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Call the politburo; we’re in trouble

June 21, 2010

Mark it on your calendar. It seems we’ve finally entered the Soviet era in America.

B2 dropping bombs.jpg

You remember the Soviet Union, now almost 20 years in its grave. But who gives it a second thought today? Even in its glory years that “evil empire” was sometimes referred to as “the second superpower.” In 1991, after seven decades, it suddenly disintegrated and disappeared, leaving the United States – the “sole superpower,” even the “hyperpower,” on planet Earth – surprised but triumphant.

The USSR had been heading for the exits for quite a while, not that official Washington had a clue. At the moment it happened, Soviet “experts” like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (then director of the Central Intelligence Agency) still expected the Cold War to go on and on.

In Washington, eyes were trained on the might of the Soviet military, which the Soviet leadership had never stopped feeding, even as its sclerotic bureaucracy was rotting, its economy (which had ceased to grow in the late 1970s) was tanking, budget deficits were soaring, indebtedness to other countries was growing, and social welfare payments were eating into what funds remained. Not even a vigorous, reformist leader like Mikhail Gorbachev could staunch the rot, especially when, in the late 1980s, the price of Russian oil fell drastically.

Looking back, the most distinctive feature of the last years of the Soviet Union may have been the way it continued to pour money into its military – and its military adventure in Afghanistan – when it was already going bankrupt and the society it had built was beginning to collapse around it. In the end, its aging leaders made a devastating miscalculation. They mistook military power for power on this planet. Armed to the teeth and possessing a nuclear force capable of destroying the Earth many times over, the Soviets nonetheless remained the vastly poorer, weaker, and (except when it came to the arms race) far less technologically innovative of the two superpowers.

In December 1979, perhaps taking the bait of the Jimmy Carter administration whose national security adviser was eager to see the Soviets bloodied by a “Vietnam” of their own, the Red Army invaded Afghanistan to support a weak communist government in Kabul. When resistance in the countryside, led by Islamic fundamentalist guerrillas and backed by the other superpower, only grew, the Soviets sent in more troops, launched major offensives, called in air power, and fought on brutally and futilely for a decade until, in 1989, long after they had been whipped, they withdrew in defeat.

Gorbachev had dubbed Afghanistan “the bleeding wound”, and when the wounded Red Army finally limped home it was to a country that would soon cease to exist. For the Soviet Union, Afghanistan had literally proven “the graveyard of empires”. If, at the end, its military remained standing, the empire didn’t. (And if you don’t already find this description just a tad eerie, given the present moment in the US, you should.)

In Washington, the George H W Bush administration declared victory and then left the much ballyhooed “peace dividend” in the nearest ditch. Caught off guard by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington’s consensus policymakers drew no meaningful lessons from it (just as they had drawn few that mattered from their Vietnam defeat 16 years earlier).

Quite the opposite, successive American administrations would blindly head down the very path that had led the Soviets to ruin. They would serially agree that, in a world without significant enemies, the key to US global power still was the care and feeding of the American military and the military-industrial complex that went with it. As the years passed, that military would be sent ever more regularly into the far reaches of the planet to fight frontier wars, establish military bases, and finally impose a global Pax Americana on the planet.

This urge, delusional in retrospect, seemed to reach its ultimate expression in the George W Bush administration, whose infamous “unilateralism” rested on a belief that no country or even bloc of countries should ever again be allowed to come close to matching US military power. (As its National Security Strategy of 2002 put the matter – and it couldn’t have been blunter on the subject – the US was to “build and maintain” its military power “beyond challenge.”)

Bush’s military fundamentalists firmly believed that, in the face of the most technologically advanced, bulked-up, destructive force around, hostile states would be “shocked and awed” by a simple demonstration of its power and friendly ones would have little choice but to come to heel as well. After all, as the president said in front of a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in 2007, the US military was “the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known”.

In this way, far more than the Soviets, the top officials of the Bush administration mistook military power for power, a gargantuan misreading of the US economic position in the world and of their moment.

Boundless military ambitions

The attacks of September 11, 2001, that “Pearl Harbor of the 21st century”, clinched the deal. In the space the Soviet Union had deserted, which had been occupied by minor outlaw states like North Korea for years, there was a new shape-shifting enemy, al-Qaeda (aka Islamic extremism, aka the new “totalitarianism”), which could be just as big as you wanted to make it. Suddenly, we were in what the Bush administration instantly dubbed “the global war on terror” (GWOT, one of the worst acronyms ever invented) – and this time there would be nothing “cold” about it.

Bush administration officials promptly suggested that they were prepared to use a newly agile American military to “drain the swamp” of global terrorism. (“While we’ll try to find every snake in the swamp, the essence of the strategy is draining the swamp,” insisted deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz two weeks after 9/11.) They were prepared, they made clear, to undertake those draining operations against Islamic “terrorist networks” in no less than 60 countries around the planet.

Their military ambitions, in other words, knew no bounds; nor, it seemed, did the money and resources which began to flow into the Pentagon, the weapons industries, the country’s increasingly militarized intelligence services, mercenary companies like Blackwater and KBR that grew fat on a privatizing administration’s war plans and the multi-billion-dollar no-bid contracts it was eager to proffer, the new Department of Homeland Security, and a ramped-up, ever more powerful national security state.

As the Pentagon expanded, taking on ever newer roles, the numbers would prove staggering. By the end of the Bush years, Washington was doling out almost twice what the next nine nations combined were spending on their militaries, while total US military expenditures came to just under half the world’s total. Similarly, by 2008, the US controlled almost 70% of the global arms market. It also had 11 aircraft carrier battle groups capable of patrolling the world’s seas and oceans at a time when no power that could faintly be considered a possible future enemy had more than one.

By then, private contractors had built for the Pentagon almost 300 military bases in Iraq, ranging from tiny combat outposts to massive “American towns” holding tens of thousands of troops and private contractors, with multiple bus lines, PXs, fast-food “boardwalks”, massage parlors, water treatment and power plants, barracks and airfields. They were in the process of doing the same in Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, in the Persian Gulf region generally.

This, too, represented a massive investment in what looked like a permanent occupation of the oil heartlands of the planet. As right-wing pundit Max Boot put it after a recent flying tour of America’s global garrisons, the US possesses military bases that add up to “a virtual American empire of Wal-Mart-style PXs, fast-food restaurants, golf courses and gyms”.

Depending on just what you counted, there were anywhere from 700 to perhaps 1,200 or more US bases, micro to macro, acknowledged and unacknowledged, around the globe. Meanwhile, the Pentagon was pouring money into the wildest blue-skies thinking at its advanced research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), whose budget grew by 50%.

Through DARPA, well-funded scientists experimented with various ways to fight science-fiction-style wars in the near and distant future (at a moment when no one was ready to put significant government money into blue-skies thinking about, for instance, how to improve the education of young Americans). The Pentagon was also pioneering a new form of air power, drone warfare, in which “we” wouldn’t be within thousands of miles of the battlefield, and the battlefield would no longer necessarily be in a country with which we were at war.

It was also embroiled in two disastrous, potentially trillion-dollar wars (and various global skirmishes) – and all this at top dollar at a time when next to no money was being invested in, among other things, the bridges, tunnels, waterworks and the like that made up an aging American infrastructure. Except when it came to victory, the military stood ever taller, while its many missions expanded exponentially, even as the domestic economy was spinning out of control, budget deficits were increasing rapidly, the governmental bureaucracy was growing ever more sclerotic, and indebtedness to other nations was rising by leaps and bounds.

In other words, in a far wealthier country, another set of leaders, having watched the Soviet Union implode, decisively embarked on the Soviet path to disaster.

Military profligacy

In the autumn of 2008, the abyss opened under the US economy, which the Bush administration had been blissfully ignoring, and millions of people fell into it. Giant institutions wobbled or crashed; extended unemployment wouldn’t go away; foreclosures happened on a mind-boggling scale; infrastructure began to buckle; state budgets were caught in a death grip; teachers’ jobs, another kind of infrastructure, went down the tubes in startling numbers; and the federal deficit soared.

A new president also entered the Oval Office, someone (many voters believed) intent on winding up (or at least down) Bush’s wars and the delusions of military omnipotence and technological omniscience that went with them. If George W Bush had pushed this country to the edge of disaster, at least his military policies, as many of his critics saw it, were as extreme and anomalous as the cult of executive power his top officials fostered.

But here was the strange thing. In the midst of the great recession, under a new president with assumedly far fewer illusions about American omnipotence and power, war policy continued to expand in just about every way. The Pentagon budget rose by Bushian increments in fiscal year 2010; and while

the Iraq War reached a kind of dismal stasis, the new president doubled down in Afghanistan on entering office – and then doubled down again before the end of 2009. There, he “surged” in multiple ways. At best, the US was only drawing down one war, in Iraq, to feed the flames of another.

As in the Soviet Union before its collapse, the exaltation and feeding of the military at the expense of the rest of society and the economy had by now become the new normal; so much so that hardly a serious word could be said – lest you not “support our troops” – when it came to ending the American way of war or downsizing the global mission or ponying up the funds demanded of the US Congress to pursue war preparations and war-making.

Even when, after years of astronomical growth, Gates began to talk about cost-cutting at the Pentagon, it was in the service of the reallocation of ever-more money to war-fighting. Here was how the New York Times summed up what reduction actually meant for America’s ultimate super-sized institution in tough times: “Current budget plans project growth of only 1 percent in the Pentagon budget, after inflation, over the next five years.” Only 1% growth – at a time when state budgets, for instance, are being slashed to the bone. Like the Soviet military, the Pentagon, in other words, is planning to remain obese whatever else goes down.

Meanwhile, the “anti-war” president has been overseeing the expansion of the new normal on many fronts, including the expanding size of the army itself. In fact, when it comes to the “war on terror” – even with the name now in disuse – the profligacy can still take your breath away.

Consider, for instance, the $2.2 billion Host Nation Trucking contract the Pentagon uses to pay protection money to Afghan security companies which, in turn, slip some part of those payments to the Taliban to let American supplies travel safely on Afghan roads. Or if you don’t want to think about how Americans tax dollars support the Taliban, consider the $683,000 the Pentagon spent, according to the Washington Post, to “renovate a cafe that sells ice cream and Starbucks coffee” at its base/prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Or the $773,000 used there “to remodel a cinder-block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant”, or the $7.3 million spent on baseball and football fields, or the $60,000 batting cage, or a promised $20,000 soccer cage, all part of the approximately US$2 billion that have gone into the American base and prison complex that Obama promised to, but can’t, close.

Or what about the US Embassy in Baghdad, that 104-acre (42 hectares), almost three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar, 21-building homage to the American-mall-as-fortified-citadel? It costs more than $1.5 billion a year to run, and bears about as much relationship to an “embassy” as McDonald’s does to a neighborhood hamburger joint. According to a recent audit, millions of dollars in “federal property” assigned to what is essentially a vast command center for the region, including 159 of the embassy’s 1,168 vehicles, are missing or unaccounted for.

And as long as we’re talking about expansion in distant lands, how about the Pentagon’s most recent construction plans in Central Asia, part of a prospective “mini-building boom” there. They are to include an anti-terrorism training center to be constructed for a bargain basement $5.5 million in … no, not Toledo or Akron or El Paso, but the combustible city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan. And that’s just one of several projects there and in neighboring Tajikistan that are reportedly to be funded out of the US Central Command’s “counter-narcotics fund” (and ultimately out of American taxpayers’ pockets).

Or consider a particularly striking example of military expansion under Obama, superbly reported by the Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe in a piece headlined, “US ‘secret war’ expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role.” As a story, it sank without a trace in a country evidently unfazed by the idea of having its forces garrisoned and potentially readying to fight everywhere on the planet.

Here’s how the piece began:

Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret US war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials. Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year.

Now, without opening an atlas, just try to name any 75 countries on this planet – more than one-third, that is, of the states belonging to the United Nations. And yet US special operatives are now engaging in war, or preparing for war, or training others to do so, or covertly collecting intelligence in that many countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Fifteen more than in the Bush era.

Whatever it is or isn’t called, this remains Bush’s “war on terror” on an expansionist trajectory. DeYoung and Jaffe quote an unnamed “senior military official” saying that the Obama administration has allowed “things that the previous administration did not”, and report that Special Operations commanders are now “a far more regular presence at the White House” than in the Bush years.

Not surprisingly, those Special Operations forces have themselves expanded in the first year-and-a-half of the Obama presidency and, for fiscal year 2011, with 13,000 of them already deployed abroad, the administration has requested a 5.7% hike in their budget to $6.3 billion.

Once upon a time, Special Operations forces got their name because they were small and “special”. Now they are in essence being transformed into a covert military within the military and, as befits their growing size, reports Noah Shachtman of the Wired’s Danger Room, the army Special Forces alone are slated to get a new $100 million “headquarters” in northern Afghanistan. It will cover about 17 acres and will include a “communications building, Tactical Operations Center, training facility, medical aid station, Vehicle Maintenance Facility … dining facility, laundry facility, and a kennel to support working dogs … Supporting facilities include roads, power production system and electrical distribution, water well, non-potable water production, water storage, water distribution, sanitary sewer collection system, communication manhole/duct system, curbs, walkways, drainage and parking.”

This headquarters, adds Shachtman, will take a year to build, “at which point, the US is allegedly supposed to begin drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. Allegedly.” And mind you, the Special Operations troops are but one expanding part of the US military.

Creeping gigantism

The first year-and-a-half of the Obama administration has seen a continuation of what could be considered the monumental socialist-realist era of American war-making (including a decision to construct another huge, Baghdad-style “embassy” in Islamabad, Pakistan). This sort of creeping gigantism, with all its assorted cost overruns and private perks, would undoubtedly have seemed familiar to the Soviets. Certainly no less familiar will be the near decade the US military has spent, increasingly disastrously, in the Afghan graveyard.

Drunk on war as Washington may be, the US is still not the Soviet Union in 1991 – not yet. But it’s not the triumphant “sole superpower” anymore either. Its global power is visibly waning, its ability to win wars distinctly in question, its economic viability open to doubt. It has been transformed from a can-do into a can’t-do nation, a fact only highlighted by the ongoing BP catastrophe and “rescue” in the Gulf of Mexico. Its airports are less shiny and more Third World-like every year.

Unlike France or China, it has not a mile of high-speed rail. And when it comes to the future, especially the creation and support of innovative industries in alternative energy, it’s chasing the pack. It is increasingly a low-end service economy, losing good jobs that will never return.

And if its armies come home in defeat … watch out.

In 1991, the Soviet Union suddenly evaporated. The Cold War was over. Like many wars, it seemed to have an obvious winner and an obvious loser. Nearly 20 years later, as the US heads down the Soviet road to disaster – even if the world can’t imagine what a bankrupt America might mean – it’s far clearer that, in the titanic struggle of the two superpowers that we came to call the Cold War, there were actually two losers, and that, when the “second superpower” left the scene, the first was already heading for the exits, just ever so slowly and in a state of self-intoxicated self-congratulation.

Nearly every decision in Washington since then, including Obama’s to expand both the Afghan War and the “war on terror”, has only made what, in 1991, was one possible path seem like fate itself.

Call up the politburo in Washington. We’re in trouble.

By Tom Engelhardt

Source: Asia Times.

Obama’s judicial appointees among many California firsts

June 21, 2010

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is appointing women and minorities to federal judgeships at an unprecedented rate, and nowhere is the evidence more clear than in the Golden State.

If she can make it through a logjam of judicial nominees in the U.S. Senate, Kimberly Mueller will make history, becoming the first woman to win a U.S. District Court judgeship in Sacramento.

She’s among many firsts: Last week, Lucy Koh in California’s Northern District was confirmed as the nation’s first Korean American federal District Court judge; and in December Dolly Gee was confirmed in the state’s Central District as the first Chinese American federal District Court judge in the country.

Other minority nominees are pending: Edward Davila would become the only current Latino judge in the Northern District; and Goodwin Liu of San Francisco would become the nation’s first Taiwanese American federal appellate court judge.

But with the Senate at loggerheads over judicial nominees, it’s a long waiting game for many of the nontraditional nominees – and a source of frustration for their advocates.

“Look at who’s in the queue – it’s our people,” said Edwin Prather, president of the Asian Pacific Bar of California.

Obama has already done more to diversify the Supreme Court than any other president by choosing two women for the high court. His first choice, Sonia Sotomayor, is the first person of Latino heritage to serve on the Supreme Court.

So far, only 31 of Obama’s 72 district and appellate nominees have been confirmed, even though there are an estimated 100 vacancies.

Of Obama’s nominees, 43 percent are women and minorities, a much higher rate than any of his predecessors, according to an analysis by Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group.

“It’s really extraordinary what he’s doing,” said Sheldon Goldman, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, who has studied the issue for decades. “This marks tremendous progress.”

Goldman, who has written extensively on the subject, said the appointments are particularly impressive because of the high level of discrimination that characterized the legal profession for decades. He noted that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor could not even land a job as an attorney after graduating from law school but was offered a job as a legal secretary instead.

Consider the change in recent years: Of the 322 judges nominated and confirmed during George W. Bush’s presidency, 18 percent were minority, and 22 percent were female. Of the 372 judges nominated and confirmed during President Bill Clinton’s two terms in office, 25 percent were minorities, and 29 percent were women.

In California, both of the state’s senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, make recommendations to Obama on who should fill judicial slots. Boxer said she has been recommending candidates who “reflect California’s rich diversity.”

Since Obama became president, she has recommended five people who were nominated: Mueller, Koh, Gee, Davila, and Anthony Battaglia in the state’s Southern District. That’s two Asian American women, one Latino man, one white woman and one white man.

During Clinton’s presidency, 14 people recommended by Boxer became District Court judges, including eight women and minorities: four women, one African American, two Asian Americans and one Latino.

Senate Republicans say it’s important to move slowly and examine the nominees carefully because they serve for life. The Judiciary Committee has been particularly busy this year with two of Obama’s Supreme Court nominations.

Some say practical politics are at work: Democrats and Republicans alike take their time in confirming judges when the appointees are made by a president of the opposite party, as was evidenced during both the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies.

“The impetus behind slowing down confirmations is simply to leave as many seats open for the next president to fill,” said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the judicial vacancies have created a vast backlog of cases. Judges complain they’re overworked and that civil cases often languish for years. Some courts, including the Eastern District in Sacramento, have had to bring in judges from other states to help ease the burden.

Goldman suggested the situation might improve if Obama, in a show of bipartisanship, would join forces with Clinton, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush to urge the Senate to stop using filibusters and secret holds to stall judicial appointments.

“It’s not worthy of the U.S. Senate, and it’s doing harm,” he said. “It is very dysfunctional for the independence and integrity of the judiciary. It’s a very dangerous game they’ve been playing, and it really should stop.”

Source: Sacramento Bee.

This Week in Disorganized America, Jun. 18, 2010

June 18, 2010

Mishko & Dietrich discuss:

  • A German legislator’s call to stop the ‘thriving Holocaust industry’
  • Southwest Airlines finds a shipment of heads on a plane
  • Israeli mossad agents being kicked out of Ireland
  • Ed Steele’s arrest
  • Where are our White leaders?

26 MB / 32 kbps mono / 1 hour 56 min.

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Fall of Poland

June 17, 2010

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Coat of Arms.jpg

Matt Johnson discusses:

  • The fall of Poland
  • Jews in Polish history
  • The nobles in Polish history
  • The causes of Poland’s fall at the end of the 18th century

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 59 min.

Contact Matt:
fr_raphael yahoo.com

Jamie Kelso, Jun 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Jamie anticipates the upcoming American Third Position event this Saturday June 19 in Southern California. A3P Directors have been gathering in Southern California. Jamie has been spending the week with A3P Director, and Voice of Reason broadcaster, Tom Sunic. At our A3P Directors get-together last night Mr. Sunic urged patriots to avoid “overestimating our enemies”, pointing to the shockingly sudden collapse of the East European dictatorships in 1989 and 1990. No one foresaw so sudden a collapse. We could, Dr. Sunic says, easily see just such sudden collapse of the cultural hegemony of the anti-White institutions and thought-cotrollers. Patriots wanting to attend our A3P event on Saturday, June 19, in Southern California can contact A3P Exec. Secretary Jamie Kelso on his website at http://www.whitenewsnow.com and at http://www.american3p.org. Tom Sunic can be reached directly on both websites as well, and at http://www.tomsunic.info.

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 57 min.

Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

The Stark Truth: Interview with Clayton Douglas

June 16, 2010

Robert interviews Clayton Douglas, author, liberty activist, talk show host, and publisher of Free American Free American magazine. Topics include:

  • Clay talks about his new book mystery Babylon: Secrets of the New World Order Unveiled
  • Dynamics of the new world order
  • Clayton’s theological ideas
  • The oil spill
  • And more

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 56 min.

Contact Robert:
robert_stark_la hotmail.com

The Sunic Journal: Speech to the CofCC in DC

June 15, 2010

In a speech given to the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens in Washington, DC, on Fri., Jun. 4., 2010, Tom discusses:

  • The term “identity”: Its meaning and why it has replaced older terms such as “pride”
  • Multiculturalism: Its roots in victimology-based identity and why it is doomed
  • Other topics addressed in a casual discussion with the audience

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 55 min.

Contact Tom:
tom.sunic hotmail.com

Jamie Kelso, Jun. 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

Jamie takes the Voice of Reason Broadcast Network audience back ot the December 1991 issue of Instauration magazine, which the VOR audience and all patriots can now read online here: http://www.instaurationonline.com.

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 57 min.

Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

The Heretics’ Hour: Wilhelm Kriessmann–The War Years

June 14, 2010

A Sketch by Dr. Kriessmann's father

Pen & ink drawing from 1946 by Dr. Kriessmann’s father: Inside the Wolfsberg British-run detention camp near Klagenfurt, where both were held after WWII. (Click here to enlarge)

Dr. Kriessmann gives his personal account of:

  • Life in Berlin as pilot for the general staff
  • Ninety-three bomber missions on the Eastern Front
  • How and why he was put in a British detention camp after returning home
  • Conditions and companions in Wolfsberg and Wetzelsdorf camps

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 55 min.

Contact Carolyn:
carolyn carolynyeager.com

The DNA of Abraham’s Children: Analysis of Jewish genomes refutes the Khazar claim

June 12, 2010

by Sharon Begley
June 3, 2010

Jews have historically considered themselves “people of the book” (am hasefer in Hebrew), referring to sacred tomes, but the phrase is turning out to have an equally powerful, if unintended, meaning: scientists are able to read Jewish genomes like a history book. The latest DNA volume weighs in on the controversial, centuries-old (and now revived in a 2008 book) claim that European Jews are all the descendants of Khazars, a Turkic group of the north Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the late eighth and early ninth century. The DNA has spoken: no.

In the wake of studies in the 1990s that supported biblically based notions of a priestly caste descended from Aaron, brother of Moses, an ambitious new project to analyze genomes collected from Jewish volunteers has yielded its first discoveries. In a paper with the kind of catchy title you rarely see in science journals—“Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era”—scientists report that the Jews of the Diaspora share a set of telltale genetic markers, supporting the traditional belief that Jews scattered around the world have a common ancestry. But various Diaspora populations have their own distinct genetic signatures, shedding light on their origins and history. In addition to the age-old question of whether Jews are simply people who share a religion or are a distinct population, the scientific verdict is settling on the latter.

Although the origin of the Jews has been traced, archeologically, to the Middle East in the second millennium B.C.E., what happened next has been more opaque. To sort it out, researchers collected DNA from Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Ashkenazi Jews around New York City; Turkish Sephardic Jews in Seattle; Greek Sephardic Jews in Thessaloniki and Athens; and Italian Jews in Rome as part of the Jewish HapMap Project. (All four grandparents of each participant had to have come from the same community.) As the scientists will report in the next issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the analysis shows that “each of the Jewish populations formed its own distinctive cluster, indicating the shared ancestry and relative genetic isolation of the members of each of those groups.”

Jewish populations, that is, have retained their genetic coherence just as they have retained their cultural and religious traditions, despite migrations from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa, and beyond over the centuries, says geneticist Harry Ostrer of NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the study. Each Diaspora group has distinctive genetic features “representative of each group’s genetic history,” he says, but each also “shares a set of common genetic threads” dating back to their common origin in the Middle East. “Each of the Jewish populations formed its own distinctive cluster, indicating the shared ancestry and relative genetic isolation of the members of each of those groups.”

The various Jewish groups were more related to each other than to non-Jews, as well. Within every Jewish group, individuals shared as much of their genome as two fourth or fifth cousins, with Italian, Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi Jews the most inbred, in the sense that they married within the small, close-knit community. In general, the genetic similarity of any two groups was larger the closer they lived to one another, but there was an exception: Turkish and Italian Jews were most closely related genetically, but are quite separated geographically.

Historical records suggest that Iranian and Iraqi Jews date from communities that formed in Persia and Babylon, respectively, in the fourth to sixth centuries B.C.E., and the DNA confirms that. The genetic signatures of these groups show that they remained relatively isolated—inbred—for some 3,000 years. The DNA also reveals that these Middle Eastern Jews diverged from the ancestors of today’s European Jews about 100 to 150 generations ago, or sometime during the first millennium B.C.E.

That’s when the Jewish communities in Italy, the Balkans, and North Africa originated, from Jews who migrated or were expelled from Palestine and from people who converted to Judaism during Hellenic times. During that period Jews proselytized with an effectiveness that would put today’s Mormons to shame: at the height of the Roman Empire, as the Roman historian Josephus chronicled, mass conversions produced 6 million practicing Jews, or 10 percent of the population of the Roman Empire. The conversions brought in DNA that had not been part of the original gene pool in the land of Abraham.

The DNA analysis undermines the claim that most of today’s Jews, particularly the Ashkenazi, are the direct lineal descendants of converted Khazars—which has angered many in the Jewish community as an implicit attack on the Jews’ claim to the land of Israel, since it implies that today’s Jews have no blood ties to the original Jews of the Middle East. Instead, find the scientists, at most there was “limited admixture with local populations, including Khazars and Slavs … during the 1,000-year (second millennium) history of the European Jews.”

Of the non-Jewish Europeans, northern Italians were most genetically similar to the Jews, followed by the Sardinians and French. The Druze, Bedouins, and Palestinians were closest to the Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian Jews. That is evidence of “a shared genetic history of related Middle Eastern and non-Semitic Mediterranean ancestors who chose different religious and tribal affiliations.” Adds Ostrer, “the study supports the idea of a Jewish people linked by a shared genetic history. Yet the admixture with European people explains why so many European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blond hair.”

Southern Europeans were the closest genetic cousins of Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Italian Jews, reflecting the large-scale conversion of these Southern European populations to Judaism some 2,000 years ago, when European Jewry was forming. The Sephardic groups share genetic makers with North Africans, probably a result of marriages between Moors and Jews in Spain from 711 to 1492.

Several details of the Ashkenazi genome imply that centuries ago, the population experienced a severe bottleneck, in which the size of a group plummets, followed by a rapid expansion. That jibes with the historical record showing that the Jewish population in Western and Eastern Europe bottomed out at about 50,000 in the Middle Ages and then soared to 500,000 by the 19th century, growing at twice the rate of non-Jews—something called “the demographic miracle.”

Analysis of Jewish genomes has been yielding fascinating findings for more than a decade. A pioneer in this field, Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona, made the first big splash when he discovered that genetics supports the biblical account of a priestly family, the Cohanim, descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses: one specific genetic marker on the Y chromosome (which is passed on from father to son, as membership in the priestly family would be) is found in 98.5 percent of people who self-identify as Cohanim, he and colleagues reported in a 1997 paper in Nature (the PBS science series Nova did a nice segment on that work, summarized here). The Cohanim DNA has been found in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, evidence that it predates the time when the two groups diverged, about 1,000 years ago. DNA can also be used to infer when particular genetic markers appeared, and suggests that the Cohanim emerged about 106 generations ago, making it fall during what is thought to be the period of the exodus from Egypt, and thus Aaron’s lifetime.

Source: Newsweek

Central banker says immigrants making Germany dumber

June 12, 2010

Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians have lashed out at controversial Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin after he reportedly said Turkish, Arab and African immigrants were making Germany “more stupid.”

Sarrazin has made offensive remarks about immigrants

German politicians have expressed consternation at a racist outburst by the central bank’s board member and former Berlin senator, Thilo Sarrazin.

Sarrazin was quoted by German media as telling a gathering of businessmen on Thursday, June 10, that Germany was “becoming on average more stupid” because “Turkish, near and Middle Eastern and African” immigrants were poorly educated.

“There is an increase in population groups with different levels of intelligence,” the 65-year-old was quoted as saying. “Intelligence is passed on from parents to children. It is about 80 percent hereditary.”

Sarrazin drew flak for disparaging remarks about Turkish and Arab communities

Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that such sweeping statements were “stupid and pointless.”

She conceded, however, that it was true that the academic qualifications of pupils from immigrant communities needed to be improved, adding that the key to that was “mastering the German language.”

“If we promoted and demanded that, then those coming to live in Germany would have great opportunities and they would enrich our lives,” Merkel said.

Criticism across party lines

Some 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany

The leader of the opposition Green pary, Claudia Roth, also criticized Sarrazin.

“I wonder how much longer the Bundesbank is prepared to tolerate such an agitator and right-wing populist on its board,” she told the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper.

Roth said that for the Bundesbank – one of the country’s most important public institutions – having a leading member with such an attitude was untenable.

She also said the opposition Social Democratic Party – of which Sarrazin is a member – must also ask themselves whether and how long they were ready to accept him in their own ranks.

A prominent SPD member, Michael Mueller, has meanwhile said that “the renewed provocation by Sarrazin was without question intolerable.” He said Sarrazin had already been warned to restrain himself but that he had apparently not learnt his lesson.

Not the first time

The banker caused a row last year after he made disparaging remarks in a magazine interview about Berlin’s large Turkish and Arab communities.

Sarrazin had to apologize for saying that many of Berlin’s Arab and Turkish immigrants have “no production, apart from fruit and vegetable trading.”

Meanwhile, the Bundesbank has distanced itself from Sarrazin’s remarks.

“The opinions expressed were personal,” said Susanne Kreutzer, spokeswoman for the Bundesbank. “We cannot comment.”

The central bank’s president Axel Weber said last year that the bank’s reputation had been hurt by Sarrazin’s remarks.

Source: Deutsche Welle.

Mishko and Dietrich, 6/11/2010

June 12, 2010

This Week in Disorganized America:

First 30 minutes were hosted by Mike Conner & James Hawthorne, and the remainder by Dietrich & Mishko.

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U.S. Nears Racial Milestone: Whites Are on Verge of Becoming a Minority Among Newborns in Long-Expected Shift

June 11, 2010

By Conor Dougherty
WSJ June 11, 2010

A Changing Population

Figure 1: See the percentage of the population of each state that is white, and how this figure has changed since 1980.

Figure 2: See the percentage of the population under age 15 that is white, by state, in 2000 and 2009.

Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority among newborn children in the U.S., marking a demographic shift that is already reshaping the nation’s politics and economy.

The Census reported Thursday that nonwhite minorities accounted for 48.6% of the children born in the U.S. between July 2008 and July 2009, gaining ground from 46.8% two years earlier. The trajectory suggests that minority births will soon eclipse births of whites of European ancestry.

“The question is just when,” said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. He guesses the demographic milestone will be crossed in the next few years, and could happen as early as 2011.

A number of forces are pushing the U.S. toward a “majority minority” future. The median age of the white population is older than that of nonwhites, and thus a larger share of minority women are in prime child-bearing years. In addition, white women are having fewer children than nonwhites, while the growth in mixed marriages has led to more multiracial births. ~~~ [VoR Edit: No mention of the significant number of out-of-wedlock multiracial births among, say, white females and black males, which are significant.]

The recession has slowed the transformation by reducing immigration. It also has made people of all races less willing to start families. But births among nonwhites slowed less than those among whites between July 2008 and July 2009. Among the Hispanic population, there were roughly nine births for every one death, compared with a roughly one-to-one ratio for whites.

Minorities made up 35% of the U.S. population between July 2008 and July 2009, up from 31% in 2000, the Census said. While immigration is a touchy political issue, it is not the driving factor behind the nation’s growing diversity. Hispanics, for instance, accounted for 54.7% of the total population increase between July 2008 and July 2009, but about two-thirds of that gain came from births.

Charlotte, N.C., and surrounding Mecklenburg County offer a microcosm of the diversifying nation. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands in front of the historic county courthouse, a gift from the Charlotte Asian Heritage Association. Food Lion, a supermarket chain in the Southeast, spent the past year adding thousands of Hispanic food items to 19 Charlotte area stores. In 1990, 70.3% of the county was white. Today, it is 54.6%, and Mecklenburg County’s youngest whites are a minority among their peers.

Ki-Hyun Chun, a Korean immigrant, started a small immigrant-focused accounting firm in the 1970s. Today, in addition to his firm, he runs an Asian library with 130,000 books and a three-language Asian newspaper out of his building on the edge of downtown Charlotte.

Korean immigrant publisher Ki-Hyun Chun, center, works Thursday on the Asian Herald in Charlotte, N.C., where the nonwhite population has risen.

The shifting mix has “changed our definition of diversity,” said Ann Clark, chief academic officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. The district, for example, used to put its teachers through training to overcome racial biases that usually cut along black-and-white lines. Now, the district focuses more on reaching kids who live in poverty or don’t speak English at home. It has hired four full-time translators and started a program to educate teachers about poverty.

Esselito Solano, a 31-year-old who owns a company that makes stone kitchen counters, said he felt like an outsider when he emigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the mid-1980s. He remembers being perplexed when an elementary-school teacher made him throw away the remainders of his cafeteria lunch instead of bringing it home, a wasteful move in his native country.

Today, his young daughters are growing up as part of a nonwhite majority. In 2006, the most recent data available, 43% of the babies born in Mecklenburg County were non-Hispanic whites, according to health statistics. “They’re not going to have a hard time blending in,” said Mr. Solano.

Charlotte’s business and social institutions also reflect the change. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has expanded minority membership via a program that gives discounts to several racial and ethnic chambers. In 2007, the NAACP of North Carolina formed a coalition called Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly, which is made up of 93 North Carolina advocacy groups that represent various races and ethnicities. “With this changing demographic, we had to operate in coalition,” said Rev. William Barber, president of the NAACP of North Carolina.

America has long been on a path toward becoming a more diverse nation, and several states, including California and Texas, are already “majority minority.” But in the past decade or so, the dual forces of assimilation and the housing boom have pushed diversity beyond gateway cities into the suburbs and across states that hadn’t traditionally attracted immigrants.

Philip Maung started off in a gateway city, immigrating to Los Angeles from Burma (now Myanmar) in 1989. He moved to Charlotte in 1997 to start Hissho Sushi, now a 400-store company that sells sushi out of kiosks in airports and grocery stores. The company’s 50,000-square-foot headquarters has offices, warehousing and a chilled room where a dozen employees begin rolling sushi at 3:30 a.m. “In a bigger city like New York or L.A., I wouldn’t have had a shot,” said Mr. Maung.

Although he has achieved the American dream, Mr. Maung said he wanted his two boys, both born in Charlotte, to understand where he came from. Two years ago, he sent the kids back to Asia to spend time learning Chinese and living in the developing world. “They’ll come back with their eyes open,” he said.

Comments section for the original article here.

Source: WSJ

Jamie Kelso, Jun. 10, 2010

June 10, 2010

Today’s show is devoted to patriot defender of free speech Doug Christie. It’s interesting to refer back 24 years to the April 1986 Instauration magazine in which a 40-year-old Doug Christie is the cover story. Jamie Kelso is in the midst of the massive project of uploading all 25 years of Instauration to the new Instauration Online Web site. More discussion of Doug Christie, penned by fellow Canadian free speech advocate Paul Fromm, can be found in the Paul Fromm Cafe at White News Now.

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Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

The Stark Truth: Interview with Jim Rizoli

June 9, 2010

Jim Rizoli is an activist against illegal immigration and a creator of public access television programs from Framingham, Massachusetts. Topics include:

  • Jim’s cable access show, & how interest groups got him off the air
  • Jim’s campaign for state legislature
  • The corruption of the political system
  • The current illegal immigration situation
  • The motivation for the Jewish community’s support for immigration, multiculturalism, & double standards
  • How America’s policies of interventionism and mass immigration will lead to its collapse like the Roman Empire

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Contact Robert:
robert_stark_la hotmail.com

Jamie Kelso, Jun. 9, 2010: Mark Weber

June 9, 2010

Mark Weber, Director of the Institute for Historical Review is our guest on June 9, 2010. The IHR, based in Orange County, California, has been defying political correctness for decades in its inquiries into historical truth. What the IHR’s research has been pointing to for decades concerning the Israel Lobby’s control of news reporting in America has been dramatically confirmed by the booting of Helen Thomas by her own lifetime liberal colleagues this week. Helen Thomas’s career, spanning the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama was terminated for speaking even two sentences of truth about Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in the same week as the mind-boggling lethal attack by Israelis against two totally humanitarian aid convoys to Gaza.

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Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

The Sunic Journal: Interview with Keith Preston

June 8, 2010

Keith Preston

Topics include:

  • Pan-secessionism as the visionary tactic for detaching organically constituted communities from the Global-Bureaucratic Empire
  • National Anarchism and its importance as a growing movement
  • The need for communities to regain their innate sense of self-determination
  • The mind and life of the legendary Warrior-Intellectual Ernst Junger
  • Junger’s warrior ethos as a means for creating a truly free man

About Keith Preston

To learn more about Keith and his ideas for “Pan-secessionism Against the Empire” please explore his website Attack the System. You can download his award-winning essay “Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy” here. Keith has also written interesting and insightful essays for the Alternative Right.

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Contact Tom:
tom.sunic hotmail.com

Jamie Kelso, Jun. 8, 2010

June 8, 2010

The astonishing spectacle of the Washington, D.C. “press” corps banishing their most senior fellow liberal, Helen Thomas, merely for having said privately that Israelis “should get the hell out of Palestine”, is the opening subject of the June 8, 2010 Jamie Kelso program. Every journalist and every journalism student in America surely shed thereby any lingering personal doubt he or she may have had about the scope of Israel Lobby control over the American press. Helen Thomas, 89 years old, having covered every White House from Kennedy to Obama from her exclusive front seat rank has now joined banished Congressman Paul Findley and those whom he titled (in the book of the same name) “They Dare To Speak Out” (http://www.cnionline.org/). Interestingly, Findley mentions in his own commentary on the Helen Thomas expulsion that she addressed him as “They Dare To Speak Out” Findley when the two met for the first time in 2009 at a Council for the National Interest event in Illinois.

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Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

The Heretics’ Hour: Interview with Ray Goodwin

June 7, 2010

Ray Goodwin

Carolyn Yeager & Ray Goodwin discuss:

  • Ray’s nationalism & association with The Barnes Review
  • The Neanderthals & monotheism
  • Elie Wiesel’s call to criminalize holo denial
  • Rizoli brothers update

About Ray Goodwin

Ray Goodwin is a writer, singer, political nationalist, and former college instructor of American history. He is on the Barnes Review Board of Contributing Editors, been guest speaker at several nationalist conferences, and has delivered talks to Sons of Confederate Veterans in San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Victoria, Texas. He is a life-long resident of Texas.

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Contact Carolyn:
carolyn carolynyeager.com

Jamie Kelso, Jun. 07, 2010: James Edwards

June 7, 2010

Radio host James Edwards is our guest on today’s show. James introduces his brand-new book, Racism Schmacism, released just this weekend at the Council of Conservative Citizens national conference in Nashville, Tennessee. At the James Edwards website, you can order your copies, including options for bulk orders and autographed copies. Jamie is getting his copy immediately, in order to talk in detail about Racism Schmacism with Mr. Edwards on future programs.

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Contact Jamie:
24.7keyboard gmail.com

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