Amillennialist

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Modern, moderate, and most populace Muslim nation on Earth Indonesia persecuting Christians

In Appeasers and Useful Idiot Dhimmis, Chris Ambessa, Ignorant and gullible Infidels, Indonesia, Islam's "divinely" sanctioned persecution of Christian, President Bush establishing Islam on July 24, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Just as Mohammed commanded.

Instead of bombing Christians to aid Muslims (President Clinton) and establishing shari’a in Afghanistan and Iraq — along with its concomitant persecution and purging of Christians and other non-Muslims — (President Bush), why do not America’s so-called leaders tell the truth about Islam, do everything possible to protect We the People, and help fellow non-Muslims escape Dar al-Islam?

Notice the “requisite permission from neighbors and civil authorities.” Dhimmi regulations, perhaps?

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you. In fact, your neighborhood, courtesy of the nescient and craven politicians we continue to elect.

Islamic “tolerance” on display in Indonesia.

Quiet now.

Good dhimmi.

From here:

INDONESIA: PASTOR BATTLING ORDER TO DEMOLISH HOME

Neighbors threaten his family, demand destruction of house used for church services.

JAKARTA, July 24 (Compass Direct News) – Officials in Cipayung district, East Jakarta, have ordered Pastor Chris Ambessa of the Protestant Church of Indonesia to dismantle the newly constructed second floor of his home and to cease all religious activity in the area.

Ambessa’s lawyer, August Pasaribu, told Compass on Monday (July 21) that he planned to submit a letter to the Cipayung civil engineering department asking it to cancel the July 3 order to dismantle the second floor of the home, since the demand was in breach of local regulations. Authorities’ order to cease area religious activity for an indefinite period followed on July 13.

Pasaribu said he also hoped to file a report with the East Jakarta police department regarding an incident on May 21, in which Ambessa’s neighbors forced him to sign a document agreeing to cease religious activity.

Ambessa, however, is still weighing the likely consequences of legal action for his family and congregation.

The pastor’s home in Pondok Rangon village has functioned as a legally recognized house church for the past 12 years.

On June 6, authorities sent a letter ordering him to cease work on the second-floor extension. Construction, however, had already been completed on May 17.

When church services continued, approximately 20 young men led by a local resident approached the Cipayung district offices on June 25, demanding that Ambessa’s house be demolished.

On May 21, a similar neighborhood group had threatened Ambessa and forced him to sign a document stating that he would cease holding church services in his home. Ambessa told Compass that he had signed the document under duress, fearing attacks on his wife and daughters.

Having established his small congregation in 1996 with the requisite permission from neighbors and civic authorities, Ambessa said he was determined to protect the right of his church members to worship freely.

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Modern, moderate, and most populace Muslim nation on Earth Indonesia persecuting Christians

In Appeasers and Useful Idiot Dhimmis, Chris Ambessa, Ignorant and gullible Infidels, Indonesia, Islam's "divinely" sanctioned persecution of Christian, President Bush establishing Islam on July 24, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Just as Mohammed commanded.

Instead of bombing Christians to aid Muslims (President Clinton) and establishing shari’a in Afghanistan and Iraq — along with its concomitant persecution and purging of Christians and other non-Muslims — (President Bush), why do not America’s so-called leaders tell the truth about Islam, do everything possible to protect We the People, and help fellow non-Muslims escape Dar al-Islam?

Notice the “requisite permission from neighbors and civil authorities.” Dhimmi regulations, perhaps?

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you. In fact, your neighborhood, courtesy of the nescient and craven politicians we continue to elect.

Islamic “tolerance” on display in Indonesia.

Quiet now.

Good dhimmi.

From here:

INDONESIA: PASTOR BATTLING ORDER TO DEMOLISH HOME

Neighbors threaten his family, demand destruction of house used for church services.

JAKARTA, July 24 (Compass Direct News) – Officials in Cipayung district, East Jakarta, have ordered Pastor Chris Ambessa of the Protestant Church of Indonesia to dismantle the newly constructed second floor of his home and to cease all religious activity in the area.

Ambessa’s lawyer, August Pasaribu, told Compass on Monday (July 21) that he planned to submit a letter to the Cipayung civil engineering department asking it to cancel the July 3 order to dismantle the second floor of the home, since the demand was in breach of local regulations. Authorities’ order to cease area religious activity for an indefinite period followed on July 13.

Pasaribu said he also hoped to file a report with the East Jakarta police department regarding an incident on May 21, in which Ambessa’s neighbors forced him to sign a document agreeing to cease religious activity.

Ambessa, however, is still weighing the likely consequences of legal action for his family and congregation.

The pastor’s home in Pondok Rangon village has functioned as a legally recognized house church for the past 12 years.

On June 6, authorities sent a letter ordering him to cease work on the second-floor extension. Construction, however, had already been completed on May 17.

When church services continued, approximately 20 young men led by a local resident approached the Cipayung district offices on June 25, demanding that Ambessa’s house be demolished.

On May 21, a similar neighborhood group had threatened Ambessa and forced him to sign a document stating that he would cease holding church services in his home. Ambessa told Compass that he had signed the document under duress, fearing attacks on his wife and daughters.

Having established his small congregation in 1996 with the requisite permission from neighbors and civic authorities, Ambessa said he was determined to protect the right of his church members to worship freely.

Christ gives His own Body and Blood for the life of the world

In Christ, Justification, The Word of God on July 11, 2008 at 9:33 AM

He offers Himself as the sacrifice that seals the New Covenant with YHWH. He makes us righteous through trusting in Him. And even that trust is God’s gift to us.

We see also our ultimate end: Despite our sinful flesh, satan, and the world and all the evil they conjure, we will see God and live with Him forever.

We are victorious, because Christ has conquered all.

From Life Of The World:

John 6:47-51

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Revelation 7:9-17

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

“All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’

“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’

“And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’

“So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'”

Christ gives His own Body and Blood for the life of the world

In Christ, Justification, The Word of God on July 11, 2008 at 9:33 AM

He offers Himself as the sacrifice that seals the New Covenant with YHWH. He makes us righteous through trusting in Him. And even that trust is God’s gift to us.

We see also our ultimate end: Despite our sinful flesh, satan, and the world and all the evil they conjure, we will see God and live with Him forever.

We are victorious, because Christ has conquered all.

From Life Of The World:

John 6:47-51

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Revelation 7:9-17

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

“All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’

“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’

“And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’

“So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'”

An implausible interpretation of 300

In 300, Resisting Jihad on July 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Sent to Brandon Fibbs in response to a comment in his review of 300, here:

In reading your review of 300, I am struck by your assertion that interpretations for and against the war in Iraq are supported by the film.

In 300, you have the West defending Life and Liberty against a totalitarianism that enslaves or slaughters those who resist it.

Its relevance to today’s conflict — not only in Iraq, but Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, and increasingly, the countries of western Europe — is obvious.

As you note, “the demarcation line between good and evil is vibrantly clear.”

An implausible interpretation of 300

In 300, Resisting Jihad on July 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Sent to Brandon Fibbs in response to a comment in his review of 300, here:

In reading your review of 300, I am struck by your assertion that interpretations for and against the war in Iraq are supported by the film.

In 300, you have the West defending Life and Liberty against a totalitarianism that enslaves or slaughters those who resist it.

Its relevance to today’s conflict — not only in Iraq, but Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, and increasingly, the countries of western Europe — is obvious.

As you note, “the demarcation line between good and evil is vibrantly clear.”

Americans continue to support politicians who rob them blind

In Barack Hussein Obama, Chris Dodd, Countrywide, Economics, Government is the problem on July 9, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Politicians use rhetoric about defending “average” Americans while they make themselves rich — and protect their wealthy friends from their own poor choices — on the backs of taxpayers.

Barack Hussein Obama and Chris Dodd put the lie to the story that they’re for the “little guy.” They’re looking out for themselves.

On Obama and Dodd, by way of Michelle Malkin.

First, the man who would be president:

Today, The Washington Post Reported That Obama Received A Sweetheart Mortgage Deal For His Chicago Mansion:

Obama Received A Discounted Rate On His $1.32 Million Mortgage For His Georgian Mansion In Chicago. “Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To finance the purchase, he secured a $1.32 million loan from Northern Trust in Illinois. The freshman Democratic senator received a discount. He locked in an interest rate of 5.625 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, below the average for such loans at the time in Chicago.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

* “The Loan Was Unusually Large, Known In Banker Lingo As A ‘Super Super Jumbo.’ Obama Paid No Origination Fee Or Discount Points, As Some Consumers Do To Reduce Their Interest Rates.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

Obama’s Discounted Rate Could Have Saved Him More Than $300 Per Month. “Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama’s rate could have saved him more than $300 per month.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

The Obamas Secured Their Discounted Home Loan Despite The Fact That They Had “No Prior Relationship With Northern Trust When They Applied For The Loan.” “The Obamas had no prior relationship with Northern Trust when they applied for the loan. They received an oral commitment on Feb. 4, 2005, and locked in the rate of 5.625 percent, the campaign said. On that date, HSH data show, the average rate in Chicago for a 30-year fixed-rate jumbo loan with no points was about 5.94 percent.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

NOTE: Obama Also Has Received $71,000 In Campaign Contributions From Northern Trust Employees. “Since 1990, Northern Trust employees have donated more than $739,000 to federal campaigns, including $71,000 to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

FLASHBACK: Obama Paid $300,000 Less Than The Asking Price For His Mansion, While Tony Rezko’s Wife Paid Full Price For A Vacant Lot Next Door On The Very Same Day. “Two years ago, Obama bought a mansion on the South Side, in the Kenwood neighborhood, from a doctor. On the same day, [Antoin ‘Tony’] Rezko’s wife, Rita Rezko, bought the vacant lot next door from the same seller. The doctor had listed the properties for sale together. He sold the house to Obama for $300,000 below the asking price. The doctor got his asking price on the lot from Rezko’s wife.” (Tim Novak, “Obama And His Rezko Ties,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07)

* The Seller Of Obama’s Home “Wanted To Sell Both Properties At The Same Time.” “On the same day Obama closed on his house, Rezko’s wife bought the adjacent empty lot, meeting the condition of the seller who wanted to sell both properties at the same time.” (Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz, “The Rezko Connection,” ABC News’ “The Blotter” Blog, abcnews.go.com, 1/10/08)

* Obama Later Purchased A Portion Of Rezko’s Land For $104,500; It Was Valued At $40,500. “Later, the Obamas bought a 10-foot-by-150-foot piece of the lot for $104,500. An appraisal put the value of the strip at $40,500, a spokesman said, but Obama considered it fair to pay one-sixth of the original price for one-sixth of the lot.” (Peter Slevin, “Obama Says He Regrets Land Deal With Fundraiser,” The Washington Post, 12/17/06)

Jim Johnson, A Former CEO Of Fannie Mae And Former Top Campaign Adviser, Also Received Sweetheart Housing Deal:

Obama’s Former Top Adviser, Jim Johnson, Resigned “After His Favorable Countrywide Loan Became Public.” “Within Obama’s presidential campaign organization, former Fannie Mae chief executive James A. Johnson resigned abruptly as head of the vice presidential search committee after his favorable Countrywide loan became public.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

Johnson Received Special Loans From Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. “Countrywide Financial Corp. makes mortgage loans through a vast network of offices, brokers and call centers. But a few customers have gotten their loans a special way: through Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. These borrowers, known internally as ‘friends of Angelo’ or FoA, include two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of Countrywide’s mortgages, say people familiar with the matter. One was James Johnson, a longtime Democratic Party power and an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, who this past week was named to a panel that is vetting running-mate possibilities for the presumed nominee.” (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, “Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

* While CEO Of Fannie Mae, Johnson And Mozilo Worked Closely And Maintained A “Close Friendship.” “From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Johnson served as CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, which worked closely with Countrywide, one of the nation’s leading lenders and loan servicing companies. In 1996, Mr. Johnson named Mr. Mozilo as chairman of Fannie Mae’s national advisory council. A 1999 article in the American Banker said the two men had a ‘close friendship.’” (Josh Gerstein, “Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender,” The New York Sun, 6/9/08)

“Property Records Show Mr. Johnson Has Received More Than $7 Million In Loans From Countrywide Since 1998, The First Coming In The Waning Days Of His Fannie Mae Tenure.” (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, “Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

* At Least Two Of The Mortgages Were At Rates “Below Market Averages.” “The Journal said at least two of the mortgages, among a series of loans made available to people Countrywide officials called ‘friends of Angelo,’ were at rates below market averages, though it is difficult to predict a market rate without access to nonpublic information about a borrower’s credit history and other factors that can reduce interest charges on a loan.” (Josh Gerstein, “Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender,” The New York Sun, 6/9/08)

NOTE: Penny Pritzker, Obama’s National Finance Chair And Campaign Bundler, Owned A Failed Bank That Specialized In Subprime Lending:

Penny Pritzker Is The National Finance Chairman For Barack Obama. “And Penny Pritzker, a Chicago philanthropist, serves as Mr. Obama’s national finance chairman even as her brother, Jay Robert, holds fund-raisers across town for Mrs. Clinton.” (Jodi Kantor, “In Democratic Families, Politics Makes For Estranged Bedfellows,” The New York Times, 2/4/08)

* Pritzker Is A Bundler For Obama’s Presidential Campaign And Has Committed To Raising Over $200,000. (Obama For America Website, http://www.barackobama.com, Accessed 5/19 /08)

The Pritzker Family Co-Owned Superior Bank FSB. “Ms. Pritzker, who declined to be interviewed, has confronted other challenges, including the 2001 collapse of Superior Bank FSB, which the Pritzker family co-owned, resulting in a $460-million payment to federal regulators, and a rift over family assets that settled out of court in 2005. She oversees the Pritzker family’s non-hotel real estate interests and chairs its TransUnion LLC credit bureau.” (Steven R. Strahler, “Penny Pritzker,” Chicago Crain’s Business, 5/7/07)

“Superior Bank Specialized In ‘Sub-Prime Lending,’ Which Is Making Loans To Underserved Borrowers, Who Are Often Poor Minorities.” (Kathleen Day, “Regulators Probe Bank Loan To Co-Owner,” The Washington Post, 7/31/01)

On Dodd:

Two weeks ago, the Banking Committee chairman was busy introducing a $300 billion rescue package for the subprime mortgage industry and its victims when news broke that Countywide Financial – subprime’s Enron – had given Dodd special “VIP” mortgage rates on homes in Connecticut and Washington, saving him $75,000 over the life of the mortgages. Dodd’s initial reaction was wounded outrage. How could anyone think that he’d done something wrong? After it became clear he’d known he was getting VIP handling (on orders from Angelo Mozilo, the chairman-founder of Countrywide), Dodd backtracked, insisting he hadn’t realized what “VIP” meant.

With 8,000 US families facing foreclosure daily, the $200 per month Dodd’s been saving doesn’t sound so small – and Mozilo’s own toxic reputation, especially after he admitted pocketing $142 million last year just as Countrywide started sinking like the Titanic, hasn’t helped.

Dodd hasn’t been the only one caught up in the scandal. Senator Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also got Countrywide’s VIP treatment – as did former Clinton-era heavyweights Donna Shalala, Alphonso Jackson, Richard Holbrooke, and Jim Johnson. Conrad quickly mailed off a check for the estimated value of his VIP treatment to Habitat for Humanity, and announced he was taking out new mortgages. Shalala, Jackson, and Johnson meanwhile have ducked the press – though Johnson, who was heading the search for Obama’s vice presidential candidate, had to hastily resign that role.

Dodd, however, keeps insisting – despite growing statewide criticism and a sharp drop in his poll ratings – that he has no plans to give up his VIP benefits, because he has done nothing wrong.

…The $300 billion subprime rescues package Dodd is now managing may be in trouble, with critics tarring it as the “Dodd Countrywide bill.” We voters in turn need to do a little remembering ourselves here, because this bill is the latest “rescue package” in a long ignominious history that includes corporate bailouts such as the Chrysler and Lockheed salvage operations; the savings and loan rescue; the two Mexican rescues, the Asian rescue; the airline rescue after 9/11; the ongoing bailout of agribusiness; and lest we forget, the bailout of Wall Street and Bear Stearns just two months ago.

A chief beneficiary of the Dodd bill is Bank of America, which has just bought Countrywide. If Dodd’s bill passes, taxpayers will take on much of the Bank of America’s risk of further portfolio default – a move worth billions to the bank.

Washington desperately needs to stanch the forced liquidation of millions of American homeowners. Yet once again, the benefits of its rescue efforts will accrue unequally – stacked heavily in favor of the wealthy and the powerful – because in American politics, as in Orwell’s “1984,” some are more equal than others.

Especially the VIPs.

Americans continue to support politicians who rob them blind

In Barack Hussein Obama, Chris Dodd, Countrywide, Economics, Government is the problem on July 9, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Politicians use rhetoric about defending “average” Americans while they make themselves rich — and protect their wealthy friends from their own poor choices — on the backs of taxpayers.

Barack Hussein Obama and Chris Dodd put the lie to the story that they’re for the “little guy.” They’re looking out for themselves.

On Obama and Dodd, by way of Michelle Malkin.

First, the man who would be president:

Today, The Washington Post Reported That Obama Received A Sweetheart Mortgage Deal For His Chicago Mansion:

Obama Received A Discounted Rate On His $1.32 Million Mortgage For His Georgian Mansion In Chicago. “Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To finance the purchase, he secured a $1.32 million loan from Northern Trust in Illinois. The freshman Democratic senator received a discount. He locked in an interest rate of 5.625 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, below the average for such loans at the time in Chicago.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

* “The Loan Was Unusually Large, Known In Banker Lingo As A ‘Super Super Jumbo.’ Obama Paid No Origination Fee Or Discount Points, As Some Consumers Do To Reduce Their Interest Rates.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

Obama’s Discounted Rate Could Have Saved Him More Than $300 Per Month. “Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama’s rate could have saved him more than $300 per month.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

The Obamas Secured Their Discounted Home Loan Despite The Fact That They Had “No Prior Relationship With Northern Trust When They Applied For The Loan.” “The Obamas had no prior relationship with Northern Trust when they applied for the loan. They received an oral commitment on Feb. 4, 2005, and locked in the rate of 5.625 percent, the campaign said. On that date, HSH data show, the average rate in Chicago for a 30-year fixed-rate jumbo loan with no points was about 5.94 percent.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

NOTE: Obama Also Has Received $71,000 In Campaign Contributions From Northern Trust Employees. “Since 1990, Northern Trust employees have donated more than $739,000 to federal campaigns, including $71,000 to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

FLASHBACK: Obama Paid $300,000 Less Than The Asking Price For His Mansion, While Tony Rezko’s Wife Paid Full Price For A Vacant Lot Next Door On The Very Same Day. “Two years ago, Obama bought a mansion on the South Side, in the Kenwood neighborhood, from a doctor. On the same day, [Antoin ‘Tony’] Rezko’s wife, Rita Rezko, bought the vacant lot next door from the same seller. The doctor had listed the properties for sale together. He sold the house to Obama for $300,000 below the asking price. The doctor got his asking price on the lot from Rezko’s wife.” (Tim Novak, “Obama And His Rezko Ties,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07)

* The Seller Of Obama’s Home “Wanted To Sell Both Properties At The Same Time.” “On the same day Obama closed on his house, Rezko’s wife bought the adjacent empty lot, meeting the condition of the seller who wanted to sell both properties at the same time.” (Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz, “The Rezko Connection,” ABC News’ “The Blotter” Blog, abcnews.go.com, 1/10/08)

* Obama Later Purchased A Portion Of Rezko’s Land For $104,500; It Was Valued At $40,500. “Later, the Obamas bought a 10-foot-by-150-foot piece of the lot for $104,500. An appraisal put the value of the strip at $40,500, a spokesman said, but Obama considered it fair to pay one-sixth of the original price for one-sixth of the lot.” (Peter Slevin, “Obama Says He Regrets Land Deal With Fundraiser,” The Washington Post, 12/17/06)

Jim Johnson, A Former CEO Of Fannie Mae And Former Top Campaign Adviser, Also Received Sweetheart Housing Deal:

Obama’s Former Top Adviser, Jim Johnson, Resigned “After His Favorable Countrywide Loan Became Public.” “Within Obama’s presidential campaign organization, former Fannie Mae chief executive James A. Johnson resigned abruptly as head of the vice presidential search committee after his favorable Countrywide loan became public.” (Joe Stephens, “Obama Got Discount On Home Loan,” The Washington Post, 7/2/08)

Johnson Received Special Loans From Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. “Countrywide Financial Corp. makes mortgage loans through a vast network of offices, brokers and call centers. But a few customers have gotten their loans a special way: through Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. These borrowers, known internally as ‘friends of Angelo’ or FoA, include two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of Countrywide’s mortgages, say people familiar with the matter. One was James Johnson, a longtime Democratic Party power and an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, who this past week was named to a panel that is vetting running-mate possibilities for the presumed nominee.” (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, “Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

* While CEO Of Fannie Mae, Johnson And Mozilo Worked Closely And Maintained A “Close Friendship.” “From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Johnson served as CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, which worked closely with Countrywide, one of the nation’s leading lenders and loan servicing companies. In 1996, Mr. Johnson named Mr. Mozilo as chairman of Fannie Mae’s national advisory council. A 1999 article in the American Banker said the two men had a ‘close friendship.’” (Josh Gerstein, “Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender,” The New York Sun, 6/9/08)

“Property Records Show Mr. Johnson Has Received More Than $7 Million In Loans From Countrywide Since 1998, The First Coming In The Waning Days Of His Fannie Mae Tenure.” (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, “Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

* At Least Two Of The Mortgages Were At Rates “Below Market Averages.” “The Journal said at least two of the mortgages, among a series of loans made available to people Countrywide officials called ‘friends of Angelo,’ were at rates below market averages, though it is difficult to predict a market rate without access to nonpublic information about a borrower’s credit history and other factors that can reduce interest charges on a loan.” (Josh Gerstein, “Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender,” The New York Sun, 6/9/08)

NOTE: Penny Pritzker, Obama’s National Finance Chair And Campaign Bundler, Owned A Failed Bank That Specialized In Subprime Lending:

Penny Pritzker Is The National Finance Chairman For Barack Obama. “And Penny Pritzker, a Chicago philanthropist, serves as Mr. Obama’s national finance chairman even as her brother, Jay Robert, holds fund-raisers across town for Mrs. Clinton.” (Jodi Kantor, “In Democratic Families, Politics Makes For Estranged Bedfellows,” The New York Times, 2/4/08)

* Pritzker Is A Bundler For Obama’s Presidential Campaign And Has Committed To Raising Over $200,000. (Obama For America Website, http://www.barackobama.com, Accessed 5/19 /08)

The Pritzker Family Co-Owned Superior Bank FSB. “Ms. Pritzker, who declined to be interviewed, has confronted other challenges, including the 2001 collapse of Superior Bank FSB, which the Pritzker family co-owned, resulting in a $460-million payment to federal regulators, and a rift over family assets that settled out of court in 2005. She oversees the Pritzker family’s non-hotel real estate interests and chairs its TransUnion LLC credit bureau.” (Steven R. Strahler, “Penny Pritzker,” Chicago Crain’s Business, 5/7/07)

“Superior Bank Specialized In ‘Sub-Prime Lending,’ Which Is Making Loans To Underserved Borrowers, Who Are Often Poor Minorities.” (Kathleen Day, “Regulators Probe Bank Loan To Co-Owner,” The Washington Post, 7/31/01)

On Dodd:

Two weeks ago, the Banking Committee chairman was busy introducing a $300 billion rescue package for the subprime mortgage industry and its victims when news broke that Countywide Financial – subprime’s Enron – had given Dodd special “VIP” mortgage rates on homes in Connecticut and Washington, saving him $75,000 over the life of the mortgages. Dodd’s initial reaction was wounded outrage. How could anyone think that he’d done something wrong? After it became clear he’d known he was getting VIP handling (on orders from Angelo Mozilo, the chairman-founder of Countrywide), Dodd backtracked, insisting he hadn’t realized what “VIP” meant.

With 8,000 US families facing foreclosure daily, the $200 per month Dodd’s been saving doesn’t sound so small – and Mozilo’s own toxic reputation, especially after he admitted pocketing $142 million last year just as Countrywide started sinking like the Titanic, hasn’t helped.

Dodd hasn’t been the only one caught up in the scandal. Senator Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also got Countrywide’s VIP treatment – as did former Clinton-era heavyweights Donna Shalala, Alphonso Jackson, Richard Holbrooke, and Jim Johnson. Conrad quickly mailed off a check for the estimated value of his VIP treatment to Habitat for Humanity, and announced he was taking out new mortgages. Shalala, Jackson, and Johnson meanwhile have ducked the press – though Johnson, who was heading the search for Obama’s vice presidential candidate, had to hastily resign that role.

Dodd, however, keeps insisting – despite growing statewide criticism and a sharp drop in his poll ratings – that he has no plans to give up his VIP benefits, because he has done nothing wrong.

…The $300 billion subprime rescues package Dodd is now managing may be in trouble, with critics tarring it as the “Dodd Countrywide bill.” We voters in turn need to do a little remembering ourselves here, because this bill is the latest “rescue package” in a long ignominious history that includes corporate bailouts such as the Chrysler and Lockheed salvage operations; the savings and loan rescue; the two Mexican rescues, the Asian rescue; the airline rescue after 9/11; the ongoing bailout of agribusiness; and lest we forget, the bailout of Wall Street and Bear Stearns just two months ago.

A chief beneficiary of the Dodd bill is Bank of America, which has just bought Countrywide. If Dodd’s bill passes, taxpayers will take on much of the Bank of America’s risk of further portfolio default – a move worth billions to the bank.

Washington desperately needs to stanch the forced liquidation of millions of American homeowners. Yet once again, the benefits of its rescue efforts will accrue unequally – stacked heavily in favor of the wealthy and the powerful – because in American politics, as in Orwell’s “1984,” some are more equal than others.

Especially the VIPs.

Our political, media, and academic elites affirm, "Je pense que oui."

In France, Iran, The truth about Islam, Thomas Sowell on July 8, 2008 at 9:53 AM

When will the West use its overwhelming military, technical, financial, and moral superiority to defend itself against all who would impose on us the tyranny of Allah?

Here is Thomas Sowell on Western weakness:

Are We France?
Moral paralysis.

“Moral paralysis” is a term that has been used to describe the inaction of France, England, and other European democracies in the 1930s, as they watched Hitler build up the military forces that he later used to attack them.

It is a term that may be painfully relevant to our own times.

Back in the 1930s, the governments of the democratic countries knew what Hitler was doing — and they knew that they had enough military superiority at that point to stop his military buildup in its tracks. But they did nothing to stop him.

Instead, they turned to what is still the magic mantra today — “negotiations.”

No leader of a democratic nation was ever more popular than British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain — wildly cheered in the House of Commons by opposition parties as well as his own — when he returned from negotiations in Munich in 1938, waving an agreement and declaring that it meant “peace in our time.”

We know now how short that time was. Less than a year later, World War II began in Europe and spread across the planet, killing tens of millions of people and reducing many cities to rubble in Europe and Asia.

Looking back after that war, Winston Churchill said, “There was never a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action.” The earlier it was done, the less it would have cost.

At one point, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks “without the firing of a single shot,” Churchill said.

That point came in 1936 — three years before World War II began — when Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, in violation of two international treaties.

At that point, France alone was so much more powerful than Germany that the German generals had secret orders to retreat immediately at the first sign of French intervention.

As Hitler himself confided, the Germans would have had to retreat “with our tail between our legs,” because they did not yet have enough military force to put up even a token resistance.

Why did the French not act and spare themselves and the world the years of horror that Hitler’s aggressions would bring? The French had the means but not the will.

“Moral paralysis” came from many things. The death of a million French soldiers in the First World War and disillusionment with the peace that followed cast a pall over a whole generation.

Pacifism became vogue among the intelligentsia and spread into educational institutions. As early as 1932, Winston Churchill said: “France, though armed to the teeth, is pacifist to the core.”

It was morally paralyzed.

History may be interesting but it is the present and the future that pose the crucial question: Is America today the France of yesterday?

We know that Iran is moving swiftly toward nuclear weapons while the United Nations is moving slowly — or not at all — toward doing anything to stop them.

It is a sign of our irresponsible Utopianism that anyone would even expect the U.N. to do anything that would make any real difference.

Not only the history of the U.N., but the history of the League of Nations before it, demonstrates again and again that going to such places is a way for weak-kneed leaders of democracies to look like they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing.

The Iranian leaders are not going to stop unless they get stopped. And, like Hitler, they don’t think we have the guts to stop them.

Incidentally, Hitler made some of the best antiwar statements of the 1930s. He knew that this was what the Western democracies wanted to hear — and that it would keep them morally paralyzed while he continued building up his military machine to attack them.

Iranian leaders today make only the most token and transparent claims that they are building “peaceful” nuclear facilities — in one of the biggest oil-producing countries in the world, which has no need for nuclear power to generate electricity.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and its international terrorist allies will be a worst threat than Hitler ever was. But, before that happens, the big question is: Are we France? Are we morally paralyzed, perhaps fatally?

Our political, media, and academic elites affirm, "Je pense que oui."

In France, Iran, The truth about Islam, Thomas Sowell on July 8, 2008 at 9:53 AM

When will the West use its overwhelming military, technical, financial, and moral superiority to defend itself against all who would impose on us the tyranny of Allah?

Here is Thomas Sowell on Western weakness:

Are We France?
Moral paralysis.

“Moral paralysis” is a term that has been used to describe the inaction of France, England, and other European democracies in the 1930s, as they watched Hitler build up the military forces that he later used to attack them.

It is a term that may be painfully relevant to our own times.

Back in the 1930s, the governments of the democratic countries knew what Hitler was doing — and they knew that they had enough military superiority at that point to stop his military buildup in its tracks. But they did nothing to stop him.

Instead, they turned to what is still the magic mantra today — “negotiations.”

No leader of a democratic nation was ever more popular than British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain — wildly cheered in the House of Commons by opposition parties as well as his own — when he returned from negotiations in Munich in 1938, waving an agreement and declaring that it meant “peace in our time.”

We know now how short that time was. Less than a year later, World War II began in Europe and spread across the planet, killing tens of millions of people and reducing many cities to rubble in Europe and Asia.

Looking back after that war, Winston Churchill said, “There was never a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action.” The earlier it was done, the less it would have cost.

At one point, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks “without the firing of a single shot,” Churchill said.

That point came in 1936 — three years before World War II began — when Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, in violation of two international treaties.

At that point, France alone was so much more powerful than Germany that the German generals had secret orders to retreat immediately at the first sign of French intervention.

As Hitler himself confided, the Germans would have had to retreat “with our tail between our legs,” because they did not yet have enough military force to put up even a token resistance.

Why did the French not act and spare themselves and the world the years of horror that Hitler’s aggressions would bring? The French had the means but not the will.

“Moral paralysis” came from many things. The death of a million French soldiers in the First World War and disillusionment with the peace that followed cast a pall over a whole generation.

Pacifism became vogue among the intelligentsia and spread into educational institutions. As early as 1932, Winston Churchill said: “France, though armed to the teeth, is pacifist to the core.”

It was morally paralyzed.

History may be interesting but it is the present and the future that pose the crucial question: Is America today the France of yesterday?

We know that Iran is moving swiftly toward nuclear weapons while the United Nations is moving slowly — or not at all — toward doing anything to stop them.

It is a sign of our irresponsible Utopianism that anyone would even expect the U.N. to do anything that would make any real difference.

Not only the history of the U.N., but the history of the League of Nations before it, demonstrates again and again that going to such places is a way for weak-kneed leaders of democracies to look like they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing.

The Iranian leaders are not going to stop unless they get stopped. And, like Hitler, they don’t think we have the guts to stop them.

Incidentally, Hitler made some of the best antiwar statements of the 1930s. He knew that this was what the Western democracies wanted to hear — and that it would keep them morally paralyzed while he continued building up his military machine to attack them.

Iranian leaders today make only the most token and transparent claims that they are building “peaceful” nuclear facilities — in one of the biggest oil-producing countries in the world, which has no need for nuclear power to generate electricity.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and its international terrorist allies will be a worst threat than Hitler ever was. But, before that happens, the big question is: Are we France? Are we morally paralyzed, perhaps fatally?

"The evidence comes all from the lips and the pens of Mohammed’s own devoted adherents"

In Catholic Encyclopedia, Islamophobia, Relatives in defense of jihad, The truth about Islam on July 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Which has been one of my essential arguments: It is neither dishonest, racist, hateful, nor “Islamophobic” to condemn Mohammed for what he said and did (who can defend open-ended, universal commands for genocide and systematic rape, slavery, and terrorism on the basis of religion?), since we have his crimes against God and Nature recorded by his own people in Qur’an, ahadith, and Sira, Islam’s “sacred” texts.

Allowing Allah and his apostle to speak for themselves is the most damaging thing one can do to Islam.

The Catholic Encyclopedia does a good job of highlighting some of the issues all but Muslim males should (or will) have with the doctrine of Mahomet (and this in an article from 1910!).

Note the echoes of Manuel Palaeologus II, quoted by Pope Benedict:

Quoting Johnstone, Zwemer concludes by remarking that the judgment of these modern scholars, however harsh, rests on evidence which “comes all from the lips and the pens of his own devoted adherents . . . And the followers of the prophet can scarcely complain if, even on such evidence, the verdict of history goes against him”.

[. . .]

What is really good in Mohammedan ethics is either commonplace or borrowed from some other religions, whereas what is characteristic is nearly always imperfect or wicked.

[. . .]

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the “Infidel”. Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

"The evidence comes all from the lips and the pens of Mohammed’s own devoted adherents"

In Catholic Encyclopedia, Islamophobia, Relatives in defense of jihad, The truth about Islam on July 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Which has been one of my essential arguments: It is neither dishonest, racist, hateful, nor “Islamophobic” to condemn Mohammed for what he said and did (who can defend open-ended, universal commands for genocide and systematic rape, slavery, and terrorism on the basis of religion?), since we have his crimes against God and Nature recorded by his own people in Qur’an, ahadith, and Sira, Islam’s “sacred” texts.

Allowing Allah and his apostle to speak for themselves is the most damaging thing one can do to Islam.

The Catholic Encyclopedia does a good job of highlighting some of the issues all but Muslim males should (or will) have with the doctrine of Mahomet (and this in an article from 1910!).

Note the echoes of Manuel Palaeologus II, quoted by Pope Benedict:

Quoting Johnstone, Zwemer concludes by remarking that the judgment of these modern scholars, however harsh, rests on evidence which “comes all from the lips and the pens of his own devoted adherents . . . And the followers of the prophet can scarcely complain if, even on such evidence, the verdict of history goes against him”.

[. . .]

What is really good in Mohammedan ethics is either commonplace or borrowed from some other religions, whereas what is characteristic is nearly always imperfect or wicked.

[. . .]

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the “Infidel”. Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.