You Can Put Anything In A Book–That Doesn’t Make It True

Yesterday Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism site posted an article yesterday about the new book about Sarah Palin written by Joe McGinniss. Joe McGinniss was the author who rented a house next to the Palins in Alaska in order to watch them closely for his book. I know that was legal, but it definitely was tacky. Well, it seems that spying on the Palins did not give Mr. McGinniss all the negative stories he was seeking, so he went to some rather unreliable sources.

The article at Big Journalism includes a memo written by Mr. McGinniss to Jesse Griffin, Mr. McGinniss admits that he cannot prove some of the more extreme allegations against the Palins that he related in his book. In the memo, Mr. McGinniss states:

Neither from you, the Enquirer, AlaskaWTF, or anyone else, have I seen a credible, identified source backing any of the salacious stories about the Palin family.

Thus–as Random House lawyers are already pointing out to me–nothing I can cite other than my own reporting rises above the level of tawdry gossip. The proof is always just around the corner, but that’s a corner nobody has been able to turn. Maybe Jeff Dunn has, in which case I’ll be the first to congratulate him. But frankly, at this point, I’m tired of it, and I’ve run out of time.

This is ridiculous. I know the goal is to write a book in a timely manner and then sell it, but based on that statement, the book should be sold in the Fiction section of the bookstore.

I am sorry that so much money is wasted on attacking a family just because the wife and mother is a threat to liberal politics. Wouldn’t it be more civil just to discuss issues? I think every American should resent this type of

Just A Reminder…..October 3


Image of Mark Durie
ATC Speakers Forum Presents:
“Islam and Dhimmitude: From Ancient Rituals to Present Realities”
Dr. Mark Durie
WHEN:            October 3, 2011 at 7:30 PM
WHERE:         Ahavath Torah Congregation – 1179 Central Street, Stoughton, MA
PRICE:            $5
Dr. Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.
This lecture by an Australian scholar of Islam discusses the position of non-Muslims – Jews, Christians and others – under sharia law.
There are two stories about non-Muslims living under Islam, who Muslims call dhimmis. One is that dhimmis were the fortunate recipients of Islamic benevolence. The other is that non-Muslims had to buy their heads back each year in a legal system designed to degrade and belittle them, and to ensure their decline. The story of the dhimmis, and their centuries of subjugation under Islamic law, raises troubling questions about the spiritual trajectory of western societies, and their seemingly inexorable drift towards the psychology of surrender.
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Sometimes The Death Penalty Is A Good Thing

I know there was a high-profile death penalty case in the news yesterday. I am not going to comment on that case because I don’t know enough about it and can’t get enough information from sources I trust to form a logical opinion. This article is about another execution yesterday that didn’t get anywhere near the publicity.

Associated Press reported that yesterday that Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in Texas. Lawrence Russell Brewer was one of the men involved in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

James Byrd, Jr., was a disabled man who lived very modestly on his disability check. Because he couldn’t afford a car, he walked wherever he needed to go. He was seen on Sunday, June 7, 1998, walking down the road not far from his home in Jasper, Texas. Later, he was seen riding in the bed of a dark pickup.

The article reports:

Testimony showed the three men and Byrd drove out into the county about 10 miles and stopped along an isolated logging road. A fight broke out and the outnumbered Byrd was tied to the truck bumper with a 24 1/2-foot logging chain. Three miles later, what was left of his shredded remains was dumped between a black church and cemetery where the pavement ended on the remote road.

I don’t know if the death penalty will stop anyone else from doing something so horrible, but I am glad this man will not be alive to spread the mental poison that allowed this crime to happen.

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Keeping A Campaign Promise

I would like to announce that President Obama has kept a major campaign promise made during the 2008 Presidential campaign. The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that under President Obama global sea level this summer is a quarter of an inch lower than it was last summer.

The announcement came from NASA.

The article at the Washington Examiner reminds us:

Remember this famous speech from then-Senator Obama — the one from 2008, in which he declared that his election would cause the oceans to stop rising and the planet to heal?

Wow. Who knew?


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More Information On The Peace Process

Flag of Israel with the Mediterranean sea in t...

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Since I am technologically challenged, I have no idea how to embed a video into this website. I apologize. However, I will provide a link to a YouTube video that clearly and concisely explains the history of the State of Israel. This video helps understand how we got to the place we are today in regard to peace in the Middle East. Enjoy.

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The Logo For the Permanent Observer Mission Of Palestine To The United Nations

This is the logo for the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. The Weekly Standard posted this picture yesterday.

Please notice that there is no Israel on this map of the area where Israel currently exists. That should tell us everything we need to know about the intentions of the Palestinians in regard to Israel. Do we really want to create another terrorist state in the Middle East? Aren’t there enough already?

Also, my favorite quote regarding Palestinian statehood is from Walid Shoebat:

“Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”

If the United Nations ever wants to be a force for peace in the Middle East, they will vote down the Palestinian request for statehood, stop sending Palestine money, and tell the Palestinians to create a peaceful nation with infrastructure (rather than spending all their money on weapons) and then come back again. We need to remember that when Israel turned over the Gaza Strip to the Arabs, it was an economically viable area with a worldwide business of exporting flowers. The Arabs promptly destroyed the greenhouses and turned it into a poverty-stricken ghetto. Unless the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank show a desire and effort to create a functional, peaceful society, they should be shunned by the rest of the world. We don’t reward children when they behave badly and destroy things, we shouldn’t reward grown-ups who do that either.


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Something To Watch Closely

Southwest Airlines plane

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Fox News in Cleveland today reported that a number of Southwest Airlines jets have been marked with graffiti on the underbelly of the aircraft.

The article reports:

According to the station, the writings resemble Arabic or Arabic-type symbols.

The etchings seem “to have been done with a chemical process that reveals the text once an auxiliary power unit is turned on and heats up the outside skin of the aircraft,” KNX 1070 is reporting.

The obvious questions is, “How is anyone getting close enough to these airplanes with enough time to do this without being discovered?”

There is a link at the Fox News website which gives further information.

I must admit this does not help my normal reluctance to get on an airplane.

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Israel And Palestine Made Simple

A Field of Flowers and Mount Tabor

Image by Oregon State University Archives via Flickr

The struggle of the Jewish people to live in peace has gone on since the days of Ester. AntiSemitism seems to be something that shows up in the world periodically, and it is generally followed by bad things. Sometimes when we look at the events of the moment, we forget the history of these events.

Yesterday, Scott Johnson at Power Line posted a cartoon-style video detailing the history of the State of Israel and its negotiations with the local Arabs. The video is about ll minutes long, but it is worth watching to the end. There are a lot of facts in it that are currently not mentioned in the discussion at the United Nations.


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Another Global Warming Ooops

A helicopter is taking off Greenland Ice Sheet

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On September 17, WattsUpWithThat posted a story about the growing number of complaints about the new Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) disputes the information about Greenland given in the Atlas.

The article at WattsUpWithThat reports:

“There is no scientific evidence that the area of the Greenland ice sheet since 1999 has shrunk by 15% as the latest edition of the ‘Times Atlas shows,” says climate researcher Ruth Mottram, DMI.

The article further reports:

The error may have occurred if katograferne from the ‘Times Atlas have used satellite images of Greenland to assess ice spatial distribution.

“When I look at satellite images of Greenland, it looks real enough dark along the coast, but that does not mean that the ice has disappeared” says climate researcher and continues: “The dark color is caused by dirt, dust and volcanic ash that makes the ice dark especially in Southeast Greenland. “

I am not by any means a scientific type, but I can understand the mistake. It’s always easier to draw the conclusions that back-up your pet theory. However, when your pet theory has the potential to ruin the global economy, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

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Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

Pinocchio visto da Enrico Mazzanti (1883)

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Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent fact check on some details of one of President Obama’s speeches. After Warren Buffet claimed that his secretary paid more taxes than he did, President Obama began to repeat the claim. Associated Press decided to do some fact-checking.

The article at Hot Air reported the following:

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

There is also the fact that if Warren Buffet wants to pay more in taxes, there is a place on his tax return that allows him to do just that. The flip side of this is wondering how many lawyers and accountants he employs to keep his taxes as low as possible. While I am piling on, I would like to refer to a story I posted on September 1 at rightwinggranny explaining that a business move recently made by Warren Buffet will result in Berkshire Hathaway paying a tax rate of 10.5 percent on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America instead of the normal rate of 35 percent. If Mr. Buffet is so convinced millionaires should pay higher taxes, why did he bother to make that move?

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Be Careful Who You Believe When You Look For Fact-Checkers

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...

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Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, a liberal reporter who now claims to be The Fact-Checker, and his fact checking of a recent Rick Perry speech. When asked whether there should be a Palestinian state, Rick Perry called for Palestine to denounce terrorism and to require that any Palestinian state be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Sounds pretty basic to me.

The Fact-Checker replied:

As part of the 1993 Oslo accords, in an exchange of letters between then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Palestine Liberation Organization met all of these conditions nearly 20 years ago. The letters are posted on the Web site of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Really? Is Mr. Kessler familiar with the term ‘Intifada?’ Mr. Hinderaker points out that Palestinian children are taught that Jews have no right to be in Palestine and the maps shown to these children show Palestine as including all of present-day Israel.

The article at Power Line concludes:

One last thing: Kessler thinks that Israel has nothing to fear because of a twenty-year-old letter from a dead terrorist. What is the PA’s real intention, as of today? Look no farther than this: as Scott reported earlier today, “Palestine” is represented in the United Nations by the heroine Latifa Abu Hmeid. What is her claim to fame? She is the mother of no fewer than four terrorist murderers, who together are serving a total of 18 life sentences. Is Rick Perry’s concern about whether the Palestinians and their leaders are really reconciled to the existence of Israel unfounded? Let’s be blunt: Glenn Kessler either is woefully ignorant of Middle Eastern history, or he is deliberately misleading his readers.

Palestine does not want a two-state solution–they want a one-state solution with Palestine as the state. Creating a Palestinian state at this time under the current Palestinian culture would be a recipe for war–not peace. Until the schools stop teaching hate and the state stops honoring terrorists and terrorism, we need to make sure Israel is armed to the teeth. That is the path to peace in the Middle East. A weak Israel is an easy target.

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Somehow I Didn’t Hear This In The Major Media

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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At 6:30 pm today, the Ground Zero Mosque will open its doors. Front Page Magazine reported today on the scheduled opening.

At its opening today, the Mosque will show a photo exhibit in its community space. The article reports:

The exhibit, called “NYChildren,” will showcase the work of Danny Goldfield, who photographed children in the city originating from 171 countries around the world. About $70,000 was raised in less than two months for the temporary community space through Over 700 invitations have been distributed for the grand opening, and visitors to Park51’s website are registering to attend now. The exhibit will be up for three months. The site will be open Monday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 pm beginning on Thursday. 

The article further reports:

The Ground Zero Mosque continues to suffer blows to its public image. The top financial backer, Hisham Elzanaty, is being sued by Allstate Insurance for $5.1 million. He is accused of orchestrating a “highly developed and sophisticated kickback scheme.” State Farm is also suing him for $1.9 million, and Geico for $1.7 million. He also donated to the Holy Land Foundation, a front for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1999. This only adds to the significant concern over the sources of the money behind the project. Even supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque may be convinced to withhold their donations because of this development.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the original “face” of Park51, also showed how moderate he really is during a speech he gave earlier this year where he said that criticism of Islam shouldn’t be protected speech. “I believe that the insulting or mocking of others’ religious symbols, icons, prophets, etc. should not fall within the realm of free speech,” he said. The statement is a reminder of the extremist beliefs and affiliations of those tied to the Ground Zero Mosque.

If it is extreme to oppose this mosque at this location, then I am an extremist. Islamic tradition builds a mosque whenever it designates a site as a ‘place of victory.’ The mosque is constructed to be a monument to that victory. We are fools to let the construction of this mosque at this site continue.

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It’s Always About The Money–Except When It’s Not

Tea Party protesters fill the National Mall on...

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Class warfare is getting to be a national pastime. Leadership comes from the top, the President seems to be leading the charge, but others are following.

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted a story stating that the D. C. Council has passed an income tax increase on Washington, D. C.’s high earners. This was passed even though the city’s budget will have a surplus this year. The tax will apply to anyone who earns more than $350,000 a year. The tax increase will impact about 6,000 residents of the city. The increase is from 8.5 percent to 8.95 percent. The tax increase is set to expire in four years unless the Council extends it. (If anyone actually believes that tax increases actually expire, they need to come to Massachusetts and look at our state income tax.)

In case anyone has forgotten, the TEA Party got it’s name from “Taxed Enough Already.” If this keeps up, the Tea Party is going to be a permanent fixture in this country.

I would like to add at this point that I am not (and probably will never be) in danger of being impacted by a millionaires’ tax (although when you look at President Obama’s proposals, the millionaires’ tax may impact people making $200,000). However, I am opposed to the idea of taking money away from people who have worked hard to earn just because you think they are ‘rich.’ That is bad policy. If your child gets an allowance in return for keeping her room clean, do you take the money away from her and give it to the child who didn’t bother to clean her room? If you do, what is the lesson you have taught the child? We need to take another look at America’s tax policy if we expect to bring unemployment below 9 percent. What we are currently doing is economic suicide.

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A Hero Who Did What Was Right Rather Than What Was Political

Picture of the medal of honor

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I am writing this article with very mixed emotions. There are and have been a number of people in my family who serve or have served in the military. In my study of history and listening to stories of veterans going back to World War II, I have learned that many things have changed about the way America fights wars. Not all of these changes are good. It is with that in mind that I write this article.

The source of this article is a Wall Street Journal article from September 16. I am not linking to the article because it is a subscribers only article. I am working from the hard copy (some of us still do read real newspapers!).

On September 15, President Obama presented Sgt. Dakota Meyer with the Medal of Honor. Sgt. Meyer, a Marine, was given the medal for his actions on September 8, 2009. He disobeyed an order to stand firm and went to rescue members of his patrol. In doing this, he saved the lives of 13 Marines and 23 Afghan soldiers.

There are a few aspects of this article that bother me. The article states:

Despite the large Taliban force, U. S. artillery support was denied and helicopter support was late in arriving, as commanders worried they might violate a tactical directive to limit the use of air power when civilians could be injured or killed.

Are the people in charge of our troops so stupid that they believe the Taliban is not aware of this tactical directive and purposely attacks in areas where they know we will not use air power? Would the people in charge of our troops like to meet face to face with the parents and spouses of the people who have been killed as a result of this policy? Diplomacy and war are two separate things–would someone please tell Washington that.

The article further reports:

As the fighting rages, he (Sgt. Meyer) and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez were ordered to remain with a Humvee outside the battle zone.

“We requested a few times and were denied to come in,” Sgt. Meyer said in a statement released by the Marine Corps. “Finally, we knew what we needed to do and decided we were going to go on in on our own.”

Thank God for the courage of those two men. I am sorry that our military leadership would rather sacrifice our soldiers in the name of public relations than actually win the war.

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Arrived In My EMail Tonight

Romanian Revolution of December 1989.

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We rarely get a chance to see another country’s editorial about the USA

Read this excerpt from a Romanian Newspaper.  The article was written by Mr. Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title ‘C’ntarea Americii, meaning ‘Ode To America ‘) in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentulzilei ‘The Daily Event’ or ‘News of the Day’.

~An Ode to  America ~

Why are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if you painted them all one color!  They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations and religious beliefs.

On 9/ll, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart.   Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the Army, or the Secret Service that they are only a bunch of losers.  Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts.   Nobody rushed out onto the streets nearby to gape about.

Instead the Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand.

After the first moments of panic, they raised their flag over the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national flag.  They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a government official or the president was passing.  On every occasion, they started singing: ‘God Bless America !’

I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who gave his life fighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.

How on earth were they able to respond united as one human being?  Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes.  And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put into collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit, which no money can buy.  What on earth unites the Americans in such a way?  Their land?  Their history?  Their economic Power?  Money?   I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding commonplace, I thought things over, I reached but only one conclusion… Only freedom can work such miracles.

Cornel Nistorescu

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Living It Up At The Justice Department

A picture of an old Cracker Jack box

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Fox News is reporting today about some of the spending for Justice Department events from October 2007 and September 2009.

The article reports:

The Justice Department implemented a new conference policy in April 2008 after a previous audit found wasteful spending at events held between October 2004 and September 2006. Among the examples were $53-per-person lunches and a $60,000 reception that served Swedish meatballs at $5 a piece.

I guess the new policy was not overly successful. The article further reports:

In 2008 and 2009, the department hosted or participated in 1,832 conferences costing $121 million.

At a Washington, D.C., legal conference, the department spent $4,200 on 250 muffins — or more than $16 apiece, the report said.

At another conference, the department’s Office on Violence Against Women spent $65 per person at a lunch for 65 people. Coffee cost more than $1 an ounce. A snack break at the same conference cost $32 per person for Cracker Jack, popcorn and candy bars.

I think I want to go into the business of catering for the Justice Department.

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I Hate This, But It Makes Sense

Interstate 95 entering Virginia from North Car...

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One of the things that President Obama continues to repeat is that the infrastructure of America–our roads and bridges–is falling apart and we need to spend large amounts of government money to fix them.  I agree that many of our roads are in need of repair, I just question how effective the government will be in repairing them in a timely manner for a reasonable price.

Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia has a different idea. He applied to the Department of Transportation for permission to place a toll on Interstate 95 in southern Virginia.

The article reports:

Because the toll will essentially raise money from I-95 users to pay for I-95 improvements — including out-of-state travelers — there’s no concern people will view this as an unnecessary tax, Caldwell (McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell) said.

I hate the idea of a toll road, but I can see the wisdom of the plan. If the money raised by the tolls is used exclusively to fund improvements and maintenance on that specific highway, the tolls make sense–those who use the road will pay for its upkeep.
The article further reports:

Federal highway authorities approved placing tolls on Interstate 81 in 2003 under the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, but that plan stalled. State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton lobbied Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez in April 2010 to shift the tolls to I-95, a more heavily traveled highway that runs the length of the East Coast.

As I said, I hate the idea of tolls, but this actually makes sense.

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The Obama Deficit Plan In Pictures

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an article explaining why President Obama’s deficit reduction plan will not work. The article included two graphs:

The main point of the article is that tax revenues at the end of the Clinton administration hit 20.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The highest number for that percentage is 20.9 percent in 1944. Unfortunately, government spending will reach levels well above 20 percent in the near future. The problem is not the revenue–it’s the spending. Most Americans have figured out that it is not productive to spend more money than you take in. It’s time the government also learned that principle.

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Legitimizing AntiSemitism

Street in Jerusalem Old City

Image via Wikipedia

I expect that sometime in the next few days, the United Nations will vote on whether or not to recognize a Palestinian State. There has never been a state of Palestine, although Jordan was originally established as a home for Palestinians, but the United Nations will be voting on one shortly. What would that state look like?

Haaretz reported on September 14th that:

Answering a question about the legal status of a Jewish minority in the future state, Areikat apprently rejected the issue, saying: “I believe, I still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated,” adding “I think we can contemplate these issues in the future.”

“After the experience of the last 44 years, of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interest that the two peoples should be separated,” Areikat added. 

USA Today reported on September 15th:

Habbash’s comments come after the ambassador for the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United States, Maen Areikat, said when asked Tuesday whether he could foresee a Jew being elected mayor of Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank: “I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future.”

Areikat, speaking at a breakfast for reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, continued: “After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated first.”

These statements have been walked back slightly, but I believe the original statements are probably the truth. I would like to remind anyone too young to remember that prior to 1967, when the Arabs controlled the Old City of Jerusalem that Christians and Jews did not have access to their holy sites. In recent years, the Jews have controlled the Old City, and the area is open to people of all faiths. It seems to me that history tells us what a Palestinian state would be like.

There seems to be an effort on the part of some Palestinians to claim that Palestine would be a peaceful, equal-opportunity state. USA Today reports:

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have called for a secular, pluralistic Palestinian state, says Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine, which advocates a non-militarized Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The article in USA Today further reports:

Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, said he read Areikat’s comments to mean a ban on Jews.

“That’s the state that the Palestinians want to declare unilaterally, without negotiations, and have recognized by the U.N.,” Oren said

I think I agree with Michael Oren. I have a hard time believing that the large number of weapons currently being smuggled into the West Bank are for peaceful purposes.

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General Motors (aka Government Motors) and the UAW Have Agreed On A Contract (Or Why I Drive A Mustang)

Normally, I wouldn’t particularly care whether or not GM reached a contract agreement with the UAW, but since the government has made me a stockholder, I thought that maybe I should pay attention.

The International Business Times reported on Saturday that a new contract between GM and the UAW has been tentatively agreed on. The contract includes signing bonuses and better profit sharing for the employees.

The article reports:

Workers at Chrysler Group LLC, whose contract also expired on September 14, continue to negotiate for terms of their new deal.

The UAW is not allowed to call strikes for workers at GM and Chrysler under the terms of the federal bailouts which those companies received.

Workers at Ford Motor (which did not receive a federal bailout, which allows them to strike) are also in talks for a new contract.

Any bets on the possibility of a UAW strike action against Ford this year?

There is one aspect of this contract that I could not find any reporting on. In his book, Car Wreck, Mark Ragsdale explains an auto industry practice called ‘jobs banks.’ Jobs banks require that two and a half years of wages be paid to laid off workers. On February 10, 2009, Ford Motor Company announced it had negotiated jobs banks penalties out of its UAW contracts. Because Ford rejected federal bailout money, the UAW was forced to negotiate in order to avoid the company going bankrupt. I suspect the UAW will try very hard this year to put those jobs banks penalties back in.

Taxpayer bailout money is currently paying General Motors workers for work while they sit at the ‘jobs bank’ all day and do nothing–another example of a total waste of tax dollars. Obviously when this was done by a private company (GM), it was not practical–the company had to be bailed out, so why is the government allowing the nonprofitable behavior to continue? It will be interesting to see what happens to the jobs banks in the new contract and if the UAW decides to strike Ford to put the jobs banks back in there.

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President Obama’s Debt Reduction Plan–Just Take More From Successful Americans

A website called posted a short video of President Obama saying, “The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would suck up… take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.” That statement was made to NBC’s Chuck Todd on August 5, 2009. What has changed?

The Associated Press reported today on the President’s plan to reduce the deficit. The plan calls for $1.5 trillion in new taxes. Wow.

The article reports:

The president’s proposal would predominantly hit upper income taxpayers but would also reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billion. It also counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is not a realistic deficit reduction proposal. It is a plan that the President expects the Republicans in the House of Representatives to reject so that he can use their rejection as a campaign issue. Tax increases on upper income people are not, nor have they ever been, the answer to the deficit–it’s time we took a good look at government waste–Solyndra anyone?

The Tax Lawyer’s Blog reported in December 2010:

When it comes to taxes paid, an even wider discrepancy shows itself — in reverse. Compared with that 38% of taxes paid by the top 1% of earners, the bottom 50% pay just 2.7% of the taxes collected.

This is a chart from the website:

Taxing people who are successful does not create jobs. They simply hire more attorneys and accountants to avoid the taxes. In the end, the middle class will pay the price–many of these ‘high earners’ are ‘S’ corporations who will have no choice but to charge more for their products to offset the higher taxes. The President’s deficit reduction plan should be dead on arrival.


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Solyndra Through The Eyes Of James Pethokoukis

Image representing Solyndra as depicted in Cru...

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On Friday, James Pethokoukis at Reuters posted an article about the scandal surrounding government loans to Solyndra. Mr. Pethokoukis reminds us that President Obama intended to reorganize the American economy around ‘green energy’ in view of the dangers of global warming (which is NOT settled science).

The article points out:

At its core, Obamanomics is about the top-down redistribution of wealth and income. Government spending on various “green” subsidies and programs, along with a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions, would enrich key Democrat constituencies: lawyers, public sector unions, academia and non-profits.

Oh, and Wall Street, too. Who was the exclusive financial adviser to Solyndra when it was trying to secure the $535 million loan from Washington? Goldman Sachs. And had the cap-and-trade scheme been enacted, big banks stood ready to reap billions from the trading of carbon emission credits.

Thank God cap and trade did not pass. The entire ‘green energy’ plan was a scheme to put money into Democrat party supporters’ pockets so that they could in turn donate substantial amounts of that money to Democrat campaigns.

My understanding of the Solyndra business plan was that they would build a solar panel for six dollars and then sell it for three. Even under new math, that won’t work for very long. The good news here is that Americans are aware of what happened and the crony capitalism that was involved. We need to understand that there will always be some degree of crony capitalism. Think about it–if you hold office, wouldn’t you rather do business with someone you know than someone you don’t know? The challenge is to avoid using large amounts of taxpayer money to fund businesses that do not have a viable business plan.

Part of the problem with the Obama administration is that it exists in the first place. We as voters need to be more aware of the backgrounds of the people we nominate and the people we elect. I cannot guarantee that John McCain would have made a better President, but I can say that I did not feel that John McCain was the best candidate the Republicans had to offer. The challenge for all Americans in the coming year is to be involved in the primary election process and to do everything we can to make sure that the candidates chosen represent us–regardless of which side of the political spectrum we fall on.

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Additional Support For Voter Identification

Our political views on certain issues are somewhat affected by the area of the country and the particular place we live. I live in Massachusetts. Contrary to what some of our state officials say, there is a problem with voter fraud in this state, as well as in every other state of the union.

It seems natural to me that voters would be required to show some sort of identification when they vote. You need to show identification to buy cigarettes, alcohol, rent a video, board a plane, and apply for welfare or unemployment benefits. If making people show identification would be a hardship for people who are poor, how do they collect their food stamps (which they are entitled to if they are poor)? When I asked my sister about this (she lives in Tennessee), she explained that in the past, excessive requirements had been put on black voters in the south, and many southerners were afraid that voter identification laws would be used to discriminate against minority voters. I understand, but I still think we need some sort of voter identification.

On Saturday, the Washington Examiner reported that Hispanic voters in Colorado, New Mexico and Florida all support laws requiring voters to show identification. During the last Presidential election, voter registration fraud was rampant. When an organization called True The Vote looked into voter registration in Houston, they found that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations submitted by a group known as Houston Votes were valid. (see March 24, 2011). Maybe I am naive, but it seems to me that anyone who loves their country would want fair elections. So why do we have stories in the Washington Examiner that explain:

Also in June, a group of Democratic senators, including Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, asked the Justice Department to investigate state photo ID laws.  “These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote.  The senators asked the Justice Department to use its authority under the Voting Rights Act to “closely monitor the legislative process” in states that have passed or are considering passing photo ID laws and to “track any unlawful intent” of proponents of the laws.  The laws “must be subjected to the highest scrutiny as states justify these new barriers to participation,” the senators wrote.  Testifying at a Senate hearing on September 13, Justice Department Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez said the Department has begun those investigations and is scrutinizing not just the laws themselves but the motives of those who passed them to discover whether “there is a discriminatory purpose that underlies any action in any state.”

The good news here is that the public supports voter identification. At some point we can hope that our representatives will vote according to the desires of the people they represent.

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Elections Matter–Ask The Executives At Solyndra

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported today that the executives at Solyndra were putting heavy pressure on the Bush White House in as late as January 2009 to approve a government loan for the company.

The article reports:

On Jan. 12, 2009, Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet sent an Energy Department official an email marked “urgent” expressing outrage that Bush officials had decided a few days earlier that while the loan application had “merit” it needed further study before officials could move forward with a taxpayer-financed loan.

“I was appalled to learn on Friday that our application is being delayed yet again,” Gronet wrote to Energy official Steve Isakowitz, writing there had been “countless communications” back and forth suggesting the application would be reviewed Jan. 15.

The delay was a decision by the Bush administration to wait for an independent market analysis on January 9, 2009, before giving aid to the company.

The article further reports:

The next day, Jan. 13, 2009, [Bush DoE official Lachlan] Seward sent his email to Energy Department colleagues saying it was time to stop engaging with Solyndra officials.

There were no outside influences in this decision, and when the Bush administration looked at the loan request, it simply did not look like a good investment of taxpayer money.

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When Political Contributions Endanger Our Soldiers

Navstar-2F satellite of the Global Positioning...

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On Thursday The Daily Beast posted a story about a Congressional investigation into a satellite broadband company named LightSquared. On Friday, Big Government carried the story. The question involved in the investigation is whether or not the White House pressured a Air Force General to change his testimony before Congress to help a corporation that happened to be a large democrat party donor.

The Daily Beast reports:

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

Big Government supplies some of the specifics:

Gen Shelton told members of Congress that the GPS satellite constellation operates in a “quiet neighborhood” in terms of bandwidth, and it’s this lack of interference that helps shield the GPS system from harmful interference in its critical operations. The LightSquared project would be the equivalent of a rock band moving into the neighborhood and blasting its music. All the testing the military did on LightSquared’s systems indicated major disruptions in the GPS system.

The Daily Beast further reports:

The White House confirmed Wednesday that its Office of Management and Budget suggested changes to the general’s testimony but insisted such reviews are routine and not influenced by politics. And it said Shelton was permitted to give the testimony he wants, without any pressure.

The fact that the General was asked to alter his testimony at all in a way that could put the American military at risk is a disgrace. Crony capitalism is becoming a serious problem in this White House. The voters are beginning to make it clear that Chicago politics is not appreciated in Washington.

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