Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hillary's "Great Accomplishments" at State

"The most traveled secretary of State in a new administration"

File this Department of State announcement in the "are you kidding me?" folder.


"In the first 100 Days of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton and the State Department have made significant progress in advancing America’s national security goals and promoting America’s values around the world.

Secretary Clinton is already the most traveled Secretary of State in a new Administration. The Secretary’s trips have included her inaugural trip to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Mexico and across the border to Texas, the Hague in the Netherlands, Europe with President Obama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with President Obama, and to Iraq and Kuwait.

The work undertaken on these trips, the many bilateral and trilateral meetings hosted by Secretary Clinton, and the tireless efforts of others throughout the State Department have contributed to early and significant progress on the following priorities: Afghanistan/Pakistan policy, the Middle East, Iraq, Asia, Russia, North Korea, the Western Hemisphere, the climate crisis, engaging in public diplomacy, and other core issues."

Boy, I'll say! Things are looking great in Pakistan with the Taliban now 60 miles from Islamabad, North Korea firing its missiles, Haiti really developing, Russia still giving us the finger, the Middle East being well.......still the Middle East.

Maybe DOS would like to be a little more specific about Mrs Clinton's so-called "significant progress". Maybe they would also like to explain what "across the border to Texas" means. Or "the most traveled secretary of state in a new administration". If you read between the lines, "work", "meetings", and "tireless efforts" do not equate to accomplishments or progress.

It looks like the Clinton Spin Machine has taken up residence at Foggy Bottom. Based on my own experience with the Department of State when I was working overseas with DEA, I would have to admit that when it comes to arrogance, Hillary Clinton and the State Department are a good match after all.

The Attack on the Queen in the Netherlands

(Radio Nederland via Klein Verzet)

The above video shows the attack yesterday in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, in which a male driver drove through police barricades in an attempt to crash into the royal motorcade carrying Queen Beatrix and members of the royal family. The incident happened as the Queen was helping the country celebrate Queen's Day.

The driver struck down several pedestrians before crashing into a monument to Queen Wilhemina. Five people are reported dead. The driver, tentatively identified as Karst Tates, a Dutch male in his 30s, is in a hospital in serious condition.

Suspect driver
(Klein Verzet)

At this point, there are several conflicting eye-witness reports. Some say a passenger was seen exiting the car before it began its rampage. Another said that the driver appeared to be unconscious before striking the monument. It has also been reported that Tates told police he was trying to kill the royal family. The above probably should be considered unconfirmed at this point.

UC Santa Barbara Professor Compares Gaza to Holocaust

Reichskristalnacht- This is not Gaza

This is not Gaza

This is not Gaza

This is not Gaza

The on-going Israel-Palestinian conflict continues to rear its head on University of California campuses. This time the furor is at UC Santa Barbara, where sociology professor William I Robinson (who is Jewish) recently sent an email to his students containing images of Nazi atrocities against Jews compared with images of "Israeli crimes" against Palestinians.

At least two students were offended by the images, with which they did not agree. They have taken the step of formally complaining to the administration. As a result, an investigation by the university is on-going into whether Robinson violated his academic role or whether he was simply exercising his academic freedom. Predictably, his professorial colleagues are rallying behind Robinson, who states that his academic freedom is under attack.

How this plays out at UCSB is anybody's guess. To me, it is just another case of a liberal university professor trying to shove his personal views down the throats of his students. It is also another example of why so many Jewish students feel under siege on UC campuses as a result of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. (I myself teach at UC-Irvine, and as I write this, we are gearing up for another week of attacks against Israel-as well as America and "Zionist" Jews- being sponsored by the Muslim Student Union at UCI.)

Here is what I would say to Professor Robinson:

First of all, my students (English as a second language) have no idea what I think about the world and its issues. My job is to teach them English-not teach them what they should think. You can teach sociology without injecting your personal views. You could remain neutral and present both sides of an issue.

Be that as it may, you are entitled to your opinions. If you sympathize with the Palestinian cause, I can respect that, and certainly, there are valid points to be made on their behalf. Moreover, Israel is not immune from criticism. Where I take issue with you is comparing Israel's policies to those of Nazi Germany, a practice that is currently popular-but outrageously false. I respect the fact that you are Jewish, but I also have extensive knowledge of Nazi Germany. I have spent three years of my life in Germany and return regularly. I also have written a history of a small town in Germany, which includes an account of the Nazi era and the fate of its Jewish residents.

First of all, Nazi Germany was never under external threat of attack from its neighbors. Jews were not undermining the country's security, nor were they engaging in acts of terror against the German state or people. Nobody was launching rockets into Germany from neighboring countries. Jews were not blowing themselves up in crowded marketplaces or on buses. In fact, with few exceptions (like the Warsaw ghetto) Jews went to their fate submissively. Israel is, indeed, under attack from the Palestinians and from its neighbors ever since its creation in 1948. They are entitled to defend themselves from their enemies who are determined to wipe them out.

Where can you point to an orchestrated government campaign against Palestinians as sub-humans? Where is the Reichskristalnacht against Palestinians? Where can you find a deliberate attempt by Israel to literally extinguish the Palestinian people?

Gaza is not, as you have claimed, comparable to the Warsaw ghetto. The Warsaw ghetto was only a step to the Final Solution, and the Nazi intent was to destroy the Jews. That is not the intent of Israel vis-vis the Gazans/Palestinians. Gazans today are living under Gazan rule. There are no Jews in Gaza. They left. Unless I am mistaken, there is a border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Is it fair to condemn Israel for shutting off its border with Gaza when under rocket attack and not criticize Egypt when they shut down their border? Why is it that the Arab countries in the region want to keep the Palestinians confined to this small area living as refugees and in squalor rather than let them assimilate into their countries? I think you know the answer.

If Israelis are to be compared to Nazis, where are the gas chambers? How can you compare the sad fact that Gazan/Palestinian and Lebanese civilians are killed because they were caught in the cross-fire (Hamas and Hizbollah are notorious for setting up their combat operations in populated areas)or killed by air strikes when the targets were Hamas/Hizbollah fighters with the deliberate genocide that took place in World War II? Where are the cases of Israeli troops rounding up Palestinians, marching them to pits and shooting them(men, women and children) by the hundreds?

If this sounds like a history lesson directed toward Professor Robinson, it is not. I am sure Robinson knows his German/Jewish history quite well. Rather, it is directed toward those students who have to have his distorted version of history shoved down their throats.

University students are entitled to an education-not an indoctrination.

Are We Serious About the Swine Flu?

Vice President Joe Biden
"And stay there!"

"I will."

Back in the mid-1990s, I was in Delhi, India as part of a DEA training team participating in a drug law enforcement training seminar with Indian, Sri-Lankan, Bangladeshi and Nepalese police. In the last couple of days before our departure, the black plague hit India, and people started dying. Our team was fortunate to be able to be on one of the last planes allowed to leave the country while the non-Indian police officers had to travel by car to their home countries. As we were boarding our plane to Frankfurt, a health official in a white coat was seated at a desk in front of the boarding area. We had to pass his desk and be cleared by him for boarding. When it was my turn, he took my wrist and monitored my pulse for a few seconds before telling me to go ahead. Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we were not allowed to disembark before a German doctor-followed by a nurse walked up and down the aisles looking at everybody before giving the OK. Of course, that somewhat experience reminds me of the current crisis we are facing with the swine flu.

Epidemic, pandemic-whatever you want to call it, I think we all agree that ground zero for the swine flu is in Mexico. While hoping for the best for the Mexican people in coping with the problem, we also have to look out for our own people since we are next door, and there is a ton of traffic between the two countries, both legal and illegal. Last night, President Obama assured us he and his government would do everything necessary to protect us from the flu. Yet, in the next breath, he rejected suggestions that the Mexican border should be closed calling it a case of closing the barn door after the horses have left. Then Joe Biden, in his own inimitable way, contradicted the President when he said that he would not let his family get on an airplane-which infuriated the airline industry. So how are we, the public, supposed to sort all this out?

Quandary number one: Just how serious is this? Obama says it is a cause for "concern", but not for panic. On the other hand, the head of the World Health Organization is calling this a pandemic, which threatens all of man-kind (by its very definition).

Quandary number two: LA-based radio talk show host Doug McIntyre hit the nail on the head this morning when he pointed out that when it comes to our border with Mexico, there is no barn door to begin with. We can't (or won't) secure that border to stop the flow of illegal aliens, drugs or to protect the US from the violence that is spilling over into the border states and cities like Phoenix. It looks like we can't (or won't) secure it to protect against the swine flu.

Be that the case, if we don't have the wherewith all to shut down the border with Mexico, why are we still allowing flights to come into the US from Mexico every single day? That we can stop right now-if we had the will, which, apparently, we do not. It is my understanding that France has stopped flights to and from Mexico. If so, why can't we?

You all know the answer to that, don't you? It is all about politics, diplomacy and political correctness. The Mexican Government would protest if we did that as would many of the Hispanic pressure groups. It would look bad. It would be called racist. So don't expect anything to happen on that front. Flights from Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cancun will continue to arrive daily in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and other places every day.

And Joe Biden's comment? Well, as expected, his office has come out with a "clarification". What the VP really said-or meant-was that people should not travel if they feel sick and exercise the proper precautions when traveling-just like Obama said.

Here is what Biden said on NBC's "Today" Show:

"I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico in a confined aircraft where one person sneezes, that goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me,"

"I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway. From my perspective, this relates to mitigation. If you're out in the middle of the field and someone sneezes, that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft, a closed container, a closed car, a closed classroom, that's another thing."

Biden's spokesperson, Elizabeth Alexander, released a statement shortly after Biden's remarks, saying, "The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the vice president has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week."

Joe Biden's spokesperson at work

Here is what White House Press Spokesman (and professional comedian) Robert Gibbs said about Biden's remarks in answer to a question from ABC's Jake Tapper: "I think ... what the vice president meant to say was the same thing that again, many members have said in the last few days, that is, if you feel sick, if you are exhibiting flulike symptoms -- coughing, sneezing, runny nose -- that you should take precautions, that you should limit your travel. Jake, I'm telling you what he meant to say," he said as everybody laughed.

And of course, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, fulfilled her daily quota of silly statements as she tried to rephrase what Biden said.

"I think the vice president, if he had, if he could say that over again he would say if they're feeling sick they should stay off public transit or confined spaces because that is indeed the advice that we're giving," Napolitano said on MSNBC.

These comments raise another question: If the government is advising us to avoid all unnecessary travel to Mexico, why is there no urgency or desire to stop, control or inhibit travel into the US from Mexico?

This swine flu issue has the potential to leave a permanent scar on the Obama presidency. If this epidemic continues to spread in the US and causes huge loss of life, Obama's actions-or lack thereof- will come under close scrutiny. Is there the potential for over-reaction? Sure. However, it seems that this is a case for better safe than sorry. Certainly, we should lend evry possible assistance to Mexico in their efforts to fight the flu, but the President's primary duty is to protect the American people from its spread into the US. Politics, diplomacy, economic concerns for the airline industry and sensitivities need to take a back seat here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Some Enchanted Evening"-The Obama Press Conference

"Mr President, in your first 100 days, what has most surprised you, what has most troubled you, what has most enchanted you about the presidency?"

-Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

President Obama: "Enchanted.....enchanted.......can you use it in a sentence, please? Enchanted........E-N-C-H-A-N-T-E-D."

So much for this softball game masquerading as a news conference. So much for the credibility of the New York Times ("All the news that's fit to print") With all the problems going on, this is the best the White House Press Corps can do? No follow ups on why he won't consider closing the Mexican border when there is a Swine Flu epidemic going on down there? (H1N1 flu, sorry) No follow-ups on whether there could ever be a situation under which he would authorize water boarding? How about this?

"Mr President, how can you insist that we could have been successful in getting information without water boarding?"

And can you believe not one reporter had the temerity to ask him about that Air Force One fiasco this week over New York City? Do you think maybe they would have hammered George Bush about it if he had been president?

If this isn't irrefutable evidence of the death of the news media, I don't know what will convince you folks. Helen Thomas was there in the front row. (She probably hadn't moved since the last press conference.) Couldn't she have asked why we are still killing Iraqis? They didn't even call on her. This is the woman who takes the side of Hamas even though she has no idea what's in their charter-stuff about never negotiating with Israel, killing the Jews and establishing an Islamic state of Palestine. They would have had a better press conference if Perez Hilton were there firing away. Isn't it great to watch our national news media having a love affair with the president? Soon they will be referring to Obama as "The Dear Leader".

Enchanting indeed.

Random Shots in the Dark (14)

Today, Air Force One, fresh from its buzzing of Manhattan, will carry President Obama to St Louis, where he will hold a press conference. Aside from the question of why he has to use all that precious fuel to go to St Louis to do what he could do in the White House, it is hoped that AF One won't fly under the Gateway Arch with a streamer attached to the tail reading, "Eat at Joe's".

Speaking of the NYC flyover, I heard the plane was flying so low, it almost knocked the high-powered rifle out of Keith Olbermann's hands as he was taking aim at the streets below from his perch on top of the NBC tower.

So what if Arlen Spector is now a Democrat? He was precisely the kind of guy the Republicans needed to purge. Let the Dems have their 60 vote majority. They won't be able to blame anyone but themselves for the fiasco that is coming. Spector is a pathetic little man who at 79, can't let go of power even if it means screwing those who propped him up in his last election-then blasting Republican primary voters in Pennsylvania. The man is nothing more than a crass opportunist. He'll look great standing there next to Harry Reid. And while he's leaving, he can take the two liberal gals from Maine with him.

Note to Nancy Pelosi: You want a "truth commission"? Be careful what you wish for. What's your next excuse going to be about those CIA water board briefings? Did you think they were talking about surfing?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: "Whee....Thanks for taking me surfing, guys. Now what do you want to know?"

Guess which state's lawmakers are looking at another pay raise? Yep, none other than California, where a commission is set to meet on the question of a pay raise. This commission meets once a year. In case you don't know, California commissions are landing pads for unre-elected politicians. They get $100,000+ salaries to meet once, twice, three times a year. And you wonder why California is going broke and wants to raise taxes?

Janet Napolitano is better than Jay Leno, who makes people laugh five nights a week. With Napolitano, it's 7 days a week with her ridiculous comments on the problems that she is supposed to be dealing with. Swine flu? Please don't call it swine flu. It's the H1NI flu according to her and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack. (Reminds me of the Overseas Contingency Operations). It's called protecting the pigs. Close the border because of the Swine flu? Why, there's never a reason to close the border, you know. Add that to the New York flyover, the Canada remark, entering the country illegally is not a crime statement, and those dangerous right-wing extremists and military veterans. One can only wonder what she'll say today.

Ditto for stand-up comedian Robert Gibbs. The man is funnier than a barrel-full of monkeys.

"So this guy walks into a bar.........."

Speaking of jokes, Kalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has assembled a group called the "California Dream Team" to help push this Proposition 1A past the voters-the tax extension that is described in the official voter handbook as a spending cap bill. And who is in this "Dream Team", you ask? Well, according to the radio ads, the "Dream Team" is included in a list of police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, seniors, juniors, and some mysterious guy named Jerry Finocchio-or something like that. Meanwhile, as illegals pour across the southern border, tax-payers and business owners are pouring out of California across it's eastern border.

Sign in Arizona: "Beware of Californians"

California "Attorney General" Jerry Brown is at it again. Instead of doing anything about real crime (which is rampant), crime bustin' Jerry goes after corporate polluters. Now it's the Maywood Police Department that Jerry is investigating. Maywood, an eyesore on the fringes of LA, is so inundated with illegal aliens, they actually sit on the city council (well, almost). According to Jerry, the PD is out of control. Why they are actually "stopping people on the streets", according to Jerry-and occasionally "tasering citizens". The only problem is there are no citizens in Maywood.

Now that the Cubs are off to their annual El Foldo, I have come to the conclusion that only government intervention can produce a Cub pennant. That's what we need, fellow-Cub fans-a government program. With Obama in the White House-Now Is The Time! In fact, President Obama should apologize to Cub fans everywhere for the lack of a Cub pennant since 1945 and World Series title since 1908. He could also stop off in Chicago and shake hands with folks like Milton Bradley and some of the other Cub players who haven't been producing. A few words from the president should change all that, I'm sure. In the meantime, however, as Gene Autry used to say when he was the owner of the (then awful) Angels:

"I'm back in the cellar again"

Speaking of apologies, when Obama was in Europe, did he say anything to the Europeans about how America has bailed them out of two world wars and saved them from fascism, Nazism and communism? Of course not. That would be arrogant, just as it would be arrogant to remind them of the American cemeteries located at Normandie, as well as other sites in France and Belgium.

Did you hear anything come out of that Durban II conference in Geneva last week about Darfur, Mumbai, terrorism, piracy, beheadings, stonings, or anything like that?

No? Either did I.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Riddance Department

Republicans say "so long" to Snarlin' Arlen, who has found his true home-where he belongs-in the Democratic Party.

White House Screws up in NYC

"Relax, it's just a White House photo shoot."

What bonehead came up with the idea of having Air Force One do a flyover above Lower Manhattan (the site of the World Trade Center)? That was the scene yesterday morning that sent office workers scurrying out of their work places onto the street screaming as emergency call centers were inundated with 911 calls. Was it another hijacked plane on a suicide mission? What were those Air Force jets in pursuit going to do-shoot the plane down right over Manhattan? Was it the next 9-11?

Well, no. It was just a White House photo shoot. Apparently, some genius in the White House decided it was time to "upgrade" their photos of AF One flying over the Statue of Liberty. Apparently, the statue had too many pigeon droppings in the old photos.

And apparently, no one bothered to tell the mayor's office. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was clearly upset at the stealth operation that caused such panic in the streets and buildings below. The NYPD says they were notified but were instructed "not to tell anybody."

White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs was customarily unhelpful when asked about the incident waving it off in a flippant manner.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, as always, had no answer for Ann Curry when asked about the incident. All she could offer was that "mistakes were made", the old traditional use of the passive voice to avoid stating WHO made the mistake.

And President Obama? No word from him, but aides say he was "furious".

Then some White House military aide named Louis Caldera fell on his sword and took the blame saying he authorized the flight. Predictably, many Republicans are calling for Caldera's resignation. Of course, they were already calling for poor Janet's resignation before this happened. Gibbs? What Republican in his/her right mind would want Gibbs to resign? This buffoon is too valuable and entertaining-if you are a Republican, conservative or just don't like the Obama Administration.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taliban Execution in Pakistan

This footage was captured by cell phone and smuggled out of Pakistan. It shows the Taliban in Pakistan executing a man and a woman for allegedly having an affair.

For those of you who think that the West should make accommodations to Shariah law, watch this film.

To those of you who question the war on terror, watch this film.

To those of you who want to prosecute Americans for conducting or authorizing water boarding, watch this film.

And remember that the Taliban is now 60 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad-and its nuclear weapons.

Wake up.

"America's Sheriff" Going to Prison

Today, former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona was sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $125,000 fine for his conviction on one count of witness tampering.

The sentencing hearing lasted a few hours due to defense attempts to sway Judge Andrew Guilford with testimony as to Carona's previous "good works" as sheriff. The defense asked that Carona be let off with probation and community service, while the prosecution asked for a sentence of 9 years.

In the end, Guilford followed the recommendation of the probation office. He allowed Carona to remain free until July 24, so that he can attend his son's high school graduation.

So ends (pending appeals) the sad saga of a major Sheriff's department being corrupted by a greedy sheriff who put unqualified co-conspirators into positions of leadership as he attempted to use his position to line his pockets, live the high life and bed down a bevy of babes. As Judge Guilford told Carona in handing down his sentence, he had brought shame to the residents of Orange County.

When the sentence was finally announced, LA talk jocks John and Ken (KFI AM), who had followed this story in their own inimitable way lambasting Carona, popped open a bottle of champagne on air as they celebrated.

I don't blame them a bit. I have a feeling a lot of Orange County Sheriff's deputies are popping the corks as well.

The Joe and Mika Show

Now that I am teaching a morning class, I've been listening to Joe Scarborughro and Mika Bryzyzinski on the radio lately. All I knew about Ms Bzrzzynsky was that she was a news reporter and daughter of Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, Zabighniyef Brizynxhshy (strikes one and two). Initially, however, I formed the opinion that while certainly attractive, she didn't seem to have an opinion on much-just sort of fed off whatever Scorboro was saying. Today, however, I learned that Ms Byrzunkgski does have opinions-she is a liberal. After all, she attended Williams College in Massachusetts.

As I tuned in while driving down the freeway (we still have something that's free in California), Scarburou and Bryzhanzscky were arguing over whether the government should meddle itself into the dietary habits of Americans. Of course, like a good liberal, Bzyrazinski told Skarborro that it should since everywhere you looked, you saw fat Americans-especially fat children. According to Mica, the government should step in and make sure that every American child was getting enough vegetables.

(Personally, I don't care if I eat another vegetable the rest of my life, Micky. And I really don't care about all those fat people walking around. It's their life.)

Then, we turned from the opinion phase of the show to Mike giving the news-which was more opinion. First up was a shot at Miss California. According to Bullshinsky, Carrie Prejean was capitalizing on her fame by telling her church in San Diego that God was directing her to give a truthful answer about gay marriage to that revolting reptile, Perez Hilton (my description, not hers). All a PR move according to Brkzhxnsky. Skarburrow, thank God, came to Miss California's defense for being a Christian and being honest. Amen.

Well, anyway, now I've got Brkxjynski pegged even if I can't spell her name. And as for all you Polish folks who are offended, save your cards and letters. What you need to do is lobby the Polish Language Academy in Warsaw to standardize its darned language-you know, like throw in a few vowels and make it simple like in English.

Ain't that right, Joe?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A German Town Wrestles With a Historical Site

Heil und Pflegeanstalt, Erlangen

A few years ago, I wrote a book about the town in Germany where I was stationed in the army during the late 1960s. (Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town). Naturally, part of the book covered the years of the Third Reich. Erlangen, located just a few miles north of Nuremberg, is a university town and one of the leading medical centers in Germany. Not surprisingly, much of its darkest chapters were connected to Hitler's corruption of the universities and of the medical practice. Today, part of that history has come back to the forefront as the city debates a proposal to tear down part of the old Heil und Pflegeanstalt (mental asylum).

Even before the Nazis instituted their Final Solution with the Holocaust, they engaged in what was called a dress rehearsal in the late 1930s when they began doing away with their mentally ill population. Those deemed "unworthy of life" or "useless eaters" were simply done away with through various means. Eventually, the public became aware of what was happening, and protests led to the ending of the program in 1941.

Erlangen's Heil und Pflegeanstalt, referred to locally as the Hupfla, was one of those places where patients died by the hundreds-by government design. Even after public protests led the government to end the program, hundreds continued to die at the Hupfla by simply being allowed to starve. Wilhelm Berger, a minister from a local church, did what he could to smuggle bread in to the patients with the help of a sympathetic attendant. Yet, he knew that it was far too little.

Today, a memorial to the victims stands at the entrance to the institute.

Since the 1960s, when Germany, at least West Germany (East Germany maintained they had all fought the Nazis as communists), really began to come to grips with its Nazi past, the nation has gone to great lengths to acknowledge the past and educate its younger generations so as to prevent any re-occurrence. Many of the sites associated with the Third Reich still remain. An example near Erlangen is the site of the Nazi Party Rallies in Nuremberg, which still stands though gradually crumbling. In addition, the state of Bavaria has what it calls its law for the preservation of historical monuments. Erlangen's Hupfla, which dates back to 1846, is included (Denkmalshutz).

Yet those entrusted with the preservation of historical landmarks feel that they have been by-passed in the rush to build a new research center on the site. The architectural plans for the new center would include tearing down one of Erlangen's important historical sites, both from the standpoint of its age and archectural design, as well as its historical role during the Third Reich.

The Hupfla is one of those many historical landmarks that I was totally unaware of during my time in Erlangen as an American soldier in the 1960s. Once I became aware (during my research and subsequent visits), I found the site to be a moving experience. I hope the city can find a way to keep the site, both to maintain the archectural character of the city and to maintain a site for commemmoration and reflection.

Perez Hilton's Question for Miss Georgia

"Miss Georgia, do you believe it was the Jews who cost you your re-election?"

"Excuse me, the question was for Miss Georgia."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Perez Hilton Questions for the Contestants......

"Miss Massachusetts, what responsibilty do you take for the bank meltdown?"

"Miss Delaware, can you name the President of the United States?"

(You thought you had me there, didn't you?)

A Brit Sees Obama Clearly

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed- The left's favorite "victim"

This editorial comes to us from the The Telegraph (newspaper) in the UK. The writer, Gerald Warner, is spot on when it comes to the actions of Barack Obama on the water boarding issue. Not only is Obama following in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both of whom cut our military and intelligence services to the bone, Obama seems prepared to go even farther than that. What CIA officer will stick his/her neck out to prevent the next 9-11 knowing that this president will throw them to the wolves? What presidential attorney or advisor will risk giving controversial advice to a president in the interest of preventing another 9-11?

The CIA officers and the Bush advisers who are responsible for water boarding should be thanked by a grateful nation for thwarting at least two known attacks-against Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Bridge. Only through water boarding of that puke, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were the plots uncovered. And now the Democrats,, the ACLU, MSNBC and the rest of our 5th columnists in this country want to prosecute these people. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Thank you, Mr Warner. It is refreshing to know that not everybody has lost his/her mind in the UK.

Barack Obama vs the CIA-Why Does President Pantywaist Hates America So Much?

"If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama's problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

That is why he opened Pandora's Box by publishing the Justice Department's legal opinions on waterboarding and other hardline interrogation techniques. He cynically subordinated the national interest to his partisan desire to embarrass the Republicans. Then he had to rush to Langley, Virginia to try to reassure a demoralised CIA that had just discovered the President of the United States was an even more formidable foe than al-Qaeda.

"Don't be discouraged by what's happened the last few weeks," he told intelligence officers. Is he kidding? Thanks to him, al-Qaeda knows the private interrogation techniques available to the US intelligence agencies and can train its operatives to withstand them - or would do so, if they had not already been outlawed.

So, next time a senior al-Qaeda hood is captured, all the CIA can do is ask him nicely if he would care to reveal when a major population centre is due to be hit by a terror spectacular, or which American city is about to be irradiated by a dirty bomb. Your view of this situation will be dictated by one simple criterion: whether or not you watched the people jumping from the twin towers.

Obama promised his CIA audience that nobody would be prosecuted for past actions. That has already been contradicted by leftist groups with a revanchist ambition to put Republicans, headed if possible by Condoleezza Rice, in the dock. Talk about playing party politics with national security. Martin Scheinin, the United Nations special investigator for human rights, claims that senior figures, including former vice president Dick Cheney, could face prosecution overseas. Ponder that - once you have got over the difficulty of locating the United Nations and human rights within the same dimension.

President Pantywaist Obama should have thought twice before sitting down to play poker with Dick Cheney. The former vice president believes documents have been selectively published and that releasing more will prove how effective the interrogation techniques were. Under Dubya's administration, there was no further atrocity on American soil after 9/11.

President Pantywaist's recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America's enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is Nancy Pelosi Lying?

Now that Nancy Pelosi has publicly put out her version of the briefing(s) she and other members of Congress received regarding water boarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques, the question is this: Is she telling us the truth about how much she knew and when she knew it?

That should not be too hard to determine now that the White House is ordering the CIA to release its memos for public inspection. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) is also asking National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair to release details of the congressional briefings and who specifically attended. The below appears on Hoekstra's official website (excerpted):

"It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

Last week, Mr. Obama argued that those who implemented this program should not be prosecuted -- even though the release of the memos still places many individuals at other forms of unfair legal risk. It appeared that Mr. Obama understood it would be unfair to prosecute U.S. government employees for carrying out a policy that had been fully vetted and approved by the executive branch and Congress. The president explained this decision with these gracious words: "nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past." I agreed.

Unfortunately, on April 21, Mr. Obama backtracked and opened the door to possible prosecution of Justice Department attorneys who provided legal advice with respect to the enhanced interrogations program. The president also signaled that he may support some kind of independent inquiry into the program. It seems that he has capitulated to left-wing groups and some in Congress who are demanding show trials over this program.

Members of Congress calling for an investigation of the enhanced interrogation program should remember that such an investigation can't be a selective review of information, or solely focus on the lawyers who wrote the memos, or the low-level employees who carried out this program. I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques. "

Pelosi, in the above statement, refers to a meeting in which the possibility of enhanced techniques was mentioned, but insists that no mention was made that the methods had been used or were definitely going to be used. So her statement is that she was never briefed to the effect that enhanced methods were, in fact, being utilized. She is on the record, albeit, not under oath. If there is going to be a "truth commission" as she would like, such "truth commission" should include the degree of knowledge and approval on the part of each concerned member of Congress. Hopefully, a "truth commission" would include putting those in Congress who were briefed under oath. (Maybe such action would dampen the enthusiasm of the Democrats to hold such an ill-advised "truth commission" in the first place.)

Notwithstanding the above, if it turns out that Pelosi is lying in the above statement, it would seem appropriate for her to resign her position as Speaker of the House, if not from Congress altogether-not because (and if) she was briefed about water boarding and advised it was being done-rather because she would be lying about her role.

If, in fact, Speaker Pelosi, who wants to drag this whole thing out into the open and prosecute those responsible, turns out to have been aware all along, it would mark her as a liar and colossal hypocrite of the first order. So, if we have to go through this circus, then we should not let Congress off the hook. What we don't need is a repeat of the 9-11 Commisssion where Jamie Gorelick, the architect of The Wall that kept the CIA and FBI from exchanging information and intelligence that might have nipped 9-11 in the bud, wound up sitting on the commission-when she should have been sweating it out as a witness.

Are you sure you want to push this "truth commission", Speaker Pelosi?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Perez Hilton Asks the Contestants..........

"Miss California, what did you know about that CIA water boarding, and when did you know it?"

"Miss Arizona, what are you going to do about those right-wing extremists-including veterans?"

"Miss wherever you're from, do you agree with Dick Cheney about releasing all the memos on water boarding?"

Schwarzenegger's Proposition 1A-F Scam

One of the most dishonest ballot propositions of all time has to be Proposition 1A and its companion ballot measures B-F, which were put on the May ballot in California by Governor Schwarzenegger and his Democratic co-conspirators in Sacramento. This comes in the wake of the largest state tax increase in the history of the US-passed in the middle of a recession no less. Under this measure, voters are being asked to approve a two-year extension of the recently-passed tax increase that would carry it from 2011 to 2013. In return, a spending cap is imposed, which critics feel can be easily by-passed, and a "rainy day" fund established.

In pushing for this piece of legislation, Prop 1A's proponents deliberately underplay the two year tax extension. But the dishonesty doesn't stop there. Listen to the radio and TV ads, and you wonder what PR hack dreamed them up. First, there's the TV ad showing a father going out to play catch with his (school-age) son. The closing line is, "First, I'm going to play catch with my son. Then I'm going to vote for propositions 1A-F."

Kind gets you right here.

Then there is the radio ad that tells us that 1A-F will prevent "THE POLITICIANS" from spending our hard-earned money any way they like. What the ad doesn't tell you is that THE POLITICIANS wrote this bill and put it on the ballot.

"Stop me before I kill again!"

Finally, there is the old boiler plate advisory that goes something like this:

"That's why teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, paramedics, doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs ALL support Proposition 1A-F."

Well, maybe their unions, anyway.

Plus the ultra-left LA Times. Ultra-left editorial writer George Skelton (no relation to Red-I think) writes today that Propositions 1A-F are not, repeat not, deceptive. Republican turncoat Mike Villines, Republican Assembly Minority Leader, asserts that he and the others are not trying to trick Californians in pushing this bait and switch on us.

Fortunately, the polls show the measure going down to a big defeat (42-29%), which will be the second such defeat for Republican-in-name-only Schwarzenegger. The first was in 2005 when he was thrashed by the unions in trying to reign in spending. In a recent interview, the governor said that he has learned from his past mistakes and has learned to work (deals) with others.

And (hopefully) he is still going to lose.

Cynthia McKinney and George Galloway Coming to UC-Irvine on Behalf of Muslim Student Union

George Galloway (L), Uday Hussein (R) during "happier times" in Baghdad

From May 5-21, the Muslim Student Union at UC-Irvine will be hosting more anti-Israel events with their usual collection of professional Israel-bashers, many of whom are making repeat performances at the Orange County campus (Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Anna Baltzer, etc.) This time the MSU has really reached into the dregs by bringing in America/Israel-hating radical British MP George Galloway (Saddam Hussein's old pal from the Oil for Food Program) and none other than Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman from Georgia, whose loony theories and ideas are too numerous to list here. Of late, Ms McKinney was recently run ashore by the Israeli Navy while trying to smuggle God knows what to Gaza during the fighting there earlier this year. One wonders whether Ms McKinney will bring in a platoon of her New Black Panther Party thugs, like Hashim Nzinga to provide security and threaten any Jewish on-lookers (as they are wont to do). Chances are good since the UCI Campus Police chief has already conceded they don't have the resources to police these events.

McKinney will make her appearance May 13, while Galloway will crawl out from under his rock May 21. By the way, all you UCI students, the money to pay for these creeps to come to UCI and spout their hate comes out of your student tuition fees.

Galloway, of course, was a loud voice of opposition to sanctions against Saddam's Iraq as well as the invasion of that country. No wonder. According to numerous allegations, Galloway was on the dictator's payroll during the Oil for Food program receiving oil vouchers worth a small fortune. He was even seen in Iraq during the good old days whoopin' it up and smoking cigars with Saddam's son, Uday, the rapist and torturer. Not only does Galloway hate Israel, but America as well, leading one to wonder why he comes here so often-or why we let this scoundrel in.

McKinney, when she is not sailing the Mediterranean in the Leakin' Lena with supplies for the boys of Hamas, is hitting Capitol policemen or accusing Jews of orchestrating her election defeats-at least through her goons in the New Black Panther Party, like Hashim Nzinga, who she uses for security. Her father, former politician Billy McKinney has also made a few anti-Semitic remarks in his daughter's defense-blaming Jews for said election defeats. By the way, the elder McKinney does not use the phrase "Zionist Jews"-he spells the word out: ("Jews have bought everybody. J.E.W.S.".)

So the fact that the MSU is inviting these two odious characters as their speakers again says volumes about the nature of that organization. Their presence at UCI will be an embarrassment to the university.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Answer the Question, Mrs Clinton!

The above exchange came during Hillary Clinton's testimony before Congress today. Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) attempts to ask Clinton if she would favor release of documents requested by Dick Cheney that reflect the results of water boarding of Al-Qaeda suspects. This is where she states that she does not consider Cheney a reliable source of information. She continues to duck the question until Rohrabacher's time runs out.

Left unstated is the question of whether the above-referenced documents would be considered reliable by Mrs Clinton.

Iranian Thugs Accost Elie Wiesel at Durban ll Conference in Geneva

Tip of the hat to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism

On Tuesday, the above scene was recorded at the UN Conference on Racism in Geneva. The video shows a member of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's entourage shouting "Zio-Nazi" at Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

How ironic that a representative of the odious Iranian regime would hurl such labels at Wiesel. This from a regime that finances terrorism, storms embassies and takes diplomats hostage, stones women to death for adultery and hangs homosexuals.

This further illustrates why no self-respecting nation should have attended this conference with the likes of the barbarians from Teheran

Prosecuting Bush Aides Over Water Boarding

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

This whole flap over whether to prosecute members of the Bush administration over the water boarding of (3) al-Qaeda terrorists is leaving me more disgusted every day. First President Obama rules out prosecution-then he flip-flops and says a prosecution of higher-ups may still be possible but not against those who actually carried out the water-boarding. Leaving aside the obvious lack of decisiveness of the President, it strikes me that Obama is playing politics with an issue that concerns our national security.

Whether or not one feels that water-boarding is a form of torture-as opposed say to pulling out ones fingernails- it has to be acknowledged that the motivation for such action was to save innocent lives by the thousands in the wake of 9-11. It was not done to persecute George W Bush's political opponents, as most dictatorships would have done.

Nonetheless, some say, America should never practice torture or any other harsh interrogation methods. The saving lives argument is countered by these folks when they claim that torture never produces truthful information. Never? Apparently, not only does Dick Cheney disagree, but so do folks in the CIA, who have stated that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spilled his guts about future attacks when water boarded. Cheney is demanding that internal memos to that effect be released by the present administration.

The most outrageous news coming out this week is that Obama's own National Intelligence Director, Dennis Blair, had made statements defending those involved in the decision to water board in a memo to the White House, which proceeded to redact that portion of said memo as it was releasing previous memos from the Bush administration. So now it appears that Obama is dilly-dallying with the fate of Bush administration aides who were involved in the decision to employ water-boarding while suppressing memos that would defend the practice.

Defend water boarding, you say? Yes. If there are memos out there that report that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed refused to answer questions until he was water boarded then gave up a pending plot to fly plane)s) into downtown Los Angeles, then that strikes me as all the justification in the world once we had already been subjected to 9-11. This begs the question to those who say water boarding could never be justified: How many innocent deaths does it take before you change your mind?

The officials who made the decision to authorize water boarding or other mild forms of "torture" such as slapping with an open hand, placing insects in a cell, sleep deprivation, etc. were acting not out of sadism, but out of a concern to prevent more terrorist attacks. Should they not be afforded the benefit of the doubt?

President Obama should stop playing politics with this issue once and for all. And Dennis Blair should resign in protest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jane Harman and the NSA Wiretap

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)

CQ writer Jeff Stein has broken a story that Rep. Jane Harman (D-Ca) was picked up on a NSA wiretap talking with a suspected Israeli agent about intervening in a Justice Department prosecution of two AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) figures for espionage. (AIPAC is considered the most-powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US.) In exchange, the person talking to Harman promised to put pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name Harman to the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee should the Democrats win the 2006 mid-term elections. The story is based on revelations by at least two ex-NSA employees with first-hand knowledge of the conversation.

In an interesting story that embarrasses both parties, a subsequent FBI investigation into Harman's activities was allegedly short-circuited by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez on the grounds (allegedly) that Harman was a supporter of the administration's wiretap policy in the wake of 9-11. According to Stein, a planned FBI interview of Harman was stopped by Gonzalez.

According to Stein's report, Harman was overheard on the wiretap telling the other party that she would "waddle into" the case "if you think it'll make a difference". She then, allegedly, told the person in ending the conversation, "this conversation doesn't exist."

Harman is denying the report and any wrongdoing.

“These claims are an outrageous and recycled canard, and have no basis in fact,” Harman said in a prepared statement. “I never engaged in any such activity. Those who are peddling these false accusations should be ashamed of themselves.”

The important point here is whether, subsequent to the alleged intercepted call, she actually contacted Justice and tried to influence a pending prosecution in return for political favors. That would constitute obstruction of justice and corruption.

Subsequent to the 2006 elections, House Speaker Pelosi initially tried to appoint Alcee Hastings, the disgraced former judge to the post sought by Harman. When that proved too embarrassing, she appointed Silvestre Reyes of Texas by-passing Harman, who had been the ranking member of the committee when the Republicans controlled the House.

Of course, if true, this would be a case that also embarrasses the US-Israel relationship, one I happen to support. However, it is a fact of life that even friendly nations and allies spy on each other. Yet, when it is uncovered, there are still consequences to be paid. Just ask Jonathan Pollard.

Miss USA, Miss California and Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton-Miss USA judge/Jerk

Maybe I'm shooting from the hip here because I don't watch beauty contests, nor did I know there was one going on. Nor had I ever heard of some flake named Perez Hilton, who was one of the judges. However, what I am hearing and reading about this Miss California flap is disconcerting.

As I understand it, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was first runner up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant. During the judging, this guy Hilton (who I should mention here is gay) asked Miss California about gay marriage. Her answer was that she believed marriage was between a man and a woman provoking booing from the audience.

Perez Hilton: “Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?”

Prejean: “Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.”

You would have thought the lady was Miss Nuremberg 1934.

Some guy who was an organizer of the Miss California pageant expressed something like "sadness" or "regret" or something like that. People backstage were having heart attacks over this "controversial" answer. Prejean, regretfully in my view, claimed that the answer had cost her the crown. (Maybe it did.)

However, the most regrettable of all was the blog post by Mr Hilton, in which he lambasted the young lady and called her a "dumb bitch". You can check it out at the below site.

I don't know anything about this Hilton guy, but when he calls the lady a "dumb bitch" for answering the question in the manner she did, Mr Hilton showed more about himself than he could ever say about Carrie Prejean.

Now I'm going to ask the question about that 800 lb gorilla in the back of the room that no one else wants to ask:

What the hell is a gay guy doing being the judge of a women's beauty contest..hmmm?

I know, I know. More than beauty is being judged here, you know, brains, talent, etc, I get it. Maybe Hilton was taking a pee break during the swimsuit part. Yet, it still strikes me as nonsensical as if I were judging the sexiest Chippendale dancer.

So answer my question any way you like, but it still comes down to some obnoxious blogger/gossip columnist calling a young female contestant a "dumb bitch" because she has the audacity to answer his stupid question honestly and give her true belief. This guy Hilton came across as a jerk. In fact, he may be a finalist in the Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year award for 2009.

UN Commemorates Hitler's Birthday in Geneva

It is highly ironic that the UN opens its Durban ll "conference against racism" on the occasion of Adolf Hitler's 120th birthday. Not withstanding its name, this conference is nothing more than an exercise in anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing being led by some of the most racist countries on earth (namely in the Middle East).

The conference is a repeat of Durban 1 held a few years back and which was noted for its singling out of Israel as a "racist" state. This year's event promises to be the same with the featured speaker none other than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Fortunately, not only are Israel and the US boycotting the conference, but also Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia. Among European countries who are attending we find the UK and France. The latter should be ashamed.

Today, when Ahmadinejad referred to Israel as a "racist entity", dozens of EU delegates rose and walked out of the hall. That is well and good, but why were they there to begin with? Why did Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz personally meet with Ahmadinejad? Does not the state of Switzerland stand for anything other than being an international banking center?

In addition to the requisite Israel-bashing led by the Arab states, also on the agenda is a move to make it a crime to criticize a religion. Sounds great, but the only religion that is really concerned here is Islam.

What is really astounding is when you examine the countries that are at the forefront of this effort to demonize Israel while making it a violation of international law to "defame" Islam.

First, let's look at Iran, whose president is the featured speaker. This is the man who has denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be wiped off the map. In Iran, members of the Ba'hai faith are routinely persecuted as part of a government policy. What do I mean by persecuted? I mean things like arrest, rape and killing. This is the country where women accused of adultery are buried up to their shoulders and stoned to death while the faithful shout, "Allahu Akbar!" This is the country that hangs homosexuals. This is the country that storms embassies, takes diplomats hostage and finances terror.

In Egypt, members of the Coptic Christian minority are subject to discrimination by the Muslim majority. As in other Middle Eastern countries, mainstream newspapers and magazines publish anti-Semitic rants and cartoons reminiscent of Julius Streicher's Der Stuermer, the old Nazi anti-Semitic newspaper popular in the Third Reich. In the Middle East, People still write about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as if it were fact. Mein Kampf is still a best seller in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to openly practice any religion other than Islam. Under Islamic law, the penalty for apostasy is death.

Then there is Sudan, a country that has recently chaired the UN Human Rights Council, but has perpetrated the genocide in Darfur.

These are the countries that are sitting in judgement of Israel and complaining about defamation of religion (their own).

What does it say about the Western nations that are attending this travesty? Of course, they will tell you that only by attending can they lend a moderating voice to the madness. That is a cop-out. What they are doing is giving legitimacy to this disgraceful gathering. The UK and France are there because they are afraid of upsetting their Muslim minorities, who are liable to riot in the streets-or worse. Special mention and praise has to go to Germany, a nation with its unique history, that makes it a point to stand up for decency.

The larger issue is what this says about the UN, a corrupt and inefficient organization that is been taken over by the Middle Eastern states. At the UN, anti-Semitism reigns supreme, terrorism is swept under the rug, and the US is used as both a whipping-boy and cash cow. The time has long passed for the decent nations of the world-the democracies-to walk away from the UN and establish a new international organization that stands for something decent.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brits in Luton Demonstrate Against Radical Muslims-Curiously Refreshing

(Tip of the hat to Lionheart)

The above demonstration just took place in Luton, England as a response to Muslim demonstrators who had disrupted a recent march of returning Iraq war veterans.

(As much as I sympathize with the spirit of the demonstrators, I can only wonder why the British police have no clue when it comes to crowd control. Curiously curious)

Whatever Happened to Susan Roesgen?

(Tip of the hat to Founding

Future MSNBC anchor Susan Roesgen covers the tax protests in Chicago for CNN

(Don't bother clicking this video. CNN has pulled it from public view.)

The burning question of the day is why CNN pulled down that video on YouTube that showed CNN reporter Susan Roesgen trying to denigrate tax protesters in Chicago on April 15.

We have all seen the video of Ms Roesgen speaking condescendingly to a man with a child in his arms then being lectured in turn by a female demonstrator. Through it all, the arrogant Ms Roesgen looks back at the camera and speaks disparagingly of the demonstrators to her colleagues in the news room. She states that these demonstrations were put together by that "right-wing conservative news organization"-Fox News. She acts like the situation is about to explode in violence (which none of the demonstrations did). The video not only appeared on TV, but was immediately posted by numerous conservative blogs like mine.

Alas, however, if you click on the image, all you get is a notice that the video is no longer available because CNN has claimed its copyright-and pulled it. Why would CNN do such a thing? After all, this "The Most Trusted name in News" (Is that how it goes?)

The reason the video has been pulled is because the arrogance and condescension of Ms Roesgen and CNN towards these everyday folks shines through and through. Add to that the reporter tried to inform the obviously ignorant demonstrators that in return for all those taxes they pay, (the corrupt state of) Illinois gets billions in bailout money back from the government. I forget the exact total she quoted. I would go back and check the tape........

but I can't!!!!

Ah, but CNN was not the only people with cameras that day. Founding Fathers Blog also captured some of the events with Ms Roesgen.

And this:

"But he's the President of the United States!"

Anyway, CNN has compounded its goof by removing their video from public view. The best thing they could do now is remove their other goof (Ms Roesgen) from public view. But cheer up, Suzie. MSNBC has its eye on you.

UC Santa Cruz-An Opposing Voice

I recently wrote a piece on UC Santa Cruz and some of their questionable curricula. Shortly thereafter (and coincidentally in my opinion), the university announced plans to cut back on the Community Studies Department department if not eliminate it altogether. That sparked a firestorm of protest. In reporting the story, the Santa Cruz Sentinel listed David Horowitz and myself as conservative pundits who had mocked the program.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has published a piece dated April 19, 2009 by UCSC graduate Tony Newman that defends the program. In the spirit of being fair and balanced, I am posting Mr Newman's article.

Tony Newman: A UC Santa Cruz Community Studies success story-
Posted: 04/12/2009 01:30:25 AM PDT

Tony Newman

"I am very grateful to have a job I love, especially in these scary and uncertain economic times. For the last nine years I have been the director of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national nonprofit that is working to end the failed war on drugs and replace it with a more sensible and compassionate approach to national drug policy.

There is no doubt that the Community Studies program at UC Santa Cruz is the reason I am doing what I do today. When my dad e-mailed me a story from the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the possibility of UCSC shutting down the Community Studies program because of budget cuts, I thought I should share my experience and appreciation for a program that has deeply impacted my life.

I moved to Santa Cruz from Echo Park, Los Angeles, when I was 14. I loved my high school years at Santa Cruz High. My happiest memories of high school are spending time in the quad with the surfers, and the beautiful days and evenings on the cliffs. Those were carefree and blissful years. When it came time to apply for college I only chose two schools: Cabrillo and UCSC. I knew I didn't want to leave the city I loved.

I was accepted into UCSC, and during my sophomore year the first Gulf War broke out in Iraq. The war sparked my political consciousness, and in 1991 I co-founded a group called Santa Cruz Students for Social Responsibility that organized anti-war demonstrations with thousands of students. When it came time to choose a major that year, I decided to look into Community Studies, a program that requires students to get out of the classroom and get some real-life experience. After reading numerous books and attending many lectures about activism and social movements, I was hungry to dive into the real world and work for the issues I cared about.

I did my six-month internship at the human rights group, Global Exchange, based in San Francisco. During my internship, I was introduced to organizing and activism that you just can't get from a classroom. As an intern I sat in engaging and strategic meetings, organized major events, and eventually learned how to do public relations, a skill set that I have been using ever since. Afterwards, I returned to UCSC and wrote a thesis on my experience of bringing supplies to Cuba and challenging U.S. foreign policy through high profile civil disobedience.

When I graduated from Community Studies, Global Exchange hired me and I ended up being their media director for six years. During my years at Global Exchange I honed my PR skills and publicized several high-profile campaigns, including the fight against Nike's sweatshops in Asia.

UCSC's Community Studies Department introduced me to the world of nonprofit organizations, taught me invaluable skills, and helped to launch my career. Because of Community Studies I have a fulfilling professional life that is driven by my values: my work makes a difference in the world while allowing me to put food on the table and support my family.

Community Studies benefits the individual student, the Santa Cruz community, and the larger world. It introduces students to issues and organizations that provide valuable experience and life-long connections. It builds a much-needed bridge between students and the Santa Cruz community by providing volunteers to local service organizations. And it sends passionate and committed people into the world to work on issues of local, national, and international importance.

It would be a serious loss for Santa Cruz, and for the greater world, if UCSC cuts the Community Studies program. There must be another way to save a few dollars."

Tony Newman graduated from Santa Cruz High and UC Santa Cruz. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance.

Whose Side is Spain On?

"We've come to arrest you for human rights violations."

The recent flap over a Spanish prosecutor's attempt to issue arrest warrants for 6 members of the Bush Administration for war crimes underlines a deeper problem that is going on in Spain. Strangely, that country seems to feel it has world-wide jurisdiction for any alleged war crime, act of torture or human-rights abuse-whether it involves Spain or not. There is also a similar case going on in Spain which involves members of Israel's government.

A Spanish judge is working double-time trying to prosecute 7 Israeli officials for their alleged role in the targeted assassination of Hamas military leader Salah Shehadeh in Gaza in 2002. Judge Fernando Andreu of Spain's National Court is reacting in the wake of a notification by the Israeli Embassy in Spain that no charges will be brought against Israeli officials in the above case (in Israel).

Spain is not the only country in Europe that has somehow felt that it had world-wide authority. Belgium has also tried to stick its foot into international "human-rights violations" by the US. Part of the problem is loose-cannon judges and prosecutors who try to latch onto a big case and run it on their own. But the laws that enable them to do that are cause for concern.

One might ask whether these attempts have no meaning outside of Spain, but theoretically, they could require other EU countries to arrest the so-called violators if they entered Europe and turn them over to the Spanish.

In the case of Spain, it really begs the question of whose side are they on. This is the nation that suffered a horrific terrorist attack in Madrid in response to Spain's participation in the Iraq war-and responded by voting the government of Jose Maria Aznar out of office and bringing in a prime minister (Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero) who promptly pulled Spain's troops out of Iraq. Whether you think Spain should have participated in the Iraq war or not, the action by Spain in response to the terror attack was cowardly.

Now Spain turns against Israel in an effort to curry the favor of the Islamic terrorists who threaten their own country by going after Israel. When will the Europeans wake up and realize that Israel's enemies are their enemies as well? (I could ask the same question of many Americans.)

Centuries ago, there was a time when Spain was a great imperial and colonial power. Those days are long gone, thankfully. If this once-great nation wants to stay out of the war on terror, that is their prerogative, I guess.

Just stay out the way, damn it!

Illegal Drugs-"Put the Blame Where it Belongs"

President Barack Obama with Mexican President Felipe Calderon

The below posting was written by an old friend and colleague, Charles Lutz, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent, with whom I served in Bangkok, Thailand in the mid-late 1970s. During his DEA career, Chuck served two tours of duty in Thailand, the second of which as Special Agent in Charge. He also served as DEA's Country Attache in Cairo, Egypt, during which time, he was instrumental in establishing DEA's first office in Cyprus. His US-based assignments include Philadephia, Miami, Reno and several tours in DEA Hqs in Washington. Chuck's extensive overseas and domestic experience gives him a valuable insight and perspective on the drug problem, which I am happy to post below.

A lot has been made of Hillary Clinton having put the blame for Mexico's drug war on the United States. During her visit to Mexico, Clinton said she accepts that the United States market for drugs and the cross-border trade in weapons contribute to Mexico's drug violence. She told Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, "We know very well that the drug traffickers are motivated by the demand for illegal drugs in the United States, that they are armed by the transport of weapons from the United States to Mexico." Last week, her "apology" was reinforced, in part, by President Barrack Obama's remarks during his visit to Mexico praising the efforts of Mexico's government to counter drug cartels. In an appearance with President Calderon, Obama said, "The United States must take further steps, such as ensuring that illegal guns and cash do not flow from north of the Rio Grande to the cartels in Mexico." I think they're right.

I spent most of my 32-year career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stationed overseas or managing international programs from the United States. I saw first hand our government's finger pointing at Burma and Thailand in the 1970's for our heroin problem; at Mexico, Colombia and Jamaica in the 1980's for our marijuana problem; and at Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Panama in the 1980's and 1990's for our cocaine problem. We said, "You need to be doing more to stem the flow of drugs to the United States." There is a convenient, mistaken belief in America that we are the victims.

In reality, the citizens of Colombia and Mexico, and of the other countries along the drug route to America, are the victims. Drug money enriches the cartels-not the national treasuries in those countries. It underwrites the violence cartels use to intimidate governments, and increases their ability to corrupt legislators, judges, and military and police officials, thereby undermining the rule of law. Not too many years ago Colombia was on the verge of becoming the first "narco-democracy." And now Mexico is suffering from the first serious attempt by its government to crack down on drug cartels. We too are victims, but from self-inflicted wounds that take their toll on the health, crime rate, social services and productivity in this country.

Drug abuse is a question of supply and demand. If no one wanted drugs, no one would make them. It's our insatiable appetite for drugs that is driving the market. But it's always easier to blame the other guy for your problems. Politicians love to blame foreign governments for our drug problem-after all, foreign governments don't vote in U.S. elections. On the other hand, politicians hate to blame their own constituents, many of whom are the drug users who are perpetuating the problem. After all, it may cost them a few votes. Reducing the supply of drugs in the United States is a law enforcement responsibility. But no matter how risky law enforcement can make it for drug traffickers to conduct their business, there will be those willing to take that risk as long as there are those willing to buy them.

Reducing demand for drugs is not a law enforcement responsibility, although it has been left largely to the police to handle-and who have taken the brunt of criticism for not stopping a problem that is not within their power to solve. No matter how risky police can make it for users to buy drugs, there will be those who take that risk to satisfy their cravings or curiosity. So any way you cut it, there's no denying that it is our demand for illegal drugs that drives the supply.

The answer to demand reduction is either to surrender, by legalizing drugs, or find a way to reduce the demand for them. I personally believe the former is too morally repugnant and socially costly, although that is a matter for the electorate to decide. Education is often touted as a panacea for reducing drug abuse. However, education alone is not the answer. As teenagers we are taught that speeding in an automobile is dangerous. But it's not our intellect that keeps most of us from speeding. It's the thought that a cop might be around the next bend. We must educate the populace as to the harm of using drugs, but there has to be a consequence for doing so. Educators and law enforcement officials must work together. And we also need our communities (and perhaps our community organizers!) and our entertainment industry to stigmatize the use of drugs; our social scientists, and psychiatric and medical professionals to find solutions to the cravings and addictions for drugs; and the parents in our permissive society to assume greater responsibility by setting a better example, and better supervising their children. It will take a multi-faceted approach to have a positive impact on drug abuse in this country.

I don't think we should be apologizing to the Germans for how we treat prisoners of war, telling the French that Americans are arrogant, or calling military veterans right wing extremists. But Obama and Clinton should not be criticized for putting the blame for the drug problem where it belongs-right here at home. Lord knows there are enough issues to criticize them about. But this is not one of them. Nancy Reagan once said at the United Nations, "If we cannot stem the American demand for drugs, then there is little hope of preventing foreign drug producers from fulfilling that demand. We will not get anywhere if we place a heavier burden of action on foreign governments than on our own mayors, judges and legislators. You see, the cocaine cartels do not begin in Medellin (Colombia). They begin in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and every American city where crack (cocaine) is bought and sold." Nancy was right then. And Barrack and Hillary are right now . . . if only on this one matter.

-Charles Lutz