Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SONY Caves to N Korea

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


And where is our president?



For those of you who may not know,. Sony Pictures in Culver City, California sits on the site of the old MGM Studio lot. I know this because my father used to work at MGM.

Today, it has just been announced that in the wake of cyber terror threats to hit US theatres with 9-11 attacks if the film, "The Interview" is shown, many theatres have cancelled plans to show the film, which was set to debut on Christmas Day. Now Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas debut.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/12/17/us-government-saw-interview-approved-theaters-upping-security/

As we suspected all along, it also now appears that thebthreat comes out of North Korea.

And where is President Obama? He is too busy announcing the re-establishment of relations with Cuba.

What comes next? Do we cancel showings of films like, "American Sniper" if ISIS threatens to strike our theatres that show it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ISIS Supporters in the US

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Yesterday, it was an ISIS sympathizer who took hostages and killed two in a Sydney cafe. It's just a matter of time before a similar attack happens here.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/16/lure-isis-feds-catching-more-americans-trying-to-aid-terror-groups-in-iraq/?intcmp=latestnews

Every Western country, and I include Australia in that group, has a number of its citizens or residents fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In some cases, it is a number in the dozens. With other countries, it may be in the hundreds, such as the UK and France. ISIS has already sent out the call to its sympathizers in the West that they should attack in their home countries whenever they can as lone wolves. It has happened in Canada and other countries. I expect in the coming year, we will experience several such attacks in the US. The FBI has been doing a good job of stopping several of them before they could attack. Some, however, are going to slip through the net. Most of the people we need to worry about are ones we allowed to enter this country from parts of the world where Islamic violence and intolerance are running rampant. Some are native-born converts to Islam. The common thread, however, always comes back to Islam notwithstanding the never ending claims that this all has nothing to do with Islam. It is a claim that has become laughable. Not discussing these truths in the name of political correctness will not protect us from terrorism.

Secure borders anyone?

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Attack in Sydney Ends

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


The hostage incident in Sydney has ended. The gunman is dead as is at least one innocent person. There are wounded.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/12/15/sydney-siege-five-hostages-escape-police-contact-gunman/

A couple of thoughts to add to the details that are now known. Not knowing Australian law, I don't know why this Iranian immigrant was allowed to remain in the country and/or  why he was not in custody on charges of being involved in the murder of his ex-wife. Suffice to say he was well-known to the authorities. His motive, in spite of what some authorities were saying in the past hours after the Shehada flag was displayed in the Lindt cafe window, was clear. He was on an act of jihad. Whether he had hard links to ISIS or was one of the "lone wolves" ISIS has called upon to attack whenever they can in the West ( I am including Australia in the "West" here.) is unknown and perhaps, academic.

In the wake of this incident, some Australians have come forth and offered to escort Muslims around to allay their fears of backlash against Muslims. That is highly commendable. I suspect and hope that it will not be necessary. I know the Australian people are better than that. I don't expect them to lash out at innocent Muslims. Australian does have a highly radicalized Muslim element who have talked about publicly beheading people. The police are investigating that as we speak.

The problem is not really peaceful and tolerant Muslims who are trying to live their lives and are willing to respect others. However, there is a problem with the ideology of Islam far and beyond the manner in which they worship God every day. In the meantime, this incident has surely awakened millions of more people to that reality.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Lectured on Islam by Joe Biden!

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


"Let me tell you a thing or two about Islam."
- Joe Biden to Ayaan Hirsi Ali


Hat tip Washington Examiner and Jihad Watch

You really have to read to near the end of this article about Muslim apostate and Islam-critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, where she describes her meeting with Joe Biden, who tried to explain to her that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.

                          "Hell, I was circumcised when I was kid too. That's no big f----' deal."

The problem with Joe Biden is that he has always considered himself to be the smartest person in the room. He displayed this time after time when he was a senator and holding hearings on this and that. The truth of the matter is that Joe Biden is a complete fool. When you make a statement like that to a woman who has lived her life in fear because of her apostasy from and criticism of Islam, you prove once and for all that you are a fool. Had Ms Ali wished to continue the conversation with this boob, she could have shown him this picture (below) of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh, with whom she produced a film critical of Islam's treatment of women.



"Mr Biden, let me tell you a thing or two about Islam."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hillary Clinton's Latest Verbal Gaffe

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


"Smart Power"


"And I empathize with you!"


This is another sterling example why Hillary Clinton is unfit to be our commander in chief. In her latest speaking gig (I wonder how much she got paid for this one.) she said that we must show empathy and respect for our enemies' point of view.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/05/clinton-says-america-should-empathize-with-its-enemies/

Can you imagine FDR or Harry Truman speaking like this about Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan during WW II?

Naturally, she is referring primarily to Islamist extremists because, after all, we mustn't offend Muslims. Who knows? Maybe she is also referring to Vladimir Putin and Russia. At any rate, this is another harbinger of further American weakness if she ever gets into the White House.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Perils of Being Pro-Israel on Campus

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Legal Insurrection


Legal Insurrection, a blog by Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson, has a good article on the dilemma faced by pro-Israel students on campus: Fight or flight. There are two videos. The first shows students describing the thuggery and intimidation they receive at the hands of pro-Palestinian supporters on campus. The second has recent video from encounters at Cornell.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/11/being-pro-israel-on-campus-fight-or-flight-spoiler-alert-fight/

These outrages, of course, could not go on if universities had administrators with an ounce of courage. Sadly, they do not. Secondly, these thugs are more often than not inspired and encouraged by leftist anti-Israel professors who have indoctrinated them in the classroom and at campus speaking events. It is a sad commentary in our universities today that places of learning have become places of indoctrination and intimidation.

And where are the national Jewish organizations that should be speaking out about these outrages and pounding on the desks of university presidents demanding an end to anti-Semitism and bullying of Jewish students on campus? They are missing in action. With the exception of a handful like the Zionist Organization of America, Stand With Us, and CAMERA, they are missing in action. Other organizations like Hillel, the Jewish Federation, and the Anti-Defamation League are afraid to upset the apple cart on campus. In the case of the first two, they are too embedded with the university and too dependent on same in order to operate on campus. They are also afraid that Jewish students will decide to attend other schools if their university is known for anti-Semitic agitation. The ADL will not complain about anti-Semitism when it comes from Islamic sources. It all adds up to a perfect storm.

What is needed is that groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, various Muslim Student Association chapters, radical professors on their soapboxes, gutless Jewish organizations, and university administrators need to be exposed to the community. Furthermore, it is time for campus police to cease their policies of "low profile" anytime a volatile situation is taking place on campus. The campus should be a safe place for all, and those that make it anything else should be removed from the campus.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Was It Something I Said, Professor?

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Note: I did not videotape the below event, and my writing is based on my handwritten notes.


On Monday, I attended an event at UC Irvine sponsored by the UCI Center for Global Conflict Studies. The speakers were UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine and former Swedish ambassador Mathias Mossberg. Both of them have co-edited a new book that puts forth a rather bizarre proposal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is not a two-state solution, not a one-state solution, but a parallel state solution. ("One Land, Two States:Israel as Palestine as Two States").

The event was notable for two things: First, your humble correspondent made a serious factual error when I asked Ambassador Mossberg during the q and a about an article I understood he had written for a Swedish blog in which I quoted him (erroneously) as having condemned Israel over the recent Gaza fighting and denying that Hamas had used its people as human shields and had actually wished for civilian deaths as a strategy.  His response was that he had never written it, and as it turns out, he was correct. More about that later. The event was attended by Professor LeVine's students as well as several older attendees. Of course the book they had co-edited was available for purchase.

The presentation was supposed to be accompanied by a power point presentation, but it never came off since apparently neither LeVine or Mossberg knew how to operate the power point. An appeal was sent out to students in the audience to get it sorted out, but to make a long story short, the power point never happened.

At any rate, as Mossberg explained it, the basic points of the parallel states plan are that:

The state would respond to people as opposed to the state.

Free travel in the territories.

There would be two presidents, two parliaments, and everybody would have to cooperate.

There would be a joint external security force.

The different economies (Israel-West Bank-Gaza) would have to joined in an equitable manner.

There would also have to be legal harmony between the Palestinian and Israeli legal
systems.

Ambassador Mossberg stated that since the two sides don't trust each other, it would be difficult but not insurmountable. As for reactions to the plan, he added that some people had positive reactions while others said it "was the most stupid idea they had ever heard."

But let's be fair. Ambassador Mossberg was having to ad-lib a bit because the power point presentation had not materialized. This article in The Guardian outlines it a bit better.

As for LeVine, he severely criticized the Oslo Accords even calling them "corrupt" at one point. At one point he said, "Don't Palestinians have rights?" and stated that the Israeli government acts like they don't know what they (?) are talking about.

Also, at one point Ambassador Mossberg said that Europe was likely to get more involved in the conflict and that Europeans were shocked by what they had seem from the recent Gaza fighting.

When the q an a came I got the first question, and it went something like this. (It was addressed primarily to Ambassador Mossberg.)

"If either party were to accept this plan they would want to be confident that the authors of the plan were impartial. With all due respect, professor LeVine is an anti-Israeli activist...

At this point Mossberg expressed disagreement  and I added that LeVine would probably say that himself. LeVine then said that was not the case and that I had "disrespected" him. I was then allowed to continue with my question.

I continued with the article in question which came from a Swedish blog called Vänstra Stranden (Left Bank). I quoted the author (whom I erroneously thought to be Mossberg) as criticizing a previous article in Svenska Dagbladet by Israeli ambassador to Sweden Isac Bachman who had blamed Hamas for the recent Gaza war and charged that Hamas was using its own population as human shields and wishing for civilian deaths. The author of the Vänstra Stranden article had said there was no evidence that Hamas had used its people for human shields and absolutely none that they wished for civilian deaths. I countered those assertions by quoting reports from international journalists who had witnessed Hamas fighters firing from civilian sites and also a German film crew that filmed Hamas personnel forcing civilians back into buildings they were trying to evacuate after having been warned by Israel that an attack was coming.  After being told by LeVine to come to the question instead of making points, I asked why should the Israeli government accept a plan whose authors were biased. Ambassador Mossberg asked for a copy of the article, took a look at it, and passed it back to me saying that he had never written it.

When the event concluded, I approached LeVine and said that I had intended no disrespect. I started to explain that Ambassador Mossberg might want to look into this further, but I was cut off. At this point, with many of his students and other attendees still in the room, a visably angry LeVine began to shout at me. He told me that my writing was "sh--" and he was not embarrassed to say that it was "sh--" in front of the room. He also shouted that if I ever called him "anti-Israel" again, I was going to have a problem-that it was "slander". He finished by saying that I was not qualified to teach at this university and that he didn't want to talk to me-"Goodbye."



Temper, temper.


As I listened to all this, I told him that I was not going to engage in a heated shouting match since it was not the appropriate place. That was true. His own students were standing there, and as a teacher, I was not about to engage in this behavior in front of students.

So I went over to Ambassador Mossberg and told him that we should look further into this article, which I again showed him. This time he took the article which had his name above the text as if he were the author.  I said that if he didn't write it, I would apologize for bringing it up. He was very gracious, and we parted on good terms unlike the aforementioned Professor LeVine.

Later, I checked further into the blog and determined that misleading as the post was, it was not Mossberg who wrote the article. If you Google Vänstra Stranden and Mathias Mossberg, you come up with this posting with his name above the text. However, if you Google say, Isac Bachman (the Israeli ambassador to Sweden) and Vänstra Stranden, you get the same result-a page that appears as if Bachman wrote the same article. This is a misleading feature of the blog, but I have no excuses. I thought I had an article written by Mossberg, when in reality, it was written by the blog's editor, Marie Demker. It was my mistake, and I take full responsibility for not checking deeper.

As soon as I found the problem, I sent an explanatory e-mail to Ambassador Mossberg with the appropriate links and repeating my apology. Here is the text of that e-mail:

Dear Ambassador Mossberg, 
 
 
I am the one who brought up the question today at UCI about an article in 
Vanstra Stranden that bore your name. Upon returning to my office I did further 
checking into the blog in question and have confirmed that as you stated, you 
did not write the article. For that I repeat my apology for bringing it up. 
 
The reason your name is attached to the article is due to some feature in the 
blog which can lead to confusion. I originally found the article by Googling 
your name and came up with an entry from Vanstra Stranden. As you can see from 
the copy I gave you the page would indicate that you are the author of the 
article when it is actually Marie Demker the blogger herself. Your name appears 
also at the bottom in a footnote by Demker that caused the problem. 
 
http://vanstrastranden.wordpress.com/tag/mathias-mossberg/ 
 
For example, if you Google the name Isac Bachman, the Israeli ambassador to 
Stockholm, and Vanstra Stranden you will get the same page with his name at the 
top suggesting he is the author. 
 
http://vanstrastranden.wordpress.com/tag/isac-bachman/ 
 
 
I hope that clears up the confusion, and once again I apologize for the error. 
 
Best regards, 
 
Gary Fouse 



As for Professor LeVine, if I was in error in calling him "an anti-Israel activist", perhaps it was due to the time I saw him as part of the Whither the Levant  event at UC Irvine in 2009-a veritable one-sided Israel bash.

Or perhaps, it was the time he brought a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim el Hudaiby to his class in 2008. I was there also.

Or how about this article from Campus Report Online and cross-posted by Campus Watch in 2006?

Or could it be articles like this written by LeVine for Al Jazeera?

Or how about that letter LeVine signed calling for an academic boycott of Israel? No anti-Israel activist there.

I could go on and on, but maybe I just got the wrong impression from all of the above (and much more).

But I will say this: There will be no apology to Professor LeVine. He embarrassed himself in front of his class with his meltdown, and I would hope that the next time he chooses to explode at me he will do it when no students are around. Then we can have a "real discussion."

And as for that Utopian idea of his for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it strikes me as well, Utopian.

As long as LeVine keeps signing blatant, one-sided petitions supporting boycotts of Israel academic institutions and placing disproportionate blame on Israel for all the problems in the Middle East, his credibility and ideas are not likely to be taken seriously by people who are truly interested in finding a peaceful resolution to this long-standing conflict. He may think his spoken and written words do not make him an anti-Israel activist, but others would disagree.