Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anti-Semites In San Francisco Thwarted For Now

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Thus is the Law of Moses and it seems the Law in San Francisco.  So says Judge Loretta Giorgi.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi on Wednesday issued a tentative ruling saying the proposed ballot measure to ban circumcision in the city must be withdrawn, calling it "expressly preempted" by state law.

Lloyd Schofield, 59 year old anti-circumcision activist, was determined to have male circumcision banned by legislation in San Francisco. For starters, he gathered 12,000 signatures, while ony 7,168 are required for the city of 750,000 by the city’s Department of Elections, for his proposal to be placed on the ballet in the November 8th San Francisco elections .

The measure, which would only apply in San Francisco, was intended make it a crime to circumcise a minor, regardless of the parents' religious beliefs. The maximum penalty would be a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The ban’s campaign material included anti-Semitic comic books depicting a Jewish mohel, or circumcision practitioner, as the sinister villain "Foreskin Man", in the inimitable style of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion and the Nazi Der Sturmer.

According to the Associated Press the plaintiffs of record in the lawsuit filed against the measure included five Jews, three Muslims, two doctors who regularly perform the procedure, the local chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the national Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Volunteers have been working at debunking the misconceptions about circumcision, citing medical and freedom of religion issues.

Judge Giorgi put the controversy on hold by stating on Wednesday that the California Business and Professions Code prohibits local regulation of medical procedures.

She added that it "serves no legitimate purpose" for an illegal measure to remain on the ballot and ordered elections Chief John Arntz to remove it. According to Arntz, after Sept. 1 it will be difficult to remove the proposal from the ballots because they go to the printers. Ideally, the judge will have issued a ruling by that date, stopping the proposal in its tracks.

If the law is on the ballot and passes, it will run up against an overriding state and/or federal law, so there is no chance of the circumcision restrictions ever taking effect.

Abby Porth, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said she's delighted the "extreme and hurtful" measure might not even appear before voters.

"The idea we would put doctors in jail for performing a procedure with known health benefits that parents request for their children is outrageous," she said.

“Even if it made the ballot, we don’t believe it would have passed,” Porth said.

So far the courts have stopped this travesty of the legal system from being pushed forward.  But the anti-Semites have stated that they will appeal.  And there is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  A court notorious for their extreme liberal views.  Until then, this obscene law will not be on the ballot, will be dead on arrival.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New York Times Editorial on Oslo

Gary Fouse

It is hardly surprising that the New York Times would take the lead in linking the Norwegian terrorist to the right-wing, Christian conservatives and anyone who would speak out against the outrages that come out of the Islamic world on an almost daily basis.

The writer, Scott Shane, takes particular aim at bloggers and activists like Robert Spencer and Pam Geller. That is hardly fair. Virtually none of the individuals or organizations mentioned in this article has expressed anything other than shock and disgust of what happened Friday in Norway. Nobody is celebrating and nobody is expressing support for this evil act. Had the victims been Muslim, the reaction would be the same. It was wrong-period.

It is undeniable that many people, both in Europe and America, have spoken out against Islamic terror, as well as shariah law and its attempt to gain a foothold in the West. In Europe, especially, uncontrolled immigration has disrupted virtually every western European country. One reason is that Europe never attempted to assimilate their immigrants, most of whom came to do manual labor or came as refugees-real and imagined. Immigration is a positive thing as long as it is controlled and people come and stay legally. That immigration in the US and Europe has broken down (due to different factors) is clearly the fault of our political leaders.

It is true that decades ago, when the first Turkish Gast Arbeiters (guest workers) began arriving in Germany, many were met with discrimination. A German writer actually went undercover posing as a Turkish shop cleaner, experienced the discrimination, and wrote a book about it (Ganz Unten-"At the very bottom").

Things are different now. We have the specter of Islamic terrorism sweeping the world and militant Muslims on the march, many openly telling us that we will all become Muslim. That has offended many people on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, most countries - including Norway-are witnessing a dramatic upsurge in crime committed by Muslim immigrants, who, as stated, have generally arrived as part of worker-refugee families with little education and a resultant low degree of assimilation or any regard for the host country values and culture. Their abominable behavior-as always- hurts the decent Muslims in Europe just trying to live better lives and become part of their new country. That applies here as well. When a group like Hizb-ut- Tahrir holds a conference in Chicago and speakers get up and rant and rave about the US, while predicting a world-wide caliphate under shariah law, people are going to be offended. That is not racism.

It is undeniable that Muslims, especially in Europe, are not popular. Yet, is it simple Islamophobia or racism-as the Times writer would have us believe to be angry about seeing sections of major cities become areas where they dare not enter? Is it racist to resent entire streets in Paris being illegally closed off and used for Muslim prayers? Is it racist to fear that your country will not belong to the indigenous people in 20-30 years? Is it racist to resent riots in the streets by immigrants? Is it racist to resent the fact that Jews can no longer walk the streets of the cities they have lived in for decades wearing Jewish garb because of harassment and assault by Muslim immigrants? Is it racist to resent an ideology (political Islam) that will strip away the rights that people, especially women, Jews, gays and non-Muslims enjoy as a given? Is it racist to fear Islamic terrorism? Is it racist to rebel against hate and intolerance itself?

This is where the Times is blatantly unfair. This phenomena in Europe-and to a lesser extent in the US- cannot be laid strictly on the doorstep of white, Christian, conservative racists. If there were no such thing as Islamic terrorism, and Muslim immigrants simply wanted to find a better life in the West, it would be certainly racist to not welcome them just because they have a different skin color, speak a different language or practice a different religion. I think that Asian immigrants from the Far East fit into each of those categories, but they are not being met with the same resentment. Why?

The action of one crazed gunman cannot be used to paint entire classes of people. Yet, for the Times and the left, it presents them with just such an opportunity. First it was Timothy McVeigh; now it is Anders Breivik. Two deranged individuals; two horrific acts. This is not a trend. The people they represent is a minuscule group of fanatics. They do not represent Pam Geller or Robert Spencer. They don't represent Gates of Vienna. I read Gates of Vienna. I have heard Geller and Spencer speak. They do not call for the murder of anybody. Nor do I think they are calling for mass deportations, which would not be reasonable. What is reasonable is to crack down on the criminals and troublemakers and send them packing. It is also reasonable to tell would-be immigrants that they are expected to come legally, assimilate, obey the law and accept our values. If they do, I say, "Welcome."

The Oklahoma City bombing was in 1995. Oslo was 16 years later. If, God forbid, other such attacks occur, I would predict they will be few and far between. There will not be a rash of similar attacks by like-minded people. Yet, how many acts of terror inspired by Jihad have occurred in the 16 years between McVeigh and Breivik? There is no excuse for our politically-correct Department of Homeland Security to lose its focus and operate as though the threats are the same from both sides.

Yet, the challenge for those of us who are speaking out is not to be radicalized a'la Breivik and lash out at all Muslims. Most are not terrorists or even terrorist sympathizers. Most probably, deep in their hearts, don't care about the whole world being one big, fat Islamic caliphate. I still hold to the view that the Muslims I know appreciate the liberties they enjoy here in America. To them I say, "Stand with us against the bad guys."

The Emperior Has No Clothing!

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Book of Obama: Chapter 13

His Excellency, The Most High, Master of the Nation, President Barack Hussein Obama (May He Reign Forever) spoke to the peons of the population.  None of this problem is MY fault, the Great One exclaimed.

"I blame Bush! He spent $1 Trillion in 8 years. And there was the Recession. We had to spend, spend, spend to Save the Nation. It is the fault of the Republicans. Those nasty TEA Partiers. It is the fault of everyone else. I am your King. Nothing is MY fault. It never is.

We need to make the rich give up their money. The Corporate CEOs with private jets need to give all their money to ME. The Billionaires and Millionaires have too much money, I need it more.  I need much more.

Although I am Omnipotent, I need your help.  If I don't get the debt ceiling raised, the world will come to an end.  The elderly will be forced to eat cat food.   The military will not be paid.  Veterans will starve while being thrown on the street. All this because the evil Republicans with their allies the rich fat cats, will not do as I order them to.

Every President for many years has gotten what I demand.  The Great Reagan spoke thus:
"Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer."
And yet these evil men will thwart MY plans, MY desires, what I want.  It is very simple.  Without this ceiling raise, we will DEFAULT on our debt.  The nation will be destroyed.  It will not be MY fault!  We have only a week.  I need you to call Congress and demand that they raise the ceiling.  Raise it enough so that We don't have to do this until after November 2012 (So I don't have to bring this up again until I am reelected!). Only you, the Middle Class, the Poor need to do this.  Together We can defeat the rich, the ignorant, the Republicans.

Thank you MY subjects.  I bless you!"
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
-----Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Thus the Anointed One spoke to the people.  And they would have listened to Him but for the voice of the House Speaker, Boehner of Tears.  He spoke quietly, passionately, and with a firm voice.  His words bespoke of the truth and the people listened:
"I am not a fat cat, I was just a small business owner before I came to Congress.  I am one of you, the Middle Class, the people who find all of this too complicated to understand.  But it isn't too complicated.  It is as easy as your own home budget.

The President wants us to raise the debt ceiling for the next 18 months. This is so He will not have to face this problem during an election. The President swears that if we don't raise the ceiling the nation will end. We will default on our debts, the old will starve, the military will not be paid and veterans will be homeless. This is a lie. None of this will happen. What will happen is that for the first time the nation will have to live within our means. We will have to cut spending. We will have to trim the fat.

The President refuses to cut the fat, the port, the earmarks. We had a deal, but the President threatened to veto it. We have another deal, but it forces the President to cut spending, and will only raise the debt ceiling for 6 months.

The President is acting childish. He is carrying on a temper tantrum: "Do it my way or face the consequences!" The President can quote Ronald Reagan, but he will never be Ronald Reagan. Nor does he understand what Reagan stood for.

We will call his bluff. The President will be taught the lesson of the Constitutionality of this issue. He will be denied. He believes to be our King. But he forgets. We are Americans! WE HAVE AND WILL HAVE NO KINGS!!!!
And with that, the American people awoke to the truth of the argument.  The did call the Congress telling them to stand firm, don't give in to Obama's demands.  If we can stop him now, he will be destroyed. And they remembered this:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

---Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

Yes President Obama has become a Tyrant.  It is time to take down the tyrant.  Call your Congressman or woman.  E-mail him or her.  Let them remember what happened in 2010.  You put them into Congress and you can take them out.  Time is running out. the nation and our freedoms are at risk.  It is time to stop the Tax and Spend culture of the Presidents and Democrats now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Terror in Norway: No Excuse

Gary Fouse

Now that we know the motive behind the Norway terror attack, it is time to draw conclusions and speak out before something like this happens again. According to the statements of Anders Behring Breivik, it seems clear now that his actions in Oslo and Utoya Island were motivated by rage against Muslim immigrants and Norwegians whom he perceived were not standing up to the problems.

Let's be honest; when we first heard the news, most of us assumed it was the work of Islamic terrorists-myself included. Fortunately for me, I chose to wait until it was confirmed before actually saying it. It was a mere formality I thought. Of course, I was wrong and glad that I didn't jump the gun. Yet, in the comments thread, one anonymous reader took me to task for saying that Muslims should reflect as to why everyone would assume it was Islamic terrorists. I concede that my statement was inartfully worded.

As it turns out, this was more like Europe's version of Oklahoma City. Moreover, Oslo was motivated by hate against Muslims even though the targets were other ethnic Norwegians, whom Breivik thought were "part of the problem" so to speak. (Al-Jazeera had reported on the Norwegian foreign minister visiting the Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island the day before and criticizing Israel. A "Boycott Israel" sign could be seen in the accompanying picture.)

It goes without saying that this act has provided fodder for those who say that the backlash against Muslim immigration in Europe is proof that it is all about racism and hate, and that to complain about Islamic terror and crime committed by Muslims in Europe is hypocritical since both sides are now doing it.

It could certainly be answered that this is the first real terrorist act carried out by one crazed person in Europe opposed to Muslim immigration. Does it matter that the victims were other Norwegians? Whether they were Norwegians or Muslim immigrants doesn't matter. It would be just as wrong either way.

But the important point is this; what happened in Norway must never be repeated. It must not be allowed to be an inspiration for others to carry out acts of terror, violence or hate against Muslims in Europe. Those organizations in Europe who speak out against radical Islamists in their midst must speak out and condemn this act immediately. It must remain one isolated incident by an unbalanced person not the start of a trend or movement. It is undeniable that Europeans are angry about what is happening to their societies and the lack of assimilation of a broken immigration system. Their concerns are legitimate but can be discussed and addressed peacefully without violence and without victiming those Muslims who are trying to quietly work and live their lives in Europe.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

On July 20, 1969 10:56 PM EDT, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. landed on the Moon.  The fulfillment of a commitment to human space travel by President John F. Kennedy:
For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the Moon and the Planets beyond.

We Choose to go the Moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept. One we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win.
John F. Kennedy 12 September 1962 Rice University

It has been 42 years since the first Moon landing and 49 years since President Kennedy spoke those moving words.  Yet recently President Barack Hussein Obama not only cancelled the Constellation program, scrubbing the US return to the Moon and then Mars.  And has saddled the US with an enormous cost to send our astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).  The Russians will do it for $50 million dollars each astronaut.

President Obama claims that his plan will create jobs.  He is right.  Jobs for Russians, not Americans as the people of NASA will be downsizing and 1/3 of the NASA work force will be out of work tomorrow.

Ironic isn't it.  When President Obama first took office he was compared to John Kennedy as the second coming of JFK.  I can now paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen with accuracy:
Mr. President, you're no Jack Kennedy!
Indeed not!  Leadership is not his forte.  He has no idea what it is to inspire an nation, to unite a nation, to make us dream.

I was going to make this post one that would look back on the last 30 years of the shuttle program.  Instead I have changed this into a harangue against Obama's NASA policy.  The typical Progressive policy of destroying those programs that don't give funds directly to his cronies (SEIU).

I will leave you with this last landing ever of the Shuttle:

As the Space Shuttle has pulled into port for the last time, an era has come to an end.

When will America send her best and bravest back into space?  How long will it take?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

From Sderot To The Main Stream Media

For 10 years the men, women and children of Sderot and the Western Negev have lived with almost daily rocket fire from Gaza.  Yet if you watch or read the Lame Stream Media Main Stream Media you would believe that Israel is an aggressor nation.  Attacking Gaza without provocation, just because they are fundamentally evil.

The truth is the opposite.

Noam Bedein, Director of The Sderot Media Center, has issued a call to mainstream media from the citizens of Sderot.

This is his letter:
Sderot Call on the Mainstream Media:

We ask you respectfully to change the way you report the continued rocket fire on Israel from Gaza.

The latest statistics from Natal, the organization dealing with post-traumatic stress, show that 70% of the children of Sderot suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress two and a half years after the Cast Lead Operation and a full third of Sderot’s residents feel constant post-traumatic anxiety.

Seven rockets, missiles and mortars have been launched from Gaza towards the western Negev’s communities over the last few days.

The disproportional coverage of these rocket launchings and explosions is found in a dry, terse report on mainstream media that takes a few seconds of news time. The issue is barely mentioned by the msm, who state (luckily so far) only that there were no injuries and no damage to property. That is not really the case, as anyone who lives in constant dread of the next missile knows well.

We at the Sderot Media Center urge you to emphasize these strikes more emphatically, to describe them as illegitimate and criminal examples of warfare against innocent civilians. Otherwise, what the media are aiding unintentionally is tacit acceptance of Islamic extremist terror against innocent civilians.

We ask that you change your reports to the following:

1.If there are no injuries, it is important to stress that there were no physical injuries reported.There surely are mental injuries, even though we will not let the terrorists change our lives.

2. It is crucial to mention each time how many rockets have been launched against Israel since the last ceasefire of January 18, 2009.

As of today July 15th 2011, there have been 788 rocket launchings from Gaza aimed at the southern residents of Israel. This has to be brought home again and again so the world will know.

We have decided to write this open letter to all the mainstream media and ask for a change in awareness of the significance and after-effects of this constant bombardment of people trying to live normal lives in an area that has never been disputed even by the UN, that is, unless the very existence of the State of Israel is in dispute.
Noam Bedein

This is the terror that the citizens of Sderot live under.

Rockets specifically targeting Israeli civilians.  The world buries its head in the sand while Israeli Children are maimed and die.  They don't care.  They only care, they only scream, they only act when Israel strikes back in retaliation.  The people of Sderot know the world doesn't care.  They know that the Media has a decidedly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic viewpoint.

This has to change.  It is time that we inform the Media of the truth.  When the Media reports on an "unprovoked" Israeli attack, we must put their feet to the fire and demand they report the truth.  It was bloggers who put NBC's feet to the fire when they decided they didn't like G-d in the Pledge of Allegiance.

And although times are tough, if you can find a few extra dollars would you send them to the Sderot Media Center?  The few dollars you send go a long way.  They go to help the children of Sderot with a bombproof, indoor playground, psychiatric counseling, and is the lone voice for the people of Sderot.  It only takes a few minutes, just click here.

Tell the Children of Sderot you care!

Friday, July 15, 2011

How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

This comes from a rather long article, but it is very insightful into the mystery that is Stuxnet.  It will take years to unravel the full story, but this is what has been discovered so far:
It was January 2010, and investigators with the International Atomic Energy Agency had just completed an inspection at the uranium enrichment plant outside Natanz in central Iran, when they realized that something was off within the cascade rooms where thousands of centrifuges were enriching uranium.

Natanz technicians in white lab coats, gloves and blue booties were scurrying in and out of the “clean” cascade rooms, hauling out unwieldy centrifuges one by one, each sheathed in shiny silver cylindrical casings.

Any time workers at the plant decommissioned damaged or otherwise unusable centrifuges, they were required to line them up for IAEA inspection to verify that no radioactive material was being smuggled out in the devices before they were removed. The technicians had been doing so now for more than a month.

Normally Iran replaced up to 10 percent of its centrifuges a year, due to material defects and other issues. With about 8,700 centrifuges installed at Natanz at the time, it would have been normal to decommission about 800 over the course of the year.

But when the IAEA later reviewed footage from surveillance cameras installed outside the cascade rooms to monitor Iran’s enrichment program, they were stunned as they counted the numbers. The workers had been replacing the units at an incredible rate — later estimates would indicate between 1,000 and 2,000 centrifuges were swapped out over a few months.

The question was, why?
It wasn't apparent to either the IAEA or the Iranians what was happening.  It took the Iranians a year to discover the culprit.
On June 17, 2010, Sergey Ulasen was in his office in Belarus sifting through e-mail when a report caught his eye. A computer belonging to a customer in Iran was caught in a reboot loop — shutting down and restarting repeatedly despite efforts by operators to take control of it. It appeared the machine was infected with a virus.

Ulasen heads an antivirus division of a small computer security firm in Minsk called VirusBlokAda. Once a specialized offshoot of computer science, computer security has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry over the last decade keeping pace with an explosion in sophisticated hack attacks and evolving viruses, Trojan horses and spyware programs.

The best security specialists, like Bruce Schneier, Dan Kaminsky and Charlie Miller are considered rock stars among their peers, and top companies like Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky have become household names, protecting everything from grandmothers’ laptops to sensitive military networks.

VirusBlokAda, however, was no rock star nor a household name. It was an obscure company that even few in the security industry had heard of. But that would shortly change.

Ulasen’s research team got hold of the virus infecting their client’s computer and realized it was using a “zero-day” exploit to spread. Zero-days are the hacking world’s most potent weapons: They exploit vulnerabilities in software that are yet unknown to the software maker or antivirus vendors. They’re also exceedingly rare; it takes considerable skill and persistence to find such vulnerabilities and exploit them. Out of more than 12 million pieces of malware that antivirus researchers discover each year, fewer than a dozen use a zero-day exploit.

In this case, the exploit allowed the virus to cleverly spread from one computer to another via infected USB sticks. The vulnerability was in the LNK file of Windows Explorer, a fundamental component of Microsoft Windows. When an infected USB stick was inserted into a computer, as Explorer automatically scanned the contents of the stick, the exploit code awakened and surreptitiously dropped a large, partially encrypted file onto the computer, like a military transport plane dropping camouflaged soldiers into target territory.

It was an ingenious exploit that seemed obvious in retrospect, since it attacked such a ubiquitous function. It was also one, researchers would soon learn to their surprise, that had been used before.

VirusBlokAda contacted Microsoft to report the vulnerability, and on July 12, as the software giant was preparing a patch, VirusBlokAda went public with the discovery in a post to a security forum. Three days later, security blogger Brian Krebs picked up the story, and antivirus companies around the world scrambled to grab samples of the malware — dubbed Stuxnet by Microsoft from a combination of file names (.stub and MrxNet.sys) found in the code.

As the computer security industry rumbled into action, decrypting and deconstructing Stuxnet, more assessments filtered out.

It turned out the code had been launched into the wild as early as a year before, in June 2009, and its mysterious creator had updated and refined it over time, releasing three different versions. Notably, one of the virus’s driver files used a valid signed certificate stolen from RealTek Semiconductor, a hardware maker in Taiwan, in order to fool systems into thinking the malware was a trusted program from RealTek.

Finish reading here.
If they had known what they were dealing with they should have left it alone.  While not a Trojan Horse, Stuxnet acted like a Trojan Horse.  What scared the experts was that Stuxnet was so efficient at what it did and how it stayed hidden.  Its ability to remain in the system even after it was "removed" has driven the Iranians crazy.

Stuxnet was NOT written in someone's basement.  It was an effort by a government or governments to take out or at least slow down the Iranian Nuclear Program.  At best it has given the world a few years breathing room.

Hat tip to Israel Matzav

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Libya-An Embarrassment for the West

Gary Fouse

In case you haven't been following the Libyan war (which President Obama assured us would be over in days rather than weeks), it is still going on. The French (The Leaders of the Free World) are dropping bombs on Libya, Ghaddafi is still in power, the Americans are launching rockets from the Mediterranean, while Obama makes a periodic announcement that Ghaddafi "must go", and the Germans went home months ago when they realized they were not invading France. Now the French have announced that they will stop bombing if Ghaddafi agrees to hold talks with the opposition.

Yes, it is quite ludicrous, is it not?

The fact is that Muammar Ghaddafi, this third world tin pot dictator and terrorist, has humiliated NATO and the Western powers for decades now. For all you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies majors, a little history lesson is in order. It was back in the 1980s that Ghaddafi sent a terrorist team to Berlin to blow up a nightclub frequented by American GIs. Several people were killed including Americans. Libya was quickly identified as the culprit. President Reagan ordered a bombing raid on Libya which actually killed one of Ghaddafi's children.

Then came the 1988 explosion of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people including 11 people on the ground. Subsequent investigation revealed that Libyan government agents carried out the plot. It was at that point that we and the Brits (and NATO) should have gone in and taken Ghaddafi and his regime out. We didn't. Eventually, Libya gave up two agents, one of whom was convicted and given a life sentence in the UK.

Speaking of the UK, remember in 1984 when Libyan diplomats stated firing out of the Libyan embassy in London against Libyan exiles who were protesting-killing a British policewoman? That was when diplomatic immunity kicked in and the Libyans were allowed to return to Libya to a hero's welcome by Ghaddafi.

Her name was Yvonne Fletcher-Does anybody in the UK remember?


But then in the past decade, something happened. Apparently "inspired" by the invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein, Ghaddafi told the West he was tired of terrorism, that he would cooperate with the West and be a good boy. The West, ever aware of that Libyan oil, agreed and embraced this monster.

Now let's return to that Libyan agent locked up in Scotland for the Pan Am bombing. Shamefully, the Brits-involved in negotiations for British Petroleum to complete an oil deal- let him go and return to Libya (to a hero's welcome by Ghaddafi) because he was supposedly dying of cancer. Guess what. He is still kicking and doing fine.


So here we are. A civil war is raging in Libya, and we have decided that we need to intervene-to protect innocent civilians from Ghaddafi's goons or whatever. Nonsense. I have written repeatedly that the only valid justification in getting involved would be to kill Ghaddafi for his past acts of terror against us. Other than that, it is not worth one American life. Thus far, we have not killed Ghaddafi, so we just let the Frenchies fly around and drop bombs. Now they are back to square one-if Ghadafi will just sit down and negotiate....

Is it any wonder that all the radical Islamists think they can conquer the West?

If our mission in Libya is to protect innocent civilians, then why, I ask, are we not bombing Syria? In that same vein, I have now come to the conclusion that it is time to question why we are in Afghanistan and Iraq. If it is cleaning up the last remnants of Al Qaida, that's one thing. If it is trying to build a model democratic state, I say forget about it.

I say enough with this nonsense in Libya. Find out where Ghaddafi is, blow him to smithereens and come on home. If they are not willing to do that, then there is no justification for being involved.

Frankly, I am weary of Obama and Hillary Clinton proclaiming that Ghaddafi "must go", while the French say that all he has to do is "sit down with the opposition."

It's enough to make one puke.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"I Don't Care Anything About Your Disability."

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

I am very concerned about the people of the 18th Congressional District of Texas.  You know that gerrymandered district so convoluted as to insure a re-election victory for Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee.

18th Congressional District of Texas
I do believe you remember Congresswoman Jackson Lee.  Here are just a few of her inspired comments:

Just a few of her many gaffs.

Now the good Congresswoman is going to feel the heat.  Her former legislative director, Mona Floyd, has filed a lawsuit in regard to the discriminatory working conditions.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's former legislative director is suing the Democratic congresswoman, claiming she made "humiliating" comments about her vision disability while refusing to do anything to accommodate her.

At one point, the lawsuit claims, the congresswoman told her: "I don't care anything about your disability."

The lawsuit, filed last month in District of Columbia federal court, seeks unspecified damages in the form of "back and front pay," as well as punitive damages. Former aide Mona Floyd claims Jackson Lee's treatment of her amounted to "unlawful discrimination" and contributed to her resignation last fall.

The suit states that Floyd suffers from "monocular vision," causing eye fatigue and reducing reading speed -- symptoms that worsen without adequate rest during the day.

Full Story
Congresswoman Jackson Lee's behavior towards her employees has been well documented since 2002.  Her temper tantrums, obscene language and abuse towards her employees would be considered grounds for dismissal in the Private Sector, but in Congress they are acceptable.  And so they are to the people of Houston.  They must be.  They keep electing this over the top, racist, egotistical fool of a woman.  I wonder what the people of Houston are smoking.  Or is it the simple fact that they are inbred idiots.  Dumber than the inbred idiots in Deliverance.  There has to be a valid reason for her continual re-election to Congress.

One day, hopefully in 2012, the good people of the 18th will awaken and realize that do to this woman's insane utterances they are the laughing stock of the nation.  And with that realization they will vote this woman out of office.  But until that time we must endure that which is unendurable:  The stupidity and hypocrisy of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Welcome to Palestine and the Olive Tree Initiative

I contributed to an article appearing today in Frontpage Magazine by Nicole Hungerford.

The above article highlights the fact that Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian activist, is front and center with the Flytilla. He is also a friend of the UC-Irvine-based Olive Tree Initiative. Hungerford also links (p. 2 site) to many of the organizations involved in the Flytilla. Among them are the Siraj Centre for Holy Land Studies and the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between Peoples, both previously described on this site. Say hello to George S Rishmawi and George N Rishmawi, both heavily involved in the Olive Tree Initiative.

Below is my own version regarding the involvement of Olive Tree Initiative participant, speaker and guide Mazin Qumsiyeh in this past week's Flytilla venture, an attempt to have hundreds of anti-Israel activists fly into Israel to engage in anti-Israel protests and demonstations.


I have written previously about Mazin Qumsiyeh, a West Bank activist who has been involved for the past three years as a speaker and guide for the UC-Irvine based Olive Tree Initiative. Qumsiyeh is a PhD who previously taught at Yale. He travels the globe giving presentations against Israel. Yet, he is a highly-esteemed figure among OTI participants.

Now it appears that Qumsiyeh is an important player in the present fiasco called "Welcome to Palestine" going on whereby hundreds of activists from around the world are attempting to fly into Israel to protest against that country on behalf of the Palestinians. This immediately on the heels of the unsuccessful flotilla effort to sail to Gaza by sea. At this time, Israel is refusing entry to known activists and getting cooperation from other countries like France, which are not allowing identified activists to board flights to Israel.

On June 12, Qumsiyeh sent out a message to the Palestinian American Congress in regards to a program entitled, "Welcome to Palestine". It contained this message (excerpts).

"Dear friends:

I am back in Palestine and busily working with dozens of volunteers (but we need more) on the July and other actions to challenge the system of apartheid. As governments (including the Palestinian authority) abrogate their duties and obligations to defend human rights, citizens around the world are acting Below you can see an example of a young American (who happens to be Jewish) as he spoke out and was attacked by apartheid state mercenaries. But millions are acting. In our small corner of the world, some 20 of us met today to organize for our July actions....... "

......"With the BDS boycott against Israeli politics and the Flotilla which is preparing to oppose the siege of Gaza, hundreds of people going on the 8th July 2011 mission visiting Palestinian civil rights associations, illustrates the importance of international solidarity with Palestine and our duty to get involved......."

Video for the July Mission: Palestine, Yes we come

On July 7, Qumsiyeh sent a message to his followers regarding the on-going events concerning the aforementioned international activists trying to enter Israel.

From: Mazin Qumsiyeh

Date: July 7, 2011

"This campaign that we have been working very hard on for months is just beginning. The week of activities will go on with all your help. We will plan bigger and more dramatic events in the months to come. The collusion of the governments and corporations in Israeli oxccupation and colonization must be further exposed.]

‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign responds to Israel’s denial of entrance to international visitors who support human rights

Bethlehem and Jerusalem, July 7, 2011 - The Israeli authorities are escalating attacks on anyone they suspect of participating in the peaceful events of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign. Israeli authorities sent hundreds of names to airline companies telling them to deny travel to individuals on the list. Several people on the list who had booked flights were sent letters from airline companies cancelling their reservations ‘based on a request from the Israeli authorities.’ We call on all airline companies not to accept such provocative, blackmailing, and illegal actions by the Israeli government. Ominously, Israeli Prime minister has directed the interior security minister that the Israeli authorities must ‘act with determination’ towards those who do make it to Ben Gurion Airport.

The visitors coming from the US and Europe on Friday are committed to the principles of international and humanitarian law and believe strictly in nonviolence. They were invited by dozens of Palestinian civil society organizations and groups. They have stated that the only way to visit and work with Palestinians is by passing through Israeli border controls. They have declared their commitment to pass these border controls in an orderly, peaceful and fully transparent way.

Before stepping onto the airplanes, the visitors will have passed through meticulous security procedures at the various airports of origin and will pose no threat in any way. The propaganda efforts to paint human rights advocates as ‘hooligans’ and even ‘violent’ (an attempt to demonize and dehumanize them in order to justify violence against them) is simply not credible and indeed ridiculous. We are pleased that this episode further exposes Israeli policies towards anything or anyone relating to ‘Palestinians’ as dictatorial, racist, and criminal and not complying with basic elements of democracy or human rights.

Visitors traveling between countries have rights under international law and bilateral travel agreements. Our foreign visitors insist that they must be treated with respect in the same manner Israeli citizens receive when traveling to their countries. Those who had reservations cancelled will exercise their right of protest including bringing legal cases in their own countries. We will also bring legal cases in Israeli courts under our continued attempt to expose the racist policies of the Israeli government.

Several peaceful protests will be held at airports throughout Europe on the 8th of July and we urge all civilized people throughout the world to protest these undemocratic moves to silence free speech and legal travel. We ask the media to insist on access and fair reporting on Israeli tactics that are against basic human rights of international solidarity activists before, during and after they arrive at the Israeli airport. We demand Israel publishes all instructions given to their ‘border control officials’ regarding visitors who intend to visit Palestinians.

The "Welcome to Palestine" campaign has been successful in exposing Israeli attempts to isolate and imprison Palestinians and prevent international visitors from coming to find out what is really happening on the ground.

Friday 8 July 2011 at 10 AM in Bethlehem Peace Center, located in Nativity Square, we will have a Press Conference to announce further steps we will take."


Then there is this direct from the International Solidarity Movement:

Update: This site has apparently been taken down. So let's go to this one to show Qumsiyeh's connection to the Welcome to Palestine action (News from the Middle East):

Activists conducting 'fly in' to Israel

Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport is famous for having some of the tightest airport security in the world [GALLO/GETTY]

July 6, 2011

"Despite threats from Israeli security, hundreds of Palestinian solidarity activists plan to fly into Tel Aviv's airport.

This Friday, July 8, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists are planning to fly to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport in a display of solidarity with Palestinians living in the occupied territories.

According to organisers, at least 500 people have already scheduled flights to Israel, including Palestinians that will fly from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.

The "fly in", as organisers are referring to the action, will bring protesters to Tel Aviv where they will all arrive within a two-hour period. At least fifteen organisations are involved in the event which is timed to coincide with peaceful demonstrations and actions within the occupied territories that have been set up by Palestinians. The travellers plan to travel from the airport to the West Bank, a move that would challenge the long-standing Israeli government policy that has forbidden such movement.

"The goal is very clear, we are all fed up with being obliged to lie when we arrive in Allenby [bridge] or Ben Gurion [Airport] when visiting our Palestinian friends," Mireille Rumeau, an organiser with the International Solidarity Movement in Paris told Al Jazeera.

"We are fed up with lying about being tourists, or coming for a pilgrimage. Now, they are all going to say: 'we are coming to visit our Palestinian friends that have invited us.' If they get through, there are events planned for Palestinian groups for us to take part in, as we were invited by them six months ago, and we are answering their call."

Rumeau said that approximately 350 of the participants that already have their tickets are from France, and others are flying from Italy, Belgium, and Germany. She also hopes the action will bring attention to the lack of Palestinians' ability to move freely, and that, as the sea flotilla aimed to bring attention to the Israeli naval blockade, this action will highlight how Israel also bars air access to the occupied Palestinian territories.

The 'hooligans' are coming

Mazin Qumsiyeh is the international media spokesperson for the Welcome to Palestine Campaign in the West Bank. He spoke with Al Jazeera about the upcoming "fly in" and how it was connected to events his group is coordinating in the occupied territories.

"The purpose is to bring internationals to join us and show solidarity in actions we're doing anyway," Qumsiyeh told Al Jazeera. "We ask internationals to come, the only difference from previous actions of solidarity is that these people have decided among themselves to come all on the same day to the airport and they are not going to tell the Israelis they are tourists, but they are coming in solidarity with the Palestinian people."

On July 5, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch called the activists "hooligans" and said they would be barred entry.

"These hooligans who try to break our laws will not be allowed into the country and will be returned immediately to their home countries," he said.

In his first interview as Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Yohanan Denino said that his forces "will use all the legal means in our hands, and we have many", to stop the activists from proceeding with their plan to protest at Ben Gurion airport or to travel to the West Bank.

Israeli media has reported that flights landing on July 8 from Europe will be taken to a separate terminal and all of the passengers carefully screened.

Rumeau, whose group has been active in organising weekly protests against the West Bank security fence at Bil'in, as well as being involved with the Free Gaza Movement behind the flotillas of 2010 and 2011, said she does not know what Israeli security officials will do with the hundreds of activists who arrive at the airport.

"We don't know what we will do, as we don't expect them [Israeli security] to let people leave the tarmac," she said. "They cannot allow 500 people to enter the small airport at Tel Aviv. We suppose they might stop the people from leaving the planes, and checking at that time who is going to Palestine and who is not. The other scenario is they put people in buses and take them to detention."

Qumsiyeh also does not know what the activists might expect from Israeli security forces.

"We can't predict what the Israeli authorities will do, but what they've done to individuals who have been honest about their goal of visiting Palestine is they have been interrogated for many hours, and possibly deported," he said.

Qumsiyeh hopes that Israeli authorities will "do the right and legal thing and let these people through".

"British citizens arriving at Ben-Gurion should be treated as Israelis are treated at Heathrow," he added. "They should not be interrogated and deported, just like if Israelis who are going to visit minorities in London would not be interrogated and deported. It's the right and legal course of action."

A small risk

Should those on board the flights be allowed access into the occupied territories, they will join Palestinians in peaceful solidarity actions and other events that Qumsiyeh's group is helping organise.

The move comes as a flotilla of international activists who planned to try to breach Israel's sea blockade of Gaza has largely failed to get permission to set sail from Greece, as a result of Israeli diplomatic pressure on the country in the throes of economic chaos.

Organisers chose July 8 for the "fly in" as it is the date in 2004 that the UN's International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that Israel's West Bank "security fence" stood contrary to international law.

Laura Durkay, a US activist from New York, will be one of only a few US citizens participating in the action. She told Al Jazeera the reason she is taking part in the "fly in" is because, having travelled to Gaza and the West Bank, "I saw the conditions and saw what the Israeli security apparatus looks like. I was interrogated at the Allenby Bridge, and saw how that apparatus and control of borders is part of the occupation. We want to highlight that the West Bank is also under siege, and one of the ways they enforce that siege is by keeping people from going in and out of the West Bank."

Durkay understands that Israeli security forces will likely turn them away at the airport and not allow the travellers to enter the West Bank.

"We understand there is a good chance the Israeli government will prevent us from doing this, and that would show the world how this so-called democracy treats those of us who simply want to visit Palestinians and express our solidarity with them," she said.

Durkay said she understands that there is a possibility of the activists being treated badly by Israeli security, but added: "As internationals, we know the risk for us is much less the risk faced by Palestinians on a daily basis. It's a small risk compared to what Palestinians have to deal with all the time and don't have a choice about."

Author : Dahr Jamail

Article : 79319 sent on 07-jul-2011 12:35 ECT

Url :

Link :

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

Olive Tree Initiative

Now that we see Qumsiyeh's involvement with this operation, we come back to his involvement with that much-heralded Olive Tree Initiative, born at UC Irvine in 2007. To date, three groups of students from UCI, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other, have traveled to Israel and the West Bank to meet with both sides of the conflict. Problem is that evidence has shown over the course of the last three years that this venture is heavily weighted on the Palestinian side and has included involvement by co-founders of the International Solidarity Movement. In September 2009, the students actually met with a big Hamas official in the West Bank named Aziz Duwaik-now in Israeli custody. In addition, some of the people involved in these trips have tried-and apparently are still trying- to pass themselves off as pro-Israel or neutral.

Mazin Qumsiyeh is not neutral nor does he pretend to be. He is a man working night and day to bring about an end to Israel through a worldwide public relations program to paint Israel as a racist, aggressive and occupying state.

But as for the Olive Tree Initiative, which is sponsored by UCI, indeed the entire University of California system under Pres. Mark Yudof, and the Orange County Jewish Federation, which has provided the bulk of the funding through its own Rose Project, this has to come as another embarrassing development. The above entities have promoted the OTI and furiously fought off any criticism of the program coming from supporters of Israel. Now we learn that their much-loved friend in the West Bank, Qumsiyeh, is involved in this latest venture called "Palestine: Yes we come." And make no mistake, Qumsiyeh has made close friends with those who have participated in the OTI.

With another trip being organized for September into this increasingly volatile region, who knows what the next OTI delegation will walk into. As for those involved in OTI, it is high time to examine where your sentiments lay. It is also high time to start identifying these so-called Israel supporters who promote and work in this program-with people like Mazin Qumsiyeh. The Olive Tree Initiative is accomplishing nothing more than enabling and giving credibility to the Mazin Qumsiyehs of the world.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Study The Main Stream Media Will NEVER Show You

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

In a study by Natal, a trauma center for the victims of war and terror, it was discovered that 70% of the kids residing in the town that has been on the receiving end of thousands of rockets in recent years are suffering from at least one symptom of posttraumatic stress. A third of all Sderot's residents suffer from anxiety, and have trouble functioning normally.

Among children this comes in the form of PTSD and Depression.
Shaked and Maor Harush, 11-year-old twins from Sderot, saw a Qassam rocket explode a few feet away for them, setting a car ablaze. Since then, fear has become an everyday presence in their lives.

Shaked suffers from the worst of the trauma. She refuses to leave home without her parents. A slamming door makes her jump. Any conversation about the security situation is out of the question when Shaked is around, and her family knows to avoid words like Qassam and Color Red altogether.

Shaked's young cousin, who lives in the center of the country, was not aware of this little detail. While the two were playing in the yard recently, he yelled out "Color Red, Color Red," sending Shaked running into the house. She locked herself in her room and could not stop crying.

"Her cousin didn't think of it, he didn't know, but Shaked took it hard," her father said. "She is in bad shape. She suffers from anxiety all the time."

Shaked is not alone.

Qassam damage in Sderot in April (Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman)

Maor Harush is doing better than his sister; he speaks about his anxieties. Shaked never does. She has been in therapy for three years, but it hasn't helped – the situation only seems to be getting worse.

"We can't laugh about the situation, we can't talk about it," the twins' father said. "Most of the time she's at home, watching television. The television is her connection to the outside world."

She doesn't visit her friends, her father said, and her school work has slipped; she suffers from attention disorders.

According to the Natal report, 50% of Sderot's kids relive the trauma, and 41% suffer from over-excitation – they are constantly alert, ready for danger, and every little noise shakes them up. Twenty percent of the kids suffer from all the symptoms of posttraumatic stress, and 12% have severe trouble functioning.

"They stop playing, stop being interested in their surroundings, detach themselves from their friends and school," explained Professor Marc Gelkopf, who heads the Natal research team. "One of our newest and most interesting findings is that there is a connection between the symptoms that the parents experience and the ones their children experience. It underlines the importance of family therapy."

Rocket destroys house in Sderot, 2006 (Photo: Amir Cohen)

The study, which followed 518 adult and 570 kids, showed that one in three residents suffers from the disorder, and that one in seven is having trouble functioning due to anxiety.

"When we're talking about people suffering from posttraumatic stress, we're talking about people who wake up in the middle of the night because of nightmares," Gelkopf said. "People who are over alert… who are afraid to go far from their fortified rooms or visit places that remind them of the danger."

Despite the recent calm, Natal has found that nearly 30% of the residents feel threatened. Another 23% take anti-depression or anxiety drugs, or use sleeping pills.

Esther Itiel, 56, has been living in Sderot for 30 years. She is another victim of posttraumatic stress.

"Life in this town was beautiful before the Qassam fire started," she said. "Since then, there hasn't been one night when we could sleep normally. All aspects of life have been disrupted.

"I managed to survive somehow for years, but when a Qassam fell a few meters near my house, I broke down," she said. "I took my daughters and moved to Givat Shmuel, leaving my husband and three other kids behind in Sderot."

In the central town of Givat Shmuel, Itiel received therapy from Natal and the municipality, and graudally managed to regain some of her former self. She agreed to return to Sderot after a shelter was built in her house. Back at home, anxiety hit again.

Qassam hits building in Sderot, 2010 (Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman)

"Any noise from an ambulance, bus or plane makes me jump and triggers the anxiety," she said. "I can't listen to the news, this whole story about the fly-in made me anxious. I'm not happy, I don't laugh, I don't joke. I'm not the mother I used to be."

These days, Itiel rarely leaves home. Sleep evades her. She showers only when there is someone else at home with her – and even then, she does it quickly.

"I'm afraid that it will be like it was during the Qassam fire period," she said. "Then, when the Color Red alarm went off while I was in the shower, I would run to the shelter without clothes on. About a month ago, the alarm went off again. I heard planes flying by and I fainted. They had to take me to the hospital."

Some 6,400 people who are suffering from posttraumatic stress are treated at the municipal mental health center in Sderot. Some 3,500 kids and 500 teachers and staff members get psychological treatment through the town's school system. The Resilience Center, which provides counseling, treats 400 people each year, most of them children and teenagers – and the waiting list for treatment is growing.

"Especially during times of calm, people start feeling the tumult on the inside," said Hila Barzilay, who runs the Resilience Center. "(…) We get kids with serious motor function disorders, kids who weren't allowed to play outside in groups for years. Many residents' relationships have suffered. The situation causes critical damage to all aspects of their lives.

Full Story
What the Main Lame Stream Media is calling a successful ceasefire is in reality just a lull in the terror.  There isn't a week that the rockets attack Israel or an attempt is made to fire into Israel.  Yet the media outside of Israel is silent on this.  In fact they are reporting that the EU, US, Russia and the UN will IMPOSE a solution upon Israel.,  A solution that will try to force Israel back to the 1967 borders, the borders Abba Eban called:  The Auschwitz Borders.
Abba Eban

"We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz. We shudder when we think of what would have awaited us in the circumstances of June, 1967, if we had been defeated; with Syrians on the mountain and we in the valley, with the Jordanian army in sight of the sea, with the Egyptians who hold our throat in their hands in Gaza. This is a situation which will never be repeated in history."

- Abba Eban, Israeli Statesman, in Der Spiegel, November 5, 1969
Borders that are impossible to defend the nation. With the deliberate separation into 2 halves of Jerusalem, the Arabs will gain everything they want without giving up any of Israel's demands.

The children of Sderot have only the people of Israel to help them.  But that can change.  Will you help them?  Just a few dollars will give a child the psychiatric help he or she needs.  The Sderot Media Center helps hundreds of the residents of Sderot and the Western Negev each day.  From their newly opened "Ella Center" that helps the children with their studies in the sciences to the only indoor playground, the first concern of the Sderot Media is the safety of the children of Sderot.  Their mission statement tells it all:
The Sderot Media Center mission is to provide Israeli and international news media with on-site film footage and reporting of the kassam rocket attacks and their psychological effects upon Sderot residents. In doing so, we hope to spur international and local involvement with the community of Sderot, both on a financial and social scale, in order to help out the residents of this war-zone region.

Other goals include the following four points:

To forge identification and empathy between the western world and the residents of the western Negev
To initiate community projects that will alleviate the economic and psychological condition of Sderot and western Negev residents
To improve the security situation of Sderot and the western Negev through international awareness of the rocket fire
To create a balance in the news coverage of Israel and promote a pro-Israel attitude in the western and international media

You can help by clicking here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

You can do your part by signing the petition to force President Barack Hussein Obama to use our veto to stop this insanity.

Eli E. Hertz wrote:
A Crazy State

A Palestinian state has good chances of becoming a rogue state - the kind of polity the United States is currently grappling with in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iran and elsewhere.

In 1971 Hebrew University social scientist Professor Yehezkel Dror wrote a short volume entitled Crazy States, solicited by the Rand Corporation. Decades before Mohmar Kaddafi began sending contraband by diplomatic pouch and Pol Pot "invented" the killing fields, Dror envisioned the emergence of polities that 'don't play by the rules' and therefore seem crazy to westerners. At the time he was roundly criticized as an extremist and prophet of doom - his book was labeled a brilliant intellectual exercise but off the mark in terms of reality.

The volume gained new respect after the 1991 Gulf War. Today no one denies the existence of 'crazy states', or as they are now labeled: rogue states. In a 1999 article devoted to how US foreign policy has addressed the problem of rogue states, Professor Barry Rabin of Bar-Ilan University defined the rogue state as:

"[a polity] that puts a high priority on subverting other states and sponsoring non-conventional types of violence against them. It does not react predictably to deterrence or other tools of diplomacy and statecraft."

The definition seems to fit the Palestinian Authority like a glove even in the pre-state 'test' stage prior to gaining full sovereignty.

Palestinian Arabs using non-conventional types of violence can surely take credit for "inventing" skyjackings, a political vehicle that permitted taking hostages and extorting political concessions for their release. Palestinians initiated attacks on El Al passengers and airliners at international airports and escalated the violence by blowing up civilian airliners in midair - the first, killing 47 passengers and crew aboard a Swissair flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv in February 1970.

As far as "not reacting predictably to deterrence or other tools of diplomacy," in 1974 Palestinians claimed responsibility for the first-ever Palestinian suicide-bombing, when 18 hostages near the town of Kiryat-Shmona in northern Israel were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist loaded with explosives.

Today, the battle that Israel wages against terrorism, and one the Western world must also wage, affects the entire free world.

A rogue state, said Rabin "requires special treatment and high levels of international pressure in order to prevent it from wrecking public order, setting off wars, and subverting whole areas of the world" ... "an international equivalent of incarceration or commitment to a mental institution, until there is sufficient recovery to permit reentry into the international system."

Unfortunately, the world community has been ignoring the prospect that a full-blown independent Palestinian state will become just that kind of rogue state and renegade organization the world is grappling with today.

In light of the Palestinian Arab history of violence and its poor performance coping with limited freedom or autonomy - the equivalent of a 'half-way house' to test their readiness to join the family of nations, and in light of the support (rather than pressure to 'toe the line') that Palestinians enjoy in the international arena, Palestinians independence could very well turn into a genuine nightmare.

A state with its patterns of despots, coups, assassinations, civil war, corruption, revolutions and lack of respect for human life, freedom and democracy, resembles a Crazy State that will continue to threaten Israel and world security.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Betty Ford

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Born Elizabeth Ann Bloomer on April 8th, 1918 in the city of Chicago, she became the First Lady when her husband Gerold Ford assumed the Presidency when Richard Nixon resigned from office.

She was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy and was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights Amendment. Pro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women's Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time, including feminism, equal pay, ERA, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control. She also raised awareness of addiction when she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism in the 1970s.

Following her White House years, she continued to lobby for the ERA and remained active in the feminist movement. She is the founder, and served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction and is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (alone, presented 1991, by George H.W. Bush).

She passed away today at the age of 93.
Betty Ford, the widow of late President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

Ford died Friday evening with family at her bedside, according to a family member.

Elaine Didier, the director of the Grand Rapids, Michigan, museum, confirmed Ford's death to CNN.

No other details were immediately available.

Born Elizabeth Anne Bloomer in Chicago, she grew up in Grand Rapids. At the age of 21, she moved to New York City to work as a dancer and model before heading back to the Midwest two years later.

One year after divorcing William Warren after five years of marriage, she wed Gerald Ford -- a former star football player at the University of Michigan and a decorated U.S. Navy veteran -- in 1948. That year, the woman now known as Betty Ford campaigned with her new husband on his successful campaign to become a U.S. congressman.

The family moved to Washington, where Gerald Ford served in the Capitol for 25 years prior to his being tapped, in 1973, as then-President Richard Nixon's vice president in place of Spiro T. Agnew.

Just over 10 months later, Betty Ford became first lady when her husband was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States.

She soon made headlines, discussing abortion, pre-marital sex and equal rights on CBS' "60 Minutes" and being named as Newsweek's 1975 "Woman of the Year."

But in 1978, just over one year after leaving the White House after her husband lost his campaign to remain president, Ford made headlines of a different kind. She entered the Long Beach Naval Hospital to be treated for alcohol and prescription painkiller abuse.

That same year, she published the first of two autobiographies, entitled "The Times of My Life." Ford would go on to become a high-profile example of someone who battled substance abuse issues, as well as a tireless advocate for treatment.

Her work paid dividends in October 1982 when, along with Leonard Firestone, she opened the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. To this day, the center remains one of the most well-known and respected places nationwide for treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies.

Ford also fought to promote awareness and research on breast cancer, with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation eventually naming an award in her honor.

She earned numerous honors over her life, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and the Congressional Gold Medal eight years later.

Her husband, Gerald Ford, died in 2006.

Full Story
She was a liberal Republican, but a fine lady.  Ladies of her ilk are few and hard to find.

Our sympathies go to the Ford family in this time of sorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Anthony Verdict

Gary Fouse

Since everyone else is weighing in on the Casey Anthony verdict, I may as well too. I should state that only in the closing days did I follow this case with any degree of attention. Did the verdict surprise me? Yes.

I agree with those who criticize the verdict and say that juries are leaning too much toward the CSI mentality. They want hard forensic and scientific evidence like DNA or fingerprints. Here they didn't have it. Nor were there any eyewitnesses. Nor could cause of death be established. This case rested mostly on circumstantial evidence. Yet defendants can, indeed, be convicted on circumstantial evidence. The strongest circumstantial evidence was the lies of Casey Anthony to her parents and to police in the wake of her daughter's disappearance, as well as her behavior while her daughter was missing. Indeed, she was convicted on four counts of lying to the police. The question begs; why did she lie to the police, and why did she lie to her parents.

Of course, who can believe what either one of those parents said? The whole family is a mess. Maybe that's what made the jurors throw up their hands in confusion-which leads to reasonable doubt. Yet, does it really make sense to argue that George Anthony-whatever his flaws are-a former cop -to come home to a drowned granddaughter in the swimming pool and decide to cover it up and conceal the body? C'mon! Who would cover up an accident to make it look like a crime?

Then you throw in the chloroform residue found in the trunk of Casey's car, the smell of decomposition in the trunk, and a hair from the trunk matching a hair found at the scene of the skeletal remains.

But what it keeps coming back to is Casey Anthony's lies and behavior while her daughter was missing. That brings it down to common sense, which the jurors seem to have forgotten.

So far, one alternate juror has spoken to the press, and he says he agrees with the verdict. He says George Anthony was hiding something. Probably so; a love affair, child molestation, which was never proven though alleged by the defense, who knows what else. Perhaps just a desire to protect his daughter from the consequences of what she did. Call me a cynic, but in all that crying George did on the stand, I never saw one actual tear. Ditto for Cindy Anthony.

The alternate juror says the prosecution did not prove motive (not required under the law). Didn't Casey Anthony's wild behavior while her daughter was missing demonstrate her motive-to be free and unburdened by her daughter? Is Casey Anthony psycologically disturbed? No doubt. Her behavior is beyond comprehension.

But to play devil's advocate, it is true that too many witnesses gave questionable testimony. It is also true that the investigation suffered a Dennis Fung (from the OJ Simpson trial) moment when that meter reader called in to cops that he had found bones in the swamp, and the cops failed to find them only to have the same person call again months later from the same spot, at which point they were recovered. That stinks, and when the prosecution has to contend with that kind of screw-up, their whole case is called into question by the jury.

It is a case with few if any heroes and one that will be second-guessed for years. It is also a case where justice will not be done. There is no one else for the police to investigate. Like the Simpson case, there is little left to do except decide whether to prosecute the parents for perjury and close the file.