BEN SHAPIRO: HOLLYWOOD’S DISHONEST FACE

How the vulgar leftist slant of the film industry has ruined today’s movies

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/hollywoods-true-face/

In 2011, Hollywood’s revenue dropped 3.36 percent. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money until you realize that Hollywood has jacked up its prices for movie tickets to Weimar Republic-rates. And its movies are not nearly Fritz Lang quality. Fewer and fewer Americans are rolling their wheelbarrows of cash to the nearest multiplex. In fact, take away the conclusion of the Harry Potter film series, the latest Transformers sequel, and the most recent installation of Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hollywood had a downright awful year.

Maybe it has to do with the movies. They’re terrible.

It’s not that Hollywood doesn’t have the potential to make great film anymore. In 2010, Hollywood did itself proud with The King’s Speech, Inception, Toy Story 3, Tangled, How To Train Your Dragon, The Fighter, and Rabbit Hole. In 2011, Hollywood humiliated itself with The Tree of Life, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Drive, J. Edgar, Melancholia, and other depressing dreck.

So what happened? Hollywood went political once again. Three of Hollywood’s big releases – upcoming or recent – highlight the problem that Tinseltown has in stifling its political liberalism. There’s a reason that none of these films made lots of money, or will make lots of money.

P. DAVID HORNIK: THE PLO/HAMAS RECONCILIATION

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/the-plo-hamas-reconciliation/

The PLO-Hamas Reconciliation Posted By P. David Hornik

This week an Israeli and a Palestinian negotiator, along with envoys of the Middle East Quartet, met in Amman. Don’t get your hopes up. It was the merest gesture to deflect diplomatic pressure, and what is actually brewing in the Palestinian arena has nothing to do with peace.

Fatah official Mahmoud al-Aloul said as much the day after the meeting—in a speech he gave on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Aloul proclaimed: “The Palestinian leadership has spared no effort to seek peace and has complied with all [peace] initiatives. But all our efforts have been in vain…. The Israelis are not prepared for any solutions.”

And added: “We can’t restrain ourselves any longer in the face of settlement construction. The popular resistance will erupt in the next phase.”

It wasn’t just rhetoric. Al-Aloul’s threat jibes with recent reports by DEBKAfile and Khaled Abu Toameh. The picture these reports give has also been confirmed to me by a highly reliable source.

The picture is this: the “Arab Spring” sweeping the region has not left the Palestinian arena unaffected. Abbas thinks it will sweep him away, too, unless he joins forces with the Palestinian Islamist factions—principally Hamas but also Islamic Jihad. He aims to do that by, for the first time in history, incorporating at least Hamas in his relatively secular PLO. That way when the “Arab Spring” comes to the West Bank, Abbas hopes it will be directed against Israel instead of what’s left of his weakening rule.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: SOMALIA’S DIRE LESSONS FOR AFGHANISTAN

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/06/somalia%e2%80%99s-lessons-for-afghanistan/

Somalia’s Dire Lessons for Afghanistan Posted By Daniel Greenfield

Anyone interested in seeing the future of Afghanistan need only take a short plane trip from Italy across Libya and Sudan to what is the most dysfunctional territory in Africa. Somalia can’t be properly called a state, more of a prolonged clumsy civil war fought between rival gangs of Islamists, some of whom have American backing and some of whom don’t.

Somalia is Afghanistan on caffeine, not because it’s more violent, but because it covered the same span of history in half the time from when Operation Enduring Freedom expanded into the Horn of Africa during Bush’s second term, pushing out the Islamic Courts Union, the local equivalent of the Taliban, to the negotiations several years later that brought members of the Islamic Courts Union into the Transitional Federal Government and made them the majority, to the ongoing civil war between the ragged bands of Islamist militias fighting over the remains of the country under the watchful eye of peacekeeping troops.

ARTHUR HERMAN: AMERICA’S DISARMED FUTURE

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/287320/america-s-disarmed-future-arthur-herman

You have to give President Obama credit. It takes serious gall to tell the American military to its face that you are putting it on the road to second-class status.

That’s exactly what our commander-in-chief did at the Pentagon yesterday, as he announced nearly half a trillion dollars in new spending cuts, after already chopping $480 billion during his first three years in office. He also set out plans for drastic reductions in our force size and continuing weapons programs, including the F-35 fighter — our last best hope for maintaining American dominance in the skies.

Obama’s been trying to reassure Americans all this won’t endanger our national security or our strategic interests. Everyone in or out of uniform who’s free to speak knows better — and that with a full-scale war still underway we are standing on the brink of our weakest military posture since Jimmy Carter, and our smallest forces since before World War II.

#ad#Part of Obama’s rationale is his declared belief that America no longer needs to have a military big enough to fight two wars at once — even though that’s been our historical experience more often than not (think the European and the Pacific theaters in World War II, Vietnam and the Cold War with Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan).

More important, President Obama doesn’t understand that our military’s role isn’t just fighting wars. It’s providing a strong strategic presence that will influence events in our favor — and away from that of adversaries and rivals. Even he admits these drastic cuts can only come through shrinking that presence world-wide, which means deep cuts in our forces in Europe and the Middle East, while expecting a shrinking navy (which could wind up with barely 230 ships by 2020) and air force to keep our interests safe in the Pacific region — where China is surging.

BOB OWENS: FAST AND FURIOUS DEFENSE STRATEGY….KEEP THEM QUIET

Fast and Furious Defense Strategy: Keep Them Quiet Posted By Bob Owens

http://pjmedia.com/blog/fast-and-furious-defense-strategy-keep-them-quiet/
The Justice Department may be leveraging employees to keep them from testifying.

An overlooked detail of the personnel shuffling that has occurred in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious: current Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones was in a position to be as culpable regarding the gunwalking plot as was the removed director, Kenneth Melson.

Before taking over for Melson in a DOJ push to appear to have done “something,” Jones was the chairman of the attorney general’s Advisory Committee. He sat in on Fast and Furious calls as early as October 26, 2009 [1] — a meeting Melson also attended.

With the personnel move to Jones, control merely shifted from one possible co-conspirator to another, though the administration assured that they still held a tight rein over the new acting director with the choice of Jones.

HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: OBAMA IS WRONG…SENATE CONDUCTED BUSINESS DURING RECESS

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/01/05/the-white-house-is-wrong-the-senate-conducted-business-during-its-recess/

“The president’s ends don’t justify his means. Politics should not trump the principle that we – and particularly the president – operate under the rule of law and the bounds of the Constitution. When a president disregards the facts and shows such contempt for this principle, it is more than disappointing, it threatens the foundations of our republic. Leaders who believe they need not abide by the rules and the law have led more than one republic down the road to tyranny.”

In the uproar over President Obama’s unconstitutional “recess” appointments (Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board), one fact has gotten too little attention.

Attempting to justify the president’s violation of the Constitution and 90 years of legal precedent, presidential spokesman Dan Pfeiffer claimed that the president can exercise recess appointment powers because the Senate’s pro forma sessions—conducted since mid-December—are merely “a gimmick” during which “no Senate business is conducted and instead one of two Senators simply gavel in and out of session in a matter of seconds.”

DAVID SOLWAY: PLAIN AND SIMPLE…ANTI-ZIONISM IS ANTI-SEMITISM

http://pjmedia.com/blog/plain-and-simple-anti-zionism-is-anti-semitism/?print=1

It is easy to see that many critics of Israel are unquestionably anti-Semitic in outlook and feeling and are merely using a political argument to camouflage a religious, racist, or ethnophobic sentiment.Under cover of “legitimate criticism of Israel” and the condemnation of Zionism as an invasive colonial movement, anti-Semitism has now become safe. Plainly, the distinction these new anti-Semites like to draw between anti-Semitism as such and anti-Zionism is intended only to cloak the fundamental issue and to provide camouflage for vulgar ideas and beliefs.

This is a very shrewd tactic and is most disconcerting not only in its vindictiveness but in its frequency. Jewish philosopher and theologian Emil Fackenheim has outlined [1] three stages of anti-Semitism: “You cannot live among us as Jews,” leading to forced conversions; “You cannot live among us,” leading to mass deportations; and “You cannot live,” leading to genocide. Amnon Rubinstein, patron of the Israeli Shinui party and author of From Herzl to Rabin: The Changing Image of Zionism [2], has added a fourth stage: “You cannot live in a state of your own,” which leads to boycott, divestment, sanctions, biased reporting, pro forma support of the Palestinians, and calls for the delegitimation, territorial reduction, and in some cases even the disappearance of Israel as we know it.

SUZANNE GARMENT: A REVIEW OF “THE WHOLE DAMNED DEAL” BIO OF ROBERT STRAUSS

http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2012/1/6/main-feature/1/the-whole-damn-deal/e

On April 2, 1979, President Jimmy Carter recorded in his diary that he had asked Robert S. Strauss to be his Mideast peace negotiator. Strauss answered, “I’ve never even read the Bible. And I’m a Jew.” Observance-wise, Bob Strauss, who spent 50 years as a consummate practitioner of American politics, wasn’t much of a Jew. Yet his outsized career paints a surprisingly familiar portrait of Jews in post-World War II America.

There is an excellent recent biography of Strauss titled The Whole Damn Deal—which is what Strauss always said when he was asked what he liked best about his career. Strauss was inclined to like things. His father Karl—Charlie, after he immigrated from Germany in 1906—was a traveling salesman who reached West Texas, married, and went to work in his father-in-law’s dry goods store. Young Strauss was raised in a town with two Jewish families. He experienced his only moment of religious exclusion when the local minister told him why he couldn’t be president of the Baptist Young People’s Union.

“POLITICAL TENSION” IN IRAQ AS BOMBS KILL 68??SEE NOTE

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.042127e01fad2e1d10d2684b82ca74ff.31&show_article=1
Iraq grapples with political tension as bombs kill 68
WHEN DO WE CALL A FLOP A FLOP. THE WAR WE WAGED AND COULD NOT WIN…..RSK

Iraq faces calls to end a political stand-off after a wave of attacks against Shiite Muslimskilled at least 68 people, the worst toll in nearly five months.

The violence, which wounded more than 100, comes two weeks after a crisis erupted when the Shiite-led authorities charged Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with running a hit squad soon after US troops pulled out.

The US and the European Union swiftly condemned the attacks.

ALL ATWITTER AGAINST TWITTER’S ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/61425/twitter-fails-act-over-ed-miliband-lookalikes-anti-israel-death-threats

● A Jerusalem-based lawyer has claimed that Twitter is providing services to groups such as Hizbollah.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who specialises in cases against terror groups, said that the company could be violating US law.

Although Hizbollah does not have an official Twitter account, that of the Al-Manar TV network, which Hizbollah controls, has 7,500 followers.

● Twitter users in Israel are only able to select “Palestinian Territories” when listing their location.

Users can choose a location using their mobile phones. But anyone wanting to choose Israel finds a drop-down menu which offers only “Palestinian Territories”.

Twitter says: “We list countries where we’ve launched SMS with at least one operator. We’ve been in touch with operators in Israel but haven’t yet been able to launch SMS there. So it’s not included on the list.”

Twitter fails to act over Ed Miliband lookalike’s anti-Israel death threats

The international social networking site Twitter has provoked fury after refusing to act against a user responsible for a stream of death threats and antisemitic abuse. Shereef Abdallah, who advertises himself as an Ed Miliband lookalike and claims to have worked on the Labour leader’s election camp, began by targeting people identified as supporters of Tony Blair. He has since widened his online attacks to anyone who challenges him.