Sunday, November 30, 2008
Like Hamas in America with the Holy Land foundation, funds are raised in British mosques for shadowy organisations In Mosques where hatred of the west is openly preached and tolerated as a right of free speech, It should not surprise anyone that money is also openly collected for terror.
Contempt for the majority in countries to which Muslims immigrate has fueled violent crime that is rationalised by Muslim clergy. In Australia, after a series of gang rapes of Australian women by Lebanese immigrants, The Australian reports as follows.
“In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.
While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”.
“But the problem, but the problem all began with who?” he asked.
The leader of the 2000 rapes in Sydney’s southwest, Bilal Skaf, a Muslim, was initially sentenced to 55 years’ jail, but later had the sentence reduced on appeal.
In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?”
The overwhelming majority of anti-Jewish attacks in France are perpetrated by Arab immigrants. The crime wave they have brought with them of course affects all French people. The sensitive issues of illegal immigration, crime and polygamy which fuels an already high Arab birth rate are considered untouchable by mainstreampolitical parties, all of whom screech to a halt at the first cry of “racism”. Who benefits? The right wing political parties.
In Belgium, the Vlaams Belang is accused by the Belgian Social Democrats and others of Nazi leanings. even Jews who are being attacked today in the streets of Antwerp are increasingly supporting the Vlaams Belang, which is the only party to describe the reality on the street as seen by common people.
Islamic terrorism is far more virulent than communist subversion ever was. The attack in Mumbai was funded from London. Seven out of the ten identified terrorists had British passports. It is entirely legitimate to expect immigrants to respect the right of the majority to practice their faith and abide by the host nation’s laws. The west’s tolerance for “multiculturalism” has spawned a contempt that has now proven lethal.
Here is what must be done in Britain and America.
1) Follow the money trail to the terrorists and shut it off.
2) Keep suspected terrorists, including preachers who advocate violence under surveillance.
3) Deport violent criminals whether they are politically or monetarily motivated
4) Ban Polygamists from immigrating, and deport those who are here. Bigamy is a crime. Enforce the law.
5) Make sure that those who follow the law and function as lawful citizens are protected in their free exercise of faith.
Militant Islam has waged war on the west. It is time to stop pretending otherwise. The war was not declared by the west. But we can not walk away from it
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Columbia’s President, Fidel Castro wannabe Hugo Chavez has been spanked at the polls by his own people in local elections across Venezuela. According to the Wall Street Journal,
“Mr. Chávez suffered an electoral setback Sunday. Chávez opponents won control of five states and the Caracas district, up from two states in previous elections, putting more than half the population under opposition rule”It is easy to look at a colourful figure like Hugo Chavez and forget that he has a country no run with a multitude of problems. Seeing Hugo Chavez face
a domestic electorate and viewing him through their eyes is critical in gaining an understanding his behavior on the international stage
In looking at the world stage, I assign labels to “good guys” and “bad guys”. People abroad don’t always see things my way. I once took a taxi ride with a man from Soviet Georgia who was Jewish. He had gone straight from Georgia to the US. He had glowing things to say about Stalin, how good he was for the economy and how great he made the USSR. I was in shock to hear his take on Stalin until I found out that Stalin treated his native Republic and its Jews completely differently from how he treated people from other Republics in the USSR. I later found out that my taxi driver was not an oddity at all.
My next shock was being jolted from my case of Gorbophilia (uncritical admiration of Mikhail Gorbatchev) by Soviet emigres who blasted him for destroying the Soviet Union. When I heard how people’s savings and pensions were rendered worthless by inflation and how ethnic and social unrest was fracturing Soviet society, In viewing the economic fallout of communism’s fall, it became far easier to understand the opinions of Gorbatchev’s critics.
I find that my understanding of countries that I read about is immeasurably deepened by moments when I am caught between hotly held and diametrically opposed opinions. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal provided me with such a moment by showing me a side of Hugo Chavez with which I was unfamiliar.
I had always thought that Chavez aspired to make Venezuela a regional superpower with himself as its demagogic centerpiece. It seemed like he wanted to fill the shoes of Fidel Castro without turning his country into the vassal state that Cuba became.
The Wall Street Journal article describes Hugo Chavez as not only admiring and assisting FARC rebels in neighbouring Columbia but actually surrendering Venezuelan soveriegnty to the neighbouring guerilla group.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “This sweltering market town on Venezuela’s southwestern frontier has its own mayor, council and police force. It also has a parallel government of sorts — a group of Communist guerrillas from the neighboring country of Colombia.
Earlier this year, a squad from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, took over the Doña Pancha bar in this town 70 miles from the border with Colombia. The uniformed guerrillas cut the music and told customers they were in the area to support the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and settle local disputes, according to a local priest.
Now, the priest says, the foreign fighters have been seen setting up impromptu road checks, meting out justice to petty thieves and extorting businessmen.”
It is clear that ‘proletarian internationalism has taken on a totally new meaning in the conceptual universe of Hugo Chavez who has repeatedly met and corresponded with FARC rebels from neighbouring Colombia. This has been proven in numerous e-mails captured from a high ranking FARC rebel Raul Reyes, who was killed by Columbian troops in a raid on his rebel camp in Ecuador.. The Wall Street Journal
summarises some of the intercepted e- mails as follows.
In the Jan. 18 email, a FARC secretariat member writes to the full body and mentions some of the issues to be taken up at a proposed meeting with President Chavez. Among the issues: an alliance against the U.S., keeping FARC units in Venezuela, such as the 10th and 45th fronts, which are kidnapping and extorting ranchers in Venezuela under control, and pushing Mr. Chavez for a $250 million loan.In the Nov. 12 email, Ivan Marquez, the FARC’s representative in Venezuela reports to the late Manuel Marulanda, the FARC’s legendary chief, on a meeting with President Chavez. Among the points he mentions is that Mr. Chavez has approved a loan for what Colombian officials believe is $300 million “without blinking.” Mr. Chavez has named then Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin to act as liason with the guerrillas
. Among the first orders of business is to set up a meeting with two Australian arms dealers. Mr. Chavez also gives the orders to set up medical and rest facilities for the FARC along the Venezuelan border.
In any indictment for treason, e-mails such as these would be critical evidence. It is not hard to understand the disgust of many Venezuelans with Hugo Chavez.
Most Americans would be furious if Mexican or Canadian troops moved into their town and declared their mission to be one of support for America’s president and his party. This is precisely what has happened in Venezuela. To maintain his personal control, Hugo Chavez has in effect surrendered increments of Venezuelan sovereignty.
Sharply voiced anti Americanism is a staple of Latin American politics. A desire to have a political and cultural identity that is independent of America has been a staple of Latin American politics for decades. This does not and has not precluded strategic collaboration on matters of mutual benefit.Hugo Chavez is outspoken in his admiration of Fidel Castro. Castro is most noted not only for the ruthlessness of his dictatorship but also for making Cuba a supplicant client state of the former Soviet Union, defying geographic obstacles in doing so. Chavez h
as attempted valiantly to emulate his role model in constructing a totalitarian state. Recent setbacks in local elections across Venezuela show that he has not yet succeeded at this.
With the possible exception of China, there is no viable superpower for Chavez to turn to in contending with the US. His only alternative has been the pitiful piecemeal sale of Venezuelan sovereignty to armed dope dealers who have incorporated communist insignias into the marketing of their drug shipments. Chavez has not entered into an alliance not with international communism to the contrary, he has sold out to the most aggressive and lawless outpost of laissez faire capitalism, Colombia’s narco terrorists. From one hand, he facilitates the selling of cheap heating oil in America to poor families. From the other hand he helps push drugs that are killing children from the same poor families. Meanwhile, the condition of the Venezuelan poor continues to worsen under his unwieldy and self serving state run enterprises.
Hugo Chavez has failed to persuade the people of Venezuela that he is their champion. The same old tired ideas spill like rolls of fat from beneath his flashy verbiage. He is one more paper tiger set ablaze by the light of public understanding. The Venezuelan people get it. Do we?
I frequently like to include music or historic videos as additional commentary on currewnt events. Today’s video is from World War Two. It is of Vidkun Quisling, who was the puppet ruler of Nazi occupied Norway. He has the dubious honour of having his last name enter the English language as a synonym for a disgraceful collaborator. I am presenting a video that was actually put out by Quisling supporters not as a tribute to Quisling but to put a face on my comparison to Hugo Chavez and to publicly register my astonishment atthe eternal durability of human stupidity.
I was struck by the catchy techno beat of the video. It is an apt warning that those who seek to deprive us of our freedom will clothe their presentation in the fashions of our times. People can be coaxed into joyfully giving up their liberty only to regret it when it is too late.
When I came home there was a pained silence in the faces of passers by. In the microcosmic world of Crown Heights, the shocking news came that a young rabbi and his wife who had served in Mumbai as emissaries of the Lubavitcher movement had been killed.
Stalin had a saying that “A single death is a tragedy.A million deaths is a statistic.” In this corner of Brooklyn, the faces of Rabbi and Mrs. Holzberg mirrored for us the human suffering of the Indian people.
Casualty figures have a numbing and disorienting character. There is a level of the human psyche that is not digital but pictographic. Being a part of a family, a community and a nation gives one an opportunity to empathise with other members of the human family. Today, when traveling in the areas where I often meet people from India, there was a wordless look of recognition, of empathy. The ties that Jews in Brooklyn have through the Chabad house provide a thread of commonality between Jews and the people of India.
India has suffered terribly since 1947, when it was partitioned into India and Pakistan. People who had lived as neighbours for centuries were often uprooted to live on “their” side of the ethnic border. Sometimes entire trains full of people were murdered by bandits. Estimates of dead from partition times range from half a million to well over a million. Partition redrew the borders of India without questioning the borders of the heart. In the early 1900’s, Mohandas Gandhi discovered a sense of Indian identity not in the soil of India but in South Africa where he sas socially grouped with Indians of different languages, faiths and castes. It is a lesson that is learned anew as Indian immigrants come to America and discover threads of commonality that were badly frayed in their homeland.
When I came home, my wife was listening to Indian TV in English. English is actually a national language of India. It is the middle ground upon which India’s people meet Indians who speak hundreds of languages find English useful in uniting India.
The Indian news anchors clearly feel for their their country. Their emotion is raw and genuine. There is an avalanche of information in their coverage of a political and cultural landscape totally different from ours. The sense is clearly conveyed and appreciated that this was an act of war. It was not a lightning strike or a devastating blast. It was a precisely planned operation. It was researched and carried out with the help of individuals who actually took jobs in some of the targets to get strategic information. The crucial aspect distinguishing it from a military strike was that its targets were unarmed civilians.
The scars on the landscape can perhaps be repaired the human loss is irreplaceable. Unlike 9/11, where the attackers came from above, this attack was perpetrated by intimate strangers who gained trust and abused it with deadly intent.
The Chabad community in India has resolved to continue the work of its murdered representatives. Even this Shabbos, they are planning to continue the Sabbath meals and celebrations that made the Chabad House in Mumbai such an attractive destination. The only concession to India’s grim reality is an added layer of security. Chabad in India cam undoubtedly derive inspiration from the citizens of Mumbai who are determined to rebuild and defend their city.
There are many questions about who is behind the attack on Mumbai. Captured terrorists say that they are from Pakistan. There are in fact “home grown” terror cells in India. If it is proven that the terrorists are from India, it could prove to be a great embarassment to the government. It could also create ethnic unrest in India. If evidence points towards Pakistan, that could be a major setback for good relations between the two countries, both of whom have atomic weapons. Evidence is starting to point to Indian Pakistani cooperation in perpetrating the terror operation.
The terrorists who were captured do not have the comforts of Guantanamo to look forward to. Indian security forces strike back with a harsh hand. Martial law, confessions extracted with torture and retaliation against family are not unknown in India. This attack is rightly perceived as an act of war. The news anchors on Indian TV seem to understand this very clearly.I feel a sense of solidarity with India as I listen to their news coverage, which manifests a clarity that comes with seething anger. Jews the world over share the grief and anger of the Indian people. Our prayers are for healing, consolation and revenge, all of which are sacred, all of which are called for. May G-d console us and strengthen us in these trying times
Until the days get longer, any posts that I write after 11:00 AM on Friday will be posted on Saturday night. This also includes cross posts on theamericansentinel.com. Those who are looking for fresh posts will find them on Saturday night instead of Friday night Thiss is out of respect to the Jewish Sabbath.
I seldom post things that others have written. I like to put up original content. I am making an exception this week with a satirical posting that was anonymous when I found it. I always give credit when possible, complete with cross linking.
I will continue to average one post a day to rudistettner.com and magdeburgerjoe.com. There may be days when I skip and double post the next day, as happened in the last few days. I continue my commitment to providing fresh original content to both my sites. I thank my readers for their understanding.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Our concerns about the occupants of the Chabad House, particularly the Chief Rabbi of that Chabad House and his wife bring our concerns to a level that is almost familial.
Eric Adams, State Senator from Brooklyn who represents Crown Heights as well as the founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement has called a press conference tomorrow Friday November 28 at 11:00 AM. at the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway in front of the Brooklyn Jewish Children's Museum. The meeting will be a time of prayer and to express our outrage at this attack on civilised humanity.
As in the past, Senator Adams has stood by all in our community in times of tribulation. Brooklyn is a microcosm of our varied world and in relative terms a peaceful enclave. Senator Adams represents and embodies this spirit of brotherhood and comes to join Brooklynites touched in any way by the outrage in Mumbai. We will be joined in anger and outrage as well as sorrow and prayer.
This is an important gathering. All should resolve to attend it.
Friday November 28 at 11:00 AM. at the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway in front of the Brooklyn Jewish Children's Museum
What is most important to me is to focus not only on the physical gifts of a benevolent Creator but upon the kindness of revealed law and wisdom. We are not set adrift in a world buffeted by random events. We are given a law and prophecy. We are given the free choice and the means to observe and affirm or to transgress and deny.
It is comforting to reflect on the fact that we are not alone, that there is a Greater Power. We have the choice to bring about an ideal society or something g-d forbid far from it through our actions.
One of my favourite Talmudic stories speaks of a man given a tour of heaven and hell. He is told to look through the window of a dining hall in hell. The diners are lunging at their food, splattering it on their faces and upon the tablecloth. They have no elbows and cannot feed themselves. There is desperation in their faces.
The stunned observer is next shown a dining hall in paradise. The diners are eating and conversing quietly. they are nodding to the food in front of them and conversing amicably. They also have no elbows, but instead of lunging at the table, they are feeding each other.
The difference in this parable between heaven and hell was the attitude of the diners. Ingenuity put to the service of altruism transformed desperate and chaotic hunger into harmonious transcendence of individual limitations.
The parable is a metaphor for our human condition. All of us have critical deficiencies that preclude self sufficiency. Our potential for perfection requires not only the physical world and prophetic guidance but our practical intellect and each other. As a society we can strive for perfection. As individuals we are limited. In this spirit I wish my readers a happy Thanksgiving.
Following is a traditional arrangement by Fairport Convention called "Now Be Thankful." It sounds a note of gratitude for physical and spiritual gifts. The symbolic language is drawn from a tradition other than my own but resonates some universal themes. It is very well suited to the spirit of today's holiday
Joe Biden made one statement during the campaign that has proven to be prophetic. He said that Obama would be tested within three months of becoming President. The only flaw in his prediction is that Obama was tested before being sworn in. The attack in Bombay Wednesday was a coordinated attack on multiple targets. British and American citizens in hotels were singled out. A Jewish centre run by the Lubavitcher movement was on the list of terrorist targets
The logic prevalent in our boycott worthy mainstream media is that we need to listen to these expressions of rage from the powerless and to address their grievances. Does anyone ever question what sort of world the terrorists would build if they got everything they demanded? The way they are behaving before achieving control of a state is a reliable indicator of what life would be like afterward under their rule.
There are terrorist cells and there are the people who applaud them. When a restaraunt is bombed or hostages taken in a school, there are neighbourhoods where people party in the streets in joyous celebration. News teams make pilgrimages to the homes of proud mothers of suicide bombers. These neighbourhoods are the “sea” in which the terrorist “fish” swim. These are the people who provide the financial and logistical support to those who carry out attacks. Intelligence services know about these support networks. These are the people whose lives should be made into a living hell as the terrorists themselves are picked off one by one.
If someone is known to be writing a check out to a terror organisation, let them wake up and find their bank account frozen. Let their property be subject to civil seizure on behalf of terror victims.
There should be no discussion of “legitimate grievances” with terrorists in India , the Middle East or anywhere else. It is a myth that every religious and language group must have its own state. A state in which decent people can differ in their personal lives and beliefs is what is needed for all. Anyone who cannot function in such a state, be it India with its 150,000,000 Muslims or America does not deserve to walk the streets as a free human being.
I stopped shopping years ago at a grocery with “Holy Land Foundation ” charity canisters at every cash register. The owners were supposedly devout Muslims who believed that everyone should follow Islam. This never stopped them from selling pork in their stores. I likewise see plenty of stores owned by religiously garbed Muslims selling pork, porn and alcohol. One such store had a picture of young men back home holding AK 47’s. I left my groceries on their counter and walked out.
I have nothing against practicing Islam or even preaching it. But when you sell items that your espoused faith prohibits to all and you collect money for those who kill Jews or “crusaders” then you show that the only thing you care about is killing and destroying.
When Denmark talks about prohibiting circumcision of minors, the Jews protest far more than the Muslims. But when cartoons are published portraying Mohammed in various satirical ways, then there are convulsions of anger across the Islamic world. The extremists would rather have a central practice of their faith outlawed than to make common cause with Jews.
I have met moderate Muslims who strived to build stable communities and families. Preserved in Jewish historical memory is the record of the Ottoman Turks taking in Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. The terrorists in Bombay bring shame to these decent people who espouse tolerant forms of Islam. They should be accorded no concession to their false professions of faith. They should be executed and wrapped in pig skins.
The terrorists in Bombay have shown the world the misery that they would bring to the world if they ever had a chance to build their twisted version of a caliphate. The timing of their attack in the formative stages of an Obama presidency is a wakeup call to be as ruthless in dealing with terrorism as ever before.
There is no guiding principle to the “Deccan Mujahideen” They should not be allowed to hide behind the Koran or any other holy book. The title that would best describe their outlook is that of a book from ste sixties, “Revolution For the Hell of It”.
The group that perpetrated the atrocities in Bombay must be ruthlessly crushed. Anyone who seeks to excuse them with “root causes” is simply an accomplice
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I received the following e mail which is a succinct articulation of the anti circumcision position.
I think it's a fair law. ALL infants should be protected from any genital modification. Unless it's an absolutely pressing medical reason, their genitals should be left alone until they can choose what happens.
Notice the subtle equation of circumcision with female genital mutilation. Doctors and religious scholars disagree strongly with such judgments.
Female genital mutilation has no scriptural support in Muslim or Jewish law. It has extensive medical drawbacks that are sometimes fatal.
Circumcision of males is a tradition going back thousands of years. It has its medical proponents and opponents. The arguments are out there. They are too lengthy to go into here. Parents should have a right when there are proponents and opponents of a procedure with medical authority to back them up to make a choice on behalf of their child.
It is a basic right of parents to make medical, religious and educational decisions for their children. Some aspects of such choices are by nature irreversible.
I am highly suspicious of any encroachment upon religious upbringing. Circumcision cannot be separated from that. It seems highly likely that the attack on circumcision is religious and cultural rather than medical. If the issue were purely medical then the opponents of operating on the genitalia of minors would be up in arms about sex change operations on children. Surely offering irreversible anatomical modifications to minors should not be attempted before counseling is offered. Yet these opponents of circumcision do not show up for the sex change debate. What is really being debated here? I wonder.
What is being attempted is the nullification of Judaism and Islam's legal standing. It is being attempted I believe as a calculated attack on the freedom of their followers to educate their children in the faith of their ancestors. As such it is an attempt to wipe out Judaism and Islam.
There are customs that are negotiable. There are aberrations that are done in the name of religious faith. Circumcision is neither. Its opponents seek to abrogate the right of parents to make medical and educational decisions for their minor children. I do not believe it will stop at Jewish and Islamic religious practices. This is an attack on all people of faith. It should be opposed by all who believe in freedom of religion and the sanctity of the family
According to the Associated Press,
“Afghan police have arrested 10 Taliban militants involved in an acid attack this month against 15 girls and teachers walking to school in southern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said Tuesday.
“Several” of the arrested militants have confessed to taking part in the acid attack, said Kandahar Gov. Rahmatullah Raufi. He declined to say exactly how many confessed.”
In the wake of the public outcry against the attack on the girls, the Taliban has denied responsibility for the attacks, but the difficulties placed in the path of girl’s education in Afghanistan is a matter of public record. The original support that brought the Taliban into power was due to their crackdown on the rape and abuse of women and girls by warring factions in Afghanistan. When they came to power, they banned Indian movies and music that would be considered tame in most of the world. (Unlike Hollywood, India has strict modesty codes for its films.) When the Taliban institutionalised its own variants on the abuse of women, that was a significant factor in their fall from public favour.
What is not widely known about the Taliban is their opposition to women going to school or working outside the home at all. An unforseen side effect of Taliban rule was the descent of thousands of homebound women into prostitution.
It can be seen that in Islamic countries feminists are defending basic human rights that have been taken for granted in the west. Under Islamic law, a marriage of as brief a duration as one hour can be contracted by a man who is single or who is already married. The opportunities this presents for religiously sanctioned abuse need no elaboration.
The abuses in Afghanistan are not as far removed from the western world as we would like to think. Europe’s population implosion has created a need for workers and payees into the social welfare system of EU countries. Most of the immigrants, both legal and illegal are from Islamic countries. This has fueled not only a crime wave but ethnic enclaves in which shaaria with its polygamy and harshly enforced modesty codes are becoming increasingly accepted in Europe, from the United Kingdom to Italy, Belgium and France. In some predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods women who refuse to take on the veil are slashed in the face in retaliation. A growing form of violence is not only attacks on synagogues but on churches as well.
The contest between communism and capitalism was waged through conventional means of political organisations functioning on behalf of Moscow and Beijing. Occasionally, guerilla wars and conventional wars were also waged, such as those in Bolivia.
Islam is tactically different in its approach. Along with conventional means of changing the world balance of power, it is employing immigration and polygamy as a part of its tactical repertoire. One country after another has extended recognition to polygamous marriages contracted in Islamic countries that allow polygamy.
According to Front Page Magazine, “A Scottish judge recently bent the law to benefit a polygamous household. The case involved a Muslim male who drove 64 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone – usually grounds for an automatic loss of one’s driving license. The defendant’s lawyer explained his client’s need to speed: “He has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow and sleeps with one one night and stays with the other the next on an alternate basis. Without his driving licence he would be unable to do this on a regular basis.” Sympathetic to the polygamist’s plight, the judge permitted him to retain his license.”
The Front Page Magazine makes it clear that the above incident, though colourful represents an almost deferential attitude towards polygamy sweeping across Europe. The struggle for recognition of gay marriage in America paves the legal way for various alternatives to western monogomy. It should be stressed that a polygamous family with a high birth rate will impact markedly on a nation’s demographics.
When juxtaposed to the shrinkage of the European birthrate to below replacement levels, the possibility exists of a reactionary voting bloc ushering in major and unforseen changes into daily life in Europe.
Although not as frequent as elsewhere, America has seen “honour killings” and has according to the Front Page article between 50,000-100,000 polygamists, most of whom are probably Muslim and not Mormon.
Islamic fundamentalists have discovered the meeting point at which personal decisions become political. We in the west are accustomed to discussing the issues of marriage and lifestyle choices as strictly personal. We are also limited in our willingness to view immigration as a political tool.The Islamic fundamentalists have politicised these facets of our national life. In dealing with them we need to be able to think within their conceptual and tactical framework to understand them and come out ahead in any political contest. The struggle is not in far off Afghanistan, from which we may retreat at will, the struggle is at home
Monday, November 24, 2008
I never thought I would contemplate joining Muslims in a boycott of Danish goods. But that day could come soon. According to Ynet news.com,
At a time where anti-Semitic acts seem to be on the rise in Europe, a bill was proposed in Denmark that will affect mainly Jews – the banning of male child circumcision.
Denmark’s National Council for Children has recommended the legislation of a law banning circumcision of boys under the age of 15.
The passing of this law would make the Jewish mitzvah and tradition of circumcising a child on his eighth day a crime.
The country’s Ethics Council supported the proposal and now only the parliament’s medical committee can intervene and prevent the proposal from being heard.
“Circumcision is the irreversible damage to a child’s body before he is given the chance to object,” the National Council for Children argued.
According to Denmark’s chief Rabbi, Bent Lexner, the passing of such a law would amount to an order of expulsion against Denmark’s Jews. Circumcision is both central and essential to Judaism and to Islam. In Jewish tradition, circumcision is performed on the eighth day of a child’s life whenever possible medically. A ban on circumcision until later in life is in direct contradiction to Jewish law
The law proposed by Denmark’s National Council for Children is a classic example of political correctness taken to insane extremes. The council argued that “Just like female circumcision was banned five years ago, male circumcision should be banned.”
Female “circumcision” is a completely different procedure, often involving extensive mutilation. The use of the term “circumcision” to describe it creates an illusion of commonality that does not exist.
The spurious argument is also advanced that children are deprived of the opportunity to object by having circumcision done in infancy.
An attack on circumcision would put jews and Muslims on the same side of a heated dispute. I would not hesitate to join a boycott of Danish goods if so unjust a law were ever passed. The proposed Danish law is an attack on Islam and Judaism. One does not have to be a religious fanatic to adhere to this practice. Every Jewish schoolchild who goes to Sunday school or yeshiva hears stories about cruel enemies of Jews who banned circumcision. What some in Denmark propose would put their country in such company.
I have long honoured the duty to remember eternally the kindness of the Danish people who followed their king, King Christian in donning the yellow star and protecting their Jewish population. It pains me to put my eternal debt of gratitude to the Danish people to the side. But I can not tolerate an attack on the Jewish faith that has such powerful symbolic and practical resonance.
The Nazis banned kosher slaughter as inhumane soon after coming to power. These same Nazis murdered children with even minor birth defects. There is a sense of disproportion that creeps into man made standards of decency. It is best expressed by the Talmudic saying’ “He who is merciful to the cruel is destined to be cruel to the merciful.”
I hope that decency wins the day and that the Danes will reconsider. If I had to turn from them, it would be with deep sadness, but no regrets.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
On a par with our economic crisis is the danger posed to free speech by supporters of the so called “Fairness Doctrine.”
The Federal Communications Commission allocates frequencies to radio and television stations. Certain frequencies are local stations with fairly weak transmissions. Others are “megastations” with powerful transmitters and longer ranges. The FCC serves as a “traffic cop” in order to ensure that transmissions not be chaotic. No one disputes the need for keeping radio and television transmissions untangled. It is policing what is said on the airwaves that raises serious free speech issues.Things have changed a lot since the 1920’s, when there was a thin sprinkling of AM radio stations across the country. FM radio has been in the picture for years. It has been joined by satellite radio and television, as well as cable TV. The internet has made the transmission of one’s ideas universally available. I have
The entire endeavour has cost me less in a year’s time than a carton of cigarettes. What is available to me is available to anyone. Those who want to fund broadcast and print media can do so with no legal restrictions.
When I was living in Italy, each of the major political parties had their own newspaper. The Communists had L’Unita (Unity). The Socialists had Il Popolo (The People). And the fascists (Italian Social Movement) had Il Secolo (The Century. This was in addition to all of the newspapers and magazines that served a locality with whatever political coloration had evolved over the years.
It would be wonderful to see party newspapers here to complement the regional periodicals. Despite Italy’s colourful party newspapers, America does a great job of providing for a diversity of taste and opinion. The major television networks seem to be very biased towards the left. Talk radio is far more inclined to the right. The distribution across the political spectrum within each news medium is uneven, but people know where to tune in what range of opinion. The thought of someone passing down as a legal decision what is “fairness” is almost sinister.
There is a Republican Senator named Richard Lugar of Indiana who has according to the Blogbat blog come out in favour of the so called Fairness doctrine.
The authour of the article in Blogbat was visiting Congress with a delegation from the World Affairs Council. He reported on the meeting with Senator Lugar as follows.“During our visit with the Indiana Republican on 7 November, he seemed to offer his support for a revived “Fairness Doctrine” tailored to target only one viewpoint – that of the comparatively modest talk radio industry. On the topic of such legislation, Lugar seemed sympathetic to the significant hostility among the left towards what he called “irresponsible” “right wing” radio, using catch-phrases right out of the Idiots Guide to Liberalism, intimating that talk radio was somehow a rogue entity that merely stirred up the common people to the consternation of all-knowing legislators. (Never mind the rogue entity on Capitol Hill that is attempting to usurp the Constitution.)”
In reading this report, I am chilled by the use of the word “Irresponsible”.
There is a legal definition to that word. If I state that eating peanut butter cures cancer, that is irresponsible. If I urge people to send money to a fake company or charity, that is irresponsible.
During the Rwandan genocide, radio announcers broadcast instructions to perpetrators of the violence.That is speech that is rightfully being prosecuted as a crime under war crimes statutes.
Unless a media outlet promotes injurious medical claims, facilitates fraud or promotes violence, they should be left alone. If you think that someone has foolish political beliefs, then you are free to seek an outlet for promoting your viewpoint. . Any attempt to define frankness, rudeness or eccentricity as “irresponsible is a threat to free speech and our way of life. I hope someone who opposes the fairness doctrine runs against Senator Lugar when he is up for reelection to the Senate. I will gladly support such an opponent , even if he or she is a Democrat.
Our country is facing critical decisions about its future. No voice should be silenced. This is intrinsic to our constitution and our way of life. The fig leaf of “fairness” does not impart any decency to naked censorship. Those who do not support free speech should not speak for us in Congress. We should start keeping score cards on our legislators, both Democrats and republicans starting yesterday.
I am willing to write off much of what was said in the campaign as plain hard ball tactics. Attacks on free speech must be however taken extremely seriously. Now that talk is resuming of reviving the “fairness doctrine”, I am reminding readers of the “Missouri Truth Squads” during the election campaign with the video beneath this posting Our freedoms are not being swallowed whole. They are being nibbled at bit by bit. We must remain vigilant.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Once in a long while, I read a story that jogs hazy memories of common sense in government and in education. It is usually the conspicuous absence of common sense that arouses such fits of nostalgia.
Both “The Smoking Gun” and “Drudge Report” have featured a story of a troubled girl in Kenosha, Wisconsin who drew up a “hit list” of students and teachers she allegedly intended to kill. Enough details were left in the poorly edited story to leave little doubt in the minds of local residents as to her identity.
The intake information noted by a Kenosha detective was taken with apparent professionalism. It belonged in the confidential files of a mental health professional. Instead it is splashed across the internet.
According to “The Smoking Gun” ,”A 10-year-old Wisconsin girl drafted a hit list containing the names of 21 classmates and four teachers who would be targeted “when I go on my killing spree.” The handwritten list was confiscated Monday afternoon by a teacher in a McKinley Middle School classroom, according a Kenosha Police Department report, a copy of which you’ll find below. At the top of the one-page list the sixth grader wrote, “When I go on my killing spree the victims are…” A second list contained the names of four students–including the girl herself–who were “people I don’t want 2 kill.”
According to the Kenosha News, “The girl told authorities she wrote the list because she was upset that other students accused her of spreading rumors. She also said people were mean to her, made fun of her and that she was mad because her teacher didn’t call on her when she raised her hand and sent her out of the classroom when she talked.
The girl didn’t have a plan for her list, but understood how it could scare people, police said.”
The girl was suspended from school pending a review of the case, and the decision made to refract the shining light of common sense through the warped prism of the juvenile justice system.
The entire police report is available on The Smoking Gun. It notes a predictable picture of some academic difficulties and a normal level of sibling rivalries in the girl’s home. There was no firearms in the girl’s home. Other than forks and kitchen knives, nothing in the home could have been construed as a weapon. The principal significantly noted that the girl had not previously been a notable discipline problem. Although the girl is unnamed, her mother’s last name is mentioned, as well as the girl’s grade and the name of her school The issues this raises about the privacy rights of a minor and her family need no elaboration.
Any school should have either a psychologist on staff or a mental health professional who is available on an ad hoc basis. If protocol mandates that law enforcement be called, there should be one branch of hte flow chart that leads towards evaluation and therapy as an adjunct to or an alternative to legal action.
A critical question is how this story ever made it into the newspapers. It is possible for the classmates of a troubled student to be alerted to any issues that might concern them or their children. Splashing the story across the nation serves no constructive purpose at all.
We have just finished an election campaign in which the news media failed completely in its duty to educate the public. Critical stories about President elect Obama’s rise in the world of politics were spiked and fluff stories about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe were given spotlight news coverage.
The story of a troubled little girl in Wisconsin is of no interest to me other than as an anonymous case history to refer to in raising my own children.
Depending upon the print media and television for my view of the world is a lot like having a watch dog that bites the baby and licks the hand of an intruder. Sitting at my table reading such meaningless news coverage with such a useless dog by my side means being uninformed and unprotected.
There are children who have immense powers of concentration on matters of personal interest to them . These same children can not focus in class. They fidget and daydream instead of listening to the teacher. I was such a child. If I were in school today, my parents would probably be urged to give me Ritalin.
Our news media seems to display the same distorted focus that in individuals is classified as a learning disorder. There is a total distortion of focus and perspective that seems like a cognitive disorder.
It is doubtful that we can cure a news media that daydreams through a presidential campaign and drags a child in grade school into the limelight. Such a news media can not be easily cured. But like the little girl in Wisconsin, they can be sent home until they get professional help.
A case is pending in juvenile court in Kenosha about this incident.Another case, that against our errant news media is pending in the court of public opinion
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Republic of the Congo has been in a state of almost constant war since 1996. Its natural beauty and abundance of natural resources would logically be a blessing. Instead, warring militias enslave the population in mines that provide income for their predatory wars against each other and the population.
Approximately three million people occupy this country that is half the size of Texas. Its resources have been taxed and its tranquility shattered by refugees from Rwanda who have complicated the existing intertribal conflicts raging in the country.
Even a cursory examination of almanac type statistics deepens my puzzlement in looking at this tormented country. Its population is three million, yet deaths in war are estimated to have been almost six million since 1996. The only explanation I can come up with is that many have fled and thereby diminished the population and that conflicts spilling over the border from neighbouring countries have swelled the death toll.
The warring militias have made daily life a living hell for the population. Enslavement, murder and rape are the norm. The justice system is nonexistent in a country where the central government is almost nonexistent. Refugee camps are set up in the country. They are run by the United Nations, whose soldiers and workers often add to the stream of abuse endured by civilians.
There are some conflicts that are so awful that harsh dictatorship is a welcome respite. Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge was such a place. Between 1975 and 1979 it lost about a third of its population under the infamous Khmer Rouge genocide. Although Vietnam is historically a hated adversary, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia was the beginning of healing in that tormented country. Predictably, the invasion was condemned by the international community, which did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Cambodian people. The United Nations was predictably useless in the resolution of the conflict.
There seems to be no neighbour strong enough and ruthless enough to invade and tame the Congo. Although the Belgians and perhaps the French would be a logical choice to head a humanitarian invasion, the official “truth” that colonialism is bad and independence is good stands in the way of a practical solution. Where in America and Europe political correctness is an annoyance, in the Congo it exacts a dizzying toll in human suffering.
The abundance of natural resources, from petroleum to tin ore to copper, uranium and agricultural products would logically make the Congo a focus of economic interest. The world was indifferent to the genocide of one million in neighbouring Rwanda in 1994. I am capable of the intellectual contortions that would enable me to dismiss racism as a reason for the world’s indifference to the suffering in Rwanda.
Europe created a European Union that has not yet dissolved into chaos. The need to redraw borders within Africa seems almost painfully obvious. When the colonial powers divided Africa, they created countries and borders that had little to do with previously existing tribal and national divisions. Tribalism has led in many places to the imposition of one party rule. The commonest excuse is that only a single party can avert the danger of countries fracturing on tribal lines.The United Nations is visible and vocal in the Middle East. The body count in that region is a tiny fraction of that in the various nations in sub Saharan Africa.
Click here to read my complete article in The American Sentinel
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When I heard that an Iranian ship was taken hostage by Somali pirates, I had a very hard time writing about it. Typing a coherent article when you are falling all over yourself laughing is not an easy proposition.According to The Times of London “Somali pirates struck again yesterday, seizing an Iranian cargo ship holding 30,000 tonnes of grain, as the world’s governments and navies pronounced themselves powerless against this new threat to global trade.
Admiral Michael Mullen, the US military chief, pronounced himself stunned by the pirates’ reach after their capture of the supertanker Sirius Star and its $100 million (£70 million) cargo. Commanders from the US Fifth Fleet and from Nato warships in the area said that they would not intervene to retake the vessel.”
What is amazing is the reaction of the world’s superpowers to the Saudi’s angry denunciation of terrorism (when it is directed against a Muslim nation.)
“Piracy, like terrorism, is a disease which is against everybody, and everybody must address it together,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said piously
The British government came quickly to the aid of the Iranians with tea and sympathy. (No tears and beers please) Their response was well reasoned and totally useless.
“Maritime security operations in that area are addressing the symptoms not the causes,” said Jason Alderwick, a maritime defence analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Gosh golly gee Mr. Alderwick, you bring back memories of New York City in the 1960’s. That was when a dynamic young mayor of the city named John Lindsay looked for root causes while the City went to hell in a handbasket.
The Times of London article, recounting the international community’s legal obstacles to stopping the piracy sounded like an Obama Supreme Court nominee.
“Operations undertaken by the coalition fleet are fraught with legal difficulties, ranging from restrictive rules of engagement to rights of habeas corpus, as the British Navy discovered when it detained eight pirates after a shootout last week. Yesterday the detainees were passed on to Kenya, where efforts to prosecute them will be closely watched for precedent.” quoth the Times of London.
I would normally be seething with indignation, but the last ship hijacked by Somali pirates was reportedly carrying a “dirty bomb” containing nuclear waste which was headed for detonation in Israel.
According to Israel National News, a non governmental Israeli News agency, “U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials maintained a tight-lipped silence on the alleged incident. However, Russian intelligence sources reportedly said the ship was “an enormous floating dirty bomb, intending to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel.
“The entire cargo of radioactive sand,” said the Russian sources, ” [was] obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore.”
Several reports came out of some pirates falling ill with symptoms that were described as resembling radiation poisoning. Researching the story with the keywords “Iranian dirty bomb” has the peculiar effect of shifting my sympathies to the pirates. I actually wonder if this latest Iranian ship to be hijacked was actually carrying grain.
It is not easy to imagine Obama adding anything new to the discussions of combatting piracy, which has afflicted numerous individuals with legitimate cargo and plans.
The Saudis have been known to pay terrorist groups to stay out of the Saudi Kingdom and to do their mischief elsewhere. The chaotic situation in Somalia, which I imagine has disrupted mail service has made it difficult to mail their check to Somalis in charge of finding “root causes”. It is hard for those familiar with Saudi checkbook diplomacy to view their expressions of indignation without a touch of cynicism.
The disturbing thought about Somali piracy is the innocent individuals who could be hurt. The problem of total anarchy and poverty in Somalia is a real one. It would be a mistake to link this to physical attacks on the pirates themselves. Perhaps some of the money used to fund wars in Lebanon and elsewhere could be used to secure and support a united government in Somalia. So far, neither the Saudis nor the Iranians have shown any interest in supporting a strong peaceful regime in Somalia, an Islamic country.The legal objections to military action against the pirates ca
n be overcome with a simple word Whoops! You could also say “Oopsie!” or “Sorry about that.”
All of these words could be used after an attack on the pirates. It is slightly more likely that Obama could get away with it. The media would not likely want to condemn a Democrat that they worked so hard to elect. It might have the added medical benefit of helping Chris Matthews get rid of that “thrill going up his leg” that he reported experiencing whenever Obama spoke.
I would not want my personal feelings about Iran and its dirty bombs to get cloud my thinking about piracy when it effects them. I think therefore that it would be a good idea to look at “root causes” whenever an Iranian ship is hijacked by pirates. Perhaps Ruth Bader Ginsberg or David Souter could apply their judicial expertise to the problem at hand. I am sure that Barack Obama can find others of their calibre to work on the problem.
Sometimes in rough parts of Brooklyn, drug dealers, pimps and others have a shootout over territory. This is considered to be unfortunate only when innocent bystanders get killed. In neighbourhoods with higher income and lighter skin colour, the street crime is stopped before it ever erupts into shootouts, but that’s another story. Often, the cops find that the best way to address “root causes” when gangsters shoot each other is to finish that coffee break and stop for all the red lights when responding to the call. Even if a rapid response is needed to protect the innocent, police often close the case if only known violent criminals are hurt or killed.
The comparison to piracy is obvious. When a ship from a peaceful country like Holland or Cameroon gets hijacked, that is cause for concern. But it is hard not to see a Greater Hand when the pirates end up with a dirty bomb on their hands.
The problem of piracy is a major one not only off the coast of Somalia but in other areas as well. A strong, effective response, unhampered by legal straight jackets is often what is called for. But sometimes, it is better to finish that donut and coffee while problems sort themselves out.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Whenever any elected official takes office, they always take on oath of office that involves upholding the law and the constitution. I have for years wondered if such oaths are a legally binding contract. Every mayor of New York City in recent memory has maintained executive orders instructing police not to enforce immigration laws.
The people of California recently approved by a decisive margin a law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Predictably, the judiciary is reviewing its options to nullify the will of the people expressed at voting stations across California.
According to the Los Angeles Times a campaign is underway to overturn Proposition Eight not by changing the collective mind but by turning to the courts.
“Opponents of Proposition 8 argue that it was a sweeping constitutional revision, which can only be put on the ballot by the Legislature, instead of a more limited constitutional amendment, as supporters contend.
A wide array of groups and local governments have urged the state high court in six lawsuits — two more were filed Monday — to overturn the measure. The lawsuits contend that Proposition 8 illegally revised the state Constitution by altering fundamental constitutional principles. ”
Such actions are consistent with a contempt for America’s cultural and religious traditions by its secular humanist minority. The first and most memorable instance of this use of judicial nullification was the ban on prayer in public schools passed in the early sixties in response to a lawsuit by Madalyn Murray, the famous atheist preacher and activist from Texas. I remember vividly the sadness and anger in my home when America’s traditions of public prayer were hijacked in that manifestation of judicial tyrany.The epidemic of abortion that has ravaged America likewise came in 1973 after the U.S. Supreme Court decided...............
Click here to read my complete article on The American Sentinel
Monday, November 17, 2008
"I can do whatever I want " Obama Spoof Whatever you like original video
This video is a take off on a popular hip hop song " You can have whatever you want". The original video shows a superstar stopping off in a fast food place and giving the girl behind the counter his phone number. The main focus of the video is the young girl's fantasies of fame and fortune.
The spoof version has Obama flush with satisfaction at making history. It shows a wild optimism and excitement. All obstacles seem destined to melt in front of the fictional Obama's smug self assurance.
I imagine that the real Obama now realises that he has signed on for some daunting tasks. It is hard to imagine that he is as giddy and smug as he is portrayed in the video. Even with a majority in Congress, Obama faces a tough economy and a world that has become a rough neighbourhood.
The public who elected Obama is another story. Those who eagerly await a government gravy train are not only sitting in welfare offices but in corporate boardrooms as well. Union organisers should be giving unions a lease on life and credibility by cooperating with management in improving productivity. Instead they want to steamroll their way into shops across America by stripping union ballots of their secrecy.
Obama waged a tough and ruthless campaign. The voters have spoken. The confetti has been swept up. The champagne bottles have long been put in recycling bags. In past generations we had the benefit of sober counsel about "blood, sweat, toil and tears." Such voices are sadly lacking in this generation.
The voters had the facts available to them before Obama was elected. They made their choice. We can live with it. We have no choice. There are a lot of other choices we as citizens make between elections. Are we going to demand expensive "goodies"? Are we going to demand expensive tax rebates or golden parachutes? Are we goiung to quietly wink at more money being printed? Or are we going to consider the impact on the society and the economy of our expensive preferences.
We invest childish hopes in our leaders and deny the impact of our personal choices on society. Roe vs. Wade was passed by the Supreme court in 1973, legalising abortion in America. How many hundreds of thousands were aborted in that year? Had they lived, they would all turn thirty five this year. The majority would be working and paying into Social Security. If you add in every year since then in which individuals chose to abort, you have a major factor in America's economic equation. Our personal decisions have an impact on society. You can be an atheist and see the truth of this in entirely materialistic terms.
When I laugh at the Obama video with this posting, I am laughing at America's expectations of its leaders and its negation of personal responsibility. This attitude reaches from the shop floor to the board of directors, from the cradle to the nursing home.
Obama's slogan was "We are the people we've been waiting for." Where are we?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One of the biggest mistakes of the Clinton administration was the embargo on the sale of arms to warring parties in Bosnia.
Bosnia Herzegovina in the late eighties did not lend itself easily to a neat map with interlocking pieces. In many parts of Bosnia, the various ethnic groups were mixed together, much as are Hatians and American Blacks or Poles and Italians in America. Intermarriage was high. Bosnian Islam was (and usually still is) a very relaxed form of observance in which liquor not infrequently found a place. Only ethnic cleansing made establishing borders between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims possible.
Arms embargoes gave the Serbs a disproportionate advantage. Croats had Croatia arming them and the Bosnians only had the Muslim world to turn to for arms. The disparity in arms emboldened aggressors.
In retrospect, it would have been far preferable to allow unrestricted arms sales to all parties, none of whom had any particular edge in the sanity department. Had there been a stalemate in arms among the combatants and a sufficient level of fear on all sides, it is quite possible that outside intervention would have consisted not in sending in ground troops but in negotiating local arms reduction.
There are states that have normal gun laws. New York is not one of them. A normal gun law would permit a firearm to anyone who is not a nut job or a felon. This is an excellent law to implement as foreign policy. Ahmadinejad is a nut job and a felon. If Obama invites him to dinner, he should get plastic cutlery. Someone should light his cigarette if he wants to smoke, and hand him a flame retardent cardboard ashtray.Nuclear weapons? Fuhgeddaboutit. Give the man some Thorazine.
The communist world has privatised state industries. We should take it a step further. Let’s privatise foreign policy. Let the arms dealers have a free hand in arming everyone who wants to fight. Get everyone armed to the teeth. Whoever has money can walk out with some groovy weapons. No money? No problem. Send them some of those credit cards that America maxed out on. (Don’t get mud on that gun son, I still own it.)Click here to read the rest of my article on The American Sentinel
It was deleted from the Real Clear Politics web site. Why?
More than a half-dozen legal challenges (Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Washington, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania) have been filed in federal and state courts demanding President-elect Barack Obama's decertification from ballots or seeking to halt elector meetings, claiming he has failed to prove his US citizenship status.
An Obama campaign spokeswoman told World Net Daily the complaints are unfounded. When WND asked the Obama campaign spokeswoman why Obama simply hasn't released the original 1961 certificate of live birth to make the lawsuits go away, she replied, "I have no idea. I think they released what they chose to release, and Hawaii has confirmed that he was born in Hawaii, so I don't know what else you want."
Friday, November 14, 2008
One thing he told me about was the "Eintopf", a single pot of stew that was collected weekly by the Nazis and distributed to the poor. It was required of each family in my father's neighbourhood to contribute food. It had to be cooked according to specifications.
My father presented it as a good idea of collective compassion involving individual action in troubled times. What could be wrong with passing out food to the unemployed?
I have a question that guides me in life. Who do you want to owe a favour to? Although passing out the "Eintopf" or "one pot" meals to the poor sustained them, it also indebted them. When the Nazis called in their favours, what did they ask of those to whom they extended generosity?
Click here to see the rest of my article on The American Sentinel and see an accompanying video.
These have not been easy times to be following the news. Although I understand some of Obama's supporters, I feel that some very dangerous ideas are going to be getting a sympathetic ear Sometimes you have to step back and recognise that a Greater Hand is at play in world events.
After the day is done, prayer is critical.
What do I do to unwind when I am tired to the bone? I like to turn to music. While poking around You Tube, my thoughts returned to Catalonia and its language, which has enjoyed a resurgence in post Franco Spain.
There was a recording from a singer named Gerard Quintana, who is a vocalist with a Catalonian rock band called Sopa de Cabra, which plays folk rock and sings in the Catalan language. It was oddly fortuitous, because I felt very connected to the feelings of sadness and concern for the future that are so eloquently voiced in the English original.
It occurred to me that a significant percentage of my readers may be unfamiliar with Bob Dylan's version of the song as well as Gerard Quintana's catalonian version. I have therefore included both for the listening pleasure of my readers.
Business and music bring together people of disparate ideas. I do not want my blogs to exclusively focus on politics. I fear that to do so would result in ideological stagnation, in stale and uncreative thinking. In the wee hours of morning, I need to stand up and stretch, to fill my lungs with different scents. Bob Dylan's music in Catalan accomplishes that for me.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Last week, Chuck Schumer had the following to say about the so called “fairness doctrine”.
“The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.” “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”
It doesn’t get any plainer. Schumer was comparing pornography to political free speech. There is a long history of restricting pornography. He wants to start restricting free speech. Those are fighting words. And here is how to fight. I arrived at this proposed tactic in the course of my one week private news embargo .
Today is four days into my personal boycott of the New York Post. Since it is the least of all evils on New York news stands, I am likely to return to it this Sunday. The only reason I boycotted it was out of disgust at their fawning coverage of Barack Obama. They are usually quite good. I am hoping that their lapse of judgment is temporary. But I had to give voice to my displeasure with a personal “time out” from their change in tone .
I have been keeping informed via alternative means. During my week’s respite from the Post, I came up with an idea to fight back if there is an attempt to pass the “fairness doctrine”. But I can not do it alone.
If an attempt is made to pass the fairness doctrine as law, I suggest a National Media Boycott Week.
During that time, all purchases of daily newspapers will be suspended, as well as that of national magazines such as Time and Newsweek. Whenever possible,news will be gotten on line or at a public library. Newspaper deliveries will be suspended for the full week. Those contemplating cancellation of magazine subscriptions should do so during the national news strike. Rerouting advertising to other media could then be contemplated, to increase the economic impact of the boycott
Everyone would continue to watch television news as usual, with one important difference. We would keep notepads by our televisions and write down the names of sponsors. Those who sponsor the news programs would then be boycotted by all participating in the national news boycott. At the end of the week, sponsors would be called, written or e-mailed that they had been targetted by virtue of their sponsorship for a consumer news embargo.At the end of the week, the boycott would cease. After a brief respite, it could be resumed if plans remain in place to press for a “fairness doctrine.
Click here to read my complete article on The American Sentinel
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
One of the early battles of the Obama administration may revolve around abortion. Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore yesterday promised a forthright defense of the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.
According to an article in My Way, “The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.
In an impassioned discussion on Catholics in public life, several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy. Many condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back President-elect Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.
There is a wide range of possible responses to a Catholic politician who supports abortion. On the one hand, a blind eye can be turned towards Catholics in public life who are “pro choice.”
On the other hand , politicians can be banned from the sacraments, the central rituals in the lives of Roman Catholics. They can even be excommunicated, as have been political figures such as Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti and Juan Peron of Argentina. In America, the imposition of any penalty upon errant Catholics varies from one locality to another, being decided in most instances by local bishops.
There could be some pointed and specific action taken in the future by Catholic bishops who are enforcing adherence to church doctrine among those who wish to be considered Catholics in good standing According to the My Way article, “Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., singled out Vice President-elect Biden, a Catholic, Scranton native who supports abortion rights.
“I cannot have a vice president-elect coming to Scranton to say he’s learned his values there when those values are utterly against the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
The article goes on to mention Archbishop Joseph Nauman of Missouri .Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas said politicians “can’t check your principles at the door of the legislature.”
My way notes that Naumann took the concrete step of asking Kathleen Sibelius, the Governor of Kansas to refrain from taking communion until she changes her stance noting, “They cannot call themselves Catholic when they violate such a core belief as the dignity of the unborn.Although I normally stay far away from discussions in other religions about their beliefs, matters of human life and public policy are of direct interest to the public at large.
Click here to read my article on American Sentinel
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Word is leaking out very quickly and indiscreetly. Barack Obama is holding transition talks with George W. Bush. According to Drudge Report, “Just hours after President Bush and President-elect Obama met in the Oval Office of the White House, details of their confidential conversation began leaking out to the press, igniting anger from the president, sources claim.
“Senator Obama would be wise to keep close counsel,” a top Bush source warned.”
Obama is not the only one to be chirping about change in the air. According to World Net Daily,”Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in
“We were in contact with a number of Obama’s aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as they may have a negative effect on his election campaign and be used by Republican candidate John McCain (to attack Obama),” Yousuf told Al-Hayat.”
Anyone who was watching Obama closely knew about this. Those who willfully suspended disbelief can not claim that they were not forewarned.
The Cuban communist government has also gotten a new lease on life from
- Cuban President Raul Castro will visit
Moscow also repeated calls for Washington to lift the economic embargo imposed on the Caribbean island in 1962 when Castro’s brother, Communist revolutionary Fidel Castro, was in power.
“Next year we await … Raul Castro in our country and this will be yet another contribution to the development of ties,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque in
“Your visit is yet more evidence that relations between
Since the fall of communism,
The communique from the Cuban foreign ministry about the meeting with the Russians was hardly reassuring.
It should be noted that the American Communist Party greeted the announcement of Obama’s victory with undisguised joy. According to World Net Daily, “Hailing Barack Obama’s win as a victory for the “working class,” the Communist Party
An editorial by the People’s Weekly World said the victory was for “workers of all job titles, professions, shapes, colors, sizes, hairstyles and languages.”
The gleefully leaked news of Obama’s immediate plans to overturn over two hundred executive orders comes as little surprise. Change is fun. So much fun. Besides, Obama has his own friends. He doesn’t need George Bush.
All of the tough guys on the world stage seem to begetting ready to test their limits with Barack Obama. He still acts tough and flushed with confidence. He looks like the new kid on the cell block, accepting a cigarette and asking no questions. Everyone but Obama can see a rumble coming. Is he going to make a stand? Or is he joining their gang?