Archive for December, 2007


December 31, 2007

Israel gets warned: Al-Qaida coming!

Indications terror network sending cells to Jewish state using foreign passports

Posted: December 31, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2007

Osama bin Laden

JERUSALEM – Israel in recent months received warnings from foreign intelligence agencies that al-Qaida operatives were seeking to infiltrate the Jewish state to set up cells to carry out large-scale attacks, WND has learned.

The warnings were followed up by the release this weekend of a new audiotape in which al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden made an unusually sharp threat of attacks against Israel.

According to Israeli security officials, Israel several times received general warnings indicating al-Qaida was attempting to fly operatives into the Jewish state’s international airport disguised as tourists carrying foreign passports. The latest warning was received a few months ago and indicated the passports may be from Britain, Australia and the United States.

The security officials said al-Qaida has come to the conclusion Palestinian terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have had great difficulty infiltrating Israel due to the country’s security barrier and antiterror measures and that Palestinians who do successfully infiltrate are not capable of carrying out large-scale attacks inside the country.

The Israeli security officials said the latest warning, which was shared with Palestinian intelligence agencies, indicated al-Qaida has made a strategic decision to attempt to send foreign cells into the Jewish state instead of relying on Palestinian militants.

The warning also listed other countries aside from Israel that al-Qaida may attempt to infiltrate using the same methods, the officials said.

Groups ideologically aligned with al-Qaida are widely suspected to be operating in the Gaza Strip and there have been some reports of similar groups attempting to establish themselves in the West Bank.

But with strict border controls in place at airports and crossings, Israel is largely thought to be difficult for al-Qaida to infiltrate.

Israeli security officials did not indicate there were any thwarted al-Qaida attempts to infiltrate the country. A Palestinian security official familiar with the report also said he was not aware of any recent attempts.

Israel previously acknowledged it arrested suspected al-Qaida infiltrators. In August 2003, Israel’s mission to the U.N. submitted a report stating the country had thwarted several attempts by al-Qaida operatives carrying foreign passports to enter Israel in order to gather intelligence and conduct attacks. The Jewish state also noted in the report it had captured Palestinians recruited by al-Qaida abroad to conduct attacks in Israel.

The latest al-Qaida warning was received here just a few months before bin Laden’s videotape was released this weekend vowing to “expand jihad to Palestine.”

“I would like to assure our people in Palestine that we will expand our jihad there,” said bin Laden. “We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea,” he continued, threatening “blood for blood, destruction for destruction.”

While bin Laden and other Al-Qaida figures many times vowed to attack Israel, the latest comments were a more direct language than bin Laden usually uses.

“We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have,” bin Laden said.

The majority of the terror chieftain’s message dealt with Iraq, including a warning to Iraq’s Sunni Arabs against joining tribal councils fighting Al-Qaida or participating in any unity government.

Israeli officials said they were taking bin Laden’s latest threat seriously. After yesterday’s meeting here of the government’s security cabinet, Tzachi Hanegbi, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told reporters, “The threat of al-Qaida is real. They’ve struck in Lebanon, Australia, Indonesia, Madrid, New York and London. They can easily target the Middle East and we need to be prepared for that.”

Al-Qaida at Israel’s border

While al-Qaida is not thought to have infiltrated Israel, the global jihad group is suspected of operating in Gaza and previously carried out numerous attacks near the Jewish state’s borders.

Al-Qaida took responsibility for a series of hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan in November 2005 killing 60 and injuring over 115 others. While Jordan, which borders Israel, has had some successes fighting al-Qaida cells, security officials fear the terror group still maintains a significant infrastructure there capable of carrying out attacks.

Egypt has had difficulty eliminating al-Qaida cells, particularly those operating among Bedouin villages in the Sinai desert bordering the Gaza Strip.

Al-Qaida has been widely blamed for several Sinai attacks the past three years including the bomb blasts in April 2006 that killed 24 people and injured over 85 in the Sinai town of Dahab, and deadly bombings in the resort centers of Taba and Ras Shitan in October 2004 as well as in Sharm el-Sheik in July.

Last April, al-Qaida was blamed for two bombings near multinational peacekeeping force in the Sinai adjacent to Gaza. Almost simultaneously inside Gaza, the Popular Resistance Committees attempted to carry out a large-scale car bombing at the Karni Crossing, the main cargo passageway between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The attack was foiled at the last minute after Palestinian forces became suspicious and opened fire at an approaching vehicle. Some security officials told WND the thwarted Karni attack was planned in conjunction with al-Qaida elements in Gaza.


December 30, 2007

Michael Savage lawsuit links CAIR to 9/11 plot

Talker amends lawsuit against organizer of Muslim boycott to include RICO charges

Posted: December 29, 2007
11:58 p.m. Eastern

© 2007

Michael Savage

WASHINGTON – It’s no longer just a charge of copyright violation in the case of Michael Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Now the radio talk star is going for the legal jugular in his battle with the group that bills itself as a Muslim civil rights organization.

The San Francisco-based talker has amended his lawsuit against CAIR for misusing audio clips of his show as part of a boycott campaign against his three-hour daily program to include charges the group “has consistently sought to silence opponents of violent terror through economic blackmail, frivolous but costly lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and abuses of the legal system.”

The amended lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, also charges CAIR with using extortion, threats, abuse of the court system, and obtaining money via interstate commerce under false and fraudulent circumstances – calling it a “political vehicle of international terrorism” and even linking the group with support of al-Qaida.

The federal government recently named CAIR, based in Washington, D.C., as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas.

And as WND has reported, CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

“Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

Savage and celebrity civil rights attorney Daniel Horowitz are attempting to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to make the case that “CAIR and its co-conspirators have aided, abetted and materially sponsored al-Qaida and international terrorism.”

CAIR launched a campaign against “The Savage Nation,” as the program is called, using extended audio clips of the show to make the case that advertisers who supported the talker were actually endorsing “hate speech” against Muslims.

Savage turned the tables on the activist group by initially suing for copyright violation of the show’s material. This week the suit was expanded with some of the strongest allegations ever made against CAIR publicly.

Among the charges is that CAIR is “part of a deliberately complex and deliberately confusing array of related organizations” and that its “organizational structure is part of a scheme to hide the illegal activities of the group, funding, the transfer of funds and to complicate investigation of the group.”

Other highlights of the suit:

* “CAIR is not a civil rights organization and it never has been. … CAIR was and is a political organization that advocates a specific political agenda on behalf of foreign interests.”

* “The copyright infringement was done to raise funds for CAIR so that it could perpetuate and continue to perform its role in the RICO conspiracy set forth in Count Two and to disseminate propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation.”

* “CAIR would have to register as a foreign agent if their activities were not hidden under the false claim that they are a civil rights organization that enjoys tax-exempt status.”

* “CAIR was tied to terror from the day it was formed. The group was incorporated on or about 1994 by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. Both men were officers of a terror organization known as the ‘Islamic Association of Palestine.'”

* “CAIR’s parent group, IAP, was founded in or about 1982 by Musa Abu Marzook. Marzook was IAP’s ideological leader and controlling director from the date of its founding until shortly after his deportation from the United States in 1997. At all time relevant, Marzook was an operative of, and/or affiliated with, the ‘Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah,’ or ‘Hamas.’ Hamas is an international terrorist organization.”

* In 1998, “CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as ‘the sworn enemy,’ asserting that this depiction [was] ‘offensive to Muslims.'”

* In 1998, “CAIR denied bin Laden’s responsibility for the two al-Qaida bombings of American embassies in Africa. CAIR’s leader Ibrahim Hooper claimed the bombings resulted from ‘misunderstandings on both sides.'”

* “On October 5, 2001, just weeks after 9/11, CAIR’s New York office sent a letter to The New York Times arguing that the paper had misidentified three of the hijackers and suggesting that the attacks may have been committed by people who were impersonating Arab Muslims.”

* “CAIR further exploited 9/11 as it put on its website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and below it a call for donations that was linked to the Holy Land Foundation website.” The Holy Land Foundation, the suit charges, is “a terror organization.”

* “CAIR receives significant international funding. For example, in 1999 the Islamic Development Bank gave a $250,000 grant to CAIR to purchase land for a national headquarters. In 2002, the World Association for Muslim Youth, a Saudi government-funded organization, financed distributing books on Islam free of charge and an advertising campaign in American publications. This included a quarter page in USA Today each Friday, for a year, estimated to cost $1.04 million. In 2003, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States. In 2005, CAIR’s Washington branch received a donation of $1,366,466 from a Saudi Arabian named Adnan Bogary. In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry, financed the building of a property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for the organization. This gift is thought to generate income of approximately $3 million a year.”

* “The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Wahabbi-based Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual ‘shock troops’ of Islamic terrorism.”

* “The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It works in the United States as a lobby against radio, television and print media journalists who dare to produce anything about Islam that is at variance with their fundamental agenda.”

* “CAIR has links to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has stated before Congress that CAIR is a front for Hamas.”

Savage’s case also cites another ongoing suit against CAIR filed by the estate of John P. O’Neill, the former head of security for the World Trade Center. It alleges a RICO conspiracy involving CAIR led to the 9/11 attack.

“Throughout this period,” the Savage suit alleges, “CAIR conspired to support terrorism and to obfuscate the roles of the various participants and conspirators in Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al-Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which conspiracy culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

It continues: “The pattern of racketeering activity conducted by CAIR is separate from the existence of Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the al-Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, but was a necessary component of the 9/11 attack. The RICO enterprise conducts terrorism all over the world; the racketeering activity conducted by CAIR funds that activity, which activity culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

CAIR has refused to comment on Savage’s suit to date. But it has claimed a host of companies have stopped advertising on Savage’s show as a result of its boycott campaign.

However, an investigation by WND shows some of those boycott victories are questionable. In one announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated: “Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on ‘Savage Nation’ include AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JCPenney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and AT&T.”

But AutoZone told WND the CAIR campaign had nothing to do with its advertising decision, and it had chosen not to advertise on any radio talk shows – of all parts of the spectrum – years before the CAIR effort.

CAIR officials declined to respond to WND queries about why it is listing companies as part of its boycott campaign that say they have not participated in the boycott.

Officials of Talk Radio Network, Savage’s syndicator, confirmed to WND that companies including AutoZone and JCPenney never advertise on such programs.

“We do not sponsor syndicated radio talk shows,” AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman told WND. “We have customers of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. For us to sponsor [any radio talk shows] wouldn’t make any sense.”

But that policy is years old, and wasn’t changed at all by CAIR’s effort, he said.

“What I will tell you is the CAIR organization did, in fact, contact the marketing department [of AutoZone.] We responded with our full advertising policy which clearly states that we do not advertise on radio talk shows,” he told WND.

The announcement about Universal was made by the Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition, of which CAIR is a prominent member.

It said Universal Orlando Resorts “has joined a growing list of advertisers that have stopped advertising or refuse to place their ads on Michael Savage’s ‘Savage Nation’ Radio program.”

The campaign also has triggered a lawsuit by Savage against CAIR over its alleged misappropriation of Savage’s radio broadcast material. In the lawsuit, Savage depicts CAIR as a “vehicle of international terrorism.”

CAIR says it is challenging Savage’s “hate speech,” and referenced Savage comments such as:

“I’m not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I’m not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I’m not getting’ on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don’t like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don’t wanna hear any more about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”

The Savage suit says comments like that are taken out of context.

Another major company CAIR claims has joined the boycott of Michael Savage is JCPenney. But as with AutoZone, JCPenney officials told WND readers they were not making any special provision in their advertising policy that would make them part of a protest campaign, but officials did not respond directly to WND inquiries.

“JCPenney did not ‘pull’ advertising from the show. JCPenney has had a long standing policy about not advertising on any show that can be construed as controversial. An error in upholding this policy was made by a few local stations, and it has now been clarified,” the company told a WND reader.

“Wal-Mart does not sponsor or advertise on the Michael Savage show. We have asked radio networks to ensure that Wal-Mart ads do not run in programming that we deem controversial and are sending out content guidelines reminders to radio networks and stations,” said that company.

Savage’s lawsuit alleges copyright infringement by CAIR, which the lawsuit says seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”

Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters “who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support” as well as “actual damages according to proof.”

A spokesman for Savage indicated the top-rated talk show host would have no further comment, saying the text of the lawsuit itself would answer questions.

The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraising efforts.

Those comments from Savage’s show include his criticisms of Islam and Muslims. The lawsuit maintains such comments, taken in context, are Savage’s verbal expression of the feelings of many Americans.

“The audience of ‘The Savage Nation’ expects this type of from-the-heart outrage and when it is directed at a murderer such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, the piece is far more understandable and far more American mainstream. While the strength of the outrage is remarkable and a hallmark of ‘The Savage Nation,’ the sentiment is shared by a huge number of Americans,” the lawsuit says.


December 29, 2007

The calm before the storm.

Things certainly look as if they are settling down around here (Israel) Egypt under the threat of jeopardizing their military support from the US has promised to stop the arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip by patrolling the border for illegal tunnels. It’s a little to late of course now that Hamas is armed to the teeth and ready for war with the IDF, or at least they mistakenly think they are. In the north we have Hezbollah now moving back into the southern Lebanon area with more missiles and armor than they had before the second Lebanon war, of course under the watchful eye and protection of the U.N.

But we can all rest better at night now that Bush has said that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb that of course means he is admitting that he was been wrong for a few years “again”. Leaving Israel with the responsibility of taking care of the nuclear threat to our survival, and making a pre-emptive strike much like the 1982 strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor more likely. Many military advisors now think we have waited to long and it should have been done months ago. Others believe that Iran already has the bomb and have simply purchased them from the dissolved USSR where they are up for sale to the highest bidder. In the mean time Russia is shipping large amounts of nuclear fuel into Iran to fuel the reactors they built for the Iranians. Not to mention the Russian anti-aircraft missiles being imported into Iran and Syria by the Russians.

Bethlehem had over 60,000 tourists For the December 25th Christmas Celebration for the first time in over 7 years. Still two more Christmas celebrations to come for the Greek Orthodox and the Armenians as they both have different dates. Of course they were entertained by mostly Moslems with Abbas as the honored guest at the high Mass as the Christians that could have already left their homes and businesses and moved to other countries. What was once a Christian town is now nearly 90% Moslems, the same thing is happening in Nazareth as well.

We read that when they say Peace and Security then sudden destruction will come quickly, so we should know to prepare for that day is approaching far sooner then most are ready for.

Fatah which is Abbas’s organization that Bush keeps telling the world is a moderate Moslem has a new poster for their 43rd anniversary celebration and it clearly shows all of Israel under the control of the so-called “Palestinians”.

As you can see it shows a map of Israel draped with a Moslem keffiyeh clearly stating the same as Hamas that all of what is now Israel will become “Palestine”. They do not want peace or a piece of Israel they want it all and will not surrender their political goal by negotiating. Only by total military defeat can they be made to stop their killing of innocent civilians here in Israel. What is so troubling is why the US and Europe think Israel must negotiate with these blood thirsty Moslems when they don’t. The one thing I noticed is how the US joined the Arab world and placed the lion’s share of the blame of the “Palestinians/Israeli war squarely on the shoulders of the Israelis at the Annapolis meeting. In order for Bush to appease the Saudis and get them to attend the meeting he agreed to keep the Israelis and the Arabs totally separated. It was a meeting where the Israelis had to use the back door and were not allowed to sit near any Arab Leader and told plainly from the beginning that they were not allowed to shake hands or try to shake hands with any of the Arab Leaders. These are also facts that Olmert has attempted to hide from the Israeli public in order to please Bush.

Bush will be here in Israel in a few days and I have only seen one other time when so much preparation has been done in advance of a VIP meeting and that was for the Pope. The streets are being washed and everything along the route that he will travel is being beautified, you would think the King of the world is coming to town.

While all this is happening Russia is sending its Black Sea flag ship Moskva to the Eastern Mediterranean with six Russian war ships lead by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Moskva guided missile cruiser. This of course is a major concern to the Israeli navy and puts operations in the Med in constant danger of an incident that could kick off the third world war. Not to mention that the US 6th Fleet is stationed on the Turkish coast near Mersin. It sure looks like while everyone is talking abut peace the big guns are preparing for an all out war.


December 28, 2007

Stephen Flurry Columnist

The California Dream Is Dead

December 28, 2007 | From

From gold rush to fun-in-the-sun rush—now Californians are in a rush to leave.

In the dead of a cold and drizzly New York winter in 1963, John and Michelle Phillips made famous their longing for adventure and fun in sunny California when they wrote, I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A., California dreamin’, on such a winter’s day.

These sentiments were not unusual at the time. The same year they wrote their song, California surpassed New York as America’s most populated state, growing at a rate of 1,600 people per day. Newsweek featured California on a September 1962 cover as America’s “Number One State.” In April 1963, a New York Times article led off with this title: “From Gold Rush to Sun Rush.” Author Eugene Burdick highlighted numerous alluring features that helped fuel the state’s population boom—“the oil wells, the fishing industry, the availability of the beautiful mountains and beaches, the neat, prim charm of the sun-baked villages of the south, the excellence of the schools, the fertility of the land [and] the forests of the north.” Burdick continued,

The realities of California began to become apparent. It was during the ’20s boom that, for the first time, something like a normal cross section of America began to migrate to the state. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, school teachers, physicians and intellectuals began to see the state as a place where one could live the good life and get a tan simultaneously.

If the Midwest was America’s breadbasket, then California, as the largest agricultural producer in the country, filled the basket with just about everything else. One of the state’s best-kept secrets, according to Burdick, was the quality of its public school system. These were some of the reasons California grew three times as fast as the rest of the country during the 1950s and ’60s. By 1970, one tenth of the U.S. population lived within California’s borders.

But like most of the immigrants who rushed to the state in search of gold during the 1850s, sun-rushers who poured into the Golden State during the 1960s quickly saw the California dream turn to a nightmare.

Root Causes

“Most of the trends that have recently and radically changed California life are familiar in the other America,” Time wrote in 1969, “though many first came to prominence in California. They include the hippie movement, the pop-drug culture, widespread sexual permissiveness, campus revolt and, since the Watts explosion in 1965, more virulent ghetto riots.”

In What’s the Matter with California?, Jack Cashill identifies several root causes that set off social upheavals all across the state and, following in the wake of California’s radical transformation, the rest of America. Not surprisingly, family breakdown had a devastating domino-like impact on numerous social, economic and political institutions and programs.

When Governor Ronald Reagan established a law in 1969 that redefined the curse of divorce as no one’s fault, the new label did nothing to help the already beleaguered institutions of marriage and family. Cashill wrote,

In 1970, the first full year of the no-fault law, the state registered a record 112,942 divorces, a 38 percent increase from just the year before. To put that number in perspective consider that, in 1960, there had been only 105,352 marriages in California. …

In 1970, California’s divorce rate was 60 percent higher than that of the nation as a whole, and it continued to trend upward throughout the decade. By 1980 California had registered a new record 138,361 divorces. In other words, 276,722 Californians got divorced in 1980 alone.

In 1980, embarrassed by the divorce plague in their midst, California lawmakers implemented a quick fix of world-class caliber: They would no longer keep or publish statistics!

But pretending curses don’t exist only makes matters far worse. Cashill noted that many of California’s gangs started at or around the time divorce became an epidemic. Since the establishment of the Crips in 1969, for example, approximately 100,000 Californians have been murdered—not all because of gang-related activity, of course, but a sizeable portion nonetheless. More Americans, for example, have died in the battle for south-central Los Angeles than in both Gulf Wars combined, Cashill wrote.

Who could have possibly imagined a scenario in the mid-1960s, when the Mamas and the Papas were singing about how safe it was in Los Angeles, that by the end of 2007, it might actually be safer on the war-ravaged streets of Fallujah?

The Dream’s Implosion

By the early 1990s, the number of Americans moving to California still outnumbered those leaving, but only by a small margin. Time featured California on the cover of a 1991 issue over this subtitle: “The Endangered Dream.” Jordan Bonfante wrote, “California’s fabled magnetism is reversing itself, repelling as well as attracting many of the get-up-and-go Americans who have flocked to the Golden State in search of the California Dream. The escapees are being driven away by an accelerating deterioration in the quality of life: clogged freeways, eye-stinging smog, despoiled landscapes, polluted beaches, water shortages, unaffordable housing, overcrowded schools and beleaguered industries, many of which are fleeing, with their jobs, to other states. The very qualities that have lured millions to California for 50 years are threatening to disappear.”

In the same issue, Time warned of the possible implosion of the California dream. And indeed, reading the headlines California is making today, it can be safely asserted that the dream is well beyond the point of implosion.

In October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed four bills that promoted homosexual, bisexual, transsexual and other deviant lifestyles in the classroom. One of the bills will prevent any public school from offering instruction that might be interpreted as negative toward transsexuals.

California schools have definitely come a long way since being the state’s best-kept secret in the early 1960s. Just this week, a new study revealed that one in three California students fails to graduate from high school on time. According to the report, a modest graduation rate increase of just 10 percent would result in 500 fewer murders and 20,000 fewer assaults across the state every year.

Nationwide, according to the report, 68 percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts. “The key is getting kids started on the right track as early as possible and then making sure the schools do what is needed to help [them] succeed and graduate,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

But because of California’s budget crisis, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing a $1.4 billion cut in funding for public schools.

That’s not to say throwing money at the problem would make everything better. But it does show how long the list of crises really is. Whether it’s family life, gang warfare, environmental pollution, high schoolers dropping out, illegal immigration, the housing market or the budget deficit—everything is now topping out at full-scale crisis mode!

Two weeks ago, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of fiscal emergency, relying on a never-before-used provision in the law books that will force legislators to fix California’s out-of-control budget. During the sunny days of the housing boom, California not only ate up its huge tax windfall, but expanded and created all kinds of government programs—programs that are now reliant on taxes generated from the presently collapsing housing industry.

With the fiscal emergency going into effect in January, Schwarzenegger is essentially forcing state legislators to deal with the budget shortfall. The current budget deficit is about $1.9 billion. Next year, because of California’s “booming” social programs, the deficit is projected to be $14 billion. For a state with a current debt of $48 billion, a 30 percent increase on top of that would break California’s back.

And so politicians are finally resorting to what they should have been doing decades ago: cutting costs. Only now, it’s much too little and way too late. One cutback Schwarzenegger’s aides recently proposed in order to alleviate pressure on California’s overcrowded prison system and to reduce government spending involves setting free as many as 30,000 inmates.

You would think California would have learned its lesson by now. Turning criminals loose in society and labeling them law-abiding citizens will only—believe it or not—make matters worse.

Last week, California’s Department of Finance released a study showing that California’s population grew by only 1 percent over the past year. Not counting new births, the state added 111,000 new residents from outside its borders. The key figure in the study, though, reveals that 200,000 entered California from outside America—foreign immigrants, in other words. That means 89,000 more moved out of California than moved in from other U.S. states.

The dream is dead.

Blessing and Cursings

During the California wildfires in October, re-printed excerpts from two articles my father has written about the many “curses” California has experienced in recent decades—the fires, the drought, the riots, the earthquakes, etc. Of course, many scoff at the idea of an ever-living, supremely powerful God actually intervening in the affairs of mankind, whether to bless or curse a people.

Abraham Lincoln didn’t. “I believe,” Lincoln said, “that it is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty Father equally in our triumphs and in those sorrows which we may justly fear are a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our reformation.” Just as God rewards us for obedience to His laws, He lovingly punishes His children for disobedience so that we might be reformed, Lincoln said.

It is this God who has set before all of mankind two ways of life: the way of blessings and the way of cursings, as it says in Deuteronomy. God will not force us to choose one way over the other. But we all must make a choice. And there are consequences for our choices, whether good or bad. To use the biblical analogy, we reap what we sow. If we choose the way that results in cursings, no amount of wishful thinking will magically transform a curse into a blessing.

In the case of California, thanks to a promise God made 4,000 years ago to the great patriarch Abraham (for more on this, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy), the Golden State was once the recipient of a lavish array of fantastic blessings.

The unbelievably shocking facts of the present make it undeniably obvious that those blessings have long since been removed.


Obadiah Chapter 1

א חֲזוֹן, עֹבַדְיָה: כֹּה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לֶאֱדוֹם, שְׁמוּעָה שָׁמַעְנוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה וְצִיר בַּגּוֹיִם שֻׁלָּח–קוּמוּ וְנָקוּמָה עָלֶיהָ, לַמִּלְחָמָה. 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the nations: ‘Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.’
ב הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ, בַּגּוֹיִם: בָּזוּי אַתָּה, מְאֹד. 2 Behold, I make thee small among the nations; thou art greatly despised.
ג זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ, שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי-סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ; אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ, מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ. 3 The pride of thy heart hath beguiled thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, thy habitation on high; that sayest in thy heart: ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’
ד אִם-תַּגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר, וְאִם-בֵּין כּוֹכָבִים שִׂים קִנֶּךָ–מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה. 4 Though thou make thy nest as high as the eagle, and though thou set it among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.


December 27, 2007

From Times Online
December 27, 2007

Who killed Benazir Bhutto?

The main suspects

Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent

The main suspects in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination are the Pakistani and foreign Islamist militants who saw her as a heretic and an American stooge and had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

But fingers will also be pointed at Inter-Services Intelligence, the agency that has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition.

Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide bomber killed about 140 people at a rally in the port city of Karachi to welcome her back from eight years in exile.

Earlier that month, two militant warlords based in Pakistan’s lawless northwestern areas, near the border with Afghanistan, had threatened to kill her on her return.
Related Links

* Bhutto spoke of tragedy before killers struck

* Bhutto assassination: blog reaction

* Timeline: Bhutto’s final months in Pakistan

One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander fighting the Pakistani army in the tribal region of South Waziristan. He has close ties to al Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban.

The other was Haji Omar, the “amir” or leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is also from South Waziristan and fought against the Soviets with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

After that attack Ms Bhutto revealed that she had received a letter signed by a person who claimed to be a friend of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden threatening to slaughter her like a goat.

She accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security and hinted that they may have been complicit in the bomb attack. Asif Ali Zardari, her husband, directly accused the ISI of being involved in that attempt on her life.

Mrs Bhutto stopped short of blaming the Government directly, saying that she had more to fear from unidentified members of a power structure that she described as allies of the “forces of militancy”.

Analysts say that President Musharraf himself is unlikely to have ordered her assassination, but that elements of the army and intelligence service would have stood to lose money and power if she had become Prime Minister.

The ISI, in particular, includes some Islamists who became radicalised while running the American-funded campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan and remained fiercely opposed to Ms Bhutto on principle.

Saudi Arabia, which has strong influence in Pakistan, is also thought to frown on Ms Bhutto as being too secular and Westernised and to favour Nawaz Sharif, another former Prime Minister.


December 26, 2007

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007

Washington, DC –Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2007 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed ‘No!’” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate’s subcommittee on Military Construction’s approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.

5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies — two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.

8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A “Dishonorable Mention” last year, Senator Obama moves onto the “ten most wanted” list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi’s home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi’s earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.

Judicial Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit


December 24, 2007

Iranian cities in Israeli range Photo:

Potential Israeli targets Photo:

Iranian nuclear facilities Photo:

US report: Israel would weather nuclear war with Iran

Study compiled by US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), headed by a former Pentagon analyst, explores several hypothetical scenarios for unconventional warfare in our region. Authors find ‘Israel’s residents and economy could weather nuclear war with Iran’

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 12.24.07, 10:11 / Israel News

WASHINGTON- All out nuclear war between Israel and Iran: a doomsday scenario that we all fear deeply. A new study compiled by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), headed by former Pentagon analyst Anthony H. Cordesman, explored just such a nightmare scenario, noting that it could lead to the death of between 16- 28 million Iranian civilians, and 200-800 thousand Israelis.

This hypothetical, research-oriented study also explored other contingencies for unconventional warfare in our region, noting the tactics that various countries could potentially employ in such instances.

As pertains to nuclear warfare, the study found that an Israeli nuclear scrimmage with Iran would most likely last for about three weeks. Aside from the aforementioned direct casualties, the study could not determine how many additional long-term casualties would arise from fallout and radiation in the weeks and months following such an attack.

One essential requirement for nuclear confrontation in our region, according to the study, is allowing Iran’s nuclear program to develop, unhindered by a pre-emptive strike by either Israel or the United States. If US or Israeli preemption does not occur, the study found, Iran could very well have 30 nuclear warheads available for warfare between 2010-2020. Israel, by comparison, currently has 200 nuclear war heads with both air and sea launch capabilities, according to the study.

Photo courtesy of

Given certain conditions, Israel could potentially survive such a nuclear scenario, the study found. Iran, on the other hand, would be completely and utterly obliterated. “Iranian recovery is not possible in the normal sense of term, though Israeli recovery is theoretically possible in population and economic terms,” wrote Cordesman, who compiled this study entitled “Iran, Israel, and Nuclear War”.

Israeli missiles have greater strike range

The bottom line, according to this study, is that Israel quite simply has more potent and effective bombs. Israel currently has a 1megaton (mt) nuclear bomb, whereas Iran does not yet have the ability to develop a bomb with more than 100 kilotons of power. What this means, in essence, is that the Israeli bomb can lead to three times as many casualties as its Iranian counterpart (chiefly due to third-degree burns), and has an “area of extreme lethality” (the range within which a nuclear bomb is fatal) ten-times as great.

Which Israeli cities are most likely to be targeted by Iran? Tel-Aviv and central Israel (all the way down to Ashdod) are the most likely targets, as is Haifa. Israel, conversely, has more than 10 Iranian cities on its “hit list” including Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, Qazvin, Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman, Qom, Ahvaz, and Kermanshah.

Cordseman also noted that Iran would have lower fission yields, and less accurate force into cluster targeting on Israel’s two largest urban complexes, and that the Iranian side would also most likely be thwarted by Israel’s missile defense systems. Notable among these is the “Arrow 2” anti-ballistic missile which could most potentially shoot down most nuclear missiles launched by Iran.

Furthermore, Israel could strike Iran with far grater accuracy and precision, hitting its cities with deadly aim utilizing both its own satellites, as well as those of the United States.


The study also examined what would occur if Syria would join the Israeli-Iranian nuclear fray. Syria, Cordesman estimated, could kill an additional 800 thousand Israelis with missiles armed with chemical or biological warheads. The Syrian side, however, could suffer up to 18 million casualties should Israel respond with a nuclear strike.

If Egypt should join its Arab neighbors in battle, the study finds, Israel would most likely respond with a nuclear strike at Cairo and other major cities, as well as by destroying the Aswan dam.


December 21, 2007

Congress OKs Va Tech-inspired gun bill

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 20, 6:42 AM ET

WASHINGTON – Congress passed a long-stalled bill inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings that would more easily flag prospective gun buyers who have documented mental health problems. The measure also would help states with the cost.

Passage by voice votes in the House and Senate Wednesday came after months of negotiations between Senate Democrats and the lone Republican, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who had objected and delayed passage.

It was not immediately clear whether President Bush intended to sign, veto or ignore the bill. If Congress does not technically go out of session, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has threatened, the bill would become law if Bush does not act within 10 days.

“This bill will make America safer without affecting the rights of a single law-abiding citizen,” said the Senate’s chief sponsor, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.

One of the House’s chief sponsors, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, spoke in the full House about her husband, who was killed by a gunman on the Long Island Railroad in New York. “To me, this is the best Christmas present I could ever receive,” said McCarthy, D-N.Y.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., added that the bill will speed up background checks and reinforce the rights of law abiding gun owners.

Propelling the bill were the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16 and rare agreement between political foes, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association.

But other interest groups said that in forging compromise with the gun lobby, the bill’s authors unintentionally imposed an unnecessary burden on government agencies by freeing up thousands of people to buy guns.

“Rather than focusing on improving the current laws prohibiting people with certain mental health disabilities from buying guns, the bill is now nothing more than a gun lobby wish list,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center. “It will waste millions of taxpayer dollars restoring the gun privileges of persons previously determined to present a danger to themselves or others.”

The measure would clarify what mental health records should be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which help gun dealers determine whether to sell a firearm to a prospective buyer, and give states financial incentives for compliance. The attorney general could penalize states if they fail to meet compliance targets.

Despite the combined superpowers of bill’s supporters, Coburn held it up for months because he worried that millions of dollars in new spending would not be paid for by cuts in other programs.

His chief concern, he said, was that it did not pay for successful appeals by veterans or other people who say they are wrongly barred from buying a gun.

Just before midnight Tuesday, Coburn and the Democratic supporters of the bill struck a deal: The government would pay for the cost of appeals by gun owners and prospective buyers who argue successfully in court that they were wrongly deemed unqualified for mental health reasons.

The compromise would require that incorrect records — such as expunged mental health rulings that once disqualified a prospective gun buyer but no longer do — be removed from system within 30 days.

The original bill would require any agency, such as the Veterans Administration or the Defense Department, to notify a person flagged as mentally ill and disqualified from buying or possessing a gun. The new version now also would require the notification when someone has been cleared of that restriction.

The bill would authorize up to $250 million a year over five years for the states and as much as $125 million a year over the same period for state courts to help defray the cost of enacting the policy.

Propelling the long-sought legislation were the April 16 killings at Virginia Tech. Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and himself using two guns he had bought despite his documented history of mental illness.

Cho had been ruled a danger to himself during a court commitment hearing in 2005. He had been ordered to have outpatient mental health treatment and should have been barred from buying the two guns he used. But Virginia never forwarded the information to the national background check system.


December 19, 2007

The New York Times
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December 17, 2007
Boycotted Radio Host Remains Unbowed

SAN FRANCISCO — The humbling of Don Imus last spring over his remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team has done nothing to quiet Michael Savage, a radio host with a far bigger following and far more checkered track record.

Mr. Savage, whose program reaches an estimated eight million listeners a week on nearly 400 stations, suggested over the summer that a group of college students on a hunger strike in support of easing immigration restrictions should “fast until they starve to death.” In October the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, the city from which Mr. Savage often broadcasts, took the unusual step of passing a resolution condemning him for the remarks.

Then, a few weeks ago, Mr. Savage uncorked a cascade of invective about Islam. Among his on-air comments: the Koran is “a book of hate”; some Muslims, at least, “need deportation”; and adherents of Islam would do well to “take your religion and shove it up your behind” because “I’m sick of you.”

In response the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose stated mission includes correcting mischaracterizations of Islam, tore a page from the playbook of Mr. Imus’s critics. It made Mr. Savage’s comments widely available on the Internet and called on advertisers to boycott his program, which is behind only Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s in number of listeners, according to Talkers magazine, an industry publication.

At least two of his major sponsors — Citrix, which sells remote access to computers, and Trusted ID, which provides protection against identity theft — have pulled their spots. Thus far, Mr. Savage said in an interview last week, the boycott had cost his program more than a million dollars in advertising revenue committed for next year.

On Dec. 3 Mr. Savage fired back at his critics in a way Mr. Imus never did: He filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the council, not only for taking his comments out of context — he says they were made within a broader discussion of the president of Iran — but for then making audio of them available on its Web site,

With his suit, Mr. Savage has put himself in an odd position for someone who makes his living talking and is a fierce advocate for free speech: He is complaining about others quoting him.

But in the interview Mr. Savage contended that the council had violated the copyright protections on his broadcast by using his words, in effect, to raise money. He cited the bright orange button labeled “Donate” that appears on the council Web site just to the right of the “Action Alert” it put out against him.

“If they are trying to hang me by my own petard, they have no right to use my petard,” Mr. Savage said after Monday’s show. “It’s my petard, not theirs.”

A spokesman for the council, Ahmed Rehab, said, “We think the suit is a P.R. ploy.” (A spokeswoman for Citrix would not discuss the reasons for the company’s decision; the chief executive of Trusted ID, Scott Mitic, said it had abandoned Savage’s program because his audience wasn’t buying the company’s product.)

Mr. Savage likened his remarks about the San Francisco protesters to those of a father frustrated with a child who won’t eat his peas: in other words, “Suit yourself, you can starve to death for all I care.”

“Remember, I’m a New Yorker,” he said. “I grew up on sarcasm and satire. People are too literal, No. 1, and they don’t have a true sense of humor, No. 2.”

Mr. Savage proudly calls himself conservative, even right wing, and his audience has proved to be both enormous and loyal, sticking with him after MSNBC pulled the plug on a simulcast of his radio show in 2003. The action came after he said he hoped a caller to his radio show, who had identified himself as gay, would die of AIDS.

Mr. Savage has always been regarded as a bit of a maverick, if not a loose cannon, in both Republican and talk-radio circles. In the interview he singled out two Republican presidential contenders, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, for refusing to be on his show.

He also lamented that other conservative titans with microphones — Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Hannity and Bill O’Reilly — “won’t lift a finger to help me” fend off the council boycott.

That is not much of a surprise to Michael Harrison, the founder and publisher of Talkers.

“Michael Savage is one of the few high-profile conservative hosts who is politically independent and does not hesitate to criticize the superstars of the Republican movement,” he said. “As a result he is not the most popular host among his conservative peers.”

Mr. Savage agreed last week to allow a reporter to sit in on his program, but only on the condition that the reporter not reveal the location of the waterside house where he was broadcasting that day, or of two other homes where he has studios and which he treats as virtual safe houses. Mr. Savage, who is licensed to carry a pistol and does so, said the secrecy was warranted by his fears for his life, based on the sheaf of death threats he says he has received over the years.

Mr. Savage can be surprisingly unintimidating in person, standing 5-foot-7 and looking, on this day, like he had sprung from an L. L. Bean catalog in a bright orange corduroy shirt, black fleece vest and tan chinos, with a miniature poodle at his feet. He can also project charm, insisting that a visitor just off a cross-country flight pause to have a turkey sandwich with potato salad.

“Drew, did you get pastry?” he later asked his assistant, Drew Bader, sounding more like a grandmother than a firebrand.

“Yes,” Mr. Bader assured him wearily, “I got a hamantaschen and a piece of kugel.”

At one point Mr. Savage — who was born Michael Weiner, and who still is, legally, Michael Weiner — led a visitor to a glass case that included a photo of him as a boy wearing a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl. Asked if it was his bar mitzvah photo, he said it was, adding, “Tell that to my Muslim friends.” (Mr. Savage said later that when he became a talk show host 14 years ago, he took a “nom de voix,” as he referred to his pseudonym, to blunt any potshots at him as “a Jew from the Bronx,” which he happens to be.)

But whether on the air or off, Mr. Savage delights in being provocative.

He told his listeners last Monday that he had attended a boxing match in Las Vegas the previous weekend, which he characterized as between Floyd Mayweather, “the black guy,” and Ricky Hatton, “the white guy.”

“I rooted for the underdog, who was the little guy, Hatton,” Mr. Savage said. “I didn’t root for him because he was white.”

Mr. Savage insists that such comments aren’t just shtick. “I couldn’t do this for 14 years as an entertainer,” he said. “I’m not really a stealth liberal off the air.”

He readily acknowledged, though, that during his 20s and 30s he was “super left-wing,” including the times he worked as a welfare worker on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and later as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Ph.D. in nutritional ethnomedicine.

But he turned sharply to the right after, among other things, finding that his welfare clients were often living better than he, and that despite a Ph.D. he couldn’t get a college teaching job after five years of trying. “I was the wrong race,” he said. “I was the wrong sex.”

Eventually he made a demo tape and was hired by KGO, a San Francisco station.

These days Mr. Savage can be heard in San Francisco on a competitor, KNEW, as well as on WOR in New York City. Though none of his affiliates — a number of them owned by Clear Channel — has publicly expressed any intention of dumping him, à la Mr. Imus, he said he has lately been contemplating retiring. (Though he wouldn’t comment on his current deal, it pays him several million dollars annually and ends sometime in 2008, according to an industry executive who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the deal publicly.)

But in the same breath Mr. Savage acknowledged that he wasn’t sure he’d know what to do with himself without a microphone. And then there’s the prospect that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, two favorite Savage foils, could win the 2008 presidential election.

“It’s going to be the golden age of radio, at least until they pass the fairness doctrine,” he said, savoring the thought of a Clinton presidency in particular. “What fun we’re going to have, till they get around to that.”

“Then it’ll be Venezuela,” he predicted. “They’ll close down the opposition stations through legislation.”


December 18, 2007

How many AK-47 guns are there in the world?

My mate has just sagely told me it’s “100,000 million” which appears to be more guns that there people on Earth!

At last estimate, there are over 6 BILLION (6,000,000,000) people on the Earth.

An estimate of 100 MILLION (100,000,000) AK 47s is probably accurate, and decidedly less than the Earth’s population.