Be not indifferent 2


By Tom Quiner

“Never again.”

That was the pledge the world made following the Holocaust.  Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime in the late 1930’s through 1945.  They were killed out of hatred.

Even the moral relativists of today grudgingly admit that the Holocaust was an evil act.

Has the civilized world lived up to their pledge of “never again?’

No.  Below are a few cold and impersonal statistics of post-Holocaust holocausts:

A still from the film The Killing Fields

Cambodia:  more than three million men, women, and children were exterminated by the communist government, Khmer Rouge, in the 1970s.

Rwanda:  500,000 to one million killed in 1994.

Uganda:  more than 200,000 killed in the 1980s.

Sudan:  2 million (and counting) killed starting in the 1980s.

Kurdistan:  tens of thousands Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.

This list, unfortunately, merely scratches the surface of state-sanctioned mass murder since the U.N. General Assembly officially forbade it in 1951.

In other words, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as the U.N. calls it, has been ineffective in the eyes of the millions who are dead due to genocide SINCE international law made it illegal.

These crimes, tragic beyond human comprehension, are immediately urgent in light of the growing international isolation of Israel.

Hatred of the Jews is growing exponentially.  It takes two forms:  those who simply want Jews dead out of brute bigotry; and those who suggest that maybe Israel really isn’t entitled to its homeland.

The latter view was eloquently expressed by Helen Thomas last week.  As reported in my previous post, she said “I think the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.
Helen Thomas

I would like you to think about what Ms. Thomas said.  She referred to Israel’s territory as, in fact, belonging to Palestine, despite the fact that it was established as Israel’s in 1948 by the United Nation.

So, what the U.N. says is only binding to liberals like Helen Thomas if it is sanctioning or censuring Israel.

The White House, to their credit, called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible.”

However, let us turn the clock back to 2007.  In an interview with Tim Russert, Helen Thomas said, “I do think it’s wrong to take somebody else’s land and displace them.”

In other words, she said the same thing in 2007 as last week, only without the word “hell” or the Poland or Germany references.  Her central concept, that Israel took land from Palestinians and doesn’t belong there, generated not even a peep.

The notion that Israel is the offending party is increasingly beyond question with liberal elites who dominate media outlets and universities around the world.

This same media has portrayed last week’s flotilla as a “humanitarian mission.”  The humanitarians on board the flotilla refused to allow inspections for weapons because they had weapons on board.

The humanitarians on board the flotilla radioed to the Israelis this humanitarian message:  “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.”

The humanitarians on board the flotilla also sent out another humanitarian message:  “We’re helping Arabs go against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11.”

These aren’t humanitarians at all, they’re thugs who support terrorism.

Much of the Arab world is comfortable expressing their true intent when it comes to Israel.  Take the Deputy Minister of Religion for Hamas, Abdallah Jarbu.  He said that Jews “want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world.”

This Deputy of Religion then offered up his fervent prayer:  “May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.”

Over in Iran, the Kayhan, the newspaper that is the mouthpiece for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei characterized Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that must be excised from the “Islamic Middle East.”  Their goal?  According to the Kayhan:  Israel’s “total annihilation from the political geography of the region.”

This is the same country that is building a nuclear bomb.

What is striking about all of this is the lack of outrage from liberals toward an Arab world increasingly comfortable expressing their desire for another Jewish holocaust.  They reserve their outrage for Israel.  They exercise rhetorical restraint when it comes to the Arab world.

We’re heading toward an unimaginable worldwide tragedy if anti-Semitism is allowed to continue its rapid rate of growth.

On June 7th, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Auschwitz.  He called it the “Golgotha of the modern world.”  Golgotha is the place where Jesus was crucified.

He knelt before the tomb of the unknown victims:

“In particular I pause with you … before the inscription in Hebrew.  This inscription awakens the memory of the people whose sons and daughters were intended for total extermination.  This people draws its origins from Abraham, our father in faith, as was expressed by Paul of Tarsus.  The very people who received from God the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ itself experienced in a special measure what is meant by killing.  It is not permissible for anyone to pass by this inscription with indifference.”

Pope John Paul II was famous for his encouragement to “be not afraid.”

Based on his remarks at Auschwitz, let us paraphrase what he is telling us now:  “be not indifferent.”

And pray this prayer:  “never again.”

Why are liberals against Israel? 2


By Tom Quiner

Jew hatred is alive and well.

Helen Thomas, renowned liberal reporter for Hearst Newspapers, made the following statement:  “I think the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.

Back to Germany, the home of the Holocaust.

Back to Poland, the home of Auschwitz.

[photo]

Ms. Thomas’ views very much reflect those of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:  Israel has no right to a homeland and no right to exist. Perhaps she even agrees with President Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust never occurred.

The reaction to a comment as outrageous as Ms. Thomas’ was surprisingly muted.  She was was not fired on the spot, as she should have been. Rather, she was allowed to “retire” three days later.

Her ugly public diatribe against Israel was precipitated by last week’s raid on a Palestine flotilla where nine people were killed.

The International community has been unified in their outrage against Israel.

The American main stream media has been unified in their outrage against Israel.

Liberals everywhere have been particularly vocal in expressing their outrage against America’s most important ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Is all of this outrage really warranted?

No, at least not toward Israel.  After all, the terrorist group, Hamas (as classified by the European Union, the U.S., Canada, and Japan) has lobbed in excess of 10,000 bombs toward Israeli cities.  So Israel, along with Egypt, initiated a blockade in order to keep weapons away from Hamas.  In other words, even Egypt views Hamas as a threat.

A blockade is an act of self-defense.   The U.S. blockaded Cuba in 1962 to keep Soviet weapons away from our shores.  It is a peaceful way to prevent military escalation.

Now you may think that needed supplies, food, medicines were being denied Palestines because of this blockade.  No, they weren’t, only weapons.  Supplies are delivered daily.  These supplies include 48,000 tons of food this year.

Maybe these supplies weren’t enough, right?  Maybe that’s why the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) launched this flotilla.  Maybe the Palestines needed more food and clothing and medicine.  But if this is true, all the IHH had to do was follow Israel’s instructions to dock and be inspected for weapons.

If this was truly a humanitarian mission, isn’t this a no-brainer?

The IHH refused because they evidently sought a confrontation.  An activist on board the ship said “either we reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom.”  The IHH has a history of aiding radical Islamic groups including Hamas and al-Qaeda.

The goal of the flotilla was a confrontation that would make Israel look bad.  A video at The Israeli Project shows “activists” on board the flotilla preparing weapons prior to boarding by Israeli soldiers.

They attacked the soldiers immediately upon boarding.  Remember:  they had a choice to avoid confrontation by allowing an inspection.  They refused, because that was clearly not their goal.

It is interesting to note that Israel shares the same foundational values as the United States.  And yet the Left despises them.  For that matter, the Left despises U.S. foundational values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as defined by our Founding Fathers.

Perhaps that explains the knee-jerk reaction of the Left against Israel.

Helen Thomas only said what her liberal allies in the media were thinking.  But she said it with less discretion.

Is anti-semitism a thing of the past?  Tragically, the answer is no.


A Memorial Day tribute to two Presidents Reply


By Tom Quiner

This is a trivia quiz:  who was the most unpopular President to ever leave office?

  1. Richard Nixon
  2. Harry Truman
  3. George W. Bush
  4. Herbert Hoover

The answer is Harry Truman.  His popularity rating was a scant 22 percent when he left office in 1952, worse even than President Nixon’s 24 percent at the time he resigned from office.

President Truman’s popularity has grown over the years.  I pay tribute to him this Memorial Day weekend because of two characteristics Americans find attractive in their leaders.  Mr. Truman spoke plainly and honestly.  He could be profane, but you knew where he stood, because he was a plain talker.

The second characteristic which is especially appealing these days was his willingness to take responsibility for the actions of the government.  The sign on his desk said it all:  “the buck stops here.”  Contrast that philosophy with the current occupant of the White House who is still blaming his predecessor for every wrong in this country, including the gulf oil spill.

Conservatives of yesterday and today bristle at President Truman’s liberal domestic politics, including his support of National Health Insurance.  Nonetheless, let us honor this man who was a practitioner of forthright leadership at a difficult time in our history.  America needs you Harry Truman!

Let us honor another President, Ronald Reagan.  You’re noticing a trend here, aren’t you?   Both of these Presidents were born in the Midwest.  I’m kind of partial to Midwesterners.  I’m especially partial to this President.  I could give you a hundred reasons, but let me leave you with two.

First, Mr. Reagan had a specific vision for America and the world.  One of them was to “defeat the ‘Evil Empire.’ “  The political left and the Media (excuse my redundancy) ridiculed his vision.  Even more interesting, so did many conservatives.  Détente was the operative political strategy of the age among Nixon conservatives.

President Reagan won.  The Evil Empire lost.  And as a result, the entire world won.  A man with a vision and conviction is a force to be reckoned with, and President Reagan was a force we have seldom seen in this country.

Second, Mr. Reagan saw that the greatness, the strength of this great land flowed from the people.  He was an optimist who encouraged us to believe in our own strength, our own ability to succeed and prosper if only government would get out of the way.

What a contrast to the current occupant in the White House who views Americans as being weak, as in dire need of massive government intervention in our lives. America needs Ronald Reagan more than ever.

God bless you President Reagan.  God bless you President Truman.  Thank-you for your contributions to America.  You served your nation with honor and dignity.

We salute you.

Was Sarah Palin right? 1


By Tom Quiner

Let us revisit a notorious statement from last year:

“The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.”

Sarah Palin, August 7, 2009

Ms. Palin was excoriated by the Obama administration and his cheerleaders in the media for her use of the term “death panel.”  Her statement is worth revisiting in light of who President Obama nominated to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama has mandated massive cuts in these two programs.  The new administrator will make those cuts. That man, should his nomination be approved, is Dr. Donald Berwick of Harvard Medical School.

Let us review Dr. Berwick’s philosophy so we can put Ms. Palin’s fears to rest regarding “death panels.”  I have accumulated several of his quotes which sets out his vision for medical care:

• Talking in London to the Brits about their system, he said:  “I hope you will never, ever give up what you have begun.  I hope you realize and affirm how badly you need — how badly the world needs — an example at scale of a health system that is universal, accessible, excellent and free at the point of care — a health system that, at its core is like the world we wish we had: generous, hopeful, confident, joyous and just.”

Free care is what he wants.  Don’t we all!  But Dr. Berwick is just getting warmed up:

• “I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it.”

In other words, he believes in a single payer system.

• “You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach.  You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too little of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.”

In other words, you ration.

• “You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is ‘just’ must redistribute wealth.”

Translation:  socialism.

Last year, President Obama signed a bill which funded the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (aka Healthcare Rationing Council).  Here is Dr. Berwick’s take on what comparative effectiveness is all about:

• “The first is to determine whether a therapy works or not. The second is to determine how well the therapy works compared to other therapies. The third is to do a cost-benefit analysis. If a new drug or procedure is effective, and has some advantage over existing alternatives,then does the incremental benefit justify the likely additional cost?”

Now we get to the nitty-gritty:  if you’re paying for your own health care, you get to make those decisions yourself.  If the government is subsidizing it, as they shall under Obamacare, they make the decision, not you.

Dr. Berwick makes it clear what that will mean to you:

• “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

Will healthcare be withheld (rationed) to some sick Americans?  According to the President’s nominee to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the answer is yes. That’s what rationing means.  Some get it, some don’t, and you don’t get a say in it.

Call it what you want:  Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research or a death panel, the result is the same.

Government job growth continues 2


By Tom Quiner

The rest of the media is catching up with Quiner’s Diner.

Last week, we wrote about the explosion of new government jobs under the Obama administration at the same time employment in the private sector has plummeted.

We wrote about how these government jobs are overwhelmingly directed to government unions who overwhelmingly support one political party (here’s a clue: it’s not the Republicans).

We wrote about how these government union jobs enjoy wages and perks that far surpass the private sector.

This story has finally trickled down to the Drudge Report.  Here was their headline today:

“Obama redistribution victory:  private pay plummets, government handouts soar.”

Here was a headline on the Des Moines Register this morning:  “Federal work force isn’t facing cutbacks like private sector.”

Here was the USA Today’s headline:  “Private pay shrinks to historic lows as gov’t payouts rise.”

The USA today quoted University of Michigan economist, Donald Grimes who said: “the trend is not sustainable.  Reason: The federal government depends on private wages to generate income taxes to pay for its ever-more-expensive programs. Government-generated income is taxed at lower rates or not at all.  This is really important,” Grimes says.

The Register stated that “average compensation for federal civilian workers increased nearly twice as much as did the private sector from 2000 to 2008.”  When you include all their perks and wages, the average federal civilian worker earns $119,982.

President Obama plans to add 274,000 MORE full-time civilian workers to the Executive Branch, HIS branch alone, by 2011.  That doesn’t include the rest of the government.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that private sector, construction, manufacturing, and business services all lost more than 100,000 jobs in February. Even worse, the service-providing sector lost more than 375,000 jobs.  On the other hand, government jobs continued to explode with 9000 new jobs in the same time period along with another 26,000 jobs in the education and health service fields.

The Obama/Pelosi/Reid team are pursuing a conscious course of action:  to redistribute wealth.  One of the savviest ways to do it is to transfer it to government unions who pay them back with campaign contributions and votes at election time. In fairness, that’s politics.  But it comes at a price.  The folks who pay the bills, namely the entrepreneurs and employees of America’s small businesses, have to sacrifice even more to support folks who live much better than they do.

Are you okay with that?