Sen. Kyl fires first shot in battle over next Supreme Court nominee

The battle over the next Supreme Court justice is already under way, as the No. 2 Republican in the Senate on Sunday would not rule out blocking a successor to Justice John Paul Stevens — who said in interviews published this weekend his retirement is on the horizon.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” warned President Obama not to try nominating anyone “overly ideological” to replace Stevens, who is known as the leader of the liberal wing of the court.

He suggested the party did not want anyone so outspoken as Sonia Sotomayor, who was picked to replace former Justice David Souter last year, and said the decision on whether the GOP will filibuster will “all depend” on who the next nominee is.

Full story: – Sen. Kyl Fires First Shot in Battle Over Next Supreme Court Nominee

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Kissinger says McCain, not Obama right about Iran

Kissinger says McCain, not Obama right about Iran

Rick Moran
Henry Kissinger is none too pleased that Barack Obama seems to have misstated the former Secretary of State’s position on Iran.

Obama keeps citing Kissinger as agreeing with him that a meeting with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a good idea.

Au contraire, exclaims Kissinger:

“Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

(Hat Tip: Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard Blog)

The fact of the matter is, Obama’s “no preconditions” pledge is the gaffe of this campaign, hands down. There has been no more dumb, more reckless, more naive, more wrong-headed statement made by either candidate over the course of the last year. 

More than any other factor affecting Obama’s chances are people’s distrust of his instincts with regard to foreign policy. And if McCain can continue to hammer Obama on his ridiculously inapt statement that he would grant instant legitimacy and hand a propaganda victory to Iranian President Ahmadinejad by meeting with him without the Iranians having to even halt their nuclear enrichment program, he will prove to the voters that the Democratic candidate for president is a dangerous fool. 

China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

The European Union Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, told reporters Tuesday that Chinese officials have said they will follow through on their agreement to provide quarterly reports on investigations into dangerous Chinese products exported to the EU.

“I received a political commitment of the highest level, and I will watch how this political commitment will be translated into practice,” Kuneva said.

Kuneva said China is obliged by a memorandum of understanding, signed with the EU in early 2006, to fully investigate EU complaints of unsafe Chinese products and to provide a summary of enforcement efforts in quarterly reports. However, in the last year, she said, China has provided only two reports.

“The first report was very poor in respect of tracking down, the second was better but still not sufficient,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Half of all unsafe exports last year to the EU came from China. The EU is China’s largest trading partner and one in four products imported to the EU come from China.

But those products include children’s toys with high lead or chemical content or small parts that posed a choking hazard, batteries that may explode and lamps that could electrocute.

China is under pressure to better enforce product safety standards after a series of revelations about tainted and deadly exports.

Chinese officials last week announced the closure of a company that exported mislabeled chemicals that were used in cough syrup in Panama, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people there in the last year.

Two other companies were closed for using toxic chemicals in pet food ingredients believed to have killed hundreds of dogs and cats in North America earlier this year.

The United States has refused exports of Chinese farm-raised fish and seafood after drugs banned in the US were found in shipments.

Chinese officials acknowledge some Chinese companies are responsible for unsafe exports, but insist the vast majority of products are safe.

Contamination Wars: China Counterattacks

Contamination Wars: China Counterattacks

China’s announced blocking of imports of some US processed meat that showed signs of contamination–which affects some of the largest US food companies, including Cargill Meat Solutions and Tyson Foods–is the opening salvo in a multi-front counterattack against critics who have questioned the safety of Chinese exports.

As previously reported by China Confidential, Beijing intends to expose the export by US companies of recycled waste vegetable oil and slaugtherhouse animal fat renderings to Asia and Latin America for use as animal feed additives. The firms, which control the collection of recycled restaurant grease in the US, are legally prohibited from selling such products into the US food chain because of the fear of mad-cow disease from the animal components.

The US exports could be processed into biodiesel; but relatively expensive collection and refining methods make foreign food-chain markets more attractive to the US rendering and waste oil collection giants.

China Silences Corrupt Official by Killing Him

China Silences Corrupt Official by Killing Him

China executed a former director of its food and drug agency Tuesday for approving fake medicine in exchange for cash, while officials announced steps to safeguard food at next summer’s Olympic Games.

Xinhua news agency reported the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu, who was sentenced to death in May for accepting cash and gifts worth more than $830,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Xinhua said his appeal was rejected because of the immense damage he had caused to public health and safety.

During his time as chief, the administration approved many medicines that did not meet standards, including six fake drugs. One antibiotic allegedly caused the deaths of at least 10 people.

Zheng was the highest level official to be executed in seven years.

The speed with which his appeal was rejected and the death sentence was carried out suggests the authorities wished to make an example of Zheng, as a warning to other would-be bribe-takers. Corruption is rampant in rising China.

But China Confidential sources say Zheng was also executed to silence him. He knew too much about too many sons and daughters of high-ranking Communist Party officials.

The dirty little secret about China’s state sponsored capitalism is that the biggest gains and opportunities are reserved for those with the strongest party–and military–ties.

In addition to Zheng, five other drug supervision officials have also received sentences for corruption ranging from 13 years to life in prison.The measures include ensuring athletes’ food is free of substances that could trigger a positive result in tests for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Many of China’s recent food woes have been tied to the purity of ingredients, flavoring, artificial colors and other additives.

China’s food and drug administration spokeswoman, Yan Jiangying, told reporters on Tuesday that the country’s food and drug safety was “unsatisfactory” and the country was facing a tough situation in supervising standards.

“As a developing country, China’s food and drug supervision work began late and its foundations are weak,” she said. “Therefore, the food and drug safety situation is not something we can be optimistic about.”

Unsafe at Any Speed

“Unsafe at Any Speed

The downside of China’s manufacturing boom: deadly goods wreaking havoc at home and abroad…

“A good system for guaranteeing quality control simply doesn’t exist in China,” says Wang [a Chinese consumer watchdog and writer], who’s been on the consumer-rights warpath for more than a decade. “Even confidential informants who report to authorities about someone selling fraudulent goods can wind up dead, under suspicious circumstances.”…

…just a few years ago, pundits and the global press were marveling at how quickly China had come on as a major manufacturing export power able, or so the thinking went, to build just about anything fast, cheap and well.

Now the true picture is emerging, and it isn’t pretty. Far from the disciplined and tightly controlled economy China was thought to have, the ongoing scandals have revealed an often chaotic system with lax standards, where the government’s economic authority has been weakened by rapid reforms. This sorry state is not unprecedented—other economies, such as South Korea’s and Japan’s, experienced similar growing pains decades ago. The difference, and the danger, is one of scale, since Chinese goods now dominate the world in so many sectors. Unless Beijing can improve its image fast and turn “Made in China” into a prestigious—or at least reliable—brand, consumers will remain at risk and the country’s export-driven economic miracle could face serious trouble.

China today resembles nothing so much as the United States a century ago, when robber barons, gangsterism and raw capitalism held sway. Now as then, powerful vested interests are profiting from murky regulations, shoddy enforcement, rampant corruption and a lack of consumer awareness. In the United States during the early 20th century, public outrage over bogus drugs and contaminated foodstuffs, fueled by graphic accounts such as Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” finally prompted passage of the landmark Pure Food and Drug Act. China needs a similar revolution today if it is to protect its competitiveness and its consumers.

The problem is especially pressing at home. Bad as the export scandals have been, conditions are even worse inside China…

Three decades ago, all of China’s big manufacturers were state-owned enterprises, and the government could guarantee quality control. Now, however, many manufacturing companies, including formerly state-owned enterprises, have slipped into the loosely regulated private sector. These big businesses often get preferential treatment from local officials who are supposed to monitor them. And companies commonly bribe local police forces, even paying cops’ individual salaries. Then there’s the problem of regulations themselves. Experts say China should adopt an EU-style Basic Food Law and streamline its overlapping rules and jurisdictions. For the time being, different agencies still issue and follow different guidelines/


China also lacks a system for properly recording quality complaints, which makes it easy for authorities to later deny knowledge of a transgression. And according to Zhang Bing of the consulting firm AT Kearney, China has little means for tracking defective goods back to the source after they are distributed.

As a result of such gaps, China’s many lapses are undermining the country’s reputation as a juggernaut that will soon compete head-to-head with the likes of Germany and Japan in the most sophisticated sectors of industrial manufacturing. China’s high-end exports are more comparable with those of South Korea and Taiwan, says Oded Shenkar, a professor at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. In other words, they rank somewhere between Mexico’s and Japan’s. And the Chinese government must figure out how to improve quality if it hopes to keep the economy humming. The recent U.S. recall of defective Chinese-made car tires suggests more such discoveries may be forthcoming, which would further tarnish mainland brands and dent their overseas ambitions. For example, the Chinese manufacturer Chery Automobile, in cooperation with Chrysler, plans to start exporting small and subcompact vehicles to the United States in less than a year. But a scandal there could prove crippling. Other Chinese automakers, such as Geely, have already postponed plans to export to the West because ensuring safety and performance standards has proved so difficult. The Chinese-made Landwind SUV recently received the worst crash rating a German auto club had awarded in two decades.

The real problem may be that some parts of the Chinese bureaucracy have become so used to quality problems at home that they are waking up too slowly to the damage these lapses do to their reputation in Europe, the United States and Japan. The mind-set of the demanding consumer society has not yet taken hold. When U.S. officials tried to raise the product-safety issue during a recent session of the Sino-U.S. strategic dialogue, held in Washington, D.C., in late June, Chinese delegates seemed caught flat-footed and asked to defer discussion until the next round….

This is worrisome, since China is already so big and globalized. The mainland’s mushrooming road system, for example, makes it easier for Chinese eels and wheels to travel from East to West. “All of those farmers at the end of all those brand-new highways are suddenly connected to the rest of China—which is now connected to all of us,” says Drew Thompson, China studies director at the Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. “But getting all those farmers up to international standards is a Herculean task.” To accomplish it will require a clear-eyed recognition of the problem, not a stifling of Chinese critics following in the footsteps of Upton Sinclair.”

Comment: China is ‘Amerikkka’

Comment: China is ‘Amerikkka’

Turns out, rising China is the real “Amerikkka,” as the Black Panthers and the Weathermen used to refer in writing to the United States: an arrogant, imperialist power, polluting and plundering the planet while seeking global military dominance.

Increasingly, ordinary Americans appreciate this, understand the threat. But the nation’s so-called leaders and greedy, globalizing business, financial and media company elites are determined to continue the steady hollowing out of the US economy and the financing and promotion of the country’s adversary. The elites–including the appeasement-prone, dumbbell diplomats at the US State Department–are selling out the country, plain and simple.

It will probably take a major crisis–a mass poisoning of Americans by deadly Chinese products or the launching of an orbiting Chinese nuclear-tipped missile or laser cannon–to persuade the elites to change course. Even then, who knows? The process of submitting to China may be too late to reverse. Rather, the best hope for the US and the rest of the world is an internal crisis–the cracking from within of the Chinese empire (which is actually ruled by the military and not the corrupt Communist Party).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Kyl calls on McCain for help


“A Party in the Honor of Pederson”

Arizona Islamist Media- (Issue No. 4.0)– Arab Voice Reports on Arab-Muslim Commmunity Fundraiser for Senate Candidate

October 14, 2006

Arab Voice staff

The Arab Voice (Arizona)

[This piece appeared in Arabic in the October 2006 issue of the Arab Voice on page 1]-translation provided by AIFD. AIFD Commentary provided below translated article.

“A Party in the Honor of Pederson”

by the Arab Voice

Mr. Safai Arkawi held a grand dinner party in honor of (Senate Candidate) Jim Pederson. The main reason behind this dinner party was to support and collect money for the election campaign of Pederson.

Many leaders and community members of the Arabic community were invited to the Arkawi home including representatives from — the multicultural business community, the press, al-Mehdi organization, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), the Arizona Islamic Political Action Committee, the Palestine committee, and a number of Arabs who belong to the Democratic party.

Mr. Safai started the dinner party giving a summary about the Arabic community in Arizona and the Democratic Party. He, then, presented Mrs. Janice (sic), the Democratic Party Coordinator in Arizona and who was a former member of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). She is the one who nominated the democratic candidate for the senate from Arizona to run against Jon Kyl who is running for another term.

And we should mention that Kyl is a Republican candidate known to be a big supporter of Israel and the Zionist lobby in Congress. Several meetings had occurred in the past three years between him and the Arabic community where they discussed several issues of interest to the Arabic community on the local and international level. The community tried to build a bridge with Kyl, but it was collapsed lately under the different positions
he took, during the war on Lebanon and Palestine.

Pederson was introduced at the dinner party by Mrs. Janice (sic) and he then discussed how his political philosophy and his background in the business field are going to help him serve the state of Arizona.

After that he was asked several questions-beginning with a question from the Arab Voice asking him to clarify his agenda about health care, immigration, education— and what his opinion was concerning Napolitano’s recent refusal to attend a rally supporting a ceasefire in Lebanon? And what would he have done if he got the same invitation?

Of course, as a typical politician, he avoided answering such a question and gave a vague answer, and blamed it on the Napolitano administration all the while assuring her good will.

Then he was asked another question about what is currently preventing Arabs and Muslims from sending donations to charities and the closing of some of the organizations that are doing such things; and what he would do if he was elected.

Mr. Omar Shahin, the representative for the Muslim Political Action Committee, in the name of his Committee, presented Pederson with its support. This committee is fairly new and was just started only just a few month ago and was started to impact the local elections and in order to meet with Democratic candidates. We should mention that this this committee presented support to candidates who are Democratic up until this time. Other Arabic organizations are also expected to enlighten and educate their representatives about the agenda of the candidates who are running for the local elections and about the proposed changes of Arizona’s constitution (referenda).


AIFD COMMENTARY– This ‘news’ report of this political fundraiser (also including photos of attendees with the candidate) by a nameless reporter appears on the front page of the local Arab Voice published by Breek Publishing. The central relevance of this to AIFD’s anti-Islamist, non-partisan mission is that it clearly illustrates the pervasiveness and growing momentum of political Islam (Islamism) in the local Muslim community— regardless of which candidate or party to which the Islamists pander.

A perception or an attempt to create one of a ‘Muslim’ voting bloc is the ultimate ideological weapon of the Islamist minority who wield their influence within the demagogy of political Islam. An empowered Islamist lobby propagates all the core maladies of political Islam which AIFD seeks to counter. The profound ideological danger of this toxic mixture of religion and politics in the Muslim community is the same regardless of party affiliations.

The report is on the front page of this month’s local Arab Voice distributed freely and unopposed to those in the Arabic and Muslim local community. Note this paper sits in or near the prayer areas of almost every local mosque, and is also ubiquitous in ethnic stores, and Islamic organizations locally. It remains astonishing that such a toxically partisan and controversial reporting disseminated under the guise of journalism is distributed without competition or balance in the community or any suggestion that the Arabic or Muslim community may not be as politically monolithic as this paper tries to imply. Most reports put out by this publisher, make a subtle but potent collectivist political assumption, as Islamists are want to do. Not only do they present political islam as the norm but their particular version of it as the only one- both are dangerous.

They conveniently ignore the fact that the paper and the organizations still represent only a minority of local Arabs and Muslims.

The core supposition of Islamists is that individuals who share a spiritual religion (of God and not of this world) would naturally share a political ideology (of this world) for a specific candidate or policy.

Additionally, it should be noted that the newly formed Arizona Muslim Political Action Committee noted in this Arabic report and announced in this publishers previous Muslim Voice was fully represented at this fundraiser by none other than a local imam and also ubiquitous Muslim religious leader- Imam Omar Shahin.

Imam Shahin also is known in the local religious community to be the head of the Valley’s Imam Council, the Islamic teacher at a local Islamic parochial school, and also an imam of a local mosque. Yet, this same individual is reported here in Arabic to be also representing a Muslim PAC. One would be hard pressed to find non-Muslim examples of a single clergy who while having multiple congregations also speaks on behalf of religious PACs. Is there anything which typifies the toxic mixture and penetration of religion and politics more? By the way this imam also emceed the recent CAIR-AZ fundraiser.

This report’s association of a number of religious and civil rights organizations in the Arabic and Muslim community with a political candidate fundraiser should cause concern about the establishment of Islamism in local politics and its endemic mixture of islamism and politics. Note the defining issue (Middle East policy) which this report remarks on regarding this candidate’s opponent. Thus, this lobby hijacks an entire religious community for its own focused policy interests and any other policy discussions are simply pandering.

Certainly, the mosaic of American politics has a number of cultural and faith lobbies. But the local Islamists are decidedly different. The singular nature of this foreign language publication and the political solidarity and unanimity of local Muslim imams and their pulpits are all bolstered by the demagogy of this Arabic publication and demonstrative of the dangers of Islamism. This is much more than a simple faith or cultural lobby. Even if by some miracle ideological political diversity were to work its way into local Islamist circles and we were to see the development of bi-partisan islamists locally, the end game for Islamism remains political penetration of religiously motivated laws and policy. Until this end-game is abandoned any empowerment of Islamists risks legitimizing this cause.

Translations of reports like this distributed to the local Arabic community are a valuable window into the Islamist mindset. Until more Americans, Muslim and non-Muslim, understand the central role of Islamism or political Islam and its subtle but central threat in the global conflict we are in, we will continue to enable, legitimize, and empower an ideology which runs against one of the central ideas of being American- that our elected representatives separate between religion and legislation.


This report and translation is provided as a service to our community. We pray that this Islamism (political Islam) does not represent the majority of Muslims and Arabs in the community. See “Why AIFD provides the ‘Arizona Islamist Media Reports” for our commentary which clearly explains our intentions in providing these reports.

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