Sunday, November 21, 2010

A World Gone Mad

1. Tolerance. One of the 11/10/10 New York Times editorials discusses a speech by retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The Times describes Stevens' speech as one of the "sanest and most instructive arguments for tolerance...," which they say supports the Ground Zero mosque. They quote Stevens: "Ignorance - that is to say, fear of the unknown - is the source of most insidious prejudice."

Funny thing that "tolerance." It is usually preached to the wrong people; not unlike the "Coexist" bumper sticker preaching to the American people - an unusually tolerant people. In the 11/9/10 USA Today is a report on American born muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. He calls for muslims to kill Americans at will; it is "either us or them." Now there's a tolerant attitude. According to the article, the Obama administration says Awlaki is wanted dead or alive. Now that's the kind of tolerance I can relate to.

2. Illegal aliens get in-state tuition. The California Supreme Court has upheld the statute allowing in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens attending three years of in-state high school, a savings of up to $23,000. per year, per the 11/16/10 LA Times. So an American citizen from, say, Arizona or Nevada, gets to pay the extra $23,000. Does this make sense? (Let's put aside for a moment the issue of whether or not someone here illegally should be allowed a university seat that may then be denied to a California resident/American citizen. And let it be noted that this writer is in favor of higher education.)

In support of the ruling, the LA Times relates the story of a 20 year old student at UCLA who "had to drop out of school for a quarter to work and took low-cost community college courses at night so she would not fall behind." First, if we offer the benefit of in-state tuition to illegals, does that enourage or discourage more to come illegally? Second, the elitists at the Times obviously do not realize that California residents who are American citizens experience the same financial hardships. This writer's son works two jobs while carrying a heavy class load. Maybe some students cannot afford the UC's; that still leaves the Cal State University system as well as the community colleges.

Maybe the Times, being so compassionate (not to the taxpayers, of course), would like to see a minimum number of slots assured to illegals (50%?)at all of the UC's. (I know, I should not give them any ideas.) I am sure the taxpayers would like nothing more than to see their money going towards people here illegally, possibly to the detriment of their own children and grandchildren.

3. Death panels. The 11/17/10 Investor's Business Daily discusses the issue of "death panels" under Obamacare. Paul Krugman, liberal commentator and supporter of Britain's National Health Institute, said on ABC's "This Week" that we will need a "combination of death panels and sales taxes" to meet the financial burdens of Obamacare. He later explained that he was using the phrase "death panels" sarcastically. Fair enough.

But he then explained what he really meant; that to control costs there will have to be "consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we're willing to spend for extreme care." So...death panels? And what is considered "extreme care" for someone else, will be considered "life and death" when it's your family.

Nonetheless, Krugman has no authority over us. But Dr. Donald Berwick does, as the head of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Per Dr. Berwick, at some point we have to decide if a "particular additional benefit (new drug or medical intervention)is so expensive that our taxpayers have better use for those funds." But it will not be the txpayers deciding that, it will be a bureaucrat. A bureaucrat deciding what treatments are sufficiently helpful - but not too costly - to save your life. You know, death panels! But they will have some nice bureaucratic name for it that will do the opposite of what it says (maybe the Agency for Assuring End of Life Care).

So on this issue I side with that favorite liberal punching bag - Sarah Palin. Per Palin: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil." But then again, this writer sent three letters to the LA Times arguing for the life of Terri Schiavo. But a paper that put no value on her human life and could not wait to see her put to death, published none of them.

4. Sarah Palin. And speaking of Sarah Palin, with the 2012 Presidential election campaign beginning in earnest next year, you can expect to see the mainstream media putting out one negative piece after the next about her. Those who read only the mainstream media often buy into all the Big Lies (and to name a few): the poor palestinians just want peace; Israeli settlements are the problem; Islam is a religion of peace; if you oppose gay marriage it can only be because you are a hateful bigot; and, of course, compared to other politicians (rather, democrat politicians) Sarah Palin is stupid, as was Bush, Reagan, Ford and the Republicans in general.

But the Dems? One more brilliant and qualified than the next. Or so they say. Al Gore? He got worse college grades than Bush; and dropped out of divinity school with five "F's." Law School? Dropped out. Biden? Yes, a law school graduate, but finished 76 out of 85 in his class. (And probably more verbal gaffes than any living politician.) Kerry? Missed one-half of the questions on his military aptitude test. But at least he had a good explanation: "I must have been drinking the night before." (Info on above politicians from an article by Larry Elder in the 11/16/10 IBD.) Does this mean that Republican politicians are all stellar examples of intelligence and integrity? Of course not. But when the campaign heats up, look for most of the blistering attacks from mainstream media outlets to focus on Palin and other Republicans. (You know, the same people who did not think Rev. Wright was even a story until one year after it broke on Fox News.)

5. It's the settlements - still. Israel recently announced 1000 new housing units for Jerusalem. As expected, Obama said: "this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations." Netanyahu tried to set Obama straight: "Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel." Head negotiator for the P.A., Saeb Erekat used the occassion to say Israeli actions were "a call for immediate international recognition of the Palestinian state." No surprise there, as they know that for the first time ever they have a US president who will not protect Israel at the UN next year if Israel does not make "peace" on Obama's terms.

Of course, the LA Times agrees that settlements are a main obstacle to peace. They write in their 11/11/10 editorial: "Four decades during which the international community has been demanding that Israel step back to the pre-1967 lines, four decades during which Palestinians have called for an end to Israeli efforts to redraw the political map."

In an article in the 11/21/10 NY Times Ethan Bronner expresses that a failure of the peace process will likely result in further violence. He notes: "Ten years ago, when peace talks led by President Bill Clinton at Camp David fell apart, the second Palestinian uprising broke out, leading to exploding buses, suicide bombings and harsh Israeli countermeasures." This is the kind of reporting and opinion writing we can expect from the mainstream media. The peace talks did not "fall apart" ten years ago. Instead, Yassir Arafat walked out on a furious President Clinton, after Israeli P.M. Ehud Barak offered a Palestinian state. Buses did not just start exploding; Arafat and the Palestinians chose to engage in another "intifada" - they chose violence over peace. The Palestinians were the ones blowing up buses and using suicide (homicide) bombers, blowing up innocent people on buses, in cafes and even at a Passover Seder.

But that was then. Maybe the Arabs have become nicer since then. In the 11/15/10 LA Times, they write in their editorial that one Walid Husayin faces life in prison for insulting the g-d of Islam. The Times suggests that this man's case "needs to be handled with care, and would be best be resolved with a slap on the wrist." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of free speech from this media outlet. Then again, they do not give much of an endorsement to the Palestinian Authority "which controls the West Bank, (and) is not among the more repressive governments in the Arab world." (Although they will sentence you to death if you sell land to an Israeli. So not so bad a regime, right?) These are the people that Israel should trust when it to comes to their own national security? Quite stunning!

In an article in the 11/9/10 LA Times, Patrick Goldstein discusses a movie on the Middle East entitled "Precious Life." The movies focuses on how an Israeli reporter helped get a four month old baby out of Gaza to get treatment in Israel for a rare immune disorder. After the "niceties," the mother then discusses the politics of the region. "Let's not discuss the Temple (the Jewish Temple destroyed 2000 years ago). It is the source of all of our problems." Really? And then this bombshell: if her baby survives he would rightfully become a suicide bomber. So the hatred and anti-semitism is as strong as ever - even in the mother of a baby the Israelis were trying to save.

So are the Palestinians "nicer" today than when Arafat walked out on Clinton and Barak? Notwithstanding the above, and notwithstanding that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza regularly call for Israel's destruction, the LA Times holds onto their belief that peace can be achieved; and Israel only needs to go back to the pre-1967 borders. The borders which, the Times fails to mention, were nothing other than the armistace lines following Israel's War of Independence fought in 1948 and 1949. The war in which six Arab countries attacked in effort to wipe Israel off the map, after Israel declared their independence. No treaty exists accepting those borders as "permanent" borders. And after the Palestinians get their country in the West Bank and Gaza, what then? Sixty two years after Israeli independence, who thinks the Arabs will then be content with what they get?

As Dennis Prager wrote in the LA Jewish Journal of 11/19/10-11/25/10, "I wish settlements were the issue." Then peace would be easy. Instead, he recounts the 1948 attack by the Arabs, the 1967 war, the 3 "no's" of Khartoum (no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition of Israel), the intifadas, Arafat walking out on peace, and an Arab media that regularly broadcasts the most vile and disgusting comments about Jews and Israel. To ignore the reality of the Palestinian world and to blame Israeli "settlements" for the lack of peace is, quite obviously, to let one's beliefs dictate one's reality.