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Friday, February 17, 2017

New York Times Editorial, "Donald Trump’s Answer to Anti-Semitism? You Don’t Want to Know": Look Who's Talking!

In an editorial entitled "Donald Trump’s Answer to Anti-Semitism? You Don’t Want to Know," The New York Times derides President Trump's response at a news conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a question concerning "the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States." The Times would have us know:

"For a normal American politician, the moment offered a perfect opportunity for a home run. Condemn the behavior and make a sincere pledge to do everything possible to stop it. There is no question that hate crimes and malicious speech have accelerated since the presidential campaign, with Jews among the prime targets. The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic talk in the United States has reached levels unseen since the 1930s. And there have been bomb threats against Jewish centers across the country."

Got it: The Trump presidential campaign is to blame for the heightened level of anti-Semitic talk in the US, and the Times is innocent of any involvement in the reawakening this horrifying phenomenon. Rubbish!

As Dr. Phyllis Chesler wrote in a July 2014 article entitled "Incitement to Genocide: How NY Times' Coverage and UN Complicity Breed Anti-Semitism":

"The twenty-first century coverage of Israel and Zionism in the paper of record far exceeds its twentieth century pattern of mere dismissal. In the last fourteen years—in the last year-- in article after article, photograph after photograph, and especially when Israel has been under attack, this paper has systematically put forth an Islamist and pro-Hamas agenda with malice aforethought. If not 'malice,' then the level of willful journalistic ignorance and blindness is hard to believe."

New York Times double standards involving Israel? As observed by CAMERA in 2014:

"We found that 6 out of 7 NYT editorials addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict were negative toward Israel, while none were positive. Opinion columns by NYT staff followed the same pattern of condemning Israel: 5 out of 6 were negative toward Israel, while none were positive. As for invited Op-Eds on the topic, 15 out of 20 were negative toward Israel, while only one was positive."

You might also want to have another look at Ron Dermer's December 2011 letter to The New York Times, denouncing perpetual criticism of Israel by the Times:

"I discovered that during the last three months (September through November) you published 20 op-eds about Israel in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. After dividing the op-eds into two categories, 'positive' and 'negative,' with 'negative' meaning an attack against the State of Israel or the policies of its democratically elected government, I found that 19 out of 20 columns were 'negative.'"

More evidence of anti-Semitism at the Times? Perhaps you recall New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's declaration:

"I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."

Then there was Roger Cohen's New York Times op-ed "Obama in Netanyahu's Web," whose title was painfully in keeping with the anti-Semitic tradition of depicting Jews as voracious spiders. As Andrew Rosenthal, who was then editorial page editor of the Times, later acknowledged to me, this "was not a good headline."

In addition, let's not forget the retweet of a message by Nicholas Kristof, referring to AIPAC as one of "the 2 Most Pig Like Lobbies" (see: "Nicholas Kristof Retweets "OBAMA Told the 2 Most Pig Like Lobbies, AIPAC & NRA, to Drop Dead in Same Month": Is Kristof an Anti-Semite?"). We never received an explanation concerning this abomination from Nick, who soon thereafter took book-writing leave from the Times. Nicholas Kristof and anti-Semitism? You might want to have at look at my article entitled "Nicholas Kristof, Israel, and Double Standards" in The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism.

In this regard, the US Department of State writes (my emphasis in red):

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:

  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis

  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions

And as noted today, in an Algemeiner article entitled "New York Times Uses Antisemitic Imagery to Describe Israeli Academy" by Ira Stoll:

"The New York Times has an article about Beit El, a West Bank settlement that has been supported by David Friedman, who is President Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Israel.

'The yeshiva complex is a multitentacled enterprise,' the Times reports.

Tentacles? When the National Rifle Association’s magazine depicted Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York on its cover as an octopus, the Times described it in a headline as 'an Anti-Semitic Symbol,' noting, accurately, that “the image has been used in anti-Semitic propaganda, from the Nazis to the modern Arab world.” Now it is the Times portraying religious Jews in Israel using the same negative imagery."

Finally, let's also not forget the persistent willingness of New York Times "moderators" to permit the publication of vulgar expressions of anti-Semitism (see: "Why Is Antisemitism Permitted in Online Comments "Moderated" by The Times? Open Letter No. 2 to Clark Hoyt, Public Editor of The New York Times").

Bottom line: Left-wing anti-Semitism is no better than right-wing anti-Semitism, and the Times indeed helped lay the groundwork for the current groundswell of anti-Semitism in America.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Maureen Dowd, "Trump’s Gold Lining": Sales of Female Pelvic Protectors Skyrocket

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Trump’s Gold Lining," Maureen Dowd informs us that Donald's election has reinvigorated the Times's circulation stats:

"Every time our daft new president tweets about the 'failing' New York Times, our digital subscriptions and stock price jump, driven by readers eager for help negotiating the disorienting Trumpeana Oceana Upside Down dimension rife with gaslighting, trolling, leaking, lying and conflicts."

Well, the Times is not alone in reaping the economic benefits of the Trump presidency. My understanding is that sales of pelvic protectors for female genitalia are going through the roof among women visiting the White House, given Trump's leaked "grab them by the pussy" declaration.

Will federal taxes on profits from the sale of female pelvic protectors make a dent in America's $20 trillion debt, i.e. some $808,000 per family, thereby making America great again?

Will America devolve into a dystopian Clock Work Orange society in which pelvic protectors are de rigueur?

Back to my dogs, who are impatiently waiting for a walk.

Friday, February 10, 2017

David Brooks, "A Gift for Donald Trump": Fraternity? How About a Slice of Moose Turd Pie?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Gift for Donald Trump," David Brooks tells of the gift he would like to bestow upon Donald Trump. Brooks concludes:

"So, upon reflection, the gift I would give Trump would be an emotional gift, the gift of fraternity. I’d give him the gift of some crisis he absolutely could not handle on his own. The only way to survive would be to fall back entirely on others, and then to experience what it feels like to have them hold him up.

. . . .

I doubt that Trump will develop a capacity for fraternity any time soon, but to be human is to hold out hope, and to believe that even a guy as old and self-destructive as Trump is still 0.001 percent open to a transformation of the heart."

Fraternity? Heck, David, the man suffers from a severe narcissistic personality disorder and is incapable of change. That being the case, I would personally prefer to give the gift that keeps on giving: A freshly baked, steaming hot, moose turd pie (click on the link and listen, if you're in need of a laugh - we all are, these days).

And I would like to invite Barack, Hillary and Bill to the banquet, provided, of course, that I didn't run afoul of the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act.

Back to my broccoli and dogs ...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New York Times Editorial, "A Poison Pill for the Recovery": Alternative Facts

In an editorial entitled "A Poison Pill for the Recovery," The New York Times attacks Donald Trump's order yesterday to roll back Dodd-Frank. Don't misunderstand me: Trump's directive is a disaster in the making, but let's take a closer look at the Times editorial, which continues to pay homage to Obama:

"[Donald Trump] has been lucky enough to inherit an economy that added 11.5 million jobs during President Obama’s tenure, the fourth-highest tally of the 12 administrations in the post-World War II era. There is, of course, much work still to be done: Growth in wages is not yet strong, and too many people are able to find only part-time work. But the foundation on which to build — economic growth, financial stability, monthly job tallies and low unemployment — is firm."

Ah yes, "the foundation on which to build" ...

But now consider what Andrew Soergel had to say in a July 16, 2015 U.S. News & World Report article entitled "Where Are All the Workers?":

"Americans are actually trickling out of work at an alarming rate. The country's labor force participation rate – which measures the share of Americans at least 16 years old who are either employed or actively looking for work – dipped last month to a 38-year low, clocking in at an underwhelming 62.6 percent.

Unemployed individuals who haven't actively looked for a job in the last four weeks, for any number of reasons, actually slip away from the Labor Department's unemployment calculations. So although the unemployment rate ticked down to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in June, that number didn't do justice to the 640,000 individuals who exited the labor market last month and the nearly 94 million people who were neither employed nor looking for work."

Also consider that Obama left the United States with a crippling national debt of $20 trillion, or some $800,000 per family. Moreover, seven percent of that debt is held by China, a country with respect to which Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon declared in March 2016:

"We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren't we. There’s no doubt about that."

Do you laugh or cry? Me? I'm headed back to my dogs and vegetable garden.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

David Ignatius, "What does Israel want from America?": What Ignatius Isn't Telling Us

You will recall that in a March 31, 2015 Washington Post opinion piece  entitled "Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit," David Ignatius wrote:

"Whatever the endgame produces, it’s useful to focus on the process of negotiation itself, which is nearly as important as whether there’s a sustainable deal.

First, there is the fact of U.S.-Iranian engagement. For more than 18 months, Iran has been in direct talks with a power it once demonized as the 'Great Satan.' Iranian hard-liners certainly remain, but the nation that chanted in unison 'Death to America' is probably gone forever."

When I sent emails to Ignatius and provided evidence that he was wrong, he wrote back to me and declared:

"You miss my point entirely. What I said was that the NATION will never again chant it in UNISON. There will still be fanatical hardliners but they are beginning to be outliers."

Well, as we were informed last month by Majid Rafizadeh in a Gatestone Institute article entitled "Iran to Trump: Death to America Will Live On":

"Ideologically speaking, Iran's hardliners, primarily Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who enjoy the final say in Iran's domestic and foreign policies, have made it clear that Iran will not change the core pillars of its religious and revolutionary establishment: Anti-Americanism and hatred towards the 'Great Satan' and the 'Little Satan', Israel.

Supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei and the IRGC enthusiastically shouted 'Death to America' in response to a recent speech that Khamenei gave, applauding the 1979 hostage-taking and takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

Iran's major state newspapers carried anti-American headlines this week, quoting the Supreme Leader. In his latest public speech to thousands of people, which was televised via Iran's state TV, Khamenei made it clear that Trump's presidency will cause 'no difference' to Iran-US relationships. Khamenei pointed out that, 'We have no judgment on this election because America is the same America'. In his speech, Khamenei attacked President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. The Ayatollah called the US election 'a spectacle for exposing their crimes and debacles.'"

I missed Ignatius's point entirely? Yeah, right.

In any event, Ignatius is back again today with more rubbish in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "What does Israel want from America?" Ignatius would now have us know:

"President Trump’s embrace of Israel poses an unlikely dilemma for leaders of the Jewish state: They have to decide what they want from America, and on that question, there’s sharp disagreement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved to seize the Trump moment Tuesday by announcing that Israel plans to construct 2,500 housing units in West Bank settlements. Just two days before, he and Trump had what the new president called a 'very nice' phone conversation. 'We’re building — and will continue to build,' an emboldened Netanyahu proclaimed Tuesday."

But what isn't Ignatius telling us? As reported today in a Jerusalem Post article entitled "Israel Announces Plans to Build 2,500 New West Bank Housing Units" by Herb Keinon:

"Most of the new units will be inside the major settlement blocs, with [Israeli Defense Minsiter Avigdor] Liberman saying that only 106 are outside the blocs.

. . . .

Liberman said that, in parallel to these moves, he will bring for the security cabinet’s approval plans to establish a Palestinian industrial zone near Tarkumiya, south of Hebron. According to the statement, this will be one of the largest industrial areas in the territories."

Or stated otherwise, the overwhelming majority of the new units are inside existing settlement blocs that will remain with Israel in any deal involving land swaps.

And then there is that small matter of a new Palestinian industrial zone, which Ignatius fails to mention.

Yes, I know, these are inconvenient truths, and I am hardly surprised that they don't find expression in Ignatius's op-ed.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Donald Trump's Inauguration: Alternative Facts for an Alternative Universe

Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, gave birth to a new sound bite, i.e. "alternative facts," when justifying White House press secretary Sean Spicer's declaration on Saturday that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe."

In fact, Spicer was correct, period ... if you include the protesters. Apparently unbeknownst to Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, "Facts are in the mind of the beholder."

Alternative facts for an alternative universe.

And now back to my dogs and my vegetable garden.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New York Times Editorial, "The Untimely Death of an Iranian Pragmatist": Duplicitous or Just Plain Stupid?

In an editorial entitled "The Untimely Death of an Iranian Pragmatist," The New York Times writes about the passing of Iran's Ayatollah Rafsanjani:

"The death on Sunday of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has increased this uncertainty. A moderate in Iran’s factional political struggles, Ayatollah Rafsanjani worked hard to soften its anti-Americanism and encourage constructive engagement with the West."

Rafsanjani "worked hard ... to soften Iranian anti-Americanism? Fascinating. But consider what Michael Rubin writes in a Washington Examiner article entitled "Deceased Iranian President Rafsanjani was no moderate":

"Rafsanjani was a master strategist and an initiator of Iran's game of good cop-bad cop, but he was no moderate. He was well known for his corruption, affluence, and commitment to the Islamic Republic's genocidal ideology.

He was the father of the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons program, having lobbied for it while chairman of parliament and then worked, alongside Hassan Rouhani, then-secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, to divert the peace dividend that Iranians might have enjoyed following the end of the Iran-Iraq War, channeling it instead into a covert nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. For Rafsanjani, deterrence may not have been the end goal. On Dec. 14, 2001, for example, he suggested that Iran could use nuclear weapons to eradicate Israel, arguing that Iran had the strategic depth to absorb any second strike."

And as the Islamic Republic News Agency reported on July 6, 2015 in an article entitled "Rafsanjani: Forged Israeli regime to be wiped-off map one day":

"The chairman of the Expediency Council made the comment in an interview with Al Ahd news website affiliated to the Lebanese Hezbollah Movement.

In response to a question why the Zionist regime has done its best to prevent the path for reaching a nuclear agreement between Iran and the West, Ayatollah Rafsanjani said that even Tel Aviv knows well that Iran is not after acquiring nuclear weapons.

'By doing so the Zionist wish to keep Iran engaged in problems permanently, knowing that the Islamic Republic's political, economic, cultural and propagation status will all improve after such an agreement,' he said.

Asked about the future of the Palestinian nation, Rafsanjani said that he still believes that eventually one day the forged and temporary Israeli entity, which is an alien existence forged into the body of a nation and a region be wiped off the map."

Concerning Rafsanjani's attitude toward the US, have a look at Ali Alfoneh and Reuel Marc Gerecht's January 9, 2017 article entitled "The Death of Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, a Machiavellian Prince" in The Weekly Standard:

"In the mid-1980s, Rafsanjani directed the Lebanese Hezbollah to engage in the hostage-taking of Americans and Europeans; with Rouhani again his point man, he used the hostages to acquire arms and spare parts from the United States. In his published daily journal, Rafsanjani mused over America's 'helplessness.'

Following the end of the war in 1988, and the death of Khomeini in 1989, Rafsanjani engineered Khamenei's succession as the Guardian Jurist. Lacking charisma and a clerical network, Khamenei seemed harmless and dependent. For a time, the arrangement worked: Rafsanjani got the credit for post-war reconstruction and the initiation of the then-secret nuclear-weapons program, while Khamenei remained a figurehead."

Rafsanjani also refused to countermand the death decree against author Salman Rushdie.

Rafsanjani was a moderate or pragmatist? Road apples!