I've found pretty good articles at Scotsman.com regularly.
Another article about corruption at the UN, this time from the Boston Globe.
I've found pretty good articles at Scotsman.com regularly.
Another article about corruption at the UN, this time from the Boston Globe.
Where are the women organizations? Where's the NAACP? Where are the groups against racism and unfair racial characterizations?
These cartoons are racist and sexist and disgusting. Dr. Rice is an incredibly respectable, intelligent, more thoughtful person with more foreign policy experience than any of these cartoonists combined. The fact that no organization has stepped up to condemn these cartoons shows that they don't believe that a black woman is capable enough to have the brains to be National Security Advisor or the head of the U.S. State Department. Dr. Rice's background is facinating and amazing.
Check out the comic links at the top of Rush's page.
An interesting idea was floated by me the other day. We know Arafat is bi-sexual. Now we see him in France with an unknown blood disease. The doctors have eliminated cancer from the list ... how many more options are there?
The National Review Online has picked this up, as well as a gay website have both commented. The gay website covers this story better. What does this do for chief terrorist Arafat's image in the Arab world? Could this be why he's being treated in France?
I was sent this article by a friend of mine. This is certainly worth reading and forwarding along.
Brigitte Gabriel - Speaks the Truth at Duke University on 10-14
Posted: 10/22/2004 9:13:00 AM
Author: Brigitte Gabriel, Lebanese Christian
Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel
Delivered at the Duke University
Counter Terrorism Speak out
October 14, 2004
I'm proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country I want to give you a glimpse into the heart ofthe Arabic world.
I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.
When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity, eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.
It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Moslem shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injuries. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn't see religion, they didn't see political affiliation, they saw people in need, and they helped.
For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments.
I spent 22 days at that hospital; those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that
was so far from reality. I knew for fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of Allahu Akbar (God is great) would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.
I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers; one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.
One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started walking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: "it is not your fault". We just stood there crying and holding each other's hands.
What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19-year- old only child, and still able to love me, the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.
The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil.
Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian "armed struggle." However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of God.
Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.
They blame suicide bombing on "desperation of occupation." Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel 's independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the "desperation" or "occupation," but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.
So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It's time to all stand up and support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.
Copyright © 2000-2004, All Rights Reserved
StandWithUs.com Israel Advocacy
I was generally right about most of the states in the Union.
The ones I got wrong were:
Hawaii (Kerry by 37,209)
Pennsylvania (Kerry by 121,458)
Minnesota (Kerry by 98,396)
New Jersey (Kerry by 211,826)
Wisconsin (Kerry by 11,813)
The popular vote: 51-48, I called 52-48.
All in all, not too bad.
I missed on the electoral vote: 274-252 Bush!
Not quite a landslide I'm afraid, but enough for no one to complain for another four years. Yeah!
Of course choosing my picks on which way the swing states will swing is WAY more important than studying to GRADUATE! I do not think that this election is going to be as close as people think. Popular vote will be 52% Bush, 48% Kerry.
As far as the individual swing states go, here they are:
Colorado - Bush
Florida - Bush
Iowa - Bush
Maine - Kerry
Michigan - Kerry (too bad)
Minnesota - Bush
Nevada - Bush
New Hampshire - Kerry
New Jersey - Bush (don't forget 9-11)
New Mexico - Bush
Ohio - Bush
Oregon - Kerry
Pennsylvania - Bush
West Virginia - Bush
Wisconsin - Bush
The Final Results of the Electoral College will be:
Bush 346 - Kerry 192
I believe that Bush could even afford to lose Ohio and Florida and still win the election. Those Democratic lawyers sitting around waiting to challenge the results are going to look pretty darn stupid. It's going to be a blow out. I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I'll stand by this and tomorrow night (or sometime after that) I'll either be writing a retraction or saying "I told you so!"
Happy Election Day!
Did I miss something? Three weeks before the election, and the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now looking for nuclear equipment that seems to have gone missing from Iraq. Time to turn up my hearing aid. The U.N. is looking for nuclear equipment from where? Iraq? Hadn't they already decided that Saddam was incapable of building Weapons of Mass Destruction? That the President "lied" to us in order to bring the country to war? How could something be missing if they were not there to begin with? Now stop and think: was President Dubya actually right about WMDs? Goodness, what has the world come to.
Not that long ago, actually only about a week ago, the news media treated all of America to the testimony of Charles Duelfer, the top United States arms inspector for Iraq, that he had found no evidence that Iraq had recently produced any WMDs. However, he did believe that "Saddam retained his notions of use of force and had experiences that demonstrated the utility of WMD." Good old Saddam. [msnbc.msn./id/6190720]
Now I'm confused. As of a week ago, the world was screaming about the illegality of the Iraq invasion, the U.N. is looking for nuclear equipment that went missing from Iraq, and the United States is being blamed for not securing that nuclear equipment when the war was officially over. There seems to be a disconnect here.
The equipment that has gone missing was dual-use machinery that could have been used for other purposes than just for creating nuclear weapons. According to IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky, "The kind of equipment we're talking about is the sort of thing that has a multitude of industrial applications. We were satisfied that it was not being used for a nuclear weapons program." [cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.nuclear] Really. Don't forget, Saddam Hussein is a man of his word, if he says he doesn't have nukes, he means it. Never mind that the U.S. found low-grade uranium when we liberated Iraq, that's not news worthy. [news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3736158.stm]
"In the wrong hands, it could be turned to use in a nuclear weapons program," Gwozdecky said. Remember, up until the time that the United States invaded, this equipment was in Saddam's hands. We could surely trust him to make the right decisions.
Where has this machinery gone? Iraqi Interior Minister advisor Sabah Kadhim has stated that that the looting was carried out by "neighboring countries". Can that be right? Friendly, "neighboring countries", like Iran and Syria, came into Iraq and walked off with nuclear equipment? Does that mean that they could have walked off with anything else? Like the WMDs themselves? Could this be why we haven't found them? [cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.nuclear]
So which is it? Did Saddam Hussein have the capability to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction or not? If Iraqi Minister Kadhim has said that "neighboring countries" looted Iraq of buildings worth of equipment, why should we be surprised that we are unable to find the WMDs that the entire world intelligence community believed was there to begin with? Is it possible that no "massive intelligence failure" took place? Say goodbye to those migrating WMDs.
Is it really true? Is there a connection between Michael Moore and the Hezbollah terrorist organization which is responsible for the deaths of many innocent Israelis and Americans?
According to The Guardian Weekly (6/17/04), "in the United Arab Emirates, the film is being offered the kind of support it doesn't need. According to Screen International, the UAE-based distributor Front Row Entertainment has been contacted by organisations related to Hezbollah in Lebanon with offers of help."
The interesting part of this story is not that Hezbollah has offered to help Moore distribute his anti-Bush film of half-truths, but that this help was not turned down. The movie industry publication Screen Daily also records this offer, "In terms of marketing the film, Front Row is getting a boost from organizations related to Hezbollah which have rung up from Lebanon to ask if there's anything they can do to support the film."
The story then quotes Front Row Managing director Gianluca Chacra: "We can't go against these organization as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria."
Goodness! Boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria! How terrible!
It is good to know that Michael Moore and those he chooses to distribute his films are more concerned about the money to be made in Lebanon (a pseudo-state, known for its drug growing) and the terrorist supporting state of Syria. Both known for their physical and vocal attacks on Israel. Capitalism at its worst.
At least we know that Michael Moore has his principles. Money over morality would be number one on his list.
The amazing thing about Moore's 9/11 film is that people are going to the theatres to actually spend money to see what they think is a documentary.
Which is funny in a sad sort of way. I always thought that documentary films were based in truth and fact. Moore's film is based in neither of those concepts. I'm not sure Moore would recognize those ideas if they bit him in the ankle.
In actuality, the fact that he won a film award in France, and the known terrorist group Hizbollah has given him money to support the distribution of the film should make everyone's eyebrows lift and wonder why Moore hasn't been arrested for being involved in a terrorist organization.
I suppose that Moore would say that he has freedom of speech. On this point he would be correct. Of my many objections to this film is that it is called a "documentary". I should think that there is a specific definition to this word, but I suppose that would be nit picking of me.
I suppose that I am not tolerant of people who make conscious efforts to destroy truth. I am certainly not tolerant of those who not only destroy truth, but make up lies and portray those lies and distortions as truth and reality.
Michael Moore is a disgrace as a person, as an American, as a film maker, and certainly as someone who proports to document reality.
I sincerely hope that people do not go see his movie and keep their hard earned money from filling an undeserving bank account.
Another Jewish family has been destroyed today. An eight month pregnant woman and her four daughters were murdered today on the road in Israel on their way to protest the Gaza withdrawl plan. These are true heroes. This is an example of what the plan will do. We cannot turn our eyes away. What will be our response?
Monday, April 19th was Holocaust Memorial Day. This is the day where we remember the 6 million Jews that were murdered by the Nazis, of which 1.5 million were children. This is the day we repeat the mantra, “Never Again”. Never again will we be hunted down and killed. Never again will we live in fear. Never again, never again.
The world too repeats the mantra “Never Again”. Never again will we appease dictators. Never again will we allow innocent millions to be murdered. Never again, never again.
“Never again” is a wonderful mantra. It ranks right up there with “we won’t negotiate with terrorists”. Of course we know that words mean nothing. Only action counts.
Adolf Hitler was elected into power in 1933, and began the persecution of German Jewry. In 1938, an international conference, made up of delegates from 32 countries (including the U.S. and Britain) was held in Evian, France to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees from Germany trying to escape. Somehow there was no solution that could be found and German Jews were left to suffer. The extermination of a third of the Jewish People began in earnest in 1941.
The United States knew about the Nazi plans as early as 1942, but chose to do nothing.
Germans living through the time claim that they did not know what was happening to the Jewish population of the country. No doubt. It’s hard to see what is happening when your eyes are closed.
So we return to “Never Again.” Looking at the international community, the same community that couldn’t find a place for those Jews in trouble only 60 years ago. This week the Arab League asked for a special meeting of the Security Council, in order to discuss Israel’s action over the last three weeks killing two Hamas leaders who were responsible for hundreds of innocent deaths. Of course, we would never see the Arab League asking for a meeting to discuss the lack of human rights, or help in tracking down terrorists in their own countries. Certainly not, since they are the ones funding terrorists in the first place. Except for the United States, every delegate from around the world condemned Israel. It is good to see the international community doing what it does best...cowering before terrorism.
Does this surprise anyone? The international community is good and ready to role over and die. Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam has called on the United States and Britain to begin negotiations with Osama bin Laden. What a brilliant thought, maybe we can convince a mass murderer that he really wants to be a Boy Scout when he grows up.
60 years ago, the British accomplished “peace in our time” with Herr Adolf Hitler by handing him the Sudetenland on a silver platter in order to avoid war. A wonderful idea which landed them in World War II. Appeasement is a fancy word for blackmail. I won’t shoot you if you give me what I want. Spain has already rolled over, is there anyone else who would like to join them?
“Never Again” is a waste of breath. The world has forgotten the realities of war. The world has forgotten that appeasement does not work. The world has forgotten that dictators and terrorists feed off weakness.
Holocaust Memorial Day should not be a day only spent in remembrance. It should stand as a lesson to every single person on how to confront evil. It must be wiped out without apology.
Just a thought to pass along from a good friend:
Why is it that we are now calling Orthodox Jews "fervently" Orthodox? It makes us look like we're over the top - a bit on the crazy side of things. Why is it that it's okay to call the Orthodox "fervently" Jewish but it would be terrible to call Conservative or Reform Jews "unfervently" Jewish? Why this one-sidedness?
Let’s play the “what if” game. What if Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, stayed there and didn’t bother anybody? What if Hitler decided that going to war with America was a bad idea and was perfectly happy being the new Polish dictator? What if the United States had said, “What a great idea, we don’t have to go to war in Europe and have our good men killed?” What if America closed its eyes and hoped that the mustache-wearing Adolf would just disappear? What if...
Keep dreaming. World War II didn’t happen that way. Hitler went on from Poland to walk through and conquer the rest of Europe, was within an arms length of destroying Great Britain, and went on to invade the Soviet Union. The question must be asked, who stopped Hitler? It was the United States of America.
If it were not for the United States’s involvement in the Second World War, the world today would look drastically different than it currently does. The Third Reich would replace todays European Union, and Her Royal Majesty’s citizens would be speaking German.
The United States could have stayed out of World War II, but didn’t. We saw a threat and believed that the threat needed to be stopped by all means necessary. This involvement and ultimate victory over evil cost the United States 292,000 men (not including the wounded), and 2,896.3 billion dollars (in 2002 money) equal to 130% of the United States’s annual GDP.
Approximately a total of 17.2 million Allied soldiers died stopping them, with the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain losing the most men in battle. In addition, there were also 27.3 million more civilian casualties. Was this a pretty war? No. Was it necessary to have so many die in the defense of freedom? Absolutely. We owe these Allied soldiers our liberties and freedom that we take for granted every day.
Let us look at the reconstruction of Europe after the war by the United States. The U.S. decided to put Europe on a solid economic footing so dictators like Hitler would not be able to take advantage of a bad situation and drag the world back into war. The United States looked at the big picture and invested even more money under the Marshall Plan into Europe in order to avoid a possible war in the future.
Turning to today’s War on Terror. We are faced with an enemy that is harder to identify than yesterday’s Nazi but yet has the same goal of world domination. Islamic terrorists have called for Muslims around the world to take up arms against Americans. These terrorists are unafraid to die in their campaign against us. What do we do? Do we play “what if”? What if terrorists hadn’t flown two planes into the World Trade Center? What if the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan didn’t exist? What if Saddam Hussein hadn’t supported terrorism around the world? Let’s close our eyes and hope that he disappears into thin air. Saddam’s only torturing his own people, why should we care? If the Trade Center collapsed and no one saw 3,000 people die...did they really die? We then can assume that the 200 Spaniards who died in the Madrid train attack aren’t dead either.
60 years ago our Allies did not recognize the Nazi threat until Hitler marched his troops through their front door. Today, history repeats itself. Once again our Allies do not realize the danger they are in. They too are on a hit list. They choose to close their eyes and hope that terrorism will go away. They are waiting to see terrorism on their front porch before they open their eyes and move to defend themselves. Again, the United States is at the forefront of the war.
This is a war that is costing lives; both military and civilian. This war will cost the U.S. and the world billions if not trillions of dollars. We won the war against the Nazis. Will we win the war against terrorism? I don’t believe so. When we see our soldiers being killed in Iraq, and civilians being murdered around the world, we lose our perspective. We assume that if we click our heels together and chant, “there’s no place like home”, terrorism will cease. Nonsense. Winning the war against the Nazis took four long years with millions dead, and billions spent. Billions more were spent reconstructing Europe. Americans once had patience and forethought. Today Americans only see their dead in front of them and nothing more. Do we expect to win this new world war on terrorism? We will only win if we open our eyes and stop playing “What If”.
This week the World is mourning a "spiritual leader". A great man that brought hope to millions of Arabs across the globe. A man who had posted a sign on the door of his mosque saying, "We greet martyrdom with a smile." Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was certainly a "spiritual leader" that all of us should take a moment to mourn for.
Ok, that moment is over. Sheikh Yassin was known for his establishment of the Hamas terrorist movement in 1987. The goal of this movement is the total destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and to put in its place an Islamic State. Not just in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, but the entire State. The symbol of Hamas is one with crossed swords in front of the Dome of the Rock with an outline of the whole of Israel above the mosque.
One of the basic tenants of Hamas is Jihad, holy war against the infidels. Unfortunately, they’ve been quite successful in this jihad of suicide bombers, and murderous attacks. Hamas has orchestrated 425 terrorist attacks, murdered 377 Israelis and wounded 2,076 more since September 2000. They have been responsible for the deaths of Americans as well. These deaths include the attack in the Hebrew University cafeteria in Jerusalem, killing 5 American students of July 2002. (Jerusalem Post "Israel uses Yassin’s words against him" 3/22/04 )
Jihad is a way of life. Quoting the Oral Tradition of Islam, the Hadith, the Hamas website quotes clearly, "I swear by the holder of Mohammed’s soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed,and then invade again and be killed."
Hamas is not above using children in their actions. Even Amnesty International has called on Arab terrorists organizations to stop using children in their attacks. Over the last two weeks, two boys, 14 and 11 years old were found with explosives. The 11 year old was not aware he was carrying a remote control bomb and was safely disarmed by Israeli soldiers. The 14 year old boy was given a vest full of explosives, 100 shekels, and most importantly, the promise of 72 virgins in heaven waiting for him. He too was safely disarmed. (Jerusalem Post "Amnesty to Palestinians: Denounce use of children" 3/25/04)
These are the ideals of Sheikh Yassin. The death and destruction of innocent men, women and children. Meanwhile, world leaders are crying over the death of a mass murderer. A man who murdered hundreds and wounded thousands. A man who no doubt was planning other attacks when Israel killed him.
But that does not seem to matter to the World. Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief stated that, "The action of today are bad news for the peace process." (Jerusalem Post "World blasts Yassin killing" 3/22/04) What a brilliant thinker we have here. Move him to the head of the class. Did Solana worry about the peace process when there were Jews being blown to bits? Does Solana consider Jewish deaths "bad news" or only is it bad news when terrorists are being killed?
Israel has made the world a safer place to live in. It’s too bad that nobody recognizes it.
While Wayne State students have been on spring break this past week, there has been quite a bit of action happening around the world. And since none of us want to be caught on Jay Leno’s Jaywalking segment looking like an idiot, let’s do a quick run through of last week’s events.
Terrorism is huge in the news this past week. Starting our review with the attack on the trains in Madrid, Spain, we see that terrorism works. During Thursday morning rush hour, ten bombs went off simultaneously (those clever terrorists) killing at least 190 people and wounding another 1,500. This attack took place just three days before the national elections in that country. Supposedly the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, terror organization aligned with al-Qaeda, carried out the attack because they were unhappy that Spain was an ally to the United States in the “war against terror.” Possibly because of the attack, the Party helping the U.S. lost the election, and the new party in Spain will be bringing their troops home from Iraq. So what have the terrorists learned? They’ve figured out that if you kill enough people, governments will cave into any demand asked for. This is equivilant to begging a bully not to hit us anymore. Wonderful.
And of course the biggest news over the last couple days was that Israel did the world a favor. Not that the world has realized it yet, because they haven’t. Israel killed Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the head of the Hamas terrorist organization. Hamas has been responsible for the murder of hundreds of civilians as well as thousands more who were wounded because of their attacks. Americans have been among those who have been murdered. Americans like us who attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem on an academic exchange program.
Funny enough, after the bombings in Spain, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin called for “the entire international community” to unite against terror, the entire international community certainly has united. (news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/3504046.stm) However, it was not against terror - but in support of it.
When Israel cut the head off the snake of Hamas, many world leaders except for the United States condemned the action. Javier Solana, foreign policy chief of the European Union, stated that, “These type[s] of action do not contribute to dialogue and peace in the region...” (Jerusalem Post “World Blasts Yassin Killing” jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1079929448131&p=1078027574121) Really? Yassin was a man who had dedicated his life to the destruction of the Jewish People. There was no talk of peace from Yassin - only suicide bombings. But yet, he is mourned by the World. When both Britain and Iran agree on an issue, there is something to wonder about.
Americans wonder if the government had information about earlier opportunities to kill Bin Laden prior to 9/11. If the government did have a chance to get rid of him and had saved those 3,000 lives but didn’t, they would be as responsible as Bin Laden. But America didn’t know. Israel had an opportunity to kill a man who had the blood of hundreds on his hands. Not to kill him would be irresponsible and only let Yassin continue in his planning and mass murder. Israel took that chance and is paying for it in world opinion.
What have we learned from this past week’s events? We have learned that terrorism works. Spain is a quick study. Israel is another. World reaction is telling. Words are cheap. Words such as, “Let us all unite against terrorism”. But when it comes to actions -- goodness, we must forbid anything that resembles self-defense against murderers.
In these days of corporate scandals and wrongdoing, it is always nice to see the bad guys taken down from their pedestals. Kenneth Lay of Enron, Scott Sullivan and Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom are just a few. Most recently, we have been hearing Martha Stewart’s name among the wrongdoers of the worst kind.
The government had originally charged her with stock fraud, for selling her stock of ImClone before it lost money. But this main charge was dropped because of a lack of evidence. Secondary charges against her included, obstruction of justice, false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
When looking at the main charge of stock fraud the secondary charges make sense. Of course anyone who is charged with stock fraud is going to do what they can to stay out of jail. However, when the primary charge is dropped, these secondary charges are ridiculous.
In truth the only thing that Martha Stewart did wrong was maintaining her innocence throughout the entire case against her. “I have done nothing wrong, I believe in the fairness of the judicial system and remain confident that I will ultimately prevail.” (U.S. News & World Report 3/15/04 “Not a Good Thing”) This is what the federal government calls an “obstruction of justice.” By sticking by her word that she did nothing wrong, the government went ahead and has spent 10 million dollars of our taxpayer money to make sure Stewart went to jail even though there was no case against her.
Business Weekly associate editor, Diane Brady commented that, “The Securities & Exchange Commission has a powerful arsenal....[but] using the criminal justice system to make the point -- or to deter others -- is overkill.” If she had done something wrong the SEC could have fined her or kept her from serving as a director of a public company. Why go to the criminal court system?
Is this an instance where a powerful woman gets taken down where powerful men do not? A N.Y. Post reporter commented, “Nothing infuriates a jury like a woman who refuses to cry, to cave, to kneel before them.” While no feminist myself, it might be something to think about.
Another point to consider is the damage that has been done to the American public. Very little. Enron changed their books to show that they were making more money than they were in reality. Kenneth Lay and the bigwigs of Enron even looted their own company. Billions of dollars were lost by shareholders of that company. And hundreds of jobs along with it. Quoted in Business Week, Thomas Dewey, a securities litigator said, “It is hard to see what harm has been visited on people by her actions.”
The case against Martha Stewart from beginning to end was an opportunity by the Federal Government to make an example of someone rich and famous. There is nothing more to it. Unfortunately, the American public is cheering. So much for justice.
It has finally been said. Journalism is dead. Supposedly journalists are there to help us regular citizens understand and make better sense of the world around us. And they have failed.
The old adage, “if it bleeds, it leads” still rings true. Stories do not actually have to be news worthy to lead the program, instead it just needs to be able to hold the audiences attention. And the sorry part of this is that we as consumers of television viewing see this as normal and acceptable. We have become complacent.
Real fact finding journalism started back in the Progressive Era when many issues facing the public were not being addressed by those in charge. Over time we’ve moved away from this noble duty. We now have people who call themselves “journalists” and pander to the lowest common denominator.
During this election year, instead of actually giving the American citizens of the country a real picture of all the candidates, the media has chosen our Democratic nominee months before the actual Democratic convention. Senator John Kerry has been crowned king by journalists from almost all the news outlets.
What about Senator John Edwards? He is still running for the nomination. Why haven’t we heard anything about him over the last month? Because the media has chosen Kerry and are not interested in any other candidate. As a result, the American public has lost their chance to even ponder another option for the Democratic nomination. But don’t worry, journalists and the news media know best.
Okay, so if the news media know best, then perhaps they’ve given us some background information on Senator Kerry? Of course not. The fact that Kerry has been a senator for the last 20 years and no journalist has taken a look at his voting record is obscene. One might think that it would be important and possible essential to analyze a potential presidential candidates past record. But of course, journalists and the news media know best.
So the fact that Senator Kerry voted numerous times to cut funding to national intelligence is no big deal. In 1994 and1995 Kerry proposed bills cutting $2.5 billion from intelligence over the following five years. Both bills never made it to the floor for a vote. (S.1826,Introduced 2/3/94), S.1290, Introduced 9/29/95) That same year Kerry also voted to cut FBI funding by $80 million. (H.R. 2076, CQ Vote #480, 9/29/95.) That vote passed.
The funny part about Kerry attempting to cut intelligence funding is that after 9/11 he spoke about the weaknesses in American intelligence. “And the tragedy is, at the moment, that the single most important weapon of the United States of America is intelligence...And we are weakest, frankly, in that particular area. So it’s going to take us time to be able to build up here to do this properly.” (CBS Face the Nation 9/23/01)
While one might applaud the media for following the story about George W. Bush’s stint in the National Guard during Vietnam, the media does not bother to follow other stories that may hurt their own interests. Of course, The Washington Times confirmed Bush’s version of the story, but never mind that (The Washington Times 2/11/04 washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20040211-121217-6595r). Since the media has crowned Kerry as the Democratic nominee, they have not bothered to follow a story that may interest many voters, namely an intern problem.
General Wesley Clark broke to the press that “Kerry will implode over an intern issue...” How has this not made the evening news? European newspapers have it on their front page. Even according to Craig Crawford of the Congressional Quarterly, this allegation of an affair was the reason why in 2000 Al Gore did not choose John Kerry as a running mate. (worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?Article_ID=37102) Why has the American public not heard about this? Simply because the media does not want to admit that they are wrong about Kerry. According to journalists, you would think that Kerry will the savior of the United States in 2004, against the devil incarnate Bush.
Journalists and the media are setting the agenda of the American people. We will only know what’s told to us, packaged nicely in a 30 second blurb on the evening news. And of course, don’t worry, the media knows best.
I don’t have any little relatives to tell bedtime stories to, but there is a bedtime story that I would tell them that has become a nightmare.
Shira A. Drissman
Feb. 3, 2004
This story starts a long, long time ago, in a far away country. Imagine this country as a beautiful place, somewhere you would spend your vacation. A place full of palm trees, and beaches, and of course a never-ending sea, stretching as far as the eye can see.
The natives were a friendly bunch of people. They had everyday sort of jobs. Some were teachers, doctors, carpenters, bricklayers, business owners and some were religious leaders. These natives were happy being natives, living in their land, living their everyday lives.
Then one day, the happy natives found themselves under attack by a country from beyond the sea. The next thing the natives knew was that their holy temple which they worshipped at was destroyed and burned to the ground. Along with the temple, a million of their fellow tribesmen were massacred with their blood flowing knee high in the streets. It was a sorry time for the natives.
The natives found themselves taken to far-away places. Places they had never imagined existed. They served as slaves across the world. One would have thought that over time the pain of being separated from their land would have dulled and become non-existant. But this was not to be. The pain grew stronger in every generation. The unhappy tribe even created a prayer book to pray from three times a day to remember their special land and temple.
At first, the tribespeople were segregated and oppressed. There were even wholesale massacres. Millions of these natives would be murdered and no one would stop the slaughter. But the natives persevered, and were thankful to their god. Over the many years, the natives became members of the societies they lived in across the world, but never fully trusted. People would do business with them with a smiling face, but at home spoke about how they were cheated.
The natives didn’t like this situation. They just wanted to be accepted and be left alone. They realized that it was time to go home. So many of them put their possessions in their bags and bought a boat ticket to their promised land. They left with the visions they last saw; the palm trees, the beaches, and the never ending sea.
Finally after months, and even years of traveling, they landed and were quite disappointed. There was nothing left. No grass, no trees, no flowers, nothing there to remind them of what they had left behind. They traveled for days looking for anything they might recognize. After days and days of traveling northward, the natives saw something in the distance. Could it be? They moved faster now. Yes, it was some of their fellow tribesmen. After speaking to their kindred spirits, the natives were told that there were many more of them who were able to survive the horrible times of the past.
The natives were excited. They were home. They decided to rebuild better than before. To rebuild so that they wouldn’t have to wander the world ever again. To trust themselves and not have to depend on the world’s mercy. At first these natives depended only themselves for the building projects. However after a while, a new tribe from across the mountain range on the east came over and began helping them. This new tribe asked nothing in return, they were happy to have jobs in this new land.
The natives were happy with their progress. They now had homes, and even a new government. They even offered this new tribe citizenship in their new government. The new tribe accepted such a generous offer since they had only been there to help so recently.
But soon, something strange happened. This new tribe from across the eastern mountain range began to spread lies. To the natives surprise the new tribe started telling their brothers and cousins that the natives land was their own!
The scariest part of the story was that the brothers and cousins believed the new tribes story. The natives didn’t know what to do. The brothers and cousins started threatening the natives. “It’s time for you to move out!” they said.
This nightmare story has no ending. But is this really just a “story”? The natives are the Jews and the new tribe are the Arabs. We have yet to see a happy ending to this story and we won’t until the lies stop.
It is time to applaud the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia on taking its first steps toward the 21st Century. Since the middle of October, they hosted both an economic forum - where women were allowed to attend, and its first human rights conference. But don’t get too excited yet.
Freedom in general and freedom of speech and religion in particular are not standards of society in Saudi Arabia. In fact, there are no protections for any minority religious group in that country. According to the U.S. State Department, “Islam is the official religion, and all citizens must be Muslim.” Public practice of other religions are prohibited. (www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/14012.htm) Since the Saudi family is Sunni Wahhabi, it practices and requires its citizens to practice a strict sect of Islam, where even Shi’a Muslims are discriminated against, never mind other religions.
Somehow Saudi Arabia managed to conduct its first human rights conference in the capital city of Riyadh. However, during the conference, there was a peaceful protest of several hundred people calling for political reforms in the country. Even women were part of the protest, which is impressive since they are not even allowed to drive. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3191996.stm) The demonstration was quickly broken up since it is against the law to protest against the government. 83 of those protesters were arrested and turned over to the Sharia (Islamic law). (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3306477.stm) The reaction of the Saudi government was great. “What happened was just a limited gathering...this won’t happen again.” So much for freedom of expression, there isn’t any. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3194500.stm)
On a positive note, it’s a good day for those detained by the Saudi government. There’s is a brand new criminal code in place. Torture isn’t allowed any more and they’re even permitted to have a lawyer during questioning and trial. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3191996.stm). They’re moving right along into the 21st Century. Alright, so they haven’t had elections since the beginning of the country in 1932, but I suppose that progress moves slowly.
During the economic forum hosted last week in Saudi Arabia women were allowed to attend. They were allowed to participate and actually speak to the group. Hang onto your seats. Lubna al-Olayan, a leading businesswoman, spoke without wearing a head scarf. Women were even allowed to mix and discuss business with the men in attendance. But surprise, the religious establishment was very unhappy. The highest religious authority of the land, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh commented, “I severely condemn this matter and warn of grave consequences...What is even more painful is that such outrageous behaviour should have happened in Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy shrines (Mecca and Medina).” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3415757.stm)
Now the question that all of us need to ask ourselves is why we care about Saudi Arabia. Most of us would answer that we don’t. Let them be a dictatorship, let them treat religious minorities as criminals, let them crush demonstrations, let them treat women as second class citizens, that’s fine with me. The most important part of not caring is that they live far away from us. But this is where we are wrong. We need to start caring about the Saudis because they are exporting their mentality across the world.
According to the Washington Times, The Saudis have sent and funded Wahhabi religious clerics across the world to spread the word of Wahhabi Islam to build mosques and medrassas (Koranic studies exclusively) This word includes anti-American and Western ideals. These schools are subsidized by the Saudis and some schools even offer free room, board, and food. Most of the 2000 mosques in the United States were started by Wahhabi Muslims. (http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030715-094951-6104r.htm) A Wahhabi expert explained that Wahhabism is a “death cult; it is supremacist in that it puts Islam ahead of all other religions. It stands for the proposition that Muslims are the natural rulers over all other religious communities.” (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/11/24/170535.shtml)
By exporting this attitude across the world; to Southeast Asia, to Europe and the United States, Saudi Arabia has undermined what Western civilization has strived and fought for over the last two hundred years. They are undermining the tolerance and civility that we have worked so hard to have toward our fellow man. They need to grow up and join us in the 21st Century.
I’m back from Iowa! You know, that state just west of Illinois (in which Chicago is located). I had an opportunity to go to the Democratic Caucus. While not a Democrat, I jumped at the opportunity to go. This was a chance to see the process first hand, and I’m glad I went.
I had a great time. I went with a van load of people, two of whom I knew beforehand; my brother and a friend of mine from the Political Science Department. The rest of my fellow travelers I met on the way. Originally my group was meant to go to Iowa City, but instead we ended up in Dubuque. Take a look at a map and see if you can find it.
This was a wonderful experience. I was there volunteering and campaigning for John Edwards the United States Senator from North Carolina. We were put to work talking to local people in the city and outlying areas. We tried to make sure that they were coming to the caucus in their precinct to support John Edwards.
What is a caucus? To be honest, I had no idea until I was in Iowa and found out what this was all about. Caucuses are held all over the many different precincts of Iowa. This meant was that on this past Monday night Iowans would show up to a YMCA in their area, or a school gym, or the local union building, which is where I was. There they would find tables located in the different corners of the room with signs indicating which candidate was positioned there. If you knew who you wanted to support, you’d sit yourself in that corner. If you did not know, you would continue to sit in your chair in the middle of the room. The Chairman running the caucus gave a certain amount of time for all the different groups representing the candidates to try and convince the undecideds in the middle of the room to come to their candidate’s corner. This was the most interesting part of the caucus. These people were actually discussing ideas and policies. They weren’t throwing slogans around without thinking. The undecideds wanted to know what the candidates would do for them before putting themselves in a particular corner.
This was just the beginning. If your group didn’t have at least 15% of the people at the caucus, you had to disband and find another candidate to support. This gave the viable groups a chance to convince the disbanded to join them. Delegates were given to viable groups according to how many people were standing by their candidates sign. Those delegates will go onto a County Convention as well as a State Convention.
Finally, by the end of the process, and the exciting insanity that went along with it, everyone in the room had found a candidate to support. Dick Gephardt and Dennis Kucinich’s groups were not viable and had to find another candidate. In my precinct, many of the Gephardt group came to support John Edwards, and many Kucinich people went and supported John Kerry.
The results of the caucus were very interesting. Senator John Kerry came in first, and Senator John Edwards came in a close second. I had been watching the news over the weekend, and all the political commentators had been saying that the candidates with the most money and best organization almost always won. That would have meant that Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean were shoo-ins. It didn’t happen that way.
The candidates personal style seems to have won or lost the race for them. Dean with his “speak first, apologize later” style really turned people off. Also the fact that he was the first to run negative advertisements against his opponents didn’t do him any good. Dean had plenty of paid volunteers all over Dubuque. But, while he was once on top in the Iowa race, the local people were sick of his supporters always being in their faces.
One also would have thought that the Union support behind Gephardt would have propelled him to victory. But that was not the case. Many people had thought that his time had come and gone, that he had been in Washington too long and had lost as a candidate for president back in 1988. It didn’t seem that he had the power to win against George W. Bush if he got the Democratic nomination. He dropped out of the Presidential race this past Tuesday.
So now after the Iowa caucuses are over, it seems that the political talking heads were wrong. It didn’t come down to the money or the huge organizations. In the end it came down to personality, qualifications and the ability to win against President Bush. Both Kerry and Edwards have great qualifications. Edwards has real personality and has not supported any attack advertisements, unlike Kerry. This will be a fun race to follow.
Iowa was great. The people were the friendliest I’ve ever met, and since we overlooked the Mississippi River, it was also a really pretty spot to be. Who would’ve thought that Dubuque, Iowa would be the place to hang out for the weekend?
A poor man was going door to door asking for money. He stopped at the first house on the block and knocked. The door opened and a man looked out at his visitor. The poor man looked down at his shoes and asked for a few dollars. The homeowner reached into his pocket and handed the man on the porch a twenty dollar bill then closed the door.
The poor man walked over to the next house and knocked on the door. The door opened and before he knew it, the poor man was sitting on the living room couch. This homeowner asked him about his life and his family and the two men found themselves in a conversation. Finally after an hour, the homeowner walked the man to the door and handed him two dollars.
The question must be asked: Which homeowner is the better person? The answer is the first one. Life comes down to action. Talk is cheap.
The issue of race was raised this past week during the Brown and Black Forum, the last debate before the Iowa Democratic caucus. Candidate Al Sharpton criticized Howard Dean for not having any Black or Hispanic people in his cabinet while being a six-term governor of Vermont. Sharpton said to Dean, “It seems that you discovered blacks and browns during this campaign...if you want to lecture people on race, you want to have the background and track record in order to do that.” (newsmax.com/cgi-bin/printer_friendly.pl?page=http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/1/12/95659.shtml)
Al Sharpton has hit the nail on the head. In order for someone to have credibility in a subject, they have to have a good track record. The same holds for political parties. If they are going to have credibility, there needs to have been action in the past. We need to follow the two major political parties historically to see what action they have taken to move civil rights forward.
Beginning way back with the first Republican president Abraham Lincoln, we know that while the Civil War was not initially fought to free the slaves, freeing the slaves became the rallying cry for the North. After the War, Reconstruction of the South became a new battleground. This meant that former slaves needed to be integrated into society, and the former Confederacy needed to be integrated back into the Union - not an easy process.
The Republican Party became the party for the freed slaves. The Republican Congress of the time passed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitutions, declaring that Blacks were now a free people and official citizens of the United States whose right to “vote shall not be denied or abridged...on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (15th Amendment).”
The problems enforcing these new Amendments came from the Democrats. Violence was rampant in the South, and the federal government was unable to stop it. Once the Democrats took a solid hold on the South, it was all over for Black equality. (www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/protest_reform/civil_rights_reconstruction_print.html)
Let’s skip ahead. We see from the voting records that since 1933 Republicans have had a more positive record on Civil Rights than the Democrats. “In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.” (www.congresslink.org/civil/essay.html and www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1982/3/82.03.04.x.html)
Moving into the 1960s. Democratic President John Kennedy only became interested in civil rights after realizing the country was behind the idea of equality, and not before. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was only passed with the help of the Republicans. House Republicans voted for this Act 138 to 34. Democrats supported it 152-96. Republicans were in favor of this bill in a higher proportion than the Democrats. (newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/12/13/194350.shtml)
According to Jon Kyl, an Arizona senator, quoting a former New York Times columnist, the Republican Nixon administration had “accomplished more in 1970 to desegregate Southern school systems than had been done in the 16 previous years, or probably since.” In addition, the Reagan administration was supportive and pushed for different ways to attract business to the inner cities. (http://truthnews.com/world/2003010033.htm).
Our current President has moved along the same lines. President Bush’s cabinet is the face of America. He has Black, as well as Japanese, Chinese and Arab Cabinet members. In fact, the face that the United States shows to the World is Black. Secretary of State General Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
The point here is simple. When deciding who to vote for this November don’t vote blindly. Look into each candidate and the party they represent. Remember, just because they talk the talk doesn’t mean anything. We know that talk is cheap.
Brilliant insight! A democracy run by the People? You must be joking...
In Tel Aviv, Israel today, there was a massive demonstration attended by 100,000 people protesting against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's idea of unilaterally leaving Judea/Samaria (aka the West Bank).
Sharon: If the Arabs cannot control their terrorists, we will give them their own country. Wow, idiocy and insanity bound up in one person. Did I miss the logic somewhere?
Back to the demonstration of 100,000 people. Mind you -- there are only 6 million people in the entire country of Israel. One hundred thousand is not a minor group of people that can be or should be ignored.
But then again, let us not underestimate the Prime Minister. The Jerusalem Post reported on Sharon:
"PM Ariel Sharon commenting on the attendance of cabinet members in what is essentially a protest against government policy, said "Israel is a democracy, and decisions are made not by protesters [but] by the government.""
Whoa! We've got brilliance. I think he needs a basic government class.
Sharon: A democracy isn't run by the people! What could they be possibly be thinking? A democracy is run by the government! A democracy hasn't anything to do with the People...no, no, no. Protesting is totally irrelevant to this system of government. We don't need to respond to the demands of the People... What kind of government do you think we're running here? We're going to commit national suicide whether you like it or not...
Note to G-d: Anytime you want to send Moshiach would be great...Thanks.
Today I found out about the death of Dr. Otto Feinstein who passed away last week on Tuesday, December 30th. He was an amazing person who I had the honor and privilege to meet and work for over the last year and a half at Wayne State University. I wish his family my condolences and that they be comforted among the mourners of Zion. I will miss him.