Recent cases highlight terror threat from Muslim soldiers

It is simple common sense that soldiers who are Muslim might be hearing from other Muslims that no non-Sharia government has any legitimacy, and that the U.S. is the enemy of Muslims for waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq, etc. It is simple common sense to try to determine the allegiances and loyalties of Muslim soldiers. But to attempt such a thing would be “Islamophobic,” and the need to avoid “Islamophobia” trumps everything.

“Jihadist 5th Column Targets The Military,” from Investor’s Business Daily, April 3:

Infiltration: Though the Fort Hood copycat shooter wasn’t motivated by jihad, the FBI is hunting for another member of the Army, a Muslim convert allegedly planning a terrorist attack on U.S. bases.

After a Muslim Army major in 2009 massacred 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, the FBI and Pentagon opened more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists inside the military. At least a dozen showed a strong intent to attack military targets.

These ongoing threats come on top of the 30 plots or attacks against military targets within the U.S. that law enforcement has disrupted or prosecuted since 2001, and don’t include the three military-related terror busts from this year alone, which are:

• Nicholas Teausant, aka Assad, a California National Guardsman and convert to Islam, who was arrested last month trying to join al-Qaida fighters in Syria. (An FBI affidavit quotes Assad as saying “I despise America” and threatening to kill his “kaffir” mother if she tried to stop him from joining “Allah’s army.”)

• Craig Benedict Baxam, a Maryland Army vet and recent convert who was imprisoned in January for trying to join al-Qaida in Somalia. (Court records show he told FBI agents he planned to fight the U.S. in jihad.)

• Mozaffar Khazaee, a U.S. defense contractor arrested in January for shipping secret documents detailing the F35 Joint Strike Fighter program to Iran. (He was taken into custody while catching a flight to Tehran.)

Despite continued evidence Muslims and Muslim converts pose a threat to military and national security, the Pentagon continues to make special accommodations for Muslim soldiers. Earlier this year, it relaxed uniform rules to allow Islamic beards and turbans.

Such accommodations only attract more Muslims at a time when recent terror cases highlight the ongoing danger of them in uniform. What’s needed, instead, is special screening and monitoring of such recruits.

RELATED STORIES:

Robert Spencer at Breitbart: How Many Fort Hood-Style Jihad Attacks Must There Be?

Canada’s former ambassador to Afghanistan says Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo courtesy of the Department of Defense is of US Army Muslim Soldiers bow down in prayer during the celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr Sunday at the Joe E. Mann Center. Eid-Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims worldwide.

Under Attack: Religious Freedom of Christians in the US Military

In the video below, members of our Armed Forces speak out about the culture of fear and intimidation in the US military that is forcing Christian soldiers to hide their faith. This is happening despite the fact that, since its inception, America has been considered a Christian Nation.

The overwhelming percentage of the men and women who currently serve in our Armed Forces are Christian. And an overwhelming percentage of those who have died in defense of our country were Christian.

The attacks on Christianity in the military have caused the Bible to be banned from military hospitalschaplains to be deemed non-essentialprayer to be banned from military funerals and soldiers to be dismissed for voicing their Christian beliefs about homosexual marriage. For a more exhaustive list of attacks on the religious freedom of Christians click here (prepared by the Family Research Council).

A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Freedom in the Military – Courtesy of Family Research Council from Thomas More Law Center on Vimeo.

The attack on the religious freedom of Christians in the military is a warning for us all of what is coming if we do not stop it now.

EDITORS NOTE: If you are a member of the Armed Forces and believe that your right to religious freedom as a Christian has been violated click here to complete the legal help request form or call the Thomas More Law Center at 734-827-2001.

CAIR Fails to Silence Free Speech in California

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attempted to silence a speech by Richard Thompson to the Greater Oakland Republican Club on the internal threat posed to America by Radical Islam by using their customary name-calling intimidation tactics, which have proven successful in the past.  This time their tactics did not work.

Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, was invited to speak on Tuesday, April 1st.  On Monday, however, CAIR-MI launched a press release demanding that the Republican Club disinvite Thompson, labeling him a “notorious Islamophobe” with a “long track record of fear-mongering.”  The Club refused to cave-in to the ploy and the speech went on as planned in a packed room.

Thompson, responding to the Club’s decision not to cave-in to CAIR, commented, “I applaud the Greater Oakland Republican Club for its steadfast defense of the constitutional right to free speech.  Sadly, too many groups and individuals lack the moral courage to say “No” to CAIR.  And as long as their bullying tactics work on some weak-kneed Americans, they will continue their efforts to restrict free speech.”

Thompson began his speech by informing the audience that they have witnessed first-hand the operation of Sharia law—silencing the free speech right of anyone who dares criticize Islam.  Thompson went on to describe CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial where the supposed charity and five of its organizers were found guilty by a federal jury of illegally funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.  Thompson also pointed to the stated plans of one of CAIR’s founders, Omar Ahmad, that Islam is in America to become dominant and the highest authority.

Thompson also quoted a statement from the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, “CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”

The University of Michigan is the most recent entity to capitulate to CAIR’s campaign to silence any criticism of Islam.  As a result of CAIR’s intimidation tactics, the University cancelled screenings of “Honor Diaries,” a film which details the truth about the brutal violence against women in Muslim countries.

According to Megyn Kelly on the Kelly File numerous screenings of the film have been cancelled due to demands from CAIR including a screening at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor originally scheduled for  April 3, 2014.

CAIR and CAIR-MI often demand the cancellation of events they deem “Islamophobic;” a term meant to intimidate and force event organizers into cancellations.

Clearly, the reason for CAIR’s personal attacks on Thompson stem from the fact that as a public interest law firm, TMLC, has led the fight against the threat of Radical Islam and the Stealth Jihad in the courts.

Brooke Goldstein, a human rights attorney, in response to CAIR’s involvement in shutting down the “Honor Diaries” film said, “CAIR operates as the Islamic speech police. It goes around bullying and intimidating anyone who is brave enough to speak publically about the threat of Islam and Islamist terrorism and violence in the Muslim world.”

Goldstein continued, “CAIR has a systematic campaign to go around and target anybody who speaks publically about the threat of militant Islam as Islamophobic.”

A Real Man: Further Insights into My 86-Year Old Black Dad

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Reverend Lloyd Marcus

In 1946, Dad and Jackson were the only black Merchant Marines on their ship and the first “coloreds” to land at the base in St. Petersburg Florida. Dad came close to being hung by an angry mob simply for being there.

Dad had a tough beginning. The product of an extra-martial affair, Dad was raised by his aunt, Aunt Nee.

Aunt Nee was a pretty remarkable woman. Though she never graduated high school, Aunt Nee (Rev. Anita Bethea) was extremely articulate, well read, a great singer (reminiscent of Mahalia Jackson), a gifted speaker, student of the Bible and pastor of her own storefront church in Baltimore, Maryland.

I asked Dad what kept him, growing up as a fatherless black child, on the straight and narrow, not getting into crime or drugs. Without hesitation, Dad replied, “Aunt Nee!”

I knew what Dad was talking about. Aunt Nee had this way about her. Her approval felt important. Aunt Nee babysat me. “Lloyd Marcus, you should be ashamed of yourself.” A spanking for my naughty behavior would have felt less painful.

She was a born teacher; no lazy or sloppy speaking was tolerated. Aunt Nee sent me to the corner store. “Ask the grocer for U-nee-da Biscuits”. She distinctly pronounced each syllable.

When Dad was a teen, he was really excited about the latest fashion craze, the zoot suit. Despite his pleas, Aunt Nee refused to allow Dad to purchase a zoot suit because she thought only hoodlums wore zoot suits. That is called parenting, folks.

An entrepreneur since age ten, Dad shined shoes at the bus station on weekends; proudly hauling in a bountiful $1.25 from shoe shines and tips. Dad paid rent to Aunt Nee, treated himself to a day at the movies with popcorn and purchased his first article of clothing; a t-shirt. Dad bragged to his buddies, “I’m buying my own clothes now.” You can not get such a feeling of self esteem, confidence and pride from cradle-to-grave welfare.

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Lloyd Marcus, Merchant Marines.

Dad said he and a buddy were misbehaving once on a public bus; nothing serious, but a bit annoying to passengers. A woman said, “It’s how they were raised.” Dad said her comment cut like a knife and stopped him in his tracks. He knew Aunt Nee had raised him better.

Aunt Nee and Dad had a tradition of beginning the new year on their knees in prayer. As a young adult partying in bars on New Year’s Eve, Dad would run home just before midnight to begin the new year on his knees in prayer.

Dad recalled, as a young Merchant Marine, flirting with a much older woman. The beautiful 31-year-old was sitting on his lap, and everything was going great until he accidentally replied to something she said with, “Yes Ma’am”. Overhearing, a fellow sailor chuckled and said, “It’s hard to break way from that home training.”

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Dad was a typical young person, but never strayed too far from the foundation Aunt Nee instilled in him.

I asked Dad, “With no role model, what made you pursue things not typically pursued by blacks?” Dad replied, “I don’t know. Whenever a door opened, I walked through it.”

In the 1950s, Dad was one of a few blacks who broke the color barrier to become a Baltimore City Firefighter.

Dad was Baltimore City’s first black Firefighter of the Year, two times.

Dad was Baltimore City’s first black paramedic.

Dad was the Baltimore City Fire Department’s first black Chaplain.

An exclusive country club offered a special reduced membership rate to “all” firefighters. Dad noted the word “all”. He joined the club. Dad took my younger brothers Jerry and David for a swim in the pool. A stunned black staffer approached Dad in the locker room, “How on earth did you get in here?” When Dad and my brothers got into the swimming pool, the white members exited the pool. Dad kept coming back and eventually the behavior of the white members changed.

After the passing of the Civil Rights bill, Dad took our family to a whites only drive-in-movie. Dad said the ushers directed our car, “That’s it, that’s it, keep going”. Upon realizing that the ushers had guided our car through, out of the drive-in-movie, and back to the main road, Dad and my mom erupted into laughter. As Dad was telling me the story he had difficulty containing his laughter. He still thinks the incident was quite funny.

That is who my dad is, an easy going, good-hearted and upbeat remarkable man.

Years ago, I wrote a tribute song to Dad tilted, “Real Man”.

At 86, Dad’s mind is as sharp as ever. He still pastors four churches. Praise God! I am extremely grateful for every day, I have him in my life.

Profiting Off of the Children by CATHY REISENWITZ

Writing at Salon, David Sirota is horrified that capitalists are supposedly making money off school choice initiatives. Amazon and Microsoft prompted the horror by contributing to a recent campaign to expand school choice in Seattle. Sirota is convinced that the companies are giving because “lucrative education technology contracts” are “much easier to land in privately run charter schools because such schools are often uninhibited by public schools’ procurement rules and standards requiring a demonstrable educational need for technology.”

Last year Microsoft alone raked in $77 billion in revenue. Seattle’s public school system is set to spend $6 million on tech upgrades. Bill Gates alone spent $2 million on the initiative. In no universe does the math work out that Gates and Amazon are promoting school choice to make money.

What’s much more likely is that these companies are sick and tired of the public education monopoly’s horrifying results—especially for poor and minority students.

School choice programs consistently produce similar or better results for much less money.

Voucher programs offer significantly higher levels of high-school graduation and college matriculation, with private schools achieving better results at about half the cost per pupil.

2009 review of the global research literature found that every study to measure efficiency in education returned a statistically significant positive result for markets.

Perhaps that’s why polling data shows strong support for vouchers among Latino voters. In fact, a large number of minority families are entering charter school lotteries and more than 500,000 students are on charter waiting lists nationally. Even President Obama likes the concept of school choice. He’s spoken well of charter schools while spending millions in federal funds to expand them in minority communities.

The problem of public education money misspent on technology is a serious one, and Sirota is right to make an issue of it. But Sirota’s distrust of the profit motive causes him to miss the solution. Rather than use arcane procurement rules to attempt to force schools to spend wisely, simply look at expenditures versus results—you know, like Microsoft and Amazon do. School choice means that schools that waste money on useless toys will lose students, while smart spending schools will gain them.

Rather than an attempt to grab “lucrative” contracts, it’s much more likely that Microsoft and Amazon are applying what they have learned in the marketplace, that competition and choice spur innovation, which improves products and services. They want to apply those forces to education. If only critics like Sirota could do the same.

ABOUT CATHY REISENWITZ

Cathy Reisenwitz is an Associate at Young Voices and Editor-in-Chief of Sex and the State. She will be speaking at the FEE summer seminar “Are Markets Just? Exploring the Social Significance of a Free Economy“.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Hating Politics, Loving Government by SANDY IKEDA

Politics is inseparable from government. Indeed, it is government.

Iconoclast filmmaker and political activist Oliver Stone spoke at the international conference of Students for Liberty last February in Washington, D.C. The common ground between Stone and most libertarians is his outspoken criticism of American militarism abroad, not just by conservative Republicans but also by left-wing Democrats such as President Obama.

But where libertarians differ with Stone, and differ profoundly, is I think more interesting and instructive. Stone sounds like a man disenchanted with politics but still enamored of government. So he decries interventionism abroad but approves of the violent interventions of the Chavez (now Maduro) regime in its own country. He seems to believe politics, particularly dirty politics, can be separated from government.

But intervening is what big government does, domestically or abroad.

Admiration, Disenchantment, and Betrayal

Stone was, as I mentioned, harshly critical of President Obama and what Stone said he felt was the President’s backpedaling on his campaign promises. At the same time, Stone expressed strong support for the current regime in Venezuela and the United Socialist Party’s violent clampdown on antigovernment protesters, referring to the latter as “poor sports” for trying to overturn what he deems a democratically elected government. (But see this open letter to Oliver Stone that was delivered to him during the conference.)

To condemn violent intervention by the United States government in foreign affairs while supporting violent intervention by Venezuela’s government in its domestic affairs is an inconsistency obvious to most libertarians. The relative size of the U.S. government and its self-appointed role as world policeman compared to Venezuela’s much more modest size and limited role in Latin America might be part of the reason why Stone opposes one and approves of the other.

But underlying Stone’s disgust for President Obama, whom he supported over two elections, was a sense of betrayal, that Obama as President must live in a very different world from Obama as candidate.

Deceive for the Sake of the Task

Stone is not alone in his disenchantment with President Obama. The President’s approval rating has reached an all-time low and Democrats are worried about the potential drag on midterm elections. The once-shining candidate and bold politician has lost his luster, especially for those who believed his progressive rhetoric—not only on foreign policy but also on immigration, health care, and surveillance. To be fair, almost every incumbent President loses popularity in the second term. People eventually see that reality doesn’t match rhetoric. But that’s the point: It’s mere rhetoric. Or, to be precise, political rhetoric.

What is political rhetoric? It’s persuasive talk in the service of achieving dominance in the use of violent aggression. It was Carl von Clausewitz who said that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” War and politics are then just different ways of attaining physical dominance. While politics doesn’t ordinarily involve open violence (at least not in wealthier countries in recent decades), rhetoric in the service of politics does include lying. If initiating physical violence is an acceptable means—actually it’s the means—of engaging in war, lying and distortion are its relatively peaceful partners. That’s why the State is often defined as the agency that has a legitimate monopoly over aggression and fraud. Like physical violence, some argue that lying and deception can serve the common good: for example, telling people, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” in order to get Obamacare passed. Plato claimed that a “Noble Lie,” about the origins of a nation, for example, may be necessary to maintain social harmony. But such lies, he says, are best left to the elite rather than commoners.

Keeping the truth from potential enemies is just as important as keeping weapons from them. Politics, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, involves “activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government.” Lying and deception are essential to politics and politics is inseparable from government. Or, as Jane Jacobs wrote in her brilliant book Systems of Survival, one of the basic rules of government is to “deceive for the sake of the task.”

House of Cads

When government is limited to a few tasks, the need for and scope of deception are also limited. The more the government does, however, the bigger the role deception plays in its daily activities. As the NSA scandal illustrates, government spies on citizens and then lies about it.

Although the American government has not yet reached the scope of collectivist central planning that F. A. Hayek targeted in The Road to Serfdom, much of what he writes there is applicable to it, mutatis mutandis. I specifically have in mind his famous chapter 10, “Why the Worst Get on Top,” the central point of which is that the more detailed the plan the State seeks to impose on its citizens, the more ruthless and expedient its executioners must be if it is to succeed. This is why the most ruthless and unprincipled have the advantage in the struggle for political power. What separates President Obama, or any other recent American president, from someone like President Vladimir Putin of Russia is a matter of degree, not of kind. To paraphrase Lord Acton, not only does power tend to corrupt, but absolute power tends to attract the absolutely corrupt. Frank Underwood, the protagonist of the television drama House of Cardsis an excellent, though of course fictional, illustration of exactly that tendency.

Politics is inseparable from government, indeed it is government, and the bigger the government, the bigger the role of politics. As they say, politics is a feature, not a bug.

ABOUT SANDY IKEDA

Sandy Ikeda is an associate professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism. He will be speaking at the FEE summer seminars “People Aren’t Pawns” and “Are Markets Just?

The Joy of Thinking: Shmuel Trigano

Denmark has banned “ritual slaughter.” Why? Both Muslim and Jewish authorities had already accepted non-penetrating stunning prior to halal or kosher slaughter. There are no kosher slaughterhouses left in Denmark. But that’s not the issue. Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen justifies the ban, enacted on February 13th and effective on the 17th, on the grounds that “animal rights come before religious rights.” Similar bans have been imposed in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Netherlands. What next?

What can explain this seemingly endless wave of hostility against Jews, Judaism, and Zionism either singled out or, as in this case, lumped together with Islam? Confused do-gooders, adding animals to their exquisite concern for the welfare of living creatures, are tearing at the body of Western civilization. The gullible multitude swallows the hype. What is the future of Jews in such a world?

Intense debate has been underway since the dawn of the 21st century, nowhere more fertile than in France, at the European epicenter of the international storm. Our survival depends on our capacity to think! To think clearly, precisely, profoundly, and coherently. High on the list of the Jewish thinkers who have risen to the challenge, Shmuel Trigano gives us keys to understanding our predicament and, hopefully, averting catastrophe. Sociologist, philosopher, academic, prolific writer, he sheds light on the perverse process that leads to the lumping together of Jews and Muslims (as foreign bodies), the damning of “ritual slaughter” (the term is a horror in itself), and the smug conclusion: “animal rights come before religious rights.”

The subject was at the heart of an international Colloquium “L’Union européenne et les nouvelles forms de la question juive” [New forms of the Jewish Question in the European Union], held in Paris on January 26th under the auspices of l’Université populaire du judaïsme and founding director Shmuel Trigano, who introduced the Colloquium with a few words about the newly created Université Populaire, “an alliance of heart and mind.” The aim of this open program of Jewish studies is to examine the Jewish message—eternal Israel—in conjunction with the contemporary situation of Jews, individually and collectively, and the dangers facing the Jewish state in a post-national Western world. In the 20th century, Jews that had been living as individual citizens of European nations were collectively rounded up and exterminated. Subsequently, Jews were chased out of the Arab-Muslim world. Jewish population today is concentrated in Israel, the United States, Western Europe, and Russia.

The first speaker at the Colloquium, Bruno Fiszon—chief rabbi of Metz and a member of the French Veterinary Academy—who defends shechita with scientific precision, gave an inside view of the ferment that led the European Commission to assimilate male circumcision with female genital mutilation, and “ritual slaughter” with savagery. Eurodeputy Marlène Rupprecht, reporter of the commission on circumcision, deplored practices that reveal “the dark side of your religion.” Her colleague Sylvie Goy-Chavent, who also sponsored the resolution discriminating against products from Israel’s “occupied territories,” claims the proceeds of kosher slaughter finance Israel’s army. Something other than animal welfare is at play.

Nine speakers, including Robert Wistrich—author of the recently cancelled UNESCO exhibit on the 3500 year connection between the Jewish people, the Book, and the land of Israel—addressed the “Jewish question” from every angle. Jean-Pierre Bensimon stepped out of the European framework to voice stinging criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry’s misguided peace initiative. Bat Ye’or traced current developments in the Eurabian project she has thoroughly documented: Palestinianism and its anti-Zionist corollary, the peace process as a jihadist plan for the destruction of Israel, replacement of French identity and population, the rejection of rational European civilization in favor of Koranic doctrine, the 2006 Berlin Conference decision to politicize European culture…

Shmuel Trigano outlined the new anti-Semitism that has developed within a new world order: To restore the belief in its own bounty after the Shoah, Europe invented a religion of compassion in a borderless EU consecrated to the defense of The Victim. The victims of the Shoah, bleached of their Jewish specificity and interchangeable with new models, are an object of worship. The nation-state is blamed for the evils of the 20th century and Israel is execrated for its retrograde nationalism, leaving the Jews exposed once more to the danger of extermination if robbed of the protection of the sovereign Jewish state. (A video of the Colloquium is available online. )1

At the end of this day-long studious exercise, participants discovered what had been going on in the streets of Paris: The Day of Rage, billed as a spontaneous coalition of gripes against the Hollande government, the EU, global finance, and a long list of etceteras, had brought forth a vociferous chorus of Jew hatred from one end to the other of the political spectrum. “Jews, Jews, France isn’t for you!”2

The juxtaposition of the insightful Colloquium and the real life manifestation of Jew hatred in distressed French society is a fitting example of the brainspan of Shmuel Trigano, stretching from an inspired interpretation of the founding texts of Judaism to a sharp intuition of the clear and present danger that threatens flesh and blood Jewish people.

Like many others, I discovered Trigano in 2001, with the publication of a quarterly bulletin, l’Observatoire du Monde Juif, that broke through a government and media blackout on attacks against Jews and Jewish property. Each issue of the Observatoire listed anti-Semitic acts (8 full pages in the first quarter of 2001) along with essays by Trigano and astute collaborators, focused on specific themes—media bias, Islamism and the Jews, the New Left and Israel, Israel the pariah state…  Trigano traced the sociological twists by which a long-standing well-integrated Jewish community respectful of the laws and the spirit of the French République was accused of “communautarisme” (clannishness) for coming together to defend itself from the violent anti-Semitism of a recent Muslim immigrant population, hostile to the host country and its values. Later, when the reality could no longer be denied, unprovoked attacks on Jews were travestied as inter-ethnic clashes.

Trigano gave a comprehensive analysis of repercussions of the “Al Aqsa Intifada” in France in La demission de la République/Juifs et musulmans en France [resignation of la République/Jews and Muslims in France], published in 2003.3 There is nothing ideological, emotional, essentialist, or ethnically competitive about his reflection on national identity under the pressure of an unprecedented influx of immigrants from North and sub-Saharan African nations that have been historically in conflict with the West. A population that rejected modernity—experienced “in reverse” as colonization—and practices an unreformed religion that remains inimical to European values will inevitably acquire political clout in a democratic nation that makes no demands on them and shirks its own identity.

Integration, says Trigano, is impossible in the absence of national identity. The current situation, which makes life impossible for French Jews, will create chaos in society at large. The short-lived “victory” of Muslim immigrants, allowed to assert their theoretical domination and claim their rightful place without accepting national values, will inevitably create a prejudicial backlash. He concludes with hopes for a positive outcome based on a pact similar to the agreement made between Napoleon and Jewish authorities that led to the granting of citizenship rights to French Jews. An Islam of France (as opposed to an Islam in France) would formally renounce precepts such as jihad, death to apostates, dominion over infidels, polygamy, oppression of women… No simple task! And Trigano does not toss out the idea like a politician on the campaign trail. Events since “La demission” was published have confirmed the diagnosis and potential solution. The alternative—multiculturalism—is producing exactly the backlash he predicted.

Impressed by Trigano’s lucidity, coherence, integrity, and foresight, I went out of my way to attend any colloquium he organized—including a notable one on the al Dura hoax—read his essays on current events, contributed to the review Controverses he edited from 2006 to 2011, thick handsome volumes that expand the depth and scope of the Observatoire. One issue, for example,4 explored the phenomenon of “alterjuifs,” a term coined to replace the misnomer “self-hating Jews.” In 2010 Trigano short- circuited an attempt to create a European version of J Street: the Raison Garder [be reasonable] petition garnered twice as many signatures as the heftily backed JCall.

This year I am following Trigano’s course at the Université populaire. Ah! If only we were taught Judaism that way when we were young. One evening, as the class ended, he tossed out this pithy idea, like someone offering you a second helping of cake:  “The soul, I think, carries the flesh.” Yes! And his soul carries a generous unpretentious presence with a warm smile on the face of a hidalgo who stepped out of a Spanish painting. “When I’m in the States, strangers address me directly in Spanish.” We sat down together recently for a friendly conversation about his life and work. From details about his youth in Blida (Algeria), where he was born in 1948, to an explanation of his quest for an authentic “Hebrew philosophy,” Shmuel always makes sense! If you had to sum up his thought and his being in one word, you would say: coherent. He has no nostalgia for the Maghreb where he lived as a French citizen in a modern French-speaking family. His parents were afraid to send him to Talmud Torah in those times of revolutionary violence that led to their inevitable flight in 1962. He remembers tenderly their tragi-comic departure: “My father didn’t want to leave. We went to Vichy for a 20-day ‘cure’ at the baths, and when the time was up, we wandered here, there…”  They ended up finally in Paris, like tens of thousands of Jews forced to leave Muslim lands in a context of betrayal, persecution, loss of status and material possessions. The reception was chilly to say the least. But the Sephardic population that would invigorate French Jewish life seized every opportunity to make a fresh start.

Shmuel Trigano is first and foremost a writer. Not a philosopher trained in the discipline, but a thinker who reaches the philosophical level through the dynamics of writing creatively, with utmost honesty and intuitive confidence. After a brief excursion, at the age of 15, in “a Camus style fiction, the beach, the cruel Mediterranean sun…” he embarked on his life’s work, a highly original inquiry that began with the brutal expulsion from the land of his birth. From the youthful question—why did this happen to me—he has traveled, by writing, from the personal to the general to the essential. What happened to Jews, what is happening to us, who are we, what do we bring to humanity, how do we survive?

Picking up at the lycée in Paris the studies he had left in Blida, Trigano passed his baccalauréat, learned Hebrew and set out for Israel, immersed in the kibbutz, the landscape, Zionism, and studies at Hebrew University, graduating with a BA in political science. But the coherence he hungered was not yet on the program. The dichotomy between “thought” and “Jewish thought” existed in Israel as in the Diaspora as in Western civilization. “Israelis,” says Trigano, “speak a European language with Hebrew words.”

He returned to France to pursue a quest that seemed to require linguistic duality, using French to cast light on the stunning dimension of Biblical Hebrew. With a Doctorate in Sociology, he began the university career that has allowed him to write while exercising his authentic talent as a teacher. He took a six- month leave of absence to compose Récit de la disparue, an essay on Jewish identity, sent the manuscript “over the transom” to numerous publishers… and had no response until, one year later, he learned that Pierre Nora, an editor at the prestigious house of Gallimard, had decided to publish the manuscript after getting the approval of Emmanuel Lévinas, Henri Meschonnic, and Maurice Blanchot. The book came out in 1977.5

Thirty-seven years later, Shmuel Trigano finds himself once more in a linguistic-cultural-geographic conundrum. The French language, which has lost nothing of its vibrant beauty and capacity for expression, is losing its territorial scope. And Jews in France are tottering on the edge of a familiar precipice. The same Muslim population that forced them to flee Arab lands has now created such a hostile environment in France that many envisage another exodus. The French language once practiced by fine minds all over the world is becoming a backwater, a trap for thinkers whose work is not easily translated and marketable. We who are enduring this difficult period in contemporary French history have the privilege of reading their works in the original; it isn’t a golden age, but there’s some silver in it.6

The outburst of violence against Jews triggered by the “Al Aqsa Intifada” awoke, in the depths of Shmuel Trigano’s soul, hidden memories of the exodus from Algeria. As if he could finally experience the pain and distress and know, once again, the sinking feeling that the state cannot protect you. After more than a decade of intense writing and activity centered on this new anti-Semitism often disguised by an anti-Zionist cloud, Shmuel Trigano discovered, as if it had written itself, his magnum opus, Judaïsme et l’esprit du monde.

Acclaimed by Roger Pol-Droit7—“an exceptional endeavor…. remarkable coherence imposed on a dizzying diversity of themes…”—this monumental work reveals the erudition that underlies Shmuel Trigano’s every intellectual gesture. Jacques Tarnero, reviewing Trigano’s most recent publication, Politique du people juif, praises his extraordinary intellectual creation, a tireless quest, the matrix of his thought: what is the question that Israel raises in a world relentlessly determined not to hear it? “Judaism,” says Trigano, “is a concept of the world, a vision of the universe and the cosmos, not a narrow province…”8

“The world, the void, nothingness, creation are not mysteries, they can be the subject of Man’s comprehension. No magic is possible in this perspective….  The intellectuality of Judaic spirituality is touched with grace, informed with a poetic sensitivity. The language …is not dry rhetoric; it is the contours of a natural landscape… The Land of Israel is that land and that language.” Judaïsme et l’esprit du monde [p. 196]

image001EDITORS NOTE: Nidra Poller’s book is Karimi Hotel is now available in English and Al Dura: long range ballistic myth is available on Kindle.

[1] Video of colloquium http://www.akadem.org/_articles/342/57342.php . An English version will eventually be available.

[2] http://www.d-intl.com/2014/02/10/frances-united-front-of-jew-hatred/?lang=en

[3] La Démission de la République/ Juifs et Musulmans en France. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2003.

[4]  http://www.controverses.fr/ N° 4, Feb. 2007

[5] Le récit de la disparue/ essai sur l’identité juive. Paris, Gallimard, 1977, Folio-Gallimard, 2001

[6] English-speaking readers can discover  Shmuel Trigano in: Philosophy of Law Shalem Press, 2012

The Democratic Ideal, the unthought in Political Modernity SUNY Press, 2009.

Texts http://www.shmuel-trigano.fr/texts-english.html] and

Interviews  http://www.shmuel-trigano.fr/interviews.html in English on his site.

Shmuel Trigano’s “intellectual confession” will appear in Jewish Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century: Personal Reflections, edited by Aaron Hughes and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Brill Academic Publishers. http://www.brill.com/

[7] [Le Monde http://www.lemonde.fr/livres/article/2011/02/03/shmuel-trigano-voir-le-judaisme-du-dehors-et-du-dedans_1474367_3260.html]

[8] [http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/jacques-tarnero/politique-peuple-juif_b_2581932.html]

Family Policy Council Moves to Protect Marriage in Florida

Florida Family Policy filed a Motion to Intervene in Brenner v. Scott and the case of Grimsley v. Scott, both lawsuits initiated by homosexual activists seeking to declare Florida’s state constitutional and statutory marriage laws unconstitutional.  Liberty Counsel filed the intervention on behalf of Florida Family Action, which actively organized a statewide grassroots effort to pass the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. This was the largest grassroots effort in the history of Florida and the first constitutional amendment to reach the 60 percent threshold required for passage.

In 2008, 62.5 percent of Floridians voted to pass Amendment 2, amending their state constitution to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Having lost in the marketplace of ideas and having failed to convince the public to adopt their radical version of “marriage,” homosexual activists, led by a Jacksonville Law firm and the ACLU, have now filed suit, asking the Northern District of Florida, a Federal Court, to throw out the votes of 8 million Floridians and to judicially impose homosexual marriage upon all Floridians.

Liberty Counsel seeks to intervene to protect both marriage and the voting rights of all Floridians on behalf of Florida Family Action, a cultural action organization that was instrumental in helping pass Amendment 2, along with its thousands of members across the state, devoted to preserving and protecting the institution of marriage.

John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Action issued the following statement:

“The constitution is not silly putty.  It has objective words and limitations to its scope.  The left in this country has no regard for the rule of law and facilitated by activist judges seek to pull new legal rabbits out their hat by twisting words and making things up from thin air which the constitution never articulated and which the framers never envisioned.  There are some things in life and in America worth fighting for even if it comes at great cost.  The institution of marriage and the Constitution are two such things. Without these our civilization begins to become reckless and government tramples on basic human liberty.”

A copy of the motion filed in PDF may be downloaded here.

ABOUT FLORIDA FAMILY ACTION

Since 2004, Florida Family Action has been one of Florida’s leading advocacy groups seeking to defend attacks on life, marriage, family and liberty.  The attorneys representing us are with Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989.

Selling Envy: How governments promote the worst in us to redistribute wealth by TERREE P. SUMMER

The current fuss over inequality has a classic feel to it. For one thing, it’s one of the oldest plays in the Progressive playbook. But it’s a well-established maneuver for governments everywhere. The idea is to appeal to the age-old feelings of envy and guilt that arise in virtually every person: Why should some have more than others? Is it fair that some people or whole countries have greater wealth and higher incomes while others struggle?

History is rife with examples of politician-induced envy in order to attempt to justify redistribution. Those who fomented the Russian revolution in the early twentieth century tempted the proletariat with the property of the affluent. Hitler enticed the populace toward envy of the Jews, many of whom were economically successful in Europe, to help construct his national socialist empire. Miquel Faria, in his book,Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise, states, “As in all socialist systems, Castro uses envy, class hatred, and class warfare.” Much the same has been true of Peronist Argentina.

It pits us against each other, letting politicians leverage an instinctive reaction to gain power. It’s an effective tactic and the rhetoric of inequality remains an effective cover, which is why politicians still trot it out routinely. But the policies it perpetuates will end up impoverishing any country.

Wealth redistribution inevitably robs every person of their freedoms. Equality is never achieved; the wealth is mostly shifted to those currently in power, who administer and derive political support from redistributive programs. The masses remain impoverished, and those in power remain, for as long as they can, the supposed champions of those masses, struggling for a fair redistribution.

This process was diagnosed some time ago by Helmut Schoeck, in his 1966 book Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior. According to Schoeck, “The revolutionary movements in South American republics, Bolshevism in Russia, the resentful Populists in the United States (today the Progressives), all were supported by those circles who would clearly be the first to take a malicious delight in the levelling of society. But without exception, and sometimes in the course of a few decades, the new ruling caste has become a bourgeoisie or a plutocracy.” Inevitably, those promulgating envy as a means to levelling, in the end become the same class they earlier despised.

History has shown us that the result of trying to enact income equality is that you achieve a society where all the citizens are poor together. Ludwig von Mises, in Socialism, wrote,

Most people who demand the greatest possible equality of incomes do not realize that what they desire would only be achieved by sacrificing other aims. They imagine that the sum of incomes will remain unchanged and that all they need to do is to distribute it more equally than it is distributed in the social order based on private property…. It must be clearly understood, however, that this idea rests on a grave error. It has been shown that, in whatever way one envisages the equalization of incomes this must always and necessarily lead to a very considerable reduction of the total national income and, thus, also, of the average income. For we have then to decide whether we are in favor of an equal distribution of income at a lower average income, or inequality of incomes at a higher average income. [emphasis added]

European countries moved toward socialism and levelling in a big way during the twentieth century, partially in order to decrease income equality in monarchies in which only a few had wealth and the rest lived in poverty. But what has been the result?

According to Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large at The Atlantic Cities, “The U.S. accounts for about a third of all high-net-worth people (60,657), and Europe is home to 54,170.” The actual numbers are not starkly different. In 2012, 24 percent, or 120 million people, of the 500 million people in the European Union were listed as at risk of poverty. In the same year, the U.S. poverty rate (out of 318 million people) was 15 percent, roughly 46.5 million people. Socialist policies that attempt to level the economic playing field are repeatedly unsuccessful. As Winston Churchill stated, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,” and “The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

A society that encourages envy in order to “level the playing field” for its citizens is a society that will implode from within. Oppressive government spending programs requiring high taxation and controls on individuals can lead to economic stagnation or even collapse. There is something particularly sordid about politicians who play on our envy. It is a game of power and control and it can lead people to justify using violence to take the property of others. Citizens of every country should learn to recognize whether politicians are manipulating them by playing on their envy. Only when we learn to aspire and admire those that are economically successful, and not be envious of them, will we see our economies flourish.

ABOUT TERREE P. SUMMER

Terree P. Summer is an economist and author specializing in healthcare and the federal budget. She is the author of What Has Government Done to Our Health Care? published by the Cato Institute (1992).

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Today’s Totalitarianism

20140401_April2014600

FREEMAN April 2014 Edition.

When people go around armed with mobile phones and makeshift shields, what are the powers that be to do? Recent events in Venezuela and Ukraine suggest no status quo is safe when popular movements are networked and determined.

The trouble is, the world has not yet learned to be networked and determined as a permanent alternative to State control. After any revolution, a networked and determined people could be self-governing, though this rarely happens; revolutions remain as likely to usher in something not much better—maybe even worse—than what preceded them. Egypt is currently living out a version of this.

Most people still default to the idea that a more benevolent leviathan is going to make everything okay. And there are always would-be leviathans waiting in the wings. The hope that they’ll be less brutal is just that—hope. After regimes are toppled or swept aside, strongmen, puppet governments, or hostile neighbors are almost always well positioned to take and keep power. Problems return.

Further, when you strip off a dictator like removing a scab, what’s left underneath is often a factionalized people.

In the case of the Ukraine, it appears there’s a Russian-speaking faction that is sympathetic to Putin. There is a Ukrainian nationalist faction that is decidedly not into wearing any more totalitarian yokes, but that flirts with notions of ethnic purity, blood, and soil. There is yet another faction that fancies itself European and thinks the European superstate is the right umbrella. And on and on. Foreign powers may also have helped set a match to the tender—the United States, the EU, and Russia are all prime suspects.

In the case of Venezuela, however, the protests seem to have originated primarily among the young who are tired of shortages and suppressed freedoms that come from the Bolivarian state. CNN reports:

The weeks of protests across Venezuela mark the biggest threat President Nicolas Maduro has faced since his election last year. Demonstrators say they have taken to the streets to protest shortages of goods, high inflation and high crime.

Opposition protesters and government officials have traded blame for the violence for weeks.

The current Venezuelan leader argues that brutal suppression is justified; his charismatic predecessor, Hugo Chavez, thought the same thing. And in the mind of the State, it almost always is:

Think about what the U.S. government would do if a political group laid out a road map for overthrowing President Barack Obama, Maduro said.

“What would happen in the United States if a group said they were going to start something in the United States so that President Obama leaves, resigns, to change the constitutional government of the United States?” Maduro said. “Surely, the state would react, would use all the force that the law gives it to re-establish order and to put those who are against the Constitution where they belong.”

Surely it is a bizarro-world justification in which such regimes appeal to any Constitution in the same breath as President Obama, who thinks of the U.S. Constitution as quaint, brittle toilet tissue. But then again, Maduro is right that the U.S. government has all the power it needs to suppress any serious popular uprising—and, one expects, wouldn’t hesitate to use it.

What about states with determined but unconnected people? North Korea is still squirming along under a totalitarian thumb, as the portly Kim Jong Un takes leads from his father and grandfather, whose advice can be summed up in the dictators’ dictum: “A weak fist wipes away tears.” The highest echelon in Pyongyang reserves its fists for striking down and holding down its people—a determined, but sadly unconnected people. Thus the Hermit Kingdom could stay in penury and subjugation for many more years.

Wherever one lands on the continuum between pacificism and hostile interventionism, it is difficult not to let one’s feelings for oppressed people guide his thoughts away from either pragmatism or principle. And yet we must take care: Meddling in foreign affairs rarely ends up in any sort of postwar stability, liberation, or liberalization. It’s frustrating to see Putin get away with it. And we certainly wouldn’t want to live next to such a regime. But the simple fact that the United States could bomb or sanction Russia into even more suffering by no means guarantees a positive outcome if the United States does. The last 40 years of American military misadventures demonstrate that.

A couple of our readers challenged our publishing sentiments with respect to Ukraine. For example, we lent our pages to an anonymous Ukrainian journalist early on, when few outlets were reporting much of anything at all. Indeed, we got this story out relatively early. While we stand by any peoples longing to be free, we remain uncertain about the extent to which foreign meddlers were involved in the uprising, much less whether such meddling was warranted.

In any case, if The Freeman takes any position on matters like these, we side with peoples against illiberal States, realizing all the while that self-determination can be an imperfect process carried out in a world of opportunistic state actors and Hobbesian calculi. And of course we hope that determined and connected people can learn to do more than throw off power. We hope that someday, they can keep it and lock it away from the totalitarians forever.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FFE and Shutterstock.

Florida: 5,000 Legal Students To Lose Their Dream

In a report released by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) the impact of providing College Tuition Subsidy for Illegal Aliens (HB851/SB1400, a.k.a. in-state tuition) will be that approximately 5,000 legal students will be displaced in Florida higher level institutions by illegal alien students.  These legislators are unwilling to raise taxes for the additional illegal alien students by expanding capacity so legal students will consequently be displaced.

While Democrats have consistently supported college tuition subsidy for illegal aliens only recently has Republican Leadership supported the measure.  The impetus for Republicans to support the benefit seems to be a distorted belief that Governor Rick Scott’s sagging poll numbers will be bolstered.

While the number of displaced legal students and fiscal cost vary slightly between HB851 and SB1400 the estimates are similar:

  • HB851 will displace of 5,026 legal students
  • SB1400 will displace 5,175 legal students
  • The fiscal cost of HB851 is estimated at $21.7 million.
  •  The fiscal cost of SB1400 is estimated at $22.7 million.    

The full report is available at:

http://www.flimen.org/images/HB851-SB1400%20Cost%20Estimate.pdf

RELATED STORY: Florida House: Resident In-state Tuition for Illegal Aliens passes by vote of 81-33! Did they read the bill?

Looking for Answers to the Autism Epidemic in All the Wrong Places

Just last week, on March 24, 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) released its latest data on autism. After surveying medical and school records from 11 states, the CDC found that autism has more than doubled since the new century began only 14 years ago. Today the condition affects one out of 68 children – five times as many boys as girls. Alarmingly, there was a 30 percent climb in its incidence between 2008 and 2010.

Maybe you missed the story, since the day it broke, and the following day, the media –TV, radio, print – devoted about 30 seconds and just a few articles to this horrific report, significantly less time than is still spent endlessly speculating on Flight 370 or debating the use of the word “bossy,” both of which pale in comparison to the marathon of unendurable daily ads for Cialis and Viagra! Exhibit Number One in America’s priority system!

The powers-that-be at the CDC once again trotted out the age-old rationales to explain this bizarre finding:

  • Greater awareness and therefore earlier and more accurate diagnoses
  • The role that being an older parent plays not only in the incidence of autism but also Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities
  • Genes
  • “Something” in the environment

The study found that the incidence of autism in blacks “continues to lag behind whites and Hispanics,” which some experts attributed to racial bias (i.e., blacks lack equal access to medical care), but other experts said that blacks may simply be less vulnerable to autism for some unknown reason.

What is consistently omitted, however, is the role that ultrasound exams during pregnancy may and probably do play not only in this seeming black/white disparity, but in the rapidly-escalating incidence of the condition. More about that below.

WHAT WE KNOW TODAY

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the normal development of the brain, causing self-defeating behaviors and an inability to form social relationships. It usually appears before the age of three. Most scientists believe that autism is strongly influenced by genetics but allow that environmental factors may also play a role.

To be diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, a child must have deficits in three areas:

  1. Communication (most children can’t make eye contact; others can’t speak)
  2. Social skills (typified by disinterest in both people and surroundings)
  3. Typically “normal” behavior (many autistic children have tics, repetitive behavior, inappropriate affects, et al)

Those diagnosed on the autistic spectrum range from high-functioning, self-sufficient people, even geniuses, to those who need lifelong supportive help.

Newsday reporter Delthia Ricks interviewed Coleen Boyle, the Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (a division of the CDC), who said that “8-year-olds [were chosen for the study] because, by that age, everyone with an autism-spectrum disorder usually will have been diagnosed.”

According to New York Times writer Benedict Carey, the study revealed “a huge range in autism prevalence… from one child in 175 found with autism in Alabama, to one in 46 in New Jersey.”

Other sites in the study, Carey reported, were in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

After the CDC announced the horrifying results of its study, several members of Congress and advocacy groups called for more funding for research and support services.

A LARGELY-DEBUNKED THEORY

The increased incidence of autism has been attributed by legions of parents and a number of professionals to the mercury-containing preservative thimerosol, used to prevent bacterial or fungal contamination in the vaccines babies and children routinely receive.

This is not backed up by hard science.

Thimerosol, which has been used in vaccines since the 1930s, has not been used in the U.S. since 2001 and the vaccine dosages containing the preservative that were given before then had about the same amount of mercury found in an infant’s daily supply of breast milk.

Numerous studies – by the Centers for Disease Control, the Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and the National Academy of Sciences, among others – have found no autism-vaccine link, while other studies have shown an increase in autism in countries that have removed thimerosal from vaccines.

Nevertheless, aided by salivating personal-injury lawyers, parents have filed thousands of lawsuits claiming that thimerosol “caused” their children’s autism. Between late 1999 and late 2002, mercury was removed from most childhood vaccines, including DPT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), Hepatitis B, and Hib [Haemophilus influenza b]. The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), which is a live vaccine, is not compatible with thimerosal.

Also abetting the quack science are figures like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who wrote an article, “Deadly Immunity,” for Rolling Stone magazine, which was reprinted in Salon.com. But Salon ended up removing the article from its website because of the scorn it received from the scientific community. Kennedy’s articles were “rife with factual errors and distortions,” wrote Robert V. Fineberg, M.D, president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

What appears significant, however, is the degree to which diagnoses of mental retardation and learning disabilities throughout the country have decreased at the same time as diagnoses of autism have risen, as reported in a May 2006 issue of Behavioral Pediatrics. Some experts theorize that “diagnostic substitution” may explain this phenomenon. Diagnostic Substitution means that children who were diagnosed with other conditions – including ADHD and learning disabilities – are now diagnosed with autism.

MY THEORY

In the early ‘70s, I worked as a delivery-room nurse at a university-affiliated hospital near my home on Long Island. It was a revolutionary time in obstetrics, when the Lamaze method of “prepared childbirth” and the use of sonograms to visualize fetuses were gaining popularity.

Actually, ultrasound technology was first developed in Scotland in the mid-1950s by obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown to detect industrial flaws in ships. By the end of the ‘50s, ultrasound was routinely used in Glasgow hospitals, but it was well into the 1970s before it was used in American hospitals to check that the developing baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid were normal and to detect abnormal conditions such as birth defects and ectopic pregnancies, et al.

At the end of the ‘70s, I became a certified Lamaze teacher and spent the next 22 years giving classes in my home. In a very real way, I had my own laboratory, as I learned directly from my clients about the increasing escalation of sonogram exams they had as the decades elapsed.

In the early 1980s, it was common for only one or two out of the 10 women in my classes to have a sonogram. In just a few years, every woman in my classes had had a sonogram. And in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, almost every woman had not one sonogram, but often two or three or four or five – starting as early as three or four weeks gestation and extending, in some instances, right up to delivery!

It was in the ‘90s, in fact, that it began to occur to me that the scary rise in the incidence of autism might be linked to the significant rise in ultrasound exams. Over the years, I’ve posited my theory to a number of people, written letters to the editors of newspapers – including the NY Times, for which I wrote for over 20 years, but they still refused to publish my letter – and e-mailed my idea to one of the top news people at the Fox News Network, but the we report/you decide powers-that-be on that station strangely decided not to report on this subject.

I contacted autism researchers Dr. Marcel Just and Dr. Diane L. Williams, who told me via e-mail that Dr. Pasko Rakic at Yale was, indeed, exploring the autism-ultrasound link.

Then, in 2006, I found an article in Midwifery Today, “Questions about Prenatal Ultrasound and the Alarming Increase in Autism,” by writer-researcher Caroline Rodgers.

“The steep increase in autism,” Rodgers wrote, “goes beyond the U.S.: It is a “global phenomenon”… that “has emerged…across vastly different environments and cultures.”

“What do countries and regions with climates, diets and exposure to known toxins as disparate as the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, Australia, India and the UK have in common?” Rodgers asked.

“No common factor in the water, air, local pesticides, diet or even building materials and clothing can explain the emergence and relentless increase in this serious, life-long neurodevelopmental disorder,” she stated.

However, Rodgers added: “What all industrial countries do have in common is …the use of routine prenatal ultrasound on pregnant women. In countries with nationalized healthcare, where virtually all pregnant women are exposed to ultrasound, the autism rates are even higher than in the U.S., where due to disparities in income and health insurance, some 30 percent of pregnant women do not yet undergo ultrasound scanning.” Aha! Could this be why blacks and Hispanics in America continue to lag behind whites in the development of autism?

Even in remote, rural regions of developing countries like China, ultrasound is in common use because sex determination is so important to their one-child – preferably male – policy.

The cause of autism, Rodgers continues, “has been pinned on everything from `emotionally remote’ mothers…to vaccines, genetics, immunological disorders, environmental toxins and maternal infections – a far simpler possibility…is the pervasive use of prenatal ultrasound, which can cause potentially dangerous thermal effects.

ENTER HARD SCIENCE

In August 2006, Pasko Rakic, M.D., chair of Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Neurobiology, announced the results of a study in which pregnant mice underwent various durations of ultrasound. The brains of the offspring showed damage consistent with that found in the brains of people with autism.

The research, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, also implicated ultrasound in neurodevelopmental problems in children, such as dyslexia, epilepsy, mental retardation and schizophrenia, and showed that damage to brain cells increased with longer exposures.

Dr. Rakic’s study, Rodgers said, “… is just one of many animal experiments and human studies conducted over the years indicating that prenatal ultrasound can be harmful to babies.”

In thedailybeast.com, Jennifer Margulis, author of Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Baby Before Their Bottom Line, writes that Dr. Rakic “concluded that all nonmedical use of ultrasound on pregnant women should be avoided.”

In her research, Margulis said, she discovered that “there is mounting evidence that overexposure to sound waves – or perhaps exposure to sound waves at a critical time during fetal development – is to blame for the astronomic rise in neurological disorders among America’s children.”

PROBLEMS WITH SOUND AND HEAT

A 2009 article in Scientific American by John Slocum explains that sonar (Sound Navigation And Ranging) systems, which were first developed by the U.S. Navy to detect enemy submarines, “generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels; the world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130. These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water, and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.”

This is relevant because many mass deaths and strandings of whales and dolphins have been attributed to the sonar waves emitted from Navy ships. Slocum writes that a successful 2003 lawsuit against the Navy brought by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to restrict the use of low-frequency sonar in waters rich in marine wildlife was upheld by two lower courts, but the Supreme Court “ruled that the Navy should be allowed to continue the use of some mid-frequency sonar testing for the sake of national security. “

There are hundreds if not thousands of cases that point to the dangers of sound waves. As many as 3,000 dead dolphins were found in Peru during the summer of 2012.  Researchers at the Organisation for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA), a Peruvian marine animal conservation organisation, attributed the mass deaths to the use of deep water sonar by ships in nearby waters. In June of 2008,  four days after a Navy helicopter was using controversial sonar equipment during training exercises off the Cornish coast in Great Britain, 26 dolphins died in a mass stranding.

Two quick questions: If sonar beams can kill fully-developed dolphins, what effect, then, do they have on the developing brains of in-utero embryos and fetuses? And why is this never discussed or debated or mentioned on TV broadcasts like the ones last week that reported the CDC’s latest and quite disastrous findings?

Getting back to those embryos and fetuses, Rodgers explains that an ultrasound used in fetal imaging emits short pulses of high-frequency sound waves that reflect off the tissues of the fetus, and the return echoes are converted into images. In addition to vibration, ultrasound waves can cause heating of the tissue and bone.”

“When the transducer from the ultrasound is positioned over the part of the fetus the operator is trying to visualize,” she continues, “the fetus may be feeling vibrations, heat or both.”

Rodgers then cites a warning the Food and Drug Administration issued in 2004: “…even at low levels, [ultrasound] laboratory studies have shown it can have…”jarring vibrations” – one study compared the noise to a subway coming into a station – “and a rise in temperature.”

Imagine how these assaults affect the developing brain of a fetus!

Just as concerning, as far back 1982, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) study, “Effects of Ultrasound on Biological Systems,” concluded that “…neurological, behavioral, developmental, immunological, hematological changes and reduced fetal weight can result from exposure to ultrasound.” Two years later, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that when birth defects occurred, the acoustic output [of sonograms] was usually high enough to cause considerable heat.

And yet, in 1993, the FDA approved an eight-fold increase in the potential acoustical output of ultrasound equipment! Ostensibly, this increase was done to enhance better visualization of the heart and small vessels during microsurgery. Clearly, the health and well-being of developing fetuses was not a consideration!

“Can the fact that this increase in potential thermal effects happened during the same period of time the incidence of autism increased nearly 60-fold be merely coincidental?” Rodgers asks.

Pregnant women are always warned to avoid steam rooms and saunas, based on studies published in numerous prestigious journals in which an irrefutable relationship between elevated maternal temperature and the development of brain defects in their infants has been established.

Again, Rodgers asks the question every woman must be asking herself after hearing of the disastrous results of the new CDC study:

“Using common sense, why would anyone think that intruding upon the continuous, seamless development of the fetus, which has for millions of years completed its work without assistance, be without consequences?”

KEEPING THE HEAT ON (so to speak)

In October of 2010, Ms. Rodgers participated in a forum sponsored by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In PDF format, she presented a lecture about autism and ultrasound entitled “The Elephant in the Room,” which included the following information:

  • Worldwide autism boom identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began with children born only 22 years ago in 1988-1989.
    • Since the FDA approved an allowable eightfold increase in acoustic output in the early ‘90s, only one prospective study has been undertaken. The study design did not expose fetuses to the first-trimester scans that are common today.
    • Ultrasound use and autism are more prevalent among higher socioeconomic groups.
    • Several studies have shown increased prevalence of autism among better-educated, more affluent communities. Women in these communities undoubtedly have health insurance and other resources to allow access to good nutrition, prenatal vitamins and excellent prenatal care, which, according to current practice, includes more ultrasound.

Autism surveys and studies have found the following groups of women are at higher risk of bearing children with autism:

  • Mothers who receive first-trimester care
  • Mothers with higher educations
  • Mothers with private health insurance
  • Older mothers

Rodgers concludes: Only increased exposure to prenatal ultrasound can explain all of the above.

Rodgers also elaborates on how things have changed since the FDA approved an eight-fold increase in the potential acoustical output of ultrasounds in 1993.

  • The number of ultrasound scans conducted during each pregnancy has increased, with women often receiving two or more scans even in low-risk situations
  • The development of the vaginal probe, which positions the beam of sound much closer to the embryo or fetus, may put it at higher risk
  • The use of Doppler ultrasound, which is used to study blood flow or to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, has increased. According to the 2006 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, “routine Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy does not have health benefits for women or babies and may do some harm.”

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are researching this issue in their Study to Explore Early Development (SEED).

There is a vast human tragedy – a true man-made disaster – taking place before our eyes.

For whatever reasons – follow the money? – the mountain of evidence that points to a causal relationship between prenatal ultrasound exams and an escalating pandemic of autism is being systematically ignored.

Could it have anything to do with the huge investments doctors and scientists have made in ultrasound technology, which, according to Jennifer Margulis, “adds more than $1 billion to the cost of caring for pregnant women in America each year”?

Could it have anything to do with the revenue now pouring like an avalanche into the coffers of diagnostic and treatment centers and classrooms?

Could it have anything to do with modern journalism’s almost complete abandonment of hard-nosed reporting and life-saving exposés?

As Caroline Rodgers said, there is an elephant in the room when it comes to the subject of autism – and that elephant is the worldwide blitzkrieg of ultrasound exams on pregnant women, exams that have bombarded the babies they’re carrying with the brain-warping sound waves and heat that will affect them every second of their autistic lives.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of children enrolled in Camp Pendleton’s Exceptional Family Member Program play with sensory balls during the program’s annual holiday party at the Abbey Reinke Community Center, Dec. 6. Sensory toys stimulate the senses of those who are diagnosed with autism. The photo is courtesy of the US Marine Corps.

Pro-Homosexual Group Targets LaBarbera’s Speaking Appearance at Saskatchewan, Canada Pro-Life Conference

It doesn’t get much more Orwellian than trying to pressure an independent organization to disinvite a speaker–in the name of “anti-bullying” and “tolerance”! Yet that is precisely what’s occurring and this time I am the target. Next week, April  11-12, I am scheduled to speak at a pro-life, pro-family conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada put on by the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) [see flier HERE]. But on Monday, I learned that a pro-homosexual group, Intolerance Free Weyburn, is working with the leftist petition site Change.org, to get me knocked off the dais as a speaker at the conference.

You can read about this in this pretty fair article in today’s Regina Leader Post. Following is the language in the Change.org petition targeting yours truly:

Peter LaBarbera is using this pro-life convention as a medium to advocate his personal anti-gay agenda.  His claims to do this using a “spirit of love and truth” are anything but factual considering he is recognized as the president of the anti-gay hate group “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality”.  This may lead to people unknowingly (people only interested in the pro-life aspect) be subjected to his message of hate and be influenced to correlate the ideas that being anti-gay and being pro-life are the same idea.  His religious overtones in his message are a danger to any person/s attending the conference for personal religious reasons.

The community of Weyburn, Saskatchewan wants to make it known that they do not condone his message of hate nor do they respect his wants to spread it.  In a world where basic human rights are just recently being recognized for the LGBT community, people such as Peter LaBarbera are counter productive to the evolution of society’s human nature.

As the “Opportunity City”, we need to be clear that all people will be fre”e from intolerance.  Freedom to opportunity means that EVERYONE has equal rights even if they don’t coincide with your own personal beliefs.  You don’t have to be “PRO”-anything in order to be anti-intolerance.  It just makes sense.

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been called “counter productive to the evolution of society’s human nature” before! I am dumbstruck at the Left’s brazen hypocrisy and shameless attempt to censor speech in the name of “freedom.” Read the simplistic and jingoistic comments under the petition to see how liberals justify their peculiarly intolerant brand of speech-stifling, “anti-hate” ideology. Here are a couple of comments:

  • Jan Stout CUPAR, CANADA about 20 hours ago  – I don’t live in Weyburn but I don’t even want one more person spreading poisonous words of hate in my province. Keep him out!
  • Penny Adams LAMPMAN, CANADA, 2 days ago – It’s never OKAY to promote hate.

SPLC’s handiwork

Behold the fruits of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s nefarious campaign to demonize AFTAH and other opponents of organized “gay” activism as “hate groups.” THIS is exactly what the SPLC sought to achieve with its spurious “hate” designation against AFTAH [see our listing on the SPLC’s bogus“Hate Map” HERE], Family Research Council, AFAMission AmericaMass Resistance and many other noble pro-family groups. As the saying goes, “Those who hate the Truth call Truth hate.”Hopefully, the SPLC’s influence will wane as Americans learn about its hard-left bias and hack political nature, and come to perceive it at the malicious tool of the Left that it is.

Lastly, I am saddened that some pro-life individuals have signed the Change.org petition. Perhaps they are unaware that the same socially Left activists who promote the acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality also promote abortion-on-demand. Did you know that the world’s largest pro-homosexual organization, Human Wrongs Rights Campaign, includes pro-abortion votes in its “Congressional Scorecards”? The second biggest “gay” group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, also promotes abortion-on-demand at its annual “Creating Change” conferences for LGBT activists.

Furthermore, as AFTAH has covered extensively, homosexual behaviors are disproportionately linked to a myriad of Sexually Transmitted Diseases including but not limited to HIV. Hundreds of thousands of “gay” men have had their life cut short because they practiced immoral and high-risk same-sex behavior. So of course promoting the sin homosexuality is anti-life, in addition to being anti-God. Thankfully, men and women are leaving homosexuality behind, many with the help of our Savior Jesus Christ. Homosexuality is not who you are, it’s what you do–and like any other misbehavior (sin), it can be overcome. Please give that loving and truthful message to anyone you know who has claimed a false identity of “gay,” “lesbian” or “transgender,” and pray for them.

This present hubbub is nothing compared to the oppression suffered by Christian Canadians over the years–people like Pastor Stephen Boissoin who had to spend years and tens of thousands of dollars to clear their name after being targeted for alleged “discrimination” by Canada’s notorious “Human Rights Tribunals”–merely because they spoke out against homosexuality. These “human rights” tribunals became kangaroo-courts for the Left to target pro-family speech and punish Christians.

The following is an Alert by my friend and pro-life. pro-family activist Bill Whatcott, who is on the SPLA’s board. You might remember Whatcott as the culture war hero who was convicted of disseminating “hate speech” by the Canadian Supreme Court. He is one of the most fearless truth-tellers I have ever encountered and it will be my honor to appear with him in Canada–that is, unless the local “Gay Thought Police” succeed in their “homo-Marxist” (or homo-fascist) attempt to shut down my speech. Please pray for the SPLA and me in this bizarre situation. God bless you. – Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH.org

Canadian Bill Whatcott writes:

Peter LaBarbera is being targeted by a Weyburn pro-homosexual hate group that is trying to prevent him from speaking at our Saskatchewan Pro-life conference

Dear Friends,

Please keep our Saskatchewan Pro-life convention in your prayers. It appears my mass flyer delivery advertising the conference has raised the ire of hundreds of folks, mostly in Saskatchewan, but also around the country, who support homosexuality. Paradoxically, as one reads the petition and Facebook comments they can quickly see the pro-homosexual activists protesting Peter LaBarbara only want tolerance to go one way, they don’t support Christians having the right to exist if the Christian disagrees with homosexuality.

Here is the flyer I mass distributed. It is not nearly as bombastic as my usual flyers, but just the mere mention of a workshop dealing with homosexuality from a Biblical point of view was enough to set off a firestorm of protest!

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9972

In response to our conference a Facebook group called “Intolerance Free Weyburn” has been set up and it seems to be co-ordinating media interviews and is planning a demonstration against our conference. They also have an article on their Facebook page about my Supreme Court case.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/230098367194611/

Here is their petition. As of my posting it has 400 signatures. The comments below are very typical of the dozens of comments I went through while reading the petition. Sadly, the petitioners completely misunderstand Peter LaBarbara’s message and they spectacularly fail to understand the grave harm homosexuality does to those acting out the lifestyle and they seem quite unaware of homosexual activist assaults on our country’s freedoms, especially though our courts and human rights commissions.

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/s … -labarberaJan Stout CUPAR, CANADA about 16 hours ago Liked 0
I don’t live in Weyburn but I don’t even want one more person spreading poisonous words of hate in my province. Keep him out!Cory Johnston WEYBURN, CANADA about 19 hours ago Liked 0
I find the religious fundamentalist attempt at controlling women’s right to choose reprehensible already. When they also attack homosexuality and spread misinformation about it I get even more incensed. I’m glad that someone is protesting this event and I’m glad this petition exists.Chelsa Broom SASKATOON, CANADA 1 day ago Liked 0
Everyone deserves the right to love. This man is about hate, pure and simple.

Several media outlets have contacted SPLA and Peter LaBarbera. I expect a firestorm when I wake up tomorrow. Weyburn 1190 AM radio called me and asked me to go into their studio at 10:00 AM (Saskatchewan Time).

You can hear the interview live here at 10:00 AM Saskatchewan Time: http://streema.com/radios/play/37402?player=external

Please pray for the Holy Spirit to be with me and to give me the grace to present our case well, as I defend our decision to invite Peter La Barbara to speak at our conference.

In Christ’s Service
Bill Whatcott

“You will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22

America in Decline

When Obama was running for president he promised, some say threatened, to fundamentally change America. The doubters now say he has fundamentally ruined America. Whichever way one views it, America is in serious decline.

For a president that promised to reduce the national debt Obama has added a massive seven trillion dollars to that debt. Under his presidency, America has accumulated as much new debt as it did in its first 227 years.

He heads an Administration that produces food stamps, legalizes marijuana, pries into people’s private lives, and sets government agencies against political opponents. Obama is following the guide book of Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” and putting Alinsky’s primer into practice from the White House. The results of his experiment are devastating.

Under Obama, prices and taxes rose while take home pay fell 7%. Government hand-outs increased dramatically as the national debt has exploded. Recent estimates put 50 million Americans on food stamps, and millions without healthcare.

Obama, the community organizer, preferred social justice over a robust market place, but, under his presidency, people are worse off today than they were back in 2009 when he promised them change. By the end of the first quarter of 2014 America had six million people not only unemployed but also not on the labor list, the vast majority under the age of 55. This implies they had given up all hope of finding work. More than forty million Americans lived below the poverty line.

Increasingly, America is becoming a nation of dysfunctional families. 41% of babies are born out of wedlock. Under America’s first black president, American blacks are increasingly unemployed, and 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, a terrible indictment on American society. The corrosive results of government hand-outs are now rampant in America. A nanny-state produces a population of dependency, not independence or an entrepreneurial spirit.

Obama has ratings in the 30s and falling on issues such as security, healthcare, economy, jobs, transparency in government, and the US image abroad. It seems that Obama doesn’t care. Deep into a second term, this lame duck president is determined to press on with his failed agenda, even if it takes executive powers to do it. American democracy is in jeopardy as Obama takes steps that are clearly unconstitutional.

The president’s credibility is trashed, and a major part of that is his failure to launch the unpopular healthcare policy that carries his name, “Obamacare.”  March 2014, saw the thirty first delay in a public display of total inefficiency.

Scandals follow in the wake of Obama appointees to key governmental jobs. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, apologized, last October, for the abject failure of the computer system that was supposed to deliver the Obamacare plan to the American public.

“In these early weeks, access to health care has been a miserably frustrating experience. You deserve better,” she said. It wasn’t weeks. The planning team had been working on the computer system for years.

On the nationally popular “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart accused Sebelius of lying about parts of Obamacare. When that happens, you know you’re in trouble.

There is an ongoing investigation into wrongdoings by America’s tax authority, the IRS. They are accused of targeting opposition groups. In a TV interview with Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, President Obama claimed there was “not a smidgeon of evidence” about tax attacks on conservative and libertine groups. However, Obama appointee, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Exempt Organization division, twice took the Fifth while refusing to divulge information to the Congressional Oversight Committee. Chairman Darrell Issa complained, “In the wake of Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify and answer questions, this report offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their constitutional rights to free political speech.”

Obama’s nomination of Demo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division sent shockwaves through the American political system. Adebile represented an unrepentant cop-killer in 1981. This brought vocal opposition from national law-enforcement officials. The president’s judgment was badly flawed in selecting this poor choice of candidate. It was based more on Adegbile’s far left political activism rather than someone steeped in legal experience.

Obama followed up with yet another dubious choice of Vivek Murthy to be the next US Surgeon-General. Murthy, yet another political activist and the founder of “Doctors for Obama,” repeatedly described gun ownership as “a public health issue.” He is opposed by the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying force in America. He is also facing strong opposition by many Democrats. The right to bear arms is an integral part of the US Constitution.  The job of Surgeon-General is not gun control. It is about disease and disease prevention. The usual criterion for Surgeon-General is someone who has run a major hospital or headed a state healthcare system. Murthy has only been an attending doctor for eight years. His political activism far outweighs his public health experience.

Obama’s record of nominating radical politocos, rather than efficient and successful technocrats, particularly at the expense of the US Constitution, is a symptom of the demise of America.

It goes on. Recently, Obama nominated several of his campaign donors to ambassadorships. The problem was that they had never visited their nominated countries, Iceland, Norway, and Argentina. The nominee for Norway, George Tsunis, didn’t even know that country had a king, and not a president. Such is the level of presidential incompetence in Obama’s personal nominees to major positions of government.

Revelations concerning widespread governmental electronic surveillance of law-abiding citizens set alarm bells ringing when whistleblower, Edward Snowden, divulged that the National Security Agency had been snooping on 340 million cell phones in the United States.  A Federal judge described it as “almost Orwellian.”  It is, in fact, a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.  

A Guardian newspaper report on March 5, 2014, divulged that President Obama knew the CIA had spied on the Senate intelligence committee using agency computers.  “I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee’s oversight powers and for our democracy,” Democratic Congressman Mark Udall wrote to Obama.

President Obama lied to the people. The mid-term elections in November will hinge on which Democratic candidates echoed the Obama mantra “under Obamacare you can keep your health plan and you can keep your doctor.” Neither of these claims is true.

When you have a foreign policy of “leading from behind” you lose the political momentum to advance values.

With Obama, it began with his apology tour to Muslim nations which included his bowing to the Saudi Arabian king, a gesture interpreted in the Islamic world as submission. From that point it spiraled downward.

On his watch, and that of his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, an American ambassador and three CIA operatives were murdered in Benghazi, Libya. They claimed, for weeks, that their deaths were caused by a mob angry at an amateur video, when, in fact, it was an organized terror attack that killed them. It was revealed that repeated calls for help were ignored by both the White House and the State Department. Knowing the truth, according to recent evidence, both Obama and Clinton lied to the nation, and worse, to the families of the dead Americans.

Since Benghazi, Obama touted Al-Qaida’s demise thirty two times, according to White House transcripts. “Decimated” is a word that Obama likes to use to describe Al-Qaida. However, on January 29, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified on Capitol Hill that the threat from Al-Qaida is not less than it was a decade ago and that it is “much more globally dispersed.”  The question arises, how is it that the president is out of touch with his national security advisors?  Al-Qaida is on the rise because of a feckless American leadership.

Back in September, John Kerry told Democrats that America faced “its Munich moment” over the Syrian use of chemical weapons. Considering that, six months later, Assad still possesses the vast majority of his stockpile it appears that this has been a failure of American leadership. Another “Munich moment” is taking place with the smiley, touchy, talks that are taking place with the Iranians over their nuclear ambitions. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia is convinced that the softly-softly approach with Tehran is the way to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. A third “Munich moment” is taking place over the Russian domination of the Ukraine. This also looks doomed to failure in light of a massive vote in the Crimea for Russian patronage. With the Israeli-Palestinian talks about to crash into the buffers of failure, the Kerry-initiative looks impressive in its impotence to persuade Mahmoud Abbas to recognize the Jewish State. Kerry even called it a “mistake” for Israel even to make this elementary condition a demand, thereby showing his total lack of understanding of what lies as the root cause of this conflict.

We know what happened post-Munich. We are witnessing American Munich moments on a global scale. We dread for the future.

The Wall Street Journal printed an article written by Mitt Romney. Although he can be seen as a biased observer, he stated something that is patently obvious.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident. It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure is due to their failure to act when action was possible and needed.”

When American power draws back it leaves a dangerous vacuum.  With the US withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Karsei will pivot to whoever keeps him in power. US out. Taliban in!

Mishandling by President Obama of several foreign issues has also led to a power vacuum that is being filled by a resurgent Russia. His “lead from behind” policy allowed the Russians to dictate negotiations with their ally, Assad. Obama’s sanction regime on Iran is badly fraying at the edges as the Iranian negotiators waltz the clock to midnight on their nuclear ambitions. With the serious crack in tenuous relations with Russia over the Ukraine, Russia is sure to throw even more support behind Tehran as a further poke in Washington’s eye. The tense situation with Russia points to the potentially dangerous result of America’s shortsighted 2009 refusal to establish a missile shield to protect eastern Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic.

This vacuum allowed Russia to become high profile and active in the Middle East.  In August, 2013, the White House cut off military aid to Egypt. This was a misreading of the political map in Egypt. Egypt refused to take phone calls from Defense Secretary Hagel and turned to Russia for aid. Al Tahrir newspaper ran the headline, “Let the US aid go to hell!”  So much for the Obama apology tour, that began in Cairo.

Russia is emboldened to assert itself in Europe. Crimea is a Russian test of the extent of American weakness. The White House sanctioned seven Russian businessmen. They shrugged off that threat causing Putin’s deputy Prime Minister to tweet that he thought some joker wrote the US Presidential order.

With Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Iran turning to Russia, with major oil-trading nations negotiating deals in a currency other than the US dollar, with the contempt felt for America’s weakness in foreign policy, with Iran, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban resurgent in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, can anyone doubt that America is in decline?

There is no reason to assume that a Hillary Clinton presidency will improve America’s foreign strength. She flunked the 3 a.m. phone call test as Secretary of State when Benghazi called. She simply turned over and went back to sleep. Her tour of duty did nothing to affirm US values. It is doubtful she will move away from Obama’s bad habits of upsetting allies and cuddling up to their enemies.

Political bungling at home and abroad is appalling. When his record is etched, Obama will go down as the worst, most damaging president, in American history until, perhaps, the next one.

Muslim Refugees Take Over Former Catholic Church in Syracuse, New York

With the drop in church attendance in Europe amidst mass Muslim immigration we have witnessed conversions of empty churches into Mosques.  Historically,  we saw the ancient Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica of Hagia Sophia converted into an imperial Mosque following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul)  in the  15th Century and then into a Museum in the 20th Century. Perhaps given the rise of a neo-Ottoman Caliphate under Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, the Museum might be reconverted to a Mosque.

In Spain, the Mezquita Cathedral in Cordoba, once the site of a pagan temple under the Visigoths, was converted by the Umayyad Dynasty into the fabled Great Mosque. Then following the Reconquista in the 13th Century by Ferdinand 1st the Mezquita became a Cathedral once again.   Since 2004, The Islamic Society of Spain has petitioned both Spain and the Vatican to permit Muslims to once again roll out their prayer rugs in the Mezquita and pray in a venue they once held in Al Andaluz. Those requests have been rejected. In March 2010 118 Austrian Muslims  staged a dramatic event at the Mezquita Cathedral.  Unrolling their prayer rugs,  praying loudly, they attacked security guards when  told by them  to stop injuring two.  In March 2013, Spanish Court acquitted eight of the Muslim assailants.

In the US we have witnessed churches and even synagogues sharing worship space with Muslim communities. However, we have also witnessed a dramatic rise in mega-Mosque construction projects roiling many communities across the US from lower Manhattan to the Buckle of the Bible Belt in Tennessee and Orange County in California.  Notwithstanding that groundbreaking trend, some abandoned churches have been purchased by Muslim communities and converted into Mosques.

There is an abundant supply of closed or excess former churches. The Barna Group estimates that upwards of 4,000 Protestant churches are closed annually. While the US Catholic population has grown by more than half to 69 million according to Catholic World News, nevertheless 1,800 parishes have closed over the past 20 years.

One of those parish churches that closed is Holy Trinity  Roman Catholic Church in Syracuse, New York, that held its last Mass in February 2010.  Now, it is being purchased and converted into a Mosque by the burgeoning refugee population in Central New York.  The irony is that this is being abetted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the leading voluntary agencies ,VOLAGS,  engaged in processing refugee resettlement. It and other contractors are  funded by US taxpayers under programs administered by our State and Health and Human Services Departments.

Our colleague at Refugee Resettlement Watch, Ann Corcoran, wrote about the conversion of  Holy Trinity parish in Syracuse in a recent blog post, that bears witness to this latest development, “Syracuse: Refugee group buys Catholic Church, will be converted to a mosque”.

Corcoran writes:

….because Muslim refugee population is growing.

It is a cold and rainy Sunday morning and I’m not easily discouraged, but I have to say this story is depressing.  Most people don’t understand that Islam marks its victories by turning Christian churches into mosques.  Surely there are other buildings available in Syracuse.

***Update*** American Thinker has published a post on this travesty.  From CNY Central:

For close to six decades, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church on Syracuse’s north side was Anna Giannantomio’s church. She fought the Catholic Diocese decision to close it in 2010. While she believes everyone should be free to practice the religion they choose – she doesn’t understand why a new Islamic society wants to remove the crosses and move into the historic Catholic Church.

“This place was put into historical preservation and rightfully so,” said Giannantomio.

Crosses to be removed:

Holy Trinity was recently purchased by the North Side Learning Center, a volunteer group that assists refugees and immigrants. Northside Learning Center will lease the church to an Islamic society which would rename it Mosque of Jesus the Son of Mary. The North Side Learning Center has also filed a request with the Landmark Preservation Board to remove the crosses on the steeples and grounds.  [Those who care in Syracuse should file a protest with the Preservation Board—ed]

Professor Margaret Thompson from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School says nearly 75% of refugees settling in Syracuse are Muslimand that religious freedom has been bringing immigrants to America for hundreds of years.

“Holy Trinity was founded to welcome German immigrants to Syracuse when it was originally built and now it’s welcoming a new cohort of immigrants,” said Thompson.

Anna Giannantonio wants everyone to have a place to worship. She emigrated from Italy as a teenager and understands the discrimination many Muslims face in America but Giannantonio wishes the church that welcomed her to the U.S. would stay a Catholic church.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody but the building should remain as it is,” said Giannantomio.

The North Side Learning Center is now making repairs to the buildings. They hope the mosque will be ready to open in June.

Syracuse refugee program is changing and we recommend if you live there you need to start researching and reporting to your local community. The Northside Learning Center is probably operating on taxpayer dollars so you have a right to demand more information about their activities.

Syracuse is a preferred resettlement site chosen by the US State Department, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS) and the contractors.

New York is one of the top states with a large African and Middle Eastern Muslim population, here.  Demographic change is what it’s all about.  Once they get the population numbers almost nothing else matters.

Ironically the largest resettlement contractor, bringing the most Muslims to your towns and cities, is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.