Posts Tagged: Ignores


19
Dec 10

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal: Congress Ignores Combat Troops

On Saturday the United States Senate voted for legislation that will impose heavy, unnecessary burdens on the backs of military men and women.  They are the ones who will pay a very high price for Congress’ reckless decision to help President Barack Obama deliver on political campaign promises to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activists.

Sixty-five senators voted for the no-amendments-allowed “privileged” bill in a lame-duck session.  History will note that the outgoing 111th Congress acted with needless haste allowing no time for substantive hearings to examine findings and controversial recommendations in the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group Report.

Liberals in Congress knew that the report could not withstand informed scrutiny, so Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) persuaded others to join her in breaking their word on legislative priorities—a betrayal that belied her own previous statements calling for full and open debate.  Full hearings and informed oversight probably would have halted this controversial bill.

Adding insult to grievous and possibly irreversible injury, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) celebrated “victory” for his legislation by praising the results of First Amendment rights enjoyed by well-funded, mostly-civilian LGBT Left groups.  The remark was a thoughtless affront to concerned combat troops who tried to express support for the current law through the Pentagon’s Working Group process.

Without providing quantitative data on the results of focus groups nationwide and overseas, the Working Group conceded, “Our sense is that the majority of views expressed were against repeal.’” (p. 49)  Not only were these opinions disrespected, Adm. Mike Mullen has already stated  more than once that anyone who disagrees with the LGBT law no longer will be welcome to serve.

In addition to involuntary personnel losses due to Adm. Mullen’s “zero tolerance” of dissent, cross-tabbed data displayed on the 2010 DADT Survey website indicate that among Army combat arms personnel, 21.4% would leave sooner than planned, and 14.6% would think about leaving-a total potential loss of more than a third (36%) of those valuable troops.  (DADT Survey Appendix J, p. 53)

Marine combat arms would be weakened even more, with 32% of Marines saying they would leave sooner than planned, and 16.2% considering an early end to their careers, totaling almost half.  (DADT Survey Appendix L, p. 47)  The gradual loss of so many combat troops and what the report described as “only 12%” of families likely to decline re-enlistment could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force.  (CRWG Report, p. 4)

Such findings should make it impossible for President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen to “certify” that no harm will be done by implementation of their own plans for repeal.  The president’s political promise to LGBT Left groups has been assigned highest priority, at the expense of Army and Marine combat troops whose voices were heard but ignored.

Senator James Webb (D-VA), who rationalized his vote by relying on such a promise from Secretary Gates, has played the same role that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) did when he accepted worthless assurances from the administration in exchange for his vote on the health care bill.

Some media commentators are asking—belatedly─what repeal of the 1993 law would mean.  All should consider the self-inflicted problems presaged in the CRWG Report, and proposed “mitigation” strategies advocated in the Support Plan for Implementation.  To mention only a few, they include:

  • A mandate to “prohibit the creation of separate bathroom and shower facilities based on  sexual orientation.” (p. 18) Such a policy, tantamount to forced cohabitation of men with military women, would disregard normal dynamics of human sexuality.  Local commanders dealing with unprecedented problems would be, essentially, on their own.
  • Mandatory “three-tiered” education program, focusing on resistant combat troops, to change attitudes and opinions on LGBT issues. (pp. 25-26)  The plan does not suggest ways to get personnel accustomed to routine personal exposure to others who may be sexually attracted to them, in conditions of “forced intimacy” offering little or no privacy.
  • Punishments for “resistance;” i.e., zero tolerance of anyone who disagrees for any reason, including “moral or religious beliefs.” (pp. 50-51)  Senate testimony confirmed that an undetermined number of chaplains having moral conflicts with LGBT policies would be lost to the service. The report concedes that on the issue of religious freedom for chaplains, “boundaries are not always clearly defined.” (p. 16 and p. 80)  Litigation is guaranteed, but Congress has surrendered decision-making power to unelected bureaucrats or federal courts.
  • Repeal of certain personal conduct provisions in the UCMJ, eliminating or lowering some standards to accommodate consensual homosexual conduct.  (p. 18)  Congress has just voted to repeal statutory findings that rules of conduct apply both on- and off-base.
  • Unresolved issues involving marital status, including disparities in benefits and access to family medical care in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, plus access to military family housing for opposite- and same-sex unmarried couples.  (pp. 19-21)  Again, the courts will likely decide, at the behest of administration who will cite LGBT Law in the military to accomplish repeal of the DOMA.
  • Unresolved questions about morale and costs related to the retention of HIV+ personnel, who must be retained in non-deployable status under current regulations. (p. 22)

A thorough reading of the entire report and its recommendations reveals not a single point or argument showing consequences that would benefit the All-Volunteer Force.  Instead, the document recommends “mitigation” of expected problems, and downplays risks by making the absurd claim that all will go smoothly if the Working Group’s recommendations are followed, no matter how unrealistic or potentially harmful they are.

The elitism and arrogance behind these flawed recommendations will cause years of harmful consequences, which our troops did nothing to deserve.  History will hold accountable every legislator who voted to make it happen.

Big Peace


14
Dec 10

FBI rushes to investigate veiled email threat to Cincinnati mosque, ignores open threats to anti-jihadists

There is no excuse for threats of violence sent through emails to people with whom one disagrees. It is noteworthy, however, that there have been no arrests and no FBI investigation of these emailed death threats and others like them that I have received, although I have contacted the FBI repeatedly and do so whenever a new death threat comes in. Yet the Cincinnati mosque email is not even as clear a threat as these below, and the FBI is all over it. Why the double standard?

“Robert Spencer has his right to speech. But someday he will slip up, he will visit a place that doesn’t honor such infidel ‘rights.’ And what a day they will have with him. You’ve heard of head cheese and blood pudding? See, modern hip Muslims like me like to be look different than everybody else in Western society. And we don’t like to believe Islam has any real enemies left. But Robert Spencer, well, he will see the sacred text come to life…’fuel the fires of hell…’ only when they are done with him. Peace and Love.” — September 29, 2010

“Robert Spencer the Second, born on February 27, 1962, is a hairy man who…currently lives on [specific street] in [specific city] with [specific relatives]…” — July 28, 2010, from Greenbelt, Maryland

“Killing of this man is a model… SPENCER-Model..Spencer himself deserves the same? he should be sloughtered like that man. Silencing the EVIL.” — April 4, 2010

“THIS IS AN OPEN THREAT TO YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION TO STAY AWAY FROM MUSLIMS AND ISLAM IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. YOU SON OF A BITCH . YOUR MOTHER WAS A C**K-SUCKING WHORE . IF YOU GOT THE GUTS AND BALLS PRINT THIS ON YOUR WEB SITE AND TELL PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE BEING THREATENED. U FILTHY C**K-SUCKER HAVE A NICE DAY” — December 8, 2009

“Yes. Yes..We finally reached out him. Ka’ab Binu Ashraf has been traced. He will be soon found. Will this be like VAN-Goooordhd. I am not sure. Allah Knows.. But Spencer you will pay the price…Just wait to pay the price.” — September 28, 2009

“Robert….It was really good I found you in a local supermarket. and I followed you.. so i know your address now..tell you fool followers you are going to be deceased very soon… any one taking your seat and getting killed? I am sure most of your followers are cheeky cowards.” — September 28, 2009

“Do me a favor Spencer and put this as a blog post like you do to all those threatening mails. Be careful, I am very near to you. I located you and I know you have little security around you. I am coming to slit your throat with a bland knife.. and it will pain a lot.. since you misled a lot of people and became a fitnah on earth.. it is a duty of a good muslim to kill you! go report this to FBI or CIA..And don’t worry, I won’t attack you unguarded.. but i will surely kill you in the most easy manner possible because I don’t like to slaughter human beings.. Die and go to hell.. for sure..and yea I have a new name for you…Robert ‘hawknoseinhell’ spencer.” — September 28, 2009

I’ve received many, many others. Here is just one more, a classic from a few years back:

“YOu are the most f**king person I have ever seen. Enrooted in islamic hatred, you think your personal statements on Prophet Muhammed will be deemed appropriate. Motherf**ker, I am coming to kill you. I will hack the head off your face and i will kill your family. Wait for your doom. From A mujahid” — October 2, 2006

“FBI investigating mosque threat,” by Dan Horn for the Cincinnati Enquirer, December 14 (thanks to Andrew):

The FBI is investigating a threatening e-mail sent to a Clifton mosque that was the target of a pipe bomb attack almost five years ago.

FBI officials say they have no evidence the e-mail is connected to the previous attack, but they are taking no chances.

“That’s certainly something we will investigate,” said FBI spokesman Mike Brooks.
The e-mail was sent Saturday from an anonymous Yahoo account to the Islamic Association of Cincinnati, which oversees the mosque.

“You should know that you are not wanted in Cincinnati,” the e-mail states. “We don’t want you here. Mohammad is a joke. Go back to your desert. Beware. We may just declare jihad on you.”

Officials with the [Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations said that although the e-mail does not contain a direct threat, it is a concern because of the previous attack on the mosque and because of growing animosity toward Muslims in the decade since the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

“I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, but we don’t want to dismiss it and assume it’s nothing,” said Karen Dabdoub, executive director of [Hamas-linked] CAIR in Cincinnati. “You just don’t know.”…

Indeed you don’t — especially given the fact that Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslims have not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes,” including attacks on mosques. CAIR and other groups like it want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

So what happened in Cincinnati is anybody’s guess. And it’s good that the FBI is on it. I just wish that the FBI were as proactive and energetic in investigating the many death threats that anti-jihadists such as Pamela Geller and I have received as they are when they rush to investigate allegations of threats against mosques and Muslims.

Jihad Watch


10
Dec 10

Obama Ignores Missile Crisis

Iran intends to place “medium-range” missiles (read: they can reach the US) in Venezuela. JFK knew how to handle such provocations.
American Thinker Blog


10
Dec 10

Pigford’s Original Black Farmers Unhappy Over Massive Fraud – Media Ignores

Remember when Brian Williams showcased the story of Pigford whistleblower Jimmy Dismuke’s firsthand account of fraud in the case?

[youtube r4sHwa3tVGk nolink]

“Even if you got a potted plant, that makes you a farmer,” Dismuke recalled of the meetings he attended with Thomas Burrell, President of the Black Farmers and Agriculture Association. ”I thought that was pretty odd because I was really a farmer. I didn’t know that was the easy way you could farm and get money!”

Or do you remember the “60 Minutes” special on the Pigford fraud and the loss of attention to real discrimination due to those who smelled a payout?

What about CBS’s special report on how one USDA employee discussed 700 fraudulent claims that he personally witnessed?

Lawyers were churning applications. My name starts turning up on documents as someone who denied someone services. Trouble was those people were hundreds of miles away. I think there was something like 700 forms filed with my name on them—it was outrageous. I had never heard of any of them. I discovered that my name had been put on leaflets, which charges that I was a racist, and people just put my name on Pigford applications. I finally had to get black farmers to vouch for me. They all said I treated everyone fairly, which is what I tried to do.

Remember when Rachel Maddow got all tough and bipartisan when asking NBFA head John Boyd to explain his letter to President Obama saying, in short: “We got you elected so pay up [with Pigford]?”

Do you recall that bit New York Times exposé wherein the murders associated with the Pigford case were discussed?

What about the White House Press Corps asking President Obama if he knew how racked with fraud Pigford had become? Remember when the media grilled Shirley Sherrod and asked her what her involvement was with Pigford and if this was the reason Tom Vilsack fired her so quickly, to keep this story from getting out and upsetting the apple cart that was to be its passage?

Remember Lawerence O’Donnell’s segment asking who exactly is getting paid and who lobbied for whom?

No, you can’t remember because it never happened. Why? Because as Dismuke says, none of this was made public due to political purposes. Our embarrassment of a national press are guilty of dereliction of duty. The watchdogs for the people invested not in first-class reporting to ensure their longevity in an era where the Internet is changing how news is done, but rather they invested in Barack Obama, tying all their hopes, their dreams, their credibility, to him. If he fails, they fail, and they know it.

More is said over Sarah Palin stunning a halibut than of the massive amounts of cash lawyers are pocketing from the get-rich-quick Pigford deal. It was also a boon for Shirley Sherrod; she and her husband Charles Sherrod (of “stop the white man and his Uncle Tom from stealing our elections” fame) of course pocketed the biggest piece of the settlement - $ 13 million, way more than the predetermined $ 50,000 per farmer - for themselves (and Sherrod got her job at the USDA out of it). Andrew Breitbart accidentally stumbled upon the story of the year in showing the racist audience’s reaction to Sherrod’s speech in that now-famous NAACP video; the USDA flipped that anyone might be looking at her and getting too close to what was really going on with the Pigford suit, so they sacked her, drawing even more attention to her and themselves - and they deflected further inquiry by painting the man who published the video as a racist. They knew that as long as there was a white boogeyman on which to pin an offense, no one would go snooping into Pigford, Sherrod’s connection, and the link to Barack Obama.

And it would’ve worked, too, had it not been for Andrew Breitbart and those pesky kids at Big Government researching Pigford and compiling their findings.

“They were trying to show that my intention was to get Pigford defunded,” Breitbart told The Daily Caller. “And, I had never heard of Pigford, so for the last four and half months, all I’ve been doing is eating, breathing, sleeping Pigford, researching Pigford, finding whistleblowers who are hiding in plain sight who have been wanting to tell the story of how this was rigged.”

Breitbart since has embarked on a mission to expose Pigford for the outrageous fraud he and others have found it to be, namely how 400 black farmers in a class action suit ballooned to over 90,000 claimants when even one of the most energetic advocates for Pigford, John Boyd, founder of the National Black Farmers Association, has admitted that there are only 18,000 black farmers in the country.

It should strike you as odd that Big Government was the only media entity that actually reached out to the original black farmers to get their take - likely because the media wouldn’t have been too happy with that they had to say, as evident with Dismuke, above. His written account is powerful:

Pigford is the biggest rip-off this country has ever known, and there are lots of people in positions of power that know it.  Politicians are using it to buy votes.  Trial lawyers are using it to get rich.

I personally know of people who have no connection to farming at all who got Pigford checks.  People with potted plants in their apartments claimed to be farmers and got paid.  I saw an instance where eight Pigford checks went to one house.   There are drug addicts and pushers who have received payments who have never farmed a day in their life.

There was discrimination at the US Department of Agriculture. It needed to be dealt with. I was suing the USDA before Timothy Pigford even filed suit.  I wrote to attorney Al Pires, who eventually filed a class action lawsuit against the USDA,  but he saw that there wasn’t going to be a huge amount of money for him.  So he passed. What he did find was a way to work a scam from inside the Star City, Arkansas USDA office by paying a USDA employee to process claimants.   This employee would take from $ 5,000 to $ 25,000 for each successful Pigford claim.  Pires was in this totally for the money.  He’s made far more money than any black farmer.

Remember the media reporting on Dismuke’s discrimination before Timothy Pigford? It didn’t happen.

The media canonized Shirley Sherrod and made her the face of discrimination while Dismuke’s actual discrimination was ignored. Irony. Or is it?

Personally, I would love to see the Senior Fellows over at the Soros-funded Media Matters to call Dismuke a “racist” for his testimony like they’ve called Rep. Steve King, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Andrew Breitbart, and others. I’d love for these trust-fund socialists to pretentiously condescend to tell Dismuke his business; Dismuke, a good man who’s made his living off the land by hard work, a man who embodies the image of a strong, resilient, self-sufficient America.

They can’t which is why they ignore him. It’s been over 24 hours and I’ve still yet to see a peep about Dismuke on Media Matters:

Not a single, solitary mention. Nothing.

I’ve yet to see a single mention of Dismuke or any of the above on any network broadcast or website. Not a single media outlet even had to do the heavy lifting; the person they crucified (or balllessly went along with, hastily, for status quo retention) did all the heavy lifting. Were media not so prejudiced against black Americans who speak honestly, this could have been a real Edward R. Murrow award for somebody.

That’s what leftist slacktivist media outlets do: they’re for civil rights until they realize that the biggest civil rights offenses come, ironically, from the very ideology they promote. Instead of taking a principled stand against they offenses, they clam up. They go out of their way to not write about it, even if it’s a top story in the blogosphere. Instead, they’ll write ridiculous missives about a semantics war with a Fox News head or whether or not Bristol Palin’s Facebook page is ghostwritten because she used a word they had to look up.

We witnessed it most recently with the wave of violence against conservative women these past two years. I’m still waiting for Eric Boehlert to stop obsessing over Andrew Breitbart long enough to pen a column about the injustice to Kelly Owens, or why Kenneth Gladney still hasn’t seen inside a courtroom for his case which was conveniently delayed until after the election.

Where was the media on Pigford?

This is the sort of story for which the media was created to cover. The actual offense of discrimination was obscured. The real victims were trampled by lawyers chasing payouts and folks who hadn’t farmed a day in their lives but heard Sherrod promising a $ 50k check.

President Obama signed this legislation into effect on Wednesday. We can only hope that with the new congress next month that hearings and investigations will result in the defunding of the many documented fraudulent claims.

There was no vetting of the claims, no investigation into legitimacy. The administration, in fettered by the checks and balance of the media, now non-existent, signed a documented fraudulent settlement with complete freedom. And with this, the journalism profession exhales its last, a dying breath.

Thankfully, from its ashes rises the citizenry to take over where mainstream media has failed.


Big Journalism


9
Dec 10

NY Times spotlights Palestinian ‘despair,’ ignores it’s self-inflicted

What about Israeli “despair” about ever attaining full security and peace?
American Thinker Blog


1
Dec 10

Media Pushes Narrative That Arabs Want War With Iran, Ignores Cables That Show Arabs Urging Restraint

Over the weekend, the whistleblower website WikiLeaks began leaking hundreds of diplomatic cables sent by U.S. embassies and diplomatic staff across the world. The cables contain all sorts of information, from gossip from embassy staff poking fun at world leaders to details of high-level meetings between world leaders and American legislators.

However, one set of cables that the major news media found particularly attractive were ones detailing Arab leaders’ concerns about Iran. Seizing on a handful of the cables, major news media outlets published stories pushing the narrative that Arab leaders had privately urged the United States government to attack Iran:

- “Around the World, Distress Over Iran” [NY Times, 11/28/10]

- “Arab leaders urged US to attack Iran, says WikiLeaks” [Irish Times, 11/29/10]

- “Cablegate: Arab Leaders Pressuring US to Attack Iran” [PBS, 11/29/10]

- “Netanyahu Says WikiLeaks Cables Show Arab States Share Israeli Concerns About Iran’s Nuclear Program” [Washington Post, 11/29/10]

- Iran ‘Must Be Stopped’: Arab Leaders Implored U.S. To Attack, WikiLeaks Disclosures Show” [Los Angeles Times, 11/29/10]

- “Cables Show Arab Leaders Fear a Nuclear Iran” [Der Spiegel, 12/01/10]

While it’s true that a number of the cables include Arab leaders urging the United States to engage in a military attack against Iran — Saudi King Abdullah made the most persistent calls for a militaristic response — a number of Arab public officials also questioned the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to them and rebuked the idea of attacking the country.

Syrian President Bashar Asad questioned whether Iran had an active nuclear weapons program and promoted the use of diplomacy — including offering Syrian cooperation in monitoring the Iranian nuclear program — while meeting with an American congressional delegation including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI):

Asad swiftly responded, “we’re not convinced Iran is developing nuclear weapons.” He argued Iran could not use a nuclear weapon as a deterrent because nobody believed Iran would actually use it against Israel. Asad noted an Iranian nuclear strike against Israel would result in massive Palestinian casualties, which Iran would never risk. Second, he continued, the IAEA had reported no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran existed. [...] Asad asserted demands for Iran to “stop” its nuclear program were unproductive and a violation of its rights under the NPT. Instead, he said, “the argument should be about how to monitor their program,” as outlined in the NPT. “Without this monitoring,” Asad warned, “there will be confrontation, and it will be difficult for the whole region.” Asad leaned slightly forward and said: “Let’s work together on this point.”

Oman’s General Ali Majid, in a meeting with U.S. diplomats, said that Oman prefers a “non-military” solution to the Iranian issue, and cautioned against taking the words of Arab leaders urging for war seriously, warning that they may be speaking from “the basis of…emotion” and may be offering false intelligence much like Iraqi defectors did prior to the invasion of Iraq:

Citing Oman’s preference for a non-military solution, [Majid] nevertheless acknowledged that a nuclear-armed Iran as opposed to war with Iran posed “an extremely difficult dilemma for all of us.” Returning back to comments about GCC countries, General Ali singled out Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar as three Gulf countries that probably would want the U.S. to strike Iran. However, he urged the U.S. to determine whether such voices were speaking on the basis of logic or emotion. He likened private entreaties of these countries to the U.S. for military action on Iran to the Iraqi opposition in exile providing the U.S. false information on Iraq that led to the invasion of Iraq.

While Majid believed that neighboring Qatar may be agitating for a strike against Iran, the leaked diplomatic cables show that at least one top Qatari official opposes such a route. During a meeting with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Amir of Qatar says that he does not want to “provoke a fight with Iran.” When Kerry suggested that the U.S. needs to talk to the Iranian leadership directly, the Amir agreed:

The Amir answered by affirming that his first obligation is to defend the interests of Qatar. Due to the natural gas field Iran shares with Qatar, Qatar will not “provoke a fight” with Iran. He added that in the history of the two countries, “Iran has not bothered us.” [...]

Senator Kerry lamented that every communication the current Administration has attempted to the Government of Iran has gone back channel and been met with no response. There have been non-U.S. initiatives, too. Again, no success. The Chairman observed that the Iranians are scared to talk. The Supreme Ayatollah had met with Russian President Putin, but seems not inclined to meet with other political leaders. Our instinct is that we need to find a way to talk to him. Your instinct is right, replied the Amir. The U.S. needs to talk directly with senior Iranian officials.

Additionally, the Guardian reports today that the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director for Western Affairs Department Mojahid Ali Alwahbi, during a meeting with U.S. officials, “strongly advised against taking military action to neutralize Iran’s program. Rather, establishing a US-Iranian dialogue was the best course of action, asserting that the USG opening an Interest Section or re-opening our Embassy in Tehran would be positive step.”

ThinkProgress


30
Nov 10

Media Limits Focus To Assange, Ignores Bigger Picture

First, I’ll say right out of the gate that I think the term “terrorist” applied to Julian Assange is a bit much. Jerkwad scavenger, yes. Analogous to generations of terror and murder for a faith that believes it’s OK to beat your wife so long as it doesn’t leave a bruise? No. I don’t want “terrorist” to become the new “racist.” The fallout from Wikileaks is incomparable to 9/11, the USS Cole, numerous embassies, et al.

Second, I think the focus on Julian Assange is misguided, though if he and Bradley Manning can be prosecuted (the latter definitely), do it to it. Dudes like this wouldn’t have wares to peddle in the press if people in government kept secure things secure. This is a problem because our government allowed it to become one. Wikileaks wasn’t a problem months ago because the focus wasn’t Obama didn’t lose political capital over it. Now he does.

What’s more shocking: that Assange published tabloid information on our foreign relations or that three million-plus people had access to the same classified information and it didn’t leak sooner ? Or that a 22-year-old Lady Gaga fan who can lip sync “Telephone” dumped classified information on a rewritable disc that he was somehow allowed to transport with him into supposedly secure areas?

Big Journalism’s Jeff Dunetz gave the run-down of the diplomatic cables. People are scared of Iran, Italy’s PM is a whore, Putin’s an alpha male, there are some real shockers in there, let me tell you. That Hillary Clinton wanted spies in the U.N. comforts, not shocks, me. Considering the place is a bossy cabal of women-beaters, oppressors, sex traffickers, and despots (and our membership in a group that wishes to make our law secondary to international law is a total joke), I hope the place is crawling with U.S. spies. They owe us that much and more since their ginormous headquarters amasses so much space in Manhattan and we mostly subsidize them.

The entire point is missed though with this entity and that entity haranguing the rosy-cheeked 22 year-old Gaga fan who nabbed the data over an eight-month period and snotty foreigner Assange: the Obama administration’s kabuki foreign policy theater isn’t as slick as it’s marketed. If Bill Clinton isn’t losing nuclear codes, Obama can’t get his administration to shut their mouths and not betray the confidences of foreign ambassadors and leaders.

Comical, too, is the way in which Assange broadcasted to the world what he was going to do and when. The administration, instead of focusing on Bradley Manning and tracking down who else, out of the three million, may have accessed this info, are instead sending Eric Holder to Switzerland to lobby for the World Cup.

The media isn’t asking these questions. They don’t seem at all concerned about limiting the damage - or evening discovering its extent. Three million people had access to this stuff; perhaps foreign intelligence now has classified information that Manning wasn’t able to get? No, the media is too busy crafting a cushion for the administration’s soft landing.

The lack of urgency inherent to this administration continues and the media assists.


Big Journalism


24
Nov 10

U.N. Ignores Haiti and Darfur But Points Fingers at U.S., Israel

For Immediate Release:
November 23, 2010 Contact: Anne Bayefsky
[email protected]
(917) 488-1558

U.N. Ignores Haiti and Darfur
But Points Fingers at U.S., Israel

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on FoxNews.com.

Over in Turtle Bay, the U.N. General Assembly is now wrapping up its key fall session. After taking a good hard look at human rights violations around the globe, it has come to the following conclusions about the world’s ills: In 2010, eighty percent of all its condemnations of alleged human rights abuses – twenty-one resolutions – will have been directed at Israel alone.

The Assembly will also finish the year having decided that only six more of the 192 U.N. member states raise human rights concerns. Warranting a single resolution each are Afghanistan, Burma, Georgia, Iran, North Korea, and the United States.

This astonishing result percolates up primarily from the General Assembly’s main committees, such as the third committee on humanitarian affairs and the fourth committee on decolonization which finish their business before Thanksgiving. All U.N. members sit in each of these committees, so that over the past two months a thousand diplomats have huddled in meetings and churned out documents, speeches, webcasts and press releases.

All these busy bees, however, could not manage to come up with a single resolution about the horrors in Sudan – where reports of government forces killing and raping civilians in Darfur continue to surface. Tens of thousands have fled in fear this year alone, while humanitarian relief is deliberately impeded by the government in Khartoum.

Nor did the General Assembly think Haiti warranted a resolution, though the U.N. is at the center of recent riots amid claims that its peacekeepers have fueled the cholera epidemic already affecting eighteen thousand residents.

The billion Chinese without elementary civil and political rights went unnoticed.

Millions of Saudi women, trapped in their homes at the will of their male guardians, were forgotten. And no mention was made of the other myriad number of non-democracies and human rights basket cases where torture, female genital mutilation and gross violations of every kind are routine.

The virtual ban on country-specific human rights resolutions – except when it comes to demonizing the Jewish state – is a result of a theory of international human rights protection that has taken the U.N. by storm. It goes by many names, such as “non-selectivity,” “impartiality,” “objectivity,” and “de-politicization.” “Naming and shaming” used to be considered an important tool for encouraging change.

At the Assembly last week, Sudan described the prevailing view of this now out-of-vogue idea. Too “negative” they called it. Today, it’s all about “constructive dialogue.”

Every U.N. diplomat, of course, can translate this babble. “Non-selectivity” means don’t select my state, or any of my pals, for criticism. “Politicization” means any politics that is not in sync with my state’s politics is unacceptable. The game is really an old Soviet trick for avoiding scrutiny and criticism, which Islamic states and dictatorships everywhere have fully embraced.

The problem is that Western governments have recently fallen for this nonsense too. Only two weeks ago the Obama administration sat in the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva and allowed the United States and its human rights record to be ridiculed by some of the world’s most notorious abusers – in the name of even-handedness.

A few days later, on November 9, the Council followed-up by presenting the administration with a list of recommended reforms, itemized together with the proud sponsors. They included: “end all forms of racial discrimination” (Libya); “ensure the implementation of U.S. obligations under international humanitarian law…” (Iran); “end excessive use of force by law enforcement bodies” (China); and “ban torture and other ill-treatment in U.S. detention facilities” (North Korea).

How did the Obama administration react to this travesty? Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, told the assembled: “The work of this very Council is very close to the history and culture of our country.” — A rolling-over-in-the-grave moment for Founding Fathers, if there ever was one.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is the only senator to insist on an annual accounting of all the money U.S. taxpayers send to the U.N. every year. He finally extracted the information for the fiscal year 2009: $ 6.35 billion, or about 23% of the U.N.’s budget from all sources.

Isn’t it about time our dollars were put to better use?

For more United Nations coverage see www.EYEontheUN.org.

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Daled Amos


19
Nov 10

Obama’s school salad-bar idea: Ignores regulations; districts opting out before it begins

This is so much feel-good crap.  A salad bar in public school?  You actually think kids won’t plant bodily fluids in the greens?  That aside, check this out:

But schools also are deterred by USDA regulations that require students to pass by a cash register or “point of sale” station after they have been to the salad bar to ensure that they have served themselves the correct portions of fruits and vegetables required under the federal lunch program. In October, the USDA’s Food and Services division, which oversees the subsidized meal program, circulated a memo saying that while it encourages the use of salad bars in schools, school menu planners must tell students the minimum amounts they must take from salad bars, cashiers “must be trained to judge accurately the quantities of self-service items,” and point-of-sale registers “must be stationed after the salad bar.”

Gotta love it.  ”Um, you have to go back.  You have too much three-bean salad and not enough of the useless iceberg lettuce.”

Oh, how I long for the days when irrationality amounted to no more than classifying ketchup as a vegetable.

Already opting out - Philly, Austin, MontCo MD.  Smart.

Liberty Pundits Blog


14
Nov 10

The Debt Commission ignores the carbon budget

The co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the debt commission or deficit commission, released their recommendations for United States budget policy this week.

Nowhere in their discussion of the prospects for the next generation did they mention the challenge of global warming, nor did they integrate climate policy into their economic suggestions.  Brad Johnson opines below:

Leaving the critique of the co-chairs’ proposal itself for others, the plan’s first guiding principle is:

We have a patriotic duty to come together on a plan that will make America better off tomorrow than it is today.

One might naively think that the plan would thus address the generational threat from manmade global warming.

The plan purports to reduce the deficit to sustainable levels by 2015 and balance the budget by 2037. Coincidentally, those dates are not dissimilar to what is needed for a sustainable planet. The Copenhagen Prognosis, prepared by top climate scientists in 2009, indicates that for a good chance (75 percent) of avoiding “major societal and environmental disruptions through the rest of the century and beyond,” “global GHG emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.”

Climate scientists have been warning about the threat of unrestrained fossil fuel pollution for decades, and have more recently worked to establish a clear “budget” for policy makers — like those on the debt commission — to work with. Again working with a risk tolerance of a 25 percent chance of catastrophe, the carbon-dioxide budget for 2000-2050 is about one trillion tons, with about 380 billion tons already burned away. Our remaining carbon budget is thus 620 billion tons.

If greenhouse pollution from fossil fuels and ecological degradation continue at their present rate — without any increase, “we would exhaust the CO2 emission budget by 2024, 2027 or 2039, depending on the probability accepted for exceeding 2°C (respectively 20%, 25% or 50%).”

The International Energy Agency has calculated that inaction in 2009 has increased the cost of climate stabilization by $ 1 trillion, an amount that will grow each year at a faster rate until we have passed the point of no return. As the changes to our climate system that we’ve already experienced demonstrate, we’ve passed the threshold of safety and security.

Unfortunately, most economic analyses of the climate threat, such as the work by William Nordhaus, are not “qualitatively consistent with the much better established science of climate change” and, like the Stern Review, “have understated the potential costs of climate change.” That is to say, economists like Dale Jorgenson use models that tell them that there would be practically no discernible economic impact from rates of warming that scientists say would cause worldwide ecological collapse.

On the flip side, the debt commission and other economists are ignoring the profound economic benefits of action. An analysis by the Center for Climate Studies finds that instead of slowing the economy, household wealth and jobs will grow faster in a green economy. Carbon limits and efficiency-focused policies would have a net positive employment impact of 2.8 million jobs and expand the economy by $ 154.7 billion by 2020, while US emissions are cut to 27 percent below 1990 levels — if standards consonant with our carbon budget are set.

If a hawkish climate budget is adopted, US investment will flow into jobs and, yes, into drawing down both the national debt and the federal trade deficit. About half the trade deficit — approximately $ 200 billion — is oil imports. Estimates for the social cost of carbon — what economists believe to be the optimum current price for a ton of carbon dioxide — range from about $ 20 to $ 100. The upper range is consonant with the scientific carbon budget of 620 billion tons, as global GDP — all of which is at stake — is $ 61 trillion. An American market at $ 100 a ton would have a capitalization of $ 580 billion — about three times as much as the debt co-chairs recommended cutting from the national budget.

MNN’s Andrew Schenkel notes that the co-chairs call for a 15 percent increase in the federal gas tax.

- Brad Johnson, in a WonkRoom cross-post

Related Post:

Climate Progress


12
Nov 10

Gingrey Ignores Promise To Reduce Government Waste By Fighting For Defense Program The DoD Doesn’t Want

In the war on Democrats this year, Republicans united behind the pitch for a universal “spending freeze” and “across the boardbudget cuts in their promise to reign in the deficit. Falling in line, Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA) assured Americans that he is “committed to finding ways to reduce” government programs that are “bloated” and “riddled with waste.” “With each new appropriations bill Congress considers, I have to ask myself, ‘Is this a good way to spend tax payer dollars,’” he says.

Given his rhetoric, it would be reasonable to assume that Gingrey also opposes unnecessary defense spending. The F-22 stealth fighter jet, for example, is a weapon designed to address threats last faced during the Cold War. It “has not performed a single mission” in Iraq or Afghanistan, and comes with a $ 120 million price tag per plane. Coupled with the $ 8 billion it would cost the Pentagon to upgrade the 100 F-22s already in use, the F-22 landed on Defense Secretary Gates’s chopping block last year. After consulting with other Defense officials, Gates concluded, “there is no military requirement” for creating more F-22s.

Yet despite that, and the overwhelming bipartisan agreement that the plane qualifies as taxpayer waste, and in spite of own his commitment to cutting spending, Gingrey now thinks he knows better than the Pentagon and is calling for resuming production of more F-22s. Not only is Gingrey willing to waste taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary and unwanted weapon, he’s willing to fight his own party to do it, because the planes are built in his state:

The takeover of the U.S. House by Republicans could prompt a revival of the fight for additional funding for the Marietta-built F-22 stealth fighter, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey said Friday. This isn’t just for the sake of home-cooking, but also for the sake of the country,” Gingrey said in a telephone interview.

But Gingrey conceded that concerns over spending and the federal deficit could make the funding battle a difficult one. The planes have a price tag of $ 120 million each. “We would have to look at it with a very, very sharp pencil,” he said. “It would take some negotiating.”[...]

Gringrey says he has not consulted yet with Chambliss on the issue of reviving the F-22. Right now, Gingrey said, he and the rest of the Georgia delegation were focusing their efforts on getting Republican Austin Scott of Tifton, who beat Democrat Jim Marshall of Macon, a seat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Scott, as the only Georgia Republican on the committee, would become the point man for any discussion of the F-22, Gingrey said.

Gingrey’s soft-spot for this boondoggle may have to do with the fact that he owns tens of thousands of dollars worth of stock in Boeing — Lockheed Martin’s partner in building the F-22. And if he hopes to slip funding for the fighter into this year’s defense authorization bill, he’s making a shrewd move in recruiting Scott for the House Armed Services Committee. Scott represents Georgia’s 8th District, which “has a strong military presence and includes the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, a testing and repair site for the F-22 Raptor.”

But Gingrey is not alone in falling out of step with the GOP’s posturing on spending cuts. Along with the current battle over earmarks, there is an internal “civil war” between “hard-core deficit hawks” like Senators-elect Pat Toomey (R-PA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) who want to cut military spending, and members like Gingrey and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) “who view military spending as sacrosanct.” Even GOP leadership seems to be sacrificing the principle for pet projects. Both presumptive-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former GOP House Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) are also ignoring Gates’s advice to cut the “costly and unnecessary” extra engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the name of “parochial interests.”

ThinkProgress


11
Nov 10

WaPo Buries, NYT Print Edition Ignores Govt. Investigation Finding Obama White House Edited BP Oil Spill Report

During the Bush administration, the media made much of political appointees supposedly editing and otherwise interfering with the integrity of the work of career federal government scientists, particularly on studies pertaining to global warming/climate change.

Well now the Associated Press is reporting that an inspector general's report from the Interior Department released yesterday found that the Obama White House "edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts backed the administration's six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling." (emphasis mine)

Additionally, "Obama's energy adviser, Carol Browner, mischaracterized on national TV a government analysis about where the oil went, saying it showed most of the oil was 'gone.'"

In fact, "[t]he report said it could still be there," AP's Dina Cappiello noted.

Cappiello's story was buried on page A27 of today's Washington Post, but at least the paper covered the story. A Nexis search for "BP" mentions in the November 11 paper turned two hits from the New York Times, but neither story was about the inspector general's report.

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias


8
Nov 10

Al Gore’s Climate Exchange Utterly Fails… Media Ignores It All

Al Gore’s much ballyhooed Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has recently announced that it will no longer be engaging in carbon trading, an activity that was the sole purpose that it was created. This is an utter failure of purpose in global warming hysteria yet the Old Media is almost completely silent on this colossal failure.

AlGore

Why has the media remained utterly quite on this abject failure after unleashing on the public an avalanche of stories that touted the creation of the CCX back in 2000 — and since for that matter? Roger L. Simon and David Thomson wonder just that.

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $ 1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named Sandor as one of its Heroes of the Planet in 2002 and one of its Heroes of the Environment in 2007.

But as of the October 21 announcement that carbon trading would end, the Old Media is nowhere to be seen on the story.

Outside of a report in Crain’s Chicago Business and a soft-pedaled article in a small trade publication, the media has entirely ignored the demise of the only U.S. effort at carbon trading. Even Glenn Beck, who has dedicated quite a bit of Fox News airtime to exposing the CCX, has yet to mention the news.

The main reason that the CCX has failed, of course, is because the world has cooled for global warming. With the recent election results in the U.S. cap and trade is as much as a dead issue and even other nations are shying away from Kyoto-styled global warming laws that tend to crush economies while offering little by way of global warming fixes.

Worse, with the emergence of the lies and obfuscation by global warming religionists as evinced in the email chain from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the credibility of global warming pseudo science has taken a major hit. It all looks like globaloney at this point.

On top of all that is the worldwide depression that has hit us all. The depression has also helped destroy the starry eyed nonsense that is carbon trading. Rich societies with nothing else to do with their money might have the resources for such silliness, but countries in the grip of depression have more important (and true) things to worry about.

Still, the question of why the media has ignored this story is quite pertinent. One would think that if such an effort from the right had failed so miserably to succeed the Old Media would be pushing this news by leading every news cast, every TV report, and filling up the front page of every news paper with the tale. Yet this magnificent failure of the leftest of left-wing causes leaves the Old Media utterly silent.

It’s quite telling, isn’t it?


Big Journalism


6
Nov 10

OIC top dog decries gratuitous vilification of Islam, ignores jihad terror and Islamic supremacism

Here for the umpteenth time, the OIC chief tries to depict “Islamophobia” as some out-of-the-blue manifestation of racism and bigotry. He says nothing, of course, about all the jihad plots carried out by Muslims motivated by Islamic texts and teachings, or about the supremacist attempts to assert the primacy of Islamic law over American law. “OIC slams pandemic of Islam vilification,” from AFP, November 6 (thanks to Sr. Soph):

The head of the world’s largest Islamic group came down heavily on growing Islamophobia saying that while US leaders resisted it, Europeans abetted the trend for political gain.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said xenophobia directed at Muslim immigrants was taking hold, especially in Europe. Vote-seeking politicians were advancing extremist groups behind the anti-Muslim sentiment.

“This issue has become a political agenda item,” the Turkish head of the 58-member OIC said in an interview, while stressing that Islam was also a European religion.

“What worries me is that political authorities or political parties, instead of stopping this, or fighting this, some of them are using this for their political ends, to gain more popular support in elections,” he said.

“I’m afraid that we are going through a process like the beginning of the 1930s of the last century, when an anti-Semitic agenda became politically a big issue (together with) the rise of fascism and Naziism… I think now we are in the first stages of such a thing.”

A “pandemic of Islam vilification” is rising steadily, he warned, as documented by the OIC’s newly-established office to monitor Islamophobia around the globe. Ihsanoglu pointed to the protests in the US against the “Ground Zero” Islamic centre in New York City, to the anti-burqa movement in Europe, to physical attacks on Muslims on both sides of the Atlantic.

The problem which most concerned him was the institutionalisation of anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, citing Switzerland’s ban on minarets atop mosques and the movement to ban Muslim women’s “burqa” full-face veil.

“This burqa business is really a sad story, it’s only a few people who are doing this (wearing the burqa) … It’s just part of old habits of certain tribes in certain countries, it’s not at all to do with Islam.” Yet countries like France, Spain and Holland were reacting with legislation. The OIC chief predicted that time would take care of problem issues such as the burqa, as Muslims from less-developed cultures reach “a modern way of life”.

But focusing on assimilation was the wrong approach. “Why assimilation? If Europe and the West are advocating the rights of minorities all over the world, why then when it comes to Europe do we speak about assimilation? Again, that shows the double standard.” “Europe has to understand the reality of Islam today, and the reality that Islam is not an alien religion of Europe. Islam is a European religion, and Europe has to come to terms with Islam.”

Mustachioed, with the erudite bearing of a scholarly British diplomat, Ihsanoglu is an expert in Islamic cultural history and the history of science, with a long career as a professor and department head at Istanbul University. Born in Cairo in 1943, Ihsanoglu has led the Jeddah-based OIC since 2005. Ihsanoglu spoke before the massacre of more than 50 Christians by Al Qaeda in a Baghdad church on October 31. In an official statement, he has vehemently condemned the killings as a “criminal and terrorist act”.

While such violent attacks feed anti-Islamic hate, he argued Islamophobia arose separately from them.

“I think we have to keep extremism out of this discussion, which is a different topic.”

The real issue, he insisted, was how anti-Muslim sentiment was included in high-level policy debate in some European countries.

In the United States, he said, Islamophobia was not as virulent. One reason was that Muslim immigrants to the US were better-educated and fitted in more easily.

A key difference was how Washington had consistently resisted admitting anti-Islamic emotions into public policy. “For instance, this marginal pastor who wanted to burn copies of the Holy Quran. The (US) government took responsibility and talked to him and convinced him not to do that.”

While he advocates cultural compromise, Ihsanoglu draws the line at certain things, like the blasphemous Danish cartoons that sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide after they first appeared in 2005.

“Asking us to accept the cartoons is asking to accept insults as a norm. How can people ask us to accept the cartoons? This is indecent,” he said, adding a warning that radicals on both sides should not be allowed to set the agenda….

Notice that he is all upset about cartoons, and says nothing about Muslims massacring Christians in churches or other Muslims in mosques. That is not something he apparently finds as difficult to accept as a norm.

Jihad Watch


3
Nov 10

WaPo’s Milbank Trashes Fox News ‘Victory Party,’ Ignores MSNBC’s DNC Echoes

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank attacked Fox News in Wednesday's paper for having a Republican "victory party" on air on Election Night. Nowhere in this piece did he acknowledge his routine appearances on MSNBC, and whether it had a partisan sound on Election Night (and every other weeknight). He also avoided the idea that NBC-Universal was helpfully doling out large chunks of air time for Barack Obama this fall to stave off Democrat losses. His column began:

At Rupert Murdoch's cable network, the entity that birthed and nurtured the Tea Party movement, Election Day was the culmination of two years of hard work to bring down Barack Obama - and it was time for an on-air celebration of a job well done….

 

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NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias