Friday, December 24, 2010

Penn State Covers its Indoctrinators

Gary Fouse

Norman Finkelstein-boob

Penn State University has attracted the attention of David Horowitz and the National Association of Scholars by revising its code on what professors can and can't say in the classroom. In essence, they have cleared the way for their radical leftist professors to engage in all the propaganda they want to in class, even if it has nothing to do with the subject material.

1987 version:

It is not the function of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his/her students with ready-made conclusions on controversial subjects. The faculty member is expected to train students to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently. Hence, in giving instruction upon controversial matters the faculty member is expected be of a fair and judicial mind, and to set forth justly, without supersession or innuendo, the divergent opinions of other investigators.

No faculty member may claim as a right the privilege of discussing in the classroom controversial topics outside his/her own field of study. The faculty member is normally bound not to take advantage of his/her position by introducing into the classroom provocative discussions of irrelevant subjects not within the field of his/her study.

2010 version:

Faculty members are expected to educate students to think for themselves, and to facilitate access to relevant materials which they need to form their own opinions. Faculty members are expected to present information fairly, and to set forth justly divergent opinions that arise out of scholarly methodology and professionalism.

This, of course, is a national problem. Students, especially in the Humanities, are being taught what their professors think about the world no matter how outrageous. And don't think that it is all being balanced out by conservative professors spouting their views in class. For one thing, there are few conservative professors in our universities. Most are too busy making a living in the real world. Those that do enter the Halls of Ivy generally find they are as welcome as the proverbial skunk at the garden party. (I entered after retiring from the government-as a part-time teacher.)

At UCI, where I teach, the Humanities Department is much smaller than most big universities since there is so much emphasis on the physical sciences, pre-med and engineering. Yet, we had an incident recently where a women's studies professor reportedly made it a practice to go off on regular rants against Israel causing one Jewish student to drop the class.

I myself in teaching English to foreign students make it a rule not to give my personal views on issues. If a controversial issue were to arise, I allow the students to express their views freely on these topics. When asked what my own view is, I generally tell them not to worry about what I think-rather work out their own opinions. I regard any professor who feels it is necessary to shove his or her opinions down students throats and not respect differing opinions from their students as being unprofessional.

At campus speaking events or seminars, however, that is different. In these venues, opinions are what matters, and I have chosen to become active in one particular issue (which my readers are well aware of).

This is not a matter of whether teachers have the right of free speech. They do. That said, they should perhaps keep in mind that as the saying goes, opinions are like ass----s; everybody has one. The fact that a professor has more wisdom because of his/her extensive education and research does not hold water as far as I am concerned. Most of these pin-heads have little to no actual life experience to bring into the classroom. They have gone from BS/BA to Masters to PHD to teaching. By the time they get that phd, they have been educated out of the last ounce of common sense they were born with.

You want examples? How about Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, William Ayres, Bernadine Dorhn, Noam Chomsky...the list could go on forever. Fortunately, Finkelstein and Churchill now do their preaching from a soapbox instead of a classroom because their wacky scholarship was proven to be just that.

The sad thing is that it is our children who are being cheated out of a quality education. In many cases, they get drawn into useless programs like ethnic studies, women's studies, gay, lesbian, trans-gender studies, community studies, history of consciousness, you name it. When they graduate with that piece of paper, they are equipped to do nothing but teach it to the next generation of students.

And to repeat that famous phrase, how does all that teach young students to think for themselves? According to the academics, it means that they don't have to accept what their government, their parents, their elders or their churches teach them-just accept what your misfit professor, who likely despises convention and his/her own country, teaches them.

Just look at what is coming out of our universities for the past several years. These young folks can cite you chapter and verse about all the dark chapters and mistakes in our country's history, gay issues, feministt issues, corporate evils, and on and on. Can they tell you what the capital of Poland is? Probably not. Can they tell you the exact years of World Wars I and II? Probably not. Can they tell you who our presidents were during those wars? Probably not. Can they speak a complete sentence without using the word, "like" at least twice? Probably not.

Perhaps, at this point in my rant I should concede that I am not talking about all teachers nor am I talking about all students. I am talking about trends. The basic truth is that American education, while known to have become deficient at the secondary level, is also dangerously over-rated at the university level. Inferior teachers, who teach their opinions, make inferior students, who make inferior graduates. Our children, at least if they are studying in the Humanities, are not getting the education their parents think they are paying for.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tracking Santa

By Findalis

In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn't find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa's position to any child who called in.

Listen to Colonel Shoup talk about the experience.

Needless to say many children and parents were delighted to receive this information. Little did they know that a tradition had been born.

Three years later, the governments of the United States and Canada combined their national domestic air defenses into the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but the tradition continued. Now major media outlets as well as children call in to inquire on Santa's location. NORAD relies on volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many employees at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to thousands of callers.

View at YouTube

About 800 service members and their families volunteer, and shift run from 2 a.m. MST December 24 to 2 a.m. Christmas morning.

In 1997, Canadian Major Jamie Robertson took over the program and expanded it to the Web where corporation-donated services have given the tradition global accessibility. In 2004, NORAD received more than 35,000 e-mails, 55,000 calls and 912 million hits on the Santa-tracking website from 181 countries. In 2005, more than 500 volunteers answered questions. In 2006 half a million calls and over 12,500 e-mails were handled from 210 territories. The site now gets well over 1 billion hits.

NORAD details its tracking system:

Detecting Santa all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

The moment our radar tells us that Santa has lifted off, we use our second mode of detection, the same satellites that we use in providing warning of possible missile launches aimed at North America. These satellites are located in a geo-synchronous orbit (that's a cool phrase meaning that the satellite is always fixed over the same spot on the Earth) at 22,300 miles above the Earth. The satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can detect heat. When a rocket or missile is launched, a tremendous amount of heat is produced - enough for the satellites to detect. Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph.

The third detection system we use is the Santa Cam. We began using it in 1998 - the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the Internet. NORAD Santa Cams are ultra-cool high-tech high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many places around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year - Christmas Eve. The cameras capture images of Santa and the Reindeer as they make their journey around the world. We immediately download the images on to our web site for people around the world to see. Santa Cams produce both video and still images.

The fourth detection system we use is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America. Then at numerous locations in Canada other CF-18 fighter pilots escort Santa. While in the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or F-16 get the thrill of flying with Santa and the famous Reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.

This year NORAD will be going live with its webcast and instead of hourly updates they will be in real time.

There are people who say that Santa Claus could not travel the whole world in one night. But they forget that Santa is a magical being, and magical beings can defy the laws of physics.
The fact that Santa Claus is more than 16 centuries old, yet does not appear to age, is our biggest clue that he does not work within time as we know it. His Christmas Eve trip may seem to take around 24 hours, but to Santa it may last days, weeks or even months in standard time. Santa would not want to rush the important job of distributing presents to children and spreading Christmas happiness everyone, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa functions within a different time-space continuum than the rest of us do.

To watch out for Santa via NORAD go here

Remember to leave out your milk and cookies for Santa and a carrot or two for the reindeer.

What Are They Smoking In Massachusetts?

By Findalis

I don't know whether to put this as a Moonbat Alert or a WTF. I think this one is both.

In Brookline, Maassachusetts a public school principal sent out permission slips to allow students to say the Pledge of Allegiance once a week.  Not daily, but weekly.
Gerardo Martinez, the principal of The Devotion School, informed parents that the school would begin reciting the pledge in January over the public address system.

Attached to the letter was a form that asked parents to check either: "Yes, my child will participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance" or "No, my child will not participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance."

"I urge you to have a conversation as a family to help your children understand why I will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and to support them in feeling comfortable and confident in the decision on whether or not to participate," Martinez wrote in the letter.

The school also sent parents a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance along with a note that defined the words "under God" as meaning "there is one Supreme entity for every citizen."

School officials told Fox News Radio they are in the process of offering some sort of clarification about the school’s policy as well as the definition of the words "under God."

"It's actually not a permission slip," said Superintendent Bill Lupini, in an interview with Fox News Radio. "There's no intent this was a permission form."

Lupini said students will not be forced to recite the pledge, regardless of a parent's wishes.

"If a student's parent checked yes and the student chose to remain seated, no one was going to compel that student to stand and vice versa," he said.

As for the definition of "under God?"

"My sense is that particular reference will be removed when he (the principal) clarifies it," Lupini said.

Some parents took issue with the permission slips.

"It's uncomfortable," Judi Puritz Cook told the Local Wicked newspaper. "The pledge is a promise, and I've always taught my kids to think very carefully before making any promise. It's not a decision I want to make for them."

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Boston also had some concerns about the situation.

Sarah Wunsch told the newspaper the permission slips were "really strange."

"It suggests that this is a decision for parents alone," she said, noting that children don't lose their right of expression once they walk into a school building.

Under state law, teachers are required to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every school day. Those who fail to do so for at least two weeks could face fines of up to five dollars.

"It's never been enforced,” Lupini said. "We will not be fining anyone."

I think that the State of Massachusetts is competing with the State of California to see which one is the most Moonbattiest.

You can contact Principal Gerardo Martinez

Snail Mail:

345 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446


Phone:  (617) 879 - 4400
Fax: (617) 739 - 7501

Remember it is Christmas time and nobody will be back until after the New Year.

You might want to remind this idiot of a principal what the Pledge of Allegiance actually stands for with this video:

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

Friday, December 17, 2010

Has It Only Been A Year?

That our dear friend Roger W. Gardner was taken from us?

How I miss his criticisms and words of encouragement.  How I miss the sanity he would bring to a debate or the wisdom that his years would impart upon us.  Most of all, I miss his presence from our battles.

How he must have cheered this last November. How he must be watching out for his little band of bloggers. Guiding us in his own way on the path towards victory.

I wonder if he is still blogging up there in heaven?  (What would he have to blog about?)

Although it has only been a year, if feels like much longer.

Guess Who?

In Memory

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Income Redistribution in California State Universities

Gary Fouse

If you follow the news in California, you probably know that the University of California and California State University are both raising tuitions in reaction to the budget crisis. (We're basically bankrupt.) Yet, at the same time, CSU has announced that one-third of the money from tuition hikes will go toward financial aid for low-income students.

Sounds like income re-distribution to me.
(Orange County Register/Brian Joseph)

Not so, says a CSU spokeshole.

"The education of each resident student attending a public institution of higher learning in the state of California, whether receiving any form of financial aid or not, is in fact subsidized in some way. At the CSU, a student who pays the full fee rate is receiving a subsidy on about two-thirds of the cost of their education ($7,305 in 2010-11), with that funding coming from the state.

The primary purpose of the State University Grant (SUG) program is to promote access and ensure affordability for those students with the least ability to pay for a postsecondary [sic] education. However, the notion that “students are expected to subsidize the education of their fellow classmates” is a common misperception. There is no transfer of dollars from student A who does not receive financial aid to student B who does.

In regards to the distribution of financial aid, the CSU first determines whether a student meets general eligibility requirements. One of the programs is the state Cal Grant that covers the State University Fee (what is charged as tuition) for most CSU recipients and comes from state general funding. If a student is eligible for financial aid, but not a Cal Grant or other grant/scholarship designated for payment of fees or a waiver of fees, they can receive a State University Grant (SUG). This student’s state university fee would be covered by the SUG award for a net cost of zero dollars to that student.

Financial aid and federal tax credits may also be available for many students who do not receive a Cal Grant or SUG, including those with family incomes of up to $180,000.

Ultimately, the resources available to the CSU from either fees or state funds pay for the broad range of educational expenses and student services on campus, including providing an increased number of course sections."

Blah blah blah, woof woof woof, quack quack quack. Sounds like a three card monty to me.

Excuse me, but let's break that down into simple numbers even a UC Santa Cruz Community Studies major could understand. One third of student tuition fees go to financial aid for students with lower incomes.

That's income redistribution.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why Moonbats Should NEVER Be Allowed To Run A City!

By Findalis

Moonbat Alert!

The city of Berkeley, California, home of Code Pinko, hatred of the men and women in US uniform, proud of the Islamic attacks on 9/11, and where science is not an acceptable course of study in school, is now giving the nation this new outrage:
Amid calls from some politicians to press treason charges -- which could carry the death penalty -- against whoever leaked secret cables to WikiLeaks, the Berkeley, Calif., City Council is entertaining a resolution to declare that an Army private accused of leaking some classified information to the website is an American hero.

City Peace and Justice Commissioner Bob Meola, who authored the resolution, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Pfc. Bradley Manning, 22, is a patriot who deserves a medal.

"If he did what he's accused of doing, he's a patriot and should get a medal," Meola told the newspaper. "I think the war criminals should be the ones prosecuted, not the whistle-blowers."

Manning -- accused of leaking a video that depicted an Army helicopter attack that left 11 people dead in Baghdad and widely suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of secret cables to WikiLeaks -- is currently being held in a Virginia military brig.

And that's where he belongs, say members of a national veterans group, who call the Berkeley resolution "appalling."

Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AMVETS, which represents roughly 180,000 U.S. veterans, said the City Council "would be wise" to vote down the resolution in support of Manning. A city commission has already approved the measure, and the Berkeley City Council will vote on it on Tuesday.

"AMVETS believes it would be appalling to commend someone like Bradley Manning, who has betrayed his country and disgraced the uniform," Gallucci wrote in a statement to "Manning not only compromised American interests across the globe, but he has blood on his hands for our Afghan allies sought out by the Taliban from the first leak."

Gallucci said Berkeley lawmakers should be "ashamed" that the proposal ever surfaced.

Manning, who has not commented publicly on his case, faces up to 52 years in prison if convicted of leaking the video. Though widely suspected, he has not been charged in connection with the release of hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, many of which have been released in the last couple of weeks.

His civilian attorney, David Coombs, did not return a call seeking comment. Army officials also did not immediately comment when reached by

But Jeff Paterson, an organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, said he's "hopeful" the Berkeley resolution will pass.

"I believe he's a hero," Paterson said. "There's an international witch hunt against WikiLeaks and if Bradley Manning is the source of the material, he needs all of our support."

Paterson, who will attend Tuesday's vote along with Meola, says he considers the resolution's chances of passing to be "50-50."

James Carafano, national security expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, said he considered the resolution to be jumping the gun.

"First of all, someone is innocent until proven guilty," Carafano said. "And the investigation is not done. They're kind of pre-judging the judicial system -- at least wait and see what evidence and charges are presented. They have no evidence to base this judgment on."

If Manning is ultimately charged and proven guilty of leaking the sensitive documents, Carafano said, the resolution could be construed as encouraging millions of U.S. military officials with access to sensitive information to disseminate that material.

"I'm a great lover of democracy and I'm a great lover of federalism," he said. "But if people of that city want to earn the disdain of other Americans, that's their right. If these people want to vote against the crowd, have at it.

"The most kind and generous thing you could say is that it's completely irresponsible."
I suppose we will now see this detestable piece of trash, this poster boy in favor of abortion, this creature with no redeeming value will get a ticker tape parade down Broadway next, the keys to all US cities and the Congressional Medal of Honor personally submitted for it by Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein.

There once was a time in this country that the left knew not to promote or support a traitor to the country.  Not only was the traitor shunned, but his or her supporters were shunned.  It was an unwritten rule concerning this type of behavior.  But those days are long gone. Now traitors are rewarded and heroes are jeered.

I wonder if there is any way to physically remove Berkeley from the United States and send it to Cuba?  They would be more at home there.  Just a thought.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Fires Are Out!

By Findalis

The Recriminations Begin.

Already the finger pointing and blame games have begun.  The fire that raged for 84 hours is still smoldering, yet the government officials are pointing their fingers at each other.
Millions of Israelis breathed a collective sigh of relief on Sunday after firefighters from here and abroad succeeded in overcoming the worst fire disaster the country has known, which killed 41 people, destroyed at least 50,000 dunams of Carmel forestland, damaged 250 homes, and caused over NIS 200 million in damage, according to initial estimates.

A number of small fires remained active in the Mount Carmel region, and the fleet of international fire planes that proved decisive in putting an end to the fires on Sunday, including a Boeing 747 supertanker leased by the government from a US company, remained on standby as night fell.

Weather forecasters said rain would likely help put out the remaining fires overnight.

“From our point of view, the danger has passed for all the places that were evacuated,” fire official Boaz Rakia said.

The relief quickly gave way to mourning, as 24 fire casualties – 22 Prisons Service staff and two policemen – were buried on Sunday.

As smoke rose from the smoldering forests of the Carmel, public pressure on the government and anger mounted over decades of neglect of the Fire and Rescue Service.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said he would soon publish a “grave” report on the shortcomings that led to the present state of the service. He was “only sorry” that warnings about the dangers that became evident in recent days had been disregarded by the authorities.

Magen David Adom officials said 33 people suffering from fire-related injuries were evacuated to hospitals during the four-day blaze.

Three of the injured – including Haifa police chief Asst.-Cmdr. Ahuva Tomer – were in critical condition, while three others were moderately hurt and the remainder lightly hurt.

Prof. Avi Perevolotsky, a senior researcher at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Organization, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that it would take around 40 years for the Carmel forests to recover.

All of the estimated four to five million trees incinerated in the inferno will be replaced naturally, Perevolotsky said, due to a fire-coping mechanism evolved by trees over millions of years, such as seeds that take flight during blazes and survive the flames, and underground branches that can also survive. But, he stressed, it will take decades for the forests to regain their natural heights.

“It will be a long time before the view we were used to in the Carmel will return,” Perevolotsky said.

“Experts knew that this was the most likely area for a fire of this type,” he added.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, police notified residents of the worst-hit area that they could return to their homes in Nir Etzion, Ein Hod, Ein Hud and Kibbutz Beit Oren.

Emergency officials said 250 homes suffered extensive damage, mostly in Ein Hod and Beit Oren. Live TV broadcasts carried images of shocked residents returning to Ein Hod and inspecting blackened homes.

The government has estimated that around 70 homes will have to be torn down and rebuilt, and allocated funds for mobile homes for displaced residents.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu placed a two-month time limit for the reconstruction process.

U.S. Ambassador Greets Flights with Anti-Fire Chemicals

Meanwhile, Israel Police Insp.- Gen. David Cohen paid tribute to Lior Boker and Itzik Melina, the two police officers who died trying to rescue a burning bus of Prisons Service staff on Thursday, and who were buried on Sunday.

“They were esteemed and loved officers who left their mark on the Northern District through years of achievement and contribution,” Cohen said. “We all salute them.”

Cohen added that “the Israeli people are all praying” for the wellbeing of Haifa police chief Tomer, who was “still fighting for her life.”

Also on Sunday, the Haifa Magistrate’s Court extended the custody of two teenage brothers from Usfiya who were arrested Saturday on suspicion of having started the massive fire through negligence during a family outing in the forest.

The suspects’ father said, however, that the boys were wrongly accused.

“We won’t allow two good kids to be framed with this case.... They had nothing to do with the fire, they didn’t even know about it.

One of them was sleeping and the other was in school,” he said.

The investigation will continue in the coming weeks.

Some Druse leaders have expressed anger over what they described as attempts to scapegoat members of their community for the disaster
If you wish to help the victims of this fire, here are a few sites to donate to:

Jewish National Fund

Friends of Israeli Firefighters (FIF)

Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Orthodox Union

Israeli Leadership Council (ILC)

Friday, December 3, 2010

40 Dead, Dozens Wounded, With A Hint Of Arson Too Boot!

By  Findalis

For most in Israel Chanukah is a time of joy with games, presents, good food and fun.  But for 40 families, there will be no joyful Chanukah this year.
Dozens of security personnel, many from the Israel Prisons Service, perished in the fire that has been raging on the Carmel Mountain since Thursday morning. Twenty two people were confirmed dead by 7:00 PM Thursday and 14 more bodies were reported found shortly after 10:00 PM. The total number of dead is estimated at 40.

36 out of the 40 victims were IPS cadets, most of them Druze, who were in their 20's. They were being transported on a bus after assisting in the evacuation of the Damon Prison. At a certain point the fire began spreading at great speed – covering a mile in five minutes, according to a firefighting officer – and the bus was caught in the flames with no chance of getting out.

The names of seven of the cadets were released early on Friday morning:

* Topaz Even Chen Klein (29) from Rechovot
* Maor Ganon (29) from Gan Yavne
* Kfit Ohana (30) from Ofakim
* Siyum Tzagi (31) from Netivot
* Yakir Swissa (28) from Dimona
* Hagai Jorno (28) from Kiryat Gat
* Oshrat Pinto (26) from Tzfat

Their funerals will take place on Friday.

Two policemen, a volunteer firefighter and another man were killed in the blaze as well. Among the people who were injured in the blaze is Lt.-Col. Ahuva Tomer, Commander of Haifa Police, who is in serious condition in Rambam Hospital after suffering burns.

Early on Friday morning it was confirmed that the process of notifying the families of the victims has been completed. Concurrently, the process of identifying bodies continues at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.

This is the largest and deadliest fire since Israel's founding in 1948, and possibly also the worst terror attack in its history, if suspicion of arson is confirmed. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday evening that the fire on the Carmel range is "a disaster of a scope that we are not familiar with."

Conflicting reports
Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich said Thursday evening that the fire is under “currently under control,” but Fire Services Spokesman Hezi Levy said the opposite. The fire, he said, is out of control and is raging in three major locations: the Druze village of Usefiya, Beit Oren, and Nir Etzion.

Residents of religious kibbutz Nir Etzion, the Ein Hod artists' village and the nearby Arab village Ein Hud have been instructed to leave their homes, after it was determined that the fire might reach the communities.

The residents of Kibbutz Beit Oren and Usefiyeh were evacuated earlier in the day, as were the students of Haifa University, which is somewhat further away. Several homes in Usefiya have been burnt to the ground. Haifa University has been closed down until further notice.

The Brosh neighborhood in Tirat HaCarmel and a mental health hospital in Tirat HaCarmel were also evacuated. Early on Friday morning, several streets in the Haifa neighborhood of Denia were also evacuated due to concerns that the flames would reach the neighborhood.

A resident of Beit Oren told Channel 2 news that several homes in the kibbutz burned down. Firefighters' spokesman Levy called Beit Oren "the former kibbutz of Beit Oren" in an evening interview, and said most of the homes in the comnmunity had been damaged.

Arson likely
Channel 2 reporter Yossi Mizrachi said that the way in which the fire spread indicated that the blaze erupted from three locations simultaneously -- making arson a likely possibility.

The fire broke out around 10:00 AM this morning in an illegal garbage dump in the Carmel Mountains.

Ongoing rescue and fire-fighting efforts are said to be nearly impossible given the physical conditions of the mountains, smoke, dry conditions and winds.

The trapped bus is said to have departed from the Damon Prison, apparently as part of the attempt to evacuate the prison in the face of the fast-spreading fire.

The Damon jail mostly holds Arabs who were caught illegally entering Israel from the Palestinian Authority. According to IDF Radio, however, the bus was "not a prisoner bus."
If proven to be arson, then this will be the worst terrorist attack in Israel's history.  As I am writting this, 15,000 residents have been evacuated from Haifa, every firefighter in the country is working to fight this fire including members of the IDF, the nations of Britain, France, Romania, Greece, Egypt, Turkey,Jordan,  Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Azerbaijan and Russia are sending help.   The Mayor of New York City is sending fire retardant chemicals, while President Obama sent his condolences to the families.

Today is a National Day of Mourning for Israel.  Prayers for the Dead, for the Firefighters and for very much needed rain are being said.

Some time during today please say a prayer for Israel and the brave men and women fighter this battle.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Portland Bomber and Entrapment

Gary Fouse

Not surprisingly, the liberal left is starting to come out with expressions of sympathy for the accused Portland would-be bomber, Mohamed Mohamud, raising the specter of entrapment. The New York Times has weighed in questioning the FBI's methods. In addition, the head of the Los Angeles hqs of CAIR, Hassam Ayloush, has also criticized the undercover method of the FBI. (Undercover agents provided him with fake explosives ands arrested him as he tried to detonate a car bomb with a cell phone.)

It may be helpful to define what constitutes entrapment. Since I worked undercover from time to time with DEA during my 25-year-career, I think I am qualified to give a non-lawyerly explanation.

A key word here is predisposition. Entrapment exists when a defendant is coerced or persuaded by an undercover operative or police informant to commit a crime the person would not otherwise have been predisposed to do. To make up an extreme example, say a government informant coerced a law-abiding citizen to commit a crime under threat of harm to the person or the person's family. That would be outrageous conduct and would constitute entrapment. It is not entrapment, however, for an undercover officer or informant to negotiate a drug deal with a drug dealer- who is already a drug dealer- (classical DEA case). On the other hand, a defendant has a prior drug trafficking offense or can be shown to have been engaging in drug dealing prior to the case in question, his/her defense of entrapment has little or no chance of succeeding.

Entrapment defenses are also countered by other evidence showing prior history of committing similar acts or by taped conversations showing the frame of mind of the defendant including statements of prior acts and interest in committing future acts. It appears in this case that the authorities went to great lengths to document this mentality on the part of Muhamed.

Another aspect of entrapment law is that the police may "afford the opportunity". For example, if the New York subway is having a rash of defenseless homeless people or drunks being assaulted, the police may use undercovers to pose as passed out drunks and arrest predators who attack them. The argument is that one who is not predisposed to attack a defenseless person would leave them alone. There was a famous case in New York City a few decades ago when an undercover cop actually had his throat slashed before his fellow officers could intervene.

In summary, the issue of entrapment will likely be used as a defense if this case goes to trial. I assume or perhaps I should say hope that the authorities will have ample evidence to show that this defendant was determined to commit a terrorist act before he came into contact with the FBI or an FBI informant.

Pending that, it would be prudent for the liberal media and people like Hassam Ayloush to let the evidence come out before making pronouncements implying that Mr Mohamud is a victim of entrapment.