Friday, September 16, 2011

Boehner: Tax Increases Would Destroy Jobs

House Republican leader John Boehner on Thursday said America needs to “liberate the economy from the shackles of Washington” and called for changes in the tax code, entitlement reform, and less government regulation.
Speaker Boehner said the key to jump-starting the economy is to get government out of the way and remove barriers to private-sector job growth.
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, Boehner urged the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the so-called “super committee” charged with proposing big deficit cuts by November — to pursue tax reform by developing “principles” for closing loopholes and cutting individual and corporate tax rates, and for overhauling Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
He also said tax increases are “off the table” because they would “destroy jobs.”
The speech effectively marked the GOP’s response to President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress last week, and his $447 billion stimulus proposal that includes $194 billion in new spending to be paid for with tax hikes opposed by Republicans.
Boehner ruled out a government shutdown or debt default on his watch, called for a highway bill to be combined with U.S. energy exploration, and warned of a spiral of economic and social decline he said is setting in.
“Here in Washington there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy, and it’s led to an awful lot of bad decisions,” the Ohio legislator said.
“The reality is that employers will hire if they have the right incentives. But the incentives have to outweigh the costs.
“Private sector job creators of all sizes have been pummeled by decisions made right here in Washington. They’ve been slammed by uncertainty over the constant threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending, and unnecessary regulation.
“Job creators in America basically are on strike.
“My worry is that most of the talk in Washington is about more of the same — more initiatives that seem to have more to do with the next election than the next generation.
“Let's be honest with ourselves. The president's proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America.
“What we need to do is liberate the economy from the shackles of Washington, and let our economy grow.
Boehner said the three main threats to the economy are excessive government regulation, a tax code that discourages investment and rewards special interests, and a “spending binge that created a massive debt crisis that poses a direct threat to our country’s ability to create jobs.”
He called for a “simpler, fairer tax code,” and closing loopholes because “it’s the right thing to do.”
Boehner expressed skepticism about, but did not rule out, the core of Obama's plan — an extension of a Social Security payroll tax cut — and said he was open to increased infrastructure spending, another element of the Obama bill. He said such spending should be linked to increased development of domestic energy resources.
He also criticized Democrats for “micromanaging” and “offering short term fixes,” which bring “confusion to business owners instead of clarity.”
But he called on members in both parties to end the “name-calling, the yelling and the questioning of others’ motives.”

House OKs GOP bill to curtail NLRB’s authority

The House passed a Republican measure Thursday that calls for curtailing the National Labor Relations Board’s enforcement power — a move that would undermine a federal complaint against the Boeing Co. for opening a new plant in South Carolina.
The bill would prohibit the NLRB from ordering an employer to shut down plants or relocate work, even if a company is found to have illegally retaliated against unionized employees.
“The Republican bill simply says that forcing a business to close its doors and relocate to another part of the country is an unacceptable remedy for today’s workforce,” said Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican and chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
“If the NLRB is allowed to exercise this radical authority, it will have a chilling effect on our economy.”
The House passed the measure largely along party lines by a vote of 238 to 186. Eight Democrats supported the measure, while seven Republicans opposed it. House Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn, the lone Democrat in the South Carolina congressional delegation, voted no.
Boeing employees work in the 787 Dreamliner aft-body-assembly building on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Charleston, S.C. The building is the size of 10.5 football fields and can house two 787 Dreamliners wingtip to wingtip. Boeing will be able to deliver three airplanes per month. (Jeremy Lock/Special to The Washington Times)
Boeing employees work in the 787 Dreamliner aft-body-assembly building on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Charleston, S.C. The building is the size of 10.5 football fields and can house two 787 Dreamliners wingtip to wingtip. Boeing will be able to deliver three airplanes per month. (Jeremy Lock/Special to The Washington Times)
The bill is expected to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Republicans and the business community say the NLRB during the Obama administration years have overstepped its bounds by imposing excessive regulations that hurt business. Conservatives are particularly upset over some union-friendly rulings by the board.
The GOP measure was born out of an NLRB complaint in April that accused Boeing of punishing union workers in Washington state by building a new nonunion assembly plant for its 787 airliner in South Carolina, a right-to-work state.
The agency filed the complaint after a yearlong investigation of unfair labor practices brought by the Seattle chapter of the International Association of Machinists. The chapter accused Boeing of locating a second assembly line for the 787 aircraft in South Carolina, rather than in Washington state, as retaliation for a 2008 strike.
Democrats and organized labor said Republicans are using the measure to unfairly target unions and stifle collective-bargaining rights. They added that by weakening the NLRB’s authority, companies would have an easier time relocating jobs overseas.
“This is the outsourcers bill of rights,” said Rep. Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey Democrat. “This is a bill that overreaches. It undercuts the middle class of this country.”
Opponents also complained the bill would interfere with ongoing litigation.
“It is not good legislative policy to legislate on individual cases,” said Rep. Rush D. Holt, New Jersey Democrat.
The NLRB says its complaint doesn’t seek to shut down the Boeing plant, but rather would require the company to move the new 787 airliner production lines back to Washington state.
But Boeing officials, who have denied the charges, say the South Carolina facility that opened in June was built specifically for construction of the aircraft and that the NLRB’s ruling effectively would shutter the plant and force the layoff more than a thousand new workers there.

Rand Has No Confidence In Geithner

Let’s have a vote of “no confidence.” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called on the Senate to pass a vote of “no confidence” in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “I see no reason and no objective evidence that any of his policies are succeeding,” Rand said. It would be interesting to get every member of the Senate on record on this question: especially with one-third of them facing re-election next year.
What do you call a group of congressmen? The English language has some very interesting ways to describe multiples of things. A group of geese is a “gaggle.” A bunch of fish is a “school.” Several sheep are a “flock,” while many cows are a “herd.” There’s also a “parliament” of owls and an “dole” of doves. But do you know what you call a group of baboons? Believe it or not, the correct word to use is a “congress.” That can’t be a coincidence, can it?
Don’t believe everything a friend says. Especially if they say it on Facebook or Twitter. USA Today reported that “nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say they are not honest on social networking sites.” Only 31 percent said they were “totally honest.” Twenty-six percent said they “fib a little.” Even scarier, more than one in five, or 21 percent, confessed to posting a “total fabrication.” And another 22 percent said they wrote a “flat-out lie.” Hey, USA Today, what’s the difference between a total fabrication and a flat-out lie?
The high cost of bread and circuses. In today’s Straight Talk, I mention how costly Obama’s “stimulus” program has been. Figures released by the White House Council of Economic Advisers reveal that every new job it allegedly created has cost taxpayers $277,500. It turns out the “circus” part of our bread and circuses is getting mighty expensive, too. Cable channel ESPN just signed a $15.2 billion contract to win the rights to carry Monday night NFL games for another eight years. At least our amusements are paid for by private enterprise, not public tax money.

House Debates Bill To Legalize Gun Permits Across State Lines

Legislators in Washington, D.C., are considering a House bill that would grant Americans who have gun permits from their home State the right to carry firearms across State lines, Fox News reported.
Though many States have previously entered into voluntary agreements with each other in regard to these permits, a national law has yet to emerge that would grant these rights. A bipartisan bill that is co-authored by Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Representative Heath Shuler (D – N.C.) seeks to change that notion, according to the news outlet.
Advocates for the bill have argued that this type of national legislation would be the only way to ensure that their 2nd Amendment rights were protected while crossing State lines, reported Fox News.
“It cuts across Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives — even President Obama’s base is strongly in favor of this legislation,” Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the National Rifle Association, said in a statement.
The Associated Press reported that a group of city mayors from left-leaning States are opposed to the legislation. They wish to retain control over firearms allowed in their States concerning firearms.

Future Tax Hikes In The Works In Proposed Jobs Plan

The jobs stimulus plan that President Barack Obama has put forth as a solution to the nation’s economic woes contains tax increases that begin in 2013, and may continue to last through the rest of the decade, according to The Washington Times.
After the White House submitted the bill to Congress on Monday, many Republican leaders noted that although the plan cuts taxes in the next couple of years. The measures are funded by raising taxes by more than $448 billion over the rest of the decade, reported the newspaper.
“This would literally be tax and spend. That’s what this is — literally raise $450 billion and spend it,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now runs the American Action Forum, told the Times. “It’s one thing to say they’re paid for. It’s another thing to say I’m going to spend it now and pay for it after the election.”
The initial proposal was well received, as a broad measure, but after the fine print of the legislation was examined, the tax hikes for wealthy Americans after 2013 came into light, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Obama’s Dishonest Jobs Infomercial

Did you listen to Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8? Remember? It had to be squeezed in after the Republican debate but before the start of the professional football season.
What, you decided to skip it? You weren’t alone. While I haven’t seen any stats from the various survey companies, I suspect Obama’s speech was one of the least-viewed Presidential addresses. When it comes to Presidential promises to revive the economy, I suspect the public mood has gone from “let’s hear what he’ll do” to “I don’t believe a word of it.”
The very first sentence in the lead story in The Wall Street Journal the next day referred to Obama’s peroration as “what might be the White House’s last chance to change its political fortunes before the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear.”
What a bunch of hooey. The President’s speech didn’t presage a campaign stump speech; it was a campaign stump speech. In fact, it was little more than a 50-minute infomercial — except without the attractive models or clever graphics.
Obama’s oration was a classic example of the misleading rhetoric we’ve come to expect from him. The most glaring example is the number of times the president lectured his captive audience on the need to “pass it now.” I’m not sure how many times he used that phrase or something close to it; I lost count at a dozen.
But the point is, there was nothing for Congress to pass. In their haste to get the promiser-in-chief in front of the TV cameras, White House staff members forgot one little item: Nobody had written the doggone legislation he was going to demand Congress approve.
Oh, they came up with a name for it: the American Jobs Act. There were plenty of elements its booster-in-chief could brag about. But, as far as a proposed piece of legislation that Congress could analyze, debate, modify and then vote on, there was no such thing. That pretty much made a mockery of Barack Obama’s stern enjoinders to “pass it now.”
Something else missing from the President’s remarks were words like “stimulus” and phrases such as “tax increase.” The brainy boys and girls who are in charge of massaging their master’s message realize the vast majority of Americans don’t like these words or the people who use them. So the word has gone out: From now on, don’t say “stimulus.” Use words like “investments” instead. In place of tax increases, talk about “revenue enhancements.” Or better yet, promise that something will be paid for by future spending reductions.
This last one has been a favorite of politicians since Rome first became a republic. Our current President didn’t hesitate to pull that ancient rabbit out of the hat again on Sept. 8. Why, if you believe him, more than $1 trillion in spending has already been slashed from the Federal budget!
Of course, if you believe that, you’re an idiot. What he’s talking about — what politicians always prefer to talk about — are reductions in spending that will occur sometime in the foggy future. After all, with increases of nearly $1 trillion a year already built into the Federal budget, if you promise to reduce the increases by just 10 percent — voil√†! — you can claim that you will reduce spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s how the game is played, folks.
The High Cost Of Obama’s Jobs
But enough about what was missing from Obama’s speech. Were there any specific promises in the President’s address? Sure enough. Just as soon as Congress passes Obama’s jobs bill, the spending spigot will be turned on for another $447 billion.
What will we get for the money? You will not be surprised to learn that the lion’s share of it will go to three of the Democrats’ most popular and most powerful constituencies: teachers, labor unions and the unemployed. If you’re an unemployed teacher who belongs to a union, congratulations! You just hit the Federal trifecta.
The President wants to invest a few hundred billion dollars into repairing and building schools, bridges, highways, high-speed rail, solar power and a bunch of other things. Happily, there was no talk of “shovel-ready” projects, since we learned with the last stimulus package how misleading that description was.
Oh, and speaking of misleading, did you see the White House report on how effective the previous stimulus package was? I doubt it, since it was released by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers on a Friday afternoon, right at the start of the Fourth of July weekend. That’s what you do when you want to make sure a story receives absolutely minimal coverage.
Hey, these folks are no dummies; they knew the numbers didn’t look good. The Administration says the $666 billion it spent to create jobs “added or saved” some 2.4 million jobs in America. Since there is no way to substantiate the numbers (how do you prove you “saved” a job?), we’ll never know the actual number.
But even using its own figures, that works out to $277,500 per job. Think of it this way: If the government had simply sent a check for $100,000 to those 2.4 million people, they would have had the best payday of their lives. And we taxpayers would have saved $426 billion.
But $277,500 per job is cheap compared to Uncle Sam’s solar efforts. Just before Obama’s great jobs oration came the news that the government’s favorite solar subsidy, a solar-panel maker named Solyndra, was closing its doors. More than 1,000 employees lost their jobs when the company filed for bankruptcy. Since Solyndra was the beneficiary of some $527 million in federal loan guarantees, that works out to over half-a-million dollars per job.
On that basis, Obama’s newest jobs program is a great deal. Its supporters say that the $447 billion they want to spend will create 2 million new jobs. If my calculator is correct, that works out to $223,500 per job. By Federal standards, this is a bargain, folks.
News flash: As I added the paragraph above to this column, the White House proudly announced that it had a bill ready to submit to Congress. No one on the Hill has had a chance to read it, of course. But neither had anyone read the monstrosity that created Obamacare before it was rushed through the House and Senate.
I can confidently predict that the American Jobs Act will be a hodgepodge of half measures, none of which will make much of a difference to the massive unemployment (and underemployment) in the United States.
I’ll have more to say about all of this, including the President’s laughable promise that his various make-work projects won’t add a penny to the deficit, in future columns.
In the meantime, you and I know the best way to create more jobs: It’s for government to get the heck out of the way. Reduce regulations, lower taxes and reward people for taking risks. Let people keep more of the fruits of their labors, and you can bet on a bigger harvest. It’s that simple.
By the way, not only does that produce more jobs, but it also produces more tax revenue. Does anyone want to bet whether this White House will give it a try?

President Obama's Only Ride he Actually Drives: Golf Cart One

There's all sorts of presidential rides with official names like Air Force One (airplane), Marine One (helicopter) - and other vehicles with nicknames like the "Beast" (limo), and "Bus Force One" (the newly minted presidential bus). And now enter "Golf Cart One," which holds the distinction as the only vehicle that President Obama actually gets to drive himself.
At an event honoring Jimmie Johnson for his 5th NASCAR Spring Cup Championship, the president noted he doesn't get to get behind the wheel much anymore. Of course as president, he has members of the military carting him around.
"I was just telling these guys I'm not allowed to drive much these days -- basically just my golf cart at Camp David -- which is called Golf Cart One. True," Obama said.
He added that being near Johnson's car can be pretty tempting. "[I] will say that it's pretty tough to look at Number 48 and not want to jump in and take a few laps -- although I'm sure Jimmie would not be happy if I was doing that," Obama said.
In a joking mood, a day ahead of his big speech to Congress unveiling his jobs plan, Obama said a NASCAR year is similar to being in the Oval Office.
"NASCAR is a sport where anything that can go wrong will go wrong at some point during the season -- similar to being president. That's true even for the best drivers. And with so much extraordinary talent that is going bumper to bumper in every race, just making the Chase is hard enough, let alone winning the whole thing," he said in praising Johnson's achievements.
The president also highlighted NASCAR drivers for their dedication to the troops. He noted how they toured Walter Reed medical center last month, served dinner to wounded warriors and how Johnson went to the Pentagon earlier Thursday.
Johnson presented Obama with some special gloves in a framed glass. Obama joked he could wear them with the NASCAR helmet he got previously. Johnson suggested he could use them in Marine One, but Obama quipped, "no, Golf Cart One!"
"I had to ask. Be safe, "Johnson advised.

General Reported He Was Pressured on Testimony About White House-Backed Project, Sources Say

Gen. William Shelton, head of the Air Force Space Command, told House members in a classified briefing earlier this month that he was pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in a way that would favor a large company funded by Philip Falcone, a major Democratic donor, congressional sources told Fox News.
Republicans have raised questions about whether project pursued by the company, LightSquared, is being unduly expedited by the Obama administration, which has pushed for national wireless network upgrades.
The Virginia-based satellite and broadband communications company has plans to build a nationwide, next-generation, 4G phone network that many, including Shelton, think would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems, a product used most commonly by the United States military.
A source familiar with the technology told Fox News that the LightSquared spectrum would be 5 billion times stronger than the military's GPS system, rendering the military's system almost useless.
“Imagine trying to have a telephone conversation while your neighbors are hosting a rock concert,” the source told Fox News. “That’s the situation the military is facing.”
Shelton, in testimony Thursday before a House Armed Services subcommittee, refused to suggest that interference problems could be mitigated, as he allegedly was being pressured to say.
Military training that relies on precision GPS, such as dropping ordnance, potentially could cease to exist in the United States. Many farmers who also rely on the systems would also be affected. It's estimated this system is used by as many as 1 million people.
A House Armed Services Committee staff member confirmed to Fox News that when asked whether he was pressured to change public testimony he had prepared to for the hearing Thursday, Gen. Shelton said he was "being asked to say things he didn't agree with." 
It's unclear who exactly pressured Shelton, but it's possible the culprits are in White House, Department of Defense or the Office of Management and Budget, which each approve military testimony prepared for Congress. The House staff member also told Fox News a copy of Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked to LightSquared.
The Pentagon did not respond to Fox News' requests Thursday evening to comment for this story, though a spokeswoman for Shelton told the Washington Post that there was no improper influence on the general's testimony. The Post also reported that the White House denied trying to influence Shelton's testimony.
The company also defended its work.
“We understand that some in the telecom sector fear the challenges for their business model that LightSquared presents. It’s also ludicrous to suggest LightSquared’s success depends on political connections. This is a private company that has never taken one dollar in taxpayer money,” chief executive Sanjiv Ahuja said in a statement quoted by the Post.
At the House subcommittee hearing Thursday, which focused on strategic forces and sustaining GPS for national security, Republican Chairman Michael Turner lashed out at the Obama administration for its acceptance of LightSquared proposals. He took aim at FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a longtime basketball buddy of President Obama, for not showing up at the hearing and for granting a waiver to LightSquared on Jan. 26.
"I trust Chairman Genachowski is doing something very important this morning if he couldn't be here to discuss the significant harm to national security that may result from the FCC's action,” Turner said.

AttackWatch.com is the Administration's Latest Propaganda Arm

President Obama's official re-election campaign has set up a website ostensibly to defend him against false attacks, but its obvious purpose is to smear Republicans and propagandize. What could be more shameless??      
Jim Messina, Obama's re-election campaign manager, in a fundraising email announcing the website, said: "Forming the first line of defense against a barrage of misinformation won't be easy. Our success will depend on a team of researchers and writers to stay on the lookout for false claims about the President and his record, bring you the facts, and hold our opposition accountable."?      
Does any rational person believe these people anymore? They trade in lies and misinformation, and the only chance they have to re-elect Obama -- and it's still slim -- is to grossly distort Obama's record and fabricate fantasies about his opposition.?      
That's what this new website is all about. It's called "AttackWatch.com," but it should be called "AttackDog.com." It has already proved that in its first few days of existence. When I opened the website for the first time, I saw revolving pictures of Obama's currently front-running GOP rivals, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, with the accompanying captions "Rick Perry's massive jobs lie" and "Romney's job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts." Glenn Beck's photo also rotates into view with the line "Glenn Beck twists the facts on Israel."?      
Do you ever remember a White House -- and make no mistake about who's behind this ruse -- soliciting hordes of followers to do opposition research for it? Then again, we've never before had a community organizer in the Oval Office.?      
The pseudo-indignation of Obama's supporters rings hollow when measured against Obama's very mode of operation throughout his term of office. On every major issue, Obama's practice has been to select, isolate and demonize a target, from fat cat bankers to insurance companies making obscene profits to the greedy rich who didn't want to pay their fair share of taxes to Chrysler's secured creditors who were slandered because they resisted his scandalous debt restructuring scheme.?      
The concept of this website is perversely amusing when you consider the administration's history of manipulating the Internet for political gain. I reported in my book "Crimes Against Liberty" that the Obama-Holder Justice Department had formed a secret in-house blogging group to participate on websites to influence public opinion. Dubbed the "Blog Squad," this political operation was operating out of the very halls of the institution dedicated to administering justice in the United States. On the taxpayers' dime, it was paying partisan political operatives to scour the Internet for news stories, commentaries and blog posts critical of the administration's agenda and then post comments supporting the administration -- all without identifying who was behind the posts.?      
Some of the administration's advisers didn't even disguise their intent to use the Internet deceitfully for political purposes. One of Obama's "closest confidants," Cass Sunstein, as head of the administration's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has openly advocated the government's use of fake websites and outside 501(c)(3) interest groups to front as independent supporters of government policy and to -- get this -- "cognitively infiltrate" opposing websites.?      
What, you ask, is "cognitive infiltration"? That's easy. Salon's Glenn Greenwald -- no right-wing extremist -- wrote that while at Harvard Law School in 2008, Sunstein co-wrote "a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-'independent' advocates to 'cognitively infiltrate' online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems 'false conspiracy theories.'"?      
In other words, one of Obama's right-hand men suggested that government employees masquerade as private citizens to "infiltrate" websites and try to influence public opinion as if they were just random citizens. Before you pooh-pooh this because it purports to be in opposition only to "conspiracy theories," remember that this administration's Justice Department used government publications to defame tea party protesters and returning veterans as conspiracy theorists, racists, religious nuts and domestic terrorists. If you think Sunstein's proposed surreptitious activities are limited to the innocuous exposure of crazies, you have another think coming.?      
If Obama were to run on his actual record in office -- the worst of any president in modern history -- he would receive a smaller percentage of votes than any president in history. The poverty rate is at a 50-year high, and we have catastrophic unemployment, especially black unemployment, an economy near depression, a doubling of the national debt and a trail of corruption involving untold billions from Stimulus Sr., of which Solyndra is just one example.?      
The recent New York and Nevada elections and Obama's ever-cratering approval ratings show how desperately he is hemorrhaging support. He has no choice but to divert our attention from the record and onto red herrings he can generate through false characterizations of his opponents. That's what AttackWatch.com is about. That's what the entire re-election effort is about.

The Cash-for-Visas Program

As part of his warmed-over jobs plan, President Obama is repackaging "Buy American" stimulus subsidies to help hard-hit homegrown businesses. At the same time, however, Congress is pushing to expand a fraud-riddled investor program that puts U.S. citizenship for sale to the highest foreign business bidders.?      

Call it the Buy America Cash-for-Visas plan.?      
As I first reported 10 years ago, the EB-5 immigrant investor program was created under an obscure section of the 1990 Immigration Act. The law allows 10,000 wealthy foreigners a year to purchase green cards by investing between $500,000 and $1 million in new commercial enterprises or troubled businesses. After two years, foreign investors, their spouses and their children all receive permanent resident status -- which allows them to contribute to U.S. political campaigns and provides a speedy gateway to citizenship. The program is set to expire in 2012.?      
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee's Immigration subpanel entertained calls to save the EB-5 law. Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren is sponsoring a bill to salvage the immigrant investor visas. The legislation (sponsored by open-borders Democrat John Kerry and Republican Richard Lugar in the Senate) also creates a second program with lower barriers to entry that would provide "start-up visas" for foreign entrepreneurs. They would be granted unconditional permanent-resident status if they create a government-determined number of jobs.?      
And there's the rub. Obama's make-believe math on stimulus jobs saved or created -- coupled with the snowballing $535 million, stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company bankruptcy scandal -- tells you all you need to know about Washington's credibility in picking economic winners and losers.?      
If the feds can't be trusted to invest government subsidies wisely in American companies, how can they possibly determine which overseas investors will be successful here? And if top U.S. loan officials have demonstrated such sloppy, politically driven disregard for financial due diligence on risky half-billion-dollar enterprises, how can immigration officials be trusted to better protect the national interest??      
Answer: They can't. In fact, the benefits of the EB-5 economic development plan have gone to former Immigration and Naturalization Service officials who formed lucrative limited partnerships to cash in on their access, and to shady foreign fraudsters.?      
Whistleblowers told me how immigrant investors paid token fees to these partnerships. The partnerships secured promissory notes for the remainder of the foreign investments, which were forgiven after investors received their permanent green cards. Former INS employees, working for these partnerships, aggressively lobbied their old colleagues to accept such bogus financial arrangements. As a result, according to an internal U.S. Justice Department investigative report, "aliens were paying $125K" instead of the required $500,000 to $1 million minimum, and "almost all of the monies went to the General Partners and the companies who set up the limited partners."?      
In 2007, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the "program between 1995 and 1998 was frequently abused when would-be immigrants were allowed to pay a small amount in cash for a green card, signing a promissory note for the balance. The note didn't come due for several years -- long after the two-year conditional period built into the EB-5 visa had ended and permanent residency had been granted."?      
An earlier Baltimore Sun investigation found "only a tiny fraction of the money ever made it to the companies seeking assistance." Many of the distressed U.S. firms that the program intended to help have closed because they never received promised funding.?      
Instead of allowing the troubled program to sunset, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has "streamlined" the EB-5 immigrant investor green card process -- guaranteeing processing within 15 calendar days for foreign business "projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented." The same expedited rush for government-directed investments gave us Solyndra. What's worse in this case is the sordid peddling of the privileges of citizenship.?      
Twenty years ago, when the program's failures were first exposed, Rep. John W. Bryant, a Texas Democrat, protested on the House floor: "This provision is an unbelievable departure from our tradition of cherishing our most precious birthright as Americans. Have we no self-respect as a nation? Are we so broke we have to sell our birthright?"?      
Apparently so.

Gunwalker Linked to Three More Murders

CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has revealed a recent document submitted by the Department of Justice to congressional investigators. The document shows that guns linked to Operation Fast and Furious are responsible for at least three more murders in addition to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry:
Weapons linked to ATF’s controversial “Fast and Furious” operation have been tied to at least eight violent crimes in Mexico including three murders, four kidnappings and an attempted homicide.
According to a letter from U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the disclosed incidents may be only a partial list of violent crimes linked to Fast and Furious weapons because “ATF has not conducted a comprehensive independent investigation.”
The letter is specifically worded, tailored to  answer congressional questions about a narrow range of “walked” firearms using a very specific definition of what constitutes an Operation Fast and Furious gun:
For the purposes of responding to this question, we consider a firearm to be associated with Operation Fast and Furious if it was purchased by an individual who is a target of that investigation. It is important to note that many of the purchases described below took place before ATF opened the case that became know as Operation Fast and Furious on November 16, 2009; before the purchaser had been identified as a target of the investigation; or without the ATF’s knowledge at the time that a firearm was purchased.
Some amazing caveats that the Department of Justice has chosen to ignore and not count:
  • Weapons that were purchased by both targeted and untargeted straw purchasers if the ATF was not aware of the purchase in real-time as the buy occurred;
  • If the straw purchaser was not on a pre-approved and narrow (roughly 20 suspects) list of acceptable targets (some of whom were FBI informants who bought weapons and armed the cartels using taxpayer dollars);
  • Any suspect or weapon that was not officially part of Operation Fast and Furious before its “official” Nov. 16, 2009, launch date;
  • Any suspect or weapon from other suspected gunwalking programs alleged to originate from Houston, Dallas, Tampa, or the Midwest;
  • Related scandals involving some of the same co-conspirators, such as the grenade-walking debacle.
This extremely narrow — and self-serving — definition provided by the Department of Justice notably excludes the third rifle (and possible murder weapon) recovered at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s death. That gun, while “walked” and used by the cartels in a violent crime, was purchased in an unnamed Texas gun-walking operation. Further, the DOJ — and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in particular — tried to make that SKS carbine  “disappear.”
The weapons used to ambush ICE agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were also not included in the DOJ’s figure, as these guns were also “walked” from Texas.
For the first time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano officially denied having any knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious as it was being run. She testified under oath before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Napolitano made her statement while being grilled by Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
While plausible, Napolitano’s claimed ignorance of the operation is highly suspect. She served as both Arizona attorney general and governor before she joined the Obama administration, and her long-time chief of staff, Dennis Burke, ran Operation Fast and Furious as the U.S attorney for Arizona — a post she helped him acquire. She had a personal stake in operations in her home state, and a professional obligation as the executive in charge of Homeland Security, one of the agencies involved in the operation.
Another senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), asked the Department of Justice weeks ago if there were any gun-walking operations like Operation Fast and Furious running in his home state of Texas. To date, the Department of Justice has not answered. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida have similarly asked DOJ about the 1,000 guns allegedly run to drug gangs out of Operation Castaway in Tampa, and have also met a stonewall of silence.
The Obama administration has launched a series of smears against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the committee investigating the gunwalking scandal.
Issa was first attacked in an article published by the Washington Post after it had been shopped by the White House to several other news outlets and at least one liberal blog. Those outlets turned the story down because it was not credible.
Later, the New York Times published a front-page hit piece of its own on Issa that was factually wrong on almost every point and may have been plagiarized as well. Issa pushed back forcefully against the White House-orchestrated smears and forced the Times to issue corrections, but the editors refuse to issue a full retraction nor discipline an author.
It now appears the Obama administration is using front groups and radical leftist bloggers to parrot the debunked Times article, their further actions possibly the reason the Times will not issue a full retraction.
Both attempted character assassinations in the media have failed in tarring Issa or derailing this and other congressional oversight investigations — indeed, the revelations of more murders and DOJ semantic games show an investigation that remains on track.

Obama’s ‘Jobs Bill’ Makes ACORN Eligible for $15 Billion in Taxpayer Money

ACORN and other radical left-wing groups would be eligible for up to $15 billion in federal funding if President Obama’s new economic stimulus package becomes law.
Now that public polling shows Americans are realizing that economic stimulus programs don’t work, the Obama administration is calling the latest round of futile stimulus a “jobs bill.” In a sense it really is a jobs bill: a jobs bill for Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizers.
The draft legislation, which had not yet been introduced in Congress at press time, makes ACORN, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), and a phalanx of leftist groups that regularly feed at the public trough eligible for funding.
Section 261 of the bill provides $15 billion for “Project Rebuild.” Grants would be given to “qualified nonprofit organizations, businesses or consortia of eligible entities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed-upon properties and for the stabilization of affected neighborhoods.” Radical groups like ACORN won’t get the whole $15 billion, though, because they will have to compete with state and local governments for the money.
ACORN would have to get creative to extract grant money from the $5 billion allotted in the legislative package for two other competitive grant programs covered in sections 214 and 215. At first glance ACORN wouldn’t seem to be eligible for funding under the Community Oriented Policing Stabilization Fund and First Responder Stabilization Fund, but oddly enough the group has managed over the years to receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, so anything’s possible.
But there is every reason to believe ACORN, which has long been in the real estate development business, will get a chunk of the $15 billion. President Obama, who used to work for ACORN, wants to give his allies taxpayer dollars regardless of whether it is lawful to do so.
In March of this year, Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave a $79,819 grant to the Miami branch of the massive conglomerate known as ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC). AHC filed papers in 2010 legally changing its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). The nonprofit corporation owed $162,813 in back taxes to the IRS, states, and cities as of this past July.
Despite the new name, AHCOA is the same old corrupt organization. It even uses AHC’s federal Employer Identification Number (72-1048321). AHCOA operates out of the same office address (209 W. Jackson Blvd., 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60606) and uses the same telephone number (312-939-1611).
AHCOA is run by the same people who ran the ACORN network. Michael Shea, AHC’s longtime executive director, remains in the same post at AHCOA. AHCOA president Alton Bennett and board member Dorothy Amadi were involved with AHC and are longtime ACORN activists. (There are more examples of overlap between AHC and AHCOA, but I’ll spare you them for now.)
Like the T-1000 in "Terminator 2" ACORN can be slowed down but it will just continue to regroup under different names, and operate out of the same offices.
The $79,819 grant to the former ACORN Housing comes out of HUD’s Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) program, a political indoctrination program that gives nonprofit groups money to rail against lenders and the supposed unfairness of the capitalist system.
The circumstances of the grant are particularly striking. HUD was so eager to start funding ACORN again that it apparently

broke the law, taking the cash out of fiscal 2010 appropriations. This is a problem because Congress banned federal funding of ACORN through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010. But two months earlier HUD cited the congressional ban when it withheld a $461,086 grant to AHCOA. Something happened between January and March. In March HUD relied on a government lawyer’s dubious legal opinion from 2010 that ACORN Housing was no longer part of the ACORN network — and the new $79,819 grant went through.
And now there are dozens of new ACORN offshoot groups ready to devour taxpayers’ money, as I write in my new book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.
Many of the new ACORN groups — with names like New York Communities for Change and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment — are eligible for federal funding. They have obtained Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers which nonprofits are required to have in order to seek federal grants.
If the proposed Jobs for Community Organizers bill becomes law it’s a safe bet the rebranded ACORN groups will be first in line with grant applications.

Congress Likely to Cram Down Solyndra Billionaire

Sources close to the Congressional investigation into the loans that the Obama administration made to bankrupt solar company Solyndra, say that Congress is likely to attempt to scuttle an agreement that the administration reached last February that allowed major investors to take precedent over US taxpayers in the liquidation of the company.

In February 2011, Solyndra renegotiated with creditors, including the United States Government, in order to try to avoid bankruptcy. In that deal, an investment group funded by Obama donor George Kaiser, gave Solyndra $75 million in additional money in the form of debt on the condition that the US Government took a subordinated position in any bankruptcy after the first $150 million was returned to the government.

What that means is that in a liquidation of Solyndra, the administration will allow that the first $150 million goes to the government, the next $75 million  goes to Kaiser's fund. That would leave the government with a balance of $377 million outstanding unless a liquidation fetches more than $225 million.

In that case, the Kaiser investor group would likely control the amount of money that is eventually paid out to the government and other creditors and shareholders. This is a technique, known as a "cram down," that is often used by investors looking to gain control of a troubled company at the expense of other investors.

Democrat Senator Michael Bennet from Colorado used the same tactics to take control and combine three ailing movie theater groups in 2002. Bennet bought the senior debt of the companies while they were going down the tubes. This in turn allowed him to cut out other investors as the companies liquidated. Teachers' pension funds and other investors were forced to take pennies on the dollar for their investment because the Bennet group owned the senior position.

Within two years Bennet's group paid themselves back every penny they spent on the investment, gave Bennet $11 million, took on another billion dollars in debt, while public investors saw the price of the stock tank from $24 to $12 currently.

This is what the Louisiana Teachers' Pension Fund said 
at the time:
“…(T)he real explanation for draining the Company of its cash is that the Board is looting Regal and its subsidiaries to pay the individual Board members hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends, which have no legitimate business purpose and provide absolutely no benefit to the company.”
“(O)utrageous transfer of cash, which is leaving Regal in a clearly weakened and precarious condition… Anschutz and the Board are using Regal’s funds for their own personal purposes, leaving shareholders at risk of another trip through bankruptcy. There is simply no reasonable business objective for the Dividend.”
Yes, these are the guys who we send to the US Senate. In 2010, Bennet circulated a letter demanding that the country pass Obamacare with a public option. These are the guys we let design our healthcare system. Any questions?
The same "cramdown" technique could potentially allow the Kaiser group to force other investors in Solyndra into taking smaller amounts than the full value that they either invested or loaned to the company.   
Sources familar with the law that governs the loan made under the Solyndra program however say that a plain reading of the law prevents the administration from allowing investors to jump ahead of government guaranteed loans under any circumstances. 
Instead, members of Congress are likely to try to "cram down" the investment the Kaiser group made in February in an attempt to recover taxpayers' money.    

SAVE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC

In the sweltering heat of Philadelphia from May 25th to September 17th, 1787, 53 delegates from 12 of the original 13 colonies (Rhode Island refused to send any representatives) struggled mightily to come to an agreement to adopt a Constitution for the United States of America. When it was over, an exhausted Benjamin Franklin walked down the steps of the Pennsylvania State House and was asked, “What kind of government did you create, Mr. Franklin?” To which he replied, “A republic, if we can keep it.” Are today’s leaders respecting and protecting the Constitution that Franklin and his heroic and patriotic colleagues gave us in 1787?
Can we keep it?
I do not see how we can keep it, if we do not understand what “it” is. I know that sounds uncomfortably close to a Bill Clinton quote that we might all like to forget. However, the history teacher part of me cringes every time I hear the media, columnists and most of our elected leaders refer to America as a democracy. New England town meetings are democracies. The majority determines the issue at hand. The government of the United States is a REPUBLIC. We ELECT representatives who vote in our absence and on our behalf. We trust them to lead us. These representatives take only one oath, when they are elected. That oath is to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution contains an oath of office only for the President. However, in 1789 the first Congress added a requirement to include members of Congress and other government officials, because they knew that adherence to the spirit and intent of our Constitution was critical to the survival of our republic.
As we glide into another election season of debates, press reports, news shows and interviews we must remember that elected officials do not take an oath to any political party. They do not swear allegiance to NAFTA or GATT or monolithic international organizations, like the United Nations or the World Court. They do not solemnly swear allegiance to support and defend large international corporations and certainly not to large special interests, lobbyists and political donors.
The term “political party” cannot be found anywhere in the Constitution. Not in the body and not in the amendments. Yet, political parties write the rules of participation in the ballot process. Party debates sponsored by media outlets that are for the most part hostile, delight in asking confrontational or embarrassing questions. CNN is basking in the glory of the intraparty squabble from the recent Florida Republican Party debate. Presidential candidates must “win” a majority of delegates at party nominating conventions to be the nominee. Certain states, such as Iowa, select delegates by holding caucuses that requires people to attend meetings and publicly state for whom they are voting. This process excludes people, such as the disabled and our military men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, from even voting at all!
The primary states, which do conduct secret ballot voting, concentrate on “leapfrogging” one another to see who can be first, rather than working together to make the process fairer for the voters as well as the candidates. The media and pollsters tell us who we are going to vote for before the election, and candidates “put their fingers to the wind” to decide how to take a stand on an issue. We suffer from electile dysfunction! This is hardly what our Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.
So, if we do “want to keep it,” why do we continue to elect members of Congress and presidents who place these entities above the document that they swore to uphold? Why do we not insist on making changes in the electoral process? This precious document, so carefully crafted, is being trampled routinely every day! We cannot blame this on those we elect. We must accept the blame for continuing to elect them. We need bold, fresh, strong and courageous patriots to buck the system and “rock the boat.” Brave men and women put it on the line to create our republic. Surely, we can find some today with the courage to save it.
Make no mistake about it, however, this will be a long and arduous journey.
John Adams said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Ben Franklin added, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need for masters.” Yet, no religious leaders were “allowed” to participate in the recent ceremonies commemorating the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. We often see stories in the news about someone trying to remove a cross, or other references to religion in some public place in America.
Our Republic is in very grave danger!
Things have gone seriously wrong and they are getting worse by the day.
The sovereignty of the U.S. is constantly subjugated to trade agreements, international ventures, alliances and treaties not approved by Congress. Our worshipping at the altar of the “world economy” has contributed to the loss of our manufacturing base and the collapse of the value of the dollar.
We are currently fighting two wars that have never been declared by Congress, even though it is a requirement of the Constitution that Congress vote such a declaration, before we send our troops into war!
Part of the oath taken by our elected officials is to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet, they refuse to seal our borders from terrorists and those who come here illegally, at a terrible cost to our taxpayers in crime and undeserved benefits. Our porous and uncontrolled borders threaten the very survival of America.
Unscrupulous defense contractors sell our weapons systems and secrets to our enemies, forcing us to chase our own technology around the world to stay ahead, and Congress does nothing to stop it. Indeed at times they support this treasonous action.
Even our own ports, where dirty bombs could easily be imported, have been “offered up” to the control of other nations!
Congress and the President continue to raise our national debt year after year. All the fanfare about the recent “debt ceiling” extension/budget agreement notwithstanding, there is no serious effort to rein in so-called “entitlements” and other programs, while mortgaging the future of our children. The growth and size of the federal government is amplified by programs, bureaus and departments that have no connection to the Constitution whatsoever.
Activist justices on the Supreme Court and judges on the lower courts have shredded much of the Bill of Rights and imposed their personal views on the citizenry. These judges impose gun control on honest citizens and routinely put violent criminals back on the streets to kill and rape again.
The liberal and activist judges who voted for Roe vs. Wade have sanctioned and indeed promoted the slaughter of over 50 million of our unborn children since 1973. Is it possible that one or more of those children could have become a president or a researcher who found a cure for cancer? We will never know because those children never had a chance to live their dream. God bless these children for they had no voice. Their blood is on our hands. Where do we find “abortion rights” in the U.S. Constitution?
Judges take our property without fair compensation or respect for the rights of private property provided under our Constitution. As if this were not bad enough, they have taken God from our schools and public buildings and are determined to remove all mention of Him anywhere. Guess who placed these judges in their positions? When Ruth Bader Ginsburg came before the United States Senate for confirmation several years ago, “conservative” senators voted “aye” to please Bill Clinton, leaving Jesse Helms, Don Nickles and me, alone, as the three votes against one of the most activist justices ever to be appointed to the bench.
Is it possible to save this glorious constitutional republic that Franklin first informed us about in 1787? George Washington warned us in 1796 when he said, “…It is essential that public opinion should be enlightened. In a republic, what species of knowledge…and what duty more pressing…than…communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of our country?” Yet, most of the “communicators in the majority of the large news outlets appear to work against the very constitutional values our Founders so eloquently espoused.
Our elected officials have let us down. We must elect strong advocates for our constitutional republic at every level of government, from school board to president of the United States. We must change America from the bottom up.
Millions of Americans are beginning to figure this out. The Tea Party surge gives us hope. In spite of a constant lambasting by the left-wing media, they have made a difference in the electoral process. They have influenced the discussion and even gotten CNN to acknowledge them with a debate sponsorship! There are millions and millions of Americans who support the traditional values of the sanctity of life, religious freedom and family who are not affiliated with any party. They are rich and poor, young and old. They work in factories and offices, they live on farms and in suburbs, they attend churches by the millions and they are patriotic! They are sick of what is happening.
When the patriots needed to communicate with one another before and during the Revolutionary War they formed “Committees of Correspondence” to keep each other informed. They wrote the Federalist Papers to garner support for the Constitution. They were prepared to sacrifice their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. They communicated by horseback and word of mouth. We have the Internet, talk radio and media watchdog organizations such as Accuracy in Media. The news media no longer controls the debate.
The Constitution of the United States is our battle plan. We all must be “teachers” of the Constitution and we must insist that it is thoroughly taught in our schools. We all need to be the purveyors of the “Constitution Papers.” We must be uncompromising leaders and experts on this document and teach our friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors about it. Learn and teach what is constitutional and you will in turn get constitutionalists as leaders.
It is time for conservatives to step back from whining about media bias and take a positive approach to challenging the press. As sure as the sun comes up each morning, the left-wing media are going to attack our values. We need to get up before the sun and promote our own.
Media bias is constitutional, but it does not have to be successful in undermining our value system.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Extortion Funds Enviro Left Through Taxpayer Settlements

I’d never heard of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) until five years ago. Likewise, I’d never given environmental groups much thought. Like most Americans, I knew groups like the Sierra Club existed and I assumed they did nature hikes or watched birds—or something.
When I accepted a position at the organization I now head up, my eyes were opened and my view changed.
I met Jim Chilton, a rancher and a businessman. He served on the board. His story was one of the first articles I ever wrote.
Jim Chilton is a fifth generation rancher—a cowboy. His ranch includes a grazing permit for 21,500 acres of Federal Forest Service lands south of Tucson, AZ. In 2002, when the USFS renewed his permit for another ten years, CBD went on the attack. The group published a news release and photographs online, alleging that Chilton was mismanaging his allotment.  This was not Chilton’s first altercation with CBD. He’d been a victim of previous unfounded attacks and allegations and was not surprised when they refused to take down the libelous and defamatory post and photos.
As a “cowboy,” Chilton says, “You stand up and fight for truth, justice, integrity, and honor.”
In June of 2003, Chilton filed suit against the CBD. With numerous rulings back and forth, a decision was reached in January 2005 that awarded $600,000 in favor of Chilton in a defamation lawsuit—allowing him to recoup a portion of monies spent in the battle.
CBD had distorted the facts and claimed photos were from the Chilton ranch—when in fact they were not. Referencing the CBD, the jury foreman said: “They acted irresponsibly, and they should have tried to work it out instead of wasting everybody’s time.” In May 2005, CBD asked the judge to throw out the verdict. Finally, on December 6, 2006, an Arizona District Court of Appeals upheld the decision in favor of Chilton—validating the rulings of the lower court.
Addressing the experience, Chilton says, “They lie and distort. They are not on the side of truth. The jury agreed because they voted 10 to 0 that the CBD had defamed me intentionally and with malice.”
The CBD has a record of winning lawsuits, however.
Faced with their record, Chilton viewed them as a “school-yard bully.” The CBD financial records indicate that a substantial portion of their operating costs comes from settlements with the Federal Government. A Government Accountability Office report released on August 31 affirms that environmental groups profit from millions of taxpayer dollars gained through litigation.
CBD has recently beefed up its coffers using federal funds—which ultimately come from the taxpayer. This time the attack was not against a rancher, but against a renewable energy project: BrightSource Energy’s enormous, $2 billion, utility-scale solar project. In February of 2010, BrightSource received $1.37 billion in loan guarantees from the US Department of Energy for the project near the California/Nevada border. Saying the BrightSource project would eliminate tortoise habitat, environmental groups have objected to its location and filed lawsuits to prevent it from going forward. CBD threatened to sue BrightSource. Unlike Chilton, BrightSource settled—believing that the bad press could have a “material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.”
BrightSource’s Media department told me that the specifics of the agreement are confidential, so we do not know how much the settlement was, and, in fact, little news can be found on the deal, but we can assume that a tidy sum was involved to get CBD to walk away from their preferred litigation posture. An AP article on the subject quotes Richard Frank, head of the University of California  Davis Law School’s California Law and Policy Center: “I do believe a number of environmental groups have gotten more savvy and politically sophisticated and have become less ideological and are interested in getting the best deal they can.” Was it ever really about the tortoises?
“The act of securing money, favors, etc. by intimidation” is the definition of extortion. No wonder BrightSource won’t talk about it.
This group of lawyers with a history of questionable tactics such as distortion and extortion is who pushed for the Endangered Species Act listing of the sand dune lizard. When a group of scientists investigated the science behind the listing proposal, CBD could not defend the science so they aimed for distraction—calling the release of the report a “public relations stunt, not a science review.”
In the CBD press release titled “New Mexico Politician Leads Farce ‘science’ Panel on Endangered Species Act Protection for Rare Lizard,” they do not take the report’s accusations apart one-by-one, instead they attack the messengers—specifically NM State Rep. Dennis Kintigh and Congressman Steve Pearce (both vocal opponents of the lizard listing). Jay Lininger, the only ecologist on a staff weighted with attorneys, accused Kintigh and Pearce of making “outlandish claims,” but fails to delineate and prove wrong the specifics of the report. Instead, Lininger makes a sweeping statement claiming that, “the decision to list should be based on science, not baseless rhetoric”—which is exactly why Kintigh led an investigation into the science. Lininger does reference the group’s own “study” to debunk the elected officials’ claims that the ESA listing would be detrimental to the region’s economy.
Instead of blindly believing environmental groups positions, the public needs to look for distortion, extortion, and distraction. As the GAO report found, massive amounts of taxpayer monies are going to these groups through litigation and settlements—leaving one to wonder if it was every really about the critters. Are they really law firms masquerading as zoological societies?

Obama's Pet Billionaire at Solyndra Make Take White House Down

A high profile, politically well-connected California solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment line.   The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings, and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest levels of the Obama Administration.
While the White House and Congressional Democrats feign surprise at the collapse of what was described as "the most hyped startup in the crowded Solar Energy field," it appears Obama Administration representatives were either easily duped or willingly blind to the facts.  ABC News reports that Department of Energy officials have been regularly attending Solyndra board meetings for months as the company "careened towards bankruptcy" after blowing through the more than half a billion taxpayer dollars. 
Early press reports following Solyndra's bankruptcy announcement disclosed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were contributed by shareholders and executives of Solyndra to the Obama 2008 campaign.  One of the company's largest investors, George B. Kaiser of Tulsa, reportedly contributed $53,500 personally and bundled large amounts more for Obama in 2008.  Kaiser is a billionaire with banking and oil and gas interests that rank him among the wealthiest people in the world.  Kaiser also visited the White House 16 times between 2009 and 2011.  The White House public records indicate that three of Kaiser's visits were on March 12, 2009 and one the following day in which he met with "a Senior Advisor, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, the Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council."  The $535 million loan was officially approved one week later. 
That loan guarantee agreement negotiated on behalf of Solyndra was fast-tracked through approval by  Obama Administration officials at the Department of Energy and "included the lowest interest of all the green projects" benefitting from DoE funding, according to ABC News.  The guarantee also subordinated the taxpayer's credit position to private investors, like George Kaiser, should the company go bust.  Republicans warned that the deal "put taxpayers at unnecessary risk" but their warning went unheeded.   This means Kaiser will be at the front of the distribution line when Solyndra assets are liquidated.  Chances of any recovery for the taxpayers is somewhere between slim and none.
The startup company also spent over a million dollars lobbying Washington politicians in the last three years; $550,000 in 2010 alone. 
At the invitation of company execs, Barack Obama made a highly publicized visit to the Solyndra facility in Fremont, California in 2010.  Just weeks before his visit to Solyndra, PricewaterhouseCoopers issued the results of an audit of the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2010 that should have given the President and the White House considerable pause.   Noting that in the first five years of operation the company had sustained $558 million in losses, the audit report said Solyndra "has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders' deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern." 
Undaunted, Obama arrived amid great fanfare on May 26 and highlighted the solar energy company as the poster child of the $25 billion green energy grants and subsidies doled out through his ill-fated Economic Stimulus.  Obama confidently proclaimed that companies "like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." 
The same week, solar energy investment analysts were already warning that Solyndra's business model was seriously flawed and that the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the company "are going to be a huge waste."   The same analysts criticized the Obama Administration's green energy policy as "misguided" for throwing vast sums at "a fledgling startup" (Solyndra) while the established solar companies like Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts were already struggling for market share and economic survival.  A few months later, Evergreen closed US operations, laid off 800 workers, and moved their company to China. 
Less than two months ago, Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison visited Capitol Hill "trumpeting the company's successes and praising the [government] loan."  According to Henry Waxman (CA) and Diana DeGette (CO), Harrison assured them that Solyndra was in a "strong financial position."  Apparently, Harrison's verbal reassurance was enough due diligence oversight on behalf of the taxpayers to satisfy the two leading Democrat green energy evangelists.   They now express surprise that Harrison "did not convey to us the perilous condition of the company." 
The Solyndra debacle is rapidly becoming a White House scandal.  It is far too symptomatic of an Administration that is founded not on principle, but on Chicago-style cronyism and political corruption in the worst sense of the term.  With the passage of his Stimulus, Obama professed great pride that it was free of "earmarks and pet projects" that he said are fraught with "abuse."   Apparently, it's only pork, a pet project, and abusive if somebody other than Obama does it.   
Completely oblivious to scandalous failures like Solyndra and other claims of cronyism from the first Stimulus hanging over the White House, Obama summoned the theater of a joint session of Congress this week to press for another half trillion dollars for Son-of-Stimulus – he prefers to call it the American Jobs Act.  He offered a weak, glancing one line reassurance to Congress that the White House could be trusted to be good stewards of the money; "And to make sure the money is properly spent, we're building on reforms we've already put in place.  No more earmarks.  No more boondoggles." 
What?  At least this time he didn't say he was putting Joe Biden in charge of the checkbook. 

What to Say to the Totalitarian Left on 9/11/11

I recently heard from a Canadian school psychologist who lives in Toronto and who has dual citizenship in Canada and the United States. He was “dismayed,” outraged, saddened, and puzzled, and wanted me to explain to him how a feminist academic could have “hijacked a feminist conference in Quebec to express her feelings about how American foreign policy was totally responsible for the events of 9/11.” Ever since then, Brooks Masterton has written to this particular academic every 9/11 about her “lack of compassion for the victims” and about her hypocrisy, given that she,
 Uses the freedoms she has in Canada as well as public funding to express outrageous ideas. I long ago asked her to consider how she would be received in Afghanistan if she pontificated about feminism and the need for female freedoms against male domination in all aspects of life.  She would not survive for a week.  While I defend her right to an opinion, I detest the way she goes about making her points and the extremely disrespectful, provocative and poisonous comments she makes.  I am near retirement… but I still get angry enough to write to her every September to reminder her that she cannot make these comments without expecting to be called to account by others.  I do believe that all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to stay silent.
Good women too, dear Dr. Masterton.
Well, he had come to the right woman and to the right feminist. It so happens that I am actually, although only slightly, familiar with Sunera Thobani’s so-called work. In 2006, I had been invited to keynote an international feminist conference at Cambridge University but was soon disinvited. Therefore, my critique of the multi-culturally relativist and postcolonial feminist academy’s tragic failure to take a stand against Islamic gender apartheid coupled with its sacrifice of universal human rights and its essentially racist obsession with anti-racism rather than with sexism was never heard in England.

A year later, I was asked to rebut a 2007 attack that Thobani at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, had launched against American feminists, myself included. She titled her piece: “White Wars: Western Feminism and the ‘War on Terror.’” The Britain-based journal Feminist Theory published it but then approached me as well as two other feminists (Zillah Eisenstein and Judith Butler) for a response. I was the only one who agreed to respond. Here was a potential forum for what I might have said in Cambridge as well as my response to Thobani’s attack.
Writing this rebuttal was not easy. I had to accept more than twenty demands for changes from the politically correct feminist editorial board. For example, I was not allowed to write about “Islamic imperialism” or to name Cambridge as the university that had disinvited me. I was also prevented from writing “people of olive, brown, black, yellow, and red skins’” because, the editors insisted, that could be perceived as “racist.” My attacker Thobani could write about “whiteness,” but I was only allowed to write “different ethnicities” as if skin colors do not exist or mentioning their obvious existence is, by definition, somehow “racist.”  However, to their credit (and at the insistence of some British academic Jews), they did publish what I wrote. Perhaps 100 people read it. If so, not a single one ever wrote to me.
I have just reviewed what I wrote four years ago. It has withstood the test of time. What I say may be applied to every pro-Islamist, anti-American, anti-Caucasian, and anti-Israeli academic. I have just updated this piece ever-so-slightly.
Masterton and I both plan to send this piece to Tanzanian-born Sunera Thobani on 9/11.

My Response to a Critic

by Phyllis Chesler
Feminist Theory
I thank the editors for allowing me to comment upon this article by Sunera Thobani, which appears in this issue of Feminist Theory.[1]
Thobani’s article condemns me and two other American feminist scholars (Judith Butler and Zillah Eisenstein) as racially “superior” white women who collaborate with the “imperial imaginary” and with “colonialism.” Thobani also condemns us for daring to present “whiteness” as “vulnerable.” She mocks the alleged “racial paranoia of imperial subjects” (that’s us), claiming that in our work we three experience our own “imperial” aggression as a form of victimization which then allows us to justify the aggression as self-defence.[2]
One might wonder why I am taking the time to respond to this inflammatory article. There are four reasons. First, her diatribe is typical but has rarely been answered in the pages of a feminist academic journal. Second, I could not allow her condemnation of three Jewish feminist theorists to pass unchallenged. Third, I had recently been invited to deliver a keynote address at a distinguished British university as part of an international feminist conference. When I raised questions about security and about the utter absence of kindred spirits, and despite the fact that I had stressed that neither factor would keep me away – I was summarily disinvited. These feminists have invited me to lecture alone at some future date, but not within the context of an international conference. (They were only covering their legal backsides because they never did invite me.) I therefore decided that responding to Thobani might be one way to be “heard” in the UK and in international feminist circles. Finally, I felt it was important to explain how Thobani’s paper (and so many others like it) is the written equivalent of what happens today on campuses when genuine dissent or non-politically correct feminist speech dares appear.
Instead of a respectful hearing what ensues is this: the politically incorrect feminist speaker is peppered with hostile questions, then silenced by boos, catcalls, foot-stamping, and name-calling; she might even be physically menaced. Security might be required. This is hardly an atmosphere in which a free exchange of ideas can occur. Similarly, like the Mearsheimer-Walt[3]and Joan Wallach Scott[4] papers, Thobani’s seemingly sophisticated paper, replete with footnotes, is trying to pass for an academic or even intellectual work. But hers are ideological, not scholarly, views. The attempt to pretend that one is the other is what I have characterized as a new totalitarianism among Western intellectuals.

Thobani’s article is an angry and self-righteous declaration of war. She does not have one positive thing to say about any of our work. Responding to Thobani in kind — with rage and condemnation — gives me no pleasure, for what do we gain? Two warriors growling, slicing the air with paper swords while millions of Third World women and men of diverse skin colors and ethnicities are indeed being tormented and slaughtered — but mainly by other Third World men and women of diverse skin colors and ethnicities — while we do nothing because to intervene or even to acknowledge that this is happening is politically incorrect? (By the way, “white” folk have sorrows too, but enough about that.)
Ethnic Arab Muslims are genocidally slaughtering black African Muslims, Christians, and animists in Darfur; Muslims are blowing each other up when they pray in mosques in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia; Muslim men are shooting down and beheading their own intellectuals and dissidents in unimaginable numbers. According to one compelling source, such numbers far outpace anything the combined American and Israeli forces have done in the last 50 years. The estimated number of Third World Muslim violent deaths at the hands of other Third World Muslims, country by country, vastly exceeds that of Third World Muslim deaths in so-called “white imperial” wars.[5]

Thobani seems to believe in racial purity and therefore in the rights of racially oppressed victims to engage in apocalyptic “resistance.” Thobani is not deterred by the fact that “white” and “colored” skin color are not pure, have no significant scientific basis, and often have different meanings as a function of other variables such as class, caste, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, religion, educational level, marital, national, and immigrant status, birth order, character, destiny, etc. (Haven’t feminist academics said so over and over again?)
Reality does not conform to Thobani’s ideological “imaginary.” The American population (we three “white” feminists are American citizens), the victims of 9/11, the members of the American Armed Forces, and the large number of immigrants to America, including those from Muslim and Third World countries, are not all “white.” As of 2005, over 73 million Americans (or 25 per cent of the population) were “non-white.” An additional 40 million Hispanic-Americans do not identify themselves as either “black” or “white” but as “Latino.”[6] (Latino skin color ranges from white to black.) Also, nearly 36 per cent of American soldiers are “nonwhite” Americans[7] and about 15 per cent of American soldiers are women.[8]  (As of 2010, according to the U.S. Census, 28% of Americans are “nonwhite.” There are now fifty million Hispanics in America too).[9]
Thus, Thobani’s alleged “white” perpetrators are not all white.[10] Nor are the victims of Islamic Holy War all white. However, such real-life distinctions about color do not matter to Thobani. For example, approximately 24 per cent of those murdered in the 2001 World Trade Center attacks were identified as “non-white.”[11] In London, almost one-third of the population (which one assumes uses public transport) identified itself as “nonwhite.”[12] On July 7, 2005, 52 people were murdered and nearly 800 injured by Islamic jihadist attacks on the London transportation systems. France’s 2005 version of the Palestinian intifada against Israel was characterized by nearly two months of rioting, attacks on the police, and car burnings — and by the exceptionally horrific torture of one young North African-Jewish man, the olive-skinned Ilan Halimi (may his memory be for a blessing). Over a three-week period, black African and ethnic Arab North African criminals slowly tortured him to death, while many people came to watch or to participate.[13] One year later, in 2006, this France-based jihad was commemorated by bus and car burnings.[14] I am particularly haunted by the fate of one young, black-skinned, French-African woman who was torched when the bus she was riding on was set on fire.[15] (She turned white.) The rioting arsonists have yet to be tried. Although their ethnicity has, carefully, not been described, I predict that if and when we find out who they are, they will probably not be “white” feminists.

I wonder whether Thobani realizes that all three of her alleged “traitors” are not only major and original feminist theorists and activists but also Jews. In George Orwell’s novel 1984, someone named “Goldstein” is designated as the permanent traitor whom Big Brother denounces for monstrous crimes, thereby brainwashing the masses into extraordinary group hatred against him. Are we meant to be Thobani’s version of “Goldstein”? Does she not understand that Jews come in all colors, and that even when we have white skins we are still not considered “white” but exotic, Oriental, Semitic? (This does not mean that anti-Semitism, or Judeophobia, which is primarily about Jews, is the same as or even analogous to “Islamophobia” which is a false concept of recent vintage and with a different historical trajectory.)
Thobani specializes in the postcolonial work that has increasingly come to dominate what once used to be called feminism or women’s studies. I document this unfortunate, even tragic trend in The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). It is a trend that ultimately justifies an isolationist position vis-√†-vis the rights of women and dissidents in the Third World. Westernized Third World feminists and their Western feminist counterparts all refuse to view any formerly colonized culture of “color” as barbaric, even when it is, because all cultures are presumably equal.
Thobani views the cause of women as served only by a Marxist-Stalinist-Islamist critique of Western foreign policy and by virulent anti-Americanism. She does not seem to address any core or burning emergency issues that concern women.
In this paper, Thobani is utterly silent about the international trafficking in women and children (female sexual slavery) that may far exceed all other illegal enterprises. She is also silent about female genital cutting, wife- and daughter-beating, honor murders, forced veiling, purdah (segregation – sequestration), and arranged and polygamous marriage. These barbaric customs are normalized, not criminalized, and they characterize what I term Islamic gender apartheid. These practices also preceded Western imperialism and colonialism.

Thobani is also silent about the high rate of AIDS with which young girls and women are being infected by their male partners (especially in the Third World), and about sexual, reproductive, and physical violence, including incest and within marriage, and about both economic discrimination and rape in general (again, especially in the Third World). She is silent about the repeated public gang-rapes of genitally infibulated girls and women in the Sudan which have been carried out against black African Muslims, Christians, and animists by ethnic Arab Muslims. (In my writing, I have referred to this as “gender cleansing.”) She is silent about the history of Muslim slave traders, about the current black African slave trade among ethnic Arab Muslims, and about the genocide against black Africans being carried out in the Sudan by ethnic Arab Muslims.
What matters to theorists like Thobani is this: she will condemn Third World deaths only if they have been caused by “white” people, but not if those deaths have been caused by Third World people of “color.”

Thobani is perfectly free to criticize, even to demonize the West, in the West, because she is living in a democracy where academic freedom and free speech are (still) taken seriously. Were Thobani to dare criticize the barbarism, misogyny, and despotism of Third World countries, were she to do so in Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Bangladesh, or Saudi Arabia (to name only a few such countries), she would be in serious danger of being shot to death in her own home, as happened recently to an Afghan woman journalist, or of being imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. This has happened to many Muslim dissidents and feminists. In 2003, Wajeha Al-Huwaider was barred from publishing in the Saudi Kingdom; in 2006 she was arrested, interrogated, and forced to sign a statement agreeing to cease her human rights activities.[16] Bangladeshi writer Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury had his office bombed, was jailed for two years and is now on trial for his life. His crime? “Praising the Jew and Christians,” “attempting to travel to Israel,” and “predicting the rise of Islamist militancy.” These charges may carry a death sentence.[17] (Guess what? Choudhury has since been exposed as a fraud, a double agent, and as someone who preyed upon Jewish women for their money.)[18]
In The Death of Feminism, I describe what I mean by Islamic religious and gender apartheid in Muslim countries and I document how such customs have penetrated both Europe and North America through immigrant communities. Let me mention two Muslim-world examples that I cite in the book. In 1990, Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam published a carefully rendered account of how, on August 16, 1986, a thirty-five year old woman was stoned to death in a small village in Iran. Soraya was savagely lynched and then stoned to death by the villagers with whom she had lived all her life. Her own father, her two sons, and her husband all threw the first stones.[19] I also describe another incident which took place in July 2001 in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria, in which a mob of three hundred men conducted a three-day pogrom against thirty-nine economically impoverished Algerian women. In his Friday sermons, the local mullah, Amar Taleb, had described these women as “immoral” because they were working for a foreign company. The men tortured, stabbed, mutilated, gang-raped, buried alive, and murdered these women.[20]



Feminists need to acknowledge that this is happening. We need to wrestle with it and take a stand against it. We need to make common cause with Third World and Muslim feminists and dissidents who want to create alliances.
Today, in Muslim countries, after a hundred years of successful Muslim feminist struggle against the veil, Muslim women are being more forcefully and fully veiled. They are being imprisoned, gang-raped, flogged, and in Iran, often hung or stoned to death when they allege rape or run away from unusually cruel and life-threatening families.[21] Honor murders are either increasing or have become more visible. In the fall of 2006, Human Rights Watch published a new report in which they documented that violence against Palestinian women is increasing and that it is primarily due to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the ascent of Hamas.[22]
Increasingly, Muslim women professionals are being warned not to work for women’s rights or are being ordered to veil or to veil more fully. Those who are seen as disobedient are badly beaten, flogged, or murdered. Recently, in the fall of 2006 (the end of Ramadan), perhaps a thousand men conducted a “sexual wilding” in Cairo. They surrounded individual girls and women who were fully veiled, partly veiled, and unveiled, and groped and assaulted them. Individuals tried to help these women — who escaped from the male crowds naked and half-naked. The police refused to make any arrests and the media did not cover it. I and others only learned of this incident because some foreign journalists blogged it — and because one brave Egyptian woman spoke about it on a live Egyptian television programme.[23]
But worse things happened during Ramadan 2006. In Indonesia, three Christian high school girls were beheaded as a “Ramadan trophy.” Their heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village with a note: “Wanted. 100 more Christian heads.” The man charged with this offense had, it has been reported, decided that beheading Christians would “qualify as an act of Muslim charity.”[24]

My experience in Kabul, Afghanistan, about which I write in The Death of Feminism, was not as a “white” do-gooding “imperialist” but as the wife of a westernized olive-skinned Muslim national. My own experience of Islamic gender and religious apartheid, which included purdah, polygamy, pressure to convert to Islam, normalized Jew hatred, normalized domestic violence, and cruelty towards children, women, and servants, the omnipresent head scarves, chadari (or chador), and the internalization of Islamic fundamentalist values by everyone, including the women who most suffered from such values, taught me that such barbaric gender and religious apartheid is indigenous and that it preceded, and was not caused by, Western capitalism, imperialism, or colonialism. I was in Kabul in 1961 and Afghans were very proud that no one — not even the British — had ever colonized them.
Because I survived and managed to escape from Kabul, I was able to draw some conclusions which, according to Thobani and other multi-cultural relativists, amount to heresy. I no longer romanticize Third World countries or despots as noble victims. Nor do I ascribe evil in the universe only to the West.
Precisely because I am not a racist I am therefore not a multi-cultural relativist; I am a universalist. I believe that human rights are universal and apply to people everywhere. This is not the same as saying that I believe in crusades or conversions or that I blindly support imperialist ventures abroad or that I confuse them with feminist ventures. I have simply decided that Western democratic and secular ideals and (imperfect) practices must be extended universally, that the survival, dignity, and freedom of women and intellectuals depend upon this.
I will not respond to the specific points Thobani raises about my book, The New Anti-Semitism. But, for the record, let me say that she draws highly biased conclusions and quotes from my work only in order to discredit it and in a particularly incendiary way. In doing so, she utterly misinforms the reader.[25]
Thobani writes,
Chesler’s analysis pivots on her reproduction of Muslims as an absolute Other, whose actions cannot be comprehended rationally.
How can this be true since I call for alliances with dissident and feminist Muslims in both recent books and in my articles? There is a difference between “Muslims” and “Islamic, terrorist, fundamentalists.”
Thobani also quotes my description of the pre-cursor to the Durban hate fests, the 1980 United Nations conference in Copenhagen, to prove that I see all Arab or Palestinian (or Iranian goon-squad) women negatively.
Not so. In the paragraph Thobani quotes, I am not describing “Muslim women.” I am describing a Soviet-funded and orchestrated campaign under United Nations auspices to torpedo and hijack a conference that was supposed to be about women. The Soviets trained and used female PLO and Khomeini operatives whose choreographed aggression, hostility, and threatening behaviors do not represent “Muslim women” or Muslim feminists.
Again, let me thank the editors of Feminist Theory for giving me this opportunity to respond. And let me ask them a question: Why are you publishing non-feminist and anti-feminist work in a feminist journal? Is it because the so-called feminist has been born in Tanzania, is a “South Asian” Muslim[26] feminist “of color”[27] and thus, can do no wrong because she is not “white”?
Editor’s Note: 27 endnotes are available on the next page. 
References
Chesler, Phyllis (2005) The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sahebjam, Freidoune (1994) The Stoning of Soraya M. New York: Arcade Publishing.
Solaro, Erin (2005) Women in the Line of Fire. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press.
Thobani, Sunera (2007) ‘White Wars: Western Feminisms and the “War on Terror”‘, Feminist Theory 8(2).

[1] I assume that readers have already read through Sunera Thobani’s paper titled ‘White Wars’ and thus will not summarize it here.
[2] Although the published version of Thobani’s article is less personalized than the original version to which I was responding in this paper, she still ignores the fact that I call for Judaeo-Christian alliances with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents and feminists, and that in my view, the clash is not between civilizations but between civilization and barbarism.
[3] Phyllis Chesler, ‘Academic Anti-Semitism’, National Review, 30 May 2006 [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=M2E3YzMzNGRmNzczMm
E2Y2YxZmU3OTQ3ZjZhZDA3MmU=]; Alan Dershowitz, ‘Debunking the Newest – and Oldest – Jewish Conspiracy: A Reply to the Mearsheimer-Walt “Working Paper”‘, Harvard Law School, April 2006 [http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/dershowitzreply.pdf]
[4] Phyllis Chesler et al., ‘The Lamentable Case of Joan Scott’, FrontPage Magazine, 21 February 2006, [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21369]
[5] The article from which this information was drawn was written by Ben Dror Yemini for the Israeli newspaper Maariv. The original article can be found at [http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/482/564.html]. This article may be dismissed by anti-Israel fanatics as mere propaganda, but it carefully goes through the history of each country and notes who both the perpetrators and victims were in different wars. I recommend that you read the article and decide for yourself.
[6] 2005 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights, US Census Bureau. American Factfinder Website [http://factfinder.census.gov/
servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_submenuId=factsheet_1&_sse=on]
[7] 2003 Demographics; Profile of the Military Community, Military Family Resource Center. [http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/dav/lsn/LSN/BINARY_RESOURCE/BINARY_CONTENT/1869841.swf]
[8] See Solaro (2005).
[10] But according to Thobani, all ‘imperial subjects’ have agency and are therefore guilty of collaboration – just as we three theorists allegedly are. The fact that ‘imperial subjects’ are actually non-white does not exempt them. Thus, Thobani cannot argue that American people of ‘color’ are being forced to do their Master’s bidding while American ‘white’ people freely choose to do so.
[11] New York City Health Department, Summary of Vital Statistics 2000 [http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/vs/2000sum.pdf, 2000],
Special Report: World Trade Center Disaster Deaths, 45.
[12] Office of National Statistics, 2001 Census [http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/, 2001], Key Statistics: London: Ethnic Groups.
[13] Nidra Poller, ‘The Murder of Ilan Halimi’, Wall Street Journal, 26 February 2005, The Opinion Journal [http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008006&ojrss=wsj]
[14] BBC News, ‘Police Deployed in Paris Suburbs’, BBC News, 27 October 2006, Europe Section [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6093276.stm]
[15] BBC News, ‘Five Held for Marseille Bus Blaze’, BBC News, 31 October 2006, Europe Section [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6101574.stm]; Nidra Poller, ‘Burning Buses: “She Was Black but She Looked White, her Skin Was Peeled”‘, Pajamas Media, 3 November 2006 [http://www.pajamasmedia.com/2006/11/burning_buses_she_was_black_bu.php]
[16] Sarah Leah Whitson and Human Rights Watch, Letter to Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, 20 October 2006 [http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/10/20/saudia14461.htm]
[17] Bret Stephens, ‘Darkness in Dhaka’, Wall Street Journal, 16 October 2006, The Opinion Journal Global View [http://www.opinionjournal.com/wsj/?id=110009088]; Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, ‘My Day in Court’, Israel Insider, 14 November 2006, Diplomacy, Choudhury Persecution [http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/9859.htm]
[19] Chesler, 2005: 58–9; Sahebjam, 1994.
[20] Chesler, 2005: 187–8.
[21] Phyllis Chesler, ‘Islamic Gender Apartheid’, speech at an American Committee for Democracy in the Middle East Senate Briefing, Washington DC, USA, 14 December 2005.
[22] Human Rights Watch, A Question of Security, Vol. 18, No. 7(E), November 2006 [http://hrw.org/reports/2006/opt1106/opt1106webwcover.pdf]
[23] Anonymous, translation of ‘Mass Sexual Assault in Downtown Cairo’, ‘Unnecessary, and Not Very Diverting, Musings’, posted 15 November
2006 [http://forsoothsayer.blogspot.com/2006/10/mass-sexual-assault-in-downtown-cairo.html]; Mona El-Naggar and Michael Slackman, ‘Silence and Fury in Cairo after Sexual Attacks on Women’, New York Times, 15 November 2006, World Section, Africa; BBC News, ‘Cairo Street Crowds Target Women’, BBC News, 1 November 2006, Middle East Section [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6106500.stm]
[24] Stephen Fitzpatrick, ‘Beheaded Girls were Ramadan Trophies’, The Australian, 9 November 2006, The World [http://www.theaustralian/news.com.au/story/0,20867,20726085–2703,00.html]
[25] Thobani’s expanded critique of one of my thirteen books, The New Anti-Semitism, is still very biased. Clearly, she is unaware of my political activism of long duration, beginning in 1973, against the Israeli occupation of disputed territories and she is unaware that I have been a named-plaintiff in a landmark Israeli Supreme Court lawsuit in which I sued the Israeli state on behalf of Jewish women’s religious rights as well. (I co-authored a book about this titled Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site.) Quite apart from the body of my feminist work, these two facts would suggest that my reading of Israeli morality is nuanced, careful, fair. Alas, historical realities have tempered my original view that if Israel gave back land – as it has given back Gaza – that this would lead to peace and to the acceptance of the Jewish state by Jew-hating and anti-Zionist Muslim nation-states. Events on the ground from 2000–2007 have cured me of that dream and I explain this to some extent in The New Anti-Semitism and again in The Death of Feminism. I have not pronounced feminism ‘dead’; rather, I challenge what often passes for feminism (as this article by Thobani tries to do) and suggest that feminism ought to return to its original concepts of universalism.