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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What A Difference...

By Findalis

A few e-mails and phone calls made.  Instead of caving into the BS BDS movements demand that Sabra quit supporting the IDF and specifically their "adoption" of the Golani Reconnaissance platoon,   Sabra did an about-face and is not only continuing support of the IDF, but is redoubling its efforts of support.

In order to encourage more companies to follow Sabra's example, it is now asked by everyone to BUYCOTT Sabra.  That is right. Go out and buy Sabra Hummas.  Show not only the BDS idiots, but the world that you will take a stand with your wallet.  Plus it really is the best hummas on the market.

While we are on the subject of BUYCOTT, it is the holiday season.  The time of gift giving.  The time of pampering yourself and others. Think about putting some Ahava products on your shopping list.  With holiday specials and gift sets, you are sure to find a product for everyone on your list. And they make great stocking stuffers.

Ahava products are made exclusively from Dead Sea Minerals.  The very same minerals that history says Cleopatra used to snag both Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.

This holiday season BUYCOTT Israel!  Go out of your way to do it too. And remember to let the store's management of why you are doing this.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff Speech in Copenhagen

Gary Fouse

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is an Austrian journalist who is being criminally charged in her native Austria for defamatory speech (against Islam). She gave a speech on the topic of free speech at a conference in Copenhagen. I am cross-posting this from Vlad Tepes blog.

So now the EU is drafting legislation to crack down on free speech. As Ms Sabaditsch-Wolff points out, Europeans do not have a First Amendment. Thus, anything they say which could be construed as criticism of Islam would be subject to criminal prosecution. Is it any wonder Europeans are afraid to even mention the words, "Muslim" or "Islam"? Here is the wording of the EU Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia. Read it carefully. It may seem good on the surface, but it is dangerously broad.

Of course, one must make a distinction between hate speech-still protected under US laws- and an open and honest discussion of what Islamization and shariah law mean for Europeans. That discussion of Islam should not take the form of incriminating an entire people and should not be an incitement to violence or discrimination. However, it is a legitimate issue of public interest both here and in Europe. There must be a way for Europeans to express their concern about what is happening in their countries without being subjected to prosecution-not only in their own nations, but in any other member nation that takes exception to their speech.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Abraham Lincoln' Thanksgiving Proclamation

By Findalis

While George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation, this proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.
Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

By the President:
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.
Part of the Founding Document series.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One For The Record Books!

By Findalis

Hat Tip to Israel Matzav

I have thought that I have heard every type of story regarding the idiots who work for the TSA and the traveling public.  But this one, my dear Truth Seekers gets the prize for being the best example of the mental idiots and brain dead bureaucrats that are entrusted with keeping us safe when we fly.
A friend of mine sent me this about his TSA experience. He, unlike most of us, was coming back into the country from Afghanistan on a military charter.

As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards.

Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane–even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo–just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns–but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

And guess who is getting unionized?

Feel safe to fly now?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Ghailani Verdict-Why We Need Military Tribunals

Gary Fouse

The Department of Justice can spin this case any way they want. The fact is that the acquittal in New York of Ahmed Ghailani while being convicted of one count of conspiracy is a defeat for justice and a signal as to why these cases should be held by military tribunals instead of civilian courts.

It has been reported that the presiding judge had refused to allow the testimony of a key witness because the government had come up with that witness as a result of "enhanced interrogation". Fruit of the poisoned tree I assume.

It seems a stretch to me that the jury could convict him of conspiracy in connection with the African embassy bombings that killed 224 people, but not the murders themselves. Under conspiracy law, a co-conspirator who did not actually carry out the substantive act (in this case bombing the embassies) is still legally responsible if it was reasonable for a person to conclude that this plan could result in the deaths of people (in this case). I don't know the fine details in this case, but the key point is whether he was knowingly contributing to a plan to commit a terroristic act. For example, if you help a group of bank robbers case a bank, and in the act of robbing the bank, an innocent person is killed, you can still be held liable for the death even if you were not present. Why? Because if you knew you were assisting a bank robbery-even though you were not present-you would reasonably know there was a danger of someone being injured or killed.

The bottom line is that these cases belong before military tribunals. These are unlawful enemy combatants who fall outside the rules of war. There is no reason we should clog our court system with these terrorists-with whom we are at war. The example is the German saboteur case during World War II when German operatives landed on US shores to bomb key facilities. It was outside the rules of war. They were captured, tried by a military tribunal, and most were hanged.

By the way, when I was an Army MP, I had occasion to testify in a couple of court martials. I am confident they can do the job.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Most Sorrowful Boycott

By Findalis

I love Sabra hummus. Especially the roasted pine nut variety.  So a call to boycott Sabra, an Israeli company, is very disheartening and sorrowful to me.
An Israeli company that co-owns Sabra, the number-one selling hummus brand in the United States, has removed support for the IDF from its English-language website after a video circulating the internet criticized the company's support of Israel's "human rights abuses," according to a press release issued Thursday by the Philadelphia branch of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Strauss Group, which recently highlighted its "adoption" of the Golani Reconnaissance platoon and other Israeli soldiers on its website, has taken down its support for the IDF, according to the press release.

Kate Zaidan, a spokesperson for BDS group said, "We notice that while Stauss's English-language website no longer makes these claims, the Hebrew-language part of the site still includes them."

She added, "Philly BDS is asking that Strauss Group clarify whether the removal of the references means that Strauss no longer supports the Golani brigade, or whether it is simply an acknowledgment that support for the Israeli military is no longer seen as beneficial to Strauss's international image. We hope Strauss will confirm that the company now supports the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel."

Last month, Philadephia activists staged a dance around a local supermarket as part of a campaign to pressure grocery chains to stop carrying Sabra Hummus products. The activists urged the supermarket and its customers not to "buy into Israeli apartheid," and shouted "No Justice, No Chickpeas!"

Full Story
Giving into the demands of anti-Semites who would see the death and destruction of 7 million Jews (Dancing and singing  while they kill them.) is and should be unacceptable to everyone with a working conscience.

I have sent them an explanation of why I am boycotting their products and why I hope they will reverse their decision so I can then change the boycott into an buycott.
I understand that you removed your "adoption" of the Golani Reconnaissance platoon and support of other Israeli soldiers on its website, has taken down its support for the IDF. I find this not acceptable. The rational that was given to me was the so-called human rights violations of Israel. Violations that occur only in the minds of the anti-Semites of the Philadelphia branch of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.

I support the State of Israel and the men and women of the IDF. I also find the BDS movement to be against everything I hold dear.

Since you have caved into their pressure I have no choice but to divest myself from your product. I have enjoyed Sabra hummus for many years, preferring it to other brands. But as of today I will join the growing boycott of your product.

I do hope that one day you will reverse your decision and support the IDF openly.
If you wish to contact them you can by the following methods:

Snail Mail: Sabra Consumer Relations, PO Box 660634, Dallas, TX 75266-0634
Phone: 1-888-957-2272, Monday – Friday 9:00AM to 4:30PM Central Time
E-Mail:  Click here

A boycott isn't effective if the company involved doesn't know you are boycotting them or why.

Join this boycott and let us see if we can change Sabra's minds to join the BDS and instead reject this idea.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Going, Going, Gone!

By Findalis

I have been waiting for this news for the last 2 weeks.  This election here in the 8th Congressional District for Illinois has been too close to call.  Allegations of voter fraud do to ballots from 5 villages (including my village of Palatine) going mission on Election Eve and mysteriously found at a polling place that had already been searched.  Yet the counting continued.
By a margin of 291 votes out of more than 200,000 cast, GOP challenger Joe Walsh emerged Tuesday as the winner over U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean in their nail-biting 8th District congressional race.

Bean, a three-term Democrat, made the results official late Tuesday, conceding the contest after calling Walsh to congratulate him on his upset victory.

Walsh, a Tea Party-backed conservative, led Bean by 347 votes at the beginning of the day, but absentee and provisional ballots tallied Tuesday narrowed that margin to less than two-tenths of a percent.

While Walsh, 48, claimed victory following the Nov. 2 election, Bean had refused to concede until all votes were counted. Bean is scheduled to speak on her decision Wednesday at a news conference.

Walsh, a self-employed consultant from McHenry County who battled a sometimes rocky road to reach Election Day, is expected today to formally claim victory.

He has been in Washington as part of the transition for new members of Congress
It was during the summer of  2009, the time of Town Hall Meetings, that the first rumblings of discontent towards her surfaced.  Instead of an open discussion of the ideas, she sent in her SEIU thugs and threw out her bosses constituency.  She had forgotten that she had a temp job, and that we, her constituency were her bosses.  She kept up this behavior even after she voted for Obamacare, even after we voiced our displeasure with her, even after she did this:

We did warn her, but she thought she knew better.  The 8th Congressional is a conservative district.  The last 3 elections she ran as an fiscal conservative, but these last 2 years she voted like a fiscal liberal.  So we voted her out.

Yes she lost by only 291 votes, but I like to think that my vote was the one to kick her out.  Perhaps it was!

Just  a reminder to Joe Walsh that we will not be ignored!

Ray Stevens - We The People

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who is Mary Robinson?

Gary Fouse

If you don't know who Mary Robinson is, you should. This lady is a former president of Ireland (a ceremonial post-1990-1997) who was appointed by former UN Secretary General, the corrupt Kofi Annan, to be commissioner of the UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights (1997-2002). Robinson is a critic of Israel and also the US-especially its military actions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Once, when asked if George W Bush should be prosecuted for war crimes, she opined that the matter was "premature" and should be studied by an independent body.

As UN high commissioner, Robinson oversaw the Durban Conference on Racism in 2001, which concentrated its fire on the state of Israel. Last year, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.One thing must be pointed out in fairness to Robinson. During a meeting at Durban, someone handed her a cartoon book full of anti-Semitic images which was being handed out to attendees at the registration table. When she saw it, she stood up and protested, declaring (rhetorically), "I am a Jew."

Yet, the entire conference that she ruled over was nothing but an exercise in bashing Israel, yet another in a long line of UN embarrassments. In my view, that conference should have been brought to an abrupt end by Robinson as soon as she saw that cartoon book.

So now (last year), our president awards this woman a medal. Doesn't that speak volumes about where his ideology lies?

So what ever became of Robinson? I'll give you one guess.

That's right. In 2004, she was given a teaching position at Columbia University, where she has lived happily ever after.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I quit...

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Desert Storm vet explains decision to leave Air Force after 22 years.

I never expected to write this letter, but my Mom e-mailed me to get information about my career for a writeup on Veterans Day, and as this is the first such holiday in 22 years when I will not be on active duty, I felt compelled to let you know why I decided to quit.

Quit is a strong word, I know. Everyone I’ve talked to has repeated that I’ve had a marvelous career and that I’ve retired with honor. Maybe that’s true on paper; I guess that it’s reflected by the record. But that’s not how I feel. I feel like I’ve quit. And because I’m not a quitter, I feel I have to explain why — not that anyone is asking, but because perhaps they don’t know to ask.

Briefly, my career had been a representation of the promise of this country. Starting out on the lowest rung of the rank ladder as an F-4G Wild Weasel crew chief, continuing on F-16s and the F-117A Stealth fighter in Desert Storm, then a small part of Desert Fox as a nuclear Maintenance Officer and finally a pilot that took part in numerous deployments in Southern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I finished up an awesome year on the ground in Iraq, and was selected to receive a coveted “Definitely Promote,” assuring me of promotion to lieutenant colonel. They don’t pass out many of those. My dreams were right in front of me. All I had to do was grab them. And then I retired. Why?

Atlas Shrugged.

I had chosen, freely, to place my life between those that would do harm to the U.S. and those whom I would protect: her citizens. I had always believed in the best of America and the people of her lands; that despite occasional missteps there was a general “rightness” to our way. I lived that belief for 22 years, leading and following warriors into combat. I’m certainly no war hero; my brothers in arms have seen far more combat, more intense and personal than I. But I have become acquainted with death in a way that I hope you never do. My last tour, on the ground in Iraq was where my heart started to be hardened towards you, the electorate, and culminated in this letter, written two days before our elections. And here’s why.

You’ve elected officials who, for partisan points, spoke openly that the “…war is lost.” I happened to be in a dining facility in Baghdad that day, filled with the (mostly) young faces of (mostly) Army men and women. CNN was on the TVs, and things got very quiet when this elected official continued on, railing that the mission that some of these very people were here to do, had “…failed.” Yet, they would be donning their body armor, strapping on med kits and weapons, mounting HMMVs or MRAPs and heading outside the wire, ensuring that the newborn democracy in Iraq, purchased with so many lives, would be safe another night. The newly re-invigorated insurgents would be waiting, teeth bared back in a hateful smile, gripping the IED detonator, the RPG launcher, or the AK-47s to ply their trade with new energy, because the Senate Majority Leader had said they were winning.

You elected officials who continually defame and berate military members, whether it is the observation that if you’re not too bright, you’ll get “…stuck in Iraq” (this from a guy who has two Purple Hearts for self-inflicted wounds, and known for throwing someone else’s medals away in protest), or the calling of combat Marines cold-blooded killers (in a war; before trial). You’ve elected officials in the role of commander-in-chief who “loathe” the military, while using ROTC deferments and special treatment to avoid military service that the less “connected” take as a responsibility. On the basis of “change,” you elected someone who had close, ongoing associations with people who were part of an organization that tried to kill us [U.S. military] on our own soil.

You elected officials that promised to take property from some Americans, and give it to you, merely because they had more than you did. Those Americans that these officials have labeled as the “rich” are your neighbors, who provide jobs and pay far more in taxes than you ever will. That means they are already subsidizing your lifestyle choices; you just want more of their property without the responsibility of risking your wealth and labor to get it. You would rather hire someone to take it from them. And you have.

Yet these same officials from this same party are the wealthiest group of people in both the House and Senate. They have offshore accounts, forbid unions in their businesses and use every tax loophole they can find with their armies of accountants. But you keep sending them back to those jobs, because they promise to steal from some Americans and give to you.

You elect officials who openly embrace illegal activity; but they don’t have to live with the consequences. Other Americans pay the price. You support “sanctuary cities” and open defiance of federal law, including supporting administrations who sue our sister states as they desperately try to control a crime epidemic by supporting federal law. You support an administration that leads a party that gives a standing ovation to the leader of a country that exploits our kindness and actively encourages law-breaking in our country while insulting our fellow citizens who dare to try to enforce the law. Check out your elected officials; did they stand and applaud the racist diatribe of the president of Mexico? Did they join the attorney general and the head of Homeland Security in applauding this gaping hole in (homeland) security and law? Do you have locks on your doors? Why?

You elect officials who are openly racist, decrying that “White folks’ greed drives a world in need…” and that their own grandmother was a “…typical white person.” Someone who sits in admiration as their pastor (small p; no capital letters for racists), in a church he attended for 20 years, slanders the United States as the “…U.S. of KKK America” and delights that the 9/11 “…chickens have come home to roost.” Someone who refused to denounce a paramilitary, racist organization that placed its members in front of polling places armed with billy clubs, and yelling racist, threatening epithets. On video. And the Attorney General did nothing.

Oh, wait. The Justice Department is now apparently, under sworn testimony, the Department of Racial Payback. And you continue to support the party that supports this blatantly racist behavior because they say that they will stick it to “the man” on your behalf. A Nation of Cowards? I don’t think so; the courage of this breathtaking racism is without equal in modern times. One would think that you would use your votes to eradicate these racist policies from the U.S. But that assumes eradicating racism is your aim. It’s not, or you would be as incensed at this blatant racism as you would if sheet-covered whites were there. But longtime Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd’s old gang has been rightfully disgraced and shamed into a virtual non-existence. Thank goodness that 52 percent of you discourage that kind of behavior.

But you don’t. You support the tactic of using the epithet of “racist” as the cudgel of choice for racists who don’t like policies that conservatives advocate. Don’t like illegal activity? Racist. Your party insists that to provide a photo ID — proving you are who you say you are — is not only too much of a burden to ask a voter to bear, but it’s racist as well. This not only terribly insulting to all races, but when the burden of proof to rent the DVD “Second Hand Lions” (amazing movie!) is higher than that required to vote for someone who has control of nuclear weapons or deploying men and women into harm’s way, there is something wrong.

It doesn’t end there. Don’t like a particular female’s policies? Sexist. Yet, you support politicians who prey on 20-year old interns, seduce underage male interns, and, as a double bonus, support a person for the Supreme Court who says she is “wiser” than white people because of her race and sex. And any opponent of hers must be sexist and racist. Yet the prevailing double standard makes “bitch” an acceptable term for a conservative grandmother with the temerity to want to stop illegal activity. And “whore” is acceptable terminology for any conservative woman.

Sarah Palin seems to be a nice person, the kind you would love to have as a neighbor, regardless of her policies; but you insist that she is stupid and vile. She is ignorant and inexperienced, clearly not ready for anything, as holding a variety of elected and appointed positions culminating in the governorship of Alaska clearly doesn’t hold up against… an organizer of race-based communities. Sexist, if a conservative said those words about a liberal, but because she is not pro-killing-little-kids, 52 percent of you decided she was worth vicious ad hominem attacks that continue to this day. Not just saying that you disagree, but saying she is evil. You support it all. All because the folks that practice this abhorrent behavior promise to give you free health care stolen from other Americans who haven’t paid their ill-defined “fair share.”

My oath was this: “I, Mike, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

I took that oath seriously. But you have responsibilities, too. You should take them seriously.

Mike Banzet, a retired major in the U.S. Air Force, is a 1986 graduate of Flathead High School in Kalispell, Montana.
When I first read this letter I knew I had to post it in its entirety, without any embellishes or comments from me.  Major Banzet's words speak louder, clearer, with an eloquence that stands alone without overt embellishments.

It is a shame that men and women who serve our nation find themselves disillusioned and repelled at the level of revulsion directed at them by many of the esteemed Members of Congress.  Many of which never served a day of their lives in uniform, let alone in a combat zone.  These respected public servants are not fit to lick the shoes of Major Banzet, let alone speak against them.

Let the words of Major Banzet be a wake-up call to us all.  For if the Major Banzet's leave our military disillusioned and disheartened, we will be faced with the reality of a second class military incapable of defeating our weakest foe and unable to defend this nation from those who would destroy it from within.  A military the former Soviet Union wanted us to have and their fellow travelers are trying to turn into the new reality.

In Tribute To The Men And Women Of the US Air Force

Wild Blue Yonder

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Did CAIR Tip its Hand in Oklahoma?

Gary Fouse

If you were not paying attention, in the recent election, the state of Oklahoma passed a ballot measure (with 70% approval) that would make any future implementation of shariah law against the state constitution. Predictably, the Council on American Islamic Relations filed an immediate lawsuit and as usual, a friendly judge has passed a temporary stay on the law until hearings can be held.

Many might jump to conclusions and say that the ballot measure was ridiculous and there is no possibility of shariah law gaining a foothold in the US.

You might want to think again.

Just recently, a New Jersey judge ruled in favor of a Muslim man who abused his wife on the grounds that Islamic law denied the woman the right to refuse sex with her husband. British courts have already approved dozens of shariah courts to handle "family and community matters". As the measure's advocates have stated, passing such a law in Oklahoma was viewed as preventative measure for future rulings as the New jersey outrage.

What is even more ridiculous is the CAIR position that such a law would discriminate against Muslims. In the case of the New Jersey wife, it would protect Muslims and ensure they are afforded all the rights and protections given to all Americans. It would also seem obvious that the Oklahoma law would be in conformance with the principle of separation of Church and State.

But why is CAIR so quick to jump to the defense of shariah law in the US? After all, this is supposedly a "moderate" organization, right? Never mind their roots back to the Muslim Brotherhood (another organization that claims to be "moderate", but is also the parent organization of Hizbollah, Hamas and even Al-Qaeda.) The bottom line is that CAIR is now in the position of going through legal contortions to defend the idea of shariah law in America. In essence, they have screwed up in this matter. They have revealed their true colors. All we need do is to go back to a reputed quote from one of CAIR's co- founders, Omar Ahmad, which was reported in 1998 by a journalist named Lisa Gardiner who was present at a Muslim gathering in which Ahmad spoke.

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant, he said. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth, he said."

Ahmad and CAIR later denied the quote and demanded a retraction. Gardiner refused to retract the story.

Bottom line? CAIR is fighting a state law in Oklahoma that would prevent shariah from becoming part of the state's legal system. Does that mean that CAIR favors a legal system in the US based on shariah? Looks like that to me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Legend Lives On!

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

The Edmund Fitzgerald

On this day 35 years ago a great ship and her crew were lost at sea.  The Edmund Fitzgerald really was the "Pride of the American Fleet".

On February 1, 1957, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin contracted Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW), of River Rouge, Michigan, to design and build a taconite bulk carrier laker for Northwestern. The contract contained the stipulation that the boat be the largest on the Great Lakes. GLEW laid the keel on August 7 of that year, and some time between then and its christening and launch on June 7, 1958, Northwestern announced their decision to name the boat for its President and Chairman of the Board, Edmund Fitzgerald, whose father had been a lake captain.

The completed vessel had a capacity of 26,600 short tons (24,100 t). Its large cargo hold loaded through twenty-one watertight hatches, 11.6 by 54.1 feet (3.5 by 16.5 m) of 5⁄16-inch (7.9 mm) steel. The boat's boilers were originally coal-fired, but would be converted to burn oil during the 1971–72 winter layup. With a length of 729 feet (222 m), it met the demanding stipulation of the contract and until 1971 was the largest boat on the Great Lakes.

More than 15,000 people attended the Fitzgerald's launch. The event was troublesome. When Mrs. Edmund Fitzgerald christened the boat by smashing a champagne bottle over the bow, it took her three swings to break the bottle. The launch was delayed 36 minutes while the shipyard crew struggled to release the keel blocks. Upon launching sideways into the water, the boat crashed violently into a pier.  Was it an omen of the violent end of the ship?
(CNN) -- The vicious, swirling storm that battered the Great Lakes region in late October inspired talk of a similar gale that brought about one of the great mysteries of the 20th century.

The mighty ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, one of the largest ships on America's inland seas, seemed invincible in its bulk and mass, but it was no match for a howling Lake Superior gale on November 10, 1975.

A day earlier, the 729-foot behemoth, operated by mineral company Oglebay Norton, had chugged away from port in Superior, Wisconsin, on a course that would take it across the length of Lake Superior, through the Soo Locks and down Lake Huron to Detroit, Michigan, a journey that should have taken about 48 hours.

With the storm bearing down on them the next morning, the Fitzgerald and another freighter, the Arthur M. Anderson, took a northerly route, hoping the Canadian shore would provide a buffer. Icy rain was driven sideways by hurricane-force wind and monstrous 25-foot waves crashed over the main deck, which rode less than 12 feet above the waterline.

Capt. Ernest McSorley, a 37-year veteran on his last sail before retirement, stayed in radio contact with the Anderson and another ship, the Avafors. At 3:30 p.m., he reported his ship had suffered minor damage and was listing, or leaning to one side, in the storm, according to the Coast Guard report on the accident.

Things only got worse as the afternoon dragged on.

"I have a bad list, lost both radars. And am taking heavy seas over the deck," McSorley radioed around 6 p.m. "One of the worst seas I've ever been in."

The Lost Fitzgerald Search Tapes

He tried to make a run for the safety of Whitefish Bay on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. But about 7:10 p.m., the ship suddenly disappeared from radar and radio, without a call for help.

The Arthur M. Anderson made it to Whitefish Bay, but Capt. Bernie Cooper and his crew agreed to go back out into the maelstrom to search for survivors, as did the William Clay Ford. The searchers "went out and got the hell beat out of them," one observer said, but all they found were two splintered lifeboats and a single, unoccupied life jacket.

Nearly a week later, a U.S. Coast Guard sonar ship found the Fitzgerald. It had been wrestled to the ice-cold lake bed 530 feet below, its steel hull ripped into pieces, its 26,000 tons of taconite pellets spilled, McSorley and his 28 crewmen entombed forever.

Not one body was ever recovered, and no one knows exactly what caused the Mighty Fitz to founder. The mystery grew into legend over the years, helped along by a National Geographic special and a haunting popular song by Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot.

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29 men lost their lives that night.  Each year on the anniversary of the wreck, the ship's bell is rung in their memory.

The Crew:

Michael E. Armagost 37 Third Mate Iron River, Wisconsin
Frederick J. Beetcher 56 Porter Superior, Wisconsin
Thomas D. Bentsen 23 Oiler St. Joseph, Michigan
Edward F. Bindon 47 First Assistant Engineer Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Thomas D. Borgeson 41 Maintenance Man Duluth, Minnesota
Oliver J. Champeau 41 Third Assistant Engineer Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Nolan S. Church 55 Porter Silver Bay, Minnesota
Ransom E. Cundy 53 Watchman Superior, Wisconsin
Thomas E. Edwards 50 Second Assistant Engineer Oregon, Ohio
Russell G. Haskell 40 Second Assistant Engineer Millbury, Ohio
George J. Holl 60 Chief Engineer Cabot, Pennsylvania
Bruce L. Hudson 22 Deck Hand North Olmsted Ohio
Allen G. Kalmon 43 Second Cook Washburn, Wisconsin
Gordon F. MacLellan 30 Wiper Clearwater, Florida
Joseph W. Mazes 59 Special Maintenance Man Ashland, Wisconsin
John H. McCarthy 62 First Mate Bay Village, Ohio
Ernest M. McSorley 63 Captain Toledo, Ohio
Eugene W. O'Brien 50 Wheelsman Toledo, Ohio
Karl A. Peckol 20 Watchman Ashtabula, Ohio
John J. Poviach 59 Wheelsman Bradenton, Florida
James A. Pratt 44 Second Mate Lakewood, Ohio
Robert C. Rafferty 62 Steward Toledo, Ohio
Paul M. Riippa 22 Deck Hand Ashtabula, Ohio
John D. Simmons 63 Wheelsman Ashland, Wisconsin
William J. Spengler 59 Watchman Toledo, Ohio
Mark A. Thomas 21 Deck Hand Richmond Heights, Ohio
Ralph G. Walton 58 Oiler Fremont, Ohio
David E. Weiss 22 Cadet Agoura, California
Blaine H. Wilhelm 52 Oiler Moquah, Wisconsin

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Some time during today will you take a moment and say a prayer for the men of the Edmund Fitzgerald!

Lost but not forgotten!