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Thanks to Unions, Hostess out of Business

Adults at Hostess Give Reality Lesson to Obama’s Union Children

This is the end of Hostess Bakery Company. It was started in 1930 and died a few days after Barack Obama was reelected. The smiles have barely left the faces of his supporters, and now thousands of them across the country are being fired and laid-off.
 
“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike. Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.” With these 45 words the world has been turned upside down for “proud and determined” union members who were going to “show Hostess how things will be from now on.”
 
Instead they got a smack across the nose and a clear lesson about how an economy really works. These 18,500 people have been led into a strike they never had a chance of winning. They foolishly believe Obamanomics works because their leaders told them so. Commies and union leaders lie.
 
The unions involved were thoroughly warned that a strike would mean the end of Hostess, but alas they didn’t care. They had just reelected their president – so what could go wrong? Hostess would be forced to remain in business to provide them with jobs – wouldn’t they?
 
Because they are liberal Democrats these people know nothing about how wealth is created, and don’t really care. All they know is if you have wealth they will find a way to take it. They are child-like in their understanding of wealth. They are like five year olds who don’t believe “mommy has no money” because they saw a ten dollar bill in her purse.
 
There are those who will rejoice over these layoffs which come just in time for Thanksgiving. The far Left wants to keep rocking America until she is upended and has to be redesigned. They are just as clueless as the union thugs. In the short run things will be very bad, but the one thing we have that they don’t understand is the American Spirit. America may fall but she won’t be down for long. We understand this and they don’t, but they will sooner rather than later.

From HERE.

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A new White House petition wants President Obama to nationalize the “Twinkie industry,” saving the popular junk food from possible extinction.

“We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center,” a petition on the White House “We the People” website requests.

Hostess Brands Inc. — maker of the Twinkie, the Ding Dong and Wonder Bread — is preparing to shutter operations amid a labor strike and rising costs. Unionized workers rejected a major pay and benefit cut, sparking the latest strike.

Labor leaders say the standoff represents “Bain-style” vulture capitalism — a reference to former GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s private equity firm.

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a Friday statement.

A full shutdown of the company could result in as many as 18,000 job losses – though it’s possible a buyer could be found for some of its dozens of brands.

The White House petition was posted Friday. It needs 25,000 signatures to generate an official White House response.

From Politico (I am no longer going to link to them).

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Israel strikes back

From the NY Post:

Israeli tanks and troops may at any moment enter the Gaza Strip, inaugurating a ground war that makes no sense except for the fact that Hamas is insisting on it.

Hamas shattered two years of relative calm last weekend when it began rocketing Israel’s southern cities. Yesterday, it killed three Israeli civilians — and Iranian-made missiles fired from Gaza exploded in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.

Hamas is begging for it.

It may get it.

No nation — not the United States or any other — can reasonably be expected to put up with the daily hail of fire that erupts from Gaza.

So Israel perforce retaliated Wednesday, killing Hamas’ top commander and hitting another 340 targets in Gaza, aiming to militarily degrade the terrorist mini-state and weaken Hamas’ hold there.

But so far, Israel says its action has been “surgical and restrained,” targeting terror leaders and launching sites for short-range unguided rockets and the longer-range missiles supplied by Iran.

So far, Israel hasn’t aimed at arms Hamas hides in schools, mosques and hospitals.

So far, Israel has mobilized troops, but is holding off on a full-scale ground assault.

That could change.

For if Israel decides — for whatever reasons — that it must clean out the rat’s nest in Gaza and ensure the safety of its citizens, the only fair question is: What took so long?

Hamas hides itself among Palestinian civilians, inviting attacks on the very people it claims to represent. Which means the group is responsible for every Palestinian civilian injured in Israel’s operation.

And doubly responsible for the Israeli civilians its attacks maim and kill.

Which is why the United States must support Israel as it does what’s necessary to ensure its security — whether that means surgical strikes or a messier fight on the ground.

The opening moves earned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu widespread support in Israel: Even his rivals agree that he had to take out Ahmed al-Jaabari, the Hamas military chief.

We hope the Obama administration is as supportive in days to come. White House spokesman Jay Carney hit the right notes yesterday on Israel’s “right to self-defense” — but time will tell whether President Obama has Israel’s back if and when the battle escalates.

The current engagement is a microcosm of the larger fight: Israel goes after terrorists with pinpoint accuracy, doing its all to avoid civilian casualties.

Hamas fires hundreds of rockets — many of them simply unaimable — trying randomly to kill civilians.

Signs are that Israel doesn’t intend to draw down. Tens of thousands of reservists are being called up, and Netanyahu says he’s “prepared to expand” the initial assault.

Eradicating Hamas is a generational struggle, not something that can be brought about with an incursion lasting mere days.

But we hope more Hamas terrorists meet their maker in the meantime. A Gaza that is rid of Hamas will be better for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

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Are you all ready for this at your local watering hole?

Captive Media, the UK-based company behind a pee-controlled gaming system, is set to bring its technology to the US after securing $700k worth of funding.

We first reported on Captive Media’s pee-controlled urinal-based video game technology exactly a year ago, with the firm at the time trialing them in UK bars to see if it’d make a splash with peeing punters there.

It evidently did. The latest news is that the firm has secured $700,000 in early-stage funding to help take the high-tech urinals beyond European shores, with a US launch likely at some point in the near future.

The latest investment comes from six groups, including Cambridge-based technology fund Martlet and tech investor Mike Ullmann of Prodigy Finance.

The technology comprises a 12-inch LCD screen that fits just above the urinal and an infrared beam that detects the direction of a user’s pee. New urinals aren’t required, and few alterations are made to the existing ones, so it’s really just a matter of fitting the screens.

more

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How Dead Is the Book Business?

When you see a merger between two giants in a declining industry, it can look like the financial version of a couple having a baby to save a marriage. At least that was my thought when Random House and Penguin, two of the world’s six largest publishers, announced that they were coming together last month. Ever since Amazon began ripping apart the book business, the largest houses have been looking for a way to fight back. If this merger is any indication, they have chosen an old-fashioned strategy: Size.

A combined Penguin-Random House, which would control a quarter of the global book market, is a conglomerate designed to take on another giant, though it’s not exactly a fair fight. Because the new entity will only have about a twelfth of Amazon’s annual sales, most observers expect that this is just the beginning of a series of mergers — like those in the music business — that will take the Big Six publishers down to the Big Three and perhaps one day even the Big One. As John Makinson, Penguin’s chief executive, told The Times, “We decided it was better to get in early rather than be a follower.” The question is whether this strategy will work.

Read MORE.

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Benghazi and Willful Sharia Blindness

A failure to recognize the motives of sharia supporters left the U.S. caught off-guard by a terror attack. Again.

(Note: This speech from Andrew Bostom was part of the panel discussion “U.S. Foreign Policy and the Influence of Shariah Doctrine” at The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, Hillsdale College, Washington, D.C., on November 13, 2012.)

J.B. Matthews, who renounced a career as a Communist front operative to become one of the world’s foremost anti-Communist authorities on such groups, observed in his 1938 Odyssey of a Fellow Traveler:

“It cannot be denied that Communists and their sympathizers object not only to a denunciation of Communism but also to a calm and critical examination of its principles and practices. Strange as it may seem, Communists denounce those who merely cite the things of which Communists themselves openly boast in their own public statements.”

Matthews’ observations from nearly 75 years ago are apposite to the discussion today because he captures the shared reactions by both advocates of, and apologists for, two totalitarian ideological systems which are eerily similar: modern Communism and still unreformed, pre-modern Islam. Indeed, a humorist contemporary of Matthews had cogently highlighted the striking similarities between Islam and Communism, referring to the Communist creed with this aphorism:

“There is no G-d, and Karl Marx is his prophet.”

Alas, in our present stultifying era, which increasingly demands only a hagiographic view of Islam, even such witty, illuminating aphorisms may become verboten. Witness President Obama’s stern warning during his Tuesday, September 25, 2012, speech to the UN General Assembly, when he proclaimed:

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

The travails in Libya — and among the broader Muslim Middle Eastern participants in the Orwellian-named “Arab Spring” — demonstrate graphically how enforcing bowdlerized views of Islam, which ignore Islamic doctrine and history, engenders a policy debacle.

First I will summarize the salient features of Sharia, Islamic law, and its appeal as demonstrated by recent polling data from Libya’s North African Muslim neighbors, Morocco and Egypt. Then I will trace briefly how what my colleague Diana West has aptly termed our “Making the World Safe for Sharia” policymaking mindset operated, and continues to prevail, in Libya.

Derived from Islam’s most important canonical texts — the Koran and hadith — and their interpretation and codification by Islam’s greatest classical legists, Sharia, Islamic law, is not merely holistic in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion to personal hygiene to the governance of a Muslim minority community, an Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order. Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, Sharia’s liberty-crushing and dehumanizing political aspects feature: open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties — including freedom of conscience and speech — enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.

But is this ancient, brutally oppressive totalitarian system still popular amongst the Muslim masses, particularly within North Africa? In a word, “yes.”

Polling data were released April 24, 2007, from a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/WorldPublicOpinion.org interview survey of Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006, and February 15, 2007. Seventy-one percent of the 1000 Moroccans, and 67% of the 1000 Egyptians surveyed, desired this outcome: “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate.” The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate was strongly suggested by a concordant result. Seventy-six percent of Moroccan Muslims and 74% of Egyptian Muslims approved of the proposition: “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Sharia law in every Islamic country.”

Libyan “rebel” spokesperson Mustafa Abduljalil, born in 1952 in Al Baida, one of the first cities to rise against Qaddafi, studied law and Islamic jurisprudence in Benghazi before embarking on a legal career that culminated in his appointment in 2007 as Qaddafi’s “minister of justice.” A foreboding Wikileaks memo from February 27, 2010, revealed:

“In the course of the discussion of the Criminal Code, Abduljalil abruptly changed the subject from freedom of speech to the ‘Libyan people’s concern about the U.S. government’s support for Israel.’ He averred that Libya cares deeply about Muslims everywhere, and about Muslim countries. In his view, the root cause of terrorism stems from the perception that Europe and the U.S. are against Muslims.”

By August of 2011, Abduljalil’s “vision” for Libya was apparent in his championing of Libya’s draft constitution whose salient feature was Part 1, Article 1, which stated:

“Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”

Following Qaddafi’s removal, a Sunday October 23, 2011 pronouncement by Abduljalil, now the leader of Libya’s Transitional Council, reiterated the overarching general role of Sharia, and included this specific example:

“He [Abduljalil] also announced the annulment of an existing [secular] family law that limits the number of wives [a] Libyan [male] can take, contradicting the provision in the Muslim holy book, the Quran (i.e., Koran 4:3), that allows men up to four wives.”

Thus “liberated” Libya appeared bent on reinstituting Sharia-based polygamy, in pious conformity with Koran 4:3.

Simultaneously, in late October 2011 reporter Sherif Elhelwa confirmed that the al-Qaeda flag was aloft on the Benghazi courthouse. Several months later during a trip to Libya in early 2012, Elhelwa noted the al-Qaeda flag was still flying atop Benghazi’s courthouse, but more importantly, he ventured to the jihadist flashpoint of Eastern Libya, Derna, to expose Libya’s Sharia enforcers. Unofficial Derna leader and local al-Qaeda head Abdel Hakim Al-Hasadi proclaimed:

“If you establish the Sharia, we’re with you. We’re your soldiers. We’re ready to die alongside you if you establish Sharia law.”

Al-Qaeda in Libya: A PROFILE” was an August 2012 report prepared by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, a Pentagon program office, within a month of the murderous 9/11/12 attacks which left 4 dead: U.S. Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens, two heroic former U.S. Navy Seals (Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods), and a U.S. Air Force veteran (Sean Smith). The report emphasized how al-Qaeda senior leadership working via a large, powerful, and well-established jihadist infrastructure in Libya – including, prominently, Ansar al-Sharia, the group believed responsible for the Benghazi consulate attack – sought to capitalize on the U.S. and NATO-supported insurrection which toppled the Libyan despot Qaddafi and to fulfill its goal of making Libya part of an eventual transnational caliphate.

A sizable, ominous Ansar al-Sharia public rally during June 2012 was highlighted in the August 2012 Pentagon report, which also noted the unwillingness of Libya’s Sharia-supporting central government to contend with these ostensibly “more radical” avatars of Sharia supremacism. With resigned sobriety, the Pentagon report emphasized how such jihadist/al-Qaeda discourse resonates among a significant swath of the Libyan population. Finally, the Pentagon report’s EXECUTIVE SUMMARY raises serious questions about the callous inattention to security for U.S. diplomatic and ancillary personnel in Benghazi, and more importantly, the abysmal “See No Sharia” failure of imagination regarding overall U.S. policy in Libya, which has abetted the most fanatical jihadist movement extant – al-Qaeda itself. The report concluded:

“Al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya, but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name. … Ansar al-Sharia, led by Sufian Ben Qhumu, a former Guantanamo detainee, has increasingly embodied al-Qaeda’s presence in Libya, as indicated by its active social-media propaganda, extremist discourse, and hatred of the West, especially the United States. Al-Qaeda adherents in Libya used the 2011 Revolution to establish well-armed, well-trained, and combat-experienced militias. … The al-Qaeda clandestine network is currently in an expansion phase, running training camps and media campaigns on social-media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube. However, it will likely continue to mask its presence under the umbrella of the Libyan Salafist movement, with which it shares a radical ideology and a general intent to implement sharia in Libya and elsewhere.”

And one of the apparent U.S. avatars of this grossly misbegotten policy is now its most prominent victim cum “martyr” — namely, Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Diana West brought to my attention two profoundly disturbing classified cables written by Stevens during 2008, which capture this warped mindset. Stevens made a pilgrimage to Eastern Libyan Derna, the longstanding, proud hotbed of jihad which was a hub of the aggressive late 18th through early 19th century North African Barbary jihad campaigns against the U.S. Moreover, even in the absence of strict Sharia compliance, anthropologist Evans-Pritchard’s 1949 characterization revealed how the Muslim Bedouin of Eastern Libya “compensated” for their less than assiduous fulfillment of the ritual requirements of Islam by their zealous commitment to jihad. Here is Evans-Pritchard’s description:

“It would [also] be a questionable judgment to assert that the Bedouin of Cyrenaica [Eastern Libya] are not religious because they do not pay the same attention to outward ritual as do townspeople and peasants, for piety and holiness, as we have often been admonished, are not the same. … Perhaps the Bedouin make up for their shortcomings by their enthusiasm for the jihad, holy war against unbelievers. They consider that they have fulfilled their obligation under this head in ample measure by their long and courageous fight, formally declared a holy war by the Caliph of Islam, against the Italians, French, and British. A Bedouin once said to me when I remarked how rarely I had seen Bedouin at prayer: ‘(But) we fast and wage holy war.’”

The 2008 cables reveal a Stevens cavorting with the very Libyan Muslim denizens of Derna who were proudly sending their sons to be homicide bombers, etc., in Iraq attacking, and killing or grievously wounding U.S. troops there, at the highest per capita rate of any location in Islamdom. One memo is more than sympathetic to this hotbed of jihadism, it is almost reverent (Stevens repeats uncritically their self-characterization as being like Bruce Willis in the movie Die Hard — even titling his cable as “Diehard in Derna”) — and one can perhaps see, as Diana West suggests, the germ of the idea for the strategy ultimately employed to overthrow Qaddafi spearheaded by jihadists like Stevens’ “colleagues” in Derna.

The horrific, depressing spectacle of our great nation’s willing exploitation by violent Sharia supremacists brings to mind a remarkably candid assessment by the 18th century Moroccan Sufi “master” Ibn Ajibah from his Koranic commentary, a work I was made aware of by my colleague, Dr. Mark Durie. Describing unabashedly the purpose of the humiliating Koranic poll tax of submission for non-Muslims brought under Islamic hegemony by jihad (who become so-called “dhimmis,” as per Koran 9:29), Ibn Ajibah makes clear the ultimate goal of its imposition was to achieve what he called the death of the “soul,” through the dhimmis’ execution of their own humanity:

“[The dhimmi] is commanded to put his soul, good fortune and desires to death. Above all he should kill the love of life, leadership and honor. [The dhimmi] is to invert the longings of his soul, he is to load it down more heavily than it can bear until it is completely submissive. Thereafter nothing will be unbearable for him. He will be indifferent to subjugation or might. Poverty and wealth will be the same to him; praise and insult will be the same; preventing and yielding will be the same; lost and found will be the same. Then, when all things are the same, it [the soul] will be submissive and yield willingly what it should give.”

Cynically ignoring Sharia doctrines and practices that permanently endanger the life, liberty, and property of non-Muslims, U.S. policymakers — epitomized by the murdered Libyan Ambassador Stevens — have sacrificed U.S. lives, and our nation’s soul.

From PJ Media.

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The Ukrainian Ovcharka, also called the South Russian Ovcharka, was first seen in the Ukraine during the 1800s as a livestock guard. The dog was said to have faithfully protected sheep from wolves, bears or even thieves. The breed gradually migrated into Russia where, due to its strong territorial instinct, it was used as a guard dog by the Army.

Although the exact roots of the breed are unclear, there are theories that this dog is a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff. Another theory says that small sheepdogs were used to drive Merino sheep from Spain to the Ukraine, and later on these dogs crossed with local breeds. Whichever theory is true, today the breed is extremely rare outside of Ukraine and Russia.

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US pension insurer runs record $34B deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency that insures pensions for more than 40 million Americans last year ran the widest deficit in its 38-year history.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Friday that its deficit grew to $34 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a $26 billion shortfall in the previous year.

Pension obligations grew by $12 billion to $119 billion last year. Assets used to cover those obligations increased by only $4 billion to $85 billion.

The agency has now run deficits for 10 straight years. The gap has grown wider in recent years because the weak economy has triggered more corporate bankruptcies and failed pension plans.

If the trend continues, the agency could struggle to pay benefits without an infusion of taxpayer funds.

Agency Director Josh Gotbaum said continued deficits “will ultimately threaten” the PBGC’s ability to pay pension benefits to retired workers.

“There’s no imminent threat that we’re going to stop cutting checks,” Gotbaum said during a conference call with reporters. However, he said, Congress must act “long before 10 years from now” to increase the insurance premiums that companies pay to the agency.

The Obama administration has proposed raising the premiums and tailoring them to the size of companies and their level of financial risk. Under the plan, bigger companies and those at greater risk of failing would pay larger premiums. The fees haven’t been raised in six years.

Read more HERE.

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