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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, December 30 and 31, 2009

DECEMBER 31, 2009: STATE OF THE UNION...under OBAMANATION. 

In all respects, the United States is worse off than one year ago under this Teleprompter President.
As was the case with President Carter, this neophyte is trying to learn on the job while burdened with much baggage that varies between political correctness and just plain stupidity.  And all of these comments relate as well to the current Democratic Congress and Senate. 

What to do?  We need a national popular movement: THE NO INCUMBENT MOVEMENT.  In the 2010 national elections, vote ALL incumbents out of office.  That is the only way to send a crucial message. 

What follows is a commentary from my son Perrin on the subject.  It makes perfect sense to me.  Meanwhile, try this as your New Year's Resolution:

ASPIRE TO INSPIRE...BEFORE YOU EXPIRE.
GS

I agree.  In spite of the Founders' incredible level of prescience in drafting the U.S. Constitution they could not, in their worst nightmares, predict that representatives would eventually create such a stranglehold on their seats that they are virtually guaranteed indefinite incumbency.
 
And, since access to legislating term limits is totally controlled by those incumbents (with no hope for change) I have been virtually begging anyone who will listen to vote for a new representative next election.  I go one step further.  I will never again vote for an incumbent.  That is the only way of ensuring term limits that cannot be thwarted.  The standard argument against this is always that unless everyone does it simultaneously and regularly, incumbents will gain progressively more power relative to high-turnover seats.
 
My answer to that argument is: possibly, but only in the short term.   As more progress is made by more ambitious representives (who see their situation as the 4th quarter of a football game rather than a baseball game in extra innings), stagnating incumbents will soon stink like three-day-old fish.  Their numbers will drop and it will no longer be sexy to be in Congress for umpteen years.  Remember, this is the Federal Government of the United States of America.  It is not a T-ball game for 8-year olds where keeping score may make some feel inadequate or sub-standard.
 
No matter how good a job your representative does for you in Congress, there is simply far too much potential for damage (micro and macro) when Federal politicians remain in office.  I would say this to any candidate running to represent me: "Do the best job you can in the next 2, 4, or 6 years, then get out of the way and give someone else a chance.  If you aren't confident about this time frame and/or your honest reasons for representing me, step aside and go back to your law practice, bank job, real estate office, or wherever it is you generated the millions of dollars it now takes to win a Congressional seat."  This is what the Founder's assumed would occur, since gerrymandering and huge coffers were unheard of 225 years ago.  This is a fact, also especially with the mind-numbing increase in the power of PACs in the last few decades.
 
Times have changed forever.  Let's all remember Einstein's definition of Insanity. 
PLEASE pass this on.
 
- Perrin


TUESDAY, December 29, 2009

An idle mind..." between professional and family life, is a busy workshop for me. 
GS


MONDAY, December 28, 2009

The Greatest Pro-Life Story Ever Told

In what we at LifeNews.com plan to make an annual tradition, in lieu of any pro-life news, today, on Christmas, we present you with the best news. You might call the news of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, The Greatest Pro-Life Story Ever Told.

Nothing we ever write at LifeNews.com can ever compare to the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus.
The story has all of the elements of a crisis pregnancy situation that our friends at pregnancy centers see every day. A young mother, hopeful about her future but unsure what impact an unplanned pregnancy will have on it. A father who isn't quite ready to father and a couple who plan to marry but don't believe they have the resources or capacity to care for a child.

In this trying time for our nation and world -- with the promotion of abortion reaching historic proportions in both the health care debate in the United States and with places like Spain and Latin America pressured to legalize it -- the uplifting story of Jesus brings us real hope for the future and an assurance that it can truly be well with our soul.

Without further ado, please enjoy the Greatest Pro-Life Story Ever Told, as presented by one of the first internationally recognized pro-life doctors, St. Luke.


The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary's Song
And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


Luke 2 - The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


SUNDAY, December 27, 2009

CHRISTMAS POST SCRIPT:

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS SEASON, Happy Holidays,  AND A HEALTHY NEW YEAR TO ALL. 
And remember: For those who celebrate Christmas, this season does not end until the Epiphany, Jan. 6. 

Here's a little vignette that a patient shared with me.
Customer: "Merry Christmas".
Store Clerk: "Happy Holidays.  I don't want to offend anyone".
Customer: "You just did". 

And now, back to work.
GS


SATURDAY, December 26, 2009

NOW COMES THE HARD PART FOR ALL OF US.  GS

A comparison of House, Senate health care bills

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar And Erica Werner, Associated Press Writers Thu Dec 24, 7:51 am ET

A comparison of the health care bills passed by the Senate and House:

___

The Senate Democratic bill (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act):

WHO'S COVERED: About 94 percent of legal residents under age 65 — compared with 83 percent now. Government subsidies to help buy coverage start in 2014. Of the remaining 24 million people under age 65 left uninsured, about one-third would be illegal immigrants.

COST: Coverage provisions cost $871 billion over 10 years.

HOW IT'S PAID FOR: Fees on insurance companies, drugmakers, medical device manufacturers. Medicare payroll tax increased to 2.35 percent on income over $200,000 a year for individuals, $250,000 for couples. A 10 percent sales tax on tanning salons, to be paid by the person soaking up the rays. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Forty percent excise tax on insurance companies, keyed to premiums paid on health care plans costing more than $8,500 annually for individuals and $23,000 for families. Fees for employers whose workers receive government subsidies to help them pay premiums. Fines on people who fail to purchase coverage.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: Almost everyone must get coverage through an employer, on their own or through a government plan. Exemptions for economic hardship. Those who are obligated to buy coverage and refuse to do so would pay a fine starting at $95 in 2014 and rising to $750.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: Not required to offer coverage, but companies with more than 50 employees would pay a fee of $750 per employee if the government ends up subsidizing employees' coverage.

SUBSIDIES: Tax credits for individuals and families likely making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which computes to $88,200 for a family of four. Tax credits for small employers.

BENEFITS PACKAGE: All plans sold to individuals and small businesses would have to cover basic benefits. The government would set four levels of coverage. The least generous would pay an estimated 60 percent of health care costs per year; the most generous would cover an estimated 90 percent.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY RESTRICTIONS: Starting in 2014: no denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. No higher premiums allowed for pre-existing conditions or gender. Limits on higher premiums based on age and family size. Starting upon enactment of legislation: children up to age 26 can stay on parents insurance; no lifetime limits on coverage.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: In place of a government-run insurance option, the estimated 26 million Americans purchasing coverage through new insurance exchanges would have the option of signing up for national plans overseen by the same office that manages health coverage for federal employees and members of Congress. Those plans would be privately owned, but one of them would have to be operated on a nonprofit basis, as many Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are now.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: Self-employed people, uninsured individuals and small businesses could pick a plan offered through new state-based purchasing pools. Would generally encourage employees to keep work-provided coverage.

DRUGS: Grants 12 years of market protection to high-tech drugs used to combat cancer, Parkinson's and other deadly diseases. Drug companies contribute $80 billion over 10 years with the majority of the money used to limit the prescription coverage gap in Medicare.

CHANGES TO MEDICAID: Income eligibility levels likely to be standardized to 133 percent of poverty — $29,327 a year for a family of four — for parents, children and pregnant women. Federal government would pick up the full cost of the expansion during the first three years. States could negotiate with insurers to arrange coverage for people with incomes slightly higher than the cutoff for Medicaid.

LONG-TERM CARE: New voluntary long-term care insurance program would provide a basic benefit designed to help seniors and disabled people avoid going into nursing homes.

ANTITRUST: Maintains the health insurance industry's decades-old antitrust exemption.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Would be barred from receiving government subsidies or using their own money to buy coverage offered by private companies in the exchanges.

ABORTION: The bill tries to maintain a strict separation between taxpayer funds and private premiums that would pay for abortion coverage. No health plan would be required to offer coverage for the procedure. In plans that do cover abortion, beneficiaries would have to pay for it separately, and those funds would have to be kept in a separate account from taxpayer money. Moreover, individual states would be able to prohibit abortion coverage in plans offered through the exchange, after passing specific legislation to that effect. Exceptions would be made for cases of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother.

____

The House bill (Affordable Health Care for America Act):

WHO'S COVERED: About 96 percent of legal residents under age 65 — compared with 83 percent now. Government subsidies to help buy coverage start in 2013. About one-third of the remaining 18 million people under age 65 left uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

COST: The Congressional Budget Office says the bill's cost of expanding insurance coverage over 10 years is $1.055 trillion. The net cost is $894 billion, factoring in penalties on individuals and employers who don't comply with new requirements. That's under President Barack Obama's $900 billion goal. However, those figures leave out a variety of new costs in the bill, including increased prescription drug coverage for seniors under Medicare, so the measure may be around $1.2 trillion.

HOW IT'S PAID FOR: $460 billion over the next decade from new income taxes on single people making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million. The original House bill taxed individuals making $280,000 a year and couples making more than $350,000, but the threshold was increased in response to lawmakers' concerns that the taxes would hit too many people and small businesses.

There are also more than $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid; a new $20 billion fee on medical device makers; $13 billion from limiting contributions to flexible spending accounts; sizable penalties paid by individuals and employers who don't obtain coverage; and a mix of other corporate taxes and fees.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: Individuals must have insurance, enforced through a tax penalty of 2.5 percent of income. People can apply for hardship waivers if coverage is unaffordable.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS: Employers must provide insurance to their employees or pay a penalty of 8 percent of payroll. Companies with payrolls under $500,000 annually are exempt — a change from the original $250,000 level to accommodate concerns of moderate Democrats — and the penalty is phased in for companies with payrolls between $500,000 and $750,000.

Small businesses — those with 10 or fewer workers — get tax credits to help them provide coverage.

SUBSIDIES: Individuals and families with annual income up to 400 percent of poverty level, or $88,000 for a family of four, would get sliding-scale subsidies to help them buy coverage. The subsidies would begin in 2013.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: Beginning in 2013, through a new Health Insurance Exchange open to individuals and, initially, small employers. It could be expanded to large employers over time. States could opt to operate their own exchanges in place of the national exchange if they follow federal rules.

BENEFITS PACKAGE: A committee would recommend a so-called essential benefits package including preventive services. Out-of-pocket costs would be capped. The new benefit package would be the basic benefit package offered in the exchange.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY RESTRICTIONS: Starting in 2013, no denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. No higher premiums allowed for pre-existing conditions or gender. Limits on higher premiums based on age.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: A new public plan available through the insurance exchanges would be set up and run by the health and human services secretary. Democrats originally designed the plan to pay Medicare rates plus 5 percent to doctors. But the final version — preferred by moderate lawmakers — would let the HHS secretary negotiate rates with providers.

CHANGES TO MEDICAID: The federal-state insurance program for the poor would be expanded to cover all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $33,075 per year for a family of four. The federal government would pick up the full cost of the expansion in 2013 and 2014; thereafter the federal government would pay 91 percent and states would pay 9 percent.

DRUGS: Grants 12 years of market protection to high-tech drugs used to combat cancer, Parkinson's and other deadly diseases. Phases out the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage by 2019. Requires the HHS secretary to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

LONG-TERM CARE: New voluntary long-term care insurance program would provide a basic benefit designed to help seniors and disabled people avoid going into nursing homes.

ANTITRUST: Would strip the health insurance industry of a long-standing exemption from antitrust laws covering market allocation, price-fixing and bid rigging. The bill also would give the Federal Trade Commission authority to look into the health insurance industry at its own initiative.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Would be barred from receiving government subsidies but permitted to use their own money to buy coverage offered by private companies in the exchange.

ABORTION: Private companies in the exchange could not offer plans covering abortion if those plans received federal subsidy money. Most plans in the exchange would be affected, because most consumers in the exchange would be using federal subsidy money to buy coverage. The new government plan could not offer abortion coverage. Insurance companies would be permitted to offer supplemental abortion coverage in separate plans that people could buy with their own money. Use of federal money for abortion coverage would be limited to cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life.


MONDAY through FRIDAY, December 21 through 25, 2009

Shock to NBC This morning.

Do you believe that the word God should stay in American culture? 

NBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest Number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the Percentage was the same as this: 

86% to keep the words, IN God We Trust and God in the Pledge of Allegiance 
14% against 

That is a pretty 'commanding' public response. 

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't .. 

Now it is your turn.  It is said that 86% of Americans believe the word God should stay....... 

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having 'In God We Trust' on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Why is the world catering to this 14%? 

AMEN!

In God We Trust

SUNDAY, December 20, 2009

As I indicated in an earlier offering in this section, moderate Muslims themselves are going to have to deal with the kidnap of their Religion by the crazies...if the world is to avoid WW IV.  Now comes an excellent article on the same subject by Thomas L. Friedman of the NYTimes, entitled: "Logging On To www.jihad.com" (in The Day Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, pA7).  It should be read in its entirety; but the following excerpt in on point:
GS


SATURDAY, December 19, 2009

You don't have to be organized religious to agree with this one. Some people need a little U.S. history lesson every so often.  Let's keep this going.  The only way the rabidly secular Left will win is if we keep giving up ground.
All that taking the 'high road' has gotten us over the years is playing on the wrong side of an unlevel playing field. - P. Sprecace

DID YOU KNOW?

As you walk up the steps to the building which houses

The U.S Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building

a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the

Middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ...

It is Moses and he is holding

The Ten Commandments!


DID YOU KNOW?  

As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have

The Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.  


DID YOU KNOW?

As you sit inside the courtroom you can see on the wall, right above where

The Supreme Court judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments!


DID YOU KNOW?

There are Bible verses etched in stone all over

The Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington , D.C.


DID YOU KNOW?

James Madison, the fourth president, known as

'The Father of Our Constitution'

Made the following statement:

'We have staked the whole of all our political

Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government,

Upon the capacity of each and all of us  to govern ourselves,

To control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according

To the Ten Commandments of God.'  


DID YOU KNOW?

Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher,

Whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.


DID YOU KNOW?

Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members

Of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.


DID YOU KNOW?

Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep

Their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making

Law an oligarchy the rule of few over many.  

How then, have we

Gotten to the point that everything

We have done for 220 years in this country is now

Suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

Let’s put it around the world and let the world see and remember what this great country was built on.  


MONDAY through FRIDAY, December 14 through 18, 2009

Your  U.S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and  $5,300 raises.

1. They voted to not give you a S.S. cost of  living raise in 2010 and 2011. 
 
2. Your  Medicare premiums will go up $285.60 for the  2-years and you will not get the 3% COLA or $660/yr. Your total 2-yr loss and cost is $1,600 or $3,200 for husband and wife.  Plain enough?
 
3. Every member of Congress will get an added $10,000 which is putting them very close to $ 200,000 per year.  Sounds like an elite class to us.

4. Do  you feel SCREWED?   They vote themselves a raise and better  benefits.  They only care about WE THE PEOPLE on election day. You never did anything about  it in the past. The time for action is near!

5. Do you really think that Nancy, Harry, Chris, Charlie,  Barnie, et al, care about you? 

SEND THE  MESSAGE-- You're  FIRED.

***  THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICAL PARTIES!  IN  2010 YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET RID OF THE ENTIRE SITTING  CONGRESS,  Up to 1/3 OF THE SENATE, AND 100% OF THE  HOUSE.

The election in 2010 will be a sea-change to the mindset of any member of Congress who may survive.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE STILL MAD IN NOVEMBER 2010  AND REMIND  THE REPLACEMENTS NOT TO SCREW  UP LIKE THE GUYS THEY ARE REPLACING.

THIS IS A MUST DO!


SUNDAY, December 13, 2009

Lots to comment on today...another Pot Pourri.
GS


SATURDAY through SATURDAY, December 5 through 12, 2009

As happens frequently, I cannot improve on some articles appearing in the lay press.  "Res Ipsa Loquitur".  So, I simply refer you to them as urgent reading. 
But what I can do is offer some more advice to the National Republican Party.  The party leaders are playing a risky game by uniformly voting against everything the out-of-control Democrats are offering up.  Pelosi, Reid and company certainly deserve it.  But "you can't beat something with nothing".  The people are suitably angered by the overreaching of Obamanation.  They are also suitably worried about a proper direction for the nation in these critical times.  The Republicans must articulate and publicize appropriate actions to rally behind: in the Economy; regarding Wall Street excesses; regarding undeniable evidence of global warming, whatever the causes; in the Middle East, especially relating to Israel and Palestine; regarding Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, and regarding the amorphous monster of global Terrorism masking itself within the noble cloak of Islam.  Their plans must be clear, rational and timely; and they must be bereft of the hackneyed phrases like "Read my Lips: No new Taxes".  And the Republican Party must publicize them with their own funds, expecting no support from the compromised Media.  Those funds will come partly as a result of those plans...and partly from their savings after they stop sending me nearly daily calls for financial assistance from my newest "best friend", Michael Steele.  The 2010 elections could be a watershed change...or merely another near - death experience for the Republican Party.  There is no time to waste.

GS


FRIDAY, December 4, 2009

Geert Wilders is a Dutch Member of Parliament.

America as the last man standing

'In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe ?'

Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, Chairman, Party for Freedom, the Netherlands , at the Four Seasons, New York , introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem .

Dear friends, 

Thank you very much for inviting me.

I come to America with a mission.  All is not well in the old world.  There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic.  We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe.  This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West.  The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe .  Then, I will say a few things about Islam.  To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem .

The Europe you know is changing.

You have probably seen the landmarks.  But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world.  It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.

All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighborhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen.  And if they are, they might regret it.  This goes for the police as well.  It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children.  Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead.  With mosques on many street corners.  The shops have signs you and I cannot read.  You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity.  These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics.  These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe .  These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe , street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe .  With larger congregations than there are in churches.  And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region.  Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam , Marseille and Malmo in Sweden .  In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim.  Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods.  Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.

In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.

Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils.  In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims.  Non-Muslim women routinely hear 'whore, whore'.  Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.

In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin .  The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity.

In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves.  Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels , because he was drinking during the Ramadan.

Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II.  French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya , Israel .  I could go on forever with stories like this.  Stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe .  San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now.  Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers.  And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate.  But there are few signs of that.  The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France .  One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks.  The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate.  Muslims demand what they call 'respect'.  And this is how we give them respect.  We have Muslim official state holidays.

The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority.  We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey .

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots.  Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus.  I call the perpetrators 'settlers'.  Because that is what they are.  They do not come to integrate into our societies; they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam.  Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries.  Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet.  His behavior is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized.  Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem.  But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages - at the same time.  Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed.  Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza.  If it is good for Islam, it is good.  If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.

Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion.  Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins.  But in its essence Islam is a political ideology.  It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person.  Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life.  Islam means 'submission'.  Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia.  If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam 'the most retrograde force in the world', and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran.  The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor.  I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times.  I support Israel .  First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance.  Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines , Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan , Lebanon , and Aceh in Indonesia .  Israel is simply in the way.  The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel .  It is a war against the West.  It is jihad.  Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us.  If there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest.  Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities..  But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values.  On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam.  They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed.  The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning.  It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination.  If they can get Israel , they can get everything.  So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'.  In my country, the Netherlands , 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II.  And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat.  Yet there is a danger greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing.  The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine.  An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs.  With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome , Athens and Jerusalem .

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts.  My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives.  All throughout Europe , American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish.  My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians.  We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe 's children in the same state in which it was offered to us.  We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams.  Future generations would never forgive us.  We cannot squander our liberties.  We simply do not have the right to do so.

We have to take the necessary action now to stop this Islamic stupidity from destroying the free world that we know.


THURSDAY, December 3, 2009

AFGHANISTAN: THE BACK STORY.    GS

Obama Speech Leaves Out How to Grow the Afghan Army

By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON Mark Thompson / Washington Wed Dec 2, 2:00 am ET

President Barack Obama has tied his decision to order 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to a pledge that they'll start returning home in 2011. But the President's West Point speech Dec. 1 was mute on his plans for the growing Afghan army, which remains the best - some would say only - way to bring home American personnel. His vagueness on the question of increasing the Afghan forces was understandable: the U.S. and its allies have already boosted target troop levels for the Afghan army four times, and the U.S. commander there, General Stanley McChrystal, wants the target number doubled yet again.

There's no sign, at least publicly, of a surge in growth of the Afghan army. Obama on Tuesday night steered clear of dealing with McChrystal's August call to hike the combined size of the Afghan army and national police to 400,000. Current plans call for the boosting of the Afghan army to 134,000 troops and the national police force to 82,000 by 2011. McChrystal warned that those totals were insufficient and called for boosting the army to 240,000 ("to increase pressure on the insurgency in all threatened areas in the country") and the police to 160,000. (See pictures of the U.S. Marines' new offensive in Afghanistan.)

On Tuesday afternoon, a senior White House official who declined to be quoted by name dismissed McChrystal's call for a bigger Afghan force. "We know that number's out there," the official said, without mentioning that it was put out there by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. James Dubik, a retired Army general who trained the Iraqi military and is now a senior fellow at the independent Institute for the Study of War, argues that the Obama Administration needs to embrace McChrystal's goal. "There's a significant psychological effect on the Taliban if we announce we're going to build an Afghan security force of 400,000," says Dubik. "We're going to miss that opportunity."

Obama's message to West Point cadets was less specific: "We must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future." McChrystal issued a statement endorsing Obama's plan, saying its push to train Afghan fighters "will be the main focus of our campaign in the months ahead." The Afghan national army, which jumped from 6,000 troops in 2003 to 24,000 in 2004, has been growing by about 1,500 troops monthly over the past year. (Iraq's security forces, protecting a smaller population than Afghanistan's, now total 600,000 men.)

But the challenges of rebuilding an Afghan national army of any size - for the fourth time in 150 years - are daunting. Afghanistan, torn by war over a generation, has missed the computer revolution that most militaries now take for granted. The Hindu Kush mountain range splinters much of the country into isolated valleys run by warlords, marginalizing any central government authority. And as the 219th poorest nation among the world's 229, Afghanistan simply can't afford to pay for a big military. Afghan forces today are largely slipshod and corrupt, U.S. officers who have served with them say. Technically they seem capable of doing little more than basic daytime operations, and they have yet to master the bookkeeping vital for any military force to keep track of itself. (See pictures of the battle against the Taliban.)

In fact, say many U.S. officers, the Afghan mindset works against building a military force. Afghans have a "God-willing mentality" that "delays progress for all routine and major actions," U.S. Army Colonel Scot Mackenzie wrote in a study for the Army War College last year. Information is power, and senior leaders hold on to it tightly. They prefer faxes to e-mails because they like "paper in their hands, as opposed to data on a disk," Mackenzie said. Such tendencies freeze "subordinates into doing nothing until specifically ordered," he added. "Taking risk or initiative has historically been seen as a good way to wind up in prison or dead."

Joint U.S.-Afghan operations are plagued by mistrust, with the living quarters of allied and Afghan troops separated by walls, razor wire, guarded gates and machine-gun nests. "Currently, coalition forces eat, sleep and play in separate spaces from the people they are trying to train," U.S. Marine Captain Jason Moore noted in a report earlier this year for the Corps' Command and Staff College at Quantico, Va. In part, that's because Taliban sympathizers in the Afghan military have shot and killed U.S. troops. "Intentional or not, it conveys a sense of distrust, hostility and disrespect to their hosts."

While President Obama is setting timetables for Afghanistan, hoping to start bringing U.S. troops home by 2011, Mackenzie's words note that the very concept of deadlines is largely foreign to Afghans. "Time is not seen as a valuable resource in Afghan society," he wrote. "Correspondingly, the use of calendars at all levels is virtually nonexistent."


TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, December 1 and 2, 2009

Today I introduce a new sub-section to Rapid Response: OBAMANATION.  The unfortunate outcome of giving President Obama time to grow in his new job - a job assumed with very little prior preparation - this offering will list progressively his more egregious mis-steps as we all hang on for the wild ride of the next three years.  Of course, if he ever does something right we will list that, too. 
You're doing a heck of a job, Barack.

GS



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