Communist News Network dismisses Jewish journalists in Israel
We just received the names of four journalists fired:
* Moshe Cohen, editor, dismissed Jan. 30, 10 years of tenure at CNN.
* Izi Landberg, producer, nearly 25 years with CNN, dismissed Jan. 30.
* Avi Kaner cameraman, dismissed Jan. 30, 10 years with CNN.
* Michal Zippori, desk producer, situation ongoing
The media scandal that has reached us comes from an absolutely reliable source.
It is likely to provoke a wave of shock and indignation in the North American media, and it certainly will not calm the controversy over the biased and pro-Palestinian coverage of conflict by the news channel.
We learned that the Israeli offices of CNN are downsizing to cope with income losses, including advertising.
What goes beyond good management is that CNN dismissed four journalists Israeli Jews (out of a total of eight), and retained only Arab journalists. Where, until now, CNN sent reporters -- always a Jew and Arab journalist -- to cover information in pairs, henceforth, there will be only an Arab journalist. The local editor of the chain is in fact also Arabic.
In a conflict where information is central to shaping public opinion and the decisions of diplomats, and where Arab journalists can publish what they need without risking their lives when they travel to Gaza, Jerusalem and the region of Judea and Samaria, the decision to dismiss his CNN Jewish journalists is of particular concern because the public is very far from imagining that it can receive unskewed information from CNN.
Obamacare vs the Catholic Bishops
I recently completed a very short interview on Vatican Radio to discuss the current battle between the Obama administration and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It didn’t permit me to say more than that the Obama administration is making a political mistake, so I’d like to say a bit more about the serious consequences that will likely result and how we ended up with this Church-State conundrum in the first place.
As Dr. Donald Condit has already explained, the Obama administration seems to be making a political calculation that this controversy will blow over before the November’s presidential election because the conscience exemption for providing and paying for abortion, sterilization and contraception will not take effect until later next year. But the miscalculation was predictable and is now evident, with not only Catholics, but Orthodox, Evangelical, Jewish and other religious leaders taking a stand. Unless the administration relents or the Obamacare law is ruled unconstitutional, Catholic hospitals and other institutions will be faced with a choice between not providing insurance coverage to their employees and thereby be fined by the government, or pay for the provision of services that they believe are morally evil.
A journalist friend in Rome just raised an alternative reading of the story to me on the street. What if Obama is actually making a principled argument that abortion, sterilization and contraception services are a fundamental aspect of women’s health that cannot and should not be denied to anyone, regardless of their own religious or individual convictions? Perhaps the White House believes, as most progressives do, that these stodgy, uptight opponents will eventually, inevitably, be overcome and we will one day wonder what all the fuss about. If so, the administration is doing much more than thinking about the next election; it’s redefining what the word “health” means to include measures that violently take away life from the most innocent and vulnerable persons, regardless of who pays for the services. This makes it much more than a religious freedom or a conscience issue and a matter of simple justice.
More generally, the whole Obamacare mess is a result of employer-provided health insurance. We would all be better off if our health insurance was decoupled from our employment, and we were free to purchase our own insurance according to our needs and wants. It is a result of state intervention in the economy, namely wage-and-price controls, that led to employers offering health insurance as a non-wage benefit to entice desired employees to their companies. Now we have the government mandating that all employers must provide comprehensive coverage to all their employees. What was once a prudential individual decision has become a government-mandated “right” that trumps the employer-employee, the doctor-patient, and perhaps even the priest-penitent relationship. Some progress.
There is some tragic irony to all this. We should not forget that many religious leaders have long-supported increasing the role of the state in health care and the economy at-large, perhaps thinking that conscience clauses would protect their institutions against any undue interference. Well, they were wrong; what the state giveth, the state taketh away. If you invite the state to “assist” more and more of your activities, it will eventually start telling you how to do things. Encouraging the Democratic Party’s efforts from Harry Truman on to socialize the health care system of the United States is likely to have dire consequences for Catholic and other religious-based social service providers. Economic ignorance among religious leaders comes at a very high cost to their own good works.
Parfumier on Trial Today in Paris for "Racism"
For years now, we've watched an increasingly totalitarian Europe arise in the courtrooms of infamous speech trials in Holland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, France, England and elsewhere as dictatorial government authorities use the courts to maintain their political power against political rivals and freethinkers who dare call out the dishonesty and deceptions of the State. With the speech trial today of a fabled and elderly parfumier in Paris (described below), however, we see a strain of totalitarianism that is qualitatively different but equally sinister.
When parfumier Jean-Paul Guerlain (picture above) told an TV interviewer in 2010 that in order to create the popular perfume Samsara ("blends notes of ylang-ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, and tonka bean") "for once, [he] started working like a negro," he threatened no government power structure, he called out no deception. He made a banal comment, simply not worth parsing although it's hard to resist noting that he chose the simile to convey something he is obviously proud of -- a sustained and apparently arduous effort to create something beaitiful.
But that is utterly and completely beside the point: The French state here is more and more inserting itself into the regulation of its citizens' minds, not in an overt attempt to maintain political power (Wilders, Dewinter), not to destroy facts and principles that threaten its fabrications (Sabaditsch-Wolff, Hedegaard, Robinson), but rather, in the evil tradition of Communism's relentless social engineers, to rewire all thought processes down to the most trivial. It is the totalitarian effort to create the New Man.
The Australian reports:
THE creator of some of the world's best-loved perfumes will go on trial in Paris today accused of racism for using the word "negre" on television in a case that campaigners say illustrates the spread of prejudice in France.
Jean-Paul Guerlain, the inventor of such fragrances as Parure and Nahema, is being prosecuted for comments that he made during an interview on France 2, the state-owned television channel, in 2010.
Asked how he created Samsara, another of his perfumes, he said: "For once, I started working like a negro. I don't know if negroes have always worked like that, but still..."
The remark sparked furious protests outside Guerlain's boutique in the Champs Elysees in Paris and calls for a boycott of the company's products.
"He provoked the indignation of anti-racist associations," said Faycal Megherbi, a legal adviser for the Movement Against Racism and Friendship Between Peoples. "The slave trade went on for centuries and his words were very wounding."
The doggerel of the New Order: Sticks and stones may break my bones and words are very wounding.
The maximum sentence for making a public insult of a racist nature is six months in prison and a fine of $A23,000.
Mr Guerlain, 73, whose great-great-grandfather created the perfume house in 1828, has apologised for his remark, "which in no way reflects my true beliefs, but which was a slip of the tongue". He denies that the comment constitutes an offence and is expected to be present in court....
Race relations in France were already under strain after Claude Gueant, the Interior Minister, suggested on Saturday that European civilisation was superior to those of Muslim countries. Mr Gueant's claim that "not all civilisations are of equal value" has dominated the presidential campaign this week.
Serge Letchimy, a Socialist MP, accused him of promoting Nazi ideology, prompting ministers to leave the government bench in the French parliament and demand an apology.
But critics say that Mr Guerlain's comments suggest a colonial attitude in the French subconscious.
Since he was in effect saying that blacks are hard workers -- something not often heard these days -- it is hard to see where the slur lies. I guess you cannot safely say ANYTHING about blacks. I have commented on this case before
"Massive Anti-Bullying Law and Bullying Initiatives Were Based on Misleading Publicity"
by Hans Bader
“It launched a hundred ‘anti-bullying’ initiatives at all levels of government, but much of what you think you know about” the Tyler Clementi case “is probably wrong,” notes legal commentator Walter Olson at Overlawyered, the world’s oldest law blog. Andrew Sullivan discusses this as well, linking to Ian Parker’s article in The New Yorker.
We wrote earlier about how the current panic over bullying is leading to attacks on free speech, political debate, and free association in the schools; political pandering; dishonest stretching of existing federal laws by federal officials; and violations of basic principles of federalism.
Reason’s Jacob Sullum writes about New Jersey’s massively-long “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights,” enacted after Clementi’s suicide at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, and how it infringes on free speech and imposes illegal unfunded mandates. When New Jersey passed this incredibly complicated anti-bullying law, which contains 18 pages of “required components,” that gave a huge boost to a burgeoning “anti-bullying” industry that seeks to define bullying as broadly as possible (to include things like “eye-rolling,” or always associating with the same group of friends) in order to create demand for its services. Hundreds of New Jersey schools “snapped up a $1,295 package put together by a consulting firm that includes a 100-page manual.”
Rod Dreher sees a lesson from the Clementi case about jumping to conclusions:
I too thought that Clementi had been outed after Ravi filmed him having sex. As Parker shows, Clementi was not closeted, and he wasn’t filmed having sex. And yes, Dharun Ravi [who is being prosecuted for hate crimes over the filming that allegedly caused Clementi's suicide] is an ass. But he is not facing criminal trial for being an ass. This is what moral panic does. . .It is hard for me to be fair [to the defendant] in these particular cases, but it is necessary to fight against my own instincts in this case and in every case. You too.
The Obama administration’s StopBullying.gov website defines bullying incredibly broadly in ways that conflict with freedom of speech and common sense. It defines “teasing” as a form of “bullying,” and “rude” or “hurtful” “text messages” as “cyberbullying.” Since “creating web sites” that “make fun of others” also is deemed “cyberbullying,” conservative websites that poke fun at the president are presumably guilty of cyberbullying under this strange definition. (Law professors like UCLA’s Eugene Volokh have criticized bills by liberal lawmakers like Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) that would ban some criticism of politicians as cyberbullying.)
Anti-bullying regulations can backfire and have bad consequences for child development. As a school official noted after passage of New Jersey’s sweeping anti-bullying law, “The anti-bullying law also may not be appropriate for our youngest students, such as kindergartners who are just learning how to socialize with their peers. Previously, name-calling or shoving on the playground could be handled on the spot as a teachable moment, with the teacher reinforcing the appropriate behavior. That’s no longer the case. Now it has to be documented, reviewed and resolved by everyone from the teacher to the anti-bullying specialist, principal, superintendent and local board of education.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Welcome to the O.D.D. People Club: "Oppositional Defiance Disorder. A wonderful new disease. Now, if you oppose eauthority figures for philosophical reasons, and will not compromise your standards, you are mentally ill. If you oppose certain government programs, such as TSA sexual assaults in airports, the USA Patriot's Act, TARP, HARP, or Obamacare, you are mentally ill. If you support a full return of your 2nd Amendment rights, you are mentally ill. If Janet Reno considers you a possible terrorist threat (such as a member of the NRA, a returning Iraq War vet, pro life supporter, Libertarian, TEA Party member, or have a 'Don't Tread On Me' bumper sticker), it's because you are mentally ill. "
Liberal tax fantasies punctured: "Some liberals have the unrealistic fantasy that by increasing taxes on the top one percent of the population, the government can finance a radically expanded welfare state for the bottom 99 percent. (Never mind that even if we confiscated the entire annual income of the top one percent, it wouldn’t begin to cover the record, trillion-dollar federal budget deficit.) They assume that somewhere in Europe, there is a country that does just that, without harming its economy. Alas, there is no such country, anymore than unicorns exist."
Spain: Leftist judge convicted of wiretapping: "Spain's Supreme Court has found the country's best-known judge, Baltasar Garzon, guilty of authorising illegal recordings of lawyers' conversations. He has been banned from the legal profession for 11 years. The court said he could not appeal against the ruling. Mr Garzon is best known for helping to secure the arrest of the former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet in London."
US officials: Israel teams with Communist group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists: "Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders. he group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980."
GA: NRC approves first new US nuclear reactors since 1978: "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the nation's first nuclear power plant in a generation on Thursday, clearing the way for Atlanta-based Southern Co. to build two reactors at its Plant Vogtle site near Augusta. The commission approved a license on a 4-1 vote over the objections of environmentalists and the NRC's own chairman, Gregory Jaczko. It's the first approval since 1978, the year before the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania."
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