Friday, 11 March 2011

PALESTINIAN "DEMOCRACY"

Ken Berwitz

Since so many of our wonderful "neutral" media seem to think that the so-called "Palestinian" territories provide some kind of democratic paradigm that other, perhaps less progressive societies should aspire to, I thought I would post this news.  It is excerpted from an article I found at democraticunderground.com:

Hamas officials in Gaza announced Thursday the formation of a new government headed by the party's leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The new government is an expanded form of the last, made up entirely of Hamas members, six of them newly appointed, in addition to a new cabinet secretary-general. Many of the newly appointed members also hold positions at the Islamic University in Gaza.

Haniyeh said in a statement following the shuffle that "the reshuffle is an administrative step and is not against reconciliation." He said the new government would resign when a national unity agreement was signed ending division with Fatah.

Wow.  Now that's a democracy!

No elections.  Every member of the government from hamas, none at all from fatah or anywhere else.  And an overload of appointees from the Islamic university. 

But they'll all resign as soon as a unity agreement is signed with fatah -- which hamas violently threw out of the government years ago, after the people voted them in.  So that unity agreement should be in place, oh, about the 12th of Never. 

And popular elections in which men and women can actually vote for the candidates they want?  Not even on the radar.

I just can't figure out why western civilization - especially Gaza's neighbor, Israel, do not climb on board and share in this enlightened form of democracy. 

Maybe someone at the democratic underground can explain....... 

 

 


THE JAPAN EARTHQUAKE

Ken Berwitz

A major earthquake has hit Japan.  The initial number of deaths is irrelevant because it is sure to rise exponentially.  Let's all hope that the damage in human, natural and structural terms, will not get worse still. 

My heart goes out to Japan and to all its victims, as I'm sure yours does.


PETER KING'S OPENING STATEMENT

Ken Berwitz

I just read a portion of Rep. Peter King's opening statement, made yesterday, prior to chairing the house Homeland Security committee's hearings on radical Islam's inroads in the USA.  I thought you might want to see it as well.  So, with a tip of the hat to John Hinderaker of powerlineblog.com, here it is:

This committee cannot live in denial, which is what some of us would do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaida. 

The Department of Homeland Security and this committee were formed in response to the Al Qaida attacks of September 11. There is no equivalency of threat between Al Qaida and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only Al Qaida, and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation.

Indeed, by the Justice Department's own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups. 

I have repeatedly said that the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans are outstanding Americans and make enormous contributions to our country. But there are realities we can't ignore. For instance, the Pew poll, which said that 15 percent of Muslim American men between the age of 18 and 29 could support suicide bombings. This is the segment of the community Al Qaida is attempting to recruit.

To combat this threat, moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim community. As the majority and minority staff of the Senate Homeland Security Committee concluded in its report which ironically enough was entitled "Violent Islamist Extremism and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat," this report concluded "Muslim community leaders and religious leaders must play a more visible role in discrediting and providing alternatives to violent Islamist ideology," end of quote.

This means that responsible Muslim American leaders must reject discredited groups such as CAIR, the Committee on American -- the Committee on Islamic American Relations (sic). CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorist financing case involving the Holy Land Foundation.

In the lead-up to this hearing, I found it shocking and sad that the mainstream media accepted CAIR's accusations as if it were a legitimate organization. 

Thank you, Mr. King. 

And shame on the media which have perversely distorted the scope and meaning of these hearings into something they most definitely are not.


NO, VIRGINIA, THERE ISN'T A HUGE, HAIRY NIPPLE.....

Ken Berwitz

The following story, if you can call it a story, comes to us from Amherst County, Virginia.  Make of it what you will -- but know for sure that it is firmly entrenched in the "you can't make this stuff up" file.

Authorities said a woman entered the Amherst County Courthouse on Thursday morning with a tiny monkey tucked into her bra, dressed in diapers and a pink and white dress.

The unusual event occurred when the woman arrived for a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations court.

Officials said they had no idea the woman had the monkey until the she went into an office for a routine procedure to fill out court-related paperwork.

When the woman referred to a daughter, a puzzled official asked where the daughter was and the woman pulled the monkey out of her bra.

Officials confirmed the incident, from the commonwealths attorney, Stephanie Maddox, to deputies who were working in the courthouse. They did not identify the woman.

You couldnt make up something like this, Maddox said.

But it was no big deal, the woman said later, because her tiny marmoset turns seven weeks old today and is, in the parlance of monkeys, an infant who needs constant attention.

I cant understand why the deputy didnt see her she was peeking out from the cleavage of her blouse, she said.

That must have been a very small mammos.....er, marmoset.

This woman needs to get the monkey off her front.  And consign it to her mammary bank.

Ok, enough.  The next bad joke is yours.  Just keep me abreast of your efforts.

Ken Berwitz It's not as easy as he thinks. The biggest problem with being President of China is that an hour after someone else takes over you want to be President again. (03/11/11)

free` You want another one for the 'you can't make this up' category? --- weeklystandard.com/blogs/president-china_554012.html?nopager=1 ---- “Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. (03/11/11)


THE ILLUSION OF EGYPT'S BUDDING "DEMOCRACY"

Ken Berwitz

I've blogged a number of times over the past month about the illusory nature of Egypt's "democracy" movement, and noted that the Mubarak government, with all its ills, might turn out to have been better than what comes next.

Karin McQuillan of American Thinker has written a very interesting analysis of Egypt's future and why it may be a bleak one, which is well worth reading in its entirety (please use the link and do so).  But meanwhile, here are a few excerpts:

There is no democracy movement in Egypt.  A handful of Facebook twenty-somethings in Cairo backed by the Muslim Brotherhood brought Mubarak down not because the mass of Egyptians want to vote, but because they want better jobs.  Ordinary Egyptians do not think about or understand or desire democracy.  They can't support their families because of the crushing weight of a corrupt bureaucracy that squeezes them at every turn.  They want a modern economy, and they don't have one.

In an economy where family rules, "success" is a favor handed out to cousins and clan allies, not something individuals earn.  Like the family itself, an economy based on family connections is static.  You get a job only because of whom you know, not because of what you can do.  Once in a job, no work is necessary.  If your family has access to government jobs, you have the bonanza of extorting bribes and passing out the loot within your own clan.

Free enterprise is the only economic system in the world that builds prosperity and gives the gift of freedom. 

The Institute for Liberty estimated that Egyptians hold $400 billion in assets without protection of law.  This is "dead capital."  Without law, you can't have partnerships, joint stock companies, corporations.  You can't use your property as collateral for loans.  You can't grow to a size to enjoy economy of scale.  As a result, Egyptian businesses are stunted. 

The Egyptian bureaucracy is like some horrible slime mold suffocating everything in its path.  Ordinary Egyptians without powerful family connections can't lift themselves up.  They can never give a better life to their children.

That is why they are exploding in anger on the streets.  In Egypt, as in America, it's the economy, stupid.

 One thing that especially strikes me about Ms. McQuillan's piece - and one that I also have written quite a bit about - is the lack of any reference to social justice.  Religious freedom?  Gay rights?  Tolerance of any appreciable kind?  Not even in the mix.

 

We have to remember, and keep reminding ourselves, that "democracy" in a place like Egypt is not going to be anything like Democracy in the west.  The Coptic Christians of Egypt will still be oppressed.  The shari'a law advocates will still be everywhere.  Even among those who do not advocate strict shari'a law, a great many lean in that direction.

 

Sometimes even a bad government is better than the alternative.  Sadly, that may turn out to be the most fitting epitaph for Mr. Mubarak's 30 years in power. 


LEFT WING "CIVILITY" (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

I am not familiar with Raven Clabough, the author of this article.  But I certainly know who Art Robinson is.  And if this story is true it is among the most disgusting I have read in recent times.

Excerpted from Ms. Clabough's article at The New American:

Robinson won the Republican, Independent, Libertarian, and Constitution Party endorsements for the 2010 midterm elections and ran against far-left Democrat Peter Fazio for the House position. Fazio ran a smear campaign against Robinson which effectively won him the House seat, though not by nearly as much as might have been expected 54.5 to 43.6 percent. Regardless of the loss, Robinson has already announced his intent to run again for a House position in 2012.

Robinson contends that his vigor in the 2010 election and his announcement to seek candidacy in the 2012 elections have prompted Oregon State University to employ political payback. His detailed narrative of the events that transpired following the results of the 2010 midterm elections is as follows:

They initiated an attack on my three children Joshua, Bethany and Matthew for the purpose of throwing them all out of the OSU graduate school, despite their outstanding academic and research accomplishments. OSU is a liberal socialist Democrat stronghold in Oregon that received a reported $27 million in earmark funding from my opponent, Peter DeFazio, and his Democrat colleagues during the last legislative session.

Thus, Democrat activist David Hamby and militant feminist and chairman of the nuclear engineering department Kathryn Higley are expelling four-year Ph.D. student Joshua Robinson from OSU at the end of the current academic quarter and turning over the prompt neutron activation analysis facility Joshua built for his thesis work and all of his work in progress to Higley's husband, Steven Reese. Reese, an instructor in the department, has stated that he will use these things for his own professional gain. Joshua's apparatus, which he built and added to the OSU nuclear reactor with the guidance and ideas of his mentor, Michael Hartman, earned Joshua the award for best Masters of Nuclear Engineering thesis at OSU and has been widely complimented by scientists at prominent U.S. nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, faculty member Todd Palmer notified four-year Ph.D. student Bethany Robinson (OSU grade point average 3.89) that he was terminating her thesis work and taking all of her work in progress for himself. Some of Bethany's graduate work has already been used, without credit to Bethany, in the thesis of another favored student now recently hired on the department faculty.

The Robinson family immediately took action against the school, but could not say with certainty that the schools actions were necessarily political payback. That all changed, however, when OSU Professor of Nuclear Engineering Jack Higginbotham came forward and warned the Robinson family that the school was in fact targeting the Robinson children.

Robinson explains:

Professor Higginbotham warned us that faculty administrators at OSU were working to make certain that Joshua, his sister Bethany and, if possible, his brother Matthew never receive Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from OSU, regardless of their examination, academic and research performance. Professor Higginbotham then reviewed with us the details of the plan to destroy the education of these students and advised me to do anything I could to protect my children.

HIgginbotham appears to be reputable source on the issue, as he has served on the OSU faculty for 24 years, held a number of positions at the school, and received a number of professional awards. 

Can this possibly be true?  If so, can this possibly be uglier? 

I promise to stay on top of the Robinson story as best I can, and let you know what is happening. 

Meanwhile, you would do well to remember what seems to be happening to Art Robinson's children the next time you read or hear someone railing about Tea Party and/or Republican and/or conservative "incivility"

Zeke ..... ..... Perversion of our institutions. .... .... "It's not what you know... ... it's who you bl*w" .... ..... Scary that Big-Brother Group-Think has invaded the Sciences, .... ... after infiltrating the 'Social and Humanities' subjects. ..... ..... shudder ..... (03/12/11)


UNION THUGGERY IN WISCONSIN (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

The New York Times has published an editorial this morning which excoriates Wisconsin Governor Walker and his fellow Republicans for passing legislation that significantly limits collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.

This is hardly a surprise, given that the Times rarely finds a Republican it likes, a Democrat it dislikes or a union that can engage in enough thuggery to be criticized, let alone condemned.  I was especially fascinated by the editorial's first words.....

"Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have reversed half-a-centurys middle-class progress in the state..."

...which duplicate the Democrats' key talking point, almost verbatim.

I have a few questions for the Times, and for the people who buy into what its editorial is saying. 

-What if it were state senators connected to the Tea Party movement who left Wisconsin rather than do their jobs and debate, then vote on, the budget and its components?  Would the Times have a problem with that?  Because the Times has no problem at all with Wisconsin's public sector unions, supplemented by assorted left wingers, student activists and bussed-in out of state supporters, doing it;

-What if it were Tea Party supporters who put up the many, many hate-signs we have seen in Wisconsin, including comparisons of Governor Walker to hitler, and calls for him to be killed.  Would the Times have a problem with that?  Because the Times has no problem at all with Wisconsin's public sector unions, supplemented by assorted left wingers, student activists and bussed-in out of state supporters, doing it;

-What if it were Tea Party supporters who were banging drums, blowing vuvuzuela horns, screaming out insults and disrupting the legislative process every way they could, because the voters elected a majority of people they did not agree with.  Would the Times have a problem with that?  Because the Times has no problem at all with Wisconsin's public sector unions, supplemented by assorted left wingers, student activists and bussed-in out of state supporters, doing it;

-What if it were Tea Party supporters verbally and physically threatening anyone who disagreed with their position on collective bargaining rights, so that anyone who disagreed would have to face a truly intimidating gauntlet of such people (why do you think all you see is supporters of the union position?  Because everyone in Wisconsin agrees with them, or because to disagree in the capital is to face that gauntlet?)  Would the Times have a problem with that?  Because the Times has no problem at all with Wisconsin's public sector unions, supplemented by assorted left wingers, student activists and bussed-in out of state supporters, doing it;

Our media - as exemplified by the New York Times, have again demonstrated an  amazing lack of even the pretense that they are neutral. 

When it was Tea Partiers, if they could find one or two objectionable signs and one person pushing another person, those images were then used to define the entire movement. 

But the daily union thuggery we are seeing on Fox and the relatively few other venues showing it?  Buried - and if they are mentioned at all, it is quickly pointed out that they are not in any way representative of the overall movement. 

Do you remember that talk about incivility and heated political rhetoric by the Tea Partiers?  When have you seen or heard it on mainstream media during this disgraceful time in Wisconsin?  Even once?

I find it fascinating that these are the same people who call Fox "Faux News" and other more earthy epithets.  Fox is presenting BOTH SIDES.  I watched parts of The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity and Greta Van Susteren's shows last night, and every one presented supporters of both the Republicans and the Democrats.  By contrast, just about everywhere else I watched either presented one side alone (Chris Matthews was a special joke last night) or close to it. 

Which of these alternatives do you find more acceptable?  In this instance, I'll take Fox 100 times out of 100.

Meanwhile, the disgrace continues.  The Democrat senators are still hiding out of state (though, as I said yesterday, I now expect them back any time), the union thugs are still openly intimidating anyone who disagrees with their position..............

....and much of the mainstream media continue to reveal themselves as partisan whores, not even remotely interested in giving their readers/viewers two sides of the story.

How sad.  How pathetic. 

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


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