Thursday, June 03, 2010
Mainstream Media's "Flotilla" Fraud
The people behind the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” have a long history with terrorists, including al Qaeda. One of the primary sponsors, the Turkish IHH, were identified by the CIA as far back as 1996 as a terrorist-tied entity with links to Iran, and French magistrate Jean-Louis Brougiere testified that IHH played an “important role” in the failed “millennium plot” in the U.S. in late 1999.
Also missing from the mainstream media coverage was that supplies from the flotilla could have been transported from an Israeli port by truck, after inspection, but that offer was flatly rejected. The reasoning was transparent, considering that flotilla spokeswoman Greta Berlin announced last week to the Agence France Press, “This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege.”
Most tellingly, flotilla passengers were seen on Al-Jazeera last week chanting, “Khyber, Khyber,” a favorite chant of jihadists because it recalls a battle where Mohammed’s army is said to have killed large numbers of Jews.
Had the mainstream media been truly brave, outlets could have given full context, namely that the blockade of Gaza targets the Hamas government and is a joint enterprise of both Israel and Egypt.
There is no “humanitarian crisis,” as claimed by the flotilla’s propaganda, given that approximately 100 aid trucks enter Gaza every day. “Throughout the last few months,” according to the Israel Defense Forces website, “More than 1,200 tons of medicine and medical equipment, 155 tons of food, 2,900 tons of shoes and clothing and 17 million liters of diesel fuel were transferred in to the Gaza Strip.”
But not surprisingly, few of these facts found their way into the mainstream media’s coverage.
Even Maureen Dowd is not impressed by Obama now he is President
The chief harpy of the NYT writes below:
It’s not a good narrative arc: The man who walked on water is now ensnared by a crisis under water.
One little hole a mile down on the ocean floor, so deep it seems like hell spewing up its sulfurous smoke, has turned the thrilling saga of “The One” into the gurgling horror of “The Abyss.” (Thank goodness James Cameron, the director of “The Abyss,” came to Washington Tuesday to help the administration figure out how to cap the BP well. What’s next? Sending down the Transformers and Megan Fox?)
With as much as 34 million gallons of oil inking the Gulf of Mexico, “Yes we can” has been downgraded to “Will we ever?”
It’s impossible not to feel sorry for President Obama, pummeled by the cascading disasters, at home and abroad, unleashed by two war-mongering oil men — plus scary escalations by Israel, Iran and North Korea. (Dick Cheney’s dark influence is still belching like the well. BP just brought on a new public relations executive: Anne Womack-Kolton, who served as Cheney’s campaign press secretary in 2004 and worked in W.’s White House and at the Energy Department.)
Obama wanted to be a transformative president and now the presidency is transforming him. Instead of buoyant, he seems put upon. Instead of the fairy dust of hopefulness, there’s the bitter draught of helplessness.
His battle against water is taking on Biblical — even Job-like — proportions. Besides the roiling water below, the skies opened from above and gusting, lightning-streaked rains drowned the president’s plans to give a Memorial Day speech at the Lincoln cemetery near Chicago. On the evening news, pictures of the president standing under an umbrella shooing people off the soggy field were a sad contrast to the wildly sentimental Joe Biden presiding, hand on heart, over a sunny and moving Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery.
After suffering more indignities — a S.U.V. in his motorcade blew a tire on I-55 outside of Chicago — a tired-looking Obama returned to Andrews Air Force Base at 7:30 Monday night and went to an area called the “tactical fitness center” to give his remarks to 150 or so subdued service members who had been rounded up by the White House advance team.
As The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut wryly wrote in her pool report: “It has been years since President Obama attended a rally like the one that took place here Monday night: sparsely attended, thrown together at the last minute, involving people who were not expecting to be there. We’re partying like it’s Obama circa 2005.”
The oil won’t stop flowing, but the magic has. Barack Obama is a guy who is accustomed to having stuff go right for him. He’s gotten a lot of breaks: two opponents in his U.S. Senate race in Illinois felled by personal scandals; a mismanaged presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton; an economic collapse that set the stage for a historic win, memorably described by the satiric Onion newspaper as “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”
Reporters grilled Robert Gibbs at his White House briefing on Tuesday about the president’s strange inability to convey passion over a historical environmental disaster. This was underscored by Obama’s perfunctory drop-by to a sanitized beach in Grand Isle, La. Despite his recent ode about growing up near an ocean, he didn’t bother to meet with the regular folks who have lost their seafaring livelihoods.
After Gibbs asserted that his boss was “enraged” at BP, CBS News’s Chip Reid skeptically pressed: “Have we really seen rage from the president on this? I think most people would say no.” “I’ve seen rage from him, Chip,” Gibbs insisted. “I have.”
Reid asked for an exact definition of what constitutes emotion for Obama: “Can you describe it? Does he yell and scream? What does he do?” Gibbs mentioned the words “clenched jaw” and the president’s admonition to “plug the damn hole.”
How does a man who invented himself as a force by writing one of the most eloquent memoirs in political history lose control of his own narrative?
In “Dreams From My Father,” Obama showed passion, lyricism, empathy and an exquisite understanding of character and psychological context — all the qualities that he has stubbornly resisted showing as president. It was a book that promised a president who could see into the hearts of other people. But there’s so much you don’t learn about candidates in campaigns, even when they seem completely exposed.
This president has made it clear that he’s not comfortable outside whatever domain he’s defined. But unless he wants his story to be marred by a pattern of passivity, detachment, acquiescence and compromise, he’d better seize control of the story line of his White House years. Woe-is-me is not an attractive narrative.
Black Democrats nervous about ethics probes
I wonder why?
Twenty members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including its chairwoman, are asking the House to severely restrict the powers of an independent ethics office that has spent much of its first full year investigating accusations of wrongdoing among black caucus members.
A resolution introduced late last week by Representative Marcia L. Fudge, Democrat of Ohio, and co-sponsored by 19 other black caucus members, would prohibit the release of most investigative reports prepared by the Office of Congressional Ethics. It would also prevent the office from initiating its own inquiries, unless a sworn complaint was filed by an individual with personal knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing.
The changes are merited, Ms. Fudge said, because the ethics office, known as the O.C.E., has taken up frivolous investigations that have unfairly damaged the reputation of House members.
“O.C.E. is currently the accuser, judge and jury,” Ms. Fudge said in a statement Monday. “This isn’t the case in the American justice system, and it shouldn’t be so in Congress.”
Outside watchdog groups, which in 2008 pressured House leaders to create the office after a series of Capitol Hill scandals, called the proposal a cynical attempt to effectively shut down what has already become an important new ethics cop in Washington.
“This will gut and render impotent the Office of Congressional Ethics,” said Norman J. Ornstein, an ethics expert at the American Enterprise Institute who lobbied for the creation of the office two years ago. “It is a pretty good working definition of chutzpah.”
The office, which is run by a former Justice Department prosecutor and overseen by an independent board, has investigated at least eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus. After it investigates, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has the responsibility of formally deciding if any rules have been broken.
The standards committee has dismissed eight of the nine cases referred to it by the office, including four involving black caucus members. It has not concluded its work on three other cases.
The most important power of the office, it has turned out, is its ability to force the release of its investigative findings, even if the House standards committee concludes that no violation occurred, a power that would be eliminated under the new proposal.
Do Liberals Suffer from Arrested Moral Development?
Their moral reasoning is similar to that of young children
Do kids outgrow socialism? A fascinating new study, “Fairness and the Development of Inequality Acceptance,” published last week in the journal Science by researchers at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration sheds some light on individual moral development. It turns out that as people move from childhood through adolescence to young adulthood they become increasingly meritocratic, that is, they come to believe that people deserve unequal rewards based on their individual achievements.
The Norwegian researchers studied about 500 children beginning in the fifth grade through the 13th grade (ages 11 through 19) as they played modified versions of the dictator game. In the standard dictator game, a sum of money, say $100, is divided up between two players. The dictator decides how much to keep and how much to give the second player, the responder. Interestingly, research shows consistently that most dictators do not keep all the money.
The Norwegian researchers modified the game allowing for a 45-minute production phase in which players could earn points by finding and clicking on specific numbers in a series of computer screens. The researchers also set up alternative tasks allowing students to choose to play video games or watch cartoons instead of trying to collect points. Most of the participants turned out to be workaholics who clicked away full time trying to gain points. Later the points could be exchanged for money, but in some cases the amount of money was randomly given a multiplier, so that some lucky participants ended up earning more than others who had been equally productive.
Once the game was over, kids from the same grade were paired and told how long each had spent earning points, how many they earned, and what multiplier each received. The pair’s winnings were combined and one—the dictator—would decide how to divide up the total. What happened?
The Norwegian school kids, both male and female, divvied up the money with the mean share given to responders averaging around 45 percent across all grades. The researchers suggest that this nearly equal division results from the fact that “there is no apparent fairness argument justifying an unequal division of the money.”
However, the researchers found that how students divided up money changed as they became older when it was earned and depended on individual achievements and luck. Most fifth graders (63 percent) remained strict egalitarians, dividing up the money equally, despite the fact that some players earned more money through individual achievement. However, the portion of egalitarians dropped to 40 percent by 7th grade; falling eventually to 22 percent by 13th grade. Conversely, the share of meritocrats rose from 5 percent in the fifth grade, to 22 percent in 7th grade, rising eventually to 42 percent in the 13th grade. A full 42 percent of players in the 13th grade kept more money for themselves because they believed that they have earned it. The authors of the Norwegian study conclude that the meritocratic fairness view increases as the cognitive abilities of children mature. In other words: yes, kids outgrow socialism.
The coming resignation of Barack Obama: "Months ago, I predicted in this column that President Obama would so discredit himself in office that he wouldn’t even be on the ballot in 2012, let alone have a prayer of being reelected. Like President Johnson in 1968, who had won a much bigger victory four years previously than Obama did in 2008, President Obama will be so politically defunct by 2012 that he won’t even try to run for reelection. I am now ready to predict that President Obama will not even make it that far. I predict that he will resign in discredited disgrace before the fall of 2012.”
American musketeers: "America made excellent gunpowder. It also produced superior small arms. The end of the Civil War gave a tremendous impetus to the sales campaign of American arms makers. The bottom had more than fallen out of their domestic market. With large plant, personnel, and stocks on their hands, the arms manufacturers had to seek foreign outlets. Moreover, the secondhand merchants were pressing them in the smaller countries and they found it necessary to seek out the ordnance departments of the Great Powers. But the most potent cause for expansion was that the world was ready to buy American small arms.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 9:50 PM