Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Ignorant Leftist journalist touring Israel knows nothing about Judaism
But she still "reports" about the situation in Israel. See below.
You'd think that a journalist would do a bit of elementary background reading before reporting on a subject. But that doesn't apply to Leftists. They "just know" all the answers
I’m on a tour of the Israeli Yishuv of Itamar, site of the gruesome attack on Shabbat which left five Israelis (including 3 children) dead, and our group just finished talking to the community Rabbi and his wife Leah (who is also a community spokesperson) about their thoughts on the massacre and related issues of life in the community.
The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood is one of the European journalists on the tour, and she just asked Leah – at the end of the Q&A – if she was a “Messianic“ Jew, a question which, as anyone familiar with the Christ-based movement knows, is an absurd question for a rebbetzin of a religious Jewish community.
I’ll post later, but am still stunned by the failure of the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent to even marginally understand what the term Messianic Judaism denotes.
Guardian’s bizarre headline on story about deadly terrorist attack in Itamar
A dispatch by Harriet Sherwood on the terrorist attack in the Israeli Yishuv of Itamar contained this headline:
Get it? Israelis AND Palestinians were in shock over the brutal murder of five innocent Israeli civilians.
Except that Sherwood’s story doesn’t even attempt to support the bizarre assertion that Palestinians were morally outraged by the terrorist act.
In fact, as I posted recently, Palestinians in the Gaza city of Rafah were seen celebrating the attack by handing out sweets.
Further, as Palestinian Media Watch has demonstrated, Palestinian society routinely glorifies terrorists and propagates virulent anti-Semitic incitement on state-run television, radio, and newspapers. Indeed, explicit hatred towards Jews (not merely Israelis) is quite normative.
While I sincerely would love to read a story about Palestinians who are truly outraged and shocked by the attack in Itamar, I’ve yet to come across it.
But, of course, evidence of Palestinian indifference to Jewish suffering doesn’t quite square with the Guardian narrative and, as we know all to well, facts – even headlines – are ultimately subservient to their rigid political agenda.
Israel complains that CNN used quote-marks to describe Itamar butchery as 'terror attack'
The director of Israel's Government Press Office fired off a letter to CNN's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Sunday demanding an apology for a story on CNN's website that put "terror attack" in quotation marks in the headline of its story on Friday night's atrocity in Itamar.
Responding to the story headlined "Israeli Family of 5 Killed in 'Terror Attack,' Military Says," Oren Helman wrote Kevin Flower that he was "dumbfounded and astonished" to read that the slaughter of the Fogel family is "what the Israeli army calls a 'terrorist attack'."
"Your remarks sound as if we are talking about an IDF 'claim' that this was 'a terrorist attack' and that this is not necessarily the case," he wrote. "If this is not a terrorist attack, then what is?" Helman, saying that "there is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed," and requested an apology from CNN.
CNN International, in response, said that it does not respond in public to private correspondence. The news organization did issue a statement saying, however, that it was "standard journalistic practice for news organizations to put quotation marks around remarks attributed to third parties."
Australian Labor Party government quietly dissolving "work for dole" scheme
Giving taxpayers' money to people who haven't earned it sounds just fine to a Leftist government
The flagship work-for-the-dole program has been quietly slashed by more than 60 per cent by the Gillard government, with only 9151 long-term unemployed now in the politically charged program.
Federal Labor has consistently rejected suggestions it would abolish the scheme, designed by the Howard government as the centrepiece of its bid to ensure welfare recipients contribute something in return for their benefits. But it is disappearing quietly, with the program losing more than 3000 participants in the final eight months of last year.
On April 7 last year, there were 12,695 people in work-for-the-dole schemes. On December 31, there were 9151 jobseekers either placed or expected to start a work-for-the-dole activity. This was down from 22,362 in April 2005, under the Howard government. Since July 1, 2009, there have been 32,168 jobseekers placed in one or more work-for-the-dole activities.
Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis yesterday defended the dwindling of the program, arguing that the government was not fixated on keeping it as the main pathway to work, citing training and community volunteer work as alternatives.
"Our government has moved away from a 'one-size-fits-all' approach, so as to allow jobseekers to access a range of work experience options, including structured vocational training and community volunteer work as well as the work-for-the-dole program," she said.
"Our focus is on assisting jobseekers to access a range of education and training opportunities to give them the skills they need to find sustainable employment in the future."
Opposition employment participation spokeswoman Sussan Ley said the government was seeking to dismantle the program by slashing places month after month. "This is Labor's death by a thousand cuts," she said. "We warned a year ago the Rudd-Gillard government was watering down the Coalition's mutual obligation principle for those who are unemployed."
Ms Ley said the program was critically underfunded, with too few work options to build up skills where really needed. It also needed to be applied far earlier than after 12 months' unemployment under Labor, which doubled the threshold set by the Howard government.
Ms Ley said the current numbers in the scheme were "unrealistic, particularly with the number of long-term unemployed blowing out by around 90,000 people in the past two years". "When the Coalition introduced the program, most were required to undertake an activity after six months. Now people go in after 12 months," she said.
The types of activities people do on work for the dole vary widely, according to the Gillard government. Two examples included a community gardening project that provided training in nursery practices, and the remodelling and construction of memorial display areas for a children's and Chinese burial area.
Children and the internet
I don't fully agree with Australian commentator Kylie Lang below but think that her approach is at least better than technophobia. I saw no need to time-limit the TV and computer usage of kids in my house during their childhood and they have all grown up as very creditable human beings with whom I still have good relationships. The kids had to do their homework and after that it was up to them. But seeing I spent many hours on the computer too, I could hardly have asked anything different of the kids. I did however also spend a lot of time playing rough-and-tumble games with them, which we all enjoyed -- JR
Plugged in but tuned out: sound like a child you know? The great connect to technology has become the great disconnect from family life and meaningful social interaction for kids who have developed an acute aversion to doing anything that doesn’t involve a keypad or remote control.
Perfectly reasonable requests to set the table, walk the dog, or engage in a conversation (without grunts) go unheard as our kids tune us out, building relationships instead with Angry Birds, Call of Duty Zombies and instant acquaintances misnamed as friends.
Before we go blaming technology for our children’s aloofness, consider this: iPhones, Wiis and computers are merely tools of communication. As such, they need to be managed and used respectfully.
As with the phone when I was a child, restrictions must be imposed. If I talked longer than 30 minutes (three minutes to a teenage girl), Dad would draw circles in the air to signal “wind it up”, I’d roll my eyes and huff but I would get off that phone. It was a similar story with TV. One hour a day, watching programs my parents deemed suitable, (Two and a Half Men would not have been one).
Technology is not the enemy here. It’s poor parenting, characterised by a reluctance to set and enforce limitations (in case our kids won’t like us) and a resignation to the idea that technology is omnipotent (it's everywhere so what can we do but let them have it?).
Instead of surrendering to weapons of mass communication, let’s determine how to use them for good. What values do we, as a family and collectively as a society, want to encourage and preserve? We must then commit to these things, not leave them to chance, because technology is racing ahead faster than we can digest and interpret it.
Research firm Gartner predicts that 64 million computer tablets will be sold this year; two years ago there were none. We already have 350,000 apps for our iPhone, yet 820 new apps are submitted each day.
With technology so pervasive and increasingly affordable (more than three-quarters of Australian homes have internet access), parents must sit down with their kids and agree on guidelines they can uphold. Appropriate screening covers school work and networking with students online to solve problems (such as maths, not who to take to the dance).
Beyond that, it is fine to play age-appropriate games within a set time - childhood experts recommend no more than one hour of screening (that includes TV) for under fives and two hours for fives and up. Within these periods, older kids can tweet, text or chat with friends, the key word here being friends. Friends are people you can touch and know through shared experiences that you can trust. They are not the secondhand acquaintances on social networking sites who multiply faster than measles.
Now, to inappropriate use. Screening has no place at the dinner table. Computers do not belong in bedrooms but in communal spaces where parents can monitor them. Where was the supervision of Brisbane schoolboy Philip Heggie, who ripped off eBay customers to the tune of almost $40,000 and stole a tidy $2 million from Suncorp?
Technology is a convenience parents have come to rely on (because, let’s face it, it’s the only babysitter kids really like), but giving a handheld device to a child in a restaurant to shut them up is teaching the child nothing about how to appreciate the dining out experience.
A friend of mine went to a baby shower in a restaurant last weekend, There were two little girls present, aged four or five. All other guests were women. One of the girls walked in wearing earphones and clutching a handheld device. “That’s a prepared mother," my friend initially thought, and then the second child arrived, without techno props.
As the three-hour function rolled on, the little girls, though seated side by side, did not engage with each other at all. Miss Earphones sat playing quietly on her handheld device and spoke to no one, including the other girl who eventually scored her mother's iPhone. "It was as if the two children were invisible to each other,” my friend said, “it was so sad”.
Technology, when used sensibly, has the power to positively connect people in a way we’ve never known. Look at how the much-maligned Gen Y rallied to the cause of flood recovery in January. When council websites choked, social networking took over, directing helpers to the areas of greatest need.
As a tool of communication, technology has no peer. But if we allow it to dominate our lives, it ceases to work for us. Parents must lead by example. No point telling your son too much screening is bad for him if you spend all night checking emails on your BlackBerry. Plugged in but tuned out describes adults too.
Former IBM CEO Louis Gerstner said: “Computers are magnificent tools for the realisahon of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love and understanding."
The above article appeared in the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" on 13 March
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.