"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."
Saturday, January 03, 2009
THE ANTI-ISRAEL/ ANTI-AMERICAN LEFT HAS TAKEN UP THE "SYMBOLIC" ACTION OF HURLING SHOES AT THEIR "PROTESTS":
Hurling shoes, tens of thousands of protesters in Europe urge end to Israeli offensive on Gaza
- IT PUTS THEM SQUARELY IN THE CAMP OF THOSE WHO OPPOSE DEMOCRATIC NATIONS AND ON THE SIDE OF AUTOCRATIC JIHADIST STATES.
- THE ORIGINAL SHOW HURLER WAS BOTH A SUPPORTER OF MOOKIE AL SADR AND IRAN.
- NEITHER IS KNOWN FOR THEIR BELIEF IN OR SUPPORT OF HUMAN RIGHTS; THEY ARE IN FACT SUPPORTERS OF ISLAMIC TOTALITARIANISM.
- NOW, THE GESTURE IS USED BY ALL THOSE WHO HATE THE USA AND ISRAEL, TWO NATIONS UNDER REAL MILITARY ATTACK, REAL LETHAL ATTACKS AT THE HANDS OF JIHADISTS - EVERYDAY.
- THE SHOE HURLERS ARE NOT FOR PEACE; THEY ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE.
- THEIR SHOES PROVE IT.
AND SUPPORT NATIONS WHICH STRUGGLE AGAINST IT: IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, AND ISRAEL, AND THAILAND, AND PHILIPPINES AND EGYPT AND THE USA - TO NAME JUST A FEW.
The Hamas government has placed dozens of Fatah members under house arrest out of fear that they might exploit the current IDF operation to regain control of the Gaza Strip.RTWT.
The move came amid reports that the Fatah leadership in the West Bank has instructed its followers to be ready to assume power over the Gaza Strip when and if Israel's military operation results in the removal of Hamas rule.
Fatah officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas militiamen had been assaulting many Fatah activists since the beginning of the operation last Saturday. They said at least 75 activists were shot in the legs while others had their hands broken.
... Meanwhile, sources close to Hamas revealed over the weekend that the movement had "executed" more than 35 Palestinians who were suspected of collaborating with Israel and were being held in various Hamas security installations.
GAZA IS GAZASTAN IS HAMASTAN IS MORDOR.
COULD ISRAEL EXPEL HAMAS FROM GAZA AS THEY DID ARAFAT FROM LEBANON, AND AS KING HUSSEIN DID FROM JORDAN?
- THEY COULD EXPEL HAMAS - MILITARILY. BUT THEN AGAIN: WHO WOULD TAKE THEM IN?! IRAN!? I DUNNO. MAYBE...
- IT'S ACTUALLY TOUGHER POLITICAL QUESTION BECAUSE THE GAZANS ACTUALLYHELD AN ELECTION AND ACTUALLY VOTED FOR HAMAS, WHEREAS NO JORDANIAN OR LEBANESE PERSON EVER VOTED FOR ARAFAT.
- THAT'S REALLY THE ONLY REASON ISRAEL CAN'T DO IT, AND CAN'T INSTALL FATAH AND ABBAS.
- UNTIL GAZANS LEARN THEIR LESSON, IT'S JUST GONNA HAVE TO BE WHACK-A-MOLE.
- YA KNOW, THE PUNDITS SAID THAT HIZBALLAH WAR WENT BADLY FOR ISRAEL, BUT MEANWHILE THEY HAVE HAD PEACE ON THE BORDER WITH LEBANON FOR TWO YEARS...
- THE IDF HAS HIT MORE OF ITS INTENDED TARGETS WITH FEWER BOMBS AND KILLED MORE TERRORISTS THAN HAMAS HAS KILLED ISRAELIS.
- FOR ANTISEMITES, THAT'S A SAD FACT.
- THE REST OF US THANK GOD THAT HAMAS IS CURRENTLY INCOMPETENT AT GENOCIDE. BUT THAT COULD CHANGE. THEY'D LIKE TO HAVE BIGGER AND BETTER MISSILES TO AIM INTO TEL AVIV AND HAIFA AND JAFFA - AS THEY HAVE THREATENED MANY TIMES.
- EERY FACTOID: ISRAEL HAS NOW KILLED ABOUT AS MANY HAMAS TERRORISTS AS HAMAS SUICIDE-BOMBER KILLED ISRAELIS. HOW PROPORTIONAL!
- ALSO: HAMAS HAS KILLED FEWER ISRAELIS, PARTLY BECAUSE ISRAELIS GET SOME WARNING AND ARE ABLE TO GET INTO BOMB SHELTERS IN UNDER A MINUTE. ISRAELIS WANT A WARNING BECAUSE - UNLIKE HAMAS - ISRAELIS LOVE LIFE.
Bodies of Hamas leader's children paraded as group promises 'painful' revenge for their deathsFYI: The Mujaheed Sheikh - Dr. Nizar Rayyan Taken Out By Israeli Air Strike
The bodies of a senior Hamas leader's small children were today ghoulishly paraded through the streets of Gaza as the group pledged to avenge their deaths.
by Col. (ret.) Jonathan Fighel - ICT Senior Researcher
International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)
The Mujaheed Sheikh - Dr. Nizar Rayyan - The Spiritual Mentor of Iz A-Din Al Qassam Brigades
Sheikh Dr. Nizar Rayyan - one of the most prominent leaders of Hamas in Gaza - was killed in an air strike in the Gaza Strip, the first such attack in its six-day-old offensive.
The air strike killed Nizar Rayyan along with nine other people, including his wife and three children, Hamas said.
Another 25 people were wounded.
Israeli security sources reported that the house was also used as an arms cache, a communications headquarters and concealed a tunnel opening.
Israeli military sources also confirmed that Rayyan, who was considered the Hamas leadership's liaison with the group's military wing, was killed in an attack on his north Gaza home. Hamas sources confirmed his death and published on its Arabic web site a call for "mass rallies of wrath", in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to protest his killing.
Prior to striking Rayyan's house the IDF warned his family about the imminent attack and urged them to evacuate the place, but they refused to do so hopping that the underground shelter (loaded with arms and ammunitions) would eventually protect them.
Prior to the attack the Israeli army held deliberations regarding the legality of striking homes used as weapons storages when sufficient warning is given to the residents. It has been decided that this falls within the boundaries of international law and is therefore legitimate. Most of Hamas' leaders have gone into hiding since the Israeli operation in Gaza began, but Rayyan recently pledged not to leave his house under any circumstances.
- THE MURDEROUS RAYYAN PUT HIS OWN FAMILY IN DANGER.
- NOW HIS FOLLOWERS CELEBRATE HIS CHILDREN'S DEATH.
- WHAT A BUNCH OF PSYCHOS.
*******UPDATE (Reliapundit): JTA: A large pro-Palestinian protest turned violent in the heart of Paris' high-end shopping district.
A pro-Palestinian umbrella group, including France's Communist Party, led over 21,000 protestors, according to initial statistics, in an anti-Israel march Saturday through the city's luxury shopping district, famous for its Gallery Lafayette department store.The islamo-thugs are trying to intimidate the entire West. Gaza/Israel is just a front-line action. Paris, London and the other European capitals are rearguard actions. And they have the support of the Left. Europe ought to be unabashedly supporting Israel, because appeasing these thugs in Gaza and in the banlieues only encourages them.
The rally was blocked by police from reaching its planned final destination, the Israeli embassy.
Protesters set cars on fire and several luxury store windows, such as the Louis Pion watch store, were smashed and looted by protesters by evening.
*******UPDATE #2: WELCOME TIM BLAIR READERS!
*******UDATE #3: MORE FROM PAMELA - HERE - AND HERE - MUST READ WITH GREAT PIC'S!
*******UPDATE #4: more pic's here.
This Sunday January 4th, join thousands of people worldwide in watching QASSAM, the powerful movie about people in Sderot, and share in their experiences over the past 8 years!I think the site has trailers available on it too.
Your virtual movie ticket helps support organizations that support the people of Israel...and in particular the residents of the Southern communities most affected by rocket barrages.
Order your virtual movie ticket today: http://israelwecare.weebly.com/
Invite others to participate and help lift the spirits of those in their time of need.
- A FEW YEARS LATER WE GOT THE HIZBALLAH WAR.
- DID IT CREATE PEACE? NO. ISRAEL GOT THE HAMAS WAR - PHASE #1 IN WHICH HAMAS ATTACKED ISRAEL WITH NON-STOP ROCKET-FIRE. NOW ISRAEL IS FINALLY FIGHTING BACK.
- IN NEITHER CASE DID ISRAEL GET ANY CREDIT FOR WITHDRAWING; WORSE: ITS ENEMIES GOT STRONGER.
- THIS WAR IS STRICTLY A MOPPING UP EXERCISE: ISRAEL IS CREATING A BUFFER: SPATIALLY AND TEMPORALLY.
- WHAT WILL THE ARAB MUSLIMS AND ISRAELIS DO WITH THIS SPACE AND TIME?
THE CHOICE IS THEIRS.
(OR OURS: WE CAN SURRENDER AND LIVE IN SERVITUDE - DHIMMITUDE - TO OUR MUSLIM OVERLORDS.)
NOTE: Friday Meshall threatened the IDF with a "black fate" if they entered Gaza:
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Friday warned Israel against continuing its military operation in Gaza.
A videotape of the Damascus-based leader speaking was aired on Al-Jazeera Friday evening, in which he said to Israeli leaders, "The blood of Gaza is the quickest way to bring about the end of your political lives."
"To Israeli soldiers I say: A black fate awaits you if you invade Gaza. We're sure of our victory, as we've prepared a better battle, and as Allah is on our side," the tape showed him saying.
With regards to a possible cease-fire with Israel, Mashaal said that Hamas's stance "is clear - we won't give up, and we won't surrender to the enemy. Our demands are clear: Stop the [Israeli aerial] attacks immediately, open all [Gaza] border crossings, and lift the siege." He praised international efforts to bring about such a cease-fire, saying "many have made contact with us, including multiple Arab and Muslim nations. We are willing to cooperate with every effort, but we will not surrender our demands."
I THINK THIS MAY MEAN HAMAS WILL USE WMD AGAINST THE IDF, OR USE A WMD AGAINST GAZANS AND BLAME THE IDF.
Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.
Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey as the Israeli offensive entered its second week, and before Israel confirmed ground forces had entered Gaza.
Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.
In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city center chanting slogans such as "Israel murderer!" and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.
Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.
London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.
In many cities people waved shoes -- recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.
British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.
"Come to get your shoes Gordon," one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of "Shame on you" at Brown.
A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.
Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as "End the siege on Gaza" and "Stop the massacre."
- FACT: THIS IS A COUNTER-OFFENSIVE, NOT AN OFFENSIVE.
- ISRAEL HAS BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END OF 7000 ROCKETS AND MISSILES SINCE HANDING OVER THE GAZA, UNCONDITIONALLY - A MOVE INTENDED TO REVEAL IF PALESTINIAN ARABS WERE READY FOR SELF-RULE AND CO-EXISTENCE.
- THEY PROVED THEY WERE NOT READY.
IDF: Rocket Statistics
From IDF blog
* Today, over 950,000 Israelis live within range of rocket and mortar attacks.Read More "IDF: Rocket Statistics"
*There have been approximately 7,200 rockets (Grads, Qassams) and mortars launched at Israel since 2005.
*During 2008, there have been 1755 mortars shells, 1720 Qassams rockets, and 75 Grad missiles launched at Israel.
*Since Hamas’ election there has been a steady increase of these rocket attacks against Israel’s citizens:
* Between Israel’s evacuation of Gaza and the election of Hamas (Aug. 15, 2005 – Jan. 25, 2006), there was an average of over 15 rocket and mortar attacks a month.
* Between Hamas’ election and Hamas’ forceful takeover of the Strip (Jan. 25, 2006 – June 14, 2007), there was an average of over 102 attacks per month—an over 650% increase.
* Between Hamas’ takeover and the start of the Tahadiya (State of Calm), (June 14, 2007 – June 16, 2008), there was an average of over 361 attacks per month—an increase of an additional 350%.Israel has a right to defend itself against these terrorists.
* On Nov. 4 – 5, Israel launched Operation “Double Challenge”, targeting a tunnel Hamas was building as part of a plan to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
* From the end of Operation “Double Challenge” until the end of the Tahadiya, (Nov. 4 - Dec. 19, 2008) a period of only a month and a half, there were 170 mortars, 255 Qassams, and 5 Grads fired upon Israel’s civilian population centers.
* Since the end of the Tahadiya (Dec. 19, 2009) until the beginning of Operation “Cast Lead,” (Dec. 27, 2008) a period of little more than a week, there were approximately 300 mortars and rockets fired onto Israel.
* Since the begining of Operation ”Cast Lead”, there have been an additional 500 launches, 284 of which have been verified as rockets (both Qassams and Grads), and 113 as mortars.
- ISRAEL HAS USED DIPLOMACY FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS - TO NO AVAIL.
- THE PEOPLE WHO PROTEST ARE EITHER HAMAS ALLIES OR ANTISEMITES AND DUPES.
ASIDE: THE R&B-SINGER LENNOX, TONY BENN AND GEORGE GALLOWAY ARE ALL SOCIALISTS, PROVING ONCE AGAIN THAT THE LEFT IS THE HOME OF ANTISEMITISM AND IS PRO-TERRORIST.
... no other issue in recent memory has illustrated the moral bankruptcy of much of the international community.
Hamas has no pretensions, like the PA, of being a governing authority; it used violence to rout the PA and then bragged that its charter pledging the destruction of Israel remained unchanged.
Israel evacuated Gaza; Gazans in response looted their own infrastructure, alienated both the PA and Egypt,and then sent off more than 6,000 rockets against Israeli civilians, while eagerly becoming a terrorist puppet of theocratic Iran.
Nothing could be more clear: either the fact that a constitutional republic was trying to avoid civilian casualties while a terrorist organization was intent on killing Jewish civilians as it used its own citizens as shields to protect mostly young male terrorists; or the world's craven reaction to all this.
THE POSTMODERN LEFT IS NOT FOR PEACE; THEY'RE ON THE OTHER SIDE.
(IsraelNN.com) The director-general of domestic media at Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced Wednesday that the Karjozaran newspaper was shut down for portraying the State of Israel positively.And at the end of the article, there's something that's disturbing but unsurprising:
According to Jewish Agency spokesman Michael Jankelovitz, Iranian Jews live from day to day in mortal danger. As were the Jews in Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union, they are forbidden to learn Hebrew or freely practice their faith. Jewish children are required to attend the state schools on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, and all Jewish day schools have been closed down.And since Barack Obama is unlikely to take action against Iran when he becomes president, there's no telling how those left in Iran can be saved.
IN NYC, THEY NAMED A BRIDGE FOR HER UNCLE TWO MONTHS AGO.
THAT'S A FINE WAY TO RECOGNIZE AND MEMORIALIZE RFK'S SERVICE TO OUR NATION.
WHY NOT DO THE SAME FOR CAROLINE!?
- OH. THAT WOULDN'T BE APPROPRIATE ON ACCOUNT OF THE FACT THAT SHE HASN'T DONE A DAMN THING FOR OUR NATION OR THE REGION.
- FINE. THEN LET'S MAKE HER A SENATOR. IT'S NOW LOOKING LIKE THE GUV WILL DO JUST THAT.
- AS I FIRST SUGGESTED ON DECEMBER 2ND, THE FAIR THING TO DO WOULD BE TO NAME A CARETAKER FOR THE SEAT - ONE WITH GRAVITAS, LIKE MARIO CUOMO.
- THEN LET CAROLINE AND ANYONE ELSE WIN THE SEAT ON THEIR OWN, BASED ON THEIR MERITS IN AN ELECTION.
Russian gas flows to four European Union countries were below normal levels on Saturday after Moscow cut off supplies to Ukraine in a pricing row, and there were no talks in sight to resolve the dispute.
With temperatures below zero overnight in Europe, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz operator joined energy firms in Poland, Romania and Hungary in saying they had noted falls in supply, though flows to Europe's biggest economy, Germany, were not affected.
The European Union, which gets a fifth of its gas from pipelines that cross Ukraine, said it would call a crisis meeting of envoys in Brussels on Monday and demanded that transit and supply contracts be honored.
But the prospects of a swift settlement to the dispute appeared remote. Moscow alleged Kiev was stealing gas intended for Europe and playing political games, while Ukraine accused Russia of using "energy blackmail."
- RUSSIA IS AN ENEMY OF THE WEST, AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
- EUROPE MUST WEAN ITSELF FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA. ASAP.
- EUROPE IS THE WEAK LINK IN THE WEST: BY DEPENDING ON MIDDLE EAST OIL, AND RUSSIAN GAS, AND BY IMPORTING MUSLIM LABOR, AND NOT REPRODUCING.
- IF EUROPE FAILS TO ACT SOON, THEN BY 2020 THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM WILL BE MORE LIKE ALBANIA THAN LIKE PORTUGAL.
- UPDATE: MORE HERE.
Bernard Haykel [Princeton Professor of Near Eastern Studies], an expert on Islam, told Sheela Bhatt in the first part of an exclusive interview that the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008, will be the basis for similar strikes in the future.Princeton has surely departed from the intent of its founders:
In this, the second part of his interview, Haykel, who among other things is defending the legal and human rights of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the prime accused in the 9/11 attacks, talks about Al Qaeda's appeal among Muslims, and how it can be contained.
....Some of Al Qaeda's claims are correct. They have appropriated many of the arguments of Marxists, of the anti-colonial and Third World movement, like social justice, transparency and better government and less brutalisation. At one level their arguments are quite appealing, like their argument on anti-globalisation and environment. Some of Al Qaeda's arguments are legitimate....
The history of Princeton goes back to its establishment by "New Light" Presbyterians; Princeton was originally intended to train Presbyterian ministers. It opened at Elizabeth, New Jersey, under the presidency of Jonathan Dickinson as the College of New Jersey. Its second president was Aaron Burr, Sr.; the third was Jonathan Edwards.Theologian Jonathan Edwards is most famous for his role in the Great Awakening and his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
ESSENTIALLY WANT ISRAEL - AND THE WEST - TO SURRENDER.
WHO DO THEY THINK WE'RE FIGHTING!?
THEY ARE AS WRONG ABOUT THE ISLAMO-THUGS
Christmas Eve, Samuel Huntington died at his home at Martha's Vineyard. A decade and a half ago, in his most famous book "The Clash Of Civilizations," professor Huntington argued that Western elites' view of man as homo economicuswas reductive and misleading – that cultural identity is a more profound behavioral indicator than lazy assumptions about the universal appeal of Western-style economic liberty and the benefits it brings.VIA HOT AIR.
Very few of us want to believe this thesis.
"The great majority of Palestinian people," Condi Rice, the secretary of state, said to commentator Cal Thomas a couple of years back, "they just want a better life. This is an educated population. I mean, they have a kind of culture of education and a culture of civil society. I just don't believe mothers want their children to grow up to be suicide bombers. I think the mothers want their children to grow up to go to university. And if you can create the right conditions, that's what people are going to do."
Thomas asked a sharp follow-up: "Do you think this or do you know this?"
"Well, I think I know it," said Secretary Rice.
"You think you know it?"
"I think I know it."
I think she knows she doesn't know it. But in the modern world there is no diplomatic vocabulary for the kind of cultural fault line represented by the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, so even a smart thinker like Dr. Rice can only frame it as an issue of economic and educational opportunity. Of course, there are plenty of Palestinians like the ones the secretary of state described: You meet them living as doctors and lawyers in Los Angeles and Montreal and Geneva … but not, on the whole, in Gaza.
In Gaza, they don't vote for Hamas because they want access to university education. Or, if they do, it's to get Junior into the Saudi-funded, Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza, where majoring in rocket science involves making one and firing it at the Zionist Entity. In 2007, as part of their attempt to recover Gaza from Hamas, Fatah seized 1,000 Qassam rockets at the university, as well as seven Iranian military trainers.
At a certain unspoken level, we understand that the Huntington thesis is right, and the Rice view is wishful thinking. After all, when French President Sarkozy and other European critics bemoan Israel's "disproportionate" response, what really are they saying? That they expect better from the despised Jews than from Hamas.
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF GAZANS TO EVER HAVE A CHANCE AT CIVILIZED LIFE, HAMAS - AND ALL OTHER FORMS OF ISLAMOFASCISM MUST BE CRUSHED.
President-elect Barack Obama said that Democrats and Republicans need to act with urgency to address the “great and growing” economic crisis, warning of double-digit unemployment if swift action isn’t taken.WITHOUT BEING SPECIFIC SEEMS TO BE A FAVORITE TACTIC OF OBAMA.
“These are America’s problems, and we must come together as Americans to meet them with the urgency this moment demands,” he said today in his weekly radio address. “If we don’t act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment.”
With the U.S. amid its worst economic slump since World War II, Obama said he is looking forward to meeting with leaders of both political parties in Washington in the new week.
The incoming 44th president, back on the U.S. mainland after a 12-day vacation in Hawaii, is working on a package of tax cuts and spending on infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and transit systems, to stimulate growth and create 3 million jobs. Eighty percent of these will be in the private sector, he said.
“We must make strategic investments that will serve as a down payment on our long-term economic future,” Obama said.
Citing a long-term goal of reducing the federal deficit, he said there would be “tough choices” ahead on spending, without being specific.
SERIOUSLY: WHY IS HE TRASH TALKING THE ECONOMY?
- PEOPLE NEED THEIR CONFIDENCE BUILT UP, NO DEMOLISHED.
- THAT'S WHAT REAGAN DID.REAGAN TOLD US IT WAS MORNING IN AMERICA - WHILE CARTER TOLD US WE SHOULD PUT ON SWEATERS AND CRANK DOWN OUR DREAMS.
- IOW: TRASHING THE USA IS NOT WHAT THE [PRESIDENT SHOULD BE DOING.
- THE STOCK MARKET JUST HIT 9000 AGAIN - FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE ELECTION, AND NOW OBAMA IS TRASHING IT?
- IS HE LOWERING EXPECTATIONS, OR JUST TRYING TO MAKE THINGS SEEM WORSE THAN THEY ARE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PASS SOCIALIST AGENDA?
ACTUALLY, THERE ARE SIGNS THE ECONOMY HAS BOTTOMED OUT.
- OBAMA OUGHT TO BE TALING UP THE ECONOMY AND INSTILLING CONFIDENCE, NOT TELLING US THINGS WILL GET WORSE.
- REAL LEADERSHIP BUILDS CONFIDENCE, NOT FEAR.
- MORE ON OBAMA'S TRASH-TALK HERE.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Millions of pounds of health service funds are being wasted employing agency nurses on up to £128 an hour.THIS IS WHAT OBAMA, THE CHICAGO MACHINE AND THE SEIU WANT TO DO TO OUR HEALTH SYSTEM: TURN IT INTO A CASH COW FOR THEIR CORRUPT BUDDIES.
This is almost ten times the amount paid to an experienced staff nurse - and equates to a salary of £250,000.
Overall, the health service spent almost £800million on agency doctors, nurses and consultants in 2006-07, according to the figures uncovered in a Freedom of Information request. That could fund around ten hospitals or employ 30,000 full- time experienced nurses.
Agency staff are plugging the holes left by the 11,000 nurses who left to work overseas last year, seeking better pay and conditions.
The yawning gap between rates for NHS workers and agency locums exists at every level including managers and even prison GPs, who have been paid up to £158 an hour.
The figures also show that much of the money goes into the pockets of agency bosses rather than to the workers, who can earn less than two-thirds of what the NHS pays out.
The Department of Health insists that the amount spent on agency staff is falling, year on year.
But critics say it must do more to prevent agencies 'creaming off' millions meant to improve the standards of care. Dr Peter Carter, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: 'We are concerned and we want the Government to tackle this as a matter of urgency.
'If the NHS made more effort attracting and retaining permanent staff, it would obviate the need for many agency nurses.
'It's understandable that members of the public seeing these huge rates wonder whether nurses really are underpaid, but the reality is that individuals working for agencies get much less than the NHS is charged. There are private companies that are making a killing out of the NHS.'
He said many nurses were emigrating, partly because the NHS could not help with high housing costs in many areas.
He said: 'There has been a huge surge in UK nurses wanting to work abroad and they have employment opportunities in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and other countries. Almost 11,000 went last year.
ER, UM... IF IT'S SO GOOD THERE, THEN WHY ARE THEIR DOCTORS AND NURSES - AND PATIENTS!! - ALL WANTING TO COME HERE!?!?
Yousef, 30, said he realized the true nature of Hamas and radical Islam during a stint in an Israeli prison. He renounced his Muslim faith, left his family behind in Ramallah and converted to Christianity.AWESOME. WE ALL MUST WATCH THIS.
"Islam is not the word of God," said Yousef. "If you want to be offended it's your problem. But you know something? Go study. Think for a second that I might be right. So wake up, look at your path, see where you're going. Are you really going to heaven with 72 virgins after you kill yourself and kill another 20 people?"
Yousef has sought asylum in the United States and now attends an evangelical Christian church in San Diego, Calif.
"The Hamas leadership, including my father, they're responsible; they're responsible for all the violence that happened from the organization. I know they describe it as reaction to Israeli aggression, but still, they are part of it and they had to make decisions in those operations against Israel (for) which there was the killing of many civilians."
Yousef talks more about his extraordinary story of faith, courage, violence and betrayal in a FOX News documentary, "Escape From Hamas," hosted by Bill Hemmer.
I HOPE IT'S BROADCAST INTO ALL MUSLIM NATIONS.
The mosque destroyed Friday was known as a Hamas stronghold, and the army said it was used to store weapons. It also was identified with Nizar Rayan, the Hamas militant leader killed Thursday when Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on his home.BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!
That airstrike killed 20 people, including all four of Rayan's wives and [ONLY] 11 of his 12 children.
Israeli air and naval forces attacked some 20 Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip during late night and early morning hours.
Among the sites targeted by the IDF:
- A mosque in Jabaliya used as a terror hub by Hamas. The mosque was used as a storage site for a large amount of Grad missiles and additional weaponry. The strike set off a lengthy series of secondary explosions and a large fire, caused by the munitions stockpiled in the mosque. The mosque was also used as a center of operations for Hamas, as a meeting place for its operatives and a staging ground for terror attacks.
- Headquarters of the military wing of Hamas
- A vehicle transporting anti-aircraft missiles
- A tunnel used to smuggle weaponry
- Rocket launchers armed and prepared for use
- Weaponry manufacturing and storage facilities
The IDF will continue to target infrastructure utilized by Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza, and will not hesitate to strike those involved both directly and indirectly in attacks against the citizens of the State of Israel.
THEY SHOULD KEEP THIS UP UNTIL HAMAS CRIES UNCLE.
SYDNEY, Australia — Australia said Friday it was unlikely to agree to U.S. requests to accept detainees from the prison at Guantánamo Bay as Washington moves to close the notorious camp. Britain also signaled reluctance to take in significant numbers of former Guantánamo prisoners and said on Friday that Washington had not asked it to do so.ANSWER:
Australia’s acting prime minister, Julia Gillard, said the Bush administration has twice approached Australia about taking prisoners from Guantánamo.
“The Bush Administration first approached Australia in early 2008 with a request to resettle a small group of detainees from Guantánamo in Australia,” Gillard said Friday in a statement. “After appropriate consideration, Australia declined to allow resettlement of that small group in Australia.”
Early last month, the White House again appealed to Australia and “a number of other friends and allies of the United States,” she said, adding that the request had not come from President-elect Barack Obama.
Mr. Obama, due to be inaugurated Jan. 20, has pledged to shut down the camp at the U.S. military base in Cuba.
The Pentagon, in transferring three Algerian prisoners to Bosnia on Dec. 16, said some 250 inmates remain at Guantánamo . About 60 have been cleared for release. “Departure of these detainees,” the Pentagon said, “is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations.”
Britain, Germany and Portugal are reported to be debating whether to take in some of the detainees.
However, the British Foreign Office denied on Friday that Washington had asked Britain to take in more detainees.
“We have made it clear that we think Guantánamo Bay should be closed,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said, speaking in return for anonymity under civil service rules. “We recognize that the United States will require assistance from its allies and partners for this to happen.”
However, the spokeswoman said, “we have not been asked” to take any further detainees.
So far Britain has secured the release from Guantánamo of nine British nationals and four former residents of Britain and would still seek the release of two other former residents, the spokeswoman said, indicating that the British expected other countries to take in some detainees.
“We have been pushing for our partners to follow our lead,” the spokeswoman said.
The Brookings Institution, in a recent census of Guantánamo prisoners, found they came from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Russia, all the North African countries and others. The report said the group of 60 cleared detainees was “stuck there because of fears of mistreatment at the hands of their own governments.”
One controversial group of long-term prisoners are 17 Chinese Uighurs. In October, a U.S. judge ordered the Uighurs to be brought to Washington and released there, although the Justice Department has appealed that order.
- GITMO SHOULD NOT BE CLOSED.
- CLOSING IT WILL NOT MAKE US SAFER.
- CLOSING IT WILL NOT MAKE OUR ENEMIES LOVE US.
- CLOSING IT WILL NOT BOOST OUR POPULARITY ANYWHERE IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We thought we would list what in our opinion were the most egregiously mis-reported stories over the last year:RWTW.
1. The US victory in Iraq
2. The Democrats’ involvement in the mortgage crisis
3. Barack Obama’s socialist vision for the US
4. ACORN/Project Vote/SEIU voter fraud
5. Mr. Obama’s international money machine
6. Obama’s Spiritual Mentor, Reverend Wright
7. The Chicago Machine, Rezko and Blagojevich
8. The excoriation of Sarah Palin
9. The cooling of global warming
10. Obama’s extended family
Tinfoil Bonus – Crashing the economy to elect Obama
It is a fact that once Mr. McCain began to pull ahead in the polls, Mr. Schumer started the run on banks (IndyMac) and then Mr. Reid undermined a crucial financial insurer (AIG).
If this, as well as the rise in oil prices, is found to have been contrived to get their candidates elected, this will be the story of the decade.
But only if some journalists bother to report it. Which is highly unlikely.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
The Gaza Strip is the most crowded area in the world today, with 1.5 million Palestinians — most of whom are refugees banned from returning to their homes in Israel — eking out an existence in a walled-in holding pen on the edge of the Mediterranean.Tim notes that the claim of "most crowded" is false -- Hong Kong has a far denser population than Gaza. But why must the Gazans eke out a bare existence on the "edge of the Mediterranean?"
(Incidentally, the claim that most Gazans are refugees is also false. Most of them are the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of actual refugees. Only with respect to the Arabs who were ordered by their leaders to make way for the Arab armies that were going to massacre the Jews, does the U.N. count the descendants of refugees as refugees. In every other refugee situation in the entire world, only those who actually fled are counted as refugees; their children are counted as citizens of the countries in which they were born. Only the vicious, cynical brutality of Arab politicians condemned their Arab brothers to generations of a refugee identity, and did so in a deliberate attempt to foster the sort of dysfunctional, suicidal, violent hellhole that Gaza then became, as a breeding ground for future foot soldiers of the jihad.)
The subject of Gaza's poverty is one that I covered in January 2007, and re-posted in March 2008. I am going to repost that entry yet again, because it highlights why jihadism has failed to do the smallest, most tattered, most miserable scrap of a shred of a bit of any good for the population of Gaza.
GAZA & SINGAPORE: TAB, January 2007I am re-publishing this post from January 2007, because it amplifies the points made by Reliapundit today [March 6, 2008] regarding the horrible conditions in Gaza, that are the direct result of the thuggery of the jihadists. The original post -- with a few additional comments added on January 1, 2008, in red -- follows:
The Belmont Club describes the nascent Palestinian State this way:
Statesmen all over the world have paid homage to it. It's leadership has been praised and defended by Jimmy Carter. Charities have been established to support it. Fund raising in its name takes place every day. It has been provided with security training and weaponry by the International Community. If any country deserves to be called the proud creation of enlightened diplomacy and peacemaking, this is is it.And then he points to Caroline Glick's thoughtful and heart-rending essay, "Welcome to Palestine." This is part of what she has to say:
And so it is that as statesmen and activists worldwide loudly proclaim their commitment to establishing the sovereign State of Palestine, they miss the fact that Palestine exists. And it is a nightmare.
In the State of Palestine 88 percent of the public feels insecure. Perhaps the other 12 percent are members of the multitude of regular and irregular militias. For in the State of Palestine the ratio of police/militiamen/men-under-arms to civilians is higher than in any other country on earth.
In the State of Palestine, two-year-olds are killed and no one cares. Children are woken up in the middle of the night and murdered in front of their parents. Worshipers in mosques are gunned down by terrorists who attend competing mosques. And no one cares. No international human rights groups publish reports calling for an end to the slaughter. No UN body condemns anyone or sends a fact-finding mission to investigate the murders.
In the State of Palestine, women are stripped naked and forced to march in the streets to humiliate their husbands. Ambulances are stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded are shot in cold blood. Terrorists enter operating rooms in hospitals and unplug patients from life-support machines.
In the State of Palestine, people are kidnapped from their homes in broad daylight and in front of the television cameras. This is the case because the kidnappers themselves are cameramen. Indeed, their commanders often run television stations. And because terror commanders run television stations in the State of Palestine, it should not be surprising that they bomb the competition's television stations.
Wretchard also links to a 2006 essay by Spengler, in the Asia Times, who argues that the Palestinian State has no possible economic basis, other than extortion:
No peace agreement ever will emerge between Israel and the Palestinians, I believe, because economics should have dispersed the Palestinian population more than half a century ago. Mechanization of agriculture, rather than Zionist political aims, began displacing the rural Arab population in the 1930s, I observed in another location. The Zionist agency bought farms from absentee landlords, displaced the fellaheen engaged in near-subsistence agriculture, and made the land profitable and productive. From an economic standpoint, that is, the Palestinians were Okies, but with no California to go to. This led to the 1936-39 Arab uprising against the British Mandate and Jewish settlement.Spengler is always interesting, but I think he is wrong to think that the West Bank and Gaza are not capable of providing a living to millions of people.
Rather than disperse gradually like other agrarian populations, the Palestinian Arabs became wards of the United Nations after the 1947-48 War of Independence. Their numbers surged because of better medical care and nutrition than they previously enjoyed as well as child subsidies. That is why the 700,000 Arabs who fled or were driven from Israel grew into the 4 million "refugees" registered with the UN in 2002. I place the term "refugees" in quotation marks because in no other case has the third generation following a population transfer retained official refugee status.
Despite the best intentions of Shimon Peres and the Israeli socialists, it seems delusional to imagine that any combination of light industry and tourism will provide a livelihood for a Palestine with 5 million inhabitants (including the non-refugee West Bank population). The Palestinian entity cannot exist without subsidies, and it cannot extract subsidies from the West or from the Muslim world without constituting a military threat. The existential choices for Palestinians come down to dispersal or perpetual war.
In fact, I think that the territory of Gaza alone would make a handsome state if its inhabitants would pull up their socks and devote themselves to building it up. Since I think most people think of Singapore as a thriving, prosperous, small city-state. Let's just compare Gaza and Singapore, and see if that isn't the case.
When the predominantly Chinese population of Singapore seceded from the Malaysian Federation in 1963, many voices predicted that the tiny island nation would never make it. How could it?
It was too densely populated, had too few resources, and would not be able to survive without the Malaysian hinterland to support it.
But the Singaporeans showed that they could make it, becoming one of the great Asian economic tigers. The citizens of Gaza could do the same thing.
Let's use the data in the CIA's World Fact Book to make a comparison.
The land area of The Gaza Strip is 360 square kilometers; Singapore's land area is 683 square kilometers. So Singapore is bigger.
But the population of Singapore ( 4,492,150) is also bigger than the population of Gaza (1,428,757), so that the population densities of Gaza and Singapore are similar. The median age in Singapore is 37, however, while the median age in Gaza is only 15. That does mean more children, who are less able to contribute economically.
Interestingly enough, the economies of Gaza and Singapore have similar overall structures. Singapore's economy is 34% industrial, and 66% service; Gaza's economy is 8% agricultural, 18% industrial, and 74% service.
Of course, Singapore's economy is larger, with a per capita income of $30,900, while Gaza's per capita income is only $1,500.
That's quite a difference. The unemployment rate in Gaza is 31%, ten times as high as in Singapore, and 80% of Gazans are in poverty.
The population of Singapore exhibits much more ethnic and cultural diversity ( Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4%) than the population of Gaza (Arab 99.4%), but both populations are literate: the literacy rate in Singapore is 92.5% (96.6% male, 88.6% female) whereas in Gaza, the literacy rate is 91.9% (96.3% male, 87.4% female),
And with 349,000 land lines and 1,095,000 cell phones, it seems that everyone in Gaza is connected. In Singapore, the numbers are equivalent, with 1,848,000 land lines and 4,385,000 cell phones.
The big difference seems to be that Singaporeans do not expect the rest of the world to support them, but actually do economic work.
But Gaza has enough population and enough resources to make an economic go of it - if they really wanted to. For example, the $15,000,000 worth of high-tech agricultural greenhouses that Bill Gates paid for, so that the Israelis who built them and ran them would leave them behind when they were expelled from Gaza, would have provided jobs and income -- if the Palestinians had not looted and trashed them as soon as they could.
Gaza also has Mediterranean beaches. With some investment and a lot of sweat equity, they could probably form the basis for a lovely and competitive resort. There are surely archaeological sites that could be developed as tourist attractions. Hotels and other tourist attractions would provide the cash flow needed to make investments in light industry, and a seaport might enable Gaza to serve as a transit hub for, among other things, oil that could be piped in from Arabia.
A desalination plant would enable a wide variety of agricultural businesses to thrive. High profit crops such as cut flowers and exotic fruits would surely be welcomed in the world market.
The greenhouses that were left behind when the Israeli government made the Gaza Strip "judenrein" were in fact profitable and sustainable businesses before the Arabs looted and destroyed them.
Light manufacturing might include clothing, books and magazines, electronics, and a wide variety of household goods.
And that's only Gaza. The resources of Judea and Samaria are much greater, particularly in terms of archaeological and historic sites that should be able to attract vast numbers of Christian tourists, in particular.
It is thus a great misfortune for the Arab people of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, that the world has allowed gangsters and terrorists to declare themselves their leaders, spokesmen, and governors. That is what is keeping the Palestinians in poverty.
The Jordanian administration in the West Bank (1948-1967) allowed the economy to stagnate, and did not build a single university. During the pre-Oslo Israeli administration (1967-1990), the per capita income of the West Bank doubled and it was higher than per capita income in Jordan or Egypt (the West Bank had one of the fastest growing economies in the world) -- and several universities were founded.
During the period of Israeli administration (pre-Oslo) the economy of the West Bank was one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
With an honest, non-gangster, non-terrorist, non-jihadist administration, that would give up its cherished dream of massacring all the Jews in Israel, either the Gaza Strip alone or the Gaza Strip and the West Bank could become a thriving economy.
It's as simple as that.
What the residents of Gaza need is not "humanitarian aid," but a decent government and a way of life and world view that are based on something other than fanaticism and dreams of carrying out genocidal massacres.
Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, a senior Hamas leader and cleric, was killed along with several others on Thursday when an IAF aircraft dropped a bomb on his Jabalya home, the IDF said. [...]Now he can go to hell along with Yassin and face trial in the highest court.
A large cloud of smoke billowed above the northern Gaza town after the attack, and Palestinian sources were quoted by Channel 2 as saying that the air strike was carried out by F-16 fighter jets.
Security officials said that Rayyan was not only the religious leader of Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Kassam, but also one of their military commanders. He was often seen in uniform, and participated in military exercises. He was considered one of the most fanatical Hamas commanders, and was close to Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh, who was killed by the IAF in 2002.
He was both the director and the financier of the 2004 terrorist attack at Ashdod's port which killed ten Israelis.
In October 2001, he sent his son to perpetrate a suicide attack in the Gush Katif settlement Elei Sinai, in which two young Israelis were killed.
Channel 10 reported that Rayyan had replaced Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as the organization's top clerical authority after Yassin's assassination in 2004.
According to Palestinian sources, his family was warned before the attack but did not leave the building, Army Radio reported. [...]
Rayyan was the fourth senior terror figure to be killed in air strikes Thursday as the air force appeared to step up the pressure on the leaders of Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
With little money going in or out of Treasurys to close the year, bonds make very small movements despite two dour economic reports.Treasurys were little changed Tuesday, even after more dour reports on housing and consumer confidence.
Bonds have traded in a close range for the past two weeks, with very subtle changes brought on by ultra-thin trading heading into the last days of the year.
"With year-end trading, a lot of people are staying on the sidelines," said Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist at Avalon Partners.
"Bonds have been strong, so it will take a lot in the market to change them significantly," he added.
THE FLIGHT HAS PANICKED ENDED...
Filings ease in Christmas week to below the 500,000 level, backing away from 26-year high.
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, according to a government report released Wednesday, as a year filled with layoffs and income cuts draws to a close.
The Labor Department said initial filings for state jobless benefits fell to 492,000 for the week ended Dec. 27, a decline of 94,000 from the 26-year high of 586,000 claims a week earlier.
Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of borrowing in dollars in London for three months dropped for the third day, ending 2008 at the lowest level in more than four years as policy makers provide cash and lower interest rates.
The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for such loans fell one basis point to 143 basis points, the least since June 8, 2004, according to British Bankers’ Association data. Singapore’s comparable rate for U.S. funds slipped one basis point today to 1.44 percent, the lowest level since June 2004. The Libor-OIS spread, a measure of cash scarcity, narrowed.
“There’s no reason for the easing in rates not to continue,” said David Keeble, head of fixed-income strategy in London at Calyon, the investment-banking unit of Credit Agricole SA. “The banking sector is more stable and cash is coming into the system.”
- I PREDICT: THINGS ARE GONNA GET BETTER FASTER THAN MOST PEOPLE THINK.
- APRIL-MAY THINGS ARE OKAY.
- UNLESS OBAMA BLOWS IT WITH A TAX INCREASE...
The problem with Israel-Palestine blogging — Everyone engaged in it is interested in proving that one side is righter than the other. Since no action in the region has occurred without plausible provocation for 4,000 years or so, this requires constantly shifting the metrics by which you measure whichever side you happen to favor.
THE BLOGGERS LISTED ABOVE DEMOLISH HER BS. CHECK'EM OUT!
MCARDLE'S INABILITY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN HAMAS' AGGRESSION AND THE IDF'S REPRISALS IS A PRECURSOR FOR OUTRIGHT ANTI-ZIONISM. AND SHE'S JUST THE TIP OF THE ANTISEMITIC LIBERAL ICEBERG.
YES: ANTISEMITIC: WHEN YOU HOLD ISRAEL TO DIFFERENT STANDARDS THAN YOU DO ANY & ALL OTHER COUNTRIES THEN YOU ARE BEING ANTISEMITIC.
A CARETAKER SENATOR FOR NEW YORK: THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS SCOOP THE NYTIMES, AP AND NY'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY BY A FEW WEEKS!
Filed at 3:32 p.m. ETI BLOGGED THIS TWICE OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS, HERE:
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Sen. Bill Clinton? Sen. Mario Cuomo? Don't completely rule it out.
The former president and the former New York governor are among several boldface names being touted as possible ''caretakers'' for New York's Senate seat -- people who would serve until the 2010 elections but wouldn't be interested in running to keep the job. As the process of picking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's replacement gets messier, the option may become increasingly attractive to Gov. David Paterson, who has sole authority to name a successor.
A spokesman for Bill Clinton, Matt McKenna, said Wednesday that the former chief executive isn't interested in the job and plans to continue the work of his foundation. Cuomo declined through a spokesman to discuss the Senate seat.
A big name could have an immediate impact for New York in the Senate while letting the large field of hopefuls duke it out in 2010, according to three Democratic Party advisers in New York and Washington who are close to the discussion with Paterson's inner circle on this issue.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
NY GOVERNOR SHOULD APPOINT MARIO CUOMO TO REPLACE HILLARY ON CONDITION THAT HE PROMISES HE WON'T SEEK TO RETAIN SEAT IN THE NEXT ELECTION
- THIS WOULD BE A FAIR REPLACEMENT FOR NEW YORKERS,
- AND IT WOULD MAXIMIZE THE CHANCE THAT ALL PERSONS WHO MIGHT RUN FOR THIS SEAT WILL RUN FOR IT BECAUSE IT WILL BE AN OPEN SEAT.
- THIS IS SIMILAR TO HOW BIDEN AND DELAWARE ARE HANDLING IT - THOUGH JOE WANTS IT THAT WASY SO HE CAN BEQUETHE HIS SEAT TO A SON.
Permalink - Posted by Reliapundit @ 6:57 PM
REGULAR READERS KNOW WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
NY GOVERNOR SHOULD APPOINT MARIO OR FERRARO TO FINISH HILLARY'S SENATE TERMFERRARO CAME OUT AGAINST "PRINCESS" CAROLINE.
- BUT GERALDINE WOULD BE EVEN BETTER.
- SHE COULD ACCEPT AND PROMISE NOT TO SEEK REELECTION, LEAVING THE SEAT OPEN TO A FAIR PRIMARY CONTEST BETWEEN CAROLINE AND ANDREW CUOMO - SHOULD HE DECIDE TO RUN FOR THE SENATE AND NOT THE GOVERNORSHIP.
Permalink - Posted by Reliapundit @ 5:58 PM -
SPREAD THE WORD. BLOGROLL US. BOOKMARK US.
UPDATE: YUP, ANOTHER SCOOP: WE POSTED A LINK TO THIS A HALF-DAY BEFORE INSTAPUNDIT.
REGULAR READERS KNOW THAT WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME. SPREAD THE WORD. BOOKMARK US. BLOGROLL US.
At the sound of the tolling midnight bell,
A brand new year will begin.
Let's raise our hopes in a confident toast
To the promise it ushers in.
May your battles be few, your pleasures many,
Your wishes and dreams fulfilled.
May your confidence stand in the face of loss
And give you the strength to rebuild.
May peace of heart fill all your days.
May serenity grace your soul.
May tranquil moments bless your life
and keep your spirit whole.
- Author Unknown
In spite of all the national and world events going on apace, it behooves us to pause, remember that a new year is upon us, and recall how much beauty still abounds:
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I WAS EXACTLY RIGHT.[JPOST:] "An Iranian Red Crescent vessel due to set sail for Gaza this week carries a "hidden agenda," providing cover for an attempt by Teheran's al-Quds Force to spread its influence and possibly ferrying intelligence agents, an American expert warned on Saturday.
Iran's Red Crescent Society announced on its Web site last week plans to dispatch the ship with 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid.
The Iranian Red Crescent ship sailing to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is an example of Teheran's effort to gain political influence through social aid programs, subvert societies with intelligence agents acting as charitable officials, and encourage the Sunni Muslim street to believe that the Iranian regime is on their side, despite its Shi'ite face," Prof. Raymond Tanter, president of the Washington-based Iran Policy Committee, told The Jerusalem Post.
- PERHAPS THE HIDDEN AGENDA IS A WMD - AND A MEANS OF DETONATING IT NEAR TEL AVIV?
- ER, UM... I MEAN... I'M SUSPICIOUS BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING PARTICULARLY "HUMANITARIAN" ABOUT THE IRANIAN REGIME. AND GAZA IS PRETTY CLOSE TO ISRAEL - LAST TIME I CHECKED A MAP, AND THE IRANIANS WANT TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP.
- I SUSPECT THIS SHIP'S APPROACH TO GAZA IS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO ISRAEL.
- WE'LL SEE IF AND WHAT THE IDF OR THE SIXTH FLEET DOES .... IN ABOUT A WEEK...
NO OTHER BLOGGER PREDICTED THIS.
REGULAR READERS KNOW THIS AIN'T THE FIRST TIME I HAVE DONE THIS.
SPREAD THE WORD. BLOGROLL US. BOOKMARK US.
LEDEEN HAS MORE ON THE CENTRALITY OF IRAN IN THE GAZA HERE.
Three people listed as "disappeared" in Chile during General Augusto Pinochet's military rule have been found or died in other circumstances, it has emerged. Their names surfaced as investigators looked into a previous non-victim who has lived in Argentina for 35 years.RTWT.
Gen Pinochet's supporters have long said reports of the missing, officially put at more than 1,183, are false.
President Michelle Bachelet, who was detained in the 1970s, said these cases must not cast doubt on Chile's missing.
"Speaking as a woman who herself suffered this pain and as president of the nation, I am not going to accept that the suffering of families who are still awaiting truth and justice be taken advantage of nor much less played with," said President Bachelet.
She said she hoped all political forces would oppose any attempt to manipulate or score points over a subject that Chilean society had confronted with "responsibility and maturity".
The cases have given ammunition to supporters of the late Gen Pinochet who have long argued that cases of the "disappeared" are ficititious, says the BBC's Gideon Long in Santiago.
They have also embarrassed the state which has handed out thousands of dollars in compensation to the victims' families, he adds.
- PINOCHET WAS WORSE THAN FRANCO BUT BETTER THAN ALLENDE AND A MARXIST CHILE.
- FRANCO AND PINOCHET SAVED THEIR NATIONS WORSE HARM.
- THE "DISAPPEARED" WAS A MASTERPIECE OF LEFTIST PROPAGANDA, AS PHONY AS AL DURA AND JENINGRAD. AND AGW.
BRILLIANT SATIRE FROM VDH: WHAT "PROGRESSIVES" MIGHT ASK ISRAEL TO DO TO "EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD" AND MAKE THEIR COUNTER-ATTACK "PROPORTIONATE"...
Some Moderate Proposals [Victor Davis Hanson]
1) Request that 50% of Israel's air-to-ground missiles be duds to ensure greater proportionality.
2) Allow Hamas another 1,000 free rocket launches to see if they can catch up with the body count.
3) Have Israeli soldiers congregate in border barracks so that Hamas's random rockets have a better chance of killing military personnel, to ensure it can claim at least a few military targets.
4) Redefine "holocaust" to refer to deaths of terrorists in numbers under 400 to give greater credence to Hamas's current claims.
5) In the interest of fairness, allow Hamas to establish both the date that war is supposed to begin and the date when it must end.
6) Send Israeli military advisers to Hamas to improve the accuracy of their missiles.
7) Take down the barriers to return to Hamas a fair chance of getting suicide bombers back inside Israel.
The Sense of Proportion [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Over at my Washington Post discussion group, I respond to claims that Israeli military action has been excessive:
The traditional just-war standard is that military action should be "proportionate" in that it causes fewer harms than it seeks to prevent. That's a sane and sound moral standard. It does not mean that military means must inflict only as much pain as the enemy has inflicted.
My comment can be taken as an implicit response, as well, to supporters of Israel who have suggested that the just-war tradition should be at least partially abandoned. These supporters err, I think, in agreeing with many of their foes on what proportionality means.