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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shame on Goddard College

We can add Goddard College in Vermont to the list of American universities who have arranged to have convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal as a commencement speaker. I first heard about this this evening on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show. One of her guests was the widow of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who was gunned down by Abu Jamal, who is now serving a life sentence for murder.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Mumia_Abu-Jamal_to_give_college_commencement_speech.html

Let me be clear. This is an indictment of our academic community. After so much brainwashing at Goddard by leftist professors, the graduate class at Goddard decided that they wanted Abu Jamal, a murderer, as their commencement speaker. This is testimony to the moral rot that passes for higher education in America today.

Unborn Animals in the Womb

Hat tip Young Conservatives.com and Eagle Rising

I am cross-posting this fascinating piece from Eagle Rising, a conservative blog for which I have just begun writing. It originates with Young Conservatives.com and shows animals in their womb. It also ends with a human baby in its womb.

http://eaglerising.com/9047/12-amazing-photos-animals-womb-reinforces-pro-life-stance/

I wonder if these photos give pause to any of you pro-choice readers.

AMCHA Initiative Letter to UCLA

Below is the text of a letter sent to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block about the questionable activities of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Chancellor Block,

As you know, our non-profit organization, AMCHA Initiative, recently released a study which tracked antisemitic discourse and anti-Israel bias in all of the audio- or video-recorded, Israel-related public events sponsored by CNES, 2010 - 2013. The study was designed and supervised by one of us, Leila Beckwith, who is Professor Emeritus at UCLA and a well-respected faculty member with more than 30 years of research experience.

During the period under investigation, CNES received nearly $1.5 million from the Department of Education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, a statute which stipulates that its recipients must demonstrate that all Title VI-funded programming reflect “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views.”  The results of our study indicate that CNES’ programming has a troubling anti-Israel bias, which distorts its scholarly and educational mission and is a violation of its federal funding requirements.

In particular, our study found:
  • CNES Israel-related events had an overwhelmingly anti-Israel bias: Of the 28 Israel-related events analyzed, 93% were anti-Israel, as identified using a systematic and objective definition of bias;
  • Most CNES Israel-related events contained antisemitic content: Of the 28 events, 75% contained antisemitic content, as identified using a systematic definition of antisemitic activity based directly on the definition of antisemitism used by the U.S. State Department;
  • CNES had a disproportionate focus on Israel: Of all the public events pertaining to significant Middle East political conflicts, 61% focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict, significantly more than on any other conflict, including the "Arab Spring” uprisings and the Iranian nuclear threat.  In addition, events were held about 14 Middle East countries.  Of those countries, 27% of the events were about Israel, four times more than any other country except Iran;
  • CNES favors speakers who engaged in antisemitic activity: Of the 31 speakers at the CNES Israel-related events, 84% have engaged in antisemitic activity, including the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, denying Jews the right to self-determination, comparing Israelis to Nazis and condoning terrorism;
  • Each CNES director had engaged in anti-Israel and antisemitic activity: All three CNES directors from 2010-2013 publicly opposed the UC Israel Abroad Program, despite touting that program as part of the center’s fulfillment of its Title VI funding requirement.  In addition, each of the directors has endorsed boycotts of Israeli universities and scholars, and one is the founder of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel.  Besides revealing their personal anti-Israel biases, these three directors’ actions to subvert UCLA students’ educational opportunities in Israel and to boycott Israeli academic institutions and scholars are in direct violation of their charge as directors of a Title VI Center, which includes “maintain[ing] linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center.”

We are aware that in response to the release of our study, the UCLA media relations office issued a statement claiming that the university "remains dedicated to complying with all federal laws and respecting the free and open exchange of ideas representing diverse viewpoints.”  However, UCLA's statement nowhere addressed the extensive data we had collected showing that the egregiously anti-Israel public outreach events of CNES clearly violated the Title VI stipulation that the center’s programing reflect “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views."

We believe that our study warrants careful review by your office, and we urge you to forthrightly address the serious problems we have raised regarding CNES.

Sincerely,

Leila Beckwith
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative
Professor Emeritus, UCLA


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative
Lecturer, UC Santa Cruz


Cc: UC President Janet Napolitano  
UC Regents
California State Senator Holly Mitchell (District 26)
California Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (District 54)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment: Virtually all the Middle East studies departments in universities across the country are manned by partisan, anti-Israel, anti-Western ideologues who engage in propaganda as opposed to serious scholarship and balanced education. Many are funded by Saudi Arabia. The CNES is just another example.


Another Benefit Dinner With Siraj Wahhaj Coming to Southern California

Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrorism



Siraj Wahhaj: "You know what this country is? It's a garbage can. It's filthy."



Here we go again. On October 31, the Islamic Society of Orange County  is having yet another benefit dinner. In addition, they are featuring as  speaker, good old Siraj Wahhaj from Brooklyn.


http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b1e0543052757210c4f61c7bc&id=46106f3893&e=159e8822e8


As you read the glowing tribute to Wahhaj, what is missing is that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center back in the nineties as well as a few other buildings in New York. That didn't stop Wahhaj from testifying as a defense witness for the Blind Sheikh. In addition, this great man has referred to America as a "filthy garbage can" and advocated for an Islamic takeover of the US.  None of the above matters to Hussam Ayloush, the Southern California director of CAIR, who told me back in November at an event in Riverside, California that Wahhaj was "one of the most-respected religious leaders in America".


If you are a radical Islamist, that is.

I note that the site is not mentioned, but I imagine it will be the Anaheim Hilton. That is where most of their Orange County events take place.

Chicago Cubs: What is Coming in 2015?

Hat tip John Speedie for audio






OK. My Cubbies finished last again the National League Central Division. Next year will be year 107 since they won the World Series and year 70 since they played in the Series. Still we loyal fans suffer along through the years, the decades, and the centuries convinced that one day it is going to happen only to be teased by the occasional contender and blown pennants spaced between the years of losing. This year, many of us put the pain aside and spent as much time following the Cubs farm system as much as the "big club".

Those of you who don't care about the Cubs probably don't know that under Theo Epstein, they have built up the farm system from what was considered poor to what is now considered arguably the best in terms of blue chip prospects. Three-possibly four - of those prospects made it to the majors this year with varying degrees of success. There are at least 4 more expected to show up in Chicago within the next two years.

This year actually produced improvement under new manager Rick Renteria. Instead of losing over 100 games again, they lost 89.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah."


Next year promises more improvement. Here is how things look in 2015 position by position.

Starting pitching. Jeff Samardziya is gone, but we have two solid starters in Jake Arrieta and rookie Kyle Hendricks. The remainder of the rotation is up for grabs among Travis Wood (who was bad this year), Tsuyoshi Wada (who impressed but will be 33 years old) Jacob Turner, and Felix Doubront. They are stuck with two more years on the contract of Edwin Jackson, who has been terrible the last two years. They will give him a chance to find himself next year, but I don't figure him in the long-term planning. Along with Wood, there isn't much risk next year because they aren't expected-I say expected- to contend. But who knows? The top two starting prospects in the minors are CJ Edwards and Pierce Johnson, who figure to be in Triple A next year. In summary, the hope is that Arrieta and Hendricks continue to pitch like they did in 2014 and one or two of the others steps up and establishes himself as a solid starter. Hendricks impressed everyone who watched him, and Arrieta pitched like an ace. Free agency, which I will discuss separately, could land us someone like Jon Lester, James Shields or Max Scherzer. If that happens, watch out.

Bullpen

The late inning relievers were very good this year with Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop and closer Hector Rondon. Justin Grimm was good in the second half of the season. Wesley Wright,a  leftie, was pretty good and should be in there some place. Prospect Aroydis Vizcaino figures to be a solid reliever and Armando Rivero, who was in the minors last year will possibly win a spot as well. Carlos Villanueva was on and off this year in both stating and relieving roles.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo. What more can you say? At this position we should be solid for years to come if he stays healthy.

Second Base.

Right now that is Javier Baez, who may be moved to another spot due to the coming glut of talent in the infield. As for Baez, he came up and played the last third of the season. He made a splash in his debut series at Colorado with three homers, hitting nine in all, which would project to about 27 over the course of a full season. However, he struck out 95 times, a prodigious number. It doesn't take a professional hitting coach to see what the problem is. Baez has a hitch in his swing that almost matches a golfer's back swing. He has super power and when he makes solid contact, the ball shoots off his bat like a rocket due to the power as the bat comes through the strike zone. In the minors, Baez's progress has been consistent. He began each new level struggling then figured it out and crushed the opposition. At the major league level he has to cut down on that huge hitch, or those strikeouts will just continue. In short, Baez looked lost at the plate this year in the Bigs, but he has great talent. I hope the Cubs send him somewhere to play winter ball, so he can start working on cutting down that swing. If he doesn't show improvement in Spring Training, he may have to go back to Triple A to work on his swing. He has the potential to be a super star, but may also turn out to be a bust. He has a lot of adjustments to make, but he is only 21.


Javier Baez

Shortstop

Right now that is Starlin Castro, who made dramatic improvement at the plate, and also in the field cutting down drastically on those errors. At one point, he went 38 games without an error. There is talk of trading him, possibly to the Mets for one of their good young pitchers due to the number of infield prospects the Cubs have. I would not rush into that. Castro is still only 24 years old and should continue to improve. Let's wait and see if we really have too many infielders to keep on the team. Of course, there is Addison Russell, the A's top infield prospect, who we got in the Samardziya trade. He played well at Double A and should show up in Chicago around 2016. He is a shortstop and considered defensively the best of Castro, Baez, or any others in the Cubs organization. Look for somebody to change positions.

Third Base

While Luis Valbuena did admirably playing full time (16 homers and hitting about .250), his real value is as a utility player. Mike Olt  will probably have to find a future elsewhere- if he cuts down on those strikeouts.  There is a minor leaguer named Christian Villanueva who is highly regarded, but he is not their top 3rd base prospect.  If you have not heard the name Kris Bryant, you soon will. He was the Cubs first round pick a year ago and crushed minor league pitching all the way to Triple A. He hit a total of 41 homers and can handle third base defensively. He will possibly start next year in Triple A due to the rules about when the free agency clock starts ticking, but expect to see him at Wrigley Field by May. He is the real deal (famous last words).


Kris Bryant


Right Field

Jorge Soler

The Cuban outfielder also stormed his way through the minors (when he wasn't plagued by hamstring injuries) and played the last 25 games or so with the Cubs. He was impressive hitting 5 homers and just missing .300 on the last day. Those numbers are hard to gauge over 25 games, but Soler has all the tools (famous last words).

Jorge Soler

Center Field

As it stands, Arismendy Alcantara will fill that spot. Alcantara is one of those rookies, though not as highly touted as Baez, Soler or Bryant, who impressed in Triple A and was brought up in the second half of the season. Though small, he has surprising power and hit 10 homers. He also hit near .200 and often appeared over matched at the plate. He will need to work on his hitting, but there is good potential there. Actually, his natural position is second base, but he doesn't have much of a future there considering all the talent the Cubs have. He plays a pretty decent center field with good speed. If Baez falters next year, look for Alcantara to play a lot of second base. The eventual hope is that Alberto Almora, who played in Double A this year, will be the center fielder by 2016. He was a number one pick a few years back, is graceful, and has decent power.

Left Field

As things stand now, look for Chris Coughlin to get most of the playing time there or be platooned with Justin Ruggiano. Coughlin played fairly well hitting over .280 while hitting at the top of the order. If he is still with the Cubs in 2016, the hope is he would be in a utility role, where he would be valuable. Junior Lake doesn't appear to have much of a future after a terrible 2014. He did hit about 10 homers early on, but he just isn't handling major league pitching. (He is originally an infielder, so there isn't a lot of hitting potential for an outfielder.) Ryan Sweeney is now a free agent if anybody cares.

Catching

Wellington Castillo showed some progress this year hitting 13 homers, but hitting only .237 with 46 rbis. He is improving defensively and may still be the catcher of the future especially if he could get his batting average over .250 and increase his homer output a bit. Of course, this year's number one draft pick, Kyle Schwarber, is a catcher-outfielder. He tore up low minor pitching this year and looks like a solid hitter. He is one of those blue chip prospects still in the minors and could show up at Wrigley as early as 2016 either at catcher or in left field. Back up John Baker can't hit. We are going to need better depth here. If Schwarber eventually takes over at catcher, Castillo would be an excellent back up, but that won't happen next year. Russell Martin, who had a good year with the Pirates, is a free agent. He is 31 years old.



Kyle Schwarber

Possible free agent signings

There are big decisions to be made here because the Cubs are transitioning between being a team selling players to one in the buying market. When does that line get crossed? Within two years the biggest names in their farm system should be playing with the Cubs, and ideally, they should keep the pipeline filled with good prospects. Their biggest need at this point seems to be adding starting pitching and outfielders. From what I hear, the following year will be the big year for free agents. The one name you keep hearing about the Cubs going after this year is Jon Lester, who had a good year with the Red Sox and A's. He is a free agent. In addition, Max Scherzer and James Shields are out there with certain restrictions. One positive feature is that the Cubs will draft 9th in the next draft. Since they are in the top ten spots based on their record, they can sign a Lester without forfeiting their first round pick.

At some point, we (hopefully) will have to deal with that glut of infielders/prospects and trade one of them for a big bat or big arm. When to do that is the question.

Projections

It is hard to see how the Cubs will do next year. If all the pieces fall into place (Baez, Bryant, and Soler being productive and a big free agent pitcher), the Cubs could improve dramatically and take that next big step. If we concede that some developmental time is needed, 2016 could really be intriguing with the hopes of Schwarber and Almora  joining the team.

I will go out on a limb and say this: By 2017, the Cubs will be in the thick of things. Steve Bartman, wherever you are, get your glove ready.



"I'll be ready too."

Theresa May: Another English Idiot

Hat tip Jihad Watch

Image: Getty
The next Margaret Thatcher?


If you think people like David Cameron, Prince Charles, and Catherine Ashton are blithering idiots, wait till you see this speech by Britain's Home Secretary, Theresa May, who some see as the next Margaret Thatcher.


As more British families mourn the beheadings of their loved ones, this dolt proclaims that all of this madness has nothing to do with Islam. Sleep well, Britains.


http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/09/theresa-mays-speech-on-terrorism-and-extremism-full-text-and-audio/

First, she throws her police under the bus in discussing the Stop and Search laws. You can see a video of British cops "stopping and searching" innocent Muslims here. Then she moves on to the topic of terrorism.

"The terrorists who murdered David Haines like to call themselves the Islamic State. But I will tell you the truth: They are not Islamic. And they are not a state. Their actions have absolutely no basis in anything written in the Quran." 

Please read Sura 8, verse 12 (for starters), Ms. May.




"Don't worry, Anne. This has nothing to do with King Henry."

Then after accurately describing the dangers that exist, she drifts back into this:

"This hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam itself. And it is rejected by the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Britain and around the world. The Quran says: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other.” It says: “let there be no compulsion in religion.” So let the message go out from this hall that the extremists will never succeed in dividing us. Let the message go out that we know Islam is a religion of peace and it has nothing to do with the ideology of our enemies. Let us stand side by side with the British Muslims who are coming together and saying “not in my name”. (Emphasis mine)



Of course, Ms May has no clue that the verse that says, "Let there be no compulsion in religion," was abrogated by later verses that mandated death for those who do not "repent" their unbelief in Islam.

"Since 2010 I have prevented more foreign hate preachers coming to Britain… than any Home Secretary before me. And – despite the European Court of Human Rights – I’ve kicked a few of them out of the country too: Babar Ahmad, Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada."

Yes, indeed. Like Michael Savage, Robert Spencer and Pam Geller. Only after much wrangling was Geert Wilders able to enter Britain to speak while ravenous Muslim mobs stood on the street promising to cut his head off if he showed his face.

Then May goes back to accurately describing problems in Britain, even though it is only a "tiny minority".


"Here in the city of Birmingham, local people know the problem only too well. Because it was here that extremists infiltrated state schools and sought to impose a hardline curriculum on children. School pupils were told about the dangers of “white prostitutes”, the call to prayer was broadcast over loudspeakers, music was banned, boys and girls were segregated, trips to Saudi Arabia were arranged for Muslim-only children, and inspectors found a “culture of bullying and intimidation”.
But it is not just a problem in Birmingham. Following divisive community politics and allegations of the mismanagement of public funds in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Eric Pickles has sent inspectors to investigate Lutfur Rahman, the elected mayor of the borough. Across the country, there are concerns about the way Shari’ah law is being applied, the way women are told to live and the intolerant attitudes shown to people of different beliefs and ways of life. We must not sleepwalk into separation, segregation and sectarianism."

Anjem Choudary and Ye olde tiny minority

Funny. I seem to have missed those million man marches in London proclaiming, "Not in my name".




"Don't worry about a thing, Marie. This has nothing to do with the Revolution."

Monday, September 29, 2014

Willful Blindness Rules Our Government

President Obama and Attorney General Holder continue to handcuff our police in trying to protect us from terror attacks even as those threats multiply given the recent events in Iraq and Syria, not to mention in Oklahoma. The order of the day is no racial profiling when it comes to terror. In other words, the FBI apparently must not consider anything with an Islamic aspect to it.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/30/doj-to-ban-religious-racial-profiling-in-national-security-probes/

We have already seen it at Ft Hood, which to this day is classified as "workplace violence". At this point, the beheading in Oklahoma by a recent convert to Islam who had jihadist expressions and photos of beheadings all over his Facebook page is just another case of workplace violence. Maybe they will go back to 9-11 and find another convenient, fuzzy designation for that attack.

Oh yes. Man made disaster. I forgot.

We have already witnessed how US Muslim organizations like CAIR and MPAC have pressured the FBI to cut out all references to Islam in their training materials. God only knows what they are teaching those agents about the terrorism that plagues the world today. Eric Holder and his activist Justice Department have turned federal law enforcement upside down. Need I mention ATF and Operation Fast and Furious?

Marie Harf's Absurd Comments on CNN

Hat tip Gateway Pundit, Daily Surge and to John Speedie for audio


State Department Deputy Press Spokesperson Marie Harf committed another one or two of her legendary verbal blunders while being interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Gateway Pundit has the video excerpt of this absurd exchange.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/09/wow-marie-harf-isis-surprised-everyone-even-isis-itself-video/

Harf: "What the president said was that for a long time we have known about the serious threat of ISIL."

Say what?

Sorry, Marie, but what the President said was this:

"Our head of the intelligence community Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/29/obama-faces-backlash-after-blaming-intel-community-for-missing-isis/

She then went on to say that even ISIL was surprised by how fast they were able to take territory.

So tell us, Marie, who was surprised and who had known for a long time?

Too bad Wolf Blitzer didn't pin her down on her answers.





Do They Really Have Sex in New Mexico?

Hat tip Campus Reform




They do at least at the University of New Mexico, which is following the lead of so many other universities in sponsoring "Sex Week".

http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=5944

Not that I have any objections to any of the announced topics. On the contrary, had I not just finished a trip to Old Mexico, I might be tempted to fly down to Albuquerque and enroll in a workshop or two. But at the risk of sounding like an old fogie, I have to come back to Earth and say that the role of a university is not to reach its students how to have sex. Nor do I think this is what the tax-payers of New Mexico want to support with their tax dollars.

But then again, what the Hell do I know?

Alton Nolen's Facebook

Hat tip Breitbart

Attention Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC: You need to read this. Breitbart has posted the Facebook page of Alton Nolen under his Islamic name, Jah-Keem Yisrael.

 http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/26/Alton-Nolen-s-Facebook-Page-Included-Image-of-Beheading-and-Jihadists-Abroad

In addition, it was reported though not confirmed tonight on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show that during the attack, Nolen was shouting phrases in Arabic though this apparently is not mentioned in the charges. That could be because if there is no tape and nobody present knew Arabic, the meaning of the phrases would be considered speculation.

This case, coupled with the rise of ISIS and their atrocities, is serving to heighten the discussion about the nature of Islam in this country. Much of the media and many in our government want to stifle that discussion. In the end, I think they will not succeed. The same is true in Europe where things are rapidly coming to a head.

President Obama is in denial and apologists like CAIR are running out of excuses and explanations.


Banner in Honor of French Decapitation Victim Vandalized

Hat tip Gallia Watch


-Gallia Watch


In a recent French poll, approximately 15% of French citizens declared their support for ISIS, which pretty much lines up with the percentage of Muslims in France. Last week, the country was rocked by the beheading of one of their own citizens, Hervé Gourdel, who was kidnapped while hiking in Algeria. Now comes this news that a memorial banner in the victim's honor in Nice was vandalized. Gallia Watch has the report.


http://galliawatch.blogspot.com/2014/09/banner-honoring-herve-gourdel-destroyed.html#links

Mr Gourdel was, indeed, a victim of Islamic terrorism.


Obama Blames His Intelligence Advisers For Underestimating ISIS


"Arrow? What arrow? Bus? What bus?"


White House Intelligence chief James Clapper has been pilloried on this page for a long time (James Clapper's Lock of the Week). He is a bumbler who always seems to be the last to know when something happens, such as the roundup of terror suspects in the UK a couple of years back and his absurd denial of NSA spying on Americans.

So he is a convenient scapegoat given the rise of ISIS, which the US was clearly unprepared for. Now comes President Obama telling 60 minutes that it was Clapper's fault that we were unprepared.

Not so fast. It appears the intelligence folks were briefing Obama on ISIS for well over a year.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/29/obama-faces-backlash-after-blaming-intel-community-for-missing-isis/

 "Our head of the intelligence community Jim Clapper has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," the president said.  

This appears to be another sterling example of a president who refuses to take personal responsibility for anything. He always looks for someone else to blame. Even if Clapper and his underlings had not warned Obama about ISIS (and Khorasan), he was Obama's choice to be intelligence chief.

If Obama is telling the truth, he should fire Clapper for incompetence. On the other hand, if Fox's sources are telling the truth, Clapper should resign in protest and go public to save his own reputation. If it is true that Obama had been warned and briefed on these two organizations for over a year but repeatedly refused options to counter them (until now), it is a failure of major magnitude. Somebody was negligent here.

Once again.