Palestinian Workers Praise SodaStream – and Scarlett Johansson :”It’s Time to Stop Faulting Israel For all Our Problems”

MISHOR ADUMIM – WEST BANK — (ISRAEL)“I can bring a million people who want to work here,” boasted Ahmed Nasser, taking a break from his job as a SodaStream assembly line worker.

Nasser spoke to the Forward from SodaStream’s main production plant, which is located in the Mishor Adumim industrial park within the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank. Controversy over the plant’s location was reignited by the company’s recent decision to sign actress Scarlett Johansson, who will debut as a company spokesperson in a high-profile commercial to be broadcast on Super Bowl Sunday. Critics have also alleged that SodaStream is guilty of mistreating its workers.

But Nasser, a 28-year-old who has been with the company for two years, said that employees receive “the best conditions there are” and “everything according to the law.” He added that he receives an hour-and-a-half worth of breaks in a standard 12-hour shift, and that prayer times are not deducted from break allowances.

Nasser lives in Ramallah, the power base of the Palestinian political elite that is opposed to settlement employment. But he said that he does not feel antagonism from the local population because of his work at SodaStream. He was happy to be photographed. Asked whether he changes out of his SodaStream shirt before returning home, he said no. “It’s my job — I’m not shy about it,” he commented.

Robert Bryce: The Real Climate ‘Deniers’ Are the Greens
While renewables subsidies have punished Europe, shale gas has cut U.S. emissions.

For years, greens and many on the political left have insisted that widespread adoption of renewable energy will create jobs and stimulate the economy. An example: In September 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama claimed at a speech in Golden, Colo., that his planned investments in “green” energy would create “five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.”

It was all bunk.

Proof came last month when both the European Union and the German government announced separately that they were both rolling back aggressive subsidies and mandates for renewable energy. The reason: staggering costs. Spain has racked up some $35 billion in debt—known as the “tariff deficit”—thanks to excessive renewable-energy subsidies. In Germany, renewable-energy subsidies are now costing German consumers and industry about $32 billion a year. The costs have become so onerous that on Jan. 21 Germany’s economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel told energy conference attendees in Berlin that his country is risking “dramatic deindustrialization” if it doesn’t reduce energy costs.

THE PRICE OF UNILATERAL RULE Obama’s disdain for the law may kill immigration reform. President Obama declared last week that he plans to act even more aggressively than he already has to govern on his own, and he’s brought in new adviser and liberal spear-carrier John Podesta, who has ostentatiously advertised the same plan. That may sell in Democratic […]

Interview: Fred Siegel on The Revolt Against the Masses By Ed Driscoll ****
In the wake of World War I, there was a “tremendous intellectual upheaval,” Fred Siegel tells me, talking about his new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class. American intellectuals, led by H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis and heavily influenced by H.G. Wells, came to see “the American middle class as their enemy.” It’s “the beginning of the Europeanization of American politics. And what these writers want, they want to be more like Europe. They want a more stratified, more hierarchical society. They dislike American small-d-democracy. And they talk about this at great length. This is not a conjecture.”

But it’s been largely forgotten, since in both academia and the media, the left has largely written the story of American history of the 20th century. Fortunately, Fred has done yeoman archeological work, bringing the early history of the American left to light once again, in a book that anyone who was enlightened by Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism will also find absolutely intriguing.

During our interview, we’ll discuss:

● The largely forgotten racism of H.G. Wells and Woodrow Wilson.

● Sinclair Lewis’s absurd yet highly influential It Can’t Happen Here, and its paranoid vision of American fascism rising up from the benign members of the all-American Rotary Clubs and Elks and Moose Lodges.

● When did “Progressivism” become “Liberalism,” and why?


“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

–Matthew 7:3

Unlike many of my friends, I am not a particular fan of Chris Christie. Sure, I enjoyed watching him take apart that preposterous teacher [1] who, with tremulous voice, complained that the state of New Jersey wasn’t paying enough of her bills. Delicious, I think, and sound policy to boot.

But notwithstanding his embarrassing protestations to the contrary [2], I think he is a bully. That’s not the reason I am not part of [3] the Christie fan club, though. To my mind, Christie has about as much chance of being president as all those other establishment candidates who have been paraded before us as “mainstream,” “not divisive,” etc. Remember Bob Dole? Remember John McCain? Remember Mitt Romney? We were supposed to rally round them and eschew other candidates because the other candidates were “extreme” or “unelectable.”

Let’s grant that the establishment candidates were not “unelectable.” But none was elected. Will we never learn?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: BEAT UP AND EXHAUSTED GOP On almost every contemporary issue there is a populist, middle-class argument to be made against elite liberalism. Yet the Republican class in charge seems ossified in its inability to make a counter-argument for the middle class. Never has the liberal agenda been so vulnerable, a logical development when bad ideas have had five years […]

The Affordable Cell Phone Care Act :Ed Cline Groucho Marx had many great monologues and spiels, but this is one of his finest:   The nickel today is not what it was fifteen years ago. Do you know what this country needs today?…A seven-cent nickel. Yessiree, we’ve been using the five-cent nickel in this country since 1492. Now that’s pretty near a […]

The Media & the Muslim Brotherhood By Rachel Ehrenfeld Western media coverage of Egyptian politics seems to focus almost entirely on the depredations of the military-backed interim government, with a strong residue of sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no mention of the Brotherhood’s totalitarian and terrorist agenda. Reuters‘ February 1, 2014, coverage of Mohammed Morsi’s trial, is a good example: “Egypt court adjourns Mursi […]

No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men By Christina Hoff Sommers

It’s the bogus statistic that won’t die—and president deployed it during the State of the Union—but women do not make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.

President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid. The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers. In its fact-checking column on the State of the Union, the Washington Post included the president’s mention of the wage gap in its list of dubious claims. “There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women… make it difficult to make simple comparisons.”

Israel Boycotter Danske Bank Linked to North Korea Missiles Shipments to Iran: David Goldman Danske Bank last week cut off banking business with Israel’s Bank Hapoalim on “legal and ethical grounds.” What are Danske Bank’s ethics? According to Wikileaks cables, Danske Bank helped finance Tanchon, a North Korean trading company that sold ballistic missiles to Iran: Tanchon has been involved in financing ballistic missile sales from KOMID to […]