Archive for November 18th, 2009

Iranian Student and Winner of International Math Olympics to Supreme Leader Khamenei: ““Why Can’t Anyone Criticize You”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

No confirmation of this is available, so take it with a grain of salt.

Date: October 29, 2009
Persian: Rouydad News
English Translation: Atefeh for Persian2English

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(NOTE: this is not a full translation, but a summary)

Supreme leader Khamenei usually holds conferences with top students who are pre-selected to speak. These students usually go on stage and praise Khamenei. Then Khamenei usually speaks and talks about how much he values their ideas.

But this Wednesday October 28th, the conference was different. After the students spoke, Khamenei asked if anybody had any questions. Mahmoud Vahidnia, a math student from Sharif university who is also winner of the International Math Olympics, stood up and said courageously:

“Yes, I have some words with you.”

Here is a summary translation of what the students said to Khamenei:

“Why can’t anyone criticize you in this country, isn’t that ignorant? Do you think that you make no mistakes? Why have they made an idol out of you that is so unreachable and that nobody can challenge? I have never read an article about your performance in any newspaper because you have shut down all the media that is against you in the country. Why does national TV show all the events untruthfully? For example all the events after the election. Why do you support them [national TV shows], when everyone knows they are lying? Since the president of national TV is directly selected by you, then you are responsible for all this.”

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Khamenei evades answering the student and calls his words not truthful. He claims that people criticize him everyday and he listens to them and then fixes his errors.

Everybody knows that this is just another lie. Rumors say that the student has been arrested.

Original Link.

Yad Mordechai Honey [Holy land Honey] – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Yad Mordechai Honey [Holy land Honey].

There’s nothing much sweeter that Honey from the Holy Land

Yad Mordechai Apiary was established in Israel at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai near Sderot in 1938.

* size: 350 gram

This Honey is purchased from Sderot, a small city in southern Israel whose citizens are being terrorized and economy destroyed by the constant barrage of rockets being fired from Gaza!

Take a moment to see all of the other interesting items they stock.

The Jerusalem Gift Shop 234x60

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Gov’t Wastes $98B in Taxpayer Dollars in 2009

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

These are the same people who want us to trust them with our health care.

WASHINGTON — More than $98 billion in taxpayer dollars spent by government agencies was wasted, much of it on questionable claims for tax credits and Medicare benefits, representing an increase of $26 billion from the previous year.

In all, about 5 percent of spending in federal programs in fiscal year 2009 was improper, according to new details of a government financial report that were released Tuesday. Saying the overall error rate was similar in 2008, officials attributed the $26 billion jump to some changes in how to define improper spending as well as an increase in overall spending due to the recession.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order within the next week aimed at cracking down on government waste and fraud, particularly in Medicare and other benefit programs. In the 2009 report, the government officially reported questionable Medicare payments of roughly $36 billion, but that amount will be revised upward to about $48 billion next year as the Health and Human Services Department fully converts to a new methodology that imposes stricter documentation requirements.

“We need to protect taxpayer dollars,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters. “Every dollar that goes to the wrong recipient or in the wrong amount is a dollar not available to help an unemployed worker, or to invest in education or key priorities of the administration.”

Under the executive order, every federal agency would have to maintain a Web site that tracks improper payments, error rates and outstanding payments. If an agency doesn’t meet targets for reducing error rates for two years in a row, the agency director and responsible official will have to directly report to OMB to explain the delinquency and new actions they will take.

The Obama administration will also seek to impose penalties on government contractors that receive improper payments so they have incentives to return the money, Orszag said.

Original Link.

AP Devoting 11 Reporters to ‘Fact Check’ Palin’s Book

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Obama’s Department of Propaganda (formerly known as the Main Stream Media) is at it again, with their typical sleaziness and duplicity.

Sarah Palin is no normal politician, and at the Associated Press, apparently “Going Rogue” is no normal book.

When the former Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor wrote her autobiography, the AP found a copy before its release date and assigned 11 people to fact check all 432 pages.

The AP claims Palin misstated her record with regard to travel expenses and taxpayer-funded bailouts, using statements widely reported elsewhere. But it also speculated into Palin’s motives for writing “Going Rogue: An American Life,” stating as fact that the book “has all the characteristics of a pre-campaign manifesto.”

Palin quickly hit back on a Facebook post titled “Really? Still Making Things Up?”

“Imagine that,” the post read. “11 AP reporters dedicating time and resources to tearing up the book, instead of using the time and resources to ‘fact check’ what’s going on with Sheik Mohammed’s trial, Pelosi’s health care takeover costs, Hasan’s associations, etc. Amazing.”

The AP, an organization with over 4,000 employees and 49 Pulitzer Prizes earned for asking the hard questions, wouldn’t comment on their own reporting for this story.

Reviewing books and holding public figures accountable is at the core of good journalism, but the treatment Palin’s book received appears to be something new for the AP. The organization did not review for accuracy recent books by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, then-Sen. Joe Biden, either book by Barack Obama released before he was president or autobiographies by Bill or Hillary Clinton. The AP did more traditional news stories on those books.

The attraction to Palin doesn’t appear to be partisan, since AP didn’t fact-check recent political tomes by Republicans Rudy Giuliani or Newt Gingrich.

The AP, however, regularly writes “fact checks” for major political speeches, such as a September health care speech by President Obama.

Doug Underwood, a University of Washington journalism professor who covered Washington politics in the late 1970s for Gannett, said Palin brings some negative attention on herself with a history of bad interviews and misstatements. In addition, the press cannot ever be perfectly consistent or fair, he said.

Still, the media treated Biden and Palin differently, he said.

Biden’s book “Promises to Keep” became an instant best-seller when he was chosen to be Obama’s running mate, but was not fact-checked by the AP and only received passing interest. In a story last year on Biden’s Vietnam War draft deferments due to asthma, the reporter notes Biden didn’t mention the malady in his book.

Palin is not the standard presidential possibility for 2012, Underwood said.

“She’s a figure who’s a politician, but also a part of popular culture,” he said.

Palin supporters believe 11 reporters poring over every word of her book is excessive- and further proof of the media’s obsession and maltreatment of the hockey mom from Wasilla.

“They’re obsessed with trying to discredit her,” said Adrienne Ross, New York state organizer for the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. “Because she’s a conservative woman, they make fun of her accent, comment about her looks. She doesn’t come in the package they want her to come in.”

Original Link.

Obama: Debt Could Fuel ‘Double-Dip Recession’

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

What’s this? You mean the Spender-in-Chief, the man who is almost solely responsible for tripling our national debt within the first six months of his administration, is worried that it could cause a recession? Why wasn’t he concerned about this when he was doing it? I remember there were a lot of people who tried to tell him it was the wrong thing to do. This guy continues to amaze me.

Speaking in the heart of America’s biggest lender, President Obama told Fox News in an interview Wednesday that the piling on of U.S. debt could drag the country into a “double-dip recession,” though he said he’s still considering additional tax incentives for businesses to reverse the rising unemployment rate.

The president, who is in China as part of his tour through several Asian countries where he is addressing economic challenges, spoke candidly about the precarious balancing act his administration is trying to perform with regard to the U.S. economy. He wants to spend money to kick-start the economy, but at the same time is in danger of creating too much red ink.

“There may be some tax provisions that can encourage businesses to hire sooner rather than sitting on the sidelines. So we’re taking a look at those,” Obama told Fox News’ Major Garrett. “I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.”

The president also warned that Israel’s move to build hundreds of new settlements in a Palestinian area is not helpful to ongoing peace talks, and is potentially “dangerous.”

“The situation in the Middle East is very difficult, and I’ve said repeatedly and I’ll say again, Israel’s security is a vital national interest to the United States, and we will make sure they are secure,” Obama said. “I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel’s security, I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.”

Original Link.