OK, it was a very tiny slip, but I can’t help mentioning it:
President Obama is speaking at a press conference in Canada following his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and began his remarks by saying “It’s good to be here in Io…Ottawa.” Clearly he was starting to say Iowa.
And this just a few days after Obama mispronounced the mane of Congresswoman Diana DeGette (he said “de-jet” instead of “de-get"), whose Denver district he was in to sign the spendulus bill.
As he keeps speaking in Canada, it’s more of Obama’s usual “uh", “um", etc. And doesn’t anyone notice that Obama can’t say “to"? It’s always “tuh", the way an uneducated third-grader might say it. For some reason, that particular one really gets under my skin. Maybe that’s why he does it.
I can’t help enjoying seeing him look so much less impressive than liberals seem to expect of The Chosen One. Actually, they don’t notice his flaws, small or large, so this stuff is really just preaching to the choir, mostly because it’s fun.
Several months ago, the publisher of Alan Dershowitz’s new book, “The Case Against Israel’s Enemies” sent me a copy of the book to review. Although it’s taken me far too long to get to it, I have finally read the book…and I encourage you to read it as well.
It took some courage to ask me to review Dershowitz, a guy who other than on this issue I generally disagree with. But on the issue of Israel’s enemies, not least its enemies within America, Dershowitz is right on target.
In a continuation of their ongoing battle, Professor Dershowitz levels some of his fiercest criticism at former president Jimmy Carter, who is at best a naïve dupe and at worst a sell-out to Middle Eastern tyrants.
Dershowitz shows Carter not simply to be philosophically in error, but also to be a bald-faced liar regarding his “facts” about the Israel-Palestinian issue. Carter wrote a book comparing the situation in Gaza and the West Bank to apartheid. Dershowitz explains not only how that highly inflammatory term is absolutely inapplicable, but how Carter (1) does not even define the term, (2) only uses the word three times in the text, so clearly chose it just to have a catchy title, and (3) only applies the term to Israel despite other situations around the world where it might be much more applicable, such as in Darfur.
Basically, Dershowitz makes Carter look like a liar and an idiot, with Carter’s substantial assistance by his refusal to debate Dershowitz to support his own book’s outrageous claims.
Carter has accepted money from Arab sheiks and Holocaust-denying “think tanks”. He goes out of his way to say that Palestinian missiles fired at random civilian targets in Israel do not qualify as terrorism. And Dershowitz makes an argument that Carter may have encouraged Yasser Arafat (whom Carter wrote about in pleasant, almost glowing terms) to torpedo the Camp David peace talks.
At the end of the book, Dershowitz has an additional 20-page appendix (in small print) of errors in Jimmy Carter’s book.
Another major target of Professor Dershowitz is the anti-semitic duo of Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer who made a name for themselves saying that the “Israel Lobby” controls American government and media. Dershowitz takes them apart and leave them a bloody mess…but of course people who believe things such as what Walt and Mearsheimer write aren’t susceptible to logic and facts.
Later chapters in Dershowitz’s book explain the danger posed by Israel’s local and distant enemies, from far-left and far-right academics and media personalities, terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran and their seemingly insane president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
While many of the arguments that Dershowitz makes have been seen elsewhere, they have rarely been seen so cogently and in one volume. One area of explanation which I found particularly useful and interest was his description of the involvement of the man who was essentially the founder of Palestinian Islamic extremism, Haj Amin al-Husseini, with Adolf Hitler. It’s a devastating response to the criticism that the Jews should be given land in Europe instead of in the Middle East because the Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust. As Dershowitz puts it, “It is fair to conclude that the official leader of the Muslims in Palestine…was a full-fledged Nazi war criminal, and he was so declared and sought by Yugoslavia as a war criminal after the war.”
Some of Dershowitz’s evidence: “Husseini’s significant contributions to the Holocaust were multifold: first, he pleaded with Hitler to exterminate European Jewry and advised the Nazis on how to do so; second, he visited Auschwitz with Eichmann and urged Eichmann and Himmler to accelerate the pace of the mass murder; third, he personally stopped 4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults, from leaving Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed; fourth, he prevented another two thousand Jews from leaving Romania for Palestine and one thousand from leaving Hungary for Palestine who were subsequently sent to death camps; fifth, he organized the killing of Bosnian Jews by Muslims, who he recruited to the Waffen-SS Nazi-Bosnian division. He was also one of the few non-Germans who was made privy to the Nazi extermination while it was taking place… Husseini personally has the blood of more than twenty thousand Jewish children and adults on his hands.”
I haven’t included a lot of quotes from the book in this brief review because the book is relatively short and I encourage you to read it yourselves. It is excellent intellectual ammunition against the liars and haters who oppose the very existence of Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and one of America’s closest allies.
Allow me to conclude with some of Alan Dershowitz’s conclusion:
“Israel is the only country in the world that is accused by its enemies of practicing apartheid without racism; of perpetrating a Holocaust without gas chambers; of engaging in genocide without mass murder; of committing war crimes without targeting civilians; and of being the worst human rights violator in the world, while having one of the most responsive legal systems in the world. This is accusation by metaphor, prosecution by propaganda, trial by bigotry, guilt by hyperbole, and sentence by sloganeering.”
Dershowitz has done us a great service by writing this book, and despite all the other areas in which one might disagree with a Harvard liberal, this book should be required reading for anyone reading, writing, or thinking about the past and the future of the Middle East.
A day after signing a bill that will likely cost American taxpayers more than $3 trillion over the next decade, Barack Obama announced today that his interest in interfering in private contracts and forcing all Americans to absorb the losses for bad decisions by some Americans remains as strong as ever.
As the media continues it’s fawning with headlines like “Obama’s housing plan ‘to help 9m’” and “Obama aiming high with housing plan”, Obama is announcing that he will have the government redistribute $75 billion of taxpayer money to homeowners who are near foreclosure or help people make their mortgage payments.
The disgusting truth is contained in Obama’s statement that “All of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis.” Indeed, Obama is forcing those of us who either bought only as much home as we could afford or those of us, like my former business partner, who decided to rent because he thought real estate was in a bubble, to pay for the investing (or often more like gambling) losses of those who took out loans they never should have taken…and probably wouldn’t have been given except for pressure from government.
My taxes and my former partner’s taxes will be higher forever because Obama is forcing us to pay for other peoples’ stupid or greedy decisions. It reminds me of a bunch of people going out for dinner with the understanding that they’ll all be splitting the check. Every person but one orders a beer and a modest dinner. One person orders a bottle of Dom Perignon, an appetizer of caviar, and a main course of lobster tails, knowing that he’ll be laying off most of the cost on the others. Actually, the situation is worse than this. It’s more like people who all went to dinner separately, and then the restaurant manager comes to several tables and tell them they each must contribute to the last guy’s extravagant meal because he can’t afford it…even though he knew he couldn’t afford it when he bought it.
Had I known this was coming, I would have bought a much bigger house and then let the government force the bank to let me have it at a discount!
It’s true that the proposal isn’t quite as bad as it could be, aiming at people who are currently paying mortgages. But the bottom line remains: The government is forcing the losses of those who made bad decisions on to the rest of us. Imagine the furor if a Republican President suggested that people whose stock market investments had dropped should get an transfer of money from those who for whatever reason lost much less in the market.
In addition, Obama also wants to let judges modify mortgages…and not just the interest rates, but also the principal amounts, letting them reduce it to “fair market value”. This interference in a private contract is an extremely dangerous precedent to set. Can you imagine the pall that will cast over an already-reeling mortgage business? What banker will ever give a mortgage except to someone who really doesn’t need it, knowing that a judge can just say that the borrower suddenly doesn’t have to pay back the whole loan?
What’s next, car loans? Industrial loans? What contract is sacred in the world of Obama?
And don’t forget: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee the principal on billions of dollars of mortgage securities (essentially bonds whose interest payment comes from mortgage payments on the mortgages contained in them). Any reduction in the principal amount of the mortgages contained in those securities will have to be made up to the bond holders by the GSE’s, whose primary source of funds is now taking money from taxpayers! So, reducing principal amounts isn’t just screwing the lenders (which the Democrats seem to think sounds like fun), but it’s also screwing the responsible taxpayer in essentially the same way that the proposed outright cash transfers do.
Here’s a thought: If the law passes, it should include a provision that the judge also has the authority to raise either the interest rate or the principal due on a loan. Much in the way that a loser in a court proceeding can be forced to pay the winner’s court costs, as a bit of incentive not to bring frivolous or merit-less lawsuits.
At least three hundred Coloradoans, many holding up giant checks in the amount of $30,000 representing the new debt piled on every American by Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats protested the signing of the stimulus bill on Tuesday in Denver.
Even kids were there, protesting the Generational Theft Act.
About a dozen state legislators and elected officials spoke (all Republicans, of course), in an event organized by Americans for Prosperity with help from the Independence Institute, Michelle Malkin, and the Peoples Press Collective…where you can go to see many more pictures of the event.
A few liberals were there, but they failed to shout down the enthusiastic anti-"stimulus” crowd, many of whom were holding signs with references to Atlas Shrugged, to our children’s new debt, to pork, even to Hayek and Mises.
Nathan, a black pot-bellied pig was trotted out as the guest of honor, “stealing the other team’s mascot", as Jon Caldara put it.
After the various speakers, Michelle Malkin was the honorary server of pork sandwiches from a roast pig delivered just for the event. (Nathan was moved away from the area to prevent emotional trauma, in case any liberals might have been concerned.)
And of course, I was there with one of my favorite t-shirts:
Here’s in important article by James Delingpole over at Human Events about the British government destroying free speech in the nation of the Magna Carta because of threats from a Muslim:
see “Free Speech is Dead in England", James Delingpole, 2/17/09
According to a new story, “GM said it could need up to $30 billion from the Treasury Department, up from a previous estimate of $18 billion. That includes $13.4 billion previously allocated and $9.1 billion in new loans. The world’s largest automaker said it could run out of money by March without new funds.”
And trying to threaten the government and the public, they added this: “The auto maker said a traditional bankruptcy could cost as much as $100 billion.”
My guess is that the Dems in Congress will pretend to throw a little “tough love” at the automakers, but then give them most of what they want. Why? 1) If they don’t and the first $15 billion or $20 billion goes down the drain, they look like idiots and they know it will cost them in the next election, 2) They are doing everything they can to strengthen the power of unions in America…just at the time when America can least afford a non-competitive workforce, and 3) Who really cares about another $12 billion when you’ve just spent $3.7 trillion (the real cost of the “stimulus")?
Furthermore, I predict that the unions will hold out on an agreement until most of the money is in, and then refuse to give in on almost anything, knowing the Dems in Congress will try to force the carmakers’ hands.
All in all, it’s a financial disaster of what would be epic proportions except for the numbness many of us feel from the tragedy of today’s “stimulus” bill signing.
Oh, “GM said all of its major U.S. vehicle launches from 2009 to 2014 would be high-mileage cars and crossovers.” You know what that means? It means the price of oil is going to stay very low for the next five years and everybody will want to buy larger, more solid cars, which in an amusing turnabout the Japanese will certainly be willing to provide (not to mention the Germans.)
Does anyone know how much it might cost to start a new car company? Seriously. If the government wants to be in the car business (like Lada and Trabant), they could probably start their own for much less money and hire the unemployed GM workers. The problem is that they’d encourage it to be an all-union workforce and they’d just keep losing out to companies with workers who have incentive to give a damn.
It’s a sad day for America, as The Chosen One flew to Denver (what a repulsive statement about our formerly excellent state) to sign one of the most ill-conceived pieces of legislation in American history.
If anyone tries to defend it to you in the next 48 hours, please ask him (or her) what percentage of the bill he has read or believes he understands.
One point that must be made: The media is talking about this bill as if it’s $787 billion…already an astoundingly irresponsible number.
But at the request of Congressman Paul Ryan, the Congressional Budget office did an analysis of the 10-year cost of the new law including assuming the extension of the newly-created or expanded programs that the measure cynically assumes will just go away or be returned to their original size after two years.
As Ryan noted, Reagan told us that there’s nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.
Extending the programs as they likely will be will increase the budget deficit and our national debt by another $1.7 trillion.
Interest on all this spending, which is not included in the media-reported cost will be another $745 billion.
Therefore, the total cost of this bill over 10 year is $3.27 TRILLION
Yes, the angry cries from fiscal conservatives about the government’s waste of $800 billion of taxpayer money was aimed at a travesty only 1/4 the actual size of what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter, and friends just did to us, our children, and future generations.
Someone just posted this note on Twitter…it’s too good not to share:
“I’m shorting toilet paper stocks because when low IQ Jimmy Carter II is done wasting trillions you will be wiping your ass with the US Dollar.”
Americans for Prosperity has organized a quasi-protest, with high-profile speakers including Bob Beauprez, Michelle Malkin, and Dick Wadhams, at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver today (Tuesday, February 17th) at 12:15 PM to shine some light on the passive pork bill being signed by President Obama.
See http://youdontknowstimulus.com/ for details.
The Peoples Press Collective will also be actively involved in covering that and any other pro-liberty, anti-spendulus activities that might occur.
I encourage anyone who can make it to the West steps of the Capitol by 12:15 PM today to join in and let the media and the politicians know that there are a lot of us paying attention to what many have rightly called the greatest generational theft in history.
What a horrible statement about what’s happened to a formerly great state: Colorado has become so “blue” that Obama chooses here to sign the single most socialist, government-growing piece of legislation in our history.
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