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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Sermon

This is a sermon delivered by Rabbi Schlomo Lewis of Atlanta. It was e-mailed to me by a friend. I am cross-posting it here. Rabbi Lewis does not accuse all Muslims, yet he states that peaceful Muslims must speak out.

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EHR KUMT

First Day of Rosh Hashanah 2010



"I thought long and I thought hard on whether to deliver the sermon I am about to share. We all wish to bounce happily out of shul on the High Holidays, filled with warm fuzzies, ready to gobble up our brisket, our honey cakes and our kugel. We want to be shaken and stirred – but not too much. We want to be guilt-schlepped – but not too much. We want to be provoked but not too much. We want to be transformed but not too much.



I get it, but as a rabbi I have a compelling obligation, a responsibility to articulate what is in my heart and what I passionately believe must be said and must be heard. And so, I am guided not by what is easy to say but by what is painful to express. I am guided not by the frivolous but by the serious. I am guided not by delicacy but by urgency.



We are at war. We are at war with an enemy as savage, as voracious, as heartless as the Nazis but one wouldn’t know it from our behavior. During WWII we didn’t refer to storm troopers as freedom fighters. We didn’t call the Gestapo, militants. We didn’t see the attacks on our Merchant Marine as acts by rogue sailors. We did not justify the Nazis rise to power as our fault. We did not grovel before the Nazis, thumping our hearts and confessing to abusing and mistreating and humiliating the German people. We did not apologize for Dresden, nor for The Battle of the Bulge, nor for El Alamein, nor for D-Day.



Evil – ultimate, irreconcilable, evil threatened us and Roosevelt and Churchill had moral clarity and an exquisite understanding of what was at stake. It was not just the Sudetenland, not just Tubruk, not just Vienna, not just Casablanca. It was the entire planet. Read history and be shocked at how frighteningly close Hitler came to creating a Pax Germana on every continent.





Not all Germans were Nazis – most were decent, most were revolted by the Third Reich, most were good citizens hoisting a beer, earning a living and tucking in their children at night. But, too many looked away, too many cried out in lame defense – I didn’t know.” Too many were silent. Guilt absolutely falls upon those who committed the atrocities, but responsibility and guilt falls upon those who did nothing as well. Fault was not just with the goose steppers but with those who pulled the curtains shut, said and did nothing.



In WWII we won because we got it. We understood who the enemy was and we knew that the end had to be unconditional and absolute. We did not stumble around worrying about offending the Nazis. We did not measure every word so as not to upset our foe. We built planes and tanks and battleships and went to war to win….. to rid the world of malevolence.



We are at war… yet too many stubbornly and foolishly don’t put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers. We are circumspect and disgracefully politically correct.



Let me mince no words in saying that from Fort Hood to Bali, from Times Square to London, from Madrid to Mumbai, from 9/11 to Gaza, the murderers, the barbarians are radical Islamists.



To camouflage their identity is sedition. To excuse their deeds is contemptible. To mask their intentions is unconscionable.



A few years ago I visited Lithuania on a Jewish genealogical tour. It was a stunning journey and a very personal, spiritual pilgrimage. When we visited Kovno we davened Maariv at the only remaining shul in the city. Before the war there were thirty-seven shuls for 38,000 Jews. Now only one, a shrinking, gray congregation. We made minyon for the handful of aged worshippers in the Choral Synagogue, a once majestic, jewel in Kovno.



After my return home I visited Cherry Hill for Shabbos. At the oneg an elderly family friend, Joe Magun, came over to me.



“Shalom,” he said. “Your abba told me you just came back from Lithuania.” “Yes,” I replied. “It was quite a powerful experience.” “Did you visit the Choral Synagogue in Kovno? The one with the big arch in the courtyard?” “Yes, I did. In fact, we helped them make minyon.” His eyes opened wide in joy at our shared memory. For a moment he gazed into the distance and then, he returned. “Shalom, I grew up only a few feet away from the arch. The Choral Synagogue was where I davened as a child.”



He paused for a moment and once again was lost in the past. His smile faded. Pain filled his wrinkled face. “I remember one Shabbos in 1938 when Vladimir Jabotinsky came to the shul” (Jabotinsky was Menachim Begin’s mentor – he was a fiery orator, an unflinching Zionist radical, whose politics were to the far right.) Joe continued “When Jabotinsky came, he delivered the drash on Shabbos morning and I can still hear his words burning in my ears. He climbed up to the shtender, stared at us from the bima, glared at us with eyes full of fire and cried out. ‘EHR KUMT. YIDN FARLAWST AYER SHTETL – He’s coming. Jews abandon your city.’ ”



We thought we were safe in Lithuania from the Nazis, from Hitler. We had lived there, thrived for a thousand years but Jabotinsky was right -- his warning prophetic. We got out but most did not.”



We are not in Lithuania. It is not the 1930s. There is no Luftwaffe overhead. No U-boats off the coast of long Island. No Panzer divisions on our borders. But make no mistake; we are under attack – our values, our tolerance, our freedom, our virtue, our land.



Now before some folks roll their eyes and glance at their watches let me state emphatically, unmistakably – I have no pathology of hate, nor am I a manic Paul Revere, galloping through the countryside. I am not a pessimist, nor prone to panic attacks. I am a lover of humanity, all humanity. Whether they worship in a synagogue, a church, a mosque, a temple or don’t worship at all. I have no bone of bigotry in my body, but what I do have is hatred for those who hate, intolerance for those who are intolerant, and a guiltless, unstoppable obsession to see evil eradicated.



Today the enemy is radical Islam but it must be said sadly and reluctantly that there are unwitting, co-conspirators who strengthen the hands of the evil doers. Let me state that the overwhelming number of Muslims want nothing more than a Jeep Cherokee in their driveway, a flat screen TV on their wall and a good education for their children, but these good Muslims have an obligation to destiny, to decency that thus far for the most part they have avoided. The Kulturkampf is not only external but internal as well. The good Muslims must sponsor rallies in Times Square, in Trafalgar Square, in the UN Plaza, on the Champs Elysee, in Mecca condemning terrorism, denouncing unequivocally the slaughter of the innocent. Thus far, they have not. The good Muslims must place ads in the NY Times. They must buy time on network TV, on cable stations, in the Jerusalem Post, in Le Monde, in Al Watan, on Al Jazeena condemning terrorism, denouncing unequivocally the slaughter of the innocent – thus far, they have not. Their silence allows the vicious to tarnish Islam and define it.



Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.



I recall a conversation with my father shortly before he died that helped me understand how perilous and how broken is our world; that we are living on the narrow seam of civilization and moral oblivion. Knowing he had little time left he shared the following – “Shal. I am ready to leave this earth. Sure I’d like to live a little longer, see a few more sunrises, but truthfully, I’ve had it. I’m done. Finished. I hope the Good Lord takes me soon because I am unable to live in this world knowing what it has become.”



This startling admission of moral exhaustion from a man who witnessed and lived through the Depression, the Holocaust, WWII, Communist Triumphalism, McCarthyism, Strontium 90 and polio. – Yet his twilight observation was – “The worst is yet to come.” And he wanted out. I am convinced that it was not his age speaking but his heart.



I share my father’s angst and fear that too many do not see the authentic, existential threat we face nor confront the source of our peril. We must wake up and smell the hookah.



“Lighten up, Lewis. Take a chill pill, some of you are quietly thinking. You’re sounding like Glen Beck. It’s not that bad. It’s not that real.” But I am here to tell you – “It is.” Ask the member of our shul whose sister was vaporized in the Twin Towers and identified finally by her charred teeth, if this is real or not. Ask the members of our shul who fled a bus in downtown Paris, fearing for their safety from a gang of Muslim thugs, if this is an exaggeration. Ask the member of our shul whose son tracks Arab terrorist infiltrators who target – pizza parlors, nursery schools, Pesach seders, city buses and play grounds, if this is dramatic, paranoid hyperbole.



Ask them, ask all of them – ask the American GI’s we sit next to on planes who are here for a brief respite while we fly off on our Delta vacation package. Ask them if it’s bad. Ask them if it’s real.



Not a perfect parallel but did anyone imagine in the 1920’s what Europe would look like in the 1940’s. Did anyone presume to know in the coffee houses of Berlin or in the opera halls of Vienna that genocide would soon become the celebrated culture? Did anyone think that a goofy-looking painter named Shickelgruber would go from the beer halls of Munich and jail, to the Reichstag as Feuhrer in less than a decade? Did Jews pack their bags and leave Warsaw, Vilna, Athens, Paris, Bialystok, Minsk, knowing that soon their new address would be Treblinka, Sobibor, Dachau and Auschwitz?



The sages teach – “Aizehu chacham – haroeh et hanolad – Who is a wise person – he who sees into the future.” We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naïve sense of security.



We must be diligent students of history and not sit in ash cloth at the waters of Babylon weeping. We cannot be hypnotized by eloquent-sounding rhetoric that soothes our heart but endangers our soul. We cannot be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the scourge and this must be cried out from every mountain top. From sea to shining sea, we must stand tall, prideful of our stunning decency and moral resilience. Immediately after 9/11 how many mosques were destroyed in America? None. After 9/11, how many Muslims were killed in America? None. After 9/11, how many anti-Muslim rallies were held in America? None. And yet, we apologize. We grovel. We beg forgiveness.



The mystifying litany of our foolishness continues. Should there be a shul in Hebron on the site where Baruch Goldstein gunned down twenty-seven Arabs at noonday prayers? Should there be a museum praising the U.S. Calvary on the site of Wounded Knee? Should there be a German cultural center in Auschwitz? Should a church be built in the Syrian town of Ma’arra where Crusaders slaughtered over 100,000 Muslims? Should there be a thirteen story mosque and Islamic Center only a few steps from Ground Zero?



Despsite all the rhetoric, the essence of the matter can be distilled quite easily. The Muslim community has the absolute, constitutional right to build their building wherever they wish. I don’t buy the argument – “When we can build a church or a synagogue in Mecca they can build a mosque here.” America is greater than Saudi Arabia. And New York is greater than Mecca. Democracy and freedom must prevail.



Can they build? Certainly. May they build? Certainly. But should they build at that site? No -- but that decision must come from them, not from us. Sensitivity, compassion cannot be measured in feet or yards or in blocks. One either feels the pain of others and cares, or does not.



If those behind this project are good, peace-loving, tolerant Muslims, as they claim, then they should know better, rip up the zoning permits and build elsewhere.



Believe it or not, I am a dues-paying, card carrying member of the ACLU, yet from start of finish, I find this sorry episode disturbing to say the least.



William Burroughs, the novelist and poet, in a wry moment wrote – “After one look at this planet, any visitor from outer space would say – “I want to see the manager.”



Let us understand that the radical Islamist assaults all over the globe are but skirmishes, fire fights, and vicious decoys. Christ and the anti-Christ. Gog U’Magog. The Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness; the bloody collision between civilization and depravity is on the border between Lebanon and Israel. It is on the Gaza Coast and in the Judean Hills of the West Bank. It is on the sandy beaches of Tel Aviv and on the cobblestoned mall of Ben Yehuda Street. It is in the underground schools of Sderot and on the bullet-proofed inner-city buses. It is in every school yard, hospital, nursery, classroom, park, theater – in every place of innocence and purity.



Israel is the laboratory – the test market. Every death, every explosion, every grisly encounter is not a random, bloody orgy. It is a calculated, strategic probe into the heart, guts and soul of the West.



In the Six Day War, Israel was the proxy of Western values and strategy while the Arab alliance was the proxy of Eastern, Soviet values and strategy. Today too, it is a confrontation of proxies, but the stakes are greater than East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel in her struggle represents the civilized world, while Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Queda, Iran, Islamic Jihad, represent the world of psychopathic, loathesome evil.



As Israel, imperfect as she is, resists the onslaught, many in the Western World have lost their way displaying not admiration, not sympathy, not understanding, for Israel’s galling plight, but downright hostility and contempt. Without moral clarity, we are doomed because Israel’s galling plight ultimately will be ours. Hanna Arendt in her classic Origins of Totalitarianism accurately portrays the first target of tyranny as the Jew. We are the trial balloon. The canary in the coal mine. If the Jew/Israel is permitted to bleed with nary a protest from “good guys” then tyranny snickers and pushes forward with its agenda.



Moral confusion is a deadly weakness and it has reached epic proportions in the West; from the Oval Office to the UN, from the BBC to Reuters to MSNBC, from the New York Times to Le Monde, from university campuses to British teachers unions, from the International Red Cross to Amnesty International, from Goldstone to Elvis Costello, from the Presbyterian Church to the Archbishop of Canterbury.



There is a message sent and consequences when our president visits Turkey and Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and not Israel.



There is a message sent and consequences when free speech on campus is only for those championing Palestinian rights.



There is a message sent and consequences when the media deliberately doctors and edits film clips to demonize Israel.



There is a message sent and consequences when the UN blasts Israel relentlessly, effectively ignoring Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, North Korea, China and other noxious states.



There is a message sent and consequences when liberal churches are motivated by Liberation Theology, not historical accuracy.



There is a message sent and consequences when murderers and terrorists are defended by the obscenely transparent “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”



John Milton warned, “Hypocrisy is the only evil that walks invisible.”



A few days after the Gaza blockade incident in the spring, a congregant happened past my office, glanced in and asked in a friendly tone –



“Rabbi. How’re y’ doing?”



I looked up, sort of smiled and replied – “I’ve had better days.”



“What’s the matter? Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?” he inquired.



“Thank you for the offer but I’m just bummed out today and I showed him a newspaper article I was reading.



“Madrid gay pride parade bans Israeli group over Gaza Ship Raid.” I explained to my visitor – “The Israeli gay pride contingent from Tel Aviv was not allowed to participate in the Spanish gay pride parade because the mayor of Tel Aviv did not apologize for the raid by the Israeli military.”



The only country in the entire Middle East where gay rights exist, is Israel. The only country in the entire Middle East where there is a gay pride parade, is Israel. The only country in the Middle East that has gay neighborhoods and gay bars, is Israel.



Gays in the Gaza would be strung up, executed by Hamas if they came out and yet Israel is vilified and ostracized. Disinvited to the parade – by moral morons.



Looking for logic?



Looking for reason?



Looking for sanity?



Kafka on his darkest, gloomiest day could not keep up with this bizarre spectacle and we “useful idiots” pander and fawn over cutthroats, sinking deeper and deeper into moral decay, as the enemy laughs all the way to the West Bank and beyond.



It is exhausting and dispiriting. We live in an age that is redefining righteousness where those with moral clarity are an endangered, beleaguered specie.



Isaiah warned us thousands of years ago – “Oye Lehem Sheh-Korim Layome, Laila v’Laila, yome – Woe to them who call the day, night and the night, day.” We live on a planet that is both Chelm and Sodom. It is a frightening and maddening place to be.



How do we convince the world and many of our own, that this is not just anti-Semitism, that this is not just anti-Zionism but a full throttled attack by unholy, radical Islamists on everything that is morally precious to us?



How do we convince the world and many of our own that conciliation is not an option, that compromise is not a choice?



Everything we are. Everything we believe. Everything we treasure, is at risk.



The threat is so unbelievably clear and the enemy so unbelievably ruthless how anyone in their right mind doesn’t get it is baffling. Let’s try an analogy. If someone contracted a life-threatening infection and we not only scolded them for using antibiotics but insisted that the bacteria had a right to infect their body and that perhaps, if we gave the invading infection an arm and a few toes, the bacteria would be satisfied and stop spreading



Anyone buy that medical advice? Well, folks, that’s our approach to the radical Islamist bacteria. It is amoral, has no conscience and will spread unless it is eradicated. – There is no negotiating. Appeasement is death.



I was no great fan of George Bush – didn’t vote for him. (By the way, I’m still a registered Democrat.) I disagreed with many of his policies but one thing he had right. His moral clarity was flawless when it came to the War on Terror, the War on Radical Islamist Terror. There was no middle ground – either you were friend or foe. There was no place in Bush’s world for Switzerland. He knew that this competition was not Toyota against G.M., not the Iphone against the Droid, not the Braves against the Phillies, but a deadly serious war, winner take all. Blink and you lose. Underestimate, and you get crushed.



I know that there are those sitting here today who have turned me off. But I also know that many turned off their rabbis seventy five years ago in Warsaw, Riga, Berlin, Amsterdam, Cracow, Vilna. I get no satisfaction from that knowledge, only a bitter sense that there is nothing new under the sun.



Enough rhetoric – how about a little “show and tell?” A few weeks ago on the cover of Time magazine was a horrific picture with a horrific story. The photo was of an eighteen year old Afghani woman, Bibi Aisha, who fled her abusive husband and his abusive family. Days later the Taliban found her and dragged her to a mountain clearing where she was found guilty of violating Sharia Law. Her punishment was immediate. She was pinned to the ground by four men while her husband sliced off her ears, and then he cut off her nose.



That is the enemy.



If nothing else stirs us. If nothing else convinces us, let Bibi Aisha’s mutilated face be the face of Islamic radicalism. Let her face shake up even the most complacent and naïve among us. In the holy crusade against this ultimate evil, pictures of Bibi Aisha’s disfigurement should be displayed on billboards, along every highway from Route 66 to the Autobahn, to the Transarabian Highway. Her picture should be posted on every lobby wall from Tokyo to Stockholm to Rio. On every network, at every commercial break, Bibi Aisha’s face should appear with the caption – “Radical Islamic savages did this.” And underneath – “This ad was approved by Hamas, by Hezbollah, by Taliban, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, by Islamic Jihad, by Fatah al Islam, by Magar Nodal Hassan, by Richard Reid, by Ahmanijad, by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, by Osama bin Laden, by Edward Said, by The Muslim Brotherhood, by Al Queda, by CAIR.”



“The moral sentiment is the drop that balances the sea” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Today, my friends, the sea is woefully out of balance and we could easily drown in our moral myopia and worship of political correctness.



We peer up into the heavens sending probes to distant galaxies. We peer down into quarks discovering particles that would astonish Einstein. We create computers that rival the mind, technologies that surpass science fiction. What we imagine, with astounding rapidity, becomes real. If we dream it, it does, indeed, come. And yet, we are at a critical point in the history of this planet that could send us back into the cave, to a culture that would make the Neanderthal blush with shame.



Our parents and grandparents saw the swastika and recoiled, understood the threat and destroyed the Nazis. We see the banner of Radical Islam and can do no less.



A rabbi was once asked by his students….

“Rebbi. Why are your sermons so stern?” Replied the rabbi, “If a house is on fire and we chose not to wake up our children, for fear of disturbing their sleep, would that be love?” Kinderlach, ‘di hoyz brent.’ Children our house is on fire and I must arouse you from your slumber.”



During WWII and the Holocaust was it business as usual for priests, ministers, rabbis? Did they deliver benign homilies and lovely sermons as Europe fell, as the Pacific fell, as North Africa fell, as the Mideast and South America tottered, as England bled? Did they ignore the demonic juggernaut and the foul breath of evil? They did not. There was clarity, courage, vision, determination, sacrifice, and we were victorious. Today it must be our finest hour as well. We dare not retreat into the banality of our routines, glance at headlines and presume that the good guys will prevail.



Democracies don’t always win.

Tyrannies don’t always lose.



My friends – the world is on fire and we must awake from our slumber. “EHR KUMT.”
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California Execution is Off. Don't Have the Drugs

The once-State of California officially announced that the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown for raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1980 is off. Reason? They can't get the ruling from the plethora of judges in diffeent courts before Friday-when the supply of sodium thiopental expires, and the state can't get any more until the spring of 2011 at the earliest.



And Governor Katzenjammer is complaining-after he put it off at the beginning of the week for almost two days so Brown could get the judges to consider the "mitigating" factor that he was beaten by his family when he was a child.

Of course, there is still hope that Brown will beg the state to kill him so's he won't have to live in this crazy place anymore.

WANTED:

Sodium thiopental
Will pay generous price for 20-year supply
Will pay for overnight shipping
Contact: State of California
Attorney General's Office
(Ask for Mr Brown)

Jerry, that is.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Gloria Allred Circus in Kalifornia

Gloria Allred-Attorney to women who don't need attorneys

It's a good thing I decided to keep my (slightly touched up ) photo of Gloria Allred in my computer's picture gallery. I knew I'd need it sooner or later. As if everything else wasn't crazy enough in California, now here comes LA's most notorious ambulance chaser, celebrity lawyer and attorney to women who don't need lawyers, Gloria Allred.

Today, Allred held another one of her famous press conference's this time to insert herself in our already ridiculous governor's race between "Run-Down" Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. Today, Gloria introduced the world to one Nicki Diaz Santillon, who claims she worked as a nanny for Whitman and her husband, Dr Griffith Rutherford Harsh IV..........


...for nine years.

Santillon, who is, in Allred's words, "an undocumented worker", reportedly was fired in 2009 when Whitman announced she was running for governor of California (Whitman, not Santillon). Santillon alleges that she was hired to work for the family though an employment agency and was paid $23 an hour for a 15-hour work week. She alleges that she had to work extra hours for no pay doing things like dropping off Dr Griffith Rutherford Harsh IV....


....at the airport.

She also alleges that on at least one occasion, Whitman received a letter from the Social Security Administration notifying her that the social security number Santillon had supplied did not match. Allegedly, Whitman told Santillon to check into it and took no further action until 2009 when she was fired.


Allred, as usual, pulled out all the stops in describing Santillon as a victim of exploitation by Whitman and Dr Griffith Rutherford Harsh IV....


....She used phrases like "Don't ask, don't tell" in referring to Whitman. Of course, Gloria downplayed the fact that her client was not only in the country illegally but was also using a false social security card.



But hey! It's even more ridiculous if you read Allred's full statement.

http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/0929_allred.pdf

(TMZ)

(It was a nightmare, but she stayed for 9 years.)

Whitman responded to the charges by saying that it is all......









Why is it that Allred has the need to insert herself into every controversy that comes down the pike? You talk about self-promotion.


"Ya talk about chickensh--!"


So add this saga to the on-going circus that is California, a state in which they can't execute killers because it might hurt and the lethal chemicals have an expiration date.  The question is who will save us. What this state needs is a super-hero as governor.

Oh yeah. We've done that, haven't we?

Well, maybe we just didn't choose the right super-hero. Who can rescue us from 4-8 years of "Run-Down" Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman, not to mention never-ending press conferences by Gloria Allred? I nominate my favorite superhero......

Captain Dick.

That's right. Captain Dick.  And don't laugh. It can't get any more ridiculous here in Kalifornia.

California Death Row Update..................

"What-me worry?"


Well, it looks like Albert Greenwood Brown will NOT be executed this week in San Quentin's "Death Row". Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel, who has been pondering this matter for 4 years, now needs more time to ponder the matter. He has issued a stay that could drag on for months.

Of course, the hapless California State Attorney General's Office could try to get the stay overturned, however, there is the sticky matter of the fact that the sodium thiopental, one of the lethal execution drugs will expire Friday, and the state doesn't have any up-to-date supplies. (You know that medication you take that says to discard after such and such a date?) For the record, sodium thiopental is the initial drug used-to sedate the prisoner before the lethal drugs are administered. So why sedate him, you ask? Don't ask me.

And where is the attorney general, you ask? Last seen he was debating Meg Whitman last night in his race for governor. Don't forget "Run-down" Jerry Brown was a big death penalty opponent during his initial term as governor. He even appointed death penalty opponent Rose Bird to be head of the California Supreme Court. Bird found every excuse imaginable to overturn some 60 death sentences before she was recalled by an angry electorate.

Deputy Attorney General Michael Quinn has referred all inquiries to the Dept. of Corrections. The Dept. of Corrections has directed all inquiries to the Food & Drug Administration, which has.............

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

California Death Row Madness Continues






"Hey Sarge, did you bring the ammo?"


"No, I thought you did."





As California continues to try and execute a convicted murderer this week, the folly is unbelievable. First, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel to reconsider his original ruling allowing the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown now that the judge is satisfied that the prisoner won't feel pain during the lethal injection.


The court is troubled because a choice was given to Brown between the three-drug lethal injection cocktail and a one-drug lethal injection. The judges felt that this choice "put an undue burden on Brown".




Now comes Governor Arnold  Katzenjammer with a 2-day reprieve to give Brown's attorneys time to present an argument that jurors (decades ago) were not advised that as a child, Brown was physically abused by family members. (I think it involved an aunt hitting him with a switch.)


But it gets better. If the execution is cleared to proceed this week (9 pm Thursday night), it will be only hours before one of the state's lethal drugs, sodium thiopental, is due to expire. That means a three-hour delay would cause the execution to be again put on hold because the drug has expired.


"Yee gads!!"

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

In case you are interested, in 1980, Brown kidnapped, raped and murdered a 15-year-old girl, then called her home and taunted the family with his deed. But we don't want him to feel pain now, do we?

Not Even MSNBC Likes Alan Grayson

Hat tip to Hot Air

Looks like Alan Grayson, the 2009 Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year award winner, has been nailed on another false campaign ad against his opponent, Daniel Webster, who he compares to the Taliban. This time, Grayson's team has deliberately edited a video clip of Webster speaking in order to make him appear to be saying the exact opposite. That, of course, is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that none other than MSNBC's Contessa Brewer is nailing him on it during this interview.



Amazing. Here, for Grayson's edification, is the real Taliban.

UC Berserkley to Host Israel Divestment Training Seminar

Hat tip to Tammi Benjamin and Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism

Now, after the embarrassing fiasco at USC on September 19th, another California university is playing host to the wild loons of all the organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, Women in Black, People for a Perfect World, and God only knows who else will show up for a radical training seminar on Sept. 29 at the University of California at Berserkley. The mission? To train volunteers to go out on the streets and work for divestiture from Israel. These loose brakes want to put a measure on the California ballot that would force the state to divest from anything related to Israel.

http://octaskforce.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/another-training-session-for-california-anti-israel-divestment-petition-this-time-at-uc-berkeley/

Again the same question for UCB that I had for USC. Is the university putting its imprimatur on this event?

A word of advice for the folks running Berserkley: Make sure your campus police know about the event and can find their way there when they are called by the organizers to remove anyone present not deemed friendly to "The Cause". Better yet, why not have a few officers present in case "unpleasantness" breaks out? I also recommend that the campus police be briefed that orderly persons have a right to be present and observe what is happening. After all, UC Berserkley is a public institution, right?



"Uhh...........yeaaaah."

ZOA Statement on Bill Proposed by Specter and Sherman

The Zionist Organization of America has issued a statement on the bill proposed by Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) to amend Title VI of the Civil Rights act to include religious minorities.  The statement contains considerable background information that helps explain the reasoning.

http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=1937

The way I see it, it is quite useful to include religions especially within the Office of Civil Rights of the Dept. of Education, which has not recognized Jews as a religion.

Today in the US, there are two religious groups that have an interest in this issue; Jews and Muslims. It should work to both their benefit.

Viva Palestina 5 Stumbles Into Turkey


In case you didn't know it, loudmouth Brit George Galloway is "leading" another Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza, where he will turn over some trucks, some Campbell's chicken soup and bags full of cash to Hamas. That is if he can get into Gaza. Apparently, he is planning a two-pronged assault-on land via Israel (ha, ha) or by sea to Egypt and then into Gaza. Problem is after having an Egyptian border guard killed last time, Galloway is persona non grata in Egypt. Then there is the matter of the last "flotilla" that was intercepted by the Israelis, the Mavi Marmara.

Pray.

Here is the latest Viva Palestina "update" from our heroes as they arrived in Turkey.
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Monday 27 September - Convoy rolls into Istanbul




"The fifth Viva Palestina convoy crossed out of Europe and into Turkey on Monday - but not without delays.



It was just 30km from the campsite in Alexandroupolis to the Turkish border, but what should have been a simple crossing took more than two hours. As dozens of Turkish supporters stood waving flags and cheering clearly visible across the border, it took a considerable time for the 43 vehicles to get through the bureaucracy. Border officials were sympathetic but the lack of a common language made the process lengthy.



But then, in the broiling sun, the vans and ambulances passed into Turkey to be engulfed by the supporters and the dozens of media waiting to interview the convoyers. Then, in a ear-shattering barrage of horns and sirens, the convoy moved off under police escort fpr Istanbul.



It's almost 300km from the border to the capital and half-way there the convoy made a pre-arranged stop for food and drink. It was at the side of Sea of Marmara and several of the travellers took the opportunity to dive into the water - yes, that's you Quinny!



When the convoy pulled off the motorway in Istanbul it was swamped by hundreds of local supporters waving flags and cheering. Speeches were made from the top of a van and then it was into the mayhem of the Istanbul evening traffic. Little wonder that the convoy was divided into several disparate elements but our hosts, the Turkish NGO the IHH, rescued the lost boys and girls and shepherded them to the night's stop at a local stadium. Then to a marvellous restaurant on the edge of the Bosphorus, where George Galloway was waiting to greet them. (Italics mine).

It will be a day of press conferences and events in Istanbul on Tuesday before the convoy moves on."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So after all that arduous travel across Europe, border delays, overnighting in public squares and soccer stadiums, they go to a Turkish restaurant on the Bosporous where Galloway is there to greet them???

Are we to assume that Georgie is flying from point to point???

And what about that marvelous restaurant on the Bosporous? Who is going to pay for all those hungry travelers?

Oh, I forgot. George has a couple of shopping bags full of cash. Who needs American Express?

And from Istanbul, it's on to who knows where. I assume George will spend a few days in Istanbul, maybe buy a few carpets at the Covered Bizaar, then hop a flight to meet his weary travelers at their next stop.

I too will be praying.....









George Galloway Loses Appeal in Canada

There's George now being hauled away from the Canadian border. (Well, not really, but you get the idea.)



British jerk and friend of Hamas, George Galloway, lost his appeal to overturn the refusal of Canadian border offcials to keep him out of the country. The Investigative Project on Terrorism has the report below.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Viva Palestina Leader Loses Canadian Appeal


by IPT News • Sep 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm

http://www.investigativeproject.org/blog/2010/09/viva-palestina-leader-loses-canadian-appeal

Former British parliamentarian and head of Viva Palestina George Galloway lost his appeal of the Canadian government's ban on his entrance into the country on Sunday.

Galloway was banned from entering Canada on March 20, 2009, based on a decision made by border security officials in accordance with the country's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In April of this year, Galloway's Canadian lawyers took the ban to the Ontario federal court in Toronto, arguing that it should be overturned because the decision was a result of the government's pro-Israel bias. Judge Richard Mosley had said he would need approximately a month before making a decision.

Judge Mosley ruled on Sunday that the government did not officially exclude Galloway and thus no appeal could be considered.

"Mr. Galloway chose not to present himself at the border for examination and did not seek the exercise of ministerial discretion in the form of an exemption or a temporary residence permit," Mosley wrote. "As such, no final decision was made regarding his admissibility. There is, therefore, no decision which this Court can review."

The judge did note, however, "It is clear that the efforts to keep Mr. Galloway out of the country had more to do with antipathy to his political views than with any real concern that he had engaged in terrorism or was a member of a terrorist organization."

The efforts were those of Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who declared that Galloway would not be allowed to enter the country if he attempted to do so. At the time, Ali Alykhan Velshi, the spokesman for the Minister, said:

"We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to [Galloway]…who actually brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas, a terrorist organization banned in Canada."

Galloway planned to speak in Canadian cities in March, 2009, following his first Viva Palestina convoy, during which his group delivered over $1 million of aid to the Hamas government in Gaza. Instead, he spoke to his Canadian audience via video link, and came to the United States for various speaking tours throughout the year, visiting over a dozen cities around the nation.

Galloway is also banned from entering Egypt, when he was declared persona non grata by the Egyptian foreign ministry in January of this year, during the third Viva Palestina convoy.

Despite this ban, and Egypt's stated refusal to overturn it, Galloway plans on entering Egypt with the fourth Viva Palestina convoy, currently en route to Gaza, which hopes to enter the Gaza Strip via the Egyptian port of El-Arish next month.
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At the rate Galloway is going, he will only be welcome in Gaza. Nobody else wants him in their country.

Fareed Zakaria's Idiotic Statement on CNN

You know that smooth-talking guy on CNN, Fareed Zakaria, right? Zakaria is well-spoken to the point that nobody can figure out what his opinion is of anything.Well, he has come up with this preposterous bit of news regarding a synagogue being restored in Lebanon.



Food for thought indeed, Mr Zakaria. Try a bite of this:

"If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."  Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

I wonder how many Jews are left in Lebanon to enjoy the restored synagogue. Wikipedia estimates between 50-1,000. Most Jews have left Lebanon, and those who remain are concentrated in Beirut. In the mid- 1980s, Hezbollah kidnapped several prominent Jews, 4 of whom were later found murdered.

It seems that the efforts and funding  to restore the synagogue are primarily coming from Jewish ex-patriots.

And Hezbollah says it's OK. Great.

Another Constituent Letter From Sen. Diane Feinstein


Hat tip to my friend Squid,

My pal Squid has sent me a copy of a letter he received from Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) in response to his letter complaining about the Dept. of Justice dropping of the voter intimidation case in Philadelphi in 2008. Here is her "response":

Sent: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 10:12 am


Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message


Dear (name withheld) Squid,


Thank you for writing me regarding a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP). I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome this opportunity to respond.


As you may know, on January 7, 2009, the Justice Department filed suit against members of the NBPP over alleged voter intimidation at a North Philadelphia polling station on November 4, 2008. The U.S. District Court in Philadelphia issued an injunction on May 18, 2009, prohibiting one of the accused NBPP members from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location in the City of Philadelphia on any election day through November 15, 2012. The Justice Department dismissed the claims against the three other defendants on May 15, 2009, reportedly because of a lack of evidence to support the allegations that they had displayed weapons.


Please know that I will continue to monitor this situation. Like you, I understand the importance of election integrity and I will continue to work in the Senate to maintain the legitimacy of the voting process.


Again, thank you for writing. If you have any additional questions or comments please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.









Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator





Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. ; You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup. Feel free to checkout my YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/Senatorfeinstein

"Yeah, we'll monitor the situation, right boys?"

Quote of the Day From Steny Hoyer

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told Fox News  Sunday the following whopper:

"Democrats have absolutely pledged and will make sure before the end of this year, the Republican increase on middle-income taxes will not go into efect."

Monday, September 27, 2010

That University of Washington Study on the Tea Party


Bill O'Reilly had a segment this evening with Columbia University Professor Mark Lamont Hill, a liberal guy. The topic was a survey done under the leadership of an asst. professor of social justice and political science named Christopher Parker. The conclusion? White tea-partiers have negative racial views toward blacks. At least, 41 out of a total of 117 people interviewed do. Here is an article on the subject written by Candance Moore for Newsbusters back in April, when this study was released. (Liberal viewer warning: Newsbusters is a conservative news outlet, but if you want to read a liberal take on it, you can read Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald-another race-obsessed guy.  His gushing op-ed is also linked below.)

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/04/27/race-obsessed-professor-helps-media-prove-tea-partiers-are-racist

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/21/1589621/yearning-for-an-america-thats.html

"The numbers are in"



Hill, in supporting the study, pointed out some tea party posters photographed at various events that were racially-tinged, which is the most accurate description I would assign to the ones I saw. O'Reilly remained unconvinced since all large turnouts usually have a number of fringe elements and the tea party spokespeople have adamantly rejected those sentiments. We also know that some lefty folks in Oregon were actually organizing efforts to show up at tea party events with objectionable posters in an effort to discredit the cause. At the one tea party event I have experienced, the organizers pointedly told the crowd that if they were there to spout racist or extremist views, they were not welcome.

Now comes this professor of social justice and political science at the University of Washington with this study based on interviews of 117 people and comes to conclusions about a movement that extends all over the nation and involves millions of people. Of course, this is pasta to the leftist media like MSNBC, who will surely use this to discredit the tea party movement.

Why do I put the words "social justice" in bold print? Because it is code language for a drastic overturning of our society to the far-left in the guise of equality. It is anything but. When you hear activists talking about "social justice", it's time to run. I will let the reader peruse Prof.  Parker's curricula vitae, but let's just say his entire academic career revolves around racial issues.

And how about this quote?

"Even the infamous "Joe the Plumber" charged Obama with seeking to redistribute wealth, raising age-old stereotypes of African Americans as radical, welfare dependent, and not as hardworking as the White working class. In short, he accused Obama of seeking to take money from hardworking "real Americans" to give it to "those people" ~Rohter 2008."

If I recall viewing the actual tape, Obama himself used the expression "spreading the wealth around" to the "infamous" Joe the Plumber. I don't recall the "infamous" Joe the Plumber ever mentioning race at all.


It's a hard combination to beat, the universities and the media. They are bound and determined to paint tea-partiers as a bunch of racists.

A Recommended Muslim Site-Qudosi Chronicles

My friends at ACT for America have sent me a link to an interesting new blog site operated by a young Muslim lady who is a conservative Republican, a Sufi-and a recent UC-Irvine grad. Her name is Shireen Qudosi, and the blog is Qudosi Chronicles, which is now linked here at Fousesquawk.

Ms Qudosi has some interesting takes on Muslim-related issues, such as the Ground Zero mosque, Koran burnings, Islamophobia, etc. It is important to highlight those Muslims who, while they might not agree with all points made on sites like this, have some understanding of the concerns we have and stand with our country. Ms Qudosi is not afraid to speak out openly and honestly about these issues. Perhaps, we can find some real common ground with Sufist Muslims, who seem to have a different outlook than those we commonly associate with Shia, Sunnis, Salafis, Wahhabis, etc.

I hope Shireen will chime in with her own comments on this site.

Alan (Jerk of the Year) Grayson's Worst TV Ad

Hat tip to Hot Air

There are lots of reasons why Florida Congressman Alan Grayson won the 2009 Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year Golden Penguin award. And there's lots of reasons why he just may repeat in 2010. I don't know anything about his opponent in this year's reelection race, Daniel Webster, but I know one thing about this Grayson ad below. It is despicable. But then again, so is Grayson.



According to FactCheck, Webster was deferred while attending ROTC then failed his physical when he tried to enlist.

http://factcheck.org/2010/09/patriotism-falsely-impugned/

And what about Grayson? You would think this guy was a decorated war veteran, right? Wrong. Grayson, who was born in 1958, was too young for military service during Viet Nam or during the draft era. In fact, he never served at all.

And who is that narrator in the ad? The Grayson campaign has not identified him. In fact, if one were not paying close attention, the impression might be that is Grayson himself speaking, the "old war horse".

What a jerk!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

J Street Funded by George Soros


George Soros-The money man behind the socialization of America

Hat tip to Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism and JTA

J Street, that left-wing group founded as a counter-point to AIPAC, and which pretends to be pro-Israel while consistently taking pro-Palestinian positions, has now admitted that it accepts money from the financial backer of the major socialist causes in America, George Soros.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/09/26/2741032/j-street-owns-up-to-soros-funding

(JTA)

J Street is as much a supporter of Israel as Feisal Abdul Rauf is a bridge builder. They are both wolves in sheep's clothing, and the revelation-after initial denials- that George Soros is supporting them with his riches should wake up people who think this group is a true supporter of Israel.

Legislation Introduced to Amend Title VI of Civil Rights Act to Include Religious Bias

Hat tip to Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) have introduced legislation that would amend Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to include religious bias against students.

http://octaskforce.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/sen-arlen-specter-d-pa-and-rep-brad-sherman-d-calif-introduced-legislation-to-amend-the-civil-rights-act-of-1964-title-vi/

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

When the Civil Rights Act was passed, this area was deliberately left out because religious-based universities (like Notre Dame) wanted to be able to protect their emphasess on their own religions within their private institutions. Yet, the time is right to make sure that religious bias and harassment is not allowed. As I read it, this would force the Department of Education to include acts of campus anti-Semitism as being within their responsibility-which right now they don't.

Update on USC Incident



Here are the latest details regarding the September 19, 2010 incident in which two representatives of the pro-Jewish, pro-Israel group Stand With Us were ejected from a public event at the University of Southern California. The event was being held by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a radical group of malcontents, who were planning to train petition gatherers for a measure to put an Israel divestiture on the the California state ballot. The below link is an account of the incident by the USC Annenberg TV.

http://www.atvn.org/index.php/news/story/dps_investigates_student_event/

Here is the statement by Roz Rothstein of Stand With Us:

"Along with many others, I received an internet notice about a September 19th meeting for people interested in promoting a state ballot initiative to divest state retirement funds from some companies that do business with Israel.


The notice was entitled “Los Angeles Campaign Kick off and Petition Circulator Training to Qualify the Israel Divestment Initiative for the California Ballot.” The event was to be held at USC where the USC Students for Justice in Palestine [SJP] had rented a room. Judging from the notice, this was a general event for people interested in the divestment initiative. It was not limited to any particular group, students or otherwise. Community members were also invited to attend.

In fact, despite its billing, this event was not open to the public—certainly not to those whom the organizers thought might not agree with the proposal, as StandWithUs rudely learned.

As the CEO of StandWithUs, I felt it was important that someone attend the event to learn more about the divestment effort. I headed down to the meeting with StandWithUs Senior Developer Gary Ratner. We had no intention of speaking or disrupting the event in any way. Our goal was simply to learn more about the divestment initiative and campaign strategies.

At first, everything seemed fine. About 20 people were there when we arrived. As we walked in, a woman sitting near a table of handouts greeted us just as she apparently had greeted the others. But as we reached over to pick up some of the campaign’s literature, a woman already seated in the room suddenly stood up and loudly cried out, “NO. NO. They cannot be here.”

She quickly walked toward us with an angry and challenging demeanor. It was Yael Korin, a leader of the Los Angeles Woman in Black chapter and a member of the Israel Divestment Campaign [IDC]. She came close to me and asked for my name. When I politely told her, she told me I could not remain in the room.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “I don’t think you are permitted to ask people to leave. You chose to hold this event at a University with a student organization (Students for Justice in Palestine) renting the room for you. I don’t believe you can simply tell people they can’t stay with no reason for the exclusion, and we only here to listen.”

Her answer was that our very presence was a disruption. “If you stay, none of us will speak or we will move the event to another room.”

I remained calm but firmly told her that we planned to stay. I believed that she had no right to ask us to leave because the event notice appeared to be a general invitation and it was sponsored by SJP, a student organization on campus that had not indicated that only members were welcome or that it was a private event. Korin had somehow managed to “move me” outside the door, and the woman who had greeted us at the table of materials followed us out. Gary stayed with me.

Yael again told us we had to leave, and I again told her we intended to stay, and that she could call the campus police if she wished. I stressed to her that we had not come to disrupt the event—and hadn’t disrupted it. We were there simply to listen.

The other woman actually grabbed my arm and told me that I could not go back in.

Listen,” I responded, “you cannot touch me like that, and you need to move because we are going inside.”

I opened the door and the woman holding my arm pulled me back but had to let me go because I walked forward.

Yael followed us and announced to the audience that no one should speak in front of me because I am from StandWithUs which opposes divestment. “They are the exact opposite of what we want to do here.”

I looked at the audience and said, “I assure you that we are just here to listen, and we will not disrupt the meeting.”

Gary and I took our seats while Yael went to call the campus police.

We sat quietly and listened for the next 15 minutes when Yael returned with the campus police who asked me and Gary to join them outside the room. We complied and followed them.


Two police officers, Officer Ayala and Officer Clayton, separated me and Gary. One spoke to Gary, the other to me.

I begged Officer Ayala and later Officer Clayton to check the university’s policy because they would probably find that the SJP cannot just pick and choose who can be seated in a University room after they had publicized an open meeting.

I repeatedly urged the officers to realize that they were likely violating university policy, and to please check. I told them that similar incidents had occurred at UC Irvine when the Muslim Student Union [MSU] tried to tell people they had to segregate according to gender, and took upon itself the right to decide who could or could not tape their events. In those incidents, the campus police had told the MSU that they are not allowed to issue such dictates on that University campus. I thought the same policy would certainly apply at USC. I also asked officer Ayala to come back in the room with me and sit with me as I listen to the lecture. I said he could then see that we mean no harm, that we would sit quietly, that we are simply there to listen. But he said he couldn’t or wouldn’t do that, no reason given.

Gary asked Officer Clayton if he would also enforce a similarly arbitrary decision if the SJP and IDC had said gays or blacks or others were not welcome at their event.

On this day, however, the policemen took the side of the Women in Black and the SJP…. and asked us to leave. Although we were extremely disappointed, we of course complied with the police directive and left. But make no mistake, this was not our choice. They made it very clear that they would not let us return to the room.

As we walked away, we met a young woman who was so upset and frightened by the treatment we had received that she had also decided to leave. She was mortified and said that she would be notifying the student community as well as the campus administration. She said that she was fearful of going back in the room.

On the way home, Gary and I called the head of USC’s Department of Public Safety. We spoke to the Watch Commander, Officer Sandell, who already knew what had happened. She said she stood by the officers’ decision to force us to leave. I urged her to investigate USC’s policy regarding groups like SJP and Women in Black that don’t allow people whose opinions they don’t like to attend an event being held on campus. She promised to get back to me by Thursday, September 23 after she will have had an opportunity to look into the policy.

Officer Sandell kept repeating that we were asked to leave to “keep the peace.”

I explained that we were absolutely peaceful, just sitting quietly and listening. I repeated that I was physically stopped from moving by an elderly woman and that the organizers were the ones who had caused a disruption and were not “keeping the peace,” not us.

I regret that Women in Black and SJP were permitted to violate our right to listen to their presentation even though the event was held at a prestigious University, and particularly saddened that they were aided by the police.

I strongly believe that there is something wrong with their decision to force us to leave. After all, by any definition, Gary and I are part of the “public.” However, I am willing to accept the possibility that SJP had a right to select who on the campus and in the wider community would be permitted to attend because they paid to rent the room and therefore were able to discriminate against us… but it’s hard to believe that such tactics are permitted at USC, especially given there was no disruption except the one caused by SJP and IDC who object to StandWithUs and anyone else who disagrees with them.

Below, please read the announcement that was sent out about the event. At no point does it state that this was a private event, and that attendees would be screened to approve their opinions and political views.

A disturbing aspect of this episode is that anti-Israel activists seem more than willing to violate fundamental American civil rights and University standards to further their cause (as we have seen happen at UC Irvine, San Jose State University, De Paul University, and far too many more campuses). At USC, they did so not just with the acquiescence, but even the complicity of USC police. It is not surprising that a young woman who attended wrote an article denouncing the IDC-SJP and USC police actions

This is not the America these young women or we know, but it seems to be the kind of America that anti-Israel activists wish to impose on “the public.”

Here is the announcement that we responded to:

SUNDAY: Los Angeles Campaign Kick off and Petition Circulator Training to Qualify the Israel Divestment Initiative for the California Ballot

Posted by uscsjp on September 18, 2010

Join the California Israel Divestment Campaign

Israel Divestment Campaign To Train Petition Circulators this Sunday, 9/19

Event: Los Angeles Campaign Kick off and Petition Circulator Training to Qualify the

Israel Divestment Initiative for the California Ballot



Date/Time: Sunday, September 19, 1 PM

Location: University of Southern California

Taper Hall 212 (THH212);

http://web-app.usc.edu/maps/#upc

Entrance 3 on Figueroa south of Jefferson, Parking Structure X

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Below is the statement of USC media representative James Grant.

Here's our overview of the incident we discussed: thanks in advance....James Grant, USC Media Relations. Statement can be attributed to our Senior Vice President for Administration, Todd. R. Dickey


"USC Statement on September 19 Incident - Students for Justice in Palestine


The University of Southern California is committed to freedom of expression and open inquiry.



On Sunday, September 19, 2010 the USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) was called to an event on the UPC campus being sponsored by a group calling itself Students for Justice in Palestine. The event was titled: Petition Circulator Training to Qualify the Israel Divestment Initiative for the California Ballot.



When DPS officers arrived at the event, they were unaware of the nature or purpose of the gathering. One of the organizers of the event requested that the officers remove a member of the audience because she had reportedly been disruptive. The DPS officers asked the individual to leave the venue and she complied.



After the event, a USC student sent an email to the Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Elizabeth Garrett, expressing concern about the manner in which DPS handled this incident.



Provost Garrett shared this information with Vice President for Student Affairs, Michael Jackson, who, on Monday, September 20th, initiated a review of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Based on this review, the following measures are being implemented:



• The DPS Watch Commander will apologize to the individual who was asked to leave the event and acknowledge that this decision was in error.



•Student groups on both sides of this issue will be reminded of university rules regarding meetings of this type.



•Additional training and information will be provided to the DPS Watch Commanders so this type of incident is not repeated. This will include providing the telephone numbers of key individuals in the division of Student Affairs with whom they can consult when questions arise.



•Additional measures may be implemented as we learn more about this situation."


This is evidently circulating on the blogosphere:



http://danareport.com/


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Now let me make a few comments. First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, I know Roz Rothstein. I consider her an ally. It was Rothstein who drew Amir Abdel Malik Ali into making clear statements of support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad during his recent appearance at UC-Irvine in May 2010. He also made inflammatory comments about Jews in response to Rothstein's questions. As a result, the UCI chancellor spoke out publicly against those remarks and Ali and the MSU were totally discredited.

Secondly, Rothstein is no disrupter. She attends controversial events like these and reports on them. She also asks critical questions of the speakers. In short, she follows the rules of civilized discourse-unlike her opponents.

As for the Women in Black, they are a Berkeley-based group of radical, malcontented women who hate Israel. Every Friday, they show up on the UC Berkeley campus, where they loudly demonstrate against Israel. One of these ladies is reportedly married to a UC Berkeley professor who also likes to come out and heckle Jewish students when they protest in an orderly manner against the drawing of swastikas in campus rest rooms.

Thirdly, I find it hard to believe Mr Grant's statement that campus police were unaware of the nature of the event when they were called to the hall. Are you telling me that SJP was holding an anti-Israel event, an issue that that is arguably the most heated topic on any university campus, and the campus police didn't know the nature of the event?


That doesn't say much for the competency of the police or the university. And what unruly action did the police observe that justified removing Rothstein and her deputy from a public event?

As you remember, I wrote an article on this event before it happened. It didn't take a lot of imagination to know that something would happen.


"Uhhhh....yeaaaah."

Except for the university and campus police.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stand With Us Head Kicked Out of Pro-Palestinian Event at USC

I will have more to say on this later, but I am cross-posting an article from the LA Jewish Journal reporting the incident. Roz Rothstein, the head of Stand With Us, a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel group was removed by campus police at USC from a pro-Palestinian group devoted to Israel divestment. The police acted upon the request of the pro-Palestinian group's leader.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/bloggish/item/standwithus_head_evicted_from_usc_pro-palestinian_student_group_meeting_201/

News Summary of Christopher Coates' Appearance Before Civil Rights Commission

Today, I checked all the web sites of the major news outlets in America for a summary of their coverage of the testimony of Christopher Coates before the US Civil Rights Commission and his allegations against Eric Holder's Justice Department toward civil rights enforcement. Fox is not included because they have led with the story. So here it is, the reporting today of ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN:
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Full Text of Christopher Coates' Opening Statement to Civil Rights Commission

(Hat tip to Pajamas Media)

Below is the pdf link to the opening statement of US DOJ official Christopher Coates to the US Civil Rights Commission yesterday.

http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2010/09/christopher_coates_testimony_9-24-10.pdf 

Chrysler Workers Busted on Camera

Fox News in Detroit nailed these Chrysler workers on their lunch break.



And about 2 years down the road, you know where those Chrysler products will end up.

Now I know why I drive a foreign car.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ed Schultz Calls Chris Christie a Fat Slob

It doesn't get much better than this. Today, MSNBC's butter & egg man, Ed Schultz, called New Jersey governor Chris Christie a "fat slob".

http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=hdkUSUkUnz



In other news, Mr Pot  today accused Mr Kettle of...........

Australian Cleric Calls for Beheading of Geert Wilders

Feiz Muhammad is an Australian-born Muslim cleric of Lebanese descent and now living in Lebanon. In the below link from De Telegraaf, you can hear his words as he calls for the beheading of Dutch politican Geert Wilders. The article is in Dutch, but the audio is in English.

http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/7544764/__Haatprediker__dood_aan_Wilders__.html


So where is the international outrage over that?

By the way, the Australians are investigating this lowlife for incitement in that country. Why do you think he relocated to Lebanon?

Civil Rights and Hate Crimes

The revelations about how the Justice Department dropped charges against the New Black Panther Party over the incident that occurred in front of a Philadelphia voting station leads to a discussion of the entire issue of how to enforce civil rights law, which in turn, leads to a discussion on hate crimes. This also corresponds to a report issued this week by an Orange County agency named the OC Human Relations Commission. Don't ask me what they do. All I know is that they are led by an empty suit named Rusty Kennedy. As I have previously written, I wrote to Kennedy in 2008 complaining about anti-Semitism on the UCI campus, and all I got back was a nastygram because I had also criticized what I considered the lack of an effective response by the university. Anyway, here is the link to the OC Register article on the study on hate crimes in 2009 in Orange County followed by the report itself.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/crimes-267593-hate-report.html

http://egov.com/vgnfiles/ocgov/Human%20Relations/Docs/2009_Hate_Crime_Report.pdf

Note: If you go to the above website, you are going to wind up someplace else, so I suggest you go to the OCHRC main site below, see all the happy faces, read all the puff, and then click on the report, which is on the right.

http://egov.ocgov.com/portal/site/ocgov/menuitem.b7b68f4fe8d642ea6a624410100000f7/?vgnextoid=98a2ea093e054110VgnVCM1000000100007fRCRD&vgnextfmt=default/

So what are we to make of the situation in Orange County, which has evolved into a multi-ethnic county? As for the OC Register article, it is completely centered on hate against Muslims. Note the title and the statements from CAIR.  Interestingly, it features as its lead photo, a shot of Muslim Student Union members at UC-Irvine as they were disrupting the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the US last February. I wonder if that incident was included in the stats. Eleven arrests would have had some kind of impact on the OCHRC results, would it not?

If you really look at this study, you are talking about 77 reported instances in 2009, most of which were vandalism and committed by unknown persons. There were only a handful of cases of serious violence. Not a bad record, but one case is one case too many. Just for comparison, here is the FBI's latest statistics on hate crimes, which were recently issued (for 2008). When it comes to religious-based hate crimes, here are the figures:

Religious bias
Of the 1,732 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:

66.1 percent were targeted because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
7.5 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.
5.1 percent were victims because of an anti-Catholic bias.
3.6 percent were victims because of an anti-Protestant bias.
0.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
12.8 percent were victims because of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
4.0 percent were victims because of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group). (Based on Table 1.)
(source: FBI)


To continue, is insulting someone and referring to their ethnicity or religion a crime? Two such incidents are mentioned in the OC Register article in which Muslims were insulted. I do not condone that action, but is it a crime absent a threat? (The boy in the restroom was, in fact, threatened. That is a crime.)

The article mentions that over half of the incidents involve graffiti or vandalism. That is a crime-and especially despicable if in occurs on a religious building, such as a mosque or synagogue. The question I have is whether legally, the offense should be enhanced because of the "hate" aspect. I still have a problem with charging people for what they think as opposed to what they do. Is the motive for a crime not an element of proof rather than part of the charge? For example, if I kill you because I want to rob you or I am a hired killer carrying out a contract, is that any more or less than if I kill you for racial or religious reasons? Of course, self-defense, temporary insanity etc are considered mitigating factors.  If I kill you because I just saw you kill my daughter, that would also be a mitigating factor.

Some would argue, quite reasonably, that to assault someone because of their religion or race has implications far greater for society than just the individuals involved. Yet, I think there are some legal issues involved including whether they are applied equally as to who the victims and perpetrators are.

Back to the study. From reading this study, it would appear that non-white, non-Christian minorities are the chief victims. Keep in mind, there were 77 reported incidents. Do we know who the perpetrators are? Or do we just assume they are the old boogey man-whites? For example, who is attacking who? The best this study can tell us is that out of 77 reported cases, the majority of offenders are unknown, but that among known offenders, the majority are white -just as  nationwide they add. The numbers on the screen are tiny, but by my adding, it looks like 16 out of 33 known offenders were white (offense not specified), but who's quibbling? They also came up with a figure of  75 cases of unknown perpetrators so it gets rather confusing to a simple guy like me. My conclusion is, since I follow the news,  is that the vast majority of incidents in Orange County involve defacing or destruction of religious property (synagogues and mosques) and that the perps are unknown.  All in all, we have a pretty good county when it comes to this issue. I wonder how much money this bunch gets paid to put out these statistics based on 77 incidents in a single year. Is it significant to say attacks against a certain group tripled during the year-from 2 to 7? Just nitpicking.

In Los Angeles (not in Orange County), the most serious attacks (deadly) against African-Americans are generally carried out by Hispanics-and vis-versa-due to the gang wars. Drop into any California state prison some time and see how the blacks and the Hispanics get along. Hell, the Hispanics are divided against each other according to whether they are Nortenos or Surenos (North or South-sorry, I can't get the diacritical marks down on my blog).

Another questionable aspect of this study is that the lowest victim group is......whites, of course. Strange since we live in a society where you can pretty much say anything you want about whites and get away with it. Are you telling me that the OCHRC couldn't find a white guy who had never been insulted as a "white so and so"? Maybe they found two, but then again, insulting is not a crime unless it involves a terroristic threat (of violence). Surely, a few have been punched in the nose the past year by a minority.

Let me get a little more daring and lay out this scenario. Suppose I (a white guy) decided one night to take a drive to South Central LA and try out the nightlife. You know, hit a few bars, nightclubs, maybe hit on a few black ladies, maybe get lucky. What do you think is going to happen within the first hour or two?

If you guessed hate crime, you WIN!

Now I know there are still some places and bars in the US where a black guy would be ill-advised to spend the same kind of evening. Yet, the places I have frequented my whole adult life (and they are many) are not like that. The point is that it is all wrong. Expressions of hate toward another group is wrong. Civil rights in the US are supposed to be for all-even the group that historically discriminated against others. What we learned from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was that everyone should be treated equally. His message was not that only certain groups should be protected, but all groups.

That leads us to the mess in the DOJ and Eric Holder's little fiefdom. It is being alleged that current DOJ policy is to not pursue cases in which minorities commit an act against whites. Unless you believe in the principle of "pay-back" (which has no legal standing), these laws must be applied equally. We now have strong reason to believe that DOJ is not doing that.

Of course, political correctness tells us that society is divided into certain "victim" groups and "oppressor" groups, and that the victim groups deserve special protection. Yes, they deserve protection and a guarantee that we will never go back to "Jim Crow", but at the same time, everyone deserves the same protection. Let's not forget that many "hate crimes" or hateful statements are being made both to  minorities and whites by.......other minority groups. If you don't believe me, you need to listen more to the words of the New Black Panthers and their spokesman Malik Shabazz.  I have also written many times about anti-Semitic expressions made by Muslims though they are much more frequent and open in other parts of the world as opposed to the US.

That leads me to the topic of Islamophobia, however you wish to define it. Is there Islamophobia in the US? Of course. Millions fear Islamic terrorism. Millions still smolder over 9-11. The recent issue of the NY mosque, acts of terror world-wide, and other expressions of radicalism and hate toward others (mostly coming out of the Middle East) have convinced millions of people that Islam is violent, intolerant and bent on taking over the West. These are legitimate concerns and cannot be swept under the rug in the name of political correctness. The dilemma is how to deal with this evil-and it is evil-without harming innocent and peaceful Muslims in our country who simply wish to go about their daily lives, raise their children as best they can and be left alone.

A major part of the Muslim issue is that political correctness has determined that Muslims are now a major "protected group". Thus, if you talk about these issues or protest against a Ground Zero mosque, you are a hater, you are a bigot, and no American wants to be called that. It is also well known that American Muslim groups like CAIR and others are ready to file lawsuits on a moment's notice. Furthermore, we know that perceived "insults" toward Islam will be answered with violent protests in the Islamic world. Our news media will jump to pump up a story about a misguided pastor who wants to burn Korans, but ignore an imam in Lebanon on tape calling for the beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. (His name is Feiz Muhammad.)

The fact is that double standards have no place in American society. We are a multi-ethnic society, and we are still struggling to make the best of it-and we can. However, the laws and the rules must be the same for all. How sad that the man who was going to "bring us together" (President Obama) is dividing us. How sad that the Department of Justice, which I was proud to work for for almost 25 years in several Republican and Democrat administrations, has come down to the point where it is little different than a local Alabama courthouse in the 1950s.

As for the next OCHRC report on 2010- I can hardly wait. Hopefully, there won't be any incidents to report. Wouldn't that be great? Then Orange County can get rid of Rusty Kennedy and his useless Human Relations Commission.