Saturday, 27 November 2010

TERRORISM: WHO SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT MOST

Ken Berwitz

There is a very telling scene in "Driving Miss Daisy" when Daisy, stuck in a traffic jam on her way to temple, asks Hoke to find out what the holdup is.  He comes back and says "They done bombed the temple, Miss Daisy".  Horrified, Daisy says "Who could have done such a thing".  And Hoke says something like "You know who it is Miss Daisy.  It's always the same ones".

With that in mind, Michelle Malkin, in her latest column, has compiled a visual chronology of terrorists who have attempted - both successfully and unsuccessfully - to attack the USA.

Here are some of the visuals she supplies (I'm having trouble posting the others, so I urge you to go to Michelle's web site and see them all).  I think you just might find a bit of commonality among them:

How many times over the years have we said Its the jihad, stupid as p.c.-addled reality-deniers insist the violent jihadists come from a broad strata of society? Too many to count. Flashback:


11 Gitmo recidivists on Saudi most wanted list



Nidal Hasan, Soldier for Allah and Fort Hood massacre jihadist


Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his railway bombing plot hatched in Colorado and NYC in February

Does this mean all Muslims are terrorists.  Absolutely not.

Does this mean all non-Muslims should sail through airport screenings on the theory that they cannot be dangerous?  Absolutely not.

Does this mean that we should pay special attention, and focus more heavily, on people who, experience has told us, are the primary sources of terrorism? 

Absolutely yes.


THE MEDICARE FIASCO

Ken Berwitz

Suppose the government undercompensates doctors for their medicare patients, and then the Obama administration removes over a half trillion dollars from medicare funding so it can cook the ObamaCare books and make them look good.  Do you think there just might be a bit of a problem?

In case you don't, I suggest you read N. C. Aizenman's article in at the Washington Post web site.  Meanwhile, this excerpt should give you a pretty good idea of what it has to say:

Doctors say Medicare cuts force painful decision about elderly patients

 

Want an appointment with kidney specialist Adam Weinstein of Easton, Md.? If you're a senior covered by Medicare, the wait is eight weeks.

 

How about a checkup from geriatric specialist Michael Trahos? Expect to see him every six months: The Alexandria-based doctor has been limiting most of his Medicare patients to twice yearly rather than the quarterly checkups he considers ideal for the elderly. Still, at least he'll see you. Top-ranked primary care doctor Linda Yau is one of three physicians with the District's Foxhall Internists group who recently announced they will no longer be accepting Medicare patients.

 

"It's not easy. But you realize you either do this or you don't stay in business," she said.

 

Doctors across the country describe similar decisions, complaining that they've been forced to shift away from Medicare toward higher-paying, privately insured or self-paying patients in response to years of penny-pinching by Congress.

 

And that's not even taking into account a long-postponed rate-setting method that is on track to slash Medicare's payment rates to doctors by 23 percent Dec. 1. Known as the Sustainable Growth Rate and adopted by Congress in 1997, it was intended to keep Medicare spending on doctors in line with the economy's overall growth rate. But after the SGR formula led to a 4.8 percent cut in doctors' pay rates in 2002, Congress has chosen to put off the ever steeper cuts called for by the formula ever since.

 

The lobbying blitz by doctors also comes amid concern in Washington that Medicare spending is spiraling up so fast the nation can't afford to boost it further by significantly raising doctors' pay. And government analysts and independent experts suggest that although doctors could not absorb a 25 percent fee cut, the claim that they have been inadequately compensated by Medicare until now is wildly exaggerated.

 

Among the top points of contention is the complaint by doctors that Medicare's payment rate has not kept pace with the growing cost of running a medical practice. As measured by the government's Medicare Economic Index, those expenses rose 18 percent from 2000 to 2008. During the same period, Medicare's physician fees rose 5 percent.

 

"Physicians are having to make really gut-wrenching decisions about whether they can afford to see as many Medicare patients," said Cecil Wilson, president of the American Medical Association.

 

But statistics also suggest many doctors have more than made up for the erosion in the value of their Medicare fees by dramatically increasing the volume of services they provide - performing not just a greater number of tests and procedures, but also more complex versions that allow them to charge Medicare more money.

 

That's just a small portion of the article.  But let's think about what it tells us:

-As we were repeatedly warned by Republicans, "The Party Of No", ObamaCare is gutting Medicare, resulting in less coverage for seniors (which, in turn, means decisions will have to be made about what procedures medicare will and will not allow them:  death panels, anyone?);

-Accordingly, some doctors are going to accept fewer Medicare patients, and some may not accept Medicare patients at all;

-But "many doctors have more than made up for the erosion in the value of their medicare fees" by performing a bunch of still-approved services on their existing patients - presumably moneymakers - they would not have otherwise provided.  Fewer patients, more unnecessary procedures.

If this is OK with you, then you probably are going to love ObamaCare too.  And you're welcome to it.

If this is not OK with you, then by all means remember who supported it and who was against it when the 2012 elections roll around.  Just like so many of you did this past election day.


OUR FECKLESS FOREIGN POLICY: THE WORLD TOUR

Ken Berwitz

Caroline Glick, writing for jewishworldreview.com, has given us just what we don't want, but really need to have:  a world tour of the mess that President Obama and his administration have made of foreign policy.

It is far too long to post in one blog.  So, while I urge you to read the entire piece by clicking here, I will excerpt some of Ms. Glick's key points below:

Rocking Obama's world

By Caroline B. Glick

Crises are exploding throughout the world. And the leader of the free world is making things worse.

On the Korean peninsula, North Korea just upended eight years of State Department obfuscation by showing a team of US nuclear scientists its collection of thousands of state of the art centrifuges installed in their Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

And just to top off the show, as Stephen Bosworth, US President Barack Obama's point man on North Korea was busily arguing that this revelation is not a crisis, the North fired an unprovoked artillery barrage at South Korea, demonstrating that actually, it is a crisis. But the Obama administration remains unmoved. On Tuesday Defense Secretary Robert Gates thanked his South Korean counterpart Kim Tae-young for showing "restraint." Thursday, Kim resigned in disgrace for that restraint.

Then there is Iran. The now inarguable fact that Pyongyang is developing nuclear weapons with enriched uranium makes it all but certain that the hyperactive proliferators in Pyongyang are involved in Iran's uranium based nuclear weapons program. Obviously the North Koreans don't care that the UN Security Council placed sanctions on Iran. And their presumptive role in Iran's nuclear weapons program exposes the idiocy of the concept that these sanctions can block Iran's path to a nuclear arsenal.

Every day as the regimes in Pyongyang and Teheran escalate their aggression and confrontational stances it becomes more and more clear that the only way to neutralize the threats they pose to international security is to overthrow them. At least in the case of Iran, it is also clear that the prospects for regime change have never been better.

Earlier this month Gates said "If it's a military solution, as far as I'm concerned, it will bring together a divided nation."

So in his view, the Iranian people who risk death to defy the regime every day, the Iranian people who revile Ahmadinejad as "the chimpanzee," and call for Khamenei's death from their rooftops every evening will rally around the chimp and the dictator if the US or Israel attacks Iran's nuclear installations.

Due to this thinking, as far as the Obama administration is concerned the US should stick to its failed sanctions policy and continue its failed attempts to cut a nuclear deal with the mullahs.

Then there is Lebanon. Since Ahmadinejad's visit last month, it is obvious that Iran is now the ruler of Lebanon and that it exerts its authority over the country through its Hizbullah proxy. Hizbullah's open threats to overthrow Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government if its role in assassinating his father in 2005 is officially acknowledged just make this tragic reality more undeniable. And yet, the Obama administration continues to deny that Iran controls Lebanon.

A month after Ahmadinejad's visit, Obama convinced the lame duck Congress to lift its hold on $100 million in US military assistance to the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese military. And the US convinced Israel to relinquish the northern half of the border town Rajar to UN forces despite the fact that the UN forces are at Hizbullah's mercy.

So is Obama really worse than everyone else or is he just the latest in a line of US Presidents who have no idea how to run an effective foreign policy?

The short answer is that he is far worse than his predecessors.

The president has two ways to shift the ship of state. First he can use his bully pulpit. Second, he can appoint people to key positions in the foreign policy bureaucracy.

Since entering office, Obama has used both these powers to ill effect. He has travelled across the world condemning and apologizing for US world leadership. In so doing he has convinced ally and adversary alike that he is not a credible leader; that no one can depend on US security guarantees during his watch; and that it is possible to attack the US, its allies and interests with impunity.

In the midst of all these crises, Obama has maintained faith with his two central foreign policy goals: forcing Israel to withdraw to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and scaling back the US nuclear arsenal with an eye towards unilateral disarmament.

 As you might guess, I agree with most of what Ms. Glick says.  My only major complaint about this otherwise excellent analysis is that it does not so much as mention the name Hillary Clinton. 

Her uselessness as Secretary of State, in which she has been reduced to the role of obedient, obeisant Obama toady, should have been mentioned as well.

Ms. Clinton is proving again, as she did when overseeing education in Arkansas, overseeing health care during her husband's administration, spending 8 years in the senate not making good on the promises she made to be elected, then losing the 2008 presidential nomination through a combination of acting like an anointed nominee while lying her way through the campaign, that she is a female version of the wizard of oz.  All  bluster with virtually nothing of substance behind it. 

In short, a perfect Obama subordinate.

The presidential election is in 2012.  It cannot come fast enough.


THE UN SANCTION TO KILL HOMOSEXUALS

Ken Berwitz

It is bad enough that the UN is a useless organization - unless you consider endless debating by overpaid, underperforming "diplomats" worthwhile. 

Does it have to support killing people over their sexual orientation too?

Excerpted from Thor Halvorssen's blog at huffingtonpost.com:

United Nations: It's Okay to Kill the Gay

 

by Thor   Halvorssen


 

NEW YORK, NY -- Last week, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted on a special resolution addressing extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. The resolution affirms the duties of member countries to protect the right to life of all people with a special emphasis on a call to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. The resolution highlights particular groups historically subject to executions including street children, human rights defenders, members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities, and, for the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation as a basis on which some individuals are targeted for death.


The tiny West African nation of Benin (on behalf of the UN's African Group) proposed an amendment to strike sexual minorities from the resolution. The amendment was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

A collection of notorious human rights violators voted for the amendment including Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, North Korea, Iran (didn't Ahmadinejad tell the world there were no gays in Iran?), Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

 

Add to this Bahamas, Belize (where you get 10 years for being gay), Jamaica (10 years of hard labor), Grenada (10 years), Guyana (life sentence), Saint Kitts and Nevis (10 years), Saint Lucia (10 years), Saint Vincent (10 years), South Africa (Apartheid? What apartheid?), and Morocco (ruled by a gay monarch!). They are all on the list of nations that do not think execution of gays and lesbians is worthy of condemnation or investigation. (The full vote tally is published beneath this column.)

 

To its shame, Colombia was among the 16 nations who abstained.

 

Those against the amendment include every European nation present, all Scandinavian countries, India, Korea, most of Latin America, all of North America, and only one Middle Eastern nation: Israel. In most countries in the Middle East, it is a crime to be gay--in some, like Saudi Arabia, it is punishable by beheading and in others, like Iran, by hanging.

The UN has a remarkable track record of doing virtually nothing when presented with mass killings or genocide. "Never again!" was the cry after the holocaust. Since then, the world has witnessed a dozen more never agains with strong condemnation from the UN coming after the corpses pile up. A resolution of the sort that was voted on in the General Assembly is significant for its clarity of message: "It's okay to kill the gays."
Thor Halvorssen is president of the Human Rights Foundation and founder of theOslo Freedom Forum..

Readers of this blog know that I often characterize the United Nations as being morally, spiritually and ethically dead.  This sickening, appalling vote proves all three.

Remember it the next time you hear someone use the terms United Nations and human rights in the same breath.

Let me end by posting the countries which voted in favor of, in effect, supporting the death penalty for homosexual people,  those which voted against, and those which abstained (which, as far as I'm concerned, is just as bad as voting in favor). 

In reading it, please note that, of the 47 UN "Human Rights Council" members, 20 voted to support the death penalty and 3 others abstained or did not vote.  That's some hell of a human rights council; just what you'd expect from this organization:

In favor of the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the UN resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79 nations):

 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

 

Opposed to the UN amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (70 nations):

 

Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia (FS), Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela

 

Abstain (17 nations):

 

Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Fiji, Mauritius, Mongolia, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Absent (26 nations):

Albania, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Marshall Island, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Sao Tome Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan


THE OREGON TERROR ATTEMPT

Ken Berwitz

First, the story - as excerpted from Bryan Denson's article at oregonlive.com:

The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city's annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.

A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.

However, the supposed explosive was a dummy that FBI operatives supplied to him, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint signed Friday night by U.S. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, was arrested at 5:42 p.m., 18 minutes before the tree lighting was to occur, on an accusation of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation, during which Mohamud had been monitored for months as his alleged bomb plot developed.

"This defendant's chilling determination is a stark reminder that there are people -- even here in Oregon -- who are determined to kill Americans," said Oregon U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. "The good work of law enforcement protected Oregonians in this case -- and we have no reason to believe there is any continuing threat arising from this case."

According to the FBI affidavit, the case began in August 2009 when Mohamud was in e-mail contact with an unindicted associate overseas who was believed to be involved in terrorist activities. In December 2009, while the unindicted associate was in a frontier province of Pakistan, Mohamud and the associate discussed the possibility of Mohamud traveling to Pakistan to participate in violent jihad.

The associate allegedly referred Mohamud to a second associate overseas and provided him with a name and e-mail address. In the months that followed, Mohamud made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the second associate.

Ultimately, an FBI undercover operative contacted Mohamud in a June 2010 e-mail under the guise of being an associate of the first unindicted associate.

The FBI operatives cautioned Mohamud several times about the seriousness of his plan, noting that there would be many people, including children, at the event, and that Mohamud could abandon his plans at any time with no shame.

"You know there's going to be a lot of children there?" an FBI operative asked Mohamud. "You know there are gonna be a lot of children there?"

Mohamud allegedly responded he was looking for a "huge mass that will ... be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."

Mohamud dismissed concerns about law enforcement, explaining that, " ... It's in Oregon; and Oregon, like, you know, nobody ever thinks about," according to the affidavit.

Now, a few observations:

-Let's be happy that this homicidal terrorist maniac didn't succeed;

-Let's congratulate the FBI, along with Oregon authorities (which are cited in the full article) for a job well done.  Thank you for protecting us;

-And last, but not least, let's be thankful 1000 times over that the email communications between this hate-filled subhuman scum and his terrorist cohorts overseas were discovered and monitored.  Without that surveillance, yesterday's attempt to blow up hundreds of innocent men, women and children would almost certainly been successful..

I would like to think this is a wakeup call for some of the people who are adamantly opposed to surveillance of  possible terrorists in our midst -- and wonder how many of them are simultaneously against such surveillance but in favor of everyone - suspected terrorists or otherwise, being subjected to nude body scans and groping TSA agents at airports.

This kind of looney-left mindset is embodied in one of the comments posted about the article:

So this is my question; how far would have this moron gotten without FBI help?

If the FBI didn't help this idiot what possibly could he have done and how far could he gotten? Of course this is speculative, but the answer is most likely not far and he would have been turned in far earlier.

 

So why did the FBI egg him on? Can you say "grandstanding?" I knew you could.

 

Its a horrible thing to have to suspect your government when things like this occur but ever since 9/11 and discovering that its an inside job being suspicious of anything the government says comes naturally.

I didn't read further, to see if anyone tried to explain to this brainstem that by allowing mohamed osman mohamud to proceed (knowing he did not have a live bomb), the FBI gathered invaluable information about how he was doing it and who he was in contact with.  But, given the, er, intellect necessary for that post, I suspect it wouldn't have made a dent.

free` Ken, Lets also hope someone pointed out to that commenter this from the article; The FBI operatives cautioned Mohamud several times about the seriousness of his plan, noting that there would be many people, including children, at the event, and that Mohamud could abandon his plans at any time with no shame. (11/27/10)

Ken Berwitz free - This subhuman scumbag probably thought killing the children would get him a few extra virgins...... (11/27/10)


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