Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where's All This Money Coming From?

Now that we have seen the 780 billion dollar "Stimulus Package" and the 410 billion dollar spending bill passed by Congress, the latter of which contains 8,500 earmarks, it might be an opportune time to ask, "Where's all this money coming from?"

Not that we have seen the last of the spending. We have only seen the beginning. I've read estimates that there is 3.4 trillion dollars in spending coming down the pike.

"That's a lotta dough!"

Of course, President Obama and his band of thieves in Congress have got it all figured out. First of all, he is going to give a tax break to 97% of working families (whatever that means). Then, he is going to ask the top two per cent of wage earners "to pay a little more". Apparently, the top two per cent are those earning over $250,000 a year. Those people are going to have to pay "their fair share", as the liberals all love to say.

Of course, what liberals don't tell you is that the rich do pay their fair share. What is it- the top two per cent pay 40-50% of all revenue collected in taxes? The top one per cent pay something like 60% of all taxes?

"Make it more!"

I am no economist, but I don't think we need a Paul (the worm) Krugman to figure this out. Here's the problem. If we are actually talking about some 3.4 trillion dollars, Obama's plan doesn't add up. As noted pundit (and my hero) Rush Limbaugh points out, you can confiscate all the wealth of the richest two per cent and you still have nowhere near enough. Obama is talking about money that hasn't even been printed yet. Increased taxing of "the rich" isn't going to balance the books in the face of all this government spending that Obama wants.

Which means........

I figure about a year down the line, a new tax bill will be passed to bring in more revenue to the government. That will mean increased taxes for those earning over say...$100,000. Later, there will be another "adjustment" that will increase taxes for those earning over $50,000 a year. It's the only way all this spending can be paid for.

You wanted change-you got change.

Oh yee suckers.

Celebrity Endorsements- Barney Frank for Capital Investments

Hi, Barney Frank here on behalf of my good friends at Capital Investments.

You know, in these troubled economic times, it is reassuring to know that there is one company that continues to grow and that really knows how to watch over your money.

Capital Investments.

With 3.4 trillion dollars in assets and backed by the experts at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you can rest comfortably knowing that your money is the hands of the biggest, most solid establishment in the world.


Our team consists of hundreds of thousands of financial experts who make sure that your money is safely and soundly put to use in such diversified investments as education, health care, our youth, ACORN, bridges in Alaska, fish farms in Mississippi, sex education, bailouts, condoms, Nancy Pelosi's private jet, services for "undocumented workers", fact-finding trips for our political leaders, research into the mating habits of the tse-tse flies in Africa, but the list is way too long to mention.

So put your money into the only company that is guaranteed to grow-Capital Investments. Pick up the phone and call now. Congressional staffers are standing by for your call. Or better yet, just wait for April 15th when automatic payroll deductions will make it quick and easy.

Capital Investments. Tell 'em Barney sent you.

Capital Investments
(202) 3825-968 (Hey, kids! Crack the secret code and win a prize!)
* No, we don't have an 800 number. Nothing's free, you know.

Orange County Mayor Resigns Over Watermelon Message

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose

No sooner do we have the controversy over the New York Post's tasteless Chimp Cartoon than we get this piece of news out of Los Alamitos, California, an insignificant berg in Orange County. Mayor Dean Grose has resigned in the wake of an e-mail message he sent to an African-American businesswoman that contained a picture of a watermelon patch in front of the White House. (I'm not making this up, folks.)

When the firestorm hit the Southland this week, Mayor Grose initially feigned ignorance of the traditional racial stereotype conjured up by watermelons. He then came to his senses and tendered his resignation.

The Orange County Register headlines its local section today with a report that adds to the stupidity of the whole incident.

It is entitled: "Mayor's exit fuels debate".


As the media is wont to do, they consult university academics for guidance on what is a pretty simple issue.

"It was a flagrant disregard for basic civility and a demonstrated lack of knowledge about how painful the issue of race has been for our nation," according to Fred Smoller, associate professor of Political Science at Chapman University.

"It's the one issue that's almost destroyed the nation and when people touch it in an insensitive way, they pay for it"

Mark Petracca, chairman of the Political Science Department at UC Irvine, also weighed in.

"There are a couple of features of this story that I think are unusual and one is the quickness with which it's happened. We've gone from incident, to apology to someone deciding to fall on their sword and taking full responsibility for it but it's explained by the sheer amount of attention the incident has received."

"This is hardly the first incidence that an elected official has said or done something colossally stupid."

"Now, I don't know this guy, but I'm assuming he's doing this because he loves his city. This does help to facilitate some redemption if not for the mayor, then for the city."

Then there is this from Gabrielle Foreman, a literary historian at Occidental College:

"I don't think we want people serving us who have so little sense of history. I also don't think that resignation has to be the only response. I think education is a really good response as well."

With all due respect to the above three individuals, do we really need to find the answers on a university campus? Does it really require academic scholars to analyze this one, folks?

But it gets even better.

The Register is also reporting this morning that Grose has reached out to the Orange County Human Relations Commission, a bureaucratic broom closet that purports to "combat racism, intolerance and discrimination" (according to the Register). This outfit is headed by one Rusty Kennedy, to whom specifically Grose reached out. Kennedy is the same character I made the mistake of reaching out to in an e-mail I sent to him last year complaining about anti-Semitism on the UC-Irvine campus. In his reply, Kennedy excoriated me for criticizing the lack of effective response by university officials.

"We talked at great length and he expressed a lot of remorse," Kennedy said. "He wanted to figure out how he can do the right thing." (Referring to Grose-not me).

"He's worried that this would reflect poorly on the city. "He then shared his decision to step down."

"People do a lot of different things as symbols of apology or action to try to make amends for things they have done to hurt others. I thought that was a wise and caring thing to do given the hurt and demeaning nature of that joke."


Had Grose contacted me first, I would have advised him to reach out to someone like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. That would have gotten him farther than calling Rusty Kennedy. But what do I care? As the corrupt cop in "Scarface" said, it's his tree. He's sitting in it.

Just another example of the type of political leaders we have in our country.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Orange County Man Claims to Have Infiltrated Local Mosque

Federal agents at the home of Ahmadullah Sais Niazi

Today's Orange County Register is reporting an interview (yesterday) with an Orange County man who claims he acted as an FBI informant infiltrating an Irvine mosque from July 2006 to October 2007. The interview comes in the wake of the arrest this past week of Afghan national Ahmadullah Sais Niazi of nearby Tustin on immigration-fraud charges. (Niazi is charged with lying in his application for US citizenship and a US passport and hiding connections to terrorist organizations. Niazi also reportedly has a brother-in-law believed to be Osama bin Laden's security coordinator.)

The Register has concluded that the man who was interviewed yesterday, Craig Monteilh (46), was also acting as the specific informant who had recorded conversations in which Niazi allegedly talked of conducting Jihad, blowing up empty buildings, and setting off explosives in shopping centers.

The FBI will neither confirm nor deny that Monteilh has acted as their informant. However, according to the Register, the testimony of an FBI agent in a bail hearing for Niazi seems to confirm Monteilh's claims.

What is known is that Monteilh is a convicted felon and has served time in prison for fraud and grand theft.

In 2007, the Islamic Center of Irvine, along with the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR), took out a restraining order on Monteilh and reported him to the FBI, stating that he held violent views and was making references to Jihad. Monteilh claims that the mosque was beginning to suspect they were being monitored.

There have been reports in the past couple of years (and complaints from the local Muslim community) that the FBI was investigating the Irvine mosque. This article would seem to confirm that suspicion.

As for Mr Monteilh, his credibility automatically comes into question based on his criminal history and this curious interview (informants don't normally give newspaper interviews publicizing their actions.) It appears, however, that his cooperation with the FBI was already known to those he was attempting to infiltrate and with whom he was recording conversations. The burning question is whether the mosque and CAIR came forward because they wanted to turn in a terror suspect or because they knew or suspected that he was an informant.

Should Monteilh be called as a witness, the jury will be properly instructed to consider his testimony with great scrutiny due to his criminal past. Ultimately, Monteihl's credibility will rest on whatever corroborating evidence the FBI and police have gathered-including of course, the tape recordings, which will be crucial to any future prosecution.

This is a case that bears following.

Another Victim to Our Lax Illegal Alien Policy

Miguel Alexander Vargas
Another one slips through the cracks-another innocent person dies

It's happened again. First we have the senseless murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr in Los Angeles by an illegal alien gang member fresh out of jail without being turned over to ICE. Then we have the murder of a father and 2 sons (Bologna family) in San Francisco by an illegal alien gang member who had been released from jail in the Bay Area without ICE being notified. Now this.

Miguel Alexander Vargas (25), a native of El Salvador and illegal alien, is charged with the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Annette Angelina Alvarado (23) in Placentia, California near Los Angeles. On January 27, 2009, Vargas pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic violence against Alvarado. Nine days later, he killed her, stabbing her over 20 times in front of her two small children.

At this time, an internal ICE review is underway to determine why ICE did not deport Vargas after the January 27 plea. At this point, we don't even know if he was actually in ICE custody.

Oh, by the way. This was not the first time Vargas had run afoul of the law. He had a US arrest record going back to 2002 for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, driving without a license, a conviction for felony gang assault in 2007 and, according to the Orange County Register article, was sentenced to a year in prison on November 21, 2008 for violation of probation. Why was he on the streets 3 months later? You're asking me?

Vargas was arrested (after the murder) in Tijuana on February 16 and turned over to American authorities.

So here we have yet another case of a gang-banger with multiple arrests going through the justice system and being turned back onto the streets of our cities without being deported. And yet another victim has paid with her life for our negligence.

The depressing details can be found here in an article by the Orange County Register

When do we as a people say to our elected leaders, "Enough"?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Israeli Apartheid Week is Coming to a Campus Near You

San Francisco, January 10, 2009

The week of March 1, university campuses all over the US and Canada are going to witness what is called "Israeli Apartheid Week". This will be a week chock full of Israel-bashing put on by local campus Muslim Student Associations aided by their allies on the radical left-professors, radical left students and "community members" with time on their hands to join any event that bashes "The Establishment."

So, if you study in a university where these events will take place, what can you expect to see and hear? Well, to begin with, you will witness a sea of Palestinian flags. There will be an occasional Hamas flag as well as an occasional Hezbollah flag (the organization that was implicated in the Marine barracks bombing that occurred in the 1980s in Lebanon and killed over 200 of our Marines.

You will hear the usual chants, "Free free Palestine" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free", the latter of which, if analyzed, means all of present-day Israel will be eliminated and the Jews driven out or killed. You will see posters decrying the "genocide" that Israel is carrying out against innocent Palestinian men, women and children. You will see pictures of civilians killed in recent military action in Gaza. Of course, nothing will be said about the fact that Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately set up their operations in mosques, schools, hospitals and other civilian centers in order to maximize their own civilian casualties for public relations effect.

And there will be speakers galore-all dedicated to the end of Israel as a nation. Who will these speakers be? First, there will be radical Islamic imams, many of whom are on the lecture circuit spreading their message of hate. Not only against Israel, mind you, but against America as well. There surely will be people like Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an Oakland imam who goes from campus to campus in California calling for the destruction of Israel, glorifying suicide bombings and railing against "Zionist Jews". There will also be Mohammed al-Asi, an American-born imam who calls Jews, "low-life ghetto-dwellers" and warns young Jewish students that they face the wrath of the Muslim world because of their support for Israel.

There will also be radical leftist professors like Norman Finklestein and Ward Churchill, who not only hate Israel, but hate their own country as well. There will be a host of Arab professors who hold teaching jobs at American universities, spreading their propaganda in the classroom.

And as always, they will drag in Jewish figures (like Finklestein) who oppose Israel thinking that it adds credibility to their cause.

On many campuses, you will see a mock wall set up to represent the wall Israel built (quite successfully) to keep out suicide bombers who were blowing up buses and pizza parlors in Israeli cities. This will be their symbol of Israeli "Apartheid", a term made popular by our misguided ex-president Jimmy Carter. You will see photos of dead civilians on that wall, quotes from Martin Luther King and others.

Virtually everything you hear said will be negative-anti-Israel, anti-American and occasionally anti-Semitic. You will hear George Bush called an "idiot". You will hear black members of Bush's administration called "Uncle Toms". Of course, most of the speakers have learned to disguise their anti-Semtism by using the adjective "Zionist" when referring to Jews. Example:

Amir Abdel Malik Ali at UC-Irvine: "Rupert Murdoch is a Zionist Jew." No anti-Semitism there, right?

Possibly, you will see a group of Jewish students bravely carrying Israeli flags and warning listeners that hate speech is being spoken. They may or may not be the only Jewish counter-protesters you will see. At UCI, they occasionally (but not always) turn out to carry out a silent and lawful counter-protest. Some of them simply choose not to get involved for a variety of reasons.

Lately, however, we are seeing a more disturbing trend in the wake of the Gaza fighting. In many of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations held in Europe, America and Canada, we heard things like, "Long Live Hitler", Hitler rest in peace" (Los Angeles), "Go back to the ovens", "You need a bigger oven" (Ft Lauderdale), and "Jewish child, you are gonna F---ing die" (Toronto).

In Europe, in cities like London, Paris and Malmo, the protests turned into violent riots. In many European cities, Jews are afraid to venture out of doors-reminiscent of the 1930s in Germany.

Even in North America, the protests are becoming uglier. There have been violent incidents at UC Berkeley and San Jose State where just recently a talk by an Israeli diplomat was disrupted to the point where he had to leave the stage. Also just recently, a group of Jewish students at York University in Toronto were chased by a pro-Palestinian mob into the campus Hillel building where they remained barricaded until police could escort them out. At my campus (UC-Irvine)there has been a string of ugly incidents in recent years in which Jewish students have been insulted, intimidated, harassed and occasionally physically assaulted with impunity. Last month at a meeting on campus with Anteaters for Israel, Jewish students were asked if they felt intimidated on campus. About half of them, almost all females, raised their hands.

This is a situation that exists on many campuses all over the US and Canada where thuggish Muslim Student Associations have their way with no repercussions. Why is that, you ask. How can this be tolerated? It is tolerated for a variety of reasons. First of all, there is a paucity of decent faculty-even Jewish faculty-who are willing to speak out, condemn and demand that university administrators crack down on hate speech and intimidation toward a particular group (Jewish). Indeed, many university teachers, especially in the Humanities, are openly supportive of the Arab side and participate in their events.

Another problem is that university administrators-in many cases, intimidated by their own faculty, refuse to get involved. To them, it is all free speech (which is considered sancrosanct). They insist that the university must remain "content neutral" whatever that means. So they stand back, say nothing, hide under their desks and allow their campus to be run by thugs. When Jewish students go to administrators and complain about the intimidating environment they are exposed to, they are considered "hysterical Jews", told that it is free speech and all part of the education process-or simply ignored.

Another thing to remember is that the mainstream media is not reporting these events. It goes against their liberal agenda, and they, like the universities are deathly afraid of offending the Muslim community and possibly being sued by that "watchdog" of human rights, CAIR-always looking for someone to sue for "discriminating against Muslims". As a result, one must go onto the Internet to even know these things are happening unless one accidentally finds themselves in the middle of a street demonstration.

What we are witnessing in our own country is a resurgence in anti-Jewish sentiment as a result of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, fueled by radical elements within the Muslim community, aided by their left-wing allies on the radical left and enabled by pusillanimous university administrators.

So if you happen to be present at one of these protests, take careful note of what is said and done. Note which side defames not only Israel, but America as well. If there are anti-Semitic expressions or acts of intimidation or violence against Jewish students, speak out. At this point, I don't know if there will be events at UC-Irvine. If there are, I will observe as much of it as I am able, note what is said, probably confront a speaker or two and report it on my blog. The public has to know what is going on.

Regardless of what one thinks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to allow that conflict to bring about a resurgence in anti-Semitism against our fellow Jewish citizens on our shores is unthinkable and unacceptable. We all know where that kind of sentiment can take us. It is up to us who are aware to spread the news to the American public that may not be aware of what is happening. It is time for many in the Jewish community to stand up and defend themselves and demand that those in authority to do the right thing. And it is time for the millions of decent Muslims in America to stand up to those who are doing so much to discredit Islam and say "Enough", we love our adopted country, which has given us so much, and we refuse to engage in hatred toward our fellow Americans who happen to be Jewish.

I hope everyone will follow the events of the coming week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Keith Olbermann-Beating a Dead Horse

Is the above photo Keith Olbermann beating up on George Bush-or me beating up on Keith Olbermann? Sometimes, even I'm not sure.

I turned on Keith Olbermann tonight because I wanted to see how he would handle the Chris Matthews "Oh God" comment last night on MSNBC. Of course, it didn't occur to me to turn on Chris Matthews to see what he would say, but I never watch "Hardball" anyway. As for "Countdown", it was the same old dog and pony show. It's getting to be like "I Love Lucy".

(* Matthews, on "Hardball", skillfully and disingenuously told his viewers tonight that he was reacting to the staged backdrop for Jindal's speech; the antebellum appearance of the Governor's mansion, the winding staircase, the hallway from which he emerged. Yet, those images were on the screen at least a full minute before Jindal appeared-at which time, Matthews made his comment.)

First, Keith brought on his old stand-by, Newsweek Editor Richard Wolffe (2 f's) to help Keith pound on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's speech in response to President Obama's address to Congress. Keith charged that Jindal made up a story about being with a local sheriff when he told a government bureaucrat over the phone to go pound sand-or something like that. It never happened, said Keith, later adding that the sheriff is now dead,(so I guess we'll never really know, will we Keith). Then he and Wolffe (2 f's) talked about how even Republicans thought that Jindal's speech was awful and he looked like some sophomoric TV character (somebody the page). Finally, they concluded that Jindal's political career was now doomed (knowing that the governor is considered a rising star in the Republican Party). Wolffe (2 f's) also made a passing joke about Matthews' comment about Jindal's entrance to the podium and Keith laughed. (It's not so funny, Keith. You should be embarrassed. But more on that later.)

Eugene "Chuckles" Robinson and Jonathan Alter apparently had the night off, so Keith then brought in the "always fair and balanced" Paul (the worm) Krugman to help him beat up on those awful Republicans some more (as if they matter, for cryin' out loud).

Then there is poor old George Bush, who used to be president. Keith can't let go. He talked about some nursing home law that was passed under Bush. He showed a clip of Rachel Maddow interviewing Nancy Pelosi about this so-called "Truth and Reconciliation" nonsense that Patrick Leahy is proposing (What are we, Argentina?) . Pelosi is "concerned" that in the end, no one will go to prison, a concern we know Keith shares.

"Worst Person in the World"? Bronze goes to's Michael Calderone for incorrectly identifying the "Oh God" speaker as Keith then correcting it to Matthews. Hey Keith, how about Matthews as "Worst Person in the World" for saying it? Silver to-who else, Bill O'Reilly-just for being Bill O'Reilly. This must have been the 2,283rd award to O'Reilly. Never let it be said that Keith Olbermann holds a grudge. The Gold to Sean Hannity ("The Manitee") for being a conservative-or some other infraction.

And as further evidence that Keith can't let go of the Bush thing, he again signed off by reminding us it was the 467,126th day since George Bush declared, "Mission accomplished".

Good night, Keith.
Good night, Richard.
Good night, Chris.

MSNBC-"Oh God!"

The above picture shows:

a Bleacher Bums at Wrigley Field
b Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and other MSNBC commentators reporting politics

Answer? Why "b" of course.

Once again, MSNBC's co-anchors, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, showed why they were kicked off the election campaign reporting shtick last year. They are so openly biased that their only proper place is in opinion-oriented forums. Now that the election is over, they are back off their leashes.

Last night was just another in a long string of anecdotes involving these two pundits. After the speech by President Obama (who makes Matthews feel orgasmic sensations run up and down his leg-by his own admission), Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave the Republican response. As Jindal walked to the microphone, one of our two "professional" commentators (believed to be Matthews) was heard to mutter over the good old open mike, "Oh God!"

This is the same guy who in the 2006 elections, was heard to exclaim, "Yea!" when another Democratic election victory came over the wires.

Isn't MSNBC, in spite of its open bias, embarrassed when these two reporters act like cheerleaders and bleacher bums when reporting political events in venues where the public expects straight reporting?

Apparently not.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Beer!!!

Sailors spending like drunken Congressmen

President Obama's Change

We have had a lot of fun recently mocking the "Change" mantra that propelled Barack Obama to the White House. In one respect, it is a joke that President Obama will change the insider culture of Washington. One needs look no further than his cabinet selections to see that clearly. The revolving door of lobbyists in and out of government (Daschle) to the back room deals (Hillary Clinton) to the tax cheats (Daschle and Geithner) put the lie to any notion that the Obama Administration is going to change Washington. Yet, when we look at the first 30 days of the Obama Administration, it is undeniable that he is charging full-speed ahead for his version of change. That is the drive to move this country into socialism.

Where do we start? Do we begin with the so-called Stimulus Bill-almost 800 billion dollars of pork, earmarks, welfare and government spending gone wild? How about the nationalization through bailout of our banking system and our automobile industry? Even more stimulus bills are on the way. More spending, more give-aways, Fannie, Freddie, etc. All those homeowners who couldn't pay the mortgages? Government is going to take care of them. In Obama's speech tonight, I hear him blast certain bankers who made bad loans. He didn't say one word about people like Barney Frank, who forced bankers into making bad loans.

Yes, let the good times roll! After all, the tax-payers are footing the bill. You know, the people who work, pay their bills, pay their taxes and make their mortgage payments. The producers of our society. They got it covered. As we speak, Congress is sending another, slightly less blockbuster spending bill to Obama for his signature. It contains thousands of earmarks-those little things the President assures us are not in the Stimulus Package.

In the wake of all this, Obama holds a White House conference yesterday. The topic?


Did you know Obama is going to send 900 million dollars to Gaza? Not one dime to Hamas, we are assured. Never mind that Hamas runs Gaza. Of course, there will be appropriate safeguards. Right. He is also going to open the floodgates for "refugees" from Gaza to come to the US so they can take over our streets and campuses with their anti-Israel protests. Just what we need. Don't take my word for it; read the executive order.

What we are witnessing is the transfer of wealth through government spending programs and taxes. It is called socialism in its milder form and Marxism in its more extreme form. At this point, I am not sure where Obama falls in between the two.

Say what you will of Obama. He is moving boldly. His will not be an insignificant presidency.

Concordia University, Montreal-September 2002

The video below was shot at Concordia University in Montreal in September 2002. The incident happened when Former Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was scheduled to give a speech. Because of the riot that occurred, the speech was cancelled at the last minute because of safety concerns.

Two years later, (2004) another scheduled speech at Concordia by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was cancelled due to the threat of violence. So much for the right of free speech in Canada.

But, you say, that was 2002. Yes, but not much has changed since then, has it?

Toronto, January 10, 2009

Yes, there is anti-Semitism in Canada too. This video is courtesy of Five Feet of Fury blog. Pay particular attention to the chant, "How many Gazans blood did you drink today?" (4 minutes 30 seconds into the video)That is a clear reference to the old Jewish blood libel. Also note the screams of a woman to a Jewish child threatening the child with death. "Jewish child. You are gonna F---ing die!" (6 minutes 20 seconds into the tape.) The child was standing next to the author of Five Feet of Fury blog, Kathy Shaidle.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Boycot Durban II

The below message and video comes to us from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem of Murfreesboro, TN.

"In the picturesque Swiss city of Geneva this coming April 20, the United Nations is due to hold its second global summit on racism a 'human rights' gathering designed to review the outcomes of the hate-filled fiasco held in Durban, South Africa in the week before the 9/11 attacks of September 2001.

UN Human Rights Council chair Libya is in the driving seat and has gladly handed the wheel over to Iran rendering the so-called Durban II conference little more than a UN-sponsored show-trial of Israel and the West.

As in 2001,
...only one nation is singled out for condemnation: Israel
…only one cause merits attention: Palestine
…and only one religion merits protection: Islam

This weekend the State Department announced that President Obama is content to go along with it.

The Durban II Declaration will make it an act of racism for the Jewish people to live in a land of their own and a hate-crime to condemn the Islamic terrorism that targets them.

Not in our name. Tell President Obama to boycott Durban II."

Boycott Durban II from ICEJ USA on Vimeo.

Fousesquawk comment: I heartily concur. This conference is nothing more than the Arab world (using the feckless United Nations) forcing the West to turn its back on Israel. They are even drafting a resolution that would make any criticism of Islam a criminal offense.

It behooves the US and the Obama Administration to lead the way in stripping this show trial of any legitimacy. No US representative should attend.

The Oscars-Narcissism and Rhodesians

"Hey, here's a star arriving now!"

"Fousesquawk, over here!"
(Tip of the hat to

I wasn't going to watch the Oscars last night. I usually don't. As it was, I ended up watching the last couple of hours simply because there wasn't much else going on. I had gone out for Pollo Loco and finished off a bottle of wine with dinner. The blog was slow, so I figured what the hell. Might as well see who makes the biggest ass out of him/her self this year.

First the compliments: It was nice to see Jerry Lewis, who has been in ill health for many years, receive recognition for his humanitarian work. I also thought it was nice to see the Indian film industry (Bollywood) get attention with the movie, Slum Dog Millionaire (which I haven't seen yet. In fact, I haven't seen any other movies and probably won't.) And how about those hot Indian babes? (I know. I'm a sexist. Save the cards and letters.)

By the way, I heard a few references to Mumbai. If anyone mentioned the slaughter that took place there, it must have been in the first hour when I wasn't watching.

Now the bad news. As always, it was an exercise in narcissism and mutual ass-kissing playing to the monumental egos of the "stars". Thank God I missed the pre-Oscars with all those boobs prancing into the theatre and showing off what they were wearing. Angelina Jolie was wearing huge emeralds probably stolen from some temple in the jungles of South America, while some babe named Jenny Beer or something like that was outfitted in a shower curtain. I always get a kick out of watching the close-up audience shots of some star listening with rapt attention to whoever has the mike and is giving one of those "save the world" speeches. Jolie was doing that while making sure we all saw that obscene emerald on her hand matching the obscene ones hanging on her ears.

I was also dumbfounded by all the Rhodesians who were either receiving awards or handing them out. (I can always tell a Rhodesian by the accent.) Every five minutes there was another Rhodesian who had forgotten to comb his hair on the stage. Even the producers of Slum Dog were Rhodesians. They're taking over, I tell you. Where is Robert Mugabe when we need him? Of course, a lot of what I call the *Mox Nix awards went to mostly Rhodesians. Award for best cinematography? A Rhodesian. Best documentary? A Rhodesian. Best actress? A Rhodesian. Best grip? A Rhodesian. Even the MC, some guy named Jack Hughes or something like that, was a bloody Rhodesian. I missed who got best supporting actress, but I bet it was some Rhodesian.

I'll tell you another low point-which usually is done well-but not this year. The list of those who passed on. This year, the names and photos passed so quickly, and the lettering was so small, it was hard to keep up. Of course, Charlton Heston's name got little or no applause. (He was a conservative, you know.)

As for who made the biggest jerk out of himself (at least in the part I watched), it had to be none other than Sean Penn (who I wish were Rhodesian). He got best actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Of course, Penn used his soapbox to tell us about some hateful signs he saw when he arrived (about what I have no idea). Then the man who cozies up to Hugo Chavez told those of us who voted against Proposition 8 that we "would stand in shame before our grandchildren".


Second place would have to go to Bill Maher (also a jerk), who just had to take a shot at believers with his reference to "silly Gods who cost us greatly."

So the 181st Oscars is in the books-"one for the ages" as they say in Hollywood. Somewhere Cary Grant is rolling in his grave.

Say....wasn't he a Rhodesian?

* Mox Nix- a bastardization of macht nichts-in German meaning something that doesn't matter.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Beheading in Buffalo

Muzzammil Hassan, Aasiya Hassan

Was it an honor killing?

This month, Muzzammil Hassan (44) was arrested and charged for the murder of his wife, Aasiya Hassan (37). Mrs Hassan's body was discovered by police in the Orchard Park (suburb of Buffalo) office of the cable TV network, "Bridges". She had been beheaded. The Hassans were owners of the network, which was devoted to providing a positive look at Islam and Muslims in the US. Why was this murder committed? At this point, the motive is believed to be the fact that Mrs Hassan wanted a divorce. The question is whether this was just a tragic case of domestic rage-or whether it was done as an act of "honor-killing".

Below is a statement by Imam Mohamed Hagagid Ali, Vice President of the Islamic Society of North America. It also appears on CAIR's website.

By Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali
Executive Director, ADAMS Center
Vice-President, The Islamic Society of North America

"The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is saddened and shocked by the news of the loss of one of our respected sisters, Aasiya Hassan whose life was taken violently. To God we belong and to Him we return (Qur’an 2:156). We pray that she find peace in God’s infinite Mercy, and our prayers and sympathies are with sister Aasiya’s family. Our prayers are also with the Muslim community of Buffalo who have been devastated by the loss of their beloved sister and the shocking nature of this incident.

This is a wake up call to all of us, that violence against women is real and can not be ignored. It must be addressed collectively by every member of our community. Several times each day in America, a woman is abused or assaulted. Domestic violence is a behavior that knows no boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity, or social status. Domestic violence occurs in every community. The Muslim community is not exempt from this issue. We, the Muslim community, need to take a strong stand against domestic violence. Unfortunately, some of us ignore such problems in our community, wanting to think that it does not occur among Muslims or we downgrade its seriousness.

I call upon my fellow imams and community leaders to never second-guess a woman who comes to us indicating that she feels her life to be in danger. We should provide support and help to protect the victims of domestic violence by providing for them a safe place and inform them of their rights as well as refer them to social service providers in our areas.

Marriage is a relationship that should be based on love, mutual respect and kindness. No one who experiences a marriage that is built on these principles would pretend that their life is in danger. We must respond to all complaints or reports of abuse as genuine and we must take appropriate and immediate action to ensure the victim’s safety, as well as the safety of any children that may be involved.

Women who seek divorce from their spouses because of physical abuse should get full support from the community and should not be viewed as someone who has brought shame to herself or her family. The shame is on the person who committed the act of violence or abuse. Our community needs to take a strong stand against abusive spouses. We should not make it easy for people who are known to abuse to remarry if they have already victimized someone. We should support people who work against domestic violence in our community, whether they are educators, social service providers, community leaders, or other professionals.

Our community needs to take strong stand against abusive spouses and we should not make it easy for them to remarry if they chose a path of abusive behavior. We should support people who work against domestic violence in our community, whether they are educators or social service providers. As Allah says in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do” (4:136).

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never hit a women or child in his life. The purpose of marriage is to bring peace and tranquility between two people, not fear, intimidation, belittling, controlling, or demonizing. Allah the All-Mighty says in the Qur’an: “Among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (30:21),

We must make it a priority to teach our young men in the community what it means to be a good husband and what the role the husband has as a protector of his family. The husband is not one who terrorizes or does harm and jeopardizes the safety of his family. At the same time, we must teach our young women not to accept abuse in any way, and to come forward if abuse occurs in the marriage. They must feel that they are able to inform those who are in authority and feel comfortable confiding in the imams and social workers of our communities.

Community and family members should support a woman in her decision to leave a home where her life is threatened and provide shelter and safety for her. No imam, mosque leader or social worker should suggest that she return to such a relationship and to be patient if she feels the relationship is abusive. Rather they should help and empower her to stand up for her rights and to be able to make the decision of protecting herself against her abuser without feeling she has done something wrong, regardless of the status of the abuser in the community.

A man’s position in the community should not affect the imam’s decision to help a woman in need. Many disasters that take place in our community could have been prevented if those being abused were heard. Domestic violence is not a private matter. Any one who abuses their spouse should know that their business becomes the business of the community and it is our responsibility to do something about it. She needs to tell someone and seek advice and protection.

Community leaders should also be aware that those who isolate their spouses are more likely to also be physically abusive, as isolation is in its own way a form of abuse. Some of the abusers use the abuse itself to silence the women, by telling her “If you tell people I abused you, think how people will see you, a well-known person being abused. You should keep it private.”

Therefore, to our sisters, we say: your honor is to live a dignified life, not to put on the face that others want to see. The way that we measure the best people among us in the community is to see how they treat their families. It is not about how much money one makes, or how much involvement they have in the community, or the name they make for themselves. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, “The best among you are those who are best to their families.”

It was a comfort for me to see a group of imams in our local community, as well as in the MANA conference signing a declaration promising to eradicate domestic violence in our community. Healthy marriages should be part of a curriculum within our youth programs, MSA conferences, and seminars as well as part of our adult programs in our masajid and in our khutbahs.

The Islamic Society of North America has done many training workshops for imams on combating domestic violence, as has the Islamic Social Service Associate and Peaceful Families Project. Organizations, such as FAITH Social Services in Herndon, Virginia, serve survivors of domestic violence. All of these organizations can serve as resources for those who seek to know more about the issues of domestic violence.

Faith Trust Institute, one of the largest interfaith organizations, with Peaceful Families Project, has produced a DVD in which many scholars come together to address this issue. I call on my fellow imams and social workers to use this DVD for training others on the issues of domestic violence. (For information, go to the website: For more information, or to access resources and materials about domestic violence, please visit

In conclusion, Allah says in the Qur’an “Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction… O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong; and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs” (31:17). Let us pray that Allah will help us to stand for what is right and leave what is evil and to promote healthy marriages and peaceful family environments. Let us work together to prevent domestic violence and abuse and especially, violence against women."

Imam Ali's statement is welcomed, but it overlooks the central question; are we dealing with a case of "honor killing"? If so, it behooves the imam to say forcefully not only that domestic violence is wrong, but that the idea of taking the life of a family member for purposes of "honor" will be vigorously prosecuted in the United States. If this is some sort of "custom" that existed in the mother country, which was accepted or dealt with leniently there, such will not be the case in America.

This is not the first incidence of so-called honor killings carried out in America-or Europe for that matter. Our country has enough problems with every-day street crime that leads to a shameful murder rate for a civilized country. We don't need any new forms of murder.

I applaud Imam Ali's statement regarding domestic abuse. I wish, however, that he had gone further into the problem and issued a clear statement that "honor killings" are to be condemned. American imams are the leading voices of the American Muslim community. They need to join together and lead the way to fighting not just domestic abuse, but this custom called "honor killing" that can never be accepted in the United States-or anyplace else for that matter.

The Gnomes of Zurich

"Psst. Pass it up. Anybody heard from Bill?"

Let's Play, "Name That Idol!"

The above is a picture of:

a The final episode of "American Idol"

b A pagan ritual from long ago in a far-a-way place

c Just another university protest

d Americans sacrificing money to their omnipotent Government

If you guessed "d", you are a cynic-but you are a winner!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Disturbing Article Out of Oakland

I am cross-posting the below article by Jonathan Bernstein of the Anti-Defamation League (San Francisco). It concerns a recent demonstration he witnessed in Oakland that took on anti-Semitic tones.
Beware of Anti-Semitism Germinating in Oakland By Jonathan Bernstein ADL San Francisco Regional Director

This article originally appeared in Jewish Newsweekly of Northern California on February 13, 2009

"After 20 years at the Anti-Defamation League, I shouldn't be surprised anymore, right? Wrong. Case in point is the latest anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slur percolating through parts of the Bay Area: that there are direct parallels between the conflict in Gaza and oppression in Oakland.

In early January we first noticed this phenomenon at protests over the New Year's Day shooting death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, by a BART police officer. We saw signs there making the strange parallels about how "our taxes kill" in both Gaza and Oakland. Though the notion was absurd, my colleagues and I had a queasy feeling that it could catch on. And, unfortunately, we were right. First, we noticed posters and speeches at anti-Israel rallies making the same link throughout January.

Then late last month, I heard about a public event for Oakland youth sponsored by the Gaza Action Committee and the Eastside Arts Alliance, which describes itself a group of "artists, cultural workers and community organizers of color ... that improves the quality of life for our communities and advocates for progressive, systemic social change." The promotional flyer declared that participants would "learn and discuss the connections between state-sponsored violence in Palestine and Oakland." I decided to attend and observe.

Once there, it didn't take long for me to understand how seriously the Jewish community needed to take this latest development. The first thing I noticed were multiple posters of the wounded in Gaza taped on the exterior windows of the Eastside Arts Alliance building. Every one of these pictures was emblazoned with a large Jewish star with the U.S. presidential seal inside the middle of the star. The unequivocal message to me: Jews control the U.S. government, and both are responsible for the deaths in Gaza. I listened with dismay to the presentations. After a brief, distorted history lesson about Israel in which Jews were portrayed as colonizing European interlopers with no prior connection to the land, speakers took turns convincing the audience that the experiences of a person of color in Oakland mirrored those of a Palestinian in Gaza. To do this, they repeated one false claim after another: Palestinians have curfews just like youth in Oakland; Oakland police are trained by Israeli law enforcement to oppress minorities; during Hurricane Katrina, the Israeli Mossad shot black Americans trying to survive the devastation; the gentrification of Oakland is the same as "the Occupation"; the same company which built the security barrier in Israel is building the barrier between the U.S. and Mexico; and so on. In sum, the young people attending this event learned that Jews and the Jewish state are responsible for Palestinian oppression, and that this is the same sort of oppression they feel in their own Oakland communities. Furthermore, they learned that to combat this oppression, the two communities needed to band together against their common foes.

To say the event was depressing for me is an understatement. Yet I also knew that the Jewish community could not afford to simply dismiss this event as just a fringe phenomenon. We can all remember when only extreme activists made Nazi analogies at anti-Israel demonstrations - now the swastikas are routine. The Oakland event drew about 200 young and passionate activists. These youths clearly had leadership skills. They were articulate and motivating, but the realization that they were capable of becoming community leaders startled me: What words and beliefs would they share with their peers now and in the future? How would Jewish youth find common ground with them? The difficult question for our community is what can we do about this? I propose the following:

* Don't ignore dangerous parallels. Yesterday's fringe agitation might be today's routine occurrence.

* Build alliances with other communities, and reinforce appropriate parallels with them. Help others to understand our communities' perspective and experience. Talk to your neighbors. Plan a meeting with members of the church or other house of worship in your town. In other words, humanize us to them.

* Listen to the experiences of those around you. It makes sense that others will be more sensitive to us when we make a genuine attempt to be sensitive to them.

* When you see biased activism in your town, newspaper or community center, take action: Call the ADL, write a letter to the editor, plan a more balanced program to provide perspective, etc. Changing attitudes is hard but rewarding work, and all of us should be a part of this effort in the workplace, home and community. At the ADL and other Jewish organizations, we strive to do this every day. I hope you will join us in this endeavor."

Jonathan Bernstein is regional director of the Anti-Defamation League's Central Pacific Region, based in San Francisco. The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Fousesquawk comment: Has Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums commented on this event? Has he spoken out? That is not a rhetorical question. I honestly don't know. Thanks to Mr Bernstein for documenting this disturbing event.

Our New Treasury Secretary Going After Those Tax Cheats

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner meeting with his IRS staff

"IRS: "Mr Secretary, we have good news and bad news."

Geithner: "What's the good news?"

IRS: "The Union Bank of Switzerland has released all 52,000 bank accounts of those American tax-cheats to us."

Geithner: "Great! What's the bad news?"

IRS: "They gave us your bank account."

Eric Holder's Statement on Race

Attorney General Eric Holder

No sooner did Eric Holder slip through with his confirmation as Attorney General in spite of his links to questionable pardons under President Clinton, now he comes out with a divisive statement on race. Holder, for some reason, has now told us that America is a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race in America. I would like to add a comment or two.

With all due respect to Americans of Latin, Asian, Middle East and Native American origin, I assume Holder is talking about black-white relations. Assuming that is so, what discussion does Holder want us to have? If he is talking about our history of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and discrimination, I respectfully suggest that is a discussion we have been having for 40 years. America has not only passed civil rights legislation, but admitted its wrongs in that area. We educate our children as to the past and the need to treat each other as equals.

I often hear calls from prominent black figures for an "open and frank" discussion or dialogue on race. I agree. Yet, it seems that what they are calling for is more discussion of slavery, discrimination and racism (white). To that I say, "been there-done that". What is needed is a truly frank discussion in which whites can express their own concerns about racial questions including black crime rates, fear of entering into black neighborhoods, black illigitimate birth rates, never-ending cries of racism and affirmative action. Let's be honest. It is on our minds, but no one wants to talk about it because it only leads to more accusations of racism. If this is part of what Holder was talking about, then he is onto something.

To me, it seems that America is a country with serious racial issues and divisions, but not a racist country-as it clearly was early in my lifetime. The problems that plague black America are daunting, but in my opinion, whites are not the enemy. White people are not holding black people down. Let me repeat that; white people are not holding black people down. Sure, there are black voices-like Maxine Waters, for example, who really believe that whites are poisoning the black neighborhoods with drugs-as opposed to the black drug dealers themselves. Likewise, whites cannot be blamed for the alarming break-up of the black family, which in my view, is the most serious problem facing black America. In the worst days of Jim Crow, black illigitimacy was about 25%. Today, it is about 70%. How can that be-unless we blame "The Great Society", begun under Lyndon Johnson, a system of well-intentioned welfare that discouraged 2-parent families? What about black gangs that terrorize inner-city neighborhoods? Did whites organize those gangs and send them out on the streets to kill and maim?

In my humble opinion, the problems that plague black America cannot be solved by white people or even government. They must be solved by black people themselves at the grass-roots community level (families, churches etc). I realize that the historical legacy of slavery still plays a role, but frankly, "white racism" has become a tired old phrase that masks issues that must be addressed directly by black America. Unfortunately, when people like Bill Cosby bring up unpleasant truths, they are excoriated as "sell-outs".

While not discounting the fact that there are still racist fringes out there, most everyone knows that black success is a success for all of us. Nothing will be better for America than seeing blacks all rise into the socio-economic middle or upper classes. It is just that many of us, including myself, are wondering what more we can do.

So Mr Holder, if you want to discuss race some more, then I suggest that it be truly open, frank and respectful -on both sides. If not, than I suggest that black America needs to hold an open and frank discussion- with itself.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Chimp Cartoon-It's Terrible

New York Post- Stick to A-Rod, please.

When I first saw the news reports of the cartoon in the New York Post and actually saw the cartoon, itself, my first reaction was, "it's terrible".

The cartoon shows a dead chimpanzee shot through the chest and lying on the sidewalk. One of the cops who shot the chimp says, "Now they'll have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill".

Of course, the first impulse of many is to associate the chimp with President Obama (who didn't even personally write the bill). Why? It all goes back to the old racist stereotypes of blacks as being akin to monkeys. In addition, it plants the seed in some minds of assassination-a nightmare no decent person could contemplate.

Then on second thought, I began to consider the arguments that the Post and its cartoonist would surely make. First, Obama didn't write the bill. it was written by congressional and White House aides, probably mostly white people. The real message was that a bunch of idiots wrote the bill and that the cartoonist and the Post would
never intentionally try to put forth the above messages. (Indeed the Post has apologized.)

All of which is probably true. Yet, I have to go back to my original reaction. The cartoon is terrible. Intentional or not, both the cartoonist and the Post should have used some common sense and known the associations that many would make.

Not just non-blacks who hold negative stereotypes about blacks, but folks like Al Sharpton. Already, he has pounced on this, leading a group of protesters calling for Post publisher Rupert Murdoch to be jailed.


Not only that, it comes right on the heels of Attorney General Eric Holder's outrageous statement that America is a "land of cowards" when it comes to the issue of race.

The bottom line and my final conclusion is what I originally thought. This cartoon is just plain terrible.

The Swiss Bank Affair

I have been following the Union Bank of Switzerland affair with great interest. From news reports, it appears that the US Government (IRS) has been able to obtain the cooperation of the Union Bank of Switzerland in obtaining the accounts of a couple of hundred Americans who may have hidden their assets in that county without reporting them. Efforts are under way to obtain the accounts of another 52,000 or so Americans who have Swiss bank accounts.

Aside from the issue of who these Americans are and are any of them names we know, it is an interesting legal issue from the Swiss point of view. As is well known, Swiss bank secrecy is a national institution, one that has contributed greatly to the wealth of that nation. The Swiss laws regarding bank secrecy are strict. Bank officials who violate those laws are subject to harsh criminal penalties in Switzerland. Indeed, as we speak, Swiss courts are in the process of determining the legality of UBS releasing the 52,000 accounts in question.

One issue that seems to be in question is whether Americans who hold Swiss Bank accounts are engaged in tax fraud or merely tax evasion by hiding their wealth. If it is a case of mere tax evasion, the Swiss will not cooperate with foreign governments.

During the decade of the 1980s, when I was stationed with DEA in Milan, Italy, I had occasion to work often with the Swiss police and made several trips to that country. It was during that era when the US Department of Justice, Dept. of State, FBI and DEA were making great inroads into obtaining Swiss government/police cooperation into the investigation of monies placed into Swiss bank accounts that were derived from drug proceeds. As a general rule, the Swiss began to cooperate with other governments when bank funds could be shown to be derived from drug trafficking-or other criminal activity -but not mere tax evasion. In those cases where proof could be provided to Swiss authorities, they would block the account and seize the funds. The money would not be repatriated to the originating country, but kept by the Swiss government. (I must admit that I am not up-to-date on the current policy having been retired for 14 years. I assume it is pretty much the same.)

How this plays out will be interesting especially if the Swiss Government winds up dumping 52,000 accounts on the IRS. I wonder what big fish will fall out of the net?

Kalifornia Has a Budget- The People Get Screwed

Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria)
"Oh Abel, Where is thy brother Cain?"

Well the Democrats got their last needed vote to pass the tax hike budget bill. Republican Abel Maldonado caved in, got his 30 pieces of silver and the bill is passed. Now the California taxpayer-already paying the highest state taxes in the nation have been stuck with the largest state tax increase in US history.

Maldonado, who is looking for higher posts in California state government, had denounced tax increases at the Republican National Convention last summer. Now, just like former tax-denouncer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maldonado has gone over to the other side passing the decisive vote.

In return, Maldonadpo did get a couple of Democratic concessions, like dropping a 12 cent-per-gallon gas tax increase and authorization of a ballot measure that would force lawmaker salaries to be frozen when the state is running a deficit.

Most importantly to Maldonado, part of his deal was a measure for the 2010 ballot that would create fully open primary elections, which would figure to help "middle of the road" candidates like Maldonado (I'll say) who have trouble in primaries which are dominated by more hard-core liberals and conservatives. (Maldonado will be termed-out in 2012.)

So now, it is we suckers who will now pay even more in taxes to this overstuffed beast called government in Sacramento so they can take care of the unions and illegal aliens. Now they can close the 42 billion dollar deficit they have created and will create again within a few years, at which time, they will be back raising our taxes yet again.

Oh, did I tell you our car taxes will now be doubled? Something else that Schwarzenegger ran on as a candidate. (He said he "despised" the idea of raising car taxes.)

And this doesn't even take into consideration what is coming at us from Washington with all these bailout bills and massive spending programs.

Who is to blame? It is we. We are the ones who have voted for these clowns and put them in office.

UC-Irvine Campus Paper Article-Fact or Opinion?

This week, UC-Irvine's campus paper (New University) came out with an article (on the front page) reporting on a forum that took place the previous Tuesday on campus. The article speaks for itself and is posted below. (I did not attend.)

How Constitutional is Proposition 8?
by Mengfei Chen
Volume 42, Issue 18 | Feb 17 2009

For students who did not understand the legality of passing Proposition 8 in the last election, student groups and professors held a forum that sought to demystify the complex legal issues of the law suit challenging Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage.

Professor Katherine Darmer of the Chapman University School of Law addressed a packed room of about 200 attendees at last Tuesday’s “Is Proposition 8 Legal? A Forum on Marriage Equality” regarding the suit that is set to be heard in California’s Supreme Court in early March.

“The Saturday after the election, a number of us were devastated by the passage of Proposition 8 and there was sort of a groundswell of support to do something about it,” Darmer said.

The forum was hosted by the University of California and featured Irvine’s new law school in conjunction with UCI’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, the Orange County Equality Coalition and Chapman University Outlaw, a LGBT student organization.

James Nowick, a professor of chemistry at UCI, organized the panel. He said, “Universities are places where ideas are exchanged, political views are aired, often their testing grounds on human rights issues. So universities have always been incubators of political activism and of social change.” He felt that “there is an obligation for the university to communicate more broadly ... to the broader communities” and that is why he and the other organizers felt this panel was so important.

The three panelists included Darmer, Tiffany Chang, a second-year at Chapman Law and Erwin Chermerinsky, dean of UCI’s Law School and long time advocate of marriage equality.

Professor Darmer, who filed a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of numerous Orange County groups and individuals seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, began her speech by questioning the audience.

“Remember that this is not the first time that groups in our country have to fight for their right to marry the person of their choice,” Darmer said.

She compared the current ban on gay marriage to the former bans on interracial marriage that were in place during the last century.

She noted that it was “the state of California that realized how wrong those rules were 19 years before the Supreme Court of the United States” invalidated the bans in 1967.

“[California] has often taken a leadership role in recognizing the important and fundamental tenants of equal protection,” Darmer said.

This makes the “14 words of Proposition 8” all the more devastating because it adds “a footnote the guarantee [of equal protection],” Darmer said.

She then reminded the audience of the personal lives that are affected by these legal issues.

“This is not just a dry academic issue. This issue about the fundamental right to marry affects real people, real lives,” Darmer said.

Chang, one of the other panelists, is one of those real people. She married her partner Lindsay Etheridge in 2008, during the May to November period when 18,000 official same-sex marriages were performed in the state of California.

“[I voted] ‘yes’ for the first African-American president and ‘no’ on a measure that sought to strip another minority of fundamental rights” Chang said, noting the devastation she felt when Proposition 8 passed.

“I am no Constitutional law scholar … [but from] where I’m standing I see the legal differences, I feel the legal differences and that means that I am not equal,” Chang said.

Dean Chermerinsky agreed with both speakers that Proposition 8 was an “enormous setback” for the marriage equality but added that he still “believes [that] in [his] lifetime same-sex marriage will be allowed throughout the United States.”

Like Darmer, Chermerinksy said that, “The issue of marriage equality is a relatively easy one, it is about equal protection. Gays and lesbians should have the same right to express love and commitment to a marriage as heterosexuals have always had.” He drew laughs from the crowd when he added that they should also have “the same opportunity to be disappointed by marriage that heterosexuals have always had.”

After pointing out the weaknesses in the most common arguments made against marriage equality, Chermerinksy then proceeded to explain the central legal question at issue in the court case: whether Proposition 8 is an amendment to or a revision of the state Constitution or not.

The difference is highly obscure in that there have only been a “handful” of cases that deal with the issue. Essentially, though, the main difference is that a revision “changes fundamental principles of the Consitution” and must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the state legislature as well as a majority of voters. An amendment, on the other hand, does not change any fundamental principle and can be added by a simple majority of voters. If the Court decides that Proposition 8 is an amendment, it is legal and stands. If it is a revision, it is invalid and must be repealed.

“The math [seems to] favor supporters of Proposition 8 not opponents of Proposition 8,” Chemerinsky said, discussing the 4-3 split of the Court when it struck down a previous ban on gay marriage.

“[Supporters of proposition 8] only need to get one other vote, while opponents have to keep all four,” Chemerinsky said.

It is likely that Proposition 8 will be upheld, but that it will not be made retroactive. Thus, all marriages performed between May and November of 2008, like Chang’s, will remain legal.

However, Chemerinsky offered some hope for those who still hope for a complete invalidation of the ban.

“Those who [make predictions] often eat broken glass,” Chemerinsky said.

According to Chemerinsky only one truth remains clear.

“The California Supreme Court will issue its decision within 90 days of March 5. California law provides that the justices don’t get paid if they don’t get a decision,” Chemerinsky said.


Now, no matter what side you come down on regarding the issue of gay marriage and the Proposition 8 issue, ask yourself a couple of questions about the article.

1 Fact or opinion?

Well, the reporter/writer is merely reporting what took place and what was said, so in that regard, it is fact. Yet, is there any subtle attempt to mix opinion in with fact in this article (which, I repeat, appeared on the front page)?

I suppose that is debatable. If there were no dissenters participating, perhaps the paper could have solicited an opposing viewpoint or two.

2 Was there any dissenting opinion expressed at the forum?

Apparently not.

3 So what impression is the reader-and for that matter the attendees at the conference supposed to draw?

Easy. Gay marriage is a right and any attempt to oppose it is wrong.

4 From reading the article and the quoted comments, and seeing who the sponsors are, are you surprised that there was no alternate viewpoint present? Do you think that this was an event held by left-wing activists....maybe?

Having come fresh off the "Whither the Levant" event held at UCI, which was a one-sided attack on Israel-and its American ally- I again ask the question; where are the opposing voices? Isn't the university supposed to offer multi-viewpoints on the issues or "ideas exchanged" as Professor Nowick termed it?

Facts or opinions? Education or indoctrination?

Tarzan in Action, Los Angeles, January 10, 2009

"Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to jail I go."

This video is taken from the January 10 anti-Israel demonstration at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. For a full description of the event, see my posting entitled;, "Fousesquawk's Great Adventure". I was there, and I witnessed this mope hanging from the traffic light trying to hang a Palestinian flag. Note the heading on the tape. This video is from a pro-Palestinian source. They think it proves their point-whatever that is. I think it proves my point, that mobs are trying to take over our streets.

There were only about 20 pro-Israel counter-demonstrators including myself. The police instantly cordoned us off from the mob of about 1,500.

Unfortunately, only three arrests were made that day (all pro-Palestinan supporters, naturally).

More Fan Mail

"Death to Fousesquawk!!"

A couple of days ago, I received a comment on one of my blog postings from Abraham (lnu). Though it appeared on the "Three Little Pigs and the UN" posting, it was in response to an article of mine that appeared on The article described an anti-Israel event at UC-Irvine of January 31, in which one of the featured panelists was ex-professor Norman Finklestein, a man who hates Israel, hates America, and apparently hates everything and everyone.

Since the response from Abraham was laced with profanities, I will not post it here, but it may be found below the Three Little Pigs posting where I have chosen to keep it posted for educational purposes.

The message really only merits a couple of points above and beyond what I have already replied to Abraham. First of all, he states that Norman Finklestein's parents were "barbequed" at Auschwitz. Even though he is defending Finklestein, this is at the very least an insensitive description of Auschwitz. Perhaps if Abraham would actually visit Auschwitz, as I have, he might use more respectful terms.

Secondly, though Finklestein apparently does have relatives who perished in or survived the Holocaust, it seems to me humanly impossible that his parents died in the Holocaust. Finklestein was born in 1953, so perhaps, Abraham would like to re-do his math. (According to Wikipedia, Finklestein's parents are concentration camp survivors.)

Finally, Abraham, since you are apparently a UCI student, I have sent your little letter to the appropriate officials at UCI with a request that they determine if you are, in fact, a UCI student, and if so, is this the way students communicate with UCI teachers-in other words, has there been a violation of the UCI code of conduct.

However, you shouldn't worry too much. If my guess is accurate, they will do nothing and inform me that it is all free speech and it happened off-campus and all that. If so, I will cheerfully accept their verdict and move on. However, it will all be documented.

Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.

A Response to My Article on Frontpage (UCI-Whither the Levant)

Norman Finklestein

As previously reported, I covered the anti-Israel/anti-US hate festival at UC-Irvine held January 31, 2009 and wrote an article which appeared on Campus Watch and Frontpage. One of the organizers of the event, Diane Shammas, wrote a response to Frontpage, which I am posting here along with my reply back to her (posted on Frontpage). Below is Ms Shammas' bio taken from the website of the Levantine Cultural Association.

"Diane Shammas is a Ph.D. candidate in educational policy at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Pitzer College, Claremont, California. Given the prejudicial attitudes that have been aimed towards Arab Americans and Muslims post 9/11, she has focused her dissertation on the relationships between campus social relations, racial campus climates, and student sense of school belonging among Arab and Muslim community college students. Among her recent publications is "Research on Race and Ethnic Relations Among Community College Students", in the Community College Review, Volume 32, Number 4, April 2007 written with doctoral advisor, Dr. William E. Maxwell.

Prior to returning to the University of Southern California for her doctoral degree, Diane was in the women's fashion industry, wholesale and retail for twenty-three years. She also owned women's retail apparel stores in Los Angeles and Newport Beach.

Diane is of Lebanese heritage, and was inspired to be both proud of and affirm her Middle Eastern, Arab, and Lebanese heritage through her father, who was the first president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the World Lebanese Cultural Union."

"Dear Gary Fouse/FrontPage Magazine,

As one of the main organizers of “Whither the Levant? The Crisis of the Nation-State: Lebanon, Israel, Palestine,” I feel I should speak up. My knee jerk reaction was to ignore your comments as it just adds more fuel to your nonsense.

First, I want to thank you for your in depth critique of our conference. Although I do not agree with any of your comments, I think the contrary that our conference generated much fodder for thought.

Second, as Levantine Cultural Center and UC Irvine’s Middle East Studies Student Initiative (MESSI) wished to make this a successful event, the director of Levantine and I personally took head counts to see the number of attendees—with the ebb and flow of new people coming in for the various events, the total numbered 400. At one point we had a full room (300 seats).

Third, as for pro-Israel representation, the director of Levantine contacted the Ardvarks for Israel and Hillel on numerous occasions to ask that they recommend names to counter the so called "pro Palestinian leftist argument,” and yet only one suggestion was given to us in a three-month period, and the person was unable to make the engagement.

Fourth, the intent as usual with FrontPage Magazine is to detract from the solidarity of all our speakers in protest of the horrific genocide of the Palestinian people, and further suggest that there is discontent among us. I am referring to your comment of Norman Finkelstein’s “obnoxious and arrogant demeanor” that annoyed Mark LeVine. During Norman’s contested tenure, Mark LeVine fully gave his support.

Fifth, as usual with you folks—to use one of your favorite verbial expression—you like to “bash” Norman Finkelstein but solely on a personal basis, never his beliefs or statements. Am I to assume you can not refute them. The usual string of mantras is “self hating Jew,” who imbibes his speeches with Der Sturmer messages (by the way Professor Dershowitz referred to Der Sturmer as Der Stutterer—I suppose we can rely on him to always mangle his words, as he confused Orwell’s turnspeak for “newspeak”). It never ceases to amaze me how you at FrontPage Magazine never deal one on one with the issues that the speakers present, always to heap mountains of character assassinations.

Sixth, I met Dr. Finkelstein for the first time and I find him to be a well reasoned and a flexible person with whom to work. Perhaps, some folks find him arrogant, but Norman is a very serious person who spends an inordinate amount of time preparing his speeches. For this reason, he is very critical when speakers do not make a dedicated effort to do the same.

Seventh, when I first became acquainted with Norman Finkelstein’s work, I scrutinized his statements very carefully. In my thorough research, I found that he provided an accurate account of the 242 resolution. I might be paraphrasing here, but when Norman states that Israel wants peace on their “own terms” he is absolutely correct. Before I explain some biographical information is warranted here. I am of Lebanese/Arab American heritage. My father’s first cousin was a well respected, professional diplomat that in the 1960s served in the capacity as a Third Secretary to the UN, in subsequent years as an ambassador from Lebanon to Iraq, Greece, and Germany, but headed the Arab delegations to the Madrid talks in 1992. Most certainly he would be characterized as a man of moderate political leanings. At the time the Arab delegations included discussions of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza as well as Southern Lebanon, my cousin most compellingly referred to Israel as wanting a “hegemonistic peace.”

Eighth, you omitted one important detail. You fixated on Norman “sitting sullenly with his face in his hands”. You certainly have mischaracterized him. He maintained a low profile, sitting at the end row during our second panel discussion. After the second panel finished, members of the audience literally flocked to his side asking him a plethora of questions regarding the crisis in Gaza.

It is no wonder that you at FrontPage Magazine are quivering in your boots: your support for Palestinian injustice and Apartheid is dwindling. More so than with the Lebanon-Israel War in 2006, a sizeable number of Jews around the world has expressed solidarity with Palestinians from the US, Canada, Europe and Morocco. Both Norman and my friend, the director at Levantine, had immediate relatives that perished in the Holocaust, but they had the intestinal fortitude to fight in the struggle against the annihilation and oppression of the Palestinian and Lebanese people. Thank god for people like this they have given Arab Americans a voice."

Diane Shammas
PhD, Urban Education, Policy, and Planning

My response on Frontpage:

Ms Shammas,

I will try to respond to your points one by one.

As for the number of attendees, I think my estimate was pretty accurate. At the first event-the Lebanon film, I estimated about 50 people and at the fullest, I estimated about 150. But let's not quibble.

As for your invitations to Hillel and Anteaters for Israel (I don't know why you call them Ardvarks for Israel other than as a gratuitous slap), I cannot speak for their presence or non-presence. The Jewish community is divided including Jewish students at UCI. As for Hillel, they prefer to ignore you and not get involved, for which I criticize them. Perhaps one reason for the low-or non-existent Jewish attendance was the fact that it was scheduled on Saturday. I don't know, but as a non-Jew, I cannot speak to that.

As for Finklestein, you really discredit your cause when you use a character like that. He is indeed arrogant and obnoxious. He can't say two sentences without insulting somebody. The moment I was referring to was clear. He would not stop talking and LeVine had to cut him off. I watched Finklestein's reaction, and he acted like a spoiled child. If the audience flocked to him after the panel, why should I be surprised? The entire audience with the exception of myself, was on his side. Our university treats him like a rock star. Deans and Vice Chancellors laugh at his jokes and applaud his attacks. They should be ashamed, and I have repeatedly criticized them for their lack of concern for our Jewish students who are being subjected to anti-Semitism by UCI's radical MSU and their hateful speakers like Mohammed al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali.

I have not called Finklestein a "self-hating Jew". I will repeat that his manner is arrogant. On a previous visit to UCI, he browbeat a student who asked him a critical question but in a polite manner. I frankly don't know what his motivation is. It is clear to me that he hates Israel and he hates America as well. When he wasn't tearing down Israel, he was tearing down his own country. And please do not associate me with Alan Dershowitz. I may agree with him on Israel, but I am no fan of his due to his defense of OJ Simpson.

As to your 7th point, what do you want me to say? I know nothing of your biography, I know nothing about you or your family nor do I care.

As for me, I am not a member of Frontpage. They printed my report. Nor am I quivering in my boots. I was the one who was alone in the audience questioning the one-sided bias against Israel. I was the skunk at the garden party. If you were there when I asked questions about the morning film, did you think I was quivering in my boots?

Ms Shammas, I am not a Jew. What I am is a Christian who is an amateur scholar of the 3rd Reich and the Holocaust and who has lived for a few years in Germany. I am very sensitive to the issue of anti-Semitism. I realize there are two sides to the Israel-Palestinian issue-something your event ignored. What I see is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in my country which is being fueled by radical Islamists aided by radical leftists in academia (like Finklestein) and enabled by cowardly university administrators. I intend to fight that. While I support Israel, my main focus is anti-Semitism.

I stand by every word I wrote.

Gary Fouse
Adjunct Teacher

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The San Jose State Incident. Article by David Meir-Levy

What follows below is an article by David Meir-Levy of San Jose State University. It appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and concerns the disruption of a speaking event featuring an Israeli diplomat. (I have previously posted on this incident.)


Opinion: Free speech endangered on campuses, including San Jose State
By David Meir-Levi
Special to the Mercury News
Posted: 02/18/2009

Few rights are dearer to the American people than freedom of speech. But there are rational and legal limits. Incitement to violence, to unlawful activity, or to the violent overthrow of the American government are not protected as free speech; neither is slander, nor defamation. Free speech does not require that anyone listen, nor that an institution provide a podium for speech it finds objectionable.

I assert that this precious freedom should not extend to those who would exploit it in order to interfere with the free speech of others.

I witnessed that interference at San Jose State University on Feb. 5.

The guest speaker was Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor. The lecture hall was almost full 30 minutes before the event began. Women wearing Muslim head coverings and men and other women sporting the traditional Palestinian neck scarves had come early to pack the room. Some brought anti-Israel posters and Palestinian flags. During Tor's presentation there were hostile interruptions from these early arrivals; but when the consul general attempted to respond, politely and thoughtfully, he was vociferously shouted down.

The threat is real

It became clear that these disruptive elements had come with the express purpose of interfering with the presentation. Their well-organized, vociferous, choreographed tactics hijacked the event. Campus police refused to take action because they feared instigating a riot. Ultimately, Tor was escorted out of the room for his own safety in a phalanx of officers.

Other campuses have suffered similar egregious behavior by what appear to be Muslims or other anti-Israel elements. Campus demonstrations by Muslim and anti-Zionist groups throughout the U.S. and Canada have forced universities to cancel speakers for security reasons. Some demonstrations have become violent and destructive — including, just days ago, an assault by a mob on Jewish students in the Hillel House at York University in Canada. Yet anti-Israel groups need no security for their own speakers.

Such behavior poses a grave and long-term threat to the very raison d'etre of the university: the ultimate bastion of free speech, marketplace of ideas and arena for civil discourse and debate. If such hostile forces are allowed to act unrestrained, they will destroy the university as we know it.

It appears that governance at San Jose State and across the country has not perceived the urgency of this threat. There is a critical and pressing need to enforce limitations on groups whose intent is to violate the free speech of others. Such strategies may include:

Prohibiting lending the university's name to, or approving the use of university facilities for, events sponsored by groups related to those who perpetrate such disturbances.

Escorting demonstrators to public areas where their demonstrations cannot interfere with an event.

Giving notice to audiences that security forces will physically remove disrupters.

Action is needed

University governance must decide where it wants the casualties: either take actions now which may employ security forces to keep order, and perhaps involve lawsuits against offenders; or stand idly by as the forces of chaos hijack our universities and impose their will upon anyone who arouses their ire. The casualties in the former case are the events which may require police action to quell disturbances. The casualties in the latter are ultimately the universities themselves.

University governance must display the courage to protect our freedom of speech from those who seek to curtail it, and to defend our universities from those who wish to usurp them.

David Meir-Levi ias a lecturer in the History Department at San Jose State Univesity. He wrote this article for the Mercury News.


Fousesquawk comment: More thuggery on a college campus by Muslim Student Union thugs followed by university cowardice. The speaker was a diplomat from a country which is a US ally-whether the MSU likes it or not. These offending students should be expelled. But they won't be of course.