Friday, 25 March 2011

HAMAS AND ITS MOMMY AT THE UN

Ken Berwitz

It happens every day in elementary school.

Kid A starts up with Kid B.  Kid B hits Kid A back.  And Kid A goes crying to his mommy, who is expected to be outraged by what Kid B did..  The fact that Kid A started it?  Irrelevant 'n' immaterial.

With that in mind, please read the following news report from Ha'aretz:

Report: Hamas calls on UN to halt Israel's strikes on Gaza

 

Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports that Hamas spokesman also called on Arab League to intervene to stop 'Israeli aggression' and stop Israel from 'exploiting regional instability to carry out massacres against Palestinians.'

 

By Haaretz Service

 

Hamas called on the United Nations on Friday to put an end to the "crime of the recent attacks on Gaza," referring to the stepped up Israeli air strikes on the Strip which have come in the wake of increased rocket fire, the pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.

 

The report, which was carried by Israeli media, also said that Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas regime, called on the Arab League to work urgently to stop "recent Israeli aggression."

 

Israel must be prevented from "exploiting the instability in the region and world to carry out massacres against the Palestinian people," Taher said.

 

Tensions along the Israel-Gaza border have been extremely tense over the course of the past week, with an increase in both rocket fire from Gaza and retaliatory air strikes by Israel on the Strip.

 

In the most recent exchange, the Israel Air Force bombed an arms depot in northern Gaza, which according to Palestinian sources, belong to the military wing of Hamas.

 

The attack was carried out around 8:30 P.M. Thursday local time, after two rockets and several mortars fired from Gaza at landed deep into Israel earlier in the day.

 

In a separate report carried by Israeli media, contacts from Hamas and Israel are supposedly meeting with a third party in order to bring about a reduction in tensions between the sides. The report, which cannot be confirmed, came from the London based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

 

Despite the Israeli strikes on the Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday that if Hamas chooses to escalate cross-border tensions, Israel's response will be measured.

Let's see:  hamas, fresh from its "victories" of killing five family members who were sleeping in their beds - beheading a three month old child in the process - and blowing up busses in Jerusalem, has decided to further escalate its war of annihilation against Israel.  And Israel has done something about it (though far less than it should have, if you ask me). 

So hamas goes crying to the United Nations, its mommy, demanding that Israel be stopped.  See, it's not fun to get what's coming to you.

And what will happen?  Bet on another UN condemnation of Israel.  Condemning Israel is one of the only things the UN is good at getting done.

What a perfectly named organization.  It is UNfair, UNcaring about what actually happened, UNmoved by a mass murder if the victims are Jewish, and UNworthy of its supposed mission in the world.

Zeke .... .... Smuggling from Egypt into Gaza (through about 1,000 tunnels) supplies Hamas with advanced rockets, mortars, secure communications, money. .... Cut off this flow. ... .... Israel should occupy the 8.6 mile border between Egypt and Gaza (Philadelphi Corridor), dig a 150' deep canal and flood it from the Mediterranean Sea. Under the 1979 Egypt/Israel peace treaty and under the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has the right to ensure its security by occupying and controlling this border corridor. (03/25/11)


GENERAL ELECTRIC: EPIC TAX DODGER - AND MSNBC'S PARENT COMPANY

Ken Berwitz

Here's an interesting scandal for you - one that MSNBC is going to soft-pedal for sure.

Guess which company has used accounting chicanery to avoid paying billions upon billions of dollars in taxes? 

Why it's General Electric - which, until just a few months ago, was MSNBC's parent company.

Want the particulars?  Here they are, from an article by David Kocieniewski of dailycaller.com (extra credit if you can spell his name right now, without looking back):

General Electric, the nations largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

 

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

 

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

 

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies

Wait a minute.  Can this be true?  Can GE have been dodging its taxes this way all during its ownership of MSNBC?  The cable network with those impossibly self-righteous, relentlessly judgmental hosts, who passionately hate corporations which find legal end-arounds to siphon money out of the United States?

Well, well, well.

So what do you have to say about that, Chris?  And Ed?  And Rachel?  And Cenk?  Maybe the ghost of olbermann can chime in too.

I'll wait for the hard-hitting condemnations.  I'm guessing they will arive shortly after Barack Obama renounces the Democrats, joins the Tea Party, and demands whoever gave us trillion dollar deficits immediately be impeached.


BROWN BS

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the following excerpt from Steve Gilbert's excellent blog post at sweetness-light.com, is proof positive that BS is Brown:

In major cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown slashes services for poor, sick and elderly

By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick.

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Times. They got the exact message Mr. Brown wanted to get out both in the headline and the lead.

But honestly, is there anything more obvious than a Democrat politician? This is what Democrats always do. They make the most painful, the most heart-rending cuts first. Meanwhile they always manage to preserve the jobs of all the public sector workers who feed their re-election coffers.

They really must think that the rest of us are just plain rock stupid. And given the fact that Mr. Brown was just elected, perhaps they have a point.

The governor signed the new laws to tackle $11.2 billion of the states estimated $26-billion deficit, even as he scrambled to find Republican support for the other half of his budget plan: a ballot measure asking voters blessing to renew expiring taxes

Again, this is right out of the Democrat playbook. Insist that your painful budget cuts are matched with an equal increase in taxes. And when the dust settles, the tax increases survive.

State officials will now begin notifying many Californians that their government benefits are to be cut within 90 days at just about the start of the new budget year. Come July, welfare grants will be reduced by 8%, and parents will be kicked off the rolls after four years instead of the current five.

Oh, the humanity. Hopefully, the "parents" will have enough children to make up for this terrible blow.

Assistance for the elderly and disabled, in their homes and at senior centers, will also be reduced. State-subsidized child care for 11- and 12-year-olds will be eliminated.

Notice there are no details about how many paper pushers will lose their jobs. Nor is there any word on any state employee even being asked to chip in just a little for their lavish health insurance or pensions.

After all, Mr. Brown has his priorities. He is not a monster like Gov. Scott Walker. Better the poor, sick and elderly suffer than one public sector union worker get their hair mussed.

Jerry Brown is faced with an impossible 26 billion dollar deficit.  In truth, I don't know how anyone would be able to overcome this overwhelmingly bad situation.  But, as Steve assures us so bitingly well, nailing the most vulnerable people in the state is not the way it is going to happen.  There is no way on earth Governor Brown truly intends to put the wood to these population segments. 

Going after "the poor, sick and elderly" is a red herring; nothing but a dog and pony show to facilitate a major rise in taxes -- while exempting the wages and benefits of state employees.  Brown is not about to mess with those union folks.  They are too important to the Democrat Party.  And the last thing he wants is a fiasco like the one we saw in Madison, Wisconsin. 

So, instead of trying to get major concessions from the state workers, we get a hot steamy load of Brown BS.

To the taxpayers of California:  You elected him.  I hope you enjoy what you got.


CABLE NEWS VIEWERSHIP UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

 

In case you are wondering how the various cable news networks, and individual shows, are faring these days, here are the latest Neilsen data - which I got from mediabistro.com:

 

NOTE: At this point I usually put up the data, but mediabistro.com has put some kind of system in place that mangles them when I try.  So you'll have to click here).

 

As you will see, Fox still predominates, winning the total day, the primetime hours, and every individual time slot.  Most of the time Fox has more viewers than all three other networks combined.

 

Looking at the data a bit more finitely:

-Glenn Beck, though down quite a bit in overall viewership, still predominates in his time slot, with Chris Matthews, for all his bluster, remaining in third place (though sometimes he gets more viewership than CNN - not that this is a particularly monumental achievement);

 

-Similarly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren predominate in their time slots, though at somewhat lesser levels than they have in the past;

 

-Bill O'Reilly is the king of cable news primetime, even after all these years, with the single greatest number of both total viewers and viewers in the key 25-54 demographic;

 

-MSNBC's loss of keith olbermann does not appear to have had much affect.  He got about one-third O'Reilly's viewership, and Lawrence O'Donnell, his just-as-partisan-and-nasty replacement, is doing about the same;

 

-Cenk Uygar, who, months ago, took over MSNBC's 6PM slot and bragged about how he would overhaul Fox News, remains a weak third in the ratings.  Fox's Brett Baier generates about four times as many viewers.  Uygar's verbatim comment was:

I think defeating Fox -- and more importantly, getting the rest of the media to understand they do not do legitimate news -- is very important. I hope to do that through pointing out their hypocrisy, propaganda and general foolishness. But I also plan to beat them in the ratings and make them fear me.

The lesson here is that you should never let your mouth make promises that your performance can't keep.  I wonder if Mr. Uygar has learned it yet;

 

-Joy Behar may be hot stuff in front of her daily sympatico audience at The View, but when she has to stop whining out applause lines and seriously interact with others, she's a loser.  Not only is she dead last in the ratings, but even the third place loser (MSNBC's Ed Schultz) more than doubles her total audience.

 

I will continue to periodically report and analyze these ratings.  But if you want to see them more frequently, just go to http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ and have a ball.


DISCOVERING EGYPT'S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Ken Berwitz

Let me start with an excerpt from my blog of February 17th - one of a number I wrote on this subject.  Please pay special attention to the segment I have put in bold print:

Tahrir Square has been filled with a sea of Egyptians for three weeks - first demanding the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, then "celebrating" when it happened.  And for three weeks our wonderful "neutral" media have done little but extol this, as if it were some kind of guarantee that Egypt would become a free, democratic state.

 

Well, where are the guarantees now?  Who is going to emerge on top?  What will the new government do about Egypt's relationship with the USA?  What will the new government do about Egypt's 30 year peace with IsraelWill Egypt be heavily influenced, or even run completely, by the Muslim brotherhood - a fundamentalist group that (despite James Clapper's imbecilic mouthings) is fully committed to jihad? 

 

No one knows what will happen next.  But remember;  however bad he was, there are worse situations than a Hosni Mubarak government.  Lots worse.

 

It is long past time for media to start taking them into account.

With that in mind, now please read the following excerpt from Michael Slackman's article in today's New York Times:

CAIRO In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.

Can that nascent movement compete with Mubarak's old party and the Muslim Brotherhood for political power?

 

It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force at least not at the moment.

As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.

There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on, said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. It makes sense if you are the military you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.

We are all worried, said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.

The Muslim Brotherhood is also regarded warily by some religious Egyptians, who see it as an elitist, secret society. These suspicions have created potential opportunities for other parties.

When the new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square this month, Mohamed el-Beltagi, a prominent Brotherhood member, stood by his side. A Brotherhood member was also appointed to the committee that drafted amendments to the Constitution.

In the weeks leading up to Hosni Mubarak's resignation I (and a good many others who largely were ignored by mainstream media) repeatedly pointed out that we did not know what would happen if he left, and that the resulting power vacuum would most likely be filled by the most organized group - which happens to be the fundamentalist, jihadist, Israel-hating Muslim brotherhood.

How I wish I were wrong.  But, more and more, that looks like where it is headed.

Let me repeat the last part of what I wrote a month and a half ago: 

No one knows what will happen next.  But remember;  however bad he was, there are worse situations than a Hosni Mubarak government.  Lots worse.

 

It is long past time for media to start taking them into account.

Way too late, the New York Times is starting to notice.  And - incredibly - many other supposedly professional journalistic entities still are looking the other way.  They have their story line, and they're sticking to it.

This is professional journalism?  This is serious reporting?  This is allowing events to dictate the story instead of the other way around?

Yeah, right.

Zeke ...... Look at Russia in 1917 ..... .... When the Czar was overthrown, it was Alexander Kerensky who led the revolutionary government. ..... Lenin got rid of him with promises of "Bread, Land, Peace", and Lenin also got rid of the Mensheviks. .... ..... Mexico is replete with revolutions that turned were 'betrayed' within a few years by the newly formed government. .... .... Just like Tunisia, Libya, Egypt .... we have NO IDEA who will be leading those countries when the dust settles. .... .... ..... One thing is certain --- none of them will be elected democracies, as we know the term. (03/25/11)


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