January 30, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - President Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday night was a MOM moment. It reminded me of a dinner menu - an appealing pre-entree, a nice dessert and a lot of gravy to cover up the main course in the event it was hard to swallow.
Convincing the public to swallow the main course - centralized management and direction of everyone's life, is Obama's goal. Like a rich meal that clogs the arteries, this main course could clog your cognitive ability, rendering you incapable of recovery.
It was a masterpiece of psychological conditioning regarding the government's role in social and political activities. It fit the out a template offered by Paul E. Rondeau a noted researcher in the subconscious marketing and delivery of change. [see, www.culture-of-life.org]
January 27, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a January 27 piece published in the WashPost [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012604239.html] the author, Dana Priest, tried her hand at countering the increasing criticism of team Obama's nonsensical anti-terror efforts, declaring, "The collaboration with Yemen provides the starkest illustration to date of the Obama administration's efforts to ramp up counterterrorism operations, including in areas outside the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones."
So that the correct interpretation would be drawn, that Mr. Obama leads a vigorous and effective policy to defeat the violent proponents of radical Islam - and to the detriment of Obama's critics - in a heavy handed manner she quickly followed with the obligatory dig at the GOP and the left's satanic über-villain, Dick Cheney, "Republican lawmakers and former vice president Richard B. Cheney have sought to characterize the new president as soft on terrorism after he banned the harsh interrogation methods permitted under Bush and announced his intention to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
One small fact escaping mention in Ms. Priest's journalistic spoon feeding is that until just a few weeks ago, the terror fighter residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was taking incarcerated terrorists from GITMO and releasing them directly to Yemen, whereupon of course they once again joined up with the local al-Qaeda jihadist cells.
Looming even more menacingly in any discussion of this administration's terror policy vis a vis Yemen is Obama's complete failure to aggressively debrief the Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Fact: It was reported by ABC [see, Terror in the Skies, Suspects Family Speaks Overnight, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abdulmutallab-yemen-northwest-flight-253-terror-suspect/story?id=9430536] a month ago, that Abdulmutallab was absolutely babbling, upon being detained, about his training in Yemen and that there were others who were trained at the same time and were on their way to the United States who would soon strike.
January 26, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Released last week with little fanfare, the Department of Defense's "Independent Review Relating To Fort Hood" demonstrates in a startlingly clear manner, the self-destructive mindset which has often plagued our national security apparatus since the inception of the war on terror, and which has gained serious momentum over the last 12 months.
Some key observations:
The 86 page study [Get Full Report Here] reflects nothing so much as the product of multiculturally biased self-censorship - an unwillingness to pursue the obvious connections because of offending protected classes. As a result it's really hard to imagine this document being taken seriously anywhere outside of government. In this case "close enough for government work" doesn't work.
Major Hasan's case is unique - 12 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded, some very seriously, yet the emphasis in the study stresses prevention of all violence in general, including sexual predation, when dealing with Hasan's specific act and his motivational factors should be of prime focus.
Though the report is claimed to have been prepared independently, how can that be so? The over 100 team members [this is really a case of a horse being designed by committee] seem to be almost entirely military, defense establishment or related types. They are entirely too close to the problem, reducing whatever value their analysis might provide because bias under such circumstances is a reasonable concern.
The text of the analysis was clearly stripped of any possible reference that might in any way point to the religious motivation of the alleged perpetrator.
January 25, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - With the arrival, via the reliable al-Qaeda courier service al-Jazeera, of another warning from Osama bin-Laden occurring just a few days before Mr. Obama's first State of the Union Address, it's an opportune time consider just what al-Qaeda has been demanding from the United States as a condition for bin-Laden to call off the dogs of holy war.
Likewise an assessment of how successful this administration has been in understanding and dealing with the terrorist threat is in order.
Generally it has been the position of the left, subscribed to by Mr. Obama, that the current iteration of terrorism, rather than finding its genesis in an interpretation of Islamic theology, is in large part fueled by righteous enmity against the United States and the West caused by the way these comingled entities have historically dealt with the Muslim world.
It follows from this proposition that if the United States takes a more conciliatory approach, while at the same time helping to address the relative impoverishment that the overwhelming majority of Muslims must endure, that the defusing of these supposed root causes of radicalization will largely end that which motivates the jihadists.
Thus the origin of Mr. Obama's Muslim outreach, most forcefully detailed in his June 6, 2009 Cairo speech [see, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09/], with the below statement, emblematic of this approach.
"More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam. Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims."
It must be remembered that the Cairo speech was only part of a grander apologia - offered in a particularly supplicating manner - to atone for [what the president perceives to be] America's past history of oppressive actions.
Judging by the recent domestic al-Qaeda inspired attacks - Sgt. Hasan at Ft. Hood and Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on Christmas day as well as the rapidly escalating violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama's efforts appear to have not only gained him nothing of a tangible nature but seem to have precipitated an increase in the type of activity the effort was supposed to ameliorate.
Osama Bin-Laden, through his terrorist organization al-Qaeda has a near 15 year history of delivering major threats to the United States. His first fatwa [an official judgment based upon Islamic law] was issued in 1996 [see, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html].
January 24, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The day was quite rainy, but not too cold. Though it may have discouraged a few people from coming, there were still an estimated 25,000 in attendance. Their presence attests to the staunch and determined Pro Life community willing to endure some discomforts to send a message to the elected officials of this state and country, that Pro Life people still have a conscience and intend to advance their cause.
I especially liked the comments of one 5th grade young man from Sacramento, there with his grandmother. He attends public school and often gets into trouble with his teachers and school officials he said, because he tries to tell his schoolmates that abortion kills babies.
The sight of hundreds of young parents with baby strollers, heavily protected from the elements, was encouraging. The many members of religious communities that were there from as far away as Los Angeles, was heartening along with groups of teenagers from Bakersfield and Modesto.
During a morning Mass held at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, there were as many as 8 Bishops presiding.
This day's event will be worth holding in memory when we are confronted with the reality of conflicted priests and religious who insist on supporting President Obama's health care program and, in fact, lending their names and their church's name to letter's in support of Obamacare.
It can be a discouragement to hear priests declare that they only support the health care delivery part of the agenda but declare that they make sure that groups like PICO and ACORN understand that they don't support that group's abortion agenda. One pro abortion protester said it almost right in a sign he carried. The sign said: "abortion is health care." Turn the words around and you see the truth - healthy care is abortion. Obama's plan for healthcare is the numbing of the mind and conscience which is why all legislators who support it must be rejected.
"Bo" from Folsom
This man, his wife, on the left, and a friend came from Modesto with about 300 others
January 23, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Not even constant showers which drenched many, could keep West Coast pro-life forces home today as tens of thousands streamed into San Francisco to bear witness to the personal, moral and societal damage caused by abortion.
Coalescing around the idea that Women Deserve Better, the 6th annual "Walk for Life" was by all accounts a successful demonstration that not even San Francisco, perhaps the most liberal city in America, could escape a call to public accountability over this serious issue.
With an estimated 23,000-25,000 braving the elements, young, old and in between gathered at the foot of Market St. at Justin Herman Plaza, scene of innumerable leftist demonstrations through the years. The mood was light yet reflective as an army of busses ferried the faithful to the site
Speakers at the event coming from as far away as Paris, France, delivered enthusiastic and uplifting speeches as the crowd huddled together to stay warm.
A two mile march to Crissy Field followed the rally, where, with the Golden Gate bridge as a backdrop, busses were waiting for the return trip to Northern California parishes.
Though most of those turning out were Catholic, numerous other faiths were also represented in this multidenominational, multiethnic outpouring of hope and concern. Counter-protesters were almost nonexistent and trouble was nil. Perhaps a dozen hard-core Stalinists were gathered nearby, obviously cowed by size of the pro-life crowd.
Amidst steadily falling public support for abortion, the ability of this growing movement to turn out so many willing to brave inclement weather should not have been that surprising, yet the sight of so many gathering today under these conditions sent a powerful message that the United States has come a long way back since the dark initial days after Roe vs. Wade countenanced this tragic procedure.
January 22, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It's clear from recent Congressional testimony by the Obama administration's national security team, led by John Brennan Deputy National Security Advisor, that there was nothing that even approached a reasonably thorough interrogation of the Nigerian Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before he was read his Miranda rights, allowing him to lawyer up, effectively silencing him.
Reading between the lines - not so difficult with this administration - it appears that the WH in conjunction with the DOJ simply made the decision on the matter - granting Abdulmuatllab the same rights which accrue to American citizens - only then informing the agencies which should have been consulted well before such a decision had been rendered.
That the need for an intensive interrogation of Abdulmutallab was required, should have been obvious to anyone even marginally well-versed in intelligence matters. With the bomber's well know direct links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, he could have provided vital intelligence - regarding most critically - the existence of further bombing plots. That information which now, due to this national security team's incompetence, we will never know.
The number of lives potentially threatened by this serious breach is impossible to gauge at this point, leaving the United States in a reactive, rather than aggressively pro-active , wide open for whatever lingering plans might still be operative.
Speaking to this spectacular intelligence failure Congressman Frank Wolf [R-VA] has addressed his concerns to Mr. Brennan, noting - unbelievably - that five months into the process, the administration is still refusing to provide lawmakers with any information regarding the profound changes that have been made to the previous interrogation policy, the one mind you that countenanced in the enhanced debriefing of KS Mohammed, revealing the existence of numerous ongoing terrorist plots.
January 21, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a remarkably powerful way the U.S. Supreme Court has struck a huge and far reaching blow in support of the First Amendment, overturning significant aspects of previous "campaign finance reform" legislation, declaring it unconstitutional.
The 5-4 Decision written by justice Kennedy struck down a key provision in McCain Feingold, the onerous legislation passed during GW Bush's first term, which many on the right considered unconstitutional at the time as well as the 1990 Austin decision.
The specific case deals with a campaign documentary generated by the non-profit Citizens United which was critical of then candidate Hillary Clinton.
Fearful that the campaign piece might be violative of McCain Feingold, Citizens sought declaratory and injunctive relief to avoid potential criminal and civil penalties.
The DC District Court decided against the plaintiff and from there it was appealed to the SCOTUS which today ruled in favor of Citizens, overturning the District Court decision.
In order to deal with the core issue - the ability of corporate entities to exercise free political speech - it was necessary for the decision to go farther than that however, "this case cannot be resolved on a narrower ground without chilling political speech, speech that is central to the First Amendment's meaning and purpose." [source, Citizens vs FEC, pg. 3]
In doing so the court overturned the 1990 ruling, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which held that prohibiting political speech by a corporation was constitutional..."This Court is confronted with conflicting lines of precedent: a pre-Austin line forbidding speech restrictions based on the speaker's corporate identity and a post-Austin line permitting them. Neither Austin's anti distortion rationale nor the Government's other justifications support...The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech, but Austin's anti distortion rationale would permit the Government to ban political speech because the speaker is an association with a corporate form
January 20, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The realization had to come sooner or later, the signs were everywhere.
Congressmen running from town hall meetings as the Tea Party movement shattered the echo chambers from which they normally plied their trade.
The presence of a million angry people descending on the capitol steps in September, expressing outrage over the growing acquisitiveness of a state out of control.
The back-to-back losses in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections.
Even the completely tone deaf could have heard the shot reverberating across America from the heart of liberalism last night...right?
Nope, not even close.
Consider these comments made late last night and early this morning.
"I think that it would a terrible mistake to walk away now. If we don't pass the bill, all we have is the stigma of a caricature that was put on it. That would be the worst result for everybody who has supported this bill." - David Axelrod, Obama Sr. Advisor
"I'm very confident we can pass health-care reform." - David Plouffe, Obama campaign manager.
"We will get the job done. I am confident of that. I have always been confident of that...Massachusetts has health care and so the rest of the country would like to have that too," Pelosi said, referring to the state's health care program. "So we don't [think] a state that already has health care should determine whether the rest of the country should." - Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.
One might hope that this is all just false bravado, the defensive, nearly involuntary reaction one might expect after a quick succession of unexpected disasters.
But again...nope, not even close.
What has been demonstrated now over the space of nearly a year is that those running the Dem party - and this includes their critical funding/support structure in Soros fundies such as MoveOn - have taken collectivism into their bosoms so thoroughly that in a de-facto manner it has become their religion.
I had a vision...
The year was 303, the location Rome, the emperor Diocletian, Christians the target. It was in this period - before Constantine and his conversion - that persecution of the followers of Christ flourished in large public spectacles of unimaginable brutality.
Rather than submit, these believers would rather die, their faith inuring them to the whispers of the rational mind that temporal salvation lied in the mere rejection of their beliefs.
The apparation rippled, then once again came into focus...the year was 2010...the jailed and torn apart had become the masters.
Among this class a new priesthood of metaphysical jailers and torturers arose, this time refined, expensively coiffed and clad in Armanis.
The aching in their souls, that dark chasm into which most dare not look, still clawed from within, papered over now not with a salvific message, but with arrogance, they had become god unto themselves.
Instead of the ceremonial execution of theological dissidents, the soft persecution of total control loomed.
Such is the faith of Mr. Obama and his backers, they can't turn away from the abyss, even with the portents clear to all - perhaps even themselves - that destruction awaits.
Though the dream has broken, the image remains...then the revelation that while the faith given testimony to by the victims of Diocletian still flourishes today, gently guiding lives rightly, strengthening and providing hope, the counterfeit religion of utopianism has and will forever only resulted in misery and in its most extreme form, the deaths of tens of millions in the gulags of Siberia and the ovens of Buchenwald - a feat unattainable even by a Diocletian.
January 19, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - "It's time to stop just talking about education reform and start actually doing it. It's time to make education America's national mission." - President Barack Obama, November 4, 2009
With the coming of a new administration the G.W. Bush education reforms [the promotion of national educational standards - No Child Left Behind] are now history.
In their stead, "Race to The Top," is the current catch phrase for the legislation supporting the Obama administration's nationwide educational goals. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [ARRA] provides about $100 billion for education K-12.
California's budget is in the red, its schools are being closed and teacher's jobs are being eliminated and the Governor has gone to Washington to plead the case for an infusion of federal funding.
California, New York and Florida [Texas, originally slated to participate, has withdrawn from the program, concerned over it's invasive nature] are now leading all states in the race to receive$350-700 million of the $4.5 billion available to these states in the federal Race To The Top K-12 program. [source, ContraCosta Times, http://www.caracetothetop.org/cs/rttt/print/htdocs/intent.htm]
Apparently it all hinges on the ability of these states to prove to the feds that they willchange and reform the their educational programs, models and testing standards toalign them with the Obama agenda.
Taking advantage of the current cash strapped economy, the Obama administration has succeeded indangling billions of our tax dollars in front of state and private sector businesses, in essence bribing them to submit to federal management of local employment and educational matters.
While these programs may have some ameliorative effect in the immediate future, the administration and it's communitarian supporters don't merely want immediate relief, additionally they seek permanent change bringing about greater federal oversight of the focus and outcome of education and job programs.
They plan to gain that power by taking over control of education. To firmly establish their communitarian goals they must gain control of input into the minds of children and out-of-work adults.
January 18, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In an item which has received far too little attention, we note once again how central Pakistan is to a successful effort in Afghanistan. This was unfortunately demonstrated - to tragic effect - on December 30 when Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, believed to be a Jordanian, detonated a powerful explosive device, killing 7 CIA operatives in Afghanistan's Khost region.
The precision with which the bombing was carried out and the type of explosive used points in the direction of outside assistance having been given to the operation, " The speculation about a possible ISI hand in the suicide attack is being traced back to U.S. and Afghan government sources who said in the analysis of explosives used, it was found they were of standard military grade which points to the ISI. [source, The Hindu, http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article79491.ece]
Downplaying the possibility of state level ISI players having been involved in the costly incident, Stratfor, a U.S. based intelligence think tank, however does not discount that lower level ISI operatives could have assisted the attack, "The possibility that jihadist sympathizers in the lower ranks of the Pakistani intelligence complex may have offered their services to the TTP cannot be ruled out, however. Given its history of dealing with Islamist nonstate proxies, the Pakistani intelligence apparatus is penetrated by the jihadists, which partially explains the ability of the TTP to mount a ferocious insurgency against the state." [source, Stratfor]
A video, obviously put together before the attack, but released thereafter, shows Balawi claiming credit for the bombing. Also in the video was new Pak Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud - his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, former Taliban leader, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in August.
Pakistan's ISI is widely understood to have been central to the rise of the Taliban, having given much aid throughout the 1990s. At one point, then prime minister Benazir Bhutto's government is believed to have provided funding for the group.
The ISI has also been implicated in other serious terrorist incidents including India's Mumbai bombing. As we reported in an October 1, 2006 piece [see, Musharraf's Pakistan Express Going Off The Rails - India Charges ISI With Collusion In Mumbai Bombing, https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=mumbai100106.htm]
January 18, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Following close on the heels of the December kidnapping of Spanish aid workers in Northern Africa by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, we find another splinter group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, operating out of Yemen issuing a broad series of threats against the United States and Arab states hostile to the Salafist/jihadi movement.
"The duty of our Muslim nation is to declare jihad against the infidels and their agent helpers, not only on the ground, but in the sea and air as well as their Crusader warships in the Gulf of Aden," according to the statement. "As they declared it to be an open war on the people of Islam, we must declare an open war against [them]."
[source, Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703626604575010851735076606.html]
Though all of these groups are either loosely or more closely affiliated with the main branch of al-Qaeda, they have assumed distinctly local characters as they seek to take advantage of local conditions and populations in an effort to extend their reach, while frequently cross-pollinating, "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM); AQIM is an offshoot of the Algerian Salafist Group for Combat and Preaching which declared allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2003." [source, Moroccoboard, http://www.moroccoboard.com/viewpoint/68-hassan-massiki/830-al-qaeda-in-the-islamic-maghreb]
January 17, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - President Obama stumping in Massachusetts today for floundering Dem Martha Coakley was completely taken off his game plan, and worse, off his teleprompter by the presence of a pro-life protester.
In the ensuing 5 minutes, while security hustled the individual out of the hall, the president seemed thoroughly confused, uncomfortable and unable to effectively deliver the speech he hoped would benefit Coakley's chances on Tuesday.
Below the video:
The incident served to unmask both the growing anger against team Obama as well as to expose the president as a bumbling, foolish looking pretender who appears to be incapable of defending his policies in the face of any criticism.
January 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a September 2008 stump speech, then candidate Barack Obama advocated the establishment of a national security force.
Since then various alternative media sources [the subject is radioactive as far as the MSM is concerned] have explored the meaning of Obama's words and what they might ultimately portend.
Below the relevant portion of the speech given July 2, 2008.
"Obama, July 2, Colorado Springs, CO: [As] president I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose.
People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem ? they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.
We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set.
We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We need to use technology to connect people to service. We'll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You'll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You'll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities.
This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up."
[sources, Fact Check - almost always aligned to the left - http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/is_obama_planning_a_gestapo-like_civilian_national.html and the Wall Street Journal, which carried the campaign's pre-speech release, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/07/02/obamas-remarks-on-service/]
Obama delivering the controversial section of the speech below.
It seems fairly clear that what Obama was referring to - in laundry list manner - though dealing generally with domestic service, was directed at a civilian, but highly trained quasi-military force capable of being inserted into hot spots to handle law enforcement duties professionally so that the responsibility wouldn't have to fall on the over burdened military.
That seems a reasonable idea...however...
Recently  the RAND think tank produced a monograph on the subject titled rather suggestively A Stability Police Force for the United States. Justification and Options for Creating U.S. Capabilities
The following section clearly envisions the possibility of such a force being used domestically, mentioning the Posse Comitatus Act which prohibits the military from carrying out domestic law enforcement. Actually the study mentions the Act 16 times.
"In particular, for theMP option to be as cost-effective as possible, relief from thePosse Comitatus Act would be required to permit its membersto perform domestic law enforcement functions."
[source, RAND Study pg. 105, http://wwwcgi.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG819.pdf]
The juxtaposing then of Mr. Obama's speech against the hard reality of the RAND study does indeed give pause for concern, not in the conspiratorial sense that some publications suggest, but from the standpoint of the potential misuse with which such a force might be used.
That is a question that requires the widest public scrutiny and public debate well before legislation might be considered.
January 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Martha Coakley, The Democrat candidate for "Ted Kennedy's" seat in the U.S. Senate continues to make a fool of herself whenever she is forced to answer questions of importance to the state's electorate.
In a January 14 interview conducted with WBSM's Ken Pittman, Coakley expressed a belief that healthcare workers have no right to the free exercise of their conscience
Please note the below video.
When people come together to discuss what has come to be called Obamacare, what often get's lost in the process is the understanding of just how injurious these proposed regulations are - aside from their obvious deleterious effect on the American healthcare system - to American civil liberties, a point to consider as Massachusetts voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
January 15, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In many ways the clash between Internet giant Google and the communist Chinese government is demonstrative of the administration's flawed foreign policy approach - walk and talk softly while brandishing an olive branch.
The matter front-and-center here involves a sophisticated Internet attack, taking place in mid December, launched against the prominent search engine with the apparent ultimate intent of accessing data on Chinese dissidents, housed on the company's Gmail servers. Upon investigation, the company discovered, alongside hacked email accounts, that a considerable amount of intellectual property had also been stolen.
At the same time as this was taking place, possibly as many as two dozen similar attacks were being launched against various other American companies doing business in the country, including defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman.
Initially Google challenged the Chinese to cease and desist its fishing operation, however in the face of the country's intransigence, the company stated that it would no longer comply with Chinese directives to filter content on the Google.cn web presence, and was willing to take the extreme step of closing its offices rather than subject itself to further predatory practices.
"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."
In throwing down this cyber-gauntlet, Google has admirably distinguished itself in this confrontation, first in the forthright manner with which it has admitted to having been targeted, and second, having responded in such a robust manner. Other companies have been reticent to even identify themselves as having been subject to these high-level hacks with G.M.'s China group president Kevin Wale indicating that the U.S. government owned company's appetite for such abuse was apparently endless, "They're not causing us any major impact at the moment." [source, Yahoo, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100113/ap_on_hi_te/as_china_google]
G.M.'s tepid response was strikingly similar to team Obama's - they now being cut from the same cloth.
January 9, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a new YouTube video, Representative Sue Myrick [R-NC] draws attention to the rising danger of homegrown terrorism, domestic jihad.
About the threat she stated, "...but there is one challenge that you haven't been hearing about, because your government hasn't been informing you and that's the rise of homegrown radical extremism in our country. The Ft. Hood shooting brought it back into focus."
Congresswoman Myrick relied upon 4 respected terrorism experts to provide expertise in helping her understand the matter in depth, including Steven Emerson and Walid Phares.
January 5, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It was with a certain amount of negative prejudgment that I recently screened Guy Ritchie's new work, Sherlock Holmes, with our Cultural Editor having warned me that the movie, was good but could have gone straight to DVD.
With that in mind, it was surprising then to see the story rendered so flawlessly, updated rather tastefully for a modern audience not accustomed to the dour, turgid presence of Basil Rathbone and comical antics of Nigel Bruce as Watson, circa the 1930s.
The plot, though perhaps overreaching [arch villain Lord Blackwood seeks to dominate the world through feigned magical powers] serves to showcase the characters and provide motivation for the substantial departure the writers [Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg] have taken from the original.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., as Sherlock Holmes, Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, Rachel McAdams as the femme fatale Irene Adler and Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood the roles are perfectly cast for the quirky moodiness of the work, which sees Holmes a troubled but brilliant savant on a mission to save the world and Watson his steady companion and foil, albeit one over fond of gambling and skilled in the art of avoiding marriage.
In supporting roles, Downey's antagonist/love interest is believably gravitates between sexy and vulnerable seasoned with a considerable does of steel. The scene where she menacingly cracks walnuts in one hand being one of many deft touches to her character and the film in general. Strong is well cast as thin-shouldered, vaguely vampire-ish Lord Blackwood and he proves himself at ease in evoking the sense of cruel coldness appropriate for a wannabe master of the world.
The cinematography is superlative, verging on stunning in some instances and far better than one might expect in what has been variously and incorrectly characterized as a formulaic set-piece. The blocking of scenes is flawless and camera angles were well chosen, leaving the action framed in such a manner as to subtly enhance the story.
The colors, tones and the use of light and darkness are also a cut above. London of the 1870s is beautifully [if almost mournfully] rendered; all the hustle characterizing the grandeur, the peak if you will of the British empire set against dank brownstones lit by an omnipresent and oppressive sepia tinged sky. The interiors are fittingly moody and appropriately lit, with a hint of foreboding and doom.
And now for a contrasting view, please take headline links on both pieces for complete reviews.
BY - TOM FREDRIKSEN, PipeLineNews.org Culture Editor
January 5, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It isn't often I review currently running movies. Personally, I feel a good movie, or any movie for that matter must simmer on the back of one's mind, gestating amid reflections both conscious and sub-conscious, until a proper opinion can be properly birthed.
Such was to be the case concerning the release and review of Madonna's ex Director Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and his?what is the word?remake? No that's not it. Ah yes, blasphemy of the beloved Sherlock Holmes genre. Events beyond my control force an early hand.
I speak of genre as at the heart, a Sherlock Holmes adaptation, either in print or IMAXed film is first and foremost a mystery tale.
Or it should be.
The currently running movie well cast and starring Robert Downey Jr. [Chaplin, Iron Man] hits most of the marks on cue, classical elements of a Holmes mystery. Downey's earlier work in portraying Charlie Chaplin allowed him the ability to slip into the accent easily and in the end one of the reasons Ritchie abandoned his search for a younger Holmes and went with Downey.
Someone should have reminded Ritchie that they already did "Young Sherlock Holmes" a few years ago.
The problem is, despite the skilled work by Downey, his attempt to add some credibility to the Holmes character itself got in the way of the special effects, and farciflul plot. They seemed more obligatory than central.
Certainly Downey managed to work in his "elementary" deductions, however, in my opinion Director Guy Ritchie treated them as elementary school.
January 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On New Years' Eve, Bill Ayers, the unapologetic Weather Underground domestic terrorist who launched Barack Obama's political career, his wife, the equally notorious Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, Jodie Evans - Code Pink bigwig and a major Democrat Party funder with over 22k in donations reported to the FEC in 2009 - and a gaggle of other Jew hating leftist bigots gathered in front of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to join in solidarity with the terrorist group Hamas.
In a December 31 posting to a weblog [see, http://www.theittlist.com/ittlist/ind/gaza_freedom_march_dispatch_3] Ayers wrote, "The GFM wanted to enter Gaza 1,400 strong to express solidarity with civil society, witness their struggle for survival and self-determination, and join in a massive peace march."
"Civil society" in this case being that fostered by Hamas in Gaza.
Protest observers said the crowd numbered less than 500, far below the organizers' rather generous estimate.
The event was so beyond the pale that Egyptian authorities decided to break it up in a manner befitting a totalitarian Middle Eastern Islamic state, "Members of the Gaza Freedom March are being forcibly detained in hotels around town as well as violently forced into pens in Tahir Square by Egyptian police and additional security forces. Reports of police brutality are flooding a delegate legal hotline faster than the legal support team can answer the calls. The reports span from women being kicked, beaten to the ground and dragged into pens, at least one confirmed account of broken ribs, and many left bloody." [from GAF PR blurb, see http://www.france24.com/en/20091231-foreign-activists-hold-freedom-march-protest-against-israeli-blockade-gaza-closure]
January 4, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Well in advance of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's fortunately truncated Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwestern flight #253, in an October 2, 2009 piece [see, Congressman Frank Wolf Demands GITMO Terrorists Not Be Sent To Unstable Countries] we drew attention to the critical breach of national security the Obama administration had created via its policy of releasing GITMO detainees, many of whom were gathered on the battlefield as mujahideen, back to their countries of origin, including Yemen, home of a newly resurgent al-Qaeda.
For months now, Obama's ruinous amateur hour repatriation program has been slammed by a small coterie of national security hawks in the House of Representatives, led by Frank Wolf:
"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today urged the Obama Administration to reconsider sending detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to unstable countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan or Algeria.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Wolf wrote that the administration should halt all transfers until "evidence is provided to this Congress demonstrating that the detainee can be properly received and monitored in the receiving country."
Wolf, the top Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, cited a number of recent press reports detailing the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, including a piece in this week's Time magazine, headlined, "Is Yemen the Next Afghanistan?", as the reason for asking for any transfers to be stopped."
Throughout this time and despite numerous requests for information, Obama, Eric Holder and the Dept. of Justice have stonewalled all attempts made by Congress to determine the extent and the degree of threat repatriation represents.
We call upon the administration to immediately halt this injurious program and suggest that a full review by Congress, as part of their oversight responsibility, is in order to determine how deeply this long standing policy has damaged the national security interests of the United States.