Obama Has Already Helped Wreck the Economy

Is Obama Folding Under the Pressure? President-elect Has Developed Nervous Tic

Is Obama Folding Under the Pressure? President-elect Has Developed Nervous Tic

He Isn’t even president yet and there are reports that the President-Elect is having difficulty handling the pressure. He developed a facial tic during the Campaign which has become much worse since the election.

According to the University Of Maryland:

 

A facial tic is a repeated spasm, often involving the eyes and muscles of the face.The cause of tics is unknown, but stress appears to make tics more severe.

 

It seems this may be a case of “be careful what you wish for…” Read the full story below:


Stress takes toll on Obama,develops chronic facial tic
Michelle said to be distraught over spasms under right eye

 

The strain of the long campaign and a frenetic transition period is beginning to wear on the face of President-elect Barack Obama, who has developed a facial tic under his right eye.

The tic on the lower part of his right orbital bone is clearly visible in his recent interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters. Campaign insiders say it first emerged during the primary season and has now become chronic.

A facial tic is a repetitive, spasmodic movement often involving the eyes and facial muscles. The cause of tics is unknown, but stress appears to increase their severity.

“The patients I’ve treated with tic disorders had one thing in common: They knew that the tics worsened when they were under stress,” said Dr. Robert T. London, a psychiatrist with the New York University Medical Center.

Besides the economic crisis, Obama is having to worry about his own security. The Secret Service reportedly is dealing with more threats against him than any other president-elect in history.

“There are a lot of things that keep me up at night,” Obama, 47, confided in the ABC interview.

Michelle Obama, who closely monitors her husband’s public appearances, is said to be distraught over the facial tic.

In all the stress of the transition, Obama told ABC he’s trying to eat healthy food, work out regularly and refrain from smoking, although he has found it difficult to quit cigarettes entirely.

London says studies show that simple tics disappear during sleep, which suggests that a relaxation treatment, such as hypnotherapy, might work better than medication to calm the misfiring nerves during the day.

Politics is a stressful job, and other politicians have succumbed to the nervous twitches. For example, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., developed a severe facial tic that became so chronic he began doing TV interviews with the afflicted side of his face angled away from the camera. Shays, who’s served more than 20 years in Congress, was defeated in the November election

A Wake-Up Call to Conservatives

A Wake-Up Call to Conservatives

Posted By John Hawkins On November 25, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, Conservatism 2.0, Elections 2008, Media, Politics, US News | 21 Comments

Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

The corollary to that statement here in the United States could be, “All that was necessary for the Democrats to triumph was for conservatives to do nothing.”

It’s fashionable to blame George W. Bush, the Republicans in Congress, and the out of touch, inside-the-beltway pundits for the ascendancy of Barack Obama and the left — and they certainly deserve the largest portion of the blame.

However, it’s worth taking the time to ask: what responsibility does the conservative movement — you, me, and all our conservative friends — have for this disaster?

Quite a bit actually.

We were too slow to challenge Republicans in D.C., including George Bush, when they veered from a conservative course. Yes, we complained, but not loudly enough and too late in the game.

We were also too complacent and too willing to stand pat on an out of date agenda. Consider the irony, for example, of conservatives using an income tax cut as a primary selling point for our domestic agenda when more than a third of the American public doesn’t pay income tax.

Along the same lines, we’ve been too content to advocate policies like the Fair Tax that couldn’t be gotten through Congress, or to merely poke holes in the Democratic agenda on issues like socialized medicine without truly pushing viable alternatives.

That’s not to say that there are no alternatives; giving a tax break to individuals instead of companies would cover far more people, would reduce health care costs, and would allow people to keep their health care when they lose their jobs. But most conservatives have little interest in pushing these sort of ideas.

However, the greatest flaw conservatives have is that when we get frustrated with the performance of the Republican Party, we have a tendency to pick up our ball and go home. “Well, if they do that, then I’m not giving any money, I’m not helping any campaigns this year, and I’m not voting.”

Do you know why Western societies, including ours, seem to always go leftward, despite the fact that liberal policies don’t work?

Do you know why the culture seems to descend further into the sewer, no matter who’s in charge? Do you know why government always seems to grow, no matter who’s running the show, Republican or Democrat?

It’s because the liberals don’t take their ball and go home.

Oh, they pout, they complain, and we laugh at how ineffective they are when they go out in the streets with their silly giant puppet heads and their “Free Mumia” signs. But, they are dedicated to changing this country in a way that the average conservative isn’t.

There are liberals who go to college, get a journalism degree, and work their way up through the ranks for years — somewhere like the New York Times — all so that they can be in a position to effect change (in their case, slant stories in order to help causes and candidates they care about). Meanwhile, a conservative won’t even cancel his subscription to the paper even when it becomes apparent that it’s nothing more than an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party.

Or a liberal will go to college and become a teacher primarily so that he can effect change — and be in a position to feed their point of view to young minds, who will then vote for his side down the road. A conservative usually won’t even bother to pick up the phone and complain when his five-year-old is told to read Heather Has Two Mommies.

What it all comes down to is that in the end, 10 men with passion will accomplish far more than 500 men who believe, but do so without zeal. In a nutshell, that’s the real problem of the conservative movement.

People keep asking, “When’s the next Reagan going to come along?”

Here’s the thing: Reagan was a great man, but he would have been nothing if he hadn’t been carried on the shoulders of a vibrant conservative movement. If “another Reagan” came along today, he would fail because most conservatives are too busy pouting, throwing rocks at each other, kowtowing to the Democrats, and investing their time in forever hapless third parties to give a real conservative leader the support he — or she — would need to win.

The current reality is most conservatives won’t contribute their time or money to candidates and organizations that they like. Most bloggers and talk radio hosts, if given a choice between having their favorite candidate lose or asking their audience to give them money, would prefer to see them lose. Many people complain about the Republican Party — but, how many people are willing to join up locally and try to change the organization from inside? Not many. People would rather sit and complain than get involved and actually make a difference.

Well, all I can say to the pouting right is that if you think something needs to be done to change the Republican Party and the country, don’t wait for a leader to come along; get out and be a leader. Do something. And if you can’t do something, then at least support the conservatives who are out there trying to do something. It’s like [1] Ted Nugent said:

I stand up and I take the bullets because my name is Davy Crockett. This is the wall of the Alamo. If you can’t shoot Santa Anna’s men, shut up and load my gun.

Whether it’s Ted Nugent, [2] Slatecard, [3] NumbersUSA, [4] Club for Growth, [5] Team America PAC, or your favorite [6] politician, [7] blogger, or [8] talk radio host, load their guns by clicking on their ads, calling your elected officials when they ask you to, or giving them the money they need to fight for your interests.

In case the 2008 election didn’t send the message — doing nothing is not enough.

From Pastor Dutch Sheets:

From Pastor Dutch Sheets:
 
November 6, 2008

I feel certain that many in my stream of the Church want a statement from me concerning Tuesday’s presidential election. I will be frank in my remarks but I do not, however, intend to vent anger or attack anyone. I have read several statements from friends and colleagues I respect very much.

Their thoughts are well-stated and, for the most part, insightful.  None of them, however, seem to want to say some things that I believe need to be said. I do not claim infallibility or to have the final word, but my convictions run deep and I believe I bear a God-given responsibility to share them.

Was This God’s Will?

Was what happened Tuesday God’s will?  I am quite confident it was not.  America was offered a very clear choice between moving further toward protecting the unborn or further away; between a Supreme Court that would move toward honoring God, life and morality or away from it.  The stakes couldn’t have been higher nor the cost greater. As a nation we put on blinders concerning Barak Obama’s background, associations, beliefs and practices, and set these causes back years, possibly decades.  And in doing so we took another step away from God and His plans for America, and another step toward judgment.

Judgment Will Increase

This is not a fire and brimstone warning from an angry, legalistic preacher.  In fact, I feel more sadness and grief than anything else.

Perhaps I feel what Jesus felt as He wept for Jerusalem while announcing its judgment. I am not hoping for judgment; I am saying it is inevitable. I don’t know where the unbiblical belief comes from that says a nation can live any way it pleases, can reject God and His ways-even mock Him-and not receive His judgments.  Nor do I know when the belief came that it is always mean-spirited or judgmental to warn of these things.  To the contrary, I believe it is our responsibility. 

In warning of judgment, I am not suggesting that God is going to intentionally and directly hurt people.  Much judgment is simply the absence of God’s protection and provision, caused by a rejection of His laws and ways.  We have been experiencing some forms of judgment in America for years, but God in His incredible patience and mercy has kept us from the level we’ve deserved.  I believe this will change to a degree and judgment will now increase:
 
For those in the Church who aligned themselves with pro-abortion forces, I believe judgment will result.
 
For leaders in the Body of Christ who refused to take a stand for fear of losing people, money, and tax-exempt status-I believe there will be a degree of judgment.
 
For those, both within the Church and without, who voted money over morality-a potential raise or better health insurance over the life of a baby-there will be judgment. (The irony is that this decision to base one’s vote on the hopes of a better economy won’t produce the hoped for result anyway. The scriptures teach that it is righteousness which exalts a nation and that the nation is blessed whose God is the Lord.)
 
I have heard the argument that God cares as much about social justice issues (such as poverty and racism) as He does abortion, making a vote for Obama OK.  I certainly believe God puts a very high priority on caring for the poor and I, too, have wanted to see equality demonstrated through a “minority” president. But to equate having a better income or the desire for a first black president, regardless of his positions on abortion and morality, to the issue of killing 50 million babies is not justice-it is a gross distortion of justice and great deception. I fear that we have been desensitized to this issue of abortion.  I believe it kills babies and takes innocent life.  I also believe it is blood sacrifice that empowers demons. Let’s not forget this in our noble attempts to be kind and conciliatory.

For African Americans I can easily see how it could bring healing to have a first black president, just as it would be for Native Americans to achieve this or for women if a woman were elected president.  Again, I have wanted to see justice in this way.  I am only saddened that the price for this healing ended up being Barak Obama, a man that will set the cause of life and, most-likely, our God-given destiny as a nation back so drastically. (I also realize there are some who interpret any criticism of Obama as racism. Racism is so NOT what I am about nor what I live, that I will not even dignify any such accusations with a response.)
     
What Can We Expect?

What are some of the judgments we can expect on our nation from this election?
   
More economic woes

More violence in an already violent nation

Disease and death (satan, who is responsible for these things will have greater inroads to our nation.)

Natural disasters (weather-tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought; fires; earthquakes; etc.)

Terrorism (they will fear us much less now)
War, perhaps on our own soil

Judgments relating to the Court. The stacking of the Supreme Court against the sanctity of life and God’s influence on America will occur, which will in turn cause the shedding of more innocent blood, more rejection of God’s laws and the stealing from us of our godly heritage-all of which will perpetuate a cycle of even more judgment.

How Did This Happen?

I’ve been asked if this could have been averted had there been more prayer.  I’m not sure. I believe there was a remnant of Christians fervently praying over these elections-I don’t think there was anything more they could have done. Others, obviously, should have done more.  The complacency and lack of discernment concerning our real condition in America-especially by the Church-is both appalling and horrifying.  America is in serious trouble and it seems no one wants to say it.  Fewer still are willing to do anything to change it. 

Though I understand our reasons, we must be careful in our attempts to placate our feelings and calm our fears through religious phrases like “God is still on the throne” or “God has a plan”.  He was on His throne 35 years and 50 million babies ago.  And He had a plan back then.  The problem is, it was us.  I understand our reasons for waving high the banner of God’s sovereignty at times like these-it gives us hope.  I will wave it, as well.
But please be careful with this. Too much emphasis on God’s sovereignty and we’re worthless; too little and we’re hopeless.  Maybe we should say, “we lost a critical battle but God will give us strategy to win the war.” Then find the strategy.

But still yet, since God is usually willing to work through a remnant, I thought we had enough prayer. Obviously, God decided otherwise.  There comes a time when He will not forgive or bless the majority based on the prayers or actions of only a few.  America rejected God and asked for a king; I believe we now have our Saul (see 1 Samuel 8:5-7)-a man who does not have God’s heart for America but his own. Like Israel in scripture, our nation believes it can turn from God and still be blessed.  In His mercy and justice He will show us otherwise. 

Like many, believing I had many promises and confirmations that God would “grace” us with a pro-life president in this election, I failed to consider strongly enough that all promises-even scripture-are conditional 99.9% of the time. Though I never prophesied or made guarantees that McCain-Palin would win, failing to factor this principle in strongly enough no doubt caused me to share my optimism with others inappropriately. If this caused any harm or confusion, I apologize.

Has the fact that my prayers weren’t answered shaken my faith? No. I’m a little confused and discouraged. I’m also somewhat angry at the nation in general and much of the Church. Mostly I’m grieving over the nation and what this will cost us. I am not, however, angry with God and do not question His justice. And it is not true that we wasted our time, energy and money in our efforts anymore than it is a waste when we share the gospel with people who don’t get saved.  We must keep in the forefront of our thinking the fact that ultimately we are doing this for Him and that He will reward us for our faithfulness.  And who knows, perhaps He will store up all those prayers for the next battle (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-5).

A friend and fellow warrior said it well,

“We did ‘give it our all.’ I know the Lord was pleased with that. A coach wants to know one thing at the end of a heartbreaking sports loss: ‘Did you leave it all on the field?’ (your passion, your commitment, your strength, your courage, etc.) I know that we ‘left it all on the field.’ We didn’t hold anything back until the game ended. Tragically, it ended in defeat. We will rise for another day because Jesus is worthy.”

Where Do We Go from Here?

Does this election outcome shake my faith that we can see a great awakening and ultimately reformation in America? Absolutely not (and it strengthens my resolve).  We will simply get there through greater pain and loss.  Even my passion to see the Supreme Court shift is not from a presupposition that there can be no spiritual awakening without it.  It is simply due to my deep conviction that their decisions bring so much death, destruction, curses and judgment to America; and because our full destiny as a nation is unquestionably linked to their decisions. So, yes, we will get an awakening and reformation; but the reality is that this reformation of the nation will reform the Supreme Court (and government, in general), not vice-versa.  My faith has never been in people or a political party; my faith is in the God who works through them.

I’ve been asked if my feelings about Sarah Palin have changed.  They have not. I believe she is an Esther, a Deborah, with a huge mantle from God for reformation. God has a great destiny for her related to this nation if she chooses to continue down this path. 

So, in conclusion, we must re-group as an apostolic, praying church and advance.  We must maintain an immovable faith in God, His plans for America and His mercy.  And we must move beyond simply asking God for a spiritual awakening and ask Him for strategy to produce reformation, as well.  I, for one, am just getting started!

For God and this great nation,

Dutch Sheets
http://www.dutchsheets.org/

The Bank Terrorist

The Bank Terrorist

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Housing: For years, a self-described “bank terrorist” blackmailed banks into making bad home loans in our inner cities. Now those loans are defaulting by the millions, and he’s blaming banks.


Read More: Business & Regulation


 

Bruce Marks, founder of the leftist Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, makes a good living shaking down banks for loans to deadbeat borrowers that he thinks are entitled to homes.

Activist Bruce Marks, speaking in February at a housing conference, has a history of terrorizing banks until they make questionable home loans.

Activist Bruce Marks, speaking in February at a housing conference, has a history of terrorizing banks until they make questionable home loans.

Last month, he and about 100 urban protesters stormed Fannie Mae’s headquarters, demanding it stop foreclosures on subprime houses — the same homes his group pressured Fannie to fund.

As usual, the bullying tactics worked: Fannie Mae is now reviewing every foreclosure, while increasing the number of mortgages it restructures by lowering interest rates and extending loan terms to make payments more affordable. The government-backed firm guarantees some 30% of the nation’s outstanding mortgages.

Marks founded Boston-based NACA last decade to fulfill his warped sense of the American dream. He thinks owning a home is a right, not a goal. And he thinks every American should have a house — even those who can’t pay for one.

Marks, who proudly calls himself a bank terrorist, has extorted billions of dollars from Citigroup and other large banks to subsidize uncreditworthy borrowers in the inner city, where he accused the banks of “redlining.”

In 2004, for example, he threatened to blow up a merger deal between Bank of America and Fleet Bank by complaining to regulators that the banks weren’t making enough loans to minorities under the Community Reinvestment Act. The banks, in turn, paid him off with $6 billion in mortgage commitments.

The nonprofit NACA uses such ransom money to fund its own mortgages to high-risk borrowers without requiring down payments or good credit. Marks considers such underwriting requirements “patronizing and racist.”

He boasts that 99% of the mortgage applications taken through NACA are approved, giving new meaning to the term “easy lending.” Listen to NACA’s pitch:

“Come to NACA, and regardless of how bad your credit is, regardless of how little you have saved, we will work with you for as long as it takes, until you are prepared for a mortgage better than what the wealthiest, most connected borrowers get.”

These are the standards NACA and ACORN and other bank terrorists foisted on the banking industry, using as their cudgel the Community Reinvestment Act, which mandates (under threat of severe penalty) that banks make inner-city loans to people who can’t afford them. Now these groups have the nerve to demonize the banks for the inevitable foreclosures.

How many of NACA’s borrowers default on NACA’s own loans? We don’t know. Marks won’t disclose his internal data.

But by the end of the last decade, 8% of the mortgages NACA had arranged through Fleet Bank were delinquent, compared with the national average of 1.9%

Congress’ banking committee chiefs, Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, are also demanding banks stop foreclosures. And guess who they’ve invited to testify about that? That’s right: Marks, who has proposed stopping all resets on subprime adjustable mortgages and allowing late payments for up to 90 days.

Marks insists that regulators “force” lenders to restructure their loans to prevent foreclosures from going forward.

“For noncooperative lenders,” he says, “the regulators can and must impose ‘cease and desist’ orders.”

For future underwriting practices, Marks urges lenders to adopt the NACA model.

“NACA has done lending the right way,” he says. “No down payment. No closing costs. No fees. No perfect credit. At a below-market fixed rate.”

And no repayment or profit. Call it Marksism.

The UnFairness Doctrine–>What Exactly Does Obama Want To Hide?

The UnFairness Doctrine–>What Exactly Does Obama Want To Hide?

It makes one wonder, we are in the middle of what the President-elect called the worst financial crisis since the great depression, we are fighting a war against Islamic terror on at least two fronts and our National Security agencies are warning about a terrorist threat on the US homeland during the transition period. And Obama and his democrats are worried about shutting up people like Rush Limbaugh. It makes one wonder, just what exactly is Obama trying to hide?

The Obama Fairness Doctrine By Bethany Stotts November 18, 2008

Is there something about his policies that Obama doesn’t want us to know?

Just three days after the election, a Brookings Institution leader issued a memo to President-elect Barack Obama asking him to restore the Fairness Doctrine. The Vice-president of Governance Studies at Brookings, Darrell West argues that the Fairness Doctrine would help restore journalistic ethics and fulfill the media’s mission to educate the populace.

In the first of twelve memos to President Obama which will be issued over the next eight months, West argues that the incoming chief executive needs to “Restore the Media Fairness Doctrine and Requirements for Television Public Affairs Broadcasting.” West writes,

“At present, television and radio—on which Americans depend heavily for news and information—generally do not produce or promote thoughtful or deliberative discussions. The idea behind media regulation in the 1980s was that satellite technologies and cable television would allow for the presentation of diverse viewpoints…That approach has proved largely ineffective” (emphasis added).

“With profits falling, traditional media sources too often produce little substantive information and fail to give citizens adequate information about their government,” he argues. “America needs a marketplace of ideas equal to the policy challenges.”

It is ironic that West would promote a doctrine shown to water down free speech in the name of “a marketplace of ideas.” As Accuracy in Media has documented, the Fairness Doctrine had a significant “chilling” effect on news outlets, promoting self-censorship by broadcasters wary of government regulation.

It is not for nothing that the doctrine has been labeled by some as a “Hush Rush” law.

However, the new president-elect is unlikely to favor a return of the Fairness Doctrine, per se. In June 2008, Obama press secretary Michael Ortiz told Broadcasting & Cable that “Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters.”

This issue serves as a “distraction” for the Obama campaign from more important policy reforms like media ownership and diversity, Ortiz argued. “[Obama] considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible,” B&C’s John Eggerton quotes Ortiz. “That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.”

As AIM has documented, witnesses at last November’s hearing by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on “Localism, Diversity, and Media Ownership” proposed measures which would stifle free speech and talk radio without instituting equal time requirements. Frank Blethen, CEO of the Seattle Times, told the Senators last November that they should

  • “keep all current FCC ownership restrictions and public service mandates;”
  • “craft new FCC mandates to ensure internet freedom;”
  • “institute a ban on cross-ownership of national print and national broadcast outlets as a companion to the local cross-ownership ban;” and
  • “push for limits on newspaper ownership.”

AIM editor Cliff Kincaid warned that the Senate committee hearing could spark a renewed push for the Fairness Doctrine, especially since two committee members were John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, strong advocates for the return of the doctrine.

A study released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) last summer argued that talk radio suffers from a “structural imbalance” that favors conservatives. Their remedies: promote localism and minority ownership, and fine broadcasters who aren’t in compliance.

John Podesta, the President and CEO of CAP, is Barack Obama’s transition co-chair, one of three top positions within his transition team.

In a 2004 symposium, Podesta outlined his views on what he sees as having gone wrong with the media:

“We’re here because we understand that the media as it’s owned and organized today bears only the faintest resemblance to that Jeffersonian vision. We’re here because instead of being an uplifting force of enlightenment, media conglomerates today are sometimes the exact opposite.”

Media outlets, that is, like Clear Channel and “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.” “What would they [the Founders] think of the fact that even though Americans have more TV channels than ever to choose from, three-quarters of us are seeing content that’s generated by only 5 different media companies?,” queried Podesta. “And what would any of them say of a broadcaster whose influence is so great, but journalist ethics are so feeble, that 48% of its viewers believe a war was justified because of an event that never occurred?” (emphasis added).

Statements like these make it clear that Podesta, along with CAP, intend to muzzle conservative expression—especially within the talk-radio market, which they have argued favors conservatives because of this “structural imbalance.”

Columnist Michelle Malkin, a Reed Irvine Award recipient, called CAP’s proposals a “Hugo Chavez approach to the radio airwaves.”

Barack Obama has shown that he considers key portions of Blethen’s and CAP’s proposals a priority when regulating the media. His presidential agenda to “ensure the full and free exchange of ideas through an open internet and diverse media outlets” hinges on four points:

  • protecting the “openness of the internet” through net neutrality;
  • encouraging “diversity in media ownership;”
  • protecting children “while preserving the first amendment;” and
  • “safeguard our right to privacy”

“Barack Obama believes that the nation’s rules ensuring diversity of media ownership are critical to the public interest,” stated the web page on November 7. “Unfortunately, over the past several years the Federal Communications Commission has promoted the concept of consolidation over diversity.”

“As president, Obama will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.”

The CAP study found that “markets that air both conservative and progressive programming are statistically more likely to have female- and minority-owned stations in the market, and are significantly less concentrated than the markets that air only one type of programming” (emphasis original).

In his agenda, as found on November 7, Obama also committed himself to creating a government with “a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens.” But citizens who visit the change.gov website were unlikely to see what America’s future president intended for the media over the last week—because the content was taken down. A new, abbreviated version, was recently reposted on http://www.change.gov.

In the interim, the website had an agenda of two paragraphs, forcing those searching for information to retrieve the agenda through independent archives. It is unclear at this point how much of the agenda has been changed. This merely adds to a long history of statements in which our future president either denies inconvenient truths, or scrubs his website to remove misleading statements.

Lynn Woolley, writing for AIM, recently commented that “The Fairness Doctrine is going to make a comeback, and the only thing that might stop it is the American people.”

Is there something about his policies that Obama doesn’t want us to know?”

Obama, Ahmadinejab, and a Shia Apocalyptic Scenario?

Dr. Michael G. Davis

http://apologetica.us

Obama, Ahmadinejab, and a Shia Apocalyptic Scenario?

By Dr. D | November 18, 2008

President Mahmoud Ahm...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejab has been talking about an apocalyptic Shia/Islamic scenario for several years now–predicting that ‘ the Hidden Imam‘ would soon return as the end-time Mahdi that establishes Islamic rule over the entire world.

Following the election of Barack Obama, some Shities actually believe that Obama could be a possible fulfillment of an end-time Islamic prophecy.

I found the link to this at SmartChristian.com and in an article by Daniel Pipes. Here is a quote from the original article

by Amir Taheri:

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a “tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West.” Commanding “the strongest army on earth,” the new ruler in the West will carry “a clear sign” from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: “Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us.”

In a curious coincidence Obama’s first and second names–Barack Hussein–mean “the blessing of Hussein” in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means “he is with us,” the magic formula in Majlisi’s tradition.

Mystical reasons aside, the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama’s rise as another sign of the West’s decline and the triumph of Islam. Obama’s promise to seek unconditional talks with the Islamic Republic is cited as a sign that the U.S. is ready to admit defeat.

Response: This is not good at all. It is the type of scenario that Ahmadinejab might take serious and plan accordingly. If there is a perception that the USA is in decline under Obama’s administration and that he is an actual sign that Islam is about to rise up and dominate, the Iranian leaders might miscalculate and bring about an actual confrontation with Israel, the United States, and the West.

Pres. Ahmadinejab has already threatened Israel’s existence on a number of occasions. The Iranians last week tested some new missiles that could reach Israel and parts of Europe. If and when they actually go nuclear–then this scenario could end up having some serious consequences indeed.

It is doubtful that the Israelis would wait to act until a nuclear missile was actually in the air headed their way. Look for a strike way before the Iranians have that capability. One can only guess what the aftermath would bring–it would not be pretty and it could be apocalyptic!           *Top

How Obama Got Elected

Muslim Professor Says Muhammed Never Existed

Muslim Professor Says Muhammed Never Existed

 

Up to some time ago I was convinced that Muhammad was a historical figure. Although I always based my thinking on the assumption that the Islamic historical narrative regarding Muhammad was very unreliable, I had no doubts that at least the basic lines of his biography were historically correct.I have now moved away from this position and will soon publish a book in which I will, among other things, comment on this question and explain my arguments in more detail. This essay is only a short summary of my most important arguments. It also deals with the question of what implications historical-critical research has for the Islamic theory and how I deal with my research results as a theologian.

 


And with those words Muhammad Sven Kalisch, Muslim Convert and Professor of Islamic Theology sent shockwaves through the theological world, lost his departmental chairmanship and an probably put a bounty on his head.

 

My position with regard to the historical existence of Muhammad is that I believe neither his existence nor his non-existence can be proven. I, however, lean towards the non-existence but I don’t think it can be proven. It is my impression that, unless there are some sensational archeological discoveries — an Islamic “Qumran” or “Nag Hammadi” — the question of Muhammad’s existence will probably never be finally clarified.

 

Read more about Sven’s theory and some of the academic and Islamic reactions below:

Professor Hired for Outreach to Muslims Delivers a Jolt Islamic Theologian’s Theory: It’s Likely the Prophet Muhammad Never Existed By ANDREW HIGGINS

MÜNSTER, Germany — Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany’s first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn’t like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Read a translated excerpt from “Islamic Theology Without the Historic Muhammad — Comments on the Challenges of the Historical-Critical Method for Islamic Thinking” by Professor Kalisch.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn’t portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.

“We had no idea he would have ideas like this,” says Thomas Bauer, a fellow academic at Münster University who sat on a committee that appointed Prof. Kalisch. “I’m a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I’m not a Muslim.”

When Prof. Kalisch took up his theology chair four years ago, he was seen as proof that modern Western scholarship and Islamic ways can mingle — and counter the influence of radical preachers in Germany. He was put in charge of a new program at Münster, one of Germany’s oldest and most respected universities, to train teachers in state schools to teach Muslim pupils about their faith.

Muslim leaders cheered and joined an advisory board at his Center for Religious Studies. Politicians hailed the appointment as a sign of Germany’s readiness to absorb some three million Muslims into mainstream society. But, says Andreas Pinkwart, a minister responsible for higher education in this north German region, “the results are disappointing.”

Prof. Kalisch, who insists he’s still a Muslim, says he knew he would get in trouble but wanted to subject Islam to the same scrutiny as Christianity and Judaism. German scholars of the 19th century, he notes, were among the first to raise questions about the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Many scholars of Islam question the accuracy of ancient sources on Muhammad’s life. The earliest biography, of which no copies survive, dated from roughly a century after the generally accepted year of his death, 632, and is known only by references to it in much later texts. But only a few scholars have doubted Muhammad’s existence. Most say his life is better documented than that of Jesus.

Sven Muhammad Kalish

“Of course Muhammad existed,” says Tilman Nagel, a scholar in Göttingen and author of a new book, “Muhammad: Life and Legend.” The Prophet differed from the flawless figure of Islamic tradition, Prof. Nagel says, but “it is quite astonishing to say that thousands and thousands of pages about him were all forged” and there was no such person.

All the same, Prof. Nagel has signed a petition in support of Prof. Kalisch, who has faced blistering criticism from Muslim groups and some secular German academics. “We are in Europe,” Prof. Nagel says. “Education is about thinking, not just learning by heart.”

Prof. Kalisch’s religious studies center recently removed a sign and erased its address from its Web site. The professor, a burly 42-year-old, says he has received no specific threats but has been denounced as apostate, a capital offense in some readings of Islam.

“Maybe people are speculating that some idiot will come and cut off my head,” he said during an interview in his study.

A few minutes later, an assistant arrived in a panic to say a suspicious-looking digital clock had been found lying in the hallway. Police, called to the scene, declared the clock harmless.

A convert to Islam at age 15, Prof. Kalisch says he was drawn to the faith because it seemed more rational than others. He embraced a branch of Shiite Islam noted for its skeptical bent. After working briefly as a lawyer, he began work in 2001 on a postdoctoral thesis in Islamic law in Hamburg, to go through the elaborate process required to become a professor in Germany.

The Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. that year appalled Mr. Kalisch but didn’t dent his devotion. Indeed, after he arrived at Münster University in 2004, he struck some as too conservative. Sami Alrabaa, a scholar at a nearby college, recalls attending a lecture by Prof. Kalisch and being upset by his doctrinaire defense of Islamic law, known as Sharia.

In private, he was moving in a different direction. He devoured works questioning the existence of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Then “I said to myself: You’ve dealt with Christianity and Judaism but what about your own religion? Can you take it for granted that Muhammad existed?”

He had no doubts at first, but slowly they emerged. He was struck, he says, by the fact that the first coins bearing Muhammad’s name did not appear until the late 7th century — six decades after the religion did.

He traded ideas with some scholars in Saarbrücken who in recent years have been pushing the idea of Muhammad’s nonexistence. They claim that “Muhammad” wasn’t the name of a person but a title, and that Islam began as a Christian heresy.

Prof. Kalisch didn’t buy all of this. Contributing last year to a book on Islam, he weighed the odds and called Muhammad’s existence “more probable than not.” By early this year, though, his thinking had shifted. “The more I read, the historical person at the root of the whole thing became more and more improbable,” he says.

He has doubts, too, about the Quran. “God doesn’t write books,” Prof. Kalisch says.

Some of his students voiced alarm at the direction of his teaching. “I began to wonder if he would one day say he doesn’t exist himself,” says one. A few boycotted his lectures. Others sang his praises.

Prof. Kalisch says he “never told students ‘just believe what Kalisch thinks’ ” but seeks to teach them to think independently. Religions, he says, are “crutches” that help believers get to “the spiritual truth behind them.” To him, what matters isn’t whether Muhammad actually lived but the philosophy presented in his name.

This summer, the dispute hit the headlines. A Turkish-language German newspaper reported on it with gusto. Media in the Muslim world picked up on it.

Germany’s Muslim Coordinating Council withdrew from the advisory board of Prof. Kalisch’s center. Some Council members refused to address him by his adopted Muslim name, Muhammad, saying that he should now be known as Sven.

German academics split. Michael Marx, a Quran scholar at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, warned that Prof. Kalisch’s views would discredit German scholarship and make it difficult for German scholars to work in Muslim lands. But Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, an Islamic studies scholar at the University of Marburg, set up a Web site called solidaritymuhammadkalisch.com and started an online petition of support.

Alarmed that a pioneering effort at Muslim outreach was only stoking antagonism, Münster University decided to douse the flames. Prof. Kalisch was told he could keep his professorship but must stop teaching Islam to future school teachers.

The professor says he’s more determined than ever to keep probing his faith. He is finishing a book to explain his thoughts. It’s in English instead of German because he wants to make a bigger impact. “I’m convinced that what I’m doing is necessary. There must be a free discussion of Islam,” he says.

Obama Declares War on Conservative Talk Radio

Obama Declares War on Conservative Talk Radio

By Jim Boulet, Jr.

Barack Obama sought to silence his critics during his 2008 campaign.  Now, with the ink barely dry on this November’s ballots, Obama has begun a war against conservative talk radio.

Obama is on record as saying he does not plan an exhumation of the now-dead “Fairness Doctrine“. Instead, Obama’s attack on free speech will be far less understood by the general public and accordingly, far more dangerous.

 

The late community organizer Saul Alinsky taught his followers to strike hard from an unexpected direction, an approach known as Alinsky jujitsu.

 

Obama himself not only worked as an organizer for an Alinsky offshoot organization, Chicago’s Developing Communities Project, but would go on to teach classes in Alinsky’s beliefs and methods.

 

“Alinsky jujitsu” as applied to conservative talk radio means using vague rules already on the books to threaten any station which dares to air conservative programs with the loss of its valuable broadcast license.

 

Team Obama and the “localism” weapon

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule in question is called “localism.”  Radio and television stations are required to serve the interests of their local community as a condition of keeping their broadcast licenses. 

 

Obama needs only three votes from the five-member FCC to define localism in such a way that no radio station would dare air any syndicated conservative programming.

 

Localism is one of the rare issues on which Obama himself has been outspoken. 

 

On September 20, 2007, Obama submitted a pro-localism written statement to an FCC hearing held at the Chicago headquarters of Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Operation Push.

 

Furthermore, the Obama transition team knows all about the potential of localism as a means of silencing conservative dissent.  The head of the Obama transition team is John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.

 

In 2007, the Center for American Progress issued a report, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.  This report complained that there was too much conservative talk on the radio because of “the absence of localism in American radio markets” and urged the FCC to “[e]nsure greater local accountability over radio licensing.

 

Podesta’s choice as head of the Federal Communications Commission’s transition team is Henry Rivera.

 

Since 1994, Rivera has been chairman of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council.  This organization has specific ideas about localism:

 

In other words, it would not do for broadcasters to meet with the business leaders whose companies advertise on their station.  Broadcasters must reach beyond the business sector and look for leaders in the civic, religious, and non-profit sectors that regularly serve the needs of the community, particularly the needs of minority groups that are typically poorly served by the broadcasting industry as a whole.

 

Rivera’s law firm is also the former home of Kevin Martin, the current FCC chairman.  Martin is himself an advocate of more stringent localism requirements. 

 

It was on Martin’s watch that on January 24, 2008, the FCC released its proposed localism regulations.  According to TVNewsday: “At the NAB radio show two weeks ago, Martin said that he wanted to take action on localism this year and invited broadcasters to negotiate requirements with him.”

 

FCC complaints as politics by other means

 

Remember that an FCC license is required for any radio or television station to legally operate in the United States.  A single complaint from anyone can significantly hinder a station’s license renewal process or even cost the station its FCC license entirely.

 

There have been some attempts to utilize the FCC complaint process for partisan political ends, most memorably in 2004, when Sinclair Broadcasting agreed to air a documentary questioning Senator John Kerry’s war record:
Poised to pre-empt programming on its 62 television stations to run a negative documentary about Sen. John Kerry, Sinclair Broadcast Group has come under fire from critics calling it partisan and questioning whether it is failing federal broadcast requirements to reflect local interests.
Members of Congress and independent media groups have questioned the company’s willingness to respect “localism,” a section of federal law that requires media companies to cover local issues and provide an outlet for local voices.

 

One group, The Leftcoaster, went further:

 

But what isn’t done a lot which requires the broadcaster to rack up expensive legal fees, is to challenge every one of their affiliates’ FCC license renewals as they come up this year and next.  … [T]here still is time to organize and file Petitions or objections by November 1, 2004 for Sinclair stations in North Carolina and South Carolina, and for Florida by January 1, 2005.

 

More recently, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium issued a “fill in the blanks” official FCC complaint form which begins “Anything that you feel is offensive is worth reporting.”

 

Community advisory boards as permanent complaint departments

 

These random efforts could be far more effective at silencing conservatives if they could only be systematized and institutionalized.  That is exactly what the FCC proposed on January 24th.   Every radio and television station would be required to create:

 

[P]ermanent advisory boards comprised of local officials and other community leaders, to periodically advise them of local needs and issues, and seek comment on the matter. … 
To ensure that these discussions include representatives of all community elements, these boards would be made up of leaders of various segments of the community, including underserved groups.

 

The “community advisory board as permanent complaint department” model may well be based upon the 1995 revisions of the Community Reinvestment Act, as described by Howard Husock in City Journal:

 

[T]the new CRA regulations also instructed bank examiners to take into account how well banks responded to complaints. … [F]or advocacy groups that were in the complaint business, the Clinton administration regulations offered a formal invitation.  …
By intervening-even just threatening to intervene-in the CRA review process, left-wing nonprofit groups have been able to gain control over eye-popping pools of bank capital, which they in turn parcel out to individual low-income mortgage seekers. A radical group called ACORN Housing has a $760 million commitment from the Bank of New York…[emphasis in original].

 

Understand that even allowing conservatives to be radio talk show guests may provoke a FCC licensing complaint.  Just ask “right wing hatchet man” Stanley Kurtz.

 

For Obama, when it comes to radio talk, silence is golden, at least when it comes to conservatives.

 

Can localism be stopped?

 

FCC observers agree that the outpouring of complaints from groups like the National Religious Broadcasters during the original comment period helped delay matters. 

 

However, Kevin Martin’s determination to enact a localism regulation has led him to ask the broadcast industry to accept a voluntary standard that the FCC would then enact.  If industry failed to agree now, Martin warned, “a future FCC may be less willing to compromise than the current one.”

 

This scare tactic — agree to our demands today or suffer dire consequences tomorrow — is having an impact. 

 

What broadcasters need to do: speak up now

 

Radio and television station owners need to become engaged in the localism issue and then take the time to educate their own Congressman and Senators about the dangers of the FCC’s proposals. 

 

If broadcasters get involved, it just may be possible to block implementation of any localism rules during the few months remaining of the Bush Administration.

 

This delay is critical, since once it is the Obama Administration leading the fight for rules which would shut down conservative talk radio, Republican Congressmen and Senators will find it easier to fight back.

 

The Senate needs to draw a line in the sand: free speech, not localism

 

While President Obama will have the authority to name Commissioners as their terms end, these nominations must be confirmed by the Senate

 

A few pointed questions on localism to FCC nominees during their confirmation hearings would be useful.  A filibuster of any and all pro-localism FCC nominees would be even better.

 

Any Senator leading such a filibuster would earn the gratitude of millions of fans of talk radio as well as everyone who believes in free speech..

 

Jim Boulet, Jr. is the founder of the anti-localism web site, KeepRushontheAir.com.  Research assistance for this article was provided by Richard Falknor of Blue Ridge Foru
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