New Army Manual Orders Soldiers Not To Criticize Taliban

Courtesy of Judicial Watch:

Here is a strong indicator that the Obama Administration’s crusade to appease Islam has gone too far; a  new U.S. military handbook for troops deployed to the Middle East orders soldiers not to make derogatory comments about the Taliban or criticize pedophilia, among other outrageous things.

It gets better; the new manual, which is around 75 pages, suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture— not Taliban infiltration—is responsible for the increase in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.

The soon-to-be-released Army handbook is still being drafted, but a mainstream newspaper got a sneak preview and published an article that should infuriate the American taxpayers funding the never-ending war on terror. The manual is being created because someone with authority bought the theory that cultural insensitivity is driving insider attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

More than three dozen insider attacks have killed 63 members of the U.S.-led coalition this year, according to the article, and some blame “American cultural ignorance.” The bottom line is that troops may experience social-cultural shock and/or discomfort when interacting with Afghan security forces, the new military handbook says. “Better situational awareness/understanding of Afghan culture will help better prepare [troops] to more effectively partner and to avoid cultural conflict that can lead toward green-on-blue violence.”

The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of “taboo conversation topics” that soldiers should avoid, including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” “advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “directing any criticism towards Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.”

At least one high-ranking military official had the backbone to publicly criticize the new manual, albeit through a spokesperson. U.S. Marine General John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, doesn’t endorse it and rejected a proposed forward drafted by Army officials in his name. “He does not approve of its contents,” according to a military spokesman quoted in the story.

Earlier this year the Obama Administration changed the way federal agents are trained to combat terrorism and violent extremism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims. Under White House orders, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) destroyed instructional material that characterizes Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism in a government-wide call to end Islamophobia.

Under Obama practically every major federal agency has been ordered to participate in Muslim outreach initiatives, including the Justice Department with a special program to protect Islamic civil rights, Homeland Security meetings with extremist Muslim organizations and the nation’s space agency (NASA) with an unprecedented mission to focus on Muslim diplomacy.

Additionally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a special order to allow the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties long banned them from the U.S. and the administration sent an America-bashing mosque leader (Feisal Abdul Rauf) who blames U.S. foreign policy for the 9/11 attacks on a Middle Eastern outreach mission. The Obama Administration even ordered a government-funded meal program for home-bound seniors to offer halal cuisine prepared according to Islamic law.

Corruption index 2012: United States is 19th

Which country is most corrupt? North Korea is still officially considered the world’s most corrupt country, along with Somalia and Afghanistan. But why has the US gone up six places to 19th and the United Kingdoms score worsened to 18th? See how the annual corruption index has changed.

• Download the latest data
• Interactive map of this data
• Last year’s data

The Index, which is closely watched by investors, economists, and civil society campaigners, is based on expert assessments and data from 13 surveys from independent institutions, covering issues such as access to information, bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws. While critics note that measuring perceptions of corruption is not the same as measuring corruption itself, the latter is almost impossible to do – as the corrupt are usually keen to cover up their tracks, hard data on graft and bribery is notoriously difficult to come by.

George Zimmerman Sues NBC for Defaming Him as a ‘Racist’ in Trayvon Martin Reporting

Courtesy of Erik Wemple

Lawyers for George Zimmerman filed suit today against NBC Universal Media over a well-publicized editing error that portrayed their client in racist terms in his pursuit of Trayvon Martin on a drizzly evening in February.

NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so to set about the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain,” states the civil complaint in its opening salvo against NBC.

NBC’s editing of the 911 audiotape in the Martin case became a public fixation after the media-monitoring Web site noted editing oddities on a “Today” show broadcast March 27. Here’s how NBC News portrayed the audiotape: Zimmerman, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

The full tape went like this: Zimmerman, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” Dispatcher, “OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?” Zimmerman, “He looks black.”

Zimmerman thus didn’t volunteer a racial profile of Martin; he was asked to provide it, a point that the lawsuit makes in colorful fashion: “NBC created this false and defamatory misimpression using the oldest form of yellow journalism: manipulating Zimmerman’s own words, splicing together disparate parts of the recording to create illusions of statements that Zimmerman never actually made.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes set to be released into the Florida Keys

Daily Mail Online reports:

“Hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes are awaiting federal approval for release into the Florida Keys as part of an experiment aimed at reducing the risk of dengue fever.

Mosquito control officials have requested the Food and Drug Administration’s sign off on the experiment that would be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Some residents of the tourist town of Key West worry though on how much research has been done to determine the risks of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes on the Keys’ fragile ecosystem.”

Read more by clicking here.

America The Loved

A great love for America still exists in the hearts of Eastern Europeans where pro-Americanism thrives. The proof may be found in Zohor, Slovakia. This passion for America takes the form of a B-24 from 464th Bomber Group, which crashed in Zohor in 1944.

The story about the airmen‘s secret funeral by partisans and the erecting and preservation of their monument decades later, deserves attention.

This telling story transcends today’s politics and anti-American rhetoric. While America faces new enemies and the impending doom of yet another war perhaps in the Middle East, this is one of the most beautiful stories to comes out of WWII. It is in the form of a memorial dedicated to the Slovak partisans’ who protected and honored our American pilots.

Florida based American sculptor Gregory Marra, who specializes in crafting war memorials, stumbled upon the memorial to Merton Haigh and John Fassnacht while studying in Europe. Seeing it in disrepair Marra cleaned it up upon its 65th anniversary, cut the grass and hung the American and Slovak banners on the Flag poles behind. “It was very emotional mostly because I knew that no one in the states knew about the memorial in the U.S. “ Marra said “The families hadn’t known of the care the Slovaks took to memorialize our Airmen. In fact the tombstone was kept hidden from the communists till 1995 when it was discovered. Whoever hid this tombstone was facing a firing squad if discovered,” notes Marra. There are several monuments in Slovakia to downed airmen.

Miraculously in November 2012 Ray Hadden, of North East Pennsylvania, the son of Ray Hadden Sr. the tail gunner of the Bomber “Old Brown Nose” researched and stumbled across articles of the memorial. Hadden found that former Pennsylvanian Marra had restored the memorial to his father’s plane. Ray Hadden called Mr. Marra to thank him and Marra was shocked and relieved, to finally discover that Hadden knew all about the geography and details of the monument. According to Marra, “They discussed  that the planes whereabouts have not been found and that a statue in return to thank the Slovaks must be raised.” Marra, a classically trained sculptor, explained to Hadden that, “We need to thank the Slovaks with a statue since they had done so much for us.” They agreed it is befitting to try and do so.

Hadden wants above all to find the rest of the Airmen’s families to let them know of the great offering of respect and care the Slovaks made to their father’s heroism. Above all he wants to thank the people of Slovakia for their actions and to remind the Slovaks that we take note of every kind act towards America and welcome a deep friendship based on mutual respect. Hadden would like to find the remnants of the plane and visit the Slovaks in the town of Zohor to personally shake their hands. He would like to see an effort by America to help clean and maintain these memorials.

The bomber “Old Brown Nose” was on a mission to bomb Vienna on October 17, 1944. The 464th Bomb Group/ 778 Bomb Squadron was on mission number 107 to raid a depot near Vienna B-24 J-15-FO 42-51964 Old Brown.


2nd Lt. John C. Fassnacht Pilot KIA
2nd Lt. John W. Lindsay CoPilot POW
2nd Lt. Richard J. Witt Navigator POW
2nd Lt. Robert F. Cunningham Bombardier KLD
T/Sgt. John R. Lonsdorf Engineer/Upper turret gunner POW
S/Sgt. John Krogstadt Left waist gunner POW
T/Sgt. Lyndle K. Clark Radio operator/Right waist gunner POW
S/Sgt. James T. Hutchinson Nose gunner POW
S/Sgt. Merton W. Haigh Ball turret gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Raymond L. Hadden Tail gunner POW

Frank Kliment who owned a soda factory in Zohor witnessed the crash of the bomber which was riddled with German shot. The plane crashed so close to his home he had to go seek shelter in the basement. Six parachutes blossomed nearby and the windows of his home were shattered by the explosion from the crash. Two Airmen’s bodies lay nearby lifeless. Kliment prepared the bodies for a solemn funeral with flowers in a nearby church. Kliment contacted his sister in America after the war in an effort to contact the airmen’s families. She was successful and the mothers softened by the news were so thankful to the people of Zohor for the burial and treatment of their sons.

The memorial in Zohor, which resembles a B-24’s rudder, was erected by air war enthusiasts in 1995 on the spot where the airmen were originally buried (their remains were later repatriated to the United States). However, the memorial had fallen into disrepair until Marra and his family decided to help restore it. Many have  chronicled by the “Slovak  Air War ” enthusiast which displays an utmost respect for our country as their own Slovakian history was being destroyed by the communists.

The Slovaks buried our dead knowing they could be executed for the act. The  Slovaks contacting the families soon after war and the hiding of the tombstones keeping them safe for till the day Communist control ended is extraordinary.

“It is time we recognize the efforts of the Slovak people and create a monument to thank them for their kindness, generosity, and bravery. Pro-Americanism exists deep in the heart of Europe because the Europeans know that America and her defenders stand for freedom,” says Marra.

Marra’s recent work has been devoted to commemorating American military heroes, including George Washington and his Crossing, Americas last Dough-boy, a  Special Operations National monument and many more. His works honor the gallantry and success of human kind through our armed forces, allies, partisans, and freedom lovers world-wide.

Marra states, “There are so many monuments and projects to build from the beginning of our history to now. Let us start with thanking the Slovaks and Slovak Americans by building them a memorial tribute here and across the pond.”

To learn more on how you can be a part of the monument process, restoration of existing memorials such as this one honoring our WWII American airmen please contact


On November 29, 2012, Florida State University’s LeRoy Collins Institute (LCI) and Integrity Florida released the latest Tough Choices report that analyzes Florida’s local governments’ ethics reforms and policies. While Florida’s statewide ethics laws have been essentially frozen in time since Governor Reubin O’D. Askew championed reform in the 1970s, the report finds ethics reforms at the county and city level are alive and growing.

Tough Choices – Florida Counties Bridge the Ethics Policy Gap Appendix

According to U.S. Department of Justice data, from 2000 – 2010, Florida led the nation in federal public corruption convictions.

While some of these convictions have been of state officials, many of these corruption scandals have involved local government officials. Florida Counties Bridge the Ethics Policy Gap analyzed survey results on ethical programs and reforms in 45 of Florida’s 67 counties focusing on the areas of ethics policy, ethics enforcement, lobbying, campaign financing and procurement.

In short, the results show that a majority of the counties surveyed provide ethics training for elected county officials, have adopted local ordinances regulating procurement practices, and put in place restrictions on gifts from lobbyists to the county. Close to half of the counties have designated a point person for ethics issues.

“Our analysis of Florida’s local government ethics policies discovered that counties all over Florida are acting as ethics reform laboratories, addressing their unique experience with public corruption through innovative reform solutions,” said Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida’s executive director and co-author of Florida Counties Bridge the Ethics Policy Gap. “It is our hope that by cataloging these positive changes that counties across Florida have implemented, we’ve developed a roadmap that other counties can follow to curb corruption.”

Florida Counties Bridge the Ethics Policy Gap also includes seven case studies of local governments who have undertaken ethics reform efforts in the wake of ethical charges or violations. The report finds that while initiated by scandal, the work done to create an ethical government in Broward, Duval/Jacksonville, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach and Sarasota Counties has made positive changes to curb public corruption.

“Our findings are encouraging in showing progress in the adoption of ethics laws across Florida counties,” said Dr. Carol Weissert, LCI director, political science professor at FSU and co-author of the report. “While there is always more to do, Florida counties are taking the initiative in creating an ethical culture and can serve as leaders for future state action in Florida and across the nation.”
The report’s 11-question survey was emailed at least twice to county administrators and county attorneys in all of Florida’s 67 counties in the fall of 2012. A link to the full report and an appendix containing the complete set of survey questions, responses and comments that often include website links to specific ordinances and codes can be found at and

About the LeRoy Collins Institute: Established in 1988, the LeRoy Collins Institute is an independent, non-profit organization which studies and promotes creative solutions to key private and public issues facing the people of Florida and the nation. The Institute, located in Tallahassee at the Florida State University, is affiliated and works in collaboration with the State University System of Florida. Named in honor of former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, the Institute is governed by a distinguished board of directors, chaired by Allison DeFoor, D. Min. Other board members include executives, local elected officials and senior professionals from throughout the state.

About Integrity Florida: Integrity Florida is a nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog whose mission is to promote integrity in government and expose public corruption. The organization’s vision is government in Florida that is the most open, ethical, responsive and accountable in the world.

Press conference announcing release of the Tough Choices report:

Gov. Scott declares war on Citizens Property Insurance

On November 30, 2012 Governor Rick Scott addressed Florida’s 6th Annual Insurance Summit in Lake Buena Vista. During his remarks he targets Citizens Property Insurance as a threat to Florida’s economic future. Below are his remarks addressing Citizens Property Insurance:

In order to decrease costs for Florida homeowners we must increase competition in the marketplace by addressing major concerns with Citizens Property Insurance.

Citizens was created to be the insurer of last resort. Today Citizens is now the largest insurer in the state.

Citizens poses three major concerns to our insurance market for Florida families who dream of owning a home:

First, the existence of Citizens Insurance increases the chance that Floridians will be hit with hurricane taxes;

Second, Citizens is grossly underfunded; and

Third, Citizens inhibits new companies from coming to Florida resulting in less competition.

First, all of Citizens policyholders are subject to a special hurricane tax. Florida families could be hit with a hurricane tax at a time when they can least afford it, right after a devastating storm. And 79% of Citizens’ policyholders have no idea that they are subject to a hurricane tax.

Think about this. The average Citizens insurance policyholder pays a premium of approximately $2,300. If a storm hits that depletes Citizens’ surplus, either one big storm or several smaller storms, Florida’s families will be assessed hurricane taxes to pay for Citizens losses. This means that the average family with a Citizens policy faces a hurricane tax of over $1000.

A family may be forced to pay this tax even though their home wasn’t hit by a storm. A family in Tampa could be insured with Citizens and face a hurricane tax to pay for losses to Citizens’ policyholders in Miami.

If Citizens can’t pay its claims, the families with Citizens policies are first up for hurricane taxes. Then, once Citizens taxes its own policyholders, they will then tax every Floridian with an insurance policy in order to get additional funds.

So, Citizens Property Insurance poses a threat to each and every Floridian with an insurance policy. If Citizens can’t pay its claims, we are all on the hook for its losses. And Floridians can be taxed multiple times. Your homeowner’s policy could be taxed; your auto policy could be taxed. Even the policy on your family pet could be taxed.

That means that the average Florida family who owns a home and two cars could be taxed three times to pay for a Citizens’ deficit.

Most families have no idea that they are liable for the potential losses of the state’s largest property insurer.

My second major concern is that Citizens is woefully underfunded. Today, Citizens has a little over $6 billion in surplus. But one storm the size of Hurricane Andrew could result in nearly $14 billion in losses to Citizens. That’s an unfunded liability of nearly $8 billion dollars. The only way to pay for those losses is by taxing Florida families.

Finally, Citizens hurts Florida families by crowding out competition in the insurance marketplace, which limits the ability to reduce costs for homeowners.

I’ve traveled the state and spoken to numerous leaders of insurance companies to ask them: “What’s preventing you from expanding your business in Florida?” Nearly every time I’ve been told that the domination of Citizens Insurance prevents new companies from coming to Florida while also preventing existing companies from expanding in Florida.

How can any private insurance company compete with a government-sponsored entity that doesn’t pay taxes and doesn’t need to charge fair market prices? It can’t.

Shrinking Citizens is the first step toward increasing competition in the marketplace and driving down prices for homeowners.

Shrinking Citizens will also protect Florida families from hurricane taxes.

And, shrinking Citizens will attract new capital to Florida and help to permanently reduce the cost of property insurance.

To make the dream of homeownership a reality for more Floridians, we must reduce the size of Citizens, which has grown from an insurer of last resort to an insurance giant in just a matter of years.

We began making some progress toward this goal by giving over 400,000 Citizens policyholders the opportunity to return to the private insurance market this year.

Of course, we must also ensure Citizens is not wasteful. I recently directed the Chief Inspector General to investigate travel expenses and firings at Citizens. This report will tell us what additional steps must be taken to enforce oversight and compliance within Citizens. A taxpayer organized entity must be held to the highest standards of integrity and good stewardship of the public trust.

2012 Presidential Race: Stunning Results for Young Americans

Generation Opportunity, the nation’s largest social media and grassroots organization connecting with 18-29 year olds, released data and analysis on young voters and the 2012 election. Generation Opportunity has built a fan base of over 4 million on Facebook and has been in front of hundreds of thousands of young adults through direct contact at the grassroots level, raising awareness of and fostering a discussion on critical economic issues including overall and young adult unemployment, debt, and federal spending.

There was a stunning 11-point swing away from President Obama

President Barack Obama won 18-29 year olds by 34 points in 2008 (66%-32%). This year, he won them by 23 points (60%-37%). The youth vote swung 11 points away from President Obama, more than twice any other age demographic.

Age     2008     2012   Change
18-29   66-32 (D+34)   60-37 (D+23)    -11
30-44   52-46 (D+6)   52-45 (D+7)    +1
45-64   50-49 (D+1)   47-51 (R+4)    -5
65+   45-53 (R+8)   44-56 (R+12)    -4

Source: National Exit Polling, Edison Research via NY Times

Young voter turnout increased from 2008, defying conventional wisdom.

The conventional wisdom, which was advanced and shared by numerous news outlets and grassroots organizations, including the AP, Pew, and Huffington Post, was that young people would A) decrease in turnout compared to 2008 levels, and B) vote in just as strong of a margin for President Obama in 2012 as they did 2008. Yet, young adult turnout actually increased and swung 11 points away from President Obama.

Source: Brookings Institution

Generation Opportunity was heavily involved in reshaping both the terrain and the national dialogue with regard to the young adult vote going into the 2012 election. For 2013 and 2014, the organization will be further expanding its reach and following among young adults across the nation through social media and grassroots activity, executing an even more aggressive effort to fully engage young Americans at both the state and national level.

GENERATION OPPORTUNITY is the largest non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing 18-29 year olds on important economic issues, such as high youth unemployment and the lack of meaningful, full-time jobs. The organization operates on a combined strategy of advanced social media tactics and grassroots field organizing to reach young Americans across the country. Follow us on Twitter  @GenOpportunity .

Matthew Faraci – 202-997-1636 | EMAIL 
David Pasch – 202-230-7947 | EMAIL

SOURCE Generation Opportunity

Web Site:

Judge: Pinellas term limits case will proceed

Courtesy of Philip Blumel from Florida Term Limits Blog:

Pinellas county commissioners who refuse to comply with Pinellas County’s voter-approved 8-year term limits law are in denial. They had hoped for a summary dismissal as the citizen’s case as ‘frivolous.’

But on Nov. 28, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge John A. Schaefer refused to dismiss the suit, suggesting that citizens may be correct that Commissioners Ken Welch, Susan Latvala, John Morroni and Karen Seel are serving on the Pinellas Commission in violation of the county charter.

In 1996, some 73 percent of Pinellas voters approved an 8-year term limits law which, according the Pinellas Charter, went into effect on Jan. 1, 1997. This gave commissioners an additional eight years in office before the term limit kicked in. However, commissioners refused to insert the term limits language into the charter and eight years later commissioners refused to leave.

Commissioners justified their rebellion by claiming county commission term limits are unconstitutional, citing a 2002 case in which the Supreme Court of Florida found term limits on constitutional officers to be unconstitutional. Relying on this interpretation, they simply ignored a local Pinellas court decision in 2000 to the contrary without even bothering to appeal it!

The only trouble with the constitutionality excuse is that the Supreme Court never ruled on the issue of county commission term limits and when it did, in May of this year, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that, yes, county commission term limits are constitutional and always were. The Supremes even went so far as to overturn their previous split decision on constitutional officers. Oops.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, three Pinellas residents connected with Save Pinellas filed a suit to compel compliance with the term limits provision in the charter.

In yesterday’s decision, the judge ruled that the Supervisor of Elections must be dropped from the suit and other minor changes, but that the core of the complaint had merit. It is unlikely there will be any resolution of this until at least Spring 2013.

If the lawsuit is successful, the governor would have to appoint four new people to fill the vacant seats until the next election.


Philip Blumel is president of U.S. Term Limits, a single-issue advocacy group based in Fairfax, VA, and a certified financial planner working out of downtown West Palm Beach, FL.

Egypt Sentences Florida Pastor Terry Jones To Death

Sarah El Deeb of the Huffington Post reports, “An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.”

Deeb states, “The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence.” However, Islamists tend to carry out these of kinds of sentences on foreign soil.

Notable examples happened after the cartoons of Mohammed were published in the Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten.

Numerous violent plots related to the cartoons have been discovered in the years since the main protests took place in early 2006. These have primarily targeted editor Fleming Rose, cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, the property or employees of Jyllands-Posten or other newspapers that had printed the cartoons, or representatives of the Danish state. Westergaard particularly has been the subject of several attacks or planned attacks and now lives under special police protection. On New Year’s Day 2010 police had to shoot a would be assassin in his home.

Deeb reports:

Florida-based Terry Jones, another of those sentenced, is the pastor of Dove World Outreach, a church of less than 50 members in Gainesville, Fla., not far from the University of Florida. He has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the film, as well as Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. who posted the video clips on his website.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Jones said the ruling “shows the true face of Islam” – one that he views as intolerant of dissent and opposed to basic freedoms of speech and religion.

“We can speak out here in America,” Jones said. “That freedom means that we criticize government leadership, religion even at times. Islam is not a religion that tolerates any type of criticism.”

Some are concerned that the imprisonment of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the  producer  of the video, is a sign that freedom of speech is being limited by the Obama administration in order to appease Islamists. Some have called Nakoula a “political prisoner“. Pastor Jones had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

Sentencing Americans to death by Egyptian courts is problematic and not to be taken lightly.

Danger: There are more people who vote for a living than work for a living

Watchdog Wire has written numerous columns about the costs of dependence on government largesse. Government is defined as a “system of ruling or controlling”. Largesse is defined as, “the liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior.”

Government largess is ruling by the liberal giving of money to the governed.

The US Government, states, county and city governments are liberally giving money to the governed at an increasing rate. Republicans and Democrats alike have expanded the use of largesse in the hope of gaining popularity and thereby votes.

Powerline Blog shows how the United States is at the tipping point with ever more people dependent on government for their lively-hood than not. Powerline defines them as “makers” and “takers” stating, “Those who work for a living have been sold out by federal and state governments that have created a welfare system gone mad.”

ZeroHedge has the grim numbers:

[I]t is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantified  and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.“

Click on chart for larger view

Powerline Blog states, “In today’s America, it is reasonable to conclude that unless you make a great deal of money, you are a sucker if you work hard. And, in fact, a great many Americans have concluded exactly that. Check out these data, again from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. Each 1.25 Americans working in the private sector is supporting 1.0 welfare recipients and government employees–mostly welfare recipients:

Click on chart for larger view

Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.” It is now clear that in the US, “Government largess is the opiate of the people.”


From Shmuel HaLevi Watchdog Wire’s Israeli correspondent. Shmuel is a former Senior-Fellow Engineer US DoD military avionics programs and also Invited Consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.  Shmuel just sent along this:

I wish I could avail to you better news but I do not spin the facts to cover reality.

Please visit this ARUTZ #7 INN report that includes pictures.

That is precisely the outcome of one of the most incredibly incompetent if not worse “operations” ever.

There are no words to describe other secondary effects we observe here in the Galil [Northern Israel. ed]. We live hundreds of meters away from three Arab villages and I will report that since the dismal GAZA flop the local Islamists grew in their drive against our town. It is outright dangerous now to even drive around.

Barak appears to have recognized that he has no chance to be elected to the Knesset. Yet, knowing those untrustworthy elements, I do not know if he does take responsibility or just wants to serve Netanyahu by assuming at least some of the pressure away from the later. There is photograph circulating including soldiers did that define it well. “LOSER”

It is not possible any longer to ignore the disastrous consequences of the Oslo retreats and concessions, “rubber bullet”, boulder bombings, later “paint ball rifles” and calibrated petards military tactics. Added to the ghastly reality as well that support to this day specially training our military to effect violent attacks against Jews. Including Pogroms/expulsions.

D9s Hold Drill Near Gaza Border (Courtesy IDF)

TODAY! Bulldozers tore down ULPANA building!

Yes! That whole scenario represents cowardice or high treason. Conclusively not military or political savvy.

Woe to all of us both here and in the Diaspora if we keep on trying to deny the facts.

And IRAN is home free. I lived for decades in military environments. We do not seem capable to do much against HAMAS and expect the same people to mix it up with the US Air Force, Russians, and others that will help Iran?

I could be wrong and I pray that I am, but judging from what I see, the IDF command, doctrines and more, are hopelessly inadequate to defend Israel at all.

After watching the Lebanon II debacle and the shameful flop in GAZA, does anyone believe that we have a worthy military command and doctrine?

The Gaza operation was a unadulterated disaster, with Lieberman part of it, like it or not.

I just read that there is a video by HAMAS promoting death to us.

A mother and her children barely escaped being slaughtered by a terrorist while the Israeli military was busy bulldozing an Ulpana home.

And, we may not even have time to effect corrective action.

Government Gone Wild: Law Against Distractions Coming to Florida?

Florida is known for doing things that make no sense like putting the treatment of pigs in the state Constitution. Well lawmakers are not immune to this senselessness. Case in point: regulating distractions.

Distraction is defined as, “The act of distracting or the condition of being distracted.”

Senator Nancy Detert (FL- District 23) is on a quest to make it illegal for Floridians to be distracted by “electronic devices” while driving, bicycling or walking. Senator Detert has been on this quest for five years. No, Detert is not a Democrat, rather she is a Republican. The primary donor for her election to the Florida Senate was the Florida Republican Party. You get what you pay for as the saying goes.

The bill is the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” (SB 52) and states:

A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term “wireless communications device” means any device that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that allows text communications. A motor vehicle that is legally parked is not being operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.

 The bill exempts government employees for doing these things in the performance of their official duties. It also has a number of exemptions such as “Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not require reading text messages, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.” These exemptions make the legislation both impossible to enforce and difficult to understand by citizens.

The bill is not about reducing distractions it is about control and expanding government intrusion into one of the last bastions of individual privacy – our vehicles.

Vehicles, like homes, in Florida are subject to the castle doctrine. In Florida a person’s home and vehicle are considered sacrosanct and may be defended. Florida statute defines “vehicle” as a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.” Is this legislation a back door method of weakening the castle doctrine?

The more government intrudes into our castles, the more control it has over our personal  lives.

What behaviors will be added to future iterations of this legislation should it be passed? While driving is  a child in the back seat, a women putting on makeup or a passenger texting distractions? Will medical conditions, like dementia, be characterized as a distraction? Vehicles are becoming more sophisticated and in some cases turning into home entertainment centers complete with high speed internet connections, movie screens and surround sound. People are capable of multi-tasking. If a person has an accident, what ever the cause, it is bad and that person will pay for their negligence. That is how it works.

Laws against distraction are a distraction. Florida has many more pressing issues to deal with than this.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Morality cannot be legislated but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” Would Dr. King define texting as heartless or just a distraction?

UPDATE: Black Friday For Israel (Video and Photos Added)

It is Black Friday, November 23, 2012. While many are going shopping a group of Floridians will be gathering at 3:00 p.m. EST in Sarasota for the Solidarity Demonstration for Israel.

Among them will be Pastor Paul Scheele. Pastor Paul, Senior Pastor at Congregational United Church of Christ, has been serving congregations for over 30 years, the last 10 years in Bradenton. Florida. He was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and left there in 1960 to enroll in the U.S. Navel Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. While at the Navel Academy, Pastor Paul felt a powerful call to Christian Ministry and transferred to Lakeland College, a church related school in Wisconsin.

Pastor Scheele gave WDW an exclusive interview explaining why he supports Israel:

The Solidarity sponsor is the Sarasota/Manatee Jewish Federation (JFED). According to the JFED website, “Israel, like any other country in the world, has the right to self-defense in light of rocket attacks aimed at harming and killing innocent civilians in their homes, schools and hospitals.”

“For most of us, red is the color of roses, but for almost 13 years, Color Red is the code for danger for more than one million Israelis living near the Gaza Strip. It means you have 15 seconds to find a secure location before missiles hit”, notes the JFED Israel Advocacy website.

Howard Tevlowitz, Executive Director of the JFED, stated in a recent email, “As most of us sleep soundly in our beds in Sarasota, Bradenton, Longboat Key, Venice, Northport and Siesta Key – millions of Israelis are now regularly passing the hours of darkness in fear.”

Tevlowitz wrote, “If Hamas has the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, why do they engage in terrorism that is only counterproductive to peace? The answer is simple. Hamas targets Israel because it refuses to accept Israel’s existence as the democratic nation state of the Jewish people.”

UPDATE: The crowd at the Solidarity event was estimated at 500 people. Below are photos taken at the event. There were no counter protesters and the event was held peacefully and without incident. Attendees were of all faith, secular, all races and from all political parties.

View from stage.

View from back at the rally facing the stage

Supporters with signs

The JFED provided the below graphic to emphasize how vulnerable Israel is to rocket attack:

Click on map for larger view

Tevlowitz concludes by stating, “No government should, or would, tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people – over one million – live under a constant threat of fire, including Israel. Just like any other country, Israel has the inalienable right — indeed the obligation — to defend its citizens from attack. Yet, inexplicably, some still question it.”

Exclusive interviews with SE Florida residents courtesy of METV and the JFED:

Gaza Déjà Vu

While everyone welcomes a cease fire between Hamas in Gaza and the Israelis, no one should expect it to last very long or that relations between the two will change. In point of fact, the Israelis struck a bargain with terrorists, not a nation-state.

Reflecting on the cease fire, David Singer, a lawyer, noted that “The document is not an Agreement, but merely an Understanding” and that “the parties to the Understanding are not specifically identified, nor has the document been signed by any parties that are supposed to be bound by the Understanding.” At best, the “Palestinian factions” who have the greatest interest in attacking Israel are not a party to the cease fire, nor is al Qaeda or Iran for whom Hamas is a proxy in Gaza as Hezbollah is one in Lebanon.

Israel has merely bought some time in which to determine what it will do next. Time is running out, not just in Gaza, but with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, deemed by observers to be mere months from being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile and send it hurtling toward Israel to kill millions of its citizens and essentially destroying it as a viable nation.

If there is any good news out of the recent conflict, it is that its “iron Dome” defense system against rockets worked remarkably well. The bad news is that its enemies have learned that it can be overwhelmed if enough rockets are fired at the same time. Moreover, Iranian rockets have the capacity to hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum had some reflections on the Hamas-Israel hostilities, noting that “The old Arab-Israeli wars were military clashes; the recent ones are political clashes. The wars of 1948-49, 1967, and 1973 were life-and-death struggles for the Jewish state. But the wars of 2006, 2008-09, and now 2012 are media events in which Israeli victory on the military battlefield is foreordained and the struggle is to win public opinion.”

In the U.S. evangelical Christians are the largest group of supporters for Israel. Among those with far less sympathy for Israel are a significant percentage of Democrats and the first term of the Obama administration made it clear that the President is no friend to Israel. At one point he called for a return to the 1967 borders and opposed housing construction in Jerusalem. Dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to engineer a cease fire ensured that the U.S. would not be drawn into the conflict.

Many have expressed surprise that Egypt would take a significant role as a mediator, but few missed the fact that the U.S. was in a position to withhold $1.5 billion in foreign aid to Egypt whose economy is in serious trouble. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s president has been traveling far and wide in the Middle East to secure aid, including from the Saudis, a leader of the Sunni majority of Islam, and always the hidden hand influencing events in the region, as well as the nation most fearful of the Shiite nation Iran.

Morsi has been walking the thin edge of a sword and a November 21 New York Times article spelled It out:

”Both sides in the conflict appear to be testing Egypt’s new leader. Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, is wondering how much support it may draw from its ideological cousins now that they control the Egyptian state, while Israel’s hawkish leadership seem to probe the depth of Mr. Morsi’s stated commitment to the peace treaty as well.”

“For Mr. Morsi, the test is forcing him to reconcile conflicting elements of his own persona: as the Islamist firebrand who has denounced the Israelis as ‘vampires’ for killing Palestinian civilians and lauded Hamas for resisting an illegal occupation, but also as the newly elected president promising stability, economic revival and friendly relations with Israel’s Western allies.”

Despite the Times reference to “an illegal occupation”, the fact is that Israel withdrew from Gaza in a “land for peace” effort that has clearly failed. Israel does not illegally occupy land that is rooted in the millennia of its existance.

Dr. Pipes reflected on the timing of Hamas’s ramping up of rocket attacks on Israel that had been going on for months. He conjectured that the last attacks were to “test the waters in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s reelection”, to “rouse public opinion against Israel and make it pay a price internationally”, “refute accusations by Palestinian Islamic Jihad that it has abandoned resistance”, and remind the Palestinian Authority, as it seeks statehood at the United Nations, who controls Gaza.”

The effort of Fatah, based in the West Bank after having been driven out of Gaza, to secure statehood went nowhere in the U.N. Indeed, the so-called Palestinians have never had anything but rhetorical support and have been dependent on a U.N. refugee agency for actual support. They constitute the oldest unresolved refugee population in the world.

In August 2010, The New York Times reported on a survey by Al Arabiya television network in which “a staggering 71 percent of the Arabic respondents have no interest in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.”

It noted that “For example, it was common knowledge that the May 1948 pan-Arab invasion of the nascent state of Israel was more a scramble for Palestinian territory than a fight for Palestinian national rights” and that “from 1948 to 1967, when Egypt and Jordan ruled the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the Arab states failed to put these populations on the road to statehood.”

So, yes, while it’s a good thing that the rockets are not flying, the “Iron Dome” proved successful, and the Israeli Air Force was able to kill some of the militant leadership and degrade its arsenal and ability to proceed to some degree, the current cease fire is a largely meaningless “understanding.”
What remains to be understood is the unremitting hostility to Israel that exists throughout the Middle East and globally where anti-Semitism has existed for centuries. The Israelis have merely bought some time until the next attacks.

The wild card remains Israel’s need to attack Iran’s nuclear and military facilities. Only by inflicting major damage will Israel have any chance of survival. Long a nuclear nation, Israel must stop Iran from becoming one.

© Alan Caruba, 2012