30 July 2012

Thank You Bob Costas, the Italian Olympic Team and EasyJet

It is important to show gratitude to those who publicly do the right thing. While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not take a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies to remember the Israeli 11 that were murdered 40 years ago during the 1972 Munich Olympics, there were a few who did take the time to publicly remember them:

Bob Costas, of NBC, when the Israeli delegation marched during the opening ceremonies, explained that Israel had asked the IOC for a moment of silence and was refused, and the IOC instead had a private moment with about 100 attending. Costas disagreed with that decision and said that the place to take that moment of silence was in front of the world. He was then silent until he went to commercial.

The Italian Olympic Team also deserves our public thanks.
The Italian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games made a noble gesture Sunday and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago... 
About 30 Italians were present at the ceremony, including Italy's Minister of Sport, the heads of the Italian Committee and athletes.

And kudos to an EasyJet pilot flying from England to Israel.
"The pilot came on the intercom and informed the passengers that the crew will be observing a minute of silence as they fly over Munich and he invited the passengers to join them in remembering the Israeli sportsmen who were murdered there at the Olympic Games 40 years ago," according to the report.
While there are those who choose to go the "easy" route to placate and appease those who "dislike" Jews - we must remember and publicly thank those who deliberately go out of their way to do the right thing and stand by us. I'm sure there were many others around the world who took a quiet moment of silence in honor of those Jews. Thank you to all who did. Thank you to those who do the right thing.

Please Join our "Text Study" of the Declaration of Independence

I was inspired last week watching an interview by Piers Morgan with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. It was an interesting interview - Morgan asking questions completely from an ignorant standpoint - which can be a good thing - but one of his last questions was the one that got me thinking. To paraphrase: How are the Founders any smarter than the legislators that we have sitting in Congress today? Why should we take their ideas any more seriously than we take anyone else's?

Justice Scalia answered better than I could have - I almost fell off my chair when I heard the question. First, I believe, he said that no one today has the capability to wrote what the Founding Fathers wrote, and that if you read the Federalist Papers you could understand that. And that there were certain times in history where genius strikes, and the late 1770s-1780s was a time that it struck.

That got me thinking. I had a Constitutional law teacher some years ago who had suggested that we read one of the Federalist Papers each night since they are quite short. I should have listened to her.

So I propose here a "text study" of sorts. I hope that everyone here will participate. I want to start with the Declaration of Independence and then move on to the Federalist Papers.  I would like to spend about a week on each text. I am including a link to the Declaration of Independence here. The idea is to start to fully understand what our country - through the founding documents - is all about. I hope that we can do that together. Please leave your comments and questions below.

26 July 2012

A Moment of Silence for Jews? You Must be Joking

It's now 40 years since the 1972 Olympics. 40 years since the Munich massacre funded by now-Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. 40 years since the Games amazingly continued after 11 of the Israeli delegation were murdered.

Two widows of the murdered athletes have requested from the Olympic committee for a moment of silence during the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday night.  Their request for a public moment has been rejected.

In contrast to the Munich massacre being broadcast around the world, this week the Olympic committee held a small, private ceremony to remember the Israeli athletes. I assume not to offend anyone, especially not the Muslims that have come to the Olympics to be part of a peaceful, worldwide celebration of mutual respect and competition. And certainly not to offend the "Palestinian" delegation, whose murderous president has yet to be brought to brought to justice.

Even better was the letter by the Palestinian Olympic Committee to the International Olympic Committee:
Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism.
Why should we be surprised by the "Palestinian" or Olympic reaction to the request for a moment of silence? The "Palestinians" continue to advocate violence against Jews, naming roads and parks after so-called martyrs. President/murderer Mahmoud Abbas denies the Holocaust and the Jewish history in the Land of Israel.

While we know the "Palestinians" are calling for the murder of Jews, we always seem to hold out hope for the international community for some reason. We hope that the Olympic Games and the high standards of 'brotherhood and community' ring true. But why do we bother? The "Palestinians" were first allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1996, only 24 years after the massacre. Jewish blood is cheap. Why not let them compete alongside the same people that were murdered? Sure, why not.

Olympic Silence by Shraga Simmons (excellent article)
Widows of Israeli Olympians killed in 1972 call for a silent Olympic ceremony protest
Where's the Coverage? PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Role in the Munich Massacre

24 July 2012

Breaking News: Murder is Illegal

I have a sad, and what seems to be a little known fact that I want to share with all of you. Criminals don't care about laws - that's why they are known as "criminals" and not "law-abiding" citizens. Shocking, I know.

Here's another shocker. Murder is already illegal in all 50 states of the union. Amazing. Carrying a gun into the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre was also illegal, but surprisingly enough this did not stop James Holmes from breaking both laws - the one against murder as well as the one against carrying a gun into a movie theatre.

We were all horrified to hear of the massacre by this lunatic, but already this action has been used as another example of why guns are bad and why we need more laws against them. So many out there, conservatives as well as liberals, are saying the stupidest things proving once again that you don't need to know anything about a subject in order to have an opinion.

'Ban assault weapons' seems to be a favorite phrase. Sure, can anyone tell me what the definition of an 'assault' weapon is? Is it defined by how scary it looks? Defined by what material it's made out of?

Let me clear up a misconception. There is no difference between a so-called "assault" weapon and any other gun in the way that they function.  They are all semi-automatics, which means that when the trigger is pulled - one bullet comes out. That's it. Fully automatic guns, meaning that as long as the trigger is pulled the bullets continue to come out, have been illegal to own in the United States for almost 100 years without express permission of the government. Let me repeat, they have been illegal to own for a long time.

An assault weapon ban is stupid simply because it's done based on how "scary" the gun looks, not on how it actually operates.

The argument that a potential gun owner should have to pass a test proving that they know how to use a gun safely is also quite ignorant. Don't drivers also have to pass road safety tests? Does that guarantee that there are no drunk drivers or speed demons on the road? That there will be no car accidents or vehicular homicides occurring? Of course not.

All that we know about the movie theatre massacre is that there were no previous indicators pointing to Holmes plans that evening. There was no way to stop him - the laws on the books were obviously not deterrents, only another person with a gun would have been able to - but unfortunately, as we started with, only "law-abiding" citizens care about laws. and wouldn't have been armed since the law forbade it. Since Holmes is a "criminal" no law stopped him.

Let us stop with the punditry and the posturing - especially from those who have never held or shot a gun in their life - and mourn for those who lost their lives last week and pray for those who were injured. Taking advantage of such a horrible situation is unnecessary - humanity already took a hit last week, let's take the time to rebuild and stand by each other in this time of need.

The Media Botches Aurora - by Robert VerBruggen

The Colorado Shooting and the Media - by Thomas Sowell

P.S. Blaming that pro-lobby also seems to be a good idea. That big, bad, all-powerful, gun lobby (aka the National Rifle Association) is made of individuals, people like me, who care about their gun rights. I don't have the time or ability to go to Washington DC and talk to my congressman - I have other things to do. Therefore, like what happens in every other lobby, I make my donation to the NRA and let them do the talking for me. Welcome to democracy at work.

18 July 2012

President Obama Reveals his True Anti-Business Colors

A response to President Obama by a friend and business owner, Michael Zwick:

Mr. President- Your comments today confirm something that many Americans know. You simply don’t know much about the role that business owners and entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and, by extension, the economic welfare of this great nation. 

I am an entrepreneur and owner of a company. My company is not big. Including me and my two partners, we have fluctuated in size over the past few years between 14 and 21 people. In other words, my company alone has a negligible effect on the employment numbers. In its own small way though, it has been successful. We have been in business for over eleven years, provided numerous people with the opportunity of employment and conferred on society a net benefit. In other words, I am just one person but I am one of millions who have worked hard and taken risks in creating something bigger than ourselves.
Speaking for myself, I do not deny that I have benefitted from others--my family, teachers and even people I have never met or whose names I will never know. At the same time though, your argument that my partners and I didn’t build our business or “make it happen” is downright false and insulting.

My company started from nothing—no clients, no mentoring, no handouts and no clear picture of where it would go. My partners and I invested our time and money, including the opportunity cost of steady employment. Along the way, we have had our ups and downs. During the down times, we have always made sure to pay our bills and make payroll, even if it meant we and our families came last. We have taken risks along the way, some of which worked in our favor and some of which didn’t.

During these eleven plus years, we have not only employed our current and past employees. We have purchased so many goods and services—payroll administration, legal services, insurance policies, bonds, office supplies, airline tickets, taxi rides, IT support, computers, printers, copiers, telephones, etc., etc., etc. Each and every one of the vendors from whom we purchased those goods and services used the money we paid them to employ people and purchase goods and services from other vendors. In other words, our company not only directly employs people and provides a valuable service to our clients but we also create economic activity and growth among other businesses.

Yes, I pursued my entrepreneurial visions with a selfish motive. I wanted to provide a good life for me and my family. I will not apologize for that. Neither do I seek some special recognition or award from you. I say all this to educate you on how the real world works. While pursuing my own dreams, I have created jobs and growth for others. The more that government impinges on that pursuit, the less I have to contribute to the marketplace. I am sure that you believe that government is the better arbiter than the marketplace of where my money should go. If that is what you believe, just say so. Ask your fellow Americans who is better equipped to decide how to spend their hard earned dollars, themselves or some centralized bureaucracy.

Obama Against the Self-Made Man by Rich Lowry

09 July 2012

Was Yasser Arafat Murdered? Who Cares.

The news world is all abuzz with the possibility that "Palestinian" leader Yasser Arafat was murdered.

The big story was broken by the most "trustworthy" of sources... al-Jazeera, a news network sometimes known for its terrorist ties.

Al-Jazeera's investigation into Arafat's death has revealed that his clothing has traces of the radioactive material polonium-210, suggesting that radioactive poisoning led to his death. Now the questions are flying... how could this happen? Who could be responsible for his death?

I have my own questions.

1. Why did al-Jazeera decide now, eight years after Arafat's death, to test his clothing?

2. If Arafat was truly murdered - who really cares? Aren't terrorists supposed to be targeted and killed?

Yasser Arafat created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. Three years before the Israeli "occupation" of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. If the PLO was formed three years in advance of the occupation - where was this 'Palestine' that he was hoping to liberate?

That would obviously be the State of Israel - Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem (the western half), Be'er Sheba included. We can see the map (above) of Israel included in the PLO emblem, not just the "occupied" parts, answering our question. Of course, Jordan, the eastern half of Palestine under the British Mandate was ignored. Only the Jewish presence in the Land needed to be murdered and expelled.

Yasser Arafat was a murderer of Americans as well as Israelis. Unarmed men, women and children were targets of this "liberation" movement. School buses were deemed legitimate targets. Olympics athletes as well.

In later years, Arafat supposedly became a man of "peace" - but one who spoke of war in Arabic to his brothers, and of peace to the Western media.

Yasser Arafat was a murderer, plain and simple, of hundreds of innocents. Whether or not he was targeted doesn't much matter. The only question that matters now is why he wasn't killed sooner.