Public Sector Unions and their Political Donations

Public Sector Unions and their Political Donations

Ed Lasky

Governments across the nation, including the one headquartered in Washington, D.C., are approaching their fiscal death throes. Most of the states that are on life-support got transfusions from the stimulus bill that showered money on areas painted blue on the political map. Liberal, Democrat-voting states are the ones spilling the most red ink because they follow policies that are inimical to their fiscal health dictated by special interest groups.

Each budget should come stamped with a warning “passing of this budget will harm the pocketbooks and future of our state’s citizens.”  The result? Taxes soar; credit ratings plummet (causing states to have to pay higher interest rates on the debt they float) and the death spiral begins, as businesses and productive workers vote with their feet and move to more congenial climates.

Why do politicians kill states? Perhaps because they cater to and are in hock to the public sector unions who line their pockets with campaign funds and provide the cheap (to politicians anyway — because “we the people” ending up paying their salaries and benefits) labor needed to operate the phone banks and canvass the neighborhoods.
How do politicians pay them off? By showering public sector unions and their members with high salaries, gold-plated retirement and health benefits (that  government workers all too often do not even have to contribute toward), by allowing retirements to start early (in some cases at 50), and by abuse of overtime pay ( a bus driver in Madison Wisconsin earns $160,000 a year, much of it due to overtime. He earns more than the mayor and he has plenty of fellow bus drivers there who qualify for the country club set.) I have written about this damaging dynamic here http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/public_servants_no_we_are_the.html http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/10/the_coming_public_pension_nigh.html http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/post_159.html http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/obama_and_the_government_emplo.html http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/public_workers_versus_the_publ.html .
Since John F. Kennedy signed an executive order allowing federal workers to unionize, there has been an explosion of government workers who become members of unions such as the ever-powerful American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. But this union is not alone. Teachers are government workers and their union is prettified by using euphemisms (they are teachers after all — and know how to use a thesaurus): the two major teacher unions are called the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
I was curious and decided to discover how much these public sector unions (and other unions) gave to political candidates through their political action committees
Here is a table of the top twenty PACs, provided by OpenSecrets.Org:
                                                                                                                    D     R
$44,225,588
44%
55%
$41,945,511
98%
1%
   
$35,633,473
48%
51%
$31,544,407
97%
2%
   
$31,544,275
64%
35%
$31,425,529
90%
9%
   
$30,162,867
92%
6%
   
$28,993,900
92%
7%
   
$27,992,624
92%
6%
   
$27,933,232
95%
3%
   
$27,768,183
89%
10%
$27,150,883
50%
49%
$27,047,896
99%
0%
   
$26,307,905
39%
60%
$26,285,941
98%
0%
   
$25,775,002
98%
0%
   
$25,205,277
98%
0%
   
$24,409,058
32%
67%
$24,232,224
36%
63%
$24,216,183
98%
1%
   
The D and R at the top of the table refer to percentages of the funds that flowed to Democrats and Republicans. The herd of blue donkeys reveals — surprise! — that the vast amount of money is focused on Democrats. Even Goldman Sachs, reviled as a company filled with fat cat bankers and plutocrats, gives to Democrats (hence Obama’s recent papal dispensation regarding their bonuses — he regally decides who is a “fat cat” worthy of scorn ).
Consider the American Association of Justice (euphemism alert!)  This is the group that was formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. The plaintiff bar is a key source of support for Democrats.
Barack Obama routinely railed against special interest groups during the campaign. Obama was to bring reform to government; change was in the air-over and over. Lobbyists were to become endangered species (meanwhile they are one of the few groups who enjoyed a banner year in 2009. K Street (where many lobbyists work) is a street paved with gold.
These unions are a special interest. Many of them are beneficiaries of taxpayer funds — especially government workers. They are a major cause of the red ink that is swamping us (Obama pledged to stop the rise of oceans, not the rise of red ink-though he did pledge to exercise fiscal restraint-but that was so 2008).
They buy politicians-and, they favor Democrats.
Please keep that in mind when our politicians call for us to support bond issues and increased taxes. We should follow the money trail — because it is our money and the next generation’s future.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/public_sector_unions_and_their.html at March 01, 2010 – 06:07:56 PM CST

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Dems: Screw bipartisanship, full steam ahead on Obamacare hara-kiri

Lead Story

Dems: Screw bipartisanship, full steam ahead on Obamacare hara-kiri

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 1, 2010 09:50 AM

Scroll for updates…GOP Rep. Deal resignation makes House magic number 216….

They’re all in — and they’ve convinced themselves that you do not care about the process. They’ve learned nothing from the Tea Party protests, the town hall revolts, or the Massachusetts election. The White House/Democrat message: Screw you!

The White House called for a “simple up-or-down” vote on health care legislation Sunday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi appealed to House Democrats to get behind President Barack Obama’s chief domestic priority even it if threatens their political careers.

In voicing support for a simple majority vote, White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle signaled Obama’s intention to push the Democratic-crafted bill under Senate rules that would overcome GOP stalling tactics.

Republicans unanimously oppose the Democratic proposals. Without GOP support, Obama’s only chance of emerging with a policy and political victory is to bypass the bipartisanship he promoted during his televised seven-hour health care summit Thursday.

“We’re not talking about changing any rules here,” DeParle said. “All the president’s talking about is: Do we need to address this problem and does it make sense to have a simple, up-or-down vote on whether or not we want to fix these problems?”

DeParle was optimistic that the president would have the votes to pass the massive bill. But none of legislation’s advocates who spoke on Sunday indicated that those votes were in hand.

You remember DeParle as the overseer of the White House’s infamous Internet snitch brigade. More importantly, I’ve filled you in on her career as a Clinton-era health care bureaucrat-turned-corporate cash cow-turned Obama health czar in Culture of Corruption.

None of her lucrative corporate ties were mentioned, of course, as she posed as a crusading industry-basher on Meet the Press this weekend:

MS. DePARLE: I believe that the president will keeping fighting and that the American people want to have this kind of health reform.

MR. GREGORY: But you don’t have the votes yet?

MS. DePARLE: Well, look, the president will have more to say about that later this week, and he’s working with the Congress on how best to address that.

MR. GREGORY: Has he made a decision, especially given the results of this summit, that you’ve got to move forward with reconciliation, just go for a simple majority and, you know, losing the opportunity to try to bring some Republicans along?

MS. DePARLE: Well, look, he’s going to have more to say later this week about how he thinks is the best way to move forward. But I think what it’s important to remember here is that we have some fundamental problems with our insurance markets. We have insurance companies sending out premium increases of 39 percent out in California. These are problems that need to be fixed, and the president hears every day from Americans who are hurting because of that.

MR. GREGORY: Right. OK. But fixing those problems, you have to get through procedure to get there, and I’ve been told by several people the decision has been made. It’s reconciliation, go for the simple majority, or else the reforms you’re talking about simple won’t be possible.

MS. DePARLE: Well, I don’t know about that. But I do know this. The healthcare reform has already passed both the House and the Senate with not only a majority in the Senate but a super majority, and we’re not talking about changing any rules here. All the president is talking about is, do we need to address this problem and, and does it make sense to have a simple up or down vote on whether or not we want to fix these problems?

MR. GREGORY: A lot of talk at the summit about where public opinion is. And, and here’s one poll from CNN Opinion Research about how Congress should proceed, a similar bill, a new bill, or stop working on the bill. Nearly three-quarters of the public saying either start over or stop working. I wonder if you respond to Senator McCain who says the “unsavory deals,” in his words, that were made by this administration with pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, really hurt the president’s effort overall?

MS. DePARLE: Well, first of all, I’m not sure what he’s talking about with deals with insurance companies. If you’ve watched your network or any others, you’ve seen a lot of the ads they’re running to try to stop reform. And I think we know why. I think we know that right now insurance companies are making the rules and that’s part of what the president’s…

MR. GREGORY: Right.

MS. DePARLE: …trying to change. So…

MR. GREGORY: But they did agree to more regulation and to allow people with previous, you know, prior conditions, because they’d get access to a wider of market of people who would be insured.

MS. DePARLE: I don’t know that they agreed to anything.

MR. GREGORY: There was a deal with pharmaceutical companies.

MS. DePARLE: I think…

MR. GREGORY: There was a deal with the senator from Nebraska…

MS. DePARLE: Well…

MR. GREGORY: …and deals for Louisiana and Florida’s both with regard to Medicaid.

MS. DePARLE: And let’s, let’s, let’s talk about that. The, the Medicaid provisions in the president’s proposal that he put out last week are not the same ones. And, in fact, all states are treated the same with respect to Medicaid. But the more important question, David, is are we going to move forward here or just start over? What is that really code for?

MR. GREGORY: Right.

MS. DePARLE: Is that, is that just code for let’s not do anything? And I don’t think that’s what the American people want. That’s not the people that I’m hearing from every day.

MR. GREGORY: But where’s the evidence–the, the president has said that Americans don’t want to wait. But you see the poll that I just showed, and I’m asking where, where’s the evidence that Americans don’t want to wait, that they really want to move forward? The only protests you’ve seen publicly are on the right in opposition to the bill. Is it a problem of apathy among those who support it or is it not really there?

MS. DePARLE: No. I think it’s a problem partly of who has the power in this whole equation, and I think that’s part of the president’s fighting for is that, right now, the people that he hears from every day–I get notes from him about people that he’s hearing from when he’s there out talking to them and the letters he gets–who can’t get insurance coverage because their child has a pre-existing condition. They have asthma, they can’t change jobs, their premiums are skyrocketing. So I leave the polls to others. What the problem he’s asked me to work on is to try to get the best, most effective way we can to help Americans who are dealing with these problems.

MR. GREGORY: Right.

MS. DePARLE: The small business people who…

MR. GREGORY: But you can’t…

MS. DePARLE: …can’t afford to keep providing coverage.

MR. GREGORY: But you can’t separate the lack of public support for an effort as you move forward on, on the policy. Can this be passed through Congress without support from the American people?

MS. DePARLE: I think there is support.

This is the new strategy of the Dems — to keep repeating out loud that they have the support and they have the votes (even as they urge their members to commit health care hara-kiri and go down with the ship against the will of their constituents).

Pelosi is looking into her mirror and into the cameras and repeating: I have the votes.

They are counting on wearing down their opponents, catching them off-guard, and taking their silence as consent.

As year two of the Tea Party movement begins, job number one is to stop the Obamacare juggernaut, restore true deliberation to the deliberative process, and revoke the consent of the governed to the backroom deals and generational theft being crammed down our throats in the name of compassion and “reform.”

Call your congressional rep. Pound the pavement. Make yourselves heard. Again and again.

***

Update: I’ve been hearing from some very irate Georgia readers about this all morning…

An e-mail alert from Congress Daily:

Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., announced today he will resign from Congress to devote his “full energies” to the governor’s race, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. One of seven Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor, Deal will step down from the House next Monday.

The earliest Deal would be replaced is probably late July, when Georgia holds its 2010 primary election.

Among other things, this means ObamaCare is one vote closer to passage. Democrats will now need only 216 votes in the House for a majority, and there is one less “no” vote. By Rep. Eric Cantor’s whip count, though, Democrats are probably more than ten votes short — for now.

“A Moderate Muslim Can Change into an Extremist Muslim or Terrorist in a Single Night”

“A Moderate Muslim Can Change into an Extremist Muslim or Terrorist in a Single Night”

This is a great article from al-Watan Voice, in which the author makes a passionate plea for a turn to secularism in the Islamic world.  He concludes that a moderate Muslim and an extremist Muslim are not really very different from each other, as a moderate can transform into an extremist or terrorist “in a single night” of studying the Qur’an or attending studies at the mosque.  He also challenges his readers to think of any good inventions or scientific discoveries to come from the Muslim world in the past few hundred years.  He’s right on with almost all of this, but of course bringing this up in the West will result in you being branded an Islamophobe or put on trial for hate speech.  Link to original Arabic.

“Yes” to Secularism

by Dr. Majid al-Balushi

al-Watan Voice, 25 February 2010

the extremist Muslims [say] “I require you to comply with my demand, which is that you believe in my God, or pay me money (the jizyah), or I cut off your head.” They resort to Qur’anic verses such as “the verse of the sword,” which is the twenty-ninth verse from Surat “al-Tauba” (the 9th sura): “Kill those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, from among the peole of the book, until they pay the jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

This is also called the verse of the “jizyah” by some commentators. It is also the verse which abrogates all the verses which call for peace and understanding with others i.e. non-Muslims. In their view, it is a requirement to apply the command of Allah, which is what our brother, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah lengthen his life, is trying to do. Also not only the Taliban and al-Qa’ida and other groups, but this is indeed the hope of every Muslim faithful to his religion, whether he be a moderate or an extremist Muslim.

The truth is that the difference between the moderate Muslim and the extremist Muslim is quantitative and not qualitative. In other words, a moderate Muslim can change into an extremist Muslim or terrorist in a single night, provided he delve deeper into Qur’anic verses, especially the verse of the sword, and the prophetic ahadith (sayings) calling for fighting and jihad in the path of “establishing the word of truth.” Or by attending the “principles of fiqh” or “studies of fiqh” which are held in mosques normally after the evening prayers. It is here that attendees are brainwashed with a list of Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith and books of Islamic jurisprudence, and more, related to what is halal and haram, to apostasy and jihad… and the torment of the grave and the horrors of the hell-fire…and the Houris (wide-eyed women of paradise that will be given to the believers). A good example of what we speak of is one of our grandchildren and his father. For this grandchild, whom I loved dearly, was a moderate Muslim. However he was also a devout Muslim, believing in Allah and praying the five daily prayers, and fasting during the month of Ramadan. He didn’t enter into politics or the state at all initially, but then he joined the group “principles of fiqh” and drank in their extremist religious ideas. He grew a beard and shortened his clothes, and he got to where he didn’t think about anything except what was halal and what was haram, and gaining Allah’s pleasure by struggling (jihad) in his path. Not only that, but he traveled to Afghanistan to join the mujahideen of the Taliban to establish the word of truth and the Islamic caliphate which will take over the world. But his father, much to his dismay, greatly disapproved of this and lamented the loss of his young son, especially when this son was transported from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay. However, when this father joined the principles of fiqh which we mentioned previously, and when the brainwashing operations were performed on him, his opinions and his thoughts changed, for he began to be proud of his son whom Allah had guided well, causing him to walk in the straight path, and struggle (jihad) in the path of Allah. How much then did this father hope that his other son would walk in the same path. And that is not all, for he himself changed from a handsome man with a trimmed beard of comely appearance into a great sheikh with a long beard, unkempt hair, and a short robe and pants. (I ask that he please not be angered by my words, for he knows how much love and respect I have for him.) There are many other examples, but I don’t have the space to mention them all in this short article.

* * *

…the Islamists claim that Islam fosters science, and forcibly call attention to Qur’anic verses that mention science. They resort to these Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith which repeat in them the word “science” and its derivatives, as if this “science” is the science of chemistry or physics or engineering, etc. The “science” which these Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith support is the science of the knowledge of Allah and his power and nothing else. For thus is the saying of the Prophet: “Who knows a knowledge of something other than Allah, or desired a knowledge of something other than Allah, let him take his place in hell,” and also the saying, “The scientists are the heirs of the prophets.” So where is the science of chemistry and physics and astronomy and engineering and others? Where is the worldly knowledge, purely connected to this world on which we live? What do we want to say? We want to say: Be secularists, or concern yourselves with your material world on which you live for the short span of between 70 to 80 years on average, barring any accident or emergency cases, and make religion — whatever religion — a matter between a person and his Lord, between the person and what he believes in, for this is good for you and for all mankind.

* * *
(Author goes on to praise Western secularism and many of the scientists and inventors that it produced…)

And many of those scientists were devout and religious, but they did not make their religion their principal concern, as we do in our Arab-Islamic nations, and they did not attempt to intervene in the religious affairs of others. The question that arises is this: “Why is there not found in our religion any scientist or inventor which has benefited mankind with his inventions and discoveries, except a few of the theories of ancient scientists which remained preserved in books?” Do we consider the story of ‘Abbas bin Firnas’ attempt to fly in the air with wings made of birds’ feathers a true story and a great scientific experiment, or the sand hourglass which the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid offered to Charlegmane, the King of France at the time, a great invention? You may say that Muslim-Arab scientists were the ones who founded the sciences of algebra and astronomy, and blood circulation, and that may be true, but where are the products of their inventions and scientific discoveries? Why did the Arab and non-Arab Muslims not continue in their development and progress for mankind? Why must we import and consume what is made and produced by secular nations, when we have sat on the source of the largest energy reserves in the world, namely oil, for hundreds of years? Why must we use these secular nations to perform the exploration of the oil in our own lands, and refining it, and using it in our cars which are manufactured in their own secular nations?

This is not all, for why do we find that everything around us is invented and manufactured in secular nations? Take as an example the machinery for printing the Qur’an and its pages, and its ink in various colors, does this not come from the inventions and manufacturing of secular nations? And also the loudspeakers which we use to announce and read the Qur’an, weren’t these invented and manufactured in secular nations? …

Morning Bell: The Edifice Falls

Morning Bell: The Edifice Falls

Posted By Mike Gonzalez On March 1, 2010 @ 9:28 am In Energy and Environment | No Comments


[1]

Having failed to convince the country that we should reorder one-sixth of our economy (health care) in one fell swoop, liberals in the Administration and Congress are now doubling down and moving on to the next big thing. This time it’s the transformation of everything, through climate legislation. One could almost stand agape, admiring the boldness of the overreach, were not so much prosperity at stake.

The latest attempt to force the U.S. economy to turn away from readily available, affordable fuels and leaving it to the tender mercies of untried, experimental and expensive technologies is a bipartisan effort by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). A legislative package from them, according to The Washington Post [2] on Saturday, would individually cap how much traditional energy the main pillars of the American economy would be able to use. This would of course cripple our economy and threaten our prosperity. Any doubts about how broad and deep this effort is are dispelled by reading the following paragraph in the Post:

According to several sources familiar with the process, the lawmakers are looking at cutting the nation’s greenhouse gas output by targeting, in separate ways, three major sources of emissions: electric utilities, transportation and industry.

The reason the Senators could not act through their preferred vehicle, a “cap-and-trade” scheme that would put an across-the-economy ceiling on the use of traditional sources of fuel such as coal, oil and natural gas—above which companies using these fuels would have to pay for extra rights—is that the whole edifice of global warming is now falling apart.

It is collapsing with such rapidity that it is worth pausing from time to time to take stock.

The foundations of such edifice rest on a single assumption. This hypothesis—one that drove many people, even some reasonable ones, to contemplate upending the world as we know it — is that that traditional fuels will have cataclysmic consequences on the environment because they emit gases that make the world too hot.

The authority to turn this assumption into fact rested largely on a U.N. document – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report [3] – which declared climate change “unequivocal” and its man-made origin “very likely.” The purpose of the IPCC report was to turn hypothesis into fact.

The reason Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman had to turn away from cap-and-trade, and target industries individually, is that the idea of an iron-clad scientific consensus is now being revealed to be a bit, shall we say, exaggerated. The IPCC’s turning of hypothesis into fact now looks less like the scientific process and more like the magician you paid $50 an hour to pull flowers out of hats at your daughter’s birthday.

The first scales began to come off the global warming edifice in November, when emails from the University of East Anglia [4] in the UK revealed how scientists at that key global research center had tried to suppress the opinion of peers who dissented from their view and hid evidence that countered the theory of man-made global warming.

Then the U.N.’s Copenhagen summit that was supposed to produce a global agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol fell apart in December [5], with the key countries refusing to hobble their own economies for the sake of science that was less and less there.

Then, last month it started to become clear that the 2007 IPCC report was more hollow than hallowed. Its claims that half the Netherlands is below sea level was off [6] by a factor of two. Ditto for the outlandish fear-mongering that the glaciers of the Himalayas would melt by 2035. The IPCC was forced to admit that, actually, its projections were that that would happen by 2350 [7]. Oops!

Then last Friday, the news pages of The Wall Street Journal [8] published yet one more devastating story on the IPCC and its hapless chairman, Rajendra Pachauri. The front page story detailed how inconclusive science, political pressure and shoddy administration all led to the Cassandra-like pronouncements of the IPCC report. Imagine that: politicians putting pressure on scientists to come up with theories that would vastly add to their regulatory and taxing powers.

Things have gotten so desperate that Al Gore himself had to come out of seclusion and pen a piece for The New York Times [9]. On Saturday he implored readers that all these cascading events didn’t amount to a hill of beans. The article was vintage Gore. Let’s say it was not restrained. Here’s Gore on what will happen if we fail to act now:

Our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands.

The former Vice President and failed presidential candidate was so exercised he even took a jab at FOX, apparently blaming it for the troubles global warming is experiencing: “Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment.”

Alas for Gore, Pachauri, et al., the climate alarums are working less and less not because of FOX, but because the alarmists overreached. Even an embarrassed U.N. was forced to announce Saturday that an independent board of scientists will be appointed to review the workings of the IPCC.

Unfortunately, climategate and IPCCgate have not put a dent on the Obama Administration’s plan to (mis)use the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2, and thereby the companies that power our nation. Its Administrator Lisa Jackson was out in front of Congress last week [10] again repeating the same shibboleths [11] on a scientific consensus on global warming. This should make us all wonder if stopping global warming really was ever the end game.

As for Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman, their reaction is to slap carbon controls on individual sectors of the economy separately, instead of setting a national target through cap-and-trade. The foundations for doing cap-and-trade have been torn asunder. Our research shows that cap-and-trade would be a $1.9 trillion tax on businesses over eight years [12], more expensive than the Vietnam War, Hurricane Katrina or the New Deal. But taxing the different pillars of our economy individually would be just as economically suicidal.

Sen. Kerry told the Post last week about his legislative effort, “What people need to understand about this bill is this really is a jobs bill, an economic transformation for America, an energy independence bill and a health/pollution-reduction bill that has enormous benefits for the country,” Kerry said. Notice he said nothing about global warming or climate change, the reason we were supposed to take this long walk off a short pier. Notice also he didn’t say it was about handing the political class the reins of the private economy. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman want electric power to be first on the economic chopping block. Previous analysis of similarly severe carbon cuts project electricity prices will rise over 70 percent, even after adjusting for inflation. Not only is this a nightmare for household utility bills, the higher cost will hit consumers over and over since businesses must pass on their higher costs as well.

You can follow Mike Gonzalez on Twitter [13] @Gundisalvus [14]

Quick Hits:

  • The latest CNN poll [15] shows that 56% of Americans say they think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
  • If you missed the seven-and-a-half-hour health summit Thursday, Heritage has compiled a four minute highlight reel here [16].
  • Because his ethical lapses have not “jeopardized our country in any way,” [17] Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will let Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) keep his leadership post.
  • Senior aides are telling The New York Times that President Obama will permanently reduce America’s nuclear arsenal [18] by thousands of weapons.
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) shows [19] how Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have increased satisfaction while bringing down health care costs in his state.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/01/morning-bell-the-edifice-falls-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/captrade2trilliontax.jpg

[2] The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/26/AR2010022606084.html

[3] the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.htm#1

[4] emails from the University of East Anglia: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4338343.html

[5] fell apart in December: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-obama-climate-change

[6] half the Netherlands is below sea level was off: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61C1V420100213

[7] its projections were that that would happen by 2350: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/20/ipcc-himalayan-glaciers-mistake

[8] The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704188104575083681319834978.html?KEYWORDS=Rajendra+Pachauri

[9] The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/opinion/28gore.html

[10] out in front of Congress last week: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022204829.html

[11] same shibboleths: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/19/hype-of-global-warming-far-scarier-than-science-shows/

[12] $1.9 trillion tax on businesses over eight years: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/captrade2trillionbig.jpg

[13] Twitter: http://twitter.com/

[14] Gundisalvus: http://twitter.com/Gundisalvus

[15] CNN poll: http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/26/citizens.rights.poll/

[16] four minute highlight reel here: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/26/video-the-four-minute-guide-to-the-seven-hour-summit/

[17] “jeopardized our country in any way,”: http://blog.heritage.org http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33668.html

[18] permanently reduce America’s nuclear arsenal: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/us/politics/01nuke.html?ref=todayspaper

[19] shows: http://blog.heritage.org http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704231304575091600470293066.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

How the Islamist Mindset Rationalizes — and Promotes — ‘Sex Sins’

How the Islamist Mindset Rationalizes — and Promotes — ‘Sex Sins’

Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On March 1, 2010 @ 12:00 am In . Positioning, Column 2, Culture, History, Lifestyle, Religion, Sex | 1 Comment

Is it inconsistent for Muslim “holy warriors” to engage in voyeuristic acts of lasciviousness? Because would-be jihadists and martyrs have been known to frequent strip bars — such as the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hasan [1], whose “late-night jiggle-joint carousing stands at odds with the picture of a devout Muslim” — many Americans have concluded that such men cannot be “true” Muslims, leading to the ubiquitous conviction that they are “hijacking Islam.”

In fact, Islamists rely on several rationalizations — doctrines, even — that make “jiggle-joint carousing” consistent with Muslim piety. Considering that Islamic law permits sex slaves (Koran 4:3), who can be kept topless [2] by their masters, and makes sex one of the highest paradisiacal rewards, this should come as no great surprise. However, to elaborate:

First, the doctrine of taqiyya allows Muslims residing among infidels to deceive the latter by, among other things, behaving like infidels, e.g., frequenting strip bars: “Taqiyya [3] [deception], even if committed without duress, does not lead to a state of infidelity — even if it leads to sin deserving of hellfire.”

In conjunction, the overarching Muslim principle that necessity makes that which is forbidden permissible [4] goes a long way in helping Islamists validate their libidinous desires: “It is ‘necessary’ for me to be at this strip club so infidels come to believe that I’m just a regular bloke and not a soldier of Allah.” Indeed, sometimes the mere gratification of sexual urges is deemed a “necessity” that makes the forbidden permissible in Islam, as in this historical anecdote:

After conquering the Banu Mustaliq tribe in 628, Muhammad’s men deemed it “necessary” to rape their captive women [5] (citing their wives’ absence and untended desires). However, they also wanted to sell these women for a profit, which posed complications, as copulating with them risked impregnating them. So they rationalized that ‘azl (coitus interruptus) would solve the problem and asked Muhammad. The prophet went one step further and offered a cosmic rationalization [6], dismissing coitus interruptus as unnecessary, “for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born” — that is, pullout or not, you cannot thwart Allah’s will, so don’t bother. (See here [7] and here [8] for more ‘azl quotes.)

Muhammad also maintained that death in the jihad not only blots out all sins — including sexual ones, a la voyeurism — but it actually gratifies them:

The martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven [of all sins] from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise, where he will be adorned in ornaments of faith. He will wed the ‘Aynhour [a.k.a. “voluptuous women [9]”] and will not know the torments of the grave [10], and safeguards against the greater terror [hell]. … And he will copulate with 72 ‘Aynhour (see The Al Qaeda Reader [11], p. 143).

In light of this, how “un-Islamic” can it be for Islamists to gawk at nude, gyrating, infidel women — especially prior to “martyring” themselves in the jihad, which, as Muhammad said, blots out all their sins? This rationalization has precedents going back to the Middle Ages: Muslim groups like the Isma‘ilis created hidden “gardens of delight” swarming with voluptuous women, and, prior to sending their assassins on missions, would immerse them in these gardens, thereby giving these prototypical “suicide attackers” a foretaste of the sexual delights awaiting them in the afterlife. After this experience, the assassins would eagerly undertake any assignment simply to be “martyred” and return to the gardens of delight, which were based on “the description Muhammad gave of his paradise” (see Marco Polo’s 13th-century account [12]).

Nor has this intersection between sex and violence subsided in the modern era. The Arabic satellite program Daring Question [13] recently aired various clips of young jihadists giddily singing about their forthcoming deaths and subsequent sexual escapades in heaven. After documenting various anecdotes indicative of Islamist obsession with sex, human rights activist Magdi Khalil concluded that “absolutely everything [jihad, suicide operations, etc.] revolves around sex in heaven,” adding, “if you look at the whole of Islamic history, you come up with two words: sex and violence.”

Deceit, rationalizations, and a paradise that forgives the would-be martyr’s every sin — indeed, that satiates his hedonistic urges with 72 voluptuous women (which may only be raisins [14]) — all help demonstrate how Muslims can be observant and simultaneously frequent strip clubs.

Yet there is one final explanation that requires an epistemic shift [15] to appreciate fully: in Islam, legalism trumps morality, resulting in what Westerners may deem irreconcilable behavior among Muslims, that is, “hypocrisy.” As Daniel Pipes observed some three decades ago in his In the Path of God [16]:

[There is] a basic contrast between the Christian and Islamic religions: the stress on ethics versus the stress on laws. Controls on sexual activity directly reflect this difference. The West restricts sex primarily by imbuing men and women with standards of morality. … Muslims, in contrast, depend on “external precautionary safeguards” [e.g., segregation, veiling] to restrain the sexes. … Rather than instill internalized ethical principles, Islam establishes physical boundaries to keep the sexes apart.

In this context, the problem is not Muslims frequenting strip clubs, but misplaced Western projections that assume religious piety is always synonymous with personal morality — a notion especially alien to legalistic Islamists whose entire epistemology begins and ends with the literal words of seventh-century Muhammad and his Koran.

And it is this slavishness that best explains Islamist behavior. For the same blind devotion to the literal mandates of Islam which encourages Islamists to lead lives of deceit also explains why Islamists are callous to human suffering, why they are desensitized to notions of human dignity and the cries of their raped victims, and, yes, why they cheerily forfeit their lives in exchange for a fleshy paradise. In all cases, Muhammad and his Allah [17] said so — and that’s all that matters.


Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-the-islamist-mindset-rationalizes-and-promotes-sex-sins/

URLs in this post:

[1] Nidal Hasan: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2009/11/12/2009-11-12_ft_hood_gunman_.html

[2] topless: http://books.google.com/books?id=C3Jo-U7e_n0C&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=awra+slave+girls&source=bl&ots=7ywnNJU5xc&sig=znL7YDNB7v7lIKT1Y7Vm6fJJ5OY&hl=en&ei=KVeAS-rWPI78sgOZ5ZGJBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CCIQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=awra%20slave%20

[3] Taqiyya: http://www.meforum.org/2538/taqiyya-islam-rules-of-war

[4] necessity makes that which is forbidden permissible: http://www.islam-qa.com/en/pda/ref/130815

[5] captive women: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/12/raymond-ibrahim-are-slave-girls-in-islam-equivalent-to-animals.html

[6] cosmic rationalization: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/muslim/008.smt.html#008.3371

[7] here: http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Al-%27Azl

[8] here: http://www.islam-watch.org/copper.kid/islam-azl.htm

[9] voluptuous women: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/078.qmt.html#078.033

[10] torments of the grave: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/jihad-martyrdom-and-the-torments-of-the-grave/

[11] The Al Qaeda Reader: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAl-Qaeda-Reader-Raymond-Ibrahim%2Fdp%2F038551655X&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

[12] account: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Travels_of_Marco_Polo/Book_1/Chapter_23

[13] Daring Question: http://www.islamexplained.com/DaringQuestionEpisode143/tabid/1458/Default.aspx

[14] raisins: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/jan/12/books.guardianreview5

[15] epistemic shift: http://www.meforum.org/2441/westernizing-islamic-concepts

[16] In the Path of God: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPath-God-Islam-Political-Power%2Fdp%2F0765809818&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

[17] his Allah: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/respecting-the-faithful-vs-respecting-the-faith/

Europe Cracks Down on Bloggers, Not Terrorists

Europe Cracks Down on Bloggers, Not Terrorists

By Paul Belien Created 2010-03-01 09:39 There is terrorism and there is Islamophobia. Of these two the latter is apparently the more serious misdemeanor. Europe is introducing draconian measures to monitor the internet for so-called “racism,” but at the same time the European Parliament has decided to deny America access to servers with international banking data that relate to terrorist organizations.

Last January, the French Inter-ministerial Committee on Racism and Anti-Semitism met to discuss measures to ban from the Internet those websites deemed by public moralists to be “racist.” The French government is acting in accordance with resolutions of the European Parliament that urge the member states of the European Union to “combat racism and xenophobia.” The French authorities are currently working on “a plan of action at the national and international levels, mobilizing public authorities, Internet operators and special-interest groups” to combat “the expression of racist commentary on the Internet.”

A report presented to the French government on 21 January recommends “an increased action from the Central Office for the Fight against Crime in the Information Technology and Communications Sectors (French acronym OCLCTIC), an organism that collects data on illicit content online. It also recommends an improved system of information among public authorities; and a systematization of the sharing of information between the various parties.”

The report acknowledges that information via the Internet is often international, with some French bloggers being hosted in foreign countries, such as the United States. The report notes that “the international dimensions of the Internet and the different laws and cultures on the question of racism are used by some to escape their responsibilities.” Hence, it proposes that the French and American public authorities work out a plan to combat Internet racism. This plan must also “allow for the participation of national and international NGOs involved in the fight against racism on the Internet.” In the fight against “racism,” civil-liberties and privacy concerns are only of secondary importance.

One of these NGOs is the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples (French acronym MRAP), that monitors “racism” in France. Last January, the MRAP presented a 154-page report [pdf], listing more than 2,000 URLs (including 1,000 blogs) deemed to be “racist”, “racialist”, “ethno-differentialist”, “extreme-right”, “anti-Semitic,” “Islamophobic,” “homophobic,” “ultra-Zionist,” etc. The website of the American scholar Daniel Pipes is listed on page 129 as a “neoconservative” site which “develops Islamophobic themes.”

While Europe hopes that America will assist it in its crack-down on “racist” websites and blogs, it is less keen to assist America in its battle against terrorism. In this context, civil-liberties and privacy concerns are invoked to deny the U.S. continued access to financial information from SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), an international banking consortium, headquartered in Brussels, which processes inter-bank data. SWIFT processes millions of transactions daily between banks and other financial institutions worldwide. It holds the data of some 8,000 banks and operates in 200 countries.

On February 11, the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected an agreement between the European Commission and the American government ensuring that Washington has access to data to which it had direct access until SWIFT’s American servers were moved to Europe at the end of 2009. The SWIFT servers are located in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Tracking the funding of terror groups globally has been a priority for Washington since the 9/11 2001 attacks. So far, access to the SWIFT data has produced more than 1,500 reports and numerous leads for U.S. and European security services, according to the U.S. State Department. It helped capture the mastermind of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing that killed 202 people, and helped prevent a similar attack in Bangkok in 2003. It also helped thwart the 2006 Heathrow Airport liquid-bomb plot and a terror attack on Barcelona.

The European Parliament, however, rejected the agreement between the European Commission and the American government with 378 votes against 196 and 31 abstentions. It stated that the agreement “violates the basic principles of data-protection law.” Martin Schulz, the German group leader of the Socialists in the Parliament, said: “We want a better deal with proper safeguards for people’s privacy.” Jeanine Hennis-Plaesschaert, the Dutch spokesperson for the Liberals, said that EU “flouts its own laws on fundamental rights” if it “continues to outsource its security services to the United States without reciprocity.” She denounced the “pressure, blackmail and lobbying of the U.S.” Cecilia Malmström, the Swedish European Commissioner for Home Affairs, had to promise the Parliament that the new agreement would include “very ambitious safeguards for privacy and data protection.”

The “ambitious safeguards for privacy and protection” seem only to apply to the enemies of the West, not to the right of Europe’s own citizens to express their opinions in their blogs. On the one hand the European Parliament is pressurizing the governments of the EU member states to limit the freedom of expression of their own citizens; on the other hand it is protecting the “privacy rights” of terrorists who transfer money globally to fund their operations. If there is a terror attack in the near future, which the U.S. could have prevented with data from SWIFT that it did not have access to, the responsibility should be laid with the Schulzes and Hennis-Plasschaerts of the European Parliament.


Source URL:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4336

Sarah Palin:Fact-checking Obamacare Summit

Sarah Palin: Fact-checking Obamacare Summit

Fact-checking Obamacare Summit
 Fri at 11:01am
We should be thankful for yesterday’s 7-hour health care summit – it was helpful in that it allowed Americans to hear the fundamental differences in approaches to meeting health care challenges. On one side, commonsense conservatives laid out fiscally-sound, free market-based, patient-centered solutions; and on the left’s side we heard about the Democrats’ belief that growing government is the only way to meet challenges.

As the saying goes, “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts.” When these “facts” concern one-sixth of our economy and something as important to our personal wellbeing as health care, we’d better make sure they are the real deal.

Please take a look at the compilation below from GOP.com correcting the top five falsehoods from yesterday’s summit. I appreciate their research and revelations compiled here.

– Sarah Palin

TOP FIVE FALSEHOODS

If Democrats Would Start Listening To The American People, They’d Stop Telling Falsehoods

NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT RECONCILIATION?

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Claims “No One Has Talked About Reconciliation.” “No one has said — I read what the President has online — no one has talked about reconciliation but that’s what you folks have talked about ever since that came out, as if it’s something that has never been done before.” (“Transcript: White House Health Summit, Morning Session,” Kaiser Health News, 2/25/10)

But Reid Himself Is Talking About Reconciliation. “Harry Reid’s got a gift for hyperbole – and it keeps on giving. The Senate majority leader’s latest gem came in response to hints that Democrats might try to use the fast-track budget ‘reconciliation’ to bypass a Republican filibuster of President Obama’s health care plan. After advising Republicans on Tuesday to ‘stop crying over reconciliation as if it’s never been done before,’ he ticked off a list of legislative feats he contends were accomplished through the filibuster-busting process: ‘Contract [with] America was done with reconciliation. Tax cuts, done with reconciliation. Medicare, done with reconciliation.’” (Jonathan Allen, “Hyperbolic Harry,” Politico’s “Live Pulse” Blog, 2/24/10)

“For Some Bizarre Reason, During His Initial Presentation, Sen. Reid Said That ‘No One Has Talked About Reconciliation,’ … But That’s Obviously Not True. Everybody’s Talking About It. And A Lot Of Dems Would Be Pretty Upset If They Weren’t Talking About It.” (Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo’s “Editors Blog” Blog, 2/25/10)

  • “A Number Of Democratic Senators Have Signed A Letter Urging Reid To Use Reconciliation To Pass The Public Option.” (Eric Zimmermann, “Reid: ‘No One Has Talked About Reconciliation,’” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 2/25/10)

Obama Health Reform Advisor Says The Door Is Open For Reconciliation. “Linda Douglass, the communications director of the White House Office of Health Reform, left reconciliation on the table as an option for passing a health care bill if Democrats and Republicans don’t reach consensus during Thursday’s summit. … ‘Certainly if that were not to be the case, he would be asking for a simple up or down majority vote and would certainly hope that the Republicans would not try to block that simple up or down majority vote.’” (Carol Lee & Patrick O’Connor, “Douglass Open To Reconciliation,” Politico’s “44” Blog, 2/25/10)

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AREN’T INTERESTED IN RECONCILIATION?

Obama Claims Americans Don’t Care About Reconciliation. “You know, this issue of reconciliation has been brought up. Again I think the American people aren’t always all that interested in procedures inside the Senate. I do think they want a vote on how we’re going to move this forward.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, Washington, DC, 2/25/10)

But 52% Of Americans Don’t Want The Democrats To Use Reconciliation To Pass Their Government-Run Health Care Experiment. “In the survey, Americans by 52%-39% oppose Senate Democrats using the procedure, which allows a bill to pass with a 51-vote majority rather than the 60 votes needed to end debate.” (Susan Page, “Poll: Expectations Low On Health Summit,” USA Today, 2/25/10)

DEM PROPOSALS WILL LOWER PREMIUMS?

President Obama Claimed CBO Determined His Plan Would Lower Premiums. PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It’s not factually accurate. Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office says. The costs for families for the same type of coverage that they’re currently receiving would go down 14 percent to 20 percent.” SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise in the individual market as a result of the Senate bill.” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “No, no, no, no. Let me — and this is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight.” ALEXANDER: “That’s my point.” OBAMA: “Well, exactly, so let me — let me respond to what you just said, Lamar, because it’s not factually accurate. Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office says. The costs for families for the same type of coverage that they’re currently receiving would go down 14 percent to 20 percent.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, Washington, DC, 2/25/10)

But Actually, CBO Determined The Bill Would Raise Premiums For Americans Purchasing Insurance Individually. “CBO and JCT estimate that the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law.” (Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), 11/30/09)

INCREMENTAL PLANS ARE UNACCEPTABLE?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “[I]naction And Incrementalism Are Simply Unacceptable.” (Mike Allen, “Will Dr. Obama Go For Plan B-1, Or Plan B-2? — Dems’ Post-Summit Message: POTUS Was ‘Thoughtful, Comprehensive,’ Rs ‘Insulted The Summit’ — New NYT Expose May Finish Gov. Paterson,” Politico’s “Playbook,” 2/25/10)

But 56.4 Percent Of Americans Prefer An Incremental Approach. “Moreover, 56.4 percent of people indicated they would prefer Congress to tackle healthcare reform on a step-by-step basis, not take the comprehensive approach as embodied in the legislation that passed the House and Senate last year but has stalled for the past month.” (Jeffrey Young, “Poll: Most Americans Think Congress Should Start Over On Healthcare,” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 2/16/10)

PUBLIC FUNDS WOULDN’T GO TO ABORTION?

Pelosi Said Abortion Wouldn’t Be Funded Under The Plan. “The law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion and there is no public funding of abortion in these bills and I don’t want our listeners or viewers to get the wrong impression from what you said.” (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Health Care Summit, Washington, DC, 2/25/10)

But The Bill Allows Federally Funded Abortions. “Under the new abortion provisions, states can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the insurance exchanges the bill would set up. The exchanges are designed to serve individuals who lack coverage through their jobs, with most receiving federal subsidies to buy insurance. Enrollees in plans that cover abortion procedures would pay with separate checks — one for abortion, one for any other health-care services.” (Paul Kane, “To Sway Nelson, A Hard-Won Compromise On Abortion Issue,” The Washington Post, 12/20/10)

Pro-Life Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) Calls Obama’s Abortion Language “Unacceptable.” “Unfortunately, the president’s proposal encompasses the senate language allowing public funding of abortion. The senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable.” (Ben Smith,” Stupak: “Unacceptable,” Politico’s “Live Pulse” Blog, 2/23/10)

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) Says 15 To 20 House Dems Who Can’t Support Obama’s Proposal. “Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who led efforts to tighten abortion language in the House health care bill, said Wednesday morning there are 15 to 20 House Democrats who cannot support President Barack Obama’s effort to bridge the gap between the House and Senate health plans. … He said well over a dozen House members will likely balk, not just on abortion but on the residual tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which he said the House had already rejected.” (“Stupak: 15-20 Dems Can’t Back Obama Health Plan,” The Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire” Blog, 2/24/10)