Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Plight of the Palestinians: Part II

Oh those poor, wretched, abused, oppressed Palestinians. Or at least that's what the world's Israel bashers want us to believe. And we are also supposed to naively believe that all of their suffering, all of it, yes every single bit of it, is the fault of those nasty, cruel, unfeeling, Jewish Zionists next door in The Zionist Entity - uh - I mean Israel. The previous post quoted Melanie Phillips on how things are improving in the West Bank now that the primary occupation of young job age Palestinians, terrorism, has been made much less rewarding thanks to the roundly condemned, yet completely nonlethal, nonviolent, obviously effective separation barrier. The Islamic press, and in this case, the website, Paltoday Network, as a huge stakeholder in the demonization of Israel, runs articles like this one, in English to string along the progressive Western dupes into feeling sympathy for Palestinian terrorists who may be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, and their families. Maybe I'm not progressive or enlightened enough, or maybe I'm just too cold hearted, but I can't understand how anyone would have sympathy for this murderous scumbag and his family:
The list is said to include Abdelhadi Ghuneim, who killed 16 Israelis in 1989 when he drove a bus off a cliff outside Jerusalem.

Umm Thair, his 38-year-old wife, said the bus plunge came the day after their first son was born more than 20 years ago.

“Abdelhadi refused to come see his son Thair the day he was born because he was afraid it would affect his resolve,” she said.

“But I am hopeful he will come back to us soon as part of the agreement and oversee his son’s engagement, so he can make up for what he’s missed.”
And yet for the true Israel hater, I'm sure that does elicit some sympathy - which tells you a lot about the people working to undermine the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, in Arabic, when speaking to an audience who is in on the whole false image, Paltoday runs articles like this. I don't read or speak Arabic, but I can look at the photos, and those Gazans look like they have plenty. Perhaps an improving Gazan economy can be due to the fact that terrorism is not as rewarding as it once was in Gaza too. Thanks to, well - I'm really pressing the point here, but maybe those Israelis, by clamping down on Gazan terrorists have helped Gaza take a few small steps toward economic self-sufficiency. Curse those Israelis and their forcing Palestinians toward honest labor and wealth creation! Curse them! How can they be so oppressive?

But there's more:
Israel has allowed thousands of trucks, bearing tens of thousands of tons of food, goods and equipment into Gaza, but the United Nations has claimed several times that a humanitarian crisis is “imminent.”

Statistics provided by the Palestinian Authority show that unemployment in the Gaza area dropped in the second quarter this year by 20 percent from 45.5 percent in the second quarter of 2008.
Statistics provided by the Palestinian Authority show that unemployment in the Gaza area dropped in the second quarter this year by 20 percent from 45.5 percent in the second quarter of 2008.
Officials also said that construction has stopped because Hamas has taken workers from their jobs.

The sad fact though, is that even if the whole article were translated into English along with ten thousand photos, for the truly deluded it would make very little difference. They've invested too much of their lives into their irrational hatred for mere facts to get in the way of their position.

For more analysis of the duplicitous reporting, you can go here, where at least some of the reporters do speak and understand Arabic. For the original link to the Gazan shenanigans, go here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Plight of the Palestinians

Here is an interesting article by Melanie Phillips on the current economic situation in the West Bank.
# As security has been strengthened in the West Bank and suicide bombings have virtually disappeared -- thanks overwhelmingly to Israel's much criticized security fence -- the tourism industry in the Palestinian areas has rebounded nicely. The city of Bethlehem saw 1 million tourists in 2008, an increase of 500,000 from the previous year. The city of Jericho saw 500,000 tourists in '08, an increase of over 100,000 from 2007. To put it in perspective, the entire state of Israel had 1 million tourists in 2008.
# The unemployment rate in the West Bank in 2002 was a whopping 31 %. This was during the second Intifada, when Palestinian terrorism was at its peak, and the Israeli security fence had not yet been erected. Today, that unemployment rate stands at 15 %. To put it in context, Israel's unemployment rate right now is at 9%, and the U.S. rate is hovering around 10 %. In the longtime West Bank terror hotbed of Nablus, which has now become an unlikely shopping destination, unemployment has dropped all the way down to 6 %.
# 229,000 trucks passed between Israel and the West Bank in the first half of 2009, a 41 % increase from 2008. This has helped lead to a 29 % increase in fuel deliveries to the West Bank between '08 and '09.
But wait. There's more!
Stock market: A 12.5% rise since the beginning of the year.

· Foreign investments in the West Bank: A six-fold increase (!) compared with the corresponding period last year, as a result of the economic conferences that were held in Bethlehem and Nablus, and of the improved security in the area (this figure was provided by the Palestinians and the Joint Economic Conference held on September 2).
Hmm, things certainly do change when change your outlook from murder and destruction to growth and prosperity. I wonder if this will burst any bubbles.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

A Couple from Debbie

I first found this WSJ editorial at Debbie Schlussel. Here it is in its entirety. And check out this previous post by Debbie.I don't think I need to add any comment except to echo Debbie's query as to the absence of any protest by any of the self-styled "human rights" organizations and any reporting of this deplorable situation by the "speaking truth to power" MSM.


Meet Yussuf Khoury, a 23-year old Palestinian refugee living in the West Bank. Unlike those descendents of refugees born in United Nations camps, Mr. Khoury fled his birthplace just two years ago. And he wasn't running away from Israelis, but from his Palestinian brethren in Gaza.

Mr. Khoury's crime in that Hamas-ruled territory was to be a Christian, a transgression he compounded in the Islamists' eyes by writing love poems.

"Muslims tied to Hamas tried to take me twice," says Mr. Khoury, and he didn't want to find out what they'd do to him if they ever kidnapped him. He hasn't seen his family since Christmas 2007 and is afraid even to talk to them on the phone.

Speaking to a group of foreign journalists in the Bethlehem Bible College where he is studying theology, Mr. Khoury describes a life of fear in Gaza. "My sister is under a lot of pressure to wear a headscarf. People are turning more and more to Islamic fundamentalism and the situation for Christians is very difficult," he says.

In 2007, one year after the Hamas takeover, the owner of Gaza's only Christian bookstore was abducted and murdered. Christian shops and schools have been firebombed. Little wonder that most of Mr. Khoury's Christian friends have also left Gaza.

On the rare occasion that Western media cover the plight of Christians in the Palestinian territories, it is often to denounce Israel and its security barrier. Yet until Palestinian terrorist groups turned Bethlehem into a safe haven for suicide bombers, Bethlehemites were free to enter Israel, just as many Israelis routinely visited Bethlehem.

The other truth usually ignored by the Western press is that the barrier helped restore calm and security not just in Israel, but also in the West Bank including Bethlehem. The Church of the Nativity, which Palestinian gunmen stormed and defiled in 2002 to escape from Israeli security forces, is now filled again with tourists and pilgrims from around the world.

But even here in Jesus' birthplace, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Christians live on a knife's edge. Mr. Khoury tells me that Muslims often stand in front of the gate of the Bible College and read from the Quran to intimidate Christian students. Other Muslims like to roll out their prayer rugs right in Manger Square.

Asked about why Muslims would pray so close to one of Christianity's holiest sites, Pastor Alex Awad, dean of students at the Bible College, diplomatically advises me to pose this question to the Muslims themselves. Mindful of his community's precarious situation, he is at pains to stress that whatever problems Christians may have with their Muslim neighbors, it's not the PA's fault.

"Muslims and Christians live here in relative harmony," he tells reporters, only to add that Christians "feel the pressure of Islam . . . There is intimidation and fanaticism but these are little instances and there is no general persecution."

Samir Qumsieh, the founder of what he says is the holy land's only Christian TV station, also stresses that there is no "Christian suffering" and that the Christians' problems are not orchestrated by the PA. Yet his stories of land theft, beatings and intimidation make one wonder why, if the PA doesn't approve of such injustices, it is doing so little to stop it?

Christians have only recently begun to talk about how Muslim gangs simply come and take possession of Christian-owned land while the Palestinian security services, almost exclusively staffed by Muslims, stand by. Mr. Qumsieh's own home was firebombed three years ago. The perpetrators were never caught.

"We have never suffered as we are suffering now," Mr. Qumsieh confesses, violating his own introductory warning to the assorted foreign correspondents in his office not to use the word "suffering."

Always a minority religion among the predominantly Muslim Palestinians, Christians are, Mr. Qumsieh says, "melting away," even in Bethlehem. While they represented about 80% of the city's population 60 years ago, their numbers are now down to about 20%, a result not just of Muslims' higher birth rates but also widespread Christian emigration. "Our future as a Christian community here is gloomy," Mr. Qumsieh says.

Palestinian plight not attributable to Israel barely seems to register in the West's collective conscience. As Christians around the world remember Jesus' birth, perhaps we can think of Mr. Khoury and those Christians still suffering in Gaza and Bethlehem.

Mr. Schwammenthal is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

And then there's Jimmy Carter's apology. Who is he trying to kid? I first read of it at Debbie's place. It's been showing up in other places though. Again, I echo what Debbie says. And I add: the guy's a liar, and I can't be placated by his phony apology. The worst line in the whole phony thing full of bad lines and weasel words:
I likewise hope that violent attacks against all civilians will end, which will help set a better framework for commencing negotiations.
This reminds me of when CAIR and other jihadists-in-disguise condemn "all terrorist attacks against all people." Carter hasn't acknowledged the undeniable fact that Palestinians gleefully murder civilians of all stripes on purpose for terrorist and for propaganda purposes. When Israelis accidentally kill a Palestinian kid (which Hamas might be using as a human shield), they express genuine remorse. Carter expresses the same stupid, offensive, and just plain wrong moral equivalence.

It isn't an apology. It's an insult.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Save the Earth Somewhere Else

It seems that some people don't want wind turbines in their backyard, or in the waters by their homes. According to this article,
A proposal to construct a massive wind turbine farm, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of power, over 100 square miles of Lake Michigan, a few miles offshore from Pentwater and Ludington, has many residents howling.

At a meeting in Ludington last week, residents gasped and jaws dropped when developers unveiled drawings showing 100 building-size turbines spinning within sight of Lake Michigan beaches.

"Would anyone put these in the Grand Canyon? This is our Grand Canyon, our beautiful spot," said Pentwater resident Mary Stiphany, adding that the hulking turbines would obstruct views and hurt tourism. "It would be such an eyesore."

The response is an indication that making the dream of alternative energy real in a spot as treasured as the Great Lakes may be harder than imagined. The plan also raises questions that have yet to be answered about offshore wind power in Michigan, such as where turbines belong, how leases would work and who would issue permits.

Satellite data show that some of the strongest winds in the country are offshore, including winds over the Great Lakes.
Personally, I wouldn't want all of those wind turbines in my neighborhood either. They're noisy and ugly and they take up a lot of room. Has anybody ever bothered doing an Environmental Impact Statement on these monsters? Way back many years ago in my college days, working for a local suburb, I had to go out and gather data on a city project to extend a sidewalk, so that an environmental impact statement could be prepared. But this 100 square mile, bird-killing eyesore gets a pass? Apparently we now ask no questions of the apparently green.

While I wouldn't want wind turbines in my backyard, I could easily coexist with a nuclear power plant. They take up much less room to put out the same amount of energy. They're much less of a blot on the landscape. They're much quieter. They don't kill birds. They don't put out any of that nasty carbon dioxide stuff, which by government decree has become a pollutant. And according to Yahoo Answers,
By comparison, the Fermi nuclear power plant near Monroe, Michigan sits on a site of about 2 square miles and produces 1,150 megawatts of electricity 24 hours a day for 18 months straight.
They reliably produce the energy we need to run a modern society. Yes, they produce waste. There will always be some kind of waste or downside to any method of energy production. I can't help thinking though, that most of the growing monetary cost to nuclear energy production and waste disposal is due more to political considerations rather than actual cost. Those brilliant scientific minds who have half of the population of the Earth afraid of climate change caused by that new pollutant, carbon dioxide, have also created a climate of fear when it comes to nuclear energy. If there is any scientific validity to that fear, I'd like to see it so that I too, can be among the enlightened.

When it comes to solar power,
At 5 acres of solar panels per megawatt, you need 5,000 acres of solar panels to equal 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Those solar panels only work at peak power levels during the sunny times, so, on average, they only put out about 25% of their rated capacity. That means you really need 20,000 acres of solar panels to generate 1,000 megwatts of electricity per hour, on average. 20,000 acres is 31.25 square miles.
And the greenies don't want solar panels (or wind farms) in their backyards either.
The New York Times reports on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's latest effort to spur block the development of clean, renewable energy facilities:

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.
So where is the energy to power our country supposed to come from? Maybe The Professor has the answer. Washington and the greenies sure don't.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama Claus

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

That the Profit of One Man is the Damage of Another

Here is one of Michel de Montaigne's shorter essays.
Demades the Athenian—[Seneca, De Beneficiis, vi. 38, whence nearly the whole of this chapter is taken.]—condemned one of his city, whose trade it was to sell the necessaries for funeral ceremonies, upon pretence that he demanded unreasonable profit, and that that profit could not accrue to him, but by the death of a great number of people. A judgment that appears to be ill grounded, forasmuch as no profit whatever can possibly be made but at the expense of another, and that by the same rule he should condemn all gain of what kind soever. The merchant only thrives by the debauchery of youth, the husband man by the dearness of grain, the architect by the ruin of buildings, lawyers and officers of justice by the suits and contentions of men: nay, even the honour and office of divines are derived from our death and vices. A physician takes no pleasure in the health even of his friends, says the ancient Greek comic writer, nor a soldier in the peace of his country, and so of the rest. And, which is yet worse, let every one but dive into his own bosom, and he will find his private wishes spring and his secret hopes grow up at another’s expense. Upon which consideration it comes into my head, that nature does not in this swerve from her general polity; for physicians hold, that the birth, nourishment, and increase of every thing is the dissolution and corruption of another:

Nam quodcumque suis mutatum finibus exit,
Continuo hoc mors est illius, quod fuit ante.

[“For, whatever from its own confines passes changed, this is at once the death of that which before it was.”—Lucretius, ii. 752.]

Can you spell envy? Throughout history haven't there been those who condemn others for being too wealthy - even if the wealth was honestly gained? Are there and have there always been those who will gladly bite off their nose to spite their face by forcing the redistribution of wealth even though that tactic has only caused the general decline of all?

More proof that we humans just don't learn from our mistakes.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poverty in Uganda

I first read this article in the Detroit Free Press. It annoyed me at its simplistic and biased premise. Then it showed up on Little Green Footballs. And it bothered me more. I'm not going to jump on the "let's trash LGF" bandwagon, but for somebody who seems to pride himself on getting all of the information before entering into a fray, this post seems more of a knee jerk by Charles Johnson.
At age 45, after giving birth to 13 children in her village of thatch roofs and bare feet, Beatrice Adongo made a discovery that startled her: birth control.

"I delivered all these children because I didn't know there was another way," said Adongo, who started on a free quarterly contraceptive injection last year. Surrounded by her weary-faced brood, her 21-month-old boy clutching at her faded blue dress, she added glumly: "I fear we are already too many in this family."

On a continent where fewer than one in five married women use modern contraception, an explosion of unplanned pregnancies is threatening to bury Adongo's family and a generation of Africans under a mountain of poverty.

Promoting birth control in Africa faces a host of obstacles — patriarchal customs, religious taboos, ill-equipped public health systems — but experts also blame a powerful, more distant force: the U.S. government.

Under President George W. Bush , the United States withdrew from its decades-long role as a global leader in supporting family planning, driven by a conservative ideology that favored abstinence and shied away from providing contraceptive devices in developing countries, even to married women.
As I recall from just being alive for the past 50 or so years, Uganda has had other problems that have been much larger than a lack of contraception. Remember Idi Amin?
Idi Amin Dada, who became known as the 'Butcher of Uganda' for his brutal, despotic rule whilst president of Uganda in the 1970s, is possibly the most notorious of all Africa's post-independence dictators. Amin seized power in a military coup in 1971 and ruled over Uganda for 8 years. Estimates for the number of his opponents who were either killed, tortured, or imprisoned vary from 100,000 to half a million. He was ousted in 1979 by Ugandan nationalists, after which he fled into exile.
That's got to slow down a society's rise no matter how many children women are having. They got rid of him, but as always on the African continent, more troubles followed. Today, Uganda faces The Lord's Resistance Army, as twisted a group of primitive barbarian thugs as I've ever read about.
The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) , led by Joseph Kony, operated in the north from bases in southern Sudan. The LRA committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children. In addition to destabilising northern Uganda from bases in Sudan, the LRA congregated in the Bunia area in eastern Congo. They linked up with the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) and other rebel groups battling with forces from the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD)
Then there is the AIDS problem and the lack of tourism. Frankly, I'd want to know that I'd be safe from marauding bands of the LRA before I went to visit Uganda. And increased access to contraception will to what to slow down the spread of AIDS? Does the spread of AIDS have any effect on the economy? I'm guessing "yes."

To believe that poverty in Uganda is being caused by lack of birth control is naive. To present it as a news story in order to promote a "green" agenda and take another whack at the Bush Administration is dishonest. Treating the Ugandan population as pawns in this green Bush trashing article is criminal. How does this help Uganda rise out of poverty? It doesn't. In order to raise their standard of living, Ugandans would have to increase their "carbon footprint", and among Greenies that is a mortal sin. Better they should remain poor but have fewer children. That means fewer tiny poverty stricken carbon emitters, and the Greenies can pat themselves on the back for reducing the number of Ugandan poor.

As a final question, once contraception is available to Ugandan women, what will the excuse for Ugandan poverty be in a generation when women only have a child or two? Or will the greenies even care any more?

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Monday, December 14, 2009


I should be updating my own blog. Instead, I'm staying up late and posting here at Conservative Outrage. I'm in the comments section engaging in an argument once again.

Pops puts up with it.

At some point, hopefully this weekend as I will be on vacation for two weeks, I will have something to say about the reason I think that dedicated leftists are so vehemently anti-Israel right here at Garbanzo Toons.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Save a Child's Heart

Here is the mission statement for Save a Child's Heart a medical philanthropic organization based in Israel.
Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries. SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation.

SACH is motivated by the age-old Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. By mending the hearts of children, regardless of their origin, SACH is contributing to a better and more peaceful future for all of our children.

The SACH mission is achieved through:

Providing life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel;

Providing a full outreach training program for the medical personnel from these countries in Israel;

Leading surgical and teaching missions to partner countries in the developing world;

Holding pre-operative and follow-up cardiology clinics in Israel and abroad.
We all know that Israel is not exactly the most popular nation on the planet these days, what with being condemned for - well - I'm actually trying to think of some things that Israel isn't being condemned for. But this humanitarian organization is based right there inside of the "Zionist Entity", aka the "Little Satan," the nexus of all of the evil on the planet . . . if you believe the pronouncements coming from imams, Islamic governments, European bureaucrats, and various "human rights" and "peace" groups.

Here is a video of the 1000th Palestinian child saved by Save a Child's Heart . . . in Israel. Yes, that's right. 1000 Palestinian children have been given the chance to live to adulthood thanks to Israeli doctors who do what the "human rights" groups claim they do - look past nationalities, religion, and ethnicity in order to save children. If you look at the names of many of the children now in Israel from other nations, a lot of them have Muslim names. How many of them will be trained in Jew hatred when they return to their homes? And yet, they are still given the best medical care in the world, certainly better than anything found in the Islamic world. And much more than would be given a Jewish child in the hands of an Islamic nation.

Have any of these morally preening "human rights" dupes done anything comparable to actually preserve human life? Is there any comparable charity in the Islamic world, or have our standards sunk so low that the best we can come up with is, "Hey, they're not all terrorists." The anti Zionists, the Jew haters want us to believe that they're on the moral side, that in supporting a dysfunctional terror-based society, they are doing good for the world. They're the ones who need to visit Save a Child's Heart.

Their souls are dirty.

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