Archive for Media Morons

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

What’s Romney up to these days?

We followed family tradition this year by taking 5 of our 22 grandkids, ages 10 through 13, on a trip through the American West. My Mom and Dad began the tradition, showing their grandchildren the majesty of our country and teaching them about the sacrifices and character of the pioneers. We visited Goblin Valley, Spooky Gulch, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Rainbow Arch, Grand Canyon, and the four falls in the Havasupai Reservation. All totaled, we hiked over 50 miles: quite a feat for the young—and for Ann and me.

With the grandkids a captive audience, we taught them about their own ancestors: Ann’s side played instrumental roles in the foundation of the country, including William Bradford and Grover Cleveland. Mine were key to the establishment of our Church and the settlement of the American West.

The adventures were more than we had planned, with unexpected obstacles during our nine hour hike down the Subway trail of Zion National Park, a breathtaking descent to Mooney Falls in the Havasupai Reservation, and a very close encounter with a rattlesnake.

We came away more appreciative of the landscape God gave us, of the sacrifices of the pioneers, and of the comforts of air conditioning and home cooked meals!

We were also sobered by the tragic events in Ukraine and Israel. True is the principle that guided America’s founders: united we stand, divided we fall. As we experienced the grandeur of the West, our hearts went out to those millions in the world who suffer.

romney

How absolutely normal. We could have had a sane person at the helm.

– Aggie

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Gosh, Darnit! A 3rd Rocket Stash Found At A UN School.

UN schools have more rocket stashes tucked away than I have extra pairs of reading glasses. They’re so easy to lose, right?

The United Nations Relief & Works Agency For Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced Tuesday that another rocket stockpile has been found at one of its schools in Gaza. This instance marks the third time since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge that a weapons arsenal has been found at an UNRWA school in Gaza.

UNRWA has yet to place blame on any individuals or organizations for placing the weapons stockpile within a children’s school. The UN body refused to do so on the past two previous occasions as well.
The UN body, after both previous findings, has handed the rockets it had found back into the possession of “the local police,” otherwise known as the terrorist group Hamas.

This week, UNRWA supplies and building materials had been found in Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, which has been used to smuggle weapons and carry out attacks on the State of Israel.

The UN agency has a well-documented history of using their US taxpayer-funded facilities to promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda. It has in the past been accused of aiding and abetting radical Islamists in Gaza and elsewhere.

Imagine that! The UN paid for the tunnels (in part) along with you and me, the American taxpayer. And now Israel is destroying all that work and all that money. Shouldn’t we do something about Israel? Those are Peace Tunnels™, intended to show the loving side of the Peaceful Palestinians™. Mean old Israel has to stop!

Do you suppose that the UN will “lose” this weapons too? I’m taking the over on this one, BTL.

– Aggie

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US Sets Israel Up For “Relation Meltdown”

People should contact their representatives to complain about this.

After being caught on a hot mic July 20 saying, “It’s crazy to just be sitting around,” Kerry finally departed for Egypt. He spent most of the week in his hotel in Cairo, holding meetings and making dozens of phone calls, traveling to Israel and the West Bank for a few hours only July 23.

When Kerry sent the Israel government his draft ceasefire proposal July 25, the Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously and senior Israeli officials leaked several angry and nasty criticisms of Kerry to the Israeli press. Kerry’s meeting with the Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers in Paris on July 26 evoked another round of leaked quotes about Israel’s frustration with Kerry’s effort. [They fail to mention that Egypt is also upset with Kerry. - Aggie]

Of course, the Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel was wary of Kerry’s efforts. Israel has been resisting Kerry’s criticism that their operations should focus more on avoiding civilian casualties and has groused [Note the use of the verb: to grouse. Is that serious? Does that imply the fear that your communities will be overrun with Hamas terrorists coming through tunnels, Hamas shells landing randomly on homes, schools, roads? No, it does not. They are intentionally downplaying Israel's extremely valid concerns. Why? Because they are journalists, trying to control the mood of the American public and to turn it against Israel. - Aggie] that Kerry’s proposal would reward Hamas for launching barrages of rockets into Israel. Israeli officials have also disparaged Kerry in public and private ever since Kerry’s last Middle East peace push collapsed in April. [They are "disparaging" him because he is a weasel. We in Massachusetts can attest to that.- Aggie]

But anonymous Israeli officials were not the only ones grousing about Kerry’s diplomacy. Asharq al-Aswat, an Arab newspaper based in London, quoted a senior Palestinian Authority official over the weekend saying Kerry’s plan was an attempt to destroy the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. [Yes, because it hands a win over to Hamas and makes the entire region less safe. - Aggie]

State Department officials have claimed all week that an immediate ceasefire leading to a negotiation for a more permanent agreement between Israel and Hamas was the only way forward. Meanwhile, the death toll mounts on both sides, with the Palestinians bearing the brunt of the tragedy; 48 IDF soldiers and over 1,000 Palestinians have now been killed. [Mostly fighters, males between the ages of 18-50 = roughly 75% of deaths. - Aggie] The Israelis have effectively cut off nearly 40% of the Gaza Strip. Some of Gaza’s most densely populated neighborhoods have been flattened in what many say amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government.

But the Israeli government has made clear publicly and privately it would not agree to a ceasefire until its ongoing mission to destroy Hamas’s network of tunnels was complete.

No sane person wants to do what Kerry and Obama are demanding. They want Israel to stop fighting, even though the rockets continue and the tunnels are still in place. This is the best advertisement for the Republican Party that I can imagine.

Top Obama administration officials Monday were still pressing for a ceasefire based on Kerry’s draft proposal, revealed first by the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz and then by The New York Times Monday. The Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously last week. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told CNN on Monday that because the Israelis had “significantly further degraded” Hamas’ tunnels, the Kerry plan was still the best way forward.

Blinken also insisted that Kerry’s plan contained many of the “same elements” as an Egyptian proposal, released July 15 and immediately rejected by Hamas. Cairo’s plan called for an immediate halt to violence on both sides and would have provided for the opening of border crossings and the end of rocket fire into Israel.

But the two plans also had key differences. Multiple Israeli officials, lawmakers, and experts told The Daily Beast that Kerry’s proposal altered the Egyptian ceasefire in many important ways, and in one case altered longstanding U.S. policy toward the funding of Hamas.

Two Israeli government officials told The Daily Beast that Israel could not agree to the Kerry draft proposal because it felt it would constrain the Israeli Defense Forces from finishing their mission to destroy the tunnels in Gaza. Yet Kerry’s proposal explicitly did not include a call for the IDF to withdraw from Gaza during the ceasefire. What’s more, U.S. officials told the Israeli government that tunnel work would be able to continue during the ceasefire, as it had during the previous short-term pauses in the fighting.

The Israeli government was not confident the IDF would be able to continue tunnel destruction inside Gaza during the ceasefire. The officials in Jerusalem were not willing to commit to any timeline for completing the tunnel mission because they were still discovering the extent of the tunnel network and thought the mission could take as long as three weeks to complete.

“The Israelis felt their security concerns weren’t addressed by Kerry’s proposal,” said Dennis Ross, a former White House senior official and longtime Mideast envoy. “The ceasefire was going to put the Israelis in a position where the tunnels were still there. A ceasefire that doesn’t address that is not one that the Israelis could accept.”

I will assume that Obama and Kerry are not stupid. By penning a “peace plan” that hands a victory to Hamas, one they knew that Israel would reject – and the entire society has rejected it, Left, Right and Center – they were setting Israel up for scapegoating. Now they are righteously indignant. How DARE Israel be so rude!!!

And notice that our tax dollars, which already fund terrorist organizations, are set to increase funding to Hamas:

The Kerry proposal also stated a commitment would be made to “transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries of public employees.” Israeli and U.S. officials said the understanding was that money would be given to Hamas by the government of Qatar. A senior U.S. official said that the American government doesn’t like Qatar providing money to Hamas, which is still officially designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. But Kerry was trying to reach Hamas and he believes this was the best way to influence them.

“The fact is, [the Qataris] are [funding Hamas] and as a result of that they have some influence,” the senior U.S. official said.

Cute. The more vicious the terror group, the more likely they are to get funded. Dig tunnels, fire rockets, receive a bonanza!! Don’t try this trick at home, kids.

BTL: We should have a category called Useful Idiots.

– Aggie

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

– Aggie

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Household Net Worth Has Declined Approximately 40% Since 2007

The NY Times hides this by going back to 2003, but if you read the full article you learn that the problem began with the financial meltdown on 2007/08 and just hasn’t improved since. They state a 36% decline, based on 2003, but since American wealth grew between 2003-2007, the real decline has to be larger, right?

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased 14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households.

For households at the median level of net worth, much of the damage has occurred since the start of the last recession in 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising for the typical household, although at a slower pace than for households in higher wealth brackets. But much of the gain for many typical households came from the rising value of their homes. Exclude that housing wealth and the picture is worse: Median net worth began to decline even earlier.

“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.

They are trying to write about the evil 1%, and I suppose their readers will buy it. But to my mind, this is mostly a story about the economic failures of the Obama administration. Consider this: September 11 2001 didn’t harm us as much as the presidency of Barack Obama.

– Aggie

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Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

– Aggie

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Abraham, Martin, and John…and Barack

Has anybody here seen my old friend Barack?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?

President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn’t invited.

Tuesday, the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

Wednesday morning, when he met with big donors for the House Majority PAC at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown San Francisco, they weren’t even told what room or floor he was on.

“We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature,” said Christi Parsons, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “Denying access to him in that setting undermines the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. It’s of special concern as these events and the donors they attract become more influential in the political process.”

Despite constant complaints from the press corps and promises from White House officials, access to the president continues to be limited. The constantly repeated line that they’re running the “most transparent administration in history” tends to prompt snickers. Halfway through Obama’s West Coast swing, it’s tipping toward outrage.

Okay, tough guys, what are you going to do about it?

Parsons said the WHCA has asked the White House to reconsider its position regarding access, but has not yet filed a formal complaint.

Pussies.

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A Great Time To Visit Israel

Seriously. Mayor Bloomberg flew to Israel as soon as the ban was announced.

On his twitter account, Bloomberg wrote, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel.” Michael Bloomberg
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg Photo: REUTERS
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel on Tuesday in protest of the Federation Aviation Administration’s decision to halt American flights to and from the country.

On his twitter account, Bloomberg wrote, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel.”

The billionaire industrialist made the announcement hours after air travel to Israel from all American carriers and several European ones came to a halt on Tuesday, when the FAA banned US airlines from traveling to and from Ben-Gurion Airport for 24 hours.

The decision followed the successful firing of a Hamas rocket into a house in Yehud, near Ben-Gurion Airport, earlier in the day.

“The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately,” the former mayor said.

That last sentence is a feature of our foreign policy, not a bug. Our government is apparently trying to get Israel to stop defending herself by cutting her off from the world. The response should be an influx of American tourists (and decent Europeans if such critters exist) flying in on El Al. I’m sure that the restaurants and hotels would be delighted to see you. On a personal note, I was there during the 2009 Hamas war and it was just fine. And on another personal note, after September 11th, 2001, our family spent a lot of time in NYC, visiting the sites, staying in mostly empty hotels, etc. People in places that have been victimized by Islamic terrorism need the support of the rest of us.

– Aggie

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What Is The Difference?

Charles Krauthammer lays it all out in simple language

Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

And what is the US doing? The US is sending money to the people who are using civilian human shields. Not even Egypt will do that.

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.

And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that, simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.

True, Dr. Krauthammer, but people are very, very stupid. And they are bigoted against Jews, which makes the stupidity easier to explain.

And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. (Just Thursday, the U.N. announced that it found 20 rockets in a Gaza school.) And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?”

It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as Tuesday’s Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.

This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.

I’m just going to give you all of this, because it is so accurate:

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, the depravity of Hamas begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years that nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.

I’ve noticed something surprising here in Massachusetts. The people that would typically be blaming Israel are out there, but in fewer numbers. I assume that this is because just over a year ago we experienced terrorism first-hand at the Boston Marathon. Given how short memories are, I don’t expect this effect to continue, but it is noteworthy. The real haters don’t change, but the middle is less impressed with a terror group that sends thousands of rockets into towns and cities.

– Aggie

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Antisemitism At The Washington Post

– Aggie

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Dershowitz On Hamas’s “Dead Baby Strategy”

Media has bloody hands

By emphasizing the comparative body counts without providing the reasons for the disparity, the media plays into the hands of Hamas, and encourages that terrorist organization to continue to pursue its dead baby strategy.

The media loves to count the dead bodies on each side of a conflict. It’s much easier to count that to explain. Hamas knows this. That’s why they employ what has come to be known as “the dead baby strategy”.

Hamas’ strategy since Israel left Gaza in 2005 has been exactly the same. The media response has been exactly the same. And Hamas will continue to employ a strategy that causes many Palestinian civilians to die as long as the media keeps up its thoughtless body count.

Here’s the way it works: Hamas deliberately fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas, using hospitals, disability centers, mosques and schools as launching sites. This puts Israel to the tragic choice of either allowing the rockets to endanger its civilians or to destroy the rocket launchers, thereby risking civilian casualties among Hamas’ human shields. Often Israel chooses to forgo attacking military targets, so as not to put Palestinian civilians at risk. Sometimes it has no choice, because the rocket fire against its civilians is persistent. Palestinian civilians are killed despite Israel’s best efforts precisely because Hamas wants civilians to be killed, especially if these civilians are children, women or the elderly. Hamas stands ready to parade these human shields in front of the media which is eager to show the dead and count the bodies.

Hamas could easily reduce the death and injury toll among its civilians, by simply allowing them to go underground into tunnels and shelters which abound throughout Gaza. But Hamas has a deliberate policy of refusing to allow civilians to enter the tunnels or shelters. They reserve these places of refuge for their fighters and commanders, which explains why so few Hamas fighters have been killed. If Hamas were to reverse its policy and allow civilians into the shelters while requiring its fighters to stay above ground, the ratio of civilians to fighters killed would dramatically change. That is why in each of the wars between Hamas and Israel there have been more Palestinian than Israeli civilian deaths and injuries. It is part of Hamas’ dead baby strategy and it works, because the media facilitates it.

I wonder if the NY Times or NPR will cover this?

– Aggie

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Half The Population Of Israel Reportedly In Bomb Shelters

4 million people enjoying the heat wave in a bomb shelter

Ask yourselves this: What would the United States do if half of our citizens were in range of randomly exploding rockets? Would we sit and discuss? Whip out a little Tikkun Olam? Or would we get serious about fighting back?

On Tuesday, Consul General of the State of Israel David Siegel told TruthRevolt Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro that over half of Israel’s population was currently hunkered down in bomb shelters thanks to the spate of rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “It’s a very difficult night in Israel. Roughly half our population, around 4 million people are in bomb shelters tonight,” Siegel explained on Shapiro’s radio show on Seattle’s AM 770 KTTH.

Siegel went on to state that 20 Israeli cities have been subjected to rocket attack, with Hamas firing over 150 rockets overnight in Israel. Thirty of those rockets, “the most dangerous” rockets, were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense shield, Iron Dome, Siegel explained. But, he added, “117 landed.”

Siegel told Shapiro that Hamas “targeted civilians on our side” while “hiding among civilians on their side.” He stated, “No country would ever tolerate even one of these missiles, let alone 150 in a day.” Siegel confirmed that Israel was drafting 40,000 reserves. “We offered quiet for quiet,” Siegel said. “They saw that as weakness. Again, they’ve miscalculated Israel’s intent…You’re going to see over the next few days a very significant operation.”

And with “a very significant operation” will come condemnation from the UN, the EU, the Obama administration and the O-bots. For some reason, Obama decided to check out the Neville Chamberlain approach. It is working about as well now as it did back then. The world seems to be in chaos.

– Aggie

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