Tuesday, 03 February 2015

ISIS STATUS

Ken Berwitz

Now that it turns out ISIS - currently in control of enough of Syria and Iraq to declare its own country - killed the Jordanian pilot and the Japanese newspeople before demanding hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom for them, remind me:  is this the group President Obama told us was virtually decimated or the one he called the jayvee squad.

Oh, that's right.  The jayvee squad.  Sorry, I get the Obama lies mixed up.




THE UN'S IDEA OF NEUTRALITY

Ken Berwitz

What would you say about a supposedly neutral government inquiry being conducted into the actions of President Obama, if one of the participants were Mitt Romney's campaign manager? 

You probably wouldn't be too impressed with that claim of neutrality, would you?

With that in mind, please read the opening paragraphs of an article put out today by the BBC:

The head of a UN inquiry into potential war crimes committed during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict has resigned amid allegations of anti-Israel bias.

William Schabas acknowledged he had previously done work for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and did not want this to compromise the probe.

Israel had accused Prof Schabas of "clear and documented bias" against it.

The inquiry's panel, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) is due to issue its findings in March.

Got that?  With the Syria civil war continuing for years, at a cost of something like 250,000 lives; with Libya operating for years as a terrorist land area up for grabs to the most prolific murderers; with ISIS and al-Qaeda taking over huge amounts of land and killing untold thousands of people in the most gruesome ways imaginable...

...-the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) is looking into war crimes by Israel which, after thousands of rockets were fired into its land - not so-called "occupied territory" but land the UN acknowledges is sovereign to Israel - finally did something about it. 

If that doesn't tell you what the UN has devolved into, I don't know how to reach you.

Oh, one other thing: In case you were wondering which paragons of human rights currently serve on the UNHCR, here is a partial sampling:  Congo, Kuwait, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. 

I rest my case.


WHAT WE LOSE IF WE LOSE ISRAEL (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

What do we lose if we lose Israel?

Here's a bit of insight, excerpted from Daniel Koren's article at shalomlife.com:

We've seen a smorgasbord of breakthrough Israeli innovations over the past few years, as Startup Nation continues to rule the hightech industry, not to mention the science, health, and medicinal marijuana industries.

Last year, we reported on the NaNose breathalyzer, a technology developed by the Technion's Professor Hossam Haick, that could sniff out lung cancer before it spreads. Now, developers are looking to install the function into a mobile phone, dubbed, appropriately, the SniffPhone.

The SniffPhone, backed with tiny smell-sensitive sensors and the NaNose technology, will actually be able to "smell" users' breath and determine if they have cancer, or other serious diseases.

According to Haick, the SniffPhone will be a huge breakthrough in the medical industry, and will be of much use to doctors looking for the presence of tumors, whether benign or malignant, in a faster, more efficient way.

For those folks who despise Israel and demand their countries engage in "BDS" - Boycott, Sanction Divestiture....

...don't forget to boycott this.  And be sure to tell your likeminded friends the same.

Have a nice day.


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from the nothing-if-not-entertaining michael moore.

As you may be aware, when American Sniper came out, and immediately became a huge hit - the kind which moore will never see in his lifetime - he went on twitter and denounced Chris Kyle, the film's real-life main character, as a "coward". 

Then, when people from both sides of the aisle expressed their revulsion, moore tried walking his "coward" tweet back, claiming he wasn't actually referring to Kyle at all - which, I am guessing, probably convinced, oh, maybe 7 or 8 people in the country.

Well, as it turns out, moore was not through. 

Stung by the amount of negativity tossed his way - mostly, I assume, the amount of leftward negativity (since he has amassed a fortune by working diligently to infuriate the right every chance he gets), moore decided to go on the offensive again.

He went into overdrive, ranting about how terrible and depraved the USA is, how terrible and depraved our military is, etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah, yada yada yada.  One broadside after another.  You can see these latest examples of moore's, er, wit and wisdom, by reading Clay Waters' compilation (pile might be a better word) at newsbusters.org.

With this much material to work with, there was a lot to choose from.  But we do have a "winner" (if that term actually applies). 

moore wins Quote Of The Day honors for this particular bit of what passes for his logic:

"This past week or so of hysterical attacks on me only proves that the American lovers of violence and the issuers of fatwas in OUR society haven't gone away. They are our American ISIS -- 'Criticize or mock those whom we deify, like our sainted sniper, and we will harm you most assuredly.'"

Ooooooooooooohhhhh.  Someone's wiwoo sensibiwities were bwoosed.

When a public figure, whose career is predicated on stirring controversy by taking hard left stands and shoving it out at us, as contentiously as possible, equates criticism of what he posted online for the world to see with...let's list 'em out.... 

-hysteria,

-fatwas (i.e. religious edicts, presumably for retribution)

-and ISIS (which, as you may be aware, is less interested in offering criticism to detractors than it is in gruesomely killing them)...

... recognition must be given - if, for no other reason, the level of paranoia such an equation would seem to take.

You get today's award, michael.  Well earned.  Feel free to brag about it at will.

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . "hysterical attacks on me [Moore]" . . . . . . . . .. . . No, Mikey - - - - not hysterical, . . . . more like the disgust felt when walking by an overflowing cesspool . . . . . . . . . . . . (02/03/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . "hysterical attacks on me [Moore]" . . . . . . . . .. . . No, Mikey - - - - not hysterical, . . . . more like the disgust felt when walking by an overflowing cesspool . . . . . . . . . . . . (02/03/15)


AMERICAN SNIPER (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

If American Sniper had done $31 million in its first weekend of general release, it would have been called a big hit.

In fact, American Sniper did $31, million in its third weekend of general release, despite competing with Super Sunday.

How good was this?  Well, the next two highest-grossing films of the weekend, Paddington and Project Almanac, both did about $8.5 million. 

To date, American Sniper has done about $250 million domestic.  That's a quarter of a billion dollars.  And, arguably even more remarkably, it has done $67 million internationally as well.

Call me a dreamer, but I just can't help thinking that the public is receptive to films which do not characterize our military as a bunch of mouth-breathing, racist, murdering dirtbags.


ABOUT THAT 5.6% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.....

Ken Berwitz

Does anyone - besides Barack Obama, his acolytes, and the low-information crowd that is - think the bogus 5.6% unemployment level being floated these days means anything positive?

I would hope not.  But just in case, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, has written a terrific essay showing it up for the rancid pile of mung that it is.

You can read Mr. Clifton's entire piece by clicking here - and I urge you to do just that.  But, for the moment, here are a few excerpts:

Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed.  Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.

If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%.

If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%.

There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

Thank you, Mr. Clifton, for saying out loud what so many of President Obama's Accomplice Media most certainly know, but somehow keep neglecting to tell their viewers/listeners/readers.

Funny, though:  if a Republican should happen to win the 2016 presidential election.....I'll bet that will jog their memory about unemployment.  And a lot of other things besides..

Shar Well, we are talking opinions on both sides are we not? I.e., on how to measure unemployment. The point is that we do it consistently to measure which way it is moving, which was the point in Fortune. How about the new Gallup report published today. "US Job Creation Lingers Near 7 Year High"? Does that not also tie to lower unemployment numbers? (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . .On line comment on that Fortune article: - - - - - "You really think people just retired in 2009 when their 401ks were in the tank? . . . . . . . . . Explain how it's 'Boomers retiring' when social security outlays haven't ticked up at the same rate as the decline... . . . If what you say is true there would be a correlation between that participation rate plunging and social security outlays... rising rapidly which hasn't happened. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fortune.com/2015/02/04/unemployment-rate-gallup/ (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . Warning ! Warning ! Troll Alert. . . . . . . . . . . @Justin - - Just to credit a President you blindly worship, you spread these terrible left wing lies. The people who are buying this are sheep. You sound like a old, bored grumpy man or woman to me. Find something better to do with your time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @Warren - - - - - I do wonder how many of these guys are in the Soros & Mikey Moore dude's pockets. . . . . . . . . . . . (02/04/15)

Ken Berwitz Shar: Wrong. First off, the article you are referring to (which I had read) is not the product of Fortune Magazine (i.e. an editorial position), it is the opinion of one of its writers - Chris Matthews (not the MSNBC host). And Matthews does not dispute any individual fact raised by Clifton. The one thing he challenges is Clifton's conclusion that 5.6% unemployment is a lie - on the grounds that he can explain why and how the percentage is derived.  Whether the percentage shows anything positive about the economy - Clifton's conclusion being that it does not - Matthews categorizes as subjective...which, of course, is true. I put you in the same category as Justin and Warren (for all I know you are all the same person): political partisans who fit facts to conclusions instead of the other way around. (02/04/15)

Warren I do wonder how many of these guys are in the Koch brothers pockets. (02/04/15)

Ken Berwitz What I said about Justin goes for you too, Warren. You are not disputing facts, you are tossing slogans. People who do that are cheeleaders for one side. (02/04/15)

Ken Berwitz Oysh. I'll try one more time. No, Shar, that one number does not tell the entire story and never has. It is artificially lowered by two major factors: 1) the fact that job participation is lower than at any time since the presidency of that other economic genius, Jimmy Carter, and 2) a large majority of the jobs being created are part-time rather than full-time (in no small part because ObamaCare kicks in for employees working 30+ hours a week). Regarding that 7 year low....I suggest you do a little math. Barack Obama has been President for over 6 years. So what it tells you is that, after being in office for 6+ years, unemployment has gone back to - except for his last few months - where President Bush left it in the first place. Whoopie doo. (02/04/15)

Ken Berwitz Shar I give up. There's too much non-information and fairy dust in that to wade through.  But here's just a little: FDR did not deal with a recession, he dealt with a depression. And he did not get us out of it, WWII did. Until the war, the best year we had under FDR was 14% unemployment. As far as Obama's great "achievement", it is about as anemic a recovery as I've ever seen.  Illustratively, the recessions of 1957-58 and 1981-82 were a) more severe than the one Obama inherited, b) we sprung back from them far more successfully than Obama's supposed recovery, and c) we did so in a fraction of the time it is taking Obama.  This is my final post to you on the subject. All I ask is that you check what I've put up here for accuracy....and then you can take the last word If you want it.  Incidentally, "Oysh" is not talking down to you, it is an expression of exasperation.  And a well-earned one. (02/04/15)

Justin Just to discredit a President you don't like, you spread these terrible right wing lies. The people who are buying this are sheep. You sound like a couple of old, bored men to me. Find something better to do with your time. (02/03/15)

Ken Berwitz One other thing: For whatever it's worth, even with the significantly higher workforce participation, and the recessionary bump at the end of his second term, the average unemployment level for President Bush through his 8 years was 5.3%. If we are hailing Obama for one month of 5.6% unemployment - after years in the 8% - 10% range - what should we do for Bush? Build statues? (02/04/15)

Shar You're exasperated because I don't roll over and accept anything you say? Wow. I am sure there is a Yiddish word for that. I only have one thing to add. According to most sources, including the National Bureau of Economic research, those other two recessions were in no way worse than the 2007-2009 one, as measured in loss of GDP or Unemployment% at their peak (here we go again). This one was far worse, and far more global than either of those, especially if you argue that unemployment is far worse than reported. So much for fairy dust. End of my argument. (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . @ Ken - - - - - - OYSH, well that is your opinion. . . . . OYSH summarizes the dictum, "Never argue with a fool ..... they will drag you down to their level of idiocy, where they have the advantage of experience" - - - - - - - - - - - fwiw, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports the US Labor Force shrank 273,000 while the number of employed increased 111,000 (Nov-Dec 2014). A LOT of people are dropping out of the Work Force. . . . . . . . Also, "Boomers Dropping Out" : The Labor Force Participation Rate has increased and is projected to increase for the cohorts above age 54 (in all steps 2yr, 3yr, 5yr, 10 yr groupings - up through age 79). . . . . . . . The LFPR DECREASES for cohorts ages 16-54. - - -- - So much for the BoomBoom Girlz 'n Guyz - - - - - - - - www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_303.htm (02/04/15)

Ken Berwitz Uh, Justin....the old, bored man you are referring to is the CEO of Gallup. The facts he put up are not in dispute....which is why you did not challenge even one of them. If you can't challenge the facts, so you substitute name-calling on behalf of the guy you support, the sheep is you.  (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . The Labor Force Participation Rate is the percentage of age 16+ individuals who have full OR part time jobs or have looked for work in the past 4 weeks . . . . . . . . Custodial parents, students are NOT in this category. . . . . . . The Rate excludes military and 'institutionalized'. . . . . . . . . . . . The LFPR is the worst this month in 37 YEARS ! ! ! (62.7%). A record number of Americans are NOT working (102 million - Forbes.com). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Discouraged workers (who haven't looked for a job in the last 4 weeks) are not part of the unemployment stats. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . (02/03/15)

Shar Oysh? Stop talking down to me. As Mr. Matthews points out, unemployment is measured in 6 ways to cover these scenarios, so these variables can be reviewed. And yes, it is a major achievement to pull out of the huge downward slide that the economy was on due to Bush's admin. Jobs are a lagging indicator of periods of recession, as any good economic student knows. The U.S. Managed to pull ourselves out of it better than most countries in the world. It is an achievement second only to FDR, whose recovery took 10 years, with full support of Congress. If only that was true of this admin past year 2. But we want to walk around in fear and predict castrophies so that we vote in some people to keep growth in check. As for the level of employment, and part-time vs full- time, you are not taking into account the large number of boomers who are leaving the at least full-time workforce, by choice, with the average retirement age of 63, per a recent Gallup report. I have also heard a lot of reports on the part-time claim you make, many of which have been debunked. Do you have proof of this? One of the important measures here is people who are working the amount they want to, which has also increased. Face it, things have improved -despite the gloom and doom you want to preach. (02/04/15)

Shar Oysh? Stop talking down to me. As Mr. Matthews points out, unemployment is measured in 6 ways to cover these scenarios, so these variables can be reviewed. And yes, it is a major achievement to pull out of the huge downward slide that the economy was on due to Bush's admin. Jobs are a lagging indicator of periods of recession, as any good economic student knows. The U.S. Managed to pull ourselves out of it better than most countries in the world. It is an achievement second only to FDR, whose recovery took 10 years, with full support of Congress. If only that was true of this admin past year 2. But we want to walk around in fear and predict castrophies so that we vote in some people to keep growth in check. As for the level of employment, and part-time vs full- time, you are not taking into account the large number of boomers who are leaving the at least full-time workforce, by choice, with the average retirement age of 63, per a recent Gallup report. I have also heard a lot of reports on the part-time claim you make, many of which have been debunked. Do you have proof of this? One of the important measures here is people who are working the amount they want to, which has also increased. Face it, things have improved -despite the gloom and doom you want to preach. (02/04/15)

Shar Clifton's comments totally disputed by Fortune Magazine today. And BTW, questioning sources is always fair game - you do it all the time. (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . @ Ken - - - - - - OYSH, well that is your opinion. . . . . OYSH summarizes the dictum, "Never argue with a fool ..... they will drag you down to their level of idiocy, where they have the advantage of experience" - - - - - - - - - - - fwiw, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports the US Labor Force shrank 273,000 while the number of employed increased 111,000 (Nov-Dec 2014). A LOT of people are dropping out of the Work Force. . . . . . . . Also, "Boomers Dropping Out" : The Labor Force Participation Rate has increased and is projected to increase for the cohorts above age 54 (in all steps 2yr, 3yr, 5yr, 10 yr groupings - up through age 79). . . . . . . . The LFPR DECREASES for cohorts ages 16-54. - - -- - So much for the BoomBoom Girlz 'n Guyz - - - - - - - - www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_303.htm (02/04/15)

Zeke . . . . . . . . . The numbers look good because anyone who is 'discouraged' (out of work and already banged on every door and email) is dropped from the stats. They are "not in the work force" - - - - - - - A record 92.9 million Americans have disappeared from the ranks of the working (civilians, age 16+). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. official gov numbers: Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - - - data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet (02/04/15)


MY FIRST AND LAST COMMENT ABOUT THE SUPER BOWL...

Ken Berwitz

...in the form of a graphic I just got from my facebook pal, Al Ferrer:

93.1 The River's photo.

Funny and true.  Great combination.


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