Tuesday, 04 January 2011

IS INNOCENCE AN ISRAELI CONSPIRACY?

Ken Berwitz

julian assange is a left wing activist.  He certainly is not Jewish.  And he employs a career anti-Semite and holocaust denier who goes under the names "Adam Ermash", "Jran Jermas" and sometimes the intentionally inciteful "Israel Shamir". 

As we all know, two months ago assange dumped a huge number of classified documents into the public domain.  But there is a problem - at least to the Israel haters out there (of which there are just a few...):  in all those classified documents, there is virtually nothing embarrassing to Israel. 

In fact, it turns out that a large number of Arab countries have been enthusiastically rooting for Israel to take out Iran's nuclear capability.

Now that's embarrassing.  So what are some Arab supporting/Israel hating venues doing?  They are accusing julian assange of being part of an Israeli plot, that's what. 

Read this excerpt from an article by Gil Ronen of israelnationalnews.com, and see for yourself:

Islamists: WikiLeaks are an Israeli Conspiracy


by Gil Ronen

 

Why did the documents exposed by WikiLeaks contain so much material about Arab regimes asking the United States to contain Irans nuclear program? Why there was little material that was embarrassing to Israel? JTA reports that Hizbullah and other jihadi groups see an Israeli conspiracy at work.

 

The Jewish news agency said that Hizbullah's Al Manar news outlet, and Al Haqiqa, which is affiliated with a Syrian opposition group, have been writing that WikiLeaks director Julian Assange "struck a deal with Israel and the 'Israel lobby' to withhold documents that might embarrass the Jewish state." From the jihadis, the theory is "percolating" to far-left and far-right websites as well.

 

A December 8 story on leftist Indymedia UK asked: Why [did] the hundreds of thousands of American classified documents leaked not contain anything that may embarrass the Israeli government? The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between Wikileaks [and] Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were removed before the rest were made public.

 

The story has surfaced in the United States, at the Arab Times and the Arab Voice, Arab-American community papers in Texas and New Jersey, JTA found.

 

Sharif Nashashibi, chairman of Arab Media Watch, a London-based nonprofit that monitors the British media's coverage of the Arab world, said the claim "certainly isn't prevalent in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and that's most likely because it has no solid basis. 

Let's see:  if wikileaks showed Israel in a negative light, the response would surely have been to condemn Israel.  But since the documents show Israel in a positive light, the response, at least from some quarters, is to....condemn Israel anyway.

Maybe I'm a born cynic.  But, if I were an Israeli, I just might conclude that it doesn't matter what my country does, these people will attack me for it anyway.  And that would make me entirely unconcerned about what they think.

Just a wild guess, but I'll bet that a lot of Israelis -- maybe a vast majority of them -- feel exactly the same way.

free` From the article: "JTA reports that Hizbullah and other jihadi groups see an Israeli conspiracy at work." -------------------------- Whenever anything goes bad in the world, Hizbullah and other jihadi groups along with plenty of left-wingers see an Israeli conspiracy at work. (01/04/11)


SECURING THE BORDERS: GREEK VERSION

Ken Berwitz

If you think the USA is the only country with a porous border, a problem securing that border, and a kumbaya contingent whining that doing so is somehow unfair, you are wrong.

Excerpted from an article in London's Daily Mail:

Greece follows U.S. example by building giant border wall to keep out illegal immigrants

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:56 AM on 4th January 2011

The Greek government has unveiled plans to construct a wall along its 128-mile land border with Turkey in order to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants.

Interior minister Christian Papoutsis said the wall was a necessary measure after more than 100,000 people illegally entered the Mediterranean nation last year.

But the plans - which have compared with the 650-mile barrier along sections of the border between the U.S. and Mexico - have been criticised by the European Commission as a 'short-term measure'  that does not deal with the root of the problem.

Around 90 per cent of all illegal immigrants into the EU have come through Greece, it is estimated.

Mr Papoutsis insisted the new wall along the land border was necessary after the EU deployed border control troops to the region last year.

'Co-operation with other EU states is going well. Now we plan to construct a fence to deal with illegal migration,' he said.

'The Greek public has reached its limit in taking in illegal immigrants. We are absolutely determined on this issue. Greece cant take it anymore.'

A spokesman said on Monday that for the EU Commission said that such proposals were 'short-term measures which will not allow us to tackle illegal immigration in a structural manner'.

'We made clear with Greece that the country needs sound and long-term structural reforms and measures to better manage its border, to better address the challenges linked to migration flows,' Michele Cercone said.

'It is important that these borders... are managed in order to discourage and interrupt traffickers and smugglers that exploit (illegal immigrants).'

Maybe it's because I didn't go to graduate school, but I cannot figure out what "the country needs sound and long-term structural reforms and measures to better manage its border, to better address the challenges linked to migration flows" means.  To my uneducated mind, it reads like a labyrinthine way of saying "don't do anything about the borders". 

And isn't that exactly what the USA's kumbaya contingent says too?

If I were interior minister Papoutsis, I wouldn't listen a to a word of this absolute drivel.  Its bad enough the USA is living with the current (and let's be honest, former) administration's border dereliction  Why should Greece? 

Ken Berwitz Zeke - I hope not. The problem with the great wall of China is that an hour after you get it, you want another one. (01/04/11)

Zeke .... ..... Does that mean that our friends, the Chinese, will be exporting yet another product --- the actual Great Wall of China ? ...... (01/04/11)


DEATH PANELS (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

When I first read about the stealth-appointed (i.e. no congressional hearings) Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid Services, donald berwick adding a stealth-provision (i.e. when, he hoped, no one was looking) involving so-called "end of life planning", I defended it.  I did so on the grounds that it was described as entirely voluntary which, in my mind, made it nothing more than the availability of a useful option.

My bad.  I didn't take into full account that this is the Obama administration and that the administrator is Mr. health-rationing himself, donald berwick.

Here is the reality, via an excerpt from Robert Goldberg's excellent commentary at americanthinker.com  The bold print is mine:

Berwick's Orwellian Wellness Visit

But the inclusion of the advanced directive and end of life planning is not voluntary, only the patient's discussion is. Doctors are required to bring it up year after year. What's more, noting that Medicare added the discussion of advance directives to the initial physical exam begs the question: why every year?

Indeed, the regulations dealing with "Medicare Coverage of Annual Wellness Visit Providing a Personalized Prevention Plan" goes out of its way to reject paying for other preventive evaluations because they are not "evidence-based" or lack standardized tools. This adherence to an evidence-based approach to coverage was used by Berwick to delay access to Provenge, the first vaccine for prostate cancer. And it is used to reject regular screening for hearing, depression, ability to successfully perform activities of daily living, fall risk, and home safety -- since none of those, according to Berwick's CMS, have enough current evidence.

So where is the evidence to support yearly review of advance directives and end of life care planning? Berwick cites three studies in the regulation to argue that end of life planning does not lead to harm. But that is beside the point on so many levels. The value and impact of advance care directives is suspect, to say the least: A recent systematic review of end of life planning found that most measures (of effectiveness) have not undergone rigorous development and testing.

Why then is Berwick pushing now for annual advance directive discussions? First, the new regulation dovetails with the requirement that doctors use electronic health records to deliver advance directive materials to patients, annually. And it also overlaps with Berwick's stated desire to use the Web to deliver government-produced "shared decision-making" content about end of life care and as well as the use of invasive medical treatments.

While most of us will begin the New Year redoubling efforts to improve our health, 44 million Americans on Medicare will be hit with annual physician prodding and Google health links about making plans to die with dignity.

In Berwick's Orwellian world a wellness visit includes end of life care planning but not depression screening based on "the evidence." It insists on advance directives but ignores the fact that seniors are living longer than ever with fewer disabilities and should be encouraged to keep doing so. Instead the deranged definition of wellness -- and its rapid dissemination through our health records and the Web -- is all the medical information we need to know. 

In short:  the Obama administration, through its lickspittle, happy-to-oblige toady donald berwick, is requiring that Doctors offer seniors a heads-up on how to die, every year, while denying them potentially life-prolonging treatments. 

That, folks, is the functional equivalent of Death Panels.

That's right.  Death Panels.  Just like Sarah Palin said.  And involuntary ones at that.

But count on our wonderful "neutral" media to continue telling us, as they have for two years now, what an idiot Palin is, as well as (for the last year) how elevated ObamaCare is.

And, yes, these are the same people who squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

Zeke .... ..... .... The movie is "Logan's Run". .... ..... .... a future society where people are 'eliminated' when they reach old age ..... 30 years old. .... .... (01/04/11)


WHY JANET NAPOLITANO WILL NEVER MAKE OUR AIRPORTS SAFE

Ken Berwitz

Janet Napolitano is our Secretary of Homeland Security. 

She is the same Janet Napolitano who tried to convince us that the word "terrorism" was not acceptable; we should say "man-made disaster" instead. 

She is also the same Janet Napolitano who, after last year's so-called "Christmas bomber" had no trouble getting onto a plane heading for Detroit with a pants-load of explosives or detonating them, claimed that this showed "the system worked".  (In reality, the only thing that saved the plane, and countless people on the ground below, was the bomber's incompetence in putting the explosives together.)

Not for nothing do some people insultingly refer to her as "Janet Incompetano".

Well, Ms. Napolitano is at it again.  She is again making incredibly asinine comments about homeland security that demonstrate a combination of ignorance and stupidity that should disqualify her for the post she holds. 

Read the following excerpts from an article at foxnews.com, and see for yourself:

TEL AVIV -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday rebuffed suggestions that U.S. airports should adopt the practices of airports in Israel, calling the Israeli air travel system "a very different model."

 

"We share a common goal, which is to protect the people of our countries from terror or other attacks," Napolitano told Fox News ahead of a tour of security facilities at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport. :But there are many differences in the United States system versus Israel. Part of that is driven by sheer size."

 

Critics of U.S. security methods, particularly full body scans and the so-called "invasive pat down" used by the Transportation Security Administration, have called for American airports to adopt Israeli-style security measures, which rely heavily on behavioral profiling of travelers.

 

But Napolitano said that what is effective in Israel, a nation of 7.3 million, wouldn't necessarily work for 310 million Americans.

 

Ben-Gurion is Israel's only major international airport. The United States, however, has 450 such facilities. Plus, about 11 million people pass through Israeli airports each year, while 70 times that many passengers go through American airports each year.

 

So there's a very big difference in terms of size and scale," said Napolitano, who granted Fox News exclusive access to join her on a week-long, security-focused trip to Europe and the Middle East.

 

Early Tuesday, the head of security at Ben-Gurion gave Napolitano a tour of his airport's system and a "comprehensive briefing" on Israeli airport security that "covered the spectrum from intelligence to the perimeter security of the airport to checkpoint screening and everything in between," according to a Homeland Security official.

 

Ben-Gurion has formidable security measures apparent even to an outsider. Snipers stand watch from a glass-encased booth suspended above the airport's main entrance, visible from a traveler's first steps into the airport.

 

Passengers arriving at Ben-Gurion for flights out of Israel spoke to FOX News about their experiences with the airport's security system.

Uh, Janet...........

Yes, Israel has just one major international airport and just 7.3 million people.  But since the United States also has 45 times as many people as Israel, do you think it just maybe might be possible that we can find personnel to handle the complete package of Israel-style security at some of our major international airports?  Or to handle a few of Israel's most effective techniques at all of them? 

Which techniques?  You know, the ones that have kept Israel - among the most hated, most targeted countries on earth - safe from terrorist attacks for decades?

But, then again, why bother with what works, when you can pretend that a bomber's incompetence is your success.  Or that there aren't any terrorists, there are just "man-made disasters".  

Who will this impossibly incompetent person blame when the next terrorist attack succeeds?  George Bush?  Benjamin Netanyahu?  The man in the moon?  It sure as hell won't be herself.

Zeke ..... ...... What counts is the EFFECTIVENESS of the security methods. ..... ..... Israel's security methods are clearly effective - given the lack of success of highly motivated and funded enemies. .... .... ...... ..... OTOH, security measures at US airports fail to detect 50% - 75% of mock explosives and weapons in covert attempts performed by Inspectors General. In a number of cases, TSA management sent emails alerting the airports of the impending covert tests, and even describing the covert agent. ..... ....... Did you pack your bag yourself? .... Has it been out of your sight ? (01/04/11)

free` I would like to see some cost data. I would be willing to bet that the USA spends more on airport security per flier than Israel does. So it would probably be cheaper to institute the Israeli system here. But without seeing the data I can't say for sure, it is just my biased guess. (01/04/11)

Zeke .... .... ..... free` ...... Regardless of cost, the TSA has not caught ONE terrorist.... ..... ..... The Shoe Bomber, the Xmas Underwear Bomber were subdued by passengers and crew while in flight. ..... The TSA simply is going through the motions --- "Good Enough for Government Work". .... .... (01/04/11)


KATHY GRIFFIN'S IDEA OF HUMOR

Ken Berwitz

kathy griffin is billed as a comedian.  But I can't say I find anything comedic about what she says or does.  griffin is among the most bitter, unfunny people I have ever come across (if it weren't for janeane garofalo, she would be the undisputed titleholder).

If griffin were not a hard-left, religon-bashing suckup as well, she would long be out of show business.  But she is both those things, so she prospers.

Here, excerpted from an article at Fox News, is griffin's latest attempt at "humor" -- and some people's reactions to it:

Kathy Griffin announced her New Years resolution to continue a verbal assault on the Palin family. Only in 2011, the comedian said she intends to target Sarah Palins 16-year-old daughter, Willow.

 

"I've already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously," Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I think it's Willow's year to go down. In 2011, I want to offend a new Palin.

 

Could Griffin be switching to a younger, easier Palin target following her Bristol backfire in December?

 

On a special that aired Dec. 5, Kathy Griffin was jeered by the audience after attacking Bristol Palin for being fat while hosting the VH1 Divas Salute to the Troops. Griffin called the 20-year-old to the white Precious, based on Gabourey Sidibes role as an obese and abused teen mother in the 2009 Lee Daniels drama.

 

Calling Bristol Palin fat is inappropriate and distasteful, even under the guise of humor, body image expert and author of Love Your Body Love Your Life, Sarah Maria told Pop Tarts at the time. The problem is that people, and particularly young people, easily absorb the ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that are presented to them."

Bristol Palin herself responded, telling Pop Tarts that The audience's reaction to this comedian spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would probably have booed her, too.

 

Hollywood publicist Angie Meyer says Griffins targeting of Willow, a minor, is even worse.

 

To attack a young girl solely because of her last name seems rather contradictory of the types of justice she champions for others, Meyer said. A 50-year-old woman who chooses to attack a 16-year-old girl publicly at a time when cyber-bullying and teenage suicide are at their highest reported rates, not only sets irreconcilable example for others, its tasteless, immoral, and frankly classless."

griffin goes on to rationalize that she is doing this because Willow - who, again, is all of 16 years old - is supposed to have used a pejorative term for homosexuals on her facebook page.  griffin says "You don't throw the f-word without hearing from me about it". 

That so?  If kathy griffin was attacked every time she said something offensive, there wouldn't be anything but attacks.  kathy griffin calling someone else offensive is like fidel castro calling someone else a communist.

The moral of this story is that, if you're going to be a bitter, angry, tasteless unfunny sack of manure, be a left-wing one. My congratulations to kathy griffin for understanding this perfectly -- and acting accordingly.

Zeke ... ..... Politics of Personal Destruction ..... ..... That person (or their child) is a dirty bird. ..... .... All dirty birds are racists and homophobes. ..... ..... (01/04/11)


GLOBAL WARMING: WHERE BEING WRONG HAS ITS REWARDS

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an article by Martin Evans in today's London Daily Mail:

Britain braced for heaviest snowfall in 50 years

The heaviest snowfall in almost 50 years is hitting parts of Britain as Arctic weather brought nationwide chaos.

As the country was plunged into one of its worst winters for decades, the Met Office issued an emergency weather warning for all counties of the UK.

The South, including London and the Home Counties, were expected to bear the brunt of the snowfall with emergency services warning they are already struggling to cope with the increasingly bitter conditions.

Forecasters predicted that more than one foot of snow could fall in less than 24 hours in most southern areas leading to widespread chaos and disruption for millions.

The residents of Hampshire and Wiltshire were expected to be the worst hit, with as much as 16 inches likely to be dumped by the end of tomorrow.

Residents and commuters in London, which ground to a halt last February following heavy falls, were warned to expect a covering of several inches by the morning rush hour.

Excerpted from an article in the UK's Independent, March 20, 2000 (with a hat tip to Steve Gilbert at sweetness-light.com for unearthing it).  The bold print is mine:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

Britains winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britains culture, as warmer winters which scientists are attributing to global climate change produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just arent going to know what snow is," he said.

Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "Were really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.

The chances are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying".

And what position does Dr. David Viner currently hold?  He leads the British Council's Climate Change Programme.

See, this is my big mistake.  I never realized that being so completely wrong could get you so far in the same field you are wrong about.

But at least some good has come out of this.  I now have another proof (as if another were needed) that I am right to be consummately skeptical of global warming/climate change/whatever they're calling it this week, and to believe that it is overloaded with scam artists.


IS DAN ISSA ALREADY COMPROMISED INTO USELESSNESS?

Ken Berwitz

Michelle Malkin has a tremendous piece at her blog this morning, in which she questions whether Dan Issa (R-CA), about to become Chairman of the house Oversight Committee, has already been neutered, spayed and rendered useless by the beltway culture. 

Here are key excerpts, along with important links to other sites which provide additional relevant information;  judge for yourself:

After decades of indulgent public floggings and ideological fishing expeditions led by chief congressional inquisitor Henry Waxman (see here here here here for starters), Democrats are suddenly worried about abuse of investigative powers.

 

Lets all let out a hearty New Years snort:

 

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is warning GOP leaders against partisan witch hunts when they take over the panel this year.

 

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sunday that such investigations might play well politically, but they ultimately undermine the bipartisanship required to tackle the many problems facing the country.

We cant have witch hunts. We cant have these fishing expeditions, Cummings said on CNNs State of the Union.

 

Cummings, a 14-year veteran of the Oversight panel, cited the GOP investigations of the Clinton administration, where witnesses, he said, were dragged in to depositions people making $50,000 a year had to pay $25,000, $30,000 to hire a lawyer.

 

Were just going to have to be careful with this power, he said.

 

Call the concern troll patrol.

 

Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades reviews the Issa list and asks, Is this what you had in mind?:

 

The to-do list is: 1. Impact of regulation on job creation 2. Fannie/Freddie & the Foreclosure Crisis 3. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the failure to identify origins of the financial crisis 4. Combating corruption in Afghanistan 5. WikiLeaks 6. FDA/Food & Drug Safety.

 

Notable omissions: Sestak bribery probe. AG Holder and the voter intimidation case. The stimulus spending and mismanagement. Pigford II. The GM dealerships kerfuffle.

 

Kevin at Hillbuzz is not happy:

 

Its time to say no to Sharpton, Jackson, Henry Gates, and the rest of the Race Industry.

Its time to bring investigations into Sestak, the Black Panthers, and Pigford. Its time to expose the truth about Obama to Americans.

 

Maybe Republicans are stymied because they know the media wont report on anything negative related to Obama, so they believe that even if they bring the investigations, that Obama will not fall in the eyes of voters since the media wont cover the story.

Will Dan Issa do what he should be doing - i.e. aggressively pursuing matters of oversight even if they embarrass some of the now-worried Democrats on capital hill?  Or will he fold like a $3 umbrella in a windstorm?  We'll find out soon enough, won't we?

One other thing:  I keep asking myself:  If Michelle Malkin can uncover this information - which, to her great credit, always seems to be well referenced and in context - how come so much of our wonderful "neutral" mainstream media seem unable to do so?

And the answer I keep settling on is the most obvious one:  because our wonderful "neutral" media do have knowledge of this information; but, for agenda-related reasons, a very large and very powerful segment decline to provide us with it.

Let's remember that these are the same people who quickly, and repeatedly, tell us the political affilation of Republicans accused of illegalities, but either downplay, or entirely avoid mentioning, the party affiliation of Democrats.  I have written literally dozens of blogs over the years citing examples of this happening.  It isn't a coincidence.

And, yes, they are also the ones who squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

free` Ken wrote: "And, yes, they are also the ones who squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased." ---- I call them 'criminal fraudsters'. (01/04/11)

Dan Issa The congressman's name is DARRELL Issa, NOT Dan Issa. Please Correct (09/10/11)

daniel issa How accurate can you be? I AM DAN ISSA you mean Daryl Issa, the congressman please erase my name from your website... (02/11/12)


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