My mother used to say, “Enough is enough, and too much is plenty.” Well…we passed the “plenty” mark a long time ago where terrorism and threats by terrorist entities are concerned. But what I see is that the excesses of terrorists are beginning to stiffen backs a bit. In the face of acts that are increasingly obscene, there is a growing recognition that tough stances are necessary. Not nearly enough yet, mind you, but growing.
The most obvious example at the moment of a nation being pushed to a new stance by terrorist excesses is Jordan. As most of my readers undoubtedly know, ISIS has executed a Jordanian pilot by locking him in a cage and burning him alive; this was captured on videotape. Jordan is part of the US-led alliance against ISIS, and their pilot, Lt. Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, was captured when his plane went down over Syria. There are no words for the inhumanity of what was done to him, and the Jordanians are beyond furious. Thus have critics of action against ISIS now joined the chorus of rage.
The first thing Jordan did was to execute (apparently by hanging) two al-Qaeda connected Iraqi prisoners – already convicted and, as I understand it, sentenced to death, but being held long term in prison. Now King Abdullah is quoted as saying:
“We are waging this war to protect our faith, our values and human principles and our war for their sake will be relentless and will hit them in their own ground.”
And a Jordanian government spokesman has spoken about intensifying “efforts to stop extremism and terrorism to undermine, degrade and eventually finish Daesh [the Islamic State].” (Emphasis added)
Rhetoric in part, perhaps, because honor is involved. But a welcome perspective, none the less. And Jordan is already increasing bombing.
Here at home, I’ve noted a number of ways in which the responses of our government seem to me to be increasingly tough. These responses have nothing to do with declarations of war, and may seem relatively minor, but are not. They send an important message regarding our strength, our rights, and our readiness to take action to protect ourselves. Constant vigilance is required on a number of fronts:
Israeli-Arabs who leave Israel – apparently getting into Syria via Turkey – to join ISIS are being tracked and arrested on their return. In ISIS camps they are trained in torture and weapons use. After being interrogated, they are indicted, and, if found guilty sentenced. Although it appears from news reports that sentences remain too lenient, European nations might take a lesson from this practice.
See here, for example:
And speaking of ISIS, seven Arab Israelis were arrested recently for attempting to set up an Islamic State cell in the Nazareth area.
Last month, the Shin Bet and a special police unit, working together, identified and then closed down three Israeli NGOs that were funneling money to activities intended to “inflame tensions on the Temple Mount.”
These groups were established last October by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel “with the purpose of funding activities meant to disrupt the security of visitors to the Temple Mount and in order to inflame tensions and cause disturbances, while harming the sovereignty of the State of Israel at the site.”
There are groups of Arabs – often women – who have been paid to come up on the Mount and harass Jews both verbally and physically.
Last Saturday night, an IDF unit in the Shomron came upon Palestinian Arabs throwing firebombs at on-coming cars. The army opened fire on them, and one of the Palestinian Arabs was killed.
It is critical to consider the attacks upon cars – whether by firebombs or rocks and bricks, all of which can maim and kill – with utmost seriousness.
This is a very modest response (TOO modest a response, in my opinion). But, as it is a first, it is a step in our asserting ourselves: The Israel Electric Company is now cutting back on service to the PA areas because of the enormous unpaid electric bill. Service will be cut in half for two hours every day.
The organization Im Tirtzu – “if we will it,” from Herzl – is staunchly Zionist, and prepared to expose those who are not. B’Tselem, on the other hand, is an Israeli NGO that poses as a human rights group, but is in fact enormously politicized, and anti-Israel. B’Tselem just released a report, allegedly documenting “war crimes” committed by Israel during our recent war with Hamas, Operation Protective Shield. Their findings will be used by what was at least until this week referred to as the Schabas Commission, which has a UNHRC mandate to “investigate” Israel’s behavior during the war (more on Schabas below).
Now Im Tirtzu has exposed the fact that B’Tselem received funding for this report from Ramallah, from “a Palestinian foundation that, among other things, finances organizations related to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
Says Im Tirtzu: “Israeli citizens and the international community who will read B’Tselem’s report have a right to know that this report does not represent an objective investigation of truth with justice as its guiding principle. Rather, this is the result of a political agenda and the negative attitude toward Israel.”
On Monday, William Schabas – the Canadian legal academic who had been appointed to head the UN Human Rights Council investigation on Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza this past summer – resigned. He had been exposed:
Turns out that in 2012, he wrote a legal opinion for the PLO and was paid for doing so.
He apparently did not see this as a conflict of interest that would disqualify him. In fact, he declared, all innocence, that “this work in defense of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks.” He assumed the position, he maintained, with full commitment to “act with independence and impartiality. I have fully respected that undertaking.”
As Anne Bayefsky, who directs the Touro College Institute on Human Rights, wrote, “”Yea, right.”
The UNHRC might have scrapped the work of the investigatory commission, but that would have been expecting too much. One day later, Schabas’s successor – former NY judge Mary McGowan Davis – was appointed. Davis, already a member of this commission, had served as well on the Goldstone Commission, the findings of which were subsequently repudiated by Goldstone himself.
As Bayefsky points out (emphasis added):
“Israel’s achievement in this whole affair…is not that it brought to light damning information about Schabas that compelled him to step down.
”Rather, the achievement is that, now that he has stepped down because of incontrovertible evidence of bias, it will be easier for Israel to dismiss the report as completely one-sided and useless when it does come out.
”This incident also provides real-time evidence to those tired of hearing Jerusalem argue that it does not get a fair shake in international organizations, that – indeed – it does not get a fair shake in international organizations.
”…Schabas has lost his credibility, and as a result so has the commission that he chaired, even before the paper it is working on even sees the light of day.”
This is unreal, but not unexpected:
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli coordinator for government activities in the territories, is in Europe to discuss better relations with the EU. He was scheduled to meet with European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Israel, which is responsible for “maintaining and developing Parliament’s contacts and relations with the Knesset.”
The invitation to Parliament members said that his visit presented an “excellent opportunity to carry an open dialogue, as well as raise issues of mutual interest.” But that visit never happened. In the face of objections by left wing members, it was cancelled.
”Portuguese parliamentarian Marisa Matias, from the European United Left–Nordic Green Left grouping, was quoted as saying that ‘giving him [Mordechai] a platform to host a lecture would legitimize his violations of international law and human rights. Rather than giving a warm welcome to those who stand for repression and apartheid, the EU institutions should pressure the Israeli government to abide by the rules of international law and UN resolutions. We must bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.’”
What this tells me is that the Legal Grounds Campaign has quite a task to do, to set the record straight. There is no such thing as “the occupied Palestinian territories.” Nor is Israel remotely apartheid. These are terms bandied about for political purposes with less than no respect for truth.
NoisyRoom.net Note: I also wrote on this today at Right Wing News: Famous Author Absolutely Loses It And Smacks Down Lying NBC Anchor Brian Williams Over False Iraq War Story
As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, NBC News anchor Brian Williams — a real journalist — finally admitted he has been lying about coming under RPG fire in Iraq in 2003. Fed-up troops called him out, but even after being forced to ‘fess up, he still clung to lies and “misremembrance.”
I am reminded of what this arrogant fabulist once said about us lowly bloggers in 2007 during a lecture at NYU’s journalism school:
After years of experience in the news business, Williams said he has developed his own “strong BS meter” — he can watch the local news in any city in this country and tell you which anchors went out to dinner that night instead of staying and writing between the 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock news. Williams also said he can tell which anchors write their own copy and who’s just reading whatever pops up on the teleprompter. On The Nightly News, Williams reviews every word of the copy before it goes on the teleprompter. “Any time I’ve kicked a word, it’s because I’ve never seen it before,” Williams said.
The Nightly News attracts between 10 and 11 million viewers each night. But the playing field for prime-time nightly news is in constant motion, with NBC, CBS, and ABC jockeying for the top slot in the ratings game. The tremendous growth of online media — especially blogs — in recent years has altered the face of journalism.
“You’re going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe,” said Williams. “All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years.”
He added that it’s often difficult to judge the credibility of a blogger. “On the Internet, no one knows if you’ve been to Ramadi or you’ve just been to Brooklyn and have an opinion about Ramadi,” said Williams.
And if you work at NBC News, you can get away with bloviating a bullshit story about coming under fire for 12 years while America’s real heroes took bullets for you. And then, because you’re a Real Journalist, you can keep lying about it while using soldiers as your alibi.
Because Real Journalism.
Excuse me while I throw up all over my modem and bathrobe.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Alan Caruba
“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought,” wrote Bjorn Lomborg in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. He is best known as the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and his skepticism is welcome, but insufficient.
First of all, climate change is a very long-term process and always has been. The climate takes decades and centuries to change, largely based on well-known warming and cooling cycles. During the course of these cycles, both related to comparable cycles on the Sun, all manner of climate-related events occur, from hurricanes to blizzards. Nothing new here.
The problem with Lomborg’s commentary is that he confuses climate change with global warming, the hoax concocted in the late 1980s by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to have an international tax imposed on “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), that the IPCC guaranteed was going to heat up the Earth in a few decades unless greatly reduced. Lomborg even cites the IPCC which has grown notorious for its lies.
The predictions about when the heat would become lethal ranged from ten to fifty years as the amount of CO2 increased. The problem for Lomborg and others is that CO2 has been increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere without any evidence of the predicted heating. That explains why Lomborg and other “Warmists” don’t refer to global warming anymore. As for the increase, the latest, best science points to the fact that CO2 has no affect whatever on the climate.
Lomborg wrote, “A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance.” Even Lomborg acknowledged that is exactly what the environmentalists have been doing for the past twenty years.
“The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China, and many African nations.” That’s called development and that requires electricity and other means of powering manufacturing and transportation.
One thing Lomborg got right is that “Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels.” These are two of the most costly and worthless forms of energy generation and Lomborg notes that even the International Energy Agency doesn’t expect them to provide any more than “a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.”
Lomborg continues to do his best to be on both sides of the issue of “climate change” when, in fact, it is not an issue because there is nothing humans anywhere on planet Earth can do to have any impact on it. What we can do, however, is encourage the development which he points to. “This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.”
It has nothing about cutting carbon emissions because that is not a threat. Indeed, without CO2 all life on Earth would cease to be. It is the gas on which all vegetation depends, just as mammals and other creatures depend on oxygen.
“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or a problem. It definitely is,” says Lomborg.
No, despite his science credentials and the two books he has written, Lomborg is just dead wrong. Global warming is neither a reality nor a problem because the Earth has been in A COOLING CYCLE for nineteen years at this point and one might think Lomborg would know this; particularly since his views are being published in an eminent U.S. newspaper that should also know this.
- Sterling Burnett, the Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News, took note of the current weather, saying “Despite the cold, temperatures in the U.S. at present are closer to the normal winter range than they were in 2014 during the depth of the polar vortex,” adding a tweak to the Warmists, saying “Seems like a good time to protest global warming.”
The real issue for Americans is an Obama administration that is imposing regulations based on the utterly false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced because of global warming.
In June 2014, James Delinpole, wrote: “Here is the Obama administration’s green strategy reduced to one damning equation: 19 million jobs lost plus $4.335 trillion spent = a reduction in global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees C (0.032 degrees F). These are the costs to the U.S. economy by 2100 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired generating plants by 30% below 2005 levels.”
If you still wonder why the U.S. economy has just barely begun to pull itself out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the answer is the Obama administration’s spectacular failures typified by massive wasteful spending, ObamaCare’s impact on the healthcare sector, and its continuing attack on the energy sector.
Only Congress and the courts stand between us and Obama as he pursues the destruction of the nation while claiming he is acting to “combat climate change.”
© Alan Caruba, 2015
Fanfare, everyone! It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!
Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all slime-worthy, but in the end the winner by a nose was… the envelope please…
Obama Consigliere And Puppet master Valerie Jarrett!
Virginia Right!: Valerie Jarrett for being the driver of hate behind Obama’s animosity towards Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The real questions are: Who is pushing this agenda? Who is pushing for Iran to go nuclear? And, who is so scared of Netanyahu briefing Congress and the American people on what Iran is up to?
The answer is Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s Rasputin. This is where the anger from the White House is coming from.
Most people know she was born in Iran. This in itself does not disqualify her from advising the president, but it does open her agenda to scrutiny. There have been reports that she has been secretly negotiating with Iran on the nuclear issue, but the White House has vehemently denied it.
I, for one, don’t trust a thing this administration says.
Now, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Obama administration has already given Iran eighty percent of what it has demanded in the negotiations. The “deal” to be reached will leave Iran within months of going nuclear if they decide to move forward. All of the centrifuges will remain under their control.
Well, there it is!
Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
NBC accuses Republicans of accepting bad “science” on vaccines, while Fox News fires back, accusing liberals of spreading bad “science” on vaccines. Each side is trying to score partisan political points. The message from both sides is that vaccines are completely safe. But that message is absolutely and demonstrably false.
As I noted in a recent column, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists to compensate victims of vaccines. The latest Statistics Report shows nearly 4,000 claims were awarded financial damages.
Why do both sides of this “debate” pretend that vaccine-related injuries do not occur? Why not just report the facts? It doesn’t take a lot of work to dig them out.
Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) tells me that she has given more than 100 interviews in the last two weeks on the subject of the measles outbreak, but that the media simply will NOT report on the existence of this federal program and the implications for the subject of vaccine safety.
“Vaccines are the only pharmaceutical products that government mandates and completely indemnifies,” she notes. She is referring to federal legislation that takes legal responsibility for their actions away from the companies making the vaccines.
“I’ve been talking about it in every interview I do and I have been bringing it up. But whenever I talk about liability protection for the companies—that this is the only pharmaceutical product that is mandated by government and indemnified by government—they [the media] don’t want to talk about it,” she said.
Observers believe the glaring omission reflects the power of pharmaceutical companies or their advertising agencies in the major media. It is in the interest of these companies to make pariahs out of those favoring vaccine choice by playing down—or even suppressing—questions about vaccine safety.
Simply put, the evidence and history show that the vaccine makers have been given total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government-mandated vaccines. Vaccine safety is not “settled science,” as we have been hearing repeatedly in the media. To the contrary, for purposes of the law, vaccines are considered sometimes unsafe, even deadly.
The “Vaccine injury table” associated with the legislation includes a list of the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from the administration of such vaccines.
But why is it so difficult for the media to report on the existence of these health problems?
The vaccines that are covered include:
- diptheria and tetanus vaccines
- pertussis vaccines
- measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines
- polio vaccines
- hepatitis A vaccines
- hepatitis B vaccines
- Haemophilus influenza type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines
- varicella vaccines
- rotavirus vaccines
- pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
- seasonal influenza vaccines
- human papillomavirus vaccines
- meningococcal vaccines
As I reported in my column, the one exception to this drumbeat of misleading and inaccurate coverage about “vaccine safety” is on the local level, where correspondent Michael Chen of ABC 10 News in San Diego, California noted a case of a boy who suffered serious injuries, including fever, seizures, nervous tics and autism, as a result of two vaccines. The mother, almost in tears as she described what happened to her son, was paid $55,000 in damages through the federal program. But the damage award didn’t cover the autism diagnosis. She said she wished she had more thoroughly researched the safety of vaccines.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program grew out of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Fisher explains what happened: “The companies threatened Congress that they were going to leave the people without any childhood vaccines if they did not get liability protection. The companies wanted this liability protection and it was mainly for losses at that time for DPT and oral polio vaccine. MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine at that point was a relatively new combination vaccine.”
The DPT vaccine had been associated with brain inflammation and brain damage, while polio paralysis can be caused by the vaccine.
Fisher explains what the federal protection means for the companies: “Nobody who makes or profits from the sale of the vaccine, nobody who regulates the vaccine, who promotes the vaccine, who votes to mandate the vaccine—nobody is accountable or liable in a civil court of law in front of a jury of our peers when we get hurt because we’ve been told we have to take it, or when the vaccine fails to work.”
The compensation program, with total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government-mandated vaccines, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 2011 case in which vaccines were acknowledged to be “unavoidably unsafe.”
My column actually underestimated the total financial damages paid through the program. The figure is actually $2.8 billion to the victims or the families of victims themselves.
Liberal and conservative media are trying to make political points over who’s right and wrong about vaccine safety. But Fisher says people who support her group and vaccine choice come from across the political spectrum and include Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, and independents. In the media, however, each side is trying to smear the other side, as if there is a partisan divide.
The coverage has led to cases of strange bedfellows, such as the George Soros-funded blog Think Progress running a story praising Megyn Kelly of Fox News under the headline, “Megyn Kelly Speaks Up For Mandatory Vaccination On Fox: ‘Some Things Do Require Big Brother.’”
Indeed, Kelly defended mandatory vaccines, saying, “…some things do require some involvement of Big Brother.”
What she and many others in the media have consistently ignored is the role of Big Brother in shielding the companies making the vaccines from the side effects of their products.
As I asked in my column: If there are no problems associated with vaccines, then why did Congress pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The media on the left and right have no answer to this question. So they pretend there is no debate or dispute over the safety of vaccines. They simply point fingers about one side or the other being guilty of ignoring what they pretend is settled science.
The only thing “settled” about the science is that while vaccines work for a large majority of people, they can also cause serious health problems, even death, for some.
The commentators who ignore the truth are either lying or so utterly ignorant that they should not be in a position of offering “news” on a national basis. Whatever the case, the public is being denied the facts about decisions affecting the lives of their children. Fortunately, the public can go to sites like www.aim.org and the National Vaccine Information Center for information that is being denied to them.
A troubling aspect of the current debate is how people in the media act like experts on subjects that they know so little about. They seem to think that by huffing and puffing and sounding authoritative, they will be taken seriously. They have large staffs which seem incapable of making phone calls or doing elementary research.
If news organizations on the left and right can’t even dig out the facts in life-and-death matters involving children, then what can they be trusted to report accurately on?