Media asked to be even more respectful of Islamist sensitivities


Being  respectful toward the sensitivities of Islamists should be easy for the “legitimate” media. They are normally more than respectful toward the sensitivities of the Obama Administration.

An April 15th post by Jonathan Turley argues, gently, against catering excessively to Islamic sensitivities.

Lawrence Pintak, dean of the Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, has written a controversial guide for journalists on how to cover stories without insulting Muslims. “Islam for Journalists” is an effort to educate reporters on the sensitivities of Muslims to avoid triggering protests or violence. Pintak writes that “Across the Muslim world extremists are wielding their swords with grisly effect, but the pen . . . can be just as lethal.” That line captures the controversy because it seems to suggest that reporters are a cause of violence when they fail to adhere to the demand of religious values or orthodoxy in their publications. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

My concern about the “how to” guide is that it is part of a quiet move in the West to accommodate religious demands while publicly declaring fealty to free speech. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech.  We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard. (Emphasis added)

In a satirical video posted back in 2011, Andrew Klavan explained how and why not to offend Islamists.

Dean Pintak and Mr. Klavan take slightly different approaches, but the results would be little different.

A similar tendency of the “legitimate” media to avoid offending the sensitivities of the Obama Administration, by investigating and reporting on matters that might be seen as offensive, is well expressed in this recent video of an interview with former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

If less than the desired respectful attitude were shown toward the Obama Administration by investigating and reporting matters it hopes to conceal, the response might well be injurious to the wealth of the guilty media. Integrity? What’s that? Appeasement requires less effort than investigative reporting, will not precipitate charges of “racism” and is better for the bottom line. Appeasement through reporting propaganda as fact has become the accepted answer.

Do the legitimate media believe that the Obama Administration must, like Islam, be treated with great deference because otherwise the consequences would likely be adverse? Might the problem go even beyond that? An article posted on April 9th by Gatestone Institute offered this:

The president made this really quite remarkable statement in his Cairo speech: “I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” [Emphasis added.]

Think about that. It’s really quite astonishing. I would say that if a president made that comment about Judaism or Christianity most of us would say, “That’s really quite bizarre. It is actually not his job.” [Emphasis added.]

To pick out and isolate Islam as the one religion, criticisms of which he has the responsibility to correct, is actually amazing. [Emphasis added.]

Assuming that President Obama was candid when He said that I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” did He thereby advise the legitimate media to be respectful toward Islam? Or else?

There’s at least one more point to be made. On April 13th, in an article titled Truth, lies and conspiracy theories, I dealt with the media tendency to appease, rather than investigate and report candidly concerning, the Obama Administration. My thesis was that since the Obama Administration lies more far often that not, and the legitimate media regurgitate its lies for us to swallow, even far-out conspiracy theories gain relative credence. If, some happy day, the Obama Administration were to advise us candidly on a matter of political significance, would we believe it? Remember the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!”? Who could trust him? Who, for the same reason, can trust President Obama or His legitimate media?

Posted in Andrew Klavan, Appeasement, Benghazi, Brain washing, Conservatives, Conspiracy theories, Department of Domestic Tranquility (DDT), Free Press, free speech, Freedom, Government reliance, Ideology, Integrity, Islamist rage, Islamists, Islamophobia, Jonathan Turley, Libruls, Media, Obama, Political Correctness, Politics, Principles, Propaganda, publishing ethics, Racism, Reality, Reporting, Story telling, Trust, United States of Obama | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Truth, lies and conspiracy theories


The Federal Government lies as a matter of policy and habit. Occasionally  “legitimate” media detect and dissect the lies, but they more often simply report them as true. The resultant “conspiracy theories” are often more believable than the Government lies which spawned them. 

Ketchup Kerry

From Benghazi to ObamaCare to the Israel – Palestinian “peace process” to the Iran Scam to the Bundy Ranch standoff and beyond, “our” Government has lied to us repeatedly and there have been no signs that it intends to stop or even to slow down. The lies have rarely been for legitimate national security reasons and have far more often been to promote the political security of the party in power. This from the “most transparent” administration in history:

Was there even a scintilla of candor in President Obama’s remarks about the transparency of His administration? More recently, was there a scintilla of candor in His administration’s remarks that the need to preserve desert tortoises required Bureau of Land Management (BLM) actions on the Bundy Ranch? It soon developed that the BLM had several years earlier euthanized many of the same species of “endangered” tortoises because there were too many of them.

Eventually, some relatively old but at best lightly reported news surfaced and “went viral” on the internet. It was about relationships of Senator Harry Reid (D. NV.) with the BLM and those of his son with a Chinese solar entrepreneur — who is alleged to have had arrangements to get the land where Mr. Bundy’s cattle had long grazed for a massive solar energy installation. According to a post at Alex Jones’ Infowars,

The federal government backed down and ended their siege against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy less than 24 hours after an Infowars exposé connecting the land grab to Harry Reid and a Chinese-backed solar farm went viral, becoming the biggest news story on the Internet.

I generally regard Mr. Jones as a conspiracy theorist. However, when the Government spews lies and then tries to cover up its lies with the connivance of the “legitimate” media, we have to rely on conservative blogs for credible information. In some cases, we also have little choice but to rely on conspiracy theories. Then, even facially credible conspiracy theories become more believable than Government propaganda. That may be unfortunate if, occasionally, the Government tells the truth about important matters and few believe what it says.

Do we all “belong to the Government” to the extent that we have to believe its propaganda?

Would most who enjoy “belonging” to the Government feel that way about belonging to a family, co-op or criminal gang that badgered them with lies as consistently as has the Government administered by the Obama Administration? That seems unlikely.

UPDATE:

Here’s a video of Sharyl Attkisson, late of CBS, explaining why she no longer works there. Her story probably is not unique. Hat tip to Last Refuge.

Posted in Obama, Freedom, Israel, Conservatives, Media, Protests, Iran, Corruption, Abuse of Power, Ideology, Facts, Politics, Political Correctness, Democrats, States' Rights, Government reliance, Lies, Nuclear weapons, Congress, Right wing conspiracy, Democrat National Convention, Owned by Government, Benghazi, Libruls, Conspiracy theories, Gun control, John Kerry, 2014, 2016, Nanny state, P5+1, United States of Obama, Brain washing, Apathy, Palestinian Authority, Cows, Reality, Foreign policy, BLM | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Bundy Ranch: the “truth” shall make you . . . ?


The reports, such as they are, from the Bundy Ranch have been confusing. The Feds have contributed to the dearth of verifiable information, suggesting that there are things it would be inconvenient for us to know.

I don’t know what’s happening at the Bundy Ranch because, aside from conservative bloggers and occasionally Fox News, there is very little information, verifiable or otherwise. According to Mr. Bundy, on Friday he

barely recognized the land during an airplane flyover earlier in the day.

“I flew down along the river here, and I’d seen a little herd of cows,” he told a gathering of supporters. “Baby cows. They was grazing on their meadow and they was really quite happy.

“I then flew up the river here up to Flat Top Mason, and all of a sudden, there’s an army up there. A compound. Probably close to a hundred vehicles and gates all around and vehicles with armed soldiers in them. [Emphasis added.]

“Then I’m wondering where I am. I’m not in Afghanistan. I think I’m in Nevada. But I’m not sure right now,” he said to applause and defiant shouts.

Federal officials said that BLM enforcement agents were dispatched in response to statements Bundy made which they perceived as threats.

“When threats are made that could jeopardize the safety of the American people, the contractors and our personnel; we have the responsibility to provide law enforcement to account for their safety,” National Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover said to reporters Sunday.

A good collection of links is available at Nebraska Attitude.  Here’s a video from one of the links:

Would the video be more effective if the protesters were more multiculturally diverse and hence politically correct?

Here’s a video of a speech by a fellow rancher:

“It’s a Hell of a lot bigger than Clive Bundy?” Yep, it is. Many neighboring ranches have been vacated over the years due to the BLM, and the Bundy Ranch is one of the very few remaining. Were it not for Mr. Bundy and his supporters, there would be no story to hear about BLM encroachments on our freedoms.

A leftist version of the story is provided at Think Progress in an article titled Armed Right-Wing Militia Members Descend On Nevada To Help Rancher Defy Court Order. Obviously, the Feds are right and those who oppose them are, therefore, wrong. Right?

Due to the declaration of a no-fly zone in the area, the “legitimate media” would not be able to take aerial photographs or otherwise provide coverage from helicopters even if they wanted to do so; they probably don’t want to, because such coverage might well conflict with the official narrative and there could be unfortunate consequences. Might there be a “Waco massacre” when the Bundy family supporters arrive to defend them? Might the BLM enforcers stop and go away? According to this report,

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie made an announcement moments ago and ordered BLM off the Bundy land. People from around the country that traveled to Nevada in support of states rights and property rights are rejoicing at the end to this federal land grab and overreach. It looks like the one person who has the authority to tell BLM to leave the premises and cease operations has done so. 

According to this report,

BUNKERVILLE (KSNV MyNews3.com) – The gathering of rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle in northeast Clark County has been stopped by the director of the Bureau of Land Management.

The BLM announcement came as Bundy was meeting with Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie about the week-long dispute.

The BLM had been using contract cowboys to round up Bundy’s 900 head of cattle that have been grazing over 600,000 square acres in northeast Clark County for more than 20 years without his payment of grazing fees.

As of Friday they had secure 389 cattle from the Gold Butte area, nearly 90 percent of them marked with the Bundy Ranch brand.

All of the public land closed for the cattle roundup have been reopened, the BLM said today.

New BLM Director Neil Kornze made the following statement this morning:

“As we have said from the beginning of the gather to remove illegal cattle from federal land consistent with court orders, a safe and peaceful operation is our number one priority. After one week, we have made progress in enforcing two recent court orders to remove the trespass cattle from public lands that belong to all Americans.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.

“We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner.

If the reports are accurate, will the BLM agents re-group to return in greater force after the protesters have left and publicity giving the BLM (and the Obama Administration) a bad image has ceased? Maybe, but don’t look for many verifiable details from the “legitimate media.”

Here are some photos from an earlier time, accompanied by the song Home on the Range.

Just look at the anti-social jerks in the old photographs! Some of them might even have had unregistered firearms. There were no Federal agents to guide them by ensuring approved health care, child happiness and welfare, social justice or any of the plethora of “benefits” for which we now told to rely upon our benign Government.

Sometimes turning to fiction can be helpful in comprehending “reality.” I have been reading a frightening novel, Foreign Enemies and Traitors by Matthew Bracken, published in January of 2011. It is frightening because, although it depicts situations that now seem impossibly worse than anything yet seen — or likely to be seen — in the United States, the story is becoming incrementally plausible. It is set in a time when the United States are in turmoil, its citizens are arrested and murdered or “disappeared” because they oppose a no-longer accountable Government.

A series of environmental disasters had damaged the economy severely enough to provide a crisis that had to be set right, for the People, according to the Fed’s own lights. Food and other necessities were scarce and Federal moves to ensure “social justice” were implemented. Those who failed to abide by the Federal version of social justice became enemies of the state. Rural Southerners were the principal targets and a Federal Rural Pacification entity was formed to deal with the problem. Civilian firearms were banned but the bans were very difficult to enforce in the rural South.

In a small Tennessee village, Saturday markets attracted nearly all residents to barter or, if they had any of the new Federal currency, to buy things they needed to survive. A few had small gold coins, the possession of which was a capital offense, with which to buy what they needed. The whole concept of a free market was antithetical to the Federal concept of social justice, so one Saturday afternoon hundreds of market participants were arrested, taken to a ravine and shot. Rural pacification was a “black operation.” Since it did not officially exist, any stories of its actions were deniable and hence untrue.

If you have an opportunity, please read the book. Far fetched? Of course it is. It might — or might not — nevertheless suggest where the United States of Obama may be headed. Will “We the People” try to keep the situation from getting worse, or will we be content simply to “think progress,” to wait until we are personally affected and to hope for change?

Elections are coming in November. Please vote for our freedoms and against those who would destroy them “only” a few at a time as we enjoy the intervening periods of what passes for “normalcy.”

Sheep eating

UPDATE:

Things may not be quite as they seem. According to a post at Maggie’s Notebook,

After being told the BLM would stand-down this morning, it appears nothing of the sort is happening. InfoWars was streaming live, right at the spot where the cattle were, when the feed was cut, and apparently InfoWars is not the only one to lose communication. Cell phones are working and Alex Jones was talking by cell to David Knight who says someone there has threatened to shoot the activists. The area is heavy with armed police and other officials. Traffic has stopped on the interstate, honking in support of Bundy. David Knight says there are “soldiers” hiding behind cars with AR-15s. Amid the reporting, Bundy’s cattle will not be returned to him. More as information becomes available.

I don’t consider Alex Jones’ InfoWars a reliable source. However, there seem to be very few of them and he may be correct.

UPDATE:

From PJ Media, a post titled Breaking: Bureau of Land Management Won’t Enforce Court Order Against Bundy Cows claims that

The Bureau of Land Management announced that it would not enforce a court order to round up cows owned by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, effectively ending the siege at the southern Nevada ranch.

But did it?

When government chooses to intimidate instead of negotiate in good faith, they should expect this kind of resistance. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a good thing for citizens to threaten government officials, but the situation would never have gotten to this point if the government had treated its people as citizens instead of subjects to be bullied and pushed around. [Emphasis added.]

The BLM may wait for things to die down and then return to enforce the court order. If they try the same tactics, it’s likely they’ll meet the same resistance. “It’s about the freedom of America,” said another of Bundy’s sisters, Margaret Houston. “We have to stand up and fight.” If the only thing they accomplish in the end is put the government on notice that citizens won’t sit still for this kind of bullying, something positive will have come out of this mess. [Emphasis added.]

 

Posted in 2014, Abuse of Power, Administrative Agencies, Apathy, Army, BLM, Brain washing, Civil War, Conservatives, Conspiracy theories, Constitution, Corruption, Cows, Democracy, Democrats, Department of Domestic Tranquility (DDT), Duty, Executive Decree, Fantasy, fear, Federal Agencies, Free Press, Freedom, Good stuff for everone free, Government and individual choices, Government reliance, Gun control, Ideology, Law and Order, Libruls, Media, Military, Nanny state, Obama, Obama's America, Obama's America Now, ObamaCare, Owned by Government, Politics, Power, Protests, Reality, Right Wing, States' Rights, U.S. Military, United States of Obama, War on antisocial conduct | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

The United States of Obama are imploding


What, if anything, do “we” now stand for and why?

obama1_unicorn_fantasy

An article published on April 9th by the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council is titled U.S.: The Great Problem that Needs to be Solved. Written by Elliot Abrams, it contends that the problem has at its center the world view of President Obama. His world view is based primarily on ideology rather than reality; its bases are evident in all that He and His minions do and fail to do.

The problem also impacts domestic policy, implemented by Executive Decree when He “won’t wait.” If the Democrats control neither house of the Congress following the November elections, there will likely be increasing numbers of Executive Decrees. There will also probably be more Executive refusals to enforce Federal laws the Obama Administration does not like. Attorney General Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee on April 8th that

There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has — and, more specifically, that an attorney general has . . . .  But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that your acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people. [Emphasis added.]

Whose values are “our values?” Which “American people” are to be protected from what and whom?

Executive Decrees and the increasing dominance of Executive “values” over those on which our laws are based are among the consequences of elections, about which President Obama once bragged but now complains. When weak, He has to appear to His followers to be strong in asserting their values. Our RINOs frequently oblige by cowering before Him.

This article, however, is about foreign policy – an area in which He evidently considers American weakness more effective than American strength in bringing and keeping peace. It is not.

According to the Gatestone article,

When the Iranians started building a nuclear weapons program, it was the United States that said — three presidents have said — “You are not permitted to do that.” There was at least someone saying, “No, this is not a Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’: there are certain rules here that everyone will live by, and we, the United States, will enforce them.”

This started a long time ago — certainly after World War II, when the U.S. effected these rules against the Soviet Union. Obviously that is not the way the current U.S. Administration views the Middle East or its role there.

. . . .

You hear this from the president over and over again. “Global citizen;” “new era of engagement.” He used that line in about 10 different speeches starting with his first State of the Union “reset.”

In the Administration’s analysis of the world situation, there seems to be a great problem that needs to be solved; and the problem is the United States. It needs to break and overcome these old habits. Some of you might think instead that we have a great problem with Islamic extremism. That is not the  president’s view. The president made this really quite remarkable statement in his Cairo speech: “I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” [Emphasis added.]

Think about that. It’s really quite astonishing. I would say that if a president made that comment about Judaism or Christianity most of us would say, “That’s really quite bizarre. It is actually not his job.” [Emphasis added.]

To pick out and isolate Islam as the one religion, criticisms of which he has the responsibility to correct, is actually amazing. [Emphasis added.]

You look at the Administration’s policy: what is the goal here? What is he trying to achieve? It is certainly not a human rights policy; he seems remarkably indifferent to human rights everywhere.

Start with June 2009 in Iran: completely indifferent to the uprising that could conceivably have overthrown the Ayatollahs. Maybe it could not, but we shall never know. Or China: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first trip there. When she was asked, “Why don’t you say more about human rights?” she said, “We know what they’ll say in response.” So much for human rights in China, for human rights in Russia.

. . . .

One of the things that have changed in this administration is that people who are fighting for democracy in places such as Turkey, Russia or China, do not feel that they have any moral or political support coming from Washington, in a way that they have over the years. [Emphasis added.]

They are just not interested. On the humanitarian side, also not interested. When the president visited Africa, there were a fairly good number of articles in the newspapers talking about how disappointed Africans were. After all, they had gotten a lot of attention from President Bush. Now they had an African American president. Surely the amount of attention would be doubled, tripled. Instead, of course, it had largely disappeared. [Emphasis added.]

The key job for humanitarian activities in Africa is the Africa desk at USAID, the Assistant Administrator for Africa. It has been vacant for over a year and a half. The president did not even bother to fill the job.

What is he interested in doing? Military strength? Clearly not.

The Gatestone article is long but well worth reading and considering.

The Israel – Palestinian “peace process.”

Kerry SalutesPeace has to be out there somewhere.
I’ll find it using my magic Process!

On April 3rd, in an article titled Secretary Kerry and his Israel – Palestinian “peace process,” I argued that the process has become more important than peace, which will not in any event be among its results. Secretary Kerry, evidently backed by President Obama, consistently maintains that any failure of the process will be mainly the fault of Israel — not of the Palestinians and certainly not of the process.

During hearings on April 8th before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Kerry

performed a post-mortem on the recent collapse of the Middle East peace talks. According to Kerry, the Palestinian refusal to keep negotiating past April and their decision to flout their treaty commitments by returning to efforts to gain recognition for their non-existent state from the United Nations was all the fault of one decision made by Israel. [Emphasis added.]

That “fatal” decision was to announce seven hundred new apartments for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. “Poof, that was the moment,” Mr. Kerry said. 

[T]o blame the collapse on the decision to build apartments in Gilo—a 40-year-old Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem that would not change hands even in the event a peace treaty were ever signed and where Israel has never promised to stop building—is, to put it mildly, a mendacious effort to shift blame away from the side that seized the first pretext to flee talks onto the one that has made concessions in order to get the Palestinians to sit at the table. But why would Kerry utter such a blatant falsehood about the process he has championed? [Emphasis added.]

The answer is simple. Kerry doesn’t want to blame the Palestinians for walking out because to do so would be a tacit admission that his critics were right when they suggested last year that he was embarking on a fool’s errand. The division between the Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza has created a dynamic which makes it almost impossible for Abbas to negotiate a deal that would recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders were drawn even if he wanted to.

Or perhaps it’s necessary because Kerry sees the making of increasing demands as the proper function of the Palestinians and bowing to those demands, with her destruction to follow, as the proper functions of Israel. That is the view which the Palestinian Authority demands as its price for pursuing the process. At some point, however, Israel cannot continue to yield to increasing demands and the process fails. That appears to be where things now stand.

Or perhaps the underlying delusion is necessary due to President Obama’s Cairo promise, one of the very few that He meant and has kept:

I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

“Negative stereotypes” or reality?

The P5+1 nuke farce

a1  Obama and Kahameni -building a toaster

The Iran Scam continues and is likely to get worse. During the testimony of Secretary Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 8th, Chairman Menendez (D-N.J.)

panned a recent Wall Street Journal headline: “Obama Administration Shows Optimism on Iran Nuclear Talks.”

“I’m trying to glean where that’s from,” he said. “…With no sanctions regime in place, and understanding that every sanctions that we have pursued have needed at least a six-month lead time to become enforceable, and then a greater amount of time to actually enforce, that the only option left to the United States to this or any other president, and to the West, would be either to accept a nuclear-armed Iran or to have a military option.”

Kerry dismissed breakout as “just having one bomb’s worth, conceivably, of material, but without any necessary capacity to put it in anything, to deliver it, to have any mechanism to do so, and otherwise.”

He then admitted that “our goal” is not eliminating nuclear capability as much as “proving that this is a peaceful program.” [Emphasis added.]

He said WHAT?

He said WHAT?

Did he really say that? Was it a Freudian slip? What ever it was, it appears to reflect Obama Administration policy: start with assumptions that with “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani now in charge (he isn’t; to the extent that anyone is, it’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) and that his charm offensive was and is sincere (it wasn’t and isn’t). Those assumptions easily evolve into sufficient “proof” for the P5+1 process that Iran has and wants only a “peaceful program.” Is the P5+1 farce, like the Israel – Palestinian “peace process,” all about the process? It seems to have little to do with keeping Iran from having, getting or using nuclear weapons.

Conclusions

Foreign policy under President Obama and Secretary Kerry is a mess. The policy is to negotiate regardless of the costs, and to require the only reasonably free and democratic nation in the region, Israel, to negotiate with Palestinians who “merely” desire to eliminate her. Israel does not even have a recognized part to play in the P5+1 farce. If something — anything — works, good; Obama – Kerry will claim the credit. If negotiations fail, if there is another Intifada and/or if Iran gets (or keeps) and uses nuclear weapons resulting in many thousands or millions of deaths? Oh well, Obama – Kerry tried real hard so it couldn’t be their fault. Perhaps they will get Nobel Peace consolation prizes

The “peace process” and the P5+1 scam are only two of many available examples of the implosion of the United States of Obama as a principal force for international good –stability and democracy with freedom. As she continues to implode and to create a vacuum, something(s) will take her place. Stability may eventually come, but with neither democracy nor freedom. That seems to be the direction in which the United States of Obama are themselves headed.

UPDATE: April 11, 2014

Putin Declares All-Out Cold War on America

Obama continues to bite his fingernails and watch as Putin gorges himself on Eastern Europe.  A big part of the reason, of course, is that he’s afraid Americans will start remembering his “reset” policy, where he lectured Republicans about having misunderstood Russia and assured us that if treated with proper respect Russia would be a valuable partner in international affairs.

Yep. Why shouldn’t Russia see President Obama much as the rest of the world does?

Posted in Abbas, Abuse of Power, Appeasement, Congress, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Democrats, Elections, Executive Decree, Fantasy, Foreign policy, Freedom, Ideology, Islamists, Israel, Jerusalem, John Kerry, Khamenei, Libruls, Netanyahu, Nuclear weapons, Obama, Obama's America, Obama's America Now, Obamaphilia, P5+1, Palestinian Authority, RINOs, U.S. Military, Unified State of Obama, United States of Obama | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Benghazi hearings: CIA director altered talking points from “attack” to “demonstration”


danmillerinpanama:

Since the little people are unable to deal with facts, it is necessary to provide fiction instead. Thus spake the Obama Administration; it seems to work. Besides, who is that Ben Ghazi person anyway? We don’t hear much about him these days. Was he on the lost Malaysian aircraft?

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

From the Wall Street Journal, a summary on the Benghazi congressional hearings.

Excerpt:

Last week’s encounter between former acting CIA Director Michael Morell and the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence may have brought us a bit closer to the truth of how four Americans came to be killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and how their countrymen came to be lied to about it. But the progress toward truth was probably not made in a way that Mr. Morell intended. The encounter on Capitol Hill also made clear that the forum that will take us all the way to the truth must be something other than a congressional hearing.

[...]Critics of the government’s performance on Benghazi have charged that Mr. Morell’s revisions principally although not exclusively involved changing the description of the violence and its perpetrators, and removing the suggestion that they might…

View original 907 more words

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Excessive Government, antibiotics and radiation are bad medicine


All three can be good or bad depending on how much, how and for what used. That a little bit might be good does not mean that a lot more will be better.

Radiation

Shoe store X-ray
Many years ago, in the mid to late 1940′s and early 1950′s when I was a young boy, shoe stores had X-ray machines permitting one to view images of the bones in one’s feet. Health hazards were recognized but generally ignored.

Although most of the dose was directed at the feet, a substantial amount would scatter or leak in all directions. Shielding materials were sometimes displaced to improve image quality, to make the machine lighter, or out of carelessness, and this aggravated the leakage. The resulting whole-body dose may have been hazardous to the salesmen, who were chronically exposed, and to children, who are about twice as radiosensitive as adults.[7] Monitoring of American salespersons found dose rates at pelvis height of up to 95 R/week, with an average of 7.1 R/week (up to ~50 mSv/a, avg ~3.7 mSv/a effective dose).[5] A 2007 paper suggested that even higher doses of 0.5 Sv/a were plausible.[8] The most widely accepted model of radiation-induced cancer posits that the incidence of cancers due to ionizing radiation increases linearly with effective (i.e., whole-body) dose at a rate of 5.5% per Sv.[9]

Years or decades may elapse between radiation exposure and a related occurrence of cancer, and no follow-up studies of customers can be performed for lack of records.

Like other kids, I enjoyed playing with the things whenever my parents took me to a shoe store. I would play for as long as I could with what I thought of a great toy, wiggle my toes and watch my bones move. The devices may have helped in selecting shoes that fit well, but the benefits probably did not justify the risks. Eventually, it was recognized that such toys were potentially hazardous and by the 1970′s they had disappeared. Now, exposure to more than the minimum radiation needed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes is considered dangerous and ill-advised. Physicians and radiation technicians make substantial efforts to avoid it for themselves and for their patients.

Antibiotics

antibioticsYummy candy!

Penicillin and its potential therapeutic benefits in killing bacteria were discovered in 1928. By the early 1940′s it was in limited use and by 1943 ways had been found to produce it inexpensively in large quantities. The first generally used antibiotic, it was considered a miracle drug because it quickly cured bacterial infections that non-antibiotic drugs did not. However, some bacteria that had initially succumbed evolved into penicillin-resistant varieties and new antibiotics had to be developed.

In sixth grade, I developed viral pneumonia (i.e., pneumonia caused by a virus), the most common form of pneumonia in children. Antibiotics have no effect on it. Bacterial pneumonia is much more common in adults. Our family physician, like many of that era, ignorantly prescribed an antibiotic for my viral pneumonia. I got to stay home from school for several weeks.

Today, antibiotics are widely used in livestock feed.

Antibiotic use in livestock is the use of antibiotics for any purpose in the husbandry of livestock, which includes not only the treatment or prophylaxis of infection but also the use of subtherapeutic doses in animal feed to promote growth and improve feed efficiency in contemporary intensive animal farmingAntimicrobials (including antibiotics and antifungals) and other drugs are used by veterinarians and livestock owners to increase the size of livestock, poultry, and other farmed animals. The use of some drugs is banned in some countries due to food contamination or concern about increasing antibiotic resistance and what some consider antibiotic misuse. Other drugs may be used only under strict limits, and some organizations and authorities seek to further restrict the use of some or all drugs in animals . Other authorities, particularly those in animal industry, food animal medicine, and pharmacology industry, say that concerns for bacterial resistance in humans is overblown and restricting the availability of medicine is detrimental to animal health and the economical production of food.

Antibiotics, used for their intended purposes and not excessively, can do much good. Used excessively and for the wrong reasons, they can do much harm. Are the actual and potential current hazards of antibiotics over or under rated? Probably both.

Government

Bugblatter beastThe Ravenous Govblather Beast
of Washington

It was eventually recognized that excessive uses of radiation and antibiotics for purposes to which they were ill-suited could cause much harm and little if any good. Due to their potential dangers, uses of both are now more restrained than in the recent past. Excessive use of Government, however, generally seems to be viewed differently – particularly by those in Government, by those not paying for it and by those who benefit from crony capitalism. Increases in governmental intervention show no sign of abating. Yet the dangers, actual and potential, of excessive control by Government are substantially more apparent now than were those of the unlimited use of antibiotics and radiation a few decades ago. Perhaps having too much Government is seen as impossible because “we all belong to the Government.”

I adhere to the old notion that the Government belongs to us, rather than the reverse, and that we already have far too much of it.

Some Government programs have worked

Lately, the same environmental, labor and “climate change” laws and regulations that impede private enterprise have also impeded governmental efforts to limit the consequences of governmental blunders. Once upon a time, those impediments were uncommon. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were not subject to them because such impediments either did not then exist or were still relatively innocuous. Both programs were reasonably effective New Deal ways of dealing with a depression.

The WPA

was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects,[1] including the construction of public buildings and roads. In much smaller but more famous projects the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.[1]

Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. The WPA’s initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP), and in total it spent $13.4 billion.[2]

At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs.[3] Full employment, which emerged as a national goal around 1944, was not the WPA goal. It tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.[4]

The CCC

was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 as part of the New DealRobert Fechner was the head of the agency. It was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).[1]

The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs.[2] Principal benefits of an individual’s enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability.[3] Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation’s natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.[4]

During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.[5]

The Hoover Dam, constructed between 1931 and 1936, was another Government project that achieved the desired results.

The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and the lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.

In addition to flood control, “the dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California.”

The Hoover Dam project, WPA and CCC were substantially unencumbered by the massive and increasing legal and regulatory impediments now imposed on the private sector, which played major roles in causing, and continue to prolong, the current recession and its effects. ObamaCare now also does its “fair share” in screwing things up. When President Obama claimed that He would quickly provide many “shovel ready” jobs to help end the current recession, He apparently did not consider the likelihood that many of  those same impediments would drastically limit the numbers of “shovel ready” jobs. Has He at least considered the possibility that many of the same factors that denied Him the “shovel ready” jobs He sought and promised have increasingly had similar impacts on private enterprise?

President Obama has talked about the problem, but talk coupled with inconsistent action has been far less costly for Him than it has been for the nation. His administration continues to make it worse. For those who think that worse is better, more Executive Decrees are coming.

Obama on Tuesday will direct the Labor Department to adopt regulations requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race. The president will sign the executive order and the presidential memo during an event at the White House where he will be joined Lilly Ledbetter, whose name appears on a pay discrimination law Obama signed in 2009.

This week’s steps showcase Obama’s efforts to take action without congressional approval and illustrate how even without legislation, the president can drive policy on a significant segment of the U.S. economy. At the same time, it also underscores the limits of his ambition when he doesn’t have the backing of Congress for his initiatives.

Republicans maintain that Obama is pushing his executive powers too far and that he should do more to work with Congress. His new executive orders are sure to prompt criticism that he is placing an undue burden on companies and increasing their costs.

Federal contracting covers about one-quarter of the U.S. workforce and includes companies ranging from Boeing to small parts suppliers and service providers. As a result, presidential directives can have a wide and direct impact. Such actions also can be largely symbolic, designed to spur action in the broader economy.

. . . .

Federal contractors . . . worry that additional compensation data could be used to fuel wage related lawsuits, said James Plunkett, director of labor policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Litigation is increasing as a cost of doing business. As a recovering attorney, perhaps I should be happy for my former brethren; I am not.

What’s more, he said, such orders create a two-tiered system where rules apply to federal contractors but not to other employers. Those contractors, knowing that their business relies on the government, are less likely to put up a fight, he said.

President Obama, who has declared this a year of action whether Congress supports him or not, very likely has many more Executive Decrees in gestation.

Prospective employers want employees who show up on time for interviews, have needed skills, “can-do, will-do” attitudes, are willing and able to be flexible and who want the available job. Such employees are hard to find. Might the dismal labor force participation rate be part of the problem?

Labor force participation WSJ

According to Glen Hubbard, author of the linked Wall Street Journal article, Dean of the Columbia Business School, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush and an economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Romney,

As I see it, the policy response to our disturbing doldrums in the labor market has indeed struck the wrong balance. Whatever can be said for shorter-term measures to jump-start job creation and business activity, it seems clear by this late date that our problems are in no small part structural. What we need most urgently is to rethink the federal government’s wider role in the labor market. [Emphasis added.]

It’s an interesting analysis and well worth reading, agree or disagree with all or parts of it.

Conclusions

Some environmental, labor and other laws and regulations – like some antibiotics and some radiation, in appropriate doses administered for valid reasons – can bring beneficial results. When used to excess, without due regard for the consequences and/or for the wrong purposes they, like antibiotics and radiation, can bring highly detrimental results. Has it occurred to the Obama Administration, our CongressCritters and the regulators they empower that, even if they consider their motivations good, they often do more harm than good? Probably not. Has that occurred to “We the Voters?” It had better, but will it?

Finally, and just because I like her and we need her!

Posted in 2014, 2016, Apathy, Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, Economic decline, Economics, Executive Decree, Federal Agencies, Franklin Roosevelt, Freedom, Good stuff for everone free, Hatred, History, Left, Libruls, New Deal, Obama, Obama's America, Obama's America Now, ObamaCare, Owned by Government, Palin, Politics, Republicans, RINOs, Socialism, Stimulus, Unified State of Obama | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Secretary Kerry and his Israel – Palestinian “peace process”


The process itself, rather than peace, has become the goal.

PA official

Senior Palestinian Authority official

A bit of history

The notion that “the end justifies the means” is bad even when the end sought might be seen as beneficial. Transitory peace might be a beneficial intermediate end if the price of achieving it is not excessive. We should have learned about that shortly after 1938, when Prime Minister Chamberlain’s deal with Herr Hitler allowed German expansion into Czechoslovakia and produced a naval agreement between Britain and Germany.

PM Chamberlain said this later the same day:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.[3]

That version of “peace in our time” was short-lived. Germany soon invaded Poland, apparently believing that other European nations would do nothing. World War II followed, with Britain, Europe and (even after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the United States) ill-prepared to fight. Whether Germany and Japan, or the United States and their allies, would prevail remained an open question for a couple of years.

The Israel-Palestinian “peace process”

Turning the “end justifies the means” notion upside down so that the means are seen as justifying the end sought — or perhaps so that the means become the end — does not improve the notion; particularly when the means — the “process” in the “peace process” — are distorted due to their perceived importance.

Apparently having given up all hope of bringing peace to the entire Middle East, let alone to Israel – assuming that either was once his naive objective – Secretary Kerry now apparently considers it necessary to keep his process alive regardless of the consequences. To that end, he has applied substantial pressures on Israel to make very damaging concessions merely to coax Palestinian Authority President Abbas to negotiate. Rather than respond by negotiating with Israel, Abbas simply demands — and Secretary Kerry seconds his demands — more concessions.

As observed in Disasterous outcome of the “peace negotiations,”

As anticipated, the Obama administration’s efforts to impose a peace settlement have proved to be a disastrous failure. It is immaterial whether the negotiations formally break down or a face-saving formula is adopted which is nonbinding and incorporates sufficient reservations to make it meaningless. Regrettably, the U.S. intervention has only exacerbated the situation and even undermined the chances of low-profile interim progress and economic cooperation. [Emphasis added.]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has blustered and zigzagged between intimidating and occasionally placating Israel. The pressure was exerted overwhelmingly toward Israel while the Palestinians, who were treated with kid gloves, refused to make a single meaningful compromise. This generated enormous frustration and resentment of the U.S. among Israelis. [Emphasis added.]

The positive memories of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and the ongoing defense support and cooperation — now at an all-time high — were overshadowed by Israeli anger against the U.S. for bullying its government into releasing brutal mass murderers who were subsequently glorified as heroes by the Palestinian Authority.

The PA demanded this as a prerequisite even to agreeing to negotiate. An uninformed observer would assume that Israel was the supplicant and would be unaware that the territories were acquired only after Israel vanquished an Arab conglomerate that had initiated a war to annihilate it. [Emphasis added.]

Secretary Kerry’s is unable to produce even a short-lived disruption of Palestinian efforts to achieve the ultimate goal of eliminating Israel as the only reasonably free and democratic nation in the Middle East. Democracy with freedom is anathema under Islam and having somebody to hate is their most powerful weapon.

Don’t worry; Israel is expendable because there are plenty of others to hate.

Secretary Kerry could not achieve an at best transitory cessation of hostilities even if Palestinian Authority President Abbas were in control of the Palestinians. He is not. Hamas (meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement”), a rival Palestinian organization that controls Gaza, represents far too many Palestinians to ignore and has consistently opposed even fits and starts by Abbas sort of, maybe, to consider concessions to Israel. Seventy-nine years old, in failing health and opposed even within the Palestinian Authority, he would not be able to contribute effectively to peace even if he wanted to do so. It is questionable that he does.

Secretary Kerry should abandon the Israel-Palestinian “peace process” before he makes the situation worse than he already has. Perhaps leaving on his yacht for a pleasant sail in Venezuelan waters might do less damage.

Kerry Salutes

Ahoy there, President Maduro! Reporting for duty!

Posted in Abbas, Appeasement, Arafat, Farce, Fatah, Foreign policy, Formerly Great Britain, Germany, Hamas, Hatred, History, Hitler's Germany, Islamists, Israel, Jewophobia, John Kerry, Maduro, Middle East, Obama, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian heroes, United States of Obama | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments