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Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Don't Drink the Fascist Tea

This week the liberal media and its assorted band of activists lost their minds over Arizona. The treatment of the state over a simple law checking immigration status showed how quickly the collective insanity of the left can rear its ugly head. In a matter of a week, Arizona was being treated as if it was one of the states in the Civil War. Boycotts of Long Island manufactured of Arizona tea were being declared. As well as boycotts of Arizona tourism, 20 percent of which benefits Native American tribes.

Naturally Governor Brewer was quickly being compared to Hitler. Because to the left, anyone to the right of them is Hitler. (But if you compare them to the Communists, then you're guilty of Red Baiting. Even if they actually are Communists. Especially if they actually are Communists.)

And the lunacy continues. Protesters at Wrigley Field chanted "Boycott Arizona" because the Diamondbacks were playing there. What do the Diamondbacks have to do with immigration? They're from Arizona, aren't they?

The irony is that the same left which screams about collective punishment in Gaza, where an entire population voted for Hamas, is thrilled about the idea of boycotting an entire state and any businesses in it, or even businesses with the same name... in order to "Send a Message."

This is of course exactly the same kind of reasoning that sends them into hysterical rage and violent satire when expressed by a Donald Rumsfeld or a Dick Cheney. But of course collective punishment is perfectly okay when a US State passes a law that they disagree with.

And so this being Chicago, one Leone Jose Bicchieri decided to bring a bullhorn to Wrigley Field and scream against Arizona. Leone Jose Bicchieri runs the Chicago Workers Collaborative and a senior fellow at the Center for New Community. And of course an SEIU organizer. Because the Purple Shirts have to keep on marching.

Jose Serrano with Dictator Hugo Chavez
Then there was Congressman Jose Serrano, only the 14th most embarrassing congressman from New York (but that's only because of stiff competition from such luminaries as Charles Rangel, Nydia Velasquez, Eric Massa, Jerold "The Waddler" Nadler and Paul Tonko) demanded that Major League Baseball change the site of the All Star Game from Pheonix... to perhaps his native Bronx.

Which means Serrano now wants to use Congress to control where All Star Games can happen. Par for the course in the Obama Regime.

But this will now make Jose Serrano famous for something else besides trying to constantly repeal the 22nd Amendment. Now he can be known for trying to dictate where baseball games can be held. Speaking as a New Yorker, I would much rather go to baseball games in Arizona, than in the Bronx. Real prairie beats urban prairie, any day of the week. The Bronx after all is our Detroit.

But just to get in on the act, Failed LA Mayor Villaraigosa came forward in support of something without a "Million" in the title, for support. Support for boycotting Arizona. Included are tragic sob stories like this...
For Erica Jimenez, Arizona’s law is personal.

“We have some other family members living in Arizona, so now they’re worried," Jimenez said as she stood outside Los Angeles City Hall, where vendors are selling an array of ethnic food.

Her uncle lives in Phoenix. He is undocumented. His U.S.-born children are not.

"They’re trying to move out as fast as they can," she said. "Most of them are going back to Mexico."

So in other words the law is working as it was intended to.

But the people who have mismanaged California into the ground and destroyed its economy... will now try to destroy Arizona's economy. But if they're really serious about doing that, a boycott is not the best approach.

If Villaraigosa is really serious about destroying Arizona's economy, he should just move there and run for office. Once elected he can do for Arizona, what he did for LA.

Besides for all the high horse riding here by California pols, California voters would love to have the same laws in place that Arizona does. They would too, if activist judges didn't do their best to suppress democracy. So Los Angeles and San Francisco city governments should start by boycotting their own state.

The Gate has an article making a variation on that same point...

When Proposition 8, the ballot initiative outlawing same-sex marriage, passed in November 2008, "we got calls threatening to boycott California," recalls Joe D'Alessandro, CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We told them they were going to hurt the very LGBT businesses they were trying to support."

That's one reason why D'Alessandro is opposed to the boycott-Arizona movement, especially when it comes to travel. "It hurts the people it's supposed to help," he said. In this case, mostly workers in Arizona's hospitality industries - including, of course, Latinos - should the boycott, as San Francisco leaders appear to want, have some bite.

...

Steve Falk, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, feels the same way about San Francisco's boycott plans, having received similar messages.

"And a reverse boycott would hurt San Francisco businesses and employees more than elected leaders making bad policy decisions," he said.

A price worth paying? It's difficult to see how San Francisco Housing Authority director Henry Alvarez canceling his appearance this weekend at a regional housing and redevelopment conference in Scottsdale hurts Arizona or helps San Francisco.

Yes, it would have been useful, Alvarez acknowledges, to have shared San Francisco's experience with project-based housing voucher programs - the subject of his panel - and to learn from other municipal housing officials in these tough times. "But I have no regrets." he said.

"I'm an African American with a Latino name. I could easily be one of the people stopped on the street in Arizona. I think we have to do something, although I'm not sure what it is."

... we have to do something but I'm not sure what that is.

With brilliant leadership like that, I think it's pretty clear why California is in the state that it is now.

But common sense can't possibly stop angry liberals who toss out Nazism and Apartheid like buzz words at a synergy convention.

Meanwhile the source of SF's fiscal problems remains a complete and absolutely unsolvable mystery. (Much like why Leno is asking California's Austrian born Governor with an approval rating slightly higher than that of Charles Manson if he'd want to run for President.)

More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco's nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year - a number that has been growing steadily for the past decade. The number of city workers paid at least $100,000 in base salary totaled 6,449 last year. When such extras as overtime are included, the number jumped to 9,487 workers, nearly eight times the number from a decade ago. And that calculation doesn't include the cost of often-generous city benefits such as health care and pensions.

But in a whole other story out of California, Monica Showalter tells the story of California's Man Made Drought
Would France rip out its storied vineyards? Would Juan Valdez scorch Colombia's coffee crop? Sri Lanka its black pepper harvest? China its tea?

But then there's California.

On a springtime drive through the Central Valley, it's hard not to notice how federal and state governments are hell-bent on destroying the state's top export — almonds — and everything else in the nation's most productive farmland.

Instead of pink blossoms and green shoots along Highway 5 in April, vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water. For every fallow field, there's a sign that farmers have placed alongside the highway: "No Water = No Food," "No Water = No Jobs," "Congress Created Dust Bowl."

Locals say it's been like this for two years now, as Congress and bureaucrats cite "drought," "global warming" and "endangered species" to deny water to this $37 billion breadbasket through arbitrary "environmental" quotas.

The entire article is worth reading for a shocking look at what federal centralization and environmentalist zealotry has planned for all of us.

Some blogs have covered the case of a woman being denied protection under New Jersey's shield law. However I don't know that this is the best test case, considering that the woman wrote her comments on a message board. One of the reasons stated in the decision was;

"defendant had no control over the operation of the Web site and made no editorial or journalistic contribution to it by posting her comments. Nor did she represent herself to be a newsperson in her posts."

And she doesn't appear to have had a working website or blog

"Despite defendant's announcement, however, the website was never fully launched and therefore published no findings. Although defendant said that the "front end of [the website] was a news magazine," she did not identify any journalist hired, and admitted that "that portion of the site was still being worked on and was not live."

She created no independent product of her own nor made a material substantive contribution to the work of others. As the motion judge found, defendant herself admitted that she had never actually published anything in Pornafia, "and thus there is little evidence (other than her own self-serving statement) that [defendant] actually intended to disseminate anything newsworthy to the general public."

and
As the motion judge correctly observed, Oprano operated as a "message board," which is "no more than a forum for . . . conversation." We agree with his observation:

To extend the newsperson's privilege to such posters would mean anyone with an email address, with no connection to any legitimate news publication, could post anything on the internet and hide behind the Shield Law's protections. Certainly, this was not the intention of the Legislature in passing the statute.

So bloggers who are targeted over what they write on their own blogs and state that they cover news may not be as vulnerable as it seems. But the decision does demean the idea of bloggers as legitimate news providers and investigators. Calling her a blogger and the comments about news media vs new media are ugly and reek of a problematic decision which picked on a weak case in order to bash new media.

The decision very questionably uses a rule from a criminal case in order to define what a newsperson is. The likely reason this was done, was in order to find an archaic loophole to define 'journalist' as narrowly as possible, even while the judge admitted that the State had regularly upheld a broad definition. That means this decision itself is not likely to hold up.

You can see the problematic transition here... from

The Supreme Court has recognized the Legislature's "intent to preserve a far-reaching newsperson's privilege in this State[,]" Maressa v. New Jersey Monthly, 89 N.J. 176, 187, cert. denied, 459 U.S. 907, 103 S. Ct. 211, 74 L. Ed. 2d 169 (1982), and that the privilege was intended "to be as broad as possible." State v. Boiardo,

to

Although the statutory procedure detailed in paragraph (b) is specific to requests by criminal defendants, In re Schuman, 114 N.J. 14, 27 (1989), we discern no reason not to apply the more traditional rules

It's legal sleight of hand and smacks of an agenda

The ruling claims that

However, the fact of presenting information on a new, different medium, even if capable of reaching a wider audience more readily, does not make it "news," for purposes of qualifying for the newsperson's privilege. Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media. There is, of necessity, a distinction between, on the one hand, personal diaries, opinions, impressions and expressive writing and, on the other hand, news reporting. The transmission or dissemination of a "message" through the new medium of the Internet, or the display of one's content or comment thereon, does not necessarily entitle the author or writer to the same protection as a "newsperson." Although any attempt at defining "news" would ultimately prove illusory, some delimiting standards must pertain lest anyone with a webpage or who posts materials on the Internet would qualify.

But besides demeaning the idea of bloggers or new media sources as being engaged in news gathering cites no real evidence for this line of attack. This sticks out all the more because the next paragraph defines the shield law as focusing on the process, not the medium

We read New Jersey's Shield Law to similarly focus on the news process rather than the medium or mode through which the news is disseminated to the public.

But if anything the ruling does highlight the importance for bloggers to self-identify themselves as being engaged in investigative and editorial work.

Defendant has produced no credentials or proof of affiliation with any recognized news entity, nor has she demonstrated adherence to any standard of professional responsibility regulating institutional journalism, such as editing, fact-checking or disclosure of conflicts of interest. Defendant's only proof that Pornafia qualifies as a news medium is a press release she issued only months before her allegedly defamatory statements appeared on electronic bulletin boards operated by others. The press release publicized that Pornafia was an "information exchange" about fraud in the adult entertainment industry, and its "aim" was to provide "a cost free information resource for victims, potential victims, legitimate industry players, and pertinent government agencies worldwide." However, the statement was vague as to how exactly defendant intended to accomplish Pornafia's goals. Were people simply going to post comments about their experiences, with defendant providing the platform for that "information exchange"? Was defendant going to provide links to other outside sources of information? Did defendant intend to do any "investigative reporting" to provide content for the site?

And this opened the door to the decision. And it's why self-identification is a must. Because it puts the burden of proof on the other side to show that you are not a journalist.

To sum up, the defendant's lawyer appears to have argued the case sloppily, the defendant was not a blogger and is being sued over message board comments-- but the court decision seems to have very little understanding understanding of the internet, relies on dated precedents and goes out of its way to bash bloggers.

This is why it's important to self-identify, because libel lawsuit threats are one way that companies and powerful people will try to silence dissenting voices.

In New York, two Muslim men were charged with trying to help Al Queda. Just par for the course on the homefront.

Via Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Professor Louis Rene Beres warns that Iran, which has produced its share of Suicide Bombers, may become the world's first Suicide State

Meanwhile as Gilad Shalit has been held captive for 1400 days, Israel provided medical treatment to the daughter of Hamas leader Elham Fathi Hammad and helped transport her.

Israel Matzav says that Israel stupidly failed to get something about Shalit in exchange for the treatment, but then again, Israel has kept providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, only to be accused of genocide. And  considering that Hammad has four wives (the maximum legally allowed to a Muslim who isn't Mohammed), he might actually consider one daughter to be expendable. This is a region where daughters are routinely killed at birth simply for not being boys.

So for Hammad forcing the Israeli and Jordanian governments to hold consultations was much more likely a way to show off Hamas' newfound clout, then any actual humanitarian concerns.

In another piece of surreal irony, Barghouti, who is calling for an academic boycott of Israel... is actually a student at Tel Aviv University.

Omar Barghouti is a co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PCABI), which claims that the “entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel...resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa.”  PACBI calls for the “refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” and advocates for a “comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels.”

Barghouti is a frequent speaker on Israeli “apartheid” at NGO events (e.g. War on Want). Amnesty International timed its factually challenged November 2009 report, “Troubled Waters,” to coincide with Barghouti’s speaking tour in the US, linking water issues to “Israeli apartheid.”

Surprisingly, Barghouti is also a PhD student at Tel Aviv University – a fact that negates his charge of Israeli “apartheid,” and an affiliation seemingly incongruous with his boycott of “any form of academic and cultural cooperation” with Israel.

When asked about his hypocrisy, Barghouti said; “My studies at Tel Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.”

As opposed to everyone else's studies at Israeli universities, which he considers to be a public matter. Naturally Tel Aviv U has refused to expel him, even as he calls for an international boycott of it. This takes us back to Steven Plaut, who has accurately said that

A Jewish liberal is someone who thinks that Mexicans with no US visa have the right to move to East Los Angeles but Jews must be prevented from moving to East Jerusalem.

That seems to sum up things this week rather nicely...

Continuing the roundup, Iran has been elected to the UN Commission on Women's Rights. Which is a little like David Duke being appointed to a Commission on Civil Rights. Especially what with a current bid in Iran to arrest women who have suntans. (Suntans continue to be legal for Iranian Muslim males.)

Europeans living in countries with growing Muslim populations might be advised to stock up on their quota of suntans now.

On the AGW front, Jennifer M. Cohen, PhD. has been working on a critical analysis of some of the science in the debate. Her Review of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network Version 2: Adjusted Temperature Record for Penn. is available as a PDF here. to the Citizen Audit Report of the UN Climate Bible. Anyone interested in combating the AGW myth with science would be advised to read these.


But in a less scientific explanation, a Muslim cleric affiliated with Hamas is claiming that Iceland's volcanic problem is Allah's punishment for infidels. I don't know exactly why Allah hates Iceland so much, but being  desert god maybe he doesn't like the cold very much.


"Oh Jihad fighters, people of Ribat (religious war). We heard and we saw what happened at the beginning of this week in Europe [volcanic ash covering airspace]: Some of Allah's brigades struck Europe with His force... this caused great loss of property and of life - only Allah knows their extent. A devastating volcanic eruption sent by Allah, paralyzed all movement, and a state of emergency was declared, and passenger flights were cancelled, and it struck the Infidels and polytheists with fear and terror...

So it seems Allah's Brigades are nothing but hot air.


In Book News, Alex Grobman has a book out on The Palestinian Right to Israel, a book that critiques the Islamic myth of their right to Israel.


THE ARAB/ISRAELI CONFLICT is among the most intractable disputes in the world today. In this meticulously researched and well-written work, historian Alex Grobman systematically and methodically exposes the myths and lies about the Arab right to the land of Israel. Grobman traces the historical, religious and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after the end of Jewish sovereignty in 70 CE; dispels the Arab claim that Palestine is a “twice promised land,” because the British pledged it to both the Arabs and the Jews; examines the Arab reaction to the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration to Palestine that established a precedent for dealing with Arabs that continues to this day; and describes Arab activities during WWII to thwart an Allied victory.
Also there is Grains of Sand - The Fall of Neve Dekalim from Shifra Shomron


Set in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, Israel, "Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim" is told through the vantage point of teenager Efrat Yefet, a high school student living under the dual threat of Arab attacks and the Israeli government's 2005 Disengagement plan to destroy her town and adjacent communities. She, along with family, friends, and neighbors, try to lead ordinary lives as the ever-encroaching conflict gets closer, and the whole community joins efforts to save their beautiful towns from destruction.

With an insightful and poignant voice Ms. Shifra Shomron, a teenager who experienced it first-hand, plunges the reader into the front row seat. She draws on universal themes including faith, family, identity, loss, and hope to weave a compelling story that grows in intensity.


From Caroline Glick, via Doc's Talk


Bipartisan support for Israel has been one of the greatest casualties of US President Barack Obama's assault on the Jewish state. Today, as Republican support for Israel reaches new heights, support for Israel has become a minority position among Democrats. Consider the numbers. During Operation Cast Lead -- eleven days before Obama's inauguration -- the House of Representatives passed Resolution 34 siding with Israel against Hamas. The resolution received 390 yea votes, five nay votes and 37 abstentions. Democrats cast four of the nay votes and 29 of the abstentions.

Again I want to remind readers that I will be in Los Angeles at the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivor's forum on Watch Dog Media Bites Lap Dog Media. You can RSVP here. We'll be discussing the role of new media in confronting the mainstream media. (Click to Enlarge)





Finally Ted Belman at Israpundit reprints Haetzni's article and warns that There Will Be No Diplomatic Solution


 In light of these reservations, Obama’s attack on Israel is groundless since the conditions that would obligate Israel to the Road Map haven’t been met at all. Since May 23, 2003, the date the government obligated itself to these reservations, we’ve heard nothing about them, as if they vanished into a black hole. At the time, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told us: you can decide among yourselves whatever you want, but just as no one consulted you when we formed the Quartet or formulated the Road Map, no one’s cares about your “reservations” now. Today, it appears that she was right: Israel’s reservations aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The Secretary of State’s position was indeed correct: the Road Map was a dictate and no one heard the Israeli poodle’s whimper of protest in the form of “reservations”.

Here, with the Road Map, was the beginning of our loss of independence: we subjugated ourselves to the Quartet, we agreed to be supervised and judged by their inspectors, we gave them the authority to convene international conventions with the power to declare Palestinian independence, and we accepted the principle that the Arabs have legitimate claims to Jerusalem and regarding the refugees — all under the umbrella of the Saudi Initiative. All this, in addition to the obligation to freeze settlements and destroy outposts.

We waged our first war of independence against the British and the Arab armies when we were very weak ­ we had a population of 650,000, which is the same as the population of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem today. We had almost no arms, only a nascent army, and no economy — we were like a newborn baby, naked and vulnerable. Those conditions are incomparable with our situation now. And yet, despite our current strength and resources, if we aren’t now willing to undertake the risks and hardships entailed in a second war for our independence, we’re likely to loose everything we achieved in our first war of independence.

8 comments:

Guy said...

San Franciscans refuse to visit states that enforce immigration law. Wow! Now there are two reasons to enforce immigration laws. Woo-hoo! Let's get on it!

The NJ Shield Law should be rejected because it creates a privileged class with extra rights.

Miriam said...

ah! I see your picture! lol.

Keli Ata said...

The new picture looks terrific. Best of luck to you on the media forum:)

Shavua tov, Daniel:)




The Shield Law for bloggers...very interesting. VERY interesting indeed. But how many bloggers covering or commenting on the news are willing to identify themselves? That is an excellent point.


As for the Arizona immigration law. I don't see why people are in an uproar about. It's simply enforcing the law. You can't be in the country illegally. Period.

It's worth remembering that thousands do enter the country legally. They don't break the law and typically become loyal Americans, unlike those entering illegally.

My grandparents came the legal way and were proud, law-abiding, productive Americans.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

thank you

the self-identification refers to identifying that you are engaged in journalistic activity

it seems as if liberal activists preference illegal immigrations over legal ones

Anonymous said...

"Congressman Jose Serrano demanded that Major League Baseball change the site of the All Star Game from Phoenix... to perhaps his native Bronx. Leone Jose Bicchieri, an SEIU organizer, brought a bullhorn to Wrigley Field and scream against Arizona."

The habits of thought that create fascism are now the default mode of thought for a majority of Americans.

Keli Ata said...

Personally, I think in the US it is a good idea for bloggers reporting and commenting on the news--serious bloggers--to self identify. It's a form of protection and if, G-d forbid, this gov't ever gets to the point of harassing bloggers, media protection groups, RCFP and CPJ will be more likely to offer assistance.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sultan,
I see you quote Caroline (and not for the first time). There is another great journalist at Jpost, Sarah Honig. I hope you read her too and sometimes you can bring quotes from her articles. Without these 2 great women Jpost is just another rag like Ynet.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes I strongly agree. Sarah Honig is fantastic on internal Israeli politics.

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