Egypt’s President Visits China, Seeks Stronger Economic Ties

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is in Beijing this week for a two-day state visit that analysts say will focus largely on investment and ways China can help Egypt revitalize its economy.

In China, the arrival of President Mohammed Morsi is being seen as an effort by Egypt’s new leader to forge closer ties with Beijing and highlight what some analysts argue is the growing importance of China’s role in the Middle East.

“Many people, many governments in the world, want to guess the future direction of the Egyptian political situation and his [Morsi’s] policy,” explained Shi Yinhong, a political science professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “It’s remarkable that for his first foreign visit he chose China.”

Shi says one reason why Morsi may have come to China for his first visit outside of the Middle East is because he wants to take a more balanced approach to foreign relations and set himself apart from his ousted predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

Shi believes that Egypt’s new leader wants to give countries in Asia a better sense of his policies. But above all else, he adds, the key focus will be on ways China can help boost Egypt’s economy.

“The Egyptian economic situation is very poor and I think that he will want to attract some Chinese economic assistance, investment or trade,” Shi added.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency says Chinese companies can help Morsi carry out his plan to revitalize the Egyptian economy by cooperating in a wide range of fields including industry, energy, tourism and technology, and providing Egypt with both experience and capital.

Egypt’s president will attend a meeting with business leaders while in Beijing and meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao. During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign agreements on several major cooperation projects.

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The DNC Embraces Radical Islam

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 4 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you look at the list of scheduled speakers, you will quickly realize that the convention is more of a liberal progressive convention than anything else.

But were you aware that the Democratic National Convention will open with a focus on Islam.  Just prior to the DNC in Charlotte, about 20,000 Muslims are expected to attend according to the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), the national Muslim American non-profit coordinating the two days of events they claim are non-political.

Jumah at the DNC” will start with a Friday afternoon jummah prayer followed by other unnamed programs and events, leading up to the Islamic Regal Banquet. The following day will be an all day Islamic Cultural and Fun Fest which will include discussions on the topics of Islamaphobia, Anti-Shariah, Middle Eastern Crisis, Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization Act and more. The purpose, according to BIMA, is to attract national and international attention to the plight of American Muslims and to hold political parties accountable for issues that affect them.  The overall event is planned for Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1.

However, not all Muslims feel that BIMA represents them and M. Zuhdi Jasser M.D., Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has expressed serious concerns.

It is troubling that the Democratic National Convention has decided to promote and lend its name and national political platform to the organizers of the “Jummah at the DNC”. The leaders of this event – Jibril Hough and Imam Siraj Wahhaj as advertised are no moderates. They are radicals. These individuals embrace Islamist supremacy and have demonstrated support for radical ideologies.

A quick Google search by the DNC would have shown them that Hough and Wahhaj are leaders in the separatist American Islamist movement. While they may be able to get a few thousand Muslims to attend the event, they are NOT going to be mainstream Muslims. Most will likely come from Hough and Wahhaj’s radical networks that have long been entrenched in the Charlotte area. Make no mistake they are part of the Islamist movement.

BIMA spokesman, Jibril Hough’s mosque, the Islamic Center of Charlotte, is owned by a Muslim Brotherhood group, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror funding case, which is the largest terror finance case in U.S. history. When confronted about this on a radio show, Hough first professed not to be aware of the charges against NAIT, and then refused to disavow the organization, saying only that he himself was “not necessarily” a member of NAIT and: “I was not involved in the decision to allow NAIT to be the [title] holder.”

Imam Siraj Wahhaj is the imam of a mosque in Brooklyn, New York has been tied to Muslim terrorists. He served as a character witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the man convicted of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Some authorities believe Wahhaj may actually have been a co-conspirator in the bombing, but has not been charged with anything yet. A number of sources report that when asked what he thought of America, Wahhaj responded: “a garbage can… filthy, filthy and sick;” He was also quoted in 1995 as saying that it is the duty of Muslims to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Quran.

How BIMA gained access to the DNC is more of a mystery. Muhammad Heshaam Jaaber, the Executive Director, Jibril Hough, spokesman, and Captain James Yusuf Yee, BIMA National Representative for the DNC are the only publicly identified members and each one appears to be connected to U.S. Representative Keith Ellison; the first Muslim ever to be elected to Congress and a former supporter of Louis Farrakhan.

If Ellison is the link between BIMA and the DNC, then can it be said that, not only does he not mind the questionable associations of those within the organization, but also the other speakers they will be bringing in?

The DNC is so very immersed in their belief in multiculturalism that they have welcomed with open arms Islamic extremists that declare that America will fall unless America “accepts the Islamic agenda.” They have asserted that “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”

This is not about their right of assembly. This is about the DNC calling this an “official function.” This is about the fact that the DNC has listed the Islamists attending the DNC function as ‘typical’ of the DNC community. And this is about this organization speaking out as representing supposedly typical American Muslims.

Considering the fact that the DNC rejected a Catholic bishop’s request to pray at their convention but they have given their blessing to this Jummah in Charlotte, it should reveal to everyone just what the Democratic platform really is.

It will be interesting to see if what Barack Obama calls “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset,” the Muslim call to prayer will, ‘insha’Allah,’ end the first day of the kickoff to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte.

If that is who the DNC is consorting with then all Americans should be concerned.

Some Clear Thinking On the Debt

If you haven’t heard yet, the United States of America just hit $16 trillion in debt. On a gross, nominal basis, this makes the US, by far, the greatest debtor in the history of the world.

It took the United States government over 200 years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt. It took only 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion dollars of debt. 200 years vs. 286 days. This portends two key points:

1. Anyone who thinks that inflation doesn’t exist is a complete idiot;
2. To say that the trend is unsustainable is a massive understatement.

At an average interest rate of 2.130%, Uncle Sam will shuffle $340 billion out the door just in interest payments this year… and it’s a number that’s only going up. To put it in context, China owns so much US debt that the INTEREST INCOME they receive from the Treasury Department is nearly enough to fund their entire military budget.

It’s rather disgusting when you think about it.

Yet when you look at the raw numbers, there is no sign of improvement anywhere on the horizon. Last year, the Treasury Department brought in about $2.3 trillion in tax revenue. They spent $2.9 trillion JUST on -mandatory- programs like Social Security and Medicare, plus the very sacrosanct defense budget.

In other words, the US government was $600 billion dollars in the hole before paying a dime of interest on the debt, or paying the light bill at the White House. In fact the government’s own numbers reflect a budget deficit through the end of the decade, i.e. the debt level is only going to get higher. These are their own figures.

In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was facing a similar debt crisis. In just 11-years, the Ottoman central government went from spending 17% of its tax revenue on interest payments, to spending over 52% of its tax revenue on interest payments. Then came default. Eleven years. The US is at 15% right now. How long will it take for the interest burden to become unbearable?

History is full of examples of superpowers bucking under the weight of their debt. This is not the first time that it’s happened, and it won’t be the last.

Sovereign debt is a giant confidence game. Investors buy bonds on the belief that governments can (and will) pay. When that confidence is chipped away, the cost of capital becomes debilitating. And people tend to notice a $16 trillion debt burden.

This is banana republic stuff, plain and simple… and smart, thinking people ought to be planning on capital controls, wage and price controls, pension confiscation, and selective default. Because the next trillion will be here before you know it.

This article was originally posted by Simon Black at www.SovereignMan.com.

City of Phoenix Prohibits Group From Giving Free Water to The Thirsty

Ms Crow-Smith was passing out bottles like this one shown when told the gesture was in violation of a city code with her not having a permit

On an Arizona day when temperatures reached 112 degrees, a group of Christians were handing out cold water for free and offering to engage in religious conversation when they were approached by a “Neighborhood Preservation Inspector” who told them they could not give out water without a permit.

Dana Crow-Smith said a City of Phoenix worker came up to her during the First Friday festival in downtown Phoenix last month and told her she was violating city code by handing out free water.

Crow-Smith and a group of others were there exercising their Christian beliefs by engaging people to talk about religion if they were interested.

The group brought several cases of bottled water to give away in the 112-degree heat, but said the city official told the group they had to stop handing out the water or would be cited.

“It was really hot and yeah we wanted to show God’s love and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone’s throat,” said Crow-Smith.

The city worker who ordered her to stop did so because she lacked a vendor’s permit, which is required for selling “anything of value” on a Phoenix sidewalk. The fact that she was giving away the water, not selling it, wasn’t lost on The Rutherford Institute , a non-profit civil liberties organization, that promptly took up her case.

Lawyers from Rutherford call this is “a violation of Crow-Smith’s First Amendment right to freely exercise her religion, her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, as well as Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act.”

John Whitehead

“It is a sad day when local government officials prohibit Americans from such charitable acts as giving water to the thirsty in their city,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

In a letter to the city , Whitehead demanded the City issue a formal, written apology to Crow-Smith, assure her no City officials will interfere in future with her distribution of water, and require City workers go through training on the proper enforcement of the City’s code.

If the Phoenix city government fails to do so, notes the Daily Mail, it may lead to a lawsuit.

Dana Crow-Smith

But Crow-Smith said she hopes to avoid a lawsuit and just wants to be able to hand out water.

“But I don’t think it’s even about religious beliefs. I think anybody should be able to giveaway water on the sidewalk to anybody. It’s hot and it’s a nice thing to do,” said Crow-Smith.

At the time of this writing, there has been no response to The Rutherford Institute letter from the city of Phoenix.

DHS Orders Over a Half Ton of High Explosives

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) placed a solicitation by way of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) for 700 pounds of High Density Ammonium Nitrate and 700 pounds of A-5 Flake RDX with a delivery date of August 31, 2012.

For those of you who do not know, these are the ingredients to build a makeshift bomb.

Why would the DHS/TSA order such material? From their Statement of Work:

Name of Requisitioning Office: National Canine Program (NCP)/ Canine Explosives Section (CES)

SECTION II: Purpose

Scope of the Product, Service, or Outcome:
The CES requires the 700 pounds of High Density Ammonium Nitrate and 700 pounds of A-5 Flake RDX to provide Canine Explosive Training Aids (CETAs) to NCP participants. The supplier must be able to meet the exact requirements by August 31st, 2012. Substituions for this product are not acceptable

SECTION III: Background

The CES is required to provide NCP participants with CETAs. The CES has selected to use High Density Ammonium Nitrate and A-5 Flake RDX as it will provide NCP participants with a more realistic training aid and compliment the current aids provided.

This all comes on the heels of a solicitation for sheet style high powered plastic explosives.

The problem is very clear. As stated in the ATF Law Enforcement Guide to Explosives Incident Reporting document:

In order to detonate ammonium nitrate, the use of a booster is required. Commercially, Pentolite and RDX are used as a booster, while the military will often use TNT as the booster.

Instead of using a poor quality analog (aka hamburger) for Ammonium Nitrate to train dogs, they are requesting High Density, or the Kobe Beef of Ammonium Nitrate (AN). And in order to detonate the AN, RDX is used. The Department of Homeland Security is requesting BOTH components of a binary explosive compound to be delivered to a government facility in downtown Atlantic City, New Jersey.

To put the amount of explosives into perspective, Timothy McVeigh used 5,000 pounds of AN and motor racing fuel. RDX has a much greater explosive capacity than racing fuel, and McVeigh was a party to mass murder and destruction that would be on par with these materials being detonated.

The project claims it is for “Canine Explosive Training Aids”. One wonders what they need with over half a ton of explosive nitrates to train dogs.  If a dog needed only 1 ounce of each material in order to be trained and tested, there is enough material for 11,200 dogs at the same time.

Congress gave oversight to DHS of procurement of ammonium nitrate after requesting they “regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate by an ammonium nitrate facility…to prevent the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism.”

Just hours after the story of the request by the Department of Homeland Security / Transportation Safety Administration was originally published by PPRN News, Jacob Goodwin, Editor-in-Chief of Government Security News released an article explaining how innocuous and safe this request is.

The invitation to bid is a 100% small business set-aside opportunity, and prospective vendors have until August 13 to submit their bids. Delivery of the explosives, which must be packed in bags, is required within 15 days, says the TSA notice.

The RDX and ammonium nitrate will be sent to the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ.

‘TSA’s National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program prepares dogs and handlers to serve on the front lines of America’s War on Terror,’ says the agency’s Website. ‘These very effective, mobile teams can quickly locate and identify dangerous materials that may present a threat to transportation systems. Just as important, they can quickly rule out the presence of dangerous materials in unattended packages, structures or vehicles, allowing the free and efficient flow of commerce.’

Several new issues have come to light.

First and foremost, the solicitation has been removed from the list of DHS requests. Simply putting the solicitation in the FBO search engine, or RDX or Ammonium Nitrate will fail to yield any results.

Secondly, one of the most troubling aspects of the request is the amount of time that the company must deliver the material. The bid opened on 8 August, and closes 5 days later. Typically, bids run much longer and materials are usually due within sixty days after the close of the bid. But this bid closes next Monday, the 13th, and must be delivered within eighteen days after that. The speed to complete this request could be justified if the solicitation was being made at the end of the fiscal year, in September. But that is still seven weeks away. Haste makes waste. What does the DHS/TSA plan on laying waste to?

And finally, history again serves as our teacher. Further reading has found that many times in recent memory the amounts of explosives used in terror attacks around the world have been approximately one half ton, the amount suited to fill a small minivan. India, Afghanistan, and other terror-cell laden nations have had their peace breached by the use of high explosives.

Not surprisingly, according to our federal government there is nothing to worry about.

Right!

Now we know who submitted the winning bid.

According to the firm’s website, it specializes in supporting Federal, State and local governments and the private sector “in securing the homeland.” It has a rapid response team trained in firearms and security; and it provides consulting, training and legal services.

It is not a manufacturer of fertilizer or explosives. They employ a network of former ATF, Customs, DEA, FBI, ICE, IRS and Secret
Service agents, as well as noted experts on homeland security, executive protection, vulnerability assessments and critical infrastructure protection.

This is obviously another case of cronyism. It’s rampant in Washington, where people work for government or get elected to Congress and then leave to make money off their connections.

174 Hidden ACORN Chapters Still Exist

After the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) shuttered in 2010, a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief.  However, if you think ACORN is gone, a new report suggests that you are severely mistaken.

The Washington Examiner reports that the nonprofit Cause of Action has uncovered 174 different cases of ACORN chapters still operating, with minuscule efforts to cover up their true nature. The list of those 174 organizations is here.

How does Cause for Action know they’re ACORN fronts? The Examiner explains:

The connections between these groups and the old ACORN groups include: having the same physical location, sharing leadership or staff or having the same tax ID number. “For some of these groups, all they did was legally change their name. Nothing else changed. The corporate structure, leadership and staff are the same,” said Karen Groen Olea, Cause of Action’s chief counsel.

And despite this arguably extremely lazy approach to rebranding, at least one of the problems surrounding the original ACORN is popping up again – namely, that some of the organizations listed are now getting Federal funding. Specifically, the Affordable Housing Centers of America and the Mutual Housing Association of New York.

Whether that funding will continue is anyone’s guess, now that the actual nature of these groups has been uncovered.

I want to be a crony

Finally, someone has seized upon what I think is THE winning narrative in this election cycle.

It used to be that if you worked hard enough you could be successful in America.  The path to success in America used to be the private sector, but what are our children learning today?  But these days, it’s all about the team you are on, not the work you do.

The website Crony Chronicles has put up a video that I think needs to be run all over the country.