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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

THE LATEST NEW YORK TIMES IDIOTORIAL ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest New York Times idiotorial on the Middle East...this one talking about the breakdown of "peace talks", such as they were, between Israel and Palestinian Arabs.

The idiotorial is in rust, my comments are in blue:

The Middle East, Time to Move On

By THE EDITORIAL BOARDAPRIL 14, 2014 

The pointless arguing over who brought Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to the brink of collapse is in full swing. Great start. What's the difference who torpedoed the talks? Hillary Clinton-speak in full bloom. The United States is still working to salvage the negotiations, but there is scant sign of serious purpose. It is time for the administration to lay down the principles it believes must undergird a two-state solution, should Israelis and Palestinians ever decide to make peace. Then President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should move on and devote their attention to other major international challenges like Ukraine. Here we agree, at least in principle: if there is no hope for peace at this time, concentrate more on other areas of foreign policy. On the other hand, since this woefully incompetent administration has been a disaster on virtually all of those areas over the last five years, maybe it would be better to just spin wheels in the middle east.

Among those principles should be: a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with borders based on the 1967 lines; mutually agreed upon land swaps that allow Israel to retain some settlements while compensating the Palestinians with land that is comparable in quantity and quality; I agree with this only because, on a practical basis, any logical settlement would keep Israel a Jewish state and the Palestinian Arab territories Arab. But never forget that the "borders" being discussed here were between Israel and Egypt (Gaza) and Israel and Jordan (Judea/Samaria, also known as the west bank). Palestinian Arabs never had control of any land, thus never had any borders. Ironically, whatever they have now was given to them not by Egypt or Jordan, but by Israel. and agreement that Jerusalem will be the capital of the two states. WHY? Why should Israel hand any part of its capital city to Palestinian Arabs? Because they demand it? If that's the criterion, I assume Israel has a few demands of its own.

Perhaps the Obama administration's effort to broker a deal was doomed from the start. Perhaps? In 2009, the administration focused on getting Israel to halt settlement building and ran into the obstinacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and resistance from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to entering peace talks. Here we see the Times' true slant. Israel is obstinate, and those pore ol' Palestinian Arabs are just resisting. I keep waiting for someone to explain to me why Israelis should not have a perfect right to settle on this non-sovereign land, which never was controlled by Palestinian Arabs in the first place. Would the Times like to answer that? Since then, members of Mr. Netanyahu's coalition government have tried to sabotage the talks. As Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief negotiator, told the website Ynet, "There are people in the government who don't want peace." She cited Naftali Bennett, the leader of the pro-settler party Jewish Home, and Uri Ariel, the housing minister. There you go. One activist and one cabinet minister object, therefore the entire government is on a sabotage mission. Could the Times' bias be clearer?

Mr. Obama made the right decision to give it a second try last summer, with Mr. Kerry bringing energy and determination to the negotiations. But, after nine months, it is apparent that the two sides are still unwilling to move on the core issues of the borders of a Palestinian state, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and guarantees for Israel's security.  Has The Times ever demanded that Palestinian Arabs renounce the hamas charter all of them live under (not just Gazans)? Or renounce abbas' statement that he would never recognize a Jewish state? Or demand that Palestinian Arab textbooks show Israel's existence in any form at all? Or that abbas names parks, and plazas and sporting events after "successful" terrorist murderers? Evidently none of that counts. The process broke down last month when Israel failed to release a group of Palestinian prisoners as promised and then announced 700 new housing units for Jewish settlement in a part of Jerusalem that Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state. Ahhh, that's why they broke down. Got it. Funny, though: you didn't mention that Israel had already complete three of the four rounds of releasing those prisoners, and stopped only when Palestinian Arabs, having gotten just about every tangible benefit promised to them, reneged on their part of the agreement. Evidently that doesn't count either. According to Mr. Kerry that was the "poof" moment when it all fell apart, and the Palestinians responded by applying to join 15 international conventions and treaties. An absolute lie. Again: Israel had already released the majority of those prisoners. Why do you insult our intelligence this way? Or do you assume that Times readers don't have any, or that they are as biased against Israel as you are? That move won't get them a state, but it is legal and they did not seek to join the International Criminal Court, a big fear of Israel's.

In recent days, Israel, which denounced the Palestinians for taking unilateral steps, took its own unilateral steps by announcing plans to deprive the financially strapped Palestinian Authority of about $100 million in monthly tax revenues and retroactively legalizing a 250-acre outpost in the Gush Etzion settlement, which the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said was the largest appropriation of West Bank land in years. Translation: Palestinian Arabs renege on the deal, Israel reacts to their treachery, and you equate the two. You're hopeless.

An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is morally just and essential for the security of both peoples. To achieve one will require determined and courageous leaders and populations on both sides that demand an end to the occupation. Despite the commitment of the United States, there's very little hope of that now. There was never any hope of it. Not as long as Israel wants peace and Palestinian Arabs want Israel - a reality that apparently you cannot bring yourself to see, no matter how plain they make it.

Until Israel has an actual peace partner, the "peace talks" are DOA.

But it is not a total loss.  At least it gives the New York Times an opportunity to bash Israel...which the self-haters among the paper's ownership and editorial board enthusiastically take advantage of every time.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:03 AM   1 comment

CLINGING TO THE 77% STRATEGY

Ken Berwitz

It is becoming clear that, this year, Democrats will be running - nationally, at least - on a class warfare platform.   One of its key components will be the Republican "War On Women", and one of the key issues  will be the "gender gap" - i.e. that women earn only 77% of what men earn.

You might think that this fraudulent claim has been debunked enough times by enough people so that the Obama administration would be ashamed to trot it out again.  But let's remember again that this is the Obama administration - which seems determined to elevate lying to art form status.

I just read two excellent pieces which make mincemeat of the 77% strategy.  One is from the excellent Michael Barone, and the other is from the great Thomas Sowell.  Let me give you a taste of both.

From Mr. Barone:

This isn't controversial stuff. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Christina Hoff Sommers writes in the Daily Beast, the 77 cents "does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure or hours worked per week."

Those factors are acknowledged in a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited by AEI scholars Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs in the Wall Street Journal. It shows that (a) men tend to work longer hours than women, (b) men tend to take riskier jobs with premium pay, and (c) female college graduates tend to specialize in lower-paid fields than do male college graduates.

As a result, the BLS concludes, women who worked 40-hour weeks earned 88 percent of what similar men did. Single women who never married earned 96 percent of men’s earnings.

The Democrats' problem is that sex discrimination by employers was outlawed by the Equal Pay Act signed by John Kennedy in 1963 - 51 years ago. To make "the war on women" an issue and rally single women to the polls, the Obama Democrats have had to concoct new legislation putting new burdens on small employers and ginning up business, as the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Act's extended statute of limitations did, for their trial-lawyer contributors.

Such legislation attacks a problem very largely solved. The male-female pay differential for those working at similar levels has been reduced nearly, but not quite, to the vanishing point. Remaining differences result almost entirely from personal choices by women and men.

And from Mr. Sowell (please pay special attention to the part I have put in bold print):

The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense.

It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn - and that this is because of discrimination.

It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of training and experience, as well as other things being the same. But study after study, over the past several decades, has shown repeatedly that those things are not the same.      

Constantly repeating the "77 percent" statistic does not make them the same. It simply takes advantage of many people's ignorance - something that Barack Obama has been very good at doing on many other issues.

If you use the links I've provided and read both commentaries (please do), you will find that Mr. Barone and Mr. Sowell go into greater detail on just how completely false this "statistic" actually is.

But I think Sowell hits the nail on the head with that bold-print point.  Democrats know that this is bogus.  But they need to rouse the population segments which traditionally vote more Democrat than Republican.  And one of them - in part because of strategies like this one - is single women. 

If they can be convinced of Republicans' evil intent regarding wages - something that cannot be done through real facts because, a few hopeless individual aside (not necessarily all Republicans either), there is no support for women to be paid less than men. 

Please do not take my word for this either.  I urge you to try and find it.  Name off the brand-name Republicans out there, including the most right wing of them, and search for something - anything - which shows they support the concept of women being paid less than men.  You might as well look for a herd of unicorns.

On the other hand, if Obama and his people can sell this BS, it will probably get them some votes.  And getting votes is all that matters, right? 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:18 AM   Add Comment

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from that monument to truth, honor and competency, Attorney General eric holder.

As you may be aware, holder made a speech, last week at the National Action Network (NAN) convention - NAN essentially being a front group for the career racist, Black supremacist and anti-Semite al sharpton to get a lot of publicity and make a lot of money by yawping out racial slogans, while accomplishing virtually nothing for anyone but himself.

In that speech, holder said:

"I'm pleased to note the last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.  If you don't believe that, you look at the way, forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee, has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?"

Apart from the ridiculous claim that no Attorney General or President has ever been treated worse than he and Mr. Obama, the fact that holder used those words in front of this particular group guaranteed they would be taken in racial terms - as just about everyone on both sides of the aisle immediately did.

But that is not the Quote Of The Day winner.  The winner is holder's subsequent disclaimer, which is supposed to fool us into thinking he meant no such thing:

"I didn't say there was a racial component. I was very careful not to say that"

That's right.  Attorney General holder stood in front of a NAN convention and whined that he and the President - both Black and no one else mentioned - are being subjected to unprecedented mistreatment, and claims that there was no racial component, because he "was very careful not to say that".

I have a question for eric holder: suppose a Jewish politician stood in front of a Jewish organization, and complained that he and other politicians - all Jewish - were being mistreated.  Would anyone believe for even one second that this wasn't specifically related to mistreatment of Jews - even though the words themselves were not spoken?  Would holder believe it?

I award eric holder Quote Of The Day honors for providing a classic example of weasel-wording:  i.e. making a statement that clearly communicates something, then feigning surprise when people take it that way.

Maybe someday I'll be able to give eric holder this award for something to be proud of. But, after five years of watching him in action, I can't say I'm very hopeful.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:23 AM   Add Comment

Monday, 14 April 2014

DE BLASIO BRAGGADOCIO UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

From my blog of March 12th, which quoted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio AS noting that the city's murder rate was down 21% from last year, and bragging that his policies had something to do with it:

Did he happen to notice the WEATHER in New York City for January and February?  Like the fact that it was among the most frigid and snowy January/February periods in the city's history?  Does Mayor de Blasio understand that when the weather is bad, people don't go out -- not even criminals?

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton certainly does.  To his credit, Bratton did not have the stomach to lie about those statistics the way de Blasio did.  His quote?  "Jack Frost is the best friend of a police officer". 

Bingo.  Exactly right.

Tell you what:  let's revisit the crime statistics later in the year, when criminals are more easily able to go about their, er, chosen profession, and see how they stack up then.  Fair enough?

Well, now the weather has finally started to get better.  And, instead of a 21% drop in murder versus last year, the difference is down to 7.5%:  in other words, in a matter of weeks, two-thirds of that difference is already gone.  Additionally, felonious assaults are up 5.6% versus last year, and GLA (auto theft) is up 8.5%.

Click here for all the statistics.

So how do you suppose those numbers are going to run from here on out? Expecting any more 21% drops?  I didn't think so.

Mayor de Blasio?  Any thoughts about your new policies now?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 11:57 AM   Add Comment

THE DEPORTATION LIE

Ken Berwitz

The old Saturday Evening Post used to have a regular feature called "The Perfect Squelch", in which someone responded to another person - usually an annoying other person - in a way that shut him/her up for once and for all.

In this regard, I thank Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for the following letter, which he wrote to the New York Times, in reaction to an article which made what Sessions considers palpably false claims regarding the Obama Administration's deportation policies.

No excerpts this time.  Here is the entire letter:

To the Editor:

Your article about  immigration enforcement  declares that "since President Obama took office, two-thirds of the nearly two million deportation cases involve people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all."

 But according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than half of those removals (including two-thirds last year) were apprehended at the border trying to enter the United States illegally, and were not interior deportations. 

Interior removals - true deportations - have actually declined 40 percent since 2009, according to ICE data. You therefore create the appearance of a surge in immigration enforcement against "minor" offenders. In reality, 70 percent of the criminal aliens removed from the interior of the country last year had felony convictions.

 I also take issue with your definition of "minor infractions." ICE does not allow agents to begin deportation proceedings when an alien's only other violation is a civil traffic offense; the traffic infractions characterized as "minor" involve crimes like D.U.I. or vehicular manslaughter - hardly something to be shrugged off.

JEFF SESSIONS Washington, April 8, 2014

The writer, a Republican, is a United States senator from Alabama.

Excellent.  A complete debunking of the Obama Administration's deportation lies, and a much-deserved rebuke to The New York Times for publishing them.

Do Barack Obama and his people ever tell the truth about anything?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:19 AM   1 comment

PISTORIUS: CHANNELING MICHAEL HORDERN

Ken Berwitz

Michael Hordern was an excellent stage and screen actor - excellent enough to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1983.

One of Sir Michael's best known roles was also one of his shortest:  in the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol", starring Alistair Sim, Hordern played the ghost of Jacob Marley.  Though he was on for no more than four or five minutes in total, Marley/Hordern's tormented wailing about the chains he had forged in life, and the unending agony of being fettered by them throughout eternity, was, to me, unforgettable.

But just in case there is anyone out there who did forget, no problem at all.  All you have to do is listen to oscar pistorius's contrived, phony-as-a-plastic-Rand testimony at his murder trial, and you will hear Hordern/Marley in every premeditatedly tortured word.

Doubt me?  Then click here, and start at about 17:40.  (Or, better yet, watch the entire movie, because it's a genuine classic).

maybe pistorius should change his name to plagiaristorius.  Because he apparently is very good at it. 

And, I suspect, he will have a long time in prison to further hone his skills. 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:37 AM   Add Comment

THE KANSAS SHOOTER

Ken Berwitz

In the movie "LA Confidential", Detective Exley confronts a suspect about his history of killing dogs.  The suspect answers "Dogs ain't got no reason to live".

That line is untrue if we're talking about dogs.  But it applies perfectly to frazier glenn miller (who also uses the last name "cross"), the subhuman who shot and killed three people in a Jewish Community Center and Jewish nursing home before being caught...and then proudly yelled "heil hitler" while in custody.

Here is a rundown of this "person" and his proud accomplishments, via saeed ahmed and Catherine E. Soichet's article at cnn.com:

According to the (Southern Poverty Law Center), Miller founded and ran the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s. He was forced to shut down after the SPLC sued him for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and intimidating African-Americans.

He then formed another group, the White Patriot Party.

In the late 1980s, Miller spent three years in prison on weapons charges and for plotting the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees. The short sentence was a result of a plea bargain he struck with federal prosecutors. In exchange, he testified against 14 white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988.

"He was reviled in white supremacist circles as a 'race traitor and, for a while, kept a low profile," according to an SPLC profile of him. "Now he's making a comeback with The Aryan Alternative, a racist tabloid he's been printing since 2005."

Could this subhuman thing be more repulsive?

Oh, one other thing:  I wonder how miller/cross feels, knowing that when he shot up the Jewish Center, it was being used for a community event - auditions for a talent show - and that the grandfather and grandson he killed were not Jewish at all.  They were Methodists - a highly respected doctor and his innocent 14 year old grandson, who had the misfortune of being mistaken for Jews.

If there isn't a death sentence in Kansas, maybe they should consider bringing it back for a much-needed one-time encore.

===============================================

UPDATE:  It turns out that none of the three people this creature killed were Jews.  And none deserved to die any more than the Jews he was going after. 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:09 AM   Add Comment

Sunday, 13 April 2014

ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK

Ken Berwitz

Information is very sketchy so far, but, today, there have been shootings at two different Jewish venues in Overland Park (suburban Kansas City) - a community center and an assisted living facility.  Initial reports have one dead and one injured...but in instances like this the number of both often are more than first thought.

If just one such venue were hit, the fact that it is Jewish in nature might be happenstance.  Two, and you can bet that it is a planned attack.

Let's hope that the shooter or shooters are caught immediately, and that, as ugly as one dead/one injured is, that's where it ends.

=============================================

UPDATE:  Death toll now at 3....and they have a suspect in custody.  More as I know it.

=============================================

FURTHER UPDATE:  It is being reported that the suspect yelled "heil hitler" as he was being taken away.  May he join hitler in hell ASAP.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:54 PM   Add Comment

MEDIA BIAS? NAAAHHHH (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Rep. Elijah Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. 

Mr. Cummings is also an avid voice against Chairman Darrell Issa pursuing the IRS scandal - especially as it relates to questioning lois lerner, who headed the IRS's tax exempt division while it put an indeterminate number of groups seeking tax exempt status in limbo for years - groups predominantly with names suggesting they held positions opposed to those of President Obama.

And, just this week, Mr. Cummings' staff, presumably at his direction,  have been found to have communicated with the IRS - and gotten expedited treatment by lois lerner regarding one of the groups in question:  "True The Vote", whose mission is to prevent voter fraud.

Today, Rep. Cummings was a guest on Face the Nation, with Bob Schieffer, which airs on CBS.  And, of course, Mr. Schieffer was all over Mr. Cummings on those communications, right?

Wrong.  He never asked about them.  Not even one question. Zero.  Zip.  Nada.

News breaks, THIS WEEK, that staff members of the ranking Democfat on a committee investigating the IRS were directly communicating with the IRS about one of the groups involved in  said investigation, and Scheiffer doesn't bother to ask about it?

At this point, allow me to remind you that CBS is the network which, earlier this year, effectively forced the resignation of its investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson from its ranks, by effectively shutting down Ms. Attkisson's work on several Obama scandals.

Well, you can't say CBS isn't consistent.  And, with few exceptions, the same goes for Bob Schieffer.

Media bias?  Naaaahhhhh

===================================

FURTHER NOTE:  In case you think it's just Schieffer and CBS, none of the three networks, on any of the shows this morning, so much as mentioned the IRS scandal. Fox and Fox alone did so (that's right:  the network we keep being told is not providing news was the only available source of information.)

To repeat, with equal sarcasm:  Media bias?  Naaaahhhhh

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:33 PM   Add Comment

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER AND THE TOTALITARIAN LEFT

Ken Berwitz

Charles Krauthammer writes excellent commentaries.  I consider him one of the very best columnists this country has to offer.

But his latest column, titled "Thought Police On Patrol", - is especially important - an absolute must-read.

In it, Mr. Krauthammer, through example after example, shows us that the left - empowered by a likeminded President and his Accomplice Media - has, in no small part, become a totalitarian enterprise.

I, of course, urge you to read the entire piece.  But, for the moment, here is just a taste:

Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Post, demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation - no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences - from social ostracism to vocational defenestration - upon those who refuse to be silenced.

The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage. Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage.

To oppose it is nothing but bigotry, akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.

By that logic, the man whom the left so ecstatically carried to the White House in 2008 was equally a bigot.

To this magic circle of forced conformity, the left would like to add certain other policies, resistance to which is deemed a "war on women." It's a colorful synonym for sexism. Leveling the charge is a crude way to cut off debate.

Thus, to oppose late-term abortion is to make war on women's "reproductive health." Similarly, to question Obamacare's mandate of free contraception for all.

To what does contraception owe its exalted status? Why should it rank above, say, antibiotics for a sick child, for which that same mother must co-pay?

Or try objecting to the new so-called Paycheck Fairness Act for women, which is little more than a full-employment act for trial lawyers. Sex discrimination is already illegal. What these new laws do is relieve the plaintiffs of proving intentional discrimination. To bring suit, they need only to show that women make less in that workplace .

Like the White House, where women make 88 cents to the men's dollar?

As readers of this blog know, I agree with the conclusions of the left on many issues - including gay marriage and abortion rights (until there is a beating heart and brain activity - certainly not late-term). 

But what I, or they, or you, believe is not the point.  The point is that, in a free society, all sides must be heard.  And when one side tries to deny a hearing for the other, or tries to pre-condemns it before any such hearing takes place, this is not the free society I have in mind.

It has been said - and I agree - that the further to the left or the right you go, the more likely you are to wind up in the same place.   In that connection, it is interesting...and dispiriting...to note that, when it comes to the free exchange of ideas, the fascist right and totalitarian left are not only in the same ballpark, they are in the same seat.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:50 AM   Add Comment

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