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Friday, December 31, 2010

No Death Panels?

Remember that section 1233 that was removed from the Obama Health Care Plan because of the furor it raised? Here is a summary:

"A provision in the House bill written by Rep. Earl Blumenauer ( D-Ore.) would allow Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. The conversations between doctor and patient would include living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort.

The sessions would be covered every five years, more frequently if someone is gravely ill."

That, of course, was removed from the bill because of the furor over "death panels", a team of "experts" in Washington who would oversee treatment options. Section 1233 is back-a result of an executive fiat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/us/politics/26death.html?_r=2&ref=politics
(New York Times)

Of course, as is their custom, the Democrats don't want to publicize what they are doing here.

We, of course, know why Obama made a recess appointment to Dr Donald Berwick at Medicare. His love of the British system toward the sick and elderly was well-known-and previously reported here. Now, just this month, that provision about the government paying doctors to give end of life counseling to elderly patients has been put back into the health care bill by fiat. It may seem innocuous to some, but the government has now inserted itself into the issue that belongs between a patient, doctor, spiritual advisor and family. It is all in the name of saving money. I have a sneaking suspicion, having gone through this myself with my Mom, that this is what patients, families and doctors are doing everyday. Why does the government need to become involved? Of course, this part does not talk about death panels, but I still have visions of that team of experts back in DC deciding whether to give me a pacemaker in about 20 years.

Holland, here we come. It may take us a while, but we'll get there.

The Idiocy of Norman Finkelstein Exhibited on His Own Blog




If you want to see what an obnoxious fool Norman Finkelstein is, you don't have to read my blog; just read his own blog (Norman G Finkelstein). This man, who has a PHD from Princeton, is so idiotic he posts his idiocy on his own blog for all to see.

Let's take a look.

Here is a recent entry on his site in which he engages in a TV debate with Jeffrey Herf (University of Maryland) and Charles Small (Yale) on the topic of the New Anti-Semitism. This debate was shown on RT (Russia Today). As you watch (it is some 26 minutes long) pay attention also to the captions that run along on the bottom. At any rate, Small and Herf describe the anti-Semitism clearly and eloquently, while Finkelstein dismisses it as Israel labeling its critics as anti-Semites. Of course, Finkelstein also shows the world what an obnoxious guy he is. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Finkelstein would put this on his own blog. He should be hoping it never saw the light of day.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/if-its-tuesday-this-must-be-anti-semitism/

A few more reactions. The subject of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is brought up by Finkelstein who says that the Mufti was described as the "mastermind of the Holocaust". Well, I never heard that, but it is documented historical fact that the Mufti, after fleeing Jerusalem lived in Berlin for a few years as guest of Hitler during World War II. While in Berlin, he made numerous radio broadcasts back to the Middle East urging his followers to drive out the Jews. He also helped organize a Bosnian SS division which participated in the Holocaust.




Finkelstein also responded to the description of the Hamas Charter, which is very clear about its hatred of Jews by quoting certain Israeli individuals' comments about Palestinians. While those comments sound  despicable, how do you compare the comments of a few politicians and rabbis to the official philosophy of an entire terrorist organization which today controls Gaza?

On the subject of anti-Semitism, I would also like to bring up Finkelstein's participation in the Whither the Levant conference at UC-Irvine on January 31, 2009. I was present and sent up a written question to the panel which was given to Finkelstein. Here is an excerpt from what I reported.

“Do you condemn statements and chants heard recently at anti-Israel rallies in Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles such as ‘Go back to the ovens,’ ‘You need a bigger oven,’ ‘Long live Hitler,’ ‘Go Hitler,’ and ‘Go Nazi Germany’? Secondly, don’t you think these statements discredit your cause?”

The question was given to Finkelstein, who responded, “First of all, it’s not my cause.” He disclaimed any knowledge of the statements, but said that he suspected they were “99% made up…a pretext or excuse to change the subject” and that the perpetrators might have been “pro-Israel provocateurs masquerading as Arabs.” He never condemned the statements and his dismissive and conspiratorial response caused the audience to erupt in applause."

That May, I repeated the same question to George Galloway, who called me a liar. Stand With Us was good enough to produce the following video, which documents the Los Angeles incident:



Below is the video of the Ft Lauderdale incident in January 2009.





Then (back to Finkelstein's blog) there is this jewel entitled, "Nasrallah Speaks:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/nasrallah-speaks-they-still-assume-that-arabs-do-not-read-perhaps-many-arabs-do-not-read-yet-in-fact-some-israeli-generals-say-that-they-wrote-books-on-all-their-previous-wars-before-staging-t/

If you can read this entire speech made by the leader of Hezbollah, you are ready to listen to a Finkelstein lecture. This, of course, is the same man (Nasrallah) who also spoke this:

"The Jews should all gather in Israel so the job of hunting them down will be easier." (which is the famous quote that a Muslim Student Association member at UC San Diego told David Horowitz she agreed with at his speaking appearance at that university).

Strange bedfellows.

Norman Finkelstein is a bitter misfit who is so lacking in common sense that he posts examples of his idiocy on his own website for all to see.

To-Do List From George Rishmawi and Mazin Qumsiyeh

The below document is from July 2010. It is a list of suggested anti-Israel advocacy items compiled by George Rishmawi and Mazin Qumsiyeh, two participants in the Olive Tree Initiative of UC-Irvine. I have high-lighted some pertinent items. The document is from the Palestine Justice Network (PJN).

Note that the George Rishmawi mentioned at the bottom is probably George N. Rishmawi of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People. Also note that the reference to the Palestine Media Watch refers to a separate entity from Palestinian Media Watch, which is pro-Israel.


http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0xdsuRyaZU8J:www.palestinejn.org/resources/resources-for-activism-+george+rishmawi+and+palestinian+media+watch&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

50 Ways to act for peace with justice





1) Educate yourself via reliable books. For example books by Ilan Pappe (Ethnic Ceansing of Palestine), Edward Said (The Question of Palestine).



2) Educate yourself and track current information and key historical data via websites (and disseminate it). For example look into http://www.imemc.org/, http://electronicintifada.net/, http://english.aljazeera.net/, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, Palestine Remembered, and similar websites.



3) Educate yourself by visiting Palestine and writing about it. There are many organizations doing tours that inspire. Examples Siraj Center, Alternative Tourism Group, Holy Land Trust, Global Exchange, Birthright Unplugged, ISM etc



4) Practice using clear and unambiguous vocabulary including language to protest apartheid and colonization. See for example developing anti-partheid framework for the struggle (PDF File): http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/AAF%20curriculum%20training%20.pdf



5) Challenge media bias by first educating yourself and others about its existence and the extent of the bias. See for example http://ifamericansknew.org/



6) Write to the mainstream media. You can do letters to the editor (usually 200 words) and/or opinion pieces (700-900 words).



7) Start your own group or join an existing organization that works for justice. Simply search/google your city with the word Palestine to identify candidates.



8) Join the International Solidarity Movement, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program (EAPPI), Christian Peace Maker Team or other groups doing work in the occupied areas



9) Develop close working relationship with progressive parties and groups in your country.



10) Network and enhance groups working on sanctions and suspension of US aid to Israel. e.g. Suspend US Aid to Israel Now



11) Lobby. This is done individually or by supporting/joining one or more od the many groups doing it, e.g. Council for the National Interest, Citizens For Fair Legislation, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, and American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights (http://www.aaper.org/).



12) Hold a teach-in, seminar, or public dialogue. This is straightforward: you need to decide venue, speakers, and do publicity. This can be facilitated through such groups as Palestine Media Watch which have speakers bureaus.



13) Send direct aid and support for people on the ground through transparent and trustworthy groups.



14) Use youtube and googlevideo to disseminate information



15) Challenge Israel in local and International courts.If you are a lawyer, donate your time and start some networking and initiate cases (e.g. US congress is violating US laws by sending money to Israel, US Citizens can bring cases against foreign governments that harmed them). Groups with great interest and activism on behalf of Palestinians includes Lawyers Without Border, National Lawyers Guild, Al-Haq, Yesh Din, and Adalah - Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.



16) Help coalitions work for Palestine and insist they do not leave this issue; example is http://CTUnitedforPeace.org.



17) If you work in a group, suggest formation of local or national coalitions to increase the power by association.



18) Join the campaigns for economic boycotts. For example see successful examples here: http://www.qumsiyeh.org/boycottsanddivestment/



19) Join or initiate a campaign for cultural and academic boycott; see also http://pacbi.org/.



20) Host an art exhibit or other art performance (music, dabka etc) that highlight the rich Palestinian culture.



21) Engage in civil disobedience actions to draw attention and change policies.



22) Develop campaigns to support the right to enter: see www.righttoenter.ps

Israel Takes Aim At Palestinian Families By Ida Audeh

http://www.countercurrents.org/audeh110907.htm



23) Facilitate a visit by the Wheels of Justice bus tour to your area (in the US) or create a bus like that (e.g. in Europe). See justicewheels.org



24) Donate to aid Palestinian Children. For example, Palestine Children Relief Fund, and Playgrounds for Palestine



25) Develop campaigns to ban Political Junkets to Israel.

Here is an example "In a challenge to one of the most powerful lobbying tactics used by the Jewish community, a county in Maryland decided last week that local legislators could no longer go on sponsored trips to Israel. http://www.forward.com/articles/11553/



26) Support the campaigns to end the siege on Gaza. See http://www.freegaza.org/, http://www.witnessgaza.com/



27) Work in your country against discrimination

Arabs Against Discrimination: http://www.aad-online.org/

American Arabs Anti-Discrimination Committee http://



28) Support Human Rights: Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org, Human Rights Watch: http://hrw.org/doc/?t=mideast&c=isrlpa

B’Tselem:The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories http://www.btselem.org



29) Support the Right to Education Campaign: http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/



30) Donate to United Nations Relief and Works Agency: http://www.un.org/unrwa/



31) Work against home demolistions:

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: http://www.icahd.org/eng



32) Support empowering Youth from Palestine e.g. see http://www.yfppal.com/ and http://www.alrowwad-acts.ps



33) Write to and work with alternative mass media (like DemocracyNow, Public Access TV).



34) Create your own content and post it to the web



35) Utilize social networking sites to reach a mass audience (e.g. facebook,



36) Go into chat rooms, email discussions etc and spread the word.



37) Buy Palestinian Products, for example from www.palestineonlinestore.com, www.canaanfairtrade.com, www.palestinefairtrade.org.



38) Pray for Peace and Justice or if you are not religious, take time out to think and meditate on what can be done to achieve Peace with Justice



39) Make a podcast or public service announcement and spread it



40) Drop a banner from a traffic bridge or any other publicly visible location



41) Put out an information table in a university student center, public gathering, festivals, or other places where people congregate.



42) Host a fundraising party or dinner at your home.



43) Show a documentary in a public setting and then have a discussion about it.



44) Organize a public debate between those who support Zionism and those who support equality and justice



45) Learn Arabic or if you are an Arab learn another language (including Hebrew) so that you can communicate better



46) Make a street theater



45) Engage in Civil disobedience acts (this may entail getting arrested).



46) Reach out to Christian religious leaders and ask them to act based on the Kairos Palestine document www.kairospalestine.ps



47) Challenge the Zionist attempts to doctor Wikipedia (ie. imposing a Zionist distorted version on this free web encyclopedia).



48) Start a genuine interfaith dialogue based on acting for justice rather than chatting to hide injustice.



49) Find a way not to pay taxes to governments that violate human rights and use your taxes for war and oppression.



50) Host a dinner with Arabic food and show people the rich cultural traditions like embroidered dresses that go back to Canaanitic times.



Write to us to remind us of other ways to act.



(list initiated by Mazin Qumsiyeh, George Rishmawi and others at the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People).





What is the Catholic Church Talking About?

The below article comes from the blog, Doc's talk", and is written by Evelyn Gordon. How interesting that the Vatican ignores who is doing the actual persecuting and shifts blame to the Jews.

http://docstalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/islamists-slaughter-christians-and-jews.html

The only parellel I can think of is the gang warfare going on in California between Latino street gangs and black street gangs, a warfare that extends into the state prisons. We have black gangs killing each other, Latino gangs killing each other, blacks and Latinos killing each other, in the prisons, Norteno Mexicans fighting against Sureno Mexicans, both fighting against blacks.

And whose fault is that?  Why it's all because of white racism, naturally. (At least they don't blame the Jews-I think.)

Which reminds me- maybe the Vatican can blame the Jews for the priest pedophilia scandal. Yes! It is a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to destroy the Catholic Church. That's the ticket!

2010 Fousesquawk "Jerk of the Year"



It's that time of year again, the day we have all been waiting for.

New Year's Day?

No. It's time to name the Fousesquawk 2010 Jerk of the Year Award. As in previous years, it is a hard choice because there are so many jerks out there, and there are many deserving of 2010's Golden Penguin. Hell, the whole MSNBC news team could have easily won. However, there can only be one winner, so, without further ado....





the envelope please.

The winner of the 2010 Golden Penguin for Jerk of the Year goes to..........









Janet Napolitano, ladies and gentlemen.


Last year at this time, Janet was telling us "the system worked" over the Christmas bomber. (The "system" worked because the airplane passengers swarmed the guy.) But that was last year, so she gets a pass. This year, however, Janet was running around like a chicken with her head cut off warning us about right-wing tea-partiers, North Dakota militiamen and returning war vets. She opposed the Arizona immigration law even though as former governor of that state, she knew the desperation they were in. She argued for the DREAM Act as if that were necessary for homeland security. She instituted these ridiculous airport pat-downs while refusing to use intelligent screening procedures. The Mexican border is a battle zone, but Napolitano sets up "Environmental Justice" seminars and task forces.

Hopefully, she won't retain the award in 2011. If that happens, we may all be dead

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Campus Watch Report on UCLA Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl

Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl

Are you ready for another university Middle East Studies professor? Campus Watch is featuring a report on a speech by UCLA professor Khaled Abou El Fadl on the subject of Shariah and what it means for the West. The article is written by Cinnamon Stillwell and my friend Eric Golub (of Tygrrrr Express). The last time Eric attended a lecture at UCLA, a Middle East studies professor told him he "had his Zionist hat screwed on too tight". (Eric is Jewish.)

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/10523

Well, what's a professor if he can't ignore the supposed thesis of his talk? According to Campus Watch, Fadl's real thesis was to go after all those "Islamophobes" out there who have criticized shariah law and don't think it would be a great idea in the US. Apparently, he neglected to tell the audience what Shariah is all about and what kind of impact it has or would have on the West.

Such is what passes for education in academia these days. Whatever happened to the good old lesson plan?

But if you really want to put it in perspective, take a gander at this video produced by Stand With Us. It was filmed at good old UCLA.



There you go. These must be students in Professor Fadl's class.

Two Articles by Zuhdi Jasser

Dr Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a true moderate Muslim, has written two recent articles which I find quite noteworthy. The first concerns plans by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to hold hearings on Islamic radicalism within the US. The second is Dr Jasser's take on the recent decision by the Justice Department to take up the case of a Muslim school teacher who was denied leave to go on the Hajj.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/why_muslims_must_look_in_the_mirror_g6HY8SYPEtYo8gHubxnNhI

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-jasser_27edi.State.Edition1.16fc395.html

I would hope that Rep. King would invite Dr Jasser to testify. Rather than listening to the likes of CAIR, ISNA and MPAC, Jasser is the kind of Muslim our government (and us) should be listening to. His words make sense.

Nigel Farage Tells the EU What He Thinks Of Belgium

Nigel Farage, a British representative to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, thinks the whole idea of the EU is a big joke. He also doesn't think much of Belgium. Here is what he had to say a few months ago on the subject of Belgium taking over the rotating presidency of the EU. (Hat tip to Europarl)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another Terror Plot Foiled in Scandinavia

Danish police have arrested five men, four of whom were residing in Sweden. The men were planning to attack the Jyllands Posten offices, the news organ which published the Danish cartoons. (You'd better read about this quickly. The mainstream American media won't spend a lot of time on this.)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/12/29/denmark-arrests-suspected-planning-terror-attack/

Swedish police conducted a search of at least one residence outside Stockholm. The below report (in Swedish) is from the Svenska Dagbladet.

http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/fem-misstankta-terrorister-gripna_5835983.svd

"Five persons were arrested yesterday in Denmark suspected of preparing a terrorist crime . Four of the persons are Sweden residents and three have Swedish citizenship. Police suspect they were planning to attack the local Jyllands Posten office in Copenhagen. Wednesday evening SAPO (Swedish Security Agency) carried out a search of the residence of one of the suspects outside Stockholm."

For you University of California at Santa Cruz Community Studies majors, the suspects are not, I repeat, not named Sven, Oly, Jan, Hendrik and Olaf.

The Swedish blog, Jihad i Malmo describes the suspects as two Tunisians, Two Lebanese and one Iraqi between the ages of 26-44.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Speech Codes at Indiana Purdue University

Beware of what you read while on a university campus. This is what happened to a student at Indiana Purdue University in Indianapolis . (Hat tip Pajamas Media)

http://thefire.org/article/9255.html


He didn't say anything. He was observed reading a book with KKK in the title.

He was guilty of racial harassment according to the university's head of the Affirmative Action Office.
This is a result of the speech codes of so many American universities.

Of course, it all depends on who the victim group is and who the perpetrator group is. While many universities are seeing true hate speech on their campuses on a regular basis, if it is directed toward whites or Jews, people just turn their heads. If the perceived perpetrator is white and the perceived victim group is black, Muslim or Hispanic, it's call out the cavalry. Should it not be equal for all?

I remember when I was researching my book on the creole language  Papiamentu and wanted to get information on Joel Chandler Harris and the Uncle Remus stories. To get the material, I had to go to a special section of the UC-Irvine library and sign for it-and read it in the library. Of course, those materials were deemed racist (which they were not) in the 1960s and disappeared from many college library shelves. At UCI, they were hidden in a special section of the library.

Thank God nobody reported me checking these materials out. Why, my career might have been ruined.

And this guy was reading a book about the KKK (which was not even complementary toward the KKK) and some bureaucrat-or should I say victocrat- in the university finds him guilty or racial harassment.

Well, in the end, cooler heads prevailed. The student was "cleared". I wonder if the Affirmative Action official was fired or disciplined.

Nah.

Wikileaks and the Involvement of the Syrians in the 2006 Cartoon Riots

(Hat tip to Hot Air)



"Good news, mein Fuehrer. Wikileaks is releasing the secret protocols of the 1939 Soviet-German non-aggression pact. It proves the Soviets wanted to gobble up Eastern Poland.  We are saved!"


Hot Air reports that  the Wikileaks documents are not all bad for our side. It seems a lot of people are going to be embarrassed-like the Assad regime in Syria, which apparently had a lot to do with the  Danish cartoon riots in that country in 2006.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/28/wikileaks-document-alleges-syrian-government-role-in-2006-cartoon-riots-embassy-attacks/

So apparently, when an Arab leader says, "riot", they riot. How thoughtful of the Syrians to protect the French embassy, don't you think?

Speaking of France, the French periodical Le Monde has named Julian Assange as their Man of the Year.  (I wonder if they ever named Pierre Laval Man of the Year.)

Meanwhile back in the US, the mad-hatters at MSNBC are singing the praises of Mr Assange, who has disclosed not only classified documents, but has also divulged names of covert operatives, informants, and private cooperation between the US and members of other governments because the people have the right to know everything.

Yet, it wasn't so long ago that those same mad-hatters at MSNBC were crying  for the scalps of Karl Rove, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and "Scooter Libby" because they had "blown the cover" of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was long removed from any covert role and was connecting Xs and Os at Langley. Never mind that it was Richard Armitage who had leaked the info carelessly and fessed up to it. For the first time in recorded memory, MSNBC anchors were law and order advocates worried about the security of the CIA.

It all comes down to whose ox is getting gored.

Florida Security Council in Paris- Films Street Prayers

Tom Trento, head of the Florida Security Council was recently in Paris to attend an international conference of people opposed to the growing Islamization in Europe. By that, I don't mean that Europe has a large Muslim immigrant population. Rather the concern is that there is a concerted effort to bring shariah law to Europe.

I have posted previous videos of the regular Friday prayers that are conducted on a public street in Paris, a street where people reside and have businesses. While in Paris, Tom made the below video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1Btc9qMALg

So what is the issue here? Certainly, Muslims have the right to conduct their Friday prayers. Nobody would argue with that. The question is do they have the right to take over and barricade an entire block-in violation of the ordinances- and then dictate to outsiders that they may not take pictures or make videos?

It is my understanding that these crowds are an overflow from a mosque located on the site. It looks like the Muslim community needs a bigger mosque (maybe Saudi Arabia will build it for them). My question is; where are the Paris political leaders? It seems that instead of finding a solution, they are simply choosing to ignore it.What are they afraid of, that there will be charges of Islamophobia if they shut this activity down? UN condemnation, perhaps? Are they afraid of a riot? Are they afraid of inviting another terrorist attack? My guess is all four.

How do you think Paris officials would react if someone like Billy Graham decided he was going to have a speaking event on the Champs d'Elysee, have his own security control the street, and not even ask permission of the city? How far would that get?

This is a situation where the true moderate Muslim leaders should step in and decry this activity that is intruding on the lives of Paris citizens and, of course, stoking outrage from Frenchmen. It is they who should take the necessary steps to end this problem.

If they won't the city should, but don't hold your breath. After all, we are talking about France here.

Still Think J Street is Pro-Israel?

If you still think J Street is a pro-Israel lobby, you may want to read this link from Mere Rhetoric.com about founder Daniel Levy. (The below two links are a few months old but hardly  outdated.)

http://www.mererhetoric.com/2010/10/05/j-street-co-founder-daniel-levy-israel%e2%80%99s-creation-an-act-that-was-wrong/


Yes, George Soros and all, this is the organization that was founded as a leftist alternative to AIPAC (which does support Israel). The problem is that J Street seeks to mask its intentions. You may remember that President Obama's State Department liaison for anti-Semitic matters, Hannah Rosenthal, came from J Street. Her first act was to travel to Israel, where she proceeded to trash the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren (putting herself in distinguished company, namely the UC-Irvine Muslim Student Union). According to some, Rosenthal is more concerned about Islamophobia than anti-Semitism.

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2010/07/time-to-get-rid-of-hannah-rosenthal.html

(Hat tip to Israelmatzav)

To a non-Jewish observer like me, this is all quite confusing.

Open Letter From OCITF re: Olive Tree Initiative

The OC Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism has written an open letter to the OC
Jewish Federation, Rose Project and UC-Irvine  Hillel urging them to disassociate themselves from the
Olive Tree Initiative.


http://octaskforce.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/3522

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bill Van Esveld and Human Rights Watch

Bill Van Esveld works for Human Rights Watch. He is also one of the contacts in the Middle East for the Olive Tree Initiative. Here is a sampling of his writings on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-van-esveld/yes-war-does-have-rules_b_737625.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-van-esveld/the-blockade-of-gaza-two_b_224340.html

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=122689#axzz19Gnvmkf0

The below article (Jerusalem Post) features an interview between the writer and Esveld.

http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/Article.aspx?ID=190514&R=R1

"Bill Van Esveld, a Human Rights Watch researcher who has written reports about violations in Gaza by both Israel and Hamas, said that a few weeks after Operation Cast Lead, he was examining the destruction in Khuzaa, a village about a half-kilometer from the border, when residents warned him not to stray too far.


“The IDF had sheared off the edge of the town, knocking down a row of houses. The residents told me, ‘Don’t go over there; stay on this side of the rubble or you’ll get shot.’ That’s when it came home to me,” he said.

Since then, in various parts of Gaza, some civilians were “shot in broad daylight, when the only thing ‘unusual’ about them was that they were young men,” Van Esveld continued.

Noting that many of them were picking up scrap metal, a valuable commodity, as the IDF bans metal imports because they’re used to build tunnels and weapons, he said it’s easy to mistake a man holding metal bars for a man holding a gun.

“You can’t just take a shot at anyone who picks up a big tube – that’s what they do for their livelihood,” he said. “Some of them [who look from a distance like they might be armed] could be scavengers, and some of them could be shooters.”

And what about the Human Rights Watch? They reportedly document human rights abuses by both sides of the conflict. Are they fair and impartial?

http://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/israel-and-occupied-territories

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/09/26/israel-extend-settlement-freeze

http://cifwatch.com/2010/07/09/hrws-subjectivity-or-mena-behaving-badly/

In the below Wikipedia entry, HRW has been accused of having an anti-Israel bias:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Human_Rights_Watch

I am not taking issue with any of Esveld's claims. Far be it from me to argue the word of one who is on the scene, which I am not. My question is whether Esveld and HRW favor one side or the other. Why is that important? Only because Esveld is another on a list of individuals who are meeting with OTI students on their trips to the Middle East. Is there really a balanced view of the conflict being presented to the students? That is the question at the center of the debate surrounding the Olive Tree Initiative.

Napolitano to Travelers: Deal With it.

Janet Napolitano has made her latest ridiculous pronouncement on those silly TSA body searches.

Deal with it.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/26/napolitano-used-airport-pat-downs/?test=latestnews

Of course, there is no update on whether Janet has decided whether Muslim women will be exempt or be able to pat themselves down.

Of course, there was another lame excuse for National Intelligence director James Clapper's being "out of the loop" about the arrest in the UK of 12 terrorist plotters. He was pre-occupied with the Korean situation and reducing our nuclear weapons for Russia's benefit. I guess Clapper is not what we would call a "multi-tasker". But, what the Hell; the "people who counted" were aware. I guess Clapper doesn't count.

Speaking of no new updates, wasn't it a couple of months ago Eric Holder said they were "nearing a decision" on where to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?


"Uhhhh.....yeaaaah."

Sleep soundly, Fousesquawkers. We'll never know what hit us.

Sweden-Coldest Winter in 110 Years

Here's a bit of news for you Global Warming enthusiasts: Parts of Sweden (Goteland and East Svealand) are experiencing their coldest December in 110 years.

http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/kallaste-december-pa-110-ar_5830233.svd

Why do you think they are now calling it "climate change"?

I am sure Al Gore must have an explanation for all this.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good News From Israel

Hank Danneker of 1 New Heart informs me that Esra's surgery was successful.

http://www.1newheart.org/Sponsored_Children.php




Dear Friends and Family,


First we want to send you our most heartfelt greetings from Jerusalem.

Second we want to inform you that Esra has been extubated and is sleeping comfortable, this is a great Christmas gift!

As the word says: " ...how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Peace & Joy,

Hank & Michele

MSNBC Brings You a Special Winter Event Edition of "Lockup"

As you know, today is the Winter Event, so we have no regular programming because our "anchors" are off. However, we are going to take you to Rikers Island for a special edition of "Lock-up", where our famous "anchors" are all gathered together to give you a special greeting.


Chris Matthews

"Boy did I get a raw deal. I was in this public bathroom standing at the urinal. The guy standing next to me looked just like Barack Obama. So's I told him, 'You know, you make my leg tingle'. Turns out he was an undercover vice cop. Boom! Next thing I know, here I am."

Keith Olbermann

"Talk about a raw deal! I get stopped by this copper for a chickensh--- speeding ticket. So's I give him one of my "special comments", and boom! Here I am."


Ed (Butter and Egg Man) Schultz


"I was in this bar, ya see. I had a few shooters, got a little "fired up", went out and robbed a convenience store of some butter and eggs, and next thing I know-here I am!"



Lawrence O'Donnell

"Talk about a raw deal! All I did was get mad at Alan Grayson and tell him off on my show. Then he writes a letter to Eric Holder and boom! Here I am."



Rachel Maddow

"Talk about a raw deal! I'm walking down the street in Washington on my way to interview some liberal Democrat. Next thing I know some Treasury agent tries to arrest me for impersonating the Secretary of the Treasury. I says, ' Do I look like the Secretary of the Treasury to you?'. Then he shows me a picture of Tim Geithner. So's I copped a plea and here I am."


Well, anyway, even though our heroes can't be here today, they all want to send you their special holiday greetings. (Chris Hayes will be filling in all 5 hours until further notice. That should do wonders for our ratings.)




"Happy Winter Event, everybody!"  (Hat tip to whoever created the above monstrosity)

Dutch Bust 12 Somalis Planning Terror Attack-Somebody Tell Clapper



"Is the director in?"

Guess what. The Dutch have have rounded up 12 Somalis who were about to carry out a terrorist attack. Has anyone told our head of National Intelligence, James Clapper? This is a Fox report, so he probably doesn't know-even though the Dutch also have a Somali in custody pending extradition who is now a "proud US citizen".


http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/12/25/dutch-detain-somalis-terror-suspicions-675443036/?test=latestnews


AMSTERDAM -- "Dutch police have arrested 12 Somali men in the key port city of Rotterdam on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, the public prosecutor said Saturday.


The men, aged 19 to 48, were detained Friday on a tip from the intelligence services that they were planning an attack shortly in the Netherlands. There was no immediate information on the alleged target, but Rotterdam is Europe's biggest port and a hub of maritime commerce, with huge oil and gas storage facilities and dozens of massive docks.

(Can you say "profile"?)

European officials stepped up security around the holidays this year after a Nigerian man in 2009 left Amsterdam airport on Christmas Day and allegedly tried to blow up a plane over Detroit with explosives taped to his underwear.

There also have been growing holiday security concerns in Europe following a suicide bombing in Sweden and attacks on two embassies this week in Rome.

Dutch police searched a phone shop, four houses and two motel rooms in the Rotterdam area, prosecutors said Saturday. No weapons or explosives were found. Six of the suspects lived in Rotterdam, five had no permanent residence and one came from Denmark, they said.

(There's that EU free-flow zone for you)


The Dutch National Terrorism Coordinator left the terrorist alert level unchanged following the arrests, indicating the likelihood of an attack was "limited."

Dutch intelligence services reportedly have been closely watching the growing Somali community in the Netherlands. One U.S. citizen of Somali extraction is under arrest and is fighting extradition to the U.S., suspected of supplying money to the al-Shabab insurgent group for weapons and to finance trips for potential recruits. The U.S. State Department considers al-Shabab a terror group with links to al-Qaida.

(Ayaan Hirsi Ali tried to warn the Dutch, but they wouldn't listen.)

Last year, 24-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had studied in London, boarded a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit from Amsterdam. He is accused of trying to blow up the flight, and a judge in a federal court in Detroit has entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

(The old UK connection)

On Thursday, anarchists sent mail bombs to the Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome, injuring two mail employees. A top Italian security official said the attackers wanted to avenge blows by those countries against their movement.

Last Monday, 12 men were arrested in Britain in the largest counterterrorism raid there in nearly two years. The men -- whose ages ranged from 17 to 28 -- were arrested in London, Cardiff, Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham. At least five were of Bangladeshi origin.

(But somebody forgot to tell James Clapper-head of National Intelligence)

Security officials said a large-scale terror attack was aimed at British landmarks and public spaces. Lord Carlile, the U.K. government's independent watchdog for terror, said the alleged plot appeared significant and involved several British cities, but he did not identify the targets.

Police removed computers from the suspects' homes and have up to 28 days to either charge the men or release them.

French officials, meanwhile, have ordered plainclothes police patrols in key tourist sites for the holidays, including an extra 6,000 more police for New Year's Eve.

Europe has been the target of numerous terror plots by Islamist militants. The deadliest was the 2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs killed 191 people and wounded about 1,800. A year later, suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in London on three subway trains and a bus.

In 2006, U.S. and British intelligence officials thwarted one of the largest terror plots yet, a plan to explode nearly a dozen trans-Atlantic plane."


(cc: James Clapper)

Merry Christmas

Enjoy Celtic Woman from Ireland.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Seattle Bus Ads Rejected. Anti-Israel Forces Stuffed Poll Ballot Box

Pro-Israel Bay Area Bloggers has an update on the controversy over the Seattle anti-Israel bus ads. A poll was held to see how many supported or rejected the idea. The anti-Israel forces did what their brethren in the Democratic Party and Acorn do-they cheated. At any rate, the Seattle Metro washed their hands of the whole business and declined to run the ads.

http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/2010/12/seattle-metro-bus-ads-why-do-supporters.html

Is this any surprise?

The Paris Manifesto

Europeans are speaking outAssises Internationales sur l'Islamisation


This month, an international conference was held in Paris involving representatives from several European nations. In addition, Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council attended. In all, there were about 1,200 participants. What came out of that conference was  a statement opposing the continued Islamization of Europe and any threat to the freedoms that the West enjoys.

Here is the English version of the manifesto (Gates of Vienna).

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2010/12/le-manifeste-de-paris.html

The Appeal of Paris — December 18th, 2010


December 23 2010



"The ‘Islamization’ of Europe Conference, which took place in Paris, on the 18th December 2010, is a founding act. For the first time, orators coming from the whole of Europe shared one same platform to denounce the Islamic conquest at work on our continent. At the end of the Conference, the thirty-two parties, organizations, associations, websites and news blogs which supported this initiative agreed, beyond their different political orientations, on a common manifesto:

We rise up against the aggressive proselytism of Islam, against the occupation of public space by muslim prayers, against the financing of mosques with public funds, against the development of the halal food market, against the fate reserved by Islam to women, as opposed to our principle of equality between women and men and, in general, against any advance of Islam on the soil of Europe,

Faced with the ‘Islamization’ of Europe, we reaffirm our unfailing attachment to our multimillenial civilization, its values and traditions,

We invite all the peoples of Europe and the world to preserve the future of our children and grand-children, by rising up against any attempt to replace the laws of their countries — a legacy of their history and a guarantee of social balance — by rules imported from abroad and incompatible with them,

We invite them to defend the European citizens’ freedom of speech, the free debate and free vote on this subject matter,

We invite them to pursue their political or editorial actions to oppose the increasing demands of Islam as they would oppose any kind of totalitarianism,

We invite them to reject any sectarianism or jealous claiming in the fight against ‘Islamization’, for any dissension would be detrimental to the people and the country,

We invite everyone to join an association or party that leads this fight, in accordance with one’s own political sensitivity and to bond with individuals, groups and countries in order to set up strong network. That’s the only way to resist the sexist, homophobic, Islamic totalitarianism, which aims, by using demographic dynamics and intimidation, to suppress a humanist civilization. We reject obscurantism, superstition and blind submission of Man to morbid and disgraceful principles.

In this day and age, we have founded a free association of independent organizations. We are a team. We have a fight. In this day and age, we launch a European movement of resistance, based upon the defence of our civilization faced with a new totalitarianism."

Below is an article on the event by the New English Review:

http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/31345

Interview With Nigel Farage

British representative to the European Parliament Nigel Farage makes headlines for his amusing speeches in Strasbourg putting down the EU and its president, Herman Van Rompuy. Here he shows a more reasoned side as he discusses his ideas on the EU, immigration and other issues with RT's Laura Emmet. The interview is from earlier this year.



Sure makes sense to me.

Penn State Covers its Indoctrinators


Norman Finkelstein- boob

                                                                                                                                     

Ward Churchill - boob "Power to the people!" (Yes, that's a quote.)


Penn State University has attracted the attention of David Horowitz and the National Association of Scholars by revising its code on what professors can and can't say in the classroom. In essence, they have cleared the way for their radical leftist professors to engage in all the propaganda they want to in class, even if it has nothing to do with the subject material.

http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?Doc_Id=1699

1987 version:



It is not the function of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his/her students with ready-made conclusions on controversial subjects. The faculty member is expected to train students to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently. Hence, in giving instruction upon controversial matters the faculty member is expected be of a fair and judicial mind, and to set forth justly, without supersession or innuendo, the divergent opinions of other investigators.

No faculty member may claim as a right the privilege of discussing in the classroom controversial topics outside his/her own field of study. The faculty member is normally bound not to take advantage of his/her position by introducing into the classroom provocative discussions of irrelevant subjects not within the field of his/her study.



2010 version:


Faculty members are expected to educate students to think for themselves, and to facilitate access to relevant materials which they need to form their own opinions. Faculty members are expected to present information fairly, and to set forth justly divergent opinions that arise out of scholarly methodology and professionalism.




This, of course, is a national problem. Students, especially in the Humanities, are being taught what their professors think about the world no matter how outrageous. And don't think that it is all being balanced out by conservative professors spouting their views in class. For one thing, there are few conservative professors in our universities. Most are too busy making a living in the real world. Those that do enter the Halls of Ivy generally find they are as welcome as the proverbial skunk at the garden party. (I entered after retiring from the government-as a part-time teacher.)

At UCI, where I teach, the Humanities Department is much smaller than most big universities since there is so much emphasis on the physical sciences, pre-med and engineering. Yet, we had an incident recently where a women's studies professor reportedly  made it a practice to go off on regular rants against Israel causing one Jewish student to drop the class.

I myself in teaching English to foreign students make it a rule not to give my personal views on issues. If a controversial issue were to arise, I allow the students to express their views freely on these topics. When asked what my own view is, I generally tell them not to worry about what I think-rather work out their own opinions. I regard any professor who feels it is necessary to shove his or her opinions down students throats and not respect differing opinions from their students as being unprofessional.

At campus speaking events or seminars, however, that is different. In these venues, opinions are what matters, and I have chosen to become active in one particular issue (which my readers are well aware of).

This is not a matter of whether teachers have the right of free speech. They do. That said, they should perhaps keep in mind that as the saying goes, opinions are like ass----s; everybody has one. The fact that a professor has more wisdom because of his/her extensive education and research does not hold water as far as I am concerned. Most of these pin-heads have little to no actual life experience to bring into the classroom. They have gone from BS/BA to Masters to PHD to teaching. By the time they get that phd, they have been educated out of the last ounce of common sense they were born with.

You want examples? How about Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, William Ayres, Bernadine Dorhn, Noam Chomsky...the list could go on forever. Fortunately, Finkelstein and Churchill now do their preaching from a soapbox instead of a classroom because their wacky scholarship was proven to be just that.

The sad thing is that it is our children who are being cheated out of a quality education. In many cases, they get drawn into useless programs like ethnic studies, women's studies, gay, lesbian, trans-gender studies, community studies, history of consciousness, you name it. When they graduate with that piece of paper, they are equipped to do nothing but teach it to the next generation of students.

And to repeat that famous phrase, how does all that teach young students to think for themselves? According to the academics, it means that they don't have to accept what their government, their parents, their elders or their churches teach them-just accept what your misfit professor, who likely despises convention and his/her own country, teaches them.

Just look at what is coming out of our universities for the past several years. These young folks can cite you chapter and verse about all the dark chapters and mistakes in our country's history, gay issues, feministt issues, corporate evils, and on and on. Can they tell you what the capital of Poland is? Probably not. Can they tell you the exact years of World Wars I and II? Probably not. Can they tell you who our presidents were during those wars? Probably not. Can they speak a complete sentence without using the word, "like" at least twice? Probably not.

Perhaps, at this point in my rant I should concede that I am not talking about all teachers nor am I talking about all students. I am talking about trends. The basic truth is that American education, while known to have become deficient at the secondary level, is also dangerously over-rated at the university level. Inferior teachers, who teach their opinions, make inferior students, who make inferior graduates. Our children, at least if they are studying in the Humanities, are not getting the education their parents think they are paying for.

Robert Menendez From the "Beautiful State of New Joisey"


Robert Menendez-Santa's Helper

Tip of the wig to the Huffington Post

Ariana Huffington is the biggest gift the US has received from Greece since broken plates and Greek sex. Once a conservative when she married a conservative billionaire who ran for governor of California, Ariana decided in mid-life to become a liberal, kinda like that other confused soul David Brock. But this piece isn't about Ariana; it is rather about New Joisey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who has penned a tour de resistance for Ariana's Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-menendez/a-letter-to-santa-claus_b_800669.html

December 23, 2010


"Dear Santa Claus,

I am writing out of concern, because you may have to move from the North Pole due to the dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice. The Navy's chief oceanographer says that by the summer of 2020 the North Pole may not have summer ice and other scientists project that an ice-free Arctic is possible as soon as 2012!

                                                                                                                                   

"Other scientists"




"That's a big f------' deal!"

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that polar ice is melting because of greenhouse gas pollution and I am working hard to reduce these emissions. But there is probably nothing we can do in time to save the North Pole. I am worried about your safety and your ability to deliver billions of Christmas gifts if the ice cap on the North Pole no longer stays frozen all year. What will happen to your house, your workshop, the elves' houses and your reindeer barns?



I want you to know that if you want to relocate to the beautiful state of New Jersey,




Newark



Joisey City

.......I would be proud to assist you. But given the climate you are accustomed to, I will understand if you would like to relocate to the South Pole. Just be sure not to move to the Antarctic Peninsula or West Antarctic ice sheet, areas that are also experiencing rapid ice melt.


Ice melting on the scenic Joisey Turnpike


Please know that I will work to mobilize the U.S. federal government to assist when you relocate. I am sure we can both agree that on a warming planet, we need to do all we can to save Christmas."
"Save Frosty, Senator"

Sincerely,

Robert Menendez

U.S. Senator


Hoboken in the fall.


You know the problem is Menendez probably believes what he is writing. I'll bet he even put an official US Senate stamp on the envelope and mailed it to the North Pole.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jewish Leaders Warned to Wake Up

Judenrat-Dutch Jewish Council in occupied Amsterdam 1942

David Horowitz's Frontpage is featuring an article by Susanne Reyto admonishing Jewish leaders to stand up (or wake up). Many of these rabbis and leaders are refusing to acknowledge the threat that faces them and their people.

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/12/23/will-jewish-community-leaders-stand-up/

Ms Reyto's words strike me as sound advice. I would even venture that there are many Jewish "leaders" here in Orange County who might do well to read the article.

Christian "leaders" too, for that matter.

From "Bah Humbug" to "Christmas is Evil" in UK

Ebeneezer Scrooge would be proud if he could read the latest story from the Daily Mail.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1340794/Christmas-evil-Muslim-group-launch-poster-campaign-festive-period.html

Outrage: The poster that has appeared in the Tower Hamlets area hitting out at the festive period

You talk about going into someone's house and defecating on the rug.

"Ya talk about chickensh--!"

Tolerance? Where is the tolerance?

Here is a link to their website and phone number.

http://xmasisevil.com/

It says to call them and find out more.

Why don't you call them and find out more?

I New Heart Surgery Update

Hank Danniker in Israel has sent me an update on the surgery for a little Palestinian girl named Esra. The surgery has been performed at Wolfson Hospital in Israel. As Hank says, the first 24 hours are crucial.

http://www.1newheart.org/Sponsored_Children.html

Please keep Esra in your prayers.

Claremont College's Middle East Professor-Bassam Frangieh

Campus Watch has posted an interesting article on one of Claremont College's "academic stars". Since I once wrote an article for Campus Watch, I consider them to be a reliable source of information on what passes for education in America academia. (I also note their "Howler of the Month" comes from the institution where I teach  (English-not my view of the world) UC-Irvine. Their posting is of a BigPeace article on Claremont professor Bassam Frangieh.

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/10500

This, of course, comes as no surprise. Most universities around the country (and Canada) are infested with pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel activists who owe their positions to the generous funding from Saudi Arabia which finances all these Middle East Studies departments sprouting like weeds from one university to another. There is very little objective research or teaching going on here.

I also couldn't help but notice mention of that silly character who has been reduced to going around the lecture circuit being advertised as "independent scholar with a phd from Princeton". That is, of course, the absurd Norman (Don't call me Norm) Finkelstein. This nit-wit (who was canned by DePaul University for his crackpot scholarship) has brought his phony theories to UC-Irvine at least three times. Previously, he was swooned over by radical professors, deans, asst. deans and vice chancellors, but the last time, he was made to look like a fool (which he is) by a community audience that had decided enough was enough at UCI.

http://garyfouse.blogspot.com/2010/05/norman-finklestein-at-uc-irvine.html

But back to this Frangieh character. What are we doing putting professors in our colleges who support Hamas and Hizbollah?

* PS- For you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies majors, Hizbollah is the bunch who blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon shortly before they announced their formation to the world. Of course that happened before most of you were born, so maybe your "professors" have not told you about it.

What Really Ails Greece (The Greeks)


Riot in Greece

"We want our candy! The Jews stole our candy!"

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

Below is an interesting article on how some Greek priest is blaming the Jews for Greece's current financial crisis.


http://octaskforce.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/hi-level-greek-priest-goes-on-anti-semitic-tirade/

The Metropolite answered, “Adolf Hitler was an instrument of world Zionism and was financed from the renowned Rothschild family with the sole purpose of convincing the Jews to leave the shores of Europe and go to Israel to establish the new Empire.”




Great. Just what we need. Allow me to clear this matter up for the priest's edification. Greece's problem is merely the first and worst example of what plagues western Europe; non-stop spending on social welfare that the nation can't afford. According to one of my colleagues, who is married to a Greek, speaks Greek, and has lived in Greece (before they fled), about 35% of the work force is either working for the government or retired-a sure recipe for disaster. Now that the money has run out, Greece walks around hat in hand asking its European neighbors for hand outs. Then when any talk is heard about spending cuts, the Greek people run amok in the streets.

But it's all the Jews' fault.

Wrong. It is all the Greeks' fault. Maybe it's time for the lazy Greeks to get up off their asses and realize that life is not about the government of Mamby Pamby Land taking care of all your needs. (Maybe we Americans could learn that too.) The party is over in Europe. The money has run out. Now it is for the whole European Union to realize that they cannot save each country, one by one with bailouts.

Now comes this idiot priest blaming the Jews and Rothchild for all Greece's ills. Another black eye for Christianity, if you ask me.

Like the drill sergeant said,

"The Greeks are a bunch of jackwagens."

Talk about a has-been country!