Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eric Holder's Justice Department in Inaction

This report is cross-posted from Maggie's Notebook, one of my blogging colleagues. It concerns the incident where New Black Panther Party thugs showed up at a Philadelphia polling place to intimidate folks they didn't like (white voters). It also concerns the decision by the Eric Holder Justice Department not to pursue legal action.

"Philadelphia voters just lost their voter's rights. The Black Panthers have won. Voter Fraud won. The people of Philadelphia - that City of Brotherly Love, those coveted Voter Rights - lost. If you think this only matters in Philadelphia, think again. Armed thugs standing outside your poll precinct is coming to a polling place near you.

The home of the liberty bell and Ben Franklin just had the long-arm of Obama Law reach out and smack hard the city and it's voters. Barack Obama's justice department has decided it is okay to have members of the New Black Panther party deciding who does what inside and outside a polling precinct.

DOJ attorneys were told to stand-down and dismiss the case:

The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with "a dangerous weapon"and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4.

The complaint said the three men engaged in "coercion, threats and intimidation, ... racial threats and insults, ... menacing and intimidating gestures, ... and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote." It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would "continued to violate ... the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country."

To support its evidence, the government had secured an affidavit from Bartle Bull, a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. Mr. Bull said in a sworn statement dated April 7 that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher in Philadelphia when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with a nightstick.

Inexplicably, the government did not enter the affidavit in the court case, according to the files.

"In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."

The defendants, New Black Chairman Malik zulu Shabazz, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson - for five months REFUSED TO APEAR IN COURT. What would happen to you or me if we so blatantly flipped off the Federal court? As late as May 5th, the DOJ considered "judgments or sanctions" against the three men because of their failure to appear in court.

But 10 days later, the department reversed itself and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal from the complaint for Malik Zulu Shabazz and Mr. Jackson.

Malik Zulu Shabazz is a Howard University Law School grad and a resident of Washington, D.C. Jerry Jackson is a credentialed to be at a the polling place as he is a 14th Ward Democratic Committee member.

According to the complaint, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Howard University Law School graduate, said the placement of King Samir Shabazz and Mr. Jackson in Philadelphia was part of a nationwide effort to deploy New Black Panther Party members at polling locations on Election Day.

Ironically, The Voters Rights Act under Section 5, said that jurisdictions covered by these special provisions could not implement any change affecting voting until the Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose and would not have a discriminatory effect.

This is part of the "change" Obama promised us, I guess. The Attorney General has sanctioned the change and decided that we will pay a poll tax in the form of voter intimidation. The Black Panthers tending your polling place, wielding weapons and trash talking - perhaps about your ethnicity, the color of you skin and your choice of candidate, is okay by Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. It's payback time.

There is an interesting editorial at The Washington Times. You can read it here.

The first video shows the Black Panthers telling a reporter at a Philadelphia poll that he is "security." As you listen to the second Black Panther speak, remember the testimony of Bartle Bull above.

Shades of Bill Clinton: One Black Panther says there are "no night sticks" at the polls. When the reporter says, but yes, there was a man with a night stick here, the Black Panther says "I don't care about what was. I care about what is."


Fousesquawk comment:

Well done, Maggie. One can only wonder what true civil rights figures, dead or alive, must think about this incident. Is this what Martin Luther King marched and died for? I don't think so.

Find that Riot!!

It's time to give the mainstream news media another clue in locating that major riot that took place May 22 in a major world capital yet escaped unnoticed by said msm. We know from the first clue that it occurred in Europe, right? Here's the next clue......

(No, it's not the US Supreme Court. There won't be any riots occurring there before Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed, but that's another story.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Watching Keith Olbermann (During O'Reilly Commercials)

"C'mon in, Keith. The water's fine!!"

Last night, while watching Bill O'Reilly, I switched over to MSNBC to see what Krazy Keith Olbermann was up to since I hadn't checked him out for a few weeks. I wanted to see if he had finally managed to move on in life.

No chance. There was Keith still fighting the Bush-Cheney water boarding wars, trying to convince somebody out there other than his tightly-knit circle of friends that Bush and Cheney should be brought to the Court of Justice (probably at Nuremberg) for their "crimes" against those poor terrorists. Sure enough, during the first O'Reilly commercial, Keith was chatting with fellow-traveler Richard Wolffe (2 FFs)about the "lies" of Dick Cheney regarding the results of water boarding. Somewhere, there was a film clip of Senator Carl (the Unmade Bed) Levin reciting a speech about how water boarding was ineffective. Keith then brought up the "heartrending" (his words-not mine) case of an interrogator who reduced a hardened terrorist to tears by apologizing for America's "crimes", thus causing the terrorist to spill the beans in gratitude. Heartrending indeed. My wife had no idea why I was crying in front of the TV set.

Keith also brought on talk-jock "Man Cow" (I don't know his real name), who had had himself water boarded and supposedly contradicted blogger "Gawker", who had a different take. What was the difference? Hell if I know-I had to switch back to O'Reilly.

Someone needs to remind Olbermann that we have a new president in office and a whole host of new issues to talk about. But who am I to try and save Olbermann's ratings?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Hot Scoop For the Mainstream Media

Following in the wake of the John Edwards story (which the media ran away from), here's another hot story which the mainstream media seems to have missed.

Question: On May 22(last week), which major world capital was rocked by riots in which hundreds of uh...rioters (that's the word) set cars over, attacked banks, broke windows, threw rocks and other missiles at the parliament building as well as police, and set fires. Approximately 46 people were arrested and 14 injured. Aside from the media of the country involved, this event seems to have escaped the notice of the CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, ABC and other major international news organizations.

Why is anybody's guess.

So it is up to the mainstream news media's faithful guide and tipster(me)to provide clues as to where this event happened. Here is clue number one:

I know. You were guessing Pakistan, weren't you? Wrong.

More clues to follow.

Judea Pearl Comments on the Situation at UC Irvine

I am honored to cross-post an article by Dr Judea Pearl, a professor at UCLA, who has written on the situation at UC-Irvine. Dr Pearl is the father of the journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan. He has spoken out often about the anti-Semitic abuses of free speech that have taken place at UCLA.

The Crucible of UC-Irvine

by Judea Pearl

Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 28, 2009

Universities, like religions, are often judged not by what they preach but what they tolerate.

"This painful truth came to mind upon reading Neelie Milstein's Oped article in these pages, ("Protecting Hate at UC Irvine", May 20, 2009), in which she describes the atmosphere at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), where the Muslim Students Union (MSU) celebrated a week-long lynching of Jewish identity under the banner "Israel: The Politics of Genocide."

"At UCI," Neelie wrote, "hate is a yearly event that lasts for a week. It isn't just any hatred. It is hatred directed at me, my friends, my community and my history. You are a Jew; a proud Jew, a proud supporter of Israel. Now you are seen as nothing but a racist murderer on your own campus."

Neelie is not alone. Her frustration is shared by many students and faculty at Irvine. What is happening at UCI is part of a coordinated assault on Jewish identity at campuses across the nation, an assault that threatens to erode the dignity, values and peoplehood of all Jewish students in the generation to come. We must understand its anatomy, for universities hold the key to our future.

UC-Irvine has long been a proving ground for orchestrated Israel-defamation. The combination of a large and highly-motivated Muslim student organization, an affluent and supportive Muslim community, a non-confrontational University administration and a divided (what's new?) Jewish leadership has turned the UCI campus into a veritable petri dish to test the limits of hate, bigotry and intimidation. Pro-Israel students, with the help of organizations like Hillel, Standwithus and others, have mobilized to reach out to MSU, but were unable to moderate the rising intensity of this assault) (See Brad Greenberg's "Quiet war on campus, JJ, August 20, 2008)

Many Orwellian hyperboles were first tested at UCI, among them: "Genocide in Jenin," "Zionism is Cancer," "The World without Israel," "Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine," "Holocaust in the Holy Land," "Israel: The Fourth Reich." This year, the masters of absurdity upped the ante with mental deformities such as: "Allah is a terrorist," "The Zionist-Jew is a party of Satan," along with images of Anne Frank in a Palestinian Kaffiyeh, blood-drenched Israeli flags and heroic Hamas fighters advancing the cause of peace -- all at a prime location on campus, near the flagpoles and the administration building, giving the hate fest the appearance of a university-sponsored event.

Naturally, despite their tireless and honest efforts, university administrators have been powerless to prevent UCI from becoming a national focus of anxieties and expectations. Indeed, on the day the official UCI marquee at the entrance to campus displayed the "Israel-Genocide" sign, I received messages from colleagues as far away as Indiana asking whether California Education Code allows such use of the University of California name. "What next for us?" they asked.

On the other side of the fault line, Anti-Israel propagandists have been watching UCI performances thirsting for new ideas and new opportunities for upcoming hate-fests on other campuses. I wonder, for example, whether Susan Slyomovics, the director of UCLA Center for Near East Studies, would have mustered the imagination to choreograph her famous Gaza Symposium last January 22 had she not been emboldened by Irvine's 2005 workshop "A World without Israel". For readers who missed Slyomovics show, it was described by a foreign diplomat (not Israeli) in the audience as "the dirtiest Israel-bashing and indeed full-fledged anti-Semitic hate fest I have experienced in my two and a half years in this city" (see my column "Dust Over UCLA Campus Life: UCLA at a Crossroad" Feb. 18, 2009).

Likewise, I would speculate that UCLA Chancellor Gene Block is keenly tuned to the happenings at UCI, for he is facing a similar dillema: How long can a university refrain from confronting obsessive Israel bashers/deniers -- bent on stifling debate and trampling campus norms of civil discourse -- and still convince the public that students should feel safe and welcome, and their sensitivities respected.

In 2005, in response to faculty complaints over the hate speeches by MSU's speaker Malik Ali, UCI Vice Chancellor Gomez wrote that the administration is "legally prohibited from either proscribing or prescribing the content of speech, as long as speakers conform to campus policies and applicable laws."

This is no longer the current stance of the university. In a recent letter, UCI Chancellor Drake wrote: "We must reject disrespectful and hateful slurs, particularly those based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or any other fundamental aspect of identity. ... We reject anti-Semitism. We reject anti-Islamic rhetoric. We reject de-humanizing stereotypes. We embrace dialogue and mutual understanding.

Theoretically, this is precisely what Neelie Milstein requested. "I am not asking the UCI administration to censor the hate speech. I am asking them to denounce this style of rhetoric and displays just as they would denounce campaigns for white supremacy, sexism, or Islamophobia."

But there is a catch that lies at the core of the issue, which only a few bold university administrators have thus far dared to address. Does the content of "Israel: The Politics of Genocide" fall within Chancellor Drake's categories of what "We reject", or is it deemed to be a commendable model of academic free speech?

Unfortunately, the declarative "we reject anti-semitism" does not get us closer to answering this question. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the UCI's MSU have learned to absolve themselves skillfully of charges of anti-Semitism; after all, it is only the "Zionist Jew" who is the Satan, not all Jews. (Imagine Dutch politician Geert Wilders saying: "It is only Sunni Muslims who are morally inferior, not all Muslims")

I believe that one of the greatest mistakes Jewish advocacy has made in the past decade has been to argue that anti-Zionism is dangerous because it is a thin cover of anti-Semitism. We should have exposed the immoral character of anti-Zionism in itself and demanded that Israel's statehood be recognized as a "fundamental aspect of Jewish identity."

As Chancellor Drake implied in his letter, religion has no monopoly on human sensitivity or group identity. Chancellor Drake's letter does not identify code-breakers nor does he specify any offenses. It reminds me of the vague anti-terrorism Fatwa that American Muslim organizations issued in 2005, a week after the London bombing, which went through a great linguistic effort NOT to name Bin Laden or Al Qaeda as offenders and which rendered the Fatwa nonbinding. Thus, even if anti-Zionism rhetoric is explicitly recognized as offensive activity at UCI, the MSU will not see itself even remotely involved -- naming the offender is essential for reversing the climb in campus temperature.

In 2007, Vice Chancellor Gomez wrote to complaining UCI faculty: "In all honesty, I get dismayed at the fact that even though we have been deeply engaged in creating a safe and dynamic campus community, the attention that continues to be focused on UCI is both distorted and negative." In fairness to Gomez, the UCI administration has indeed invested a tremendous amount of time, resources and goodwill in efforts to restore civility to UCI campus. However, the latest MSU carnival proves that there are fundamental limits to what non-confrontational policies can achieve in an academic environment that finds itself attacked by professional, well-funded hate crusaders, aiming to test the patience of that environment. The 2009 spectacle made a blatant mockery of everything the administration has labored to develop, including, I worry, the Daniel Pearl Muslim-Jewish Dialogue that UCI hosted in May 2005.

It is time for the university to reassess the way that it tolerates the intolerant. Its legal requirement to tolerate that which is wrong does not diminish its moral obligation to point to that which is right."

Dr Pearl is a decent man, whose call for decency should be heeded. UCLA, indeed the entire UC system, needs more people like Dr Pearl as opposed to the small people who preach hate on our campuses under the guise of free speech and justice for Palestinians.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Letter From Zionist Organization of America to University of California President Mark Yudof

Below is the text of a letter dated May 27, 2009 written by Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein to University of California President Mark Yudof in the wake of the latest series of events conducted by the Muslim Student Union at UC-Irvine entitled: Israel: The Politics of Genocide. The letter and its wording speak for themselves.
(Tip of the hat to Ted Bleiweis at the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism)

Dear President Yudof:

We were very disappointed in your response to the many messages of concern and outrage you received about the anti-Semitic program sponsored by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine from May 5-21, 2009. Given a disgraceful title promoting an anti-Israel falsehood – “Israel: The Politics of Genocide” – the MSU’s program consisted of more than two weeks of hateful lies about Jews, Zionism and Israel. With all due respect, your response was much too understated and qualified. You should have absolutely and unconditionally condemned a program that – as it does every year – promoted hatred of Jews

By now you surely know the details of the event. The MSU displayed posters that said, “anti-hate = anti-Israel,” and “Stop Israeli Genocide.” What could be a more despicable lie than to characterize Israel’s efforts to protect its people from suicide bombings and rocket and missile attacks as “genocide”? If there were no Arab terrorism and no rockets and missiles being launched in a deliberate attempt to murder innocent Jewish people, not a single bullet would leave a single Israeli rifle.

The MSU cruelly displayed the Israeli flag with the Jewish Star of David ripped and blood-stained. The MSU made false and absurd comparisons between the Palestinians’ situation (virtually all of which they have brought on themselves) to the deliberate murder of Jews during the Holocaust. The MSU erected what it calls an “apartheid wall,” when the fact is that Israel was forced to erect a security fence in order to protect innocent civilians from Palestinian Arab suicide bombings and terror attacks; if there were no terror attacks and suicide bombings by Arabs against innocent Jewish people, there would be no so-called “wall.”

The MSU even went so far as to display an image of Anne Frank – probably the bestknown symbol of the horror and tragedy of the Holocaust – wearing a keffiyeh, under the mocking heading “Fashion Sense.” We understand that this image was even too much for the UCI administration. Completely contradicting its supposed adherence to the First Amendment right to free expression, the UCI administration reportedly compelled the MSU to cover up the image of Anne Frank wearing a keffiyeh, as if the rest of the hate and bigotry of the past two weeks was acceptable and not deserving of a single comment of criticism or denunciation from the university leadership.

As it does frequently, the MSU invited Amir Abdel Malik Ali to speak at this most recent Israel-bashing event — twice. As he typically does, Malik Ali demonized “Zionist Jews” – as if prefacing his accusations against Jews with the word “Zionist” makes the accusations any less anti-Semitic. He actually referred to Jews as Satan. He dredged up all of the age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews, describing them as sneaky, crafty, conspiratorial, inhumane and not to be trusted. Here are just a few examples of his hateful and anti-Semitic speech:

· “The Zionist Jew is of the party of Shaytan – Satan. They follow the Shaytan’s pattern.”
· “One of the characteristics of the Shaytan – Satan – is that he likes to operate behind closed doors. Satan is slick, . . . he operates in the shadows, in the dark.”
· “That’s the Zionist. The Zionist likes working behind the scenes, behind the scenes. They can’t operate in sunshine. They gotta be behind the scenes.”
“Bring them out in the open. Bring ‘em out. Let them spew that racist ideology. It’s not a racist ideology that’s reserved only for the Palestinians, it’s a racist ideology that’s reserved for everybody.”
· “For those Jews who are starting to wake up and come back to their humanity, keep going. The highest point you can come to, the highest point you can get to, is to become an anti-Zionist. That you are against Zionism itself. Don’t stop at simply thinking that we just have to do this and then everything will be fine. No. You get to the point where you believe with all your heart we have to get rid of Zionism. That that is the problem. Now you have gotten to the point. Now you’ve gotten there. Now you’re there. You’re an anti-Zionist Jew.”

These words are nothing less than incitement to hatred and violence against Jews and Israel, including Jewish students at UCI. These are the kinds of words that were heard at Nazi rallies in Munich in the 1930’s, and that would be met with a standing ovation.

Even before the program began, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) understood exactly what the MSU was doing and issued a clear and unambiguous condemnation of the program, recognizing from the title and line-up of speakers alone, that the event “appears intended to encourage violence against the State of Israel and propagate the spread of anti- Semitism.” Referring to a previous speech at UCI by Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Congressman Sherman called it “a stain on the fabric of a great university, which can be cleaned only by the personal and public denunciation of its Chancellor.” Congressman Sherman affirmed his support program as anti-Semitic. He spoke with one voice as a public leader and a private citizen.

Yet in your response to the many messages of concern and outrage you received about the MSU’s hateful event, you were careful to “separate my public role as President of a state university from my private life as a Jewish man who is active in Jewish causes and a strong defender of Israel.” In your response, you were careful to “remove my cap and gown and to exercise my First Amendment rights as a private citizen.” In your response, you were careful to condemn only “the title of the series” as “virulent, historically inaccurate, and offensive to Jewish people everywhere.”

Respectfully, you lost an opportunity to exercise the moral leadership that has been entrusted to you. There should be no difference in your outrage about the MSU’s anti-Semitic bigotry, whether you are speaking as a private citizen or an educational leader. In fact, it was incumbent on you in your capacity as an educational leader to denounce the MSU’s program as hateful and anti-Semitic.

In addition, the title of the program, while offensive, was not the meat of the problem. The content of the MSU’s program is what you should have boldly condemned. Demonizing and vilifying Israel, exploiting age-old stereotypes of Jews, and drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis is anti-Semitism. That is what you should have said, instead of narrowly focusing on the title of the event alone.

Finally, your response to the MSU’s program should not have anything to do with whether you are Jewish or not, or active in Jewish or pro-Israel causes or indifferent to them. Regardless of your religious background or the level of your activism, anti-Semitic bigotry is wrong and unacceptable, and that is what you should have made crystal clear. Anti-Semitic bigotry has no place on the UCI campus or anywhere else, and you should have soundly condemned the expression of that bigotry by the MSU these past two weeks, without any of the qualifications that you attached to your statement. Anti-Semitism should be criticized and condemned not just by Jews or Jewish and pro-Israel activists, but by all decent and moral people who abhor bigotry. With all due respect, it was appalling and shameful for you to say that only Jewish people would be offended by the MSU’s program. Everyone should be offended and most people are.

We have asked you repeatedly to address the problem of anti-Semitism at UCI, specifically imploring you to exercise your First Amendment right to condemn hateful Israel-bashing speakers and programs by name, as well as the student groups who are sponsoring them, so that the university community – especially the perpetrators – understands what is wrong and why. How disappointing that when you finally spoke out, it was done with unwarranted caution and inappropriate qualification.

What has been going on at UCI is shameful, frightening and dangerous – not only to Jews on campus, but to Jews in the larger community. Mr. President, we strongly urge you to act immediately – to publicly and unequivocally condemn, by name, the perpetrators of the anti-Semitic bigotry, as well as the hateful, anti-Semitic programs they are sponsoring at UCI on a regular basis.

Government to the Rescue

(Tip of the hat to the great Don Martin)

CAIR Now Defending Those Arrested in NY Bomb Plot

I figured it was too good to be true when the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release congratulating the FBI on the arrests of four Muslims in the New York/New Jersey on charges of plotting to set off explosions. Now CAIR has issued a new press release, which calls into question the whole case.

“This entire scheme seems to be the product of sending yet another FBI agent provocateur into an American mosque to instigate a ‘plot’ that would likely never have been hatched but for the rhetorical and financial inducements of the government informant. As a defense attorney said of the informant in this case, who was also the informant in a previous case, ‘Where he goes conspiracies blossom.’ According to the family of one of the suspects, the FBI informant even promised to pay for a liver transplant for his dying brother.

“We need to know who first suggested the specific targets in this plot and, if it was the FBI informant, why a government agency would create a scenario that may drive a wedge between two American religious minorities.

“These arrests seem to be based on a government formula for announcing law enforcement ‘victories’ that we have seen all too often in the past - take a paid informant, insert him into a mosque or community without probable cause of criminal behavior, locate marginal characters open to financial or rhetorical inducements, facilitate criminal actions suggested by the provocateur, and then announce ‘terror’ arrests with great fanfare.

“This formula, which could be used in any faith community, produces flashy arrests but rests on shaky constitutional ground and does little to advance legitimate law enforcement goals. It also serves to alienate an entire religious minority and provides fodder for those who seek to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.”

So once again, it is all a case of FBI/Government misconduct-entrapment against petty criminals. Without trying to issue a judgement on the guilt or innocence of the four suspects, I find it curious that CAIR routinely comes to the conclusion that everybody arrested by the FBI on terror-related charges is innocent. I found the press release on CAIR's website while searching for their response to the sentencing of the Holy Land Foundation "Charity" leaders to lengthy jail terms-especially since CAIR was listed as "un-indicted co-conspirator" in the Dallas-based federal trial.

As for the charges of entrapment that CAIR is implying, that is an issue that will be decided in court should it be raised as a defense. As I have pointed out in other cases, it will be the government's task to refute those charges by showing "pre-disposition" (a legal term in entrapment issues) on the part of the defendants to commit the crime charged. Tapes and other corroborating evidence will then be the deciding factor.

I am willing to make a deal with CAIR. I won't prejudge the defendants' guilt if CAIR doesn't prejudge their innocence. I am confident they will receive a fair trial. If CAIR doesn't share that sentiment, then I question why they have so little faith in our system of justice.

2009-Just Another Year for Cub Fans

Don't think I'm rubbing it in Cubs fans-I'm one of you. Yes, since 1963-46 years, I have been part of the suffering legions of Cub fans who have waited...and waited...and waited in vain for a pennant. There was the collapse in 1969 to the Miracle Mets. There was 1984, when the Cubs blew a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs against the Padres to lose 3 games to two. There was 2003, when they did the same against the Marlins. Last year, they compiled the best record in the National League-only to go out in the playoffs in three games. This year? Injuries and lack of offense has us hovering around the 500 mark. With the season one-quarter over, I'm ready to pack it in and concede that I will probably never see my beloved, no, cursed Cubbies in a World Series.

What has happened this year? For starters, the Cubs have been hit by injuries. Secondly, the offense is pretty non-existent. Probably only one player will hit more than 20 homers. Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Milton (Anger Management) Bradley and whoever they put at second base are not hitting beans. Their best hitter, Aramis Ramirez, is back on the DL.

In addition, the Cubs miss the man who arguably was their best player the last two years, Mark DeRosa, who was traded to Cleveland for three minor league pitchers-who are still in the minor leagues. They miss his bat and versatility. Then there were the trades they didn't make-for Brian Roberts of the Orioles and pitcher Jake Peavy. They could really use them now.

It still remains to be seen where the Cubs will be in the second half of the season. If they are out of contention, then some house cleaning is in order. My top two candidates for trading away are the most-overrated player in baseball, Alfonso Soriano, and the most overrated pitcher, Carlos Zambrano.

Soriano is positively the most undisciplined player I have ever seen wear a major league uniform. He has zero fundamentals and seems to be playing the game for his own benefit. He is lackadaisical and aside from hitting 30 homers (mostly solo shots), he contributes very little to the team. Problem is, he is in the 3rd year of an 8-year contract that vastly overpays him.

As for the now-you-see him-now-you-don't Venezuelan pitcher Zambrano, this guy finds more reasons not to be in the rotation. Either it's an injury or he's suspended. Yesterday, he was thrown out of the game and threw a fit that will definitely result in a suspension. I for one am sick of enduring this man-child's behavior as we wait for him to be that 20-game winner everybody predicts. Instead, what we have is Hugo Chavez in pinstripes and cleats. Get rid of him I say.

In fact, if the Cubs are not in contention by the time the trading deadline arrives, I say get rid of anybody who will bring in some young prospects. It's time to change the tone of the franchise. Maybe they should get rid of that "lovable" image. Change the name of the team to the "Destroyers", tear down Wrigley Field and build a dome like what they have in Minneapolis. Then again, who would love them?

I need to find a good hypnotist who can make me forget the Cubs even exist.

George Galloway Meets a Liar-Himself

My thanks to Stand With Us, a Jewish advocacy group and ACT for America for providing me with their video of my encounter with George Galloway on May 21 at UC-Irvine. I have also provided Mr Galloway with other videos proving my claim about anti-Semitic statements made at Pro-Hamas rallies.

I should note that the young man shown speaking to the UCI audience after the LA film clip is a pro-Palestinian advocate (whose name I do not know).

I am still waiting for the odious Mr Galloway to send me an apology. (I never knew I could hold my breath this long.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What to Do About North Korea?

"Please, Mr America, pleeeease don't go to the UN. Pleeease don't push for sanctions!!!

From "Brer Rabbitt and the Wonderful Story of the Tar Baby"
(Uncle Remus and Tales From the Old Plantation)
by Joel Chandler Harris

* All you college students who have no idea who Brer Rabbitt, Uncle Remus and Joel Chandler Harris were, ask your school librarian.

The Sotomayor Pick

"I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn't lived that life."

(With apologies to my Latina wife-who makes all the decisions in my family)

I have been thinking a lot about what I would write or not write about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Of course, my detractors will accuse me of being an old white fuddy-duddy who longs for the days when the Supreme Court consisted of 9 white men. Of course, I could point to the support we conservatives gave to such folks as Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown when they were nominated to high judicial posts by Republican presidents. I could point out the vicious attacks they were subjected to by liberal Democrats even though-no, expecially because- they were conservative minorities.

It is true, indeed, that in a multi-ethnic society like ours, it is absurd to have a Supreme Court that has no women or minorities. Actually, that situation hasn't existed to my knowledge since Lyndon Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. No, that is not the issue unless you are an unrepentent KKK-type. The issue is ideology.

Of course, we knew going in that a liberal president was going to pick a liberal judge to the Supreme Court, and with Sotomayor, this is no surprise. I have heard somewhere that she is a former prosecutor who is tough on crime. If so, that is welcome news though I have seen too many of those former prosecutors who were only getting their trial experience before becoming defense attorneys and making the big bucks. However, it seems from her documented statements that she is big on the ethnic politics. In addition, there is her comment a few years back at Duke University Law School (to knowing snickers from the audience) that public policy groups go after appeal court judges because that is where policy is made. Troubling.
It is scary because in our democratic society, public policy should be made by the people through their elected representatives. This makes it appear that she believes in an activist court to bring about social change.

In the coming months, we will hear about her high rate of being overturned by the Supreme Court that she seeks to join and her summary dismissal of the New Haven Fire Department reverse-discrimination lawsuit. Now there are other whisperings coming out from lawyers who have appeared in her court who talk of poor judicial temperament and a tendency to berate lawyers.

But as Senator Charles Schumer says, Republicans would oppose her at their peril, an obvious veiled threat not to oppose the first Latina woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. What should the Republicans do?

There's not much they can do. They don't have the votes. They should do all they can to probe the above concerns. Then they should give her an up-or-down vote, which the Democrats failed to do with several of George W Bush's nominees. They will, of course, lose. All the while, the Democrats and the liberal activists will try to intimidate the Republicans with chareges of trying to keep a Latina woman off the court-ignoring the examples of Estrada, Brown and Thomas.

Ultimately, however, it should not be about race or gender. Personally, I don't care if all 9 justices on the court are female Latinas, Asian-American or African-American. If they are conservative, I'm for them. The important thing is that true justice and the law should be color-blind. I have my doubts about Judge Sotomayor.

Oh, that quote at the beginning of this essay? Forget it, please. I may be nominated for the Supreme Court someday, you know.

Cheech and Chong Under Government Surveillance

-"I think we're bein' follwed by the DEA."

- "How come?"

- "I seen three Fiats in the last hour."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How's That Mausoleum Comin' Burris?

Question: How much does it cost to have, "US Senator from Illinois" carved on your mausoleum?

Answer: Apparently $1,500.

Editorial in UC-Irvine Campus Paper by Aaron Elias

The below editorial is appearing in this week's New University, the campus newspaper of UC-Irvine. It concerns the withdrawal of 5 campus organizations from sponsorship of the Muslim Student Union's anti-Israel events of this month. The writer is Aaron Elias, a UCI student.

Sponsor Pull-outs Mar Muslim Student Union Events by Aaron Elias
Volume 42, Issue 30 | May 26 2009

Two weeks ago, the Muslim Student Union (MSU) held its annual anti-Israel week, an event notorious for its controversial presentation and inflammatory rhetoric.

The MSU has been known to invite anti-Semitic speakers such as Mohammed Al Asi, who has compared Jews to “rats running away from light,” and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an anti-American imam who has expressed his belief that the “Zionist Jew” is responsible for Sept. 11 and controls American wealth, media and government. The usual hateful rhetoric and half-truths preached by the MSU’s speakers this year came as no surprise. The responses of their co-sponsors, however, did.

Over the course of the three-week long anti-Israel event, five of the MSU’s original co-sponsors decided to withdraw their sponsorship. By the end of the second week, The Agora, Hip Hop Congress, the Armenian Student Association, Alpha Epsilon Omega and the Sikh Student Association had all withdrawn. In addition, one of the MSU’s speakers planned for the week, a Ha’aretz journalist named Gideon Levy, canceled his appearance and decided not to attend the event. This marks the first time that such a large number of campus organizations, not to mention a speaker, have withdrawn from the annual event.

The organizations’ leaders expressed a common theme in their reasons for backing out of the anti-Israel week; mainly that they did not wish to pick sides in the conflict.

“Hip Hop Congress [HHC] as a group is not political to begin with,” said Geo del Carmen, the former president of Hip Hop Congress and a third-year political science major. “Essentially, we’re just a simple music club ... We don’t alienate people based on their ideology. This event clearly calls out certain groups.”

Despite HHC’s decision to withdraw from anti-Israel week, the MSU still announced it as a co-sponsor at their evening event featuring Malik Ali. The high number of groups pulling their sponsorship also forced the MSU to reprint a new batch of flyers to correct its list of co-sponsors. The new batch still included HHC’s name on the list. When asked about the matter, del Carmen expressed agitation.

“It’s frustrating,” del Carmen said. “What I do not appreciate is having my request to immediately rescind our sponsorship … being ignored by MSU. I mean, I left Facebook messages telling them to take our name off immediately and instead of giving me an explanation, my requests were ignored entirely.”

However, not all co-sponsors pulled out, which del Carmen also expressed frustration with.

“It’s very disturbing how a powerful cultural organization such as the Umbrella Council and [the] Cross-Cultural Center support [anti-Israel week] when their main job is establishing cultural awareness, not pushing political agendas,” del Carmen said.

He also expressed disappointment with one cultural group that agreed to stay on as a co-sponsor.

“I also left the Asian Pacific Student Association … because I greatly disagreed with the idea of mixing partisan politics with Asian culture,” del Carmen said.

Other organization leaders felt that co-sponsoring the biased and often hateful event was too divisive a decision for their own communities.

“We were under the impression that the rest of the Armenian organizations on campus were going to support the event as well,” said Andre Sahakian, president of the Armenian fraternity Alpha Epsilon Omega (AEO) and a third-year social ecology major. “But when we heard [one Armenian group] wasn’t participating and that the Armenian Student Association withdrew their sponsorship, we dropped too. We want AEO to be cohesive with the Armenian community. It wasn’t in the entire fraternity’s interest to do it.”

Sahakin believed that it was in the group’s best interest to distance itself from the matter.

“We don’t want to side with either party,” Sahakin clarified. “We just decided we have no interest in being involved in something controversial on campus.”

Asked how the MSU delegates presented the event to him, Sahakian provided an eyebrow-raiser of an answer.

“[The MSU delegate] told me [the event] featured a series of speakers, that it was fair and unbiased,” Sahakian said. “He said it had speakers from both ends of the spectrum arguing for both sides. That’s why I agreed. I mean, if it’s a fair discussion, then why not?”

Anyone who attended the anti-Israel events last week can attest that this was certainly not the case. The event and its speakers were incredibly biased; for example, Malik Ali compared “Zionist Jews” to “Satan,” while Anna Baltzer provided isolated examples meant to demonize the Israeli Defense Forces without even addressing Israeli motives. Of course, there was one speaker representing the pro-Israel side or even the moderate center, and there were certainly no instances of “fair discussion.”

This begs the question: Did the MSU lie to its co-sponsors about the content of its event? Not likely. The more probable explanation is that they are so blinded by their own bias that they are unable to approach their event from an objective perspective. This is the precise reason why their presentations must be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

Some of the co-sponsoring groups didn’t agree with the lack of open forum and a chance for fair factual representation in anti-Israel week, and so chose to withdraw.

“The idea behind The Agora is to move beyond partisan support, support open dialogue and communication of all parties while refraining from choosing sides,” said Oren Klein, president and co-founder of The Agora and a third-year political science and philosophy double-major. “We would certainly support groups who offer an open public forum and debate … though educating our students about worldwide issues is the number one priority of The Agora, addressing the issue from an antagonistic and xenophobic perspective is counterproductive and only ferments conflict.”

This year’s anti-Israel week marked several firsts for the controversial week-long damning of the Jewish state. The MSU flaunted a viciously defaced Israeli flag. The five campus organizations that removed their sponsorship also represented another first. All of this only underlines the fact that the MSU cannot be taken seriously until they decide to approach the conflict in a less prejudiced manner and instead offer constructive dialogue that covers all of the facts, not just the ones they have selectively picked. Otherwise, presenting only one side of the story is far from progressive and insults students’ intelligence.

Fousesquawk comment: I had noted with regret that many of the campus groups that had joined in the sponsorship of the MSU events should have known better and might eventually reconsider their decision. Thankfully, five of them did. I wish more had also withdrawn. As for groups like the Radical Student Union (or whatever they call themselves) and one or two others, what could one expect? They will jump on any bandwagon that makes America look bad. Their association with the MSU event only highlights the questionable goals of the MSU. Frankly, I'm glad they jumped in and stayed in. For moderate and fair-minded folks, it puts the whole MSU-sponsored hate fest in its proper perspective.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today, we pay tribute to our veterans, the men and women who have kept us free with their sacrifices. Were it not for the American military, no nation in the world would be living in freedom today.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"What Me Worry?"

Hi, I'm President Alfred E Newman (Call me AEN).

We're gonna close Gitmo and bring the prisoners to the US.

We're gonna release all the CIA files on water boarding.

We're gonna talk to those Iranians about those nukes.

We're gonna give hundreds of millions to Gaza.

We're now running the banks.

We're now running the auto companies.

We're gonna double or triple the deficit to get the ecomony running again.

I got Hillary Clinton runnin' the State Department and Bill Clinton in Vienna with his hand on Fran Drescher's tush.

I can't figure out which Clinton is responsible for conducting foreign affairs.

I got Air Force One buzzin' Manhattan.

I got Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in Congress.

I got Tim Geithner runnin' the Treasury Department.

I got Janet Napolitano runnin' Homeland Security

I got Joe Biden a heartbeat away.

What me worry?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Memory of Bo Belinsky ("Pretend it's Mamie..")

Angels pitcher Bo Belinsky and actress Mamie van Doren in the 1960s

Growing up in Los Angeles in the early 1960s was a treat if you were a baseball fan. In addition to the Dodgers, who drew large crowds, we also had the LA Angels (prior to their move to Anaheim). After playing their inaugural season in 1961 in old Wrigley Field (yes, a facsimile of Chicago's Wrigley field since the old Pacific Coast League LA Angels were the top farm club of the Cubs), they then shared Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers-calling it Chavez Ravine after the neighborhood where the stadium was built. Unlike the Dodgers, the Angels generally drew anywhere from 5-10,000 fans a game (except, of course, when the Yankees came to town). Thus, it was a convenient way to see a major league game. In 1962, a brash young pitcher burst on the Angels scene who quickly became the toast of the town. His name was Bo Belinsky.

Belinsky was good-looking and had a reputation as a night-owl even in the minor leagues. With the Angels, he won his first 4 starts including a no-hitter over the Baltimore Orioles. That win catapulted him into stardom in LA as the public quickly became aware of his night-time proclivities, which he did little to hide. He began dating movie stars including sex-symbol starlet Mamie van Doren, with whom he carried an on-again-off-again relationship from 1962-1964.

Eventually, Bo's star faded into mediocrity as his 1962 record ended at 10-11. He spent much of 1963 in the minor leagues and his time with the Angels ended in 1964 when he was dealt to Philadelphia after being involved in a fight with a sportswriter. After stints with a few other teams, Bo disappeared from baseball. He died in 2001.

It was probably in 1964 that a buddy and I happened to go to an Angels game in which Bo was pitching. By this point, Bo's pitching career had come back down to earth and he was struggling. Since Angels' tickets were easy to come by, we wound up sitting in the second or third row directly behind the Angels' dugout. Shortly before the game began two rather meek looking gentlemen probably in their 40s, sat in front of us and sat quietly until the game began.

Once the Angels took the field and Belinsky came out of the dugout, the show began. These two characters got to their feet and began razzing Bo unmercifully. They never let up, and they could be heard all over the stadium. (In empty stadiums, you can hear anybody who is shouting at the players.) When Bo came back to the dugout, these guys would literally stand on their seats as they taunted the pitcher, who, by the way, was not pitching well. (He only lasted a few innings.) Meanwhile, my friend Bob and I, as well as the fans around us were in constant stitches. These guys could have been professional comedians (maybe they were).

Most of the razzing was not too objectionable in terms of language, but there is only one line that I vividly recall. At one point, Belinsky started having trouble finding the strike zone. After several balls without a strike, one of our entertainers stood up and shouted,

"Hey Bo, pretend it's Mamie and put 'er in there!"

Soon after, Bo was in the showers.

Pelosi Cuts Off the Interrogation

News item:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will no longer discuss the controversy over when she learned from the CIA that waterboarding was being used.

"I ain't saying nothin' more till I see my lawyer".

Friday, May 22, 2009

My E-Mail to George Galloway (The Cat Man)

The figure on the right is George Galloway.
He is a member of the British Parliament (really).
In this photo, he is appearing on a reality show on British TV posing as a cat drinking milk from a bowl.
(I am not making this up.)
Last night at the University of California at Irvine, he called me a liar.
I am flattered.

In connection with the previous posting, I have sent the below email to British MP George Galloway at his Parliament address in connection with our confrontation last night. I wanted to ensure that he had access to the disputed videotapes, for which he called me a liar.

Dear Mr George Galloway,

Last night, at UC-Irvine, I asked you a question about anti-Semitic expressions seen and heard in recent pro-Palestinian rallies in the US. I also quoted you a statement made by one Mohammed al-Asi, an imam, in which he stated at UCI, "Jews are low-life ghetto dwellers-you can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew." I also asked you about reports that Jews in the UK were afraid to walk the streets in certain parents of British cities.

While condemning the words I attributed to Mr al-Asi, you called me a liar for my accounts of anti-Semitic statements made by pro-Palestinian demonstrators ("Long live Hitler"- Jews go back to the ovens", etc) As for the situation with anti-Semitism in the UK, you failed to address that question.

I would like to refer you to my blog posting of May 22 (entitled George Galloway at UC Irvine). My blog is entitled, "fousesquawk" (

This posting contains YouTube videos and a photo of demonstrations that occurred in January and February in the US. They speak for themselves. You, sir, are much too intelligent and well-informed not to be aware of these incidents.

Finally, I would like to say that notwithstanding your concerns of disruption and violence, our side does not engage in such behavior (which your sympathizers often do). There was much I wanted to say to you, but the protocol would not allow for pro-longed debate. As an American, I found your comments about President Bush and my country offensive and unworthy of a British Member of Parliament. Outside of the cozy confines of that hall and university campus, nobody in America cares what you think about anything. I suggest you take your radical views and return to Britain.

Moreover, ten of you couldn't make one George Bush. That man removed two of the worst regimes in modern history from power and gave 50 million Muslims a chance to live in freedom. Meanwhile, you were having tea and crumpets with Saddam Hussein and his murderous son, Uday. Had you had your way, the Husseins would still be ruling Iraq, the Taliban Afghanistan, the rape rooms and torture chambers would still be in operation, the mass graves still filling up and women would still be shot during half-time in Kabul soccer stadiums. Please don't lecture us about morality. You don't have the standing.

I hope you will watch the videos I posted for your viewing pleasure. Then ask yourself-who is the LIAR?


Gary C Fouse
adj teacher

George Galloway at UC-Irvine

George Galloway in his diatribe at UCI

Last night, the Muslim Student Union at UC-Irvine hosted controversial British MP George Galloway as its concluding act in the "Israel-Politics of Genocide" extravaganza. Galloway lived up to his reputation as a pugnacious advocate for the Palestinian cause. Approximately 6-700 people were present, almost all members of the Muslim community. It was obvious that to them Galloway was a rock star as dozens of the folks came up to the dais to introduce themselves to Galloway and have their pictures taken with him.

Prior to introducing Galloway, the president of the Muslim Student Union announced to the crowd that the MSU was being treated unfairly by the university in various and sundry ways. He alluded to a written statement made recently by UC President Mark Yudof, in which he (Yudof) condemned the MSU for alleged hate speech.

Then it was on to the main event. Galloway opened by referring to the fact that not all the members of the audience were on his side. How did he know? Because he had been reading their blogs prior to his UCI appearance. He more or less dared them to try and debate with him. He also said that if anyone were to try and disrupt or engage in violence, that he was a former boxer, had a lot of friends in the crowd and it was a long way to the door. (??!!?) Of course, nobody disrupted his speech nor tried to engage in violence-not because we were afraid of Galloway, rather because it's not what we do-it's what the other side does.

Galloway's speech focused on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. He excoriated the State of Israel over and over for stealing the Palestinians' land and killing the Palestinian people. He called George W Bush an imbecile and criticized the US for "writing a blind check" to Israel (after telling us how much he loved America and the American people). He denied being a supporter of Hamas and denied being anti-Semitic. He referred several times to the Holocaust and questioned why the Israelis (Zionists), having been victims of that crime, would then victimize the Palestinians (I am paraphrasing and summarizing, of course).

When it came time for Q&A, members of the audience were invited to come to microphones in front of the stage. The ground rule was that Mr Galloway would not answer the question until the questioner had returned to his/her seat and sat down (a convenient rule designed to preclude follow-up questions).

My question, which was not delivered in a belligerant manner, went something like this:

"I heard many references to anti-Semitism here tonight. During the recent fighting in Gaza, there were many demonstrations in the US. In places like Ft Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto, some demonstrators-not all- were heard saying things like, Long live Hitler", "Jews, go back to the ovens"....

At this point, Galloway interrupted, "First of all, I think you are a LIAR."

(Hoots and hollers from the audience as I invited Galloway to check it out on YouTube).

"May I finish?"

Moderator: "Finish the question."

"A few years ago, on this campus, a man named Mohammed al-Asi, an imam, said, "Jews are low-life ghetto-dwellers. You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew." In your country (UK), there are reports of Jews being afraid to walk in certain parts of British cities. Do Jews have a reason to be afraid in the UK?" (someone in the audience yelled out to me something about quoting al-Asi accurately.)

I took my seat in the first row.

Galloway then replied, "I am 99.9% sure that what you say is false". From my front row seat, I said, "a minute ago you were 100% sure", and again told him the statements were on video (YouTube). He then went on to condemn the statement I had reported by al-Asi. He then added he wished I would shed a tear for the Palestinian children killed by Israeli bombing. He never answered my question about Jews in the UK. (a friendly lady in the crowd shouted for him to answer the question.)

There were several more questions from the audience, a couple mildly critical, but the rest friendly. Boxes were passed around for the audience to make contributions for Galloway's Viva Palestina drive to deliver supllies to Gaza.

Contrary to his fears, nobody tried to disrupt him or instigate violence. We followed the rules set forth for the question and answer session. Since each questioner is limited to one question so as to give everyone a chance, there were many things I had to leave unsaid. I would have liked to tell Mr Galloway that outside the cozy confines of that hall and the university campus, nobody in America cares what he thinks of our country or George Bush. I would have liked to tell him that ten George Galloways don't make one George Bush. I would have liked to tell him that Bush removed the two most horrific regimes in the world and gave some 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq (Muslims) the chance to live in freedom-while he was making pilgrimages to Iraq and having tea and crumpets with Saddam and Uday Hussein. Had Mr Galloway had his way, the mass graves, rape rooms and torture chambers would still be in full throttle in Iraq and women would still be executed at half-time in Kabul soccer stadiums. So much to say-so little time.

Now comes the good part.

Mr Galloway, you called me a liar for bringing up the statements about Hitler and ovens during recent pro-Palestinian rallies in the US and Canada. You are much too intelligent and well informed not to know of their existence. For your viewing pleasure, here they are.

(New York City)

Now who is a LIAR, Mr Galloway?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The New Newsweek- Same Stuff-Different Format

Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham....





Last night, I was reading the first issue of Newsweek under its new format. Naturally, I opened up with the weekly essay by the journal's "wise sage", Jon Meacham, who, in his photos, always looks like a .... "wise sage". He gave a tortured description of the new look-not just how it looks, but how they present the news now. Something about "provocative (but not partisan)arguments..."

Nonsense. Skilled writers know how to insert their opinions in writing that is labeled as information-but is really persuasion.

It's the same old Newsweek. There was the usual puff-piece on President Obama along with a puff-piece interview of the "annointed one". There was a mostly positive piece on Nancy Pelosi-curious considering how she has stepped in it lately. In addition, there was a follow-up to the thinly-disguised campaign promo for disgraced former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer by the author-and Spitzer friend, Jonathan Darman, who did the original article on Love Client Number 9. It seems Newsweek took a lot of flak for writing the article, which many readers-including myself-took as a first step to opening the door for a future political run.

Meacham, in his "pearls of wisdom" essay, referred to an article about George Bush as "George W. Bush in exile". Exile? Sure enough, the article portrayed Dubya as a lost soul in Houston reaching out to neighbors' kids and college students for friendship-and generally being rebuffed-not so much out of antipathy, rather for lack of time to bother with a former president.

Meacham and his product are nothing more than a monument to their own arrogance and sense of importance. What he is telling us that we will buy and read more of this publication if they just change the margins here and there. He must think we are all just a bunch of big dopes.

Another Student Response to MSU's Hate Fest at UC-Irvine

The below article was printed in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. It is written by a UC-Irvine student who records her reactions to the Muslim Student Union (UCI)-sponsored event entitled: Israel-The Politics of Genocide.

From the Los Angeles The Jewish Journal

May 20, 2009
Protecting Hate at UC Irvine

by Neelie Genya Milstein opinion/article/protecting_hate_at_uc_irvine_20090520/

Imagine walking on a campus past buildings where you have taken numerous classes with many peers, past the Student Center where you have eaten lunch many times, past all the familiar places where you have felt safe and accepted. Now imagine walking by those same places and seeing blood-stained flags of a nation that is part of your identity. Posters with “anti-hate = anti-Israel” and “Stop Israeli Genocide” parade in front of you. Displays surround you with images of cruel IDF soldiers, dead Gazans, Anne Frank — a symbol of Jewish tragedy — wearing a kaffiyeh, and of Israel’s barrier to protect Jews from terrorism, labeled an “apartheid wall.” It is as if everything Israel and Jews ever stood for is racism, bloodshed and war. You are a Jew; a proud Jew, a proud supporter of Israel. Now you are seen as nothing but a racist murderer on your own campus.

When I first walked onto campus and saw the Israeli flag blowing in the wind, ripped and blood-stained, I was filled with anger, sadness, and helplessness. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “These are lies. This is disgusting!” I didn’t scream, but I trembled with rage at the Muslim Student Union (MSU), and even more, at the UCI administration for standing by as their students are humiliated, chewed up and spit out, and depicted almost as animals.

Anyone who knows Israel’s history knows of its challenges, triumphs and mistakes. I refuse to accept vicious propaganda that demonizes Israel. I refuse to accept desecration of cherished symbols of Jewish identity. I recognize that freedom of speech entails freedom to preach hate, lies and prejudice, but I am repulsed. The MSU depicts the suffering caused by Israel’s recent war with Hamas, but it never acknowledges the reasons for Israel’s actions, the suffering of Israelis, Hamas’ goal to destroy Israel, or the tactics Hamas used, such as human shields, that raised the civilian toll. I, along with Israelis and the Jewish world, grieve for the innocent civilians who died. Why doesn’t the MSU show equal concern for Jewish fears and suffering? Could they share Hamas’ view that whenever an Israeli man, woman, or child is killed, it should be cause for celebration and passing out candy?

I have been told to censor myself so that potential students are not afraid to come to UCI, but I have had enough censorship. With truth comes power, not fear. The MSU’s hate is dangerous. I have been in Jewish private schools since second grade and I have always been taught that hatred is wrong. I know that Israelis are taught not to hate Arabs, and that Jewish national identity demands equal protection for Muslim religious identity. I know that UCI’s Jewish students never even thought of retaliating with a weeklong campaign of “The World Without Mecca” or “Palestinian Nationalism=Islamic Terrorism and Racism.” Then I came to UCI, and found that my fear of hatred was more than justified. At UCI, hate is a yearly event that lasts for a week. It isn’t just any hatred. It is hatred directed at me, my friends, my community and my history.

After my three years at UCI, you would think I would be desensitized, and could just ignore the MSU’s “apartheid wall.” But I stand for more than that. I am standing up for all the Jews in past generations who did their best to uphold our religion and protect our people. I am standing up for all who understand and support the State of Israel as one of the most extraordinary achievements of the Jewish people.

I am not asking the UCI administration to censor the hate speech. I am asking them to denounce this style of rhetoric and displays just as they would denounce campaigns for white supremacy, sexism, or Islamophobia. I am asking them to be as fearful of countenancing hatred as I was taught to be, not just because of its present impact, but because of what it bodes for the future.

Neelie Genya Milstein is a student at UC Irvine.

Fousesquawk comment: Thank you Neelie for speaking out from the perspective of a Jewish UCI student. And shame on those Jewish elements who discouraged her from speaking out. I have an idea who they are, but since she did not identify them by name, I will not comment further excpet to say they should be ashamed.

Student Reponse to Malik Ali at UCI

The below was written by Aaron Elias, a student at UC-Irvine in response to the events of last week sponsored by the UCI Muslim Student Union entitled: Israel-The Politics of Genocide. It was published in the New University campus newspaper. I am cross-posting it from the OC Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism.

Speakers Favor Controversy Over Facts
by Aaron Elias
Volume 42, Issue 29 | May 18 2009
“Controversy is good … Controversy is exactly what we want.”

This statement, made by Anna Baltzer last Tuesday, reflects a growing trend in the Muslim Student Union’s (MSU) annual anti-Israel week. Baltzer apparently fails to realize that some people prefer facts rather than a questionable presentation based on faulty assertions and plain fabrications. Baltzer not only damned the Israeli security barrier for “preventing daily life” but took a step past the line of reason by saying it “doesn’t prevent attacks,” even though terrorism has declined by 92 percent since the barrier’s construction in 2002.

Cynthia McKinney, a former congresswoman, was a new addition to the MSU’s lineup of speakers. McKinney decried American foreign aid to Israel and briefly recounted her experience in attempting to sail through the Israeli naval barrier implemented around Gaza to prevent Hamas from smuggling arms.

However, the show was stolen by Malik Ali, an Oakland imam who has repeatedly accused the “Zionist Jews” of corrupting and controlling the United States government, economy and media. Ali has also repeated the conspiracy theory that the “Zionist Jews” were responsible for 9/11. His constant vilification of the “Zionist Jew” is a weak way to dodge charges of anti-Semitism, as most Jews are Zionists by religious affiliation.

Last Thursday night, Ali delivered a speech in the Student Center entitled “Silence is Consent.” Unfortunately, Ali’s speech was not at all concerned with facts, as it focused more on religious extollment and anti-America and anti-Israel rhetoric. What was surprising was the much-higher level of vitriol and naked hate in Ali’s rhetoric at the nighttime event in comparison to his public daytime event at the flagpoles.

“Allah is a terrorist,” Ali said at the speech’s inception. “When we fight against the enemy, Allah will strike fear in the heart of the oppressor. He terrorizes them.”

Ali also reminded the audience that the “Zionist Jew is in the party of Shaytan [Islamic term for “Satan”] … they follow the Shaytan’s power … they like to operate behind closed doors, they are the Whisperers … when you get tempted by Satan.”

Ali warned the audience not to develop relationships with the Zionist Jews and not to fault Hamas, which he considers the victim, insinuating that Hamas’ use of the Palestinian people as human shields and suicide bombs is to be excused.

In an effort to separate Zionism from Judaism, Ali continued to allege that “[Zionism] has nothing to do with Judaism.” Ali seems to be unaware that the land of Israel is mentioned by name over 800 times in Jewish prayer and texts.

Ali also remarked, “The [UC Irvine] administration can’t stand the Zionists, but they won’t say anything. It’s unjust. We’re not going to obey the administration. The administration looks stupid because it follows the Zionists. They [Zionists] are Satan.”

The last remark was met with laughter from the audience. The allegation is meant to imply that Zionist students on UCI’s campus somehow control the UCI administration, a microcosm of Ali’s belief that Jews control the media, wealth and government. It also alluded to the recent controversy involving the MSU’s display of Anne Frank wearing a keffiyah, a popular article of clothing similar to a scarf worn by numerous Islamic militants such as Hamas and the Taliban. UCI administration forced the MSU to cover up the image and ultimately remove it. Ali followed this with a call to the audience to resist such policies and what he deemed unjust rules.

In a weakly-veiled call for violence, Ali cried, “We are moving into a phase of civil disobedience; there’s no other choice except to disobey.”

In response to an audience member’s question about the MSU’s support for Hamas, Ali responded, “You’re IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. I’m Hamas. We can’t be friends.” When the audience member told him that yes, they could, Ali replied, “No, we ain’t, brother. You’re a Zionist and I’m a Muslim, so yes we can discuss, but we can’t be friends.” The statement is reflective of Ali’s constant attempts to create division between students on college campuses.

The night’s events reinforced more than ever that Ali has fallen victim to the ideology popular in Muslim fundamentalist circles that the Jews, and in some cases Americans, are solely responsible for Muslim suffering in the world. The night also marked the end to a week of controversy for the members of MSU, who, in addition to being told to remove their offensive display of Anne Frank, flaunted a torn-up, paint-splattered, burned Israeli flag on campus and confronted protestors at the flagpoles by shouting insults.

Ultimately, the objectivity and motives of the MSU should be questioned so that hopefully fair, factual and nuanced presentations of the complex issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be favored instead. Until then, the MSU deserves little trust in light of its recent events and choice of speakers.

Aaron Elias is a third-year English major.


Good job Aaron.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Propositions 1A-F Crash and Burn in California

Sacramento-May 18, 2009

Sacramento May 19, 2009

Yesterday, the voters of California spoke loud and clear (at least 15-20% of them did. Those that didn't vote shouldn't have.) At any rate, by wide margins, propositions 1A-E went down to crushing defeats-even as Governor Katzenjammer was in Washington celebrating passage of an emissions standard bill that will force automakers to make the kinds of cars their new owners (the Government) want them to make. The only bill that passed was 1F, which will mandate no raises for government officers and office holders when the government is in a deficit.

The reasons for the bills' failure was obvious. Not only would it have extended the recent tax hikes on the most heavily-taxed people in the US, it was a blatantly dishonest bill. Imagine campaign ads that tell you to stick it to "the politicians"-the very people who wrote the bill, the very people who told us of dire consequences if the bill didn't pass.

Imagine a bill whose pro and con arguments (required by state law to be published for the voters)were both written by the same people (the bureaucrats). Imagine a bill that said that it would put a cap on government spending by "those politicians who got us into this mess", but said nothing about the fact that it extended the recent tax increase for two more years until 2013.

Thanks to pundits like John and Ken on their daily radio talk show, most of the people in California were able to get the side of the story that Sacramento didn't want them to know. In the final weeks, as it became clear that the bill was headed to defeat, Governor Katzenjammer threatened the people with doomsday warnings about having to release the inmates from the prisons and lay off the firefighters. Of course, the last thing he would do is lay off the bloated government workers, represented by powerful unions that, in effect, rule California. In addition to the machinery of the government, the LA Times supported the proposition. Today, they are mad at the voters. The University of California Board of Regents put out a paper supporting the proposition outlining all the goodies they would have or not have depending on the bill's fate.

The State Government even made back-room deals with entities like the Los Angeles Lakers, who chipped in money to pay for the campaign ads. (I never liked the Lakers anyway.)But it was all for naught.

So after the electoral defeat, Katzenjammer had to set aside the champagne, say goodbye to Obama, climb on his private jet and fly back to Kalifornia, leaving his own massive carbon footprint that will partially offset any good that comes of this emissions bill he supported. Now, he will have to find a way to pay for the things he and his new-found friends in the state legislature want to do. They will try to borrow from other funds, shift the peanut shells around and raise user fees for this or that. Hopefully, enough voters will be vigilant not to be taken in by the BS emanating out of Sacramento.

This is the second major defeat for Katzenjammer. The first was when he tried to do the right thing and pass measures that would have reined in spending. The unions brought him down on that one, after which he decided to play ball with the big boys. See where that got him. The truth is that until California gets the political leadership that can stand up to the public employee unions, California will continue to be in a fiscal mess.

So now, you say, the state is broke and has no money for this and that program? Good. And hopefully, the Federal Government will not bail it out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Big Interrogation

-"C'mon Pelosi, talk!"

-"It wasn't my fault. I swear, the CIA never told me."

-"Yer lyin' Pelosi."

-"Well, they said something about water boarding, but they said they were only thinking about it."

-"Ya expect us to buy that bull----?"

"I didn't know. Somebody said they heard about it, but what was I supposed to do?"

"Those bastards at the CIA lied to me."

-"Who you callin' bastards, Pelosi?"

"Actually, they're pretty good guys. It was Bush that lied to me-Bush-Yeah, that's right. It was all Bush. That's the ticket!"

Bill Clinton Feels Fran Drescher's ......

Bill Clinton and Fran Drescher at a charity ball in Vienna

Make up your own caption to this one. I'll get you started.

"Bill gives Fran a hand with her CA-REAR."

"I did not put my hand.....those rumors are false."

"I'm doing this for the children."

"I sure wish Hillary was here."

"Wanna meet the Vice-President?"

"It all depends what the meaning of "ass" is.

"How bout a little Wiener Schnitzel?"

I know-it's sophomoric, but I can't resist. Actually, if I were married to Hillary Clinton, I'd.......never mind.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Letter to UC-Irvine's Newspaper

MSU mock wall (mocking the wall Israel built to keep out suicide bombers)

Below is a letter I penned last week to the New University, UC-Irvine's campus newspaper. It was intended as a response to an article by Ms Nida Chowdhry of the Muslim Student Union urging UCI students to go and listen to (last week's) speakers. As it is, my response was not published by New University, which instead published a fine rebuttal by student Aaron Elias.


With the MSU’s week of anti-Israel events underway, Nida Chowdhry asks her readers to attend the events and listen to the speakers with an open mind. She speaks against violence and bemoans the idea that rhetoric and politics take precedence over coexistence and compassion. That is all well and good, but it is the words of the speakers that will tell the tale. Ms Chowdhry speaks of lofty goals, but as is its wont, the MSU is bringing in speakers this week and May 21 who are controversial to say the least.

On Wednesday, the scheduled speaker is ex-Representative Cynthia McKinney. She will undoubtedly speak of her “humanitarian” mission to Gaza during the recent fighting to deliver emergency supplies to the Gazans (and God only knows what else). Yet, among all her other zany acts over her political career, she has surrounded herself with some pretty questionable company, which brings into question her motives for inserting herself into the Middle East conflict. During her recent election defeats, her father, Billy McKinney, blamed her defeat on the Jews. (“The Jews buy everybody. J.E.W.S.”) In addition, her coterie of bodyguards in the New Black Panther Party, specifically one Hashim Nzinga, reacted in anger upon her election defeat, lashing out at white reporters with anti-Semitic statements. Is this the motivation that drives Ms McKinney?

On Thursday, our old friend Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a community activist as described by Ms Chowdhry, is scheduled. I’ll say. Ali comes to UCI about 3 times a year and sings the same old song. Co-existence, peace, compassion? Not in Ali’s world. He has called suicide bombers heroes and martyrs, right here on this campus. He has, by his own admission, no interest in a negotiated 2-state settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. Malik Ali is an apostle of violence, and he is the MSU‘s favorite speaker.

Then, on May 21, there will be the “distinguished” British Member of Parliament George Galloway, a man who not only detests Israel, but this country as well. This is the character who opposed any sanctions against Saddam Hussein and the dictatorial regime in Iraq as well as the invasion. He traveled to Iraq and hobnobbed with the late dictator and his infamous son, Uday-the man who ran the rape rooms and the torture chambers for his dad. Later, Galloway was accused of having accepted bribes from the Hussein family in the former of oil vouchers, which he denied and sued anyone who leveled the accusation. Had Mr Galloway had his way, Saddam would still be in power, the rape rooms and torture chambers would be in full throttle, and the mass graves would still be filling up. Yet, this is the man the MSU drags in to speak for them.

I have no problem with the MSU making their case for the Palestinian cause. They could do so much more effectively if they didn’t bring in speakers such as the above three. That they continue to do so only discredits their cause, in my view. In addition, using the image of Anne Frank to make their point can only be described as a desecration of her memory. Similarly, wearing t-shirts bearing a quote from H. Rap Brown is not a good idea. H. Rap Brown is a criminal who is in prison for murdering a police officer. Rather difficult to speak of compassion, peace and co-existence when you embrace such people.

So, by all means, come out and hear the speakers, especially some of you student groups who joined the MSU in sponsoring this event. It may give some of you pause.

Obama at Notre Dame

....."As I considered the controversy surrounding my visit here, I was reminded of an encounter I had during my Senate campaign, one that I describe in a book I wrote called The Audacity of Hope. A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an email from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the primary, he had a serious concern that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life, but that's not what was preventing him from voting for me.

What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my website - an entry that said I would fight "right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman's right to choose." The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, "I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words."

Fair-minded words.

After I read the doctor's letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him. I didn't change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website. And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that - when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do - that's when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.

That's when we begin to say, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

So let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women."

Understand - I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it - indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory - the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.".....

-President Barack Obama at Notre Dame University

The above is an excerpt from President Obama's speech at Notre Dame, in which he addressed the issue that caused so much controversy over his visit to the Catholic campus-abortion. I had not paid a lot of attention to the issue since I am not Catholic. Whether the university invited the President to speak and exercise his free speech rights in an institution that is firmly anti-abortion seemed to be a Catholic issue to me.

But I am also against abortion unless the life of the mother is at stake or in case of rape (and even in rape, it seems to me that immediate adoption is the preferable choice.) For years, I had opined that the argument seemed to belong to the two extremes, with no middle ground having a voice. I thought that perhaps, abortion might be ok if we were just talking about a clump of cells or something that could be circumvented by a morning-after drug. However, the more thought I have given it, the more I have come to the conclusion that there is no middle ground between life and death.

I have written on the abortion issue before, so I won't repeat the same arguments here. I want to address President Obama's words at Notre Dame.

In essence, he said nothing.

"Open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words"


The bottom line is that Obama is pro-choice. That includes partial-birth abortion. It also includes the deliberate infanticide of a baby that survives the abortion process and is living outside the womb. That allows the doctor to put the baby in a closet somewhere and allow it to die-if that is the mother's wish. Obama has actually voted to allow such a procedure. So what he is saying is that we can all agree to disagree-but abortion will continue. Adios.

This leaves Notre Dame and the Catholic Church asking itself; what is it that they believe? How far are they willing to go to stand up for that belief? To be frank, they got themselves into this pickle when they made the invitation-which they never had to do. After that, they had to deal with the furor, in which there was no way to win. Cancel the invitation and face charges of censorship of opinion and expression. As it was, they offended those in their church who take the abortion issue seriously.

With all due respect, Notre Dame did not handle this wisely.