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Reader Selected News For The Week Of Jul 26 To Aug 1

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

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This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 25th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Reader Selected News For The Week Of Jul 26 To Aug 1”

  1. captstubby says:

    What Obama said then and now on super PACs
    Associated Press
    By The Associated Press July 25, 2014 4:16 AM

    As President Barack Obama enthusiastically raises money for Democratic super PACs, he’s embracing some of the same secretive elements of unlimited funding system that he long has railed against.

    What Obama and the White House said before and after he decided to start raising money for super PACs:


    “I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.” — Obama, January 2010, in his weekly radio and Internet address, after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling paved the way for unlimited political contributions.


    “With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections. … I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.” — Obama, January 2010, in State of the Union address.


    “He’s not saying that the system is healthy or good. He is making the decision, his campaign is making the decision, that the rules are what they are. And they cannot play by a different set of rules than Republicans are playing.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney, February 2012, after his campaign announced that Obama officials would start attending super PAC fundraisers.


    “The president has long advocated for campaign finance reform and expressed his opposition to the Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for special interests. … He has tried to do a lot on this, some unilaterally, but when Republicans block measures in Congress, he doesn’t feel like we’re going to allow the midterms to happen on an uneven playing field.” — White House spokesman Eric Schultz, July 2014.


    Socialist moral relativist .
    “The moment had now arrived for Lenin to seize power with the ‘vanguard elite’ he had trained for precisely this purpose. He had, of course, no mandate to destroy parliamentary government. He had no mandate for anything, not even a notional Marxist one. He was not a peasant leader. He was not much of a proletarian leader either.
    Within a few months of seizing power, Lenin had abandoned the notion of individual guilt, and with it the whole Judeo-Christian ethic of personal responsibility. He was ceasing to be interested in what a man did or had done – let alone why he had done it – and was first encouraging, then commanding, his repressive apparatus to hunt down people, and destroy them, not on the basis of crimes, real or imaginary, but on the basis of generalizations, hearsay, rumours.
    “.We are not carrying out war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is — to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused.”
    Lenin astutely made the greatest possible use of the spurious legitimacy conferred upon his regime by the Soviets. Indeed for the next two months he carefully operated at two levels, which corresponded in a curious way to the Marxist perception of the world. On the surface was the level of constitutional arrangements and formal legality. That was for show, for the satisfaction of the public, and for the outside world. At a lower level were the deep structures of real power: police, army, communications, arms. That was for real. At the show level, Lenin described his government as ‘provisional’ until the ‘Constituent Assembly’.
    Lenin worked very fast. It is significant that, when he had so much else to do, he gave priority to controlling the press.
    His aims were fourfold. First, to destroy all opposition outside the party; second, to place all power, including government, in party hands; third, to destroy all opposition within the party; fourth, to concentrate all power in the party in himself and those he chose to associate with him.
    Russia acquire a centralized ‘planned’ economy of the type which she has maintained ever since and exported to a third of the world. As usual, Lenin thought entirely in terms of control; not of production. He thought that provided he got the system of control right (with the Politburo taking all the key decisions), the results would flow inevitably. He was wholly ignorant of the process whereby wealth is created.
    Trotsky, the most famous and ferocious of the Bolsheviks, always took the most ruthless line.
    Like Lenin, he identified himself with history and argued that history was above all moral restraints.
    Trotsky remained a moral relativist of the most dangerous kind right to the end. ‘Problems of revolutionary morality’, he wrote in his last, posthumous book, ‘are fused with the problems of revolutionary strategy and tactics.’ There were no such things as moral criteria; only criteria of political efficacy. He said it was right to murder the Tsar’s children, as he had done, because it was politically useful and those who carried it out represented the proletariat; but Stalin did not represent the proletariat — he had become a ‘bureaucratic excess’ – and therefore it was wrong for him to murder Trotsky’s children. Trotsky’s followers are, of course, notorious for their attachment to this subjectively defined code of ethics and their contempt for objective morality.


    Paul Johnson

  2. canary says:

    The Globe: Meet the Hamas Billionaires

    24/07/2014, – Ella Levy-Weinrib

    “Among the Palestinians, they tell you straight out, ‘I want to get rich.'”

    In recent days, various media have been publishing photographs of Hamas leaders in luxurious homes with fitness equipment, at luxury hotels around the world, etc.

    One of the big mysteries is how much the Hamas leaders, the Arab world’s new tycoons, are worth, and how they, born and raised in refugee camps, who raise aloft the cause of their people’s welfare, have become so wealthy and reclusive.

    Hamas were just starting out, the organization (not in its own name) was nurtured by the Israeli military government, which fostered the Islamic associations working in the Gaza Strip as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

    Elad explains that the money came from two directions: “Legacies from the deceased;
    money from charity funds;
    a donation called zaka, one of the six pillars of Islam; and donations from various countries. It started with Syria and Saudi Arabia, with Iran added later and becoming one of Hamas’s biggest supporters, and
    ended with Qatar, which has now taken Iran’s place.”

    One of those fundraisers was Dr. Musa Abu Marzook, the number 2 man in Hamas,” Elad says. “At the beginning of the 1990s, he began a fundraising campaign in the US among wealthy Muslims, while at the same time founding several banking enterprises. He himself became a conglomerate of 10 financial enterprises giving loans and making financial investments. He’s an amazing financier.”

    The US administration ordered Marzook’s arrest in 1995 on charges of supporting terrorism. After he spent two years in a US prison, it was decided to expel him without trial. He kept the money.

    “When he was expelled from the US in 1997, he was already worth several million dollars,” Elad says, adding,

    “Somehow he evaded the clutches of the US Internal Revenue Service and was not charged with financing terrorism.

    In 2001, in the investigation of the September 11 events, it turned out that he had extensive financial connections with Al Qaeda, including the transfer of funds to the 21 Al Qaeda operatives accused of the attacks.”

    Today, Marzook is considered one of Hamas’s wealthiest billionaires.

    Another Hamas leader-turned-tycoon is Khaled Mashaal.
    The next tycoon on the list is Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. “He is a scion of a family from the Al-Shati refugee camp, and his capital is estimated at $4 million,”

    Another wealthy Hamas official – Iman Taha – is not on the organization’s highest levels, but he, too, (and other junior managers) is feeding from the trough.

    The question of where these officials got their money exposes the corrupt system used by Hamas through its control of the money pipelines in the Gaza Strip. They treated the money as their own personal possession. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market,

    which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that.

    The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the

    Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater.

    ..600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip – the same people sitting on the money pipelines there.

    Elad describes how the system worked and to how much money (huge amounts) Hamas leaders were exposed: “Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% ‘tax’ and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels.

    Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

    Another source of wealth for Hamas leaders was taking over land. ”

    They took over land mainly near the sea in good areas, such as the former Gush Katif, then sold it.

    It has recently been discovered that there are

    hundreds of fictitious names of soldiers and officials supposedly in Hamas.

    …, following an investigation by the US federal authorities, Mashaal was accused of embezzling the entire Syrian fund.

    There was a separate fund in Syria for Hamas; Mashaal controlled all the movements in the fund when he lived there.

    As soon as he left Damascus, he took the Syrian fund, which was worth several billion dollars,

    and distributed it to himself and others. It is believed that Hamas had $1.5-2.5 billion in assets in Syria, which Mashaal took.”

    In summary, Elad says, “This is corruption at the highest level… What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame.

    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – http://www.globes-online.com – on July 24, 2014

    Entire Globe article at this link

    And to think John Kerry is giving the Hamas 47 million dollrs to aid them.

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