apart after U.S. troops are no longer present? If the answer is yes, maybe or even that is a definite possibility, then arms sales such as this should not be made, regardless of the politics surrounding them.

These two stories illustrate the problem. One speaks of the newly approved arms sale and the other of a terrorist bombing that killed 48 or more Iraqi people.

First news of the sale

(Dow Jones Newswire) The Iraqi government approved a deal to buy 18 F-16 multi-role fighters from the U.S., a government spokesman said Wednesday.

"The cabinet has authorized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who is also the acting Defense Minister to negotiate the deal with the U.S. side," Ali al-Dabbagh, who is also a state minister, said in a statement after a weekly cabinet meeting.

And then this from PressTV regarding bombings and terrorist attacks

At least 48 people have been killed and 65 others wounded in a car bomb that targeted a funeral ceremony in the northwest of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The explosion took place at around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) on Thursday in Baghdad's predominantly Shia district of Shula when an explosives-laden vehicle exploded near a tent where people were holding a funeral, a Press TV correspondent in Baghdad reported.

At least 48 people, including eleven children, were killed and 65 wounded in the bomb attack. Health officials expect the death toll to rise as some of the wounded are in a critical condition in hospital.

The blast also inflicted extensive damage on surrounding facilities and nearby buildings.

Earlier in the day, a total of six people lost their lives in Baghdad and 21 others were wounded when several bomb attacks rattled through the capital city.

The attacks are the latest in a new spate of deadly bombings that have claimed dozens of lives across war-torn Iraq over the past week.

The terrorist attacks have mainly targeted the majority Shia community and Iraqi security forces.

Sporadic high-profile bomb explosions have raised concerns about a rise in violence in Iraq. They also pose a major challenge to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki whose coalition government took office last month.

Phoenix Suns Gorilla Sol Patrol man dunks himself (Video)

Can exercise be hazardous to your health?

Watch as a man dunks himself during a Phoenix Suns halftime show. Start watching at 1:40 into the video.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Political correctness once again rearing it's dangerous head

Worldwide Muslim population is expected to grow from 1.6 billion today to 2.2 billion is 2030 according to a Pew Research study.

Today, in 2011, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and now Yemen face citizen uprisings and calls for pro-western governments to step down.

What does all of this mean to the United States and the rest of the world not directly in the Middle East and Northern Africa?

If one is of the opinion that radical Islamists pose a threat, then it could mean quite a bit. If one is to believe that poverty, limited access to education and a focus on the tenets of Sharia Law poses a threat, then it could mean quite a bit.

If, as the quote below by Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security indicates, that 80% of the Imams in the United States could be radicalized, then it could mean quite a bit. This, even if Rep. King is way off base and the real number is only 15%.

At only 15% we still face a major problem here, and in other countries around the world that have an even larger percentage of the population being of Muslim faith.

Poverty, hopelessness, lack of education, religious indoctrination in Madrassas and radicalized Imams combine to create a population that can be easily swayed to move in the direction of problem solving through terrorism.

"The only real testimony we have on it is from Sheikh Kabbani who was a Muslim leader during the Clinton Administration, he testified back in 1999 and 2000 before the State Department that he thought over 80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical imams. Certainly from what I’ve seen and dealings I’ve had, that number seems accurate." Peter King on the Laura Ingraham Show

The general conversation in the public domain is focused on the politically correct argument, moving the discussion in exactly the wrong direction!

Many in the mainstream media or the ACLU crowd will focus in on the percentages laid out by Rep. King rather than the scope of the problem. They will call King an Islamophobe, a racist or worse rather than acknowledge that while the numbers he cites may be off target, the problem and danger posed by Islamic radicalism is clear and present.

We can stick with the PC approach to national and global security, or we can recognize the problem, as Rep. King does, and develop a strategy to try and deal with it.

Think only politicians are dirty? Top 10 dirtiest places to stay

And you thought dirty things only happened in politics? Some food for thought!

Thinking of taking a trip to get away from the record snows in the east? Remember that besides dirty politicians, dirty political campaigns, dirty mortgage lenders, dirty foreclosures, dirty business leaders, dirty restaurants..., there are dirty hotels. This is TripAdvisor's Top 10 list of the dirtiest places to stay nationwide. Caveat emptor!

Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • There was dirt at least 1/2" thick in the bathtub which was filled with lots of dark hair.
  • Do not recommend87% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Jack London Inn2
  • Oakland, California
  • Had to go buy socks so my feet wouldn't touch the carpet.
  • Do not recommend80% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Desert Inn Resort3
  • Daytona Beach, Florida
  • They have dead roaches all over the hotel.
  • Do not recommend80% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Like Dirtiest Hotels - United States?
Like Dirtiest Hotels - United States?
Hotel Carter4
  • New York City, New York
  • The bathtub was full of dirty black stuff.
  • Do not recommend78% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Polynesian Beach & Golf Resort5
Atlantic Beach Hotel6
  • Miami Beach, Florida
  • Probably more sanitary to sleep in the bathroom of the room.
  • Do not recommend90% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Rodeway Inn7
  • Williamsville, New York
  • Crusty white stains on the blankets and sheets.
  • Do not recommend88% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Super 8 Estes Park8
  • Estes Park, Colorado
  • Mouse feces located around the base of the bathroom.
  • Do not recommend92% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
Palm Grove Hotel and Suites9
Econo Lodge Newark International Airport10
  • Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • 25 bug bites between the two of us.
  • Do not recommend87% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel