Merry Christmas – by Robert Spencer

Merry Christmas – by Robert Spencer

Posted By Robert Spencer On December 25, 2009 @ 12:00 am In FrontPage | No Comments

Nativity Ikon

The Byzantine icon above is the work of the 16th-century iconographer Theophanes the Cretan. There are many things that are un-Islamic about it:

1. It is an image of human beings, which violates the traditional Islamic prohibition of images;

2. It depicts Jesus not as a Muslim prophet but as the incarnate Son of God (his halo reads ο ων, the One Who Is, a title of divinity derived from the name of God that God gives to Moses in Exodus 3:14), in violation of the oft-repeated Qur’anic injunction that Allah has no Son (4:171; 9:30; 25:2; 39:4; 72:3; etc. etc.);

3. In line with #2, it depicts what Muslims would consider to be idolatry, as the holy child’s mother kneels and adores him;

4. In the beam or spear coming from heaven down to the child in the cradle, it depicts the activity of the Divine in the world, assuming the doctrine of the Trinity, which is rejected somewhat imprecisely in Qur’an 4:171 and 5:116;

5. The cradle resembles a casket, foreshadowing the redemptive death of Christ, which is denied in Qur’an 4:157.

Now, whether you are a Christian or not, whether or not you believe all or any of these things, the question that is before us this Christmas and every Christmas these days is whether or not people should be allowed to believe these things if they think they are true. Nowhere in the Islamic world today do people who believe these things enjoy full equality of rights with Muslims. In Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and elsewhere Christians are frequently victimized because, as I have tried to show above, some of their core beliefs are considered blasphemous in authoritative Islam.

And that assumption of blasphemy, since Islam is a political program as well as a set of religious beliefs, does not allow for live-and-let live tolerance of those with whom one disagrees. The blasphemers and those who insult Islam must be subjugated under the rule of the Muslims. We see this agenda being articulated every day; we see Christians and others victimized by it every day; and we see the world largely yawning and indifferent as all this goes on.

This Christmas, remember that the Islamic supremacist program has you on its list. You may not be a Christian. You may not be a Jew. You may not be a Hindu. But the jihad is universal. You are on the list.

So this Christmas, may all of us whose conversion, subjugation, or death is envisioned by the adherents of Sharia stand together. Let us stand together as Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, secularists, what have you, and stand up against those who would kill us or subject us to institutionalized discrimination because they find our beliefs offensive.

For be assured: if we do not stand together, they will prevail. And if they do, and all the rich expressions of the human spirit, from Theophanes the Cretan to the fashioners of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, from Aristotle to Oriana, will be trampled into the mud, destroyed, exploded, ruined, effaced. We will all be the poorer. Our children will be the poorer.

Merry Christmas to all Christian Jihad Watchers who celebrate the Feast on this day.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/25/merry-christmas-by-robert-spencer/

Health Care Bill Could Face String of Legal Challenges

Health Care Bill Could Face String of Legal Challenges

December 24th, 2009

FOXNews

Harry Reid’s bribery may be unconstitutional

Organizations and lawmakers opposed to the health care reform package are getting their legal briefs in a bunch, threatening to challenge the constitutionality of the sweeping overhaul should it make its way to President Obama’s desk.

Republicans have agreed to allow the Democratic-led Senate to move up the time for a final vote to 8 a.m. Thursday so that lawmakers and their staff can go home for Christmas. But GOP supporters aren’t backing down on their threats to put a stop to the legislation using whatever legal means possible.

Two key issues seem to be attracting the bulk of the legal threats: a mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance and the special treatment that states like Nebraska are getting in the bill.

On the first issue, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., on Tuesday renewed the call to examine the constitutionality of whether the federal government can require Americans to purchase a product.

Read More:

Rep. Stupak: White House Pressuring Me to Keep Quiet

Rep. Stupak: White House Pressuring Me to Keep Quiet

December 24th, 2009

By Pete Winn, CNS News

Obama and Democrats are telling this Congressman to keep his mouth shut

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said the White House and the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives have been pressuring him not to speak out on the “compromise” abortion language in the Senate version of the health care bill.

“They think I shouldn’t be expressing my views on this bill until they get a chance to try to sell me the language,” Stupak told CNSNews in an interview on Tuesday. “Well, I don’t need anyone to sell me the language. I can read it. I’ve seen it. I’ve worked with it. I know what it says. I don’t need to have a conference with the White House. I have the legislation in front of me here.”

The Michigan Democrat succeeded last month in getting 64 House Democrats to join him in attaching his pro-life amendment to the House version of the health-care bill. The “Stupak amendment,” as the provision is known, would prohibit the federal government from allocating taxpayer money to pay for any part of any health insurance plan that covers abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.

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Barack Obama’s Top Ten Foreign Policy Follies

Barack Obama’s Top Ten Foreign Policy Follies

December 24th, 2009

By Nile Gardiner, UK Telegraph

Obama has been a disaster on the foreign stage

This has hardly been a stellar year for the projection of American global power. Weakness, rather than strength, has been the hallmark of US foreign policy under Barack Obama, from the Iranian nuclear crisis to dithering over the war in Afghanistan. Instead of strong American leadership, the White House has all too often offered humiliating apologies for America’s past and embarrassing gaffes.

Here is a list of the ten biggest foreign policy follies of Barack Obama’s first year in office. I’ve tried to make the list inclusive of all corners of the world, ranging from Tehran to Tokyo to Khartoum, and frankly could easily have expanded it to a top 20 or even top 30 list. There are plenty to choose from, including some of the most cringe worthy moments in modern American history.

1. Surrendering to Russia over Missile Defence
The White House’s betrayal of US allies in eastern and central Europe by reneging on the deal to establish Third Site missile defences sent a clear signal that Washington was more concerned about appeasing Moscow than defending its friends. It symbolized all that is wrong with Obama’s foreign policy – including the willingness to curry favour with brutal enemies while giving the boot to some of America’s closest partners.

2. Appeasing the Mullahs of Iran
If Barack Obama makes a New Year’s resolution, I hope it will be that he stops appeasing Tehran. The White House’s strategy of engagement with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been nothing short of a spectacular failure. While Obama has been busy emulating the European Union’s dismal Common Foreign and Security Policy and sending polite video messages, the Mullahs and their puppets have been busy advancing their nuclear weapons programme, enriching uranium, supplying arms to the Taliban, capturing British sailors, test-firing long-range missiles, threatening the annihilation of Israel, and killing pro-democracy protestors.

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Natural gas and capitalism to the rescue

Natural gas and capitalism to the rescue

By Claude Sandroff

Marxist grandees slipped in and out Copenhagen last week thanks to the plentiful jet fuel whose combustion they claim poses grave threats to the future of mankind. While they solemnly convened to tax hydrocarbons out of existence and roundly mocked and discredited the market system whose wealth they covet, we should be grateful that capitalists were at work in America to help increase our carbon footprint.
Last week’s announcement by ExxonMobil that it would acquire XTO Energy in an all-stock transaction (with debt assumption) valued at $41B marks the most significant energy-related news event of the year for Americans.  With Copenhagen hypocrites humbled but not destroyed, and cap-and-trade legislation still lurking in Congress, we needed something to cheer about.
This domestic transaction is the largest Exxon has made since its merger with Mobil Oil in 1999. By acquiring XTO, ExxonMobil is declaring to the world just how highly it values domestic natural gas assets and the expertise to extract it from non-traditional sources. Natural gas already contributes 24% to the country’s total energy usage, heating half of our homes and, in compressed form, operating a growing number of large vehicles. It generates 24% of our electricity, and it is a key chemical feedstock to fertilizer manufacture. As the world’s largest private energy company, Exxon’s implied commitment to the extraction of natural gas from our own domestic shale deposits makes energy independence more palpable than at any other time in recent memory. 
XTO Energy was one of the pioneers of the technique that allowed natural gas trapped in the pores of impermeable shales to be extracted in commercial significant volumes. The technique, call hydro-fracing, injects high-pressure fluids (mostly water) into sealed, horizontally drilled wells to increase the fracturing in deep shale deposits. As the shale becomes more highly fractured, more paths for gas migration are created, allowing significant amounts of naturals gas to be captured at the wellhead.
Hydro-fracing has led to a radical upward revision in natural gas reserve estimates, a dramatic reduction in wellhead price, and a concomitant explosion in demand that ExxonMobil did not want to miss out on. 
The Marcellus Shale formation reaching from the Appalachians to central New York State illustrates why natural gas is enjoying a new popularity in the energy limelight. Just seven years ago, the U.S. Geologic Service estimated recoverable reserves in the Marcellus at 1.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Then, in 2008, a pair of geologists named Englander and Lash, recognizing how successfully the hydro-fracing technique was applied to the Barnett Shale formation in north Texas, upped the ante considerably. They estimated that the Marcellus formation might contain upwards of 500 tcf. 
Factors of 250 don’t come easily in oil and gas exploration. In addition to heaping ridicule on the commonly repeated theory that we are living in the era of peak oil, these numbers suddenly brought great attention to non-traditional geological storehouses of natural gas. This is especially true since gas shales are distributed much more democratically than other hydrocarbons.
In addition to the East Coast, Marcellus, and north Texas Barnett shales, deposits in Haynesville (250 tcf), Louisiana hold enormous potential as well. The Bakken formation in the upper Midwest (that extends into Canada) is also hydrocarbon-rich. To put these numbers in perspective, if 30% of the upper combined reserve estimates of Marcellus and Haynesville could eventually be recovered, then a full ten years of the country’s total current natural gas usage could be satisfied. And at $4 per 1,000 cubic foot at the wellhead, these two deposits have an economic value of 2 trillion dollars. Even in today’s insane spending environment, that’s real money, real taxes, and real jobs.
While we look forward to the time when western Pennsylvanians will wear ten-gallon hats and speak with a drawl, don’t count out the ability of our current government to rain ruin on the nation’s private energy developers’ plans to reinvigorate natural gas production. After all, we live in a time when our EPA has labeled CO2 as a pollutant and our Energy Secretary is nonstop booster of wasteful research on biofuels and carbon sequestration.
So far, users of hydro-fracing have escaped the wrath of the Clean Water Act because the affected shale deposits are much deeper than aquifers and the industry has a generally excellent record in sealing wells from contact with groundwater. But that exclusion could be in jeopardy. Democrats led by Edward Markey will hold hearings next year to determine if hydro-fracing merits this ongoing exclusion. Exxon is sufficiently concerned to have inserted an escape clause in their XTO acquisition terms to allow it to scuttle the deal if any new laws make hydro-fracing commercially impractical.
Still we can hope that rationality will prevail. Exxon’s sizable financial, strategic, and marketing resources could help guarantee that natural gas resources owned and controlled by Americans will not only power and heat us, but possibly move our goods in the decades to come. Other supermajors besides ExxonMobil are likely to stake their own claims on the remaining natural gas plays still available for purchase. 
And as much as America badly needs this energy jolt, the radical environmentalists need it even more. In order to promote their latest obsession — the plug-in hybrid — America’s electrical grid will need vast electrical capacity upgrades. Only coal and natural gas can scale up fast enough to meet the potential demand. And how they hate coal.
What a delight it’s going to be to see solar, wind, and other utopian alternatives that were sucking away our attention fall from view as a solid, practical energy future occupies our thoughts once again.
Claude can be reached at csandroff@gmail.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/natural_gas_and_capitalism_to.html at December 26, 2009 – 12:32:41 PM EST

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