Sunday, November 01, 2009

How Free is Your State

Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom

Strange how the most "liberal" states are the least free.

Anti-Semitic UN to Act

The loathsome United Nations will, in its great tradition of antisemitism, act against Israel this week.

The Great Mona Charen writes,

Israel's Deadliest Foe to Strike This Week
The war over the war in Gaza is heating up. Next week, the United Nations General Assembly will consider the tendentious Goldstone Report, the highest profile exercise in blaming the victim in the U.N.'s tawdry history. Simultaneously, lawyers in Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Norway are drawing up criminal indictments against IDF officers who participated in the Gaza operation. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that a number of names are on a police watch list for arrest and detention should they attempt to enter Britain.

Israel's enemies certainly seek to terrorize and demoralize Israel. But the more important campaign -- which is gaining traction -- is to delegitimize her and to brand Israel's self-defense as a war crime.
Hamas wants the world to recognize them as a legitimate government, and many in the world do. If they are, then it seems to me that the same rules should apply. This piece offers a comparison.

Consider the assessment of Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and a veteran of the Gulf War and the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Macedonia. "During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population."

What army has offered 48 hours notice to its enemies of planned operations? Israel did so, dropping 2 million leaflets in advance of army movements. Twenty-four hours before the IDF moved on a suspected terrorist site, the army phoned civilians to warn them to evacuate. There were 100,000 calls. And five minutes before an operation began, the IDF sent out text messages. The calls and messages contained not just warnings, but instructions on which roads were safe to take and which schools or other buildings could be used for shelter. In the midst of the conflict, hundreds of trucks brought food, water, and medical supplies to Gaza.

In Rafa, Israel sought to close 225 tunnels (with 800 entrances) used to smuggle arms to Gaza from Egypt. The easiest and safest course for the IDF would have been to level the homes without warning that contained the entrances using air power or tanks. In Gaza City, to avoid civilian casualties, IDF infantrymen went house to house, encountering booby traps along the way and fending off seven attempted kidnappings.

Hamas was so confident that Israel would not knowingly shoot at civilians that they hid behind human shields throughout the short war. It was common, when word came of an impending attack, for Hamas to send children out to play in the streets at that moment. "Will I shoot?" Gruber asks. "I will not." There is video of a terrorist with a rocket launcher slung over his shoulder grabbing a 10-year-old boy by the collar and dragging him across the street to deter Israeli snipers. And it worked. Israel has similar video (from Reuters actually) showing U.N. ambulances ferrying armed men. "Yes," says Gruber with resignation, "the 'ambulances' were always at the front."
There are scores of other examples -- Hamas firing from mosques, schools, private homes, and hospitals. The very fact that Hamas used human shields betrays their admission that Israel abides by ethical standards in war fighting. They took advantage of Israel's moral qualms about harming non-combatants. Now they accuse Israel of the crimes they themselves committed -- deliberately targeting civilians by raining down 12,000 missiles on southern Israel since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
Liberals, amongst whom antisemitism is mainstream (of course they accuse we conservatives of it constantly), will back the UN in efforts to punish Israel for defending herself and support the real terrorists.

UPDATE: Just in case anyone objects to my view that modern liberalism™ is the home of mainstream antisemitism, this from Caroline Glick;
Former ambassador to the UN Dore Gold should probably buy himself a flak jacket. Gold is scheduled to debate Richard Goldstone at Brandeis University next Thursday and the anti-Israel forces are organizing quite a reception for him.

Goldstone, who chaired the UN Human Rights Council's commission charged with accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, has become a darling of the anti-Israel Left in the weeks since his report accusing Israel of committing both war crimes and crimes against humanity was published last month. And anti-Israeli leftists don't like the idea of someone challenging his libelous attacks against Israel in a public debate at a university.

In an e-mail to a campus list-serve, Brandeis student and anti-Israel activist Jonathan Sussman called on his fellow anti-Zionists to disrupt the event that will pit the "neutral" Goldstone against Gold with his "wildly pro-Zionist message." Sussman invited his list-serve members to join him at a meeting to "discuss a possible response."

As the young community organizer sees it, "Possibilities include inviting Palestinian speakers to come participate, seeding the audience with people who can disrupt the Zionist narrative, protest and direct action." He closed his missive with a plaintive call to arms: "F**k the occupation."

Apparently the aspiring political organizer never considered another possibility: listening to what Gold has to say.
More to follow on liberalism™ and antisemitism.

Our Incompetent Government - POTUS Inner circle

A note to the President and his yes men senior aides - YOU are the power. Please grow wake up.

The Great Mark Steyn tells the tale.

Valerie Jarrett announced the other day that “we’re going to speak truth to power”.

Who’s Valerie Jarrett? She’s “Senior Advisor” to the President of the United States – ie, the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. You would think the most powerful man in the most powerful nation would find a hard job finding anyone on the planet to “speak truth to power” to. But I suppose if you’re as eager to do so as his Senior Advisor, there’s always somebody out there: The Supreme Leader of Iran. The Prime Minister of Belgium. The Deputy Tourism Minister of the Solomon Islands. But no. The Senior Advisor has selected targets closer to home: “I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power. When we saw all of the distortions in the course of the summer, when people were coming down to town hall meetings and putting up signs that were scaring seniors to death…”
Read the whole thing, there is a lot more...
Meanwhile, Larry David is now doing televised NEA exhibits on his HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Christians are said to be “angry” at him because of an episode in which, after he accidentally sprays his urine on a picture of Jesus, his assistant mistakes the droplets for tears and calls in her mother to witness the miracle of Christ weeping. Ha-ha! Oh, those brave transgressive artists! Of course, Christians aren’t “angry” in the sense that two US residents arrested last week are. The pair – one an American citizen, the other Canadian – were so “angry” about the Mohammed cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that they hatched a plot to kill the artist and his editor. As many commentators pointed out, Mr David’s splashy stunt is a dreary provocation: It’s easy to be provocative with people who can’t be provoked. If he were to start urinating in a more Mecca-ly direction, he’d find an entirely more motivated crowd waiting for him at the stage door.

But I liked the point made by the Anchoress, a writer at the magazine First Things: Putting Mohammed et al aside, if Larry David had a yen to urinate hither and yon, wouldn’t it have been “braver” to have done it to the religious icon du jour? That’s to say, Barack Obama. And then maybe Ashton Kutcher could have marveled at how even Obama’s image was empathizing tearily with all 687 million Americans without health insurance. Or, alternatively, dribbling warm champagne from his Norwegian Nobel banquet toast. C’mon, Larry. Sure, you might not have a career afterward, but, unlike any Islamo-provocations, you’re not gonna get killed. Just fired, and probably damned as a racist. But at least you wouldn’t be a simpering suck-up to power like Rocco Landesman and the other creeps.

A Terrible Tragedy

On Saturday night a Seattle police officer was in the residential Central District in a marked police car with a female trainee when the car was hit several times with gunfire. The police officer was killed, the trainee was injured.

Seattle police say officer killed in shooting
Police say a male officer was training a female student officer in a marked patrol car Saturday night when their vehicle was struck several times by gunfire. They say the student officer suffered minor injuries in the shooting that took in the mostly residential Central District.

Pray for them.