Shire Network News #117

Shire Network News #117 has been released. The feature interview is with Ezra Levant, who is the former publisher of Canada’s Western Standard newspaper, and who was famously hauled up in front of some sort of bogus Province of Alberta Kangaroo Court for a variety of thought crimes. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

Regular listeners to SNN will recall that in May of 2007 I talked about the children’s show "Tomorrow’s Pioneers", a Hamas-produced TV show that depicted a young girl and her mouse sidekick, named Farfur, meaning butterfly.  The purpose of Farfur was to indoctrinate Palestinian children to the idea of jihad and to demonstrate just how eeevil the Jews are.  Episodes on how to properly hold an AK-47 give you an idea of just how "charming" this show was.

At the time, the Palestinian government, aware of the PR fiasco it might be incurring, said they would nix the show.  When Hamas refused to stop airing the show, the government said that, well, OK, but they’d be watching it closely.

I’m sure they have, and here in February of 2008 the show is still going strong.  I guess in the world of the Palestinians, "oversight" simply means to watch.  These days, there is a new sidekick.  It’s a rabbit named Assud, meaning lion.  Either these Hamas producers enjoy this sort of cognitive dissonance, or they just didn’t have the requisite costumes. 

Assud’s arrival was required after his predecessor, Nahoul the bee, died because he couldn’t get to a hospital in Egypt for surgery.  Someone apparently didn’t tell him that Hamas took down that wall a few weeks ago.  Of course, Egypt’s feelings toward the Palestinians made a rapid change after that development; from "we support the Palestinians in their plight" to "hey, who invited you here?"  So it sounds like Nahoul still wouldn’t get his operation, and it still would be Israel’s fault.

Before Nahoul, Farfur himself died at the hands of an Israeli after Farfur wouldn’t sell his land and got punched out on camera.  The desensitizing of Palestinian children continues unabated, but it’s all "educational", doncha’ know?

So now Assud, the rabbit named "Lion", follows in these illustrious footsteps, vowing to liberate the Al-Aqsq mosque and the Palestinian "homeland".  Not exactly your typical Children’s Television Workshop faire.  Assud seeks martyrdom and intends to eat Jews, all while bringing "smiles and joy back to the children of Palestine".

Just remember, this is on a television station run by the terrorist group that is in power in the Palestinian territories.  This is the voice of a group that wants to be taken seriously on the world stage, and, unfortunately, is taken seriously by too much of the world.  They say they want to live in peace, but ingrain in their preschool children a hatred of and desire to kill their neighbors.  Until this sort of insanity stops, they cannot be taken seriously and cannot be taken at their word.  Peaceful is as peaceful does.  The rabbit named "Lion", who is teaching Palestinian children, isn’t.

Consider that.

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Bee Replaces Mouse as Kiddie Suicide Symbol

Ain’t Hamas television just so cute?

Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television station recruited a new children’s character to “continue” the legacy of its star martyr, Farfur – the Mickey Mouse lookalike who was beaten to death by an Israeli on the previous program.

The new character on the children’s show Tomorrow’s Pioneers, a bee named Nahool, tells the hostess he is Farfur’s cousin and that he wishes to “continue the path of Farfur… the path of martyrdom, the path of the Jihad warriors… and in his name we shall take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets…” The expression “Murderers of the prophets” is an Islamic expression used by the PA religious leaders to refer to Jews. Defining the Jews as the enemies of God is common in PA religious broadcasting.

Entertaining and educational as always.

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“Chavez and Farfour and Lenin, Oh My!”

When I returned from vacation and caught up on my news reading, a couple of items caught my eye.

Farfur the Mouse is dead. Back in May, I talked about the Hamas children’s show “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” and it’s main character Farfur the Mouse, an obvious Mickey Mouse knock-off, that told kids of the wonders of martyrdom and of the ultimate destruction of the terrorist state of Israel. Fun for the whole family, no? At the time, the head of the Palestinian version of the FCC (a Fatah fellow) said the program would be removed and reviewed. The Hamas station basically said, “Nuts to you” and kept it on the air. Well now, for whatever reason, the station did cancel the show. According to this Jerusalem Post report, it had nothing to do with the government; they’re just making room for new programs. Either that’s a final statement of defiance just before succumbing to a government order, or it’s the actual reason and the government really was toothless in this area.

Regardless, the mouse is dead. Literally. In the final episode (click here for the video) Farfur is martyred by a Jewish character in sunglasses when Farfur won’t sell him his land. He’s punched out on camera, and the little girl who co-hosts the show announces Farfur’s martyrdom. Remember, this is the official TV station of the government that the Palestinian people voted to be their representatives to the world.

Hugo Chavez is still…Hugo Chavez. He’s making common cause with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an “axis of unity” against North America, he’s making enemies of his South American neighbors after they rightly criticize his silencing of dissent, and he’s asking Russians to remember the lessons of Lenin. Chavez is talking about Lenin’s anti-imperialism views (though the Soviet Union certainly had its imperialist streak), but I think there are other lessons of Lenin that millions of the dead in Russia would like to teach us.

And here’s an interesting tidbit.

Insecurity, “malignant narcissism” and the need for adulation are driving Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s confrontation with the United States, according to a new psychological profile.

Eventually, these personality traits are likely to compel Chavez to declare himself Venezuela’s president for life, said Dr. Jerrold Post, who has just completed the profile for the U.S. Air Force.

Chavez won elections for a third term last December. Since then he has stepped up his anti-American rhetoric, vowed to accelerate a march towards “21st Century socialism” and suggested that he intends to stay in power until 2021 — a decade beyond his present term.

But Post — who profiled foreign leaders in a 21-year career at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and now is the director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University — doubts that Chavez plans to step down even then. “He views himself as a savior, as the very embodiment of Venezuela,” Post said in an interview.

“He has been acting increasingly messianic and so he is likely to either get the constitution rewritten to allow for additional terms or eventually declare himself president-for-life.”

Post portrays Chavez as “a masterful political gamesman” who knows that his popularity largely rests on being seen as a strong leader who takes on the United States, the Venezuelan elite and a host of other perceived enemies — often with public insults that are rarely used by other leaders.

“To keep his followers engaged, he must continue outrageous and inflammatory attacks,” Post said.

Even Chavez’s most determined opponents concede that he is a gifted orator and has a rare ability to mesmerize audiences. In the language of political psychology, this is a “charismatic leader-follower relationship.”

We’ve watch this script played out enough in history. Are we just going to sit back and watch the next act, or are we going to resist it?

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Shire Network News #91

Shire Network News #91 has been released. The feature interview is with Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch, talking about Farfur the Mouse, which is what my segment was about last week. (I got this week off.) Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Shire Network News #90

Shire Network News #90 has been released. The feature interview this week is with filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney, whose documentary, “Indoctrinate U”, examines the extent of political bias in American higher education. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary segment, complete with links.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to Consider This:

Paul Harvey has a phrase he uses to introduce some of his news stories. “Self-government without self-control is self-defeating.” I think that phrase fits quite well with this story.

Earlier this month, the German magazine “Der Spiegel” reported that the Hamas-backed al-Aqsa TV station was broadcasting a new children’s show into the Palestinian territories. It involved an obvious copy of Mickey Mouse, named “Farfur” which means “butterfly”, and a little girl named Saraa, and is called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers”. What brought this innocent-sounding show to the attention of the world was that its two loveable characters were engaged in cutesy things like showing how to hold an AK-47 and inciting violence against Israel and America. How positively charming!

Later on, Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said the program had been yanked and was “under review”. He complained that “some American television stations” were still covering the story after it was supposedly resolved. The mouse, named “Butterfly”, was no longer on the air.

Except that wasn’t the case. Hamas announced that it would defy Barghouti’s request and show the mouse, named “Butterfly”, according to schedule. Barghouti then decided that this “review” would take place on the air, while he watched the show. Recently, Fathi Hammad, Chairman of the television station defended the program saying it didn’t violate any moral or professional standard, and that it would not be withdrawn, nor would its content be modified.

So to recap: Saraa and her friend Farfur the Mouse, or Butterfly, tell kids how Islam will militarily conquer the world, on a TV station owned by Hamas. Israel reacts. The Palestinian government, who’s senior partner is Hamas, says that they’ll take it off the air and review it, while complaining that this is a non-story. Hamas defies its own government and continues to run the show, thus making this non-story a story. The Palestinian government, trying not to look irrelevant, says, “Well, OK, but it’s still under review”, but the TV station continues to demonstrate that the government is, in fact, irrelevant.

Self-government without self-control is self-defeating. And sometimes becomes self-parody.

This isn’t an isolated incident. “The Children’s Club” was another program in this vein, that mimicked “Sesame Street” but included kids shouting for jihad against Israel and one little girl singing, “”When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber.”

“Hey kids, today we’re going over to the trash can of Schlomoe the Grouch and teach him a lesson. After that, we’ll find our 72 vir…er…playmates.”

And there have been others. If Israel were doing this, there’d be a UN resolution. In the meantime, the mouse called “Butterfly” merrily continues to influence the next generation of jihadis.

I’d have more to say, but I’m currently reading “The Protocols of the Muppets of Zion”, and I’m just getting to the chapter on Miss Piggy. Should be interesting.

Back to you, Tom.

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