Wednesday, 12 December 2007

R.I.P. IKE TURNER

Ken Berwitz

Ike Turner, one of the seminal R&B singers of his time, died today at the age of 76.

Aside from a boatload of extremely popular music, Ike Turner discovered a young woman who could sing like there was no tomorrow.  Her name was Anna Mae Bullock, but when Ike married her, she became reincarnated (musically at least) as Tina Turner.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you more about her.

Ike didn't always walk the straight and narrow.  He led an emotionally tortured life - as do many performers who have reached the top and then slid down a few pegs.  There is no doubt he had his demons, many of them drug and alcohol related.  They caused his marriage to Tina to end and put him in jail for a period of time.

But that in no way minimizes the impact he had on music from the 1940's (that's no typo) right to the present.  In fact, he won his first solo Grammy just this year, for his album "Risin' With The Blues".

May he rock in peace.


OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY

Ken Berwitz

Nancy Pelosi-Ricardo strikes again.

As some of you may know, I call the congressperson from San Francisco Nancy Pelosi-Ricardo because - absent any humor - her antics sometimes are so bizarre that she is a dead ringer for Lucille Ball's character on I Love Lucy.

This time, the goofball behavior relates to spending our taxpayer money.  Nancy is rich as Croesus - a little something she doesn't feature when she talks to poor people to con..er, explain to them how sympatico she is with their plight.  So maybe it's just a little whoopsie and she occasionally forgets that it isn't her money being spent, it's ours. 

Here is an article from Roll Call which provides the details.  You decide:.

Pelosi buys $16K worth of flowers

December 12, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has spent $16,000 on flowers since taking office, one reason why she spent 63 percent more in her high-profile inaugural year than her low-key predecessor did last year.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent a little more than $3 million in the first nine months of 2007, records show, compared to the $1.8 million Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) spent during the same period in 2006.

Republicans are spending more as well. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has increased spending 23 percent above what Pelosi spent when she held the same job. That would be 16 percent if some of Hasterts closing-out costs were deducted.

The spending patterns indicate Pelosi is seeking to restore the Speakers role as a counterweight to the president and reclaim some of the responsibilities Hastert had ceded to his aggressive majority leader, Tom DeLay (R-Texas). Because of their different roles, Pelosi aides say it is unfair to simply compare Pelosis spending to Hasterts.

When Speaker Pelosi took the gavel, it was an historic moment. In the days since, the Speaker has hosted leaders from across the country and around the world opening the Peoples House to the people and discussing the work of the 110th Congress, Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said in response to e-mailed questions. There are major new costs associated with setting up the new office of the new Speaker of the House.

Republicans say Pelosis office spending undercuts her message that Democrats are restoring fiscal responsibility to the halls of Congress.

They could have saved the taxpayer $16,000 by sending out an intern to pick flowers from the Capitol lawn, but I guess that would have detracted from the $4 million worth of pork they planted as part of the greening project, said Brian Kennedy, spokesman for Boehner.

Boehner will be refunding more than $1 million to the treasury from the money he was allocated, Kennedy said.

Most of the $16,058 that Pelosi charged taxpayers for flowers, Elshami said, was for the visits of foreign dignitaries, such as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Jordans King Abdullah.

Many of the same dignitaries and international leaders hosted by the White House are also hosted by Speaker Pelosi, Elshami said. This expense is associated largely with these occasions and other Congress-wide, bipartisan events

While Hastert didnt appear to spend any money on flowers last year, bouquets are not new to Pelosis office. She spent about $5,000 on flowers last year when she was minority leader.

Attempts to find out how much the White House spends on flowers were unsuccessful.

The increase from Hastert to Pelosi was driven largely by a surge in travel and a heavily fortified payroll.

Pelosi has more people working for her. Hastert employed 35 people during the third quarter of last year. Pelosi, by contrast, had 51 people on her payroll during the same time period.

As the first Democratic Speaker in 12 years, there was a responsibility to the American people and the Democratic Caucus to hit the ground running and to pass the New Direction agenda, Elshami said. To achieve this goal, more resources were needed, including the hiring of additional staff in policy and research areas, for example.

Another factor in the disparity is travel. Hastert didnt bill much official travel last year, spending only about $1,700, while Pelosi racked up many times that at nearly $60,000 a figure that does not include her congressional delegation journeys to Europe and the Middle East. It does, however, include many visits to congressional districts.

As the first woman Speaker of the House and first Democratic Speaker in 12 years, there continues to be a demand for her to travel across the country to appear in congressional districts with members, to meet with local press and editorial boards, and to meet with representatives of the private sector, Elshami said.

Pelosi also has use of a legislative floor activity account, while Boehner controls extra money for minority employees, which include his employees and those of other Republican leaders.

If those accounts are factored in, Pelosis spending increased 52 percent, and Boehners spending increased 12 percent.

.

$16,000 for flowers?  One thing you have to say about Speaker Pelosi:  she knows how to put the petal to the metal.

I also love that explanation by her "spokesman" that she spends more because she's a woman.  Who else but a Ricardo would come up with that one?  How do you think it would have played if a Republican male said it?

Da Da Daaaaaa Dada Da, Da-Daaaaaa!

------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE:  Our friends at www.sweetness-light.com have scrutinized Ms. Pelois-Ricardo's itemized expenses, and here's one you might be especially interested in:  she hired a makeup artist for inaugural week.....at a cost of $2,400.  $2,400 for makeup!!!

In fairness, she did eventually reimburse the taxpayers for her $350 a day makeup habit -- probably because a staff lawyer came upon the expenditure and told her she'd never get away with it.

Me?  I think of it the same way I think of a lot of spending in D.C. Way too much money for minimal results.


PSSSSSSSSSST: THEY HELD AN ELECTION YESTERDAY

Ken Berwitz

You may not know this, but there was an election yesterday.  In fact there were two.

Two congressional districts were up for grabs in special elections, both to replace Republicans who have died during their current term. 

Democrats pumped a lot of money into these elections, hoping to gain one or both seats. 

I'll let John Hinderaker of www.powerlineblog.com tell you how that worked out:.

Democrats' Hopes Foiled

There were two special Congressional elections today, in Ohio and Virginia. Both districts are generally Republican, but both states are also considered to be trending toward the Democrats. So the Dems were hopeful that they might increase their House majority by winning one or both of the open seats. Yesterday, MSNBC, which made a corporate decision to go in the tank for the Democrats a couple of years ago, was hoping that the Ohio election, in particular, would be a milestone:

If Democrats can win a special congressional election tomorrow in a GOP district in Ohio, doesn't that tell us that Ohio may not be as in play as the Republicans would like to believe for 2008?

So if the Democrat won today, Ohio could safely be tallied for Hillary in 2008!

As the Washington Post's Cillizza noted on Sunday: "Despite the heavy spending, strategists for both parties sought to play down expectations in advance of the vote. Republicans noted that Gov. Ted Strickland (D) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) carried the 5th District in 2006. Democrats pushed back, arguing that the very fact that House Republicans are being forced to spend from their very limited war chest is a victory. Should Latta lose, which remains unlikely, it would be a powerful symbolic blow for House Republicans seeking to reassure their members that 2008 won't be a repeat of 2006."

Happily, the Democrats' hopes were frustrated. The vote in Ohio wasn't close, with the Republican, Robert Latta, winning by a 57%-43% margin. In Virginia, the result was even more one-sided, with Republican Rob Wittman winning by a landslide 63% to 35% margin.

What does it mean? Obviously, one shouldn't draw too many conclusions from a couple of special elections in traditionally Republican districts. But the fact is that the Democrats spent a lot of money--money is currently their biggest advantage--in hopes of scoring upsets in one or both of these contests. Had they done so, the results would have been trumpeted as evidence that voters are deserting the Republicans in droves. Instead, reality asserted itself.

Much like the Republicans of 1994, the Democrats post-2006 are misinterpreting the "mandate" the voters gave them last year. The American electorate hasn't suddenly swerved to the Left, much as Democrats might wish it were so. .

The one thing I disagree with John on is that only Wittman won by a landslide.  57% - 43% for Latta is a landslide too.

I'll just bet your local newspaper and the news show you watch had this as a lead story.  Or at least some kind of a story.  Right? 

Right?????

Pssssssssst:  They held an election yesterday.


IT'S GOOD TO BE A DEMOCRAT (cont.)

Ken Berwitz

First, a few examples:

-RepublicanTom DeLay resigned without being convicted of a thing, only because he was indicted by a Javert-like prosecutor who specifically, publicly stated he was going to "get him".  Media made him lead-story news for months until he resigned. 

-Democrat William Jefferson was caught on tape taking a $100,000 bribe and most of the money was found hidden in his home.  But he remains a congressperson of "good standing" in the Democratic party.  Media gave him the two-day-and-out treatment and don't say a thing about him anymore.  He's just fine and dandy with them.

-Republican Tom Foley resigned in disgrace over some suggestive internet correspondence with a page (who was of legal age, despite what some reports said).  No charges have ever been filed against him because there is nothing to file.  Media made him lead story news for weeks until the resignation.

-Democrat Jim McDermott stands convicted of illegally passing along illegally gotten tapes of a private political conversations.  He remains a congressperson of "good standing" in the Democratic party, without media giving a damn about it.

Seeing a trend here?  Believe me there's more. 

-Alan Mollohan and the contracts to his pals.  Dianne Feinstein and the millions to her husband.  John Murtha, the unindicted ABSCAM co-conspirator and the tens of millions in contracts to his brother and his pal.  No media coverage, no media coverage and no media coverage. 

Now we have another one.  A corrupt Democratic state representative whose corruption is so blatant and so bad that a major newspaper in his district just published an editorial detailing how dissolute he is and demanding that something be done about it. 

But you did not see a thing about it on the Today show this morning (the same Today show that couldn't get enough of DeLay and Foley).  And it is not mentioned in the New York Times this morning (though I'll be blogging about what is in the Times later on today).

Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Here, courtesy of Raleigh NC's News and Observer, is the editorial I'm talking about.  See if you think it's worth a mention in mainstream media:.

Wright away

Indicted on corruption charges, state Rep. Thomas Wright should bow out of the House. Or be shown the door

A year that began with a cold shower of scandal in the General Assembly ends, in a warm, dry December, on formal charges of still more corruption in the legislature.

In February, the scandal centered on Democrat Jim Black of Matthews. After pleading to state and federal charges, the former four-term House speaker is serving a five-year sentence in a U.S. prison.

Now the object in the justice system's headlights is state Rep. Thomas Wright of Wilmington, an eight-term Democrat, former committee chairman and key ally of Jim Black.

Indicted Monday by a Wake County grand jury on six corruption counts, Wright is presumed innocent. But his situation is an embarrassment to the legislature, to his party and to the public. With his credibility and effectiveness under such a cloud, it's high time he resigned from the House.

Current Speaker Joe Hackney took a big step in that direction yesterday, saying a special session of the legislature to consider expelling Wright could well be in order. Wright already has become a legislative ghost. This year he missed more votes than any other rank-and-file House member. (That didn't prevent him from picking up the standard $104 per diem payment for days he was absent.) He's being investigated by the legislature's Joint Ethics Committee, and his campaign committee has been suspended by the state.

Following the money

Now, if convicted on the six felony counts, he could face a state prison term of up to 11 years, becoming the latest in a line of North Carolina political figures to spend time behind bars, reflecting, presumably, on greed and abuses of power.

For the public, the issue is graver still. Can we still expect honesty from North Carolina legislators, long considered relatively free of the outright corruption that taints so many statehouses?

The jury is out. But the indictment's theme is a pattern of buccaneering conduct by an officerholder seemingly bent on financing his personal life and political goals with other people's money. A key date is May 15 of this year, when the State Board of Elections referred Wright's case to Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby. Having gone over allegations against him at a hearing, the elections board said Wright should be investigated for perjury and for accepting illegal campaign contributions.

Monday's indictments -- five counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice -- are an outgrowth of that referral. Wright is accused of misusing more than $350,000 he had collected from banks, corporations and campaign contributors. In one instance he supposedly secured a $10,000 line of credit for a foundation he led, then withdrew the money for himself. In another, he's charged with raising $8,900 in donations for the foundation from corporate donors, then keeping the money.

Through the cracks

The two big-dollar allegations, however, center on Wright's persuading then-state official Torlen Wade to write a bogus letter to help Wright secure a bank loan for $150,000, and on Wright's pocketing $185,000 in campaign contributions between 2000 and 2006, without reporting any of the money.

The letter affair is troubling all around -- even if Willoughby apparently decided that Wade will not face charges -- but, charitably viewed, might be related to a public purpose (a museum marking the Wilmington race riot of 1898). But what possible justification could a lawmaker have for not reporting campaign contributions totalling $185,000? Bad bookkeeping? Bad memory?

Perhaps, but if you don't report the contributions, you don't have to say how you spent the money (until late last year legislators could spend duly reported campaign contributions as they wished). And when your personal shopping is alleged to have included a trip to a lingerie shop, that's convenient.

All the legal charges are a matter for judge and jury. But Wright's colleagues should promptly render their political judgment on a legislator whose honesty commands no confidence. .

Media could find a year's worth of front page space to elevate a mentally unbalanced nutjob named Cindy Sheehan into an international celebrity, because she took a lawn chair and sat on a roadside with about a dozen other people near President Bush's ranch.

Media can still find room for major coverage of code pink, a small organization dedicated to USA hatred of the worst order, whose "contribution" seems to begin and end at minor disruptions during hearings and in front of buildings, for which its members are arrested and then released.

But a thoroughly corrupt Democrat, taking bribes and stealing money?  What are you, kidding?  We have real news to report.

Then listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


ABOUT THAT "HALLIBURTON RAPE".....

Ken Berwitz

I don't know if Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones was raped in Iraq and don't claim to.

But I do know that the more someone changes his/her story about an incident, less likely I am to believe it. 

With this in mind, here is a fascinating analysis of Ms. Jones' claims and revised claims along with the equally fascinating review of how selectively this is being reported.  It is written by Ted Frank of  www.overlawyered.com.  See what you think of it:.

"Halliburton", gang rape, and fear of arbitration: the Jamie Leigh Jones case

In February 2006, Jamie Leigh Jones filed an arbitration complaint, complaining that, for her administrative assistant job with KBR in Iraq, she was placed in an all-male dorm for living arrangements, and a co-worker sexually assaulted her. (KBR says the co-worker claimed the sex was consensual, though Jones claims physical injuries, such as burst breast implants and torn pectoral muscles, that are plainly not consistent with consensual sex. The EEOC's Letter of Determination credited the allegation of sexual assault.)

Fifteen months later, after extensive discovery in the arbitration, Jones, who lives in Houston, and whose lawyer is based in Houston, and who worked for KBR in Houston, sued KBR and a bunch of other entities (including Halliburton, for whom she never worked, and the United States), in federal court in Beaumont, Texas. The claims were suddenly of much more outrageous conduct: the original allegation of a single he-said/she-said sexual assault was now an allegation of gang rape by several unknown John Doe rapists who worked as firemen (though she did make a claim of multiple rape to the EEOC, though it is unclear when that claim was made); she claims that after she reported the rape, "Halliburton locked her in a container" (the EEOC found that KBR provided immediate medical treatment and safety and shipped her home immediately) and she threw in an allegation that a "sexual favor" she provided a supervisor in Houston was the result of improper "influence." (But she no longer makes the implausible claim that she was living in an all-male dorm in Iraq.)

The US got the claim dismissed quickly (Jones hasn't yet followed the appropriate administrative claims procedure); the case was transferred back to Houston where it belonged (the trial lawyer's ludicrous brief in opposition didn't help). But the fact that the defendants are pointing out that the lawsuit over a pending arbitration violates 28 U.S.C. 1927 and are asking for the court to mandate only one single proceeding in arbitration rather than a multiplicity of parallel proceedings, is now being treated as a cause clbre by the left-wing blogosphere in its campaign against the contractual freedom to arbitrate. (Note that two elements explicitly designed to arouse the ire and inflame the passions of the leftHalliburton and gang-rapeonly came about after Jones switched attorneys.)

The Public Citizen blog complains that "the allegations of corporate and governmental misconduct will never see the light of day" in arbitration. Which is absurd:

1) For crying out loud, her case is on 20/20, which, as is its ken, happily unquestioningly gives the plaintiffs' opening statement in handy manipulative video newsertainment form without mentioning any of the counterevidence. That sort of widespread publicity is hardly the lack of "light of day."
2) If the government fails to offer Jones an adequate settlement for their alleged bungling of the criminal investigation, she has recourse under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the federal governmentthough she likely will not have any more recourse against them than any other criminal victim does when the government fails to protect them against crime or prosecute the criminal.
3) If the court system is about having recourse for injuries, she has that recourse. The judicial system is not for public storytelling; if you want to send a message, use Western Union (or ABC News, as the case may be).
20/20 repeats the meaningless claim that "In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80 percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it"meaningless because (1) it doesn't include the cases that settle before arbitration with a favorable result to the employee and (2) there's no comparison with how well such employees would do in the far more expensive forum of litigation (where the vast majority of employees lose at trial as well).

20/20 also adds the claim (absent in the arbitration and in the otherwise-lurid civil complaint) that Jones was threatened that she would be fired if she sought medical treatment.

It goes without saying that any criminal assault should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I haven't seen any support for the contention that there is a loophole that leaves an American contractor's attack on an American outside the scope of criminal prosecution, as some left-wing blogs have claimed. The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000, 18 U.S.C. 3261 ff., permits prosecutions of criminal acts committed by defense contractors working with troops overseas, and there has been a child porn and an attempted rape prosecution under this law for crimes committed in Iraq. The loophole in the news applies to contractors working overseas with the State Department.

People with legitimate claims usually don't have lawyers trying so desperately to forum-shop that they file amateurish briefs like this, and Jones loses a ton of credibility with me over that. At a minimum, Jones's story has changed over time, and has gotten considerably more lurid. The original allegations are bad enough, and, if true, actionable. If the implant rupture and other physical injuries are true, I'm inclined to believe that she was raped, perhaps even gang raped. (Machismo environments like fraternity houses and athletes' dorms are responsible for a disproportionate number of gang rapes, which is why the Duke Lacrosse allegations had so much weight in the early going.) I'm inclined to believe that there was a hostile work environment, and that it was possible that KBR was not doing enough to correct that problem. I'm not currently inclined to believe that the criminal action was the employer's fault, unless the employee in question had shown signs of criminal behavior while working for KBR. And it is entirely consistent with what I know about government if Jones's allegation that the government botched the criminal investigation is true.

Of course, more facts could come to light that change my mind in either direction. There's already been a lot of discovery, but Jones's papers in court seem to focus on me-too evidence (that should eventually be held to be inadmissible) rather than evidence related to Jones. I'd love to see the pending motions for summary judgment in the arbitration that led Jones to file a second lawsuit.

And one hopes Jones realizes that she's being used by attorneys who are pursuing their own agenda to promote the litigation lobby's pet anti-consumer/pro-lawyer legislation. The shenanigans of bringing a second lawsuit and suing the irrelevant Halliburton are not helping her case if she has a legitimate one.

Here is the EEOC Letter of Determination. Bill Childs provides many other court documents. A typical unskeptical adoption of the Public Citizen line can be found at Jezebel and many other blogs. Some Republican partisans are even more skeptical than I am. A more nuanced discussion is at Amber Taylor's blog and Ben Domenech.

Update: The is a Jamie Jones Foundation; its chronology omits the arbitration claim Jones filed in 2006. The "take action" page makes clear the ulterior motives of lobbying for a Congressional ban on arbitration clausesthough the arbitration clause has nothing to do with bringing any rapists to justice.

A Congressional investigation into the Justice Department's criminal investigation is now in the works, so we should see some answers about why there were no prosecutions. .

For a great many people - me included, I must admit - an accusation of rape generates immediate sympathy for the woman claiming it happened.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes the claims are untrue.  The allegations made against members of Duke's lacrosse team immediately spring to mind (by the way, when is Crystal Gail Mangum, the stripper who lied about being raped, going to be prosecuted?). 

Is this another Crystal Gail Mangum moment?  Again, I don't know.  But it has the same smell, doesn't it?  And Ted Frank (Brandeis undergraduate, University of Chicago Law School) ain't exactly chopped liver.

I think I'll wait and see how this one plays out. Meanwhile, it would be nice if the same media which seem so joyously willing to provide the accusations, would also provide a word or two about the very significant reasons for skepticism. 


THE NEO- CON AS A DIRTY JEW

Ken Berwitz

Are you offended by my blog title?  I certainly hope so.

That is exactly what the term "neo-con" was created to mean.  It is a sanitized way of saying "dirty Jew".  

"Neo-con" came into use as a descriptor for people like Irving Kristol (William Kristol's father), Norman Podhoretz (John Podhoretz' father), Midge Dechter and other Jews who had the temerity to think outside the parameters of what some people expected of educated urbane Jews.  In other words, they started out as liberal-left and evolved in a rightward direction.  So the entrenched leftist elite - i.e., the crowd they moved away from - disdainfully classified them as newly conservative people.  Neo-cons.

To many within the liberal-left Jewish sphere, the insult was only to their political evolution.  To many liberal-leftist who were not Jewish (and some who were, by the way), it made them "dirty Jews". 

"Neo-con" was, and remains, an anti-semite's delight;.  something that could be said by a Jew-hater, who then could tell you it wasn't his/her anti-semitism at all because, see, some JEWS say it too, just like I do.  A little like the Jew haters who attack Israel, because it enables them to hide behind the claim that it's not JEWS they hate, just Israel.  What a great opportunity!

During the early years of the Bush administration, "neo-con" was used relentlessly to describe three specific Jews - Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.  The argument was that we went into Iraq as puppets of Israel, and these three (dirty) Jews facilitated the whole thing from the inside.  Lovely, just lovely.

Over recent years, however, the term has "pooled out" and is now more generally used to describe both Jews and non-Jews who have moved rightward over time.  It is still just as disdainful and dismissive, but at least it is not as anti-semitic.

This, sadly, brings me to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times.  Ms. Dowd has written a column today, titled "The Dream Is Dead", which reverts the term right back to its roots - as a metaphor for "dirty Jew".  Let me show you the beginning of her column and you'll see what I mean, I promise:.

The Dream Is Dead

WASHINGTON

The man crowned by Tommy Franks as the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.

The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, War and Decision, conceded that the case could be made that mistakes were made. His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.

But he wasnt self-flagellating. He was simply trying to put an egghead gloss on his Humpty Dumpty mishegoss. .

How instructive.  There are the same three dirty Jews, back to their old tricks.  And just in case you had any lingering doubt that this was an attack on them as Jews -- just in case the fact that the rest of that first row was not mentioned, only those two Jews sitting in it didn't tip you off -- Dowd uses the term "mishegoss".

For anyone who doesn't know already, "meshugenah" is a Yiddish word that means "crazy".  "Mishegoss" is derived from it and means a state of craziness. 

There is only one reason that Dowd tossed in a Yiddish word while talking about Wolfowitz, Feith and Perle.  We both know damn well what it is.

I will give Dowd some credit, though.  She didn't claim that any of the three had big noses or that they were cheap and grasping.  That, I suppose, is left to our imagination.  How nice of her.

If there ever was a reason a columnist should apologize for something she wrote - as opposed to what she thinks, which is going to stay the same no matter what apology she gives - this is it.  But don't bet a cent that the apology will be forthcoming.


PEACE PARTNER UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here is what the world - now including the USA, to our shame - expects Israel to make peace with. 

This is presented to us from the invaluable site www.memri.org.  Read it, watch the video, remember that nothing gets on "palestinian" TV without the government's explicit approval, and then explain to me how there could ever be a peace with these people:

 
December 13, 2007 No.1783
Children on Hamas TV Children's Show: 'Liberate' Al-Aqsa by Force, 'Wipe Out' Zionists to the Last One

The following are excerpts from a children's show which aired on Hamas Al-Aqsa TV on December 3, 2007.

To view the clip, visit: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1625.htm. To view the MEMRI TV page devoted to Al-Aqsa TV clips, visit:http://memritv.org/content/en/tv_channel_indiv.htm?id=175

Boy: "My beloved brothers, as you know, today the Al-Aqsa Mosque is crying out: 'Where are the people of the frontline, the Palestinian people?' Yes, my dear brothers, that is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The subject of our lesson today is Jerusalem, to where your Prophet made his nocturnal journey - the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Yes, my beloved brothers, as you know today, and as you knew yesterday and the day before, the Al-Aqsa Mosque has fallen into oppressing and malicious hands, the hands of those who know nothing but injustice. But let me tell you how the Al-Aqsa Mosque will be returned, how we shall rescue it from the shackles of the occupation, from the shackles of the Zionist entity.

"Will it be through conferences? No, not through conferences, but by means of force, because the Zionist entity, your enemy, the enemy of Allah, the enemy of Islam, knows nothing but injustice and the killing of Palestinians, the persevering people on the frontline. Indeed, the [mosque] will be returned only by means of force.

"In 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued. Balfour decided on the cleansing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. But look what the Zionist enemy has done, look what Israel and America have done. Look what the allies of Israel and America have done. They have dug tunnels underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the sheikhs and mujahideen of the Al-Aqsa Mosque have exposed these tunnels and called upon the Palestinian people: 'Look what has happened, look what has happened.'

"These calls have gone unheeded, my beloved brothers. But is it too late? No, it is not too late. If we all unite, the Al-Aqsa Mosque will not remain in the hands of the Zionist enemy, it will not remain in the hands of your enemy, despite all their conspiracies against the Palestinian people."

[...]

Girl: "To Al-Aqsa, to Al-Aqsa - we shall unite our ranks. We will wipe out the people of Zion, and will not leave a single one of them."

.

It is one of the superseding idiocies of the world that this group could be characterized as a "peace partner" or that anyone could possibly believe they are interested in peace.

This is what they are teaching THEIR CHILDREN.  What do you think those children will "know" growing up?  What do you think they will teach THEIR children?

The current administration has apparently given up on reality, and now joins most of the rest of the world in their mindless, logic-less tra-la-la-la-la world of saying "there should be talks"  and "we should continue the peace process"

Talks with who?  People who teach their children to kill every Jew in Israel while they're talking? 

That is not a peace process, it is a pathetic charade and it puts Israeli Jews (and every Jew outside of Israel too, don't you doubt that) in jeopardy.

Some people may sell themselves on the ridiculous fantasy that there is anything to be gained by such talks, other than legitimizing avowed murderers.  I can't.


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