David Pryce-Jones: A Shameful Stand-off
As an urgent exercise in public relations, he has to get across that he’s not your usual blood-stained Arab dictator but just doing what anybody would do in his position. So he gives an interview to the Sunday Telegraph, a media outlet supposed to be conservative. Sure enough, Andrew Gilligan, an investigative journalist and no fool, gives Bashar the chance to describe himself as a perfectly normal chap, living in a bungalow without security, driving his own car to take the kids to school, concluding, “That’s why I am popular.” What he’s bringing, he wants Gilligan to report, is stability, keeping down the ill-wishers of the Muslim Brotherhood paid and armed to create trouble. The pitch is that everyone should back his stand against the Islamists. “If you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistan?”
“I will do such things —” raved King Lear, “What they are yet I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth.” Bashar’s threats of more Afghanistans reveals how deeply he fears Western intervention, and like King Lear would ward it off with rhetoric, the only available weapon. What we have here, then, is a shameful stand-off between an individual who has no idea what to do except kill, and the international collective that has no idea at all, period.
FP: Everybody is talking about deterring Iran but there is conclusive evidence that Iran is deterring the West.
WASHINGTON — J Street today called on Congress to amend US law to preserve American contributions to the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Those contributions are threatened by provisions of existing law prohibiting such funding following UNESCO member states' decision today to grant the Palestinians full membership.
'Failure to avert American defunding and disengagement from UNESCO, which the United States rejoined under President George W. Bush in 2003, would deal a painful blow to US influence and standing in the world. In addition to undermining our own national interests, it would also deprive Israel of its most vocal and powerful advocate in a key UN organ,' said Dylan Williams, J Street's Director of Government Affairs.
FP: The “pro-Israel jews”: upside down and backwards. Look at the influence its contribution has brought to US: it ignored its wishes to reject the Palestinian application.
FP: The logical conclusion of the corporate welfare state – Wall Street replacing the government. If the government wants to fund community banks, why funnell the funds via Wall Street sharks?
Based on their Halloween costumes from last year, it would not be surprising if employees from foreclosure firm giant Steven J. Baum dressed up this year as homeowners who've lost their property thanks to firms like them.
In a column from The New York Times Joe Nocera, a former employee of the Baum firm revealed that his former co-workers did indeed dress as downtrodden individuals with signs representing their depressed state. The ex-Baum employee, who Nocera kept anonymous, told the Times reporter that she wanted to show how the firm had a 'cavalier attitude' towards foreclosing people's homes.
After getting word of Nocera's story, the firm vehemently defended itself, saying the column was 'another attempt by The New York Times to attack our firm and our work.'
The Baum firm represents virtually all the prominent mortgage lending Wall Street giants, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
FP: Signs of societal decay.