Israel to hold massive drill; Syria – War is possible

Israel is to hold its largest-ever emergency exercise in April –
shutting down parts of the country as it tests its responses to
massive, possibly non-conventional, attacks from Syria and Iran.
This is according to the top story Monday in The Jerusalem Post, and
comes the day after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem was quoted as
saying a war between Syria and Israel is certainly a possibility.
Starting April 6, and stretching over five days, the emergency drill
will include a convening of the cabinet following “an enemy attack,”
the sounding of sirens country-wide, mass-evacuations from “hit” areas
– simulating responses to chemical and nuclear strikes – and the
inundating of hospitals with thousands of Israeli casualties.
A high-ranking defense official said the drill would be “the biggest
exercise in Israel's history.”
He took pains to stress, however, that Israel was not planning the
event because of fears of an imminent war but rather to implement
lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War.
Moallem, interviewed by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba, was asked if he
believed that Israel was preparing for war against Lebanon or Syria
“Everything is possible”, he answered, adding that “every rational
person should prepare for every …

More murderous mayhem in Mexico

Organized crime executions reach 3,008 in last 15 months
WASHINGTON – A murderous slaughter of almost unimaginable proportions
is taking place below America's southern border – and it goes almost
unnoticed by U.S. government officials here.
On Friday, a seventh victim gunned down in a private law office in
central Mexico died at a hospital as police investigate links between
the firm and the country's organized crime syndicates whose revenues
are made from selling drugs, smuggling people into the U.S. and arms
trafficking.
Five men and a woman died Thursday in the attack in the city of
Guadalajara, according to the Jalisco state attorney general's office.
Three were lawyers and the others were employees, and some of the
victims were found with their hands tied. Authorities had not made any
arrests.
Several leading Mexican newspapers reported, citing anonymous state
judicial sources, that one of the lawyers may have been defending
Archivaldo Ivan Guzman, the son of alleged Sinaloa drug cartel chief
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The elder Guzman escaped from federal prison
in 2001 in a laundry cart after bribing guards.
The son, also known as “El Chapito” or “Little Chapo” was sentenced in
February to five years for money …

The crumbling U.S. empire

House Democrats recently adopted a budget with massive tax hikes, many
of which are directed at those Americans who can least afford them.
By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, this budget will raise
income taxes not only on those in the highest income brackets, but
raises the lowest bracket from 10 percent to 15 percent as well.
Estates would again be taxed at 55 percent. The child tax credit would
drop from $1,000 to $500. Senior citizens relying on investment income
would be hurt by increases in dividend and capital gains taxes. It's
not just that the Democrats want to raises taxes on the rich; they want
to raises taxes on everybody.
The problem is, policing the world is expensive, and if elected
officials insist upon continuing to fund our current foreign policy,
the money has to come from somewhere. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
have already cost us more than $1 trillion.
The Democrats' budget gives the president all the funding he needs for
his foreign policy, so one wonders how serious they ever were about
ending the war. While Democrats propose to tax and spend, many
Republicans aim to borrow and spend, which …

Ahoy, mateys ! Thar be Jewish pirates

by Adam Wills, Associate Editor
Sephardic Jewish pirate Jean Lafitte  
There's no arrr-guing that pirates are in.
Â
As of last weekend, Disney had plundered $1 billion worldwide with
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” and International Talk
Like a Pirate Day — that's Sept. 19, for you landlubbers — has gone
from an inside joke between two friends to a mock holiday celebrated in
more than 40 countries.
Â
Yet tales of Jewish piracy, which stretch back thousands of years,
aren't in the public's consciousness, and Hollywood even has been known
to remove a pirate's Jewish background. As a result, we're stuck with
portrayals of pirates as wayward English seamen on a murderous rampage.

Â
But now a forthcoming book hopes to change that image by focusing on
Ladino-speaking Jews whose piracy grew out of the Inquisition. “The
Jewish pirates were Sephardic. Once they were kicked out of Spain [in
1492], the more adventurous Jews went to the New World,” said Ed
Kritzler, whose yet-untitled book on Jewish pirates will be published
by Doubleday in spring 2007.
Â
Jewish piracy has been around since well before the Barbary pirates
first preyed on ships during the Crusades. In …

Hal Lindsey hammers Obama,for not rejecting pastor's outrageous views

'G-d damn
America'?
By Hal Lindsey
First, I am quoting this title, not agreeing with it.
If your pastor's sermons dripped hatred for black people as a race and
equated black people with devils, would that be grounds to question
your views on racism? Suppose your pastor said from the pulpit that
black people are responsible for all America's problems?
Suppose you attended that church, under that teaching, for 20 years or
more? Would that make you a racist? If not, shouldn't the issue of
racism at least be called into question?
That is the question facing presidential candidate Barack Obama because
of his long association with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But
Obama says his campaign “transcends race.” I am sorry, Mr. Obama, that
is an impossible position in the context of this election, given your
unique background – which can be both a blessing and/or a curse. It all
depends on whether you condemn of agree with certain radical beliefs of
your close associates. You can't dismiss some of these doctrines with
glib one-liners. The American people deserve more than that.
Obama dismisses criticisms by saying he doesn't always agree with his
pastor. On the other hand, …

Police Repeatedly Raid Church to Stop Praise? and Worship

ANN ARBOR, MI — Without a warrant or other legal authorization,
uniformed police officers conducted several raids on Faith Baptist
Church in Waterford Township, Michigan, and threatened to prosecute
several young Christian musicians for disorderly conduct – because the
Township prosecutor objected to the playing of contemporary religious
music.  “Praise and worship” music is a central part of Faith Baptist’s
religious services.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based
in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the
Waterford Township supervisor, prosecutor and two high ranking police
officials.  The lawsuit was prompted by the series of police incursions
into the church and threats by the Township prosecutor to raid the
church every time music was heard coming from it. 
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center,
observed, “Uniformed police officers entering a church during religious
services and young church members being threatened with prosecution is
something that happens in Communist China – not in America.” 
Continued Thompson, “It is clear that Waterford Township authorities
targeted Faith Baptist Church because of the type of religious music it
uses in its services.   Some of the individual police officers involved
in the …