Tag Archives: turkey

Humanitarian Hypocrisy

by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
October 26, 2012

The world’s double standards concerning which peoples qualify as oppressed and deserving of help are staggering. Two recent stories illustrate this point:

First, a report exposed, in the words of the Turkish Coalition of America, “Turkey’s continued interest in expanding business and cultural ties with the American Indian community” and “Turkey’s interest in building bridges to Native American communities across the U.S.” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., even introduced a bill that would give Turks special rights and privileges in Native American tribal areas, arguing that “[t]his bill is about helping American Indians,” and about “helping the original inhabitants of the new world, which is exactly what this legislation would do.”

The very idea that Turkey’s Islamist government is interested in “helping American Indians” is preposterous, both from a historical and contemporary point of view. In the 15th century, when Christian Europeans were discovering the Americas, Muslim Turks were conquering and killing Christians in Europe (which, of course, is why Europeans starting sailing west in the first place). If early European settlers fought and killed natives, only recently, Turkey committed a mass genocide against Armenian Christians. And while the U.S. has made many reparations to its indigenous natives, Turkey not only denies the Armenian holocaust, but still abuses and persecutes its indigenous Christians.

In short, if Turkey is looking to help the marginalized and oppressed, it should start at home.

But of course, Turkey is only looking to help itself; the American Indians are mere tools of infiltration. One need not elaborate on the dangers involved in thousands of Muslim Turks settling in semi-autonomous areas in America and working closely with a minority group that holds a grudge against the United States.

Yet if one can understand Turkey’s machinations, what does one make of another recent report? Fifteen leaders from U.S. Christian denominations—mostly Protestant, including the Lutheran, Methodist, and UCC Churches—are asking Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel, since “military aid will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

These are the same church leaders who utter nary a word concerning the rampant persecution of millions of Christians from one end of the Muslim world to the other—a persecution that makes the Palestinians’ situation insignificant in comparison.

If Muslims are subjugated on Israeli land, at least one can argue that, historically, the Jews were there first—millennia before Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the 7th century. On the other hand, millions of Christians—at least 10 million in Egypt alone, the indigenous Copts—have been suffering in their own homelands for 14 centuries, since Islam burst in with the sword.

Nor is this limited to history: from Nigeria in the west, to Pakistan in the east, Christians at this very moment are being imprisoned for apostasy and blasphemy; their churches are being bombed and burned down; their women and children are being kidnapped, enslaved, and raped. For an idea, see my monthly Muslim Persecution of Christians series, where I collate dozens of anecdotes of persecution every month—any of which, if Palestinians experienced, would make headlines around the world; but as it is only “unfashionable” Christians who are experiencing these atrocities, they are regularly overlooked.

Nor are Palestinian Christians immune from this phenomenon: a pastor recently noted that “animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA continues to get increasingly worse. People are always telling [Christians], Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam.”

Indeed, the American Jewish Committee, which was “outraged by the Christian leaders’ call,” got it right by saying: “When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others.”

By any objective measure, the atrocities currently being committed against Christians around the Muslim world are far more outrageous and deserving of attention and remedy than the so-called “Palestinian Question.” Incidentally, Israeli treatment of the Palestinians—some of whom, like Hamas, openly declare their intent to eradicate the Jewish state—is largely predicated on the aforementioned: Israel knows Islam’s innate animus for non-Muslims and does not wish to be on its receiving end, hence the measures it takes to exist.

There is a final important point of irony concerning the differences between Turkey’s Muslims and America’s liberal Christians: the former engage in hypocrisy to empower Islam; the latter engage in hypocrisy to disempower Christianity, even if unwittingly. Just like secular/liberal Americans who strive to disassociate themselves from their European heritage—seeing it as the root of all evil and championing the rights of non-whites like American Indians—liberal American Christians strive to disassociate themselves from their Christian heritage and champion the rights of non-Christians, hence their keen interest for Muslim Palestinians.

And all the while, the one religious group truly persecuted from one end of the Islamic world to the other—Christians—are devoutly ignored by the humanitarian hypocrites.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Blame Obama for the Gaza flotilla disaster, Palestinian jihad for the Gaza blockade, and Israeli weakness for both

Israel’s blockade of traffic to Hamas controlled Gaza was a necessary effort to prevent weapons from being smuggle into Gaza. Israel was not preventing food and other aid from reaching the people living in Gaza. Israel’s military was both regulating and overseeing land deliveries of legitimate supplies. Of course, it was likely that shipments were delayed because of the screening process.

Erroneous propaganda was being circulated that enflamed many Muslims throughout the Middle East. Clearly, the government of Turkey had no right to sponsor the violent group of so-called activists whose purpose was to create an international conflict.

According to the World Tribune, deaths of the flotilla terrorists can be laid at the feet of the leader of the American Empire. Israel gave Pres. Obama advanced intel about the passengers of the flotilla. Pres. Obama demanded Israel use no conventional riot gear. Had the Israeli military boarded the ship with anti-riot gear, tear gas and guns with rubber bullets, no one would have likely died during the conflict.

Israeli soldiers boarded the flotilla were attacked and beaten. Those who had remained in their boat had no choice but to protect the lives of their comrades with deadly force.

To condemn Israel for protecting its citizens from suicide bombers, from missile attacks, and from those smuggling in the weapons to do so is no injustice to Palestinians in Gaza. It is an obligation of the Israeli government. Like walls, blockades are the least destructive means of protecting humans lives–lives on both sides.

Maybe, Muslims should try more peaceful means of resolving problems that violent demands and violent attacks.

One of the more ironic aspects of this tragic event is the apparent weakness of Israeli leaders. PM Netanyahu didn’t even consult his own security cabinet, according to the World Tribune. Remember, Pres. Obama has no military experience whatsoever. Instead, he followed the head of Empire to resolve Israel’s crisis. It is this apparent weakness that enabled Pres. Obama to dictate Israeli policy and emboldens Muslims with visions of one world Islam.

Turkey news, your thanksgiving bird may have originated from Minnesota

FedGazette writer Dave Walter claims your Thanksgiving turkey more than likely originated from Minnesota.

In recent years, chances have increased that this Thanksgiving a turkey gracing any given table in America hails from [Minnesota]. By virtually every important measure—birds raised, pounds produced, total value—the district’s turkey industry is growing, and at a faster rate than the industry nationwide.

Last year, district turkey farms raised more than 54 million birds, one-fifth of the nation’s flock of 272 million birds. Much of the increase in the size of the region’s turkey flock has occurred since 2005 and stems from production gains in Minnesota, by far the district’s largest turkey producer.

The strong performance of turkey farmers in the district compares favorably with growth trends in other livestock industries. In the beef industry, cattle and calf production fell 3 percent between 2000 and 2007, and in dairy the number of milk cows raised decreased by 10 percent. Growth in the number of turkeys roughly matched the increase in chicken production, while in terms of pounds produced, the growth rate for turkey was more than twice that for chicken.

Only hog farmers have outdone turkey growers in production growth; between 2000 and 2007, the number of hogs raised in the district increased by about 23 percent. (However, those gains have not translated into higher income for hog farmers, because of dropping hog prices in the past two years.)

Turkey farmers breed and feed today’s birds to grow bigger and quicker (adding as much as two pounds per week to their frames) than their recent ancestors. Careful breeding and nutrition have also produced turkeys of uniform size bearing lots of white breast meat—more desirable to consumers than dark meat.

The supersizing of the American turkey is one indication of how efficient the turkey industry has become at producing large quantities of turkey meat for consumption in the United States and overseas.

Large, uniformly sized turkeys lend themselves to large-scale, automated processing, reducing production costs. Economies of scale extend to turkey hatcheries and farms where turkey hatchlings (called poults) are raised to maturity. The size of turkey “grow-out” facilities in the district varies widely, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. But even relatively small farms house 10,000 birds or more, and larger operators raise as many as half a million turkeys at multiple sites.

Efficient production translates into low retail prices. Consumers pay much less per pound for turkey than other meats. In 2007, turkey sold for about half the price of ham and less than half the price of beef (chicken cost about the same). And the price of turkey keeps falling; adjusted for inflation, turkey costs less than it did in 1998. In contrast, the price of beef has risen 26 percent in real dollars over the past decade.

Affordability, together with the development of “further-processed” products such as turkey lunchmeat, sausages and ground meat, has made turkey more of a year-round food item than it was a generation ago. Per capita turkey consumption in the United States rose from 6.3 pounds in 1960 to just over 18 pounds in 1996, according to the USDA. In 2005, turkey consumption fell slightly to 16.7 pounds per person.

American consumers aren’t the only ones eating more turkey; between 1990 and 2007, U.S. exports of turkey meat increased almost eightfold to 554 million pounds. The three leading export countries for turkey are Mexico, China and Russia.

For all its efficiency, the turkey industry is suffering from escalating corn and soybean prices that have increased production costs. Feed accounts for about two-thirds of the cost of raising turkeys. In the summer of 2006, corn prices hovered around $2 per bushel; by last June, they had hit $5 per bushel. The trend for soybeans is similar: Between 2006 and last July, the price more than doubled to almost $12 per bushel. Since then, prices for both commodities have fallen considerably.

So far, processors have eaten the higher costs of feed. Contracts with growers usually stipulate that the processor pays for turkey rations—once a safe bet for processors because before the recent run-up, feed prices had been fairly stable for years. No more; processors are feeling the impact of rising feed prices, which doesn’t bode well for the industry as a whole. The rising price of feed “is first and foremost the thing we think about,” said Burkel of Northern Pride, which has to foot the bill under its contract obligations to member-growers.

Turkeys are extremely efficient at converting feed into meat; just under three pounds of feed are required to grow one pound of turkey—less than half the amount it takes to produce a pound of beef. Even so, processors can be expected to absorb high feed prices only so long before they’re obliged to pass those costs along to consumers or cut production.

The National Turkey Federation in Washington, D.C., has lobbied for a reduction in the federal ethanol mandate for blended gasoline, arguing that the upward pressure it puts on corn prices will ultimately increase turkey retail prices and force some turkey farmers out of business.

The impact of increased ethanol production on feed prices is debatable, but there are already signs of a shake-up in the industry. A Butterball turkey plant in Colorado announced this fall that it would close its slaughtering facility and local turkey raising operations by Thanksgiving, citing “record-high costs for corn, soybean meal and other feed ingredients” for the loss of almost 500 jobs.

The fatter, faster, more efficient turkeys and farmers weave a web of independent and corporate growers. Whether it’s all for the birds, I don’t know. I have doubts about whether the birds are as healthy for us as marketers want us to believe. Nevertheless, one can only wonder whether the declining economy will further hurt turkey growers. If the above is indicative of current trends, those turkeys in the corporate bird business may need bailed out too. Were more corporate producers to fail altogether, millions of turkeys would have something to be thankful by next Thanksgiving Day.

Can turkeys gobble hallelujah?

Source:Dave Walter, Talking Turkey, FedGazette, November 2008.