November 19, 2012

NYT Ignores Jihadist Presence in Bombed Gaza Media Building, Obfuscates Effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense

Despite evidence reported elsewhere, a Monday story in the New York Times by Fares Akram, Jodi Rudoren and Alan Cowell described the bombing of “two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets” as a possible example of Israel “targeting journalists” — while ignoring one “little” thing. As the Washington Free Beacon noted (HT Instapundit), “Four senior Islamic Jihad terrorists were using the media building as a hideout. They were killed in the Israeli strike.” Additionally, the Times reporters downplayed the high-percentage effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in blowing up Hamas rockets before they could cause any damage.

What follows are the two “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” paragraphs from the Times, as well as those relating to Iron Dome’s results thus far:

On Sunday, Israeli forces attacked two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets. Israeli officials denied targeting journalists, but on Monday Israeli forces again blasted the Al Sharouk block, a multiuse building where many local broadcasters, as well as Sky News of Britain and the channel Al Arabiya, had offices.

That attack, which struck a computer shop on the third floor, sparked a blaze that sent plumes of dark smoke creeping up the sides of the building. Video footage showed clouds of smoke billowing.

The Free Beacon documented who knew better and admitted as much:

Both Islamic Jihad and the IDF noted the presence of terrorists in the building, and that they were eliminated in the strike.

(From an Associated Press tweet) “BREAKING: Gaza group Islamic Jihad says Israeli strike on media center killed one of its top militant leaders.”

The fact that those directly involved and even the Associated Press acknowledged the truth while the Times wouldn’t generated this response from Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds: “The New York Times is actually less reliable than the interested parties.” Indeed.

Also unreliable is the ability of the Times reporters involved to communicate basic math in regards to Iron Dome’s effectiveness:

Israel says its onslaught is designed to stop Hamas from launching the rockets, but, after an apparent lull overnight, more missiles hurtled toward targets in Israel, some of them intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Of five rockets fired on Monday at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, four were intercepted but one smashed through the concrete roof at the entrance to an empty school. There were no reports of casualties. Other rockets rained on areas along the border with Gaza.

Later a second salvo struck Ashkelon. Several rockets were intercepted, but one crashed down onto a house, causing damage but no casualties.

Israeli officials said 135 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Monday, of which 42 were intercepted by Iron Dome, Most of the others landed in open areas.

On Sunday, a new volley of Palestinian rockets totaled nearly 100 by nightfall, including two that soared toward Tel Aviv but were knocked out of the sky by Israeli defenses.

Let’s see. In Paragraph 1 above, Iron Dome went 4-for-5. Paragraph 2 is (deliberately?) less clear, but Iron Dome again had only one miss. Paragraph 4 appears to tell us that Iron Dome went 2-for-2 against rockets that had a chance of hitting something. Paragraph 3 is interesting, because “most” is a vague term which appears to mean “all but a very few,” and if so should have been expressed as such.

In other words, Iron Dome, though tragically not perfect, is working remarkably well, despite the attempts by the Times reporters to obfuscate. This must be more than a little troubling to those who have made it their mission to prevent the free world from building missile-defense systems by arguing that they supposedly won’t ever really work. Oh, but they do.

Cross-posted at

AP and Politico Ignore Dem Senators’ Demand for Another Round of ‘Stimulus’ in ‘Cliff’ Negotiations

On November 14, the Hill reported that “Senate Democrats, feeling confident from their net gain of two seats in last week’s election, say any deficit-reduction package negotiated in the coming weeks must include stimulus measures.” Alexander Bolton’s writeup quoted Senator Chuck Schumer publicly asserting that “We have to do something because the economy is not growing fast enough in the first year or two.” Although Schumer was referring to 2013 and 2014, the “not growing fast enough” characterization fits the U.S. economy under President Barack Obama’s and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “stimulus”-oriented policies ever since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

The fact that Democrats insist on more so-called “pump-priming” after four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits accompanied by tepid growth, thereby increasing the chances that the deficit streak will hit five years or more, even with tax hikes, while growth remains anemic, is something one might consider to be, well, news. But apparently not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, or the Politico.


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:55 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Franciscan Outreach provides shelter to Chicago’s homeless 365 days a year

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:50 am

From Chicago:

Nov 18, 2012 / 01:04 pm (CNA).- In mid-October, Teresa Widman did not know where she was going to sleep, or what she was going to eat. Her diabetes was out of control, and her blood sugar was sky high.

Things looked bleak, and she didn’t see how they would get any better.

Homeless since 2008, she had stayed in shelters in Chicago and other cities before finding her way to the House of Mary and Joseph, a homeless shelter on West Harrison Street operated by Franciscan Outreach. There, she can get dinner in the evening, breakfast in the morning and a bed in between.

Since she can sign up to come back when she leaves in the morning, she has a plastic bin to leave clothing and other possessions in during the day. And with the case management help of Darlene Bell, she has been able to see a doctor, get insulin to regulate her blood sugar and make a plan for dealing with her other health issues.

“I love it to death here,” she said. “Everybody’s friendly. They’ve already really helped me. I’ve been in a lot of homeless shelters, and I can tell this is a good place.”

Now Bell is talking about the next step for Widman: maybe getting her into Franciscan Outreach’s interim housing program, where she wouldn’t have to sign up every day for a bed and would be able to stay in the shelter during the day, doing volunteer work and preparing herself to be successful with a job; or maybe going back to Texas, where she has family.

“One thing I know I want,” Widman said in an interview in Bell’s office. “I want a key of my own, to my own place.”

Franciscan Outreach has been offering direct services to poor people since Franciscan Father Philip Marquard established it in 1963, said Diana Faust, the current executive director. He thought it would be an outlet for secular Franciscans — lay men and women like Faust — to offer service.

The non-profit organization maintains many Franciscan ties, including offering case management services out of St. Peter’s in the Loop and having several Franciscan volunteers, but it welcomes help from anybody, and is open to serving all. …

Go here for the rest of the story.